Recent Storm Damage Posts

Why Summer Is Often the Stormy Season & Why Our Area Is an Exception | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

a large lightning strike in a dark stormy sky If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is on the line, ready to make things right.

When most of us think about summer, we think about lots of sun and lots of heat. Because the weather is so pleasant, many of us spend more time outdoors, enjoying time with family.

But if it sometimes seems as though there’s also more rain during the summer, that would be because it’s totally true. During the summer, the two components needed for storms—moisture and warm air—are out in full force in many parts of the country. That means thunderstorms become more likely.

Take this info with a grain of salt. In our area this summer, we’re facing oppressive heat and very dry conditions, which have set us up for wildfire hazards. Our rainiest season comes a little later in the year, when October rolls around. File these tips away for the occasional rainy summer day—and keep them handy throughout the fall and winter!

Be Storm-Alert

No matter the time of year, it’s important to heed weather warnings. Always pay attention to storm alerts and consider cancelling outdoor events if heavy storms are predicted.

Local weather forecasts will often be the most accurate. Invest in an NOAA Weather radio so that you can continue to access these vital weather alerts even if the power goes out.

During storms with heavy rainfall, flooding is always possible, so stay alert. Heavy storms can also bring intense winds, which can fell tree branches and send items outside your home flying. Keep your trees trimmed back, and when inclement weather is predicted, pull outdoor furniture and other items inside or secure them.

Dozens of people die every year in storm-related incidents, so caution is always the best choice. Keep an eye on the weather conditions and know what to do when they strike.

Be Storm-Safe

When lightning is in the area, go indoors. Even if you can’t see lightning, if you hear thunder, lightning is in the area. Stay inside until at least 30 minutes after you hear the last bit of thunder.

Your mother was right—you should stay away from windows and avoid bathing or showering during a storm.

Because severe weather can strike fast, plan ahead by creating an emergency kit and knowing the evacuation routes for your area.

In cases of intense rain, flash floods can occur. Never attempt to drive through flood water, since only a few inches of rain can have a disastrous effect.

There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is on the line, ready to make things right again.

The Financial Burden of Severe Storms | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

a roadway closed do to falling tree branches from storm If your home is damaged by storms or any other reason, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is ready and able to repair any damage.

The year 2020 is one for the history books for sure, and one of the records it will be known for is it was a record-setting year for natural disasters. Of all the years in history for which we have data, 2020 was the most financially destructive, weather-wise.

During 2020, there were 22 official weather disasters (which are defined as events that cause at least a billion dollars in damages), along with many other storms that weren’t even counted in that statistic. In 2020, for example, there were so many hurricanes and tropical storms that the National Weather Service had to refer to the Greek alphabet just to name them all.

The Cost of Storms

Yes, hurricanes can bring immense damage and destruction, but sadly, it’s not the hurricanes causing all of the monetary damages. The most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes.

There were 14 official weather disasters that were thunderstorms and tornadoes out of the storms in 2020. Thunderstorms, as we all know, happen anywhere and during any season throughout the year. No matter what you do, there is no avoiding them.

This is how impactful a single storm system can be: In August 2020, a typical line of thunderstorms in eastern Nebraska exploded into a derecho.

A derecho is something like a tornado that has straight-line winds instead of swirling ones, combined with a heavy thunderstorm. This derecho impacted more than 10 million acres of corn fields, which is almost half the state’s corn crops. That means that 11% of the entire country’s corn fields were affected.

Is This the New Normal?

Even though these facts can be astonishing, when it comes to the weather, 2020 seems to reflect what the new “normal” is. This was the 10th consecutive year with at least eight-billon dollar disasters.

In 2018 and 2019, there was a combined $136 billion in damages, and 2017 had a damage total of over $300 billon, which was the highest total on record.

Storms are going to happen, and with what we’ve seen, their frequency and intensity are showing no signs of slowing down. As a home or business owner, you need to take whatever precautions are possible to help minimize the damage to your property.

If you do experience property damage, you’ve got a friend in the restoration industry! It is our goal to recover your valued items and make it seem “Like it never even happened.”

When storms wreak havoc, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.

Various Ways That Thunderstorms Can Cause Damage | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

a large lighting strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills if you experience any damage.

Though thunderstorms are something we don’t see very often in the valley, they can increase in frequency during the spring and summer months, and it is important to consider their seriousness. Every thunderstorm can be extremely dangerous, as each thunderstorm contains lightning, rain, high winds and more—all of which can cause significant damage.

Any time a rain front develops thunder and lightning, it is considered a thunderstorm. If there is hail over one inch in diameter and winds over 58 miles per hour, the storm will be upgraded to severe. Any type of storm can lead to serious conditions, and it is important to be aware of all the issues they can cause.

Why Thunderstorms Are So Dangerous

Damage and injury from lightning strikes. If a storm front has thunder, it will also have lightning present, even if you are not able to see it. Lightning injures 300 people every single year, in addition to causing many home and structure fires and felling trees that inevitably cause damage.

Property damage due to hail. While hail is something that does not occur with every thunderstorm, when it does, it can be quite hazardous. Hail can fall at incredibly quick speeds, causing injury to anyone without adequate shelter, denting cars and causing damage to homes that can lead to water damage via the roof or siding. While large hail is the most dangerous, even small hail can cause these issues if conditions are right.

Harm from flash flooding. Though most people consider flooding something that is only likely to happen around bodies of water, with flash flooding, it can be a threat nearly anywhere. Flash flooding is often caused when rainfall is heavy and drainage systems or ditches get backed up, which can quickly lead to standing or flowing water. Flash floods are particularly dangerous because of their force, which can knock people over and carry cars away in its tide.

Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.

How Prepared Is Your Family for a Spring Thunderstorm? | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

heavy rain coming down from dark clouds If you experience any property damage from spring storms, contact SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills.

Are you and your loved ones ready for spring? After a cold, wet pandemic winter, it’s exactly the relief most of us will need.

Now that it’s March, many people are looking for ways to get outside as the weather warms up. One of the ways people do that is by planning outdoor projects around the house. That can be anything from adding new landscaping to your home to adding shutters to your house to painting your front door.

While you’re doing these projects to make your house more attractive, consider adding some projects to make your home a safer place, too. You can do things now to protect your home from strong storms later.

It’s not possible to accurately predict exactly where storms will hit. But you can do things today that will protect your home from damage.

Ensure Your Home Is Ready to Withstand a Spring Storm

Check out these projects and see if they merit a place on your home improvement priority list.

Be sure your gutters are cleaned out. When your gutters are in good shape, it allows water around your home to flow the right way. If gutters are full of debris, they can overflow and cause water damage.

Don’t ignore branches that are overhanging your home. Many people enjoy having mature trees in their yards. But they can cause damage if limbs are overhanging your home or garage during heavy winds. Cut them early.

Get your roof ready to deal with rainy weather. Look for missing shingles and signs of leaks. Then you can repair them.

If a fire, flood or any other cause damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.

They’re Depending on You: Protect Your Pets in a Storm | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning crashes and Fido is nowhere to be found. You search and search only to discover your pup in the basement, hiding between the water heater and the rat poison. Yikes!

When animals panic, such as during a storm or even a fireworks display, they can get hurt. Let’s talk about keeping your pet safe during a storm. In this blog, we’ll focus on indoor pets.

If You’re Staying in Place

Be aware that pets may run and hide—bringing them into contact with parts of the house where they don’t usually hang out. Know their hiding places so you can easily find them when a storm strikes.

Depending on the storm you’re threatened with, you may go into a sheltered location, such as in the basement or under the stairs. A pet that’s already frightened can resist the move or set up a ruckus once there. Be sure to get your pet used to your shelter room when the horizon’s clear.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty for Animals (ASPCA) suggests removing any hazardous materials, such as rat bait, from your family’s storm shelter. It might be a good idea to pet-proof your animals’ favorite hiding place, too.

If You Need to Evacuate

Again, your first step is to know your pet’s hidey-holes—this time, so you can quickly grab them in case of a flood or another situation where you need to evacuate quickly.

Like humans, pets need a “go bag” with basic supplies to carry in case of an evacuation. This can include medicine, a leash, medical paperwork, shot records and even a pet first-aid kit. The ASPCA even has a handy video tutorial to help you assemble your own pet first-aid kit.

From fire to storm to flood, disaster can strike at any time. If you’ve experienced storm damage, contact us at any hour for assistance.

How Flash Floods After Storms Can Be Dangerous | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

Though there are many weather events that can cause issues or even lead to fatalities, many people are unaware that flash floods are on the list of things to be seriously concerned about. While heat is the leading cause of weather-related deaths, floods are a close second in the United States, with flash floods being the most dangerous type.

Flooding is always a frightening event, but flash floods are particularly dangerous because of how quickly they can begin—even in areas not typically impacted by flooding. Any body of water can spawn a flash flood if there is enough rain, and because there are often only minutes to react, knowing the facts in advance is so important.

Understanding What Is Considered a Flash Flood

A traditional flood will slowly begin to rise, while a flash flood must occur within the first six hours after a storm, but they often happen in as few as three hours.

Flash floods tend to be more common in urban areas due to the possibility of blocked storm drains and drainage systems, and they can occur even in areas that are not situated low enough to be a regular flood concern.

Understanding the Warning Guidelines for Flash Floods

As we have discussed, flash floods occur with little to no warning, which is why you should always stay alert to local broadcasts when there is a storm occurring. Flash flood watches will be issued for broad areas if it becomes a possibility, which is when you want to make sure you have a safety plan in place. For a warning, you may only have moments to react—and for a flash flood emergency, the incident is imminent and you must move to high ground as quickly as possible.

