By Roxanne Turnbloom
Despite everyone’s best efforts and intentions, vandalism seems to be on the rise in many parts of Colorado. Everyone has a theory why, but the reason does not make a difference when it comes to restoring a home or business. After more than a decade working for a restoration company, I have seen vandalism range from tagging the outside of a convenience store to the complete, interior destruction of a home.
As a supervisor, I usually direct my work crew through several steps to put everything back together. I say back together because some of the places we have worked started out looking like someone dumped a giant jigsaw puzzle in the middle of the floor, and now my guys and I have to fix it.
The first thing we do is remove broken glass. Despite having the best work boots money can buy, one of my crew members put a sliver through the side of his foot. He was pulling out a window frame and missed a piece that landed on the floor trim and went through the boot when braced himself against the wall to use a crowbar. That was three years ago, and it was our last glass-related injury.
Next, we board up the structure. Another company I used to work for once started replacing sheetrock and paneling before locking the place down. After two days, they broke for lunch in the front of the building and went back after 30 minutes to find someone had snuck in the back and spray-painted fresh graffiti on the panels they had hung less than a couple of hours earlier.
After securing the doors and windows, we start repairs. Most of the costs result from damaged walls and ceilings. I can tell you that it is much cheaper to hang new panels and paint them than it is to try and save a few pieces and repaint over spray-painted walls. A truck full of sheetrock costs less than paying my crew and me for another day of labor.
In my opinion, having someone vandalize your home is worse than dealing with the Cherry or Purgatoire Creek flooding it. It was a deliberate act, and that makes it much more necessary to put everything back together. Make certain the restoration company you hire is licensed with the state and has a good reputation online and with agencies like the Better Business Bureau.
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