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4 Tips for Avoiding Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activations

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Unfortunately, not all causes of activation are completely accidental.

Four Tips To Avoid Accidental Fire Sprinkler Activations

Preparing for a potential fire in your Neosho, MO, building is highly important. One aspect of this is installing and maintaining a system of fire sprinklers. Unfortunately, if this isn't done properly, you could experience an accidental activation. The resulting moisture from it may cause water damage. Unfortunately, many people are unsure about how to conduct preventative sprinkler maintenance. 

1. Keep the Heads Away From Heat
One of the most basic ways to activate a fire sprinkler is by placing it next to a heat source. Since sprinklers rely on heat to determine when water should be released, this is bound to backfire. Here are some things to avoid:

  • Microwaves
  • Skylights
  • Stoves

2. Disallow Nearby Items
If a fire sprinkler is jostled in some way, it may be activated. Therefore, it's important to prevent any items from getting too close. If there's tall furniture or stacks nearby, try to place each one away from the heads. Don't let anyone use the sprinkler or its protection to hang decorations, either.

3. Conduct Inspections
Unless this is your field of expertise, you won't be able to conduct sprinkler maintenance on your own. Having a professional come in to test your system is an excellent step to take. Make sure that the worker checks the state of your pipes. A corrosion or leak could cause substantial water damage.

4. Install Guards
Unfortunately, not all causes of activation are completely accidental. If your building experiences any vandalism, the destruction may cause the fire sprinklers to be triggered. In order to prevent this activation, you can try installing guards over the heads.
Fire sprinkler systems involve substantial amounts of water, so activating one is likely to cause damage. In order to avoid this, try to conduct regular sprinkler maintenance. If damage does occur, remember to call a water damage repair company, as well as your insurance providers.

A Restoration Company Is A Lifeline When Water Damage Occurs

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Servpro technicians downloading from a truck drying equipment into a commercial building. Working with a water restoration company benefits all sides.

Three Reasons The Service Assists Everyone

Tending to water damage isn't easy. The process takes time and a great deal of patience and effort. Commercial owners in Webb City, MO, must focus on fixing the property and communicating with the insurance adjuster. Going back and forth for approval can be hard on both parties, ensuring that requests are adequately supported and formatted. This may slow down project completion and create quite a headache. However, working with a water restoration company benefits all sides, allowing a team of experts to act as the intermediary, creating efficiency and accuracy.

1. They Understand Insurance Demands
Property owners know their business. They may not understand insurance language or laws. When it comes to filing for services, there may be a disconnect in filling out paperwork or completing the process. Preferred vendors such as SERVPRO, take over the task of communicating. The electronic claims system permits their specialists to follow protocols that match insurance demands and numbers. This reduces confusion and speeds up approvals.

2. They Mitigate Secondary Damage
An insurance adjuster wants to minimize the property's harm, reducing overhead costs. Owners don't always know how to do just that. Lingering water damage leads to mold growth and structural rot, only escalating the amount of work required to restore the premises. A restoration crew responds immediately to calls. Employees are on the property within 24 hours to investigate the concern and lesson devastation.

3. They Document and Clean
To secure an insurance claim, provide sufficient evidence to adjusters. What does that mean? Remediation experts know. From the start, they begin testing air quality and moisture levels. They photograph impacted materials and personal belongings. Also, they assist in creating inventory lists, taking all of this off of the owner's plates. It's done to meet insurer needs and in a timely fashion.
The insurance adjuster must have the right information before claims are processed. Without it, emails may go back and forth, seeking corrections and additional data. Restoration businesses work for both parties to collect and information correctly.

3 Places Mold Can Hide in Your Commercial Building

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Removing mould from the wall in the house. Hand in blue glove tears off wallpapers damaged by fungus If you own a building with wallpaper, fungi may be lurking behind it.

Places Where Mold Can Hide

Mold can damage your Carthage, MO, commercial building and cause long-term issues, including an unpleasant mold smell. This odor can make your employees and customers uncomfortable, and in some cases, the mold itself may not be visible. There are several places fungi can hide, and calling in a professional mitigation and removal team can help you pinpoint the source of the odor.

