4 Steps Toward Safeguarding Businesses From Storm Damage
Keep emergency supplies handy
4 Steps Toward Safeguarding Businesses From Storm Damage
Even businesses with strong disaster plans are affected by major storms, flooding, or fires. Forty percent of all businesses affected by disasters won't open their doors again. Within one year after the mess has been cleaned up, another 25 percent will fail. This is bad news for just about everyone involved. Fortunately, insurance providers, business owners, and community leaders can take preventative steps before disaster recovery is necessary.
1. Establish Written Business Continuity Plan
These documents should contain the procedures to take when disasters threaten, during disasters, and during the recovery period. For example, if storm damage is severe, business owners may need to relocate the workplace temporarily. Other elements of this plan may include phone trees, information technology procedures, and emergency evacuation responsibilities.
2. Schedule Regular Employee Trainings
It isn't enough to cover these storm response procedures in one workshop. Employees need to be familiar and comfortable enough with the steps that they remember and carry them out with ease. When employees are clear about their individual responsibilities and have performed them several times in non-emergency situations, they are more likely to respond calmly during a disaster.
3. Keep Emergency Supplies Handy
The right equipment and supplies are vital to the success of a disaster recovery plan. Business owners should have first-aid kits, flashlights, and other emergency supplies within easy reach for employees. Other equipment, such as clean water, food, a generator, and even blankets could further safeguard the well-being of company personnel.
4. Store Copies of Key Information in Multiple Sites
During a storm, it may be impossible to access phone numbers through workplace computers. After a flood, in-house copies of insurance policies may have been thoroughly damaged; a hard copy kept in another location could provide needed information. Contact information for cleanup and recovery professionals should be included.
Successful disaster recovery actually begins long before storms hit Colorado Springs, CO. Communities, business leaders, and insurance professionals can do their part in protecting residents by providing documents and resources that increase participation in business continuity plans.
Hunting Down, Eliminating and preventing a Mold Infestation
Bathrooms with a shower should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity
The goal of most homeowners is to maintain their property, preventing damage and ensuring that their family has shelter. Mold damage is likely the worst nightmare for many of these diligent owners as it potentially threatens their desire for a sustainable shelter. Therefore, to reduce the threat of impending mold infestations, it is vital for homeowners to hunt down and eliminate existing threats while instituting preventative measures to ensure their home’s longevity.
1. Search Damp Areas
Mold and mildew growth are likely found in damp areas, like crawl spaces and basements. Performing a thorough search of these areas may allow you to pinpoint potential problems before they manifest into larger infestations and concerns. If you come across any suspicious substances, you may wish to test them before removal.
2. Test Organic Materials
Mold damage, if caught early, does not have to entail full-scale property evacuation. If you come across something that you suspect to be mold, call in an environmental hygienist to test the substance. If it is mold and it is restricted to a small area, you may be able to remain on-premise while the issue is remedied. However, that depends on the results of testing and the type of mold.
3. Remove and Resolve Issues
If you do uncover areas of significant mold growth, call a mold remediation specialist in the Colorado Springs, CO, area. These professionals should be certified by the IICRC, the nationally recognized certification of restoration and cleaning professionals.
4. Purchase Dehumidifiers and Ventilation Systems
When the issue is resolved or before you have a problem, purchase dehumidifiers and ventilation systems to ensure that your home is free of excess moisture. Areas susceptible to high humidity, such as basements, laundry areas, bathrooms, kitchens and attics, likely require some type of moisture prevention to reduce the risk of mold development.
Many homeowners find the threat of mold damage anxiety-inducing. However, with proper inspection, assessments and preventative measures, you can significantly reduce the threat of mold problems.
Replacing an Old Toilet
Leaking toilet in Colorado Springs, CO
True, with proper upkeep and maintenance, a toilet may last longer than initially expected, but the day will come when the seals fail, and wear gives way. When this happens and your left with a broken and leaking toilet, you will need to replace the old with a new toilet, and that can be done relatively simply.
1. Remove the Old Toilet
An old toilet can fail for many reasons, but whatever the reason, to avoid a significant water and possible sewage disaster, it is wise to remove the toilet and replace it. The steps for removal are straightforward.
