Recent General Posts

How To Winterize Your Sprinklers

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

When frost levels reach below the depth of irrigation systems, any leftover water in the lines can freeze and cause damage. You may even end up with flooding in your basement if your sprinkler lines burst due to expanding ice. Winterizing can help prevent this damage from occurring and save you from having to pay for costly repairs in the spring. Here’s how you can winterize your sprinklers based on the type of system you have. 

Three Ways to Winterize

There are three fundamental methods for draining water from your irrigation system. The method you should choose depends on the kind of irrigation you have installed beneath your yard. If you’re not sure what type of system you have or don’t feel comfortable winterizing on your own, contact a professional. Otherwise, you can winterize your system using one of the following methods.

Manual Valves

Certain irrigation systems have manual drainage features that allow you to flush excess water from the system by opening a valve. If you have this type of system, first, cut off the water to the system. Next, find the manual valves at the low points and end points of the piping. Open every valve and drain all the water from the system (include the backflow device).

Some sprinklers are also equipped with check valves that let water flow in one direction only. If you have this type of system, you will probably need to elevate the sprinkler heads to allow water to drain from those mechanisms. Once you’ve thoroughly drained the entire system, be sure to shut all of the valves.

Automatic Valves

Some irrigation systems are built with valves that automatically drain water from the pipes whenever pressure falls below a specified number of pounds per square inch. If you have one of these systems, you can activate this feature by shutting off the water supply and briefly operating one of the heads to relieve the pressure in the system. Bear in mind, you may still have to drain all the water between the backflow device and shut-off valve. If the heads have check valves, you will have to empty those separately.

Blow-Out Method

Commonly used to winterize sprinkler systems, the blow-out method involves forcing compressed air through the entire irrigation system to push water through the heads. 

For this method you will need:

  • An air compressor with a rating of 80-100 CFM
  • A coupler that properly fits your irrigation system
  • Safety goggles

Start by shutting down the water supply and then use the coupler to connect the air compressor to your irrigation system. Do not blow compressed air directly into the backflow device. 

Next, locate the sprinkler station farthest and highest from the compressor and turn it on. Shut all the backflow valves, and then slowly open the valve on your air compressor. Gradually add more air pressure so you can quickly cut off the air supply if necessary. Be careful not to exceed 80PSI and don’t stand near any active heads while you are blowing out an irrigation system.

If things are working correctly, you should see a burst of water from the active head. Starting with the furthest head and working toward the compressor, activate every head in turn, shutting each one off again when the water stops coming out. Once you’ve finished with every head, disconnect the compressor and release any remaining air from the system. Open and close all the valves on the backflow device to let out pent up air pressure.

Things to Consider

Bear in mind that this method can be hazardous to certain irrigation systems and anyone who tries it without taking the right safety precautions. If you haven’t worked with compressed air or have no experience blowing out irrigation systems, save yourself from potential repair costs and injuries by hiring a professional to do it for you.

Unfortunately, when sprinklers burst due to freezing water, they can cause basements to flood. If you’ve suffered flooding, the experts at SERVPRO of Denver West can help restore your home to its original state. Contact our skilled team of experts to learn more.

How Do Public Insurance Adjusters Work?

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Filing a disaster-related insurance claim can be a stressful process. To avoid the hassle, many homeowners seek the help of a public insurance adjuster, who offers to deal with all the complexities of the process to help clients get accurate compensation from the insurance company. Read on to learn the pros and cons of working with an insurance adjuster. 

How it Works

Public insurance adjusters are independent and licensed insurance agents who work on behalf of a policyholder during the claims process. Most people don’t use them because their insurance companies provide adjusters as part of their insurance policy benefits. Many times, they also forgo the option because they simply don’t know it exists. 

In theory, a public adjuster will work to get you a better outcome because they don’t work for the insurance company. That said, since there are strict rules governing insurance companies, most take an honest approach when evaluating a homeowner’s claim. 

If you do choose to hire a public insurance adjuster, it's best to involve them in the claims process as soon as possible. The insurance company will still send their own adjuster, but it will be helpful if your public adjuster is able to communicate with the company’s adjuster during the initial fact-finding process.

You can expect to have to pay out of pocket for a public insurance adjuster. Each will have a schedule of base fees along with some added fees for their services. That said, most will charge a percentage of the total settlement amount.

Why Hire a Public Adjuster?

There are a few good reasons why some policyholders decide to pay for their own public insurance adjuster. In disasters that lead to large- or total-loss claims, the public adjuster can sometimes help the policyholder attain a larger sum to repair or rebuild the property.

When a homeowner believes an assigned insurance adjuster may not have their best interests at heart, they may feel more comfortable with a public adjuster. The same goes for if there are disputes in the claim assessment that haven’t been resolved by the insurance company. In this instance, a public insurance adjuster can help a policyholder get a second opinion and a more favorable claim settlement.

In some instances, a policyholder may feel that the insurance company's adjuster isn't communicating well. They may also disagree with the company adjuster’s decision, feel they didn’t review the claim properly or believe damages were left off.

For especially complex policies, a public insurance adjuster can also help the policyholder better understand complicated documents. They can also help investigate the costs of replacement or repair of structures and calculate any loss of business expense.

Many times, people decide to hire public insurance adjusters because they are just too busy to deal with the claims process. They may also decide to hire a public adjuster if they expect to get a substantial payout which will help them cover the adjuster’s services, or if there seems to be a big discrepancy between the insurance company’s estimate for repairs and what their general contractor has quoted. 

Making a Smart Decision

The biggest negative associated with using a public insurance adjuster is cost. In many instances, the expense will negate any extra money you are able to acquire. That said, if you have the money, expect a big payout or are too busy to deal with the process, a public adjuster may be a good option. Otherwise, you can probably get away with working with an insurance-assigned adjuster as long as you have a reputable contractor to give you an honest quote and help you through the claims process. 

For a seamless, stress-free claims process, contact SERVPRO® of Denver West. We work with your insurance to help manage the claims process and paperwork. Using the best tools and extensive expertise, we provide a complete spectrum of restorative services for residential homes and commercial properties. From water and smoke to mold, fire and more, we provide flawless, comprehensive restorative services. Contact our team of courteous experts to learn more.

How to Avoid Home Restoration Scams After a Natural Disaster

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Natural disasters can create opportunities for unscrupulous people who seek to profit off the misfortunes of others. Here’s how you can protect yourself from home restoration scams. 

Watch for Red Flags

Natural disasters can bring out the very best in people. It’s not uncommon to see neighbors and strangers respond to a disaster by rolling up their sleeves and opening their wallets to help victims recover. Unfortunately, disasters can also create a perfect opportunity for scammers who use the opportunity to make a quick buck. Sadly, the restoration industry is not immune to scams. There are plenty of unscrupulous providers who are all too happy to take your money and run after providing shoddy work or, what’s worse, no work at all.

While restoration scammers can approach homeowners with unique tactics; most share some common traits that make them easy to identify. These include: 

  • They use high-pressure tactics that often include limited-time offers.
  • They demand that consumers sign documents immediately to acquire a now-or-never deal.
  • They ask for up-front cash for the entire amount of the job.
  • They won’t provide a written estimate for the restoration project.
  • They can’t or refuse to provide local references.
  • They ask the homeowner to obtain the building permit.

These red flags are typically a sure sign that you are dealing with a disreputable home restoration contractor. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by asking a few targeted questions.

Questions You Should Ask

Anytime you are hiring someone to repair your home, you should take the time to properly vet the company. Before agreeing to anything, be sure to: 

  • Ask the service provider to show evidence that they are licensed in your state.
  • Ask for references and follow through by contacting each one. 
  • Make sure the company can provide a written estimate with detailed job specifications on the labor, materials, timeline and total charges for the work. 
  • Obtain a written contract that clearly states exactly what will be done, material quality, warranties, the total cost of the job and start and completion dates.
  • Do not sign a contract that has any blank spaces, and make sure you understand your cancellation rights
  • Protect yourself by demanding that the contractor, subcontractor and any suppliers complete and sign a "waiver of lien" form. This will help protect you if the contractor or company doesn't pay its bills and a subcontractor or material supplier decides to place a lien on your home. Unfortunately, this can happen even if you paid the primary service provider in full.
  • Be sure your service provider is fully insured and also carries worker's compensation, personal liability and property damage coverage. Always ask for copies of insurance certificates. If the provider is not properly insured, you could be held liable for damages or injuries that occur during the project.
  • Always check with your home insurance provider to determine the extent of your coverage. 
  • Avoid paying for the project with cash. Instead, pay by credit card or check and always get a receipt.
  • Maintain thorough records, including copies of the contract, as well as any correspondence and change orders.

While it may seem like a headache, doing your due diligence will help ensure that you are getting quality work from a reputable restoration company. By asking some direct questions and following up with some light research, you can identify less reputable service providers before you open your wallet.

Go with a Recognizable Name

To protect yourself from a disaster restoration scam, it’s a good idea to choose a national brand with a recognizable name. This will help ensure that you are working with a trustworthy provider with the ability to meet your needs and the agility to respond quickly to the scene. 

With more than 1,700 Franchises in the U.S. and Canada, SERVPRO is a trusted name in the restoration industry. Whether you need immediate help with emergency flood damage or assistance with cleaning, you can depend on our experienced technicians. 

SERVPRO of Denver East specializes in flawless water damage restoration. Empowered by extensive training, modern equipment and an experienced team of professionals, we can quickly restore your home to its original condition. Contact our team to learn more.

5 Things to Do to Prevent Further Damage During a Power Outage

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Power outages are not only an inconvenience; they can also end up causing costly damages. At SERVPRO of West Denver, we’ve seen first-hand the kind of property damage that can come as a result of a power outage. Even though it may seem counterintuitive to think that a power outage itself can cause damage, the truth is that it can start a chain of events that becomes gradually more destructive. 

To help protect yourself against the compounding damage that can come in the wake of a power outage, take these five steps. 

#1: Exercise extreme caution when using candles, stoves, and generators. 

It’s not uncommon to have a stash of long-burning candles tucked away for just such an emergency as a power outage. The use of candles isn’t itself necessarily dangerous; however, unattended, lit candles can quickly start a structure fire, potentially causing thousands in damage. 

A good rule-of-thumb to keep in mind during a power outage is never to use a gas stove to stay warm. As tempting as it may be, gas stove emissions contain carbon monoxide, which can accumulate in the air and cause serious personal harm—even death. 

When it comes to the use of gas-powered generators, always be sure that they’re operated in a well-ventilated area, ideally near a window or exhaust fan. For the same reason using a gas stove to keep warm is a bad idea, generator emissions can also be very harmful. 

Also, never use a charcoal grill as a means of producing warmth indoors. The smoke from burning charcoal can be incredibly dangerous to inhale.

#2: Defend against food spoilage by using ice coolers to preserve existing food.

If the power is going to be out for an extended period of time, then you’re going to need a strategy for preserving your refrigerated food.

While a typical freezer can be expected to stay cool for about 48 hours, the rest of the fridge is going to succumb to higher temperatures by about the 4-hour mark. For this reason, it might make sense to fill a cooler full of ice and preserve whatever refrigerated foods you can. 

Also, try not to open freezer or refrigerator doors more than is absolutely necessary, to conserve the cool. 

#3: Deactivate and unplug appliances. 

This especially applies to older appliances that may not have modern surge protection built into them. 

When the power comes back on after a power outage, it’s possible that the sudden surge of electricity could cause damage to whatever is plugged in. After a power outage has taken place, walk through each room and check to ensure that appliances are in the ‘off’ position and/or unplugged from the wall. 

[Tip: If you live in an area where power outages are especially common, it might be worth investing in a 12-volt battery and inverter combination. Most auto parts stores carry power inverters that can turn 12-volt DC power into 120-volt AC power for supplemental use by critical appliances.]

#4: Stay tuned in to local news outlets or radio transmissions for updates.  

During a prolonged power outage, staying current on developments is critical to mitigating damage. Keep yourself apprised of the power outage status by opting into SMS text alerts from your local utility provider. 

While it is possible for power outages to affect cellular transmission towers, this is very rare, which means you’re likely to still have a cell phone connection during an outage. Use your phone to stay abreast of what’s going on around you. 

#5: Get ahead of water damage.

One of the more common sources of water damage caused by a power outage is thawed ice in the freezer. If you have no use for the ice as a way to keep your perishable food cool during the outage, dispose of it in some other way, so that it doesn’t melt and seep into the floor and walls. 

If the power outage is accompanied by below-freezing weather, don’t forget to allow your faucets to slowly drip until the power is restored. 

