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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Great Pacific North Wet!!!

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Portland is no stranger to cold and rainy days. On average there is at least one form of precipitation in Portland over 150 days a year. We’ve seen record amounts of rain fall in recent years and have seen windstorms wreak havoc by toppling over 100 foot tall Douglas Firs into peoples’ homes. Downed power lines pose a greater risk than ones might think. A fallen tree can easily take a powerline right into your home as well, causing risk of electrocution and fire.

In the event of a power outage, snow in, or any other natural disaster it is important to be well stocked on supplies in case you cannot leave your home. There are many things that can go unnoticed during a disaster and attempting to pack last minute can leave you without something that will likely be essential to your wellbeing. The Department of Homeland Security has a fantastic guide on everything that should be in your basic disaster supplies kit. You can find that information and more here: https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

Does Your Business Have a Plan if it Floods?

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

A broken pipe, clogged drain or leaking roof can bring your business to a halt.  We all know that time is money, so the faster you can back up an running matters.  Beyond the cost of the damage the cost of not being able to conduct your business can be devastating to your company.  

That's why SERVPRO of Southest Portland is here for our local businesses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We understand how important it is to get your business back to normal.  Our highly skilled water mitigation and restoration technicians are always ready when you need us.  We work hard to lessen the burden of a water disaster.  If this happens all you need to do is call us and we can get you back doing business as usual faster than anyone else.  

Don't Let a Flooded Building Ruin Your Summer Fun!!!

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Although the rain is mostly gone, the risk of a flood is not. Now that summer is here it is important to monitor the quality and strength of your infrequently used pipes. Everyone loves filling up the kiddie pool, setting up a slip n’ slide, or filling up several buckets for water balloon wars. With the added use on outdoor hoses that may have been damaged during the freezing winter, it is important to check for leaks before, during, and after use on the blistering hot days of summer.

The cost of damage caused by a broken pipe can be staggering. Depending upon the severity of the flooded area these costs can vary greatly. One of the key factors to preventing a large loss and keeping the repair costs low is how quickly the problem is addressed. The quicker you can find the water shut off valve the less money you’re going to spend on remediation. In addition to monitoring your pipes and checking for leaks, it is crucial that everyone in your family knows where your water shut off valve is in the event of an emergency. In the unfortunate event that you do suffer water damage in your home, SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is here to fix the problems so your family can quickly get back to a day of fun in the sun.

Having Photos Helps with Insurance Claims if a Fire Occurs, But….

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to take the time to document your home and belongings via photo in the unforeseen event that a fire occurs.  This is a definitive way to prove what condition the structure was in prior to the fire.  It also provides proof of all the belongings that you owned as well as their condition.  This can prove extremely valuable when dealing with your insurance company to file a claim for loss and damages. 

The value of this was made more evident by a situation I was told about recently in which a person whose home had caught fire.  Due to a faulty dryer his home was devastated by fire.  He left for just a few minutes and returned to the fire department doing their best to contain the fire.  He had beeen smart in that he had taken pictures of the home and his belongings, but he used his phone.  Which doesn’t seem to be a problem except for the fact that he had left his phone in the home and the pictures were only stored on his device.

This is an unfortunate circumstance that could easily happen to anyone.  We don’t always take our phone with us on a short trip.  Fortunately, there are many ways to store and backup our photos now days with many different cloud based and remote storage options.  Icloud, Google Drive and Dropbox are just a few of the options that are readily available to us.  If you are less tech savvy and still print your photos keeping a copy of them in a fire-proof safe or a safety deposit box are also viable options.  The moral is that while it is important to have pictures of your property and belongings it is equally important to have them stored in a manner that will not be affected in the event of a fire.

Are You Prepared if an Earthquake Hits Portland?

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Risk management is an important aspect that every household, business, and government should put time and effort into. Having a go bag, plenty of food and water, and survival supplies in the event that you are separated from a resupply for up to 2 weeks is strongly recommended to all Portland residents.  Unfortunately, not all risks can be completely prevented or planned for. The city of Portland is resting on top of some major fault lines that are expected to slip within the next 50 to 500 years. The Pacific Northwest has neighbored some major earthquakes in the past; most notably The Great 1906 San Francisco Earthquake that left thousands of casualties and destroyed nearly 30,000 buildings.  More recently in 1989 I can remember vividly the images of destruction caused by the Loma Prieta San Francisco earthquake.  This occurred during the World Series that year and I can remember being in awe of the devastation it caused as a child.

Preparing for such a catastrophic event is nearly impossible. However, as history shows we rebuild. When something falls down it is within our nature to pick up the pieces and remake something beautiful. At SERVPRO of Southeast Portland we fix what has been broken every single day we come into work. Whether the “Big One” hits, a storm knocks down a tree into your home, or a fire breaks out in your garage; we will be there within a moments notice to make it “Like it never even happened.”

How Dangerous is Lightning?

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

The odds of being struck by lightning is much more likely than that of winning at most games of chance including the Lottery.  The actual odds for the average American to be struck by lightning is approximately 1 in 5,000 during their lifetime.  On the bright side if you are unlucky enough to be struck you have a 9 out of 10 chance of survival on average.  A more dangerous than being directly struck result of lightning is the fires it can cause. 

Just last year in Oregon at this time at least 163 wildfires were detected in the state after 2,800 lightning strikes. In a few days the numbers had settled down to 47 fires that burned over 22,000 acres, according to the Department of Forestry.  Lightning is quite often a sudden occurrence that sometimes is impossible to prepare for.  Especially in the case of the beautiful uninhabited forests of Oregon.  Luckily it is a rare occurrence that homes or buildings are the target of the lightning bolts. 

Nationally United States fire departments annually respond to an estimated average of 22,600 fires that were caused by lightning. These fires caused an estimated average of nine deaths, 53 injuries and $451 million in direct property damage per year. 

When we are called to an unfortunate situation you can rest assured that we will always be empathetic and professional.  While we have no control over these lightning strikes or the devastating damage they cause, we can lessen the financial burden of the damage with our services.  Our highly trained technicians at SERVPRO of Southeast Portland are always available to provide our fire restoration services no matter what the cause of the fire. 

The Weather, Like Life, Can Be Unpredictable.

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

As we all know severe weather and storms can sometimes strike out of nowhere.  Being prepared for a storm can help, but the damage left behind is inevitable.  The damage varies by the type of weather disaster from winds, to floods and lightning.  Once the storm is over SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is there to help restore your life back to normal.

There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore your home or business after a storm.  But only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

So, when weather is unpredictable you can count on us to help during these trying times.  It is always our goal to provide you with the highest quality service to make the storm “Like it never even happened.”

How SERVPRO can make smoke damage “Like it never even happened.”

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

After the brave firefighters have performed their job the aftermath left behind can be daunting.  That’s where SERVPRO of Southeast Portland takes pride in our ability to help those who have just endured a fire.  When the reality sets in of all the damage that the fire has caused it may be hard to conceive that the building will never return to normal. Our trained technicians work hard to do just that, make your home or commercial building return to normal. 

The danger of the fire may be gone, but damage can continue to affect the structure and belongings. Ash and smoke, if left alone will likely cause extensive corrosion, etching, discoloration as well as lingering powerful odors. Our trained professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem.

The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can begin the fire restoration process.  Our caring staff will work diligently to restore the damage to your building and belongings that were affected by the unfortunate fire.  Our company goal is to make this traumatic event “Like it never even happened.”

Top 5 Causes of Fire in Portland

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Cooking

It seems everyone in Portland loves to cook and eat, but it is important to practice your culinary skills in a safe manner.  Fires caused by cooking are the number one cause of fires in Portland.  Who doesn’t like deep fat fried foods, but be careful since frying with oil is one of the main causes of cooking related fires.  Others include flammables near open flames, leaving the cooking area, faulty appliances and cooking while impaired.  So, enjoy cooking, just remember to be safe. 

 Cigarettes

We all know how bad cigarettes are for your health and being a leading cause of fires is just one more reason not to smoke.

Electrical Safety

One reason to buy those new appliances you’ve been wanting is that electrical fires caused by faulty electrical outlets and old, outdated appliances are common.  Need a reason to update your lighting, well light fixtures, lamps and light bulbs are another common reason for electrical fires.  The use of extension cords and space heaters are also a cause of fires that should be addressed.

Home Heating Equipment

No matter what method you use to heat your home there is always the possibility it may cause a fire.  Whether you have a wood stove, fireplace, gas or electric heat care should be taken to ensure they are functioning properly to prevent a possible fire. 

Candle Safety

Candles are great.  They create a pleasant ambience.  They smell nice and they provide light.  Just make sure you don’t leave them going while your sleeping or leave the house. 

Highest Quality Products and Equipment

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Rapid advancements in the technology and techniques allow SERVPRO of Southeast Portland Professionals to restore a property back to preloss condition quickly, reliably and more effectively.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets practical standards for restoration and cleaning. The IICRC S500 Water Damage Guide is a specific set of practical standards that incorporate the field of psychometry, which involves the manipulation of temperature and relative humidity to remove moisture and dry a property quickly and effectively.

Moisture Detection and Measurement Equipment

• An infrared camera may be used to identify water location for thorough water removal.

• Sensitive moisture detectors, hygrometers, and other meters measure the extent of moisture saturation

Water Extraction Equipment

• Submersible and gas-powered pumps for continuous pumping of high-level water. 

• Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal.

Drying Equipment

• High-speed air movers causes moisture to evaporate at a faster pace

• Industrial grade dehumidifiers pull the water vapor from the air.

Odor Removal and Deodorization

• Air scrubbers

• Thermal foggers and deodorization agents

Sanitizing Agents, Germicides, and Anti-Microbial Treatments

• Deodorization products control odors from excessive moisture.

• Disinfection products stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

Proud to be a Member of the Southeast Portland Community

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland takes great pride in being a part of the Southeast Portland community. We understand that communities like ours hold America together. Recently participating in the Hope Gala for the local Catholic Charities was a great way to be involved in our community.  We want to do our part to ensure the Southeast Portland community thrives by helping those less fortunate, keeping the area safe and making our community the best it can be.

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is close by and ready to respond to your cleaning or restoration needs. We are proud to be an active member of the Portland, OR community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

24/7 365 We Are There for You

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don't wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

In many cleaning and restoration situations, immediate action is needed. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size emergency. An immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. Here's a look at the water damage timeline; 

Within Minutes

• Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

• Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

• Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

• Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

• Drywall begins to swell and break down.

• Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

• Furniture begins to swell and crack.

• Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

• A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

• Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

• Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

• Metal begins to rust and corrode.

•Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

•Paint begins to blister.

• Wood flooring swells and warps.

• Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive. Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Honesty and Integrity

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Southeast Portland understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage and the disruption it causes to your life and home or business. Our goal is to help minimize this interruption so you can get back to living your life.

At SERVPRO of Southeast Portland, we are dedicated to restoring your property to "Like it never even happened." As a locally owned and operated company, providing our friends and neighbors with the best possible customer service is our business.

We are proud to serve our local communities; Portland, Mt. Scott, Lents, Hawthorne, Woodstock, Sellwood, Westmoreland, Eastmoreland, Brentwood-Darlington and Brooklyn.

In addition, SERVPRO can help manage the insurance paperwork and process for you.

Our Knowledge and Experience Benefits our Customers

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC, (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification), industry certifications, and continuing education classes. This self-paced program includes; Crew Training, Fire Restoration, Water Restoration and Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination.

When it comes to voluntary training the SERVPRO program is designed to be an ongoing, self-paced coaching series for a franchise's employees. E-learnings, such as video presentations and support materials are followed by a knowledge test at the end of each module. This keeps our technicians and office staff up to speed on industry standards and the professional quality you expect ensures each of our locations is trained through this 15-day hands-on course which is the foundation of the SERVPRO success. Rest assured, our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. 

Lastly, SERVPRO of Southeast Portland offers both credit and noncredit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters, real estate professionals and franchise staff. These programs are designed to improve knowledge of emergency mitigation

Our Customers Always Come First

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Since 1967, SERVPRO has been dedicated to keeping our customers happy.  SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is proud to be able to carry on this tradition.  Our mission is to leave each job, large or small with our customers being 100% satisfied.

SERVPRO is invested in the local community and making sure our neighbors are taking care of quickly and efficiently and in constant contact every step of the way.  Using a customer centric approach in every customer interaction is how we ensure satisfaction.  We know there is not a one size fits all answer for any situation.  For this reason we help to find an individualized solution that meets the needs of your unique circumstances.   

We are proud to be a service you know and trust. 

Water Damage to Local Store

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage to Local Store The picture shows drying equipment in use in a room were base boards were permitted to be removed for the drying process.

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland was referred a local job by a commercial organization back in December 2018. A sink had a malfunction, causing water to pour out and over the bowl rim during the night. When the store manager went in, she was shocked to discover flooded floors the next morning. She called it in and the company called us for the job. The water effected not only floors but base boards as well. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland went in and did the job in a timely manner making sure to never got in the store employees way during the drying and remediation process. Even during store hours our techs made sure it was convenient for the employees to not disturb the customers. In the time it took for us to get the job call in and completed the company was extremely pleased and said they would continue to use SERVPRO of Southeast Portland for any other jobs they would need done. 

Second Opinion

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland got an interesting  call one day. A client in SE PDX called in about a home going on the market. Turns out upon checking into the homes history the client discovered the home had experienced a fire 10 years prior that was unknown to them. Doing a little more investigation the client found out that the home had fire/smoke remediation done for the fire that occurred. For reasons unknown to the client as well as ourselves the attic of said home had no remediation work done to it. For this specific case we went in did our initial inspection and discussed with the client potential work the can and should be done. With SERVPRO of Southeast Portland as a client you can always be reassured that there will be no stone left unturned when you call us do your job. Customer and client satisfaction is our number one priority. 

