Protect Your Investment by Inspecting Your Crawlspace
Over time crawlspaces need maintenance.
Crawl Spaces in the Durango and Pagosa Springs area
Many homes in southwest Colorado are built on crawlspaces. The unique topography of these mountains can create issues for our homes. Snow load, water runoff, and rising water tables need to be dealt with to maintain your property.
If maintained properly, crawlspaces have advantages over other types of construction.
- It gets the house above the ground, an important point in damp areas.
- It is less expensive than a basement, and comparable to the price of a slab foundation.
- Duct work, plumbing, and electrical can run in the crawl space, which makes them easier to service, and move if necessary.
Proper crawl space maintenance begins outside your home
- Adequate drainage on your property, keeps water away from your foundation.
- Re-evaluate your landscaping to keep heavy snows from forcing water under your home
- Rising water tables could necessitate a sump pump system to divert water from your crawlspace.
- Building codes typically require a minimum of 6" fall in ground level; over a distance of 10 feet from the perimeter of the building. Depending on the topography of your property in this area, this may not be adequate.
- In addition, inspect for the following:
- Depressions that collect ground water near the house.
- Off-site surface water that flows onto the property.
- Inadequate building offset from adjacent steep slopes, which generate increased surface water run-off.
- Malfunctioning downspouts or improper downspout installation.
Crawlspaces can be either ventilated or unventilated
- Ventilated crawlspaces should have:
- A minimum of 1 square foot of venting for every 150 square feet of crawlspace area.
- Plastic sheeting covering the entire crawlspace, with proper overlap, for effectively controlling ground moisture.
- Unventilated crawlspaces require:
- Seals to prevent air leakage between outdoor air and the crawlspace.
- Damp-proofed and insulated perimeter walls.
- Plastic sheeting covering the entire crawlspace, with proper overlap, for effectively controlling ground moisture.
Periodic inspections of your crawlspace are recommended.
Items to inspect for are:
- Standing water on top of vapor barrier.
- Condensation or leaks on water pipes or ductwork.
- Muddy soil.
- Staining on walls from water or efflorescence.
- Sagging or missing insulation.
- Plumbing leaks.
- Musty/moldy or foul odors.
- Deteriorated vapor barrier.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties is here to help you 27/7/365 with any water or mold issues in your crawlspace.
Please call us at 970-259-6184.
Biohazard Cleanup in Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Counties
When things are at their worst, call SERVPRO
Biohazard cleanup is also known as crime scene cleanup or trauma scene cleanup. SERVPRO of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Counties biohazard professionals provide this supportive service for victim's families. During an emotional period for the customer, SERVPRO biohazard professionals have developed a keen sense of how to interact with the customer, providing a level of service and compassion that victim's families need in a difficult situation. While the police and other responders may spend limited time with the family members, SERVPRO cleaning professionals work around the family longer to perform the cleaning and restoration of the scene.
Through our service we help the family make a step beyond the tragedy, to hopefully carry on with their lives. Our technicians work with respect and compassion, and are trained & certified in all facets of property damage restoration and cleaning.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Counties is here to help you 24/7/365 with any biohazard cleanup issue.
Please call us at 970-259-6184.
Fire Investigation Assistance
A fire investigation team scours the remains of a home fire near Durango, Colorado to determine the source of the blaze.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is often contracted to provide support services for private fire investigation teams.
After a large fire loss many questions need to be answered such as:
- What was the source of the fire?
- Were there any fire accelerants present?
- Was there negligence or arson activity?
- Was it a mechanical/structural issue or human error?
Local fire departments, private insurance companies, gas and power company representatives and many others are called upon to investigate the scene of the fire and do their best to answer these and many other questions. This process can take from a few days to several weeks.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties will set up a containment fence around the perimeter of the property and install any needed wind and/or erosion control barriers. We will bring on site portable restrooms and any heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes and skid steers that are requested by the investigation team. We provide the investigators with a mobile office, generators for power, lights and computers, hard hats, gloves, respirators, eye protection, water, coffee and miscellaneous office supplies.
Providing the fire investigation team with all the resources necessary to accurately and quickly determine the cause of the fire, helps streamline the entire insurance claims process, ensuring the reconstruction is started sooner for the property owners, so they can get back to living Like It Never Even Happened.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is here to help with all fire damage and remediation issues. Please call us anytime at 970-259-6184
Top Hidden Places Where Mold May Grow in Your Home
Mold growth on a ceramic tile shower surround in Durango, CO.
