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Why Sand Bags May Not Be the Ideal Flood Deterrent

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Why Sand Bags May Not Be the Ideal Flood Deterrent Sand bags can help minimize flood damage in your commercial property

When a severe storm threatens to flood your community, a sand bag barricade is often the first defense mechanism that many business owners consider. Although effective, this flood control method has several drawbacks that may make alternative flood deterrents more appealing.

Disadvantages of Sand Bags

When properly deployed, sand-filled bags can help minimize flood damage. However, erecting an efficient barricade and then disposing of wet bags once waters recede can be challenging for several reasons:

  • Filling an adequate number of bags can be time-consuming.
  • Bags are often heavy.
  • Saturated bags hold contaminants and must be properly disposed of.

To erect a 100-foot long sand bag wall that is 12 inches high, you need approximately 600 bags. Accomplishing that task may require extensive manpower. In addition, if you do not receive adequate notice of an approaching storm, you may not have enough time to complete your temporary flood dams, leaving your business vulnerable to flood damage.

Effective, Time-Saving Alternatives

Businesses located in coastal communities typically learn of significant storms, such as hurricanes, well in advance, allowing adequate time to set up flood barricades. However, thunderstorms and other weather phenomena capable of producing excessive rainfall are not always as predictable. Luckily for every business owner in Brighton,CO, many flood control devices exist that require minimal preparation.

Numerous companies offer lightweight or reusable options. For example, you can obtain lightweight bags filled with a water-absorbent polymer that are typically more manageable than traditional sand-filled bags. You can also purchase absorbent or water-filled tubes that you can deploy, drain and reuse, an option not possible with traditional sand bags.

Minimizing Flood Damage

Whether you elect to use a traditional sand bag defense or try an alternative flood deterrent mechanism, the goal is to save your business from devastating water damage and a potentially lengthy flood cleanup. Most business owners would likely agree, however, that time-saving and lightweight alternatives may be advantageous, especially if you have limited manpower or lack sufficient time to safeguard against rising waters.

The Five Stages of Sewer Damage Cleanup

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Five Stages of Sewer Damage Cleanup Call a professional restoration company to clean up a sewer damage in Thornton,CO

A sewer backup can cause primary and secondary damage and pose sanitation risks. If you attempt to clean up this damage yourself, you should wear protective equipment such as coveralls, rubber boots, and gloves, as well as goggles and a respirator in severe conditions. Damage restoration professionals can complete the job quickly using industrial equipment and take measures to ensure that mold does not develop. Amateurs and professionals alike should proceed through all five stages of sewer cleanup.

1. Clean Up Solids and Contaminated Water

Gather up and dispose of solid waste. Cleanup professionals can limit the extent of the damage by quickly pumping out solids and contaminated water and treating the area with a pre-cleaning solution to kill harmful bacteria.

2. Tear Out Damaged Materials

Porous building materials can absorb contaminated water, and this moisture may lead to black mold. These materials should be torn out and replaced.

3. Disinfect the Area

The removal of porous materials can pose a recontamination risk. Disinfect the area to eliminate any microbes. Any exposed contents should also be disposed of and replaced.

4. Dry and Dehumidify

During sewer cleanup, thoroughly dry the area exposed to contaminated water to prevent mold or other secondary damage from developing. Ventilate the area, or use a dehumidifier to draw out moisture.

5. Restore the Area

A homeowner should wait until the affected area is completely dry before replacing any building materials that have been removed. Contents can be returned to the home once the restoration is complete.

Whether you experience a flooded toilet or a major sewer backup at your home in Thornton, CO, you may want to rely on the expertise of a sewer cleanup and damage restoration service. Trained professionals can ensure that the area is completely clean and dry as soon as possible to reduce the risks of sanitation issues and secondary damage.

Is Your Business Ready for Cold and Flu Season?

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that Fall and Winter are the most likely times to contract a cold or flu, with the start of the season beginning in October and peaking by February. While staying home from work and minimizing contact with others while sick will reduce the spread of the virus, it doesn't stop the risk of exposure.

The likeness of contracting a cold or flu increases in confined environments like office buildings and schools. Cold and flu viruses are airborne in nature and therefore easily spread through vents and air ducts. By having your ducts and vents professionally cleaned you are minimizing your exposure, and therefore reducing the risk of getting sick this cold and flu season!

