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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

John's Tip of the Month

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

IS YOUR FACILITY AT RISK?

I found this Risk Assessment Questionnaire and I believe that it is good tool to use to help stay on top of the maintenance and operations of your facility.*

This assessment covers Fire Protection, Electrical, Plumbing, HAVAC, Operational Issues and Community Rooms.

 Over the years we have restored many businesses that had fallen behind on their maintenance and had AVOIDABLE DISASTERS!

Note: State and Local government generally establish inspection schedules as part of building codes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establish requirements related to workplace safety. Use of this questionnaire should take into account the various regulatory requirements for inspection and testing. Also, a building’s use and occupancy, including visitors, may determine the level or risk—the presence of children and/or elderly or disabled persons may increase some risk.

Risk Assessment Questionnaire

FIRE PROTECTION

  • Is there an automatic detection system
  • Are there smoke and fire alarm systems
  • Are the systems inspected and serviced annually
  • Are there sufficient number of fire extinguishers of the appropriate class
  • Are the fire extinguishers readily identifiable
  • Are the fire extinguishers inspected and recharge annually
  • Are there automatic sprinklers and/or standpipe and hoses in the building
  • Are they inspected annually
  • Is the fire suppression systems tested according to the local codes

 ELECTRICAL

  • Are all of the breaker and fuses enclosed in metal cabinets that close securely
  • Are all circuits easily identifiable
  • Are all of the fuse or breakers sized for the equipment or lighting they control
  • Is the area in front of the panels assessable
  • Are there reoccurring problems with fuses or breakers being continually tripping
  • Do metal-enclosed switch gears receive scheduled preventative maintenance
  • Are ground fault interrupters (GFIs) utilized in potentially wet or damp areas
  • Are surge protectors used on phone systems, computers, and office equipment? They are generally required on leased equipment
  • Are extension cords use for permanent power sources in lieu of hard wiring or adding an outlet
  • Are space heaters being used to augment the HVAC system
  • Are tenants reminded not use extension cord as permanent power sources and not to use space heaters
  • Is there proper space around and above recessed lighting
  • If there is a back power supply is inspected and test on a regular schedule i.e. backup batteries or a generator
  • Are the electrical rooms and cabinets that accessible from common areas kept locked.

PLUMBING & DRAINS

  • Are water and drain pipes, seals, etc., inspected periodically for leaks
  • Are pipes properly insulated (this very important due to the fact we don’t have hard freezes)
  • Clear rain gutters annually
  • Clean and clear storm water run-off drains bi-annually

HVAC

  • Has the HVAC system been inspected and serviced with in the past year
  • Is the boil’s low water cutoff/water supply flushed out every month during the heating season
  • Dose the boiler meet fire code requirements concerning noncombustible material and proper fire rated doors and closers
  • Is the boiler room properly ventilated
  • Is the boiler room inspected periodically to ensure that no combustible materials are stored there
  • Are vents and chimney flues inspected annually for clear passage
  • Is there a program in place for cleaning ductwork and diffusers
  • Are windows checked periodically to ensure that they open and close properly and fasteners are in good operating condition
  • Are windows system checked periodically to ensure that they are not deteriorating
  • Is installed window-washing apparatus and/or scaffolding properly attached to the roof decking

        OPERATIONAL ISSUES

  • Dose the building have Emergency Ready Profile (emergency procedures manual)
  • Dose the building have a safety committee
  • Do building staff receive appropriate training related to blood borne pathogens, first aid, and other emergency response subjects 

        COMMUNITY ROOM

  • What is the maximum occupancy of your community room Is it posted
  • Are exits keep clear
  • When positioning furniture for functions, are clear aisles maintained for quick and easy egress in an emergency
  • Is the range and or microwave oven maintained in a clean and manner? Are orifices in gas ranges kept clear
  • Are there curtains or any other combustible material near the range
  • Is there a properly sized and vented range hood
  • Is grease periodically cleaned from the hood and ductwork
  • Has a Class B fire extinguisher been provided in the kitchen area
  • Are the coils on the refrigerator/freezer kept clean of dirt and lint

*Source DexerityDynamics

John's Tip of the month, bed bugs!

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

What Are They? 
Bed Bugs are parasitic insects of the Cimicid family that feed exclusively on human blood. They are mostly nocturnal. They can cause skin rashes, allergic symptoms and psychological effects. They have been with us for thousands of years, even though they were almost eradicated in the 1940’s in the developed world. However, they have become resistant to pesticides and have made a comeback. They are here to stay. 

Where Do They Come From? 
The Southwest, Southeast, Eastern US, Washington, and Alaska have a high concentration of Bed Bugs. This puts us at risk of an outbreak here in Oregon. 

Now What? 
As business owners and managers it is crucial to train employees so they can spot Bed Bugs as soon as they arrive. You need to have policies in place to deal with guests or residents that have encountered Bed Bugs. You should also have protocols in place to get rid of the Bed Bugs. 

Bed Bug Prevention (Early Detection) 
There is no way to stop Bed Bugs from being brought into your facility. New folks are arriving every day from all over the world, and bringing their potentially infested personal items with them. You can be Bed Bug free one day and infested the next. 
So, prevention relies on early detection. Bed Bugs must be detected very quickly after they are brought in, hopefully before they bite someone. 

Employees in every department should receive Bed Bug identification training. 
Why everyone? Because employees are located all over the facility and if everybody is looking for Bed Bugs there is a greater chance that they will be discovered quickly. 

How to Get Rid Of Them 

Some pest control firms utilize specialized heating equipment to de-infest furnishings, rooms, and entire dwellings. The procedure involves heating up the infested item or area to temperatures lethal to Bed Bugs. Portable heaters and fans are used to gradually heat the air to 120 - 130°F while monitoring with strategically placed sensors. When dealing with high temperatures remove all aerosol products and check with your fire suppression company to make sure that you DO NOT EXCEED THE WORKING TEMPERATURE OF THE SPRINKLERS! 

While the former methods are helpful, insecticides are widely used by most pest control companies. A variety of EPA-registered materials are available formulated as liquids, dusts and aerosols. Baits used to control ants and cockroaches are ineffective in this case since Bed Bugs feed on blood. Professional-use insecticides such as Temprid®, Transport® and Phantom® tend to be more effective than Bed Bug sprays sold by retailers. Bleach, alcohol, cigarette lighters, etc. should NOT be used to control Bed Bugs. 
Important Note 
It is extremely important that employees do not attempt to treat Bed Bugs themselves. Always have Bed Bug infestations treated by an experienced pest management company. If your current company does not have Bed Bug experience, call us for suggestions or an inspection. 

Sources 
Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist University of Kentucky College of Agriculture 
Dini M. Miller, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_bug 
For More Info See: 
http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2007-11-08/the-cost-of-bedbugsbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice 
http://www.ndhealth.gov/Disease/Documents/faqs/Bed%20Bugs.pdf 
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7454.html 

October is Fire prevention Month.

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

October is fire prevention month! A Perfect time to review emergency preparedness plans for your home and/or business. Do you have a fire escape plan? Have you changed your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

The Nation Fire Protection Association designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2018 theme is "Look, Listen, Learn, be aware. Fire can happen anywhere". This theme hopes to create awareness in the steps necessary to reduce the chance of a fire and how to react in the event that a fire may happen. The NFPA states the following:

"LOOK" for places that fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them!

"LISTEN" for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could only have minutes to safely escape once the smoke alarms sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet. 

"LEARN" two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Stay Safe and prepare now to help ensure you are ready for any disaster.

Do's and Dont's after a fire

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

DO

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet. 
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork. 
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas. 
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/ refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor. 
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/ bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant. 
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures. 
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON'T

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional. 
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service. 
  • Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated. 
  • If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage. 
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Ohana means family, and family means no one gets left behind, event pets!

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Pets are just as important as any other family member. So why would you not want to make them a part of your preparedness plan? There are several things you can do to make sure they stay safe as well. 

Pet emergency kit:

Food: at least 3 days worth of food in an air tight, and waterproof container

Water: at least 3 days of water specifically for your pets. 

Medicines and important documents:

Registration information, adoption paperwork, vaccination records. Talk to your veterinarian about micro-chipping your pet.

First Aid Kit:

Cotton Bandage rolls, bandage tape and scissors, antibiotic, flea and tick preventatives, latex gloves, isopropyl alcohol and saline solution. Including a pet first aid reference book is very helpful as well!

Collar or Harness with ID

A picture of you and your pet together:

If you become separated a picture of you two together will help to document your ownership. Add species, breed, age, sex, color, and distinguishing characteristics.

Familiar items:

Familiar items such as treats, toys, and bedding can help reduce stress on your pet.

Evacuations:

While practicing fire escape or evacuation plans be sure to include your pet also! If an evacuation happens, don't leave pets behind as they can lost or injured.

Identification:

Micro-chipping pets is a great way to locate them. Most veterinary clinics and shelters have scanner that will read the microchip information to help locate a lost pets owners.

Be sure to take your four-legged friends into consideration when planning for emergencies. visit ready.gov/animals for further tips on how to keep your furry friends close and safe in the event of a disaster or emergency. 

