How Rain Water Can Affect Your Home’s Foundation
Is your foundation safe from settling?
The Portland area sees a lot of precipitation, and when we get a call from a homeowner after major rainfall, we often see damaged foundations. It’s more than just a cosmetic issue or risks associated with mold. Water can affect the structural integrity of your home’s foundation. Here are a few ways how water can wreak havoc on your foundation.
Saturated Soil: Water can accumulate around your home and cause the surrounding soil to loosen, making it easier for water to penetrate into you home. One way to help combat this problem in your home is to make sure your gutters and downspouts are clean and in proper working order.
Erosion of Soil: Water that is not diverted away from your home may cause the supporting soil to erode away. This can cause your home to settle. This problem may take years to surface. Some subtle signs to look for are cracks in the drywall or plaster, leaning chimneys and uneven floors. In the aftermath of a flood, a thorough inspection by a qualified technician should be performed to insure that your home has not started to settle.
Buildup of Hydrostatic Pressure: Hydrostatic pressure occurs when the soil surrounding your foundation becomes oversaturated. This excessive pressure can cause the walls of your foundation to press inward and cause bowing and cracking. This can happen over time or suddenly after a heavy rain storm.
Generally speaking, homeowners rarely think about their home’s foundation until it has become noticeably damaged. By that time, it may already be too late and result in costly repairs that may have been diverted with some attention to detail and preventative maintenance. If you suspect that you home’s foundation has become compromised, call the experts at SERVPRO of NW Portland today to discuss your options. 503-283-3658
Why You Need a Professional Fire Restoration Company
Think twice before attempting to do the work of a fire restoration professional.
If your Portland home was recently involved in a fire, you may be hoping to handle the situation yourself to save some money and avoid costly repairs. Unfortunately, the variables and complexities involved with fire restoration may be a bit much for the layman. Below, we explore several reasons why it is in your best interest to hire a reputable fire restoration contractor such as SERVPRO of NW Portland.
Health & Safety
You may feel that you are free from danger after the flames have been extinguished. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
When plastic, textiles, rubber and finished wood burns, it creates soot that contains many toxic particulars.
Particles containing asbestos, tar, formaldehyde, ammonia and other harmful materials float through the air and are not always visible to the naked eye. Exposure to these materials should be avoided, as they can cause a number of health problems ranging from asthma all the way to bronchitis and cancer.
During the cleanup process, exposure to these particles are at its highest, but unless the area has been cleaned adequately by a professional, adverse health effects of the smoke can persist for years to come. It’s not worth the risk to you or your family.
Specialized Equipment Is Needed
Some rags and a bottle of degreaser is not adequate enough to clean up after a fire disaster. Soot cannot merely be wiped away. All surfaces will need to be deep cleaned to eliminate the health risks and caustic odors lingering throughout the area. Professional tools and knowledgeable technicians with proper training are needed to thoroughly and safely restore the area.
It is also of note that washing smoke damaged clothing and textiles in a standard consumer level washing machine can potentially cause more damage and leave unwanted odors in your machine. Dry cleaning is your best option if you wish to salvage clothing that has been in a fire.
You Could Unintentionally Dispose of Salvageable Items & Valuables
An untrained layman could potentially throw out items that appear to be beyond repair or restoration. SERVPRO of NW Portland utilizes advanced recovery techniques and employs a full time contents department dedicated to restoring damaged valuables after a fire disaster and has a state of the art facility outfitted with specialized equipment designed specifically for this purpose. In addition to restoring your salvageable items, the items deemed unsalvageable will be disposed of in a proper manor, minimizing unwanted health hazards.
The Process of Restoration is Complicated
Restoring your home or business to a preloss condition is not as straightforward as it initially appears. There are contents to salvage and dispose of, cleaning and abating and structural repair. Additionally, insurance claims will need to be navigated to decrease the financial impact of the damage. Efforts to save a buck by attempting this work yourself could potentially cost more money if salvageable items are disposed of and insurance claims are not properly handled. A trustworthy and reputable fire restoration contractor who is familiar with the ins and outs of the entire process of restoration is a far better option.
Contact SERVPRO of NW Portland Today
After the fire trucks are gone, your Portland home and belongings likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Northwest Portland has the specialized fire and water damage cleanup and restoration training and experience to quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. We also have specific training and equipment for odor removal and deep cleaning of upholstery and carpet.