For more information about how cleaning your air ducts and vents can keep your business healthy you can either check out our Air Ducts & HVAC page, or OSHA's (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) Indoor Air Quality in Commercial and Institutional Buildings online brochure. For any further questions or to schedule an appointment for cleaning your air ducts and vents this cold and flu season, give us a call at 720-223-8888, we are happy to help! 

How to Prepare for Storm Damage Caused by Floods

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Prepare for Storm Damage Caused by Floods When it rains it pours! Call SERVPRO of North Thornton & Brighton to help resolve damage caused by storms.

The chance of flooding is on the rise, even in areas where flooding was once considered unlikely. To go back to basics, if there’s a chance of rain then there’s a chance of floods.

According to the technical definition, flooding has occurred once two or more acres or properties have been submerged in water.

But this definition won’t matter to you if you’re actually experiencing a flood. The safety of you and your family and your property will be what matters. So for preparation and safety tips in the event of floods or storm damage, keep reading.

1. You need back up power.

A generator is a must for any home. It’s vital that you can generate your own power since it’s impossible to know if the storm will knock out the city power grids or not. The size of your home and electricity needs will determine the generator type you need.

As a safety precautions, move all electrical devices to higher ground if possible. This will hopefully save them from water damage, as well as minimize electrocution risks since water conducts electricity.

2. You need to know the risk of flooding.

Even if you think the risk is low, become familiar with your area’s official flood risk. Good resources for this information can be found with FEMA and the local government. Knowledge is the best prevention. For the North Thornton and Brighton area, start here.

A weather radio is a good way to stay informed and aware of potential flood risks. After you purchase one, be sure that you are familiar with the different NOAA emergency notifications.

3. You need to be prepared.

Do you have an emergency preparedness kit? Is it stocked and ready for a flood? In your kit, include a waterproof container for important documents and medications. Remember to include plenty of fresh water; flood waters are usually contaminated and thus contaminate other water sources. For a list of what to include in your kit, read this.

4. You need to evacuate.

Evacuation requires planning. Does your local government have an official evacuation plan? Start there. Once you have that plan, create a personalized evacuation plan for your family and anyone in your household. This plan should include emergency means of communication. Practice the plan until everyone has it memorized - especially young children.

Floods cause significant damage. Be cautious when returning to a flooded area. Because the area may have become dangerous, it’s important to call for professional help.

After a flood, SERVPRO® of North Thornton/Brighton is always ready to help.

Have You Found Mold in Your Home?

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Have You Found Mold in Your Home? Mold growth in basement cleaned by SERVPRO of North Thornton & Brighton

Even experienced homeowners and renters can run into mold problems that are too big to deal with on their own. Because mold is a common household pest, most people think a DIY solution always does the trick. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Mold can easily become a very large problem that necessitates hiring professional help.

In this blog, you’ll find helpful information to help you decide if you need expert help to get rid of your mold problem.

Fact: Mold is common

Even the cleanliest house can be a breeding ground for mold. That’s because mold only needs humidity or water to be present to grow. Because of this, mold is very common in bathrooms - especially in places like the bottom of the shower liner.

Other damp places, like the basement, are common areas for mold to be found.

Fact: Mold can grow anywhere

Mold can also grow in less traditional places, like the walls of your home. Untreated drywall is susceptible to mold since it’s porous. Unfortunately, the section of a wall with the mold infestation often has to be removed. If you find am mold colony larger than 10 sq. feet in your wall, this may be the case.

Fact: Mold is dangerous

Did you know that mold can cause health problems? Many people have mold allergies, but it can also cause non-allergic respiratory issues and even skin irritation. Mold spores travel through the air, so mold is rarely contained to just what is visible.

A serious mold problem should always be treated by a professional. Call SERVPRO® of North Thornton and Brighton today for expert mold remediation services to get life back on track.

The Types of Water Damage Pollution | SERVPRO® of North Thornton and Brighton

8/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Types of Water Damage Pollution | SERVPRO® of North Thornton and Brighton SERVPRO of North Thornton and Brighton will get whatever category of water damage cleaned up "Like it Never Happened!"

If you do research on water damage, you’ll likely come across terms such as “black water” and “clear water” to describe the mess left behind. While the implication is that clear water is less dangerous than black water, the reality is that they can both cause extensive disrepair to your home or office.

Because all three categories of water damage have their own cautions and considerations, we’re explaining their differences so you can be educated and prepared.

