Recent Posts

Avoiding a Lightning-Caused Fire | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

9/19/2022 (Permalink)

 "multiple lightning strikes off in distance of dark purple night sky If you are dealing with smoke or fire damage from a recent fire, call SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties to learn about a restoration solution

Fires in the home are generally preventable, but sometimes Mother Nature can cause unexpected hazards, including fires caused by lightning strikes.

Lightning was responsible for 70,000 damage claims in 2020, and it is estimated to strike 6,000 times per minute. Strikes can take out trees, fry electricity and start a fire, so protecting your home is essential to mitigating your risks.

What Is Lightning?

When electrical currents build up between the sky and the ground, a spark or lightning strike occurs. Lightning occurs during a forest fire, volcanic eruption or a heavy snowstorm as well as thunderstorms.

Lightning can also spark up in dry weather, which leads to a high risk of wildfires. While threats always vary seasonally, it is wise to stay prepared.

Protecting Your Home From Lightning Fires

If lightning strikes your house, it can leave behind a good deal of damage and start a fire. This can happen due to the heat of the strike or after an electrical surge that results from the strike.

You may not notice a fire that results from lightning right away, but you will likely hear the strike itself.

If you hear a loud boom, check your home for burn marks and smoke, particularly in the attic and walls. Call the fire department, and once you have been given the all-clear, check with an electrician to ensure your wiring is safe to turn back on and avoid other fire possibilities.

To protect your home from lightning, installing a metal rod can add a layer of protection as it conducts electricity through the ground rather than through your house.

A surge protector added to your electric panel can also add a good deal of protection from fire caused by electrical surges. This may also mean your lights stay on longer in the midst of a storm, allowing you to check for fire faster after a strike.

When Lightning Strikes Nearby

Lightning causes an average of 9,000 wildfires a year. When a strike sparks a fire, it burns hotter and faster due to the extreme heat of lightning, meaning it threatens a wide area.

Clean up your landscaping and clear out dead trees, and look into defensible zones for your yard that can divert fire away from your home. Check the smoke detectors in your house, and ensure there is one on every level of your house so that you can quickly move to safety no matter where you are.

If your home is damaged in a fire, call SERVPRO. We have the tools and experience to handle every step of your restoration and get you back in your house faster.

Have you experienced smoke or fire damage in your home? Call us today to get the restoration finished fast

Take Care of Your Property and Prevent Flooding | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

9/9/2022 (Permalink)

 a group of residential homes with major flooding in back yards Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties to get the restoration process started right away

Anyone who owns property needs to prepare for flooding. Just an inch of water in your house can do an enormous amount of damage that in the end could cost you a lot of money.

For those who live in an area that isn’t considered high risk for floods, you may not be eligible for assistance through insurance or federal programs, which means the more risks you can mediate, the better.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do both inside and out to protect your property. Being close to the Missouri River means that our risk of flooding is fairly high.

We also have heavy storms to contend with that can leave yards and roads flooded. It is crucial to not only understand our regional risks, but to also know your individual concerns in order to start putting preparation into action.

<h3your-home-from-the-outside">Protecting Your Home From the Outside

Even a completely unexpected rain can leave yards and gutters overflowing. Take the time to get your home ready from the outside in so you can lower the risk of costly damages.

Clear out your gutters regularly so that water can flow quickly away from your house. An extended downspout can help keep water moving well and can be an inexpensive way to protect your house.

Landscaping is another great way to protect your home.

Gardens absorb water fast by pulling it down through soil and into roots. Mulch or other organic materials added to the base of your home in a slight slope can also ensure that water does not enter your home. Both of these can help you avoid puddles and protect the foundation of your home.

You might also consider investing in some upgrades that will help you avoid damages from weather events. Anchoring fuel tanks if you use them and having your electrical outlets raised are both effective ways of avoiding disaster when waters begin to rise.

While these additions can cost a lot out of pocket, a simple rain barrel that collects rainwater directly off of your house is an inexpensive way of keeping water out. It also means you have a free source of water for all those plants you added, too!

<h3protection-from-the-inside">Flood Protection From the Inside

The single best form of protection for your home from external flooding is a strong foundation and completely sealed basement.

A sump pump in the basement can also add a layer of protection from water. In areas that are at a high risk for extreme weather, it may be wise to invest in a battery-powered pump that will stay on even if the power is out.

For flooding that does not come from outside, protection is as easy as basic home maintenance.

Your pipes are one of the top causes of flooding in the home. Keep an eye on your plumbing, especially if it is aged or worn. Stop leaky faucets quickly, and add checking your pipes to your regular cleaning schedule to catch problems before they cause damages.

