Recent Posts

Missoula Dryer Fires: Clean Lint Traps Save Lives

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

A hand removing lint from a dryer’s lint trap. A clean lint trap saves lives!

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, an average of 2,900 residential dryer fires are reported each year, and nearly 1,000 of those (34%) are caused by a failure to properly clean either the lint trap or the vent ductwork. The good news is: it takes just a few simple steps to keep your clothes dryer clean and protect your home from a dryer fire.

The most important step that you and your family can take in preventing dryer fires is to clean the dryer’s lint trap – not once a month or once a week, but every day, after every single drying cycle. Not only will a clean lint trap reduce the risk of a dryer fire in your home, it will also help keep your dryer running efficiently to dry your clothes in less time. Then, do a quick check of the following areas at least once a month: the back of the dryer for lint built-up; the venting system, to ensure it isn’t damaged or restricted; and the outdoor vent covering, to ensure it is unobstructed and opens when the dryer is in use. Once a year, clean the vent system.

If a fire—dryer or otherwise—does occur in your Missoula home, call SERVPRO of Missoula to help. Our team of highly trained fire restoration technicians can help make it “Like it never even happened.”

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

6/10/2021 (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.”

When and why asbestos testing is necessary in your Missoula home

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Caution tape reading “Danger, Asbestos Hazard” Asbestos testing keeps you, your family, and the restoration professionals working in your home safe.

Even if you don’t know exactly what asbestos is, you probably know it’s bad news. That’s because asbestos, which is a naturally occurring fibrous material, becomes permanently trapped in the body when inhaled, and over time can lead to a multiplicity of health effects.

Before the health effects of asbestos were known, it was used widely in construction for its strength and its heat-resistant qualities. According to the Asbestos Network, “Asbestos was used in almost every public and commercial building constructed before the 1980s in the United States,” and even after the discovery of the possible side-effects to asbestos exposure, it took several years to phase-out widespread use in U.S.

That’s why today, it’s standard practice in the restoration industry to test for asbestos in materials that need to be disturbed during the restoration process, in most homes built prior to the 21st century. If asbestos is found in materials such as insulation, adhesives, or drywall, SERVPRO of Missoula will bring in a certified abatement professional prior to the necessary demolition. Doing so keeps you, your family, and our employees safe while we work on making your water, fire, or mold damage “Like it never even happened.”

What to do during a Missoula structure fire

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

close-up of a smoke detector, with a family and smoke in the background If a fire starts in your home, the most important thing to remember is “Get out, Stay out!”

Sometimes fires happen. Despite common preventative measures, despite early warning systems, approximately 370,000 residential fires occur in the U.S. each year. In the event of such an emergency in your home, it is important to think and act quickly, and talking with your family now about what to do during a fire can help ensure their safety if the unexpected does occur.

The number one thing to remember if a fire starts in your home (and becomes too large for a fire extinguisher) is to get out. The American Red Cross also advises to shout “Fire!” several times as you are evacuating, to alert any others in the residence. Check closed doors on your escape route to make sure they’re not warm. If a door in your path is warm to the touch, do not open it; use your secondary route, or place a wet towel under the door and call 9-1-1 if you cannot evacuate safely. If your evacuation route is filled with smoke, stay low and close doors behind you until you reach an exit. As soon as you are outside, call 9-1-1 and go to your family’s emergency meeting place.

Once your family is safely evacuated and the Missoula Fire Department has responded to the fire in your home, call SERVPRO of Missoula as soon as possible to begin the process of making the fire “Like it never even happened.”

For more on fire prevention and preparedness, including purchasing and using a fire extinguisher, check out our other Fire blogs at https://www.SERVPROmissoula.com/blog/fire-smoke-damage-restoration

For more fire safety tips, head to https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/if-a-fire-starts.html

In case of emergency in your Missoula neighborhood: Creating a Family Communication Plan

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

person holds a Family Communication Plan document and pen Make sure your family knows where to go in an emergency!

Chances are, you won’t always be at home or with all of your immediate family members when an emergency such as a severe storm or wildfire evacuation occurs. Having a Family Emergency Communication Plan in place prior to such events can help ensure that family members know how to reach each other, and where to meet up if communication networks are down.

