Recent Storm Damage Posts

Wildfire and Smoke Damage in Western Montana

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Missoula has a large inventory of filtering and cleaning equipment and the trained staff to go with it!

With all of these wildfires throughout our beautiful Montana, it’s time to talk about smoke damage. SERVPRO of Missoula is here to help with soot, smoke or fire damage your property may have incurred. There are different types of smoke damaged losses. Wildfires will burn mostly natural materials, but sometime when wildfires burn man-made materials, it can leave soot particles which are more difficult to remove.  Our highly trained technicians will pretest all soot residues to determine the best method of cleaning to help ensure no lingering odors.

Even if your property didn’t suffer fire damage, there may be soot particles and residues left to clean. If cleaned improperly, the odor and effects can linger long after the fire has gone. Our technicians use the latest technology to ensure your property is smelling fresh and clean. Soot is sneaky and can get inside your home even when windows and doors are closed. Your HVAC unit and air ducts usually hold large amounts of soot and disperse it throughout the house. Our technicians will thoroughly inspect your HVAC units along with your air ducts for soot particles and remove the particles so no further damage is incurred. SERVPRO of Missoula wants to help you and your property’s damage to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Preparing your home for a vacation during cold weather

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Failure to clear snow can cause an ice dam to form, allowing water to enter the attic space, flooding the exterior walls.

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

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

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

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

Securing Your Property After a Western Montana Hail Storm

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

There are steps you can take before, during and after to be better prepared and protected.

Montanan’s aren’t strangers to hail storms which can have devastating effects on your home or business property. While there is no way to prevent the damage, there are steps you can take before, during and after to be better prepared and protected.

Before the storm

  • Make sure you know what your property insurance covers and what the deductible is. If you aren’t sure, you may want to call your agent.
  • If you have items outside such as outdoor patio furniture, lawn/garden items or vehicles that you don’t want to get damaged, put them inside or under a protective cover until the storm passes.
  • Check for, and repair any damaged or missing shingles, and make sure rain gutters and drains are free of clogs so water buildup doesn’t cause any damage.

During the storm - Safety is the priority during a hailstorm

  • Bring pets indoors immediately.
  • Stay indoors. Hail dents wood and metal, and can break glass. It can also hurt you.
  • Close your drapes and curtains. This won’t prevent damage, but it’ll help prevent the broken glass from flying into your room.

After the storm

SERVPRO of Missoula is a full-service damage restoration company.  We can provide you with the following services:

  • Emergency Roof Tarp
  • Board up Services
  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Insurance Claims
  • Reconstruction and Roof Restoration Service

Western Montana can see hail of all sizes, big and small, and they fall fast and hard. However, if you notice damage call SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500 as soon as possible. We will send our trained technicians out as soon as it is safe for them to go. We have the knowledge, experience and top of the line equipment to help make hail storm damage “Like it never even happened.”   

Tarping and Board Up Services

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

Tarping and boarding up a storm damaged roof or structure can prevent further or secondary damage until repairs can be made.

Fallen trees, fire, high wind and hail storms often cause roof damage. Safety should be your primary concern. Initial roof assessment should be completed from the ground as damage is not always visible. If you suspect damage to your shingles or structure, contact a professional immediately. And In the event of major roof damage, vacate the premises until it has been determined that it’s safe to return.

SERVPRO of Missoula can provide emergency roof tarp installation to prevent further damage. Tarping the roof will prevent secondary damage while the roof is inspected and repaired. Our professionals use approved board up techniques to minimize further damage and secure your property and protect the building from weather, animals and illegal entry. When disaster strikes your Western Montana home or business, SERVPRO of Missoula is ready to respond immediately with your roof tarping needs.

Other Related Storm Services

  • Overview of Storm & Flood Services
  • Water & Storm Damage Tips
  • Disaster Recovery Team
  • Water Restoration Process
  • Caring for Your Belongings
  • Mold Remediation
  • Sewage Cleanup
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Odor Removal
  • Commercial Storm Damage

Protecting Your Home from Winter Weather

1/23/2019 (Permalink)

A few preventative measures can be limit damage caused by freezing temperatures.

A harsh, cold winter in Western Montana can have devastating effects on a home if you’re not properly prepared, and may result in unexpected damage. Below are some of the common causes of damage in the winter months.

  • Power outages - Heavy snow and high winds are a recipe for widespread power outages. It’s important to prepare a plan now before a possible outage by learning about alternative heat sources and knowing how to safely use them in your environment.
  • Frozen Pipes – A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the back flow pressure between the water source and the blockage.
  • Ice Dams – Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot easily flow or run into the gutter system, it can back flow under the roof’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas.
  • Puffbacks – A messy furnace malfunction, such as a puffback occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home. It can happen all at once covering an interior in grimy soot, or a slow gradual leak.

There are a few preventative measures a homeowner can take to protect it from winter storm damage, such as:

  1. Have a reliable back-up power source to ensure continuous power to the building, or an alternative heat source.
  2. Insulating all attic penetrations.
  3. Ensuring proper seals on all doors and windows.
  4. Sealing all cracks and openings in exterior walls.
  5. Having an Emergency Preparedness Kit with three days of food, water, prescription medication and other supplies ready, is also important.

If you experience unexpected damage this winter remember SERVPRO of Missoula is faster to any size disaster, bringing the latest equipment and training to help make the water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 406-327-9500.

Make sure your home or business is ready for winter!

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Calling the CLEANUP TEAM!

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

-           Test smoke alarms monthly.

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

The Behavior of Smoke

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Stormy and Blaze inspecting our fire extinguisher.


The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke- wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.
SERVPRO of Missoula professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restorations begins, SERVPRO of Missoula will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from the fire, smoke, heat and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows your SERVPRO of Missoula professionals to focus on saving your precious items.
SERVPRO of Missoula professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.
- - Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- -Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- -The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Types of smoke:
Wet smoke (Plastic and Rubber)
- -Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry smoke (Paper and Wood)
- -Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises

Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire)
- -Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)
- -While “puff backs” can creat havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Missoula professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue)
- -Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO of Missoula professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of Missoula at 406-327-9500 to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Sage Advice on Fire Extinguishers

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

 Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire. Sweep the nozzle from side-to side. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.  

Missoula, The Snow Storms Are Coming. Dangers of Extreme Cold

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Stormy and Blaze, blazing a trail through the snow fall.

According to the National Weather Service, $2.84 million dollars in property damage was caused by extreme cold in 2015. Even scarier? Fifty three people died and three were injured due to extreme cold the same year.
It is important to be aware of the effect extremely cold temperatures can have on you. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia. Frostbite is caused when your skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm and/or numbness.
Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. If someone’s body temperature is below 95 F, Seek medical attention immediately. To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.

Prevention Tips For This Coming Winter Season

10/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Missoula is here to help! Here are some tips to help you enjoy the upcoming winter wonderland weather.

- Clear your gutters of leaves and other debris. Clogged gutters as well as inadequate or inconsistent attic insulation can cause a damming effect which can lead to roofing issues and water damage.
- Ice dams can be a major issue during the winter season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water can’t flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof’s shingles and into the structure’s interior. SERVPRO of Missoula can help mitigate water damage caused by ice dams.
- Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around the pipes.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, specifically those pipes are located in uninsulated or unheated section of your home.
- Frozen pipes can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, however sometimes the rupture is caused by the pressure of the water as it builts between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause excessive amounts of damage if not addressed swiftly.
- Proper maintenance of your oil burning furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.
- A puffback is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once, covering an interior in soot, or it can leak soot particles more gradually. SERVPRO of Missoula is here to restore your home or business from any fire or smoke damage!
SERVPRO of Missoula is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are here to help make your water & fire losses like they “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 406-327-9500.