Recent General Posts
Demystifying Insurance for Disaster Restoration Claims
Insurance is purchased to protect our assets in the event of a disaster. But insurance can be very confusing to the average person. Especially when something happens that you thought was covered by insurance but wasn’t. As Central Oregon disaster restoration experts, we help homeowners, renters, and business owners, restore damages to their pre-disaster state. We work with insurance companies daily to help our customers repair the damage quickly and professionally.
In this blog, we sat down with SERVPRO of Bend and SERVPRO of N. Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook Counties owner Brent Irwin to answer some of his most common insurance questions. We hope this information will help you better understand how and what to do should disaster strike you.
- I have water/smoke/fire damage in my home (or business). What do I do? According to Brent Irwin, the best thing to do in this situation is to call a restoration professional to evaluate the loss. While it may be tempting, don’t try to repair the damage yourself before notifying the insurance company and filing a claim. There are many situations where some of the damage may be hidden. Depending on the structural material and the cause of the loss, restoration providers have infrared cameras and moisture meters to follow the path of the damage. This information allows us to understand the extent of the damage better and provide the insurance company with as complete a picture as possible for claim review.
- Is my loss covered? We expect insurance to cover our losses, so we purchase it. But not all losses are covered by insurance. The insurance agent best addresses a question regarding limitations in coverage. Find out if your policy covers fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, smoke damage restoration, and even mold remediation.
- How much will the restoration cost? As restoration experts, we would love to know the costs before starting. The challenge, however, is that until the affected material is removed, we don’t know. As mentioned in the first question, the use of tools helps us provide as complete a picture as possible, but it isn’t an exact science. Sometimes we remove material and discover that damage effects go beyond what was initially thought. That’s why we at SERVPRO of Bend remain in constant contact with insurance companies to get the proper approvals BEFORE removing any material. This process protects you, our customer, and ensures that every possible box has been checked before starting.
- My insurance carrier told me to go with a different company. Do I have to? In Oregon, it is your right as a consumer to use any disaster restoration professional you choose. That said, SERVPRO of Bend and SERVPRO of N. Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook Counties are preferred providers for most major insurance carriers.
- How do I know that the contractor is qualified to do the work? Working with a contractor or remodeler licensed through the Oregon Construction Contractors Board is advantageous. The license ensures they have the skill set needed to provide an estimate of the repairs needed.
- How will the contractor be paid? Similar to health insurance, your property insurance carrier will have an adjuster responsible for reviewing the costs associated with the project. It is their job to compare the estimate provided by the restoration company to the contractor’s estimate. If both parties agree on the amount listed, the insurance will usually send the payment directly to the restoration contractor. This benefits you, as the consumer, as it removes you from being involved with the financial side of disaster restoration.
At SERVPRO of Bend, we have extensive experience in disaster restoration. We also are used to working with insurance providers to help support our customers during a very stressful time. Our goal, with every restoration project, is that the result looks and feels like the damage never even happened. Often our results look better than before the damage occurred. If you need water damage repair, mold remediation, fire damage restoration, or any other type of disaster restoration, contact us at SERVPRO of Bend or SERVPRO of N. Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook Counties.
We look forward to helping you.
Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day
On behalf of all of us here at SERVPRO of Bend, have a great Independence Day.Everybody be safe while we celebrate our Country's Independence. Quick History Moment: Independence Day commemorates the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776. There are a lot of great things going on in our community this 4th of July. If you're looking for things to do in Bend, Oregon this 4th of July, here are a few options to consider: July 3rd - Fireworks in the Ballpark Night!The Bend Elks are proud to host one of the only firework shows in Central Oregon! Join us July 3rd as we take on Yakima Valley with a show after the game. Bend Pet Parade and Festival at Drake Park 9 AM - 2 PM Bend July 4th Fireworks, Pilot Butte at 10 PM La Pine Frontier Days, Jul 1, 5 PM – Mon, Jul 5, 6 AM
SERVPRO of Bend wants to Thank our Crew
We wanted to thank our crew for their team effort in assisting with the digging out our vehicles from a record snow fall.
Despite having the area snowplowed, it was necessary for out team to dig out our service vehicles from 3 feet of snow.
This allows us to be ready when the need comes for us to help our customers with any level of Emergency Services. Our vehicles are stocked and ready for Whatever comes our way.
Things Never to Plug into a Power Strip
It seems that, often times we have more appliances than outlets to plug them in to.. That's when a lot of people use power strips to compensate for the lack of available outlet. In a lot of cases, the power strip is not the safest option. Here are some items you should avoid plugging in to a power strip.
