Recent Posts

Make sure your home or business is ready for winter!

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Make sure your home or business is ready for winter! Western Montana's winter can be hard and long - make sure your home or business is ready!

With the change in seasons there are a few things homeowners can check to help get ready.  Check to make sure hoses are disconnected from exterior faucets, even if they are frost-free faucets.  Leaving a hose connected increases the possibility of a frozen hose bib, which can rupture inside the exterior wall of your Western Montana area home and cause flooding. 

Make sure the thermostat is set to an appropriate temperature if you’re planning on being away from home over the holidays.  Open cabinet doors for cabinets that have plumbing, especially on exterior walls to make sure the temperature stays above freezing.  Have a professional check and service your furnace for proper operation and signs of potential failure.

If you are planning on being away from home for an extended period of time it is a good idea to have a plumber winterize the plumbing system.  If winterizing isn’t possible, turning off the water main can be a good way to ensure that if a problem does arise, it doesn’t cause too much damage before it is located.

If the unfortunate does happen, be sure to give us a call here at SERVRPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500.  We have highly trained technicians and top of line drying technology to help restore your Missoula home or business after a flood.  Call us today to see what we can do for you!

Smoke Alarm Safety

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Alarm Safety SERVPRO utilizes the many approaches to mitigation of smoke damage. Different types of soot occur depending on the type of materials involved.

Ensuring adequate placement of smoke detectors in your home or office is critical in keeping the occupants safe. Non-working smoke alarms are often caused by missing or disconnected batteries. With such grave consequences attributed to such a small oversight, it’s a good idea to check smoke alarm operation every 30 days.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that:

  • In 2009-2013, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
  • Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (38%) of the home fire deaths.
  • One of every five (21%) of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
  • In reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (46%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.
  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who arehard-of-hearing or deafcan use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of ahome fire escape plan.
  • See https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Smoke-alarms for more information

Following these tips can help keep your loved ones safe. If you experience a smoke or fire damage in your Missoula home or business, call SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500 to clean and restore your home to preloss condition. We have highly trained technicians and top of line equipment to help clean and repair your fire loss, no matter how large or small.

Fire Damage Statistics

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage Statistics Fire department responds to a residential fire scene.

The National Fire Protection Association reports that between 2009-2013, decorations were the item first ignited in an estimated average of 860 reported home structure fires per year.  Please heed the following tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this Halloween.

  • Nearly half of decoration fires in homes occurred because the decorations were too close to a heat source.
  • These fires caused an estimated average of one civilian death, 41 civilian injuries and $13 million in direct property damage per year.
  • Forty-one percent of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den. 
  • When choosing a costume, stay away from long trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so he or she can see out.
  • Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper catch fire easily. Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow-stick in jack-olanterns. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-olanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of the way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Make sure all smoke alarms in the home are working.
  • Tell children to stay away from open flames including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice, stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)

For more information visit https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Seasonal-fires/Halloween-safety

If the unexpected does happen you can always count on SERVPRO of Missoula to respond to any fire or smoke damage.   We have the knowledge, experience and top of the line equipment to help make any fire damage “Like it never even happened.”  Call us today at 406-327-9500 to see what SERVPRO can do for you.

Halloween Safety

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Halloween Safety A wood stove flue caused this fire outside of Missoula, MT

FEMA reports in terms of numbers of Halloween fires, the largest general property type category was outside fires (38 percent) followed by residential fires (32 percent). Residential Halloween fires, however, resulted in the most deaths (68 percent), injuries (79 percent) and property loss (51 percent).

For each year from 2014 to 2016, an estimated 10,100 fires were reported to fire departments in the United States over a three-day period around Halloween and caused an estimated 30 deaths, 125 injuries and $102 million in property loss.1

For more information please follow the following link: https://www.usfa.fema.gov/data/statistics/snapshot_halloween.html#cards

If the unexpected does happen you can always count on SERVPRO of Missoula to respond to any fire or smoke damage.   We have the knowledge, experience and top of the line equipment to help make any fire damage “Like it never even happened.”  Call us today at 406-327-9500 to see what SERVPRO can do for you.

Tips for maintaining a healthy indoor environment

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Tips for maintaining a healthy indoor environment Close up of mold damage on a wall surface.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers tips and statistics to help educate people on the health risks associated with repeated exposure to mold infested environments;

“Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold. These people should stay away from areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.

In 2004 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) found there was sufficient evidence to link indoor exposure to mold with upper respiratory tract symptoms, cough, and wheeze in otherwise healthy people; with asthma symptoms in people with asthma; and with hypersensitivity pneumonitis in individuals susceptible to that immune-mediated condition. The IOM also found limited or suggestive evidence linking indoor mold exposure and respiratory illness in otherwise healthy children.”

Heed the following tips from the CDC and see https://www.cdc.gov/mold/ for more information:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem. Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
  • If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.

If you suspect an air quality issue in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500 to see what we can do for you.  We are standing by with trained technicians and state of the art filtration and cleaning equipment to help you from the simplest duct cleaning to full scale mold remediation. 

Mold and Indoor Air Quality

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold and Indoor Air Quality Moldy OSB subfloor from long term water damage.

Call SERVPRO today to inquire about the potential health effects of known or suspected mold growth.  The only way to truly determine the quantity and type of spores present is through lab analysis.  SERVPRO does not conduct air quality inspections, however we do have trusted vendors and subcontractors that provide these services.

Swab or air sampling can be helpful in determining the scope, or extent of a mold infestation.  Air samples are taken by drawing a set volume of air through a sterile media, which is then sent to laboratory for analysis.  Lab analysis can determine the types of spores found, as well as extrapolate estimated quantities of the spores identified.  Upon request most labs will include a report detailing any issues regarding the indoor air quality.  Some Indoor Environmental Professionals will complement the lab report with a recommended remediation plan, however SERVPRO of Missoula has trained project managers and technicians that are skilled at reading lab reports and determining the best plan for remediation.

Call SERVPRO of Missoula today to see if we can help clean up your home or business’ air quality today.  We have the experienced and trained technicians and all the proper equipment to setup and execute mold remediation on any scale, residential or commercial.

Water Damage - Causes and Prevention

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage - Causes and Prevention Snow and Ice can prevent proper drainage from your roof, causing water to leak in the attic space and exterior walls.

Water damage is one of the most frequent causes of damage to residential and commercial buildings in Missoula, MT.  In addition to plumbing failures caused by leaking pipes or appliances, drain back ups or outside water, we often experience winter temperatures that can freeze water lines.  Frozen water lines expand and crack, leaking water until the source is discovered and turned off.  Perhaps the most common frozen pipe issue comes from hose bibs and exterior faucets.  Disconnecting hoses before cold weather hits is important, but even disconnected hose bibs can freeze.  “Frost-free” faucets only work if installed properly, and maintaining adequate heat and insulation is key.

If you experience an unexpected water intrusion in your home or business, SERVPRO of Missoula is the one call you need to make to ensure that skilled technicians, equipped with top of the line drying equipment and procedures respond to your loss immediately.  At SERVPRO of Missoula we are experienced with every type of water damage, from the smallest clean water drip in your home to the largest Category 3 commercial water damage.   We have IICRC trained technicians and project managers on stand by to assist you, whatever your water damage situation.  We offer turn-key service in the Missoula area – from emergency mitigation services, drying and full repair services.  Call us today at 406-327-9500 to see what we can do for you. 

Water Damage Classification and the IICRC

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Classification and the IICRC Water damage in the exercise science facility was caused when an external water main was damaged, flooding the entire buildings basement level.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) publishes the standards that quality restoration vendors heed when addressing water damage in structures.  The ANSI – approved S500 standard lays out the principles and guiding science behind the methods and application of structural drying.  It defines the category of water intrusion based off the level probable associated health risks of that type of water. 

Category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source and has the lowest associated health effects.  Category 2 water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause sickness or discomfort if contacted.  Category 2 water sources include but are not limited to dishwashers, washing machines or bath tubs.  Category 3 water has the highest level of contamination and includes and water originating from beyond the P-trap of any drainage system, any flooding or seawater or rising river or streams.

SERVPRO of Missoula has the capability to successfully mitigate and dry any size water damage, regardless of the category of water.  We maintain a large inventory of the newest, top of the line drying equipment ready to dispatch at a moment’s notice, twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year.  Our project managers and technicians are trained and certified to make sure your loss is mitigated quickly and appropriately.  We are staffed and equipped to handle the largest or smallest loss, day or night.  Call SERVPRO of Missoula to see what we can do for your home or business in the case of unexpected water damage.

Build an Emergency Kit

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Be prepared at your home or business with an Emergency Kit. Ready.gov suggests you
have enough supplies to last for at least three days. Below are some suggested items to
include in your kit:


- 3-day supply of nonperishable foods
- Water (one+ gallon per person per day)
- First-aid kit
- Prescription medication
- Sleeping bag or blankets
- Fire extinguisher
- Hygiene products
- Flashlights
- Extra batteries
- Cell phone charger
- Change of clothes
- Matches in waterproof container
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Whistle to signal for help
- Pet supplies
- Infant formula and diapers
- Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

You can also keep a condensed emergency kit in your vehicle as well. For a more extensive list,
check out Ready.gov.

Calling the CLEANUP TEAM!

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths?  According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually.  Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating related fire.

-           Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  -

-           Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.

-           Test smoke alarms monthly.

 - If your property does suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Missoula professionals to help make it “Like it never even happened.” We can be reached at 406-327-9500 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.