Mold, mold everywhere!

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold, mold everywhere! Always call SERVPRO as soon as you have a water loss or findings of mold!

Have you ever been in the shower and you look up and see little black spots, what about when you are getting out of the shower and see some black spots on the corners of the tub? Bathrooms tend to be the most affected areas of home when it comes to mold! When the shower or bath have been used, you may see water droplets forming on the walls, ceiling or floors. This happens when the bathroom doesn’t have proper ventilation and causing dew point to occur in the bathroom. Dew point is when the air is not able to hold the excess moisture that is usually caused by the shower or bath. Once the air has reached dew point water will start to form on the wall instead. This will cause the excess moisture to linger thus allowing great growing conditions for mold.

To help prevent mold properly ventilate your bathroom, opening a window or turning on the fan while you shower or take a bath. After you are finish you will want to leave the fan on to allow the atmosphere to return to normal conditions

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. If you suspect mold, we can come inspect it for you.

If your home or business suffers from mold growth, call us today at (503) 648-8513

Inspect for mold prior to selling

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Spring and summer are the most popular times of year to sell a home, and the best!

However, the last minute repairs and detailing can really put a ding into closing on a sale or purchase of a home. 

Now is a great time to begin getting inspections and repairs done to your home. You avoid long waits for contractors, pricey estimates, and later closing dates.

Fall is also a great time to get final repairs and detail work completed because most contractors tend to slow down due to weather concerns. 

Call us today for a free estimate on mold remediation in unfinished spaces such as attics, crawlspaces, basements, and garages!

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. If you suspect mold, we can come inspect it for you.

If your home or business suffers from mold growth, call us today at (503) 648-8513

Pumpkin Smashing clean up

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Pumpkin Smashing clean up No one likes to watch their friends get hurt!

It is that time of year again when the pranksters do their dirtiest work. PUMPKIN SMASHING!

From bio-hazards to pumpkin clean ups, we do it all!

If you are interested in getting a quote for cleaning up pumpkins outside of your home, or any other holiday clean up please call us at (503) 648-8513

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

Meet our newest Estimator

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

General Meet our newest Estimator Cassie has a huge heart and a love for all kinds of animals.

As of Today, Cassie has officially been with us here at SERVPRO for one month! 

With 5 years of restoration experience under her belt, Cassie has been a great addition to our SERVPRO Family!

When a disaster occurs at your home or place of work, you may have the chance of getting to speak with Cassie as she works in our office!

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

Brace yourselves, the rain is coming!

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

ARE YOU READY? 
The rain is here again! We are all faced with the challenge of keeping the water outside of our structures. We need to be diligent with this, as water will migrate in through the smallest leaks in a building. These leaks can cause hundreds or thousands of dollars of damage and reduce the income to your business. The exterior envelope should have an annual inspection. 
When inspecting the roof, look for broken or missing shingles or any damaged components. Check the flashing around any pipes or vents that come through the roof. The rain gutters need to be clear of debris, and if they are equipped with heated cables those also need to checked. Make all the repairs before the rain, snow and freezing weather strikes. 
When inspecting the exterior walls of your building, look for any damage to the siding, deteriorated or missing caulking around the doors and windows, make all necessary repairs. 

 Preventative maintenance check list 
• Door and window seals 
• Rain gutters 
• Rain gutter drains 
• Roof 
• Flashing round chimneys 
• Roof drains 
• Clear yard debris 
• Clean parking lot drains 
• Clear all exterior drains   •Foundation grading 

• Leaking plumbing 
• Missing insulation 
• Clean the area around the sump pump 
• Test the sump pump 
• Check the foundation vents 
• Make sure the vapor barrier is intact 
• Check for pest 
• Make sure the plumbing is properly insulated  

Worldwide earthquake drill day!

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know earthquakes can happen anywhere? Whether you are at work, at home or on vacation, it’s important to know what to do in the event of an earthquake. On October 18, 2018 at 10:18 a.m., people across the world will participate in the “world’s largest earthquake drill,” according to shakeout.org. Participants will “drop, cover [and] hold on,” which is the best way to reduce your chance of injury in an earthquake situation if you are inside. The day can also raise awareness for what to do in other scenarios such as if you are outdoors or in a vehicle. If you or your organization are interested in participating in The Great ShakeOut, register and find more information at shakeout.org. n

In the event of a disaster..

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Natural disasters can occur anywhere at any given time.

Are you prepared financially in case of a disaster?

Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF. Whether its flood, wildfire or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are prepared. Contact your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals to find out how they can help make it “Like it never even happened” if disaster strikes in your life.

Check your Insurance Coverage Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage.

Preparing for the holidays, cooking and... fire!

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

The cooking and baking season is just around the corner. In order to avoid a ruined holiday, follow the advice below!

October: Spooky treats

November: Grease and stove fires

December: Warm cookies and an even warmer house.

Families gather to celebrate the holidays by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries.

The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking.

It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.  Be on alert!

  • If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stove top. 
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stove top.
  • If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe. 
  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. 
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave. 
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed. 
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. 
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

The process after a fire

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The process after a fire While some items were not salvageable there were tons of other contents that had to be professionally cleaned by our SERVPRO employees.

Anyone can go in with a sledge hammer and tear down walls that were affected by fire. However, it is the smoke and soot damage that is difficult to find that requires the help of a professional!

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Your experienced local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured’s structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insured.

SERVPRO of Hillsboro/ Forest Grove is hiring.

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove is currently hiring Production and Cleaning Technicians.

Primary Role: Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO production guidelines. Communicate with the customer to make sure that all needs are met. Support crew chief and other production personnel as needed. Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse and office areas as needed.

Results Expected: Production processes are performed according to guidelines and work orders. Communications to crew chief and customer are timely. Jobs are completed at or beyond customer expectations. Vehicles, equipment, and facilities remain clean, orderly, and working properly.



The requirements for this position:

  • Must have a professional appearance and great attitude.
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check with no felony convictions or misdemeanors involving violence or theft.
  • Because we provide 24-hour emergency services, must be willing to be on call, as needed.
  • Some night and weekend work is required.
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
  • Must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not and will not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, national origin, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


Please call 503-648-8513 for more information or email your resume to erin@SERVPROhfyt.com

Winter is just around the corner, be prepared!

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Winter is just around the corner, be prepared! You may not always see a broken pipe, but you will hear it!

With the colder months just a few week away we all need to start thinking about the threats during the fall/winter months.

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside of your home, or in cold areas, such as basements, garages, and kitchen cabinets. 

A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located. Typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.

To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps to take according to the American Red Cross

  • Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool or sprinkler lines. As well as hoses outside of the home
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air near the plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from an exposed pipe. 
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.

As always, SERVPRO is a 24 hour water restoration company. If you do suffer a water loss this winter please call us at 503-648-8513 at any time of the day!

Even small flooding is a huge cause for concern

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Even small flooding is a huge cause for concern This is the extent of damage that can be caused by even the smallest water intrusion. Drywall is very fragile and must be removed upon penetration.

Flooding is a very common thing here in the low-lands of the Willamette Valley. Even a small amount of water intrusion can cause some serious structural damage. 

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO professionals have the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before second damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO professionals will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. 

The layers of mold

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The layers of mold The first step is to move affected contents!

Lets say it is 7 PM Saturday night and you go into the laundry room to switch the loads, when suddenly you step in a pool of hot water. This is clearly going to be chaotic. However, that is not the worst of your worries. Mold loves to grow in warm and humid areas. Sure, anyone can clean up some water off the floor but what about all the layers that could later be affected with mold?

Areas that can be affected by mold:

  • Sheating
  • Wall Stud
  • Insulation
  • Interior Area
  • Drywall
  • Baseboards
  • Carpet
  • Carpet Padding
  • Bottom wall plate
  • Subfloor
  • Floor Joist
  • Sill Plate
  • Basement
  • Foundation

What to do in the case of mold

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Removing Mold:

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth

Restoration:

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home. Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home

Mold vs. Health

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold vs. Health Mold can grow anywhere and will travel!

Health Concerns are a huge issue when it comes to mold in your home or place of business.

From Asthma, COPD, all the way to infants and pets, mold can be a cause of concern in regards to your health and protecting the health of others. 

Anyone can and may experience health problems due to mold exposure. 

Possible symptoms of prolonged mold exposure can include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma or other respiratory disorders, sore throat, or inflammation of the sinuses.

Water can and will affect the contents of your home

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water can and will affect the contents of your home Water can and will damage anything in its path.

Water losses are almost never something you can foresee. Especially when it comes to your washer supply line breaking and causing nearly 200,000 gallons of water to flood their home. While the home can be saved with a quick enough response team, some furniture may not. 

You always want to ensure that your most valuable items are up and secure away from possible flood or water intrusion that way occur. Keeping filing cabinets away from walls, ensure all contents are picked up and put away, and any important documents or memorabilia should be stored in a safe place away from flood levels. 

Take Precautions With Mold

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO professionals handle water damages everyday and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for a long period of time. If your property has sustained water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold
  • Strong musty odors which indicate that mold is present
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.

Help is here

If you think you might have a mold problem, call 1-800-SERVPRO. A SERVPRO franchise professional trained in mold remediation will examine the structure for any visible signs of mold. In the event mold is found, you will be asked to approve and sign a work authorization form prior to any mold cleanup or related work being performed. 

How can wildfires affect my business?

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Even states as wet as Oregon and Washington are affected by wildfires several times a year. When the Eagle Creek fire shut down businesses our phones rang off the hook with concerned business owners. In times like these SERVPRO is the first to call as we are faster to any size disaster. 

Some tips from FEMA to protect you and your property from hazards are as follows:

  • Wear protective clothing 
  • Lock up your business
  • Choose a route away from fire hazards
  • Close windows, vents, doors, and blinds
  • Shut off all utilities, if possible
  • Move flammable items to the center of the building
  • turn on a light in each room to increase visibility of your property
  • Turn off gas lines and propane tanks
  • Connect the outside house to water taps
  • Gather fire tools

These tips along with preparation and quick thinking can and will protect your investments!

When wildfire strikes we are here to help!

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Even states as wet as Oregon and Washington are affected by wildfires several times a year. When the Eagle Creek fire shut down businesses our phones rang off the hook with concerned business owners. In times like these SERVPRO is the first to call as we are faster to any size disaster. 

Some tips from FEMA to protect you and your property from hazards are as follows:

  • Wear protective clothing 
  • Lock up your business
  • Choose a route away from fire hazards
  • Close windows, vents, doors, and blinds
  • Shut off all utilities, if possible
  • Move flammable items to the center of the building
  • turn on a light in each room to increase visibility of your property
  • Turn off gas lines and propane tanks
  • Connect the outside house to water taps
  • Gather fire tools

These tips along with preparation and quick thinking can and will protect your investments!

Prepare yourself for wildfires this summer!

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

The following are tips from FEMA for preparing your family, home, and businesses from the threat of wildfires!

  • Get an emergency supply kit, which includes items like, non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered radio, extra flashlights and batteries. You may want to prepare a portable kit and keep it in your car!
  • Make a family emergency plan. Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to know how you will contact one another, how you will get back together, and what you will do in case of an emergency. 
  • Protect your property from wildfires by designing and landscaping with wildfire safety in mind.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government. In an emergency always listen to the instructions given by local emergency responders.
  • Finally, don't forget to save your local SERVPRO'S phone number in the case of smoke or soot damage after returning to your home!

Post-Construction Needs

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Post Construction Cleaning

Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it's time to remove the debris and dirt in order to lay carpet, paint, and decorate. SERVPRO professionals can provide debris removal services to prepare the building for interior design.

Dehumidification and Drying

During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture. Excessive moisture could result in mold growth. If you think one of your projects may have a moisture issue, rely on SERVPRO professionals to provide the help you need initiating moisture and preventing the potential for mold growth. 

Final Cleaning

You want the facility to look its best when the doors open. Your Local SERVPRO professionals provide cleaning services to give the building that extra shine. Services include:

  • Carpet, resilient and non-resilient floor prep and finish
  • Ceilings, walls and fixture cleaning
  • Deodorization
  • Air Duct Cleaning
  • Debris Removal
  • Window Cleaning

The last thing you need is a fire or, water intrusion or mold growth slowing down or stopping the completion of one of your projects. SERVPRO professionals provide 24-hour emergency mitigation, cleanup and restoration services to help you get back on schedule quickly. 

Severe Weather Safety

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen at any time, anywhere. I think us here in the pacific northwest are very accustomed to that. Each year Americans cope with an average of the following storms:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,300 torandoes
  • 2 land-falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 650 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

When fire or water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO is so important. Just got to SERVPRO.com on your mobile phone or call 1-800-SERVPRO to get the team that faster to any disaster!

Any Fire In Your Home Is Bad

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

When you try to clean up after a fire by yourself, it can be a disaster. Especially considering that smoke and soot from even a small fire can permanently damage contents throughout a home. It will also cause odors that may resurface for years.

Your SERVPRO professionals understand how disruptive fires can be for you and your entire family. For this reason, SERVPRO offers 24-hour emergency response, and under normal circumstances, will have trained, uniformed technicians on-site of a fire damage within four hours to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of fire, smoke, and soot clean up and restoration services, your local SERVPRO professionals can help you regain control quickly while deodorizing and protecting your home and belongings. 

So, before you risk doing more damage by attempting to clean it up yourself, call your local fire, smoke, and soot clean up and restoration experts at SERVPRO or dial 1-800-SERVPRO to locate your nearest SERVPRO Franchise.

Trained And Equipped For Fires

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire, smoke, and soot damages in your home can create permanent and unpleasant problems if not properly addressed. As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the home leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in those hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors. Unfortunately, such damages are often made more severe when unprepared homeowners attempt to perform the cleanup themselves. 

All of your restorable items in affected areas will be professional cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air duct systems, and so so much more. SERVPRO professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources and clean them right at the source!

From The Ordinary To The Unhealthy: Mold

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

From the Ordinary

Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. 

Fungi produce some very useful results. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods, and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages. The unique flavor of blue cheese is a result of mold. An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is product of mold as well! 

Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people. 

To The Unhealthy

Intrusion of water into your home or a place of business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing, or equipment failures, long-standing leaks and poor humidity control. When water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall, and insulation provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat. 

Prepare Your Home For Winter Weather

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for keeping your home prepared for winter weather are:

  • Keep Cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home. 
  • Consider shutting outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawlspace and turn it to off
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming affect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puff backs.

Prepare Your Business For Winter Weather

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for preparing your business in case of winter weather:

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice, and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property or potentially a cause for personal injuries.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to address and correct potential slipper or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present. 

Frozen Pipes

A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe located, but typically the rupture is caused by back flow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addresses quickly. 

Any Water Damage Is Bad For Your Home

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Any water damage is bad, especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of you and your family. Toilet overflows, sewage backups, and other dark water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these bio-hazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a home, as well as the moisture necessary to support their growth.

Your SERVPRO professionals understand how disruptive black water damages can be for your entire family. For this reason SERVPRO offers 24-hour emergency response, and under normal circumstances, will have trained uniformed technicians on-site of a water damage within four hours to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, your local SERVPRO professionals can help you regain control quickly while drying and deodorizing, as well as protecting their home and belongings.

DO's and DONT's of water damage in your home

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

If you ever have a water leak and as you stand there thinking of what to do, the water is at your ankles now and you are more worried and confused than ever. Here are some helpful tips to get through until SERVPRO arrives to help.

DO

  • Shut off the water main, if you are unsure of how to do this call a certified person to come and help.
  • Turn of all electricity to the affected areas
  • Remove as much standing water as possible
  • Remove and dry as much standing water on wood furniture. Remove any paper items that may have been affected.
  • Remove any slip on covers for furniture to ensure a proper drying process.
  • Put blocks or aluminum paper underneath furniture that was moved to dry out an area. 
  • Moving all paintings, computers, documents and any other valuable items to a dry unaffected area of the property.
  • Use clothes pins to pick up and loose or handing curtains or drapery.
  • Move and hang anything made of fur, or skins to a dry unaffected area for proper drying.

DON'T

  • Do not return to areas where there is an immediate threat of danger such as, areas that still have electricity and are underwater, or areas where black waters have risen
  • Do not return to areas where electronics have come in contact with water. 
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, or other articles with colored print near clothes, carpets, or other textiles.
  • Do not leave rugs over installed carpets as this can cause staining from the rug to the carpet.
  • DO NOT use your vacuum to extract any water from your property.
  • Do not turn on electronics that have come in contact with water
  • Do not turn on floor lights that have been affected by standing water. 

Two years after

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

If disaster strikes, will you still be in business a year from now?  According to FEMA 40% of businesses never reopen after a major disaster, and only 29% will still be open two years later. They go on to say that if the technology is down for nine days the business will likely be bankrupt within a year. By having a comprehensive disaster plan, the odds of survival are much greater.  All of these factors need to be considered when formulating your disaster plan: 

  • Natural Hazards 
  • Human-Caused Hazards 
  • Technology-Related Hazards 
  • Health Hazards 
 Natural Hazards: Floods, rockslides and mud-slides, earthquakes and high winds just to mention a few.  Human-Caused Hazards: Floods, fires, damaged sprinkle systems, or violence. Technology-Related Hazards: I don’t know of a business that doesn’t rely on communication systems including telephones and the internet.  Health Hazards: It seems like the flu is the big one. Are there plans in place in the event of major outbreak? How much of the staff can be out sick at the same time before it harms the business?  What to do. 
  • Identify the Risks 
  • Develop a Plan 
  • Take Action 

Every business has risks, but they are not all the same. Plans need to be tailored to the specific location and type of business. SERVPRO has developed the Ready Plan. It is a great asset to add to the emergency plan. 