Understanding How to Increase Safety for a Flash Flood

Being safe is so important during any storm or severe weather event, especially when flash floods become a possibility. These are some of the best rules to keep in mind to make sure you and your family are always as safe as possible:

  • When storms involve heavy rain, stay inside and away from low-lying parts of properties.
  • Always have an evacuation plan for floods and be sure your family is aware of it.
  • Avoid trying to cross floodwater, whether in a vehicle or on foot.
  • Avoid touching floodwater or allowing children to play near it, as it can be heavily contaminated.
  • Always turn around if there is water on your intended route of travel.

If your home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damage to your property.

Understanding the Dangers of Flash Floods During and After Storms | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mills/Oak Hill

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Car driving in flash flood When a flash flood hits, take these steps to be prepared.

While severe thunderstorms present dangers in their own right, they are not the most dangerous weather event that is possible in relation to heavy rain. Many people are surprised to learn that floods kill more people in the United States than tornadoes, hurricanes or lightning, and that flash floods are the most dangerous type of flood of all. 

Flash floods are not only destructive, but they can come about quickly—and because many people do not understand their dangers, they are often not taken as seriously as they should be. Fortunately, by understanding the dangers and the warnings surrounding flash floods, you can more easily stay safe from them in the future. 

Know the Alerts Surrounding Flash Floods 

To begin to increase your safety from flash floods, knowing the meanings of the various weather alerts is a great first step. A Flash Flood Watch is when you should make sure you are ready to execute your evacuation plan if necessary, as conditions are favorable for a flash flood. A Flash Flood Warning means that a flash flood is currently happening or will be happening soon, and a Flash Flood Emergency is the most severe alert, meaning that a severe flash flood is happening in the area. 

Have a Plan in Place for Flash Floods 

Because flash floods come about so quickly, it is important to have a plan ahead of time so you can react immediately in the event that an evacuation notice is issued. Make sure you have an evacuation supply bag, are aware of evacuation routes and know where to go should a flash flood occur. 

It is important to note that you should never attempt to drive through floodwaters—if your preferred route is blocked, turn around and find another avenue instead. You should also never walk through floodwaters, as moving water can quickly sweep even fully grown adults off their feet. 

If your home is damaged due to a storm or a flood, we are here to help you with the restoration process from start to finish. You can get in touch with us at any time of the day or night to learn more or to report damage for a quick response from our team.

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.

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.

Things That Can Cause Water Damage After Heavy Rainfall | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

heavy rainfall on top of metal roof of yellow house Heavy rains can cause serious water damage. SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills have the trained technicians to fully restore your home.

When most of us think about water damage, we think of catastrophic events—but it does not take a flood or other large body of water to cause damages.

Heavy rainfall, which falls over 0.3 inches per hour can easily cause damage to most homes before homeowners even realize it. These are some of the ways we see water damage manifest after heavy rains:

How Heavy Rain Can Lead to Water Damage

Backup of clogged gutters. Gutters that have not been cleaned regularly are often not draining at maximum efficiency and can allow water to pool up when rainfall becomes heavy. This water can seep its way into your roofline and cause the wood and materials to decay.

Leaks around windows and doors. There are always vulnerabilities associated with external openings of a home, especially if you have not recently improved your weatherstripping around doors and windows. Heavy rains can work their way into microscopic cracks and cause damage.

Poor drainage around the foundation. When water builds up around the base of your home, it can lead to damage to your crawlspace or basement area. Landscaping and proper drainage are key to preventing this.

Leaks in and around the roof. Leaking roofs are one of the leading causes of water damage, and they often go unnoticed until they become severe. Regularly inspect your roof for damages so you do not get blindsided by a leak in your roof the next time heavy rains move in.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. Caring for your sump pump and regularly checking to be sure it is operational is a wise decision. These useful pumps can still develop many problems that render them unable to pump water away from the home.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Having features such as a chimney or skylights is nice, but they do present vulnerabilities where they intersect with the roof. The seals that protect these seams can wear down over time, and heavy rains can expose these vulnerabilities.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

Keys for Safety in the Aftermath of a Flood | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged household furniture sitting outside on front lawn If you’re experiencing any water damage from flooding, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is available 24/7 to assist you with any repairs.

Discovering that your home has been damaged by a flood can be absolutely devastating, and it is normal for homeowners to be eager to return and begin the cleanup process.

Though quick action is advised in the aftermath of a flood, it is also essential to prioritize your safety during the process to avoid injuries or further damage.

How to Stay Safe Following a Flood

Avoid further safety hazards. In the aftermath of a flood, never return home without first checking with local authorities and making sure it is safe. Floodwaters can harbor many dangers, including contaminants, electrical currents and other hazards that can make recovery more difficult in the long term.

