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4 Tips for Maintaining Fire Alarms

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a smoke detector Ionization smoke detectors is very sensitive and could be triggered by smoke

The National Fire Protection Association states that three of five home fire deaths happen in homes that don't have working smoke alarms. The maintenance necessary to keep a fire alarm in working order is straightforward and easy to carry out.

Tips for Maintaining Fire Alarms

Tip One: Install Enough Alarms

Of course, your first step should be to install enough alarms to provide adequate coverage.

  • Place a fire alarm inside each bedroom.
  • Install an alarm outside of sleeping areas.
  • Hang an alarm on each level of the home.

This means that a two-story home with three bedrooms should have at least five alarms installed.

Tip Two: Choose the Right Alarms

There are two types of alarm technology: ionization detectors and photoelectric alarms. The first alarm is very sensitive and could be triggered by smoke from a pot of boiling water. These are great for fast-spreading fires. A photoelectric alarm senses smoke and alerts you to smoldering fires. Your best option is an alarm with both types of technology and with a stamp from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL.) Ask a fire damage and cleanup professional for more details.

Tip Three: Install Alarms Correctly

If you mount alarms on the walls, position them between four and 12 inches from the ceiling. Devices mounted on the ceiling should be positioned at least four inches from the nearest wall. You may find it is helpful to install alarms where you'll be able to reach them for testing and maintenance.

Tip Four: Maintain Alarms

Fire and smoke alarms only work if they receive the right care. This means monthly tests, new batteries at least once a year, regular cleaning with a vacuum, and replacement every ten years. It only takes a little while to push the test button to ensure a working safety alarm, and you'll be grateful for your time spent if an alarm gives you enough time to get your family to safety.

With these four tips, you should feel confident in your fire alarm system. Don't leave your Peyton, CO, home at risk of fire and smoke damage. It's also important to learn how to get yourself and your family out of a home fire.

Why Is Fire Insurance Important for Your Commercial Property?

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person on top of a scaffold restoring fire damaged warehouse. Electrical fire in a Colorado Springs, CO warehouse.

If you own commercial property that houses your business, or you rent it out to others, insurance can be vital for your success in Colorado Springs, CO. However, which type of coverage is the best for you? You can never have too comprehensive of a policy, but sometimes this has to be balanced against budget concerns. Fire insurance may be one of the most practical options for the savvy business owner.

Fire Is Common

Fire is one of the most common disasters to befall buildings and structures, no matter their purpose. Fire restoration is usually covered if you choose a policy that includes fire. There are many sources of fire that can affect your property:

  • wildfires
  • lightning strikes
  • kitchen and grease fires
  • electrical fires
  • smoking

Fire Is Costly

Fire can be one of the most destructive events to happen to a building. It can cause extensive structural and contents damage or loss; it's basically able to destroy everything you own. There are also fire department service fees attached to simply putting out the fire. Something like this can close your business for a while if you are not prepared with fire insurance. Plenty of quality fire remediation services are covered, so you won't need to pay out of pocket.

Fire Is Complicated

Fires usually cause more types of damage than just that of the flames. There can be smoke cleanup or soot damage, which causes odor, reaches nearly every surface and degrades electronics. There can be damage caused by the fire suppression materials, such as foam, pressurized water and powders. Sometimes you may even experience damage from being exposed to the elements. Almost every kind of material in your building will need tending to.

Fire insurance can be very comprehensive and may be the most likely to come in handy for your commercial property. These days, it is usually packaged with various other disaster coverage, as well. Regardless of your circumstances, it is a responsible investment to consider.

3 Things You Should Know About Black Water

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded streeet and with a car under water. With green letters stating Category three Category 3 water damage comes from water that could be carrying bacteria and other harmful pollutants

Flooding in Colorado Springs, CO, can cause quite a bit of damage to your commercial building, but this isn’t the only problem that flood water can bring. Waters during a flood are classified as category 3, which means that they are considered black water. Here are a few things that you should know if you have experienced a flood.

Tips You Should Know About Black Water

  1. What Is It?

There are three classifications of water with increasing levels of contamination. Category 3 is the most unsanitary and can contain harmful bacteria as well as sewage and other waste. During a storm, heavy rains can cause sewers and other sources to overflow and mix with the rainfall. Because it is a mixture of water from various places, some of which are highly unsanitary, flood water will almost always be considered black water.

