Two dessicant 1200’s pushing dry air into our drying chamber.

The town of Red Lodge beams with pride in Red Lodge High School (RLHS). The state of the art school, which was newly constructed in 2009, is home to a tournament sized gymnasium that seats up to 2300 people and allows Red Lodge the opportunity to host regional tournaments bringing valuable business to their town. In fact, in just two weeks from the discovery of this water damage, a much anticipated regional volleyball tournament was planned. You can imagine the anxiousness felt when school officials were greeted by standing water when they entered the concession stand!

A water supply line for a soda machine failed in the RLHS concession stand. When discovered, water damage was found in both the concession stand and adjoining locker rooms. In addition, approximately  one inch of standing water was found under a majority of the gym floor. Immediately following this discovery, school officials did two things: 1) They called Alpha Omega to begin damage repair 2) They brought in a representative from the company they purchased the floor from to provide a professional opinion on if it could be repaired. His opinion was that it would not be able to be dried and floor replacement, at the cost of approximately $200,000, was the only option.  Heeding that advice, school officials determined they needed to make an attempt to dry the floor so students could continue with their many school year activities that were planned for that gym, including the upcoming tournament. Floor replacement, if necessary, would have to wait until summer break!

Challenge

Many challenges were presented in repairing the water damage. Some of them include:

  • Due to the time frame of when the inconspicuous water line failure began and when it was discovered by school officials, the gym floor was already beginning to cup when our team arrived.
  • Water was present in each layer of the gym floor which was constructed with the following multiple layers: a concrete slab base, 6 mill plastic vapor barrier, sleeper joists, plywood, maple planks, and a gym floor finish. The only way to remove the standing water trapped under this floor was through six 6X6 electrical ports. Two dessicant 1200’s pushing dry air into our drying chamber.
  • Drying needed to begin immediately to prevent the floor from buckling. If buckling occurred, there would be no chance in saving the floor.
  • Team Alpha Omega had a deadline! RLHS Rams volleyball team was set to host a tournament just two short weeks away. Practice needed to take place in the meantime so they would be ready for tournament play.
  • Sufficient power was not available for the amount of equipment necessary to dry the building material in the amount of time available.

Solution

Team Alpha Omega is always up for a challenge, ready to use our expertise to creatively achieve excellent and timely solutions. Solutions for executing the successful drying for this project include:

  • Extraction of standing water trapped in the floor cavity was completed as much as possible using a vacuum pump system through the small access ports. Standing water as seen through a floor electrical port.
  • The multi-layers were dried by pressurizing the floor cavity with warm, dry air using controlled desiccant dehumidifiers. A “drying chamber” was constructed around the bleachers on one side of the gym in which 36000 CFM of desiccated air was directed into. Multiple air movers in this “drying chamber” further forced air under the floor-moving the warm dry air under the width of the floor and out the other side.Drying chamber set up under one side of the gym’s bleachers.
  • Drying equipment was kept on one side of the gym in order to allow volleyball practice to continue. Equipment used to save RLHS’s gym floor.
  • Supplied 200 amps of temporary power in order to run volume of necessary drying equipment.

End Result

We are proud to say our team of experts rose to the challenge and SAVED THAT FLOOR! The cost of drying was less than 20% of the cost of replacement. Did the volleyball tournament go on without a hitch? It sure did! Go RAMS!

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Fires can cause a great deal of damage in your business. Besides the structural damage, fire can also leave a lot of soot and smoke damage behind. This damage can cause stains on any surface of your commercial property, with the smells lingering in for quite a long time. Read more

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What to Do After a House Fire | Alpha-Omega Restoration - Photo of a Woman Who Lost Her Home to a Fire

If you are the victim of a house fire, you probably have many questions. Where do you turn? What do you do? Who do you call first? It can be stressful and overwhelming to deal with the aftermath of a fire, but with a little help, you can be prepared to get your house and life back to normal quickly.

