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Creating a Fire Escape Plan for Your Home

6/24/2022 (Permalink)

House on Fire and Shadows of People Escaping Create the best Fire Escape Plan following the Tips of our Professionals.

While no one hopes to experience a fire in their home, it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. From carrying homeowners’ insurance to knowing which local fire restoration company to call, you need to have a plan that outlines what to do in the event of a fire. If your home in Pueblo, CO, catches fire while you and other household members are there, do you have a plan for a safe exit? Now’s the perfect time to come up with a fire escape plan. Here’s what you need to know. 

Developing a Fire Escape Plan

Creating an escape plan should be done collaboratively with everyone in the household, including children. Consider the following tips:

  • Walk through the home making note of all possible exits from the house, including doors and windows.
  • Your plan should also account for exiting the home from upper floors.
  • Create a map of the home with exits and smoke alarms for young children.
  • Make sure your routes for escape are clear and free of obstacles.
  • Confirm that doors and windows are easy to open.
  • Determine an outdoor meeting place that everyone will head to. It should be a safe distance from your house and marked on your map.
  • Your plan should designate an official assistant for helping infants, the elderly, and anyone with limited mobility escape. Indicate a backup in the event the first designee is not home during a real emergency.

Coming up with a plan allows you to take stock of any changes that need to be made to help everyone exit the building quickly and safely. 

Testing Your Plan

Practice makes perfect, and you’ll need to test your plan to see if it’s effective. Consider these tips for testing your fire escape plan: Practice your fire plan at different times of the day, including the nighttime. Commit to fully exiting the building, making accommodations for those whose mobility is limited.

While you don’t want to frighten young children, it’s important to test your plan when they’re asleep. This lets you know if your smoke alarms are effective at waking them up. Your escape plan may need to designate someone responsible for waking them up.

Test alternate escapes

In a real home fire, the quickest route may not be the safest. Everyone should practice getting low to simulate crawling under smoke. Keep ladders near windows for safe exits from the second floor.

Planning for No Escape

Your fire preparation plan should also account for a situation where home escape isn’t possible. Fire or smoke may block all exits. Come up with a plan for isolating family members from fire or smoke. This includes closing doors, sealing openings, and covering vents to limit the spread of fire and smoke. Household members should also know how to open windows to let in fresh air. Be sure to include flashlights or other devices to direct firefighters to your location.

As a responsible homeowner, you want to make sure you and your household are prepared for a fire. A well-developed and practiced fire escape plan is your best chance for survival. Accidents can happen at any time of the day, so it’s important to practice executing your plan at various times and under different circumstances.

3 Examples of Category 3, or Black Water, Damage

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded House. Learn More about Water Damage following our Tips.

Water damage happens in many ways and can range from inconvenient, such as a warped countertop, to severe, such as multi-story flooding. It's understandable that in some cases the damage can be addressed by the homeowner, but in other situations, such as black water contamination, the damage requires the services of sewage cleanup experts. As a homeowner in Pueblo, CO, here's what you need to know about this extreme water contamination.

3 Examples of Category 3, or Black Water, Damage

The hazards you can expect from the three categories of water damage range from Category 1 water damage that originates from clean water to Category 3 which contains toxic substances, such as bacteria, pesticides, chemicals, and raw sewage. This type of contamination leads to extensive damage and risk. It can also happen in a variety of situations.

1. Outside Flooding

Storms and heavy rain may cause nearby lakes and rivers to flood. It can raise the water table, leading to flooded basements and ground-level homes. When this happens, the rising water carries feces from rodents and neighborhood pets. It also picks up chemicals from pesticides, garbage, and landscaping treatments.

When this contaminated water flows through your home, those toxic substances are readily absorbed by the structural components of your home as well as by your furnishings and belongings.

2. Sewer Backups

There are several potential causes of sewer backups: clogged and blocked sewer pipes, damaged and aging pipes, tree roots in the system, and major blockage in the municipal lines. As soon as sewage emerges from your toilet, bathtub drain, or sink drain, it's important to reduce the risk to you, your family, and your home.

Don't touch the dirty water and close off the area, so pets, children, and other adults don't move in and out of the area. As water evaporates, many of the chemicals and contaminants from the water will get into the air.

