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SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita Uses Industry Leading Tools to Help our Customers

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

Many of the tools described in the blog are in this picture In this photo we see a thermal camera, protimeter, thermal hygrometer, dry sponge and borescope.

Often times water damages from broken pipes or flooding and fire damages are a lot more extensive then they initially look. We have 20 years of experience helping homes and businesses in Wichita with their restoration needs and the tools we utilize during our inspections give us so much more information than the naked eye. Utilizing these tools we create a restoration plan at the beginning of the process which is critical to making sure the entire restoration and rebuilding process is comprehensive and effective. 

Different types of damages require different kinds of tools lets take a look at the tools we utilize for two major types of damage we handle here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita which are water damage and fire damage.

  • Water Damage
    • Thermal Camera: This is a great tool used in many industries. We use a variety of models but they all help us identify wet materials and possible sources of water intrusion. Water and wet materials will show up as darker on the camera which is especially useful when water damage starts on an upper level and leaks into lower ones.
    • Protimeter: This tool is how we physically measure the moisture in materials. This tells us the actual level of moisture content as a percentage. This is useful because we come and check the drying process everyday so when we see the moisture content drop between checks we know our drying plan is working.
    • Thermal Hygrometer: This device takes temperature, humidity and other atmospheric readings and we use it everyday in water damage work. It is important to know the atmospheric conditions because they determine whether or not we are achieving optimum drying conditions.
    • Hydrosensor: This tool is basically a pole with two spikes in the bottom which trigger a beeping noise and light when they are pressed into a wet material such as carpet or pad. This tool is great for identifying the boundaries of water in flooring materials.
    • Borescope: This device allows us to see behind walls! It is essentially a camera on an adjustable pole which transmits images to a display we can look at. We simply drill a hole and run the camera into the wall to see what is going on behind it.
  • Fire Damage
    • Dry Sponge: It is easy to spot the areas that are heavily affected with soot after a fire. What is more difficult is identifying areas which have light to even medium levels of soot. That is why we use dry sponging to spot check and identify the extent of soot and smoke damage. This is important because those light to medium soot levels may not look bad but they will cause odor down the road.
    • Custom made cleaning products: SERVPRO uses cleaning products made specifically for SERVPRO franchises across the US and the work we do. We utilize these products to test clean during the inspection process to make sure we have a process which will work for the entire project.
    • HEPA Quality Air filtration machines help trap hazardous particulates and reduce bad odors.
    • Many of the same tools used in water damage restoration are used in fire damage since often there is water damage from putting the fire out.

One tool we use in almost all our work is the human nose. Odor can tell us a lot from how long a water damage may have been sitting or suggesting the possible presence of microbial growth due to a musty odor. If you have a fire or water related odors causing you a problem, give us a call for an inspection at (316) 684 – 6700.

The Higher Level of Service from SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO inspector performing a soot inspection Here a SERVPRO inspector is using a dry sponge in order to evaluate the level of soot in a customers home after a fire.

When you need restoration work done in your home or business you must be able to trust the professionals that you invite into that space to do quality work. In an emergency restoration scenario, you are already dealing with so many factors, whether you can trust your restoration company should not be one of them. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is the best choice you can make because we work to have the best people, products, and processes. 

We run background checks on all our staff, both our technicians in the field and office staff, once a year. We do this because we know it is important that our customers can trust the people we send into their homes and handle their information. We have our own in house technician certification program and many of our technicians are certified with the IICRC the restoration industry governing body. This ensures are staff is both trustworthy and highly competent. 

The products we use are industry leading, safe, and efficient. For example, as we have grown and worked here in Wichita since 2001 we have constantly updated our stock of air movers used to dry homes. Where once our equipment might have used 4 amps per air mover our current equipment uses 1.9 amps per air mover while drying much more effectively. This is just one example of how we are always looking to bring the best technology to our customers. All our air filtration equipment is HEPA quality for mold remediation and duct cleaning which is able to capture mold particles out of the air. 

