Recent Posts

5 Keys for Safe Cooking

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

man holding fire extingisher Kitchen fire safety is priority during the holidays.

Whenever you first began to cook at home, you were probably given several important tips to keep in mind. Chances are this advice is still valid today. Here are some keys to safe cooking that will probably never go out of style.

Keep Clutter to a Minimum.

It's hard to stay safe when bowls, ingredients, salt and pepper shakers and wrappers mess up your counter tops.

Know Where the Fire Extinguisher Is Located.

If a grease fire starts you want to be able to grab a fire extinguisher quickly, particularly one labelled B that is effective on hot oils.

Stay in the Cooking Area.

Leaving an open flame unattended is a bad practice and the cause of many home fires.

Heed Alarms and Smoke Detectors.

Your stove and your home should be equipped with working alarms that alert you to possible fire damage.

Keep Flammables Away.

The cooking area should never be a place to store gasoline, fire starter or other flammable items.

Make Fire Safety a Priority

Be sure to share these safe cooking tips with everyone in your family. Go beyond the cooking area and come up with a home fire safety plan. This should include placing the fire department number in Portland, ME, in an accessible spot. Go over an evacuation plan. Check that fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in working condition.

Don't Forget About Cleanup

A complete fire safety plan includes measures for cleaning up fire damage. This can be accomplished by contacting a fire remediation team. Not only will professionals be able to assess the damage and secure your home against further damage, they will be able to take care of water damage as a result of putting the fire out. It's always a good idea to follow safe cooking tips, and its smart to prepare for the aftermath of a home fire.

How To Clean Shower Mold

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Shower mold can be a frustrating problem. Mold grows in wet conditions, so it thrives in consistently moist areas such as bathrooms.
Thankfully, you do not have to live with a moldy shower. If the contamination is limited to a small area, you can attempt mold cleanup yourself. Below are some tips for removing black mold from your shower.

Stay Safe

Safety should be your top priority when you attempt to get rid of mold in your Portland, ME, home. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and old clothes. You should also open a window or use a fan to keep the bathroom ventilated. When you are finished with the black mold cleanup, take off your gloves and clothes immediately so they don’t spread spores throughout your home. You can then clean the clothes in the washing machine using hot water.

Create a Cleaning Solution

You next need to decide what solution to use to clean the shower mold. White vinegar is an effective and non-toxic choice. If you want a more natural cleaner, combine a gallon of water with a cup of Borax. Borax is a white powder you can usually find in the laundry aisle of your supermarket. Bleach can be dangerous and should only be used as a last resort.

Use the Solution

Whichever cleaning solution you choose should be poured into a spray bottle. You can then spray the entire affected area with the liquid. The cleaner should saturate the mold but not create any puddles. Then wipe away the mold and the cleaner using a cloth. If the mold remains stuck, try using a scrubbing brush. Shower mold stuck in caulking or grout should be scrubbed away with an old toothbrush.

By following the above suggestions, you can limit the mold damage in your home. If the problem persists, consider contacting your local mold remediation and cleanup experts.

5 Steps for Dealing With Storm Damage

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

A man in white personal protective gear shuffling through trash It's also important to wear the proper safety gear when entering the space

5 Steps for Dealing With Storm Damage

After a storm in Falmouth, ME, you my find it necessary cleanup water damage in your home. Fortunately, there are many professionals who can help. Here are a few helpful storm tips you may wish to know before you begin the cleanup process

1. Follow Safety Procedures

It's important to follow safety procedures before you proceed with a storm cleanup. For example turn off any electricity before entering a flooded area, and only use properly rated equipment when removing water.

2. Contact Your Insurance

You may also wish to contact your insurance about the damage to your property. Repairs can begin before your agent arrives on scene, but you may find your insurance company has a couple recommendations for local storm damage restoration companies you can work with.

3. Contact a Professional Quickly

Another among many commonly recommended storm tips, is to contact a professional for any repairs that need to be made. This will help ensure that the restoration is conducted properly, and in some cases can help your insurance claim as well.

4. Wear Safety Gear

It's also important to wear the proper safety gear when entering the space. This may include work gloves, face mask, clothing that covers the skin, proper shoes, and depending on the damage type a work helmet.

