Maintenance to Prevent Water Damage
SERVPRO of Castle Rock/Parker specializes in the cleanup and remediation of water damage.
So, as you might expect, we’ve seen some of the worst possible water damage, from burst water heaters to ruptured pipes to actual flooding.
What’s remarkable about many cases of water damage is that, often, the damage could have been prevented with proper maintenance. This is something that many home and business owners simply do not know, which is why we’re dedicating this week’s blog post to the basic maintenance you can do to prevent water damage to your home or commercial building.
[Note: Please keep in mind that these tips are not provided as guarantees against water damage, and every property is going to differ when it comes to maintenance best practices.]
#1: Disconnect garden hoses, especially during the fall and winter months.
We see this a lot: when hoses are left attached to a water source, the standing water within them can often freeze. When this happens, the freezing water expands, and the ice blockage travels inside the building, sometimes causing pipe bursts and subsequent water damage to the property.
This can happen even when the interior temperature of the building is significantly higher than the outside temperature. As a general rule, disconnect all hoses from their spigots when they’re not in use.
#2: Perform quarterly inspections of all water-using appliances.
Every few months, make it a point to inspect the operational condition of the appliances in your home or office. Pay extra attention to the connections between the appliance and the water supply, looking for leaks, corrosion, or loose fittings.
If your dishwasher, water heater, clothes washer, or other water-using appliance is in need of repair or replacement, doing so sooner than later can help protect you from costly water damage down the line.
#3: Consider installing water detection devices.
Small, battery-powered devices that detect moisture can be installed near water heaters, toilets, and other appliances. They will emit an alarm when moisture levels reach a certain threshold, giving you the opportunity to get ahead of leaks and overflows before they cause serious damage.
Installing these devices may be overkill for smaller homes, but for those with numerous water-carrying appliances, they can offer much-needed peace of mind.
#4: Unblock gutters, downspouts, and other external water routing hardware.
It’s tempting to let debris-filled gutters go unattended for months or even years. However, doing so could be setting you up for water damage.
When the water routing system on your roof isn’t functioning effectively, spillover can wreak havoc on the ground below. Standing water begins to accumulate, and before long, water intrusion starts taking its toll.
Also, blocked gutters can cause water to collect on the roof. This pooling can freeze in the colder months, causing expansion that can burst gutters and downspouts, causing potentially thousands in damage.
To address this, inspect your gutters, downspouts and other water runoff routing hardware for signs of blockages, and clear them away on a regular basis.
#5: Take a water pressure reading.
Most residential and commercial buildings have adequate water pressure regulation, but this isn’t always the case.
Having exceptionally high water pressure puts a lot of strain on the pipes and valves that are integral to the water transmission system within your home or commercial building. This strain can cause leaking and bursting without any warning whatsoever.
To take a water pressure reading, buy a water pressure gauge at your local hardware store, install it onto an external water spigot, and then turn the water on to maximum flow. If the water pressure reading exceeds 100 PSI, you’re going to want to install a water pressure regulator (also available at most hardware stores).
#6: Keep tabs on your water use by checking your bill for spikes.
If your home or commercial building uses a ‘normal’ amount of water most months and then, suddenly, you notice your water bill spike, there could be a leak somewhere.
Surprise water leaks can be insidious, not to mention very costly. Not only are you paying for the wasted water, but it’s possible the water being wasted is also causing damage to the building. If you suspect this is happening, put on your detective hat and try to get to the source of the mystery water leak.
Is the Damage Already Done? Contact SERVPRO.
If your home or commercial building has already been marred by water damage, then it’s time to take action to remediate it. That’s why your local SERVPRO is available, 24 hours a day, to assess water damage and take the necessary steps to repair it.
To get started, contact us today.
Is Water Damage Covered by Insurance?
When you wake up to a flooding basement because of a faulty water pipe, it can be worrying and especially when you realize that the floor is damaged. Among the first questions that you will probably ask yourself is if you have water damage insurance coverage. Water damage insurance is a protection that is provided to most homeowners against accidental and sudden water damage. Insurance does not cover water damage resulting from negligence or lack of maintenance.
Under most standard homes insurance policies, the water damage that occurs suddenly or by accident from a cause inside like a busted pipe is likely to be covered by the insurance. If the water damage is from outside your home, it won't be covered by your standard plan, though, and you can inquire about special covering from costs related flood with flood insurance. This is a separate plan that can be added to your existing coverage.
