Recent Posts

Are You Prepared for a flood

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning gutter Keeping your gutters clean is a good way to keep water flowing.

Start Preparing For A Future Portland, homeowner wants to think about the possibility of flood damage affecting his or her home. Maybe you've put off preparing for such worst-case scenarios. Deep down, however, you know that it is better to be prepared for flooding in advance than to have high water levels suddenly affect your life without a plan in place. Read on for three ways to start preparing for a future flood right now.

1. Learn About Your Flood Risk

If it seems like floods are a persistent problem in your area, you may live in a flood zone. The best way to find out is by visiting the Federal Emergency Management Agency's online Flood Map Service Center. This allows you to quickly and easily figure out whether or not you are at high risk for flooding so you can purchase flood insurance if needed.

2. Get Your Property Storm-Ready 

Protect your property against future storm damage to the best of your ability. Cleaning gutters and storm drains is a great way to keep water flowing smoothly outside — and only outside — your home. You may also want to consider buying a battery-operated sump pump and finding ways to protect your valuables.

3. Practice an Escape Plan

You will want to make sure that you and your family are ready to escape at a moment’s notice in the event of an emergency. Know where to seek shelter, keep supplies on hand and memorize your exit route. Contact the Red Cross for information about emergency shelters in your community, as well as suggested provisions for both your home and your family, including your pets.

Flooding is not a fun thing to think about, but it is better to be prepared than to be blindsided by a storm with no safety or storm damage restoration plan in place. Follow the three steps above for a greater chance at protecting your home and loved ones the next time flood water threatens your Portland,Or home.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Portland 503-777-9739

 

5 Home Fire Prevention Steps

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Living room damaged by fire Call SERVPRO Professionals to handle your fire damage.

Prevent a Home Fire

The best way to survive a home fire is by preventing one from occurring. Fortunately, fire preparation tasks are straightforward.


Install enough smoke alarms in your home.


Ideally, these alarms should be located inside each bedroom, on every level of the home, at least ten feet from cooking appliances, and in the halls outside of the bedrooms. Don't forget to test the alarms every month and replace the batteries on an annual basis. Make sure that family members know how to recognize the alarm and how to exit safely.


Perform home maintenance consistently and thoroughly.


Greasy buildup in burners, lint in the dryer hose, and neglected chimneys are all cause of fire damage. Many household chores and repairs, such as repairing damaged sockets, have a significant impact on fire preparation and prevention.


Store flammable items safely.


Keep gas for the lawnmower, lighter fluid, and similar products stored in a cool location and out of reach. Additionally, consider the many other potentially combustible items. Go through the cabinets and closets of your home, watching for things such as lighters, matches, chemicals, and other flammable items.


Prepare for emergency situations.


A ten-gallon can of baking soda near the cooktop quickly puts out grease fires, safely and effectively. Fire extinguishers with BC or ABC rating are best. An A rating indicates that pressurized water is in the canister and that the extinguisher is not appropriate for cooking fires.


Teach Your Family Fire Safety


In addition to teaching children not to play with matches, fire safety education should include not throwing laundry over a lamp or leaving papers near heaters. The more your children are aware of how fires start, the better they'll be at avoiding them.


6 Tips to keep you home of business free from mold

3/20/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on the wall Call SERVPRO to get your building expertly cleaned.

Mold is never a welcome sight. It’s also not something you should tend to on your own. This is a job for professionals. There is more to taking care of mold than just cleaning it up. You want to make sure it doesn’t come back.

Unfortunately, mold can start to grow in any number of places, and not always obvious ones. If there is excess mositure it can start growing on carpets, behind appliances, in the ceiling, insulation, paper, wood, and even in your ventilation system.

If you discover mold or even suspect you may have it, you should take steps right away to get rid of it. It will spread very quickly and not only pose health effects but can cause damage to the property.

What to Do When You Discover Mold

It is important that you act quickly when mold is discovered. 

  1. Alert People

Let people living or working in the building know that there has been mold discovered and move them to a different area. People can experience health effects to the spores let out by growing mold. 

  1. Ventilate The Area

Do your best to get air moving through the space. Open doors, windows, or use fans to start getting the moisture down and the air flowing. Once the cleanup starts, the mold spores can get disturbed. 

  1. Remove Water

Clean up the water or the leak that is causing the mold to grow. If you are not clear where it is coming from, call your maintenance team or your plumber to check it out.

