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3 Steps for Safely Handling a Flooded Basement

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Steps for Safely Handling a Flooded Basement If you have flood damage call SERVPRO

How To Handle Flooded Basement

Whether your flooded basement is the result of torrential rain, a broken dam, or melting winter snows, the result is almost always the same: unwanted standing water. Here are three steps for safely handing your basement flood.

1. Switch Off the Utilities

Turning off the electricity or gas to your home may be a problem if your home’s breaker box or meter is in the basement. If so, contact the utility companies and request they turn the power and gas off. Turning the utilities off before you begin any cleanup effort can help ensure your work environment is a safe one.

2. Locate a Professional Team

Many people panic when they find their Portland, ME, basement floor flooded with water. The loss of stored items, children’s bedrooms, or an extra living area with all the sundry additional items those rooms entails, can be upsetting. Calling in a professional water mitigation team can help you make sure your damaged basement has insurance coverage because the professionals often document everything they do. They can also help save as many of the basement floodwater-damaged items as possible because the knowledgeable team can help you tell the difference between what can be saved and what should probably be thrown away.

3. Remove the Standing Water

The first thing the water damage team will typically do is remove the standing water and investigate for signs of structural damage. Water removal is important because standing water can:

  • Encourage mold growth
  • Cause foundation damage
  • Ruin walls and insulation

Once the water is gone, the team can begin cleaning and disinfecting the area, and, if needed, technicians can generally begin rebuilding the damaged areas.

A flood in your home can be devastating. Don’t let it paralyze you; instead, take the above three steps to help minimize the damage of any basement flood. You can fight back when you have a professional water mitigation team on your side.

Facts About Black Mold

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Facts About Black Mold If you smell something musty, you may have black mold in your home.

A strong, musty odor is a tell-tale sign that you need to hire a certified mold specialist to assess your home. One of the things a mold inspection can tell you is if your problem is black mold. There are several misconceptions about this particular strain of fungus. Clearing up this confusion can help you better understand what steps need to be taken to fix the problem.

Appearance

Contrary to popular belief, Stachybotrys is not always black. Its appearance can take on several different attributes:

  • Black, gray or green tint
  • Slimy texture
  • Dampened concentration

Because this type of mold tends to be denser than others, it is less likely to spread quickly in the air. It can grow exponentially once it has attached to a surface and has sufficient moisture and organic matter to feed it, though.

Location

Mold often grows in places that you can't see. When a water leak dampens the area inside your walls or above your ceiling tiles, for example, the mold growth you smell may be hidden behind them. Stachybotrys is particularly prone to these areas because they are high in cellulose fibers and low in nitrogen. A professional mold inspection can help locate the mold even if you can't see it.

Remediation

If you have house mold in Portland, ME, you probably need to contact experts to address the problem. Trying to handle the issue yourself can make it worse. If you try to take out affected drywall without first closing off the surrounding area, you may end up spreading the mold into your air ducts or other areas of the home. Certified specialists are trained to go through every necessary step of the remediation process to resolve the problem efficiently.

If you smell something musty, you may have black mold in your home. A mold inspection can help pinpoint the problem, and professional remediation can solve it.

5 Ways SERVPRO Serves You Best

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 5 Ways SERVPRO Serves You Best SERVPRO of Portland is here to help!

SERVPRO Serves You Best

Assessing a claim from a client can be a complicated process. You don’t need the vendor that performs the restoration to throw a proverbial wrench in the mix. If you are an insurance adjuster in Portland, ME , SERVPRO is provides up-to-date information and keeps costs as low as possible.

1. Nationwide Support

While your client may just be working with the local franchise, you have the backing of the company’s national resources. These include:

  • Call center
  • Standardized quality requirements
  • Exemplary record-keeping

2. Commitment to Restoration

While many remediation companies may default to tearing out and replacing materials, most insurance companies want to work with certified restoration experts who seek first to restore the existing structure and materials. Each item is tested to see if it’s salvageable to cut down on costs.

3. Accessible Records

As the insurance adjuster assigned to a case, you have access to the Claims Information Center. This is a record of all the documentation associated with your client’s claim, including photos of the damage, response time a detailed estimate of the final cost of repairs.

4. Immaculate Itemization

In addition to online records, you receive an itemized list of everything that needs to be replaced. This information is crucial to assessing the insurance claim made by your client.

