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The Best Way to Check Your House After a Storm

1/9/2023 (Permalink)

Tree fallen in a house Storm and wind damage in Colorado Springs, CO.

After the Storm

It's a good idea to inspect your home after a storm. Unfortunately, there may be some damage that could make it difficult for you to stay in your home or worse—put your family at risk for injury or death. We hope these tips will help keep you safe and give you peace of mind after the storm passes.

Inspect the Roof

The roof is one of the most likely places to sustain damage after a storm. Here are some places to check: 

  • Look for loose shingles.
  • Check for holes in the roof.
  • Look for torn or missing shingles.
  • Check for damaged flashing (the metal or plastic that seals around chimneys and roofs).
  • Check for loose or missing gutters and downspouts (metal bars used to divert rainwater).

Inspect the Siding

If the storm damaged any of your home's siding, be sure to inspect it for missing or damaged pieces. Check for loose nails or screws that could cause additional damage to your home, as well as any dents or holes in flashing that should be replaced. If you find any problems with the structure of your house, call a professional to inspect it further and make repairs if necessary.

Inspect Windows

Check windows for damage or missing storm windows. Storm windows should be firmly secured to the window by a lock, latch, or another fastening mechanism. If you find that any of the locks are missing or broken, have someone replace them immediately.

If you do not have storm windows in your home and one side of your existing window is glass and the other side is louvered wood blinds or energy-efficient material (such as plastic film), use nails or screws to secure these materials so they don’t blow away during high winds.

Check all screens for tears and holes in them. A screen can easily rip when it gets caught on debris flying around from high winds during a storm event. If there is any pressure on the screen from outside forces such as wind gusts from being left open too far; shutters being blown back into them; or heavy objects crashing into them like branches from trees falling down nearby then take appropriate measures like using duct tape over certain areas where tears have developed so water does not leak inside.

Inspect the Yard

After a storm, you should always do a walk-around of your property. This will help you check for any damage that may have occurred during the storm, and it can also give you an idea of what repairs are necessary in order to prevent further damage.

If you live in a storm-prone area, it's important to be aware of the trees on your property and whether they pose any danger. If a tree has fallen during a previous storm, examine its roots and branches:

  • Look for loose or broken branches, which could fall again at any time.
  • Check for dead or dying trees that might be more likely to fall in another storm.
  • Make sure any leaning or weak trees are being propped up by supports so that they don't topple into your house during a future event.

Inspect your yard and any detached structures, like a storage shed or garage. Trees may have fallen on these structures and damaged them, so you need to check them carefully.

We hope this article has helped you understand how to check your house after a storm. If you do experience damage to your home or business after a storm, give SERVPRO of Northern Colorado Springs/Tri-Lakes a call! We will get your Colorado Springs, CO property back to normal as quickly as possible!

How To Locate Your Main Water Shutoff Valve

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Water gauges pressure, main valve shut off, shut down. It's critical that you are aware of the location of the main water shut-off valve in case of an emergency.

Locating Your Main Water Shut-off Valve

When you're trying to locate your main water shutoff valve, it can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. The good news is that it's easier than you might think! Whether you're trying to find the main water shutoff valve or just do some preventative maintenance, these tips will help you find the right spot in no time at all.

Inside Your Home

The first place to look for the main shut-off valve is on the inside wall of your home. Look for a valve that is located in an accessible spot, such as under the sink or behind the toilet. The valve should be easily accessible and easy to turn. You don't want to have to do any climbing or crawling around just to turn off the water!

Valve in Your Yard

If you're still unsure of where your main water shutoff valve is, there's a quick way to find it. Look for a curb stop valve in your yard. These valves are typically located at the edge of the road and are marked with red handles or labels that say "Curb Stop Valve.”

If you can't locate these markings, ask your neighbors if they know where their main shut-off is located so you can follow them over to their property and see what kind of valve they have.

