Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
How to Maintain Swamp Coolers to Prevent Mold Damage
If you have a leaking swamp cooler that has caused mold damage to your home, call SERVPRO
Swamp coolers are amazing devices. Their name is slightly ironic, since they work best in dry areas, but they work extremely well there and are far more energy efficient than air conditioners. However, a leaking swamp cooler in Lone Tree, CO, can lead to mold buildup and potentially cause serious damage to your property.
What Is a Swamp Cooler?
Technically called an evaporative cooler, it functions in the same way that sweat glands help cool you off. It has three basic parts:
- The blower
- The water pump
- The housing
Water is run over filters in the housing, and a blower draws outside air through them. If the air is hot and dry, it will evaporate, which converts the water molecules into a gas, soaking up heat. This dramatically cools the air – as much as 40 degrees – which is then drawn into your home.
How Do You Maintain Them?
A leaking swamp cooler is a sure way to cause mold growth. But mold can form on any surface inside the unit, since by its nature it has an elevated internal humidity. Splashing water can add to the problem, and using one during very humid weather is not only inefficient, it can cause a massive mold flare-up.
Always keep the exterior clean, especially the pads or filters. If they clog up, you decrease the efficiency and airflow. Cleaning once a month during use should usually be fine. For mold, use a mixture of one tablespoon per gallon of bleach.
The filters or pads should be replaced twice a season. If they get damaged, obviously replace them then as well. Flushing the water tank twice a year with mild soapy water is also ideal. If you have very hard water, you may need to remove the mineral buildup with chemical removers.
If you have a leaking swamp cooler that has caused mold damage to your home, call SERVPRO; they are Here to Help by answering questions, performing inspections and identifying the causes of the damage. They can then renovate and restore your home to its pre-mold condition.
PPE for Mold Removal
An N-95 respirator mask provides the best protection if you find mold in your home
Homeowners in Castle Pines, CO know that in the right conditions, mold has a way of creeping up. As pesky as the problem can be, it is one that can easily be tamed. When cleaning up mold damage, protection yourself from breathing or carrying spores to other areas is imperative. Face masks are a vital component of safe mold removal.
Types of Masks
They are actually many types of face masks available. Which one to use often comes down to how large the mold remediation project is. No matter how small, wearing some time of face protection should always be part of the routine. Some of the different masks include:
N-95 Respirator Mask – Designed to filter out 95% of airborne particles. It is ideal for cleaning areas less than 10 square feet.
N-99 Respirator Mask – This mask should be used for the same area as the N-95 but is able to block 99% of airborne particles and mold spores.
N-100 Respirator Mask – For even further protection, this mask is ideal for smaller jobs but provides an additional .7% protection.
Half-Face Respirator – These cover the mouth and nosy only. It should only be used on areas under 100 square feet.
Full-Face Respirator – Also for use under 100 square feet, these cover and seal the whole face from airborne particles, as well as any debris getting into the eyes.
Other protective equipment that should be worn during mold cleanup include:
- Disposable gloves, hair cover and shoe cover
- Safety glasses or goggles
- Long pants and shirts or disposable suit
If not wearing any disposable coverings, it is important to wash what you are wearing immediately after the cleanup. Avoid traveling too far in the cleanup clothes.
Cleaning up mold may be a relatively easy task if it’s in a small, contained area. No matter how small, make safety a priority. Face masks and other gear can keep you protected and spores from spreading.
5 Reasons To Get a Mold Inspection Before You Buy
Visible mold in a Beverly Hills, CO property
Five Reasons To Consider Getting a Mold Inspection Before Purchasing A Property
Buying a commercial property is a big investment. Before you sign on the dotted line, it's important to make sure you're not inheriting the previous owner's unresolved issues, including water damage and mold. Here are five reasons why you should consider getting a mold inspection before you purchase that property in Beverly Hills, CO.
1. You See Mold
This one's a no-brainer. If there's visible mold on the premises, you should contact mold remediation specialists promptly. They have the tools and expertise to handle mold safely and efficiently.
2. Something Smells Funny
Literally — if you detect a strange odor, it might indicate a mold problem. Not all mold smells the same, but it's frequently described as damp, musty, or smelling like nature.