  1. What Are the Risks Associated With Category 3 Water?

Category 3 water can cause harm to both you and your building. These waters are often mixed with other substances, including mud and sewage, that can cause contamination. Bacteria in flood water can cause serious illness and can be a health risk to you and your employees. Mold spores may enter walls and flooring through this water as well.

  1. How Should You Handle It?

Because category 3 water contains high amounts of contaminants, you should avoid contact, if possible, and throw out any food that it has touched. Never attempt to remove the water on your own. An emergency restoration company will have the necessary equipment to clean your building thoroughly and safely. They can also repair any storm damage as well.

If you have experienced a flood, you should be careful even after the immediate danger has passed. After the storm has ended, black water can continue to cause problems. In order to avoid any of the risks associated with this water, you should have a professional service come in to do the dirty work.

How to Remove Mold From Damaged Belongings

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of mold growing on ceiling tiles. Porous materials, such as ceiling tiles, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy.

Objects That Might Require Mold Cleaning

When you have mold growth in your Colorado Springs, CO home, you will often find this fungus in the structure of the building. Walls, flooring and showers are all common locations for mold. However, these are not the only places that growth will appear. In some cases, you may find that it has spread to your belongings. Here are a few objects that might require mold cleaning.

  1. Hard Surfaces

While they may not be the best breeding ground, hard and non-porous surfaces are not invulnerable to mold damage. The good news here is that these are often the easiest items to clean. If you spot mold growing on a hard surface, simply wiping it down is usually enough to remove most of the problem. Be sure to clean the area thoroughly with soap or detergent to ensure that the mold spores have been eliminated.

  1. Soft and Porous Materials

Mold cleaning on porous items can be more difficult, as the spores may find their way inside the material. For items such as clothing or stuffed toys, a run through the washing machine may be enough to remove the fungal growth. For larger items such as furniture, you will need to do a bit more work. In some cases, scrubbing the item with a strong cleaner may get the job done. However, if the damage is severe, the object may need to be replaced.

  1. Artwork and Paper Documents

You may think that water- or mold-damaged documents are a lost cause, but this is not always the case. There are professional services that use a variety of techniques for mold remediation, such as freeze-drying and dehumidification to restore these items close to their original state.

In some cases, you may be able to perform mold cleaning on your own, but if the damage is severe or extensive, then it might be necessary to use an emergency cleanup and restoration service. With their experience and professional equipment, they will be able to successfully restore your home and belongings.

How To Ensure That Your Business Is Prepared For the Next Storm

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a damaged roof. Check your building for any problem areas such as cracks in roof.

If a winter storm is about to hit your business in Colorado Springs, CO, you want to make sure that you are fully prepared to shield your property from any possible damage. Failing to take the necessary precautions can lead to high costs and unneeded stress. In order to adequately protect your company from what nature has in store, take the following guidelines into consideration.

Take Steps To Prevent Damage

An essential aspect of being well prepared is making sure that you are exercising caution before the storm hits. Check your building for any problem areas such as:

  • Drafts around doors or windows
  • Leaks
  • Cracks in roof or walls
  • Exposed piping

Allowing water from melted snow to seep through the openings in your building can cause water damage and harm your business. In addition to sealing up any cracks and crevices, be sure to turn off your outdoor plumbing in order to keep pipes from freezing and bursting.

Be Equipped With a Plan

While keeping the structural aspects of your building safe from a winter storm is crucial, you also need to have a plan in place that can keep the business itself running smoothly. Be sure that you are prepared to stop any snow and ice from accumulating on your property in order to minimize storm damage. Moreover, keeping your building supplied with the necessary tools such as a backup generator can keep your company going once the bad weather starts.

Keep Detailed Records

If your building is subject to structural damage after the storm, you will want to have detailed records of all of your business’s assets and equipment. It is therefore wise to take pictures of your building and its materials prior to the winter storm and keep an inventory of all equipment and assets.

In the event of damage to your business, commercial building restoration services can help. Knowing that disaster restoration is a call away can give you peace of mind during adverse circumstances.

3 Ways To Control and Remove Mold Growth in Your Home

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on white wall of residential home. Water damage is the primary cause of mold development.

Plumbing issues are relatively common in houses. Unfortunately, with water damage comes the risk of mold. To protect your home from any mold problems, you can contact a mold prevention expert in Colorado Springs, CO. These professionals will have several suggestions for keeping your home mold-free, including the following three.

