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Basement Flooding in Colorado

8/11/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes

Basement Flooding

Colorado Weather

            Outside the window is a bright blue sky. The sun is beaming in its vastness over our Colorado Rocky Mountains.   The birds are swooping over the nearby pond, catching flittering bugs for their evening meal.  It seems to be a peaceful spring morning, not a cloud in sight.  You think, nothing could rain on this beautiful day, until literally, rain comes pouring down. 

            Colorado weather can be very unpredictable, and our area of Golden is often subjected to flash floods and heavy rains in the spring and summer months.  Many of us are fortunate enough to have homes that protect us from such storms, but your home itself may not be as protected as you think.  The following article will explain risk factors for basement floods, what we can do to prevent them, and how to help if you become a victim to storm waters in your home. 

How Water Gets in

            Water has a sneaking way of finding its way into many Golden, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen, and other Colorado homes.  It can seep in through cracks and holes in basement walls, framing, floorboards, trim, and up through the foundation of your home.  These cracks and holes become larger issues when there is improper drainage around your basement, especially for homes in the Foothill areas where there is sloping topography.  If you find your home at the bottom of a hill, or at any position where water may run down, you are at higher risk for a basement flood.

The Dangers

            There are many dangers to flood waters in your home.  Even though the water pooling in your basement or crawl space may look clean and clear, it is likely to contain many harmful toxins to human health.  When water comes in from the ground, it pulls anything in its path along with it.  The contaminants in the water create risk to human health as well as harm to your home. The following is a list of these dangers.

  • Toxins
    • Ground water contains metals such as manganese and iron from the soil in high concentrations. Pesticides and fertilizers used in yards and gardens can soak into the water. Chemical spills or leaking fuel tanks may also find its way in.  Animal feces and many other natural and human-induced chemicals can be found in ground water.
  • Mold
    • Mold can start to grow and spread within 48-72 hours after water enters the home. These molds can produce allergens and irritants that are harmful to the health of you and your family.  Any source of the water must be fully addressed before the mold can be remediated because it is likely to come back if any moisture remains. 
  • Water is Heavy
    • When water soaks furniture, blankets, fabrics, or other household items, it adds its weight to that item. Therefore, picking up or moving any item that is wet poses a risk to the person moving it.  It may not look as heavy as it truly is, and the right force may not be applied resulting in bodily injury. 
  • Electrical Hazard
    • Water that has come into contact with electrical outlets, cords, or appliances may become charged. It is important that you do not touch or walk through this water in order to avoid electrocution.   The electricity needs to be turned off first.
  • Slip and Fall
    • Water can also cause surfaces to become slippery. It is important to take every precaution into consideration before entering a room that is potentially slippery in order to avoid bodily injuries. 

It is important to handle everything timely and professionally in order to eliminate the risk of disease, the start of mold, or further damage to your home and its belongings.

How to Prevent a Basement Flood

            There are several ways in which you can help to protect your home from a flash flood and sneaky water.

  • Assessing risk
    • Know the flood level and potential for your home. Your local insurance agent should have this information for you.
  • Maintaining a functioning sump pump
    • A sump pump is a tool that is installed underneath the floors of basements and crawlspaces. It is designed to collect water that tries to enter the home and redirects it back out. Check your sump pump regularly to make sure it is working and plugged in.  If you do not have a sump pump, you may want to consider installing one in your home.
  • Inspect for foundational cracks
    • Visually look at the exterior of your home for any cracks.Many can be filled in and fixed with epoxy, but if leaking continues, it may be a larger foundational issue that would require professional assistance.  
  • Keep gutters and downspouts clean
    • Be sure to position downspouts away from your home or away from any area where pooling can occur. They should be directing water at least 10 feet away from your home.  Also, keep gutters free of debris such as fallen leaves and sticks to unsure good flow.
  • Landscape for flood prevention
    • If there is slope in your yard that is causing water to come into your home, you will want to landscape to combat this. This is not always the easiest task as it requires digging trenches, regrading, placing flood barriers, or even installing a French drain.  
  • Anchor and elevate equipment such as fuel tanks, air-conditioners, and generators
    • Supply lines can tear free in the event of a basement flood and this type of equipment can leak oil into your home. Even a tank that is buried can be pushed by flood waters and effect the safety of your home.
  • Install an interior and exterior backflow valve for your sewer system
    • When a municipal city drainage system or sewer overflows, it can send contaminated water into your home. A normally functioning system allows waste water to flow from your home to the city sewer.  In the case of a backflow, the opposite occurs.  Installing the valves can prevent a backflow when the systems become overloaded.

