Recent Posts

Vandalism, A Disaster You May Not Be Ready For.

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

Man with clipboard doing a check of a commercial property in Joplin, MO We are available 24 hours a day to get your Joplin business back up and running.

A lot of the work we do in Joplin, MO, especially this time of the year, is caused by Mother Nature. Heavy rains leave flooded basements behind. Strong winds damages homes and businesses leaving them vulnerable to the elements. We even see a few fire and smoke damages caused by wildfires be spread by high winds. But the truth is while we do a lot of clean-up caused by Mother Nature we have plenty of man-made disasters to clean-up as well.

We see all kinds of man-made disasters of various sizes. Most consist of mechanical failures, poor maintenance, or just poor judgment. Every once in a while, you stumble on to something you have never seen. Not even after over thirty years in the business. Last month SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin had such a call.

A commercial insurance agent called us on a Sunday morning. He explained a young man had drove a stolen pick-up truck through a Southeast Kansas high school. Not into, but through the school! He managed to crash through the entry and navigate several hallways leaving destruction in his path. Our job was to clean up the mess, secure the building, and make it safe for the students to return to class the next day.

And that is exactly what we did with the help of our friends from SERVPRO of Olathe KS. Safety was our primary concern. Together the building was secured by boarding up the entry area where the truck initially crashed through. The truck hit multiple doorways made of metal frames and glass doors and sidelights leaving shattered glass everywhere and exposed jagged metal. Those items were removed and disposed of.

Finally, any damage to the floor or walls needed to addressed so students would not trip or be cut or scrape. We used foam pad and moving blankets on the walls to prevent cuts from the damaged drywall and exposed cinderblock. Lastly, we covered the damaged areas with heavy plastic for further protection and to prevent more dust and debris from contaminating the hallways.

After a general cleanup and dusting down of the area near the affect hallways our job was done and the kids returned to class Monday morning on time. Our goal is to always find solutions. Solutions can start with a simple conversation about an Emergency Ready Profile. See our blog for more information. 

Maintenance Programs Save You Money

4/23/2021 (Permalink)

Air purifier set up in front of a couch in Carthage, MO We can help make sure your property has the best air quality.

As a business owner in Carthage, MO, 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. Daily activities create 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.

Top Questions to Ask When Hiring a Fire Damage Restoration Company

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

Group of men unloading drying equipment from a truck into a building Know how to pick the best company for the job.

After a fire, it is time to think about fire damage restoration. This is an important step in getting your business back on its feet. You should know how to pick the best company for the job. You can evaluate any remediation company by asking these questions.

What Services Do You Provide?

A good remediation company offers more than one service. They could potentially offer services like:

  • Fire cleanup
  • Insurance claim services
  • Assessment services
  • Smoke cleanup

Are Your Technicians Certified?
The Institute of Inspections, Cleaning and Restoration Certification or IICRC is the gold standard in remediation certifications. The IICRC that the technicians possess the knowledge, training and skills to restore your property.

Do You Have Experience?
You need to know if the company you are hiring has experience in commercial fire restoration in Granby, MO. Some companies even have pictures of previous restoration work that they can share.

How Long Will This Take?
This is one question that they should not answer definitively unless they have seen the property and the amount of fire damage restoration it involves. Once they assess the damage, they should give you a clear idea of how long it will take.

Are You Licensed, Bonded and Insured?
Any company you hire should say yes to each of these questions. This proves that you are protected if something should go wrong with the project.

Do You Provide Customer References?
Speaking to past customers is a great way to tell if they are the company to fix your commercial fire damage. They can tell you about their experience and relay any concerns they had about the work.

Are You Local?
Asking if they are local to Granby, MO will let you know if they will be available when you need them. Local companies usually have faster response times.
Make sure that the fire damage restoration company can answer these questions before you hire them. They should never be afraid to provide what you need to feel comfortable letting them into your business.

Let's Get Prepared for Possible Severe Weather

4/20/2021 (Permalink)

Tree limb that damaged a roof in Joplin, MO We’re dedicated to responding immediately to water and storm damage emergencies.

In Joplin, MO, we have had an active spring weather wise but fortunately we have not encountered much in the way of severe weather here in the four states. But as we all know we are no where near being out of the woods for possible sever storms. We try to help our neighbors be as prepared as possible for any disaster. Here is our annual spring sever weather reminders.

Be vigilant and aware.

There are a lot of ways to receive notice of the threat of severe weather these days. Weather radios (with properly charged batteries) are probably the most reliable but are sometimes impractical. Most people do not carry a weather radio around with them. Weather radios are also limited in accuracy for specific locations. The information released on weather radios cover entire counties. Cell phones are a better way to receive information of specific locations but they rely on a network of towers that can be damaged by strong storms. Television and radio are also great ways to receive updated information but they too can be interrupted by damage to their infrastructure.

Have an Emergency Kit ready.

We all have been reminded many times to have a kit ready. Standard items include food and water for two days. A first aide kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, etc. The National Weather Service, the Red Cross, and FEMA all have detailed lists you can easily find online. Just don’t procrastinate! Get a kit ready and have it accessible.  

Have a rendezvous plan.

Don’t assume if a disaster strikes your family will all be together and accounted for. We all have busy lives and are going in different directions. Have a plan to meet up with loved ones. Start with meeting back at your home, but if that is not possible have a back up plan to meet. Many families use a family member or other contact out of the area to coordinate the rendezvous.

