Employee Highlight – Rachel O’Rourke

Here at Kennedy Restoration we pride ourselves on the quality of work we are able to deliver to our customers.  A factor that greatly contributes to our expertise in the industry is our fantastic group of employees.  The employee highlights portion of our blog was created to give you the opportunity to get to know the tremendous staff of Kennedy Restoration.  Today we invite you to meet one of our newest employees, Rachel O’Rourke!

 

Name and title –  Rachel O’Rourke, Marketing Representative

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How long have you worked in marketing?   

I’ve been with Kennedy Restoration for 1 month.  I have worked in various aspects of marketing in my professional career over the last 15 years.

 

What do you enjoy about working with Kennedy Restoration?

Kennedy Restoration is a family owned and operated business, and despite its tremendous growth in its 65 years in Portland Metro, it still has that small, close-knit family feel to it.  The employees are happy, which creates an environment that is contagious to our customers.  I feel blessed to work in a company that is so highly regarded in our community!

 

What brought you to the Portland area?

My husband (a new estimator for Kennedy) and I wanted to raise our children in an area the offered them more opportunities as they grow.  We moved from Chico, Ca to Portland in February 2015 to do just that, and we haven’t regretted it!  We love all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer for our family of 6.

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What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working at Kennedy Restoration?

I love to explore!  Whether it’s finding a new hiking trail, bungee jumping off a bridge, or simply finding a new fabulous restaurant I’m always looking to try something new.  There is no shortage of options in Portland!

 

Welcome to the team Rachel!

Helpful electrical tips from Squires Electric

Welcome to another guest blog entry.  Our guest expert this week is Squires Electric, contact them to assist you with your electrical needs!

 

 

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Troubleshooting Guide

OUTLETThese are just a few easy steps to try before you call Squires Electric. Hopefully these can save you the cost of a service call.

First where is the problem located? Is it in a bathroom, kitchen, garage, or anywhere outside that might be protected by a G.F.C.I. (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)?  If so first locate your GFCI’s and look to see if one of them may have “tripped”. A tripped GFCI is pictured here.

The buttons may be different colors than this but, if the top one is sticking out the GFCI is tripped. To reset it just push the button back in. Now if the button won’t go back in, it is time to go to the panel and check your breakers.

 

Resetting Your Breaker

Household appliance safety

Aren’t household appliances great?  They do our dishes, clean our laundry and provide so many other conveniences that make our lives easier!  However, if not properly serviced and cared for, these appliances can cause serious water damage.  Here are a few tips for keeping your appliance in proper working order to prevent water damage to your home:

 

  • Dishwashers – A dishwasher can be a devastating cause of water damage. A hose can break dramatically, causing immediate, obvious damage to your kitchen or a small leak can go undetected over a period of time, causing lasting damage to floors and walls.  Inspect dishwasher hoses regularly, looking for signs of deterioration, leaking or damage.   Just to be safe, clean dishes can wait! To avoid a pipe burst going undetected for hours at a time, never run your dishwasher when you are not at home.

dishwasher

 

  • Ice makers – If the tubing used to rout water to the ice maker is plastic (this is common in homes where an ice maker was later installed) it can become corroded, pinched and damaged over time. This can lead to slow leaks and can cause damage to flooring and surrounding walls.  To avoid ice maker leaks, use copper tubing instead of plastic to avoid damage and consider installing a battery operated flood alarm.  This alarm will indicate any increasing moisture in the area.

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  • Water heaters – Over time, water heaters can become corroded and damaged from constant use. Often, water heaters will indicate that they are beginning to malfunction by hissing, whistling, showing visible signs of wear, or not producing hot water with the same efficiency they once did. Hot water heaters can also rupture without visible warning, should the corroded area be somewhere out of sight.  This can cause continuous water to flow into your home, resulting in serious damages. Inspect your hot water heater often so you can easily recognize when something isn’t right.  Replace your appliance if it is starting to show signs of damage.  Make sure that water can be routed out off of the floor in case of a small flood by means of a sump pump or catch pan.  An automatic shut off valve can also be installed to limit the amount of damage caused by rapidly escaping water.

 

  • Washing machines – Washing machine malfunctions are a very common cause of water damage in homes. Burst hoses, water backups and leaks are often the culprits of this type of expensive damage.  To ensure that a pipe break is noticed quickly, never leave this appliance running when you are not at home.  Similar to your dishwasher, inspect hoses often and make sure the appliance is draining properly.  Washing machines should allow about 4 inches from the wall to the back of the machine to prevent kinks or sharp bends to hoses.  An automatic shut off valve can also be installed to prevent serious water damage.

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5 Outdoor spring cleaning ideas

Spring has sprung, it’s beautiful outside!  It’s easy to find time to clean indoors when it’s rainy and gray, but when the sun is shining who wouldn’t rather be outside?  Your home’s exterior and surrounding area could use some spring cleaning too, so get out in the sun and get your house looking lovely for spring.  If you haven’t started your spring cleaning this season, here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Windows – Let more light into your home with fresh, clean windows both inside and out!  You will be surprised how bright your home will be with the dust and grime removed from the exterior of your windows.
  2. Driveway – Weed out any plants trying to grow in small cracks in your driveway and treat the area to prevent them from returning.  Seal over old cracks with new concrete for a nice, even look.
  3. Garage door – When was the last time you gave you garage door a good cleaning?  It will brighten up your whole property to have your door looking fresh and clean.  Use a pressure washer, or just do it by hand with soapy water!
  4. Gutters – Your gutters have had a hard winter!  Clean out debris and leaves and use this time to check for damage to your gutters.
  5. Get ready to grill – Clean off your grill by soaking the wire racks for a few hours, then scrubbing them down with a wire brush. If you are cooking with gas, make sure the hoses are in good working order and your tank hasn’t suffered any damages.

spring cleaning

All about ReFIT!

Our guest blog today was written by Laurey Maslyk with ReFIT.  Visit their website for more information about this wonderful organization!

 

Say hello to Remodeling for Independence Together or ReFIT!  ReFIT is a 502(3)c  non-profit that was started right here in Portland in 1997. A small group of remodeling professionals pulled together to help one of their own make his house ADA compliant for his college aged son who had just become a paraplegic due to a horrific car accident.  Seeing the tremendous difference it can make in a family’s life the group started ReFIT to be able to do the same for others in need.

Our vision is a future in which all seniors and adults with disabilities, including those with limited financial means, will have the opportunity to live a full life and age with dignity in the comfort of their own homes.

At age 27 years old Alex had just graduated from college with his Bachelors degree in social work and was accepted to the graduate program at his University. That summer while waiting for classes to begin in the fall, Alex took a bicycle ride with a friend.  The next thing he knows he had hit something and was flying over his handlebars landing on his back and couldn’t feel anything.

Alex’s annual care at home is at a cost of over $100,000 a year for his parents. His dad lost his business because of having to leave Oregon to care for their son for a year in a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta.  Now that Alex is home to stay his bathroom facilities in the house need to modified to ADA standards. This is where ReFIT comes in.  ReFIT and their amazing professional contractor partners like Kennedy Restoration, will come to this family’s rescue and modify that bath at no cost to the family.

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For more stories about ReFIT changes lives please check out our web site at www.refitportland.org.

Yard work safety

We are enjoying a lovely, warm spring here in Portland!  Lawns are ready to be mowed and flowers ready to be planted, but make sure you take some safety precautions to avoid injury or property damage while doing your yard work.  Follow these basic safety tips to ensure you have a fun, productive day working in your yard.

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  1. Check your equipment from last year to make sure it is still in working order. Critters can chew through wires or wood causing your tools from last season to pose a potential risk of injury.

 

  1. Wear appropriate clothing while mowing your lawn. Clothing should not be loose or restrict movement and shoes must have adequate traction to avoid slipping.  Safety glasses and ear protection are also advised to further protect you from injury.