The Do’s and Don’ts Before Help Arrives

Even if you follow all of the preventative tips, you still may fall victim to a large storm.  Your sump pump may still fail, you may miss some foundational cracks, the septic system may back up, and a host of other possibilities.  If you find yourself ankle deep in basement water, here are a few things to do before SERVPRO arrives.  Acting quickly before professional help can arrive will lessen the damage to your home. 

Do’s:

  • Remove as much water by mopping and soaking up.
  • Wipe down wooden furniture.
  • Remove cushions, pillows, and upholstery.
  • Separate furniture legs from the wet floors by placing blocks underneath them.
  • Take out colored rugs
  • Gather all loose items.

            Additionally, there are a few things to take careful note not to do in the event of a basement flood.  Avoiding these key things will ensure your safety and lessen the damage to your property.

Don’ts:

  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or colored papers on wet carpet, floors, or furniture.
  • Do not use electrical household items such as televisions.
  • Do not vacuum up any water.
  • Do not remove heavy items as water often makes them heavier.
  • If the ceiling is wet, keep ceiling fixtures off and remain out of the room if it is sagging.

How SERVPRO Can Help

            While every water damage situation is unique, the general process stays the same.  SERVPRO follows 6 basic steps when handling your water damage.  Below are the 6 steps taken from call to complete restoration.

  1. Emergency Contact
  2. Inspection of the damage
  3. Water removal and extraction
  4. Drying and Dehumidification
  5. Cleaning and Sanitizing
  6. Restoration

            In the event of a basement flood, it is essential that you call professional help as quickly as possible.  SERVPRO of Golden/ Wheat Ridge/ Evergreen is available 24/7 365 days a year.  After the initial call, we are required to arrive at your residence within 4 hours by franchise standards.  However, our team averages less than an hour for arrival time.  Our response time reduces damage, limits further damage, reduces cost, and eases headache and responsibility from the homeowner.  

Why Choose SERVPRO

            SERVPRO is an industry leader in flood restoration. We use advanced equipment and techniques to get the water removed quickly and efficiently.  The equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and deep clean and dry your home and its contents. We are a locally owned and operated family business, so customer care is our number one goal.  We live where we serve!

            We provide extensive training to our employees and are highly specialized in flood restoration putting great emphasis on monitoring and documenting the drying process until completion.

            We are a preferred vendor to many national and local insurance companies making the claims process easy and painless for the homeowner.

            Please give us a call for any of your home restoration needs! (303) 279-8055

Or visit our website at https://www.SERVPROgoldenwheatridgeevergreen.com 

Will materials be removed on your water loss?

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water damaged ceiling in Wheat Ridge

Some water losses are a few gallons of water that soak your carpet and pad, some are 40,000 gallons of water flowing through your house like an indoor river, MOST water losses are somewhere in-between.

When water has prolonged contact with drywall, particle board, or wood flooring, the materials can act as sponges and absorb large quantities of water. The water then causes the materials to swell and deform. Once dried, these materials do not return to their previous shape or strength. Additionally, when these materials hold onto that excess water there is an increased threat of mold growth. These are a few reasons such materials might need to be removed.

Carpet pad often has a vapor barrier built in to it, once excess water becomes trapped under such a pad, the pad must be removed for the subfloor to dry and not become further damaged.

When dirty water comes in contact with carpeting and pad, drywall, or wood/engineered wood, the materials are generally removed due to gross contamination and material damage.

Trust the crew at SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen to know when materials must be removed and to explain the drying process to you every step of the way. Your home will be left dry, decontaminated and ready for repair. Call 303-279-8055 when water invades your home or busines

What to expect once we are working on your water loss.

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

A water catastrophe just affected your home or business and shook up your day to day life – you’ve contacted your insurance company and SERVPRO Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen is on the job. Now what?

During our initial phone conversation, we will gather as much information as possible so we can send the appropriate equipment to begin work. Our crews are on call 24/7 and will arrive as quickly as possible to assess the damage. Technicians will use moisture meters to determine the spread of water so drying equipment can be placed effectively. Once the damage is assessed a member of our team will go over what needs to be done to bring your structure back to a dry standard. 

