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Prepare an Emergency Fire Escape Plan for Your Company

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 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

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 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

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire 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

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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.

Top 3 Features You Should Look For in an Air Purifier

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top 3 Features You Should Look For in an Air Purifier An air purifier can improve the quality of the air in your home.

Most people may not stop often to think about the air circulating inside their homes. However, every house in Billings, Montana can benefit from an air filtration system. An air purifier cleanses the air you breathe by removing a variety of particles, including dust and dust mites, pollen, bacteria, pet dander and mold. Not every device can efficiently eliminate every contaminant, so choosing the best option can be confusing. However, if you want a machine that offers the most benefits, consider purchasing one that includes the following features.

Great Features of an air filtration system

True HEPA Filter

Many airborne particles inside your home are extraordinarily small. A true HEPA filter is designed and certified to capture 99 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns, including mold spores. Some air purifiers utilize HEPA-like or HEPA-type filters, which are not capable of collecting the smallest of particles. For this reason, a True HEPA filter is the ideal choice for anyone wanting to thoroughly cleanse the air in a home.

UV Light

An ultraviolet germicidal light is another feature available on some air purifiers. UV light kills mold spores and bacteria, working in conjunction with a HEPA filter to rid your home of airborne contaminants.


Mold and bacteria can emit foul smells. A filter containing activated carbon will help your air filtration system eliminate these unpleasant odors. To ensure that your house remains mold-free, however, you must be vigilant. Mold thrives in moist environments, so you must quickly fix any water leaks and promptly dry saturated areas, including drywall and carpets, to prevent potential breeding grounds. If your home sustains significant water damage from a burst pipe or flood, you may wish to consult a professional cleanup and restoration team that can also provide mold remediation services, if necessary.

Purchasing a filter with a true HEPA filter, UV light and activated carbon will help free your home of circulating allergens, bacteria and mold. With careful attention to maintenance and the proper air filtration device, you can enjoy clean air in your house for years to come.

Why You Must Promptly Remove Saturated Building Materials After a Flood

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Why You Must Promptly Remove Saturated Building Materials After a Flood Be sure to allow all areas to dry completely before beginning to rebuild your home!

Flooding is a challenging dilemma for any homeowner in Billings, Montana. Once the flood waters recede, you can begin the daunting cleanup and restoration process. Removing saturated materials is a crucial phase of this project that you must promptly complete to preserve the integrity of your home.

Saturated Building Materials

In addition to your personal belongings, your home’s carpets, drywall and insulation may be severely saturated. All three of these materials are porous and absorb water. Quickly removing these items is important for several reasons:

  • Enables affected space to properly dry
  • Reduces the risk of mold contamination
  • Wet insulation loses its R-value, diminishing its effectiveness

Damaged Property Risk

Flooding makes your home more susceptible to mold pollution because mold thrives in moist environments. Reducing your risk requires a timely and efficient approach. Mold can easily hide under saturated carpets and behind wet drywall. This is a primary reason why you must remove these materials during your cleanup endeavors.

Ruined Dry Wall

To efficiently tear out damaged drywall, make a cut that is 12-18 inches above the highest water level. This allows you to easily access and remove wet insulation and ensures that no water-damaged drywall remains.

Reduced Moisture Levels

Before replacing your damaged drywall, you need to ensure that the space is free of moisture. After you make the flood cut, use fans and a dehumidifier to expedite the drying process. Allow the area to dry for 24-48 hours. Then, you can verify moisture levels with a moisture meter.

For additional peace of mind, you should consider installing mold-resistant drywall. This may be particularly beneficial if your area is prone to storms or you live in a flood plain.

Restored: Your Home

Flooding often requires extensive cleanup efforts. Quickly removing saturated materials and efficiently drying the flooded area in your home is the key to preventing mold contamination. Although it may seem daunting, with time and effort, you can accomplish the cleanup process and successfully complete your home’s restoration.

4 Methods for Mitigating Water Damage

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Methods for Mitigating Water Damage Water damaged property?? Call the professionals in to help clean up and prevent secondary damage.

Water damage can cause serious problems in a commercial property. Whether you are dealing with a supply line leaking or a pipe burst cleanup, here are four methods that may mitigate water damage.

Collect As Much Water As Possible

Try to collect as much water as you can in buckets or other containers. This can help to reduce the extent of water cleanup. Water from a burst pipe or supply line will likely be relatively clean. If the leak comes from any other source, the water may be contaminated. Take precautionary measures depending on the origin of the water.

Remove Spilled Water With Any Available Method

If you have buckets, a mop, towels, or a wet vacuum on hand, try to remove as much water as you can. The problem will persist until you resolve the underlying issue, so it can be smart to contact a plumber as soon as you can.

Rely On a Restoration Service for Major Leaks

If you are dealing with a major leak, you may want to rely on the expertise and specialized equipment of a commercial water damage restoration service for pipe burst cleanup. These professionals can lessen the severity of the problem and help to prevent secondary damage.

Completely Dry the Affected Area

Restoration professionals rely on equipment such as dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the area of your building affected by a leak. If you are mitigating water damage on your own, you may also want to use a dehumidifier or fans to circulate air, promote faster drying, and try to prevent mold from developing.

These four methods can help you mitigate water damage in a commercial property in Billings, Montana. Whether you need to perform pipe burst cleanup, deal with a supply line leaking, or engage in other water cleanup, the situation can be less severe if you follow these guidelines.

How To Administer Basic Aid to Burn Victims

9/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Administer Basic Aid to Burn Victims Fire damage in Broadview, MT

If your commercial property in Broadview, MT, catches fire, the damage to the building may not be the only problem you have to address. Fire damage to your building is worrisome enough, but if people are burned by the fire, you may have to administer some basic burn first aid. Minor burns can be treated by cooling, applying lotion and bandaging to keep the burn clean, but major burns require emergency treatment.

Symptoms of Major Burns

Before you can determine how a burn should be treated, you must first assess the type of burn it is. A major burn will display certain characteristics:

  • Parched skin with the texture of leather
  • Patches of black, brown or white where skin has charred
  • Deep wounds
  • Diameter of three inches or more
  •  Located on the extremities, groin, buttocks, face or major joints

If you see any of these symptoms, call emergency services immediately. The burn victim will likely need professional medical help for the fire damage to his or her body.

Aid for Major Burns

While you are waiting for the EMTs to arrive, you can help a person with major burns by keeping them comfortable, safe and as calm as possible. You do not need to apply the same first aid principles as you would with a minor burn, as most of those steps may cause more harm than good. You can cover the burn with a wet cloth to cool it off, but never submerge a major burn in water. If the burn can be elevated above the heart, that can help slow blood loss. Move the individual to a safe location, and make sure he or she is breathing normally.

Fire damage to your building can be mitigated by remediation experts, but injuries to a human require first aid or medical attention. Look for signs to distinguish between major and minor burns and respond accordingly.

Cleaning a Commercial Roof: Five Steps

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Cleaning a Commercial Roof: Five Steps Storm damage in Laurel, MT

If you want to avoid a roof leak in your Laurel, 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, these 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.