Flooded Wellness Center

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooded Wellness Center The damage was from a plugged up drain.

A Chiropractic and Wellness center located in SE Portland experienced a plugged up drain in one of their restrooms. The owner contacted SERVPRO of Southeast Portland frustrated with what had happened to them. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland reassured the client and told them we would be able to arrive on the spot within the hour. We arrived promptly and walked the loss with the owner. The damage affected the entire building, spreading through the entire first floor going through multiple rooms as well as contaminating many contents. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland was able to go in and get the job done efficiently and effectively. The picture shows the before of the source of damage. The owner was extremely pleased with our fast response time as well as our overall remediation process. With the time it took to get everything completed and how up to date we kept the owner with the entire process through to completion. 

The Reason Fire Damage Jobs Are Best Left to Professionals

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Reason Fire Damage Jobs Are Best Left to Professionals Grease fire tore through the family room as well as kitchen.

A simple day turned into a horrible tragedy for a local family here in Southeast Portland when they experienced a grease fire that tore through half of their home. It caused extensive damage. In their time of need SERVPRO of Southeast Portland was there and ready to help. The family called us in and requested services immediately. Our team made the process as easy and simple for the family reassuring them along the way letting them know exactly what was needed and that SERVPRO of Southeast Portland would be there to help every step of the way. The before picture shows just a glimpse of the damage caused. When all the work was done the family couldn't have been more happier with SERVPRO of Southeast Portland and how their home was not only restored but improved making it "Like it never even happened." 

Smoke Damage to a Local Church

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke Damage to a Local Church This wall heater was one of the causes of damage. Multiple heaters in the church malfunctioned this day.

Wall heaters at a SE Portland Catholic church had a malfunction while running on a cold Portland weekday spewing out black smoke. Luckily the pastor was in his office at the time and caught it before a fire started. He turned the heater off and contacted his local firefighters. The firefighters cleared the church and made sure it was safe to return inside. From there their insurance agency recommended they give a call to SERVPRO of Southeast Portland for smoke remediation. Our team was out there within the hour doing the inspection to quickly start the remediation process. We got our equipment placed them throughout the structure starting the remediation, and got our techs to work. The entire process went by smoothly and the good people of the Catholic church couldn't stop their praises for the amazing work that SERVPRO of Southeast Portland had done. 

Drying is Key

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Drying is Key The damage to the ceiling caused by the mold.

A new local office that was being built had a case of bad mold. The walls/ceilings got covered in new drywall without the notice of them still being wet/damp by the contractor. They were left out and the rain got to them. They thought they did a good enough job drying them because the drywall wasn't damp to the touch and didn't show signs of dampness when being installed. After a few weeks the owner began to notice a musty smell and decided to investigate. He was shocked when he undid the drywall on the ceilings to find the wood structure covered in mold. He had heard about SERVPRO of Southeast Portland and immediately gave us a call. Our team went in and got the job done providing maximum satisfaction to the owner and his team. The picture shows just how extensive the mold damage was.

Commercial mold remediation

12/14/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial mold remediation Mold that was underneath the base boards causing the musty scent

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland got a call from a commercial company regarding some mold growth they had on one of their properties. They said there was a musty smell in one of their rooms but couldn't pin point exactly from where. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland was able to get out there on the same day to help find where the mold was. The owner said the room did experience a water leak, but they were able to dry it out by opening a window. Our production manager asked if base boards were removed to assist in dry out. Base boards were not removed and our Production Manager immediately knew where the source of the scent was coming from, he got permission to remove one base board and found the mold. The owner said he definitely wanted to get the remediation done as soon as possible. Our team was able to go in same day, do the work, and finish. The company was so happy with our work and respond time that they said they would use us in the future for any of their restoration/remediation needs. 

Portland 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (503) 427-9535

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Southeast Portland

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster to your Portland Water Damage Situation

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Southeast Portland arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (503) 427-9535

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Southeast Portland

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Does Your Portland Home Have A Mold Problem?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (503) 427-9535

Portland Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Southeast Portland for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (503) 427-9535

Conditions In Portland Might Be Right For Mold

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Southeast Portland to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at (503) 427-9535

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Southeast Portland for mold remediation services.

When Storms or Floods hit Oregon, SERVPRO is ready!

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (503) 427-9535

Portland Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Southeast Portland will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (503) 427-9535

Restoring Your Portland Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

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Flooding and water damage events at Portland commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Southeast Portland

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

5 Things You Need to Know About Water Damage

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When a pipe bursts, a drain backs up, or a flood occurs in your home, it can be hard to see past the mess. A million questions will run through your mind. Has water damage happened to you? Here's what to do next to keep it from getting worse.

What do I do now?

What’s going to happen?

Is my stuff ruined?

And the most important question of all: Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the damage?

There’s no doubt about it. Water damage is extremely stressful, and the more you know about it, the better you’ll be able to decide how to address it. Here are five things that every homeowner needs to know about water damage.

1. There are different insurance policies for flood damage and water damage.

You might think that water is water, whether it’s from flooding or a burst pipe, but flood damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance. When you report the claim to the insurance company, make sure to specify whether the claim is for water damage or for flood damage, so they can begin adjusting your claim correctly.

2. Not all water damage is covered by your insurance.

It is a good idea to look over your insurance policy and familiarize yourself with any exclusion to your water damage coverage. For instance, most policies cover sudden damage, like water damage from a really bad storm or from an overflowing washing machine. On the other hand, any water damage that happens because you didn’t maintain the property may be excluded, as well as gradual leaks that caused water damage over time.

3. Once water damage has happened, the clock is ticking before it gets worse.

When your property has been water damaged, you don’t have the luxury of waiting around for a convenient time to start the cleanup. Secondary damage from mold growth can present serious health risks associated with mold in the living environment.

Mold spores are everywhere, but they need moisture and a nutrient source to grow. And that is exactly what your wet carpet or drywall offers.

There is a 24 to 48 hour window from the time something gets wet until mold can begin to grow. After that time, mold will multiply rapidly. When mold growth is widespread, you may need the services of a professional mold remediation service to safely treat and remove the mold.

To prevent mold growth, you will need to get your property completely dry again within that 48-hour window. To do this, you’ll need to contact a company that specializes in water damage restoration and emergency water extraction such as SERVPRO of Southeast Portland. They will have the professional water removal equipment and drying equipment to get the job done as quickly as possible. 

4. Your insurance company needs to know right away.

It’s a good idea to call your insurance company right away when you discover water damage. Your insurance agent can start the claims process immediately, as well as guide you through the first steps you will need to take to protect your property from more damage, like stopping the source of the water at the main water turnoff.

Your insurance company may also direct you to a water damage restoration company that they have worked with in the past. Keep in mind that you do not have to call the company that they recommend. 

5. The pollution level of the water is important.

Water damage is categorized as one of three levels by how polluted the water source was that caused the damage.

Category 1: Water from a clean water source, like a fresh water line for a dishwasher. 

Category 2: Water that may have bacteria in it,

Category 3: Water that is highly contaminated. Think sewage backup, an overflowing toilet, or storm waters.

Even though water may start out as Category 1, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. Any contamination that the water touches, such as dirty carpeting or soil from the ground, can change water damage Category to 2 or even Category 3. And since standing breeds bacteria, the longer the water is around, the worse the contamination of your property.

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland has all the tools and resources necessary to help with and water, mold or fire damage you may have. Give us a call! (503) 427-9535

Effects of Water Damage

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Water damage is a problem that most property owners dread. When it rains heavily or snow melts quickly, the risk of this type of damage increases. Water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage by damaging wood furniture, upholstery, electronics, household appliances, and plumbing equipment. Water damage also increases the risk of mold growth, which is a very expensive problem to remediate. Hiring a water damage restoration company can make the cleanup process easier to handle, as these companies employ experienced workers who know the best ways to repair or replace damaged items and help with water damage cleanup.

Causes of Water Damage

There are several possible causes of water damage. Leaky dishwashers, clogged toilets, broken pipes, broken dishwasher hoses, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, and foundation cracks are just some of the possible causes of water damage in homes and businesses. Floods, heavy snow, and heavy rain are other possible causes of this type of damage and can lead to having water in basements. Too much water can lead to minor problems such as water in basement areas, or it can lead to the destruction of homes and businesses. Once a home or business sustains water damage, it is important to start the water damage cleanup immediately. Starting water damage cleanup as soon as possible increases the likelihood of saving water-soaked furniture, carpets, rugs, clothing, and other items.

Categories of Water Damage

Assessing the severity of the damage is important for determining what is needed to start water damage repair and water removal. There are several different categories assigned to water damage. Category 1 refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a threat to humans. Possible causes of this type of damage include broken appliances or sink overflows. Category 2 water is also called gray water.  Broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage may cause category 2 water damage. Category 3 water is known as black water. The possible sources of black water damage include sewage problems and contamination of standing water.

There are also several classes of water damage. The class of damage is important when assessing water damage repair options. Class 1 is the least harmful form of damage. Materials absorb very little of the water from this type of damage. Water damage repair is the easiest in this type of situation. Class 2 has a fast rate of evaporation, which means that carpets and cushions may be damaged. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves class 2 damage. Class 3 has the fastest rate of evaporation. In this case, the water may come from broken sprinklers or other overhead sources, soaking the walls and furniture. Class 4 requires special water restoration and water removal procedures. This type of damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, and concrete.

Restoration Process

The water restoration process is an important one. Using the right procedures and materials can help people save cherished belongings and even prevent their homes from being condemned. Water restoration companies specialize in mitigating the effects of water, but the success for water damage restoration depends on the severity of the damage and the amount of water that caused the damage. Water restoration companies may hire outside experts such as SERVPRO of Southeast Portland to assess a property and determine a water restoration and water removal plan. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland uses high-tech equipment and well-documented procedures to control water damage. Water in basement areas may only require a short cleanup process, but water in other areas of a property will require extensive remediation.

10 Secrets to Dusting an Office Building

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Following the steps outlined below will make your dusting faster and more effective:

  1. Dust high surfaces first and work downward. Start at one end of the room and move in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.

  2. Move objects (phones, paper weights, pictures, etc.), dust under them, and then replace them to their original position. However, desk papers should not be moved. Dust around any papers left on desks or tables. Papers in a pile can be moved slightly so you can dust under and around them unless your customer has instructed you not to disturb any paperwork.

  3. Do not carelessly flick your dust cloth, static duster or extension duster as you dust. This will only spread the dust, not capture it. Instead, wipe the surface. 

  4. Wipe spots and smudges on walls, desks, etc. with a damp green microfiber cloth as you move throughout the office area. Remember to rinse the cloth when it becomes soiled, using only water.

  5. When cleaning computer monitors or conference room flat TV screens, use a dry, microfiber cloth and lightly (and I do mean very gently) wipe. Never use paper towels, tissue paper, or window cleaner, they can scratch or damage the screen. If there are finger prints or smudges, you can use antistatic wipes designed for computers and LCD screens. Some offices do not want you to clean either computer screens so be sure to follow your clients' wishes.

  6. Dust wood tables and desks with the grain, applying furniture polish per customer's request. Chairs should be dusted from top to bottom. Start by dusting any trim on top, then the sides and work your way down to the bottom legs. 

  7. When dusting blinds, first dust across the top. Then close the blinds and dust the entire surface. Close blinds to the other side and dust the newly exposed surface area. Another way to dust blinds is to use a back pack vacuum with a brush attachment.

  8. In hallways and corridors, make sure to dust fire doors, fire extinguishers, exit signs, bars on exit doors, door frames/jambs, hand rails, light switches, show cases, and any other horizontal/vertical surfaces.

  9. Make sure to dust any areas where dust can accumulate, such as clocks, picture frames, cabinet tops and sides, the sides of desks, partitions, air vents, lights, baseboards, and window sills. If there is a surface, dust will accumulate.

  10. Use a back pack vacuum to remove dust and clean hard to reach areas and upholstered furniture.

Proper dusting will help to ensure that your office buildings have a neat and tidy appearance. Dusting is necessary to ensure a clean building and healthy work environment. SERVPRO of Southeast Portland can help with all of your commercial cleaning needs. Give us a call! (503) 427-9535

Hard Water Stains on Windows and Other Surfaces

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Cleaning companies that have customers in hard water areas, which includes over 85% of the United States, sometime find it difficult to get rid of those nasty hard water stains on windows - especially large office or warehouses with large amounts of windows. The first step begins with understanding hard water and how it affects the buildings we clean, so our cleaning technicians can choose the best solutions to remove it.

Rain contains no minerals as it falls to earth. When it passes through the ground, it absorbs minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, which transforms it from “soft water” into “hard water.” Although hard water is not normally harmful to our health, it can wreak havoc on plumbing, fixtures, appliances, glass, showers, or pretty much anywhere water is used.

Once hard water evaporates, what's left behind are the minerals. These nasty mineral deposits cause crusty scale, stains, film, and mineral rings. This build up can become problematic and permanent if not addressed immediately.

Hard Water Cleaning Solutions for Removing Those Ugly Stains

Cleaning companies go directly to their cleaning chemical and tool inventory when confronted with hard water stains. Acidic and non-acidic, abrasive, natural or manufactured, there are a number of cleaners that have the ability to remove mineral deposits and scale. Make sure the cleaner you choose is the right one for the job, surface or fixture you plan on cleaning. Check the manufacturer's label or test the cleaner in an inconspicuous place first if you are not sure. The last thing you want to do is cause damage to your customers' building.