5. Cover Over Damaged Areas

Another step many professionals recommend is to cover over any damages until repairs can be made. This will help prevent further damage and help keep animals out of your home.
Remember to follow these helpful storm tips when restoring your home. Always follow safety procedures such as turning off any electricity and wearing the proper safety equipment. It's also wise to contact a professional to perform any repairs, as well as your insurance company for any recommendations they may have. You should also cover over any damaged space until the repairs can begin in the area.

How To Protect Your Business From Flood Damage

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Laying of waterproofing sheathing and insulation during the renovation of a roof Worker laying of waterproof sheating on roof

Here Are Some Steps To Protect Your Commercial Property

When most people think of flood damage, they are probably picturing storm damage from a hurricane or an overflowing river. However, flooding can occur almost anywhere and cause significant destruction to your property. Even if your business in Portland, ME, is not located in a high-risk flood zone, it could be wise to take steps to protect your commercial property.

Assess Your Risk

Assessing the perils unique to your business can be a good place to start. Answering these questions will help you pinpoint hazards you need to address:

  • Is your business located in a high flood-risk area, such as a flood plain or a location that frequently experiences storm damage?
  • Which parts of your valuable property are most endangered?
  • Do your buildings have any structural vulnerabilities?

Prepare Your Basement

Basements of commercial properties are particularly vulnerable to flood damage due to the risk of water seeping in from the surrounding saturated ground. If you are storing anything of value in the basement, you may want to consider moving it to an area less prone to flooding, such as a higher floor. Other steps you can take to safeguard your basement include sealing up any leaks in the floor or walls, regrading your landscape to direct water away from your building, and installing a sump pump and drainage system.

Prepare the Rest of Your Property

Once you’ve got the basement squared away, turn your attention to the rest of your property. You may be able to reduce your potential for damage by inspecting and cleaning your gutters, sealing up any leaks, installing moisture detection systems, and using flood-resistant materials in any new construction or repair work. Addressing any standing water promptly after flooding can also help reduce future problems. A professional storm cleanup service may be helpful to evaluate the situation.
Flood damage can be a costly interruption to your business functions. By taking steps to protect your building and promptly address your flood cleanup needs, you may be able to significantly reduce the impact on your operations.

The 2 Most Important Things You Should Know About Water Damage

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Two air movers placed on carpet drying up affected area after water damage Water damage in a Casco Bay Islands, ME home

Two Things You Should Know About Water Damage

Virtually no expects to spend the weekend dealing with the fallout from a pipe burst, but that doesn't stop water lines from breaking and homes from flooding. When it comes to unexpected water in Casco Bay Islands,ME, knowledge is power. Here are two things you should know about water damage.

1. It Might Go Deeper Than You Think

When water surges in your home, it's imperative to clean up the water and begin drying the area as quickly as possible. Be aware, however, that water may have penetrated your home's porous surfaces more deeply than is visually apparent.
When water creeps under baseboards, into carpeting, and up drywall, it needs to be handled by a professional water damage restoration company. It will have the drying and cleaning equipment necessary to remove moisture completely and repair or replace damaged items after a pipe burst or storm surge. If left untreated, these concealed yet damp areas can lead to mold and other potentially hazardous conditions in your home.

2. It May Not Be Covered by Your Insurance Policy

Not all water damage is created equal in the eyes of most insurance companies. If the water damage was due to conditions beyond your control, such as a storm or flood, it'll likely be covered under your policy. If the water damage was due to a lack of intervention or carelessness on your part, however, it's unlikely that it will be covered.
In short, if your insurer feels that you could've prevented the water issue, it probably won't cover your expenses. That's just a general guideline, though; be sure to consult your insurance policy to understand its terms and conditions in full.
A pipe burst or supply line break doesn't have to spell disaster for your home. When flooding happens, enlist the help of an experienced water damage restoration company to return your home to normal quickly and safely.

The 3 Most Common Causes of Home Fires

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

house on fire and a lot of smoke in the air Home fire in North Deering, ME

Understanding The Most Common Sources of Home Fires

Items you use daily can be the most common sources of fire in your North Deering,ME, home. It may be hard to imagine that the space heater you have always loved could cause a home fire, but that is just what can happen. Understanding the most common sources of home fires can help you reduce your risk of injury and property damage.

