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Commercial Winterization in Central Oregon

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial building by mountain Winterize your buildings: commercial building owners should take steps this winter to guard against potential damage.

Owning a commercial property in Central Oregon can sometimes take on a life of its own. When winter is coming around the corner, commercial business owners all through the area prepare for the season in hopes of "not another winter of '92" and an early spring and mild summer to follow. This winter, make sure you pay extra close attention to your commercial properties, and take a few extra steps to keep you damage-free this time of year.

Residential or commercial, everyone who owns any kind of structure should do a winter check before the weather gets too cold. This may be more detail-intensive for commercial building owners than a small homeowner, though it should be done every fall with a checklist to make sure nothing is missed. Some areas to focus on would be pipes (checking that they are well insulated and free from leaks), checking on boilers and heating systems (confirming that they are in working order and even having a professional check done on your HVAC system to ensure every part of your building is staying warm), checking your roof (to make sure that it is not damaged while considering the install of some self-regulating deicing cables to keep the upper parts of your roof from forming ice dams), and checking doors and windows (confirming there are no separations, and the windows and doors themselves are well insulated).  

Another point to always consider, especially if you will be doing business or operating in the space throughout the winter, is making sure your building has good access points through the snow and you have a plan to keep your parking lot free of ice and snow. No one likes pulling up to a local business and being forced to penguin-walk across 50 yards of treacherous, unseen black ice. Your loading docks and commercial entrances too, make sure to keep on top of icicles forming, or any sign that sheets of ice or snow may be falling from the roof. The inside of your building may be warm and dry though always remember the outside conditions of your property.

Lastly, among dozens of other things that could potentially be done, remember to maintain your entry ways and the hallways and passages directly inside your entrances. All though the winter, customers or employees will be tracking snow, dirt, salt and water through your doors which a small mat may not be able to handle. Consider purchasing some industrial rubber mats and a metal-grated shoe cleaner outside your doors. This will keep the inside of your building as clean as possible and will also guard against slips and falls. 

If you ever need help with water, mold, or other loss situations this winter, please do not hesitate to give SERVPRO of Bend a call. 

Keep an Eye on your Gutters this Fall

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Water pouring off gutter More water hits your roof than you might think. Make sure it is directed and contained properly.

There are not many things on your home that can cause both above-ground and below-ground water damage.

Rain gutters, often overlooked and underappreciated, not only help direct the massive amounts of water leaving your roof during the fall and winter, but also can lead to very costly damages in a very short amount of time. As the leaves change colors and detach from their branches, when they're not clogging the roads and being shoveled into piles, they're happily packing themselves away in your gutter. Rain makes it worse-- as the storms come and go, the leaves begin to break down and form a type of leafy-pulp that blocks all entrances and exits to your gutter as efficiently as rubber cement. As the water flows over the sides and off the top, finding a new path on it's inevitable trip to the ground, it may flow or splash against the outside housing of your home or business, causing water damage to the material and possibly making it's way inside. Then, finally, it's on the ground: pooling exactly where it shouldn't while slowly seeping into your foundation or down into your crawl space. 

Luckily for you, there are actions you can take to prevent these things from happening, and even other, worse things, like attempting to de-clog your gutters in the middle of a lightning storm. Every structure is different, though here are a few things that can help you in your battle of the leaves this fall:

1)Check and clean your gutters regularly. Doing this will make it almost impossible for things to go wrong this fall, and takes very little time or effort.

2)Rule of thumb: make sure to have one downspout for each 40-ft section of gutter. This allows the water an easy path to the ground and will prevent against overflows.

3)Install gutter guards/screens. There are a number of products out there that will assist in keeping your gutters free of debris. 

4)Make sure to repair damaged/sagging gutters. Keeping you gutter system in top shape could mean the difference between staying dry or getting wet. Don't wait until a problem gets worse-- take care of it when you see it.

Most of all, always keep an eye on what is going on with your roof this fall. You never know when there could be some kind of blockage, allowing water to pool in places that it shouldn't. With a little upkeep this fall should go smoothly.

Look out for Frozen Pipes

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen pipe Don't let your pipes freeze! Plan ahead and save yourself some trouble this winter.

As we move closer to winter here in Central Oregon, there may be some things you've forgotten about after the long, hot summer. Maybe keeping the windows open all night long is no longer comfortable, and those flowers you planted are not looking so good. Most of these things you can see with your own eyes-- but what about those you can't? As the weather gets cooler and the snow starts to fall, remember the hidden things that can lead to thousands of dollars of water damage... frozen pipes!

To help you keep this from happening in your home or place of business, here are some helpful tips:

1)Keep the heat running

This is the most obvious and easiest to do. If you or your tenants are planning on being away, even for a day or two, remember to always keep the heat on so the temperature won't drop leading to frozen pipes. You don't have to make it a sauna-- above 50 degrees should be fine.

2)Keep interior doors open

In many cases, water pipes run though cabinets under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, and other places. Keeping these cabinet doors open will help allow the heat to reach the pipes. Also, doors throughout the house should remain open to promote even heat distribution. 

3)Let your faucet drip

No one likes wasting water, but if you are worried that you cannot let enough heat into the area of water pipe, allowing the connected faucet to drip slightly can keep the pipe from eventually bursting in the event of a freeze. This is due to the fact that when a frozen blockage occurs, it is not the ice but the pressure that will lead to the pipe bursting. Allowing a slow drip of water to escape the pipe will counteract this.

4)Apply heating tape

When it comes to pipes, heating tape can be a lifesaver if there is a section you feel is especially prone to freezing. The problem here is that you need access to the pipe to apply the tape. 

5) Add more insulation

This is another obvious action that can go a long way towards keeping your home or business water-damage free. Water pipes located in attics or basements are in many cases exposed, leaving them more susceptible to quickly freezing if the temperature drops. Try wrapping them in a fiberglass or foam cover to allow them to hold out for longer in sub-freezing temperatures. Additionally, you can add more insulation to the walls surrounding. 

If you decide to take a trip to warmer climates this winter, and forget these things, the worst may happen and you could return to your home or place of business with a lot of water sitting on your floor, in you basement, or in the walls surrounding the pipes. If that happens, waste no time in calling SERVPRO of Bend! Though if you plan ahead, and keep that heat running, the Central Oregon winter will come and go with no issues. 

Commercial Reconstruction in Central Oregon

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

When thinking about the difference between commercial and residential reconstruction, the first and most obvious thing to notice would have to be the size. Though the end result of making it "Like it never even happened," is the same, reconstructing a movie theater, or a hospital, or basketball gym, could not be more different than the small residential home or mid-sized apartment. In one you may only need a couple technicians and a handful of equipment-- the work may be able to be completed in a number of days, and everything from start to finish is straightforward and typical. The other, though, could require a number of full teams, dozens of pieces of larger-scale industrial equipment, take weeks or even months, and be totally unique each and every time. Commercial restoration in Central Oregon is no different.

Taking the size aside, the next largest difference between commercial and residential restoration are the materials that need to be treated and "put back". Instead of your common drywall and wood related to residential reconstruction, with commercial you may see steel, glass, concrete and stone. What's more, the amount of these materials could quickly dwarf those used in a private residence or even a multi-family home. The spaces themselves may also hold very different pieces of machinery or electronics: with commercial you could see elevators or escalators, commercial HVAC equipment, and a number of other things that both require specialized maintenance and a much more forethought when it comes to having them restored and put back in place.

SERVPRO of Bend has a long history of working on commercial structures in Central Oregon and beyond. Just a number of months ago SERVPRO of Bend was called to a commercial water loss at a casino that had affected a number of floors and hundreds of square feet, needing to be dried out and then restored back to its prior condition. Along with dozens of laborers and technicians, the job required commercial generators, a very large number of air movers and dehumidifiers, and numerous material tests and specialty abatements to get the job done. Preparing the area was different from residential too, in that a large amount of containment tenting was required so that any dust or contaminates would not migrate to other parts of the unaffected building. As mentioned above, this also took weeks, and a and robust materials and personnel schedule was put in place so that the scope of work was followed exactly and progress was efficiently mapped and estimated. As was mentioned, in the end the result was the same: the damage was made to seem "Like it never even happened," and the property was returned to its preloss state on time and on budget.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a water or fire loss, contamination, or mold issue at your commercial facility, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of Bend today to schedule your inspection and begin the process of getting things back to normal. There is no job too large or complex-- with SERVPRO of Bend on site you can rest easy knowing that they can handle the work at hand because they have seen it all before.   

Disinfection Services Big or Small

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

Large Warehouse Facility Don't try to tackle jobs too big to handle.

