Moving Furniture After Water Damage
Furniture blocked up after a water loss.
After water damage or a flood, one of the first things that could be done is to make sure all furniture is lifted from the floor and blocked up; provided the loss is not caused by sewage or any other type of category three water loss.
Blocking the furniture is as simple as lifting the furniture and placing something between the furniture and the floor, it could be anything from plastic to foam as long as it is something that will not rust or discolor the flooring. Moving the furniture allows for drying the wet furniture a lot faster and also helps make sure the flooring underneath can get enough air to dry it out like it should and also helps in the prevention of carpet or floor stains.
It also helps to make sure everything can dry like it should and helps avoid mold growth under the furniture, carpet/padding and even on the furniture itself.
If you are unsure what caused the water damage or suspect the water did not come from a clean source, then it would be better to wait for the professionals to help you out in order to avoid coming in to contact with anything that could potentially make you or your family members sick.
Outdoor Tips For Winter Storms
While the weather is usually unpredictable, one thing that is certain is the damage that can be caused by any storm.
Storm damage is not always caused by high-winds, tornadoes or flooding, the winter storms can leave destruction in their path as well.
While you are safe and dry inside your home, be cautious of the potential hazards that could be outside (other than the ice and/or snow).
Some of the things to be mindful of are:
The weight of ice and snow can make the tree branches weak and cause them to break creating hazards for those around when it falls or even while trying to navigate around the debris.
In freezing temperatures you could have ice dams (water trapped between your roof and a sheet of ice) which could lead to leaks and possibly mold if not taken care of. Be careful and take precautionary measures to ensure it is safe before climbing up to check for any leaks or other damage.
In the event of an ice storm, you can usually expect at least a quarter inch of ice if not more. This can lead to the collapse of a trees, power lines and your roof if it isn't up to standard.
Make sure the porch railings and steps are secure and salt them as needed to avoid any slips or falls.
We still have a bit of winter left so be safe and stay dry!
Services Offered Include Compassion
SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin has been in business for over 30 years. In that time, we have seen many different disasters; some of them are due to the surprises the weather has been known to spring on us and some has been the result human error. Regardless of how it happened, we want to get you back to the way it should be.
A lot of people still don’t really know what SERVPRO does and being able to teach people what we do is by far one of the best parts of my job.
Our team responds 24/7 to many different types of losses. While no two losses are ever going to be the same, that does not mean our team is not prepared or knowledgeable to handle what is thrown at them. SOME of the services we offer are as follows:
Water damage cleanup- whether it is caused by a natural disaster or forgetting you were running a bath and it overflows, our guys can handle it. If for some reason the water is not taken care of in a timely manner, you could have a bigger problem, but we can take care of that too.
Mold remediation - if there is any water damage in the home or even too much moisture, it can be a breeding ground for mold spores and before you know it, mold can be growing like crazy, but we have the techniques, knowledge and supplies to get rid of most types of mold in your home. We even do mold testing and also offer preventative measures as well!
Fire and Smoke Restoration- while having a fire in your home is very upsetting and scary with not knowing what you will do next or where you will go from there, not every fire is a total loss and we can restore a lot of things that most people would think has been destroyed. We have the ability to clean the structure as well as the contents, saving many documents, keepsakes and deodorizing it to get rid of the smell caused by fire and smoke.
Bio-hazard Cleanup- while this is a topic and job that nobody truly enjoys, we understand that it is necessary at times. We have team members that are trained and experienced and are able to clean almost any area and get rid of the potential threat of blood borne pathogens. Not every bio-hazard job is a crime or trauma scene, but just knowing how to protect ourselves and those around us is very important.
Carpet and Rug Cleaning- we offer carpet cleaning services and can even bring your area rugs into our warehouse and professionally clean those as well.
Our team not only has the knowledge but also compassion and we understand that no matter what you're faced with, the situations can be overwhelming. We strive to make the process as smooth as possible for the homeowners, tenants, and families while we work to make it “Like it never even happened.”
Mold In The Winter
Extensive mold growth in bathroom
Did you know mold is actually a year-round problem? Most people think it is more of an issue in the spring, but it can rear its ugly head even in the winter.
Around 60° is the perfect temperature for mold to start growing, and that can be bad news for the elderly, people with chronic illnesses, small children and after a while can even have adverse effects on someone that is healthy. When the heat is on indoors and the weather is ridiculously cold outside, that creates the perfect environment for condensation and moisture, especially if the insulation is not the greatest around windows or doors.
While the threat for mold growth is greater following a water loss, you could also be affected by it because of excessive condensation in your bathroom or even behind large appliances. It is recommended to use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom frequently. Also, it helps to make sure there is enough space between the wall and the larger appliances in your home so there is better air circulation to help avoid the possibility of excess moisture.
If you suspect you have mold growth or if you have any questions concerning the possibility, we have over 30 years of mold remediation experience and also offer mold testing services. Call SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin at 417-623-1388 and we can help!
Winter Weather Creates Threat For Frozen Pipes
As the winter weather continues to make itself more obvious, the temperatures are dropping and that can cause problems in many different areas.
It is nasty and ruthless! It creates hazardous driving conditions, threatens the well-being of some people who are struggling to keep warm and can also freeze water in the ponds, watering troughs, and even the pipes to your home.
If your home is lacking in insulation or your pipes are exposed, you’re pretty risky. It doesn’t matter what kind of pipes you have; metal or plastic… it’s all susceptible to freezing and or bursting, which can become quite an expensive ordeal as water expands as it freezes.
The pipes most at risk are those that are completely exposed to the elements (outdoor faucets, sprinkler systems), the pipes that run through outer walls and have little to no insulation, and also those water pipes in your basements, garages, crawl spaces, attics and often times under the cabinets inside your home. Pretty much every water source in your home.
Some ways you can prevent frozen pipes are as follows:
- Make sure the pipes are covered and insulated (both hot and cold faucets)
- Remove water hoses from the outside faucet and keep the valve open so the water that is inside the pipes can drain in order to avoid them busting.
- Make sure to have sufficient insulation in your attic, crawl spaces and basements
- Keep your garage door closed if the water lines are located in the garage
- Keep your thermostat the same temperature for both day and night time (no lower than 55°)
If you are still unable to prevent the pipes from freezing, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do to help thaw them to hopefully avoid them busting:
- Use an electric heating pad, a blow dryer, or a space heater (avoiding all flammable materials)
- You can also wrap the pipes in towels that are soaked in hot water (sounds crazy, but it can work!)
- Make sure you have the faucets opened up so as the water thaws, it is able to flow through the pipe and can help to thaw and other places that seems to be freezing as well.
- If you are unable to find the frozen areas, contact a professional to help you!
** DO NOT USE ANYTHING WITH AN OPEN FLAME, A PROPANE HEATER, KEROSENE HEATER OR A CHARCOAL STOVE! THIS WILL CREATE THE THREAT OF CREATING A FIRE AND CAUSING WAY MORE HARM THAN GOOD. IT IS DANGEROUS! **
All of this information and more can be found on the American Red Cross website, but if you have any questions, concerns, or need help cleaning up after a pipe bursts, do not hesitate to call us and we will do all that we can to help!
Holiday Decorating Safety Tips
It is the time of year where the trees are cut and decorated, the lights are hanging and the weather means fuzzy pajamas are a must!
Although most people have their decorations out already, I wanted to share some safety tips from NFPA (National Fire Protection Association):
- When choosing decorations, make sure they are flame retardant or fire resistant.
- Keep your decorations away from any doors and windows.
- If you are like me, you like to have a candle going from time to time, always, always make sure the candles are placed somewhere away from decorations or anything else that may be flammable.
- Don't nail the strings of lights up, this could damage the wires. Instead, use clips to hold the cords in place.
With the holidays being upon us, many people will also have friends and family coming in to visit or stay for awhile. Here are some tips to make your entertaining go a little safer as well:
- Make sure your visitors know the escape plan should a fire happen, it may not need to be used, but sharing the information with them could also save a life.
- Keep matches and lighters up and away from places where small children could find them.
- Never leave the kitchen while you are cooking on the stove top.
- If you are a smoker, or you have company that is, make sure to always wet the cigarette butts with water before you throw them away.
As a closing, make sure you blow out any candles and turn off the Christmas lights before leaving or going to bed as this will greatly reduce the chance of a fire.
From all of us here at SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin please stay safe and enjoy your holidays.
Preparing For Winter
Do you know the importance of why you should winterize your home?
I know it is a lot of work and many see it as a hassle, but it has more benefits than you could imagine. It will likely help to stop pipes from bursting and causing water damage to your home and it’s contents and can keep some of the heat in your home during the cold winter months.
If you are unsure where to start, I am going to include some simple steps that will get you on your way to prevention:
1. Make sure to winterize your air conditioning unit by using a hose to clean the dirt and debris then allow it to completely dry before covering it for the winter to help protect it from the cold temperatures.
2. Make sure your pipes are covered and any exposed pipes are wrapped. Also make sure the water to any outside hydrants or faucets are shut off and the water has been drained from them to avoid having them burst.
3. Make sure your windows and doors are sealed and there is not any cold air coming in. If you see the caulk around the windows has broke off or is not sealing like it should, it is recommended to re-caulk it. If your windows are just older and you think it needs more than that, you can also cover the windows with a type of plastic to help keep the cold air out and the heat inside.
4. If you haven't already, don't forget to winterize your outdoor pool, spa and\or sprinkler systems! Check your roof for any leaks and make sure any bad shingles are replaced and also make sure the gutters are cleaned up.
5. If you have a fireplace, make sure the chimney is clean, check the damper and flue. If you see any damaged bricks, make sure those are fixed. Failing to make sure it is in tip top shape before use could end badly.
While there are other things you could or should do to make sure you are covered, I hope these tips will help you get started and maybe even remind you of something you had forgot to do!
Working to Help Preserve Historical Landmarks
Some of the damage from the water loss that started on the third level of the Johnston Public Library.
If you are from this area, then you know Baxter Springs, KS is a little town located on Rt. 66 that is chocked full of history.
While I am there often to visit with insurance agents, I hadn't had the opportunity to really check out the interesting historical places in town. I recently had the opportunity to go to a job-site and watch our incredible team do some pretty amazing work.
We were called due to a water loss at Johnston Public Library where it affected three levels of the building. This building was constructed in 1872 and it is loaded with history all on it's own.
I don't usually get to see the job sites personally so what I do see is through photos, but upon seeing the damage first hand, I didn't think there was a way to save it. I know, I should have had more faith in our team!
This library building is listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Placed, so our guys went in knowing the importance of the history and worked hard to preserve all they could. They were able to save most of the original plaster and had it dried out and cleaned up rather quickly.
Since this was not a small job, we were able to bring in much larger equipment from a neighboring SERVPRO franchise in order to get everything dried out in a timely manner to avoid the possibility of mold growth.
Our team knows what is important and that is making sure our customers are taken care of and doing our part to keep history alive.
Continuing Education for Insurance Professionals
If you know anything about this industry, you will know it is ever changing. In order to keep up with the changes, we strive to continue learning and expanding our knowledge. In doing this, it allows us to be able to pass what we have learned on to insurance professionals.
We have the ability and state approval to host continuing education classed to insurance agents and adjusters from all over Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas.
We offer classes that help them better understand not only what we can do, but why we do it and our processes as well. Passing along this information to those in the insurance business is a great tool for them to be able to use with their insureds, should the need arise, to help them through whatever type of loss they may have experienced.
- Bio-Hazard Clean Up
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire and Smoke Restoration
- Cleaning Contaminated Buildings
- Mold Remediation
We do not teach all classes listed every year, but rather rotate between them, two at a time, (with a couple of stand-alone Ethics classes) so we are able to focus completely on the subjects at hand. This year alone, over 100 insurance professionals have taken part in these continuing education classes!
We will be starting on the schedule for the 2020 year soon, so if you need those CE credits, let us know!
Continuing Education For Our Team
Binders containing hero ready modules and other resources for our team members
SERVPRO of Carthage/ Joplin takes great pride in both our work and our team members alike. While we know we have some of the best people working for us, we understand that as times change, we need to be able to adapt and grow. In doing so, we frequently send members of our team to different training classes so they can build their skills and learn new and improved ways of doing many different things. We make sure our team members obtain their training and keep it all up to date to ensure our customers have the top notch care from a team that not only has the knowledge needed but also the compassion and understanding our customer's need and deserve during whatever situation they may be in.