Recent Posts

Pretesting Your Items After A Fire

5/3/2022 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita, our technicians use pretesting to determine the scope of the loss, type of fire loss, and the method of cleaning for areas that have been affected. Pretesting helps determine what items are restorable or repairable vs. those items that will need to be replaced. Every surface is different and will require a certain method of cleaning.  

We use several methods of cleaning your contents, including: 

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning. 
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues. 
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning. 
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned. 
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned. 
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product. 
     

Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process and approach stays the same. We have a method that has been perfected over the years and the tools and chemicals that are needed to get you back to your preloss condition. Call SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita to have a professional come in and figure out the best course of action. Our 24/7 emergency line is 316-260-9011! 

Hail Damage in Wichita KS

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

In Kansas one of the top causes of roof and home damage is hail. Hail can not only harm property such as homes, businesses, and vehicles, but can cause harm to livestock, and even humans. Hail is formed by raindrops being carried upward by a thunderstorm's updrafts into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere and freezing. Even though it is cool to see, the sound of hail hitting your car and roof will make any person cringe.  

According to NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) hail causes around one billion dollars a year in damage. Last year, Kansas had over 20 thousand claims due to storm damage. If your roof or windows are damaged by hail, then that can cause leaks into your home or business, which can result in water damage.  

Kansas Estimated Storm Losses According to the KS Insurance Department: 

Year: 2011 

Number of  Claims: 197,255 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 1,095,030,000 

Year: 2012 

Number of Claims: 96,775 

Amount in Storm Losses:$ 400,335,000 

Year: 2013 

Number of Claims: 86,990 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 284,604,290 

Year: 2014 

Number of Claims: 46,400 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 112,396,455 

Year: 2015 

Number of Claims: 54,870 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 173,637,443 

Year: 2016 

Number of Claims: 51,708 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 107,260,873 

Year: 2017 

Number of Claims: 47,736 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 194,599,103 

Year: 2018 

Number of Claims: 37,719 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 72,223,491 

Year: 2019 

Number of Claims: 60,140 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 276,577,312 

Year: 2020 

Number of Claims: 32,834 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 126,813,439 

Year: 2021 

Number of Claims: 20,510 

Amount in Storm Losses: $ 141,369,410 

Not only does SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita have the knowledge and expertise for water, fire or mold damage, we can also handle making sure the reconstruction gets taken care of. Being in the business for over 20 years in the Wichita area has given us a long list of trusted peers to help with your reconstruction process. If you find your home or business affected by hail or storm damage, give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call at 316-260-9011. 

Common Plumbing Problems in Commercial Buildings

4/9/2022 (Permalink)

Plumbing problems in your commercial building can cause big issues. Due to heavy use, commercial bathrooms need special attention. The smallest leaks can cause not only an increase in your water bill but can cause future mold growth that will need remediation. Here are the most common issues a commercial bathroom can experience: 

  1. Toilet Clogs

While most toilets in a commercial building are built for heavy use, they are still prone to clogs. Clogs in commercial buildings can be so much worse than those in a house. Most often residential toilets store water in their tanks. The water from the tank then pushes out the water and waste in the bowl when it is flushed and re-fills the bowl with clean water. Commercial toilets, on the other hand, receive water from a water supply line at a high level of pressure. If it clogs and floods the bathroom, this can force you to hire water damage restoration professionals. 

  1. Leaks

Leaking pipes and faucets can be problematic for numerous reasons. While small leaks may not seem like a big deal, they can lead to a lot of wasted water over time, high increases in your utility bill, as well future mold issues if not dried correctly. If you notice a leak, be sure to have it fixed as soon as possible and call SERVPRO to inspect the area for additional water damage. 

  1. Broken Toilet Handles

Excessive clogs are not the only thing that can be a problem with commercial toilets. They also are more likely to have a broken handle due to excessive use. Over time the toilet’s flush handle can become loose or break-off completely and allow water to continually flow into the tank or bowl between flushes.  

  1. Sewage Blocks

Another thing that's worse than leaking pipes is a sewage block. Your main sewer line is responsible for draining all of the waste water that goes down the drains, so if it clogs it could quickly turn into a large problem. This can lead to foul smells throughout your business, water backups, and more. Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness.  

SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita provides free inspections on commercial properties which can help identify the entire scope of water damage which is often larger than you can see. Additionally, we provided free Emergency Ready Plans or ERPs to businesses which can drastically reduce the size of a potential loss. Call us today at 316-260-9011 to get your ERP started before anything goes wrong on your property! 

Workplace Safety

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

The workplace is where most people spend about a third of their life, around 8+ hours a day, and usually 5 or more days a week. Whether you work outdoors, or in an office there are dangers in any work environment. It is important that companies provide the knowledge and tools to provide a safe workplace for their employees.  

