Windy Weekend, Reminds Us Spring Storms Are Around the Corner
While temperatures continue to be on the cool side, Mother Nature reminded us that spring is around the corner. Sixty mile an hour wind gusts this last weekend was a reminder to the destructive nature of spring storms. The Joplin area suffered some minor damage. Down trees, and road signs, as well as some minor structure damage could be spotted around the area.
So, with that mind we probably need to go over our annual sever weather reminders. First, have an emergency kit ready. See our blog from last year to help build your own kit. https://www.SERVPROcarthagejoplin.com/blog/post/42731/storm/are-you-ready-for-sever-weather
Spring storms carry a large amount of rain so we typically see an increase in water intrusions in the months of March through May. The destructive power of wind can also bring havoc to your home or business. We offer emergency board-up and security services if the wind leaves your structure vulnerable to the elements.
If something was to happen to you home or business please know we specialize in finding disaster recovery solutions. This goes beyond just mitigation and cleaning. We use our three decades of experience to try to be a resource to any obstacle you face in recovery. Our goal; doing what it takes to get you back to normal as soon as possible “Like it never even happened.”
Courthouse Flood Presents Challenges
The main hallway of the courthouse after standing water had been extracted.
Over the past weekend a pipe burst between the first and second floor of an area county courthouse. SERVPRO of Carthage/ Joplin was called in Sunday morning by the county Emergency Manager. The EM was familiar with SERVPRO because of the work our company has done in collaborating with the county LEPC (Local Emergency Planning Committee). The entire first floor, over 10,000 square feet was affected. Besides just the size of the job, this project present other unique challenges.
Like all commercial projects, time was of the essence. This floor included the county planning and mapping department as well as the Assessor’s office and Parole office and county Emergency Management. Many people were dependent on us to do everyday business at the courthouse.
The second challenge was the amount of contents that needed to be moved out or blocked up out of harms way. Over thirty offices containing desks, chairs, file cabinets, copy machines, and other office furniture and equipment were affected. Fortunately, the volunteer fire department was able to assist in much of the heavy lifting.
Finally, we had to deal with the valuable and sensitive nature of what was stored in this courthouse. Racks upon racks of files containing information on every property in the county was in a room affect by water in the Assessor’s office. In the Parole office a court official was required to be present the entire time we were moving file cabinets.
Despite the challenges the majority of that level of the courthouse was open at the start of business Monday morning. The Parole office, where the water intrusion started was closed for a few days while a more extensive dry out was performed.
By the end of the week the people were milling about the space, doing business “Like it never even happened.”
Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries - Your Annual Reminder
Smoke alarms saves lives only when they are in good working order.
Sunday March, 10th is the start of daylight savings time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has unofficially adopted this occasion as time to not only turn your clock forward one hour, but it’s also a great time to change the batteries in your homes smoke alarms.
There are no doubt smoke alarms save lives but according to the NFPA they can only do that if they are installed properly and maintained. Here are a few maintenance reminders.
Test every smoke alarm monthly. Usually this as simple as pressing the test button on the unit. Pick a day you will remember and do it each month. Get the kids involved, they are great source reminders.
Change the batteries in your alarm annually at a minimum. Daylight savings is a nice reminder twice a year to do this.
If you smoke alarms are over ten years old the entire unit needs to replaced with a new one.
A SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin we see victims of fires each week. It is a dangerous and traumatic event. Smoke alarms not only save lives but give early warning and allows for faster response by first responders.
Life Expediency Numbers You Need to Know
Don't let this $10 flexible water supply line cost you thousands in mitigation costs.
Did you know many common plumbing components have a life span? Many of them have expectancies much shorter than we might think. Here is a few that we see quite often. The fix is relatively inexpensive; but neglecting it can cause thousands of dollars in mitigation and drying costs.
Water heaters have an expected life span of about 10-12 years. Most of the time these fail because the rubber and metal components in side the tank are in constant contact with water which will naturally break them down over time.
Sump pumps are a vital tool for anyone with a basement or crawl space that takes on ground water after rain storms. Most of these pumps have a life span of about 7 years.
The average sink faucet has a life span of less than 15 years. Because of the flex hose design of the sprayer component, these may fail sooner. Most flex hoses fail after just 10 years. Also, included in the flex hose category are flexible supply lines for sinks, toilets, and washing machines. It is advisable to have these flex hoses replaced every 5 to 10 years. A $10 replacement hose may save you thousands down the road.
One of these plumbing components beat you to the punch? Don’t worry! We can get you back to normal again “Like it never even happened.”
Fast To Any Disaster
Faster because we care.
We at SERVPRO of Carthage/ Joplin take great pride in this fact. “Faster to Any Disaster” is not just a tag line to us. The number one reason we strive to respond as soon as humanly possible is for the peace of mind of the person who has just suffered a disaster.
As a company, SERVPRO has set a four-hour window for the maximum time allowed for us to arrive on jobs following our first notice of loss. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life four hours may seem like a relatively quick period of time. But to the property owner with water to their ankles and spreading through the structure quickly, it can seem like an eternity. The green SERVPRO truck pulling up is the first bit of relief they will get. Knowing this we always strive to respond well under this four-hour window for emergency services.
Yes, fast response does mitigate damage and costs. The faster we get there the less is damaged and the faster we can dry. But we want to provide relief as soon as possible. “Like It Never Even Happened” starts with a fast start to get people back to normal as soon as possible.
Suffered water or fire damage to your home or business? Call us today to back to normal as soon as possible. We service all of southwest Missouri including Joplin, Webb City, Carthage, Neosho as well as Barton, Vernon, Lawrence, and Barry counties. We also service Cherokee and Crawford counties in southeast Kansas.