Air out the home. As long as your area is free of rain or other risks, opening doors and windows to allow the house to air out can mitigate the damage your home sustains. The air can quickly become stale if enclosed in the home for long, so you may want to let it air out for a bit before beginning the cleanup process. Though mold growth can start within a day of receiving damage from floodwaters, increasing airflow can prevent it from growing as quickly and cut down on the damages caused.

Document the damages. Moving into the cleanup process quickly is a common first instinct, but homeowners are wise to thoroughly document damages before they do so. Even without flood insurance, your general homeowner’s policy may cover some of the damages. By taking photographic evidence, it will be much easier to maximize the claim you are eligible to receive from your insurance company.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. Telling your insurance company right away about the damage to your home will set the claims and adjustment process in motion if you are eligible to file. Afterward, it is advised to contact your restoration company as soon as possible—the longer water damage is left untreated, the more extensive the damage to your home and structures can become.

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

Stop Storm Damage to Your Home With These Weatherproofing Tips|

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

a person placing weatherstripping on a white window If you have any storm damage, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is here to help. We are available 24/7 and ready to assist you when you need it most.

While houses are resilient to most instances of wind and rain, severe weather can bring on much harsher conditions than most homes are built to handle. This is made evident by the fact that approximately 50% of all homeowners’ insurance claims are due to weather-related damages. Though one can never tell exactly how many issues a storm may cause, taking some precautions against the weather can be a smart way to increase your home’s resilience to storms.

Weatherproofing is a fairly simple task that most homeowners can tackle themselves as a weekend project. While it is fairly simple to protect your home, when severe storms are on the way, you will be grateful that you took the following tips to heart.

Stop Storm Damages With Weatherproofing

Keep Your Shingles in Shape
leak in the roof can happen for a multitude of reasons, but they can all be exacerbated by bad weather. Regularly checking your roof for any missing, cracked or loose shingles can often be enough to catch roof damage before it turns into a much larger issue with the next band of storms.

Beat the Weather With Weatherstripping
Purchasing and installing weatherstripping in your home is recommended by Energy.gov because it can save you a significant amount on your electricity bills as well as protect you from unwanted leaks. Installing weatherstripping around all your external doors and windows is a generally easy task that can have major benefits.

Gut Debris From Your Gutters
A twice-annual clearing of a home’s gutters is the official recommendation, but experts recommend doing it even more frequently if you have many trees in your yard. It is also smart to look for signs of gutter damage—water spilling from odd locations, sagging between downspouts and pooling water around the base of your home are all signs that more extensive repairs are required.

Pick the Right Paint
There is more to exterior paint than just color now that there are so many options on the market. Many paints offer technology to block weather from impacting your home, such as waterproofing and resistance to cracking. If your paint is peeling or just needs a refresher, looking into a high-tech upgrade may help keep your home more protected.

If you have issues with storm damage to your home, we are always here to help. Contact us 24 hours a day for a rapid response.

Help Your Family Be Prepared Before Severe Weather Strikes | SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

water bottles, first aid, flash light, batteries and food If your home has sustained damage due to a storm or severe weather, you can count on us to help.

When severe weather is in the forecast, it can be alarming for a family. Making sure everyone is prepared, safe and calm is important, but knowing how to achieve that can sometimes be another story. 

Thankfully, preparing in advance for severe weather is fairly simple and can provide ample peace of mind for you and your family members in the event of a storm.

Preparations for Incoming Severe Weather

 Create a Practical (and Fun) Emergency Kit

 Unless officials give a clear evacuation order, in the event of severe weather, staying safely inside your home is advised. Therefore, it is important to make sure your family has everything you need in the event of an emergency scenario—enough water for each person (one gallon, per person, per day), shelf-stable food, first-aid supplies in case of any injuries, flashlights and an emergency radio are great items to start with. Additionally, be sure to have items handy to keep everyone entertained, such as board games, cards and other activities that do not require electricity.

Have a Plan for a Power Outage

At best, a power outage is an inconvenience, but at worst, it can severely impact your family’s life. Many people choose to purchase an emergency generator, which can be helpful to keep

the essentials such as the refrigerator and fans running in the home. Regardless of whether you would like to purchase a generator or invest in candles and flashlights, it is important to have a plan in place for how to handle a power outage to minimize inconvenience and keep your family safe.

Understand the Dangers of Lightning and Power Surges

Lightning can cause extreme damage to homes, altering the electricity and increasing the chances of fire. Lightning can also lead to harmful power surges, which can ruin plugged-in electronics and lead to dangerous sparks. If severe weather is on the way, unplugging the electronics throughout the house can minimize the impact of a lightning strike on the home.

Need Storm Damage Restoration? We're Here to Help SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

a yellow storm damage sign in front of a large damaged roof SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is your Damage Restoration expert. If you experience any storm damage call us right away.

Storms can happen at any time, bringing the thread of household damages with them. Repairing storm-related damages cost homeowners approximately $2 billion in losses in the year 2018. With storms having a large impact, it is important to know what to do if it happens to you.

