Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Tips for Making Your Branson Home Spring Clean!
One of the great pleasures of this time of year is throwing open the windows after a cold Missouri winter and letting in warm, fresh spring air. More than likely, that first whiff of spring is probably the reason why “spring cleaning” has become part of our consciousness. We want the inside of our home looking and smelling fresh too!
Diving in and doing some deep cleaning can make a significant difference when it comes to the overall look and feel of your home. Besides regular vacuuming, dusting and mopping, let’s discuss several other ways to brighten up your home and improve its air quality.
Concentrate on These Areas
Clean windows and screens. Dirty windows not only let in less light, but they show up dirt easier than most any other area of your home. With newer tilt-in windows, this isn’t the chore it used to be. If you have older second story windows that require ladders to reach them, either have professionals handle it or at least make sure you have a spotter on the ground. While you’re at it, clean dust and debris from your screens by brushing them with a scrap of carpeting.
Get the air ducts cleaned. There are numerous benefits to doing this. Allergies, which usually increase in the spring, can be even worse if there’s also excess dust and dirt particles floating around your home. Considering that the average American spends 90% of their time indoors, improving indoor air quality is vital. SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson can check if yours need cleaning.
Clean blinds and drapes. These can accumulate a ton of dust. For blinds, use a microfiber blind brush that will do the job quickly and efficiently. For curtains, remove them from their rod/hooks and throw them in the dryer with a slightly damp towel. Turn your dryer on for about 20 minutes set on the “air fluff” (no heat) setting. The damp towel will help pull off any dust or fur and the tumbling action will finish the job. As soon as they’re done, hang them back up right away.
Have your carpets professionally cleaned. Between a pandemic that’s kept us all inside to a long, wet, messy southwest Missouri winter, your carpets have taken a beating. Rental carpet cleaners don’t pre-treat pesky spots or rinse your carpets with water afterward. A systematic cleaning with high powered equipment will not only ensure cleaner carpets but will also extend their life.
Clean the washing machine. Although you’d think it would clean itself, over time detergent residue, bacteria, and dirt can build up in a washing machine, leading to musty smells and not-so-clean laundry. To clean it, fill the drum with a ½ cup of baking soda and a quart of vinegar, then run a wash cycle. (Or use tablets made for cleaning washers.) Use the hottest water setting, largest load size, and the longest wash cycle. Meanwhile, between loads, always keep the lid open to allow it to dry out completely inside, reducing the chances of mildew growth.
Clean the kitchen trash can. Sure, you use plastic trash bags, so your trash can should be clean, right? Unfortunately, even after taking out the garbage, foul smells can still linger in your trash bin. Those odors have a way of drifting throughout your home. Baking soda can work wonders at preventing those smells. Sprinkle some in the bottom of a trash can or directly into the trash to help absorb stinky odors. As a bonus, baking soda is great for scrubbing out your trash can to remove odors that may have seeped into it.
Declutter Your Home
A home with less clutter is a cleaner home. Not only does it look neater, but there’s also less surface areas for dust and dirt to collect on. One way to straighten up is by putting items back where they belong. (For instance, clothes don’t belong in the kitchen and dishes don’t belong in the bathroom.)
Sometimes, decluttering means getting rid of stuff. This isn’t always easy to do. We get attached to our possessions. So, chucking them takes self-honesty and will power. If you haven’t used (much less touched) an item in over six months, do you really need it? If not and it has some value, donate it. Doing so is not only tax deductible, but it also helps others and makes you feel good about yourself. And many charitable organizations that had to close down last year are now accepting donations again.
Help is Nearby
Between work, running countless errands and taking care of kids, not all homeowners have time to be cleaning the entire house. And if someone lives alone, it can be too big a job for one person to handle, especially if that person is elderly, infirm or handicapped.
If you’re in any of those situations, you’re not alone. The experts of SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson are always available to help around the house. Whether you need a certain area of your Georgia home cleaned or the entire property deep cleaned, count on our professionals to get the job done quickly and efficiently with our professional residential cleaning services. Then sit back, take a deep breath, and enjoy your spring cleaned home!
