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Offering Customers Superior Service With High Standards

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Logo of IICRC ( The Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate) The IICRC establishes a common, national awareness for how to best treat your premises

Offering Customers Superior Service With High Standards

It's not enough to call out any water and mold remediation team. Commercial owners in Laurel, MT, need to know they have a trustworthy and reliable workforce, people who can not only handle the cleanup but do so with excellence and low overhead. That means asking about IICRC certification as well as the company's business practices. Turn to the place that can take care of it all with quality and care.

1. Offering Training for All Employees

When workers arrive, customers need assurance that staff understands how to handle all elements of the job. For that reason, SERVPRO takes pride in providing educational classes for all areas of service. Once hired, the national office expects for crew to take self-paced classes on fire and water restoration as well as carpet and upholstery care. A mitigation certificate is rewarded upon completion, ensuring that whoever handles your assignment has the knowledge to do so. This ensures that all branches can provide for clientele equally.

2. Meeting National Expectations

Know that the people you hire want to serve you best, striving to go above and beyond in treatment. The Institution of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate, IICRC, establishes a common, national awareness for how to best treat your premises. As a third party, it provides restoration companies with objectives for how to sanitize and rebuild. Not only does SERVPRO meet these criteria, but it is a training school for the program. Classes are offered year-round on multiple topics. In addition, e-classes can be taken on various topics, fitting into schedules conveniently.

3. Going the Extra Mile

Learning isn't isolated to initial hiring. Clients should have trust that their trained specialists are just that: experts on a subject. That means they should aspire to know and grow. E-classes can be taken at any time, fitting conveniently into work schedules and allowing for expanded awareness of the latest procedures.
In an ever-changing field, it's important that restoration facilities strive to meet and go beyond the IICRC objectives. SERVPRO's national office encourages all franchises to remain at the top of the field, studying new techniques that can save customers time and money.

Can Mold Be Present Even When Not Visible?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

use thermal imaging camera to check mold and die temperature in factory When trying to locate a mold smell, an infrared camera can be a handy device

Can Mold Be Present Even When Not Visible?

Most people stumble across mold in the workplace by finding the tell-tale discoloring on the ceiling or the walls. Sometimes, though, the mold may not be visible and could be hiding behind a curtain or a wall. Just because the mold isn't visible doesn't mean it isn't creating an unhealthy environment for workers, as well as causing damage to property. If you are aware of a mold smell, usually described as a musty odor, it's probably time to call in a mold remediation company in Billings, MT. Trained technicians have a number of technologies that can discover mold in the darkest corners of your commercial property.

High-Tech Solutions

When trying to locate a mold smell, an infrared camera can be a handy device. The best cameras for this job use infrared thermography, and it works using the following principles:

  • It produces images of heat radiation
  • It allows finding the location of that fungus smell
  • It can detect mold even before it is visible
  • It should be used in coordination with the experience of the technician and other technology

Another possibility is to send in canines that have been trained in scent detection. The dogs, picking up on the slightest mildew smell, are able to find mold under carpeting and behind walls. Air samples and lab tests are another way to find mold in its early stages or before it is visible.

Accurate Answers

If you suspect mold at your company, you want fast and correct answers. If you wait too long, the mold spores can spread throughout the building, making the job of cleanup tougher and more expensive. A mold smell is a good indication that you have a problem somewhere. An indoor environmental specialist has the tools to find the mold and to do an assessment of how serious the problem is. A rapid response will restore your company to the way it was before mold gained a foothold.

3 Contamination Levels for Commercial Water Damage

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

A refrigerator leaking water. Category 1 Category 1 water damage comes from a clean water source. An example would be a fresh water line for a refrigerator

3 Contamination Levels for Commercial Water Damage

Water can cause serious damage to commercial property. If your Acton, MT, business has sustained water damage, due to flooding or a broken pipe, you may benefit from understanding the three levels of contamination. Then you will be prepared to implement the best remediation plan.

Category 1

This low level of contamination, termed “clean water” damage, reflects supply-side sources of water, or stormwater that has not yet touched the ground. The following would likely result in Category 1 damage.

