Recent Posts

Recognizing Water Damage in Your Business

4/22/2018 (Permalink)

Running a business in Billings, MT, often comes with the risk of some type of water damage, with causes ranging from heavy storms to internal plumbing issues. Each instance of water damage comes with its own unique challenges, but both water pipe repair companies and insurance companies generally use three different categories to move forward with cleanup, but Category 2 is one of the most common.

Understanding Category 2 Water Damage

All three levels of water damage will likely require water pipe repair. A common misconception is that the cause of the water damage directly correlates to the category; however, the categories are simply based on the contents of the water:

? Category 1: caused by clean water
? Category 2: caused by water that contains a small amount of contamination
? Category 3: caused by water that contains microorganisms, sewage, and other bacteria

Water that causes Category 2 water damage often began as clean water but became slightly contaminated after sitting for too long or soaking through building materials. Category 2 water damage will often contain soap, detergent, and some dirt. The water that causes this damage is typically not considered dangerous to your health, but it should still be dealt with quickly in any business setting.

Causes of Category 2 Water Damage

Category 2 water damage is most easily recognized by the source of the water and how long it has been stagnant. A few of the most common sources of Category 2 water damage include the following:

? Washing machines
? Dishwashers
? Water that has seeped through from a higher level of a building to a lower level

If any cleaning appliances in your business experience a burst pipe, you may need to seek out water pipe repair to keep the problem from getting worse and call a restoration company in Billings, MT, to completely repair and sanitize the flooded areas. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

Keep Your Sump Pump Pumping With These Simple Tips

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

A sump pump is an essential appliance for many homes. Although it’s likely not used every day like the refrigerator, when it is in use, it can be just as important if not more so. While it may be easy to adopt the “get it and forget it” mentality with these pumps, you should implement some very basic maintenance practices.

Maintenance Tips

Frequent and heavy rains in Billings, MT, means most residences likely have a sump pump. This pump can be the last line of defense between your belongings and flood water. Therefore, keep your pump functioning properly. These simple pump maintenance tips can help ensure a long life for your system:

• First off, you want to make sure the pump is still standing upright. If it has been activated recently, it may have tilted slightly.
• Make sure the pump has power. Check where the pump is plugged in and try plugging in another appliance to ensure the outlet is functional.
• Check the inlet screen of the pump. This is where water will enter from your basement to be pumped outside. It is important to check this every few months as it’s simple to do and can be very difficult if the area is already flooded.
• Make sure the pump functions normally. This can be done by pouring water into the pump to ensure it activates.
• Check that the outlet pipes that deliver the water outside are properly sealed and are releasing the water the appropriate distance from your home without leaking along the way.

Help From Experts

Ideally, these tips will help keep you and your belongings safe, but it is always a good idea to contact your local water damage restoration experts in the event of a disaster or if you need any additional maintenance tips. If you do not have a sump pump and are looking to install one, check with your insurance to see what options are available to you. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

Certified Mold Remediation Specialists Know How to Tackle It

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Certified Mold Remediation Specialists Know How to Tackle It This home had mold growing on the walls and carpet.

Mold can be intimidating if you don’t know exactly what it is and how to go about cleaning it. After a water disaster, the chances of mold growth can begin within 24 hours. What you do and how you handle it can make the difference between a successful return to your home and some serious renovation. This is one of the reasons that insurance companies prefer that you deal with certified mold specialists. Consider contacting a certified mold remediation company in Billings, MT for quick response and guidance.

Training Makes the Difference

Certified mold technicians receive several hours of training for their initial certification. Different states require different degrees of training. Yearly, technicians have to complete recertification classes. This training teaches them important skills:

• Donning and using protective gear, including their respirator
• Using a commercial HEPA filter vacuum to clean and sand contaminated areas
• Applying chemicals to kill and seal materials to prevent further contamination
• Determining the number of negative air pressure machines that are needed for the square footage of a home in order to move the air properly

Personal Safety Leads to Faster Cleanup

When technicians receive their mold certification, they learn key skills that protect them during the remediation process. One of these is proper monitoring of their personal test pump. They wear this on their side and check it regularly to determine how many mold particles are in their respirator. They are only allowed to have so many particles per minute of air. Once they reach this limit, they have to stop working in the contaminated area. Certification training teaches them the proper use of protective gear and tools so they can safely work the project for longer periods of time.

Insurance companies like to make sure their money goes for a complete remediation and that the problem won’t return. Using a certified mold specialist to help ensure complete cleanup and proper use of tools and skills creates a safe environment for everyone involved. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on mold. 

How To Handle Post-Flood Cleanup

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Don’t let the idea of content cleaning after a flood get you down. It’s never impossible to restore your business to its former glory with proper cleaning and sanitization as long as you know the ins and outs of how to properly recover from flood damage in Billings, MT.