What to Do after an Outage

When power is restored, take stock of the condition of the area. Have there been any water leaks? Are all the appliances functioning normally again? Are there any lit candles that need to be extinguished? 

And remember, if there is any damage that results from a power outage, know that your West Denver SERVPRO is here to help with the restoration. 

Contact us today for an on-site evaluation and a no-obligation quote.

Celebrating Independence Day

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

American flag celebrating 4th of July Happy 4th of July from SERVPRO of Denver West

Summer is around the corner, and so is the National Holiday that brings Americans together—Independence Day. Last year, people all over the country spent $6.9 billion in preparation for this day. This year with COVID-19 restrictions, we all will be able to save some money. This year, we may all be viewing the most impressive fireworks shows on television versus large public gatherings.

SERVPRO of Denver West hopes that you can be home safe celebrating with family this weekend. And may we all look forward to 2021.

Here is an interesting fact, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both signers of the Declaration of Independence and presidents of the United States died on July 4, 1826 – exactly 50 years after the adoption of the declaration.  

Top 10 Disasters That Can Occur While You're on Vacation

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

house destroyed by hurricane Top 10 Disasters That Can Occur While You're on Vacation

When you’re not home, your house instantly becomes more vulnerable to disasters. And, when you’re away for an extended period of time—say, for a week-long vacation at the beach—that risk is compounded even further. 

While there are some measures you can take to help mitigate this risk, disasters can strike at any time and for a multitude of reasons. In this blog post, we’re going to examine the top ten disasters that can occur while you’re away on vacation. 

Disaster #1: A House Fire

This could be the most commonly feared disaster among them all. More than ¼ of all reported structure fires involve residential buildings like single-family homes and duplexes. 

The causes of house fires vary widely. Anything from an unattended candle to a lightning strike can start a house fire. This is why it’s especially important to complete a comprehensive inspection of your home, looking for things like activated appliances or exposed flammables, before locking the front door and heading out for your vacation. 

Disaster #2: Burglary

Forced entry by a thief is, unfortunately, a risk for anyone living virtually anywhere in the US. When you’re gone on vacation and a thief sets his sights on your home, there had better be some defense mechanisms in place, or else you could be greeted by an empty home upon your return. 

Disaster #3: A Landslide

Wherever there is heavy rain combined with loose, sloping ground, landslides will be an inevitability. Thankfully, landslides that damage residential buildings are fairly rare in the United States, but they do happen. 

Disaster #4: A Mold Invasion

Returning from a long, restful vacation is one of the most inconvenient times to learn that you have a mold problem. The reality is that mold can overtake entire areas of a home if it is left untreated. 

Disaster #5: An Unwanted Guest Invasion (rodents, bats, etc.)

While you were out catching some rays on that beach in Florida, a colony of bats decided to post up in your attic. Now, there’s guano everywhere and remediation is required to get things back to normal. 

Alternatively, word among rats spread that your house was warm and empty. So, they moved in and started chewing the place up. Both of these scenarios are very real possibilities when a home is left unattended for a long stretch of time. 

Disaster #6: Falling Debris Strikes the Home

Tree branches. Blown over telephone or utility poles. An especially heavy hail storm. 

All of these things can seriously damage a home. The good news is that falling debris is covered by most homeowners insurance policies, but it’s probably worthwhile to double-check before starting your vacation. 

Disaster #7: Flooding

Flooding is absolutely catastrophic for most buildings. The reason is because flood water is never just water—it brings in pathogens and detritus from everything it has come into contact with. This leaves flood-affected buildings in a state of significant disrepair. What’s more, flood insurance coverage is rarely ever included with most homeowners insurance policies, leaving many homeowners ‘up a creek’ after a flood (no pun intended). 

Disaster #8: A Burst Water Heater

Most water heaters that are installed in single-family homes hold at least 40 gallons of water in them. Older water heaters that might have compromised internal components can burst, sometimes seemingly out of nowhere. 

If this happens while you’re away, the resulting water damage can compound for every day it is left unresolved. 

Disaster #9: The Lawn or Garden Dies

While this may not seem like a disaster per se, it can be if your lawn or garden involves a significant investment of your time and money. Bringing a lawn or garden back to life after it has died off completely can take months. 

