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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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

It's the Water You Don't See in Ottawa, KS

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 of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka 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.

SERVPROof Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka 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 SERVPROof Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka to monitor the drying process.

Thermo hygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPROof Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka 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: SERVPROof Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topekause 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 in Eudora, KS

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

While your Lawrence or East Topeka 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 in Clinton, KS

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 and East Topeka 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 in East Topeka, KS

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 in Ottawa, KS

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 and East Topeka 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 and East Topeka 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 in Wellsville, KS Important?

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Since SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka offers 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 busier! The combination of freezing temperatures coupled with the driving winds blast frigid air into areas of your Lawrence and East Topeka 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 and East Topeka 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 in Lawrence, KS

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 Lawrence or East Topeka 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 in East Topeka, KS

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 Lawrence and East Topeka 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 in Lawrence, KS

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 and East Topeka if you are in need of water or fire remediation services.

50% of East Topeka, KS Businesses Never Reopen after a Natural Disaster

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

According to a major insurance company, one out of two Lawrence and East Topeka businesses never returns to the marketplace following a major disaster. Of those that do, half go bankrupt within three years. The businesses that survive plan their response to a disaster before it strikes.

And the property losses from hurricanes, floods, fires, and other disasters are staggering. Insured losses due to natural disaster in the United States in the first half of 2015 totaled $12.6 billion. That's according to a July 2015 presentation by Munich Re and the Insurance Information Institute.

Pre-planning can serve as a type of "insurance policy" that provides your Lawrence and East Topeka commercial business with peace of mind. And knowing you are "ready for whatever happens" builds trust among your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

Create a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your commercial business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation.

An Emergency Ready Profile can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. At no charge, here's what completing the profile provides for you:

A no cost assessment of your business facility- you pay nothing to have SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka assess the storm-readiness of your commercial building.

A concise document with the critical information you need in an emergency- it takes less than 30 minutes to complete an Emergency Ready Profile. It won't take you away from current projects. But building your emergency plan will save a lot of time if a disaster strikes.

A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster- you cut costs because the profile can help reduce the time your business will be inactive. Most business owners don't realize that the biggest cost businesses hit by a natural disaster is not the cost of the cleanup or renovations. By far, the biggest cost is having to close your business down while the repairs are made. Many businesses lose tens of thousands of dollars for every day they are closed. We specialize in getting businesses back in business fast.

A firm relationship with SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider- you gainthe assurance of having a local provider who is recognized as an industry leader, knows your needs, and will respond quickly in an emergency.

A faster path to mitigation by identifying your line of command for authorizing work to begin- you save valuable time when SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka immediately knows we can begin work of mitigating the damage to your business. Your cleanup and restoration can happen in the most efficient and effective manner.

A detailed listing of critical facility information- you have in one place a reference for details like all shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. You gain a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call so you're "ready for whatever happens."

We're here to Help

The team at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka has specialized training and experience in virtually all aspects of cleaning up after damage caused by water, sewer, fire, smoke, wind, or other natural disasters. Create your own Emergency Ready Profile with us now. Preparation today could save you days of business interruption and help keep the cost of any damage from a disaster down.

Insuring your Lawrence, KS Home against Fire Damage

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Insurance Coverage

     Depending on what type of property insurance you have, you may already be covered for a fire. Providers offer different coverage options so it’s important that you review your details carefully and understand exactly what kind of protection you have.

     According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average fire claim is in excess of $37,150. The two most common ways to insure your home against fires are standard home insurance and dwelling fire coverage.

Standard Home Insurance

     If you are a Lawrence or East Topeka homeowner, your mortgage likely required you to purchase a homeowners insurance policy. These standard home insurance policies typically cover fire damage. They might also protect your personal contents such as furniture, electronics, or other personal possessions.

     Many policies will also include loss of use coverage. If your Lawrence or East Topeka home becomes uninhabitable due to a claim that is covered in your policy, your loss of use coverage will kick in. Under this type of coverage, the insurance company may reimburse you for your extra living expenses while your home is in the process of being either repaired or rebuilt.

     If you live in an apartment or if you rent your home, the landlord likely will have purchased coverage for the building. However, you’ll be responsible for protecting your own belongings. Standard renters policies are relatively cheap and can provide coverage for your personal property in the event of a fire.

Dwelling Fire Coverage

     Dwelling fire coverage is generally less comprehensive than standard home insurance. Similar to standard home insurance it protects the building itself and other structures on the property. It also generally offers loss of use coverage if you have to relocate for a period of time. However, this type of insurance doesn’t cover your personal belongings or personal liability protection. Dwelling fire coverage is generally best used to protect a vacation home or a vacant home where you’ll have less of your personal belongings around.

How to File a Claim

     Before filing your claim on a fire, you should take photos of the damage. Having the proper documentation available can make the process of filing the claim go much smoother.

     After you have all the damage surveyed and documented, it’s time to contact the insurer and file the claim. The insurer will send a claims adjuster to your Lawrence or East Topeka property to assess the damage and put together a cost estimate.

     Once the claims adjuster has finished assessing the damage the repairs can begin on the property. Depending on the damage, repairs to your property could take anywhere from weeks to months to complete. Throughout the ordeal, it’s important to stay organized. Keep all emails, invoices, estimates, and any other documentation you may have received that relates to the damage.

     Another way to make the process smoother is to have a full, up-to-date inventory detailing all of the items in your home. If you happen to lose everything in the fire, this inventory can help you to remember all the items that you need replaced. In case your list happens to be destroyed in the fire as well, you should keep an electronic copy of the inventory that you can pull up if needed. If you prefer, there are some home inventory apps that you can download on your smartphone.

Prevent Fires before They Start

     No matter how prepared you are, a fire always has the potential to occur. But basic knowledge of fire safety can significantly reduce the chances that one will destroy your home. It’s important that you have basic fire safety knowledge and outfit your home with fire safety equipment.

     Smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire extinguishers can prevent a small fire from turning into flames that engulf your home. Having fire safety equipment can also help you to save money on your home insurance premium. Many home insurance providers will offer discounts if you have smoke alarms and sprinkler systems installed in your Lawrence or East Topeka home.

     It’s also important to make sure your entire family understands the basics of fire safety. Some basics to include are an evacuation plan, knowledge of potential fire causes, and a copy of the NFPA’s tips from the fire safety information section of their website.

     Regardless of how prepared you are, a fire is always a possibility in your home. So it’s important to have insurance that will cover you should something happen. If you do suffer a fire, have the professionals at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka come and restore your home and possessions.

SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka is a Team you can Trust

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Whether it’s your Lawrence or East Topeka home or office – we all need a little backup especially in an emergency! You never know what you’ll need. Lucky for you, we do! Floods, mold, fire damage or just regular cleaning; you have to have a company you can trust. And even more importantly – people you can count on 24/7. Look no further! You KNOW you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka!

Do you know why? Because the SERVPRO team is in the top ten franchises of 2016! Even better – according to Entrepreneur, SERVPRO is ranked #4 out of 500! WOW! And to top it all off we’re #1 in our industry – and we have been for the last ten years!

Want to know a little more about how we got our start? Believe it or not SERVPRO actually started in 1967 as a painting business. Two years later, the founders Ted and Doris Isaacson began franchising SERVPRO as a cleaning and restoration company. Then finally in 1988 they decided to make the move and left Sacramento, California to expand their business in Gallatin, Tennessee – all in order to be within 600 miles of 50% of the U.S. population.

Our team at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka specialize in disaster restoration, offering cleanup and repairs to both commercial and residential customers whose property has suffered fire or water damage. We also offer mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, air duct and HVAC cleaning and so much more!

We’ve been in the cleaning and restoration business for quite a while now– so we know what we’re doing. Let us be your backup– download our “Ready Plan” app and put our number on speed dial. In an emergency, you need a team you can trust– we’ve got your back!

Electrical Fires and your Lecompton, KS Business

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

According to the US Department of Energy, people use electricity to charge their cell phones and laptops, wash and dry their clothes, cook meals, brew their morning coffee and heat their businesses. Electrical power keeps people connected and allows people to do what they need to do. Even though most Americans recognize the benefits that come with electrical power, they must also understand that there is a responsibility that needs to be taken seriously to avoid injury or possible disaster.

According to Electrical Safety Foundation International, more than 50,000 fires in the home are attributed to electrical fires. These have resulted in almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries. The damage that has been done has totaled more than $1.3 billion. Obviously, being careless with electrical power has very serious consequences.

The experts at SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka recommend that individuals follow these safety measures in their business to reduce the risk of electrical fires:

  • Inspect your business for loose wires, faulty wiring, and shorts. If there are any issues, contact a qualified electrician. Also, use safety covers on outlets to protect children.
  • Make sure there are smoke detectors on each level of your business. Test them each month to make sure they are working properly.
  • If electrical equipment is making strange sounds or has a weird odor, turn them off. If there is water damage on your Lawrence and East Topeka property, make sure that an expert inspects all electrical appliances. Do not plug then in or turn them on until they are safe. When water has damaged electrical appliances, they can be very dangerous.
  • Use safe cord practices. When cords are loose, frayed or cracked, repair them or replace them. Never place cords in high traffic areas, under rugs, or stapled to surfaces. Additional outlets can be installed by an electrician if necessary. Extension cords should only be utilized temporarily.
  • Light bulb wattage should be correct for the appliance being used.
  • During spring cleaning and while working near service meters or electrical lines, use caution. Consider hiring a professional to do the work if it is dangerous.
  • Flammable items should be kept away from electrical appliances.
  • Consider installing an arc fault circuit interrupter (AFCI) to reduce the chances of electrical fire in your home.
  • Avoid using electrical power tools outside after it has rained, or the area is wet. Never operate electrical equipment while barefoot.
  • Do not allow children to climb trees near power lines. Reduce risk of electrical-related injuries by keeping balloons, kites, and other items away from overhead lines.

Prevention is the best method to keep your family and property safe. If you have experienced property damage because of fire, you can rely on SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka.

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 Lawrence and East Topeka 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 SERVPRO of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka to establish your Emergency READY Profile.

Understanding NWS Forecast Terms in Lawrence, KS

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 East Topeka, KS 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 of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka 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 homes, 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 of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka 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 Wallpaper

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 of Lawrence/Ottawa and East Topeka makes every effort to remove the water and dry out these flooring materials, but often they are non-salvageable and must be safely discarded.