The Hazards Of Fire Damage Cleanup In Colorado

By Roxanne Turnbloom

When fire damages, your Colorado property chances are many people have advice on how you should manage it. Friends, family, or business associates might encourage you to take on the task of cleaning up your home or business as a do-it-yourself project. Their reasoning may include the belief the cost is lower or that you experience less disruption when you handle the remediation and restoration yourself.

Several hard facts about fire damage abatement contradict these assumptions. Colorado property owners who attempt to recover from a fire loss without professional assistance risk the safety and health of themselves and their family, employees, or others who come in contact with the damaged spaces. They also stand to jeopardize the structural integrity of their house or commercial building and take the chance that building components deteriorate and require extensive and costly demolition, repair, and replacement. Furthermore, the fire damage contents and personal possessions can be ruined despite an owner best efforts.

Fire damage occurs rapidly to all structures and contents. Physical charing is an obvious result, but property owners may not realize how destructive soot and smoke damage are to everything inside a building. Smokey and sooty residues need attention within minutes to hours after the firefighters leave. The compounds produced by combustion are acidic and corrosive, discoloring, warping, and etching materials as varied as glass, metal, plastic, fabrics, and wood. The response must be comprehensive and fast, best accomplished by a crew of experienced fire damage technicians. An individual cannot expect to work as quickly as needed nor be able to cope with damage that can engulf an entire building with soot.

Fire damage residues are toxic, in whole or part. The act of combustion creates chemical reactions resulting in noxious and even life-threatening gases and debris. Cleanup of this potential health hazard requires the skills of trained assessors directing a team of fire damage mitigation workers who wear appropriate personal protective equipment and follow proven restoration industry protocols developed by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

Deodorization is a difficult job requiring both experience and training to accomplish. No matter how clean your property appears, if the singed and smoky smells remain, restoration is not complete. Air fresheners and other coverups are inadequate. Professional deodorization specialists have many strategies, some requiring expensive equipment and procedures only certified individuals can employ.

Almost every Colorado fire damage scenario requires a preliminary water damage remediation before cleanup of the charing, soot, and smoke. Water removal and drying necessitate professional equipment and experts familiar with best practices to be successful. It also adds a whole level of remediation usually needing a number of workers to complete.

If a blaze involving your Colorado property causes harm, look for a restoration company with a proven record to assist you. A firm that obtains fire and smoke damage restoration technician status from IICRC for their workers offers you reliability and peace of mind.


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Repairing Winter Storm Damage In Colorado

Repairing Winter Storm Damage In Colorado

By Roxanne Turnbloom

I have worked in the restoration industry in Colorado for many years and have seen homes with minor and major damage every winter. Homeowners can do things like clean the gutters and check the roof every year to lessen the risk, but when a severe snow storm hits, preparation does not prevent everything. Much of my restoration efforts center around roof damage and burst pipes.

In some cases, the sheer amount of snow can fracture and collapse a roof. When that happens, we remove everything on the splintered panel. That may involve removing framing pieces like joists that were damaged when the panels above collapsed.

Once I have the debris cleared out, my fellow team members and I secure the roof. We do this by covering and sealing the damaged area with either plastic sheeting or plywood panels. It is necessary to keep out the weather and any animals like squirrels and raccoons seeking a refuge from the cold.

Since the roof collapse lets snow inside, I have also had to remove wet insulation. It is necessary because wet insulation, both rolled and blown-in, compacts and becomes useless in keeping the interior of a home warm. If there is no access to the attic from inside the house, my team and I remove the insulation before securing the roof.

Once I have a dry attic or crawlspace, we replace the insulation and then lay new panels onto the damaged sections and then replace the damaged tiles with new. Once finished, the only sign of repair is the look of the new tiles against the original.

Burst pipes usually happen at the point of entry to a home. It occurs when the insulation is insufficient or has aged and not replaced. Replacing or repairing a damaged section of pipe is not a difficult task, but the flooding in the home can be very expensive to remediate.