Usually removing mineral deposits such as calcium, magnesium, and iron requires an acidic product. Most hard water staining can be removed with a combination of the right cleaner, cleaning tool and of course, good old fashioned “elbow grease” for those really tough jobs.

Cleaning tools such as white scrubbing pads, scrub brushes, and steel wool, can be used with the cleaning chemical of your choice to assist in removing difficult deposits. Just remember that none of these tools should be used alone, as they can permanently scratch the surface of the window. Only use these tools when the surface of the window is wet with water or cleaning chemical.

We recommend starting your cleaning process with less harmful chemicals, tools, and methods first, then ramp it up to more aggressive methods should deposits persists. It may take several attempts to remove stubborn deposits.

Beware; strong acidic chemicals are very corrosive and damaging to certain types of surfaces such as stainless steel and chrome and will “eat” through them, so never attempt to use such chemicals without the proper training and testing.

5 Ways to Make Stone Floors Shine

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Stone Floor ‘Shining' Techniques

Large office and warehouse buildings often have stone flooring that needs special attention while cleaning.

  1. Add a coating or finish - Although coatings or finishes add gloss to stone floors, this is not a recommended way to add shine to granite or marble floors. Natural stone needs to breathe, and adding coatings or finishes blocks the floor from breathing. Travertine or Terazzo floors are better suited to adding a coating or finish.
  2. Polishing - Polishing stone floors using diamond pads on your slow speed floor machine will add a highly reflective gloss to stone floors.
  3. Honing - Honing is a more aggressive procedure that smoothes the stone by using a more abrasive diamond disk that grinds imperfections on the floor surface.
  4. Grinding - Grinding is the most aggressive way to add shine to stone floors. This procedure will take care of lippage (uneven tiles). Grinding should only be done by experienced stone floor technicians.
  5. Crystallization - Crystallization is a chemical polishing process that is used in heavy traffic areas. In this situation you would use a crystallizer polish to add shine to the floor.

What to AVOID when it comes to stone floor care

  • Avoid using cleaners containing acids on marble, onyx, travertine, or limestone. The cleaners used to clean grout, bathrooms, or tube/tile usually contain harmful acids that can damage the stone floor
  • Avoid vinegar, bleach or lemon juice
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners or ammonia based products

Hardwood Floor Care for Commercial Buildings

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Nothing adds charm more to a commercial building than a lustrous looking hardwood floor. A hardwood floor is a lifetime investment and keeping a hardwood floor looking its best requires proper care and maintenance strategies. As the cleaning professional, it is up to you and your cleaning technicians to provide the solutions to care for and maintain your customers' hardwood floor investment and keep it looking its best for years to come.

Routine maintenance and care of hardwood floors requires:

  1. Protecting the surface finish from heavy wear
  2. Daily cleaning to remove dirt, grit and dust
  3. Protecting the finish from moisture

These three routine tasks and care strategies will help to prevent damage to hardwood floors and to ensure the floor keeps its natural beauty.

It is important to remember that dirt, sand and grit are among the hardwood floor's worst enemies. This grunge will act like sandpaper to a floor's finish and can cause scratches and dents that will dull the floor. An important step to protecting the floor and finish is to place walk-off mats at all building entrances to prevent debris from being tracked onto the floor you are trying to protect. Walk-off matting also absorbs moisture and keeps it from being tracked onto the floor.

TIP: Avoid placing rubber backed entrance matting directly on the wood floor. The rubber backing can discolor the floor.

It is also important to sweep, vacuum or dust mop frequently to remove dirt and dust. A backpack vacuum with a hard floor attachment is the best way to pick up and remove contaminants from a hardwood floor. If you are using a broom, use one that is soft and has fine ends so that dirt and contaminants become trapped and are lifted away. You can also use a high quality microfiber flat mop.

TIP: Always remember to clean underneath the walk-off mats.

Another important preventive maintenance step is to place protector pads on furniture legs. Floor protector pads should be made of soft felt or a similar type material. If you ever need to move furniture, always pick it up and carry it -- never drag furniture across the floor.

Footwear and foot traffic can cause damage to hardwood floors. Soiled work boots or any footwear that has rocks, mud, or gravel stuck into the treads can dent or scratch the floor. Remind your customers how important it is to invest in walk-off matting to help protect their investment.

Water is also an enemy of hardwood floors. Water and spills can warp or permanently damage a floor's finish. Spills should be cleaned up immediately before they have the opportunity to set in and stain or warp the floor. Wipe up spills with a soft, damp cloth or microfiber cloth, and then follow up with a cleaning solution if needed and a dry, soft cloth.

Another factor to remember is that direct sun can discolor a hardwood floor. If a floor is exposed to direct sunlight, recommend to the customer that they close curtains or blinds or add sheer drapes to protect from the floor from the sun's harsh UV rays.

To stay looking their best, wood floors need periodic cleaning with a professional wood floor cleaning product. If you know the type of flooring, follow the manufacturer's recommended cleaning system. But if the specific type of hardwood floor is unknown, use a wood cleaner that does not leave a residue. Most finish manufacturers do not recommend wetting wood floors with water. When you use a cleaner that requires mixing with water follow the directions carefully and do not mix over the wood floor itself.

When taking care of wood floors avoid the following:

  • Using saturated mops on the floor
  • Using ammonia on the floor
  • Using household type dust cleaners
  • Using products that are not recommended for wood floors
  • Don't let hardwood floors lose their luster. Spending a little time every day protecting and properly caring for hardwood floors will go a long ways towards keeping the floor looking great and keeping your customer happy.

    Why Immediate Fire Damage Restoration is So Important

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    When a fire occurs in a home, the aftermath can seem overwhelming, and if fire restoration is postponed, the destruction from smoke damage can become even worse. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more repairs you'll have to fix - which means you'll most likely have a larger bill for damages when all is said and done. You can avoid costly repairs and long-term issues if you make fire damage restoration a priority and follow the steps you'll need to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

    Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Service

    First, and foremost - and this is the most important step - find a fire restoration contractor who can assess the damage, give you an estimate on costs and start the cleanup process. Contact your home insurance company to make them aware of the fire and ask them for referrals for reliable businesses in your area. It's essential that you enlist the help of a licensed and insured fire damage restoration company to reduce the risk of further damage to your home. They are trained to handle this type of damage and many will perform some of the following steps to help get you through the initial fire cleanup:

    • Smoke and fire damage restoration services will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings (such as appliances, furniture and clothing) as they can.
    • Document everything they remove from your home by taking pictures and/or keeping written records.
    • Return any salvageable furniture and appliances back to your home, after the fire restoration is complete.
    • Work quickly and carefully to get you back in your home as soon as possible, and stay in contact with you to make sure the repairs were done correctly and your home isn't experiencing any other problems.

    Be sure to go through your home insurance company when hiring a fire damage restoration service, or do a thorough background check if you choose one on your own to make sure they are licensed and insured. Be wary of “fire chasing” contractors who target victims of house fires and pressure them into signing expensive repair contracts, perform extremely low-quality repair work and might not be licensed or insured.

    Start Fire Cleanup Right Away

    While it's best to have a qualified fire restoration company like SERVPRO of Southeast Portland handle the smoke damage restoration, there are some small tasks you can do to help minimize the initial damage before the professionals come in to do the major cleanup. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until the professionals arrive. If it is possible to enter your house, make sure you’re wearing work gloves, long sleeves/pants, and proper respiratory protection, such as a mask because exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems and other medical issues.

    • VENTILATION - Open all the windows and air out the house as much (and as often) as possible. Use box fans to force out dust and contaminated air. Fire damage restoration professionals will use industrial-strength fans and other air-moving equipment to help reduce the smoke damage your home has been subjected to, but in the meantime, proper ventilation is key to helping remove a lot of the polluted (and unsafe) air.
    • CLEANING - Scrub all surfaces (and inside cabinets and drawers) with soap and water. You can also use an alkaline cleaner, which neutralizes the acid that’s found in soot to help cut down on the smoky smell. Counteractants—chemicals used to break up smoke molecules to eliminate odors—may be used, but it’s best left to the professionals to handle such products.
    • LAUNDRY - Wash all bedding, clothing, curtains and items that can be machine washed with an alkaline cleaner (you may have to wash items more than once). Delicate fabrics will need to be professionally dry cleaned by someone who is familiar with articles that have smoke damage. Only use washers and dryers that haven’t been exposed to smoke or experienced significant fire damage.

    Professional smoke removal and restoration companies will perform a thorough cleanup using industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.

    Prolonged Smoke Damage

    Fire damage is tricky because some signs are apparent—such as discoloration on walls and ceilings and dark stains from smoke on surfaces—but others are not, such as odors trapped in hidden places. Air conditioner vents, the space behind walls and the outside walls of your home are all areas where ash and soot can be deposited and continue to cause damage if they aren't taken care of in a timely manner.

    Make sure to have the HVAC system, attic/roof, and exterior walls inspected and properly cleaned, too, because your home will continue to suffer from smoke damage until the soot is completely removed by a fire damage restoration service, like SERVPRO of Southeast Portland. Don't hesitate to call us to handle your fire or smoke damage! (503) 427-9535

    What To Do After a Fire

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    After a Fire

    The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

    • Contact your local disaster relief service. if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
    • If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies.  If you are not insured, try contacting private organizations for aid and assistance.
    • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire.
    • The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
    • Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items.  Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made.
    • Try to locate valuable documents and records.  Refer to information on contacts and the replacement process inside this brochure.
    • Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss.  The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax.
    • Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

    Give SERVPRO of Southeast Portland a call at (503) 427-9535 to assist with any fire damage restoration needs.

    Tips to Prevent a Home Fire

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    Prevent Home Fires

    Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

    Cooking

    • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
    • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
    • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
    • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

    Smoking

    • Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
    • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
    • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
    • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

    Electrical and Appliance Safety

    • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
    • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
    • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

    Portable Space Heaters

    • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
    • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
    • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
    • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

    Fireplaces and Woodstoves

    • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
    • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
    • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

    Children

    • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
    • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
    • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

    More Prevention Tips

    • Never use stove range or oven to heat your home.
    • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
    • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

    Four Steps to Preventing Mold Growth after a Flood

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    Step One – Remove Affected Materials

    Aside from stopping the source of the moisture, it’s important to promptly remove wet furnishings and porous materials from the flooded area to enable a thorough damage-assessment, and drying and restoring contents that have not been compromised. 

    Some of it - such as wet/moldy carpet, drywall, upholstery and fabrics - will need to be discarded.

    Vacuum using HEPA-wet-dry vacuums to remove moisture, mold and soils without spreading allergenic or unhealthy mold and dust particles around your home. According to the IICRC, "It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces."


    In the case of minor “clean” flooding, say from a small burst indoor water pipe, homeowners can remove smaller wet items themselves, but should wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves and an N-95 respirator to avoid exposure to mold spores that may already be present in the environment. 


    If the flooding is excessive and/or “dirty” - e.g., from a rising river or sewer backup - expert help from a reputable company such as SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is needed to protect health and property.
     

    Step Two – Dry It Out and Quickly

    Mold spores are everywhere, but need moisture to “germinate” – so drying affected areas is Step Two. Since mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours, quick action is critical.

    Aside from obviously wet areas, experts using special meters can check for and locate moisture - even finding hidden wet/moldy places, such as inside wall cavities - and implement techniques to enable a thorough drying-out process. They may also use special fans or “air-scrubbing” equipment with HEPA filters. See also Step Three. 

    Step Three – Air It Out

    The flooded, wet area will need fresh air and ventilation to dry it out, but take care not to spread mold spores around your home by improper “airing”. Consult with an IICRC-certified firm such as SERVPRO of Southeast Portland to set up “containment”– a fancy word that means keeping doors closed, putting up plastic sheeting, exhausting air to the outdoors, and other measures to enable the drying and ventilation process without exposing loved ones to contaminated air from the flooded area.

    Step Four – Keep it Dry to Keep It Out

    The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is – "Keep it Dry." Strive to ensure your home’s insides are staying dry.  It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure, in addition to being unhealthful.

    Try to keep indoor humidity below 50% using air conditioning or a dehumidifier. Have carpets cleaned by professionals that use equipment to clean and properly dry your carpet.

    5 Basic Principles of All Successful Mold Removal Projects

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    These are the five basic principles of all successful mold removal and mold remediation projects:

    1. Safety – Protect all workers and occupants.


    2. Assessment – Make a preliminary assessment, an assessment during mold remediation and an assessment after mold remediation.


    3. Contamination Control – Prevent cross-contamination and the spread of mold from contaminated areas to areas absent of or with less contamination.


    4. Source Removal – Physically remove the mold at its source.


    5. Moisture Removal – Eliminate the moisture problem that caused the mold outbreak.

    If you are ever in need of mold remediation, removal or restoration, please do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Southeast Portland at (503) 427-9535. We have trained and certified technicians that are ready to tackle any size problem - big or small!

    Protect Your Home from Storm Damage

    6/4/2018 (Permalink)

    Storms can be severe and leave a trail of destruction in their wake from flooding, strong winds and lightning.

    Insurance claim costs are estimated to have reached astronomical amounts, with households suffering millions more dollars of uninsured financial losses dealing with the aftermath of those violent storms.

    Worryingly, changing weather patterns means these damaging wind storms could become a regular winter staple, sweeping into parts of the country even earlier in the season. Preparing your home to cope can help to limit the damage that a storm may cause, including from flooding.

    Thankfully, weather forecasting has improved  and knowing if bad weather is on its way can be helpful in getting your house storm ready. 

    Did you know?