Categories of Water Damage

Category 1: “Clear water” is the first classification, which covers water that has originated from a clean source. This water will be free from contamination and is normally sourced from a broken water supply or pipe, a faucet leak, or rainwater that’s come directly from a rainfall. While not recommended, category 1 water is not harmful if consumed.

Category 2: The second category, grey water, is a bit more serious. This classification refers to wastewater generated from regular household water sources such as appliance overflow or a flooding of sink or shower drains. Because of the many surfaces this water has come into contact with, category 2 water contains contamination and can cause illness if consumed.

Category 3: The most dangerous category, category 3 water is commonly known as black water. This water originates from sewage overflows, water that has remained stagnant and led to breeding bacteria or rising flood waters. Because it is heavily contaminated, category 3 water should be regarded with extreme caution and can cause illness or death if consumed.

Categories Can Change

Though water categories seem fairly straightforward, water that starts as one category can easily advance to another. Water that comes into contact with surfaces such as soil or contaminated areas will develop higher pollution levels, and water left standing will begin to breed harmful bacteria.

Because this is impossible to determine from looks alone, professional cleanup is essential to peace of mind and a properly restored property.

If your home or office has been affected by water damage of any category, SERVPRO® is staffed with a team of professionals that can help!

How to Prevent Mold After Water Damage | SERVPRO® of North Thornton and Brighton

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Because water damage can harm your home and all of its contents, it is a devastating situation for homeowners. In addition to damage from the water, there can also be unique risks and health hazards during the cleanup process.

One of those dangerous health hazards is mold growth. The CDC lists many negative symptoms of mold exposure, and after moisture floods the area, it can begin growing in the first 24 hours. If you’ve experienced water damage and are concerned about mold growth, here are the steps you can take to help stop mold before it starts.

Before You Begin

  • Never re-enter before you are sure officials have deemed it safe and all water has receded.
  • Take photos and video of the damage for insurance purposes, including all damage done to furniture and walls.

Begin Drying Right Away

  • Open windows and doors if weather allows.
  • Before the professional cleanup crew arrives, vacuum up what you can with a heavy-duty, outdoor vacuum.
  • Enlist the help of fans, dehumidifiers and heaters to speed up drying time.

Sort Items Exposed to Floodwater

  • Metal, plastic and glass can often be cleaned, disinfected and reused as they are not absorbent.
  • Any porous material—this includes wood, upholstery and paper of any kind—can trap mold and should be discarded.
  • It is important to note that drying carpet will not necessarily remove mold spores once they begin to grow.

Consult a Professional Right Away

Mold sometimes causes discolorations and foul odors, but more often lurks unnoticed long before it is seen. While carpets damaged from floodwaters can be salvaged in some cases, experts recommend a replacement of the carpet pad in most situations.

While replacing the carpet pad alone is more cost-effective than re-carpeting the entire home, a professional will have to be consulted to make sure this will suffice in your situation.

If you’re concerned about mold growth or need help with water damage cleanup, SERVPRO® of North Thornton and Brighton can help you restore your home back to normal.

What You Can Safely Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What You Can Safely Do Before Fire Restoration Help Arrives A vinegar solution can be helpful when machine washing clothing after fire and smoke damage.

Learning you’ve been affected by a home fire can be a sinking feeling. While the damage fires cause can often be mitigated with restoration, as you begin the cleanup process, it’s important to always hire a professional to properly handle the damage.

More than just preventing the hassle of working with your homeowner’s insurance, calling a professional has many benefits, including helping the restoration happen more quickly. However, as you’re waiting for help to arrive, it’s natural to want to do what you can to get started.

While some things should always be left to the professionals, there are processes you can begin on your own to get your life back to normal even faster. If you find yourself needing to start on fire restoration ASAP, here are three tasks you can safely do:

Laundry

As most items will need to be washed several times, if your washer and dryer have not been affected by the fire, starting laundry right away is a great way to help the cleanup process. Any clothing, bedding or other machine washable materials should be washed with an alkaline cleaner or vinegar solution, while delicate fabrics, upholstery and curtains should be left in professional care.

Preliminary Cleaning

Giving cabinets, countertops and any other non-porous surfaces a preliminary scrub with soap and water will cut through the initial layer of grime. Use a mild dish soap or alkaline cleaner to begin, and let the professionals handle the usage of anything more heavy-duty. If you’re unsure, it’s best to wait for the professionals, as cleaning improperly can result in more severe and even permanent damage to your surfaces.

