Recent Posts

Causes of a basement flooding in your Cortez Home

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

flooded basement flooded basement

If you have a frequently flooding basement, it's not just water damage you need to worry about—basement flooding can cause mold, mildew, and other health hazards. Identifying the causes of flooding can help you prevent water damage, save your property, eliminate the risk, and keep your basement dry.

Sump Pump Failure

A sump pump is installed in a basement or crawlspace in a sump pit to keep the area dry and prevent floods under the building. 

A torrential downpour or a power outage can lead to a sump pump failure and cause groundwater to flood the basement through the sump pit. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure your sump pump maintenance regularly.

Another explanation is tree roots breaking into your mainline (sewer line) and causing a backup. In this case, you might need to have your sewer line jetted. This highly effective method thoroughly cleans your sewer line and keeps roots growing back for up to 7 years. Here's everything you need to know about hydro jetting.

Location of Your Home

If your yard or the land around your home does not slope away from your home, you may be more likely to have a flooded basement. Your home benefits from being in an area where no excess water from storms, melting snow, or other natural weather patterns will cause water damage. If you notice any depressions around your property where water may pool, fill them in with clay-type soil. To level the lower areas around your home and may help direct water away from your home.

Poor Weatherproofing

During a home's construction, walls, floors, and foundations must be waterproofed with a sealant to avoid water leakage and flooding. But over time, sealants deteriorate, and leaks can sneak through the cracks. If your basement floods during most rainstorms, this might be a good time for a waterproofing upgrade.

Water Pooling

Water pooling around the foundation can cause significant damage. Gravity will pull water down, and it will find a way into your basement. A lack of adequate grading, or clogged gutters and downspouts, can lead to water running down the walls of your home and property to gather at your foundation.

Improper Drainage System

The drain tile is a draining pipe used for underground water collection. It's built under the basement floor level around the building to ensure water moves away and doesn't seep into your home.

If weeping tile fails or degrades over time, the basement may experience flooding, especially without proper waterproofing.

When your basement floods or you need help with any water damage emergency, SERVPRO of Durango has a team of restoration technicians on call 24/7. Call us today at 970-259-6184. We'll make it look "Like it never even happened."

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR BASEMENT FLOODS

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

a guy standing in a Flooded Basement a guy standing in a Flooded Basement

Basements are vulnerable to flooding because they're built partially, if not entirely below ground. For this reason, basement floods can occur outside of rainy seasons and rapid snowmelts at any time of year, even when the weather conditions are dry.  Here are some tips on how to proceed.

  • Shut off any power around the area, including electricity and gas. Never enter a flooded area while the power is on. Call an electrician before entering the room if you aren't sure how to shut these areas off. 
  • Try to determine the source of the water. For example, if it is a burst pipe, make sure the water main is off. It can also be excessive rainfall since those are two top reasons your basement may flood. 
  • Call your home insurance company and report the flood if you have flood insurance. Confirm your coverage limits, deductible amount, and claim procedures. 
  • If your basement has a floor drain, check that it didn't become clogged during the flood. Keeping it open and functioning will help drain the water. 
  • Find a way to remove or pump water out of the basement before the water comes up through the ground and enters the home, causing flooding in the basement and other parts of the house.  
  • Remove any items, like furniture, that appear damaged by the water and move them to a space where they can dry. If the drying process on items takes longer than a couple of days, unfortunately, they may not be salvaged. All things should be monitored for mildew growth.
  • Get the air moving in the basement to dry it out. Open windows and doors to get as much ventilation as possible, and place fans around the room for air circulation and speed drying time.

Our SERVPRO team of Durango are Professionals in water damage restoration. We are your best option to efficiently and thoroughly inspect your home of standing water and get it cleaned up quickly. Several potential problems could arise from waiting to address standing water in your house.

Give our SERVPRO of Durango a call today at 970-259-6184. We'll make it look "Like it never even happened. "

Prepare for the Unexpected: Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

In this blog, we will cover steps you can take to prepare your business for the unexpected so that you can reduce your downtime and losses.

