Recent Fire Damage Posts

What is Fire Legal Liability?

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What is Fire Legal Liability? A common kitchen fire can be devastating. Call the professionals at SERVPRO to make it like it never even happened.

Liability is a legal term used to describe responsibility. Here, liability refers to who will pay for fire damage.

Fire damage liability is included in most commercial general liability policies. It’s required in most cases. However, these policies only pay if the business is at fault for the damage.

There are limitations to fire legal liability coverage. Limitations may include low coverage limits; limited or no coverage for damaged property contents; or no coverage for auxiliary damages (e.g., water damage), which is common after a fire.

Lease agreements can stipulate that tenants are responsible for fire-related property damage regardless of how the fire damage occurs.

In cases were limitations apply, business owners could be on the hook for the total or remaining costs to repair damaged property.

Depending on your business and coverage needs, getting the right insurance can make all the difference after a major property disaster.

Find the Right Coverage

Fire damage legal liability is often overlooked in commercial general liability policies. Moreover, depending on how much space is rented (e.g., one office or an entire building) will help inform how much coverage is needed.

Businesses and individuals renting commercial space should purchase a general policy that covers liability due to any type of negligence that results in a fire or causes damage to another’s property.

Moreover, lease agreements should be reviewed carefully. The insurance clause defines the rights and obligations of each party and who purchases insurance, what coverage is required, financial limits, and so on.

How Can a Company like SERVPRO Help?

It’s in the best interest of a landlord or tenant to contact a professional restoration company after a fire.

First, fire damage leaves behind contaminants like soot and smoke smells, which can result in irritation or respiratory issues for some people. A fire damage repair company will have the tools and experience required to clean, sanitize, and rebuild damaged property to like-new condition.

Second, fire-damaged properties are easy targets for criminals. Security features are often damaged or destroyed, leaving a property vulnerable to vandalism and theft. If the property is dangerous and someone gets injured, property owners could face further legal problems.

Securing the property is faster and easier with a professional restoration team. They’ll board up entrance points, provide on-site power if needed, and erect temporary fencing to secure a perimeter.

Lastly, documentation is very important following property damage of any kind. Fire-damage experts work with insurance companies regularly and know what they’re looking for when compiling damage reports.

In some cases, the insurance company will pressure claimants to use an insurance-preferred vendor for cleanup and restoration.

However, these vendors don’t work for you, they work for the insurance company. This can be problematic after major fire damage.

By selecting your own restoration company, property owners can ensure they’re being represented fairly and accurately.

SERVPRO of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Counties is here to help you 24/7/365 with any fire damage and restoration issue.

Please call us at 970-259-6184

How to Deal With Smoke Odor in Your Durango Home

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Need help dealing with smoke odor in your home? Perhaps you had a small fire in your kitchen, or some Christmas lights caught on fire and you are now left with a smoky smell inside your home.  Well that is what I aim to help you out with, addressing the main points you need to know in effectively dealing with and eliminating smoke odor.  Proper smoke odor removal will entail a combination of tactics including cleaning, deodorizing, and sealing of materials.

The 4 steps to removing smoke odor in your home are:

Step 1 – Remove any and all burnt materials from your home (or area you are trying to rid smoke smell from). So long as the source of the smell (in this case burnt materials) is present, you will have a difficult time removing the smoky odor. If burnt areas or items can’t be removed (such as structural materials) then you may need to apply a sealant to the area which will lock in the odors.

Step 2 – Install an AFD (air filtration device) unit with carbon activated filters. An AFD unit with a HEPA filter is not enough and will not be efficient at removing smoke odors. Make sure you are equipping the AFD unit with carbon filters as these are what will absorb and trap the gases and odors.

Step 3- Clean all affected areas. This means all areas near and around the fire incident, including the actual area the fire took place in (do not use any water or wet cleaning in this step). In this process you want to get rid of all surface soot and dusts, depending on the type of fire you could vacuum some of it away. After you have tried vacuuming the larger particles you should then do some dry-chem sponge cleaning (you should be able to pick up these up at your local Home-Depot). The sponge will absorb remaining soot and smoke (working almost like an eraser) as opposed to smearing them, which is what wet cleaning would do.

Step 4 – Spray Deodorizers to all smoke affected areas.  In this step the aim is to penetrate the surface pores of affected areas with a deodorizing agent. You should be using a deodorizing agent geared towards smoke damage; Follow the instructions on how to mix up the chemical, get a spray bottle and spray all surfaces with it including walls and carpets (obviously do not spray it on water sensitive areas like electronics etc.) Let the solution sit and soak while it does its job. As the chemical dries you should be able to assess the situation and see if the smell is gone or if it needs another spray application. If this is not working effectively then it is likely because the fire was of a larger size and or higher heat, which may require a thermal fogging treatment. Thermal fogging replicates the heat like attributes of the fire which opens up the pores of building materials even more, however this should be reserved for the professionals.

There you have it, the 4 steps in dealing with smoke odors in your home. These steps should work well in situations where the severity of the smoke smell is low-medium. Again, for larger more severe type jobs you should be contracting a local property restoration company to take over the job and restore your home to its preloss condition.

SERVPRO of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Counties is here to help you 24/7/365 with any storm damage and restoration issue.

Please call us at 970-259-6184

Personal Possessions' Pack Out After Fire Damage in Durango

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Personal Possessions' Pack Out After Fire Damage in Durango Durango Area Wildfires Can Damage Houses--Call SERVPRO for Cleanup and Restoration

Durango Homes Benefit from SERVPRO Professional Cleanup and Restoration Services After a House Fire

When a fire disaster affects your Durango home, three major types of property suffer damage. The structural components of your house include framing, walls, floors, ceilings, stairs, roof, windows, and doors. Fixtures are “fixed” or semi-permanently attached to one or more of the structural components. Examples are cabinets, carpeting, paneling, sinks, toilets, lighting, and so on. Usually, these two categories of property remain on-site after fire damage, and we use strategies to clean and restore them in place.
 
A vast number of other possessions in your Durango home show signs of soiling or charring after fire damage. Books, documents, clothing, toys, bedding, window coverings, furnishings, exercise equipment, electronics, small appliances, dishes, utensils, pots, and pans are just some of the items commonly exposed to fire residues. Most of the articles on this list can be moved out of your home during the restoration process. Assessment, cleaning, and restoration takes place at our production facility or elsewhere on your property, This benefits the efforts made by the crews charged with the responsibility of restoring the house, opening up space and reducing concerns about contaminating the movable objects during structural cleanup.
 
We inventory all items moved off-site with labels or barcodes, useful for both insurance and chain of custody purposes. SERVPRO production facility specialists review the damage and work with you and your carrier to sort personal property, assigning each piece to a cleaning and restoring technique or disposal if too damaged or unwanted.
 
Clothing and other washable or dry cleanable fabrics are cleaned following smoke contamination protocols. Handling this without the proper cleaners and methods can set the smoky odors permanently. SERVPRO employees use a broad range of strategies mastered during the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training to remove soot residues and tarnish without harming the underlying materials. The approach changes with the type of material and the degree of heat and damage.
 
Many of your possessions might also have water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO technicians are proficient in water damage remediation as well, extracting the moisture and setting up contained drying and deodorization chambers for efficiency and better success. Even papers and books have excellent outcomes with innovative techniques like a vacuum freeze-drying process. Salvaging documents are probably the most challenging recovery to achieve, but we strive for restoration whenever feasible.
 
After your home is ready, the cleaned, dried, sanitized, and deodorized items packed out are then returned. SERVPRO employees help move the articles to their rightful places, “Like it never even happened.”
 
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties is just a call away at (970) 259-6184. Contact us immediately after you have clearance to begin cleanup in your fire-damaged home. We have solutions for all aspects of the devastation.

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Why Hire Durango Fire Damage Specialists

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Why Hire Durango Fire Damage Specialists Fire damage can be tricky to clean up and you may create more problems when you don't bring in the professionals immediately. Call SERVPRO right away.

SERVPRO Technicians Understand That You Have to Grasp How Different Materials Burn in Order to Cleanup Effectively After a Fire

It can be hard to invite a cleaning contractor into your Durango home if you pride yourself on handling your affairs. Some circumstances affecting your property are not advisable to clean up yourself, however, and fire damage is one of them for a variety of reasons. Engage our services for professional assistance to restore your home after a fire.
 
