New Mexico Freeze
SERVPRO to The Rescue!
New Mexico was hit with a winter storm on December 31st, 2018. Rio Rancho, Sante Fe and Albuquerque were severely affected by the freezing temperatures.
Since the last blizzard occurred in 2011 and residents were not prepared to handle the storm damages. Many homes with flat roofs faced excessive water leaks, whereas other homes were flooded by burst pipes from freezing temperatures.
The three SERVPROs in New Mexico were overwhelmed with the volume of jobs they were facing. SERVPRO corporate invited SERVPRO of W. Littleton/Sheridan to aide the local SERVPROs in providing service for those affected by the storm.
SERVPRO of W. Littleton/Sheridan wasted no time stocking their trucks with equipment, tools and supplies needed for the trip. After driving six hours straight, crews hastily unpacked and dispersed throughout the New Mexico Area.
Every time a SERVPRO hero goes into "storm mode" they consider the fact that they have the ability and knowledge to change the outcome of an unfortunate situation and to ultimately be a beacon of light for those affected by unexpected storms and hurricanes. SERVPRO professionals know that response time is everything, and they will work around the clock to get you back in your home and your life back to normal.
Our SERVPRO crews are still in the New Mexico Area and if your home was affected by the recent freeze please call us at 303-576-6868.
More About The Services We Provide
Whether you need emergency flood restoration or just need your upholstery cleaned, SERVPRO has over 1,700 Franchises ready to respond faster to any size disaster. SERVPRO has advanced equipment and highly trained technicians to make it “Like it never even happened.” We can help you with the following residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
We Provide Commercial Services
Commercial Restoration and Mitigation Services
If you are a property manager, business owner or building engineer then you understand the importance of maintaining and taking care of a commercial property. Our SERVPRO Commercial Division is solely dedicated to providing quality service for commercial clients and their properties. Our Commercial Division understands the needs and complexities of commercial buildings.We provide Emergency Ready Plans for large scale buildings, to get you back in business as quickly as possible.
We have the resources and capabilities to provide commercial restoration and mitigation services for any size structure. Whether your business or commercial property faces a fire, water or mold loss, we can handle it. We also provide board up and bio-hazard clean up services.
- We are an EPA & IICRC certified firm
- Any size loss will be handled confidently by an IICRC professional trained in water, fire, smoke, and commercial loss
- Golden Spike, Great Wolf Resorts, Ballard House, VA Medical Center, Aurora Firehouse 15, local municipalities, etc.
- We have equipment resources to manage all of your needs
- Including specialty drying equipment (injectidry, floor drying system, ETES, air scrubber, desiccant, etc.)
- 16 production vehicles, including 2 trailers
- Esporta Washing System
- Ultrasonic Cleaning System
- Document Drying
- Production teams with 7 years of national catastrophic storm travel
- Producing jobs in locations such as Illinois, Maryland, Arkansas, Idaho, Florida, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, California, Georgia, and Puerto Rico.
- Ownership that places the highest importance on Customer Satisfaction
- Our capabilities allow us to respond to your needs
SERVPRO’s Commercial Division is qualified to answer any of your restoration and mitigation questions. If you are concerned about your commercial property or if you have any questions about the services we provide, call our office and ask for our commercial division.
Prevent a Deep Fried Turkey Fire
Prevent a Turkey Fire!
Tips to help prevent deep fried turkey accidents
- Keep outdoor fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
- Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups.
- Watch the weather. Never operate a fryer outdoors in the rain or snow.
- Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
- Leave 2 feet between the tank and the burner when using a propane-powered fryer.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
- Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
- Never leave fryers unattended.
- Purchase a fryer with temperature controls, and watch the oil temperature carefully. Cooking oil that is heated beyond its smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
- Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
- Wear goggles to shield your eyes, use oven mitts to protect your hands and arms and keep an "ABC" or grease-rated fire extinguisher close by. Do not to use water or a garden hose on a fire related to Turkey Fryers.
- Skip the stuffing when frying turkey, and avoid water-based marinades.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
- Once finished, carefully remove the pot from the burner, place it on a level surface and cover to let the oil cool overnight before disposing.
- Opt for an oil-less fryer. This uses infrared heat, rather than oil, to cook the turkey.
After your turkey is prepared, remember these Thanksgiving food safety tips to help ensure your family has a safe, enjoyable holiday.
If you do face a fire please call a professional restoration company like SERVPRO.
What To Do After A Fire
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
- Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
- If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
- Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
- Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
- Change HVAC filter.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.
What NOT To Do After A Fire
- Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting us.
- Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
- Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
- Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
- Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing!
Why Are Your Pipes Freezing?
Temperatures outside must drop to 20 degrees or lower in order for a pipe to freeze. Newly built homes in northern climates tend to be well insulated with water pipes located on the inner parts of the house for extra protection. Homes built in southern climates can face problematic hard freezes due to homes not being built to accommodate cold temperatures.
Which Pipes Are Vulnerable to Freezing?
- Pipes located on the outer walls of the home
- Pipes located in unheated garages, attics, crawl spaces and basements
- Copper pipes
- Galvanized pipes
- Uninsulated pipes
So What if Your Pipes Freeze?
When temperatures drop, water freezes and expands causing pipes to burst.
A burst pipe can result in a water leak. Ruptured pipes and water damage can cost thousands of dollars to repair.The amount of damage depends on where the burst occurs, how long it takes to catch the problem, and how much water is leaking from the pipe.
Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing.
- Install Insulation.
- Insulate pipes on the outside of your home .
- When temperatures drop, open your faucets to a slow dribble.
- Open cabinets for warm air to circulate through your home.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature during the night and day.
- If you leave your home for extended periods of time leave your heat on at 55 degrees.
What Do You Do if Your Pipes Freeze?
- Turn off the main water valve.
- Call a professional plumber.
- Call an IICRC certified restoration & mitigation company.
SERVPRO's Water Restoration Process
The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the equipment and resources.
We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration.
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.
We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.
We clean all of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water. We are adept at cleaning contents using a number of techniques. Our professionals are trained to provide sanitizing treatments and to remove odors and deodorize your property.
Restoration is the process of restoring your home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or may entail major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Call us at 303-587-9458 if you have any questions and concerns.
Are You Prepared for Winter?
Prepare Your Business for Winter Weather
- Check your business property for low hanging tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
- Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviated flood hazard potential.
- Inspect handrails, stairways and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present .
- Ask our highly trained SERVPRO professionals about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business.
Prepare Your Home for Winter Weather
- Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells this allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets , especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
- Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl or crawl space and turn it to “off”.
- If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
- Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage
Prepare Your Home for Fall & Winter
Prepare & Prevent
1. Clean and Stow Your Mower
If you’re not familiar with fuel stabilizer, get to know it. If your mower sits for months with gas in its tank, the gas will slowly deteriorate, which can damage internal engine parts. Fuel stabilizer ($10 for a 10-ounce bottle) prevents gas from degrading.Add stabilizer to your gasoline can to keep spare gas in good condition over the winter, and top off your mower tank with stabilized gas before you put it away for the winter. Run the mower for five minutes to make sure the stabilizer reaches the carburetor.
Another lawn mower care method is to run your mower dry before stowing it.
1. When the mower is cool, remove the spark plug and pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole.
2. Pull the starter cord a couple of times to distribute the oil, which keeps pistons lubricated and ensures an easy start come spring.
3. Turn the mower on its side and clean out accumulated grass and gunk from the mower deck.
2. Remove Garden Hoses From Faucets
Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and in the plumbing pipes just inside your exterior walls. If freezing temps hit, that water could freeze, expand, and crack the faucet or pipes. Make this an early fall priority so a sudden cold snap doesn’t sneak up and cause damage.
Turn off any shutoff valves on water supply lines that lead to exterior faucets. That way, you’ll guard against minor leaks that may let water enter the faucet.
While you’re at it, drain garden hoses and store them in a shed or garage.
3. Drain Your Sprinkler System
Time to drain your irrigation system. Even buried irrigation lines can freeze, leading to busted pipes and broken sprinkler heads.
- Turn off the water to the system at the main valve.
- Shut off the automatic controller.
- Open drain valves to remove water from the system.
- Remove any above-ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out of them, then replace.
If you don’t have drain valves, then hire an irrigation pro to blow out the systems pipes with compressed air. A pro is worth the $75 to $150 charge to make sure the job is done right, and to ensure you don’t have busted pipes and sprinkler head repairs to make in the spring.
4. Seal Air Leaks
Grab a couple of tubes of color-matched exterior caulk ($5 for a 12-ounce tube) and make a journey around your home’s exterior, sealing up cracks between trim and siding, around window and door frames, and where pipes and wires enter your house. Preventing moisture from getting inside your walls is one of the least expensive — and most important — of your fall maintenance jobs. You’ll also seal air leaks that waste energy.
Pick a nice day when temps are above 50 degrees so caulk flows easily.
5. De-Gunk Your Gutters
Clogged rain gutters can cause ice dams, which can lead to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove leaves, twigs, and gunk. Make sure gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets. Replace any worn or damaged gutters and downspouts.
If you find colored grit from asphalt roof shingles in your gutters, beware. That sand-like grit helps protect shingles from the damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun. Look closely for other signs of roof damage (#5, below); it may be time for a roofing replacement.
Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet away from your house to prevent foundation problems. If they don’t, add downspout extensions; $10 to $20 each.
6. Eyeball Your Roof
If you have a steep roof or a multistory house, stay safe and use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground.
