The Importance of Locating Your Water Shut-Off Valves
Most of us are probably glad to get home after a long day of stress at work, fighting traffic, and running errands. Because home is where our heart is. It’s our shelter from the everyday craziness and we have confidence that everything will work as it should – until it doesn’t.
A breakdown in your Greene County home could be as simple as a burned-out bulb, something a little more serious like a broken appliance, or a disastrous event, such as when your plumbing breaks or fails or a water-fed appliance like your dishwasher, washing machine, or water heater springs a leak. Then you may be facing severe water damage.
It’s amazing how much water damage can be caused by a broken water pipe and how quickly it happens. And that’s if you’re home at the time. Now imagine you’re away when the break occurs. Until the water source is cut off, it will spread throughout your home, damaging floors, walls, and most of your property.
This is why if a pipe or water-fed appliance breaks in your home or business, the first step that must be taken is turning off the water source! It could be a water feed to an appliance or toilet. But if you can’t find one or you have busted plumbing, you’ll need to shut off the main water valve for your home or business.
If you’ll be away for a while, take the initiative and turn off the main water valve before leaving. This small but crucial action can save thousands of dollars you’d have to pay to fix water damage in your home or business.
But regrettably, few Greene County property owners try to find out where their emergency shut-off valves are located. But knowing this basic piece of information may save your property from being destroyed and save you thousands in water damage restoration costs.
3 Ways to Find Your Water Shut-off Valve
- Look for it on the inside perimeter of your home since water first enters your house there. It’s likely on the side of the house facing the street as that’s where the water main is located. (Note: This is standard when connected to a municipal water supply, but well water can enter the house from any side.)
- Find the valve in your property inspection report. Look in the plumbing section to locate the shut-off valve and see a picture of the valve.
- Find the streetside shut-off valve. Look for a valve inside your water main that should be located at your property line near the street called a curb stop valve. It’ll be at ground level. If you can’t shut it off, call your water company and they may be able to tell you how to do it or send a technician out to help you.
Give a friend or trustworthy neighbor a key to your home. If a water emergency happens when you’re away, they’ll be able to cut the water supply off.
If a water damage disaster does strike, leaving your Greene County property soaked, FIRST SHUT OFF YOUR WATER VALVE, then call on the water damage professionals at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County to mitigate, cleanup, and restore your home or business.
SERVPRO Adopts Local School Teachers
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County is adopting a teacher for the Holister R-V School District for the 2022-2023 school year.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has the unique privilege of adopting a classroom teacher for the Holister R-V School District for the 2022-2023 school district. SERVPRO along with other local area businesses and organizations recognize the extraordinary efforts our teachers make and this is just a small way we can give back to our local community. We are so excited about giving back to our community in this way.
Each month we have the privilege of showing our appreciation through a kind note or email, volunteering in the classroom, providing snacks or supplies and gift certificates. We will kick off the school year with these awesome baskets of school supplies for our classrooms and our marketing staff will be attending the progressive dinner at the Titanic Museum on August 15, which will be catered by Char Restaurant in Springfield, MO. If you would like to sign up to adopt a teacher you may do so at https://forms.gle/79FERcue7zCZCbfX8. For more information contact Dr. Brian Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 417-243-4000.
How to Reduce Water Damage from Summer Storms
Summer in Missouri is in full swing, which means high temperatures along with higher humidity. Summer also means strong storms in our area which can cause flooding and other water damage on your property and/or in your basement. But if you take the time to prepare for storms, you can protect your home against Mother Nature. Here are some summer weather storm-proofing tips from SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County to protect your home from water damage and keep it dry when summer storms hit.
Inspect Your Gutters
Inspect your gutters and downspouts for clogs, structural failure, leaks, and sagging. They’re designed to capture and direct runoff, but if clogged or damaged they won’t move water away from your home effectively and can lead to standing water in your yard and even structural damage.
