What To Expect After a Commercial Roof Fire
Roof damage after commercial fire.
Roof damage can be tricky to recognize immediately after a fire, especially if your attention has been drawn toward the damage inside your commercial property and the people who were on your property during the fire.
3 Steps Professionals Take Right Away
However, when fire cleanup and repair professionals show up to assess your property, there are some steps they'll take right away:
- Secure your property
- Tarp over any holes on the roof
- Provide their initial assessment
It's best to assume that you'll need roof repair. If the heat and flames of the fire didn't directly damage the roofing materials, firefighters may have broken holes in the roof as part of their efforts to save the rest of the building.
Why Does Tarping Matter?
Some of the most important tasks involved in fire cleanup are included in tarp services. When technicians cover the holes in the roof, they protect the inside of your property from rain or snow, windblown debris, animals and insects. This work may also involve preventing others from entering your building without permission. This is a good way to avoid vandalism and other secondary damages.
What Should You Do After the Fire?
There are several other dos and don'ts you should also understand when your building has been damaged by fire:
- Do contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide these professionals with your insurance policy and account information.
- Do keep records of all conversations, receipts, and documents related to the fire, the resulting damage, and your insurance claim.
- Don't try to complete roof repair on your own. There are many safety hazards, and you could cause further damage, as well as making it more difficult for the insurance adjuster to establish the amount of damage.
- Don't enter the building until the fire department has completed all necessary safety inspections.
If your Colorado Springs, CO, property has been damaged by a fire, you'll need to rely on experienced fire cleanup professionals to help you get your building back into its pre-fire condition. Make sure you're prepared before a fire breaks out, so you can react confidently during an emergency.
How To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing
Pipes from a local commercial building.
Winter may mean shorter days and cooler temperatures in Colorado Springs, CO, but it doesn't have to mean bursting pipes and water damage too. Here are six ways to prevent your pipes from freezing this winter.
6 Ways To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
1. Let the faucet run overnight
It's true what they say: It's always coldest just before the dawn. If you have pipes that are exposed to the elements, even a tiny trickle of water from a faucet that's connected to those pipes can stop them from freezing if left running overnight.
2. Shut the garage door
This is especially useful if your garage is home to water supply lines. Keeping the door shut keeps the cold out and the temperature up — at least a little bit.
3. Open the cabinets under the sink
Leaving the cabinet doors open beneath your kitchen, bathroom, or utility sink allows more of the warm air in your home to reach the pipes and can potentially stop them from freezing.
4. Keep the temperature in your home consistent
Turning the thermostat down a few degrees before you jump under the covers at night may save you a couple of bucks on your energy bill, but in the winter, that drop in temperature can also lead to freezing and bursting pipes.
5. Insulate your pipes
Some areas of your home, such as the basement and attic, are naturally colder than the rest of your home. Wrapping the pipes in these areas with insulation can keep them heated enough to avoid freezing over.
6. Eliminate drafts
Keep your home toasty warm and your pipes thoroughly thawed by making sure the seals around windows and doors are tight. It's also a good idea to inspect your home annually for other cracks and seal them promptly.
Very few people have money conveniently tucked away in a "fix broken pipe" fund. Following these six tips can help eliminate the threat of freezing and bursting pipes, as well as the need to enlist the help of a professional water damage recovery company.
7 Steps for Replacing a Toilet
Apply caulk to the new toilet bowl to avoid leaks.
If you discover a leaking toilet at your home in Colorado Springs, CO, toilet repair may not be an option if the leak is severe. You might have to replace the old toilet. Even if you're new to this type of job, it should still be relatively easy.
Steps to Replace a Toilet
Here are the steps:
1. Shut Off the Water Supply
First, shut off the water at the supply line. Then, flush the toilet to drain the water. Next, the water supply line must be disconnected from the bottom of the toilet tank. You must then remove the bolts on the toilet's base.
