Recent Water Damage Posts

Toilet Overflow, Oh No!

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

sewage backup in a toilet Overflowing toilet

5 Steps for Dealing With a Toilet Overflow

If a toilet floods your home in Big Sky, MT, you will likely be dealing with unsanitary water, which can’t just be sopped up with a towel. When dealing with sewer damage you will need to take certain precautions and enlist the help of certified sewage cleanup experts.

1. Protection

Safety first! Because water from a toilet is considered a Category 3 contaminant, it is important to protect your loved ones, including pets, by keeping them away from the contaminated area. You should not enter the area unless you are wearing appropriate protective gear, such as goggles, face masks, coveralls, and rubber boots.

2. Air Flow

Because fresh air can displace the microbes that are present in the affected area’s airspace, you should open a window, if possible, to help increase ventilation. Avoid using your HVAC system for increased ventilation, as this allows the harmful airborne microbes from the sewer damage to spread to other parts of your home.

3. Sewage Removal

Our experts will remove the sewer water from the affected area. All items that the water touched, such as rugs or linens, will be removed as well.

4. Drying

After the standing sewage water is removed, all affected surfaces must be dried. If the Category 3 water has seeped into the floors or walls, they will likely need to be removed and replaced with dry, undamaged materials.

5. Disinfection

The final step in mitigating your toilet overflow is to make sure everything is clean. Mitigation experts use special detergents and disinfectants to clean the remaining surfaces of the affected area, as well as any items that can be salvaged. No items should be returned to your home unless they have been properly cleaned.

Sewer damage requires immediate attention and professional remediation. It is imperative to start with the appropriate safety measures and promptly call certified mitigation experts. By following these simple steps, you can rest assured that your home will be restored safely and quickly after suffering water damage in Big Sky, MT.

3 FAQs About Homeowner’s Insurance and Water Damage

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Document of Homeowners Insurance Policy for background Homeowner's insurance does cover the damage from a flood caused by a burst pipe.

Here Are Some Of The Most Frequently Asked Questions And Their Answers

There has been a lot of water lately in Manhattan, MT. This has brought up a lot of questions about insurance. Most people want to know if their policy will cover a flood, burst pipe, or other issues. If it is not, they could be spending a lot of money to fix broken pipe fittings and other parts, clean up water, and replace their personal belongings.

1. Does Insurance Cover Burst Pipes?
Homeowner's insurance does cover the damage from a flood caused by a burst pipe. However, this is only true if the pipe burst suddenly due to unforeseen circumstances. For instance, if an appliance breaks and water comes gushing into your kitchen, this will be covered. The insurance will pay for you to hire water remediation professionals and replace your damaged items in situations like this. However, if the pipe bursts due to poor maintenance, you will probably not receive any funds.

2. Are Frozen Pipes Covered?
Your insurance will only cover frozen pipes if you have taken reasonable steps to prevent freezing. This is because each situation is unique. Plus, there is room for interpretation in this statement. Your insurance company will send out an adjuster to determine if you are eligible. They will look at the source and determine if the damage could have been prevented. That means that any insulation or preventative measures you provide for your plumbing will work in your favor.

3. What Happens When There Is Flooding in a Home?
Damage caused by excessive groundwater or storms is generally not covered. In these cases, you would need a separate flood insurance policy to pay for the damage.
Your insurance coverage can have a lot of limitations when it comes to water damage. To properly protect yourself, you need to know what your policy covers and take any measures to increase your chances of receiving funds.

3 Things That Can Accidentally Set Off Your Fire Sprinklers

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Several different factors can cause your sprinklers to discharge.

Common Things That Can Set Off Your Fire Sprinklers

Most businesses have a fire suppression system in place to reduce damage from fires. However, these do not work like the systems you see on TV. If they did, every head would start dispensing water whenever someone burned a piece of toast in the staff kitchen, and you would have to deal with a lot of flooding in your workplace. Instead, each sprinkler head has its own sensor. Usually, only a couple of sprinklers are activated when there is a fire. This is ideal because a lot less water enters your commercial building than if they all went off at once.
The main drawback to this system is that these sensors are susceptible to accidental discharge. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to combat the main causes. Here are some of the most common things that can set off your sprinklers.

1. Overheating
If your fire sprinklers are too close to the skylights, heaters, or heat-producing appliances in your building in Big Sky, MT, they can accidentally go off. If your business has many of these, you should invest in sprinklers that activate at higher temperatures. Some won't activate until they sense temperatures of 300 degrees. These can reduce the chances of you accidentally flooding your business.

2. Freezing Pipes
Most sprinklers have water running through their pipes. If they freeze, the ice puts enough pressure on the system to break fittings and the valves on the heads. When the water thaws, your building will experience flooding. Insulated pipes are available if you need to place sprinklers in places that are likely to freeze.

