Recent Posts

Tips For Outdoor Burning.

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips For Outdoor Burning. Use caution when burning outside. A grass fire and quickly become a damaging structure fire.

Its early July and its hot. Let face it, outdoor burning is the last thing most of us want to do right now.  Not only is it uncomfortable this time of year, if conditions are right it can be dangerous. But at SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin we get calls each summer of homes and businesses being damaged because an outdoor fire has gotten out of hand. Here a re a few tips to stay safe. 

Be aware of conditions.

  • Don’t burn on a windy day. One local fire department outlines regulations on their website and bans voluntarily burning with wind speeds over 13 mph.  This can change very fast so be vigilant.
  • Don’t burn in dry conditions. As of the time of writing this blog we are dry in the Joplin and Carthage area. Annual rainfall is down meaning the vegetation is dry and can catch fire and spread quickly.

Check with the local Fire Departments. The above factors and many more go into the process of determining the local fire warning. Check with your local fire department and they give you a fire warning level that will range from…

  • Low
  • Moderate
  • High
  • Very High
  • Extreme

Burn in a suitable location.

  • Don’t burn under trees or powerlines.
  • Don’t burn near any structures.
  • Insure a 10’ perimeter around your burn pile is gravel or is soil with no vegetation. If there is vegetation keep the area wet by periodically using a hose to wet it.

Be vigilant and be responsible when burning. Not only is your property at risk, so is the property of your neighbors. 

Don't Let Heavy Rains Damage Your Joplin Home

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Living in the Midwest our homes are under constant attack by the elements. We face extreme heat as well bitter cold. Storms that used to primarily be associated with the spring season have wreaked havoc on our homes and business year-round the last few years. These storms many times bring destructive winds, hail, and heavy rainfall.  Just plain old rain can have a destructive result if your property is not properly maintained. Here are a few areas to keep your eye on as a frontline defense to water intrusion caused by rainfall.

  • The ROOF. A well installed and maintained roof will keep rain from leaking into the home. That’s pretty much its job. An annual inspection looking for damage can prove invaluable. If a particularly strong or damaging storm blows through, a quick inspection might be prudent as well.
  • Doors and Windows. Improperly installed or poorly sealed opening can allow water to get into the home. If you notice wet areas around these opening it should be addressed. Even a small amount of water can do damage or cause a mold problem over time.
  • Gutters and Downspouts. Clogged gutters will not allow water to properly flow away from your home. Downspouts that are blocked can allow water to pool up and eventually backup into the home.

These tasks will take a little effort, but the effort will be far less than dealing with a water intrusion. If for some reason your home or business is affected by rainfall call the experts at SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin immediately.

Sump Pump Failure Can Cause Substantial Damage

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Sump Pump Failure Can Cause Substantial Damage A Columbus Kansas basement underwater after the sump pump failed during heavy rains.

Many area homes and businesses have basements or crawl spaces. During times of rainfall sump pumps are used to keep these areas from flooding. The problem is, ownership of a sump pump does not guarantee you won’t experience a flood. Like everything else associated with your home the sump pump can fail.  Being in the basement or crawlspace the sump pump is many times forgotten about. Out of sight, out of mind. Overlooking normal testing of the sump pump can be a critical and expensive mistake.

  • Testing the pump. Test the pump by adding a little water to the pump well. Just add enough water to lift the float mechanism to engage the pump. If it begins to pump the water out you are good to go.
  • Check for blockage. After testing the pump follow the water out and away from your home. Make sure there is no blockage that would prevent water from building up and back flowing.
  • Have a backup plan. Most all sump pumps work off an electrical connection through a normal wall outlet. But if the electricity to your property is knocked out do you have aback up plan? There are options available. You might want to consult your local plumber for the solution that is best for you.

Bathroom Mold A Problem in Your Carthage MO Home?

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

If there is one place in your home that is susceptible to mold growth it is your bathroom. The bathroom generally has high levels of moisture as a result of constant use and there are many potential plumbing issues as well. In fact, as I go out and talk with people I get a lot of questions regarding mold in the bathroom. Here are a few reminders to help prevent any potential microbial growth.

  • Fix leaks immediately. There are a lot of potential plumbing issues in the bathroom. The toilet, sinks, and showers all have water supply connections and drains that could malfunction and leak. Taking care of these leaks and having the area professionally dried is critical to preventing mold.
  • Shower maintenance. It is recommended you wipe down with either a cloth or a squeegee your shower after every use. This eliminates moisture on the shower walls that could result in mold.
  • Proper ventilation. Mold grows in high level of moisture. Since most everything you do in the bathroom requires water there is typically high level of moisture. Proper ventilation is a necessity! Run an exhaust fan or crack a window during use.
  • Porous Materials. Items like towels and wash clothes stored out in the open can be a breeding ground for mold. These items should be stored in a separate closet or washed regularly. This includes decorative towels. Rugs should also be laundered regularly as well.
  • Clean, clean, clean. Proper and regular cleaning will prevent mold growth. Proper= using the correct cleaners. Many household cleaners disinfect and include a antimicrobial agent. Read the label and directions. Regular= multiple time a week if not daily.

If you have questions or concerns call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin at 417-623-1388.

Your Responsibilities Following A Flood

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Your Responsibilities Following A Flood Protect furniture by putting the legs in plastic containers or plastic baggies.

Water damages affect about 14,000 United States homes or businesses each day. If you ever have the misfortune of suffering a water damage in your home there are some things you will need to do.

  • Call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin immediately. Any day, any time! SERVPRO is ready to help. 417-623-1338
  • Do anything you can to protect your home or belongings.

Protecting your possessions from further damage is what we call mitigation. Following a water damage, it is second nature for most to dive into mitigation mode and protecting the things they have work so hard to collect. While it is second nature to most, it is also your legal obligation according to most home-owners insurance policies.

Most all policies include a sentence similar to: “The insured is responsible to take reasonable and prudent steps needed for protecting the structure and contents…” The key word is reasonable. Your insurance carrier is not expecting you to have a full working knowledge of water mitigation and restoration. It is your responsibility to protect items from secondary damage is possible. Here are a few helpful tips if you ever find yourself in this situation.

  • Safety first. We cannot stress this enough. Wet surfaces can be slippery. Water and electricity do not mix. Always look for hazards. A water damaged area is not typically a healthy environment so keep children and pets away from the area.
  • Stop the source of the water intrusion. Shut off the valves to busted supply lines or malfunctioning appliances. If needed, shut the main water supply to the home off. If it is an outdoor source such as flood waters do your best to barricade the area to prevent more water from coming in.
  • Remove items from the affected area. Whatever you can gather and get to a dry area of the home the better. Large items like furniture can be lifted and “blocked “up to prevent further damage.

Exposed Roof Damages Church During Rainfall

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Exposed Roof Damages Church During Rainfall Containment was set to protect other parts of the church.

Last month SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin had the opportunity to help dry out a church damaged by water. An independent roofing contractor was replacing the roof and neglected to properly make a portion of the roof water tight. Unexpectantly a summer storm developed over Carthage, Missouri in the evening, dumping heavy rainfall into the vulnerable building.

SERVPRO was called to mitigate and dry the property. The water had damaged half of the fellowship hall so our technicians installed a 40-foot-long by 10-foot-tall containment barrier. Besides the fellowship hall there was extensive damage to a library and several offices. Instead of removing the entire ceiling technicians cut narrow troughs in the ceiling to remove wet insulation. Once the debris was removed hot dry air was piped into the cavity to expedite drying.  

This particular church was protected by our ERP Emergency Ready Profile. The ERP was designed to mitigate damage and make a fast response to a disaster. Dealing with a natural disaster such as this it is difficult to mitigate damages, but they knew exactly who to call. Once SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin was informed of the loss they knew exactly who they needed to speak with and how to tackle the situation based on their prior knowledge of the building.

Mold in Your Joplin MO Home? 3 Things You Can Do After Calling SERVPRO

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold in Your Joplin MO Home? 3 Things You Can Do After Calling SERVPRO Not only is mold remediation a dirty job, improper care can have serious consequences.

Let’s say you find what appears to be mold in your home? What should you do? The obvious decision is to call a professional immediately. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin is always ready to leap into action. Now that you have made the call to the pros, what do you do now?

Mold can be destructive to your home or property not to mention it can pose adverse health effects to humans and pets. It needs to be handled with care. That’s why you called a professional in the first place. But after that call has been placed there are some things you can do to keep yourself and your home safe.

  • If the mold is a result of a water intrusion, and the intrusion has not yet been resolved, do so. The reduction in moisture will slow the microbial growth.
  • Reduce air flow in the affected area. Turn off fans and if all possible close vents to the HVAC system in the room. Air flow can get the mold spores air borne. Once air borne the mold spores can migrate to other parts of the home and could be a problem down the road. We call this cross-contamination.
  • Do Not attempt to clean or disinfect the mold yourself. The proper cleaning agents as well as the proper techniques are necessary to properly clean and sanitize the area. No matter what you have read or been told, the proper cleaning agents are NOT in your arsenal of household cleaners.

