Maintenance Programs Save You Money
Dirty air ducts = Inefficient HVAC systems.
As a business owner you have invested heavily into facilities, equipment, and inventory that positions you as a leader in your field. Your facility is the heart and soul of your operation. However, the regular maintenance of your facility is many times overlooked. We get it, you spend so much time and money on doing whatever it is that you do carpet cleaning, hard surface flooring, and air duct cleaning may be the last thing on your mind. But ignoring them will cost you a lot more in the long run!
Regular carpet cleaning makes you facility look attractive, professional, and promotes a healthy environment for your employees and guests. Regular maintenance goes way beyond that though. Let’s talk brass tax here. Regular maintenance is the best way to lengthen the life of your carpets. Excessive soils break down carpet fibers. Think of the amount of traffic your carpets are subjected to daily. If you want to get the maximum life span out of your carpets you need to have a professional clean them on a regular basis.
What is a regular basis you ask? Depends on your situation. Many times, annually is sufficient. Environments with high traffic combined with areas where soils are easily introduced into the carpet (i.e. office complex connected to a factory or warehouse) you may have to look at cleaning more often.
Flooring is many times overlooked in regular maintenance plans but air ducts are almost always overlooked. What is in your ducts? Check out our blog from the spring of 2017.
As discussed in our blog from last year daily activities creates pollutants in our indoor environment. Now think about whatever it is you do and ask how much more polluted is your indoor air quality? Manufacturing facilities, warehouses, and laboratories introduce many more pollutants into the environment at your facility. Those pollutants are circulated over and over again in the HVAC system.
Now ask how are those pollutants effecting the mechanical elements and efficiency of your HVAC system? How much was your last energy bill? Built up soils in your duct work is costing you money! A clean system runs more efficiently and ultimately cheaper.
Call SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin to discuss a maintenance program that custom fits your needs. 417-623-1388.
Water Damage From A Snow Storm?
As ice dams for water trapped behind it can eventually find its way into your home.
The SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin service area received the first measurable snow storm of the year the first part of this week. The question we get is can snow storms be a possible hazard to my home? The answer is yes, it can!
Typically, we don’t get enough snow that hangs around long enough top worry much about this in our area. Folks in the north are a little more concerned about this than we are because of the greater amount of snowfall and generally colder sustained temperatures. But with snow covering roofs in our area and record low temperatures forecasted the conditions are right for a problem comely referred to as ice damming.
An ice dam forms when ice builds up on the eaves of the roof and any water behind it has nowhere to go and may end up in your home. This happens because heat gathers in your attic and slightly warms the roof above. The eaves however do not warm like the rest of the roof because they do not have the warm air of your attic under them, they have the cold outside air underneath. As the snow melts from the warmer portion of the roof and runs down it can freeze over the eaves forming an ice dam. As thawing continues above the water running down is trapped behind the dam.
Water will always follow the path of least resistance. In this case it can back up under shingles. Once under the shingle it will makes its way down under the roof inside your attic. From there it can settle on the ceiling or make its way down wall cavities. If snow melts makes its way into your home don’t panic. Stay calm and call SERVPRO.
Winter Storms Bring Trouble to the Four States
Winter Storms bring frigid temperatures, and sometimes a big mess.
Its official. We have endured the first major weather event of the new year, and we are just two weeks in. Downright frigid temperatures set into the Joplin area on New Years weekend and SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin received dozens of calls after frozen pipes burst. Winter storms bring all kinds of hazards. Chances are we will see these conditions again before this winter is over. Make sure you are prepared.
Frozen pipe prevention has not changed much since we wrote about this last winter. Always keep the thermostat above 55 degrees. Even if you are away on vacation for a few days or the property is partially vacant or permanently vacant, leave the heat on. Leave the cabinet doors open on especially cold nights. If your plumbing is susceptible to freezing you can let the faucet drip.
