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How to Fire-Proof Your Kitchen

You may not believe it, but there’s a room in your home where surfaces reach scalding temperatures regularly and open flames are left to burn for long periods of time.

It’s called your kitchen.

While cooking is essential to keeping yourself and your family fed, operating ovens and hot or even lit burners (depending on the type of range you use) can result in fatal home fires if you do not exercise proper fire safety and prevention.

What can you do to make your kitchen as safe as possible? Consider the following tips for creating an effective and fire-proof area:

Keep a Fire Extinguisher in the Kitchen

This may seem like a no-brainer, but fires do not put themselves out, and tossing water on them can sometimes fan the flames rather than put them out. Hanging a fire extinguisher in your kitchen can mean the difference between smothering a small pan fire before damage occurs and a billowing home fire that destroys much of what you hold dear. Be sure to read the instructions on your fire extinguisher thoroughly so you know exactly how to use it in the event of danger.

Read more: How to Fire-Proof Your Kitchen

We're Not Fire Chasers

helping-handWith heavy rain, wind, and snow this past winter, you may have heard about restoration companies that simply listen for the sound of the emergency siren and hop into the truck, ready to siphon as much money as possible from hapless victims who are not in a position to turn down help, regardless of the price.

We are not those people. We promise.

Who We Are

If you have never experienced a natural disaster or personal crisis so devastating that you could not imagine that your life, your family, or your home would ever be the same, we’re glad. Crises involving fire, flood, violent crime, or toxic substances hidden in your home can be terrifying events that call for quick action and the presence of mind to seek help, both of which can be in short order when the life you know is buried in a heap of ash in front of you.

Read more: We're Not Fire Chasers

Is There Lead In My Soil?

soilIt's Spring! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and you’re excited to dig up the soil in your front yard to plant some flowers  and vegetables. However, you’ve heard that lead can lurk in the soil surrounding older homes, and you’re worried about contamination.

Is this a real issue? If so, has lead contaminated your property?

Lead Contaminated Soil and Your Garden

While lead occurs naturally, elevated levels can cause personal harm, particularly to children, who may manifest severe learning disabilities and behavioral issues. Lead in the soil can show up as small flecks of paint or dust that settles on flowers and produce. Older homes are at most risk of having lead-contaminated soil, particularly those that have been painted and scraped, as well as those near major highways, which may have been contaminated by leaded-gasoline used in times passed.

Read more: Is There Lead In My Soil?

Spring Insurance Issues

cracked-drivewayWhile your homeowners’ insurance may cover certain issues, such as fire, other equally-destructive problems might leave you  high and dry (or high and soaked, depending on the nature of the issue). The following issues may or may not be covered by a basic homeowners’ plan and may require additional, specific insurance to provide you with compensation:

Hail Damage

Some spring storms can bring destructive hail that ruins your home’s roof shingles and siding, all of which is usually covered by your insurance plan. If a window breaks due to a storm, the breakage and resulting water damage is also customarily covered by a basic plan.

Read more: Spring Insurance Issues

Your Guide to Spring Flooding, 2014

crocusCrocuses are poking their purple heads out of the ground in Portland, and we couldn’t be happier, after the weather we’ve had this winter. However, with warmer temperatures comes a host of new flooding threats to your home. Never fear: our experts at Paul Davis are happy to help you out, rain or shine, and give you the following tips so you can fully enjoy your Spring.

New Flood Threats

When temperatures warm and Spring is on its way, much of the ground is still cold, hard, and at least half-frozen, preventing melted snow or rainfall from absorbing into the soil. As snow and ice melts, it makes its way into streams, rivers, and lakes, causing overflow and flood your property. While there may not be much snow or ice on the ground here in Portland, water flowing down the sides of local mountains and areas of higher elevation affect our homes as well.

Read more: Your Guide to Spring Flooding, 2014

What Sets Us Apart

construction-workerRestoration companies can be found across the United States. We can tell you all day about our impeccable service, and you can believe us (because we really do care and really do provide the absolute fastest, most thorough restoration/ remodeling/ abatement services that we know of).

However, if you are paying us to restore your home and valuables after a disaster, you deserve to know exactly what we do differently from other companies that makes us unique and worth your business.

Because we care about your budget and want you to feel positive about choosing our services, the following is a summary of the ways in which we at Paul Davis Restoration of Greater Portland do our job smarter and serve you better than anyone else on the market.