      • The annual cost of storm damage can amount to millions each year.
      • Thunderstorms develop when the atmosphere is unstable – typically forming a ‘cumulonimbus’ (rain/storm) cloud.
      • These large clouds (often accompanied by large gusts of wind) can form in under an hour if the conditions are right – meaning there may not be much time before the storm hits!

    Quick Guide to Preparing for a Storm

    6/4/2018 (Permalink)

    Quick guide to preparing for a storm

      • Ensure your drains and gutters are clear of debris to prevent blockages.
      • If safe to do so, check your pipes and water tanks are insulated to prevent freezing and that the release point of overflow pipes is not obstructed. Ideally, you'll have a regular maintenance programm in place.
      • Cut back trees and branches to minimise the risk of falling branches.
      • Secure loose fences.
      • Check that roof tiles and aerials are secure if you can do this safely. It may be worth seeking professional advice.
      • Make sure garden furniture and ladders are secured in case of high winds, or locked away in the shed or even inside your house.
      • When you know a bad storm is on its way with warnings about gale-force winds and floods, make sure children, pets and your family and neighbors are safe. Make sure you're indoors when it hits and don’t try and repair damage during a storm.

    Always be cautious when undertaking any task that you're not fully familiar with as you could injure yourself or those around you, seek professional help where required.

    So, this winter, make sure you're storm ready. Secure loose objects such as ladders and garden furniture. Close and secure all windows and doors. Check on loved ones before a storm strikes, but once it arrives, stay indoors. Do not try to drive or move around outside near trees or buildings that could collapse.

    SERVPRO of Southeast Portland offers inspections to make sure your home or business is storm ready. Call us at (503) 427-9535 for more information.

    How Can Insurance Protect You?

    6/4/2018 (Permalink)

    Over the years SERVPRO of Southeast Portland has helped customers who have been forced to evacuate their homes to access temporary accommodation and pay for repair work. Aside from water damage, common problems from storms include collapsing roofs, fallen powerlines and smashed windows from falling trees, branches and other debris.

    If you have home insurance, you should check what you could be covered for in the event your property is affected by a strong storm.

    If your house has been affected, your insurer will help you to assess the damage, but it's important to understand that insurance companies will each have their own measure of what constitutes a storm. This will be a big factor in whether a claim will be accepted or not.

    It's important to remember that you're responsible for maintaining your home in a good state of repair. If you're claiming for storm damage some insurers will ask you to confirm the date of the incident and show pictures of how the conditions at the time damaged your home. They may appoint one of their specialists to inspect your home or ask you to send them a report by your contractor.

    Loss or damage to fences isn't covered by some policies, so make sure these are secure as they can be, to withstand a bad storm. 
     
    Powerful storm winds, rain and hail can cause car damage too, Vehicles can be swept off the road and engines flooded. If your car is damaged in a storm, this may be covered by insurance depending on your chosen level of cover.

    6 Tips for Making a Storm Related Insurance Claim

    6/4/2018 (Permalink)

    Sometimes Mother Nature likes to shake things up a little. If your home didn’t weather a storm as well as you hoped it would, we’ve got some tips to help you file an insurance claim for storm damage and get back on track quickly. Here’s where you should start.

    Act quickly. Making a claim to your insurance company for damage in a timely matter is important for a couple reasons. Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim, which makes being quick to connect essential. You’ll also want to repair the damage before it has a chance to get worse, so reporting your claim early is the best approach.

    Review your policy. If you know what your homeowners policy and optional insurance covers, how to proceed and what you can expect from the process, you’ll be better prepared to plead your case. Every insurance policy and claim is different. Reviewing your policy gives you information that specifically applies to you.

    Document everything. It’s smart to keep a log of the storm and the damage. Save news reports and take pictures immediately after to document any damage.

    Get quotes from professionals. While your personal walk around and assessment is important, a professional opinion will be thorough and may mean more to your insurance provider. A great resource would be a storm repair contractor. They specializes in finding, assessing and repairing damage from storms and will check your home from roof to basement. 

    Be wary of scammers. Unfortunately, storm damage can bring scammers to your area with promises of quick and cheap repairs. Whether you’re filing an insurance claim or not, research anyone who offers to repair your home. Look for contractors who are licensed, insured and experienced.

    Mitigate your damages. If the storm affected a large area, you may have to wait awhile before a storm assessor can review your damage and maybe even longer before you can get it fixed. In the meantime, you’ll want to take steps to prevent further damage. This could include tarping your roof, cleaning a wet basement, boarding up holes and more. Document the damage, then document how you’re taking steps to protect your property.

    SERVPRO of Southeast Portland can assist with all your storm damage needs. Call us at (503) 427-9535

    Storm Damage Restoration Process

    6/4/2018 (Permalink)

    Violent weather such as storm damage can wreak havoc on buildings as well as vegetation. Wind damage can be a hazard to the structure of a building, by loosening the shingles or tiles on the roof. This can cause moisture such as rain and snow to infiltrate into the protective surface of the roof, which will result in the wood swelling and later on disintegration and becoming moldy. This outcome will lead to a sagging ceiling and further problems. Elements such as wind, rain, hail, and lightning can result in turning people’s lives upside down, this is why having a storm damage restoration service to help this type of emergency is a good option.

    Here are some of the activities you can expect from the storm restoration service professionals.

    • Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
    • When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
    • Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.

    Important Facts To Know About Wind Damage

    6/4/2018 (Permalink)

    There are many areas of the United States that have experienced heavy winds and storms this season and the strong powerful winds can cause significant damage to a home.  Wind damage and water damage are the most common results of a heavy storm and it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as the storm is over to help limit and repair the damage.  Wind damage can happen to your home directly from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.  These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it.

    Wind Type Varies by Storm and Causes Different Degrees of Wind Damage

    Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause more severe damage.  It is important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect.  Thunderstorms are responsible for over half of all wind damage cases in the U.S. but the storm damage repair may be more costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage.

    Characteristics of the Wind Affect the Wind Damage

    The wind has many characteristics that differ depending on the situation.  Some characteristics to take into account include speed, direction, and duration of the gusts and recognizing them can help you protect your home and property effectively from wind damage.  Recognizing the characteristics of the wind can also help you determine how much potential damage to expect.

    Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

    Most wind damage is caused by flying debris either from plants or other structures and objects that are not secured.  If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris around your home such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects are either secured or brought inside.  Your doors and windows should also be secured to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

    How to Control Heavy Runoff

    12/11/2017 (Permalink)

    All homes are designed to deal with runoff. After all, it’s why gutters were invented. Some houses and properties get heavier runoff than others, either through local weather patterns or the layout of the property itself.

    In order to keep your house and property in good condition, that runoff needs to be controlled.

    Why Does Runoff Need to be Controlled?

    The most obvious problems caused by uncontrolled runoff is erosion. Heavy amounts of run off can quickly erode huge sections of your landscaping, stripping away the soil and plants. That same erosion can damage driveways, walks, and more.

    The other danger is to the structural integrity of your house, and it’s a much bigger problem. If a high amount of water gets near your foundation, it can get absorbed into the soil and push against your foundation enough to break. Water running down the side of the house in large quantities can wear away siding, walls, and even your foundation. Eventually, that water could easily get into your foundation and flood it.

    Well-Planned Gutter Systems

    Gutters are your first line of defense against runoff. Instead of letting the water gather under the roof and flow down the walls, gutters capture the water and direct it safely away from you house. The key here is to make sure that your gutters are well-planned. A good gutter system will minimize water damage, be big enough to avoid clogging, and direct the water several feet from the house.

    Landscaping Solutions

    Landscaping solutions are all about capturing and redirecting excess water, including the water that comes from your gutters. One of the most common ways to do this is with gravel and underground drain pipes. The gravel has enough structural capability to holdup the ground, while the space between it allows the water to flow into the pipe. The pipe then directs the water to a safe drain field far from the house. These setups can be installed under a variety of locations, including under bushes, grass, soil, or even paths.

    Foundation Drainage

    If you find that a lot of water ends up near your foundation, then one of the best things you can do is to install a drainage system right next to your foundation. Like other drainage systems, this will consist of layers of gravel and a drain pipe.

    Unlike landscaping solutions, the drainage systems near foundations are buried all the way down at the bottom of the foundation wall. The idea is to capture and redirect as much water as possible away from the entire foundation.

    Foundation Waterproofing

    For extra protection from heavy runoff, you may want to consider getting a waterproofing membrane applied to the exterior of your foundation. This involves excavation next to your foundation to ensure that the application covers the whole foundation sides. Once cured, the membrane forms a seamless waterproof barrier on your foundation.

    Why You Should Leave Smoke Damage Removal to a Professional

    12/11/2017 (Permalink)

    Smoke damage removal is one of the most difficult aspects of a house fire. It is also one of the most important tasks you need to tackle after a fire has damaged your home, and it is essential that you begin smoke damage removal immediately after a house fire to restore your home to its former state. However, entering your home to begin smoke damage removal after a house fire is usually unsafe, as it is likely your home’s structure has sustained fire and water damage. Therefore, you should always leave smoke damage removal to a professional restoration company, as they have the proper equipment, expertise, and experience to handle this task. To understand why it is necessary to leave this task to a professional, it can be helpful to know some information about the equipment and expertise required to implement smoke damage removal successfully.

    Smoke Damage Removal Requires Special Equipment

    One of the biggest reasons that smoke damage removal is not something you should do yourself is that it usually requires special, industrial-grade equipment to remove it from your home effectively. Smoke often seeps into the walls of your home and can cause future health issues if not removed properly. The best method for removing smoke odor from your home is with thermal fogging, a technique professionals use that works by opening the pores in your walls and neutralizing the smoke odor hidden within them. This combined with dehumidifiers to dry any water damage and ozone generators to help get the smoky smell out of your home is an effective method professionals use to make your home smoke-free. Depending on the extent of the damage to your home, it is likely the restoration company may need to repaint the walls and ceilings in your home after the smoke damage removal process is complete.

    Smoke Damage Removal Requires Certain Expertise

    In addition to requiring special equipment to remove smoke from your home thoroughly, smoke damage removal also requires a professional to have certain expertise about the different types of smoke and the necessary chemicals to remove them. For example, the smoke odor from wood can react differently to certain cleaning products than smoke odor from plastics, which means you could damage your home further if you do not know which type of smoke residue and odor you are dealing with. Professional fire restoration companies know details about the different types of smoke and how to deal with them properly, which means they are your best resource for cleaning, repairing, and restoring your home to its original state.

    Smoke damage removal is one of the most frustrating and difficult tasks homeowners must deal with after a house fire. It requires much time, effort, and expertise, and is something you should always leave to a professional restoration company. For more information about smoke damage removal or finding the best professional to handle it for you, it is a good idea to contact a fire damage contractor.

    Why You Should Get Fire Damage Estimates

    12/11/2017 (Permalink)

    After a house fire, getting fire damage estimates is critical. Without knowing the full extent of the damage, you may end up overspending on repairs or restoration. Either your homeowners’ insurance company or a third-party restoration company can provide the fire damage estimates for you. After a devastating event like a house fire, it is helpful to know just how much money you have to repair or restore your home to its former state. Since you should hire a restoration company anyway, fire damage estimates make the task of doing so much easier.

    Discrepancies in Fire Damage Estimates

    If your insurance company and third-party restoration company have a discrepancy in their fire damage estimates, one of two things are likely to happen: they can agree to a middle ground or begin arbitration. Choosing the middle ground option is a compromise of sorts and may include any number of outcomes, which are all dependent on the specifics of your situation. The other option involves including a third party, having them inspect and formulate an appraisal of the damage, and present that as an acceptable value. All of this depends heavily on your insurance company, the restoration company, applicable state laws, and the circumstances surrounding the fire.

    What Fire Damage Estimates Do

    Fire damage estimates allow you and your hired full-service restoration company to plan the restoration of your home. By having an effective budget, the company can do their best for you and make sure that they can return your home to its former. Most importantly, fire damage estimates include services that restoration companies do that you are unable to, such as removing smoke odors from your home or rebuilding any structures that the fire has damaged. Other costs that require professional help, such as special dry-cleaning of your garments and fabrics, may also be included. Additionally, if you attempt the repairs and accidentally cause more damage, chances are that the insurance does not cover the extra damage, whereas with a restoration company, it is covered.

    Fire damage estimates allow a professional full-service restoration company to restore your home to its former state in the most effective manner possible. With a clear plan on which services you need, how much they cost, and how the company implements them, they can cater to your individual needs. After a devastating event such as a fire, money should not be your primary concern. A full-service restoration company can take care of all aspects regarding the remediation of the fire damage so you can concentrate on other things. For more information about fire damage estimates for your home, contact your insurance company.

    The Relation between Water Damage & Mold

    12/11/2017 (Permalink)

    Water damage & mold are two of the worst aspects of a house fire or flood, as they are the most damaging to your home. Mold and mildew can begin growing within 24 hours of a fire or flood and can result in many health issues if left unchecked. There are many ways you can prevent mold and mildew in your home, and hiring a professional restoration company to handle the cleanup, repair, and restoration process for you is an excellent way to start. Such a company has special equipment, expertise, and extensive experience that enable them to handle water damage & mold of any severity. When determining what you can do to prevent water damage & mold growth in your home after a fire or flood, it can be helpful to know the ways in which water damage and mold are related.

    Water Damage Causes Mold and Mildew

    One of the key ways in which water damage & mold are related is that water damage results in mold growth. Mold requires a moist environment to grow and thrive, and a water-damaged home is the perfect breeding ground for this to occur. Water seeps into your home’s structure after a fire or flood and causes the wood to swell and warp. This also allows mold to grow in the core of your home’s structure, and getting rid of this mold once it is present is very difficult. Therefore, you should do everything possible to prevent mold from growing in your home in the first place. Some things you can do to dry excess water in your home are to open all the windows and place fans throughout your home. You can also place dehumidifiers in your home if you have access to them. If possible, you should leave the actual restoration process to a professional, however.