Mold primarily thrives in damp, humid areas, such as basements, showers or areas around heating and cooling appliances. However, there are many places where mold may be silently hiding. It's these unseen areas that can lead to significant damage from mold making it important to check them regularly for signs of moisture or condensation. In no particular order, here are the top places where mold can grow in your home:
Most homeowners never look into their crawlspace, but they might want to. Crawlspaces can easily collect moisture from water rising from the ground or seeping through the foundation. The presence of a vapor barrier will help keep the ground moisture from intruding into the crawlspace. Adequate ventilation also allows any moisture that may collect to flow out. Failure to keep the moisture out and have effective air-flow in your crawlspace can result in mold growth on the exposed framing of your home. The mold can eventually lead to excessive damage to all wood surfaces and slowly make its way into the home
Basements are similar to crawlspaces. However, since they are open and exposed to the rest of the house, mold can quickly spread throughout your home via the air ducts and open doors. If your basement smells musty, you may have mold growth already happening or the high possibility of it occurring. Since many basements are furnished and carpeted, there are more areas to trap moisture, making them even more susceptible to mold growth when compared to a crawlspace.
A good ventilation fan is important in a bathroom, not only for the odor issues, but for moisture as well. This is especially true with bathrooms where there are showers in them. While everybody loves a hot shower, the steam created from the hot water also generates a large amount of moisture that can easily lead to mold growth. Another area where mold may grow is behind toilets and under sinks with cabinets. Moisture can condensate on the toilet tank or base causing mold to form on the wall or where it is affixed to the floor. Â Even a small amount of water that escapes from the plumbing underneath the bathroom sink can be enough to initiate mold growth.
Under the Refrigerator
Some refrigerators have drip pans where water can collect. If dust or debris get into the drip pan, mold can start to grow. Water can also leak from the water line to the ice maker, or drip from the cooling coils. Sweeping or vacuuming any vents or drip pans, as well as checking any lines or connections should be performed on a regular basis.
Around the Washing Machine
The washing machine and the dryer are both susceptible to mold growth. If the dryer vent hose does not properly vent out the steam from the drying clothes, it can accumulate in the hose or around the back of the dryer causing mold to grow. Washing machines can also leak and drip down under the machine where dust can gather creating the perfect home for mold growth. Just like the refrigerator, it's important to keep the areas clean and check underneath them often.
Top Ways to Reduce Mold Growth in Your Home
So now that you know where mold growth can happen, how can you reduce the likelihood of mold growing in your home? As stated above, it's important to keep your home clean of dust by sweeping and vacuuming on a regular basis. While dust doesn't necessarily cause mold to grow, dust along with moisture can. The dust may inhibit the needed ventilation and air flow, and excess moisture accelerates mold growth.
The most important thing to remember when reducing the chance of mold growth from happening in your home, is the need to control and eliminate any source of excess moisture. Regularly check for leaks and condensation problems around sinks, appliances, and air conditioning units. If you have a musty basement, ensure that a vapor barrier is free from rips or tears and make sure your sump pump is operating properly. You may also want to consider a ventilator fan to facilitate air flow and reduce any moisture in the air. If water seems to be seeping in outside from the basement walls or crawl space foundation, you'll want to look at the drainage around your home.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties is here to help you 24/7/365 with any mold damage and restoration issue.
Please call us at 970-259-6184.
How to Get Smoke Odor Out of Fabric
After experiencing a fire loss in your home, there may be a lingering smell of smoke, especially in any upholstery items. The harder, nonporous surfaces can have the smoke odors easily removed with simple, everyday cleaning solutions. However, removing smoke odors from more porous surfaces like fabric couches, rugs, draperies, and clothing becomes much more difficult. So, how does one remove these smoke odors from porous surfaces from your home?
The Baking Soda Method
Using baking soda to eliminate smoke odors seems to be a popular method. The idea is to sprinkle baking soda onto the surface and the baking soda will absorb the odors. While this may work with surface odors, this doesn't work well to get deep-seated smoke odors out of the foam cushions of sofas and the carpet pads under carpets.
Airing It Out
Another popular remedy to get the smoke out is to set the furniture or rug out in the fresh air. While this may work for a rug or thin fabric, it most likely won't help with thicker upholstery items like sofas and fabric furniture. Also, due to the chemical nature of smoke, airing it out won't cause the odorous smoke particles to break down and dissipate.
The Best Way to Remove Smoke Odor
If you are looking for the most effective way to remove smoke odor from fabrics and porous surfaces, then you will want to call a professional fire remediation company like SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Counties. We have specialized equipment, like our ozone generators, which are able to oxidize the particles residing in porous surfaces causing residual odor. An ozone generator creates a high level of ozone, which contains three atoms of oxygen, rather than the naturally occurring two atoms we normally breathe. Ozone is a powerful sterilizer, able to destroy the particulates in bacteria, viruses, and odors, utilizing its short life cycle and unstable composition. When the ozone is released into a contaminated environment, the odorous particles connect with the extra oxygen atom and, through oxidation, become completely destroyed and consumed, leaving only non-odorous (and breathable) oxygen behind. Our highly trained SERVPRO® technicians are certified and trained to safely operate all of our specialized mitigation equipment as well as utilize our industry specific cleaning products.
Please call today for any odor removal needs!
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties
24/7/365 at 970-259-6184.
Post Flood Essentials
Water damage to a hotel ceiling in Pagosa Springs, CO
Nobody expected that the creek could rise that far, it never had before. Now, the house is a muddy mess of debris, water and extensive damage. For some people, moving would be the first thought that came to mind. However, others want to stay in their homes, repair the water damage and live on in the house that they love.
Flood damage is more than just the standing water left after the creek recedes. It's ruined carpets and furniture, wet plaster and more. Water in the home or business is just the start of the problems. Without proper clean-up and sanitization, further problems develop, mold can grow, floor damage can be permanent, and drywall can be ruined. It is imperative to immediately start the mitigation and restoration process to help limit the damage and mounting costs. A call to a professional water mitigation company should be the first step taken by a home owner after flooding occurs. SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is here to help you 24/7/365 with any water damage and restoration issues.
Water cleanup begins with bringing in equipment to extract the water in the home. Pumps and specialized vacuums are used to suck up the water. Restoration is a process. Once the puddles have been cleared, the next step will begin. The water damage will be in the walls, floors and furnishings. Drying is imperative to help stop the damage and to prevent mold from growing.
Air movers, dehumidifiers and other specialized equipment will be brought in to help dry out the water in walls, and moisture from furnishings and floors. Thoroughly drying water in the home will save thousands of dollars worth of damage later.
Restoration from the devastation of flood damage is not an easy experience. A professional service should be called to handle and help facilitate the process so that it is done correctly. For instance, not many individuals would know that after the water in their business or home is dried, more steps are still necessary to properly complete the job. Sanitizing the surfaces, furnishings and anything else the water touched is essential to prevent any potential of mold growth.
Standing water can leave a foul odor. Professionals can remove the lingering odors left even after the water cleanup. Mitigation professionals are equipped with specialized fogging equipment and industrial air scrubbers to help remove the last traces of the water damage.
After the restoration process of water cleanup, drying, sanitizing and odor elimination, there is still one last step in the water damage mitigation process repairs. Water can damage walls, carpeting and flooring. Drywall may need to be replaced. Electrical outlets and wiring should be checked for damage. Water may have warped sub-flooring, damaged floor joists and wrecked major appliances. Time is money, so flood damage needs to be taken care of as quickly as possible. Quick, yet thorough mitigation, will get a business back up and running, or a family back if their home, after flood damage has occurred.
Storms, floods, and even appliance malfunctions (like a dishwasher overflow) can cause homes and businesses the headaches of having to deal with the water cleanup process. Nobody wants to go through it, but when it happens a person shouldn't go through it alone. Professionals who know how to deal with the devastation left behind are the best option for a quick, safe restoration. Since professional water damage restoration companies have the equipment and training to handle cleaning, drying and even rebuilding homes and businesses, they should be the first choice for mitigation.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is here to help you 24/7/365 with any water damage and restoration issue. Please call us at 970-259-6184.
Mold Removal and Remediation Guidelines
Mold growth on exposed floor joists in a basement in Durango, CO.
