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.
Frozen Pipes in your Southwest Missouri Hotel
Hotel flooded during recent Polar Vortex due to burst pipes
During a recent Polar Vortex, a Springfield area hotel suffered burst shower line on the 3rd floor causing damage to 6 guest rooms, extending down into all three levels including the main level of the hotel’s common areas, hallways, laundry room, gym and the lobby.
As you can imagine this caused the hotel staff a headache in having to relocate guests to other rooms in unaffected areas of the hotel, this can be a significant concern for hotel staff as this can lead to lost revenue and safety hazards. To compound the issue our area was facing terrible road conditions due to ice and record cold temperatures. SERVPRO teams gathered their tools and safety mad the trek to begin mitigation efforts. Our teams safely completed the demolition that was needed in many of the spaces, including the removal of ceilings, sheetrock and insulation we did minimize demolition as much as possible while still removing what is absolutely needed in order to get the structure safe and try. After 6 days the structure was completely dry and ready to make any repairs that were necessary. A quick demolition, drying response helps minimize damage in the long run and ensure repairs can be made in a timely manner, so your business is not disrupted any further. While we hope this never happens to you, if you ever find yourself in this situation, please call SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County at 417-865-7711, we will act quickly to make sure and take care of your water damaged hotel.
What to do when your Library is facing a Water Damage
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County recently packed out hundreds of books in a local library that was damaged by water during a Polar Vortex
When water damage happens, you must react quickly to protect the structural integrity plus the contents of the building. In the case of a library the sheer number of contents that have been damaged can be stressful and overwhelming to the library staff. To compound that stress, the longer the water is present the more hazardous conditions can become for the staff and the more damage can be spread destroying the many books, magazines, electronics and many other resources. This is why choosing the right restoration professionals for a water damage this size is so important. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County has the expertise and tools to get the job done. Our team has dried out and restored several libraries in the southwest Missouri area and most recently during the polar vortex helped a local library quickly pack out, and remove hundreds of books, magazines amongst many other paper materials, and also get the job drying to mitigate further damage to their library itself. We were able to save hundreds of books by our quick action.
It is vital for your southwest Missouri library to have a plan in place to be prepared for a water damage emergency. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your library or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. Contact Us today to set up your Emergency Ready Profile Plan.
A Spring Cleaning Checklist for Missouri Property Managers
Winter is over. (Yay!) But with warmer weather comes a whole new set of concerns and projects for property managers. It’s spring cleaning time! Since there’s so much to do, this time of year can feel daunting. But by creating a thorough plan of action, you’ll have a better handle on what needs to be done.
The following checklist* will help you strategize what needs to be taken care of in, on, and around your properties each spring. While some of these tips are not strictly seasonal, they are good reminders of the maintenance you should be doing on a regular schedule.
- Reconnect with Your Tenants
If you don’t already publish one, now is a great time to start an email newsletter for your tenants that describes all of the things you’ll be doing for them as well as the actions they can take to make their spring and summer as cool and uneventful as possible.
When giving your tenants maintenance tips, do so in a helpful and considerate way. Don’t tell them what to do, rather, offer helpful spring cleaning tips, such as cleaning their windows and doors to remove soil buildup from over the winter.
A newsletter is also a great way to remind tenants about the things they’re responsible for maintaining. For instance, if you’re renting out a house and the tenant is responsible for cutting the grass, a gentle reminder can be included. It’s also a great place to remind your tenants that they can, and should, let you know about any issues that need to be taken care of.
- General Maintenance - Outside
For properties where you’re responsible for maintaining the common areas, be sure to keep up with general maintenance tasks, such as cleaning up the landscaping as the effects of winter melt away. Those things should be done as quickly as possible. General maintenance jobs such as the following are especially important in springtime:
- Maintaining landscaping
- Cleaning and repairing drainage systems
- Checking the roof for leaks or problems
- Ensuring all doors lock properly
- Checking for cracks in the caulk
- Checking the fire system
These things should be done throughout the year, but it’s helpful to add them to your spring checklist.
- General Maintenance - Inside
Now’s a good time to replace the batteries in smoke detectors as well as carbon monoxide sensors (if needed). These tasks should be done twice a year, so schedule them for the first day of spring and the first day of fall. You can also add to your list a reminder to change HVAC filters in your property HVAC systems. By doing so now you can verify that the air conditioning is working in every one of your rental units. But as a general rule, you'll want to replace pleated air filters every 90 days. The longer the filter is in place, the more dirt, dust and allergens are trapped, clogging the filter and decreasing their efficiency and the life of the unit.
While doing those things, why not check that all included appliances at the property are being properly maintained and in working order. They need regular maintenance and cleaning to last as long as possible. Be sure you arrange all maintenance work according to what’s outlined in your lease agreement to prevent any problems or miscommunications.
Many items turn up missing or damaged when you turn over a property. Others are often requested by tenants. So, stock up on critical supplies such as A/C filters, light bulbs of several wattages, various screws and fasteners, faucet aerators, water filters, shower heads, and water heater heating elements.
This is a great time of year to stockpile these as there are often sales on home improvement items during spring months when so many are concentrating on spring cleaning.
People move most frequently during spring and early summer months, so set your budget and calendar for additional carpet cleaning appointments, painters, paint and supplies, as well as general maintenance on move-outs. Cleaning or replacing everything that needs to be turned over in your Missouri property can add up. Furthermore, the costs of supplies and services change each year. So, update your budget and operating costs appropriately. This should be done every year, so why not now?
You always want to provide for your tenants the safest possible environment. Part of ensuring their security is having a solid Emergency Ready Plan in place. As a property owner or manager, it’s one of your biggest responsibilities.
Now is the time to contact SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County who will help you set one up. They are your Greene County area go-to contact whether your property suffers water or fire damage, storm damage, sewage backup, mold infestation and more. Additionally, they have the tools and experience to clean and sanitize any property that needs disinfection due to COVID-19.
*While this list covers many aspects of your job, it’s important to personalize the checklists you use. Only you know exactly how your business works and what needs to be dealt with at any particular time. Make sure you adjust this checklist to include anything that’s unique or required for your properties.
Polar Vortex affects Area Churches
You can prepare your church for potential water damages or other disasters by getting a contingency plan in place call us today at 417-865-7711
The Polar Vortex event of February 2021 greatly affected many Southwest Missouri area churches causing pipes to burst. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County was privileged to be able to assist many of them in mitigating their water damage. When water freezes it expands, this expansion puts pressure on water pipes and they burst. Our goal at SERVPRO is to get these buildings dried out as quickly as possible to prohibit fungal growth and to allow the churches to be able to continue to hold worship services for their parishioners.
In this particular church building multiple pipes burst flooding and causing damage to around 16,000 square feet of their building including the sanctuary, hallways, classrooms and cafe. Our crews performed a 2 foot flood cut to all the affected dry wall and removed any wet insulation, set air movers and dehumidifiers and air scrubbers.
You can prepare your church for potential water damages or other disasters by getting a contingency plan in place. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County has an Emergency Ready Profile that is a free assessment of your church or business, when a disaster strikes the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile or ERP identifies prioritized points of contact for authorizing the cleanup and restoration to begin. We have helped many churches with their disaster and getting a back up plan in place to be able to hold worship services. The ERP provides detailed information like gas and water shut off valve locations and other information that is nice to have at your fingertips such as utility company information and facility management personnel name and contact information. You can protect your church or business by setting up an Emergency Ready Profile today. Contact us at 417-865-7711.
SERVPRO Office Expansion Update
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has begun the remodeling process of our current Water Damage Warehouse building in northwest Springfield.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has begun the remodeling process of our current Water Damage Warehouse building in northwest Springfield, our plan is to add more administrative office space for our ever growing office and marketing departments and remodel our current offices. This warehouse is positioned across the street from our Contents and Cleaning Warehouse in Springfield and was purchased in 2018 to accommodate our operations as we had outgrown our current warehouse space.
This remodeling project will provide adequate space for our office and marketing operations staff. Plans include a state of the art conference room, kitchen area, offices and work stations for our sales and marketing staff. We are very excited about this remodeling addition and we know it will help us continue to better serve our customers.
The Dos and Don’ts of Fire Damage Cleanup
Experiencing a fire in your Missouri home or business can be overwhelming, to say the least. But it’s vital that fire damage cleanup and the restoration process is begun as quickly as possible in order to get your life back to normal.
But do not attempt to do this on your own! You’ll need to rely on experts to handle the situation. There are specific steps the professionals know and will follow to restore your property and contents to their preloss condition.
Because of the seriousness of these situations, here is a list of dos and don’ts when it comes to fire damage restoration and smoke cleanup:
· Make safety the priority. Even if the situation looks safe and clear to you, don’t enter a burned structure until a professional has informed you it’s safe to do so. Not only may the building be unstable, but fires can start again — even after they seem to be extinguished.
· Document, document, document. Take photos of the fire damage, save receipts, take notes of conversations and keep all email correspondence. These actions help when dealing with your insurance company.