  • Overflowing bathtub or shower
  • Leaking water heater
  • Snowmelt leaking through a roof
  • Broken supply line from a refrigerator ice maker
  • Leaking supply-side water pipe of any kind

Your business insurance should cover Category 1 damage, as long as flooding was not present. Your contamination level is categorized by the most toxic water source present.

Category 2

“Gray water,” is generally used water leaking from a washing machine, sink or shower drain. It may contain grease, dirt, detergents or food particles. Disinfectants are generally used to sanitize items with Category 2 damage. Your commercial insurance will likely cover this type of cleanup.

Category 3

This highest level of water contamination is termed “black water.” It can be hazardous to humans as it can contain toxic chemicals, bacteria and sewage. Category 3 damage arises when water from flooding or a sewer line back-up enters your structure. If you have this type of damage, it’s important to consult with a professional remediation service for assistance with the cleanup and remediation plan.
Your conventional insurance policy may cover Category 3 water damage, but it will likely have an exception for floodwater. Flood-related damage requires a separate insurance policy, so it’s important to consult your agent, so you can decide how to proceed.
When your business is affected by flood damage from an extreme storm or broken pipe, it can be stressful and expensive to remedy the damage. It’s important to determine the contamination level right away and decide on a strategy for cleanup and restoration. Once the cleanup is underway, you may be surprised at how soon your company and your stress level will be restored to normal.

3 Common Evacuation Plan Mistakes to Avoid Making

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Hand writing an Emergency Evacuation Plan on clipboard beside Exit Door Be sure to regularly update your evacuation plan

3 Common Evacuation Plan Mistakes to Avoid Making

A reliable contingency plan is crucial to the safety of your business in Billings, MT. By communicating your plan to your employees clearly and effectively, you can allow them to be fully prepared in the event of a real fire. While many emergency plans are created with good intentions, they often contain a number of errors that can jeopardize the future of the business. Here are some common mistakes to avoid making while you create your evacuation plan.

1. Failure to Educate Employees

Even a well-crafted plan can fail if your employees aren’t properly equipped to respond to an emergency. Before you begin to design your fire escape plan, make sure that all of your workers understand what is expected of them during a fire. Conduct drills on a regular basis and clearly indicate the emergency exits throughout the building so that everyone understands how to properly evacuate.

2. Lack of Updated Information

The contingency plan you used ten years ago most likely isn’t relevant today. If you want your plan to be successful, you must help it adapt to the changing environment of your office. Whether certain employees’ roles have changed or you’ve hired new workers that weren’t included in the original plan, be sure to regularly update your evacuation plan accordingly.

3. Insufficient Details

It can be difficult for your employees to understand exactly what to do in an emergency if the plan isn’t detailed enough. Be sure to include every necessary specification, from your preferred method of reporting the fire to a complete list of emergency contacts. When your ideal plan is clearly spelled out for everyone, your employees can act exactly the way you expect them to.
A contingency plan is a vital step towards keeping your Billings, MT, business protected. If anything goes wrong despite your best efforts, act quickly and schedule a fire damage assessment as soon as possible.

What Should You Do About Swelling Wood in Your Home?

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Wooden tiles damaged by water Wood that has begun to swell is usually reacting to a certain change in its environment

What To Do With Building Materials That Have Become Swollen

Building materials that are made of wood may begin to swell in response to various factors. In most cases, wood swells in wet or humid conditions, and this effect can become more pronounced after a storm or other severe weather event in your Comanche, MT, area. Before you can begin to address a swelling wood problem, it’s important to understand what may be causing this to happen. These tips can help you determine what to do about building materials that have become swollen.

The Causes

Wood that has begun to swell is usually reacting to a certain change in its environment. These common triggers can lead to swollen wood in your living space:

  • High temperatures
  • Rain
  • Humidity
  • Exposure to sunlight

While heat, rain and humidity are factors exclusively controlled by weather and climate, the amount of sunlight that wooden materials receive is directly impacted by their location on your property. For example, wooden doors that are pointed towards the south are exposed to more sunlight than north-facing doors. As a result, the doors may expand in the heat and their finish can become compromised.

What to Do

Once you’ve identified the cause of your swelling wood, you can determine how to take action. Most water-impacted materials can be replaced, including wooden doors, cabinets and furniture. Be sure to remove damaged materials and replace them immediately to keep further harm at bay. Additionally, if the swollen wood is a result of a faulty supply line or pipe, be sure to inspect the affected source and schedule a water pipe repair if necessary.
Any problems that cause water damage to wooden materials in your home should be taken care of promptly. If a buildup of heat or moisture in your environment has led to swelling wood, call for a water damage repair as soon as possible to preserve the state of your living space.

The Importance of Having Fire Extinguishers in the Home

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Red tank of fire extinguisher. Being prepared with a fire extinguisher can help you protect your home from devastating damage

It's important to be prepared in case of emergencies. One of the ways you should be prepared is by having a fire extinguisher in your home. These can help you put out small fires before they get out of hand. There are several different types of fire extinguishers available, and knowing the difference can help you determine which one you need.

Types of Extinguishers

There are four different types of fire extinguishers.

Class A: Puts out regular fires that were started with wood, paper, etc.
Class B: Extinguishes grease fires
Class C: For electrical fires
Class D: For extinguishing flammable metals

For most homes, a Class A or Class B fire extinguisher should be used to put out a small home fire, depending on the cause.

Where to Put Them

There are several locations to place your fire extinguisher to ensure they are ready for an emergency. The kitchen is where the majority of fires start, so have one under the sink or somewhere you can easily access it. You should also have one wherever there is a heat source, such as near your heater or fireplace. Consider having one on each level of your home, particularly in your garage and a level with bedrooms.

How to Use

Familiarizing yourself with how to use a fire extinguisher is an important step in fire preparedness. In most cases, the extinguisher will have a pin you will pull out. When aiming, you should aim for the base of the flames, not the top. Squeeze the trigger and sweep it along the base. If you have a hard time getting the fire out on your own, then get yourself to safety as quickly as possible.
Being prepared with a fire extinguisher can help you protect your home from devastating damage in Broadview, MT. Even small fires can cause damage. Whether you experience a small fire or something more substantial, you can count on your fire damage experts to get the mess cleaned up.

5 Places Mold May Be Hiding

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on the ceiling and walls of a basement staircase Mold damage in a Comanche, MT basement

Five Places You May Find Mold

If you have a home in Comanche, MT, where you get plenty of moisture, you may be wondering how to detect mold growth in your home. Fortunately, your local mold remediation professional can perform several tests to identify if and where mold in the home may be growing. Here are five places you may see them look.

1. In the Basement

The basement may be the first place professionals check for mold as it can be an easy location for ground water to seep into the home. This water can pool and provide a habitat for growing mold.

2. Along the Bathtub

Cracks in the caulking or tile can allow water a place to settle after a shower or bath. That is why many remediation professionals may check the areas around the bathtub for mold spores.

3. Behind the Washing Machine

It’s also possible for mold growth to occur around appliances that use water such as the washing machine. Water lines can leak, or condensation can occur that provides enough water for spores to grow. These areas also tend to be darker and cool which mold likes as well.

4. Under the Kitchen Sink

Under the kitchen sink is a location where it may be easy to find mold on wood cabinetry. There are a number of ways water can get in to this space and it is usually fairly dark and cool compared to other locations in the home.

5. Around the Garage

Another location professionals may look is around the garage. This is the most common location of moldy drywall, as many homeowners do not usually think about keeping this room free of dirt the way they do the rest of the home.
When you ask a remediation professional to test your home for mold growth, they will most likely look first in areas with high humidity levels. these may include spaces such as around bathtubs, showers, or sinks where moisture may settle. They will also look around appliances such as the washing machine, and spaces such as the attic or basement where it’s easier for water to get inside the home.

3 Steps to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

11/16/2019 (Permalink)

Entrance of a house fully flooded Flooded home in Laurel, MT

3 Steps to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

If your home has been flooded after a storm in Laurel,MT, then it is important to have it taken care of right away. Mold can form easily after any kind of water damage but can be especially troublesome when there are large amounts of water in the building. If you are concerned about mold growth in your house, the following tips can help you prevent it.

1. Remove Standing Water

The first thing that you should do to prevent mold growth is to remove the water that has accumulated in your house. The longer it sits, the more likely it is that mold will begin to form. Along with fungal growth, sitting water can cause several other problems, so it is best to have it removed from the building as quickly as possible.

2. Clean and Sanitize the Area

Water from flooding is category 3 or black water. This means that it is highly contaminated. It can carry bacteria, waste, chemicals and mold spores into your home. The spores in this water can contribute to the growth of mold in your house. To prevent it from spreading, you should have your home thoroughly cleaned. This can kill any spores that are present and keep them from growing.

3. Dry the Building

Because mold requires moisture, thoroughly drying the house is a highly effective way to keep mold growth from spreading. Keeping doors and windows open after the water has been removed can help speed up this process. You can also use fans to increase air circulation within the building. Dehumidifiers may be helpful as well.
Taking steps to mitigate water damage right away can help prevent mold from spreading in your home. However, depending on the amount of moisture in the building, it can be difficult to keep mold damage from forming at all. If you notice any growth, you should have a cleanup and restoration company perform mold removal as soon as possible.

Storm Damage Doesn’t Just Involve Rain Flooding

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Insulation for pipes The main way to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting is to keep them insulated

Storm Damage Doesn’t Just Involve Rain Flooding

When you think of storm damage to a commercial building, you typically think of flooding. Yet a burst pipe during a winter storm can cause just as much destruction to your Billings, MT, business.
A pipe typically bursts when it freezes in cold weather. The below pipes are the most susceptible to freezing:

  • Pipes in unheated areas such as cabinets and basements
  • Pipes that run against outside walls
  • Outdoor pipes exposed to extreme cold

Once the frozen pipe bursts, it can spray water onto the floors and your equipment. Even if you are able to turn off the water supply immediately, you will still be left with standing water that can cause mold growth or other problems. That is why you should take steps to prevent a burst pipe.

Protecting Your Pipes

The main way to protect your pipes from freezing and bursting is to keep them insulated. Try wrapping pipes with heat cable, tape or even newspaper.
During the cold weather months, you should let the water drip from the faucets throughout the day. You should also set the thermostat to at least 55° Fahrenheit at all times.

What To Do When You Have Frozen Pipes

If you notice that only a small amount of water is coming out of your faucet, you may have one or more frozen pipes. Thankfully, you may be able to correct the problem before you suffer a burst pipe.
First, you should keep the faucet in question running, as this will help to thaw the frozen section of the pipe. You can then use a hair dryer, space heater or electric heating pad to warm up the pipe. If a pipe does burst before you can thaw it, your local storm cleanup and restoration specialists can assess and repair the flood damage.
When making an emergency preparedness plan for your business, do not just think about rain flooding. In order to avoid major flood cleanup, you need to protect your pipes from cold temperatures.

What Types of Water Damage Are Covered by Insurance?

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded home with rising water Some examples of flood causing weather are: Rising flood waters

What Types of Water Damage Are Covered by Insurance?

There are myriad ways that water can damage your home in Acton, MT. Whether it is a flood event or a burst pipe, there is cause for concern. What does most insurance cover in terms of water damage?

Resulting Damage

Most homeowners have something called "all-perils" coverage included in their plan. This policy usually covers most resulting damage- the damage that exists as a result of some sort of initial damage. However, you are usually not compensated for the cause of the damage. This means that your insurance wouldn't pay to fix broken pipe the flooded your basement, but it would pay for a water damage remediation company to come in and clean up the flooding, replace waterlogged materials and prevent mold.

Weather Damage

The average home insurance policy doesn't automatically include coverage for weather events. It can be added separately, or as a rider on your current insurance. If your house is located in a designated flood zone, you may be required to add this coverage in order to get a mortgage. Flood insurance pricing is determined by the National Flood Insurance Program. Some examples of flood causing weather are:

  • Rising flood waters
  • Hurricane
  • Heavy rain storm

Negligent Damage

Claims are often denied for negligence. Insurance coverage usually only applies to sudden, accidental water disasters that couldn't have been prevented. For example, if you don't keep your home at a certain temperature over the winter in a northern region, and your pipes burst, your insurance company may view this as your fault. If you claim a burst pipe, but your insurance becomes aware of evidence that this burst is the result of a long-time leak, they can also deny you on the bases of negligence.
Proper maintenance and comprehensive coverage can ensure that you are prepared for almost any water-related scenario. As a responsible homeowner, you should clarify this with your insurance company before the insurance is needed.