Mold is a silent culprit that invades homes and businesses that experience excessive moisture due to floods, leaky water pipes, or even undetected plumbing problems. It can be found on almost any surface where moisture is present. Sometimes it grows undetected for long periods on wood, drywall, paper, insulation, and deep inside carpets and padding underneath. When excessive moisture is undiscovered and uncontrolled, the result is growth of mold in a home or business. Mold only needs a good supply of moisture and oxygen to flourish. Even though it may be impossible to eliminate all mold completely indoors, it can be successfully handled by controlling the presence of moisture. However, if persistent infestation exists, it may become necessary to seek the services of a reputable mold remediation specialist. These professionals understand the process of proper mold mitigation and mold removal. They investigate the extent of the mold damage and determine the primary cause.
When to Hire a Professional:
Once mold is discovered in a home or business, it is time to seek professional assistance. SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is here to help. Mold is a serious problem that cannot be ignored or delayed. It will only get worse if left untreated. The first step is to arrange for a professional mold inspection by a reputable, certified remediation specialist. If a mold problem is detected a mold remediation company should begin the clean-up process and mold mitigation. The cleanup begins with the removal of all mold, mildew, and fungus infested materials.
Insurance Coverage Limitations:
If the mold, mildew or fungus infestation is a direct result of some emergency that is covered by a homeowner's insurance policy, the insurance may be required to pay. An example of this might be a broken drainpipe or water heater problem. The insurance company will investigate to determine the direct cause of the mold to determine if it is covered by a regular homeowner's policy. Mold resulting from floodwater is only covered if a separate flood policy was written. Most expenses incurred for mold damage and mold removal are not covered by insurance.
Types of Mold:
There are a variety of types of mold. The most common found in a home or business are fungus and mildew. A more severe and serious type is black mold. All types of mold can grow behind walls causing a smelly odor that requires deodorization techniques to eliminate. Once a smelly odor is detected in an area, mold damage may already have occurred. The first indication that mildew or fungus exists is the smelly odor that is present with commercial mold damage and mold in the home as well. This requires an extensive deodorization process.
Professional Mold Removal and Mitigation:
To prevent further mold damage, professionals employ extensive mitigation techniques to eliminate the moisture source as they go about the process of mold removal. Some professionals use a thermal fogging system that works by combining a deodorizer with a fresh scent in the process of deodorization. When there is extensive commercial mold damage, experts recommend opening windows, running ceiling fans, and operating exhaust fans to help disperse bad smells that were created by the mold.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is here to help you 24/7/365 with any mold damage and restoration issue.
Please call us at 970-259-6184
Fire Damage Essentials
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan counties responds to commercial, multi-tenant and single family home fires.
When a fire loss occurs, immediate assistance from a profession fire damage restoration company is essential. Any delay in getting professional help could result in further damage and the need for costly repairs.
After a residential or commercial fire damage, the probability of further damage due to standing water or excessive moisture is higher. It is imperative that you protect your investment by acting fast to get professional help.
Smoke is a byproduct of fire and because it is acidic, it is capable of causing corrosion and staining of surfaces such as counters and walls. In some cases, there is extensive smoke and soot damage, which need to be addressed appropriately.
The methods used to extinguish fires in homes and businesses leads to excess water in the affected area. Fire cleanup professionals, like SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties, provide fast services for smoke and soot damage, as well as get rid of the lingering smoke smell.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
- Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties
- Open all the windows to get air moving to decrease the smoke smell
- Move kids and pets to a smoke-free area. Move them to a relative's or friend's home until the fire cleanup or restoration is complete
- Inventory your belongings. Make a list of the contents of your home or business that need replacing. Taking pictures of the affected items or damage is a good idea. You will need these for insurance claims purposes, and for your own records.
THE INITIAL ASSESSMENT:
Fire cleanup professionals enter the property to conduct the necessary assessment and determine how to approach the situation. During the assessment, they will be able to provide an approximate estimate for the fire cleanup.
FILING THE INSURANCE CLAIM:
SERVPRO fire damage restoration teams can also help to you through the insurance claims process. They will be able to provide much needed communication and details about your home or commercial fire damage to your insurance adjuster. This gives you immediate access to money to pay for fire damage restoration services. They will answer your questions, address your concerns, and explain the entire process to you. They get everything taken care of so you can get back to your normal life.
