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Questions to Ask a Potential Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Questions to Ask a Potential Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

Business owners who have experienced a natural disaster affecting their commercial property are in a vulnerable position. Unfortunately, FEMA has found that up to 60% of businesses do not reopen after a disaster strikes in a recent report.

Thankfully, by working with a company that is a leader in the commercial restoration industry, businesses can get their damaged property restored quickly and reopen their doors faster. But how do you know how to choose a restoration company? Here are a few questions to ask:

1. How Do You Ensure Fast Response Time?

If damages are left untreated after a natural disaster, other issues can occur that lead to more money and time for restoration. A company that cannot ensure a fast response time might often end up costing more in the long run when this is considered.

This is exactly why we have an emergency service line that is on around the clock. At whatever hour you discover damage to your business, we can spring into action and let you focus on the other tasks involved in a business’ recovery.

2. How Do You Train Your Technicians?

Working with a company that has well-trained technicians makes all the difference in the speed and quality of work. Being able to trust the team working on your commercial property provides valuable peace of mind, as you can know a good job will be done.

Every one of our technicians is trained in accordance with the standards issued from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). After the initial training, technicians are given access to online learning programs and the ability to enroll in extra certifications to continue to be leaders within the field.

3. How Do You Choose Your Equipment?

With any project, having the right tools makes all the difference in the speed and quality of the completed job. Choosing a company that keeps up with the current technological advancements in restoration means that you will be getting the quality of work you expect.

We make sure we are using the best equipment on the market by following the IICRC standards for machinery we use in commercial restoration. This allows us to be efficient, effective and help you get back to business more quickly.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7—contact us today.

 

A Prevention Guide for House Fires | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

A Prevention Guide for House Fires | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

House fires are one of the most common—and the most preventable—accidents that can happen around the home. Though everyone hopes they will never have to deal with a house fire, the chances of not experiencing one rise significantly if you take proper precautions to keep them from starting.

Statistics About House Fires

Because house fires can escalate from smoke to home-engulfing flames in a moment, they are one of the most common reasons for property damage. In fact, a house fire occurs almost three times each minute. This rapid reporting rate shows that there are more fires each year than most might think.

Cooking incidents continue to be the most common cause of house fires, but there are many other things that can cause a flame around the home.

Prevention Tips

It is amazing how quickly a house fire can spread. A small mistake or unattended flame can quickly lead to a raging fire that requires professional attention. That is why preventing fires in advance is key to staying safe. Here are some ways you can prevent house fires:

Test your smoke alarms. Prevent smoke alarm malfunctions by performing battery checks each month utilizing the test button on your unit, and upgrade the entire unit every 10 years.

Remove dryer lint. The inside of the dryer gets hot enough to combust dryer lint if the tray is overfilled, so make it a practice to empty the dryer tray after each load.

Be careful with flames. Open flames from cooking, grills or fireplaces can leap to other surfaces if conditions are right. Never leave a room with an open flame present.

Replace worn wires. Phone chargers and TV cables can often end up in tight spaces, leading to premature fraying. Frayed cords should always be replaced immediately to avoid starting a fire.

Keep chemicals away from heat. It may seem obvious to keep camp stove fluid and gasoline away from heat sources, but everyday household products can also be flammable. Always check the label for instructions on how to keep these substances from combusting.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

 

The Case Against Water Damage at Home | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

The Case Against Water Damage at Home | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

We’ll always need water for life, but one thing that we could do without is the damage that water can do to our homes and property.

Know that there are many driving forces behind the various types of water damage.

Water Damage and Its Causes

From 2009 to 2015, The Travelers Companies Inc. found that the five most common causes of homeowners insurance claims were:

  • Exterior wind damage
  • Non-weather-related water damage
  • Hail
  • Weather-related water damage
  • Theft

Water damage takes up two of those five slots, meaning that it is a very common issue. It’s best to thing of water damage in terms of being weather-related and non-weather-related.

Non-weather-related damage is the most common factor at home, often coming from plumbing or appliance issues. While just as trying, weather-related water damage is not as common and can stem from rain and snow.

At home, the top five causes of water damage are plumbing issues, washing machine leaks, busted water pipes, aging water heaters and bad weather.

Keeping Your Home Dry

The price of water damage may be high, but it would be much higher if not covered by your homeowners insurance plan. In most cases, the following damages are covered by a standard policy:

  • Damages caused by from weight of ice, snow or sleet
  • Discharge and overflow of water, even by accident
  • Tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system
  • Freezing of plumbing and pipes

While water damage can be highly stressful, there are ways to help stave off certain water-related issues.

