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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

3 Ways to Get Rid of Smoke Smells After a Fire

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone machines are designed specifically with odor control in mind

Some people might consider themselves lucky if the biggest issue they have to deal with after a fire is smoke damage. However, this issue can be more serious than you might think. The scent of smoke means there’s still residual soot in the air, which contains carcinogens that can be harmful to breathe. Plus, the smell is just awful. Fortunately, there are several steps regarding smoke cleaning you can take in order to reduce the smoke odor in your home after a fire in Wichita, KS and even make a space odor-free.

Steps for Smoke Cleaning to reduce the smoke odor:

1. Air Filtration Devices

You’ve probably seen air filtration devices advertised as great ways to deal with allergens. These same devices are excellent for filtering out the agents that cause smoke odor as well. Placing a few (or several) of these devices in the place that’s experienced the smoke damage can help reduce the scent over time. Just remember to keep the filters changed.

2. Ozone Machines

Ozone machines are designed specifically with odor control in mind. These machines are built to deodorize large areas such as hotel rooms and business offices, so imagine what one could do for your home when you need smoke cleaning. This is a tool commonly used by smoke and fire damage professionals, so you know it’ll get the job done right.

3. Thermal Foggers

Thermal foggers are built to essentially recreate the conditions of a fire by adding heat and pressure to a specified area. However, these machines give off a mist of deodorizing fog rather than smoke. These fog particles are absorbed by porous materials in the same way, however, meaning they seep into to smoke-damaged belongings to replace the unpleasant odor.

These are three methods of smoke cleaning that are commonly used by the pros, and for good reason. They’re effective, simple, and get the job done quickly so you can go back to living a smoke-free life.

SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita has the training, experience and specialized equipment necessary to restore your home and remove any Smoke Odor left after a Fire.  

Can Water-Damaged Documents Be Saved?

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Call a professional right away to help you recover all of your wet documents and other important papers

Water damage from flooding at your commercial property in Wichita, KS can impact the building’s fixtures, equipment, and furniture. Important documents, such as customer contracts and blueprints, can also be damaged. There are ways, however, to restore wet documents. You should consult a water restoration service as soon as possible to save your important business documents.

What Documents Can Be Saved?

Restoration services can save many types of documents, including:

  • Paper documents
  • Blueprints and drawings
  • Parchment
  • Photographs
  • Books and magazines
  • Audio and video tapes

How Does Restoration Work?
It is critical to have a professional inspect the wet documents as quickly as possible to get the best results. Proper document drying procedures must be used to successfully restore your documents. Specialists can apply vacuum freeze-dried techniques to dry out the documents. Make sure you choose a company that uses the vacuum drying method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Water damage from floods or sewer backup will likely contain bacteria, pesticides, and other contaminants, which must be removed professionally. Documents can also be infected with mold and mildew. Technology using gamma irradiation can be applied to clean and sterilize your valuables. Individual pages or complete libraries of books can be deodorized as well.

How Are My Confidential Files Kept Safe?
Make sure you choose a restoration company that employs individuals who are certified to handle sensitive and personal documents in a secure and confidential manner with 24-hour surveillance. This will ensure that sensitive documents are not stolen or compromised.
Protect your documents even further by having them digitized. A professional restoration service can convert all of your paper files, photographs, and other documents into a digital format that can’t be lost or destroyed in a flood.
In the aftermath of flooding in your building, call a professional right away to help you recover all of your wet documents and other important papers.

How To Test for Mold in Your Building

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

Mold testing Call a specialist to perform mold testing in your building

If your commercial property in Topeka, KS has been subjected to water damage recently, you are probably worried about the possibility of mold growing inside your building. Since mold can spread behind walls and above ceiling tiles, it isn't always easy to spot. There are some common places to look for mold growth, but if you are suspicious, it's best to contact an indoor environmental specialist as soon as possible.

Where To Look for Mold in Your Building

Mold loves warm, wet conditions, so bathrooms are always susceptible. Frequently check the floor surrounding the toilets for overflow and leaks, and call a professional quickly for any repairs that are needed. In addition, make sure none of the faucets are leaking. Mold often has an unpleasant smell, so investigate any foul odors immediately.
There are other common places to check for mold growth.

Inspect the ceiling tiles frequently for any water damage. The tiles around your HVAC units are especially vulnerable to mold.
Check the air intake registers for signs of mold.
Inspect the carpet for any untreated wet spots.

When To Call a Professional
If you suspect that mold is growing inside your building, you may be tempted to purchase a home mold test kit. Mold spores grow in every building, and the home test will only indicate if mold spores are present, so the test won't be of much help. You should call an indoor environmental specialist instead. Mold remediation specialists have the proper equipment to accurately detect the extent of the damage. They can also:

  • Determine the water source, even if it isn't visible.
  • Properly dry any water damaged areas.
  • Apply cleaning and deodorizing solutions.

Mold isn't something to mess around with. If it isn't handled quickly and completely, it will continue to grow. Call an indoor environmental specialist before the mold causes significant damage to your property.

Taking Care of Your Crawl Space After a Flood

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Workman with protective suit crawing under house from crawlspace underneath a wooden deck - only his legs and feet showing After a home flood it’s important to check your crawlspace for damage

Here are Three Things You Might Want To Consider

A storm in Maize, KS, can lead to a possible home flood. After such an event it’s important to remember to check your crawlspace for any damage that could have occurred as if there is flooding in that area it could lead to potentially long term problems. Here are three things you may want to consider.

1. Contact a Professional For Help

If you have flooding in your crawlspace after a storm it’s highly recommended to contact a local storm damage restoration company. These professionals can help with all of the steps that needed to be followed to make sure the area is cleaned and repaired correctly.

2. Remove as much of the Water as Possible

After a home flood, it’s important to remove as much of the water as you can as quickly as possible. This will help prevent the water from settling in and causing long term damages. Removing the water quickly can also help prevent mold growth. The restoration team working on your home will often use a pump to get rid of the bulk of the water and then may use rags for small spaces or tight corners. After this is done they can begin drying the area.

3. Thoroughly Dry the Affected Area

After the water is removed it’s important that the space is thoroughly dried in order to prevent further storm damage. Drying the area can help prevent mold growth and also allow the restoration crew to further evaluate what repairs will need to be made. During this step you may see them use a dehumidifier to help the process.

After a home flood it’s important to check your crawlspace for damage. Contact a professional restoration service for help in removing any water, and thoroughly drying the area. Doing so can help prevent structural damage and potential mold issues. If you have any additional questions about this process a restoration professional can help.

What Coverage Handles an Apartment Fire Claim?

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

High rise condominium or apartment fire with flames coming out the windows. An apartment fire in Colwich, KS

It can be confusing to understand what items and types of damage property insurance will and won't cover. If your business rents space in an apartment in Colwich, KS, or whether you own the building, you need to understand how this coverage works. You never want a situation to arise where you need to make a claim, but you are relieved when you have an insurance plan to turn to.

When Commercial Insurance Will Cover a Fire

If a fire starts in an apartment building, the owner's property insurance will take effect for damage the structure itself suffers. The policy should cover the building materials such as the roof, drywall, and framing. If you own the building, you can also claim the following in the event of fire damage or losses:

  • Carpet or other flooring materials
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • HVAC system, including the applicable appliances

When the Insurance Company Will Deny Your Claim
An apartment fire can start in a number of ways. Many incidents begin due to faulty electrical components. Other fires can start from discarded cigarette butts. Your policy should cover building losses in these cases. However, if you start the fire intentionally, the insurance company will deny your claim, and you will likely be prosecuted.

What About Tenants?
If you are renting office space in an apartment, be aware that the owner's property insurance plan won't pay for repairs or replacements of your personal belongings. The policy won't cover your office equipment or furniture either. To pay for a professional fire cleaning company to restore these items, or to replace them, you'll need to purchase renters' insurance. This coverage is only valid for contents within the building, while the property insurance protects the building itself.
An apartment fire can be devastating for the building owner and tenants alike. Make sure you have the appropriate coverage for your needs.

Should I Buy Flood Insurance For My Business?

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. It’s a smart business decision to purchase flood insurance to protect your property

Typical commercial insurance policies don’t cover flooding. When deciding whether to purchase a separate flood insurance policy for your business in South Hutchinson, KS, there are two questions to consider. The first is, “Am I required to have insurance for flooding?” and the second is, “Would it be a wise decision to get it even if it’s not required?” Let’s take a look at each scenario.

Is a Separate Flood Policy Required?

There are two conditions that must be met before a flood policy is required:

  • A commercial property must be situated in a flood area considered “high risk”.
  • There is a current mortgage on the property through a lender that is federally regulated or insured.

To find out if your property is located in a high-risk flood area, you can search for flood maps on the internet.

If Not Required, Should I Purchase a Flood Policy?

Even if the risk of flooding to your property isn’t high, flooding from heavy rains can occur in any location. It’s a sound business decision to purchase a flood policy.

Where Can I Buy Insurance?

Insurance can be obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), but you will need to go through your local insurance agent to purchase it.

What is Covered?

A flood policy will cover damage repairs to your facility, including the contents if it is caused by a flood. This includes overflow from rivers and other bodies of water, storm surges, heavy rains, and clogged storm drains. The flood water must cover two acres or two separate commercial properties.
Any mold damage caused by the flooding will typically be covered, but the damage needs to be inspected and is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the mold was present before the flood, for example, insurance won’t cover the repairs.
Since flooding can occur anywhere without warning, it’s a smart business decision to purchase flood insurance to protect your property.

Hire the Right Person To Detect Mold

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on a wall Mold in a home

If you need a root canal, you wouldn't want to hire an English professor. If you need new wiring in your home, you wouldn't want the services of a biologist. By the same token, if you find yourself in need of mold cleaning for your home, you want to be sure you hire a crew trained and certified for the job at hand. The first part of the job is an inspection to see if you have a mold problem. An environmental hygienist is a person who is trained and certified to detect mold. The certification comes from the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.

The Advantage of Professionals

When it comes to mold remediation in Valley Center, KS, a professional mold mitigation team is likely to have the answers. The technicians can verify if a mold problem is present in your home, and they can recommend a course of action. The steps for mold cleaning follow this proven pattern:

  • Inspection and assessment of damage
  • A plan to correct the problem, no matter how big or how small
  • Mold containment and removal
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration of infested materials
  • Recovery

Each outbreak of mold is unique, but an orderly cleanup yields favorable results. To minimize mold damage to your home, it is vital to get to the problem quickly.

The Benefit of Knowledge

To defeat mold, it is essential to understand the ubiquitous fungus. Since it naturally occurs in the environment, mold and its microscopic spores show up just about everywhere. It needs a high level of moisture to thrive, so keeping humidity under control, typically less than 45 percent, is a good way to control its growth and to facilitate mold cleaning. Trained technicians know how to detect mold and how to go about containing it in a home. Understanding the science behind mold growth is the key to a successful recovery, and this limits the chances of mold returning in the near future.

5 Tips for Preparing Your Business for a Storm

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Drive connected to a computer It’s wise to consider backing up any important data

Protecting Your Business From a Storm

When you have a business in Fort Scott, KS, heavy storms could lead to flood water on the property. Flooding can lead to a number of problems so it’s important to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible, or better yet, prevent these problems before they happen in the first place. Here are five tips for protecting your business from a storm.

1. Know the Weather

One way to help prevent water damage is to keep an eye on the local weather. This will allow you to prepare for any storms before they arrive.

2. Have Proper Drainage

Another way to prevent a flooded building is to ensure the property has proper drainage. You will also want to keep gutters and drainage spouts free of debris to prevent water overflow.

3. Use the Landscaping

Using your landscaping to direct flood water away from the property is another mitigation step you can take. Consider sloping the yard away from the foundation, and using a rain garden to help absorb excess rain water.

4. Backup Your Data

It’s wise to consider backing up any important data. This could mean having a second copy of important files, or storing your computer data on an outside server. This way if there is a flood you know your files are safe.

5. Contact Professionals

Another step you can tack to help protect your business is to keep the number for a local storm damage restoration service on fire. This will allow you to contact professionals quickly if storm damage ever does occur.

Protecting your business in the even of a storm can help prevent flood water from damaging your company property. Consider keeping an eye on the weather, keeping your drainage systems clear of debris, using landscaping to direct water, backing up important data, and keeping the number of a restoration professional on file.

Why Emergency Board Up Services Are Necessary After a House Fire

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Blue Cape Cod Style Suburban Home with windows and doors board up Board up home in Haysville, KS

A fire can leave parts of your house exposed. That is why some cleanup and restoration companies offer tarp over and board up services, as well.
Following a fire, you have two options for covering up your house: tarping over and boarding up. Which one you choose depends on what parts of your Haysville, KS, home are affected. In general, broken or cracked doors and windows are boarded up. Roofing areas, meanwhile, can be tarped over.

Benefits of Boards and Tarps

You may think that boarding up or tarping over your home after a fire is an unnecessary expense. Yet that is not the case. Boards and tarps can actually reduce your risk of:

  • Additional damage or property loss
  • A personal injury lawsuit
  • Losing insurance coverage

If your roof, walls, windows or doors have holes following a fire, animals and wind can cause even more destruction. Without a proper board up or tarp over, thieves could also take advantage of these openings to steal your appliances and electronics. They could even access your personal information.
There are financial benefits of board ups and tarp overs, as well. Your insurance provider may not cover the costs of repairing your home unless you agree to implement these services. If you don’t properly protect your home, you could be held personally liable for any injuries suffered on the property, as well.

Hiring a Professional

You should not attempt to cover your home on your own. Even if the house appears safe, there may be hidden fire damage or water and electrical hazards. You should thus leave the emergency board up and tarp over to professionals.
Experts should also know how to do the job properly. If you try to use tarps or boards by yourself, you may end up using improper materials or methods. This, in turn, could put the rest of your house at risk.
Professional board up and tarp over services don’t just protect your home following a fire. They also can save you money by qualifying you for insurance coverage.

3 Ways to Avoid Water Damage

2/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water hose, extracting water from a carpet Water extraction in a Winfield, KS home

3 Ways to Avoid Water Damage

Residents may worry about water in home spaces. The thought of waterlogged walls and carpets can simply be overwhelming? It's not necessarily simple to correct, so is it possible to avoid these obstacles? What steps can be taken to escape this annoyance? Homeowners in Winfield, KS, should have eyes open and tend to the house as much as possible.

1. Clean the Room and Yard

External objects can often be the cause of water getting inside. Make sure you check on the roof, cleaning gutters and replacing shingles. You don't want leaks popping up from open crevices. During storms, bring in patio furniture and loose objects such as heavy toys. Heavy winds turn them into projectiles that can break windows. Finally, trim up trees, avoiding branch infiltration. If breaches or pipe cleanup is required, contact a water restoration company in Winfield, KS, to evaluate the impacted rooms, offering easy and efficient methods to clean up the spaces.

2. Remove Excess Water

When water in home sits for long periods of time, it not only develops a foul odor, it becomes a breeding ground for mold spores. Set a goal to maintain a cool temperature, decreasing humidity. Run your air handler as needed, replace filters and have it cleaned. This device is on your side, pulling out the water for you. Also, place moisture absorbent products in bathrooms.

3. Be Proactive

Don't assume all is well with the property. Stay vigilant, actively looking at fixtures and walls. Simply using 5 minutes a month to glance at appliances, walls and sinks might show you tiny changes or indications that something is brewing. In addition, to avoid a broken pipe, have plumbers review the system annually, checking for small leaks or issues. This bill may seem hard to justify at the time, but it is significantly less than restoration statement.
Don't let water in home locations become a major headache. Survey the land and building occasionally, making chances as needed. Prevention is possible.

4 Ways To Reduce Water Damage

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Fan on Invest in fans

Four Damage Tips to Help Make it Like it Never Even Happened

A pipe burst or other flooding at your Mcpherson, KS, business can be frustrating. Getting it dried out, cleaned and back to normal is the top priority. While it's best to leave the cleanup to water damage experts, there are ways to speed up recovery while waiting for help to arrive. Below are four damage tips to help make it like it never even happened.

1. Increase Air Flow

If it is not raining or too cold or humid, open all possible windows and doors to enhance circulation. Additional air movement is the main way to help things dry out.

2. Invest in Fans

Even if you don’t have high-grade, industrial fans, any fans that you have are better than none. They can be put in windows, near doors or in the area with the most water. Set them high to maximize their productivity. If they are non-rotating, be sure to occasionally move them to ensure the best airflow.

3. Remove Saturated Items

When it comes to damage tips, eliminating problems down the road is essential to getting business back to normal. Any saturated fabrics, furniture, paper, rugs and other organic materials should be removed and set outdoors to dry. By doing so, the evaporation process can be sped up and it will reduce indoor moisture levels.

4. Eliminate Excess Water

As the water sits, it can begin to spread to other areas of the building, extending the amount of damage. While you may not be able to get it all out, removing as much as possible can reduce the amount of restoration work that will be needed. If there is a significant amount, use buckets to bail out the water. High on the list of cleaning tips and tools is a wet/dry vacuum, which can be used on both hard and soft surfaces. It’s also important to wipe water off of walls, trim, shelving, and other hard surfaces to keep mold at bay.
Dealing with water where it shouldn't be is one headache business owners hope to avoid. When it happens, following these damage tips can make a big difference in the amount of time it takes to get everything back up and running.

Tips for Preventing Mold Buildup

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Wallpaper covered with mold and coming out of wall Call SERVPRO right away after water damage to keep mold from growing

Ways to Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Commercial Building

As a business owner in Derby, KS, it's important to keep your property clean and safe. Staying on top of routine building maintenance can help you avoid expensive emergencies from cropping up. If you are concerned about the damage that mold can cause, here are some ways to stop it from growing in your commercial building.

  • Air duct cleaning
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Professional mold treatment

Routine Cleaning

Mold spores live everywhere and it's not possible to completely remove the spores from the air. It is, however, possible to maintain mold spore levels and prevent mold from becoming problematic. Controlling moisture levels indoors is crucial for stopping mold in its tracks since mold thrives in humid, damp environments. Some effective ways to block mold spores from accumulating in your property include regular carpet cleaning and air duct cleaning. You should also address any leaks or unwanted sources of water, as this will help stop moisture from becoming trapped in your building. Place floor mats at all doors to keep some mold from being tracked inside. Consider investing in vacuums with HEPA filters, as they are useful for keeping air contaminants in check.

Mold Remediation

If your property suffers water damage and develops mold problems despite your best efforts, you need professional water and mold damage restoration. If left untreated, mold can spread through your building and cause structural damage. However, you can have mold cleanup specialists come out and assess the situation. They will develop a plan to treat the existing mold colonies and also to fix the source of the issue. Keeping the affected areas clean and dry after treatment will help prevent the mold from returning.
Carpet cleaning and other regular sanitation methods are effective at keeping mold spores at a manageable level. In the event of an emergency, such as a flood, you can get your Derby, KS, business back in shape with the help of trained mold remediation specialists.

