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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Where there's smoke...

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Topeka will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – 785-862-0550

Knowing what to do in case of emergency!

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

This page explains what actions to take when you receive a tornado watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a tornado.

Know your risk

What

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often—although not always—visible as a funnel cloud. Lightning and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Related thunderstorms can cause heavy rains, flash flooding, and hail

Where

About 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States every year and every state is at risk. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains with concentrations in the central and southern plains, the Gulf Coast and Florida.

When

Tornadoes can strike in any season, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. They can occur at all hours of the day and night, but are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Before a Tornado

Identify safe rooms built to FEMA criteria or ICC500 storm shelters or other potential protective locations in sturdy buildings near your home, work, and other locations you frequent so you have a plan for where you will go quickly for safety when there is a Warning or an approaching tornado.
For schools, malls, and other buildings with long-span roofs or open space plans, or many occupants, ask the building manager to identify the best available refuge.
Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
Look for the following danger signs:
Dark, often greenish sky
Large hail
A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.
Tornado Facts

The extent of destruction caused by tornadoes depends on the tornado’s intensity, size, path, time of day, and amount of time it is on the ground. Wind from tornadoes can reach more than 300 miles per hour, and damage paths can be more than 1 mile wide and 50 miles long. Wind from tornadoes can destroy buildings and trees, transform debris into deadly projectiles, and roll vehicles.

They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.
Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. When there is a Watch, move to be near enough to a shelter or sturdy building to be able to get there quickly in a few minutes if there is a Warning or if you see signs of a tornado approaching. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.
During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately! Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

If you are in school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building pre-identified best available refuge then:

Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room built to FEMA criteria, or a small interior windowless room on the lowest level, below ground in a basement, or storm cellar, is best. (Closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body as best you can e.g., with a heavy coat or blankets, pillows. .
In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Do not open windows.
A sturdy structure (e.g. residence, small building) , school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
A manufactured home or office then:

Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, do not offer protection from tornadoes.

The outside with no shelter then:

If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
In all situations:
Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for protection in a sturdy building. .
Outdoor areas are not protected from flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.
After a Tornado

If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust. Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
Stay out of damaged buildings and homes until local authorities indicate it is safe.
Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.
Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
If your home is without power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.
Kansas weather can be unpredictable! Be informed & stay safe!

If tragedy strikes remember, SERVPRO of W. Topeka is always here to help!

785-862-0550

SERVPRO of Topeka new member of ACT

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Topeka new member of ACT SERVPRO of Topeka gets involved with March madness theme at the ACT annual meeting.

Recently, SERVPRO of Topeka joined the Apartment Council of Topeka (ACT). We have enjoyed getting to know this group of people and are excited to learn more about how the members work together to provide housing to the community. 

SERVPRO of Topeka has fun at Topeka Home Show

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Topeka has fun at Topeka Home Show Water display gets attention from public. The kids loved playing with the ducks.

SERVPRO of West Topeka recently participated in the 57th annual Topeka Home Show. We had a great time sharing information about water damage and our other services. The display was well received by the community who attended the show. Our marketing guys Jay and Paul were able to show the community the details of how some of our services work with this display and get the kids involved with some fishing for SERVPRO ducks! SERVPRO of West Topeka is always looking for opportunities to get more involved in the community and we are so glad that we were able to attend this event and give live demonstrations of some of our services. If you would like to see Jay give a demonstration of how one of our water extraction services works check out our SERVPRO of West Topeka YouTube channel!

Recognition to local First Responders in Shawnee County

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Recognition to local First Responders in Shawnee County Battalion Chief Chad Lady (STFD), Jay Coverdale (SERVPRO of Topeka), and Communications Director Melanie Mills-Bergers (SNCO 911)

SERVPRO of West Topeka recently recognized The Soldier Township Fire Department and the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office, Emergency Communications Division for their service to the Topeka Community.

