Should You Buy a Property Without a Mold Inspection?
Windows - Rainwater leaks and condensation from humidity can cause mold formation
As you consider purchasing a commercial property in Gorham, ME, you likely have a checklist of things to look for. The building should suit all your business needs, but you also want to ensure that it is in good structural condition. This means checking for signs of mold and knowing when you may need a mold inspection.
Know Where to Look
Mold grows best in damp, moist conditions. As you walk through the property, consider any areas of the building that fit this description, and keep an eye out for signs of water damage. Some notable places to look for visible mold include:
- Bathrooms - Check near showers, sinks, tubs and toilets.
- Basements - Pay attention to signs of leakage or condensation on pipes, as well as flood-prone areas.
- Windows - Rainwater leaks and condensation from humidity can cause mold formation.
Of course, not all mold is outwardly apparent. It can lurk within HVAC ducts and behind walls, ceilings or floorboards. If you notice any current or previous signs of water damage, you may want to have a professional mold inspection done.
Inspection and Remediation
If there are no signs of mold or water damage, it may not be worthwhile to pay for a mold inspection. However, if you suspect a problem, trained inspection and restoration experts can help you determine the extent of the issue and figure out a cleanup method. The good news is that even if your ideal property has a slight mold problem, this does not mean it is out of the running. With the assistance of skilled mold remediation specialists, you can fix the source of water fueling the mold growth and move ahead with a full cleanup and mold removal.
Whether or not an inspection is necessary depends on the condition of the property and if there are signs of water damage. In either case, it is important to know that with professional help, many buildings can make a full recovery in the aftermath of a mold problem.
The Purpose of a Flood Cut
Flood cuts performed in a Portland, ME home.
After a storm rages in Portland, ME, it is likely that your home will experience a bit of flooding. When this happens, you will probably hear the water remediation technicians you hire talk about making a flood cut. A flood cut is a mark that is made 12 inches above the spot where the water damage stops. Specialists tear out everything below the flood cut to stop the spread of contamination and prevent mold growth.
Q/A Regarding Flood Cuts.
Here are some common questions about this process.
- What Circumstances Require a Flood Cut?
Any time there is damage that cannot be dried with a fan, professionals are probably going to use a flood cut to be on the safe side. Insulation cannot be dried, so if there is wet insulation, the wall has to be cut out and the insulation removed. If the water is contaminated by storm-related debris or sewage, the wall must be discarded. If tests show any harmful microbes, the affected area must go.
- Why Does the Flood Cut Have To Be a Foot Above the Damage?
Water damage from flooding does not like to stay politely in its place. What technicians can see with the naked eye may only be the beginning of the story. Placing the flood cut 12 inches above the visible water damage ensures that everything affected is remediated.
- Is There Any Way To Save the Wall?
If the water damage is minimal and no insulation is affected, it is possible that quick removal of water and fast drying techniques can allow the wall to be salvaged. The water in question must also be clean. If it is contaminated at all, the wall has to be replaced.
Flooding in Portland, ME, may cause damage to your home. While technicians will do everything they can to avoid removing walls, a flood cut may be required to make sure your home is completely restored.
How To Keep Your Pets Safe in the Case of a House Fire
Remember to include your pet in your fire escape plan
Pets become part of the family and, for some people, their safety matters almost as much as their own kids! In the event of a fire emergency or other disaster in Westbrook, ME, it’s important to prepare ahead of time for both your family and pets.
Pet Evacuation Plan
Many families with small children create a fire emergency escape plan and occasionally practice evacuating the home. It’s a good idea to include your pets while you’re running through your drill, and even including some pet training if possible so they’re more likely to be cooperative in a time-sensitive situation. It may also be a good idea to prearrange a place for your pets to stay if you’re unable to return to your home for a period of time.
