Recent Water Damage Posts

Do You Have Hidden Water Damage?

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

If your Wichita KS home is affected by water damage, you will want to have it restored as quickly as possible, in some cases, water damage can go unnoticed until it is too late. The longer water damage is left unaddressed, the more destructive it can be to your home. It can be confusing to know the warning signs of water damage in your Wichita KS home, so here are a few signs to look out for! 

  1. You have mold. Mold spores are everywhere but once they find moisture, humidity and consistent temperature mold will begin growing, reproducing, and degradating the materials they are growing on. Without water, mold spores would n be able to grow and spread, crazy enough mold can start growing in as little as 48 hours. Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita recommends keeping indoor humidity below 45 percent. Mold is typically a sign of persistent water intrusion.
  2. Bubbling or discoloration in your walls, floors, and ceilings. One of the easiest ways to tell if you have experienced water damage is a visual cue. Your wallpaper may bubble, paint may peel, and hardwood floors may buckle or warp, checking for softened drywall is also something that is simple, but most people don’t think about doing that. Water can even get behind latex paint and bubble up like a water balloon. 
  3. Unusually high water bills. An unusually high water bill can indicate that there is an unnoticed leak somewhere in your home. No one likes getting bills in the mail, and when we open it up and see a number double, or triple what we were expecting, it’s recipe for a heart attack. Check for leaks under the sink, in a crawlspace, or even a leaking toilet. 

Water damage is never fun and often leads to other issues, which is why it is so important to call a disaster restoration company like SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita if you detect it in your home. Our team of professional technicians is always ready to help, so give us a call today! (316) 684-6700 

Do Your Baseboards Have A Purpose?

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

Working in the water damage industry, our technicians see everything. They also are the ones that remove everything when it gets affected by water. Taking off baseboards is always a tedious task if we are trying to save them, but depending on the material it is made from, salvaging it may not be possible. Baseboards are usually thought to be installed purely for aesthetic purposes, but you may be surprised to find out that they actually serve many purposes; 

  • Baseboards help prevent the walls from getting damaged by moisture. Leaks, spills, and wouldn’t you know it, even mopping can cause the drywall to get wet if it isn’t properly protected. Dry wall is extremely porous and soaks up moisture quickly. Which adds to the drying time if you are affected by a water loss.  
  • Baseboards also protect against physical damage, being a much stronger material than your dry wall.  
  • With the correct installation, your walls should have slight spacing in some areas to allow for contraction during the changing temperature and moisture content. Baseboards help hide those gaps.  

You see baseboards everywhere and know you know what their purpose is! If your home or business experiences a water loss give SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita a call. We want to be your trusted, local, and always there company when you need us (316) 684-6700. 

Tips To Prevent Water Damage This Spring

3/25/2022 (Permalink)

The Kansas weather is always unpredictable. The last few months have been a rollercoaster, I think we have experienced all four seasons in the last couple of months. With Spring approaching, SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita has a few tips to help you prevent water damage in your home or business. 

  1. Planning your Planting.

Plants and trees have their own agenda under the ground. They can cause trouble later if they are not placed in the correct areas of your yard.  The roots can grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage areas, pipes, and septic tanks. Always call “811 Dig Safe” to have them mark your underground utilities. 

  1. Cleaning Out Your Roof Gutters.

Your gutters provide drainage for your home and help move water off the roof to prevent damage to your home or business. We recommend doing a thorough gutter cleaning 1-2 times per year. Keeping up with routine maintenance is extremely important because clogged gutters could create water damage, and potentially foundation damage from excessive buildup of water around the foundation of your home.  

  1. Use a Drain Snake Instead of Unclogging Chemicals.

During your spring cleaning, cleaning your drains out might be on your to-do list. A lot of people will jump to using chemicals to clean out their drains, but that can be damaging to your pipes. Chemicals can corrode your pipes and cause leaks, which can lead to water damage and mold growth. A drain snake can physically removed obstructions with much less wear and tear on your plumbing. 

  1. Never Pour Grease Down Your Sink.

After you cook pouring the grease down your sink can seem like no harm done, but whether you flush it down with hot or cold water, grease can still cling to your pipes and could even cause some severe damage and blockage. One tip is to save glass jars once they are empty and pour the grease into them until the jar is full.  

Water and flooding emergencies can happen any time, so SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays. Give us a call at (316) 684-6700.  

The Layers of Flooring

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

layers of flooring with labels The different layers of flooring in your home or business can play an important factor in the drying process.

