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5 Answers to Questions About Fire Damage

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

Board up windows and door of a building Mitigation services to a building in Fort Collins, CO.

What's The Difference Between Mitigation and Restoration

What's the difference between mitigation and restoration? Should you hire a "one-stop" company or look for several different service providers in Fort Collins, CO, to handle fire damage? What does your insurance cover? The time to get answers to these questions is before your business is affected by disaster, so you're ready to take quick action at the first signs of trouble.

1. What is mitigation?

Fire mitigation services cover those basic steps necessary to prevent further losses. These services may include:

  • Boarding up windows
  • Tacking down tarps on the roof
  • Reinforcing structures with short-term fixes
  • Extracting water

The work completed by damage mitigation companies is often done quickly and are generally only for temporary purposes.

2. How are restoration services different?

Restoration services kick in after fire damage mitigation work finishes. These experts take over the tasks of repairing buildings and property, rebuilding structures for long-term safety, and combatting the results of water damage, such as mold.

3. Are other professional services necessary?

Depending on who you hire to take care of the damages following a fire, you may need someone to haul away furnishings and construction materials that are damaged beyond repair. You may also need professionals who are trained in cleaning and decontaminated furnishings that have absorbed smoke smells.

4. Which professionals should you hire?

You could contact two separate services to handle this work. The benefit of doing this is that the workers may excel within their niche of work. However, many business owners have found that a "one-stop" service provider is easier to work with. These fire damage mitigation and restoration professionals may work closely with your insurance adjuster from start to end. Their emergency response treatments work well with long-term repairs. Financing is easier to handle.

5. Which services does your insurance cover?

Contact your insurance provider for information about available coverage. You may find that your provider prefers a specific mitigation and restoration company in Fort Collins, CO. You could also get information about business interruption coverage. Many insurance companies offer resources for preventing disasters.

5 Steps To Clean Contents After a Flood

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed on a drywall, air mover placed on direction to drywall Experts recommend the use of air movers and dehumidifiers to prevent mold.

Five Content Cleaning Steps

The contents in a flooded home may suffer severe damage. Storm and water damage mitigation and restoration companies follow these five content cleaning steps to care for items exposed to flooding.

1. Determine What Can Be Cleaned

Most hard or non-porous items can be cleaned and disinfected, but porous contents and building materials may not withstand cleaning. It also might not be possible to ensure that these contents are completely clean and do not pose any recontamination risk. Ask restoration experts whether it is worth the time and effort necessary to try to clean porous items.

2. Clean and Disinfect Contents

The content cleaning process involves removing dirt and debris and disinfecting items. Both of these steps are critical. Flood water is considered Category Three and may contain chemicals, microbes, or solid waste. For this reason, it is essential to make sure that all items exposed to flooding are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized.

3. Clean and Disinfect Flooded Areas

It is also important to clean and treat building materials exposed to flooding. Do not restore clean contents to an area that has not yet been cleaned, treated, and allowed to dry. Doing so can result in recontamination and prolong the mitigation and restoration process.

4. Allow Affected Areas To Dry

Moisture resulting from flooding can lead to mold growth. Experts recommend the use of air movers and dehumidifiers to prevent mold.

5. Restore Contents

Once an area has been cleaned, disinfected, and dried, you may start putting contents back into your house. Be sure to avoid re-introducing any items that have not been cleaned and treated.

Following these measures after a flood can properly clean the contents and affected areas of your home in Fort Collins, CO. Content cleaning professionals are capable of achieving the best results in the least amount of time, which can help to prevent secondary damage such as mold growth.

Tips About Discarding Items After a Commercial Building Flood

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Air drying equipment in a commercial building Commercial water damage restoration.

Commercial Building Flood

When a commercial building faces flood damage, it can often mean more than a loss of home, possessions, or livelihood for a single family. Many tenants and clients can be affected by the sudden loss, and tensions can run high. Sadly, the flooded company in Fort Collins, CO, may be filled with chemicals, fecal matter, or even cleaning supplies that leave the liquid rated as black water and thus dangerous to humans. For that reason, it may be essential to know what can safely be saved and what must be thrown away.