We are truly honored to recognize the hard working men and women who are serving and protecting our local communities. We are grateful for the sacrifice and service these brave men and women provide 24/7/365. When our lives are in danger these organizations perform at their best to provide the help needed. In addition, these two organizations have gone above and beyond by providing education to the communities they serve related to public safety and fire prevention. 

Both groups were presented gifts reflecting the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl. We hope that next year these men and women can take pride in watching the game knowing that they are greatly appreciated nationally and locally for their service.

Water damage at midnight? No worries we are here to help!

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO of West Topeka is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! Top notch customer service and protecting your home from extended damage are our top priorities so we are open all the time. Our dedicated and experienced crew is always ready to answer the call. Whether it is at one o'clock in the morning on a Sunday or Christmas Eve your water damage, fire, or mold loss is not going to wait so neither do we! SERVPRO of West Topeka understands the urgency of home damage and we are here to make it "Like it never even happened." To learn more about our crew of skilled professionals click here and for service or questions give us a call at 785-862-0550.

SERVPRO is serving it up!

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Franchises have been answering the call since 1967 and SERVPRO is easily one of the most recognizable and reliable brands for both residential and commercial cleaning and restoration services. But did you know that SERVPRO of West Topeka offers more than just your basic cleaning services? In fact SERVPRO has an entire team dedicated to Document Restoration. If you've experienced damage to important or beloved documents, let us help. If you were storing a box of favorite childhood books in your basement and experience flooding resulting in water damage to the books we may be able to help! SERVPRO of West Topeka understands that sentimental value is just as important, if not more important, than monetary value and we are here to help. 

You can contact us at 785-862-0550

Flowers, Candy, and Candles: Be Careful with your Flames this Valentine's Day

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

When thinking of romantic gestures flowers and candy are always a classic but when it comes to candles you want to be extra careful. Makes sure you place them away from curtains and other flammable items; as well as out of reach of any curious pets!

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and soot facts:


Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.


Different Types of Smoke:


There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of West Topeka will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.


Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.


Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.


Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 913-772-1818

Timing is Everything!

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

They say timing is everything, for comedy, for life and maybe most importantly for your water damage.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of West Topeka provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of West Topeka arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 at (785) 862-0550

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

Drywall begins to swell and break down.
Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
Furniture begins to swell and crack.
Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
Metal begins to rust and corrode.
Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
Paint begins to blister.
Wood flooring swells and warps.
Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.


About US: 

SERVPRO of West Topeka 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.

Meet Our Crew

We are IICRC Certified! Why is it important?

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Topeka is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must: 
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry


The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.


SERVPRO of West Topeka specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We believe in continuous training: 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.

Winter Watch: Always Be Prepared

12/5/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to winter weather in the Midwest one word comes to mind: Unpredictable! But there are plenty of things you can do to be prepared for whatever happens this winter.

One easy task that is often overlooked is unhooking the garden hose from the outside spigot. A hose left attached during freezing weather can cause pipes to burst as ice works its way up the hose into the home. Because of the recessed valve in frost free hose bibs, many times homeowners are unaware of the damage until they use their hose in the spring.

The spring ritual of washing your car in the driveway can have disastrous effects as water jets into your home. At SERVPRO we see major damage in home after home every spring as this avoidable scenario plays out.

A few seconds to keep your hose unhooked after use, especially in the fall can possibly save you time, money, and a lot of stress.

Don’t forget we are just a phone call away!

785-862-0550

Restoring Your Topeka Business After A Water Damage Event

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your Topeka Business After A Water Damage Event We are always available for your commercial water damage needs

Flooding and water damage events at Topeka commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of West Topeka

SERVPRO of West Topeka specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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. Call us 24/7 for all your commercial property needs! 785-862-0550

Spring Weather Can Be Unpredictable in Topeka

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Spring Weather Can Be Unpredictable in Topeka Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little to no time to prepare for it.

Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."

Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.

Reduce injury risk and plan ahead

Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.

Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions. You can follow many of the same steps that you would for all extreme weather events. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
  • An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
  • A list of important personal information, including:

 ?telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends

?insurance and property information

?telephone numbers of utility companies

?medical information

  • According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:

?non-latex gloves

?assortment of adhesive bandages

?antibiotic ointment

?sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes

?absorbent compress dressings

?tweezers

?scissors

?adhesive cloth tape

?aspirin packets (81 mg each)

?first aid instruction booklet

 (NOTE: Customize your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)

  • A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • An emergency kit in your car

Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek appropriate shelter as soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.

Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it. But we do know that when spring arrives, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family, and your home? If thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods do occur, you'll be ready for them.

https://www.cdc.gov/features/springweather/

After the storms if you find you have damage to your home, don't forget SERVPRO of W. Topeka is here to help 24/7. We are ready for whatever the weather leaves behind!

Call us today   785-862-0550

Does your Topeka home have a mold problem?

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does your Topeka home have a mold problem? In Topeka, mold can spread though a home in as little as 48 hours.

In Topeka, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

 If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – SERVPRO of W. Topeka

785-862-0550

Don't get swept away in this Kansas weather!

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Don't get swept away in this Kansas weather! Be prepared for any kind of weather!

We all know how crazy the weather in Kansas can be in the spring time. There is never a better time to be prepared than before the storm hits! Be sure you know the difference between a watch and a warning.                                              

     Make sure your prepared with these tips from ready.gov

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

Prepare Your Home

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

Flood Warning = "Take Action!"  Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.

After the water recedes and your home has sustained damage don’t forget SERVPRO of West Topeka is always here to help!

Call us at 785-862-0550

About SERVPRO of West Topeka

 SERVPRO of West Topeka 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

St. Patrick's Day is Almost Here! Enjoy These Fun Facts!

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

General St. Patrick's Day is Almost Here! Enjoy These Fun Facts! Happy St. Patrick's Day from your friends at SERVPRO of W. Topeka

Enjoy these fun facts about St. Patrick’s Day!

FACTS ABOUT IRISH AMERICANS

  • There are 34.7 million U.S. residents with Irish ancestry. This number is more than seven times the population of Ireland itself.
  • Irish is the nation’s second most frequently reported ancestry, ranking behind German.
  • Across the country, 11 percent of residents lay claim to Irish ancestry. That number more than doubles to 23 percent in the state of Massachusetts.
  • Irish is the most common ancestry in 54 U.S. counties, of which 44 are in the Northeast. Middlesex County in Massachusetts tops the list with 348,978 Irish Americans, followed by Norfolk County, MA, which has 203,285.
  • Irish ranks among the top five ancestries in every state except Hawaii and New Mexico. It is the leading ancestry group in Delaware, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
  • There are approximately 144,588 current U.S. residents who were born in Ireland.

 PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATION

  • Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick’s Day dish. In 2009, roughly 26.1 billion pounds of beef and 2.3 billion pounds of cabbage were produced in the United States.
  • Irish soda bread gets its name and distinctive character from the use of baking soda rather than yeast as a leavening agent.
  • Lime green chrysanthemums are often requested for St. Patrick’s Day parades and celebrations.

 PATRICK’S DAY PARADE

  • The first St. Patrick’s Day parade took place in the United States on March 17, 1762, when Irish soldiers serving in the English military marched through New York City.
  • More than 100 St. Patrick’s Day parades are held across the United States. New York City and Boston are home to the largest celebrations.
  • At the annual New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade, participants march up 5th Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street. Each year, between 150,000 and 250,000 marchers take part in the parade, which does not allow automobiles or floats.

PLACES TO SPEND ST. PATRICK’S DAY

  • There are seven places in the United States named after the shamrock, the floral emblem of Ireland including Mount Gay-Shamrock, WV; Shamrock, TX; Shamrock Lakes, IN; and Shamrock, OK.
  • Sixteen U.S. places share the name of Ireland’s capital, Dublin. With 44,541 residents, Dublin, CA, is the largest of the nice, followed by Dublin, OH, with 39,310.
  • Other towns with the luck of the Irish include Emerald Isle, North Carolina and Irishtown, Illinois.