Here is a list of workplace safety tips that are a great starting point and should be a part of your daily routine:  

  1. Use equipment, tools, and machinery properly 
  1. Wear necessary safety gear 
  1. Keep your area clear from clutter 
  1. Report any unsafe conditions 
  1. Be aware of your surroundings 
  1. Practicing good posture and lifting techniques 
  1. Stayin hydrated 
  1. Take regular breaks 
  1. Always report injuries that happen on the job 

Those are just a few tips to keep in mind, most jobs will have additional training courses for their employees and information on safety specific to the job. So how can we, SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita help you? Cleanliness of the workplace is so important to the safety of your job, this includes fire hazards, biohazard services, and full commercial cleaning services such as duct cleaning, carpet cleaning, covid cleanings, and odor removal. We offer free emergency response plans for your business and are available 24/7 for your needs. Give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call (316)260-9011. 

Snow Storms and How They Can Affect Your Home

2/8/2022 (Permalink)

Snow not only can affect things when it accumulates, such as slick roads, frozen pipes, and low visibility. It can also cause trouble when it starts to melt as well. When snow melts it can not only cause a slushy, muddy mess, but it can damage your home. Here are a few ways to help prevent damage to your home as snow starts to melt: 

  1. Clean snow and debris from ground drains and gutters. 
  1. Ice and compact snow can create dams that keep water from draining. 
  1. Consider where snow will go when it melts. 
  1. When shoveling snow on your property, think about which direction it will drain when it melts.  
  1. Remove large accumulations of snow from areas where it could melt and enter your home.  
  1. Shovel snow away from the outer edges of your home. Something to consider is, if snow builds up around your house and begins to melt the water may seep into any existing cracks in your foundation, leading to basement flooding. If the temperature drops below freezing once water has entered those cracks, the water will expand as it turns to ice, and that expansion could lead to even further cracking. 
  1. Know what’s covered by your insurance policy. 
  1. Not all household water damage is treated alike – freezing pipes may be evaluated differently than seeping snow. Read your insurance policy carefully and call your local, independent insurance agent to determine what’s covered. SERVPRO is here to help! 

If you do incur a loss inside your home because of melting snow, it’s important to take quick action. At the first sign of dampness inside your home, call immediately for professional help before long-term damage sets in. SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (316) 260-9011. 

Tools of the Trade

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

air mover and thermal camera Pictured is a protimeter, carpet probe, air mover, and a thermal camera.

Being a leader in the restoration industry means that our tools have to be able to keep up with our practice. SERVPRO is constantly looking to improve our efficiency on the job by continuing to provide upgraded equipment that streamlines the restoration process. We have amazing employees that work hard and are highly trained and the best way to support them is to give them the tools they need to get the job done.

Here are some of our most used tools in the business and what they do:

Air Mover:

The Air Mover is our classic fan that we use on almost every water loss. In combination with our dehumidifier the fan speeds up the drying process significantly. When we put all the measurements of the affected area into our drying program it calculates the optimal amount of Air Movers needed to get the job done.

Dehumidifier:

Our Dehumidifier does what it says, removes humidity from the air by creating and adding heat. When you are trying to dry an area the more humidity the longer it is going to take. Our dehumidifiers pump out around 100-degree air at 12-20% humidity which is very helpful to drying when your typical water damage is at around 60-80% on day 1. Our dehumidifiers work by having a refrigeration inside which forces the water in the air to condense inside the dehumidifier in the reservoir and the heat that is lost by the water from the condensation is then used by the dehumidifier as heat that is exhausts back into the room.

Protimiter:

The protimeter is the tool we use to measure the moisture content on walls, hardwood/tile flooring, and even furniture. Often times surfaces cand look dry, and even feel dry and still be extremely saturated.

Thermal Cameras:

Thermal cameras can help us clearly see the temperature differences where water may still be affecting an areas. This is very helpful with tall walls and ceilings.

Carpet Probes:

When your carpet gets wet sometimes it is hard to tell, as the water absorbs from area to the next some area may be more saturated. The carpet probe is a tool that helps us determine what areas are wet. The carpet probe is essentially a broken circle and if the carpet is wet enough that it is able to duct the charge and finish the circuit.

Laser Measure:

When we go into your property to assess the damages we take measurements to help with our sketches of the rooms that were affected. A laser measure quickly takes measurements without the use of a standard tape measure.

Let SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita be your go-to restoration company. If your home or property is affected by a water loss we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (316) 260-9011.

What is the IICRC?

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization for the Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Industries. The knowledge they provide allows SERVPRO to advance their education and continue to be a leader in the restoration industry. They offer over 20 different certifications, below are a few of the certifications we hold here at SERVPRO: 

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician 
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician 
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician 
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program 
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician 
  • IICRC Certified Firm 
  • JTC - Journeyman Textile Cleaner 
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician 
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation 
  • UFT - Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician 
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician 

Having a company you can trust is so important, when you go through a stressful and emotional time during your loss you want a company that is knowledgeable and trained to get the job done efficiently. Being an IICRC certified firm means we can give you the confidence to call us when disaster strikes. We are a 24-hour emergency service and will quickly respond. To contact our office for a non-emergency service such as a mold inspection, duct cleaning, or carpet cleaning, or to reach our emergency line for a water loss, call (316) 260-9011.  