Working with a qualified restoration company is one of the best things you can do in the wake of a storm. Knowing you are utilizing a reputable company and can have all of your damages restored will make the situation much less stressful in the long run.

How We Approach Storm Restoration

We Handle All Types of Storm Damage
Storm damage can involve many components, including damage to your home’s structure as well as water damage arising from heavy rains. We are fully trained and certified in all types of storm-related damage, so we can provide a complete restoration for your home after a storm.

We Remain Up-to-Date With Current Techniques
Because every type of storm-related damage is different, we make sure our technicians are fully educated in every aspect so they are ready for anything. We educate everyone on the industry standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, and we also provide continuing education opportunities both online and in seminar form so everyone remains educated.

We Can Call on National Resources
As a local business, we feel extremely connected to the community and are proud to be part of the area. As a SERVPRO® branch, we also have the benefit of utilizing national resources when the situation calls for it. We can receive assistance from other locations when damages are widespread, ensuring we can provide everyone with the help they need to restore.

We Have a Long-Standing Reputation
Though the time after a disaster is when the community should band together the most, there are also plenty of scams that arise in the wake of a disaster. Because we have a long-standing reputation of being restoration industry leaders, you will know for certain that you are doing business with a reputable company.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

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.

Common Damage Caused by Thunderstorms

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

It’s not unusual at all to experience thunderstorms during the spring and summer, but they can also bring the chance for storm damage with them.

Are you knowledgeable about the various damages that can be done during a storm?

An Introduction to Thunderstorms

All across the world, we can see around 16 million thunderstorms annually. In the U.S. alone, we average 100,000 thunderstorms a year, and out of those, 10% can be classified as severe.

As a thunderstorm forms, moisture and rising unstable air are needed, along with a “lifting” mechanism possibly created by hills or mountains that force air to rise, or where warm/cold or wet/dry air bump together, causing a rising motion.

There are three distinct stages in the life cycle of a thunderstorm: the developing stage, the mature stage and the dissipating stage. It is during the mature stage that things like heavy rains, hail, high winds and even tornadoes can come into play.

Damage Caused by Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can pose various threats, but one of the top risks stems from the possibility for flying debris due to the high winds.

It is possible for wind speeds to reach upward of 57.5 mph during a bad thunderstorm, and this can do serious harm to your property.

When there are high winds, it is likely many items, even those that seem less than threatening, can become projectiles. Before a storm rolls through, do a sweep of your yard to make sure such items are secured.

Other than wind damage, there are many other types of damage that thunderstorms can produce:

Lightning damage. When lightning strikes a house, it can transfer electricity through the wiring and potentially fry anything that is plugged in.

Tornado damage. Tornadoes can possess scary high wind speeds, sometimes reaching upward of 200 mph. These speeds make it possible for tornadoes to cover much territory and do large amounts of damage in a short time span.

Hail damage. Per the NOAA, hail damage can ring in at $1 billion in damage annually. This includes damage to crops, structures and vehicles.

Flood damage. Heavy rains are a common thing during a thunderstorm. This means that flash flooding can be a possible threat.

If a thunderstorm has resulted in damage to your home or business, know that the team at SERVPRO® of Cedar Mill/Oak Hills is available 247 to help with cleanup and restoration. Give us a call at 503-619-6198.

Preparing for unpredictable Spring weather

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Spring may bring us longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, the threat of severe weather throughout the country is also a result of the warmer temperatures. The weather may change at moment’s notice, which means you never know what you’re going to get.

Unstable temperatures are the cause for the changing weather. They can go from warm to cold even in the same day, and that temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms are increasingly common throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm occurs whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

Natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017 show that severe thunderstorms were the most common and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

These storms can bring about the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

Whether the severity of unpredictable Spring weather is minimal or extreme in the Cedar Hills area this year, you can count on SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills being there to take care of any damage you come across! 

Storm Safety Tips: Tornadoes

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Oregon doesn't receive an abundance of tornadoes, however, if you live in Oregon - we are making this blog if you do happen to ever come across the unfortunate scenario while traveling. 

The first line of defense is knowing the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. Watches are issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while warnings are issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

If a warning has been issued, you must take immediate action in seeking safe shelter, especially if you are in the tornado’s path.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

Your home shelter should have flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries.

DO NOT try to outrun the tornado if you are caught out on the road. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

Tornadoes leave a path of destruction on the areas they touch down in. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

Emergency for any case is critical for surviving the worst disasters. For many States around the US, Spring poses as the most popular time for "tornado season". Stay safe - and stay alert! SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills will be around to help however we can! 

Local areas are seeing snow!

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Snow falling in the Cedar Hills area.

Out of the Winter months, it can be agreed that February was the worst in regards to weather. There's been weeks with continuous rainfall, and as of recently, there's been some snow that's been sticking around. This not only affects road conditions, but also the dwellings of individuals as well. Increased conditions with snow results in affected roofs, and potential hazards for flooding once the snow begins to melt. 