2. Remove the Old Toilet and Wax Seal
You'll see a caulk seal around the bowl's base. It needs to be cut out. The toilet should be movable. Now it's time to remove the leaking toilet, then remove the wax seal. If you see that damage has occurred from the leak, you might need to call water damage remediation professionals to take care of it before installing the new toilet.
3. Apply Caulk to the New Bowl
Caulk then needs to be applied to the base of the new bowl. This will make the installation look cleaner and will keep leaks at bay.
4. Install the New Wax Ring and Bowl
Place the new wax ring between the bolts. Then, put the bowl into place. The wax seal will be compressed by the bowl's weight.
5. Grease the Spud Washer
At the base of the tank is a spud washer. Put a coat of plumber's grease on it. Then place the tank as you're lining up the mounting bolts.
6. Tighten the Tank's Bolts
Place the washer on the bolts and then tighten the nut. Then, fully tighten the inner-tank bolts and place the mounting bolts on the bowl's base.
7. Ensure the Toilet Is Level and Test for Leaks
Ensure the toilet is level. Reconnect the water line and turn on the water. When the tank fills, test for leaks by flushing the toilet.
A leaking toilet can be a real inconvenience. However, if it can't be repaired, it should be replaced as soon as possible before the problem worsens.
Minimize Flooding Loss With Business Interruption Insurance
Minimize flooding loss.
It takes a lot of work to run a business in Colorado Springs, CO. When the unexpected happens, such as flooding from a broken pipe, what will that interruption mean to your business? Business interruption insurance is supplemental coverage that helps a business weather the financial side of weathering the storm while a water damage and restoration company gets your business back to its preloss condition.
Minimize Losses and Prevent Downtime
Any unexpected downtime means financial losses on top of the costs associated with the repairs needed to fix large water damage. Additional insurance helps businesses stay afloat from financial losses.
Business Interruption Insurance
This type of insurance takes effect when physical damage to a property results in operations being suspended. Although coverage may differ across policies, it typically covers the following:
- Revenue that would have been made if the business was operating normally.
- Payments for loans, mortgages or leases during the downtime.
- Costs associated with temporary or permanent relocation.
- Provides money for employee payroll and taxes.
- Extra expenses incurred due to the event may also be covered.
Steps to Minimize Flooding Loss
While you may be able to count on the additional insurance coverage to keep your business from going under, prevention and planning for the worst are also key to minimizing losses. Every business should develop a business interruption plan. Key elements of this plan often include:
- Determining Risks: Identifying risks, both human and environmental, makes it easier to prepare for them. While some may not be preventable, such as a natural flood, knowing the risk is there enables creating an action plan to better handle the situation if it happens. Risks should be ranked according to severity and likelihood of happening.
- Know the Costs of Unexpected Downtime: Once the risks are known, each one should be analyzed and associated costs calculated. While making the calculations, include lost income, additional expenses, potential penalties or fines and the cost of delaying operations.
- Develop a Mitigation Plan: When developing a plan for controlling potential hazards, prevention, deterrence and mitigation are all essential. The first helps a business identify hazards that are preventable and take measures to avoid them. Deterrence focuses on the potential for criminal activities to happen and taking steps to minimize them. Mitigation focuses on events that are not preventable but require forethought to contain or control.
Establish a Communication Plan: When the unexpected happens, does everyone know what to do? A chain of command should be developed to ensure that vital information is shared properly. To eliminate confusion, develop prescripted messages that are clear and concise.
- Have an Emergency Plan: Along with an evacuation plan to ensure the safety of everyone, there should also be an emergency plan for the business itself. This may include ensuring that data is protected and easily recoverable, inventory essential to operations is well-documented and the business has written contracts with key vendors.
Flooding and other unexpected events can be devastating to a business. If faced with an unexpected shutdown, having business interruption insurance and planning for such events helps reduce associated costs and may keep the business from going under.
The Importance of Having a Security Fence
A security fence can further guard your property after suffering fire damage.
Fire can leave large, gaping holes in your commercial building in Colorado Springs, CO. You probably already know the importance of boarding up vulnerable places to protect what's left of the structure. Don't stop there, though. A security fence is necessary to further guard your property.