Our Soft Goods Cleaning

You may have heard about our Esporta cleaning system, but if you haven’t, this revolutionary method of removing dirt, mold and mildew, and smoke damage from your prized possessions is well worth a look. While many companies provide soft contents cleaning, our Esporta Wash System can be likened to hauling a load in a semi-trailer vs. an ordinary pickup truck. With the latest technology set to work on your filthiest soft items, one wash can return your beloved soft toy or softball mitt to its pre-incident condition.

Omega Sonics System

While 40% of our peers have some form of commercial wash system, this assembly-line style of washing items gets into the nooks and crannies easily missed by lesser methods.

Ozone Drying Chambers

Ozone drying chambers are another restoration company specialty. When filling large, monitored drying chambers, ozone can neutralize smoke odors and dry out furniture items covered in mold. At Paul Davis Restoration, we specifically monitor your items using state-of-the-art technology, and are proud to offer double the capacity of most companies, with two ozone drying chambers instead of just one.

Read more: What Sets Us Apart

5 Essential Facts About Flooding

flood-woman-jumpingIf your home has recently been damaged by flood, or if you are moving into a flood zone and want to be fully informed, you’ve come to the right place.

Our team at Paul Davis is made up of flood restoration experts who have helped thousands of families weather crises. The following facts about flooding will serve you well, whether you’re interested in learning more, or if your home has recently been affected by storm or coastal flooding:

Every Season Varies

The worst season for flooding depends largely on the region in which you live. Long, snowy winters can cause water damage due to frozen and burst plumbing pipes. Heavy Spring rain can cause basement floods due to runoff from your roof, window sills, or the downward slope of your yard leading to your home. Fallen leaves in Autumn can cause blocked gutters, which can force water to slide over the side and into your basement. Long story short, any season, depending on where you live and the climate, can cause flooding somewhere in your home.

Read more: 5 Essential Facts About Flooding

Signs of Unsafe Electrical Wiring

electrical-wiringElectrical wiring issues are one of the leading causes of home fires, particularly in the winter, when strings of lights linger and dark afternoons force us to use artificial light for longer periods of time. Even if you are a pro at turning off your lights when you leave the house and attending to flickering bulbs, there may be electrical issues inside your house that can cause a fire without any warning.

Scared yet? Don’t be. Knowledge goes a long way to preventing home fires. Look for the following signs and symptoms of unhealthy wiring and contact the experts at Paul Davis to examine your home further if you have any questions:

Circuit Breakers Go Out

If your circuit breaker trips during routine activities, something is wrong. Your circuit breakers help to protect your home from fire by stopping the energy flow when more amps are running through than your circuit is rated for. Because fuses can “blow out” and require replacing, circuit breakers are essential for keeping consistent, reliable control of the energy flow in your home.

That being said, circuit breakers can and do wear out over time. If your circuit breaker is tripping often, you may either have too many total amps running through the circuit, which indicates too many high-powered appliances plugged into one circuit. The other possible cause is a short in the wiring along the circuit.

In either situation, do not simply replace the fuse or breaker with a higher rating unit, as doing so can overload your wiring and cause a devastating home fire. Rather, contact an electrician to help you assess the problem. In the meantime, disconnect high-amp appliances and electronics from the circuit, and do not overload your outlets with electrical strips or surge protectors.

Read more: Signs of Unsafe Electrical Wiring

Troubleshooting Winter Storm Issues

tree-fallenThis winter has been wild, with record-breaking temperature drops and more snow than Portland has experienced in decades. Global climate change is shifting weather across the planet, and here in the Pacific Northwest, change means learning to adapt to unpredictable patterns during a season that, in years passed, could be summed up with one word: rain.

Winter storms can wreak havoc on your home in ways you would have never predicted. For all your surprise concerns, Paul Davis is here to walk you through the restoration process, one step at a time.

What can we help you with, this season? The following are just a few issues that our expert team can troubleshoot:

Roof Leaks

During heavy rains, your roof takes a beating. Weatherproofing your roof can be vital to leak prevention and maintaining the viability of your structure over time. There are a wide variety of weather proof roof coverings on the market, depending on your specific needs. The following may help you maintain a strong roof against winter storms:

Read more: Troubleshooting Winter Storm Issues