Recent Posts

How Do Sprinklers Function During a Fire?

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler A fire sprinkler can help to limit the amount of damage a commercial property sustains from either a fire or a fire suppression system

How Do Sprinklers Function During a Fire?

Fire sprinklers significantly reduce the extent of property loss and the risks to occupants of a commercial building. Read on to find out how a fire sprinkler can suppress or extinguish flames in a commercial property.

1. A sprinkler head turns on when it detects high temperatures. Fire sprinklers turn on when high heat triggers the system rather than being activated by smoke. Hot air rises during a fire and spreads across the ceiling until it reaches a sprinkler head and activates the fire suppression system. Many sprinkler head designs feature a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands when it comes into contact with air between 135 and 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid shatters the glass container when the surrounding air reaches temperatures in this range, activating the sprinkler head.

2. Sprinkler heads dispense pressurized water from the pipe system. Each fire sprinkler head is attached to a pipe that brings in water. When a sprinkler head becomes activated, a valve connected to the head opens and sends water out through the sprinkler head to douse the fire. Water pressure is important, as it causes water to spray out over a larger area.

3. Sprinkler heads function individually to limit water damage. Each sprinkler head in a sprinkler system functions separately. Many small fires can be extinguished with only one or two activated sprinkler heads. Sprinklers pose less of a water damage risk to a property than a fire hose. Some restoration specialists estimate that the average sprinkler system dispenses six times less water than a hose.

fire sprinkler can help to limit the amount of damage a commercial property sustains from either a fire or a fire suppression system. If you need to clean and restore damage caused by a fire or schedule fire sprinkler cleanup, contact a certified commercial restoration company in Billings, MT. 

How Renters Insurance Can Help After a Fire

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renters insurance can be a big financial help after a fire at your home

A fire at your Comanche, MT, rental home can be a major hassle. Fortunately, renters insurance can protect you.

Insurance Coverage

There are a variety of expenses that can result from a fire. Your insurance policy may cover most or all of them. Insurance policies often cover the following:

  • Liability and medical payments
  • Contents
  • Temporary living expenses

If the fire is your fault, you may be held liable for the damage. In some cases, especially for small medical expenses to third parties, insurance will cover the cost without establishing liability. Additionally, insurance policies generally cover fire damage to the renter’s personal property, also known as contents. Some policies will pay what the contents were worth just before the fire, and other policies will cover the cost to replace or repair the items. Although damage to the structure itself is covered by the landlord’s policy, a renter's policy will often pay for temporary living expenses during the fire restoration process. Make sure you read your policy carefully and discuss the terms with your insurance agent so that you know the coverage limits and what is and is not covered.

Home Inventory
To get the most out of your renter's insurance, it is important to create a document called a home inventory. This is a list of everything you would want to replace should it be damaged, the purchase price and purchase date. Take pictures or video of all the items, including serial numbers if present. Add receipts and appraisal documentation if you have them. Be sure to update the inventory regularly, especially after you have made a big purchase. Store the inventory in a safe place, such as cloud storage or an off-site location.
Renters insurance can be a big financial help after a fire at your home. If you need assistance with the restoration of your personal belongings, enlisting an experienced restoration team may be a good idea.

Knowing When To Sue Over Black Mold Exposure

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

woman holding her hand while staring at corner of ceiling with mold growth Black mold damage in Billings, MT

Adhere To The Following Four Points

As a building tenant, you have rights, and your landlord has legal responsibilities. However, while you may discover black mold in your rental space, legal action is not the appropriate first step. True, your landlord must maintain a habitable space, but some mold problems stem from unseen issues, like internal plumbing leaks. Therefore, understand and adhere to the following four points.

1. Violation of Habitability Warranty
A residential landlord must adhere to a habitability warranty, meaning that living spaces must meet federal and state codes for residential properties. Property neglect, leading to mold growth, directly violates this warranty. However, consider that a direct violation means the owner knowingly put you, the tenant, in harm's way. Did they? If not, give the landlord an opportunity to correct the issue.

2. Notification to Landlord
When notifying your landlord of the discovery of black mold, record the interaction, or ensure a record of the event. Notifying a landlord of the problem in writing is often the best way to inform because there is proof of the interaction. You can also use email or text messages, any form of communication that shows the date and time of the interaction.
Once a landlord receives notification, they should test the building and hire a mold remediation company in Billings, MT, to take care of the problem. If they do not fix the problem, then further action may be necessary.

