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Help for Homeowners Without Flood Insurance

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey disaster recovery centers staffed with recovery specialists from FEMA There may be FEMA assistance available to you in the event of a major disaster.

Flood Insurance Assistance for Homeowners

The bad news is that your house has flooded in Manhattan, MT. The worse news is that you do not have flood insurance. Fortunately, there is good news. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) coordinates federal support for those involved in a disaster. Learn if you are eligible for assistance and how to take the next steps.

Eligibility Requirements

Homeowners or renters must fit all criteria below in order to apply for FEMA assistance. Review the following to see if you qualify:

  • A major disaster is federally declared for your state and county.
  • The declared disaster-caused damage to your home, personal property or vehicle.
  • A member of your household is a US citizen, qualified alien or non-citizen national.
  • You are not applying to duplicate homeowners or flood insurance coverage. You must provide proof of insurance benefits.

How To Apply for Assistance

If you meet the eligibility requirements, take these next steps:

  • Go to https://www.disasterassistance.gov to complete the application.
  • An inspector then calls you to set an appointment to survey the damage.
  • If you receive grant money, it does not have to be repaid. However, the money is supplemental in nature and not designed to cover the complete restoration of your property. Rather, it helps you repair your home to a safe, livable condition.
  • In addition, to grant money, you can apply for a disaster loan that needs repaid. This allows you to return your home and belongings to preloss condition with the help of a restoration specialist.

If you live in a flood plain in Manhattan, MT, ask your agent about flood insurance. However, whether or not you have this specialized insurance policy, there may be FEMA assistance available to you in the event of a major disaster. If a federal disaster is declared in your county, confirm your eligibility status and follow the above steps to repair or restore your home and personal property.

Duct, Duct, Mold!

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Dust out from Air Duct Keep your air ducts clean.

When Was The Last Time You Had HVAC Cleaning Done In Your Building?

Part of managing indoor air quality means managing mold. Mold spores are traveling through the air searching for moist environments where they will grow into colonies. You are aware of those places where mold likes to grow and you regularly search your building in Belgrade, MT for leaky pipes as well as rain and flood damage. You search the usual places, like bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. You can't see any mold, yet you still smell that familiar musty smell. Is that a coincidence that the odor is stronger when the air conditioner is running? 

Odorous Digestive Gases

You are actually smelling gases from the digestive process of mold. Those gases, called mycotoxins, are not produced by all molds. Production depends on the type of mold and the substance being consumed. Cleaning vents regularly can help your indoor air quality, prevent the spread of spores, and help you find hidden mold in the heating and air system.

Mold Inside HVAC Systems

What does mold have to do with your HVAC? Microscopic spores travel through the air, including inside your HVAC system where moisture and condensation are often by-products. Mold spores only need a hospitable place to rest, digest, and reproduce. Here are some places to check for mold growth during HVAC cleaning:

  • Air ducts
  • Supply and return registers
  • Cooling coils
  • Drip pans
  • Porous building materials near the HVAC system

Don't forget to change the filter regularly to help your system run efficiently and to keep microscopic spores contained.

When There's a Problem

If you do smell mold, or even see it during routine HVAC cleaning, you can rely on specialists to help find and resolve any mold problems. During cleanup, they use special containment techniques and HEPA air scrubbers to prevent the further spread of mold spores in your building.

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.

How To Reduce the Risk of a Kitchen Fire

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Young Man Using Red Fire Extinguisher To Stop Fire Coming From Oven In Kitchen Keep your kitchen a safe place to work by following these smart fire safety tips.

The majority of kitchen fires happen while people are cooking at the stove. Most fires can be avoided, however, by following some basic fire safety tips.

Fire Prevention Instructions in the Kitchen

Don't leave the kitchen - Never leave a stove unattended. If a fire starts while you're away from the stove, you won't be able to stop it quickly. If you must leave the room, turn off the stove and move the pan to a cool burner.

Don't wear loose clothing - Long, billowy sleeves and untucked shirts can catch on fire easily. Wear shirts with short sleeves or those with tight-fitting sleeves. Tuck your shirt in as well while you are cooking on the stove.

Keep flammable items away - Kitchen towels, oven mitts, and electrical cords should all be kept far away from the stove.

Fire Preparedness Tips
Always keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Make sure it is easy to reach and readily available. Teach every cook in your home in Belgrade, MT, how to use a fire extinguisher properly. It takes only a few minutes to learn how to use one, and it will be invaluable when you need to use it quickly. Inspect each of your extinguishers at least once a year for damage or wear, and replace as needed.
To avoid a grease fire, keep a large container of baking soda on hand. Never try to douse a grease fire with water, since it will make the fire spread. In addition, don't dispose of hot grease. Wait for it to cool before throwing it into the garbage can.
Reduce the risk of fire damage by testing your smoke alarms every month. Change the batteries once a year as well. Call a professional right away if you require a fire damage assessment.
Keep your kitchen a safe place to work by following these smart fire safety tips.

Is There Extra Flood Protection Available for a Commercial Building?

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Insurance Commercial insurance is an important part of owning a property.

What You Can Do To Protect Your Property

Is your commercial building in Manhattan, MT, ready for potential floods brought on by storms? While no one wants to deal with flooding, having a commercial insurance policy that helps pay for some of these damages can make you sleep easier at night. However, not all commercial policies cover every source of a flood. Use this quick guide to better understand what you can do to protect your property.

Learn About Your Policy

Call your insurance provider today to learn about your current flood policy. Many commercial coverages are limited by the source of the water, but it does depend on your unique policy and where you get your coverage. Some may even have a coverage cap. Depending on your insurance provider, you may have to work with a special commercial damage repair team after a storm affects your space. As you learn about your policy, you may find that you're not as covered as you thought.

Consider the National Flood Insurance Program

Thankfully, you may be able to get extra coverage from outside of your insurance provider to supplement your commercial insurance. The NFIP is offered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help business owners stay on their feet after a disaster. The NFIP offers the following benefits:

  • Helps pay for structural damage.
  • Damaged items are assessed before payout to ensure you get a fair price.
  • Has different deductibles available to better fit your needs.

The extra flood protection from FEMA can give you peace of mind during storm season. As you learn more about the program, you may find out that you can get a building property and personal property coverage. This allows you to protect every aspect of your business if needed.

Commercial insurance is an important part of owning a property. Unfortunately, even with an insurance policy you may still be liable for some of the damages caused by storms on your own. Adding extra protection through FEMA can give you peace of mind.

Dealing With Roof Damage After a Commercial Fire

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Roof damaged in a commercial building Commercial roof damaged

One of the more noticeable forms of damage you might notice in your Ball Place, MT, commercial building after the fire cleanup efforts is roof damage. You might be curious about how it occurs, especially if the fire was not large enough to collapse the building. Continue reading to learn more about what causes fire roof damage and some short-term and long-term solutions for it.

Causes of Roof Damage

A fire can affect your business's roof in multiple ways. For instance, if you use asphalt shingles on your roof, they can melt overexposure to the strong heat. Even a fire in a neighboring building can cause this damage. The destruction of the rafters and other structures underneath can also destabilize the roof and open some holes above. One more cause for roof damage takes place during fire rescue and cleanup. Firefighters may break open the roof to easily access the house, extinguish flames and save people.

Short-Term Solutions
Once the fire is extinguished and the insurance company has assessed the damage, the emergency restoration team will handle the fire cleanup and repair. Since the process might take a significant amount of time, they might offer tarp services as a short-term solution. Some of the benefits include:

  • Additional structural support
  • Prevention of human trespassing
  • Protection against animal intrusion
  • Blockage of elements like wind and water

These circumstances can increasingly damage your property and delay the reconstruction efforts. A tarp-protected roof meaningfully improves the building's situation.

Long-Term Solutions
Along with the renovation of the property, you should prioritize fixing the roof. You will need to talk to roof repair specialists who work with commercial buildings. Select the best company for the task by considering local reviews, prices and the qualifications and experience of the crew. Ensure you have the best people for the job.
Sometimes a commercial fire can result in a damaged roof. Make sure that both temporary tarp and a permanent fix are applied during the fire cleanup and repair.

Essential Tips for Declaring Store Damage on Your Taxes

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

toppled trees and power lines. Concept storm damage Storm damage in Alder, MT.

Tips for Declaring Store Damage

Hurricanes pack a major punch, destroying structures with intense winds and flooding. As a result, storm damage adds up quickly as commercial owners in Alder, MT, must face expensive and lengthy repairs. Proprietors may face roof rebuilds, water remediation and complete facility overhauls. Financial help is vital for many to afford these procedures, and a tax break is a welcome option. If you want to declare the loss, consider doing the following four things.

1. Keep Meticulous Records
An itemized tax-deductible list should be provided with your annual filing. Be as thorough as possible. Write out what was harmed, what was thrown out and what you paid to fix. Provide receipts for everything, and then fill out the appropriate forms. Note the name of the object, the original price, and the replacement amount.

2. Check the National Disaster List
Only a federally named disaster is eligible for compensation. Your storm damage must be timed with the occurrence of the weather system. Check the FEMA website to see if your event qualifies. Provide documentation from a storm restoration company that proves your situation coincides with the event.

3. Consider Which Year You Want Payment
You may apply for funds on your previous tax year or the next. It depends on whether you require cash immediately or have the time to wait. If you would like to go back a year, speak with an accountant to filing an amendment.

4. Know Your Numbers
To qualify for payment, you must not have already received full compensation from insurance or another government program. Calculate the difference. Begin by subtracting any reparation already incurred. Then, you must deduct an additional $100 for each storm. Finally, take off 10% of your gross income. Whatever is left could qualify for aid.
Don't let the price tag of storm damage prevent you from success. Seek financial payment through taxes. Gather paperwork that shows the weather event impacted your business and that you still deserve monetary assistance.

