How To Keep Dryer Lint Under Control
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.
3 Tips for Getting Rid of Flood Odors
An air scrubber help with odors in sewage jobs
It isn't uncommon for musty odors to remain after flood water has affected your building. Unfortunately, those smells generally signal mold growth and won't just go away with time. The good news is that there are steps you can take to get rid of those smells and protect the structure of your building in the process.
1. Completely Dry the Area
There are several methods of drying out rooms in your building, such as opening windows to provide plenty of ventilation, running dehumidifiers to pull moisture from the air and the carpets, and installing floor fans to increase circulation at carpet level. Don't forget to pay attention to corners of the room and other out-of-the-way areas. These spots are notorious for remaining moist and harboring colonies of mold.
2. Treat Carpeting and Other Materials With Disinfectants
Some of the chemicals used to treat mold and other odors associated with flooding are necessarily potent. Water restoration professionals have these disinfectants and the training necessary to use them safely, so consider scheduling an appointment with those professionals early on in the process. If only a small area has been affected, you may consider using a vinegar/water mixture to spot-treat. Just be careful not to use too much of the mixture or you'll trigger increased mold growth.
3. Treat Odors Topically
As you work on the underlying causes of odors, you may want to take steps such as using air fresheners or natural deodorizers, such as baking soda sprinkled on affected areas and bowls of vinegar placed around the room. Small bowls of cat litter will also absorb much of the odor in the space. As soon as your vinegar, baking soda, and cat litter have absorbed trouble odors, throw it out and replace it with a fresh bowl.
If you've experienced sewage loss during flooding, be aware of the dangers of coming into contact with raw sewage and the chemicals involved in treating sewage. It's best to contact trained professionals in Falmouth,ME, to resolve mold growth in those situations.
How To Fix a Noisy Water Heater
If you have a noisy water heater at your Portland,ME home you should address it
A noisy water heater may be a concern for many homeowners in Portland, ME. The noise itself is not detrimental, but the underlying cause of the disruption can damage your heater over time. Fortunately, the solution is often simple and straightforward.
Understand the Culprit
Over time, minerals from calcium and lime can accumulate inside the water tank, creating a sediment buildup. Sometimes water becomes trapped at the bottom of the tank under this sediment layer. As the water heats up, it bubbles. When the water breaches the sediment layer, you hear a loud noise.
If the noise does not bother you, you may decide to ignore the situation. However, sediment buildup can cause your water heater to overheat, which can compromise the heater’s structural integrity. Eventually, this problem can result in cracks and potentially damaging leaks.
Address the Problem
To help prevent leaks, potential water damage and the need for extensive cleanup efforts, you should promptly address a noisy heater by completing a water heater flush. To accomplish this task, complete the following actions:
- Turn off the both the heater’s power supply and the cold-water supply valve
- Connect a garden or yard hose to the drain valve
- Open the valve and the pressure relief valve of the tank
- Allow the water to drain completely from the tank
To flush out additional sediment, you may want to open and close the cold-water supply valve several times. Once you complete this step, you should see clear water draining from the end of the hose.
Complete Routine Maintenance
Sediment buildup is a common problem. To minimize noise and the risk of overheating, it’s a good idea to routinely flush your heater according to manufacturer recommendations. This may prolong the life of your water heating system, helping you save money in the long run.
A Manageable Problem
Over time, extensive sediment buildup can cause your water heater to overheat. This, in turn, may result in catastrophic tank cracking and extensive water damage. For this reason, every homeowner should address a noisy heater as soon as possible.
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?
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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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