Commercial Storm Mitigation and Restoration Tips
Mitigation is the process of stopping further loss from occurring
It only takes a brief time for a storm in Comanche, MT, to cause significant damage to your business. The recovery process, however, takes much longer. There are two phases after the storm. First, the flood cleanup company mitigates the damage. Second, the restoration company returns your business to preloss condition. Here are some tips for both stages of recuperation.
Mitigation refers to the process of stopping further loss from occurring. When a storm hits, water damage is the most likely culprit. Wind, hail and even lightning strikes cause problems as well. These are some key points for understanding the first part of recovery:
- It is important to act fast. Water spreads quickly and causes secondary damage within 24-48 hours, such as mold growth. Contact the flood cleanup company as soon as possible after you suspect storm damage.
- The mitigation process may be relatively quick. First excess water is extracted, and unsalvageable materials are disposed of. Then the area is thoroughly dried, cleaned and sanitized.
After the damage is controlled, the second round focuses on returning your property to its pre-storm state. Although ideally, one company covers both steps, restoration differs from mitigation in these ways:
- While still important to complete in a timely manner, the immediacy of intervention is not as critical. However, every day your business is not open you lose revenue.
- Depending on the level of destruction, this portion likely takes longer. Damaged drywall may need to be replaced, floors repaired, carpet installed or painting completed. In addition to the structure, contents and inventory are repaired or replaced as well.
A storm in Comanche, MT, wreaks havoc on your business. Recovery from water and other damage occurs in two phases: mitigation and restoration. For mitigation, it is crucial to use a flood cleanup company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster because every second counts. The restoration company then returns your property to preloss condition.
What You Should Know About Boarding Up Your Home in an Emergency
Board up window in a Broadview, MT home
If you live in hurricane country, you may be familiar with emergency board up services to protect your home from damage. But did you know there are lots of other good reasons to board up your home’s windows and doors in Broadview, MT? Consider a few of them and whether you might take advantage of it to safeguard your home.
Benefits of Boarding Up Your Home
- Prevent additional damage from weather or animals
- Reduce the risk of property loss from theft and looting
- Helps keep your insurance coverage by showing them you are taking appropriate measures to prevent more damage or theft
- Reduce your risk of liability by keeping people and pets out and preventing injury
Keep Your Home Safe and Your Insurance Intact
When you board up your home following fire damage, you are preventing rain, wind, hail or snow from causing additional problems. You are also keeping rodents, birds and other pests from taking up residence or contaminating the area. Perhaps one of the greatest problems is looting. When someone unscrupulous discovers your home is not being lived in and has easy access, you are in danger of them salvaging anything they can get their hands on to pawn or sell on the streets, or even from squatting on your property. Boarding up your doors, windows or openings cause by fire damage to show your insurance agent that you are doing every thing in your power to prevent further damage.
Don’t try to take on the job yourself - a board up can be an overwhelming task and would be best done by an emergency board up service in Broadview, MT. They can make sure everything is secure and can avoid causing additional damage by ensuring all fasteners go into secure places. They may also use tarps where appropriate. Whether you are doing the whole house or just an opening or two, boarding up can save a lot of grief.
Smoke Odor Cleanup Methods
Many Billings,MT cleanup technicians will use ozone machines for standard smoke cleanup
Smoke Odor Cleanup Methods
What is that smell? If your commercial property recently suffered from a damaging fire, it’s probably smoke odor. You may already know how to handle structural fire damage, but what can you do about smoke cleaning? Fortunately for you and your business, there are several ways that trained professionals can help. Read on to learn about three methods that your local fire damage restoration company can use to help clean up those unpleasant smells.
1. Ozone Machines
Many Billings, MT, cleanup technicians will use ozone machines for standard smoke cleanup. These handy devices actually destroy the odors in your building, rather than simply covering them up temporarily.
2. Thermal Foggers
A thermal fogger will assist cleanup professionals in alleviating smoke damage by removing odors from carpets, walls and most other common surfaces in your commercial space. A fogger is considered to be the preferred device for smoke cleaning in many cases.