Increased Ventilation

Weather permitting, bring ventilation into the house as much as possible. Open windows and doors to let the smoke smell dissipate, and let them remain open as long as you are able. While the restoration team will bring industrial-grade equipment to air out the home once they arrive, this is a small step you can take toward helping the process along.

If you’ve suffered a fire, SERVPRO®’s team of professionals is faster to any disaster, and can help you get your life back to normal.

Should You Consider Professional Carpet Cleaning? | SERVPRO® of North Thornton and Brighton

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Should You Consider Professional Carpet Cleaning? | SERVPRO® of North Thornton and Brighton SERVPRO of North Thornton and Brighton is the highest rated carpet cleaning company!

If you ask most homeowners, they’ll probably tell you that carpet cleaning isn’t on their list of regular chores. Many assume that vacuuming will suffice—however, there are a lot of messes that vacuuming can’t tackle.

Not only do carpet companies typically require regular cleaning to maintain the manufacturer’s warranty, but there are several other reasons why carpet cleaning is a wise choice. By improving air quality, helping banish bugs and mites and even making your personal cleaning routine easier, carpet cleaning is a smart choice for any homeowners looking to extend the longevity of their floors.

Still not convinced? Here are some reasons that carpet cleaning is a smart choice:

Improve indoor air. We all know that carpet contains dirt, but there are also more dangerous pollutants and bacteria lurking within the fibers. Every time outside air is let into the home, contaminants come right along with it. Since vacuuming only handles surface-level debris, the chances are good that there are deeper factors hurting indoor air quality.

Extend your carpet’s life. Many homeowners rip out carpet that looks “tired,” but sometimes that just means they’ve been too dirty for too long. Dirt acts like sandpaper to the delicate carpet fibers, becoming more deeply embedded and shortening the lifespan every time dirty carpet is walked on.

Remove mites and bugs. Just as with other soft surfaces in the home, plush carpet fibers are the perfect place for mites and bugs to live. A thorough cleaning will make the carpet an inhospitable living environment for the critters, and maintaining a regular schedule will keep them from coming back.

Have easier floor maintenance. While vacuuming serves as a surface-level solution to a deeper carpet problem, the two can be quite complementary! Carpets that are cleaned regularly by a professional will be easier for a homeowner to vacuum because the heavy-duty dirt and debris have already been eradicated.

Still not sure if carpet cleaning is for you? Our team of carpet cleaning professionals is happy to discuss how it can benefit your home!

When Duct Cleaning Should Be On Your To-Do List

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning When Duct Cleaning Should Be On Your To-Do List Dirt accumulation on vent cover is an indication ducts may need to be cleaned by SERVPRO of North Thornton/Brighton.

Though outdoor air is regarded as the main culprit of pollution, indoor air is typically far more contaminated—partially due to the central heating and cooling units that recirculate pollutants.

Because cycling air through the home also cycles all the debris within it, a dirty HVAC system spreads all of its pollutants throughout the home. If you don’t know if your home’s ducts need to be cleaned, below are some common scenarios that might apply to you:

  • Mold: Mold can cause a number of health problems, and should be taken seriously. Mold spores are spread through the air, so if your home has any evidence of growth, immediate cleaning is advised.

  • Allergies: When the air runs through your ventilation system, it picks up every contaminant along the way. If someone is your family has been suffering from unexplained allergies or respiratory problems, debris within the ducts might be to blame.

  • Expensive Energy Bill: The Department of Energy estimates that around 43 percent of a home’s electricity bill is a result of heating and cooling the home. An HVAC system that contains contaminants will experience a decrease in efficiency, as the unit is working harder to distribute out the same volume of air. Therefore, if you’ve noticed a more expensive bill, a dirty HVAC system might be the culprit.

  • Remodeling: If you’ve recently had a remodel in your home, you’re aware of how much dust and debris it can lead to. Ducts are a magnet for this debris—meaning without a thorough cleaning, the dust will continue to cycle through the home’s air.

  • Rodents: Unfortunately, homes are never completely sealed from the outside—and sometimes outside pests will make their way in. If you’ve had signs of animal infestation within your ductwork, calling an exterminator and a professional cleaning service is advised.

  • Routine Contaminants: In addition to special cases, pet hair, debris and general household dust all add up over time.

If you are unsure of the last time the ducts have been cleaned in your home, SERVPRO® can inspect your system and make sure your family’s air is clean.