3. You're at Risk for Floods
If your building sits in a floodplain, there's a decent chance it's been subjected to flooding in the past. Water damage is one of the leading catalysts of mold growth. Spores thrive in damp/humid conditions. If the probability is high that the location you're considering buying has taken on water before, a mold inspection can reveal whether or not the previous owner battled any unwanted water, and how he or she took care of it.
4. The Building Is Old
The longer your building's been standing, the greater the chance is that it's experienced water damage that may have resulted in mold. Remember: flooding isn't the only catalyst for water damage. For example, a variety of plumbing issues, especially with older pipes, can lead to water leakage or spillage that bears the potential for mold.
5. The Building Has Had Several Owners
The fact that a property has changed hands multiple times isn't necessarily a bad thing. It does, however, make it difficult to get an accurate and complete history of any structural problems and repairs that may or may not have taken place.
There are a variety of reasons to have a mold inspection performed before you purchase. If nothing else, a clean report will give you peace of mind. If the inspection does reveal a mold issue, you can contact a mold remediation company to handle the issue quickly and thoroughly.
Why Won't Mold Stay Away?
Visible discoloration and unexplained staining
You've scrubbed the walls, and you've sprayed a mixture of household cleaners over the area, but black mold just keeps coming back. The solution means making the decision to dig a bit deeper into your cleaning efforts. It also means working with mold remediation professionals to thoroughly protect your home.
Tell-tale Signs of Contamination
These troublesome fungi occur naturally in our environment and can be carried into your home through the air or on your clothing. How can you tell when you've got trouble?
- Evidence of water damage
- Visible discoloration and unexplained staining
- Musty odors
- A history of leaks, flooding, or water damage
If you notice even one of these warning signs, it's worth the time to have a mold cleanup professional can inspect your property. Of course, a combination of these signs should inspire prompt action.
An Invitation to Return
The frustrating truth is that even if you have taken steps to prevent new growth, black mold has a habit of coming back as soon as conditions will support it. This is because mold spores can linger in your home for a very long time. Spores may linger in the air conditioning system, or there may be pockets of moisture left after cleanup services. Leaks from the exterior of your home and moist wood behind the drywall are two prime examples of suitable conditions for new mold colony growth.
Mold Experts in Action
These circumstances are some of the most important reasons to contact mold cleanup and remediation professionals when you have signs of trouble in your home. Professionals know where to look for hidden growth. They have the tools, equipment, and training necessary to sterilize existing and potential problem spots.
Can black mold return after remediation? The short answer is "yes." However, when you enlist experts in protecting your Highland Ranch, CO, home, and you develop a deeper understanding of the problem, you can reduce the likelihood of new growth.
Water Damage and Vital Business Documents
Water loss in your commercial building? Call SERVPRO
Water Damage and Document Restoration
Water damage is difficult to handle for any type of property owner, but when the paperwork of a business is affected, the timeliness of document restoration is especially vital. It's crucial that business owners take steps to protect tax records, certifications, and other books and papers.
- Identify your most valuable paperwork.
- Keep multiple copies, storing one copy in the office and safeguard other copies at a vault or safe deposit box.
- Make digital copies.
- Protect the work place from the elements and from natural disasters.
Sometimes, unfortunately, important paperwork is still affected by flooding, mold growth, or other types of moisture. When this happens, a quick response and professional restoration services are necessary.
Insurance Companies Recommend Professionals
Insurance companies generally make recommendations that will minimize their own financial risks. When broken pipes, high humidity levels, or natural disasters lead to water-logged papers, insurance providers may suggest that businesses contact licensed, experienced professionals, such as those at SERVPRO.
Avoid Further Damage
While the bulk of document drying services should only be carried out by certified professionals, there are some steps business owners can take to reduce further damage.
- Handle documents as little as possible. Even the act of lifting a water-logged page can cause irreparable damage.
- Remove water from the area immediately. Gently remove water from document storage areas.
- Do not use blow dryers, heat, or sunlight to dry books and papers.
Some cleanup and restoration professionals are trained and certified to handle document restoration. For example, SERVPRO technicians handle document drying and restoration in their own facilities. This decision keeps costs down for clients and for insurance companies. Keeping the work under one roof also means that books and papers are handled less often, so they face less risk of being further damaged.
