How to Check for “Black Mold”
Mold growth in a Springfield Missouri kitchen cabinet was caused by an ongoing undetected leak.
There are many different types of mold, but none are actually called "black mold", because many molds have a black color. When people use the term, they may be referring to a type called Stachybotrys chartarum (S. chartarum), also known as Stachybotrys atra. But whichever type may be growing, it’s important to note that some people may be more sensitive to mold spores than others, and they may develop respiratory symptoms after inhaling even a small number of spores. In large quantities, mold spores can cause health effects in almost anyone.
That’s why it’s important to have SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County professionally remove mold growth from your Southwest Missouri home or business and take steps to prevent it from growing back.
Mold requires moisture to grow, so it’s naturally found in areas that are damp and humid, such as bathrooms and basements. Plumbing leaks can also trigger mold growth and should be repaired ASAP. But, what about mold growth that you can’t see? If you’re experiencing a musty smell, it’s likely that you’ve got mold growing in a hidden spot.
The following are some of the most common areas for mold to grow undetected and should be periodically checked:
- Behind your refrigerator
- Beneath stacks of magazines, papers or cardboard
- Behind the drywall in spaces with plumbing lines
- Under sinks
- Behind wallboard near leaking windows
- In ventilation ducts
- Under carpeting that was once wet
- Backside of acoustic ceiling tiles
It can get downright humid in Greene County, which is a perfect environment for mold growth. Here are some ways to control the moisture in your home:
- Install air conditioning. These units not only cool the house, they also remove moisture from the air.
- Install dehumidifiers in areas that suffer from moisture.
- Increase air circulation by installing ceiling fans and more air vents.
- Insulate water pipes. Cold pipes can “sweat” and drip.
When it comes to mold, one of the worst things you can do is to do nothing. Mold is a living organism that grows and will continue to grow under the right conditions. It may also adversely affect your health and will damage the structure of your home or business until it’s been stopped in its tracks. By the time you notice it, it’s already been around for a while. So, whether you can see it or not, call SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County to safely remediate any mold problems you’re facing.
Don’t Confuse Cleaning with Disinfecting
If you need help with any deep cleaning and disinfecting needs, contact us at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County.
Our homes are supposed to be a haven where we can relax and recuperate from the pressures of the world. Unfortunately, we wind up bringing home some of the world and its germs through dirty hands, shoes, clothing, and phones.
Even if your Southwest Missouri home looks clean, it could still be hiding contaminants that could affect your health. Dr. Michael Schmidt, professor of microbiology at the Medical University of South Carolina and chair of the American Society of Microbiology's Council on Microbial Sciences, says that the best way to protect your family is to quite simply to clean your house.
Dr. Schmidt points out that after washing our hands, the best way to protect your family is to wipe down countertops, doorknobs, light switches, and common surfaces with a microfiber cloth dampened in a solution of hot water and an all-purpose cleaner twice a day. "The slight abrasion of the microfiber cloth and the cleaning solution will lift and dilute any microbes that have settled on the surfaces," says Dr. Schmidt. "Since electronics don't hold up well to soap and water, use an alcohol wipe with at least 70% isopropyl alcohol to clean cell phones, remotes, and keyboards."
But cleaning shouldn't be confused with disinfecting. Cleaning means you're removing germs, but not killing, while disinfecting means you're actually killing them. This difference is important because you might clean surfaces well but you might not be disinfecting, leaving germs and bacteria to grow.
However, "Disinfecting cleaners can give a false sense of security if they are not used properly and are only necessary if someone in the household is ill," says Dr. Schmidt. The crucial areas to address are surfaces shared by family members and those that come in close contact with bodily fluids. If you have dirty windows, they aren't a big health concern, but a doorknob touched after a sneeze can be.
It’s important to read labels and follow the directions on products. Products labeled as disinfectants will adequately kill viruses and bacteria if used correctly. But if the label promises to just "sanitize" a surface, the fine print might say it’ll kill 99.9% of the bacteria, but not mention if it's effective against viruses or fungi. You want to look for disinfectants because they can kill bacteria, viruses, and fungi when used properly.
Before disinfecting anything in your house, decide whether you'll wear gloves and what kind. Rubber gloves are more durable and reusable, but disposable latex ones also work. Just remember to always wash your hands with soap and warm water after using any cleaning products.
If you need help with any deep cleaning and disinfecting needs, contact us at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County. Not only do we use the proper disinfectants, but our professionals receive the necessary training and field experience to service your home or workplace to achieve the highest standards of cleanliness and customer satisfaction.