What is a Flood House?
SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson new Flood House Training center
SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson is excited to announce that we recently added a Flood House training center to our Employee Training Program. A Flood House is a real life Water and Mold Damage Scenario training tool that is used to train technicians and team members on correct restoration methods. To give you an idea how it works, the flood house is well... flooded. You can imagine, wet carpet, subfloor, wood floors, sheetrock, furniture and cabinetry. Our crews are then given hands on training using the latest IICRC S500 industry standards. We can create many different scenarios that our team members will face once they are in the field. They will learn the proper use of many different tools, such as: extraction tools, dehumidifiers, air movers, moisture meters. We feel like this training is the most effective hands on training and will be a place where our team members can dedicate the time that is needed to learn the proper restoration techniques. The flood house is located inside one of our warehouse facilities in southwest Missouri.
At SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson it is important to us that our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. Our training program includes IICRC, Employee Certification Training, Initial Franchise training, e- learnings and Continuing Education Training.
We are Cleaning Experts
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson, 417-724-0084
Raw Sewage Cleanup – Why Only Professionals Should Handle It
If you’ve experienced a sewage backup, take action immediately! Have the number of SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson handy at all times.
Whether you’ve smelled it while driving by a spill or you’ve had it backed up in your home or business, the stomach-churning odor of raw sewage is hard to forget. Unfortunately, the terrible smell isn’t the worst of it.
What is raw sewage?
Raw sewage is waste that hasn’t been cleaned and treated and originates from residential, institutional, or business buildings. It isn’t just liquid; it can also contain toilet paper, feminine sanitary products, and other human wastes. It’s also known as black water, which is highly contaminated and can lead to illness, disease, and infection.
What are the health risks?
Raw sewage is a combination of nasty stuff. It’s the ideal breeding ground for almost every kind of bacteria, virus and microorganism. Raw sewage contains an almost endless list of very harmful pathogens and exposure to them will make you violently ill or even kill you.
What protective actions do professionals take when dealing with raw sewage?
It’s critical that raw sewage is kept from coming into contact with skin, especially cuts, sores and any mucus membrane associated with the eyes, ears and nose. That means the pros at SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson cover up completely in PPE (personal protective equipment) which includes full body suits, full face respirators, gloves, rubber boots, etc. We also keep a ready stock of respirator and sanitizer wipes, as well as access to an eye wash station and a change of clothes.
Who should I contact?
If you’ve experienced a sewage backup, take action immediately! Have the number of SERVPRO of Nixa / Branson handy at all times. Water damage restoration is often needed along with sewage cleanup since the dampness can get into floors and walls, and may cause serious threats to your building’s foundation.
What are some helpful tips?
Keep pets, children, and the elderly away from the contaminated area as they’re usually more susceptible to germs and bacteria. Thoroughly wash any salvageable items immediately. Although it’s not always possible to prevent raw sewage backups, you can reduce the chances of one occurring by having your drain lines inspected at least twice a year. Also, be sure to repair slow drains quickly, don’t pour grease down the drain and have your pipes flushed regularly.
Don't Reach for the Bleach
Ten Reasons not to use Bleach when cleaning mold
Chlorine-based bleach has been around for a long, long, time. It was invented in Europe in the late 18th century, and many consider it the be-all and end-all solution to their cleaning needs. But in reality, it can do great harm.
Here are the Top Ten reasons why you don’t want to use bleach to clean:
- Chlorine lacks detergency – in other words, it contains no wetting agents that allow it to penetrate soils, so surfaces must be pre-cleaned before chlorine will effectively kill germs. This is a 2-step process that requires more time.
- Chlorine is very caustic to human tissue. It can produce irritation and burning on your skin and could cause blindness.