Hire Experts With the Right Qualifications
When vital business paperwork is affected by water damage, only professionals with the right training, experience, and equipment should handle document restoration. Anyone else in Carriage Club, CO, may cause irreparable damage to books and papers.
How To Keep Your Home Dry by Being Vigilant
Hire disaster restoration specialist in the Heritage Hills, CO area
How To Keep Your Home Dry by Being Vigilant
A broken pipe can be sudden, leaving water in home that was unexpected, but possibly avoidable. Many people overlook the effectiveness of routine maintenance, especially when it comes to home plumbing. It is easy to neglect elements that are out of sight and out of mind, but these elements, like plumbing, are what make your daily routines possible. While it is impossible to negate every disaster, many potential plumbing issues can be resolved or prevented with regular inspections.
1. Inspect HVAC Seasonally
From poor seals to breaks in lines, HVAC systems are common causes of water damage. These systems require inspections, and while many manufacturers may suggest that annual inspections are enough, it is likely better to inspect these units seasonally. Performing checks at the change of seasons ensure that the unit is operating as expected, providing peace of mind and insurance for impending weather.
2. Check Appliances Routinely
Another contributor to excess water in home is appliances. Dishwashers, washers, water heaters and even refrigerators may be the cause of water issues in your home if not checked routinely. Water lines can break, and connections can loosen. Therefore, check appliances monthly to make sure that everything is working as it should.
3. Improve Ventilation and Use Dehumidifiers
While direct water flow can present a significant problem, moisture buildup can be equally problematic. If exhaust fans are not working correctly or areas of your home are experiencing higher than normal humidity levels, then mold may develop. Therefore, routine inspections of ventilation systems may be necessary as well as the purchase of dehumidifiers.
4. Hire Professionals
Honestly, most thorough inspections should be performed by a licensed and certified plumbing or disaster restoration specialist in the Heritage Hills, CO, area. These professionals not only handle water damage and pipe cleanup, but they also assist in home assessments and disaster prevention.
Water in home belongs in the pipes and plumbing, not running loose in your walls, ceilings and subfloors. Perform regular inspections to ensure the proper functioning of your plumbing and to ensure your home stays dry.
3 Benefits of Electronic Claims Services
Electronic Claims Service
An electronic claims service can facilitate filing and processing an insurance claim. These services are designed to benefit insured parties, insurance representatives and restoration professionals. There are three major benefits to services such as the SERVPRO Claims Information Center.
1. Easy Access
It should be easy for parties involved in the processing of a claim to be able to view data and track process through an online service. By logging onto an electronic claims service, an insurance agent should be able to access:
- Collected data on claims, damage and cost
- Individual claim information
- Mitigation and restoration company comparisons
All of this information can help an agent or adjuster make sure that a claim is accurate and complete. The ease of accessing an electronic service can also reduce communication-related delays that may otherwise slow down the claim filing process.
2. Extensive Data
In addition to having access to an estimate and claim information for an individual insured party, an electronic claims service should also offer access to other useful data. Specifically, it can be useful to compare:
- Causes of loss
- Job file costs
- Response times
- Types of claims
This data can help an insurer make sure that the amounts of an insurance claim or estimate are reasonable compared to other claims filed in a county, state, region or nationwide.
3. Expedited Processing
One of the most significant advantages to electronic claims services is the elimination of several common causes of delays in settling a claim. Fewer back-and-forth communications between an insurance agent and mitigation and restoration company should be necessary when information is readily available through an electronic resource.
Every one of these benefits of electronic claims services is available through the SERVPRO Claims Information Center. This resource, combined with the company's all-in-one mitigation and restoration services, allows for faster insurance claim settlements after damage to a residence in Highland Ranch, CO.
3 Things To Do If You Find Mold in Your Apartment Building
Technician ready for mold job removal in a Castle Pines, CO building
Mold Growth in Your Apartment? Prioritize Mold Cleanup
Few apartment problems can raise more flags for your current and prospective tenants than mold. After all, the fungus has developed a nefarious reputation in recent years. If you have this growth in your apartment building, you must prioritize mold cleanup. Here are three things to do if you find it inside the rental property you own.