It's important that professionals resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Water damage cleanup and restoration pros have the proper protective equipment and commercial cleaners to remove heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria, chemicals, urine, and raw sewage safely and thoroughly from your home. These technicians have extensive training to protect them and your home from the hazards carried by this contaminated water.

3. Standing Clean Water Flooding

Flooding in your home may originate from a source of clean water. Maybe the bathtub was left running and overflowed. A pipe under the kitchen sink may burst, or a damaged clothes dryer could cause flooding. Initially, this water damage falls into Category 1 and Category 2 contamination, but when that water is allowed to sit for more than 24 hours, the damage will increase until you have black water contamination. This happens because the sitting water absorbs chemicals from the drywall, carpeting, and other materials.

Black water, or Category 3, damage is the most dangerous type of water contamination and should only be cleaned up by professionals with the appropriate protective gear, equipment, and treatments. Your top priority should be ensuring the safety of your family and reducing damage to your home.

How To Identify Contaminated Water and Clean It Up

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Kitchen. Our specialists can help you with the Water Cleanup.

When a home in Pueblo, CO, experiences water damage, it’s vital to take care of the issue as soon as possible. Prior to jumping into cleanup, it’s also essential to know whether it is clean or contaminated water. The latter requires additional safety precautions and is known to spread more quickly.

Is It Black Water?

The IICRC has determined three types of water categories.

Clean:

Considered sanitary, this originates from a source that poses no substantial risk. This type may come from a water supply line, sink or bathtub overflow, or rainwater. It is typically easy to clean and won’t cause long-lasting damage if mitigated quickly.

Grey:

This category of water may have some contamination but is still considered relatively safe to deal with. Sources that create this type of water damage include urine-only toilet overflow, malfunctioning appliances or a leaking aquarium. During cleaning, an anti-microbial spray will be needed to ensure affected items are disinfected properly.

Black:

This highly contaminated water has the potential to have toxins, pathogens, bacteria, chemicals and microorganisms that require added layers of safety when handling. Since it often contains sewage, underground water or waste line backflow, it is best to leave the cleanup to a water damage mitigation and restoration company.

Prevent the Spread

Even if the problem starts as a Category 1, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Any water left standing presents a prime situation for mold to start to grow. Since porous materials wick up moisture, even a small amount of water may be slowly causing hidden issues.

That also means that belongings may slowly be sitting in water, possibly causing irreversible damage. After determining the source of the water, cleanup should begin as soon as possible. The following steps should be taken to minimize additional damage:

  • Find the source of the water problem and contain it. This may require turning off the main water valve if it is a broken pipe.
  • If the situation is being caused by nature, homeowners will have to wait for the water to subside. In the meantime, belongings that haven’t been affected yet should be moved to higher levels.
  • Once the source is resolved, wet belongings that can be relocated should be moved to a safe, secure place to dry out thoroughly.
  • The next step is to begin removing the water. The faster that happens, the better the chances of minimizing the damage.
  • Once water is removed, the affected area needs to be thoroughly dried. Fans and dehumidifiers should be used to speed up the process.
  • After several days of drying, depending on the extent of the damage, cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing can begin.
  • The final step is restoration. That may require replacing the carpet, drywall, ceiling panels and other structural components of the home.

While any unwanted water in a home is unwelcome, contaminated water poses additional issues. Knowing the types of water classifications and their sources makes it easier to know when a professional should be called for help. No matter the source, speedy cleanup and swift action are needed to keep it from spreading.

4 Critical Steps for Roof Damage and Water Damage Mitigation

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Water damaged houses seen from above. Follow these Steps and avoid Water Damage in your Property.

The roof over your home is in a precarious location. It often takes the brunt of everything from high winds to heavy rains to hail and snow. It is not surprising that roof damage is common after a powerful storm. When this happens, your home in Pueblo, CO, is even more exposed to the elements and quick action needs to be taken. Failure to act could result in another storm sweeping in and pouring water onto the interior of your residence.

