Recent Posts

5 Tips for Preventing Freezing Pipes in Your Commercial Business

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

The pipes in a building may be an afterthought for many business owners, however they can be essential to a successful business operation. Frozen pipes can lead to pipes bursting and causing water damage to commercial property. In extreme cases, this can be expensive and disrupt  business. 

Here are five tips for preventing freezing pipes in your commercial business:

1.) Make sure that your building is properly insulated.

Even if pipes are located inside your building, they can still freeze if there isn't proper insulation. This includes areas that aren't accessed on a regular basis, such as crawl spaces, basements, attics, closets and warehouses. In addition to insulating your building, you should install weatherstripping around all the doors and windows to aid in keeping warm air inside. 

2.) Use pipe insulation sleeves on more exposed pipes.

You should use pipe insulation sleeves on any pipes that are more exposed to cold temperatures. This offers extra protection from freezing when the temperatures get low.

3.) Drip water through your faucets during periods of intense coldness.

When water is moving, it is much less likely to freeze. Letting your faucets drip during periods of extreme cold can be a great solution to prevent freezing pipes.

4.) Use a backup power source. 

Freezing temperatures can often lead to power outages. If this happens, it's good to have a backup power source to prevent the building from dropping to too cold of a temperature. 

5.) Use a building automation system when people are away from the building. 

It's to have some sort of building automation system to monitor the temperature of your building when nobody is there. This can notify you if the building temperature drops drastically unexpectedly. 

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.

Sources:
Commercial Trade Services

How to Handle Water Damage Based on Water Type

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

If you have a commercial or residential building that experiences water damage, knowing what type of water is causing the problem is essential to properly address the situation. 

Three Types of Water

  • Clean water: This would be described as water from burst pipes or rainwater. This type of water would not be considered a safety hazard for cleaning.
  • Gray water: This water would be considered contaminated to some extent. Clean water can turn into gray water from bacteria growth if it is left untreated for too long. 
  • Black water: This water is filled with bacteria, chemicals and fungi, and it is considered highly contaminated and a safety hazard to clean. This water is typically caused by sewage backups.

How to React to Clean Water Damage

Your first reaction when experiencing "clean" water damage is shutting off the source of the water. This can be done by turning off your main water shut-off valve. For more information on how to do this, see our article How to Find & Use Your Water Shut-Off Valve. Once the water is shut off, do your best to extract as much water as possible. You should remove any items that are exposed to moisture to prevent them from being further damaged. Avoid leaving books or magazines in the water damaged zone because the ink can cause staining.

How to React to Contaminated Water Damage

You should not attempt to clean contaminated water by yourself because it can be hazardous to your health. Do your best to avoid the contaminated water if you can. It is recommended that you shut off all fans and call a water cleanup specialist to handle the job as soon as possible. 

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 Find & Use Your Water Shut-Off Valve

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Knowing where and how to use your water shut-off valve is very important in the event your home experiences major leaking or flooding. If you are unable to stop a leak in your home, turning off your main water shut-off valve is a great solution. 

How to Find Your Shut-Off Valve

If you don't know where your water shut-off valve is, a good place to start looking is the perimeter of your house. Typically, the valve will be on the side of your house that faces the street (since the water main begins there). If you're having trouble finding your valve, you can check your property inspection report in the "plumbing" section. The location should be written there accompanied by a picture of the valve. As a last resort, you can always use the street-side shut-off valve located at the start of your water main. 

How to Operate Your Water Shut-Off Valve

Once you're able to locate your water shut-off valve, you'll want to know how to turn it off and on. Depending on what type of valve you have, there are different ways to turn it off and on. This is how you operate the most commonly used valves:

  • Knife Style Valve. A knife style valve resembles a straight handle. In order to open the valve, you'll want to put the handle parallel to the pipe. Turning the handle sideways will then shut the valve. 
  • Round Handle Valve. A round handle valve turns in a circular motion to be turned on and off. In order to turn the valve off, you'll want to turn it left until it is tight. 
  • House Side Valve. There is a street-side utility box for your house. You can access it by lifting the lid and putting it to the side. The side of the box facing your house will contain the house side valve. It usually had a knob or nut to turn off and on. 
  • Street Side Valve. The other side of the utility box facing the street will contain the street side valve. This valve is only supposed to be handled by water companies, so you will want to ignore it (it likely won't be able to be used without a special tool anyways).

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.

Sources:
WSSC Water
The Spruce

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
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