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Tips for Doing an At-Home Water Damage Inspection | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Preserving the longevity of your home is so important to protect your investment, and there are few things that can be as detrimental to this as untreated water damage. While cosmetic issues are a concern for sure, water damage can also lead to severe structural issues within your home if it is not quickly addressed.

While you should always call in a professional if you notice water damage, you can often check around the house yourself to look for any signs. This can prevent costly homeowners insurance claims if it is caught early and significantly reduce the headache associated with restoration.

How Can I Look for Water Damage at Home?

Inspect your walls and ceilings. Because water damage is often so evident on drywall and ceilings, this is a good place to start your search. Look for water spots, discoloration or blistering anywhere along the walls or ceiling, as these can indicate water damage is present. Also pay close attention to door and window frames that lead to the exterior of the home, as these can allow water to seep in when it rains.

Don’t forget to look down. Because floors are the lowest point in every room, water can pool underneath them if there is an issue somewhere else in the room. Subfloors can become saturated with moisture quickly, leading to buckling or a wavy appearance in the floor above. Your nose can also point you in the right direction—if you notice a musty odor, there is likely an issue.

Inspect your roof. It is important to keep your roof in good shape to make sure it is keeping out all the elements it can when it rains. A pair of binoculars can give you valuable insights into the quality of your roof and help you spot any loose shingles or peeling places. Additionally, it is smart to check that your gutters are doing their job the next time it rains to prevent water from building up around your foundation.

Pay close attention to the basement. Damp basements used to be considered a given, but we know now how dangerous untreated water damage can be even if it is under your home. Watch out for a musty feeling in the air, signs water is seeping down the walls or any mold growth, all of which are clear signs that there is damage present.

If you have water damage anywhere in your home, we are here to help. You can contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damages. Get in touch today to speak with a water damage restoration expert.

Our Top Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Home | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

white fire alarm being tested by a person If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to learn more.

Experiencing a house fire is never something that is on someone’s agenda, but they happen more often than you might think. A small fire can quickly start to spread and turn dangerous, taking under a minute in a lot of scenarios. Taking a proactive fire safety approach is key for making sure you are reducing your chances of ever having to deal with a house fire in your own home.

Fortunately, implementing fire safety in your household is about planning ahead and generally developing good habits to prevent it from becoming an issue. By being proactive, you can significantly mitigate the fire risk throughout your household.

How Can I Take a Proactive Fire Safety Approach?

Check your smoke detectors. If you never consider the smoke detectors in your home, now is the time to start. Smoke detectors should be installed throughout the home and be tested every 30 days to make sure they do not have defects. Many models are designed to have 10-year batteries now, but if yours begins chirping, make sure you replace the batteries right away to keep it operational.

Create a fire escape plan. If the smoke detectors do go off, it is important that everyone in your home knows what comes next and how to escape safely. A fire escape should take two minutes or less to execute. Be certain that every room has at least two exits, that every family knows how to quickly get out of the home and designate a spot for you to all reconvene outside to check in.

Limit your fire risks. There are many ways to get into the habit of fire safety to lessen your overall fire risk profile. There are many things you can do around the home to prevent fires, such as always supervising candles or open flames, never leaving the room while the oven is on and not overloading your electrical outlets with heat-producing appliances.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Though there are many fires that will immediately be too large to use a fire extinguisher on, if there is a small and contained fire, knowing how to use one can keep a small issue from becoming a large one. A working fire extinguisher should be installed in the kitchen and any other high-risk areas, and you and your family members should all be familiar with how to use it.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 247 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response.

Starting a Severe Weather Preparedness Plan

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

large yellow storm warning sign in front of dark forming clouds SERVPRO of SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is here to provide you with a rapid response. Contact us right away if you experience any storm damage.