Reasons To Install a Security Fence After a Fire
You already have damage that happened during both the fire and the process of putting the flames out. If you don't take the proper security measures, though, you may soon be facing other problems:
- Animal infestation
- Safety issues
Having a fence around the perimeter of your property makes a clear statement about its boundaries. It may not guarantee all will be well, but it greatly increases your chances of avoiding unnecessary complications.
Most people see plywood across the busted windows of a building and take that as a sign to steer clear of it. Some see it as an opportunity, though. A security fence gives thieves, vandals and others with nefarious intent an extra obstacle to overcome. It makes your vulnerable building harder to access and thus less attractive to those looking for an easy mark.
While a fence may not keep out smaller vermin, it can provide an extra deterrent for some wildlife. In combination with boards and tarps that cover the holes in your building, it provides another layer of protection. The more barriers you set up, the more secure your building is likely to be.
A damaged building often gives the impression of being abandoned if it stands alone. People visiting nearby businesses may think it's OK to park on the grounds of your property if it looks like no one else is using the space anyway. Another perk of having a fence is that it marks the space as off-limits to anyone who doesn't have your permission to be there. It saves you the time and energy of having to engage in the countless interactions it would take to set boundaries on an individual basis.
Provide Safety Cues
Curiosity is a natural response to a damaged building. Those walking by may wonder what happened and want to check it out for themselves. This safety hazard can have not only unpleasant consequences for those who venture into the building but also for you as the owner. Fire damage restoration experts recommend protecting yourself and others by installing a fence around the property.
Appease Insurance Provider
Making your building secure is a key responsibility all the time. It becomes especially important when the building is damaged. Your commercial fire insurance provider expects you to protect your building even when it's not in use, and the company is unlikely to approve a claim for damage that happens as a result of poor security, even if it occurs after a covered peril. Using a fence to clearly mark and protect your property proves that you are doing everything in your power to keep it safe.
A security fence does more than just give you peace of mind. It can protect your already vulnerable building from further damage after a fire.
Is This Flood Black Water?
Floodwaters can damage your home.
Watching floodwaters flow into your Colorado Springs, CO, home is one of the most devastating things you can witness. Not only will the contents of your home be damaged, but the structure could also be. Water damage begins immediately, so it's imperative to eliminate and clean it as soon as possible. However, you first must determine what kind of water it is. This depends partially on the origin of the flood. There are three categories of water, each of which presents a different level of risk to your family and pets:
- Category 1: Known as clean water, this is safe to drink, equivalent to the water that comes out of the tap. It could result from a burst pipe or leaky appliance. Although it's clean to begin with, it will become hazardous if it comes into contact with a contaminated surface or substance.
- Category 2: Also known as grey water, it could make people and pets sick if consumed but is not toxic. The water may come from bathtubs, washing machines or dishwashers.
- Category 3: Black water is toxic due to high contamination. The water may contain raw sewage, viruses, bacteria, or harsh chemicals. They can be poisonous to humans and pets and cause more property damage than clean or grey water.
How Do I Safely Clean Black Water?
If you find that you have a Category 3 flood, you must take extra precautions to protect everyone in your home and the property itself. The best option is to hire water damage restoration experts to ensure the job is handled safely, thoroughly and quickly.
1. Protect Yourself With PPE
Safety is the most critical aspect, so wearing personal protective equipment from beginning to end anytime you're in the affected area is essential. This PPE generally includes the following:
- Hair coverings
- Eye protection
- Mask or respirator
- Waterproof coveralls
- Waterproof gloves
- Waterproof boots or shoe coverings
This PPE should be put on before entering the area, taken off before leaving the site, and then replaced when returning to the area.
2. Shut Off the Electricity
Before entering the affected area, it's vital to shut off the electricity to that part of the house or the whole house. Otherwise, an electrical current could be flowing through the standing water, which is highly unsafe for humans and pets.
3. Remove Water and Moisture
Extract all the standing water with a wet/dry vacuum if you have one. If not, mops and towels should be sufficient.
