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Fire Safety Tips Worth Noting / SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hillsh noting

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

a person laying another wood log into hot burning fireplace into hot burning fireplace A house fire can occur when you least expect it. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is on call 24/7 and will guide you through any fire restoration.

Fire safety is an important aspect of any household and doing what you can to increase your preparedness efforts is a wise decision. Fires can cause severe damage to your home and belongings, but there can also lead to devastating injuries and losses for your love ones.

There are countless worthwhile fire safety tips out there, but they are often scattered around and difficult to find all in one place. That is why we have to put together a list of some of the top fire safety tips to be aware of, so you can have all the information you need in one place.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Home

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Smoke alarms are one of the best tools for fire safety. Installing them in every room and in the main part of every story of the house is recommended, and it is best to utilize an interconnected system to they will all sound at once. Smoke alarms should be tested at least every 30 days and re[laced every 10 years to remain operational.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. A fire escape plan is a fantastic tool for everyone in the household to make use of.  By creating a plan for what to do and where to meet to minimize confusion and increase safety.

Know How To Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Having the right fire extinguisher in your home can make all the difference between a close call and a devastating fire. Make sure to select the right category and inform every family of how to use one.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Many of us deal with open flames every day without a second thought-fireplaces, candles, and stovetops are all common culprits. While these may seem mostly harmless, always remember that any open flame increases your risk of a house fire. This is why it is always recommended to stay in the room with an open flame at all times.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. It is common for house fires to begin at night, which is why having a smoke alarm in each bedroom is advised. Additionally, sleeping with the door closed can slow down the fire's spread, allowing you to have more time to react and escape the flames.

If you'd like to learn more about protecting yourself yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.

How Business Owners Can Lessen Disaster Risks | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

preparedness and readiness sayings in bold lettering with red background How Business Owners Can Lessen Disaster Risks

When it comes to making smart decisions, many small business owners consider their day-to-day and long-term goals. While this is certainly important, amid the increasing number of annual emergencies, planning for unforeseen circumstances is also a wise choice. 

By planning ahead, business owners can boh lessen the damage that a disaster causes and speed up the recovery process as they work to reopen following a disaster. 

Being aware of the overall picture of natural disaster risks as well as scenarios that are more common in your area will give you a great starting point from which to plan. Considering what you will do both in the moment and in the aftermath of an emergency will help you make smart decisions that will keep you and your business safe. 

Prepare for an Emergency at Your Business

1. Double-Check your Insurance

There are many different levels of insurance out there, and many business owners are shocked to find that their current policy is not enough to cover a true catastrophe. Many water damages and other excessive property costs will be excluded from most basic insurance coverage, so it is wise to talk to your agent about the supplemental options for your business.

2. Create Your Action Plan

If a natural disaster or another emergency is imminent, it is important to know exactly what you will do and be able to execute it in as little time as [ossible. If there is any equipment or workplace protocols that must be taken before evacuating, make note of these here It is also important to locate the nearest emergency shelter and medical facility during this step.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff

Preparing your on-site staff for a disaster is an important part of reducing liability and creating a general environment of workplace safety. Share your emergency action plan with employees and be sure to regularly rehearses emergency evacuation drills from your workplace frequently, covering different scenarios each time. 

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With

Following an emergency, the cleanup will begin. Getting your building's restoration started quickly and help you to recover.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Do you have water damage or flooding? Let SERVPRO of CedarMill/Oak Hills guide you through your water-related issues.

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

water damaged furniture, home items and ripped up carpet sitting on driveway of brick home Do you have water damage or flooding? Let SERVPRO of CedarMill/Oak Hills guide you through your water-related issues.

Water damage is not something any homeowner wants to go through, but with the rate of flooding continuing to rise, it has become something that is necessary to prepare for.

Because a flood fully saturates a home in most cases and the economic impact of flooding is on the rise, the home damage they cause can be severe and costly. Therefore, it is recommended that homeowners understand the dangers of flooding so they are able to be on guard.

<h3flooding-can-damage-a-home">Ways Flooding Can Damage a Home

Foundational Damage. As the soil below the floodwaters becomes saturated, the very ground the home is built on can become unsteady. This can cause foundational cracks, uneven flooring and structural shifting that can become a large problem.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Drywall can grow soft and crumble when wet, but that is not the main issue. Mold can quickly begin to grow within soaked drywall, leading to adverse health effects and damage to the structure of the home. Even if drywall maintains its structure, it should be replaced after becoming wet.

Insulation Saturation. Unless your home is built with specialty insulation throughout, the chances are high that is the type that can absorb moisture and become saturated. Soaked insulation must be replaced due to the dangers of mold.

Temporary Frame Swelling. In light of all the damages, there is good news about a home’s frame. Because the frame is typically built with pure lumber, there are usually no lasting effects on the home once the temporary swelling settles down. While precautions must be taken against mold, frames will typically remain structurally sound.