  1. Call your insurance company. If you need more information or decide to file a claim, call your insurance agent to discuss next steps. Discuss your policy and what is covered, and how they can best help you get through this situation. Your insurance company is there to help alleviate stress and to give you all of your options.
  2. Call a fire damage restoration service like Alpha Omega Restoration. After the fire department puts the fire out, they won’t leave until the property is assessed for damage and, depending on the extent of the damage, the property might have to be boarded up and secured. Alpha Omega is available 24/7 to conduct a free inspection to assess the fire damage and determine the extent of the property damage. A fire damage restoration service can also help you board up your property, clean up soot, water damage, and other construction and fire damage cleanup.
  3. Make an inventory list. Your insurance company will need an inventory list of damaged property and belongings. It helps if you physically separate and set aside the damaged property from the undamaged. Your insurance company will send someone out to inspect the damaged items for when they assess your total loss. You can use a personal property inventory template as a guide. If an item was a gift, make sure you note that as well. It’s also a good idea to submit receipts with your inventory list to make your claim easier. If your receipts were lost in a fire or if you don’t have your receipts, you can use a copy of a bank or credit card statement as proof of purchase.
  4. Work with authorities for the fire investigation report. Insurance companies tend to give fire claims top priority, and an adjuster should be out to see you within 24 to 48 hours of the claim. A fire investigator will quickly be assigned to you and your case and will speak with you frequently in the days after the fire. By cooperating with the fire investigator, promptly returning their phone calls and answering their questions, and returning any paperwork, the sooner your claim will be settled.
  5. Find a place to stay during the investigation and construction. While your claim is under investigation, it is important to stay in a safe, soot-free place. Most homeowners policies include a “Loss of Use or Loss of Rents” coverage, which will pay for shelter, clothes, and food for you and your family during a set period of time.

 

Making sure you and your family are safe during this difficult time is important. Also making sure you have the proper help and support you need to get your home from its current state to back in good repair is also top priority. Alpha Omega is here to do just that.

Let the Fire Restoration Company Do the Work for You

Alpha Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas.When repairing the damage after a house fire, you want to have the restoration company do all the work so that it is done correctly without the possibility of further problems creeping up in the future.  Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration is a full general contractor with those appropriate certifications. Call Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration for a free inspection and assessment of your fire damage.  

Our crew is on call 24/7 and we will come to assess the situation, document the damage, and then we will work with your insurance adjuster to provide you the fastest and best fire restoration possible. With our help you can focus on your family and relationships, while you let us worry about restoring your physical property to its pre-disaster state. When we are done, all traces of the destruction will be gone, and you will be left with a safe and comfortable home.

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Protecting your home or commercial building from below-ground wetness is a bigger deal than you may think. Whether you have a basement, daylight basement, or a crawl space, moisture can sneak upward through cracks in your foundation, or come from backed up sewers, broken appliances, or burst pipes. On top of the built-up pools of water, the moisture can cause mold and mildew growth, which can lead to structural damage and health problems.  

Do I Need a Sump Pump?

Preventing water damage can easily be done by the installation and maintenance of a sump pump. A sump pump is a device that is installed in the lowest point of your basement or crawlspace, called a sump pit. It may have the most important job out of any appliance in your entire house or business, it prevents flooding and keeps everything dry. As moisture builds up from leaking water, the sump pump directs the water away from the building.

You might want to consider sump pump installation if your home or commercial building doesn’t already have one. The difference between having a sump pump and not having one could be massive water damage to your property.

What Type of Sump Pump Should You Choose?

If you’ve determined that you need a sump pump to prevent against water damage, the next step is to determine what kind of sump pump is right for your home or business. There are two different types of sump pumps: domestic and commercial grade sump pumps.

Should You Choose a Submersible Sump Pump?

Submersible sump pumps are the most common kinds of sump pump, usually being built into the foundation of a basement. They tend to be quieter than pedestal sump pumps, as the motor is deep in the floor. This is especially important as submersible sump pumps have higher horsepower than other sump pumps, which means this model can pump out a larger amount of water in a shorter amount of time than the pedestal sump sump.

Since the sump pump is installed below ground it also doesn’t get in the way of anything in your basement, allowing you to keep that precious storage area free and clear of pipes, hoses, and other equipment. The submersible sump pump also has the ability to have a backup battery, which allows the sump pump to work even when the power is out during a storm.

The benefits of the submersible sump pump come at a cost. To install a submersible into the sump pit requires a lot of time and money. And every time there is even a small amount of damage, the cement floor needs to be broken up in order to access the pump.

Should You Choose a Pedestal Sump Pump?

If your building has a narrow or shallow sump pit, then a pedestal sump pump is the better choice for your situation. This pump comes in two pieces, a motor that sits on top of the basement floor, and a hose that feeds into the sump pit. If anything happens to this sump pump, it is easily accessible and repairable since it sits above ground. The pedestal sump pump is also less likely to break than the submersible because it is not constantly under water.

The horsepower is not as great as the submersible, so in the event of large amounts of rain and snow, the pump might not be able to act quickly enough, leading to basement water damage. The pedestal sump pump also takes up a bit of space because the freestanding motor is above ground. This is also the same reason that whenever the pump runs, it tends to be noisy.

How Does a Sump Pump Work?

A sump pump is placed in a sump pit, which is a deep hole about 24-inches deep and 18-inches wide, with gravel at the bottom. As water builds up in the sump pit, a float activator arm senses how high the water gets (this is similar to the float activator arm in the back of your toilet tank, telling your tank when to stop refilling with water). Once the water hits a certain point, the sump pump turns on, moving water through the sump pump drain pipe underneath and away from the foundation of your home. Most pipes have a check-valve that prevents water from flowing backward, and back toward the house.

Each sump pump has a centrifugal pump, that moves the water. So when the sump pump turns on, it activates the centrifugal pump, which causes a fanlike device called an impeller to turn on. The impeller uses centrifugal force to spin the water, moving the water in a circular motion toward the sides of the pipe, allowing for a low-pressure force at the pipe’s center. The impeller’s spinning action helps push the water through the pipe. The higher the pumps horsepower, the faster the impeller and the higher volume of water in a shorter period of time.

Both submersible and pedestal sump pumps run on electricity, and require a grounded outlet. Since the pumps are constantly in or near water, it’s recommended that the grounded outlet be a ground fault circuit interrupter, like the kind you have in your kitchen and bathrooms near your sinks, to avoid accidental electrocution.

Need Help Cleaning Up Water Damage in Your Flooded Basement?

Contact Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration for a free inspection. We are on call 24/7 and will come to assess the situation, document the damage, and work with your insurance adjuster to provide you the fastest and best water restoration possible. We are a full-service company that will help make this process smoother and easier, returning you quickly and safely to your home.

Alpha-Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas.

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Prevent Water Damage From Leaking Appliances

Water damage in your business or home can happen from severe weather like heavy rains or melting snow, but in Billings, MT, a more common reason for flooding is from broken or leaking appliances. Whether it’s from a refrigerator, washing machine, dishwasher, or ice-maker, or toilet, water damage can sneak up on you if you do not take preventative measures.

Do a Broken Appliance Checklist

Even if a hose or pipe has a small drip, over time that drip can lead to massive water damage, causing structural damage and growth of mold and mildew. Use this checklist to make sure your appliances are in working condition and help with future flood prevention.

  • Check the manual and follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Every appliance is different, and requires a different schedule for routine maintenance. Check your owner’s manual for each appliance and follow the recommendations on how regularly to have your appliance inspected for optimal performance. In between inspections, keep an eye out for puddles of water under and around your appliance, as well as dampness, mildew, and mold growth. Just being aware will put you a step ahead of water damage.
  • Inspect seals to see if you need a refrigerator seal replacement. Appliances like refrigerators, freezers, and ice-makers need proper seals and gaskets in order to keep cool air in and warm air out. Improperly sealed appliances can leak water due to condensation and moisture build-up. If warm air leaks into your appliance, it will also cause the appliance to work harder to keep things cold, ultimately shortening its life and raising your electricity bills. Repair or replace and defective door seals that aren’t smooth, not fully or have cracks, tears, or other breaks.  
  • Watch out for dish soap in washing machine. Consult your washing machine and dishwashers’ user manuals before putting soap in your appliances. Make sure to only use the manufacturer’s recommended soap. The wrong soap can lead to excessive suds that can seep out of the door seals and into your home.
  • Replace flexible water supply tubing. Flexible water supply tubing is great for not rusting or freezing, but tends to crack, deteriorate, break, and burst. Consider replacing the standard water supply tubing that comes with appliances for something sturdier like stainless steel tubes, which are known for their longer lifespans. Also, when you are placing your appliances, take the length of the water supply tubing into consideration. If the appliance is too far away, the line becomes too taut and will have trouble pulling water in. On the other hand, if your appliance is pushed too closely into the wall, the line could kink. Aim for somewhere right in the middle, providing the right amount of slack.
  • “Level it” installations. When you’re installing your appliance, or even after you clean underneath it, make sure it is level and balanced. Appliances that are not level can work improperly and leak water. A simple fix, like propping up one side of the appliance with a shim to level it out, can save you major hassle and money later.
  • Consider buying new appliances. It may seem like a lot of money to invest, especially when that old water heater works “well enough,” but older appliances tend to use more energy, cost more money to run, and are prone to leaking because of their age. Replacing older parts can work as a temporary fix, but replacing the entire machine might be the next logical step to future water damage. And don’t worry about your washing machine ending up in a landfill–check your local listings for a broken appliance donation center, like a RecycleSpot or Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

 

Need help from a water restoration company?  

Alpha Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas. If you own an appliance such as a refrigerator, ice-maker, washing machine, or even a shower and toilet, you are vulnerable to water damage. Water inside the home needs dried quickly to prevent further problems like mold growth and rotting. Before you do any work to remove the water yourself, call Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration for a free inspection.  

Our crew is on call 24/7 and we will come to assess the situation, document the damage, and then we will work with your insurance adjuster to provide you the fastest and best water restoration possible. With our help you can focus on your family and relationships, while you let us worry about restoring your physical property to its pre-disaster state. When we are done, all traces of the destruction will be gone, and you will be left with a safe and comfortable home.

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When you think of basements flooding, you may think of severe weather like heavy rain or melting snow typical of spring, but water damage may occur any time of the year, even in the summer. Water damage from weather is not the only cause of flooded basements, either. In places like Billings, Montana, flooding from too much rain is rare. Water damage from leaking pipes, negative drainage, or broken appliances are the usual causes of water issues, and can create bigger problems like mold, mildew, and structural damage. Follow these tips to protect your home and help avoid common causes of basement flooding.

 

