Recent Posts

How To Limit Bathroom Mold by Reducing Moisture

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Macro white tiles with a grout mold. You should annually seal the grout lines between the tiles

The bathroom is a common location for mold growth. After all, it is full of moisture from the shower and sink. A toilet or bathtub leak could also lead to water damage that encourages the buildup of mold.
Simply cleaning the mold is not enough. You need to limit dampness so the mold does not return.
Luckily, there are some simple ways you can reduce the moisture in your Laurel, MT, bathroom. This, in turn, will reduce the likelihood of mold damage. All you need are a few simple tools and cleaners:

  • Sponge
  • Squeegee
  • Scrub brush
  • Detergent
  • Grout sealer
  • Bleach

Dry the Bathroom Walls

Water sprays onto the walls when you take a shower or bath. The more showers you take, the more the water builds up. Mold may then accumulate where the water damage is.
To prevent this from happening, use a squeegee to remove the water after every shower or bath. This should eliminate at least 75 percent of the moisture.

Run Your Bathroom Fan

Most bathrooms have fans that are designed to limit moisture and reduce mold growth. Don’t just run your fan while you are in the shower, either. Instead, use it for a least 30 minutes afterward to make sure the water is gone.
You should also check the fan's label to find its volume in cubic feet per minute. To determine the ideal volume for your fan, multiple the bathroom's square footage by 1.1 if you have an 8-foot ceiling, and by 1.5 if you have a 9-foot ceiling. Replace the fan if its volume is too small for your bathroom.

Seal the Grout

Finally, you should annually seal the grout lines between the tiles. Place some waterproof sealant on a toothbrush and brush the gaps between each tile.
The above steps will reduce the water damage in your bathroom. Still, it is nearly impossible to completely eliminate the moisture. Therefore, even if you follow proper mold prevention strategies, some spores may appear. You should then contact mold remediation specialists to address the issue.

Prevent Burst Pipes at Your Commercial Building

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Sealant gun crack covers the crack in the floor of the wall tile concrete Seal cracks around your building

Tips To Prepare Your Building From Freezing Temperatures

Preparing your commercial building for winter weather in Billings, MT is a must. It can mean the difference between keeping your business running smoothly and having to close up shop for a while. A burst pipe from improper insulation can wreak havoc on a building. Follow these tips to prepare your building for the impending freezing temperatures:

1. Keep Thermostat Properly Adjusted
Keep the thermostat set to at least 50 degrees even if the building isn’t in use. Lower indoor temperatures can contribute to freezing pipes if temperatures are below freezing outside.

2. Seal Cracks
Check your building for any air leaks that could be letting cold air get in. Sealing cracks around windows, pipes, electrical wiring, and vents can help to keep your building warmer while saving on your heating bill.

3. Insulate Exposed Pipes
Without proper insulation, water in your pipes will freeze and expand in extreme winter temperatures. This can cause a burst pipe. There are several types of foam insulation from which to choose, including DIY covers to spray foam for tighter areas. Insulating pipes can also prevent condensation from forming on pipes, potentially preventing the occurrence of standing water (a cause of mold and structural problems). Wrap particularly vulnerable pipes in heat tape for added protection.

4. Keep Interior Doors Open
Keep the air flowing through the building by keeping all interior doors open. This is particularly important for rooms that have no vents and rooms with plumbing. Keeping cabinet doors open in bathrooms and kitchens during extreme cold will allow the building’s ambient temperature to help prevent pipes from freezing.

5. Let Faucets Drip
During extreme winter weather, pressure can build up in water pipes, potentially causing a frozen pipe to burst. Put your faucets (particularly rooms with plumbing on outside walls) on a slow drip to keep the pressure low.
It’s important to take the necessary steps to protect your business before winter temperatures strike. If your building incurs damage from a burst pipe, water damage cleanup professionals can help.

3 Candle Alternatives For Families and Pet Owners

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Candle warmer Flameless candles are the closest you can get to using a “candle” safely

Candle Alternatives

Nothing says “happy holidays” like a warm, scented candle; however, wax lights feature an open flame that makes them a fire hazard. In fact, firefighters respond to one candle fire incident in Acton, MT every day, and the numbers increase tremendously in December. That’s why you need to consider switching to a safer option.
Here are some candle alternatives that won’t feel like a downgrade:

  • Electric candles
  • Candle warmers
  • Diffuser sticks

1. Candle Warmers

Flameless candles are the closest you can get to using a “candle” safely. As the name suggests, these devices produce light that is similar to a real candle, complete with a flickering yellow “flame.” Scented versions are available, and they cost anywhere between $5 - $20. Think of them as your best option, especially if you have young kids or pets running around in the house.