My team works repairing or replacing the pipe at the same time as removing any flood water. Most pipe repairs are at the connections, so cutting away the damaged piece and attaching a new section takes only a few hours. We then wrap every exposed surface with polyethylene, insulation cover or tape.

If the water is over two inches, we bring in a pump to remove it. After that, we use water extraction wands to draw out the water from the carpets and floors. That usually finishes the task, but if the inside humidity levels are very high, we set up a dehumidifier to lower the air moisture content and lower the chance of mold.

Restoring a home after winter storm damage is difficult, especially in a state like Colorado. To make certain your home is cared for properly, you should always hire a professional agency, licensed by the state.


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Vandalism And Graffiti To Your Colorado Property

Vandalism And Graffiti To Your Colorado Property

By Roxanne Turnbloom

Despite everyone’s best efforts and intentions, vandalism seems to be on the rise in many parts of Colorado. Everyone has a theory why, but the reason does not make a difference when it comes to restoring a home or business. After more than a decade working for a restoration company, I have seen vandalism range from tagging the outside of a convenience store to the complete, interior destruction of a home.

As a supervisor, I usually direct my work crew through several steps to put everything back together. I say back together because some of the places we have worked started out looking like someone dumped a giant jigsaw puzzle in the middle of the floor, and now my guys and I have to fix it.

The first thing we do is remove broken glass. Despite having the best work boots money can buy, one of my crew members put a sliver through the side of his foot. He was pulling out a window frame and missed a piece that landed on the floor trim and went through the boot when braced himself against the wall to use a crowbar. That was three years ago, and it was our last glass-related injury.

Next, we board up the structure. Another company I used to work for once started replacing sheetrock and paneling before locking the place down. After two days, they broke for lunch in the front of the building and went back after 30 minutes to find someone had snuck in the back and spray-painted fresh graffiti on the panels they had hung less than a couple of hours earlier.

After securing the doors and windows, we start repairs. Most of the costs result from damaged walls and ceilings. I can tell you that it is much cheaper to hang new panels and paint them than it is to try and save a few pieces and repaint over spray-painted walls. A truck full of sheetrock costs less than paying my crew and me for another day of labor.

In my opinion, having someone vandalize your home is worse than dealing with the Cherry or Purgatoire Creek flooding it. It was a deliberate act, and that makes it much more necessary to put everything back together. Make certain the restoration company you hire is licensed with the state and has a good reputation online and with agencies like the Better Business Bureau.


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Commercial Mold Remediation And Restoration

By Roxanne Turnbloom

Managing mold issues in commercial spaces is an ongoing challenge. Mold spores are present in all environments, indoors as well as outdoors. The spores are tiny, invisible to the naked eye, they float through the air and cling to footwear and clothing to move inside and throughout buildings.

Dry mold spores are relatively benign unless high airborne quantities exist. Mold colonies slowly disintegrate the items they infest threatening the integrity of structures and contents. Spores activate, and mold proliferates when three circumstances exist.

  • Nutrients are available.
  • Temperatures are appropriate.
  • Moisture is present.

All of these conditions exist in at least some areas of the typical commercial building. Molds ingest carbon-based materials such as paper, wood, and organic fibers. Colonies start and sustain growth even in a thin film of organic substance atop inorganic surfaces like metal or tile. Soap or bodily residues like hairs, skin oils or cells nourish mold, one of the reasons it multiplies in locker rooms and restrooms. Drywall, wall coverings, wood trim, carpeting, carpet padding, and upholstery all provide the nourishment mold needs. Molds do not need light but do need oxygen, growing on suitable surfaces in hidden and inaccessible spaces throughout a commercial structure.

More than 100,000 types of mold have been identified, and many of them grow best at the same temperatures preferred by humans. Others do well at readings much colder or hotter. A wide range of commercial spaces including freezers, refrigerators, manufacturing floors, offices, lobbies, and more are areas different molds find compatible.

Molds must have moisture to flourish. Commercial buildings possess a vast number of ways water infiltrates to activate microbial growth. Obvious pathways are leaky roofs, damaged flashing, failed plumbing, and appliance or equipment malfunctions that spill water inside the building. Less expected moisture sources include flooding, condensation, steam, and ambient humidity. Relative humidities of 70 percent or higher in the air or porous cellulose materials offer spores the chance to multiply and colonies to bloom throughout the commercial spaces.

