Recent Posts

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens”.

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO ERP, can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The Emergency Ready Profile is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations, and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information anytime using your smartphone or tablet.

The ERP establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 40 years’ experience and a System nearly 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

50%: The percent of businesses that may never reopen after suffering a disaster.

Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.

The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional to establish your Emergency READY Profile.

Understanding NWS Forecast Terms

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

(Courtesy: National Weather Service/NOAA, Department of Commerce)

     Since we do 24 hour emergency water damage cleanup we definitely keep an eye on the weather. Each time it rains or storms we can get a wide range of phone calls from overflowing sump pumps to leaky windows and roofs, so it’s important for us to follow and understand Weather Forecast Terminology. Here’s some helpful information that should help you understand what all those weather terms mean.

     Understanding the terminology behind weather forecasts is an integral part of our everyday decision-making. Below are common weather terms and their meanings.

     Sky Condition

     Sky condition describes the predominant/average sky condition based upon the amount of sky covered by opaque (not transparent) clouds.

Sky Condition                  Percent of Cloud Cover

Sunny or Clear                              0-5%

Sunny or Mostly Clear                   6-25%

Mostly Sunny or Partly Cloudy       26-50%

Partly Sunny or Mostly Cloudy       51-69%

Mostly Cloudy/Considerable Cloudiness   70-87%

Cloudy or Overcast                      88-100%

     Wind

     Wind describes the prevailing direction from which the wind is blowing with speed in miles per hour. The numbers may vary in other parts of the country due to variation in terrain and elevation.

Sustained Wind Speed            Descriptive

0-5 mph            Light, light and variable or calm

5-20 mph                              None used

15-25 mph                               Breezy

20-30 mph                                Windy

30-40 mph                            Very Windy

40-73 mph                    Strong, dangerous high winds

74 mph or greater               Hurricane force

     Temperatures

     Forecast temperature describes the forecast maximum and minimum temperatures or in some cases, the temperature expected at a specific time. Temperature is reported in degrees Fahrenheit.

Description Examples                   Range

Near 40                     Approaching 40 or a range                                            from 38 to 42

Around 85             Range of temps from 83 to 87

Lower 50’s            Temperatures of 50 through 53

Middle 70’s           Temperatures of 74 through 76

Upper 30’s            Temperatures of 37 through 39

60’s                     Temperatures of 60 through 69

     Probability of Precipitation (PoP)

     Probability of Precipitation (PoP) is the likelihood of measureable precipitation (or water equivalent of frozen) precipitation falling during a specified period in the forecast area. Measureable precipitation is equal to or greater than 0.01 inch (0.2 mm) over a period of 12 hours, unless specified otherwise.

     At times, NWS forecasters may use “occasional” or “periods of” to describe a precipitation event that has a high probability of occurrence, i.e., they expect any given location in a forecast area to most likely have precipitation, but it will be of an “on and off” nature.

PoP                                                              Expression of Uncertainty            Percent

20%                                       Slight chance

30-50%                                      Chance

60-70%                                       Likely

80-100%                               Rain/Snow, etc.

Information shared from the NWS website.

6 Signs that your Property may have Undetected Water Damage

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Unfortunately, water can flow to any area of your home once a structural defect or natural disaster strikes your property. Water damage can be an expensive and upsetting result of this unwanted water. SERVPRO suggestions, that by reading the following tell-tale signs of water intrusion you may recognize and stymie the onslaught of extensive and expensive water damage to your home.

  1. Unpleasant Smells

When hidden residual water or moisture accumulates on your property, it can initiate the growth of mold and mildew. This will produce an earthy, musty odor which functions as a red flag that unseen water damage is present on your property.

  1. Visual Signs of Mold Growth

Mold spores are microscopic, lying dormant in most home, and will eventually produce mold colonies when provided with moisture. Food sources – cellulose materials and other organics are readily available. When the moisture comes in contact with dormant spores, the active mold growth process will begin. If you note any fuzzy discolorations in isolated corners or voids, and are not sure if mold is growing, you should have these spaces professionally inspected. SERVPRO will visit your property to offer complimentary advice.

  1. Stains on Walls and Ceilings

When water seeps into subflooring and the spaces between the levels of your structure, it will generate water stains as it starts to saturate the adjacent ceiling or wall board. This form of water damage can be a precursor to widening problems.

  1. Peeling Paint or Wall Paper

These can happen to your walls as water wicks and lifts the paint or loosens the paste securing the wallpaper. The water or moisture source should be discovered and repaired immediately.

  1. Sagging Walls and Ceilings

Saturated ceiling materials or drywall can appear to be displaced because of the added weight of water. Once this happens, the structures can start to buckle and deform. When walls and ceilings become soaked with water, they pose a safety hazard from falling. Don’t ignore any tell-tale signs of water absorption into porous drywall.

  1. Floor Effects

Water seeks its lowest level when allowed to flow. The flooring is the usual endpoint as water can collect beneath ceramic or vinyl tile (also damaging subfloor sheathing), carpets and padding. Newly manufactured laminate flooring is particularly susceptible to water damage. If your subfloor becomes completely soaked, restoring rather than replacing the materials, becomes more remote. SERVPRO makes every effort to remove the water and dry out these flooring materials, but often they are non-salvageable and must be safely discarded.

Commercial Water Restoration and Cleanup

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

There’s no such thing as a small disaster- especially when the water you don’t see contains bacteria or can cause mold, rot, or other unseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your property. Before you get out the mop bucket and try to clean it yourself, consider how the damage can affect your commercial property.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa know how disruptive water damage can be for your business. Our team is trained and equipped to manage the drying process from start to finish. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your commercial building will be quickly and thoroughly dried to industry standards, which will help with secondary damages! With rapid response time and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa can help you regain control quickly, by helping ensure your facility and its contents are properly dried, deodorized, and protected.

Before you risk further damaging the value of your commercial facility by attempting to clean the mess yourself, give your trusted SERVPRO professionals a call.

Safety First before the Feast

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in a blink of an eye. According to the NFPA, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with the Thanksgiving holiday being the peak day for cooking-related fire emergencies. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended- stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or boiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn off the stove.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven.
  • Keep anything flammable like pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen year round. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like stove, ovens, and toasters are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year.

Mold in your Business

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem? Call Today 1-785-690-7373

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of the affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a SERVPRO Franchise Professional for mold remediation services.

What NOT to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Call SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa 785-690-7373

Using a Portable Fire Extinguisher

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A portable fire extinguisher can be a life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate a fire extinguisher, the NFPA suggests remembering the word PASS.

  • Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the fire extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Encourage your family members and co-workers to do the same.

Remember, extinguishers do have their limitations! It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your home or facility.

  • Class A- This is the most common extinguisher and can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
  • Class B- Used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, and oil.
  • Class C- Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electronically energized or plugged in.
  • Class D- For use on flammable metals; often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found in factories.
  • Class K- Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. Generally found in commercial kitchens.

Common Causes of Sewer Damage

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage damage to a business can happen slowly over time or very suddenly. There are multiple causes of sewage damage, but the result is the same: a difficult-to-clean mess that can have serious health implications. Sewage in your business requires immediate attention and professional cleaning in many cases. Avoid sewage damage by watching out for the most common causes:

  1. Seepage from faulty seals. Seals around toilets and in pipe connections can deteriorate over time, and a lot of seepage from these leaks build up slowly, doing damage beneath floorboards and in walls before you’re even aware of it. Signs of hidden seepage include buckling flooring, stains on ceilings and walls, and an unpleasant smell that doesn’t go away with cleaning. Inspect seals regularly to avoid a hidden leak; if you rent or lease your office space, report any signs of seepage to your property manager immediately. The longer a leak goes on, the more serious the damage will be.
  2. Burst Pipes. A burst pipe can release a sudden stream of sewage into your home and can happen at any time. Pipes can burst as a result of blockage, improper insulation during freezing weather or simple deterioration. Upkeep and careful winterizing of pipes is vital to avoiding a burst sewer line.
  3. A flood, whether caused by rain or a body of water overflowing its banks, can put too much pressure on the sewer system, causing sewage to back up into bathtubs and sinks. Heavy backup can overflow into your home, resulting in severe damage. If you live in a high-risk area for flooding, look into backup valves and other preventative measures to keep flood waters from forcing sewage into your home. Even low-risk areas can experience floods that cause sewage backup, so precautions are always a good idea.
  4. Clogged sewer lines. Flushing the wrong thing down the toilet can result in a sewage backup that can quickly overflow into your bathroom. Blockage in the main sewer line can cause sewage to back up through every sink, toilet, and tub– a problem that is greater than just one overflowing toilet. Avoid flushing anything down the toilet that doesn’t belong, including feminine hygiene products and baby wipes. Clogs in the sewer line don’t always come from the toilet, either. Don’t dump grease down your sinks, and be cautious when using the garbage disposal to prevent clogs.
  5. Tree roots. As trees grow, their roots can do significant damage to pipes beneath the ground. They can puncture or crush pipes, causing leaks and sewage backup. Keep an eye on larger trees on your property – and neighboring properties as well. It’s best to have an expert examine any trees whose position might be a cause for concern.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa is the area’s leader in smoke, fire, water and sewer cleanup and restoration. Sewage is a category 3 water disaster and needs to be cleaned and treated by a professional cleaning and mitigation company. SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa is an IICRC certified firm with the specialized workforce and equipment to address a sewage disaster safely. We are an emergency service company serving the Douglas County area. Call us for 24/7 assistance, 785-690-7373.

Local Agent wins Signed Kansas City Chiefs Helmet

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Sate Farm Agent Jodi Stark holding helmet Jodi Stark holding the Kansas City Chiefs Helmet she won in the raffle drawing.

We like building relationships here at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa, especially relationships with our local insurance agents. We put on a raffle to win a signed Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs football helmet. We had over 275 entries at the time a name was pulled on November first. Our local State Farm Agent Jodi Stark had her name in the raffle several times and won the helmet. She was excited to receive the helmet and a glass display case to help show it off. We love being able to build and grow our relationships with our local agents like Jodi Stark. We hope you enjoy having the helmet displayed Jodi! Congratulations! We look forward to doing an event like this again in the future for our local agents.

Fires in the Kitchen

11/11/2019 (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 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 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 a call, 785-690-7373.