Recent Posts

Make a Flood Damage Claim in 3 Steps

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Make a Flood Damage Claim in 3 Steps This property flooded from a recent severe storm

A flood can cause serious damage to your home. You should file a claim for flood damage as soon as possible. Check your policy to determine how much coverage you have for flooding and then follow these three steps to file a flood claim.

1. Document Damage

The first step toward filing an insurance claim is to document the extent of the damage. Capture photographic or video proof of standing water as well as damaged building materials and contents. While you should take timely steps to mitigate primary damage and limit the extent of secondary damage, you must capture the condition of the affected areas of your home beforehand. Also gather and prepare to provide information such as dates of purchase, item values, and any receipts for major possessions that you can find. You may dispose of damaged items after thoroughly documenting the damage.

2. Notify Your Insurer and Talk to an Adjuster

Next, notify your insurer of the property damage and file a flood claim. It is a good idea to file this claim as soon as possible, as it may take some time for your insurer to get around to processing your claim if the flood that has affected your home is widespread. An adjuster will contact you to discuss your coverage and help you prepare a sworn statement regarding the amount of damages supported by documentation.

3. File Proof of Loss Within 60 Days

Be sure to file proof of loss documentation with an insurance company within two months of a flood. Payouts can only be processed once Proof of Loss is on file.

These are the three major steps to file a flood claim. You should maintain a reliable method of contact such as a cell phone number. As soon as you document the damage, you can contact a residential damage restoration service in Portland, ME.

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Fire Sprinklers and Accidental Discharge: What to Do If the Fire Sprinklers Go off Accidentally?

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers are an excellent safety measure that is most likely required by law in Portland, ME, but, while they are a lovely preventative and protective asset, in the case of accidental discharge, they can cause flooding and significant water damage. For most business owners who experience this unintentional disaster, they will typically want to know the process they should adhere to after.

1. Call Your Insurance Company

The first step is to call your insurance company. Most insurance companies will cover damage caused by a faulty or defective sprinkler system, but they will want to ensure that the responsibility lies with the manufacturer and not with the business owner. As the owner, insurers expect you to maintain your equipment, and if there is any sign of persistent issues resulting in the malfunction of the sprinkler system, most insurers will place the financial burden on the property owner.

2. Document the Incident and Any Damage

After you’ve called your insurance company, it is beneficial to document both the incident and the flooding or damage caused by the faulty fire sprinklers. You can document the incident by talking with any witnesses and finding out what occurred before the malfunction. Additionally, you may want to take photos of the area and any damaged merchandise to show as evidence and proof of loss.

3. Cleanup

Once you and your insurance company have determined responsibility, you can begin the cleanup process. Several companies specialize in water damage and can help you in your restoration efforts. The important thing, however, is to get your business back on track as fast as possible to minimize any significant interruption costs.

Fire sprinklers are essential and often required elements of a business, but, while they do require routine maintenance, they can malfunction, causing flooding and potential business interruption. In case of accidental discharge, it is important to keep the above steps in mind to speed up the recovery process and get back to day-to-day operation.

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The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector Professional technicians can help tackle your mold remediation

If your home sustains water damage from a flood or burst pipe, it is also vulnerable to mold damage. Extensive mold growth can be a difficult problem for any homeowner in Portland, ME, to battle, especially since mold is adept at finding hidden moisture spots. For peace of mind, you may wish to consult a professional mold inspector who can thoroughly examine your home and identify areas requiring mold cleaning.

Extensive Knowledge

A certified mold expert will have broad knowledge about mold growth and the ensuing damage it can cause. In addition, the certification process requires technicians to complete extensive training and hands-on experience. This proficiency will enable your inspector to complete numerous tasks:
• Recognize signs of moisture
• Identify subtle indications of mold damage
• Locate potential hiding spots

Access to Useful Tools

To complete a thorough mold cleaning, you will need to address every moldy spot. While some mold may be readily visible, it may be difficult to locate hidden sources, especially under flooring and behind drywall. To aid their work, professional inspectors have several useful tools at their disposal:


• Moisture meters to evaluate moisture levels in walls, carpets and other materials
• Borescopes to visually examine the area behind walls and other surfaces
• Hygrometers to measure humidity levels inside your home

Each of these instruments enable the expert to search for hidden mold in a minimally invasive manner that most homeowners cannot easily accomplish themselves.

A Beneficial Service

If it’s not quickly discovered, mold can significantly damage your home’s infrastructure. Hiring a professional mold inspector can help you efficiently identify mold sources behind drywall, in crawl spaces, under flooring and in other locations not readily visible. Quick identification is important because it enables you to jumpstart the mold cleaning process and hopefully address the situation before it becomes a serious problem. If the inspector does, however, discover extensive contamination, you may want to hire a professional mold remediation team to help you tackle the problem and reduce the risk of a future recurrence.