Clean up all the water that may be pooling in the area. If it is a lot, get professionals to do it for you. The water needs to be removed and the source needs to be stopped.

  1. Discard Moldy Items

Remove carpet, books, cloth, boxes, anything that has come in contact with the mold. Anything that can’t be cleaned completely should be bagged up and discarded. Always wear protective gear, like a face mask, gloves, or anything you have available.

  1. Call The Professionals

You really need to call professionals to clean up the mold and affected area. They know what to look for, how to identify different types of molds, have the proper cleaning supplies, and the proper clothing protection need.

  1. Education and Prevention

Once your building has been given the all-clear, people can return to those areas. It is important that people are aware of the causes and signs of mold or even potential mold.

Everyone should be made aware of the signs to look for and where mold is most likely to appear. Basements, laundry room, breakrooms, washrooms, and mop closets.

Look behind appliances, in corners, on the ceiling, and anywhere there may be damp spots, leaks, or water pooling.

Repair all leaking taps, pipes, or appliances that use water.

Have the HVAC system checked regularly, twice a year is recommended. Spring and fall work best.

Have regular cleaning maintenance on floors, walls, common areas, and basements.

Call SERVPRO of Southwest Portland

Regardless of your role in the commercial building, you should never have to take these types of jobs on yourself. Find a trusted professional team you can count on to service your building regularly.

SERVPRO of Southwest Portland is just such a team. From cleaning to inspecting and damage recovery, we are the company to trust, call 503-777-9739 today!

Why Commercial Cleaning of your facility is important

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Hallway Let SERVPRO clean your building for COVID-19

Some business and public areas need to be open during the pandemic, such as retail stores, nursing homes, grocery stores, and other essential establishments. Keeping people safe and healthy needs to be the number one priority.

Chances are, the staff working or tenants living in the space are already busy enough just trying to do their own jobs. That’s why you need to consider using a professional commercial cleaning service.

Why You Should Use Professional Cleaners

Safety precautions, like masks and social distancing, are very important but can be extremely difficult to enforce. In particular, they are difficult to enforce in larger grocery stores, banks, and retail stores.

Slow The Spread

Doing everything we can to slow the spread of the virus will help keep everyone healthier. Employees often have no choice but to be close to each other, their customers, and delivery people.

All communal areas are at risk of being infected, putting employees and customers at risk. Breakrooms, office areas, washrooms, and the area where the general public are shopping or working.

Cleaner surfaces mean cleaner air quality. Whether it is an office building or a retail store, professional cleaners know where the germs are most likely to settle and can take of them quickly and efficiently.

Better, Stronger Products

A professional team of cleaners. They will also have access to cleaning and sanitation products that are not available off the shelf. It is vital that your commercial space is disinfected to keep everyone safe.

They will use approved disinfectants to sanitize the entire place, making sure there is less chance of germs settling and spreading. The sanitizing products that professionals use will be approved for COVID.

Professionals are Thorough

While your regular cleaners do a great job of cleaning and maintaining the area, the professionals will be able to come in and clean and disinfect everything. They don’t just do a surface cleaning, but the entire place will get sanitized.

If you need, walls, corners, ceiling, floors, vents, all areas where virus germs may have settled. They won’t just clean the most obvious areas that get a lot of traffic.

Proper Gear

From the protective gear they wear while working to the actual tools they use, you can trust that they will be protected and use the best types of equipment to protect you and your environment.

They know how to use their tools and what to do with them after they have finished. They will come in, do their jobs, and then take everything with them and dispose of it all properly.

A team of professionals will also have access to and follow the cleaning recommended guidelines put out by the CDC. This ensures your commercial area is getting the best possible cleaning for everyone’s safety.

Save Money

Depending on what type of commercial space you have, if you have regular cleaners or expect your employees to clean, that is putting many people at risk of getting sick.

Many people are working from home, but not everyone is willing to follow the rules. Sick time, medical expenses, and prolonged illness are what you really want to avoid.

You can’t be there for what they do in their own time, but you can ensure their safety on yours.

Why not trust your commercial cleaning to the professionals at SERVPRO of Southwest Portland? Please call 503-777-9739 with any questions you might have or to book an appointment.

You can depend on us to get the job done right and get it done quickly. Our highly trained technicians use top-of-the-line equipment to make your business shine again.

