Recent Posts

Eudora, KS Water Damage and your Washing Machine

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

According to research studies, flooded washing machines are amongst the top 10 causes for insurance claims filed every year. This includes all home related damage claims. Water damage frequently occurs from this underappreciated and overworked home appliance. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka offers some information and preventative tips.

Washing machine flooding is problematic for several different reasons. The water source is known as white water, potable and safe. If the leakage source is from the washing machine drum or the drainage hose, then gray water is the result. This is called category 2 water and holds contaminants from soiled clothing, detergent chemicals, and possibly debris contacting the water. This can lead to illness upon exposure to skin or ingestion. Once excessive water pooling has transpired, your property can be subjected to unwanted structural damage or mold infestation.

What Makes Washing Machines Malfunction?

Washing machines break down for several reasons, but one of the most common causes is a water supply line connection that loosens or bursts. When you turn your washing machine on, you likely feel a slight jolt because of the water flowing through the line. This causes a pop of pressure within the hoses. Eventually, the hoses will start to weaken from normal wear and tear. A large bubble in the hose may be the first indication of a washing machine “aneurysm”. Inspect periodically and consider replacing hoses every 5 to 6 years.

Another reason that your washing machine may start to flood results when a drain hose becomes disconnected. Your drain hose enables water to exit the machine under pressure. This flow is stronger than gravity flow, thus allowing for wider dispersion of water. A simple knock can dislodge the drainage hose from the back wall housing the drainage pipe. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka suggests securing the hose to the housing of the drainage system.

How to Prevent Washing Machine Flooding From Causing Water Damage.

The best way to prevent your washing machine from flooding is to be diligent regarding preventative maintenance. You could spend over $150 for an electronic flood stopper mechanism. However, if there have been drainage problems caused by the sewage line, then install a flood-guard float (about $25.00) that acts as a check valve. This will prevent sewage water from backing up into the house. Black water, which is Category 3 water, contains dangerous raw sewage and contaminants must be blocked from flowing into your home.

Call SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka for Excellent Water Damage Services.

Although learning how to prevent your washing machine from flooding is important, you could still find yourself subjected to water damage at some point. When this happens, it’s important to call a team of professional water damage restoration experts to your property. The professionals at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka have extensive industry experience and also offer 24/7 emergency services.

Highly-Trained Water Restoration Specialists

As leaders in the water damage industry from SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka, we have advanced equipment, training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. Our process includes documentation of the drying process to validate your property is dry. Learn about our water damage training and certificates by visiting our website, www.SERVPROlawrenceottawa.com. Call us for help at 785-690-7373.

Sewage Cleanup- Lawrence, KS

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Water from sewer backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contaminant.

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka will inspect the contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

The Three Types of Contaminated Water:

Category 1: “Clean Water”

This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into Category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: “Gray Water”

This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: “Black Water”

This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could 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.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemical, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.

The Science of Drying in Lecompton, KS

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its pre loss condition. If your business or home suffers a water damage, the team here at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air is drier. The only problem with nature is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka has the professional training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Winter Weather Worries in Lawrence, KS

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create major disasters at your home or property. Frozen pipes often occur when they are exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your house, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. Here are a few steps that you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.

Ice dams can become a major problem during the snowy season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas, as well as causing gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an indicator of an ice dam according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing the ice dam as soon as possible is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter.

If winter weather causes water damage to you and your insured’s property, SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka professionals are only a call away 24/7, ready to restore to pre loss condition.

Having a Plan During a House Fire in Wellsville, KS

10/12/2020 (Permalink)

Kids safety tips- stop, drop and roll, don't hide from the fire, stay low and crawl Teach your kids these tips about fire.

Does your family have a plan during a house fire?

   Your kids’ safety is of utmost importance. You teach your children to look both ways before crossing the street and to stay away from strangers. But, as a parent and homeowner in Lawrence/ Ottawa and East Topeka, do you educate your children on what to do in a home fire? When a fire emergency occurs, every second counts. Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your children. Review the tips below to educate your family. 

Practice a Fire Escape Plan

   Teach and practice the following techniques with your children during a non-emergency, so your family knows what to do in the case of a home fire:

• If the smoke alarm sounds at night, roll to the edge of the bed face down, place the closest hand to the floor and slide off the bed. 


• Crawl to avoid smoke in the air on knees and forearms with head down, or crawl like a snake. 


• Check doors before opening by feeling for heat. If hot, find another way out of the room. If warm or cool, open slowly and check for fire. Close doors as you go. 


• Create and practice an escape route and agree on an outdoor meeting place. If trapped, go to the window, open it, climb out if possible or yell for help. Once out of the house, do not return inside for any reason. 

Preventative Measures for Kids
    Aside from teaching and practicing the above techniques, follow these kids’ safety tips:

• Maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. Teach your children that the alarm sound means there is fire and smoke in the house. 


• Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of young children. Instruct older children not to play with these or other flammable objects, such as candles. 

   By teaching and practicing the above tips with your children in Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka, your family is prepared for a home fire. Once your kids’ safety is secured and the fire is out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to begin the process of returning your home to pre loss condition.

Smoke Alarms: Helping Save Lives in Clinton, KS

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Escape Planning Tips Follow these fire escape planning tips and practice fire drills at home so you and your family are better prepared for a fire.

Smoke Alarms save Lives

        Smoke Alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement and at the top of the stairs. In office and commercial environments in Lawrence and East Topeka, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

        Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten yearsOther alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling a low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

        In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

     If you need help installing, testing or changing the batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

    Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in East Topeka, KS

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide poisoning is often called the silent killer, and for good reason. You can’t see or smell it, but at high levels it can kill a person in only a few minutes. Carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely. All people and animals in Lawrence and East Topeka are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups- including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems- being more susceptible on the effects of carbon monoxide

Be aware of these symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning- dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

  • Have fuel burning appliances inspected by a professional every year.
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace, never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  • Make sure to have all fuel-burning equipment vented to the outside and keep the venting for exhaust clear.
  • Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.
  • Make sure the vents for dryers, furnaces, stoves, and fireplaces are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Only use grills outside and away from all doors, windows, vents, and other openings.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas.

Lightening in East Topeka, KS

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Shocking Facts about Lightning

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lighting safety tips. 

Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities in Lawrence and East Topeka. If is calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make adequate safe shelter is available. 

Go indoors. Remember the phrase, "When the thunder roars, go indoors." Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up. 

Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not live on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. 

Avoid water.  Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building's plumbing. 

Continuing Education Class - October 29th, 2020

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage Continuing Education Virtual Event RSVP to join our virtual continuing education class!

FREE Virtual Water Damage Continuing Education Event

Attendees will receive 2 insurance credit hours

Date:             October 29th, 2020

Course:         Restorative Drying for Water Damage

Course #:      993771

Time:             9:00 A.M – 11:00 A.M.

Location:      Virtual Classroom.  Secure password required

  • 100% attendance and a photographic ID are required to receive CE credit for this course.
  • Virtual classroom will open 30 minutes early to check photographic ID and confirm license number.

To RSVP and receive your secure virtual classroom password e-mail SERVPRO of Lawrence- Ottawa at sp9721@SERVPRO-lawrence-ottawa.com

or call 785.690.7373

We are Cleaning Experts in Lawrence, KS

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

we are here to help - image of an employee and customer We are here to help.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka 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 and East Topeka, 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