Depending on the amount of water absorbed and the extent of water damage, drywall and trim may need to be removed to facilitate drying. When the damage is great these materials will need to be replaced. Carpeting, carpet pad and wood flooring can also be greatly damaged by a water loss. If the water loss is a CAT 3, damaged materials are often removed due to contamination. Water trapped under flooring materials can also mean removal. 

It will be crucial that once placed our equipment be allowed to run 24 hours a day, even if it is thought to be noisy. Our industrial air movers and dehumidifiers work quickly to dry your home or business. 

From start to finish our technicians and office staff are in communication with insurance adjusters and home/business owners alike, keeping everyone informed and processing your file as quickly as possible to help make your water damage “Like it never even happened.”

To call SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen or to clean it yourself, that is the question…

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Locally owned and operated, ready when you call!

While tis nobler to fend for oneself in home emergencies, (with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare) there are instances where tis wiser to call on the professionals at SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen.

A sink that over flows and get tile wet is easy to clean without help, as is carpet that gets a bit wet. However, when the volume of water flowing into your home increases so does the scope of possible damage. When that water is contaminated, improper handling and drying methods can lead to contamination throughout the home. Contamination is also a MAJOR concern when it comes to downed drywall, be it from fire damage or water damage, if that wall or ceiling contains asbestos or mold, improper removal methods could compromise your entire home. 

A call to SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen will eliminate the worries of ‘is it really dry?’ or ‘is this safe for my family?’. Our technicians are IICRC trained in the latest industry standards of water, fire or mold restoration. You can trust them to assess damaged building materials, properly contain contamination and bring your home back to normal quickly and efficiently thus limiting excessive damage and possible growing repair costs. Call SERVPRO Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen at 303-279-8055 today for peace of mind and professional assessment of your loss.

Wildfire ready...a Public Safety Reminder

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

With warmer weather, the threat of wildfire danger in the front range will be greater. We at SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen urge everyone in our community to be cautious and aware of their surroundings. Practicing basic fire safety is a must for everyone, from proper disposal of fire place ash and being aware of local fire restrictions to not tossing cigarette butts out of car windows. The other piece of the fire danger puzzle is being prepared for an emergency. Last years catastrophic fires in California are a prime example of the speed at which one’s escape can be cut off. Having an understanding of what is needed to remain safe can make a difference in the outcome of such an emergency. The following is a Fire Evacuation Check List that may prove helpful:

Attire and Equipment

  • Wear only cotton or wool clothes
  • Wear long pants, long sleeved shirt or jacket and boots
  • Carry gloves, a handkerchief to cover your face, water to drink and goggles
  • Keep a flashlight and portable radio with you at all times
  • Tune in to a local radio station and listen for instructions

Your Family

  • Evacuate all family members
  • Make sure to designate a safe meeting place and contact person
  • Relay your plans to the contact person
  • Evacuate pets

Vehicles

  • Place vehicles in the garage, pointing out with keys in the ignition
  • Roll up the windows
  • Close the garage door, but leave it unlocked
  • Disconnect the electric garage door opener so that the door can be opened manually

Inside the House

  • Close all interior doors
  • Leave a light on in each room
  • Close fire-resistant drapes, shutters and venetian blinds
  • Turn off pilot lights
  • Move overstuffed furniture (couch/chair) to the center of the room

Outside the House

  • Place combustible patio furniture in the house or garage
  • Shut off propane at the tank or natural gas at the meter
  • Close all exterior vents if possible
  • Prop a ladder against the house to provide firefighters access to the roof
  • Make sure that garden hoses are connected to faucets, nozzles set to ‘spray’
  • Close all exterior doors and windows, leave exterior door unlocked
  • Turn on outside lights
  • If you have an emergency water source (pool/pond) clearly mark it

Essentials (to place in the car)         

  • Important documents (bank, IRS, trust, insurance, birth certificates, etc)
  • Credit and ATM cards
  • Medications
  • Prescription glasses
  • Driver’s license
  • Passports
  • Computer backup files
  • Inventory of home contents (photograph all rooms and contents of drawers, closets, cupboards)
  • Address book
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Personal toiletries
  • Change of clothing
  • Family photo albums and video/DVD’s
  • Family heirlooms
  • Pet food, water and bowls

This is a sample and fairly simple evacuation list; more detailed lists can be found online. Part of your evacuation plan should be to identify routes to safety from your home. If you live in a mountain community with limited access remember that also means limited escape routes. Please plan accordingly for traffic when all your neighbors reach the same conclusion to evacuate at the same time.