Mold growth in a commercial space or school has its own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) protocol for proper remediation. Professional mold remediators follow this process to assure safe treatment and successful abatement of the microbial growth.

  • Plan the remediation, so all steps are taken.
  • Locate, eliminate, or repair all moisture breaches.
  • Turn off HVAC systems to avoid the spread of contaminants during remediation.
  • Search for hidden mold.
  • Contain all mold, including using barriers and negative pressure air scrubbers for larger infestations.
  • Remove the mold, including compromised porous materials and surfaces that cannot be disinfected.
  • Dispose of mold and moldy materials per local regulations.
  • Clean and sanitize the affected areas.
  • Monitor humidity levels in the air, within, and on surfaces, reducing these levels to 30 to 50 percent at most, a moisture measurement that usually does not support mold growth.
  • Going forward, eliminate moisture to prevent mold from returning.

Mold growth and damage in your commercial buildings need the skills of professional mold remediation specialists. Find a reputable restoration firm experienced with mold abatement to return your business infrastructure to its pre-microbial infestation status.


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Get The Quality Drying Services You Deserve To Battle Water Damage In Your Home Today

Get The Quality Drying Services You Deserve To Battle Water Damage In Your Home Today

By Roxanne Turnbloom

Regardless of the type of water damage event happening on your property, a quality restoration company can help. Making the decision about whom to use for your repairs, is entirely up to you. When facing water damage in your home, drying your entire house and its contents quickly are important. Four factors affect the amount of time required for drying including temperature, the amount of exposure, humidity, and air movement.

Restoration companies operate by the term “wet to dry.” The rule means that moisture moves from wet materials to drier-materials or wet-air to drier air seeking balance. Dry air often absorbs moisture from wet surfaces, while dry surfaces absorb moisture from the wet air. Each of the four factors they use during the drying process affects the process of wet going to dry.

Water Damage

To obtain an optimal drying environment room temperatures should reach 70 to 90-degrees since hot air can hold more moisture. Portable heaters become useful in situations where heat is unavailable. Allowing temperatures to exceed 85-degrees within the first days of drying could result in too much moisture, causing secondary damages to form.

Technicians attempt to extract or pump as much water as possible out of the structure, which allows for an easier, faster drying process and less equipment. Truck mounted extractors can extract 36,000-gallons of water each day, while the best dehumidifier can only extract 30-gallons of water per day, making physical extraction far more efficient. Spending a considerable amount of time using hand-held or truck mounted extractors reduces drying time considerably. Removing carpet padding and additional unrestorable materials from the area before attempting to start the drying process.

Relative Humidity (RH) consists of the amount of moisture the air is holding at a given temperature. An RH of 30 to 50 percent is what most people consider comfortable, while anything over 60 percent slows the drying process. With all of the proper precautions taken, the RH of an area should be below 40 percent after 24-hours of drying. Using dehumidifiers is the most efficient way of lowering relative humidity. If not maintained correctly, dehumidifiers can reduce an area’s RH below 30%, possibly causing additional damages to develop.

Technicians use air movement as a significant drying tool. The air found in a water-damaged room is typically damp and humid, slowing evaporation and dehumidification efforts. They have discovered that blowing moist air out and bringing warm, dry air in speeds drying time. Contact a water damage restoration company today for a quality drying experience in your water damaged home.

Dealing With The Aftermath Of Water Damaged Structure And Contents – The Biohazard Challenge

Dealing With The Aftermath Of Water Damaged Structure And Contents - The Biohazard Challenge

By Roxanne Turnbloom

Many homeowners assume that after water damages structures and belongings in their home just a thorough cleaning and disinfection will permit all items to return to their previous use. Although a restoration company strives to restore as much of your home’s structure, fixtures and contents as possible they must always keep the long-term safety of the customers in mind. If your home disaster includes contamination with black water, prepare for the possibility that some of your belongings and permanently placed decor and comfort items may need to be carefully removed and disposed of as hazardous waste. A trained and certified biohazard restoration staff will evaluate the damage done to the structure and contents of your house. They will devise a plan that will leave your home free of pathogens and dangerous materials like asbestos and with fungal growth remediated so that further overgrowth is unlikely.