5. Professional Service

SERVPRO technicians complete an IICRC-certified training program. As methods improve in the industry, they participate in ongoing education to ensure that they provide the highest standard of mitigation services. You can depend on your local franchise to respond quickly to your client’s call and start repairs in a timely manner. This minimizes the damage and, ultimately, your final cost.

An insurance adjuster is often the first person to assess the damage to a client’s home. The professional knowledge and experience of qualified restoration specialists can prove to be invaluable resources during this process. When it comes to assessing your client’s claim, SERVPRO is Here to Help.

Help Your Business Survive a Storm

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Help Your Business Survive a Storm Be prepared to prevent Water Damage and help your Business survive a Storm.

Severe storms are a part of life in Portland, Maine and it only takes a brief period of sustained rainfall to cause significant flooding in low-lying areas. As a business owner, you know the financial impact of lost days due to closures, which is why it’s important to do everything in your power to stop flood water from disrupting your operations. Here are a few strategies to help minimize complications from a flooded building.

Help Your Business Survive a Storm

Prepare Your Building

The best way to cut down on water damage is to keep it from happening, and there are some steps you can take to prevent incursion from unwanted moisture. You can start long before any storms enter the forecast by building levees, flooding control walls and berms. Once the skies start darkening, you can spring into action to minimize the impact of flood water: 

  • Clean gutters and storm drains from debris that could cause backups.
  • Build sandbag barriers in front of entry points such as front and garage doors.
  • Use sandbags around floor drains to keep sewer backflow at bay.
  • Apply waterproofing products on ground floors and basements.

Mind Your Electronics

Bad things happen when moisture comes into contact with electrical equipment, which is why any storm preparation plan should ensure survivability of your hardware and data. Have an electrician look at circuit breakers and relocate them higher if necessary. You should also arrange storage of important information on cloud-based servers so you can access your files remotely if your building gets shut down by flood water.

Start Restoration Immediately

While preparation can help, there’s little you can do if a catastrophic event overwhelms your defenses with flood water. In instances like this, your actions in the aftermath could have a significant impact on how long you’re out of commission. As soon as the waters recede, your first call should be to a trusted restoration company so you can start the recovery process. The longer you wait, the bigger the chance of structural damage, mold, mildew and other long-term complications.

How to Control Mold Damage by Mitigating Growth

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How to Control Mold Damage by Mitigating Growth Moisture Meter used by professionals. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

Before trying remediation, mitigate and assess mold damage, one must first know what mold is. Mold and mildew are both fungi. Fungi are neither animals nor plants. The fungus kingdom contains organisms such as edible mushrooms and penicillin. We interact with these fungi in our daily activities. Mold growth can occur in homes, classrooms and by extent even commercial mold damage in buildings.

Requirements for Mold Growth.

For mold growth to occur, there must be four conditions;

  • Appropriate temperatures.
  • Mold spores.
  • Mold food.
  • Considerable moisture.

Mold Spores 

They are everywhere and cannot be easily noticed unless by their smelly odor which can be eliminated by deodorization. Removing them from the environment might be hard and impossible.

Appropriate Temperatures

Mold and mildew growth prefers temperatures that human beings like. Temperatures like the ones in the tropics will favor the growth of a lot of fungus. Mold in homes them becomes difficult to control although mold damage can be controlled. The temperatures also support dry rot thriving. If the molds are left to grow then at times mold removal becomes a challenge.

Mold Food

Organic substances provide nutrients to support mold growth. Surprisingly, even the oil that is left when someone touches unsuitable surface such as behind dirty walls will provide nutrients for fungus growth. Most restoration company representatives say that it is possible to eliminate these nutrients, but it is an impossible task.

Considerable Moisture

Many molds (and mildew) need the availability of essential moisture for growth. Every mold species require different water activity. In many cases, serious mold and mildew breaks out in homes, whereas commercial mold damage can occur where porous materials have been kept wet by liquid water. If left for some time the fungus will grow and cause both home and commercial damage. In this case, only a restoration company can help with the removal process.

Determining if a Home has Mold

Most of the molds in homes have the same characteristic of a smelly odor. Some households love deodorization of the smelly odor instead of removing the dry rot in homes and mitigating the problem. Many individuals know mold growth on bread and other food stuffs making it familiar. Most active mold colonies are greenish to black. Others are pinkish especially the mold growth behind walls. When the pinkish color appears, it is a sign of a serious, detrimental moisture growth behind the walls. They can be removed by majorly air conditioning or through de-humidification. At times the mold damage might be intense that it may require professionals. In such a situation restoration companies are contacted to deal with the mold remediation, mitigation and complete removal of the dry rot and mold in homes.