- Shut off and remove the water supply line.
- Use water solidifier to dry up any remaining moisture.
- Remove the bolts and toilet from the floor.
- Remove the wax ring.
- Block sewer gases by stuffing a rag into the exposed drain.
- Remove and repair or replace the flange, if needed.
2. Installing the New Toilet
While a leaking toilet may not be cause for replacement, a new toilet does provide some security as a thorough fix. Thankfully, the installation of a new toilet is as straightforward a process as the removal.
- Install the new bolts into the flange.
- Press the wax ring onto toilet base.
- Remove the rag from the floor drain and set the toilet in place, over the bolts.
- Secure the toilet by using cap bases, washers and nuts.
- Prep the tank by installing the inner workings and the bolts.
- Secure the tank to the toilet bowl by sliding the bolts through the predesignated holes.
- Attach and tighten all bolts, and turn on the water supply, checking for leaks.
- Install the seat, and you’re finished.
Since not every toilet repair or replacement goes smoothly, it may be wise to have a plumbing specialist in the Colorado Springs, CO, area on standby. These individuals can swap out your toilet in no time.
While there can be numerous reasons for a leaking toilet, age may be a factor. If age is the underlying cause, then replacement is a wise decision and can be performed by you or a professional.
Why You Need an Immediate Response to Water Damage
SERVPRO of North Colorado Springs offers 24 hour emergency response service
When flooding and other water disasters affect your Colorado Springs, CO, home and family, you don't want to wait several hours for regular business hours. You need solutions immediately. SERVPRO water damage mitigation professionals offer 24-hour emergency response services. This means that if a pipe bursts on a holiday, technicians are available to respond. If heavy storm damages leave your home exposed to flooding, a fast response could prevent further harm.
You Can't Wait a Single Day
The first hours after your home is affected by water damage, many things begin to happen.
- Furniture swells and breaks down.
- Metal items tarnish and rust.
- Fabric and paper items become stained.
- Mold or mildew take hold.
- Drywall weakens and swells.
An immediate response puts the progression of damage on hold while a corrective course of action is put into place.
It's Expensive To Delay
Many situations requiring cleaning and restoration must be addressed immediately. This is because water damage takes place within minutes. Within a short 60-second period, walls, floors, and upholstery absorb water. Finishes on tables and chairs begin to bleed. Cherished photographs start to warp and discolor. If you have to wait more than a 24-hour period for professionals to arrive, the damage becomes much harder to address.
If you have to wait just two days for services, mold may begin to spread. Important framing may warp. Metal fixtures begin to corrode. Paint blisters and wood flooring swells. As damage increases, the efforts and cost of restoring your home increase rapidly. In some cases, the structural safety of your home could be affected.
What a Quick Response Looks Like
SERVPRO franchises in Colorado Springs, CO, are always open, so technicians are ready to respond within a single hour. Before four hours pass, professionals will be at your home. Within eight hours, a plan of action will be in place, and you will be well on your way to getting back on track. A fast response to flooding is crucial; take advantage of 24-hour availability for the protection of your home.
EMERGENCY READY PROGRAM
Many businesses have an emergency contingency plan in place, but few have a plan to get back into their buildings following a disaster.
Up to 25% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your clients and employees that, in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
EMERGENCY READY PROGRAM
- A no-cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- SERVPRO® is a sponsor of the American Red Cross Ready Rating™ program. A free, web-based program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Ready to get started?
Call SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.
SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs proudly serves Colorado Springs, Fountain, Security-Widefield, Black Forest, Peyton, Calhan, Woodland Park, Ellicott, and all of Elbert and El Paso County. Call us with your mitigation concerns at (719) 266-0881.
Smoke and Soot Cleanup by SERVPRO of North Central Colorad Springs
Smoke and soot can cause large damage in your Colorado Springs home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of North Central ColoradoSprings will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (719) 266-0881
Black Forest home with mold growth
Mold in stair case in Colorado home.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of North Central Colorado for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- touch or disturb the mold.
- blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth
- attempt to dry the area yourself
- spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs specializes in mold mitigation. Our team are highly trained mitigation professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If you see any signs of mold call us at (719) 266-0881
Spring season - flood season
Flood causes Water Damage in Colorado Springs.
