SPRING FLOODING: ARE YOU READY?
Rossiter Elementary School floods in May of 2018.
As Montana's record breaking winter comes to an end, many communities will face the risk of spring flooding. Between a heavy snow pack, rapid snow melt and spring rain, these conditions will only increase the threat of your building being damaged by flood waters. By becoming educated and taking steps to protect your home or business, you can be more prepared for flooding.
- Create and practice a flood evacuation plan
- Build an emergency kit
- Move important papers and valuables to a safe, dry location
-Strengthen and secure your building-Sand bags work well
- review your insurance coverage
In the unfortunate event your home or business does suffer from a flood call SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls to check for damage, remove any wet contents to prevent molding, and begin planning for repairs.
Warmer weather is approaching quickly. Now is the time to begin preparing for spring floods.
Busted pipes can cause considerable damage to your Helena or Great Falls property.
The temperatures here in Montana have been dropping and the winter weather is here. When the temperatures go below freezing level, your property is at risk for frozen pipes, which can create a major disaster in your home or business.
- Know where your water shut off is located, in case of a frozen water pipe burst.
- Insulate exposed pipes in your home or business, especially if they are in unheated rooms.
- Open bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors during cold spells to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- During extremely cold weather, keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets. Running water is less likely to freeze.
- Consider shutting off outdoor faucets and open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it completely drains and the inner valve is shut off.
- Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.
- If you plan on being away from your property for an extended period of time, leave the heat on and set the thermostat to at least 55°F.
Discovered Frozen Pipe
- First sign of freezing is reduced water flow from a faucet.
- Keep the faucet open when treating frozen pipes.
- Apply heat to the frozen sections using a heating pad, hair drier, or another safe heat source. Do not use an open flame device.
- Check additional pipes and faucets for freezing.
When a Pipe Bursts
- Shut off the water at the main valve.
- Call your local restoration professionals, SERVPRO® of Helena & Great Falls.
A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. If winter weather causes water damage to your home or business, call SERVPRO® of Helena & Great Falls. We are available 24/7 in Cascade county, Lewis & Clark county and surrounding areas.
Vacation Water Damage Preparedness
Call us at SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls if you ever come home to damage in your house. 406-458-6008
If you ever come home from vacation to find your home flooded, call us immediately. (406) 458-6008.
With the holiday season upon us, many folks are making travel plans and preparing to visit friends and family around the country.
While you are away on vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is water damage to your home. Unfortunately, a water loss can strike at any time, whether or not you are present for it. Here are a few tips you can use to minimize the potential of water damage to your home whilst away.
Quick pre-departure home inspection
After you have bought your plane tickets and packed your luggage, make sure to do a quick inspection around your home for potential problematic areas. Have a look at the pipes under your sinks, look for any issues with your water heater or furnace, inspect the supply lines that connect your major appliances and check the gutters and roof for any leaks, blockages or abnormalities.
This quick step can greatly reduce the potential for damage while you are away and give you peace of mind in the process.
Turn off the water main
An easy way to insure that you have no water related issues while you are away is to simply turn the water main off. It may be days before someone discovers standing water in their home, and turning off the water main on the way out the door will eliminate the potential to find unwanted surprises when they return.
Hire a house sitter
It’s always a good idea to have a trusted friend, family member or neighbor keep an eye on your home while you are away. Even better if they can stop in once or twice a day to make sure everything is in order. Make sure that whoever you choose receives adequate instructions and emergency contact information.
Nobody wants to return to their home after a fun vacation to find water damage, but sometimes, despite best efforts, they can still happen.
If you do return from your vacation to find water damage in your home, stay calm and contact a reputable water restoration company such as SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls immediately. The longer you wait, the more there is a chance for secondary damage.
Clogged Dryer Vents a Possible cause of Fire Damage in Helena & Great Falls Apartments
Always keep dryer vents clean.
SERVPRO Technicians Remediate Damage After Fires as Well as Offer Preventative Tips
Dryers come equipped with a lint trap to catch and collect the lint and tiny threads that come off of clothing when residents in Helena or Great Falls do their laundry. Over time, larger items, such as broken zippers, can wear tiny holes into the trap. These holes can permit lint to pass through the trap and into the duct. When clogs develop in the interior of the duct, heat can build up and result in a fire.
When a home or Apartment suffers fire damage because of a clogged duct or exterior vent, fire damage can occur. This is not the only way that a fire can occur, though, and clothing that ignites while in the dryer causes almost as many fires. SERVPRO technicians can help you undo the damage and restore your home.
Just like we remove charred materials like burnt drywall sections, wooden trim, and destroyed personal belongings, we also remove and replace ducts and vents. SERVPRO helps homeowners prevent such fires by cleaning out ductwork and all related vents. A fire can start in other ducts, unrelated to the dryer, and we can reduce the risk in these areas, also.
Cleaning up and removing any destroyed materials makes it much easier for repair work to happen. Doing so also removes any dangers present that could harm you or your children. Pets can also end up injured when they wander into areas that contain fire damage. A fire, no matter how small, causes a family to experience enough stress without the added crisis of an injury.
Sorting through the laundry, both unwashed and already laundered, reveals which items suffer from fire-related defects. We can often remove smoke damage on unique or one-of-a-kind clothing items. The fire's heat can also cause other problems to items in the immediate area. Drying racks and shelves can become unsightly messes, but the small endeavor of installing new ones can help make everything "Like it never even happened."
Call SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls if you need our assistance with fire cleanup in the Helena & Great Falls areas. 406-458-6008
SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program
Call SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls today so we can provide your business with an Emergency Ready Profile.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile(ERP) will help ensure you and your businesses are “Ready for whatever happens.”