1. HVAC Ducts
If your heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts have leaks or do not operate correctly due to age, this can cause moisture to enter the ductwork, where mold can take hold and grow unchecked. Most types of fungi do not require sunlight to grow and spread, and as the mold eats, it releases a waste product called mycotoxins, which creates the fungus smell. Having your ductwork checked can uncover the source of the odor.

2. Under Carpet Padding
Even a minor flood can cause mold to grow, and if your building experienced a flood, incomplete cleanup may cause mold to grow under carpeting and beneath the padding. Dining room carpeting in a restaurant or in an office may be hiding mold, which can cause a musty mildew smell that is both persistent and unpleasant. Your mitigation technicians may have to remove the carpeting and padding to resolve the issue.

3. Behind Wallpaper
If you own a building with wallpaper, fungi may be lurking behind it and causing a mold smell you cannot pinpoint by sight. Your technicians may use thermal imaging equipment, such as cameras, to find sources of moisture and mold growth. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may have to replace the wallpaper in the affected areas.
An unpleasant mold smell inside your Carthage, MO, commercial building can make your employees and customers uncomfortable. Because fungi can hide in a variety of places, calling in a professional removal team can ensure that the mold and its accompanying odor is completely eradicated.

Are You Ready For Severe Weather?

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Flood water on the basement of a home in Joplin, MO SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin are water removal specialists.

Severe weather has already touched parts of Joplin, MO this spring.  SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin wants you to be safe so we wanted to share some severe weather preparedness tips.

Weather Radios: Weather radios are the most reliable way to receive notifications of severe weather. Many of us rely on television or radio updates in the event of severe weather. More and more people depend on their cellular phones these days and get updates as well from weather apps, personalities on social media, or wireless emergency alerts (WEA’s). All those are great but have their limitation during severe weather. TV and radio broadcasts can be interrupted. Mobile devices rely on towers and those towers can be damaged and cease to function during severe weather. A weather radio, WITH CHARGED BATTERIES is the most reliable way to be informed of severe weather.  Be sure to properly program your weather radio so you only receive the alerts you want for the counties you want.

Emergency Supply Kit: Having an emergency kit can be a life saver.  Most emergency management agencies recommend supplies for up to three days. The following is a list you can use as a guideline:

  • Water – 1 gallon per person per day
  • Food – non-perishable
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a weather radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • First Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal help
  • Clothing, blankets
  • Dust mask or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
  • Wrench or other tools to shit off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents. (Copy of insurance policy, bank account info, identification, etc.)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof case
  • Cash

Make family plan: Make sure all in the home knows where to go in the event of severe weather.  If for some reason the family is separated in the event of a severe storm, have a meeting place established as to aid in finding each other amidst devastation.

Next week will discuss being prepared as a business with our Emergency Preparedness Program.

Act Fast to Avoid Mold Growth

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

One of the biggest stresses when people in Carthage, MO face a water intrusion is the possibility of mold growth. Many believe a flood automatically means the triggering of mold. While the possibility of mold growth can develop after a water damage, it’s not a certainty.

Most species of mold need 72 hours to begin growth. That is plenty of time for a professional mitigation contractor like SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin to begin the drying process. Drying the structure in a timely fashion is the best way to reduce the chances of mold growth. In fact, the vast majority of water damages we mitigate in a timely manner never have issues with mold. That’s why a fast reaction is important.

Drying surfaces is just half the battle. If moisture remains in the air inside your home or business mold could develop. Any atmosphere over 60% relative humidity can contribute to mold growth. Use of a professional mitigation contractor will insure a full dry out of the surfaces.

Did You Watch?

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Did you watch the 2020 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl? If you didn’t you missed a great game between #19 Louisiana-Lafayette and the University of Texas-San Antonio. The Ragin Cajuns knocked off the Roadrunners of UTSA 31-24 at Gerald Ford Stadium in Dallas. SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin is proud to be a small part of the ESPN Bowl family but more important we are proud of what the game stands for.

First responders are the backbone of our communities. We are blessed in the Joplin area to be served by outstanding law enforcement, fire protection, and paramedic care. SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin has enjoyed a tremendous relationship with local first responders for some time. When the COVID pandemic hit we tried to help as much as we could by disinfecting first responder vehicles to help them feel safer while doing their critical job.

SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin has long since been a partner of local first responder charitable efforts in our local community. We even proudly took last place in the last years annual Joplin Fire Department chili cookoff.

