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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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.

Sheltering-in-place in your Missoula home

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO disaster response site. SERVPRO of Missoula provides disaster response after sheltering-in-place events.

In the age of COVID-19, Americans have become experts at prolonged sheltering. Ready.gov defines three different types of sheltering, of which Stay-at-home is the most familiar to our community at this moment in time, and means only leaving your home for essential activities. Mass Care Shelters are another type of sheltering that you may have to utilize in the event of a natural disaster (hurricane, flood, fire, etc) that affects your home. While these shelters are meant to provide essential supplies to those sheltering there, you should also bring along your own emergency kit with food and water for everyone in your family for at least three days, and any necessary medication (see the full emergency supply list at https://www.ready.gov/kit).

When a dangerous situation unfolds outside, immediate Sheltering-in-place may be necessary. While this can happen for a number of reasons—a chemical spill, an explosion, an act of violence—all of them are unpredictable. In these situations, Ready.gov says to “use common sense and available information to assess the situation and determine if there is immediate danger.” If there is, find an indoor space nearby that you can safely stay for several hours if necessary. Lock doors and windows, seal air vents and shut off air systems, and monitor local news to determine when it is safe to leave your shelter.

SERVPRO of Missoula is prepared to help in the aftermath of any sheltering-in-place event, be it a full home cleaning following quarantining, or flood or fire restoration after a natural disaster – call SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500.

Spring river flooding in the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

High river water rushes around the base of a bridge. Springtime can mean spring river flooding – is your home prepared?

Spring has finally arrived in earnest here in Western Montana, and though that brings the joys of song birds and green foliage, it also often brings rain, run-off, and the risk of flooding. The Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys are particularly vulnerable to rising waters in the Clark Fork and Bitterroot Rivers, and while there is nothing we as individuals can do regarding water levels, there are things we can do to protect our homes against flooding:

  • Know if your home is at risk! FEMA provides Flood Maps on its website that can help you determine if your home is in a flood zone. Another great resource is your local news station’s online archive, where you can find out where floods have occurred in the past.
  • Know your coverage. Flood insurance is not covered in most standard home owners policies, and according to FEMA, nearly 25% of flood insurance claims come from outside “high risk” flood zones. If you have any reason to fear flood damage to your home, you may want to speak to your insurance agent about your options.
  • Be diligent about shoveling snow away from your foundation, and make sure water is able to drain away from it, as well.
  • Have a plan. Check out our “Emergency Readiness at Home: Evacuation Plan” and “Emergency Alerts” blogs in the Storm category and “Steps for an Insurance Home Inventory” in the Why SERVPRO category for more tips that can help in the event of a flood.

Emergency planning is an activity that can—and should!—involve the whole family. And don’t forget, if your home experiences water, fire, or mold damage, SERVPRO of Missoula is always here to help.

SERVPRO of Missoula is with you every step of the way

3/25/2021 (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.

Emergency Readiness at your Missoula Business: Shelter-in-Place

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Servpro ERP Logo Every business is vulnerable to risks. SERVPRO of Missoula can help you come up with a plan for combating them!

If you manage a business or own a commercial space, you expect your employees to report to work per their schedule and fulfill their job duties in a timely manner. Your employees expect you to provide them with a safe environment in which to do their job. Most of the time, these expectations are met without incident. Every commercial space is vulnerable to risk, however, and it’s important to have plans in place to protect your staff when something out of the ordinary occurs.

Some regional risks for businesses in Western Montana include forest fires, earthquakes, and winter storms. Then, health hazards, vehicle or machinery accidents, acts of violence, and power outages or equipment failure are risks that should be included in every Emergency Response Plan no matter your geographical location. In certain emergency situations, evacuation is the safest course of action (scroll down for our previous post, Emergency Readiness: Evacuation Plans). In others—like in the instance of nearby chemical spills or a fire across the street—it’s safer for employees to remain in the building until emergency services say otherwise. For these situations, your business should have a Shelter-in-Place plan.

Shelter-in-Place plans need not be elaborate. To start creating one for your business, designate an area near the center of the building where employees can congregate; this area should be away from windows, and on the second or third floor if available. In the plan, a specific employee should be assigned to shut off the building’s air intake system. As with evacuation plans, your Shelter-in-Place plan should be triggered by an alarm or other alert system recognizable to your employees, and your staff should run practice drills no less than once a year.

Evacuation and Shelter-in-Place plans help keep your employees safe in the event of an emergency, and give them peace of mind all year round. Other ways to improve your business’s emergency preparedness include consulting local law enforcement in creating a Lockdown Plan (some departments even provide training) for our facility, and writing a Crisis Communication Plan, which lets your employees and your customers know exactly when and in what form they can expect contact from you about returning to work after a crisis.

If you’re interested in preparing a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan for your business, call SERVPRO of Missoula for more information!

Missoula Mold 102: Causes and Prevention

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

A close-up of a hygrometer. High humidity can lead to mold growth in your home. Check out these tips to decrease the risk!

If you don’t have visible or suspected mold growth in your home, you probably don’t want to think too much about the topic. After all, out of sight out of mind. But the truth is, the best time to think about mold is when you don’t have a mold problem. That way, you can pinpoint potential mold danger-zones in your home, and take preventative action.

In a previous blog (Mold 101: What is it? Where is it?) we talked about steps you can take if you discover visible mold growth in your home. But what about steps you can take to get ahead of mold growth? Those all come down to understanding what causes mold. Like we said in that previous blog, mold “can grow anywhere moisture, oxygen, and organic material are present.” Well, that’s pretty much your entire home. But don’t be discouraged—the key is to limit excessive moisture as much as possible. Excessive moisture occurs when a dwelling is overly humid—the EPA recommends that homes maintain 30-60% humidity—and/or has poor ventilation, so that moisture-causing activities such as cooking, bathing, and washing clothes increase the indoor humidity level. Of course, excess moisture can also be caused by a leaking pipe, a roof leak, or flooding.

Luckily, taming excess moisture indoors can be done with simple at-home actions. Open windows to let steam outside when you’re showering or cooking on a stovetop, and vent clothes dryers to the outside. To facilitate air flow through your home, so that moisture doesn’t settle on surfaces, leave doors open between rooms and use ceiling fans if available. To monitor humidity, you can purchase an inexpensive hygrometer at most hardware stores, and of course, clean up leaks and spills as soon as they occur. If you live in a particularly humid area, or have recurring mold problems, you may want to consider more serious actions like purchasing a dehumidifier. In general, however, the above steps are a great start to lowering the risk of mold growth in your home!

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

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO technicians cleaning smoke damage off a ceiling. SERVPRO of Missoula will clean your home top to bottom to make fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

The extent of damage that occurs during a residential fire can vary greatly, but SERVPRO of Missoula brings the same restoration expertise into every individual case. Whether your home experienced a small fire which got put out quickly and caused mainly smoke damage, or a large fire that charred multiple rooms, SERVPRO of Missoula is there to help with damage mitigation and restoration every step of the way.

In our commitment to making your residential fire “Like it never even happened,” our technicians will perform a complete pack-out of all the items in your home, so that every single salvageable item can be cleaned and inventoried, and so that the entire structure can under-go air purification and deep cleaning. If any areas of your home need to be repaired due to extensive fire damage, our in-house carpenter will erase any evidence of the fire, right down to the base trim!

Though fire restoration can be a long process, our project managers will give you daily updates on job progress and answer any questions or concerns you may have along the way. And when you move all of your cleaned and inventoried belongings back into your newly smoke- and fire-damage-free home, you’ll be glad you put SERVPRO of Missoula on the job!

Emergency Readiness at Home: Your Missoula Evacuation Plan

2/25/2021 (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

Fast Emergency Response Time in Missoula?

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

The city of Missoula is shown as the sun sets over the mountains. We are on-call 24-hours a day to respond to fire and water damage emergencies in Missoula.

Faster to Any Size Disaster in Missoula

When disaster strikes your home or commercial business, fast response to your call means everything. As one of our customers, Coleman, relates on our testimonial page, he called us in because snow had melted into his in-law’s house basement, causing water damage. We answered his call within two rings, arrived within two hours of his call, and immediately extracted the water, removed all of the water-saturated drywall, and began the drying process. As Coleman states in his testimonial, he was very pleased with our customer service, and how responsive we were throughout the restoration process.

One, Four, Eight Rule

SERVPRO® of Missoula follows the one, four, eight-hour rule. This means we will respond to your call in one hour or less, arrive on-site within four hours, and contact your insurance adjuster within eight hours. When dealing with any fire or water damage emergency, time is critical because the damage can worsen over time, and the restoration time and the cost of restoration can increase significantly.

            Call Us Today!

Every minute counts when responding to a water or fire damage emergency, and SERVPRO® of Missoula is ready to respond to your call 24-hours a day. Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your property damage in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

The Effect of Snowmelt and Hydrostatic Pressure on your Missoula Home

2/18/2021 (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 has come and gone and as usual, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. That’s supposed to mean six more weeks of winter, and here in Western Montana, it looks like we’re getting every bit of it.

