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Using Your Land to Protect Your Home From Fires | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

a gated long brown pebble driveway tucked next to a large brick home If your home is damaged by fire or any other reason, SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties is ready and able to repair any damage.

Every property owner fears seeing their property go up in flames, and wildfires cause home damage more often than you might realize. A wildfire can spread incredibly quickly, and with so much of our world made of flammable material, it’s a marvel that we can even contain them at all.

But there are a few things we can do preventively to give ourselves a fighting chance against wildfires, aside from the obvious help that would come by us simply becoming more careful.

Today we’re talking about one of those things: “defensible space.”

What Is Defensible Space?

Despite the galactic possibilities of the name, it has nothing to do with NASA missiles.

Defensible space is the bumper area you can create around your home by removing the fuel a wildfire needs to spread quickly (like dead leaves and branches), adding things like flame-retardant gravel and pavement in areas surrounding your home, and practicing responsible planting and pruning.

You can think of defensible space as a barrier of protection (aka defense), designed to safeguard your home from wildfire by retarding the spread of fire as it comes nearer. It also gives firefighters their best chance of stopping a wildfire before it reaches the walls of your home.

Defensible space is actually required by law in Oregon, so make yourself aware of the regulations and codes so you can be in compliance.

Why Defensible Space Matters

We know all too well that Oregon has experienced recent wildfires (we lost over a million acres of land in the 2,215 fires in 2020), but it’s not only the West Coast—there were 59,000 wildfires across the United States in 2020.

Even removing California and its devastating 10,000+ fires from the statistics, the average number of wildfires per state in 2020 was still almost 1,000. And the first half of 2021 has seen about 25% more fires than 2020 did in its first half.

We should do our part in whatever way we can to prevent wildfires, and defensible space is one more way we can be proactive.

If your home is damaged by fire of any sort, wild or not, SERVPRO is ready and able to repair the damage caused. Get in touch today to get the pros on your team.

The Rising Frequency and Cost of Severe Storms | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

a large yellow warning sign stating that there is stormy weather ahead When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties to start the restoration process.

As if 2020 wasn’t dramatic enough with a global pandemic, it also brought the extra stress of being a record-setting year for natural disasters. 2020 saw more weather disasters than any year for which we have data.

There were 22 officially classified disasters in 2020 (which means there were 22 events that caused at least a billion dollars in damages), plus a number of other damaging storms that didn’t reach that financial level. The National Weather Service actually ran through its entire planned list of names and had to resort to naming storms using the Greek alphabet for only the second time in history.

Not Just Hurricanes

Hurricanes get the finger pointed at them first for causing destruction and financial damage, but in fact, the most expensive disasters of 2020 in the contiguous United States were thunderstorms and tornadoes. 

Fourteen of 2020’s official weather disasters were severe thunderstorms, some of which caused destructive tornadoes as well. Unlike hurricanes, thunderstorms happen year-round in the United States, and they happen coast to coast.

Just take this example of what a single storm can do: In August 2020, a seemingly normal line of storms in Nebraska gained steam and gave birth to a derecho (think of a tornado comprised of slashing straight-line winds instead of rotating air) which damaged more than 10 million acres of Nebraska’s corn fields. That’s almost half the state’s crop, and over 11% of the corn crop of the entire United States.

While Oregon suffered the devastation of wildfires in 2020, Oregonians also dealt with heavy rains, snow and even historic windstorms.

Not Just 2020

One would like to think 2020 was an outlier in this regard, but unfortunately, it seems as though it’s just part of the current pattern. It was the 10th year consecutively with at least 8 official disasters, following up 2018 and 2019, which saw a total of $136 billion in weather damages, and 2017, which saw a record total of over $300 billion by itself.

Storms are a potential problem for everyone, and as a home or business owner, it’s in your interest to take the necessary precautions to minimize property damage and keep everyone under the roof safe. But should those precautions prove insufficient or ineffective in an unexpected weather disaster, remember that you’ve got a friend in the restoration industry.

When storms do damage, we go to work to make things right. Contact SERVPRO today to see how we can help.

Providing a Higher Standard of Clean for Your Customers and Employees | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

a SERVPRO employee placing a CSC sticker on building glass If you’re business has sanitation and cleaning needs, get in touch with the SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties team.

With cities like Portland and other metropolitan areas that were once hotbeds of COVID-19 activity finally experiencing some reprieve, hopes are rising that what we once called “normal” is on the verge of returning, and business owners are part of that collective expectation.

But a now more contagion-conscious consumer is going to need your assurance as a business owner that their shopping experience will be as safe as it can be—and that doesn’t just stop with containing the coronavirus.

As your customers and employees return to physical locations to shop and to work, they need to know they’re entering a place where their safety is regarded as highly as the bottom line. They need to know your business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Get Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program gives customers and employees the peace of mind they need when returning back to brick-and-mortar businesses by providing the ultimate level of sanitation.

Imagine the sensation of the cleanest your business or office has ever been. Now multiply that feeling, add in a blend of state-of-the-art biohazard procedures and technologies that go beyond traditional cleaning and janitorial services—and you’re beginning to see the full picture.

What makes this program so special? Let’s look at the three C’s of a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned:

Consult. Your business is unlike any other, so we’ll work with you to find the solutions your individual business requires. It helps that SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties is locally owned and operated, so we are already aware of many intricacies of our northwest corner of Oregon.

Clean. Once we know the specific needs of your building, we get about the task of cleaning—and cleaning well. We’ll be on site with proprietary, ultra-high-grade cleaning solutions and techniques you won’t get from anyone else. Your building will receive the highest level of cleaning available, a level that always meets or exceeds current CDC standards. And this level of clean will not only quell fears about COVID-19, but it will reduce the risk of many other viral and infectious illnesses among your customers and employees as well.

Certify. You can let your patrons know they’re stepping into a business or office that truly cares about their well being by displaying the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned badge in your front window or on your door. You’ll also have digital versions and other signifiers to make sure your customers know you’ve gone to the utmost care to show them you value their protection.

If you’re ready to get serious about sanitation and have your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, get in touch today to get the best team in cleanup and restoration on your side.

Grill and Fire Pit Safety | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

flames and smoke from a bonfire Restoring fire and smoke damage is one of our specialties. Contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties to learn more.

In the warmer months, we often feel a new lease on life. The harshness of winter melts away, leaves and plants blossom and bloom, and we get a sense of reinvigoration.

The outdoors calls, tempting us with fresh sights and scents, and we’ll use just about any excuse to take advantage of the pleasant weather.

The middle of the year also brings lots of social events, family gatherings and outdoor cookouts, which unfortunately means a rise in backyard fires. In fact, spring sees more daily fires on average than any other time of year. Let’s take a look at some of the fire challenges presented in these middle months.

The grill. The grill is the first guess for most backyard fires, and with good reason—the combination of flame, high temps and abundance of nearby accelerants are a perfect combination for accidental, unwanted blazes. You want to be sure you’re grilling safely, so first inspect the grill and verify everything is in proper working order with no damage or leaks, move it away from anything flammable (like dry leaves, brush or even siding), and clean it well. Almost 20% of grill fires are due to poor cleaning.

The fire pit. Conversations and marshmallows around the fire pit are great, but to be safe, you need a bucket of water within reach to douse any errant flames or embers. Use this to put out the fire when you’re finished as well (do it slowly and soak everything until it’s cool to the touch). Never add leaves or pine needles to the fire, and never leave it unattended or allow children near it unsupervised.

Chimneys and dryer vents. Alright, these don’t exactly scream spring, but it’s still a great time to take care of them. You’re done with your fireplace until fall, so clean out the ash and soot so you don’t start with a dangerous buildup next time you use it. And check your dryer’s vent pipe to make sure no flammable lint is waiting for a light inside.

Your local SERVPRO technicians are on hand 247 for emergencies. If you encounter fire damage at your home or business, no matter the cause, we will be there faster and have it cleaned up sooner. Call or click today and experience the SERVPRO difference.

Does My Basement Have Water Damage? | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

a grey basement showing signs of water damage SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties' restoration experts are ready to help you determine the best course of action.

Oregon sees its fair share of gray, wet and cold weather in the winter months, so a basement is a valuable addition to a home. It provides additional storage space, shelter from inclement weather and can be used as additional living space or workout area.

However, since basements are dug into the ground, they naturally are more prone to experiencing water damage over the course of the home’s lifetime. It’s not a guarantee that your basement will have water damage, but its likelihood is high and should be part of regular inspections, formal or informal.

Below, we’ll look at some ways that water damage can manifest itself in your basement and how our highly trained team can help in case you do discover water damage.

Three Major Signs of Water Damage

Musky, unpleasant odors. Water that gets into the basement, while it could be clean water, can cause major issues in the way of odor if it sits around before evaporating. The scent can be an overwhelming and pungent smell due to mold and mildew that become present in the environment over time. Many people believe that all basements have a smell, but this is really only the case when there has been water damage in this space.

