Recent Posts

Dealing with Snow

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage, Snow Damage Snowy Day in Portland, Oregon

We are really good in the PNW at dealing with rain, lots of rain, but we struggle with snow. It’s rare and beautiful, but when it starts to linger on your roof and cause an ice dam it’s not so great. Even worse still when snow starts to make its way into your home and your house is packed with friends and family.

SERVPRO® of Northwest Portland is dedicated to serving the community. We are dedicated to helping our customers when disaster strikes and helping to make it “Like it never even happened.” We are ready 24/7, 365 at (503) 283-3658 to help you. We are a certified franchise who are committed to serving our community when disasters strikes.

Commercial Disasters

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Office building, Commercial Commercial building cleanup

As a business owner, your office is one of your company’s most valuable assets. Most companies cannot afford to close for even a few days, so what do you do if your office or storefront is hit with a flood or a fire? Your friends at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland deal with these type of scenarios on a daily basis, and they are your first line of defense in the event of an unfortunate disaster at your place of business.

Here are a few of the services offered by SERVPRO of Northwest Portland:

Water Extraction & Restoration – Water can come in from many sources; a broken pipe, heavy storm, sewer back up and even water used to extinguish a fire.

Mold Remediation – Where there is water and moisture, there is always potential for mold growth. The professionals at SERVPRO are always mindful of this and can help reduce the potential for a mold outbreak in your Portland business after a water loss.

Fire Restoration – A fire in your place of business can be devastating. Beyond what the fire consumes, it also leaves caustic side effects of smoke damage throughout the surrounding area. After the fire department has extinguished the fire, call us immediately. Our team of experts are ready to help bring your Portland area business to a preloss state, minimizing the time you have to close your doors.

If your business has suffered a fire or water loss or you have a janitorial need, give us a call today. We are always here to help, 24/7! 503-283-3658

Commercial Restoration: How desiccants work

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, our Commercial Large Loss Division handles commercial losses on a regular basis. One of our most important pieces of equipment, a desiccant, can make a huge difference in the restoration timeline when a commercial property has multiple affect rooms, floors, or buildings. To understand how a desiccant works, continue reading below:

Large format desiccant dehumidifiers are a crucial part of commercial large loss restoration because they can provide drying economy and scale. Considering the conditions of a job can help a Project Manager determine the proper equipment needed, such as building size, environmental conditions, accessibility, use, construction, and availability of power. 

One of the most important pieces of equipment is the desiccant, which is a large scale dehumidifier. Desiccants operate differently than your average dehumidifier - they use chemicals to create different drying conditions that improve moisture absorption.

As process air enters the dehumidifier, desiccant material (typically silica), which has a high affinity for water, absorbs moisture from the air. To see a diagram of this process, refer to the image attached to this blog.

Air leaving a desiccant dehumidifier is warm, very dry, and has a high velocity. These three essential ingredients are necessary for increased drying rates. Desiccant dehumidifiers can lower the humidity ratio (measured in grains per pound or gpp) much lower than refrigerant dehumidifiers. This dry air produced by the desiccant can be easily ducted to where the drying is needed most in the commercial property, thus creating an efficient drying system.

Inside the desiccant dehumidifier, heated air (called reactivation air) is passed across the desiccant material, causing it to release the water it contains. This moisture-laden air (or wet air discharge) is released outdoors. 

Aside from the substantial water removal efficiency of these units, they also operate between zero degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, with best efficiency ranging from 40 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Since desiccants do not rely on the condensation process used by refrigerants, they require no drain. Desiccants simply process the air.


SERVPRO of Northwest Portland has the equipment necessary to handle large commercial restoration projects. Our desiccant is trailer mounted and travels all across the Portland Metro Area, delivering dry air where needed. If you experience a large commercial loss, know that our Commercial Large Loss Division (CLLD) is ready to assist you.

How containment helps the restoration of water damage

1/28/2021 (Permalink)

poly plastic film with a zipper opening is taped between two walls in a residential home. A containment in a residential home with a zipper opening.

When water damage occurs in a building, there are certain techniques that restorers implement to achieve restoration goals in a timely manner. Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, each water loss restoration project plan is organized by a Project Manager. One technique that our PMs implement to reach drying goals is containment.

If you’ve ever dealt with hazardous materials, such as microbial growth, asbestos, or lead, you are likely familiar with containment. It’s a crucial way to do as the word means - contain the contaminated area and create controlled entryways to the affected area, which prevents the spread of cross-contamination to other areas in the building. 

Containments can also be useful in water damage mitigation. Often, it is used to create a controlled airflow and limit the amount of air filtering through drying equipment. 

When a containment is set up in a water loss job, it’s likely because the water loss is already limited to a certain area of the home. When that is the case, restorers will set up a polyurethane wall that reduces the room to a smaller space. They tape in an entryway, often a zipper opening, and set the drying equipment inside the containment.

By doing this, restorers are able to remove moisture from the air and material surface in the source area in a quicker, more targeted fashion. This prevents secondary damage, such as microbial growth, from developing.

If you want to see what a containment looks like, view the image attached to this blog. 


If you experience a water loss in your property, call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland as soon as possible so the right mitigation plan is implemented in a timely manner.

Fun family activities that prepare children for storm events

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we believe in the importance of preparedness. With winter storms looming on our horizon, it’s more important than ever to ensure the children in your household are prepared.

In a report titled “Bringing Youth Preparedness Education to the Forefront,” created by the National Commission on Children and Disasters, the researchers asserted that children should not be treated the same as adults when it comes to disaster preparedness. They found that many preparedness training and education programs didn’t explicitly account for youth, while also asserting that children are not passive victims during a disaster event and therefore should be accounted for. To read the report in full, visit Ready.Gov here.

While the report was created from data collected in the early 2010s, it brings valid insight into how we can better prepare our community’s youth. Below, you will find resources for the children in your life to explore preparedness, often structured as a family activity. 

  • Prepare for disaster with Ready Wrigley! Description: “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created Ready Wrigley to provide young children, parents, guardians, and teachers with tips, activities, and a story to help the whole family prepare for emergencies.”
  • Have your child play fun, interactive games that focus on responding and preparing for disaster events! Disaster Master | Build a Kit
  • Help the children in your life cope after a storm event with Trinka and Sam: The Rainy Windy Day.

No matter what storm event may lie ahead, these tools are a great way to start preparing every member in your family - you can even find resources for pet preparedness!

If you and your family end up sustaining property damage during a storm event, trust that SERVPRO of Northwest Portland is ready to help you recover. Call us any time, any day at 503-283-3658.



Source: FEMA, CDC, Ready.Gov, National Commission on Children and Disasters

Home fire recovery resources for Portland residents

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

If you’ve experienced a traumatic fire event at your home, the road to recovery can be confusing to navigate. Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we’re always checking in with our customers to see what support we can offer, especially in the days right after the fire occurs. 

According to The Red Cross, people who experience a fire event may be:

  • Feeling physically and mentally drained 
  • Having difficulty making decisions or staying focused on topics
  • Feeling frustration more quickly and more often
  • Arguing more with family and friends
  • Feeling tired, sad, numb, lonely, or worried
  • Experiencing changes in appetite or sleep patterns

The Red Cross has a variety of resources to help individuals recovering from disasters. Here are some tips they recommend for the recovery process:

First, take care of your safety. Find a safe place to stay and make sure your physical health needs and those of your family are addressed.

Eat healthy. During times of stress it is important that you maintain a balanced diet and drink plenty of water. 

Get some rest. With so much to do, it may be difficult to have enough time to rest or get adequate sleep. Giving your body and mind a break can boost your ability to cope with the stress you may be experiencing.

Stay connected with family and friends. Giving and getting support is one of the most important things you can do.

Be patient with yourself and with those around you. Recognize that everyone is stressed and may need some time to put their feelings and thoughts in order. 