The Importance of Working Together on an Insurance Claim

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Claims form for fill out, pen on top Let us handle the negotiations for you, nobody wants to deal with insurance claims

A disaster in Newton, KS, involves a lot of people: the insurance adjuster, the first responders, the storm remediation franchise and the business owner or property manager. Working together is a must for a fast and efficient response for all aspects of the recovery process. That is one of the main reasons insurance agents prefer working with a SERVPRO franchise, which has been servicing customers for over 50 years. It all starts with a fast response from a local franchise. Being on-site quickly is one of the best ways to limit expenses and prevent further damage to the property, whether it is a fire, a flood or a tornado.

Methods To Limit Expenses

In the initial stages of a disaster, the focus should be on safety, securing the property and providing an inspection and damage assessment. Throughout the entire process, though, a professional mitigation company keeps an eye out for limiting the extent of an insurance claim. The following actions help keep costs reasonable:

  • Providing a fast response
  • Pretesting
  • Restoring instead of replacing
  • Itemizing losses
  • Working with qualified vendors

An insurance adjuster appreciates pretesting because it can limit the amount of items that need to be replaced, thus saving money. Working with professional vendors ensures cleanup standards are followed and quality is maintained.

Ways To Help the Claims Process

Failure to keep organized records can delay the entire claims process. With SERVPRO, the insurance adjuster gets an itemized list of losses and expenses. Records are kept on Excel spreadsheets and backed up with photo documentation. All involved parties have the option of receiving a hard copy or electronic file of these reports. This makes the entire process quicker and easier and results in faster and fairer payment to clients. All of this provides a competitive advantage to the insurance agent and to the business owner. Professional collaboration and organization offer many advantages.

Fire Damage Estimation

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Warehouse fire inside Fire damage in Emporia, KS

Fire Damage Estimation

Every day your business in Emporia, KS, is closed means one more day of lost revenue. That can be frustrating for entrepreneurs who have worked diligently to create a name; therefore, it's important to seek out a fire restoration company that can provide you with a full fire cleanup estimate. Here are three things to expect during this proceeding.

1. What Demands Immediate Protection?

Not only should you be concerned about the fire damage, but you need to consider the impact of weather and theft. The land is exposed, leaving it vulnerable to wind, rain, and criminals. During the estimation time, the write up, then, should include any attempt to salvage what is left, including placing a tarp over holes in the roof and boarding up exposed areas. If these are not included, ask about how the employees plan to secure the location. Some corporations might even offer surveillance services.

2. What Requires Lengthy Repairs?

In addition, the estimate should itemize any procedures to sanitize, deodorize or mend the establishment. For example, smoke and fire often leave ash and a harsh odor. The specialists have equipment and chemicals to restore the air. Furthermore, ensure that all flooring receives a proper scrubbing. During this time, the employees may charge for removing property that can be saved. Finally, any structural integrity should be fixed, and requests may be needed to receive new roofing.

3. What Questions Should You Ask?

When a commercial fire occurs, speak with your insurance agent as soon as possible, reviewing policies and protocol. Make sure the estimation meets with their approval, and ask the remediation team if they have a manager who handles claims. That allows all parties to work together, expediting the process as best as possible. Finally, check to see if the restoration team handles everything. If they plan to outsource, this could drive costs up unexpectedly. Look for a group that wants to oversee from start to finish. That provides consistency.
Your fire estimate should detail everything from sanitizing to reconstruction. Ask questions about their procedures, and check with insurance about coverage.

4 Tips for Protecting Your Building's Exterior From Storm Damage

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of a worker fixing a drain from a scaffold Clear all debris and clogs from gutters, drains, and downspouts

4 Tips for Protecting Your Building's Exterior From Storm Damage

Whether you're preparing for winter storms or gearing up for hurricanes during the summer, it's important that you understand the appropriate exterior maintenance that prevents storm damage. Weather and age will eventually impact your building, so seasonal inspections and preventative maintenance is crucial.


Inspect your roof for missing tiles or shingles and for leaks or other damage.


Look for obvious signs of damage, such as cracks, holes, and gaps around structural components. Small pools of water are an indication of trouble and so are signs of mold. If you're not sure how to recognize problematic conditions on the roof, contact professionals to conduct your building inspection.


Clear all debris and clogs from gutters, drains, and downspouts.


Clogged drains, downspouts, and gutters are major causes of flood damage. The gutters around your roof provide an important defense against winter damage, but they can be damaged by snow and ice. Once or twice a year, you should clear out leaves, twigs, and other debris. During inspections watch out for cracks, sagging, and clogs.


Secure all outside furnishings and equipment.


Keeping your building maintained must include securing any furniture, business equipment, and vehicles surrounding your building. If any of these are tossed around by the wind, you may also be responsible for damages to businesses surrounding yours.


Inspect and maintain outbuildings, such as sheds and patios.


Do you have a garage to house business vehicles? Maybe there's a shed on your property that contains landscaping supplies. During inspections and exterior maintenance, don't neglect these outbuildings. Check the roofing, foundation, and other structural elements of these buildings as well as your primary building.

Some common repairs to expect after inspections and during exterior maintenance are sealing cracks, upgrading windows, and removing dead limbs from trees. Work closely with storm cleanup and building inspection experts to determine the steps necessary to keep your Hutchinson, KS, business ready for upcoming weather.

What To Do When Your Basement Floods

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Salina, KS

Tips On Handling a Flooded Basement

Fixing a basement flood can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Below are some tips for handling this problem safely.

Remove the Water First

Once the water is as high as the outlets in the basement, you are at risk of electrocution. Rent a gas pump or call your local fire department to drain the water before you enter.
If you do have to go into the basement while it is still flooded, be sure to turn off the gas and electricity ahead of time. Before going into the basement, recruit a friend or family member to assist you. Bring a flashlight and watch your step.

Replace Appliances

You may want to save everything in your basement, but that is not always possible. Damaged mechanical and electrical equipment should be discarded. This includes appliances, outlets, motors and switches. Any drywall, flooring, or carpeting that was soaked by the basement flood should also be replaced.
However, you can keep the drywall that was located above the water. With the help of cleanup and restoration specialists, you may also be able to salvage some of your personal belongings. Your insurance coverage may help pay for the cost of this service.

Take Preventative Measures

After you work hard to clear out your basement, the last thing you want is another flood to occur. You can take some steps to prevent water from building up in the future. Drains can remove the fluid from the basement before it becomes a major problem.
A sump pump can help, as well. Be sure to have a backup pump or a generator that you can use if the power goes out. You should also seal any cracks or foundations in the basement floors and walls.
Fixing a basement flood is possible, but it can be hazardous and cumbersome. That is why you should take precautions to limit flooding to your Salina, KS, home.

How To Clean Excess Mold in Your Home

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

An N-95 respirator An N-95 respirator provides the best protection if you find mold in your home

How To Clean Excess Mold in Your Home

Even a small amount of house mold can cause lots of damage to your Topeka, KS, property. The spores can spread quickly, so you need to address the issue as soon as possible.
If the affected section of your home is smaller than 10 square feet, you may be able to perform mold cleanup yourself. Any larger area should be addressed by your local mold remediation specialists.
Before you attempt to clean the mold, you need to make sure you are properly protected. That means wearing the following:

  • An N-95 respirator
  • Goggles without ventilation holes
  • Long gloves

Your next step should be fixing any water problems that are causing the mold growth. You can then start removing the excess house mold.

Mold Cleanup Tips

Use a combination of detergent and water to scrub mold off hard surfaces. Then let the affected areas dry completely.
Porous items such as carpets and tiles are more difficult to clean. These materials may have to be thrown away and replaced.
You may not want to use strong cleaners on delicate or sentimental items. However, you can easily find specialists to help you restore these valuables.
Mold spores thrive in damp areas. It is nearly impossible to completely remove mold from your bathroom. However, you can limit the spread of this mold by cleaning the room frequently and using a window or fan to increase ventilation.

Post-Flood Mold

Floods are another common cause of mold damage in a home. Make sure to remove any wet items or standing water from your property before you start cleaning up the mold.
Even if you regularly clean your bathroom and limit contamination after a flood, you could still find yourself dealing with house mold. If the problem persists despite your cleanup efforts, or if the spores spread to multiple rooms in your home, you should contact black mold cleanup specialists.

Saving Your Carpet From Water Damage

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Carpet with water Water damage on carpet

When your house in Hutchinson, KS, floods from a pipe break or leaking washer, you may look at your saturated floor and wonder if any of it can be salvaged. The answer can depend on several factors.

Contamination Level of Water

The first thing water restoration experts are going to need to know in order to determine if your flooring is salvageable is the flood water's contamination level:

  • Category 1 - Clean water that comes straight from a pipe or supply line
  • Category 2 - Dirty water that leaks out of an appliance or has been standing stagnant for a while
  • Category 3 - Contaminated water from the sewer line or storm flooding

If your carpet was flooded due to a pipe break, technicians will likely only need to make sure it's thoroughly dry. If, however, it is infested with sewage, it's better to just throw it out and buy new carpeting rather than try to get it clean enough to remain in your home.

Presence of Mold

When your flooring has been wet for a day or two, water damage is not the only problem you may have to address. Mold can start to grow on the carpet's surface. Pretty soon, it is so deeply embedded in the fibers that throwing it out and replacing it is the only suitable course of action.

Appearance of Stains

Water can cause anything that is brightly colored to fade onto another surface. If you have a bright red chair on your beige carpet, some of the dye from the chair is likely to seep into it during a flood. You may not be able to remove the stain, and it may not be the only stubborn spot you find on the floor after the water is removed.
After a pipe break in your home, you may be able to save your floor covering as long as the water remains clean, is removed quickly and doesn't cause stains. Once the carpet is too damaged, it's easier and less expensive to have it replaced.

The 4 Steps of Fire Extinguisher Use

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set Many fire safety and damage restoration professionals recommend using the acronym P.A.S.S.

The 4 Steps of Fire Extinguisher Use

A fire extinguisher can be one of the most important fire safety tools a Wichita, KS, home can have. As such, it’s important to know how to use this safety tool properly. Many fire safety and damage restoration professionals recommend using the acronym P.A.S.S. to remember the formula for extinguisher use. The four steps of this process are as follows.

Pull

When facing a kitchen fire, the first step is to break the tamper-proof seal on the extinguisher. This can be achieved by pulling the pin. This the first letter of the acronym, which stands for pull.

Aim

Once the pin has been pulled, the next step is to aim the fire extinguisher at the fire. It’s recommended to aim the end of the hose at the base of the fire to help ensure the most coverage. Remember not to touch the discharge horn or nozzle, as they can be extremely cold.

Squeeze

The first S stands for squeeze. This is because the trigger on the extinguisher will need to be released before any suppressant can be sprayed. Squeeze the trigger until the fire has been extinguished or the canister has been emptied. After the fire is out, you will want to remember to have your extinguisher refilled.

Sweep

The last step in the acronym stands for sweep. As you squeeze the trigger, sweep the end of the hose from side to side across the base of the flames to help ensure complete coverage by the suppressant. Once the fire is out, you can then contact a professional to make any repairs to areas suffering fire damage.
When using a fire extinguisher, it’s important to remember to pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep, or P.A.S.S. Follow these four steps to help ensure that the extinguisher is used correctly. You may also want to teach your family members to do the same.

4 Reasons Your Business Should Have Flood Insurance

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Street of a neighborhood flooded Most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance does not cover flood damage

A Few Reasons Why You Might Want To Purchase Flood Insurance

If you own a building in Salina, KS, then you probably have some form of insurance for it. You might think that having a basic policy is enough to protect your business, but this isn’t always the case. If you don’t already have flood insurance, here are a few reasons why you might want to purchase this additional policy.

1. Storms Can Be Unpredictable

Even if it doesn’t flood much in your area, that doesn’t mean that it won’t ever happen. Because you can’t predict everything that will occur during severe weather, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a variety of situations. Flood insurance can help you do that.

2. Repairs Can Be Costly

Not only can flood water affect the structure of the building, but it can damage a lot of the items inside as well, such as electronics, furniture and artwork. Because flood water is contaminated, everything will need to be cleaned and sanitized. Without insurance, you could end up paying a lot for these repairs.

3. It’s Not Included in Your Basic Policy

You might think that you don’t need insurance specifically for floods if you already have a commercial insurance policy. However, most companies don’t include floods in their basic policies. Because flood repairs can cost the insurance company a lot of money, you will need to purchase an additional policy to cover this kind of damage.

4. It Might Be Required

Depending on your situation, you might not have a choice about whether or not to purchase an additional policy. If you live in an area where floods occur often, it might be a requirement. This will likely be the case if you have a mortgage from an insured or federally regulated lender.
If your building is damaged during a flood, the needed repairs can end up costing your business a lot of money, but purchasing a flood insurance policy can help. With this additional policy, the costs of having a cleanup and restoration service perform remediation on your building will be covered.

Are You in the Path of Wildfires and Flooding?

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfire Wildfire in Maize, KS

Are You in the Path of Wildfires and Flooding?

When it comes to natural disasters in the United States, flooding is the most common. After all, the possibility of flooding increases during heavy rainstorms, spring thaws, winter storms, hurricanes, earthquakes, new construction, and clogged drainage systems. The results of unusually high water can be problematic for Maize, KS, residents:

  • Loss of power and clean water
  • Exposure to waterborne diseases
  • Erosion of landscaping
  • Destruction of property

Homeowners in wooded and rural areas may want to pay special attention to the increased risk of flooding following wildfire damage. It is also wise to look into FEMA NFIP, the National Flood Insurance Program established by the federal government.

Affordable Insurance Coverage

This insurance program was created to increase access to affordable insurance for property owners and renters. The program encourages communities to put floodplain management plans into action. It's important for homeowners to realize that they can take steps to reduce their own financial costs before flooding damage occurs, such as purchasing flood insurance through a local agent or the FEMA NFIP website.

Wildfires and Flooding

When first considering the destruction caused by wildfires, flooding damage may not be the type of destruction that comes to mind. However, after the intense heat and flames of a wildfire the remains of vegetation and charred soil create a layer that prevents water from being absorbed into the ground. Instead, when it rains, the water bounces off the soil and runs downstream where properties face an increased risk of flooding.

Awareness of Risk

Homes situated at the base of steep hills are especially vulnerable to heavy runoff, flash floods, and mudflows, even during normal circumstances. After a wildfire, these properties are at the highest risk for flooding damage. Water damage remediation professionals may recommend preventative actions.

Flooding can happen anywhere, and Maize, KS, homeowners should prepare for the possibility of damages by purchasing insurance through the FEMA NFIP or a local insurance agent. With community floodplain management, awareness of flood risks, and an appropriate insurance policy, it's possible to reduce costs and feel more confident.

What Every Homeowner Should Know About Creating a Fire Escape Plan

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

A notebook that says emergency escape plan Creating a fire escape plan is one of the most valuable things a homeowner can do

How to Create A Fire Escape Plan

No one thinks that their home in Colwich, KS, will be affected by a fire, but as a homeowner, it's often important to be prepared for any kind of disaster. Learning about making a fire escape plan can be useful for homeowners, as an escape plan can be life-saving during a home fire.

1. Don't Avoid Creating a Plan

The idea of your home catching fire may make you feel upset or uncomfortable, and you may be tempted to put off making an escape plan in order to avoid thinking about the subject. Parents may also avoid making and discussing an escape plan so as to avoid upsetting their children. However, making a plan will not increase the risk of your home catching fire, and you can discuss your plan with your children in an age-appropriate, calm manner.

2. Practice Your Plan

The more frequently you practice your fire escape plan, the more prepared you will be if a fire does occur. As you practice your plan, it's often helpful to make the goal of the practice to get out of the house in a safe, quick manner. It's frequently best to avoid gathering your belongings. Fire restoration services can assist in restoring your home and your belongings in the event of a fire, and it's generally wise to focus on your own safety.

3. Invest in the Proper Equipment and Tools

There are certain pieces of equipment and tools that could be useful to have if a fire occurs. Depending on the configuration of your home, it might be useful to purchase a ladder if there are rooms above ground level. A ladder can make it easier and safer for someone to escape from a room that is above the first floor of your home. A fire blanket may also be useful to stifle small fires.

When it comes to fire preparation, creating a fire escape plan is one of the most valuable things a homeowner can do. It's often wise to create a plan, practice your plan often and to invest in tools or equipment that could be useful in the event of a fire.

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Try to Remove Mold On Your Own

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone with a yellow glove spraying at a wall that is covered with black mold DIY mold removal can result in accidental spreading of mold

Here Are Some Reasons Why You Shouldn't Remove on Your Own

If you have a mold problem in your home in South hutchinson, KS, then you might be tempted to try to remove it on your own. How difficult can it be, right? However, this is not a good idea. Attempting to perform mold testing or cleanup on your own can actually make it worse. The following are a few reasons why you should leave this work to the professionals.

1. You May Not Be Able to Find the Mold

The first reason that you should resist the temptation to do your own mold testing and cleanup is that it’s not as simple as it seems. Mold is a sneaky fungus and it doesn’t always grow in places that are easy to see. In some cases, it might be hiding inside of your walls or flooring. Even if you think you’ve gotten it all, chances are you haven’t.

2. Mold Tests Are Not Accurate

Since you might not be able to see all of the mold that is growing in your house, you might think that you can use a mold kit to find it. The problem is that these kits won’t be very helpful. Because you likely have some harmless spores in your home, a kit can give you a positive result even in areas without excessive mold. There are many varieties of home tests that you can purchase, but none will be as accurate as a professional test.

3. You Could Accidentally Spread the Mold

Even if you are able to find the location of the mold growth, DIY mold removal can result in accidental spreading of mold. If you don’t block off the area properly, then mold can travel through the air into other areas of the home. The same can happen when mold spores get on your clothing.
While it might seem more convenient to take care of a mold problem by yourself, you will most likely not get the best results. Instead, you should hire a mold remediation company to perform mold testing and cleanup for you. They have the necessary training and professional equipment to do the job right.

How To Deal With an Upper Story Toilet Overflow

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Water stain on a ceiling Water stain on ceiling

Sometimes a flooded toilet is not a disaster, but when it happens upstairs, the problem is usually substantially more serious. If you can react immediately in Colwich, KS, and the water doesn’t get past the flooring, you probably don’t have to worry, but once it gets into the subflooring or below, you need to begin serious remedies. When that happens to your business, regardless of whether you lease or own the building, you should hire a professional water damage remediation company.

