Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

3 Hidden Areas Mold Can Grow

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall due to humidity Mold growth on wall

Three Secret Places Mold Can Grow

Is your home in Wichita, KS, showing signs of mold growth? There is more to mold than meets the eye, and it's best to be informed about the hidden severities and damages it can cause.

1. Behind Walls
Moldy drywall is a serious issue, namely because there is often more to it than meets the eye. If mold is visible on your drywall, it's also likely that it is growing inside the wall as well. Usually, mold growth starts behind the wall where it's dark and humid, then it works its way out through the drywall. If you've had any water leaks in your home recently, the water may have settled behind the wall and encouraged the growth of mold.

2. Under Flooring
Mold around flooring follows the same trend as mold in and around drywall. Depending on the type of flooring you have, you may see the floor being to buckle if any water is present. Wood flooring is especially prone to this, so keep an eye out for any mold on wood. A spongey floor that gives under the weight of your foot is also a sign that water is present, and, thus, mold is able to grow as well. These are both indicators that you should call in a professional for proper mold inspection and cleanup.

3. Around Sinks
Water and moisture are ideal conditions for mold to grow. If you have a leaking sink, be sure to check the entire surroundings for mold growth. If there is mold visible on any surfaces, be sure to check under and around those surfaces thoroughly. Additionally, if you notice any unpleasant smells coming from your sink drain, it's almost certain that there is mold growing there. Garbage disposals are also prone to this if they are not cleaned regularly.
Mold can grow nearly anywhere given the right conditions, but if an informed homeowner can identify issues and call in a professional, mold can easily and safely be taken care of.

FEMA Grants: Offering Support to Those Without Flood Insurance

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup FEMA grants can be used to cover several expenses.

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 Colwich, 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 offers 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.

How To Save Money on Building Maintenance

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

The word preventative maintenance on a agenda Do not forget about preventative maintenance.

Reducing Maintenance Expenses

Managing a building in Colwich, KS can be expensive. The maintenance cost of a property is particularly high. However, there are ways to save money on repairs. Check out these tips for reducing maintenance expenses.

1. Do Not Forget About Preventative Maintenance
If you have limited staff, it can be easy to skip basic preventative maintenance tasks. However, regularly checking the roof, HVAC systems and walls for signs of problems is vital. Poorly maintained structures may quickly fail during a storm, necessitating extensive emergency remediation services. Spending money on preventative measures now will thus save you money and limit your stress going forward.

2. Consider New Facility Management Strategies
Even if you do discover an issue during your routine checks, you can limit the costs of your repairs. For instance, if one part of your equipment is malfunctioning, consider replacing just the broken parts rather than the entire unit.

3. Double-Check Safety Equipment
After you purchase safety equipment such as carbon monoxide detectors, you cannot just assume they will work. Regularly test the items and upgrade them if necessary. You are better off spending a bit more on this maintenance cost now instead of spending thousands of dollars on damage repairs and litigation expenses after a storm.

4. Consider Grants
Green nonprofits offer incentives for eco-friendly maintenance measures. You could get funding for insulation and boiler upgrades that will protect your building and renters during a storm.

5. Boost the Company's Culture
Whichever cost-cutting initiatives you implement, you will need your workers to accept the changes. Teach your employees why the moves are necessary and what the benefits will be. You must get your team members to rally around the measures you create.
As a residential property manager, you should take steps to limit your maintenance cost. These tips should keep your premises functional while limiting the hit to your wallet.

4 Steps To Take After a Basement Flood

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Water seeping from a wall, standing water. The basement is a common location of home floods.

Steps To Take When Your Basement Floods

The basement is a common location of home floods. After all, water can easily enter the basement during storms. This is especially true if your basement walls and floors are improperly sealed. Yet a flood can even occur in dry conditions. Common sources of basement flooding include:

  • Hot water tanks
  • Broken supply lines
  • Sump pumps
  • Downspouts

No matter the cause of the flood, you need to act quickly to minimize the damage. Here are four steps to take when your basement floods.

1. Locate the Source of the Basement Flood
First, you should figure out what caused the buildup of water. This will then determine your next steps. If the flood is due to a storm, wait for the bad weather to pass before attempting any cleanup. If the excess water came from an internal fixture such as a pipe, turn off the valve that is supplying water to the basement. This should prevent the flooding from getting any worse.

2. Call the Pros
Call your insurance provider and your local emergency restoration company as soon as possible. Ideally, they will work together to get your home repaired.

