Portland Home Hazards

Portland, Oregon, like any other city is home to many hazards for home buyers and sellers. We have flood risks, earthquake risks, mold problems, lead poisoning, radon risks, landslide zones, and more. We believe it is part of our job as Portland real estate agents to inform our clients of potential home hazards, how to test, how to get more information, and how to mitigate these everyday home hazards.

If you’re considering buying a home in the next twelve months and want an agent that will look out for your safety and best interest, Kami Price, buyers specialist would love to hear what you’re looking for. Call today to set an appointment.

Kami Price, Realtor
Represented Hundreds of Buyers
Licensed since 2004

If you’re thinking of selling your home in the next twelve months and want an agent that knows what problem issues to address before going to market, Stephen would love to tour your home. Call today to set an appointment.

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor
4% Max. to Sell a Home
Cancel Anytime Policy
Licensed Since 2003

portland natural disasters

Portland, Oregon Natural Disasters: Riskiest Neighborhoods to Buy a Home

September 25, 2023

We don’t want to scare away potential homebuyers, but Mother Nature has some potentially powerful disasters to unleash on Portland. Are some neighborhoods safer than others? That depends on which disaster we’re talking about. Before you make a home investment in Portland, get to know what the hazards are and the best way to be prepared for each.  Risk #1: Portland Landslides Areas to watch out for: West Multnomah County, from downtown Portland to Scappoose, as well as parts of Gresham to the east Natural Disaster Risk: Landslides Don’t buy a home here if: The address has a high landslide hazard risk. While there are some mitigation and prevention strategies, rain, mud and gravity can be a deadly mix. Neighborhoods...

asbestos in your home test and treat

Asbestos in Your Home. What to Look for, How to Test.

September 11, 2023

In the past, we’ve written about various Portland home hazards all homeowners need to be aware of, from underground oil tanks and radon to mold, floods, earthquakes, and landslides. There’s another one to remember when preparing to invest your hard-earned money into a new home or preparing your current home to list it on the market, no matter its age: asbestos! As real estate agents serving the Portland metro area, we understand the importance of helping clients successfully sell their homes for the highest possible price and providing sellers and buyers with the latest information about potential hazards Portland homes might have. Most of us think of asbestos as a material used in construction in the distant past, which has...

Portland Seismic Retrofit Guide: Earthquake Readiness

August 18, 2023

Our awareness of the threat of seismic activity in the Portland area increases every year, and with it, concerns for both sellers and buyers. Recent studies show that at least one local fault is more active than previously thought. And this discovery increases the likelihood that other faults in the area may put Portland at risk for an earthquake sooner rather than later. But the good news is, with increased knowledge comes an increased ability to confront the situation. For example, it seems that each year, better and more comprehensive maps help us understand where the most vulnerable spots are. And then there’s seismic retrofitting, a process that makes homes better equipped to handle an earthquake. Portland is again ahead...

portland vacant home steps

15 Things you Must-Know Before Leaving your Home Vacant

July 17, 2023

Leaving a vacant home is sometimes a necessary life choice, and not one that homeowners ever feel completely comfortable with. Licensed since 2003, I’ve sold a lot of homes that the sellers chose to sell vacant. Sometimes the sellers were still nearby and could check on the home. Other times, the seller lived out of state or even out of country. In fact, our research shows that vacant homes sell better than occupied properties. If your situation calls for a home to be vacant for few weeks or even months, there are steps you can take to make it a lot less risky. For the saavy Portland homeowner willing to prepare and potentially even spend some money to shore up...

sewer scope portland home

Portland, Oregon Sewer Scope Home Test Guide

July 10, 2023

Having the sewer line scoped before you purchase a home in Portland, Oregon is a very good idea. Sewer lines can cost a few thousand, to tens of thousands of dollars to repair or replace, but a sewer scope typically costs just $100-$200 in the Portland area. Sometimes after a sewer scope, the city of Portland will even determine that the sewer line is illegal (we’ll get into this) and require its full replacement. In this article, we’ll go through some of the most frequent questions home owners and buyers ask our real estate agents about sewer scopes. Whether you’re buying or selling a brand new or hundred year old home in Portland, there is a reason to check the sewer...

oregon wood stove decommission

Wood Stove Removal in Oregon: A Complete Guide

March 28, 2023

Selling or buying a home in Portland? You may have this item on your to-do list: Dealing with decommissioning the wood stove.  Wood stove decommissioning is still a hot topic in Portland because many homes have older wood stoves that are not EPA-certified, and therefore are illegal to sell with the home. Period. Real estate sales contracts will let you choose to make the seller or the buyer responsible for the removal, but the removal of the wood stove in Oregon is not negotiable. It doesn’t matter if the wood stove is not in use, if it is in a shop or garage, or if the wood stove installation is otherwise up to code. If the stove itself is not...

Six Portland, Oregon Earthquake Maps

November 2, 2022

As with every city, Portland, Oregon doesn’t come without its hazards, one of which is the potential for earthquakes, given that our city rests on a fault line. But there are ways to deal with this particular hazard, including retrofitting your home and being prepared in the event an earthquake does happen. Another step in managing the certainty of an earthquake in Portland is to equip yourself with resources to keep you informed. Fortunately, science is making great strides in understanding seismic changes beneath the earth’s surface and finding ways to relay what they know to the layperson. Several helpful earthquake maps exist, and we’re including them in this article. Be sure to take a look at them before you...

portland oregon radon map

Portland, Oregon Radon Map 2023 Update

September 12, 2022

There are a variety of home hazards Portland homeowners need to be aware of, especially when selling. In addition to earthquakes and landslides, mold, and flooding, radon should be at the top of your list for items to check when you’re preparing to put your home on the market (or when buying a new home). Honestly, it’s a good idea to check radon levels in your home whether selling or not, as they change regularly. This is especially true if any of the living area in the home is below ground. The reason for fluctuating radon readings in any given area is that radon levels can be affected by a number of things, like wind, ground pressure, shifting soil, cold...

buried portland oil tank

How Much Does it Cost to Decommission an Oil Tank?

August 5, 2022

If you’re planning to sell your Portland home, you’ll want to think about potential home hazards that might need to be addressed before putting it on the market. If you have an older home, chances are, it has (or had) a heating oil tank, whether it’s in use or not. To ultimately make the sale, you may need to get a certification letter from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and/or have a new site assessment done. This can apply even to those who have had their oil tanks previously decommissioned but not certified through Oregon DEQ. Testing and then decommissioning is voluntary during your home ownership, but often becomes involuntary after a buyer’s home inspection. Discovered leaking oil tanks...

Portland Home Mold Inspection, How to Test 2022

July 13, 2022

Mold is something we all contend with here in Portland, no matter where we live or the ages of our homes. Of course, mold occurs in varying degrees and can be more prevalent in some homes than others, especially if left unchecked and untreated. But the truth is, mold is everywhere. Microscopic mold spores travel through the air and because they love moisture, they thrive here in Portland. One of your tasks as a homeowner is to keep mold at bay to prevent damage to your home and reduce health risks. In many cases, mold can be cleaned with a mild cleaning solution and cloth—for example on the grout in your shower. In other cases, mold can become pervasive enough...