Recent Posts

Step-by-step for Fire Damage Restoration

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

It's not easy having to deal with a fire on your property. Whether it's a smaller fire that brought smoke damage, to an entire room that's been engulfed... SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills is ready to take on the even the worst. 

What's the steps that happen after a fire though?

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Having available resources will make the process easier. This is why we encourage to have SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills saved as your main contact in case of damage restoration emergencies. 

Why do you need immediate service before you start the fire damage restoration process? Of course, it’s actually the job of the emergency services and fire department to put out the fires. However, you may still need fire damage restoration services very quickly in order to prevent damage from spreading through your property.

Step 2: Assessment 

The second step is for SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills to assess the extent of the damage in your property. This will usually involve looking at how far the fire, the smoke, and the soot have traveled as well as seeing how badly affected your walls and furniture have been.

This is a a critical step, as it is only by trained and certified professionals to observe the extent of the damage. That's when we follow up with a plan of action, and to give you an accurate quote for how much it should cost and an accurate estimate of how long it will take.

Step 3: Tarp and Sealing

The worst thing that can happen after this event is experiencing further damage. Since we also specialize in water damage restoration, we take great care of the situation... And use every step necessary to see that the damage is contained, and won't get damaged even further.

Step 4: Clean Up

Once the situation has been properly contained, we move into the cleanup phase. This means we use proper solutions to take care of any smoke, soot, and dust that's resided. Alongside this we address the water damage that usually follows from first responders. There may be standing pools of water, which will seep into flooring and walls. Our equipment, including pumps and monitoring tools will be the first step to restoration. We understand that a chain-of-events can happen if these steps aren't taken properly, such as microbial growth and warping of surfaces. Leave the worry to us, and we'll handle the rest.

Step 5: Repair and Renovation

Cabinets may have been severely damaged. Furniture might be demolished. But, we are the experts in the restoration industry. This also means we can help renovate, and make things go back to normal. Our motto is to "Make things seem like it never even happened"! 

Step 6: Consultation

We won't just leave you hanging, and guessing on what the next step is. We conduct a debriefing, to thoroughly explain future instance prevention steps, all the way to any questions you might have about the restoration work we've done for your property. Our goal is to help YOU, which means we will go out of our way to provide resources and answer anything we can.

We hope this unfortunate case doesn't happen to you. But if it does, you can fully rely on SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills to get the job done right the first time. Inquire with us at (503) 619-6198.

Biohazard Cleanup

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Biohazard Biohazard Cleanup Many studies have shown there's a great risk with raccoon fecal matter, especially when it comes to possible exposure with baylisascaris procyonis.

We are commonly known as the Fire & Water damage restoration business... But did you know that SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills has an expertise with biohazard cleaning?

This includes a broad range of tasks that we're capable of providing. Examples of biohazard materials may include handling blood, proper disposal of bodily matter, to working with animal feces. 

Wait... ANIMAL FECES??? 

Some waste, such as raccoon fecal matter, may sometimes actually contain unwanted parasites that many people don't consider. One that particularly stands out is a dangerous parasite called Baylisascaris procyonis. This is a seriously dangerous roundworm that poses a threat to health and safety. The primary host to this roundworm is within raccoons, and the waste that comes from the raccoon is truly hazardous. This is why we urge great caution, and encourage leaving matters such as this to experts. 

At SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills, we have trained professionals that are qualified to handle biohazard materials such as this. Biohazard incorporates more than just blood, and we always enjoy educating the public on what may pose as a risk to handle. Call us at (503) 619-6198 if you have any biohazard concerns!

The importance for proper Crime Scene cleanup

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Crime scene cleanup isn't an easy task, and usually involves a high degree of emotions and an approach that requires professional equipment and training. Without proper care, there is a greater risk of spreading contaminants or creating more damage severe damage to the property. 

When your home or office becomes a site for a crime scene, your instinct may be to clean the area. Whether this includes wiping down contaminated areas to prevent bloodstains, or trying to take the situation into your own personal hands. This not only interferes with investigators, but it also poses a huge risk for your own personal health.

