Archived Blog Posts
3 Reasons Why Your Basement May Smell
Another common reason for a basement to smell is that the ground is wet.
If your basement smells bad, you might want to think beyond the obvious. It's not just a mildew problem or a rodent infestation—it could be something much more serious. In this guide, we'll take a look at some of the most common reasons that basements smell like rotten eggs or sewer gas and how you can fix them.
1. Poor Air Flow
The first reason your basement may smell is because of poor air flow. A basement is a closed space, which means that if you don’t have an adequate amount of ventilation in your home, the air will become stale and begin to smell like mold or mildew. This can be prevented by ensuring that there are no blocked vents from insulation or water damage.
There are also other factors that may contribute to this problem as well; dirt, dust and debris build up on walls and along the floor throughout the year which can create odor issues because this material needs to be cleaned out regularly in order for everything else inside your home (such as your furniture) not get ruined by these particles directly touching them through daily use over time without any care being given towards removing them right away before they accumulate too much filthiness around them!
2. The Ground is Wet
Another common reason for a basement to smell is that the ground is wet. The most obvious way to check this is to go outside and look, but if you have a sump pump, it's worth checking whether it's working properly. In order to do so, open up your sump pump access door and look inside—is there standing water or has the pump been disconnected? If so, secure it back into place and test it out by turning on one of your faucets upstairs.
If that doesn't help resolve the problem, take a closer look at other possible causes: cracks in foundation walls and floors; leaks from pipes (especially those connected with toilets); water damage from flooding caused by heavy rain or ice dams; mold growth due to excess moisture levels in clothes closets or bathrooms.
3. Sewer Gases
Sewer gases are the product of decomposing organic material in your home, and they can be a health risk to you and your family. Sewer gas smells like rotten eggs because it contains sulfur-based compounds. The same foul odor that hits you when you open a can of stinky cheese or an old pizza box is also present in your sewer system.
Sewer gas corrodes metal pipes and causes basement walls to mold or rot due to moisture buildup caused by condensation on them from moist air entering your home through cracks or gaps around windows or doors (or perhaps even through the foundation).
When sewer gases enter at the main stack—the pipe that brings fresh air into your home—they escape into other parts of the house rather than being vented back outside as they should be if there were no leaks anywhere else along its path (like under floors). This means that any openings between rooms could be letting these harmful gases into other areas where they'll linger until someone opens up doors/windows/ventilators again so they can vent outside instead!
Your basement could smell for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons for a smelly basement is water entering where it shouldn’t. If you experience water damage or need odor removal in your Fort Collins, CO basement, Give SERVPRO of Fort Collins a call!
Shower Won't Drain - What Do I Do?
It's important to keep your shower drain clean and clear by cleaning it regularly
What Should I Do if My Shower Won't Drain?
If you have bad smells coming from your shower drain, that may be a sign that your drain is clogged. Clogged drains are not only unpleasant but can also lead to bigger problems if they aren't taken care of soon. If you suspect that your shower drain is clogged, you can follow these steps.
If you have bad smells coming from your shower drain, that may be a sign that your drain is clogged.
The first thing to do when you have a stinky shower is to clean the strainer basket. If this doesn't work, it's time to call in a plumber.
Hair is one of the main culprits when it comes to clogging shower drains.
Long hair can often collect in the shower drain basket or even in the drainpipe itself, keeping water from flowing properly. If your shower won't drain properly due to hair that has become lodged in its drainage pipes, use a drain cleaner designed specifically for this purpose (or use baking soda and vinegar).
Some people don't realize that not all drain cleaners are safe for every type of plumbing system.
While most household chemicals can be used with ease on most drains, some can damage certain types of pipes if they're not used correctly. One example is bleach, which can eat away at the lining of PVC pipes and cause them to crack over time. If you're unsure whether your drain cleaner is appropriate for your home's plumbing system, consult a plumber before using it.
The best thing you can do for your plumbing is to ensure that you're cleaning out your drains regularly to prevent clogs from occurring.
If you're dealing with a plumbing problem and trying to determine whether you need to call a professional, the best thing you can do for your plumbing is to ensure that you're cleaning out your drains regularly to prevent clogs from occurring. If you don't clean out your drain, hair and debris will build up inside of it.
You should also avoid using chemical drain cleaners at all costs unless they come with explicit instructions as part of their use. Many chemical drain cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are very dangerous and can cause skin irritation if they get on your body; additionally, many types of these products are extremely toxic for children and pets.
You can help keep your shower drain clean and clear by cleaning it regularly and not using harsh chemicals.
If you want to avoid having to call a plumber, it's important to keep your shower drain clean and clear by cleaning it regularly. The most common way to do this is by using a snake, which is essentially a long wire with an attachment at the end that can be pushed down into the pipes. You'll pull the attachments out of the drain, then use a plunger or other tool to loosen whatever is blocking your pipe.
If you don't want to spend money on tools like snakes or plungers, there are other things that can help as well. For instance: pouring boiling water down your pipes will often break up clogs; using baking soda and vinegar (or some other combination) mixed in equal parts will also work; adding salt into hot water (about 1 cup) will soften hard water buildup so it can be washed away easily; and finally, never pour grease down your drains!
Finally, the best thing you can do for your plumbing is to ensure that you're cleaning out your drains regularly to prevent clogs from occurring. You can help keep your shower drain clean and clear by cleaning it regularly and not using harsh chemicals.
How to Prepare Your Business for a Fire
How to Fire-Ready Your Company
This article might be a bit of a downer, but it's an important one. Fires happen every day, and if you don't know what to do during one, your business could be at risk. Additionally, there are people with disabilities who might need greater assistance due to limited mobility. Let's go over some steps you can take to prepare your business for fire—and why they're so important!
