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Hurricane Preparation Tips

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Preparation Tips Hurricane Season

Hurricanes

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over warm ocean waters and move toward land. Potential threats from hurricanes include powerful winds, heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, tornadoes, and landslides. The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The Pacific hurricane season runs May 15 to November 30. Hurricanes:

  • Can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans.
  • Can affect areas more than 100 miles inland.
  • Are most active in September.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A HURRICANE WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Turn Around, Don’t Drown! Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk of hurricanes.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • If you are at risk for flash flooding, watch for warning signs such as heavy rain.
  • Practice going to a safe shelter for high winds, such as a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not subject to flooding.
  • Based on your location and community plans, make your own plans for evacuation or sheltering in place.
  • Become familiar with your evacuation zone, the evacuation route, and shelter locations.
  • Gather needed supplies for at least three days. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Keep important documents in a safe place or create password-protected digital copies.
  • Protect your property. Declutter drains and gutters. Install check valves in plumbing to prevent backups. Consider hurricane shutters. Review insurance policies.

When a hurricane is 36 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV or radio in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Restock your emergency preparedness kit. Include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies.
  • Plan how to communicate with family members if you lose power. For example, you can call, text, email or use social media. Remember that during disasters, sending text messages is usually reliable and faster than making phone calls because phone lines are often overloaded.
  • Review your evacuation zone, evacuation route and shelter locations. Plan with your family. You may have to leave quickly so plan ahead.
  • Keep your car in good working condition, and keep the gas tank full; stock your vehicle with emergency supplies and a change of clothes.

When a hurricane is 18-36 hours from arriving

  • Bookmark your city or county website for quick access to storm updates and emergency instructions.
  • Bring loose, lightweight objects inside that could become projectiles in high winds (e.g., patio furniture, garbage cans); anchor objects that would be unsafe to bring inside (e.g., propane tanks); and trim or remove trees close enough to fall on the building.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” exterior grade or marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install.

When a hurricane is 6-18 hours from arriving

  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
  • Charge your cell phone now so you will have a full battery in case you lose power.

When a hurricane is 6 hours from arriving

  • If you’re not in an area that is recommended for evacuation, plan to stay at home or where you are and let friends and family know where you are.
  • Close storm shutters, and stay away from windows. Flying glass from broken windows could injure you.
  • Turn your refrigerator or freezer to the coldest setting and open only when necessary. If you lose power, food will last longer. Keep a thermometer in the refrigerator to be able to check the food temperature when the power is restored.
  • Turn on your TV/radio, or check your city/county website every 30 minutes in order to get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.

Survive DURING

  • If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Do not drive around barricades.
  • If sheltering during high winds, go to a FEMA safe room, ICC 500 storm shelter, or a small, interior, windowless room or hallway on the lowest floor that is not subject to flooding.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery outdoors ONLY and away from windows.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Listen to authorities for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Prevent Water Damage Before it Happens

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prevent Water Damage Before it Happens Prevent Water Damage

1. Be careful where you plant

Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.

2. Clean out roof gutters

You know it’s on your to-do list anyway, so if you can, take a safe climb up to your roof next Sunday and check out your gutters. If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And on a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them.

3.  Keep an eye on your water bill

With so many water pipes hidden behind walls and in the floors in your house, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is done. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your monthly water bill. If you see it starting to creep up, or get one that’s uncommonly high, it’s a pretty good sign that you may have a leak somewhere.

4. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals

No matter how crazy clean you are, from your shower to your kitchen sink, clogs are going to happen. And chances are at some point in your life you’ve used one of those powerful chemical drain cleaners to get things moving again. But as convenient as they may be, most folks don’t realize those caustic chemicals are also eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is a good solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.

5. Never pour grease down your sink

You’ve probably heard this before, but you should definitely avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.

Advise from Farmers Insurance and SERVPRO. 

What Can You Do When Your Home is Affected By a Flood?

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

A Description of Typical House Flood Damages and Cleanup Requirements:

When your house floods, the water can wreak havoc on the structure of the house, your personal belongings, and the health of the inside environment. Flood waters contain many contaminants and lots of mud. High dollar items can get ruined all at once, even with just an inch of water, for example: carpeting, wallboard, appliances, and furniture. A more severe storm or deeper flood may add damage to even more expensive systems, like: ducts, the heater and air conditioner, roofing, private sewage and well systems, utilities, and the foundation.

  • First call your insurance agent, they will let you know if you are covered or not.
  • When we come out to your home or place of business, we start by extracting water, then clean out any mud or debris.
  • After, we clean and disinfect every single surface, and remove any walls that may have gotten wet to help with drying out the area.

Call SERVPRO at 303-576-6868

Are You Prepared For a Flood?

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are You Prepared For a Flood? Be Prepared For Any Disaster!

A Description of Typical House Flood Damages and Cleanup Requirements:

When your house floods, the water can wreak havoc on the structure of the house, your personal belongings, and the health of the inside environment. Flood waters contain many contaminants and lots of mud. High dollar items can get ruined all at once, even with just an inch of water, for example: carpeting, wallboard, appliances, and furniture. A more severe storm or deeper flood may add damage to even more expensive systems, like: ducts, the heater and air conditioner, roofing, private sewage and well systems, utilities, and the foundation.

