Fire: Dangers in the Aftermath
Fire Damaged Garage from a recent residential fire SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County completed
There’s been a fire at your home or business. Once the firemen leave, your first inclination may be to go inside the structure to see what you can salvage and start the cleaning process. But cleaning up after a fire is much more complicated than regular cleaning. It’s also very dangerous. Because once the last flame has been snuffed out, the dangers from a fire continue.
Since fire destroys all materials, the soot that covers everything you touch and that you kick up in the air is full of toxic substances. That’s why the highly trained professionals at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County wear heavy duty personal protection equipment (PPE) on fire mitigation jobs until all the soot is removed. Here are some of the poisons found in the soot and ashes of a building fire:
- Mesothelioma (cancer) causing asbestos fibers from building materials
- Carbon materials can produce carbon monoxide, ammonia, and nitrogen oxides
- PVC can create hydrogen chloride, phosgene (used as a chemical weapon during World War I), dioxin, Refrigerant-40, bromomethane (a pesticide), etc.
- Hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide (poisonous gasses)
- Petroleum based items can produce formaldehyde, acrolein, furfural, cresols, and other harmful chemicals
- Even wood smoke releases more than 100 chemicals also found in cigarette smoke
Removing the Odors
One of the main aftereffects of a fire are odors. These can be difficult to remove without professional know-how and equipment. For instance, did you know that several factors can impact the strength of fire odors? Some of these are:
- Size - The bigger the fire, the more objects have burned, and thus there’s been more smoke.
- Length -The longer a structure has been exposed to smoke, the more deeply odor has seeped into porous materials.
- Space - When a fire occurs in a smaller room, the smoke odor becomes more intense and concentrated.
- Stuff - Not all odors are equal. For instance, burning wood, plastic and protein, all emit different smells with varied consistency.
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County has the knowledge and equipment to eliminate the diverse and pungent odors that occur after a fire. Besides the easily accessible areas, we also examine wall cavities, duct work, crawl spaces and plumbing chases to establish whether they also suffered any smoke or fire damage. We’ll ensure that they’re cleaned, repaired and that all traces of odor are removed.
So as tempting as it may be to rush back into your fire damaged home or business once the fire is out, play it safe and call SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County first so that we can safely make it “Like it never even happened."
Commercial Water Damage in Springfield Hotel
This hotel was flooded from a burst pipe during recent freezing temperatures
Due to recent freezing a pipe burst in an attic of a local hotel damaging the two levels below. We removed all the affected wet ceiling tiles, dried the ceiling and walls and were able to save the carpet in the large conference room of the hotel.
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County is ready to respond immediately and work quickly to clean or restore your business. We understand that your property’s appearance is important and that every hour spent restoring is an hour of lost productivity. When you need a restoration or cleaning professional, SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
If you have a commercial water damage or would like to get a free Emergency Response Plan into place for your business call us at 417-865-7711.
Frozen Pipe Causes Water Damage in Springfield Church
Air Movers drying the walls after removing base trim in Springfield church
During a recent cold snap a frozen pipe caused this Springfield church to flood. This picture shows a portion of the building during the drying process. The cove trim was removed to allow us to access the area behind the walls. We utilized a large desiccant dehumidifier to dry the entire building. The desiccant recycles the air inside, bringing warm dry air inside while sucking moist air outside. SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County's efforts resulted in having 90% of the building dry within 3 days.
Water damage can strike your commercial property at any time. Water damage can sideline your business, regardless if the damage occurs from a major storm event or a broken water line. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you have a commercial water damage or would like to get a free Emergency Response Plan into place for your business call us at 417-865-7711.
Two Story Water Damage in Springfield Home
During a recent cold snap a cold water supply line under a kitchen sink caused this Southwest Missouri basement home to have a major flood. This before picture shows the mess that was left behind in the basement as the water spread throughout the entire home and even into the garage. SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County was called to clean up the water damaged home. Our crews immediately began working to extract the water and removed the affected drywall and flooring and cabinets to get this home completely dry. Construction repairs are under way to get this house back in order like it was pre water damage. If you have a water damage do not hesitate to contact us anytime day or night at 417-865-7711.
A Flood of Concerns for Greene County
Call SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County for your storm and flooding damage
Spring will soon be upon us, along with spring rains. As needed as they are, sometimes those rains don’t let up for a while and Springfield ends up flooded. When that happens, we may see images of people walking through flood waters. Many times, they have no choice as they’re trying to escape to higher ground. But sometimes we see pictures of kids, even adults, playing in floodwaters. There is something tempting about playing in water when it’s in places it’s usually never seen. But here are some serious reasons why you never want to walk (or play) in floodwaters:
- Creature features – some of your playmates may include poisonous snakes, bugs, leeches, disease-carrying rodents and decaying animal carcasses.
- Shock value – a live power line could give way (which is not unusual in disaster areas) and land in the water you’re standing in. No description necessary.
- Junk in the funk – flood waters can carry and/or hide all sorts of debris that can harm you – broken glass, torn metal, splintered wood, etc.
- The force is not with you – it only takes 6 inches of rapidly moving floodwaters to knock you off your feet and carry you to an uncertain fate.
- Contamination abounds – many floods cause sewer overflows, releasing dangerous chemical waste and harmful microbes. These can make you very ill, especially if you swallow any or it comes in contact with your eyes, nose or open sores.
- They suck – when flood waters cover storm drains or sink holes, powerful whirlpools can form that may not be visible from above. They can pull you under and won't let you go.
If you must walk in flood water (standing only – never go into moving water unless you’ve got a rope attached and you’re with a fireman/EMT/etc.), then take all precautions. Wear protective clothing and where your skin or clothing comes in contact with the water, wash as soon as possible. Also make sure you keep up with all vaccinations.
The dangers listed above can also enter your home during flooding. And even if the flooding comes from an inside source, some of these hazards still exist. So instead of trying to handle such a catastrophe yourself, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County who are trained for such emergencies. We use powerful pumps and truck-mounted vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons of water from your property. Then we’ll dry, dehumidify, clean, repair and return your property to normal.
How to Prevent Mold in your Greene County Home
Example of Mold in Crawlspace. If you think you might have a mold problem call SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County today at (417) 865-7711.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County professionals handle water damages every day and know that prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when the environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has seen a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry structure promptly. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for:
- The presence of visible mold.
- Strong musty odor which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity.
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the property for mold growth and water damage problems. If you think you might have a mold problem call SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County today at (417) 865-7711.
Don’t Reach for the Bleach!
Ten Reasons not to use bleach for mold cleaning
Chlorine-based bleach has been around for a long, long, time. It was invented in Europe in the late 18th century, and many consider it the be-all and end-all solution to their cleaning needs. But in reality, it can do great harm.
Here are the Top Ten reasons why you don’t want to use bleach to clean:
- Chlorine lacks detergency – in other words, it contains no wetting agents that allow it to penetrate soils, so surfaces must be pre-cleaned before chlorine will effectively kill germs. This is a 2-step process that requires more time.
- Chlorine is very caustic to human tissue. It can produce irritation and burning on your skin and could cause blindness.
- Chlorine reacts with other chemicals to create toxic byproducts and gases. For instance, when bleach comes in contact with ammonia, it can form chlorine gas, causing cellular damage in nasal passageways and lungs. The accidental mixture of these two products in homes has resulted in death. It’s also incompatible with products that contain hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid and acetic acid (vinegar).
- It may harm your children. After using, bleach remains on surfaces and continues to emit fumes. Recent studies show that children who been exposed to bleach in their homes are more likely to suffer from respiratory illness. In addition, various studies have linked the use of bleach in a household to a higher prevalence of asthma and allergies.
- Using bleach can hurt your pets. Your cleaning products can stay on a pet’s paws or fur. Since cats and dogs often lick themselves, they may ingest harmful chemicals. Due to their tiny size, birds can become sick upon inhaling only a small amount of the fumes. Bleach poisoning in pets can result in vomiting, convulsions, and sometimes death.
- Bleach can kill mold, BUT it depends on the surface the mold is on. Mold grows on both porous and non-porous materials. When dealing with mold on non-porous materials such as shower tiles, tubs, vinyl window trims, counter tops, etc. you can use bleach to kill the mold and disinfect. But using bleach to remove mold from porous materials like drywall and wood can actually accelerate mold growth rather than killing it! When bleach is used on porous materials, the chlorine is left on the surface and only the water component of the bleach is absorbed into the material, aggravating the situation as this provides more moisture for the mold to feed on, where it may then produce allergens and irritants. If you have a mold infestation, call SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County to professionally remove it.
- Chlorine is extremely corrosive to metal surfaces and can permanently discolor countertops. It can also damage floor finishes, requiring them to be stripped and recoated, which is an expensive process.
- Chlorine discolors fibers and colored surfaces. Carpets, upholstery and clothing are just a few of the materials that may be damaged.
- Chlorine bleach’s disinfectant power is rapidly inactivated by contact with organic matter, such as blood, saliva, tissue, urine, feces, dirt, etc. Chlorine is also weakened by sunlight.
- Diluted chlorine bleach quickly loses its effectiveness, is unstable and can lose its disinfectant qualities very rapidly compared to other, more stable disinfectants.
Some safer and effective alternatives to bleach are:
- Baking soda and white vinegar – they’re non-toxic and non-corrosive. Use them to freshen fabrics, eliminate grease, and clean glass.
- Rubbing alcohol – effectively cleans plastic surfaces of electronics
- Hydrogen peroxide – it’s nontoxic and can be used to disinfect household surfaces. Unlike bleach, hydrogen peroxide is safe to use around food products.
- Soap and warm water – the basics! It’ll clean just about anything in your home and won’t present any health risks. Scrubbing with antibacterial soap will kill bacteria just like harsher chemicals.