If possible and space allows many of these ‘emergency items’ could be packed in bins placed for easy access and quicker evacuation. The more organized the plan, the quicker it can be put into action.

From all of us at SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen to you, have a safe and fun summer!

No one PLANS for a disaster to happen…..

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

The phone rings and you walk away from running water filling a sink FOR JUST A SECOND… 

You warm the oven for dinner and find a plastic cutting board was too close to the heat… AFTER it has begun to burn, melt and fill your home with smoke… 

You went out of town for a week and walked back into a flooded home because a line to a toilet burst, now you are standing in 4 inches of running water and EVERYTHING is soaked … 

No one plans for these personal disasters! When life sends one your way, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen at 303-279-8055 for fast reliable help. We understand the need for prompt attention and our crews work quickly and thoroughly so damage doesn’t spread further than necessary.

SERVPRO here to help with water, fire, mold and more

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO ...helpful in so many ways

In February our crew was on site in Wheat Ridge, CO for a water loss. Materials had already been removed and drying equipment set, this was ‘just’ a monitoring visit. Our clients were an older couple, the wife was home while her husband ran errands. While communicating progress details to the wife, our technician noticed she looked unwell. Before he could ask if she needed help, she began dropping to the floor. Our quick reacting techs caught her before she fell and helped her to a nearby couch. Upon further questioning they realized she needed more help than just a couch. While one tech called 911 for EMT assistance, the other tech reached out to her husband. Our customer arrived safely at the hospital, her husband was able to meet her there and both were home the next day. SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen saving homes from water damage and saving lives.

SERVPRO ….Your First Choice in Mitigation Companies

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

We are ready to answer your call!

SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen is your local answer to life’s surprises.

Burst pipes? Kitchen fire? Over flowing sink? Backed up sewer pipe? Lurking mold? Dirty Carpets?

All in a day’s work for us! 

We are on call 24 ours a day, 7 days a week, even on Holidays! We personally answer each call, ready to respond to your emergency. 

SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen is a family owned, neighborhood business that takes pride in taking care of your home or office.

Each member of our team is an IICRC certified Water Restoration Technician, knowledgeable of the industries standards for water loss mitigation. Our crew has experience and training when it comes to safely and properly handling your water, fire, smoke or mold damaged home or business. 

Don’t delay, call 303-279-8055 for help with your emergency!

Don’t wait to call for help

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

24 hours a day we are just a call away!

A pipe burst Friday evening in Evergreen-

A sewer back up Saturday morning in Wheat Ridge-

A washing machine overflow Sunday afternoon in Golden-

While you may not need to panic in these scenarios, it is best if SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen is called to action as soon as possible. 

Prompt attention to a water loss can often help keep repair costs down. The longer water is in contact with drywall, wood, carpeting or tile, the more likely those materials will need to be removed and the more mold development is possible. Our specialized equipment can extract more water than an everyday shop vac, household fans and dehumidifiers are often not as effective as our industrial units. 

When the water comes from outside or sewer and main lines the possibility of contamination is high.

Our crews understand containing the damage to as small an area of your home as possible. Damaged drywall carries the possibility of asbestos contamination. Bringing in trained professionals right away can help limit damage, worries and the spread of contaminates into your home. 

Don’t delay, call for help today! 303-279-8055 24 hours a day/7 days a week!

After the fire…..

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

Flames and smoke cause different damage. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Golden, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen to help!

After you hang up with your insurance company, after the fire trucks pull away and you stand there looking at a charred room and realize your entire home smells of smoke thinking “Now what?”

Pick up the phone and call SERVPRO of Golden/Wheat Ridge/Evergreen as soon as possible. 

The first 48 hours after a fire loss can make the difference between being able to salvage materials and starting over from zero. Our seasoned team can start by boarding up windows or holes if necessary, to secure your structure. 

We understand there is the loss from fire, loss from smoke and soot, and the loss from water and chemicals used to extinguish the blaze. We understand each of these losses have their own remediation protocols and are trained and experienced in handling all these varied issues. Our crew will remove damaged building materials, clean remaining surfaces, eliminate odors and pack out your damaged belongings. We will then assess and, if possible, clean each remaining item and communicate with your insurance when belongings cannot be saved. 

When we are finished your home or business will be ready for reconstruction, fresh paint and finally, your move back in to reclaim your space “Like it never even happened.”