As hard as it might be to believe right now, all this snow we’re getting will eventually melt. 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 compromise 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.” 

Training Matters: SERVPRO of Missoula's Certifications and Commitments

2/16/2021 (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.”

Bad Odor in Missoula Store?

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

A clean drain in a commercial business is shown. We are specialty-trained to remove odors in commercial businesses in Missoula.

Inconvenient Odor

There was a foul odor in my Missoula gas station convenience store that we could not locate. It was so off-putting that employees and customers were complaining. We pulled all of the shelves out and thoroughly cleaned the store from top to bottom, but the smell prevailed.

            Scientific Odor Removal

SERVPRO® of Missoula understands the effects bad odors can have on a business, and we know that proper identification of an odor can be a tricky thing. Our technicians are educated and trained in the science of odor removal. In this case, the odor was originating from the drain in the men’s and women’s bathrooms. The odor was created by bacteria in the drain. We extracted the standing water in the drain systems and cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized the drain and the bathrooms, which neutralized the odor.

Deep Cleaning Services

Once we learned that SERVPRO® provides deep cleaning services, we got an assessment of other high traffic areas in the store that would benefit from routine deep cleaning, and now the store always looks it’s best!

Call Us!

When your Missoula business has a bad odor, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help. ® We provide deep cleaning and routine maintenance services for your commercial business to keep your customers coming back. Call us at 406-327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

New CDC Recommendations for Emergency Supply Kits for Missoula?

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Hand sanitizer and a stack of face masks sit on a table. Missoula residents rely on us to mitigate storm damage!

New CDC Recommendations for Emergency Kits

Did you know that the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommend emergency supply kits should include additional items to help prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, other viruses, and the flu? SERVPRO® of Missoula has weathered many winter storms alongside Missoula residents and we respond to many storm damage emergencies.

In addition to a basic supply kit, here are the CDC emergency kit additions:

  • Masks (for everyone ages 2 and above)
  • Soap, hand sanitizer
  • Disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications

Other basic supply kit additions include:

  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important documents
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels, and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles, or other activities for children

Call Us!

If you have a storm damage emergency in Missoula, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help. ® Call us at 406-327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Emergency Readiness at your Missoula Business: Evacuation Plans

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

A fire exit sign on a gray door. Having an Emergency Response Plan for your business can save precious time in the event of an emergency and can help keep your employees safe!

Emergency drills are not only commonplace in public schools across the nation, but are actually required by law in most states. The importance of these practices in schools is self-evident, and yet they are often completely dismissed in the workplace. While some emergencies are region-specific and don’t affect the Missoula area (such as hurricanes and tornadoes) all workplaces are vulnerable to emergencies of one type or another. Assessing risks and creating a plan for your business in accordance with those risks can make your employees feel safer at work, help your business get back up and running quicker after an emergency, and even save lives.

In any emergency situation, you have a choice to evacuate or to take shelter. The first step in creating an Emergency Response Plan for your business is to perform a risk assessment of your facility, and for each risk decide which course of action is appropriate. One risk common to all workplaces is the risk of fire, wherein evacuation is of course necessary.

Your evacuation plan should include the following: a recognizable alarm system that can be heard throughout the facility; at least two exits per floor, which are clearly marked and accessible; previously arranged accommodations (such as a designated aide, if necessary) for employees with disabilities; and a roster of employees (plus visitor check-in list, if applicable) so each individual can be accounted for once reaching your designated off-site assembly area. Once you’ve created an evacuation plan with these components, you should assign specific employees to tasks like directing others to the exit in the event of an evacuation, bringing along a first aid kit (this should be readily accessible within your facility), and bringing the employee roster. You also want to make sure to run practice drills with your employees no less than once a year.

To get started on your business’s evacuation plan, you can visit ready.gov/business/implementation/emergency and download their Emergency Response Plan Worksheet. Also, keep an eye out for another SERVPRO of Missoula blog delving into Shelter-in-Place emergency plans.

Nursing Home Fire in Missoula?

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

A woman is being read to by a nursing home staff person. We respond to fire damage emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula.

Are your loved ones safe?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers many useful publications on its website to increase public awareness about fire hazards. If you have a loved one in a nursing home or are considering nursing home options, there are things you can do to increase the safety of your loved one. SERVPRO® of Missoula cares about the people in the Missoula community, and offers these considerations from the NFPA when visiting someone in a nursing home or when choosing a nursing home:

  • Is the building well maintained? Make sure that paper and other storage items do not block doors or hallways needed for escape.
  • Check to make sure there is an evacuation plan in place that involves all staff and is practiced regularly.
  • Are there safety systems in place such as alternative exits, smoke detectors, and sprinklers?
  • Check on the staff-to-patient ratio. How many staff per resident during the day and especially at night or on weekends and holidays? Is supervisory staff available to carry out an escape plan if there is a fire?
  • Are there guidelines for people who smoke, such as a separate room or staff supervision?
  • Does nursing home management take your questions regarding safety seriously and are they forthcoming with information?

Call Us!

SERVPRO® of Missoula has been responding to fire damage emergencies in Missoula for years and we are on call 24-hours a day to respond to your call.  Call us at 406-327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

What to do if you find mold in your Missoula home

1/28/2021 (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.

Frozen Pipe Damage in Missoula Office?

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

A frozen pipe is shown with frozen water coming out of it. We respond to commercial water damage emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula.

January in Missoula

The coldest month in the year for Missoula is January, when the average overnight temperature falls to 16.2 degrees Fahrenheit. When the water in water pipes freezes it expands, putting pressure on the pipes, causing them to break. SERVPRO® of Missoula responds to commercial water damage emergencies often in the Missoula area, and we offer these tips from the American Red Cross to prevent frozen pipes:

  • Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • When the weather is very cold outside, let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe - even at a trickle - helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.

Call Us Today!

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help ® Missoula business owners with commercial water damage emergencies 24-hours a day. Call us at 406-327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Fire risks for Missoula homes

1/21/2021 (Permalink)

Fireworks in the night sky, with “2021” written in them. Ring in 2021 with these fire facts!

The holidays lead to the highest instance of residential fires each year. But just because the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear as far as the risk of home fires go. Unintentional home fires can occur at any time of year, and according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), are caused by four main activities: cooking, heating, using electrical equipment, and smoking. Knowing some of the main risk factors of home fires can help you be on alert throughout the seasons, and decrease the chances of a fire occurring in your own home.

On average, fire departments in the U.S. respond to 350,000 home structure fires each year, which result in 2,620 civilian deaths, 11,220 injuries, and $6.9 billion in property damage. Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and injuries, causing more than 170,000 fires annually, but smoking is the leading cause of home fire deaths. Fires caused by smoking account for 4.5x more deaths than do fires of any other category. Similarly, space heaters account for a disproportional amount of fire-related deaths (16%), considering they cause only 4% of home fires.

Other fire facts to be aware of are that the instance home fires peak nightly between 5pm and 8pm, and peak weekly on Saturdays and Sundays. Alcohol is also often a factor in the cause and result of home fires; impairment can affect how safely heating or cooking equipment is used, and can inhibit residents from getting to safety after a fire has started.

If you ask us here at SERVPRO of Missoula, keeping an eye on the safety instructions for all cooking, heating, and electrical equipment, and never cooking or smoking while excessively tired or under the influence is a New Year’s Resolution worth keeping!

Severe Weather Warning in Missoula?

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

A winter sky is filled with a variety of storm clouds bringing severe weather. We respond to winter storm damage emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula.

Winter Storm Safety

Winter in Missoula brings freezing temperatures and storms. SERVPRO® of Missoula responds to storm damage emergencies often, and we offer these tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) of things to do to prepare ahead of time for a winter storm:

  • Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms. Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Do not forget the needs of pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water, and non-perishable snacks. Keep the gas tank full.
  • Learn the signs of and basic treatments for frostbite and hypothermia.

Call Us!

If you have a storm damage emergency in Missoula, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help. ® Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your storm damage “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Missoula County Emergency Alerts

1/14/2021 (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!

Chimney Fire in Missoula?

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

A couple are sitting with their feet up next to a blazing fireplace fire on a cold winter night. We respond to fire damage emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula.

Fireplace Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 54 percent of home heating fires were caused by having heating equipment too close to things that can burn, like furniture, clothing, a mattress, or bedding. SERVPRO® of Missoula responds to home fire damage emergencies in the Missoula area often during the winter months and offer these safety tips from the NFPA for preventing home fires this season:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • 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 at least once a month.
  • Make sure that all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Call Us!

If you have a fire damage emergency in your Missoula home, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help. ® Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

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

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

Two stacks of SERVPRO air movers standing side-by-side.  SERVPRO of Missoula has the knowledge and equipment to mitigate water damage of any size.

When a pipe bursts in your home or you find that your A/C has been leaking onto the hardwood, your first instinct might be to throw down some towels and then let nature take its course. While the environment does seek equilibrium—wherein water molecules in a material will naturally evaporate over time until the material has reached the same level of dryness as the air around it—secondary damage can occur in the time it takes for materials to dry naturally, especially if you live in a humid area.  

That’s where the science of drying comes in. The science of drying is actually called psychrometrics, and it takes into account all three sides of the drying triangle: air flow, heat and dehumidification. So, if you also pointed a fan at the wet materials, you were thinking of air flow. If you turned up the thermostat, you were thinking of heat. But what happens when you push the wet air around without the right equipment, or inadvertently make the area more humid by turning up the heat?

At SERVPRO of Missoula, our IICRC* certified technicians are trained in the science of drying, so you don’t have to worry about the negative effects of improperly dried water damage in your home. We use professional grade fans and dehumidifiers to make sure your home is dried quickly and completely, and we continue to monitor the area until moisture is no longer detected.

*Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Blizzards in Missoula?

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

A blizzard is creating whiteout conditions and poor visibility. SERVPRO of Missoula is Here To Help when disaster strikes.

Montana Blizzard Trivia

Montana is known for harsh winters and bad blizzards. An article by Meghan Kraft describes some of the biggest blizzards and the most snow ever recorded in Montana’s history. In her article, Kraft describes the arctic air mass that hit Montana in January and February of 1889, bringing some of the most extreme wind chills the state ever experienced. Wisdom, Montana reached -52F. In 2019 Missoula set a record by getting 1.7 inches of snow in September, breaking the 1.5 inches record set back in the 1930s. Here are some other Montana winter weather facts:

  • The coldest month in the state is February.
  • Snow has been known to fall as early as September and as late as early May.
  • The heaviest snowfall is recorded between November and May.

SERVPRO® of Missoula witnesses the damage severe weather can do to a commercial property or residence. We have the advanced training, experience, and equipment to mitigate storm damage emergencies no matter how big the job. Our technicians are on call 24 hours and day to respond to storm damage emergencies. We can also help you with the insurance process and paperwork!

Call Us!

SERVPRO® of Missoula Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your storm damage in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Steps for an Insurance Inventory in your Missoula Home

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

A hand holding a smart phone, taking a picture of objects on a table. A home inventory can help you determine the kind of homeowners’ or renters’ coverage that’s right for your lifestyle!

Here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we work to make water, fire, and mold damage “Like it never even happened.” Restoring your home after damages of these kinds occur often means replacing items that were affected, so an up-to-date home inventory can be a big help for both restoration professionals and insurance adjusters working on your claim. Also, home inventories aren’t just for home owners or for people who already have insurance; they can be a great first step in determining what level of coverage you might need, and are also valuable in seeking renter’s insurance or filing a claim as a renter.

While perhaps time-consuming at first, building a home inventory is a simple process. To get started on yours, just follow these steps:

  • Go through your home room by room and take pictures of the entire room, as well as close-up pictures of individual items you would want replaced in the event of a loss
  • For each item, record a description of the item, the serial number if applicable, when and where the item was purchased, and the cost at time of purchase (or appraisal of cost if actual cost is unknown)
  • Add new items to your inventory as they’re added to your home, and keep copies or pictures of receipts whenever possible
  • For antique items or collections, check with your insurance agent to determine if special coverage is needed

In our increasingly digital world, home inventories are easier than ever to create. You can organize one in an online spreadsheet, or check out several free app options to use directly on your phone or a tablet. In the event of an emergency at your home, your inventory can then be accessed off-site. Finally, as an extra preparedness step you can add important contact information to the bottom of your document, like the numbers for your insurance agent and for SERVPRO of Missoula!

Contents Restoration Services in Missoula?

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

A laptop and old photographs sit on a desktop. We provide many contents restoration services in Missoula.

Contents restoration services

When dealing with the aftermath of a fire or water damage emergency in Missoula, there will be items in your home or business that will need special handling and conservation efforts to restore them to preloss condition. SERVPRO® of Missoula are fire and water restoration specialists and offer many contents restoration services to restore your furniture, clothes, electronics, documents, and photographs to preloss condition. We use several methods to clean damaged contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning 
  • Wet Cleaning
  • Spray and Wipe 
  • Foam Cleaning 
  • Abrasive Cleaning
  • Immersion Cleaning 

Electronic cleanup

When fire damages electronics, they can become very dangerous to operate. We will coordinate the inspection and cleaning of your electronics by a qualified electronics technician to prevent further damage, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

Document and photograph drying

Some documents and photographs may not be able to be completely restored to pre-fire damage condition, but we will do our best to save and minimize further damage. We may use any of these restoration techniques depending on the level of fire damage:

  • Air Drying
  • Dehumidification
  • Freezer Drying
  • Vacuum Freeze Drying
  • Vacuum Thermal Drying

Call Us!

SERVPRO® of Missoula is ready to assist you with all of your contents restoration needs. Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your fire-damaged belongings in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

How SERVPRO of Missoula makes commercial water damage “Like it Never Even Happened”

12/24/2020 (Permalink)

before and after of a category 3 water loss in a gym. SERVPRO of Missoula makes water damage “Like it never even happened!”

If water damage occurs at your business, you may be tempted to remediate the problem yourself, thinking that will create less of a disturbance to your business operations than a professional restoration company would. On the contrary, SERVPRO of Missoula’s highly trained team of restoration technicians respond to emergency water losses quickly to minimize the extent of damages, and use specialized equipment to speed up drying time. 

SERVPRO of Missoula engages all the three sides of the drying triangle (see our other blog: How SERVPRO of Missoula makes residential water damage “Like it never even happened”) by using air movers, temperature control, and dehumidifiers to create the most ideal drying environment for your business’s unique space. In addition, our project managers have extensive experience speaking with insurance adjusters, and will be there every step of the way to help you navigate your claim so you can get back to business as soon as possible.

While emergency water losses are often covered by insurance, long-term losses or damage that could have been prevented with proper intervention are usually not covered. That’s why it’s important to get it right the first time. If a burst pipe, flooding, or other water emergency occurs at your business, call the team that’s “Faster to any size disaster” – SERVPRO of Missoula 406-327-9500.

Commercial Building Fire in Missoula?

12/20/2020 (Permalink)

A fire hose is shown rolled up and stored in a wall in a commercial building. We are fire damage restoration specialists and we respond to fire emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula.

U.S. Commercial Fire Statistics

Anytime your business is compromised by property damage is a devastating time. Time and money can go quickly and choosing the right people to do the job is critical. SERVPRO® of Missoula has a team of highly trained commercial fire restoration technicians ready to respond to any fire damage emergency 24 hours a day every day.

Between 2014 and 2018 there were 493,797 structural fires reported to local fire departments in the United States between. According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) commercial property fires occurred 111,398 times during this period. Here is the breakdown by category for commercial fires from the NFPA:

  • Assembly  15,984
  • Educational      4763
  • Health Care, Detention & Correction  6719
  • Mercantile    18,972
  • Industrial       2925
  • Manufacturing 5270
  • Storage     22,401
  • Outside property 27,418
  • Unclassified       6946

Call Us Today!

We understand the importance of quickly restoring property damage as every day your operation is closed is a day of lost productivity and revenue. With this in mind, we approach these restoration jobs with the goal of minimal disruption to your employees and customers.

When your commercial businesses experience a fire damage emergency, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help.® Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your commercial fire damage in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Missoula Mold 101: What is it? Where is it?

12/17/2020 (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 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.”

Damaged Water Supply Hose in Missoula?

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

A technician is installing new hot and cold water supply lines to the back of a washing machine. We restore water damage caused by faulty appliances in Missoula.

Washing machine washout

It was a typical Saturday morning. I put a load of laundry into the washing machine and went out to walk the dog. When I came back to put the laundry into the dryer, I noticed that the back wall was wet, and water was pooling on the floor around the base of the washing machine. Yikes! I wiggled the washing machine away from the wall and saw that one of the water supply lines attached to the back of the machine was blistered and cracked, and this was causing the water to spray and flood onto the floor.

SERVPRO® of Missoula came out and extracted the water from the room and set up air blowers and dehumidifiers to remove the excess water from the wall and baseboards. When the room was completely dry, they cleaned and deodorized the area and replaced the hoses on the back of my washing machine. In two short days, my laundry room was back to preloss condition!

Call Us Today!

If an appliance fails and causes water damage in your home or business, SERVPRO® of Missoula has a team of water restoration technicians on call 24-hours to mitigate the damage. Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your water damage in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Trimming the Christmas tree with SERVPRO of Missoula

12/10/2020 (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 really 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. Similarly, the peak days for home cooking fires are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Christmas Eve, respectively.

With these facts in mind, there are several preventative steps you can take to decrease the risk of a holiday fire in your 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 vent, and that it does not block exits
  • Water your Christmas tree daily
  • Get rid of 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 make sure your home stays merry and bright—and fire-free—this winter.

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

Electrical Fire in Missoula?

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

An extension box is shown holding many extension cords, one is damaged and burnt. We are fire restoration specialists serving Missoula.

