Spring Floods are coming: 4 ways they can get you
Spring flooding is beginning to happen in Helena, Mt in March 2014. Rivers are becoming extremely high and runoff is dangerous.
Spring is nearing in Montana, although we’ll probably get a bunch more snow before summer rolls around (don’t worry, we’re used to it…), that’s not about to put a damper on the wonderful weather we’ve been having. What might put a damper on it, however, are the spring floods that can be prevalent this time of the year.
According to FEMA, there are four main causes for spring flooding. While some of these causes may be more relevant to you in your area than others, you should still be aware of them all, because spring flooding can affect everyone.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, this is a big one to look out for. When the weather warms up, snow can melt quickly, resulting in a river of runoff. According to FEMA, just one foot of compacted snow contains a gallon of water. Having all that snow melt quickly could quite literally open the floodgates and wash your home – inside and out. But it’s not just the melting snow that can get to you. Runoff joins up with rivers and streams quickly, which can then force them over their banks, causing excessive flooding.
Over-saturated ground won't absorb any more water.
Downpours that last just a few hours or prolonged precipitation that can last for days are ingredients to the recipe for floods. Spring is known for its showers and wet weather, which brings renewal to the earth. While that’s just swell, it’s also a recipe for flooding. Once the ground receives too much rain, it becomes saturated and won’t take in any more. So what happens to the water it won’t let it? It will start piling up on top, spilling down hills and into anything that stands in its way.
Heavy rain is also dangerous in areas that were recently affected by fires. Forest fires burn the ground, making it more than difficult for water to seep in. Instead of going into the earth, it runs down those parched hills, flooding anything in its path.
Heavy rain form multiple storms or one massive thunderstorm can be too much for the ground to absorb fast enough. When this happens, you’ve got a flash flood. FEMA describes this as “rapid flooding of low-lying areas in less than six hours.” Drought-stricken areas can be a major contributor to flash floods as well, since the dry ground won’t absorb the rain. Flash floods are especially frightening due to the speed in which the waters rise. When a flash flood comes, your time for preparing are past.
Levees and Dams
The United States has thousands of miles of levees and dams, all of which are there to help protect us from flooding. However, these can weaken and erode – or even flood over and fail – during times of intense rain. One example of severe flooding from a dam is the Teton Dam Flood, in Idaho in 1976. This flood was catastrophic and caused massive amounts of damage to the communities it rushed through.
These are some of the main causes of flooding, but don’t be surprised if the waters rise in some other way. For even more ways you could be affected by floods, visit floodsmart.gov. They have a long list of flood causes, although many of them are very area specific.
So, now that you know some major flood threats, how will you prepare for them? Research the various flood threats within your area and prepare accordingly. For starters, we recommend investing in an emergency kit that’s easy to grab and take with you should you need to evacuate. After all, if the flooding gets bad enough, you could be without a home for quite some time. You’ll be grateful you have those resources to fall back on.
If you do end up affected by spring flooding call SERVPRO at 406-952-1001 for the Great Falls, Mt area and 406-458-6008 for the Helena, Mt area.
Preparing to stay safe and healthy this winter
First sign of winter showing up.
Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.
Take These Steps for Your Home
Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.
Winterize your home.
Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
Check your heating systems.
Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly, and ventilated to the outside.
Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly.
Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries when you change your clocks in the fall and spring.
Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
Hire Professionals For Sewage and Water Damage Restoration
Picture from a water job that sat for 3 months. The home was covered in mold.
When water damage resulting from sewage issues or some other problem affects your property, you need to take effective action immediately. Although the water issue may seem minor, it can cause substantive damage to your house if it is not eliminated quickly and correctly. And while you may be inclined to start the water removal process on your own, it is important always to have this work completed by a team of professionals from SERVPRO Here are several reasons why:
Water Damage Is Progressive
Water damage can worsen with each passing moment. The longer you postpone calling water damage restoration experts to fix the problems, the greater the damages will be. Apart from obvious damage to contents and building materials, you may also be victimized by a mold infestation if the water is not removed promptly. Exposure to fungi may cause health effects as well as increase restoration costs.
Sewage Water is Dangerous
If the excessive water on your property contains sewage, it is very dangerous. In fact, sewage water contains pathogens, pesticides, and waste matter. Black water causes health implications if you come in contact with this type of water. Contact professionals who can remove the sewage water quickly and safely. Don't attempt to do it yourself. Training, specialized equipment, and hazmat clothing are required for a return of safety to your property.
Water, being a conductor of electricity, can send shocks powerful enough to cause electrocution under some circumstances. Whether you're dealing with black, gray or clean water, the extraction process brings with it electrical hazards. Don't subject yourself to the risk of electrocution. Instead, allow the experienced professionals from SERVPRO to complete the process for you. These individuals possess the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to complete the process in a safe manner that precludes you and them from experiencing illness or injury.
Call SERVPRO Now
Although water damage in Longmont can disrupt your well-being and cause inconveniences within your daily life, it doesn't have to drain all your energy and assets. To restore your property and resume your way of life, contact the water damage restoration experts of SERVPRO. Our IICRC-certified technicians will clean and dry your property with remarkable speed, and we'll also provide you with complete customer service that keeps you calm throughout the remediation process. We will document, invite you for a final walk-through, and guarantee that your home is dry and safe. "Like it never even happened."
Highly-Trained Water Restoration Specialists
As water damage specialists, SERVPRO of Helena & Great falls has the experience, expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property dried quickly and thoroughly. We use scientific drying principles and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete. Learn about our water damage training and certificates. Call us 24/7 for help. (406) 431-8083.