1. Find the Source
Water leaks encourage mold growth. If you notice mold contamination, you should first look for the source. Examine pipes, water heaters, sinks and toilets for signs of leaks. Also, look at your gutter system to see if it is effectively removing rainwater from outside your building. Finally, carefully inspect your building’s foundation, crawl space, sump pump and basement to determine if water is seeping into these areas.
2. Contact the Tenant
You probably aren’t solely responsible for mold cleanup in your apartment building. While your insurance policy likely covers mold in common areas, drywall, carpeting and other places, your tenants may be responsible for removing it from furnishings and personal belongings. Therefore, if you have a mold problem, you should contact the tenant as soon as possible.
3. Hire a Remediation Specialist
Because the mold spores spread quickly and easily, you can’t only scrub away surface manifestations. As you probably know, successfully removing mold from the apartment building you own requires both skill and equipment. Simply put, you probably need some professional assistance. Rather than leaving the condition of your building to chance, consider contracting with a reputable mold-contamination cleanup service. Technicians use specialized tools to analyze mold and recommend a removal plan.
As a landlord, your apartment complex in Castle Pines, CO, is likely a significant source of income. If word gets out that mold grows freely inside your building, you may have trouble finding new tenants. By focusing on mold cleanup, you can ensure you keep your rental units fully occupied.
Tips for Creating a Foolproof Office Fire Escape Plan
Make escape routes in your Highland Ranch,CO business
When a fire strikes, it’s serious business. Flames can get out of hand and quickly result in loss of your Highland Ranch,CO, property and even life. It’s important that every business, no matter how small, have a fire escape plan. What should such a plan include? Here are some tips to answer that question.
At the outset, it’s a great idea to consider the primary threats your business could face in a fire:
- Where and how could a fire most likely occur in your business?
- What time is a fire most likely, and how many staff would be around?
- Are your exits fully accessible for everyone?
While you can’t predict the future, thinking about the possibilities can be invaluable.
Assign Roles and Responsibilities
Leadership is critical during a crisis when ignorance can result in tragedy. Creating a chain of command for your fire escape plan can calm your employees as well as ensure your entire staff gets to safety. Consider assigning roles such as chief fire warden, route guides and fire extinguishers. These each play a role in coordinating evacuation, leading people out and employing fire extinguishing measures.
Create a Communication Strategy
Confusion can be deadly during a fire. Make sure you’ve laid out an emergency escape plan that details who will be responsible for getting information to employees, customers, news media and anyone else potentially affected. This information can include things such as a post-evacuation meeting place.
Map Escape Routes
This is where the rubber meets the road. Work out primary and secondary escape routes that involve the most direct ways to exit your building, and do a few test drills with your staff. Make sure signs are posted marking exits, and post maps of exit routes around the office.
Fires are sometimes unavoidable. Prepare with a fire escape plan or even reach out to a remediation specialist to be prepared to recover should disaster strike.
What To Do When Your Bathtub has Sewer Backup
Sewer backups manifest first in tubs and floors
When a sewer backs up in Acequia, CO, a number of problems can come with it. Sewer backup in your bathtub isn’t very pretty either. Here’s what to do in the event this happens in your home.
Assessing the Damage
In the case of flood from a bathtub backup there are a few questions to consider when assessing the damage.
- How much flooding has occurred?
- Is the flood water from the sewer?
- Does the power need to be turned off to the area?
- Do you have children or pets that need to be kept away?
- Is this a problem you should call a professional to fix?
The answers to these questions can affect the cleanup process.
Taking the Right Cleanup Steps
Properly taking care of sewer backup can be tricky. Sewer water is contaminated and can lead to health and safety concerns, so cleaning and sanitation steps will need to be taken. All contaminated material should be removed from the home and any uncontaminated areas protected. Your septic tank company should also be called to check your system for the source of the backup problem.
Cleaning Up the Mess
Cleanup after a flood can require sanitation, and in extreme cases replacement of contaminated flooring or walls. A cleaning and restoration professional can help walk you through the procedures. They can also take care of the repair and sanitation needs in your home after a backup flood incident.
Preventing Further Incidents
In some cases it may be possible to prevent future issues with backup or flooding. Having your septic system inspected for problems, or scheduling regular maintenance is one step you can take. Your local restoration professional may also be able to make recommendations on how to protect your home.