Fire damage can be devastating for you and your family. Feelings of confusion and stress are common, and you need a caring expert to guide you through this crisis. We always treat your family with the greatest empathy and respect, and we’ll treat your property with great care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (503) 283-3658
SERVPRO Techniques for Odor Removal After a Water Loss
After Water Removal, SERVPRO Adds an Aromatic Treatment.
Water damage to your living room happens in the blink of an eye. It only takes a leak from an upstairs bathroom, and before you know it, you are struggling with water-logged carpets, wet furniture, and damp walls and floors.
SERVPRO is on hand to remove water immediately and remediate the water damage to your Portland home so you can resume daily life “Like it never even happened.” However, there is more to remediation than drying out the affected area: There is also the question of how to remove the unpleasant damp smell afterward.
Although water is odorless, water-logged rooms can soon start to give off a nasty, musty odor that makes the house smell bad. Clients have told us their biggest challenges following a water damage event is the lingering smell. That is why we train our technicians to tackle any residual odors and leave your home smelling as fresh and clean as it did before the incident.
Air scrubbers are very useful for dealing with damp smells. The machine draws in contaminated air and passes it through true HEPA filtration. HEPA filters are capable of catching particles down to 0.3 microns, thus removing smells and releasing clean air back into the room.
Wet fogging is useful for getting into all the little nooks and crannies where odors hide. We choose the most appropriate product to deodorize your affected areas, and the fogging machine releases the product as a very fine mist which penetrates even hard to reach corners.
Our IICRC-certified technicians know that it is important to check for small, hidden sources of damp smells. Sometimes there is a patch of carpet or a couch cushion that, despite being completely dry, smells a little bit musty. In such cases, we can hand spray disinfectant onto the affected area, or even inject small amounts of the product if spraying or other methods are not practical. For example, if it is not possible to lift up a wet carpet, it is possible to inject deodorization products into it to remove the smell and freshen the carpet.
SERVPRO of NW Portland understands the importance of restoring your home quickly. That is why we end every deodorization session by positioning powerful venting box fans to help remove odors and ensure your room smells fresh once more.
For help removing damp smells from your home, call SERVPRO of NW Portland at (503) 283-3658 today.
Restoring your business's documents after a water loss
Some of your business's most important documents can be recovered after a flood or water loss! Call SERVPRO of NW Portland today to find out how.
After a water loss disaster, many of your businesses most valuable documents, books, photos and other paper goods are at risk to be lost permanently. SERVPRO of NW Portland can help you restore your most valuable documents using years of experience and state of the art technology. Our franchise has access to one of the best document restoration facilities in the country.
Our Document Restoration Facility:
- Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
- Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
- Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
- Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
- Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization
Then SERVPRO document restoration team uses innovate vacuum freeze-drying techniques; in fact, we use the same freeze-drying methods used by the Library of Congress to dry valuable historic documents and books. Our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA).
Types of content:
- paper documents
- books and magazines
- manuscripts and files
- photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
- blueprints and maps
Document Cleaning and Disinfecting
In many water damage situations, like sewage or flood water, documents will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. Our team uses a gamma irradiation process to safely and effectively sterilize your documents.
In the digital age, converting your paper files and photos to digital formats can have an invaluable impact on your business or home. With the help of SERVPRO’s restoration professionals to digitize your documents, you can save storage space and have access to your records at the touch of a button. And perhaps most important of all, you’ll have digital copies of your valuable documents that can’t be lost in a flood or fire.
SERVPRO of NW Portland will get the job done right. For document restoration backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience and Professionals trained to the highest standards, call us today. 503-283-3658
Storm Damage & Preventative Maintenance
Is your Portland home prepared for a storm?
SERVPRO of NW Portland prides itself on being a leader in the commercial and residential restoration industry. As storm damage experts, we help home and business owners recover from small incidental damage all the way up to total loss after a major storm.
Storm Damage starts with severe weather, such as hail, heavy winds, hail and most common to our region, rain. The potential a storm has to damage your property is directly related to how protected your property is and if due diligence has been paid to preventative maintenance on your home or property. An example of this would be small leaks that have gone undetected and addressed for a substantial amount of time until they become a much bigger and more expensive issue.
SERVPRO of NW Portland is your local storm damage company and we can help identify some of these smaller issues before they become bigger ones. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to provide you with superior emergency service after a major storm as well as help secure your property and belongings to minimize continued damage.
Call us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your home or business in the event of a storm emergency. 503-283-3658
Is Your Portland Business Prepared For Water Damage?
Avoid panic by implementing a plan in the event of a water damage emergency!
