Recent Posts

Non-salvage food items

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Non Salvage food displayed Fire damaged foods

How to help reduce damage and increase your chances of a successful restoration continued!

Fire & Smoke Damage


  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.


  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor. 

Check back next week when we start the Dos and Dont for water damage!

Chillin & Grillin

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Grill with large fire Keep an eye on your grill when cooking.

Duplex fire loss due to outside grill. Both sides of the duplex were damaged. 

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into the carpet. 

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets , trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes. 

Wash both sides of leaves on house plants. 

Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until trained professional can check.

Large Fire Loss

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Picture of hallway damaged by fire SERVPRO ready when you need them.

This is a picture of a Fire/Water Damage we completed a few short moths ago from a cooking incident on the third story of an apartment complex in the Portland Metro area. This is just one of MANY photos taken at this loss, but this shows a little of the damage received from the water used to put out the fire. Approximately the entire complex was affected--27 units, therefore, this is what we call a Large Loss. As for the fire damage, we had to remove a significant amount of insulation, soot had to be cleaned throughout two levels of hallways, stairwells as well as some units. After intense cleaning and mitigation, we ended with giving all affected areas a carpet cleaning and a well needed duct cleaning to make things "Like it never even happened." 

How To Remove Mold

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Production Tech in PPE with Customer Let SERVPRO help you with your mold issue.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Emergency Contact - 503-777-9739

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel.

  1. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment

Local and state laws may require a specific inspection and documentation protocol based on the size of the affected area. We can advise you on this process, providing guidance based on your unique situation.

We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

  1. Mold Containment

Our professionals use various containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

  1. Air Filtration

Our specialized filtration equipment allows our Professionals to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful “air scrubbers” and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

  1. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

  1. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

  1. Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.

40 Years of Experience.

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPROXIDE Container SERVPRO has over 40 years of experience.

SERVPRO is unique in the national restoration industry because of our experience, and our resources.

Many end-users don't know that SERVPRO employs its own chemist, who formulates and manages the company's own line of cleaning products. The products take in 40 years worth of experiences in the field to provide products that are truly state of the art. It is important to us that these products are safe and friendly to the customers we serve in Portland Metro area. 

One of the recent great additions to our stable is  SERVPROXIDE, an EPA-registered, stabilized chlorine dioxide based disinfectant and sanitizer. The great thing about SERVPROXIDE is that it carries the EPA's lowest toxicity rating and is safe for everyday use.  This product is designed to kill harmful bacteria, viruses and mold on hard surfaces and is an effective sanitizer for soft surfaces.  On top of all the great things this product provides, it can be used just about any where!

Of course our principle mission is to remove mold from properties, where it is found to be at excess concentrations. However, as a backup it is important to have safe, effective tools that can provide efficient kill characteristics that can reduce the risk of future growth.

SERVPRO of Southwest Portland is excited to put this new product to use on our next mold job! 

Answering the call!

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Neighbors Tree Fell On Home Have an arborist check out your trees.

On January 12th and 13th 2021. Portland was hit with a massive rain and wind storm. We answered over 50 calls for water damage to homes and downed trees. Our crews worked through the night to answer the calls and product water damages and tree removal. Power outages and continued rain and wind added to the situation. 

SERVPRO of Southwest Portland has the experience to meet the needs of the community both with fire and water damages and restoration. We have also been called out for board-ups and to do COVID cleans in the community.

We want to thank you for your support! Please stay well and stay safe. We are available 24/7/365 to talk your calls and come out to your homes and businesses. Please call 503-777-9739.

Storms Today

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Car in flood waters Watch out for standing water.

Global floods and extreme rainfall events have surged by more than 50% this decade, and are now occurring at a rate four times higher than in 1980, according to a new report.

Other extreme climatological events such as storms, droughts and heatwaves have increased by more than a third this decade and are being recorded twice as frequently as in 1980, the paper by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (Easac) says.

The paper, based partly on figures compiled by the German insurance company Munich Re, also shows that climate-related loss and damage events have risen by 92% since 2010.

Prof Michael Norton, Easac’s environmental program director, said that greenhouse gas emissions were “fundamentally responsible for driving these changes”.

Trends towards extremes are continuing,” he said. “People have experienced extreme weather already - big switches [between] warm and cold winters - but the frequency of these shifts may be changing.”

“Some of the underlying drivers of extreme weather which were speculative four years ago are now looking less speculative and [more like] credible hypotheses. That is the weakening of the Gulf Stream and the meandering behavior of the jet stream.”

The Easac study, Extreme weather events in Europe: Preparing for climate change adaptation, looked at new data and models focused on a potential slowdown of the Atlantic Gulf Stream, due to an influx of freshwater from melted ice sheets in Greenland.

It was compiled by experts from 27 national science academies in the EU, Norway and Switzerland, although the data was not peer-reviewed.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has assessed the probability of a slowdown before 2100 at more than 90% - or “very likely”. However, a complete “switch off of the gulf stream – or Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) – is increasingly thought possible by some scientists.

Some studies say this could lower land temperatures in the UK, Greenland, Iceland and Scandinavia by up to 9C.

UK arrays positioned in the north Atlantic measured a 30% drop in AMOC strength between 2009-10, the Easac study says. And while uncertainties persist about the pace and scale of possible future changes, the decline in Gulf Stream strength itself has now been “confirmed”.

Citing “gathering evidence of an emerging negative phase” in Atlantic temperature swings driven by a weakening Gulf Stream, the study calls for research to be stepped up.

