Recent Posts

6 Things That You Can Do to Prevent Flooding from Heavy Rainfall

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Central Oregon has been experiencing some heavy rainstorms the past few weeks. These rainstorms can lead to over-saturation of the soil and cause pooling of water around the foundation of your home. If it is not properly watched and maintained, it can likely also lead to water damages.

The biggest cause of flooding due to heavy rain is drainage issues. Once water starts pooling above or below the ground, it can seep into your house through the cracks or directly through the walls. If you notice pooling around your house when it rains heavily, you should call a professional to come in and assess the drainage around your home. Additionally, there are some actions that you can take that will help prevent flooding during heavy rainfall.

1.) Use less water during heavy rainstorms.

Heavy rainfall can be hard on city sewer systems. Doing simple things such as running the dishwasher, doing laundry or taking a shower will only make problems worse. The excess water entering the sewers causes an increased chance of a flood or sewage backup. Your best bet is to wait until the rainstorm has stopped and let the water levels return to normal before continuing the regular use of water in your home.

2.) Clean your gutters.

Although gutters are not the direct cause of flooding, they can cause pooling of water around the foundation of your home if they are not properly cleared. As the water pools, it will eventually enter through cracks or the walls of your house. It is recommended that you clean your gutters at least twice a year to make sure that they can work properly.

3.) Check the landscaping around your house.

The ground around the foundation of your house should slope away from your property. Otherwise, it can trap water against your house and increase the likelihood of it seeping through the cracks and walls. The recommended grade is at least 6 inches high and extending at least three feet away from your property. Additionally, any bushes, scrubs and trees should be 2-3 feet away from the foundation.

4.) Fix cracks and gaps in the foundation of your home.

It is very important to fix any cracks or gaps in the foundation of your home as soon as you can. You can use hydraulic cement to patch cracks in the walls and floors. It is recommended that you use a chisel to carve a “V” shape in any cracks before sealing it with a layer of hydraulic cement.

5.) Waterproof the foundation of your home.

Although foundations are waterproofed when they are built, the coating only lasts for a limited amount of time. Any water stains on the walls of your crawlspace can be an indication that your foundation needs to be waterproofed again. Waterproofing can be done on both the interior and the exterior of your walls. Interior waterproofing is cheaper, however exterior waterproofing tends to provide better protection from flooding in the long-term.  

6.) Install a drainage system.

If you seem to be having flooding problems often around the foundation of your house, it may be a good idea to look into installing a drainage system. This can end up saving you from water damage reparation expenses down the line. Sump pumps, usually installed in crawl spaces, are commonly used in drainage systems due to their ability to directly drain water from around the foundation of your home. There are many other drainage options available as well, so it is good to look at all of your options and make a decision that is best for your particular situation.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about water or flood damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources:
Restoration Local

Bend July 4th Fireworks Festival

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Don't miss out on the Bend July 4th Fireworks Festival downtown on Thursday (July 4)! Each year, this event is hosted with activities for all ages, including the annual Pancake Breakfast at the Lion's Club, the Bend Park & Recreation District Pet Parade, live music, art, local food, and a kid's play area with a variety of competitions. 

Once you're done enjoying all of the events downtown, the fireworks will be launched from the top of Pilot Butte at 10 PM. Any place around town with a view of the butte should offer good visibility of the fireworks. Many people spectate from the city parks around town. See the Bend Park & Recreation website to find the parks nearest to you.

The National Fire Prevention Association reports that over 18,000 fires are started from consumer fireworks each year. If you or your friends and family are planning on using your own fireworks this Fourth of July, make sure that you are taking the necessary safety precautions. For some tips on fireworks safety, see our previous article 7 Tips To Use Fireworks Safely. Additionally, remember that fireworks are prohibited to use on public land.

Lastly, we would like to wish everybody a very happy Fourth of July from the SERVPRO of Bend team!

Contact Information: 

If you have any questions about fire or smoke damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources:
Visit Bend
National Fire Prevention Association

7 Tips To Use Fireworks Safely

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

The Fourth of July is a day to celebrate the independence of our great nation with tasty foods, family and friends. A common part of celebrating includes shooting off fireworks. Although fireworks can be very appealing to look at, they account for thousands of fires and injuries each year. A vast majority of these fireworks accidents occur on and around July 4th.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires annually. These fires cause an average of 3 deaths, 40 injuries and over $40 million in property damages each year. Over one-third of firework related injuries occur to children below the age of 15.

The NFPA advises against the use of consumer fireworks due to the large amount of fires and injuries they cause. However, if you, your friends or family are planning on using fireworks this holiday, it’s important that you understand the proper safety measures. There are many things that you can do to drastically reduce the chances of fireworks-related fires and injuries.

1.) Avoid buying fireworks packaged in brown paper.

Fireworks packaged in brown paper are made for professional displays. Due to this, it can be very dangerous when used by the average consumer. If you want to see these types fireworks, it’s best to go to your local professional firework display.

2.) Only use fireworks in a clear, open area.

Fireworks should only be used in clear, open areas. Make sure that there are not any buildings, vehicles or shrubbery nearby where you are lighting your fireworks. Additionally, avoid setting off fireworks next to dry brush or grass, as they are highly flammable.

3.) Back up a safe distance as soon as you ignite your fireworks.

It is recommended that you back up 15-25 feet after lighting “category 2” fireworks (most consumer fireworks are category 2 fireworks). You should always check to see what category your fireworks are before lighting them. Any fireworks above category 2 require a further distance after being lit and often additional safety measures.

4.) Make sure children are always supervised by an adult.

A large portion of fireworks-related injuries and fires occur from children below the age of 15. In many cases, this happens because there was no adult supervision present. It’s important that your children understand the proper safety precautions when using fireworks and that an adult is always there to monitor in case of an accident.

5.) Never point or throw fireworks at another person.

This may seem obvious, yet it happens more often than you would think. Pointing or throwing fireworks at someone can result in serious injury.

6.) Have a bucket of water or garden hose nearby.

It’s important that there is a bucket of water or garden hose nearby when using fireworks in case a fire is started. Since fires spread at such a rapid pace, it’s essential that they are put out quickly. Additionally, used fireworks should be doused in water before they are put in the trash.

7.) Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that haven’t fully ignited.

You should never pick up a firework that hasn’t fully ignited. There’s a possibility that the firework will ignite and blow up in your hand and cause serious injury.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about fire or smoke damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources: 
National Fire Prevention Association
All Pro Dad

5 Things You Can Do To Prevent Kitchen Fires

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Sadly, many house fires that occur are preventable. As reported by the United States Fire Administration, cooking fires are the leading cause of house fires in the United States with more than 188,000 recorded each year. These fires are the cause of an annual average of 195 deaths, 3,800 injuries, and $463 million in property damages. As a homeowner, taking preventative actions can greatly decrease the chances of a fire in your home. 

1.) Test your smoke alarms.

Smoke detectors, like all technology, are fallible and require maintenance. The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that homeowners test their smoke detectors at least once per month. It is also recommended that the batteries in the smoke detectors are replaced at least once or twice per year. 

In order to test your smoke alarms, simply press and hold the "test" button located directly on the detector. As you hold your finger on the button, the siren will sound throughout your house. You should have a friend or family member stand as far away from the detector as possible to ensure that you can hear the alarm everywhere in the house. If they cannot hear the alarm, you’ll likely need additional detectors until the sirens reach all areas of the house.

2.) Don't leave hot cooking surfaces unattended.

Leaving hot cooking surfaces unattended accounts for approximately 40% of all cooking fires. If you have to leave the kitchen while you are cooking, you should turn off the oven or stove and remove any pots or pans from heated surfaces.

3.) Don't leave anything flammable near the stove or oven.

It is important that you don’t leave any flammable objects near your stove and oven while they are in use. This includes towels, oven mitts, cords, cookbooks and curtains. These objects can easily set fire if they accidentally are left too close to a burner.

4.) If you have children, create a child-free zone while cooking.

If you are cooking on the stove, use the back burners if possible. Additionally, make sure that any handles are turned toward the back of the stove.

5.) Close the oven door if your oven catches on fire.

A common misconception that people have is they should take matters into their own hands to put an oven fire out. In reality, if your oven catches fire the best thing that you can do is simply close the oven door. This will allow the fire to go out by itself and prevent it from spreading outside of your oven to the rest of your house.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about fire or smoke damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources:
National Fire Protection Association

7 Things You Can Do To Prevent Barbecue Fires

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, many people are starting to fire up their grills. This is great for enjoying the outdoors and making delicious food with family and friends. However, it is important that everyone takes the proper fire preventative measures when grilling.  

As reported by the National Fire Protection Association, the fire department recorded an annual average of 10,200 home fires that started from grills, hibachis, or barbecues from the years 2013-2017. Of these fires, there were an average of 10 reported annual deaths and 160 annual injuries. On top of that, there was an average $123 million in property damage per year.

May, June, July and August are the peak months for grill fires in the United States. It is important that people follow safe grilling practices to not become part of the statistic. There are many simple things you can do to greatly reduce the chance of grill fires.

1.) Make sure your grill is at least 10 feet from your house.

It is recommended that you keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house, including garages and porches. Additionally, your grill should not be underneath a wooden canopy or overhang to prevent fire from flaring up and igniting a fire.

2.) Clean your grill on a regular basis.

Grease and fat are very flammable and can act as extra fuel for fire. You should get in a habit of cleaning your grill after each use to prevent grease and fat buildups.

3.) Keep any flammable objects away from your grill.

Make sure that any outdoor decorations are away from your grill. This includes hanging baskets, pillows and umbrellas. Although these may look nice, they can often be very flammable.

4.) Keep a fire extinguisher within two feet of your grill.

You should always have a fire extinguisher within a few steps of your grill for easy access. It is important that you know how to use the fire extinguisher before the event of a fire. If you are unsure how to use a fire extinguisher, you are better off calling the fire department instead of trying to take matters into your own hands.

5.) Never turn on the gas while the grill is closed.

It is important that you open the lid of your grill before turning the gas on. If you turn the gas on with the lid closed, this gas will build up and possibly explode when the grill is lit.

6.) Do not leave your grill unattended.

Since fires double in size every minute, it is important that you keep an eye on your grill at all times when you are using it. Make sure that you have everything you need before you start cooking so you don’t have to leave your grill to get anything.

7.) Never use a grill indoors.

It is a common misconception that grilling indoors is not a fire hazard. You should never grill indoors, no matter how small the grill. Not only does the grill pose a fire hazard to your home, but it also releases carbon monoxide gas that can potentially be fatal to you, your pets and your family when there isn’t fresh air to ventilate it.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about fire or smoke damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

Sources:
National Fire Prevention Association
ABC News

SERVPRO of Bend Honors Those Who Sacrifice

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

I ran into a very special person on this June 6, 2019. Richard is a Pear Harbor survivor and proud American. While shopping, I saw Richard's hat displaying his service. As a proud son, grandson and father of those who served or are serving in our military, I went up to Richard and thanked him. 

That conversation turned into 15 minutes of him telling me about his service and I telling him about my family members who served or are serving.

On this very special day, thank you Grandpa for being at D-Day and thank you Richard for your kind demeanor, service to this country and being a great American.

Graffiti Cleanup in Central Oregon

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

As a property owner, vandalism is always a concern. One common form of vandalism is spray-painted graffiti. This is often applied to concrete walls, driveways, metals, wood, glass or plastic materials.

If your residential or commercial property is vandalized with graffiti, you may think it will be impossible to bring back to its original condition. However, SERVPRO of Bend is equipped to clean graffiti from any surface. Our trained technicians know the state of the art techniques to remove the graffiti and make your property look as good as new, allowing you to get back to home or work with peace of mind. 

What To Do If Sewage Backs Up

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Sewage back-ups can seem like a nightmare to residential and commercial property owners. If your property experiences a sewage back-up, it is important that you have a plan in place and take care of the situation quickly. This is due to the fact that the water from a sewage back-up is contaminated with bacteria and viruses that can potentially cause serious illness to people on your property. 

SERVPRO of Bend is fully equipped to take care of sewage back-ups of virtually any size. Our technicians have the proper training and equipment to remove any waste and bring your property back to its pre-existing condition before the back-up, allowing you to have a safe environment and peace of mind. 

Crime Scene Cleanup in Central Oregon

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Crime scenes can often leave behind bloodborne pathogens and other materials that can be detrimental to your health. Due to this, it is important to handle these materials with the proper techniques and equipment.

SERVPRO of Bend's technicians are trained and certified to handle any size crime scene cleanup. Not only can we remove any materials from the scene, but we can also disinfect and deodorize the area. This will allow your property to return to its pre-existing condition and remove and threats that could pose a risk to your health. We make it our mission to bring your residential or commercial property back to a safe environment. 

Common Household Items That Can Pose a Health Threat

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

There are many common household items that can potentially pose risks to your health. Although some of them may seem obvious, it is still helpful to have a reminder sometimes. 

One household item to be aware of is antifreeze. Inhaling this product can cause severe dizziness. If this product is swallowed or consumed, it can actually be fatal. 

Another household item that can possibly be detrimental to your health is latex paint. This product emits formaldehyde when it is drying, which can cause headaches and irritation to your ears, nose and throat. 

Batteries can also be dangerous if not handled correctly. Batteries contain sulfuric acid and lead. They have a seal that prevents this from being exposed to its users. However, if this seal is broken the acid can cause burning and irritation to your skin and even produces gases that can easily be ignited.