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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)

Stain soaked rags 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)

Leaf Pile Fire 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)

Wet Floor Signs Help 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)

Smoke is not mysterious 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

6 Tips To Prevent Kitchen Water Damage

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Many people can agree that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. When this room is out of commission, it can be a pain for everyone living in the house. Taking simple preventative measures can go a long way to avoid water damage to your kitchen.

Here are 6 tips for preventing water damage in your kitchen:

1.) Avoid putting any fats, oils and grease down your drain.

You should never allow fats, oils or grease go down your drain. This is a common cause of sewer backups, which can lead to contaminated water damage. In order to prevent this from happening, you can collect any fats, oils or grease in a jar and put it directly in the trash. 

2.) Make sure the caulk around your sink is in good condition.

Water can seep under the sink if caulk is worn, which has the risk of damaging the counter and cabinet. If you see that the caulk is wearing away on your sink, you should remove it and re-seal it with fresh caulk. 

3.) If possible, periodically check for leaks under your stove.

If you're able to move your stove, you should periodically be checking it to ensure there aren't any unknown leaks. You should also inspect for any signs of mold. 

4.) Never leave the dishwasher running when nobody is home.

You should never leave the dishwasher running if you're going to leave the house. This way if the dishwasher malfunctions and causes flooding, you will be able to stop it before the damage becomes extensive. 

5.) Check your refrigerator for leaks and have it at least three inches from the wall. 

Like your stove, you should periodically check underneath your refrigerator for any signs of leaking. Additionally, make sure there is a minimum of three inches between your fridge and the wall to prevent kinking the supply line.

6.) Rinse plates and silverware before loading them into the dishwasher.

Rinsing your plates and silverware off before loading them in the dishwasher will help preserve your dishwasher's filter and aid in preventing any leaking. 

SERVPRO® of Archuleta, Montezuma, La Plata & 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

Why SERVPRO® is a Leader in the Restoration Industry

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

We Can Handle Any Disaster

SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties can handle any size and type of disaster. We routinely service residential homes, large commercial buildings, apartments, and institutional buildings after a fire or water loss. It's not uncommon for us to get a small water loss call for someone's home, then later that same day receive a phone call for a large commercial fire damage. 

Ourhighly trained crews and fully equipped warehouse of equipment and materials are ready 24/7 365 to respond to your disaster. A disaster can strike at any time and any day, which is why SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is ready to answer your call any time of the day or night on weekends and holidays. 

SERVPRO® has been in business for over 50 years. That's 50 years of experience and knowledge in the fire and water cleanup and restoration industry. When you call SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, you can trust that we have the skills and the expertise to handle any emergency, no matter how big or how small. Several things set us apart from other restoration companies, and here I will outline some of them, starting with our 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines. 

1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines

1 - Within one hour from the first notice of the loss from you or your Insurance Carrier, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will contact you to arrange for services to be done.

4 - Within four hours from the notice of the loss, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will be on-site to start mitigation services. EVEN AFTER HOURS!

8 - Within eight hours from arriving on-site, a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will contact you or your Insurance Carrier to give a verbal briefing of what the job entails and what the plans are moving forward.

#1 IICRC Certified Professionals

The IICRC is the leading, independent, non-profit, certification, and standard-setting body in the cleaning, inspection, and restoration industry. When choosing water damage, mold remediation, and fire and smoke restoration company, be sure to know if they are IICRC certified. At SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties, our team holds IICRC certifications in water removal technician (WRT), applied structural drying (ASD), mold remediation technician, and lead paint remediation. Our teams also participate in ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility. 

We Work When Disasters Happen

Water and Fire damage doesn't always happen during regular business hours; they often occur at night or on weekends. We have crews on-call ready to go at any given time. One call to our office gets the restoration process started. We're open for emergency service every day, even holidays. We'll dispatch restoration technicians to you immediately because we know every minute counts when it's your home or business that is affected. 

No Job Is Too Big 

We're routinely called to homes and businesses all across Central Indiana to clean up after a fire or flood has occurred. With our office strategically located on the west side of Indianapolis, minutes from I70 and interstate 465, we can be anywhere in or around the city within minutes. Fast action is critical after water and fire damage to help save property and protect your precious heirlooms. 

We feel like we've seen just about everything and can handle any fire and water restoration job that comes our way. From a broken ice maker line in the kitchen to a high-rise apartment building with water on every level, SERVPRO of Indianapolis West is your only clear choice for restoration services.

Stress-Free Claims Process

SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties is a preferred service provider with most insurance companies. This gives us the knowledge and understanding to help you process your insurance claim quickly and easily. For a stress-free claims process, we work with your insurance to manage the insurance process and paperwork. 

If you need cleanup and restoration services for your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO® of Archuleta, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan Counties. We have the expertise, knowledge, and advanced equipment, restore your home or business 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 type of damage and restoration issue.

Please call us at 970-259-6184