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3 Things You Should Know About Contaminated Water

9/12/2019 (Permalink)

Laundry room in a home sewage lines started to backup Storm caused sewage back up in Colorado Springs

3 Things You Should Know About Contaminated Water

If you have experienced a severe storm in Colorado Springs, CO, then your home may have suffered some water damage. The kind of water that has affected your house will determine how it should be handled. The following are a few questions that you should know the answers to if you find yourself in this situation.

1. What Are Water Contamination Levels?

There are three different levels of water contamination. The first is level 1, and this is considered to be clean water. Level 2, or gray water, is moderately contaminated and may contain chemicals that could cause irritation and potential health risks. Level 3, or black water, is highly contaminated. It can contain a large number of contaminants and bacteria. It presents a much higher health risk than the other two categories of water.

2. What Contamination Level is Flood Water?

During a severe storm, you will usually see two kinds of water damage. The first comes from the rain, and the second comes from flooding. Rainwater is category 1 and will not require a lot of extra care, but the water that rises up from the ground is category 3. This is because it has likely been in contact with soil and sewage water that contains bacteria and human waste.

3. What Should You Do if This Water Gets in Your House?

If flood water causes damage to your home, you should contact a cleanup and restoration service to deal with it as quickly as possible. Not only can it cause the usual problems that come with moisture, such as mold and warping wood, but it can also spread bacteria throughout the house. Anything that this water touches will need to be thoroughly sanitized and some items may even need to be replaced.
Because water damage can worsen if it is allowed to sit for long periods of time, it is important to act quickly, particularly if the water is category 3. You should avoid contact with this water if possible and allow a professional company to remove it from your home.

How To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Insulate your pipes

6 Ways To Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

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.

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.

Keeping Your Town Safe From Flooding

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Retaining walls

As a city leader, you want the area to thrive and be an enjoyable place to live and visit. More importantly, you work hard to create an environment where people feel safe and secure. You live in Colorado Springs, CO, where the risk of flooding is not uncommon. When heavy rains come or when other factors threaten water damage, you need to implement effective flood prevention measures

Establish a Relationship With a Restoration Company

A professional flood cleanup organization might not be able to prevent flooding, but experts there can recommend ways to avoid heavy damage. The team also specializes in flood cleaning and can get on any job—large or small—quickly to minimize the devastation. A reputable company can:

  • Respond to any flooding emergency immediately after the incident.
  • Has access to the right equipment and tools for a thorough cleanup.
  • Practices safety and will ensure that bystanders are out of harm’s way during cleanup.

Plant Some Trees

Not only do plants, bushes and shrubs beautify an area, but these plants can also help protect people and help with food prevention. If water does start to make its way toward a home or building, shrubbery can slow down the flow. Plus, vegetation can help prevent erosion

Build Retention Basins

If there is a major sewer backup, or if torrential rains fall for a long period, people will need time to evacuate and get to safety. A retention basin is a reservoir that collects floodwater. The water from a flood diverts into the basins, which reduces the danger posed to homes and buildings downstream.

Retaining Walls

If your area is known to bear the brunt of significant rainfall, heavy-duty intervention may be needed. Dams or levees can hold back water permanently.
Flood prevention begins long before the water comes. Make sure your city or town puts these measures into place to protect the safety and well-being of all residents.

The Facts About Smoke Damage

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in a Colorado Springs, CO warehouse

Destruction the hot flames can causes. Indeed, even smaller incidents have the potential to cause fire damage. However, if your Colorado Springs, CO, office building has a fire, you also need to be concerned about the problems smoke can cause. The smoke cleaning effort, in this case, can be significant as well.

Where’s There’s Fire, There’s Smoke

In many situations, people will smell smoke before they’ll ever see signs of a fire. Your building should have effective smoke detectors to alert you when problems arise. Here are some concerns to be aware of with smoke:

  • The effects the smoke can have on people’s health
  • The lingering smoke odor, which can be unbearable
  • Damage caused by smoke to electronics, documents, furniture, floors and walls

Make the Right Call

After calling the fire department to tackle the fire, you’ll need to get in touch with our insurance company. Next, hire an experienced team of fire restoration experts to assess the smoke damage and other issues. Professionals will have the right equipment and the latest techniques to thoroughly clean those areas the smoke affected.

Cleaning Methods

Smoke will leave behind a nasty layer of soot on surfaces and materials. It can corrode electronics and make other items unsalvageable without effective ways to handle smoke cleaning. The cleanup team will use a variety of tactics to thoroughly and safely clean all affected items and areas of your building. Some of the most effective treatments are air filtration devices, ozone machines and thermal foggers.

Your Role

Don’t disturb anything at the scene. This could cause further damage. Do not try to turn on any of the electronics or clean anything yourself. At most, you could take a damp cloth and wipe off surfaces.
Damage left from fire and smoke can be terrible. Luckily, qualified crews can use smoke cleaning methods to save even heavily damaged items. Get in touch with a restoration company today.

Insurance Practices for Issues With Mold

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold grows where there is a significant presence of water

Mold litigation has been a cause of concern for many insurance providers, as increased attention on mold has many contractors, property owners, and employers feeling the pressure for cleaner air quality. Mold insurance claims have risen in past years, with bodily injury complaints testing the scientific evidence on symptoms of mold exposure. Understanding how general liability insurance addresses situations involving mold is one way to determine how to approach mold remediation and personal claims of damages.

Mold Exposure Claims

Typically, claims surrounding mold include the following elements:

  1. Construction defects
  2. Maintenance delays

Because mold grows where there is a significant presence of water in the structure or high levels of humidity in the air, these reasons are seen as initiating the conditions for growth. The resulting damage to the property and any costs incurred for the professional remediation and cleanup are sometimes excluded from a general liability policy, depending on the terms of the coverage, but most often are included.

Inevitably, those looking to capitalize on a settlement may also put forth claims of bodily injury during their mold insurance claims. These are often more successful than a claim recouping the expense of remediation, as a secondary property damage claim would be opened to address those costs.

Commercial properties are at a disadvantage when it comes to claims involving mold and damage, as they are held against pollution exclusion standards as well as owned, rented, or occupied building exclusions. This can make it more difficult to pinpoint where the liability for mold issues falls, and insurance companies can choose to make honoring the general liability policy difficult.

The details of mold insurance claims are incredibly complex and best explained by a local insurance agent with experiencing underwriting specific policies and filing damage claims. The nature of the claim, as well as the originating source of the mold, will affect the probability of being covered.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

PASS technique is useful for operating most extinguishers

Types of Fire Extinguishers

There are many hazards within the home that can cause a fire to break out, but with proper care and basic safety, this is a rare problem. Accidents still do happen though, and it never hurts to be prepared if the situation calls for it. Owning a small fire extinguisher and having it in a handy spot, such as the kitchen pantry, can be a life saver.
Of course, making the decision to take it out and use it can be tricky, as you must know what type of fire it is, what type of fire extinguisher can be used safely, and whether or not it is a safe enough situation to handle it yourself without instead evacuating and calling the fire department. Consult OSHA’s website to determine which type of extinguisher would be the best for your home. There are many types, including multi-purpose, as well as Class K which is specifically for putting out a kitchen fire.
There are situations when even if you are able to get to the fire extinguisher, but the fire is growing quickly, it’s better to call emergency services in Colorado Springs, CO, before you attempt to control the situation.

Operate Your Fire Extinguisher

The following technique called PASS is useful for operating most extinguishers:

Pull: Pull the pin and break the tamper seal.
Aim: Aim at the base of the fire with the hose or nozzle.
Squeeze: Squeeze the handle.
Sweep: Use a sweeping motion to spray the chemicals along the base until it goes out, then wait to see if it reignites, and repeat if necessary.

If there are any doubts about your ability to handle a fire, evacuate and call 911. Especially in the case of a kitchen fire, burning oils are incredibly dangerous and having the right type of chemicals in your extinguisher is crucial for your safety. Fire damage restoration services are much more affordable than risking your life!

3 Helpful Tips That Will Save You Money on Home Maintenance

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Change air filters

Three Tips for Making Facility Management Less Expensive

When it comes to keeping an updated and efficient home, many homeowners are concerned about the maintenance cost. From adding updates to keeping things in working condition, the bills can add up quickly. If you are looking to save money on the upkeep of your Colorado Springs, CO home, consider the following three tips for making facility management less expensive.

1. Reduce Lighting Costs

While it may sound simple, reducing the cost of lighting your home can be a huge cash saver. If you are using the same old light bulbs and fixtures that came standard in your home when you moved in, you may be spending more than you need to in monthly electricity expenses. While switching out cheap incandescent bulbs may sound counter-intuitive, the long-term savings can really pay off. Swap out standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) to take advantage of the following savings:

  • Reduce your energy use by up to 75%
  • Go up to five times longer between switching out light bulbs
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a healthier planet

2. Small Updates Over Time

Although it can be tempting to go all-in on your list of fixer upper projects, doing small updates over time may be a more frugal option. Save-up for projects that will lower you home maintenance cost. Rather than adding pretty new cabinets to your kitchen, think about getting a more energy efficient furnace or air conditioning unit to save on your monthly utility bill.

3. Don't Forget Routine Upkeep

While updating and upgrading is always appealing to homeowners, it is important to remember to take care of your existing fixtures. Some of your long-term home maintenance cost can be reduced by doing simple things regularly, including the following:

  • Change air filters
  • Replace missing or damaged roof shingles
  • Clean drains of debris and buildup

By taking care of your home's structure on a regular basis, you may avoid the need for home repairs after a storm strikes near Colorado Springs, CO.

