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3 Preventative Measures For Maintaining a Mold-Free Bathroom

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Preventative Measures For Maintaining a Mold-Free Bathroom Mold damage on bathroom

Mold Prevention In Your Bathroom

As a homeowner or renter in Portland, ME you understand just how irritating it can be to consistently see mold growth popping up in your bathroom. After all, you likely take precautions to secure any leaks that may cause water damage and you keep a clean, tidy house, in general. So, what’s the culprit behind the growing mold? There can be more than one. Here are three useful measures you can take to eradicate any growth for good and ensure proper mold prevention in your bathroom for years to come.

1. Install a proper ventilation system. When it comes to keeping moisture at bay, a high-powered ventilation system is key. Exhaust fans should not only be on during a shower, but be kept on for close to 20-30 minutes after a shower as a method of keeping constant air flow throughout the space. This can help enforce a moisture-free environment in areas where high humidity are common occurrences.

2. Keep a close eye on tile grout and caulking. Grout between your shower tiles, especially if it’s cracked in places, makes for great breeding ground for mold. Therefore, it pays to clean your grout on a weekly basis to hinder any mold growth. Furthermore, replace it every 6 months and seal it well to effectively ward off its potential spread. If you’ve noticed water damage and mold as a result of cracked grout or degraded caulking, contacting a highly-qualified mold remediation team could be crucial for eliminating any greater problem areas.

3. Focus on your shower curtains, towels, rugs and any cloth decor. Fibrous towels and rugs come into direct contact with water on a daily basis and should therefore be washed consistently. Shower curtains made of cloth should be washed in hot water or replaced by plastic varieties that can easily be wiped down and cleaned.

Once these areas of your bathroom have been addressed and any water damage has been restored, maintaining a mold-free environment in your Portland, ME bathroom should be an easy task.

When and When Not To Handle Toilet Overflow On Your Own

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage When and When Not To Handle Toilet Overflow On Your Own Understanding the different types of water.

3 Types Of Water

If you're dealing with a flooded toilet, you should almost always call in for backup. This is because toilet water may or may not contain viruses, bacteria and other harmful contaminants. Your local Portland, ME , sewage company has the tools and equipment necessary to deal with sewer damage in a safe and efficient manner. That said, if you really want to know if it's necessary to call in the professionals, you need to understand the different types of water you may be dealing with and where each type comes from. There are three types of water:

  •  Clean water
  •  Gray water
  • Black water

Clean water is the only type of water you should attempt to clean up on your own.

Is It Clean Water?

You will know you are dealing with clean water, or category one water, if the leak is coming from a supply line or a leaking faucet. However, clean water can quickly become contaminated if allowed to sit for a certain period of time in certain conditions. It can also become dirty if it comes into contact with contaminants, such as soaps, detergents or chemicals. Clean water is safe to handle on your own, but only if you catch it before it becomes contaminated.

Is It Gray Water?

Gray water typically stems from a toilet overflow of water that has urine but no feces, a dishwasher mishap or a washing machine overflow. Though you may feel comfortable with the contaminants in gray water, health professionals warn against cleaning this type of sewer damage on your own. Many household cleaners and products can cause illness or discomfort when mixed with water. Gray water can also become black water if left untreated.

Is It Black Water?

Black water is the worst kind of water and does contain harmful contaminants. If you attempt to clean up black water on your own and without the proper tools and protective equipment, you put yourself at risk of developing severe illness. Depending on the contaminants, you may put yourself at risk of death. Black water may be water that contains feces, harsh chemicals or microbial growth.

If you don't know the source of your sewer damage, contact a professional water cleanup crew. If you know the water is gray or black water, contact a professional.

3 Workplace First Aid Basics You Should Know

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Knowing what to do in the wake of a health emergency can literally mean the difference between life and death. That’s especially true in the workplace, where things like fires can lead to devastating injuries and potential liability. Implementing a workplace first aid plan is crucial. Learn the ins and outs of basic workplace first aid following Portland, ME, fire damage and what you can do to keep your staff safe.

What Is First Aid?

First aid involves providing help to a person before medical personnel can arrive to take over. Types of burn first aid include:

  • Administering CPR
  • Applying pressure to a wound
  • Putting bandages on a wound


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is among the most important forms of first aid. During a fire, smoke and toxic materials can be inhaled, causing breathing difficulty that can get serious fast.
Businesses should invest in basic CPR training well before a fire to learn how to respond. In general, CPR involves alternating between pushing on one’s chest 30 times and giving rescue breaths. Even without training this can be helpful until help arrives.

Applying Pressure

Bleeding wounds are often an unexpected side effect of fire damage, be it from efforts to put out the blaze or from escaping. First plug the wound to promote clotting. This can be done by applying clean gauze and holding it steady. Next elevate the wound above the heart to slow down blood flow.

Applying Bandages

Burns in particular are vulnerable to infection and need to be cleaned and covered fast. Wash out burned areas with cool water and use clean gauze to cover them. Never break any blisters or apply butter or folk remedies to a fresh burn as it can cause more harm than good.

Fire damage can have impacts well beyond property. When facing fire injuries, call 911 first, then take the above steps to minimize both damage and discomfort.

Can I Recover Wet Documents?

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

A flood in Westbrook,ME, can be a serious problem for any business that has to deal with sensitive information. If your files become contaminated with flood water due to a weather event or damage to the structure, there are a few steps you can take to restore and preserve your wet documents.

1. Collect and Categorize

Preserve the original organization system as much as possible. For example, files in a file cabinet should be removed from any standing water, but kept in their original order and with any accompanying folders or dividers. This will aide professional restoration services in the document drying process. If possible, create a new inventory of all known documents as well as their current state of water damage.

2. Safety

Mold and mildew can begin to set in relatively quickly from the time of the initial flooding event. Note that any wet documents made of paper will be susceptible to retaining these disease agents, including blueprints, books and tax records. Any photographic materials or medical scans may also need attention. Separate the affected documents in a temporary storage area and ensure thorough air circulation. Prevent employees from adding or removing any documents until they have been completely restored.

3. Further Processing

To guarantee optimal safety, a professional service may decide to use a vacuum freeze-drying process. This will help remove water quickly with the fewest possible side effects, such as curling or bleeding. Full sanitation may also require treatment with gamma rays to kill harmful viruses and bacteria. Afterward, prudent business owners may opt to back up the affected documents through digital scans, guaranteeing that any future flood event doesn’t result in a loss of critical information.

No business should be disrupted by a flood for longer than is absolutely necessary. Prevent wet documents from disrupting your schedule by having a plan for recovery in the event of a storm or other catastrophe.

Common Examples of Secondary Water Damage

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Common Examples of Secondary Water Damage Black mold growth in Portland, ME

Secondary Damage: Black Mold Growth

If your home in Portland, ME becomes flooded with water, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of restoring your home. While primary damage is the direct result of water damage, if water is left to sit, secondary damage, such as black mold growth, can occur.

1. Loss of Personal Items

Though personal items may not be immediately damaged by water, water that is not removed immediately and high humidity can cause some belongings in your home to deteriorate. Items such as chairs, desks and other pieces of furniture may be affected by standing water and high levels of humidity. Belongings made of wood are particularly susceptible to damage as they may rot quickly.

2. Mold Growth

The potential for mold growth is a major concern that is often overlooked when a home is affected by water damage. Since mold most often grows close to water, damp areas with high humidity levels as a result of flooding create the perfect environment for mold. Mold can grow in a matter of days, and black mold, a type of mold that can be particularly hazardous, can cause extensive damage to a home and can create health risks.

3. Structural Damage

Though a pipe leak and minor flooding may seem to be a simple problem to fix, if water is not quickly removed, structural damage can occur. Floors and ceilings can become damaged due to consistent leaks, and in some cases, replacements are necessary. When a flood affects a larger area of your home, everything from drywall to the home’s foundation can become badly damaged if water remains in the area.