Taking action could be the only thing preventing a bankruptcy. However, after a plan has been put in place, it needs to work! PRACTICE it and work out the bugs. I participated in an evacuation drill for a care facility unrelated to Community Action Resource Enterprise, Inc... On paper it was flawless, but in reality it was deadly. Turned out the hospital beds were too big to maneuver though the evacuation route. In discussing the ideas for this month’s Tip of the Month with Erin Skaar, the Executive Director of Community Action Resource Enterprise, Inc., she suggested using high school students as stand-ins for residents for care center drills. I thought this was a great idea. Finally, plans need to be effective. I remember hiding under my school desk during the Air Raid drills. I’m still not sure that was a particularly effective plan. 

John's Tip of the Month

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

The crawlspace flooded... Is this going to be a problem?

It is never good and it needs to be thoroughly inspected to avoid future loses! When doing the inspection you are determining where the water crested in the crawl space. Use the photos as a guild to assess the extent of the damage that may have occurred. If the water is still in the crawl space it needs be extracted to prevent mold growth.

Water levels below the piers and pony walls can create an environment that contributes to microbial growth. Lots of flooding in the crawlspace can occur when a storm is active due to the increase of rain fall, An inspection by a professional to insure that the structure is mold free is recommended.

If the water has drained at the time of the inspection the crawl space should be treated with an antimicrobial to prevent mold growth. Mold can grow in the ducting and insulation.

Tip of the Month is provided as a courtesy of SERVPRO® by John Lawrence.

Call 971-371-0566 or email at johnl@SERVPROhfyt.com

John's Tip of the Month

12/15/2017 (Permalink)

You just got home, and all that’s on your mind is everything you need to do to finish your day. As you step into your home you are greeted with a torrent of water rushing out the door.  Unannounced to you the Gremlins snuck in while you were away, just to ruin your day. First call SERVPRO (503) 648-8513, and then call your insurance agent. SERVPRO and your agent will work together to make it “Like it never even happened.” Now that help is on the way there are some things that can be done to help reduce your loss.

These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper action until our crews arrive. Please follow these Do’s and Don’ts to help reduce damage, possible bodily injury and to increase the chances of successful restoration.

Things to do:

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place the furniture on wood blocks, plates, plastic or foil to keep from direct contact to the moisture.
  • Remove to a safe dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Hang draperies with plastic coat hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting, floors, or furniture.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
  • Avoid all contact with sewage.

Things not to do:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Leave books, newspaper, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet, floors or furniture.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixture of the ceiling is wet.
  • Spread contamination by walking areas affected by sewer.
  • Tur on the HVAC system on this can spread contaminated air throughout the home.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure this also can spread contaminated air throughout the home.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Tip of the Month is provided as a courtesy of SERVPRO® by John Lawrence.

Call 971-371-0566 or email at johnl@SERVPROhfyt.com

Your Commercial Needs

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 - (503) 648-8513

Residential Services

Whether your home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our Professionals have extensive cleaning and restoration training. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to affect your commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Storm Damage Restoration

Help your apartment residences

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

In an apartment community residence will share walls from the sides and from above and below, sharing spaces. If a water damage occurs, it can get out of hand quickly. As a water damage could not only affect one residence but multiple residences.You can never know when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as a property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be prepared for anything. Taking these measures today to help prevent water damage in the future.

  1. Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
  2. Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rainstorm to find out that the roofing at your unit(s) needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof(s) at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
  3. Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re Traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

We are here to help your business

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

In manufacturing, assembly of the finished product, Water from flooding or a major leak can stall lines and keep production halted, making your plant late with orders.

No matter where the water comes from, plant managers and business owners can solve the situation with SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove. We are ready 24-hours a day, quickly remove standing water with the proper equipment. When the water is extracted we do our best to make sure our equipment is out of the way as much as possible given the situation. So your business can continue to operate while also drying the structure as effectively as possible.

Wherever absorbent or porous materials exist within your plant, water fills the pores and holes. Using water's own properties against it, we heat different areas to speed up evaporation. We also create air currents with large air movers to direct moist air, so it goes exactly where we want it – outside through open windows or toward a desiccant machine or large dehumidifiers.

Without professional water removal services, your plant's interior might seem dry after your employees take care of the problem with mops, squeegees, and towels, but this often results in a more significant problem later if microbial growth starts to occur in areas that didn’t dry properly. SERVPRO professionals can help your plant avoid this much more costly situation. Doing so and quickly responding to your plant's emergency situation can eliminate a substantial amount of future downtime, financial expenses, and other issues.

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

Smoke Odor in your home

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke odor is a stubborn odor that will linger long after a fire has been put out. The odor can be caused by an accident that occurred in the kitchen or even from a fireplace that was unattended, a nearby house that had burned, the odor can also come from forest fires as well.

No matter what caused the odor, at SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove we have trained professionals with the proper equipment to clean the structure and remove any odor. Our crew has a variety of products and equipment specifically to deal with odor, from Eco-friendly products to heavy soot and odor removal chemicals. We also use filters to ozone machines. Our professionals will walk through with you and figure out the best solution and approach to get your home back "Like it never even happened."

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. Limit further damages and reduces the cost.

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

What to do after a Fire

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Home fires are stressful events. However, having a plan on what to do after a fire can help with the stress. At SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove  we are Here to Help® when a fire occurs in your home. We have created a checklist to help you to start the recovery after a fire damage.

What to do after a fire damage

Call your insurance company immediately after a fire. After you went through the details with your insurance company, contact SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove so the fire damage cleanup process can begin quickly. Make sure to notify your mortgage company of the fire as well. If you're not sure that the home is structurally safe, have it inspected by a certified structural engineer or building inspector before going near. 

  • Make sure to arrange a board up of any broken windows and doors.
  • Take pictures of all exterior damages
  • If you suspect that the structure in a room is unsafe, avoid entering the room.
  • Turn off the power at the electrical panel.
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants, closed toe shoes and gloves. To protect you from the soot as well as trying to prevent other items being contaminated.
  • Try locating any important papers and documents.
  • Any burnt money can be taken to a Regional Federal Reserve Bank for replacement
  • Begin taking inventory of the building damage and all damaged items.
  • Begin saving receipts for any expenses incurred after the fire. These may be needed when filing insurance claims.We're faster to any disaster

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

Water Extraction is Important in Water Remediation

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Extraction is Important in Water Remediation Our new HVE3000 Extractor

When a water damage occurs in a home or business, the first step in water mitigation is to remove all of the water in the affected area as quickly as possible. this will stop the water from spreading to other rooms, as well as reducing the risk of permanent damage to hardwood floors and furniture.

When extracting water from a wet surface that may not have standing water will remove any water that is trapped in the cracks and grooves of the surface. this speeds up the drying process rather than only using a dehumidifier.

The process of water not only help prevent damage to the hardwood and furniture, but also reduce the risk of mold growth on the structure as standing water and damp areas are ideal for mold growth

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

Seeing Mold in the Bathroom?

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

You might have seen mold in your bathroom, which can cause some concern. When the shower or bath have been used, you may see water droplets forming on the walls. This is happening when the bathroom doesn’t have proper ventilation and causing dew point to occur in the bathroom. Dew point is when the air is not able to hold the excess moisture that is usually caused by the shower or bath. Once the air has reached dew point water will start to form on the wall instead. This will cause the excess moisture to linger thus allowing great growing conditions for mold.

To help prevent mold properly ventilate your bathroom, opening a window or turning on the fan while you shower or take a bath. After you are finish you will want to leave the fan on to allow the atmosphere to return to normal conditions

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. If you suspect mold, we can come inspect it for you.

If your home or business suffers from mold growth, call us today at (503) 648-8513

Roof leaking?

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

If you find mold in your attic you might have a leak in your roof that went unnoticed. A leak in the roof will allow moisture to enter your home thus creating an ideal growing condition for mold. Before doing any mold remediation it is ideal to have the roof repaired first or else you may have mold growth again if you wait on repairing the roof after having the mold removed

The most common roof leaks are the following:

  • Ice dams
  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Damaged flashing

In the winter you could be experiencing an ice dam. Ice dams happen when the snow freezes at the edge of the roof causing water to back up and leak into your home. To prevent an ice dam try removing 2-4 feet of snow from the edge to prevent an ice dam from forming.

A storm can cause damage to your roof, it is a good idea to check your roof after a storm to see if the roof has any broken or missing shingles.

Damaged flashing will allow water to leak into your home. Check your flashing regularly to see if they have any damages.

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. If you suspect mold, we can come inspect it for you.

If your home or business suffers from mold growth, call us today at (503) 648-8513

Commercial Drying

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Our managers at SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove have taken  the IICRC Commercial drying specialist (CDS) class and obtained special certification to complete water mitigation in commercial buildings. With this knowledge, our managers are able to effectively lead our crew chiefs that had taken and acquired the IICRC Advance structure drying (ASD) class. These certifications provide our management and crew the knowledge, and the experience that they have acquired while working at SERVPRO to be able to dry out a commercial building efficiently. There is no job that is too big or too small for our Professionals.