Preventative Pet Preparation
If you have a disaster or fire emergency kit that you know to grab as you leave the house, prepare one for your pets as well. This can include:
- Pet ownership and vaccination records
- Food and water supply and dishes
- Feeding instructions
- Medications and instructions (if applicable)
- Leash and collar/harness
- Pet carrier and bedding/blankets
- First aid kit
- Cleaning supplies
In the case that you’re not home when a fire breaks out and firefighters need to enter, keep your pets near the door when you leave and keep leashes and your fire emergency kit in a visible place. There are also “pet alert” stickers you can place on a visible window with the number of pets in your home so they aren’t left behind.
Pets are an important part of most families, and if disaster strikes, it’s always better to be prepared. Create your emergency kit using the checklist provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and include your pets when you practice evacuating the home. This type of preparedness takes time, but the peace of mind it brings will be well worth the effort.
Identifying and Fixing Flood Issues After a Storm
Flooded basement in Portland, ME
A heavy storm in Portland, ME, can affect your home in several ways. One of the main issues to look out for is a flooded basement. Water can get into the lowest level of your home through various means. First you must identify the problem. Then you can take measures to resolve it.
Where Did It Come From?
When you see water in your basement, the first thing to figure out is where it came from. When it's wet outside, flooding can come from many places:
- Seepage from excessive groundwater
- Water running down exterior walls into cracks in the foundation
- Clog in your home's sewer line
- Sewage backing up from clogged municipal line
Locating the source of the floodwater is key. This is the first step to figuring out whom to call or how to stop more water from getting into your basement.
How Do You Prevent Flooding?
There are quite a few ways to lower the chances of a flooded basement. Keep gutters and downspouts clear so that they can direct water away from your foundation. Have your foundation inspected for cracks frequently. Perform regular maintenance on your home sewer lines to keep them free of clogs, and install backflow valves to prevent sewer backup from city lines.
How Do You Prevent Damage?
Even the most vigilant maintenance regimen can't prevent all flooding. You can minimize damage, though. Elevate all sensitive appliances and equipment at least 18 inches off the ground. Store heirlooms and important documents in waterproof containers on a high shelf. Install a sump pump in your basement to remove excess water when it floods. You may still need flood restoration specialists to mitigate the damage to your basement floor and walls, but at least you can keep important items out of harm's way.
A strong storm can easily lead to a flooded basement. Identify the source of the flood and taking the appropriate steps to fix it.
5 Things You Should Do Following A Fire
Board the building up if needed to prevent weather damage or looting
There are many things that could start a fire at your business in Falmouth Foreside, ME; electrical or machinery malfunctions, space heaters and placed too close to flammable materials or plugged into an extension cord, even an overcrowded outlet or a glitch in a break room microwave. Lightening during an intense thunderstorm can also cause a hazardous fire, but is much less likely than things that can go wrong during an everyday work situation.
Encouraging employees to be careful, replacing defective appliances and machinery, and having your electrical system inspected regularly can all help prevent a fire disaster. Sometimes, however, prevention is not enough and the unexpected can happen.
5 Steps To Take Immediately After a Fire
There are several things that need to happen right immediately following a blaze before fire restoration can begin. There are also some big don’ts. Here is a helpful list to keep in mind.
- Call 911, then get everyone out and to safety, if possible
- Call your fire insurance company for instructions
- Board the building up if needed to prevent weather damage or looting
- Do not let anyone go back into the building prior to an inspection and an OK that it is safe.
- Do not touch anything or try to do anything about the damage yourself – it is possible to get injured or to void your insurance company’s requirements of coverage.
Getting Professional Help can Make it Easier
The best thing you can do next is to get help from a professional fire restoration service in Falmouth Foreside, ME. They can perform a through assessment of the damage and help you file the report for fire insurance. They can also direct the cleanup and removal of destroyed materials, smoke cleaning and help with restoration of your building.
Although a blaze can be a serious setback for your business, you can take some comfort in knowing that your local fire restoration service can help. As always, prevention is the best route, but if an unforeseen fire happens, following these steps can help get you back on track.
Tips for Avoiding a Dryer Fire
Cleaning your Portland dryer vent will prevent future fires from lint and dust.