Fire damage in your Durango home is not comparable to any other catastrophe. Unlike the ordinary dust and food crumbs that have been seen when too long has gone between regular sweeping and vacuuming sessions, the residues left by fire are made up of incompletely combusted materials burned in flames. They range from food and grease to plastics, wiring, textiles, and wood, and many other substances. The material's composition changes at the molecular level during the fire. The soiling left behind is toxic and dangerous to disturb without specialized training or personal protective gear. Our fire damage teams have the equipment and the expertise needed.
 
The residues from a fire are also corrosive, quickly damaging the structural components and personal belongings in a home that survived the initial blaze. Speed is essential, as the damage is progressive and must be halted by cleaning and restoring techniques matched to the type of soot. Rapidly sorting, evaluating, and then choosing the correct strategy to clean every item and surface is a job requiring many hands. Even SERVPRO crews often decide to pack out some belongings to our production facility so that the home’s structure gets a thorough cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing without being sidetracked by the number of portable possessions also damaged.
 
You may believe that you save money and limit disturbance to your life by handling the cleanup yourself. The reality is that without training and experience it is unlikely that either vision happens. SERVPRO works with your insurance company, documenting the damage and the efforts made to recover your home and personal property, ensuring that your claims under your contract are paid. We emphasize restoration over disposal and replacement, a clearer path for us than a homeowner because of the familiarity we have with what can be accomplished with innovative methods and cutting-edge equipment.
 
SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma & San Juan Counties invest in efficient and adequate equipment and supports the continuous training of our technicians to carry out the fire damage restoration industry's best practices. Call (970) 259-6184 to schedule a consultation so we can show you what we can offer.

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Fire Investigation Assistance

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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

How to Get Smoke Odor Out of Fabric

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

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.

Fire Damage Essentials

9/25/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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.

WATER REMOVAL:

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.

Large Manufacturing Plant Fire in Mancos, CO

9/6/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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.

Rescuing the Unsalvageable

7/1/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Rescuing the Unsalvageable The true hero from the recent fire in Pagosa being restored to its' loveable state!

In our busy lives, we easily become consumed in our daily routine, often losing sight of what is truly important. It can sometimes take a significant event to bring us back into focus. That is why SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Co’s appreciate the moments that make us pause, allowing us to recognize how we can truly make a difference.

Recently, the town of Pagosa Springs suffered a major fire loss. This commercial structure housed a number of businesses, all of which were displaced—some temporarily closing, and some fortunately relocating other facilities. SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Co’s were contacted to help with the clean-up. Initially, we were focused on the processes involved with the mitigation: from the numerous levels of asbestos testing, the required state approval before ANY movement of debris, to the coordination of the machinery and drivers needed to transport debris to the disposal site.

In the midst of this process, a man, Lee, approached the Owner of SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Co’s saying that on that particular day, we were moving the debris where his office used to be. Lee explained that he was a counselor who worked mainly with children, and had an item of significance that he was hoping had survived the fire—a big stuffed bear that offered comfort and security as he guided these children through their troubles. Always more than willing to help, Owner, Keith Harlan, guided Lee through the debris field, digging in search of this much needed object. Eventually, the bear surfaced—covered in soot, black, dirty and far from the soft, white, fluffy bear it once was. Lee’s disappointment was evident, thinking it unsalvageable and soon to be discarded. 

However, SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Co’s always accepts a challenge and offered to bring the bear to our shop for some much needed TLC. Keith delivered the bear to our Content Specialist, Jennifer Nix, who went straight to work after hearing the story, excited to use some of her magic for such a special purpose. After some scrubbing with specialty SERVPRO cleaning products and a cycle through our commercial grade Esporta Wash System, the results were amazing!! We were honored to help restore this bear—contributing to the vital purpose of providing much needed love, support, and comfort in difficult times.

Thank you, Lee, for reminding us of what is truly important—it was our privilege to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Call us today for whatever disaster that may happen – (970) 259-6184 – We are here to help!!

Smoke Alarms DO Save Lives in Southwest Colorado

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarms DO Save Lives in Southwest Colorado Make sure YOUR smoke alarm is effectively operating on a regular basis!

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives and, when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.*

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees, or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Co's.

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement
  •  Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old

JUST THE FACTS: 

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working
  •  Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms

Even if a fire should occur in your Southwest Colorado home, call SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Co's for any assistance you may need - (970) 259-6184

*Statistics and tips provided by National Fire Prevention Association

Durango Area Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/20/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Durango Area Smoke and Soot Cleanup Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your La Plata County Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma, & San Juan Co's will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (970) 259-6184