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How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Commercial Building

9/15/2021 (Permalink)

Window condensation. Mold is prone to growing in a moisture environment.

Black mold is a very hardy, tiny life form that can be extremely difficult to find and eliminate once it starts growing. You could find it hiding in the tiniest crevices virtually anywhere in your Black Forest, CO, building. The key is to avoid it before it gets started. First, you must know a little about mold and what to do, and what not to do to prevent it.

Mold Spores Everywhere! What Can You Do?

1. Know the Signs of Mold

Mold may be challenging to find, but it's easy to identify; it has a unique appearance and odor. Typically, mold has a spotty look, but it can come in many different colors, depending on the variety. If you smell a musty odor, you most likely have mold growing somewhere in the vicinity of the smell. The next step is finding where it's hiding out.

2. Keep an Eye Out for Mold Growth

Mold can grow virtually anywhere; all it needs is moisture, adequate warmth, and a food source, but it doesn't take much to thrive. Mold will feed on any cellulose-based material, such as cardboard, wood, and paper. It can also survive on organic matter like textiles and leather, even dust that contains skin cells. Mold can't withstand sub-freezing temperatures, but the area doesn't have to be warm for it to live.

3. Make Repairs Immediately

Inspect for leaky pipes, a leaky roof, or condensation throughout the building. These areas can be havens for mold growth. Make repairs immediately. Then, if you see mold, clean it up right away.

4. Keep Indoor Humidity Low

Even moderately high humidity indoors can cause black mold to grow. Keep your indoor relative humidity at 50% maximum. Home improvement stores sell humidity meters. Make sure to check the humidity levels several times during one day, as these levels can vary.

5. Run Dehumidifiers

If you have a moisture problem in some areas of your building and struggle to keep the humidity level down, dehumidifiers will help remove excess moisture from the air. Attics and basements are two common locations prone to excess humidity. Be sure to watch and empty the container that collects the water before it gets full so it will keep doing its job.

6. Clean Your HVAC System

It's essential to keep your heating and air system cleaned and maintained regularly. Mold spores can travel through your ventilation system, creating poor air quality for your building and spreading mold to other areas.

7. Call the Professionals

The best action you can take when you have a mold issue is to hire mold restoration experts. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to thoroughly inspect the entire building to find signs of mold and excess moisture. Then, they can perform a comprehensive mold cleanup and ensure that it's completely eliminated.

Black mold can wreak havoc on a building before anyone even realizes it exists. Mold spores are found virtually everywhere in the world. This is one reason why it's crucial to do everything possible to prevent mold growth. Being aware of moisture issues and repairing them immediately is a great start to living mold-free.

Dealing With Fire and Water Damage After a House Fire

8/21/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighter extinguishing a fire. The cleanup after fire damage is a long process. Hire a professional team to help you to deal with it.

When flames break out in your Black Forest, CO, home, there's no question that fire damage will follow. However, many homeowners are surprised to learn that damage from water is also a common issue after home fires. As firefighters work to put out the blaze, they may use hundreds of gallons of water. Fortunately, cleanup and repair professionals have experience dealing with fire, smoke, and water damage:

Secondary Damage Prevention

One of the first things that cleanup crews may do after a fire is boarding up any holes in the ceilings and walls. This is done to protect your vulnerable home from exposure to rain, extreme weather, and trespassers. In addition to securing your home, these professionals will assess the damage to determine the best course of action for cleanup and restoration.

Removal of Damaged Goods and Materials

When it's safe, you may help throw out and haul away fire-damaged items. Although you may want to save what you can, there are four things you should always get rid of after a fire:

  • Food
  • Medications
  • Toiletries
  • Clothing

If you have questions about how to safely dispose of these items, reach out to experts at the fire department or the cleanup and restoration company.

Cleaning and Disinfection

This step is crucial to ensuring the wellbeing and safety of your family. Once any rubble and ruined items have been cleared out, it's time for thorough cleaning and disinfection. Cleanup experts have professional-grade products to use, including personal protective gear, equipment, and disinfectants.