If your house is affected by a water loss, if the damage is substantial, it might require your flooring to be removed. When we start removing flooring , we will want to remove everything down to the subfloor to speed up drying. In some older homes we find that there is more then one layer to get down to the subfloor because new flooring had been installed over the old one instead of having the old flooring removed, in one instance we removed 5 layers of flooring. This can be problematic for several reasons: 

  • One common issue is squeaks. Any movement in any layer can cause this issue, and the more layers, the more potential for this to happen.  
  • Another common issue is floor height. When additional layers are added, this can cause doors not to close and trim to look short. Maybe a fridge that will no longer slide under that cabinet, or a stove that you can no longer make flush with the countertop. 
  • When you nail or glue a new floor over the existing one it makes your new floor only as strong as the old one. If your old flooring fails, the new flooring will also be quick to follow.  
  • Lastly if a water loss happens the restoration process can be lengtheir and more expensive.  

If your home or business experiences a water loss the best thing to do is act fast, the quicker you can get someone out to start the extraction and drying process the less severe the damage. The water damage process starts immediately and can quickly turn into a bigger problem, give SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita a call as we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (316) 684-6700.  

Categories of Water Contamination and What That Means for Your Carpet

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

beige carpet being pulled up from floor Contamination can also be reliant on time, call SERVPRO for fast, reliable service.

When a water loss strikes many elements affect what type of remediation can take place. The water that is needing removed and dried will have a level of contamination that comes into play on what we can save and what must be removed to keep your home or business sanitary. In this scenario we will be discussing how depending on that level of contamination if it is possible to save your carpet.

When it comes to the cleanliness of the water there are three levels that we here at SERVPRO follow for our protocol:

  • Category 1: Clean and Sanitary. Typically comes from a sanitary source such as faucet, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, or water heaters.
  • Category 2: Grey Water which can cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Typical sources are dish washers, washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, or toilet overflows with urine (no feces)
  • Category 3: Black Water is grossly unsanitary which could cause health effects if ingested. This includes sewer backups, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid which has supported microbial growth.

These categories are also reliant on time, so a flood caused by a drinking fountain (Category 1 clean water) will become contaminated category 2 water after 48 hours. Another 24 hours after that it becomes a category 3 loss. The escalating level of these categories will largely affect what steps we take to ensure the job is done correctly.

With a category 1 loss, we are usually able to dry and save the carpet and pad unless there is a vapor barrier. The vapor barrier if not removed could cause mold and mildew.

With a category 2 loss we pull the pad and save the carpet. Once we dry the carpet, we spray our EPA registered disinfectant.

Finally with a category 3 loss we completely remove and dispose of the carpet and pad. In some instances, we must cut out the bottom portion of the walls if they got wet/contaminated.

SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita will always be on site as quick as possible to avoid any further contamination caused by the water loss. Give us a call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at (316) 684-6700.

Frozen Pipe Prevention

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

pipe with ice around it Keep these tips in mind during the colder weather to prevent frozen pipes.

Even though we have had a pretty warm winter for Kansas so far, when the temperatures do end up dropping, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting increases. I used to hold off on turning on our heater for as long as possible in the winter, but now that I know burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage, no thank you.  

The pipes most likely to freeze are usually those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, and garages. But even pipes running through cabinets or exterior walls can freeze. The good news is there are some simple things you can do to keep your water running and your house dry. 

  • Open your kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing especially at night.  
  • Let water drip from the faucet, running water through the pipe, even at a trickle helps prevent freezing.  
  • Turn the heat on in your home if you plan to be away during cold weather.  
  • Keep your garage doors closed. 
  • Add insulation around pipes to areas that are unheated especially within in the first 2 feet that pipes go from inside to outside.  

If the temperature outside drops below freezing, your pipes might be at risk of bursting. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is available if disaster strikes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please give us a call (316) 684-6700.  

Water Spigot Tips for your Wichita Home

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

busted water pipe The portion of the pipe that will freeze and bust open is the portion that is not visible from the outside of your home.

If you own a home, it is more than likely that you have at least one outdoor faucet. With outdoor faucets, it’s important to remember to remove your garden hoses at the end of the season, close the inside shut-off valve(s) and drain the faucet fixture before it freezes. Spigots are installed at an angle so that the water drains out after your shut it off. If the spigot was installed incorrectly then you might end up having a big problem on your hands when winter rolls around.

Water expands when it freezes, in fact ice takes up nearly 10% more space than the same amount of liquid water does. In the case of a water pipe, the pipe is already full when water is in a liquid state, so there is no room for expansion if the temperature drops low enough for the water to freeze. Once the water in the pipe freezes the ice must go somewhere and when it does it causes the pipe to burst, usually without your knowledge. The pipe portion of the water spigot is located within the siding and the walls of your home and when the pipe bursts it is not visible from the outside. So, the next time you turn your water spigot on the water pressure might be a little lower and you think nothing of it, when in reality water is pouring from the burst in the pipe and going into your home.