3. Restitution for Damages
It is not uncommon for mold damage to result in property loss and other issues. Your landlord may be responsible for the damages. You can file a claim to receive restitution for property loss and medical expenses should any arise.

4. Execution of Legal Action
If your landlord is unresponsive, or if they refuse to correct the problem, then you have every right to file a personal injury lawsuit against them. While tenants and landlords should work amicably toward a solution, sometimes legal interference is necessary.
Every tenant has a right to live in a rental free of black mold. Contact your landlord and discuss mitigation possibilities before seeking legal action.

5 Common Commercial Building Sewer Problems

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Man crouching in trench with shovel showing an old terracotta sewer line broken open to reveal a solid tube of invasive tree Tree roots will invariably find your sewer system

Commercial Building Sewer Problems

Your building’s biggest drain is its sewer line. Major problems can occur as a result of a damaged or blocked sewer line. These issues can wreak havoc on a commercial building if they aren’t discovered and solved early on. Beware of the following potential problems.

1. Substances Building Up
Never put grease down a drain; it’ll solidify and build up in the pipes. Coffee grounds are also one of the worst substances for a drain.

2. Foreign Objects Getting Stuck
Sanitary sewer lines and bathroom drains — both residential and commercial — are designed to handle only human waste and toilet tissue. Nothing else should be put down the drains. Even paper towels and “flushable wipes” are harmful to septic systems.

3. Tree Roots Growing
In their search for moisture and nutrients, tree roots will invariably find your sewer system. They’ll even grow into the line by infiltrating cracks that develop in the pipes. This can cause serious problems such as pipe breaks, as well as leaking or blocked sewer lines. A toilet overflow is often the first sign of a sewer blockage.

4. Lines Failing
Freezing and thawing cycles in the ground, shifting soil, tree roots or the settling of a structure can cause pipe breaks, cracks or collapse. When damaged sewer lines leak, the water will saturate the ground surrounding the pipes, causing more damage to the line when it freezes. Piping that isn't made of PVC is at risk of deteriorating and can give way, obstructing flow through the pipe.

5. Pipes Sagging
Over time, parts of pipes will sag deeper into the ground. Water, waste, and sediment will then collect in this “bellied” area and get trapped, blocking the line from flowing properly.
Always be mindful of signs of a leaking or blocked sewer line at your Laurel, MT, building. If a problem occurs, water damage cleanup experts will return your property to its preloss condition as quickly as possible. Prevention is key, so have your sewer line inspected every three to five years.

How to Prepare Your Property for the Next Big Storm

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

Construction engineer wearing safety uniform inspection metal roofing work for roof industrial Roof inspection in a Broadview, MT commercial building

Storm Preparedness

Professional meteorologists can't often accurately predict the upcoming weather, so it's not likely that you'll be able to. This doesn't mean you shouldn't be ready for severe storms. Your commercial building could suffer significant damage if you are not prepared. Flooding and other water damage, along with mold, broken windows and materials, and other issues could occur. There are some helpful tips you can follow to prevent disaster and practice good storm preparedness.

Common Storm Damage
Like in other places around the country, weather in Broadview, MT, can be unpredictable. Thunderstorms, downpours, heavy winds, and other examples of Mother nature's fury can unleash on your building. Results from these storms can include:

  • Leaky roofs, leading to flooding in upper levels
  • High winds blowing over trees onto the structure
  • High winds breaking windows, blowing off roof shingles or ruining the siding

Evacuation Plan
Bad weather can hit at any time. Good property management looks out for the building's tenants, especially when rough storms occur when the building is occupied. Putting together an escape strategy is vital. Make sure everyone in the building knows where all the exits are, especially the closest ones. Identify a gathering place outside the facility. Also, assign key roles to responsible people.

Inspect the Roof and Rain Gutters
It doesn't take a deluge of water to leak through the roof and start to damage your building. In your storm preparedness activities, make sure the roof is sound and is free of weak spots. You should also take a look at the rain gutters and downspouts to ensure that they are diverting water away from the property.