- Chlorine reacts with other chemicals to create toxic byproducts and gases. For instance, when bleach comes in contact with ammonia, it can form chlorine gas, causing cellular damage in nasal passageways and lungs. The accidental mixture of these two products in homes has resulted in death. It’s also incompatible with products that contain hydrochloric acid, phosphoric acid and acetic acid (vinegar).
- It may harm your children. After using, bleach remains on surfaces and continues to emit fumes. Recent studies show that children who been exposed to bleach in their homes are more likely to suffer from respiratory illness. In addition, various studies have linked the use of bleach in a household to a higher prevalence of asthma and allergies.
- Using bleach can hurt your pets. Your cleaning products can stay on a pet’s paws or fur. Since cats and dogs often lick themselves, they may ingest harmful chemicals. Due to their tiny size, birds can become sick upon inhaling only a small amount of the fumes. Bleach poisoning in pets can result in vomiting, convulsions, and sometimes death.
- Bleach can kill mold, BUT it depends on the surface the mold is on. Mold grows on both porous and non-porous materials. When dealing with mold on non-porous materials such as shower tiles, tubs, vinyl window trims, counter tops, etc. you can use bleach to kill the mold and disinfect. But using bleach to remove mold from porous materials like drywall and wood can actually accelerate mold growth rather than killing it! When bleach is used on porous materials, the chlorine is left on the surface and only the water component of the bleach is absorbed into the material, aggravating the situation as this provides more moisture for the mold to feed on, where it may then produce allergens and irritants. If you have a mold infestation, call SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson to professionally remove it.
- Chlorine is extremely corrosive to metal surfaces and can permanently discolor countertops. It can also damage floor finishes, requiring them to be stripped and recoated, which is an expensive process.
- Chlorine discolors fibers and colored surfaces. Carpets, upholstery and clothing are just a few of the materials that may be damaged.
- Chlorine bleach’s disinfectant power is rapidly inactivated by contact with organic matter, such as blood, saliva, tissue, urine, feces, dirt, etc. Chlorine is also weakened by sunlight.
- Diluted chlorine bleach quickly loses its effectiveness, is unstable and can lose its disinfectant qualities very rapidly compared to other, more stable disinfectants.
Some safer and effective alternatives to bleach are:
- Baking soda and white vinegar – they’re non-toxic and non-corrosive. Use them to freshen fabrics, eliminate grease, and clean glass.
- Rubbing alcohol – effectively cleans plastic surfaces of electronics
- Hydrogen peroxide – it’s nontoxic and can be used to disinfect household surfaces. Unlike bleach, hydrogen peroxide is safe to use around food products.
- Soap and warm water – the basics! It’ll clean just about anything in your home and won’t present any health risks. Scrubbing with antibacterial soap will kill bacteria just like harsher chemicals.
Although bleach products may be a bargain, you owe it to yourself, your family or coworkers to use a product that truly cleans, thoroughly disinfects and is safe to use.
Financing to Fit Your Needs
SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson is excited to announce that we are now offering financial solutions for our customers through Green Sky Financing
Help Is Here with Mold, Fire, or Water Damaging Restorations Costs Green Sky Financing is Here
SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson is excited to announce that we are now offering financial solutions for our customers through our new partner Green Sky Financing.
If you have ever suffered through a flood, fire, or mold infestation, we understand that the only thing worrying you as much as restoring your home is how you are going to pay for it. At SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson we do everything possible to keep costs at a minimum but costs can run into thousands very quickly. We sought out this solution after assisting customers who tried to save money by doing the demolition, cleaning, and restoration themselves. In every case, the homeowners or residents simply added to the problem and found themselves with a larger bill; sometimes much larger.
Our office has been trained and approved by Green Sky financial program to help our customers finance their restoration projects. We can assist an individual in getting loans with competitive rates and regular monthly payments, compared to the exorbitant rates and payments from a large credit card transaction.
