Recent Posts

5 Tips to Clean Your Dryer

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Almost 3,000 dryer fires are reported each year in the United States. These fires are the cause of approximately five deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property loss damages. The leading cause of dryer fires is the failure to clean the dryer. Setting aside just a few minutes can reduce your risk of your dryer setting fire tremendously. 

Here are some tips on how to clean your dryer properly:

1.) Clean your lint screen before every load of laundry.

Get in the habit of cleaning your lint screen before every load of laundry. Even if there's minimal lint on the screen, you should still clean it all off before starting each load of laundry.

2.) Make sure that your vent hose is in good condition. 

Check your vent hose to make sure that it's in good condition and not crushed or bent. Ideally, you want to make the vent hose as short as possible to avoid this. If you have a white plastic vent hose, you should dispose of it and get an aluminum vent hose as soon as possible. These vent hoses are no longer allowed to be sold because they are a safety hazard. 

3.) Clean your vent line on a regular basis. 

You should regularly be checking your vent line to make sure there isn't any lint creating blockage (clogged lint is a big fire hazard). If you can't get the lint out yourself, you can call a professional to come in and clean it for you.

4.) Make sure that there's no lint inside your dryer.

You should also be checking the inside of your dryer for lint on a regular basis. Using a hand vacuum is a great way to clean lint out of the inside of your dryer. 

5.) Keep the area surrounding your dryer free of any flammable materials. 

If you do experience a dryer fire, you'll want to make sure that there isn't any fuel for the fire around your dryer. This includes clothing, cleaning products and boxes. 

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:
U.S. Fire Administration
wikiHow

How to Clean Your Gutter

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning out gutters is usually not at the top of the list of priorities for most homeowners. Many people do not realize that clogged gutters can lead to a multitude of problems, including property foundation damage, wood damage, landscape damage and ice dams. It is recommended that you clean your gutters at least twice per year. 

Here are a few steps you can do to ensure that your gutters are clean and functional: 

1.) Start cleaning at the downspout of the gutter.

If your gutter has horizontal extension pipes, you can remove them to clean the downspout. You can check if the downspout is flowing by shooting water from a hose down it. If the water isn't coming out on the other side then there is likely some debris blocking the path of the downspout.

2.) Remove any debris trapped in the gutter (i.e leaves, sticks, etc.) using your hands or a trowel. 

Use your hands to scoop out any debris trapped in your gutter. If you don't want to use your hands, you can also use a gardening trowel to scoop out the debris.

3.) Flush the gutter with a hose. You can also use a gutter-cleaning attachment on the hose if the water doesn't drain.

A common method to clean the downspout of a gutter is to use a hose to flush out any debris that may be blocking the gutter. If this does not work, you can purchase tools (such as a plumber's snake) into the gutter and turn the crank to loosen up the blockage of debris.

Contact Information:

If you have any questions about inspecting or cleaning your gutter, please do not hesitate to call the SERVPRO of Bend office at 541-385-7044.

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Sources:
Angie's List
Lowe's

5 Benefits of Recycling

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Taking a couple minutes out of your day to recycle can have a huge impact on your local community and environment. Since we are using natural resources at an extremely rapid rate, recycling is as important as ever.

Here are some benefits of recycling:

1.) Minimizes the amount of waste taken to landfills.

Huge amounts of trash are being dumped at landfills everyday around the country. Dumping recyclable materials is unnecessarily adding to this waste. 

2.) Prevents pollution.

A common method of getting rid of trash is burning or incinerating it. This process wastes natural resources that could have been recycled. Additionally, the burning of the trash generates carbon emissions, contributing to both climate change and air pollution. 

3.) Saves energy.

The extraction and processing of raw materials requires an immense amount of energy. Using recycled materials to requires a significantly less amount of energy.

4.) Protects wildlife.

We are using raw materials from the Earth at a very rapid pace. In order to keep up replenishing these resources, many forests are being cut down and rivers are being diverted. This is taking away wild animals' habitats and sources of water, which is having a serious effect on their ecosystems. 