  • Maintain humidity levels
  • Resolve plumbing issues
  • Enable air movement


1. Maintain Humidity Levels

Did you know that there is an appropriate humidity level for your home? Mold growth tends to occur when humidity is above 50%. Therefore, it is ideal to keep your home below that threshold. You can use a dehumidifier to keep moisture levels under control throughout your house, especially in areas like basements and laundry rooms.

2. Resolve Plumbing Issues

Mold needs water to thrive. Homeowners often experience a mold infestation when they have an unresolved leak and water damage within their walls or ceilings. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to locate the leak without professional help. Companies can scope the plumbing in your house, and they can use infrared sensors to find potential leaks before opening walls or ceilings and costing you money.

3. Enable Aire Movement

Stagnant air is also a concern for homeowners. When air moves freely through a space, it is easier to keep things dry. Therefore, you should use fans and ventilation to move hot, humid air around and out of your home. For example, stovetop vents help to push warm, moist air outside, and ceiling fans help to circulate air throughout a room.

Water damage is the primary cause of mold development, but humidity and stale air do not help in controlling or preventing the problem from worsening. Use the suggestions above to control mold infestations and prevent future occurrences. Also, contact a local mold removal expert for a property assessment and specific recommendations about how to mold-proof your home and protect your family as well as yourself.

6 Ways To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a frozen pipe with faucet Frozen pipes can lead to severe water damage.

Frigid weather is always challenging to get through, especially with an older home. If the insulation in your property is not enough, then you may need to worry about frozen pipes. Thankfully, there are several potential solutions to this fairly common problem.

Keep Your Pipes From Freezing

  1. Seal openings
  2. Use heating tape
  3. Add insulation
  4. Allow faucets to drip
  5. Do not turn off the heat
  6. Keep cabinet doors open


Seal Openings

In older houses, it is not unusual for cracks and holes to appear after settling. To prevent your pipes from freezing, you can walk the exterior of your property and seal any of these openings.

Use Heating Tape

Do you have a crawlspace or a basement? If you have a crawlspace, then look under your house for exposed pipes. Exposure places a higher risk of pipe freeze. Wrap these pipes with heat tape.

Add Insulation

You can always wrap pipes with more insulation to avoid frozen pipes. The idea is to keep the pipes warm, so ice and pressure cannot develop, leading to further problems. If pipes break, then you may need to contact a water mitigation company in Colorado Springs, CO.

Allow Faucets To Drip

If you can keep the water in the pipes moving, it is less likely to freeze. Therefore, allow the faucets to drip, especially on colder nights.

Do Not Turn Off the Heat

While you may go away for a while, do not turn off the heat in your home. Keep the temperature up to ensure your pipes remain active.

Keep Cabinet Doors Open

Leaving the cabinet doors open under a faucet can also prevent freezing. The doors can block warmer temperatures from reaching the plumbing. Keeping doors open ensures that the warmer air can circulate through the cabinet and around the pipes.

Frozen pipes are never any fun. Try any or all of the suggestions above to keep your plumbing functional in the cold.

Reduce Workplace Exposure to the Coronavirus

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a person with a mask and gloves Wear a mask to limit the spread of the virus in your workplace.

One of the reasons that COVID-19 has been more concerning than previous versions of the virus is that it is so easily transmitted. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main source of transmission is person-to-person:

It can be passed between two people who are standing within about 6 feet of each other.
Respiratory droplets carry the disease when an infected person talks, sneezes, or coughs, and another person inhales or touches the droplets.
Droplets carrying the virus may pass when people shake hands or hug.

Although person-to-person contact is the most significant source of coronavirus exposure, there are other ways to pass the virus.


Surface Exposure to the Coronavirus


When people infected with the virus touch surfaces and/or objects, some of the virus remains on those surfaces. When the next person touches the same surface, the virus is passed on. When that individual touches his or her own nose, mouth, or eyes, the virus can then infect that person. Due to this ability of the virus to spread through surface contact, Colorado Springs, CO, business owners must take steps to clean and disinfect their buildings and contents. Coronavirus cleanup requires specialized tools and equipment, however.


An Expert Touch


It’s often best to contact professional cleanup experts who have the appropriate training and FDA-approved disinfectants. These trained professionals should have personal protective equipment and generally have access to the disinfectants found to be most effective when used for covid-19 cleanup. As a business owner, you can limit the possibility of coronavirus exposure by scheduling routine visits from coronavirus cleanup experts.

Individual Steps and Responsibilities


Of course, the most effective ways to limit the spread of the virus is by taking the precautionary steps established by the CDC:

  • Stay six feet apart from others
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available
  • Wear a mask and cover your face when coughing or sneezing


Encourage your employees to use these steps and make it easy for clients and customers to take these steps. Avoiding coronavirus exposure is a task that requires the cooperation of everyone.

Saving Documents After Water Damage

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Image of wet documents with white letters stating "document restoration" with SERVPRO logo Document restoration is an important service provided by SERVPRO.

One of the saddest losses after a disaster is the destruction of valuable photographs, family histories, and other personal documents. A quick response by disaster and recovery professionals may prevent permanent loss. Document restoration is possible when papers are treated right away.

SERVPRO uses state of the art technology that carries out multiple functions:

  • An innovative combination of vacuum sealing and freeze-drying methods protect papers against further damages.
  • Gamma irradiation technology sterilizes documents to prevent mold and mildew growth.
  • Documents are digitized and saved in a computerized inventory system.
  • Books and papers can be cleaned, deodorized, and disinfected before receiving new jackets.


With many years of training and experience behind them, teams of technicians help you recover your valuable documents and paper keepsakes with advanced document drying efforts.

Document Drying

Vacuum Freeze-Drying Books and Papers

What types of content can be saved using vacuum freeze-drying methods? This method has been approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration for use on the following types of content:

  • Books
  • Blueprints
  • Documents on paper
  • Files
  • Magazines
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Microfiche
  • Parchment
  • Photographs, films, and negatives
  • X-rays


The approved methods used by SERVPRO in document restoration efforts are the same as those used by the Library of Congress to preserve historic books and documents in their possession.

Disinfecting Contents

Why are comprehensive cleaning and restoration services so important after water damage (from flooding, leaks, or firefighting efforts?) Floodwater often carries bacteria, chemicals, and other hazardous materials. Even if the water was initially clean, it picks up contaminants during the leak or flooding process. The gamma irradiation process used by SERVPRO to sterilize documents protects your paper contents and your family from future contamination.

Digitizing Files

It may be appropriate and acceptable to transfer some of your content into a digital format. This helps you recover information, reduce storage space, and maintain the accuracy of your records. It's also easy to access digital copies of documents, so you can pull them up wherever you are and whenever you need them.

Document restoration is an important service provided by disaster and restoration professionals in Colorado Springs, CO. If you've been affected by flooding, reach out to technicians as soon as possible.

Cleanup and Recovery After a Fire

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Image of flames with logo of servpro and letter in white stating Fire Damage Fire cleaning efforts should begin as soon as possible.

Dry-cleaning and other content restoration are important steps toward helping you get your life and home back to normal after a fire in your Colorado Springs, CO, home. Content restoration after fire damage helps you recover your cherished possessions, important documents, and other valuables. The steps of content cleaning generally include:

  • Taking an inventory of your belongings before and after the fire.
  • Packing items that need to be transferred elsewhere for restoration.
  • Transferring items to cleaning facilities.

What else do you need to know about these steps that follow a residential fire?

Why Hire Professionals?

Licensed restoration and cleanup technicians participate in hours of training and classes before completing assessments to assure you that they are qualified to handle your home and its contents. Many of these professionals work closely within the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification to deliver high standards of work and results. These professionals also have access to specialized tools and equipment to maintain the safety of your belongings, their safety, and your safety.

Can Everything Be Cleaned and Restored?


Many types of home contents can be cleaned and restored by professionals, including wood or upholstered furniture, rugs, carpets, electronic equipment, paper documents, plastic containers, kitchen utensils and dishes, appliances, and other items. Some materials and contents may be delivered for dry-cleaning while others may be washed, dried, and treated at your home. Other belongings, such as expensive artwork or paper documents, may require specialized treatment and meticulous handling. These items may take longer to restore.


What You Should Do?

After the fire has been contained, you may be ready to immediate tackle some cleanup and recovery efforts. It's okay to start by creating a list of your damaged items and comparing it to an inventory of your belongings before the fire occurred. Make sure this list includes important documents, such as birth certificates and passports. However, you should not try to run or repair appliances. Don't take steps to clean the contents of your home until these steps are okayed by professionals.

Fire cleaning efforts should begin as soon as possible after the flames are out, and residential cleanup professionals will handle the bulk of this work from dry-cleaning to art restoration. Avoid further damages by waiting to tackle your own recovery efforts until after professionals have completed their work.