High Ticket Losses

Whether the commercial building is filled with offices or homes, the first item that most often must be discarded after a flood is flooring. Damaged floor coverings may include:

  • Stone
  • Carpet
  • Laminate
  • Tile

Carpeting and the underlying padding can soak the contaminated water up like a sponge. Laminated and engineered flooring can also fare poorly after a flood since they tend to warp and stain from water damage. Even stone and tile floors can soak up tainted water that causes erosion, warping, and discoloration once the stone has completely dried several months after the floodwaters are gone.

Lost Porous Possessions

Upholstered furniture, office chairs, and even wooden decks are generally not salvageable once they have been in the water for more than an hour or two in the flooded company. The same is true of computers, phones, and other electronic devices because of the near impossibility of completely disinfecting the items. Although it is tempting to try dry cleaning window coverings, the dirty water is almost sure to leave water stain marks that typically make the coverings unsalvageable.

Long Laborious Decisions

After a flood, deciding which of the numerous items that fill the commercial building should be saved or discarded can be a long and tedious process. To be sure proper sanitizing and disinfecting techniques are used on the saved items, consider finding a water restoration and repair service in Fort Collins, CO. Whether it is a broken pipe that floods your building or torrential rains, the specialized team can help you remove the water quickly from the flooded company.

How To Avoid Water Damage in Your Home

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Wet carpet, stains on carpet Water damage to carpet.

Avoid Water Damage In Your Home

Owning a home comes with many responsibilities. When you have excess water in your home, you may have to call water restoration specialists to take care of problems caused by a broken pipe that went unnoticed. With regular maintenance and inspection, however, you can avoid extensive water damage by finding problems before they get to the point of causing damage.

General Issues

Any component of the plumbing system in your home in Fort Collins, CO, has the potential to cause problems if it breaks. When you inspect your home, there are several things to look for:

  • A clogged shower, sink or toilet
  • Drippy faucets
  • Leaks under sinks
  • A toilet that is constantly refilling, even when not being flushed

To avoid long-term issues with these problems, fix them right away. Replace valves and seals that are broken or faulty. Pay attention to your water bill, as a hidden leak could spike it considerably and cause excess water in your home, leaving you with a need for pipe cleanup. Look for corrosion or mold growth, and keep the humidity levels steady.

Appliance Care

Any appliance that uses water also needs regular maintenance to prevent a water damage situation. Old hoses and supply lines can form cracks. It is important to have a professional inspect your water heater every two years and perform regular maintenance. Other appliances, such as your washing machine, need to be at least three inches from a wall to keep hoses from being crowded and developing kinks that can lead to leaks. Replace kinked hoses that you find during your regular inspections.

HVAC Maintenance

Schedule regular maintenance of your HVAC system. Professionals can clean the coils and determine if any parts need to be replaced. Condensation on anything but a cooling suction line can cause water damage over time as it drips on the most convenient surface around it.

Water in your home can cause severe damage. You can circumvent many problems, however, simply by having a regular maintenance schedule.

What Happens After a Fire’s Flames Are Tamed

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a house Fire and water damage in Fort Collins, CO.

Fire and Water Damage

When thinking of a fire’s aftermath, charred property comes to mind. However, there’s a secondary effect: Fire damage is often accompanied by water damage from the extinguishing process. Understanding how the two damage your residence is key to knowing the appropriate process for cleanup in Fort Collins, CO.

Soot Doesn’t Suit Your Home

Fire leaves behind corrosive, acidic soot. This soot discolors and disfigures furnishings and flooring within hours. That is but the beginning of the problems. If left alone for even a few days more, soot’s profound consequences can be as such:

  • Rusted or corroded metals
  • Wall discoloration
  • Permanent furniture upholstery stains
  • Flooring damage that needs refinement or replacement
  • Glass and china disfigurement
  • Harmful airborne chemicals from burning plastics

Where There Once Was Smoke, There’s Water

Heat, oxygen, and fuel are needed to sustain a blaze. Water removes heat from a fire when it evaporates, so it remains a staple of modern containment protocol. When the fire department uses a fire hose, hundreds of gallons of water pour into your home. This water can become even more problematic than the fire damage alone if left to fester. Dangers associated with water damage include things such as mold, flooding, odor, and damage to flooring, walls, wires, and electronics.

Time Is Vital for Revival

Every moment that passes without treatment, the damage stands to become worse. It’s essential to start the cleanup process immediately once your home is no longer burning. Thankfully, knowledge of the potential hazards informs you of what to look for and eases the process of dealing with insurance.