For more fun facts visit: St. Patrick's Day Facts 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from your friends at SERVPRO of West Topeka!

Tornadoes ~ Are you Prepared?

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tornadoes ~ Are you Prepared? Tornado season will be here soon! Be Prepared!

This page explains what actions to take when you receive a tornado watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service for your local area and what to do before, during, and after a tornado.

Know your risk

What

A tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground and is often—although not always—visible as a funnel cloud. Lightning and hail are common in thunderstorms that produce tornadoes. Tornadoes cause extensive damage to structures and disrupt transportation, power, water, gas, communications, and other services in its direct path and in neighboring areas. Related thunderstorms can cause heavy rains, flash flooding, and hail

Where

About 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States every year and every state is at risk. Most tornadoes in the United States occur east of the Rocky Mountains with concentrations in the central and southern plains, the Gulf Coast and Florida.

When

Tornadoes can strike in any season, but occur most often in the spring and summer months. They can occur at all hours of the day and night, but are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Before a Tornado

  • Identify safe rooms built to FEMA criteria or ICC500 storm shelters or other potential protective locations in sturdy buildings near your home, work, and other locations you frequent so you have a plan for where you will go quickly for safety when there is a Warning or an approaching tornado.
  • For schools, malls, and other buildings with long-span roofs or open space plans, or many occupants, ask the building manager to identify the best available refuge.
  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • Look for the following danger signs:
  • Dark, often greenish sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
  • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Tornado Facts

The extent of destruction caused by tornadoes depends on the tornado’s intensity, size, path, time of day, and amount of time it is on the ground. Wind from tornadoes can reach more than 300 miles per hour, and damage paths can be more than 1 mile wide and 50 miles long. Wind from tornadoes can destroy buildings and trees, transform debris into deadly projectiles, and roll vehicles.

  • They may strike quickly, with little or no warning.
  • They may appear nearly transparent until dust and debris are picked up or a cloud forms in the funnel.
  • The average tornado moves Southwest to Northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Waterspouts are tornadoes that form over water.

Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:

  • Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible. When there is a Watch, move to be near enough to a shelter or sturdy building to be able to get there quickly in a few minutes if there is a Warning or if you see signs of a tornado approaching. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.
  • Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Take shelter immediately.

During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately!  Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

If you are in school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building pre-identified best available refuge then:       

  • Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room built to FEMA criteria, or a small interior windowless room on the lowest level, below ground in a basement, or storm cellar, is best. (Closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body as best you can e.g., with a heavy coat or blankets, pillows. .
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Do not open windows.
  • A sturdy structure (e.g. residence, small building) , school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)

A manufactured home or office then:            

 Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, do not offer protection from tornadoes.

The outside with no shelter then:

  • If you are not in a sturdy building, there is no single research-based recommendation for what last-resort action to take because many factors can affect your decision. Possible actions include:
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • In all situations:
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in urban or congested areas in a car or truck. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for protection in a sturdy building. .
  • Outdoor areas are not protected from flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.

After a Tornado

  • If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust. Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and homes until local authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Use extreme caution during post-disaster clean-up of buildings and around debris. Do not attempt to remove heavy debris by yourself. Wear protective clothing, including a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, work gloves, and sturdy, thick-soled shoes during clean-up.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
  • If your home is without power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.

Kansas weather can be unpredictable! Be informed & stay safe!

If tragedy strikes remember, SERVPRO of W. Topeka is always here to help!

785-862-0550

Topeka 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Topeka 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service When water damage happens SERVPRO of W. Topeka is ready!

SERVPRO of West Topeka is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. 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 understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of West Topeka 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)?

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 785-862-0550

About SERVPRO of West Topeka

SERVPRO of West Topeka 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.

Spring Weather Ahead, Don't Get Swept Away!

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

We all know how crazy the weather in Kansas can be in the spring time. There is never a better time to be prepared than before the storm hits! Be sure you know the difference between a watch and a warning.                                              

       Make sure your prepared with these tips from ready.gov

Flood Watch = “Be Aware.” Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area.