    Water Damage & Mold Require Special Equipment

    If you have had water damage in your home for more than 24 hours, chances are that mold has already begun to develop. Getting rid of mold once you have it can be extremely difficult, especially considering mold can re-grow even after you get rid of it if the conditions are right. You should contact a professional restoration company immediately after a fire or flood to prevent mold and mildew growth, as cleaning existing mold requires specialized equipment only a professional has. Industrial-grade ozone generators and dehumidifiers are usually best for getting rid of water damage & mold in your home, and these machines are best left to professionals to operate.

    When dealing with water damage & mold, it is important to remember that the two are related and that you can therefore prevent one by dealing with the other as soon as possible. You should always hire a professional to deal with water damage & mold if possible, since doing so yourself can result in further damage to your home. For more information about water damage & mold and how the two are related, you should contact a professional restoration company.

    Office Cleaning Tips

    12/11/2017 (Permalink)

    A busy office with a large group of employees can become messy very quickly. Due to the bustling activity of the workers, some messes may not get cleaned up right away or may be forgotten about altogether. Fortunately, office cleaning services are available that can help to maintain the professional look of an office. The following are some other reasons why it is beneficial to hire office cleaning services as well as some office cleaning tips for employees to help in the effort to keep an office clean.

    For instance, office cleaning services sweep tile floors, vacuum carpeting, wash the inside of windows, and dust office furniture. These are all services that help establish a welcoming atmosphere in an office. Office cleaners are experienced in finding the places within an office where dust and dirt collect. Office cleaning, NYC based, also specializes in cleaning the restrooms located in an office. Restrooms must be cleaned on a regular basis by New York office cleaning companies to prevent a build-up of bacteria and germs that can cause illness. An office building cleaning service has the special equipment and eco-friendly cleaning solutions that can clean dangerous bacteria from a bathroom’s environment without leaving harmful chemicals behind. Office cleaning, NYC and elsewhere, sanitizes a bathroom by cleaning toilets, sinks, sink fixtures, restroom doors, and floors. An office cleaning service even takes out the garbage. In short, office cleaning, NYC and beyond, takes care of the fundamental tasks that result in a genuinely clean office.

    There are office cleaning tips appropriate for the different areas within the environment. For example, in the office break room employees can throw away all of their trash instead of leaving it on the tables. In addition, employees must wash their own coffee cups and put them back into the cabinet. Cleaning up a spill immediately is another way for employees to contribute to the cleanliness of an office break room. Of course, if the spill causes a stubborn stain the talents of companies that specialize office cleaning, New York City, and elsewhere will be needed to finish the job. These simple cleaning practices help to preserve the tidy environment of a break room until New York office cleaning employees return to empty the trash, mop the floors, and clean the tables as well as the chairs. Companies specializing in office cleaning, New York City, and beyond, have the cleaning tools to take care of messy jobs that employees aren’t able to handle.

    Each Employee Can Add To The Overall Tidiness Of An Office By Keeping His Or Her Work Area Clean

    One basic tip is to put all paper documents into a file cabinet or organizer right away. A desk can become very messy if papers begin to pile up. Furthermore, dust has a tendency to gather on papers and books that remain in one place on a desk. Also, when throwing items away make sure they get into the garbage can and don’t land on the floor or behind the can. A quick wipe down of a desk with a damp cloth each day can keep the dust particles to a minimum. These are all easy things that every employee can do to contribute to the professional appearance of an office. Regular visits from companies that offer office cleaning, New York City and elsewhere, can help to keep the carpeting around a desk vacuumed as well as the desk and its chair clean. An office building cleaning service also cleans the keyboard of the computer and dusts in the areas between office equipment. Cleaning companies takes care of the large tasks as well as the details that create a well-kept office.

    Employees Can Work Together To Keep The Office Restrooms Looking Clean

    Tasks as simple as cleaning excess soap off the interior of a sink, picking up a dropped paper towel, or wiping soap off of the sink faucet before leaving are all helpful in keeping a restroom tidy. An office building cleaning service can take care of big tasks such as cleaning toilets and sanitizing door handles. In addition, office cleaning, New York and elsewhere, makes sure that there is enough soap in the dispensers as well as an adequate paper towel supply to serve the needs of office workers. Office cleaning, New York based, cleans an office restroom in a way that will impress both employees and visitors.

    Finally, employees can add to the cleanliness of an office by making sure they wipe their feet before entering. Even if an employee’s shoes don’t appear to be dirty, there is always some dirt on them that can be wiped off. Consequently, a rug in the entryway of an office is an invaluable item to have. Office cleaners can make that a part of their cleaning routine by either vacuuming or spot cleaning the rug during each visit. In addition, by wiping their feet before entering employees will be protecting the office carpeting and helping the work of office cleaners.

    Carpet Maintenence

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    Carpet has many merits and advantages as a flooring material, but spills can leave stains and daily traffic takes its toll. Learn how to clean carpet with methods for vacuuming, deep cleaning, and stain removal to help your carpets look better and last longer.

    Carpets warm a home by adding color, pattern, and texture. Regular vacuuming provides the first line of defense against dirt and grit that damages carpet fibers. But carpets also need regular cleaning to keep them looking their best. Plan to thoroughly wash carpet every 12 to 18 months, more often in high-traffic areas. If you have light-color carpet and/or kids or pets, clean your carpets two or three times a year. Always follow the carpet manufacturer's cleaning guidelines.

    Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    Water Extraction Carpet Cleaning

    Most home carpet cleaning systems are water extraction units that are also known as steam cleaners.  They work to wash carpet by injecting a solution into the carpet pile, then pulling the dirty solution back into the machine. To avoid the hassle of dragging a hose around the house, opt for a model that does not require a clean-water hookup. Also, choose the most powerful carpet cleaning machine you can afford to ease the burden of water extraction. The price ranges can be quite different from company to company and it is always best to find good referrals.

    Caution: When using a steam cleaner, do not get the carpets overly wet. Overwetting can damage the carpet backing and underlayment, causing shrinkage, discoloration, and odor.

     

    Fire and Smoke

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    Smoke Damage

    Smoke damage can appear in two forms. In the case of a slow, smoldering fire, the resulting smoke residue (soot) will be sticky, wet and strong smelling. Wet soot has an oily texture that stains carpets, furniture and any cloth furnishings in the house. A fast burning fire, however, leaves behind dry soot that smears and stains less—but the dry soot often becomes damp due to the moisture from the fire hose. Smoke damage remediation involves the use of industrial-strength vacuuming to suck up the soot without smearing it. Attempting to brush off soot only embeds it deeper into the fabric. As the pros vacuum the room, each area is covered with a drop cloth to protect it. Smoke odor, on the other hand, lingers in fabrics and is not as straightforward to remove. Professional cleaners use different chemicals to break down smoke molecules. Other methods including ozone treatment and applying specially formulated paint that seals up the source of smoke odor.

    With Fire Damage, Comes Water Damage

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    anyone who has been through a fire knows that where there’s smoke, there’s water—and lots of it after firefighters have finished battling a blaze. The key to salvaging your belongings from water damage and preventing mold is to act quickly to begin the process of removing the moisture from your carpets, furniture and walls. Professionals use mobile, state-of-the-art water extraction equipment and technology to get the job done as quickly as possible. Standing water is removed from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting. Saturated rugs and carpets are taken up when hardwood floors are at risk…these are just a few examples of the many steps involved in drying out a structure and restoring its contents. With proper precautions (and a dose of good luck), you may never experience the trauma of a fire or dealing with its messy aftermath.

    What is Mold?

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    Mold (or mould) is a term used to refer to fungi that grow in the form of multicellular thread-like structures called hyphae. Fungi that exist as single cells are called yeasts. Some molds and yeasts cause disease or food spoilage, others play an important role in biodegradation or in the production of various foods, beverages, antibiotics and enzymes.

    Mold is also found in damp building materials where it often appears like stains and comes in a variety of colors. A must smell is an indication of microbial growth even when there is no visible growth. 

    Mold growth requires moisture. The sources of moisture could be Washing, cooking, air humidifiers, condensation or leaks from plumbing or from the outside. Poor ventilation contributes to higher humidity levels and leads to condensation, which also allows mold growth.

    Mold Sampling

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    Sampling For Mold Growth On Surfaces
     

    Mold growth in homes

    Mold growth is very common in damp building environments. During building assessment for mold growth, sampling is sometimes necessary. For example air sampling may be performed to determine whether visible mold growth has degraded indoor air quality. Air sampling may also help to determine the presence, location, and/or extent of suspected hidden mold growth. Air sampling is also used to determine the effectiveness of mold remediation. Interpretation of air sample results can be difficult if clear sampling objectives were not set prior to sampling.

    Surface sampling involve collecting samples such as bulk material, tape-lift samples, swabs/wipes, contact plates or dust samples. These type of samples (with the exception of contact plates) can be analyzed by direct microscopic examination (DME) to verify the presence of mold growth.

    Content sampling can also be conducted during a mold growth investigations. Content sampling helps to determine whether visible mold growth is present on the items or whether there are significant amounts of settled mold materials on their surfaces. Contents can be sampled using tape-lifts, swabs, contact plates or by collecting dust settled on their surfaces.

    Winter Storms

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    WINTER STORMS

    Severe winter storms can have a tremendous impact on individuals, animals, and communities. Cold temperatures, snow, ice, blizzard conditions with high winds and dangerous wind chills can all occur, leading to dangerous environments. Dangerous driving conditions can lead to travelers being stranded on the road. Accumulations of snow and ice can result in road closures or blockages – isolating homes and farms for days. The heavy weight burden may cause roofs to collapse or knock down trees and power lines resulting in power outages and subsequent loss of heat in homes. Winter conditions may make getting food and water to animals more difficult. Businesses must also make preparations for winter storm situations. Protection of their employees will be necessary to ensure their safety. Employees that must work outdoors during extreme situations should be provided the necessary education on risk and measures to stay safe.

    Rain Storm Precautions

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    When a flood is happening you can take the following measures:
    - Disconnect all electrical and gas appliances. Shut off the water main to keep contaminated water from the water heater (a source of emergency water).
    - Bring any valuable or sentimental outdoor possessions inside.
    - Move valuables and essential items to upper floors of building.
    - Sandbags should be stacked well away from the building to avoid damaging walls. If major flooding is expected, flood the basement with clean water to equalize the water pressure on the outside of the basement walls and floors. This is to help prevent structural damage.
    - Round up pets.

    The extent of the flooding will impact the amount of work required to get your home back to its former glory. Minimal flooding may require only the time it takes to remove the water and dry everything out. More extensive flooding can leave you needing a complete remodel. Be prepared for the potential construction site left in your home after a flood.

    Water Damage Control Tip #1 - Stop the Flow

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    Stop The Flow.

    Your first priority is stopping the flow of water. If you’ve identified the appliance that’s leaking, shut off water to that appliance. If you’re not sure where the leak is coming from, shut off water to the whole house. Next, turn off electricity at the fuse box. If you can’t reach the box without wading into water, call an electrician and stay out of the wet areas.

    Before removing any water, document the damage for your insurance company. Capture the extent of the water damage and all possessions impacted by the flood. Digital photos are best because you can quickly upload them directly to your agent for assessment.

    Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their directions. Not all flooding is covered by a basic homeowners policy, so work with your agent to discover the cause and identify coverage you can qualify for. Do not remove any water before talking to them so you don’t accidentally do anything that will decrease the amount of coverage you’ll be able to claim. If the insurance company wants you to wait for an adjuster before making repairs, do so — but make sure you give them a clear picture of the damage and repairs that are immediately needed.

    Water Damage Prevention Tips to Consider

    6/22/2017 (Permalink)

    Clean your gutters.

    Gutters help water flow away from your home. If they’re stopped up with leaves, it’ll cause water to collect. Water needs to flow somewhere, so it will begin seeping into your home through walls or through the foundation. Cleaning leaves out of your gutters once a year is a sure way to prevent this from happening.

    Break out the caulking gun.

    See cracks in your foundation or windows? Seal them back up. It’s a cheap and easy fix to keep water out.

    Keep your heat on.

    If you go away for the winter, you can’t shut off the heat. If you do, your pipes will burst and you’ll come home to an unpleasant mess. Keep your heat on 50 degrees to ensure water remains a liquid instead of a solid. In its icy form, it can cost you thousands in damage.

    Check your pipes.

    If your pipes are in your home, but aren’t insulated, then they can still burst. No matter if your home is a toasty 80 degrees, this can still happen. Hire someone or check your pipes yourself and tuck them in with some extra insulation so that they don’t burst in winter. If you’re really worried, you can also leave cabinets open (if your kitchen is on an exterior wall) to keep warm air circulating around your pipes.

    Clear your pipes.

    If you have an outside sprinkler system, make sure to clear your pipes before winter comes. This will remove water from inside the pipes and prevent them from freezing, expanding, and bursting underground. Come springtime, a burst pipe in your sprinkler system could result in a serious leak that can mess with your foundation and utility bill.

    Dangers of Rising Flood Waters

    6/16/2017 (Permalink)

    HIGH WATER

    Rising floodwaters can take down forests from the roots.

    After the Great Midwest Flood of 1993, which caused nearly $20 billion in damage and covered 400,000 square miles, nearly all the trees in four stands of Sanganois Wildlife Management Area near Beardstown, Ill., were submerged for more than six months and died.D

    Whether it’s a river overflow or a coastal storm surge due to a hurricane, floodwaters can mean trouble for trees and forest ecosystems. First, floodwater currents, loaded with debris and silt, can erode the soils around shrubs and trees, exposing roots. In strong currents, debris may even strip bark from trees, uproot plants or strip shrubbery.

