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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

3 Ways Hail Can Damage a Business

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

hail falls on the roof of slate Hailstorm in Laurel, MT.

Three Ways Hail Can Harm Your Business

If your business in Laurel, MT, is impacted by hail, some issues, such as roof damage, are obvious. However, problems from storms are not always evident. Fortunately, if you are aware of the ways hail can affect your business, you can better prepare before it occurs.

1. Water Damage

When a hailstorm hits, many people do not think that water damage will happen as a result. However, hail can cause issues in a building if there is a problem with the roof or if ice chunks have broken a window and have allowed rain to enter the property. Attics and rooms that are closest to the roof are especially likely to experience water damage, which can in turn cause mold if the source of the moisture is not quickly eliminated.

2. Roof Issues

Unfortunately, hail often results in a building sustaining major roof damage. Even hail that appears small in size can cause shingles to become cracked or come off. If an area on your building’s roof has lost or damaged shingles, this can increase the likelihood of a leak, which may lead to even more problems in the interior of your business.

3. Destruction to Siding

While hail can cause roof and water damage, it can also harm a building’s siding. Material that is older is more likely to crack as a result of hail, and strong winds combined with ice can cause the siding to come off of a building entirely. If your structure’s exterior needs to be replaced and your business is located in an area that is prone to storms, it can be helpful to install siding that is made of more durable material.

Knowing that heavy storms can cause water, siding and roof damage can make it easier to take steps to prevent major hail damage from occurring. If your business has been impacted by severe weather, it could be useful to work with storm restoration experts.

Flood Damage: How Much Does Insurance Cover?

1/25/2022 (Permalink)

Floodwaters enters a home, water reaches the stairs from the house A flooded home in Billings, MT.

How Much Does Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

If you ask your insurance agent if your homeowner’s policy covers broken pipes, he or she is likely to say that it doesn’t. While the actual repair of the pipe is considered a home maintenance cost, however, the flood and subsequent water damage it causes probably do fall under your coverage. You can file a claim for the cost of water restoration services under most circumstances that involve broken pipes.


Potential Damage

You will probably have to pay to fix the broken pipe out of pocket. Repairing or replacing the items it damages, however, likely falls under your insurance policy. Water from a bursting pipe can damage:

  • Ceilings
  • Hardwood floors
  • Carpet
  • Cabinets
  • Walls
  • Insulation

As long as you call experts to remedy the damage as soon as you find it, it should be covered by your insurance. If you don’t understand your coverage, your insurance agent can explain exactly what events fall under its requirements. There are several circumstances, however, that may cause your claim to be denied.

Potential Denial

A flood that occurs as the result of your own negligence will probably be denied coverage under your homeowner’s policy. For example, if inspectors discover that the pipe has been leaking water for a long time, the delay in repair could be a reason the insurance company cites for denying your claim. If your pipes freeze because they are not properly insulated, that could also be a cause for denial. If flooding involves rising water, the damage may be too extensive to fall under your general policy. You may have to rely on extended insurance coverage for those damages to be paid for.

The insurance for your home in Billings, MT, serves to protect you when a flood occurs. Timely reporting is vital for fast compensation. The sooner you arrange for repairs and file your claim, the more likely you are to be covered.

How Does Water Lead to Damages After a Fire?

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building As the firefighters work to put out flames, they may spray a lot of water.

Water Damage and Fire Damage

Fire damage may seem like one of your top concerns after the flames have been put out, but you'll also need to address a fair amount of water damage. When a fire first strikes, most business owners are primarily concerned about the well-being of their staff, customers, and property. Once the smoke clears, however, a period of uncertainty and panic may settle in. Fortunately, fire remediation experts can help you navigate the cleanup and restoration process. There are several sources of water that may affect your property.

  1. Sprinkler systems
  2. Fire hoses
  3. Burst pipes
  4. Sewer backups

Sprinkler Systems

If you have a sprinkler system installed in your building, the heat, flames, or smoke may trigger the emergency system and send 15 to 25 gallons of water per minute into your business. That water can cause a lot of damage.

Fire Hoses

As the firefighters work to put out flames, they may spray a lot of water at high levels of pressure through a fire hose. That water often floods the building, running down stairways, flooding rooms, and affecting walls and ceilings. Equipment and furnishings are often harmed more by the water than by fire damage.

Burst Pipes

Another common culprit of water damage after a fire is the burst pipe. As temperature levels rise as a result of the fire, the building's piping system experiences a lot of pressure. The heated pipes may warp, break, and burst. Sometimes pipes are damaged by falling debris. These bursting pipes force a lot of water into the building, causing flood damages.

Sewer Backups

If the sewer system line is damaged by the fire or falling debris, you could have an even messier problem on your hands. Sewer backflows often happen for other reasons, but these disasters are an increased risk during fires.

Fire damage isn't your only concern after a fire. You may also face a lot of water damage. Work closely with Acton, MT, fire remediation professionals to get trouble under control and your business back to normal after a fire.

Mold and Evaporative Cooling

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking swamp cooler Prevent a leaking swamp cooler from becoming a major mold problem.

How To Address a Leaking Swamp Cooler

Residents in Comanche, MT, want to stay cool in the summer months. However, your home cooling systems can harbor hidden fungal agents if not properly maintained. Read on to learn how to address a leaking swamp cooler and other pressing problems.

1. About the Appliance

A swamp cooler is an air cooling system designed for climates with consistently low humidity during the summer. Because the saturation of water in the air is so low in these arid climates, it is easy for water molecules to evaporate, removing heat energy from the air during the transition. Most swamp coolers have a fan that blows air over a porous cellulose pad. This air is circulated through the house in a similar manner to conventional compressor-based air conditioners.

2. Mold Conditions

Unfortunately, because these swamp cooler units operate in warm climates and introduce moisture, they are potential sites for mold growth. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the dark conditions inside the unit and the air ducts, since direct sunlight tends to suppress mold. Other mold issues can arise due to a leaking swamp cooler, since any water that spreads beyond the direct path of the fan can build up without evaporating. This also encourages mold to grow.

3. Remedies

If mold is in direct contact with the cellulose pad, simply purchase a replacement for your make and model of evaporative cooler. However, the mold spores released over time can still present a health hazard, even after the unit itself has been treated and repaired. Acquire a HEPA filter for your home and ensure adequate air circulation until you can be sure that any particle contaminants are clear. If the unit leaked water into surrounding construction materials such as drywall or flooring, contact a qualified mold damage restoration service.

Remember, while the energy savings of an evaporative cooling system are substantial, they also come with certain risks. Prevent a leaking swamp cooler from becoming a major mold problem by maintaining your unit.

How To Prevent Water Damage When You’re on Vacation

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Insulation covers Insulate your pipes.

When You're On Vacation, Here's How To Avoid Water Damage

Nothing ruins a great family vacation faster than coming home to a flooded house and an emergency water pipe repair. There’s not much you can do about coastal storm surge or an overflowing river, but there are many types of flooding you can prevent. With a little bit of planning and forethought, you can reduce your chances of needing to call a water damage mitigation specialist in Broadview, MT, your first night home.

1. Have Your Plumber Do a Maintenance Check

You don’t have to wait until there’s a crisis to have a professional check your pipes and supply lines. A plumber can tell you about any potential problems so you can deal with water pipe repair and upgrades before you leave.

2. Insulate Your Pipes

If you expect freezing temperatures at home while you’re away, insulate your pipes. This prevents them from freezing and bursting while you’re gone. Focus on pipes in uninsulated parts of your home that are likely to be exposed to outside temperatures.

3. Turn Off Your Water

You can also turn off your home’s water supply at the main. Then open up all the water taps in your house and let them drain. This ensures you won’t have any plumbing-related floods while you’re gone.

4. Clean Your Gutters and Drains

Make sure to clean your gutters, drains and downspouts before you leave town. That way if there are heavy rains in your absence, the water will be directed away from your home. This makes leaks less likely.

5. Back Up Your Sump Pump

If there’s a power outage during a storm, your sump pump may not be able to handle a rising water table. By connecting your sump pump to a backup generator or getting a battery-powered pump, you can avoid coming home to your basement under water.

Taking the time to prep your house before you leave on vacation can save you from coming home to an emergency water pipe repair. While a water damage mitigation specialist in Broadview, MT, can handle the cleanup if the worst occurs, it’s better if you don’t have to call for help.

3 Reasons Mold Has an Odor

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall and carpet Mold damage in Comanche, MT.

Why Mold Has An Odor?

Mold can take hold in your Comanche, MT, business before you realize it. This fungus can grow for many reasons, but mostly due to the introduction of moisture into an area. A flood, leaking pipes or even a 

content in the air can cause mold growth. While not all mold has a powerful odor, some can smell quite strong, and the reasons why may surprise you.

1. Initial Spread

Once mold spores take hold of a surface, they eat away at the material and start to grow. This growth can spread quite rapidly the more it eats, and its byproducts can produce the odor that is so often associated with mold. There are many ways to interpret this odor, but it is most often described as

  • Damp
  • Dirty (or like dirty laundry)
  • Musty

If you catch a whiff of these smells often, you may have a mold problem in your building.

2. Environment

The musty odor of mold can change or grow stronger depending on the environment in which it grows. For example, if the space is humid and often exposed to sunlight, the smell may be more powerful. If other substances are present, the mold may bond or interact with them, causing the smell to change and become even more unpleasant.

3. Rate of Growth

The faster mold grows and spreads, the stronger the scent may be. If mold grows unchecked behind a wall or under a restroom cabinet, you may notice the smell before you find the actual mold. A mold remediation company can help you target and eliminate the problem, then advise you on how to prevent the issue from occurring again.

When mold invades your Comanche, MT, business, it can cause unpleasant odors that air fresheners cannot eliminate. Having a professional eliminate mold growth at the source can help your store, factory or office space smell fresh and clean again.

Concerns About Smoke Damage to Electronics

12/31/2021 (Permalink)

burned computer You need a fire cleanup expert to assess the smoke damage to your electronics.

Smoke Damage To Electronics

No one living in Acton, MT, wants to think about their home catching on fire. In the worst-case scenario, fires can completely destroy your home and everything inside. Even small, minor fires can result in significant fire cleanup and damage to precious items. One thing homeowners have to worry about is smoke damage to electronics. It’s important to be aware of this potential and know-how to handle the problem if it occurs in your home.

1. Smoke residue can harm your equipment. You spend a lot of money on your electronics, and you use them frequently throughout each day. If there’s a fire in your home, even the smoke can render your electronics useless if you’re not careful. Inside smoke are acids that are known to corrode metal surfaces. It’s vital to have a specialist carefully remove the residue as quickly as possible. If the residue stays on the surfaces too long, it will ruin your devices.

2. A specialist can look at your electronics and determine the amount of damage. Part of your fire cleanup efforts should include a restoration specialist examining your electronics. Only a qualified expert should attempt to remove the residue. The quicker someone can address this situation, the better chance you have to save your devices and avoid replacing them or losing precious data.

3. No electronics are immune to the damage. Smoke knows no bounds when it comes to ruining your equipment. A restoration specialist will carefully examine all of your electronics in your home, including televisions, desktops, laptops, stereos, DVD players and anything else that may have been exposed to the smoke.

Fires of any size or seriousness can cause major problems to your home and to your valuables inside. You need a fire cleanup expert to assess the smoke damage to your electronics. When you get a specially trained professional on the case, you have a greater chance of salvaging your electronics in Acton, MT.

What Will Renters Insurance Cover?

11/23/2021 (Permalink)

Renters insurance form and dollars on the table. Renters insurance provides a lot of protection that you might not expect.

What Does Renters Insurance Include?

When you're renting, many circumstances are different from those of other homeowners in Laurel, MT, including who's responsible for maintenance and whether you can operate a business from your home. One important difference is what renters insurance covers if a fire breaks out. Your top concerns may include

  • Your possessions
  • Injuries and your responsibility
  • Temporary housing
  • The structure of the property

Belongings Replacement

Much of the time, insurance covers the content of your home and should cover the replacement cost of those items. Read through the policy thoroughly to be sure you're not getting "actual cash value" or you could end up with only a few bucks for a computer you've had for a few years.

Liability Protection

What if you leave a lit candle on the shelf when you leave your apartment? What happens if the neighbor's property is damaged because of negligence? Fortunately, the renters insurance will protect you when a third party is injured or when their property suffers fire damage. This may include medical payments that your neighbors' experience because of injuries suffered while evacuating the building or because of smoke inhalation.

Secure Lodgings

This insurance is also in place to cover expenses such as a hotel room while your apartment is unusable. Fire restoration professionals can often provide an estimate regarding how long you'll be displaced. Discuss the details of this situation with your insurance agent before you make long-term plans for your hotel stay.

Building Damage

Be aware that insurance for renters usually does not cover the structure of the building. You may be responsible for paying for those repairs yourself. Reconstruction costs can be expensive, so make sure to discuss this possibility with your insurance agent.

Renters insurance provides a lot of protection that you might not expect. As you discuss your need for insurance, don't forget to ask your agent about possible outcomes and expenses. Often your best option is to plan for the worst, so you aren't left unprepared.

Business Ownership 101: Should I Have a Flood Policy?

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Hans of a person signing an insurance form, Get your flood-ready commercial insurance policy today.

Do You Need Commercial Insurance for Flooding?

When it comes to who needs to buy flood insurance, most business owners in Acton, MT think of those in high-risk, flood plain areas. But experts say inlets and small creeks can swell as much as a mighty river under heavy rains, and businesses even remotely close to floodplains should prepare themselves. Not convinced you need commercial insurance for flooding? Here are reasons to bite the bullet.

Because Standard Insurance Won’t Cover Flood Damage

Many business owners incorrectly believe their standard insurance covers flood damage. While some policies cover things like sewer backups, damage from flooding is typically covered under a separate policy. That means if you don’t pay for a flood policy and a hurricane hits, you’re out of luck.

Because Risk Extends Past the Flood Plain

Many people think since they are on a hill or are inland, far from the coast, that they aren’t threatened by flooding. But experts say living within a 20-mile radius of a floodplain can make you just as susceptible to those right in the middle of the high-risk area. They point to land that can quickly become water choked in heavy rains, leading to flash flooding.

Because Costs for the Uninsured Are Pretty Hefty

Unfortunately, the options are limited to avoid coming out of pocket if you are hit with flood damage. FEMA may provide some limited coverage but typically not enough to cover all losses. The good news is, there are lots of options when it comes to buying a flood policy. The National Flood Insurance Program underwrites the bulk of the nation’s flood insurance policies and there are many providers of commercial insurance policies.

By the time the storm hits, it’s too late to think about flood insurance. Get your flood-ready commercial insurance policy today and rest assured that if the next record-setting storm hits close to home, you’re prepared for the worst.

Basement Floods: 4 Common Causes

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Billings, MT.

Basement Floods

A basement flood may be on the top-ten list of most homeowner’s nightmares, but while it is worrisome, it may also be preventable with routine maintenance and inspection. Granted, no amount of preventative action will result in a definitive defense, but it can diminish the risks exponentially. If you want to protect your basement, then watch out for these four most common problem areas.

1. Improper Sealant

Water damage does not always have to be caused by a significant issue. Surprisingly, the improper use or inadequate coverage of sealant can allow moisture to seep into your basement causing a consistent water problem. Thankfully, you can get kits and products to seal your basement yourself.

2. Blocked Gutter

Another common cause of a basement flood is a clogged gutter. The consensus is that gutters need to be cleaned a minimum of five times per year. Regular maintenance of gutters and downspouts can ensure that rainwater is directed away from the foundation of your house rather than overflowing the eaves and flooding your basement.

3. Failed Sump Pump

Failed sump pumps can also lead to a flooded basement. Sump pumps, like any other appliance, require routine maintenance to function correctly. Cleaning out filters, checking on suction and inspecting power regularly can help prevent many sump pump malfunctions.

4. Clogged Drain

A clogged drain can be the most common cause of flooding because it disrupts the natural flow of water, forcing the liquid to either backup or exert excess pressure on the pipe, leading to leaks or pipe breaks. If you notice a drain is not functioning normally, you may want to snake the drain yourself or have a professional from the Billings, MT, area check it out for you.

A basement flood may be a nuisance and can be damaging. While many of the most common issues can be resolved quickly without going to significant expense, the problem with flooding in this type of area is that not everyone notices the issue right away. Routine maintenance and even inspection of common problem areas may be necessary to prevent significant costs later.

Why Is Emergency Sprinkler Maintenance Important?

10/29/2021 (Permalink)

red head of a fire sprinkler Many commercial buildings are required to have a fire sprinkler system in place.

What Is the Importance of Emergency Sprinkler Maintenance?

In Comanche, MT, many commercial buildings are required to have a fire sprinkler system in place. This system plays a major role in putting out fires. To get the best benefit, you have to have your sprinklers maintained and inspected regularly. A fire restoration specialist may be able to help you understand the importance of this emergency system. A working system can help do the following:


Contain a Fire: While other alarm systems warn occupants of the potential danger of a fire, the fire sprinkler actually works to start dampening the flames. While the water isn't always enough to completely put out the fire, it usually helps slow down the growth.

Increase Personal Safety: Because the sprinklers work to contain and suppress flames, they help keep people safe. The fire suppression system can even give firefighters more time to help get trapped people out of the building.

Reduce Property Damage: Flames can turn your property into ashes fairly quickly. When you add the deluge of water to that scenario, you end up with less loss. Some of your belongings could now have water damage, but that's better than completely losing your possessions.

Sense Fires: A well-maintained fire sprinkler system turns on when a fire breaks out. Each sprinkler head has a sensor that reads heat, and they only turn on when the heat is at a specific temperature.

Protect One Area: Not every sprinkler in the system has to turn on when a fire erupts. If you maintain your sprinklers properly, you may be able to rely on only one area of heads turning on. This can help save you from water damage in the rest of your building.

If you don't do regular fire sprinkler cleanup in your commercial building, you could be leaving yourself in harm's way. The system is very useful in quenching and slowing down flames, but it can only work when it is properly maintained.

3 Types of Damage Your Home Can Suffer During a Fire

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

wooden beam damaged by fire, concept of fire damage in a home House fire in Broadview, MT.

Types of Fire Damage

When you think of fire damage, you may think of flames charring a home’s walls or roof. However, you may be surprised to know that your Broadview, MT, home could suffer from a variety of issues during and after a blaze, all of which could have long-lasting negative effects. Even smaller fires may cause these issues, but being aware of what type of damage you might encounter can help you take more effective steps toward restoration afterward.

1. Smoke Damage

When a fire sweeps through one or more rooms of your home, smoke can leave behind strong odors and stain your walls and ceilings. The smoky smell may also permeate porous items, such as drywall and carpeting, causing the stench to linger for months. Smoke can also discolor painted walls, causing colors to fade and white shades to turn yellow.

2. Soot Stains

During a fire, items in a room may only be charred instead of burning completely. When this occurs, the carbon created by the incomplete burning creates a fine black powder, or soot, that settles on furniture, floors and other surfaces. This type of damage can be difficult to remove from carpeting and may stain fabrics and other items when they are not cleaned correctly. Calling in a fire damage and restoration company to professionally remove soot from your home can give you peace of mind that the cleanup process is performed correctly.

3. Flooding

You may not associate water damage with a house fire. However, a fire hose releases tremendous amounts of the liquid in a high-pressure spray that can leave your home and belongings soaked. If the water sits for more than 24 hours, the humid conditions caused by the fire’s heat can create ideal conditions for mold growth, so it is wise to have any flood waters removed as soon as possible.

There are several different types of fire damage that can affect your Broadview, MT, home after a blaze. However, knowing how to resolve them may make the restoration process less stressful.

The Disgusting Truth About Lawn Slime

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Free your lawn from mold.

Lawn slime sounds like something out of a Ghostbusters film, but what it actually is is slime mold: a saprophytic fungus that feeds on dead organic matter. It’s hard to miss slime mold on your Laurel, MT lawn when it’s often brightly colored and covers everything in slimy patches. So how can you get rid of outdoor mold, and make sure it never comes back?

Tips for Getting Rid of Lawn Slime

Once you’ve got lawn slime, all you can think of is getting rid of it. Here are just a few remedies for this pervasive outdoor pest:

• Rake up debris and ground cover. The thatch covering your lawn is often made of dead leaves, grass, and twigs – and is perfect food for slime mold. When you’re raking it up, you’ll also take a good deal of the mold with it.
• Trim your shade trees. Dark areas let slime mold proliferate, while sun dries it out and kills it.
• Switch to a sandy topsoil. Lawn slime has trouble taking root in sandy soil, but there are plenty of attractive lawn grasses that can still thrive even where slime mold can’t.
• Avoid “natural” remedies. While you may hear that tea tree oil and other natural remedies can help kill slime mold, it’s more likely to kill your grass. Killing your grass just gives the slime mold more to feed on, and can actually help it proliferate.