Electrical Fire Prevention in Missoula

SERVPRO® of Missoula knows the importance of fire safety as we see the damage even a small electrical fire can do to a property in Missoula. The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFi) reports:

  • Home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, nearly 500 deaths, more than 1,400 injuries, and $1.3 billion in property damage.
  • Electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home structure fires.
  • Each year in the United States, arcing faults are responsible for starting more than 28,000 home fires, killing and injuring hundreds of people, and causing over $700 million in property damage.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), outdoor electrical safety measures can prevent electrical fires from harming your home. Outdoor lighting and other outside electrical work should be handled with care. Here are some tips from the NFPA to help prevent outdoor electrical fires:

  • Use a qualified electrician to do all electrical work
  • Make sure all outside electrical receptacles are GFCI protected
  • Store electrical tools indoors
  • Use extension cords that are listed by a qualified test laboratory and are marked for outdoor use

Call Us Today!

When you have a fire damage emergency at your home or business, SERVPRO® of Missoula has a team of fire restoration technicians on call 24-hours  a day to respond to your fire damage emergency. Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your fire damage in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

What to do during and after a winter storm in Missoula

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

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

With Christmas closing in so quickly, hopefully by now you’ve done all your winter prep work—your pantries are stocked with non-perishables, your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have been recently checked, and your pipes have been winterized. 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 absolutely 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 a 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, 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 tuned-in to local news for travel conditions. Always think safety first! And 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

Preventing your pipes from freezing during a Missoula winter

11/26/2020 (Permalink)

A hose bib on a brick wall, with icicles hanging off of it. Don’t let frozen pipes disrupt your holiday season!

In genuine Montana fashion, the seasons have changed rather rapidly here in the Missoula Valley; nightly temperatures are now routinely below freezing, and as they continue to drop, the chances of frozen pipes in and around your home only rise. Because water expands as it freezes, it puts pressure on the material containing it. If the pressure becomes too great, you could have a burst pipe on your hands.

Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to help keep those faucets flowing during winter months. The first step is knowing which pipes are most vulnerable to freezing. Outdoor pipes, like supply lines to swimming pools or sprinklers, are the most vulnerable and should be drained according to manufacturer instructions. (Don’t use antifreeze in these pipes unless specifically directed to do so, as it can be harmful to both pets and the environment.) Outdoor valves that run water from indoor supply lines (like hose bibs) should be left open to drip and allow water expansion outward, while the valve on the indoor-side should be closed for the winter.

Winterizing doesn’t end there, though. Pipes along exterior walls, or in areas of the home with little to no insulation, are also at risk of freezing. Keep doors closed as often as possible to protect pipes in unheated garages or shops. Inside your home, open kitchen and bathroom cabinets containing pipes so that warm air can circulate, and consider adding insulation in crawlspaces and attics where pipes are present. There are a number of specialty products on the market for pipe insulation, such as pipe sleeves, heat tape, and heat cable, but even ¼” of newspaper can help protect pipes in freezing conditions.

When subzero temperatures persist, you can also take the extra precaution of turning your faucets to drip; even at a rate of 5 drips per minute, running water through your pipes can help prevent freezing. Then, if you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, be sure to keep your heat set to 55°F or higher. It’s better to spend a little extra on heat than a lot extra on property damage caused by a burst pipe.

Hidden Storm Damage in Missoula?

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

A technician is shown using an infrared camera to detect hidden water damage from a storm. We use advanced technology to detect hidden storm damage in Missoula.

Storm Season is Coming

Last year the National Weather Service in Missoula reported an overnight snowfall in September that broke a record set in 1934 of 1.5 inches by getting 1.6 inches of snowfall. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, “Precipitation and snowfall will be above normal, with the snowiest periods in mid-to-late December, early and late January, early February, and early and late March.” SERVPRO® of Missoula has been responding to storm damage in the Missoula area for years and knows that even a brief storm can cause hidden damage. For instance, water from melting snow can seep into the cracks in a home or businesses’ foundation and cause hidden water damage.

Our restoration technicians are some of the most highly trained in the entire State of Montana, and they use advanced technology to identify moisture and the extent of moisture saturation in the walls of a structure. We can then extract the water and install air movers to evaporate the moisture more quickly.  We use industrial-grade dehumidifiers to pull the water vapor from the air.

Call Us!

Missoula residents and commercial business owners trust SERVPRO® of Missoula to restore their storm and property damage. Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your storm damage, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your Missoula home

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

A carbon monoxide detector attached to wood plank ceiling. Half of carbon monoxide-related deaths are preventable with an audible carbon monoxide alarm!

In the movies, the most dangerous kind of villain is one the protagonist never sees coming. In your home, carbon monoxide is one such villain.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced whenever fuel is burned, and is dangerous to humans and animals because when inhaled, it starts to replace the oxygen in red blood cells and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or death. According to the CDC, carbon monoxide poisoning causes over 400 deaths each year, and more than 24,000 trips to the hospital, with the most incidents occurring in January and December (in direct correlation to the use of in-home heating systems).

You can typically run furnaces and use fireplaces in your home without the worry of carbon monoxide poisoning because fuel-burning appliances meant for in-home use are always designed with ventilation systems, like pipe vents for furnaces and chimneys for fireplaces, to direct emissions outside. However, a clogged chimney or poorly maintained furnace (or gas water heater, stove range, oven, etc.) can cause your home to fill with carbon monoxide. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, the CDC recommends: having your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician annually; having your chimney cleaned prior to winter each year; never burning charcoal or using a portable gas camp stove or a generator indoors; and installing carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home and checking their batteries every six months (the EPA estimates that approximately half of carbon monoxide-related deaths are preventable with the use of an audible CO detection unit).

By taking these precautionary steps, you can be comfortable in the knowledge that your family will be safe, warm, and CO-free this winter. For more prevention guidance, you can also visit cdc.gov/co/guidelines.htm

Biohazard Contamination in Missoula?

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

A large manufacturing plant is shown in a rural area. We respond to biohazard emergencies 24 hours a day in Missoula!

Biohazard Spills in the U.S.

In a recent report published by the United States Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, there were 4794 incidents of biohazard spills during the unloading process of these materials, amounting to $2.7 million in damages in 2020 as of October 21. Missoula Manufacturing plants know the dangers posed by working with chemicals and other dangerous materials, and while safety is always the highest priority, sometimes accidents occur and when they do, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help.®

We employ some of the most highly trained technicians in the State of Montana and we are on call 24 hours a day and ready to mobilize quickly to respond to your call for assistance. We know that every second counts when a biohazard emergency occurs, and we are certified to clean and restore biohazards such as:

  • Sewage backups
  • Suicide/death accidents
  • Homicide cleanups
  • Blood cleanup
  • Accident cleanup
  • Hoarding scenes
  • Animal waste/remains
  • Chemical spills
  • Tear gas cleanup
  • Meth lab cleanup

Call Us Today!

You never know when you are going to need help cleaning up a biohazardous spill, but when you do, SERVPRO of Missoula can provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazard situations. Call is today at 406-327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Schedule a holiday cleaning for your Missoula business at your convenience!

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

A couple holiday shopping, wearing masks. Welcome holiday shoppers to your bright and shining business by calling SERVPRO of Missoula for a professional cleaning.

To put it lightly, 2020 has been a trying year for retail. But the holiday season has the potential to bring some much-needed business back into stores, and SERVPRO of Missoula wants to help you welcome them back in style.

With more customers turning out, you probably have at least two goals for your business this holiday season: for your facility to be in tip-top shape, and for your staff to bring their A-game in customer service. Forbes suggests that “if a customer has a good experience [in your store], they’re more likely to make additional impulse purchases.” In other words, you want your staff’s full attention on providing excellent customer service, so those customers leave (and return) happy, and you want your commercial space to be not just festive, but also clean; those boughs of holly won’t be too alluring if they’re decked to dirty, grimy halls. So, instead of assigning cleaning to your employees and risking dividing their attention during those peak shopping days, call SERVPRO of Missoula to schedule a professional cleaning at your convenience.

With over 100 exclusive SERVPRO cleaning products, our team here at SERVPRO of Missoula is ready to tackle the cleaning of carpets, walls, ceilings, light fixtures and ducts, and odor removal at your business. This holiday season, let us take care of the cleaning, so you can take care of your customers.

Windowsill Water Damage in Missoula?

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water is shown seeping through the base of a windowsill, encouraging wood rot and water damage. Our water restoration technicians restore water damage jobs of all sizes in Missoula!

Rain Brings Water Damage

It’s that time of year again when temperatures drop, and rainstorms begin to roll through Missoula a couple of days each week in November. This is a good time to check the seals around doors and windows, clean out the rain gutters and downspouts, and make sure you have adequate drainage sloping away from your home or business to avoid water intrusion. Even a little water can contribute to costly repairs if allowed to remain untreated for too long. Fortunately for Missoula residents, SERVPRO® of Missoula employs some of the most highly trained and certified water restoration technicians in the State.

When we restore water damage, we use advanced technology such as infrared cameras and sensitive moisture detectors to measure the extent of the moisture saturation. When we arrive, we will remove the damaged materials, completely dry the damaged area, repair the damage, and clean, sanitize, disinfect, and remove any lingering bad odors.

Call Us Today!

SERVPRO® of Missoula  is available to respond to and size water damage emergency 24-hours  a day, every day. We’ll take care of your water damage in Missoula, “Like it never even happened.” For more information, here’s a link to another blog on this topic from our SERVPRO friends in Miami Beach!