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

Heavy windstorms are likely in our future

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

As the fall and winter seasons approach, we can expect to experience heavy windstorms. When a wind storm occurs, the wind can get up to 50 miles per hour and sometimes the gusts can exceed of even higher wind speeds. When this happens, these gusts can create damages to the city and homeowners, it can be as small as creating power outages to as big as a tree falling into a house. Make sure to call SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove if you experience any damages to your home or business that has been caused by windstorms

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

Tips to help your home from flooding

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

A flood will occur when experiencing excessive rain, this causes rivers or streams to overflow. A flooding in a basement can be caused by water pooling around your home, this allows water to get into your home. A few tips can help prevent this. 

  • Properly maintain your property. The slope in your yard and flower bed placement can direct the flow of the water towards your home, causing the water to pool at the base of your home. In some cases, it may be a good idea to install a French drain.
  • Maintain the gutters and downspout. It is important to maintain your gutters and downspout as the debris will stop the flow of the water thus making the water run down the side of the building instead of flowing away from your home.
  • If your home has a sump pump, it is a great way to help prevent your basement from flooding. This doesn't mean you can just forget about your pump, you will still need to maintain the pump to make sure it is still in working conditions. if you know a storm is coming, make sure you test your pump that it is still working. Having a second sump pump can be handy if your pump does fail. Also having a backup generator can keep your pump running even after the power goes out.

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our professional make disasters, "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call (503) 648-8513

John’s Tip of the Month

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Water, it’s the essence of life. 


But when things go wrong it’s a whole different story. 
My friends in Boise had to wait until the end of summer to paddle board on the ponds in the city parks, due to the threat of E. coli from the spring flooding. When the health department tested to find the sources, they found human, dog, and goose feces to be the cause. 
Moving forward in time, the southeast is still recovering from record breaking hurricanes. I have read many reports of contaminated water. It’s a mix of bacteria, viruses, metals and other potentially toxic pollutants leached from the myriad of refineries and chemical plants in the area, along with an untold number of submerged septic tanks. 
So what does this have to do with us? 

We are just approaching our rainy season, and as we are very aware, there will be flooding somewhere in the area. We can’t change the weather but we can be prepared. Use the following list as a guide. 

  • Preventative maintenance check list 
  • Make sure the foundation grading slopes away from the building 
  • Check for leaking plumbing 
  • Make sure the plumbing is properly insulated 
  • Check for missing insulation 
  • Clean the area around the sump pump and check to make sure it is working order 
  • Check the foundation vents they should be closed for the winter and open in the summer 
  • Make sure the vapor barrier is intact 
  • Check of pest 
  • Make sure the roof components are in good condition 
  • Flashing round vents and chimneys 
  • Roof drains
  • Rain gutters and gutter downspouts
  • Clear landscape debris 
  • Clean out all ground surface drains 
  • Check all the door and window seals 

If a flood does happen you have the peace of mind knowing that the SERVPRO team will soon be on site, and they will make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Contact SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for emergency service when your house or business have water damage at 503-648-8513. We are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Preparing your pipes for the winter

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

As we roll into the month of October we are getting closer to winter home owners will start to prepare for the cold weather. One of the main cause of loss during the winter season is pipe bursting. Even after the weather starts warming up home owners will find out they have a pipe leak from crack pipes caused by the cold weather.

Tips for Preparing Your Pipes for Winter Weather:

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninstalled areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets.
  • Faucet covers are ideal for the outdoor faucets.
  • Keep the temperature set to the same both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower nighttime temperatures, you may get  a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F..

FROZEN PIPES - - A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly.

Fire Prevention Week

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home by using NFPA Grid with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

This article comes from NFPA website at www.NFPA.org where you can find out more to help get your home prepared for any possible fires. 

Contact SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for emergency or non-emergency service when your house or business have fire damage at 503-648-8513. We are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

SERVPRO Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleanup

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove professionals are trained to safely and effectively removed bio-hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes, and offices. Like it never even happened 

Blood-borne Pathogens

SERVPRO professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs

Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. SERVPRO also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.

Sewage Backup

Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits- these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO professionals remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting as they clean. SERVPRO professionals help ensure the structure is properly cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized.

Dealing with a crime, trauma or death is undoubtedly difficult, but you can depend on SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for courtesy, empathy, and the quality biohazard cleanup and restoration services that you need. Safety-minded, SERVPRO is ready to do our part in restoring your space and your peace of mind. If a traumatic event has occurred on your property and you require assistance with the cleanup, contact the professional biohazard cleaning service to discover more about our Tuscaloosa biohazard restoration services and secure our help.

Contact SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for emergency or non-emergency service when your house or business have any bio-hazardous substances at 503-648-8513. We are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year

Tips while you wait for help

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

What to do while you wait for SERVPRO to arrive for water loss?

          When water damage happens after a bad storm or plumbing issue, you could know about it a few minutes or days after it starts. Here are some tips to help you while you wait for our crews to reach your property:

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Once SERVPRO arrives they will determine if it is safe to turn the power back on.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture to a safe place
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting. This help prevent any further water damage.
  • If you have any fans use them! Have the airflow blowing on the wet material, this helps the water from spreading quickly.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet
  • To avoid injuries do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. The ceiling drywall has a potential to fall.

Contact SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for emergency service when your house or business have water damage at 503-648-8513. We are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The clean up after a wildfire

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Wildfires can happen almost anywhere.

Although the wildfire might not have caused fire damage to your property directly; there may be a smoke odor that can linger after the fire has been put out. There can even be soot particles and residue that may require cleaning. 

How can soot get inside your property?

 Soot can still enter your house through your HVAC unit and air ducts, even if your windows and doors are shut and vents are closed. These areas can hold large quantities of soot that can disperse all over your belongings and your home.

A wildfire will generally burn natural materials, but occasionally will burn man-made materials; which will leave soot particles that are difficult to remove.

At SERVPRO we use the best tools and trained professionals that are dedicated to leave your house smelling fresh and back to preloss condition so you can get your life back to normal. Like it never even happened.

Contact SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for emergency or non-emergency service when your house or business have fire damage at 503-648-8513. We are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove is Hiring!

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove is Hiring! SERVPRO is Hiring!

SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove is currently hiring Production and Cleaning Technicians.

Primary Role: Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO production guidelines. Communicate with the customer to make sure that all needs are met. Support crew chief and other production personnel as needed. Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse and office areas as needed.

Results Expected: Production processes are performed according to guidelines and work orders. Communications to crew chief and customer are timely. Jobs are completed at or beyond customer expectations. Vehicles, equipment, and facilities remain clean, orderly, and working properly.



The requirements for this position:

  • Must have a professional appearance and great attitude.
  • Ability to pass a criminal background check with no felony convictions or misdemeanors involving violence or theft.
  • Because we provide 24-hour emergency services, must be willing to be on call, as needed.
  • Some night and weekend work is required.
  • Must be able to lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
  • Must have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. This company does not and will not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, national origin, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.


Please call 503-648-8513 for more information or email your resume to erin@SERVPROhfyt.com

John’s Tip of the Month

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation John’s Tip of the Month Microbial growth colonies

BLEACH: THE GREATEST PRODUCT EVER?

Bleach has to be the best cleaning agent ever produced. We use it to whiten our laundry, kill gems, keep swimming pools safe, purify our drinking water, and to clean mold and mildew.

  • It’s a miracle product and it’s so inexpensive.  
  • Why would anyone consider using any anything else, or even a professional?
  • Does bleach fall into the category of if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably not true?

We know without a doubt that it is a very good whitening agent for our laundry. We also know that using chlorine in our drinking water keeps us free of water borne diseases.

But to remove mold, that’s just a myth.

To successfully remove mold you can’t just wipe the affected area down with bleach and have it go away.

So why is that?

Bleach will not work on any porous surface. Chlorine bleach is corrosive and that fact is stated on the product label (not to mention the exposure hazards of dioxins). The properties of chlorine bleach prevent it from “soaking into” wood-based building materials to get at the deeply embedded mycelia (roots) of mold. 

Without killing the roots, the mold will be back!

This is what the EPA says about bleach:

Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup.”

It is tempting to use bleach because it is so inexpensive, but this is a misconception. The possible health risks from the reoccurring mold will far outweigh any perceived savings, and should be enough to end the temptation.

The EPA states that any area greater than ten square feet should be cleaned by a professional. When it comes to mold remediation, the SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove and SERVPRO of Yamhill and Tillamook Counties techs are second to none.

If this is a persistent problem contact SERVPRO of Yamhill & Tillamook Counties and SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for emergency or non-emergency service when your house or business have water, mold, or fire damage at 503-648-8513. We are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

John’s Tip of the Month

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation John’s Tip of the Month Mold growth

Recently I was asked how to prevent the growth of mold.  Had they asked how to prevent a kid from growing tall that would have be easy, Mom always told me I would grow up too short when she caught me drinking coffee.

I will give an answer that was better than moms, as you know it didn’t work as I am taller than most people.

Mold, the very word is enough to make a person cringe.

     Yes, mold can be good — it's essential in making brie and penicillin, for example, and necessary for the decomposition of organic matter in nature — but it can also be very, very bad, especially when it grows undetected in your home.