While spring brings the promise of warm weather and longer days, it also brings a variety of conditions that can include heavy rains and severe weather, which can increase your flood risk. During the rainy season, we are at high risk for flash flooding, which can occur rapidly within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall.
As one of the most common hazards in the United States, it's important we prepare for the potential disaster that flooding can cause. Even if you are located in a low risk flood zone remember that anywhere it rains, it can flood. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.
Spring season - flood season
In order to help prepare you for the possibility of a flood, I offer the following tips:
- Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan
- Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk
- Install check-valves to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your facility
- Seal basement walls and floors with waterproofing compounds to prevent seepage through cracks
- Always keep your gutters and downspouts clean to allow water to flow freely
- Prepare a flood evacuation plan
- Know how to safely shut-off utilities
- Keep insurance and vital records in a water-proof box
- Have a portable radio to listen for important current information
When your facility sustains water damage from flooding, you should call SERVPRO of North Central Colorado Springs immediately at (719) 266-0881. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. Our team have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects of water damage.
The 4 Steps of the Roof Damage Cleanup Process
Roof leak in a Colorado Springs,CO building
The 4 Steps of the Roof Damage Cleanup Process
Many people think of flooding as something that happens at the base of a building. Flood waters rise and break over barriers to flood the basement and bottom floors. Another common flooding problem associated with storms, however, is a roof leak. If the roof of your commercial building in Colorado Springs, CO, gets damaged, rain can seep in and cause further problems. Here are the steps to resolve those problems.
1. Drying Area
The first thing that has to happen when missing shingles cause water damage in your attic or top floor is for all the excess water to be removed. Water remediation professionals use industrial pumps to remove standing water. They may increase airflow in the affected area to dry surfaces. Making sure the area is dried quickly can help prevent secondary damage such as mold growth.
2. Removing Damage
If the roof leak is significant, there may be a lot of damage not just to the roof but also to the layers of the building directly underneath it. Waterlogged walls or ceilings are no longer structurally sound. Materials have to be torn out if they cannot be salvaged.
3. Disinfecting Surfaces
Because flood water is contaminated, everything it touches must be sanitized. Professional strength cleaners are used to remove bacteria and other harmful substances. Afterwards, the surfaces can be tested to ensure that they are clean.
4. Rebuilding Roof
After the cleaning is finished, the technicians repair the damaged roof. They make sure the base is strong and well-sealed against further leaks. Then they replace the shingles that are broken or missing. If any interior parts need to be rebuilt, they can do that as well.
A roof leak doesn’t always show signs of significant damage at first, so it’s important not to forget the roof in your inspection after a flood. You can avoid further problems by addressing any roof issues in a timely manner.
How To Check Your Home's Alarm System
Some smoke alarms have 10 years batteries
Despite the efforts you make to ensure your home in Colorado Springs, CO, is safe, no home is completely fireproof. A working smoke alarm system is a vital part of an adequate emergency preparedness system. Older smoke alarms need replacement batteries once a year, but the rules change as you upgrade your detectors. Following these inspection tips can help keep your system in top form.
First, you want to make sure all your detectors have power. The power source depends on the type of smoke detector you have in your system:
- Battery-operated detectors (9-volt batteries) should have the batteries replaced every year.
- Battery-operated detectors (lithium batteries) should be completely replaced every ten years.
- Hardwired systems should have the backup battery replaced yearly, and the detectors replaced every ten years.
Regardless of the replacement for the battery or detector, fire remediation experts recommend that you test each smoke alarm every month to make sure it's working. Don't rely strictly on a schedule. Replace faulty alarms whenever necessary.
No matter where your detectors get their power, all of them must be replaced every ten years to keep the system in shape for detecting fire damage. Checking the age of the devices in your system is easy. Remove each detector from the ceiling or wall and turn it over. The date of manufacture should be printed on the back. As long as the date is within the last ten years and the device is still working, it does not need to be replaced. Return it to its designated spot and make sure that it is linked with the rest of the system.
Testing your smoke alarm system once a month is a crucial part of home maintenance. If you have outdated detectors or your power source is not properly supporting the system, prompt maintenance can help keep you safe during a home fire.