Look for warning signs: Shingles that are buckled, cracked, or missing; rust spots on flashing. Any loose, damaged, or missing shingles should be replaced immediately.
Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath. Call in a pro roofer for a $50 to $100 eval.
A plumbing vent stack usually is flashed with a rubber collar — called a boot — that may crack or loosen over time. They’ll wear out before your roof does, so make sure they’re in good shape. A pro roofer will charge $75 to $150 to replace a boot, depending on how steep your roof is.
7. Direct Your Drainage
Take a close look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your house at least 6 vertical inches over 10 feet. That way, you’ll keep water from soaking the soils around your foundation, which could lead to cracks and leaks.
Be sure soil doesn’t touch your siding.
8. Check Your Furnace
Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling pro to get your heating system checked and tuned up for the coming heating season. You’ll pay $50 to $100 for a checkup.
An annual maintenance contract ensures you’re at the top of the list for checks and shaves 20% off the cost of a single visit.
Change your furnace filters, too. This is a job you should do every two months anyway, but if you haven’t, now’s the time. If your HVAC includes a built-in humidifier, make sure the contractor replaces that filter.
9. Prune Plants
Late fall is the best time to prune plants and trees — when the summer growth cycle is over. Your goal is to keep limbs and branches at least 3 feet from your house so moisture won’t drip onto roofing and siding, and to prevent damage to your house exterior during high winds.
For advice on pruning specific plants in your region, check with your state extension service
10. Give Your Fireplace a Once-Over
To make sure your fireplace is safe, grab a flashlight and look up inside your fireplace flue to make sure the damper opens and closes properly. Open the damper and look up into the flue to make sure it’s free of birds’ nests, branches and leaves, or other obstructions. You should see daylight at the top of the chimney.
Check the firebox for cracked or missing bricks and mortar. If you spot any damage, order a professional fireplace and chimney inspection. An inspection costs $79 to $500.
You fireplace flue should be cleaned of creosote buildup every other year. A professional chimney sweep will charge $150 to $250 for the service.
National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month (NPM), recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us that we all must prepare ourselves and our families now and throughout the year. This NPM will focus on planning, with an overarching theme: Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How.
Take time to learn lifesaving skills − such as CPR and first aid, check your insurance policies and coverage for the hazards you may face, such as flood, earthquakes, and tornadoes. Make sure to consider the costs associated with disasters and save for an emergency. Also, know how to take practical safety steps like shutting off water and gas.
The devastating hurricanes and wildfires of 2017 reminded the nation of the importance of preparing for disasters. Often, we will be the first ones in our communities to take action after a disaster strikes and before first responders arrive, so it is important to prepare in advance to help yourself and your community.
SERVPRO offers a number of resources which help homeowners & business owners be prepared when a disaster happens.For more information please call us at 303-576-6868 ask for Danielle Neff.
SERVPRO also offers an Emergency Ready Plan for commercial & residential apartments.
Benefits of the Emergency Ready Plan?
- Have a plan of action before an event occurs.
- Identify and eliminate hazards and risks to help prevent potential disasters.
- Identify major water, electrical and gas shut off locations.
Happy Labor Day!
Labor Day in the United States is a Public Holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American Labor Movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend and it is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States. It is recognized as a federal holiday.
Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movement grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. "Labor Day" was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty states in the United States officially celebrated Labor Day.
Canada's Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. More than 80 countries celebrate International Workers' Day on May 1 – the ancient European holiday of May Day – and several countries have chosen their own dates for Labour Day.
To Learn more about Labor Day, please visit:
Do You Have a Mysterious Odor Coming From Your Fridge?
Step 1: Empty Fridge
Even if you think you’ve identified the item causing the odor, you need to empty the entire contents of the refrigerator and freezer. If you have a second fridge, stash perishables there. If the odor is the result of a power outage, don’t take any chances by hanging onto food that may have spoiled. A refrigerator will keep food at safe temperatures for about 4 hours, if it’s left unopened, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Services.
Step 2: Hand wash Bins and Shelves
Take out the shelves, bins, crisper drawers, ice trays, and any other loose components and wash them.
Step 3: Deodorize the Interior
Now you’re ready to wash the inside of the refrigerator. Stay away from abrasive cleaners and pads, which can scratch the interior of the refrigerator.
Step 4: Air it Out
Here’s where the patience piece comes in. For best results, you need to unplug the refrigerator, leave the door open, and air it out for at least one day.
Step 5: Clean the Evaporator
If there’s a lasting funk that just won’t go away, chances are the refrigerator smells have permeated the evaporator coil, which produces cold air for the fridge and freezer. The coil, along with the fan that distributes the air, are typically located on the back wall of the freezer.
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Hurricane Preparation Tips
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.
- 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.
- 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.