4. Clear the Area
Clear everything out of the affected area as much as possible. This will also allow more room for cleaning and drying the flooded area. You will probably have unsalvagable items to throw away and other items that will need to dry out.
5. Clean and Sanitize
Everything the water has touched needs to be cleaned and sanitized. This includes floors, walls and furniture. It must be disposed of if it can't be adequately cleaned and dried.
6. Dry Everything
Finally, everything must be dried thoroughly and quickly. Mold can start growing and spreading within 24 hours of moisture exposure, so it's essential to remove excess moisture from the area. You can use fans, dehumidifiers, fresh air and heaters to assist the drying process.
Water damage advances quickly, especially in the case of a flood. Black water adds another hazardous element to the mix. It's helpful to know about the risks before a disaster transpires.
What You Need To Have Cleaned After a Flood
Clean your flooring after a flood.
Severe weather and storms can be devastating. The flood afterward can make things worse. When you are allowed to enter your home after a severe weather incident, you may look around at the damage and wonder how to begin.
The first thing that you want to do is call your insurance company. Many insurers recommend using a damage remediation company in Colorado Springs, CO because they know the cleaning requirements for these situations. There are very specific guidelines that you need to follow because flooding presents more dangers than just water.
4 Places That Need Cleaning After a Flood
When you begin your flood clean up process, you will need to clean your floor and, if you have carpet or vinyl, your subfloor. Mold or mildew can build up between your flooring and subfloor when you don't. These toxins can continue to grow unchecked. It can cause health effects to you or your family.
Your basement's cleaning requirements will depend on where you live and what type of basement you have. No matter what, the first thing you need to do is pump any remaining water out. Be sure to do this safely, because the flood water will be contaminated.
- Ceilings and Walls
To clean your ceiling and walls, your cleaning company will have to use a flood disinfectant approved by the environmental protection agency. These cleaners contain harsh chemicals and may be unsafe if you do not have the proper personal protection equipment. Your cleaning company will already have this on hand.
- Kitchen Surfaces and Dishes
If your kitchen floods, you have to pay particular attention to all of your kitchen surfaces and dishes. While the floodwaters recede, they can produce dangerous toxins, and these toxins have to be removed before you can use your kitchen surfaces and dishes again.
In the case of severe flooding, consider a qualified cleaning company. They will know all of the cleaning requirements for your area. They can make sure your home is safe to reenter.
Tips for Water Damage Prevention
Fix leaks before having secondary damage.
When homeowners think of water damage, they usually imagine a large flooding event from a storm or water main break, but small things such as undetected leaks can cause a lot of problems, too. Damage from water in your home in Colorado Springs, CO, is not inevitable, though. There are several things you can do to prevent it from happening.
4 Tips to Prevent Water Damage
- Have a Consistent Maintenance Schedule
Most water damage is entirely preventable. All you need to do is update your maintenance checklist to ensure that it includes leak prevention tasks:
- Clean gutters and downspouts
- Minimize landscaping near pipes or sewer lines
- Check pipes and supply lines for weak spots or leaks
- Maintain appliances
- Winterize pipes before the first big freeze of the year
- Improve Water Loss Detection
Another way to prevent damage is to head potential problems off at the pass. To do this well, you have to know when they start. An unusually high water bill could be a sign of a leak that leads to water in your home. A working sump pump in your basement protects it even when you are not there.
- Know Where Your Water Main is Located
A broken pipe is not always something you can prevent, but you can minimize the amount of water it releases by turning off your water main. The shutoff valve stops the flow of water into your pipes so that you can get the issue resolved.
- Fix Leaks and Damage Quickly
Even if your home is damaged by an unpredictable accident, quick pipe cleanup can help you prevent secondary damage. It's important to call water restoration experts as soon as you know there is an issue so that they can stop the progress of the seepage and prevent mold growth.
To prevent water in your home from causing extensive problems, you have to be diligent. Proper maintenance and vigilant attention to changes help you safeguard the structural integrity of your house.