1. Know where all fire extinguishers are located and how to use them.
When you're in a building, it's important to know where all fire extinguishers are located. If there is a fire, you need to be able to use one as quickly as possible.
When you're in a building, it's also important to know how each type of fire extinguisher works. For example, there are different kinds of fires that require different types of extinguishers: electrical fires require CO2 (carbon dioxide) extinguishers; kitchen grease fires require ABC (alkaline) extinguishers; and combustible flammable liquids like gasoline or oil call for water-based foam.
2. Make sure each employee knows where the fire exits are and the different routes to the nearest exit.
- Know how to use emergency exit signs and know how to use fire sprinkler system, fire alarm system.
3. Have an established meeting area for employees during a fire emergency.
If you have employees, it's important that they know where to go in case of a fire emergency. This will ensure that everyone is accounted for and safe. The meeting place should be outside the building or near an exit, preferably on a wide-open street or driveway where there aren't any obstacles blocking people from exiting the building quickly. It should also be away from any windows or other areas that may catch fire if there is an explosion or other type of damage to your business building. A good idea would be to designate two meeting places—one inside and one outside of your building—and inform all employees about them so they can get out safely no matter what happens during the emergency at hand. It's also helpful if you have someone designated as "leader" who will make sure everyone knows how to get out safely before evacuating themselves; this person could help coordinate efforts among coworkers, so they don't end up lost while trying to evacuate.
4. Review safety procedures on a regular basis.
The final step in the process is to review safety procedures on a regular basis. This should be done at least quarterly, and ideally it will be conducted with all employees present so that everyone’s up to date with their responsibilities. It should also take place in a safe environment where people can express themselves freely (for example, you don’t want to do this during an emergency). While it might seem like a good idea for just managers or high-ranking staff members to conduct this review, we recommend including all employees from the get-go so that they have an opportunity to ask questions about what they need clarity on before an incident occurs.
In addition, make sure that safety procedures are updated regularly and reflect changes in technology as well as industry practices over time—this ensures that your company is prepared for any type of fire situation!
5. Implement a safe evacuation procedure, based on an analysis of your workplace.
A fire evacuation procedure is a set of instructions that allow you to evacuate your workplace safely and quickly. It should be based on an analysis of the layout of your business, including all exits (including stairwells and fire escapes), corridors, waiting areas, storage rooms and other areas that employees may need to use during an evacuation.
To create a safe evacuation procedure:
- Review the layout of your business using an architectural plan or floor plan drawings
- Identify all possible exits from every room in the building – this includes exit doors, windows and internal stairs/ladders leading from floor to floor; walkways outside; fire escapes; smoke doors or other escape routes
- Make sure everyone knows where these exits are located – you can use maps with different colored arrows clearly pointing out each exit point
- Ensure that all staff know what route they will take if there's ever an emergency at work
6. Make sure employees know how to sound the alarm and what alarms mean.
When the alarm sounds, your employees should know exactly what to do. If they don't, you could be in big trouble. A fire can spread quickly, and people need to know how to react when one breaks out.
The first thing your employees should do is make sure everyone else knows about the fire as well. The best way to do this is by using an intercom system or alarm. This will ensure that everyone hears about it before anything else happens.
7. Ensure that employees with physical disabilities are not excluded from your fire emergency plan
You may have already started to think about your fire safety plan and the steps you would take in case of a fire. If not, now's the time to do it.
Fire safety is important for everyone, but if you have employees with physical disabilities, you will need to make sure that they are included in your emergency plans, so they are prepared in case of an emergency. This means making sure that your plan covers all possible situations, such as an evacuation route (or multiple evacuation routes) and specific accommodations for those who use mobility devices or other assistive technologies.
In addition to this, employers should make sure there are adequate resources available on-site during an emergency so that people with disabilities can evacuate safely with their colleagues. If possible, include a section on how staff members should communicate effectively with their coworkers who use sign language or another form of communication which requires additional support from coworkers when needed during an emergency.
Takeaway: Have a game plan before disaster hits.
The first step to ensuring your business continuity is to have a plan in place. While it may seem like common sense, it's so important that it bears repeating: you need to create a fire evacuation plan for your employees and any visitors. If you don't have one, speak with your insurance agent about what steps you can take now to get started on one.
Once you’ve created the plan, practice it regularly and make sure everyone knows what they're supposed to do if there's an emergency. There are many times when businesses prepare as much as possible but still find themselves unprepared during an actual crisis because they couldn’t adequately train staff members once the time came.
Finally, remain vigilant about maintaining compliance with all local rules and regulations regarding smoke alarms—no matter where in the world your building is located or how old the building may be!
The last thing you want to worry about during a fire emergency is whether your employees know what to do and how to do it. The best thing you can do is create an emergency plan with your team, and make sure everyone knows their role in the event of an emergency. It’s also important to have drills so that everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to do when something goes wrong in your business or home.
3 Ways To Know That You Might Have a Leaky Supply Line
A pipe burst in Fort Collins, CO
Three Ways To Know That You Might Have a Leaky Supply Line
A leaking pipe at your business in Fort Collins, CO, can be caused by a number of things. Rust, poor installation, or frozen water are all signs that a supply line is leaking, leading to a pipe burst. Often, there are signs that you can see that indicate a problem before the pipe actually bursts, and you have a major water cleanup job on hand. Keep an eye out to catch a leaking supply line before it becomes a problem.
1. Increasing Water Bills
If you haven't significantly increased your company's water usage, then a sudden increase in your water bills may indicate a leak. A supply line leaking will drive your water cost up because there is always water flowing. Have a plumber come for an inspection to control the water costs and resolve problems that could lead to a major pipe burst cleanup job.