An outdoor water faucet is particularly vulnerable to the cold, so it is extremely important to prep your water faucets for the winter. The heat from your home that is transmitted through the pipes most likely will not be enough to protect your outdoor faucet. Here are some tips to help prevent a watery disaster from striking in the middle of winter.

  • Close the shut-off valve for the faucet.

From the inside of your home or building, close the shut-off valve that controls the flow of water to the outdoor faucet(s).

  • Disconnect your hoses.

Leaving a frozen, water-filled hose attached to the outdoor faucet is asking for trouble! Disconnect your garden hoses, drain them and hang them up for the winter.

  • Drain the faucet.

Open the faucet and let any residual water drain out of the pipe. Draining the outside faucet is critical, because standing water between the inside shut-off valve and the outdoor faucet can freeze and break both the fixture and shut-off valve.

If you are experiencing water damage yourself give us a call at 316-684-6700

How to Protect Your Home While On Vacation

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

a house in hands SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is a trusted leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration.

There is so much planning that goes into the perfect vacation, some people will start packing a month in advance and some will wait till the morning of. Whichever is your preferred plan of attack with packing don’t forget to prepare your property for vacation too. Many losses, whether fire or water happen while you are away from your house.

Fire Damage

If you go on vacation during the summer, no heaters running, and no one at home cooking or grilling, a fire breaking out while you are on vacation may be lower on your concern list. However, an empty home doesn’t eliminate the risk of an accidental fire starting. In fact, electrical fires are one of the most common types of home structure fire. Before departing on your trip, taking few basic safety measures at home can help you further reduce your risk of a fire.

  • Test your smoke detectors.
  • Unplug unused electronics and appliances.

Water Damage

Water damage is perhaps the most likely type of damage your property could sustain when you are away. It is also the second-most frequent loss that homeowners file claims for. With the unexpected Kansas summer storms and the always-unpredictable plumbing or appliance leak, help protect your home from water damage while you’re on vacation by making sure rainwater has a place to go and limiting the water supply for potential leaks.

  • Clear any debris out of your gutters.

Clogged gutters and blocked downspouts can cause water to seep into the roofline or foundation, potentially causing extensive damage and mold.

  • Turn off water at the source.

Shutting off the main water supply before you leave protects your property from substantial water damage in case something leaks while you are away. If you can’t turn off the main water supply, be sure to turn off the supply valves to key appliances and plumbing, especially washing machines, dishwashers, and ice makers.

Remember that our emergency line 316-684-6700 is always answered by one of the restoration professionals here at SERVPRO so we can give you advice specific to your situation. We are always Here to Help.

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

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.

When Can Carpet Be Saved After a Water Damage or Flood?

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

Carpet being dried by air movers after a water damage In this case the pad needed to be removed and we floated the carpet in order to dry it faster with our air movers.

Many Wichita homes have finished basements; they are a great place to escape the heat of summer and watch a movie. These finished basements often have carpet and pad which is very cozy but can be an issue if your basement floods. Many of our customers are surprised to learn that most of the time we can save your carpet after water damage and it most often is the cheaper solution compared to tearing it out and replacing your carpet and pad. What are the situations where carpet can and cannot be saved?

Water Cleanliness and Carpet

In other blogs we have discussed how and why different types of water are categorized. Check that our here for more information. To summarize, water is classified as being category 1, 2 or 3. Water from a drinkable source like the supply line to your sink or ice maker is category 1, category 2 water can be clean water which has sat stagnant for 48 hours or came from outside or your drain. Category 3 water is grossly unsanitary and often is raw sewage or water stagnant for a long period of time.

Typically, when it comes to saving carpet category 1 or 2 water is easy enough to clean and the carpet can be saved. Pad is the big difference because with category 1 water if the pad does not have a vapor barrier, we can save it and dry everything in place. If it has a vapor barrier or category 2 water, we need to remove the pad but can still dry and save the carpet. We typically recommend a carpet cleaning at the end of the process especially for category 2 water. Category 3 water however always means carpet and pad needs to be removed because the water is grossly unsanitary.

Extenuating Circumstances

Sometimes carpet can be removed even in category 1 or 2 water circumstances. If the affected carpet has been significantly damaged by the water loss it may justify removing the carpet. The back of the carpet could be delaminated which means the backing is peeling off the back of the carpet. Sometimes the age of your carpet would justify removing it especially if the water damaged your carpet. Of course, this is your home and property and if you would prefer we will remove the carpet.

Whenever we remove anything such as pad, carpet or even drywall we always haul it away for our customers. Most of the time when we save carpet and pad it is much cheaper than removing and replacing so before you file a claim or start cutting up your carpet and give us a call for a free inspection and estimate! Our 24/7 emergency line is – 316-684-6700.

Preparing Your Basement Against Water Damage.