3. Damage
When sprinkles are installed improperly, they are more likely to accidentally discharge and force you to need a water restoration professional. Fortunately, you can avoid this by having a qualified technician install the system.
Several different factors can cause your sprinklers to discharge. By learning more about each one, you can take steps to ensure your sprinklers don't go off and cause a lot of water damage to your business.

Noisy Pipes? Here's How To Fix Them

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

bald man covering his ears over gray background Noisy pipes can be annoying

A whistling or banging noise in your pipes in Twin Bridges, MT, can be annoying. The problem, however, is more than just irritating. It's probably the indication of a problem in your plumbing. It may not be as severe as a pipe break, but it will require investigation.

What Is Causing the Noise?

The whistling sound can be happening for a few reasons:

  • A bad valve in the plumbing
  • A blockage in one of the pipes
  • Water going through a deteriorating valve
  • Mineral buildup

The whistling occurs when water rushes through a narrow restriction or past an obstruction. It can happen in a faucet or valve when the washer has been distorted or when the brass screw holding the washer in place works loose.

How Can I Find the Whistling?
First, turn off all faucets and see if the noise stops. Then turn them on, one by one, until you determine which one is making the whistling sound. Turn off each faucet before turning on another one.
Once you've found the noisy faucet, shut off the water to that faucet or the house. Take apart the faucet and replace the brass screw and washer.

What If I Hear Banging?
You could be hearing what is known as water hammer if the noise sounds like banging or chattering. When water flow is suddenly interrupted while running rapidly, like when a faucet is quickly shut off, the water slams around the pipes and fittings. The noise might make you wonder if you've experienced a pipe break and would need to fix a broken pipe.
Inspect visible pipes. One of the fittings could be banging against a wooden joist if a strap is missing or broken. You can brace the pipe with a piece of wood or rubber at the source of the banging or replace the strap. If that doesn't stop the noise, you may need to install an air chamber device.
Usually, noisy pipes are not signs of a serious problem. If you experience a pipe break or pipe burst and need help with remediation, a company specializing in water damage repair can help you get back to normal.

5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

12/18/2020 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Shut off your main water valve

5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

Few things are more frustrating than returning home from a lovely vacation just to find that your Bozeman, MT, home flooded while you were gone. Simple tactics, such as a water pipe repair, a gutter sweep and several other methods could be enough to save your property from disaster.

1. Shut Off Your Main Water Valve.
This is the easiest way to prevent water damage. Turn off the main valve right before you leave for vacation to prevent water from entering your home. After you do so, test to see whether you were successful by turning on a faucet.

2. Clear Out Your Gutters.
Your home's gutters are intended to catch water running off of your roof and divert it away from your property. When they become obstructed, water pools on the roof and runs down the sides of your home, resulting in a flooded basement. You should regularly clear out your gutters, but make sure to also do so before you leave for vacation.

3. Prevent Freezing Pipes.
Always take your region's temperature into consideration. If you plan to leave during the colder months, make sure to turn your home's heat up to at least 60 degrees while you're gone to prevent the pipes from freezing.

4. Upgrade to Stainless Steel Supply Lines.
Plastic supply lines are significantly more likely to rupture while you're away. Upgrading to stainless steel can help prevent a broken pipe. The good news is that these supply lines are not costly to replace, and are significantly less expensive than an unnecessary water pipe repair job.

5. Shut Off Valves to Major Appliances.
You should have already shut off your main water valve, but you can never be too careful. Make sure to turn off the valves for major appliances, such as your washing machine and dishwasher. You should also shut off the supply valves for your toilets and sinks.
Preventing unnecessary damage is significantly easier than having to deal with bigger issues, like a water pipe repair or a flood. Contact water remediation experts for more information and assistance protecting your home from water damage.

3 Common Questions About Insurance Coverage of Broken Pipes

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Broken rusty pipe A broken plumbing pipe can result in different types of water damage

Common Questions About Insurance Coverage of Broken Pipes

A broken plumbing pipe can result in different types of water damage, from a small puddle to a flood. While your home insurance can cover most types of water incidents, it may not always include your specific situation. As you try to protect your West Yellowstone, MT, home from destruction, you will likely ask the following questions.

1. When Is the Damage Covered?
Generally, insurance coverage includes water damage when it is accidental and unexpected such as a malfunctioning appliance or HVAC unit. This classification can apply to a pipe break or a burst pipe. The insurance agency determines that since there is little preparation to handle this incident, you have little to no liability. Services included in the coverage include water damage restoration and mold prevention, but not the plumbing professionals that can fix broken pipe.

2. What Causes a Denied Claim?
Even if the situation escalates into a powerful flood, your insurance company will not always accept your claim. There is a difference between a pipe break or a burst/busted pipe and a leaking pipe. During the latter, the damage is slower to manifest but the signs are clearer, such as small water bodies, stains and mold or mildew. It is your responsibility as a homeowner to notice these signs and take the right measures that will mitigate or prevent the damage.

3. How Do I Prevent a Denial?
Reduce the possibilities of having your claim denied by having a licensed and experienced plumber inspect your piping often. Not only will this practice detect any problems on time, but it also produces documentation that proves you are a diligent property owner. Maintain your system by replacing old parts when necessary and keeping it warm with insulation and heat to avoid frozen pipes.
Your insurance plan can include all sorts of water-based incidents, from mold growth to a flood, depending on the type of pipe damage. Learning the difference between a broken or a leaky pipe and the different solutions to each limits the damage and increases the potential insurance coverage.

Why Pipes Freeze and Burst

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

A pipe leaking with freeze damage Bursting frozen pipe in Bozeman, MT

What Causes Pipes To Break?

As soon as temperatures drop below freezing in Bozeman, MT, exposed plumbing on commercial structures may be at risk of freezing and bursting. In addition to exterior pipes, this may also be an issue for poorly insulated pipes that run through areas that are not temperature controlled. Find out what causes pipes to break and cause water damage at a commercial building.

A Frozen Blockage Forms
When temperatures dip below freezing, water in pipes may freeze. This is particularly the case if pipes lack sufficient insulation. There are several ways to add insulation to exposed pipes:

  • Heat tape
  • Heat cables
  • Foam rubber sleeves
  • Fiberglass sleeves

All of these methods may reduce the risk of broken pipes at a commercial building. The pressure that builds up behind a blockage is what causes a pipe to burst.

Pressure Builds Up In a Pipe
If water is not flowing through an uninsulated pipe, such as with a slow drip from an inside faucet, pressure builds up behind a frozen blockage. Pipes run the greatest risk of freezing, bursting, and causing water damage when outdoor temperatures are lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit for six hours or longer.

Clean Water Causes Damage
Clean water from a broken supply line can quickly saturate building materials and contents. Shut off the water supply as soon as possible after a pipe breaks to reduce the extent of water cleanup. Category One damage involving treated water can just be dried as long as no more than 24 to 48 hours have passed since the initial pipe break incident.
When a pipe bursts and causes water damage at a building in Bozeman, MT, the best thing that a property owner can do is shut off the water supply as soon as possible. Stopping a continuous flow of water from saturating building materials and contents can limit the severity of the damage.

Preventing Water Damage While Away From Home

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

The pipelines in the insulation and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house household Insulate any exposed pipes inside the building

While it is natural to stay at home to ensure nothing goes wrong and oversee procedures such as water pipe repair, there are times where you will need to leave for an extended period. Whether you must tend to an emergency away from Twin Bridges, MT, or simply go on vacation, you cannot always be there to confront situations like a broken pipe. Prevent water damage by preparing before leaving.

Inspect Every Part of the Residence

The best way to stop any future water problems is by looking for any flaws throughout your property. Inspect the following locations and devices to ensure they are in good condition:

  • Pipes and hoses
  • House appliances
  • Window sealing
  • Gutters and downspouts

If you find cracks and other damage, call the appropriate technician immediately. You can resolve problems with easier solutions, such as removing debris from the gutters or caulking damaged seals.

Rely on Outside Assistance
Other people can help you prevent a situation where water pipe repair is necessary. Before leaving, make plans with a family member, close friend or trusted neighbor to occasionally inspect your home and ensure everything is fine. Meet up with this individual to demonstrate important areas around the house such as water pipes and the main shut-off valve, as well as establish a contact method if there are any concerns or questions. If you cannot find someone, turn off the main valve before leaving.

Improve Your Home Insulation
If you are leaving during the winter, the water pipes will require extra care. Freezing temperatures increases pressure inside the pipes, which can break them and lead to a flooded house. Insulate any exposed pipes inside the building and seal any potential opening. Turn on the heater on low to maintain warmth and place bib protectors on outside spigots.
You will not always be at your home to call water pipe repair and emergency remediation services. Take preventative measures to avoid an incident while you are gone.

How To Clean Water Damage from Your Office Items

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO technicians in front on a van with drying equipment. Contact a local water damage restoration service in Manhattan, MT

How To Clean Water Damage from Your Office Items

If you’ve suffered a flooded company in Manhattan, MT, from a storm, sewer backup, roof leak, or broken pipe, you may be wondering what the if it's possible to restore damaged office items. Fortunately, many of these items can be restored back to pre-damaged conditions. Here’s what you may want to know.

1. Contact a Professional

Any time water damage occurs at your place of business it’s recommended to contact a local water damage restoration service. These professionals will be able to handle a variety of damage and repair needs, including restoring any damaged office items. They should even be able to restore paper documentation and electronics.

2. Sort Items By Material Type

One of the first steps toward restoring items affected by a flooded company is to sort them by damage severity and material type. This will allow the restoration company to more efficiently clean each item group, as well as determine which items may need to be replaced should the damage be sever enough. If you have any questions about this process the professionals working on the restoration can help.

3. Use Appropriate Cleaning Method

The next step is to use the correct cleaning method for each item type. Furniture with upholstery should be treated with upholstery cleaner while small fabric items can be washed or go through a dry cleaning process. Large furniture such as desks or filing cabinets may need to be wiped down with a cleaner. Small non electronic items can be dipped in a solution. Electronics and paper documentation will need professional attention such as that provided by your restoration company.

After a cleaning up the water damage from a flooded company, restoring damaged items is equally important. A restoration service should be able to help with this task. Sort items by material type, and use the appropriate cleaning method for each thing. Your restoration team can soon have the damage looking “Like it never even happened.”

Three Simple Steps to Prevent Water Damage from Frozen or Burst Pipes

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Bursting pipes from frozen water is a leading cause of water damage in Bozeman, Montana. Individuals who call Bozeman home are wise to consider taking precautions when leaving their homes for extended periods of time during our brutal winter months.

If simple safeguards are not put in place, you could return from your warm respite to find frozen or bursting pipes in your home. While water damage mitigation specialists can respond to repair your loss, there are three easy steps that you can take to reduce the risk of damage to your home.

3 Steps to Prevent Frozen Pipes

1. Keep the Heat On and Circulating While You Are Away

Although it may seem like a waste of energy to keep your heat running while you are away, this could be a huge savings when considering the alternative cost of repairing damage caused by frozen or bursting pipes. We recommend leaving your thermostat set to heat to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit and circulating to help keep your home safe. In addition, keeping cabinet and closet doors open will help to circulate warm air around pipes that they are housing. Again, you may incur a higher bill than you would by simply shutting off your heat, but this is marginal compared to damaged pipes, or worse, a flooded home.

2. Allow Faucets to Drip Slowly or Turn Off the Water In Your Home

If you prefer to turn off the water in your home, also allow toilet bowls and reservoirs to drain completely. Stagnant water expands when it freezes and therefore could result in frozen and or bursting pipes, as well as cracked toilets. Alternatively, leaving the faucets running (slow drip) may prevent water from becoming stagnant and freezing, relieving pressure in the pipes and preventing a potential rupture.

3. Insulate Pipes with Foam

Another simple way to help prevent frozen or bursting pipes is to wrap them in an insulating foam. The warmer you keep your pipes, the better your chances for things to run smoothly when you return.

Water Damage and its Hidden Dangers

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water from broken pipes, overflowing toilets or leaky appliances can leave your home flooded, but may also leave behind unseen damage once the water is gone. Our water mitigation specialists in Bozeman, Montana understand these hidden dangers and can help protect you and your loved ones. We are here to provide you with some insight into what lies beneath the surface.

Categories of Water

Should you ever find yourself with standing water inside your home, you would be wise to consider what that water may be contaminated with and the potential dangers it poses. Water restoration and remediation professionals are experts in categorizing the type of flood water and what considerations need to be made to keep you safe long after the water is gone.

Category 1: Water that comes from a clean source, such as broken pipe or overflowing sink. This category of water is free of contaminates and considered safe if dried immediately.

Category 2: Water that contains a significant amount of chemical, biological or physical contaminants. These contaminants may cause discomfort or sickness if consumed or even exposed to. Possible sources of this “grey water” are toilet bowls with urine (no fecal matter), sump pump failures, and discharge from dish washers or washing machines.

Category 3: Also known as “black water,”  this category of water is grossly contaminated with unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, and can cause severe discomfort or sickness. Contaminated water sources that can affect your home include sewage, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Important to note, category 2 water that is not promptly and properly removed or remained stagnant may be upgraded to category 3 water.

Because determining the category of water and the danger level it poses can be difficult, you should seek the help and expertise of professional specialists to remove the contaminated water and properly sanitize the area.

Secondary Damage

After the water is gone, days and possibly weeks later, signs of secondary damage can suddenly appear. In areas of the home that may still be damp, mold colonies may start to form and proliferate. Walls that wicked up water may begin to sag, crack and crumble. Grout surrounding ceramic tiles may disintegrate and cause the tiles to shift or become dislodged. Hardwood floors that looked undamaged at the time of loss may begin to show signs of warping and buckling. It is important to take steps immediately following a water loss to prevent these secondary damages from occurring long after your insurance company has settled your claim.

Unseen Hazards

The number one thing you can do as a home or property owner is make a timely call to a water remediation and restoration professional. Should you find your home flooded in Bozeman, MT or the greater Gallatin Valley, do not delay in calling us to help minimize hidden damages and mitigate unseen hazards.