Here is a lesson we learned this last winter storm. Just because you have taken measures to prevent vulnerable plumbing in the past does not ensure it is a permanent fix. Many of the people we helped this last week had taken step to protect themselves from disaster but circumstances had changed. Some didn’t install insulation as well as they thought either in their attic or crawlspace. The insulation falls leaving the pipe exposed again. Wind is sometimes responsible for frozen pipes and can get in a lot of different ways. Close the vents in your crawlspace. Has storms or animals damaged roofs or soffits that now let cold air into the structure? Inspect your property for evidence of this kind of damage and repair it immediately.
All that being said sometimes when temperatures were as bad as last week things happen to the best protected homes and businesses. If the next winter storm created a mess for you, rest assured SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin can put you back to normal “Like it never even happened.”
The 411 on Mold
Is mold effecting your indoor air quality? SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin can help.
People ask me all the time if I think they have mold in their home or business. Without asking any questions, or even seeing the property I always respond; “Yes, I guarantee you have mold in your property.” I don’t do this to scare people or drum up business. The fact is mold is all around us all the time.
They say you are not supposed to use big words or industry specific terms when writing a blog to the public but when it comes to describing mold I cannot help myself. Mold is ubiquitous! Ubiquitous simply means present, or found everywhere. (And I believe it is fun to say.) Mold is found everywhere and in many cases not only is it not particularly harmful but down right useful. Without mold we do not have penicillin or cheese to name just a few.
Mold is harmful when there is a high concentration of it. A large concentration typically doesn’t happen by chance. So how does mold colonize and adversely affect your indoor air quality?
Mold spores are microscopic. They are airborne and freely flow in and out of your home through open door and windows and even on our person or jump a ride on our four-legged friends. For mold to colonize and become harmful it needs three things.
- A food source. Mold feeds on any cellules materials. Sheetrock, paper, ceiling tiles, carpet and pad, and even the normal dirt and dust in your home or business.
- The right temperature. Mold needs a specific range of temperature to colonize. Narrowing down the temperature range is challenging as different molds grow at different optimal temperatures. Most grow best at 70 degrees or above but some like penicillin grow best closer to freezing.
- Moisture. This the one element you can control. Your home or business is filled with food sources and most molds thrive at the temperatures we keep our homes; but moisture can be controlled. Mold requires at least 60% relative humidity to grow. Most homes controlled by an HVAC system are kept well below this threshold. If for some reason your property regularly has greater humidity levels than 60% steps need to be taken to lower that. A water intrusion will adversely affect the humidity level in a structure.
The best way to prevent mold following a water intrusion is fast action by a certified mitigation company like SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin. We can quickly remove moisture levels and greatly lower your chances of being affected by mold.
Joplin, MO - 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 417-623-1388
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
· Your name and contact information
· Your insurance information (if applicable)
· The street address of the water-damaged home or business
· When did the flooding or water damage occur?
· What caused the water damage (if known)?
· Is there electricity available (on-site)?
Water-Damaged Document Restoration
Don't loose valuable documents to water-damage caused by flood or fire! Ask about our state-of-the-art document restoration.
Our service area was hit with some extreme low temperatures that caused havoc in the last week. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin responded to dozens of calls stemming from frozen water pipes bursting. Many of the calls we responded to were commercial properties. One in particular was a medical facility that stored records in their basement and of course the basement was flooded after a burst pipe flooded out the office above. This could have been a huge issue because medical facilities are required to keep records for a certain length of time. SERVPRO to the rescue! We offer state-of-the-art document drying services.
From medical records to financial information or even student academic records, we have helped many customers with document restoration. How can we accomplish this? The process is called sublimation. When we encounter documents damaged by water following a flood or fire we immediately itemize, pack, and freeze the documents. Freezing the documents stops additional damage from occurring. Then the process of sublimation begins.
Sublimation is the process of changing a solid (in this case ice) directly into a gas (water vapor) and skips the liquid stage. While it sounds simple the process is pretty high tech. NASA began developing the process about a half century ago. Once perfected, it has become the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration. We use the same technology and process as the Library of Congress to restore water-damaged books!