    In addition to the initial physical impact, because many of a tree’s fine, oxygen-absorbing roots grow in the upper six inches of soil, these roots can die off as the soil becomes waterlogged. Without a robust root system, trees don’t absorb enough water and become weakened. As a result, foliage wilts or dies, and these weakened trees are a target for insects and disease.

    The area around St. Louis, Missouri, in August 1993 after the Great Midwest Flood. Credit: NASA

    Coastal flooding — often the result of a storm surge or hurricane — can cause significant damage by flooding freshwater areas with salt or brackish water. This saltwater intrusion can spell trouble for plants that rely on freshwater. Increased salts in the soil make it more difficult for tree roots to take up water because of changed osmotic pressure.

    “The result is what’s called physiological drought. Even though there is water, the tree can’t take it up, and it’s the same as if there was no water,” explains U.S. Forest Service research ecologist John Stanturf of the Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Athens, Ga. “Under severe conditions, an already-stressed tree, such as one that has lost its leaves by shearing in hurricane winds, can’t recover and refoliate and may die outright.”

    A few years after the Great Midwest Flood, land managers noticed that new shrubs and seedlings began to thrive in the affected areas, though the types of trees differed from the older, established stands that were killed by the flood. Some tree species — such as silver maple, green ash, sweet gum and black willow — are thought to be more tolerant to flooded soils than other trees like black locust, black walnut, tulip poplar, sugar maple and American beech. Regardless of species, though, it may take mature, surviving trees several years to recover from a summer of flooding according to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.

    Hurricane Effects

    6/16/2017 (Permalink)

    HURRICANE WARNING

    When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, winds of speeds up to 140 mph toppled trees and turned sand and debris into airborne sandpaper, stripping any trees or shrubs left standing of their leaves or limbs.

    Katrina’s damage extended as far north as Memphis, Tenn. A 2007 study published in Science used NASA satellite images to estimate 320 million trees dead or damaged in Mississippi and Louisiana alone from Hurricane Katrina. In combination with Hurricane Rita later that year, Hurricane Katrina was called “the largest single forestry disaster on record in the nation” by The Washington Post.

    Damage inflicted by hurricanes depends on a variety of factors, including location, how the forest was managed and the age and height of a stand. While a loblolly pine plantation with trees 10 to 15 feet high may not sustain much damage, an older stand with 50-foot-tall trees of the same species would sustain more damage, according to Stanturf. In addition, because trees tend to support and protect other trees, there’s often more damage along openings in a forest, such as along roads or powerline swaths.

    Beyond the wind damage, the storm surge that accompanied Hurricane Katrina damaged forests from the ground level. Sea waters surged more than three miles inland in some regions and more than 30 feet along much of the Mississippi coastline, causing the widespread damage inflicted by coastal flooding.

    Forest recovery after a hurricane or other event depends on a particular forest’s management objective. Some hurricane-ravaged forests may be left to regenerate on their own, taking decades to a century to fully recover and reestablish. In some cases, cleanup is necessary to protect the forest from further destruction, as tree debris can become a breeding ground for insects and fungi. Other responses include salvage logging to recover the timber value that’s been lost and to reduce fire hazards, explains Stanturf. Seven years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, both replanted and surviving stands are recovering.

    Deep Freeze

    6/16/2017 (Permalink)

    DEEP FREEZE

    When heavy ice and wet snow coat tree limbs, the layers can be thick enough to break branches, twist limbs and crack tree crowns. Such an ice storm blanketed southern Missouri’s Mark Twain National Forest in 2009, snapping miles of telephone poles, limbs and trees.

    After an ice storm or blizzard has passed through a forest, the first order of business is unblocking roads, especially roads that lead to residences, then clearing roads for larger vehicles. “We make sure people are safe first of all,” says Douglas Oliver, the Forest Service district ranger responsible for Mark Twain National Forest’s Poplar Bluff Ranger District. Then, trees are cleared from ditches, and workers ensure there aren’t hazardous trees or limbs dangling over recreation areas.

    Similar to hurricane cleanup, timber may need to be salvaged before it rots and becomes worthless — or a breeding ground for pests. When the chainsaws stop, Oliver says, salvage teams have reported hearing swarms of insects boring into the downed wood. Such sheer volume of hungry insects can threaten nearby stands of surviving trees, likely weakened from the ice or wind.

    Beyond insects, weakened, still-standing trees are vulnerable to disease and other physiological decline. At Mark Twain National Forest — where tornadoes and a 100-year flood have also occurred in the last five years — many surviving trees are more susceptible to ailments such as oak decline, which has afflicted red and black oak in the eastern U.S.

    The summer after an ice storm or blizzard also can bring another danger. The layer of downed tree material can increase wildfire risk if conditions are extremely dry. Such a well-fueled fire could create catastrophic conditions to the point of soil sterilization, Oliver says.

    The May 18, 1980 magnitude 5.2 earthquake triggered a major pumice and ash eruption of the volcano. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey

    In ice- and snow-damaged areas, trees that sustain light to moderate damage can begin to regenerate within a few years as the forest ecosystem as a whole recovers, but after the worst storms, enough biomass may cover the ground that new seedlings from natural seed banks can’t break through. After the cleanups in the Missouri forest, Oliver says that occasionally forest managers will do supplemental planting — especially if a silviculturist determines the need for more pines, for instance — but many times replanting isn’t necessary, as the forest regenerates on its own in subsequent decades.

    Why Is Mold Growing In My Home?

    6/16/2017 (Permalink)

    • The key to mold control is moisture control.
    • If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
    • It is important to dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

    Mold growing outdoors on firewood. Molds come in many colors; both white and black molds are shown here.

    Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture.

    Hardwood Floor Care

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    Nothing adds charm more to a commercial building than a lustrous looking hardwood floor. A hardwood floor is a lifetime investment and keeping a hardwood floor looking its best requires proper care and maintenance strategies. As the cleaning professional, it is up to you and your cleaning technicians to provide the solutions to care for and maintain your customers' hardwood floor investment and keep it looking its best for years to come.

    Routine maintenance and care of hardwood floors requires:

    1. Protecting the surface finish from heavy wear
    2. Daily cleaning to remove dirt, grit and dust
    3. Protecting the finish from moisture

    When taking care of wood floors avoid the following:

  • Using saturated mops on the floor
  • Using ammonia on the floor
  • Using household type dust cleaners
  • Using products that are not recommended for wood floors
  • Don't let hardwood floors lose their luster. Spending a little time every day protecting and properly caring for hardwood floors will go a long ways towards keeping the floor looking great and keeping your customer happy.

    Why Hire a Professional for Fire Damage?

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    The flames are extinguished and the firefighters and emergency personnel have vacated the premises. After all the chaos and flaming battle, all seems settled now and safe once again. Conditions will not naturally return to normal, however. The smoke damage will linger until properly dispatched.

    Fire leaves behind damages and reminders of its presence. The ash and smoke left behind can cause additional damage to the property if left untreated. Corrosion, etching and discoloration and odors are unwelcomed results of the treacherous fire and its remains. Such factors will impair the structure of the building, putting its inhabitants at risk.

    SERVPRO of Southeast Portland has a vast array of products and highly skilled and trained fire damage technicians who can make it "Like it never even happened."

    Effects of Water Damage

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    Water damage is a problem that most property owners dread. When it rains heavily or snow melts quickly, the risk of this type of damage increases. Water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage by damaging wood furniture, upholstery, electronics, household appliances, and plumbing equipment. Water damage also increases the risk of mold growth, which is a very expensive problem to remediate. Hiring a water damage restoration company can make the cleanup process easier to handle, as these companies employ experienced workers who know the best ways to repair or replace damaged items and help with water damage cleanup.
    SERVPRO of Southeast Portland has a vast array of products and highly skilled and trained water damage technicians who can make it "Like it never even happened."

    Causes of Water Damage

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    There are several possible causes of water damage. Leaky dishwashers, clogged toilets, broken pipes, broken dishwasher hoses, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, and foundation cracks are just some of the possible causes of water damage in homes and businesses. Floods, heavy snow, and heavy rain are other possible causes of this type of damage and can lead to having water in basements. Too much water can lead to minor problems such as water in basement areas, or it can lead to the destruction of homes and businesses. Once a home or business sustains water damage, it is important to start the water damage cleanup immediately. Starting water damage cleanup as soon as possible increases the likelihood of saving water-soaked furniture, carpets, rugs, clothing, and other items.

    Categories of Water Damage

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    Assessing the severity of the damage is important for determining what is needed to start water damage repair and water removal. There are several different categories assigned to water damage. Category 1 refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a threat to humans. Possible causes of this type of damage include broken appliances or sink overflows. Category 2 water is also called gray water. This means that the water is contaminated and may cause sickness of ingested. This type of water contains microorganisms. Broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage may cause category 2 water damage. Category 3 water is known as black water. This type of water is unsanitary, as it contains bacteria and other organisms that cause sickness. The possible sources of black water damage include sewage problems and contamination of standing water.

    There are also several classes of water damage. The class of damage is important when assessing water damage repair options. Class 1 is the least harmful form of damage. Materials absorb very little of the water from this type of damage. Water damage repair is the easiest in this type of situation. Class 2 has a fast rate of evaporation, which means that carpets and cushions may be damaged. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves class 2 damage. Class 3 has the fastest rate of evaporation. In this case, the water may come from broken sprinklers or other overhead sources, soaking the walls and furniture. Class 4 requires special water restoration and water removal procedures. This type of damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, and concrete.

    Four Steps to Preventing Mold Growth after a Flood

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    Step One – Remove Affected Materials

    Aside from stopping the source of the moisture, it’s important to promptly remove wet furnishings and porous materials from the flooded area to enable a thorough damage-assessment, and drying and restoring contents that have not been compromised.

    Some of it - such as wet/moldy carpet, drywall, upholstery and fabrics - will need to be discarded.

    Vacuum using HEPA-wet-dry vacuums to remove moisture, mold and soils without spreading allergenic or unhealthy mold and dust particles around your home. According to the IICRC, "It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces."  

    In the case of minor “clean” flooding, say from a small burst indoor water pipe, homeowners can remove smaller wet items themselves, but should wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves and an N-95 respirator to avoid exposure to mold spores that may already be present in the environment.

    Clean mold from smooth surfaces using a weak bleach-water solution (1/4 - 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water). Use gloves, eye and skin protection and plenty of ventilation. If you are sensitive to mold or chemicals, have someone else do it.

    If the flooding is excessive and/or “dirty” - e.g., from a rising river or sewer backup - expert help is needed to protect health and property.
     

    Step Two – Dry It Out and Quickly

    Mold spores are everywhere, but need moisture to “germinate” – so drying affected areas is Step Two. Since mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours, quick action is critical.

    Aside from obviously wet areas, experts using special meters can check for and locate moisture - even finding hidden wet/moldy places, such as inside wall cavities - and implement techniques to enable a thorough drying-out process. They may also use special fans or “air-scrubbing” equipment with HEPA filters. See also Step Three.

    Step Three – Air It Out

    The flooded, wet area will need fresh air and ventilation to dry it out, but take care not to spread mold spores around your home by improper “airing”. Consult with an IICRC-certified firm to set up “containment”– a fancy word that means keeping doors closed, putting up plastic sheeting, exhausting air to the outdoors, and other measures to enable the drying and ventilation process without exposing loved ones to contaminated air from the flooded area.

    Step Four – Keep it Dry to Keep It Out

    The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is – Keep it Dry. Strive to ensure your home’s insides are staying dry.  It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure, in addition to being unhealthful.

    Try to keep indoor humidity below 50% using air conditioning or a dehumidifier. Have carpets cleaned by professionals that use equipment to clean and properly dry your carpet.

    SERVPRO Southeast Portland are professional mold specialists who can help you with any size mold problem!

    Professional Steps for Mold Cleanup in a Crawl Space

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    • Put the area under negative air pressure, by setting up an air mover on the outside of the home to draw air out from the crawl space - preventing the mold-affected air in the crawl space from traveling into the living area any further. 
    • "Meter" the floors in the home, assessing moisture levels to determine where unseen mold inside the home might exist. 
    • Consider calling in a third party - e.g., SERVPRO Southeast Portland - to provide an independent visual inspection of the crawl space, and to take air samples in the living area to determine how much mold has entered the home interior. 
    • Use a HEPA filter or air scrubber in the living area to reduce contamination. 
    • Before beginning the mold mitigation in the crawl space, build a containment around the interior crawl space access, and tape off the interior air vents. 
    • If mold damage is extensive, remove the crawlspace-mold by [baking] soda blasting [along with blasting using ground walnut shells], followed by thorough HEPA vacuuming and vapor barrier replacement. 
    • Call in a third party - such as a SERVPRO Southeast Portland - to again perform an inspection of the crawl space and take air samples in the living area, to ensure that everything has been completed properly.

    Tips To Staying Safe And Warm During Ice Storm Recovery

    6/14/2017 (Permalink)

    Ice and snow from winter storms can bring down trees and power lines, causing power outages and creating electrical dangers. Safe Electricity wants everyone to know how to stay safe and warm after winter storms.

    If you must venture outside, be alert to the possibility of electrical hazards:

    • Stay away from downed power lines and warn others to stay away. Be alert to the possibility that tree limbs or debris may hide an electrical hazard. Treat all power lines as live and dangerous. Treat everything near power lines as dangerous.

