Whoa, What a Cold Response!

We saw good feedback on last week’s winter safety tips post. It seems folks want to do prudent things to protect themselves and property from dangerously cold arctic weather. We subsequently received a surprisingly large volume of phone calls for urgent flood cleanup and repair of water damage from frozen pipes. Proof that many NW Montana residents still aren’t adequately prepared to protect their families, homes and businesses from sustained subzero temperatures.

While briefly pausing to sympathize with a bell ringer for the Salvation Army outside the grocery store last week, I asked if he still had warm feet and hands in the minus 30 windchill. He smiled and told me that his heated socks were working OK but fingers were numb. His exposed face was a concern as cheeks were turning white. Fortunately, he said only 2 hours remained on the shift. bell ringer

Everyone has had a dangerous experience with cold weather at some point in their lives. I’ll never forget my first brutal winter after moving to Minnesota. The entire month of December saw double digits below zero with impossible wind chills of minus 50, minus 60 and worse. Renting a newly built apartment without the exterior siding installed was a serious mistake. Multiple blankets and sleeping bags were not enough when the fierce wind and snow pierced the sheathing and insulation and blew throughout the apartment. The baseboard heat could not keep up, so after work we hunkered down in a local tavern or stayed with new and generous friends. Still can’t watch a Vikings football game 30 years later without recalling that first frigid ‘Minne-Snow-ta’ winter. The old red VW bug without a working heater or defrost is another painful winter memory from that time.

What are your coldest weather experiences?

Please take a few moments and tell us about your sharpest or painful winter memory. That time you got seriously lost in a snow storm. Or the pipes froze and broke. Maybe you had to walk 14 miles one way to school during the blizzard of the century. fish house pic

Whatever your memory between childhood or yesterday, proud or embarrassing, we would like to collect and share it. Also tell us what was learned by surviving your winter adventure so others might avoid that freezing predicament. (Include your name and address. We’ll send you a warm and useful gift.)

Please use the response blank below or email to: office@floodco.net.                             Mail works fine, also.

Floodco LLC   PO Box 4747   Whitefish, MT  59937

Hey, It’s Only Spilled Water – What’s the Big Deal?

ImageNearly every house or commercial building will have water damage issues at some time during it’s lifetime. Whether a plumbing leak from a water line, toilet or hot water heater, washing machine overflow, ground water seepage, roof leak, ice dam. Inside as a liquid, solid or vapor, water poses a serious problem when it isn’t contained. Even the newest or best maintained buildings and systems spring leaks without any warning. There should be no shame in being normal.

We find that many property owners do not initially recognize the urgency of response needed when water intrudes into a normally dry room of their building. Most building materials are never supposed to become damp or wet. Paint or varnish offers little protection from immersion. Common building materials, including hidden lumber, exposed sheet rock and wood flooring or carpeting and insulation are porous and will act like sponges and quickly begin absorbing significant amounts of water. Water which must then be removed by some means other than slow evaporation.

When clean, fresh water coming out of a water line spills into a carpet it very quickly becomes contaminated with dust or dirt and activates resident bacteria and a myriad other lurking micro-organisms. Over a few hours time in a warm room, that initially clean water begins to swarm with microscopic life feeding on the organic stuff now in contact with the water. Within a day or two, that initially clean water turns into grey water and begins to smell offensive and becomes unhealthy to contact. After 48 hours or so, grey water progressively transforms into ‘black water’ which, like sewage, is considered a dangerous bio-hazard.

The big issue with drying out a structure is time passing which increases the costs of drying. The faster the dry-out begins, in almost every case, the less the cost of the dry out. Once building materials become soaked, the longer it takes to dry them out. Restoration companies charge for the days their equipment – fans and dehumidifiers – are running on a job after the initial water extraction. Worse, materials that become saturated with nasty black water may not be savable. Estimates of demolition and reconstruction costs are usually a shock to owners, even if those costs do ultimately get paid by insurance.

Our very best advice is: Treat any water surprise as an emergency. Get experienced, certified water technicians on scene at once. Faster will usually be cheaper, even if after-hours or weekend charges apply!

When water appears where it should not be, don’t hesitate or delay, call the pros at Floodco for help. 406 892-1717.

Winter Tips: Ice Dam Solutions From Energy Star.Gov

Ice dams usually occur after a heavy snowfall and several days of freezing temperatures. Warm air inside your home leaks into the attic and will warm the underside of the roof causing snow and ice on the roof to melt. The melted water will drain along the roof, under the snow, until it reaches the cold overhang. The overhang tends to be at the same temperature as the outdoors and the melted water will refreeze and form an ice dam and icicles. The ice dam can cause damage to the roof, which will result in water leaks to the inside. Frequently the result will be a water spot on the ceiling under the roof damage. If you noticed ice dams in past winters now is the time to take steps to prevent these ‘dam’ aging problems this coming winter!

Prescription Checklist:

  • Don’t get on your roof to solve this problem, it could be dangerous.
  • Avoid standing on the ground and “chipping away” at the ice. Not only could this cause damage to your roof, but you can be seriously injured by falling ice, debris, or tools.
  • Contacting a roofing contractor to fix your roof leak will not prevent future ice dams.
  • Seal air leaks (Home Sealing) and sealing duct air leaks in your attic to stop warm air leakage (the source of the problem).
  • After sealing leaks, add additional insulation in your attic.
  • Provide adequate attic ventilation so that the underside of the roof and outside air are at the same temperature. Check to make sure attic insulation is not blocking roof ventilation.
  • Clean leaves and other debris from gutters before the first snow. This will help prevent ice build-up in gutters.
  • Hire a contractor who is an energy specialist or specializes in air sealing to do an in-home evaluation. A good specialist will use diagnostic equipment to evaluate the performance of your home and generate a customized list of improvements.

Why Use A Certified Technician For Water Or Fire Restoration?

iicrc logo

Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling any escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required to return the items to their pre-loss condition.

Certified professionals have the training and experience to:

Advice From The EPA: Why Is Mold Growing In My Home?

Magnified mold spores

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

Be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk for your family, if your home has water damage due to:

  • Flooding,
  • Sewage back-up,
  • Plumbing or roof leaks,
  • Damp basements or crawl space,
  • Overflows from sinks or bathtub, or
  • High humidity: steam cooking, dryer vents, humidifiers.

Clean-up:  Prevent mold and remove wet contents immediately. Wet
carpeting, furniture, bedding, and any other items holding
moisture or water inside the building can develop mold within
24 to 48 hours.

Contact David Brandt at 406-892-1717 or floodco@centurytel.netVisit our website at http://floodco.net/

Flood Co Does Great Work In Whitefish, MT



floodcollc XX

Contact David Brandt at 406-892-1717 or floodco@centurytel.netVisit our website at http://floodco.net/

Preventing Water Damage At Your Business

By Staff writer State Farm™ Employee

Water damage in the workplace can be a devastating blow: Not only can it cost you quite a bit to clean up, but it can also slow – or even shut down – your business operations.

Whether it’s managing the distraction, sending employees home for the cleanup, or losing equipment and records, water damage will inevitably cause your business to take a hit.

Here are some strategies to prevent water damage from happening.

The Usual Suspects

Determining where water might come from can go a long way in preventing water damage in the workplace. Here are some possible water sources to investigate:


Common sources for water damage include the water heater, clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and air conditioning units. The age of an appliance is a major factor; over time, for example, appliances that produce condensation often rust, increasing the chances of a leak.

Water supply hoses on washing machines and dishwashers also may develop leaks. Hundreds of gallons of water can escape, and significant damage can occur to the building and property inside.


Plumbing systems are susceptible to clogs and stoppages, which can lead to overflowing appliances such as toilets, sinks, and washing machines. Grease buildup in kitchen sinks, lint accumulation in dryers, and roots in sewer lines are some of the reasons for clogs and stoppages.

In the winter, pipes can freeze, burst and damage the building and the occupants’ personal property. A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can release up to 250 gallons of water a day.


Deteriorated, missing or damaged roofing materials, and ice dams can allow water to enter through the roof and damage ceilings, walls and floors. Inadequate attic insulation and ventilation can speed up a roof’s decay and contribute to the formation of ice dams. Exposure to wind, snow, ice, rain, and foot traffic can also affect a roof’s ability to keep water out.

Dealing With It: Your Building’s Interior

Look over your equipment; if you see something that worries you, it’s probably time to get involved. Here are some things you can do.

  • Make sure hose connections are secure on water supply lines to washing machines, icemakers, dishwashers, and other appliances that use water.
  • Re-caulk and re-grout around sinks, showers, and tubs. Leaking shower pans and loose or missing tiles should be repaired.
  • Check and replace washing machine hoses regularly, especially if there are signs of cracking, bulging, or other deterioration.
  • Follow the recommended maintenance procedures for all appliances and equipment. This includes periodically draining a portion of the water out of the water heater to flush out the sediment in the bottom of the tank. (Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)
  • Regular maintenance by a qualified HVAC contractor will help keep air conditioner pan drain lines clear of deposits that can clog the line.
  • When the weather turns cold, a trickle of water from both hot and cold faucets may help prevent frozen pipes. Another good idea is to open cabinet doors to allow heat to get to pipes under sinks and appliances near exterior walls.
  • Insulate water pipes that are exposed to freezing temperatures or drafts, such as those located in garages and basements, to help reduce the chance of leaks from frozen pipes.

Dealing With It: Your Building’s Exterior

Water can also come from outside sources. Do you think you’re at risk? If so, here are some steps to consider:

  • Hire a professional roofing contractor to promptly repair deteriorated or damaged roofing materials.
  • Gutters, eaves and downspouts should be free of debris. This will allow water to drain freely. Downspouts should extend away from the building to carry water away from the foundation.
  • Adding insulation and ventilation in the attic can extend the life of the roof and reduce the chance of ice dams that can cause water to back up under roofing. The insulation should be in good shape and attic vents clear.
  • If your building has outdoor hose connections, disconnect them each fall to help minimize the chance of burst pipes due to freezing.
  • Contact David Brandt at 406-892-1717 or floodco@centurytel.netVisit our website at http://floodco.net/