Large appliances like refrigerators require a lot of power and frequently cycle on and off, which can easily overload a power strip. These devices should be plugged directly into a wall outlet dedicated solely to powering the appliance. If you try to plug additional appliances into the same outlet, you risk tripping the circuit.
The microwave is a miracle of modern food preparation, thawing, cooking, and reheating food in a fraction of the time it takes a conventional oven. But all that marvelous activity requires more energy than a power strip can provide. Like a conventional electric oven, the microwave should have its own dedicated power outlet.
You may not think that your morning cup of joe requires that much energy to brew, but most coffee makers need quite bit of amperage to turn those roasted beans into a hot beverage. Plug your coffee maker directly into the outlet or you run the risk of waking up to a half-brewed pot of coffee.
It takes a tremendous amount of electricity to power your hair dryers, curling wands, and flat irons. In fact, to prevent the circuit breaker from tripping, any hairdressing accessory that operates with heat should be plugged directly into a wall outlet—preferably a GFCI outlet to avoid the danger of accidental water exposure, a common bathroom hazard.
Extreme Makeover: SERVPRO of Bend Fleet Vehicle
Hot off the press and out of the garage!
We're extremely excited to have a new member of our already wonderful fleet of vehicles.
This small Versa was originally a plain silver color but after being rescued by SERVPRO of Bend, it got new life.
We're so excited to have given this new marketing vehicle an extreme makeover, thanks to SERVPRO's preferred provider, Build a sign llc.
We couldn't be happier with the new look so look for it racing around town (within legal limits of course).
4 days till eclipse: Major traffic across Oregon
Traffic Backup in Prineville, Oregon
BEND, Ore. (KOIN) — With only four more days until the solar eclipse, traffic is already picking up across Oregon
Oregon State Police said there was heavy congestion on Highway 97 NB in LaPine on Wednesday and after nightfall said there was also traffic in Prineville on Highway 26 heading into a festival event. Officials said there were 800 cars an hour and the back-up was about 30 miles from the event.
Crook County officials urged people to avoid traveling Thursday and Friday due to “extremely heavy traffic.”
Central Oregon hit with Snow Storm Affecting Bend, Redmond, Sunriver, Madras, and La Pine
Winter weather has triggered another round of school cancelations in Hood River County and much of Central Oregon.
Another strong storm began hitting the High Desert early Tuesday. The National Weather Service forecast calls for 5-to-9 inches of new snow in Bend by the evening.
In the Cascades, the forecast for areas around Santiam Pass to Government Camp called for 7-14 inches of snow.
The Bend-La Pine, Crook County, Redmond and Sisters school districts all closed schools, along with Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University-Cascades.
The National Weather Service says a snowstorm hitting central Oregon Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, could drop 5-to-9 inches of snow on Bend by the evening.
5 Home Improvements You Should Tackle in Early Fall to Get Your Home Prepared for the Cold Weather
There’s something about autumn that energizes many people, getting them to take on projects and plans that they may have been putting off for a while. So while you’re busy making plans for the winter months ahead, make sure you also take the time to take care of some home projects that are best done during the early fall months. These five projects are under $2000 each, and can help make your home more comfortable for the months ahead.
You don’t want to wait until the cold winter months to turn on your furnace and find that it isn’t working. That’s why early fall is the best time to schedule your furnace repair. This off-peak time often costs less than it will in January, and gives you plenty of flexibility to schedule the technician at your convenience. Waiting until winter to tackle this project will mean you pay a higher rate in labor fees, and you risk your furnace breaking down when you need it the most.
Install a Portable Generator
If you live in an area that sees severe weather during the fall and winter months, you may want to invest in a portable generator to help keep your home running in case of a power outage. Portable generators come in many sizes so you can find the right fit for your home. Install one in early fall before costs go up during the colder months, and ensure that you’re ready for the first outage of the year. Once the snow begins to fly, you can expect the demand for generators to go through the roof driving up prices and limiting availability. Waiting too long could mean that you run the risk of not finding one at a reasonable price or that you need to go without power in the event of a storm.
After a warm, humid summer, mold is a very common problem in a lot of areas. Basements, attics, and bathrooms are all particularly susceptible to mold growth. Before you spend more time indoors in the winter, you’ll want to ensure that any mold is removed before it can cause health problems. Once the weather dries out in the early fall is the best time to get this done. Mold that began in the summer months will continue to grow right through the winter, so the early all is the best time of year to tackle this job, while the air is dryer and the mold hasn’t had as much time to spread
Install Gutter Guards
During the autumn months leaves and pine needles drop from trees at a very fast rate. These can collect in your gutter, clogging them up and forcing water back onto your roof. A gutter guard can help prevent this by stopping the debris from entering your gutters. Take care of this issue in early fall when it isn’t too hot to work on your gutters, but before the leaves start falling to get the best results. Wait too long and you may have to pay a higher cost in labor due to demand and the fact that your gutters will need to be cleaned prior to installation.