2. Changes in Water Pressure
A pipe that is frozen or leaking will not be able to provide the same amount of water pressure as a problem-free pipe. You may notice that sinks and toilets are slow to drain or that they clog easily. This could be due to decreased water pressure caused by a leaking supply line. The increased pressure of the pipes trying to do their job could lead to a pipe bursting.
3. Discovery of Water Damage
Standing water is usually a strong indicator that you have a problem. Pipe burst cleanup should be handled by a professional water restoration company. There are different categories of water that can come from a burst pipe, and you want to be careful when dealing with potentially contaminated water. Water marks on ceilings and walls are other indicators that you have a leak. A professional team can use this information to evaluate the extent of the problem and help you restore your business.
Pipe burst cleanup is usually extensive and expensive, so keep an eye out for signs of leaking pipes. The sooner you can catch the problem, the better off your business will be.
Fire Recovery From Assessment to Restoration
Fort Collins fire cleanup
Here Are The Steps You Can Expect The Restoration Specialists To Take
Flames in your building in Fort Collins, CO, can cause a lot of fire damage. Whether the fire guts most of your building or only affects a certain area, you will need fire mitigation services to repair and restore what is lost, and it's a good idea to have the same company handle the whole process from start to finish. Here are the steps you can expect the restoration specialists to take.
The first thing the mitigation team does when it arrives is assess the damage to your property. Technicians survey not only the area where there is obvious trouble but also the surrounding spaces to investigate for smoke or soot damage. It's a good idea to have a mitigation expert present when your insurance adjuster arrives so that every task needed to restore your building is accounted for in the claim.
In addition to the fire damage caused by the event, your building is also vulnerable to further issues if there are spaces left open that allow vandals, thieves or vermin to enter. Therefore, the team should board up broken windows and any holes left by the fire until those areas can be fully repaired.
It takes a lot of water to put out a fire. Before cleanup can begin, the excess water must be pumped out of the building, and the surfaces need to be dried.
There will be parts of the structure that cannot be salvaged. The first step of the cleanup process is tearing out walls, flooring and ceiling tiles that are too badly damaged to be saved. Then all remaining parts of the structure need to be cleaned and sanitized.
The last thing the team must do is rebuild the structure and restore the affected space to its previous condition. This involves not only replacing everything that was torn out but also painting and matching wallpaper or flooring to what remains.
Fire damage must be mitigated before your building can be restored. A team that does both helps the process go smoothly.
Protect Your Business With a Flood Policy
Storm damage to a Fort Collins commercial building.
Three Things To Know About a Commercial Flood Policy
If your business in Fort Collins, CO, becomes damaged in a flood, you could be out thousands of dollars unless you have commercial insurance to cover such losses. Most regular insurance does not cover flooding due to storms. Flood insurance can be purchased separately through The National Flood Insurance Program, which consists of around 60 providers and is managed by FEMA.
1. The Building Is Protected
Floodwater can seep in and cause all kinds of damage to different types of materials including walls, carpeting, appliances, plumbing, and electrical equipment. Luckily, commercial flood insurance usually covers all of these items and more. Coverage generally includes the main building, as well as any detached garages or other facilities.
2. The Contents Inside the Building Are Covered
In addition to the main components of the building, commercial insurance may cover less-permanent structures too. Rugs, curtains, furniture, and other valuable materials that are not part of the building may also be protected. It is a good idea to take pictures of any items before a disaster has a chance to strike. A professional restoration company can often deal with damage to important paperwork and electronics.
3. Not Everything Is Covered
A commercial flood policy does not cover items that are unrelated to the physical structure of your business. For example, cars, other vehicles, or losses incurred during a business outage are not typically covered under these policies. Most deal with flooding due to storms or broken levies but may not apply to problems of flooding originating inside the building. If you have flooding from a broken pipe or sump pump, you may need a different type of insurance for that damage.
Because just 1 inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage, it is important to have flood insurance for your business. Read your paperwork carefully to see exactly what is covered by your commercial insurance policy.
How To Avoid a Home Fire When Grilling
A grill fire that spreads to a home in Fort Collins, CO, can be a devastating event.
Avoid a Disaster When Cooking Outdoors
Grilling at home is something that nearly everyone enjoys and that can be done safely with a few precautions. Now and then a grill fire breaks out and more often than not the only casualty is the food on the grill. However, if a person is not careful or does something unwise, the fire can get out of control and involve the home. Keeping the following things in mind should avoid a disaster when cooking outdoors:
- Do not cook too close to the home
- Do not operate the grill near flammable items such as a gas can
- Never operate a faulty grill
- Secure the connections from the gas tank to the grill
- Never leave the grill unattended
It is a good idea to clean the grill on a regular basis. This keeps oils and fats to a minimum and avoids the flaring up of flames.
What To Do During a Barbeque Fire
It is important to keep calm. Panic only makes things worse. So long as you are not too close to your home and there is nothing combustible nearby, the grill fire should stay contained. If it is not too hot, turn off the burners and then turn off the line from the gas tank. In a short time, the fire will simply go out. It is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire gets serious. You might ruin your food, but you could save your home.
What To Do After a Home Fire
A grill fire that spreads to a home in Fort Collins, CO, can be a devastating event. Calling a professional fire remediation company can help you recover quickly. A trained team will have the experience and the resources to put your home back together again. Fire, soot, and smoke damage will soon be a thing of the past. The repair and restoration process is completed with as little disruption as possible to your family.
Can Mold Grow in Dry Climates?
Mold spores can live almost anywhere
Mold: Does it Grow in Dry Climates?
Many people associate mold with places that have heavy, consistent rainfall throughout the year, such as Portland or Seattle. This makes sense because mold accumulates when moisture is allowed to stand for long periods. Unfortunately, all species, including hazardous black mold, can exist in any environment when provided with the right indoor conditions.