3. Protect Yourself
If you decide to enter the flooded basement, you need to keep yourself safe. Do not touch any stereos, lights or other electronics. Be sure to also wear protective gear, including gloves, boots and a mask.

4. Take Initial Measures To Limit the Damage
Large jobs such as pipe repair should only be done by professionals. However, once you have the proper protective gear, you can start a bit of the cleanup yourself. Use a sump pump, mop or wet vacuum to remove the water. You should also take any wet items out of the basement and place them in a ventilated area where they can dry.
If you encounter flooding in the basement of your Salina, KS, home, there is no need to panic. Just follow the above suggestions, and your house should soon be back to normal.

How To Keep Insurance Claim Costs Down With SERVPRO

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

severe fire damage in a home, furniture damaged, smoke in walls Fire damage in a Valley Center, KS home.

SERVPRO Shows You How To Keep Insurance Claim Costs Low

If a client has experienced a disaster in his or her Valley Center, KS home and has fire or water damage as a result, using a trusted restoration company can help you provide them with needed assistance while keeping insurance costs down. SERVPRO can provide services, such as pretesting, that will help both you and your client get through the claims process.

1. 24-Hour Service To Get the Process Started As Soon As Possible

The company is open at all hours, so you won’t have to wait to begin working through the insurance claim process. A quick response is important during an emergency and getting started sooner can save you both time and money.

2. Mitigation To Prevent Further Damage

If damage is not treated immediately, it will get worse and end up requiring more work when the company starts repairs. Mitigation is an important part of restoration and will be done within four hours when you work with SERVPRO. This will prevent the damage from spreading or worsening so that repairs will be less costly. It will also allow them to finish the job more quickly.

3. Pretesting To Determine Restorability

If your client’s property has been damaged, it is possible that it might need to be replaced. SERVPRO will do pretesting on each damaged item to determine if this will be the case. Because it takes less money to restore an object than it does to replace it, this step can help keep costs down if items are found to be salvageable.

4. Providing Access to Detailed Information

SERVPRO can provide the insurance agent with information that can help you make the right call when filing the insuring claim. They can give you an inventory of damaged items with corresponding pictures as well as access to their Claims Information Center where you can find information related to the claim.
When your client files an insurance claim, you want to make sure that you are doing whatever you can for them while also keeping costs down for the insurance agency. The right damage restoration company can help you do both.

How to Avoid a Cigarette Fire

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

cigarette on ashtray Be sure to put out your cigarette.

Steps To Preventing a Cigarette Disaster

If you're a smoker and you own a home in Newton, KS, you need to be aware of the dangers of a cigarette fire. One little mishap can cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage, or worse. By being aware and alert, this kind of tragedy can be avoided. Here are a few simple steps to preventing a cigarette disaster.

1. Don't Smoke in the House

The most effective way of preventing an ashtray fire in your home is to limit your smoking to outdoor areas such as patios and backyards. Make a habit of going outside when you feel the need to smoke. Not only does this prevent the possibility of a cigarette fire, but it also has the benefit of keeping tobacco odors out of your home.

2. Avoid Smoking When Sleepy, Medicated or Drinking

If you feel the need to smoke in your house, be careful to refrain from lighting up when you're tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Never smoke in bed or while reclining on the couch, as the cigarette could easily fall from your hand and set a mattress or other furniture ablaze.

3. Make Sure Smoke Alarms Are Working

It's important to have smoke alarms installed on every floor of your house, including the basement and attic. Be sure to test them every month to make sure that they are working properly.

4. Keep Matches and Cigarettes Away from Children

Keep your cigarettes and any matches or lighters in a secure place that children can't access. A curious child could easily start a fire by dropping a lit match or cigarette.

If you are ever the unlucky victim of a cigarette fire, you may want to contact a professional fire cleanup company to make sure the needed repairs are done properly. Hopefully, this isn't the case, and by taking the precautions outlined above, you can prevent a fire before it has a chance to happen.

4 Reasons You Shouldn't Trust a Home Testing Kit

10/23/2021 (Permalink)

Mold testing kit A home mold testing kit actually isn't accurate.

4 Reasons You Shouldn't Trust a Home Testing Kit

There's been a musty smell lingering in your Salina, KS, home, so you decide to do some investigation. After a preliminary search of the house, you can't find any mold. You decide to get a DIY mold test kit to get to the bottom of your dilemma. You follow all of the steps and your results are in. There's mold in your house! While this may be true, a home mold testing kit actually isn't that accurate. Here are four reasons you should work with a mold remediation team and a certified environmental hygienist instead.

