Spring Mold: What’s Lurking Behind Your Walls?
We may live in the High Desert, but that doesn’t mean we are immune to mold. Mold is everywhere, and it has been around for millions of years. Mold has the important job of breaking down trees, leaves, and other plant matter.
Microscopic mold spores are floating through the air in search of food. They may enter your home or commercial space through windows, doors, AC/heating systems, or hitch a ride on your clothing or family dog. These airborne fungi love cellulose - or wood products. Mold can’t distinguish between the walls in our home and the dead tree in the forest. So if the environment is right, it will grow wherever it lands - and it eats what it lands on.
The springtime is the perfect time for the spores to visit. As the warmer weather beckons us to open our windows, mold can enter our homes. Plus, mold likes temperatures between 41 degrees to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The only other thing mold needs to thrive is moisture. And while we tend to lack in the humidity department, any leaks or standing water will attract mold spores. Mold spreads very quickly, so even if you have a small mold problem today, it can become a significant problem before you know it.
How to Identify Mold
Mold has a telltale musty odor. It also can appear as spots of many different colors. Mold may appear on your walls, window sills, sink, or on your home's siding. But mold can also hide behind your walls, in your crawl space, or under your roof.
If you find mold, it is essential to act quickly. As previously mentioned, mold virtually grows at warp speed. The sooner you respond, the more limited the damage - and the costs associated with repairing said damage.
Address the cause of the mold.
Mold and moisture go hand in hand. You must address the underlying cause, or the mold will return.
Don’t try to remove mold without containing the area.
Mold spreads by releasing millions of mold spores into the air. Only remove mold by containing the area and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Better yet, hire a mold remediation specialist like SERVPRO of Bend and SERVPRO of N. Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson Counties.
Don’t cover up mold.
Never caulk or paint over mold. You can’t cover up the problem and hope it goes away. Ensure mold is properly removed and the underlying cause is fully addressed BEFORE painting or caulking the area.
Porous materials may need to be replaced.
Mold proliferates on porous surfaces, such as carpet, upholstery, and furniture. It will fill the empty spaces in the material (imagine a sponge with holes), making it virtually impossible to remove completely.
Understand the difference between removal and remediation.
Since mold spores are microscopic and exist everywhere, it is impossible to eradicate mold. To correctly address a mold problem, SERVPRO of Bend will:
- Inspect and assess the mold damage
- Contain mold using physical barriers and negative air pressure
- Filter the area to prevent the spread of spores during cleanup
- Remove mold and mold-infested materials
- Clean and disinfect all contents and belongings affected by mold
- Restore the areas impacted by mold
If you identify mold or suspect you may have a mold problem, call our experts today at 541-385-7044. We are here to answer your questions or concerns 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Defensible Space in Central Oregon
Defensible space diagram from California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
Central Oregon is a wonderful outdoor playground, whether you enjoy hiking, mountain biking, or fishing. Unfortunately, the beautiful forests, lakes and streams that surround our high desert wonderland are also susceptible to wild fires.
For Central Oregonians who live in a wooded area, we highly recommend that you create a defensible space around the perimeter of your home. What is a defensible space?
Defensible space is the area between a house and an oncoming wildfire that acts as a buffer that slows the fire and provides an opportunity for firefighters to defend the home. Defensible space is created and maintained through the proper management and modification of vegetation in the area immediately surrounding your home.
If you live in Central Oregon and have questions about how you can create a defensible space within your own yard, feel free to give SERVPRO of Bend a call at 541-385-7044.
SERVPRO of Bend Offers Free Emergency Ready Plans to Area Businesses
Nobody expects an emergency to happen, especially to them. However, the reality is that disasters can happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere. Being prepared is critical to keeping yourself, your employees, and customers safe while minimizing property damage.
Disasters can come in many forms. After one, the cost to rebuild and reopen is high enough to prevent 50% of all businesses from ever opening their doors again. Of the companies that survived, the majority had a preparedness plan. This plan placed them in a better position to recover and continue operations.
And that’s where SERVPRO of Bend and SERVPRO of North Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook County come in.
In reality, you can be ruined, or you can be ready. And being prepared is akin to survival - knowing that you’re prepared for whatever happens can bring much peace of mind. Plus, having a plan tells your customers and employees that they don’t necessarily have to be impacted if a disaster affects your business.
The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a FREE service provided for any commercial business within Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson counties. The plan includes vital information on what to do and expect in an emergency. Timely action is crucial for mitigating costly damage and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect a business.
What You Get with the FREE SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
- A no-cost comprehensive assessment of your facility, which is completed within about three hours
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
- Confidence that in the event of a disaster, SERVPRO of Bend is close by and ready to help mitigate the damage
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin - specifically, who will make decisions on the work needed to be completed
- Facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information. This quick reference guide clearly shows what to do, how to do it, and who to call in the event of an emergency.
Time is money. Having a quick reference guide will help you move faster and more safely, so you can fix problems and get back to serving your customers and making money.
There’s An Emergency Preparedness App for That
In today’s high-tech age, it’s wonderful to know that your emergency-ready plan can be at your fingertips. The SERVPRO’s Ready Plan Mobile App is a critical tool in an emergency. Within the app, your Emergency Ready Profile™ resides, ready with essential facility information to help you speed up response time.
If your business doesn’t have an emergency-ready plan, we encourage you to take the time to schedule one with SERVPRO of Bend or SERVPRO of North Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook Counties. This free service can be the lifeline of your business. Call 541-385-7044 to schedule your free emergency-ready profile with SERVPRO today.
Microbursts - The Storms You Never Expected Can Sometimes Cause the Most Damage
As we retreat from winter’s grip, the days grow longer, hinting at the warmer weather to come. And while snow can happen almost any time of the year in Central Oregon, most of us eagerly anticipate the change of season and the beauty that comes with it. But as winter turns to spring, the warmer gives way to a phenomenon called a microburst.
According to the National Weather Service, a microburst is a “localized column of sinking air within a thunderstorm.” Do you recall the pounding hail storm we had a few years ago that seemingly came out of nowhere and destroyed hemp crops in Tumalo? That was a microburst, and they can be as damaging, life-threatening, and dangerous as a tornado.
With wind speeds up to 100+ miles per hour, a microburst can cause significant damage to anything in its path, such as homes, commercial buildings, and crops. The damage can be pretty shocking when these storms come out of nowhere. We are used to advanced warnings of snowstorms and rain. But microbursts often appear with minimal warning, catching unsuspecting property owners off guard. The window left open in the house suddenly becomes the source of significant water damage to the home or commercial space.
At SERVPRO of Bend, we are no stranger to microbursts or other types of storm damage. We understand the complexity and urgency of addressing storm damage and are ready to respond immediately - 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our team includes highly trained, and certified technicians and carpenters prepared to repair whatever property damage you experience. And while we are here for you, whenever or wherever you need us, we wanted to provide some tips for helping protect your property from storm damage this spring and summer.
- Prune trees. A lot of damage from storms comes from fallen trees and broken branches. Trim trees that are close to the home. Look for clustered or touching branches and trim branches to create stability in weight distribution. Hire an arborist to get the job done right. Double stake any newly planted trees to protect against getting uprooted in a storm.
- Inspect the roof for loose shingles and empty gutters of leaves, and any yard debris. We recommend hiring a professional for any repairs needed.
- Check the seal around windows for cracks and repair them to prevent water from entering the home.
- Close doors. In the event of a microburst, close all the doors to the home or business - including interior doors. Doing so will help prevent pressure build-up inside the structure, which could cause significant destruction.
- Inspect garage. Unless your garage has windows, you should see little light around the garage door. Wheels should fit securely in the roller tracks. The more opportunities for air to enter the structure, the greater the chance for the wind to lift off the roof.
- Inspect siding. Changing temperatures can cause the siding to crack pull away from the foundation or gap. If gaps or cracks are identified, seal them. If damage is significant enough, replace the siding.
- Inspect outbuildings. If your home or commercial space has any outbuildings, ensure they are secured to the ground to prevent them from becoming projectiles.