Preventing Lawn Slime in the First Place

The best offense is a good defense, and one great way to get rid of slime mold is to defend against it in the first place. Since slime mold feeds on dead matter, routinely clean your lawn of debris and rotting leaves. Also, don’t over-water your lawn; too much moisture creates perfect conditions for a slime mold to grow. If you’re struggling to figure out ways to free your lawn from mold, a professional consultation with mold remediation specialists may help.

Do Storm Floods Always Lead To Mold?

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth. Not every home filled with storm waters will have mold growth.

As a homeowner in Billings, MT, you try to prepare for any event. When a bad storm leaves your lower levels filled with water, you may feel caught off guard. Thankfully, you can get professional help from a storm damage cleanup crew to ensure your house is returned to normal. Your cleanup experts can also help you understand the risk of mold growth. Storm floods don't always lead to mold, but the following can increase your chances:

• Passing time
• Contaminated water
• Faulty repairs

Find out more about why these circumstances can lead to the growth of fungus.

Excess Time

Standing water does not have to be synonymous with fungal growth; but, if you don't find the flooding right away, you may have a higher chance of the growth taking place. This is because stagnant water can become contaminated. It's also because many mold spores exist naturally in your home. Once the excess moisture is there, it may only take 24 to 48 hours for the spores to start to grow.

Dirty Water

The source of the flood can also affect whether your home has a mold growth problem. Bacteria, mold spores, and other contaminants found in stormy waters can allow the fungus to grow even faster than in clean water. This dirty flood may also bring extra spores into your house.

Incomplete Repairs

Fixing water problems quickly is an important part of avoiding mold. If you try to undertake this cleanup on your own, you may miss pockets of moisture. Leaving this excess humidity in your house can create the perfect environment for mold. If you want to avoid this type of growth, you may want to make sure every part of your home has been cleaned and dried out after storm-related flooding.

Not every home filled with storm waters will have mold growth. How soon you start the repairs, the source of the water, and the efficiency of the repairs may affect the secondary damage your home has to endure.

The Basics of Mold Testing

9/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. If the mold assessment reveals a problem, it will have to be remedied, or it will just grow into a bigger problem.

Almost every home is susceptible to a mold problem. If you suspect mold is growing in your home in Billings, MT, you probably want to hire an environmental hygienist to conduct a mold assessment. Home test kits may be convenient, but they are not always accurate. Also, without the proper training, you might misinterpret the results. Here is a basic rundown of what to do if you suspect a mold problem exists in your home.

When Testing Is Necessary

Testing for black mold is probably not part of your frequent home inspection, as it would be expensive to hire a certified hygienist every time you conducted your inspection. There are several reasons why you would need to test for mold:

• Musty odor in the home
• Hard-to-locate mold
• Concentration of spores
• Success of removal

Unless you can actually see mold growing, testing is often the only way you can see if there is a problem. If you suspect rampant mold growth in your home, it is a good idea to have it tested.

What Testing Discovers

A mold assessment is not going to answer the question of if there is mold in your home but rather how much. Every home has mold because mold is everywhere. The distinction that testing makes is whether or not it is a problem that needs to be resolved by mold remediation specialists. The hygienist may test the air quality by taking a baseline reading outside and comparing it to the results of the air test inside. He or she may also take a surface test by swapping surfaces where mold may hide. A bulk test involves sending materials to the lab to be tested for growth and concentration. The tester may use any or all of these methods to determine if there is mold or mildew present.

If the mold assessment reveals a problem, it will have to be remedied, or it will just grow into a bigger problem. At least you have the peace of mind of knowing for sure whether or not you have mold.

3 Common Water Issues in Commercial Buildings

9/18/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe bursting. As a business owner, you know the value of having a clean, safe business.

Managing a business takes a great deal of time, energy, and money, but the payoff can be rewarding. Unfortunately, water issues such as leaking pipes can force a business in Billings, MT, to close its doors. Knowing the common water issues that many businesses face can help you prevent water damage to your business.

1. Damaged Pipes

Pipes can become damaged over time, which can result in a break or leak. Both issues can cause long-term damage to your business. If your pipes are leaking, you may notice that your water bill has increased without an increase in purposeful water use. A pipe break is often more sudden and apparent, but it can also cause extensive damage. Maintaining your business’s pipes will help prevent leaking pipes and other damage from occurring.

2. Sewer Backup

If your building has repeatedly had a toilet back up or you notice the water isn’t draining appropriately in sinks and other drains, it could be a sign of a sewer backup. Sewer backups can leave your business without functioning restrooms and appliances, and they can also be dangerous to people’s health. Backups can create water damage in a variety of locations in your business and can affect various appliances at once.

3. Foundation Damage

A sturdy, supportive foundation is essential for any building, including businesses. If water has accessed your business’s foundation numerous times, especially in older buildings, the foundation may begin to crack. It’s important to be aware of the state of your building’s foundation since damaged foundations can make a building unsafe to inhabit. Signs of foundation damage could include visible cracks, sinking floors, and doors that won’t easily open or close.

As a business owner, you know the value of having a clean, safe business. Water issues such as leaking pipes can wreak havoc on a business, but knowing what to look for can help you keep your business functioning at its best. If you do experience water issues, qualified professionals can help you fix the issues and prevent future damage.

2 Critical Keys To Odor Removal After Flooding

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

flooded storage room, plastic chairs, plastic pipes, flooded floor Cleaning up after a flood may seem overwhelming, but there is assistance available.

Flood Water Cleaning

After a flood in Laurel,  MT, you are probably worried that your home will never smell the same again. You are right to be concerned about this, but it is possible to prevent and remove odors from water contamination and mold growth after a storm. The secret to success is twofold: start immediately and clean effectively.

1. Start Cleanup Immediately

When there is a flood, your home and personal belongings are at risk from water damage itself, but also biohazards like sewage and other contaminants in the water. Flood water from a storm is often referred to as "black water" for this reason. Mold growth can also begin within 48 hours.

As time passes, materials exposed to flood water are absorbing the liquid and all its microscopic contents. The risk of structural damage increases, but also extended exposure to contamination makes it more difficult to save and clean materials the right way. After mold colonies form, mold remediation is needed, and the overall cleanup becomes costlier as containment becomes important to prevent the spread of mold spores and more colonies.

2. Clean the Right Way

Each item exposed to water will be different in how it should be treated after a flood. Some items may need to be disposed of, such as carpet padding, but some items can be disinfected and saved, like carpet. Trained experts are knowledgeable about the cleaning process and can help your family with effective cleaning of your home after a flood.

No matter where you are, mold spores are in the air. That's very normal. The problem comes when materials don't dry thoroughly, and those spores form colonies of mold. It's very difficult to clean deeply rooted mold growth from porous materials, but the combination of containment, thorough drying techniques, and antimicrobials is the key to solving the problem and preventing odors from coming back.

Flood water cleaning may seem overwhelming, but there is help. Flood restoration specialists have the resources and training to remove water quickly, clean materials thoroughly, and dry your home completely. Look for specialists with IICRC training to ensure effective odor removal techniques are used.

Box of Horrors: Cleaning the Office Fridge

7/22/2021 (Permalink)

Mold in a refrigerator No one wants to see fridge mold.

Cleaning the Office Fridge: A Box of Horrors

If your pulse quickens and you take a deep breath before opening the office fridge, you are probably not overreacting. Communal refrigerators in the workplace are notorious for developing fridge mold and the nauseous sights and smells that go along with it. All hope is not lost, though. You can play an integral role in preventing fridge funk in your office in Laurel, MT, by taking charge of the cleaning of the office fridge.

Common Causes

Before you can prevent a problem, you have to know what causes it. When it comes to items that contribute to the mold smell that assaults your senses, neglect is the most likely culprit. Food gets forgotten for many reasons:

  • Office party leftovers that someone didn't want to go to waste but made no actual plans to use
  • Well-intentioned lunch that was abandoned in favor of a spontaneous office outing
  • Leftovers that are abandoned and left to fester over the weekend
  • Employees forgetting to take their lunch breaks

You can't make people remember to eat the food they put in the office refrigerator, but you can help prevent fridge mold by providing stickers and asking them to date anything they put in the fridge. Let them know that food left longer than three days will be thrown out.

Fridge Cleanup

At least once a week, someone needs to clean the fridge. Not many people will sign up for this job. If you do not want the problem to get so bad that you have to hire remediation experts to take care of it, however, it is a good idea to volunteer or offer an incentive to someone else to take on disinfecting the fridge on a regular basis. The more often you clean, the less disgusting the task will be.

No one wants to see fridge mold in the office refrigerator, but without regular cleaning, it is almost a certainty. With a weekly cleaning schedule and a little cooperation from other employees, you can make your office fridge useful rather than scary.

3 Ways to Avoid Cigarette Fires

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

A man's hand putting out a cigarette If you do not put out the burning end of a cigarette, you will greatly increase a fire risk inside or outside of your home.

Avoid Cigarette Fires

Cigarettes are a common cause of fire even though these fires are easily preventable. Here are three ways to prevent a cigarette fire.

1. Smoke outside. Most cigarette fires start when a smoker falls asleep. Bedrooms and couches are the most common places for cigarette fires to break out. Keep in mind that the same risks apply to smoking on a screened-in porch or a deck with furniture. It is best to smoke away from the house in an outdoor chair. You may be less likely to get comfortable enough to fall asleep outside with a lit cigarette.

2. Use stable, enclosed ashtrays. An ashtray fire is a common type of cigarette fire. This type of blaze can occur if a pet knocks over an ashtray that contains smoldering butts or if burning butts get blown out of the ashtray onto combustible materials outdoors. Choose an ashtray that is hard to knock over, and that is enclosed or features a material that makes it easy to ensure that smoldering butts no longer pose a fire risk.

3. Completely extinguish cigarettes. If you do not put out the burning end of a cigarette, you will greatly increase a fire risk inside or outside of your home. Take an extra moment to make sure that your cigarette is completely extinguished before leaving the area. Some ashtrays feature sand or other materials that can help to ensure that the ends of cigarettes are no longer burning. This is the most important step in preventing fires whether you choose to smoke indoors or outdoors.

These are three simple and effective ways to prevent fires caused by cigarettes in or around your home. If a cigarette fire does break out, you can either extinguish a minor fire yourself or call the fire department. If your home sustains damage, contact a fire cleanup service near Laurel,MT.

How To Handle a Leaking Sink

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen damaged by water Water damage on a kitchen in an Acton, MT home

How To Handle a Leaking Sink

You open the cabinets under the kitchen sink at your home in Acton, MT. Suddenly, you notice a puddle. Before your eyes, the small puddle turns into flooding. As you watch the water in your home spread, what is the next step? Mitigate the Damage

Even if you do not know anything about pipe or kitchen repair, there are a few steps you can take before help arrives:

Safety should be your first priority. If possible, shut off the main water valve to stop the flooding from continuing. Make sure that you do not stand in water when active electricity is nearby. Also watch your step carefully, as wet kitchen floors are slippery. If you have any doubt about your wellbeing, leave the house and wait for a professional to assess the situation.
Once the water in the home has ceased from spreading, remove items from the waterlogged area. Use a mop or towel to soak up excess water. Open windows or use air conditioning to circulate the air. Do not use electrical appliances or attempt to vacuum up the water.

Call for Help

Oftentimes a kitchen flood causes significant water damage, which can spread to the adjacent rooms in your home. When not dealt with quickly, secondary damage can occur such as mold. Make the following phone calls as soon as possible:

Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent. When a pipe bursts, insurance typically covers the resulting water damage.
Call a reputable water restoration specialist. After your property is inspected and safety issues are resolved, the company gets to work on removing pooled water, drying the space with industrial equipment, cleaning the area and completing the kitchen repair.

When you discover your kitchen flooding in Acton, MT, immediately begin to mitigate the damage by stopping the water source. Partner with your insurance agent and a water restoration company to return your kitchen to pre-flood condition.

Cleaning a Commercial Roof: Five Steps

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Cleaning gutters during the summer time. Keep your gutters clean.

Cleaning a Commercial Roof

If you want to avoid a roof leak in your Billings, MT, business’s future, it is important to keep your roof clean and clear of unwanted materials. If you are not sure how to get started on your cleaning plan, the following five steps should help.

1. Inspect For Existing Damage

It is important to check your roof and see if there are any pre-existing issues, such as wind damage, from a previous storm. Such damage could include loose or cracked shingles or other physical issues affecting the roof’s materials.

2. Clean Gutters

Things such as little branches and other small objects may be stuck in your gutters. It is a good idea to check for such items in gutters as part of your rooftop cleaning plan so you do not end up with backed-up water down the road.

3. Clear Storm Drains

Storm drains can get clogged up with the same objects that get stuck in gutters. Make sure to check them out and clear any garbage from them. Like with the gutters, a storm drain that is backed up will not be able to efficiently clear water in the event of a storm.

4. Clean Your Roof

One of the worst causes of a roof leak is wetness. Prevent your roof from accumulating dampness by removing leaves or other objects that are holding water on the top of your building.

5. Consider Professional Help

If there any loose or damaged shingles, now is the time to get them fixed, possibly with help from professionals if the loss is severe. Commercial storm restoration services might be a good choice if you should be so unfortunate as to have destructive water damage or debris that requires more skilled assistance. It is better to get help than to embark on a task that you are not confident you can handle yourself.
When it comes down to it, you never want to put the integrity of your commercial building at risk. That is why it is important to have a cleaning plan in place to keep your property in top shape and to help prevent a future roof leak.

3 Things You Should Include in Your Fire Escape Plan

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Draw a plan of your home.

3 Things You Should Include in Your Fire Escape Plan

Home fires can be catastrophic and scary, but you can improve your family’s chance of getting out safely if you come up with a fire escape plan in advance. The idea of putting together a detailed, complicated plan can seem overwhelming, so try starting with these three simple steps:

1. Identify All Exits

Print out or draw a floor plan of your home in Billings, MT. Then mark all exits in a bright color (including all exterior doors and windows). Consider putting a fire escape ladder next to all upper-story windows, and make sure all basement window wells have fire ladders as well.

2. Perform a Drill

When the entire family is present, create an emergency escape plan. Identify areas of the home where fires are likely to occur, then make sure each family member knows the safest ways to exit the home from various rooms (bedrooms, family rooms, bathrooms, etc.)

Next, perform a fire drill and have everyone follow the fire escape plan as discussed. It’s a good idea to perform several drills and change up the location of the fire with each drill. For example, during one drill, the fire could be in the basement. In the next drill, the fire could be in the laundry room. Different escape routes may need to be chosen based on the location of the fire.

3. Establish an After-Fire Action Plan

It’s easy to become separated from loved ones during a fire, so make sure you establish a meeting place outside the home in advance. Your meeting place could be on the street corner or at a neighbor’s house in the event of inclement weather.

As part of your fire escape plan, make sure every member of the family knows the number of the fire department. You may also want to memorize the number of your local fire restoration company and the insurance company so you can call them right away. Be sure to notify your family and close friends that you are safe as well so they won’t needlessly worry.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Bathroom

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bathroom tiles Mold growth in a bathroom.

Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom

If you have a Comanche, MT, home, you may be worried about getting mold. While you don't need to worry too much, it's smart to keep an eye out for fungus. Since mold tends to grow in areas that develop water damage, bathrooms are a particularly at-risk area. If you'd like to avoid getting any damage in these rooms, here are three ways to prevent mold growth in your bathroom.

1. Look for Water
One of the best ways to keep your bathroom mold-free is to look for water. Bathrooms tend to accumulate puddles of water, particularly in certain areas. These are some places to keep an eye on:

  • Around the toilet
  • Next to the shower
  • Under the sink

Once you find water, be sure to clean it up immediately. Check the area for mold growth in case the water has been there a while. Finally, regularly check the spot for more water.

2. Run the Fans
Since bathrooms involve so much water, particularly hot water from showers, the rooms can get very humid. Humidity makes it easier for water damage to occur and for mold to grow. In order to get the moisture out of your bathroom, you'll need to run your fans once in a while. It's a particularly good idea to do so after a shower. In fact, keep your fans on for about a half-hour after taking a shower. If you still need more airflow, have the air vents in your bathroom checked.

3. Fix Leaks
If you find any leaks, you'll want to get each one fixed immediately. You may need to bring some mechanics in for mold prevention, particularly if the leak involves your toilet or sink. Be sure to check your tile as well. If there are any holes, use a grout sealer to fix the issue. Doing this right away can prevent any extreme damage. In the event that you find the leak after the damage has been caused, you may want to contact mold damage restoration experts.
If you remain thorough and look for water damage, you may have a better chance of avoiding mold growth in your bathroom.

Typical Standby Generator Maintenance

5/14/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial power generator Commercial generator.

Typical Standby Generator Maintenance

The typical life expectancy for a generator is between 20,000 and 30,000 hours, serving a crucial role while waiting for a storm restoration company to come to your business. If you are looking to push the maximum number of hours and avoid generator problems, you need to consider required preventative maintenance.

Weekly
You are going to need to perform small maintenance tasks every week. These include:

  • Running the engine
  • Checking for alarms or warnings
  • Ensuring adequate fuel levels for an emergency
  • Setting the engine to auto mode
  • Checking that the circuit breaker is closed
  • Ensuring there are no leaks

Monthly
On a monthly basis, you will need to spend more time checking fluid levels, such as the coolant and oil. You should also check the battery to ensure you are ready for a disaster.

Bi-Annual
You are going to want to check the thermal protection levels every six months. Use the appropriate tester for the type of coolant you are running in your generator in Broadview, MT. At the same time, inspect the drive belts to ensure they have the proper tension and are in good condition.

Annual
A certified technician will need to come out every year and perform crucial tasks, such as changing the engine oil, fuel filter, air filter, and spark plugs. While there, they will also clean the crankcase breather. Aside from these tasks, they will also check various aspects of your systems, such as the coolant concentration. If any extra maintenance is needed, like a coolant system flush, your technician will perform these items at your annual service. Also, if you have a diesel engine, your technician will test and condition the fuel and remove any water from the fuel tank.
This list will get you started on your generator maintenance. Taking precautions like this can have many benefits for your business. The primary one is that you put off replacing your equipment longer.

How to Mitigate Hail Damage to Your Commercial Property

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Old composite roof with damage Asphalt shingles can lose some of their granules if they are struck by hail.

Hail is unpredictable and unavoidable and can strike without much warning. Hailstorms have been known to cause significant damage to commercial buildings, but roof damage is the main concern that businesses face.

How Does Hail Damage a Building?

Asphalt shingles can lose some of their granules if they are struck by hail, which can expose the fiberglass mat.
Wooden shingles can split during a hailstorm, exposing the felt underlay.
Exposed fiberglass matting or felt underlay can become damaged and split.
Large hail can break glass windows and doors.
If hail accumulates on tree branches, it can break and damage the building or break windows.

Hail damage to the shingles is especially troublesome, because you may not notice the roof damage until the roof starts to leak. By then, the water that has saturated the shingles and matting has probably caused serious problems to your roof, not to mention the inevitable water damage inside your building.
Even though you can’t avoid weather conditions that produce hail, there are some things you can do to mitigate the potential damage to your commercial property in Broadview, MT before and after a hailstorm.

How Do You Perform a Roof Inspection?

Conduct routine roof inspections to ensure your roof is in good condition before a hailstorm strikes.

  • Inspect the shingles carefully for wear or missing pieces and replace them as needed.
  • Look for any standing water or rust stains, which could indicate a water problem.
  • Remove any leaves or debris from the roof drains and gutters.
  • Make sure skylights aren’t leaking and are secured.

What Damage Should You Look For After a Hailstorm?

If you’ve endured a hailstorm, it’s important to inspect the roof as soon as weather permits. Check the shingles to make sure there is no damage or loss of granules. Repair or replace any damaged materials right away. Make sure skylights and AC units have not been damaged as well.
Hailstorms can cause serious roof damage, but if you are prepared, you can mitigate the damage and keep your business running smoothly.

The Best Practices for Content Cleaning After a Fire

5/10/2021 (Permalink)

Personal computer burnt Computer office damaged by fire.

When it comes to the most efficient cleaning of your building's contents after a fire, knowledge and experience are key factors. For example, certified technicians know that dry-cleaning is the best choice for clothes and fabrics damaged by smoke odors and soot. They also know that ultrasonic methods work better for non-porous items. Experienced technicians will choose from a variety of cleaning methods to get the best results for each particular item. They will also pretest items to see if they can be cleaned sufficiently; this saves time and money.