Flaking paint on walls or masonry. Many homeowners and landlords will often apply waterproof paint on the inside of a home, especially in basements because they believe that they can proactively thwart any damage. Unfortunately, many times this paint will simply mask the issues and then lead to even bigger problems down the road. Water that seeps in will at some point or another work its way through the paint and will commonly lead to chipping, peeling or bubbling on the surface.

Cracks in the foundation. While most homes settle over time, finding cracks in foundation is not normal and can be a sign of water damage. These cracks can appear in the floor, ceiling or the walls because water could be putting pressure on the structure in a way that it can’t uphold. Hairline cracks aren’t a huge cause for alarm, but if they become any longer or wider, they should be treated by a professional immediately.

Noticing signs of water damage in your basement? Call us today to have our expert water restoration technicians help you determine how to treat these issues and get your property back to normal as quickly as possible.

Problems That a Thunderstorm Can Cause | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

5/7/2021 (Permalink)

a large lighting strike just in front of person driving down road Thunderstorms can pop up at any moment. Contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties if you experience any damage.

Even though we don't often see them along the coast and Columbia River - every single thunderstorm is dangerous due to lightning, high winds and heavy rains. Many occur and cause no issues but there is always the potential of danger present.

During a thunderstorm, there will always be thunder and lightning present, often accompanied by rainy and windy conditions. Thunderstorms are often to severe status in certain scenarios where there are high winds over 58 miles per hour and hail that is over an inch in diameter. Regardless of if the thunderstorm is regular or severe, it should always be taken extremely seriously.

Damages That Often Occur Due to Thunderstorms

Damage and injury from lightning strikes. When a storm contains thunder, it also contains lightning every single time. Lightning is a dangerous force and causes at least 300 bodily injuries annually. Lightning can also damage homes and buildings due to fire hazards or by felling trees or telephone poles nearby.

Property damage due to hail. Not every thunderstorm has hail, but when one does, it is important to acknowledge just how dangerous it can be. Hail falls extremely quickly and can cause injury to anyone who is not sheltered adequately when it occurs. Additionally, hail can dent cars and cause damage to the structural integrity of homes by damaging the roof or siding and letting water in.

Harm from flash flooding. While flooding is typically contained to areas near bodies of water, flash flooding can happen anywhere that heavy rain is occurring. It is often associated with underperforming storm drains or runoff areas, but as rain continues to fall, it can quickly become a major concern. Flash floods are highly dangerous even if they are just a few inches high and can happen suddenly.

Thunderstorms are dangerous and can cause significant damage to homes or commercial spaces. If you have damage due to a thunderstorm, you can count on us to help. Contact us 247 for more information about our storm restoration practices.

Our Restoration Technicians Set Us Apart | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

insurance document, pen and blue book sitting on black tabletop Contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties today. We work with you and your insurance company to get things back to normal quickly.

Home damage never happens at a good time.

But even when you’re dealing with home damage, there’s a lot you can do to ensure your home can be restored after damage. Calling a home restoration company is a great first step.

Choosing the right one is key to ensuring the damage is handled professionally and that your home can be restored just the way you remember it.

It’s a Common Problem

While it’s not true, many homeowners naturally assume that home damage is rare. The statistics don’t support that belief.

The Insurance Information Institute estimates that fire damage impacts one every 350 homes every year. If you consider every possible cause of home damage (like storms and flooding), the numbers become closer to one out of every 20 homes each year.

Instead of being frightened by these statistics, use them as a motivation to have a plan in place. Knowing how to choose your restoration partner is key.

We want to be our area’s preferred restoration partner. That is exactly why we prioritize our technicians’ training when they join our team.

Our Technicians’ Training Makes the Difference

When you work with our team, you can be certain you will receive timely service from exceptional professionals. Our technicians go through our extensive training program and also has the ability to train through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

The IICRC sets the industry standards for restoration and offers extensive certifications for all of our technicians.

Our investment in training can translate into your confidence in what our team offers. We’re here to help you, and we hope you will trust us if you ever need restoration services!

If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Take the Right Steps to Keep Your Home Safe From Rain Damage | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

bright blue rain splashing into a pool of water If you need help dealing with any damage caused by water, contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties today.

Many homeowners associate water damage with severe floods and storms or problems in the home (like a burst pipe.)

It’s easy to think of rain as a minor hassle and something that likely won’t damage your home. But that isn’t quite the truth. Rain can actually cause significant damage to your home over time.

How Common Is Water Damage?

Either you or someone you know will file a home water damage claim this year. That statistic may be surprising, but it’s true!

How do we know? Our team did some simple math (and factored in how many people the average person knows). About one in every 50 Americans will need water damage restoration this year. That translates into millions of American families and homeowners.

If you have a big social circle, more than one person you know might find themselves facing a water damage restoration project this year.

Home Maintenance Suggestions for You

Here are some helpful projects that can make a difference and protect your home from damage!

Correct any yard drainage issues. Knowing how your yard drains is vital to protecting your home. If you notice that your yard is draining toward your home, then you might want to get in touch with a landscaping expert to look for ways to protect your yard.

Landscape your yard using native plants. If you do a little homework, the flowers and shrubs you use to help you landscape your home and add curb appeal can also become an added layer of protection. Native plants can help. Talk to a local expert about native plants or visit a native plant sale.

Consider sealing your roof. Experts estimate that almost 95% of damage is caused by water finding its way through gaps in your shingles, which can be prevented with this step.

If you need help dealing with damage caused by water, fire or any other issue, we’re here to help you restore your home. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about us and how we can help you restore your home to its original state.

Astoria Business Owners Can Depend on Our Team | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

a crew of SERVPRO employees in PPE gear walking inside commercial building If you need cleaning assistance at your business, we’re here. Contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties to learn more.

How much work have you put into making your Astoria business successful over the past year? If you’re like most business owners, the answer is “a lot.”

Navigating pandemic changes is a challenge business owners across the country are facing this year. You’ve probably spent a good portion of your time recently working through new ways to connect with your customers and deliver services in new ways.

Help and Support for Businesses

We’re here to assist business owners in our community––including those in Astoria and the surrounding areas. We believe a local business is vital to our economy. After all, we’re local business owners too. SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties is locally owned and operated.

Many businesses have already opened their doors again. And most have found new ways to work remotely or offer products and services digitally.

Others are prepared to reopen in some capacity. That might include offering takeout and delivery dining options or using social media to sell items and supplement lower foot traffic in your store location.

There’s help available from other resources as well. Some of your options include business loans and tips, advice and more from solid, trustworthy sources.

Regardless of how you and your employees have decided to move forward, we’re here to help you when you need us.

We’re available 247 to help you get your business “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.” That means a team of experts will use the latest technology to ensure your business is safe for everyone.

Here’s how we do it:

First, we’ll consult with you about your needs.

Then we’ll clean your space. And we mean really clean it. Our teams use proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions. Plus, we use cleaning and decontamination standards directly from the CDC.

Finally, our teams certify your space.

If you need cleaning assistance at your business, we’re here. We have crews who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our cleaning services and how we can help you.

Home Projects to Prepare Your Family for Spring Storms | SERVPRO® of Clatsop, Columbia Counties

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

heavy rain coming down from dark clouds If you experience any property damage from spring storms, contact SERVPRO of Clatsop, Columbia Counties.

How has your family been doing during this cold, wet, pandemic winter?

If you’re ready for spring, you’re just one of the many families in our region that are. You’re in good company.

It’s already March, so people are beginning to think more about what they can do when the weather warms up enough to spend time outside. You can plan outdoor projects, like more landscaping or a new deck or gazebo.

While you’re doing these projects to make your house more attractive, consider adding some projects to make your home a safer place, too. You can do things now to protect your home from strong storms later. The good news is that most of these projects aren’t time-consuming or expensive. With a little help and a long, sunny weekend, you can get them done.

Is Your Home Ready for a Spring Storm?

Check out these projects and see if they merit a place on your home improvement priority list:

Declutter any debris you find in your gutter. When your gutters are in good shape, it allows water around your home to flow the right way. If gutters are full of debris, they can overflow and cause water damage. Our team recommends cleaning your gutters regularly. You may want to do this every season, so you’re always prepared for heavy rains.

If you have a sump pump, check it sooner rather than later. If your home needs one of these to keep water out of your basement, then it’s a good idea to be sure it’s working before you need it.

Prepare your roof for stormy weather. Make it your priority to look for missing shingles and signs of leaks. If you repair your roof early on, you don’t have to face finding out about leaks and damage during a storm. You’ll save yourself time, money and other issues surrounding water damage.

If a fire, flood or any other cause damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.