1. Mold spores exist everywhere. They float around indoors and outdoors. When a mold kit comes back positive, it could mean there's growth in your house, but the kit could also be picking up the naturally occurring spores from the air.

2. You don't know how old the tests are. Most mold testing kits don't use a dating system. This means your kit could have been sitting on warehouse and store shelves for years. The longer a product like this lies around unused the greater chance it has been contaminated. The positive results could be from mold spores that found their way into the box years ago.

3. The findings aren't explained. When you work with a professional team, you can get all of your questions answered. The experts can go over the meaning of the results and help you understand what your next move should be. A mold kit, however, simply comes back as positive or negative without much explanation.

4. It won't tell you where the mold is. Even if the test results are accurate, you still don't know where to look to find the growth. Sure, it might help you find out there's mold growth, but it doesn't help you get any closer to a solution.

If you suspect there's a fungus growth in your home, you may want to have mold testing done. It's best to work with a certified environmental hygienist rather than do a DIY mold test.

Home Insurance Coverage Regarding Mold Damage

8/31/2021 (Permalink)

Big hole in ceiling and SERVPRO logo with phone number. You don’t have to let the fungus growth claim your home because of the claims process.

If your home becomes infested with fungus growth, you are likely to wonder what your insurance will cover. The answer varies depending on a number of circumstances. By understanding how insurance policies handle mold coverage, you can have an idea of the next action to take for your Wichita, KS, residence.

Mold Coverage From Other Issues

While policies differ, most will not cover mold unless explicitly stated. Insurance policies will, however, often pay for mold treatment if it is the result of any related covered perils:

• Fire unrelated to arson
• Lightning damage
• Unpreventable water damage
• Snow or ice damage
• Frozen pipes

If the insurance adjuster determines that any of the covered perils were due to negligence on the part of the homeowner, mold coverage will often be denied. This can be due to leaving fungus growth or water damage untreated for an unreasonable length of time. There is a base expectation of home maintenance, and the insurance company will deny on that basis if they can prove non-compliance.

Even With Coverage, There’s Likely a Mold Cap

Even if your policy covers mold, many companies adopt a hard limit called a mold cap. This is a stated amount in the policy of the maximum amount of costs covered when dealing with mold insurance. This varying number is available by consulting your policy.

Treating Mold Damage Regardless

The costs of removal continue to add up if there’s more to treat. Mold may continue to devalue your property if it becomes more widespread. It is wise to act quickly so costs do not end up having to come out of your pocket. An insurance adjuster or expert mold treatment company can offer an estimate of the costs. Regardless of insurance coverage, you can work out a treatment to stop the mold from causing lasting damage to your home.

You don’t have to let the fungus growth claim your home because of the claims process. You can act to stop the mold and save yourself money by paying upfront to stop its spread.

The Mold Remediation Process

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold containment in Emporia, KS.

The Mold Remediation Process

A persistent musty odor in your home in Emporia, KS, may be a sign of a black mold problem. Once your suspicions are confirmed, mold remediation specialists must work quickly to eradicate the growth and keep it from spreading into other areas of the house.

The first thing the technicians do when they arrive is don personal protective equipment:

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Coveralls
  • Boots
  • Ventilator mask

This preventative measure allows them to move freely in the space without concern that they will breathe in the mold spores or spread them to other areas via their clothing.

The next step in mold cleanup is blocking off the affected area. The last thing you want is mold growth to spread into the rest of your home. Sealing it off isolates the problem.

Even if you wipe down the surface, the mold may have grown into porous materials. If the black mold growth is large enough to need professional remediation, it has likely damaged walls, flooring or ceiling beyond repair. Material that cannot be salvaged must be torn out and discarded.

Next comes the cleaning process. Mold spores tend to root themselves into surfaces and cracks, so specialists have to use special equipment and cleaning techniques to ensure that the whole problem is gone. Otherwise, it is likely to return, and you'll have to start the whole process over again.

The last step of mold remediation is drying out the remaining surfaces. Technicians also must test the humidity level to make sure there's not too much moisture in the air. This step eliminates the conditions that probably led to mold growth in the first place.
To get rid of a black mold problem in your home, you probably need professional remediation. Certified specialists understand the precautions they need to take to protect themselves and your home, and they conduct thorough mitigation to keep mold from coming back.