What Allows Mold To Persist?
Although visible growth is rarely apparent in dry, desert climates, mold spores can live almost anywhere. This is because fungal decay, like that caused by mold, is actually an essential part of the planet's life cycle. There are only a few things necessary for a problem to develop in your workspace:
- Tiny, airborne spores
- Standing moisture
- Vulnerable surfaces
- Lack of human preventative action
While you may think that your Fort Collins, CO, business is relatively safe from an infestation, you may be unknowingly creating the conditions for one to form. Human ignorance of a potential threat is often a key factor in necessitating drier-climate mold cleanup. By leaving breaches in your building's exterior unrepaired after minor damage, you may be allowing spores to enter undetected. Black mold is infamous for its ability to remain unseen and may cause damage before it becomes apparent.
What You Can Do
You should always ensure that roofing, windows, and doorways are properly inspected and maintained. Check underneath carpets or other surfaces to make sure that moisture has not accumulated there. Woody, porous surfaces are among the most likely to acquire mold. Since even invisible buildup can constitute a hazard, you should always contact an expert skilled in mold remediation if you suspect that you may require cleanup services.
You may have heard troubling stories in the media about black mold. In truth, as long as you are diligent in preventing an infestation, your business is likely secure. If you believe that you have overlooked any key prevention measures, leave mold cleanup to professionals who have the experience and knowledge to deal with your particular situation.
5 Flood Preparation Safety Tips
Build an emergency supply kit.
Flood Safety Tips In Case Of An Emergency
Dangerous floodwaters can sweep through your property at any time, especially if a severe storm is on the horizon. Taking flood safety protocol seriously is vital when it comes to protecting yourself, your family and your property. Utilize the following safety tips if your home in Fort Collins, CO, is in danger of falling victim to hazardous floodwaters.
1. Create an Emergency Response Plan for Your Household.
Everyone in the household needs to be prepared to face a flood. Make sure each member knows what to do, where to go, and how to properly react in the case of an emergency. Make time to regularly discuss and practice your emergency response plan.
2. Build an Emergency Supply Kit.
Severe floods can sometimes leave people stranded for long periods of time. It's important to make sure that you have the necessary supplies on hand, should this happen to you. Suggested items to pack include, but are not limited to, a flashlight, extra batteries, bandages, gauze, tape and a battery powered radio.
3. Listen and Obey to Emergency Response Teams.
First responders and other local authorities exist to protect you. Ignoring or disobeying them can put a lot of people in serious danger.
4. Waterproof and Relocate Valuable Possessions.
Any important personal items that aren't waterproof, such as electronic devices and important documents, should be sealed in waterproof containers and placed on high shelves that are at least one foot above the projected flood level.
5. Never Enter Flood Water.
This is the golden rule of flood safety. It only takes 6 inches of moving water to knock you off your feet and one foot to sweep your car downstream. Standing floodwater isn't much safer, as it could potentially contain dangerous biohazards or an electrical charge.
It is vital that you take flood safety seriously in the case of an emergency. Doing so can help keep you, your household, and your property safe. Contact flood remediation experts if your home has experienced any type of water damage following a flood or severe storm.
3 Tips to Prevent Clogged Toilets
You can help prevent a clogged toilet and water damage.
Prevent Toilet Flooding
A clogged toilet is not merely annoying, it also creates a risk of overflow and resulting water damage. Prevent toilet flooding in your Fort Collins, CO, place of business by following these three simple tips.
1. Avoid Thick Toilet Paper
Quilted toilet paper is more durable and comfortable. However, it's also more likely to occlude your toilet when used in large quantities. By using thinner, less expensive toilet paper, you can both prevent pipe blockages and save money. Bamboo or recycled toilet paper options are both more eco-friendly than traditional toilet paper and disintegrate faster, causing fewer toilet backups.
2. Provide Convenient Waste Disposal
Many people unknowingly flush items down toilets that should only be disposed of in wastebaskets. The most common non-flushable items that may cause toilet overflow include:
- paper towels
- baby wipes
- dental floss
- sanitary napkins
If too many of these or similar items are flushed down toilets, a backlog of sewage may occur. Waste will not flush properly under these conditions. If flooding results and causes damage, a water damage repair company can help clean and restore your bathroom.
Always provide proper waste disposal bins both inside and outside bathroom stalls. This service is especially important for stalls in women's restrooms, where sanitary products are changed out. Convenience goes a long way toward encouraging people to dispose of waste properly.
3. Use Visual Reminders to Prevent a Clogged Toilet
Pin signs in the bathroom notifying people about items that can and cannot go down the toilets. Provide both visual and written examples of these items and their proper disposal method. Informing people how toilets may clog and overflow reminds people to comply even if they're busy or forgetful.
Modern plumbing is convenient but requires informed maintenance. Overflowing toilets are a common but mainly preventable malfunction. By sticking to these three rules, you can help prevent a clogged toilet and water damage.
What You Should Know About Sewage Backup Restoration
Drying equipment in an area that has suffered from water damage.
What You Should Know About Restoring Sewage Backups
Water damage to your commercial property or business in Fort Collins, CO is something that requires immediate attention. Whether it’s due to a leaky pipe or a sewer backup, unattended water can lead to more serious conditions such as structural damage and mold. SERVPRO of Fort Collins offers a comprehensive approach to damage restoration services including sewer cleanup, repairs, and reconstruction needed to restore your workplace back to preloss conditions.
Why Sewer Cleanup Should Be Handled by Professionals
Water damage is usually categorized according to severity:
Category 1: Also known as clean water, this is damage due to a broken pipe or a leak in a water supply line to something like a refrigerator.
Category 2: Sometimes called grey water, this may involve water damage from a flooded toilet (with no feces) or discharge from a washing machine or dishwasher.
Category 3: Water in this category is often referred to as black water. The most severely contaminated, this is damage from sewage backup, floodwaters, seawater, and toilet water containing feces.
Category 3 water is deeply contaminated, containing unsanitary agents that can’t be safely cleaned with household products. An affected property must be remediated which includes removal of affected items, disinfection, specialty cleaning, advanced drying techniques, and prevention of the spread of further damage.
What Else To Consider
SERVPRO of Fort Collins commits to a full restoration of your property to pre-damage conditions. This means that any reconstruction and structural repairs that may become necessary are also included. Insurance companies prefer to work with professional restoration providers like us to ensure that water damage does not worsen by being left unattended.
Protecting your property in Fort Collins, CO means knowing who to call, especially when you need standing water or sewer cleanup. The professional approach helps to ensure that your office or place of business is safe for you, your employees, your business partners, and your customers.
Flood Damage: What To Know Before Cleaning
A home that experiences flooding needs to be dried out and cleaned up as soon as possible.
Homeowners in Fort Collins, CO, who experience flooding need to act fast. Even what may seem like a small amount of moisture may easily turn into major water damage. While quickly addressing the issue is essential, it’s vital to know the source of the issue before delving into the cleanup process.
Water Loss Categories
Not all water entering a home is equal. There are three categories of water loss that are determined by the water source and potential contaminants.
Clean Water: Considered safe water, it is considered water that is free of toxins. Common sources include a pipe burst or sink overflow.
Grey Water: This type may have chemicals or microbes that need to be properly dealt with. This type of damage is often caused by appliance leaks, such as the dishwasher or washing machine.
Black Water: Often associated with flooding and rising groundwater, it has a plethora of contaminants that require additional levels of safety during cleanup.
Flood Damage Cleanup
Each category of water has its own cleanup requirements. An overflowing sink caught early merely requires extracting the water, drying the area out and sanitizing it. The following two categories are not quite as simple. Depending on the extent of the damage, a grey water issue may be too much to handle and eventually turn into Category 3. The cleanup process often will mean the removal and replacement of drywall and other porous components in the home. In most cases, it’s best to secure the services of a water and mold damage restoration company. It will have certified technicians trained on cleanup protocols as well as the equipment needed to prevent mold growth and salvage affected items.
A home that experiences flooding needs to be dried out and cleaned up as soon as possible. Before delving in, it's important to know the source of the damage and take the necessary safety precautions.
3 Tips on Pet Fire Safety
In case of a fire remember to include a 72-hour kit for each pet.
Pet Fire Safety
Emergency personnel worldwide agree that a carefully devised fire escape plan is necessary for all homeowners. Not only is it critical to account for your human family members, but preparing a plan for your animals is important as well. Follow these simple steps to keep your household pets safe in the event of a fire emergency.
When practicing your fire escape plan, make sure to include your pets. Pet preparation is essential, so ensure you have the proper precautions in place for your furry friends:
- Emergency supply kit
- Collar with name and contact information
- A place to stay if evacuation is required
Make it a routine to grab your pets when you gather your family and head out the door during a fire drill. Repeating actions help make your escape feel second nature when panic ensues.
2. Pet-Proof Your Home
Family pets are often responsible for igniting house fires. Pet-proofing your house in Fort Collins, CO, ensures both pet safety and fire prevention.
Many animals possess incredibly inquisitive natures. As such, they curiously investigate any open flame, stove knob, or culinary appliance. Avoid a fire emergency or the need for fire damage assessment by pet-proofing your kitchen and smothering any candles or open flames before leaving the house.
If you are the proud owner of a puppy or another young pet, keep it secure in a gated room or crate when you are away. Baby animals' mischief knows no bounds, so ensure both of your safety by keeping them enclosed and away from fire hazards.
3. Cooperate With Firefighters
Make firefighters' jobs uncomplicated by providing them easy access to your pets. Keeping your animals close to an entrance ensures their safe recovery in the event of a fire. Furthermore, place leashes and collars in locations that are simple to find. Entry closets or garages are handy places where emergency workers may look to locate pet paraphernalia.
With practice and preparation, you can avoid the catastrophes created by a housefire. Always include pets in your fire emergency plan to keep your entire household safe and secure.
Proper Techniques for Dealing With Home Water Heaters
A leaking water heater is a disappointing event.
Avoid The Negative Consequences Of a Leaking Water Heater
While your water heater is mostly out of sight and out of mind, it is an appliance you rely on every day. To avoid the negative consequences of a leaking water heater, there are a number of steps you can take. The first is to buy a quality unit and have it installed by a certified contractor. The second is to perform any and all necessary maintenance as per the owner's manual and your contractor. The third is to replace the unit at signs that it is near the end of its lifespan.
How To Handle a Failed Water Heater
If you go into the basement of your home in Fort Collins, CO, and discover a layer of clean water on the floor, your water heater probably failed. The usual route is the bottom rusts out from accumulated sediment, emptying 40 to 70 gallons of water onto the floor. If your basement contains only cement and no personal items, you are in luck and you can probably clean it up yourself and order a new unit.
However, if the leaking water heater saturated carpeting and furniture you will need to take action. Consider following these steps as soon as possible:
- Turn off the water valve to the unit
- Call for the services of a local water damage mitigation team
- Watch out for safety hazards and electrical issues
- Move personal items and furniture away if possible
How To Cope With a Broken Water Heater
Some household issues call for immediate action. In most cases, you will need to replace your broken unit. The new water heater should give you a good twelve years or more of service. Also, make sure the water cleanup met your expectations and there are no possibilities for secondary damage such as mold growth or lingering odors.
