Recent Storm Damage Posts

4 Steps to take while the SERVPRO of Billings team is on the way

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

tree fallen through roof of home due to wind storm SERVPRO of Billings is committed to being on-site right away if you have experienced a disaster of any kind.

SERVPRO of Billings is committed to being on-site right away if you have experienced a disaster of any kind. Our motto is that we are “Faster to any-sized disaster!” We’re committed to ensuring that you and those you work with and care about are safe, as well as that you experience the least amount of loss possible to your premises, buildings, and belongings. 

While you are waiting for us to arrive on the scene, there are some things you will probably want to do. 

  • You will, of course, have already made sure everyone is safe. If you have had to call an ambulance for an injury, keep the person warm and dry to guard against shock, and provide any first aid, you feel comfortable giving. 
  • Contacting your insurance provider is an excellent next step. Take photos and videos of damage so that you have a record of what has occurred only if you can do this safely. If your insurance policy is accessible and you have time, go over it to understand what your coverage is and what requirements you may need to fulfill. 
  • If any of the utilities in your home or business have been affected, contact the appropriate utility company so that they can come out and do whatever needs to be done to get your services back online. They will also know what to look for as far as safety issues and equipment failure. 
  • If your business has been affected, you’ll want to take steps to alert your clientele and business partners of what has occurred. If you cannot use your social media to make a statement, you can make some phone calls to the businesses you interact with to stop deliveries, for example. 

SERVPRO Is On The Way

SERVPRO of Billings is a team of professionals that maintain all the up-to-date training and equipment needed to get you back to normal as soon as possible. We manage fire damage, water damage, mold prevention and remediation, damage from vandalism, biohazards, and more. Ask us how we can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Make Your Storm Safety Plan Today

5/5/2022 (Permalink)

A dark stormy sky with lighting strikes in the background. SERVPRO of Billings is your 24/7 storm damage expert. Call us right away if you need immediate service.

Every year, there are close to 100,000 thunderstorms across the United States. These frequent weather events can quickly become frightening, bringing strong winds, lightning, hail and intense rain, all of which can cause personal danger and physical damages.

Our cold temperatures may mean we see more snow than any other weather event, but it does not exempt us from the threat of storms. In the month of May, we see our greatest amounts of rainfall, and throughout the rest of the year, we experience dry thunderstorms that can include an extreme amount of lightning.

These events can lead to flooding and other dangers in our area, a strong reminder that we should always be prepared. Creating an emergency weather plan to include communication strategies, emergency kits and preparations for afterwards can be lifesaving, as well as minimize the potential of damage.

Your Severe Weather Communication Strategy

In the event of severe weather, communication is one of the most important pieces of your emergency plans. The first step in establishing that plan is understanding the differences between a watch and a warning so that your entire household knows when to take shelter.

You should have multiple ways to receive alerts from weather outlets. Two devices are recommended, including your cell phone and a weather radio with different power sources.

A communication process for the entire family is important so that everyone in the household knows what to do and how to check in. Everyone should know where the designated safe space is in your home, generally a bathroom or a basement. Be sure to have a plan for those family members that may not be home during the storm so that everyone can be accounted for.

Your Severe Weather Emergency Kit

Creating a kit with emergency supplies is an important part of your weather plan that you can create now and update throughout the year. This should include food and water for each member of your family that can last up to 72 hours.

Flashlights, batteries and first-aid supplies should also be included in this kit, as well as some calming items to make the weather experience more comfortable.

Your Severe Weather Aftermath Checklist

Once the storm is over, you will need to have a clear plan about what to do next. As soon as it is safe to do so, you should walk your property to assess any damage that may have occurred.

You will want to pay close attention to windows, doors and your roof. These areas have the highest rate of water intrusion, and you will want to watch for any incoming moisture.

If your home is damaged, call us at SERVPRO of Billings right away. We are available 247 and can offer you calm after the storm as we tackle your restoration and get you back in your home faster.

Once the storm is gone and restoration and cleanup have begun, communicate with your family about how your emergency plan worked. Did they all understand where to go and when? Did your emergency kit have enough for each person? How can you change your plan together in order to make sure everyone stays safe and comfortable?

Your emergency plan should be something you revisit and practice continuously so that you are all ready for the next storm.

If you discover storm damage to your home or business, you can count on SERVPRO to handle the restoration. We’re here 247 to spring into action—get in touch with us today.

How Hail Can compromise Your Roof

3/28/2022 (Permalink)

Circles on a roof with chalk, hail damage on a roof Following a hail storm, it is necessary to conduct a roof inspection and look for more subtle damage signs.

A healthy roof can protect your commercial property from storm damage in Billings, MT. Roof damage from a severe storm requires you to act quickly to avoid costly consequences.

How Can Hail Affect Your Roof?

Hail storms are typically not long-lasting, but they can severely compromise your roof depending upon various factors, including:

  • Stone size
  • Stone weight
  • Stone shape
  • Speed at Impact
  • Roof material

Hailstones can have diameters up to three inches and weigh as much as a pound. They can form with jagged edges and travel over 100 miles per hour from thousands of feet above the ground. Damage occurs if these large stones land on your roof and puncture a hole through it.

How Can You Identify Hail Damage?

Roof damage following a hail storm is not always easy to recognize if it doesn't leave a gaping hole. Following a hail storm, it is necessary to conduct a roof inspection and look for more subtle damage signs. Your roof may have damage if your gutters are out of place or dented or if they are not draining properly due to clogging from trapped hail particles. Dents in your building's siding following a hail storm are another good indication that your roof also has damage.

What Are the Consequences of Ignoring Roof Repairs?

Delaying roof inspections or hail damage repairs can lead to other issues affecting your building's interior. For example, a small hole in your roof can grow bigger if it remains unrepaired. As a result, water from the next rain or snowstorm could make its way inside. The result could be an obvious flood, water-soaked insulation or an accumulation of water within your building's interior walls. These scenarios can lead to secondary mold damage that would require immediate attention from a mold remediation service to decontaminate your premises.

If roof damage causes flooding at your building in Billings, MT, a disaster recovery service can undertake proper cleanup and sanitization.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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.

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 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/.

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/.

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.