Steps to Take

  • Turn on your TV/radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Know where to go. You may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot.
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.

Prepare Your Home

  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor. This will help protect them from flood damage.
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water. You could be electrocuted.
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve. This helps prevent fires and explosions.

Flood Warning = "Take Action!"  Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly.

Steps to Take

  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground.
  • Evacuate if directed.
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down and 2 feet of water can sweep your vehicle away.

After the water recedes and your home has sustained damage don’t forget SERVPRO of West Topeka is always here to help!

Call us at 785-862-0550

About SERVPRO of West Topeka

SERVPRO of West Topeka 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

Commercial Properties and Water Damage

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Commercial Properties and Water Damage Our own commercial building in Topeka!

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at Topeka commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of West Topeka

SERVPRO of West Topeka specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.

Call SERVPRO of W. Topeka  24/7 for all your commercial property needs! 785-862-0550

Winter in Kansas has arrived

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Winter in Kansas has arrived Don't forget to unhook your hose from the spigot!

The leaves are turning, the days are cooler and winter is in the air. Air conditioners are idle and the furnace has not kicked on yet. While we are enjoying this transition remember, it is never too early to begin projects that get our homes ready for winter.

One easy task that is often overlooked is unhooking the garden hose from the outside spigot. A hose left attached during freezing weather can cause pipes to burst as ice works its way up the hose into the home. Because of the recessed valve in frost free hose bibs, many times homeowners are unaware of the damage until they use their hose in the spring.

The spring ritual of washing your car in the driveway can have disastrous effects as water jets into your home. At SERVPRO we see major damage in home after home every spring as this avoidable scenario plays out.

A few seconds to keep your hose unhooked after use, especially in the fall can possibly save you time, money, and a lot of stress.

Don’t forget we are just a phone call away!

785-862-0550

Tips for cooking this holiday season

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for cooking this holiday season Always use caution while cooking!

Cooking brings family and friends together, provides an outlet for creativity and can be relaxing. But did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries? By following a few safety tips you can prevent these fires.

“Cook with Caution”

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels or curtains away from your stovetop.

 If you have a small (grease) cooking fire and decide to fight the fire...

  • On the stovetop, smother the flames by sliding a lid over the pan and turning off the burner. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

 If you have any doubt about fighting a

small fire…

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number from outside the home.

Reproduced from NFPA’s website, www.nfpa.org/publiceducation. © NFPA

If you do happen to have a kitchen or cooking fire be sure to call the experts in fire damage restoration! SERVPRO of Topeka is always here to help!

785-862-0550

Faster to your West Topeka Water Damage

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of West Topeka provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of West Topeka arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 785-862-0550

About SERVPRO of West Topeka

SERVPRO of West Topeka 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.

For Immediate Service in Topeka, Call SERVPRO

1/24/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of West Topeka provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Topeka. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions?

Call Us 24/7 – 785-862-0550

Residential Services

Whether your Topeka home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Topeka commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Winter is almost here in Topeka Kansas!

11/11/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Winter is almost here in Topeka Kansas! Don't forget to unhook your hose from the spigot!

The leaves are turning, the days are cooler and winter is in the air. Air conditioners are idle and the furnace has not kicked on yet. While we are enjoying this transition remember, it is never too early to begin projects that get our homes ready for winter.

One easy task that is often overlooked is unhooking the garden hose from the outside spigot. A hose left attached during freezing weather can cause pipes to burst as ice works its way up the hose into the home. Because of the recessed valve in frost free hose bibs, many times homeowners are unaware of the damage until they use their hose in the spring.

The spring ritual of washing your car in the driveway can have disastrous effects as water jets into your home. At SERVPRO we see major damage in home after home every spring as this avoidable scenario plays out.

A few seconds to keep your hose unhooked after use, especially in the fall can possibly save you time, money, and a lot of stress.

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