Recent Posts

Why Do I Need Professional Cleaning After a Minor Fire

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Room that is burnt Example of apartment fire and the damage it can cause.

The residues from an apartment fire are not your everyday dirt and grime. Instead of being tracked in from the outside, spills, or settled dust floats. Fire residues result from the combustion of building materials and contents inside your Portland apartment. One prevalent source of fire damage in a home or apartment is the protein-based coating from food and grease fires. This residue from a kitchen fire aggressively  adheres to surfaces, almost like a glue. It represents the dehydrated remains of food and oils and is incredibly malodorous and hard to remove.

If I Cannot See the Fire Damage Residue, Do I Need to Clean It?
We all relate to the walking past neighbors’ doorways and noticing a cooking smell that does not go away. Even without an actual fire, food odors work their way into porous materials if not vented or managed. When you add the increased temperatures of a fire burning on a stovetop with oils and proteins heating above their smoking point, your space fills with the rancid compounds into which these ingredients break down. The transparency of the residues is irrelevant, and you need professional help to remove them.

How Are Protein-Based Residues Removed?
SERVPRO of SE Portland will discern the types of soot and their cleaning solutions based on the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training they master. Protein-based soots respond to:

    •    Oil-based solvents
    •    Skillful use of agitation
    •    Use of abrasives, with both agitation and abrasive use and intensity increased carefully by certified technicians to ensure the affected surface can endure the cleaning
    •    The choice of thermal fogging or hydroxyl generation for malodor elimination the odor-bearing molecules require a chemical modification to lose the stench

Turn to SERVPRO of SE Portland for effective and efficient cleanup of fire damage, even if it seems minor save yourself the time and trouble and call a professional.

SERVPRO of SE Portland!

Always Here to Help!

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Workers cleaning wearing white suits Call SERVPRO of Southeast Portland today!

COVID-19 is unrelenting and the height of most people's concerns. Thankfully there is help coming in terms of a vaccine! SERVPRO is assisting in the fight against this virus? SERVPRO of S.E Portland is providing proactive cleaning services to customers that want to take measures to protect themselves, their families, and their employees in this fight against Coronavirus. This is not our first rodeo! SERVPRO has stepped up and become a leader in the fight against the pandemic. We have fought with  everything from the common cold to the swine flu. Our highly trained professionals have been fighting pandemics for years and adhere to all CDC Guidelines. We believe it is our duty to help  our community stay healthy and ahead of the curve when it comes to health hazards. 

Proactive cleaning takes many forms, all of which should be performed by a trained professional. We have a variety of cleaning products including sterilizing and disinfecting solutions that we use to combat airborne and direct contact diseases. Some are fogged into buildings and others are sprayed directing onto surfaces and wiped off. Dwell time is the duration a product is allowed to sit on a surface in order to perform its function. We always allow for proper dwell time and cleanup of all solutions in order to provide maximum effectiveness in sterilization and disinfecting of buildings.

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. The SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. If you or anyone you know is interested in proactive cleaning for their home or business, please contact us and we will be happy to assess your needs and provide you with some peace of mind during these trying times. 

Stay Safe. Stay informed.

Call us we can help!

SERVPRO of SE Portland

Holiday Fire Safety

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas tree with ornaments Healthy Christmas tree decorated with ornaments.

The holidays are upon us! Yes, it’s true, things look a little bit different this year what with everything that has been going on with the year 2020.

However, one thing that we know for certain is that some of you will be getting a Christmas tree or will otherwise be putting up holiday decorations soon (if you haven’t already)!

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has you covered with fire safety tips that we are happy to pass along! Safety is by far the most important thing for us and you during this holiday season, so please take these tips and tricks seriously and stay safe with your families and loved ones this year.