As severe weather season rolls on, please be safe!

Water Damage From A Snow Storm?

4/15/2021 (Permalink)

Ice damming and icicles on a Carthage, MO home We can handle any damage that may occur from a winter storm.

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 in Carthage, MO, 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 the water 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.

Water-Damaged Document Restoration

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

The Carthage 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.

Do I Have Mold in My Home? – Warning Signs You May Have a Problem

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

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. When you 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 cellulose 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 in your Carthage home grow out of control. If you see the signs call SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin for an evaluation.

Holiday Decorations Safety

4/3/2021 (Permalink)

While watching television the other day I saw a commercial for a famous candle company. The hook in the ad was “This what the holidays smell like.” It immediately reminded me of the countless fires we have responded to over the years during the holiday season. So many were started by candle accidents and very quickly the smell of the holidays changed from Cinnamon Apple Pie to charred wood and melted plastic.

According to the National Fire Protection Association there are over 400 fires annually in the U.S. that are traced back to holiday decorations including festive candles. About 55% of all holiday related fires are started by candles in the month of December. Christmas tree fires are another large cause for holiday fires. Christmas tree fires are over four time deadlier than an average fire according to the NFPA.

From candle safety, decorative lights and Christmas trees, our partners at the American Red Cross have some good tips for all kinds of holiday hazards.

  • Never use candles near trees, curtains or drapes or any other flammable items.
  • When displaying a tree, cut off about two inches off the trunk and put the tree in a sturdy, water-holding stand. Keep the stand filled with water so the tree does not dry out quickly.
  • Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.
  • If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.
  • Only use indoor lights indoors (and outdoor lights only outdoors). Look for the UL label. Check lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
  • Use no more than three light sets on any one extension cord. Extension cords should be placed against the wall to avoid tripping hazards, but do not run cords under rugs, around furniture legs or across doorways.
  • Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.

All of us at the SERVPRO of Carthage & Joplin hope you all have a great and SAFE holiday season.

Char Your Dinner, Not Your Home!

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

Summer time for many of us means spending time with family and friends outdoors. SERVPRO of Carthage – Joplin wants to make sure these activities are conducted in a safe way in the Joplin area. Each year we respond to property damage claims caused by grills or outdoor fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission over 8,700 of Americans are injured annually by mishaps with outdoor grills. Each year grills are linked as the cause to over 8,900 structure fires with property damage totaling millions of dollars. Here are a few tips from the National Fire Protection Association that can help you enjoy outdoor fire in a safe way.

BBQ purest will tell you charcoal is the only way to go and these type of grills and smokers are common because of that. Never use any product other than starter fluid designed specifically for charcoal grills. Once the charcoal has been lit, the starter fluid needs to be put away; never add fluid to coals after they are lit.

Gas or propane grills offer their own safety issues. Always check hose connections to insure there are no leaks. It is probably a good idea to use soapy water to periodically check the hose for leaks. No matter which style of grill you are using always make sure the grill is a safe distance from any structure. Weber Grills recommends a minimum of two feet between your grill and any combustible materials on their website. Always be aware of hot coals or ambers that may escape the cooking area or fire box.

When enjoying a fire pit or any other outdoor fire follow the same guidelines when lighting the fire as you would when using a charcoal grill. Remember to keep in mind wind speeds and direction before enjoying an outdoor fire.

We hope these tips help you enjoy a fun and safe summer of grilling and evenings around the fire. Mishaps do happen even when precautions are taken. If you experience fire damage to your home because of fire of any kind please call us immediately. SERVPRO has the training and experience to make it "Like it never even happened.”

3 Facts About Smoke Alarms

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

furniture inside a home damaged by fire Fire damage to a home in Oronogo, MO.

Three Important Facts About Smoke Alarms

Did you know that many Oronogo, MO, homes don’t have a working smoke alarm in each of their bedrooms? While newly constructed homes are required to have alarms in order to pass inspection, many older homes don’t have them. According to the National Fire Protection Association, your risk of dying in a home fire is reduced by 50% if you have functioning smoke detectors. Here are three important facts about smoke alarms.

1. Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Most people don’t anticipate being involved in a home fire. Unfortunately, home fires often happen during the night when homeowners are asleep; therefore, it’s essential to have a working smoke detector in every bedroom and outside every sleeping area. There should also be smoke alarms in the basement, even if no one sleeps downstairs. To increase your level of protection, make sure your alarms are interconnected. Therefore, if one alarm sounds then the rest will also beep.

2. Smoke Alarms Should Be Tested
Once you’ve installed a smoke alarm in every room of your home, test them each month. While new alarms should work for many years, it’s still advised to test them monthly. Simply stand on a stool or ladder and press the test button. This simple test will ensure that your smoke detectors are in good working condition.

3. Smoke Alarms Need To Be Replaced
Most homeowners are unaware that smoke detectors need to be replaced; fortunately, there is a simple way to check them. Take the alarm off of the ceiling or wall and check the manufacture date. The date will likely be located on the back of the alarm. If the manufacture date is older than 10 years, your alarm needs to be replaced. If it’s less than 10 years old, place the alarm back on the ceiling or wall.
The risk of injury and death can be greatly reduced when homeowners have a working smoke alarm in every room of their home. If your Oronogo, MO, experiences any type of fire damage, fire restoration specialists are available to help.