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4 Reasons You Should Have A Business Emergency Plan

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 4 Reasons You Should Have A Business Emergency Plan Always have an evaluation plan for your business in case of an emergency

Have you ever thought about what you would do if your business was affected by flood waters after a storm? A business continuity plan can help you prepare for the worst-case scenarios. As a business owner in Portland, ME, you may want to create this type of emergency plan for a number of reasons:

1. Figure out who to call. If you never think about the possibility of storm damage hurting your property, you may not know who you should call when disaster strikes. In your business plan, you can outline which insurance provider needs to be informed of any impending claims. You can even pick a commercial storm damage cleanup expert you would want to work with in this type of situation.


2. Think about how to keep business running. The continuity plan should also go over what you would do to help keep your business running. If flood waters made your building off limits, would you have to shut down until it is fixed or could you rent a temporary workspace?


3. Consider the financial impact of natural disasters. Flooding can also affect the finances of your company. Not only could you lose inventory and business, but you also have to pay for damages. When you create a business plan, it gives you a chance to make sure you have the best insurance policies for your commercial property.

4. Help you prepare employees. This type of plan can also help you think about evacuation methods. You can train employees on where to go in the event of flooding, fires or other emergencies. You can also outline who they should call if you are not around.

As a business owner, you want to be prepared for any type of situation. Creating a business continuity plan helps you think about the what-ifs associated with owning commercial property. You can become better prepared for any damages caused by storms.

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The Truth About Smoke, Soot and Insurance

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Truth About Smoke, Soot and Insurance This is the aftermath of a house fire in Portland

Perhaps you believe that insurance only covers smoke damage resulting from a fire in your business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your insurance should cover the smoke cleaning even if it was damaged by smoke from a nearby business. Regardless of the source, smoke cleanup challenges and procedures will be the same.
The cost and the magnitude of post-fire cleanup varies, depending heavily on the type of fire and residue.


• Hot, fast-burning fires result in a more complete combustion of the burned material. This results in a dry smoke with a powder-like residue that makes clean-up comparatively easy.

• Smoldering, slow-burning fires produce what is called wet smoke. It contains large amounts of unburned material including soot and sticky, odor-causing particles that adhere to surfaces. Most of the smoke damage from wet-smoke is invisible and difficult to address.

• Fires of any type that involve petroleum products are likely to generate significant amounts of soot. Soot damage is easily seen on hard light-colored surfaces but easily hides in carpets and fabrics. It still presents a significant cleaning challenge.


Smoke Cleaning Is Not for Amateurs


Finally, the end is in sight. The inspection is complete, the paperwork processed and the insurance company has approved the plan. The fire restoration specialists in Portland, ME, are ready to proceed with the cleanup. They bring with them a crew of experienced cleaning professionals and their specialized equipment. Visible surfaces are cleaned. Odors that can’t be cleaned are neutralized with the help of ozone machines. Odors that can’t be neutralized are completely masked by special deodorizers broadcast throughout the building by thermal foggers.


Open for Business Again


The process is complete and the air in the building no longer smells like smoke. The restoration specialists have done their job and moved on. Business is back to normal and the smoke damage is on its way to becoming a distant memory. Life is good.

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What To Avoid After Your Home Floods

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Avoid After Your Home Floods Call the experts for a Pipe break in your Portland home or business

When something is wrong with your home, your first instinct may be to jump in and start fixing it. This instinct could be wrong, though. When a broken pipe causes flooding in your home in Portland, ME, it is important to follow a few simple do's and don'ts.

Don't Wade Unprotected

Water in the home may seem harmless, especially if it came from a clean source. It is very easy, however, for flood water to get contaminated. Do not wade through standing water unprotected.

Do Wear Protective Gear

If you must go into the water, put on protective gear first:

• Rubber boots
• Protective Eye Gear
• Face Mask
• Rubber Coveralls

Don't Jump the Gun

In a hurry to get your problems fixed, you may decide to get a head start on your shopping. It doesn't make sense, however, to buy new furniture until you are sure that the old furniture is not salvageable. Besides, until the area is restored, you have no place to put it.

Do Document Damages

Take pictures of everything that may need repair or replacement. Even if you think it's insignificant, you should photograph and list everything affected by the broken pipe and the havoc it wreaked.

Don't Wait to Report

You may think you need all the information before you call your insurance agent or repair personnel. The longer you wait, however, the worse the problem may get. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours if the conditions are right. You are more likely to avoid bigger problems if you report early.

Do Call in the Experts

The fastest way to get your home back to its former state is to call the restoration experts who can make that happen. The quickest way to get your money is to call your insurance company. These calls should be the first thing you do when your home floods.

If your home is damaged by a broken pipe, you might not be thinking clearly. Instead of following instincts that could lead you astray, follow the advice outlined here to fix your home.

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What To Expect After Major Storm Flooding

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Expect After Major Storm Flooding Quick response is key after a major storm flooding to prevent your home from damages.