A 1,000 sq. ft. roof will shed about 620 gallons of water during a 1-inch rainfall. If this water swamps a clogged or damaged gutter system, all that water could end up next to your foundation, eroding it over time. Make sure leaves, sticks or other debris aren’t blocking the inlets of the downspouts and preventing water from flowing down them. Also, make certain your downspout extensions are discharging the water far from the foundation. If you don’t care to see downspout extensions laying across your yard, install underground downspout drainage lines with pop-up drainage emitters to keep water from gutters far from your home.
Protect Your Basement from Flooding
Did you know that Greene County homes with basements have a higher probability of experiencing water damage? Some 98% of all homes with a basement will file at least one claim for water damage.
Basement water damage occurs during spring storms for several reasons:
- water flows towards your house and not away
- poor weatherproofing
- improper drainage system
- clogged gutters
- broken sump pump
For example, a year’s worth of debris and fallen leaves can clog window wells and below-grade drainage systems, so summertime is a perfect time to clean them out. Additionally, check that below-grade drains near stairs and doors are operating properly. Domed covers for drains will provide added protection against clogs by not letting trash cover them up.
A sump pump is a draining device that keeps your basement dry from groundwater. It collects excess water from the foundation or rainfall and drains it outside of your home. If you have a sump pump, now is a good time to perform a maintenance check:
· Unplug the pump and examine it for rust or corrosion.
· Clean the pump inlet screen.
· Remove any debris.
· Reinstall the pump, plug it in, and pour five gallons of water into the sump to confirm that the float switch turns the pump on and off properly.
· Outside, check that the pump discharge pipe is not blocked by dirt or vegetation. Clear all debris so that it can function correctly.
Consider adding a sump pump failure and water backup rider to your insurance coverage. You’ll pay a little more but you’ll have better protection which can bring real peace of mind when heavy rain starts to fall.
If Disaster Strikes, Call the Experts
Sometimes no matter how hard we try to keep it from happening, we will still experience water damage of some sort. Whether it’s from summer storms or another source, it can be overwhelming. So call your neighborhood water damage experts at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County. Insurance agents and plumbers recommend us because we remove all traces of water and storm damage from homes and businesses.
Highly Trained Restoration Specialists
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County staff completing hands on training in our Water Damage Simulator House
At SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. This training is very important to us to give our customers the best experience possible, we take time each week for team members to spend time completing initial and ongoing training. Our training program includes the following IICRC Training, Employee Certification Training, e-Learnings and Continuing Education Classes.
(IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.
The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include, crew training, Fire Restoration, Water Restoration and Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning.
Additionally all of our staff have access to web-based training called E-Learnings. This voluntary program is designed to be an ongoing, self-paced coaching series for a Franchise's employees. Video presentations and support materials are followed by a knowledge test at the end of each module. This keeps our technicians and office staff up to speed on industry standards and the professional quality you expect.
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County offers both credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals, and Franchise staff. These programs are designed to improve knowledge of emergency mitigation. Courses include, Water Damage Restoration, Fire Damage Restoration, Understanding Mold in Restoration Industry, Restorative Drying for Loss Control, Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar. We have two staff, David Bryngelson and Travis Auvil in house that are certified by the State of Missouri to teach C.E. Classes.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County has been in businesses locally in the Ozarks since 1985 and has the experience and training to restore your property to pre loss conditions.
A Fire Extinguisher Buying Guide for Greene County Businesses
Every business in Greene County should have fire extinguishers to suppress minor fires. This buying guide identifies the main classes of fire extinguishers and explains why a multi-class may be ideal for commercial use.