Cooking Equipment Building codes require smoke detectors near kitchens because fires related to cooking represent nearly half of all residential fires and often result in the need for complex fire restoration services. Several kitchen scenarios can create the dangerous combination of high heat and combustible materials.

A hot stove burner can cause grease on a pan or a burner to ignite.
A hot oven can ignite grease that has splashed or dripped onto the oven interior.
Food in close proximity to a glowing broiler coil is susceptible to combustion.
Small appliances, such as toasters and griddles, can ignite crumbs or grease.
A hot barbecue grill can ignite a nearby item, such as a landscape plant or wooden fence.

Frequently cleaning your cooking equipment and appliances, and observing all cooking activities will significantly minimize the likelihood of a cooking-related home fire.

Heating Systems

Space heaters can overheat, igniting various internal components and nearby items such as drapes, upholstery or carpets. Following the instructions on the appliance carefully and making sure the heater is never unattended can reduce your fire risk from these sources.

Human Carelessness

Human error contributes to each category of common fire causes, but certain behaviors are known to raise fire risk dramatically. Unattended lit cigarettes cause more residential fire fatalities than any other source; consequently, smoking in the bedroom is strongly discouraged. Unattended burning candles pose a similar risk.

Much of fire safety is common sense. The primary goal is to keep fuel sources, such as grease or textiles, separated from flame or high heat. Equally important is being present to observe anything that is burning or has an active heating element. These precautions are simple and may save you from experiencing a home fire and a disruptive fire cleaning and restoration process.

How To Protect Your Plants From Mildew

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Plant mildew is easier to prevent than it is to remove

How To Protect Your Plants From Mildew

The labels on many household cleaners claim that they can be used for mildew cleanup. Most of these cleaners, however, are for household surfaces and address mold growth that may be better handled by mold remediation specialists. Mildew, on the other hand, is a specific fungus that grows on vegetation. When the humidity is high in Munjoy Hill,ME, you may find plant mildew on many of your shrubs or the leaves of your potted flowers. To protect your greenery, there are a few steps you can take.

Mildew Removal

Once you have a problem with mildew, it can be a challenge to get rid of it. There are several factors that can contribute to mildew growth on a plant:

  • Proximity to other infected plants
  • Plant weakness due to other maladies
  • Overcrowding in pots
  • Excessive dampness

You may be able to salvage a plant that is affected by mildew. Start by moving it outdoors so that it can be in more direct sunlight, as this will reduce the moisture, making mildew less likely to grow. You can wash the plant with plain water to remove large patches of mildew, but be sure to dry the leaves as well. You may be able to save the whole plant by pruning the portions with the heaviest plant mildew.

Mildew Prevention

The best solution to mildew growth is to keep it from happening in the first place. Make sure your plants stay healthy, as a healthy plant is less likely to develop a fungus problem. It is a good idea to use a mildew-resistant soil. Avoid watering plants from the top down; instead, apply water to the soil itself to keep the leaves dry. Try to plant it in an area that gets the most amount of sun it can handle, as sunlight is a natural mildew deterrent.
Your plants are vulnerable to their environment, so it's important to make sure that environment is resistant to mildew. Plant mildew is easier to prevent than it is to remove.

What To Do If a Toilet Overflows on the Top Floor

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A toilet with sewage water Overflowing water in North Deering, ME

Handling an overflowing toilet is a frustrating situation enough on its own, but the issue can become even more complicated when dealing with a multi-floor building. If the bathroom is located on one of the higher floors, sewer damage can make its way into the ceiling of the lower floor and start to leak. Even if you can’t tell by inspecting the area yourself, a flooded toilet in your business in North Deering,ME, can cause substantial problems that require specials steps to remedy.

Always Start by Getting Help

Since it can be difficult to determine the extent of the problem without the proper equipment on hand, it always best to get help from a water restoration company to assess the situation and take the appropriate next steps. It is very important to leave the area and immediately call a sewage company if there is any raw sewage in the water to avoid coming in contact with harmful bacteria.