We are Cleaning Experts
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County, 417-865-7711
Practice Fire Prevention in Your Business
Fire is unpredictable. It can happen anytime, anywhere, to any business. But almost a third of office fires happen between 7pm and 7am, the hours workers aren’t present. Those fires also cause about 67% of property damage because they went undetected for a longer time. Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to minimize the chances of a fire happening in your Southwest Missouri business or commercial building.
According to OSHA, employers are required to perform a full maintenance check on their workplace’s fire extinguishers at least once per year. “Maintenance” means a thorough examination and repair, as needed, of all your businesses portable fire extinguishers, as covered in NFPA Sec. 4.
Besides checking that your fire extinguishers are regularly inspected and maintained according to local fire codes, each month you should take these actions:
- Look for signs of damage, including dents, corrosion, and leakage.
- Check the pressure gauge to make sure that the indicator is in the operating (green) range.
- Make sure the pull-pin isn’t missing and that the pull-pin seal is unbroken.
- Verify the date of the last professional maintenance inspection.
- Date and initial the tag to log the visual inspection.
Your company should have a fire prevention plan in writing that’s kept in the workplace and is available to all employees for examination. Even if you have only a few employees, having it written down instead of communicating it verbally is better as that it can be reviewed at any time. Your plan should include:
- Pertinent information about the building’s layout
- The building’s fire protection systems and equipment
- Emergency evacuation procedures
Space heaters are notorious for starting fires, so if you can get by without them, do so. But if you must have them, follow these safety tips:
- Require employees to get approval before using a heater in their workspace.
- Instruct that space heaters and cords be placed in out-of-the-way areas.
- Stress the necessity to turn off space heaters at the end of the workday.
- Establish minimum standards for heaters, including safety features and independent testing certifications.
Keep other appliances such as coffeemakers and toasters away from paper and other flammables. You should also reduce the amount of clutter in your building. Items like boxes, piles of paper, and other flammable materials can provide fuel for a fire, especially if left near a heat source. Before plugging anything in, make sure the cord hasn’t been damaged or frayed. If it has, replace it immediately. Wires should not run under rugs or between furniture and walls; they tend to heat up, so they need to be clear of any flammable objects.
We understand how devastating and confusing a fire to your home or business can be. Don’t hesitate to contact the experts here at SERVPRO®? of Springfield Greene County to help guide you through the restoration process.
7 Reasons Not to Ignore Water Damage
If you experience water damage in Southwest Missouri don't delay, call SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County at 417-865-7711
If you experience water damage in Southwest Missouri, it’s no big deal. Right? Afterall, it’s only water. But water is known as the universal solvent for a good reason - because it dissolves more substances than any other liquid. That includes major structural parts of your home or business. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Here’s are seven negative impacts of leaving water damage untreated:
- Devalued Property
The signs of water damage are difficult to hide. They’ll usually reveal themselves to any appraiser even if you attempt to paint over the stains. Also, when water’s left untreated, a repellent smell can linger which will probably turn buyers away.
- Structural Damage
Structural damage occurs depending on the amount of water surrounding the affected area. Drywall begins to deteriorate and the subfloor can easily warp or even split, meaning you’ll end up replacing and restoring the affected areas. Even solid materials that foundations are made of, whether masonry, concrete or stone, can soak up small amounts of water through their cracks and pores. Unless these pockets of water are removed, they can create defects in the building foundation that eventually weaken the entire structure.
Any presence of water can cause mold to begin growing in as quickly as 48 hours. Once mold is present, it can be very difficult and expensive to treat and remove. Also, if mold is left untreated it can spread and can cause health effects.
- Electrical Damage
Once electrical systems are damaged by moisture, wiring, outlets, and electric boxes become unsafe to use until they’re professionally inspected. Electrical water damage usually occurs to kitchen appliances, washing machines, dryers, hot water tanks, furnaces, and low mounted electrical outlets.
- Health Hazards
A home or business exposed to floodwaters are susceptible to harmful bacteria and other microbes. If not treated correctly, toxins will linger on your affected furniture, carpets, and inside your HVAC system long after the water has dried. Those bacteria and microbes can cause serious respiratory issues and other health issues. (For other flood dangers, read, “A Flood of Concerns for Greene County”)
- Lost Personal Items
The same water that causes structural damage can destroy many personal items including, photographs, books, electronics, and personal documents, among other items. However, if you act quickly and call SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County, we can help save and restore many of your personal items.