- Secure lawn furniture, grills, and other items. Bring furniture cushions indoors to prevent them from becoming airborne if the weather service predicts significant thunderstorms.
Microbursts and other damaging storms are a reality that you should account for. While your property can often be replaced, it is an asset most of us don’t want to risk losing. Take proactive steps now to mitigate your risk of significant damage in the event of a severe storm.
If you experience storm damage in Bend, Redmond, or anywhere in Deschutes, Jefferson, or Crook County, SERVPRO is here to help, whenever or wherever you need us.
SERVPRO of Bend Storm Readiness
At SERVPRO of Bend, we get a lot of questions regarding how SERVPRO gets information regarding storms, especially when there is a storm brewing in a region that we service. One huge advantage to all SERVPRO franchises like SERVPRO of Bend is that SERVPRO HQ employs our very own meteorologist who continues to monitor the weather patterns nationally. Locally, we strive to stay ahead of the curve by observing weekly and monthly local weather patterns and gearing up to accommodate any size storm that may come our way.
Central Oregon weather patterns are finicky, and it is not uncommon during March, April, and May to have sunny skies one hour and then a torrential hailstorm the next. Regardless of what is coming our way, SERVPRO of Bend is ready to deal with what mother nature brings our way. SERVPRO can maximize production volume during a storm event because of our access to many other franchises who are ready to be dispatched within hours.
If you have questions regarding SERVPRO’s Storm team and how we can help during any size disaster, feel free to give us a call at 541-385-7044.
Why Do You Need SERVPRO?
Imagine you’ve just experienced a fire in your home, a flood, or a major storm. You and your family are safe, but you’re standing in the middle of a disaster zone—or what used to be your home.
Perhaps the roof or siding of your home has been compromised, or there is a foot of stagnant water sloshing around in your basement. Your home might be dangerous to be inside or even unlivable. These types of situations can cause a considerable amount of stress and worry, not to mention a health or safety hazard for you and your family. Your home needs restoration, and quickly, before the problem gets worse, and believe it or not, it can get worse.
When you’re faced with flood, fire, or storm damage to your home or other property, a helping hand from a professional can make all the difference. At SERVPRO of Bend, we’re trained to assess and repair damage to your home and get it fixed as quickly as possible.
We’re responsive in an emergency.
Disaster doesn’t keep a 9-to-5 schedule, which is why we provide 24-hour emergency services in the Bend, Redmond, Madras, Sunriver, La Pine, Prineville, and other surrounding Central Oregon areas.
We’re responsive to you regardless of the hour or day because we understand the situation's urgency. It’s our priority to prevent secondary damage from affecting your home and do everything we can to help reduce your overall costs.
In just 48 hours, a situation like water damage can eat away at your home, costing you a considerable amount of time and money. SERVPRO of Bend responds faster than any other service—regardless of the size of your emergency.
We’re restoration specialists.
When you’re dealing with property damage, you want the help of a highly trained professional who can assess the situation quickly and efficiently. Here at SERVPRO, we respond to your emergency with certified technicians who are experienced in property damage restoration and who are ready to answer your questions—right there on the spot.
Our technicians are trained to standards set by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), with an understanding of the following restoration topics:
- Fire restoration
- Water restoration
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning
- Mold mitigation
We’re also focused on continuing education, keeping our staff up-to-date on the best ways to mitigate emergencies, and restoring your home after it has been affected by water, fire, or storm damage.
SERVPRO is part of the community.
Thanks to our network of 1,700 franchises across the country, we can get to you quickly, no matter where you are. We have technicians and carpenters available on call 24/7, with the knowledge and experience you need to restore your home.
At SERVPRO of Bend, we’re locally opened and operated, which means we live here, too—and we’re equipped to repair any kind of damage that can affect your Central Oregon home. We have the resources you need to handle any major event, regardless of how big or small.
Are you dealing with the destructive aftermath of a fire, flood, storm, or other natural disaster? For emergency and damage restoration services in Bend, OR, and the surrounding Central Oregon area, contact us at SERVPRO of Bend for a team of disaster recovery professionals. We are also available in North Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook County.