The Water Damage Cleanup Process

A flooded toilet on the top floor can lead to several types of sewer damage including:

  • Damage to drywall and flooring
  • Soaked insulation or subfloor
  • Exposure to electrical wiring
  • Water damage to cabinets
  • Staining, leaking, and cracking of the ceiling below
  • Mold growth

If no sewage is present, you should immediately stop the source of the overflow by turning off the water supply valve and mop up as much water as possible. After the water restoration company arrives and inspects the area, they will start by using pumps, industrial vacuums, and other drying methods to remove all water from walls, floors, and ceilings. Once all wet materials are removed and the area is dried, the area will be sanitized and disinfected as necessary. Following this step, restoration can begin which may include installing new walls and floors, repairing the subfloor, and painting walls.
Sewer damage caused by an overflowing toilet might cause more damage than you’d imagine. However, a water restoration company can tackle situations that may seem beyond repair.

Determining Your Home’s Risk Level During a Flood

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

A house surrounded by flooded water Flood zone in West Falmouth, ME

When a major storm hits your neighborhood, the results can be devastating. For those living in a flood zone in West Falmouth,ME, the risk of serious or total loss of your home and possessions is significantly higher. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has mapped out these areas, since your home’s location will help determine whether you need flood insurance and how much assistance FEMA will provide.

Understanding Flood Risk Levels

FEMA has built an ever-evolving map, called the Flood Insurance Rate Map, that allows homeowners to easily see whether they live in a flood zone. There are three main designations in which your home can fall:

  1. Special Flood Hazard Area: Homes in this area have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any given year, often referred to as the 100-year flood
  2. Moderate flood hazard area: Often more inland, homes in this area have a 0.2 percent chance of flooding, known as the 500-year flood
  3. Minimal flood hazard: Those homes located in higher elevations are considered unlikely, though not impossible, to fall victim to floods with a probability higher than 0.2 percent

Note that the 100-year and 500-year flood designations do not indicate that these types of storms are expected to only happen once every 100 or 500 years. While unlikely, they can happen multiple times a year, but the designation comes from the probability that flooding will occur in any given year, so a 1-in-a-100 and a 0.2-in-a-500 chance, respectively.

Where To Determine Your Risk Level

The FIRM mentioned above can be found on the FEMA website. Here you will be able to input your address and easily see the flood zone in which your home is located. This site also has valuable information, including insight on obtaining flood insurance, which you will need when you begin the flood cleanup and restoration process.
Knowing the risks associated with your home’s location will allow you to have a plan of action ready in the event of a major flood, which will help you get your home, and your life, back to normal more quickly.

A Professional Response to Smoke and Fire Damage

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

employee on lift cleaning ceiling Cleanup process in a Windham, ME commercial building

Fire has a tremendous capacity for destruction and is one of the most widespread and common risks when it comes to commercial properties. As a result, most businesses have insurance coverage that includes protection against fire losses. When flames do break out, business owners contact professionals to respond to the fire and smoke damage. With the right equipment, these professionals help business owners get their properties back into working condition.

The Scope of Destruction

Experienced fire and smoke cleaning technicians understand that fire damage goes beyond the direct destruction. They take quick action to respond to several fire-related issues:

  • Stains left behind by soot resting on porous surfaces
  • Mold and mildew growth after the use of water to put out flames
  • Corrosion on metal surfaces exposed to water and oxygen
  • Poor air quality as smoke and mold particles hang in the air

The longer commercial properties sit after smoke damage occurs, the more likely it is that the extent and scope of the destruction will increase. The best response to fire and soot damage is to act as soon as possible.

Assessment of the Damage

As professionals arrive at a commercial property to respond, they'll assess the amount of fire, smoke, and water damage. As they begin their inspections, technicians also focused on safety. There are several safety risks inherent in the destruction left after a fire. Experienced fire damage cleanup and remediation professionals are certified and licensed to enter the property. In addition to training and authorization, they have the proper protective equipment to enter weakened structures.

The Cleanup Process

With safety procedures underway, cleanup and restoration professionals are ready to secure entry points and property breaches (such as broken windows and holes in the roof), establish security against further destruction, and begin removing debris. Technicians also remove as much equipment and inventory as possible. At this point, water removal and deep cleaning can begin.

The end goal of the cleanup work is to remove all evidence that a fire took place. When Windham, ME, properties are affected by the fire and smoke damage, the work of professionals begins with safety and results in pristine buildings.