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Darkened areas of carpet belies the wet pad underneath. This basement in Wichita, KS had a sump pump die in the middle of an intense rainstorm and had no back up pump. SERVPRO was there to help.

As winter recedes and the warmer wetter part of the year begins a good thing to think about including in you spring cleaning is preparing your home for rains. The transition between seasons can cause problems your home never had before and is also a great opportunity to make changes that have been put off.

Drainage is very important to keeping water out and away from your home. Here are some things you should do or consider when it comes to the exterior of your home.

  • Clean and evaluate your gutters
  • Add gutter extensions where possible
  • Check for leaking areas in your gutter with your hose
    • While running your hose check your basement and make sure the spigot or pipe leading up to it didn’t freeze and crack over the winter
  • Has any large landscaping work been done by you or your neighbors since the last major rainfall? This could change the way water moves on your property creating a new drainage problem.
  • Adding French Drains to your property
  • Inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles.
  • Check windows caulking and seals

When it comes to the inside of your house there are many precautions you can take as well. Of course if you already have a water issue going on that should be dealt with and we can help with that. We do free mold and moisture inspections and can help identify the source of moisture. Make sure you locate the main water shut-off valve in your home. This is imperative to turn off as soon as possible if a pipe or water supply line breaks. Here are some things you can do to help the interior of your home:

  • Check all appliance and faucet water supply and drains for leaks or damage/degradation
  • Check your sump pumps, pour some water in there and make sure it runs fine
  • Get a water powered back up sump pump
  • Take as many items off the floor and put onto shelving
  • Protect your belongings in plastic waterproof bins.
  • A duct cleaning removes particulate build up in your HVAC system

If you have any moisture issues going on in your home give us a call for a free inspection. Call today at (316) 684-6700.

Wichita Homeowners are covered 24/7 from water damage by SERVPRO

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

a basement with a water damage In this basement the home owner had standing water and thought we just needed to suck the water out but didn't know that the walls were wet 1 foot up.

When water damage occurs, many homeowners make the mistake of assuming only what they see and feel is what has been affected by the water intrusion. Do it yourself methods such as using a shop-vac to suck up water in a basement carpet or mopping up the water on top of the laminate fall short because there is typically much more water being absorbed beyond what you can detect with sight or feel.

The pad under the carpet is still soaked, the laminate has water underneath the underlayment which won’t dry, and your walls may also be much wetter than you expect. Without proper drying and remediation, you are looking at wet materials in a warm environment which is the prime ingredients for microbial growth such as mold.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita provides water restoration services 24 hours a day 7 days a week to Wichita, Andover, Derby, and all surrounding areas. We survey the damage and find the edges of the water intrusion in a 360-degree sphere. We extract that water, evaluate wet materials and set drying equipment.

Our expertise ensures that we can minimize the amount of tear out and demo getting done while also safely drying down your home. This saves you a lot of money since it is much cheaper to save items than it is to throw out and replace them. Restoring is takes much less time than tear out and rebuilding everything.

One of the most important part of the process is our investigation. We take extra care to consider where the water went. For example if a top floor leaks we will follow the trail to the basement if necessary. We investigate what materials are wet and to what extent. This tells us whether we can dry and save a material or if it should be torn out. 

In that process we also record the atmospheric temperatures of your home such has humidity and temperature. We take those everyday because if we are drying everything correctly that should be reflected in those “psychrometrics.”

We come back everyday to take those readings and remove equipment as needed until your home is completely dry. We are so confident in our process that with each of our jobs homeowners receive a 2 year warranty on our work. We also offer free inspections and free estimates so if you are worried at all about new or ongoing water issues in your home give us a call today – 316-684-6700.

Don't Stand for Standing Water

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

A basement with standing water in it A still taken from our video of standing water with some ink in it. It would look good if it wasn't such a mess!

The only thing worse than stepping into your basement and hearing the squish of soggy carpet is hearing the splash of standing water. While any water damage is a tough situation standing water presents some unique challenges and hazards. Let's take a look at what SERVPRO does to stand up to standing water. 

First off if the standing water has submerged electrical outlets or active components be aware that electrocution is a serious concern. In order to get that standing water out we often need drop a sump pump into the standing water in order to pump out the remaining water. Check out our video where we explain that process in more detail.  

Once the water has drained out of your basement we have to evaluate what the extent of the damage in order to determine the next steps. Depending on the materials affected, category of water (meaning contamination level), length of time the water sat, and many other criteria we create a drying plan and explain it to our customers before starting work. Sometimes that can mean cutting the walls and throwing away a lot of building materials and sometimes we are able to save walls and really anything else which hasn’t sustained a large amount of damage.  

If you are experiencing water damage yourself give us a call at 316-684-6700

Is it Efflorescence or Mold?