Protect Your Data

If you are like most businesses, you have a lot of data or information saved on your computers. You may have billing, contacts, payroll, taxes, and other documents saved on your computers. You may have CAD files or photos or other data for your clients’ projects. Needless to say, you probably would lose some money and perhaps lots of money if the data on your computers were destroyed.

While you may not be able to save everything that you and your staff do on your computers, you can save and recover most of it if you save your data in the cloud at an offsite server facility. There are many companies out there that provide backup and recovery services for businesses. It’s important that once you do choose a backup provider, that you use it. Many businesses learn too late that they aren't backing up their data on a regular basis.

Plan for Loss of Power

Is your business capable of operating if you lose power? It’s not uncommon for Indiana businesses to lose power after big storms. If your business requires power to operate, you may want to have generators available to provide emergency power. You may just need them for lights or you may need them to power heaters or air conditioners in order to protect your inventory from extreme temperatures.

It’s important to create a plan of what to power in order to ensure you have enough generators and enough fuel to keep the emergency power going for a few days. You don’t want to not have enough power or run out of fuel after 6 hours.

Plan to Work Off Site

If your business is flooded or destroyed by a tornado, can it operate elsewhere? If your business works mainly online, then operating your business from laptops at home or elsewhere may not be too much of an inconvenience. If you rely on equipment or materials that are stored at your business, operating remotely may be a little more difficult. Still, it is a good idea to consider creating a contingency plan in the event that your business site is inaccessible. Are there other locations that your business could operate in an emergency? Are there jobs that can be done while your business site is closed? Having these plans planned in advance can help your business avoid any long down times.

Develop An Emergency Plan

As discussed in the previous section, having an emergency plan can save you time and money. Your emergency plan should be available and shared with all of your employees. It needs to contain phone numbers and/or a phone tree so everyone can be kept up to date. It needs to include what to do in case the office is closed. It should include what steps to take if your business is damaged. If you are a large business, you may want to delegate critical recovery roles to certain team members. An effective emergency plan should be thorough and precise and leave no one guessing what to do next.

After The Storm - Hire the Commercial Restoration Pros

One of the first steps you should take after your business has been damaged by flood waters, storms, and/or a tornado is to call the commercial restoration professionals at SERVPRO® of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Counties. We have the tools and expertise to handle any size disaster. Whether it is water damage, fire damage, or other storm damage, they can get to work right away so you can get back to business as usual as soon as possible. Give them a call the next time your business suffers the unexpected from a natural disaster.

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

Please call us at 970-259-6184

Taking Care Of Your Oily Rags This Summer

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

This innocent rag could add much unneeded stress to your household projects this summer.

The higher temperatures and clear weather make for a great time to work around the house or in the yard. Among these common activities, re-staining a deck is certainly one of them. Both easy and cost-effective, staining a deck is a great way to add to the look of your new paint job or revive a decades-old deck that has been through one too many Durango area winters. But what if staining your deck could lead to you losing everything you own? It's possible-- and those oily rags you have piled nearby could be the unlikely culprit.

Oil-based stains are very common and can be found in thousands of stores across the country. Though something that is so common, and under normal circumstances very safe, can also become a massive fire danger if not stored properly while working outside. These oily rags can auto-ignite if they become too hot, leaving your deck and the home it's attached to in danger of going up in flames. To help you make sure this never happens, here is a list of things you can do to keep your outdoor staining projects safe this summer:

1)Never store oily rags in a pile. 

2)Store the rags in an airtight, metal container.

3) Always read the manufacturer's warnings on the product itself.  

4) If you must set a rag down, never let it sit too long.

5)For disposal, always contact your local waste management before simply throwing the rags away. 

In this situation, as in many others, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do not wait until you have experienced a fire to take these easy steps and continue to enjoy your summer free of fire! 

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

You Can Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Storms, floods, fires, the unknown- you can’t know when disaster will strike but you can be prepared. Ready.gov suggests having a plan and a disaster supply kit.

A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.

Ready.Gov Suggest the Following Steps for Preparing Your Kit:

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.

Basic Disaster Kit

To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)

Since Spring of 2020, the CDC has recommended people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu.

  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces

Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

For More Details and information Visit: https://www.ready.gov

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

Flooding and Sewage Back-up Prevention

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

If your home or business is located in an area subject to periodic flooding or where sewage backups have occurred it’s important to implement preventive or proactive measures to prevent and/or minimize the nature and extent of flooding and back-up damage.

Preventive Actions:

  1. Waterproofing the building foundation and/or sealing cracks in foundation floor or walls
  2. Installation of a check valve or shut-off valve on the building sewer close to where it enters the structure.
    **Make sure you check with the proper sewer authority prior to taking this action!
  3. Raising or removing any sink, toilet, washing machine, etc. in the basement that may be subject to backups when the sewer system surcharges.

Proactive Actions:

  1. Purchasing or installing a sump pump to pump out water that collects in the low point of the basement
  2. Ensure that building gutter downspouts and drains are directed away from the foundation and toward low points away from the structure
  3. Try to keep furniture and valuables above flood levels where flooding has previously occurred
  4. If minor flooding occurs, follow the water to its point-of-entry and seal cracks or defects to the extent possible.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

Please remember flood insurance is also vitally important where properties are known to be in floodplains or flood prone areas.

More information on prevention and flood insurance is available on the FEMA website.

SERVPRO® of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Countiesr 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. 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.

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

Please call us at 970-259-6184

4 Tips Before Burning Yard Waste

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Approximately 85% of wildfires in the United States are started accidentally by humans. One of the major causes of these wildfires is the improper bur

Here are four things that you need to know before burning yard waste:

1. Never leave a fire unattended.

This may seem obvious to most people, but it's arguably the most important thing to remember when burning yard waste. All it takes is a split second for a fire to spark where it's not supposed to, so you want to monitor your fire at all times. 

2. Always make sure fire is completely doused with water or smothered with dirt when you're finished.

You will want to make sure that your fire is completely put out before leaving it. A great way to do this is to douse it with water or smother it with dirt. 

3. Don't burn anything highly flammable.

You want to be careful about what you are burning with your yard waste. Refrain from using any items that could be deemed highly flammable, such as paper or fabric that has been exposed to oil or gasoline. 

4. Don't burn yard waste on a windy day.

If the wind is excessive, you may want to postpone your yard waste burning to a different day. If a spark gets caught in the wind wrong, it has the chance of igniting a wildfire. 

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

Commonly Preventable Workplace Accidents

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Workplace accidents account for thousands of injuries and even deaths each year. Stay aware and be safe!

Many of us who work in offices may not think as much about workplace safety compared to a roofer or someone working an oil rig. And although some professions are on average much more dangerous than others (1 in 5 of all private workplace deaths occur in the construction industry, for instance) it's no reason to disregard the things that are most likely to injure you or those around you at work. You don't need to work on scaffolding to be badly injured by a trip and fall; stairs exist in many commercial buildings, and I guarantee you that soft drink dispensers and swivel chairs injure many more people per year than you might think. So to make sure that the shocked look on your boss's face isn't the last thing you'll ever see, here is a list of the most common workplace accidents as compiled by OSHA, the National Safety Council and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:

1) Slip and Fall

Not surprisingly, the slip and fall is a very common workplace accident and takes place across all industries. Anything from a wet floor to an uneven boat deck to out-of-code stairways can cause a fall, which in many cases could be more serious than you would think. Even small falls from chairs can result in serious head or neck injuries. 

2) Struck by Object

Number two is almost the opposite of the first, as instead of falling on the object the object falls on you! These objects may have been set in motion by gravity by being improperly stacked or secured, or thrown by another person or piece of machinery. These incidents can again be very serious, as many "struck by object" accidents involve a head injury. Always be aware of your surroundings and remember to look up when entering new spaces. 

3) Entanglement

Especially in heavy industry, entanglement can lead to a variety of accidents and injuries. Moving rollers, cables, or conveyor belts can easily snag clothing or jewelry, leading to workers being trapped, cut or crushed by machinery. Less seriously, workers can also become entangled in exposed cords or wiring which could also lead to a fall.

4) Repetitive Motion

Anyone who has ever had carpal tunnel can tell you this is true. Though these "cumulative trauma" injuries rarely result in anything as serious as a head injury or broken bones, they can very negatively affect the life of workers both at home and in the office. Education of ergonomic work techniques can greatly reduce repetitive motion injuries, and can even help prevent other accidents such as falling objects dropped by work-weakened hands. 

5) Electrocution

Since electricity is used in most every business in the country, it should come as no surprise that many people are hurt or killed by it each and every year. Workers in the construction industry are again more likely to experience this, though electrocution-related accidents can happen anywhere at anytime. Like many other accident types on this list, shocks and electrocutions can be greatly reduced by safety training and identifying all electrical hazards.

6) Overexertion

Any action involving physical activity can lead to injury. Overexertion accidents can either occur all at once or be the product of years-worth of strain that eventually manifests in some type of chronic pain. Proper instruction on how to safely lift or carry, along with ample break time given to workers who need it, will help guard against these accidents that can be so debilitating. 

7) Violence

Workplace violence is a main contributor to workplace accidents every year and can take a number of different forms. Sometimes the violence may occur between employees, between employees and family members, or (especially in the case of retail) between the employee and a member of the public. Deescalation techniques can be helpful before these situations, and having sufficient security if needed is also important. Also, creating anonymous communication channels can help employees voice their concerns about workplace violence without being singled out.

In many cases, accidents happen with seemingly no cause, as if nothing could have been done to prevent them. Even if it may seem that way, though, there are very likely a number of things that could have been done to make the accident less severe or to stop it altogether. Next time you're in your office or standing on your loading dock, look around and try to isolate any number of things that could lead to an injury. Sometimes something as simple as picking up a wet rag from the floor could prevent a life-changing injury, or something as easy as posting a "high voltage" sign could save a life. Being aware of our surroundings and looking out for those we work with could bring these accident numbers down and create a safer world for us all to live in.

SERVPRO® of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & San Juan Counties hope your business remains accident free and we are here to help you 24/7/365 with any commercial restoration issue.

Please call us at 970-259-6184

Smoke Behavior

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties to help make it “Like

The professionals of SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, we will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and its contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items.

We know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following points are additional facts you may not know about smoke.

  • 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.

Types of Smoke

  • Wet Smoke. (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, and 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.
  • Fuel Oil Soot. (Furnace puff backs) While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners,

SERVPRO® franchise professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

  • Other Types. (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

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

Summertime Storms In The Rockies

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is one call away to help restore your property from storm damage.

Living in the Four Corners area you know we have all four seasons and their extremes. In winter, we get ice storms, frozen water lines, and sometimes heavy snow. Summertime brings heat and fires and many different severe thunderstorms. The summer heat and mountain moisture build through the day, spawning thunderstorms that can drop several inches of water in a short time.

Water Backup  

These heavy and sudden rains often overwhelm the storm drain & sewer systems and cause flash flooding & mud slides, Homeowners sometimes experience water backups in their basements and crawl spaces because the sump pumps cannot keep up or fail after being inundated with so much water in such a short time.

If you have standing water (flooding) in your basement, disconnect the main electrical switch to your home. If you don't know how to do that, call a professional or your local fire department to help you. If you are in doubt about your basement's electrical safety, it's best to stay out of it! Remember, "SAFETY, FIRST!" 

Heavy Winds & Lightning

These severe thunderstorms can also cause more than just water damage. Dangerous winds and lightning are also components of these storms. Heavy winds can topple trees, remove shingles, and siding from your home. Even the windows to your home or cars can be broken from flying debris hurling through the air. 

A lightning strike can cause a power surge and damage your appliances. That same strike can overheat and melt the protective sleeve of the wiring inside your walls, causing a fire to break out, in your attic, and other hidden areas. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600  fires started by lightning per year.

Years Of Experience To Better Serve You

We have been cleaning and restoring homes and businesses from fire and water loss in Durango & Pagosa Springs since 2010. We've seen storms first-hand many times and are ready to respond immediately.  We live and work in this community too. We might even be neighbors.. We are close by and ready to respond to your flood or storm damage emergency. 

Always Here To Help

Whether it be water damage from a flash flood, roof and window damage from wind and hail, or a fire from a lightning strike, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West has the experience and specialized equipment to handle any size disaster. The quicker the response, the less secondary damage that occurs. Our goal is to be faster to any size disaster and make it "Like it never even happened."

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