Each mold project is unique and requires a unique solution. Your local SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin has the experience, education, and tools necessary to properly remediate your mold issues so your family cab breath easy.

Avoid Washing Machine Disasters

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Avoid Washing Machine Disasters Water damage from a malfunctioning washing machine are common.

According to the US Census over 85% of American homes have a washing machine. Washing machines are viewed today as an essential part of life. They provide an efficient and sanitary place to clean our clothes and other soiled textiles. But is your washing machine a ticking water damage time bomb?

Home floods resulting from a malfunctioning washing machine is in the top ten categories for water damages according to insurance carrier’s data. Over half the time the water supply line into the machine is the culprit. The life span of a washing machine supply line is less than 9 years. How old are yours?

There are other parts of the machine that can malfunction. Pump malfunctions or drain hoses being disconnected can result in a serious water intrusion. The average cost of a claim from a washing machine when the customer is home and catches the problem relatively quickly is just under $5,000. These accidents don’t always happen when we are home, if the property is unoccupied the results can cost into the tens of thousands of dollars to fix.

So, what can you do to prevent these kinds of losses?

  • Make sure the drain hose is firmly secured and cannot easily be jarred free from the drain.
  • If your supply hoses are more than 5 years old think about replacing them. Especially if they are made of rubber. The metal braided hoses are much more durable.
  • Don’t snug your washing machine to close to the wall. Being to close to the wall may cause kinks in the hoses. While water may be allowed through the restricted area it causes a stress point for the hoses exterior to break down.

If your machine does malfunction causing a flood in your home call a professional immediately. As we wrote about a few weeks ago, water damage mitigation is not a DIY project.

SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin is ready to act in a moments notice, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Add Smoke Alarm Inspection To Your Spring Cleaning Routine

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Add Smoke Alarm Inspection To Your Spring Cleaning Routine Have your tested your smoke alarm recently?

When we think of home fires we normally think of the cooler fall and winter months. We have talked extensively in blogs in those seasons about safety regarding fireplaces, and space heaters, and other cold weather-related fire starters. But at SERVPRO Carthage-Joplin we see fires affect our neighbors all year round and we actually think this is a great time to think about your homes smoke alarms.

First off, if you do not have smoke alarms in your home or business please stop reading and go to your local home improvement store and purchase some. A 2015 report showed that three of five fire related deaths were in homes without smoke alarms.

Now if you have smoke alarms I will ask when is the last time you inspected or tested them? The same study showed in smoke alarms that malfunctioned the vast majority was due to missing, dead or disconnected batteries.

Spring time is a time of cleaning and chores around the house. We suggest you add checking your smoke alarms as part of your spring cleaning routine. This way you can insure you have at least an annual inspection to make sure the equipment is working properly. It could mean you or your families life!

Water Damage Clean Up Is Not a D.I.Y. Project

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

We live in the Do-It-Yourself era. Home improvement stores and television shows promote it all the time. Heck, there is an entire television network dedicated to DIY programing. Many projects can be tackled by the weekend DIY pro. It can be a great way to reduce home improvement costs. Many people find pleasure and satisfaction in these projects. Today, we want to talk about a project that we recommend you not try to tackle yourself and that is water damage.

Depending on the source of the water intrusion, you may be dealing with various pathogens that can cause serious illness or death. Sewer backup is an example of a category 3 contamination.  Category 3 should never be handled except by a profession with the proper personal protective equipment to protect themselves and the proper training so other parts of the structure are not cross contaminated. Another example of a category 3 loss is flood waters from storms and swollen rivers and creeks.

Even lesser category losses can be harmful and need to be handled with care. Washing machine and dishwasher discharges are example of category 2 losses but can contain contaminates that can cause a reaction or illness. The time in which water sits is also a reason for concern. Even a category 1 loss such as a sink supply line busting, if let to sit for a few days can rapidly progress to category 2 or 3 as bacterial and microbial growth begins.

Mold is always a potential issue no matter the level of contamination of the water. This is where it gets tricky for the DIY person. People usually get blindsided by mold growth not from the moisture they seen and thought they took care of but by the hidden moisture. The carpet may feel dry to the touch a few days later but the pad may still be holding moisture, or the subfloor. Drywall will “wix” moisture up from a wet floor like a straw. Many times, moisture left on the backside of sheetrock is the beginning of extensive mold growth. Don’t chance it. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin has the training and technology to detect all moisture and properly dry all affected areas.

In the long run it will save you a lot of money. Money that can be used for all of the great DIY improvement projects you love.