Appliance Ruining. Appliances that require heat and cold retention typically contain insulation, which can become oversaturated during a flood, requiring replacement to prevent mold growth. Not every appliance type utilizes insulation, however, so a professional can evaluate your specific situation and advise you to what is safe.

Furniture Damage. Any soft furniture such as couches, chairs and mattresses can absorb a high amount of water and are considered a sanitation risk after a flood. However, furniture made out of plastic, wood or other non-porous material is generally safe to use as long as it is properly cleaned.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

Preparing for Floods as a Business Owner

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to planning for floods, it is important for business owners to not cut corners and be sure all your bases are covered. Some of the most important things to do are:

1. Use FEMA's Flood Map to understand the historical flooding rates in your area.

2. Designate an offsite place that is secure enough to store copies documents.

3. Train employees on the official emergency operation procedure so that everyone knows their role is.

4. Mark evacuation routes using eye-catching material. 

5. Look into the addition of flood insurance to your policy, as most do not include it by default.

6. Create an office emergency kit and encourage coworkers to do the same.

7. Move electronics to higher areas if flooding is likely. 

Why our restoration approach is different?

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Choosing a restoration company can be a tricky job. The company you choose will be working closely with you in a time that is fraught with emotion and is responsible for restoring your home and providing peace of mind. When you choose the right company, you can be sure that the work will be done well and your overall damage experience will be positive.

Part of the reason why the right company is so crucial is that home restoration is rarely a clear-cut issue because of how many types of damages are related to one another.

Not only does water damage seep into belongings, but it can also damage structures. Fire can release toxic soot particles into the air, causing health effects if not properly addressed. Severe thunderstorms can cause both fire and water damage in one event.

Picking a company that approaches these problems the correct way and can tackle any complications that arise is the most important thing.

Places That Water Damage Can Hide

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

Sustaining water damage is an unpredictable and inconvenient life event. An area prone to flooding might be more prepared, but flooding is far from the only thing that causes water damage.

Inconvenience aside, water damage is also costly. The typical insurance claim for water damage amounts to over $6,500, but insurance will often not accept water damage claims at all. Checking the common places water damage can hide is a wise practice for homeowners so they are not surprised later on.

Places That Water Damage Can Hide
  • Under a sink. Because the area under the sink is hidden, it is easy to be unaware that there is a leak until there is a big problem. Check regularly for water buildup and mold.

  • Around a tub. The caulk that seals a bathtub to the wall can become worn over time, allowing water to seep in.

  • Under drywall. Drywall can hide severe water damage within the walls, which is especially common after flooding or a burst pipe.

  • At roof intersections. Chimneys and exhaust fans that intersect with the roof should be checked regularly for leakage around their seals.

  • In an HVAC unit. The air conditioning system’s drain line can become clogged, leading to water buildup within the unit.

  • Behind appliances. Washing machines and dishwashers can have leaks that remain hidden for an extended period of time because they are in hidden areas.

  • At an exterior faucet. Where an exterior faucet is connected to the water pipe is a prime spot for leaks to develop, and is often hidden by siding.

If your home has suffered water damage (even in a hidden place like one of these), we are happy to help! Give us a call at 503-619-6198, and we’ll get there quickly.

The Basics About Lightning

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

When nature assembles into a thunderstorm, there are many aspects of it that can cause damage. While water and flood damage are the most common that come to mind, the risks associated with lightning are also extremely important to discuss.

Though most storms will contain precipitation, all storms contain electricity, and thus the potential for lightning strikes. Lightning bolts can get as hot as 500,000 degrees and be dangerous to properties and fatal to humans. Understanding what lightning is and the damage it causes can help homeowners mitigate their risks.

The Basics of Lightning

Lightning is what we know it by, but the bolts we can see are made of a quick electrical burst, either within the cloud or from the cloud to the ground.

Because the air is a poor conductor, lightning will often seek objects to strike in an attempt to create the path of least resistance to the ground. In the case of house strikes, this path is typically through piping and wiring.

The Dangers of Lightning

There are three main dangers associated with lightning striking a home:

Fire hazards. Houses are made of materials that are easily combustible, making this one of the most common dangers from lightning strikes. Not only can the house immediately catch flame at the site of a lightning strike, but lightning traveling through wiring can damage it, causing fire hazards all throughout the electrical components of the home.

Power surges. Lightning is an electrical charge at its core, and can thus transfer that charge to wiring as it travels. This can create a power surge, damaging any electronic device that is not routed through a surge protector.

Shock waves. Thunder is the most recognizable form of a shock wave, but lightning brings these dangerous currents wherever it goes. These shock waves can be deadly at close range, crumbling structures and shattering windows. This can create significant damage and cause harm in the way of shrapnel, as well.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call at 503-619-6198. We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

What to Look for in a Restoration Company

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

A natural disaster that impacts a business puts a commercial property owner in a difficult position. FEMA reports that after a disaster, up to 60% of business owners are unable to resume operations as they are unable to fully recover from damages.