Though you and your family probably take the time to exchange chore duties in your Portland, ME, home, some cleaning tasks inevitably fall by the wayside. One of these tasks includes keeping your dryer maintained and well-kempt, preventing a potential dryer fire in the process. Here are three helpful tips for avoiding a fire through your home’s dryer, whether it be due to a lint fire, an electrical issue or something more hazardous.
3 Helpful Tips for Avoiding a Dryer Fire
- Be sure to clean the lint filter before and after every load of laundry. While cleaning out lint from the trap can easily be overlooked, creating a schedule to regularly follow can quickly make the task become a common habit in your family. This prevents considerable lint and dust build-up from forming near the heating element, eliminating a possible dryer fire hazard with every use thereafter.
- Make it a priority to snake out your air exhaust vent pipe. A lint fire can erupt just as easily through the exhaust pipe as the filter since air flow can become restricted in the ventilation path due to build-up over time. Not only should professional inspections be conducted on a consistent basis but the outside vent ducting should be unblocked from time to time, as well.
- Frequently inspect for and remove any dust collection behind the dryer, and ensure that flammable items aren’t resting too close to the heating element. Excess dust, lint and dirt can collect on the electrical wiring and tubing behind your dryer, so using a duster or vacuum to remove build-up is crucial to keeping the machine working properly and safely. Furthermore, be wary of storing any flammable objects or chemicals near the heating element.
While perfectly maintaining your Portland, ME, home at all times can be impossible due to everyone’s busy schedules, making dryer maintenance a priority is vital to preventing a potential lint fire in your residence.
Three Ways You Could Be Wasting Water and Money
Minor faucet leaks can cause waste of water and money in your commercial property
When you own or manage commercial properties, identifying ways to keep costs down is crucial. Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes that many property managers make that cost them a lot of money. Several of these mistakes have to do with ignoring trouble (such as a water leak) along the plumbing system:
- "Minor" faucet leaks
- Slow-draining toilets
- Hidden irrigation leaks
- Leaking joints
- Low water pressure
Any one of these problems could cost you up to hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
The plumbing through your property, including sinks, bathrooms, and landscaping, is generally an efficient system, but it does require routine maintenance to ensure optimal performance. If regular care isn't provided, there are several ways you could be losing money.
One: Increased Water Bill
A single leaky faucet in your Windham, ME, property could mean that you're paying for several gallons of wasted water. If you have several leaky faucets, toilets, and irrigation pipes, the resulting amount of water becomes very expensive.
Two: Damages Caused by Water
Just one unrepaired water leak can cause damage to walls, ceilings, and flooring as moisture seeps throughout the area. A musty odor could indicate mold growth. Of course, if there's more than one source of moisture, the damages may be widespread. As soon as you've noticed this type of water damage, contact a water remediation and cleanup agency right away.
Three: Secondary Damages
Even if you respond right away to a pipe break, it is possible to suffer ongoing damages. This is particularly true if water or moisture made its way into a hard-to-reach or unseen area of the property. High levels of humidity continue to affect those corners of the building until mold develops or warping, discoloration, and rust have settled in.
Are hidden costs relating to your plumbing system costing you money every month? Has a "minor" water leak been ignored to the point that it has become very expensive? Don't take risks when it comes to your property. Respond to any type of plumbing concerns immediately.
3 Types of Secondary Damage That Can Occur After a Flood
Left untreated, mold can continue to spread and damage other parts of the house
3 Types of Secondary Damage That Can Occur After a Flood
When a flood first occurs, your home in Portland, ME, may experience some immediate damage from the incident, such as wet drywall or carpet; this type of water damage is referred to as primary damage. If the water is left to sit long enough, secondary damage can occur and cause even more harm, such as black mold growth. The best way to prevent this type of water damage from happening is to immediately contact a water damage cleanup company to remove all water and reverse any damage that has been caused. However, if it not addressed fast enough, you might encounter these three types of secondary damage in your home.
1. Disintegrating Drywall
While flood waters can immediately make their way into your walls, drywall will start to disintegrate if not thoroughly dried. One common cause of rotting drywall is a leak caused by a broken pipe or a leaky roof.
