Design tips to help protect your basement against water damage
Ceramic tile has a timeless look, as well as it is naturally resistant to water and humidity.
Finding a home with a basement here in Oregon is almost as rare as seeing Sasquatch. When we do find a basement, our excitement is hard to contain as the possibilities are endless! This extra square footage could be ideal for storage, a guest bedroom, a playroom for the kids/grandkids, a den, a room for entertaining…..the list goes on and on. But before we make any final decisions on what to do with this extra space, we must keep one thing in mind: basements are rare here because our ground gets very wet. Wet ground can lead to water leaking into you home. While there are steps you can take to help prevent water from gaining access to your basement, there are also a few simple flooring ideas that can help minimize damage IF water ever did get into your home.
AVOID CARPETING It may seem appealing to have a softer floor covering if you plan to turn this space into a cozy room for relaxing, or a playroom for children. But, unfortunately, carpeting and its padding soak up any moisture that may come into your home, and can become a breeding ground for mold.
Epoxy Coating a concrete basement subfloor with epoxy will make it waterproof and durable. Available in a variety of colors, epoxies can easily be applied over a weekend.
Concrete stain Stain can dress up concrete floors with very little cost an effort. Unlike some other types of concrete coatings, stain is resistant to chipping or flaking. Stains also come in a wide variety of colors, making it easy to match your décor.
Ceramic Tile Affordable and timeless, ceramic tile can easily be applied directly over a concrete slab. Tile is also resistant to water and humidity, making it a good choice for basement flooring.
Painted Concrete Paint is easy and the least expensive solution. Do your research, and be sure to get a latex based paint that is resistant to humidity and cooler temperatures. Use a roller to apply at least 2 coats directly to the floor. You may have to touch up the floor every few years.
You can always accessorize for comfort by using area rugs. These not only look nice, but can easily be replaced if any water damage does occur. If you ever do find yourself with water damage in your basement, do not hesitate to call your Water Restoration Specialists at SERVPRO. We are on-call 24/7 and ready to help you get back to enjoying your basement.
Spring Cleaning can help keep your home healthy
As the weather warms up, we want to open the windows and, metaphorically, emerge from our winter hibernation. It is typically the time of year where homeowners take a few weekends to spruce up the interior and exterior of their homes – wash away the winter drab. Keeping your home clean and tidy is important for a variety of reasons. Most importantly, a clean home is less likely to face issues like mold damage, pest infestation and other problems that stem from a lack of attention and care. From the kitchen to the garage and from the backyard to the bedrooms, Spring Cleaning is very important in the maintenance of Willamette Valley homes.
If you are looking to spruce up your home this spring season, keep in mind the following cleaning tips:
- Clean out your refrigerator – dispose of expired items and wash each tray
- Give all of your doormats a good wash
- Clean your upholstery and carpet – get professional help from SERVPRO to make sure the job is done right
- Pay special attention to washing your baseboards
- Dust all ceiling fans
- Scrub down your stove and oven
- Sanitize all sinks
- Disinfect your kitchen sink’s disposal
- Thoroughly clean all bathrooms – including shower doors, shower walls, and drain areas
- Disinfect and clean all toilets
- Reorganize your bedroom closets and drawers
- Move boxes or storage bins to check for insect/pest nests behind them
- Pressure wash your driveway and roof
- Wash all windows – light actually helps keep mold growth at bay!!
While there are certainly additional tasks to accomplish while doing your spring cleaning, the above list should serve as a great starting point for you and your family. While spring cleaning is important, keeping your home clean throughout the year is the key to ensuring major dirt buildup is avoided. Mold damage is one of the most common side effects of untreated water leaks and other home issues. If you think your home could use some professional attention, contact our SERVPRO team at your earliest convenience.
Storm damage can increase health risks to you and your family
Standing water in your home can become a breeding ground for mold, dust mites and bacteria!
Storms can bring rain and flooding. Would you know how to protect your family in the event of a flood? Did you realize that in addition to structural damage, a flood can pose a health risk to your family, as well? Being aware of a few simple things can help reduce the risk to you and your family.