3 Benefits of Connecting With an Emergency Disaster Response Team

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

3 SERVPRO vehicles front of building Faster in any disaster!

Connect With An Emergency Disaster Response Team

When fire, flooding, or storm damage impacts your Portland Metro, business, knowing where to begin with cleanup efforts can be daunting. From draining away standing water to dealing with smoke damage, you may be faced with a variety of issues. Connecting with an emergency disaster response team like SERVPRO has a variety of benefits for your business, including being faster to any size disaster.

1. Peace of Mind
Connecting with a disaster response team can help you feel confident that your business is protected in case of an emergency. One of the major worries most business owners face when a fire, flood, or storm damage happens is where to turn for help. Having a team of experienced disaster technicians who can offer you advice and a plan of action immediately may give you greater peace of mind.

2. Protecting Your Investment
Because SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster, its technicians arrive right away once you call for help. This can help to protect your business investment, reduce closures and prevent business stoppage that could affect your employees and your profits. Financial loss is one of the most serious consequences of a flood or fire, so the faster your response team arrives, the lower the risk of secondary damage that could increase the cost of repairs.

3. Streamlined Insurance Claims
An emergency disaster response service can help you set up an insurance claim and advise you about which actions to take once they arrive. Because each location is locally owned, you can count on a representative to appear quickly and help you begin the process, which may result in a faster turnaround.
Fires, flooding, and severe storm damage can all impact your Fort Collins, CO, business and cause a serious financial loss if you are not prepared to handle them. Connecting with a SERVPRO team that is faster to any size disaster may lower this risk and make the road to recovery a smoother one.

Why SERVPRO!

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

ice build up Clear Ice As Soon As Possible

The most common type of damage SERVPRO sees during these extreme cold weather events is water damage due to frozen pipes. In general, pipes are more likely to freeze when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The resulting water damage can be extensive. Outdoor pipes and pipes in unheated areas of the home can freeze if they are not properly insulated or if temperatures are severely cold. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can quickly and safely repair water damage caused by frozen pipes.

Outdoor pipes most likely to freeze include:

  • Outdoor hose bibs
  • Swimming pool supply lines
  • Water sprinkler lines

Pipes in unheated or partially heated areas are also at risk of freezing, including:

  • Basements
  • Crawl spaces
  • Garages

Another potential hazard to consider as the snow/ice begins to melt is damage to your roof and ice dams. An ice dam is formed when snow melts unevenly on a roof and refreezes into a dam at the edge of the roof, near the eaves. This dam prevents any further snowmelt from draining off of the roof. This standing water can back up under shingles, leak into a home, and cause significant water damage to ceilings, walls, and other areas. Ice dams can also tear off gutters and loosen shingles.

Snow and ice can cause significant damage to your gutters and roof. The additional weight of snow and ice can even cause a roof to collapse. When there’s a cold snap, water can get into cracks and small spaces and expand when it freezes, causing larger cracks and more damage. The repetition of freezing and thawing cycles can cause small cracks to get larger.

What you can do until help arrives

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety.

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What Not To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

How to prevent frozen pipes!

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipes Bundle up your pipes.

When you think of winter weather you probably think of school closings, slippery roads and a driveway to shovel.  Winter weather can cause a lot more issues then those listed above.  If we have below freezing temperatures for 3 days in a row you are at risk for frozen pipes, which can create a major disaster at your home or office.

Typically, frozen pipes are the ones exposed to the cold weather such as basements, attics, garages, and kitchen cabinets. A frozen pipe will usually rupture because of the backflow pressure between the blockage and the water source; this can cause catastrophic damage to your home and office if not addressed quickly.

According to the American Red Cross there several steps you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing:

  • Keep your heat set both day and night
  • Be sure to completely drain the water from sprinkler lines as well as outside hoses
  • Open your kitchen cabinets to let the warm air to circulate near the pipes
  • When weather is extremely cold, let water drip from your exposed faucets

If you experience water damage from frozen pipes, call SERVPRO of Southwest Portland 503-777-9739 and let us make it "Like it never even happened."

Mold what you need to know.

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Moldy Home Mold has attacked this home.

Ascospores are prominent in nature commonly found in the outdoor environment. Some fungi that belong to the Ascomycete family include the sexual forms of Penicillium/Aspergillus, Chaetominum, etc that may be frequently found growing on damp substrates.