A leak sensor may also be a great choice in mitigating damages. This device will let you know when water is flowing somewhere it isn’t supposed to. Some home security systems offer this as an upgrade, so if you are thinking about adding one, take the leap and add the upgrade. It will offer you a lot of peace of mind.

No matter where the water starts, floods will damage paper goods and photographs immediately. Keep documents and other irreplaceable items stored on a high shelf or waterproof container. Make sure your emergency contacts are also stored somewhere safe, and add SERVPRO to your list. We are available 247 to start cleaning up after a flood fast.

Experienced water damage in your home? Call SERVPRO today to get your restoration completed faster.

Types of Storm Damage | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

8/18/2022 (Permalink)

 < img src =”lightning.jpg” alt = "a large lightning strike off in the distance of a dark sky" When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, make SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties your first call.

When a storm rolls in, we all begin to worry about the safety of ourselves and the safety of our homes. Most homes are constructed to withstand a good deal of weather, but even the strongest house in the safest spot could still see damage when a crazy storm moves in.

Disasters can arise from winds, freezing rain, snow, floods or hail, and will vary according to the season. All storms that occur throughout the year, large or small, can be a threat to your property.

What your home is exposed to will depend on the kind of storm coming, as well as several other factors when it comes to risks. Geographic location and landscaping are two big factors to consider, as well as the way in which your home is constructed.

While we can see a wide variety of good and bad weather over the year here in the Cape, tornadoes are a serious source of potential disasters. Strong thunderstorms, hail and straight-line winds are also common emergencies we have to contend with. Preparing for the damages that can come when these weather extremes hit is incredibly important.

When you do have damage on your property, it may not be safe to stay in your home. While most storm damage will be obvious immediately, damage may have been done to the structure of your home that you might not be able to see. Let an expert assess your property, and make sure you include alternate locations to shelter in your emergency plans.

No matter what the weather may bring, the more you know about storms and the damages that can result from them, the safer you can keep your home and yourself.

Wind

Wind damage can occur in just about any storm and during any season, but is particularly threatening when gusts pummel buildings at high speeds. Tornadoes and hurricanes always come with extremely intense winds, but even a typical thunderstorm can have gusts of up to 100 mph and pack a powerful punch when it comes to property damage.

Winds at that strength can carry debris long distances and plunk it down on cars or houses. When the winds are picking up, make sure you are inside an interior room, and avoid walls and windows. When debris is thrown around in the wind, it can easily break window panes or even puncture walls.

Make a habit of walking your property on a regular basis in order to pick up loose limbs and large rocks. If you have furniture outside of your home, tie it down somehow so that it can’t be thrown in the wind. And if you have been meaning to take down that dead tree, go ahead and get it out before Mother Nature does.

Water

Water damage is one of the most common ways properties are damaged across the United States. Even when a storm isn’t severe, it can dump a substantial amount of rain and create ponding water or flash floods that will threaten your home.

Keep an eye on your window and door seals to ensure water doesn’t intrude from these two locations during storms. If enough water pools up, it can begin to soak through the very foundation of your home and can cause structural damage.

You can limit the extent of damage that water can do though by being intentional about how you use the space on the exterior of your home. Landscape in a way that creates a slope so water runs down, and consider adding a rain garden to your yard. This is a beautiful way to add both curb appeal and a highly effective absorption source.

Your gutters are another important part of water damage mitigation, and should be kept cleaned year-round in order to work effectively. When gutters are filled with foreign substances, the water can overflow and even puddle up on your roof, which can create a leak that could damage every level of your home interior.

Impact

Another common source of damage is from items that make contact, or impact, with your home or other property. Fallen trees or thrown debris are the most common sources of impact damage, which can be completely catastrophic.

The best way to prevent impact damages is to keep your trees trimmed and debris cleaned up. Don’t let Mother Nature take down trees for you—stay ahead of storms and protect your property.

In 2021, the United States saw over $145 billion in weather-related damages. When you take the time to prepare your home and yourself, you can avoid the need to make costly repairs and mitigate your risks to create a safe and secure home.

If you do end up with damages to your property after a storm, call SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties. We are locally owned and operated, and with 247 availability, our experts can get your restoration started and finished faster. Our years of experience and industry-leading equipment are ready to work for you in any disaster the moment you call.

When you suffer storm-related damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get your storm damage restoration started faster

Choose SERVPRO for Your Restoration Needs | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

a group of employees with restoration tools walking away from SERVPRO van No matter what type of disaster you face, SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties is only a phone call away.

We are locally owned, and we know how hard the day-to-day of running a business is. Your to-do list is never-ending when you are trying to be successful, and a disaster can knock everything off-balance.