We have the options to assist by filling out an online application at our office or over the phone. Other than the speedy approval process, this is not a rush loan in any other sense. GreenSky understands that the restoration process can take weeks or months depending on the level of the damage. Recipients have up to four months to exhaust the amount of their loan with our office. It is not a short-term loan with a limited 18-month payment structure. Qualified customers can spread their payments up to as long as 84 months (7 years) or 96 months (8 years) at a payment that can be as low as $79 a month. Financing terms are available for a variety of services- from deductibles, non-coverage on insurance claims, or even just a home remodel.
For more information on what we can do for your home and how GreenSky can help, call us at (417) 724-0084 or visit us at SERVPROnixabranson.com
Why Pipes Freeze and How to Stop it From Happening to You
The affects of water from freezing pipes.
About the only time you want to hear the sounds of snap, crackle and pop is from a fireplace or your breakfast cereal, but never from the water pipes in your home or business. And once one ruptures, it can release hundreds of gallons per hour, causing extensive water damage to your property. Unfortunately, SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson sees this happen all the time during the winter when pipes are allowed to freeze. But why do they break?
Water’s Weird Quality
Water reacts very differently from most other elements. When water cools, it contracts until it reaches approximately 40°F. After that, it expands slightly until it reaches the freezing point, when it then swells by about 9%. Since this is enough pressure to split open boulders, your pipes don’t stand a chance!
Recognize the Problem Areas
The pipes that are more likely to freeze are:
- Those exposed to severe cold, like outdoor hose spigots, swimming pool supply lines, and water sprinkler lines.
- Water pipes in unheated interior areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets, especially those that aren’t insulated.
- Pipes that run along outside walls that have little or no insulation.
Nip It in the Bud
Before cold weather sets in, follow these suggestions to protect your pipes from freezing:
- Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines.
- Close inside valves that supply outdoor spigots, then open the spigots to let any remaining water drain out. Keep outside valves open so that any water left in the pipe can expand without breaking it.
- Add high R-value insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces.
- Install "pipe sleeves" or wrap UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials onto exposed water pipes.
- Keep garage doors closed if there’s a water supply line inside.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to let warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
- Once the temperature reaches 28°F outside, let water drip from both the cold and hot water faucets. This not only keeps water moving through the pipes but relieves built-up water pressure should they freeze.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature day and night. A slightly higher electric bill costs less than a repair job on a broken pipe and subsequent water damage.
- If you’re a snowbird and will be gone for a while, leave the heat in your home set to no lower than 55°F.
Many times, a frozen pipe will burst in the middle of the night when it’s coldest. Unfortunately, that’s also the time you’re asleep and so you may not be aware of the problem until hours later, compounding the water damage and the cost to repair it. So do all you can to ensure that it doesn’t happen to you. But if it does, call SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson any time of the day or night and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson is locally owned and operated and specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property.
In March of 1985 Harlin and LaJune Bryngelson relocated their family to Springfield, Missouri after the company Harlin worked for began restructuring. Harlin and June had friends that had purchased a SERVPRO franchise in Northern Missouri and they quickly saw that this could be a good fit for them as well. The Bryngelsons officially opened their own SERVPRO franchise in Springfield in the spring of 1985. Building a business from the ground up took sacrifice and hard work; working alongside of them were their children Donnae, Debbie, Daniel, David and son in law Brian Grimm. Harlin and LaJune retired from SERVPRO in 1994 and Daniel, David and Brian took over ownership and operations and have since continued the legacy set forth by their parents. They also expanded their territory and added an additional franchise in Nixa / Branson in 2001, with additional office space added in Branson in 2018.
SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson is locally owned and operated and specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property across Southwest Missouri. We strive to continue those traditions of excellence and to bring honesty and integrity and the values of our Christian faith into every aspect of our business. We understand that fire and water damage can be disruptive and stressful, our goal is to minimize the stress and disruption these events may bring to your life. We know the decision to bring someone into your home or business during and already stressful time can be a difficult one to make. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Meet our Employees
If you would like to schedule service for your home or business, please call today!