Dealing with a water damage disaster at your Portland business is never convenient. SERVPRO of NW Portland understands the urgency and sensitivity of this situation. When faced with a potentially door closing flooding disaster, it is important to stay calm, use clear judgment and act FAST. We have put together a few tips that can be helpful in this stressful situation and make the process of restoration go a lot more smoothly.
Broken plumbing, sewage backups, and heavy rains can strike at any time. If you have a plan in place for such unfortunate events, it will greatly reduce the panic, stress and pain for everyone involved. Investing in sandbags, air brick protection and back up water pumps could help your business save a lot in the long run. It almost goes without saying, but making sure your insurance policy is up to date is absolutely crucial.
When the flood strikes
There are a number of safety measures you may be able to take during the storm. Floodwater can be very powerful and has the ability to cause bodily harm. Do not attempt to walk through flowing floodwater. Assess the situation and insure that no water has the potential to come in contact with electricity. If it is safely accessible, turn off your main power breaker. Rubber gloves and boots are also a good idea in this situation. If you are not sure of the safe way to proceed, wait for a trained professional to arrive and take the proper measures.
As mentioned before, electricity should be turned off. Additionally, you should be aware of where you main water shut off is located. This will be crucial if the flooding is due to an internal plumbing failure.
After these steps are taken, you should contact your insurance provider and then a reputable and trustworthy restoration company. SERVPRO of Northwest Portland specializes in the cleanup and restoration of both residential and commercial property after a water disaster. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification. Our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. If a water disaster strikes your business, trust the damage restoration industry leader. 503-283-3658
Mold & Your Health
Some of the most problematic mold is the mold that you can't see!
Many Portland homeowners may not even be aware of the mold in their home, particularly if it is unusual looking. Mold can be white and thread like or it can appear as clusters of small black spots. Mold can vary in color and may be black, greyish brown, green or white. There is even mold that is pinkish in color.
Sometimes the only evidence of hidden mold in your home is a musty smell. This indicator should not be ignored. Just because mold is out of sight, does not mean that it is not able to cause harm and damage.
Mold tends to flourish in warm, damp & humid areas. Leaky basements and crawlspaces are prime areas for mold growth. Mold feeds on wet organic materials found in carpet, drywall, insulation and wood and releases spores. Exposure to these spores can cause several health problems in both humans and pets.
Mold commonly poses health problems invlolving the respiratory system. Sneezing, coughing, rashes, irritated eyes and fatigue are also common among those who have had chronic exposure to mold in their homes. It is important to the physical health of all occupants that mold is dealt with as soon as possible.
Long term mold exposure is especially problematic for elderly people, infants and small children and those with allergies and pre-existing respiratory problems.
Mitigating your mold problem immediately can spare your family of its harmful effects. If you see or smell mold in your home, the experts at SERVPRO of NW Portland are here to help. Call us today to set up a consultation with one of our technicians. 503-283-3658
Summertime Fire Safety Tips
Fire can be a great part of summertime. Just make sure to keep it safe!
Summer is finally here! For a lot of us in the Portland area, this is the best time of the year. After months of rain and dark, Portland can finally come out of hibernation and enjoy some much anticipated sunshine. With the summer comes some of our favorite activities, such as outdoor grilling, fireworks and bonfires. No matter where you enjoy your summer activities, safety should always be a high priority. Preventing a fire accident is far easier than investing in fire and water restoration in the aftermath of such an accident. We’ve put together a few tips to make your summer activities not only fun and memorable, but also safe.
- Always have water or a fire extinguisher on hand. When you are having a campfire, or backyard fire pit, it’s always a good idea to keep a bucket of water or hose nearby. Sometimes sparks and flammable materials can fly out of the fire. Having water nearby means you will be able to respond quickly to keep the fire under control.
- Fireworks should only be used under adult supervision. Everyone loves sparklers and pinweels, but the reality is, they can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Keep a close eye on children when fireworks are involved. It only takes a split second for a fun fourth of July to turn into a life altering disaster. Additionally, never try to relight faulty fireworks or sparklers. All fireworks and sparklers should be disposed of in a bucket of water.
- Maintain your gas or charcoal grill. Over time, grease and other flammable materials can build up on your grill. To help prevent a possible grease fire, always maintain your grills and keep them clean.
- Survey your surroundings prior to lighting a fire or grill. Make sure there is nothing flammable directly adjacent to the fire. This includes deck railings, branches, dry grass or wood. You should also NEVER start a grill indoors or directly under your home’s eaves or soffits. Additionally, when starting a camp fire, take care to clear the area around where you will be starting the fire and make certain there are no dry materials that could catch fire from a nearby spark. Check your local municipalities to ensure that a campfire ban in not in effect in your area.