2. Candle Warmers

Wax warmers make it possible to enjoy candle scent, minus the risk of operating an open flame. You can control the fragrance by limiting the melting intervals using the handy in-built timer. They also come in various exciting designs and a wide range of scents.

3. Diffuser Sticks

Diffuser sticks are one of the candle alternatives for people looking to introduce a constant fragrance in their home. The best thing about this setup is it runs on autopilot. A reed diffuser, for example, lasts about 90 days, and you only need to set it up once. You can place it behind the décor if it does not suit your style.
As a homeowner in Acton, MT, it is better to settle for any candle alternatives of your choice, especially if you have children and pets in the house. You can combine electric candles with a wax warmer to get the full candle effect safely and cheaply. However, if you still insist on playing with real candles, place them in the middle of the table and blow them out after dinner.

Avoiding the Financial Strains of Water Damage

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Black plastic on the floor, major water damage in a home Major water damage in a Comanche, MT home

Many households across the United States have encountered the dismay of dealing with a broken pipe. More than 90 gallons of water are wasted per day due to leaky pipes, dripping faucets, worn toilet flappers, and similar issues in 10% of homes according to the Environmental Protection Agency. To fix broken pipes at homes in Comanche, MT, consulting a professional is often the best way to minimize further problems.

Water Damage Can Be Costly

The cost of repairing your home after a leaky or broken pipe can be high. This price varies by the type of property and the water damage restoration company hired to take care of the resulting flood damages. Some major examples of resulting damages may include the following:

  • Structural damage
  • Electrical loss
  • Mold formation
  • Clogged sewage and drainage systems

Electrical damage is a major deal. For homeowners, this can mean losses in food items and the usage of electrical equipment necessary for heating, cooling or other household functions. Total costs related to major electrical problems such as re-wiring a home are usually high — ranging from $500 to $2100 — which does not include costs to replace or repair any damaged electrical fixtures as a result of water damage.

Peace of Mind Is Secured by Being Insured

The initial panic of dealing with the aftermath of a flood can be overwhelming. Fortunately, the risks of having to pay out of pocket for restoration work are significantly minimized with insurance protection, which covers many water incidents involving broken or leaky pipes. What's more, restorative job rates not only include labor costs but also depend on the materials needed for repairs and electrical device replacements for the property owner. Reviewing the terms of your current insurance policy can ensure that there are no exclusions and that the type of coverage you hold will cover potential damages and/or losses.
A flood in your home can be a very stressful situation. Enlisting the help of a professional restoration company and securing insurance coverage can help mitigate both anxiety and financial strain.

Filing an Insurance Claim for Commercial Water Damage

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance claim form with a pen on top of the form. Let us handle the negotiations for you, nobody wants to deal with insurance claims

If your business property has been damaged by water, you’ve seen how disruptive it can be. Suddenly, you have calls to make, professionals to consult and a cleanup process to organize, all before you can return to your work. This discussion of insurance coverage for water damage may clarify the best way for you to obtain financial assistance with the process.
The source of the offending water will help determine whether you need professional restoration services and what type of insurance will reimburse you for your damage. Damage from internal sources will generally be covered by a conventional business insurance policy, but flooding and other external water sources will usually be excluded.

Conventional Business Insurance Coverage

Most common types of internal commercial damage will be covered by your business insurance policy. If any of the following sources contributed to your property damage, you would consult your insurance agent for water damage coverage possibilities:

  • Broken pipes
  • Sewer backups
  • Leaking toilet or shower
  • Leaking appliances
  • Stormwater entering above ground level

You may find that insurance policies vary in limits and deductibles between regions. Your agent can outline your coverage details and initiate a claim.

Commercial Flood Insurance

The US government issues flood insurance to cover you for water entering your home from outside at ground level or below. Floodwater generally originates from a severe weather event or a municipal breach, such as a blocked drainage culvert or dam break. Your insurance agent can help you file a flood claim with the government. If you don’t have flood insurance and are in a low-lying area or higher-risk area for water damage, it may be wise to consider it.
If water somehow ended up where it wasn’t wanted in your Broadview, MT, business, your to-do list is likely full of water cleanup and restoration activities. Consulting your insurance agent early on may give you some peace of mind and set you on the path back to business as usual.

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.