There are several types of water damage which might be covered or not covered by insurance like:
- Accidental or Sudden Discharge
- Water backup or Sewer backup
AND WHEN DOES INSURANCE COVER YOU?
Insurance will cover water damage in these cases;
- Plumbing issues such as faulty plumbing burst pipes, frozen plumbing, or accidental overflow
- Snow or rainstorm
- Water damage that can result from extinguishing a fire
- A leaking roof (this coverage might extend just to the interior of the home, excluding the roof)
- An unintended overflow of a piece of equipment (like the toilet, bathtub, washing machine,)
- Mold (only if it is the result of the covered water damage)
WHEN DOES INSURANCE FAIL TO COVER WATER DAMAGE?
Water damage is not for all time covered by your insurance if it has not resulted from an accident or a sudden, unanticipated incident. Water damage from lack of maintenance and neglect will mean that you are personally responsible for meeting the cost of repairs. Some of the situations where insurance doesn't cover water damage include;
- Water or sewer pipe backups
- Ground leakage
- Poorly-maintained pipes that make them leak
- Gradual water damages, which happens gradually over causing damage to your property.
Water damage insurance coverage will not cover water damage that results from a flood, also; for that, you will require to buy additional flood insurance and mainly if you live in a high-risk region susceptible to flooding
MOLD FROM WATER DAMAGE
Mold is prevalent, and it usually results from water damages though it is not at all the time covered by insurance. It is costly to get rid of a mold invasion; your insurance may assist in covering the removal of the mold, but this will depend on what caused it in the first place.
WHEN DOES INSURANCE COVER MOLD?
Mold is only covered if it has resulted from water damage. If molds grow as a result of situations such as AC system overflow or burst pipes, your insurance will cover every or a little of the mold removal fee since the mold is regarded as an extension of water damage. Otherwise, mold infestations are not covered if it has resulted from neglect or lack of maintenance.
Before purchasing a water damage insurance coverage, ensure that you have understood all your insurance policy coverage, and the exclusions, and your responsibilities as a property holder.
For more information on water damage, contact SERVPRO today.
How Does the Commercial Restoration Process Work?
Disasters such as fire, mold, or even flooding and water damage can happen at any time. But when it happens to a commercial property, not only is the property damaged but also disrupts business operations. Whether it's a small enterprise or large corporation, the devastating effects of any disaster can be confusing and overwhelming to deal with.
Thus, the commercial restoration process must be comprehensive and effective to get your business back running in the shortest time possible. This informative guide is designed to help business and property owners understand the restoration process in the event of a disaster.
Most restoration companies offer 24 hour restoration service. A round-the-clock customer service provides you with quick access to request for restoration services. The restoration process typically begins with contacting the restoration company. On the call, a trained technician will guide you through the process and ease your mind.
Upon the arrival of the restoration team, a thorough assessment of your property is done to determine the extent of damage caused. Based on the findings, the team will formulate the best plan of action for the restoration process. At the same time, this will allow them to create an accurate estimate of the expected reconstruction cost, obtain necessary permits for restoration, and, the expected date of completion.
DOCUMENT FOR INSURANCE
Proper documentation of the damage is crucial when filing an insurance claim. During the assessment phase, it is paramount that you are as detailed as possible when documenting. The documentation can include having photos of your property taken both inside and outside to showcase the extent of the damage. Ensure your pictures are clear and detailed.
This will help determine and prove the replacement costs and will make the claims process a lot easier. At every phase, have your insurance company's details readily available and maintain the necessary info they may need well- organized to ensure a seamless restoration process.
MITIGATION AND SALVAGE OF ITEMS
Mitigation may be necessary depending on the severity of the damage to prevent any further damage to your property. After disaster mitigation, any salvageable item inside is moved to a secure location. This helps minimize the losses you'd have incurred.
An efficient commercial restoration plan should include cleaning, drying, and deodorizing much of the salvaged items to make them usable again.
The fifth phase of the process will include a full cleanup effort. Using advanced restoration equipment, the team will eliminate debris and other contaminants from your property. Then, apply sanitizers and disinfectants to ensure proper compliance with applicable regulations, protocols and best practices.
The last step is the reconstruction phase, which may include doing repairs and renovations. At this time, your commercial property is reconstructed to make it functional again. This is usually the longest part of the process. But the time taken to complete is determined by the severity of the damage sustained.
Working with a professional commercial restoration service ensures they have the expertise necessary to handle and execute your property reconstruction in a timely, affordable way.
Are you looking for professional commercial restoration services? Contact us today the moment a disaster has occurred to your commercial property for expert mitigation and restoration services.