A leaking water heater is a disappointing event. With quick action, you can have the whole thing behind you in a day, with the added benefit of having a new unit installed and ready to go.
How a Fire Restoration Company Can Help Your Business Recover From a Fire
Board up services in a commercial building in Fort Collins, CO.
How Can a Fire Restoration Company Assist Your Business After a Fire?
After a fire at your business in Fort Collins, 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.
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
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.
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 Fort Collins, CO, as soon as possible after a commercial fire.
Storm Damage vs. Flood Damage: What's the Difference?
Storm damage in a Fort Collins commercial building.
What's the Difference Between Storm and Flood Damage?
There are a lot of things you probably don't want to struggle with on your property out of everything that could be on that list, flood and storm damage are likely at the top for most people. However, this begs the question: if they're both caused by water, how do you tell them apart? Here's a quick look at the difference between the two.
Regardless of where it happens in Fort Collins, CO, damage to property qualifies as storm damage if it was caused by one of the following:
- Other natural disasters
The physical effects of a storm can usually be seen in the form of damaged shingles, a leaky roof, broken windows, holes in the wall and external house fixtures being torn away from the structure. As long as the damage wasn't caused by the overflow of a body of water during the storm, it should technically qualify as storm damage. It's important to note that earthquakes aren't typically covered in this category.
Unlike a storm, damage from flooding is typically regarded as any normally dry land being covered by water that has escaped from a river, creek, lake or other body of water. The damage is still considered flood damage whether or not it was caused naturally or by an external force even if the flood came from a canal, dam or reservoir after being modified, it still qualifies in the same category. If the damage came from a flood that was caused by inclement weather, it should still count as flooding so long as the storm itself isn't what damaged the building.
Whether you're dealing with floods or storm damage in Fort Collins, CO, it's important to know the difference between the two. Homeowner's insurance can be very particular about what is covered under a specific category, so speak with your agent if you're unsure what you're protected against.
How To Use SERVPRO To Help with Insurance Claims
SERVPRO franchise is uniquely qualified to help you keep on top of the work that is happening throughout the entire process.
How SERVPRO Can Assist With Insurance Claims
When you call a claim services agent about your business in Fort Collins, CO, after a disaster, you want a quick response. You also want to be sure that everything is being done correctly. You're still running a business, so keeping track of the project shouldn't be your job, but whose job is it? Your local SERVPRO franchise is uniquely qualified to help you keep on top of the work that is happening throughout the entire process.
1. Prompt Response in an Emergency
When you think of an emergency response, one of the most crucial aspects is the speed at which you get help. How supported you feel often shapes the entirety of the restoration experience. It's important that the person on the other end of the phone is confident, competent, and considerate, and that whoever comes to your property is prepared and professional. A SERVPRO team has a rigorous documentation process to adhere to that tracks your project from the first phone call.
2. Thorough Claims Inventory Service
The emergency remediation team keeps a record of every single thing that has been damaged and turns it into a detailed, itemized document with photos and descriptions. They can advise you as to whether something can be restored rather than replaced. You get copies of this document, as well as of everything else, throughout the remediation process, and they are also shared directly with your claim services representative.
3. Complete Pretesting Process
A complete pretesting process is undertaken to determine the extent of the damage to your business and to provide an accurate restoration quote before the work begins. This is an important step because it helps both you, the client, and your claim services agent know that you're receiving high-quality work at a fair industry price.
Emergency response doesn't have to be daunting if you choose to work with a company that understands the importance of organization and communication as its professionals help you get back to work.
Preparing a Commercial Building for a Thunderstorm
Commercial storm cleanup in Fort Collins, CO.
Getting Ready for a Thunderstorm in a Commercial Building
Despite its name, a thunderstorm does not only include thunder. It may also feature:
- Heavy rain
Each of these weather events comes with its own hazards. A heavy rain storm, for instance, can cause flash flooding in Fort Collins, CO. High winds, meanwhile, can damage buildings or knock out power. By following the below steps, you can mitigate the harm caused by severe storms.
Know Your Risk
As the bad weather approaches, you may hear meteorologists issue a severe thunderstorm warning or watch for your area. You should know the difference between these two terms. A watch is declared when severe storms are possible. A warning, however, is issued when radar or individuals have detected the bad weather nearby.
Prepare in Advance
If a major rain storm is heading to your area, you should get your property ready. Bring inside any exterior items that are not attached to the ground. This will prevent those things from flying away in heavy winds.
You should also trim any trees or shrubbery growing near the building. Remove any damaged branches so they do not fall onto the structure during the storm.
An emergency kit is a valuable resource for your tenants. It should include necessary supplies and the contact information for storm damage restoration experts.
Keep Everyone Safe
Finally, make sure all of your tenants know what to do when the storm arrives. Have them close their windows and doors. They should stay away from the windows, as well. Remind them not to use electrical equipment or their plumbing system, either.
A rain storm can be harmful to your property, especially if the severe weather includes hail or heavy winds. Before the storm arrives, remove loose outdoor items from your landscape and trim any trees that are too close to the buildings. You should also prepare an emergency kit for each of your tenants. As the storm approaches, stay up-to-date on the latest alerts so you know when the threat has passed.
How To Prevent Mold Damage in Your Commercial Building
Use a moisture meter to monitor the humidity within the property.
Prevent Mold Damage in Your Commercial Building
Whether you own a large commercial building or a small store, you do not want mold to spread unabated throughout your Fort Collins, CO, property. Mold growth can occur anywhere, including
- Above ceiling tiles
- Inside walls
- Around pipes
If an infestation occurs, you may have to temporarily close your building while experts perform mold cleanup and remediation. This shutdown could cost you a lot of money. Luckily, there are some simple ways to avoid extensive mold problems. Since the fungus thrives in wet areas, most mold prevention tips involve limiting water damage.