Top 5 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Corner of a wall with mold growth Mold prevention starts with moisture control.

Frequent Questions Asked About Mold Growth

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; the 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.

Minimize Water Damage Problems With These 3 Steps

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Shut off the main water supply line.

Three Things To Do Right Away

When faced with a soggy mess, commercial property owners encounter a daunting and costly situation. The primary cause of water damage may be easy to fix. However, those busted pipes or sewer overflows created severe secondary conditions, leaving proprietors with multiple issues to contain and remediate. Commercial owners in Haysville, KS, must prioritize mitigating moisture saturation to safeguard the building and reduces. The following are three things to do right away.

1. Shut Off the Water Supply
Above all, minimize the amount of fluid exposure from broken pipes or a toilet overflow. Turn the valves to the utility to the off position, cutting the flow. If the problem continues, move to the mainline, stopping all water from entering the premises.

2. Remove Soaked Items
Water damage impacts not just the building, but the materials inside. Protect belongings that are unharmed by taking them elsewhere. Then, further cut down on space’s dampness by moving saturated objects to areas where they may dry out. Heavily saturated pieces should be disposed of in the trash.
These categories are hard to decipher. Owners working with a reputable water restoration company receive help identifying what may be salvaged through content cleaning practices versus what necessitates disposal. Businesses such as SERVPRO work hard to meet national standards and provide continuing education for certified employees, ensuring they have up-to-date knowledge and equipment to get the job done well. Expert assistance is pivotal in securing the area properly.

3. Eliminate Excess Moisture
During the water cleanup phase, specialists measure the wall’s wetness using a moisture reading tool. This information allows them to know what areas of the property require additional drying. They then work to place air movers and industrial dehumidifiers in those sections. Further readings will enable them to know when the location is dry and ready to move into a cleanup phase.
When water damage occurs, it’s time to run rather than walk, seeking assistance from a company with the right equipment and experience staff to defend the structure. The faster owners get dampness under control, the better off the property is.

5 Common Home Mold Species

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall with the words STRACHYBOTRYS ATRA Stachybotrys also known as black mold

Five of The Most Common Indoor Mold Species

Mold growth is an extremely common household issue that the majority of homeowners must face at some point. If you discovered mold growing in your home in South Hutchinson, KS, the first thing you must do is identify which type of mold you're dealing with. Here are five of the most common indoor mold species.

1. Stachybotrys
Also known as the infamous black mold, this species is probably the most common household funguses. Like the name implies, it's usually black or dark green in color and may have a slimy or fuzzy texture. It's most common in areas that experience high humidity, such as your bathroom.

2. Chaetomium
You can most often find this type of mold after your home has suffered some type of water damage. It starts off with a white or gray color before fading to a dark brown or almost black color. It's also characterized by its cotton-like texture. If your home smells musty, this species is likely the culprit.

3. Ulocladium
This type of mold is common after extreme cases of water damage or flooding. If you aren't used to dealing with mold growth, it's very easy to confuse this species with black mold. It's best to contact an environmental hygienist to help differentiate.

4. Alternaria
This is the most common type of allergenic mold to find in your house. It has a velvety texture and also sprouts brown or dark green hairs. This is a very common species of mold to discover growing in your bathroom, as the spores favor dampness.

5. Cladosporium
You're most likely to find this type of mold growing in textiles or fabrics, such as your carpeting or upholstery. It's also possible to discover it growing in the cupboards, drawers and underneath the floorboards. It's characterized by its olive green or brown coloration.
Mold growth is a common, yet serious issue that needs to be handled properly. In order to ensure your property's complete safety, you should contact mold remediation experts to deal with any mold issues you may discover.

Musty Odor May Mean Hidden Mold

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind drywall Mold damage behind drywall

As you open the doors to your Winfield, KS, business and are greeted with a mold smell it is the first of trouble. While mold or mildew smell itself isn’t harmful, it does mean that there is some kind of infestation that could cause various issues down the road. The smell itself means that the fungus has elevated to a growth stage and is reproducing. The microbial volatile organic compounds, or chemicals, it produces smells. Unfortunately, smelling the problem and seeing it don’t always coincide.

Moisture Problems

Mold requires food, organic materials found anywhere; moisture; and the right temperature to thrive. If there is a strong fungus smell in the building, it has found optimal conditions to start its continuous life cycle. When it comes to structures, some sort of moisture issue is the main cause. Even if mold damage isn’t visible, there are hidden areas to check.

Behind wallpaper, paneling, and drywall
Nonvisible side of ceiling tiles
Under carpets and rugs
Wall surfaces covered by furniture or artwork
Anywhere plumbing pipes can be found
Inside air ducts
Under attic insulation
Check the roof for potential damage
Drawers or cabinets near water sources

Count on the Experts
If the mold smell persists but you can’t find the source, you don’t have to deal with it on your own. Mold damage and restoration professionals have the expertise and latest tools to find the source of your stinky problem. Often armed with moisture meters, borescopes and the proper PPE to resolve the issue and restore your property back to normal. They use various techniques to minimize spreading and help prevent future breakouts.
The moment there is a mold smell, quick action should be taken to find the source of it. If there are no visible signs, call the experts that are Faster to Any Size Disaster for peace of mind and a fresh-smelling environment.

What To Expect During a Mold Remediation At Your Home

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Wooden floor with mold growth Mold remediation in Newtown, KS

Steps Performed During Mold Remediation

If you think you may have black mold in your Newton, KS, home it's highly recommended that you contact a local mold remediation service. These professionals have the ability to thoroughly remove the mold and then sanitize afterwards. Here are a few steps you may see them perform during a remediation.

1. Damage Assessment

One of the first things you may see during a mold cleanup, is the damage assessments. The remediation professional working on your home will take a look at where the possible mold is, be able to test for the mold type, and determine if there are any secondary damages that need to be repaired as well. Once this is done they can begin containing the area so that cleanup can occur.

2. Containing the Affected Area

The next step, especially if black mold is present, is to contain the affected area. This usually involves using plastic sheeting to separate the space from the rest of the home, and setting up ventilation in order to regulate air flow. This will help prevent spore particles from becoming airborne during the cleaning process. Once this step is complete remediation can begin.

3. Safety Precautions

You will also see the mold remediation professionals working on your home take very specific safety precautions. The only does this include containing the area, but wearing safety gear as well. This may include masks, coveralls, gloves, shoe covers, and other personal protective equipment. These items can be removed immediately after leaving the contained area so that they can be washed. This also will help prevent the spread of mold by preventing spores from being carried through the space on clothing.

If you think you may have black mold And your home it's time to contact your local remediation service. These professionals can perform a damage assessment to determine where and how bad the mold problem is, contain the affected area to prevent spore spreading, and remove mold while following proper safety procedures. If you have any questions these professionals can help.

How a Business Owner Can Speed Up the Claims Process

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Applicant filling claim When you have an insurance claim you need to file, work with the company that won't slow you down

How a Business Owner Can Speed Up the Claims Process

As a business owner, you may dread the day a disaster strikes. Do you have a restoration company in Emporia, KS, on file? Do you understand your insurance policy and how to get the insurance claim process moving? When a disaster happens, speed is the key to recovery. Most businesses cannot handle a lengthy interruption. Therefore, you want to work with the right partners, like SERVPRO, who can facilitate communications between you and your insurer while providing tools for the process. There are several ways to speed up the settlement of your claim for a faster recovery.

1. Contact a Full-Service Restoration Company 2. Call Your Insurer 3. Document Everything 4. Take Advantage of the Claims Information Center

Contact a Full-Service Restoration Company
While you can call any restoration or mitigation service you want, SERVPRO is a one-stop-shop. You will not need to worry about finding and hiring several services for your recovery project. By eliminating multiple vendors, you automatically speed up the insurance claim process because the insurance agent need not wait for multiple estimates.

Call Your Insurer
Insurance adjusters are busy people, and they may not be able to make it to your property the same day you call. By phoning in and letting the insurance company know what happened, they schedule an adjuster to visit the site.

Document Everything
One of the primary concerns for your insurance company is receiving proof of loss. By taking pictures, you can show the agent how your property was damaged. However, if you are claiming the loss of equipment, be sure to find receipts or anything else pertinent to the assessment of the damage.

Take Advantage of the Claims Information Center
The Claims Information Center is a tool for clients and insurance adjusters. The system allows for project management, including the upload of pictures and files. Insurance companies can also be made aware of any project updates through the system.
When you have an insurance claim you need to file, work with the company that won't slow you down. Talk with your insurance company about SERVPRO.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.