You can use these preventive fixes and routine maintenance suggestions to keep your home safe from some water damage situations:

  • Applying water sensors and automatic shut-off valves
  • Installing metal mesh connection hoses on the washer and dryer
  • Making sure your gutters and downspouts are free of debris
  • Ridding the hot water tank of buildup by flushing it every six months
  • Keeping grease out the kitchen sink and drain

These tips can help make sure you avoid some rather costly water damage at home.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with, but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Puebloon your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process.

 

Thunderstorms and the Damage They Bring | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms and the Damage They Bring | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

When we are in the spring and summer seasons, thunderstorms can happen any day. These storms can also bring a chance for property damage.

How much do you know about the different types of damage that is caused by thunderstorms?

How They Form

Across the world, approximately 16 million thunderstorms occur annually. The United States can account for approximately 100,000 of those storms, with 10% of them falling into the severe category.

In order for a thunderstorm to develop, there are certain conditions necessary—such as moisture and rising unstable air that is accompanied by a “lifting” mechanism caused by either hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing a rising motion.

Thunderstorms go through three stages during their life cycle: the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. The mature stage is the stage that will produce hail, heavy rain, frequent lightning, strong winds and tornadoes.

Thunderstorms & Types of Damage

While there are many different dangerous aspects that thunderstorms can produce, one of the greatest risks is the chance for flying debris due to high winds.

It is possible for wind speeds to reach 57.5 mph or more in strong thunderstorms, and these speeds can be responsible for much damage.

Any item that is loose in your yard, even those that seem harmless, can turn into dangerous projectiles. Take special care to see that potential threats, like fencing, potted plants, garbage cans and tree branches, are secured before a thunderstorm comes around.

Other types of damage besides wind damage can be caused by thunderstorms:

Lightning. Besides being a fire risk, lightning strikes can cause much damage to your home’s electrical systems. As it can pass through wiring, anything plugged in could be damaged.

Tornado. With the possibility of reaching wind speeds of 200 mph, tornadoes are highly destructive. The ability to move quickly over large amounts of land means they can do much damage in a small amount of time.

Hail. Small hail can damage crops, while larger hail can damage vehicles, roofing and windows. In total, the NOAA estimates that hail causes $1 billion in damage each year.

Flood. With strong storms come heavy rains, and those rains can cause flooding. Flash flooding is often able to damage structures, sweep things away and tear trees from the ground.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Pueblo is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration.

 

Protecting Your Home Against Flood Damage | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Home Against Flood Damage | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

Worrying about flooding in your home may seem counterintuitive if you are not in an area prone to flooding, but with natural disasters involving flooding around 90% of the time, it would be unwise for homeowners to not prepare their homes in case of a flood.

Ways Homeowners Can Protect Against Flood Damage

While there is no way to practice prevention for floods, there are steps homeowners can take to limit the damage a flood may cause:

Know your risk. Use the FEMA Flood Map Tool or call the local branch of your emergency management office to better understand your risk and the precautions to take.

Discuss emergency procedures. Keep the entire family aware of the emergency and evacuation plan for the house. Teach every adult how to turn off the electricity main and make sure emergency supplies are easily accessible.

Elevate valuables. Important documents pertaining to the household, such as insurance papers, should be kept in a place that would be easily accessible and protected should you need to file a claim following the flood.

Prepare appliances. In the case of a shallow flood, appliances such as washers and dryers can be elevated on bricks or stands to protect the internal workings from water damage.

Turn off electricity. Even if you feel it’s unlikely that the waters would reach electrical appliances or outlets, prevent the risk of shock or electrocution by turning off the electricity supply to rooms that are at risk.

Raise hazardous materials. By elevating things such as oil, paint and cleaning supplies, you can prevent dangerous substances from spilling into the floodwater.

Anchor propane and fuel tanks. A tipped propane or fuel tank can pollute floodwaters or pose an explosion risk. Fuel tanks should be securely anchored.

Disasters such as floods are devastating, but a bit of pre-planning can go a long way in protecting your valuables and keeping your family safe.

If you’ve experienced water damage due to a flood or other causes, SERVPRO® of Pueblo is here to help. Our technicians are fully trained in water remediation, and our 247 Emergency Line means we’ll be there for you when you call.

 

Successfully Avoiding Fire Hazards in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

Successfully Avoiding Fire Hazards in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

The kitchen can be a multifunctional place—a place for family and friends to gather, a place to spend quality time over a cup of coffee or tea and a place to gather for a meal after some delicious eats have been prepared. Unfortunately, without proper precautions, the kitchen can also be a dangerous place where many home fires can occur.

