Recent Posts

I found mold in my home. What do I do now?

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

Mold along a baseboard in the corner of a room. Finding mold in your home can be scary business, but it’s our business to make it “Like it never even happened!”

If you find mold in your home or business, several worries are likely to race through your mind—you may wonder ‘Is this affecting the health of my family or employees?’ ‘How extensive is it?’ or ‘How do I even begin to get rid of it?’—but it’s important not to panic. Mold spores get released into the air when they’re disturbed, so if you discover mold, the first step you should take is to back away from whatever project exposed the mold, and to not disturb it further.  

Second, because mold is caused by excess moisture, it’s important to figure out where the moisture came from. If you discover an active source of moisture, such as a leaking pipe, fix the leak or eliminate the source as soon as possible. Once you’ve cut off the source of moisture to the area affected by mold growth, it’s time to call insurance and see if mold damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Your agent will also be able to recommend next steps based on the size and scope of the damage. In most cases, but certainly if the affected area is larger than 10 sq. ft (approximately 3 ft by 3 ft), the most reliable way to remediate the mold in your home is to call in remediation professionals. This is because many popular home remediation methods, such as the use of bleach, may not fix the problem and can make it likely for the mold to return. SERVPRO of Missoula uses advanced methods of containment and air filtration, as well as specially formulated cleaning products to remove mold and recreate a healthy environment for your family.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Collage of technicians wearing PPE. SERVPRO professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global coronavirus pandemic, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Missoula, 406-327-9500

Making commercial fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

3/19/2020 (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 first 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, you look for one with a reputation for being able 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? It starts with clearance from the local fire department to ensure that the structure is safe to work in. If a fire caused structural damage, a structural engineer will be called in to monitor the project and keep everyone on the jobsite safe. Next, our technicians will place air scrubbers throughout the affected area to filter smoke particles 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.”

We’re with you every step of the way

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician talking to a customer outside a house. From mitigation to repairs to final cleaning – we handle all the steps to making your loss “Like it never even happened.”

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 standard, 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.

Mold 101: What is it? Where is it?

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

A large patch of mold on an indoor wall. Mold is everywhere, but if you can see it or smell it in your home, call in remediation professionals!

When you hear the word ‘mold,’ a specific image probably comes to mind. That image might be fuzzy green patches on a loaf of bread, or black splotches in the tile grooves of your shower wall. Either way, ‘mold’ does not typically conjure up a pretty picture. But what is mold, really?

Mold is a fungus that can grow anywhere moisture, oxygen, and organic material are present. That definition may sound vague, but it has to be in order to encompass the 100,000+ species of mold that there are in the world. And with so many species of mold, it stands to reason that not all molds are bad. After all, we wouldn’t have foodie favorites such as blue cheese or hard salami if it weren’t for mold. On the other hand, some mold can cause health effects, so how do you know when to take action against it, and when to let it be?

According to the CDC, “there is always a little mold everywhere—in the air and on many surfaces.” This is because, when disturbed, mold spores become airborne and can be transported in and out of the home via doors, windows, and HVAC systems, or can hitch a ride on clothes, shoes, and pets. For the most part, we’re unaware of and unaffected by the mold spores being transported all around us. Mold infestations that require action, though, are those that can be seen or smelled. Visible mold growth, regardless of the type of mold present, should always be remediated to safeguard against possible negative health effects in a building’s inhabitants. If you find mold growth in your home or business, don’t panic! SERVPRO of Missoula can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Common Causes of Commercial Fires

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Burned-out warehouse full of smoke. Over 100,000 commercial fires occur in the U.S. every year – protect your business with these simple prevention steps!

The home is the most likely place for a fire to occur—that’s where we cook, where we light candles, where we kindle fireplaces to keep warm in the winter—and so we tend to focus most of our fire prevention efforts in the home. And while it’s true that more fires occur in houses and apartments than in non-residential structures, non-residential fires in the United States still total over 100,00 each year. If you own a business or manage employees, it’s important to know where the risk of fire is highest in your work environment so you can take preventative measures and keep your employees safe.

Cooking is the number one cause of structure fires, even outside the home. For this reason, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers should always be installed in spaces with cooking appliances—even if it’s just a microwave—and sprinkler systems should be in place wherever possible. Carelessness is the second-leading cause of non-residential structure fires. This is why fire safety and prevention training should always be implemented in the workplace and include regulations such as where it is safe to smoke and discard cigarettes on the premises; if, where, and when candles are allowed; if, where, and how heating equipment is to be used in the building; and proper use of electrical devices that may be fire hazards. Another leading cause of commercial fires is HVAC system malfunction. You can greatly reduce the risk of an HVAC system malfunction by having your work space’s HVAC system cleaned and inspected annually.

SERVPRO of Missoula can help identify these and other risk factors in your commercial space and create an emergency plan for your employees at no cost – call us today and ask about our Emergency Ready Profiles!

Training Matters: SERVPRO Certifications and Commitments

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

A project manager briefs SERVPRO technicians in full PPE on work to be done. SERVPRO technicians have the training to get the job done!

The SERVPRO of Missoula website has a lot to say about the training that our technicians and project managers receive. This is because when the need for a remediation and restoration professional arises, the need is often urgent, and we want our customers to know right from the start that our technicians have the training to get the job done right.

We often specifically mention IICRC and RIA certifications. And why are these important? The IICRC—the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification—is a non-profit organization that has provided the most utilized information for the cleaning and restoration industry in the U.S. for more than forty years. The RIA—the Restoration Industry Association—is the oldest restoration trade association in the country and works with the IICRC to develop industry standards. The trainings our team leaders receive from these two organizations, in conjunction with specialized training provided by our corporate training facility, equip them with the expertise to address water, fire, or mold damage of any scope or scale. This is due to vigorous courses in all aspects of remediation—from advanced safety training to classifying categories of water damage to understanding microbial growth.

When we speak of our highly trained team here at SERVPRO of Missoula, it isn’t just idle chatter. Our team members are trained not only at the beginning of their SERVPRO careers, but via additional and refresher trainings throughout each year to ensure that we can deliver on our promise to make the water, fire, or mold damage in your home or business “Like it never even happened.”

Emergency Readiness at Home: Evacuation Plan

2/13/2020 (Permalink)

Cars evacuate an area surrounded by forest fire. Disasters are scary, but having a plan makes them less so.

Disasters happen. It’s frightening to think about the possibility of having to flee your home due to a widespread emergency, but it’s even more frightening to think that you would be completely unprepared for such a situation. By making just a few considerations now, you and your family can be ready for an evacuation in the future.

If a local emergency triggers an evacuation, your family will need a place to go. That’s why the first step in your evacuation plan should be designating two or three out-of-town locations in separate directions where you could go. These locations could be hotels or houses of friends or family, and if you have pets it’s important to make sure they can shelter your pets, too. Then make sure you’re familiar with alternate routes away from your home, and means of public transportation in case driving your personal vehicle isn’t an option.

With many weather events and some natural disasters (like forest fires), there may be forewarning that you’ll need to evacuate. In these cases, make sure to keep your gas tank full and to create a “go-bag” of essentials that you can pick up and take with you at a moment’s notice. When local officials give the word to evacuate, take as few cars as possible and stick to recommended evacuation routes as shortcuts could be blocked. Before you leave, it’s also best to unplug electrical equipment (though it’s only necessary to unplug refrigerators and freezers if there’s a risk of flooding), lock all of your doors and windows, and activate your family communication plan by letting an out-of-town family member know where you’re going and when you arrive. Only return home once local officials have said it’s safe to do so.

Overall, when a local emergency that necessitates evacuation has occurred or may occur, the most important steps to take are to keep updated with local news radio, and to always follow local officials’ instructions. For more information on emergency preparedness, check out the other blogs in the “storm” category, and ready.gov/plan

Snowmelt and Hydrostatic Pressure

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Snow melting on grass, with fallen leaves. Hydrostatic pressure is hard to see; instead of waiting for signs of damage, protect your home’s foundation with preventative steps!

Another Groundhog Day came and went and in a surprising turn of events, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow. That’s supposed to mean that spring has arrived, but here in Western Montana “spring” is looking more like periods of warmth and sunshine, followed by snow, followed by sunshine, and then more snow.

Understandably, a weather pattern such as this creates a lot of snowmelt and runoff. Snowmelt, while an important part of the annual water cycle, can spell trouble for your house’s foundation or basement. The potential trouble stems from a phenomenon called hydrostatic pressure, wherein excess water creates soil expansion as it seeps into the ground. A house’s foundation then blocks that water from where gravity wants it to travel—downhill—and it so the water exerts pressure on the foundation instead. At greater depths, hydrostatic pressure combined with the force of gravity and the weight of the earth itself can begin to comprise foundations and basement walls, leading to fissures and leaks.

Obviously, there’s not much homeowners can do about weather patterns or the occurrence of snowmelt. But there are steps you can take to protect your foundation from the insidious effects of hydrostatic pressure. As is often the case, prevention is the best way to deal with water damage in your home; installing a sump pump is one way to protect against excess water finding its way into your basement or crawlspace. Then, regular inspections and maintenance of your outdoor water drainage systems can help ensure that clogs aren’t creating unnecessary additional pressure and sending water down unintended paths. Finally, if you do notice a crack in your basement wall or around your foundation, seal it immediately. And of course, if you see that water has made its way in, contact SERVPRO of Missoula so we can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Emergency Alerts

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

A black and white photo of an emergency call box on a college campus. You have to know about an emergency before you can react to it; check out your local alert options today!

Here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we discuss emergency preparedness quite often—how to prepare for emergency situations, what to do during an emergency, steps to take after an emergency has occurred. But how do we know when to put all this preparation into action? Not all emergencies are immediately obvious to us like a kitchen fire or flooded home might be; sometimes situations develop outside our sphere of awareness which still necessitate emergency action, like evacuating or sheltering in place. That’s why it’s important to be aware of emergency alert systems and make sure each member of your household is set up to receive alerts in a way that’s best for them.

Almost all (>99%) of wireless subscribers get messages via the WEA (Wireless Emergency Alert) system, which sends location-specific messages about extreme threats. For instance, residence in an affected area may be notified about an AMBER alert, a hurricane warning, or a terror threat via a WEA message. Local law enforcement agencies often have emergency alert systems, as well. If you live in Missoula County, you can sign up for Smart911 (smart911.com) to receive information about local emergencies via text, email, and/or voice message; if you live in Ravalli County, you can sign up for Hyper-Reach (http://hyper-reach.com/mtravallisignup.html) and choose from the same notification options. FEMA and the American Red Cross also have mobile apps with customizable emergency alert options, with the latter offering a “Family Safe” feature that allows you to send alerts to family and check in with them during an emergency. Most of these apps are available in Spanish as well as English, and offer TTY/TDD compatible messaging.

The sooner you know about an emergency situation, the sooner you can put your emergency preparation into action and ensure yours and your family’s safety. Head to your city or county’s official website today and check out your options for being in the know!