  • Choose a healthy tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Immediately before placing a tree in its stand, cut 5 cm (2 in.) from the base of the trunk; this can help the tree to draw up water. If the cut surface is allowed to dry, it will reduce the water uptake to the tree.
  • Always keep the tree well-watered. Make sure to check the water level in the stand daily.
  • Make sure that the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source (e.g. space heaters, candles, fireplaces, heat vents, or lights).
  • Make sure that the tree does not block an exit.
  • Only use decorative lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Make sure light bulbs, strings, and connections are not broken or damaged in any way.
  • Always turn off tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Get rid of the tree after Christmas or when it is dry and keep it away from your home/garage. Of the ten days with the largest shares of Christmas tree fires, none were before Christmas.
  • Check with your local community to find a recycling program.

What to do if your pipes burst

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Broken Pipe gushing water Don't let this happen, take preauction and be safe!

Winter is here! I know you have all felt the chill in the air and seen your breath in the mornings. Portland and its surrounding areas are unique weather-wise in that we get all four seasons every year, but sometimes we fly through a season so fast it barely feels like we even had one.

Case in point, did we have a fall this year? It feels like we went straight from temperatures of 90 or more during the summer directly to what we are experiencing now, which is cold, frost, ice and snow.

Although southern and central Oregon certainly get the worst of the weather, we are no slouches in our area. The Portland Water Bureau has put out some fantastic tips for Protecting Your Home’s Plumbing During Winter:


  • Caulk around pipes where they enter the home.
  • Close all foundation vents and fill vent openings with wood or StyrofoamTM blocks.
  • Wrap outside faucets or hose bibs with insulation if you do not have a separate outside valve to turn them off. Use molded foam-insulating covers which are available at hardware stores. Newspaper or rags (covered with plastic wrap) are another option. 
  • Disconnect garden hoses and drain in-ground irrigation systems.


  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas, such as attics, crawl spaces and basements.
  • When below-freezing weather is forecast, open cupboard doors in the kitchen and bathrooms. This allows these pipes to get more heat from inside your home.
  • If you leave home for several days, put your furnace on a low setting. This may not prevent freezing pipes, but it can help.
  • Let a slight drip of water run when temperatures dip below freezing. Use cold water to avoid water heating charges.


  • Thaw plumbing lines safely with a hair dryer. Once the pipe has thawed, make sure to leave a little water running so the pipe doesn’t freeze again.
  • Do not open the water meter box near the curb. It could increase the chance of freezing water at the meter.


  • Close your main water shut-off valve to your house. Most shutoff valves are located where the water line enters the house, either at the front of your house where you connect your hose, or basement near the hot water heater, or inside the garage.
  • Turn off the water heater. Locate the dedicated shut-off valve on the cold-water inlet.

Remember, SERVPRO of SE Portland and SE & NE Salem is here to help you whatever your needs may be! Be safe, keep your home secure and call us in case of an emergency.

What to do if a fire happens

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

house on fire SERVPRO of Southeast Portland is always here to help.

If a fire happens, the first and most important thing to do is  make sure that you and your family are out of the home. 

The next step is having the Fire Department assess whether or not it is safe to be in or near the building where the fire/smoke damage occurred. Electrical hazards are common occurrences after a fire and can be extremely dangerous.

As soon as the Fire Departments declares the building safe then you and your highly certified SERVPRO team can begin restoration. We will do whatever we can to restore and3 preserve the items in your home, as well as saving you money! The following is a list of what to do and not to do after a fire.

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change the HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire 

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery 
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat, or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may leave a smoke odor.

SERVPRO of Southeast Portland offers the following services after a fire to make your house a home again.

Check on Your Trees!

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Falling tree Roots Exposed on Tree Due to Falling Tree

Summer storms can come on quick and swift leading to toppling trees, fires and major property loss.

Did you know that, when winds are sustained at 40-50mph, isolated wind damage is possible? Widespread significant wind damage can occur, causing major financial distress.

Recently in many parts of town, we had winds hitting the 40 mph. Streets were littered with debris and we witnessed branches and even trees tumbling. It is good house cleaning to get out in Springtime and analyze the roots of the tress on your property; if you see tree roots are getting too much water and not enough oxygen, it could lead to root rot, fungi or long-term tree stress. If roots are exposed and showing on the surface, this could mean they are dying. Also, prune and trim all branches. Limbs on trees with too much weight can cause breakage in storms.

Storms happen here in Oregon more off then not, so we suggest keeping on top of the care and wellbeing of your trees. If you do sustain damage from falling trees, wind damage, water damage due to storms. Call us here at SEVRPRO we are always here to help. 

Knowing What Your Insurance Covers Pertaining to Water Damage

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Washer machine over flowing Water damage due to washer machine over flowing.

It is very important to read your policy to find exactly what your insurance company provides when it comes to water damage on your property. Meeting with your agent can clear up the fine print, pertaining to water damage coverage what coverages your policy affords.

We are finding that water damage that is sudden and accidental is covered. Items that could be prevented by maintenance or are prolonged due to the initial cause of loss like mold are not covered.

We have found that you can purchase additional coverages for mold, for water and backup coverage for outside pipes, that there are maintenance policies available for you to purchase for your home electronics, hot water tank and major home appliances etc. as these are not considered sudden and accidental.

Flood and landslides/ land movement are typically not covered in polices either. To make sure you have adequate coverage for possible water damage, we suggest checking your insurance coverages.  

Common 4 Causes of Property Damage Due to Water

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mold On Walls Mold growing due to water exposure.

4 Top Causes of Property Water Damage:

Plumbing Issues: old pipes can leak and break.  We recommend once a year having your pipes examined.

Home Appliances: malfunctioning of home appliances and leaky washing machines can cause build of water. Check behind and below appliances frequently to insure no standing water.

HVAC Systems: Air conditioners are another source of water damage in homes. Moisture can build up in walls creating standing water lines and mold issues.

Weather and Natural Disasters; storms can create water damage and expose parts of your home to potential additional hazards.

We suggest having a calendar or schedule to examine possible water damage exposure to prevent future property damage. In the event you discover water lines, broken pipes or mold from existing water  or if you need water extraction or mold remediation, call the experts here at SERVPRO.

Apartment Owners and Tenant Responsibilities

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water falling on a man Water coming from roof within an apartment.

Leaks and water damage can be major cost for apartment owners. Water leaks and water damage have been highlighted as a common and major maintenance issue for apartment buyers and owners, which can cost thousands of dollars to repair. It is crucial that all maintenance is up to date and water issues are completed in timely matter.  Landlords are lawfully required to fix damage to the apartments affected; this includes rooms, doors, walls, balconies and utilities. Landlords are not required to pay for repairs of furniture or personal belongings, the only exception is if the tenant can prove the damage was due to the landlord’s negligence.  Tenants can purchase a renter’s policy from most insurance companies to cover their personal belongings in their residence. For both landlords and tenants, it is important to be very retroactive once water damage is known.  Being that mold comes from water, prevention is key as most stand insurance policies have exclusions for mold. Call us here at SERVPRO to have water remediation services started immediately.

Storm Season during the Summer Months

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Satilette View View of a hurricane from above satellite.

This time of the year we here at SERVPRO are gearing up for a time that we call STORM.  Summer months bring many natural disasters around the world and here in the States. SERVPRO is a first responder to hurricane’s, flooding and wild fries. As each state has its own natural disasters, it seems they happen during the summer months.  We here at SERVPRO have activated a team that is prepared to go and assist in other states. The past five years we have assisted our sister state of California in actively standing with homeowners during one of the most tragic times of their lives. After a fire has happened, we begin the regrowth with the client by; securing their property, assisting with knowledge on process of steps to take, providing machines to clean and restoring their property to its original condition. We here at SERVPRO look forward to helping fellow franchise owners when STORM seasons hit every year.