While oftentimes you can’t predict, and you certainly can’t prevent a natural disaster, you can get prepared for one.

Disasters don’t just strike offices either. Your home is also vulnerable to unexpected storms, flooding and a variety of other disasters. No matter where you experience damage, cleaning up and getting your life back together can be completely overwhelming.

To prepare yourself, start by creating an emergency plan that you can enact when a disaster is forecast in order to keep your home and your loved ones safe.

The American Red Cross has a wonderful website that can serve as a starting point for your emergency plan as you look more into the specific disasters that happen in Missouri.

For location specific information, keep county offices and the Missouri State Emergency management websites bookmarked. These sites will stay updated as disaster situations approach, and they provide contact information for emergency officials.

While an emergency plan is a great first step in protecting your home, damages may still affect your property. Regardless of the cause, the sooner response happens, the more of your property that can be restored. That’s why our 247 availability means we can be your go-to restoration professionals.

Why Choose SERVPRO?

No two situations are the same. Restoration needs are common around the nation, but every project will be different.

Flooding is one of the most common disasters. Annually, more than 14 million homes are at risk for being affected by floods, but the damage that occurs each time will be different.

Our professionals train regularly in order to be prepared for a variety of damages. Each project is taken one step at a time, and the unique needs are examined in order to get everything exactly as it should be.

SERVPRO is available around the clock. When it comes to disasters, the most important part of cleanup is how quickly someone responds. The sooner recovery starts, the less the damages can take over, and the faster your life is back to normal.

If you experience flooding in your home, damages can set in immediately to furniture, fabric items and paint. Water that sits unattended can create a mold problem, and over time, that could cause structural damages. With our 247 availability 365 days a year, we can get you recovered fast.

Our restoration service offers so much more. Not only do we recover the damages immediately caused by a disaster, we also handle every step of the process.

This can mean helping you pack up, covering your roof with a tarp or communicating with your insurance agent. We want to guide you through your entire recovery and ensure that the process is as painless as possible.

Whatever Mother Nature throws your way, SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties can take care of you. We have the expertise and industry-leading supplies needed to get your property back to preloss condition, all as fast as possible.

When you suffer damage to your home or business, it’s important that you know who to call! Contact us today to get restoration started faster

Control Your Backyard Fire | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

 "a close up view of a bright campfire burning at night" If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

Backyard fires mean s’mores, hot dogs and scary stories. On a beautiful night with your family, this all adds up to creating some priceless memories.

We use fire not only for family time, but to control pests, to cook our dinner, to clean up the yard and to entertain us right from home. Even when you think you have the fire in control, though, it can become dangerous.

The National Park Service has found that [ 85% of wildfires are started by humans.

While our overall wildfire risk is typically low, we know that a fire can happen anywhere at any time. With the Ozarks nearby, dry weather can quickly create a high risk, and it is estimated that our wildfire risk is growing each year. In February 2022, we saw a large fire happen in a row of storage units that caused pretty devastating damage. It is always wise to be fire-aware, no matter where you are burning.

This does not mean you can’t enjoy a flame in your backyard. Grill your hamburgers, roast your marshmallows, clear your leaves and scare everyone with that terrifying tale.

Burn according to regulations and guidelines, and ensure you have safety measures in place each and every time. Minimize your risks while you continue to enjoy your backyard exactly as you want to.

Recreational Fire Hazards

Open flames will always carry a risk, but grilling, campfires, fireworks and fire pits are the most frequent fire starters. Grills cause an average of 8,800 home fires each year, primarily due to user error. Make sure you have checked your propane tank or gas line for leaks before you start your grill, and keep your eyes on a hot grill even after the cooking is complete.

When you build a campfire, choose a location that is a safe distance from structures or cars, and only use a lighter or matches to start the fire. Wood should be the only fuel source you use once your fire is blazing, and even after the chocolate is tapped out and the flames are gone, you should still watch the embers to ensure there are no additional sparks.

Fire pits are a common item in backyards these days, as they offer the camping feel from the comfort of home. These pits should still be used with the same caution as a regular campfire, and a portable pit should never be placed on a wooden surface or an area that has an overhang.

It might seem like an easy solution to burn excess construction materials or other household waste in your fire pit, but you should only burn approved firewood.

While fireworks are permitted in most of our areas, they are not allowed within a certain distance of schools, hospitals or gas stations. If you choose to celebrate with a bang, make sure to take a look at all the city ordinances and ensure you have plenty of room to both light and land the explosives away from trees, structures and dry areas.