Call us at 406-327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

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

11/5/2020 (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 (and even snow!) that 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 your yard from becoming an irritant to those with mold sensitivities: 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. If mold has already begun to grow and you’re worried about releasing mold spores into the air while doing yard work, you can always don a pair of gloves and an N95 respirator mask (found at any standard hardware store) before setting out.

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.

Microwave Fire in Missoula?

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

A fire has broken out inside of a microwave oven.    A fire has broken out inside of a microwave oven. Photo Caption: We respond to all kinds of fire damage emergencies in Missoula!

Microwaves Can Start Fires

According to a report published by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 93 percent of home cooking structure fires happened in the kitchen or cooking area. Microwave ovens are used frequently by families to prepare meals or heat up leftovers. In fact, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics states that as of 2014, 90 percent of American households own a microwave.

SERVPRO® of Missoula has seen firsthand the fire damage a microwave oven can cause, and we offer some safety tips from the NFPA to help you prevent painful burns and fires:

·Purchase a microwave oven that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory

·Plug the microwave directly into the wall outlet – do not use an extension cord

·Make sure the oven is placed at a safe height within easy reach of all users

·Open food slowly and away from the face to avoid hot steam or hot food burns

·Stir and test food before eating or giving to a child as microwaves cook food unevenly

·Never heat a baby bottle in the microwave as it can cause hot pockets, causing burns

·Always supervise children when they are using a microwave

·Use microwave-safe containers

·Never use aluminum or metal containers in a microwave

·If a fire starts inside the microwave, leave the door closed and unplug it from the wall, if the fire does not go out, call the fire department

Call Us Today!

Our team of highly trained fire restoration technicians are on call and ready to respond to your fire damage emergency 24-hours a day. Call us at 406-327-9500. We’ll take care of your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

I bought a fire extinguisher for my Missoula home -- now what?

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

An illustration of arms deploying a fire extinguisher on flames. Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep until the fire is out!

So you read our recent blog about fire extinguishers in the home, and you went out and bought one. (If you need to catch up, no worries; just scroll down the page a bit for “Should I have a home fire extinguisher?”) Now you may be thinking that you’re as prepared as you could possibly be for a home fire. However, owning a fire extinguisher won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. Fires can double in size every 60 seconds, so you don’t want to wait for a fire to break out in your home to look over the directions for the first time.

Before you even reach for that fire extinguisher, make sure the fire is still in the incipient stage (the flames aren’t taller than you) and that it’s not threatening to block your evacuation route. If you’re good on both of those fronts, all it takes to effectively operate most fire extinguishers is remembering and executing the acronym P.A.S.S:

PULL the pin.

AIM the nozzle at the base of the fire.

SQUEEZE the handle to release the fire extinguishing agent.

SWEEP the nozzle from side to side until the fire appears to be out.

After executing the P.A.S.S. technique, don’t turn your back on the area of the fire as flames may still flare up. And remember to evacuate immediately and call 9-1-1 if the fire gets out of hand. Your safety is the number one goal of a fire preparedness plan!

SERVPRO of Missoula Commercial Restoration Services Keep Our Businesses Running

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

A view of the plains, with mountains in the background. SERVPRO of Missoula keeps Missoula pretty!

Selective Highlights of History (no need to memorize dates)

The Glacial Lake Period of the Plains ended 12,000 years ago, clearing away Glacial Lake Missoula. The ice retreated, the water receded, and the lake bottom became the settlement, then the city, of Missoula.

The beginning of Missoula as a center for business was in 1864, when Worden & Co. built a sawmill/grist mill in Missoula Mills (the north end of the Higgins Avenue Bridge). The mill drew more business, which drew more people, which drew more business. Railroads, schools, newspapers and public offices became part of Missoula.

Montana became a U.S. state in 1889. Missoula residents took statehood in stride, voting to become an official city in the state. Missoula had rich soil, and with produce sections not yet invented, people grew their own vegetables. Missoula therefore earned the nickname “The Garden City.”

Present Day

Businesses in Missoula extend beyond mills and newspapers. One business, SERVPRO® of Missoula, provides restoration and cleaning for both commercial and residential properties.

SERVPRO of Missoula remediates commercial damage from storms and fires. We also provide cleaning services that go beyond the scope of a routine janitorial service and as part of disaster remediation. If there is an emergency, don’t delay calling. We have 24-hour emergency service every day, including holidays (“every day” means “every single day”).

Call SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500 to discuss what kinds of commercial restoration services we provide.

When fire and water take control of your life,

we help you take it back.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Winter is Coming to Missoula: Winter Storm Preparedness

10/22/2020 (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 in 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 way to get started, check out the free SERVPRO Ready Plan App in the app store or at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/.

SERVPRO of Missoula gets the lead (paint) out of Missoula

10/19/2020 (Permalink)

fence that has a sign warning of lead paint Count on SERVPRO of Missoula to remove hazardous lead paint.

Questions & Answers

Q: Why do firefighters wear red suspenders?

A: To hold up their trousers.

Q: Why did the cookies go to the hospital?

A: They felt crummy.

Q: Why hire SERVPRO® of Missoula?

A: Hire SERVPRO® of Missoula because we’re great!

Specifics on “great”

SERVPRO of Missoula is a local business that has expertise in remediation and restoration from all kinds of disasters, including storms, water damage, soot and smoke, fire, vandalism, and anything else that makes a building a difficult place to live or work.

We have 24-hour emergency service every day, so if there’s a disaster, call us at 406-327-9500.

We also provide non-emergency restoration and cleaning services.

SERVPRO® of Missoula is a leader in cleaning and restoration from hazardous materials. Trust us to safely remediate

  • Lead paint
  • Microbial growth (including mold)
  • Biohazards, including viruses
  •  Sewage
  • Rainwater or outdoor runoff
  • Soot-weakened or water-weakened structural materials
  • Chemical spills

 The owners and employees of SERVPRO® of Missoula have earned certifications in restoration, water extraction, and damage remediation, but we don’t stop learning. Continuing education keeps us learning the newest techniques and how to use the latest technology.

Give us a call at 406-327-9500 to find out what else SERVPRO® of Missoula can do for homes or businesses around Missoula.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Sump Pumps: What they are and how they work for your Missoula home

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

A view of the anatomy of a sump pump, its power cord and control box, and its exterior battery. Sump pumps automatically direct water away from your foundation when it begins to pool under your basement or crawlspace.

From snowmelt runoff to river flooding to summer storms, groundwater seepage has the potential to affect Western Montana properties no matter the season.

Because water naturally migrates through soil, elevated moisture on the surface can spell trouble for crawlspaces, unfinished basements, and even basements with concrete flooring. When groundwater penetrates the floor of a basement, it can lead to mold or mildew growth, and if the seepage is extreme, it can cause flooding and damage to your belongings. 

So how do you keep your basement dry and mildew-free when those heavy rains strike? Installing a sump pump (or checking that your existing pump is in good working order) is one good option.

For houses at risk of underground wetness—which is over 60%, according to the American Society of Home Inspectors—sump pumps prevent damage by collecting that seeping groundwater and redirecting it to a discharge pipe pointed away from the structure’s foundation. To accomplish this, the pump sits in a pit dug at the lowest point of the basement or crawl space, and automatically turns on when the pit begins to fill with water. A one-way valve in the sump pump’s pipe, called a check valve, ensures that the water doesn’t run back. 

While sump pumps are not a cure-all for water damage in every home, they are certainly a viable option for homes in a number of climates and terrains. If you’re concerned about dampness or the smell of mildew in your basement, call SERVPRO of Missoula today. Our technicians can perform a dry-out and mold inspection of the space, as well as help pinpoint the source of water so you can safely move forward with adding preventative measures, and maybe even a sump pump.

Put SERVPRO of Missoula in the Palm of Your Hand

10/8/2020 (Permalink)

The homepage of the SERVPRO Ready Plan app displays on a smart phone.  The SERVPRO Ready Plan App gives quick access to important information with just a few simple clicks.

Our SERVPRO Ready Plan App is a no-cost tool that puts essential information at your fingertips in the event of an emergency.

When your property is affected by water, fire, or mold damage, safety should always be your top priority. This often means restricting access to certain parts of your property or even temporarily vacating it altogether, which, in turn, can make it difficult to gather important contact information you keep there. After you’ve added your home or business address to the SERVPRO Ready Plan App, the app will create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for you to fill in the types of contacts you’re likely to need in the aftermath of a large loss due to water, fire, or mold. For example, there’s a section in the ERP for insurance information, as well as a place to list the companies that provide your utilities in case water or gas lines need to be shut off during mitigation or restoration. There’s even a place in the ERP to put pictures of the parking area and access doors of your property, to aid SERVPRO professionals in getting to you as quickly as possible if you ever request our services. The app also allows you to create unique ERPs for multiple locations, making it a great option for property managers and commercial property owners!

Having a plan before disaster strikes is the key to timely mitigation and minimizing the extent of damage to your home or business. To learn more, contact SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500, or head to https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp to get started using your computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Halloween Bonfire Fire in Missoula?

10/5/2020 (Permalink)

A Halloween party bonfire is sending up flames and sparks into the night sky. Halloween decorations catch fire easily in Missoula.

Halloween Fires Happen

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), each year, over 780 homes fires are caused by Halloween decorations catching on fire, forty-four percent of these fires are caused by decorations being too close to a heat source, and more than thirty-seven percent are started by candles.

SERVPRO® of Missoula has been responding to fire damage emergencies in the Missoula area for many years and have seen the damage even a small fire can cause. Our technicians are trained and certified fire and water damage specialists and have the experience, expertise, and advanced training and technology to safely restore your property to preloss condition. Here are some safety tips from the NFPA to help you have a safe and fun Halloween this year:

  • Replace real candles with battery-operated candles or put glow sticks inside jack-o-lanterns
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames and other heat sources like light bulbs and heaters
  • Keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes
  • Make sure smoke alarms are working

Call Us Today

Fire damage causes some of the costliest home repairs. Not only will you have to restore the damage caused by the fire, but there will also be smoke, soot, odor, and water damage from the firefighting efforts clean and repair. Call SERVPRO® of Missoula today at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your fire damage, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Water damage prevention tips for your Missoula business

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

A businessman consults a SERVPRO technician next to an open maintenance closet. Routine building maintenance is the first step to preventing water damaging in your commercial structure!

It goes without saying that commercial spaces are used differently than residential spaces. Usually, commercial spaces see a lot more daily foot traffic than a home does, and the wear and tear on a commercial building can differ depending on the type of business conducted there. And while many of the same causes of water damage commonly affect commercial and residential buildings, damage is often more extensive in a commercial space, and mitigation is met with more time constraints and special regulations. As a commercial building owner or manager, you can protect your business by knowing the common causes of water damage, keeping an eye out for early signs of a problem, and scheduling regular maintenance in key areas.

There are at least five areas in a commercial building where you can combat water damage with prevention: windows, outdoor water drainage systems, HVAC systems, sprinkler systems, and the building’s roof. Windows that don’t seal properly can lead to indoor moisture build-up over time, which also creates a risk for mold. Clogged gutters or drainage systems in disrepair can cause water to build up on the roof and around the foundation of your building, increasing the chances of water finding its way inside; sprinkler systems pose the same risk if not attended to according to the seasons (for example, having water blown out of the system before winter to prevent freezing). HVAC systems collect both particles and condensation, which means they need to be cleaned regularly (call SERVPRO of Missoula to schedule an HVAC cleaning no less than every five years) to prevent leaks or malfunction. Finally, roofs take the brunt force of the seasons to keep your building safe; in the winter, snow and ice build-up can compromise the integrity of the roof if not removed in a timely manner.

By ensuring that the windows in your commercial building seal properly, water has an unobstructed path to drain away from the roof and foundation, the HVAC and sprinkler systems are routinely cleaned and maintained, and that the roof is cleared off according to the seasons, you’re five steps ahead of water damage in your commercial building. But if the unexpected does occur, call (406) 327-9500; SERVPRO of Missoula will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Lead-Based Paint Removal in Missoula?

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

A white wall is shown partially covered with lead-based paint. We are certified to remove lead-based paint in Missoula.

Lead-Based Paint in My Home?

My home was ravaged by high winds, and upon further inspection of the structural damage, they discovered lead paint covering the damaged section. I knew that lead-based paint is toxic to people and the environment, but I didn’t realize that there was a specific procedure for the safe removal of the lead contaminants. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires restoration firms to be certified through an approved state program to provide this service as it is essential to reduce exposure to lead dust from restoration projects. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Missoula is certified to safely remove lead-based paint in Missoula by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). They completed the repairs and restoration to the preloss condition quickly and efficiently.

Here are some guidelines from the EPA to help you determine if your home may contain lead-based paint:

  • 87 percent of homes built before 1940 have some lead-based paint
  • 24 percent of homes built between 1960 and 1978 have some lead-based paint
  • Purchase a test kit to check for lead-based paint in your home

Call Us Today

SERVPRO® of Missoula has a team of highly trained restoration specialists ready to safely remove hazardous contaminants like lead-based paint from your home or business in Missoula. Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your property damage “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Is mold damage in your Missoula home covered by insurance?

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

A windowsill is covered in frost and also shows mold growth. Keeping your home dry and being aware of potential water access points is the first step in preventing a mold damage claim.

If you own a home, there’s one four-letter word you never want to hear: mold. Mold can be an especially scary type of property damage because it can go undetected in out-of-the-way areas like crawlspaces, and can also cause negative health effects. That’s why the first step in dealing with mold should always be prevention.

That said, nobody ever plans on having mold develop in their home. So if the unexpected does happen, there are some things you may wonder about mold and insurance. Namely, does homeowner’s insurance cover mold mitigation?

Most often, mold is a result of water damage. Whether or not your insurance policy will cover the cost of mold mitigation, then, typically depends on whether that initial water damage was a “covered peril,” and the resulting mold wasn’t obviously preventable. Covered water damage is usually that which is deemed “sudden and accidental.” For instance, damage from a burst pipe that sprays water all over your basement would likely be a covered peril, but damage from a long-term leak that goes unfixed would not. Likewise, mold that begins to form as a result of that burst pipe would probably be covered by your policy, but mold growth due to that slow leak would not. However, even after a sudden, accidental water loss, you’re responsible for cleaning up the area to the best of your ability. Mold growth resulting from a failure to dry out waterlogged materials won’t be covered. That’s why prevention is key.

Of course, mold coverage is always policy specific. If you suspect mold growth in your home, it’s best to connect with your insurance agent or adjuster for your exact policy details, and call a professional cleanup and restoration service like SERVPRO of Missoula as soon as possible.

Water Intrusion Prevention Plan in Missoula?

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

A backyard hose is left running, causing the backyard to flood and for water to flood the basement of a house. Water intrusion can become a costly repair if not addressed quickly.

Water Intrusion Happens

Have you ever had a funny feeling that you forgot to do something before you left the house? It happened to my neighbor. Her mind was preoccupied with getting to the store and running some errands, and she forgot that she left the hose running to water her rose bushes outside next to her house. She got home, and as she was putting away her groceries, she heard the water running outside. Uh oh. Two hours away from the house allowed a tiny lake to form in her planter beds, and the water seeped into the foundation, causing water damage to her belongings stored below. SERVPRO® of Missoula has been helping Missoula residents with water damage emergencies for over 40 years and offers these tips from the United States Environmental Protection Agency for preventing water intrusion:

  • Get a professional landscaping company to inspect your outdoor irrigation system and create an efficient drainage system to prevent water intrusion
  • Inspect the foundation and basement wells for leaks or cracks and make repairs when necessary

Call Us Today

SERVPRO® of Missoula has a team of highly trained water restoration specialists ready to help you with any size water damage emergency. Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your water damage in Missoula “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Should I have a fire extinguisher in my Missoula home?

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

A fire extinguisher hangs on a wall. Quick use of a fire extinguisher can suppress a small fire before it spreads throughout the home.

Home fire safety should start with a working smoke detector and a fire safety plan. If you already have those in your home, though, you may consider a fire extinguisher as the next step in fire preparedness.

A fire extinguisher works to put out a small fire by removing one of the three components of the fire triangle: heat, oxygen, and fuel. The most common fire extinguisher removes oxygen from a fire by smothering it in a dry chemical foam. In a way, it’s a high-powered version of pouring baking soda on a grease fire, which makes it particularly relevant in the kitchen.

But if you’re going to invest in a fire extinguisher to help protect your home and family—which luckily isn’t a huge investment, with most home units coming in between $10 and $40—you don’t want a one-hit wonder. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a multipurpose extinguisher, which works to suppress fires from ‘ordinary combustibles,’ grease fires, and electrical fires. On the market, this translates to a fire extinguisher that is ABC rated, such as a unit with a 3A:40-B:C rating, or the slightly smaller 2A:10-B:C rating. Units with these ratings can be found at almost any home improvement store.

Once again, having a working smoke detector in each room of your home should be your first priority in home fire preparedness. Two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends checking the batteries in your smoke detector once a month, changing them at least once a year, and replacing the unit altogether once it is 10 years old. Once you’re confident with this routine, you can consider adding a fire extinguisher to your home arsenal!

Wind-Damaged Property in Missoula?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

A fence surrounding the perimeter of a home has been knocked down by high winds in Missoula. We are storm damage restoration specialists.

High Winds and Hail Damage Properties in the U.S.  

According to a report by the Institute of Insurance Information, in the five years between 2014 and 2018, 5.6 percent of insured homes had an insurance claim. Wind and hail accounted for the largest share, with 2.3 percent of insured households having such a loss, followed closely by water damage and freezing with 2.1 percent of homes having a loss. SERVPRO® of Missoula has been helping the residents and business owners of Missoula by restoring storm damage done to their homes and properties for years and we can respond to any storm, flood, and water damage emergency immediately. Depending on the nature of your property damage, we may utilize any combination of services, including:

Commercial Large Loss Division

We have divisions strategically placed throughout the nation designed to mobilize quickly in the event of a large disaster. Clients of this division include:

  • The Hospitality Industry
  • Property Managers
  • Universities
  • Municipalities
  • The Pentagon

Call Us Today

No matter what size storm damage emergency you have, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help. ® Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll restore your storm damaged property in Missoula “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

How SERVPRO of Missoula makes storm damage "Like it never even happened."

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

rain water on a window makes the view outside blurry. Heavy rain storms can cause flooding in your Missoula home.

When your home falls victim to storm damage, the hours and days immediately following can seem chaotic and even a bit hopeless. However, one of the worst things you can do in this event is to wait. The longer it takes cleanup & restoration professionals to arrive, the more mitigation and repairs may be necessary. Acting quickly and having an idea of what to expect will help ease your mind. 

Our technicians here at SERVPRO of Missoula are trained in a number of storm damage cleanup and restoration services, including the most common type of property damage caused by storms: flooding. Here’s what you can expect when you call SERVPRO of Missoula after a storm has brought flood waters into your home or business:

  • If there is standing water, our technicians will remove any affected contents to prevent further damage, and then use pumps to extract the water.
  • For carpeted areas, our technicians will lift the carpet and pull the pad underneath before relaying the carpet and placing drying equipment (fans and dehumidifiers). For tile and hardwood surfaces, we use extraction mats to help pull water from the material.
  • After removing any standing water, our technicians will use a Moisture Meter to perform a moisture inspection of the affected rooms, and continue to run drying equipment and to monitor your home until everything is confirmed to be dry.
  • For unsalvageable materials (such as affected drywall or flooring), our technicians are trained to complete the repairs necessary to make the storm “Like it never even happened.”

If a storm causes damage to your home, you do not need to feel helpless. Not only do our technicians carry the knowledge and tools to restore your home, they will work directly with you and your insurance company to make the process as easy for you as possible. Call SERVPRO of Missoula, we’re here to help.

Smelly Skunk Odor Scaring Customers in Missoula?

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

A cute little skunk faces the camera, holding his tail up to spray the photographer. We are odor removal specialists.

Bad Odors Happen

The Montana Striped Skunk has been known to visit homes and businesses in the Missoula area. These cat-sized critters emit a very strong odor from their well-developed scent glands that often precedes itself. You won’t see them very often during the daytime as they are nocturnal. They survive by reputation alone, and when they are frightened or feel threatened, they will spray their malodorous, cloying scent. SERVPRO® of Missoula’s team of technicians are certified in odor removal and have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate offensive odors from your office, warehouse, or home.

Advanced Technologies and Techniques

Bad odors can be caused by a variety of sources including fire and water damage and animal infestations. We use advanced techniques and technologies to identify the location and type of odor and will use one of a variety of odor removal products that are capable of penetrating surfaces to effectively neutralize the odor.

Call Us Today

There may not have been a skunk in our commercial building or home, but sometimes bad odors happen and when they do, SERVPRO® of Missoula is Here to Help.® Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and deodorize your property in Missoula “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

The Aftermath of Wildfires around Missoula: Flash Floods

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

A flash flood racing through a state park. Wildfires increase the risk of flash floods for valley towns.

Summer in Missoula always promises long lines at the local ice cream shops, river surfers at Brennan’s Wave, and the treasured huckleberry season along our most-loved hiking trails, but it also often brings about two natural hazards that can cut down our summer fun: thunderstorms and forest fires.

Even on years like this, where the wildfire smoke we’re experiencing is coming mostly from neighboring states instead of our own, the damage our mountains routinely see from wildfires makes the Missoula and Bitterroot Valleys particularly susceptible to flash flooding. Fire changes the landscape through which it burns, greatly reducing or even eliminating ground vegetation. That vegetation typically plays an important part in helping to absorb water from rainfall, and with it gone, water is left to flow freely and rapidly down steep terrain. Fires also leave behind ash and debris which, combined with heavy rain, can create mudflows that may reach structures miles away from the original site of the fire.

Because the risk of flash flooding is ongoing – an area affected by wildfire can take up to five years to adequately begin to recover ground vegetation – knowledge and prior planning are the most important components of your family and your home’s emergency toolkit. According to the National Weather Service, “half an inch of rainfall in less than an hour is sufficient to cause flash flooding.” You don’t want to wait until those summer thunderstorms strike to think about flood insurance, and you should always have an evacuation plan in case your home is affected. Ready.gov provides more information on how to build an emergency supply kit, and in the event that your home is damaged by flash flooding this summer, SERVPRO of Missoula is here for you.

The benefits of HVAC and air duct cleaning in your Missoula home and business

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

illustration of an HVAC unit blowing air Keeping ducts free of dust and debris may help reduce your energy bill and improve air quality in your home.

HVAC systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. The air inside your Western Montana home is full of tiny particles like dust, pollen and pet dander. When your furnace or air conditioner draws air, it also pulls in airborne particles. Over time, these contaminants can build up inside the ducts, reducing air flow and re-circulating throughout your living space.

Like furnaces and air conditioners, air ducts require proper cleaning and maintenance to perform at their best. Keeping ducts free of dust and debris can also help reduce your energy bill and improve air quality in your home. More frequent duct cleaning is recommended if you have indoor pets, or are sensitive to indoor air quality. You should also have your ducts cleaned if you have recently renovated your home, as this will increase the amount of dust in your forced air system.

Air duct cleaning clears debris from your HVAC air ducts, registers, grilles, and other components of an HVAC system and provides these benefits for you and your home:

  • Creates a cleaner living environment
  • Reduces allergens and irritants
  • Helps your family breathe easier
  • Removes unpleasant smells and odors
  • Improves air flow efficiency

Duct cleaning is not an easy job. Doing it right takes specialized equipment in the hands of skilled professionals like ours at SERVPRO of Missoula. Call us at 406-327-9500 for more information.

Storm Damage in Missoula?

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

A windblown pine tree is shown laying next to a mountain lake. We respond to any size storm damage emergency in the Missoula area.

Unexpected Severe Weather in Montana

Last year, Montana’s severe weather storms included severe snowstorms, storms with baseball-sized hail, 80 miles per hour wind gusts, severe thunderstorms, tornado forecasts, and significantly higher precipitation than normal. With severe weather comes the potential for property damage caused by storms. The good news is that SERVPRO® of Missoula has been restoring storm-damaged properties in the Missoula area for years, and has some of the most highly trained and certified technicians in the state, with certifications from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, (IICRC) including:

  • Water Restoration Technician
  • Advanced Structural Drying
  • Commercial Drying Specialist
  • Fire / Smoke Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Contents Science and Theory
  • Building Science
  • Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • Health and Safety Technician
  • Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • Upholstery and Fabric Technician
  • EPA RRP Lead Certification
  • OSHA 10 Hour
  • OSHA 40 Hour
  • Master Water Designation
  • Master Fire Designation

Call Us Today

We are locally owned and operated and have extensive experience in mitigating storm damage of all kinds. SERVPRO® of Missoula has a team of highly trained professionals that can be onsite within 60 minutes of your call to respond to storm and flooding conditions. Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your storm damage in Missoula “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Dryer Fire in Missoula?

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

A hand is shown removing the lint form a clothes dryer lint trap. Dryer fires are common in East Missoula.

Clothes Dryer Fires

In a research report published by the National Fire Protection Association, (NFPA), between 2010 and 2014, fire departments responded to about 15,970 home structure fires connected to washing machines and clothes dryers, with 92 percent of these fires being attributed to clothes dryers. The ignition source in the majority of these fires was lint. SERVPRO® of Missoula offers these dryer safety tips to Missoula residents from the NFPA:

  • Clean the dryer’s lint filter each time before use
  • Remove the accumulated lint from around the drum
  • Do not operate the dryer without a lint filter in place
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe once a year
  • Have a qualified service person clean the interior of the dryer chassis periodically to reduce lint accumulation
  • Keep the dryer area clear of combustible items
  • Never leave the dryer running when you are not home
  • Use the lowest heat setting and drying cycle that has a cool-down period
  • Make sure your machines are properly grounded
  • If a fire occurs inside the dryer do not open the door as the outside air will flame the fire and make it worse

Call Us Today

If your home experiences fire damage, SERVPRO® of Missoula wants to help. We have a team of highly trained professionals that can be onsite within 60 minutes of your call in the Missoula area. Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

What to do if a fire starts in your Missoula home

8/20/2020 (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

SERVPRO of Missoula wants Frenchtown to be free from fires

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

 daytime view of a wildfire nearing a paved road SERVPRO of Missoula recommends building defenses between urban lands and fire

Fire Season in Montana

The Missoula Fire Prevention Bureau notes that wildfires are a risk all year long, but we usually think of summer as being fire season.

Because summer weather has been lasting for a longer time, the fire season is lasting for a longer time.

We all need to be alert to the possibility of wildfires at any time.

Call SERVPRO® of Missoula for restoration after fire or smoke or soot damage

If any type of fire causes damage in a Frenchtown home or business, SERVPRO of Missoula has 24-hour emergency service. Call (406) 327-9500 to start disaster recovery.