On top of being urgent, cleanup of the aftermath of fire damage is not simple. If you wish to do it yourself, it’s worth noting that most people do not have cheap or easy access to the industrial machines necessary to safely and completely remove water damage or soot.

Not only does fire damage property, but water from a fire hose can cause additional problems if not cleaned up immediately. A damage recovery service deploys experts who use professional tools and established procedures to mitigate your property’s damage.

Rental Properties: Preventing Mold Growth After Water Damage

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier with the words STAY DRY Mold does not grow well in dry areas.

Prevent Mold Development

Water damage can be a costly and time-consuming problem for businesses and property owners, especially when mold is involved. The key to minimizing the risk of mold development is the timely mitigation of water issues, and the thorough drying of all affected surfaces while ensuring that you adhere to basic mold prevention techniques.

1. Investigate Dampness

Moisture causes mold growth, so to prevent mold from developing it is important to resolve any issues of dampness as soon as they begin. Perform a thorough inspection of your property, checking the attic, roofline, windows, doors and basement for any possible dampness. If you discover any moisture, try to determine the cause. For instances, poor or old sealant around doors and windows or lack of ventilation in basements can cause moisture to develop.

2. Control Humidity

The foundation of mold prevention is moisture prevention. Therefore, your job as a property owner or manager is to make sure that all surfaces that are meant to be dry remain dry. The best way to do this is to ensure proper airflow and ventilation. You can also install air conditioning units and dehumidifiers on your property to control humidity.

3. Inspect Roofline and Landscape Grading

While common causes of water damage, poor landscape grading and damaged roofs are usually the last things checked when people experience interior flooding or moisture buildup. However, each of these areas can contribute to frequent water buildup inside your property. Always check the roofline and your properties grading when experience frequent and/or minor flooding.

4. Seek Assistance

Preventing mold growth is a significant undertaking and depends on a variety of factors that are building specific. If this is your first commercial project or first time combating mold, then you may want to seek the advice or service of a certified mold remediation expert in the Fort Collins, CO, area, as they can assist you with your specific needs.

Mold prevention does not have to be a daunting task. By investigating dampness, controlling humidity and inspecting the roofline and landscaping of your property, you may be able to mitigate water damage and control or prevent the development of mold.

Winterization: Preventing Frozen Pipes in Your Business

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes Insulate your pipes.

Ways To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Wintertime is a worrisome time of year for many business owners, especially those who operate out of warehouse facilities where exposed pipes are part of the territory. Cold weather instigates freezing, which in turn threatens a business with the risk of a burst pipe or water line. Thankfully, there are several ways you can prevent frozen pipes.

1. Keep Doors Closed

While it may seem obvious, keeping doors, especially warehouse garages, closed during business hours can be one of the easiest ways to prevent a frozen pipe. Warehouses often have exposed water lines, and if these lines are not insulated properly, they can freeze and possibly burst, creating a significant amount of damage and expense.

2. Open Faucets a Smidge

When expecting cold or below-freezing temperatures, merely opening the cold-water supply on faucets nearest the exterior water lines can minimize the risk of a frozen or burst pipe. The moving water will not freeze as easily as standing water.

3. Maintain a Steady Temperature

Likely, the best way to prevent freezing in your company’s pipes is to maintain a steady temperature, no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While lowering the temperature of your business after closing or during extended holidays may seem like a fiscal responsibility, you may be putting your business at risk for water damage, which may lead to significant business interruption.

4. Have a Plan in Place

Lastly, if the worst happens despite your preventative actions, it may be a good idea to have an emergency plan in place. While you can and should create an in-house emergency action plan and checklist, you may also want to contact a restoration company from Fort Collins, CO, because many of these companies offer emergency planning services. These services typically include an initial inspection of your property and the customization of an action plan in the event of an emergency or disaster.

A burst pipe can be devastating for a business, not only due to the damage but also the operational interruption. Avoiding a pipe burst due to freezing can be as easy as keeping doors closed, opening a faucet when necessary, and maintaining a steady temperature throughout your facility.

How Often Should You Replace Bathroom Supply Lines?

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow Toilet overflow due to blockage in the pipes.

Regular maintenance is essential for any homeowner in Fort Collins, CO. Spending some time and money now can help you save a lot of money and stress later on. Your plumbing system is an area you should never ignore. It does a lot for you, and components and parts weaken and wear out over time. You should know how to spot supply line damage and know when and how to replace the lines.

