2021 SERVPRO Regional Marketing Symposium
The 2021 SERVPRO Missouri Marketing Symposium at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.
In November of 2021 our Sales and Marketing Manager, Katie Jackson, was one of five Missouri SERVPRO franchise marketing managers to host the first annual Missouri Marketing Symposium in Lake of the Ozarks. This event was just a dream we often joked about over our Zoom calls for other events we have worked on together. We all felt like maybe other franchises might be able to benefit by collaborating with us as a group, so there the idea was born! We put our heads together to come up with our agenda and the planning began.
To start, we knew we wanted this event to be all about marketing and how to get the next job but also networking – growing your SERVPRO network is something all five of us believe in very strongly so we wanted that to be a focus as well. Once planning was done our one-and-a-half-day event turned into three days! We had over 65 marketing representatives, managers, and owners in attendance from all over the U.S., our furthest attendee came all the way from Southern California. All three days were packed with learning, open forums and discussions, socials, networking, and fun, so much fun! Before the symposium was even over, we were already talking about how to better our event for 2022. So, stay tuned for 2022!!
How Infrared Cameras Can Help Save Your Missouri Business
In the disaster restoration industry, change is continual and technology keeps evolving. Due to this, water disaster restoration professionals have greatly improved their drying efforts. One of the most useful pieces of equipment to have found a place in the disaster restoration industry are thermal, or infrared cameras. But what exactly are they and how do they work?
The first infrared camera was built in 1929. They have since been used in all sorts of applications, ranging from:
- targeting systems in military planes
- search and rescue operations
- building inspections
- medical diagnostics
- security purposes
But they’ve also become increasingly prevalent for use in finding moisture.
Understanding the Technology
The first thing to realize concerning thermal cameras is they’re not x-ray machines and can’t see through people or objects. But they also don’t operate like regular cameras. Regular cameras and the human eye both work on the same basic principle: visible light energy hits an object, bounces off it, a sensor receives the reflected light, which then turns it into an image.
Thermal imagers make pictures from heat, not visible light. Heat (also called infrared or thermal energy) and light are both parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but a camera that can detect visible light won’t see thermal energy, and vice versa. Thermal cameras capture infrared energy and use the data to create images through digital or analog video outputs.
Because humans can’t see heat energy, infrared imaging equipment converts the picture into a false-color image, where different temperature ranges are represented by certain colors. Typically, dark colors such as black and blue represent cool surfaces, and bright colors like yellow, red and white signify warm and hot areas.
How Infrared Can Rescue Your Business From Disaster
How does that help water damage restoration professionals save your Missouri home or business? The variations in temperatures detected by Infrared cameras may signal moisture problems. For instance, when wallboard or other structural elements of a building are wet, evaporative cooling occurs. As a result, those areas appear cooler than dry components of the same material and produce telltale cool areas on thermal images. That moisture can be hard to impossible to perceive with the naked eye, but thermal cameras can easily find them.
So, thermal cameras are beneficial in water damage restoration because they:
- Locate hidden moisture and leaks in your business’s walls or structure
- Determine whether building materials are dry after a water or mold* remediation project
- Determine the extent of water damage from flooding or plumbing accidents
One thing these cameras aren’t able to do is reveal percentages or points of moisture levels – in other words, they can’t tell you how wet something is. That’s information restoration professionals also need to know in their drying processes. So along with the thermal camera, they likewise use moisture meters to acquire that vital data.
When it comes to water damage, a quick and accurate diagnosis is essential to successful remediation. To kick-start the process, SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County includes thermal imaging as part of our comprehensive emergency response and remediation services to help ensure your property is dried thoroughly.
*While infrared cameras don’t specifically detect the presence of mold, they do provide mold inspectors the opportunity to find wet areas that are prime spots for mold infestation.
