Do Your Best To Avoid Mold Spore Buildup
Make sure to prevent mold at your place of business.
On average, most Americans spend 34.5 hours per week at work. Therefore, the cleaner your facility is, the better the atmosphere. A simple task such as carpet cleaning is a good starting point to prevent mold spore development. Establishing other “clean” habits can ensure you experience even greater success.
Mold Prevention Measures
Vigilantly looking for wet areas is a must for combatting mold problems. Other prevention measures are just as important. The following few suggestions will help to make sure you are avoiding buildup of mold spores and breathing in as much clean Neosho, MO, air as possible.
- Place mats at all entryways.
- Regularly schedule air duct cleanings.
- Use a HEPA vacuum.
Frequent building inspections are also a good way to prevent potential issues.
Advantages of Mold Prevention Measures
Mold spores can be found both inside and outside and cannot be seen with the naked eye. By placing mats at all your entryways, some of these spores will get brushed off of shoes, limiting how many get carried into your building. Cleaning air ducts regularly can reduce the accumulation of many pollutants, including mold, and keep them from entering your facility. Additionally, carpet cleaning with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum can trap harmful particles via a specialized air filter and prevent the spreading of spores.
Is There a Way To Control the Uncontrollable?
Unfortunately, mold growth can still occur despite your efforts to circumvent it. Flooding from a storm, a broken pipe or a leaking roof are typically uncontrollable incidents. Carpet damaged by water from any of these situations is all too common. How soon you discover the damage dictates your actions. Cleaning following water damage found within 24 to 48 hours can be done using a wet-dry vacuum to remove the water. A dehumidifier to control humidity levels and fans to aid the drying process are also good measures. If more than 48 hours has elapsed, mold remediation may be necessary. Contact a mold remediation professional for an assessment.
Make sure to prevent mold at your place of business. Carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning, and regular vacuuming with a HEPA filter can be your best line of defense.
How To Create a Home Fire Escape Plan
The first step to creating an effective fire escape plan is knowing when and where you can escape.
How To Make a Fire Escape Plan For Your Home
Whether from faulty wires or a candle left burning, any Joplin, MO residence is at risk for the possibility of a home fire. The National Fire Protection Association estimates two minutes to escape a building once the fire alarm sounds. Rather than wait for those crucial seconds, create a fire escape plan now to ensure everyone in your home knows what to do.
Survey Your Home
The first step to creating an effective fire escape plan is knowing when and where you can escape. Walk through your home and look for these three crucial factors:
- Fire alarms should be installed on every level, as well as within every sleeping area and connecting halls. Mark the location of each and check they are all functioning.
- Every room should have two ways out, including doors and windows. Windows should be easy to open, and any security screens or bars should be simple to release
- There should be no blockage in front of the two routes of every room. Ensure bookshelves, storage or home decorations don’t slow down your ability to escape quickly
Once you have established the layout of your home you can create an effective plan. Gather everyone in your household and consider drawing a floor plan, marking all fire alarms and escape routes. Select an outdoor meeting location such as a neighbor’s house, lamp post or stop sign and ensure everyone knows where to meet after leaving the house. Next, it’s time to put it to the test.
Practice the Plan
Everyone in the household should be able to successfully complete your fire escape plan, from smoke alarm going off to meeting at the preestablished outdoor location, within two minutes. Practice waking up to the sound of the smoke alarm, walking through the plan, and meeting outside.
Twenty minutes to create your home emergency escape plan now can make all the difference in the two minutes you could be faced with then. Ensure everyone in your household knows how to contact emergency services and keep the number for your local fire restoration company nearby should the need arise.
Ways To Keep Water out of Your Crawl Space
If water builds up in your home, give us a call.
How Do I Keep Water Out Of My Crawl Space?
When it comes to flooding at home, basements, cellars and crawl spaces are among the most common places to find water. While you may not worry too much about a little water in this tiny part of your home, if you neglect the problem, it could lead to more serious issues in your Joplin, MO, home like mold growth. Make sure you take the proper action to help ensure you don’t end up with a wet crawl space.
How it Happens
As a homeowner, you have a host of matters you must deal with to keep your home safe. A flood can frustrate you because of the cleanup and repair costs, not to mention potential health and safety hazards. Here are some signs your crawl space may be at risk for water buildup:
- Broken underground lines
- Poorly graded property
- Broken or incorrectly installed downspouts and rain gutters
Pay Attention to Landscaping
One of the biggest culprits for a wet crawl space is when your property doesn’t have the right slope. Your lawn and other landscaping should slope away from your home so when heavy rain comes, it won’t build up on your property and find its way into your basement. Make sure water is draining away from your house.
Don’t Water too Much
If you’ve got a garden or flower bed close to your home, be careful about how much you water it. Overwatering can easily cause water to leak into your crawl space and cause flooding.
Check Your Rain Gutters
If a storm hits, you count on rain gutters and downspouts to guide water away from your home toward the street. Check these on your house to ensure they are collecting water near your foundation or window wells.
If you’re worried about a wet crawl space, get in touch with a professional to inspect your property. These technicians can also help you clean up after a flood.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers can be very important tools used to fight fires in Carthage, MO, homes. Many homes do not have a fire extinguisher and are without this valuable piece of technology. Fire damage can be prevented with the help of an extinguisher applied at the right time. Thankfully extinguishers are generally quite easy to use. They are designed to be straightforward and even have the instructions printed on the side.
- Pull the pin.
- Aim the nozzle.
- Squeeze the handle.
- Sweep the area.
3 Steps to Safety
Most standard home fire extinguishers in Carthage, MO, can be activated with four simple steps. Start by pulling the round pin at the base of the handle. Doing so breaks the plastic tamper seal. Next, hold the nozzle and aim it toward the base of the fire. Next, squeeze the fire extinguisher handle using firm pressure. Finally, sweep the nozzle side to side until the fire is entirely extinguished.
Spraying higher up in the air toward flames that are already burning may make it impossible to put the fire out. Instead, you should aim to where the flames are starting: the base of the fire. This is typically the most effective strategy in putting out fires with an extinguisher.
The Care of Fire Extinguishers at Home
Even a simple kitchen fire can pose a serious risk to the home and to human safety. Fire extinguishers can be kept in the kitchen, in hallways, and in garages. Anywhere with a high fire risk or where heating elements exist should be equipped with a home fire extinguisher. Used extinguishers should never be reused; promptly replace all used and expired extinguishers. Make a habit of checking the expiration date to ensure that each one is ready for use. They have a date printed on the side, so just use this as a reference. You can check your extinguishers as often as you check your smoke detector batteries; once a year is a good practice.
Keep a fire extinguisher where you need it most. With this advice, you can help protect your home and your loved ones.
How To Train Employees on Evacuation Protocol
Get your employees out safely.
As a business owner in Carthage, MO, your goal is usually to keep your employees at work, not to teach them to get out. However, in the event of a real emergency, or planned fire drill, getting out is exactly what you need them to do. Review the tips below to put a preparedness plan into place to keep you and your staff safe in a disaster.
What To Do Before an Evacuation Drill
Prior to tripping the smoke alarm and expecting an efficient fire drill to occur, you must plan and train your staff accordingly.
• Create an emergency action plan. Include primary and secondary escape routes and assign responsibilities, such as shutting down hazardous materials equipment or calling 911. Specific roles and responsibilities vary by type of business and building.
• Train staff on how to recognize the alarm, and ensure that it can be seen, heard and/or felt by all personnel. Plan for employees with disabilities.
• Communicate both verbally and in writing a clear policy and procedure related to evacuation. Provide each person a copy or post throughout the building.
What To Do After a Drill
Your employees are out of the building safely. Now what?
• Even in a drill, account for all employees. Set a specific meeting place for each employee and assign someone to check all names against a predetermined list. In an actual disaster, knowing if someone is still inside the building is critical.
• Repeat the drill often so that your staff can easily perform the steps quickly under pressure. Practicing is especially important at onset, when new employees join and when changes are made to the business or the plan.
• Evaluate the effectiveness of each drill, so continual improvements can be made.
Whether you are conducting a fire drill or experiencing a real emergency at your business, the goal is to get your employees out safely. If a disaster should occur, once everyone is safe, conduct a visual damage check of your commercial property. If damage is present, contact a storm restoration specialist and your insurance agent as soon as possible.
How Flood Insurance Helps Keep Your Business Afloat
No matter where your business is based, flooding is always a risk.
Three Reasons To Invest In Flood Insurance
Owning a business in Carthage, MO can feel like exploring uncharted waters at times. One thing you don’t want to complicate the experience is damage from actual water, which can add up fast. When the dust settles (and dries), you could be looking at a bill for over $50,000 from just one inch of water. Here are three reasons why investing in a flood insurance policy for your business is important.
1. It's Usually the Only Insurance That Covers Flood Damag
Most commercial property insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding, a fact that, unfortunately, many business owners learn too late. Insurance can be purchased anytime from the National Flood Insurance Program. It offers coverage for up to half a million dollars for both building and personal property.
2. There’s No Such Thing as "No Risk"
You may be wondering why you need a flood policy if your business is not in a high-risk area. Flooding can be caused by blocked sewers and melting snow; even wildfires can increase flood chances in your neighborhood. According to statistics from FEMA, insurance claims from low-risk areas make up over 20% of all flood claims.
3. Other Assistance Options May Be Limited
While there are federal aid programs available to business owners affected by flooding, the president must declare a state of emergency to activate those benefits. What's more, these loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration must be paid back with interest. Because of this, having commercial insurance that also includes flood protection is like a lifeboat that can keep you from drowning in water damage or debt. Your insurance company will work in tandem with your local water damage restoration specialists to help get your business back on track in no time.
No matter where your business is based, flooding is always a risk. Having a flood insurance policy and knowing it inside and out can be the difference between treading water and smooth sailing.
What To Do About Mold in Your Home
Mold is a common concern for homeowners.
Mold is a common concern for homeowners, particularly in humid climates or areas prone to storms and flooding. Unfortunately, it's not a problem you can afford to ignore, hoping it will go away on its own. Left unchecked, black mold can eat through carpet, wallpaper, fabrics, floorboards and more. When you find signs of mold growth, you need to act quickly.
Fight Mold by Fighting Moisture
Black mold thrives in wet environments. If mold starts growing in your home, you likely have a moisture problem to address. It's vital that you do this before any attempts at mold removal are made — otherwise, any remaining spores can settle in and begin the process anew.
Common, effective ways to clear out moisture in your home include:
- Installing a dehumidifier
- Identifying and fixing leaks and seepage
- Covering dirt in crawlspaces and keeping them ventilated
- Allowing air and heat to circulate through the house
- Venting moisture in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room to outside
- Keeping windows warm with insulation to prevent moisture from forming
Take a Cautious Approach
While a dry home prevents black mold from taking root in the first place, it won't immediately kill off existing growth by itself. Allowing the mold to stay at this point still carries the risk of spores being released into the house. The mold must be actively removed, either by cleaning or by removing contaminated materials.
While mold cleanup can be done yourself, this is a risky process requiring thoroughness, caution and preparation. Disturbing mold growths, often while removing contaminated materials, can release more spores. Also, many DIY solutions are hampered by the fact that most mold cleaning agents contain chlorine. Not only is chlorine unsafe to handle, it's not always effective — the mold stains may be bleached, but that doesn't mean the mold has been killed.
Except for minor cases, your best bet for mold cleanup is to turn to a professional mold remediation company in Joplin, MO. Backed by experience and the right equipment, they can identify the presence of mold and take full measures to halt its growth and clean or restore your belongings.
Vandalism, A Disaster You May Not Be Ready For.
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
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
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 Joplin, 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 Joplin, 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.