Other Outdoor Fire Hazards

Even though there are risks, fires and materials that combust still have a purpose in our daily lives. In the fall when the trees lose their leaves, burning them may be your only means of cleanup if you do not live in an area that offers curb pickup.

Permits are required if your fire is going to reach a certain size, and open burning is only allowed during the hours of 9 a.m.–5 p.m. There are also several items that are prohibited in backyard fires, so be sure to check all the city ordinances for both the regulations and any burn bans before you start clearing your debris.

Keeping your yard clean of debris can actually aid in preventing wildfires and, along with some strategic landscaping, can protect your home. Make sure you know what to burn when, and always follow fire safe regulations so you can keep your fire in control.

If you have yard tools, you likely also have gas stored somewhere near them. Improper storage can have terrible results, so make sure your gas is only in approved containers and kept far away from kiddo hands. Only use your gas for its intended purpose—it is not a way to make your campfire roar to life!

If you are going to use any kind of flame outside, check the weather and any current fire warnings or burn bans. Windy or dry conditions are not good days to burn, so skip the fire and save the marshmallows.

If you do have fire damage, call us. SERVPRO has the equipment and training to handle every complicated aspect of fire recovery, and we want to restore as much of your property as possible, as quickly as possible.

Burn safely outdoors. And save some chocolate for us! If you have experienced fire or smoke damage, contact us today to get restoration started faster.

Why SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties Can Handle Any Size Disaster

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Faster to any size disaster. This is not just another catchy line for SERVPRO. It is a commitment from each franchise professional--including us here at SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties--to be there when you need us most. Whether you are a small business or homeowner facing water or fire damage, or you are a property manager dealing with a widespread disaster, the SERVPRO franchise system has the resources (equipment, products, fleet, people) to respond quickly and efficiently. The sooner help arrives, the sooner restoration begins and the sooner you can resume life and business as usual. SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties is just the tip of the iceberg!

Should a major disaster occur, such as a flood, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is always poised and ready to go where they are needed. So no matter the size, call your local SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties franchise professionals today! Backed by a system of franchises more than 2,000 strong, we'll help make your property disaster, "Like it never even happened."

Tides Change and the Unexpected Can Occur

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Change is an inevitable and constant part of life that every human being must come to terms with. Some change is difficult to bear, but through it comes the refining of our character. With every passing day, we grow through what we go through. And if we resist change and refuse to grow, we find ourselves catching dust and missing out on a life well lived. A quote from a favorite childhood book, Tuck Everlasting, reads: "Life's got to be lived, no matter how long or short. You got to take what comes." Some change is external and out of our control. But there is a kind of change that is within our control?the kind of change that happens within us. What happens within us is the kind of change that is the most transformative.

It is really easy to slip into a routine of just going through the motions. For you it could be working a job that doesn't fulfill you or staying in an expired relationship. Life can catch up with you only for you to realize you've been standing still catching dust. Now you're faced with a dilemma: change or stay the same. The answer is clear: jumping into the sea of uncertainty is what makes life worth living. There will be more change in my future?it's inevitable. But the lesson to the learned is to face the sea of uncertainty with my eyes set not on the rising tides, but on the beautiful sandy beach beyond.

In case an unexpected water damage happens in your home or place of work, call your local SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties franchise professionals for all of your cleanup and restoration needs. SERVPRO is available 24/7/375 days a year. Let SERVPRO help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Summer Fun Does NOT Have to lead to Summer Fires

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Summer is synonymous with barbecues and outdoor fun; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to the emergency room?especially during the month of July. There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered. 

SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties professionals want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to help ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free.

  • Propane and charcoal barbecue grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

If your residential or commercial property suffers from structural fire damage, call your local SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties franchise professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened.®"

Staying Safe During Storm Alerts | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

 < img src =”sign.jpg” alt = "a red and white severe weather alert sign" > If you suspect any damage to your home from a recent storm, call SERVPRO of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties.

When it comes to severe weather, there are 42 different kinds of alerts from seven categories. That can be a lot of information to take in, especially if the weather turns scary.

When you learn what warnings or advisories we may have in Missouri, it means you can quickly get to safety. It also means you can take steps and protect your home and loved ones.

A general idea of different kinds of weather and warnings is important, but it is also incredibly important to understand the weather that most often happens right here in Cape Girardeau.

<h4alerts-are-issued">How Alerts Are Issued

How are alerts issued? If a forecast is just a prediction, how is the storm actually monitored? There are multiple factors that answer both of those questions.

The National Weather Service is responsible for forecasting and alerts. There are six regional offices and around 100 forecasting offices, which means localized forecasts and warnings. Our weather alerts come from the St. Louis forecasting office.

The NWS uses several forms of research to create a forecast, including various sensors, solar activity, seismic meters and satellite radar. The kind of research used will change depending on the weather event, but the result is always an accurate forecast.

<h4most-important-alerts-to-understand">The Most Important Alerts to Understand

Understanding alerts for our area is essential, but everyone should also know the difference between a watch and a warning. These alert types are used in every weather event, including thunderstorms, winter storms and flooding events.

watch means you should prepare for a storm that may be severe. A warning means a severe storm is happening and you should seek safety. Watches cover large areas, while warnings include the county or city where the danger will be.

Our weather around Cape and Scott counties is very seasonally driven, with cold winters and hot summers. We often experience everything from winter storms to tornadoes, so it is essential to understand a wide variety of weather warnings. Living so close to the Mississippi River means that river flooding and flash flooding are a very common risk, so understanding flood warnings and watches is particularly important.

<h4your-home-during-a-storm">Protecting Your Home During a Storm

Understanding alerts before a storm is the first way to protect your home, but there are also other steps you can take to lower your risk of damage.

Maintaining your rain gutters and safely securing outdoor furniture can prevent both flood damage and wind damage.

Have a safe space in a basement or interior room of your home with supplies for your loved ones when you need to ride out a storm, or an exit plan to get out when that is the safest choice.

After the storm, walk your property to access damages, and call us at SERVPRO. We are available 247 in order to save as much of your home as possible and start restoration faster.

Learn about Missouri weather so that you can stay safe in any storm. Take time and make yourself aware of the different alerts that can be issued and handle the next storm safely.

Experienced storm damage to your home or property? Contact us today for a quick response!

The Causes of Commercial Damage | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

6/16/2022 (Permalink)

"a large commercial building with extensive damage to roof and siding" The Causes of Commercial Damage | SERVPRO® of Cape Girardeau & Scott Counties

Our country has roots in the business world, and it’s likely you haven’t been a day without utilizing several companies.

As a business owner, you carry more than a plate full of responsibilities, covering the day-to-day functions and handling the extremes. And when one of those extremes is severe weather, the consequences can be a complete disaster.

Commercial damage from natural disasters has been on a steady rise in the United States. In the last five years, there has been close to $153 billion worth of damage annually, which represents a steep increase over previous periods.

Our weather is typically a mixed bag and can experience some pretty wide swings. This spring kept us under a constant threat of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

In May, there was a two-week period that brought swinging temperatures, torrential rain, hail and wind. Our winters can also bring a variety of weather that can include anything from unseasonably warm temperatures to snow and ice storms.

This varying weather should serve as a reminder to us that we need to always be prepared. The more we learn about the various disasters that our businesses could face, the more we can do to protect them.

Water Damage

Water is one of the top causes of damage to businesses around the country. This can stem from severe weather or something internal like an appliance failure, and either way, it can cause extreme damage to your property.

Exterior flooding, like that from flash floods or river floods, can damage the foundation of your building when water seeps in through doors and the ground. With the Mississippi River so nearby, this is something we have to pay particular attention to.

If your property has the room, use your landscaping strategically to divert water away from your building. Adding flower beds, mulch and even excess dirt can be a great preventive measure.

Even a small drip can lead to water damage in your building, especially when it is allowed to leak for an extended amount of time. Check your plumbing regularly and watch for signs of water on walls and floors. Take a look at your ceilings and ensure there is no warping or discoloration. Staying on top of potential weakened areas now can save you money later.

Storm Damage

Storm damage to commercial buildings is common and can affect an entire community of businesses or only a single unit. Even a power outage, upturned trees and debris can be damaging to your building or keep you away from work.

A strong storm that blows through can tear off roofs or pull off shingles. These storms can bring winds of over 100 mph that can knock over freight trucks and cause irreversible structural damage. We have certainly seen some of these winds when strong storms blew through our own neighborhoods.

There are measures you can take to limit damages from storms, like installing window covers and updating your roof. Simple acts like checking the seals on your windows and doors are also preventive measures.

If you have a lot of area around the exterior of your property, take time to clear any loose limbs and dead plants while you secure any outdoor furniture before a storm moves in.

Know Who to Call

Commercial damage can happen in many different ways, with water damage and storm damage being the top causes. These events can be completely devastating and force owners to close for an extended amount of time or even permanently.

Thankfully, SERVPRO is available 247 to respond quickly to any disaster you may face. Our experts are your neighbors, and it is our goal to build a plan that will get you back in action faster.

If you have experienced damage to your business or want to learn more about our commercial damage restoration services, contact us today. We’re here to act fast, 247.