Addressing Water Issues
Start by surveying your property for signs of leaks. Plug those leaks immediately before they cause further harm.
You may also want to waterproof parts of your property. This could be expensive, but a mold infestation would be even more costly.
Pay special attention to sections of your building that are prone to flooding. If a flood does occur, have the water removed within a day or two.
Mold does not only spread following a major water damage. Even everyday moisture can encourage the growth of this harmful fungus. If your property uses stoves or dryers that create moisture, make sure those appliances are vented properly. You may also want to run an exhaust fan or open a window when these items are in use.
Indoor humidity is another common cause of mold growth. The humidity level inside your building should be no more than 60 percent. Use a moisture meter to monitor the humidity within the property.
Condensation is often a sign of excess humidity. Any drops of moisture on pipes or windows should thus be dried immediately.
To prevent mold in your building, you should reduce the excess moisture throughout your property. You should also clean up any water damage immediately. While the above tips will not completely eradicate the mold inside your building, they should prevent the fungus from becoming a major issue.
How To Create a Fire Evacuation Plan for Your Business
Make sure that your employees are aware of all the exits in the building.
Fire Escape Plan for Your Business
In the event of a fire, having a reliable plan in place that everyone in your business is a part of is crucial. Be sure to communicate the plan explicitly and have all of your employees practice it to ensure that everyone knows what to do in case of a real fire. To help you get started, here are some essential components of an effective fire escape plan for your business in Fort Collins, CO.
To establish order in your business in the event of a fire, there needs to be a clear list of responsibilities that must be taken care of. Some of the fundamental roles that you should assign to your employees include:
- Chief supervisor
- Assistant supervisor
- Floor monitor
- Route guide
The supervisors can help alert the other employees and call the fire department, and the floor monitor and route guide can take on the job of making sure everyone is out of the building. Giving these roles to the employees you believe are the best fit can keep things running as smoothly as possible.
A critical requirement of a good fire escape plan is mapping out clearly defined evacuation routes throughout your building. Make sure that your employees are aware of all the exits in the building so they can turn to the closest one in the event of a fire. It is also a good idea to designate an area outdoors where everyone can meet after evacuating, as this can help confirm that everyone is out of the building.
Inspect Fire Equipment
Your emergency escape plan will be futile if your fire equipment isn’t functioning properly. Check all of the emergency tools in your building and confirm that they are up-to-date. Be sure to cover everything, including fire alarms, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting and fire doors. Having effective equipment can alert everyone promptly and help to facilitate your evacuation plan.
A fire escape plan is important, but a real incident can leave you with devastating damage. A fire restoration professional can help your business be up and running again “Like it never even happened.”
6 Signs of Plumbing Trouble
Water damage to the ceiling in a Fort Collins, CO building.
6 Symptoms of Plumbing Issues
If you run a business in Fort Collins, CO, the last thing you want to deal with is a problem with your plumbing system. If you experience a blocked sewer, toilet overflow or a pipe break, you should contact a commercial restoration service as soon as possible. Before you have to take that step, you can familiarize yourself with these common signs of trouble.
Chronic Drain Clogging
If you experience clogs on a regular basis, it could be a sign of a problem with your cast-iron sewer lines. After 25 years, these lines can deteriorate and fail. A blocked sewer can lead to more damaging and costly issues, so it’s a good idea to address it right away.
Sewer Gas Smell
Your nose may give you another indication of trouble with your sewer lines. If you notice the odor of sewer gas, you should get your sewer system examined for damage or failure.
A toilet overflow is a messy situation for any business. When commercial toilets won’t stop flushing, it is usually a problem with the flushometer. Most commonly, the gasket needs to be cleaned out or replaced.
Bulging Walls and Ceilings
Pipe breaks can occur when clogs or pinhole leaks go unaddressed. If you notice any swelling or protrusions in your walls or ceiling tiles, this may be the reason.
Another noticeable sign that water is building up in the walls is discoloration. By the time you see these stains, the leak or break is already fairly advanced and requires swift attention.
A crack in your building’s foundation can start from root intrusion into a weak point, but once established, can expand to larger cracks. In addition to the structural damage they cause, foundation cracks can wreak havoc on water and sewage systems.
As a business owner, you don’t want to wait for a blocked sewer or pipe break to address problems in your plumbing system. By being familiar with these warning signs, you can deal with plumbing issues before they get serious.
How Do Experts Restore a Residence After a Fire?
Severe fire and soot damage in Fort Collins, CO.
How Do Professionals Restore a Home After a Fire?
A fire may result in minor to severe damage at a residence in Fort Collins, CO. Homeowners should contact mitigation and restoration experts as soon as possible and schedule a consultation to prevent damage from worsening. Mitigation can begin after the assessment. A one-stop fire restoration company can support homeowners throughout the damage remediation process.
After a fire has been extinguished, homeowners should contact damage mitigation and restoration specialists and arrange for a home visit. Experts can identify which of the following cleaning and rebuilding services will be necessary:
- Fire restoration
- Smoke remediation
- Water damage cleanup
A mitigation and restoration company can provide all of these services. Experts should be able to provide a verbal briefing within eight hours and follow up with an estimate and timeline.
Mitigation will start with damage cleanup and may include preparatory measures for a fire rebuild. Professionals are likely to take the following measures:
- Extracting any standing water from extinguishing efforts
- Tearing out damaged building materials
- Disposing of damaged contents
- Cleaning and disinfecting
All of these steps can clear the way for a successful restoration once the affected area is dry. Professionals may provide additional ventilation or dehumidifiers to accelerate the drying process.
The final stage of fire damage remediation involves rebuilding services. Restoration professionals may replace any torn-out materials and take additional measures to prevent smoke damage from surfacing on repainted walls. Cleaned contents can be returned to the location once this phase is complete.