3. Air Filtration Devices
A good air filtration device will remove smoke particles from the air in your building and eliminate most odors. This makes filtration a very good choice for handling smoke cleanup in a large number of fire situations.
Which Method Does My Business Need?
The specific method that your local Billings, MT, cleanup technicians use will likely vary depending on the severity of the situation, what type of building your business is located in and other important factors unique to your location. All of the methods above are excellent in the right situation, but you will need to talk to your on-site smoke cleaning crew about what their cleaning plan is.
Dealing with the aftermath of a commercial fire can be stressful enough without having to worry about lingering effects such as the smell of smoke. However, with all of the cleanup options that professionals have to consider, you really do not have to worry about the odors sticking around for long.
3 Tips for Protecting Your Home’s Water Pipes During Cold Weather
Frozen pipe in a Laurel, MT home
3 Tips for Protecting Your Home’s Water Pipes During Cold Weather
When frigid temperatures arrive, they can affect your Laurel,MT, home in many ways. However, one way they can be extremely damaging is when they cause frozen pipes both inside and outside. When water pipes become frozen, they can burst without warning and cause serious flooding that can ruin walls and flooring. Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent this issue and safeguard your property when cold weather strikes.
1. Search for Air Leaks
When cold air is allowed to seep into your home, it can contribute to pipe freeze and flooding when pipes become cold enough to burst. You can reduce the risk by searching for air leaks inside your home and sealing them with fiber insulation or caulk. Air leaks can be commonly found around vents, loose electrical plating and near joists in unfinished areas, such as utility or mud rooms. If you find air leaks, take the opportunity to check any nearby pipes for signs of wear or damage.
2. Expose Hidden Pipes to Warm Air
Pipes hidden under cabinets, such as those in your kitchen and bathroom, can be more prone to freezing because they are rarely exposed to warm air. Opening your cabinets during freezing temperatures can prevent this and a pipe burst that could result in a serious flood. If you plan to leave your home overnight or for an extended winter holiday, leave the cabinet doors open and allow the warm water faucet to drip slightly, which can prevent these pipes from freezing over.
3. Winterize Your Pipes Before Cold Weather Hits
Taking time to winterize your home during the fall can lower the risk of frozen pipes later on. Have a flood damage and water removal company come in to inspect your water lines and ask technicians advice about steps you can take to protect your pipes now.
Frozen pipes can cause serious water damage to your Laurel,MT, home. Knowing how to prevent this problem could go a long way in helping you save the time and money it takes to make repairs in the aftermath.
7 Places You Wouldn’t Expect To Find Mold
Mold growing on walls and carpet in Broadview, MT
7 Places You Wouldn’t Expect To Find Mold
Mold is everywhere in the world around us, even in Broadview, MT. Some places you assume you will find colonies of fungi, but here are seven places you wouldn’t expect to find mold growth.
1. Washing Machines
Drums inside washing machines harbor moisture for long periods because they are an enclosed environment. Mold often grows under the drum and causes a pungent odor. If you discover mold or mildew, run a hot water load with vinegar to kill the spores.
Mold on wood is often expected near windows. Mold on the window itself is not. If you discover a moldy window, use a window cleaner or vinegar to kill the mold and remove the stain the spores leave behind.
Water can pool on the brick, along with dirt and debris. Once this occurs, it can become a perfect surface for mold growth. Having the chimney cleaned yearly and checking for cracks can help prevent colony growth.
Moldy drywall can hide potential problems for your home. An unexpected hiding place is inside the wall under the mold on the plasterboard. To remove the hidden mold, contact a mitigation specialist.
If you put damp dishes away, it can become the perfect breeding ground for mold. To remove the mold, wipe the dish with soapy water and run through a load in the dishwasher.
Although you may expect mold on food inside the refrigerator, you probably don’t expect mold to grow on the appliance’s door gasket or in the drip pan. Because food particles can easily be captured in both places, both need a good, regular cleaning.
Known for spreading soapy water, you wouldn’t expect mold to grow inside the dishwashing system but it can. Damp water pipes make it a perfect environment for the spores to grow and flourish. If mold is in the pipes of your dishwasher, you may have to contact a mold remediation professional to remove it.