5.) Conserves natural resources. 

Natural resources are limited, and many are in short supply. Recycling materials such as paper, wood, plastic, metals and glass can make a huge impact on conservation of natural resources. 

Sources:
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Friends of the Earth
American Geosciences Institute

4 Signs of Commercial Sewer Line Problems

8/26/2019 (Permalink)

Making sure that your sewer lines are working correctly is usually an afterthought for most property owners. Noticing sewer line problems early on before they develop into serious issues can save you a lot of time and money. 

Here are some red flags to look for that may indicate that your sewer line is experiencing problems:

1.) Your drains and/or toilets are backed up.

When the soil shifts around your building, sewer pipes can be bent or damaged. As a result, water may be prevented from being drained, leading to backups. This can lead to damages to floors and furniture on your property. Spotting and taking care of a backup quickly can ensure no serious damage is done to your property.

2.) You notice an unpleasant odor outside your building.

If you smell any strong, unpleasant odors outside your building, this could be an indication of a sewer line backup. You should call a plumber right away to inspect for a backup or any broken pipes.

3.) There are areas with pooling water or unnaturally green grass around your building.

If you are noticing areas of unnaturally green grass, this could be a first indication that the sewer line is leaking. If no action is taken, this could lead to pooling water around your property. Since this water is from the sewer line, it is likely unsanitary and could pose a health threat to people using the building. 

4.) You observe an increase of mold growth. 

Broken sewer lines can often result in higher humidity in buildings. Since humid environments promote mold growth, an increase of mold growth is a strong indication that something could be wrong with your sewer line. 

Contact Information:

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

Sources:
AAA Plumbers

5 Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe in the Heat

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

With summer upon us, many people are spending a lot of time outdoors. While enjoying all of the outdoor activities, it’s important to remember that, just like us, our pets can get overheated.

Here are a few tips to remember when your pets are outside in the heat:

1.) Make sure your pets are getting plenty of water.

It’s no secret that intense heat can cause a higher likelihood of dehydration. When pets are being exposed to higher levels of heat in the summer, they are going to need more water to stay hydrated. Make sure that you’re giving your pets water consistently throughout the day to avoid dehydration.

2.) Watch out for signs of overheating.

Although you can’t read your pets’ minds, there are some physical signs that you can look for to see if they are overheating. These signs include heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, vomiting, diarrhea and wobbly legs. If you notice any of these symptoms, make sure you move your pet to a cool place and give them water.

3.) Don’t leave your pets in the car.

You may think that if you only leave your pet for a few minutes in the car it’s no big deal. However, both dogs and cats can suffer heat strokes in less than 10 minutes. Aside from it being a huge danger, it is also illegal in many states to do this.

4.) Pay attention to what time you’re walking your pets.

If you have a dog, walk them in the early morning or late evening when it’s not as hot out. Avoid doing it in the middle of the day when the temperature is at its peak. Additionally, make sure that you are taking periodic breaks in the shade and providing them water.

5.) Mind what surface you’re having your pets walk on.

Avoid letting your pets walk on hot surfaces such as cement and asphalt. This can burn your pets’ paws and cause overheating. Also make sure not to put your pets on metal surfaces (such as in the car) because these surfaces can get very hot in the sunlight. 

Source:
Petcube

5 Must-Do Hikes in Bend in the Summertime

8/15/2019 (Permalink)

A view of Tumalo Falls near the trailhead.

It's no secret that Central Oregon is surrounded by much natural beauty. With so many options of places to go, it can be hard to decide where to start.

Here are some ideas for you and your family to enjoy in the summertime: 

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls is a great hike because you can make it as difficult as you want. With numerous waterfalls to see on this 5.6 mile loop, this hike has many viewpoints along the way. If you don't want to go the full 5.6 miles, you can always easily turn back at any point and head to the trailhead. 

Misery Ridge

Misery Ridge at Smith Rock State Park is a more difficult hike. This trail has a very steep incline and requires more physical demand than other hikes on the list. At the top, this hike offers beautiful views of canyons, rivers, trees and the classy Terrebonne homes. Since the trail is in direct sunlight, make sure that you bring water if you plan on doing this hike on a hot day.

Pilot Butte

Pilot Butte is a fairly easy hike that you can do with the family. At 1.8 miles, this out and back hike won't take up too much of your time. At the top of the butte, many people enjoy watching the sunset over the city of Bend. 

Deschutes River Trail

This trail is fairly flat its entire distance and travels through Bend. This is a great place to walk your pets or ride bikes with the family. The loop extends for 1.5 miles alongside the Deschutes River, offering a very scenic and peaceful stroll. 

Koosah & Sahalie Falls Trail

While not directly in Bend, Koosah and Sahalie Falls are well worth the longer drive (approx. one hour). Start at either trailhead and you’ll be able to see one of the falls right away. The 2.2 mile loop is good for all skill levels and offers great views of the two majestic falls. Marvel at the natural beauty around you as you walk along the clear blue McKenzie River. If you have the time, you’re also a short drive from Tamolitch Falls (Blue Pool), another beautiful spot.

Additional Resources:

A great resource to use for more ideas is the calendar made by Visit Bend. You can also go to the Visitor Center in town for a wide variety of flyers that have local activities and events. 

What to Do Before & During a Thunderstorm

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, lightning storms are the cause of approximately 22,600 fires each year. These fires account for an average of 9 deaths, 53 injuries and $451 million in property damages. Taking the proper steps to prepare for lightning storms can greatly reduce the likelihood of becoming a part of the statistic.

What to Do Before a Thunderstorm

The best thing that you can do before a thunderstorm is limit your electrical contact in and around your home. This can be done in a variety of different ways, including the following:

  • Remove dead tree branches in proximity to your home. These are highly flammable and likely to ignite if struck by lightning.
  • Unplug all of your household appliances to prevent power surges.
  • Close all of your curtains and blinds. If lightning strikes your window, this will limit the possibility of broken glass flying inside your home. 

What to Do During a Thunderstorm

Once the thunderstorm has begun, there are a number of safety precautions that you can take, including the following:

  • Stay away from your windows. If lightning strikes your window it will shatter the glass. You will want to make sure that you are out of range of any flying shards.
  • Do not use any corded telephones because the wires are connected to the outside, thereby making it possible to get electrocuted. It is safe to use wireless cellphones. 
  • Stay away from faucets, sinks and bath tubs. If lightning strikes, it's able to travel through pipes and water, posing a safety hazard for using these household appliances.
  • If you are outside and unable to get to shelter, squat low to the ground with your head tucked between your knees. You will want to touch the ground as little as possible to provide the least amount of surface area to the ground, since this is where the electricity is being conducted.

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
Trusted Choice

5 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Roof

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

Most homeowners know that repairing or replacing a roof can be quite expensive. That is why it's important to keep in mind things you can do to maintain the quality of your roof. If you are willing to set aside only a couple hours here and there each month, you can end up saving yourself a large amount of money. 

Below are a handful of different ways to maintain a healthy roof:

1.) Keep an eye on your shingles.

A lot of roof problems can be traced back to damaged or missing shingles. If you set aside a little bit of time to clean the dirt from your shingles every few months, this can greatly improve the lifespan of your roof. If you see that shingles are damaged or missing, you should repair it as quickly as you can. Replacing a single shingle is inexpensive and could save you a lot of money down the line. 

2.) Make sure your roof sealant isn't cracked or worn. 

You should check your roof sealant periodically and make sure that it isn't cracked or worn. If you see any areas where your sealant is cracking or wearing off, you will need to remove it completely and replace the affected area.

3.) Clean your gutters.

Cleaning your gutters periodically throughout the year is essential to preventing damage to your roof. Clogged gutters can cause serious damage from water accumulating and eventually seeping underneath your roof. This can eventually soak into the walls and ceilings of your home. 