  • First call your insurance agent, they will let you know if you are covered or not.
  • When we come out to your home or place of business, we start by extracting water, then clean out any mud or debris.
  • After, we clean and disinfect every single surface, and remove any walls that may have gotten wet to help with drying out the area.

Call SERVPRO at 303-576-6868

What Can You Do When Your Home Floods?

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Can You Do When Your Home Floods? Be Prepared For Any Size Disaster.

A Description of Typical House Flood Damages and Cleanup Requirements:

When your house floods, the water can wreak havoc on the structure of the house, your personal belongings, and the health of the inside environment. Flood waters contain many contaminants and lots of mud. High dollar items can get ruined all at once, even with just an inch of water, for example: carpeting, wallboard, appliances, and furniture. A more severe storm or deeper flood may add damage to even more expensive systems, like: ducts, the heater and air conditioner, roofing, private sewage and well systems, utilities, and the foundation.

  • First call your insurance agent, they will let you know if you are covered or not.
  • When we come out to your home or place of business, we start by extracting water, then clean out any mud or debris.
  • After, we clean and disinfect every single surface, and remove any walls that may have gotten wet to help with drying out the area.

Call SERVPRO at 303-576-6868

Development Boom in Colorado

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Development Boom in Colorado Denver

Many projects currently underway are multifamily, meaning apartment or condo buildings, with nearly 10,000 new residential units in the downtown area, the report also says.

Some people say developers are overbuilding, creating too many apartments that contribute to worse traffic and overcrowding in the city.

Schippits said one way developers decide whether to build is by looking at the number of apartments compared to jobs available. CBRE is a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate services and investment firm.

Denver's job-per-apartment unit ratio is 5.9, meaning for every 5.9 jobs, there's one apartment unit.

"As a metro area... we're underperforming when it compares to our competitive set like Seattle or Austin," Schippits said. "If you peel the onion away any more...downtown is even further behind."

Downtown's ratio is at 6.6, above the national average of 6.1.

"What we're forecasting is with all the new apartments coming online, plus the jobs that are created downtown as predicted by Moody's [Analytics], our ratio will drop to 5.2," he said.

"So we're not overbuilding," Schippits said, adding that building more apartments is key to controlling for expense. "If we have more supply, there's less pressure on cost."

When Mold Growth is Prevalent in Your Home

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation When Mold Growth is Prevalent in Your Home Mold Growth

MOLD REMEDIATION PROCESS

While it is important to know when to call in a professional mold remediation team, there are a couple things you can do yourself to get rid of mold if it’s in a small area:

  1. Locate the Mold: Remember that mold spreads, so be sure to check all rooms in your home including, especially dark and damp areas like the basement. Be sure to also check under the carpeting, flooring and behind wallpaper or drywall.
  2. Get Rid of Moldy Materials: Materials that cannot be cleaned and salvaged need to be disposed of. This includes wood, drywall, carpets or anything else that is growing mold. Use safety gear such as gloves, masks, and goggles before handling moldy items.

If the mold infestation is on a larger scale, a professional mold remediation team will likely do the following, in addition to getting rid of moldy items:

  1. Use Commercial Equipment to Dry Out the Affected Area: It’s important to get your home dried out your home as much as possible, since mold thrives in wet and humid environments. Professionals will use air movers, dehumidifiers and HEPA air scrubbers that work together to eliminate moisture and dry out the air and surfaces. They’ll also wear safety gear like gloves, a mask and eye goggles.
  2. Prepare the Room to Contain the Mold Problem: Mold spores can instantly become airborne. To avoid this, professionals will seal off the affected area before they get to work. They’ll use tape and plastic sheets to seal off doorways and vents.
  3. Establish Negative Air Pressure: Establishing negative airflow in the sealed room using an air mover ensures airflows in but not out. Once the area has been sealed using plastic sheets and tape, professionals can poke a small hole in the plastic and insert an air mover duct attachment through the hole and seal it with duct tape. This negative air pressure further prevents mold spores from escaping into the rest of your home.
  4. Use Fungicide on Remaining Materials: If there are any materials that can be salvaged and will remain in the room then it is important to thoroughly clean them. A fungicide product can ensure all the mold spores are removed and that there is no opportunity for a recurrent infestation. Any buildings materials that cannot be cleaned or removed such as porous surfaces should have a fungicide applied to them.
  5. Finish Repairing the Room: Once the moldy materials have been removed and the area has been thoroughly cleaned, any necessary repairs from the water can mold damage can be completed. This may include flooring, carpeting or drywall repairs.