The processes we use to complete our restoration work is guided by the knowledge we received from our IICRC certifications, our training from our corporate and the wealth of experience shared from our nationwide network of SERVPRO locations. That is why we can guarantee and warranty our work. You can have peace of mind to know that background checked, certified technicians with the leading equipment are taking care of your property and they are backed by our firm which is insured up to $2,000,000. 

Give us a call today and find out how different a professional experience can be – (316) 684-6700.

SERVPRO Works With Wichita Churches to Dry Water Damage

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

Our equipment drying a sanctuary in a church In this photo we are drying the carpet in a sanctuary which had water damage.

SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita works with all kinds of commercial buildings when disaster strikes including churches of all faiths. We have helped churches come back from large devastating losses and smaller losses outside of critical areas. No matter what the situation we bring a level of professionalism, expertise and respect to the process which makes organizations very happy they chose to work with us. 

Every service we offer can be done for residential or commercial settings. We understand that when it comes to churches often service or other events still needs to happen so we have a lot of experience in creating and executing a drying plan which can accommodate what needs to happen. 

For example, a water loss happened on Friday in the worship area at one church and they had services on Sunday. We came in later Saturday, removed the equipment from the worship area and set it back up Sunday afternoon so that the equipment would not disturb services. 

Our water mitigations services include:

  • Water extraction
  • Sanitization
  • Drying equipment such as dehumidifiers, air movers, infrared plates, hardwood drying mat system and other specialty equipment
  • Any necessary demolition

When we do our work we always make a drying plan with our customers to make sure it suits their needs and expectations. When we get a call, we can either send a team to start working immediately or we can send an inspector out to look at the situation, give you and your staff an idea of what needs to happen and how much that might cost. Our estimates and inspections are free so if you have a water issue that you are concerned about give us a call today at 316-684-6700.

Spring Cleaning and Waterproofing Your Basement and Belongings

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

Water Proof Bins Here are water proof bins that protected their contents after a flood.

Spring cleaning is officially upon us now that milder temperatures roll into Wichita. We have been in our homes much more than usual for winter and there maybe a bit more to do to freshen up this season.

We are mostly known for our disaster restoration services but we also offer a wide range of services, many of which pair up great with spring cleaning. A great service to get done is a duct cleaning which is great for cleaning out the accumulated dust and particulates in your home. We put your HVAC system under negative pressure with our HEPA filtered suction system and then go down each individual vent with air pressure and a spinning brush. This method can greatly improve your air quality.

Another great service we offer is carpet cleaning which can remove stains, odors and leave your carpet fresh and ready to play on! In addition to removing odors we offer many deodorization services from fogging your home with a deodorant, to physically cleaning all walls, floors and surfaces. This can be especially effective for removing odors such as nicotine or extreme pet odor.

Now that you are all clean and ready for spring is your basement ready? We have a great list of steps you can take to protect your basement from flooding and measures you can take to protect your sentimental belongings even if some flooding occurs. Let’s start with preventing the flooding:

  • Clean and Evaluate your gutters
    • Add extensions to your gutters where possible
    • Use your hose to run water and see if there are any leaks
    • Make sure to check your basement the first time you use your hose after spring and make sure it has not burst
  • French drains can push water further away from your home, consider installing them if you notice excessive build up of water around your home during smaller showers
  • Check the seals on your windows
  • Check for any damaged shingles on your roof
  • Check your sump pump by triggering the pump or even pouring a bucket of water in there to make sure it runs
    • A good idea is to have a second sump pump ready to go in case your current one breaks. Often when a large weather even occurs sometimes people cannot find a replacement pump very quickly
    • Make sure you have a back-up, there are both water based, and battery based back-ups and in our experience typically the water based are more reliable but more expensive.

Here are some tips for keeping your items safe in case a flood happens anyway:

  • Keep your contents off the floor, even if the shelving is just a couple of inches above the floor this can protect it from most flood issues we see.
  • Put your contents in a plastic waterproof bin
  • Put important documents and photographs in Ziplock sealed bags, and put those in in a waterproof bin
  • When organizing your containers prioritize putting the waterproof bins on the ground and putting any cardboard or water vulnerable containers on the shelving or even on top of the bins.

