Recent Posts

3 DIY Tips for Removing Unwanted Car Odors

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Anybody that has had an unpleasant odor in their car before understands that it can be a huge nuisance. The first thing that you must do before removing any car odor is remove the source of the smell. If this isn't done, then you will only be able to temporarily remove any unwanted odors.

Here are a few DIY methods for deodorizing your vehicle:

1.) Baking Soda

Sprinkling baking soda on the interior of your car is a common way to remove odors. Baking soda absorbs most odors that it comes into contact with, making it a great tool for deodorization. Simply sprinkle the baking soda all over the seats, floor and trunk of your car and let it sit for a few hours. Once its had a chance to absorb any unusual smells, you can vacuum it up.

2.) Coffee

Using coffee grounds can also be a great way to remove odors from your vehicle. Like baking soda, simply sprinkle the grounds on the floors and seats of your car and let is sit for a few hours. Once it's given enough time to do its magic, vacuum it all up. If it's successful, you should have a subtle coffee smell in your car and any smelly odors should be gone. 

Disclaimer: If you don't like the smell of coffee, you should probably try one of the other two methods.

3.) Cat Litter

If you have some extra cat litter lying around, it could also be used to get rid of odors in your vehicle. Cat litter is designed to get rid of odors of urine and feces, but it can also be a great tool to get rid of other odors. Sprinkle the cat litter on the inside of your car and let it sit for a few hours. Once it has had time to absorb any smells, vacuum it up. You should be aware that cat litter can sometimes be difficult to vacuum, so you will want to be sure you have a high quality vacuum to use in order to do this.  

Contact Information:

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

4 Ways to Detect Frozen Pipes

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

When the weather gets colder in the winter, pipes are at risk of freezing. Luckily, if you catch a frozen pipe early on, you can likely avoid having it burst and paying much higher cost for reparations.

Here are 4 ways that you can use to detect if your pipes may be frozen:

1.) Check the outside temperature.

Water doesn't freeze unless the temperature is 32°F or below. If the outside temperature is above this, then it is very unlikely that your pipes are frozen.

2.) Observe your pipes to see if there is frost on their exterior.

A more clear-cut way to see if your pipes may be frozen is to check if there is frost on their exterior. If you do find frost, you should take caution in turning on your faucets to avoid the possibility of your pipe bursting. 

3.) Test your faucets to see if there is running water.

If you turn on your faucet and very minimal or no water at all is coming out, then this may be a sign that the pipe responsible for the faucet is frozen. 

4.) Investigate if there are any strange odors coming from your faucets or drains.

Frozen pipes may create unusual smells that emanate from your faucets or drains. This is because when pipes are blocked by ice, the only direction for the odor to travel is back through these areas.

Contact Information:

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

5 Tips for Winterizing Your Home

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

When winter comes around, electric bills can tend to go up. Taking some simple steps to winterize your home can help you save money and prevent unnecessary water and mold damage to your home.

Here are 5 tips that you can use to winterize your home this season:

1.) Clean out your gutters.

Having functional gutters is very important during the winter season. If water cannot drain properly from your roof, you may be at risk of forming icicles that can lead to ice dams. If you're unsure of what an ice dam is, please see our How to Recognize an Ice Dam article. 

2.) Monitor if your air filters need to be changed. 

You should periodically check your air filters in your central air and heating system to make sure that they're in good shape. If your air filters appear to be clogged, you might want to consider changing them out with new ones. This can improve the efficiency of your heating system and save you money on long and short-term maintenance costs.

3.) Add insulation film to your windows.

Insulation film may not look the most aesthetic, but it can make a big difference on keeping heat from leaking through your windows during the winter months. Research shows that window insulation film can keep as much as 70% of additional heat from escaping through your windows. With an amount this significant, it's definitely worth thinking about. 

4.) Use caulk to fill any gaps in windows, siding and doors.

Caulking any gaps in windows, siding and doors in your home is a very affordable option for winterizing your home that can greatly reduce the amount of heat loss that you experience during the winter season. 

5.) Use a programmable thermostat in your home.

Using a programmable thermostat can make a huge difference lowering your heating bill. With this type of thermostat, you can program it to have a lower temperature when you're not home or asleep. This can be really useful to people that work full-time.

Contact Information:

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

How to Recognize an Ice Dam

1/27/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage from ice dams is one of the most prevalent problems that we hear about in the winter. Ice dams form when water pools against overhanging icicles on the eaves of your roof. Over time, this water can seep into your roof and cause water damage to your walls and ceiling.

How to Recognize an Ice Dam

The first step in avoiding water damage from ice dams is being able to spot them. Finding an ice dam is not as hard as you may think. The first thing that you should look for is icicles hanging from the eaves of your roof. Even if no visible icicles are present, you should take a closer look and check if there is a layer of ice at the base of your roof. If you don't see either of these, then you may be in the clear. 

