Recent General Posts

Do You Know How Sprinklers Function During A Fire??

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers can assist with limiting the amount of damage your home or business sustains from a fire.

Fire sprinklers significantly reduce the extent of property loss and the risks to occupants of a commercial building. Read on to find out how a fire sprinkler can suppress or extinguish flames in a commercial property.

1. A sprinkler head turns on when it detects high temperatures. Fire sprinklers turn on when high heat triggers the system rather than being activated by smoke. Hot air rises during a fire and spreads across the ceiling until it reaches a sprinkler head and activates the fire suppression system. Many sprinkler head designs feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands when it comes into contact with air between 135 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid shatters the glass container when the surrounding air reaches temperatures in this range, activating the sprinkler head.

2. Sprinkler heads dispense pressurized water from the pipe system. Each fire sprinkler head is attached to a pipe that brings in water. When a sprinkler head becomes activated, a valve connected to the head opens and sends water out through the sprinkler head to douse the fire. Water pressure is important, as it causes water to spray out over a larger area.

3. Sprinkler heads function individually to limit water damage. Each sprinkler head in a sprinkler system functions separately. Many small fires can be extinguished with only one or two activated sprinkler heads. Sprinklers pose less of a water damage risk to a property than a fire hose. Some restoration specialists estimate that the average sprinkler system dispenses six times less water than a hose. A fire sprinkler can help to limit the amount of damage a commercial property sustains from either a fire or a fire suppression system. If you need to clean and restore damage caused by a fire or schedule fire sprinkler cleanup, contact a certified commercial restoration company.

SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor can offer you helpful assistance after a fire. CALL SERVPRO of GREELEY/WINDSOR, 970-353-1388.

10 Tips to Avoid Water Damage

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Check the Outside of Your Home

1. Disconnect Hoses Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe and create an ice block that, in a best-case scenario, stops your water flow. In the worst cases, it may bust your pipes and create damage to walls, floor and foundation.

2. Clean gutters and downspouts Clean your gutters at least twice a year to avoid blockage and ice dams. Standing water can cause damage to your gutters and roof, and unmanaged overflow may create puddles that could damage your foundation. Don't forget to clean downspouts to ensure water can flow through, and secure downspouts so that they point away from the home.

3. Maintain trees and vegetation Thriving shrubs can be a beautiful thing — except when their roots wrap around your pipes and break them. That's why it's important to minimize landscaping near utility pipes or, if necessary, remove trees and shrubs that have become too big.

Interior Measure to Prevent Water Damage

4. Know your water main Know the location of your water main, and shut it off if you leave for an extended amount of time. If no water goes in to the house, chances are no faucet drips or toilets can wreak havoc on your home while you're away

5. Check appliances Check and maintain your home appliances regularly for leaks, according to manufacturer's directions. 

6. Investigate leaks right away and fix promptly If you opt to ignore moisture damage or postpone making the necessary repairs, be prepared to experience mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage to your home. Keep in mind that homeowner's insurance provides coverage for damage that is sudden and accidental. Damage that results from lack of maintenance is not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy.

7. Upgrade washing machine hoses Old, brittle or leaky washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners. Replace yours regularly to avoid a mighty mess and expensive damage

8. Install water detection devices A water detector is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. Its main benefit is that it detects low moisture levels or slow leaks that often go unnoticed. Install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.

9. Check your water pressure If the water pressure to your home is set too high, pipes and hoses may fail under the pressure. Buy a water pressure gauge at a local hardware store, attach it to an outside faucet, and turn the faucet to full force. The gauge will give you a reading of the home’s water pressure. Typical residential water systems are designed for water pressure of 40 to 70 psi. If your home’s water pressure exceeds 100 psi, install a pressure regulator (which is available at hardware stores as well.) 

10. Monitor your water bill Sometimes, the only way you know that water is leaking is taking a closer look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next without explanation, put your "water detective hat" on. Is there a leak in your crawlspace? Or, is it a pipe in your front yard? Don't leave mystery leaks unattended!

What is an "Air Scrubber?"

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

We get this question a lot: "What is an air scrubber?"

We're happy to answer because we think they are phenomenal machines. They are simple, and they do their jobs very well.

An air scrubber is more appropriately referred to by professionals as an "air filtration device," or AFD. Simply put, it filters airborne particles out of the air, giving you cleaner air to breathe. The machines are used on many types of jobs, primarily mold remediation projects and water jobs where the use of fans can stir up dust and send particulate in the air.

"Scrubber" is a bit of a misnomer -- the machines don't really "scrub" anything. More appropriately, they trap airborne particulate in their filters, allowing filtered air to pass through the machine and re-enter the breathing environment. It's really the same concept as a water filter under your kitchen sink. A water filter removes unwanted particulate from your drinking water. An AFD does the same thing to the air we breathe.

The critical component of an air filtration device is a HEPA filter. The machine draws in air though the back side, pulls it through the HEPA filter, and the HEPA filter traps airborne particulate and returns to the breathing and varmints filtered air.