Disaster #10: Vandalism

Wherever there are criminals with too much time on their hands, there is likely to be vandalism. This can take the form of destroyed mailboxes, graffiti-painted siding, and broken windows or other structural damage. It’s hard to protect yourself against this kind of disaster—it’s best to know what you’ll do after it happens instead of trying to avoid it altogether. 

Vacations should be restful, enjoyable, and relaxing. You shouldn’t have to worry about what’s going on back home. If disaster does strike, however, and you need help restoring your home to the condition it was in before you went on vacation, contact SERVPRO of Denver West. We know disaster recovery. 

Now get out there and enjoy your vacation!

History of SERVPRO

3/28/2018 (Permalink)


History of SERVPRO

From a small beginning as a painting business in Sacramento, CA, in 1967, SERVPRO has become one of the most recognizable names in the restoration industry. Within two years, owners Ted and Doris Isaacson used their expertise in the cleaning and restoration to expand their business offerings. Soon afterwards, they began to offer franchises and grew steadily so that by 1979, SERVPRO had 175 locations.

SERVPRO grew exponentially after relocating its headquarters in 1988 to Gallatin, TN, about 30 miles outside of Nashville. The Isaacsons moved the company there so that its headquarters could be located within 600 miles of half of the population of the United States. Since that time, SERVPRO has nearly tripled its size with over 1,700 locally owned and operated franchises across the United States.

SERVPRO remains a family-owned company, with the Isaacson’s eldest child, Susan Steen, as the company’s chief executive officer. Steen is joined by family members Randall Isaacson and Rick Isaacson as president and executive vice president, respectively.

Staff & Training

As a national company, SERVPRO has resources at its disposal that smaller, local companies may not have. These resources include a national staff that can help local franchisees with support in various aspects of running a business, that include human resources personnel, business analyst, customer service representatives, Quickbooks specialists, national accounts coordinators, marketing data analysts, property claims adjusters and vendor coordinators.

Franchisees receive support and special training from the moment they become part of the company. The first step is a 15-day training program at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility in Tennessee. The basic course covers fire and water restoration, mold mitigation and carpet and upholstery cleaning. Franchise employees can also take the 15-day training course but also have a separate self-paced program for certification in fire and water restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning and crew training.

What’s more, SERVPRO provides its employees with plenty of ongoing training that includes web-based, self-paced e-learning modules that include video presentations and support materials. The company also offers credit and noncredit courses that cover the latest knowledge and techniques in emergency mitigation. Topics include water and fire damage restoration, restorative drying, mitigation awareness response and mold mitigation and restoration.

In addition, SERVPRO partners with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to provide year-round training classes that certifies employees to work in the restoration field. Courses for applied structural drying occur in the company’s purpose-built ASD training facility.

Protect Your Property from a Marijuana Grow

3/7/2018 (Permalink)

drywall with Holes for venting Damaged Property From Marijuana Grow

What Landlords and Property Managers Should Know

The number of houses and commercial buildings that are used for growing marijuana is increasing. As medical and recreational marijuana becomes legal in more states it also becomes legal to grow at home for certain people. Grow rooms are becoming more common & cause great damage and microbial growth if improperly built or operated.

How Can a Grow Operation Affect Your Property?

  • Mold growth from inadequate ventilation causing high levels of humidity
  • Incorrect wiring or overloaded circuits can result in a fire.
  • Poor quality electrical work may lower resale value.

Structural Damage

  • Holes for ventilation and electrical access
  • Wood rot
  • Rusted hollow columns
  • Damaged duct system from plant sap and high levels of humidity
  • Residual marijuana odor

Don’t Become The Victim

Should cannabis related issues arise after the lease has been signed and if there was no clause prohibiting it, you’ll need to rely on an anti-drug or crime policy that hopefully was included in the lease. A breach of the lease could be cause for eviction if the tenant doesn’t

comply after getting a written notice. If you did not include such a clause, it will be difficult to enforce your wishes during the term of the lease.

SERVPRO of Denver West

Call us at 303-576-6868

We provide results while minimizing the disruption to your business or home.

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Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Home

11/7/2016 (Permalink)

IICRC Certified Firm Logo We are an IICRC Certified Firm

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

IICRC Certified Firms must

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

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

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

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

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

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

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

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

About SERVPRO of Denver West

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

Among being IICRC certified, here are some more certifications of SERVPRO of Denver West