Basement or Crawl Space

Find a main shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space. Turn off the water supply by closing this valve. You may need to use a wrench, but it varies depending on your plumbing setup. Call a plumber and wait for them to arrive before you do anything else that could cause damage to yourself or your home (e.g., turning on any faucets). Your building may have more than one shutoff valve; if so, turn them all off until you've found and closed the main one!

Call A Plumber

The main water shutoff valve is an important piece of plumbing. This valve controls the flow of water in your home and can help you prevent major leaks. If you don't know where your main water shutoff valve is, we recommend calling a plumber. A good plumber will be able to locate the main water shutoff valve on your property and turn it off quickly so that they can repair any problems in your plumbing system. By turning off this valve, they'll cut off all access to water in the house so that there's no danger of damage or flooding while they're working on repairs.

Blueprints

The best way to know where your main water shutoff valve is is to check your house’s blueprints. If you have them, use a ruler or tape measure to find the exact location of the main shut-off valve. If not, do some searching around your home until you find it. It may be in an unexpected place like the basement or crawl space, but don’t worry! That just means it will take less time than if it were hidden behind other objects like furniture or appliances

It’s important for you to know where the main water shut-off valve is before an accident happens. This will help minimize the damage. If your Colorado Springs home floods, turn off the main shut-off valve and call SERVPRO of Northern Colorado Springs/Tri-Lakes! 

3 Ways To Stop Ice Dam Formation

11/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks outside home with water damage. Attic insulation can reduce the transference of heat to the roof.

Three Ice Dam Prevention Measures

An ice dam forms when the snow melts on a roof and runs down to the edge and refreezes. Maintaining consistently cool attic and roof temperatures and functional drainage are the best ways to prevent a dam from forming. Here are three of the most effective ice dam prevention measures for residences in Palmer Lake, CO.

1. Limit Heat Loss

Many homes lose one-third of interior heating to the attic through ceilings. Closing bypasses around ceiling penetrations and other cracks and gaps will increase heating efficiency and prevent elevated attic temperatures that lead to ice dams.

2. Insulate and Ventilate an Attic

Attic insulation can reduce the transference of heat to the roof. Most building codes specify 12 to 14 inches of cellulose or fiberglass insulation. An attic specialist can also eliminate gaps that allow heat to travel up, melt snow, and cause an ice dam. Venting is another effective way to maintain cooler attic temperatures. The best locations for roof vents are in overhangs and along or near the peak.

3. Use Prevention Products

A specialized roof rake can be helpful for removing snow. In addition to posing a risk of melting and refreezing, snow also adds excess weight to a roof during a winter storm. Areas, where dams tend to form, can be equipped with high-resistance heat cables that run through a downspout. If a dam has already formed, calcium chloride can melt ice without damaging roofing materials. Use this product according to the instructions and cover plants situated beneath drainage.


Resolving the underlying cause is the best way to stop ice dam formation. Maintaining consistently cool temperatures throughout an attic and across a roof eliminates the factors that cause snow to melt and refreeze. Roof rakes and products that promote melting are fallbacks that may reduce the risk of roof damage and water damage at a residence in Palmer Lake, CO.

What Is the Best Way To Drain a Flooded Basement?

11/12/2022 (Permalink)

water seeping under door If you have a flooded basement, it's important to turn off the power first.

Fixing a Flooded Basement

When you have a flooded basement, it is important to take action as soon as possible. There are several steps that you can take to help mitigate any damage caused by a flooded basement.

Shut Off the Power and the Water Supply

If you have a flooded basement, it's important to turn off the power first. This will prevent electric shock as well as avoid triggering any heating systems. You can also use this time to shut off the water supply in your home by turning off the valve at the top of your main water line or calling an emergency plumber.

Once these two steps are taken care of, you can begin cleaning up your basement and removing all damaged materials from it. Remember not to touch anything with wet hands or feet just yet—you don't want any mold spores spreading throughout your home!

Remove Damaged Items

After your basement has been flooded, it is imperative to remove any damaged items. If you have any items that are salvageable, they should be removed at this time and placed in a safe location. Any items that are not salvageable should be discarded. Do not attempt to repair anything at this point as it could cause further damage to your home and result in mold growth. If you are unsure whether an item can be repaired or if you need to contact an insurance company for advice on how best to dispose of the item, please do so immediately.

Pump Out the Water

To get water out of the basement, use a sump pump. A wet/dry vacuum, shop vac, or bucket and mop will not work effectively to remove excess water from your basement.

A sump pump is designed specifically for pumping water out of your home's lowest level. These pumps are very effective at removing large amounts of standing water efficiently and quickly. They're also easy to install--you can purchase one that's pre-packaged with all necessary attachments or hire an electrician to install it for you.

Use a Dehumidifier

A dehumidifier can help remove moisture from the air and make your basement more comfortable to live in. You may want to place it on one of your basement’s walls or near a window, as long as there is at least four feet of space between the unit and any wall. This will allow adequate airflow around both sides of the device so that it can properly function.

Dealing with the Carpet

Unless you can get your carpeting and padding removed, cleaned and replaced before the water damage sets in, you may want to consider pulling it up. If you don't do this now, it may be too late when the time comes for a replacement. You'll be faced with a choice between discarding your old carpet or paying for expensive restoration work that's still not guaranteed to yield satisfactory results.

The good news is that many types of carpets are designed for easy removal and reinstallation—even if they've been soaked through by flood waters. If yours is one of them, there will probably be some adhesive backing left behind after removal that needs to be scraped off with a putty knife before you can install your new flooring (or roll out an affordable temporary option like paper or plastic). Just remember: even after cleaning and drying has occurred, mold can grow beneath these materials—so make sure they're completely dry before putting anything back down on top of them!

Use Fans

The more fans you have in the area, the faster it will dry. The trick is to put the fans in different areas of your basement so they can reach all its corners and walls. You want a fan blowing on every wall and corner of your basement and any outlets or light switches that may be wet.

If you only have one fan and it isn't powerful enough to dry out your entire basement, then set up two or three smaller appliances—a dehumidifier, an air conditioning unit—and place them around other parts of your home (like a bedroom). This will help draw moisture away from the floor where it's causing damage.

When using multiple devices like this at once, be sure not to overload any circuits because it could cause electrical fires!

Handle it Properly

A flooded basement can cause damage to your home and personal property, if not properly handled. Water can get into the walls, floors, and furniture. This is especially true for older homes where there has been a lot of moisture in the soil around the structure for years. Because of this, mold will grow on any surface that has been exposed to water from a flood.

Mold spores are everywhere—in our homes and outside in nature—and we breathe them in every day without even knowing it. Mold can also cause electrical damage as well as structural damage if left untreated long enough

The best way to handle a flooded basement is by calling a professional at SERVPRO of Northern Colorado/Tri-Lakes, who will pump out the excess water and dry out your home. You can also call us if you have any other questions about how to handle flooding.

How Do I Keep my Building Secure After a Fire?

10/5/2022 (Permalink)

Board up windows and doors of a commercial building A board-up is a temporary covering for a broken window or door.

When a fire happens, you want to get the building boarded up as soon as possible. This helps prevent looting and protects your property from further damage. But how do you know what type of boarding-up is best for your situation?

What is a Board-up?

A board-up is a temporary covering for a broken window or door. It's usually made of plywood or other wood products, and it's used to keep intruders out and preserve the crime scene. A board-up isn't meant to be a permanent repair; it serves as a sort of security fence until you can get your building repaired.

Boarding Up After a Fire

To secure a building after a fire, you'll need to place board-ups on the windows. These are usually temporary. They'll be removed when you repair the damage and reoccupy your building.

In addition to securing your property after a fire, board-ups are also used to keep looters out of your business. After any major disaster such as Hurricane Katrina or 9/11 in New York City, many people attempted to break into abandoned buildings with the hope of finding valuables inside—and some were successful! Boarding up offers one way for owners looking for protection against theft after an event like this happens within their communities.

Are Board-ups Covered by Insurance?

If your building is covered by insurance, the cost of covering up windows and doors may be covered. If your building is not covered by insurance, it may still be possible to have some or all of these costs reimbursed through a claim. This is usually done if the fire was caused by an accident that could have been prevented and resulted in significant damage to your home or property.

Insurance companies will not generally pay for board-ups after a certain amount of time has passed since the fire occurred (usually three months). This means that you must submit any requests for reimbursement within this time period. If you want to make sure that everything goes smoothly with your claim, hire an experienced professional who knows how insurance companies operate so they can help guide you through each step of the process as efficiently as possible

What Is Involved in a Board-up?

Board up all the openings in your building with a wood frame to secure them from the outside. It's important that you board up your door as well, so no one can get in or out of your building by going through it. Remove all broken glass and other debris from the building before boarding it up.

If you have a garage, make sure that its doors are also secure with a wooden frame to hold them shut.

If you don't know what to do with your damaged property, remember that it is essential to protect the scene from tampering by looters or vandals. After all, the purpose of boarding up is to prevent people from entering your property and stealing items belonging to you or others who may have been in the building at the time of the fire. If you're concerned about protecting your neighborhood's property values as well as preventing further damage to your own building, consider hiring someone who has experience in securing crime scenes.

We hope this post has helped you understand the basics of boarding up after a fire. If you have any questions, please contact us at our 24-hour hotline.

What is the Process of Water Cleanup and Restoration?

9/23/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in warehouse. If you’re trying to make sense of water cleanup, the process can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry—there are professionals who can help you!

If you've ever been through a water loss, you know how stressful it can be. You need to deal with insurance companies and contractors, leaving you without the time or energy to manage all of the emotional aspects of dealing with such an event. What's worse is that most people don't really understand the process of water damage restoration until they've experienced it firsthand—and even then it can seem overwhelming! If this describes your situation, read on for a crash course in understanding what happens when your home is damaged by flooding or some other form of a water disaster.

Assess the damage

Water cleanup and restoration begins with assessing the damage and deciding what can be restored. If you are not sure, it's better to contact a professional rather than risk making the situation worse.

Don't underestimate water damage—even if your home doesn't look like it sustained much damage, there could still be hidden issues lurking beneath layers of flooring, insulation, and drywall that need addressing before you move back in.

A reputable restoration company will be able to assess all aspects of your property so they can determine which areas need immediate attention and which ones can wait until after other repairs are made or purchased items have been replaced.

Extract and dry

Extraction is the next step in water cleanup. Water extraction removes water from your home, which allows for faster drying and helps prevent mold growth.

It's important to extract both liquid and water-soaked materials so they can be properly dried out of the air with dehumidifiers. If you have mold or mildew growing on these items, you'll need to clean them separately using an antimicrobial cleaner or disinfectant solution before drying them thoroughly in a well-ventilated area (such as outside).

A wet/dry vacuum is used to remove liquid from carpets, rugs, walls, furniture, and similar items—but it's not always effective at removing all traces of moisture from hard surfaces like wood floors or drywall because it doesn't reach into crevices or corners very well without causing damage to those surfaces themselves.

Cleaning and sanitizing

Next, it is time for cleaning and sanitizing. This process includes removing items that can't be salvaged, cleaning walls and floors, and disinfecting every surface.

The water cleanup and restoration process is a must for any homeowner who has experienced water damage to their home or business property. It's important to understand that this type of cleanup involves professional services from experts with experience in the industry - such as SERVPRO of Northern Colorado Springs/Tri-Lakes.