A Second-Story Flood Is a Compound Problem

Once the water gets past the flooring and baseboards, the problems mount quickly. Items that can’t tolerate significant water include

  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Electrical
  • Framing

Plus, sewer damage isn’t just water, it’s blackwater that’s filled with contaminates, and when it gets into the ceiling and behind walls, those areas need to be cleaned and disinfected.
If the water wasn’t filled with significant sewage, and if the drywall dehydrates in about a day or so, you may get lucky, and no further efforts beyond using a disinfectant on all surfaces the water touched will be necessary. However, sometimes employees may not disclose when it happens, or may not do a quick-enough cleanup job. If the wet drywall has not completely evaporated within two days, you will have to remove flooring, ceiling and wallboard to allow the inner components to fully dry.

Insurance May – or May Not – Cover Damages

Policies will differ in wording, and what seems like minor variations can make a world of difference. Some policies may cover both backup and overflow from sewer damage, while others differentiate between them. Discharged water is also sometimes covered. Consider asking your sewage company for specific information if penetration has occurred.
Talk with an organization that has plenty of experience in working with sewer damage in commercial enterprises. It can give information about insurance claims, identify your best and most cost-efficient remedies, and take immediate steps to prevent further damage in Colwich, KS. Anything that can be done to air out wet areas should happen as soon as possible, including using large-capacity air movers and negative pressure devices.

5 Tips for Sump Pump Maintenance

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

A sump pump A sump pump is one of the most important parts of your Valley Center home

5 Tips For Prolonging The Life of Your Pump

Your sump pump is crucial to your home's well-being. It executes two important jobs:

Preventing groundwater from entering your home
Expelling water during a storm or other weather event in Valley Center, KS.

Performing regular pump maintenance — at least once a year, if not more often — can mean the difference between a dry home and a soggy one. Here are five tips for prolonging the life of your pump.

  1. Check the electrical connection. In order to run, all sump pumps rely on a GFCI electrical connection. Ensure that it's on and providing power to the pump.
  2. Clean the pump and the pit. Removing dirt and debris from both parts of the unit will boost the pump's productivity.
  3. Make sure the pump is vertical. When the sump pump runs, it vibrates. That shaking can cause the pump to tilt to one side. While you're making sure the pump isn't leaning like a certain tower in Pisa, check that the float gauge has freedom of movement, too.
  4. Confirm that the pump is cycling water. Pour water into the pit — enough to engage the pump. The pump should promptly empty the pit and turn off.
    While you're sticking around to confirm that the water empties and the unit shuts off, you should also listen for the sound of running water. If you hear any, that may indicate that the pump's check valve is malfunctioning, since the check valve's job is to prevent water from flowing back into the unit.
  5. Consider a tank level alarm. If your pump stops working, the alarm will sound, letting you know that there's a problem. Some tank level alarms can also send you an alert via text message or email using Wi-Fi.

It may not be glamorous, but your sump pump is one of the most important parts of your home. By performing regular maintenance and inspections, you can give yourself peace of mind and avoid having to keep your local water mitigation professionals on speed dial.

Checklist for Landlords After a Storm

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Ceiling damaged after a storm Ceiling damaged after a storm in Haysville, KS

A multifamily unit can be a profitable commercial property. When a storm hits in Haysville, KS, however, you have a responsibility to your tenants to act quickly. Their renter's insurance covers their property but your insurance is responsible for yours. Here are four things you need to do as soon as possible when an emergency occurs.

Establish Communication With Tenants

This may be your business, but it's also your tenants' homes. It is important to keep them informed of every facet of the storm cleanup process that affects them:

  • Extent of damage
  • Timeline for restoration
  • Whether or not they need temporary housing
  • When they can expect to return

Keeping the lines of communication direct and open can help ensure your tenants' willing cooperation.

Call Repair Professionals

You want to get the restoration process started as soon as you can. The best way to do that is to call local flood cleanup specialists as soon as the storm is over. They can help distinguish between the items that are covered by renter's insurance and the ones covered by your property policy. They can also give you an estimate of the expected cost of the restoration.

Contact Insurance Company

Another important call to make is to your insurance company. An adjuster can come out to assess the damage and validate your claim. Assuming you have the proper insurance coverage to pay for the repairs, this can help ease some of the financial burden.

Keep Up With Finances

Your flood insurance may not cover all the costs of the repairs necessary to make the property habitable again. Keeping meticulous financial records of the costs, your insurance coverage and the excess that you have to pay out of pocket is useful. You may be able to deduct the amount that isn't covered from your taxes as long as you've documented it properly.
Renter's insurance and your property policy may cover a lot of the costs of repairs. The key is to act fast and stay in contact with your tenants.

Does Your Water Heater Need Flushing?

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Somebody flushing a water heater Water heater flushing in a Fort Scott, KS home

Like any major appliance in Fort Scott, KS, your water heater needs regular maintenance. Following are step-by-step instructions to help you flush the tank and refill it with clean water ready to be heated.

The Annual Flush

A water heater flush is a pretty basic exercise in home maintenance. To quickly accomplish this task, follow these simple steps:

  1. Turn the tank thermostat to off: Located near the bottom of the container, turn it to off or to “pilot” if your heater is gas-fueled instead.
  2. Turn off the gas flow: Gas-run heaters have a pipe with a red handle to feed fuel. If you turned the thermostat to “pilot,” skip this step.
  3. Turn the cold water flow off: This is found toward the top of the water tank.
  4. Run the hot water from a sink or tub: This will help drain the tank and prevent a vacuum from forming.
  5. Open the pressure relief valve: While not necessary, it can help water to flow more easily.
  6. Connect a garden hose to the drainage spigot: Make sure the other end leads to another container to collect the water.
  7. Turn the spigot on and drain: The water will probably look brown or dirty, this just means you’re cleaning the tank.
  8. Reactivate the cold water to flush out the sediment: Let it run for a couple of minutes or until the collected water becomes clear.

Once finished, simply reverse these steps, remembering to light the pilot on gas-run heaters and to close the pressure valve when done.

It Isn’t That Hard

Even Fort Scott, KS, can’t escape ”hard water,” a term used to signify the presence of increased minerals. If left unchecked, this will eventually produce leaks and the possibility of severe water damage. By flushing your tank at least once a year, you can remove mineral deposits that have accumulated within the tank, keeping the water fresh and avoiding a buildup of sediment.

Depending on the size of your hot water heater tank and the last time it was flushed, this process could take some time. If you continue with regular maintenance, this yearly chore shouldn’t take very long at all!

The Three Ps of Fire Safety

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Run drills regularly

Protect Your Kids Safety From a Home Fire

One of the best ways to protect your kids safety from a McPherson, KS, home fire is to teach them about fire prevention. As part of your efforts, cover basics such as these three Ps of safety from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the U.S. Fire Administration, and several other children's safety organizations:

Prepare – This step focuses on reducing the risk of fire damage situations
Practice – This step covers conducting fire drills and overall fire safety habits
Prevent – This final step includes teaching your children about getting out safely

You should also include a fire escape plan in these efforts.

Prepare Your Home

There are several situations that are common to just about any home, and many of these could easily lead to fire damage, such as overloading electrical outlets, leaving lit candles unattended, setting clutter near a hot stove, neglecting old and damaged wiring, and using old appliances. When you involve your children in this first step of fire prevention, the whole family is safer.

Practice Fire Escape Plans

Establish a fire escape plan and for your kids safety, run drills regularly. These drills should include what to do if the primary escape route is blocked. During these drills, watch out for things such as clutter in the hall. Take time to practice how children should escape if their doorknob is hot, signaling that it isn't safe to open their bedroom door. Discuss the importance of remaining low to the ground, so children don't inhale smoke while exiting.

Prevent Injuries During Fire

This part of the plan should include discussions about not playing with matches or lighters but telling an adult about them. Teach your children the Stop, Drop, Roll technique in the event their clothing is on fire. Talk about never going back into a building that's on fire. Teach children that fire damage cleanup is not their responsibility.
There are many resources available for kids safety practices and fire prevention habits. If you talk with fire and smoke damage remediation professionals about fire cleanup, ask them for further advice. Consistently review the three Ps of fire safety to protect your family from harm.

Worried About Mold Growth in Your Business? Here Are 3 Tips for Addressing It

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

a microscopic view of what mold looks like Mold spores thrive on moisture

Three Tips For Detecting and Preventing Mold

Mold prevention is crucial in ensuring the success and stability of your business in Winfield, KS. The presence of mold does not only make the surrounding environment musty and unpleasant for your customers and employees, but it can also have long-term damaging effects on the structure of your building. Here are three tips for detecting and preventing mold:

1. Learn How To Identify Mold

Mold spores thrive in damp environments. If there is an area in your business that is constantly exposed to moisture or high humidity levels, keep your senses heightened for signs of mold growth. The presence of mold is usually signaled by a musty or unpleasant odor. Keep an eye out for visible indications of mold, which can vary from clusters of black spots to even orange, pink, or purple markings. An unusual spike in allergic reactions from your employees and customers can also suggest mold in your building.

2. Banish Signs of Existing Mold

Excess moisture guarantees the presence of mold. If you’ve been able to identify the beginnings of growth in a certain area, the mold may be eliminated with a wipe-down using a cleaning solution. If the resulting mold is extensive, you may want to look into acquiring the services of a professional mold prevention and remediation company to ensure a higher level of expertise and access to specialized equipment to tackle mold completely.

3. Take Preventative Measures

Moisture control is crucial for preventing mold. Humidity must be controlled in your work environment, ideally within the range of 30–60% according to the EPA. The building must be well-ventilated to allow proper air flow, which prohibits the occurrence of mold. Any leaks and water damage must be fixed immediately, and special attention must be given to work areas that are consistently exposed to dampness.

Something as simple as mold can turn into an expensive and complex problem to fix if addressed incorrectly. Mold prevention will go a long way toward creating a healthy environment in which your business can thrive.

Property Management Tips for Hurricane Season

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Gather survival supplies in your building

Hurricane season can hit hard in Newton, KS. It is in your best interest to be as prepared as you can be in order to avoid unnecessary hurricane damage. There are several things you can do in advance to endure the high winds with ease.

Gather Survival Supplies

A big part of hurricane preparedness is stocking your building with what you may need to survive if you get stuck there. These items should be kept in a cool, dark and dry place so that they remain functional and don't go bad. Some common supplies to include are:

  • flashlights and batteries
  • plenty of water
  • first aid kit
  • hand crank radio
  • non-perishable food

Form an Emergency Plan

What should everyone in the building be doing in the event of a hurricane? Where will people be the most safe? Create a plan based on the layout of your building and the surrounding landscape. Be sure to account for communication, you should consider using radios or backup WiFi. You can include an evacuation route, in case it becomes necessary. Try to train or practice with your employees or residents. Don't forget about the aftermath, especially in the case of hurricane damage, and research qualified storm remediation services.

Batten Down the Hatches

You should include what you may need to secure your building during a storm in your protocol for property management. Store plywood on the premises to cover as many windows as you can. Keep your yard and landscape trimmed to avoid flying limbs and extra debris. Bring in everything that could possibly get blown about outside: outdoor furniture, garbage cans and decorations. Be sure to clear your gutters and downspouts so they are ready for the downpour.

In order to minimize the hurricane damage that could occur to your property during a storm, take certain precautions beforehand. Keeping people safe should be the priority, but if you plan properly you'll have time to protect your assets, as well. Feel free to share this information with your neighbors to promote a safer community!

The Benefits of Combining Remediation and Restoration Into the Same Process

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Your insurance adjuster assesses the damage to your building to see how much the insurance company pays

Benefits of Using the Same Company for Remediation and Restoration

When your commercial building in Derby, KS, sustains fire damage, certified remediation experts are your best option for fixing it. Do you need to call another company to rebuild the parts that are destroyed, though? Here are some benefits of using the same company for both remediation and restoration.

Convenience

After a fire emergency, you have a lot of responsibilities:

  • Ensure everyone is accounted for
  • Call insurance company
  • Arrange for repairs
  • Implement your business continuity plan

Why add one more phone call to the list? By combining remediation and restoration into one process tackled by one team, you save yourself the time of vetting two different companies to do work that can be handled by one.

Information

Your insurance adjuster assesses the damage to your building to see how much the insurance company pays. Mitigation and restoration experts can provide a list of costs, but those services sometimes overlap, making it seem like the insurance company is being charged twice for some of the same tasks. Having one company that can itemize a list of both repairs and restoration expenses streamlines the information-gathering process by eliminating this overlap, making your fire damage claim process smoother.

Communication

When fire mitigation and building restoration are completed by the same team, communication tends to be stronger. The restoration experts know exactly what happened during the remediation process. Either they were either there when it happened, or they can easily obtain access to the records of the process details. The team putting up new walls and ceilings in your building doesn't have to guess which materials were repaired and which they need to replace when they are the ones who did the job.
Complete fire damage repair starts with assessment and doesn't end until your building looks as good as it did before the fire. To make this process go as smoothly as possible, it is a good idea to use the same company from start to finish.

Storm Damage Restoration

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

When your home has been damaged by flooding from a severe storm, an experienced remediation specialist in Wichita, KS, can help you repair the water damage. Storm restoration is a fairly involved process that could include having to tear out building materials that can’t be restored, which is why you shouldn’t attempt to do it yourself. Professionals will also have access to specialized equipment that allows them to do the job faster and more efficiently so that your home can be returned to normal as soon as possible. 

The 5 Steps of Storm Damage Restoration

After a remediation team has visited your house to assess the damage and formulate a plan, here are the five steps you can expect as they restore your home.

  1. Water Extraction

Powerful pumps and industrial-grade vacuums are used to extract the remaining flood water from your home. It’s critical that this extraction happens quickly to minimize the damage caused by the water.

  1. Removal of Wet Building Materials 

Sometimes building materials like drywall or wood or laminate floors are too damaged by water to be restored. In this case, the remediation team will tear out the materials, remove them from your property and dispose of them.

  1. Drying 

Once the excess water and unsalvageable building materials are removed, your home will need to be completely dried out. If this doesn’t happen quickly, mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours. Specialized fans and dehumidifiers will be employed to get the job done as fast as possible.

  1. Cleaning

Flood waters can carry contaminants that are harmful to humans and animals, so your home will need to be properly cleaned and disinfected. This includes furniture, carpets and any personal items exposed to flood water. 

  1. Restoration

If the remediation team in Wichita, KS, had to tear out flooring or drywall, they will replace it. Once the restoration stage is complete, your home should be completely returned to its original state.

Does Your Toilet Overflow When the Shower Is Running?

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Use an auger

It feels so great to step into a hot steamy shower and rinse away your troubles, but if you step out to find your toilet overflowing, your troubles may just be beginning. Water and sewage cleaning are no joke and could cause mold or bacteria to breed. If a toilet overflow happens whenever someone is in the shower, there are a few steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Freeing a Clogged Toilet Drain

A clogged pipe between the sewer and your toilet is the most likely culprit of an overflowing toilet when you shower. Here are a few ways to try to clear the clog.

1. Use an auger. Start by running a plumber’s auger or snake into the toilet drain. Use a 25-foot hand-cranked or motorized unit. If you don’t own one, you can rent one in Hutchinson, KS. Ideally, the snake will push its way through the blockage allowing some water to get through. It may take a few attempts.

2. Remove the toilet. The clog may be bad enough to have to remove the toilet and go directly into the drainpipe. Once you feel you have broken through the clog, turn the shower on low and watch for water to back up. If, after running the water for several minutes, and it is still draining, you have likely cleared the clog.

3. Clean the cleanout. The next step would be to find your drain cleanout, remove the cap with a pipe wrench and run the snake through it. To avoid sewage cleaning, prepare the area in case pressure causes sewage to run out.

4. Call for help. If all attempts fail, call a plumber to help find the problem. They will have the equipment and training to locate and clear the clogged pipe. They may need to check further down the sewer line.

If a toilet overflow leaves a serious mess, call the local sewage remediation service in Hutchinson, KS for help. They can perform a thorough sewage cleaning process, and you can again enjoy a relaxing shower.

How To Get Rid Of Black Mold

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold damage in walls

Mold is one of those pesky problems that homeowners have to deal with. When it comes to black mold, it is important to know what to look for and how to handle it. If you think you may have mold growth in your home in Salina, KS, try following these guidelines.

Know What It Looks Like

Although it is called black mold, it is not always black. It often appears as greenish and slimy. If the water source has been removed, the mold will dry up and may look powdery. Do not attempt to test the mold yourself. If you see signs of mold, call a professional environmental hygienist to handle the mold cleanup. Mold can grow just about anywhere, but here are some common places to watch out for:

  • Chimneys
  • Washing machines
  • Dishes
  • Air conditioners
  • Window seals
  • Walls
  • Bathrooms

Call a Professional 


Mold is not something you should handle yourself. Certified mold remediation companies have gone through extensive training and know how to deal with household mold problems. They have the proper equipment to handle dangerous types of mold. Never procrastinate when it comes to mold as it will continue to grow until removed.

Prevent Future Growth

Just because the mold has been removed does not mean that the problem is fixed. It is vital to take care of the source of the problem. This could simply means using a dehumidifier to help with the humidity in your home, or you may have a leaking pipe that needs to be taken care of. Always keep your bathroom as dry as you can. Wash your bathroom items frequently, and make sure to remove any excess moisture after you shower.

Black mold is not something that should be taken lightly. If you notice any signs of mold in your home in Salina, KS, call a mold remediation company right away to come handle the problem for you. Never try to remove mold yourself.

3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Roof fire at strike point

3 Ways Lightning Can Affect Your Home

Many homes in Topeka, KS, are not protected from lightning strikes. While lightning systems are effective, they are expensive to install and protect against a problem that is fairly unlikely to occur. If your home is struck, however, a lightning fire can ignite. Here are some possible outcomes of a direct strike on your home.

Fire

Fire damage is the biggest danger you risk from a lightning strike. A jolt can cause a house fire in several ways:

  • Roof or attic fire at strike point
  • Flammable materials along path of current
  • Burned wires or circuits

You are likely to need fire damage cleanup if your home is struck during a thunderstorm. Lightning looks for the quickest path to the ground. Unfortunately, your home may be the path it chooses.

Shock

Thunder is evidence of shock waves produced by lightning. In addition to a lightning fire, a storm can cause waves that fracture your foundation, bricks or chimney and shatter your windows. The debris that flies around as a result of this shock can cause secondary damage.

Surge

If your electrical system is affected by the lightning strike, any connected equipment or appliances may be damaged by the subsequent power surge. Sensitive electronics cannot withstand the surge and will likely be fried, perhaps even beyond the help of fire cleanup professionals.

Injury

Lightning can compromise your safety even if you are inside your home. If it strikes your house while you are touching a connected electrical advice or water out of the plumbing system, you could be injured. Therefore, when there are thunderstorms in your area, you should avoid using corded phones and computers or showering, washing dishes or doing laundry.