Did you know there are different types of flood events. They are all dangerous yet all come with very different types dangers. Knowing where you live and the type of flood your family and home could be subjected too is essential in how you prepare for them. Zurich insurance put a wonderful article about the various types of flood for you to assess.

To plan for floods, you need to understand the type - or types - of flood you may face. Each one bears a different impact in terms of how it occurs, how it is forecast, the damage it causes, and type of protection you need.

Fluvial floods (river floods)

A fluvial, or river flood, occurs when the water level in a river, lake or stream rises and overflows onto the surrounding banks, shores and neighboring land. The water level rise could be due to excessive rain or snowmelt.

The damage from a river flood can be widespread as the overflow affects smaller rivers downstream, which can cause dams and dikes to break and swamp nearby areas..

To determine the probability of river flooding, models consider past precipitation, forecasted precipitation, current river levels, and well as soil and terrain conditions.

The severity of a river flood is determined by the duration and intensity (volume) of rainfall in the catchment area of the river. Other factors include soil water saturation due to previous rainfall, and the terrain surrounding the river system. In flatter areas, floodwater tends to rise more slowly and be shallower, and it often remains for days. In hilly or mountainous areas, floods can occur within minutes after a heavy rain, drain very quickly, and cause damage due to debris flow.

To determine the probability of river flooding, models consider past precipitation, forecasted precipitation, current river levels, and well as soil and terrain conditions.

Pluvial floods (flash floods and surface water)

A pluvial flood occurs when an extreme rainfall event creates a flood independent of an overflowing water body. A common misconception about flood is that you must be located near a body of water to be at risk. Yet pluvial flooding can happen in any location, urban or rural; even in areas with no water bodies in the vicinity. There are two common types of pluvial flooding:

  • Surface water floods occur when an urban drainage system is overwhelmed and water flows out into streets and nearby structures. It occurs gradually, which provides people time to move to safe locations, and the level of water is usually shallow (rarely more than 1 meter deep). It creates no immediate threat to lives but may cause significant economic damage.
  • Flash floods are characterized by an intense, high velocity torrent of water triggered by torrential rain falling within a short amount of time within the vicinity or on nearby elevated terrain. They can also occur via sudden release of water from an upstream levee or a dam. Flash floods are very dangerous and destructive not only because of the force of the water, but also the hurtling debris that is often swept up in the flow.

Coastal flood (storm surge)

Coastal flooding is the inundation of land areas along the coast by seawater. Common causes of coastal flooding are intense windstorm events occurring at the same time as high tide (storm surge), and tsunamis.

Storm surge is created when high winds from a windstorm force water onshore — this is the leading cause of coastal flooding and often the greatest threat associated with a windstorm. The effects increase depending on the tide - windstorms that occur during high tide result in devastating storm surge floods. In this type of flood, water overwhelms low-lying land and often causes devastating loss of life and property.

The severity of a coastal flood is determined by several other factors, including the strength, size, speed, and direction of the windstorm. The onshore and offshore topography also plays an important role. To determine the probability and magnitude of a storm surge, coastal flood models consider this information in addition to data from historical storms that have affected the area.

Below you will find a link not including 2020 as we are still running through the list of named storm for the seasons. We are currently in one of the most active seasons in recorded history.

High Winds Down Trees

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Tree on a house Plan for a wind storm.

The damage a storm can cause is unsettling for many homeowners.  A storm with strong winds and heavy rain can cause tremendous damage to homes that may cause homeowners to react quickly.  The days that follow after a huge storm are the most crucial in returning to normalcy. Here are a few tips for homeowners that will help them transition back into their normal day to day lives.  

  1. Remember, stay safe: Avoid power lines and large pools of water.  With large pools of standing water mold may and can appear.  It would do homeowners good to have professionals come out to access any damages before returning to their homes. 
  2. Document the damage and contact your insurance company: It’s always helpful to have pictures secured of your home before an impending storm.  After the storm if your home is safe to enter document any damages and contact your insurance company immediately, they will help you act fast and stop any further damages that may occur.
  3. Plan, plan, plan: Once you are aware that a storm is coming to your area have a full proof plan that will keep you and your family safe.  Have an evacuation plan in motion that you and your family have practiced. Have a safe place where you and your family can go, an expense plan and a plan to get your families life back on track.         

During this time of need, make SERVPRO of Southwest Portland your first call to help you and your local insurance agent assess the damage.  We will work for you to restore your property and your life to make it "Like it never even happened."

Commercial Water Loss

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Air movers in hotel lobby SERVPRO of Southwest Portland, ready 24/7/365.

"Faster to Any Disaster."  Emergency mitigation means that under normal circumstances, a SERVPRO Professional is on-site within four hours to begin drying your building and restorable contents. Remember the faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage to your facility.  Each SERVPRO of Southwest Portland Professional is trained and understands how to manage the drying process.  By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your home or building is quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages.  SERVPRO of Southwest Portland strongly believes in the 3 E's (Experience, Expertise and Equipment) and is proud to serve Multnomah County and other areas of Portland.  Please call us at 503.777.9739 twenty-four hours a day seven days a week.

Mold at its worst!

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on the wall Picture of mold on the wall.

This mold Damage was preceded by heavy water damage. It doesn’t take long for mold to get a foothold and begin growing. You can see the extent of mold growth that had took place in just a few days. When SERVPRO of Southwest Portland was called in to remediate both the water and mold damage it was apparent that dry wall would need to be removed as part of the mold cleanup project. Then a drying and dehumidification process began. The after picture shows that SERVPRO of Southwest Portland made it seem “Like it never even happened.” We are available 24/7 to help with your emergency. Just call 503-777-9739 to get one of our teams rolling. 

We will make it, "Like it never even happened."