Recent Posts

Do Storm Floods Always Lead To Mold?

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth. Not every home filled with storm waters will have mold growth.

As a homeowner in Billings, MT, you try to prepare for any event. When a bad storm leaves your lower levels filled with water, you may feel caught off guard. Thankfully, you can get professional help from a storm damage cleanup crew to ensure your house is returned to normal. Your cleanup experts can also help you understand the risk of mold growth. Storm floods don't always lead to mold, but the following can increase your chances:

• Passing time
• Contaminated water
• Faulty repairs

Find out more about why these circumstances can lead to the growth of fungus.

Excess Time

Standing water does not have to be synonymous with fungal growth; but, if you don't find the flooding right away, you may have a higher chance of the growth taking place. This is because stagnant water can become contaminated. It's also because many mold spores exist naturally in your home. Once the excess moisture is there, it may only take 24 to 48 hours for the spores to start to grow.

Dirty Water

The source of the flood can also affect whether your home has a mold growth problem. Bacteria, mold spores, and other contaminants found in stormy waters can allow the fungus to grow even faster than in clean water. This dirty flood may also bring extra spores into your house.

Incomplete Repairs

Fixing water problems quickly is an important part of avoiding mold. If you try to undertake this cleanup on your own, you may miss pockets of moisture. Leaving this excess humidity in your house can create the perfect environment for mold. If you want to avoid this type of growth, you may want to make sure every part of your home has been cleaned and dried out after storm-related flooding.

Not every home filled with storm waters will have mold growth. How soon you start the repairs, the source of the water, and the efficiency of the repairs may affect the secondary damage your home has to endure.

The Basics of Mold Testing

9/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. If the mold assessment reveals a problem, it will have to be remedied, or it will just grow into a bigger problem.

Almost every home is susceptible to a mold problem. If you suspect mold is growing in your home in Billings, MT, you probably want to hire an environmental hygienist to conduct a mold assessment. Home test kits may be convenient, but they are not always accurate. Also, without the proper training, you might misinterpret the results. Here is a basic rundown of what to do if you suspect a mold problem exists in your home.

When Testing Is Necessary

Testing for black mold is probably not part of your frequent home inspection, as it would be expensive to hire a certified hygienist every time you conducted your inspection. There are several reasons why you would need to test for mold:

• Musty odor in the home
• Hard-to-locate mold
• Concentration of spores
• Success of removal

Unless you can actually see mold growing, testing is often the only way you can see if there is a problem. If you suspect rampant mold growth in your home, it is a good idea to have it tested.

What Testing Discovers

A mold assessment is not going to answer the question of if there is mold in your home but rather how much. Every home has mold because mold is everywhere. The distinction that testing makes is whether or not it is a problem that needs to be resolved by mold remediation specialists. The hygienist may test the air quality by taking a baseline reading outside and comparing it to the results of the air test inside. He or she may also take a surface test by swapping surfaces where mold may hide. A bulk test involves sending materials to the lab to be tested for growth and concentration. The tester may use any or all of these methods to determine if there is mold or mildew present.

If the mold assessment reveals a problem, it will have to be remedied, or it will just grow into a bigger problem. At least you have the peace of mind of knowing for sure whether or not you have mold.

3 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings

9/18/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursting. As a business owner, you know the value of having a clean, safe business.

Managing a business takes a great deal of time, energy, and money, but the payoff can be rewarding. Unfortunately, water issues such as leaking pipes can force a business in Billings, MT, to close its doors. Knowing the common water issues that many businesses face can help you prevent water damage to your business.

1. Damaged Pipes

Pipes can become damaged over time, which can result in a break or leak. Both issues can cause long-term damage to your business. If your pipes are leaking, you may notice that your water bill has increased without an increase in purposeful water use. A pipe break is often more sudden and apparent, but it can also cause extensive damage. Maintaining your business’s pipes will help prevent leaking pipes and other damage from occurring.

2. Sewer Backup

If your building has repeatedly had a toilet back up or you notice the water isn’t draining appropriately in sinks and other drains, it could be a sign of a sewer backup. Sewer backups can leave your business without functioning restrooms and appliances, and they can also be dangerous to people’s health. Backups can create water damage in a variety of locations in your business and can affect various appliances at once.

3. Foundation Damage

A sturdy, supportive foundation is essential for any building, including businesses. If water has accessed your business’s foundation numerous times, especially in older buildings, the foundation may begin to crack. It’s important to be aware of the state of your building’s foundation since damaged foundations can make a building unsafe to inhabit. Signs of foundation damage could include visible cracks, sinking floors, and doors that won’t easily open or close.

As a business owner, you know the value of having a clean, safe business. Water issues such as leaking pipes can wreak havoc on a business, but knowing what to look for can help you keep your business functioning at its best. If you do experience water issues, qualified professionals can help you fix the issues and prevent future damage.

2 Critical Keys To Odor Removal After Flooding

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

flooded storage room, plastic chairs, plastic pipes, flooded floor Cleaning up after a flood may seem overwhelming, but there is assistance available.

Flood Water Cleaning

After a flood in Laurel,  MT, you are probably worried that your home will never smell the same again. You are right to be concerned about this, but it is possible to prevent and remove odors from water contamination and mold growth after a storm. The secret to success is twofold: start immediately and clean effectively.

1. Start Cleanup Immediately

When there is a flood, your home and personal belongings are at risk from water damage itself, but also biohazards like sewage and other contaminants in the water. Flood water from a storm is often referred to as "black water" for this reason. Mold growth can also begin within 48 hours.

As time passes, materials exposed to flood water are absorbing the liquid and all its microscopic contents. The risk of structural damage increases, but also extended exposure to contamination makes it more difficult to save and clean materials the right way. After mold colonies form, mold remediation is needed, and the overall cleanup becomes costlier as containment becomes important to prevent the spread of mold spores and more colonies.

2. Clean the Right Way

Each item exposed to water will be different in how it should be treated after a flood. Some items may need to be disposed of, such as carpet padding, but some items can be disinfected and saved, like carpet. Trained experts are knowledgeable about the cleaning process and can help your family with effective cleaning of your home after a flood.

No matter where you are, mold spores are in the air. That's very normal. The problem comes when materials don't dry thoroughly, and those spores form colonies of mold. It's very difficult to clean deeply rooted mold growth from porous materials, but the combination of containment, thorough drying techniques, and antimicrobials is the key to solving the problem and preventing odors from coming back.

Flood water cleaning may seem overwhelming, but there is help. Flood restoration specialists have the resources and training to remove water quickly, clean materials thoroughly, and dry your home completely. Look for specialists with IICRC training to ensure effective odor removal techniques are used.

Box of Horrors: Cleaning the Office Fridge

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in a refrigerator No one wants to see fridge mold.

Cleaning the Office Fridge: A Box of Horrors

If your pulse quickens and you take a deep breath before opening the office fridge, you are probably not overreacting. Communal refrigerators in the workplace are notorious for developing fridge mold and the nauseous sights and smells that go along with it. All hope is not lost, though. You can play an integral role in preventing fridge funk in your office in Laurel, MT, by taking charge of the cleaning of the office fridge.

Common Causes

Before you can prevent a problem, you have to know what causes it. When it comes to items that contribute to the mold smell that assaults your senses, neglect is the most likely culprit. Food gets forgotten for many reasons:

  • Office party leftovers that someone didn't want to go to waste but made no actual plans to use
  • Well-intentioned lunch that was abandoned in favor of a spontaneous office outing
  • Leftovers that are abandoned and left to fester over the weekend
  • Employees forgetting to take their lunch breaks

You can't make people remember to eat the food they put in the office refrigerator, but you can help prevent fridge mold by providing stickers and asking them to date anything they put in the fridge. Let them know that food left longer than three days will be thrown out.

Fridge Cleanup

At least once a week, someone needs to clean the fridge. Not many people will sign up for this job. If you do not want the problem to get so bad that you have to hire remediation experts to take care of it, however, it is a good idea to volunteer or offer an incentive to someone else to take on disinfecting the fridge on a regular basis. The more often you clean, the less disgusting the task will be.

No one wants to see fridge mold in the office refrigerator, but without regular cleaning, it is almost a certainty. With a weekly cleaning schedule and a little cooperation from other employees, you can make your office fridge useful rather than scary.

3 Ways to Avoid Cigarette Fires

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

A man's hand putting out a cigarette If you do not put out the burning end of a cigarette, you will greatly increase a fire risk inside or outside of your home.

Avoid Cigarette Fires

Cigarettes are a common cause of fire even though these fires are easily preventable. Here are three ways to prevent a cigarette fire.

1. Smoke outside. Most cigarette fires start when a smoker falls asleep. Bedrooms and couches are the most common places for cigarette fires to break out. Keep in mind that the same risks apply to smoking on a screened-in porch or a deck with furniture. It is best to smoke away from the house in an outdoor chair. You may be less likely to get comfortable enough to fall asleep outside with a lit cigarette.

2. Use stable, enclosed ashtrays. An ashtray fire is a common type of cigarette fire. This type of blaze can occur if a pet knocks over an ashtray that contains smoldering butts or if burning butts get blown out of the ashtray onto combustible materials outdoors. Choose an ashtray that is hard to knock over, and that is enclosed or features a material that makes it easy to ensure that smoldering butts no longer pose a fire risk.

3. Completely extinguish cigarettes. If you do not put out the burning end of a cigarette, you will greatly increase a fire risk inside or outside of your home. Take an extra moment to make sure that your cigarette is completely extinguished before leaving the area. Some ashtrays feature sand or other materials that can help to ensure that the ends of cigarettes are no longer burning. This is the most important step in preventing fires whether you choose to smoke indoors or outdoors.

These are three simple and effective ways to prevent fires caused by cigarettes in or around your home. If a cigarette fire does break out, you can either extinguish a minor fire yourself or call the fire department. If your home sustains damage, contact a fire cleanup service near Laurel,MT.

How To Handle a Leaking Sink

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen damaged by water Water damage on a kitchen in an Acton, MT home

How To Handle a Leaking Sink

You open the cabinets under the kitchen sink at your home in Acton, MT. Suddenly, you notice a puddle. Before your eyes, the small puddle turns into flooding. As you watch the water in your home spread, what is the next step? Mitigate the Damage

Even if you do not know anything about pipe or kitchen repair, there are a few steps you can take before help arrives:

Safety should be your first priority. If possible, shut off the main water valve to stop the flooding from continuing. Make sure that you do not stand in water when active electricity is nearby. Also watch your step carefully, as wet kitchen floors are slippery. If you have any doubt about your wellbeing, leave the house and wait for a professional to assess the situation.
Once the water in the home has ceased from spreading, remove items from the waterlogged area. Use a mop or towel to soak up excess water. Open windows or use air conditioning to circulate the air. Do not use electrical appliances or attempt to vacuum up the water.

Call for Help

Oftentimes a kitchen flood causes significant water damage, which can spread to the adjacent rooms in your home. When not dealt with quickly, secondary damage can occur such as mold. Make the following phone calls as soon as possible:

Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent. When a pipe bursts, insurance typically covers the resulting water damage.
Call a reputable water restoration specialist. After your property is inspected and safety issues are resolved, the company gets to work on removing pooled water, drying the space with industrial equipment, cleaning the area and completing the kitchen repair.

When you discover your kitchen flooding in Acton, MT, immediately begin to mitigate the damage by stopping the water source. Partner with your insurance agent and a water restoration company to return your kitchen to pre-flood condition.

Cleaning a Commercial Roof: Five Steps

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning gutters during the summer time. Keep your gutters clean.

Cleaning a Commercial Roof

If you want to avoid a roof leak in your Billings, MT, business’s future, it is important to keep your roof clean and clear of unwanted materials. If you are not sure how to get started on your cleaning plan, the following five steps should help.

1. Inspect For Existing Damage

It is important to check your roof and see if there are any pre-existing issues, such as wind damage, from a previous storm. Such damage could include loose or cracked shingles or other physical issues affecting the roof’s materials.

2. Clean Gutters

Things such as little branches and other small objects may be stuck in your gutters. It is a good idea to check for such items in gutters as part of your rooftop cleaning plan so you do not end up with backed-up water down the road.

3. Clear Storm Drains

Storm drains can get clogged up with the same objects that get stuck in gutters. Make sure to check them out and clear any garbage from them. Like with the gutters, a storm drain that is backed up will not be able to efficiently clear water in the event of a storm.

4. Clean Your Roof

One of the worst causes of a roof leak is wetness. Prevent your roof from accumulating dampness by removing leaves or other objects that are holding water on the top of your building.

5. Consider Professional Help

If there any loose or damaged shingles, now is the time to get them fixed, possibly with help from professionals if the loss is severe. Commercial storm restoration services might be a good choice if you should be so unfortunate as to have destructive water damage or debris that requires more skilled assistance. It is better to get help than to embark on a task that you are not confident you can handle yourself.
When it comes down to it, you never want to put the integrity of your commercial building at risk. That is why it is important to have a cleaning plan in place to keep your property in top shape and to help prevent a future roof leak.

3 Things You Should Include in Your Fire Escape Plan

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Draw a plan of your home.

3 Things You Should Include in Your Fire Escape Plan

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 of the fire department. You may also want to memorize the number of your local fire restoration company and the 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.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Bathroom

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bathroom tiles Mold growth in a bathroom.

Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom

If you have a Comanche, MT, home, you may be worried about getting mold. While you don't need to worry too much, it's smart to keep an eye out for fungus. Since mold tends to grow in areas that develop water damage, bathrooms are a particularly at-risk area. If you'd like to avoid getting any damage in these rooms, here are three ways to prevent mold growth in your bathroom.

1. Look for Water
One of the best ways to keep your bathroom mold-free is to look for water. Bathrooms tend to accumulate puddles of water, particularly in certain areas. These are some places to keep an eye on:

  • Around the toilet
  • Next to the shower
  • Under the sink

Once you find water, be sure to clean it up immediately. Check the area for mold growth in case the water has been there a while. Finally, regularly check the spot for more water.

2. Run the Fans
Since bathrooms involve so much water, particularly hot water from showers, the rooms can get very humid. Humidity makes it easier for water damage to occur and for mold to grow. In order to get the moisture out of your bathroom, you'll need to run your fans once in a while. It's a particularly good idea to do so after a shower. In fact, keep your fans on for about a half-hour after taking a shower. If you still need more airflow, have the air vents in your bathroom checked.

3. Fix Leaks
If you find any leaks, you'll want to get each one fixed immediately. You may need to bring some mechanics in for mold prevention, particularly if the leak involves your toilet or sink. Be sure to check your tile as well. If there are any holes, use a grout sealer to fix the issue. Doing this right away can prevent any extreme damage. In the event that you find the leak after the damage has been caused, you may want to contact mold damage restoration experts.
If you remain thorough and look for water damage, you may have a better chance of avoiding mold growth in your bathroom.