Mold Prevention

In a home that is already vulnerable because of fire damage, a lot of additional harm can be caused by water from fire hoses. Mold growth is a common issue after a fire hose has sent gallons of water into the home. Professionals inspect for signs of mold and take steps to prevent mold spores from settling into water-affected areas.

Damage Repair

If floors, ceilings, drywall, and furnishings survived the fire, they may still have soaked up a lot of water. This can lead to warping, stains, and structural weakness. Cleanup and repair professionals will inspect the inside and outside of the home for signs of damage and then determine what can be repaired and what must be replaced. This part of fire recovery should be left to the professionals because weakened areas in your home could collapse, causing further damage or harm to people. Your insurance company may recommend a cleanup company to ensure that repairs are done safely and correctly.

Electrical and Plumbing Repairs

These are two areas of work that should also be tackled by professionals because of the potential for further damage. Frayed wiring could lead to new fires and damaged plumbing could cause gas leaks or more water damage.

Final Touches

With major repairs and reconstruction nearly complete, professionals will make sure that there's no lingering moisture in the air. Fans and dehumidifiers are often used to ensure that there are no hidden pockets of humidity behind the walls or between floors.

Recovery from a home fire takes time, especially as professionals must address both fire and water damage. Once these steps are complete, however, you can return to your home with confidence that it is once again clean and safe.

6 Home Damage Mitigation Tips

8/21/2021 (Permalink)

Repairing roof damage. A storm can cause severe damage to your home in Black Forest, CO.

One of the functions of your roof is to protect your home from wind, water, and falling objects. When you have roof damage, that protection is often weakened and without mitigation can lead to additional damage to your home.

These mitigation tips can help you avoid additional damage.

1. Cover Broken or Cracked Windows and Skylights

Damage from hail, tree limbs, or debris can create cracks or holes in windows and skylights. This can cause leaks if it rains before you can have permanent repairs made. Cover damaged windows and skylights with plastic to prevent additional damage while you wait for repairs.

2. Use a Tarp on Your Damaged Roof

If your roof has wind damage or has begun to leak after a storm, cover the damaged area with a tarp or call a contractor in Black Forest, CO, to do it for you. If you can not immediately place a tarp, put buckets under the leaking areas to reduce the amount of water damage in your home. If you have substantial water damage, consider contacting a water restoration company to dry out your property. This will reduce the chance that the excess moisture will lead to mold growth.

3. Remove Fallen Trees

Heavy rains can saturate the ground around your home and cause trees to fall on your house. If this happens to you, contact a tree company to remove the fallen tree as soon as possible and place a tarp on any areas with roof damage. You can prevent future damage by keeping trees near your home trimmed and removing any trees that are dead or unhealthy.

4. Repair Damaged Shingles

Loose, missing or damaged shingles can make your roof more vulnerable to damage from wind, rain, and snow. Have your roof inspected regularly and any time you have had a major storm event. Repair any issues with your roof before the next storm occurs.

5. Replace Your Roof When Needed

A roof with asphalt shingles will last between 15 to 30 years. Wood shingle roofs need to be replaced after 20 to 25 years. Rubber roofs can last 30 to 50 years and metal roofs will last 50 to 75 years. Replacing your roof when needed helps to protect the interior of your home from damage. Regularly maintaining your roof and keeping it free from debris can prolong its life.

6. Maintain Your Siding

Damaged siding is another frequent entry point for wind and water. Vinyl siding can last between 30 and 40 years. Other types of siding may need to be replaced more frequently. If your siding is damaged during a storm or other event, use a tarp to cover the damaged area until it can be replaced. If you have wood siding, keep it painted and regularly inspect it for signs of rot.

If you have roof damage, it is important to take steps to ensure that wind, rain, or other elements do not cause additional damage to your property while you wait for permanent repairs. If you have insurance, your insurance may cover the cost of damage mitigation efforts.

Changing Your Fire Alarm Battery, and Other Safety Information

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Fire alarm installation. Your home should have an alarm in each bedroom, outside each sleeping space, and on each level of the home.

Did you know that U.S. fire departments respond to an average of one house fire every 88 seconds? Between 2012 and 2016, house fires caused 11,679 injuries and 2,560 deaths, which amounts to approximately seven deaths by house fire per day. The fire damage cost homeowners roughly $6.5 billion. A working smoke alarm can go a long way toward keeping residents safe, but the problem is, many homes either lack fire alarms or are equipped with alarms that don't work. Below are a few stats to support this assertion:

  • 38% of deaths by house fire occurred in situations in which there was no fire alarm present.
  • Three out of five house fire deaths occurred in situations in which the home did not have a working smoke detector.
  • When a home has working fire alarms, the risk of death is cut in half.

You can avoid danger by arming yourself with basic fire safety and alarm knowledge.

Average Fire Alarm Lifespan

The average lifespan on a new model smoke alarm is eight to 10 years, which means you don't need to replace the unit for quite some time. However, just to be safe, check the manufacturing date on the back of the unit. Even if it has not been eight to 10 years since the manufacturing date, test your smoke detector once a month to make sure it works.

Fire Alarm Battery Life

Again, test your alarm once a month to ensure the battery and unit work. After one year, replace the battery, even if testing reveals the unit still works. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Fire Detector Placement

If you're like most Americans, you have just one or two fire alarms in your home. This is not sufficient. Assuming you have a two-story, three-bedroom home, your house should have five alarms in total.

Now that you boosted your smoke alarm knowledge, update your fire safety education. Talk to your Colorado Springs, CO fire damage restoration team for more safety tips.

Not All Water Damage Is the Same

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded business office. Exist three categories of water damage and it is fundamental to recognize them to know how to fix the damage.

When your Black Forest, CO, commercial building sustains water damage, what are your options for restoration? First, before you even deal with the water pipe repair or other repairs, you must determine what kind of water you're dealing with. While any moisture can cause a lot of costly damage to a structure and its contents, some floodwaters require a very different approach than others.

There are three categories of water damage.

1. Category 1: Clean Water

Water damage isn't good no matter what variety it is, but if your building has to flood, Category 1 water is preferable. This water can come from various sources, including a broken water supply line, an appliance leak, rainwater, melting ice or snow, or an overflowing sink or bathtub that contains no contaminants. This is also known as "clean water," which means it doesn't threaten people or pets with toxins. Just as with any water intrusion, cleanup must begin swiftly, as standing water or excess moisture can cause mold growth to start within 24 hours of the occurrence.

2. Category 2: Gray Water

Category 2 water is also commonly known as "gray water." This water includes some kind of contaminant which could be chemical, biological, or physical contamination. This type of water damage results from events such as sump pump failures, leaking dishwashers or washing machines, overflowing toilets (containing only urine), fire sprinkler water, and chilled or condensate water.

Category 2 damage can also result from clean water sitting too long that turns to gray water. Additionally, it can happen as clean water travels through other materials, such as a Category 1 flood from a broken pipe on the second floor of a building as it travels through building materials. As a result, Category 2 water collects on the first floor. Gray water can make people and animals sick if they touch it due to microorganisms and other contaminants. You may feel that merely extracting the water and drying the area is enough, aside from the water pipe repair. When your building undergoes this type of damage, it's essential to make sure the affected area and its contents are thoroughly and quickly decontaminated and dried.

3. Category 3: Black Water

The worst possible type of water damage is caused by Category 3 water, which is also referred to as "black water." This water is heavily contaminated, containing sewage or floodwaters from rivers or streams. Blackwater can also occur from gray water being left to linger without proper cleanup. After your building has flooded with black water, it's vital to have flood restoration professionals use their expertise and equipment to handle the process safely, properly, and thoroughly.

Not all flood water is the same. When your building sustains water damage, whether, from a broken pipe, a sewage overflow, or heavy rainfall, you must determine if you're dealing with clean water, gray water, or black water. Even more important than making necessary repairs, such as a water pipe repair, is cleaning up correctly from the water damage. Proper cleaning and decontaminating will ensure that everyone remains safe, and it'll help return your building up to code.