Contaminants such as body matter and blood need to be handled with great care and diligence. Our technicians who have the proper training, approach each situation with a great degree of compassion and support. We strive for professionalism and care when these situations happen. If you come across the unfortunate scenario of a crime scene, whether it's in your home or business - Have the confidence that SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills will treat the situation with respect and diligence. 

Why we categorize types of water

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

One of the first things our technicians does when arriving on-site of a water damage job, is assess the category of the water loss that's taken place. 

We categorize water for various reasons. One is to know the degree of equipment our technicians must take to get the job done safely. If the water is gray or black, we will treat it differently than that of clean water. We use extra precautions and take every step as professionally as possible. 

Another reason to categorize water is to understand what wet materials can be salvaged or not. Materials in Category 1 Water have a high chance of being salvaged while materials in Category 3 Water have little to no chance of being restored. This may also be contingent upon the materials that have been contaminated, since a cleanup process may take different techniques. 

There's three types of categories when it comes to the contamination of water. Category 1, 2, and 3. The safest to work with is a category 1, also known as clean water. Whereas a category 3 may contain things such as human fecal matter to blood. Safety and professionalsim are crucial to us, and this is exactly why we take every step with caution - to make sure the job is done exactly how it should be!

If you happen to experience a water loss in your home or business, reach out to us at (503) 619-6198!

How long does it take to actually have water damage?

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

It's a legitimate question! Especially if you're living in the PNW area, and either own a home or have a rental unit. So how long does it take to consider your case water damage?

The true answer to this question; is that "It depends".

The reason behind this, is the materials that the water has been directed to. Some materials are water resistant (if you're fortunate), whereas things such as drywall or wood will face morphing. The longer water sits, the worse the damage will be. 

If you happen to experience some kind of water loss, it's important to remember that direct contact with water will cause drywall to sag and disintegrate, wood will begin to swell, buckle, warp, and rot, paint begins to bubble or peal, carpets become saturated causing delamination and will need to be removed, electrical items and outlets can begin to short out or malfunction becoming a possible fire or shock hazard.

It's really critical to make sure any water damage that happens is taken care of by professionals... And regardless of how stressful the situation, the sooner the better! Give SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills a call if you have any concerns about water damage for your property or business!

Summer Fire

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

The weather is nice outside, and enables people surrounding the Portland area to get out and enjoy the sunlight. This could follow with camping trips and leisurely activities, such as enjoying campfires. However, what steps should be taken in order to see the summer is safe? Let's review a few things...

Oregon has undoubtedly seen some unfortunate forest fires, and irresponsible scenarios from negligence. It's important to remember these safety tips in order to have the safest, and best time possible:

Don't leave your campfire unattended: Sure, 30 minutes might not seem like a long time. However, it only takes a few undesirable seconds for a campfire to escape a safely made pit. Even if you feel confident about the fire containment, don't go for a prolonged period of time without extinguishing any fires in the wilderness.

Keep water near all campfires: This is something many don't think about... If the fire escapes the pit, what reaction will take place? Some might consider stomping out the flame. Others might try pouring water bottles to reduce the blaze. We encourage either having a gallon jug for the sole purpose of extinguishing the flames, or even bring along a small fire extinguisher for extra precaution. 

BBQ Safely: Like campfires, any flames (even controlled) need to be monitored and attended to without negligence. Don't set up any BBQ's near dry wooded areas. Use good judgment when using charcoal grills, and dispose of any hot coals properly. 

Fires and trees: Who doesn't love a big, comfortable fire? Bonfires are a ton of fun. But they are even harder to maintain compared to the conventional - small campfires that are usually within designated campsites. Just like the previous advice above, use diligence when enhancing the size of any fire you create. Always think of the "What if" scenarios, so you're that much more prepared!

We wish each and every person a safe and fun Summer! We hope this advice will help further the safety and all around experience. If you ever experience any home damage due to smoke or fire damage - then you can have the confidence that SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills will be there quickly, and to make things seem "Like it never even happened." 

The Sciences Behind Drying Water Damage

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying?

The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess, and place a fan or two around the damaged area... SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills is trained to the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages!

If you're in Portland, or the surrounding areas and your business or personal home suffers water damage, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills Franchise Professionals will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.

  • Measure how much moisture is in wet material and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.

  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean?

A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material – but only if the air is indeed drier. The only problem is nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

For this reason, we are trained to the latest equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls and much more.

SERVPRO also uses state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

The bottom line?

Out of anyone in the Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, and Cedar Mill area... We contain the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

We are available to help 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Give us at a call at (503) 619-6198!

The four most common Biohazards

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

When we talk about Biohazard Cleanup, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills possesses the experts and equipment to bring your situation at ease. Today we are going to cover the 4 most common types of biohazard. It's critical to ensure you dispose of any biohazard waste properly. But what exactly are the four commonly known types?

Microbiological waste:

Microbiological waste is any laboratory waste that contains or has been contaminated with an concentrated, infectious agent. This might include specimen cultures, discarded live viruses, and stocks of etiologic agents. These are less common for SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills.

Human Body fluids:

The most common type that is experience from our franchise, is the human bodily fluids. If you guessed things such as blood contaminates, saliva, secretions, amniotic fluid, or even pleural fluid... Then you've guessed correctly! Our trained technicians handle every scenario with respect, professionalism, and diligence. 

Animal Waste:

Any animal carcasses, body parts, or bedding material which an infected animal may have previously used is classified as Animal Waste. Even if you have slight doubt about an infected animal, even being feral, it's critical to handle every situation with care - and leave this to the experts! 

Pathological Waste:

This constitutes as any and all human body parts, organs, and tissues that may have derived from an individual. Handling these situations with care and diligence is paramount for the well being of yourself and others. 

If you have a situation that requires Biohazard cleanup, you can confide in SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills to be there quickly - and make things seem "Like it never even happened." 

Kitchens & Fire Hazards

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Aside from often being the hub of the home, the kitchen can be a warm, cozy place for family and friends to gather for a delicious meal and often quality time. However, danger can lurk in the kitchen. That danger is fire—and this is often the space where home fires start.

Fires that begin as a result of cooking are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries, and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Safety Tips for Cooking

Staying in the kitchen to keep watch over what is cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Let’s take a look at some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Watch out for your clothing. If you are wearing long, flowing sleeves or big, baggy clothing, it could catch on fire if you aren’t careful and it comes into contact with an open flame or a stove’s hot surface. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Watch the items that are placed around or on the stovetop. Kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking are quick to catch fire. Ideally, anything flammable needs to be moved away from it.

3. There needs to be a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home near your kitchen. Be sure that you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Hot grease should not be thrown in the garbage can. While the grease may not be on fire, it may just be hot enough to cause something in the trash to ignite and burn. Let the grease cool for a while before disposing of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the “smoke point” temperatures of oils you cook with. Never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Create and establish an escape plan in the event of a fire. Who wants to thinks about worst-case scenarios? Nobody, but it’s better to be prepared should an emergency occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

How flood water is classified

5/15/2019 (Permalink)

Not all water that causes damage is the same. There are three different types of water in a water damage situation, namely clean, gray and black. By having a better understanding of the differences in these types of water, you can then understand how to better handle the situation.

No matter what type of water is involved in a water damage situation, there is always going to be a cleanup and restoration process that must follow. First, and most important, is to remove all of the moisture and damp items quickly to hinder any mold growth because this is an ideal environment for mold to flourish.

This Is Clean Water

Much like its name states, clean water is just that—“clean”—and does not pose an immediate threat to your health. This water is free from contaminants and is the result of:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

This will be the easiest of the three types of water damage to work with, as there will be fewer microbes living in the water, but after only 48 hours and any contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water can move up to a category two water, which is gray water.

This Is Gray Water

Gray water begins to take water damage cleanup and restoration to a different level as it does become a bit more serious. This is water that could pose a health risk, due to it containing chemical or biological contamination. Because of the slight contamination in gray water, it means that it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe to consume.

Gray water is water that can come from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. Again, the 48-hour exposure time will apply here as well, as gray water will turn into black water if not treated.

This Is Black Water

Now, black water is the most serious and dangerous of the three classifications and is considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is extremely contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—all of which are harmful to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember, when dealing with floodwater, it should be assumed that any water is black water since it picks up contaminants along its path.