All of these stages are necessary to complete a fire restoration project. For the best results, homeowners should rely on experienced professionals in Fort Collins, CO. Experts can accurately assess the damage, ensure that mitigation is handled properly and complete a fire rebuild. An all-in-one mitigation and restoration company can complete this process as quickly as possible and will stand by the quality of all work done.
Diagnosing Potential Problems With a Noisy Water Heater
A properly functioning water heater is one of the most important appliances in the home.
Noisy Water Heater
A properly functioning water heater is one of the most important appliances in the home, especially for residents of Fort Collins, CO. And just like any other appliance, it’s bound to make noise as it operates. While some of these sounds are normal and should be no cause for alarm, others are early indicators of impending problems that need to be addressed. If yours is making suspicious noises, here are some things to keep in mind.
Identify the Sound
Try to pinpoint the type of sound you are hearing. While every situation will be unique, certain noises are typically associated with the following common water heater problems:
• When valves are not fully opened, water being forced through the smaller-than-expected opening can lead to what may sound like screeching or screaming.
• If the heating element has become loose, the water flowing around it causes vibrations perceptive as humming.
• Sediment buildup near the heating element can cause popping, rumbling or crackling sounds. This occurs frequently with older units and could mean the tubes need to cleaned or replaced. Performing a water heater flush at least once per year will also help to avoid tank sediment.
• Tapping or ticking noises usually emanate from check valves or heat traps and aren’t generally a cause for concern.
Many of these issues are relatively minor at first but can cause serious problems if not rectified.
Contact a Professional for Emergencies
If you’re still unsure about the noises you're hearing, don’t be afraid to call a licensed professional for service. If a major failure has occurred and your tank has ruptured or is leaking, it’s crucial to contact a clean-up and restoration specialist as soon as possible to help eliminate the mess and avoid the risk of water damage.
There’s no need to panic if you are hearing strange noises coming from your water heater. Regular maintenance can help to avoid many common problems and there are always licensed professionals available in Fort Collins, CO, that are ready to help.
A Guide to Buying Home Fire Extinguishers
Types of fires you can put out.
Fire Preparedness Plan
A fire extinguisher in your Fort Collins, CO, home could mean the difference between a cautionary tale you tell for years and a tragedy. Your fire preparedness plan should include placing an extinguisher in an easy-to-reach spot, especially in the kitchen where many home fires start.
A:B:C on the Label
All extinguishers are classified, and home devices have an A, B, or C designation. Many have a combination of the designations. The labels indicate the types of fires you can put out.
• Class A: appropriate for paper, trash, and wood
• Class B: grease and flammable liquids
• Class C: Electrical appliances and equipment, including live electricity
Other designations are appropriate for warehouses and commercial kitchens.
Strength in the Numbers
Each letter on the label is paired with a number. For example, on a multipurpose extinguisher, you may see: 3-A:40-B:C. The numbers are assigned by the Underwriters Laboratories and describe how effective the fire extinguisher is against specific fires. A 4-A rating indicates a stronger impact against ordinary combustibles than a 3-A. It's normal for the C designation to appear without a number. The designation means that the chemicals within the canister won't conduct electricity. Keep in mind that as these numbers increase, so will the prices.
Weight and Size Matters
After choosing appropriate class designations and strengths, turn your focus to the size of the devices. A portable 2-pound extinguisher is perfect for your car and often comes with hardware to secure it in place. For a home fire, you may want to consider a 5-pound canister for the kitchen or laundry room. A larger model may be best for your garage or workshop. You may even want to consider a stove-top version that pops open to shower baking soda over fires that happen while you're cooking. Before jumping directly to the biggest device, don't forget to factor in your ability to maneuver it during an emergency.
The National Fire Protection Association experts recommend a fire extinguisher for each floor of your home. Turn to home fire remediation professionals to identify each area of the home where fires could happen, and which appropriate device will protect against a fire in your home.
3 Methods for Preventing Mildew on Plants
Prevent plant mildew on your plants.
Three Methods To Prevent Plant Mildew
At one point or another, you may have come across mold in your Fort Collins, CO, home, whether it grew in your bathroom, your kitchen or your garage. However, it’s less likely that you’ve ever had to deal with mildew growth on your household plants — until now. If you encounter plant mildew on your indoor or outdoor plants, here are three methods for preventing its return in the future.
1. Don’t allow for overcrowding of leaves amongst your plants. Plants need sufficient space for leaves to expand and grow without running into problems. Therefore, if you’ve neglected to cut back the leaves and overgrowth is exceeding the limits of the space, mildew can begin to form. Regularly maintain your greenery to ensure they can branch out and naturally utilize the space around themselves to stretch out.
2. Place your greenery in areas with better air circulation and suitable sunlight. Powdery plant mildew tends to flourish in hot, humid spaces and in situations where a plant’s leaves can’t dry out enough after being watered. Giving your plants sufficient sunlight can help them dry faster and grow stronger, while placing them in areas where they’ll be given adequate air circulation can help ensure high heat or humidity doesn’t allow for mildew growth.
3. If you notice mildew creeping up on your plants, snip the edges to prevent its spread. Trimming your plants is crucial for sustaining healthy greenery that’s mildew-free. Simply trimming the edges of infected leaves can do the trick, or try removing the specific layers of leaves altogether to contain the spread of mildew throughout the entire plant.
Once you’ve followed these methods for preventing plant mildew, your greenery should return to its happy, healthy state. If you come across any forms of mildew or mold in your household that seems to be beyond the point of easy maintenance, it’s important to let professional mold remediation specialists handle its removal.
5 Answers to Questions About Fire Damage
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
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.