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.
When Storms Hit Do you Have a Plan?
This home was affected by recent storms in southwest Missouri.
On May 22, 2019 the Storm Prediction Center issued a moderate risk for severe weather in the Southwest Missouri area including Springfield and surrounding communities. During that weather event there were 48 strong tornadoes and 2 violent tornadoes that hit the Missouri/Arkansas Ozarks.
The SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene county team responded quickly to numerous residential and commercial structures that sustained storm damage from tornadoes, high winds and flooding from the heavy rains that accompanied this storm system.
Immediate action, such as roof tarping and sometimes tree limb removal to prevent further damage and lessen the cost of repair and restoration to your home or business. SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has the resources to make this happen during storm events such as this one.
Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential and commercial.
Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (417) 865-7711
3 Signs of a Broken Pipe
This office was flooded by a broken pipe.
Sometimes a plumbing problem is obvious; like when it’s raining from the ceiling - and you’re on the bottom floor. Or when a small river begins to seep under your bathroom door. But at other times, broken or damaged pipes aren’t quite so obvious. But they can still let you know they exist if you pay attention to the warning signs. By doing so, you can address the problem more quickly and avoid the damage and expensive repairs that come along with water damage. So, here’s what to watch out for:
Do you ever hear whistling in your home? You’re not doing it, nobody else in the house is doing it and strange dogs are showing up at your door? Well, whistling or whining also occurs when pipes get dented. It’s caused when water is no longer able to flow freely through a pipe. This increases water pressure and may cause a pipe to burst.
The sound can also be the sign of a worn out pressure-reducing valve. Without being replaced, it could lead to burst pipes, overflow, and other issues over time.
Another indication of a broken pipe are unusual or unpleasant odors. A common issue is with the p-trap. The p-trap is the U-shaped pipe that holds a small amount of water that forms a preventative seal against sewer gases coming up from your toilet or sink and into your home. If a crack causes that water to leak out of the p-trap, then you’ll have the odor of sewage in your home.
Also, when pipes become broken or backed up, sewage can’t exit the plumbing system properly. It’s important to deal with these problems quickly as sewage poses a significant health risk to your family and pets.
Are you blaming little puddles in your home on your kids or pets? That could be one answer. But if they continue to show up, especially in the same place, then that could be an indication of broken or damaged plumbing.
Another unusual (and scary) sight that may indicate a broken pipe is a curiously high water bill. High usage could be caused by leaky toilets or faucets. Another cause may be that one of the underground pipes feeding water from your meter to your home may have a crack or loose joint. This can be caused by pipe age, seismic activity, tree roots, or animal activity.
Broken pipes aren’t uncommon and can usually be quickly and easily handled by a professional. But don’t put if off. The longer you wait, the more damage will be done and the more expensive it’ll be to fix. If you suspect you have broken pipes in your home, contact the experts at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County. Not only will we have your plumbing repaired, we’ll also fix any damage that was caused, making it “Like it never even happened."
How Storms Affect You
This home was damaged from a severe storm. SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County was able to quickly board up and secure the home.
Severe weather isn’t something that only happens in other areas. Even in Greene County, inclement weather can affect you and result in costly storm damage repairs. ?Here are some of the events you and your property may experience: ??
A major storm can leave you without power for several days. ?In the summertime, that means you’ll not only be uncomfortable, but refrigerated food may be ruined. During winter, you may have to leave your home until the power returns, and you may experience water damage caused by pipes that have frozen and burst. So, having a generator available may be worth the cost.
When tornadoes or even strong thunderstorms sweep through, they often come with strong wind speeds and gusts that can easily pick up outside objects and fling them into your home. Those wind gusts can also knock over trees and break off branches that, if close to your home, can cause massive destruction to the roof and structure.
Lightning is one of the leading weather-related causes of death and injury in the United States. Most people don’t realize that they can be struck by lightning even when the center of a thunderstorm is 10 miles away and above are blue skies. It’s estimated that our planet is struck by an average of more than a hundred lightning bolts every second and that 1 out of 200 houses are struck per year.
When hail strikes during a severe thunderstorm, it can cause enormous damage to your home depending on how large the hail was and for how long it fell. If hail damage is ignored, you may see your roof structure weaken over time, especially if damaged or removed shingles aren't repaired in a timely manner.
Floods are the most common natural disaster according to Ready.gov. Heavy rain from severe storms or melting snow can cause flooding in Greene County. ? Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States.
Let the Pros Handle It
One mistake many homeowners make is trying to repair storm damage themselves. To the untrained eye, damage may not appear severe. However, there could be further damage lurking underneath that can’t be easily seen. If that damage goes unattended, you could be looking at repairs that will take much longer to fix such as mold remediation. So, trust SERVPRO to handle it.
Here are just some of the services you’ll receive from SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County:
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County has been helping our local communities for over 30 years. We’re prepared with expert training and quality equipment to mitigate and restore your commercial or residential property. Our technicians are available 24-7 with our Emergency Service Team to help cleanup and repair your property damage from water, sewage, smoke or fire. Our priority is providing quick and effective service and solutions to restore your property and belongings, making it, “Like it never even happened.”
Create a Disaster Plan for Your Greene County Business
This fire damaged hotel was the result of a lightning strike.
Disasters can occur without warning to a commercial building. Flooding, fires or storm damage could potentially close a business for good. Here are some sobering statistics according to the Association of Small Business Development Centers:
- More than one in four businesses will experience a significant crisis in a given year.
- Of those businesses that experience a disaster and have no emergency plan, 43% NEVER reopen.
- Of those that do reopen, only 29% are still operating two years later.
A business closing affects not just the owner and their customers, but also their employees who may not be able to afford to wait until it reopens, especially if it’s closed for days, weeks, or even months. So, it’s vital to get your business open again ASAP.
What Can Go Wrong
Some of the most common causes of commercial building damage are:
Some of these problems can be avoided by implementing a preventative maintenance plan and conducting regular employee safety training classes.
Don’t Pretend it Didn’t Happen
If you own a business in Greene County that must temporarily close, let your client base know what's occurred on your website, through emails and/or a customer newsletter. It may humanize the experience and encourage your customers to return once you reopen. Is there a similar company that you can refer them to? While you may lose some of your patrons, you’ll be spreading goodwill among customers and competitors. You may even be able to work out a deal with a trusted competitor that suits you both, such as a finder’s fee or commission on your customers, money that can be put aside for marketing when you’re ready to reopen.
Create a Plan
Although disasters don’t plan, you can. Create a detailed disaster plan that includes:
- Locations appropriate for employee evacuation
- Emergency contact information for each employee
- Plans to protect and access vital business records
- If there will be an off-site location that employees can work from in the interim
- The business’ insurance company contact info
- SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County’s contact info
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County can help you create and set in place a preloss plan for your business before a disaster strikes, which can mean the difference between re-opening or closing the doors forever.
An important part of that plan is the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program. 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.
Our team of trained professionals are equipped with the proper tools to handle a disaster of any size, from one floor to an entire industrial warehouse. So, don’t hesitate, don’t wait, but call SERVPRO before it’s too late.
Furnace Fire Facts & Maintenance
Keeping your HVAC units clean and well maintained can decrease the odds of your unit experiencing a fire.
The first time you turned on your HVAC in Springfield or Greene County this season, you may have anticipated two things; the warmth that would stop your feet from freezing, and the assurance that the unit would work for another season. But to guarantee that those two things would happen, your unit should be regularly maintained. Doing so not only confirms you’ll be warm this winter but can also keep you safe from dangerous and destructive fires.
Fire Hazards Near Your Furnace
A furnace is usually installed in a utility closest, garage, or basement, places that are also often used as storage areas. Because of that, many items may end up too close to the heating equipment, causing a fire hazard. To keep this from happening, there should be a 6’ radius clear zone around your HVAC unit. This is especially important for flammable items such as:
- Cleaning chemicals
Fire Hazards in Your Furnace
Don’t panic! Your heating unit is safe, if it’s well maintained. But according to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires are the second leading cause of home fires, and nearly half of the fires in Springfield and Greene County that occur in December, January, and February.
Here are ways to decrease the odds that your HVAC unit will experience a fire:
- Change the air filter every three months. When it gets too dirty, air flow is restricted, causing your furnace to not only work less efficiently, but may eventually cause the motor to overheat.
- Have professional maintenance done on your HVAC unit yearly. They’ll check for and fix items such as faulty parts or bad wiring, which can cause the voltage to go too high. They’ll also check the bearings. When they’re tight, worn or dry, motor bearings can catch heat and eventually catch fire.
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County professionals routinely inspect heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment.
Fire Hazards Due to Gas Leaks
If you use gas to heat your home, a gas leak could occur. This might happen if gas lines or certain furnace components are damaged or faulty. Gas line safety is critical to fire safety, as gas leaks cause natural gas to build up in the home, and could cause a fire or explosion. Throughout the cold season, be aware of the signs of a gas leak and call for furnace repair immediately if you experience:
- The smell of sulfur or rotten eggs
- High gas bills with no other explanation
- Difficulty breathing
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Nose bleeds
There’s an old saying that you should hope for the best but plan for the worst. So, keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and near any heating equipment, and make sure each room has a working smoke detector. And by having SERVPRO regularly maintain your HVAC unit, it’ll not only save you money, but may also save your life by preventing furnace fires.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County Annual Golf Tournament
Golfers ready to go at the SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County Customer Appreciation Tournament
We enjoyed a beautiful day at Millwood Golf & Racquet Club on September 9, 2019 for our Annual Customer Appreciation Tournament, benefiting 100 Fold. We had 104 golfers join us for a 4 man scramble. Over $2900 was raised for 100 Fold, these funds will be used to help around 30 - 50 families in our Ozarks community. We would like to thank our sponsors, Colton's Steakhouse, Chick-fil-A on South Glenstone Avenue, Dominos Pizza, Sports Clips, Golden Corral and Wireless Trendz and around 26 area Golf and Country Clubs that donated rounds of golf to each player that participated. We would like to thank Eldon Combs from the Eldon Combs Trivia Show for helping us host our tournament and also a big thank you to Millwood Golf & Racquet Club for taking great care of our golfers. Also last but certainly not least a big thank you to our marketing staff who worked hard to help make our tournament a huge success.
After the Fire: What to Save, What to Toss
A local home damaged by fire and restored by SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County.
One of the hardest tasks to deal with after a fire is deciding what you can keep and what to toss. Many objects are obvious losses, but others may leave you unsure whether they’re salvageable or not. You want to save money, yet you also need to stay safe. So, here are some tips on how to handle some of the more questionable items that have been exposed to fire and smoke:
Throw out all food that’s been in contact with smoke and/or firefighting chemicals, including fresh produce, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, opened containers and packages, food packaged in cardboard, foil, paper, plastic, cloth, screw-topped jars and canisters, and any foods stored outside the refrigerator that were exposed to smoke or fumes.
Some canned goods may still look good on the outside, but heat damage can re-cook the ingredients in the can. This activates bacteria that causes food spoilage, making them unhealthy to eat.
But aren’t foods that were in a refrigerator or freezer be safe?
Sometimes seals on those appliances aren’t air-tight and smoke can leak inside to damage food. If the electricity went out during the fire for more than 2 hours, then it’s likely spoilage occurred so all items should be discarded.
Medicines & Cosmetics
The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) says the effectiveness of drugs can be destroyed by high temperatures from a fire. If you think your medicines have been exposed to excessive heat, consider replacing them. The same is true if they’ve come into contact with firefighting chemicals.
As to cosmetics, high heat can change their composition without showing any visible signs. They could end up damaging hair and skin. Plus, they can absorb the toxic fumes that go along with all fires, which is not anything you want to put on your skin.
Clothes, bedding, and other fabrics can often be salvaged after a fire with proper cleaning and disinfecting. However, if anything is burned, throw it away. Use even stricter judgment when considering your child’s or baby’s clothing as they’re more susceptible to any leftover toxic residue.
But what about clothes that were packed in plastic bags and stored inside of drawers and closed closets? Aren’t they safe from smoke residue and odor?
No. Rapidly expanding air during a fire easily penetrates clothing even when plastic covers are used to protect them. As the air inside cools down and fresh air begins to circulate, garments covered by plastic with the odor inside are not subject to the normal airing-out process. This allows the malodors to thoroughly penetrate the garment.
To add to the problem, the plastic itself will attract and retain odor to a considerable degree and so must be removed and disposed of ASAP.
Never try to salvage any possessions that could put your health at risk. When in doubt, throw it out! If you have any other questions or concerns about what can be salvaged after a fire, or if you need to schedule fire restoration services, please contact SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County today.