Chaetomium are found on a variety of substrates containing cellulose including paper and plant compost. Several species have been reported to play a major role in the decomposition of cellulose-made materials. These fungi are able to dissolve the cellulose fibers in cotton and paper and thus cause the materials to disintegrate. The process is especially rapid under moist conditions. Their Ascospores are brown or gray with one or two germ pores.

Fusarium is a hydrophilic mold that requires very wet conditions and is frequently isolated from plants and grains. They colonize in continuously damp materials such as damp wallboard and water reservoirs for humidifiers and drip pans. Fusarium is commonly found in organic matter such as soil and plants. This infection cannot be transmitted from person to person. 

Aspergillus and Penecillium are both types of mold are ubiquitous in the environment. Aspergillus tends to colonize continuously damp materials such as damp wallboard and fabrics. Penicillium is commonly found in house dust, wallpaper, decaying fabrics, moist clipboards, etc.


Stachybotrys is the bad boy of them all

Stachybotryscommonly called "stachy," is a greenish-black, slimy mold found only on cellulose products (such as wood or paper) that have been wet for several days or more. The mold does not grow on concrete, linoleum or tile. Stachybotrys and some other fungi may produce several chemicals called mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can be present in spores and small mold fragments released into the air. Once the mold fragments, mycotoxins and spores are in the air, individuals may breathe them into their lungs.

How to Spot Frozen Pipes

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Picture of split pipe Call SERVPRO as pipes start to thaw.

As the weather begins to transition into the colder months there are certain precautions homeowners should begin to take to keep their home safe under freezing conditions.

One of the most common headaches homeowners face during the colder months are frozen pipes. 

Have you ever placed a can of soda in the freezer and simply just forgot about it and by the time you realized you forgot the can has already exploded making a mess of your freezer?  Well, when water freezes in a pipe, it expands in the same way.  If it expands enough, the pipe bursts and water escapes leaving serious damage as a result.

Pipes in attics, crawlspaces, and outside walls are all vulnerable to freezing, especially if there are cracks or openings that allow cold, outside air to flow across the pipes.  Holes in an outside wall where television, cable or telephone lines enter can provide access for cold air to reach pipes.

Pipes tend to freeze after consecutive days and nights of freezing (32degrees Fahrenheit) and below freezing temperatures.

Frozen pipes should cause many homeowners concern, for bigger issues may and will arise.  If you are unaware of the status of your pipes or what are some clues of a frozen pipe here’s a few signs that may help you.

  1. A slow stream of water, or no water at all coming through.
  2. Visible frost on your pipes
  3. Unusual loud sounds coming from your faucets
  4. Strange odors coming from your faucets

If any of these signs appear then it likely means your pipes have burst.  If this is true, you must act fast, a few things you can do to prevent any further damage.

  1. This first step is to always shut down your property’s main water supply. (Depending on the amount of water and location, you may want to first turn off electricity.)
  2. If it’s heated water that’s coming from the broken pipe, you should also close the valve attached to your hot water heater.
  3. After you’ve shut down the water, call a plumber for help with repairing or replacing the burst pipe.

During this time of need, make SERVPRO 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."

Water Damage Furnace

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Water under a furnace Keep your furnace off the ground.

Every winter, especially if you live in a cold climate, your home is under assault from the elements. Eventually, that constant assault can cause your home’s systems to fail. One common result of these failures is water damage. And while any type of water damage is bad, there are certain types of damage that can be worse than others. That’s especially true in the winter.

Perhaps no system in your home is more important in the winter than your furnace. Without it, you’d be in big trouble. So while the impact of home water damage is bad no matter how you look at it, having your furnace damaged when the temps are freezing outside can be catastrophic. So let’s talk about things you can do to protect your furnace from water damage should the worst case scenario happen to you this winter.

Furnaces are hidden from view for a reason. They’re not exactly focal points of a home you want people’s eyes drawn towards. Whether it’s in a crawl space, basement or mechanical closet, it’s typically in a place you naturally don’t find yourself visiting very often. One way to help protect your furnace from water damage is to create an elevated platform upon which the furnace can sit. If it’s the case your furnace is found in an unfinished basement, you can simply pour a concrete block and install the furnace there. If it’s in a closet, it may make more sense to create a wooden box to hold the furnace. In either case, having the additional 18-24″ of height can typically protect against most types of home water damage.  Granted, in massive flood events this isn’t going to have much effect, but then again there isn’t much you can do from a preventative stand point when mother nature decides to take charge.

Please call SERVPRO for any restoration needs that you may have.