Shutter Up
If you live in an area where large wind gusts are common, you should consider installing window shutters. You can find various types, including those built to withstand hurricane-force winds.
If you are not taking storm preparedness seriously, it's time to start putting these tips into practice. Before you have to call a professional cleanup company to the rescue, you can avoid some potential problems.

Protect Your Building After a Fire

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

A fire can be one of the worst things a company can go through. In addition to the fire damage, you will have to deal with a business interruption that leaves workers idle and puts a stop to your business operations. Once a fire happens and has been put out the emphasis from that point is on reducing damage and getting the business up and running again. Instead of floundering around and reinventing the wheel, it's best to work with the fire restoration experts in Acton, MT. They have a proven process in place that addresses water and soot damage, security, safety and other issues. By bringing in a team of experienced workers before the last embers have been extinguished, they can begin the process of reopening your business.

Secure the Building

One of the first steps is to protect your building from looting. Word will get out that a fire has happened and this often attracts vandals and thieves. It's imperative that the building is secured quickly with these measures;

  • Solid locks on the doors
  • Boards over broken windows
  • A tarp over a damaged roof
  • Surveillance of the grounds and property

The goal here is to prevent unauthorized access. This warns off looters, but it also protects your company from people coming on the grounds and getting injured. An injury on your property after a fire could result in a lawsuit.

Clean Up the Fire

Once the building is secured the fire cleanup can begin in earnest. This will involve ridding the building of water used in fighting the fire. The drying process uses dehumidifiers and air movers to withdraw excess moisture. More specialized equipment is used to remove smoke odors and soot from the walls, upholstery and fabrics. Industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment are employed to clean and sanitize the building. Once the fire damage is cleaned up, your company can begin normal operations again.

How To Avoid Mold Issues After a Storm

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling tile stained and words that say STAY AWAY Porous materials, such as ceiling tiles and carpet, may have to be thrown away if they become moldy.

A heavy storm in Acton, MT, can easily flood your home, causing all sorts of damage. One problem that can be prevented by quick action is mold growth. Follow these tips to protect your home from fungus damage after a storm.

Remove Porous Items

Not every item is prone to mold damage. Metal and glass, for example, are both easy to clean even if patches form on them. It can be more difficult, however, to get mold out of porous materials:

  • Wood
  • Textiles
  • Carpet
  • Drywall
  • Insulation

If these items are in standing water for even 24 hours, mold can start to grow. Relocating them to a place where they can dry out as quickly as possible after your home is flooded is your best chance of saving them.

Get Rid of Excess Moisture
The main cause of mold growth is excess moisture, so the first thing flood mitigation experts are likely to do when they arrive at your home is to get it as dry as possible. They pump out the excess water and increase air flow throughout the house. They may also bring in industrial dehumidifiers to bring the humidity level back down to an acceptable level.

Call for Timely Remediation
The best way to avoid secondary damage is to start the remediation process quickly. As soon as you know you have a flood problem, call in the experts. The sooner they arrive, the sooner they can start to dry out your home and get rid of the bacteria present on every surface touched by floodwater. After the affected areas is dry and clean, they can rebuild it so that it looks just as good as it did before the flood.
When your home floods, you need to act quickly. Your best defense against mold growth is to rob it of the moisture it requires to thrive. Certified technicians have the speed and expertise needed to protect your home from further damage.

Finding Mold and Understanding Remediation

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on ceiling Mold found on ceiling due to water loss

Ways a Mold Remediation Company Can Help

Have you noticed a musty smell in your laundry room or basement? Do you also notice high humidity levels? If so, you may want to look for signs of potential mold growth or damage. If you find anything, you will want to call a mold remediation company in Comanche, MT, to help resolve your issue before it becomes catastrophic. There are several ways a mold remediation company can help.

Mold assessment
Containment
Elimination and cleaning
Restoration

Mold Assessment
Before any company pulls away mold-covered materials, it is essential to assess the type of mold and any existing water damage. There are several species of fungus, ranging from harmless to toxic. Some are simple to remove with over-the-counter cleaners, but others require significant preparation before the remediation process begins. Therefore, the remediation company will test the mold growth they find in your home to determine the best path forward.

Containment
Depending on the mold type, the remediation crew may need to contain the area. They will use plastic sheeting and tape it to walls and over doors and windows and vents. They will also apply a water solution to the walls to reduce the risk of transporting mold spores.