The Option for Content Storage

A professional fire mitigation company sometimes removes items from your building. This has several benefits in terms of the overall restoration job:

  • A more efficient restoration process
  • Better protection for fragile contents
  • More attention to individual items

If dry-cleaning is necessary, a move-out provides better access to the clothes or furniture. The removal of the items from your company in Laurel, MT, is done carefully and efficiently, making sure nothing is broken in the process. The items will be returned to your company based on its needs.

The Possibilities for Content Cleaning
When done effectively, the skilled cleaning of items can save a company extra expenses. Technicians can often restore items at a fraction of the cost of replacing them. For certain items, they will use methods such as foam cleaning and immersion cleaning, while for more fragile items they are more likely to rely on spray and wipe techniques. Abrasive cleaning, which involves agitation of dirty surfaces, is appropriate in some circumstances. Wet cleaning often works best for removing heavy to moderate residues.
Dry-cleaning is best used for cleaning light residues as the result of a fire, or for advanced cleaning before wet cleaning. Trained technicians will look for the best cleaning method for each item, using their knowledge and experience to make the right choices.

How to Prevent Kitchen Fires

4/26/2021 (Permalink)

severe fire to a kitchen, whole kitchen lost after fire damage Kitchen fire damage to a home.

Keep Your Home Safe From Kitchen Fires

If you would like to keep your home safe from kitchen fires, you can do several things to reach your goal. Kitchen fires can turn your house into a smoke-damaged home in no time, and removing the lingering smoke odor won't be easy.

You can protect yourself by:

  • Monitoring your food
  • Setting a timer
  • Placing a smoke detector above your stove.

Keeping your children away from the stove while you are cooking is another great way to prevent fire damage.

What to Do When a Fire Takes Place

Despite your best effort, kitchen fires can still occur and inflict fire damage to your home, but you are not out of luck. A fire restoration team can come to your location and repair your smoke-damaged home, providing you with impressive results. They will get to work cleaning soot from walls as soon as possible, which will combat the lingering smoke odor.

After they are done cleaning soot from walls, they will also use filters to clean the air in your home. Your personal belongings will be shipped to an off-site location so that the team can repair and send them back to you. No matter how hopeless your situation might seem from the surface, hiring a fire restoration team is one of the best ways to get your life back on track.

Why Flood Cuts Are Made During Restoration

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on drywall. Drywall removal Flood cuts made in a Billings, MT building.

Why Should Flood Cuts Need To Be Performed?

Flood cuts serve several important functions inside a commercial structure that has recently been flooded. Restoration professionals may recommend cutting into drywall 12 to 18 inches above the flood line to identify and remove contaminated building materials and promote drying prior to restoration. Find out more about why storm damage cleanup experts may make cuts after flooding at a building in Billings, MT.

Remove Contaminated Materials
Flood cuts make it easier for restoration professionals to check the condition of several materials in walls. The following substances may need to be torn out and replaced:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Structural components

A flood cut is a way to tear out damaged materials, provide access behind walls for repairs and increase airflow. This measure is most important when damage that involves contaminated water has occurred.

Speed Up Drying Behind Walls
Flood cuts open up the walls of commercial buildings that have recently been exposed to flooding. If water has saturated drywall or worked its way behind walls in other ways, it can be difficult to promote fast drying without making significant cuts. If the water involved in damage is not contaminated, it may be possible to save walls by drilling small holes behind the baseboard and inserting hoses to circulate air behind walls.

Clear the Way for Rebuilding
Removing damaged drywall and wet insulation lays the groundwork for rebuilding. Once a structure has been cleaned and disinfected to get rid of sources of contamination and then dried thoroughly, the restoration process is ready to proceed.
Commercial building owners and managers who are not sure whether to make flood cuts should seek the expert opinion of damage restoration professionals who specialize in flooding. These specialists can determine the right height for a flood cut to check conditions behind walls, tear out contaminated building materials and speed up drying at a commercial property located in Billings, MT.

3 Steps for Fixing a Beeping Smoke Detector

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

smoke moving towards a smoke alarm Protect your home and family from a fire with a smoke detector.

3 Steps for Fixing a Beeping Smoke Detector

Protecting your Acton, MT, home and family from a fire with smoke detectors is a simple and cost-effective safety measure. You can install these devices on every floor, the presence of a fire alarm in each location might give you peace of mind each time you leave your home or go to sleep at night. However, if you notice one or more of your alarms chirping or beeping, it may need maintenance and there are a few steps you can take to resolve the problem.

1. Check the Battery
Your smoke alarm cannot protect your home from fire damage if the battery is not allowing it to function correctly. If the unit is beeping every few minutes, open the battery compartment and check the battery's connection. If it does not appear loose, then you may need to change the battery. A good rule of thumb is to change and check the alarm every fall and spring during the time change.

2. Inspect Your Thermostat
Environmental changes may cause your fire alarm to beep unexpectedly. If this happens and you know the battery is not the problem, then check your thermostat to ensure the room is not too humid. If this is a problem, use a ceiling or floor fan to lower the condensation levels. Opening windows during humid weather can also help.

3. Check for Internal Damage
If your unit was installed during a previous fire in your home, it may have smoke damage to its internal parts. A fire damage and restoration service can help you decide whether you need new smoke detectors installed and assist you with other fire prevention measures as well, such as checking your home for potential fire hazards and formulating an evacuation plan.
Having a working fire alarm in your Acton, MT, home can help you feel confident that your family is well protected. Scheduling regular maintenance for each unit in your home at least twice a year may prevent malfunction and the kind of serious damage that house fires cause.

How Water Damage Affects Building Materials

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

water damage to a kitchen Water damage in a kitchen.

How Water Damage Affects Building Materials

From swelling wood to crumbling drywall, water damage can have different effects on various building materials. Composition is an important consideration, as some substances are ruined by becoming wet and will need to be torn out and replaced. Other materials may be dried and restored. Find out more about the effects of water damage on building materials at a home in Comanche, MT.

Porous Materials May Be Ruined
Absorbent or porous materials soak up water, and the level of contamination in this water will determine whether materials can be dried or require disinfection. Here are the three categories of water damage:

  • Category One damage involves clean water
  • Category Two damage involves contaminated water
  • Category Three damage involves grossly contaminated water

Some porous materials, such as carpet soaked by water from a broken supply line, may be quickly dried. Water pipe repair may be all that is necessary to resolve the cause of damage. Appliance leaks, roof leaks or flooded showers or toilets may expose contents to chemicals or microbes. This Category Two damage requires disinfection. Category Three damage caused by a sewer backup requires disinfection or disposal of materials that are difficult to disinfect.

Wood Becomes Likely To Swell
Wood swells and becomes distorted after exposure to water. Cupping occurs when more moisture is absorbed by the unfinished underside of swelling wood, which expands more than the top. It may be possible to dry and refinish or replace flooring or fixtures.

Metal May Corrode Over Time
Some types of metal undergo a chemical reaction when exposed to water and air that could undermine the integrity of structural materials. It may be necessary to replace damaged components.
It is always important to mitigate water damage as quickly as possible. Start by extracting any standing water at a residence in Comanche, MT. Restoration specialists can recommend the best treatment for swelling wood.

Document Restoration Services Can Save Your Business After a Disaster

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Box with lid, office boxes and folders for storing documents and files Document restoration services in Broadview, MT.

Document Restoration Services

After any major disaster in Broadview, MT, restoring your business and mitigating losses is essential for returning your company to an operational state in a timely manner. In addition to clean-up and repairs, you should add document restoration to your list of recovery action items. Using a professional restoration service can help you protect and save many of your important documents, including:

  • Books, journals and magazines
  • Patient records and employee files
  • Blueprints and maps
  • Photographs, film and negatives

Professional document restoration services can save your business because they follow thorough procedures for preserving and protecting critical paperwork that is often irreplaceable. Insurance companies trust SERVPRO because of the following state-of-the-art offerings.

1. Modern Technology
SERVPRO uses vacuum freeze-drying, a document drying technique that has been approved by the National Archives and Records Administration. They also use gamma irradiation technology to clean and sterilize items. This is particularly useful if your documents have been exposed to chemicals or bacteria during the incident.

2. Security
Documents are handled by HIPAA-certified technicians, ensuring compliance with privacy requirements. Your documents are also kept under 24/7 surveillance.

3. Digital Organization
Converting your files to digital files is a wise choice for protecting them against future incidents. In the event of a fire or flood, your contracts, files and paper materials will stay safely stored and out of harm’s way. Digital files are much easier to organize and access using a computerized inventory system, and they can free up storage space that used to house paper files.
In addition to the services above, a full-service restoration option is available to handle every step of the restoration, from drying and sanitizing to rejacketing and digitizing. This full-service option can save you time and money since the document drying is performed by SERVPRO and is not outsourced to a third party.
After disaster strikes, it is normal to feel overwhelmed about the cleanup process. However, being prepared and having a reliable document restoration service you can trust will save you time and ensure your business is protected.

4 Steps for Preparing a Business Interruption Claim

2/16/2021 (Permalink)

Business interruption insurance form and red pen for signing. Business interruption insurance is one source businesses rely on when they experience disasters.

4 Steps for Preparing a Business Interruption Claim

If you have recently had to hire water remediation professionals to clean up the flooding in your business, you know the importance of filing a well-documented claim with a business interruption insurance company. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure your claims are thorough and don't get subject to extensive reviews and rejection.

1. Develop a Plan
The key to starting a sound claim is creating a team responsible for handling your flooding. You should then thoroughly review your insurance policy and determine if the event is covered, unlike a broken pipe due to freezing temperatures. If you have experienced a covered peril, you should contact your insurance adjuster and start the claim process.

2. Measure Your Income Loss
You need to measure your income loss in an objective and supported way. Also, ensure that you take any normal operating expenses out of your total income. Some areas that require thorough support include the relationship of the loss to a disaster, your ordinary income, your income history, any market conditions that could impact these numbers, and the sales you have used to offset your losses.

3. Identify Any Extra Expenses
In addition to lost income for your business in Laurel, MT, you will likely be able to get funds to pay any extra expenses that are a direct result of a disaster. For instance, a flood will bring cleaning and disinfecting fees that you would normally not have to pay.

4. Execute a Mitigation Plan
Your insurance adjuster will focus on the efforts you took to mitigate your interruption after the flooding. This could include many different tactics, such as moving to a temporary location, finding alternative suppliers, or reaching out to customers through unusual methods. Make sure your loss mitigation plan is well documented so you can offer it to your insurance company.
Business interruption insurance is one source businesses rely on when they experience disasters, such as large water damage. To ensure their claim is accepted quickly, business owners should follow these critical steps to create a strong and well-supported case.

5 Pieces of Essential Equipment for Cleaning Mold

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Mold removal is a potentially dangerous activity, call a team of qualified experts to clean the damaged area.

Five Items That Should Always Be Used When Removing Mold

In the unfortunate event that your office in Billings, MT, becomes infested with mold, quick removal is essential. If you elect to tackle the cleaning task without professional help, use proper equipment to protect yourself from mold’s effects. Here are five items that should always be used in conjunction with fungal scrubbing.


1. Respirator
Perhaps the most critical of accessories is the respirator. Because it prevents workers from breathing in mold particles, wearing a mask is absolutely required. There are many types of filtering masks commercially available, from inexpensive disposables to highly expensive beauties. You should have no trouble finding an appropriate selection that matches your budget and taste.


2. Gloves
Like masks, there are a wide variety of gloves available. Whether you choose ones made out of latex, vinyl or nitrile, always protect your hands with the proper fit. No matter what style of glove you settle on, avoid touching your face when dealing with mold.

3. Hazard Suits
Protective clothing suits need to be worn when in proximity to any mold growth. Tyvek makes a one-piece that can be conveniently slipped over regular clothes. Hazard suits can be difficult to find, which is one reason allowing mold removal professionals to handle the task for you is a sensible alternative.


4. Goggles
Naturally, safety goggles prevent mold spores from floating into your eyes, but they also stop chemicals used for cleaning from splashing into them as well. Disturbing spores inevitably causes them to waft into the air, making goggles an absolute necessity.


5. Hair and Shoe Coverings
Your head and feet are susceptible to collecting fungal matter. Avoid spreading spores throughout the office by using disposable protectors. Be certain to don fresh ones before every mold cleanup session.
Mold removal is a potentially dangerous activity. Unless you use a team of qualified experts to clean the compromised area on your behalf, protect yourself and the rest of your team by acquiring the correct gear.

2 Things to Look for to Tell if You Need to Replace Your Carpet

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

flood cut performed in a drywall, carpet removed. Concept water damage It's hard to know exactly when to replace your carpet

Read on For Some of The Most Obvious Signs

Carpets can be around for a long time. Some can last a lifetime. The key is to take care of them. Even so, they will be subject to fading over time. Obviously, many carpets see incidents, like a pipe break, and do not last that long. Others show their age through rips and stains.
When you look at your rug in your home in Acton, MT, you may wonder if it needs to be replaced. More importantly, you will probably wonder how you'll know when to replace it. Don't worry. There are a few fairly obvious signs. They can tell you if you need to replace your rug.

1. Stains
You can hide a small stain under your sofa. You shouldn't have to scramble to cover up the stains from your last pipe break. This is true if the remediation company that repaired the damage recommended new flooring. They will likely recommend this because water damage can lead to mold.
New carpets often have a stain barrier. However, this can fade over time and leave your rug vulnerable. This is true for any spill, such as pet urine. Oftentimes, trying to remove stains at home can make them worse. This is true if you are using homemade or store-bought cleaners. Additionally, these spills will likely cause the liquid to seep deep into the carpeting. In other words, if you have a lot of stains, it is time to replace your rug.

2. Rips
A catastrophe, like a pipe break, can lead to rips as well. If there are small rips, they will likely not be replaced during your restoration, so you will need to replace the rug on your own.
It's hard to know exactly when to replace your carpet. If you take care of it, it can last for a long time. However, if it has many stains or rips, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

3 Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers isolated on white background. Various types of extinguishers. 3d illustration. There are five classes of fire extinguishers, use the right one

3 Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are essential fire suppression equipment. Commercial building owners and occupants should know how to choose and safely use any fire extinguisher. Applying the right type of suppressant to open flames has the potential to minimize fire damage and safety risks during a fire at a commercial building in Billings, MT.

1. Use the Right Extinguisher Class
There are five classes of fire extinguishers and commercial buildings may be equipped with one or more extinguisher types. Class A extinguishers contain suppressants for ordinary combustibles, while Class B extinguishers put out blazes fed by flammable liquids. Class K extinguishers are formulated for commercial kitchen fires. Class C extinguishers contain suppressants for electrical fires, and Class D extinguishers put out fires fueled by combustible metals.

2. Do the PASS Method
The PASS method is the best way to limit fire damage. Pull the pin, aim the fire extinguisher hose at the base of a blaze, squeeze the handle and sweep spray from side to side. Although this method puts out some fires, the force of the spray may spread grease fires. In these cases, dousing flames or limiting airflow may prove effective.

3. Plan Ahead for Evacuation
Before using an extinguisher, a building occupant should make sure that he or she will be able to safely evacuate the area if it is not possible to put out the flames. Anyone attempting to suppress a fire should exercise caution to prevent flames from blocking off the most convenient route out of a burning building.
These fire extinguisher tips are only helpful if a commercial building is equipped with the proper class and number of fire extinguishers. The fire hazard level of a structure will determine the number and positioning of extinguishers. Fire safety codes may require that extinguishers be spaced 30, 50 or 75 feet apart at a building in Billings, MT.

How to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on drywall, carpet removal. Concept water damage A professional service can help with cleaning and drying your home

How to Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

Floods can cause quite a bit of damage to your Laurel, MT, home. They come with dirty water that can carry bacteria, debris, mold spores, and other contaminants. The moisture itself can also make it much easier for mold growth to occur. Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent this or lessen its severity.

1. Remove Water Quickly
Even if there are no mold spores in the water, it can create the right environment for any spores already present in your home to spread. In order to limit mold growth, mitigation should be done by a clean up and restoration service as soon as possible to remove any water in the building and keep it from moving to other areas.

2. Clean Surfaces and Belongings
Flooding can cause your home to be filled with contaminated water. Not only does this affect the surfaces of the building but also the items it holds. Absorbent materials, including carpeting, stuffed animals, clothing, and upholstery, should be cleaned to prevent mold from growing. If an item cannot be thoroughly cleaned, it should be replaced.

3. Thoroughly Dry the Building
Because mold growth requires moisture, one of the best ways to keep it at bay is by drying your home as quickly as possible after the water is removed. Use towels to dry hard surfaces, and remove absorbent materials that need to be replaced. A dehumidifier can reduce moisture in the air if necessary.
Mold prevention is often easier than mold removal, so take care to perform these steps as soon as you can. Once mold is present, it can spread quickly throughout your home and can require extensive cleaning. Reducing the moisture present in the building will make it more difficult for mold to grow. A professional service can help with cleaning and drying your home and can also treat surfaces to prevent fungal growth.

Buying a Building? 4 Signs You Need a Mold Inspection First

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Mold contractor explaining to blonde female customer the damage of mold in the wall Mold inspection in a Broadview, MT building

Be On The Lookout For These Warning Signs

If you’re buying a building, you may wonder whether you need a mold inspection. These inspections can be costly; however, you don’t want to unwittingly buy a building with a mold problem. Be on the lookout for these warning signs that you may need to call a mold inspector.

1. Interior Humidity Levels Are High
Damp spaces are ideal breeding grounds for mold and bacteria. A hygrometer, which measures relative humidity, is inexpensive and can be purchased in any hardware store. An interior humidity reading above 50% indicates that excessive mold may be present, especially if there’s also a musty odor: Mold only emits a smell while it is actively growing.

2. There Are Visible Signs of Water Damage
If water damage is not cleaned up quickly and thoroughly, the remaining moisture can lead to mold growth. Visible signs of past water or mold damage, such as stains, peeling paint, or warped walls or floors, indicate that past cleanup efforts were inadequate or untimely -- a major warning sign that a mold inspection may be necessary.

3. Records Disclose Past Water Damage
When a plumbing leak or burst pipe causes water damage, moisture can remain, leading to mold growth. Mold consumes and destroys the surface upon which it grows, which can cause hidden structural damage. Visible mold is not the only sign of a mold problem: Even if no obvious signs of damage remain, mold could be lingering behind the scenes.

4. An Ordinary Inspection Indicates Leaks
A general building inspection typically costs less than a mold specialist and can call attention to issues other than mold. If possible, choose a Broadview, MT, inspector who uses a thermal imager as part of his or her inspection. Thermal imaging can indicate hidden leaks or damp areas, which are red flags for mold growth.
Latent mold damage is specifically excluded from most commercial insurance coverage, meaning that if there’s a problem, you’ll be paying for mold remediation yourself. If you notice one of these warning signs, a professional mold inspection may be well worth the cost.

How To Prevent a Kitchen Fire

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a kitchen oil fire. A firefighter investigating the cause. The aftermath of a kitchen fire in Comanche, MT

How To Prevent a Kitchen Fire

The kitchen is a common location for fires. An oil spill or burnt meal can send smoke and flames throughout your Comanche, MT, home. To avoid a harmful blaze that could necessitate fire damage cleanup services, follow the below tips.

Cooking Safety
Obviously, many kitchen fires occur when someone in the house is cooking. You should thus take extra care when preparing meals for your family.
The following items could start fires if they are left near a burner. Keep these combustibles away from the stove, especially when you are using that appliance:

  • Potholders
  • Paper towels
  • Dishtowels

Once you are ready to start cooking, be sure to protect yourself. Tie back long hair and roll up your sleeves as well. This keeps your body and clothes safe from both fires and sauce stains.
After you turn on the oven or stove, stay in the kitchen. Turn off any burners if you have to leave the room. These are particularly important tips for those working with hot oil.
Overfilled pans or pots can splatter and cause a grease fire. Only use the amount of liquid necessary to cook your meal.
Finally, make sure everyone in your family knows not to put metal into the microwave. A hot metal platter could spark a blaze.

Appliance Safety
Electrical fires can happen in the kitchen as well. Many appliances, including coffeemakers, toaster ovens and mixers, continue to use electricity even when they are powered off. If any of these items have faulty wiring, they could spark a blaze. You should thus unplug any of those electric appliances when you are not using them.
Dirty appliances could also be dangerous. Make sure to clean your oven, toaster and microwave regularly. Have any malfunctioning items serviced right away.
These tips are pretty straightforward. To keep your home safe from most kitchen fires, just be cautious when you cook and take proper care of your appliances.

What Is the Proper Procedure for Sewage Cleanup?

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

floor removal and drying equipment Everything must be dried completely as quickly as possible

Remediation Process After Sewage Damage

A flooded toilet is bad enough, but one caused by a sewer backup can bring on a whole new level of panic. Not only do you have to deal with standing water but heavily contaminated water. Every minute counts when it comes to sewage cleanup. The remediation process must begin immediately.