Although bleach products may be a bargain, you owe it to yourself, your family or coworkers to use a product that truly cleans, thoroughly disinfects and is safe to use.
Financing to Fit Your Needs
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County is excited to announce that we are now offering financial solutions for our customers through GreenSky Financing
Help Is Here with Mold, Fire, or Water Damaging Restorations Costs Green Sky Financing is Here
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County is excited to announce that we are now offering financial solutions for our customers through our new partner Green Sky Financing.
If you have ever suffered through a flood, fire, or mold infestation, we understand that the only thing worrying you as much as restoring your home is how you are going to pay for it. At SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County we do everything possible to keep costs at a minimum but costs can run into thousands very quickly. We sought out this solution after assisting customers who tried to save money by doing the demolition, cleaning, and restoration themselves. In every case, the homeowners or residents simply added to the problem and found themselves with a larger bill; sometimes much larger.
Our office has been trained and approved by Green Sky financial program to help our customers finance their restoration projects. We can assist an individual in getting loans with competitive rates and regular monthly payments, compared to the exorbitant rates and payments from a large credit card transaction.
We have the options to assist by filling out an online application at our office or over the phone. Other than the speedy approval process, this is not a rush loan in any other sense. GreenSky understands that the restoration process can take weeks or months depending on the level of the damage. Recipients have up to four months to exhaust the amount of their loan with our office. It is not a short-term loan with a limited 18-month payment structure. Qualified customers can spread their payments up to as long as 84 months (7 years) or 96 months (8 years) at a payment that can be as low as $79 a month. Financing terms are available for a variety of services- from deductibles, non-coverage on insurance claims, or even just a home remodel.
For more information on what we can do for your home and how GreenSky can help, call us at (417) 865-7711 or visit us at SERVPROspringfieldgreenecounty.com
Why Pipes Freeze and How to Stop it From Happening to You
Freezing water from broken pipes
About the only time you want to hear the sounds of snap, crackle and pop is from a fireplace or your breakfast cereal, but never from the water pipes in your home or business. And once one ruptures, it can release hundreds of gallons per hour, causing extensive water damage to your property. Unfortunately, SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson sees this happen all the time during the winter when pipes are allowed to freeze. But why do they break?
Water’s Weird Quality
Water reacts very differently from most other elements. When water cools, it contracts until it reaches approximately 40°F. After that, it expands slightly until it reaches the freezing point, when it then swells by about 9%. Since this is enough pressure to split open boulders, your pipes don’t stand a chance!
Recognize the Problem Areas
The pipes that are more likely to freeze are:
- Those exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose spigots, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets, especially those that aren’t insulated.
- Pipes that run along outside walls that have little or no insulation.
Nip It in the Bud
Before cold weather sets in, follow these suggestions to protect your pipes from freezing:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines.
- Close inside valves that supply outdoor spigots, then open the spigots to let any remaining water drain out. Keep outside valves open so that any water left in the pipe can expand without breaking it.
- Add high R-value insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces.
- Install "pipe sleeves" or wrap UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials onto exposed water pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed if there’s a water supply line inside.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
- Once the temperature reaches 28°F outside, let water drip from both the cold and hot water faucets. This not only keeps water moving through the pipes but relieves built-up water pressure should they freeze.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night. A slightly higher electric bill costs less than a repair job on a broken pipe and subsequent water damage.
- If you’re a snowbird and will be gone for a while, leave the heat in your home set to no lower than 55°F.
Many times, a frozen pipe will burst in the middle of the night when it’s coldest. Unfortunately, that’s also the time you’re asleep and so you may not be aware of the problem until hours later, compounding the water damage and the cost to repair it. So do all you can to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you. But if it does, call SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson any time of the day or night and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
The Bryngelson family officially opened SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County in the spring of 1985.
In March of 1985 Harlin and LaJune Bryngelson relocated their family to Springfield, Missouri after the company Harlin worked for began restructuring. Harlin and June had friends that had purchased a SERVPRO franchise in Northern Missouri and they quickly saw that this could be a good fit for them as well. The Bryngelsons officially opened their own SERVPRO franchise in Springfield in the spring of 1985. Building a business from the ground up took sacrifice and hard work; working alongside of them were their children Donnae, Debbie, Daniel, David and son in law Brian Grimm. Harlin and LaJune retired from SERVPRO in 1994 and Daniel, David and Brian took over ownership and operations and have since continued the legacy set forth by their parents. They also expanded their territory and added an additional franchise in Nixa/Branson in 2001 and additional office space in Branson in 2018.
Since 1985 SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has been locally owned and operated and specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property across Southwest Missouri. We strive to continue those traditions of excellence and to bring honesty and integrity and the values of our Christian faith into every aspect of our business. We understand that fire and water damage can be disruptive and stressful, our goal is to minimize the stress and disruption these events may bring to your life. We know the decision to bring someone into your home or business during and already stressful time can be a difficult one to make. 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 Employees
If you would like to schedule service for your home or business, please call today!