4.) Trim branches overhanging your roof. 

If you have any trees near your home, you should make sure that none of the branches have grown to overhang your roof. If any branches are overhanging, you should trim them to prevent leaves from falling on the roof. Leaves retain a lot of water, so over time they can end up rotting your tiles. 

5.) Inspect your roof for rust.

If your roof has any metal, you will want to check for rust. If you notice any rust forming, you can use wire-brush to remove it. Once you are finished brushing the rust off, you can prime the area and paint it to prevent it from re-forming. 

Contact Information: 

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

Sources:
Redfin

Activities in Bend in the Summertime

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

As most residents of Central Oregon know, there's no place better to be in the summertime. As the weather heats up, people are looking for activities that they can enjoy outdoors. With so many activities and events to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin.

Les Schwab Ampitheather

The Les Schwab Ampitheater is a very popular location during the summer. Listening to live music is a great way to spend summer nights with friends and family. Additionally, many events are hosted here. Bend Brewfest, one of the more popular events of the year, is being held here next week August 15-17, so be sure to mark your calendars!

Floating the River

Anybody that’s walked by the Deschutes River in the middle of the day knows that floating the river is a favorite activity amongst Bend residents. You can park your car at the Riverbend Park and float the river all the way to McKay Park. This usually only takes a couple hours and can be a great way to cool off when the weather gets hot.

Hiking

It's no secret that Bend is known for its natural beauty. There are plenty of trails in town of all difficulty levels. There are also many beautiful spots around Bend only a short drive away. You can view a hiking directory of the best trails around here.

Additional Resources

A great resource to use for more ideas is the calendar made by Visit Bend. You can also go to the Visitor Center in town for a wide variety of flyers that have local activities and events. 

7 Steps for Making a Fire Escape Plan

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fires double in size every minute, making them to travel at an extremely rapid pace. If a fire ignites in your home, you may only have one or two minutes to escape safely. Since the window for you and your family escaping unscathed is so narrow, it’s important that you have a plan before the event of a house fire. There are many things that you should plan out and practice so that you are ready to act as quickly as possible.

1.) Install fire alarm inside and outside every bedroom.

It’s important that you have fire alarms inside and outside of every bedroom in your home in case a fire starts in the middle of the night. This will ensure that everybody in the house will hear the alarms in the event of a fire even if they are sleeping, allowing them ample time to get out of the house.

2.) Make sure that there are fire alarms on every level of your home.

Not only should you have fire alarms inside and outside of every bedroom, but you should also have them installed on every floor of your home. If a fire starts, it’s important that you’re able to hear the alarms no matter what floor you’re on.

3.) Create a floor plan of your home marking two ways out of each room.

Creating a floor plan of your home is an essential part to having a good fire escape plan, especially if you have children. You should mark two ways to exit every room in the house on the floor plan. This will allow you alternative options if one of the exits is blocked by flames in the event of having to escape.

4.) Gather everybody that lives in your home and go over your floor plan.

It’s important that everybody in your home knows the fire escape plan (especially children). On the floor plan, point out the two exits for each room and the location of each fire alarm.

5.) Choose an outside meeting place.

While making your fire escape plan, you should determine an outside meeting place. Examples of this include your neighbor’s house, a light post, mailbox or a stop sign. This will allow you to make sure that everyone is safely out of the house and accounted for in the event of a house fire.

6.) Practice your escape plan.

Creating a plan on paper can only go so far. It’s important that you practice your plan with your entire family in each room of your house. This will allow for the fastest reaction time in the event of an actual house fire.

7.) Get out immediately if you hear the smoke alarms.

If you hear your smoke alarms, you need to get out of your house immediately. Don’t hesitate to see if it’s a false alarm or grab any valuables. Remember that nothing is more important than saving the lives of both you and your loved ones.

Contact Information: 

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

Sources:
National Fire Protection Association