Non-porous surfaces like glass, metal and plastic and some sealed woods often can be cleaned and disinfected safely during a biohazard abatement. Experts will use EPA approved cleaners and disinfectants properly during the process, which may include very specialized methods a homeowner would not have the training to perform. They will set up containment areas while cleaning and disinfecting so as not to spread the contamination into unaffected areas of the home. Negative air pressure and heavy grade plastic sheathing will be used if necessary. The biohazard specialists may work through the house this way, opening up areas after they have been cleaned and disinfected, using the contaminated areas as a staging place until all has been completed.

They will devise a plan that will leave your home free of pathogens and dangerous materials like asbestos and with fungal growth remediated so that further overgrowth is unlikely.
They will devise a plan that will leave your home free of pathogens and dangerous materials like asbestos and with fungal growth remediated so that further overgrowth is unlikely.

When the technicians are confronted with porous items that have been contaminated with black water, microbial growth, or dangerous chemicals or minerals the restoration company may need to make the decision in consultation with you and your insurance company to remove all or a part of the items affected. Padding and carpeting will need to be removed and disposed of per the local codes. Furniture that is upholstered, bedding and wall coverings may also need to be discarded. If the water passed through ceilings and walls to saturate insulation and drywall, the wet areas would have to be cut and thrown out. Even structural items and furniture made of wood may need to be removed if the microbial growth has attacked the integrity of the wood’s structure. This drastic solution is required to keep the inhabitants of the home safe because there are some materials it is impossible to disinfect and the biohazard risk is so severe.

When you are faced with the challenges of a home saturated with contaminated water turn to a biohazard restoration company for answers. Contact them immediately after you discover the water damage, and they will devise a plan that gets your home back to pre-loss condition fast.

Returning to Normal After Fire Damage

By Roxanne Turnbloom

When a fire happens, your life can change more than you could think. However, knowing where to start can help you out. No matter what type of building you reside in, fire damage can be quite severe. Many of your things and the building itself can be severely damaged by the smoke, flames, water and heat. Some things that didn’t burn up are now ruined because of the smoke and also soggy with water which was used to put the flames out. Anything that can be salvaged will have to be cleaned carefully. You also could find that the firefighters have cut holes into the walls so they can find any flames that are hidden. There could be holes cut into the roof as well to allow smoke and heat to escape. The cleanup will take patience and time.

Be Careful
You should realize the risk to your health and safety even after the fire is extinguished. The dirty water and soot left behind can have things in it which could make you ill. Therefore, be quite careful if you do go in your home and touch any items that were damaged by the fire. Speak with the fire department, your insurance agent, local building official and restoration specialist before you start any repairs or cleanup. You should not enter your damaged structure in the first place unless the fire department has deemed it safe to do so. Fires can begin again even after they look to be extinguished. Floors and roofs could fall from the damage that was done.Smoke Damage

The fire department will check that your utilities such as gas, water and electricity are safe to use or not. If they are not, they will disconnect them all before they leave. Do not attempt to turn them back on by yourself. Speak with the police department as well to alert them that you’ll be away from your home for a time. You could need to board up any openings in some cases so that no people or animals can get in while you are not there.

Handling The Damage
A company who is trained in fire damage restoration need to be contacted since they will be the experts at restoring or cleaning your items.
Ask for an estimate of the costs for the work before anything begins and has an agreement in writing drawn up. You can find names for these companies in the phone book and on the Internet, or you can speak to your insurance company for ones they have used in the past. Talk to someone who has used a particular company you are considering before you hire them.

Services You Should Expect:
● Securing your home from more damage
● Estimating the damage
● Doing any needed repairs
● Estimating the cost of repairs or replacement
● Storing your items that are salvageable
● Hiring repair or cleaning subcontractors