   Mold spores spread easily and cannot be completely eradicated. Mold can grow anywhere: on carpet, clothing, food, paper, and even in places you can't see, such as the backside of drywall, areas inside walls around leaking or condensing pipes, and above ceiling tiles. Mold forms when spore, moisture and a food source are present.

     Not only is a mold problem difficult to fix, but mold can also produce allergens and irritants that may compromise your health.

     So what can you do if you're concerned about mold growing in your home or business? The best approach is preventing mold before it becomes a problem. The key to mold prevention is simple: moisture control.

     Here are nine ways to curb indoor moisture, and the mold that thrives on it.

  1. Identify problem areas in your home or business and correct them. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home or business: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.
  2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you've experienced a flood, call a professional at SERVPRO to properly dry out and restore affected areas. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house or business, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.
  3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home or business. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates my AC unit produces up to three gallons of water a day), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.
  4. Equip your home with mold-resistant products. Building a new home or renovating an old one? Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and mold inhibitors for paints. Traditional drywall is composed of a gypsum plaster core pressed between plies of paper. Mold-resistant drywall is paperless — the gypsum core is covered in fiberglass, making the surface highly water-resistant. Moisture-resistant drywall is especially valuable in areas prone to wetness, such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, basements, and kitchens. Not only is traditional drywall more susceptible to mold than the paperless kind, but it is also difficult to rid of mold, and removal and replacement can be expensive. Mold-resistant gypsum board is also available; the core of the drywall is developed in such a way to prevent moisture absorption, and thus prevent mold growth.
  5. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).
  6. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.
  7. Clean or repair roof gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
  8. Improve air flow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.
  9. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house.

If this is a persistent problem contact SERVPRO of Hillsboro / Forest Grove for emergency or non-emergency service when your house or business have water, mold, or fire damage at 503-648-8513. We are here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Floods and FEMA

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

FLOOD LOSSES and FEMA

I know we have got past of the worst of the flood season, but with all the talk of earthquakes, I thought this could be helpful.

Catastrophe situations typically involve numerous flood claims, making for brisk business for restoration companies like SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove. When a property owner states they have insurance, it would be wise to clarify if it is going to be a standard property claim, or insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is important to keep in mind that flood claims have to follow the rules of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) and there are some fairly significant differences from a standard homeowner’s policy.

Knowing the flood program rules can keep restorers like SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove from getting into hot water after a flood claim, especially if you are referred in by an agent. Nothing upsets a client or referring partner more than surprise charges the property owner must pay when, from the onset, everyone might have assumed it would be covered by the policy.
While restorers like SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove know exactly what is required to be done to restore the property to preloss condition, it is imperative that they know these standard procedures are not always covered by the SFIP -- which the flood adjuster must adhere to. There is no wiggle room when it comes to the SFIP, and it is important that the insured read their policy and coverage and make sure they understand the coverage and limitations, or contact their agent. When a restoration professional knows the rules, life becomes easier for all involved. 

FEMA produced a lengthy memo outlining what is allowed and what is not when it comes to restoration expenses after a flood loss. The memo is titled W-13025a and a quick web search will produce it. With this in mind, the following list represents a portion of some of the major points every restorer must know before beginning work on a flood claim using an SFIP policy. Refer to the memo for a full listing.

  1. Water extraction from wet carpet is not covered by the SFIP. If your estimate lists water extraction as a line item, it will not be allowed for coverage. It is assumed the extraction cost is included in the cost to remove wet carpet, so restorers must include that cost in the removal line item.
  2. Restorers must provide complete daily drying logs with their invoice. This includes readings of affected and non-affected areas, equipment outputs, and material readings, documenting the drying process. Without proper drying logs, flood adjusters are only able to pay the reasonable costs that should have been incurred via calculations provided by FEMA.
  3. The SFIP will not pay for claims to dry building components that are typically removed as flood water is considered category three. The removal of carpet and drywall affected by flooding is a typical example. All wet materials must be removed prior to installing drying equipment or the equipment charges will not be allowed.
  4. Air scrubbers and ozone machines are not allowed by the SFIP.
  5. Contents manipulation charges are not allowed unless the property owner has contents coverage.
  6. Equipment cleaning charges are not allowed by the SFIP as they are “included” in the unit price.
  7. Charges for generators, negative air movers, air filtering equipment, and personal protection equipment are not allowed under the SFIP. Charges of this nature are to be included in removal charges.
  8. When a claim includes drying a salvageable item, the charge to apply a sealer or preservative on the same item is not allowed unless there is documentation that the sealer or preservative was applied before the loss.
  9. When a building’s electrical system is not operable the charge for a generator to power drying equipment is not allowed.
  10. Lastly, always keep in mind the SFIP only pays for structures and contents directly damaged by flood water, not secondary damages, unless access to the property was restricted for a prolonged time. If charges or services are deemed excessive, meaning it goes far above and beyond what is typically expected in an invoice, the invoice will be sent to a third party auditing company, which will review the claim and determine the fair practices and charges that should have been submitted and pay the claim based on that. This makes it imperative to practice fair drying techniques and when pricing is adjusted to accommodate the NFIP rules, make sure it is justified.

Knowing the rules up front not only saves a restorer like SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove from complications at the conclusion of a claim, but further establishes them as a trusted expert at the onset of the claim.  

Sourced; from Restoration Remedies

For FEMA Earthquake information go to https://www.fema.gov/earthquake

WOW! What a Winter

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Wow! What a Winter! 


Spring is just around the corner. Are you ready?
With spring comes more rain, as if we needed any more. That leaves only a few weeks to be ready for summer.
As we are all very aware, this has been a brutal winter. I recommend taking a close inspection of your facilities. With the winds, heavy rains, snow and the below normal cold there is good chance damage was done.  Preventative maintenance check list
• Door and window seals
• Rain gutters
• Rain gutter drains
• Roof
• Flashing around chimneys
• Roof drains
• Clear yard debris
• Clean parking lot drains
• Clear all exterior drains   When inspecting the roof, look for broken or missing shingles or any damaged components. Check the flashing around any pipes or vents that come through the roof. The rain gutters need to be clear of debris.
When inspecting the exterior walls of your building, look for any damage to the siding, deteriorated or missing caulking around the doors and windows, then make all necessary repairs.
Take a walk around the foundation, checking the condition of the vents, making sure the drain systems are free of debris and the grade allows the water run away from the building.  Preventative maintenance check list
• Foundation grading
• Leaking plumbing
• Missing insulation
• Clean the area around the sump pump
• Test the sump pump
• Check the foundation vents
• Make sure the vapor barrier is intact
• Check for pests
• Make sure the plumbing is properly insulated

Spend some time in the crawl space look for standing water, leaking pipes, pests or fallen insulation.
If you have any questions or need help in any of these areas, let me know and I will gladly be of assistance. As a FREE service, I would be happy to meet with you and your maintenance staff to discuss which areas to check, and the red flags that can alert you to issues before they affect your business. 
The Tip of the Month Quiz 
Lunch is on me for the first three correct answers I receive. 
1. When inspecting the roof what are you looking for?
2. Can mold form inside walls if moisture seeps in?
3. Can standing water under a building cause health concerns? 

When Storms or Floods Hit Hillsboro and Forest Grove SERVPRO is Ready!

12/27/2016 (Permalink)

 

SERVPRO of Hillsboro and Forest Grove specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Hillsboro and Forest Grove, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 24/7 866-888-3894

Are You Ready?

12/27/2016 (Permalink)

ARE YOU READY?

Guess What? The rain is here again! We are faced with the challenge of keeping the water outside of your structures. We need to be diligent with this as water will migrate in for though the smallest leaks in a building. These leaks can cause hundreds or thousands of dollars of damage and reduce the income to your business. The exterior envelope should have an annual inspection.

When inspecting the roof look for broken or missing shingles or any damaged components of the roof. Check the flashing around any pipes or vents that come through the roof. The rain gutters need to be clean of debris and if they are equipped with heated cables they need to checked. Make all the repairs before the rain, snow and freezing weather strikes.

When inspecting the exterior walls of your building look for any damage to the siding, deteriorated or missing caulking around the doors and windows. Make all the repairs.

Al Ahlberg and Handyman Bob!

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

Al's Interview with Handyman Bob!

Al Ahlberg the Owner had a chance to meet and explain a little more about what we do with a local Handyman who also has a great radio show surrounding handyman topics!  Take a listen in and find out just what caliber of professionalism, knowledge and expertise SERVPRO of Hillsboro/Forest Grove has to offer.  We were very excited and grateful for this opportunity.  Handyman Bob is a staple in the local industry for all projects around your home and office.  If there is anyone that knows what it takes to put a place back together again it is Handyman Bob!

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month

Disaster recovery specialist SERVPRO says a readiness plan is the key to business continuity when disaster strikes

GALLATIN, Tenn. (Grassroots Newswire) September 1, 2015 - September is National Preparedness Month, an annual awareness event sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Disaster recovery specialist SERVPRO says this is a great time for business owners to review their emergency preparedness and business continuity plans. SERVPRO points to startling statistics like this one to emphasize the importance of advance planning: according to FEMA, as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major flood disaster.