1. Create a Cleanup Plan

The very first step in reclaiming your property after flood damage is to establish a structured, methodical cleanup plan. Identify which cleanup tasks are dependent on others and prioritize key areas first. Section off your floor plan into places that are most to least critical regarding what needs to be handled for health and safety reasons versus what is just part of cosmetic damage restoration.

2. Identify What You Can Salvage

Although content cleaning can feel like razing everything down and starting from scratch, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some of your belongings can be salvaged simply by drying them out, particularly if they are made of non-porous materials that don’t absorb water. Set aside what can be rescued to dry out properly in a sunny, well-ventilated place.

3. Discard Porous Materials

Even if you may be able to salvage some things, other things are too risky to keep. Anything porous that may have absorbed black water may have to be completely destroyed. This can range from furniture that was completely soaked in water to even the sheetrock of the walls, and for more complicated tasks, you may require the assistance of restoration services to help.

The problem with porous materials absorbing black water is that even when they dry out after some content cleaning — and they will take much longer to dry out — any residual particles from the water may still remain in the material, trapped in porous fibers and openings. Unfortunately, “residual particles” often means fecal matter since black water is wastewater from toilets and sewage mains. Trapped particles can pose a serious health hazard if they remain even after drying. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.comfor more information on commercial storm damage. 

Managing Leaks Under Your Kitchen Sink: 3 Steps for Minimizing Damage

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen leaks are a common household issue. However, when one happens in your Billings, MT home, it may feel like a major disaster. Flooding, broken pipes and a soaked floor can be costly and time consuming to repair. However, there are a few actions you can take to minimize the damage caused by leaks under your kitchen sink.

1. Shut Off the Water

Turning off the water in your home can stem the flood waters, especially if a broken pipe is causing it to gush out rapidly. Know where the shutoff valves are so you do not have to waste time looking for them during a plumbing flood. Turning off the water might also help you see what type of damage you are dealing with.

2. Call Your Insurance Company

Calling your insurance company right away after a flood is a wise idea because it can help you file the same day, which may result in a quicker payout for kitchen repair. Go over the details of the flooding with your agent, and let him or her know whether you need to take pictures or if the company plans to send a claims adjuster. Reaching out to your agent quickly may also prevent delays later, when the claim is reviewed.

3. Call for Flood Cleanup

Flood cleanup and restoration services can offer you helpful assistance after a kitchen flood. Not only can flood techs remove the water and prevent it from spreading to other rooms, they can advise you about what types of repairs you might need afterward. They can also assist with mold prevention and the removal of damaged cabinetry.

When a leak under the sink happens in your Billings, MT home, it can be a stressful experience. Knowing which immediate steps to take can help you minimize flooding and put you on the path to assessing and repairing the damage. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on water damage. 

6 Steps in the Mold Remediation Process

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Are you nervous about an upcoming mold remediation in Billings, MT? Whether you have black mold or a lesser known variation, fungus growth can cause a lot of stress for business owners. You can review these six common steps to make yourself feel better about your upcoming mold cleanup.

1. Call in Professionals. When you call in a commercial remediation team, they will be able to inspect and assess your building. This will allow them to come up with a unique plan that best suits your mold problem.

2. Start Mold Containment. Setting up barriers and HEPA filters can help keep the mold in an isolated area. Your remediation team may even install a negative air chamber to help with the containment of the black mold.

3. Wear Personal Protective Equipment. While you should try not to spend much time in the affected area, whenever you do go in the mold zone you should be wearing personal protective equipment. The professionals often wear masks, gloves and disposable suits to limit the contact with spores.

4. Remove Porous Materials. Drywall, flooring and other porous materials may have to be ripped out of your building to ensure the mold is completely removed. Even some furnishings may have to be thrown out.

5. Clean Other Items. Items that do not get waterlogged easily can be cleaned and disinfected rather than thrown away. You may have to clean some items on your own, but typically the cleaning and disinfecting will be a major part of the remediation process.

6. Make Repairs. After the mold has been removed, the team may make repairs to drywall and flooring to finish off the cleanup process. Repairs can also include the drying out of wet materials to ensure mold does not come back.

The mold remediation process does not always follow these exact steps. Professionals in Billings, MT, may have to expand their mold cleanup strategy when dealing with certain types of fungus, such as black mold.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com.

High School Flood Damage

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial High School Flood Damage St. Francis School is flooded by main water line break.

