What You Need To Know About Ice Dams
Ice dams occur when there are varied temperatures on your snowy roof
What You Need To Know About Ice Dams
You may think that once a winter storm ends, the risk of damage to your Colorado Springs, CO, home is over. However, that is not the case. That’s because an ice dam can develop on your roof.
The dam can block melting water from flowing off the roof. Instead, the water can flow through cracks in the roof and enter your home.
Ice dams occur when there are varied temperatures on your snowy roof. Specifically, if the higher parts of your roof have a temperature above freezing, the snow on that section of the roof will melt. The melted snow will then flow down to the lower section of the roof. If the temperature there is more than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water will refreeze, creating the dam.
Warmer temperatures on parts of the roof surface thus can cause an ice dam. This heat can enter the roof in three ways:
Convection, Radiation and Conduction
Convection occurs when rising air brings heat to the roof. Air leakage within the home is a common source of convection. Radiation works similarly but occurs when the heat moves via electromagnetic rays. Conduction, meanwhile, is heat transfer through a solid object, such as a pot on the stove.
Preventing and Handling Ice Dams
The best way to stop ice dam coverage from damaging your home is to prevent dams from forming in the first place. You may want to move your exhaust system so it doesn’t end right above the roof. Attics, meanwhile, should be properly insulated to keep heat from escaping. You should also make your ceilings airtight.
If you do notice a dam on your roof, try creating channels in the dam that the blocked water can flow through. You can do this by hosing the roof with tap water.
Still, this may not completely prevent the melted snow from entering your home. Thankfully, even if your house is affected by an ice dam, water damage repair specialists can assist with the restoration process.
3 Things You Should Know About Black Water
If you have water damage after a storm, whether it is from contaminated water or not, it is important to have it removed right away
3 Things You Should Know About Black Water
After a severe storm in Colorado Springs, CO, you may have experienced damage from a flood. If this is the case, then the water that you are dealing with is different from what you may be used to. The following questions and answers may help you understand it a bit better.
1. What is Black Water?
There are three categories of water with increasing levels of contamination. Black water, or category 3, is the highest. This water contains significant amounts of harmful chemicals, bacteria, sewage and other contaminants. It can cause a lot of damage to your building and can be hazardous to the health of you and your workers as well.
2. Where Does It Come From?
Category 3 water most often comes from backed up sewage or flooding. Water damage that comes from above, such as with a broken pipe, leaks or rain, is often considered to be category 1 or clean water. When water rises up from the ground, it becomes contaminated as it mixes with sewage, dirt and other harmful substances.
3. Can You Clean It On Your Own?
While you may consider cleaning the water damage on your own, this is not recommended. Because this kind of water is highly contaminated, it can be unsafe for you to handle without proper training and safety gear. Instead, it is a good idea to hire a professional. If the area is not thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, it could create additional problems as well.
If you have water damage after a storm, whether it is from contaminated water or not, it is important to have it removed right away. Even water from a clean source can contribute to secondary damage like rotting building materials and mold growth. An emergency cleanup and restoration company will have the necessary equipment and experience to return your building to its previous condition quickly and safely. They can also sanitize and salvage many of your affected belongings.
What to do About Your Noisy Water Heater
Water heater maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent leaks
Your Water heater is the lifeblood of your home. It controls the flow of water to your sinks, tubs, and major appliances while allowing you to regulate the desired temperature for drinking, bathing, and other needs for you and your family. Like any other major appliance, problems can occur over time, and repair and/or replacement costs can skyrocket when not properly maintained. Fortunately, simple observations may be enough to help you diagnose a potential problem as it arises.
Identifying Problems Through Listening
Water heater noises are varied and can stem from several potential problems. Some issues can be small and easy to fix yourself, while others may require professional help. Note the following common occurrences and their sounds:
Partially-closed valves – Water line valves that are partially closed forces water to push through smaller openings, creating a screaming sound. Ensure all valves are completely open when hearing this noise.
Sediment buildup – Sediment naturally forms over time around element tubes and traps water beneath the layers, indicated by a crackling sound. The element should be cleaned, or replaced if the noise persists
Loose sediment – At times, sediment deposits can be stirred inside your tank when water is flowing through, causing a rumbling noise. Using a deliming solution during a water heater flush should solve the problem.
Additional Maintenance Notes
Water heater maintenance is one of the best ways to prevent leaks and premature breakdowns. The buildup of sediments and other minerals are a major cause for issues, particularly if you have hard water. Installing a water softener, and regular flushing and cleaning of the system can help prevent long term issues. If leaking does occur, always consult a water cleanup and mold remediation professional in Colorado Springs, CO, to ensure there is no extensive damage to your heater and the surrounding area. The cost of regular maintenance often pales in comparison to that of a major repair or replacement, so taking the time to observe your heater and keep it clean can save a fortune in the long run.