Give us a call if we can help you with spring cleaning or water damage at (316) 684-6700

Low Temperatures in Wichita Can Cause Water Damage

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

A sump pump discharge pipe which froze This is the discharge pipe for a sump pump which froze and caused a water damage in the homeowners basement.

This is the coldest streak of days we have had in Wichita in years and we are seeing the effects of this cold snap in a huge increase in water damages. As with any storm situation SERVPRO is “Ready for whatever happens” and is already helping people in Wichita and the surrounding area recover from water damage caused by low temperatures. 

How to protect your home?

Frozen pipes are one of the largest sources of property damage during low temperature spells and can easily result in over $5,000 in damages. In the last ten years insurance companies estimated that 4 billion dollars has been spent on fixing broken pipes and the damage they cause. According to a study from the University of Illinois once the temperature gets down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit is when this type of damage see a large uptick. What can you do to prevent this? 

  • Allow faucet to drip this keeps the water pressure down and prevents pipes from freezing
  • Open cabinet doors where there is plumbing to allow warm air to circulate around those pipes
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night
    • Do not allow the heat to go lower than 55° F
  • Keep your garage door closed especially if there are water supply lines in the garage
  • If you can, insulate pipes especially in unheated spaces like attics, crawlspaces, garages or pipes that lead outside.
    • Pipe insulation is as low as 50 cents a linear foot
  • Pay attention to your sump pump discharge line because that can freeze as well
    • Insulate the discharge line
    • Dripping faucets help keep them from freezing as well 

If you are concerned that you have leaking due to a frozen or burst pipe in your home or business do not hesitate to call our expert technicians here at SERVPRO. Our 24/7 emergency response line is 316-684-6700.

Dealing with Mold in your Crawlspace

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

A crawlspace with mold growing on joists and insulation This crawlspace had a hot water leak for an unknown amount of time causing mold to grow throughout the crawlspace and necessitating drying.

Many homes in Wichita have crawlspaces instead of basements and sometimes in addition to basements. Crawlspaces can be a source of moisture and mold problems and since most people do not crawl around them regularly those problems are often out of control once they are discovered.

We recently did a moisture inspection for a homeowner who was concerned about moisture and mold because the humidity in their home had been bad for 4 months. After some inspecting, we found that a hot water line was leaking and had turned their crawlspace into a sauna. It was the perfect environment for mold which was covering the joists and subfloor.

Fortunately, not only do we inspect crawlspaces we also remediate the mold inside them and dry them down when needed. What is important is for you to identify the signs of mold or water in your crawlspace and act quickly to stop it from damaging your property.

Signs of Mold

  1. Musty odor. A musty smell in your crawlspace or home will can indicate moisture or growth.
  2. Pay attention to water pressure and bills. If you suddenly see a large drop in water pressure from something like your faucet or shower it might be a sign of leak. Additionally, if your water bill shoots up without you using more water than usual that is also a strong sign of a leak.
  3. Pay attention to your floor. If you notice laminate or similar flooring starting to warp, or if the sub-floor sags or feels weak that is a sign of some serious water damage or wood rot.
  4. Air in the crawlspace typically will move up from the crawlspace into your home due to a process called the stack effect. The air movement between a crawlspace with mold into your home moves the mold from the crawlspace into your home. Pay attention to your body and notice if you are seeing any possible symptoms of mold exposure.

What should you do if you suspect mold in your crawlspace?

If you see any of these signs of mold or moisture in your crawlspace there are a few actions you can take. If you have a HVAC unit in the crawlspace shutting off your unit can help stop your HVAC system from blowing spores around your home. Try to figure out where the moisture is coming from and stop more moisture from coming in if possible. Finally give us a call and schedule an inspection with us and we can help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Our number is 316-684-6700. Call Today!

Get your Commercial Ducts Professionally Cleaned by SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

A dirty duct Here is a picture of dirty duct work we took before we cleaned it. Check out our before and after page to see how it looked after!

Air quality at home and at peoples place of work has become increasingly important in the last few years. One of the biggest and easiest actions you can take to increase the air quality inside is to get the ductwork cleaned. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita has been cleaning residential and commercial ductwork in Wichita for over 16 years now. We have the experience, equipment, and expertise to clean your ductwork to the highest standard of clean. 

Why should you get your ducts cleaned?

  • Improve air quality: having a lot of dust and particulates in the air reduces the air quality in your building and can cause health issues for employees or customers with sinus or respiratory issues.
  • Increase the efficiency of your HVAC Units: dirty or clogged ductwork puts an increased strain on your HVAC system causing it to work harder and use more energy in order to heat and cool your building. Dust build up can even destroy a HVAC system and become very expensive if you need to replace the system.
  • Reduce Odors: Mold has a musty smell and can sometimes be found on ductwork. Even decomposing dust can have a strong and unpleasant odor.
  • Reduce the duct build up around your building: Dirty ductwork blows dust around causing dust to build up on surfaces quicker and making more frequent cleaning necessary. 

Why SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita should be your duct cleaning choice.

  • Experience: We have worked on commercial duct work in single buildings, strip malls, high rises and manufacturing.
  • We use equipment with HEPA filters to put your duct work under negative pressure when we clean it. The negative pressure is what is recommended by NADCA for duct cleaning and the HEPA equipment ensures an even greater level of filtration for particulates, even mold!
  • No matter how big your project is we can handle it. Even if we need to call in additional people or equipment from other SERVPRO’s like we do in storm situations. we can get the job done.

How do you know if you need a duct cleaning?

  • Musty odors or unpleasant smells with seemingly no source.
  • Large dust build up on supply or return vents.
  • After reconstruction or remodeling there is often elevated levels of harsh dust.
  • If you see an excessive amount of dust building up between cleanings that means there is a lot of dust circulating and a lot of dust and particulates that we can take out of the duct work.
  • NADCA recommends that duct work be cleaned every 3-5 years. 

We can come inspect your building and give you an estimate for what it would take to clean your system today - (316) 684-6700

Top 3 Causes of Water Damage

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

A picture of SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita's building This is our building where we have been working from to help Wichita with water damage since 2015.

Water damage in Wichita, KS is a common occurrence. We should know, we have been helping businesses and homeowners in Wichita recover from flooding and water damage every day for nearly 20 years now. Over that time we have seen a lot disasters and we’ve picked up tips for what you can do, saved all kinds of materials from getting destroyed and met a whole lot of great people. After talking it over we have determined from our experience what Wichita’s top 3 causes of water damage are and have some tips for what you can do to prevent them!

  1. Fridge Water Line: In the last few years we    have seen more and more water losses caused by the water supply to refrigerators. Most of those have happened during a move or a new appliance installation. Make sure you double check the connection when you first install that water line!
  2. Sump Pump: Wichita is full of finished basements and sump pumps. Especially when heavy rains come we see a huge uptick in flooded basements caused by the rain. Check out our blog about what you can do to prevent your basement from flooding.
  3. Broken Pipes: The worst damage is almost always due to a broken pipe causing flooding. There are a few things you can do to prevent this. Getting a plumber to inspect your pipes with a snake tool, keep an eyes our for water spots often pipe breaks start as pinhole leaks, pay attention to your water pressure if it goes down that could indicate a leak. Finally make sure you know where your water shutoff is, in the case of a broken pipe you can massively decrease the damage it does if you can shut the water off immediately.

If you experience any water issues, flooding or even suspect it our highly trained technicians can help identify water damage and get you a plan to restore your property. Give us a call today at 316-684-6700.

Top 3 Water Damage Tips for Wichita Homeowners

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling in the kitchen collapsed from water damage Here water from above soaked into the drywall ceiling in the room below and caused the drywall to collapse.

Frozen pipes, intense storming, backed up drains there are so many ways water damage can occur and we have personal experience with that after serving the Wichita community for nearly 20 years. No matter what the cause of a water damage our highly trained restoration technicians know what needs to be done to make it “Like it never even happened.” If you have a serious water damage you should call us right away. While you wait for us to arrive it is a good idea to be as proactive as you can to minimize the damage to your home. If you are concerned about the health issues of the water check here to learn about water categories. Here are the top 3 things you should do while you wait for help to arrive.