Some Intricacies of a Commercial Property
Intricacies of Commercial Property
The intricacies of a commercial property can be intimidating if you’re not sure what you’re looking at. When a commercial property suffers property damage, it is extremely important that whoever responds, not only understand the mechanics of what they’re looking at but also what may not be so obvious.
Commercial properties often have interstitial spaces. An interstitial space is an intermediate space located between regular-use floors, commonly located in hospitals and laboratory-type buildings to allow space for the mechanical systems of the building. Some of those systems, such as a fire suppression system can be extremely sensitive and if not handled correctly, can cause more damage than the original loss.
SERVPRO of Bend understands the processes needed to assess and plan for when a commercial building has property damage. We are certified in drying of commercial buildings through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC.)
If you have any questions regarding drying a commercial building or would like a technician from SERVPRO to come out and perform an onsite, Emergency Ready Profile at no cost to you, give us a call at 541-385-7044.
Water Intrusion Detection Can Be Tricky
Infrared Image of Water Loss
Water intrusion can be tricky, especially when there is no obvious cause at the time of discovery. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bend has a multitude of tools and resources for our Fire and Water Technician’s that assist them when the source of the water intrusion might not be so obvious.
SERVPRO of Bend Water Technicians were called to a commercial property in Redmond, Oregon when the maintenance department discovered a small bubble forming on the ceiling of the pool room. SERVPRO of Bend Water Technicians began metering the area with a non-intrusive, moisture meter. Due to the thickness of the materials in the area, the surface meter was not picking up the expected readings for the material.
SERVPRO of Bend Water Technicians then used their infrared guided measurement tool to quickly target the area where the bubble was forming. The infrared images showed that there was bound water in the top layer of the affected drywall material, but it had not saturated the second level enough to register on a non-intrusive, surface meter.
SERVPRO of Bend were able to focus their efforts on the affected area, which enabled them to only remove the necessary materials and get the commercial property dry and back to its preloss condition.
If you have questions about a possible water loss or the use of infrared technology, feel free to contact SERVPRO of Bend at 541-385-7044.
Unfinished Crawlspace Can Cause Excessive Moisture
Many of the homes in Central Oregon are built with a crawlspace. A crawlspace is the narrow area between the ground and the first floor of a home. It is typically unfinished, with a dirt floor. In some cases it can be as narrow as 2-ft. x 2-ft., just enough room to crawl around inside — hence the name. A crawlspace is often an access point for electrical, plumbing and ventilation within the home.
A crawlspace is typically vented to the outside or an adjoining basement. This ventilation allows air to circulate below the house. However, if a crawlspace is not properly vented, excessive moisture from the ground can accumulate on wood and concrete. Many homeowners also like to use the space for storage, though one should consider the moisture and environment first. Unfinished, properly vented crawlspaces are good for storing construction materials like bricks, tiles, piping or anything that won’t be damaged by moisture. Ventilation is a key factor in optimizing a crawlspace.
Unless you live in a dry climate, moisture can be an issue, especially in an unfinished crawlspace. Not only would the humidity damage things like clothes, books, food and furniture, but moisture can lead to mold and mildew growth.
If you have questions about mold in a crawlspace or if your crawlspace is adequately ventilated, feel free to give SERVPRO of Bend a call at 541-385-7044. We service Bend, Redmond, La Pine, Prineville, Sunriver, Madras and most of Central Oregon.
Going Beyond Just Placing Equipment
Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water damage. At SERVPRO of Bend We specialize in water damage restoration. We have extensive water damage restoration training, and our process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end.
Our Water Mitigation technicians are certified through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) to ensure that our customers are receiving a quality of service that goes beyond someone just showing up and placing equipment. Our Technicians understand the Science of Drying and apply drying standards to each job to ensure that the job is being completed quickly and thoroughly.
Our advanced equipment helps to detect hidden moisture, extract the standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry your home and belongings. We finish the job with professional deodorization and sanitizing agents for your comfort and safety.
If you live in Bend, Redmond, La Pine, Sunriver, Madras or any other area in Central Oregon and need assistance with water damage, don't hesitate to give SERVPRO of Bend a call at 541-385-7044.