Be Prepared For A Home Fire!
Be prepared for a house fire.
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. For the best protection, install interconnected smoke alarms in each bedroom and throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Test alarms once a month. Change batteries at least once a year. Replace alarms every ten years.
• Consider installing smoke alarms with a “long-life” (10-year) battery. These alarms must be tested once a month.
• Consider installing a residential automatic fire sprinkler system.
• Plan and practice your family’s escape route. Make sure every room has two ways out. Make sure all doors and windows open easily. Consider escape ladders for upper floors and make sure security bars on your doors and windows open easily from the inside. Remember to plan for your pets.
• Never use flammable liquids inside and store them in approved containers in well-ventilated areas. Safely discard all rags or materials that have been soaked in flammable liquids outside in a metal container.
• Inspect your chimney regularly. Clear any branches and debris from the chimney area. Make sure your chimney is at least three feet taller than the roof, insulated, and equipped with spark arresters on top.
• Keep space heaters at least three feet from combustibles and away from open flames.
• Keep matches and lighters up high, away from children’s sight and reach.
• If you smoke, smoke outside. Use large deep, sturdy ashtrays.
• Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. If you are simmering, boiling, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that the stove or oven is on.
• Have an electrician check and maintain the wiring in your building. Inspect cords for frayed or exposed wiring and loosened plugs. Do not run wires or cords under rugs, over nails, or across high-traffic areas. Do not overload extension cords. Make sure insulation does not touch bare electrical wiring. • Inspect and clean dryer filters and exhaust frequently.
• Get out and stay out. Call the fire department from outside the home and do not return into the building until firefighters give the okay.
• If fire or smoke blocks your escape route, use your second way out. If you must pass through smoke, get low and go under the smoke and close doors behind you.
• If you need to open a closed door, feel the door. If it’s hot, use your second way out.
• If smoke, heat, or flames prevent you from exiting a room, keep the door closed, call for help and wait by the window for rescue.
• Evacuate immediately if you detect heat or smoke in a fire-damaged building.
• If you are a tenant, contact the landlord.
• If you have a safe or strongbox, wait several hours before opening it. It can hold intense heat and if you open it before it is completely cool, the contents could burst into flames.
• If you must leave your home after a fire because the building inspector has deemed it unsafe, ask someone you trust to watch the property in your absence.
Commercial property insurance covers businesses for losses due to certain covered events, such as fire, theft, vandalism, or natural disaster. This coverage helps business owners protect their valuable assets, such as an owned or leased building, tools, equipment, machinery, or inventory. Commercial property insurance rates typically average $500 to $1,000 per year.
Commercial Property Insurance Rates
The cost of business property insurance varies depending on the value of the property to be insured, the location of the business, and the coverage limits and deductible you choose. There are several other factors affecting the cost of commercial property insurance, but most small businesses will pay $500 to $1,000 per year in premium.
Some insurance providers will allow you to include commercial property insurance in a business owners policy (BOP), which is a bundled package of multiple insurance types. The cost of the package as a whole is often less than the underlying policies if purchased separately.
The most important factors that affect the cost of business property insurance include:
- Geography: Everything from the land value of your business location to local crime rates can impact the annual cost of your premium.
- Safety and Security: This expands on the geography and location aspect. Is your commercial property located in a high crime area? Are there hazardous materials stored in your building or nearby?
- Size of Business Premises: A large commercial building will generally cost more to cover than a single unit office space.
- Age of Building: Old buildings can be more susceptible to certain types of damage, so they may cost more to insure. For example, a fire caused by old electrical wiring could translate into costly repairs if the building needs to be rebuilt to code.
- Type of Equipment: Heavy industrial equipment will cost more to insure than an at-home business’ sewing machine.
- Age of Equipment: You may pay higher premiums if your equipment is hard to repair because of scarce parts or if it’s more likely to break down because of heavy use.
Insurance companies will charge more for greater risk exposures that require higher coverage limits. It’s important to remain aware of the risk exposures of your business and the assets that you need covered.
Use an Agent or Broker Who Understands Your Business
Commercial property insurance is a type of small business insurance and is not specific to any particular industry. Keep in mind that not every insurance company will have intimate knowledge of your business or the risk exposures that need protection. When shopping for a commercial property insurance policy, try to find an agent or broker who understands your business or industry type.
How Commercial Property Insurance Works
A commercial property insurance policy is non-industry specific, which means that the coverage is mostly standard across all business types. However, commercial property insurance is not a one-size-fits-all product. Policies will differ in a few key areas, such as the coverage limits, how assets are valued, and what’s covered and not covered in the policy.