What to Do After a Fire
Board up after suffering fire damage.
Immediately after a fire is a very stressful time. With all of the fire damage and loss, it can be difficult to see what to do next. The first thought on most people's minds is to repair the damage, but there are a few things that you should consider doing even before that. The very first thing you should do is call your insurance company. The second is to secure your home.
3 Steps to Follow After a Fire
Securing your home does not mean locking your doors. Remember that there could be hundreds of access points after a fire. Between the flames, smoke and the fire department, the damage can be extensive. When you secure your home, you will need to board up holes, windows and doors.
Here's why you need to tarp or board your home:
- Vacant homes are catnip to vandals and thieves
- Your insurance may require it
- Rain, wind and sun can make the damage worse
- Someone could go in and hurt themselves
You must cover all the exposed areas of your home as soon as possible.
When you are allowed back in your home, you will need to take an inventory. Take a look at what you need to throw out and what can be salvaged. Make sure you board up or tarp anything exposed to the elements while you are doing this. It is far easier to assess the damage and cover things that need to be covered simultaneously.
- Find a Restoration Company
You should also find a restoration company in Colorado Springs, CO, as soon as you talk to your insurance company. Some companies will even offer emergency board up services if they have to wait to start the repairs and remediation. Some of the reasons they may have to wait are delays with insurance or fire inspectors. This service will reduce the cost of your repairs and help to keep your home safe.
Fires are devastating. Just remember to board up, take inventory and find a remediation company that can help you. These steps can help you avoid any additional damage.
Reasons Your Smoke Alarm Is Beeping
If Your Smoke Alarm Is Beeping, just Follow our Tips.
Ensuring your Colorado Springs, CO, home is outfitted with a fire alarm in various locations is essential for everyone’s safety. It is recommended to have one on every floor of the home and outside of sleeping areas. While they are an essential first alert to a problem, they may easily be forgotten until they start to show signs of trouble.
The Different Fire Alarm Beeps
If the smoke detectors in your home aren’t hardwired, it means they are running on a battery. Most standard alarms use a 9-volt battery, which should be replaced every six months. As the battery dies, it will lead to different sounds that are sure signs it’s time to inspect them.
1. Fast, Loud Beeping
Since these detectors are designed to detect the smallest bit of smoke, any loud and fast beeping means smoke has been detected. If there is no fire, it may be caused by tobacco smoke or cooking too close to the detector. It is recommended to install alarms at least 10 feet from cooking appliances.
2. Consistent Chirps in Intervals
If you hear approximately three chirps every 30 seconds, it is a sign that something is malfunctioning. If the fire alarm is more than eight years old, it likely needs to be replaced. In other cases, it may be a battery issue. Pressing the test button for a few seconds should help you determine if the battery needs to be replaced. Once pressed, it should produce a loud sound. If there is no sound, remove and replace the battery and test again.
3. Erratic Beeping
Irregular beeping often indicates that the battery is dying. If you know that it hasn’t been six months since it was replaced, the solution may be as simple as cleaning any dust or residue out of the battery compartment. Along with signaling a low battery, it may be an indicator that the battery isn’t properly positioned. Humidity may also be affecting the detector. Ensure that they are installed away from HVAC registers, open windows and ceiling fans.
If the problem persists, the residual charge may need to be cleaned. This requires holding the test button for approximately 30 seconds to reset the alarm. Pressing it again should result in normal beeping. If not, a replacement alarm may be needed.
4. Five Loud Chirps
Once you hear a loud chirp once every five minutes, it means the device is at the end of its life. End of device life. That is a clear indicator that it’s time to get a new alarm. When researching a replacement, it may be worth considering alarms with lithium-ion batteries. These alarms are designed to last 10 years without a battery replacement. After 10 years, you simply replace the unit.
Any beeping your fire alarm does that isn't related to smoke damage or flames should never be ignored. As the first line of defense against a fire, you don't want to take any risks. If a fire does occur, you can count on a fire damage restoration company to get your property back to what it was before.