Repairing Winter Storm Damage In Colorado

By Roxanne Turnbloom

I have worked in the restoration industry in Colorado for many years and have seen homes with minor and major damage every winter. Homeowners can do things like clean the gutters and check the roof every year to lessen the risk, but when a severe snow storm hits, preparation does not prevent everything. Much of my restoration efforts center around roof damage and burst pipes.

In some cases, the sheer amount of snow can fracture and collapse a roof. When that happens, we remove everything on the splintered panel. That may involve removing framing pieces like joists that were damaged when the panels above collapsed.

Once I have the debris cleared out, my fellow team members and I secure the roof. We do this by covering and sealing the damaged area with either plastic sheeting or plywood panels. It is necessary to keep out the weather and any animals like squirrels and raccoons seeking a refuge from the cold.

Since the roof collapse lets snow inside, I have also had to remove wet insulation. It is necessary because wet insulation, both rolled and blown-in, compacts and becomes useless in keeping the interior of a home warm. If there is no access to the attic from inside the house, my team and I remove the insulation before securing the roof.

Once I have a dry attic or crawlspace, we replace the insulation and then lay new panels onto the damaged sections and then replace the damaged tiles with new. Once finished, the only sign of repair is the look of the new tiles against the original.

Burst pipes usually happen at the point of entry to a home. It occurs when the insulation is insufficient or has aged and not replaced. Replacing or repairing a damaged section of pipe is not a difficult task, but the flooding in the home can be very expensive to remediate.

My team works repairing or replacing the pipe at the same time as removing any flood water. Most pipe repairs are at the connections, so cutting away the damaged piece and attaching a new section takes only a few hours. We then wrap every exposed surface with polyethylene, insulation cover or tape.

If the water is over two inches, we bring in a pump to remove it. After that, we use water extraction wands to draw out the water from the carpets and floors. That usually finishes the task, but if the inside humidity levels are very high, we set up a dehumidifier to lower the air moisture content and lower the chance of mold.

Restoring a home after winter storm damage is difficult, especially in a state like Colorado. To make certain your home is cared for properly, you should always hire a professional agency, licensed by the state.


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Roxanne Turnbloom

The owner of SERVPRO of South Colorado Springs and SERVPRO of Northern Colorado Springs / Tri-Lakes, Roxanne Turnbloom, specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property.