Though there is no way to predict when severe weather may happen, we always encourage people to be vigilant about preparing for it at every time of year. Keeping your household protected from damage and safe from harm is so important, and through a few small tweaks, something anyone can easily accomplish in advance of severe weather. Here are some great tips regarding how it works:

How to Prepare Your Household for Severe Weather

Prepare your home as much as possible. Damage is not entirely preventable, as storms can be unpredictable and harsh, but there are ways that everyone can make improvements to reduce their chances. Cutting back any dead or loose tree limbs and securing patio furniture and other potential projectiles is advised, and you may also want to consider installing a generator for the home in case the power is out for a prolonged period or time.

Create a family communications plan. Ideally, your entire family will be home when severe weather becomes a threat so you can migrate to your designated safe room and stay put until it is over. However, this may not be the case, which is why planning for how to communicate and what to do in case someone is out of the house is wise. Do not forget to factor pets into the equation and be certain someone is in charge of getting them to the safety area as well.

Make sure your emergency kit is stocked. Emergency kits can come in handy both during a storm and in the aftermath in case of a power outage. You should pack your emergency kit with all necessary supplies to be sure you and your family members have enough food and water, as well as medical supplies, both for while you are sheltering from the storm and in the aftermath if access to traditional resources becomes limited.

Consider getting a weather radio. Many of us rely entirely on our phones and the internet for weather updates, which is fine in normal conditions but can be risky in the event of severe weather. In case your phone dies, have a backup weather radio with plenty of batteries or a hand-crank feature, so you can be certain you never miss emergency alerts and weather updates.

If your home is damaged by a storm, you can depend on us to take care of any damages. Contact us at any hour to report damage and receive a rapid response.

What to Look for in a Storm Restoration Company | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

large downed tree laying on top of light brown house Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills to set up an appointment.

When it comes to experiencing severe weather, the event itself is frightening enough—and if you receive storm damage to your property, it can be even worse. Damages caused by storms have gotten more and more severe in recent years, so it is best to make sure you know what to do should a storm damage your property.

Choosing a company to work with for the restoration of your property is a difficult task, but also an important one. Working with a company you can trust makes all the difference—you are trusting them with your building and your belongings in many cases, and knowing your things are in good hands provides invaluable peace of mind.

Choosing the Right Restoration Company for You

Consider their reputation in the area and industry. After a severe storm, it is not uncommon to have people contacting you day or night to offer restoration services—but unfortunately, many of these companies are not trustworthy ones due to the rise in post-disaster scams. Making sure you find a company that is active in the community and considered a restoration industry leader will ensure you do not get taken advantage of.

Make sure they can handle large-scale damage. If a major storm hits an area, there will be many people who are seeking to get restoration work done on their home as soon as possible—and that is where we come in. When large storms happen, we can call on SERVPRO® partners across the nation to make sure everyone receives the exceptional service levels we are known for, regardless of how much damage the disaster has caused

Ensure you can call them whenever you need to. There is no telling when severe weather may strike and cause damage to your home, which is why we are here at any hour to provide you with a quick response. You can give us a call at any time and receive exceptional, fast service. We will get all the pertinent details and begin assembling a team right away to respond to your damages.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

What to Do After You Have Flood Damage to Your Home | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

a reflection of a kitchen in a puddle of water on a tile floor If a flood has damaged your home, we are here to help. Contact us today to learn more.

If you have sustained flood damage to your home, it can be overwhelming to know what to do next. Flooding is a serious problem that impacts people far more frequently than many assume—and it is becoming more widespread in recent years as we see more and more floods in areas that are not historical floodplains.

After the flood waters subside, we understand that you will want to get back into your home as quickly as possible, which is why we are here to help you every step of the way.

Here is our guide for what to do after a flood impacts your home:

Steps to Take After You Have Flood Damage to Your Home

Do Not Risk Additional Damages

You should always wait on authorities to give you the go-ahead before returning to your home after a flood, as there can be significant hazards associated with flooding that you cannot see. Before you go inside your home, check for any visible structural issues that may make it unsafe, and contact your utility providers if you suspect damage to electric or gas lines.

Take Photographs of the Damage

Having photos of the damage can come in handy both for you and your insurance company. Do this before removing any belongings or altering the space in any way so you have thorough documentation of the damaged state of your home. Be sure you are safe while doing this—if your home still has standing water in it, wear waders or waterproof boots to protect your health, and do not touch anything with your bare hands just in case of contaminants.