    It can be difficult to stay warm without power. If you live with young children or the elderly, consider temporarily staying somewhere with power. If you are at a home with power, there are ways to stay warm:

    • Stay inside and dress in warm, layered clothing.
    • Close off unneeded rooms.
    • When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards and be sure to properly ventilate.
    • Stuff towels and rags underneath doors to keep the heat in.
    • Cover windows at night.

    Only use a generator if you know how to operate it without hurting yourself, or electric utility employees.

    After an outage, power can return in spikes. Keep your electronics safe by unplugging them. Leave one light on to indicate that power has been restored then turn on other appliances and equipment one at a time.

    Importance of Proper Dusting

    6/13/2017 (Permalink)

    What is dust?

    It is extremely small substances (many pieces are not visible to the naked eye) that become airborne, travel, and then settle back down to earth, landing on our desks, tables, chairs, window sills, blinds, pretty much any surface you can think of can hold dust. Sand and soil are the most common dust particles but pollen, soot, hair, spoors, mites, fabric fibers, plant material, micro-sized decaying insects, and even dead skin contribute to the make-up of that nasty stuff called dust.

    Why is dusting an office building so important?

    Dusting is an essential task your employees need to do in every office building.  Visible dust creates an unsightly work space, which people may translate into an image of neglect. In addition to being unappealing, dusty offices can contribute to “sick office syndrome.” A well dusted office building translates a positive and pleasing image to all building visitors and occupants. A clean working environment also encourages neatness, promotes better work habits and can reduce absenteeism.

    Dusting is also essential because it improves environmental safety.  Accumulated dust can be an irritation to eyes, lungs and skin, and plays havoc with individuals who have allergies. If dust is left to accumulate, it can soil hands, clothing and paper items and also cause damage to electronic equipment. Airborne dust and contaminants can even spread infection. Proper dusting is an important part of effective sanitation practices.

    If proper dusting is not done on a regular basis, dust builds up, hardens and becomes thick in corners and hard to reach areas.  Dust can stain furniture and cause an unsightly film on glass and hard surfaces. If dust is left long enough on hard surfaces, it can eventually cause permanent discoloration. Accumulation of dust can also interfere with the proper operation of a building's heating and cooling systems.

    To correctly dust office buildings, you should have the following equipment and supplies on hand:  microfiber cloths (damp cloth for removing fingerprints and coffee rings, and dry for standard dusting), static dusters, extension dusters (for the hard to reach areas), cotton cloths, furniture polish, all-purpose cleaner, and window cleaner. Back pack vacuums with brush attachments or crevice tools should also be used for getting into hard to reach areas. And of course, personal protection equipment (gloves, glasses, dust mask, etc.)

    How often should you dust? Dusting should be done at least weekly, especially on horizontal surfaces. Sides of desks, file cabinets and other vertical surfaces should be dusted once every two to four weeks or as needed. A good general rule to follow is if the surface is above eye level or below knee level; dust it every two to four weeks. Surfaces that are between eye level and knee level should be dusted on a weekly basis.

    Common Floor Finish Problems and Their Causes

    6/13/2017 (Permalink)

    Common floor finish problems and their causes.

    These problems can be the result of using unsuitable or dirty tools and equipment, improper application techniques, contamination of water or finish, or surrounding environmental factors. Understanding what could or has caused floor finish issues and correcting the problem(s) (hopefully before they happen) will help save time and money.

    Here are some common floor finish problems and their possible causes:

    Finish is discolored under the floor mats

    • Floor mats were placed back on floor before finish had proper time to cure.  Not allowing the chemicals to evaporate correctly will cause the finish to dry improperly.
    •  There was a chemical reaction between the floor finish and the rubber backing on the floor mats.

    Swirl marks

    • Your burnishing pad may be too aggressive for the floor finish.
    •  You're moving the burnisher too slowly or not using a high RPM machine.
    •  Poor contact between the pad and the floor.
    •  Dirty or wet floor pad was used.

    Streaks in the floor finish

    • Floor was not properly prepared before finish was applied.
    •  Floor finish didn't thoroughly dry before applying additional coat.
    •  Too thin or heavy of coat applied.
    •  Application mop, bucket/wringer, water was dirty or contaminated.
    •  Floor was too cold when finish was applied.
    •  Floor finish contaminated or was improperly stored. Floor finish that has been exposed to extreme cold or hot temperatures should not be used and will need to be replaced.

    Powdering

    • Finish coats applied too thin.
    •  Fans pointed directly at wet floor finish.
    •  Poor adhesion of the floor finish.
    •  Contaminated mop head or finish.
    •  Floor not rinsed properly after stripping.

    14 Simply Smart Ways to Cut Energy Costs

    12/21/2016 (Permalink)

     

    Winter is coming, but it doesn't have to bring out-sized heating bills with it. Take a tour of your home and check out these problem areas; fixing them up could dramatically reduce how much you need to spend to keep the place warm and toasty.

    1. Replace Worn Weatherstripping

    Worn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows creates drafts and lets in cold air. Seven to 12 percent of a home's heat loss occurs around windows and doors, according to Black Hills Energy, and these leaks often prompt homeowners to turn up their furnace to keep comfy. Even if they don't turn it up, they're losing warm air, causing the furnace to work harder. "Weatherstripping around doors, and caulking around doors and windows, can cut down on drafts," says Jeff Rogers, president of the Energy Audit Institute, an energy audit training and certification company in Springfield, N.J.

    Some weatherstripping needs to be replaced every few years because of wear. Replacing it is typically as simple as pulling off the old and tacking on the new.

    2. Adjust Door Thresholds

    If you can see daylight under your front door, then you're losing the indoor air you've paid to heat. "If the door is not in contact with the threshold, the air is going right under the door," Rogers said.

    Some thresholds have four or five screws that let you adjust the height to eliminate a gap. Turn the screws counterclockwise to lift the threshold until daylight is mostly gone. A little light in the corners is okay, but don't raise the threshold so high that it interferes with opening and closing the door. And the door shouldn't drag on the threshold or it'll wear out the weatherstripping.

    3. Eliminate Drafts Around Electrical Boxes

    Electrical boxes in your exterior walls are notoriously drafty because insulation isn't always placed behind and around them correctly. "You want to try to stop air from flowing around the box and through the box," Rogers says.

    To stop the leaks, remove the cover plates and fill small gaps around the boxes with acrylic latex caulk. For large gaps, use foam sealant. Then place a foam gasket over the outlet or switch and replace the cover plate. The gaskets cost about $1.10 for a two-pack. "The gasket is going to save you money for as long as that outlet is in your house," Rogers says. "That small investment pays off for as long as you own your home."

    4. Plug Holes in Exterior Walls

    Pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house often have gaps around them that have been haphazardly filled with some kind of caulk. But that caulk eventually cracks, peels, and falls off. These gaps let in outside air, plus they are ideal entry points for mice and insects.

    Seal the gaps with expanding foam. For water pipes under the sink, unscrew and pull back the escutcheon ring, then caulk around the pipe. "The ring is just decorative," Rogers says. "It's not going to block airflow."

    5. Buy a Portable Heater (and Turn Down the Furnace)

    Put a space heater in the place where your family gathers, like the living room, and turn down the furnace temperature. The rest of the house will be cooler but you'll be warm, and you can save 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree below 70 F that you turn down the furnace, according to utility company Pepco. You'll see those savings all winter long.

    Of course, you have to buy the heater and use electricity, which cuts into the overall savings. Portable heaters start at about $30, and an electric heater that uses 1500 watts will cost you 14 cents per hour, based on a rate of 8.14 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to Nebraska Public Power District. Still, the savings from reducing the furnace temperature should offset the cost of using the space heater and then some.

    6. Cover Windows and Patio Doors with Plastic Film

    Rogers says that windows account for 25 percent of heat loss in homes. Covering the windows and sliding patio doors with clear plastic film can reduce that loss. "Just by using that plastic, you're going to save about 14 percent on your heating bill," he says.

    The transparent film is inexpensive; you can find it for about $6 for 62 x 84 inches at home centers. The film is simple to put on and won't harm your trim, and if you put it on correctly you'll barely notice it. In the spring, the film comes off easily.

    7. Keep Warm Air from Escaping Up the Chimney

    The downside to fireplaces is that when they're not in use, your warm indoor air is escaping through chimney. Even when the chimney flue is closed, some warm air is probably still getting away. An easy solution is to block the airflow with an inflatable chimney balloon. The balloons are available on amazon.com and other retailers to fit various chimney sizes. They cost about $50. "They can save you up to $100 a year, so they're going to pay for themselves twice a year," Rogers says. "They are definitely a good investment."

    Blow up the balloon and stick it in the chimney. If you forget to take it out before you start a fire, the balloon automatically deflates, so it won't cause the house to fill with smoke. However, be advised that the balloons can become sooty and hard to manage after repeated uses.

    8. Insulate the Attic Access Door

    Even in well-insulated attics, the access door may not be properly insulated, letting warm air escape through the attic hatch. And if the door is warped or something obstructs the opening, then the door won't lie flat, allowing air to leak into the attic. "You don't want any air going up the access," Rogers says. "You want to make sure the door is insulated, and you want to make sure it forms a good seal."

    To ensure that the door blocks airflow, use adhesive to attach fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door. And if the door won't lie flat, use a latch bolt system to close it tight.

    9. Seal Air Leaks in Ductwork

    Take a look at the ductwork that's accessible in your basement or attic. Look for places where the ducts may have pulled apart at seams and corners. According to Energy Star, the typical house with forced-air heating loses about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the system to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. Place a mastic sealant or metal tape over any leaks to seal them.

    10. Tune up the Furnace and Gas Fireplace

    There's some up-front cost here, as you'll need to pay a pro $100 or more to make the service call. But you'll make it up in the long term with more efficient heating that lowers your bills while preserving the life of your furnace. You'll probably also notice a larger flame that throws out more heat from your gas fireplace.

    The tune-up includes a furnace or fireplace inspection, preventative maintenance, and identifying parts that may need to be repaired or replaced. The professional can also find any gas or carbon monoxide leaks to keep your family safe. Some furnace warranties actually require this annual or regular maintenance.

    11. Upgrade Your Thermostat

    The savings from programmable thermostats are well-documented. By automatically turning down the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours a day, either when you're not home or when you're sleeping, these thermostats can cut your heating bill by 10 percent or more. Programmable thermostats are now cheaper than ever, with models starting under $25.

    But maybe you're ready for the next level and want to by a smart model like the Nest Learning Thermostat. Granted, it has a steep price tag at $249, but you'll save up to 12 percent on your heating and 15 percent on your cooling bills. Plus, rebates and incentives are available (the company's website will show them for your area).

    The Nest learns your lifestyle—when you're gone, when you're asleep—and adjusts itself accordingly to save you money, all without you having to spend time manually programming it. Oh, and don't believe the oft-repeated notion that the furnace has to work harder to warm up the house after the temperature is set low, which would negate your savings. It's a myth. You do save money.

    12. Use the Sun To Your Advantage

    Despite the freezing temps outside, the sun's rays still bring some heat into your home. They're free, so take advantage of them—the added heat will reduce how much your furnace needs to run.

    Keep your curtains open during the day, especially on the south side of the house where you get more direct sunlight. Trim any tree branches or shrubs that block the sunlight around your windows to maximize the gains. Close the curtains at night so they act as barriers to reduce drafts.

    13. Keep Heating Registers Clear

    The warm air blowing out of your registers needs a clear path into the room to provide even heating. So, if you place your favorite recliner or a sofa over the register, you're limiting the flow of heat. It's like leaving the vent partially or completely closed. To cut heating costs, arrange your room so that the register is as unobstructed as possible.

    14. Lock Door and Windows

    Notice how when you lock your windows, you can often feel them pushing together more tightly? It make a difference for your heating bill. Even when doors and windows are closed, they might not be pressed tight against the weatherstripping if they're not locked, which allows cold outside air to infiltrate the home. Lock your windows early, especially if you live up north. If they freeze in their current positions, then they won't move and you won't be able to lock them without a lot of work.

     

     

    Home Energy Efficiency Tips

    12/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Seal cracks and gaps

    Gaps and cracks throughout the home allow hot air to escape and cold air and pests to enter. Energy Star estimates that homes can have a half mile or more of cracks around doors, windows and sill plates alone, and those aren’t the only places in a home where gaps can exist.

    Sealing cracks can help prevent air leakage, improve a home’s overall energy efficiency and block out pests and insects. In fact, homeowners can save an average of 15 percent on heating and cooling by air sealing their homes and adding insulation, according to Energy Star.

     

    Check insulation

    Insulation is like a blanket that your home wears to help keep everyone inside warm and cozy. If your home doesn’t have the right amount or type of insulation for your climate, it can lose heat, energy efficiency and comfort. About 90 percent of existing homes don’t have enough insulation, according to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.

     

    Take care of the HVAC system

    If your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system isn’t working as well as it could, you’re sacrificing comfort and increasing your energy bills. Make sure to check the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall to ensure they are operating efficiently.

    Have the ducts inspected and seal any leaks. Be sure to change air filters regularly, per the system manufacturer’s recommendation for filter type and frequency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, dirty air filters restrict airflow, making HVAC systems work harder and consume more energy to heat your home.

     

    Don’t overlook little things

    Before the weather turns very cold, make a sweep through your home and check for these minor but important points:

    * Windows — Are all of your windows closed? If you’ve recently sealed around windows, you probably opened them for ventilation. Double check to be sure you remembered to close them.

    * Thermostat — Is yours properly programmed to optimize energy use by adjusting the temperature when you’re out of the house?

    * Ceiling fans — you can use ceiling fans to supplement your furnace during the winter, but you have to remember to reverse the air flow. Most ceiling fans have a switch that allows you to reverse the direction of the fan blades to spin clockwise, which pushes warm air down from the ceiling during winter.

