Recent Posts

The Behavior of Smoke in Topeka, KS

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke: wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and its contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka to focus on saving your precious items.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka knows smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our knowledge of building systems helps us investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following Points are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Types of Smoke:

  • Wet Smoke. (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, and smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke. (Paper and Wood) Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue. (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot. (Furnace puff backs) While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
  • Other Types. (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka is trained to handle even the toughest of losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Fires in the Kitchen in Ottawa, KS

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires? As the holiday season begins and you find yourself in the kitchen more often while hosting friends and family, fire precautions should be top of mind.

A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the future of the property and their livelihood can be overwhelming to the property owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has cleared.

After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka help you restore it to its preloss condition. Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism, and open communication through the entire job process, we strive to restore not only the Lawrence and East Topeka home or business structure, but the customer’s peace of mind as well.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on structure fires:

  • 482,030 structure fires were reported in the U.S. in 2018.
  • These fires caused $9.9 billion in property damages.
  • One structure fire was reported every 48 seconds.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes your business or home, give the experts at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka a call, 785-690-7373.

Be Prepared in Lawrence, KS: Thunderstorms

1/1/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are loud, powerful, and scary; but did you know that winds during a thunderstorm can reach over 50 MPH? There is also the possibility of flash flooding and even tornadoes. If you hear thunder or are alerted to an upcoming thunderstorm make sure to find shelter right away. If you take shelter at home unplug appliances and electronics, don’t run water, and don’t use landline phones. Electricity from lightning can run through plumbing and phone lines and can harm electronics plugged into outlets. If you are out swimming or doing other water activities get to land immediately and find a sturdy shelter or vehicle. If you must take shelter in a vehicle, find a car with a metal top and sides, DON’T touch anything metal.

Cutting down and trimming trees that are in danger of falling on your property or others property can help prevent damage and injury during a thunderstorm. Buying and using surge protectors for your appliances and electronics can help protect your Lawrence and East Topeka property as well. If you come across a flooded runway it is safest to turn back. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you down and only 1 foot of moving water to sweep away your vehicle.

Be Prepared in East Topeka, KS: Tornadoes

12/25/2020 (Permalink)

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can happen at any time, peak tornado occurrences for Southern states are March through May and during the summer for Northern states. If you find yourself under a tornado watch, safely make your way to a sturdy building, safe room, basement, or storm cellar. Winds can be over 200 MPH so it’s important to make sure wherever you find shelter is sturdy and that you stay away from all doors, windows, and outside walls. Use your arms to protect your head and neck to help prevent injury.

If you become trapped after the tornado, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth or a mask to avoid breathing in dust. Instead of shouting for help try sending a text, banging on a pipe or wall, and whistling. It’s important to save your phone calls for emergencies only. Phone systems are usually down or busy after a disaster like a tornado. Use texting and social media to contact your friends and family instead.

Restoration VS Replace in East Topeka, KS

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka we are in the business of restoration rather than replacement – this provides the benefits of not only lower costs but also a smaller ecological footprint. On a more personal level, restoration vs. replacement provides East Topeka and Lawrence homeowners with a peace of mind, in the event of a loss, that they will be able to make the most of any insurance payments they receive.

Why do we focus on restoration?

  • We minimize the amount of building materials discarded into landfills.
  • We preserve the original architecture of building structures.
  • Restoration is much more cost-efficient than replacement.
  • Many items cannot be replaced, such as important documents and family heirlooms.

In addition to preserving original structures and items, a drive towards restoration can better satisfy a complete return to normalcy when catastrophe occurs. Insurance policies often have limits that cap the amount of a claim – restoration allows for minimizing the costs of returning a structure to its pre loss condition.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka works seamlessly with insurance companies nationwide, providing them with restoration budgets that not only meet their stringent guidelines, but provide the homeowner with the best possible outcome.

You have a choice when it comes to who to trust with your home after a fire or flood. Choose SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka and let us help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

We can be reached 24/7 at 785-690-7373.