No process can restore paper goods to their original quality every time. This process can however drastically improve the quality and make the items usable again following a water-damage. This process is not limited to just loose documents and files. Valuable books and family bibles have benefited from this process as well.
SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin strives to provide as many solutions as possible following a disaster. If you find yourself in a position of needing solutions in this kind of situation let us put our three decades of experience to work for you.
Use Electric Space Heaters Safely
Space heaters are responsible for 79% of all home heating fire deaths.
One half of all home fires occur between the months of December and February according to the National Fire Protection Association. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin responds to dozens of fires each year in our service area. Plummeting temperatures sometimes call for drastic measures for many families to stay warm. Many turn to electric space heaters to stay comfortable. If used properly and carefully these can be an inexpensive source of heat. However, we see to many times space heaters are used improperly with costly, even deadly results.
According to the NFPA, space heaters are responsible for 32% of all home heating fires but are responsible for 79% of all home heating fire deaths! (Fireplace and wood stoves are another concern, see our blog:http://www.SERVPROcarthagejoplin.com/blog/fire-smoke-damage-restoration). Here are a few tips to insure you are using your space heater safely.
- Give them space: Half of fatal home space heater fires started because something was left too close to the heater and ignited. Make sure upholstered furniture, bedding, or clothing are AT LEAST 3FEET away from space heaters.
- Read the directions: Carefully read the directions on the box and product label. Most importantly…. FOLLOW the directions.
- You’re gone, it’s off: Don’t let space heaters run unattended.
- Plug in directly: Plug space heaters directly into wall outlets. DO NOT USE EXTENTION CORDS.
Many space heaters come with a feature that will automatically shut off if the unit is tipped over. If you have children or animals running through the house, this will be an invaluable option.
SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin hopes all are safe this winter as we try to stay warm. The facts are accidents happen though! With over thirty years of experience of helping our neighbors after suffering a fire, you can rest assured we have the knowledge and experience to truly make it “Like it never even happened.”
Prevent Water Damage in the Winter Months
Easy steps to get your home ready for winter and prevent water damages.
As of yesterday (December 21, 2017) we are officially in winter. Kind of hard to tell with such mild conditions here in the SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin service area of southwest Missouri and southeast Kansas. We should probably take advantage of these mild conditions and take a few steps to winterize our homes, because winter and all its fury will hit at some point.
We wanted to provide a list of some things to do to winterize your home and hopefully prevent a costly water intrusion. We are not re-inventing the wheel here. You have probably heard or read of these tips before. They are just good reminders we need to address each year. While simple in concept, do not make the mistake of procrastination. These simple tips only help if you take action.
- Drain the garden hose and detach from the faucet. If you need to use the hose later on remember it must be detached and drained after use. It is also a good idea to cover the outside faucet. A frozen outside faucet puts pressure on the interior system.
- Insulate exposed or vulnerable plumbing pipes. If they are not insulated, insulate them. If they are located on an exterior wall, especially a north facing exterior wall provide some additional protection. Make sure crawls space opening are covered and are not drafty.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts. Debris in your gutters can cause a back up of water which can cause water damage in any season. In the winter this water can freeze causing an ice dam causing water to back up under shingles and eventually into your home. Remember your guttering system has a top and a bottom. Clean out the top and always make sure the downspouts are clear from debris so the water can easily drain away from the property. Water not allowed to freely drain away will back up and possibly back into your home.
- Leave the heat ON. Even if you are leaving for an extended time. Even if we are talking about a part-time residence like a vacation home. Leave the thermostat to 55 degrees. A low energy bill is cheaper than a water mitigation and drying bill in most cases.
- Know your shut off location. All the prevention in the world cannot guarantee an accident or will not happen or an unprecedented weather event will not affect your home. If the worst-case scenario happens, be ready! Know where your water shut of is located. If tools are required to access it or turn it off, have those handy as well.