Common Causes of Toilet Issues

While you may think that most flooding occurs in the basement, the bathroom is also a typical spot for water damage. Professional flood cleanup crews are often called here to mitigate issues. A bathroom leak or flood can start in the following ways:

  • Toilet overflow due to blockage in the pipes
  • A failing tank
  • Supply line leaks

How Long Do the Lines Last?
The small line connecting the toilet to the water supply may seem like a minor part. However, if it doesn't do its job well, water can begin to leak for weeks or months before you notice it. Many toilets have steel-braided lines that last for up to 10 years. The good news is that these products often have a lifetime warranty, so you shouldn't have to worry about any costs. Plastic lines aren't as durable. Plan on replacing these every five to eight years, even if there isn't currently a supply line leak. Warranties on plastic lines will vary.

The Dangers of Waiting
Supply line damage in your bathroom can be significant, so it's not a wise idea to put off this maintenance. Consistently dripping water can ruin bathroom floors and subflooring materials. This could even cause problems to your drywall and to ceiling in the level below.
Before you have to deal with supply line damage in your bathroom, change the lines, and keep the toilet functioning effectively. Regular replacements will spare you a lot of headaches.

4 Ways To Prevent House Fires

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Man smoking outside a balcony Avoid smoking inside your home.

Four Ways To Avoid Starting a Fire

Many house fires are preventable with basic fire preparation measures and safety precautions. Any open flames or heating elements can pose a fire risk. Here are four simple ways to avoid starting a fire.

1. Don't Smoke Inside

Cigarettes remain one of the most common home fire causes. This is particularly the case when a smoker lights up in bed or after taking medicine that causes fatigue. Avoid smoking around medical oxygen. Completely extinguish cigarettes in a stable ashtray or a container filled with sand, and keep an extinguisher on the premises for fire preparation.

2. Don't Light Candles

Unattended candles are another common cause of house fires. These fires often start in the bedroom, after someone lights an open flame and falls asleep. Children or pets may also knock over a lit candle or put combustible materials close to the flame. Try a flameless alternative such as an electrical candle or wax warmer to provide mood lighting or fragrance.

3. Use Space Heaters Safely

Maintain three feet of space between a space heater and bedding, curtains, or upholstered furniture. Operate heaters on a level, non-flammable surface and don't leave them running unattended. Choose a heater with an automatic safety shut-off, ground fault circuit interrupter plug, and a sturdy cord that is at least six feet long.

3. Clean Out Dryer Lint

Empty the lint filter after every load and use a firm-bristled brush to remove impacted lint every six months. Check for buildup behind the dryer every two weeks, and snake out the vent pipe every three months. Schedule a professional cleaning if clothes start taking longer to dry.

These fire preparation and prevention methods can increase the level of fire safety in your home. If a fire does break out and your house sustains damage, contact a home fire and smoke damage restoration service located in Fort Collins, CO.

Water Damage From the Extinguishing of a Fire

11/1/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire an water, debris on floor, broken window of building Water and fire damage in Fort Collins, CO.

Water Damage Caused by Fire Extinguishment

Water damage is not the first thing that comes to mind when a fire occurs, but if a fire is extinguished, there is a very high chance that your business could sustain substantial damage from water during the extinguishing process. After the fire hose is rolled up, and the firefighters leave, the effort to save your building’s structure from fire damage may leave your business flooded. For perspective, water usage for fire control is measured in gallons per minute, and it may take around 400gpm to control a fire in a small business. At this rate, water from a fire hose could fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in just over a day, which may seem like a long time, but this same task with a garden hose would take over 110 hours.

A Plan of Action

1. The first thing to do when planning for fire damage restoration is to form a plan of action. This includes taking damage from water into account.
2. Formulate a plan that details which items were too saturated with water to be restored and areas where water extraction may be required.
3. Before reconstruction, find local Fort Collins, CO, professionals who can use pumps and vacuuming equipment to evacuate excess water in your building.
4. It is also necessary to dry, dehumidify, and sanitize the property after the majority of water has been removed. After this has been done, restoration of the areas affected by the fire can begin.

Restoring Your Business

Being prepared for the abundance of water that accompanies fire extinguishing can help your business get back on its feet sooner. Call professionals for assistance with water removal as soon as possible after the fire has been extinguished to prevent excessive damage from standing water. Proper attention to water removal after suffering fire damage is vital, and forming a plan of action can speed the process of restoring your business to pre-fire condition.