Lawrence, KS Holiday Safety and Preparation

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Lights, candles, action – it’s the holiday season again. Brightly lit decorations, elaborate meals and large gatherings are all part of traditional holiday celebrations. Unfortunately, these seasonal traditions also cause an average of 230 home fires each year, with an average of 4 deaths, 21 injuries and $17.3 million in property damage.

East Topeka and Lawrence Homeowners can keep their homes and their family’s safe during the holiday season by understanding the dangers and taking some simple, commonsense precautions.

Holiday Cooking Fire Facts

  • Thanksgiving Day has three times the average number of reported home structure fires involving cooking equipment. The two other peak days for cooking-related fires are Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.

Holiday Cooking Safety Tips

  • Supervise items on the stove top. Fifty-eight percent of kitchen fires involve ranges: homes with electric cooktops have a higher risk of fire than homes with gas cook tops.
  • Keep flammable items – potholders, packaging, wrapping, wooden utensils, loose clothing – away from the stove top.
  • Don’t let lack of sleep or alcohol consumption affect your ability to concentrate on preparing the meal.

Holiday Decorating Fire Facts

  • Half of all holiday decoration fires start because the decoration is too close to a heat source.
  • On average, 32 candle fires are reported each day. December is the peak month for candle fires.

Holiday Decorating Safety Tips

  • Keep all decorations away from heat sources like radiators, portable heaters, and fireplaces.
  • Use flameless candles.
  • If you do use traditional candles, burn them in sturdy candle holders, well away from drapes and other flammable materials. Never leave them unattended and never allow them to burn down to less than once inch in length.

Christmas tree Fire Facts

  • 50% of live tree fires occur between December 22 and January 5.
  • 31% of tree fires are caused by electrical problems.
  • 14% involve decorative lights.

Christmas tree Safety Tips

  • Keep live trees well watered to reduce the chance of a fire.
  • Check wiring on lights for breaks and wear, replace worn strings and don’t exceed manufacturer guidelines for connecting multiple strands of lights.
  • Don’t leave tree lights plugged in when you are away from home or asleep.

For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka at 785-690-7373.

Statistics used are based on National Fire Protection Association data.

Be Prepared in Ottawa, KS: Tsunamis

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know tsunamis can hit any U.S. coast? While they are more likely to hit states on the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, it is good to know what to do if a tsunami does strike where you live or even where you may vacation.

Ready.gov says, “Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called ‘tidal waves’), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite.” Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet above sea level have a greater risk of being affected.

As with any emergency, be sure you have a plan in place prior. Know the evacuation plan, move inland or to higher ground, and avoid the beach. “The first wave may not be the last or the largest,” according to the National Weather Service.

After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. While drowning is the most common hazard, there are many aftereffects, like flooding and contaminated drinking water.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka is Here to Help.

Sewage Cleanup and Restoration in Lawrence, KS

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

Sewage backup should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other items that may cause serious illnesses. We have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminates like sewage.

Sewage is considered category 3: “Black Water”

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences

A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka is trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe Lawrence and East Topeka homes and offices.

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your Lawrence and East Topeka area home or business.

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup? Call SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka Today 785-690-7373

What is Water Restoration in Baldwin City, KS

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Imagine you come home from work on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with 8 inches of water.

What do you do?

Who do you call?

Do you call your family friend, a local contractor, or a Water Restoration Company?

What is the difference?

There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies.

Here are a few:

  • A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka is certified in drying water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
  • A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO’s average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/365 and someone to monitor your job daily.
  • Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.

When you call SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians.

Be Prepared in Lawrence, KS: Flooding

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States? A flood is classified as a temporary overflow of water on normally dry land. There are many different causes of flooding, including rain, snow, and overflowed water systems. Here are some tips about preparing for floods fromready.gov:

  • Know flood risk types in your area
  • The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) Weather Radio can provide emergency alerts as well as any community alert systems in your area.
  • If your area has a risk of flash flooding, make sure to look for and monitor potential signs, like rain. It can happen very quickly so always be alert.
  • Gather supplies in case you have to leave immediately or services are cut off. Remember things like medications, extra batteries, and pet supplies.
  • Keep important documents in a water proof container, like a water proof lock box.