Recent Posts

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.

3 Gas Range Cleaning Tips for Homeowners

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning a gas stove with kitchen utensils With a clean gas range stove, you'll have a pleasant experience every time you cook

Tips To Cleaning Your Gas Stove 

A gas range stove can make cooking meals in your home in Comanche, MT, quicker and more enjoyable, but cleaning the stovetop is something many homeowners avoid. Here are several tips to make cleaning your gas stove less of a chore.

1. Vinegar and Water Can Help Clean Your Stovetop

Stovetop range cleaning doesn't necessarily have to be difficult or costly. In fact, many homeowners swear by mixing an equal amount of water and vinegar and using this mixture to clean their stovetops and remove minor stains. For the best results, many people recommend spraying this mixture onto the stovetop and allowing it to sit for several minutes before removing the mixture with a paper towel or a washcloth.

2. Don't Forget the Grates

Stovetops aren't the only areas on your gas range that you should clean. Grease can quickly build up on the burner grates, which can result in a smoke smell and also increases the risk of a grease fire. Homeowners whose homes have sustained fire damage may find it useful to contact emergency restoration services. However, you can often avoid a grease fire by cleaning your burner grates when your oven is turned off. Using warm soapy water and a small brush, such as a toothbrush, is an effective way to thoroughly clean your grates.

3. Perform Regular Maintenance

In addition to frequently cleaning all parts of your stove, there are also various ways to maintain your stove. It's often wise to replace any components, such as burner grates or knobs, as needed. If you do notice that your range isn't lighting up as usual or if you are having other issues with your stove, it can be helpful to contact a professional who can diagnose the problem and make repairs. Ultimately, performing regular maintenance on your gas stove can help your stove to function well for years to come.

Range cleaning doesn't have to be a hassle, and it can be helpful to use homemade mixtures when cleaning, to clean your grates and to perform regular maintenance often. With a clean gas range stove, you'll have a pleasant experience every time you cook.

The 3 Why Questions to Consider Before Deciding on DIY Mold Removal

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Hand in blue gloves tears off wallpapers damaged by mold Mold removal and restoration are likely better left to certified mold removal services in Broadview, MT.

In this day and age, it is often tempting to try DIYing your way through anything. Whether trying to save money or just improve your skillset, there are times where it is better to leave a task to the professionals. For instance, mold removal and restoration are likely better left to certified mold removal services in Broadview, MT.

Why Hire a Professional?

Sure, you might have a small mold problem that does not require the hiring of professionals. However, how do you know it is a small problem? Did you have your home tested? Are you experienced with mold issues? While a problem might seem small, there is a chance that the issues extend beyond what you can see. Mold develops in cool, damp and dark areas, and it often finds a home within wall cavities. Certified mold removal specialists understand how mold grows and also have access to proper testing to identify mold type and risk.

Why is Certification Necessary?

However, beyond knowing the basics, mold experts have a certification. Mold certification is more than just a fancy emblem on a business card; it identifies services and professionals who are trained in mold treatment and removal. However, not just any training will do when talking about certified mold remediation. You should look for a company with IICRC credentials.

What is the IICRC?

The IICRC, or the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, is a nonprofit entity that is nationally recognized as the standard-bearer for the restoration and remediation industries, including mold removal. Therefore, any company receiving the IICRC certification has demonstrated knowledge and experience in inspection, cleaning and restoration, making these companies preferable to others without certification, especially to your insurer.
Therefore, while the world continues to progress towards a more DIY attitude, it is better to stick with the pros in certain situations, like mold removal. Allow a certified mold expert's experience and certification keep you and your family out of harm's way and provide confidence that your problem is truly resolved.

3 Common Irrigation System Problems and How To Solve Them

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Irrigation system Knowledge is power when it comes to maintaining your irrigation system

3 Common Irrigation System Problems

Knowledge is power when it comes to maintaining your irrigation system in Comanche, MT. Here are three of the most common irrigation problems and how to troubleshoot them.

1. The Display Is Blank

If your controller's display is blank, the first thing you should do is make sure that it's plugged in and powered up. If the system has been unplugged or recently subjected to a power outage, the controller may just need to be restarted. When the display begins working again, check that each zone can be activated. If not, that may suggest valve damage.

2. Coverage Is Uneven

When all but one area of your land is green and healthy, that brown or otherwise discolored spot may suggest that your sprinkler overage is uneven. To fix it, first check the controller to see that the zone is activated. Next, check the sprinkler heads and make sure they're not broken or blocked by debris and that they haven't been knocked off-course, thereby leaving that discolored area un-watered. Sprinklers can easily sink or tilt without regular attention.

3. Water Pressure Seems Low

There are several reasons why your irrigation system might see a decrease in pressure:

  • Clogs due to dirt, sticks, and rocks
  • Open valves
  • Cracked pipes
  • Electrical problems

One issue is frequently overlooked, however, and that's the addition of extra sprinkler heads. If you've added to your system over the years, those additional sprinklers will zap the system's overall pressure distribution and likely affect system function. To fix this, you'll need to boost the system's pressure output to accommodate the increase in sprinklers.
Overall, the best defense against most types of pressure problem is usually vigilance. Some irrigation systems include a water pressure gauge so you can monitor things. If yours doesn't, it would likely be a wise investment.
Familiarizing yourself with your irrigation system, how it works, and why it may stop working is the first step in upkeep. By knowing what to look for, you can prevent small performance issues from turning into a need for serious water damage services.

Top 3 Features You Should Look For in an Air Purifier

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

green background with mold spores and text: Did you know? 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.

Carbon

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

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

sofa with cushions floating in water inside a house 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.