4 Ways to Stop Mold Growth in Your Home

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe Repair leaky plumbing.

Preventing Mold Growth In Your Home

Black mold can be a persistent problem for homeowners in Bozeman, MT. When given the right conditions, this fungus can grow quickly, spreading throughout different areas of your house. If you have noticed mold growth, the following actions can help put a stop to it.

1. Repair Leaky Plumbing and Appliances
You might not think much of a leaky faucet or washing machine, but ignoring them can end up causing more trouble than it would be to repair them. Even small leaks can cause mold to grow if they are left for long periods of time. Prevent water damage and mold by having them fixed as soon as you notice them.

2. Reduce Moisture in the Building
A moisture problem in your house can come in many forms. It may be the result of a leak, storm damage or even just high humidity. No matter the cause, reducing moisture is an effective way to prevent mold from growing.

3. Turn Off Your HVAC System
Black mold spores travel through the air, so they easily spread from one area of the house to another. If you notice an infestation beginning to grow, then you should limit air circulation until it can be removed. Turn off your heating and air conditioning as well as any fans that you have.

4. Have Cleaning Done Professionally
It can be tempting to try to do mold cleanup on your own, but this task is more difficult than it seems. Because mold spreads so easily, the affected area needs to be properly contained before any work is done. A mold remediation company can effectively remove the growth without moving it into the rest of the house. They can also use antifungal treatments to prevent it from returning.
Because black mold requires moisture to grow, removing water damage and excessive moisture is one of the best ways to keep this fungus from taking over your house. Limiting air circulation and hiring a professional service will reduce the chances of spreading the mold to multiple locations. Mold growth should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent it from becoming a bigger problem.

The 3 Most Important Parts of a Business Continuity Plan

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Business impact analysis (BIA) on a office desk. Business impact analysis.

Important Parts Of A Continuity Plan For A Business

Planning for the unexpected always poses challenges. A plan to resume business as soon as possible after a major storm or an on-site disaster is essential for business owners. Learn more about the three most important parts of a continuity plan for a business operating in Twin Bridges, MT.

1. A Business Impact Analysis
Analyzing business impact is an attempt to account for the effects of a shutdown caused by a disaster or emergency. Closure due to flooding may be a practical scenario for a business located in an area with high flood risk. A BIA should account for the event, its effects on business activity, potential losses, and timeframes for recovery.

2. An Implementation Checklist
In addition to the calculations that inform a continuity plan, it is also important for business owners to make a checklist for implementation. In the event of a disaster, the measures that should be taken may be less obvious than they were while planning ahead for eventualities. A checklist of measures to take for each type of damage along with current contact information for your insurer and preferred restoration service can be helpful.

3. A Recovery Strategy
A business should consider whether it is possible to operate off-site in the event of a fire or localized disaster. Incidents that also affect customers and suppliers such as major storm damage may have a different timeline and set of expectations. It can be helpful to account for as many contingencies as possible, as plans may be useful even if they do not completely predict adverse conditions.
Making a continuity plan grants business owners and stakeholders a good opportunity to assess every element of operations. Calculating the impact that an interruption could have on a business over days or weeks is helpful for obtaining business interruption insurance to offset lost revenue and helping management plan ahead for any eventuality.

3 Convenient Ways To Remove Burnt Smells From Your Microwave

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Baking soda with vinegar Mixing baking soda with vinegar could help to reduce the smell of smoke in your microwave.

Three Ways To Remove Burnt Smells From Your Appliance

Whether you misread the label or just pressed the wrong time, you've probably ended up with a smoke smell in your trusted microwave at some point. The good news is that you can remove this with little hassle. Here are three convenient ways to remove burnt smells from your appliance.

1. Steam and Clean It
A strong defense is steaming and cleaning it. This is quick, easy, and can provide similar results as hiring a fire remediation company. To use this method, heat a bowl of water in your appliance for about three minutes. The steam should loosen the grime. Wipe the inside with a soapy rag. If you have a stainless steel interior, be sure to rub gently to avoid scratches. Then, dry the inside with a towel. It is a good idea to leave the door open so that it can air out inside your home in West Yellowstone, MT.

2. Use a DIY Solution
A smoke smell caused by plastic or fish may require additional help. This is similar to the steam and clean method, but it involves adding some natural cleaners. Mix a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into a cup of water. If you can't stand the smell of these products, you can find another natural cleaner. Vanilla extract or coffee grounds are the next best options. Heat the liquid for about two minutes. Wipe the grime off the inside with a sponge.

3. Deodorize It Overnight
When a severe smoke smell gets trapped in the tiny vents in your appliance, you need a tougher solution to remove it. This means it is time to use an overnight method. Use this technique by placing baking soda in your appliance before going to bed and letting it work.
Whether you have a severe smell trapped in your vent grill or something lighter, you can remove it using one of these hassle-free solutions. Any of these are a good option for removing tough smells.