Evacuate if instructed to do so. Do not try to wait out the flood in your home if you are advised to evacuate.
Floodwaters often contain sewage and toxins, especially in Urban areas. Avoid contact with the water.
Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and mold. These can become airborne, and pose a health risk if inhaled.
Identify vulnerable populations – such as elderly, children, immunocompromised, those with asthma, or any other airway diseases, and keep them from the flood waters until area has been dried.
Turn off gas and electric before entering a dwelling that has standing water.
Make sure any workers assisting in clean up wear protective gear, this includes gloves and goggles to prevent exposure to harmful substances.
When in doubt, toss it out – damp buildings and furnishings promote the growth of bacteria, dust mites, and mold. Anything that cannot be cleaned and dried must be discarded.
CALL YOUR Storm and Water Restoration Specialists at SERVPRO! Our professionals are experienced in Storm and Water Clean-ups and Restoration. We are ready to help, and have to tools to safely get the job done. Call us today!
Air Quality after the Flood
Flooding can provide the ideal environment for mold and bacteria to grow in your home.
During a flood clean-up, the indoor air quality may seem to be the least of your concerns. However, failure to remove contaminated items and reduce moisture can present serious long term health concerns. Standing water and moisture are a perfect breeding ground for microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and MOLD. Take precautions when returning to the site of a flood and preparing to cleanup.
Wear protective clothing and gear. This includes gloves, masks and goggles – to protect against inhaling any harmful particulates, or splashing contaminated water into your eyes.
Remove standing water to help prevent microbial growth. Remove water quickly as possible to also prevent further structural damage to your home.
Dry out your home – Microorganisms brought into the home during flooding may present a health hazard. These organisms can penetrate into porous materials and later be released into the air or water. High levels of humidity and moist materials provide ideal environments for the growth of microorganisms, such as mold, that are already present in your home.
Remove wet materials. It can be hard to throw away your personal belongings, but unfortunately, some items may become too contaminated to be safely kept. And you may also need to remove and replace insulation, for this material can take a long time to dry, and thus foster microbial growth.
Consider replacing your air filter and disinfecting your air ducts. If microorganisms got into your duct work, or your filter became wet during a flood, you could inadvertently be spreading them throughout your home. This can cause serious respiratory health issues.
Contact your Water Restoration and Mold Remediation Specialists at SERVPRO today. Our highly trained professionals are prepared to help ‘make it like it never even happened’. After dealing with a flood, you do not want to risk mold settling in. Call SERVPRO to get the job done right!
Be prepared for floods!
Flood waters caved in this basement wall, flooding the home with muddy waters and debris.
Spring brings buds on trees, daffodil and tulip blooms, and warmer air. Spring also brings melting snow and rain. We see lots and lots of rain here in the Willamette Valley. All this extra water can cause rivers to rise, and the ground to over saturate with water. This can lead to flooding of your property, your crawlspace or basement, and even your home. Flood safety is often something we do not think about, until it’s too late. A few simple precautions and reminders can help protect your home and family in the event of a flood.
Verify that you have Flood Insurance! Check TODAY with your Insurance Agent to ensure that you do have flood coverage, or you risk NOT having property damage covered if it was caused by flooding.
Raise your furnace, water heater, or electrical panel if they are in areas of your home that may be affected by flooding water,
Keep an emergency kit/pack in an easily accessible, yet water-proof place. So you can quickly grab it if you have to evacuate.
Keep your vehicle fueled up. It’s just common sense to be prepared for any evacuation emergency to have your vehicle ready to go at any time.
Evacuate if you are instructed to do so!
Stay out of flood waters. Do not attempt to drive across a flooded street, nor attempt to cross a quickly moving stream….it only takes 2 feet of moving water to wash away a car!
Do not return home, until authorities say it is safe to do so.
Do not drink or cook with tap water until authorities say it is safe to do so.
Inspect your property for any water damage. Wet items can quickly grow mold, and water can weaken structures such as floors, walls, etc.
Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
….and the easiest way to do clean and inspect for damage, is to call upon your Water Restoration Specialists at SERVPRO. None of us wants to experience a flood. But, here at SERVPRO we can help provide you with some peace of mind in the event of any kind of water disaster.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Gutters
Clean gutters can help protect your home from water damage.
It might not seem like a big deal, but it is very important to clean out your gutters. Professionals recommend doing it at least twice per year. Gutters allow water to safely flow from your roof and away from your home for proper drainage. When you gutters become clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris, this can cause clogging of the down spouts. Water that gets dammed up in the gutters will find the path of least resistance as it tries to drain…and this often means it feeds back into the walls and ceilings of your home.
Water working its way into your home can lead to a host of problems. The moisture can create the perfect breeding ground for mold growth in your walls or attic. Water can cause rotting of your ceilings or drywall. If gone unnoticed, rot can even settle into the wooden frames of your home and cause structural integrity problems.
Another way clogged gutters can allow the water to damage your home is the debris dams allows the water to flow over the rim of the gutter and wash down the side of your home. This can cause damage to paint or siding, and eventually allowing water to get inside your walls and wreak havoc, unseen.
Did you know that even flooded basements and cracked foundations can be a symptom of clogged gutters? If water cannot drain away from the house properly, it can pool around the foundation. This water then expands when frozen, which can cause cracking to your foundation, which allows even MORE water into your basement
Water can be a destructive force to your home. And here in the Willamette Valley, we sure do see a lot of rain. Do your best to protect your home from water damage. One of the easiest steps is to keep your gutters clean.
But if you do find water damage in your home, do not hesitate to call your team of Water Restoration Specialists at SERVPRO today!
Water Damage from City Water Main Break
Broken pipes can wreak havoc on your home and property.
Water damage can be a huge expense in your home. Here are some ways that water damage affects your home and what you can do about it.
Usually a sign that a water main has broken is a loss in pressure. If you are experiencing a loss in water pressure, have SERVPRO of Linn County
Overly dry or wet weather causes the ground to shift, typically resulting in round breaks wrapping around the diameter of the pipe. Sudden pressure fluctuations and the normal aging process of the mains also cause breaks, typically resulting in lateral breaks running along the pipe.
If the problem is simply a pipe blockage, you are likely to notice reduced pressure and/or volume when you turn on the shower or faucet in your home. A water main break will result in water leakage, which can turn your front yard into a swamp. You might also detect an unpleasant odor. A good clue that you could possibly have a leak somewhere in the system is an inexplicable increase in your water bill.
After you get your pipe fixed give SERVPRO a call and we will come out and fix the damage that this major break has done to your house. we can repair mold damage and water damage. We will get your home smelling and looking like new!
Storms Bring Increased CO Poisoning Risk
Carbon Monoxide detectors have been proven to save lives.
When a winter storm hits, temperatures plummet. We feel the cold, even indoors as houses can be drafty, or a loss of power causes a loss of heat. As many turn on portable heaters, the risk of fire is probably their primary safety concern. Most people do not even consider the risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning! But many common practices that come with a winter storm do come with an increased risk of accidental CO poisoning. To reduce your risk, and help keep your family safer during a winter storm, please be aware of the following :
- Proper use and ventilation of portable generators. Generators can be a life saver during a loss of power in a Winter Storm. But they also create CO, so only use a generator per manufacturer’s instructions, and only in areas with proper ventilation. Never place one in an enclosed space, such as a basement, attic or attached garage. And make sure it is placed at least 15 feet away from a window or door into the home!
- Make sure chimneys are clean. Woodstoves, or wood burning fireplaces are a great source of heat in a cold snap. However, if the chimney is clogged, that CO filled smoke will feed back into the home, putting everyone at risk.
- Do not idle your car, or any vehicle, in a garage. Even with a garage door open, the colder air condenses the CO in the exhaust from the vehicle.
- Don’t use your oven or stove to heat your home.
- ANYTHING that burns fuel can create CO. Gas-Powered Generators, Furnaces, Wood stoves, Kerosene heaters, Gas-powered tools, Gas-Powered home appliances, Gas and Charcoal Grills, and, of course, vehicles. Only use these items in well ventilated areas.
- Check exterior vents for ice or snow covering. During a storm, your furnace and appliance’s exhaust vents can become covered in ice or snow. This can cause that exhaust to vent into the home, putting you and your family at great risk.
- Install Carbon Monoxide detectors. Have at least one on every floor of your home. Change out the batteries when you change clocks for Daylight Savings.
While we cannot ever be 100% prepared for a storm, making sure your home’s heating systems are in good shape BEFORE winter storms strike is your best defense. If you need the name of a good Chimney Sweep, or Heating & Cooling Company, call us at SERVPRO for a recommendation. We have worked with many wonderful Service Men and Women in our community and are happy to help you find someone to assist you.
Preventing Mold in Your Home
Taking some simple steps can help prevent mold growth in your home.
Mold. Most hear the word and think ‘YUCK!’. It’s easy to forget that mold can ever be a good thing! We use it to make some cheeses and even penicillin. It is one of nature’s beneficial decomposers. Mold can, and does, grow anywhere – as anyone in Oregon knows only too well! But, it’s easy to forget any of the good reasons for mold when we find it in our homes. Decomposing our carpets, or drywall, or floorboards…
To flip the old adage, a good defense against mold is a good offense. Its best to prevent mold growth before it becomes a problem. And the best offense is: moisture control. Easier said than done, here in Oregon, I know! Mold can be costly to fix, but relatively easy to prevent. Here are a few ways you can help curb indoor moisture issues, and the mold that thrives on it.
- Identify potential problem areas in your house. While you cannot ‘mold-proof’ your home, you can take measures to make it more ‘mold-resistant’. Inspect your home for problem areas: does your basement flood? Do you experience condensation on windows? Invest a little time and money now to address such issues.
- Dry wet areas immediately. Mold needs moisture to grow – taking a moment to wipe up any standing/pooling water can prevent mold growth.
- Proper Ventilation. Every day household activities can encourage mold growth: cooking, showering, and doing laundry…making sure your kitchen, bathrooms and laundry room are properly ventilated can help keep moisture down, and thus keep mold from taking root.
- Utilize ‘mold-resistant’ products in your home. Whether building a new home, or renovating an older home, consider using mold-resistant drywall or sheetrock in high-humidity rooms.
- Clean or repair gutters. A mold problem may be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking due to a clogged or damaged gutter. Cleaning your gutters regularly and having them inspected for damage can help prevent water from invading home.
These are just a few of the often simple measures you can take, as a homeowner, to help protect your property, and your family against the potentially harmful effects of mold in your home. If you do suspect or find mold in your home, call your Mold Remediation Specialists at SERVPRO.
Creating a Defensible Space
Creating a defensible space around your home can help protect your home and family in the event of a Forest Fire.
Last Summer, and into the Fall, Forest Fires ravaged the West Coast. Thousands of acres of timber were lost. And, unfortunately, so were many homes. While a wildfire is beyond our control, as a homeowner, there are certain steps you can take to help reduce your property risk in case of a Forest Fire.
- Install a fire-proof roof. A metal roof is ideal here in the PNW due to the heavy rain and also provides excellent fire protection. Contact your local Roofing Professional for all your options,
- Create a ‘defensible space’ around your home – in some areas, it is required by law. Think ‘Lean, Clean and Green’ – remove all flammable vegetation within 30 feet of your home.
- Clear debris from the yard – this includes dead branches, twigs, any old building material, etc.
- Stack wood piles at least 30 feet from your home, and remove vegetation from within 10 feet of the woodpile.
- Remove lower branches, at least 6 feet from the ground.
- Trim any unhealthy looking trees. Remove dead branches, and clean out dead leaves/dried debris from under the trees.
- Consider removing any trees that are too close to your house – many fires jump tree top to tree top, as well as Emergency Vehicles need to be able to work all the way around your home in the event of a fire.
- Store any fuel tanks, propane or butane, at least 30 feet from the house.
For more information on Fire Safety & Prevention, you can visit : http://www.oregon.gov/ODF/Fire/Pages/FirePrevention.aspx
If your home is damaged by a Wildfire, or sustains any kind of fire damage, please contact your Fire Restoration Specialists at SERVPRO!