Blood Borne Pathogens Cleanup
The decontamination of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional. Specialized training and experience is key when choosing a cleanup company to resolve these circumstances. We provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations. These include the following:
- Sewage backups
- Crime scene residues
- Suicide/death accidents
- Homicide cleanups
- Blood cleanup
- Accident cleanup
- Hoarding scenes
- Animal waste/remains
We remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accidents, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.
We are Biohazard Cleanup Specialists:
- Immediate response, 24 hours/7 days per week
- Family owned and operated franchise
- We Bill the Insurance Directly - One Less Thing for You to Worry About
- We have trained professionals who are ready to respond to these incidents. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances
- We have advanced inspection and extraction equipment
Have Questions? Call Us Today - We're Here To Help
Teaching children what to do in a fire.
Planned evacuation for a house fire.
In 2014, there were an estimated 367,500 reported home structure fires and 2,745 associated civilian deaths. In the United States Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes. Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm. Make sure to have a meeting location outside the home.
Quick and Useful House Cleaning Tips
The husband and wife that cleans together stays together.
Clean a Mirror
You don’t have to buy glass cleaners and paper towels to clean your mirrors. Just some vinegar and an old newspaper is all you need to keep your mirrors shining as new. Your house will look cleaner if the mirrors are clean.
Rinse Your Plate
Cleaning plates is a tuff thing if its kept for some time un cleaned. I rinse my plate after dinner and have all my family members do the same and it makes washing plates so easy. It is a small and simple habit but makes a lot of trouble easier. I don’t like trying to wash dried food off of dishes, do you?
Cleaning the Oven
Does your oven get used every day? Someday if you’re not using your oven, give it a quick spray of oven cleaner and keep it like that till the next day. Before you turn on your oven the next day, give it a quick wipe down. The baked on stuff comes off much easier than ever.
Cleaning the Microwave
Cleaning a microwave is easy. Fill up a cup of water and put it in there on high for a few minutes. The steam from the cup will loosen any stuck-on food, and then you can just wipe it away. It’s that simple.
Cleaning the Fridge
A fridge looks big and cleaning it looks even bigger. Follow my steps and the work will be a bit easier. First toss out any bad food. Then start with wiping down the top shelves and work down. Baking soda and water make a great cleaner and won’t leave your fridge smelling like
harsh cleanser. After you wipe out the crispers, line them with paper towels for easier cleaning next time. Cleaning the fridge was never this easy.
Cleaning your Bathroom
You can use lemon oil to shine the tiles of your bathroom. Lemon oil will also prevent mold and mildew. Use a false teeth bubbling tablet to avoid rings. Sometimes the problem with shower is that hard water gets build up there. Fill a plastic bag with vinegar and place it over shower head to remove hard water buildup. You can use alcohol to shine bathroom faucets.
One of the most hated things to do but fortuitously, it can be done very fast if you follow the way I do, few steps to follow to get it done quickly. First pour some cleaner in the bowl to soak. Then wipe down the seat and outside of the bowl with an antibacterial wipe or spray cleaner. After that scrub the bowl with a toilet brush and finally wipe down everything again with a dry cloth to make it shine.
Bathtubs can be cleaned too EASILY
To clean bathtubs here are a few things that may help:
Use a cleanser that will foam or bubble. This allows you to “soak” your tub or shower, even if it’s a vertical wall. Get a scrubber that fits your needs, a long-handled one or an extra firm one, pick a scrubber that will be easiest for you to use. Moreover, spraying the tub or shower down after each use can make deep cleaning easier.
How to help prevent flooding to your home in Helena or Great Falls due to a storm.
Flooding in Helena, Mt.
According to the National Flood Insurance program flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Flooding is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.
Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:
1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
3. Clear gutters and drains
If water ever floods your home, getting someone on site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. SERVPRO of Birmingham is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment and estimate.
Fire Damage: How do we do it?
Fire with a lot of belongings. Most of the contents were restored.
Do you ever wonder how SERVPRO keeps up with every customer’s job progress? SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls has a pretty tried and true method to keep everyone up to date on the progress of every job. When a customer first calls in a loss, we at SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls enter all of the pertinent information into a form called the FNOL or “First Notice of Loss.” This form is sent to everyone involved including our First Responders, Office staff so they can communicate with your insurance company, managers and ownership so they know the status of every job in progress. Every note, assessment, detail associated with that job from that point forward is attached to that initial FNOL so that it is at our fingertips if you ever have any questions or concerns.
Why choose Professional Damage Restoration?
SERVPRO equipment doing its work.
According to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) there are a couple of reasons to choose a professional over doing it your self. Below are a few reasons:
The process of fire and water restoration is very involved when it is performed properly.
With quick reaction time and the appropriate skill set, a technician can help to prevent further damage and repair that which has already been done
The process and equipment used during fire and water restoration will vary from case to case, since different materials require their own unique care.
For fire damage, general cleaning is done to remove ash and soot from ceiling to floor.
The quick remediation of the problem is important for more than repairs, it is also a health consideration
Choose a company for fire and water restoration with the appropriate licenses and proof that they have the proper insurance.
Whether the work to be done is in a commercial or residential location, technicians with experience and certification should perform the damage recovery.
Call us at SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls so we can help you with your water, fire or mold damage.
Does Your Helena or Great Falls area home Have A Mold Problem?
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – SERVPRO of Helena & Gret Falls-406-458-6008