Fortunately for the Beaverton, Cedar Hills, and Hillsboro area... The snow will reside throughout the day and be minimal in the remainder of the week. The unfortunate news, however, is the melted snow will truly test the roofing for many individuals that own a house. We post frequently about mold, and it could also create a domino effect into that issue as well if things aren't dried properly. Stay warm, and if there's any need for mold identification or water damage... SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills is open 24/7 to ensure your issues seem "Like it never even happened." 

Weather still affects the Portland area

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Whether you're from Beaverton, Hillsboro, or even Gresham... There's been some fluctuation in the weather lately. The PNW is still facing some storms, and that still keeps the risk up for being at higher risk in regards to property damage. Some of our greatest worries has been leaking roofs, flooded basements, and crawl spaces. People may underestimate the damage of what rainfall can do to a home. When a storm is near, it's always best to take extra precaution and prepare your property for even the worst. That's why they say "better safe than sorry!". If you, or someone you know is facing damage due to inclement weather, SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills is open 24/7 to make sure your problems go away as soon as possible! 

Seasonal Storms in the Portland Area

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

The January, 2017 snowstorm ranked as one of the worst snowstorms in 20 years in Portland, Oregon.

It was about 2 years ago that Portland faced the impact of a full-blown ice storm. Some roads consisted of cars piled up by the numbers, while people helplessly roamed the streets in the snowy storm that covered all of the city. This was a terrible time for drivers and homeowners alike. News channels emphasized on the safety hazards of ice buildups on the sidewalks, and how you'll have to maintain your area to ensure a decreased risk of slipping hazards. 

For many Oregonians, this was the worst the weather had become in many years. There was abundant home damages from the storm as well. Roofs were caving in, pipes were bursting, and the need for restoration was on a rise at that time. This year, we've been fortunate to not face those conditions. However, if something does unsuspectingly happen...you know who to call! We are open 24/7 to see that your home damages are "Like it never even happened."

What threats does winter cause for your home?

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Example of a falling tree causing significant damage due to a winter storm.

In Oregon, we're fortunate to not have extreme weather like some parts of the Northeastern part of the US. However, there's still always a posed risk of snow and ice. 

Direct damage concerns may include trees falling on homes, roof collapse due to snow accumulation, wind damage during a blizzard, displacement due to a major power outage, and frozen or burst pipes. Always try to stay thoughtful of your home condition before winter conditions arrive. This includes ensuring the gutters are cleared, and the siding of the home doesn't contain any significant damage. 

Also note that freezing temperatures may create an ice dam. An ice dam occurs when snow on the roof melts, runs to the edge and refreezes there, forcing water back up under the roof where it can cause leaks and shingles deterioration.

At the same time, high winds, hail and winter storms can tear off shingles or drive moisture beneath them, causing further damage.

In any case this season, give SERVPRO of Cedar Mill / Oak Hills a call for any damage restoration needs. We've got the trained professionals and trusted service to ensure your damages will be mitigated quickly! 

Get Ready Cedar Mill, Spring Storms Are Here!

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Don't let this be you!

Are you prepared? Here's a few tips to get you and your home ready for possible storm damage, and ways to keep your family safe!

1. Remove Dead Wood.

Trimming your trees regularly will help fewer branches fall in heavy wind or other severe weather. For particularly tall trees, experts can do the trimming for you and can also tell you when trees are at risk of being blown over in a storm so they can be removed.

2. Secure Outdoor Items.

Loose items like grills, picnic tables, and lawn furniture should be brought inside to avoid becoming projectiles in storms with high winds. Decorations, even when they are securely attached to the home, could also cause damage or be destroyed in the storm.

3. Deal with Drainage Problems.

Having the gutters cleaned once leaves have fallen should be a given, but there can be other drainage problems around your home, including areas where water can drain onto the foundation and damage it. Landscaping professionals can help you identify the problems and find solutions so that you don’t have any issues when the storms come.

4. Inspect Roof Periodically.

A brand new roof should withstand most severe weather, but if your roof is 5-10 years old or older, it should be checked for loose shingles, nails and sheathing. Not only can shingles blow off in a storm, but loose nails and sheathing can cause chunks of roofing to be dislodged or create openings for rain and ice to penetrate.

If an inspection does turn up any possible leaks, getting them fixed right away will protect your home from damage in severe weather. Roofs that are over 15 years old risk sudden deterioration or failure in storm situations even if no problems are apparent.

5. Consider Impact-Rated Windows.

You may be able to protect your windows from damage by installing hurricane shutters, or just boarding up the windows if a severe storm is imminent. The fact is, though, that any new windows are likely to be more airtight and impervious to leaks and damage than older windows.

SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills can help you prepare your home to withstand storm damage, and if the worst does happen, we can help you repair the damage and get your home looking better than new. Call us at (503) 619-6198 to schedule your  free estimate.