Keep Dryers Lint Free
Lint traps should be cleaned after very load
A dryer seems like a convenient, safe appliance that lets you forget it and go. If you don’t maintain it properly, a lint fire can happen, which can cause sever fire damage to your home in Colorado Springs, CO.
A Surprising Amount of Lint
Depending on your family size or how often you go through clothes, it is likely that you do a lot more laundry than you realize. An average family does approximately eight to 10 loads a week. Every load means small fabric, dust and dirt particles are collecting in your dryer’s int trap, vent and duct work. Lint is highly combustible, making it vital to eliminate.
Cleaning Out the Lint
Instead of dealing with a potential dryer fire and needing expert help in repairing the damage, good habits can go a long way.
Lint traps should be cleaned after very load. Most appliances make this easy. The trap usually slides out and the lint can be lifted off. Any lint that is leftover should be scrubbed off with a brush. Every few weeks, the screen should be rinsed with water. While the screen is out, vacuum in and around its entry point.
Approximately once a year, unplug the dryer and inspect the vent and hose or pipe connected to the dryer. Wipe lint off of the opening and clean any leftover in the hose or pipe. A brush can bused to clean the interior of the vent.
Don’t forget the exterior vent. Ensure the vent flap is still attached and working properly. Vacuum or wipe out the opening. This should be done a few times a year.
Extra Safety Tips
To further avoid a lint fire, ensure your dryer is properly installed. Additionally, avoid drying clothes stained with chemicals, gas, oil or cleaning products, and only operate the dryer while at home.
In most cases, a lint fire happens because of improper cleaning and maintenance. Taking a little extra to be safe is worth it.
Mold 101: The Basics You Should Know
Mold damage in a Colorado Springs, CO attic
Three Things You Should Know About Mold
When dealing with mold prevention in your Colorado Springs, CO, home, there are a few things you may need to know before you can take the proper mitigation steps. Knowing about what mold is and how it grows can allow you to have an in-depth conversation with your local mold remediation service about what to expect in your home. Here are three things you should know about mold.
1. What Mold Is
Mold, at its most basic level, is a fungi. This means that it grows well in damp, dark areas of high humidity. Fungi feed off organic material such as wood, drywall, carpeting, and similar products. They also reproduce by creating spores which can spread and form new colonies.
2. Where it Grows
It's common to find mold growth in darker more humid areas at the home such as basements, attics or bathrooms. It may also grow in areas where water damage has occurred. These are usually the first locations than a mold prevention and remediation professional make check. Even if the mold is unseen, if you suspect growth your local professional can perform a test to help determine its location.
3. How to Remove it
If you do find mold in your home it's always best to contact a professional to have it removed. This way they can properly contain the problem to ensure that they get even the smallest spores to help prevent regrowth of the mold colony. A professional with the ability to quarantine the area can also help prevent the spread of spores to other locations in the house, which may also help mitigate future issues.
Understanding mold growth can help you take the appropriate mold prevention steps to protect your home. Mold is a fungi that grows best in dark humid environments, and can be found in a variety of places around the home. If you believe you may have mold in your home it's best to contact a professional as soon as possible for removal.
Your Rental House, Polybutylene Pipes and Risk Management
Discovering that your older property has polybutylene pipes can be an ominous sign of the future health of the building
Your Rental House, Polybutylene Pipes and Risk Management
As an owner of a rental property in Colorado Springs, CO there’s no lack of maintenance issues that have to be resolved. Discovering that your older property has polybutylene pipes can be an ominous sign of the future health of the building. Is it time to replace them?
What’s the Problem?
Millions of houses were built with this type of plumbing system from 1978 to 1996 and many of these systems still remain. These pipes are notorious for forming micro-fractures that eventually burst; oxidation and chlorine exposure weakens them over time. These pipes were originally thought to be super durable due to their flexibility, but time has proven otherwise. If you’re still contemplating whether to risk keeping the current pipe system versus replacing it, consider these consequences of keeping the old:
- Emergency Pipe Leaks
- Damage to Property
- Insurance Claims
- Unhappy Residents
To make things worse, some insurers don’t even cover houses that are fitted with these pipes. And if they do, they may charge higher premiums for these properties. These days polybutylene pipes are usually replaced with either copper or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipes. Unfortunately, there’s really no way to repair the old pipes, so the question comes down to replacing them now or flirting with the possible consequences of waiting.
Things to Consider
It’ll most definitely be costly to repipe the house, but it could be way more expensive to wait until there’s a problem. If you don’t get them replaced you could risk being sued by residents, having to invest in expensive remediation services or possibly losing your valuable property completely. Consider it an investment in the future of your business. You and your residents will feel much more confident knowing that your property’s plumbing system will be in good shape for many years to come.
If your property sustains water damage from a leaky or ruptured polybutylene pipe, you can count on remediation professionals to do a quick and thorough cleanup.
3 Things You Should Know About Contaminated Water
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.