Recent Posts

Be Prepared: Tornadoes

3/31/2020 (Permalink)

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes can happen at any time, peak tornado occurrences for Southern states are March through May and during the summer for Northern states. If you find yourself under a tornado watch, safely make your way to a sturdy building, safe room, basement, or storm cellar. Winds can be over 200 MPH so it’s important to make sure wherever you find shelter is sturdy and that you stay away from all doors, windows, and outside walls. Use your arms to protect your head and neck to help prevent injury.

If you become trapped after the tornado, cover your mouth and nose with a cloth or a mask to avoid breathing in dust. Instead of shouting for help try sending a text, banging on a pipe or wall, and whistling. It’s important to save your phone calls for emergencies only. Phone systems are usually down or busy after a disaster like a tornado. Use texting and social media to contact your Topeka friends and family instead.

Sewage Cleanup

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Water from sewer backups should be considered very dangerous. The water is grossly unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contaminant.

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of East Topeka will inspect the contaminated water to determine the type of water and them plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

The Three Types of Contaminated Water:

Category 1 : “Clean Water”

This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into Category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2 : “Gray Water”

This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3 : “Black Water”

This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemical, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your Topeka home or business.

Be Prepared: Tsunamis

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know tsunamis can hit any U.S. coast? While they are more likely to hit states on the Pacific coastline or in the Caribbean, it is good to know what to do if a tsunami does strike where you live or even where you may vacation.

Ready.gov says, “Tsunamis, also known as seismic sea waves (mistakenly called ‘tidal waves’), are a series of enormous waves created by an underwater disturbance, such as an earthquake, landslide, volcanic eruption, or meteorite.” Areas within a mile of the coast and less than 25 feet above sea level have a greater risk of being affected.

As with any emergency, be sure you have a plan in place prior. Know the evacuation plan, move inland or to higher ground, and avoid the beach. “The first wave may not be the last or the largest,” according to the National Weather Service.

After a tsunami, do not return to the affected area until officials deem it safe. While drowning is the most common hazard, there are many aftereffects, like flooding and contaminated drinking water.

Be Prepared: Thunderstorms

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are loud, powerful, and scary; but did you know that winds during a thunderstorm can reach over 50 MPH? There is also the possibility of flash flooding and even tornadoes. If your hear thunder or are alerted to an upcoming thunderstorm make sure to find shelter right away. If you take shelter at home unplug appliances and electronics, don’t run water, and don’t use land line phones. Electricity from lightening can run through plumbing and phone lines and can harm electronics plugged into outlets. If you are out swimming or doing other water activities get to land immediately and find a sturdy shelter or vehicle. If you must take shelter in a vehicle find a car with a metal top and sides, DON’T touch anything metal.

Cutting down and trimming trees that are in danger of falling on your Topeka property or others property can help prevent damage and injury during a thunderstorm. Buying and using surge protectors for your appliances and electronics can help protect your property as well. If you come across a flooded runway it is safest to turn back. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you down and only 1 foot of moving water to sweep away your vehicle.

Having a Plan During a House Fire

3/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire safety tips for kids Teach your kids these fire safety tips

Does your family have a plan during a house fire?

   Your kids’ safety is of utmost importance. You teach your children to look both ways before crossing the street and to stay away from strangers. But, as a parent and homeowner in Topeka, do you educate your children on what to do in a home fire? When a fire emergency occurs, every second counts. Have a fire escape plan and practice it with your children. Review the tips below to educate your family. 

Practice a Fire Escape Plan

   Teach and practice the following techniques with your children during a non-emergency, so your family knows what to do in the case of a home fire:

• If the smoke alarm sounds at night, roll to the edge of the bed face down, place the closest hand to the floor and slide off the bed. 


• Crawl to avoid smoke in the air on knees and forearms with head down, or crawl like a snake. 


• Check doors before opening by feeling for heat. If hot, find another way out of the room. If warm or cool, open slowly and check for fire. Close doors as you go. 


• Create and practice an escape route and agree on an outdoor meeting place. If trapped, go to the window, open it, climb out if possible or yell for help. Once out of the house, do not return inside for any reason. 

Preventative Measures for Kids


    Aside from teaching and practicing the above techniques, follow these kids’ safety tips:

• Maintain at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your Topeka home. Teach your children that the alarm sound means there is fire and smoke in the house. 


• Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of young children. Instruct older children not to play with these or other flammable objects, such as candles. 

   By teaching and practicing the above tips with your children in Topeka, your family is prepared for a home fire. Once your kids’ safety is secured and the fire is out, contact a fire restoration specialist and your homeowner’s insurance agent to begin the process of returning your home to preloss condition.