Extinguishers are classified by standard NFPA 10 set by the National Fire Protection Agency. Suppressants are selected for effectiveness and safety:
- Class A extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and work on ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper
- Class B extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and work on flammable liquids and gasses, but not grease and cooking oil
- Class C extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate and work on appliances or powered electrical equipment
- Class D extinguishers contain sodium chloride or copper powder and work on combustible metals such as magnesium
- Class K extinguishers contain potassium compounds and work on fats, cooking oils, and grease
These classes form the backbone of fire extinguisher classifications and the distinctions have important implications for firefighting. For example, using a CO2 or water extinguisher on burning metal can have disastrous consequences.
The letters on a fire extinguisher’s label indicate which classes of fire it can effectively fight. For example, an extinguisher marked “1A:1B:C” could extinguish Class A, Class B, and Class C fires—if it’s big enough to tackle the blaze.
That’s where numbers come in. The numbers preceding the letters on the label indicate just how much fire the extinguishing agent—the powder, gas, or other fire-fighting material–can put out. As part of a fire extinguisher’s classification, the numbers on the label can mean either:
- How much water would be required to match the agent’s power against Class A fires
- The square footage of Class B fires the agent can extinguish
For each A, the extinguisher contains the equivalent of 1.25 gallons of water. Thus, an “8A” extinguisher fights Class A fires as well as 10 gallons of water (8 x 1.25 = 10), and a 40A extinguisher offers 50 gallons’ worth of firefighting power. For each B, the extinguisher can stop one square foot of Class B fires. A 10B extinguisher can stop 10 square feet of Class B fire, a 20B extinguisher can stop 20 square feet, and so on.
What the letters and numbers for Class C, D, and K fire extinguishers mean
Class C fire extinguishers: electrical fires
Extinguishers with the power to fight electrical fires do have a “C”—but it’s never preceded by a number. All class C fires are just Class A or Class B fires with electricity added into the mix. The letter “C” indicates only that the fire extinguisher uses an agent that doesn’t conduct electricity. Water-based and some foam extinguishers can’t fight Class A or Class B fires involving electrical equipment (thus, no “C” on the label). But extinguishers that use inert gases and various powder mixtures can, meaning they have an “A:B:C” rating.
Class K fire extinguishers: oils, fats, and greases
These labels treat Class K fires (kitchen oils, fats, and greases) in much the same way. Extinguishers that can fight Class K fires may have the letter “K” on the label, but they won’t have a number. That’s because Class K hazards vary enormously. The same volume of solid fuel (say, charcoal) may require significantly more extinguishing power than liquid fuels (like deep fryer fat).
Rather than trying to give Class K extinguishers a uniform rating, the International Fire Code and other fire safety standards recommend sizes based on a kitchen’s specific hazards. And in some cases—such as when deep fryers with an especially large surface area are used—it’s up to the manufacturer to provide guidelines.
Class D fire extinguishers: metal fires
While they’re required to be listed and labeled, purchasers can’t simply rely on the letter “D” to indicate an extinguisher’s suitability against metal fires. Like Class K hazards, one Class D hazard differs from another. The subject is so complex that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has a whole standard just for combustible metals. Some Class D agents stop one type of metal fire, while others can take on several. And even agents suited to multiple fire types will perform better on some types of metals than others.
Which should you choose?
Many cities and states require fire extinguishers with a minimum UL rating of 2-A:10-B:C in buildings. Check with the Greene County fire authorities for the commercial building code requirements in your area. When it comes to size, your primary considerations should be size and heft. Units that are too bulky and heavy are useless. Choose fire extinguishers that any employee could handle with ease.
If your Greene County or Springfield business suffers a significant fire, contact the fire restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County immediately! We’ll restore your commercial property quickly to reduce any loss of income and productivity.
How to Find Out if Your Greene County Business in on a Floodplain
The topic of floodplains leads to many questions. Although one study estimates that up to 41 million Americans live in flood zones, many of those homeowners are unaware of it until they experience significant water damage. But what about your Greene County business? How can you tell if it’s situated on a floodplain? This article will outline how to ascertain that and the dangers of flood zones.
What Is a Floodplain?