The No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries is cooking fires, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires in 2017. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Safety Tips for the Kitchen

Remaining in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Are you wearing clothes safe for cooking? Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove; even grease splatters can ignite clothing material. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Are you careful about what you place by the stovetop? Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Where is your fire extinguisher? Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. How are you disposing of your hot grease? The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Do you have a fire escape plan established? Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared rather than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Pueblo is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

 

Is Your Business Ready for Potential Disaster Situations? | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Is Your Business Ready for Potential Disaster Situations? | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

Is Your Business Ready for Potential Disaster Situations? | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

What are some of the multitude of things that you find must be addressed when running a business? Did you know one of the most important factors to think about is emergency preparedness?

We understand that having a plan in place cannot stop any type of disaster, but it does instill a sense of safe security for you and your employees if they know what to do if a disaster or emergency situation does occur.

How to Make Your Plan

If you have not developed an emergency preparedness plan for your business, why not take the time to sit down and do so? Make it a priority!

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

When it comes to emergencies or disasters, it is not going to matter if they’re caused by humans or Mother Nature. If there is no emergency plan for your business, things are going to fall apart and unravel rapidly.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.

Start on Your Plan

When beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business, your first step should be to evaluate which scenarios are most likely to occur—and even those that are a longshot but could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

Another suggestion is to conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) to help predict the potential effect a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

Be sure that, once you have come up with an emergency preparedness plan, you go over it and practice with employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Pueblo is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

 

Severe Weather Threats Can Increase in the Spring | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Severe Weather Threats Can Increase in the Spring | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

Well, spring is finally here. We can now enjoy some of that spring-like weather…and buckle up for whatever kind of weather Mother Nature may choose to send our way!

Get Ready for Severe Weather

With the arrival of spring comes longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, spring also brings with it the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s dealer’s choice this time of year, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

Fluctuating and unstable temperatures can cause changing weather that may go from warm to cold in the same day. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms are an increasingly common event throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common during spring and summer.

If you take a look at natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common cause and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

These storms bring a threat for floods, high winds and even tornadoes when the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

The Time to Prepare Is Now

It is not possible to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, but fortunately, meteorologists do have the tools available to at least warn us of possible severe weather that could be coming. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Some of the things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather are:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Pueblo to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

 

Count on Us to Respond to Your Disaster Fast | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Count on Us to Respond to Your Disaster Fast | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

When disaster strikes your home or business, you don’t have the benefit of waiting for help when it is your home or livelihood on the line—you need it right away.

We understand that a fast response is crucial, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan to us.

Why Responding Quickly Matters

Time becomes a precious commodity when it’s your belongings or business on the line. This is especially true where water damage has been involved, which can happen through various means such as flooding, appliance and/or plumbing failures, storm damage and firefighting efforts.

It only takes a matter of mere minutes for water to spread throughout your property, saturating the walls, floors, upholstery and your belongings, which all become casualties of water damage.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

The damage will continue to worsen as time goes on. Anywhere from 48 hours up to a week later, you could begin to see:

  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode
  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • The possibilities of serious biohazard contamination

If left untreated for more than a week, water can lead to dramatically increased restoration times and costs and can also have an impact on structural safety.

How We Can Help

We can provide an immediate response to any size disaster, which can help keep damage to a minimum and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

We have trained cleanup and restoration specialists that can be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.

A major perk of being part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises is that we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations. Also, since we are a locally owned and operated franchise, we are close by and ready to respond whenever the call comes in.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Pueblo is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

 

Ways You Can Protect Your Business From Fire | SERVPRO® of Pueblo

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Ways You Can Protect Your Business From Fire | SERVPRO of Pueblo

When you own a business, you must take safety precautions for your business, employees and visitors. One of the things you need to consider and spend a little extra time planning for and working toward is fire prevention.

The Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage with 20%, 18% and 15% respectively.

In 2007, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

In studying more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that during the period from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires involving office properties per year. Those fires were responsible for an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

You Can Protect Your Business

So what are some of the many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires? By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you will be working to reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, make an assessment of any fire hazard risks in your facility. In some locations, your local government may have a fire marshal who can visit your establishment to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Most importantly, consider your employees and visitors. Creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff will ensure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep that fire safety protocol fresh in their minds, and take time to review evacuation plans and the location of first-aid kits.

Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO of Pueblo is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."