Recent Posts

3 Basic Steps To Avoid Storm Damage

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded backyard. Avoid storm damage in your home.

Whether it's a warm season or one with low temperatures, there's still the possibility of heavy storms and harsh weather conditions, such as powerful winds, a lot of precipitation, and rising flood water. While you probably don't have a lot of control over the weather, there are several things you can do to control the amount of damage your Blackfoot, ID, home and property experience:

3 Steps to Protect Your Home From Storm Damage

Trim Your Trees and Shrubs

Heavy branches and dead limbs can break away during a severe storm. As they are blown about by the wind, these branches can cause a lot of damage to the windows and exterior of your home. A mix of heavy rainfall and strong winds may cause trees with shallow root systems to fall over. Prune and trim your trees and shrubs consistently to avoid this type of damage.

Clean Out the Gutters Around Your Roof

It's easy to forget about the possibility of debris and damage in the gutters, but this situation can lead to a lot of water damage. When the gutters get clogged, water doesn't flow away from the home as it should. This is one common cause of a flooded building. Clean the gutters as each season passes, and if there's been a lot of heavy winds and rain, clean them out more frequently.

Store Your Belongings in Waterproof Containers

Many homeowners pack family mementos, off-season clothes, camping supplies, tools and machinery, and seasonal items in cardboard boxes in their basements and garages. Unfortunately, strong winds and a lot of rain can send flood water into those areas of the home. Protect your belongings by storing them in waterproof containers and keep them off the floor when possible.

What else have you done to prepare for an emergency? Do you have phone numbers for emergency responders, your insurance company, and local water damage cleanup professionals? Do you know how you'll respond if flood water fills your basement? Take time today to come up with a plan.

The 4 Step Fire Remediation Process

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Image of black smoke coming out a building on fire. Commercial fire damage can be devastating.

Dealing with fire damage to your commercial property is devastating, and without business interruption insurance, it is even more challenging. However, that does not mean that all hope is lost. A fire remediation company in Pocatello, ID, can help you recover and move on from the damage. Before reopening your business, you will need to address the issue of smoke damage and soot damage through the restoration and remediation process. Most mitigation companies follow a necessary four-step process.

  • Water Removal
  • Debris removal
  • Structural Analysis
  • Restoration

4 Steps  Most Mitigation Companies Follow For Fire Remediation

1. Water Removal

Many people fail to acknowledge the level of water damage that can occur during a fire. Whether suppression from sprinkler systems or flooding caused by the use of fire hoses, your building will likely have extensive pooling. A restoration service will address the issue by using pumps, shop vacs and other tools to move the excess water. They will also use dehumidifiers to remove moisture in the air and building materials.

2. Debris Removal

When the facility is dry, the company will get to work removing any debris. Some examples of waste may include equipment, furniture, carpeting, drywall and ceiling tiles. The restoration crew will also perform fire and smoke cleaning as they prepare for the restoration phase.

3. Structural Analysis

Before the team moves onto the restoration phase of the project, they will need to make sure that the facility can handle the repair. Sometimes, A fire affects the structural integrity of the building, and the only thing left to do is remove sections of the structure. Depending on the level of fire, water and smoke damage to your building, a team may need to restructure some elements.

4. Restoration

Finally, the crew will rebuild your facility. The objective is to return the property to pre-disaster conditions. The final stage may take only a few days or multiple weeks.

If your company experienced a fire, then consider reaching out to a restoration company for assistance. Regardless of your insurance coverage, you will need help returning to normal after the fire and smoke damage.

Prepare for Winter Storms

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Image of house and yard covered with snow Winter storm

When winter brings freezing temperatures, you may feel relieved to get back to your warm, comfortable home each day. Unfortunately, that cold weather that feels so uncomfortable to you can also cause considerable damage to your home. As you prepare your wardrobe for an upcoming winter storm, think about protecting your house as well.

Prepare Your Family for Emergencies

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends that homeowners keep the following items available before storms arrive:

  • Multiple snow shovels
  • De-icers (choose those that are safe for pets)
  • Fuel for your electricity and source of heat, such as firewood or a generator
  • Extra blankets and warm clothing in case you can't run your appliances
  • Shelf-stable food and water
  • A battery-powered radio with extra batteries

It's a lot easier to focus on home maintenance when you know that you're prepared to keep your family safe during a winter storm.

Winterize Your Home

There are many ways that a blizzard can cause home and roof damage. As you prepare to winterize your home, start with these five steps:

  • Make sure that siding, exterior shutters, and roof elements are secure. Look for damage to any of your home's exterior materials.
  • Clean the gutters and make sure they are free of debris and in good working condition. Ice jams can cause a lot of water damage to the inside and outside of your home.
  • Look for air leaks and repair them. This will keep moisture outside, keep your home warmer, and keep your utility costs lower.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing. Consider insulating interior pipes that are located near outside walls.
  • Trim trees and shrubs that are located near your home. Falling branches can cause damage to the roof, siding, windows, and other elements of the house.

Once you have these five steps completed, it's time to turn to other tasks such as insulating windows, cleaning out the fireplace, and stocking up on hot chocolate. You may want to check in with home damage cleanup and repair professionals for more suggestions.

Stay Safe This Winter

A winter storm can bring a lot of unpleasantness. Make sure you, your family, and your Blackfoot, ID, home are prepared and protected, so you are ready to survive the worst that blizzards, snow, and heavy winds bring your way.

Fundamentals of Furnace Maintenance

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a worker performing maintenance on a furnace Furnace maintenance is important

Any remediation company in Blackfoot, ID, will explain that many fire cleaning and mitigation projects stem from a faulty or poorly maintained home furnace. While no professional expects homeowners to handle the maintenance of these essential appliances alone, it is crucial that upkeep remains a priority. There are at least four tasks when performing routine maintenance.

  • Change filters
  • Clean flame sensor
  • Remove and clean the blower
  • Inspect the drive belt

4 Steps To Follow When Performing A Routine Furnace Maintenance.

1. Change Filters

Most smoke cleaning professionals will explain the value of correct filter maintenance. Air filters ensure that your family is breathing healthy air. A typical filter will only last between one and three months, depending on system use. The filter not only prevents contaminants from recirculating through your home, but it also prevents those same particles from damaging your furnace's motor and blower.

2. Clean Flame Sensor

You may also want to check the thermocouple to ensure that it is clean and free of debris. The thermocouple or flame sensor is the device that tells the furnace the pilot is or is not working. If the sensor is covered in dust, it may produce a false negative, which can lead to damage. Us a drinking straw to gently blow dust free of the sensor.

3. Remove and Clean the Blower

A dirty blower can cause all sorts of problems, including fire. To prevent the need for fire cleaning, remove the blower, and clean it thoroughly.

4. Inspect the Drive Belt

The drive belt is responsible for the function of the motor. You want to check the belt regularly to ensure it is free of cracks and frayed areas. If the belt fails, it can lead to overheating.

Any fire cleaning specialist will tell you that furnace maintenance is necessary. While it is possible to perform the tasks alone, you are often better served by contacting a local remediation company or HVAC repair service for help.

3 Things You Should Expect From a Mitigation Company

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a telephone operator 24 hour access to SERVPRO.

A burst pipe in your client's building doesn't politely wait until business hours to occur. When this happens, the business owner needs a water restoration company in Pocatello, ID, that can address the problem at any hour of the day. A 24 hour call center and technicians who are available around the clock are two of the things that ensure SERVPRO is Faster to Any Size Disaster. Here are three things you should be able to expect from the company handling the damage to your client's building.

3 Things To Expect From The Company Handling Water Damage

1. Quick Response

No matter how good the remediation services a company offers, it doesn't help building owners if they don't answer the phone. Even if damage happens in the middle of the night, they need to be able to expect a fast response within one hour of reporting it. Waiting until the next morning can lead to more problems.

2. Speedy Arrival

After the initial call, technicians should spring into action. Depending on the type and severity of the problem, it may take a little while to collect all the equipment and assemble the team needed to tackle it. With 24 hour access, however, it is reasonable to expect an arrival within four hours of the initial call. A speedy arrival is possible when a mitigation company is always open.

3. Timely Debriefing

The first thing technicians do when they arrive on the scene is survey the damage. This assessment often involves listing all problems directly caused by the event as well as related fallout in adjacent areas. Everything that needs to be restored must be documented. No matter how vast the damage, however, within eight hours, the building owner should be able to sit down with the project lead and discuss the work needed to repair the building.

When commercial property sustains water or fire damage, time is of the essence. Your clients need 24 hour access to a mitigation company that can handle it in a hurry.

Understanding Water Classifications

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Image of leaking pipes causing house to flood. Flooding due to leaking pipes.

Dealing with a flood, whether caused by internal or external forces, is not easy for any homeowner, which is why calling a water restoration company in Pocatello, ID, is almost always advised. The primary reason for calling an expert is to determine the category of the water and the class of the damage. Clean water or category one is fine for a little DIY repair, but Category three or black water should be handled by a professional.

3 Facts You Need To Know About Water Classification

1. Water Categories

There are three water categories: clean, grey and black. Clean water or category one usually stems from a water supply line leak or break. With category one floods, there is little to worry about. Category two or grey water is when clean water has been standing or has seeped through building materials, allowing the water to become contaminated with bacteria and chemicals. Black water is the worst level of contamination and usually includes sewage or waste water, which may require professional sewage cleanup. You should always call a professional to handle category 3 water damage.

2. Water Classes

As with categories, the higher the classification, the greater the problem you are dealing with. For example, class one water damage refers to minimal flooding and recent damage, meaning that minimum items are affected, and the restoration process is often quick. Class four damage means that the water has had time to soak into porous materials and affect structural elements of the home.

3. Profesional Assistance

Regardless of the level of water damage or loss, calling a professional is almost always advisable, especially when water is higher than an inch deep and has been sitting for a long time. If the damage occurred while you were away, make sure to contact a specialist because there is no way of knowing exactly how long the water was left standing.

No homeowner wants to experience a flood of black water. However, if you must deal with such a disaster, contact a water mitigation company for help.

4 Ways To Protect Your Business From a Flood

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a flooded street with water entering a store. Flood damage can be prevented.

Are you worried about the next flood season? Do you often wonder how you can protect your commercial building from storm damage and business interruptions? Contact a water remediation company in Blackfoot, ID, to discuss possible strategies for your company. However, in the meantime, consider the basic strategies recommended by FEMA and other protective agencies to prevent flood damage.

4 Strategies To Prevent Flood Damage

1. Elevate Essentials

If you know that a storm is coming or that a flood is imminent, move high-priority items to higher ground. Computers, appliances, electronics and files can and should be moved to a second story, or at the very least placed in the most elevated position you have available.

2. Build Barriers

You can use sandbags to create temporary barricades around your property. Make sure to place the bags around vulnerable spaces, like doors and windows. The goal of makeshift barricades is to divert the water away from these sensitive areas.
You can also use landscape design to create natural barriers around your building. Consider speaking with a landscaper to determine the best ways to implement natural borders for the prevention of flood damage.

3. Flood Proof

There are many methods to flood-proof your building, but the most cost-effective is to install pumps and seals. You can also use diversion valves in your plumbing to help prevent backups during heavy rains.

4. Move

While not the most cost-effective option, if you find that your commercial property is continuously combatting floods, consider moving to higher ground. FEMA produces flood maps to show the most vulnerable areas to flooding, if possible, try to find a dryer area to move your business.

Flood damage can be detrimental to your business. It often results in business interruptions and recovery expenses. If you would like to avoid as much damage as possible, then contact a local water remediation company to discuss strategies you can implement that are specific to your facility.

What to do with Hail Storm Damage.

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Image of hail on ground between grass. Hail Storm

Hail Storm Damage

The pounding sound of hail hitting you home or office letting you know that storm is here. So, you look out the window to see rain, trees blowing, and hail coming down from the sky like someone just dumbed out a box of marbles. And then the thunder and lightning the storm is in full force. When you experience a hailstorm, it can cause extensive storm damage to your commercial property. And we are here to help, by hiring professionals to take care of the damage so that you avoid bigger problems in the future. Here are some other problems to check for after hail storms big or small.

  1. Cracked or Missing Shingles. Hail damage to the roof can break your shingles.

Some shingles may even come loose or detach completely. A roofing company is generally required to fix the roof, but luckily most building insurance packages have provisions to cover at least part of the cost. At SERVPRO® of Blackfoot/ Pocatello we can take some of the pressure by working with your insurance and adjuster.

  1. Leaks. Roof damage can lead to leaks, which in turn can lead to a whole slew of other problems.

A wet attic that goes unnoticed can began to grow mold, turning a water problem into a mold problem. It can also cause insulation to get wet, which renders it ineffective which will in turn need to be replaced. Our mitigation specialists can test areas with water damage to make sure they are remediated properly.

About SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello

SERVPRO™ of Blackfoot/Pocatello specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

5 Factors That Contribute to a Fire Remediation Estimate

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a burned down buidling. Fire damage to your commercial property in Blackfoot, ID, can be devastating.

When you call a commercial fire restoration company out to your property, you likely only have one thing in mind: how much is this going to cost? Unfortunately, there is no straight answer for a quick estimate with fire damage. The extent of the damage plays a significant role in the price, but there are at least five other factors to consider.

Factors That Contribute To An Estimate For Fire Reemediation

1. Board Up and Tarp Services

Mitigation is one of the earliest expenses to a fire restoration effort. The mitigation company from Blackfoot, ID, will come out immediately to your site and help you determine what is necessary. Plywood is used to cover most vertical holes in your structure, and tarps are used to cover large holes in your roof. Depending on the extent of the damage, minimal mitigation work may be required.

2. Security and Fencing

Another aspect of the mitigation process is the protection of your property from potential vagrants or wildlife. In many fire remediations, property owners feel better if a fence is at least put around their facility. However, for added security, the remediation company you hire may provide surveillance or in-person security for a price.

3. Waste and Damage Removal

The next expense to consider in the estimate is the removal of waste and damage. Crews will get to work pulling out water-damaged carpeting, smoke damaged walls and insulation. Beyond the removal, an extensive cleaning effort will commence after the debris is removed.

4. Reconstruction

Rebuilding your property is the final expense. The company you hire will inspect and assess the structure and integrity of the building. Everything will be reinforced, and the crew will replace all that needs to be. When complete, your property will look as it did before the fire.

5. Insurance

Your insurance policy will inevitably help to reduce the expense of the fire restoration, but there are too many variables to consider to specify how much the insurer will cover. The best thing is to contact your insurance agent.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a fire, contact a remediation crew as soon as possible. They will provide a real-time estimate.

Do you have an Emergency Plan for your Pet during a Disaster?

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a labrador with a green SERVPRO t-shirt Keep your pets safe during an emergency.

If you are a pet owner and lover like we are at SERVPRO™ of Blackfoot/Pocatello the thought a big storm has just rolled through or your area has just survived a natural disaster.  Just like having a plan for your family you need to have a disaster plan for your pets.  Here in Bannock County we may not experience a hurricane or tornado but we do have harsh wildfire seasons, flooding, and earthquakes. Be prepared and have a plan because planning ahead is the key to keeping yourself and your pets safe when a disaster strike!

6 Tips To Creat An Emergency Plan For Your Pet.

  1. Microchip your pets: Microchipping your pet is the best way to ensure you are reunited with your pet if you are separated.  We are always hearing on the news how lost animal travel an uncreditable distance to find their owner. More often than not this isn’t the case. Please make sure you keep the microchip info updated: address or phone number changes are commonly overlooked.  If you don’t update the information it is useless.  You could also list an emergency number of a friend or family member who resides outside of your area.
  2. Keep A Collar and Tag on ALL Dogs & Cats: Make sure you have the pets name and at least your current phone number (and address if possible) on the tag.  ID on indoor cats is especially important, if there is a disaster they could easily escape.
  3. Identify Local Animal Shelters: Know where the local animal shelters are located in case your pet does get lost.  Have a current picture as well to help identify them.
  4. Locate a Local Veterinary Clinic: Know where the local veterinarian or animal hospital is in case your pet needs medical care.
  5. Plan a Pet Friendly-Place to Stay: If a disaster hits and you are not able to stay in your home a good tip is to search in advance of pet-friendly hotels, boarding facilities or somewhere you can stay.  Many emergency shelters are not pet friendly.
  6. Prepare and Emergency Kit for EACH Animal: Some basic items to be in an emergency kit for your pets during a disaster are: one-week food supply, one-week fresh water, medication you pet may need, copies of vaccination records, current picture of you with your pets to identity them and claim ownership, temporary ID tags with the contact info of someone in an unaffected area, carrier and/or leash for each animal. Store these items in an easy to grab container.

The last thing you want after and emergency or disaster is to have something happen to your furry family members.

About SERVPRO of Blackfoot/Pocatello

SERVPRO™ of Blackfoot/Pocatello specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.