Restoration

Restoration is the final stage, and it involves returning your home to its pre-disaster condition. Depending on the extent of damage and the type of restoration needed, this can take time. Restoration does not necessarily mean repair or rebuilding; it means bringing back what was lost or damaged through cleaning, repairing, and replacing damaged building materials. A professional flood restoration company like SERVPRO will be able to determine how much work is necessary for your home and guide you through the entire process, from drying out your belongings with dehumidifiers to replacing flooring, drywall, and other affected areas in your home with new ones that match perfectly.

Understand the process to know what to expect when dealing with it.

When you’re dealing with a water emergency and need help, it’s important to understand what to expect from the cleanup process. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most companies that specialize in water damage restoration have crews that work 24/7 during emergencies like yours. This means you won’t have to wait long before they arrive at your home or business.

If you’re trying to make sense of water cleanup, the process can seem overwhelming. But don’t worry—there are professionals who can help you every step of the way. They’ll be able to assess your situation, extract and dry out any remaining moisture from your home or business, and clean and sanitize everything from walls and floors to high-risk surfaces like carpeting or furniture before restoration begins. Don't wait until it's too late; contact us today!

How can SERVPRO Help Your Business After a Fire

5/31/2022 (Permalink)

Servpro of Southeast Colorado Springs. Emergency Board-up and Fire Mitigation 24/7/365

After a fire at your business in Colorado Springs, CO, you want to resume normal operations as soon as possible. Choose a fire damage restoration service capable of handling the following tasks to ensure your business's full recovery.

Immediate Attention
Disaster can strike at any time, but you should not delay the recovery process. Reputable restoration services ensure their teams of experts arrive at the scene of a commercial fire to offer assistance at any time of day or night.

A Thorough and Formal Property Inspection
Before restoration teams can begin fire, mold, soot and smoke cleanup, they should thoroughly inspect each aspect of your physical property to determine the extent of the damage. After completing this step, you should receive a formal written assessment discussing the findings with a work recommendation.

Assistance With Your Insurance Provider
A fire restoration company can help you document and convey evidence your insurance provider needs to process your claim, including:

  • Photographic evidence 
  • Official fire department reports
  • Witness statements

Mold Mediation
The consequences of a fire at your business extend beyond damage from flames. For example, firefighters at the scene must use hoses that douse the fire with large volumes of water, soaking your business's walls, ceilings, furnishings, electronics, paper records and other property. In addition, a fire damage restoration company should undertake urgent drying measures to prevent mold spores from developing and spreading through your space. 

Property Security
Your business remains vulnerable to theft, vandalism and trespassing until you reoccupy it. First, however, you should look for a restoration company that can erect security fencing to prevent further damage that your insurance provider will not cover.

Cleaning and Restoration
A critical aspect of fire restoration involves soot and smoke cleanup. Experienced restoration crews employ specialized methods and treatments to remove lingering smoke odors and soot particles that attach to porous surfaces and fibers. 
Choose a fire damage restoration service capable of providing the vital assistance you need to continue operating your business in Colorado Springs 

How To Determine if Your Flooded Basement Is Covered by Insurance

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded basement in Palmer Lake, CO.

What Is and What Is Not Covered?

Water can do great damage to your home, including the loss of personal items, and may uncover previously unknown structural issues or deterioration. Even with prompt removal of the water, your home may incur costly damage. Will your insurance company be there in the event of a basement flood? There are several factors that determine what is and what is not covered.

1. Where did the water come from? Most homeowner's policies typically cover damage from water that originates from the top down, such as rain or melting ice. If the water comes from the bottom, such as from the overflow of a nearby river, you will likely need specific flood insurance.

2. How fast did the flooding or water damage occur? A poorly maintained faucet or toilet that slowly leaked, for example, would not qualify for insurance coverage. However, if a pipe suddenly bursts and leaves your basement flooded, this is likely to fall within your coverage limitations.

3. What type of policy or policies do you have? A basic homeowner's policy with dwelling coverage will extend to water damage as described above to your flooring, drywall, and many other structures in your home. Furniture, appliances, and other personal items will probably not be covered. Personal property insurance is likely to cover items beyond your home’s structural elements in the event that your basement becomes flooded.