  1. Move your furniture off wet flooring.

This is something we do when we arrive but until we get there your furniture is sitting in the water getting damaged. Some furniture can swell up and never return to its original size. If metal or wood is touching carpet rust or varnish stains can easily damage your carpet. Move that furniture off your carpet, dry the areas which sat in the water and set it elsewhere in an unaffected area. Preferably on a surface which will not be damaged if your furniture is still damp. Do not forget to remove rugs!

  1. Remove as much water as you can.

The longer that water is there the more damage you are going to have. Get ahead of the water damage by setting towels down to slow down the flow of water into unaffected areas of your home. If there is a drain which works try to mop/sweep/squeegee the water into it. Some home owners even use their shop-vacs to suck up water which can be slow going but might be worth doing.

  1. Move your belongings out of the affected areas.

Once we arrive one thing which can really slow down the drying process on the first day is moving contents out of affected areas. Bookshelves with a lot of books, cabinets with fine china or collectables, or dressers full of clothes might need to be moved in order to reach all the affected areas. Even if you cannot move big items by yourself emptying them out before we arrive will speed up the process and get the drying started sooner. This is also a good idea if you have, valuables, guns or sentimental items you would prefer us not to handle.

Even if you are confused or unsure about a water damage situation give us a call. We will come and do a moisture inspection for free for Wichita homeowners. We can help you identify the source of a loss and give you an estimate for what it will take to dry out your home. Our 24/7 emergency line is 316-684-6700.

How to clean up flood damage after Wichita storms?

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Equipment being used on a water restoration project. Most water restoration projects utilize air movers like seen in this picture.

Taking care of flood damage from storms requires water extraction, disinfectant application, moisture readings, and drying equipment.  

If you live in Wichita you are no stranger to powerful season storms. Oftentimes those storms cause flooding in basements around town and if that happens to you we have your back.  

Water that comes from the outside into your home is considered Category 2 water which is a rating of waters cleanliness; if you want to know more check out our blog here. With category 2 water we need to take certain measures, for example category 2 water is often more odorous than clean water and we handle that by applying a disinfectant which kills odor causing microbes which may have come in with the water. Additionally, in basements with carpets we typically will remove the carpet pad for sanitary reasons. After you call us for help here are some tips for you take until help arrives

Water Damage Restoration Tools

In the process of drying your property our trained technicians use many tools to inspect, dry and restore flood damage. In the inspection process we utilize tools such as:

  • Moisture meter: this can detect moisture in carpet which is useful because often the water goes further than you expect. By utilizing this tool we can find the borders of the water and plan our work accordingly and predict what furniture should be moved and where. 
  • Protimeter: we check your structure for moisture such as walls, cabinets, built ins or anything else which could be affected by water coming into. Often times water can travel up materials and the walls will be wet above the height of the water.
  • Thermal Hygrometer: This instrument allows us to take readings on the temperature, humidity and Grains per Pound in your home. Using these number we can evaluate what needs to be done to get your home into a atmosphere that will dry it.
  • Thermal camera: This is a great tool which can show us where water is using the temperature differential we observe in the camera. It is helpful when we need to locate water which might have gone in places you don’t expect. 

In order to dry out the damage we find we use:

  • Large Grain Refrigerant Dehumidifiers: these dehumidifiers can pump up to 110 pints per day out of the air in your home! They are a major element of nearly every water damage restoration project.
  • Desiccants: These are similar to dehumidifiers in that that remove humidity from the air but they do it with a different process and are utilized in environments where the temperature is lower.
  • Air Movers: Another common tool for almost every project air movers are basically very powerful fans which aid in drying down structures.
  • Specialty: We have a many types of specialty equipment that we can utilize depending on the situation. Whether it be drying our wood floors, ceramic tile, or materials that need over 160 degrees to dry we have got it.

If you ever need any of our services feel free to call our 24/7 emergency line at 316-684-6700.