Prepare Your Home or Business For a Wildfire

8/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Prepare Your Home or Business For a Wildfire Call SERVPRO at 303-576-6868

Prepare your home or business for a wildfire. If possible, use Class A roofing material. This includes tile, slate, or asphalt. You can also use Class B pressure-treated shingles or shakes. Make sure that you have smoke alarms near every bedroom or office and in each zone of your house or business. Test smoke alarms monthly and change their batteries annually. Also, consider installing fire sprinklers.  Outside your home, make sure you have enough garden hose available to reach any part of your property. Designate water sources and make sure that the fire department can access them if they need to. Water sources are areas such as swimming pools, ponds, lakes, wells and fire hydrants. Create an emergency escape plan. Speak to town officials to learn what the evacuation route is for your area. Discuss this evacuation route with everyone in your family and your employees. Ensure family members who live nearby know the route and have means of transportation. Also, stay informed by signing up for emergency text or alert messages from your town. Finally, don’t forget to create an emergency kit. 

During a Wildfire

Prepare to evacuate. Listen to emergency channels and know the status of the fire. Put emergency supplies and must-have items in the car so you can evacuate quickly. Evacuate immediately if told to do so. If you have time, there are steps you can take to help protect your property when you evacuate. These steps include:
 
  • Moving furniture to the center of rooms and taking down drapes and curtains to prevent combustion.
  • Closing all windows and doors to prevent drafts and reduce heat.
  • Shutting off natural gas from its source.
  • Turning on all lights in your property so that firefighters can more easily see it through smoke.
Evacuate Safely. Remain calm while evacuating. If you’re driving, roll up your windows and close the air vents. The smoke from the fire can get into your car, irritate your eyes and cause breathing problems. Also, turn your headlights on and keep your doors unlocked. In the event that something happens to you while driving, locked doors can slow your rescue. 

After a Wildfire

Return only when it is safe. Do not go back to your property until officials declare it safe to do so. Watch out for ash pits and hot spots. Even after a fire is extinguished, small fires can flare up without warning. Check your house and surrounding property for hot spots and extinguish them immediately. Also, be on the lookout for ash pits. These are holes filled with hot ashes left by burned trees. Mark ash pits to help prevent others from falling into them and injuring themselves. Document the damage. Take photos and video and make a written list documenting your damaged property. Contact your insurance company immediately to report the damage. Wildfires are some of the most destructive forces of nature. There isn’t much that can be done to deter a wildfire’s path. Fortunately, there are ways to help mitigate property damage and keep your employees and loved ones safe. By following the information in this article, you can help increase your chances of prevailing through a wildfire.  Please visit the following website for further information: https://www.thehartford.com/claims/wildfire-safety 

Mitigation and Restoration

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Mitigation and Restoration Reconstruction

Who Can Provide Mitigation & Reconstruction?

When your home or business suffers water damage it’s important to start the mitigation process as soon as possible. The longer moisture sits in walls and flooring, the more damage the structure of your home will suffer. It’s important to call your nearest mitigation specialist as time is crucial.

In most cases, water damage leads to mold growth. Do you know why? Moist and humid surfaces are the perfect breeding ground for mold growth. Time is of the essence in every water loss.

When the mitigation process is complete you are left with a partially constructed home or business. No worries! SERVPRO can provide mitigation reconstruction. Once all moisture is eliminated from the structure and the non-salvageable walls and flooring are removed, reconstruction can begin.

Rather than having multiple contractors in your home or business, have SERVPRO come in and make it “Like it never even happened.”

What Causes Mold Growth?

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What Causes Mold Growth? Mold Removal

What Mold Needs to Grow

Mold Growth Conditions :

  • Darkness (mold can't grow under ultraviolet light)
  • Warmth (mold can't grow in freezing temperatures)
  • Oxygen
  • Moisture (eg water leaks, humidity)
  • Enough time (most molds can begin to grow in 24-48 hours if the conditions are right)

Humidity Causes Mold

If you live where humidity in the air is naturally high, like near the coast or another large body of water, then mold growth in your home can also be a recurring problem.

When moisture inside your house evaporates into the air it increases the humidity indoors. If your home isn't well ventilated then the humidity will stay high for a long time.

HVAC systems can also create humidity problems while it artificially heats or cools the air.

Sometimes people use humidifiers in their homes. But there are molds that only need the humidity level to be higher than 55% to start growing. Be sure to keep the humidity below 55%.

High humidity feeds mold. High humidity can also causes puddles of water and damp materials in the home take longer to dry out. These wet surfaces can in turn create mold growth of their own.

Poor Ventilation Causes Mold

Poor ventilation can create pockets of stagnant moist air which mold thrives in. Steam and water evaporating into the air creates humidity inside which then needs to be circulated outdoors through windows to keep the moisture level balanced.

Poor ventilation also means wet surfaces dry out slowly. Ventilation is especially important in rooms such as the bathroom and the kitchen where there is a lot of steam.

Mold Growth in Basements 

Basements often contain higher amounts of moisture or humidity than other rooms because they are usually not well ventilated. Basements are often colder which causes more condensation leading to damp and humid conditions

When water leaks in your home it will often end up running down to the basement. Not only is mold more likely to grow in basements, but because they are usually neglected mold growth may not be discovered until it is well set in.

If you have questions regarding mold please contact us at 303-576-6868.