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

A side by side comparison of mold and efflorescence The left picture is an example of mold whereas the right picture is efflorescence

Sometimes when we complete drying in a home or business some concerns arise at a white residue that is left behind on concrete, stone or brick materials. The concern is that the residue is some kind mold or fungus which makes homeowners wary.

Fortunately almost every time (especially when a water damage has been dried down professionally by SERVPRO Technicians) it is what is called efflorescence which is a migration of salt to the surface of a porous material. 

Efflorescence is typically harmless to people’s health and is not a structural concern in buildings. The problem arises because mold comes in all kinds of colors including white and sometimes can look very similar to efflorescence. After a water damage that has been properly treated it is almost certainly not mold but what if you find it outside of the context of a water damage? 

One way to know if you are dealing with mold or efflorescence is that if that white stuff is on a material other than porous masonry or concrete it is probably mold. This is because mold will do its best to grow on any surface whereas efflorescence will only show up on masonry. Typically mold will continue to grow where as efflorescence doesn’t although continuing water migration through concrete can cause the efflorescence to accumulate. You can also spray some of it with a little water and try to wipe it. If that works you probably are not dealing with mold. 

The best way to know which one you are dealing with is to call the professionals here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita. We offer free mold inspections in the Wichita, Derby, Andover and close surrounding areas. Let our professionals give you piece of mind and know that if it is mold or some other water damage we can take care of it the correct way.

How Odor can help you Protect your Home.

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

We are here to help!

When it rains it pours and when it pours basements start filing up with water. Most of the time it is pretty obvious when this happens, you go downstairs and the squish of the carpet tells you everything you need to know.

Sometimes when water makes an intrusion it is not as obvious. Maybe the sump pump didn’t break but couldn’t keep up with the deluge. Water may have seeped into just the edges of rooms where you don’t walk or in closets filled with storage containers. While the carpet may not be noticeably wet the drywall where the water came in or the pad underneath maybe quiet saturated.

You can fight this by keeping your nose alert to any new odors that suddenly spring up especially if they are musty. Water which has been able to go undetectable has a large chance of doing damage to your home via discoloration, rot, and even mold growth. If you do smell a new and unwelcome odor in your basement after a large rain try to follow the scent and try to find some kind of visible indication of what the cause could be.

Here are some quick facts about odor which can help:

  • Odor can become more less intense based on temperature and humidity
    • An increase in temperature or humidity will increase the strength of an odor
  • A musty odor can be indicative of an old water damage or even mold growth
  • A poor odor can also be indicative of poor air quality which a duct cleaning can help with
  • The ability of a material to hold odor is based on how porous that material is, the more porous the more is can hold odor

Here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita we do free inspections for mold and water intrusion and while it is better to bring us in if you have an idea of where water may have made an intrusion we bring thermal cameras, water meters and a wealth of experience which can help even if you haven’t been able to find a source of a new odor. So give us a call at: 316-684-6700.

How long will your Water Damage take to Cleanup?

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

As the water soaks into the carpet it also soaks into the wall which can further lengthen dry times.

Nobody plans to suddenly have 3 inches of standing water in their home so regardless of whether a water damage started from a broken pipe or excessive rain it needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible. In this situation the longer water sits the more bacteria grows, odors become stronger, water soaks into more materials and the change of microbial (mold) growth increase.

That is why calling restoration experts as soon as possible like the ones here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is imperative.

The drying process after a water intrusion typically takes experts between three days to a week and a half to complete. Most home owners in Wichita, KS can expect a cleanup to last 3 days but the length will depend on: 

  • The percentage of the home affected
  • The depth of moisture penetration into the structures materials
  • The water’s level of contamination
  • Length of time the leak or standing water was able to sit 

As a homeowner your first step should always to address the source of water intrusion. Even simply turning the water off until the professionals arrive can greatly decreasing drying time since it will help reduce the scope of your water damage.

If you are experiencing a water damage call us on our 24/7 emergency line: 316-684-6700. 

How to Prepare for a Power Outage in Wichita, KS

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

This is an example of a disaster kit which might help you visualize putting together your own.

Wichita, Derby and Andover have all had their share of power outages and water damages caused by power outages. Aside from outages due to historic ice storms most power outages in our area haven’t lasted very long so many people have not taken steps to ensure they are protected in case of an extended power outage. Depending on the severity of a disaster it could take days for emergency workers to reach you which means you should have sufficient water, food, and supplies to last 72 hours. 