Work With a Restoration Company

Choosing the right restoration company after a flood is extremely important. Working with a company after a large disaster such as a flood can leave you to wait endlessly for a response—but when you work with us, you can be certain we will respond quickly regardless of the size of the disaster, as we have the ability to scale our resources to match the disaster zone.

If a flood has damaged your home, we are here to help. Regardless of what hour you discover the damage, we can respond quickly and take care of restoration. Contact us today to learn more

Tips for Safety During Summer Storms | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

lighting striking hillside during storm at night Have you been affected by a storm event? SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is available 24/7 and ready to assist you with any storm damage.

When the temperature and humidity rises, thunderstorms can become a commonplace part of summer days. While many manifest as simple, passing showers, it is important to remember the risks that any thunderstorm can cause—especially if conditions are ripe to turn it into a severe scenario.

In case you get caught with bad weather on the way, these safety tips can help you no matter where you are.

General Safety Tips Regarding Thunderstorms in the Summer

Know your options for shelter. If storms pop up in the forecast and you are at home, the best thing to do is to stay put and seek shelter in a room toward the interior of your home. Because storms can come up suddenly, however, you may have to seek shelter out and about. In that case, your car is a viable option if it is hard-topped and safely pulled to the shoulder or in a lot, as long as you turn off the engine and refrain from touching any metals in the vehicle.

Practice electrical safety. When lightning hits a building, it is searching for the quickest way to get through to the ground—which often involves traveling through electrical wires. The wires in buildings are not equipped to handle the high charges that lightning presents, so they will transfer some of this energy through the outlets and into whatever is plugged in them, referred to as a power surge. If you are able, unplugging everything before a thunderstorm starts is wise—as is installing surge protectors in case you are caught off-guard.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. The structural integrity of concrete structures cannot be rivaled, but in the event of thunderstorms, they actually are not the safest option. When concrete is poured, it is typically reinforced with metal in the walls and throughout the floor—meaning it can transfer electricity if lightning strikes the structure. Avoid touching concrete directly if lightning strikes are a possibility.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. It is common for the thunderstorms that come during warmer weather to start abruptly and end just as fast. While this might leave people antsy to resume any activities they had started, lightning has a range of up to 25 miles from cloud cover. Officials recommend waiting at least a half hour before you go back outside after a thunder clump.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Prioritize Safety Every Time You Grill | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

7/23/2020 (Permalink)

a person in grilling chicken and hot dogs on an outdoor grill SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills are the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online.

There is no better way to make the most of a summer day than cooking your dinner on the grill, but it is important to remember that this is an activity that involves an open flame and thus plenty of hazards. Though you may grill multiple times a week, it is important to always be vigilant about fire safety in the process.

Reports from the U.S. Fire Administration indicate that there are over 5,500 grill-related fire incidents every year, leading to millions in household damages. As with any fire safety lesson, the best strategy is simply doing what you can to prevent this from happening.

Being Vigilant About Fire Safety Every Time You Grill

Create a safe zone around your grill. You want your grill to be in a convenient location, but be sure you are still being safe about where you set it up. A minimum of a three-foot buffer around the grill is advised, as flare-ups can be quite large and ignite anything in their surroundings.

Clean your grill grates often. After using your grill each time, taking a few minutes to brush down the grates can make a big difference. The bits of food that get left behind can build up and become a fire hazard, especially if you are cooking meats with a lot of grease on them. These flare-ups can happen suddenly and be quite dangerous, so a prevention strategy is the best approach.

Never leave the grill unattended. If you need to take a break, get something from inside or otherwise take your attention off the grill, you should always designate someone else to attend it in your place. Even in a moment, a fire can start and begin causing damages. Always act as though this is possible and be sure your fire extinguisher is handy, too.

Inspect the grill regularly. Gas grills have several parts that can fail over time, meaning that regular inspection is key to avoid a serious fire. Gas lines that run the propane to the grill can fail with time, and if you do not check them, a leak can be disastrous when you go to light the grill.