Preventing Frozen Pipes in your Branson Home
If you find yourself with a broken pipe and the mess that sometimes comes with it do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson at 417-724-0084.
If you are like most of us, right now you are busy making preparations for the upcoming holidays. With the hustle and bustle of the season it is easy to forget the extreme weather we are surely to experience soon. Please remember to adequately prepare your home and property for the harsh winter months ahead, especially your pipes and water systems.
With these huge temperature drops water will freeze, when water freezes, it expands, this can mean trouble for your pipes. If the temperature of your pipes drops below 32 degrees, even for a very short amount of time, it can result in a broken pipe, this can cause water damage to your home. Take the following precautions now to avoid a major catastrophe in your home or property.
- If your home has a crawlspace close the vents and secure the crawlspace door. For extra precaution stuff insulation around all the openings.
- Make sure your pipes are well-insulated.
- Keep your garage door closed, especially if you have bathrooms, kitchens or laundry rooms in or around the garage walls.
- If your bathroom pipes run along an outside wall, keep the cabinet doors open to allow heat inside especially during particularly cold spells.
- Never turn off the heat when you leave home during the winter. Instead, set the temperature to at least 55 degrees F.
Outside Your Home
- Disconnect and store garden hoses. If your home has a separate shut-off for external faucets, turn it off and drain the water from those faucets.
- Know where your main waterline shut-off is before a problem arises.
Here are some signs you have frozen pipes.
- You turn on the faucet but nothing comes out.
- You turn on the faucet and just a slight trickle comes out.
- Frost is visible on the pipe.
- The water is turned off but you hear rushing water. This could be a sign that you have a leak somewhere. You should turn off the main waterline immediately and investigate.
Hopefully these tips will help you prepare your home for the extreme temperature drops we see in the Branson area. If you find yourself with a broken pipe and the mess that sometimes comes with it do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Nixa/Branson at 417-724-0084. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. We are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for water emergencies, large or small. Our fully trained staff has extensive cleaning and restoration experience to get your property back “like it never even happened”.
When DIY is Not a Good Idea
Water Damage Southwest Missouri
Many people attempt to save money on the expense of water or mold damage restoration by skipping the process of hiring restoration professionals. Instead, they try to handle the tear-out and dry-out processes themselves. For many “minor” spills (those only involving a few gallons of water at most), this can be fine as long as the spill is cleaned up quickly and occurs well away from walls or other places where the moisture from the spill can reach a gap and seep into the subfloor.
But that kind of DIY is usually NAGI (not a good idea). Whenever there's a major amount of moisture damage, it's very important for a professional restoration service like SERVPRO of Nixa Branson to be brought in to manage the dry-out process. Without the help of a trained and experienced expert, someone who attempts DIY moisture removal may miss pockets of moisture in the building, leading to:
- Damaged building infrastructure - moisture can seep into the structural materials behind the walls and under the floor, causing damage. But with proper dry-out and moisture remediation, much of the damage can be mitigated or even avoided.
- Warped flooring - when moisture seeps into subfloor materials, it can cause wooden boards to shift, bend, and cup. This creates an uneven floor and poses a safety risk to the building’s occupants.
- Mold growth - left unchecked, moisture trapped in a building can promote the growth of mold, particularly in cool, dark places such as basements and in-between walls. As any IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) Specialist can tell you, mold spores in the air pose a serious respiratory risk to children and people with respiratory conditions such as asthma.
As a general rule of thumb, if the water or mold damage to your home or business is severe enough to warrant an insurance claim, then you shouldn't try to handle the restoration process on your own. Damage that occurs as a result of DIY restoration efforts is typically not covered by insurance, and restoration work can be hazardous for those who haven't been trained for the risks associated with working with dirty water, mold, and water-damaged structures.
As a character of Clint Eastwood once said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.” So, if you don’t have experience making water or mold damage “Like it Never Even Happened”, then give SERVPRO of Nixa Branson a call immediately!