Continuing Education Classes for 2022
The 2022 CE Class Schedule for SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County
We are excited to announce that C.E. Classes are back for 2022! This year we are featuring a Hybrid class and will offer online classes and a small amount of in person seating in our new conference room facility located at 764 N Miller Road in Springfield, Missouri. Our facility will be sanitized and ready for our C.E. Students. The classes offered this year are Ethics, Restorative Drying for Water Damage, Cleaning & Restoring Smoke Damage, Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry for a total of 9 C.E. Credits. If you are an insurance professional and you are interested in attending these classes please contact us today at 417-865-7711 to reserve your spot, you can also visit our website for more information.
5 Helpful Tips When Choosing A Commercial Restoration Contractor
Picking the right commercial reconstruction contractor for your Greene County business is a serious decision. Each contractor has its strong points, specialisms, and strategies for handling a project. It’s vital to do your research, ask the right questions, and know what to watch for when choosing a commercial restoration contractor.
Over the years, SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County has witnessed (and helped mop up) the tragic consequences of hiring unsuitable restoration contractors. To help you avoid the most common (and easily preventable) mistakes businesses make when hiring a contractor, here are some helpful tips:
- Interview all referrals and check their licenses
Call other business owners who’ve recently worked with the contractor to hear what their experiences were. Ask these questions:
- Was the contractor easily available during the project? After a text, voicemail or email, what was their response time?
- Did you feel that you were always in the loop? Did the contractor clearly present your options and assist you in choosing the right one?
- Was the project completed in a timely matter and on budget? If not, did they communicate why?
- What did you like about working with the contractor? Would you recommend their services?
It’s also crucial that you ask the contractor to offer adequate documentation for their current licenses, insurance, references and safety record. A dependable contractor will provide these things quickly upon request.
- Don’t hire a contractor without restoration experience
A general contractor isn’t necessarily a restoration contractor, but most restoration contractors are first-rate general contractors. Experience is critical with regard to complex mitigation, restoration, and rebuilding projects.
It’s one thing to build something from the ground up, but it’s a completely different issue when you need to assess the damage, clean, and restore a property damaged by fire, water, or other disasters. And if you can, choose a restoration contractor that already has experience working with your insurance company as it can save you time, money, and anxiety!
- Ignore those who want a large upfront payment or offers a cash discount
Alarms should sound if you hear either of these terms. It usually means that company has some serious issues. But do ask the contractor about their payment expectations, especially if an insurance company is covering restoration costs.
Your contractor will need a reasonable amount of money to get the project started, but most states don’t allow contractors to ask for more than 33% of the total estimated cost upfront. Additional payments should be tied to important project targets.
- Don’t accept over the phone quotes
A common mistake some make is accepting quotes for restoration projects over the phone before any kind of on-site inspection. Every building and situation is different, so there’s no way a contractor could give an accurate assessment and cost before eyeballing the job.
- Don’t hire a contractor that doesn’t offer a plan
The restoration contractor you choose should deliver a detailed plan (that you can clearly understand) that shows the exact steps that will be necessary to restore your commercial property quickly. They should be able to present all your options and help you choose one that fits your budget and specific needs.
Following these five tips will assist you in choosing a trustworthy, dependable, and experienced restoration contractor. A great contractor will eliminate needless stress and anxiety and help you get your business back up and running as soon as possible.
Contact SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County today to acquaint yourself with our services. Schedule a free consultation to discuss your commercial restoration, mitigation, and repair needs.
Gutter Damage After A Storm Can be Costly
Most homeowners in Greene County make the common mistake of not checking out their home’s or businesses' roofs after a severe weather event. That’s an omission that could cost you dearly in the future.
Rain, snow, hail, sleet, and high winds can cause gutter damage. Some of that damage is easy to spot, like downspouts that have detached and tumbled over. But sometimes storm gutter damage is difficult to observe as it can be hidden entirely from ground level. If it goes unnoticed, it can cause problems later to your home's interior.
What is Gutter Damage?
A storm, wind or heavy rain can loosen and bend gutters and downspouts. Here at SERVPRO, we have seen countless damaged gutters, especially if they’re old, in bad condition, and not securely attached. Heavy rains can also wash leaves and dirt into your gutters, causing a potential clog. Once clogged, they no longer carry water away from the roof. When the gutters stop doing the job that they are designed to do, there is a potential for backup and water damage to the roof or interior of your Greene County home. So after a storm passes, it is vital that you have your gutters and roof inspected.