Keep these seven hidden places in mind. Don’t be surprised by mold growth again!
Prepare an Emergency Fire Escape Plan for Your Company
Change the batteries of your smoke alarm in your commercial building in Laurel MT
Fire emergencies in Laurel,MT, can happen to anyone at any time. It's possible that you and your staff will have to evacuate your building without much warning. Prepare for this eventuality with a well-written fire escape plan.
Protect Employees From Fire Injuries
The American Red Cross provides these four important tips for fire safety:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the building. If you own an apartment building, install alarms outside of all sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.
- Run smoke alarm tests every month and regularly change batteries.
- Train employees about the escape plan and hold drills twice a year.
- When fires do happen, immediately leave the building and stay out.
Developing an Escape Plan
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, suggests including the following in your emergency escape plan:
- An appropriate method for reporting the emergency.
- A clear evacuation policy and procedure plan.
- Emergency escape routes and assignments.
- Contact information for individuals.
- Written explanations of responsibilities.
- Training for rescue and medical duties.
Vital Elements of the Plan
As you work on the fire escape plan, focus on maintaining a calm, orderly workspace. Panic and lack of organization can lead to injuries, property damage, and losses. Some vital elements of the plan are a description of specific conditions that lead to evacuation, a clear breakdown of command and duties, a diagram showing evacuation routes and exits, and a system for keeping track of employees and personnel during and after the evacuation. Other elements of your escape plan, as recommended by the American Red Cross, include using stairs and avoiding elevators, establishing secondary escape routes, and holding training for personnel with tips such as ducking low to avoid smoke.
No matter how many steps you take to protect against building fires, it's impossible to completely prevent them. Put together a fire escape plan with guidance from the American Red Cross, OSHA, and local fire damage restoration professionals for the safety and well-being of your personnel.
How To Prevent a Mold Problem After a Flood
Mold damage in Comanche, MT
Flooding can cause many issues in your home. It can damage the structure of your walls, ceilings and floors. It can ruin personal items and spoil any food or toiletries it touches. If left untreated, it can also lead to mold growth. There are several things you can do to ensure that your home in Comanche, MT, doesn't develop a mold problem in addition to water damage after a flood.
Have the Experts on Speed Dial
Your first instinct may be to call your insurance agent, but your next call should be to water mitigation experts. These professionals offer several valuable services when your home has been flooded:
- Assess extent of damage
- Create a remediation plan and timeline
- Provide an estimate of the cost of repairs
- Confirm level of damage for insurance purposes
Mold growth can occur within 24 hours of the appearance of excess moisture, particularly if it is coupled with contamination, as floodwater tends to be. Calling the experts the moment you know you need them is your strongest defense against a fungal invasion.
Get Rid of the Water
Floodwater creates a breeding ground for mold on any surface it touches. If you don't want to add mold removal to the list of expenses you incur from the flooding incident, you must remove its cause. A sump pump is useful for extracting excess water and letting the surfaces start to dry.
Control the Humidity
Humid air can be just as inviting to mold spores as standing water. If you can safely use a dehumidifier, it can help lower the moisture in the air to discourage fungus growth. If it is not safe to plug in a machine, however, you can still increase the air flow to help dry out your home with fans and, if the air outside is not humid, open windows.
Preventing mold growth can be a challenging task, but it is possible if you act quickly. By calling in experts and reducing the moisture in your home and in the air, you can decrease your chances of secondary damage.
Post-Fire Checklist: 6 Things To Do Immediately
Board up damaged windows after fire damage in Broadview,MT
House fires don’t only happen to other Broadview, MT, homeowners. If you find yourself dealing with a residential fire, you probably want to stare fire restoration as soon as possible. Still, jumping the gun can be disastrous.
Here Are Six Things you Should do Immediately After a House Fire
1. Find a Place To Stay
Staying safe after a fire must be your primary concern. If your house has sustained fire damage, look for a long-term solution. Remember, you must find housing that accommodates you, your family and your pets.