Although black mold and other types of secondary damage can cause major damage to your home, quickly removing water from affected areas can help to prevent such damage from occurring. As you begin the cleanup process, you might find it helpful to work with water damage restoration experts.

Renters Insurance: The Unsung Apartment Dweller’s Hero

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Renters Insurance: The Unsung Apartment Dweller’s Hero Fire damage in a Falmouth, ME apartment

Renters Insurance

Have you ever accidentally left the oven on and worried about whether you might inadvertently start a fire in your apartment? Have you ever wondered if your renters insurance would cover the ensuing damage? As a great relief to many apartment dwellers, insurance does cover you in most cases, offering significant protection in four ways.

1. Personal Property

Fire damage is typically covered under the peril portion of your policy, and the great thing is that negligence likely does not affect personal property coverage. Most plans include your property’s replacement cost rather than actual value, meaning you can afford a new sofa. However, check to make sure that your policy isn’t only covering actual cash value because this price takes into account depreciation, which can significantly lower replacement coverage.

2. Liability

Renters insurance also offers protection against liability. This means that you cannot personally be sued for damages caused by a fire, even if your negligence caused it. Your representative can respond to injury and loss claims and act on your behalf.

3. Medical Expenses

Your policy will most likely have a section for medical payments to others, which is no-fault insurance meant to handle minor injuries. This portion of your coverage is meant to expedite payments to others without declaring fault or blame.

4. Loss of Use

Unlike liability and medical payments, loss of use is for you personally. This coverage ensures that you continue to have a roof over your head while a fire restoration company in the Falmouth, ME, area fixes your apartment. Your policy will likely cover hotel stays for a certain period, depending on the extent of the damage.

Renters insurance is a valuable tool, and it can ease your worries when it comes to forgetfulness and personal liability. Be sure to either purchase a policy or check your coverage, so you know how you are protected in an emergency.

How To Mitigate and Restore After a Fire

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How To Mitigate and Restore After a Fire Fire damage in a Gorham,ME building

Your goal after a fire occurs at your commercial property in Gorham,ME, is to completely remedy the fire damage so that you can continue business as usual. There are many steps to doing so, and these steps involve both mitigation of the loss and restoration of the property. While many companies only offer one of these services, it may be in your best interest to find a fire remediation company with experts who are certified to perform both repair and reconstruction.

For Streamlined Service

Quite a bit goes into fire mitigation and restoration. There are several steps that technicians follow:

  • Assessment of the damage
  • Securing of the property
  • Water extraction
  • Smoke and soot cleanup
  • Sanitization
  • Restoration

Having one company to complete the whole cleanup process after fire damage streamlines the effort. While different members of the team may perform different services, they are more likely to have good communication strategies in place so that with each step you get a technician who knows exactly what transpired previously.

For Insurance Purposes

Another benefit of having one company perform both mitigation and restoration is that you can report the whole projected cost on your insurance claim earlier in the process. When your insurance adjuster arrives to survey the damage, he or she may want to know what the remediation team suggests. If one company handles the whole process, you can let the adjuster know what the recommendations are from start to finish. Getting this information before repairs even begin may help expedite the payment on your claim, getting you the money you need to cover the cost more quickly.

Fire damage can be a daunting problem, but with one team handling all the work, you can release some of that burden. This allows the process to run more smoothly and makes it easier on everyone involved in getting your building back to the way it was before.

What is the Black Mold Remediation Process?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What is the Black Mold Remediation Process? Mold removal experts in Windham,ME

Removing and Cleaning Mold

When black mold affects your business in Windham,ME, you may not know what the remediation process will look like or how long the process will take. There are several important steps that should be taken when it comes to removing and cleaning mold.

1. Identifying the Cause

When mold is found in any building, it’s often important to identify the cause of the mold growth in order to prevent any further damage from occurring. Minor issues, such as pipe leaks, can be fixed with relative ease and at lower costs. However, tree roots growing into a pipe and causing the pipe to burst might not be so easily fixed and could require structural changes to your building.

2. Assessing the Damage

Once mold has been found and the cause has been identified, the next step is to assess the damage. Mold that is contained in one location could mean a simpler mold cleanup process. However, certain types of mold, such as black mold, can be more hazardous and may require a more extensive remediation process. When the damaged has been assessed, professionals can then start on the next step of the process.

3. Removal and Sanitization

One of the final steps of in restoring a building that has been affected by mold is to make sure the building is clean, and mold is entirely removed. The air in the building must be filtered, and any belongings, items and areas affected by mold must be thoroughly sanitized after the mold is removed. Any items, such as furniture or carpet, should be removed. Though some items can be cleaned, some belongings may be unable to be effectively sanitized.

Knowing details about the mold remediation process can give you a better understanding of what will be done if your business is affected by black mold and how long it will take to restore the building. If your business has mold growth, it can be helpful to contact mold restoration professionals.

FEMA Assistance FAQ

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO FEMA Assistance FAQ Tornado damage in a Portland,ME home

When natural disasters strike, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, often provides shelter, assistance, and inspections. What can you expect if they show up at your home?

  • The representative completes an overall assessment.
  • Paperwork is filled out, detailing the extent of the damage.
  • Proof of ownership is established.
  • Adjusters from insurance companies and the agency assign dollar values to property and belongings.

How Do I Obtain Assistance?

If you believe you qualify for federal disaster assistance, you'll need to apply by contacting or calling the agency. Act quickly to be sure you don't miss established deadlines. You may qualify for one or several grants to help you recover from flooding. These include grants for expenses related to medical, dental, and funeral costs, emergency home repairs, personal property losses, and temporary housing.

Are All Losses Covered?

FEMA provides grants to help cover costs not covered by your insurance company. This doesn't mean that the entire difference between the overall costs and your insurance coverage will be available. However, a disaster loan from the agency may give you the leeway you need to get your home back into a comfortable living condition. Work with a disaster recovery company in Portland, ME, to understand the potential costs.

What Do I Need To Pay Back?

The type of aid you receive affects whether you need to repay any of the funding. If you received grants, for example, you don't need to repay them. If you received loans, however, you will be responsible for repaying the amount. You may also find some relief by applying for a loan through the Small Business Administration. These low-interest loans are often available after natural disasters.

What Are the Requirements?

There are several requirements that may affect whether you qualify. These include providing proof of your citizenship status and proof of home ownership or rental status.

FEMA aid is not meant to cover all expenses related to getting your home back to pre-disaster condition. However, enlisting the agency's help can make the recovery process far less stressful.

How To Keep Dryer Lint Under Control

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Having a dryer in your home in Westbrook,ME, is a handy convenience, but it can turn into a nuisance if excess lint causes a fire. In order to avoid a lint fire, you need to properly maintain your dryer. Regular maintenance not only includes frequent cleaning but also involves professional help when necessary.


You need to do frequent lint checks on your dryer. A dryer fire can happen easily if the lint hiding inside it ignites. You need to clean every part of the machine where lint can linger, which involves:

  • Removing lint from filter after every load
  • Cleaning vent pipe once a quarter
  • Scrubbing lint filter at least twice a year to remove buildup
  • Calling for professional cleaning if your dry times become longer

A lint fire can happen even if you remove lint from the filter because that's not the only place lint ends up. Fire remediation experts advise cleaning the whole machine to reduce the chance of fire.


Keeping the dryer itself clean is only half the process of fire safety. Regular maintenance involves ensuring that the ventilation system is unhindered and working properly. If any restrictions exist, the dryer will not be able to vent well, and lint will inevitably build up. The indoor vent should be inspected before the dryer is installed to make sure that it is not damaged. The outdoor vent should be protected from the elements and small creatures looking to make a home inside of it with a reliable covering. This covering, however, should stay open when the dryer is on so that lint can escape. By taking the entire ventilation system into account, you are less likely to experience a fire due to excess lint.

A lint fire can break out if your dryer is not cleaned or well ventilated. By being diligent about regular maintenance, you can avoid damage to your dryer and your home in general.