What Can Happen if Gutters Aren’t Repaired
- Weakened foundation: Depending on the size of your home, every inch of rainfall can translate to over 1000 gallons of water pouring down your roof! When gutters function properly, that water will flow through a downspout and away from your home. But when clogged or damaged or the downspout is detached, water will pour down your walls. Pooling water around your foundation can cause erosion, leading to foundation cracks and settling which can weaken the structure of your home.
- Additional gutter damage: When your gutters are clogged and the water has no place to go, they can become very heavy. A gallon of water weighs over 8 pounds and just one foot of gutter can hold up to 2 gallons. Add that to the mass of dead leaves and other gunk and you can see how all that extra weight can bend your gutters or tear them away from the roof.
- Wall and ceiling damage: Trapped water from damaged or clogged gutters can rot the wooden fascia boards your gutters are mounted to, allowing moisture to enter your home. And during our Missouri winters, clogged gutters can help create ice dams which can drive snow melt underneath your shingles.
- Wet basement: If your basement hasn’t been waterproofed, the water pouring down your foundation due to damaged gutters can seep through your basement’s porous walls and floor, leading to a damp basement. And where it’s damp and dark, mold can easily begin to grow, quickly becoming a problem.
- Insect invasions: Nobody wants mosquitoes buzzing around in their backyard. But pooling water in broken or clogged gutters is a perfect breeding ground for them. Mud and damp leaves can also be a welcoming spot for bees and wasps to build their nests.
As you’ve probably noticed, severe weather events in Greene County are more than a rare occurrence. Since having secure gutters is essential to protect your home and your valuable assets inside, it’s a good idea to get your gutter system inspected to catch potential issues. When problems are found by a SERVPRO professional, they’ll offer you a detailed plan of action to repair the damage early on to save you money down the road.
It is always a good time to get your roof inspected even if you do not think there’s an issue. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County can provide an inexpensive, professional assessment of your roof, rain gutters, attic, and all other related parts that make up the home's protective shield.
Debunking 4 Fire Sprinkler Myths
There’s no denying a fire could cause devastating damage to your Greene County commercial property. And without a way to extinguish the flames quickly, some of your workers and customers could be severely injured or killed. That's why having a commercial fire sprinkler system is vital.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), when sprinklers are installed, the chances of dying in a fire are diminished by 80 percent and the average property loss due to fire is cut by 50 to 66 percent, compared to fires where there are no sprinklers.
While it’s unquestionable that sprinklers are crucial tools for defense against fires, there are still many misconceptions about how sprinklers truly work. So, let’s talk about 4 common myths concerning commercial fire sprinkler systems and why they’re wrong.
Myth 1: Water Damage Produced by Sprinklers Cost More Than Fire Damage
FACT: Sprinkler systems are more cost-effective when compared to the damage caused by other firefighting efforts. Since sprinklers can keep a fire contained within one room rather than allowing flames and smoke to spread through a building, most fire damage cleaning is reduced to one area. Additionally, water damage as a result of fire hoses regularly costs more to restore. Sprinklers discharge only 8-24 gallons of water per minute, while fire hoses gush 50-125 gallons per minute.
MYTH 2: All Sprinkler Heads Discharge During a Fire
FACT: Sprinkler heads are designed to only respond to fire temperatures above 155 °F. A temperature-sensitive glass bulb filled with a liquid or metal alloy hold fire sprinkler heads in place. The glass applies pressure to a pipe cap, stopping water from streaming through the system. So, only sprinkler heads close to a fire will be set off, leaving unaffected areas dry.
MYTH 3: Sprinklers are Too Sensitive
FACT: Although you want your sprinkler system to be sensitive to fires, that doesn’t mean they will be set off by somebody burning their lunch or lighting a cigarette. Only 1 in 16 million sprinkler heads trigger by accident, so their benefits far overshadow any risks.
Myth 4: Smoke Alarms Activate Sprinkler Systems
FACT: Fire sprinkler systems and smoke alarms function separately. Smoke alarms detect smoke particles which causes them to alarm. This is very important, because you want a warning before a fire has extended too far. But sprinkler system heads are only heat activated. The one will not set off the other.
As a business owner, you’re aware that safety is needed to keep your operations running smoothly. To help ensure your Greene County company will be safer from fire damage, it’s a good idea to install commercial sprinklers and mount fire extinguishers throughout your facility.
But if the unexpected does occur, help is nearby. At SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County, we’re both fire damage and water damage clean up professionals. We offers 24-Hour Emergency Recovery Services and are committed to getting your business back on its feet as quickly as possible.
Even Tobacco Smoke Odor is Hazardous
Have you ever bought or rented a home in southwest Missouri that had been completely restored yet sometimes you could still smell cigarette smoke? That’s because after years of smoking, even the bones of a house can be infused with tobacco odor, leaving unpleasant smells in all rooms, not just where someone has smoked. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County knows how strong these odors can get. We have to work just as hard to eliminate smoke odor as we do house fire malodors.
Why tobacco smoke is such a big problem
Cigarette smoke leaves a yellowish-brown, gluey residue that sticks to all surfaces of a home, making it difficult and time-consuming to remove. If you have ever cleaned walls or windows that have been exposed to cigarette smoke, then you’ve likely seen this residue.
According to the American Lung Association, cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals (40 of which are associated with cancer) that not even the strongest air purifier can eliminate from your home. But it’s not just an odor problem.
How tobacco smoke affects your home
Studies conducted by the San Diego State University indicate that third-hand smoke from walls, carpets and curtains can have a significant impact on a person’s health. Toxic and volatile compounds from cigarettes build up in drywall and in soft furnishings. Children, in particular, are at risk of disease caused by exposure to the toxins from third-hand smoke.
“There’s a big illusion that when tobacco smoke disappears, we’re safe,” said SDSU psychology professor Georg Matt, director of the resource center. “Unfortunately, some of the most toxic compounds clinch to surfaces. They get embedded in carpets, they coat walls, they penetrate into walls. They become part of the indoor environment.”
Smoking not only affects the people exposed to smoke, but it also produces odorous substances that stick to every surface of the area where smoking has taken place. The yellowish-brown substance eliminated through smoking bonds to walls, furniture, and plastics, and can permanently change their appearance. Cigarette smoke also penetrates more odor-absorbing objects, such as insulation, carpets, upholstery, bedding, clothes, and many more.
Additionally, a buildings HVAC system carries smoke odor and chemicals throughout the structure. That means that the buildup of dust and debris inside the ducting that absorbed those odors needs to be removed and the entire ducting system will need to be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.
How professionals remove tobacco smoke odor
There is no magic formula that removes these residues and malodors.
Masking odors with air fresheners only works temporarily and may pose health risks. Moreover, covering up tobacco smell with a fresh coat of paint without cleaning or using a primer first won’t effectively eliminate the odor. Within a short period of time, smoke residue will begin leaking through the paint and spread offensive odors through the room, just like before.
The only effective way to remove tobacco residue and odor is with a very thorough cleaning then sealing of all structural surfaces. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County, your southwest Missouri restoration specialists, begin tobacco smoke removal by cleaning all surfaces, using deodorizers to eliminate every tiny particle of tobacco smoke. Once we’ve cleaned all visible surfaces, we use specific equipment (such as hydroxyl generators and/or ozone generators) that abolish the odor molecules that are inaccessible, such as inside walls and ducting.
We next use a sealant that locks in stains and odors. After that, surfaces will be made ready to refinish, paint, or apply new coverings. Finally, our team confirms that all surfaces have been sanitized and treated to ensure odors stay away from you and your property.
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County are professionals at removing smoke residue and odors, no matter their source. So don’t continue to suffer from unwelcome odors and stains. Let us provide your home with a breath of fresh air!
Biohazard Cleanup – What, When and Why?
When you hear the word “Biohazard”, what comes to mind? You may think of situations such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. But biohazards also stem from traumatic events where blood, human or animal residues, chemical spills, and more are involved. They include these scenarios:
Biohazard cleanup involves cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing areas where such traumatic events have occurred. Cleanup after these events is a serious business that not just anyone can handle. The threats involved caused by bacteria, viruses, and infectious diseases can put your health and safety at risk. Frequently, these pathogens are invisible, making cleanup an even more problematic task for the inexperienced.
You may think that if the police are involved, someone else will clean up the aftereffects. But the state of Missouri isn’t responsible for cleaning up crime scenes. After police investigators collect evidence from a scene, it’s up to the property owner to hire a biohazard remediation company like SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County. But we can arrive onsite only after the police have gathered enough evidence related to the crime.
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County is trained in the cleanup and remediation of all types of trauma situations. We have a team of highly professional experts who have experience in these matters who follow proper training and safety procedures. We specialize in fast and thorough cleanup work to ensure the safety and security of everyone involved.
Does Biohazard Cleanup Require Certification?
To become a biohazard technician, obtaining certification is not required. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does require biohazard technicians to properly wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when dealing with bloodborne pathogens, because every time technicians handle potentially hazardous materials they’re put at significant risk.
The SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County team employs state-of-the-art protective equipment and cleanup processes that follow strict safety protocols outlined by OSHA and EPA. Furthermore, we provide up-to-date bioremediation training for technicians that includes best practices, proprietary methods, and safety compliance.
The SERVPRO Biohazard Cleanup Process
- We start cleanup efforts as quickly as possible.
- We remove all potentially infectious materials from the site.
- Hazardous medical waste is handled in compliance with OSHA regulations. It’s then processed and sent to a licensed hazardous medical waste incinerator.
- Technicians remove porous materials like fabric and carpeting following industry standards and Missouri state regulations.
- Non-hazardous materials are either removed or decontaminated and sanitized if they are considered salvageable.
- After cleanup and sanitization, affected areas are deodorized, and walls and flooring may be sealed to cover any remaining stains from the incident.
SERVPRO strives to be exceptionally sensitive to these situations by showing extra care and compassion and we do our best to understand that those involved may be emotionally vulnerable.
As with any type of property damage, SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County restoration professionals ensure that their actions don’t worsen the sense of loss of the property owners. Before we’re able to arrive on the scene, follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.
How Not to Return Home to Water Damage
After what has seemed an eternity, many will finally be able to enjoy a vacation away from home this year. While these are usually enjoyable, happy, calming, and battery charging events, all that good may come crashing down the minute you return home if when you open the door you step into standing water. Discovering water damage in your Springfield or Greene County home is a nightmare you’ll never want to experience.
To avoid this kind of situation, homeowners must be aware of and put into place the following defenses to prevent flooding emergencies and water damage while they are away. The preparation and extra efforts can pay off in the form of thousands of dollars saved and your peace of mind.
4 Steps to Take Before Leaving Home
- Shut Off the Main Water Valve - Before leaving town, shut off the main water line to avoid any chance of water damage while you’re away. Some water meter setups have two valves, one on the street side of the meter and another on the house side. In colder climates, you’ll characteristically find the main shutoff in the basement near the front of the house. In warmer areas, it’ll be outside the home fastened to an exterior wall or in an underground box with a removable cover.
- Shut Off Water Supply Valves - If you can’t shut off the main water supply due to having an automatic sprinkler system or somebody is watering the plants while you’re away, shut off the valves to the most common sources of water damage such as washing machines, dishwashers, and ice makers, in case a hose blows or detaches. Supply stops usually have a little round or oval knob you turn clockwise to shut off the flow of water.
- Replace Water Supply Lines - To avoid water damage, especially when you’re not home, be sure to install stainless steel braided water supply lines on all your appliances, faucets and toilets. They last far longer than rubber or plastic hoses and are unlikely to leak. They also stop mice from gnawing into the lines. A pair of washing machine hoses will usually cost less than $20. Shorter kinds for faucets or toilets are also available.
- Check Your Gutters - A 1,000 sq. ft. roof will shed about 620 gallons of water during a 1 inch rainfall. That’s a ton of water dumped next to your basement. Therefore, before going away on a vacation, check your gutters. Make sure leaves, sticks or other debris are not obstructing the inlet of the downspout and stopping water from flowing down the spout. Also double-check that all downspout extensions are discharging the water far away from the foundation.
Water Damage is More Than a Nuisance
The reasons to take the preceding precautions before leaving on vacation are numerous. Besides the headaches and costs, you may also experience these other problems triggered by water damage:
- Structural Damage
- Health Problems
- Bad Odors
- Electrical Damage
We’ve all been through a lot recently, so we hope that you will never have to experience water damage, especially after a relaxing vacation. But if the unforeseen arises, let SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County ease your mind by eliminating all traces of such a terrible event. We’ll do all the work so that you can sit back and enjoy your pictures, videos and memories.
Powerful Storms are Here to Stay
A tree has fallen on a home after a strong spring storm came through the Springfield area.
Does it seem to you that Missouri storms are becoming both more frequent and more violent? Well, they are. Actually, there has been a staggering rise in the number of extreme weather events globally over the past 20 years, driven largely by rising global temperatures and other climatic changes.
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) has published a report showing that from 2000 to 2019, there were 7,348 major natural disasters around the world, killing 1.23 million people and resulting in $2.97 trillion in global economic losses. By comparison, the previous 20-year period, 1980-1999, had 4,212 natural disasters, claiming 1.19 million lives and causing $1.63 trillion in economic losses.
A recent U.S. government report shows the devastating effects of climate change. The U.S. Global Change Research Program, a team of 13 federal agencies, was put together with the help of 300 leading scientists. It found that if greenhouse emissions aren’t reduced, the annual average global temperature could increase 9 degrees Fahrenheit or more by the end of this century. This will cause more occurrences of fires and flooding.
In areas with forests, the report anticipates that wildfire seasons could burn up to six times more land annually by 2050, damaging buildings in those regions. On the coasts, facilities and infrastructure are threatened by rising sea levels, flooding, and storm surges, which will affect $1 trillion of real estate. Sea levels have already gone up 7 to 8 inches since 1900, with almost half that rise occurring since 1993.
On top of that, a recent study published in the journal Science made known that the frequency of large-scale tornado outbreaks (events lasting one to three days, featuring several thunderstorms along with six or more tornadoes in close succession) have been increasing in the U.S., almost doubling in the last half century.
Why You Should Plan a Course of Action
"These are all things we should expect to see more and more of as climate change takes a deeper hold on our climate and on the extremities that it creates in our weather," Jeff Schlegelmilch, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, told weather.com in a recent interview.
We don’t provide this information to scare you. These are realities of the times we live in. They’re also an important part of the challenges that many in Missouri will face in coming years as we’re forced to prepare for more instances of fires, flooding and wind damage.
What Can Homeowners Do?
Acting swiftly is crucial as this will lessen damage, limit further loss and reduce restoration costs. Know ahead of time who to call for help if storm damage occurs. As a locally owned and operated business SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County is nearby and ready to respond 24/7 to your flooding or storm damage emergency. We specialize in flooding and storm damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job and get your home back to normal quickly.
What Can Businesses Owners Do?
To eliminate as much down time as possible, it’s important to plan now for disasters. Preparedness planning tools like the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program can help business owners know who to call and what to do when disaster strikes. Under this program, a business owner works with a SERVPRO disaster recovery specialist to create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. This comprehensive document contains critical information about the business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas.
Having this information in hand helps business owners and SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County react to an unexpected event quickly and effectively to help minimize business interruption. And, because disasters are unexpected, there’s a Smartphone app and web version of the Program available to provide business owners with access to their ERP 24/7.
So, whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, small or large, and you’ve experienced storm damage, give SERVPRO a call. Besides having a national network of over 1,700 franchises, we also have access to special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to catastrophic storms and events day or night.