What Commercial Property Insurance Covers
Your insurance policy will cover certain perils, which are causes of damage such as fire or theft. Coverages included in your policy are called inclusions, whereas perils not covered in your policy are called exclusions. It’s important to know what is covered in your policy and what is not covered.
Here are some of the primary items covered in a commercial property insurance policy due to loss from a covered peril:
- The building, owned or leased
- Business equipment loss
- Damage or loss due to wind, hail, fire or theft
- Accidental damage of property
- Business Interruption (lost business income)
- Electronic data
- Interruption of computer operations
- Valuable papers and records
- Forgery or alteration
- Accounts receivable
Of the covered items in a commercial property insurance policy, the most important items to cover are the building and the business’ assets contained within it. Business interruption, which covers a loss of income when your business is forced to suspend operations due to a covered event, is also necessary coverage in the property insurance policy.
For more information about Commercial Insurance visit Fit Small Business: Get Your Business Into Shape!
Water Damaged Carpet
Have you had a toilet overflow, a pipe burst, a washer malfunction or walk into a basement completely flooded by rainwater? Water can seep into almost every material and cause irreversible damage. When water saturates your carpet or walls, you will need to make decisions and make them quickly! Do not waste time contemplating how to clean up the water, each hour counts when water is involved. The longer water sits in porous material, like carpet or drywall, the sooner bacteria and microbial growth begins to grow.
One of the prime locations for microbial growth to spread is in a humid room with sopping wet carpet and walls. What do you do? Grab a shop vac and suck it up? Grab a slew of towels and cover the floor while dancing on top of them, hoping they will absorb all of the water? Grab all the fans you own and try to set them in just the right places, hoping that everything will dry out in time? Go ahead and try those techniques, but you will have a huge and more costly headache to deal with in a month.
If you choose to call a restoration company, be sure to call one who has the certifications to back up their work.
SERVPROs all over the country are locally owned franchises, and the majority of them are run by the actual owner. At SERVPRO of W. Littleton/Sheridan I know that our project managers, office staff, marketing team and even the owners are WRT IICRC certified. That means they know everything it takes to get water out of your home or business.
We are not magicians; we can not save all carpet and walls. We can certainly extract the water from the affected areas and remove all flooring & walls that are not salvageable, ultimately leaving you a clean, bacteria-free slate to work with. We even have a construction division that can help you get your home back to preloss condition. Do not waste time trying to clean up a disaster on your own or have the local neighborhood handyman clean it up, just call SERVPRO of W. Littleton/Sheridan and we will walk you through the process. You will be informed and updated of the restoration/mitigation process throughout the entire job so that nothing is questionable. We are your go-to! Give us a call even if you just have a question and we will be happy to help.
Commercial Fire Prevention
Causes of Commercial Fires
Commercial Fires Prevention
During the five-year period of 2007-2011, NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year which include general business offices, banks, veterinary clinics, research offices, engineering facilities, mailing firms and post offices. $112 million in property damages were reported.
When Are Commercial Fires Likely to Occur?
The chance of a commercial fire occurring during operating hours is extremely high. One-third of commercial office fires occur between business hours. The more populated a business is, the higher the chance of a fire occurring. Businesses occupying these commercial properties should inform their staff of fire dangers and how to prevent one.
- Turn off Coffee Makers, toaster ovens and kitchen appliances
- Have a designated staff member ensure kitchen appliances are turned off at the end of the day
- Always plug major appliances, like refrigerators, stoves, washers and dryers, directly into a wall outlet
- Never use an extension cord with a major appliance — it can easily overheat and start a fire.
- Always plug small appliances directly into a wall outlet.
- Unplug small appliances when you are not using them.
- Don’t allow space heaters in an office setting.
- Keep lamps, light fixtures and light bulbs away from anything that can burn.
- Use light bulbs that match the recommended wattage on the lamp or fixture.
- Check electrical cords on appliances often. Replace cracked, damaged and loose electrical cords. Do not try to repair them
- Do not overload wall outlets.
- Insert plugs fully into sockets.
- Never force a three prong cord into a two-slot outlet.
- Replace worn, old or damaged extension cords right away.
- Use extension cords for temporary purposes only.
- Avoid putting cords where they can be damaged or pinched, like under a carpet or rug.
- Do not overload power strips.
- Use power strips that have internal overload protection.
Information provided by FEMA and the National Fire Protection Association.
Arapahoe Community College & SERVPRO Offers a Workforce Training Program
Education is Key
SERVPRO partners with Arapahoe Community College to provide employees with a workforce training program. Workforce training prepares workers with the skills necessary for a specific type of job. The training program offers career development opportunities which will be accessible to all staff members and new hires. Learning opportunities will include mentorship, online training, group collaboration and trying something new without the fear of failure.
SERVPRO will provide course material which will be implemented in the training program. The training program provides its participants with new skills, enhanced resumes and long-term employment opportunities.
Course participants are trained on the technology they need to succeed in specific job roles. Qualified restoration, mitigation and construction professionals will teach participants through actual demonstration of standard industry methods using a structured course syllabus. Employees have the opportunity to take advantage of learning new skills which enhance their value in the workforce.
- Production Crew Expectations
- Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning
- Water Damage Mitigation
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Documentation/Job File
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Handling Material & Safe Lifting
We believe in providing our employees with the tools they need in order to succeed in the workforce and in life. We want to ensure our employees have the knowledge and skills needed to fulfill future roles.
New Mexico Freeze
We are ready for any size disaster!
New Mexico was hit with a winter storm on December 31st, 2018. Rio Rancho, Sante Fe and Albuquerque were severely affected by the freezing temperatures.
Since the last blizzard occurred in 2011 and residents were not prepared to handle the storm damages. Many homes with flat roofs faced excessive water leaks, whereas other homes were flooded by burst pipes from freezing temperatures.
The three SERVPROs in New Mexico were overwhelmed with the volume of jobs they were facing. SERVPRO corporate invited SERVPRO of Castle Rock/Parker to aide the local SERVPROs in providing service for those affected by the storm.
SERVPRO of Castle Rock/Parker wasted no time stocking their trucks with equipment, tools and supplies needed for the trip. After driving six hours straight, crews hastily unpacked and dispersed throughout the New Mexico Area.
Every time a SERVPRO hero goes into "storm mode" they consider the fact that they have the ability and knowledge to change the outcome of an unfortunate situation and to ultimately be a beacon of light for those affected by unexpected storms and hurricanes. SERVPRO professionals know that response time is everything, and they will work around the clock to get you back in your home and your life back to normal.
Our SERVPRO crews are still in the New Mexico Area and if your home was affected by the recent freeze please call us at 303-576-6868.
More About The Services We Provide
Whether you need emergency flood restoration or just need your upholstery cleaned, SERVPRO has over 1,700 Franchises ready to respond faster to any size disaster. SERVPRO has advanced equipment and highly trained technicians to make it “Like it never even happened.” We can help you with the following residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Cleaning Services
The Camp Fire in Paradise California
SERVPRO of Castle Rock/Parker Cares
The Camp fire of Northern California was one of the most deadly wildfires since the 1918 Cloquet fire. Local restoration companies were swamped with fire restoration projects, and only able to schedule restoration appointments weeks out. The Disaster Recovery Team at SERVPRO of Castle Rock/Parker was invited to Paradise California in order to provide fire damage repair & restoration services for home and business owners. The Disaster Recovery Team eagerly accepted the invitation, prepared their vehicles and set out on the road to Paradise.
The residents of Paradise left a lasting impression on one of our Disaster Recovery Team representatives; Sarah C. shared her account of the time she spent in Paradise.
“I arrived in Paradise on December 16th, and the devastation was insurmountable! It was foggy and rainy that day with the eerie feeling of a town stuck in time from the evacuation over a month prior. Buildings and neighborhoods were completely burnt to the ground with only a few structures still standing, practically untouched from the flames. These would be the residents and business owners I would spend the rest of my time getting to know during my time in Paradise. Some folks lost their home and neighborhood, but their business was spared, or just the opposite, losing their business or place of employment and finding their house to be the only one standing. Getting to know the kind hearted people of this community was reassuring because I know they will bring it back to the beautiful town it once was. I was truly inspired by the stories and brave acts of the residents in Paradise who helped neighbors, animals, and strangers through this difficult time. I wish all the best to them in a time of stress, reflection, and rebuilding.”
The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team send out their thoughts and prayers to the residents of Paradise. We know that the months to come may be difficult. Fire restoration, mitigation and rebuild is not always a quick and easy process, but we will do everything we can to make it “like it never even happened.”
“Our hearts go out to the residents of Paradise and those affected by the Campfire. Words cannot express what the residents of Paradise have experienced, and are still experiencing; we offer our deepest condolences.”
-SERVPRO of Castle Rock/Parker