There are many practices that can be followed to facilitate mitigation of the mold issues and reduce mold damage. The obvious one is to reduce moisture which supports for example mold growth behind walls. Mold removal from the affected areas is not effective according to the necessary remediation procedures.

Dry rot can be easily identified since it is a wood decay which is mainly caused by fungi that digest essential parts of the wood that give it strength. Dry rot can be found in cured wood in ships. A restoration company representative can offer guidance on how to deal with this menace.

So it is essential for each household to know a mold before deciding to remediate it. Reading the above guides on the characteristics of a mold will equip one with they required skills of mold removal and mitigation. This is by also considering the commercial mold damage and the areas that are most affected. This is because some restoration companies are costly in things that an individual can carry out mitigation by him/herself. The spread of the black mold should be prevented, especially where there is some mold growth behind a wall. Instead of the only deodorization, an individual should also involve mold removal for complete remediation. This is because deodorization only kills the smelly odor but does not remediate them. Frequent check up walls is important to ensure there is no mold growth behind the walls.

What You Need To Know About Storm Damage and Flooding

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What You Need To Know About Storm Damage and Flooding Storm damage in Westbrook, ME.

When it comes to storm or flood damage in Westbrook, ME, knowing how these things are different may help you when it comes time to conduct repairs on your business property. Many insurance companies categorize these as two separate types of damage under your policy. Here's what you may want to know.

What Is Storm Caused Damage?

Storm damage is often considered to be any damage caused by nature. Damages in this category may include

  •  Wind damage
  •  Hail damage
  •  Flooding caused by rain
  •  Broken gutters
  •  Fallen tree limbs

What Is Flood Caused Damage?

Flood damage is often considered to be a separate category from damage caused by a storm. Floodwater can be caused by a number of factors not related to nature. These include

  •  Broken or leaking pipes
  • Water from fire suppression effort
  • Water from irrigation systems
  • Sewer overflow

What Are Clean Up Methods?

Understanding the type of damage caused to your place of business can help when it comes time to conduct repairs. Different types of damage can require different repair methods. In many cases hiring a damage restoration service can help. These professionals have the tools and knowledge needed to deal with a variety of damages, including flooding, storm-related property destruction, and any potential mold problems that could result.

If your business has suffered damages, it's best to begin the repair process quickly in order to prevent further issues. Your insurance company might ask you to board over the damaged area. It might also be necessary to thoroughly dry the zone and inspect for possible mold growth or structural damages. In many cases, your policy may include coverage for repair costs.

When it comes to flood damage you want to protect your business. Understanding the difference between flood and storm damage can help when it comes time to talk to your insurance company and begin the repair process. If you have any questions, a professional may be able to help.

3 Do’s and Do Nots to Reduce Space Heater Fires

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Do’s and Do Nots to Reduce Space Heater Fires Space heaters can result in burn injuries

Winter months mean homeowners looking to turn up the heat – be it central or other. That “other” often includes space heaters, a modern convenience that can also be dangerous. Just one burned space heater could be all that stands between your Portland, ME, home and disaster. Avoid catastrophe – read this list of things to do and not do for space heater use.

What Causes Space Heater Fires

Half of home heating fires happen between December and February when people seek alternative ways to keep utility costs low. Space heaters can result in:

  • small fires
  • burn injuries
  • smoke cleanup/damage

The things to do and not do below should keep your building warm and your family and belongings safe. 

Do Look for A Safety Certification
Before you buy your space heater, make sure it has a safety certification from a well-known source like Underwriters Laboratories. Such models typically feature auto shut off features that can prevent overheating and minimize chances of a burned space heater.

Do NOT Put a Space Heater Too Close to Things
Keep about three feet of space around a space heater, with flammable materials removed from nearby. Experts say that fires caused by putting flammable materials too close to space heaters is the second leading cause of house fires annually.

Do NOT Use an Extension Cord
Low amp extension cords are not prepared to handle the amount of power drawn from a space heater, making them a major fire hazard. The one exception is if you know the specific amps for which the extension cord and the space heater are rated. If you don’t, you’re risking a burned space heater.

Space heaters offer a convenient alternative when central heating is unavailable or simply inappropriate. But you must use them wisely. Follow these tips and if the unthinkable does happen, reach out to your local fire restoration expert to make things like new.

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

CPR

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.