When you experience the devastation of a big storm in Portland, ME, you need some guidance of what to expect in the cleanup process. It’s a huge undertaking to recover from water damage and bring your home back to pre-storm conditions, but experts bring you some peace of mind in their experience and thorough the tear out and remediation procedures. Here is that you can expect during the restoration process:

1. Water extraction. Powerful pumps and vacuums may be used to remove standing water immediately. A quick response to water removal is key to prevent consequential damage of long-term exposure to flood water.


2. Tear out. Personal belongings and ruined building materials are removed. Mostly porous, absorbent materials will be in this category, like carpet padding, drywall or plaster.


3. Clean personal belonging


4. Dry completely. Air movers and additional venting may be used. Experts monitor moisture levels to ensure complete drying. Many materials may look or seem dry, but professional rely on specialized instruments to make sure they are.


5. Repairs. Finally, when all other steps are complete, repairs can begin.

Start Right Away

The job seems impossible, but you need to start right away. The longer materials are exposed to flood water, the more damage is done. Initial storm damage may just be structural and messy, but water damage that is left too long is subject to damage from mold growth. Mold starts to grow colonies in as little as 48 hours, so timing is critical to prevent further damage.

Finding the Right Company

Finding the right company is key to managing this critical process. When looking for experts for your storm restoration, make sure you choose a company with experience responding to major disasters and floods. The right team will respond quickly, have professional and technical training, and will have access to resources like powerful pumps, air movers, and monitoring equipment. They will help you understand what materials they must tear out and what they can save. The right company will also be capable of managing all aspects of your cleanup from the beginning water extraction to the finishing repairs.

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Top 5 Causes of House Fires

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Top 5 Causes of House Fires Fires can destroy your home

Every 86 seconds, fire departments across the United States respond to residential fires. As a homeowner in Portland, ME, the prospect of a home fire is terrifying. Help prevent fires in your home by knowing the top five fire causes:

1. Cooking

Leaving cooking unattended is the leading fire cause in homes. The risk is increased with frying and attempting to extinguish the blaze without assistance from firefighters. Never leave your home with food cooking in the kitchen. If a fire starts, call 911 before attempting to put out the flames.

2. Smoking

The majority of house fires instigated by smoking involve bedding and upholstery. If you smoke, go outside if possible. Never smoke in bed or near flammable fabrics, especially when tired.

3. Heating

When heating is the reason for a home fire, it is commonly due to space heaters or wood stoves. Reduce your risk by turning off these devices when you are asleep or not at home. Furnace maintenance can help prevent fires due to central heating.

4. Electrical

Failures with electrical equipment or lighting cause 9-13% of residential fires. Check your cords, plugs, outlets and light fixtures for damage and repair or replace as needed.

5. Arson

There is little you can do to prevent a fire that is set intentionally. About half of this type of fire is set by children and adolescents.

The best way to protect your own safety and reduce fire damage at your home in Portland, ME, is to know the common causes of home fire and how to prevent them. In addition to the above information, keep at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. If possible, install a home sprinkler system. Have and practice an escape plan with your family in case of a fire. After a fire, contact your insurance agent and a fire restoration specialist to begin the process of smoke and fire cleaning.

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3 Things You Need To Do Right When You Spot Mold

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Things You Need To Do Right When You Spot Mold Ceiling Mold Damage

Black mold can surface quickly in a commercial building in Portland, ME. One day you may not notice any signs of the fungus growth and the next you see spots of it on your walls. Whether you smell or see the growth, it is important to take action as quickly as possible.

1. Call in Help

As soon as you notice any type of mold growing in your commercial space, you need to call in a professional team. The experts in mold cleanup can quickly assess your problem, make a remediation plan and start the repairs. This fast action may help save you money. If you try to take on the cleanup on your own, you may end up making the problem worse because the growth can spread to remote areas on the property.

2. Stop the Airflow

If your cleanup team can't get out to your building right away, you shouldn't sit around and wait. You need to do what you can to stop the black mold from spreading to new parts of your building. Spores can travel in the air, so you should try to cut off airflow. This may mean turning off your HVAC system, closing windows and removing fans from the space.

3. Address the Water

If you notice mold growth, chances are you also have some sort of moisture problem. Whether it's standing water or high humidity, you need to address the water issue as quickly as possible. If you have standing water, start the drying out process. If you have high humidity, set up a dehumidifier. Identifying the cause of the water problem can make your mold cleanup a little easier because you need to stop the water before you can really remove the growth. In some cases, you may have to turn off the water to your building until the professionals arrive.

It doesn't take long for mold to spread and invade other parts of your building. Taking fast actions when you first notice black mold can help make the entire cleanup process a little easier.

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Smoke & Soot Cleanup

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke & Soot Cleanup Soot buildup on these light fixtures after a fire occurred in a local business in Portland.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Portland will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 207-772-5032