2. Mold Growth
Mold loves moisture, which is why water damage can eventually lead to mold growing in your home. Some specific species of mold, such as black mold, thrive on a constant water source. Left untreated, mold can continue to spread and damage other parts of the house.
3. Warping Hardwood Floors
If faced with high humidity or extended contact with water, hardwood floors can experience warping. You can tell if your floors are warped if the planks look visibly disfigured and are rising off the ground. Warping typically occurs when water or moisture gets beneath the floor. This can happen if an undetected leak makes it way under your floors or flood waters aren’t dealt with fast enough.
Whether dealing with structural damage or black mold growth, secondary damage can be very harmful to your home. Cleaning up spills, addressing leaks, and quickly contacting a water cleanup company after a flood occurs can all help prevent this type of damage from occurring in the first place.
Learning To Live With Mold
Mold is microscopic, and its spores are floating in the air both indoors and outdoors.
Most people have a visceral negative reaction when mold is brought up. They aren’t wrong; when it gets out of control it can seem gross, and almost everyone who owns a home has heard of the dangers of black mold. It certainly is something to be aware of in Westbrook, ME. However, mold is a natural part of the world that people should understand better in order to protect themselves and their homes.
What Is Mold?
Mold is a type of fungus. When it grows, it usually causes discoloration and has a fuzzy appearance. It is normally invisible to the naked eye, until it starts gathering as a colony. Mold spores are often wind-borne and exist everywhere. There are many different types of mold to be aware of:
- Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, likes places that are consistently damp
- Serpula lacrymans, or yellow mold, likes to grow on wood
- Aureobasidium, or pink mold, is usually outdoors but will prey on wet caulking and framing
- Penicillium, or blue/green mold, spreads quickly and can appear on anything water damaged
There is no such thing as a mold-free home in Westbrook, ME. Mold is microscopic, and its spores are floating in the air both indoors and outdoors. However, there is a limit to how much mold, including the infamous black mold, should be present in the home. This can be easily tested for, so instead of looking for total mold removal, if you suspect heightened levels, you should seek mold remediation, a process of lowering those levels and mitigating their fluctuation.
Too Much Mold
If mold becomes visible in your home, this may mean that there are more spores than normal in your environment. This is usually due to a water source, such as flooding or a pipe that is leaking. Professional mold cleanup can remove these manifestations, and mold remediation can return your home’s mold levels to normal.
Mold can be okay! Remember penicillin? You must simply try to be aware of the mechanisms of mold growth, the different types that exist and the mold cleanup services that exist to remediate it.
Fire Prevention and Preparedness for Pets
Create a pet fire safety kit with medical supplies
Your pets are an important part of your family, and you surely would do whatever you can to keep them from harm’s way. To help keep your pet and the rest of your family safe from the dangers of a home fire, here are several important steps you should take to prevent and prepare your pet for the possibility of a fire emergency in your home in Falmouth, ME.
Pet Fire Prevention
Like young children, your pets are not always aware of their surroundings and that their actions can result in a fire. Here are a few pet safety tips for preventing a fire:
- Don’t leave pets unattended near space heaters or an open flame
- Secure electrical cords that your dog might chew on
- Remove stove knobs or use safety covers
- Consider flameless candles or other candle alternatives
Pet Fire Preparedness
Once you have set up your home to help your pets from starting a fire emergency, you then need to start on your pet preparation and fire escape plan. When developing an evacuation plan with your family, identify which member of the family will be responsible for helping your pets get to safety, and make sure your dog comes when called.
Create a pet fire safety kit with medical supplies you might need to help your pet, some treats, and a leash or carrier. Also, add a pet alert window cling to a front window with information on all of your pets so firefighters can quickly find them.
While the tips in this guide can help you prevent a fire emergency and provide you with a plan for helping your pet if one does ever does occur, make sure to you don’t delay your escape if saving your pet isn’t possible. Once out of the house, never reenter until after firefighters extinguish the fire and the fire damage assessment team says your home is safe to enter.