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We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

we are here to help We are here to help.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa, 785-690-7373

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

It's the Water You Don't See

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

      Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few tools the technicians will use on your job.

     Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.

     Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO Professionals to monitor the drying process.

     Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO Professionals can calculate and create an environment most efficient for drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

      Foggers: SERVPRO Franchise Professionals use a few different foggers. Foggers are used for deodorizing, injecting fungicides and disinfectants for structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot be reached. 

Dangers of Extreme Cold

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

While your home may be damaged due to winter weather and extreme cold, your personal health is also at risk.

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, as well as heart attacks from overexertion, according to Ready.gov. That is why it’s important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you.

Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms include white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness.

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, seek medical attention immediately.

To avoid these conditions, stay indoors, if possible. If not, dress in layers to stay warm and keep dry.

2020 Resolution-Plan Ahead

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster or a water or fire damage to strike, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure your business is “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes your local SERVPRO franchise professional team as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to more than 50 years experience and a system of more than 1,700 franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY mobile app, this important information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting immediate help right at your fingertips.

Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in your building faster following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes-resolve to be READY by contacting SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa today to establish your Emergency READY Profile and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.

Advantages of the SERVPRO ERP:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document containing only the most critical information needed about your business and building structure in the event of an emergency.
  • Provides facility details, such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
  • Identifies the chain of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building quickly following a disaster.
  • Accessible electronically.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO franchise professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

Weather Warnings on the Go

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government-alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service. There is no sign-up required. Alerts are sent automatically to WEA-capable phones during a threatening weather emergency.

According to weather.gov, alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency.

The types of alerts the National Weather Service will send out are typically about tsunami warnings, tornado and flash flood warnings, hurricane, typhoon, storm surges and extreme wind warnings, as well as dust storms and snow squall warnings.

When you receive a WEA, follow any action advised by the emergency message, especially if it involves an immediate evacuation. Seek more details from your preferred television or radio station, NOAA Weather Radio, or another trusted source of information.

The Impacts of Hoarding During a Fire Emergency

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Hoarding is a condition where a person has persistent difficulty discarding personal possessions. The large amount of possessions fill the home and prevent the normal use of the space. Living space becomes cluttered. It may be unusable. Hoarding brings distress and emotional concerns.

Why Hoarding Increases Fire Risks:

  1. Cooking is unsafe if flammable items are too close to the stove or oven.
  2. Heating units may be too close to things that can burn. They might be placed on unstable surfaces. If a heater tips over into a pile, it can cause a fire.
  3. Electrical wiring may be old or worn from the weight of piles. Pests could chew on wires. Damaged wires can start fires.
  4. Open flames from smoking materials or candles in a home with excess clutter are very dangerous.
  5. Blocked pathways and exits may hinder escape from a fire.

How Hoarding Impacts First Responders:

  1. Hoarding puts first responders in harm's way. Firefighters cannot move swiftly through a home filled with clutter.
  2. Responders can be trapped in home when exits are blocked. They can be injured by objects falling from piles.
  3. The weight of the stored items, especially if water is added to put out a fire, can lead to building collapse.
  4. Fighting fires is very risky in a hoarding home. It is hard to enter the home to provide medical care. The clutter impedes the search and rescue of people and pets.

Ways Can You Help Reduce the Risk of Fire Injury:

  1. When talking to a person who hoards, focus on safety rather than the clutter.
  2. Be empathetic. Match the person's language. If they call it hoarding, then you can call it hoarding.
  3. Help the residents make a home safety and escape plan. Stress the importance of clear pathways and exits. Practice the plan often. Exit routes may change as new items are brought into the home.
  4. Install working smoke alarms in the home. Test them at least once a month.
  5. Reach out to community resources. Talk to members of the fire department to alert them of your concerns. They may be able to connect you with members of a hoarding task force.
  6. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa has experience in cleaning hoarding homes. It is a sad situation every time we need to supply this service. Hoarding is a specialty cleaning situation and many times involves some sort of bio-hazard situation. PPE is a must in these incidents and should not be completed by family members or friends.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa is an area leader in specialty cleaning. If a family member is struggling and you need help, call us today at 785-690-7373.

Why is knowing Wind Chill Important?

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Since we do 24 hour emergency water damage cleanup from frozen pipes we definitely understand wind chill. When temperatures drop into a deep freeze we can get quite busy. When Mother Nature decides to add heavy winds to the already low temperatures we know we'll get even busies, faster! The combination of freezing temperatures coupled with the driving winds blast frigid air into areas of your home and/or business and cause damage that would otherwise likely be okay.

Now, what does wind chill mean to you and how can it affect you when you're outside?

Wind chill describes the rate of heat loss from exposed skin due to the combined effect of wind and cold. As wind speed increases, heat is lost from the body at an accelerated rate lowering the body temperature. Dangerous wind chills begin at -19 F (-29 C). Winds of more than 45 mph (39 Kt; 20 m/s) add little to the chilling effect. Wind chill can also affect animals.

As a bonus, what is the heat index?