As we continue to wade through this pandemic together in Central Oregon, residents and especially businesses are feeling the heat when it comes to keeping where they work, play, eat and sleep safe for all those present. We know to wash our hands and wear a mask, though what to do when it comes to cleaning your home or place of business may be somewhat intimidating.

When looking online or in the store, there are numerous products that could potentially be used to handle a long list of pathogens (including COVID-19), and many of which are even recommended by the CDC. If you're looking for something to wipe down your kitchen table, or maybe clean the inside of your car, you should have no problem acquiring a product that could be used in a preventative capacity in just a few minutes. Confirmed presence of a pathogen is another thing: even if you are cleaning something as small as a car or kitchen, you should not do it yourself as you run the risk of infection without proper professional PPE. Though what if it's not simply a kitchen table you are looking to disinfect? What if the space is much larger? Say, a 500,000 square foot manufacturing facility? This is where SERVPRO comes in-- the thing you cannot find sitting on the grocery store shelf.

SERVPRO of Bend is locally owned and operated, though is a part of the largest disaster restoration company in the country. You will be working with folks who live and work in your community, and behind them comes the full weight and decades-long experience of the entire SERVPRO brand. This means that if 20 trucks are needed, we can get them. If millions of square feet are affected, we can handle it. And above all, no matter what happens, we will always be here to assist in your time of need long after the work is done. If you find yourself looking at a job that seems far too large to handle, look no further than the professionals at SERVPRO. 

Protect your Property from Hailstorms

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Hailstones on grass These little balls of ice are not so much fun when traveling at 30 mph!

Although not as common in Central Oregon as other parts of the country, hailstorms, especially those that come without warning, can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home, property and vehicle. Even with insurance, no one wants to file a claim and go through the hassle of having to make repairs to their car or roof. What, then, should you do?

The easiest and best advice when it comes to hailstorms is an obvious one: keep an eye on the weather report. As mentioned above, this may not always help you, though even a small mention of "possible hail" should be enough for you to take note of what is outside your home and the condition of your roof and any other structures on your property. When it comes to your vehicle, the best way to keep it safe is unsurprisingly to keep it under a carport or in your garage. If this is not a possibility, you will have to go the route of protecting your vehicle in other ways which could range from parking it below thick tree cover, layering blankets and car mats across the top (plywood can be added for increased protection), or purchasing a specialized "hail cover" online. Anything that can dampen the impact will be helpful, especially when the hail reaches sizes of one inch in diameter or more.

As for your home or other structures on your property, making sure your roofs are in good shape is the only way to be sure you are protected. As you probably know, roofs can be made with a variety of materials from wood shingles to asphalt or tile. Although this is not a top of mind concern in Central Oregon, looking for materials with a "class 4" rating can save you a lot of trouble down the road if a large storm does appear, and have the added benefit of being longer-lasting under normal circumstances. Always make sure to not wait until your roof has any kind of damage-- a somewhat costly roof repair will always pale in comparison to having a collapse or gaps which could allow hail and anything else to fall on your appliances and furniture. 

Your landscaping may suffer to some degree though the evergreen trees of our area are very resilient when it comes to bad weather and impacts from hail. If you have a non-greenhouse flower bed or garden you can similarly purchase a small pop up canopy or try to construct something on your own that will act as a shield when the time comes. Though flowers can be replanted-- not so much your car. Keep these things in mind and that one freak hailstorm every few years will be of no worry to you! 

Watch Out for Oily Rags This Summer

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

Dirty rag This innocent rag could add much unneeded stress to your household projects this summer.

The higher temperatures and clear weather make for a great time to work around the house or in the yard. Among these common activities, re-staining a deck is certainly one of them. Both easy and cost-effective, staining a deck is a great way to add to the look of your new paint job or revive a decades-old deck that has been through one too many Central Oregon winters. But what if staining your deck could lead to you losing everything you own? It's possible-- and those oily rags you have piled nearby could be the unlikely culprit.

Oil-based stains are very common and can be found in thousands of stores across the country. Though something that is so common, and under normal circumstances very safe, can also become a massive fire danger if not stored properly while working outside. These oily rags can auto-ignite if they become too hot, leaving your deck and the home it's attached to in danger of going up in flames. To help you make sure this never happens, here is a list of things you can do to keep your outdoor staining projects safe this summer:

1)Never store oily rags in a pile. 

2)Store the rags in an airtight, metal container.

3) Always read the manufactures warnings on the product itself.  