Water Damage Prevention Checklist

  1. Add basement insulation to prevent structural damage. Condensation can build up on cold pipes, leading to dripping water that can ruin drywall and flooring. Prevent issues by installing a dehumidifier, and properly insulate your basement, including wrapping exposed pipes.
  2. Check exterior waterproofing of your foundation. Water can sneak into your basement through cracks in your walls and foundation, as well as improperly sealed or installed window wells. Patch and repair all cracks and chips to prevent future foundation damage and to keep water outside.
  3. Ensure water drainage is away from the house. Even though severe weather issues are rare, make sure your home is ready. Clean out your gutters, and see that downspouts lead water at least five to ten feet away from your home. Check that your yard is landscaped to flow water away from the house toward the nearest drain.
  4. Is your water bill going up? Not all water leaks lead to large pools of water. If there is an unexpected increase on your monthly water bill, no matter how small, it may be a sign of a broken pipe or an improperly installed toilet. These issues may cause incremental leaks that don’t show themselves in stained ceiling tiles or wet flooring, but build up over time. By paying attention to your water bill for any hints at a hidden problem, you will more likely catch the issue early-on.
  5. Look for water stains on walls and ceiling. Be on the lookout for new stains and dark spots on the ceiling, walls, flooring, and under pipes. These are a telltale sign that water is dripping inside your home.
  6. Test your sump pump and basement drain. Make sure your sump pump is working and the drain in your basement is clear and allowing water to flow freely. Testing your sump pump regularly will ensure that if you do ever have water in your basement, it will automatically drain outside and away from your home, preventing further damage. If you don’t have a sump pump, consider installing one.
  7. Fix water leaks. Repair or replace any noticeable dripping pipes and repair any cracked caulking, or have this done by certified professionals.

 

What to Do if You Have Water in Your Basement

Water inside the home needs dried quickly to prevent further problems like mold growth and rotting. Before you do any work to remove the water yourself, call Alpha-Omega Disaster Restoration for a free inspection.  

Alpha-Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas. We are on call 24/7 and will come to assess the situation, document the damage, and work with your insurance adjuster to provide you the fastest and best water restoration possible. When we are done, all traces of the destruction will be gone, and you will be left with a safe and comfortable home.

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5 Tips to Prevent Spring Flooding | Alpha-Omega Restoration

As spring brings warmer weather and heavy rains, it can always bring water damage and flooding into your home. Water damage is never convenient, but fortunately, most of the time flooding and water damage can be prevented. Follow these tips to prepare for the coming spring thaw and help secure your home from excess water.

Do a roof check.

Start at the top of your house and work your way down. Something small like a cracked shingle could lead to something much bigger down the line. Water could leak into the crack into the attic and downward into the home, causing mold and structural damage. Damaged areas of your roof can also be ideal spots for critters to sneak into your home. Use caution and a ladder to go up on your roof to inspect it up close or use binoculars to look from the ground. Look for cracked, curling, damaged, or missing shingles, damage to the chimney cap, cracks in the caulk or rubber around the vent pipe, and roofing debris in your gutters and downspouts.

Inspect your house siding.

The job of your siding is to protect your home and to keep elements outside. Damage to your siding could lead to moisture coming inside your home, and causes rot and structural damage. Look for warping, buckling, cracks, gaps, or holes in the siding. Replace any missing pieces of trim and repair any siding not securely fastened to the house. Watch for any stains or discolorations on siding, as that could mean existing damage beneath that may have already seeped into your home, and may require further inspection by professionals.

Clean out your gutters.

This may be the most underrated part of spring cleaning. Since spring is rainy season, gutters provide your first level of defense against keeping water away from your home. Check for clogs in your gutters created by leaves, sticks, or other debris. Look for standing water, which may mean there’s a clog or blockage in the downspout. Look for cracks, leaks, or missing sealant in gutter seams. Secure any parts of the gutter that have pulled away from the roof. Finally, make sure water doesn’t pool at the bottom of the downspout. If it does, extend the downspout to ensure water flows away from your home.

Check your house foundation.

One of the most common problems that leads to flooded basements is issues with the foundation. Look for cracks, chips, or crumbling concrete. Make sure there isn’t any bulges, bowing, or deformities on your foundation walls, and that there isn’t any water pooling outside at the base of the home. Inside the basement or crawl space, look for any signs of moisture weeping or dripping. Also looks for cracks and gaps where there are windows, doors, and seams where the walls meet the ceiling.

Landscape for flood prevention.

This area of your home tends to be missed when thinking about preventing flooding in the home, but issues like an improperly graded lawn, could provide an easy path for melting snow and rain to flow right into your home. Make sure your yard is sloping away from your home; if it’s not, regrade it. Manage trees, branches, and shrubs that may be too close to your house, and could damage your roof, siding, or foundation. Repair, remove, or replace cracking or lifting cement walkways.