Saving a Wood Floor in Billings, MT

The school leadership was very worried about the wood floors in the gymnasium; they are brand new and could cost a lot of money to replace. Our crew worked tirelessly to have the floors extracted of water. We then strategically set up air movers and dehumidifiers to promote a quick evaporation of any bound water trapped in the wood. Although it’s still early in the drying process, we are hopeful that the floor will be saved and usable once again. We will continue to monitor the progress of the flooring through the week.If you would like to see the news story you can follow this link.http://www.kulr8.com/story/37477592/cleanup-underway-after-flood-at-st-francis-school

3 Ways to Keep Your Fire Sprinkler System in Check

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial fires can happen anywhere, even in Billings, MT. While it’s impossible to know when they may occur, keeping your building prepared for any disasters is key to preventing a possible tragedy in the future. Most commercial properties operate with a fire suppression system in place, like a working fire sprinkler system. However, since many go unused for long lengths of time, they sometimes fall by the wayside in terms of maintenance. Here are three ways to keep your sprinklers in check so you’ll only have to deal with fire sprinkler cleanup after a situation arises, as opposed to any more horrifying consequences.

1. Check your building’s water pressure. If the building’s other water fixtures generally work fine, then you probably won’t have any issues securing ample water pressure through your sprinkler system. However, due to possible valve closures through the interior of the walls, especially for plumbing through systems that rarely get used, it’s best to do a check to indicate the pressure levels. Calling on fire service professionals can be helpful in completing this process correctly.

2. Clean the coatings on your sprinkler heads. Sprinkler heads can collect dirt and debris easily, especially in high traffic areas like kitchens that build up grease deposits. Any coating on the fire sprinkler heads can block full access to water if a fire is in progress, so cleaning the heads is crucial for efficient usage. Clean them with basic degreasing solutions or soap that doesn’t leave residue behind.

3. Inspect your non-electric control valves. Building owners should make a habit of checking the control valves if they’re non-electric, as no water can be released without them being open. Electronic valves can be monitored through annual inspections.

Disaster can strike at any moment, so knowing that your fire suppression system is up to code can be reassuring for you and everyone in the building. If your fire sprinkler system in Billings, MT, is maintained properly, handling a little fire sprinkler cleanup after an event occurs might be the only thing you need to worry about.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com.

3 Things You Should Include in Your Fire Escape Plan

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Home fires can be catastrophic and scary, but you can improve your family’s chance of getting out safely if you come up with a fire escape plan in advance. The idea of putting together a detailed, complicated plan can seem overwhelming, so try starting with these three simple steps:

1. Identify All Exits

Print out or draw a floor plan of your home in Billings MT. Then mark all exits in a bright color (including all exterior doors and windows). Consider putting a fire escape ladder next to all upper-story windows, and make sure all basement window wells have fire ladders as well.

2. Perform a Drill

When the entire family is present, create an emergency escape plan. Identify areas of the home where fires are likely to occur, then make sure each family member knows the safest ways to exit the home from various rooms (bedrooms, family rooms, bathrooms, etc.)

Next, perform a fire drill and have everyone follow the fire escape plan as discussed. It’s a good idea to perform several drills and change up the location of the fire with each drill. For example, during one drill, the fire could be in the basement. In the next drill, the fire could be in the laundry room. Different escape routes may need to be chosen based on the location of the fire.

3. Establish an After-Fire Action Plan

It’s easy to become separated from loved ones during a fire, so make sure you establish a meeting place outside the home in advance. Your meeting place could be on the street corner or at a neighbor’s house in the event of inclement weather.

As part of your fire escape plan, make sure every member of the family knows the number to the fire department. You may also want to memorize the number to your local fire restoration company and insurance company so you can call them right away. Be sure to notify your family and close friends that you are safe as well so they won’t needlessly worry.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com.

Tools for Removing Basement Water

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Basements can flood for all sorts of reasons. No matter why you have found two feet of water in your basement, you need the right equipment to remove it. Here are a few things you might need:

• Sump pump
• Trash pump
• Truck mounts
• Safety equipment

Depending on the actual problem, you may need require equipment too. Furthermore, what you use may depend on what is available in Billings, MT at the time.

Trash Pump

This term is another name for a sewage pump. In many cases, this is the best tool for removing standing water from a basement. Some of these pumps are electric, which means you have to plug them in. This can cause obvious hazards and can also be an inconvenience.

If you go this route, choose a unit with a gas engine. It can run without being near a working electrical outlet. This setup is much safer.

Sump Pump

Check and see if your home has a sump pit. It so, you may be able to use to the corresponding pump to remove the water. You may need to dig a ditch to make this work. Do this at the lowest point of the slope for best results. Unfortunately, many homeowners can do more harm than good while trying to do this themselves.

Professional Assistance

Does all of this sound confusing or overly complicated to you? Sometimes, it takes a professional team to clean up the mess that a flooded basement leaves behind. You can call a restoration company in Billings, MT to take care of the problem for you.

Better yet, these companies have the equipment and experience to look for other problems. Not only will they bring their sump pump, trash pump, and other tools, but they can also look out for issues that might occur down the road. You can avoid mold and other problems by asking for help.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on storm damage.