Clean Your Roof
Your roof can become the home to a lot of dirt and debris during the summer months, including algae, mold, moss, and leaves. The more debris that lands on your roof, the bigger the problem, because things like moss and leaves can trap water beneath them, weakening your shingles. When snow falls, this problem will become worse, potentially causing leaks. September or October is the best time of year to clean your roof; it’s not too hot to work, and you’ll want to get the bulk of the debris off before the leaves begin to fall, making it harder to clean.
Get Your Home Ready for Fall
September and October are great times of year to work on your home. The heat and humidity are over, but the cold winter months are still in the distance. Take care of these five projects as early in the fall as possible to get the best results and savings
Housing Crisis Looms in Flood-Stricken Louisiana
With an estimated 40,000 homes damaged by deadly flooding, Louisiana could be looking at its biggest housing crunch since the miserable, bumbling aftermath of Hurricane Katrina a decade ago.
People whose homes were swamped by some of the heaviest rains Louisiana has ever seen are staying in shelters, bunking with friends or relatives, or sleeping in trailers on their front lawns. Others unable or unwilling to leave their homes are living amid mud and the ever-present risk of mold in the steamy August heat.
Many victims will need an extended place to stay while they rebuild. Countless others didn't have flood insurance and may not have the means to repair their homes. They may have to find new places altogether.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, whose very name became a punchline during Katrina, said it will look into lining up rental properties for those left homeless and also consider temporary housing units.
The flooding that has struck the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas has left at least 13 people dead. More than 30,000 have been rescued, and at least 70,000 have registered for federal disaster assistance. At the height, 11,000 people were staying in shelters, though that had dropped to 6,000 by Wednesday.
In a sign of the housing crunch, Livingston Parish officials are talking with FEMA about getting temporary housing for emergency and rescue workers. An estimated 75 percent of the homes in the parish of 138,000 residents were a total loss.
Those with flood insurance will be in a much better place to begin rebuilding — but there won't be many of them.
FEMA said more than 9,000 flood claims have been filed with the agency.
Routine Home Maintenance - What you can do after you move in.
Moving in to a new house can be exciting and stressful at the same time. To limit the stress and make sure your house less prone to water damage or fire damage, here is a list of some routine maintenance you can do to prevent future damage from being costly.
1. Change your filters
One of the most important things to remember is that you are responsible for certain routine maintenance items to keep your house functioning properly. These tasks tend to be relatively simple. For instance, many types of heating and air conditioning systems contain filters to remove dirt and dust from the air. A homeowner should change these filters when necessary.
2. Get rid of dust and dirt
Cleanliness is a factor that will make your home last longer and work better. Dust and dirt, if allowed to accumulate, can harm the finishes on blinds, cabinets, countertops, floors, sinks, tubs, toilets, walls, tiles and other items. If dirt does accumulate, make sure to clean it with a substance that does not scratch or damage the finishes.
3. Check your exterior
On the outside of your home, make sure that gutters and downspouts do not get clogged with leaves or other objects. The exterior of your house is built to withstand exposure to the elements, but a periodic cleaning will improve the appearance and, in many instances, prolong the life of siding and other exterior products.
4. Read your warranty
When you bought your home, you probably received a warranty from the builder on workmanship and materials. This warranty applies to problems related to the construction of the home, but it does not apply to problems that arise because of failure to perform routine maintenance. For example, if your roof begins to leak after six months because of faulty workmanship, your warranty would cover that. If you develop a problem because water backed up in clogged gutters that you should have cleaned, the builder is not responsible for repairs. Also, some items, such as appliances, may be covered by manufacturers warranties and are not the responsibility of the builder.
You should fully familiarize yourself with the terms of your warranty soon after you move into your home. With all the excitement surrounding a move into a new home, most people have little desire to curl up in front of the fireplace and read a legal document. Nonetheless, you should not wait to read your warranty until a problem arises. Set aside an hour to learn what your rights and responsibilities are from the outset.
SERVPRO has come to Central Oregon!
The owners of Spectrum Building & Restoration are proud and pleased to announce that they have purchased the local SERVPRO Franchise as a separate business venture. SERVPRO of Bend is ready to respond to your emergency service needs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year as Central Oregon's newest mitigation contractor. Call 541-385-7044 and our professionals will provide you with a free consultation and estimate to determine how we can help.