If your home is struck during a thunderstorm, your home may be affected. Lightning fire, shock, power surges and injury are all problems that could occur if lightning strikes your house.

Understanding the Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage in Wichita,KS

Differences Between Storm and Flood Damage

A severe thunderstorm in Wichita, KS, can wreak havoc on your commercial property. It may cause damage to your roof, siding, windows and basement. The repair process depends on the type of damage you have. There are some key differences between storm and flood damage.

Storm

One storm may cause problems in a variety of ways. There are four basic types of storm damage:

  • Hail Damage – Even small hail can cause scratches and indentions in your siding. It can damage the roof as it chips away at roofing granules or cracks your shingles.
  • Water Damage – If your roof is damaged, it is likely that water will seep in and compromise the structural integrity of the materials it touches. If you don't call storm cleanup experts in time to remediate it before secondary damage can set in, you may even have to contend with a mold problem.
  • Wind Damage – When winds are strong enough, they can rip shingles off your roof and fling branches and other debris at your siding and windows.
  • Impact Damage – If there are trees around your building, the storm may knock them over, causing them to crash into it.

Unlike flood damage, storm coverage is typically part of your property insurance.

Flood

Flooding is usually caused by events such as overflowing rivers or streams, broken dams or levees, blocked drainage lines and heavy rainfall. Because the damage to your building is likely severe in these circumstances, you may need to purchase a separate flood policy, especially if you live in or near a flood plain. Flood cleanup involves water extraction, drying, disinfecting and restoration.

By understanding the differences between storm and flood damage, you are better equipped to contact the right professionals for the job when you need remediation. This knowledge can help you get the problem resolved more efficiently so you can get your business up and running sooner.

How To Inspect Your Sump Pump

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Every time you inspect your pump, it’s a good idea to simulate a flood scenario to see if it works.

Your basement may be a fun place to entertain or give you a lot of extra storage. Whatever its purpose, it can’t serve it well if it gets flooded. Regular sump pump inspections are necessary to ensure that, if extra water does flood your basement, it won’t stay there long. A reliable pump can significantly lower the cost of water remediation services if your basement floods. Here are some things to check off your list during the inspection.

Get Rid of Debris

A big part of pump maintenance is just cleaning it out. There are several places dirt, rocks and other debris like to hide in your pump:

  • Discharge pipe
  • Vent hole
  • Intake screen
  • Pit

Any obstruction in these areas can cause your pump to malfunction when you need it the most.

Check Cord and Power Supply

Over time, cords can wear out, especially if they are in an area like the basement where they may be trapped under boxes or twisted around other obstacles. Check the cord to make sure it is not broken. You also want to ensure that the sump pump is hooked up to a working power supply. It is a good idea to connect it to a generator so that if it is needed during a power outage in a storm, it will still function.

Test the Pump

Every time you inspect your pump, it’s a good idea to simulate a flood scenario to see if it works. Flood the basin with a bucket of water. If your pump is working, it will activate and drain the water. If it does not do this, you need to contact a repair technician in Salina, KS, to fix it.

It is a good idea to inspect your sump pump on a quarterly basis. This ensures that all debris is removed, it is connected to a reliable power source and it actually does what it’s supposed to do. Then when storms come, you know your basement is protected.

How To Prevent Damage From Old Pipes

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Hair caused a pipe to clog in Hutchinson,KS

Prevent Damage from Old Pipes

If you own or rent older commercial buildings in Hutchinson, KS, you may experience special challenges when it comes to your plumbing. Older pipes, especially those made from polybutylene, make become corroded and start to turn brittle. If they have a lot of twists and turns, you may have more frequent clogs. There are a few things you can do to prevent damage resulting from old plumbing systems.

Enzymes

If the pipes in your building are frequently clogged, you need something that works within the pipes to help loosen the blockage up in order to avoid water damage from overflowing toilets or sinks. Many things could contribute to a clogged pipe, including:

  • Hair
  • Debris
  • Soap buildup
  • Lint

A monthly enzyme treatment can dissolve whatever is clogging your pipes so that water moves more freely through them. You simply pour the liquid enzyme into your drain and let the bacteria go to work. After a period of time, flush the drain with hot or boiling water, and everything should wash right through.

Replacement

If you own a building that was built between the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s, you may have polybutylene pipes. These pipes were popular during this time because they were inexpensive to manufacture and easy to install. Unfortunately, they also react to chemicals in water, making them vulnerable to breakage. The best thing to do is to replace these pipes before they break and cause extensive damage to your building that only water restoration specialists can fix.

Pumps

If your building is a rental, of course, you cannot replace the pipes altogether. You can protect your property in the building, however, by installing a sump pump in the basement and having various pumps placed on each floor that you use. By making pumps available, you can extract water more quickly, minimizing the damage that a busted pipe may cause.

Whether your main risk is polybutylene or frequent clogging, old pipes can cause flooding fast. By taking proactive steps you can protect your property from extensive damage.

Understanding Mold and Its Possible Effects on Your Commercial Building

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores need moisture

The upkeep and maintenance of a commercial building in Salina, KS, can be daunting. There is much to consider and monitor, especially when it comes to knowing what might harm your investment. Fungi growth can be especially troublesome, as black mold and other strains can cause serious and long-term damage top building materials and inventory. Taking steps to understand mold and its effects can help you protect your property and prevent business loss.

What Is Mold?

While there are many different types of mold, all are species of fungi. Mold can grow almost anywhere once airborne spores find moisture and is most commonly found in damp rooms and areas, such as:

  • Basements
  • Bathrooms
  • Under cabinets that conceal plumbing fixtures

Many strains of fungi, such as black mold, do not require sunlight to grow, which can allow them to spread unchecked in dark spaces and behind drywall.

What Types of Damage Can Mold Cause?

Because mold can grow anywhere, especially in areas where there is a moisture problem, it can affect a variety of costly building materials. Drywall, carpeting, HVAC components, insulation and even concrete can be damaged. Keeping materials dry and your building’s humidity low can reduce the risk of mold growth. Have water lines and plumbing pipes checked for leaks often, especially if they are located in basements or behind cabinets.

What Is Involved in Mold Removal?

If you do find fungi in your building, it is best that you leave its removal to a qualified mold remediation and restoration service. Experienced technicians can inspect and identify the mold and then use a variety of special processes to remove it safely. They can also check the rest of the building to ensure the problem has not spread and that no further mold cleanup is needed.

Black mold and other types of fungi can seriously harm your Salina, KS, commercial building. Understanding how mold grows and where it might be found may help you identify issues quickly and contact a professional for remediation services before fungi can take over.

5 Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage can result from Grease Fire.

It may not come as a surprise to learn that the kitchen is the most likely starting point of a home fire. While a grease fire is something many people worry about in Wichita, Kansas there are numerous potential causes of disaster. Fire damage can result from lack of attention, poor preparation or honest, everyday mistakes.

Five tips to keep your food-preparation area safer.

1. Where There’s Smoke…

There’s a reason firefighters and fire recovery professionals constantly discuss the importance of smoke detectors, and that’s because they save lives. Make sure you have an alarm installed near the kitchen; check and replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.

2. Wear It Right

It’s easy to forget how dangerous cooking can be, but exposed flames and hot surfaces can cause major problems. For this reason, it’s important keep clothes and other such items in mind:

  • Don’t wear loose, long sleeves or other clothing that could come into contact with heat sources.
  • Ensure curtains won’t interfere with cooking surfaces, even with windows open.
  • Store potholders, aprons and other cloth items safely away from heat-generating appliances.

3. Wash Regularly

Keeping your cooking surfaces clean is more important than you might think. Greasy buildup is a potential fire risk, so make sure to clean thoroughly and on a routine basis.

4. Watch the Clock 

The simplest tips are the most important ones to remember: use timers, monitor heated appliances properly and always double-check to ensure that everything’s turned off before going to sleep at night.

5. Work-Area Control 

You never want too many cooks in the kitchen, nor do you want rambunctious youngsters running around near sources of heat. Establish a three-foot space around any cooking area, and make sure kids stay clear.

Preventing fire damage in Wichita, KS is largely about planning, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Mitigate your risk of a grease fire or other such disaster by following these handy tips when it’s time to prepare your food-prep area. 

Top 3 Air Purifiers for Removing Mold Spores From Your Home

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

If you have mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita immediately.

Mold can invade your Topeka, KS home for a variety of reasons but is especially common after flooding. Once mold spores in the air find moisture and a food source, they latch on and can spread quickly. However, using an air filtration system once a flood cleanup and storm remediation company treats your home can trap these spores before they take hold, and knowing which are the most effective can help you make an informed decision about which is best suited to your home's needs.

 Top 3 Air Purifiers

  1. The Oransi Max

This air purifier uses a certified HEPA filter to capture mold spores as well as pollen, dust and pet dander. This unit may be a good choice for your home if you live in an area with humid summers, as mold tends to thrive in high humidity. The Oransi Max also includes an air quality sensor so you can adjust the air flow as needed.

  1. IQAir New Edition HealthPro

The IQAir New Edition HeathPro air filtration system is a top-rated unit that captures mold particles and other impurities in your home's air. It is especially useful for filtering out fine particles that other systems may not catch. Other features include multiple fan speeds, a programmable timer and a filter monitor. This may be a good choice if you want a unit that saves energy and does not require a lot of manual adjusting.

  1. The QuietPure Home+ Smoke Air Purifier

If you want a purifier that removes unpleasant smells from the air and captures mold, this unit may be a good choice. It is also known for its quiet run cycles and its ability to remove bacteria and airborne viruses from the air. One convenient feature you may enjoy is a smart sensor, which adjusts the fan speed depending on the room's air quality.

A quality air filtration unit can help keep mold in your Topeka, KS home at bay. Comparing the capabilities of each can assist you in making the best choice possible for your air purification needs and your budget.

SERVPRO of Northwest Wichita can answer any questions regarding Mold Spores that need to be removed and Mold Remediation. We have the training and expertise to safely handle any mold situation.

Elements of the SERVPRO Claims Inventory System

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO provides a claims inventory system that puts relevant information within easy reach. While filing an insurance claim, agents can get a quick estimate, update information, and upload facts to the corporate database. The Claims Information Center offers access to the statistics, facts, and data an insurance agent may need to create an estimate.

  • Facts listed nationally, regionally, and by state and county
  • Search for types of claims
  • Research cause of loss information
  • Compare job file costs by geographic location
  • Complete an individual file review
  • Document response times for general areas
  • Compare SERVPRO performance to national averages
  • Look at regional company results next to national company results

The Claims Information Center

As a Emporia, KS, agent prepares to file an insurance claim, the professional must verify that all facts are correct, ensure that figures are accurate, and that all the details of the report are reliable. With the SERVPRO CIC, an agent has quick access to an encyclopedic database with past insurance claims and answers to specific questions.

ReportER

The related database, ReportER, is run through corporate headquarters and provides an access point to the inventory center. An agent searching for information would access the CIC through ReportER and then narrow the terms of a search to find accurate and recent information to help with outstanding claims.

Management Dashboard

An attractive and innovative dashboard design provides quick and convenient access to the database and the SERVPRO Claims Information Center. With so many resources right in front of them, agents can more quickly and easily complete their work.

Get It Done Accurately and Conveniently

The process of working through an insurance claim isn't easy for Emporia, KS, property owners or for the agent, but access to current, accurate information can simplify the process. The CIC system provides the agent with the ability to thoroughly research facts and figures for a current claim or verify information to ensure reliability. These claims inventory resources help to simplify and streamline the claims completion and tracking process.

Steps in the Sewage Damage Cleanup Process

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Restored bathroom in Hutchinson, KS

Sewer Cleanup Process

Sewage damage can have a devastating impact on your home in Hutchinson, KS. It’s common to feel stressed after this type of damage has occurred, but you may feel reassured knowing what steps occur in the sewer cleanup process.

1. Finding the Root of the Problem

Sewage damage can be caused by a myriad of reasons, and in order to properly clean the home, it’s important to first understand the cause of the issue. Often, a flooded toilet or a sewer backup are causes of sewage damage. While some issues are relatively easy to fix, others may take more time. However, once the problem has been identified, the flow of water can be stopped, which will prevent further damage.

2. Assessing the Damage and Type of Contamination

Regardless of the cause of the damage, it’s important to know what damage has occurred and to what degree the water is contaminated during the sewer cleanup process. Knowing where the damage has occurred will make it easier to know what to prioritize. Water that comes from a clean source and that isn’t left standing can be removed with relative ease, whereas water that is contaminated with hazardous materials must be removed with caution. Often, it’s helpful to have water damage cleanup professionals make these assessments.

3. Cleanup and Restoration

Once the cause has been identified and the damage and type of contamination has been identified, the process of cleaning really begins. Water is safely removed from the home and individual items are sanitized. In order to remove any odors in the home, air scrubbers may be used. If structural damage has occurred, the work of restoring your home to its original state will begin.

Finding the cause of the issue, assessing the affected area and the water and cleaning and restoration are all important steps in the sewer cleanup process. Knowing what is involved in the cleanup can make you feel more at ease as your home is restored.

Personal Equipment and Mold Remediation

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Personal equipment and mold remediation in Salina, KS

Personal Equipment and Mold Remediation

If you are preparing for mold cleanup in your Salina, KS, home, you may have questions about the process that your mold remediation service technicians will be following - questions that quite possibly go beyond the basics. One common question is what personal protective equipment - such as face masks - these professionals wear while doing their jobs. What is worn can vary based on the situation, but you may see any of the following types of gear on a remediation worker:

1. Goggles. Many technicians will wear goggles to keep dust and other particles out of the eyes. These goggles will never have ventilation holes, as these can be a safety concern.

2. Disposable clothing. This will be seen quite commonly when extensive mold damage is present. Such clothing helps minimize physical contact with dangerous substances and makes for an overall safer cleanup job.

3. Respirators. Respirators are special face masks that prevent cleanup crews from inhaling irritating particles during remediation. Workers should always be wearing respirators approved by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and they should always wear the type of respirator that is appropriately protective for the job at hand.

4. Gloves. As you may imagine, gloves help protect workers’ hands from cleanup chemicals and other harsh substances while performing cleanup duties. Most workers will wear long gloves that reach to the mid-forearm, and the material will vary depending on what the technicians are handling.

As you can see, protective cleanup gear is more complex for workers than just strapping on face masks, especially when they are dealing with a tricky mold remediation situation. If you ever have any questions about cleanup before, during or after the process, do not hesitate to ask the trained professionals who are working to restore your property. Chances are that they have gone through similar situations many times before and have answers to all of your questions.

The SERVPRO Claim Inventory System

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding after storm in Topeka, KS

As a home insurance agent in Topeka, KS, claims tracking is not always the easiest of tasks to accomplish in a successful way. With so much damage information and financial data to keep track of, it can be difficult to always keep abreast of a claim and not miss any important details. Fortunately, the SERVPRO claim inventory system can help you keep track of your next insurance claim with more ease and greater detail than ever before.

Claim Inventory Services

This residential damage company is proud to offer the Claim Information Center (CIC) to insurance agents working on a residential damage claim. The internal system updates claims information in real time as the estimate is updated. The Corporate database, ReportER, then migrates the information to the user-friendly Management Dashboard for agent or adjuster review.

The CIC database allows you, the agent or adjuster, to view the following claim-related information online, quickly and painlessly:

  • Insurance claim type ordered by either nation, region, state or county
  • Review of the complete individual file whenever needed
  • Cause of Loss ordered by either nation, region, state or county
  • Cost of Job File ordered by either nation, region, state or county
  • Response Times ordered by either nation, region, state or county

You can also use the CIC system to compare the insurance company’s claims to national or regional claim results so you can see how your agency is performing compared to other leaders in the home insurance industry. You will quickly see what a difference SERVPRO can make for you, your insurance clients and your agency.

Here to Help

SERVPRO understands the important needs of both insurers and homeowners during the insurance claim process. That is why they offer resources that can help both after a water-, fire- or mold-related disaster. Choose them as your damage assessor for your next claim and see why they are a “Preferred Vendor” for most insurance agencies.

Commercial Roof: Owner Inspections and What To Look For

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Owners should perform roof inspections.

Commercial Roof: Owner Inspections And What To Look For

Most business owners would rather spend time worrying about strategy and promotions rather than property inspections and maintenance issues. However, if neglected, small problems can turn into big issues. For instance, a small roof leak can lead to mold and even potential collapse if not remedied. To prevent this, owners can perform simple inspections that are meant to find small areas of concern before a disaster occurs.

1. Flashing and Seals

Wind damage is a common cause of flashing and sealant issues. In strong storms, the flashing can be pulled away from the sealant which will eventually lead to leaks. When inspecting your roof, look for areas where the flashing has been torn away and be sure to reseal these areas promptly.

2. Standing Water

While puddling doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a roof leak, it is likely the step before it happens. Puddling occurs when there are issues with the sheathing. It is possible that sheathing bows due to age, but water damage is also a contributor. If you see standing water on your roof, it may be a sign that you need professional assistance.

3. Bubbles

When walking your roofline, be on the lookout for bubbling. If you see bubbles, it likely indicates that there is a weak or old seal somewhere close. Tiny air bubbles mean that water is seeping beneath the shingles and possibly beneath the underlayment.

If you have significant concerns, you can contact a disaster remediation specialist in the Wichita, KS area to seek further assistance and possible solutions. These companies have a lot of experience in water-related issues and can help.

A roof leak can evolve into a detrimental problem for a business of any size, but it is a problem that can most often be avoided by vigilant and routine inspections. Keep an eye out for damaged flashing, standing water and bubbling so you can attempt to rectify a problem before it becomes a full-blown disaster.

What to Know About What Fire Insurance May Not Cover

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to reach out to your insurance agent in Topeka, KS and know what exactly is included

What to Know About What Fire Insurance May Not Cover

If you’ve been through a home fire in Topeka, KS, then you may be worried about what your insurance policy will cover. In most cases insurance policies will cover fire damage and restoration. However, if the home is vacant, or the fire was started intentionally, you could be out of luck. Here’s what you should know.

1. About Vacant Home Fires

Insurance companies may not cover a vacant home fire. This is often determined by if no one has lived in the house in over a month. There is good news though. Many insurance companies offer a separate vacant home insurance policy for just this type of scenario. If you have a seasonal home, or will otherwise be away for a long period of time, you can purchase one of these plans to help ensure your home is covered.

2. About Intentionally Started Fires

An intentionally started home fire is also known as arson. This is a type of insurance fraud that insurance companies take very seriously. In many cases when you make a fire claim for your home your insurance company will arrange for an investigator to determine the fire source. Once it’s determined that the fire was accidental, the insurance company can begin processing the claim.

3. About What May Be Covered

If your house fire does not fall under one of the above categories, odds are the plan will cover the damage. Your insurance agent can tell you what’s in your plan and help you take the necessary steps for restoration. In some cases, they may even be able to recommend a fire damage professional to help with cleanup and repairs.

