Recent Posts

The Danger Slow Leaks Present to your Missoula Home

5/21/2024 (Permalink)

bubbled plaster due to long-term water damage. Long-term water damage can lead to warped walls, discoloration, and mold.

Water damage caused by a long-term leak or other sources of moisture accumulation over time is scary for homeowners for multiple reasons. In many cases, homeowners have no idea a leak is there. We often think; that insurance is supposed to cover sudden and accidental damage. However, long-term water loss claims are often denied, Long-term water damage also regularly leads to secondary damages like mold.

As a homeowner, the best way to deal with long-term water damage is to prevent it. Like any other part of your home, pipes experience wear and tear, and regular maintenance and periodic replacements may be necessary to keep things running smoothly. Scheduling an annual or bi-annual plumbing inspection can help determine if any repairs are needed. For instance, a plumber can check to see if your water pressure is too high or if your water has a high mineral content—both of which can stress your pipes and reduce their lifespan—and recommend an appropriate fix.

If an out-of-sight leak does occur, how can you know? There are a few common signs to watch out for: your water bill is significantly higher than usual; decreased water pressure in your home; wet spots around sinks, toilets, or tubs; warped, discolored, or wet walls; a persistent mildew smell. If you can see or smell signs of water damage in your home, or if your plumber discovers a long-term leak, call SERVPRO of Missoula as soon as possible. Our technicians can be onsite within the hour to begin mitigating the damage. If insurance coverage ever becomes an issue, your project manager will be able to get you a quote directly.

Why SERVPRO? We’re with you every step of the way

3/21/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO isn’t the only restoration service out there, and not even the only restoration service in Missoula. With a few options to choose from, you may ask “Why should I choose SERVPRO of Missoula in the event of water, fire, or mold damage in my home?”

The answer lies not only in our highly trained team and specialized technology but also (and perhaps more so) in our commitment to our customers from the very first call all the way through to final repairs and cleaning. Our promise to make water, fire, and mold damage “Like it never even happened” is not an empty one.

SERVPRO of Missoula technicians are on call to respond to emergencies 24/7, because we know emergencies rarely occur at a ‘convenient’ time. If you have a flood in your home, our team will be onsite that same day to extract water and begin drying out affected materials. Once your home reaches dry standards, we don’t just leave you to figure out the rest. SERVPRO of Missoula also works with your insurance company to make the process as easy for you as possible, and provides repair services as well as contents cleaning; our team’s collective experience ensures that we’ve covered all the small details, so you don’t have to

SERVPRO of Missoula isn’t only a restoration company; it’s a residential and commercial mitigation, repair, and cleaning company ready to take on a project of any size; and in the event of a loss in your home or business, it’s also a support system. If you call SERVPRO of Missoula for water, fire, or mold damage, you can rest assured we’ll be with you every step of the way.

How SERVPRO of Missoula makes commercial fire damage “Like it never even happened”

2/7/2024 (Permalink)

A fire fighter stands outside a burned-out restaurant façade. A fire in your business can make you feel hopeless, but SERVPRO of Missoula can make it “Like it never even happened!”

If you own a business, your priority is keeping the doors open. When something unexpected, like a fire or smoke damage from a nearby fire—occurs, one of your primary concerns is how long the damage will take to fix. So, when you search for a restoration company to help get your business back to normal, and to get the job done, thoroughly and efficiently. That’s where SERVPRO of Missoula comes in.
Here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we’re committed to making that damage “Like it never even happened.” But what does efficient, thorough fire restoration look like? If a fire causes structural damage, a structural engineer will be called in to monitor the project. Next, our technicians will place air scrubbers throughout the affected area to filter smoke and begin purifying the air. Salvageable textiles will be sent to fabric restoration professionals while SERVPRO of Missoula technicians secure the necessary commercial permits to begin removal of all charred material within your business, and complete HEPA vacuuming and cleaning. Final deodorization takes place using an ozone or hydroxyl generator, and from there our experienced project managers will create a scope of work for any necessary repairs. Throughout the entire fire restoration process, your SERVPRO of Missoula project manager will always be available to answer questions and notify you of the job’s progress, so you can rest assured that everything is being done to make your commercial fire “Like it never even happened.”

What to do during and after a Missoula winter storm

1/9/2024 (Permalink)

A hillside in a snow storm. Montana winters are unpredictable, but having an emergency plan means never being caught off guard!

With winter storms closing in so quickly, hopefully by now you’ve done all your winter prep work—your pantries are stocked with non-perishables, and your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have been recently checked. But what do you do when the words “Winter Storm Warning” actually appear on the forecast?

According to the American Red Cross, a Winter Storm Warning means “life-threatening, severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours.” When you see one go into effect on your local broadcast, the first thing you should do is get yourself, your family, and your companion animals to a safe place and remain indoors; avoid travel unless it is necessary (and even then, use public transport whenever possible). If you have livestock, make sure they have access to shelter and non-frozen water. Then, stay updated; keep a battery-powered radio tuned to your local news broadcast or NOAA station to get live updates on weather conditions.

Winter storms can last for several hours or even days, which is why it’s so important to have that emergency kit well-stocked and accessible. While you and your family are hunkered down, make sure everyone keeps hydrated (this means avoiding caffeine and alcohol, which can both lead to dehydration) and eats regularly, as the body needs energy to produce heat. Storms often put stress on power systems, so conserve energy by closing doors to unused rooms and by setting your thermostat to 65°F during the day and 55°F at night.

If you must go outside during a storm, wear layered clothing, gloves, and a hat, and cover your mouth. Avoid talking and taking deep breaths to protect your lungs from frigid air, and avoid overexertion; shoveling snow is a leading cause of heart attacks in the winter, and sweating in freezing conditions can lead to hypothermia.

Even after a winter storm has ended, it’s important to stay warm and tune in to local news for travel conditions. Always think about safety first! For more details on what to do during and after a winter storm, check out https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies.html

Trimming the Christmas tree with SERVPRO of Missoula

12/14/2023 (Permalink)

A Christmas tree ornament that looks like a house hangs on a bow amidst lights, beads, and other ornaments. Prevention is the key to a merry, bright, and fire-free holiday season.

Here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we’re committed to fire preparedness, which is why we’ve previously covered topics such as the importance of checking your smoke detectors routinely and having + knowing how to use a home fire extinguisher.

That said, prevention is the most effective tool against home fires, especially during the holiday season. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately 160 Christmas tree fires and 780 decoration fires are reported each year, with candle fires in particular reaching their peak on Christmas and Christmas Eve. With these facts in mind, there are several preventative steps you can take to decrease the risk of a holiday fire in your Missoula home:

  • Never leave a stovetop unattended when cooking
  • Keep candles at least 12 inches away from anything flammable
  • For string lights, read the manufacturer’s instructions to find the maximum number of strands to connect
  • Replace string lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections
  • Make sure your tree is at least three feet away from any heat source or vents and that it does not block exits
  • Water your Christmas tree daily
  • Remove your Christmas tree as soon as it dries out
  • Turn off string lights and blow out candles before leaving your home or going to bed

By working these preventative measures into your holiday routine, you can ensure your home stays merry, bright, and fire-free this winter.

The SERVPRO of Missoula team wishes you and yours a safe and joyous holiday season!

Winter is Coming to Missoula: Winter Storm Preparedness

11/9/2023 (Permalink)

Snow covered pine tree branches are tangled in power lines. It’s important to prepare for winter storms before severe weather strikes.

Like those Christmas decorations in the department store, it may seem a bit early to think about winter storms, much less prepare your home for one. However, the middle of a blizzard is hardly the time to wonder when your heating system was last serviced. By taking action now, you can head into the holiday season comfortable with the knowledge that your home and family will be safe in the face of severe winter weather.

Before those nightly temperatures plummet, you’ll want to take preventative measures to keep your pipes from freezing (stay tuned for another post with more info) and help your home retain heat by weather-stripping doors and windowsills and replacing your heating system’s filter. Then, you might consider buying emergency heating equipment (and fuel) or a portable backup generator—but not before checking that your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector are in good working order! And in case you’re unable to leave your home for a prolonged amount of time due to weather conditions, having a stock of non-perishable food items in your pantry is always a good idea.

While you can hopefully avoid the roads entirely during a winter storm, in the event that you’re caught traveling or need to evacuate an area when a storm strikes, you also want to be sure your vehicle is winter-ready. The American Red Cross recommends having a maintenance check and tire evaluation in autumn so that any necessary maintenance can be completed before winter arrives, and having an emergency road kit with the following provisions: a windshield scraper, a small sack of sand (for generating traction), matches in a waterproof container, tire chains or traction mats, a bright red cloth to tie to your antenna, warm clothing, water, and snack food, and a battery-powered radio.

It’s never too early to think about emergency preparedness—for more ways to get started, check out the free SERVPRO Ready Plan App in the app store or at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/.

Fall is upon us, Missoula! Time to break out the rake!

10/5/2023 (Permalink)

Multicolored, autumn leaves covering the ground. Raking fallen leaves early and often can help keep mold growth to a minimum in your yard.

With the sudden cold snap we experienced here in the Missoula Valley, leaves have begun to drop from the trees at a rapid rate. Add in all that rain we’ve been getting, and your yard becomes a potential breeding ground for mold. That’s because freshly fallen leaves still have a fair amount of minerals and nutrients in their system, which promote mold growth under the right conditions. For the ‘right conditions,’ look no further than that perpetually shady, dew-covered spot under the tree in your yard or created by the shadow of your house. In other words, mold thrives in moist, dark environments.
However, there is a simple solution to preventing this: rake early and rake often. If you don’t allow those leaves to sit and collect moisture, they’ll have less of a chance to grow mold. That also means bagging and disposing of leaves once they’re raked, instead of leaving large piles in your yard. Leaf mold isn’t all bad, though! If you’re a gardener, you can look into repurposing those leaves as mulch; this gets the leaves off your lawn and puts them to work for you. Or if you’re looking for other ways to keep your home mold-free this autumn, you can also make sure that all of your gutters and water drainage systems are draining away from your foundation and clear those gutters of leaves and blockages.

SERVPRO of Missoula asks: are your pets in your fire safety plan?

7/18/2023 (Permalink)

A bulldog wearing a fireman’s coat and hat. Your pets are a part of your family – include them in your family’s fire safety plan!

In our ongoing effort to encourage Missoula families to create emergency preparedness plans, this week, SERVPRO of Missoula specifically challenges you to consider how your pets fit into your home’s Fire Safety Plan, and we have some tips to get you started:

  • Include your pets in family evacuation drills. This means keeping a leash or other necessary equipment close to the main exit, and including pet necessities in your emergency supply kit. Training your pets to come to you when you call can also save valuable time in an emergency.
  • Prevent your pets from starting fires by never leaving a pet unattended around an open flame, and securing pets away from fire hazards when you leave them home alone.
  • When leaving pets at home, ensure firefighters can easily evacuate them in the event of a fire by keeping them in rooms or areas close to your home’s entrance. You can also put a pet alert sticker in a front window to let rescuers know the number and types of pets in your home (be sure to update this when necessary).

Discussing emergency preparedness is an activity that the whole family can (and should) participate in together and is definitely worthy of some home-schooling time! For more emergency planning tips, check out the blogs in our “Fire” and “Storm Damage” categories.

What to do when a lightning storm strikes Missoula

6/14/2023 (Permalink)

Lightning strikes a mountain top. When thunder roars, go indoors!

Just as snow is expected, during a Montana winter, so are thunderstorms expected during a Montana summer. Here in the Missoula Valley, it is not uncommon for hundreds of lightning strikes to occur over the course of a single stormy weekend. And while lightning against the backdrop of the Bitterroot Mountains can offer some of the most stunning sights of summer, they are also cause for education and preparation.

The National Weather Service estimates that 49 people are killed by lightning in the United States each year, and thunderstorms are also often accompanied by harsh winds, hail, and even flash flooding. For these reasons, it’s important to remember the slogan “When thunder roars, go indoors!” Take refuge in a car or building for the duration of the storm, check for alerts and updates from local authorities, unplug appliances, and do not use landline phones. Once it’s safe to go outside, be on the lookout for downed power lines and trees, and report them immediately.

To better prepare your home and your family for future thunderstorms, Ready.gov recommends signing up for emergency alerts, cutting down or trimming trees that could fall under the force of powerful winds, and buying surge protectors to protect your appliances and electronics from power surges.

And if your home suffers damage from a lightning-caused fire or water damage from a flash flood, call SERVPRO of Missoula to make it “Like it never even happened.