To secure your home after an extreme weather event, it is important to get professional help. Working with a storm damage restoration company in your area is a smart choice, particularly if you have gaps in the roof or extensive damage to shingles. A local franchise can arrive quickly and begin to secure your exposed home with appropriate actions.

Important steps to avoid Water and Roof Damage.

1. Roof Tarping Services

The first step could be putting a waterproof barrier in the form of a tarp over your house. This will prevent additional wind damage and keep moisture from ruining carpeting, furniture, personal belongings and insulation. It will place a barrier over your home until more permanent repairs can be made. Erecting a tarp over a home is an inherently risky job so it is best left to professionals who will follow critical safety protocols and use suitable equipment.

2. Roof Damage Inspection

When looking at the roof after storm damage, trained workers will make sure everyone in the home is safe. This could include asking your family to vacate the premises for a time. Other steps could include making sure electrical hazards are addressed and contacting the power company to repair downed power lines. The initial roof inspection will be done from the ground for safety purposes. Only when the roof is deemed safe, will the inspection proceed to go up on the roof.

3. Restoration and Rebuild

Wind damage to shingles and the tearing off of roof boards will require construction services. The goal is to restore the roof to its original condition so it can once again protect your home during extreme weather. A successful job includes completing the roof mitigation on time and within budget. It allows your family to move back into the home and feel secure. A quality construction contractor will coordinate with your insurance company to expedite the claims process.

4. Water Damage Assessment

As roof repairs proceed, workers will also need to inspect the home for signs of water damage. Any standing water will need to be removed from the home and drying equipment will be necessary to remove excess moisture. The severity of the damage determines the most appropriate steps to take. If structural damage has occurred, a remediation and construction plan will be communicated to the homeowner. You should be informed of all steps along the way, and you will not need to be in the home at all times while repairs are being made.

It is an unfortunate event when roof damage exposes your home to the elements. With the proper steps, though, your home can be restored to its original condition.

SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Stopwatch showing seconds We arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster. For more Information, just contact us.

When disaster strikes you need a restoration team that can begin work immediately. SERVPRO can serve more than 90% of the zip codes in the United States in under two hours, making us faster to any size disaster.

SERVPRO Helps Close Your Insurance Claim Fast

There are several ways SERVPRO helps insurance professionals complete claims fast:

1. Locations Near Most Customers

We have over 1,900 locations in the United States and Canada. No matter where your customers in Pueblo, CO, are located, chances are we can get a restoration professional to them in under two hours.

2. Always Available

An emergency can happen at any time, so you need a restoration company that is always ready to respond. SERVPRO professionals are available 24/7 to provide immediate assistance.

3. Highly Trained Professionals

We have more than 50 years of experience in the restoration industry and all of our professionals are highly trained. Our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification-approved training facility provides training for new professionals and franchisees, continuing education and training for insurance professionals.

4. One Stop Shop

Most disasters cause more than one kind of damage. Our team is trained to perform restoration for water, fire and storm damage. We can also find and remove mold and provide tarp and board-up service. SERVPRO provides specialty cleaning, air duct/HVAC cleaning and biohazard and crime scene cleaning. Additionally, we can restore documents, remove odors, vandalism and graffiti and clean carpets and upholstery.

5. Competitive Advantage

Our quick and effective services help insurance companies also be faster to any size disaster. When you use SERVPRO, you will enjoy lower claims costs, increased customer satisfaction and lower loss ratios. This gives you an advantage over your competition and helps you retain customers.

6. Customer Focus

Our goal is to restore your customers to preloss condition as quickly as possible. Happy customers mean fewer headaches for insurance companies.

7. Lower Costs

We know that restoring property costs less money than replacing it. We work hard to ensure that all property that can be restored is restored.

8. Trusted Vendors

We work with vendors on your behalf so that you don't have to. We only work with the best vendors in the industry so you never have to worry about subpar work.

9. Guaranteed Quality

All of our work is backed by a two-year labor and one-year materials warranty. If our work fails to meet your reasonable expectations, we will do it again at no additional cost for up to two years.

10. Dedicated Insurance Team

We have a dedicated team whose only focus is keeping our insurance customers happy. We keep the lines of communication open so that any time you have a concern, we are always available to address it.