“Business owners who think they are prepared for an emergency because exits are clearly marked and fire or flood drills are parts of the regular routine really need to take another look at their preparations,” said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc. chief executive officer. “A comprehensive emergency plan also contains critical information about the location of shut-off valves, fire suppression system controls, and emergency contact numbers and more—information that can save emergency responders precious time and help contain damage and minimize injury.”

Because SERVPRO knows the time to create a disaster readiness plan is before you need it, they have developed the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. The business owner works with SERVPRO to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.

“For a business to survive and thrive, it needs to get back to business as soon as possible after a disaster strikes,” said Steen. “With an ERP in place, SERVPRO’s Disaster Response teams can immediately assess the situation and take the first critical steps to protect employees from harm and property from further damage setting the business on the road to recover

On a local note I had an opportunity to participate in a live evacuation drill at Columbia Care Center.  I was very impressed with how well the drill was planned and carried out. However, even with the entire advance planning, things can still go wrong. The evacuation was going smoothly until a bed ridden resident needed to be evacuated. It was only then that they discovered the bed was too large to maneuver around the corners of the evacuation route. This slowed the evacuation process to a crawl, losing precious time. This issue did not become known until the drill was performed live. This drill illustrated that planning and practicing is the best way to ensure safety for all the residents. 

Last winter, Kilchi’s House in Tillamook was evacuated due to severe winter conditions. Debbie, their Executive Director offers this advice, “Make sure the community is ready to go (With a cart) with pillows, blankets and comfort items for the residents as well as the staff and this cart should be on standby with the rest of your emergency supplies.”

Disasters will and do happen.

Locally, floods, mudslides, fires and even broken pipes have led to evacuations.

Is your property READY?

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

ARE THERE RACCOONS LIVING WITH YOU

Last month’s Tip of the Month focused on the Hospitality Industry dealing with prevention of suicides.

From this discussion I learned there are a lot of people that don’t have a good understanding of what biohazards are and why they are dangerous to one’s health.

So what is a biohazard? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary:

A biological agent or condition that is a hazard to humans or the environment; also:  a hazard posed by such an agent or condition

Bio-Hazard threats can be found anywhere. Your work place, your health provider’s office, the grocery store, your child’s school or day care and even your own home!Biohazard’s should be handled with extreme caution.

What are some biohazard examples?

  • Human blood and blood products. This includes items that have been contaminated with blood and other body fluids or tissues that contain visible blood.
  • Animal waste. Animal carcasses, body parts, and feces or any bedding material used by animals that are known to be infected with pathogenic organisms.
  • Human body fluids. Semen, cerebrospinal fluid, pleural fluid, vaginal secretions, pericardial fluid, amniotic fluid, saliva, and peritoneal fluid.
  • Microbiological wastes. Common in laboratory settings, examples of microbiological wastes include specimen cultures, disposable culture dishes, discarded viruses, and devices used to transfer or mix cultures.
  • Pathological waste. Unfixed human tissue (excluding skin), waste biopsy materials, and anatomical parts from medical procedures or autopsies.
  • Sharps waste. Needles, glass slides and cover slips, scalpels, and IV tubing that have the needle attached.

Biohazard Safety Levels with Examples

There are 4 levels of biohazards, according to the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Biohazard Level 1: Agents that pose minimal threat to humans and the environment. E. coli, Bacillus subtilis, and Naegleria gruberi.
  • Biohazard Level 2: Agents that can cause severe illness in humans and are transmitted through direct contact with infected material. Examples include HIV, hepatitis B, and salmonella.
  • Biohazard Level 3: Pathogens that can become airborne and cause serious diseases. Examples include tuberculosis and Coxiella burnetii.
  • Biohazard Level 4: Pathogens that pose a high risk of life-threatening disease for which there are no treatments. Examples include the Ebola virus and Lassa virus.

If you find yourself face to face with a potential biohazardous situation that is too big or too dangerous for you to handle on your own, let me know and I will send our trained professional staff to give you the help you need.

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

Taking Steps to Help Prevent Suicides in Hotels While working on the new “Tip of the Month,” I was talking to my wife about a hotel I once worked with in Idaho. 


A distraught man checked into the hotel and unfortunately the night did not end well. I later found that he had been turned away from another nearby hotel. The desk clerk at the first hotel sensed the man was psychologically unfit to stay at their hotel. My wife said, “Well, that was profiling.” Yes it was, but by doing so their hotel was spared from a tragic incident. 
Unfortunately, people will often choose a hotel to end their own lives. Once or twice a month we are called to clean up after a bio-hazard issue (a biological or chemical substance orsituation that is dangerous to human beings and the environment). I found the article below that gives good advice on this subjecthttp://lodgingmagazine.com/taking-steps-to-help-prevent-suicides-in-hotels/  Posted by: Valerie Neff Newitt in Featured, Good Advice, Smart Strategy July 21, 2014
Motels and hotels—from modest rooms to the most luxurious suites—are among the “lethal locations” described by suicide researcher Steven Stack, Ph.D., of Wayne State University, Detroit. “Lethal locations include any place, such as a hotel room, where there is no one around—like a loved one—to intervene and stop a suicide,” he explains. Even a resort full of vacationers, a high-rise bustling with business travelers, or a motel filled with weekend holiday-makers does not discourage a deadly sense of despair hidden behind a single locked door.
Neal Smither, owner of Crime Scene Cleaners Inc. states that;  "While most large hotel chains have protocols in place for handling suicides, smaller hotels often do not. They would be wise to take a lesson from their larger counterpart". 

Efi Patt is a risk management consultant at iJet, a global operational, travel, risk management, and intelligence company that handles about 250 hotel assessments and risk audits every year. “When I look at security procedures and crisis management, I want to see how hotels balance between security and preventing suicide and other events. Hotels must take into account fire regulations and other safety procedures while maintaining a welcoming and open environment for the public. After all, this is the hospitality business. It’s a juggling act.”
So while it might seem both obvious and suicide-preventative to lock exits to high ledges or seal doors to some hallways, it may not be allowable under certain fire and safety codes.
What, then, can a hotel really do to prevent the tragedy of suicide?
“Plenty,” Patt says. “I’m talking about early detection of potentially problematic guests. They might come without a reservation, without luggage, and pay in cash; that’s a clear red flag of someone who might have an immediate agenda—it could be suicide. Watch for guests displaying signs of agitation or extreme nervousness. If something seems amiss with how guests interact, try to communicate with them and draw out more information—something important might surface.” (See “Signs of Concern” above for more indications of trouble.)
Asked for his top suicide prevention strategy, Callaghan suggests a physical alteration to hotel properties. “Make sure windows only open four inches, wide enough to allow a breath of fresh air but not wide enough for someone to jump out,” he says. “That would be my No. 1 tip.”
Patt also recommends blocking access to rooftops, machinery rooms, and storage areas of chemicals or sharps of any type. “Common sense should be the driver,” he says, reminding that evacuation routes and emergency stairwells must remain open. As for atrium safety, some hotels are installing sheer netting that does not restrict the view but does support the weight of a falling body.
Overall situational awareness is the key to prevention, Patt says. “There must be a mechanism within hotels for staff to recognize signs of distress or problems and report them to central positions—security manager, office manager, general manager. If several signs merit concern about a guest, call in the authorities. It should be a requirement to take note of potential danger and take action. A hotel’s main focus must be looking after the well-being of the guest—individually and collectively—not just the property.”
Whether for the purpose of industry excellence or humanitarian interest, properties must sharpen their skills at preventing and dealing with tragic events on site. In the end, it is not only a hallmark of good business and an assurance for optimum guest experience but also a strategy for preserving the most precious of commodities—life.

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

THE UNWANTED GUEST
I have seen a big ramp up for this year’s tourist season and by all indications it should be a good one. But this comes with some risk one of which is the subject of this month’s Tip of the Month.


The unwanted guest that nasty little bed bug. That hitchhiked in with a guest from abroad. I wrote an article about bed bugs a couple of years ago and with new staff on board and tourist on the way it is a good time to brush up on the issue.

So What Are They?
Bed Bugs are parasitic insects of the Cimicid family that feed exclusively on human blood. They are mostly nocturnal. They can cause skin rashes, allergic symptoms and psychological effects. They have been with us for thousands of years they were almost eradicated in the 1940’s in the developed world, but they have become resistant to pesticides and have made a comeback, they are here to stay.
We are all afraid of them.

Where Do They Come From
California and Washington have a high concentration of bed bugs this put us at risk of an outbreak here in Oregon. But as you can see from the map they can come from anywhere.

• How do we keep them out of our place of business
• Actually we can’t, but we can be proactive
• What about the guests that see them

These are all real issues and they carry a lot of weight. This problem must be properly addressed to avoid a negative outcome.

So Now What
As business owners and managers it is crucial to train your employees to know how to spot bed bugs as soon as they arrive. There needs be policies in place to deal with guests or residents that have encountered them. Have protocol call in place to get rid of them.