Ride Along Job

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Richie arriving at the client's house

Today I went along with Richie one of our technician into the field to see what it is, exactly, that he does for his job. We arrived at the client’s home, came inside their house to inspect what is the source of the problem is. The client gave us the run down of what the people from Dr. Crawlspace had relay to her, Richie listened and diagnosed the problem after he checked under the kitchen sink. When it doesn’t seem like there is any dripping coming from the sink, Richie determined that the problem lies underneath the house.

We then move to the crawlspace of the house to check for any kind of moisture, wetness, or mold. Richie went down there to brave the darkness and coldness by himself as I stood upstairs to make sure I can get to him if he gets stuck in the crawlspace.

After about ten to fifteen minutes, Richie resurfaced and had found the source of the problem. There seems to be a broken pipe that is continuously shooting water everywhere. There are puddles in various places, he tried shutting off one of the main valve but nothing happened, and unfortunately he also spotted mold in spots. After showing pictures of what he had found, and explaining what happened to the client, he proceed to talk about the procedure that needs to happen next in order for him to restore their house into its former glory. First and foremost, he needs to shut off the water for the entire house, then he can go back into the crawlspace and dry out as much water as he can, after that a plumber can come in and fix the pipe, and then after all of that is done, Richie can begin his process in fixing the client’s house.

It was such a great opportunity for me to ride along with Richie and learn about what he does so I have a better understanding of what it is SERVPRO’s services do. Thank you for the awesome learning experience!

Tips on how to protect your house from storms, hurricanes and tornadoes

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Prevent your house from looking like this.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, away from the coast, one rarely see or hear about a wind storm that could go up to an EF5 (Enhanced Fujita scale), but the few wind storms that did hit a few years back left the affected houses in pieces. For future protections against wind storms, here are some ways that you can prepare your house for what's to come: 

  1. Take inventory of your supplies
  2. Make sure your house has doors that can withstand some beating.
  3. Fortify your garage door.
  4. Strengthen your roof.
  5. Shutter your windows.
  6. Pin down your home
  7. Take shelter from the storm

Although the likelihood of an EF5 storm is low, it is always good to be prepare for when an actual wind storm hits. 

Weather Advisory for Cedar Mill

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Stay dry Portland!

Looks like fun in the sun will be going away after this weekend, the weather will be rather wet this coming up week. Plan to bring water resistance gear and stay dry next week! Look out for rainy weather on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

With the rainy weather still upon us, it is advised that one goes through their house to make sure that there are no leakage that could potentially turn into a larger problem.

This weekend was warm and sunny, but it'll be getting stormy this coming week. Make sure your home is safe, and if you run into trouble, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills! 

Winter Weather Advisory for Cedar Mill

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

Road conditions will be slippery, stay safe!

There's a travel advisory in the Portland area today from 4pm to 4am Saturday!

Make sure to pack chains if you plan on driving, as a light snow will develop later this afternoon, continuing through tonight. A light dusting may happen in the afternoon, but the main snow is expected from 3pm-6pm.

Plan on slippery road conditions, and try to stay indoors! For the latest on road conditions in your state, call 5-1-1.

AAA recommends the following winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

If you see any damage from trees or heavy snow accumulation, remember you can call SERVPRO Cedar Mill/ Oak Hills for help!

After Effects of the Snow Storm in Cedar Mill

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO Cedar Mill if you have any damage, and we'll fix you right up!

Tuesday's late snowstorm has left behind treacherous conditions for the Wednesday morning commute. 

No new snow accumulation is expected in the Portland area, but many roads are covered in snow or slush. Some roads might appear clear and wet, but freezing conditions overnight have left behind patches of black ice.

Minor crashes were reported throughout the metro area early Wednesday, please make sure to drive safe and pull over if needed!

Tips To Help Winterize Your HVAC In Cedar Mill

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Regular HVAC Maintenance Is The Key To Warm Winters

Winter is hitting the Cedar Mill area and that means it’s time to switch on the heat. 

Is your HVAC System ready for the challenges that winter brings?

Here are 6 maintenance tips from SERVPRO that will help you enjoy a warm and cozy home all winter long.

  1. Clean and/or Replace the Air Filter
  2. Clean the Air Vents
  3. Add Some Insulation
  4. Check Your Thermostat
  5. Cover the Outdoor AC Unit if needed
  6. Schedule an Inspection from SERVPRO

Do you need a hand with your HVAC maintenance? This is something you really should not overlook!

SERVPRO is here to assist you. Through maintenance and repair, the experienced, professional, and friendly technicians at SERVPRO will make sure your heating system is ready for the upcoming winter season. (503) 619-6198

Who Cleans Up Storm Damage In Cedar Mill

12/7/2017 (Permalink)

Call Us As Soon As The Coast Is Clear!

Storms hit hard and fast in Cedar Mill.