After a disaster, a company that specializes in commercial restoration can make all the difference on whether your business can reopen, but knowing how to pick the right one is key. Here are a few things to look for in a commercial restoration company:

1. A Response Time We’re Proud Of

For most damages, the longer they go untreated, the more costly and complex they are to restore. While the reassurance to know that help will quickly arrive is invaluable, the time and money saved with a quick response time is an even more tangible benefit.

Because damage does not follow a schedule, we provide around-the-clock emergency service for business owners to report the damage. This way we can begin to assemble at any hour, letting you focus on the other recovery tasks involved in reopening.

2. A Team You Can Trust

When your business is in the hand of restoration technicians, you want to know that those technicians are leaders in their field. This way you can be sure a quality job will be done.

The standards for restoration are set by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), which are the standards we adhere to when training our technicians. After the initial training, they are also provided opportunities to get additional certifications and complete supplementary trainings to ensure their knowledge is always up to date.

3. A Quality Collection of Equipment

When it comes to removing mass quantities of water or ridding the air of harmful contaminants following a fire, having the right tools makes all the difference. A company that utilizes the most technologically advanced tools is a wise choice for picking a company.

To give some guidance to commercial restoration companies, the IICRC sets standards for recommended equipment, which is what we follow when buying our own tools. Having the right tools for the job is integral to the efficiency and the effectiveness of the restoration.

If you’re in need of commercial restoration, do not hesitate to make the call so you can get your business back faster. Our trained experts are here to help 24/7 contact us at 503.619.6198.

Fire Prevention for the Home

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms are the best defense against house fires, but homeowners can also take other precautions in order to lessen their chances. Because of the multitude of house fire causes and how quickly they spread, many people are not aware of all the ways a fire could break out in their home.

House Fires by the Numbers

The NFPA estimates that there is one fire reported every 24 seconds. This makes the odds of experiencing a house fire for yourself higher than most would believe.

While cooking is still the leading cause of house fires, other hazards such as faulty heating systems, malfunctioning wiring and unattended open flames can also be a catalyst for disaster.

Fire Prevention for the Home

It is key to be proactive when reducing your risk of experiencing a house fire. Prevent fires in your own home with these helpful tips:

Check smoke detectors. Batteries of smoke alarms should be checked every 30 days and replaced every 10 years.

Clean the lint collector of your dryer. Lint left over in the tray from previous loads of laundry can be a fire hazard if left uncleaned.

Monitor open flames closely. Never leave the room if an open flame is present. Candles, cooking flames or heat sources can quickly get out of hand.

Maintain electrical cords. Frayed spots in electrical cords can spark and lead to fires, so it is important to inspect them often and replace them immediately when frays develop. Because cords can also put off heat, never route them behind or under furniture.

Read product labels. Aerosol cans are highly flammable, and most households have many supplies contained in aerosol. Keep these cans away from heat sources to prevent an explosion.

If your home has suffered damage from a house fire, give us a call at 503.619.6198. We are certified in fire and soot remediation, and here to help 247.

How to Understand the Differences in Water Damage

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Water: We can’t live without it, but we can live without the damage it can cause to our homes.

There are many potential causes of water damage in the home. Can you name some of those many reasons?

Some Common Causes

For the period covering 2009–2015, The Travelers Companies Inc. reported that the five top causes of home claims were:

  • Damage caused by wind
  • Water damage not involved with the weather
  • Hail
  • Water damage related to weather
  • Crime

Water damage is included two times—signifying just how big of an issue it can be for homeowners. This type of damage falls into two buckets—the kind that’s related to the weather and the kind that is not.

Damage not related to weather is your biggest culprit at home and usually results from plumbing and appliance breakdowns. Weather-related water damage is not as prevalent but is just as much of a hassle if it occurs. Rain and snow are responsible for this situation.

In your house there are, essentially, five causes for water damage. They are plumbing, appliances, water pipes, water heaters and weather.

Beating Water Damage Before It Starts

Water damage can be expensive, but just think of the skyrocketing costs if there were no homeowners insurance coverage. Perform a check-up on our policies to be sure you are properly covered. The damages that are usually covered in a standard policy are:

  • Damages caused by winter weather
  • Water from discharge and overflow, including accidental
  • Disintegrating or damaged pipes for a steam heating system
  • Frozen plumbing

Fortunately, it is possible to prevent some water damage situations and save yourself the hassle of dealing with the mess.

By following a few preventive measures, you can work to keep your home from suffering from a water damage situation. Some steps you can take include:

  • Using water sensors and automatic shut-off valves
  • Hiring a professional plumber to install back flow valves and standpipes for your basement drains
  • Keeping your washer and dryer off the basement floor
  • Making sure the connecting hose for your washer and dryer are the metal mesh type
  • Cleaning your gutters
  • Flushing out the hot water heater tank at least twice per year
  • Keeping grease out of your kitchen drain
  • Having your sump pump in good running order before the wet season

If you follow these ideas, you may be able to avoid most water damage incidents in your home.

Water damage can be a nightmare to deal with but fortunately, you will always have SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills on your side to help with the cleanup and restoration process. Call us at 503.619.6198.