The heat index or the "Apparent Temperature" is measure of how hot it feels due to the combined effects of air temperature and relative humidity (RH). Heat-induced danger begins at 105 F (41 C).

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa, proudly serves those in need! We will be on site quickly and our staff will give you the personalized attention you deserve. We specialize in the cleanup of water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, mold removal, trauma cleanup, vandalism cleanup, carpet cleaning and duct cleaning. Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened." Visit our website for assistance, www.SERVPROlawrenceottawa.com. Call us to speak to a qualified team member, 785-690-7373.

What you should know about Sewage Cleanup

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage is one of the most dangerous substances to enter homes or buildings. It contains fungi, bacteria and viruses, many of which are disease-causing. Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the hazards that sewage presents, particularly for the very young or very old, or for those with compromised immune systems or respiratory problems.

The IICRC has compiles guidelines for professional sewage cleanup called the Standard for Water Damage Restoration (S500).

Here are the key principles you should know about sewage back-ups:

Sewage contains a variety of pathogenic- disease causing- fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites. Anyone who works on sewage losses must have updated vaccinations, including one for Hepatitis B.

Sewage exposure is particularly dangerous for people with weakened immune systems, including anyone under two or over 60, those who are pregnant, ill, recovering from surgery, on prescription drugs or chemotherapy, or are AIDS victims.

It is not safe to stay in a building that's flooded with sewage unless the contaminated area can be completely sealed off and placed under controlled air flow so that there will be no cross contamination of unaffected areas.

Highly absorbent sewage-saturated materials, such as carpet, pad, upholstery, bedding, wicker, paper, or even fabrics that can't be washed in hot water (130 F/54 C) for at least 10 minutes, must be contained and disposed of properly. This goes for sewage-saturated drywall, insulation and several other structural materials too. There's simply too great a health risk involved if any of these materials are dried in place and cleaned only.

Only the most highly trained professionals should attempt sewage remediation work. Then, a "third party" indoor environmental professional can provide post-remediation verification or "clearance testing" to ensure that the home or building is safe to re-occupy.

Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call us today- 785-690-7373

Shutting off Water during Flooding

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

     This article gives you instructions to:

Shut off the main valve at the water source

Shut off water supply valves in all parts of your home

Check your water valves and pipes for leaks

     When pipes burst, plumbing leaks, or appliances cause a flood, cut off the water at its source IMMEDIATELY. Water damage from frozen pipes, ruptured washer hoses, leaking supply lines and dripping water heaters cost billions every year. Avoid major water damage problems in your house by knowing how to shut off your water.

     Take a moment right now to locate all of the shutoff valves in your home so you’ll be prepared for an emergency.

     How to Locate the Whole-House Water Shutoff Valve-

     The most important point to know in a flooding emergency is your home’s main water valve to shut off water at the source.

     This valve is located around waist level or lower, on the inside basement wall, closest to your street or well, where the water comes in from outside the home.

     Many water meter setups have two valves, one on the street side of the meter and one on the house side. You’ll typically find the main shutoff in the basement near the front of the house.

      If you pipe in water from the city, the water meter is always mounted next to the main, and the valve itself will be large, metal and have a very sturdy handle. In a home with metered water, look for the shutoff on either side of the water meter. Your meter could be located in the basement, mounted on an exterior wall, or even out near the street in a concrete “meter pit” where the household feed line meets the utility main.

     For a home served by a well, the shutoff will be on the house side of the pressure tank. You should also cut power to the tank so it doesn’t detect a phantom pressure loss and burn out trying to compensate.

     If could be outside your home attached to an exterior wall or in an underground box with a removable lid.

There are two types of main shutoff valves: the gate valve and the ball valve.

     The gate valve is common in older homes and has a round handle that must be turned a number of times to open or close the valve. Gate valves are designed to be fully open or fully closed. Water flowing through a partially open gate valve can wear away the metal and cause the valve to fail over time.

     The ball valve is more common in newer construction and has a lever handle that needs to be turned 90 degrees to turn the water on or off. You can immediately tell if it’s open or not: in the closed position, the lever is perpendicular to the pipes; in the open position it’s parallel.

     If you’ve never shut off the main water valve before, test it to make sure it turned everything off. Turn on a faucet somewhere in the house and shut off the main water valve. All water flow should stop.

     An old gate valve can break, so be gentle when you’re handling it, if the valve is stuck, leave it alone. If it leaks or doesn’t shut off all the way, replace the valve. You’ll need to call your water department (and possibly pay a small fee) to have the water to your house turned off at the curb during repairs.

     If you have a well, shut off the electrical switch for the well when you leave for an extended period so it won’t pump any water while you’re gone.

Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the other items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season- however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents, and candles.
  • Make sure light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or before going to bed.
  • Use only sturdy tree stands designed to not tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire- like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper, or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains- away from your stove top.
  • Designate one person to walk around your property to ensure all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

Did you know the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve? Follow these tips to help keep your property and family safe this holiday season and call SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa if you are in need of water or fire remediation services.