That is why SERVPRO provides immediate relief and response to your storm damage needs. We can have a team of technicians on site as soon as it is safe to do so.

We can help with a multitude of projects which also includes getting you emergency food and shelter and contacting friends and family.

Storms do not wait for normal business hours that is why you need to call the professionals here at SERVPRO who are available to you 24 / 7 / 365!

We understand the process of putting your life back together when tragedy hits. Let us show you what so many other families have already experienced ... our willingness to make your world normal again!

Call Us Today 503.619.6198!

Thunderstorm Damage To My Oak Hills Home

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

When lightning strikes and thunder rolls SERVPRO is standing by.

We all know that strong winds and lightning during thunderstorms can actually cause major damage to your homes.

But who do you call when the clouds roll out?

SERVPRO has been fixing storm-damaged homes in the Grand Strand area for decades. Our highly trained technicians are qualified to handle almost anything wicked storms can throw at them.

They have the experience, training, and equipment to handle a small flood to massive thunderstorm damage resulting in holes in your roof from fallen trees or power poles, water damaged floors and even fire damage caused by lightning.

Why trust the process of putting your home and sometimes your family back together to any old person with a truck and a few tools. SERVPRO is licensed and insured to give you the ultimate peace of mind that you are in good hands.

Call us today (503) 619-6198!

Winter Snow Storm Cause Major Damages

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

What is an Ice Dam?

Last winter we had one of the worst winter storms possible here in the Portland Metro area.  Roads were solid ice, it took most of us MANY hours just to get home from work even when we left early!  Trees or limbs down, vehicles all over the roadways, people stuck in their homes for days, many inches of snow all over the area.  What about the damages we don't see?


We all love icicles on roofs, it has such a fun look, a real "wintry" look to it.  What about what it can possible do to your roof?  Here is some information that has been gathered from a Nationwide Insurance website:


Ice dams. These icicles on your roof may appear harmless – and may even look pretty – but they can cause damage to your home. Here’s what you need to know about ice dam prevention and ice dam removal to help protect your home.


What is an ice dam?


An ice dam is a wall of ice that forms at the edge of the roof, typically at the gutters or soffit, and prevents melting snow from draining off.


What causes ice dams?


For an ice dam to form, 3 things must be present:



  1. Snow on the roof

  2. Higher portions of the roof’s external surface must be above 32°F

  3. Lower surfaces must be below 32°F


When these factors are in play, snow will melt and the water will flow down the roof and eventually freeze – forming an ice dam.


Poor ventilation and temperature control in the attic can also lead to ice dams. Excessive warm air in the attic can cause the snow on the roof to melt regardless of the temperature outside. Recessed lighting, skylights, complex roof designs and heating ducts in the attic can all increase the chances of an ice dam developing.


Do icicles mean that you have an ice dam?


In short, no. It’s common for small icicles to form; the larger, thicker icicles are the culprits. When you notice the larger icicles, it’s important to act fast in order to prevent damage.


What are the signs that you have an ice dam?


These are the most common, according to the Ice Dam Company:



  1. Your home has a history of ice dams

  2. Icicles form on the edge of the roof or off the front edge of the gutter

  3. Ice is coming through the soffit

  4. Ice is forming behind the gutters

  5. Water or ice appears on the exterior wall

  6. Water is seeping through a door frame or window


What type of damage can ice dams cause?


If not addressed early, ice dams can cause significant damage. Here’s how:



  • Water from melting snow can seep into your house and into walls, ceilings, insulation and other interior areas.

  • Ice dams can lift roof shingles up, allowing water to leak inside your home.

  • Pressure and weight from the dams can pull off gutters and lead to structural damage that can cause flooding.

  • If attic insulation gets wet, it can become ineffective, plus mold can develop.


How to prevent ice dams:


Properly winterizing your roof is the best way to prevent ice dams. Consider these precautions.



  • Have your gutters cleaned before winter.

  • Keep your attic well ventilated, so it stays cold, and properly ventilate the roof and eaves.

  • Insulate the attic floor to reduce the amount of heat rising from within the house.

  • Rake or shovel snow off the roof before it freezes or hire a professional roofer to clear your roof.

  • Create an air barrier between the house and attic with a foil-faced cover over an uninsulated attic hatch or whole-house fan opening.

  • Install a water-repellent roof membrane.

  • Check for any potentially dangerous heat sources, including uninsulated recessed ceiling can lights, uninsulated folding attic stair openings, heating ducts, furnace or water-heating equipment and inadequate bathroom vent fans.


How to remove ice dams:


If an ice dam has formed, here are immediate steps you can take to help prevent further damage.



  • Apply calcium chloride or another ice-melting product onto the ice.

  • Place a box fan in the attic and direct it at the underside of the roof where water is leaking in. The cold air will freeze the water.

  • If your roof is flat or has a low slope, use a roof rake to sweep off the snow.

  • Have a professional remove the dam with high-pressure steam or other specialized methods.