Do Not Neglect Vacant Property
The old adage is “out of sight, out of mind.” If you are a busy commercial property owner or manager you have a lot on your plate. Your priority tends to revolve around taking care of issues of the occupied spaces under your care. Neglecting vacant property this time of year however, can be disastrous.
One of the greatest issue we see this time of year is a lack of adequate heat in vacant structures. The key word is adequate! We were called to a vacant property in Joplin last winter during extremely low temperatures. The heat was on, set to 55 degrees. The problem, the plumbing was above a suspended ceiling. The air around that plumbing was not 55 degrees, it was well below freezing and the plumbing froze and burst in multiple places. That was a mistake that cost the owners tens of thousands of dollars.
Best case scenario is to winterize the property, shutting off the water supply and flushing the system. But that is not always an option. If the water supply is left on, be conscience of the temperature WHERE the plumbing is.
We have had a lot of requests in the last few months for mold testing in homes. That in itself is nothing new. We live in a portion of the country that is prone to high levels of mold because of our elevated humidity. But lately we have been asked to investigate property where mold is suspected but no visible mold has been found. We just wanted to briefly discuss what mold needs to survive and grow.
Mold simply needs three things to thrive. A food source, the right temperature, and water.
Mold eats any kind of organic materials. This is really out of our control since most of the building materials in our home or business is made of organic materials. Wood, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, carpet and pad... all are made of organic materials that mold can consume.
Different molds grow at different temperatures. The range is between 22 and 120 degrees. Safe to say although we all like a different temperature to be comfortable; we like it between the freezing to scorching hot scale of mold growth. With tens of thousands of species of mold you can be confident there are a few species that like the same conditions that you do.
Water is the one element we have some control of. We are talking about moisture in the air, or humidity. Most of us running normal HVAC systems have humidity levels in the 30% to 40% range. When there is a water intrusion (such as a water leak) those levels rise. Any environment above 60% humidity can have mold growth.
You do not always have to suffer an obvious water intrusion to have mold growth. There could be other underlying moisture issues that are aiding mold growth. SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin offers mold testing. Call today and we will to the bottom of your mold suspicions.
We Have Solutions!
SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin has the unique ability to help property owners in a variety of ways. Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. With over three decades of experience we have seen most everything. We cannot say everything because even in the decades of helping our neighbors in the Carthage/ Joplin Area, we still see new things. But here are a few disasters we commonly take care of.
Water Damage – We see water damages from all kinds of sources. Busted pipes, malfunctioning appliances, human accidents or neglect, and ground flooding to name a few common sources. No matter the cause, or the epic story that explains it, we have a solution to return you to normal “Like it never even happened.”
Fire and Smoke Restoration – A fire can be very a huge inconvenience but it is not the end of the world. Many times, you would be surprised at how much of your personal property can be restored. We specialize in cleaning and deodorizing anything from family heirlooms, documents, to the very walls in your home or business.
Mold Remediation – With naturally high levels of humidity in the area of the country we live in mold can be an issue if a water intrusion is not properly taken care of. Not only do we offer remediation services but we also do mold testing and offer preventative measures such as crawl space moisture barrier installation.
Bio Hazard Clean Up – This area of our work is not enjoyable to talk about but many times it is necessary. We have the training and experience to properly clean up any area they may have the threat of blood born pathogens being present. These cases include trauma and crime scene clean up.
These are by no means the only services we offer. Frankly, whatever mankind or mother nature can throw at a structure, we can more than likely assist in the restoration.
Winter Storms Bring Freezing Temperatures
As of the time of writing this blog on Monday, January 14, 2019 the forecast for this upcoming weekend looks chilly. Okay, it’s a downright cold outlook! Temperatures are forecasted to be in the single digests. Throw in some wind and potential winter precipitation and we have a situation we need to keep our eyes on.
Last week we wrote about common winter hazards and frozen pipes was one of the topics we covered. Those reminders can be found here. https://www.SERVPROcarthagejoplin.com/blog/post/122827/water-damage-restoration/get-the-upper-hand-on-winter-plumbing-treats.
Winter storms with temperatures plummeting this low are especially concerning. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety says the “temperature alert threshold is 20 degrees F.” We are forecasted to be well under that alert threshold in the next few days.
The effect of wind chill. Wind chill is a fictitious measurement of what the air “feels like”. Air cannot chill a dry surface below the actual air temperature. But a moist surface can actually chill several degrees below than the air temperature because of evaporating cooling. Make sure all openings to your crawl space are cover so wind cannot penetrate the area and expedite freezing.
Can Mold Grow in Winter Temperatures?
When we think of mold, many times we are thinking of a spring time problem. Spring time brings warmer weather and higher levels of moisture. But the warmer months are not the only time you can have an issue with mold. Winter presents its own unique challenges in combating mold.
Everyone knows heat rises. As we try to heat our homes, we lose heat up into the attic area. That warm air is many times moist air. Normal daily activities such as laundry, the dishes, and bathing put moisture in the air. In this winter this can present a challenge if it comes into contact with a cooler surface and condensates. Many times, this warm moist air escapes into the cooler attic area and then you have a moisture problem. If that moisture reaches more than sixty percent humidity levels, mold could start to grow no matter how cold it is up there.
During the winter months it is especially important to exhaust moist air, especially from the bathroom directly out of the property to prevent any issues.
Have a mold issue? SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin can help. We have over three decades of experience in mold remediation. We also offer mold testing services. Call 417-623-1388 for more information.