Elimination and Cleaning
With the area contained, the team can start eliminating the mold infestation. They will cut away drywall and remove insulation until only clean surfaces are visible. They may also need to remove carpeting and underlayment, depending on how far the infestation spread. Once all mold is removed, the team will clean and disinfect the entire space before moving onto restoration.

Restoration
During the restoration phase, the mediation company will reinstall insulation and drywall. They will replace any carpeting and repaint surfaces. When the company is finished, you should never know there was ever a problem, to begin with.
Household mold growth is relatively common, but it is not something the average DIYer should take on. If you suspect you have a mold problem, then contact a remediation specialist for an assessment.

3 Reasons To Have Interruption Insurance

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Financial concept meaning Business Interruption Insurance with sign on the piece of paper. Reasons to have business interruption insurance

3 Reasons To Have Interruption Insurance

When business owners plan ahead for emergencies or disasters, they should think of what to do both during and after a calamitous event. A fire may stop a business from operating for days or weeks, during which time the owner can lose revenue while continuing to foot bills for expenses at a commercial property in Broadview, MT. Business interruption coverage is independent of property insurance, but both policies are essential during restoration.

1. Disasters Reduce Revenue
When a disaster such as a business fire takes place, owners often focus on expenses associated with cleaning and restoring damage. In reality, these are the starting points of a costly period of time. A disaster may lead to total loss of revenue if an enterprise cannot operate out of a temporary location until the primary property is restored.

2. Some Expenses Continue
After a disaster causes business income to slow or stop, expenses such as rent, equipment leases, payroll, and utilities are likely to continue. A business that has to pay bills and foot any out-of-pocket costs for damage or services that exceed cleanup and restoration work covered by a property insurance policy might not survive a disaster without business interruption insurance.

3. Coverage Offsets Losses
Most interruption policies kick in 48 to 72 hours after a disaster necessitates business closure. A restoration company can dispatch representatives to assess, document, and mitigate damage within hours. An estimate should be available to insurance companies in a timely manner so that fire cleaning and restoration can get underway as soon as possible.
Cleaning professionals will work quickly to restore a commercial property in Broadview, MT. If a business can temporarily relocate and continue to operate during this time, it may not be necessary to make a business interruption claim. A general property or interruption policy may also offset relocation costs to and from a temporary location.

Why You Should Choose SERVPRO For Fire Restoration Projects

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinets with soot Fire damage in Laurel, MT

Why You Should Choose SERVPRO For Fire Restoration Projects

Fire restoration typically involves multiple steps. Yet some emergency cleanup companies only provide select services. However, SERVPRO is a one-stop-shop that performs every part of the restoration and mitigation process. This is cost-efficient and helps the fire rebuild go more smoothly. Once your client contacts SERVPRO after the fire, the cleanup professionals will perform all of the below steps.

1. Damage Assessment
SERVPRO experts will respond to the property right away and survey the damage. They will check for items that have been affected by fire, soot, and smoke. This will help them determine a plan for fire restoration.

2. Roof Tarp and Board Up
A fire can destroy the walls, roof, and windows of a property, leaving it vulnerable to additional harm. SERVPRO will board up the windows and walls and use tarps to cover any holes in the roof.

3. Water Removal
Both the building's sprinklers and the firefighters' hoses can leave behind water damage. SERVPRO professionals will drain all the water from the property. They will then utilize air movers and dehumidifiers to ensure everything is dry.

4. Soot and Smoke Removal
Fires leave behind excess smoke and soot, as well. SERVPRO experts are trained in the proper techniques for eliminating ash from various surfaces.

5. Sanitation and Cleaning
SERVPRO experts will use fogging equipment and air scrubbers to remove nasty odors. They will also return the items inside the building to the way they were before the blaze.

6. Restoration
The final step of the fire restoration involves repairing the building itself. Depending on the extent of the damage, SERVPRO experts may reconstruct entire rooms or simply replace the carpet and drywall.
The SERVPRO franchise in Laurel, MT, provides multiple rebuilding services. Professionals from this emergency restoration company will board up the property, remove water and smoke, sanitize damaged items, and restore the property. Since SERVPRO is a one-stop-shop, both you and your clients will save money.
You thus should choose SERVPRO as your preferred vendor. Many other insurance companies have already done so.