Do they work? Or are they just another way for contractors to run up a bill on a mold job or water job?  AFDs absolutely work.  A simple demonstration will prove it.  All we would need to do is take two readings from a laser particle counter, which is a hand-held device that measures the number of particles per volume of air. We could take one measurement on the "dirty" side of the AFD (e.g. the side of the AFD in which the air is entering) to measure the number of particles in the general environment; then we could take another measurement at the "clean" side (e.g. the side where the newly filtered air is coming out of the machine). The measurements will show drastic differences in particle counts.  The particle counts could be in the tens of thousands on the dirty side, and in the single digits on the clean side.  Seeing this demonstration is believing that AFDs absolutely remove airborne particulate from the air you breathe.

As mentioned above, AFDs are used most frequently on mold remediation projects. The reason is simple -- we want to remove airborne mold spores from the air you are consuming.  AFDs have many other uses as well.  For example, they can be used on deodorization projects.  Particulate in your air can produce odors. Trapping them with the HEPA-filtered AFD will remove them from the breathing environment and thereby remove the odor-producing elements from your environment.

Yes, AFDs can be expensive to employ. This is because HEPA filters are costly. HEPA filters are made of a refined product with tiny holes that are too small for particulate to pass through. These filters are "consumbables," meaning they are used and discarded. Unfortunately they cannot be recycled.  This is the key cost driver to consider when using AFDs.  On some occasions multiple HEPA filters may need to be used for each machine. More commonly, the HEPA filters can be used on a job without having to be changed out. 

If you, or a loved one, or business associate have  breathing or respiratory problems, give us a call at 970-353-1388.  We will be glad to come onsite and setup an AFD -- cleaning your air (or more accurately stated, "removing particulate from your air") could go a long way to improving the way someone feels!

IICRC Certified Firm

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greeley Windsor is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor

SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

The SERVPRO Greeley/Windsor Team

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • OSHA - 40-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician

Using Thermal Imaging Technology on Water and Fire Losses

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

These two infrared images show where water from an unattended bathtub overflow in an upstairs room had entered the space between the floors and pooled
  • Detecting a temperature difference behind a wall can save big bucks and time by avoiding the need for demo, and an idea where the source of water problem may lie, or if heat spots are detected in the event of a fire loss.
  • Temperature difference does not always indicate moisture or water. It could be cool air from outside, so it requires some skill to determine if it’s one thing or another.
  • Thermal cameras serve to guide the user to the cold spots usually associated with moisture. Moisture spots, where evaporation is happening, tend to be cooler, just like humans sweating.
  • Most commonly, thermal imaging is used to find the source of a roof leak, condensation issues, leaking pipes, or air flow issues.
  • In areas where moisture problems are abundant, like Seattle, the reasons for moisture can be very, very different, but the end consequence is moisture in the space, which can deteriorate the structure, and trigger mold growth.



Steps You Can Take To Avoid Winter Property Damage in Greeley

10/17/2014 (Permalink)

Prevent Damage from icicles on gutters

Winter is a season that comes with many hazards. Your home could be damaged in any number of ways because of snow, ice or other issues. You need to take steps to protect your house in Greeley. There are a few things that you should do to avoid winter property damage.

Keep Gutters Clean

 The first step is to make certain that your gutters are clean and attached firmly to the house. Gutters filled with debris can capture water. The water will freeze and create an ice dam. An ice dam can break the gutters apart. It could even punch holes in the fascia or roof of the house in Windsor. Maintaining and cleaning your gutters will prevent an ice jam from forming.

Ventilate the Attic

Your attic needs to be properly ventilated. This could mean installing an attic fan. An unventilated attic will generate a large amount of heat. This heat will melt the snow on the roof and the top sides of the house in Loveland. Melting snow will work down the walls and refreeze in another location. This can lead to an ice dam in the gutters. It could also lead to structural damage to the exterior walls if the melting water gets into holes or cracks. Always ventilate the attic so that it remains cold.

Protect the Pipes

Frozen pipes can cause many problems in the home. You want to make sure that all of the pipes that are outside the home, near exterior walls or in unheated spaces are insulated. You might also want to get a pipe heating system if the temperatures are below freezing on a regular basis. Be certain to keep the heat in the house running so that the pipes do not freeze around sinks. Additionally, if it is exceptionally cold outside in Berthoud, then open up the cabinets under the sinks to let warm air reach the pipes.

Cut Down Dead Branches

Snow and ice are very heavy. Any snow or ice that accumulates on a dead or unstable branch of a tree can cause that branch to break off and fall. A falling branch could pierce the roof, break a window or injure someone on the property. In Fort Morgan you should cut down any dead branches before winter starts. You should also consider pruning back any unstable or diseased branches that might fall.

Seal Exterior Holes

Water from snow or melting ice can sometimes make it into small cracks or gaps on the exterior of the home or the roof in Greeley. The water will freeze inside of these gaps and expand. This can cause serious damage and cracking. You will want to examine the exterior and roof of your home. Seal any gaps or cracks so that water cannot get inside. This will protect your home from damage.

SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor Professionals provide fire and water damage restoration services. SERVPRO of Greeley/Windsor proudly serves Greeley, Windsor, Loveland, Berthoud, Fort Morgan, and surrounding areas. We are available 24 hours/7 days a week and are ready to restore damage to your home or commercial structure caused by: