According to the insurance company Chubb, homeowners are more likely to experience water damage during the winter than any other time of year.“In the wintertime, the water in the pipes gets cold; it freezes,” Jim Magliaro, Risk Consulting Technical Leader at Chubb says. “Water goes everywhere.” Insulate your pipes. You can buy simple insulation for about 25 cents a foot. Replace rubber hoses. Check your washing machine to make sure the hoses aren’t rubber. Steel-braided hoses are inexpensive, costing about $10 each. Know how to shut off the valve under your sink. “Once a week, you look under the sink and you look for any puddles of water and move your hand along the pipes to see if there are any leaks,” Magliaro said. If there are, shut off the valve. Check for puddles behind your refrigerator. Many refrigerator leaks are due to the water line that feeds the refrigerator. Magliaro suggests you pull your refrigerator out once a month and look for puddles behind it. Know how to shut off your water main. With the holidays approaching, many of us are leaving for vacation or visiting family. Experts say if you’re heading out of town, you should shut off your water main. It’s an easy way to prevent major leaks or bursts while you’re away. The main water shutoff valve is usually located at the point where the main water line enters the home. In homes with basements, it is usually in the basement. In homes that are on a crawl space or slab, it can be in the garage (if one exists), in a first-floor utility closet, or, in many Southern climates, outside of the home.
How Ice Dams HappenIce Dams form when snow or ice accumulates on the surface of your roof, causing a “dam” at the edge of an in-insulated part of a roof, such as an overhang or eve. As the heating system heats the home and attic space throughout the day, snow and ice begin to melt from the heated areas and drips off of the roof. Though beautiful, icicles form and begin to build up ice on the edge of the uninsulated part of the roof. Beneath this top layer water runs down into the gutter and then refreezes then continues over time to cause a large amount of ice build up over the top of the gutter. Water then starts to pool on your roof and seep back under your shingles, metal roofing or any other roofing system. As the ice melts again, it seeps into your attic and eventually comes through areas of the structure, resulting in water damage. This can cause damage to drywall, insulation, and framing materials. It can also be an incubation point for mold inside the wall cavity or external walls, ceiling, and even the attic. It can even potentially cause dry rot to the framing materials and reduce the structural integrity of the structure. Wet building materials can start to have a strong musty odor as well. Ice dams can cause a large amount of damage to a commercial or residential structure. They can cause mold damage and even dry rot. If ice builds up too much it can even rip off rain gutters from the weight of the ice. Here are a few easy preventative measures to reduce the potential for ice dams: 1.Check the attic for proper insulation. Building code requires a minimum of 14 inches deep of insulation in the attic. 2.String waterproof electric heat tape through your gutters to keep them from freezing and building up with ice. 3.Keep the snow off of your roof. If snow is building up on your roof, get it shoveled off to eliminate the melting of the bottom layer. It is a really good idea to carefully and safely remove icicles from overhangs and eves. This will not only help prevent ice dams but also prevent any danger to kids or neighbors walking beneath the roof. Icicles can become very heavy and can hurt someone very badly if they fall. If you have further questions, feel free to give us a call at Spectrum Building & Restoration
Rain atop snow begins C.O.’s battle with slushBEND, Ore. – Wednesday’s rain and warmer temperatures have begun to eat away at the huge berms of snow nature Central Oregonians have piled up across much of the High Desert — but also created lots of slush on streets that can be even harder to navigate than a snow-packed road. Local government agencies’ roads update at 1 p.m. Wednesday began with that topic: “Slush management”: The warm weather is helping Bend’s and Redmond’s Public Works clearing the slush off the streets. Street-clearing equipment in the region is out clearing slush on roadways in an efficient, targeted effort that prioritizes problem areas. Crews are also assisting with catch basin clearing and flooding issues in priority areas. In Bend, 11,093 storm drains and catch basins must be cleared to allow snow melt runoff. After storms, both cities typically prioritize clearing all arterials and collectors and problem areas. Over the past weeks, the snow has been scraped and packed down on the streets. Now, with this warm, wet weather, that packed snow is churning into deep and cumbersome slush. Plowing all streets would push heavy ice berms across driveways, mailboxes, and hydrants that would be very problematic for people, officials said. “Therefore, we are working with the warmer temperatures and rain to help the roads melt and drain,” said Bend Streets and Operations Department Director David Abbas. The idea is to let Mother Nature help with the road clearing process Wednesday, for the most part, and address problematic areas. Street crews are handling the problem areas, where streets and intersections are making people get stuck or creating dangerous situations. The city of Bend has all of its available equipment working — about 18 pieces of equipment. Nevertheless, Bend-La Pine Schools texted Wednesday afternoon: “We anticipate significant delays tonight for bus routes traveling across unplowed roads. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Prevent and Respond to Flooding
Be prepared to deal with flooding in your area by following these suggestions before the storm hits, once flooding has occurred and after the waters recede.
Before the storm
Prevent flooding problems
- Keep storm drains clear of leaves and debris by raking or sweeping materials away from the drains. Drains near street corners and low areas of streets and parking lots are particularly key.
- Dispose of fallen leaves and other yard debris properly – in compost areas, gardens, or take to the landfill.
- Direct downspouts to at least 10 feet away from your home or business and clear gutters of any debris.
- If you’re in an area where flooding is known to occur, keep sandbags on hand and put valuables in a safe place.
- Make sure your insurance policy covers flooding.
Prepare for flooding with family members or business associates.
- Figure out the safest route from your home or business to safe ground. You may have to leave in a hurry so make sure everyone understands the plan and agree on a meeting point just in case people get separated. Don’t forget about your pets.
- List all valuables in your home or business, including all personal property. Keep the list in a safe location.
- Put supplies of canned food and drinking water, medicine, and first aid supplies in a safe and accessible place, away from flood waters. Include flashlights, radio, extra batteries and cooking equipment.
- Fill up your gas tank. Keep food, water, flashlights and medications in your car.
- If you have lawn furniture or other items outside your home or business, put them inside.
When the water begins to rise
- Monitor radio and TV stations or the National Weather Service for updates, particularly for your area.
- If local officials advise evacuation, then evacuate quickly and safely. You may be directed to go to a specific location. Please follow instructions.
- If water begins to rise around your home, evacuate to higher ground or a shelter, even if officials have not advised evacuation.
- As you travel, watch for washed-out roads, areas where streams or rivers may be flooding the area, and for downed power lines. Also assess low areas, such as dips in the roadway, or areas below water level. Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and drive another way.
After the flood
- Drinking water can become contaminated by material carried by the flood to wells, and clean up is important to prevent illness from mold and mildew.
- The Health Department recommends that anyone using water from a well in a flooded area should disinfect the water by heating it to a rolling boil for three to five minutes, then let cool before drinking. Water used for brushing teeth, washing dishes, or food requires the same treatment as drinking water. An alternative method of disinfection is to place eight drops of household liquid bleach into a gallon of water if the water is clear, or 16 drops of household liquid bleach into a gallon of water if the water is cloudy. After adding the bleach to the water, let the mixture stand for 30 minutes. Otherwise, bottled drinking water should be purchased from a local market.
- Once the flooding has receded, chlorination and flushing of the well is recommended. If you decide to test your water for the presence of bacteria, the testing should be done by a certified laboratory to determine if bacteria levels are safe for human consumption.
- Also after the floods, check for moisture on walls, floors, carpets and furniture. The dampness can support mold and mildew, which may cause asthma and other problems. To prevent mold growth, remove as much moisture as possible immediately after a flood. Dry the inside of your home by opening windows and doors and warming the house at least 15 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Mop up any standing water from floors. If furniture, clothing and other items have been dampened by floodwaters, remove them.
- Hand washing is important during clean up to prevent illness. Wash your hands frequently even if you wear gloves. When the only water for available is contaminated, wash your hands with soap and water and then use an antibacterial hand sanitizer.
- Protect yourself during clean up by wearing gloves and boots. Check with your medical provider to be sure your tetanus vaccine is up-to-date. A booster is needed every 10 years.
“With the heavy snowfall we got last week, added to the heavy rain we’re expecting, the potential for impactful flooding is high,”If you lived in northwest Oregon in 1996, this week’s weather and the forecast of what’s to come may feel ominously familiar. In late January of 1996, just like last week, heavy snowfall blanketed the region. Then a week-long cold snap set in, just like it did over the past few days. In the first week of February 1996, an atmospheric river of moisture took aim at the state, bringing with it warm temperatures that melted the snow, and catastrophic flooding quickly followed suit. On Saturday, the National Weather Service said a similar atmospheric river — the meteorological term for a warm, moisture-rich storm system — was headed our way so it appeared that all the pieces were in place for a repeat. “With the heavy snowfall we got last week, added to the heavy rain we’re expecting, the potential for impactful flooding is high,” Will Ahue, a meteorologist with the weather service, said Saturday. Unlike 1996, however, the region’s largest rivers — the Willamette and the Columbia — aren’t predicted to surpass flood stage and, weather being as unpredictable as it is, no one is sure yet exactly where the jet stream will make landfall and exactly how much rain it will drop. *** When the rains came in early February of 1996, they were carried on a warm jet stream from the tropics. That warm air sent snow levels soaring and accelerated snowmelt in the mountains. The mix of rain and snowmelt inundated nearly every body of water in the region and sent rivers to flood stage and beyond in a matter of hours. Eighteen of Oregon’s 36 counties were declared disaster areas as Corvallis, Oregon City, Portland and other communities along the Willamette River were overwhelmed with water at levels not seen since the Christmas Floods of 1964. At least eight people were killed, including an 8-year-old girl who drowned when she slipped into a culvert on her way to collect mail at her home in Scio. Another 21,000 were evacuated. In Oregon City, the river flowed at such a torrent that Willamette Falls all but disappeared in the deluge. Water lapped at the sidewalks of RiverPlace in Southwest Portland and came within inches of cresting the harbor wall in downtown. Some 40,000 sandbags and 600 plywood boards were deployed along the river in what came to be known as “Vera’s Wall” after then-mayor Vera Katz. The flooding was severe enough that President Bill Clinton visited Portland in the aftermath and commended the efforts of its citizens in helping fend off the flood from downtown. “If you look at this wall behind us, it seems to me that it is a symbol of what our country does when everybody pulls together and works together and forgets about their differences and focuses their attention and their hearts and their minds,” he said. Read More Here: Potential Flooding to Hit Portland, Oregon
Snow Load Roof CollapseBEND, Ore. – Two more large portions of a vehicle storage and former KorPine mill building in Bend’s Old Mill District collapsed Thursday, less than a day after a big part of the Hooker Creek facility collapsed under the weight of snow with a roar heard from some distance. There were no injuries, but they were just the latest signs that some roofs, from commercial to industrial to residential, can’t withstand the weight of the heaviest snow load seen in much of Central Oregon in 20 to 25 years. A Fed Ex building that threatens to collapse on Bend’s north end still stood Thursday as the company worked to relocate the last few dozen packages. Other collapses around the area of late have included carports at two large apartment complexes and a large portion of the roof at a Redmond industrial building, as well as weekend roof collapses at a Tumalo youth ranch’s horse arena and the closed Woodgrain Millwork mill in Prineville.. In La Pine, the Bi-Mart store was closed Thursday morning due to a heavy load of snow on the roof. A worker said they reopened at noon after the roof was cleared. The Bend Fire Department responded around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to the reported building collapse at 175 Southwest Industrial Way, said Deputy fire Marshal Dan Derlacki.
Things could start drying out on FridayParts of California are reeling from winter storms that have triggered flooding, avalanches and forced dozens of people from their homes, but the heavy rain and snow could help ease the drought that has gripped the state. The storms have dumped more than 7 inches of rain since Monday and the National Weather Service says 6-12 feet of snow have fallen in the Sierra Nevada. Forecasters expect things to start drying out on Friday. “Over the next 36 hours we could see around another inch of rain and the mountains could see 12-18 inches of additional snow,” said CNN Meteorologist Taylor Ward. Authorities rescued 49 people in Hollister, California, on Wednesday after a neighborhood was flooded with 3 to 4 feet of water, according to the San Benito County Sheriff’s Department. Another 59 people were evacuated. Farther north, Interstate 80 is closed and some roads have been washed out. All this precipitation is working its way into the state’s lakes and reservoirs after years of drought.
Oregon’s High Desert Hit With Another SnowstormWinter 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. Read more here: Central Oregon hit with Snow Storm
A Monster Image for a Monster StormThis week, Haiti, the Bahamas, and Florida have begun to experience the wrath of Hurricane Matthew. With strong winds and rain, Matthew has caused a serious amount of destruction to everything in his path leaving people injured and homes lost. Hurricane Matthew is a monster storm and now has a monster image to match.
The image of Hurricane Matthew, which to many resembles a human skull, has lit up the Internet. The creepy satellite photo was posted Tuesday by Weather Channel senior meteorologist, Stu Ostro. The image was taken just as the hurricane made landfall in Haiti.
The image shows the hurricane through an infrared camera lens. Vibrant colors have been used to highlight the eye of the storm. Clouds also resemble teeth, creating similarities to the comic book character Ghost Rider or the Grinch, some Twitter users suggested.
It does leave viewers with creepy feeling, that’s for sure. CNN meteorologist Judson Jones explains that “Basically, Scientists use color tables to identify the strongest part of the storm.”
For Hurricane Matthew updates visit weather.com for the most up to date information.