Common Causes of Sewer Damage

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Sewage damage to a business can happen slowly over time or very suddenly. There are multiple causes of sewage damage, but the result is the same: a difficult-to-clean mess that can have serious health implications. Sewage in your Topeka business requires immediate attention and professional cleaning in many cases. Avoid sewage damage by watching out for the most common causes:

  1. Seepage from faulty seals. Seals around toilets and in pipe connections can deteriorate over time, and a lot of seepage from these leaks build up slowly, doing damage beneath floorboards and in walls before you’re even aware of it. Signs of hidden seepage include buckling flooring, stains on ceilings and walls, and an unpleasant smell that doesn’t go away with cleaning. Inspect seals regularly to avoid a hidden leak; if you rent or lease your office space, report any signs of seepage to your property manager immediately. The longer a leak goes on, the more serious the damage will be.
  2. Burst Pipes. A burst pipe can release a sudden stream of sewage into your home and can happen at any time. Pipes can burst as a result of blockage, improper insulation during freezing weather or simple deterioration. Upkeep and careful winterizing of pipes is vital to avoiding a burst sewer line.
  3. A flood, whether caused by rain or a body of water overflowing its banks, can put too much pressure on the sewer system, causing sewage to back up into bathtubs and sinks. Heavy backup can overflow into your home, resulting in severe damage. If you live in a high-risk area for flooding, look into backup valves and other preventative measures to keep flood waters from forcing sewage into your home. Even low-risk areas can experience floods that cause sewage backup, so precautions are always a good idea.
  4. Clogged sewer lines. Flushing the wrong thing down the toilet can result in a sewage backup that can quickly overflow into your bathroom. Blockage in the main sewer line can cause sewage to back up through every sink, toilet, and tub– a problem that is greater than just one overflowing toilet. Avoid flushing anything down the toilet that doesn’t belong, including feminine hygiene products and baby wipes. Clogs in the sewer line don’t always come from the toilet, either. Don’t dump grease down your sinks, and be cautious when using the garbage disposal to prevent clogs.
  5. Tree roots. As trees grow, their roots can do significant damage to pipes beneath the ground. They can puncture or crush pipes, causing leaks and sewage backup. Keep an eye on larger trees on your property – and neighboring properties as well. It’s best to have an expert examine any trees whose position might be a cause for concern.

SERVPRO of East Topeka is the area’s leader in smoke, fire, water and sewer cleanup and restoration. Sewage is a category 3 water disaster and needs to be cleaned and treated by a professional cleaning and mitigation company. SERVPRO of East Topeka is an IICRC certified firm with the specialized workforce and equipment to address a sewage disaster safely. We are an emergency service company serving the Shawnee County area. Call us for 24/7 assistance, 785-220-7147.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

here to help Here to help.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of East Topeka, 785-220-7147

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

What is Water Restoration

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

Imagine you come home from work on a Wednesday afternoon and you walk into your living room covered with 8 inches of water.

What do you do?

Who do you call?

Do you call your family friend local contractor or Water Restoration Company?

What is the difference?

There are many differences between contractors and Water Restoration Companies. Here are a few:

  • A contractor’s job is to replace everything that is affected. This will include all flooring, walls, cabinets and even furniture. SERVPRO is certified in drying water damage to industry standards. We will not remove materials unless it is necessary. This prevents further interruption to your daily life.
  • A contractor will have to replace all of the materials they took out of your home. This can take weeks waiting for material decisions, insurance approval, shipping, and installation time. SERVPRO’s average drying time is only 3 days. We have crews available 24/7/365 and someone to monitor your job daily.
  • Replacing flooring, drywall, and all of your furniture is expensive. Restoring your Topeka home is a lot less expensive than replacing everything in your home.

When you call SERVPRO ofEast Topeka you can expect a First Responder on site within an hour and your home to be restored quickly by certified, professional technicians.

The Science of Drying

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. If your Topeka business or home suffers a water damage, the team here at SERVPRO of East Topeka will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air is drier. The only problem with nature is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out. SERVPRO of East Topeka has the professional training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Sewage Cleanup and Restoration

3/15/2020 (Permalink)

Sewage backup should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. We have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminates like sewage.

Sewage is considered category 3: “Black Water”

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments. SERVPRO ofEast Topeka is trained to safely remove bio hazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products, we can help transform these unhealthy environments back into clean, safe Topeka homes and offices.

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are water damage restoration specialists with specialized training, equipment and protective gear to safely restore your home or business.

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup? Call Today 785-220-7147