Why Board Up Services Are Necessary After a Fire

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

House in Colorado Springs, CO. Board up home in Colorado Springs, CO, after fire damage.

If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a fire in your Colorado Springs, CO, home, there are many steps you need to take to help restore your living space. While you go through the recovery process, it’s important to have board-up services performed on your home to help protect it from further damage. Here are some of the main benefits of having your home boarded up during the fire cleanup process.

Helps Prevent Further Damage

While you’re already dealing with costly fire damage, the last thing you want is for your home to become exposed to additional harm. Failing to have your building boarded up in the aftermath of a fire can make it vulnerable to elements such as:

  • High winds
  • Water
  • Debris
  • Animals

Be sure to cover up any holes in your roof or walls by using emergency board-up services in order to keep further damage at bay.

Satisfies Insurance Requirements

In many cases, your insurance company will require you to take reasonable measures to prevent additional harm to your home after a fire. These measures may include board-up or tarp over services. In order to have your insurance claim approved, make sure you have restorative services performed on your home as soon as possible.

Keeps Away Intruders

If your home is left exposed after a fire incident, it can invite intruders to cause further damage. Whether they steal your property or access your private information, home intruders can find many ways to wreak more havoc on your living space. When you have your home boarded up by professional services, you can prevent intruders from entering your home and causing more distress.

Contacting an emergency restoration company to perform board-up services can safeguard your home after a fire incident. It's crucial to take this simple step to protect your living space from any additional forms of damage.

How FEMA Can Help You

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

FEMA's documents. Thankfully, you can receive assistance from an organization called the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.

After a severe storm such as a hurricane or tornado, people often return to find their homes in shambles. There may be a torn-off roof, damage from fallen trees, and wind damage. You may be wondering how to put the pieces back together after a devastating storm in Black Forest, CO. Thankfully, you can receive assistance from an organization called the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA. You may be unsure of how they can help you or how to apply. Having this information can help you get your life back to normal again, with the help of storm damage repair experts.

How to Apply

You can get assistance by applying online, or you can apply over the phone if you prefer. There is some information you should have handy when applying:

  • Your home address (of the damaged home)
  • Description of the damage that was incurred due to the storm
  • Information on who lives in your house
  • Your bank account information

Having this information handy upfront will likely help the application process easier.

Who Does It Help?

FEMA can help those whose homes or property were badly damaged or destroyed by a flood or other storm damage. Even if you have insurance, it can be helpful to have government assistance to help get your home back to normal again.

How Does It Help?

If you are a homeowner, then you might get money to help with repairing the damage from flooding or strong winds. You may also be able to get some money to help replenish household items destroyed, such as furniture or clothing. Those who were injured in the storm may be eligible to have medical costs reimbursed. Finally, for those who don't have a place to stay after their home is damaged, temporary housing assistance can be arranged.

FEMA can be great for helping you get back on your feet again after a severe storm. Be sure to apply as soon as you can, as it might help expedite the process to receive your assistance.

3 Tips for Salvaging Wet Items After a Flood

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded house. It's possible to salvage some value items after a flood in your Black Forest, CO, home

Whenever there is water in a home, both the structure of the home and the contents can be severely damaged. Many wet items will need to be discarded, but some can be saved. These tips can help you salvage your possessions after a flood.

1. Determine the Type of Water

Items that have come in contact with clean water, such as water from a broken pipe, are easier to salvage than items that have contacted floodwater from an external source or from a source that may be contaminated with sewage. Items that have come in contact with contaminated water may need to be discarded or professionally cleaned to be safe.

2. Prioritize Contents

When you have hard water in your home, you may have hundreds of personal items that were damaged. Contents that are easily and cheaply replaced should be given a lower priority than difficult to replace items, such as photos, family heirlooms, original artwork, or high-dollar items. Determine which items are the most important to you to save and prioritize your salvage efforts accordingly.