Bed Bug Prevention (Early Detection)
There is no way to stop bed bugs from being brought into your facility. New folks are arriving every day from all over the world, and bringing their potentially infested personal items with them. You can be bed bug free one day and infested the next.
So prevention relies on early detection. Bed bugs must be detected very quickly after they are brought in, hopefully before they bite someone.


We have the equipment to help you facilitate an early bed bug detection program to prevent an infestation. All employees in every department should receive bed bug identification training. Why everyone? Because your employees are located all over the facility and if everybody is looking for bed bugs there is greater chance that they will be discover quickly. Also keep in mind that guests are not the only people capable of bringing bed bugs into your facility.

How to Get Rid Of Them
Heat Treatments
Some pest control firms utilize specialized heating equipment to de-infest furnishings, rooms, and entire dwellings. The procedure involves heating up the infested item or area to temperatures lethal to bed bugs. Portable heaters and fans are used to gradually heat the air to 120 - 130°F while monitoring with strategically placed sensors. By carefully controlling the temperature, bugs and eggs are killed wherever they may be. When dealing with high temperatures it very important to check with the fire suppression company to make sure that you DO NOT EXCEED THE WORKING TEMPERATURE OF THE SPRINKLERS and remove all aerosol products.

Insecticides
While the former methods are helpful, insecticides are widely used by most pest control companies. A variety of EPA-registered materials are available formulated as liquids, dusts and aerosols. Baits used to control ants and cockroaches are ineffective in this case since bed bugs feed on blood. Professional-use insecticides such as Temprid®, Transport® and Phantom® tend to be more effective than bed bug sprays sold by retailers. Bleach, alcohol, cigarette lighters, etc. should NOT be used to control bed bugs. Besides being ineffective, such actions can result in fires and other dangerous outcomes.

Important Note
It is extremely important that no employee ever attempt to treat bed bugs themselves. Making pesticide applications in a facility when you are not a certified applicator is a lawsuit waiting to happen. Also, attempting to treat bed bugs when you have no experience will interfere with your pest management company’s treatment plan and potentially increase the bed bug problem. Always have bed bug infestations treated by an experienced pest management company. If your current company does not have bed bug experience, call us for suggestions or an inspection.

Sources for this article came from the following:
Michael F. Potter, Extension Entomologist
University of Kentucky College of Agriculture
Dini M. Miller, Ph.D., Department of Entomology, Virginia Tech
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_bug

For More Info See:


http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2007-11-08/the-cost-of-bedbugsbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice


http://www.ndhealth.gov/Disease/Documents/faqs/Bed%20Bugs.pdf


http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7454.html


www.SERVPROyamhilltillamookcounties.com

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

IS YOUR FACILITY AT RISK?

I found this Risk Assessment Questionnaire and I believe that it is good tool to use to help stay on top of the maintenance and operations of your facility.*

This assessment covers Fire Protection, Electrical, Plumbing, HAVAC, Operational Issues and Community Rooms.

 Over the years we have restored many businesses that had fallen behind on their maintenance and had AVOIDABLE DISASTERS!

Note: State and Local government generally establish inspection schedules as part of building codes. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establish requirements related to workplace safety. Use of this questionnaire should take into account the various regulatory requirements for inspection and testing. Also, a building’s use and occupancy, including visitors, may determine the level or risk—the presence of children and/or elderly or disabled persons may increase some risk.

Risk Assessment Questionnaire

FIRE PROTECTION

  • Is there an automatic detection system
  • Are there smoke and fire alarm systems
  • Are the systems inspected and serviced annually
  • Are there sufficient number of fire extinguishers of the appropriate class
  • Are the fire extinguishers readily identifiable
  • Are the fire extinguishers inspected and recharge annually
  • Are there automatic sprinklers and/or standpipe and hoses in the building
  • Are they inspected annually
  • Is the fire suppression systems tested according to the local codes

 ELECTRICAL

  • Are all of the breaker and fuses enclosed in metal cabinets that close securely
  • Are all circuits easily identifiable
  • Are all of the fuse or breakers sized for the equipment or lighting they control
  • Is the area in front of the panels assessable
  • Are there reoccurring problems with fuses or breakers being continually tripping
  • Do metal-enclosed switch gears receive scheduled preventative maintenance
  • Are ground fault interrupters (GFIs) utilized in potentially wet or damp areas
  • Are surge protectors used on phone systems, computers, and office equipment? They are generally required on leased equipment
  • Are extension cords use for permanent power sources in lieu of hard wiring or adding an outlet
  • Are space heaters being used to augment the HVAC system
  • Are tenants reminded not use extension cord as permanent power sources and not to use space heaters
  • Is there proper space around and above recessed lighting
  • If there is a back power supply is inspected and test on a regular schedule i.e. backup batteries or a generator
  • Are the electrical rooms and cabinets that accessible from common areas kept locked.

PLUMBING & DRAINS

  • Are water and drain pipes, seals, etc., inspected periodically for leaks
  • Are pipes properly insulated (this very important due to the fact we don’t have hard freezes)
  • Clear rain gutters annually
  • Clean and clear storm water run-off drains bi-annually

HVAC

  • Has the HVAC system been inspected and serviced with in the past year
  • Is the boil’s low water cutoff/water supply flushed out every month during the heating season
  • Dose the boiler meet fire code requirements concerning noncombustible material and proper fire rated doors and closers
  • Is the boiler room properly ventilated
  • Is the boiler room inspected periodically to ensure that no combustible materials are stored there
  • Are vents and chimney flues inspected annually for clear passage
  • Is there a program in place for cleaning ductwork and diffusers
  • Are windows checked periodically to ensure that they open and close properly and fasteners are in good operating condition
  • Are windows system checked periodically to ensure that they are not deteriorating
  • Is installed window-washing apparatus and/or scaffolding properly attached to the roof decking

        OPERATIONAL ISSUES

  • Dose the building have Emergency Ready Profile (emergency procedures manual)
  • Dose the building have a safety committee
  • Do building staff receive appropriate training related to blood borne pathogens, first aid, and other emergency response subjects 

        COMMUNITY ROOM

  • What is the maximum occupancy of your community room Is it posted
  • Are exits keep clear
  • When positioning furniture for functions, are clear aisles maintained for quick and easy egress in an emergency
  • Is the range and or microwave oven maintained in a clean and manner? Are orifices in gas ranges kept clear
  • Are there curtains or any other combustible material near the range
  • Is there a properly sized and vented range hood
  • Is grease periodically cleaned from the hood and ductwork
  • Has a Class B fire extinguisher been provided in the kitchen area
  • Are the coils on the refrigerator/freezer kept clean of dirt and lint

*Source DexerityDynamics

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

“I should have used you guys….” Ever had someone send you an email with that statement? I did recently which made me realize that I should share this experience with you.


“My discount contractors did a lousy job! Then, I had to pay someone to come in and correct their issues as well!!”
After receiving this email I peeled back the onion and found they had fallen into the trap of using the “low cost service provider” to save money!

What I discovered from this incident was a handyman was hired at discounted rate. The plan was to use a local handyman and save on the repairs and they could help a local small business at the same time, it was an ideal win-win scenario.

Unfortunately for them it did not work out! The work was done by someone that lacked the knowledge to perform the job correctly one top of that he did not have the proper equipment for the task at hand. At the end of the day there is a good chance more money will be spent. It may not be in the form of immediate out of pocket expenses, but maybe lost revenue as a result of one or several of the items below.

• Slow Repairs means lost revenue due to down time
• Additional damages due to carelessness or lack of ability
• Work hours and The time of day that the service is provided may be disruptive to the operation of the business
• Higher material cost by buying retail over the counter
• Code infractions
• No permits
• Lack of training for technical jobs
• Are they Licensed, Bonded and Insured
• Do they have the right tools and equipment

Any of these scenarios can cause the “perceived savings” to evaporate very quickly!
In the case from the email the repair was done wrong the first time this caused discomfort to their customer’s and had to be redone costing more down time at the risk of losing repeat customers!
This real life experience demonstrates why professional contractors are a better choice when major repairs are needed.
Most discount contractors end up costing you more in the end!
SERVPROhillsboroforestgrove.com or SERVPROyamhilltillamookcounties.com

Tip of the Month by John Lawrence

9/7/2016 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

? A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.

? A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

? A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

? Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.

? Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.

? Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Psychrometrics : The Science of Drying

8/6/2015 (Permalink)

Water Damage Psychrometrics : The Science of Drying Proactive planning with an ERP and Drybook documention on site gives control back before chaos even has a chance.

Psychrometrics : The Science of Drying

Psychrometry is the study of the air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity, vapor pressure and dew point are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure, enabling a SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to create the proper atmosphere for more efficient drying.  

Water can damage materials in two ways:  first, by absorption through direct contact with water; and second, absorption of moisture from the air. Measuring the moisture content of the air is critical to the drying process.  

At SERVPRO we employ several tools and techniques to aid the drying process and accelerate it as well.  Our most important asset is our people and the knowledge they bring to the damaged property.  We are highly trained teams of IICRC Certified Water damage restoration professionals.  This means when you call SERVPRO you are getting the highest quality of professionals to address any size disaster.  We are very proud to be a leader in the emergency services and disaster restoration industry.  

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