Unless the home was vacant or the fire started intentionally, your home fire should be covered by your policy. It’s important to talk to your agent about what exactly is included, and follow any recommended steps they may have for you.

Is There Black Mold in Your Home?

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold in a Wichita, KS home

As a homeowner in Wichita, KS, you're probably always on the lookout for signs of mold growth. The more dangerous types, like black mold, can cause damage that requires a great deal of time and money to repair. That said, it's a good idea to do a regular mold inspection. So,

What Signs Should You Look For?

Black mold, or stachybotrys chartarum, has distinctive characteristics such as:

  • Slimy appearance
  • Dark greenish-black or gray color
  • Musty odor

Where Should I Look during a Mold Inspection?

Stachybotrys chartarum grows in areas of the home where there is a good deal of moisture, where there is a heat source, and where there is a low amount of nitrogen present. Materials high in cellulose can act as an effective growth medium for the spores. If an area gets wet and stays that way for a considerable time, mold can infiltrate. Prime suspects are drywall, ceiling tiles, carpeting and wood paneling. However, when a moisture source is hidden behind walls, there may be no immediate way for you to detect it.

How Do I Get Rid of It?

Getting rid of house mold is probably not something you should try to take care of on your own. If you suspect a problem, you may want to call a certified professional to do a mold inspection. These experts can employ specialized methods to accurately detect and diagnose the mold growth, then determine the correct equipment and methods to completely eradicate it. If a severe problem is detected, they will remove any damaged materials before beginning treatments to eliminate the mold. After all affected surfaces are thoroughly dried and disinfected, they will then repair and restore the area to its former, mold-free condition.

Black mold in your home can be dangerous and expensive. But if you stay vigilant, you can detect any possible problem and call a professional mold service to take care of it before it has a chance to get out of hand.

How To Flush Your Water Heater

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Taking care of your water heater.

How To Flush Your Water Heater

Nobody likes it when a water heater stops working, except for that rare breed of people who enjoy cold showers. You might not want to spend a Saturday morning flushing your heater at your home in Wichita, KS , but it's one of the best ways to extend the life of your unit.

1. Gather Your Materials

Luckily, the items you need to do the job are probably sitting around your house. A garden hose, a screwdriver and an area for drainage are all you need to complete the task. Before you can do the work, you need to turn off the water heater. You should also check out the drainage area you selected, and make sure it’s not an area that will be impacted by sediment and warm water.

2. Drain the Tank

Connect the garden hose to the drain valve, and you’re ready to start draining. Go to your kitchen and turn on the hot water faucet; this allows the water to drain quicker. Next, open the water heater's drain valve and let the water flow for several minutes. Pay attention to how much sediment flows out; this can give you an idea of how often you need to perform a water heater flush. When the tank has drained, close the valve.

3. Flush the Unit

Now it's time to open the cold water supply, which you can find at the top of the tank. Let the water flow for 10 minutes, and then turn it off. Open the drain valve once more, and let the water drain out. When all of the sediment has been removed from the tank, close the drain valve.

4. Restart the System

When water is flowing smoothly from the faucet, you will know the tank is full and flowing properly. Then you can turn on the heating element.

Whether you flush your tank on your own or entrust it to a residential water maintenance service, it's a smart move. The reward you will receive by creating a longer life for your water heater is well worth sacrificing a little of your free time.

Basic Facts About Commercial Insurance Coverage

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

With adequate coverage, your Wichita, KS, business can survive the devastation of fire damage

What is commercial insurance? This coverage, sometimes known as business property insurance, offers valuable protection whether you own your Wichita, KS, business or lease office space. This type of coverage is often available as part of your business owner's policy. It generally provides protection for the building, the supplies and furnishings inside the building, and certain exterior features, such as fences and signage. This insurance is mostly used to protect physical assets from disasters such as fire, storms, and vandalism. It may be worthwhile to ask your insurance provider about policies that cover computer information and revenue.

Factors Affecting Premiums and Coverage

Although commercial property insurance offers many benefits, business owners must consider their financial well-being. As you decide how much to pay for this coverage, there are many factors to keep in mind.

  • Is your city prone to natural disasters? Are you located next to a business that is at high risk of fire damage?
  • What type of materials were used in the construction of your business? Is the building old? Is it in compliance with current coding requirements?
  • What kind of industry does your business fall into? What type of work do the occupants of your building do on the premises?
  • Have you taken the necessary steps to protect your business from fire? Is a fire suppression system in place? How far away is the nearest fire station?

The answers to these questions can help you determine how much you'll pay for a premium and how much commercial insurance coverage you'll need.

Factors Assessing How Much Risk You Can Handle?

As you weigh the costs versus benefits, don't forget to factor in the financial risks you may face. If your building is affected by fire, whether directly or externally, you may face heavy losses to the structure of the building, repair and remediation services, and lost revenue while you recover from the disaster.

Commercial insurance offers peace of mind. With adequate coverage, your Wichita, KS, business can survive the devastation of fire damage.

Mitigate Water Damage In 4 Steps

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can lead to serious problems at a commercial building in Salina, KS. Mitigation involves preventing damage from worsening before the affected area can be restored. Follow these four steps to address the cause of water damage and complete pipe burst cleanup.

1. Fix the Cause

Water damage will worsen until the cause is fixed. If a pipe breaks or you notice a supply line leaking, shut off the water supply and gather as much water as possible. This will limit the amount of moisture that soaks into building materials and contents.

2. Remove Standing Water

After the problem is solved, empty containers and eliminate all standing water. A building owner may want to contact a water cleanup and damage restoration service. Professionals can use a pump to get rid of every trace of water and complete pipe burst cleanup more quickly than is possible with consumer-grade equipment.

3. Clean If Necessary

A supply line burst or leak is likely to involve clean, treated Category One water. Cleaning may not be necessary if you act quickly. Category One water can degrade to Category Two if left standing for 48 hours or longer. Disinfection is necessary for damage caused by contaminated Category Two or Category Three water.

4. Dry and Restore

Once all standing water is gone, it is time to dry the affected area. Cleanup professionals may use air movers, fans, or dehumidifiers to draw water out of the air and porous surfaces. Drying will reduce the risk of mold growth after any category of water damage.

Restoration can only be completed after the affected area is completely dry. Depending on the extent of water damage, a longer drying period and additional equipment may be necessary. Pipe burst cleanup may take longer than damage caused by a supply line leaking. Rely on water cleanup professionals for the best results.

What To Do When a Sewage Backup Happens at Home

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Drying a water damaged home in Wichita, KS

There are certain things homeowners in Wichita, KS, fear, and one of the most formidable is dealing with a sewer backup. What homeowners may not realize is that sewer issues can mean more than just the inconvenience of a flooded toilet or an unusable kitchen sink. The presence of potentially contaminated water within your home poses a serious health threat. Sewer cleanup should always be handled carefully and swiftly.

Here Are Three Steps for Managing Sewer Damage

1. Treat Sewer Problems As an Emergency

Coming into contact with any form of sewage can be dangerous, and you should assume that all water is contaminated, even if it appears clean. Ingesting contaminated water carries the risk of illness. In the event that sewage enters your living space, time is of the essence. To reduce your exposure to possible health hazards and minimize water damage, it is important to begin the sewer cleanup process immediately.

2. Disinfect and Dry

Disinfecting and drying is essential to restoring safe living conditions. Begin by getting rid of all solid and liquid waste. Be sure to remove and clean any wet carpeting or fabric. Afterwards, sanitize and dry the affected area. Experts can help provide a more thorough cleaning by using advanced technology to detect water that may not be readily visible.

3. Repair Any Damage

Once the space is clean and dry, replace any damaged materials such as flooring or wallboard. Always repair saturated or decaying building materials after a flooding incident in order to avoid mold or other contaminants.

Dealing with water damage is never fun, but if attended to promptly, sewer cleanup can be done safely and effectively. When a sewage disaster strikes, it is crucial not to delay. Whether it is the middle of the night or a holiday morning, water damage restoration specialists are available 24/7, year-round to help you restore the cleanliness and comfort of your home.

Fire Safety: How To Teach Your Kids

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Your kids safety is everything

Fire Safety: How To Teach Your Kids

Parents don’t want to burst their child’s bubble about invincibility, but your kids safety is always a top priority. When children reach a certain age, they are capable of learning disaster safety, to protect themselves if no one else can. Fires are dangerous and intimidating, and if unprepared, fire escape can be impossible. Therefore, it is vital that your children learn the basics as soon as possible.

1. The Bed Roll and Fire Crawl

A home fire can move fast. For that reason, the first lessons you should teach your child are the bed roll and the fire crawl. The bed roll is performed by rolling to the edge of your bed, bracing yourself, and gently sliding to the floor. The fire crawl can be completed in two ways. The first is a basic crawl, like a dog, but if the heat is too much to keep your rear end in the air, drop into an army crawl position, keeping your entire body as low as possible.

2. Checking Doors

To ensure your kids safety make sure they know how to check doors. Using the back of your hand, feel the door, not the doorknob. If the door is hot to the touch, do not open it. If it is warm, then press your shoulder into the door and open it slightly to locate the fire. If you have a clear path outside, run.

3. Escape or Hunker Down

Every room in your home should have at least two potential exits, and you can call a fire remediation specialist in the Topeka, KS, area to help you make a plan. Practice these routes with your children at least once a month. During a fire, if they can escape, it is crucial that they don’t hesitate. Also, it is vital that they stay outside. If escape is not possible, they should stay near a window and even open it slightly to get fresh air.

Your kids safety is everything. While every parent likes to think that they will always be there to protect their child, sometimes your child will have to protect themselves. Help them learn and prepare.

4 Important Steps To Prevent Mold Growth After Water Damage

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage caused mold under carpet in a Hutchinson,KS business

How to Prevent Mold Growth After Water Damage

Mold can wreak havoc on your business, causing damage to your facility and slowing your company’s production. Even a small amount of moisture can allow mold growth to occur, and protecting your building is key in mold prevention. In the event that your business in Hutchinson, KS, suffers water damage, there are some steps that should be taken right away.

1. Identify and stop the source of moisture.

Before you can sanitize or clean, you will need to identify the origin of the water in your building. This may be obvious if you have experienced a weather event that has caused flooding, but otherwise, you will need to check your facility carefully to locate and stop any leaks or other sources of moisture.

2. Extract the water.

Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours, so removing all standing water is crucial for successful mold prevention. If you are dealing with a small leak, then a wet/dry vacuum may do the trick. However, more extensive damage calls for using professional-grade equipment.

3. Ensure proper ventilation and dehumidification.

After all the standing water is gone, you can speed the drying process by opening windows and using fans. Dehumidifiers can help eliminate moisture and humidity by condensing water vapor and removing it from the air. Remember, mold thrives in damp conditions, and you will need to dry your building quickly and thoroughly.

4. Remove and sanitize wet items.

Remove all the wet items from your building as soon as possible. Saturated furniture, rugs and flooring can possibly be salvaged, but they will need to be properly dried and sanitized quickly to prevent mold from growing. This process is difficult and tedious, and enlisting the help of a mold remediation specialist can be very beneficial in safely cleaning and salvaging your belongings.

Mold grows rapidly and may not yet be visible when it starts causing problems in your facility. Preventing water damage in your building and bringing in professionals to clean and remove any moisture present are critical in mold prevention.

Tips for Tackling Smoke Damage After a Fire

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire loss in a Topeka,KS home

One of the greatest fears of any business owner is a fire on his or her property. When fire loss does take place, the amount of damage that can be done is truly astounding. While the obvious damage comes in the form of singed items or surfaces, another hidden threat still looms: smoke damage. Here are some tips for handling smoke damage after a fire at your Topeka,KS, business.

Document the Damage

Before cleanup begins, it's wise to document the damage. Take photos and gather other important documents that your insurance company may need for your claim.

Prepare for the Pros

In the case of extensive fire loss, it is best to call in professionals who handle commercial building restoration services. They have the tools, equipment, and know-how required to get your commercial property back on its feet quickly and safely.

Understandably, business owners often want to contribute to the cleanup process as well. Here are three things that you can do to make small steps toward recovery:

  • If any food or drink was exposed to smoke, those items need to be discarded.
  • Machine washable items such as linens should be washed immediately.
  • Shut off the HVAC system so that the smoke isn’t redistributed throughout the building.

Air Out the Space

Smoke is a persistently smelly odor, but it’s not just a lingering nuisance. Smoke also releases carbon monoxide into the air, which is a toxic substance that is dangerous if continually inhaled. Throwing open the windows is a good first step to airing out your space, as this can help ventilate the building and immediately allows a place for some of the toxins and odors to exit. Large fans placed throughout the property will offer another layer of ventilation and can expedite the freshening process.

Fire loss at your place of business can be a headache long after the flames have died down. Taking some steps toward fire restoration on your own can help you maintain a sense of control during difficult times.

FEMA Grants: Offering Support to Those Without Flood Insurance

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded home in Salina, KS by stormwater intrusion

FEMA Grants

Flood insurance is a wonderful tool and may even be a requirement in some areas. Unfortunately, if you are not located near a flood plane, then specialty insurance isn’t a requirement, leaving you vulnerable to the occasional flooding experienced in Salina, KS. Thankfully, FEMA offers grants to people in these situations.

1. Do You Qualify?

In order to qualify for a flood grant, your area must be declared a disaster area by the federal government. If you are in such an area and have sustained damage to your property or home during the designated timeframe, then you qualify to apply for disaster assistance.

2. What Do Grants Cover?

While flood insurance can limit the scope of coverage, FEMA grants can be used to cover several expenses.

  • Home restoration and repair
  • Temporary housing
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral costs

Granted, a grant will not cover personal property loss or other common issues, but it will help you begin the restoration process.

3. What If You’re Not Eligible?

While a grant is an excellent option for those living in designated areas, not everyone will be eligible. For those who are ineligible, the Small Business Administration offers assistance through low-interest loans for homeowners and renters. These loans are income dependent.

4. What Will an SBA Loan Cover?

An SBA loan can be used to cover personal property loss, moving expenses, and even vehicle repair or replacement. Additionally, these loans can be used to hire an emergency restoration company for extensive home repairs and renovations.

Flood insurance is a wonderful tool to have, but it is not always required and may be overlooked by many homeowners as nonessential. Fortunately, when flooding occurs, and homeowners don’t have insurance, FEMA and the SBA offer financial grants and loans to help. Don’t let a lack of coverage leave you vulnerable. If your area is designated as a disaster site, you could have assistance today.


3 Ways To Prepare Your Business for Flood Damage

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Flood damage in Topeka,KS

Flooding can cause your business in Topeka,KS, to sustain major damage, and the cleanup process can be expensive and lengthy. However, preparing your business for flood damage can help your business return to normal quickly after a flood.

1. Protect Valuable Items

When floods occur, they often occur without warning, giving you little time to move items in your business. Items that are left unprotected could be badly damaged or destroyed as a result of black water, or water that is contaminated with potentially hazardous bacteria. Keeping valuable documents and other items in higher areas within your building can protect them from water damage. Additionally, you should store your most valuable items in water-resistant containers.

2. Back Up Essential Data

Data helps a business run smoothly, and without necessary data, your business can face time-consuming setbacks. Since you may not have a chance to back up all of your data as soon as you hear about the possibility of a flood, it’s best to routinely save your data and make backups. There are various ways in which you can backup data by using cloud services or external hard drives. Having multiple places to store your data is best, in case one form of backup happens to fail.

3. Purchase Flood Insurance

To ensure your business can recover financially from the effects of a flood, it’s important to have flood insurance. Many insurance companies do not cover the costs of flooding, and it’s important to check your business’s policy to know what will and will not be covered in the event of a flood. If you already have flood insurance, make sure to renew it when needed.

Preparing your business for the impacts of flooding can offer you peace of mind and can save you money and time. In addition to taking preventative steps, make sure to contact the experts in flood damage restoration so your business can open its doors as soon as possible.

4 Ways To Tell If Your Shower Is Leaking

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier helping moisture dry quickly after this bathroom was affected by water loss

The cause of a shower leak is not always obvious. Whether you notice a wet floor after showering or signs of moisture and water damage underneath your shower, here are four ways to determine the origin of a shower stall or bathtub leak.

1. Shower Pans and Leaks

Check a basement or crawlspace for signs of a leak from a first-floor shower. A shower pan leak on a higher floor may cause staining on the ceiling below. You may also notice water damage near the shower or in areas that share a common wall.

Test the pan by stopping the drain and filling the shower or bathtub about 1.5 inches deep. Wait between eight and 72 hours. Have someone walk around in the shower to determine whether weight triggers the leak. Replace shower pans that are more than 30 years old.

2. Caulking and Tiles

Spray water along a shower door track for several minutes and check for leaks. Cracked grout between tiles can also permit water to collect behind walls. Allow the area to dry completely before caulking or grouting a bathtub leak. You may also want to have mold testing and any necessary remediation completed before sealing cracked grout.

3. Shower Heads and Escutcheons

Clear clogged spray holes and check the O-ring inside a shower-head. Replace worn out cartridges, stems, or washers inside the valve. Replace the gasket or use caulk or putty on an unsealed escutcheon. Check for leaks between the head and valve by capping the shower head.

4. Drains and Lines

Pour water from buckets or a hose down the drain and have another person monitor the area beneath a shower. Drain leaks are typically caused by a cracked flange or damaged gasket.

Regardless of the source of a shower or bathtub leak, you may want to hire a plumber. If your home has sustained water damage, or you suspect that mold is growing, contact a water damage restoration service in Wichita,KS.

Can Homeowners Identify and Detect Mold Themselves?

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold on your Whichita, KS home?

Nobody wants to discover mold in the home and have to deal with it. However, it is far worse to let mold go undetected and allow it to cause even more damage. It is best to hire a professional company to do mold testing, but many people in Wichita, KS,
wonder if home testing kits can save them some money and detect the mold. This method is not recommended for two main reasons:

  • Home tests are unreliable.
  • Home tests are prone to false positives.

True Mold Tests

To properly assess the mold situation in your home, the actual mold samples that you would get from a mold kit are not as important as the expert mold inspection itself. Professionals who are trained in this field know what to look for. A simple sample of mold could be misleading, and you need a full inspection in order to determine both the extent of the mold and, even more importantly, the source of the mold. Without determining the source and correcting it, your problems will more than likely continue.

Incomplete Information

The DIY mold method does not give you all the information you need. Most kits used for residential mold testing are designed to detect mold through a method that involves the user putting out some sort of container to see if it molds over time. Given the conditions in most homes, mold will almost always form. Just as food molds over time if left in certain circumstances, a petri dish handled the same way will result in the same findings. This could give you a false positive (or false negative) and not provide you with the information you need.

What Experts Recommend

The mold industry has many credible organizations, and most recommend against using a home mold testing kit. They feel that the incomplete and inaccurate information is not helpful in assessing and correcting your home’s situation.

Flood Response: Five Things First Responders Should Keep in Mind

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding damage in a Topeka, KS home

Being a first responder is a noble calling, one which has you putting your life at risk to save others in Topeka, KS. You choose, and sometimes even volunteer, to enter hazardous situations in the hopes of minimizing the negative impact of disasters, natural and human-made. An emergency requiring a first response team is a flood. Flooding, like all disasters, is atypical and requires the understanding of a particular set of practices and procedures, and the following five things rank high on those lists.

1. Personal Safety

As personal safety is a top priority, you should make sure that you are up to date on your tetanus and hepatitis immunizations. Additionally, as contamination is likely, appropriate clothing like rubber gloves, boots, and protective eyewear is advisable. You can check with the CDC, your local municipality, or other flood experts to find out other safety tips.

2. Flood Water

Flood water can sweep you away at only 6 inches deep, and beyond that it is likely contaminated, depending on the spread and scope, with sewage and other potentially hazardous materials, making the above safety precautions necessary.

3. Debris/Obstacles

As intense and volatile as flood water can be, it should be no surprise that a first responder will come across potentially dangerous debris from failed structures, metalwork, or uprooted trees. Additionally, flooding can soften the ground creating sinkholes and other dangers.

4. Electrical Hazards

The murky waters of a flood often hide many hazards, and the most dangerous are downed power lines or submerged electrical outlets. Flood response teams should be aware of these hazards and take note of any high-risk areas.

5. Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is another common hazard because as people deal with power outages, they turn to generator use. It is not uncommon, despite the warnings, to find people using generators indoors. Indoor use of generators causes the dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide which can lead to death.

As a first responder responding to a flood, you should take note of all the potential hazards, but also keep vigilant about your safety because the safety of others depends on your continued ability to help.

Quick Guide to Category 3 Water Damage

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial equipment for your restoration emergency clean up in Emporia, KS

As a Emporia, KS, business owner, you take pride in your profession and want to make sure that your building is safe and secure after a flood water disaster. If you are told that you have Category 3 water damage on your property, you will want to know what that means and how you can eliminate the problem. Read on for information on what Category 3 damage is and how you can clean it up.

Definition

In order to understand what Category 3 means, you need to recognize all of the levels of water damage. They are:

  • Category 1 damage, or “white water” damage (this is clean water)
  • Category 2 damage, or “gray water” damage (this is clean water that sat for too long)
  • Category 3 damage, or “black water” damage (this is contaminated water that must be quickly addressed)

Category 3 water typically arises from toilet overflow. As mentioned above, this water contains contaminants and can also cause structural damage to your building. Fortunately, professional help is available to clean and disinfect any affected surfaces.

Cleaning Procedures

Your best bet when facing black flood water will usually be to call a water damage restoration company. The trained technicians will typically be able to arrive on the scene quickly and will be able to assess any damage. After this assessment, the steps they will take to clean are as follows:

  1. Water removal
  2. Drying and reduction of humidity
  3. Cleanup and sanitation
  4. Restoration, where possible

The specialists may have suggestions or solutions for replacement when restoration is not an option. For some items, such as important business files, digitization or other less common methods may preserve what could not otherwise be salvaged.

No one wants to think that their company and property could be at risk from flood water. It is always best to face the seriousness of the situation so that you can put a plan in place and seek help to safely resume your business operations.

Tips for Partial Loss After a Commercial Fire

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Topeka, KS

Devastatingly, your business in Topeka, KS, catches on fire. You are ecstatic to find out that the building is not a total loss. In a partial fire loss, fire and smoke damage do not completely destroy the property. When this occurs, what are your responsibilities as the owner? What happens next?

Business Owner Responsibilities

After a partial loss transpires, know what to do. Consider the following tips:

  • File a claim with your commercial insurance agent as soon as possible after the fire loss. Photograph and document all water, fire and smoke damage before the insurance adjustor assesses the loss.
  • Insurance companies typically cover costs to achieve a consistent, uniform look. This means that partially damaged materials, such as roofing or siding, must be matched to the non-damaged areas or replaced entirely.
  • Advocate for yourself and your business if the insurance adjustor does not consider your partial loss case a priority.
  • Contact a professional fire restoration specialist immediately. A delay in beginning the cleanup process risks secondary damage. Water damage from firefighting efforts can spread and lead to mold growth in as little as two days.

Fire Restoration Steps

Once you have done your part, the cleanup and restoration process begins. Know what to expect next:

  • The fire restoration company typically arrives within hours to properly and thoroughly assess the damage. A detailed inspection commonly includes all building structures and systems. This consists of evaluating the siding, roofing, foundation, walls and windows. Plumbing and electrical systems are checked as well. Drywall may require removal to investigate water damage in the walls and insulation.
  • Your building may be boarded up or tarped to increase security and prevent further damage from the weather.
  • If present, excess water is drained with vacuums and pumps. Professional grade equipment cleans smoke and soot from structures, contents and the air.

Even though your commercial property only suffered a partial fire loss in Topeka, KS, you must still act quickly. Immediately contact your insurance agent and a restoration specialist to return your business to pre-fire condition.

3 Essential Tips for Handling Winter Weather as a Business

9/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm damage in Colwich, KS

Winter brings many special considerations when running your Colwich, KS, business. As one of the major potential dangers to operations, winter weather can lead to dangerous work or travel conditions. An ice or snow storm can lead to property damage or employees unable to use the workplace. Here are three essentials tips for making these winter nuisances more manageable.

1. Know What You Are Up Against

Winter weather varies greatly depending on any seasonal weather phenomena or advancing air fronts. There are several types of winter storms. A blizzard is the most dangerous because of extremely limited visibility, frigid wind chill and dangerously strong winds. An ice storm may not sound as dangerous like a blizzard, but it can lead to a power outage, frozen pipe burst or employee harm.

Luckily, weather services offer a winter storm warning. You have at least twelve hours to prepare. There are also “winter storm watches” that should still be heeded even though it’s only a chance of a snow storm. The weather forecast is one of the most helpful prevention tools.

2. Keep the Building Secure From Weather Threats

An inspection by yourself or a professional during the early winter can catch potential hazards. Leaks and cracks in the structure could lead to collapse from heavy snow or harsh winds. Computers should be preventatively secured and backed up in case of sudden or extended power loss. If it’s safe to do so during winter, snow and ice should consistently be removed from roofs and sidewalks.

3. Plan Ahead and Know Whom to Call

A major snow storm is likely disruptive and needs an actionable plan. Employees should be informed of any potential to work from home instead of risking the roads. A local storm damage restoration company should be kept in a contact list of emergency services, so you can treat severe weather damage or stop any minor damage from deteriorating. Things can be kept both functional and safe by acting early. After all, preparation is much cheaper than reparation.

Cleaning Items Damaged by Water

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Air mover and dehumidifier on a water damage in a Wichita, KS home

If there’s water in your home, your personal belongings will more than likely be affected. Whether it comes from a broken pipe, storm or flood damage, water tends to go wherever it wants. Knowing how to clean, preserve and protect your property can help make an overwhelming task much more manageable. Here are some helpful tips on taking care of items damaged by water.

1. Put Safety First

Before handling anything that’s been water-damaged, make sure you wear appropriate gloves and masks. You might even consider waterproof clothing. This kind of water can be contaminated by a host of chemicals, bacteria and foreign substances, and no matter how valuable they might be, no personal possession is worth the potential cost to your health.


2. Clean Off the Mud

Once the water in your home is gone, clean any mud or silt off your items. You can rinse them with cool, clean water. Only use clean water in order to prevent additional contamination. If your items have already begun to dry, or if you have soiled clothes that require dry cleaning, don’t scrub them. Use a brush or cloth to wipe away as much debris as you can.

3. Get Them Dry

Remove wet items to a dry part of the house and allow them to air-dry. Use fans and open windows to increase air circulation, which can aid the drying process. Some items, like area rugs and wool blankets, can safely dry in direct sunlight, while others need to be indoors. Place waterlogged books, papers and photographs in the freezer to dry them out slowly. A restoration specialist can advise you if you have valuable or collectible papers, books or photographs.

While water in your home in Wichita, KS, can cause serious damage, many of your personal possessions can be saved and their functionality restored. If you have any questions about the best methods for preserving and restoring a particular item, contact a professional in your area.

After the Flood: Make the Most of Your Insurance Claim

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Be sure to file your flood claim within 60 days of the actual flood event.

Now that the flood waters have receded, it’s time to survey the damage and take steps to restore your property. As the holder of a flood insurance policy, you are already ahead of the curve—but there still may be significant work to be done before you can collect on a flood claim. Here are some steps that can help guide you through the process in Wichita, KS.

1. Stay safe. Take every precaution to be certain your home is safe to enter and that there is no threat of further flooding, electrical mishap or collapsing infrastructure. Assume that water is unsafe for human consumption.

2. Contact your insurance company. Contact your insurance claims adjuster as soon as possible. Provide him or her with cell phone and/or email contact information so you will be readily available for an onsite visit.

3. Document the damage. Take photos of the damage to document your loss. If you have pictures of the areas prior to the flood, it would be useful to have them on hand for comparison.

4. Start the cleanup. Begin the cleanup process and call a restoration specialist in [City, State], if needed. If the adjuster has not yet made his or her assessment, be sure to note everything you intend to include on the flood claim. Make a list of lost and damaged items and include dates of purchase, estimated values and receipts, if possible.

5. Retain evidence. Keep any damaged materials you may remove from the house as the adjuster may need to see them for proof of loss purposes. If possible, store these damaged materials outside on your property.

6. Work with your insurance company. Once the adjuster arrives and finishes the assessment, you will likely be asked to sign a proof of loss statement that will follow specifications as set forth in the insurance policy.

Be sure to file your flood claim within 60 days of the actual flood event. By following these steps, you can be assured of the greatest possible chance for a successful insurance settlement. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

3 Tips for Space Heater Safety

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Follow the above safety tips at your home in Wichita, KS, to avoid a burned space heater.

Freezing air outside in Wichita, KS, makes you long for a warm, toasty atmosphere inside of your home. Warming yourself near a space heater feels good, but is it a smart choice? A burned space heater is one of the top causes of residential fires, particularly during the winter months. Learn how to safely use a space heater by following the three tips below.

1. What Kind To Buy

Space heaters come with options for safety features, such as an automatic shutoff if the unit overheats or tips over. Look for an independent safety certification label, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Ensure the appliance has a sturdy cord that is at least 6 feet in length.

2. Where To Place It

Place the heater on a hard surface, such as the floor. Do not place it in a child’s bedroom or play area or in a garage where incendiary materials are stored. Use the 3-foot distance rule for children, pets, walls, bedding, curtains and furniture. Allow this distance from flammable fabrics to prevent a burned space heater from setting fire to your home.

3. How To Care for It

Plug the heating unit into its own outlet to avoid overheating. Never use an extension cord or place the appliance near water. When you retire to bed for the evening or leave the room, even for a few minutes, turn off the space heater. Remove it from the outlet by holding the plug, never the cord. If the cord is damaged, discontinue use. If the unit has filters, change them regularly.

Follow the above safety tips at your home in Wichita, KS, to avoid a burned space heater. Always remember to practice general fire safety as well. Install and maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at every level of your house, especially near the bedrooms and kitchen. Have an escape plan in case of a fire. If a fire occurs, execute your plan to get your family to safety. For soot and smoke cleanup, contact a fire restoration specialist.  For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

When Good Intentions Turn Sour: How To Prevent Mold in the Break Room Fridge

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold loves old, leftover food. Keep your shared office refrigerator in Wichita, KS, clean and free of fridge mold by adhering to the above five simple

Every day, good-intentioned office workers in Wichita, KS, bring their leftovers to work, place their meals in the fridge and absentmindedly leave their lunches to languish for days, weeks, and even months. Unfortunately, mold loves old food, and these good-intentioned individuals have inadvertently created an atmosphere that is prime for mold growth. If you are battling fridge mold in your shared office space, here are five simple ways you can ensure that your lunchroom remains clean and mold-free.

1. Assign responsibility. Since office refrigerators inhabit common spaces, there is often no single person responsible for ensuring their cleanliness. If an individual manages the fridge, others will be inclined to pay attention to their behavior and remove old food.

2. Establish ground rules. Create agreed-upon guidelines regarding fridge use and place them prominently in the lunchroom. Asking that food be labeled or establishing limits on how long one can leave his or her lunch in the cooler are common policies in many offices today.

3. Consume meeting leftovers within 24 hours. Sharing leftover egg sandwiches from this morning’s board meeting is a great way to boost office morale, but these leftovers are also great incubators for fridge mold. Toss out any unclaimed food items within 24 hours.

4. Set up a cleaning schedule. Fridges should be cleaned out once per week. All old food items, with the exception of dressings, oils and other non-perishables, should be disposed of and shelves should be wiped down.

5. Disinfect quarterly. Fridges should be disinfected every three to four months, perhaps more if you notice any mold smell. Disinfecting a fridge does not require harsh chemicals and can be done with soap, warm water, and a sponge. Depending on the size, number, and extent of the job, some companies have decided to hire a professional to assist with this process.

Mold loves old, leftover food. Keep your shared office refrigerator in Wichita, KS, clean and free of fridge mold by adhering to the above five simple lunchroom guidelines. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

After the Flood: Make the Most of Your Insurance Claim

7/12/2018 (Permalink)

Be sure to file your flood claim within 60 days of the actual flood event.

Now that the flood waters have receded, it’s time to survey the damage and take steps to restore your property. As the holder of a flood insurance policy, you are already ahead of the curve—but there still may be significant work to be done before you can collect on a flood claim. Here are some steps that can help guide you through the process in Wichita, KS.

1. Stay safe. Take every precaution to be certain your home is safe to enter and that there is no threat of further flooding, electrical mishap or collapsing infrastructure. Assume that water is unsafe for human consumption.

2. Contact your insurance company. Contact your insurance claims adjuster as soon as possible. Provide him or her with cell phone and/or email contact information so you will be readily available for an onsite visit.

3. Document the damage. Take photos of the damage to document your loss. If you have pictures of the areas prior to the flood, it would be useful to have them on hand for comparison.

4. Start the cleanup. Begin the cleanup process and call a restoration specialist in [City, State], if needed. If the adjuster has not yet made his or her assessment, be sure to note everything you intend to include on the flood claim. Make a list of lost and damaged items and include dates of purchase, estimated values and receipts, if possible.

5. Retain evidence. Keep any damaged materials you may remove from the house as the adjuster may need to see them for proof of loss purposes. If possible, store these damaged materials outside on your property.

6. Work with your insurance company. Once the adjuster arrives and finishes the assessment, you will likely be asked to sign a proof of loss statement that will follow specifications as set forth in the insurance policy.

Be sure to file your flood claim within 60 days of the actual flood event. By following these steps, you can be assured of the greatest possible chance for a successful insurance settlement. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

Do Your Bathroom Supply Lines Need Changing?

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

If you're seeing signs of a bathroom leak in your home, it may be an indication of supply line damage.

Water supply lines are used throughout the home to connect appliances like washing machines and dishwashers. In the bathroom, they connect sink faucets and toilet tanks to the plumbing system. Eventually, supply line damage can occur, which can cause bathroom leaks and potentially costly water damage. So, it's important to know that your supply lines are in good shape.

What Should You Look For?

It's easy to tell if a supply line is damaged. Some of the signs are:

• Corrosion of the steel braiding
• Bulging of the inner lining material
• Loose or cracked connector
• Leakage from a break

What Causes a Supply Line Leak?

Most supply lines have a polymer lining on the inside, made of rubber or plastic. This lining, which transports the water, is generally not strong enough on its own to stand up to the water pressure going through the line. The pressure can vary greatly depending on the municipal supply, ranging from over 100 psi on down to 50 psi. Therefore, the lining is usually wrapped in a braided stainless steel sleeve, giving it much greater strength and allowing it to stand up to a range of pressures.

The main culprit for supply line damage is chlorine. Through humidity, chlorine is able to dissolve and create hydrochloric acid. The stainless steel braiding reacts with hydrochloric acid, leading to corrosion. Ultimately, the inner tubing will bulge through the cracks in the braiding and leak.

If you have a supply line that's showing signs of wear, check your warranty. A steel-braided line will usually have a lifetime warranty, while a five- to eight-year warranty is normal for plastic lines.

If you're seeing signs of a bathroom leak in your home, it may be an indication of supply line damage. If you've already suffered water damage, be sure to make a call to a qualified professional in Wichita, KS, so that he or she can assess the situation and make the necessary repairs. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

How To Remove Birds From Entryways

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

There are several ways to discourage birds from nesting in the entryways of buildings. Services specializing in bird cleaning and bird removal rely on several humane pest control methods. You can try several methods before contacting experts to get birds away from the entrance to a commercial building.

1. Suspend material to prevent nesting. Bird prevention and removal specialists suggest hanging clear monofilament sections suspended from a clear plastic plate with an adhesive back that can adhere to gables, entryways, and a variety of other building materials. This material, which is called "twine," discourages birds from nesting in awnings, canopies, eaves, or entryways.

2. Install sloped PVC panels on structural components. Install bird slopes on any 90-degree angle where birds are a problem. You may also order extenders that add up to 10 inches of protection from birds seeking to nest in an entryway or end-caps to help to prevent birds from getting behind panels.

3. Choose and rotate visual deterrents. Putting up predator eyes near an entryway can be one of the most effective bird cleaning solutions used by owners and tenants. The appearance of these eyes poses a sufficient threat to keep birds from nesting. It is important to switch up the location of predator eyes or other visual deterrents to prevent birds from becoming accustomed and beginning to disregard the presence of these indicators.

4. Call a bird removal service that specializes in humane removal. A service that relies on humane discouragement and removal methods to keep birds out of entryways may follow all of these steps and take additional measures.

If you are a property owner or tenant seeking bird cleaning in Wichita, KS, you should consider a commercial restoration company that can clean up after birds stop nesting. Plan to have all areas inhabited by birds cleaned and protected eliminate every trace of the issue. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

Getting Back on Your Feet - Storms, Taxes, and You

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Getting back on your feet after suffering storm damage can be very stressful; however, it is not impossible.

After suffering storm damage to your Wichita, KS, commercial building, the last thing you want to do is think about taxes. However, taking time to figure out if the amount you spent post-disaster is tax deductible could help you to save money and get you on your way to recovery.

Tip One: Be Prepared

One of the most difficult parts of making a tax claim after a storm is estimating how much the property was worth before the damage was done. There are a couple things you can do to help maintain an accurate estimate:

• Keep receipts of any major purchases for the commercial building.
• Hire an appraiser to estimate the value of the commercial building.

Being prepared and documenting the value of your commercial property before a storm takes place can help you get back to normal much faster after a disaster.

Tip Two: What Is Covered?

One of the first steps to getting back on your feet after a storm is to figure out what losses your insurance covers. Insurance can cover any number of different types of damage to your commercial building:

• Flooding from sudden storms
• Damage from hurricanes or tornadoes

It is important to know what types of storm damage your insurance company covers. If your insurance does cover a specific type of damage, you generally cannot claim money spent as a tax deductible item. However, if your insurance does not cover certain types of damage, then you may be able to claim a deduction.

Tip Three: Call a Professional

Navigating insurance and deductibles can be incredibly complex after a storm, and timing can be critical. Tax laws regarding natural disasters are constantly changing. Hiring a tax advisor and taking advantage of his or her expertise can help you move the recovery process along.

Getting back on your feet after suffering storm damage can be very stressful; however, it is not impossible. With these tips, and professional help from storm reparation experts, you can get your business back up and running in no time. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

How To Create a Fire Escape Plan for Office Space in a High-Rise Building

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

A fire in a high-rise building can be a terrifying experience.

Fires are dangerous. Finding yourself trapped in a tall building on fire? Even more so. To reduce the likelihood of this happening, it is important for offices in a high-rise building to have a well-tested fire escape plan. Below are five steps to simplify the process.

1. Survey the Area

Request a blueprint of the floors the business occupies and walk them. Identify ways in and out of offices, offices suites, floors and the building itself. Pay special attention to areas that require key cards to get in or out. In the case of an emergency, these should open automatically. Ensure exit routes, doors and stairs are always clear.

2. Clearly Mark Emergency Exits

The path to an emergency exit should be easily identified even for first-time guests. Use large and legible signs that will remain visible even if the lights go out. Most tall buildings may have more than one emergency stairwell, so map out which side of the office should go to which stairwell. This prevents the likelihood of employees running to the one farther away.

4. Select Fire Wardens

Fire wardens are regular employees who have the additional responsibility of taking the lead during an emergency. In the case of a fire, they lead their assigned group to safety and should perform a headcount or roll call once gathered outside.

5. Test & Revise

For a fire escape plan to be considered well-tested, practice is often necessary. Perform drills at least twice per year. Do not allow a company culture of ignoring the fire alarm when it goes off. Sprinklers should also be tested to reduce the need for restoration due to fire damage. After an evacuation, fire wardens and other employees should provide feedback to better improve the emergency escape plan.

A fire in a high-rise building can be a terrifying experience. However, a good fire escape plan can be an excellent way to protect both people and property in Wichita, KS. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold prevention starts with moisture control.

Mold is everywhere in Wichita, KS, but there’s a surprising amount we don’t know about it. Let’s take a look at the top five frequently asked questions about mold growth.

1. What’s the Difference Between Mold and Mildew?

Mold is a thick, fuzzy growth, while mildew is flat and powdery. Mold growths tend to spread across both inorganic and organic matter, even though it requires organic matter to truly feed; mildew will generally only appear on organic matter. Both can come in multiple colors, though the most recognizable colors are black for both or, for mold, fuzzy green and white.

2. If I Wait Long Enough, Will Mold Just Die?

No, especially if you live in a high-humidity area. Mold is a living organism just like any other, and just like any living organism, it exists to live and reproduce. That means unless you put a stop to it, mold will continue to grow as long as it has a surface to grow on and moisture to feed it.

3. Can I Remove Mold Myself?

For early-stage mold growth, you may be able to remove it by wiping it away carefully and disinfecting the area, but you can never be completely sure you’ve eliminated the mold until you bring in a mold remediation specialist. Even after removing mold growth, you will always have mold spores in the air as part of your natural environment.

4. What Makes Mold Grow So Fast?

Mold grows the fastest where there’s water damage. Water damage tends to saturate the drywall and wood of your home to make these organic substances perfect breeding grounds for mold.

5. How Can I Prevent Mold?

Mold prevention starts with moisture control. If you get rid of the moisture in your home, you’re more likely to prevent mold from growing. Check your pipes, windows, roofs, and appliances. Invest in a dehumidifier if needed. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

6 Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards in the Kitchen

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire safety is important for your family, so use these tips.

The fire department often responds to kitchen fires in Wichita, KS, so it’s wise to take simple precautions to reduce fire hazards in your home. Here are tips to keep your home safe from kitchen fires.

1. Organize Your Kitchen With Safety in Mind

Anything that might catch fire should be kept away from your stovetop. Keep a baking sheet or pan lid nearby to cover a pan if there is fire. Turn pot handles so they point to the rear of the stove as this will minimize the chance that someone might knock them over.

2. Stay in the Kitchen While Cooking

Unattended cooking is by far the leading cause of kitchen fires. Stay in the kitchen whenever you are grilling, frying or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, turn the burner off and move your pots and pans off the heat because a grease fire is a danger.

3. Dress Safely While Cooking

Loose clothing can catch fire from a gas flame or electric burner. When cooking, wear short sleeves or rolled sleeves. If you have long hair, tie it back.

4. Remember To Turn Everything Off

Turn ovens or burners off after cooking. Other kitchen fire safety tips are to clean up food spills, grease or anything that could catch fire. Be careful when lighting the burner on a gas stove or a pilot light. Don’t put too much oil or grease in pots or pans as hot oil or grease might splatter and cause a grease fire.

5. Install a Smoke Alarm Near the Kitchen

Be sure you have a smoke alarm installed near the kitchen, but not in it. You don’t want cooking smoke or steam to trigger the alarm. Change the batteries every six months.

6. Install a Home Sprinkler System

A sprinkler system will provide protection for your home. If you are renovating or building, consider installing a sprinkler in the kitchen, the area of your home with the greatest fire risk.

Kitchen fire safety is important for your family, so use these tips. Contact a restoration specialist for help if you have kitchen fire damage. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/. 

Preventing Mold: The Tricks of the Trade

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

You've probably heard it time and again: Where water goes, mold will follow. Although these words of maintenance wisdom are usually true, why wait until the water damage has already settled in long-term? Read on to grasp some of the mold prevention methods that the pros use.

1. Dry the Space

That corner of the company bathroom may not get much attention, but it is for this reason that mold has likely taken over. Hard-to-reach spots behind sink tiles and around caulking are especially prone to mold growth. By carrying out a regular bathroom cleaning schedule, you could save the headaches down the road.

2. Stay in the Know

Flooding and other types of water damage are no small issues to address. In fact, you may be so swept up in addressing the damage itself that you've forgotten all about the little fungal world already popping up in its wake. Don't let a past or current moisture damage be what threatens the state of your commercial building.

3. Clean, Clean, Clean

Your Wichita, KS, building's bathroom likely isn't the only location affected by water damage; chances are, you've got some growth going on in other rooms, as well. Upholstery and carpets can easily mask moisture, so be sure to vacuum and clean all the tricky corners. Dry as much of those company couches as you can. While many of these materials may need to be thrown away, there are some items in the building that may simply need a good cleaning.

It may be pretty versatile with its ability to thrive almost anywhere with adequate temperatures and moisture, but you probably aren't too impressed with mold's tricks. Lean on the preventative side and keep a watchful eye on any damaged materials, corners where moisture could become trapped, and any other place that could harbor mold growth. With the right preventative methods in mind, you can get back to your everyday tasks with ease. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/. 

Protecting Your Business From a Winter Water Disaster

4/22/2018 (Permalink)

Winters in Wichita, GA, present multiple concerns for many businesses. A significant worry is frozen pipes, which can burst and easily disrupt the productivity of an entire office. Preparing your building and protecting your business often requires a twofold plan: preventative measures and an informed outline for a prompt response.

Preventative Measures

Your ability to prevent pipes from freezing depends largely on the types of areas included in your building. Therefore, different measures should be taken for different areas and structures.

• Keep thermostats at or above 55° Fahrenheit, especially overnight.
• Open cabinets in heated areas to allow warm air to reach the walls.
• Leave faucets inside and outside the building running at a slight drip.
• Drain any hoses or tubes, particularly outside or in non-heated areas such as a garage or warehouse.
• Keep all entryways securely closed and insulated.
• Have your building, inside and outside, inspected for any holes or cracks that may let cold air in and have them repaired.
• For a garage or warehouse, consider adding a portable heating unit to keep the area above 55° Fahrenheit.
• Consider adding insulation to any non-heated areas for further protection from freezing.

Some preventative efforts do have a various range of fees, but they will almost always cost less than paying for professional repairs in the case of water damage.

Informed and Prompt Response

Most people understand that water expands when it freezes. However, you need to know what kind of damage you will have with frozen pipes in your building. In the most likely scenario, a broken pipe will result in clean water damage. This means you may require water removal and drying services specific to the size and layout of your building space. While you should research pricing and reviews of local companies for water line repair and water damage restoration, the most crucial knowledge you can have is the standards and guidelines for professional restoration of areas with water damage. Knowing these standards will allow you to ensure your business receives the best service so you can get back to work.

Prevention can be key to keeping your business open during winter. By following these guidelines and understanding standards, you can help prevent water damage from frozen pipes. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROnorthwestwichita.com/.

Prevent Flooding Caused by Frozen Pipes

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Frigid winter months can bring significant problems to commercial buildings in Wichita, KS from ice dams that cause roof leaks to burst pipes. As water freezes, it expands, putting pressure on its container. This container, whether plastic or metal, may not be able to hold it. When the container is a pipe, it may burst, causing standing water and damage to the surrounding area. However, there are steps that can be taken to minimize the risk of a burst pipe.

Why Pipes Burst

Although the most basic explanation for pipes freezing is cold weather, it’s not quite that simple. There are other contributing factors, which can include:

• They have inadequate or no insulation.
• They are in cold or exposed areas in or around the building.
• There is water sitting in the pipes instead of circulating through them.

When Pipes Freeze

Depending on the building and usage, frozen pipes may be a minor inconvenience or a catastrophic event. The consequences a burst pipe can include:

• No access to water or use of drainage pipes
• Irrevocable pipe damage, which requires that the pipes are repaired before they can be used
Water damage that may be limited to drips or result in flooding areas of the building

How To Prevent Pipe Bursts

Taking some time during the warmer months can help prevent a frozen pipe during the winter season.

• Insulate exterior pipes and those located in unheated areas, such as basements or crawl spaces.
• Let water drip, allowing it to run and prevent pressure from building, which can cause a burst pipe.
• Check shutoff valves and levers, ensuring they are in good working condition.
• Keep heat and water on in areas of the building that are not in use.

If a water event does occur, water restoration professionals in Wichita, KS restore your premises to its former condition, “Like it never even happened.” allowing you get on with business as usual. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on commercial storm damage. 

How Much Damage Can Sewage Cause?

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

A sewage leak can quickly cause serious secondary damage. A leak in an environment with high humidity creates conditions ideal for the growth of black mold. Determine the type of water involved and the extent of the leak, and then take steps to address the issue as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours.

There are several categories of water involved in leaks:

1. Category one water is clean and poses the least risk as long as a leak is quickly dried.
2. Category two water or gray water includes toilet overflow that only contains urine or water from appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers. This water may contain bacteria and viruses.
3. Category three water or black water is contaminated with fecal matter that contains microbes and other dangerous substances. A large black water leak will probably require expert damage restoration services.

Once you determine the type of water involved in a leak and the extent of the damage, you can determine whether you want to dry, clean, and disinfect the area yourself or call in damage restoration experts. Sewage leaks may cause several major types of damage:

• Water damage: Sewage involves the leaking of contaminated water, which compounds the effects of ordinary water damage.
• Mold risk: The longer sewage sits around after a leak, the more damage will be sustained and the higher the risk of black mold growth.
• Staining: Sewage tends to be dark colored and can stain flooring, furniture, and other items. Reduce or eliminate staining with steam cleaners and professional wet-dry vacuums.
• Lingering odor: If sewage is allowed to sit for a prolonged period, the smell may stay even after cleanup efforts are over. Air circulation and industrial air scrubbers can help to restore the affected area to a safe and comfortable condition.

To prevent potentially serious secondary damage such as black mold in the wake of a sewage leak, you should immediately clean and dry the affected area and prevent high humidity. If you are dealing with a serious sewage leak, you may need to contact damage restoration experts in Topeka, KS. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on water damage. 

How To Clean Your Chimney and Avoid Chimney Fires

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a chimney in your Wichita, AL home, it’s imperative to keep it clean and in good working order if you want to reduce the risk of chimney fire and keep your family safe. Here are a few steps you can follow to clean your chimney and avoid thick black smoke and chimney fires.

1. Determine If You Can Clean It Yourself

Before you can effectively clean your chimney, you need to make sure you have the ability to do the job yourself. One easy way to tell if it’s an appropriate DIY project or if you should hire professionals is by checking to see if you can reach all parts of the chimney either from inside your home or from your roof. Creosote buildup causes fire damage, so you need to be able to remove it from every part of your chimney.

If you can reach the smoke chamber from inside your home and have the tools necessary to clean the flue efficiently, you may be able to clean your chimney yourself. If you have any trouble reaching all areas of the chimney, it’s wise to hire a professional. If the flue isn’t cleaned properly, the risk of a chimney fire goes up.

2. Minimize Mess

Cleaning a fireplace is messy business. To keep your carpets and furniture protected, put a canvas tarp or plastic paint sheet on the floor around your fireplace.

3. Brush the Flue

Use a large chimney brush to thoroughly clean the flue. Simply ram the brush into the flu and pump it up and down several times, working in small sections.

Take Care of Your Chimney

If you don’t feel comfortable cleaning your own chimney, there’s no shame in hiring professionals to do it for you. That way you’ll have greater confidence that your risk of chimney fire is severely reduced. If you’ve already had smoke damage due to burning fires in an unclean chimney, call professional smoke and fire restoration services. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage. 

The ABCs of Fire Escape Planning

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Should your Wichita, AL home fall victim to a fire, the best response is a good emergency escape plan. Luckily fire safety is easy as long as you think smart, prepare in advance, and follow a few simple rules to ensure you stay cool no matter how high the flames reach.

A.) Always know where your exits are. The first and best course of action when you detect any fire in your home is to get out quickly before smoke and heat can overwhelm you. Make sure to plan an escape route from various locations in the house, and memorize where your safest, most convenient exits and alternatives are from all points.

B.) Be prepared in advance. There are many steps you can take to prepare before a fire ever occurs, not just for yourself, but also for children and pets. Ensure that your home is properly protected with smoke alarms, and test the batteries frequently. Periodically check your sprinklers and fire extinguishers for functionality. Keep all your important personal documents in a locking fireproof safe. Drill children on what to do in the event of a fire. Always have pet supplies such as leashes and carriers close at hand in strategic areas of the house so you can quickly escort your pets from burning areas.

C.) Call 911. In the event of a fire in your home, your safest option is to let trained professionals handle the blaze. The moment you have exited to safety, call 911 to request emergency and fire services to contain and douse the flames.

By following these steps and creating an effective fire escape plan, you can easily prevent further safety issues or damage in the event of a fire. While you may still have to deal with some home cleanup, you and your loved ones will be safe and grateful that you planned in advance.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on commercial fire damage

From Winter to Ice Dams to Mold Infestations

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

It’s a well-known fact that mold and water damage go hand in hand. Leaking pipes and trapped humidity contribute to the growth of black mold. In the winter months of Wichita, AL ice dams routinely form along rooftops exposing structures to water and mold damage.

Formation of Ice Dams

An ice dam is a block of ice on a roof that prevents water from draining correctly. These occur regularly after cold storms. The process involves the following:

• Low temperatures, rain, and snow cause ice to freeze to the roof.
• Residents use heating to stay warm and comfortable inside.
• That heat rises to the roof, melting the bottom of the ice.
• The ice on top traps water next to the roof’s shingles.
• Moisture trickles down between small cracks in the roofing material.

Older buildings with worn out roofs are more susceptible to this problem. Trapped water along the wooden eves contributes to rot and mold growth.

Rapid Mold Growth

Molds are microscopic fungi that clump together in groups. The spores float on air currents, and they land everywhere. The wood in the beams of a structure and the cellulose in the drywall provide plenty of food for molds. With enough water, mold colonies expand within 24 hours of taking root.

In some instances, a small mold colony already exists along the roof of a house. When ice traps water and moisture in the wood, the growth of a new colony is aggressive. Molds destroy the structural integrity of the host materials they rest on and lead to expensive repairs.

Inspection and Prevention

You can reduce the risk of damage by removing an ice dam when it forms. Install heaters on the roof to completely melt the ice away, or knock blocks of ice away with a specially designed tool.

If the damage is present already, a mold remediation expert can identify the extent of the contamination and help you with the mold cleanup and repairs. Visit  http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on mold. 

The Importance of Deodorizing Your Home After a Flood

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

After your Wichita, KS home suffers damage from a flood, there is much to consider when it comes to cleanup efforts. From preventing mold growth to salvaging furniture and other belongings, it may take quite an effort to get your house back to normal. However, one important step that you do not want to overlook is having your home deodorized by a professional home restoration company. Without this vital detail, the memories of the flood may linger in unpleasant ways.

Mold and Mildew Odors

After a flood, mold growth may occur where you cannot see it. This can be especially problematic if the area is prone to remaining damp or moist, such as under a cupboard or deep in the corner of a closet. Not only does mold grow quickly when it finds the right environment, it carries a musty, dirty odor that can permeate your home. Having a home restoration company find the mold and deodorize the areas where it was growing can eliminate this smell for good.

Dirty Flood Waters

During a heavy or torrential flood, your city might suffer sewage loss, which can cause water from sewer drains to mix with flood water. This mixture is known as black water and can include such toxins as

• Bacteria
• Feces
• Toilet cleanser chemicals

Even after black water is cleared away from your home, it can leave an unpleasant sewer-like smell behind. Professional deodorizing can neutralize this odor in ways that household cleansers may not be able to.

Item Cleansing

Items that are salvaged from a flood can be cleaned, but unless they are properly sanitized and deodorized, they may always carry a wet or musty smell. Since this smell can pervade a room quickly, having furniture and other items deodorized before they are retuned inside can prevent persistent odors from lingering.

Your Wichita, KS home can suffer from mold growth and the persistent musty odors that often remain after a flood. However, having your home professionally deodorized by a home restoration company can eliminate these smells and leave nothing behind but a clean, fresh scent that helps the whole family breathe easy.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on storm damage.

3 Easy Ways to Prevent Frozen Pipes

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes can lead to a lot of damage around the house. Not only will you be unable to get water through certain faucets, but the pipe can burst entirely, causing a flood. You need to seek out water line repair in Wichita, KS as soon as you notice your water system not working the way it should. However, one option better than that is to simply prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place.

1. Keep the Heat Running

Homeowners may be hesitant to leave the heat running all day long even if people are going to be gone, but the slight increase in the power bill is well worth it to prevent frozen pipes. Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage, especially if the water floods a room with a lot of valuables. A house does not have to be kept at a particularly high temperature. As long as a home’s interior is at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it should be fine.

2. Prop Open Interior Doors

If you are going to run the heat all day, you want to be certain you are getting the most out of it. Leave all the interior doors open so that heat can flow easily from one room to the next. This includes cupboards in the bathrooms and kitchen.

3. Let Faucets Drip

The main cause of frozen pipes is a buildup of pressure in the system. Homeowners in Wichita, KS can relieve some of this pressure by letting faucets drip throughout the day. You should ordinarily address dripping like this as soon as you can, because it can increase water bills. Similarly to keeping the heat running, the small increase is well worth it to prevent more catastrophic damage. In the event your home does develop a burst pipe, then you’ll need to contact a professional service to repair the pipes and dry the affected room. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on water damage.

Understanding Category 2 Water Damage

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you need water pipe repair, you might hear the cleanup crew talking about the category classification of your damage. That categorization is important, because it lets you know the level of risk involved in exposure to the water. When you are dealing with Category 2 water damage from a broken pipe, it’s important to understand what that means, so you can be safe around the flooded area.

Category 2 Water Criteria

Water that has come into a building is classified in this category if it meets the following criteria:

• The water is from a clean source like a supply line or broken pipe needing water pipe repair.
• Biological or chemical contamination makes the water likely to irritate human tissue.
• Health complications are unlikely to be serious beyond irritation and minor discomfort.

Typically, Category 2 water starts as Category 1 water and then becomes contaminated due to exposure to building materials, sources of biological contamination, and so forth. Over time, it is possible for Category 2 water to degrade further.

Understanding Category 2 Water Cleanup

Since there are health risks involved in cleaning up Category 2 water, it’s important to understand what to do after a broken pipe has caused water to mix with potentially harmful materials.

1. Turn off the water main. This is a vital first step.
2. Contact a damage restoration company in Wichita, KS with Category 2 cleanup certification.
3. Secure the area to prevent exposure.
4. Make sure water pipe repair is handled as quickly as possible.

Avoiding the flooded area is going to be important, especially if there are small children or people with health vulnerabilities to skin irritants and other problems that could be exacerbated by irritants. After certified cleanup professionals in Wichita, KS finish with the area, it will be safe to re-enter, but until that time, it’s important to keep the area clear.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on commercial water damage.

What Needs To Be Thrown Away After a House Fire?

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

What Needs To Be Thrown Away After a House Fire?

Few things can wreak havoc on your home like a fire. If your home in Wichita, KS has been devastated by smoke or flames, it can be difficult to know what is safe to keep and what you’ll need to throw away. Here are some tips to help get you started.

Watch for Things Damaged by High Heat

Even items not ruined by flames can be rendered unusable and even dangerous by the high heat of the fire. Food products in cans, bottles or packages can be unhealthy to consume after a fire. The high temperatures can not only affect the ingredients of the food but also the pressure levels inside the containers. Opening pressurized containers can result in small explosions and may physically harm you. Other items may cause injury although they appear fine:

Cosmetics
Medicines
Hair products
Contact lenses

Take Special Precautions With Anything Electrical

Both large and small electrical appliances can be affected by a house fire and you may need to throw away more than a few. Anything with a power cord can sustain wire damage from heat and flames. Connecting an appliance to a power source or turning on appliances already plugged in can cause damaged wires to flare up and electrocute you or burst into flames. These are some items to pay special attention to:

Phone chargers
Computers
Dishwashers
Coffee makers
Vacuum cleaners

Look for Warped Furniture

Heat can warp and damage both wood and metal, making seemingly unaffected furniture items structurally unsound. Test any load-bearing furniture to make sure it is stable before setting anything on it. Items like the following can collapse or buckle under only a small amount of weight if they have been warped:

Bed frames
Couches and chairs
Tables
Dressers

Fire damage to your home in Wichita, Kansas is never easy to deal with, and it can be physically and emotionally draining. Although it might be tempting to try to salvage everything you can, sometimes it is safer to err on the side of caution and follow the advice of fire restoration experts when deciding what you need to throw away. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.

Deep Frying a Turkey Safely Outdoors

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Deep Frying a Turkey Safely Outdoors

Each year, turkey fire incidents keep restoration professionals busy around the holidays. Damage is often due to preparation gone awry, particularly when deep frying. Fire safety is a crucial must in Wichita, KS. If you’re going for that deep-fried flavor this season, be sure to keep these helpful hints in mind for best results.

Fresh or Frozen

Unless you’re using a fresh turkey or the packaging instructs otherwise, you’ll need to thaw your bird before cooking it. Most people consider thawing in the refrigerator the best method. It requires a day in the icebox for every four pounds of weight, so plan accordingly.

Initial Preparation

After unwrapping the turkey, remove excess fats, giblets and the neck. Add oil to your fryer, leaving approximately 5 inches between the fill line and pot top so it won’t spill over when boiling. Oil should be preheated to a temperature of 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Determine your fill line by placing your thawed turkey in the fryer and adding water until the top of the bird is just barely covered; the water level will act as your oil fill line.

Safety Focus

Avoiding the possibility of a turkey fire is about preparation and working safely. Set up your fryer outside the home and at least 10 feet away from any enclosed or covered space, such as the garage. When lowering the bird into the heated oil, do so slowly and with the burner turned off. Once everything’s settled, turn the burner back on again.

Timing Is Everything

Cook for 3–4 minutes for each pound of meat. Dark meat should be cooked to an internal temperature of 175–180 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas white meat requires temperatures within the range of 165–170 degrees Fahrenheit. Slowly remove the turkey when cooking’s complete, and let it rest for 20 minutes in a clean pan so it can drain.

Fire safety is everyone’s responsibility, so make sure to prepare the right way. Steer clear of the turkey fire risk this year with these simple tips, and you’ll be sure to enjoy great deep-fried flavor this holiday. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.

How To Cook Safely and Reduce Fire Risks

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

How To Cook Safely and Reduce Fire Risks

The National Fire Protection Association states that cooking mishaps are the leading cause of home fires and injuries, with 46 percent of those blazes starting at the stove. Cooking fires also account for 44 percent of home fire injuries and cause extensive damage to the entire property. You can avoid becoming another home fire statistic in Wichita, Kansas with a few simple precautions. Here are some tips for cooking at home safely.

Pay Attention

If you are roasting, baking, boiling, or simmering food for a long period of time, don’t leave your home. It’s a bad idea to leave the kitchen while you are broiling, grilling, or frying food, but if you must turn your attention away from the stove, turn off the burner. Don’t cook if you have consumed alcohol or feel tired.

Keep the Area Safe

Following these simple kitchen safety tips can help reduce fires:

Have a 3-feet “kid free” zone around the stove.
Keep towels, oven mitts, curtains, and other combustibles away from the stove.
Keep pot handles turned to the back of the stove top.
Don’t wear clothing with loose, flowing sleeves.

Be Prepared

You can stop a small grease fire by sliding a lid over the pan. Immediately remove the pan from the stove and turn the heat source off. Never use water on a fire that was started by grease. Doing so will spread the fire.

If an oven fire erupts, turn off the oven and leave the door closed until the blaze stops burning. If you don’t feel that you can put out a small fire, leave immediately, close the door, and call 911.

The holidays are the most dangerous time of year to cook. More cooking fires happen on Thanksgiving Day, followed by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Remember to follow the above tips, and don’t become distracted by the hustle and bustle of the season. If the worst does happen, there are professional fire damage cleaners in Wichita, Kansas who are ready to help. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.

What to Do When You Discover Mold Damage

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

What to Do When You Discover Mold Damage

Whether you find white or black mold, mold cleanup can be a serious undertaking. Quick actions after finding mold in your Wichita, KS home can help reduce the cost of cleanup and repair. Contact the experts at a professional restoration and mold cleanup service as soon as you can to set up an inspection. Until then, consider taking the following steps to help slow down the growth of mold caused by a moisture problem.

Fix Water Source

The first thing you will want to do when you discover mold in your home is to reduce the moisture. If water damage lead to mold growth, fix the source of the damage. If too much humidity lead to the mold, consider putting a dehumidifier in your home. The steps you take to fix the water source may vary based on what caused the excess moisture in your house. If standing water is to blame, you may need to do the following:

Increase ventilation to help dry out the area; open windows or use fans.
Use a wet vacuum to get rid of excess water.
Take rugs, clothing and other removable cloth items outside to dry.

If the water damage is really extensive, you may need to call in a plumber, landscaper or roofer, depending on the source of the issue.

Reduce Airflow

Airflow can actually help spread the spores of black mold. If you have any reason to believe the mold is in or around your air ducts, turn off your HVAC unit as soon as possible. This quick action can help slow down the spread of the growth.

Get Professional Help

Calling in a professional team that knows how to remove mold is the best thing you can do for your home. No matter what kind of mold is growing, chances are it is damaging the surfaces it’s on. Getting rid of the spores as quickly as possible can help reduce the extent of the damage, and removing black mold can help you and your family avoid health problems. Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on mold.

What Are the Dangers of Black Water?

11/30/2017 (Permalink)

What Are the Dangers of Black Water?

Water damage takes many different forms. One of the most dangerous to encounter in your commercial building in Wichita, KS is black water. This water typically comes around after a flood or hurricane, and damage is caused by water picking up raw sewage. However, it is not always black in appearance as suggested by its name; it is simply water infested with waste, fungi or bacteria. Such water poses many dangers and should never be ignored.

Various Pathogens

From sewage, water can pick up various bacteria that can have an array of negative health effects on humans. Some bacteria may be non-threatening, but others can be highly detrimental to one’s health.

Toxic Chemicals

There is an array of chemicals black water can become infected with. Toxins from water damage can harm the environment in addition to human bodies. Enough exposure can also result in death. For this reason, this type of water should only be handled by professionals who have the equipment and materials necessary to handle it without getting hurt themselves. Injuries can result from simply touching this infected water.

Fecal Matter

Part of water bringing up substances from the sewer means there will likely be fecal matter in the water. Not only will it make a commercial building in Wichita, KS smell gross, it can exacerbate the previously mentioned issues. It brings up its own set of bacteria and pathogens. The problem will only get worse without treatment, so it is vital to remove it as soon as possible before people in the building breathe in the fumes.

Black water from a flood can result in numerous health problems. You never know what this water contains, so it is best to leave it to professionals with the right tools. Address commercial water damage immediately because the longer it sits, the worse it gets.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on water damage.

5 Tips for Dealing with Water Restoration

9/12/2017 (Permalink)


5 Tips for Dealing with Water Restoration

The moment you experience water damage, you have to focus on getting the water in a home or water in a business out. Otherwise, you run the risk of severe damage, such as mold, mildew, and structural damage. A professional restoration company can help you with all of the different aspects of mitigation and restoration.

Identify the Cause

If you have water in a home or water in a business, you have to ask how it happened. It could be flood damage from a storm. It could also be a pipe break or supply line break. Depending on the cause, you have to figure out how to get the water under control. This is part of the mitigation process.

With mitigation, you have to stop the water from coming in. You might need to put sand bags around entry points if you have a flooded home or business from a storm. If it is a supply line break or a pipe break, you have to get a plumber out. Depending on where the pipe break or supply line break is, you need to assess damage behind walls. This is when it helps to call in a restoration company. They will have high-tech tools to help you identify the water damage.

Remove the Water

You have to work hard at water cleanup. If you don't get the water out of a flooded home or business due to a supply line break or pipe break, it's going to cause more water damage. The longer it sits, the more damage it could cause. As such, mitigation is the act of getting some of the water out of the building.

Part of the water cleanup might be to use pumps to help get the gallons and gallons of water out of the area. Drying everything can only be done after the water cleanup. Otherwise, everything is only going to get wet again.

Restoration professionals will use a lot of tactics for water cleanup to save as much as possible. This will minimize the cost of replacement and speed up the time it takes to restore a flooded home or business.

Any time that there is water in a home or water in a business, you have to act quickly.

Dry Out What You Can

Drying is an important process to minimize the water damage. You might be able to dry off furniture, carpeting, and even drywall. If the drying doesn't work, then those items will be added to the list of repairs and replacements to be done during the restoration phase.

High-powered dryers will be used for drying. It's just another reason to call in a restoration company. They will have the tools that will help to deal with flood damage.

Assess the Damage

Once the water is out and everything has been dried, you can assess the damage. There might be the need to pull out damaged carpeting, flooring, cabinetry, and more. Once you can figure out what has been affected by the flood damage, you can create a restoration plan. Until then, you're guessing at what needs to be done to overcome water in a home or water in a business.

Rebuild and Restore

If you have a flooded home or business, you will need to rebuild and restore what was lost. Everything that needed to be pulled out because of water damage now needs to be restored.

Contractors from a restoration company could work to rebuild countertops, install drywall, lay carpet, and much more.

Flood damage can be severe, but it's how you deal with the water restoration project that really matters.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on water damage.

The Importance of Fire Damage Restoration

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

The Importance of Fire Damage Restoration

Did you suffer commercial fire damage or residential fire damage? Whether the cause was an electrical fire or a utility room fire, a fire restoration company will be able to help you deal with the soot damage and smoke damage. In addition, they will be able to clean up the water damage that was caused when the fire sprinkler system or fire suppression system was activated (or by the water from the fire hose and fire truck, if firefighters came). It is important to call them as soon as possible, because the fire damage or commercial fire damage can get worse if not dealt with right away.

The first thing the fire restoration company will do is walk around your building and find out how much fire damage or commercial fire damage occurred. They will look at the cause of the electrical fire or the utility room fire. They will assess the extent of the water damage caused by the fire hose, fire truck, firefighters, fire sprinkler system, or fire suppression system. They will create a plan on how to start the fire restoration process.

The first step will likely be sealing up any openings and holes caused the fire. These holes may let in additional water when it rains. Birds and animals may come in. In addition, your home is not safe with so many openings. They may board them up with wood, or they may seal them with tarps.

Next, they will start the cleanup process. This starts with removing the water that was caused by the fire sprinkler system, fire suppression system, or the fire hose on the fire truck that the firefighters used. They will use special pumps that can remove the water from your home. Water and moisture will probably have seeped deep into your walls, ceiling, and furniture. They will use special equipment to detect hidden moisture and clean out your home until it is entirely dry.

The cleanup process also involves repairing the soot damage and the smoke damage. Soot damage and smoke damage causes your home and furniture to get blackened with soot and ashes. It also causes your home to have a bad odor. Using special tools, the fire restoration company can clean up all the soot and remove the bad odor from your home. They may have to clean some rugs and carpets, or they may have to throw them out and replace them.

During the process, they will likely remove your furniture. If possible, they will clean them and return them to you. If they can not be cleaned, they will advise you about the safety of using them and how to replace them.

Next comes the restoration process. Even if your home is clean and has no water, soot, or smoke, it still will not yet be suitable to live in. Commercial fire damage and residential fire damage often causes severe structural problems. This includes ruined walls, ceilings, floors, and more. The fire restoration company will repair whatever they can. If they cannot repair something, they will replace it for you. They may install new planks in your walls. They may install new tiles on your ceiling or floor. They may repaint your entire home; the previous painting will probably have been ruined by all the soot damage and smoke damage. In short, they will restore your home to its beauty and safety, like it was before the damage occurred. They may even renovate your home. This means that your home may even look nicer than the way it was before the fire damage occurred.

They will also advise you how to prevent future fires. They will give you safety tips that will ensure that you don't suffer another electrical fire or utility room fire. If the cause of the fire was not an electrical fire or utility room fire, they will give you tips on how to avoid repeating whatever did cause the fire. They will also help you replace and update your fire sprinkler system and fire suppression system. This is important, even if the firefighters came with a fire truck and fire hose, because next time they may not come in time.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on fire damage.

What You Need to Do After Storm Damage Occurs

9/12/2017 (Permalink)


What You Need to Do After Storm Damage Occurs

Did a storm hit your home? Storms bring flooding, storm damage, wind damage, roof damage, roof leaks, flood water, hail damage, ice damage, frozen pipes, and a lot more. It’s important to know what to do.

The first thing you need to do is inspect the damage. When doing that, and when returning to your home, make sure to stay safe. This means that you need to watch out for broken glass, downed power lines, gas leaks, and that you shouldn’t use candles if you can use flashlights.

You should also document the damage that was done to your home by the storm. This will benefit you when it comes to dealing with the insurance companies. You will have clear proof of the damage and will be able to get the compensation that you need. You may also be eligible for federal aid, depending on how large the storm was. In any case, however, you should always take care of the next step.

You should also call a professional storm remediation and home restoration company. They will be able to assess the damage for you and do all the water restoration and storm restoration work. They will be able to remove any ground water, ice dams, and repair frozen pipes. They have the equipment, such as flood pumps, that are necessary to do a complete home restoration job.

There are many kinds of storm damage that can occur. Hurricane damage can come in the form of river flooding, wind damage, and roof damage. Blizzards can bring hail damage, ice damming and ice dams, roof leaks, ice damage, frozen pipes, ground water, and flooding.

A professional home restoration company is equipped to deal with any kind of storm damage. For example, if there is ice damming or ice dams that are causing roof leaks and roof damage, they will be able to conduct a professional roof repair job. If there is ground water, river flooding, flooding, or flood water, they will be able to use flood pumps to clean up your home. If there is hail damage, frozen pipes, ice damage, hurricane damage, wind damage, or hail damage, they will be able to fix whatever is possible by doing roof repairs and repairs on other parts of your home. Whatever can not be fixed can be replaced. A professional home restoration company will be able to replace whatever is needed without any hassles. Storm restoration and water restoration just isn’t something you are equipped to deal with yourself. You need the professionals to do the storm remediation.

Be careful when choosing a storm restoration and water restoration company to do your storm remediation. Look for one that is experienced and knows what they are doing. Be calm when dealing with storm remediation. If you have a storm restoration and water restoration company at your side, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to storm remediation.

If there is flooding, river flooding, flood water, or ground water, make sure to get a professional company that has flood pumps so that they can clean out your home from water. Flood pumps are the only way to remove large amounts of flood water caused by river flooding. If there is hurricane damage, storm damage, wind damage, roof damage, roof leaks, ice damming, hurricane damage, ice dams, or roof leaks, make sure to contact a company that has experience with these issues and has the equipment to repair and replace whatever is damaged.

Ice damming is common even during regular winter snow storms. Ice damming is when ice builds up at the edge of your roof and does not let the snow drain down. This causes roof leaks, and you’ll need a professional roof repair company to help you out. Fortunately, roof repairs can easily fix any ice damage done by ice damming.
Visit http://www.SERVPROnwwichita.com for more information on storm damage.

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