Recent Storm Damage Posts

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 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.