Recent Posts

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.

3 Things You Should Know About Ice Dams

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Outside from a house, the roof is covered with snow and there is an ice dam in the edge of the roof Ice damn in a Laurel, MT home

3 Things You Should Know About Ice Dams

For homeowners in Laurel,MT, winter can bring a number of problems, from burst pipes to leaky roofs. Something else that you might have to deal with is an ice dam. While it may not seem like much of an issue on its own, it can cause water damage to your house which can then create more problems. Here are a few things that you should know.

1. What Are They?

As you may be able to guess from its name, an ice dam is a formation that keeps water from properly moving from your roof. They occur when snow melts and then refreezes into harder ice. They often form on the edge of the roof which can make it difficult for water to drain properly but can also show up in other areas. When this happens, the trapped water can begin to back up and cause damage to the roof and ceiling underneath it.

2. How Do You Prevent Them?

These formations occur because of melting and refreezing snow, so one tip for ice dam prevention is to keep the temperature of your roof cold enough to prevent melting. This is most easily done by keeping the temperature in your attic low. Proper insulation can help as well. Another method of prevention is removing snow from your roof immediately after a storm.

3. How Can You Remove Them?

If you already have an ice dam on your roof, then you should remove it as quickly as possible to prevent it from causing any damage. One way to do this is by using an ice melt product. Hot water steaming can do the trick as well.
While a winter storm and cold weather can often create frustrating problems, you do not need to handle them all on your own. If your house has been damaged, the best thing to do is to contact an emergency restoration service. They will be able to repair your home and help prevent further damage.

Protect Your Building After a Fire

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Cabinets of a kitchen, stove and shelfs are burned due to a fire loss in the property Fire damage in Acton, MT

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 Keep Moisture Out of Your Building

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Structure of a roof build with wood A solid building envelope serves to protect the building from all other types of weather

How To Keep Moisture Out of Your Building

Having moisture build up in a commercial building in Billings, MT, especially those that are frequented by many people, can cause costly and devastating damage over time, as well as poor air quality. Black mold can easily start growing in areas with constant moisture and leaking water, and if this type of problem is left for too long, you may be required to shut down parts of the building, or the whole thing, for water damage renovations.
To avoid these issues altogether, a tight building envelope is an incredible defensive solution to ensuring a long lifespan for your building. This includes a quality roof and well-maintained above-grade and below-grade walls.

Solid Building Envelope

Your building should be built, or renovated, with a few different layers to ensure a successful moisture barrier to avoid rain damage. The envelope also serves to protect equipment, efficiently heat and cool the building, divert excess water to storm drainage systems, and protect the building from all other types of weather and moisture including snow, ice, and hail.

Air barrier: Controls air movement to prevent unnecessary heating and cooling costs.
Vapor barrier: Prevents moisture diffusion.
Thermal barrier: Provides insulation.
Drainage plan: Manages water infiltration and flow around the building.

If you have capillary movement, you can install a capillary break made of impermeable material. Utilizing rain screens and back-up systems can also be helpful.

Causes of Vapor Penetration

There are a few conditions which must exist for there to be a problem with your current building envelope, now or during the next storm. This includes a presence of water, any forces that can draw water into the building such as pressure, wind, capillary forces, or gravity, and of course cracks or gaps in walls, windows, and doors. Installation errors, even minor ones, can also lead to major rain damage.
If you have a moisture problem or are expecting rain damage from the next big storm, there are things you can do to the landscape outside such as creating sloping surfaces or better drainage around the building, installing better gutters, or overhangs. Of course, if the building was built well to begin with, keeping up with general maintenance over time can be the best and most cost-effective option.

4 Easy Tips for Repairing Water Damage in Your Home

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO technician is down on his knees repairing the floor of a home Cleaning up after water damage in a Billings, MT home

4 Easy Tips for Repairing Water Damage in Your Home

Water damage, whether it be from a flood or broken pipes, can be a hassle to deal with. It’s easy to be discouraged when faced with the tremendous task of recovering from damage to your home. Don’t despair! With these quick tips, you can begin restoring your home back to its original condition.

Remove Moisture from the Damaged Area


It should be a priority to dry out the affected area as soon as possible before more damage occurs. You can start water cleanup with pumps, a wet/dry vacuum, or a sponge. Ensure air is circulating by opening all windows and doors, using fans to speed up drying, or installing dehumidifiers.


Take Stock of Your Items


You will need to look through your home and discard damaged materials. Porous items are easily damaged by exposure to moisture and can also be breeding grounds for mold and mildew to spread. Carpet that has been soaking in water will most likely have to be removed and disposed of. The same applies to insulation, fabric and similar items.


Clean and Disinfect


Once the materials affected by water damage have been discarded, it’s time to clean the entire area. You can do this with a light bleach solution or an eco-friendly homemade vinegar spray. Lightly coat all surfaces in the solution of your choice and wipe down to ensure the areas have been thoroughly disinfected.


Inspect for Mold and Mildew


During your cleaning process, it’s wise to keep an eye out for mold and mildew that may be forming. It only takes 24 hours for mold to grow so it’s best to move quickly. Mold and mildew can be very damaging to your home and for more serious cases it might be best to consult a professional service that specializes in moisture damage restoration.

Water damage can be challenging to deal with, but the right tools and support it’s easy to turn the situation around. As a homeowner in Billings, MT, you can rest easy knowing that help is out there when you need it.