Sometimes services such as cellular service, power, water, gas on top of emergency services may be unavailable for hours or longer. Any emergency kit should be able to help you go without until these services have been restored or you are able to leave your home. When putting together your emergency kit these are some good items to make sure you include: 

  • Nonperishable food (canned, freeze dried, or dehydrated)
  • Baby supplies if you have an infant
  • Bottled water
  • Flashlights for the family
  • Extra batteries
  • Battery operated clock radio
  • Can opener (not electric)
  • List of important Phone numbers
  • First-aid kit
  • Dust Mask
  • Deck of cards
  • Duct Tape

Once you have put together your emergency kit make sure everyone knows where it is stored preferably in a central location in your home which you would go to in case of a Tornado or some other disaster. Also you will need to check the batteries and state of the food and water so that you can change out any item which needs it. Of course there are many other measures you can take to be prepared and consulting the Red Cross is a great way to continue to prepare yourself so you can be “Ready for whatever happens”.

Furthermore consult you can consult our blog post about fire safety and our efforts with the red cross to make sure you have your home protected from possible fires. 

Tips for Handling Water Damage

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

This flooded basement in Wichita, KS was caused by excessive rains overloading the sump pump.

Tips for Handling Water Damage

  • Don’t treat flood water (regardless of source) in unwanted places lightly.
  • Water that comes in from the outside of your home can bring in harmful bacteria from outside into your home.
  • Even if your basement only has an inch of water in it or is even damp it is the perfect breeding ground for mold.

Did You Know…

Even if your damage seems like it just affected your carpet water can wick-up onto your walls and get them wet risking the growth of mold if not treated properly. If your walls are made of drywall water can wick-up as much as 30 inches!

Here are tips to minimize damage to your basement:

1) Call your insurance company and report your        loss right away.

  • Have them assign a water mitigation company to your claim or call SERVPRO as soon as possible to take care of your mitigation needs and let your adjuster/agent know you have already called someone out.

2) Disconnect the power, unplug any electronics and remove electronics, furniture, and moveable items to areas that are dry.

  • Remember, the faster you get items out water’s way the more likely you’ll be able to save them.

3) Get rid of the water.

  • If your sump pump is the issue, have a plumber out right away to fix the sump pump and/or replace it and this will take care of any standing water.
    • Note: You will still need a mitigation company to extract the water from your carpet.
  • If you have a broken pipe, spigot, or a toilet overflow, shut off the water immediately. Have a plumber out right away to fix the issue.
  • If you have a wet/dry vac you can use this to suck up the standing water. Be sure to plug it into outlets far away from water and do not use an extension cord as the connection could short out and give you a nasty shock.
  • If you have several inches of water you may want to consider renting or purchasing a submersible pump to remove the water while you are waiting for the mitigation company to arrive.
  • Pull wet carpet away from walls to prevent wicking up the drywall. This will minimize the damage to your walls

The faster that you can react and follow these tips as well as get a mitigation company out to your home the better chances you have of saving your flooring, drywall, and personal items, keepsakes, and the less time your home will be in disarray.

What Kind of Water Damage is your Water Damage?

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

There are three categories of water contamination. Don't let a clean water damage turn into a fetid germ utopia.

When you have a water intrusion in your home or business there are many factors at play which will affect what needs to be done in order to make it "Like it never even happened." One of the first determinations we make on the site of a residential or commercial water damage is the waters level of contamination. The level of contamination, along with the specific circumstances of the job, will dictate what actions need to be taken during the remediation process. Essentially the cleaner the water, the more we can save instead of throwing away and replacing building materials; which means a cheaper, less invasive, and shorter job altogether.

In the restoration industry the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (or IICRC) is the organization which sets the restoration industries standards and practices. It is the IICRC’s standards that we follow to ensure every water mitigation and remediation job we tackle is done correctly. When it comes to the sanitary level of water there are three levels: 

  • Category 1: Clean and Sanitary. Typically comes from a sanitary source such as faucet, toilet tanks, drinking fountains, or water heaters.
  • Category 2: Grey Water which can cause illness or discomfort if ingested. Typical sources are dish washers, washing machine overflows, flush from sink drains, or toilet overflows with urine (no feces)
  • Category 3: Black Water is grossly unsanitary which could cause severe illness or death if ingested. This includes sewer backups, flooding from rivers or streams, toilet overflow with feces, and stagnant liquid which has supported microbial growth.

These categories are also time dependent so a flood caused by a drinking fountain (Category 1 clean water) will become contaminated category 2 water after 48 hours. Another 24 hours after that it becomes a category 3 loss. This change in category means a tremendous difference in the scope of work, cost of remediation, and time of job. 

Take Michael as an example; a clean water pipe broke in his basement while he was at work and now he has wet carpets and wet drywall. At the moment it is a category 1 loss and as long as the carpet pad does not have a vapor barrier we do not even need to pull the carpet back, the carpet, carpet pad and drywall can all be dried in place with minimal disturbance to his day to day.  

If Michael waits 48 hours to give us a call now the water is a category 2 loss meaning we have to pull back all the affected carpet, remove and dispose of the affected carpet pad and apply an antimicrobial to the carpet and subfloor. As far as the walls and other materials go they may need to be cut out and removed based on the unique circumstances of the loss or how saturated the materials have become. 

If Michael waits another 24 hours to give us a call now we are dealing with a category 3 loss so both the affected carpet pad and the carpet must be cut out and removed. The affected walls will most likely be severely saturated and contaminated and will most likely need to be removed. All furniture and items left in that water will need to be cleaned and sanitized with the possibility that many items will not be able to be saved. 

Waiting to take care of water damage is a bad idea that can cost you money, time and cause a lot of hassle. That is why we serve Wichita 24 hours a day 7 days a week so that as soon as disaster strikes we can be there for you. Give us a call, we are here to help.

Insuring You're Ready (Part Two): Leaky Insurance Claims

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

Leaky pipes can turn into a devastating financial burden.

My name is Patrick Thorpe, and I have recently begun my career with SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita.  Before coming on board with this wonderful company and team, I spent the better part of a decade helping folks just like you with their insurance coverage.  The one aspect of that job I enjoyed the most was being knowledgeable, educating my clients, and, pun intended, insuring that they had the right coverage so that I could be their personal Superhero when an emergency arose.  Now that I’m on the other side of the table, working with SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita, it’s important that I impart with what I learned in the insurance industry to make sure when our services are needed, you have the proper coverage to help with that financial burden. 

Folks, it truly is a burden.  None of us wake up in the morning and think that this will be the day my kitchen catches fire, or the pipe behind my refrigerator leaks and ruins the hardwood floors.  The vast majority of people I have helped with claims were so thankful they had the proper coverage, because they were not financially prepared to pay for $15,000 or $100,000 worth of repairs. 

Understanding Water Losses:

There are many different types of water claims an insurance company will cover, and quite a few they will not (without the right type of policy).  Water claims come in many forms whether that’s a pipe freezing during the winter, a leaky line running to the refrigerator, or water rushing in from a basement window.  It is important as a homeowner or business owner to know what your policy covers, what it doesn’t, and how to prevent a pesky leak from becoming a painful aggravation. 

As always, I strongly recommend speaking with your agent about any concerns and coverage you have you on your policy.  It is just as important to develop a trusting relationship with your agent. 

What is USUALLY covered:

I need to emphasize that insurance policies typically are a one-size fits all deal, but there are exceptions to the rule.  In Kansas and surrounding states, there are quite a few different homeowner’s policies offered.  Some will list out exactly what’s covered (usually 16 “named perils”); others will list what’s excluded (called a broad peril policy).  Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, but they do share a few things in common.

Most policies, whether home or business, has coverage for things like a sudden pipe burst.  This typically happens during the winter, but is also common with older pipes from general wear and tear.  The pipe itself, most of the time, is not that big of a cost. It’s the water that comes from it that makes the most damage.  Exposed pipes, that is pipes that are not buried underground and not in a controlled environment where there is a heat source (for example, in a crawlspace or attic) or most prone for these types of losses.  However, a pipe burst can happen ANYWHERE of ANY PARTICULAR REASON.  Pesky pipes…

Two things to consider and watch out for:  1) Pipes that are not in an area with a constant heat source should always be well insulated and especially during freezes, have a running water source, like a faucet turned partially on, and 2) Making sure your policy covers part of your location below ground level.  Yes, there are some policies out there that exclude water damage in parts of the location that is below ground.  It is more common with “named peril” policies and definitely deserves questioning your agent (and get their answer in writing on a letterhead).  You could also ask for an endorsement covering those parts of the location. 

More often than not, pipe bursts like the ones described above will have coverage under your policy.  Its up to you, though, to be vigilant and act when a loss occurs.  Call SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita (316-684-6700) if there is an issue and we can send a team to you right away. 

Leaking lines are almost always covered under the policy.  Its crucial though that if you detect a leaking line to notify a professional company like SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita to take have it handled otherwise it might fall under…

Things that are NOT covered:

The most common way for water losses to not be covered is due to NEGLECT!  Leaky lines is a good example of the neglect exclusion.  Let’s say you have a toilet that has been leaking for a few months.  Nothing seems major; you have just wiped up any excess water on the vinyl floors and called it good.  All of a sudden one day when using the facility you notice a soft spot.  You call your agent and the adjustor comes out and it turns out the wood underneath has rot and mold.  Most insurance companies will call that neglect and deny the claim!

Important Note:  Some companies offer mold and fungi coverage which gives an exception to the neglect rule.  This is why it’s worth repeating to understand your policy, ask your agent questions and get their responses in writing on letterhead.

Another common leaky line issue is the fridge.  As we all know, in order for the ice machine to make ice or pour water from the door, it draws water from the water line.  Ice machine lines can freeze up.  Seals that hold the refrigerator’s water line can go bad.  What happens next is water will slide down the backside of the fridge (occasionally the front) and pool on the ground.  Water is a funny thing; it’ll take the path of least resistance.  Sometimes it’ll find its way through the molding on the floor, or in some cases, soak right into the tile.  If you start to see your floors warp or mysterious water appears on the floor, TAKE ACTION!  If you wait and wood starts to rot of develop mold, an insurance company might deny parts or the entire claim. 

The last type of water loss that might not be covered is flood waters, or water that comes from the ground.  This doesn’t include sewer back up (which is contained in tanks and pipes), but rather water from rain that enters a basement window, or water from the water table that seeps in through a concrete basement.  These types of losses are covered under FEMA and are maintained by agents here in town.  If you have any concerns about flood and ground water coming into your location, contact your agent and ask about flood insurance.  Prices can vary depending how much coverage is needed, and where you live. 


Most water losses inside the home are going to have some coverage. The two take-aways you should get from this blog is to ASK YOUR AGENT what your policy covers and TAKE ACTION!  Do not wait for water to damage your subfloor and make a slight annoyance turn into a financial burden.  TAKE ACTION and call SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita who can quickly assess and offer a solution.  We also work with great plumbers and would be happy to give a referral if you just need an adjustment, like to a leaking toilet or sink.  If you own a commercial building, let us build you an Emergency Ready Plan so your tenants and employees know exactly what to do and who to call if there is water damaging your property.  Utilize SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita and you will reap the benefits.  316-684-6700

What to do when your Basement Floods.

6/14/2017 (Permalink)

This Wichita basement flooded due to a combination of power failure and intense storms going on several days.

When a basement floods it is a stressful, confusing event which can take a lot of time, money and effort to bring your home back to where it was before the water damage. Whether the damage is caused by a broken water pipe, heavy rains, a failed sump pump or swelling of ground water complicate things further as they all require different approaches to make it like it never even happened.

Fortunately here at SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita we have been able to help families with flooded basements all around Wichita, Derby, Haysville and Andover and are ready to help you. In this blog we will seek to give you general advice for handling flooded basements but do remember our emergency line is open 24/7 and we are here to help you with specific advice for your flooded basement.

 Safety for you and your family should be your first concern when you find out your basement has flooded. There are two main safety concerns in every water intrusion situation Electrical and Tripping hazards are the most prevalent source of injury in our industry.

  • Never go into a flood damaged basement with standing water which has submerged outlets or other active sources of electricity. Wait for the water to be pumped out by a professional, such as SERVPRO, if you can’t safety do that yourself.
  • Most home electronic systems and devices can be damaged from being submerged or exposed to water. Don’t us devices or outlets that have been exposed to water even after the water has been pumped out.
  • It is not just the water but also the particulates in the water which will stay behind even after the water has been removed that can damage electrical systems and equipment.
  • Not everything breaks immediately it can take time after electrical system is exposed to water before it breaks or becomes unsafe.
  • Pay attention to where you are walking, many restoration professionals have hurt themselves walking across different materials (such as carpet to tile) because they didn’t expect the different in friction when these materials are wet.
  • If you are removing any materials from your basement remember that wet materials can be VERY heavy.
  • Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging

When you have accounted for safety you can move on to being proactive about your home and belongings before our restoration technicians get there. Every minute counts which is why we respond 24/7 to emergencies and why anything you do until we get there can help protect your home.

  •  If possible find the source of water intrusion and stop the flow of water into your property. Check your sump pump to make sure it is working. They sometimes get unplugged or the arm gets stuck. If a pipe is broken shut off your water valve to your home.
  • Remove as much water as you can. Using a shop vac, mopping or blotting possible. The less water which is allowed to soak into your furniture, walls and carpet the better off you will be.
  • Move furniture off of wet carpet and wipe the legs or bottoms before placing in an unaffected area. Wet furniture, especially wood and metal, can stain carpet very quickly.
  • If you cannot remove furniture from an affected area you can place foil or woodblocks between furniture legs and the carpet to prevent staining.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting so their coloring doesn’t bleed onto the carpet.
  • Turn on air conditioning for maximum drying in the summer.

Remember that our emergency line 316-684-6700 is always answered by one of the restoration professionals here at SERVPRO so we can give you advice specific to your situation. We are always Here to Help.

Wichita 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/13/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Wichita for residential and commercial properties.

SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita is ready to help 24 hours a day for your small and large water emergencies. When you are dealing with water damage immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 316-684-6700

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling stressed, vulnerable and confused. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita

SERVPRO of Northeast Wichita specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.