Prevention

SERVPRO of Missoula and the Missoula Fire Department hope that no one will have to cope with the damage caused by fire, no matter whether the fire started from the outdoors, or it started from faulty wiring, unattended candles, or another indoor source.

The Missoula Fire Department offers free consultations for homeowners and businesses on how to establish fire-defensible spaces between urban areas and the wildfire-prone outdoor spaces.

The fire department also provides information about safety for families and their pets.

Nationally

Ready, Set, Go is a program that has resources for creating defensible spaces, mitigating wildfires, and preparing for emergencies.

The program has information for home-owners and for businesses.

Stay Safe, Frenchtown and Missoula

We are your neighbors. We want to keep this area free from any losses.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Link:

https://www.SERVPROmissoula.com/fire-smoke-damage-restoration

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

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

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

You may not 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.”

Leaking Window in Missoula?

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Raindrops collect on a window obscuring the view outside of a window. We are storm damage restoration specialists in Missoula.

Severe Thunderstorm Weather Watch vs. Severe Thunderstorm Weather Warning

Although the Missoula area only gets around fifteen inches of rain each year, it has been known to experience severe weather patterns such as heavy snowfall, flooding, and thunderstorms. SERVPRO® of Missoula has been providing emergency storm damage cleanup and restoration services for years, and has a team of highly trained and certified technicians ready to respond any time of the day or night. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA), it is important to know the difference between a “severe thunderstorm weather watch and a severe thunderstorm weather warning:

  1. Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Be prepared as thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area, usually a large area covering many counties and sometimes states
  2. Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Take action because severe weather has been spotted on radar and by eyewitnesses. Imminent danger to life and property so take shelter in a substantial building. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.

Call Us Today

If your home or commercial property experiences storm damage, SERVPRO® of Missoula wants to help. We have a team of highly trained professionals that are ready to assist you. Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and restore your storm damage in Missoula “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Filing an insurance claim for water damage in your Missoula home

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

Couple calling for help, looking at leaking ceiling. Don’t let water damage get worse before calling for help!

Storm damage, a burst pipe, a leaking appliance—when you’re a homeowner, any of the above will present a stressful situation. The last thing you need is to add the stress of navigating the insurance system, especially if you’ve never filed a claim before and aren’t familiar with the process. 

Luckily, filing an insurance claim doesn’t have to be stressful, and SERVPRO of Missoula has three steps to get you started:

  1. Call your agent. If you discover water damage in your home, don’t wait to contact your homeowners’ insurance agent. Water damage has the potential to get much worse the longer it sits, and your agent will be able to walk through the situation with you and advise on whether to file a claim.
  2. Take pictures. When damage occurs in your home, document, document, document. In most cases, coverage is contingent on the loss being sudden and accidental. Photographs taken immediately after the loss occurs will help the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim determine if the loss should be covered.
  3. Make a list of damaged items. Check out our blog post “Steps for an Insurance Inventory”* for more info on why this is important, as well as tips on getting started.

When you call SERVPRO of Missoula to respond to your emergency water loss, we’ll also help you navigate your insurance claim, and our project managers will work directly with your adjuster so you don’t have to be a go-between.

*https://www.SERVPROmissoula.com/blog/post/190996/why-SERVPRO/steps-for-an-insurance-inventory-in-your-missoula-home

Missoula Mold 103: The Black Mold Myth

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician sanding mold from wall cavity. All visible mold growth should be remediated, regardless of color.

Here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we often hear the question: “I found black mold in my home, what do I do?” We are also frequently asked how we test mold, or how we know what type of mold is growing in a home prior to remediation. Many homeowners urgently seek the answers to these questions because of the popular idea that black mold is more dangerous to human health than any other variety.

In truth, color does not tell you how dangerous the mold in your home is*, and the term “black mold” is even a bit of a misnomer. “Black mold” is often used to refer to a variety of mold called Stachybotrys chartarum, which is thought to be particularly dangerous because of the harmful mycotoxins it can produce. However, three issues arise from this classification. First, not all Stachybotrys chartarum produces mycotoxins. Second, not all Stachybotrys chartarum is black in color. And third, not all mold that appears black is Stachybotrys chartarum

So, the answer to ‘I found black mold in my home, what do I do?’ is, first and foremost, ‘don’t panic.’ But do call your local mold remediation professional. Many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, which is why here at SERVPRO of Missoula, we follow the CDC guideline that any visible mold growth should be remediated, regardless of color or variety. Our technicians will use advanced methods of containment, air filtration, and removal to make your mold infestation “Like it never even happened.”

* https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm

Are You Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned in Missoula?

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Sticker on Window of a Retail Store Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned in Missoula, give us a call.

A New, Higher Standard of Clean

As local commercial businesses begin to reopen their doors, it has never been more important to have a safe, viral pathogen-free environment for your customers and employees. With the pandemic and spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, what it means to be clean has changed.

We are announcing a new, defensive cleaning program that certifies your business in East Missoula  as being deep cleaned, sanitized and disinfected by SERVPRO® of Missoula.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

What does it mean to be a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned business? It means your employees and customers will know you have gone beyond the scope of the routing cleaning that a janitorial service would provide by having a proactive viral cleaning done by us.

Once the deep cleaning and disinfecting process is completed, we will post a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned decal on your door recording the date of service so everyone will know when your business was last sanitized and disinfected. 

Call Us Today

Having a safe, clean workplace has never been more important. SERVPRO® of Missoula uses hospital-grade disinfectants that have been used to treat pathogens similar to the coronavirus as recommended by the CDC. We use EPA-approved products and adhere to CDC and local authority guidelines.

Call us today at 406-327-9500. We’ll clean and disinfect your business in East Missoula “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Get a free Emergency READY Profile for your Missoula business

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO employee shows business owner data on a tablet. Call SERVPRO of Missoula today to start your free Emergency READY Profile.

According to FEMA*, as many as 50% of small businesses close down following a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind, and lets your employees and patrons know that your business is “Ready for whatever happens.”

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

What is a SERVPRO Emergency READY profile?

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Missoula, a recognized industry leader, as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage, which can save you time and money.

Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for one and SERVPRO of Missoula can help. Call us at 406-327-9500 today to schedule your free facility assessment.

*Federal Emergency Management Agency

SERVPRO of Missoula rushes to help its neighbors in Frenchtown

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

aerial view at sunset Count on SERVPRO of Missoula to get rid of damage in Frenchtown

Delays Deepen Disasters: 24-Hour Emergency Service

In emergencies, next-day service is too-late service. SERVPRO® of Missoula is Faster to any size disaster, preventing damage from setting in. If a deep-fry experiment goes wrong, leaving soot on the ceiling and filling the kitchen with smoke, or a storm floods a Frenchtown office park, call SERVPRO of Missoula at  (406) 327-9500. In emergencies, we will stop, prevent, and remediate damage no matter what the hour, no matter which day, and no matter how large or small the disaster.

Part of the Community

The owners and employees at SERVPRO of Missoula live and work in Frenchtown. We provide the best for our friends and neighbors. We’re conveniently located, making it easier for a SERVPRO of Missoula team to rush to the site of a disaster.

The Best Training, the Best People, the Best Equipment

Technicians at SERVPRO of Missoula earn certification through coursework and hands-on experience. Continuing-education programs ensure that we always have a handle on the latest techniques.  Advanced training and state-of-the-art equipment allow SERVPRO of Missoula to find hidden moisture, eradicate odors, and remediate damage to delicate upholstery as well as to metal surfaces, buildings, and electronics.

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Link:

https://www.SERVPROmissoula.com/

Missoula Dryer Fires: Clean Lint Traps Save Lives

7/16/2020 (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.”

SERVPRO of Missoula is Independently Owned and Operated.

Our Community has a friend in SERVPRO of Missoula

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

Bright green foliage, pink flowers SERVPRO of Missoula keeps our community fresh

No job is too small. No job is too large.

Any size disaster is a major one for the people experiencing it. SERVPRO® of Missoula knows that, so we are available for emergencies 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call (406) 327-9500 for immediate and high-quality help.

No matter what the disaster, or whether it’s large or small, SERVPRO of Missoula will arrive quickly to start work to stop the damage before the disaster gets bigger.

Remove Mess and Decrease Stress

SERVPRO of Missoula takes care of all the details, including

  • Assess damage
  • Photograph structures and contents before and after restoration
  • Keep owners informed of all steps
  • Document every procedure
  • Work directly with most insurance companies 
  • Make referrals to experts for specialized services (including art restoration and document recovery)
  • Clean all surfaces
  • Clean contents, including upholstery, wood, marble, drywall, carpets and carpet pads and other materials
  • Decontaminate all of the surfaces as well as all of the contents
  • Remove water, soot, or other contaminants from electronics
  • Promote restoration over replacement
  • Arrange for the pack-up, move-out, and storage of contents when it is necessary

SERVPRO of Missoula is Here to Help.

If you have any questions, please call us at (406) 327-9500.

SERVPRO of Missoula is independently owned and operated

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

7/9/2020 (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 it “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!

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