Other signs that you can look for include:

  • If your gutters are blocked/working properly.
  • If there are water stains on your walls and ceilings.

If you notice either of these, it may be worth having a professional come in to investigate to prevent any further damages.

If you would like to learn more about preventing ice dams, please see our 3 Tips for Preventing Ice Dams article.

Contact Information:

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

4 Tips for Winter Fire Safety

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

House fires spike when the weather gets colder in the months of December and January. The leading cause of these house fires is the use of heating equipment. According to the National Fire Protection Association, the US Fire Department responds to an average of 50 thousand fires per year just from heating equipment.

Here are a few simple tips that you can follow to prevent house fires in your home this winter:

1.) Be mindful when using space heaters.

Space heaters account for more than two in five of house fires due to heating equipment (source: NFPA). Of these fires, 86% result in fatalities. The biggest cause of space heater fires is having them placed too close to flammable objects. In order to prevent this, you can follow the "3 feet" rule (see tip #2).

2.) Follow the "3 feet" rule.

A good rule of thumb is to keep anything that is flammable a minimum of three feet from any heating equipment, such as the furnace, fireplace, wood stove and portable space heaters. This will lessen the chance of anything accidentally catching fire. 

3.) Turn off all heating equipment before going to bed.

Most heating equipment fires do not occur overnight. However, the ones that do account for almost half of house fire fatalities from heating equipment. Make sure to turn off all heating equipment before going to bed. You're better off using an extra blanket or two than unnecessarily risking your life.

4.) Remember that ovens are not heaters.

Ovens should never be used for a source of heat. This is an inefficient way to heat your house, and it can actually cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Stick to using your oven to make food as it's designed to do. 

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about wintertime fire safety or fire damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

How to Safely Remove Snow from Your Roof

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Before removing snow from your roof, you'll want to be sure that you even have a valid reason to do so. If you're not sure how to determine this, please see our Should I Remove Snow From My Roof? article.

Before getting into the correct way of removing snow from your roof, here are a few things that you should NOT do to remove snow from your roof.

  1. If you don't feel fully comfortable removing large amounts of snow yourself, you should not attempt to do so.
  2. Do not use sharp tools. There are more effective ways to remove the snow, and this can actually damage your roof.
  3. This may seem obvious, but is worth noting: do not use a flame to melt the snow from your roof. This is a fire hazard.

Tips for Safely Removing Snow from Your Roof

  1. Start from the edge of your roof and work your way up from there.
  2. Use plastic snow removal tools designed for roofs. Avoid using metal tools, as these can cause damage to your roof.
  3. Try to avoid creating buildups of snow near any emergency exits, downspouts and ventilation openings.
  4. Once again, if you don't feel confident that you can safely remove the snow yourself, you should contact a professional to remove the snow for you. A roofing professional will have the necessary training and equipment to remove the snow efficiently and safely.

Contact Information:

We provide water damage restoration for roofs and home interior, no matter the size of the damage. If you have any questions about water damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

Should I Remove Snow From My Roof?

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Typically, you shouldn't remove snow from your roof unless it's completely necessary. This is usually in two scenarios:

  1. You think that your roof may collapse from the weight of the snow.
  2. You have a recurring problem with ice dams and are attempting to prevent them from forming. 

If you have to remove snow from your roof for one of these reasons, you'll want to make sure that you take the necessary precautions to do it safely and correctly.

When is Your Roof at Risk of Collapsing?

The majority of roof collapses from snow occur on flat roofs. This is due to the fact that snow has nowhere to go on a flat surface, so it continues to accumulate. Over time, this can lead to an exceedingly heavy weight of snow. This is when your roof can possibly be at risk of collapsing. If your roof has a small pitch (i.e sloped, but still relatively flat) you should also be cautious about snow buildup.

How to Test if There’s Too Much Snow

Fortunately, you don’t need to climb out on your roof with a ruler to measure the amount of snow. A simple test that you can do is try to open every door and window in your house. If they all open easily, then you’re likely good. However, if there’s any resistance then this could be an indicator that there’s an excessive amount of snow compressing the opening. This isn’t a sure sign that your roof is at risk for collapsing, but it is a sign that you should investigate the situation further.

When is it Necessary to Remove Snow to Prevent Ice Dams?

In most cases, you have a much higher risk of experiencing ice dams than roof collapses. There doesn’t always have to be a lot of snow for ice dams to form on your roof. A general rule of thumb is to remove snow from your roof if it exceeds six inches. You should never use a shovel to remove snow because it can be very dangerous. If you feel that you must remove the snow yourself, use a roof rake and get as much snow off the overhangs of your roof as you can.

Contact Information:

We provide water damage restoration for roofs and home interior, no matter the size of the damage. If you have any questions about water damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

5 Fire Safety Tips for the Holidays

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

More house fires occur in the winter than in any other season. While staying warm and enjoying the holidays, it's important to remember to prevent any fire hazards in your home. Below are five fire safety tips for the holidays:

1.) Keep your Christmas tree well-watered.