In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including: Emergency Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smart phone or tablet.
You can establish SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years experience and a System of more than 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.
Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.
The ERP is a no cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call us, SERVPRO® of Helena & Great Falls, to establish your Emergency READY Profile.
Is Your Business Prepared?
Only 25% of businesses that close due to a major disaster ever reopen.
How quickly your company can get back to business after a storm, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.
The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.
Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you
will do in an emergency situation?
Develop a Business Continuity Plan
Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have
backup plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your
suppliers are impacted by a disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?
Prepare Your Emergency Plan
Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during, and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?
Practice the Emergency Plan
Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?
Review Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?
Secure Your Facility and Equipment
Have you secured all the ways people, products, and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to
determine what can be strapped down?
Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software?
Promote Family and Individual Preparedness
Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?
If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business.
What you need to know about Mold Spores.
Mold that was behind a wall.
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 indoor on your son's 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.
Call SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls if you need a mold inspection. 406-458-6008
Restoring Commercial Property Following a Water Damage
SERVPRO is here to help.
Flooding and water damage events in Cascade or Lewis & Clark County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we're dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Present Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we'll be there fast with the help you need. 406-458-6008
About SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls
SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility to regular IICRC-Industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Fire Season Safety Tips
Always be prepared around fire.
Fire season is here in the Northwest. Preventing a fire accident is far easier than investing in fire and water restoration in the aftermath of such an accident. We've put together a few tips to make your summer activities not only fun and memorable, but also safe.
1. Always have water or a fire extinguisher on hand. When you are having a campfire, or backyard fire pit, it’s always a good idea to keep a bucket of water or hose nearby. Sometimes sparks and flammable materials can fly out of the fire. Having water nearby means you will be able to respond quickly to keep the fire under control.
2. Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision. Everyone loves sparklers and pinweels, but the reality is, they can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Keep a close eye on children when fireworks are involved. It only takes a split second for a fun fourth of July to turn into a life altering disaster. Additionally, never try to relight faulty fireworks or sparklers. All fireworks and sparklers should be disposed of in a bucket of water.
3. Maintain your gas or charcoal grill. Over time, grease and other flammable materials can build up on your grill. To help prevent a possible grease fire, always maintain your grills and keep them clean.
4. Survey your surroundings prior to lighting a fire or grill. Make sure there is nothing flammable directly adjacent to the fire. This includes deck railings, branches, dry grass or wood. You should also NEVER start a grill indoors or directly under your home’s eaves or soffits. Additionally, when starting a camp fire, take care to clear the area around where you will be starting the fire and make certain there are no dry materials that could catch fire from a nearby spark. Check your local municipalities to ensure that a campfire ban in not in effect in your area.
5. Always completely extinguish a fire or grill. When you are finished with your fire or using your grill, always make certain that it is completely out. Grills and fires can quickly become a serious disaster when left unsupervised.
Fires, grilling and fireworks are all a part a fun summertime experience, but remember to be smart and safe so that everyone can have an enjoyable experience. SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls wishes everyone a safe and happy summer having fun and making memories. If you follow these tips, you may never need to call us for fire restoration, but do remember, we are always here when you need us. 406-458-6008
Water Damage & Homeowners Insurance
Are you covered in your insurance policy.
A water loss is a very common calamity and a fact of life for many homeowners. Insurance policies can give you peace of mind, but many times, homeowners may not be aware of what is and what is NOT covered in their policy until it’s too late. We review seven common potential water related disaster scenarios below. You may want to update your policy accordingly after reviewing this article.
Broken pipe due to freezing
During the winter months, temperatures can reach extremes that can freeze the water in your pipes and cause them to burst. Most home owner’s policies cover this type of damage unless it was caused by negligence. An example of this would be if you left your home unoccupied and without heat.
Swimming pool leak that results in damage to your basement and lawn
Generally speaking, swimming pool leaks will not be covered in your homeowner’s policy unless the leak was the result of a falling tree. Damage to your basement and personal belongings is usually covered but damage to your lawn is generally not.
Water damage from a failing appliance, such as an overflowing washing machine or broken toilet is covered if the issue is accidental and not the result of negligence. If you have failed to maintain your appliances and supply hoses, and this results in damage, it will not be covered.
Sewage back up
Although sewage backups are not covered by most standard home owner policies, additional endorsements may be added to the policy for this purpose. If the sewage back up was caused at a city level, you should contact the appropriate authorities in your municipality to discuss your options.
Natural disasters and storms
Damage incurred from floods are not covered in standard homeowner insurance policies. This includes intruding water from overflowing rivers, lakes or seawater, in addition to storms. If you require protection from this type of damage, you will need to get it separately in addition to your standard policy. Check with you insurance agent to find out your options.
Water seepage from ground water beneath your basement
This type of damage is considered a maintenance issue and is not covered in standard homeowner’s insurance policies.
Leakage through roof during or after a rainstorm
If your roof has not been properly maintained, this type of damage will not be covered. However, damage to your belongings may be covered, depending on the type of insurance policy you have. It is always a good idea to perform preventative maintenance to your home, especially if you live in an area with high precipitation or snow such as Helena or Great Falls area in general.
A lot of homeowners are unsure how to handle mold growth in their home as it pertains to their insurance policy. It is good to educate yourself on this type of claim prior to it occurring.
If you experience a flood in your home or discover that you have a mold issue, call SERVPRO of Helena & Great Falls 406-458-6008 immediately to get the remediation process underway as soon as possible. We deal with insurance companies on a daily basis and can help you navigate your claim. We are always here to help.