11. Industry-Leading Standards

We make sure our high standards are always met by conducting internal audits. Only franchisees who meet our more than 21 requirements get insurance referrals. SERVPRO takes meeting the needs of insurance clients and their customers seriously.

No matter how large or small the job, we are prepared to demonstrate why we are faster to any size disaster.

Smoke Cleanup Methods

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke and Fire damaging a property Our Professionals have Smoke Cleanup Methods that can Help you Avoid Further Damage.

Anything that flames touch when your building in Pueblo, CO, catches fire can cause immense structural damage. That's not the only thing that happens, though. Smoke can infiltrate not only the area where the fire is actually located but also any space where the air around it can reach. It can even go so far as the building next door!

There are several ways that fire damage restoration experts can incorporate smoke cleaning during remediation.

Ways to proceed as regards Smoke Cleanup

Ozone Treatment

One method of getting rid of smoke and its telltale smell is through an ozone treatment. Technicians use a machine that creates ozone molecules much like the ones generated during a thunderstorm to naturally clean the air. They attach to smoke particles and destroy them. The treatment process is fairly straightforward:

  • Seal off the space receiving treatment.
  • Plug in the ozone machine and turn it on.
  • Allow the machine to run for 3-6 hours.
  • Let the room air out as the ozone settles.

It is not advisable to use ozone around people. The gas it creates is unstable, so the space will need to be vacated before the smoke damage treatment begins. However, in a relatively short amount of time, the odor will dissipate. Then the mitigation team can move back in to test and confirm that the treatment was successful.

Smoke Odor Filtration

Sometimes the only smoke cleaning a room needs is air purification. This is especially true in spaces adjacent to where the fire actually took place. Technicians use an industrial air filtration device with HEPA filters that process the air in the space and remove particles directly from it as it flows through the machine. Because it doesn't create any new molecules or chemicals, it is acceptable to use even in spaces that are populated.

Thermal Fogging

No matter how well technicians sanitize each surface, stubborn smoke odor can still linger. Smoke can travel anywhere the air goes, which means it gets into every crack and crevice that it can. This is particularly true while the fire rages and high temperatures make it easier for particles to permeate everything in their path.

A thermal fogger essentially recreates the conditions that are present during the fire. Instead of smoke, though, it spreads a deodorizer to all the areas where the damage reaches. No matter how small the cracks are in the space, the fog does a thorough job of soaking in. The cleansing chemicals neutralize the smoke and thus the smell that results from it. After the space is aired out, the odor is gone.

You can completely remove damaged structural elements and rebuild the ruined parts of your building after a fire, but if the mitigation team doesn't also take the time to get rid of the smoke issues, the odor is likely to linger. After assessing the problem, qualified technicians can choose the method that is best for getting rid of it. Smoke cleaning allows your building to smell as fresh as it looks at the end of the restoration process.

Why SERVPRO Is a Preferred Vendor

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Photo of an Insurance Office. Let SERVPRO be your Preferred Vendor, and Avoid Damage in your Property.

As an insurance agent, you must balance the needs of your customer with the needs of your company. SERVPRO helps you do this by providing excellent service at an affordable price.

SERVPRO Vendor Program

We only use vendors that have met our rigorous standards. This is why we are the preferred vendor of many insurance companies.

Customer Satisfaction

Our top priority is making sure your customers are satisfied. We work hard to accomplish this in several ways:

  • Limiting damage
  • Restoring property quickly
  • Restoring instead of replacing

We know that speed is important for avoiding additional damage and helping get customers back into their homes as quickly as possible. Our more than 1,900 locations in Pueblo, CO, and across the United States and Canada are prepared to respond quickly any time of the day or night. We also save you money by restoring property instead of replacing it.

Industry-Leading Training

All of our local professionals are trained on IICRC standards for fire and water cleanup and restoration. Our state-of-the-art IICRC-approved training facility provides continuing education for our service professionals.

Guaranteed Quality Work

We provide a two-year labor and one-year materials warranty on all our work. If our work fails to meet your reasonable expectations, we will fix it for free for up to two years.

Quick Response Time

As an insurance agent, we know that you have a lot of claims to handle. Our team will always respond promptly and will work with vendors so that you don't have to.

National Accounts Division

We have a team of marketing professionals dedicated to maintaining our relationships with insurance companies. The purpose of this division is to increase the satisfaction levels of both our insurance customers and the people they insure. We accomplish this by following guidelines that include internal audits for quality insurance.

We take steps to maintain transparent communication between our professionals and insurance agents and adjusters. We run a background check on all of our local employees, including temporary employees, and we provide completed job files as proof of work. Our account managers can guide you through the restoration process and answer any questions you have.

Performance Guidelines

To make sure you can be confident in our work, we have established performance guidelines. We provide thorough documentation of all claims. All of our locations must agree to 21 requirements to qualify to receive insurance referrals. We use the correct equipment and drying validation, per IICRC standards, on every job. We provide metrics to demonstrate high levels of customer satisfaction and performance.

History of Success

Our company began in 1967 as a painting contractor. We launched our first cleaning business in 1969. We achieved our first ranking in Entrepreneur Magazine's Franchise 500 in 1980 and we have been the #1 restoration service company on that list since 2003. We opened our National Training Center in 1992 and our 1,000th franchise in 2000.

SERVPRO is an industry leader for a reason. As an insurance agent, you can count on us to provide fast, high-quality service, while keeping costs as low as possible for you and your customer.

The Most Important Steps After a Partial Fire Loss

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

A professional advising on Fire Damage Partial Fire Loss have many important Steps to Follow.

The common image of a large business fire is one that burns down the entire structure, leaving only a few smoldering ashes and a vacant lot. Most fires, though, do not result in a total loss of property, but instead only impact part of the company. This fire loss could also involve such things as smoke and soot damage, as well as damage from fire suppression techniques.

When dealing with a partial loss fire, the company must deal with two important elements. The first is the cleanup from a qualified fire restoration service in Pueblo, CO. This business will work through the damage in an orderly fashion and seek to repair, replace and restore damaged items. In some cases, a restoration of an item will be more cost-effective, while other scenarios will call for a replacement of a damaged item.

The goal is always to restore the business as quickly and efficiently as possible. There is also a concern for the overall cost of the cleanup and restoration process.

A Partial Fire Loss and Insurance

The second critical element of a commercial fire involves working with the insurance company. This is often done in coordination with the cleanup service. In the best of worlds, the cleanup company will provide accurate documentation of such things as smoke damage to the insurance provider, and this will make the claims process run more smoothly.

Part of the process involves a thorough inspection of the damage. Depending upon the scope of the fire, this could mean looking at everything from structural and electrical damage to harm to furniture, lighting, computer equipment and documents. Companies should watch out for their own interests and make sure insurance adjusters do not miss any of the following damages:

  • Hidden damage that is not automatically obvious
  • Cleanup procedures that do not follow industry standards
  • Repairs that do not match the quality of the original construction

The fire restoration and the insurance process should be orderly and professional, but each situation after a fire is different. If the fire is part of a larger disaster, it might be difficult for a company to find the necessary personnel to do the work. The company could also be demoted to a lower priority as emergency crews become busy with other projects, including the saving of life and limb.

Restoration and Insurance

At some point, the cleanup will focus on damaged items that can be restored to good shape again. This saves both the insurance company and the business time and money. A professional fire cleanup company has many tools at its disposal to restore items. This includes cleaning soot from walls, ceiling and flooring, as well as removing it from personal items.

The process also involves cleaning and sanitizing with a variety of techniques embraced by industry leaders. Industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment can remove odors that cling to some items. In most cases, the insurance company should pay for these services.

A partial fire loss has many moving parts and can be a challenge for a company. Things tend to run more smoothly when the cleanup company and insurance work together after a fire.

Flushing Your Water Heater: Six Simple Steps

4/9/2022 (Permalink)

 An Owner trying to fix a Water Heater Learn More about Water Heaters by following these Simple Steps.

The water heater in your Pueblo, CO, home is a hard-working appliance that ensures you have pleasantly warm water for showers and hot water for washing clothes and dishes. If you're like most people, you probably don't know how much you love this appliance until it isn't working correctly.

The first time you're forced to rush through a cold shower, the heater will jump to the top of your home maintenance list.

The Importance of Flushing the Water Heater

As water flows through the heating tank, sediment and buildup collect and clump together. This takes up space in the tank, reducing the amount of water that flows through. It reduces efficiency and eventually causes damage to the tank. Flushing the heater prevents several common issues:

  • Total loss of heated water
  • Inconsistent hot water
  • Decreased water pressure
  • Leaks from the water heater tank
  • Smelly water from bacterial growth
  • Banging from the heater

The good news is that you can perform a water heater flush every year with minimal inconvenience and a few tools that you probably already have on hand.

Step 1: Shut Off the Power

Whether you have an electric unit or a gas-powered appliance, you need to shut the unit down completely. A gas appliance probably has both gas and electricity to shut off. This step is crucial to your safety and the safety of anyone else in your home.

Step 2: Open the Hot Water Line and Turn Off the Cold Water

When you turn on the hot water, the water won't be hot, but the flowing water prevents air bubbles from forming in the system. Shutting the cold water valve to the heater stops water from getting into the unit while you're working.

Step 3: Attach a Hose to the Heater Spigot

Look at the bottom of the tank or heater unit for a faucet like a spigot used on the exterior of your house. Place a bucket under the spigot and attach a garden hose to contain the outflowing water. Make sure your bucket or container is large enough to hold all of the water that comes out of the heater.

Step 4: Drain the Heater Tank

Turn on the spigot and let the water drain out. Dark-colored water full of sediment is an indication of trouble. If solid chunks are coming through the hose, you should contact a professional to check for more significant trouble.

Step 5: Run Cold Water Through the Unit

When you turn the cold water on, clean water flows through the unit, carrying any residual sediment out of the heater. Flush the tank for a few minutes, looking for clean, clear water from the hose. Turn the water off before removing the hose from the spigot.

Step 6: Power the Heater Up

Once you've finished flushing the water heater, clean up your supplies and reset all of your water lines. Close the hot water faucet and turn on the cold water supply. Release the pressure valve on the tank and turn the gas and electricity on.

If you are concerned about water damage or have other questions about this process, reach out to Pueblo, CO water damage professionals. Prevention is nearly always less expensive than cleanup, repairs, and replacement.

We Have a 6-Step Process for Water Restoration

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded Wood Floor Learn more about the Water Restoration Process by following these tips.

Discovering that you have sustained water damage in your Pueblo, CO property is not enjoyable, but it is important to act quickly if it happens to you.

When you choose us for restoration, you can rest assured that you will receive an answer no matter when you call and that we will set our six-step process in motion. Here’s how we do it:

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

  1. Initial Emergency Contact
    Water damage could strike any home at any time, which is why we are always at the ready. When you call us to report damage, we will always answer and gather all the details we can about your damage situation to craft a comprehensive response plan and get to you soon.
  1. Inspection and Damage Assessment
    Inspecting the area for safety hazards and additional leaks is what we do first when we arrive on the scene. Once things are secured, we will do a full inspection to understand the scope of the damage and create your custom action plan for restoration.
  1. Moisture Extraction
    Pulling out standing moisture from the impacted area is key to decreasing the overall restoration time, which is why we have ample amounts of equipment to do so. We will work tirelessly to vacuum and pump out all the water we can before moving onto more fine-tuned methods.
  1. Dehumidifying and Drying
    Following the removal of standing moisture, we will then begin to extract water from the air and impacted surfaces. We will dehumidify and dry all impacted areas completely so they do not continue to deteriorate due to the water damage and to prevent them from becoming vessels for mold growth.
  1. Cleaning Belongings
    The proper sanitizing and deodorizing of items that are affected is important to keep your home free of contaminants and odors in the future. We will fully treat the belongings that have been exposed to the water damage so you can be certain that they are safe to use.
  1. Restoration and Repair
    You can count on us for a complete restoration process, which means we will even apply the finishing touches your job requires. We can apply paint or replace carpets to make the area feel exactly as it did before any water damage ever impacted it.

If your home has been water-damaged, you can count on us to help. Call us 247 to get the process started.