An Emergency Communication Plan has three categories of information:

  • Emergency Meeting Places and an Out-of-town Contact

Because emergencies can affect your home, your whole neighborhood, or even your entire town, your communication plan should have meeting places for each of these possibilities. For instance, if an emergency is contained within your home, your family could meet at a designated neighbor’s house, or a landmark down the block. If an emergency effects your entire town, your family should have both an out-of-town meeting place, and have a designated friend or family member who lives out of town as your main contact.

  • Cell phone and/or work numbers for each household member

In today’s digital age, it’s rare to have phone numbers memorized That’s why its important to have a hard copy of contact numbers for family members. In the event of a dead cell phone battery or digital services becoming unavailable, a family member would still be able to use their contact list with the use of a landline or pay phone.

  • Other important contact information (Emergency numbers, utilities, etc.)

Head to Ready.gov/plan for a full list of contacts you should have on hand, as well as a free family/household communication plan template. Once your communication plan is complete, make copies for each household member’s purse, backpack, or wallet, and an extra one to keep in your home.

After an emergency strikes, SERVPRO of Missoula can help you get back to normal. If your home experiences water damage from a severe storm or smoke/fire damage from a wildfire, call 406-327-9500 and we’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Danger Slow Leaks Present to your Missoula Home

5/13/2021 (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 source of moisture accumulation over time is scary for homeowners for multiple reasons. In many cases, homeowners have no idea a leak is there, but because insurance is meant to cover sudden and accidental damage, claims for long-term water losses 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 you figure out if any repairs are necessary. 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 is a concern, we also provide estimates so you know exactly what to expect before any work begins.

Trying to sell your Missoula home? Call SERVPRO of Missoula for a professional cleaning!

5/6/2021 (Permalink)

A home owner and a SERVPRO employee standing next to a “Sold” sign. Clean homes sell faster – SERVPRO of Missoula can help!

It should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: clean, fresh smelling homes sell faster than dirty, musty homes. Unfortunately, though, not all homes are maintained in the same way, and nearly all realtors are eventually faced with a difficult listing to show. If you’re getting ready to sell your Missoula-area home, make the whole process easier for yourself (and your realtor!) by scheduling a professional cleaning. Not only will a clean home lead to a shorter list-to-sale conversion time, but it could actually increase the market value of your home.

SERVPRO of Missoula offers a variety of services that can help revive your home, ensuring that it is ready to show and ready to sell. Our services include the following:

  • Carpet, Upholstery, Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls and Hard Floors
  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Deodorization
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

Our technicians have the training and equipment to help identify the source of offensive odors, and specialized products capable of penetrating surfaces in order to thoroughly neutralize them. You probably know SERVPRO as a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty home "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at 406-327-9500 to schedule your professional cleaning.

Fire risks for Missoula businesses

4/29/2021 (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 100,000 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!

Why does SERVPRO of Missoula offer Mold Remediation instead of “Mold Removal”?

4/22/2021 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO technician performing mold remediation. SERVPRO of Missoula uses advanced mold remediation techniques to get mold levels back to normal in your home!

If you’re searching for a restoration professional to eliminate a mold problem in your home and you happen onto the SERVPRO of Missoula website, you’ll notice that we offer Mold Remediation services instead of Mold Removal. And you might ask – what does ‘Mold Remediation’ even mean?

Some businesses do make the false claim to be “mold removal experts,” but because microscopic mold spores exist everywhere (see our blog Missoula Mold 101), it is actually impossible to completely remove mold from your home. Mold Remediation, however, focuses on getting mold levels back to normal. That means eliminating mold infestations caused by excess moisture over time.

SERVPRO of Missoula technicians are trained to remediate mold growth on hard surfaces by using specialized antimicrobial products to wipe out mold colonies and prevent future growth, and on porous surfaces like drywall or carpet by extracting the mold-infested materials. For any demolition that needs to take place, SERVPRO of Missoula also provides repair services to make mold “Like it never even happened.”

The mold remediation process is unique in every house, depending on the location and extent of mold. If you have visible mold growth in your home, call our office at 406-327-9500 to schedule a mold estimate today!

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

4/15/2021 (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 home alone, ensure firefighters can easily evacuate them in the event of 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.