In the event of an emergency who do you want to work with? Work with a team who supports our local heroes and heroes on a national level like the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl does.

Disconnect Garden Hoses

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

For most people the season to use garden hoses are over and many have disconnected them and put them away for the winter. Some of us however still have use for a garden hose and use them often even in the winter months. Still yet some just procrastinate or just plain forget to disconnect them. For whatever the reason is, if your garden hose is currently connected to an outside faucet you need to disconnect it immediately.

Winter temperatures are starting to settle in across our region, especially overnight.  A garden hose full of water is exposed to these cold temperatures and is vulnerable to freezing. This puts pressure on not only the hose but to the faucet and the interior plumbing. Ice takes up about 10% more space than when its liquid form of water. That expansion can bust faucet fittings or those pipes that supply the faucet. This can result in extensive damage and costly repairs.

SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin see dozens of water damages each year caused by this. Don’t get left out in the cold. Or at least don’t let your garden hose left out in the cold.

Fire Extinguisher Class Identification

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know there are different classes of fire extinguishers for different types of materials and fires? For example, if you had an electrical fire, you would want to use a CO2 extinguisher. Using a foam spray or water-based extinguisher would be disastrous. To help you distinguish which one is right for you, the information below will explain what class of extinguishers is suitable for each scenario.

  • Class A – Ordinary Combustibles. Suitable for cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and most plastic.
  • Class B – Flammable Liquids. Used on grease, gas, oil or oil-based paints, or other flammable liquids.
  • Class C – Electrical Equipment. Primarily for appliance fires, tools, machinery.
  • Class D – Combustible Metals. Suitable for flammable metals, typically found in factories.
  • Class ABC – Filled with mono ammonium phosphate and is suitable for all three classes (ABC).
  • Class K – Combustible Cooking. Commercial kitchens, cafeterias, restaurants, etc. that use a lot of vegetable oils and animal fats.

For additional information, you can visit https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/extinguishers.html

Annual Fireplace Maintenance & Creosote Buildup Prevention

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

Apart from cooking, the second highest cause of home fires is from heating sources, such as fireplaces, furnaces, and small electric heating units. A buildup of creosote in the chimney or stovepipe is the biggest offender.

What exactly is Creosote? Creosote is a buildup of flammable material caused from burning wood and is highly combustible. When the temperature dips below 250 degrees, the gases buildup inside the chimney or stovepipe and form a sooty layer. This first layer is easy to remove by sweeping the chimney with a chimney brush. However, if left to build up, that layer can turn into a harder, flakier substance that lines the flue and is much more difficult to remove. A drill and rotary loop on a rod will be needed to clean the flue properly at this point. If not cleaned, this buildup continues to thicken and will start to look like tar dripping down the inside of your flue/chimney - this is what results in a chimney fire.

  • To help prevent creosote buildup in your flue, you should only burn seasoned firewood. Firewood that has been left to dry for 6-12 months burns hotter and has less moisture which causes smoke, which then causes creosote. Wet firewood also decreases the amount of heat so you are just wasting energy.
  • Air flow is extremely important when burning wood in your fireplace. If you have glass doors, keep them open to allow proper air flow so your fire can burn hotter. A hotter fire burns more combustible gas resulting in less buildup in the chimney.
  • Try and avoid burning artificial logs, these have a large amount of combustible gases.
  • Hire a professional chimney cleaner to inspect and maintain your fireplace and chimney every year.
  • If you should suffer from smoke or fire damage, call SERVPRO. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Large Scale Disasters Are Not A Problem for Small Franchises

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin may be a small, family-owned franchise, but we are part of a much larger family. This is especially helpful when large-scale disasters strike and we are short on the manpower or equipment needed to respond. As a SERVPRO franchise we have access to national resources, which means we are faster to respond to any disaster and no job is too large for us to handle.

With over 1,800 franchises nationwide, we are able to arrange for Disaster Recovery Teams from surrounding areas to deploy to catastrophic events, such as a flooding, hurricanes, blizzards, or tornadoes. These professionally trained teams are strategically placed across the US, so you can be confident that SERVPRO always has your back.

SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin alone provides 24/7 emergency services and highly trained water and fire restoration specialists. For service you can count on, call the professionals at 417-623-1388.