The most important step for remediation is removing all water left in the home or business. Standing water increases the risk of weakening the framing and support. Fire damage restoration professionals use state-of-the-art vacuums and high powered dryers to remove all water and moisture from the area.
ELIMINATING DAMAGED MATERIALS:
Our fire cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Counties will remove all damaged materials and lingering smoke smell using appropriate protocol. They wear protective clothing and remove the materials prior to beginning the fire cleanup efforts. A thorough cleaning of all areas of your property affected by the fire, smoke damage, soot damage and any remaining smoke smell will be performed in order to make it Like it Never Even Happened.
REPUTABLE FIRE DAMAGE TEAM:
Dealing with a fire in your business or home is something most property owners have never had to experience. Restoration teams deal with this type of crisis often and know exactly how to handle the situation. It is crucial that a highly experienced and dedicated restoration team of professionals can get in quickly to provide the fire cleaning service. Experienced technicians have great expertise in mitigating the damage created after a fire.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan counties is here to help 24/7/365 with any fire damage and restoration issues. Please call us at 970-259-6184.
Rico, Colorado City Hall Building has Bats in the Belfry
Bats roost in the attic of the City Hall Building in Rico, CO.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties was recently contacted by officials from the town of Rico, CO inquiring about pest mitigation. Bats have been roosting in the attic space of the City Hall building for years and they were becoming a nuisance due to noise and the bat guano odor.
Zac Fosco, our production manager, went onsite to investigate this batty situation. Zac has previous bat eradication experience from a job we performed at a historic church in Vallecito, CO several years ago. While bats scare a lot of people there is very little risk of actually getting bitten or attacked by the bats. The most pertinent risk is exposure to Histoplasmosis, a leading cause of lung infections around the world. Histoplasmosis is a disease that results from inhalation of spores of the fungus Histoplasma Capsulatum. The fungus is found naturally in the environment, and breathing in the microscopic, airborne spores from the fungus can cause lung infections. Based on this knowledge, Zac decided to wear full Personal Protective Equipment including a MultiGuard coverall suit and a Full Face Powered Air Purifying Respirator to investigate the attic space.
When Zac entered the dark attic space and pointed his flashlight toward the ceiling, he was met with hundreds of pairs of shining eyes reflecting back at him! Undaunted by the peering eyes and occasional fly by, Zac completed a full survey and assessment of the attic space and cleanup project.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties was recently awarded the project and will begin mitigation next week.
The bats are federally protected so there is no option to use any type of poison. Bat exclusion techniques, such as sealing all openings, installing spring loaded one-way doors that allow the bats to exit but not return, ozone deployment and other methods will be utilized to rid the bats from the belfry before cleanup begins.
We will post additional blogs on this batty project as it progresses.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties can help with any pest eradication and cleanup issue you may have. Please call us 24/7 at 970-259-6184.
Large Manufacturing Plant Fire in Mancos, CO
Large excavation equipment begin demolition after severe fire damage to a manufacturing plant in Mancos, Colorado.
No job is too big for SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties!
A large manufacturing plant in Mancos, CO recently suffered a devastating fire incident. No injuries were reported as 10 different fire departments within a 90-mile radius arrived to battle the blaze which continued to smolder for several weeks. The vast majority of structures were severely damaged and unsalvageable. Asbestos testing required by Colorado Reg 8 was performed and a licensed Asbestos Abatement Contractor was brought onsite to safely remove and dispose of all materials that tested positive. The site required full demolition and all scrap material/debris hauled off to be disposed of properly.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties was able to obtain all the proper permits and mobilize all the resources necessary to complete the project:
- Skilled Labor
- Heavy Equipment Operators
- Multiple Heavy Track Excavators
- Rock Crusher
- Large Trash Roll Offs
- Large Hauling Trucks
The SERVPRO team is taking care to recycle materials whenever possible. Steel beams, panels and production equipment are being hauled to a metal recycling company. The concrete foundations, floors and slabs will be crushed onsite into rubble for road base material to be used in future construction at the plant.
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties is excited to take on this high-profile project and be a part of restoring the vitality of the Mancos, CO community after this catastrophic fire.
We will post additional Blogs with status updates as this large-scale project progresses.
We are here to help with any fire damage incident you may have. Please call us anytime at 970-259-6184.