Floodplains are areas of low-lying ground close to natural water sources like rivers that often flood when water levels are high due to storms and heavy snowmelt. Since they’re often situated level with or below a body of water, even a little water can cause flooding.
Natural floodplains offer flood risk reduction assistance by slowing runoff and storing floodwater. Floodplains frequently include wetlands and other vital ecological areas which directly influence the quality of the local environment.
How Do I Know If My Business is in a Flood Zone?
If your Greene County property sits near a body of water, you may live in a floodplain. While most problems occur around rivers and streams, lakes and ponds can also cause flooding. If you’re not sure whether or not your business is in a floodplain, use the FEMA Flood Map Service Center to find out if you’re at risk for flooding.
What Are the Common Signs of Living in a Floodplain?
Numerous signs indicate your property is on a floodplain:
- It’s within five hundred feet of a body of water
- Your land is below the banks or slopes down towards your building
- You often experience puddles on your property after even a little rain
- Your property is usually soggy or water-logged even days after it rains
- Your building floods frequently
What are the Dangers of Being in a Flood Zone?
There are several hazards when a building is situated on a floodplain. Even if your Greene County property has never flooded, it likely will. Here are the foremost flood risks you should be aware of:
- Loss of Life – While property damage is the main concern, floods cause more deaths than any other natural disaster. This is due to people underestimating the risk of floodwaters.
- Property Destruction – Floodwaters cause an extreme amount of water damage, destroying inventory as well as flooring, walls, and other parts of your business.
- Structural Damage – If the water sits for more than a few hours, it can damage the studs that support your building, affecting its structural integrity.
- Health Effects – Floodwaters can carry mold and bacteria. Even if they don’t, mold and bacteria can start growing in as little as 24 hours.
Additionally, since floodplains are usually low-lying areas, it can take days for floodwaters to finally subside. This increases the risk of water damage as well as the cost of flood cleanup.
Who to Call for Flood Damage Cleanup?
If your commercial property is situated on a floodplain and experiences water damage, we are here to help. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. We will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage your restoration project through to its completion.
Does Your Greene County Business Need Fire Legal Liability Insurance?
When fires occur in Springfield or Greene County rental units, whether commercial or residential, major disputes can arise between tenants and landlords. Fire legal liability refers to those responsible for paying for the damage those fires cause.
The cost of fire damage to a property can run into the thousands. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2020 there were 1,338,500 fires. These resulted in 21.9 billion dollars worth of damage!
The International Risk Management Institute (IRMI) defines fire damage legal liability coverage as “coverage of a tenant’s liability for damage by fire to the rented premises (including garages) the tenant occupies”. For Springfield and Greene County business owners, this coverage is included under their commercial general liability policy. But, for that policy to pay for fire-related damages, there must be proof the insured party was at fault.
For instance, say that you’re renting a warehouse in Springfield. One night before leaving, an employee accidentally leaves a space heater running next to some boxes. Later that evening, that box catches fire and the entire building goes up in smoke. By the time the fire was over, the building had suffered over $100,000 worth of fire damage. The owner of the building insists you pay for all damages since the fire damage was the cause of your business’s negligence. In this scenario, your fire legal liability would pay for these losses.
Fire Legal Liability Limitations
There are times when a tenant is guilty of starting a fire, but their general liability insurance won’t cover the loss. This happens when the lease the business signs states that it accepts full responsibility for any fire damage that occurs while they’re under that lease, no matter how the fire started. (Some businesses may sign such a lease to get a lower lease rate, gambling that a disaster will never happen.) The business will have to pay for fire damage restoration because they signed such a contract. In this situation, liability insurance will only pay for fire restoration if the renter directly causes the fire.