- Always completely extinguish a fire or grill. When you are finished with your fire or using your grill, always make certain that it is completely out. Grills and fires can quickly become a serious disaster when left unsupervised.
Fires, grilling and fireworks are all a part a fun summertime experience, but remember to be smart and safe so that everyone can have an enjoyable experience. SERVPRO of NW Portland wishes everyone a safe and happy summer having fun and making memories. If you follow these tips, you may never need to call us for fire restoration, but do remember, we are always here when you need us. 503-283-3658
Air Quality, Moisture, Mold & You
Humidity levels should be regularly tested and regulated to make sure your home is safe from mold growth.
One of the biggest factors in mold and the proliferation of its growth is the level of humidity in the surrounding environment. Mold has the potential to grow anywhere moisture is present.
You may not be aware that not only can excess moisture in the air cause mold, it can also be a catalyst for air pollution as well. That cold musty smell that often accompanies mold growth is a tell-tale sign that the surrounding air has become contaminated. The relationship between mold and air quality is even more complicated. If mold is present, unhealthy particles will permeate into the air you breathe, and damp areas will cause water vapor which encourages further microbial activity, resulting in continued mold growth. The end result is a vicious cycle. This cause and effect scenario illustrates the importance of humidity in the home as it pertains to air quality.
It is a good idea to monitor the humidity levels of your home, particularly if you live in a wet climate such as the Portland, Oregon area. The consensus among experts and professionals is that indoor humidity levels should be between 30 and 50 percent, with an ideal level being approximately 45 percent. These readings can be obtained with a hygrometer, which is an inexpensive instrument that any homeowner would be wise to familiarize themselves with, especially if they live here in the Pacific Northwest.
If you sense that your home has a mold or air quality problem, the professionals at SERVPRO of NW Portland can help you bring the air quality in your home back to healthy levels. Call us today for a consultation. We are a leader in mold remediation are use time honored and scientifically sound methods to get the job done right and give you and your family peace of mind. Call us today. 503-283-3658
Water Damage & Homeowners Insurance
In the event of a water damage emergency, do you know if your Portland home is covered?
A water loss is a very common calamity and a fact of life for many homeowners. Insurance policies can give you peace of mind, but many times, homeowners may not be aware of what is and what is NOT covered in their policy until it’s too late. We review seven common potential water related disaster scenarios below. You may want to update your policy accordingly after reviewing this article.
Broken pipe due to freezing
During the winter months, temperatures can reach extremes that can freeze the water in your pipes and cause them to burst. Most home owner’s policies cover this type of damage unless it was caused by negligence. An example of this would be if you left your home unoccupied and without heat.
Swimming pool leak that results in damage to your basement and lawn
Generally speaking, swimming pool leaks will not be covered in your homeowner’s policy unless the leak was the result of a falling tree. Damage to your basement and personal belongings is usually covered but damage to your lawn is generally not.
Water damage from a failing appliance, such as an overflowing washing machine or broken toilet is covered if the issue is accidental and not the result of negligence. If you have failed to maintain your appliances and supply hoses, and this results in damage, it will not be covered.
Sewage back up
Although sewage backups are not covered by most standard home owner policies, additional endorsements may be added to the policy for this purpose. If the sewage back up was caused at a city level, you should contact the appropriate authorities in your municipality to discuss your options.
Natural disasters and storms
Damage incurred from floods are not covered in standard homeowner insurance policies. This includes intruding water from overflowing rivers, lakes or seawater, in addition to storms. If you require protection from this type of damage, you will need to get it separately in addition to your standard policy. Check with you insurance agent to find out your options.
Water seepage from ground water beneath your basement
This type of damage is considered a maintenance issue and is not covered in standard homeowner’s insurance policies.
Leakage through roof during or after a rainstorm
If your roof has not been properly maintained, this type of damage will not be covered. However, damage to your belongings may be covered, depending on the type of insurance policy you have. It is always a good idea to perform preventative maintenance to your home, especially if you live in an area with high precipitation, such as the NW Portland and Pacific Northwest area in general.
A lot of homeowners are unsure how to handle mold growth in their home as it pertains to their insurance policy. It is good to educate yourself on this type of claim prior to it occurring.
If you experience a flood in your home or discover that you have a mold issue, call SERVPRO of NW Portland at 503-283-3658 immediately to get the remediation process underway as soon as possible. We deal with insurance companies on a daily basis and can help you navigate your claim. We are always here to help.