Set priorities. Tackle tasks in small steps.

Gather information about assistance and resources that will help you and your family members meet your disaster-related needs. 

Stay positive. Remind yourself of how you’ve successfully gotten through difficult times in the past. Reach out when you need support, and help others when they need it.

Lastly, we recommend checking in with a PR liaison. If you haven’t been in touch with our SERVPRO Priority Response Team, please know that we are here to help you navigate the recovery process. Our PR team members have worked with a variety of people recovering from traumatic fire events, and we can help you figure out some next steps. 

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland knows how intimidating the first steps of recovery can be after a home fire - we are here to help. Call us any day, any time at 503-283-3658. If you’d like to reach out to our Priority Response Team, you can call the PR manager, Race Schwarzbach, at 971-334-0189.

Source: The Red Cross.

The connection between thunderstorms and flash flooding

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

In the Pacific Northwest, thunderstorms can be familiar. However, it’s important to be aware of how they can be dangerous, and how you can be prepared. Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we wanted to share some vital information on how thunderstorms and dangerous flash flooding are connected.

Most flash floods are caused by slow moving thunderstorms, often ones that move repeatedly over the same area, or heavy rains from tropical storms and hurricanes. Tropical storms don’t often make their way to the Pacific Northwest because of the cooler temperature in the Pacific Ocean, however we are no stranger to severe stormy weather.

Flash floods can develop within minutes, but can also take hours - it depends on the intensity and duration of the rain, the topography of the area, the soil conditions and the ground cover. Staying tuned in to the weather service and NOAA can help you stay informed during heavy rain events and storms.

Once a flash flood develops, it becomes a force to be reckoned with. Flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour out new channels. Flood-producing rains can also trigger secondary events, such as landslides and mudslides. 

If sudden heavy rain and rising standing water happens near you, it’s advised that you avoid them if you can. If you are driving, the safest option is to pull over, turn on your hazard lights, and wait out the heavy rain conditions until the road is safer. 

To read more about thunderstorm safety and flood safety, visit Ready.Gov.

No matter the storm event, SERVPRO of Northwest Portland is ready to respond to the area for storm response restoration and repairs. Once you are safe and ready to receive service, call us at 503-283-3658.

Sources: weather.gov

Understanding severe thunderstorm risk categories

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

In the Pacific Northwest, thunderstorms can be familiar. However, it’s important to be aware of how dangerous they can be, and how you can interpret weather forecasts and warnings. Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we wanted to share some vital information on thunderstorms. We encourage you to save this blog for reference, as understanding the risk categories for thunderstorms and what can be expected from each category can be valuable information in your safety response. 

These categories are used by the National Weather Service and other weather agencies, such as NOAA.

General thunderstorms (no label) 

- Light green shading

- Depicts a 10% or higher probability of non-severe or near severe thunderstorms. 

- Damage to property or roadways can still occur at this level, so staying alert is still advisable.

Severe Category 1 - Marginal Risk

- Dark green shading

- Marginal (MRGL) risk of severe thunderstorms during the forecast period. 

- 2% probability or greater tornado probability OR 

- Probability for severe hail OR severe wind.

Severe Category 2 - Slight

- Yellow shading

- Slight (SLGT) risk of severe thunderstorms during the forecast period.

- 5% probability or greater tornado probability OR

- 15% probability for severe hail or severe wind probability WITH OR WITHOUT 10% or greater probability of hail 2 inches or greater in diameter OR

- Wind gusts 75 mph (120 km/h) or greater.

Severe Category 3 - Enhanced

- Orange shading

- Enhanced (ENH) risk of severe thunderstorms during the forecast period.

- 10% probability for any tornado WITH OR WITHOUT 10% or greater probability of an EF2+ tornado OR

- 15% probability for any tornado OR

- 30% severe hail or severe wind probability WITH OR WITHOUT 10% or greater probability of hail 2 inches or greater in diameter, or wind gusts 75 mph or greater, OR

- 45% probability of severe hail or wind.

Severe Category 4 - Moderate

- Red shading

- Moderate (MDT) risk of severe thunderstorms are expected.

- 15% tornado probability AND 10% or greater probability of an EF2+ tornado OR

- 30% probability of any tornado OR

- 45% severe wind probability AND 10% or greater probability of wind gusts 75 mph or greater OR

- 45% severe hail probability AND 10% or greater probability of hail 2 inches or greater in diameter OR

- 60% severe wind probability OR

- 60% severe hail probability WITH OR WITHOUT 10% or greater probability of hail 2 inches or greater in diameter.

Severe Category 5 - High

- Fuchsia shading

- High (HIGH) risk of severe thunderstorms are expected.

- 30% tornado probability AND 10% or greater probability of an EF2+ tornado OR

- 45% or greater probability for any tornado WITH OR WITHOUT 10% or greater probability of an EF2+ tornado OR

- 60% severe wind probability AND a 10% or greater probability of a wind gust 75 mph or greater.

To read more about thunderstorm safety and flood safety, visit Ready.Gov.

No matter the storm event, SERVPRO of Northwest Portland is ready to respond to the area immediately. Once you are safe and ready to receive service, call us at 503-283-3658.

Sources: weather.gov

How smoke and soot damage material surfaces

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Even if a fire appears to have occurred in a fairly contained area of a building, smoke and soot damage may be found in other parts of the home or building. This is because fires can create a variety of conditions that increase the spread of smoke contaminants. 

One way damage can spread is by the suspended smoke and soot particles in the air - they are attracted to cold surfaces and will often travel away from the fire source and settle on colder surfaces, such as walls that border the exterior of a building or the top corners of a room. This is always why you see the black ‘soot webs’ after fires, which is not spider webs covered in soot but is in fact only soot particles that have ionized together into a web-like form in a colder area of the structure. 

As soot particles combine with atmospheric water vapor, it becomes acidic, which can be very corrosive to material surfaces. Neutralization of acid residues is a fundamental procedure to early forms of corrosion prevention. 

Acidic residues from smoke and soot can corrode metal surfaces, which is a particular concern for electronics. If residues are not removed, corrosion can eat away at the metal casing and can ultimately cause electronic failure in the device.

Because smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities in a structure, HVAC systems and their ductwork can be a concern after a fire. Often, ductwork already contains dust and debris collection, which soot can attach to and contaminate. This causes odor as well as corrosive damage to the material surface. 


If you experience smoke or soot damage in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Northwest Portland at 503-283-3658.

Why SERVPRO of Northwest Portland can handle any project

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest Portland, we understand the importance of being able to respond to any property damage disaster, no matter how big or small. This is why our company has made significant investments into the tools and equipment that enable us to serve the greater Portland area. Here is why SERVPRO of Northwest Portland stands out from our competitors:

1. Our 60,000+ square foot warehouse. 

Located at the heart of the city in the St. John’s neighborhood, our SERVPRO warehouse sits on the river with a view of the St. John’s Bridge. Having a strategic location like where we are makes it so we can serve the greater Portland and southwest Washington area. Additionally, the size and scale of our industrial warehouse allows us to have designated vault storage, office space, an industrial textile cleaning room, and more. 

2. Our equipment.

SERVPRO of Northwest Portland has all the equipment we need, and we’re always ready to order more as we continue to grow. Some of what sets us apart from our competitors is our investment in specialized equipment, such as ice-blasting machines. Overall, our company has thousands of units of equipment that aid us in water extraction, air movement, dehumidification, pressurized air flow control, temperature control, and more. 

3. Our technology.

Our company continues to grow with the industry, and we keep our eye on new innovations and technology that helps our process or our customers’ experience. We continue to make improvements in our process so that we continue to offer the best service to our community.


If you experience property damage to your home or business, you can trust SERVPRO of Northwest Portland to provide quality restoration services. Call us 24/7 to receive service at 503-283-3658.