Spring may be on its way, but that doesn’t mean water damage has to come with it. Taking these five steps with go a long way to ensuring your home stays flood free during these wetter months.

 

Have water damage and need help?

Alpha Omega is a fully certified restoration company serving Billings, MT and the surrounding areas. Water inside the home needs dried quickly to prevent further problems like mold growth and rotting. Before you do any work to remove the water yourself, call Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration for a free inspection.

Our crew is on call 24/7 and we will come to assess the situation, document the damage, and then we will work with your insurance adjuster to provide you the fastest and best water restoration possible. With our help you can focus on your family and relationships, while you let us worry about restoring your physical property to its pre-disaster state. When we are done, all traces of the destruction will be gone, and you will be left with a safe and comfortable home.

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In the Billings, Montana area, temperatures often drop below zero, especially in the winter time. Whether you live in the Heights, Downtown, or the West End, you will experience these freezing conditions. If you experience water damage caused by a frozen pipe, one of the first things you need to do is find the source of the damage. Know where your water shut-off valve is. This can save you lots of grief if you are ever in a situation that requires a quick turn-off. If you do not know where the water is coming from, then it is best to start on damage control. TIP: don’t forget to snap a few photos. If you have belonging that are affected, remove them to avoid further damage. This also applies to items that haven’t been touched by the water yet. Next, you need to begin removing the standing water. Depending on the amount of damage, you may need to use towels or even a sump pump. If you have a wet vacuum, use it. You may have to also pull off baseboards in order to prevent further damage to them as well. The next step would be to dry out the area with fans. No matter how severe (or not severe) water damage seems to be, you should always consult a professional, like Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration, to complete an inspection (which is often free) to make sure everything is taken care of.

Have questions about water damage concerns? Give us a call at 406-628-0178, or email mail@alphaomegapros.com

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We are very excited to announce this scholarship opportunity to the class of 2017! Two scholarships in the amount of $500.00 will be awarded to business-minded graduating seniors. Please see the attached PDF listed on the bottom of the page to download the application.

A brief overview of the criteria includes:

  1. Be a high school senior attending any of the following schools:

Absarokee                                              Columbus                                Shepherd

Belfry                                                      Fromberg

Billings Central                                     Hardin

Billings Christian                                  Huntley Project

Billings Senior                                       Joliet

Billings Skyview                                    Laurel

Billings West                                          Park City

Bridger                                                    Red Lodge

Broadview                                              Roberts

2. Intend to pursue a degree in Business-related studies

3. Intend to start their own small business

4. Write an essay no more than 1,000 words outlining the business they intend to develop, as well as who/what inspired them to choose that particular venture

5. Complete the attached application (See PDF)

6. Submit 2 letters of recommendation from adults who know you (adults may not be related to you)

7. Submit a current photo

The deadline to apply is April 1st. Please submit scholarships either by:

Email (mail@alphaomegapros.com)

Direct mail (PO Box 1108, Laurel, MT 59044)

Your high school counselor

Good luck! We look forward to your submissions.

Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration Scholarship

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Willy & Julie Johnson

ao-group-7-webIt’s Thanksgiving Day! As 2016 draws to a close and we dive into the Holiday season, it is always a great time to pause and look back on the past year. We are so thankful for all the people who have impacted this company, including our wonderful customers, employees, referral sources, and business partners. We could not do it without you all! This year, we are especially thankful for relationships that continue to grow, as well as new relationships that are formed daily. Community is very important to us, and we are extremely grateful to be a part of the Laurel and Billings community. Being able to serve our customers and help rebuild lives is a fantastic perk of our job, and we take the responsibility very seriously. Thank you for trusting us with your homes, businesses, and property.

We hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with great food, company, and lots of laughter!

Your local disaster restoration team,

Alpha Omega Disaster Restoration

 

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