3. Take Quick Action

Mold and mildew can start to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours after a flood event. Begin gently drying items as soon as possible. Air drying is best, so open your windows and doors if the weather permits. You can also use air conditioners, fans, and dehumidifiers to speed up the process. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and other heat sources. Handle wet items with care and gently clean them once dry. Clothing may need dry cleaning. Use soft cloths and brushes on other items. Gently blot instead of rubbing. It may help to contact a cleaning company in Black Forest, CO, to restore fragile or valuable items.

You are unlikely to be able to save all of your contents after you have water at home. However, you can take steps to salvage your most valuable items.

Primary and Secondary Damage: How To Respond

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

A person cleaning mold in a wall. A leaking pipe can lead to water damage and mold damage.

Flooding from a leak or heavy rain can lead to immediate water damage in your Black Forest, CO, home. This is called primary damage. Some examples of primary harm include stained carpets or ceiling tiles, crumbling materials because of water absorption, and other things that happen as soon as water spreads. Other examples include:

  • Broken pipes
  • Waterlogged furnishings
  • Soaked floorboards
  • Damaged appliances

Any harm that is a direct result of the initial problem falls into this category. What about black mold and mildew growth?

When Moisture Remains

Secondary damage happens after the water has receded. Black mold is one example of this damage. Rotting wood or musty smells often result from lingering areas of high humidity. Trouble such as floors that warp or ceilings that bow happens because proper remediation didn't happen. The only way to avoid long-term problems is to completely and thoroughly dry all areas affected by water.

Anticipating Future Damage

If you've had to deal with recovery from flooding or leaks, you know that repairs and cleanup can be time-consuming and expensive. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to find hidden pockets of moisture or anticipate all potential secondary damage. A professional response prevents many of the secondary effects. Technicians have the training and equipment to recognize potential issues and take the appropriate steps to prevent that trouble.

A Trusted Resource

SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies because of the quality of work provided by SERVPRO technicians. Locally owned and operated franchises mean that cleanup and repair crews can respond Faster to Any Size Disaster. Additionally, Black Forest, CO, franchises have access to corporate resources, so even small jobs are handled with the powerful resources available in larger communities.

Treating issues, such as black mold, immediately is the best way to avoid expensive damage. Reach out to cleanup and remediation professionals to be sure that all moisture is thoroughly removed and sanitized.

3 Things To Consider About Solar Panels and Storms

7/17/2021 (Permalink)

Solar panel installation. Installing solar panels in your Colorado Spring home, NC, are a great option if it is done by a professional.

Many homeowners are moving toward renewable energy sources to make their homes more energy-efficient. Solar panels are quickly growing in popularity, but many people are still reluctant to spend money on panel installation because they worry about panel damage. Fortunately, most of their concerns are unnecessary because modern-day panels are stronger and more durable than past models. While original panels or systems might have required clean-up from a storm restoration service in Colorado Springs, CO, modern-day panels can withstand most storms, but there are a few things you should know.

1. Panels Are Durable, Not Indestructible

Most solar systems, including individual panels, can withstand winds of up to 140 mpg before sustaining any serious panel damage, meaning most systems can withstand a category four hurricane. However, while the panels can sustain such powerful winds, that does not mean they can withstand a hit from all debris hurdling at such speeds.

2. Panel Damage Will Require Professional Repair

Unlike some minor roof damage that can be corrected with a simple patch, panel damage cannot be corrected by just any professional or DIY aficionado. When a storm causes damage to a panel or the solar power system, you will most likely need to call the company that installed your system to inspect it and repair any damage.

3. Panels Require Maintenance Like Any Other

Structure or Appliance
Installing a solar power system is not something you can set up and forget about. Sure, the system essentially runs itself, but just like any other structure or appliance on or in your property, routine maintenance is vital to optimal performance.

While panel damage is possible with a solar power system, it should not keep you from benefitting from the energy-efficient upgrade. The panels are stronger than you think, so keep the risks in mind, but do not let them drive the decision. Instead, consult with a solar power installer and weigh the pros and cons.