 

  1. Always push a lawn mower; never pull it toward you to get into a hard to reach spot. Mow hills from side to side, as opposed to up and down to prevent slipping or falling.

 

  1. Clear your yard of debris (sticks, rocks, dog toys, etc…) before trimming your grass. A lawn mower can send an object flying with enough speed to break a window or cause bodily harm!

 

  1. When using outdoor electrical power tools always check that your work area is dry; never damp or wet. Avoid electrical safety hazards by ensuring your tools are equipped with GFCIs and your extensions cords are in proper working order.

 

  1. Never allow children to operate lawn mowers or electrical power tools,

 

  1. It may not be hot yet, but always remember to stay well hydrated while performing outdoor tasks and take breaks when needed. Wear sunscreen when working outdoors, even when it’s cloudy.

 

  1. Take care of your back while taking care of your yard! Never lift more than you are comfortable with and always make sure your back is well supported by lifting properly.  Do not overfill waste bins, making them too heavy to comfortably carry.  While weeding, kneel as opposed to bending over.

 

  1. Keep pesticides and herbicides out of the reach of children and animals. These potentially toxic substances should be safely stored where only adults can access them.  Read all warning labels regarding safety, especially in areas that surround edible gardens.

 

  1. Update your tetanus shot! You should always be current with this vaccination, while working in the yard the possibility of puncturing yourself with a rusty nail or old rake is high.  Keep current records of your vaccinations so you can verify your last shot, should you accidently cut yourself.

Stain removal tips from CFM

This week on the blog, we are excited to have a guest entry from our friends at Contract Furnishing Mart!

Contract Furnishings Mart is the premier floor covering, cabinet and countertop supplier in the Northwest. As a wholesale supplier to the trade since 1981, they have the resources to work on any size project and an unsurpassed selection of products. With 11 locations through Portland and Seattle they are the Northwest’s largest floor covering dealer.

What to do when that wine jumps out of your glass and lands on your flooring?
By Nicole Schmidt, Contract Furnishings Mart

 
spill

We’ve all been there, a once pristine floor gets soiled and we panic. What should I do? How do I clean this up? Well, for starters you should act quickly! Delaying may cause the spill to become a permanent stain. But beyond that, here are some pointers, best practices, and what not to do’s.
Blot liquids right away with a dry, white absorbent cloth or white paper towels. Gently scrape up semi-solids with a rounded spoon. Break up solids and vacuum.
Pretest any spot removal solution (for color transfer to the cloth or damage to the carpet) in an inconspicuous area. If a change occurs, select another solution.

 
Cleaning carpet with cloth and  sprayer close up

 

Apply a small amount of the solution to a white cloth, and work in gently – do not rub — working from the edges of the spill to the center to prevent spreading. Allow to remain on the spill a few minutes. Be patient. Blot.
Continue to use the first agent as long as there is a transfer of the spill to the cloth. Be patient. Complete removal may require repeating the same step several times. Or, you may need to move to the next solution.
When the spill is completely removed, rinse the area with cold water; blot with a dry cloth until all moisture is removed.
A dry, absorbent, cleaning compound may be used as a substitute to minimize drying time.
Residue Precautions: Many spot removal solutions leave residues in the carpet that may attract soil. Thoroughly rinse the area several times with lukewarm tap water. A mist type sprayer is recommended to prevent over wetting. Blot with paper towels and pat dry after each rinse. Several rinses are often necessary to thoroughly remove residues. Never use any of the solutions in concentrations stronger than those recommended.
And of course, the best solution is to call a professional and have them treat the area properly for removal and without leaving residues behind. For more ideas on what to do with specific stains, you can use our stain removal tool on our website.

Lawn Mower Tune Up 101

Spring is near, can you feel it?  This lovely weather has flowers budding, trees blossoming, and lawns growing!  Is it time to take your lawn mower out for the fist time this year?  Make sure to give your mower a quick tune up before starting it up this spring.  Here are some tips from RepairClinic to help get you started!