4) If you must set a rag down, never let it sit too long.

5)For disposal, always contact your local waste management before simply throwing the rags away. 

In this situation, as in many others, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Do not wait until you have experienced a fire to take these easy steps and continue to enjoy your summer free of fire! 

8 Tips for Safely Using Fireworks

6/30/2020 (Permalink)

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, many people are stocking up on fireworks. While this can be a fun activity to celebrate the holiday, it's important to take the necessary safety precautions when using fireworks. This is especially important for Central Oregonians as much of the vegetation that makes up our beautiful landscape is extremely flammable.

Did you know that fireworks are the cause of over 18,000 fires each year? These fires account for an average of 3 deaths and 40 injuries each year. Check out the tips below so that you can avoid becoming part of the statistic. 

1.) Don't let young children handle fireworks.

Young children should definitely not be handling fireworks. Additionally, any older children should be closely monitored by an adult to ensure that fireworks are being properly used. 

2.) Avoid using fireworks if you're impaired by drugs or alcohol.

It's no secret that drugs and alcohol can cause poor judgment. It is best not to take the risk of using fireworks when impaired for the safety of everyone around. 

3.) Don't hold any fireworks that have been lit in your hand.

This may seem obvious, but it's worth mentioning. Fireworks should never be held in peoples' hands once they are ignited. 

4.) Don't light fireworks indoors.

The last thing that you want is to cause a house fire from lighting a firework inside. Stick to the outdoors when using fireworks. 

5.) Don't light fireworks in a container.

Fireworks should never be lit in a container, including metal and glass containers. 

6.) Soak fireworks in water for a couple hours after use.

It is a good rule of thumb to soak fireworks in water for a couple hours after they have been used. This will prevent any accidental fires.

7.) Always have a bucket of water nearby.

Fire spreads at an extremely rapid pace. Having a bucket of water ready is important to stop a fire while it is still manageable. 

8.) Light fireworks in an area without fire hazards.

Find a clear area that isn't surrounded by vegetation when shooting off fireworks. 

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.

National Safety Council

Safety Tips for Fire Pits

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, many people are gearing up to spend more time outside. A popular Central Oregon activity is sitting around the fire pit on a summer night. While this is great for enjoying summer nights, it's important to be careful not to ignite any outdoor or house fires. 

Here a couple tips to remember to prevent any fire pit accidents:

1.) Placement

You should not put a fire pit within 10 feet of your house or neighboring yards. You should also make sure that there's no overhanging over your pit.

2.) Extinguishing a Fire

Putting dirt or sand on a fire ins't always enough to put a fire out. The best way to make sure that a fire is completely out is to let the wood burn all the way down and spreading out the coals. Once the coals are spread out, you should also douse the pit with water until there is no remaining heat emanating from the pit.

Contact Information:

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

6 Tips for Preventing Outdoor Fires

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

As summer approaches, people are spending more time outdoors in their yards. While enjoying the Central Oregon weather, this is a great opportunity to get rid of fire hazards outside your home and create a fire-safe space.

Here are some simple things that you can do that will greatly reduce the risk of fire around your home: 

1.) Place your grill three feet from siding, deck railings, and overhanging branches.

Things like siding, deck railings and overhanging branches are fire hazards and should not be within a three foot vicinity of your grill. All it takes is a single spark for any of these things to catch fire. 

2.) Keep fire pits, wood piles and propane tanks 5-30 feet from your home.

Fire pits, wood piles, and propane tanks are extremely flammable. You want to keep these a minimum of five feet (more if possible) from your home. This will provide a buffer zone between your the objects and your home if one were to catch fire.

3.) Only light a gas grill if the lid is open.

You want to make sure to always open the lid of the grill before lighting it. If you light it with the lid closed, this can create gas buildup that could cause an explosion.

4.) Trim any branches that are within 5 feet of your home.

It is a good rule of thumb to trim any branches that are within five feet of your home. This creates a buffer zone if one of the trees were to catch fire. 

5.) Clear leaves and branches from roofs, gutters, porches and decks.

Leaves and branches are flammable, and you don't want them accumulating on your roofs, gutters, porches or decks. You should periodically clear these areas throughout the summer. 

6.) Remove dead plants, leaves and branches within 10 feet of your home.

It is also good practice to remove any dead plants, leaves and branches within 10 feet of your home. This creates a defensible space from fires.

Contact Information:

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

U.S. Fire Administration