Recent Water Damage Posts
How Odor can help you Protect your Home.
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?
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
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
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?
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
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.
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
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.