Mother Nature throws us a lot of curve balls. Our homes are in constant threat from the elements. If your home is affected this winter let SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin use their three decades of experience to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
Prevent Chimney Fires
Safe practices this winter can reduce the risk of flue fires.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America there were over 22,300 fires annually between 2011 and 2013 in the U.S. contributed to fireplaces and chimneys. The CSIA reported over 20 people a year lost their life in those fires. Each year SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin responds to home fires that started in the fireplace or flue. As we get to the time of the year when people rely more on their fireplace or wood stove for heat we thought it would be a good idea to look at few ways you can prevent a fire in your home.
- Annual Inspection: Fireplaces and chimneys need to be inspected by a professional annually. Most chimney experts recommend a chimney sweep every year. Even if you do not rely on your fireplace as a primary heat source and only burn occasionally you still need a professional to inspect it to make a determination on whether it needs cleaned.
- Dry Fuel: A chimney inspector will be looking for a build-up of creosote. As fuel burns in your fireplace or stove the smoke as well as gasses, vapor, various minerals, and un-burned or partially burned particles exhaust up the chimney to safely remove them from the home. As these particles rise the temperature cools and some of these materials condensates on the side walls of the chimney. This build-up is flammable! The dryer the fuel you are burning the better. Dry seasoned wood burns cleaner and exhausts less soot and creosote. Avoid burning “green” wood if all possible. Cardboard and household garbage produce high amounts of creosote.
- Remove Flammable Items: Fireplaces are many times a focal point in decorating a room. Make sure to remove any flammable items from close proximity of the fireplace. This could include drapes, furniture, or books. Make sure items like newspapers and kindling wood used to start fires are stored a safe distance away.
- Smoke & Carbon-Monoxide Detectors: Even with prevention and safe practices accidents can still happen. Install smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors to alert your family if something goes wrong. Check and test all detectors annually to insure they are in proper working order.
For more than three decades SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin has responded to fires all over Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas. If you suffer a fire and need solutions rely on us, we have the processes and experience to truly make it “Like it never even happened.”
Do I Have Mold in My Home? – Warning Signs You May Have a Problem
Don't let a little issue "grow" into a big problem. Look for the signs.
The first thing we need to understand about mold is: yes, you do have mold in your home. Mold is ubiquitous, meaning it is found everywhere. Mold in normal amount is not necessarily unhealthy or destructive. Whenyou have increased level of mold is when you have a problem.
What causes an increased level of mold? Molds thrive in areas with high moisture levels. In fact, all mold needs to survive is a food source which is anything cellulous and water. Typically, your home or business is kept well below the 60% relative humidity needed for elevated mold growth. But if you have any sort of water intrusion from a flood, roof leak, or seeping basement the moisture level in the air could increase to a level that is prime for mold growth. What do you need to look for?
- Water Spots: Water spots on sheetrock, ceiling tiles, or basement walls typically indicate a water intrusion of some kind. As mentioned above a water intrusion can elevate moisture levels in the air to promote mold growth. You need to find the source of the water. SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin can safely assist you in this area.
- Discoloration: Not all discoloration is mold growth but many times it is a tell-tail sign of elevated mold growth. When you discover the discoloration ask yourself if there is a reason to believe the conditions are right for mold growth? Did you suffer a water intrusion lately? Is the discoloration near a water source like nearby plumbing that could have a small leak? Again, a professional is best suited to further investigate.
- Foul Odor: Plain and simple, mold stinks! Literally stinks. Based on the type of mold, the amount of mold, and how good of a sniffer you have it could be a very faint odor or it could be quite pungent. If you believe the odor is mold related you should bring in a professional.
Mold is nothing to ignored. Mold has unhealthy effects on both people and animals in the home. It also can deteriorate you home value as it eats away at the structure and finishes costing you money to repair. Mold is a topic that many time makes people uncomfortable because they have seen extreme examples of how harmful mold can be when out of control. Remember every story of extreme mold clean up usually started small with one or more of the above listed signs. Don’t let a small problem grow out of control. If you see the signs call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin for an evaluation.