If you have a grill fire do damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

Preparing Your Staff for Fire Evacuation | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills specializes in commercial fire restoration.

An important component of running a business is enhancing the safety of your work site to reduce the overall risk of the workplace. It is important to consider how a fire at your business could impact your safety plans and how you can better prepare staff just in case one occurs.

Planning a fire evacuation protocol and making sure staff are aware of it is one of the best ways to protect everyone who works at your business. The moment a fire starts can be a time fraught with panic, but if everyone knows exactly what to do, you can get everyone to safety much more efficiently.

How to Create a Fire Evacuation Plan for the Workplace

Consult with your local fire officials. Your local fire officials are a great resource for your business in all aspects of fire safety. Consult with them regarding your business and they will be happy to discuss the best fire evacuation routes and any special considerations you may need to take into account as you plan ahead.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After you have decided what paths will be your designated routes to safety, mark them clearly and communicate the plan with your employees. Set everyone up for success before hosting your first drill by preparing them ahead of time so everyone is clear on the protocols.

Have fire drills frequently. In times of high stress—such as when a fire breaks out—knowing exactly what to do will help everyone stay calm and confident as they get to safety. To be certain that everyone fully understands the fire safety protocol, host evacuation drills at least every few months so there is ample opportunity to practice.

Run different fire scenarios. A fire could be started by any number of things, so make sure you have fire drill scenarios that reflect this. You should run them for multiple fire origin situations, including hot spots such as the kitchen, desk clusters that utilize a lot of power and any other areas where a fire may plausibly break out.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

Our Tips for Recovering From Residential Fire Damage | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

While house fires are dangerous and alarming themselves, the recovery process can also feel complicated and quite a bit scary. Even for small fires that were put out quickly, the damage done by smoke, soot, and extinguishing agents can be severe and widespread, reminding you every day of such a traumatic event.

In order to help you recover, we have assembled some must-know guidance for household fire recovery.

Must-Know Guidance for Household Fire Recovery

Prepare yourself for what to expect. Though we have all likely seen images of fire damage online or on the news, experiencing it in your own home with your own belongings is a much different phenomenon. It is important to ready yourself emotionally for the damages and understand that there might be items damaged by smoke or soot that were nowhere near the flames.

Wait to enter your home. While it is normal to want to assess the damage done to your home and belongings right away, it is important to wait until officials have deemed it safe before you do so. There can be significant hidden damage throughout the home that could put you in danger, and the particles in the air can make it hazardous to breathe. By waiting until officials give you the green light, you can be sure you are not causing further damage to yourself.

Contact your insurance company. Once you are able to get an idea of the significance of the damage, contact your insurance provider and let them know about the situation. All insurance is varied in how they handle the claims process, so it is best to get the details straight from them regarding what to do and how to proceed.

Document the damages. Because there are so many details involved with recovery, documenting your damages well can help you keep everything organized. Make an inventory list of everything that has been impacted and take plenty of pictures of the damaged areas of the home. This will be helpful when you are filing your insurance claim as well as when it is time to replace key items in your home.

Contact your restoration company. The restoration company you decide to work with is one of the biggest factors in how quick and smooth your recovery process is. The lingering trauma from a fire can be persistent, so having a company that has your best interest in mind can do wonders for making the process as painless as possible.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

Unexpected Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

person holding moisture meter to wood floor Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills today to handle your unexpected water damage.

Here we are in June and we’re still getting some heavy rains here in the Pacific Northwest. While other states are starting to enjoy the summer sunshine, we appear to have experienced a bit of a false start.

Unfortunately, when the weather shifts like it has been, it can lead to unexpected water damage. Air conditioning units, open windows and many other factors can all lead to disaster when unanticipated rain is involved. Even with warmer weather on the horizon, water damage needs to be properly remediated to avoid further damage and microbial growth.

At SERVPRO Cedar Mill/Oak Hills, we are experts at handling water damage from the smallest leaks to a category 3 water loss. We are available at all hours – water damage doesn’t wait and neither should you!

If your home has been damaged by water, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion.