Recent Water Damage 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.”

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.

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.

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.