What is Kennel Cough and How SERVPRO Can Help

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

two dogs in a kennel Give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call if you need a quote to disinfect your home or business (316) 260-9011.

Kennel cough is a very contagious upper-respiratory infection caused by bacteria (Bordetella bronchiseptica) that is spread through saliva and/or air borne particles, either through direct contact or through exposure to surfaces that an infected dog has had contact with. Kennel Cough is the most common upper respiratory infection of dogs of all ages. It is most often identified by a persistent hacking, gagging, or unproductive cough. Some dogs may even experience low energy, decreased appetite, or may be asymptomatic but still contagious.  

Any one of these common situations can put your dog at increased risk for Kennel Cough: 

  • Dog park visits 
  • Vet visits 
  • Grooming 
  • Day Care 
  • Boarding 
  • Multi-dog households 
  • Training Classes 
  • Daily walks or contact with other dogs 
  • Chronic heart or lung disease 
  • Compromised Immune System 
  • Commercial transport 
  • Recent adoption from shelter, rescue  
  • Pet store visits 

How Can SERVPRO Help? 

SERVPRO has their own professional cleaning products we use, SERVPROXIDE is designed to kill harmful bacteria, viruses and mold on hard surfaces and is an effective sanitizer for soft surfaces. It carries the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating making it safe for everyday use. This is especially helpful for business such as shelters, and vets where they may have been affected. Give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call if you need a quote to disinfect your home or business (316) 260-9011.  

Rodent Health Risks

11/26/2021 (Permalink)

mouse in attic in wichita ks Give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call (316) 260-9011.

It's hard to stay healthy during the winter, we are constantly fighting the common cold, the flu, and now covid. One thing most people don't think about this time of year is the threat posed by rodents to both our health and property. During colder months, mice and rats are on the hunt for food, and warmth. This means they are often entering homes and businesses and can go unnoticed for quite some time. Rodents invade an estimated 21 million homes in the U.S. every winter, and an infestation can cause more than just some property damage, mice and rat feces can cause hazardous bacteria to spread. When the fecal matter of a mouse or rat dries it can become extremely dangerous to those who breathe it in. Some of the most common and sometimes deadly diseases or viruses are listed below: 

Hantavirus 

Hantavirus is a potentially life-threatening disease transmitted to humans by rodents-primarily, the white-footed deer mouse. People become infected through exposure or inhalation of infected rodent urine, droppings or saliva, and the chances increase when people are near spaces where rodents are actively living. 

Bubonic Plague 

Also known as the "Black Death", the Plague is a highly contagious and often deadly disease notorious for killing one-third of the European population during the Middle Ages. Plague is usually spread by the bite of an infected rodent flea and can cause fever, headache, and painfully swollen lymph nodes. 

Salmonellosis 

Salmonellosis is a type of food poisoning spread by rodent feces, especially through the consumption of contaminated food. 

Rat-Bite Fever 

Rat-bite fever (RBF) is a potentially fatal infectious disease spread by infected rodents or the consumption of food contaminated by rodents. The CDC says that symptoms usually occur 3-10 days after exposure to an infected source and include fever, vomiting, headaches, rash, and muscle pain. 

Not only can rodents in your home cause health effects they can also destroy your home. They can tear through insulation and chew through drywall, cardboard, wood, and electrical wiring. SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita can not only remove your infested insulation but we can remove the feces and sanitize so you don’t have to worry about any bacterial diseases effecting your home. We use HEPA grade vacuums, EPA registered disinfectant and will also deodorize the area.  

Give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call if your home or business has experienced a possible infestation (316) 260-9011.  

How To Prevent Dryer Fires

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

dryer vent Give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call to clean out your dryer vents (316) 260-9011.

Dryer fires are responsible for a large number of home fires each year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2014-2018, local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 13,820 home structure fires per year in which dryers were involved in the ignition. These fires caused an average of seven civilian deaths, 344 civilian injuries, and $233 million in direct property damage annually.

Not all dryer fires start the same, mechanical, and electrical failure is one-way, faulty wiring and damaged appliances can potentially cause a dryer fire. Improper use can also be a factor, such as overstuffing the dryer, items that should not be put in a dryer, and items that have warnings that advise to not dry with heat. For example, a mat in your home with a rubber back could potentially cause a fire. The most common cause of a dryer fire is clogged vents, ducts, and filters. The buildup of lint on the filter, as well as the outside vent can also become clogged, which inhibits airflow and can lead to dangerous conditions.

Here are a few tips on preventing a dryer fire:

  • Make sure it is properly installed
  • Clean the lint screen after each use
  • Clean the vent and duct periodically
  • Have your dryer routinely inspected

We offer dryer vent cleanings as one of our services which can help prevent fires started by your dryer. If your home experiences a fire, give SERVPRO of Southwest Wichita a call. We can help you through the process of getting your home back to normal (316) 260-9011.