     

     

    10 Ways to Prevent a Home-Plumbing Nightmare

    12/21/2016 (Permalink)

    10 Ways to Prevent a Home-Plumbing Nightmare

    When homeowners hoist a wrench to install or repair sinks, tubs and toilets, they risk more than leaks. They risk their sanity, finances and general mechanical disaster. Here are 10 essential principles to avoid plumbing disaster.

    1. DON'T GO GALVANIC.

    You often see copper and galvanized steel plumbing mixed in residential water systems with nothing separating them other than a little thread sealant or Teflon plumbing tape. The galvanic connection (copper to steel) can be trouble-free for years or the steel plumbing can begin to corrode almost as soon as the connection is tight.

    What to do: Use a plumbing fitting called a dielectric union to connect copper pipe to galvanized steel. The fitting uses a steel collar on the steel side and a copper collar on the copper side and isolation bushings to keep the parts separate.

    2. FLOW OUT, NOT BACK.

    Back flow occurs in municipal water systems (or within a house) when there's a sudden and severe drop in water pressure that causes water to flow back through pipes opposite the direction that it normally flows. When a runaway car severs a fire hydrant, for example, parts of a municipal system will see a flow reversal as water gushes out the hole where the hydrant once stood. The same thing can happen if there's a massive leak within your house.

    What to do: If your house's water is supplied by a municipal water system and you do a lot of work outside with a garden hose, use a vacuum-breaker fitting threaded onto the end of the hose bib (the valve mounted on the outside of the house). These fittings prevent back flow from a garden hose and attachments in the event of a massive shift in pressure. Some municipalities require their use, and they're not a bad idea even if you have a well. Suppose you've left a garden hose in a bucket of sudsy water and the severed-fire-hydrant scenario occurs. The vacuum breaker prevents water from being pulled out of the hose and bucket and into the municipal water system. If you're replacing a hose bib, use a freeze-proof type with a built-in vacuum breaker. Common sense measures apply too. For example, don't leave a hose unattended in a bucket and don't leave a hose laying in a puddle on the lawn.

    Likewise, if you replace or repair the main supply and valves entering the house, you may likely be required to install a back-flow preventer.

    3. USE THE RIGHT CONNECTOR.

    Don't forget, gas lines count as plumbing too. Connecting a new gas range or dryer to an existing gas line seems simple, but the job can quickly go awry when you try to hook up a flexible gas connector to the line and find that the connector doesn't fit or you can't make the connection gas-tight, no matter how tight you make the connection.

    What to do: This is a thread compatibility problem usually brought about by a mismatch between the iron pipe supplying gas and the fitting on the end of the flexible connector you intend to use to bring the fuel to the appliance. The simplest solution is to buy a universal connection kit for a dryer or for a gas range. The kit will come with a variety of adapters to help you make the transition from the pipe and fitting supplying the gas to whatever appliance will be using it.

    4. KNOW WHERE YOUR PIPES ARE.

    Pounding nails and driving screws is all well and good, until you puncture a copper or plastic supply or drain.

    What to do: Buy a stud sensor that also detects pipes and wirings. You can also look around in the attic or the basement (if it's unfinished) to get a sense of where pipes are hiding. Finally, if the wall will be covered by whatever you're building or installing, you can always carefully cut a test hatch to find plumbing lurking in the walls.

    5. KNOW THE CODE.

    Plumbing is a tricky business, with rules that dictate how far you can place a fixture from the home's drain-waste-vent line based on the pipe diameter and other arcane matters. The only way you can handle a big job yourself is to know the code and what it calls for in pipe sizing, fixture spacing and related matters.

    What to do: There's lots of reference for ambitious do-it-yourselfers. Buy a copy of the International Plumbing Code or the Uniform Plumbing Code. One of the best references that we've used here over the years is Code Check, a handbook that's updated as building codes are updated. One of its best features is that it's written to cover common problems and things that even professionals get wrong.

    6. CUT RIGHT, FIT TIGHT.

    You can't make a neat water- or gas-tight joint unless the parts are neatly cut.

    What to do: Buy pro-level tubing cutters, reciprocating-saw blades, hacksaw blades and a plastic pipe saw. For example, you'll be amazed by the difference between a professional tubing cutter from Ridgid, say, and the $5 special from the home center. Likewise, it seems silly to spend $20 for a plastic pipe saw when a standard handsaw works pretty well. The thing is, the plastic pipe saw works better and leaves less of a burr since its teeth have very little set compared to a saw meant for cutting wood.

    Remove burrs from plastic and copper and thoroughly clean both types of plumbing materials before soldering or gluing. Copper is best abraded with plumber's cloth (aluminum-oxide sandpaper on a spool) and plastic requires material-specific primer that softens the plastic so that the adhesive can create an optimal bond. When pipe feels greasy or dirty, use pipe cleaner before applying primer.

    A few minutes of preparation goes a long way in ensuring a watertight or gas-tight joint.

    7. SEAL THE DEAL.

    Only a soldered or glued joint doesn't require sealant; everything else does.

    What to do: There are typically two types of sealant tapes in hardware stores and home centers. Tape for sealing water connections (in a blue spool) and tape for sealing gas (in a yellow spool). Yet there's no need for you to be satisfied with just those choices. Pros often carry brushable types, with variations specially formulated for threaded plastic or galvanized steel. Visit a plumbing supply house or shop online to find these varieties. Professional varieties have a higher percentage of gap-filling solids and better ensure a tight joint—no small matter given the lack of thread engagement that you often find today with badly made plumbing materials, valves and fixtures.

    8. DON'T OVER-TIGHTEN.

    If tight is good, really tight must be better. Right? Wrong.

    What to do: Given what I just said about the hit-or-miss quality of many plumbing components today, you'd think that a generous application of wrench torque is called for. Not so. A clean, properly cut and fitted joint that's been sealed just doesn't need to be massively tightened. In many cases, after bringing the parts together firmly hand-tight or using a wrench, often all it takes is another half a turn. In fact, brass–copper gas fittings are particularly vulnerable to wrench damage from over-tightening, while steel pipe is more forgiving.

    9. LEAK TEST. ALWAYS.

    It should be obvious: Make a thorough leak inspection before closing up and moving on.

    What to do: When you've installed a new valve component (or the valve itself), aggressively open and close the valve as well as running both hot and cold water through it. Do the same when checking drains. Run water down a drain and fill up a sink or tub and then drain it to check for leaks. Check gas lines with a soapy water and detergent solution or spend a few dollars for an 8-ounce bottle of bubble-creating leak detector sold on the Web or at a plumbing supply house. The advantage of this material, as opposed to dish detergent, is that it creates larger, more brightly visible bubbles than detergent does.

    10. BE KIND. TO YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM, THAT IS.

    We get asked this question all the time: "Should I use an additive to improve the performance of my septic system and reduce the need to pump the septic tank?" An additive can be almost anything from sugar or enzymes to a dead chicken (we're not kidding about the chicken—we get that one plenty).

    What to do: Don't bother with additives, especially the chicken. A properly designed, built and maintained septic system will last for decades, and trying to reduce pumping intervals will more likely lead to a clogged leaching field as solids, not clear effluent, flows out of the septic tank and out into the leaching field. A septic-tank-pumping company can advise you on how often the tank needs to be pumped. It will depend on the tank's size and how many people live in the home. Likewise, avoid excessive use of chlorine bleach or caustic chemicals that can kill off beneficial digestive bacteria in the septic tank.

    Fire Safety Tips... Two Minutes Might Be All You Have!

    12/21/2016 (Permalink)

    Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!

    Top Tips for Fire Safety

    1. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

    2. Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.

    3. Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.

    4. If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.

    4 Steps to Take Immediately After a Home Fire

    12/21/2016 (Permalink)

     

    1. Call 9-1-1. Give first aid where needed; cool and cover burns to reduce the chance of further injury or infection.

    2. Let friends and family know you’re safe.
    3. People and animals that are seriously injured or burned should be transported to professional medical or veterinary help immediately.

    4. Stay out of fire-damaged homes until local fire authorities say it is safe to re-enter.
    Caring for Yourself & Loved Ones
    • Pay attention to how you and your loved ones are experiencing and handling stress. Discard any food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot.
    • Watch pets closely and keep them under your direct control.
    • Help people who require additional assistance- infants, elderly people, those without transportation, large families who may need additional help in an emergency situation, people with disabilities, and the people who care for them.

    What To Do if a Fire Starts

    12/21/2016 (Permalink)

    If a Fire Starts:
    • Know how to safely operate a fire extinguisher
    • Remember to GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL 9-1-1 or your local emergency phone number.
    • Yell "Fire!" several times and go outside right away. If you live in a building with elevators, use the stairs. Leave all your things where they are and save yourself.
    • If closed doors or handles are warm or smoke blocks your primary escape route, use your second way out. Never open doors that are warm to the touch.
    • If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your exit. Close doors behind you.
    • If smoke, heat or flames block your exit routes, stay in the room with doors closed. Place a wet towel under the door and call the fire department or 9-1-1. Open a window and wave a brightly colored cloth or flashlight to signal for help.
    • Once you are outside, go to your meeting place and then send one person to call the fire department. If you cannot get to your meeting place, follow your family emergency communication plan.
    If your clothes catch on fire:
    • Stop what you’re doing.
    • Drop to the ground and cover your face if you can.
    • Roll over and over or back and forth until the flames go out. Running will only make the fire burn faster.

    THEN:

    Once the flames are out, cool the burned skin with water for three to five minutes. Call for medical attention.

    Did You Know? SERVPRO Southeast Portland Offers Cleaning Services!

    12/14/2016 (Permalink)

    Commercial Did You Know? SERVPRO Southeast Portland Offers Cleaning Services! A Spotless Building!

    Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning

    The SERVPRO carpet and upholstery cleaning service will not only get out the dirt you see, but will also remove the unwanted dust you don’t. A professionally cleaned carpet and furniture may make all the difference in brightening up a room and freshening up your home.

    Air Duct Cleaning

    We all have tasks around the house that don’t make it to the top of our priority list. Properly maintaining your home’s air ducts should not be one of them. Regular duct cleaning can increase your home’s heating and cooling efficiency and improve the quality of the air you and your family breathe.

    Odor Removal

    Your basic cleaning service is not going to have the expertise to effectively deodorize your home. Take advantage of SERVPRO’s residential cleaning services to remove unwanted odors.

    Sewage and Biohazard Clean Up

    Our experts are ready to assist in the clean up of sewage and other biohazard materials and provide deep cleaning services for your home. Find out more about our franchise professionals.

    Call our office today to find out what we can do for you! 

    Mold Risks

    12/14/2016 (Permalink)

    Mold Remediation Mold Risks Mold is even more dangerous than this looks disgusting.

     

    When returning to a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and may be a health risk for your family.

    People at Greatest Risk from Mold

    People with asthma, allergies, or other breathing conditions may be more sensitive to mold. People with immune suppression (such as people with HIV infection, cancer patients taking chemotherapy, and people who have received an organ transplant) are more susceptible to mold infections.

    Possible Health Effects of Mold Exposure

    People who are sensitive to mold may experience stuffy nose, irritated eyes, wheezing, or skin irritation. People allergic to mold may have difficulty in breathing and shortness of breath. People with weakened immune systems and with chronic lung diseases, such as obstructive lung disease, may develop mold infections in their lungs. If you or your family members have health problems after exposure to mold, contact your doctor or other health care provider.

    What to do if mold is suspected?

    Immediately call a mold removal specialist such as SERVPRO Southeast Portland to assess and remove problem. Stay away from affected areas until mold is removed.

     

    Flood Damage Is #1 Natural Disaster

    12/14/2016 (Permalink)

    Water Damage Flood Damage Is #1 Natural Disaster A flooded business or home is never a good thing.

    Flood Damage

    Floods are the number 1 natural disaster in the United States. Flooding causes damage and destruction across regions nationwide, wiping out homes and businesses. However, many residents and business owners are unaware that they qualify for flood insurance. You can take steps to reduce the financial impact of flooding before a disaster strikes. One important step is understanding your risk. Even a heavy rainstorm can cause significant flooding, contributing to flash floods, mudflows, or overtopping levees and dams.

    Contact your insurance company as soon as possible and follow their directions. Not all flooding is covered by a basic homeowners policy, so work with your agent to discover the cause and identify coverage you can qualify for. Do not remove any water before talking to them so you don’t accidentally do anything that will decrease the amount of coverage you’ll be able to claim. If the insurance company wants you to wait for an adjuster before making repairs, do so — but make sure you give them a clear picture of the damage and repairs that are immediately needed.

    Post Water Damage Tips

    12/14/2016 (Permalink)

    Whether a flood is caused by ground water, falling water, or home water system malfunction, there are some best practices you’ll need to employ within the first 24 hours after the flood to ensure the safety of your home and family and give you the best outcome possible with your insurance company.

    If the flood was serious enough for you to leave your home, be sure you stay safe upon your return. The Federal Emergency Management Agency warns that you should check for any visible structural damage, such as warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes before entering the home and contact utility companies if you suspect damage to water, gas, electric, and sewer lines.  

    Even if the power isn’t operational, it’s a good idea to go to your fuse box and turn off the main, plus all of the individual fuse connections. That way, if the power is reactivated, you’re not at risk for mixing standing water and electricity.

    Protect Your Health

    Even if the water in your home is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Wear waders, hip- or waist-high waterproof boots. In addition, wear rubber gloves to remove water-damaged possessions and to avoid contaminants. Be sure to throw out any food that may have come into contact with flood waters. FEMA recommends boiling water until authorities declare the water supply is safe.

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