· Call your insurance agent to initiate a fire damage assessment.
· Call your local restoration company, SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County, to help with fire damage cleanup and repair.
· Limit movements inside the structure to keep soot particles from spreading.
· Change furnace filters.
· Cover dry furniture and upholstery with sheets.
· Weather permitting, open windows and doors for ventilation.
· Remove clothing and soft contents from the property and have it cleaned by SERVPRO professional fire damage restoration cleaners, not just a dry cleaner.
· Throw away all food and drink left after the fire.
· Enter a building before the fire department gives you the green light, even if it looks safe.
· Start cleaning residue from walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Everything has to be assessed by your insurer first.
· Walk on carpets or touch furnishings impacted by smoke residues or debris until they’re professionally cleaned.
· Eat food, including canned goods, that were exposed to heat or fire.
· Turn on utilities until professionally checked.
· Turn on, clean, or use any electronic equipment until professionally checked.
Smoke and soot residue left behind after fire damage can cause severe health effects if not handled correctly. Only trained experts with professional equipment that understand the complicated chemical interactions involved with soot and fire can ensure your fire damage restoration is done safely and thoroughly.
The best thing to do is get in touch with SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County as soon as possible. We will assess your property and come up with a fire damage cleanup plan that includes:
· Securing your property to prevent further damage
· Removing damaged and unsalvageable items
· Cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing of your property and belongings
· Repairing or replacing all fire and smoke damaged areas of the structure
Our main goal at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County is to restore your property and make it “Like it never even happened.” As a locally owned and operated company, providing the best possible customer service is our business
What Do Our Core Values Mean for You?
It’s a term that’s been bandied about, but what exactly are “core values”?
Core values are the cornerstone beliefs of a person or organization. They represent a company’s heart. These guiding principles dictate behavior and can help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Core values also help companies to assess whether they’re on the right path, meeting their customers needs, and fulfilling their goals.
Here at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County we pride ourselves on living up to our core values as a locally owned company and as a team. We believe in the following 6 key values that characterize our company and help us to stand out in the community:1. Growth – Size matters, but only if it is accomplished through knowledge, excellence, innovation and continuous improvement every day - at every level.2. Integrity - Do what’s right and fair. Our relationships with customers, suppliers and each other are based upon honesty, trust, and mutual respect. We do what we say we will do and treat all with respect.3. Being the Best - Persistently strive for excellence in all we do. We adapt the newest technology and use the highest quality products, thus adding value to the services we offer our customers. As a team, we work together to meet the needs of our customers and to help the company be successful.4. Leadership - Provide strong, supportive management teams who embrace and drive change. By example promote honestly, integrity, enthusiasm, creativity, teamwork, excellence and empowerment of individuals.5. Customer Service - Achieve total customer satisfaction by meeting every requirement of every customer. This is more than satisfaction with our products and service. It also includes communication, billing, marketing, product availability and countless other interactions with customers.6. Teamwork - Be reliable, honest, supportive of each other's efforts, enthusiastic and positive. Value ideas over hierarchy. Communicate openly and face challenges optimistically to achieve our common goal of being the best. Be accountable, deliver on promises and strive to exceed expectations.
We recognize that our customers are the reason for our success and we’re committed to listen and respond positively to their needs. In fact, all our decisions are based on what’s best for our customer. By adhering to the above values, SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County strives to create a company that is not only a great one to work for, but also one that will tirelessly work for you.
Water Damage…What Can I Do Until Help Arrives?
At SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County we are available 24/7/365 days a year for your water damaged home or business. When it comes to water damage quick action is crucial and a delay, even a small one can cause more serious damage to your property.
We understand that during this stressful time you need someone to walk you through this process. SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has the specific water damage training to walk you through the difficult and often times confusing moments following a disaster in your home or business. If you need emergency services, we recommend calling our team immediately to get this process under way 417-865-771.
Here are a few tips of what you can do before help arrives.
- Ask yourself, is it safe to stay in this home or property?
- If it is safe to stay remove any slip and fall hazards.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
- Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
- Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
- Gather loose items from floor; wet materials may be heavy, be careful!
When you call our SERVPRO Representative will ask you some quick questions, these questions will help us know what equipment and tools to bring with us. Here is an example of what they will ask:
- Name & Contact Information.
- Street Address of the affected home or business.
- Insurance Information if applicable.
- Cause of water damage.
- Approximate time water damage occurred.
- Is there electricity available on site?
Once our SERVPRO Priority Responder is on-site they will walk you through the entire process of restoring your property while our highly trained technicians get to work quickly working on mitigating damage and restoring your home or business.