Dealing with sewer backup in the bathtub isn’t a fun job, but it is possible to get everything cleaned up, sanitized and fixed to avoid future incidents. If you find the mess is too much for you to deal with alone, a professional may be able to help.
The 3 Categories of Water Damage: What You Need To Know
Storm waters from flash floods caused by recent storms entered this home, damaging floors and walls as you can see from this picture.
Water damage in Highland Ranch, CO can be devastating. Not only does your property get wet, but it may be permanently destroyed if the damage is done by contaminated water. Insurance companies categorize types of damage based on the contamination level and the extent of the water exposure. These are the categories of water damage that, as a homeowner, you need to know about.
1. Category 1
This is the type of water damage that is done by clean water, usually from sources such as a water heater, toilet tank, or supply line. This category of damage, depending on the scale, is typically the easiest to deal with. It may only require minor extraction to clean. Larger issues arise if the area was flooded for a long period of time.
2. Category 2
Category two water damage is done by slightly contaminated water commonly referred to as grey water. Sources of this type of damage include things such as broken drain pipes from sinks or leaky dishwashers. Cleaning and disinfecting may be required to repair this type of damage.
3. Category 3
This is the worst kind of water damage a homeowner can deal with. Category three includes damage done by water that has been contaminated with bacteria. This water, called black water, typically comes from things such as sewer backups, river floods, and toilet overflows. Damage done in this category may require extensive cleanup and, in some cases, major repairs.
On top of the three categories of water damage, insurance companies also classify the level of destruction from class one to class four. Class one is the lowest level of damage and class four is the largest.
Understanding the different types of water damage in Highland Ranch, CO is important if you’re a homeowner. If your property has been damaged by contaminated water, consider hiring a professional cleaning service to assist you. Visit http://www.SERVPROhighlandsranchnwdouglasco.com for more information on water damage.
Recovering After A Water Loss In Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Water Damage in Highlands Ranch.
Recovering After A Water Loss In Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Water damage make a mess of a home or business. Only water restoration professionals will be able to restore a home or business properly. They have the trained staff and professional equipment to do the job quickly and professionally. Sudden damage from a storm, leaking water heaters, appliances, or roofs cause major headaches.
When water damage and leaks strike call the professionals in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. They will come quickly to help customers find a solution to water in home or water in business problems. Their staff is trained in water restoration techniques and drying. When they come to your home or business they completely inspect the damage inside or outside to determine the type of water damage.
Their powerful water pumps are used to extract water from rugs, rooms, basements and other areas where damage strikes. Water cleanup is a complex process that uses water extraction to remove water from the property as quickly as possible. Once the water is removed they use dehumidifiers and air movers to remove the rest of the moisture.
They specialize in flood damage and drying out moisture in the worst conditions. Technicians clean and sanitize your rugs, furniture, clothing and personal items too. The staff even removes odors with industrial scrubbers and fogging equipment. They restore your home or business to normal.
Water cleanup is a big part of their business. They have powerful truck mounted water pumps and vacuum units with the power to clean up serious flooding. When customers have serious damage they can pack belongings and help them move in the Highlands Ranch Colorado area to another place while the work is being completed.
In serious emergency water removal situations they use submersible pumps and wet/dry vacuums. This helps prevent mold and flood damage. When needed the staff removes carpets from floors to protect the surface from damage. When they dry out the walls, floors and basement they promote air movement using air movers and humidifiers.
This industrial equipment promotes air movement and monitors walls and floors for moisture. That way the walls and ceiling do not crack and wrap in the future because they have done a complete job. This equipment removes that hard to see moisture that often is hidden when the water extraction process is completed.
Their services include removing and getting rid of damaged carpets, furniture, and materials when they remove water in home or water in business. They provide emergency equipment for serious situations like roof tarps, boarding up rooms, warehouse space for storage, drywall removal and installation, tile repair, and painting.
When technicians leave a home or business it will smell clean and fresh because they use products that sanitize and kills germs. Their water mitigation service aims to reduce the damage after a flood or major storm. Technicians take fast action to make sure that damage is minimal. Water mitigation services are needed after major plumbing problems in a home or business.
Their water restoration services in Highland Ranch Colorado helps business and home owners with all types or water leaks and flooding. Visit http://www.SERVPROhighlandsranchnwdouglasco.com for more information on water loss and the cleanup process.