Even though Christmas tree fires are uncommon, they can be extremely dangerous when they happen. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 1 of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death. 25% of Christmas tree fires are from heat sources (i.e. fireplaces, space heaters, radiators, candles, heat vents) being placed too close to them. A general rule of thumb is to make sure that any heat source is a minimum of three feet from your tree.

2.) Beware of candle fire hazards.

The top three days for candles fires are Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Even though candles can be a great decoration during the holidays, try to be cautious when using them. Make sure candles are not placed by any flammable materials. A general rule of thumb is to keep candles a minimum of 12 inches away from anything that burns. Additionally, never leave your candles unattended. If something were to catch fire, you'll have a chance to contain it when you're there to monitor. 

3.) Keep any heating equipment away from flammable objects.

This one is pretty obvious, but still needs to be included. People can sometimes unthinkingly place flammable objects near heating sources, thereby creating a fire hazard. 

4.) Plug only one heat-producing appliance directly into a wall outlet at a time.

You should only plug one heat-producing appliance directly into a wall outlet at a time. This includes coffee makers, toasters, space heaters and other similar appliances. 

5.) Have your chimneys inspected at least once per year.

You should have your chimney inspected at least once per year. In addition to an inspection, you should consider an annual cleaning. This will prevent any unknown fire hazards from appearing in your chimneys.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about wintertime fire safety or fire damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

6 Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Kitchen

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Many people can agree that the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. When this room is out of commission, it can be a pain for everyone living in the house. Taking simple preventative measures can go a long way to avoid water damage to your kitchen.

Here are 6 tips for preventing water damage in your kitchen:

1.) Avoid putting any fats, oils and grease down your drain.

You should never allow fats, oils or grease go down your drain. This is a common cause of sewer backups, which can lead to contaminated water damage. In order to prevent this from happening, you can collect any fats, oils or grease in a jar and put it directly in the trash. 

2.) Make sure the caulk around your sink is in good condition.

Water can seep under the sink if caulk is worn, which has the risk of damaging the counter and cabinet. If you see that the caulk is wearing away on your sink, you should remove it and re-seal it with fresh caulk. 

3.) If possible, periodically check for leaks under your stove.

If you're able to move your stove, you should periodically be checking it to ensure there aren't any unknown leaks. You should also inspect for any signs of mold. 

4.) Never leave the dishwasher running when nobody is home.

You should never leave the dishwasher running if you're going to leave the house. This way if the dishwasher malfunctions and causes flooding, you will be able to stop it before the damage becomes extensive. 

5.) Check your refrigerator for leaks and have it at least three inches from the wall. 

Like your stove, you should periodically check underneath your refrigerator for any signs of leaking. Additionally, make sure there is a minimum of three inches between your fridge and the wall to prevent kinking the supply line.

6.) Rinse plates and silverware before loading them into the dishwasher.

Rinsing your plates and silverware off before loading them in the dishwasher will help preserve your dishwasher's filter and aid in preventing any leaking. 

Contact Information:

We provide kitchen water damage cleanup and restoration, no matter the size of the damage. If you have any questions about water or mold damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

What to Do When a Pipe Bursts

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Cold winter weather can be hard on overexposed pipes. Water expands when it freezes, which can increase the pressure in pipes and cause them to burst. If a pipe bursts on your property, you'll want to act fast to prevent as much damage as you can.

1.) Turn off your water main.

The first thing that you should do if a pipe bursts is turn off your water main. If you don't know where this is or how to do this, please see our article How to Find & Use Your Water Shut-Off Valve. This will turn off your water supply for the whole house, which will stop the pipe from causing any more water damage. 

2.) Drain your faucets and toilets.

Once the water main is turned off, you should run your faucets to flush out any remaining water. Additionally, you should flush your toilets until the excess water is gone too. This will aid in relieving any pressure from your pipes to minimize any more damage. 

3.) Turn off your heating system.

You will want to also turn off your heating system and drain the water from all of your hot water taps. 

4.) Take pictures of any water damage.

At this point, all of your water should be shut off and drained. This will keep any further damage from occurring. You'll want to take as many pictures as you can of any damaged interior or items as you 

5.) Clean up as much water as you can.

Dry up as much water as you can to prevent any further damage. Moist environments promote mold growth, so you'll want to be sure to eliminate any wet surfaces if possible. However, if the water is contaminated, you'll want to wait for a professional to professional (this can be a health hazard). If you're unsure if the water is contaminated, please see our How to Handle Water Damage Based on Water Type article.

Contact Information:

We provide water damage restoration for burst pipes, no matter the size of the damage. If you have any questions about water or mold damage, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044. We service all of Central Oregon, including Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, Madras, La Pine, Prineville and all of the surrounding areas.

Sources:
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