Additionally, these other limitations may exist:
- A coverage limit of $50,000 to $100,000
- It only covers fire damage, not water damage or other related losses
- Only the structure is covered, not the contents
Fires are sometimes caused by natural disasters that are no one’s fault, so it’s vital to take additional precautions. Explore your options and ask your insurance agent for a legal liability coverage form that will give you extra coverage for all types of damage such as flooding and tornadoes that could occur to a commercial property while you’re a tenant. This is the best way to protect your financial future if a major disaster befalls the property you’re leasing.
If you’re looking for expert restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County today. Our commercial restoration service is reliable and available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We have years of disaster restoration experience that you can trust to repair and restore fire, water, and any other damage done to your property efficiently, no matter how large or small.
Employee Appreciation Day 2022
Employee Appreciation Day. If you are interested in a career at SERVPRO please sent your resume to the SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County.
On Friday March 4th SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County held our Employee Appreciation Day in conjunction with our First Friday Breakfast. It was a great time to show our employees how much we appreciate them, breakfast was served, and gifts were passed out. We wanted to take the time to tangibly show appreciation to our team that works hard day in and out 365 days a year at all times of the day and night. SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County production team is on an on-call rotation many times working long hours through the night after working a full day, especially during severe weather events that we have so often in Southwest Missouri. These events not only affect our Production Team, but our Marketing, Office and Executive teams are always willing to step up, put some work boots on and get to work to help our customers anytime there is a need! We are so blessed to have the team we do that make disasters, “Like it never even happened."
If you are interested in a career at SERVPRO please sent your resume to the SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County.
SERVPRO of Springfield/Greene County first C.E. Class in New Office Expansion
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County is offering virtual and in-person options CE classes for 2022. Contact us today for more information.
Wednesday, March 2 was a special day for SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County, we held our first Continuing Education class for Insurance Professionals in our new Office Expansion and Conference Room in Springfield, Missouri. The three-hour class on Ethics was held for Insurance Professionals. Instructor and owner David Bryngelson instructed the class, lunch and snacks were served. After the class the attendees were taken on a tour of our facilities to explain what services we offer our customers. SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County has other classes scheduled this year.
April 6 – Restorative Drying for Water Damage
October 5 – Restoring and Cleaning Smoke Damage
December 7 – Understanding Mold
SERVPRO of Springfield / Greene County is offering virtual and in-person options for these classes, in-person seating is very limited so contact our marketing department today if you are interested in signing up or need more information.
What Happens When Lightning Strikes a House
If your home has been damaged by storms it is crucial to act quickly as this will lessen damage, limit further damage, Call Us Today (417) 865-7711
Lightning is the occurrence of a natural electrical discharge of very short duration and of very short duration and high voltage between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud. This violent and sudden electrostatic discharge generates a bright flash and sometimes thunder. There are about 25 million lightning strikes a year in the United States. A cloud to ground lightning bold will find the path of least resistance. Most houses have a path that the lightning can follow, causing damage in its wake. Gas lines, water pipes, electrical lines, phone, and cables lines, to gutters and downspouts and metal window frames.
It is important to understand some of the damages that can occur when lightning strikes. Shock wave damage, the lightning can crack and bust masonry bricks, concrete stone, and cinder blocks. It can damage your homes chimney, shatter glass and plaster walls and crack foundations. Power surges can damage the electrical system of a house. When lightning strikes a nearby power line it can travel from the power line to the meter and then into the homes electrical panel. This can be a potential fire hazard as lightning travels through a house it can ignite a fire. The attic or the roof is the most common area that lightning fires start.
There are some preventative measures you can take. Having a professional install a lightning protection system can prevent a direct lightning strike. Trimming trees, tall objects attract lightning. Unplug computers and other appliances. During a storm avoid direct contact with potential lightning routes. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of lighting and thunderstorms is to be prepared. Purchase a portable NOAA Weather Radio. Seek shelter in the event of a thunderstorm.
If your home has been damaged by storms it is crucial to act quickly as this will lessen damage, limit further damage, and reduce restoration costs. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential, and commercial.
Have Storm or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today (417) 865-7711