4. What else do you need to remember? All insurance policies have deductibles and coverage limitations. Read the fine print and consult your insurance company to be sure your situation in Palmer Lake, CO, will be covered.

If the worst happens to your basement, be sure to consult a professional to minimize damage, regardless of the cause or your insurance coverage. Dealing with a basement flood is no picnic, but with proper cleanup and drying, damages can be reduced to limit your out-of-pocket costs and to preserve the structure and aesthetics of your home.

3 Tips for Eliminating Fire Hazards in Your Kitchen

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Gleneagle, CO kitchen.

How Can We Prevent Fire Hazards At Home?

Your kitchen is where you gather with your family and friends to bond at the end of the day. However, according to the American Red Cross, it’s also the space in your home that’s the most likely to see a house fire start. Every year, national fire departments report

• An average of 162,400 house fires resulting from improper cooking practices
• $1.1 billion in property damage from kitchen fires
• 430 residential fire deaths from fires started in the kitchen

By cooking smart and following a few key tips in the kitchen, you can prevent your home from becoming one of those in Gleneagle, CO, affected by a grease fire this year.

1. Don’t Leave Cooking Unsupervised

One of the most crucial tips for avoiding fire damage in your kitchen is to never leave food on the stove if you’re not around to keep an eye on it. Whether you’re leaving the room for a few minutes or you’re heading out for errands, turn off the heat and remove your food from the stove.

2. Use a Timer

If you’ve got something that needs to be cooked on the stove over a long period of time, set a timer to remind yourself to check on your food regularly. Fortunately, with modern conveniences like smart phones around every corner, setting numerous alarms is a simple task and one that can save you a huge amount of hassle in the future.

3. Keep a Fire Extinguisher on Hand

If a fire does happen to spring up, you want a fire extinguisher in the kitchen to deal with the problem immediately. Having one of these appliances on hand means you can mitigate fire damage from the beginning, so working with fire cleaning professionals is a less lengthy process later on.

Don't let fear of fire keep you from cooking. These are all simple tips any homeowner can follow to make their kitchen more fire-safe all around.

Landlord Versus Tenant Flood Responsibilities

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

Severe flood damage to a property in Colorado Springs, CO.

Landlord Versus Tenant Flood Responsibilities

Flooding in Colorado Springs, CO, can be stressful and confusing. Once you and your family are safe, it is time to think about repairing and restoring your home or business. Homeowners, business owners and renters alike now have to navigate the waters of insurance coverage. For homeowners, the process is likely to clear. For landlords and tenants, however, it may be a bit more complicated. What does commercial property insurance cover? What does renter’s insurance cover?

Landlord Responsibilities

The first step as a landlord is to know your insurance coverage. Flood insurance is not typically part of general property insurance. Talk to your agent about your specific policy. Landlords are responsible for the following in the case of a flood:

• Whether insurance covers flooding or not, you as the property owner are still responsible for returning the dwelling to a safe, livable situation for your tenants. This must be done in a reasonably timely manner, so contact a water restoration specialist as soon as possible to avoid secondary damage from occurring.
• Damages to the building are covered by the landlord, including all appliances that were not purchased and installed by the tenants. Flooring, drywall, electrical and other structures are under the property owner’s purview as well.

Tenant Responsibilities

The landlord is not responsible for all damage, so as the tenant it is important to obtain renter’s insurance and know what is covered. As with landlords, flood coverage is not typically included in basic insurance, so talk to your agent about the details. Tenants should know the following information:

• As a renter, your personal belongings are covered under your insurance.
• Relocation, if the apartment or dwelling is unlivable, is usually covered by your insurance and rent does not need to be paid during that time. You may choose to discontinue the lease if the damage is severe.

Whether you are the landlord or tenant, obtain the appropriate insurance coverage. Understand what your property or renter’s insurance covers, and what your responsibilities are in the case of a flood in Colorado Springs, CO.