1. Extract Standing Water
First, all of the standing water must be removed. A wet/dry vacuum typically is the most efficient tool for extracting water if you’re doing it yourself. A Laurel, MT, water damage restoration company will use professional-strength vacuums for this.

2. Remove Everything From the Affected Area
Once the standing water has been extracted, everything needs to be removed from the affected area. Saturated carpeting and carpet padding will not be salvageable. It will have to be pulled up and thrown away. If your building has drywall, part of it will probably have to be taken down since it’s very porous and soaks up water.

3. Separate Salvageable Items
A significant part of the sewage cleanup process is determining what is salvageable and what isn’t. Mold can begin growing on damp materials in as little as 24 hours. If those elements can’t be fully dried within 48 hours, they will most likely need to be disposed of.

4. Clean and Disinfect
In the event of a sewer backup, everything in the affected area must be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly. This includes anything that the contaminated water has touched, including walls, floors and furniture. Porous materials probably won’t be able to be cleaned well enough to be saved.

5. Dry the Area
Everything must be dried completely as quickly as possible. Open windows and doors to let the fresh air blow through the area. Also, run fans dehumidifiers and portable heaters to assist in drying the area faster.
If your commercial building sustains damage from a sewer backup, begin the sewage cleanup process right away. The sooner remediation begins, the sooner business resumes as usual.

How To Tell Mold From Mildew

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold. Aspergillus. The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. Mold and mildew, although they are similar, are not the same

There Are Many Differences Between Mold And Mildew

Any type of fungus growth isn't a good sign for your home in Billings, MT. However, it's important to know the difference between mildew and mold growth in order to understand how to properly identify and treat the issue as effectively as possible so that you can prevent further problems such as mold damage.
Mold and mildew have a few similarities, making them easy to confuse with one another. Similarities of mold and mildew include:

  • Both a type of fungus
  • Thrive in moist, warm areas
  • Grow on many household surfaces

Differences in Appearance
Mildew growth is typically white, gray or yellow and appears fluffy or powdery. It may grow in a flat pattern. Mold can be green or black in color and appears fuzzy or slimy. It can grow as irregular spots.

Effects of Mold and Mildew
Mildew is less invasive than mold, making the effects less damaging. It may cause harm to food it grows on, but will likely not do damage to surfaces such as tiles or mirrors.
On the other hand, mold damage can be more serious. Mold can damage structures such as homes or cars. It is important to treat it right away in order to prevent long-lasting damage to structures or surfaces.

Treatment of Fungus
The treatment of mold compared to mildew is another difference between the two. Mildew is relatively easy to clean, as it usually requires only a store-bought mildew remover and a scrubbing brush.
For a small area of mold, you may be able to remove it with a good-quality cleaner and hard work. However, a larger area may require a mold remediation company to safely remove and prevent lasting mold damage.
Mold and mildew, although they are similar, are not the same. Knowing the difference between the two can be helpful to understand how to properly identify and effectively treat the problem.

4 Steps for Fixing a Flooded Basement

11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. A visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. A basement flood will not sink you when you know what to do and who to call for help

What To Do About It?

When a homeowner finds water in their basement, it brings up a lot of questions including what to do about it. Here are four steps to help you wade through a basement flood.

1. Get the Water Out Safely
The first step to dealing with a flooded basement is to remove the water. However, make sure you can do it safely. The water could be contaminated, so if you cannot find the source, stay out of it. There is also a chance that the water has come in contact with your electrical system and could electrocute someone.
If there is a small amount of water, you can use a wet/dry vacuum or rent a pump to clean it up yourself. Large amounts of water, or water with no clear source, should be handled by a removal expert.

2. Remove Affected Objects
Remove anything that came in contact with floodwater. Do not test appliances or any electronics to see if they work, even if they appear undamaged. Remove any fabrics and other fibers. These materials hold moisture and are ideal places for mold spores to settle and grow.

3. Call Your Insurance Agent
Knowing your insurance coverage is important when it comes to flooding. Not all cases are covered. If the damage is due to a burst pipe, then the accident is likely covered under your home insurance. However, if the flooding is due to severe weather, it may not be covered. Take high-resolution photos and thoroughly document the incident to make filing a claim easier.

4. Call a Professional
It is always good to get a second opinion from a water damage specialist after a basement flood. An expert can assess the situation and help you develop a plan for dealing with the aftermath and cleanup.
A basement flood will not sink you when you know what to do and who to call for help in your hometown of Billings, MT.

Storm Damage Versus Flood Damage

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

House in floodwater. Floodwater in Acton, MT

Storm Damage Versus Flood Damage

You might not see a huge difference between storm and flood damage, but your insurance company sure does. It's absolutely vital to make sure that your Acton, MT, business is covered for both types of damage. Getting to know the ins and outs of your specific insurance policy can help prevent you from suffering thousands of dollars in property damages.

Damage Defined
Differentiating between the two types of damages can be tricky. Insurance companies typically label the accident as storm damage if the destruction was a result of one or more of the following:

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Cyclones and tornadoes
  • Hail storms
  • Hurricanes and other tropical storms

While it is absolutely possible for the above incidents to cause flooding, your insurance company won't see it that way. Ever since the Queensland floods in 2011, the Insurance Code of Practice has defined flood damage as "the covering of normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any lake, river, creek or other natural watercourse, whether or not altered or modified, or any reservoir, canal or dam."

How to File a Claim
If your commercial building is covered, then you need to file your insurance claim as soon as possible.

Contact your insurance company to report the damage.
Separate your damaged property from your undamaged property. Don't throw anything away until your insurance agent has inspected it. Take plenty of photos of the damage as well.
Create a list of damaged items inside the building. Take photos and provide standard information, such as the items' models, serial numbers, and brand. If you still have any receipts or bills, include them in the report.
List any structural damage that you want the insurance adjustor to notice. As always, take plenty of photos.

Both severe storms and floods can cause massive amounts of water damage, but your insurance company still treats them like separate accidents. Make sure to contact remediation experts if your commercial building has recently suffered from storm or flood damage.

Property and Income Insurance for Business Owners

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Insurance Many business owners choose to purchase a commercial property policy

If your Broadview, MT, business is damaged by fire, the damage and disruption can be devastating. Fortunately, business interruption coverage and other types of insurance can help keep your company afloat.

Commercial Property Insurance

Many business owners choose to purchase a commercial property policy. Such a policy generally covers fire damage as well as other perils, like storm damage. In general, these policies cover both the building and its contents, including the following:

  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Appliances
  • Raw materials
  • Goods (finished or not)

The exact coverage varies depending on a variety of factors, including whether you rent or own the building. Always consult with your insurance agent to make sure you have adequate coverage. Pay close attention to whether your policy covers the replacement cost or actual cash value. Due to depreciation, property generally costs more to replace than its cash value at the time of the loss.

Income Insurance
In addition to property damage, a business fire can also cost you money in terms of lost productivity during the fire cleaning and restoration process. For this situation, business interruption insurance can keep your business financially sound. This type of coverage is also known as income insurance. Such a policy covers lost income as well as a variety of expenses, including the following:

  • Temporary relocation expenses
  • Payroll
  • Other fixed expenses, such as loan payments

For the income insurance payout(s) to most accurately meet your needs, it is important to keep good records and accurately estimate your expected income when purchasing the policy.
A fire can damage your property and disrupt your business, leaving you financially vulnerable. In addition to property insurance, a good income insurance policy can help you through a period of business interruption. While insurance can help you financially, a certified restoration company can help you with the physical repairs. They have the experience and equipment necessary to do the job safely and correctly.

6 Reasons You Need Business Insurance

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Business Insurance. Composition with Clipboard, Calculator, Glasses, Green Flower and Office Supplies on Desk Business insurance reduces the risk of potential, uncertain losses

Here's A Closer Look At Its Benefits

Like most insurance, business insurance is a hedge against future uncertainties. It protects business owners in Comanche, MT, from unexpected costs they would otherwise have to pay out-of-pocket, such as professional remediation services stemming from water damage and water cleanup after a superstorm, for example.
By law, businesses must carry certain types of insurance (workers compensation and unemployment and disability insurance). However, savvy business owners take out an inclusive business owner's policy, which provides all-in-one coverage that merges property, liability and business income (or interruption) insurance. Under this umbrella, you're insulated against the costs of property damage, liability claims and lost income if your business is temporarily shuttered because of that super storm. 

Ensures your business stays operational. In the example of extreme weather, a BOP covers water damage to your property from broken pipes, leaks or flooding. It underwrites revenue losses during business closure for cleanup and repairs by paying your rent or mortgage, loan payments, utilities, taxes and payroll for a defined time period. It also can be structured to offer salary protection for your employees.
Litigation. Features financial protection from lawsuits, liability claims and the expense of legal defense.
Personnel protection. Financially safeguards your employees from injuries on the job and protects you from claims and lawsuits.
Credibility. Demonstrates your business' operational strength by assuring clients, customers, suppliers and employees that it can financially withstand emergencies, legal issues or other unforeseen circumstances that threaten financial stability.
Contracts require a BOP. Leasing or rental agreements, loan agreements and client contracts all may stipulate a requirement for insurance.
Peace of mind. Provides a measure of security by protecting your interests from factors outside your control.

Business insurance reduces the risk of potential, uncertain losses. It neutralizes the financial pressures that can build up from an unexpected emergency — like water damage to your building — or simply protect your people and property as you manage the day-to-day business of business. It's worth considering.

What To Expect With Storm Damage Restoration

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

drying equipment in a basement Storm damage restoration in Laurel, MT

Storm Damage Restoration

Storms are unpredictable and can be violent enough to leave wreckage behind. Swift action is often needed to clean up and restore your home to safe, livable conditions. In extreme cases, storm damage to your home in Laurel, MT, may be severe enough to require the tear out of wet materials before rebuilding.

1. Assess the Damage
The first step after a storm is to check the safety of your living conditions. If the damage is mild, you may be able to handle clean up on your own. Begin by removing the water. The extraction of excessive amounts of water may require special water pumps and vacuums used by storm restoration professionals. Removing the water as soon as possible is key in preventing mold growth.

2. Clean and Dry Everything
Once the water has been removed, throughly clean and dry everything. In addition to your belongings, focus on the structure of your home. Water damage may be severe enough to require that you tear out and replace walls or other parts of the basic structure of your home that could be compromised. Dry out everything as much as possible before cleaning and sanitizing items that were water logged. Verify that your electrical system is dry, intact, and safe before use. Ensure that all electrical appliances are fully dry before using them. 

3. Restore and Rebuild
Once all water and moisture has been satisfactorily removed, preventing mold growth, focus on restoration. Rebuild any part of your home that suffered excessive damage. 
It is impossible to predict how a storm will affect your property. Average storms do very little damage, but powerful storms can cause lasting devastation. The safety of your family and your living space should be paramount after every storm. Do not hesitate to tear out and replace any part of your home that may no longer be structurally sound.

How To Distinguish Mildew From Mold

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Mold. Aspergillus. The finger of the hand points to the black fungus on the white wall. The easiest way to distinguish between mildew and mold growth is by observing their colors

Mold damage is an extremely destructive force. If you detect an invasive fungus within your home, however, remain calm. You may just be suffering from mold’s funky cousin, mildew. Learn to spot the differences between the two and know whether a serious concern is warranted.

Similarities Between Mildew and Mold

It should come as no surprise that these fungal interlopers are often confused for one another. Both of them:

  • Require moisture and warmth to grow
  • Can be found upon a multitude of surfaces
  • Are likely to spread quickly without proper handling

Despite the fact that they can each be harmful and require treatment, mold damage remains the far greater threat.

Differences Between Mildew and Mold
The easiest way to distinguish between mildew and mold growth is by observing their colors. Mildew is generally gray or white, whereas mold often displays black, green or yellow hues.
The texture is another characteristic separating these dastardly spores. Mildew typically shows up in fluffy or powdery splotches. Mold, on the other hand, presents in either slimy or fuzzy textures and often takes on irregular shapes.
The final identifying factor is location. Mildew growth rests atop moist areas, whereas mold sinks its roots into materials like wood, making removal a far more difficult proposition. Mold tends to inhabit permanent structures. Mildew commonly finds its way onto damp surfaces and organic material that can either be rehabilitated or discarded.
Unlike mold, mildew is effortlessly removed through the application of off-the-shelf cleaners and vigorous scrubbing. On the flipside, mold triggers troublesome rot that often requires professional services to properly extricate, a process that can take days or even weeks to complete.
Both mildew and mold are capable of causing misfortune. While the former is a verifiable nuisance, the latter is able to bring about far greater complications. The moment mold damage is discovered within your residence in Acton, MT, contact a restoration specialist to bring the matter under control.

How to Repair a Leaky Toilet

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe A leaking toilet can potentially cause catastrophic amounts of water damage if not properly repaired

A toilet is typically a very durable and sturdy household fixture that should, ideally, last for multiple decades. That being said, even the best toilets are subject to leaking from time to time. If your home in Billings, MT, has a leaking toilet, follow the steps below.

Step by Step Toilet Repair

Luckily, repairing a leaky, old toilet is a relatively easy process, even if you don't have any plumbing experience.

Use a wrench to disconnect the supply tube from the shutoff valve. Double-check to make sure all the water is drained from the bowl and tank.
At the base of the toilet, remove the caps that cover the closet bolts. Remove the hex nuts using a wrench.
Grasp the toilet by the bowl and very carefully lift it up using your legs. Set the toilet down on an old blanket or cardboard sheet to avoid causing water damage to your bathroom tiles.
Scrape the old wax gasket off from the closet flange. Inspect the closet flange for damage. In most leaking toilet cases, a section of this flange is broken off.
Loosen the screws that secure the closet flange to the bathroom floor. Slide a repair strap underneath the flange.
Center the new wax gasket over the closet flange. Both closet bolts should be in place.
On the bottom of the toilet's tank, connect the new water supply tube to the threaded fill-valve shank.
Apply downward pressure on the rim of the toilet bowl to compress the gasket. Tighten each closet bolt and then apply more pressure.
Trim the tops off the closet bolts using a close-quarter hacksaw. Tighten the nuts and replace the caps.
Reconnect the supply tube to the shutoff valve. Open the valve and flush the toilet. Carefully inspect for leaks.

A leaking toilet can potentially cause catastrophic amounts of water damage if not properly repaired. Contact water remediation experts for additional help if the above technique does not remedy the issue.

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.

Staying Safe Around Category 3 Water Damage

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! The very first thing you should do before entering any flooded area is to turn off the power to the space

Precautions To Take If You Enter a Flooded Area

A residential category 3 flood, or black water, is the most contaminated floodwater. While it is tempting to remove the water immediately, certain precautions are necessary to secure your property and ensure your safety. If you must enter a flooded area, there are several precautions you should take to protect yourself and your family from additional exposure or hazards.

  1. Turn off electricity
  2. Wear protective gear
  3. Use professionals

Turn Off Electricity
The very first thing you should do before entering any flooded area is to turn off the power to the space, especially if the water level is higher than a few inches. The risk of electrical shock is an actual threat. Even if the power appears out, go to the electrical power and shut it off from there before starting water and sewage cleanup.

Wear Protective Gear
Blackwater doesn't get its name from color alone; it is contaminated with sewage, chemicals, and bacteria. You do not want this water to come into contact with your skin. Wear protective clothing if you must trek through the water, including a full-body suit, face mask, gloves, and a pair of goggles. Contacting or ingesting this water type can make you violently ill.

Use Professionals
Your best bet when dealing with a category three flood is to contact a water mitigation company in Broadview, MT, for help. In fact, some states may require professional removal of the floodwater because of its contamination level. Make sure the company you hire has the proper licensing and certification to work in your state and with your insurer.
Blackwater is the most contaminated flood source, and homeowners should avoid contact with the flood if possible. Contact your local government or insurer if you do not know how to handle the removal and restoration of your property. You may also want to call a restoration company to assess the level of property damage.

How To Care for Your Pets In a Fire Emergency

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Dog sitting on a carpet bottom of the picture it says FIRE TIP Tip- Place a Window Cling to alert firefighters about pets within your home in case of a fire

How To Care for Your Pets In a Fire Emergency

Are you prepared to efficiently escape a burning home? Do you know the best methods for departure, keeping both family members and pets secure? During a fire emergency, decisions must be made quickly. There is no time for doubt or error. Therefore, you'll want to know now how to make the best use of time and resources. After all, a fire restoration company in Billings, MT, can repair a building, but it cannot bring back something or someone you love. For that reason, it's imperative to understand the risks of these events and prepare as best as possible. Establish a plan that considers the whole household--pets included. Here are three tips to make the departure a bit easier.

1. Make Them Part of Your Plan
If a fire sparks, you want everyone to understand the proper escape procedures. This includes knowing how to handle your favorite animals. Therefore, pet preparation should be included in any family discussions and practices. Make sure that you know who would be responsible for locating your beloved furry friend. Create a specific call that for quick response, and, during routine drills, use this as a signal that your dog or cat should come quickly. In addition, kids should be told to exit and not reenter, securing their safety and allowing the professionals to help if needed.

2. Place Information Near the Front Door
During a fire emergency, firefighters should be aware of any dogs or cats within the home. Consider a window cling that states each animal's name, age, and common location. With this information, first responders are more aware of who to look for and where. In addition, keep leaches within eyesight and collars on animals.

3. Make Alone Time Safe Time
Store cages or beds in locations that can be easily accessed, making for quick and efficient rescues. Also, prevention is an essential part of pet safety. Try to ensure that animals cannot start a blaze, sheltering them away from stoves, candles, and electrical sources.
During a fire emergency understand how to aid your animals. Organize their location and belongings.

How Small Businesses Can Prevent Water Damage

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Technician with a clipboard writing down The plumbing in a commercial structure should be inspected by a licensed plumber

How Small Businesses Can Prevent Water Damage

Water damage is the second most common cause of small business property insurance claims. Taking measures to prevent damage may enable a business owner to avoid the necessity of making a costly business claim. Here are three ways to reduce the likelihood and severity of damage due plumbing problems at a business located in Billings, MT.

Plumbing Inspection
The plumbing in a commercial structure should be inspected by a licensed plumber on a yearly basis. This process should account for every component in this essential system:

  • Pipes
  • Fixtures
  • Backflow testing
  • Visible damage

Plumbers may use cameras or check the water pressure to determine the condition of lines. These measures are helpful for determining when plumbing components require replacement to prevent a pipe break. Fixtures should also be checked for leaks. Backflow testing ensures that wastewater is not contaminating clean water. Any indications of mold, puddles, or water stains around pipes or fixtures indicate underlying problems that require repairs.

Sewer Maintenance
A commercial property insurance business claim will not cover sewage damage. Additional coverage in the form of an endorsement is necessary to offset expenses associated with cleaning up contaminated water and solid waste. Regular use of enzymatic drain treatments and clearing clogs in a timely manner can prevent this costly damage.


Preventative Upgrades


A small business owner may want to invest in a backwater prevention valve to stop sewer backups or replace polybutylene pipes prone to premature failure. These upgrades require planned expenditures, but tend to be more cost-effective than emergency plumbing repairs and water damage restoration.


The average business claim amount for damage caused by water or freezing is $17,000. In the event of unavoidable damage, a well-documented history of regular inspections and preventative maintenance may increase the likelihood that most of the costs of repairing and restoring damage will be covered by a commercial property insurance policy.

What Personal Protective Equipment is Needed for Mold Removal?

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Personal protective equipment keeps a mold remediation team safe

Types of Mold Cleanup PPE

When cleaning mold growth, the first priority is to protect everyone. Personal protective equipment keeps a mold remediation team safe while helping to prevent cross-contamination. The main types of mold cleanup PPE are:

1. Hair Cover
If mold spores settle in your hair, they can easily be transferred throughout the building or inhaled. When taking a break, the hair cover in use should be disposed of and a new one put on before work resumes.
2. Face Mask
An air-purifying respirator needs to be worn during mold cleanup. An N-95 mask will filter out 95% of all particles and is usually fine for this work. You can get disposable or reusable. Either way, it needs to be removed before leaving the affected area and replaced when returning to work.
3. Safety Goggles
Thorough mold cleanup usually means a lot of debris in the air (e.g., mold spores, dirt, dust and drywall). Safety goggles protect the eyes from debris and harsh chemicals.
4. Gloves
It’s important to wear form-fitting disposable gloves; mold spores can get inside ill-fitting gloves. The gloves should be removed between work sessions before leaving the affected area, and replaced with new ones upon return.
5. Protective Coverall
Tyvek suits are preferable for mold remediation since they’re disposable. This type of suit can be worn over regular clothes and disposed of once work is completed. Unprotected street clothing should be changed just after leaving the affected area and washed in hot water.
6. Shoe Covers
Just like the disposable gloves and hair covers, disposable shoe covers should be removed and disposed of when taking a break from work. Then, a new pair should be worn when returning to work.
It’s important to protect people and uncontaminated areas from exposure to mold. If your building in Laurel, MT, suffers mold damage, mold remediation professionals will restore it to its preloss condition as soon as possible.

Top Tips For Managing a Flooded Home

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Low angle portrait of factory worker wearing biohazard suit sorting reusable cardboard on waste processing plant, Wear protective gear

Top Tips For Managing a Flooded Home

Flooding is one of the most overwhelming and ridiculously pervasive disasters that a home can weather. If you find yourself managing flood water in your space, you may be dealing with any number of concerns, including:

  • Property damage
  • Mold issues
  • Electrical hazards

To mitigate risk and clean up as efficiently as possible, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

1. Wear Protective Gear
Depending on the cause of the flood, any number of substances or bacteria can be present in the flood water. Additionally, there's often a risk of electrical issues if the flooding's anywhere near an outlet or other mechanical device. Wearing rubber boots that go up to the knee will help you prevent problems with electricity and bacteria while you're cleaning up. Be sure to also use gloves and masks. Try not to wear any clothing that would allow water to seep through and make contact with your skin.

2. Clear the Air
Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria and mold issues. Getting fresh air into the affected space can help prevent harmful organisms from growing in the flooded home. If possible, try to open windows and get air circulating as quickly as possible. The sooner you remove water and lingering humidity from the space, the sooner your mold risk goes away.

3. Make Phone Calls
Call your insurance directly after a flooding incident to file a claim. Don't touch anything before you document the space for any insurance requirements; take photos and give them a detailed description of the water damage. Remember that a lot of repair work will likely need to be done on your walls, floors, and any affected surface, so be sure to contact flood restoration services in Acton, MT, as soon as possible. Don't replace any damaged contents until you have a professional team come through and clean up.
Flood water can bring with it a host of urgent steps to take. However, with mitigation tactics and swift help from professionals, your flooded areas can soon be livable once again.

What Happens When Fire and Water Damage Combine?

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Fire and strong smoke covered building. Dangerous situation Fire damage in a Comanche, MT commercial building

How Water Compounds Fire Damage

The consequences of a fire at a commercial building in Comanche, MT, can include thousands of dollars in damage to building materials and contents. A burnt or singed structure and contents are only part of the aftermath of many fires. If sprinklers or hoses were used to extinguish the blaze, water cleanup may also be necessary. Find out more about how water compounds fire damage.

Standing Water
As a fire burns through building materials and contents, sprinklers and fire hoses can release hundreds of gallons of water into a structure. Water intensifies damage caused by a fire in several ways:

  • Excessive weight
  • Heightened risk of structural failure
  • Increased risk of mold

Sprinklers and hoses release clean water. As soon as this water mixes with soot and smoke, it becomes highly contaminated Category Three water damage. Before fire and smoke cleanup can take place, all standing water must be pumped out of a structure.

Staining
The severity of staining increases rapidly as long as residual moisture remains in a structure. Soot and smoke damage become more set in whenever water is present. If water cleanup takes place as soon as possible, restoration measures may still be sufficient to fix partial damage. Burnt or singed materials must be replaced.

Structural Damage
Just one inch of standing water throughout an area can add thousands of pounds of weight to a structure. A building with severe fire damage may be likely to succumb to structural damage if standing water is present. Lingering moisture can also undermine weakened building materials. Timely cleanup and mitigation measures may limit the extent of damage.
Many fire cleanup jobs involve some water damage. Restoration professionals have experience with the unique requirements of water cleanup after a fire. If water is standing at a fire-damaged structure in Comanche, MT, the owners of a building or business should document this damage for a commercial insurance claim and pursue mitigation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

3 Easy Ways To Keep Mold from Growing On Your Commercial Property

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Sheetrock depris on carpet next to the door frame Mold damage on wall and carpet in Comanche, MT

Many commercial property owners first notice mold growth on their walls or carpet. However, early-stage mold often starts underneath surfaces. Preventative measures are the best way to stop growth in its tracks. Learn about what makes mold thrive and three simple suggestions to get your property in top condition in terms of mold prevention without the help of a professional.

Environment Factors That Encourage the Growth of Mold

The following environmental conditions can make mold flourish:

  • Organic nutrients such as dust or dirt particles
  • Moisture
  • Growing surface that is between 40- and 100-degrees Fahrenheit
  • Darkness

Almost every commercial property has the potential for a nasty outbreak. Prevention should be completed routinely to avoid large expenses down the road.

Keep Your Carpet Dry

Spills, floods and leaks on carpet are common. If liquid penetrates the pad in the under layer and isn’t cleaned properly, however, mold may fester. Water damage on your carpet should be addressed by increasing the air flow from your HVAC to lower the moisture in the air, using a wet vacuum to extract liquid and steam cleaning the wet spots. Do not let your carpet air dry.

Check Your Electrical Equipment

Mold remediation specialists in Comanche, MT, often examine electrical switches, outlets and ceiling fixtures. For easy mold prevention, take a look at all your electrical appliances and fixtures to see if there is an outbreak around the heated areas or within electrical conduits.

Organize Your Papers

That’s right, commercial property restoration services may include looking through volumes of paper and discarding damp or wet ones. Organize your office space or anywhere else where there may be paper such as closets, basements and sheds.

The conditions that encourage mold to develop are predictable. These three mold prevention techniques take little time to complete and don’t involve hiring professionals. Simple home maintenance projects such as these can help you notice early-stage growth before it grows to destroy the surfaces of your property.

The Top 3 Tips to Keep a Microwave Clean

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Give the microwave a good cleaning

Cleaning Tips on Microwave

In the late 60s, the microwave oven made its inaugural debut. Since then, it has become just another appliance sold in Broadview, MT. Everyday use is bound to give off a smoke smell every now and then, and for those of you who have an addiction to popcorn, the burning and the smell that comes with it is an inevitability. The question you may have now is what’s the best way to get rid of the odor. The following cleaning tips will help to minimize unwanted aromas.

1. Clean the Grill

Greasy buildup can start to stink after awhile. To clean the vent grill, use soap, water and a soft cloth or sponge. Do not use abrasive cleaners, scouring pads or steel wool. For some, using a dishwasher may be an easier route to take. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for information. At some point, the vent grill will need to be replaced.

2. Give the Microwave a Good Cleaning

Not regularly cleaning the microwave can introduce a smoke smell you’d rather not inhale. If you haven’t wiped it out in some time, get out the dishcloth and start scrubbing. The easiest way to accomplish this is to put a bowl of vinegar in the oven and heat it. The steam will loosen the crusted over food particles making cleanup simple.

3. Wipe It Out

Once the hard part of scouring is over, don’t let the food leftovers build up again. Clean the oven out after every use. All it takes is a dishcloth and soap. Don’t forget to take out the turntable and wipe out the area underneath.
Ensure the microwave oven is cleaned daily so no lingering smoke smell is noticeable. The little bit of elbow grease needed to keep an oven spotless might mean not having to replace parts so soon. A smoke assessment professional can speak with you concerning the best way to keep your microwave in top condition.

5 Tips for Flood Safety

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

Turn electricity off

Safety Tips During the Restoration Process

When you live in Laurel,MT, flood safety can be very important for yourself, your family and your home. Both before and after the storm. When the rain is gone, you may find that some clean up and repairs are necessary on your property. Here are a few safety tips you may want to follow during the restoration process.

1. Proceed Safely

Proceed as safely as possible when assessing any flood damage to your home. This means not entering any unsafe areas, and taking the appropriate safety steps before beginning work.

2. Turn Electricity Off

Always turn the electricity off to any flooded area before entering. Doing so can help you prevent any number of safety hazards.

3. Wear Protective Gear

Another important step for flood safety is the use of proper protective gear. This may include coveralls, masks, gloves, and boots or shoe covers. Any items worn in the flooded area should also be washed in hot water to help avoid contaminating the rest of the home.

4. Contact a Professional

When possible it's best to contact a water damage restoration service to conduct repairs on your home. These experts will know what is best to be done to get your residence back in livable condition as quickly as possible.

5. Sanitize Everything

Sanitation is an important step the restoration process. This will help ensure that no bacteria remains on any object touched by the flood water, and that nothing is brought back into the home after restoration is complete.
When it comes to your home and family flood safety is important both before and after the storm. Following these tips may help. Remember to turn electricity off and wear protective gear in any area you are working. It may be best to contact a professional to handle the repairs. You may also want to be sure that everything is properly sanitized before returning it to your home.

How to Deal With Roof Damage

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Roofs are often most prone to repair needs after a fire.

A fire in your workplace is probably one of your biggest nightmares. You do everything possible to avoid this disaster, but it's important to be prepared in case this terrible event occurs. A large fire can cause catastrophic damage, and even smaller blazes can require extensive fire cleanup. Roofs are often most prone to repair needs. If your roof suffers damage in a fire, there are some important steps you should take to mitigate the issue and prevent further problems. 

Mitigating Roof Damage after a Fire 

Consequences of Roof Damage


A sturdy, well-built roof is essential for any building. At your Billings, MT, office, you rely on the roof to provide security and safety. It will also keep out the elements and provide a more comfortable environment. If your workplace faces roof repair the following effects may be present:

  • Could let in rain or snow, which in turn could cause water damage or flooding
  • Could leave gaping holes in your building, making the facility vulnerable to intruders or looting
  • Damage could increase and lead to further structural problems



Call the Pros


There is too much at stake for you to try to address fire cleanup on your roof by yourself. It can also be unsafe for an untrained novice to attempt inspection and repairs. Your best bet is to get in touch with a fire restoration company, especially one that specializes in roof repair. Professionals have the experience, skill and techniques to safely assess the extent of the damage and to quickly and thoroughly repair the roof.


Board, Tarp and Restore


The specialists will either board up the roof where there are gaps, or they will call in tarp services to cover up the holes. This will protect the rest of your building and help prevent more problems. The team will then begin the repair portion of the process.
Trust fire cleanup to the professionals. The right team knows how to correct even the most severe problems with your building's roof.

Toilet Overflows: Putting Your Company Back Together

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Many toilet overflows are preventable

Take the Following Steps When Facing a Flooded Toilet

No business owner in Acton, MT wants to deal with a flooding problem, but one due to a toilet overflowing is particularly unpleasant. Companies often deal with this problem on an elevated floor, making the sewer damage extend to floors and ceilings on multiple levels. Here are some steps to take when facing a flooded toilet.

1. Shut Off the Water and Contact the Professionals

The first step after noticing a problem is to stop the source by turning off the water. Since it’s a toilet that is overflowing, you can assume it is contaminated water. Unless it’s a very small overflow, the dirty water probably leaked into the floor and even the ceiling of the floor below. In this instance, you absolutely need to contact a disaster recovery company. A sewage company can specialize in cleaning up what is known as black water to avoid any health risks. It unfortunately may involve removing flooring or ceilings, but it is essential for the safety of your employees.

2. Call Your Insurance Company

The next step is to contact your insurance company. The cause of the flooded toilet often determines your level of coverage. Sewer damage is different than flooding caused by toilet clogs, so your insurance specialist would be the best person to interpret your policy as it relates to the cause of your problem.

3. Prevent Future Problems

Many toilet overflows are preventable. They are caused by people flushing items other than standard toilet paper. In these instances, training employees and posting signs in restrooms can prevent future problems. Chances are, once a large flood occurs, people will be extremely careful of causing another one. If you have a septic system, it could be a matter of better septic maintenance.

Although it isn’t a foreseeable problem, you can get through problems due to toilets overflowing. Whether it’s caused by sewer damage or human error, make sure to shut off the water and contact your professional restoration and insurance company. Your business will be restored and better poised to handle future issues.

3 Main Steps to Sewer Damage Remediation

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Call a professional restoration company to cleanup a sewer damage

Sewer backups portend more than just a smelly problem. Sewer water can contain illness-causing bacteria, so a backup is a bona fide emergency. Proper cleanup is critical to ensuring your Comanche, MT, home is safe. Learn what steps a sewer cleanup contractor should be following to be sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Why Sewer Backup Is Dangerous

Sewer backups and resulting damage are considered unsafe because of the many microbes typically present in the water.

The Three Main Types of Contaminated Water are:

Category 1 water, which comes from a broken water supply line or a leaky faucet
Category 2 “gray water” is soiled by things like a flooded toilet or dishwasher overflow
Category 3 “black water” comes from floods or heavily soiled toilets and is the most dangerous type of contaminated water

What’s required to clean any of these water types can vary, but there are a few core things you should expect from sewer cleanup.

Thorough Drying

Drying is one of the top goals of any water damage remediation. A good contractor should bring industrial dryers and dehumidifiers to minimize air moisture and encourage more circulation. They should also have a plan for drying out items at just the right speed.

Disinfection

This is perhaps the most serious part of sewer water cleanup. Cleaning should involve pumping in disinfectants as well as thoroughly wiping down items with antibacterial solutions.

Deodorizing

Water damage - especially from sewage - can leave odors. A good contractor will have in place a plan to address stale, stagnant odors. That should involve ozone deodorizers and other equipment meant to truly remove odors, not just mask them.

Sewer cleanup is nothing to play around with. Besides funky smells, sewer water can harbor bacteria that is often dangerous. Use the above pointers to help you find the ideal water remediation company to get your sewer damage cleanup done right the first time.

Black Mold Prevention and Remediation Tips for Homeowners

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on ceiling from water loss

Black Mold Prevention and Remediation

When you notice signs of mold growth in your home, it’s often necessary to have a mold inspection in your home. Though mold is a common problem many homeowners in Broadview, MT, encounter, there are several prevention and remediation tips that can be useful.

1. Know the Signs of Mold Damage

In order to mitigate mold damage in your home, it can be useful to know early signs of mold growth. Mold can start to grow within 24-48 hours after water damage has occurred. Early signs of house mold growth may include discoloration on a surface. Additionally, many types of mold are often described as having an unpleasant musty odor.

2. Be Able to Identify the Appearance of Mold

Although many people may think that their homes do not have black mold, also known as Stachybotrys, present if the mold is not black in color, this isn’t always the case. Stachybotrys can vary greatly in appearance, and it can be unsafe to assume that mold that is gray or white in color isn’t hazardous. Additionally, knowing that Stachybotrys can vary in texture, appearing either smooth or fuzzy, texture of mold can help you identify the type of mold present in your home.

3. Know When to Employ Professionals

Taking steps to prevent mold can be useful, but a mold inspection is often needed when a home has major mold damage or if the type of mold present could be hazardous. Homes that have recently sustained water damage are often prone to mold growth, and it can be helpful to contact mold remediation specialists who can thoroughly inspect your home for signs of mold damage. However, widespread damage can also occur over time, and if you notice signs of mold growth throughout your home, you may also want to consider having your home inspected.

Many homeowners notice mold in their homes at one time. It’s often valuable for homeowners to know how to prevent mold growth, how to identify black mold and when a mold inspection done by professionals may be useful.

Keep Your Fire Sprinkler System in Check

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage can be devastating if the Fire Sprinkler System is not in check.

Commercial fires can happen anywhere, even in Billings, MT. While it’s impossible to know when they may occur, keeping your building prepared for any disasters is key to preventing a possible tragedy in the future. Most commercial properties operate with a fire suppression system in place, like a working fire sprinkler system. However, since many go unused for long lengths of time, they sometimes fall by the wayside in terms of maintenance. Here are three ways to keep your sprinklers in check so you’ll only have to deal with fire sprinkler cleanup after a situation arises, as opposed to any more horrifying consequences.

3 Ways to Keep Your Fire Sprinkler System in Check

  1. Check your building’s water pressure. If the building’s other water fixtures generally work fine, then you probably won’t have any issues securing ample water pressure through your sprinkler system. However, due to possible valve closures through the interior of the walls, especially for plumbing through systems that rarely get used, it’s best to do a check to indicate the pressure levels. Calling on fire service professionals can be helpful in completing this process correctly.
  1. Clean the coatings on your sprinkler heads. Sprinkler heads can collect dirt and debris easily, especially in high traffic areas like kitchens that build up grease deposits. Any coating on the fire sprinkler heads can block full access to water if a fire is in progress, so cleaning the heads is crucial for efficient usage. Clean them with basic degreasing solutions or soap that doesn’t leave residue behind.
  1. Inspect your non-electric control valves. Building owners should make a habit of checking the control valves if they’re non-electric, as no water can be released without them being open. Electronic valves can be monitored through annual inspections.

Disaster can strike at any moment, so knowing that your fire suppression system is up to code can be reassuring for you and everyone in the building. If your fire sprinkler system in Billings, MT, is maintained properly, handling a little fire sprinkler cleanup after an event occurs might be the only thing you need to worry about.

3 Steps To Clean Your Microwave

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Clean your microwave

Three Steps to Clean Your Oven

How did humanity ever survive before the invention of the microwave oven? Nobody remembers. The only certainty is that it forever changed the face of the popcorn industry. Microwave ovens are cooking everywhere. The smells range from exquisite to disgusting. They prove that smoke smell is not the worst odor that can waft through your airtight home. Following are three steps to clean your oven.

1. Clean the Interior

In this step, the oven does most of your work for you. What you are essentially doing here is cooking it clean.

• In a microwave-safe glass bowl, pour a cup or two of water. Add vinegar or citrus fruit slices. The acid helps clean the surfaces and the aroma helps remove the odor.

• Place the bowl in the oven and press start. Once the water is boiling and window on the door fogs, press the stop button. This step alone should get rid of that lingering popcorn smoke smell or fish odor.

• Wipe the interior clean with a clean, soft cloth or sponge. Avoid scratching the interior surfaces with abrasive cleaners, an old sponge or a dirty cloth. Repeat the previous step if necessary.

• If your oven has a removable turntable, wash the platter separately.

2. Clean the Oven Door and Gaskets

Clean the glass portion of the door with the acidic solution used on the interior. If necessary, use a conventional glass cleaner. Avoid getting that cleaner it on the gaskets.

Next, attempt to clean the gasket with plain water. If that doesn’t work, wipe it quickly with the acidic solution and wipe again with clean water.

3. Clean the Exterior

Wipe down the exterior with the acidic solution and dry with a paper towel. Be sure to clean the vent grill which captures oil, dust and odors.

If a bad microwave experience permeated your Laurel,MT, home with smoke and foul odors, help is available. There are residential odor mitigation specialists available to help return that fresh and clean smell to your home.

5 Disaster Preparedness Tips for Your Business

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

It's important to have emergency supplies on hand. This may include a first-aid kit

5 Steps that May Help You Create a Disaster Preparedness Plan for Your Business

A storm can cause a number of different types of problems for a company, so it's important to know ahead of time what things you may face, and how to deal with them. If you're creating a disaster preparedness plan for your Billings, MT, business, here are a few steps that may help.

1. Stay Informed

One important step for business preparedness is to stay informed of any storms happening in your area. This will allow you to prepare ahead of time, protect your property, and even send your employees home if necessary.

2. Make a Task List

You may also want to create a task list of any steps that are important for your business in the event of a storm. This may include ensuring that necessary supplies are on hand, files are backed up, and the information for a storm restoration service is easy to locate in the event that damage occurs.

3. Talk to Employees

Another important step for disaster preparedness is to talk to your employees about any procedures that may be involved. This will ensure that each person knows what they are responsible for and that, during a storm, everybody remains safe.

4. Secure the Property

Before the storm arrives, you may want to protect your business property against any inclement weather. This may include sandbagging areas prone to flooding, securing storm shutters, and backing up any electronic files.

5. Have Supplies On Hand

It's important to ensure that you have emergency supplies on hand. This may include flashlights, batteries, a first-aid kit, and even a radio.

When creating your business disaster preparedness plan, it's important to include a few things. Be aware of nearby weather events, have a task list of responsibilities and supplies that should be used in the event of inclement weather, be ready to secure the property, and make sure your employees know what to do.

Certified Mold Remediation Specialists Know How to Tackle It

5/5/2019 (Permalink)

This home had mold growing on the walls and carpet.

Mold can be intimidating if you don’t know exactly what it is and how to go about cleaning it. After a water disaster, the chances of mold growth can begin within 24 hours. What you do and how you handle it can make the difference between a successful return to your home and some serious renovation. This is one of the reasons that insurance companies prefer that you deal with certified mold specialists. Consider contacting a certified mold remediation company in Billings, MT for quick response and guidance.

Training Makes the Difference

Certified mold technicians receive several hours of training for their initial certification. Different states require different degrees of training. Yearly, technicians have to complete recertification classes.

This training teaches them important skills:

  • Donning and using protective gear, including their respirator
  • Using a commercial HEPA filter vacuum to clean and sand contaminated areas
  • Applying chemicals to kill and seal materials to prevent further contamination
  • Determining the number of negative air pressure machines that are needed for the square footage of a home in order to move the air properly

Personal Safety Leads to Faster Cleanup

When technicians receive their mold certification, they learn key skills that protect them during the remediation process. One of these is proper monitoring of their personal test pump. They wear this on their side and check it regularly to determine how many mold particles are in their respirator. They are only allowed to have so many particles per minute of air. Once they reach this limit, they have to stop working in the contaminated area. Certification training teaches them the proper use of protective gear and tools so they can safely work the project for longer periods of time.

Insurance companies like to make sure their money goes for a complete remediation and that the problem won’t return. Using a certified mold specialist to help ensure complete cleanup and proper use of tools and skills creates a safe environment for everyone involved. 

Recognizing Water Damage in Your Business

5/5/2019 (Permalink)

Running a business in Billings, MT, often comes with the risk of some type of water damage, with causes ranging from heavy storms to internal plumbing issues. Each instance of water damage comes with its own unique challenges, but both water pipe repair companies and insurance companies generally use three different categories to move forward with cleanup, but Category 2 is one of the most common.

Understanding Category 2 Water Damage

All three levels of water damage will likely require water pipe repair. A common misconception is that the cause of the water damage directly correlates to the category; however, the categories are simply based on the contents of the water:

  • Category 1: caused by clean water
  • Category 2: caused by water that contains a small amount of contamination
  • Category 3: caused by water that contains microorganisms, sewage, and other bacteria

Water that causes Category 2 water damage often began as clean water but became slightly contaminated after sitting for too long or soaking through building materials. Category 2 water damage will often contain soap, detergent, and some dirt. The water that causes this damage is typically not considered dangerous to your health, but it should still be dealt with quickly in any business setting.

Causes of Category 2 Water Damage

Category 2 water damage is most easily recognized by the source of the water and how long it has been stagnant.

A few of the most common sources of Category 2 water damage include the following:

  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Water that has seeped through from a higher level of a building to a lower level

If any cleaning appliances in your business experience a burst pipe, you may need to seek out water pipe repair to keep the problem from getting worse and call a restoration company in Billings, MT, to completely repair and sanitize the flooded areas. 

Tools for Removing Basement Water

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Flood Damage in a Basement.

Basements can flood for all sorts of reasons. No matter why you have found two feet of water in your basement, you need the right equipment to remove it.

Here are a few things you might need: 

  • Sump pump
  • Trash pump
  • Truck mounts
  • Safety equipment

Depending on the actual problem, you may need require equipment too. Furthermore, what you use may depend on what is available in Billings, MT at the time.

Trash Pump

This term is another name for a sewage pump. In many cases, this is the best tool for removing standing water from a basement. Some of these pumps are electric, which means you have to plug them in. This can cause obvious hazards and can also be an inconvenience.

If you go this route, choose a unit with a gas engine. It can run without being near a working electrical outlet. This setup is much safer.

Sump Pump

Check and see if your home has a sump pit. It so, you may be able to use to the corresponding pump to remove the water. You may need to dig a ditch to make this work. Do this at the lowest point of the slope for best results. Unfortunately, many homeowners can do more harm than good while trying to do this themselves.

Professional Assistance

Does all of this sound confusing or overly complicated to you? Sometimes, it takes a professional team to clean up the mess that a flooded basement leaves behind. You can call a restoration company in Billings, MT to take care of the problem for you.

Better yet, these companies have the equipment and experience to look for other problems. Not only will they bring their sump pump, trash pump, and other tools, but they can also look out for issues that might occur down the road. You can avoid mold and other problems by asking for help.

What Storm Recovery Services Does FEMA Provide?

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides a range of storm recovery in areas that have recently experienced severe storms or natural disasters. Some FEMA programs require the declaration of a federal disaster area in Comanche, MT . Learn more about the resources available through this agency.

Inspectors Do Damage Assessment

Agency adjusters and inspectors can determine the extent of damage caused by flooding, adverse weather conditions or natural disasters. These experts can offer several services:

  • Assistance with documenting damage
  • Guidance with filing insurance claims
  • Professional opinions on mitigation

Depending on the type of disaster and your insurance provider, federal adjusters and inspectors may respond more quickly than other representatives. If you need a fast assessment, this agency may be able to help.

Transitional and Temporary Housing Assistance

FEMA has several programs to provide shelter if your home is uninhabitable. There are a few key differences between the following types of assistance:

  • Transitional Sheltering Assistance lowers the price of a hotel stay immediately after a disaster
  • Temporary Housing Assistance may be available for one to three months or longer
  • Extensions of housing assistance may be available up to 18 months depending on qualification

You will need to prove that you have spent any funding received in authorized ways to extend housing assistance. Any of these options can provide a place to stay while residential flood damage is being mitigated and restored.

Programs for Individuals and Households

If a federal declaration is issued for an area, several financial assistance options may be available. The Individuals and Households program includes a one-time Repair and Replacement Assistance payment. This payment is intended to supplement insurance coverage. If insurance covers a loss, this program cannot duplicate the benefit.

FEMA offers many services to homeowners across the country. You may have access to more services if a federal disaster is declared for the location of your home in Comanche, MT .

How To Avoid Water Damage at a Construction Site

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

A plumber can provide water pipe repair, for mitigation and restoration service SERVPRO should be your first call!

Water damage during construction can result in delays, increased costs or even structural problems. Contractors should plan ahead to allow for drainage and quickly provide water pipe repair. Here are several ways to limit damage on a construction site in Billings, MT.

Control Quality

A quality control program is essential for any construction project. This program enables contractors to prevent or quickly respond to many risks, including a broken pipe or other conditions that could result in a flooded site. Quality control should account for the following factors:

  • Primary plans and specifications
  • Subcontractor work
  • Checking punch-lists

Quality assurance is essential throughout the construction process and for warranty issues during and after project close. Program members should work closely and even overlap with a team dedicated to managing water damage risks.

Form a Dedicated Water Protection Team

A dedicated team of employees, consultants or subcontractors should be tasked with monitoring water-related issues from planning to completion. This team should approach water protection in several ways:

  • Tracking risks and problems
  • Monitoring progress
  • Resolving issues

A water protection team should generate and resolve water-related punch lists. This team is critical early in a build, when members will monitor drainage and dewatering setup, the installation and testing of piping systems and any need for water pipe repair.

Front-Load Piping Installation and Testing

It is advisable to install and test piping early in the construction process to limit damage to finished materials. Other tests must take place after the roof has been installed, such as water tightness and sprinkler system pressurization and charging.

These measures can reduce the likelihood of water damage at a construction site in Billings, MT. If a broken pipe or any other cause of water damage affects a new building after project close, a plumber can provide water pipe repair and mitigation and restoration experts can handle damage to finished materials.

Upholding High Mold Remediation Standards

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Our IICRC- trained technicians use the newest technology to help you keep your property fungus free.

Mold can attack your company any time water is present, even a tiny bit of water from a pipe that collects condensation for a few hours a day. When mold does appear in your Billings, MT, facility, you’ll want to deal with the issue as quickly as possible, but you also want the problem dealt with using EPA and OSHA standards for commercial buildings. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification has established mold standards for all types of remediation, including government required cleaning criteria.

Certification

The IICRC is a third-party organization that sets the standards of cleaning, remediation, and restoration after disasters. The institute’s instructors and class materials are all kept up-to-date using government criteria to teach students the skills required to hold to the highest standards of disaster scene cleanup. Classes often include:

  • Water restoration
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Structural drying
  • Fire scene rebuilding
  • Document restoration

Upon completion of the required classes, the student receives a mitigation certificate acknowledging he or she has acquired the government-mandated skills and knowledge essential for completing the job. He or she not only knows how to mold clean an area, but he or she can also prevent future mold growth by finding the source of the water and repairing it to the highest of mold standards.

Accreditation

Qualified individuals not only become certified mitigation specialists by attending classes in a specialized school, but they also learn how to maintain the highest industry standards by attending continuing education classes on topics such as black mold, flooding, and scene safety. There are also classes in ethics, working with insurance companies, and advanced mitigation processes.

If you ever find yourself fighting a fungus problem, choose an IICRC-certified team to clean the area. The specially trained individuals can help remove the problem, prevent future growth, and bring your building back to the highest government-mandated and preventative mold standards. You can trust the IICRC-trained technicians to use the newest technology to help you keep your property fungus free.

Your Leader in Fire Damage Restoration

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by smoke exposure. It is important to call SERVPRO as soon as the firefighters are done putting the fire out. 

Here are some things to do after you experience a fire. Of course do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO immediately for help.
1. Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
2. Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
3. Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
4. If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
5. Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
6. Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
7. Change HVAC filter.
8. Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers

SERVPRO is available 24/7, 365 days a year. 

4 Mitigation Measures for a Leaking Water Heater

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Water heater being looked at in Billings, MT, by a SERVPRO technician.

A leaking water heater can cause significant water damage at a residence in Billings, MT. Homeowners should take these four measures to mitigate damage.

Leaking Water Heater Tips

  1. Reduce the Risk of Shock

    Start by unplugging electrical devices near the heater and switching off power to nearby circuits. Turn off the flow of water and electricity or gas to the heater before inspecting this appliance for leaks.
  2. Try To Identify the Cause

    It may be easier to mitigate damage if you can determine where a leak originates. Check the supply line, gaskets and valves. If a leaking water heater is caused by a corroded tank, you will need to replace the appliance. Depending on the location of the leak, you may want to drain the water tank.
  3. Drain the Tank

    Make sure the supplies of gas or electricity and water are shut off. Run hot water in a sink or tub to drain the tank, and open the pressure relief valve to permit water to drain more quickly. Allow any water remaining in the tank to cool before connecting a hose to the drainage spigot to empty the tank. This procedure can limit the amount of water that leaks out of a broken water heater.
  4. Dry the Area

    Use a mop or wet vac to extract standing water from floors and remove wet materials such as carpet. Ventilate the area with fans to promote drying, and consider using a dehumidifier or desiccant such as silica gel on soaked walls or floors.

These measures can be helpful for mitigating damage caused by a leaking water heater. You may be able to address minor issues on your own. A plumber or appliance repair specialist can help with a failed water heater. If a leak results in extensive water damage, rely on the expertise of a mitigation and restoration company in Billings, MT.

Claims Inventory Systems for Water and Fire Damage: Who They Help and How

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Cracked roof causing this Laurel, MT home to need restoration services.

Keeping track of one insurance claim isn't too hard, but as the numbers of claims grow, the process may become very frustrating. Fortunately, solutions such as a claims inventory system can decrease confusion and minimize complications.

What do Inventory systems look like?

  • Claims are organized by loss or damage type, sometimes by both, and often by location
  • Individual files are reviewed
  • Comparisons are run against regional and national companies
  • Response times are tracked and reported

Who Uses the Systems?

Many agents and adjusters use claims inventory systems to improve their services. To get the information they need, insurance professionals reach out to trusted mitigation and restoration companies, such as SERVPRO of Billings. These companies provide estimates and pertinent information, so the insurer is able to track estimates, communicate efficiently with clients and with service providers, and to decrease the time it takes to process a claim.

Why Are They Valuable?

When cleanup and mitigation professionals provide access to claims information, insurers are better able to identify the most common types of damage and compare the costs of restoration jobs. They can access and compare claims on local and national levels.

How Are Claims Affected?

How is a single insurance claim impacted by a claims inventory system? Each time a restoration professional files an estimate, the information is shared with a countrywide database. An insurance agent in another state can then access that information and compare it against the agent's local situation. The information serves as a guide. It reduces the amount of research an agent must complete, thus speeding up the process and ensuring improved accuracy.

The claims inventory system is a great way for insurance agents to focus on a single insurance claim with a broad, informed perspective. For residents of Laurel, MT, this means better service and a speedier resolution to their cleanup and restoration work.

3 Ways Insurance Agents Can Benefit From Working With a Storm Damage Restoration Service

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Billings can help right away

Storm Damage Restoration Service

If you are an insurance agent working in Acton, MT, you likely have a list of repeat clients who contact you for new services or when they need to file a claim. While this work can be rewarding, you might also find yourself overwhelmed with storm restoration claims when bad weather hits, and it can be time consuming to find services that suit both your needs and those of your clients. Connecting with an expert restoration company before bad weather hits has several benefits, no matter how many clients you serve.

1. You Can Offer a Faster Response

Being able to offer a quick storm response to your clients once their claims are approved can reduce the amount of time it takes to get any damage fixed. From draining away flood waters to performing drywall and carpeting tear out services, having a restoration company on standby for your clients can streamline the process and help you serve them with greater efficiency.

2. You Can Help Multiple Clients Almost Instantly

When multiple customers need storm restoration services, having a contract with a local restoration company allows you to send help right away. For example, if you have several clients who live on the same street and all of their homes were damaged during a flood, you can send your contracted technicians out right away to begin the cleanup process so you can focus on filing claims.

3. You Can Access Damage Information Quickly

When a client’s home suffers from storm or flood damage, it might be difficult for them to tell you specific information about what will need to be repaired. Your contracted storm damage and restoration service may be able to offer you more details about an individual incident once remediation techs inspect the home, which can help you file a claim that same day.

As an insurance agent, you may feel overwhelmed by multiple claims from clients when storm damage occurs in Acton, MT. Working with a contracted storm restoration service can allow you to assist customers more efficiently and get help to them when they need it most.

Commercial Storm Mitigation and Restoration Tips

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Mitigation is the process of stopping further loss from occurring

It only takes a brief time for a storm in  Comanche, MT, to cause significant damage to your business. The recovery process, however, takes much longer. There are two phases after the storm. First, the flood cleanup company mitigates the damage. Second, the restoration company returns your business to preloss condition. Here are some tips for both stages of recuperation.

Storm Mitigation

Mitigation refers to the process of stopping further loss from occurring. When a storm hits, water damage is the most likely culprit. Wind, hail and even lightning strikes cause problems as well. These are some key points for understanding the first part of recovery:

  • It is important to act fast. Water spreads quickly and causes secondary damage within 24-48 hours, such as mold growth. Contact the flood cleanup company as soon as possible after you suspect storm damage.
  • The mitigation process may be relatively quick. First excess water is extracted, and unsalvageable materials are disposed of. Then the area is thoroughly dried, cleaned and sanitized.

Storm Restoration

After the damage is controlled, the second round focuses on returning your property to its pre-storm state. Although ideally, one company covers both steps, restoration differs from mitigation in these ways:

  • While still important to complete in a timely manner, the immediacy of intervention is not as critical. However, every day your business is not open you lose revenue.
  • Depending on the level of destruction, this portion likely takes longer. Damaged drywall may need to be replaced, floors repaired, carpet installed or painting completed. In addition to the structure, contents and inventory are repaired or replaced as well.

A storm in Comanche, MT, wreaks havoc on your business. Recovery from water and other damage occurs in two phases: mitigation and restoration. For mitigation, it is crucial to use a flood cleanup company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster because every second counts. The restoration company then returns your property to preloss condition.

What You Should Know About Boarding Up Your Home in an Emergency

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Board up window in a Broadview, MT home

If you live in hurricane country, you may be familiar with emergency board up services to protect your home from damage. But did you know there are lots of other good reasons to board up your home’s windows and doors in Broadview, MT? Consider a few of them and whether you might take advantage of it to safeguard your home.

Benefits of Boarding Up Your Home

  • Prevent additional damage from weather or animals
  • Reduce the risk of property loss from theft and looting
  • Helps keep your insurance coverage by showing them you are taking appropriate measures to prevent more damage or theft
  • Reduce your risk of liability by keeping people and pets out and preventing injury

Keep Your Home Safe and Your Insurance Intact

When you board up your home following fire damage, you are preventing rain, wind, hail or snow from causing additional problems. You are also keeping rodents, birds and other pests from taking up residence or contaminating the area. Perhaps one of the greatest problems is looting. When someone unscrupulous discovers your home is not being lived in and has easy access, you are in danger of them salvaging anything they can get their hands on to pawn or sell on the streets, or even from squatting on your property. Boarding up your doors, windows or openings cause by fire damage to show your insurance agent that you are doing every thing in your power to prevent further damage.

Don’t try to take on the job yourself - a board up can be an overwhelming task and would be best done by an emergency board up service in Broadview, MT. They can make sure everything is secure and can avoid causing additional damage by ensuring all fasteners go into secure places. They may also use tarps where appropriate. Whether you are doing the whole house or just an opening or two, boarding up can save a lot of grief.

Smoke Odor Cleanup Methods

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Many Billings,MT cleanup technicians will use ozone machines for standard smoke cleanup

Smoke Odor Cleanup Methods

What is that smell? If your commercial property recently suffered from a damaging fire, it’s probably smoke odor. You may already know how to handle structural fire damage, but what can you do about smoke cleaning? Fortunately for you and your business, there are several ways that trained professionals can help. Read on to learn about three methods that your local fire damage restoration company can use to help clean up those unpleasant smells.

1. Ozone Machines

Many Billings, MT, cleanup technicians will use ozone machines for standard smoke cleanup. These handy devices actually destroy the odors in your building, rather than simply covering them up temporarily.

2. Thermal Foggers

A thermal fogger will assist cleanup professionals in alleviating smoke damage by removing odors from carpets, walls and most other common surfaces in your commercial space. A fogger is considered to be the preferred device for smoke cleaning in many cases.

3. Air Filtration Devices

A good air filtration device will remove smoke particles from the air in your building and eliminate most odors. This makes filtration a very good choice for handling smoke cleanup in a large number of fire situations.

Which Method Does My Business Need?

The specific method that your local Billings, MT, cleanup technicians use will likely vary depending on the severity of the situation, what type of building your business is located in and other important factors unique to your location. All of the methods above are excellent in the right situation, but you will need to talk to your on-site smoke cleaning crew about what their cleaning plan is.

Dealing with the aftermath of a commercial fire can be stressful enough without having to worry about lingering effects such as the smell of smoke. However, with all of the cleanup options that professionals have to consider, you really do not have to worry about the odors sticking around for long.

3 Tips for Protecting Your Home’s Water Pipes During Cold Weather

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe in a Laurel, MT home

3 Tips for Protecting Your Home’s Water Pipes During Cold Weather 

When frigid temperatures arrive, they can affect your Laurel,MT, home in many ways. However, one way they can be extremely damaging is when they cause frozen pipes both inside and outside. When water pipes become frozen, they can burst without warning and cause serious flooding that can ruin walls and flooring. Fortunately, there are several ways you can prevent this issue and safeguard your property when cold weather strikes.

1. Search for Air Leaks

When cold air is allowed to seep into your home, it can contribute to pipe freeze and flooding when pipes become cold enough to burst. You can reduce the risk by searching for air leaks inside your home and sealing them with fiber insulation or caulk. Air leaks can be commonly found around vents, loose electrical plating and near joists in unfinished areas, such as utility or mud rooms. If you find air leaks, take the opportunity to check any nearby pipes for signs of wear or damage.

2. Expose Hidden Pipes to Warm Air

Pipes hidden under cabinets, such as those in your kitchen and bathroom, can be more prone to freezing because they are rarely exposed to warm air. Opening your cabinets during freezing temperatures can prevent this and a pipe burst that could result in a serious flood. If you plan to leave your home overnight or for an extended winter holiday, leave the cabinet doors open and allow the warm water faucet to drip slightly, which can prevent these pipes from freezing over.

3. Winterize Your Pipes Before Cold Weather Hits

Taking time to winterize your home during the fall can lower the risk of frozen pipes later on. Have a flood damage and water removal company come in to inspect your water lines and ask technicians advice about steps you can take to protect your pipes now.

Frozen pipes can cause serious water damage to your Laurel,MT, home. Knowing how to prevent this problem could go a long way in helping you save the time and money it takes to make repairs in the aftermath.

7 Places You Wouldn’t Expect To Find Mold

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing on walls and carpet in Broadview, MT

7 Places You Wouldn’t Expect To Find Mold

Mold is everywhere in the world around us, even in Broadview, MT. Some places you assume you will find colonies of fungi, but here are seven places you wouldn’t expect to find mold growth.

1. Washing Machines

Drums inside washing machines harbor moisture for long periods because they are an enclosed environment. Mold often grows under the drum and causes a pungent odor. If you discover mold or mildew, run a hot water load with vinegar to kill the spores.

2. Windows

Mold on wood is often expected near windows. Mold on the window itself is not. If you discover a moldy window, use a window cleaner or vinegar to kill the mold and remove the stain the spores leave behind.

3. Chimneys

Water can pool on the brick, along with dirt and debris. Once this occurs, it can become a perfect surface for mold growth. Having the chimney cleaned yearly and checking for cracks can help prevent colony growth.

4. Walls

Moldy drywall can hide potential problems for your home. An unexpected hiding place is inside the wall under the mold on the plasterboard. To remove the hidden mold, contact a mitigation specialist.

5. Dishes

If you put damp dishes away, it can become the perfect breeding ground for mold. To remove the mold, wipe the dish with soapy water and run through a load in the dishwasher.

6. Refrigerators

Although you may expect mold on food inside the refrigerator, you probably don’t expect mold to grow on the appliance’s door gasket or in the drip pan. Because food particles can easily be captured in both places, both need a good, regular cleaning.


7. Dishwashers

Known for spreading soapy water, you wouldn’t expect mold to grow inside the dishwashing system but it can. Damp water pipes make it a perfect environment for the spores to grow and flourish. If mold is in the pipes of your dishwasher, you may have to contact a mold remediation professional to remove it.

Keep these seven hidden places in mind. Don’t be surprised by mold growth again!

Prepare an Emergency Fire Escape Plan for Your Company

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Change the batteries of your smoke alarm in your commercial building in Laurel MT

Fire emergencies in Laurel,MT, can happen to anyone at any time. It's possible that you and your staff will have to evacuate your building without much warning. Prepare for this eventuality with a well-written fire escape plan.

Protect Employees From Fire Injuries

The American Red Cross provides these four important tips for fire safety:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the building. If you own an apartment building, install alarms outside of all sleeping areas and inside bedrooms.
  • Run smoke alarm tests every month and regularly change batteries.
  • Train employees about the escape plan and hold drills twice a year.
  • When fires do happen, immediately leave the building and stay out.

Developing an Escape Plan

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, suggests including the following in your emergency escape plan:

  • An appropriate method for reporting the emergency.
  • A clear evacuation policy and procedure plan.
  • Emergency escape routes and assignments.
  • Contact information for individuals.
  • Written explanations of responsibilities.
  • Training for rescue and medical duties.

Vital Elements of the Plan

As you work on the fire escape plan, focus on maintaining a calm, orderly workspace. Panic and lack of organization can lead to injuries, property damage, and losses. Some vital elements of the plan are a description of specific conditions that lead to evacuation, a clear breakdown of command and duties, a diagram showing evacuation routes and exits, and a system for keeping track of employees and personnel during and after the evacuation. Other elements of your escape plan, as recommended by the American Red Cross, include using stairs and avoiding elevators, establishing secondary escape routes, and holding training for personnel with tips such as ducking low to avoid smoke.

No matter how many steps you take to protect against building fires, it's impossible to completely prevent them. Put together a fire escape plan with guidance from the American Red Cross, OSHA, and local fire damage restoration professionals for the safety and well-being of your personnel.

How To Prevent a Mold Problem After a Flood

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage in Comanche, MT

Flooding can cause many issues in your home. It can damage the structure of your walls, ceilings and floors. It can ruin personal items and spoil any food or toiletries it touches. If left untreated, it can also lead to mold growth. There are several things you can do to ensure that your home in Comanche, MT, doesn't develop a mold problem in addition to water damage after a flood.

Have the Experts on Speed Dial

Your first instinct may be to call your insurance agent, but your next call should be to water mitigation experts. These professionals offer several valuable services when your home has been flooded:

  • Assess extent of damage
  • Create a remediation plan and timeline
  • Provide an estimate of the cost of repairs
  • Confirm level of damage for insurance purposes

Mold growth can occur within 24 hours of the appearance of excess moisture, particularly if it is coupled with contamination, as floodwater tends to be. Calling the experts the moment you know you need them is your strongest defense against a fungal invasion.

Get Rid of the Water

Floodwater creates a breeding ground for mold on any surface it touches. If you don't want to add mold removal to the list of expenses you incur from the flooding incident, you must remove its cause. A sump pump is useful for extracting excess water and letting the surfaces start to dry.

Control the Humidity

Humid air can be just as inviting to mold spores as standing water. If you can safely use a dehumidifier, it can help lower the moisture in the air to discourage fungus growth. If it is not safe to plug in a machine, however, you can still increase the air flow to help dry out your home with fans and, if the air outside is not humid, open windows.

Preventing mold growth can be a challenging task, but it is possible if you act quickly. By calling in experts and reducing the moisture in your home and in the air, you can decrease your chances of secondary damage.

Post-Fire Checklist: 6 Things To Do Immediately

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Board up damaged windows after fire damage in Broadview,MT

House fires don’t only happen to other Broadview, MT, homeowners. If you find yourself dealing with a residential fire, you probably want to stare fire restoration as soon as possible. Still, jumping the gun can be disastrous.

Here Are Six Things you Should do Immediately After a House Fire

1. Find a Place To Stay
Staying safe after a fire must be your primary concern. If your house has sustained fire damage, look for a long-term solution. Remember, you must find housing that accommodates you, your family and your pets.

2. Board-Up Damaged Windows and Doors
Your post-fire home may not be weathertight. It may also attract criminals. To protect your home until you can begin fire restoration, board up damaged windows and doors.

3. Contact Your Insurance Company
Your insurance adjuster will probably want to inspect fire damage as soon as possible. Once you are your family members are safe, contact a representative from your fire insurance company.

4. Work With Law Enforcement
Police investigators and firefighters will likely prepare an incident report. This report identifies the cause of your house fire. It is also essential for collecting insurance payments.

5. Prepare a Damage List
For both insurance and remediation purposes, you need a list of damaged property. Before a fire, try to create a list of your personal belongings. Add and subtract items occasionally to keep your list current and accurate.

6. Contact a Restoration Service
Even if your house fire is minor, you may have extensive smoke damage. By working with a reputable restoration service for smoke cleaning and other remediation, you put specialized skill and equipment to work for you.

House fires can be devastating. Fortunately, you don’t have to leave your home’s recovery to chance. By taking a few critical steps in the days following a fire, you increase your odds of having a successful fire restoration.

Tips for Avoiding Flooding During Cold Weather

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Protect your business in Laurel,MT against frozen pipes

Flooding isn't the only type of storm damage that could affect your business properties; freezing weather could lead to a burst pipe. One property of water is that it expands when it freezes, and during this process, metal and plastic pipes are put under a lot of pressure. As cold weather approaches, watch out for the following at-risk pipes:

  • Exterior pipes, such as water sprinkler lines and outdoor hose bibs
  • Pipes in unheated areas of the building, such as basements and garages
  • Interior pipes that run along exterior walls with little to no insulation

There are several things you can do to protect against a frozen pipe and decrease the risk of flooding because of a burst pipe.

Prepare for Cold Weather

Drain all water from hoses before putting them away and close valves between the interior and the exterior of the building. Clear sprinkler supply lines and drain standing water from landscaping features. Add insulation around interior pipes in unheated areas and against exterior walls. It doesn't take much insulation to protect against freezing. Some products, such as pipe sleeves and heat tape can boost the level of protection.

Adjust Your Habits When Temperatures Drop

Leave the thermostat set at the same temperature during the day and the night, even if employees and staff have left for the day. The increase in your heating bill is sure to be much less than the cost of hiring emergency remediation specialists and any losses you may incur if you aren't able to maintain business operations. You may also want to leave a slow drip through the faucets and open cabinet doors to allow warm air to flow around pipes.

Cold weather in Laurel,MT, could lead to water damages that don't have anything to do with flooding or heavy rainfall. Avoid expensive repairs and the loss of profits by planning ahead and preventing storm damages related to cold temperatures.

First Steps: What To Do When A Pipe Breaks

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water damaged kitchen due to a burst pipe in Billings,MT

Many things can cause water damage to your home in Billings, MT, even elements of the home itself. Bursting pipes are not something you necessarily expect, but it's good to have a plan in place just in case. The faster you can spring into action, the less water damage the broken pipe is likely to cause. Here are some suggested first steps to take if a pipe breaks in your home.

1. Shut Off Supply

The first thing you should do is halt the problem. To do this, you need to stop the flow of water into the pipe. Turn off the water at the main valve, thus limiting the volume that will need to be extracted. It is also advisable to shut off the power, at least to the immediate area where the flood is located. This minimizes the danger of water taking on an electrical charge and causing possible injury to anyone who comes into contact with it.

2. Call Mitigation Services

The sooner you call water restoration specialists about bursting pipes, the better off you'll be. If technicians can get to your home quickly, they can often fix the broken pipe and prevent a lot of the secondary damage that could happen if water is allowed to sit stagnant in your home. You may have to replace fewer inches of drywall. You may even be able to avoid a mold problem.

3. Start Extraction

If you have the appropriate protective gear, such as rubber boots and gloves, you may want to start extracting some of the water before the professional technicians arrive. There's no such thing as removing excess water from your home too soon. As long as you can remove it safely, there's no reason to let water linger longer than necessary.

Most of the work of fixing the damage caused by bursting pipes will be handled by the professionals. Your responsibilities are to get them there quickly and make sure the job is as easy as possible once they arrive.

4 Methods for Mitigating Water Damage

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water damaged property?? Call the professionals in to help clean up and prevent secondary damage.

Water damage can cause serious problems in a commercial property. Whether you are dealing with a supply line leaking or a pipe burst cleanup, here are four methods that may mitigate water damage.

Collect As Much Water As Possible

Try to collect as much water as you can in buckets or other containers. This can help to reduce the extent of water cleanup. Water from a burst pipe or supply line will likely be relatively clean. If the leak comes from any other source, the water may be contaminated. Take precautionary measures depending on the origin of the water.

Remove Spilled Water With Any Available Method

If you have buckets, a mop, towels, or a wet vacuum on hand, try to remove as much water as you can. The problem will persist until you resolve the underlying issue, so it can be smart to contact a plumber as soon as you can.

Rely On a Restoration Service for Major Leaks

If you are dealing with a major leak, you may want to rely on the expertise and specialized equipment of a commercial water damage restoration service for pipe burst cleanup. These professionals can lessen the severity of the problem and help to prevent secondary damage.

Completely Dry the Affected Area

Restoration professionals rely on equipment such as dehumidifiers to thoroughly dry the area of your building affected by a leak. If you are mitigating water damage on your own, you may also want to use a dehumidifier or fans to circulate air, promote faster drying, and try to prevent mold from developing.

These four methods can help you mitigate water damage in a commercial property in Billings, Montana. Whether you need to perform pipe burst cleanup, deal with a supply line leaking, or engage in other water cleanup, the situation can be less severe if you follow these guidelines.

How To Administer Basic Aid to Burn Victims

9/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in Broadview, MT

If your commercial property in Broadview, MT, catches fire, the damage to the building may not be the only problem you have to address. Fire damage to your building is worrisome enough, but if people are burned by the fire, you may have to administer some basic burn first aid. Minor burns can be treated by cooling, applying lotion and bandaging to keep the burn clean, but major burns require emergency treatment.

Symptoms of Major Burns

Before you can determine how a burn should be treated, you must first assess the type of burn it is. A major burn will display certain characteristics:

  • Parched skin with the texture of leather
  • Patches of black, brown or white where skin has charred
  • Deep wounds
  • Diameter of three inches or more
  •  Located on the extremities, groin, buttocks, face or major joints

If you see any of these symptoms, call emergency services immediately. The burn victim will likely need professional medical help for the fire damage to his or her body.

Aid for Major Burns

While you are waiting for the EMTs to arrive, you can help a person with major burns by keeping them comfortable, safe and as calm as possible. You do not need to apply the same first aid principles as you would with a minor burn, as most of those steps may cause more harm than good. You can cover the burn with a wet cloth to cool it off, but never submerge a major burn in water. If the burn can be elevated above the heart, that can help slow blood loss. Move the individual to a safe location, and make sure he or she is breathing normally.

Fire damage to your building can be mitigated by remediation experts, but injuries to a human require first aid or medical attention. Look for signs to distinguish between major and minor burns and respond accordingly.

The Process of Making an Insurance Claim After a Flood

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

A flood claim is an essential part of your recovery and cleanup process following an incident of this magnitude.

It’s never enjoyable to be on the wrong end of a flood at home. At the very least, these incidents are annoying, take up a lot of your time and cause some stress. In more serious situations, floods can cause extensive damage and may even destroy portions of your home and possessions. As soon as flooding occurs in your Billings, MT, home, you should contact your insurance company and make a flood claim. This will get the ball rolling on providing the cleanup and financial assistance you need.

Get Information Together

Regardless of the size of the flood, if there is any damage, you should file an insurance claim. Before you call your insurance representative, gather relevant documentation and information. These include:

• Insurance company name
• Policy number
• Your contact information (This is important because you may not be at your home during and after the incident, so you need to provide the agent with a phone number where you can be reached anytime.)

Make Note of the Damage

Your insurance company will need evidence that the flood in your home damaged property and possessions. First, start by taking photographs of anything and everything the flood damaged. This includes walls, floors, furniture, books, electronics and any parts of the home’s structure. Your flood claim should also include items that you may have lost in the flood. Keep in mind, the insurance company will likely only replace the items if you document value and date of purchase.

Fill Out the Necessary Forms

Your insurance company will ask you to fill out a Proof of Loss document. Make sure you do this as quickly after the flood as possible.

A flood claim is an essential part of your recovery and cleanup process following an incident of this magnitude. You don’t have to handle the aftermath of this disaster on your own. It will go more smoothly if you understand the claims process. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/. 

4 Ways To Protect Your Pets From Fire

7/21/2018 (Permalink)

Taking these four steps toward pet safety can pay off in the event of a fire emergency.

A little preparation can go a long way when it comes to keeping your pets safe in the event of a fire emergency. Here are a few pet preparation steps to add to your fire safety plan.

1. Include pets in fire safety and evacuation plans. Your family's fire evacuation strategy should account for pets. Plan how to get pets out of the house if possible. Keep in mind that pets may be frightened and keep carriers or leashes in a convenient location for making a quick exit.

2. Avoid open flames. This preventative step can help to reduce the risk of your pet sustaining minor burns as well as a full-scale fire emergency. Never light open-flame candles at low levels or near the edges of a table where a pet can knock these candles over or end up with a singed tail.

3. Make sure pets cannot turn on the stove. Some dogs are tall enough to turn the knobs of a stove. This can result in dangerous consequences that range from gas leaks to fires. Consider using a pet safety gate or other methods for keeping pets out of the kitchen while you are not at home.

4. Gather pet ownership and vaccination records in a firebox. In the event of a fire, it is best to have all of the important papers for your home, family, and pets ready to go in a firebox. Make sure your evacuation plan accounts for the location of this box.

Taking these four steps toward pet safety can pay off in the event of a fire emergency. You can also reduce the likelihood that your pet will cause a fire that may endanger every resident of your home and damage your property. If you experience a fire at your home, contact residential damage restoration experts located in Billings, MT. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

Mold Forms Quickly After a Water Loss

7/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold does not have to become inevitable once a house or building has sustained water damage.

Water damage is a universally challenging situation in Billings, MT, and everywhere else in the country, and the collateral mold problems associated with it can add insult to injury. If it is significant, there are professionals who can step in to take care of this all-too-common phenomenon.

Mold is an Opportunistic Organism

After the incursion of water through a flood, leak or spill in the right kind of environment, mold can begin to grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Learning a few facts about this organism can help anyone master mold prevention.

• There are over 1000 kinds of mold in the U.S., and it grows indoors and outdoors.
Mold needs moisture, a surface on which to grow, darkness, and nutrients.
• Nutrients for mold include dust, dirt, paper, fabric and many kinds of building material.
• Mold often, but not always, smells musty.

Remediation is an Urgent Matter

Putting off the remediation of mold growth is a serious mistake. What starts out as an inconvenience can literally blossom overnight into a full scale project that displaces residents and incurs significant expense. After the source of the water has been eliminated, it is important to dry all areas thoroughly. Exposing the area to light and air circulation after all excess moisture has been mopped or blotted is important since mold needs darkness to grow. Opening windows and running fans and dehumidifiers are effective in reducing moisture and humidity. Removing any surfaces or materials that mold can feed on deprives the organism of Mold cleanup need not involve lawyers or lawsuits, and tenants always have the option of moving out if the situation becomes untenable.
it's necessary nutrients.

Mold does not have to become inevitable once a house or building has sustained water damage. Taking quick action can nip a mold problem in the bud. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

The Secret Life of Water Supply Lines

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

Your home’s high-pressure water can cause serious supply line damage in a short amount of time once the integrity of the tubing is breached.

The water supply line is generally hidden near the floor behind the toilet and routes water from your home’s main lines to the commode. Sine the plastic or steel lines seldom leak, the tubes can often be ignored for decades. It is only when a puddle appears on the floor behind the toilet bowl that the lines come under scrutiny. The problem can be a serious one because almost any type of bathroom leak can cause a great deal of damage in a short amount of time. Since the line can often go unnoticed, the supply line damage may often be overlooked as well.

Where Are the Lines Found?

Water supply lines are not just found in bathrooms. The tubes can also play an important part in connecting several appliances to the main water line in the house. These appliances include:

• Washing Machines
• Bathroom sinks
• Kitchen sinks
• Dishwashers

The lines are also used to connect toilets and bidets to the home’s high-pressure water valves.

What Type of Lines Are Available?

The supply line is intended to mitigate the water pressure from the main line to the appliance. To prevent supply line damage, the tubing is specially designed to withstand a great amount of pressure over a long period of time. Stainless steel braided hoses, copper pipes, and durable plastic lines are the most popular type of supply line tubing used in modern home construction in Billings, MT, and all three have proven themselves reliable in preventing a supply line leak.

What Happens When a Line Leak is Found?

Your home’s high-pressure water can cause serious supply line damage in a short amount of time once the integrity of the tubing is breached. For that reason, calling in a professional water mitigation team as soon as you find the leaking line can often prevent a flood. The sooner the water flow can be stopped, the less potential damage there may be to worry about tomorrow. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

Business Interruption Insurance Can Save Your Business

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Disasters such as fire or flooding can have a devastating effect on a business.

Many business owners are unaware that a standard insurance property policy limits disaster coverage. It will often cover some business losses and physical damage after a disaster such as fire or flooding, but the standard business policy does not typically cover business disruption losses in Billings, MT.

Coverage

When a damaging event occurs that closes your business, revenue can plummet. Although bills may still arrive and need to be paid, lack of income can often make it difficult to pay your creditors. Fortunately, business interruption insurance can often cover the following:

• Fixed revenue costs during a disaster
• Lost revenue during the business closure
• Temporary operating expenses

That means when your business is hit with an insured event such as large water damage from a broken pipe, and the company needs to close for a month, the business interruption insurance may begin coverage. The insurance may include new store front rent, utilities, and even advertising concerning the temporary location.

Calculation

Although interruption insurance payments can be difficult to figure out, it often involves your exacting business records and past tax returns. The insurance company may investigate profit and loss from previous years, business income and expenses up to the date of the disaster, and projected sales and expenses for the rest of the year. Using available information, the adjuster can often swiftly calculate the lost revenue and business expenditures.

Closure

When a disaster such as flooding occurs, immediately calling in a water repair team can mitigate some of the damages your business may incur. However, it may take much longer than expected to complete building restoration. For this reason, extra expense insurance may be a good way to protect the business during any unexpected closure. The policy can reimburse the company for an amount more than actual operating costs.

Protection

Disasters such as fire or flooding can have a devastating effect on business revenue when the company must close its doors for more than a few days. Business interruption insurance can help you keep company doors open, even if it is from a different location. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

4 Things That May Happen During Restoration

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Because a storm can cause such a wide range of damage to your building, it is hard to know exactly what the storm restoration process will entail.

When your commercial building in Billings, MT, is affected by a storm, you may have to go through a long process to get back to normal. Understanding the storm restoration process can make this ordeal feel easier to handle because you know what to expect. While each commercial remediation team may have a slightly different approach, it is common for the following to happen.

1. Removal of Water: If standing water fills any part of your commercial building, it has to be removed before the repairs can take place. Professionals may come in and start drying out your property by sucking standing water out with a special vacuum. If this important step is bypassed, it may be hard to address any of the other problems.
2. Tear Out of Building Materials: Some building materials cannot get dry by normal methods, so they must be removed completely from the building. This often happens with flooring, drywall and other porous materials.
3. Removal of Moisture: Once the standing water has been taken care of, the excess moisture needs to be addressed. If this is allowed to stay, you may have to deal with mold growth in the future. To address the issue, your restoration team may remove and clean wet belongings, incorporate dehumidifiers and tear out drywall to allow the space between the walls to dry.
4. Restoration of Building: After the water issues have been addressed, your building has to be returned to normal. Water damage can affect large portions of your property, so the restoration could take a while. You may have to restore company equipment, the roofing system, structural components and business furnishings.

Because a storm can cause such a wide range of damage to your building, it is hard to know exactly what the storm restoration process will entail. When flooding is caused, your remediation experts may have to tear out building materials and make your property worse before they can start fixing the underlying issues. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

How to Tell Mold and Mildew Apart

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold and mildew remediation can be difficult, but not impossible.

When you have the creeping crud taking over your home, it’s hard to care if it’s mold or mildew. You just want it gone. But mold and mildew have very different effects on your home and on you; could you tell the difference between mold and mildew if you found it in your Billings, MT, home? Let’s take a look at what makes the two fungal growths so similar – and what makes them completely different.

Mold vs. Mildew: Which Is More Dangerous?

Mildew is mostly harmless, though there are a few breeds of mildew that can do damage to your home. While it’s more common than mold, it’s mostly an eyesore and unpleasant to the touch, with a powdery feeling that many find nauseating. Mold, on the other hand, is much more invasive and can cause significant mold damage to vulnerable areas of your home. Mold tends to be more fuzzy and varied in color than mildew. Signs that you might have mold include:

• Musty odors coming from secluded places in your home
• Dark stains on walls
• Leaks and water damage
• Fuzzy growths on organic matter, including walls, floors, and food
• Unexplained allergic reactions with no other allergen sources present

So How Do You Get Rid of Mold and Mildew?

Mold and mildew remediation can be difficult, but not impossible. While you are constantly inundated with free-floating mold spores, it’s possible to take preventative steps to ensure your home isn’t a hospitable environment for either parasitic growth to breed. Mitigate any leaks or water issues in your home, and clean up quickly after any floods. Adequately ventilate your home, and use a dehumidifier if needed to prevent growth in moist, humid areas. If you suspect a mold or mildew infestation, you can call in a professional to perform necessary testing and isolate the causes in your home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

Dealing With Water Damage Post-Fire

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

If your home was recently in a fire, it is understandable if you want to begin the remediation process as soon as possible.

Dealing with fire damage after a fire can be stressful in and of itself, but adding water damage to the mix can be the icing on a burnt cake. Prolonged use of a fire hose can result in moisture issues, damaged items and structural problems. Fortunately, you can prevent excessive damage by taking care of those water problems right away—or rather, by hiring a Billings, MT, water restoration team to cleanup the damage for you. Your local remediation team can help reduce damage caused by a handful of common problems:

• Moisture damage from the hose
• Moisture damage from a sprinkler system
• Damage caused by burst pipes
• Cleanup after a sewage backup

Cleanup Efforts You Can Perform

Depending on the extent of the fire, your remediation team may or may not be able to arrive right away. Because mold can develop within 24 hours of a water problem, and because sitting water and fire damage can be harmful to your home’s structure, you may want to take measures yourself to prevent as much damage as possible. Here are a few things you can do before help arrives:

• Limit movement within the home to prevent soot particles from further embedding themselves into your carpet and upholstery.
• Place towels or old linens over carpet, upholstery and other furniture.
• Change your HVAC filter and tape cheesecloth over air registers.
• Wash the leaves of your houseplants and remove them from the home for the time being.

You should only stick around to do the above if your home is in a safe condition. If you think that your home is not safe to be in, use your better judgment and stay out of it until help arrives.

If your home was recently in a fire, it is understandable if you want to begin the remediation process as soon as possible. However, use your better judgment and only enter the home if you think it is safe to do so. More importantly, call your Billings, MT, fire damage restoration team for help with the bulk of the cleanup. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

3 Ways To Make Sure Your Restaurant Stays Free of Mold Growth After Water Damage

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

Having to deal with mold growth in a restaurant is something that no owner wants to endure. An establishment that contains both food and moisture can be the perfect place for it to thrive. Owning a restaurant in Billings, MT, with its high humidity, means that extra care should be taken. Likewise, if you have a busy kitchen with areas that are susceptible to water damage, you should take the following steps to minimize the likelihood of mold.

1. Good Ventilation

The very nature of a restaurant, with lots of steam and water around most of the time, means that if the area isn’t well ventilated, then mold could appear. Installing ventilation equipment in the main cooking and dish-washing locations and arranging for it to be consistently maintained could help to prevent the conditions that cause invasive growth.

2. Staff Training

Ensuring that all staff members are trained in how to handle food safely and hygienically means that the risk of mold appearing on it may be greatly reduced. Employees should also be aware of the importance of keeping all of the restaurant equipment clean and the temperature in the restaurant stable to avoid high humidity. This training can help to reduce the risk of mold growth on food.

3. Checking Hidden Areas

Checking areas in the restaurant that may not be easily visible is typically extremely important. These locations can sometimes be the most predisposed to mold. Areas hidden behind sinks or kitchen equipment can have water damage that has not been discovered, providing the perfect environment for the mold to grow. Moving equipment regularly, checking for moisture and cleaning behind, underneath and on top of it can be an ideal way to avoid this.

Mold growth in your restaurant can be stressful. However, following the above steps can help you decrease the chances of it happening in your location. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/

Keep Your Sump Pump Pumping With These Simple Tips

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

A sump pump is an essential appliance for many homes. Although it’s likely not used every day like the refrigerator, when it is in use, it can be just as important if not more so. While it may be easy to adopt the “get it and forget it” mentality with these pumps, you should implement some very basic maintenance practices.

Maintenance Tips

Frequent and heavy rains in Billings, MT, means most residences likely have a sump pump. This pump can be the last line of defense between your belongings and flood water. Therefore, keep your pump functioning properly. These simple pump maintenance tips can help ensure a long life for your system:

• First off, you want to make sure the pump is still standing upright. If it has been activated recently, it may have tilted slightly.
• Make sure the pump has power. Check where the pump is plugged in and try plugging in another appliance to ensure the outlet is functional.
• Check the inlet screen of the pump. This is where water will enter from your basement to be pumped outside. It is important to check this every few months as it’s simple to do and can be very difficult if the area is already flooded.
• Make sure the pump functions normally. This can be done by pouring water into the pump to ensure it activates.
• Check that the outlet pipes that deliver the water outside are properly sealed and are releasing the water the appropriate distance from your home without leaking along the way.

Help From Experts

Ideally, these tips will help keep you and your belongings safe, but it is always a good idea to contact your local water damage restoration experts in the event of a disaster or if you need any additional maintenance tips. If you do not have a sump pump and are looking to install one, check with your insurance to see what options are available to you. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com/.

How To Handle Post-Flood Cleanup

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Don’t let the idea of content cleaning after a flood get you down. It’s never impossible to restore your business to its former glory with proper cleaning and sanitization as long as you know the ins and outs of how to properly recover from flood damage in Billings, MT.

1. Create a Cleanup Plan

The very first step in reclaiming your property after flood damage is to establish a structured, methodical cleanup plan. Identify which cleanup tasks are dependent on others and prioritize key areas first. Section off your floor plan into places that are most to least critical regarding what needs to be handled for health and safety reasons versus what is just part of cosmetic damage restoration.

2. Identify What You Can Salvage

Although content cleaning can feel like razing everything down and starting from scratch, you don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some of your belongings can be salvaged simply by drying them out, particularly if they are made of non-porous materials that don’t absorb water. Set aside what can be rescued to dry out properly in a sunny, well-ventilated place.

3. Discard Porous Materials

Even if you may be able to salvage some things, other things are too risky to keep. Anything porous that may have absorbed black water may have to be completely destroyed. This can range from furniture that was completely soaked in water to even the sheetrock of the walls, and for more complicated tasks, you may require the assistance of restoration services to help.

The problem with porous materials absorbing black water is that even when they dry out after some content cleaning — and they will take much longer to dry out — any residual particles from the water may still remain in the material, trapped in porous fibers and openings. Unfortunately, “residual particles” often means fecal matter since black water is wastewater from toilets and sewage mains. Trapped particles can pose a serious health hazard if they remain even after drying. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.comfor more information on commercial storm damage. 

Managing Leaks Under Your Kitchen Sink: 3 Steps for Minimizing Damage

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen leaks are a common household issue. However, when one happens in your Billings, MT home, it may feel like a major disaster. Flooding, broken pipes and a soaked floor can be costly and time consuming to repair. However, there are a few actions you can take to minimize the damage caused by leaks under your kitchen sink.

1. Shut Off the Water

Turning off the water in your home can stem the flood waters, especially if a broken pipe is causing it to gush out rapidly. Know where the shutoff valves are so you do not have to waste time looking for them during a plumbing flood. Turning off the water might also help you see what type of damage you are dealing with.

2. Call Your Insurance Company

Calling your insurance company right away after a flood is a wise idea because it can help you file the same day, which may result in a quicker payout for kitchen repair. Go over the details of the flooding with your agent, and let him or her know whether you need to take pictures or if the company plans to send a claims adjuster. Reaching out to your agent quickly may also prevent delays later, when the claim is reviewed.

3. Call for Flood Cleanup

Flood cleanup and restoration services can offer you helpful assistance after a kitchen flood. Not only can flood techs remove the water and prevent it from spreading to other rooms, they can advise you about what types of repairs you might need afterward. They can also assist with mold prevention and the removal of damaged cabinetry.

When a leak under the sink happens in your Billings, MT home, it can be a stressful experience. Knowing which immediate steps to take can help you minimize flooding and put you on the path to assessing and repairing the damage. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on water damage. 

6 Steps in the Mold Remediation Process

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Are you nervous about an upcoming mold remediation in Billings, MT? Whether you have black mold or a lesser known variation, fungus growth can cause a lot of stress for business owners. You can review these six common steps to make yourself feel better about your upcoming mold cleanup.

1. Call in Professionals. When you call in a commercial remediation team, they will be able to inspect and assess your building. This will allow them to come up with a unique plan that best suits your mold problem.

2. Start Mold Containment. Setting up barriers and HEPA filters can help keep the mold in an isolated area. Your remediation team may even install a negative air chamber to help with the containment of the black mold.

3. Wear Personal Protective Equipment. While you should try not to spend much time in the affected area, whenever you do go in the mold zone you should be wearing personal protective equipment. The professionals often wear masks, gloves and disposable suits to limit the contact with spores.

4. Remove Porous Materials. Drywall, flooring and other porous materials may have to be ripped out of your building to ensure the mold is completely removed. Even some furnishings may have to be thrown out.

5. Clean Other Items. Items that do not get waterlogged easily can be cleaned and disinfected rather than thrown away. You may have to clean some items on your own, but typically the cleaning and disinfecting will be a major part of the remediation process.

6. Make Repairs. After the mold has been removed, the team may make repairs to drywall and flooring to finish off the cleanup process. Repairs can also include the drying out of wet materials to ensure mold does not come back.

The mold remediation process does not always follow these exact steps. Professionals in Billings, MT, may have to expand their mold cleanup strategy when dealing with certain types of fungus, such as black mold.

For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com.

High School Flood Damage

2/13/2018 (Permalink)

St. Francis School is flooded by main water line break.

Saving a Wood Floor in Billings, MT

The school leadership was very worried about the wood floors in the gymnasium; they are brand new and could cost a lot of money to replace. Our crew worked tirelessly to have the floors extracted of water. We then strategically set up air movers and dehumidifiers to promote a quick evaporation of any bound water trapped in the wood. Although it’s still early in the drying process, we are hopeful that the floor will be saved and usable once again. We will continue to monitor the progress of the flooring through the week.If you would like to see the news story you can follow this link.http://www.kulr8.com/story/37477592/cleanup-underway-after-flood-at-st-francis-school

How a Bad Water Heater Threatens Your Home

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Tucked away in a closet or perhaps living out in the garage, the water heater is one appliance many take for granted. That first cold shower after a failure is often what reminds people what a luxury hot running water truly is, but discomfort during bathing is just a minor risk. It’s important to notice any evidence of a leaking water heater, as this can quickly become a broken water heater, a problem capable of causing major damage to your home.

Warning Signs To Watch For

There are numerous red flags that may arise to warn you about a leaking water heater, both inside the home and near the unit itself. These include but are not necessarily limited to:

• Banging or rattling noises when running hot water caused by sediment deposits in the tank
• Rusted or corroded connections extending from the heater
• Clouded or bad-smelling heated water
• Visible signs of water near the tank

Often, homes in Billings, MT continue to rely on heaters that are over 10 years old. This is the approximate time frame wherein these appliances frequently begin to fail, so pay extra attention if your home is running an older unit.

What To Do When Problems Occur

The first step is to confirm that a leaking water heater is actually the root of your trouble. Ensure that pipe problems aren’t the origin, and rule out any other possibilities before proceeding. If the heater’s the culprit, terminate its power source (electric or gas) if you can do so safely. The water supply should come next, at which time you can begin necessary repairs or replacement. If a failed water heater has already created any type of flooding, make sure to counteract the effects as soon as possible. Restoration professionals can help remove floodwater and advise you on how to prevent any further damage that may result from excess moisture or humidity in the home. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on water damage.

Floor to Ceiling Water Mitigation

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Business owners or site managers in Billings, MT who are unfortunate enough to experience a water damage event usually want to get the problem dealt with as quickly and quietly as possible. However, it makes much more sense to do a thorough and methodical cleanup and restore the affected elements of your building. Secondary issues, such as black mold and pest problems, might arise from even clean water sources. Pipe burst cleanup is important, so check your building from top to bottom, especially if you have:

• Water pipes
• Damaged water supply lines
• Unexplained clean water flooding

Floor Concerns

When a supply line or pipe breaks, it's important to start thinking from the ground up. The first task after stopping the water source is, of course, to remove any standing water. After that, proper removal, cleanup and drying procedures can start.

In the Walls

One of the reasons you should take special care with burst pipes is their location. Many pipes are near to or embedded in walls. It's important to go through a rigorous damage mitigation procedure if one of these breaks, especially if it's in an awkward position. Walls might need to be removed, or sections might need to be replaced. If pipe burst cleanup is done correctly, you might feel like your whole building is being ripped apart. However, you should be able to enjoy normal operations again as soon as everything is dried and refurbished.

Up in the Air

A supply line leaking might cause problems in multi-floor buildings that appear to be coming from the next floor up. In fact, the issue might be between the floors. Water cleanup procedures are relatively similar in these cases, but they take place on the ceiling.

Nobody in Billings, MT wants to see their building ripped up, but these pipe burst cleanup steps are often necessary to save you and your stakeholders from further complications down the road. Even if it seems hectic right after the flood event, everything should be back to new relatively quickly with the right cleanup crew.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on commercial water damage.

Winter weather issues

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage from winter weather.

Winter can bring many surprises and issues for your home and/or business. SERVPRO of Billings wants to make sure you are prepared for anything that can happen. 

One of the biggest issue in the winter is pipes freezing and breaking. This sometimes can be out of control due to the fact that it can get so cold so fast. If it happens to you, make sure that you turn off all of the water going into your home and/or business. Once the water is shut off, the remediation process can begin. SERVPRO of Billings has a full team in place to make sure everything gets done quickly. 

Other issues can range from ice damming to snow causing damage to your roof or structure of your facility. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at anytime by calling, (406) 252-0859.

What to Do After a Kitchen Fire

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

What to Do After a Kitchen Fire

If you are the victim of a kitchen fire and want to find a solution, you are likely wondering where you should turn for answers. No matter how many steps you take to safeguard your home from the threat, you can never eliminate the risk of a kitchen fire, and these fires can spread before you know it, causing fire damage to your entire home.

Even when you put the fire out right away, it will still leave a lingering smoke odor on your walls and floors. Firefighters will take many steps to put the fire out before anyone gets hurt, such as breaking windows and spraying water into your home. The effort of the rescue squad can prevent you and your family from getting injured, but it will also cause additional problems for your smoke damaged home.

When you want to repair your smoke damaged home so that you can live in it safely, a fire restoration team will give you a hand. They will begin by cleaning soot from walls and addressing the lingering smoke odor. With their education and training, they will get the fire damage under control and provide you with peace of mind.

If the fire has damaged your personal belongings, the team will repair them at another location and provide you with outstanding results. When they have finished cleaning soot from walls and taking care of the other fire restoration tasks, you will know that you have made the right call. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on fire damage.

Common Causes of Residential Fires

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Common Causes of Residential Fires

If you would like to keep yourself and your family out of harm's way, learn about the most common causes of house fires. Cooking mistakes are the No. 1 reason that people face residential fires, so set timers, install smoke detectors and always monitor your stove while you are using it.

If a space heater causes your house to catch on fire, you could have a smoke damaged home before you know it. Wires that are not insulated properly can also cause you to face fire damage when you least expect to encounter the threat, and you will be cleaning soot from walls before you know it.

Fixing a Smoke Damaged Home

If a fire has inflicted fire damage to your home and you want to minimize the impact, turning to a fire restoration team is the best choice. Not only will they begin by cleaning soot from walls, but they will also use air filters to remove the lingering smoke odor.

A professional fire restoration team knows how hard it can be to face this problem and will do what it takes to put your worries to rest. When they complete the task and you notice that the lingering smoke odor is gone, you will be pleased with your decision. Our team will impress you with their ability to reverse fire damage, and we are confident that you will be happy when you see what we can do. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on fire damage.

HVAC: Is Your Fire Restoration Plan Overlooking a Crucial Trouble Spot?

11/20/2017 (Permalink)


HVAC: Is Your Fire Restoration Plan Overlooking a Crucial Trouble Spot?

After your fire, you got to work as quickly as possible. You spent hours cleaning soot from walls, venting out your smoke damaged home and using an ozone machine to filter your air supply. So why are you still dealing with lingering smoke odors? The answer may lie in your HVAC system.

HVAC Systems and Household Fire Damage

HVAC systems work to circulate temperate air through your home under normal conditions. During fires, however, the vents they use to do their job act as perfect conduits for smoke. Soot particles that travel through these channels can get embedded in filter materials, collect on the insides of ductwork and stick to other inaccessible surfaces.

What happens when you turn your heating or air conditioning back on? Contaminated climate appliances produce lingering smoke odors. If you're not careful, the dirty air coming out of your HVAC devices might also ruin your clothes, carpets and other porous materials. It can also create layers of dirt that will have you cleaning soot from walls all over again.

Dealing With HVAC Fire Damage

How can you ensure that your HVAC system doesn't make your smoke damaged home a living nightmare? The secret lies in contracting with restoration services that can perform thorough internal cleanings. Since fires produce extremely hot gasses, it may be a good idea to work with someone who can also inspect your hardware for unseen problems.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on fire damage.

How to Safely Use a Space Heater

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

How to Safely Use a Space Heater

During the cold months of winter, people from around the world turn up their thermostats or plug in their space heaters, but you need to keep a few safety tips in mind as you move forward. If you don't use them the right way, space heaters can cause fire damage and create a lingering smoke odor.

You can keep your space heater 3 feet away from furniture and anything else that can burn when you don't want your property to become a smoke damaged home. Unless you want to start cleaning soot from walls, never use your space heater when you are not home or when you go to sleep.

Fixing Fire Damage

If you have experienced a fire in spite of your effort to avoid one, you can take several steps to repair your smoke damaged home. A fire restoration crew will address the issue by placing filters throughout your home to combat the lingering smoke odor, but they will also get to work cleaning soot from walls.

If the fire has damaged your personal belongings and you want to preserve them, your team will ship your items to an off-site location for repair. Although they might not be able to save everything that you own, they can give you the best possible chance of reversing the damage. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on fire damage.

Smoke: Often the Worst Part of a House Fire

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke: Often the Worst Part of a House Fire

If you have ever sat around a campfire, you know how obnoxious smoke can be. Not only can it cause your eyes and lungs to burn, but lingering smoke odor can be impossible to eliminate. While nobody wants to go through a house fire in Billings, everyone should be prepared for what is often the worst
part of a residential house fire: having a smoke-damaged home. Whether your home is damaged from a candle, space heater, or cooking or electrical fire, fire restoration service professionals have the expertise to combat smoke using the following four steps.

1. Taking Note of Damage

The minutes, hours, and days following a home fire are usually stressful. First, firefighters must ensure that no one remains inside the house. Then, they often must use extraordinary measures to extinguish
blazes. When restorers arrive to survey fire damage, they often must board up windows and seal doors to prevent looting, vandalism, and other criminal acts.

2. Fixing the Structure

Before restorers can focus on cleaning soot from walls, they usually must fix the structure. Since fire- related water damage can cause floors to buckle and walls to sag, initial repairs are often costly and
time consuming. When the structure is safe to enter, the fire restoration service can focus on removing smoke odors from your smoke-damaged home.

3. Cleaning Personal Belongings

Your home is more than just a roof and walls. Rather, it is important to you because of the things inside it. Since fire restorers take salvageable personal belongings off-site to clean, they often can work on restoring your keepsakes while your house is being repaired.

4. Removing Remaining Smoke

Smoke odors can linger forever if restorers aren’t careful to completely remove them. Using deep- cleaning methods, the restoration service clears soot from HVAC systems. Then, they use special filters
to remove smoke and soot particles from the air. Smoke is often the worst part of a residential house fire. Generally, though, by working with a fire
restoration service in City, State, you can restore your smoke-damaged home to normal. Visit http://www.SERVPRObillings.com for more information on fire damage.

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