Dealing With Smoke Damage After a Fire

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke damage in a Colorado Springs property

When a fire happens to your commercial property in  Colorado Springs, CO, there's a lot to handle in the aftermath. One aspect that is not immediately obvious is the task of smoke cleaning. This is an important step that should not be skipped, so be sure to add it to your to-do list.

What It Harms

Smoke damage doesn't just mean seeing some dark smudges on the ceiling. Smoke and soot spread quickly and can manifest on almost everything in your building. It will affect different items and surfaces in different ways. Some common problem areas can include:

  • electronics
  • documents
  • furniture
  • fabric materials

How It's Cleaned

Depending on what needs cleaning, there can be a method for every scenario. Specific items, such as those listed above, each require their own customized type of smoke cleaning, that should be conducted by a qualified remediation specialist. Surfaces such as walls and solid furniture can handle a process of dry to wet cleaning. For upholstery and fabric than will shrink if exposed to wet cleaning, there is an option called foam cleaning. Immersive cleaning is a form of wet cleaning in which smaller objects can be totally sunk into a cleaning solution. The list goes on for many more categories.

How It's Reported

If you've hired a smoke odor and cleaning service, they most likely can help you with your insurance claim, as well. You will probably need to inventory all your content that has been damaged by fire or smoke, and gather all you can to verify each item's value. Then you can contact your insurance to determine your coverage. If you don't already have coverage, this moment would also be a good time to consider adding it.

Fire damage is a dynamic problem that needs to be approached from multiple angles. One of these angles that shouldn't be dismissed is that of smoke cleaning. Smoke damage can hinder functionality and cause a strong odor. Give it proper attention for a complete rehabilitation of your commercial property.

How Can You Prevent Water Damage During Construction?

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Heavy rain can sometimes bring a building construction to a stop

How to Avoid Water Damage During Construction

The construction process is often an exciting time for business owners. However, having to worry about making a water pipe repair and the resulting water damage can make the process stressful. There are several ways businesses in Colorado Springs, CO, can avoid water damage during construction.

1. Prepare for Rain

Heavy rain can sometimes bring a building construction to a stop. Though you can't prevent rain from falling, there are steps you can take to protect your building from flooding. Throughout the construction process, it can be helpful to ensure that building materials remain covered. Additionally, keeping water drainage away from your building can help to prevent major water damage from affecting your property.

2. Use the Right Materials

Faulty or outdated equipment, such as a broken pipe or damaged appliance, can often cause major delays during the construction process. If major water damage occurs, it may be useful to contact water damage restoration experts. However, using materials that meet relevant building code standards can help to prevent the need for a water pipe repair or other costly and time-consuming repairs. If you are adding on to a property, it can be particularly helpful to check existing building materials prior to construction to ensure the original structure is sound.

3. Keep Contact With the Project Manager

Throughout the process of construction, you will likely have a variety of questions. A project manager can often help to guide you through the construction process. Asking your project manager, contractor and other important professionals who are taking part in the construction process what measurements they are taking to avoid water damage can bring you peace of mind. If active steps to prevent a flooded building are not being taken, you can request that measurements be put in place quickly.

Avoiding the need for a water pipe repair or a supply line repair during construction can help to make construction a less stressful process. Knowing how to avoid major water damage during construction can help to make the construction process quick and easy.

Do You Need to Worry About Your Bathroom Supply Line?

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Toilet supply line burst in this Colorado Springs home

Supply Line Damage and Maintenance

Homeowners are incidental experts on a range of topics they might never have expected to know about, like plumbing. This knowledge usually comes with time and experience. One such mysterious category is supply line damage and maintenance. If you are new to owning property in Colorado Springs, CO, you have come to the right place.

Know Your Warranty

Unless you have noticed a supply line leak, you should plan your maintenance and replacement schedules based on the warranty. There are various types of supply lines, and each has a different policy. The first step is to identify your own. Some common lines are:

Plastic tubes- typically have a warranty of 5-8 years
Steel braided tubes- typically have lifetime warranties
Copper tubes- warranties are determined by factory brand

Keep Track of Time

It is best practice to replace your supply line once a decade, unless specified otherwise by your warranty. That is, if you don't discover any supply line damage. It can't hurt to set up a more frequent inspection schedule to make sure this doesn't occur. This will also help if you can't remember how long it's been; ten years is a long time. If you have just moved into an older home, you should also consider inspecting the supply line to determine how you should move forward.

Know Who to Call

You probably shouldn't attempt to investigate a bathroom leak or replace a supply line on your own, for fear of making it worse. Then you'll have water damage to deal with. Do some research and have a professional home water service on call. Enlisting a company you trust can help with staying on top of your replacement schedule, as well.
Plumbing issues can be difficult to grasp if you are a new homeowner, but with some organization and some help you should be just fine. Before you know it, dealing with supply line damage and bathroom leaks will seem like a breeze. You may be the one giving this advice, next time!