2. Board-Up Damaged Windows and Doors
Your post-fire home may not be weathertight. It may also attract criminals. To protect your home until you can begin fire restoration, board up damaged windows and doors.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance adjuster will probably want to inspect fire damage as soon as possible. Once you are your family members are safe, contact a representative from your fire insurance company.
4. Work With Law Enforcement
Police investigators and firefighters will likely prepare an incident report. This report identifies the cause of your house fire. It is also essential for collecting insurance payments.
5. Prepare a Damage List
For both insurance and remediation purposes, you need a list of damaged property. Before a fire, try to create a list of your personal belongings. Add and subtract items occasionally to keep your list current and accurate.
6. Contact a Restoration Service
Even if your house fire is minor, you may have extensive smoke damage. By working with a reputable restoration service for smoke cleaning and other remediation, you put specialized skill and equipment to work for you.
House fires can be devastating. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave your home’s recovery to chance. By taking a few critical steps in the days following a fire, you increase your odds of having a successful fire restoration.
Tips for Avoiding Flooding During Cold Weather
Protect your business in Laurel,MT against frozen pipes
Flooding isn't the only type of storm damage that could affect your business properties; freezing weather could lead to a burst pipe. One property of water is that it expands when it freezes, and during this process, metal and plastic pipes are put under a lot of pressure. As cold weather approaches, watch out for the following at-risk pipes:
- Exterior pipes, such as water sprinkler lines and outdoor hose bibs
- Pipes in unheated areas of the building, such as basements and garages
- Interior pipes that run along exterior walls with little to no insulation
There are several things you can do to protect against a frozen pipe and decrease the risk of flooding because of a burst pipe.
Prepare for Cold Weather
Drain all water from hoses before putting them away and close valves between the interior and the exterior of the building. Clear sprinkler supply lines and drain standing water from landscaping features. Add insulation around interior pipes in unheated areas and against exterior walls. It doesn't take much insulation to protect against freezing. Some products, such as pipe sleeves and heat tape can boost the level of protection.
Adjust Your Habits When Temperatures Drop
Leave the thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and the night, even if employees and staff have left for the day. The increase in your heating bill is sure to be much less than the cost of hiring emergency remediation specialists and any losses you may incur if you aren't able to maintain business operations. You may also want to leave a slow drip through the faucets and open cabinet doors to allow warm air to flow around pipes.
Cold weather in Laurel,MT, could lead to water damages that don't have anything to do with flooding or heavy rainfall. Avoid expensive repairs and the loss of profits by planning ahead and preventing storm damages related to cold temperatures.
First Steps: What To Do When A Pipe Breaks
Water damaged kitchen due to a burst pipe in Billings,MT
Many things can cause water damage to your home in Billings, MT, even elements of the home itself. Bursting pipes are not something you necessarily expect, but it's good to have a plan in place just in case. The faster you can spring into action, the less water damage the broken pipe is likely to cause. Here are some suggested first steps to take if a pipe breaks in your home.
1. Shut Off Supply
The first thing you should do is halt the problem. To do this, you need to stop the flow of water into the pipe. Turn off the water at the main valve, thus limiting the volume that will need to be extracted. It is also advisable to shut off the power, at least to the immediate area where the flood is located. This minimizes the danger of water taking on an electrical charge and causing possible injury to anyone who comes into contact with it.
2. Call Mitigation Services
The sooner you call water restoration specialists about bursting pipes, the better off you'll be. If technicians can get to your home quickly, they can often fix the broken pipe and prevent a lot of the secondary damage that could happen if water is allowed to sit stagnant in your home. You may have to replace fewer inches of drywall. You may even be able to avoid a mold problem.
3. Start Extraction
If you have the appropriate protective gear, such as rubber boots and gloves, you may want to start extracting some of the water before the professional technicians arrive. There's no such thing as removing excess water from your home too soon. As long as you can remove it safely, there's no reason to let water linger longer than necessary.
Most of the work of fixing the damage caused by bursting pipes will be handled by the professionals. Your responsibilities are to get them there quickly and make sure the job is as easy as possible once they arrive.