Bugs love moisture and water damage creates the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, beetles, fleas, ticks, spiders, and more. And the hatching eggs and dying bugs will attract even more insects to the area as well as spread bacteria.
As you can see, when water damage occurs, immediate action is needed as it helps to minimize the damage and cleaning and restoration costs. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. Be sure to give us a call so you never have to experience the seven dangerous impacts of water damage yourself.
CE Classes Offerings 2020
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County recent Continuing Education Class
Are you in the insurance industry and need continuing education credit hours? SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County is offering credited course hours for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, and staff. These programs are designed to improve knowledge of emergency mitigation.
We are excited to be offering 23 credit hours this year at no cost to the attendee. This years course topics include; Biohazard, Restoring Contaminated Buildings, Property Fire Damage Restoration, Ethics, Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry and a new class this year Restorative Drying for Water Damage.
Each class is designed to provide you with information to better service your customer, we provide lunch for free and informational folders with class outlines. Class times range from 2 hours to 4 hours, with breaks built in and question and answer time. Anyone is welcomed to attend our classes. Our classes are taught by our very own SERVPRO CE Instructors David Bryngelson and Travis Auvil. See our class list below and if you have any questions please feel free to contact your SERVPRO Marketing Representative at 417-865-7711.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County Continuing Education Classes for 2020
Biohazard – 9:00AM – 11:00 AM
Restoring Contaminated Buildings – 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM
Property Fire Damage Restoration 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Restorative Drying for Water Damage 8:30 AM– 12:30 PM
Ethics 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Property Fire Damage Restoration 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Water Damage? Know When to Call and Who to Call
If you have a water damage in your home or office an immediate response is crucial and will help limit the damage to your home or property.
According to the American Insurance Association water damage claims have been steadily growing faster than other home owners insurance claims. In fact 37% of U.S. Homeowners claim to have suffered losses from water damage.
Most Common Causes of Water Damage Are:
- Busted or Leaking Pipes
- Faulty Plumbing
- Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl space, basements, etc.
- Defective household appliances
- Malfunctioning HVAC systems
- Natural Disasters or other weather related events.
If you have a water damage in your home or office an immediate response is crucial and will help limit the damage to your home or property.
Three of the Best Reasons to Use SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County
- Training – We never stop learning and honing our skills. We’re trained to IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) high standards in fire and water cleanup and restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.
- Equipment – We use the professional equipment needed to completely clean and remove the effects of water,
- Experience – SERVPRO is not some fly-by-night type of company. They started over 50 years ago and currently have over 1,700 franchises nationwide. Your very own SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County is proud to have been in business itself for 35 years! The extensive knowledge we’ve gained during that time makes us the go-to disaster restoration company to call. Our experience will enhance your experience with us!
We sincerely hope that you’ll never be in a situation where you need to call a disaster restoration company. But if you do, give us a shout and we’ll make the event as painless as possible.
6 Important Tips to Remember When you have a Water Damage
Water spots caused from a recent storm.
1. Act quickly The severity of damage escalates the longer water sits and building components and contents stay wet, so time is of the essence in the aftermath of a flood. In fact, mold will grow within 48-72 hours, so aim to start removing water and drying the environment within 48 hours.
2. Ventilate affected areas to prevent mold growth Mold loves moisture and organic materials such as paper or particleboard.
3. Assess damage to items and materials. The type of water absorbed by items, such as rainwater, water from broken pipes, contaminated river water or bacteria-filled sewage.
4. Expose pockets of saturation hidden and concealed pockets of saturation need to be opened for cleaning and drying. Layers between building materials hold water that must be discovered and removed or dried. Wet carpets can usually be dried by professionals with the right equipment, but carpet padding, which is like a big sponge, should be discarded.
5. Clean Conduct a thorough cleaning. After a thorough cleaning of salvageable materials, a disinfectant solution may need to be applied in case of harmful bacteria from sewage, river water debris or even standing water that has gone bad.
6. Confirm drying before reconstruction In order to prevent dry rot and structural damage, it’s important not to reconstruct or cover wood and other wet materials until the moisture content has been adequately reduced.
When severe storms and flooding hit your Springfield home, SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County is here to help. Our highly trained staff is available and ready to answer your call and respond immediately 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If your property has been damaged by water caused by flooding or water leaks, we have the experience, expertise, and equipment to restore your property properly. We specialize in water damage restoration and have extensive water damage restoration training. Our process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end and ensure your property is back to normal.
Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – (417) 865-7711
After a Fire: The Importance of Contents Management
The SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County contents management team. Front to Back, Clara, Leah and Emily (missing Lynsey)
Have you ever wondered what happens to the contents of a property after a devastating fire loss? Some items are damaged beyond help but what about those items that are not? It can be a very overwhelming and emotional time. There are several phases of restoring a fire damaged property, these include: Mitigation, Contents Management, cleaning, deodorizing and reconstruction. In this blog we will focus on Contents Management. The SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County Contents Manager will come to your property and help you walk through this process, you might be surprised what items can be restored through the cleaning and deodorization process.
Our team starts by assessing the scope of the work needed, prioritize items that need immediate restorative action. Items like clothing, sentimental objects, valuables, etc. are usually addressed quickly to prevent further damage. Once those items are removed our team gets to work on other items. Our contents management team brings all the supplies needed to your property such as boxes, tape and bubble wrap and then carefully packs away your items safe and ready for transport. They will also utilize our Content Management packout software which prints individual QR Codes that have an itemized list of the contents in each box and also our customers name and information to keep things organized. Once the boxes are transported back to our cleaning facility they are carefully unloaded one box at a time and the cleaning and deodorizing process begins. Some items go into our ozone chamber room white other items are restored with our cutting edge Fireline system which uses ultrasonic submersion tanks and dryers.
Once the contents are cleaned and deodorized they are packed again in clean packing materials and stored in vaults in our warehouse until needed.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has the knowledge and experience to help you through this process, we would be happy to answer any questions you have regarding this process, you can contact us at 417-865-7711, we are Here to Help.
4 Actions to Take After a Storm
This storm damaged home was the result of a recent tornado that struck southwest Missouri.
Most storms do little to no harm to your property. BUT, every once and a while the other shoe drops and a powerfully destructive storm rages through the Ozarks and damage is inevitable. If your residential or commercial property suffers damage, then it should be addressed and repaired by storm damage restoration professionals. But before a professional can get to you, you may need to take your own course of action.
- Think Safety
Following a severe storm, you’ll reasonably be concerned about the status of your home or business. However, your main priority should be safety; yours, your family’s, and/or your employees.
While inspecting your property, look out for hazardous debris, such as nails and sharp, broken edges that may cause you injury. If there’s water damage or standing water present, DO NOT turn on the power or using any appliances.
If a tree has fallen into your building, then it’s advisable not to not enter the property. Tree limbs can be a hazard as they’re extremely heavy and may have left the building structurally unsound.
In general, if you feel unsafe, then trust your intuition and stay out of any damaged structures until the professionals at SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County make it safe to enter again.
- Assess the Damage
IF it is safe to do so, carefully go through your property to see what damage has occurred. Start by inspecting the outside of the structure. To ensure your safety, evaluate the roof for any damage from the ground where you should be able to spot obvious damage, such as holes or missing shingles.
While inside, check for damaged building materials, leaks, and other signs of structural and/or water damage. Water stains on ceilings and walls can indicate a leaking roof, which will require repair or replacement.
As you inspect your property, take plenty of photos, videos and written documentation of the damage. This will be necessary evidence your insurance company will want when you’re filing claims for the damage.
- Tarp the Roof
We strongly suggest that you wait for professionals to handle this as it can be dangerous. But if the storm has created a hole in your roof and it continues to rain or snow while waiting for help to arrive, then here’s what needs to be done if you have the ability and equipment:
- Clear any leaves, branches, and other debris off the roof first.
- Get a thick, high quality tarp. You’ll want to make sure it’s large enough to cover the damaged section and allow for a four-foot overhang.
- Nail the tarp to a 2×4, wrap it around the board, and then screw the board to the roof. This board serves as the anchor board.
- Then take more 2×4 boards and attach them to the roof perpendicular to the anchor board. When you screw the boards in, they should first go through the board, tarp, then roof.
- Finish by attaching the overhanging tarp to the roof eave, making sure it’s secure.
If you have broken windows or holes elsewhere, then use plywood to cover up those openings.
- Get Storm Damage Restoration Help
If your property has been damaged in a storm, it’s important to get help immediately! Prompt action will prevent the damage from worsening and allow your property to be restored to its previous condition faster. SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County is nearby and ready to respond 24/7 to any storm damage emergency. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential or commercial.