Recent Commercial Posts
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 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.
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.
Water-Damaged Document Restoration
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.
Emergency READY Plan...Save money by preparing now!
No one ever plans ON a disaster, but you can plan FOR one. Nationwide, 50% of businesses never re-open following a disaster. The key to re-opening and surviving a disaster as a business is having a solid plan and mitigating damage. SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Plan can assist in that?
Customers from Carthage and Joplin, even Parsons and Pittsburg Kansas as well as Neosho, Monett, and Aurora Missouri have all found real value in the ERP program. Our ERP is a comprehensive collection of data aimed at minimizing the time your business is down. Let me ask you; if a pipe bursts, how much damage can be avoided if the main water valve is closed shortly after discovering the leak? Do your employees know where that shut-off is? Would a document either in hard copy in the office or a digital copy accessible from a mobile devises with that information be valuable in that situation? That is just an example of how our ERP can help you as a business owner.
We determine the main decision makers in your company to locate to make critical decisions fast. We identify priority areas unique to your company or building that require immediate attention, security, or safety needs. All of this is designed to minimize interruption of business if all possible, and that is money in your pocket.
This is a free service to any business owner, but it is certainly not limited to just them. Schools, churches, apartment complexes, hotels, assisted care facilities, and many more have taken advantage of this invaluable service.
There is much we can do to help you prepare for a disaster but the real value comes if you do suffer a disaster. Your local SERVPRO of Carthage-Joplin franchise takes this information and combines it with over three decades of experience to put you back in business “Like it never even happened.”
Winterizing Commercial Property
SERVPRO of Carthage/Joplin can handle any water loss you may endure during this winter season.
As winter begins to settle in we need to look at winterizing our property to prevent damage caused by freezing temperatures. Today we are going to focus on an area that is sometimes overlooked, commercial property that is seldom used or completely unoccupied.
There is a lot of property in the Joplin and surrounding area that get little regular maintenance and are extremely vulnerable this time of year. The reason may very as to why the property may be left vulnerable. The building may simply be used for storage and no climate control is needed. The property may be for sale. Whatever the case if steps are not taken the owner or property manager may have a real problem on their hands.
The first tip is to leave heat on if all possible. A low setting will ensure the temperature does not fall below freezing and increase the risk of burst pipes. A small energy bill is far better than the cost of a catastrophic water damage. If heating the structure is not an option the water needs to be shut of to the property and all water lines and drains need to emptied. If this is a seldom used building and the water needs to be left on the weather should be monitored and when it dips below freezing it would be a good idea to use the good ol ‘drip’ method of frozen pipe protection by leaving the faucets drip a little so the water moves and does not freeze in the supply lines.
Don’t forget to service you HVAC semi-annually. Regular service is sometimes overlooked on a property we rarely use. It is just as important that a unit is operating properly on a vacant building as it is on any other. Filters need to be changed regularly as well so make it a point to include your vacant and seldom occupied buildings in your regular maintenance plans.
Use weather stripping, and caulking on any areas the cold air might pass through from the outside. Also clean the gutters and drains so built up leaves and debris do not cause ice damming which can create big water damage issues.
These tips should help prevent large water damage mitigation and drying expenses but will also help prevent minor water intrusions as well. Minor water intrusions can slowly deteriorate the structural integrity of the property and promote mold growth. Its not a bad idea to visit the property every few weeks to monitor the condition.
Not all water intrusions are preventable no matter the steps you take. If your commercial property is affected by flood or fire you can rest assured the team at SERVPRO Carthage-Joplin is experienced and ready to restore your property “Like it never even happened.”
3 Places Mold Can Hide in Your Commercial Building
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.
Fogging to Kill Germs
A crew member is in full PPE while setting things up to fog the back of an ambulance.
If you have turned on a television set, picked up a smart phone, or read a newspaper lately, you know most everyone is being extremely careful to avoid picking up germs from others due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you have a large space or even a smaller space with a lot of different nooks and crannies, then there may be concerns on how well you are able to really sanitize the area. For some areas it could take hours or days to wipe things down to sanitize them and even still there may be germs left behind.
Have you ever heard of fogging? If you fog an area to combat germs, it allows the chemicals to disperse throughout and will reach content or areas that may have been out of reach or overlooked.
We wanted to do something to help our community during all of this and our crews have suited up and began fogging approximately 13 ambulances to help them in killing off the germs that may have been hiding.
If you would like more information on fogging and the benefits of it, please reach out. If you would like more information on COVID-19 and what you can do to help flatten the curve, please visit the website for CDC.
We hope you stay safe and many blessings come your way.
Due to the fact that we do have national backing, in the event of water damage in your clinic or office space, even your home, we have the ability to utilize the SERVPRO document restoration team to assist in recovering damaged documents, such as:
- paper documents
- books and magazines
- manuscripts and files
- photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
- blueprints and maps
Through freeze-drying, the restoration team is able to restore many things most people would think were a total loss. Freeze-drying is a water removing process done by freezing the material, reducing the pressure, and then adding heat which allows the frozen water to sublimate. This allows the documents to dry and removes the moisture while keeping the documents in their original condition and prevents any further damage.
They are also able to sterilize the above documents using a process called gamma irradiation to kill bacteria through breaking down the bacterial DNA should the documents come in contact with any potentially harmful bacteria.
Once those documents have been saved, the SERVPRO document restoration team could even save your documents digitally so you would have back-up access to your records at the palm of your hand.
Also, you would not have to worry about confidentiality because this work is managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians and is under constant surveillance.
If your clinic, office, or business of any other sort could benefit from these services, call us. We can help.
Emergency Ready Profile- Are You Prepared?
Last month we responded to a local casino for a water loss that had occurred. It was not a small loss by any means and affected numerous floors of their hotel. On day one our team had to take the stairs up to the 12th floor and back down repeatedly because the elevators were also down as a result of the water loss.
Our crew was in there and doing all they could to get the rooms dried out so they could open them back up for customers, but as anyone knows, things do not always go according to plan.
The guys are still in the hotel because during the mitigation process they found mold growing behind some of the baseboards in the rooms. If you ever question how quickly mold can grow after a water loss, please don't risk it. It is dangerous for your health and can make you pretty sick if you are around certain types for too long.
I said all of that to ask this: Do you have a plan in place for your office or business? Would your employees know what steps to take should something like this occur on their shift? Do they know how to shut off the water should a leak happen? Do they know what to do if they see mold growing or come across a bio-hazard scene? These and many other questions are not usually thought of until it is too late and in the moment your team is scrambling to come up with a plan and panicking while trying to figure out who to call first.
WE CAN HELP WITH THAT!
We can get your business set up with an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) that will lay out step-by-step instructions/directions for all employees so they are all on the same page and aware of how to handle any emergency situation such as a busted pipe, or even an unexpected but necessary bio-hazard cleaning. It only takes a little of your time in the beginning to save a whole lot of time when it is most important.
If you would like to see about getting an ERP for your business, please call us and we will come to you!
"Confidence comes from being prepared."
- John Wooden
Cutting Corners Can Be Costly
If you are a facility manager, whether apartment buildings or offices, you may have times where some of the spaces are not in use and it may be tempting to just shut the door and walk away while waiting for a new occupant because it is easier and not time consuming.
Please be aware of potential issues and remember there are some things you will want to do while you are between occupants, you will want to make sure you have the water supply shut off and keep the temperature regulated.
In doing so this can help prevent the water lines from freezing and bursting and making sure the temperatures are regulated will help prevent mold growth.
While some may not see the point in paying the monthly electric bill in a space that is not being used, in the end, it is going to be a lot cheaper than taking the risk of losing thousands of dollars in a water loss or having to pay someone to come in and clean the mold up in order to keep the office area clean for those who move in to the space.