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
503-773-0000

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
503-714-1111

portland earthquake map

Top 5 Portland, Oregon Earthquake Maps

December 18, 2023

Yes, there is a certain amount of earthquake risk in Portland. Still, the good news is that geologists are getting better and better at understanding, mapping, and even predicting seismic activity. Maps can also help us be better prepared for disasters by showing resources and hazards. Take a look at these Portland maps before you buy a home. Be sure to click the header links to go to the earthquake maps. Top Portland, Oregon Earthquake Maps 1. Latest U.S. Earthquakes Map  For those fascinated by seismic activity, this live US Geological Survey map provides up-to-the-minute information about earthquakes around the globe. Earthquakes appear as dots on the map; the colors indicate how long ago they happened. The map can show...


radon map portland

Portland, Oregon Radon Map – Plus Free Tests (for some)

December 7, 2023

Portland, Oregon Radon rates change. A perennial hot topic in Portland is the influx of Californians, but it’s the Montana and Idaho migrants that we should be worried about, according to health officials. Actually, they’re not talking about people, but rocks. “In the Portland metropolitan area, a lot of the rocks and soil underneath the Willamette Valley were carried down from parts of Idaho and Montana,” said an Oregon Health Authority official quoted by OPB. These long-ago geological travelers carry radon, a radioactive gas that is drawn into homes and buildings, leading to cancer and other health issues.  As real estate agents, we do a lot of education about the risks of radon and the importance of testing, and after...


portland real estate flood map

New Portland, Oregon Flood Map

November 6, 2023

Floods don’t just destroy homes and carry away vehicles; they also destroy infrastructure and cut off access to the outside world, sometimes for days at a time. When shopping for a home in Portland, having the right tools at hand to understand flood risk is essential. Sometimes, it can be pretty clear that a home is directly in a flood zone where floods happen frequently. But more often, the answer is less clear-cut. First, we’ll explore the traditional way to view flood zones using FEMA and other government maps. Then, we’ll detail an exciting new tool that gives address-by-address information about flood risk. How to View Flood Zones using FEMA and City of Portland Flood Maps Say you’re looking at...


buried portland oil tank

How Much Does it Cost to Decommission an Oil Tank?

October 30, 2023

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. If the previously decommissioned oil tank fails a modern soil sample test, and a second decommission can be required. Testing and decommissioning are...


portland mold test home inspection

Test for Portland Mold, Home Inspection Tips

October 23, 2023

An unmistakably mold-stained wall, ceiling, or shower stall ranks among the least appealing sights in any home, let alone one you’re shopping on the red-hot Portland real estate market. Today, we’re going to take a look at how to identify and test for mold, how to clean it up, and how to hopefully mitigate some of the specific root causes of the issue to prevent future growth — all in the interest of safeguarding your well-being and presenting your home for sale in the best possible light! Introducing Portland Mold Molds refer to a widespread and incredibly diverse group of fungi that comprises anywhere from tens to hundreds of thousands of species. We tend to have a negative connotation of mold,...


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...