Recent Posts

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

6/21/2021 (Permalink)

Soot buildup on these light fixtures after a fire occured Soot buildup on these light fixtures after a fire occurred in a local business in Portland.
Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and Soot Facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Portland will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 207-772-5032

How To Prevent Mold Growth on Bread

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bread Keep your bread fresh and fuzz-free.

How To Keep Your Bread Fresh and Fuzz- Free

Have you ever purchased a fresh loaf of white bread at the grocery store, only to find green, fuzzy spots on the crust just a few days later? Mold can grow on various foods and in countless different environments. However, bread, with its nutritious ingredients and warm, spongy texture, is the most common breeding ground for the fuzzy fungi. If you are curious about mold growth on bread and how to handle it, read on to learn some helpful tips and tricks on keeping your bread fresh and fuzz-free!

Learn the Dangers
Eating moldy bread in Casco Bay Islands, ME, can cause numerous unfavorable reactions such as:

  • Illness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

While ingesting mold is typically harmless, it can potentially cause severe illness. Therefore, if you detect fungus growth on your sourdough loaf, promptly throw it in the garbage. Further, cutting the moldy sections off the affected areas won't necessarily remove all bread mold, so keep in mind this is an ineffective mold removal method.
If you accidentally consume mold-contaminated bread, do not panic. Those with healthy and uncompromised immune systems typically don't experience any dangerous symptoms.

Handle It Properly
If you discover bread or fridge mold, do not inhale it, as fungus growth can cause a host of respiratory issues. Place the moldy bread in a sealed bag and toss it in the trash away from children and pets. Thoroughly clean the surface areas contaminated by the bread mold, and ensure it did not spread to any adjacent items. If mold ever grows out of control, call a local mold remediation specialist for professional removal.

Prevent Future Growth
The best way to prevent mold growth on your fresh bread is to place just one to two servings in a cupboard for immediate eating. Freeze the remaining loaf for easy thawing later.
While grotesque and unsightly, bread mold is a common and often benign occurrence. Make sure to handle it with care, and always follow proper food storage instructions to avoid accidental ingestion.

Include These Elements in Your Building's Storm Preparedness

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

A gutter with leaves, words on the top say Unclog it Always clean your gutters!

Storm Preparedness Plan For Your Business

Exterior maintenance is an important part of your commercial building's storm preparedness plan alongside proper staff procedures and medical kits. Having the building maintained up to standards can help it withstand the power of North Deering, ME, storms and minimize damage. Before such event takes place, ensure that the building includes the following elements and practices.

Unblocked and Clear Drainage
A business building inspection should include a well-maintained drain system from the roof to below. It should consist of elements such as:

  • Drains
  • Gutters
  • Downspouts
  • Roof slopes

These elements work together to take rainwater from the building's roof to the ground. If the water accumulates on top, it can either seep through the cracks and damage your property or cause the roof to break completely, leaving the area vulnerable. You should also ensure the drain system is in great condition. Remove any blockage and fix any existing damage.

Secured or Removed Loose Accessories
As part of your exterior maintenance, you should also consider any separate items that are around the building that serve your business. Some of these objects include tables, chairs, trash cans and signs. A powerful storm can move them around and crash them against your location or other people's properties. Ensure you have enough room to take the items inside. If you have larger structures like trailers, dumpsters and portable restrooms, you can anchor them to the ground or to fixtures using rope or chains.

Shuttered or Boarded-Up Glass
Glass surfaces such as windows, skylights and glass doors are vulnerable to the impact of high winds and debris. Their destruction creates further water damage and even endangers staff. Make sure there are exterior shutters and covers ready to protect these items from the elements. If the storm is coming soon and you lack shutters, board up these surfaces to reduce the damage.
Professional storm damage restoration can always help bring your establishment back to normal. However, with proper exterior maintenance, you can mitigate the negative effects.

3 Ways To Protect Your Business From Fire Damage

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Automatic ceiling Fire Sprinkler at the Office Install a sprinkler system in your building.

Three Ways To Protect Your Business From Fire Damage

Because fire is one of the most common causes of loss for small businesses, fire preparation is very important to minimize potential financial loss and business interruption. These are three ways you can protect your business from fire damage.

1. Use Fire Extinguishers Properly
Fire extinguishers are your first line of defense against small fires. When used properly, small fires can often be put out before they can spread. Train your employees on when and how to use fire extinguishers as part of your disaster preparation plan. Inspect your equipment regularly to ensure it functions properly and is in compliance with the fire codes in Munjoy Hill, ME.

2. Install Sprinklers and Fire Suppression Systems
Depending on your local regulations, you may be required to install a sprinkler system in your building. Even if you are not, sprinklers are a valuable fire preparation tool for putting out small fires before they can become large fires. While sprinklers can cause water damage that may require the services of a water remediation company, because they deploy separately, only the part of the building where the fire is located should be affected. Additionally, if there is any cooking equipment in your building, it is a good idea to install fire suppression systems to douse any cooking fires that might occur.

3. Clean and Declutter
Cooking or manufacturing equipment that is not cleaned properly can become a fire hazard. Clutter can block fire exits or catch fire if it is too close to heat sources. Consider using an outside professional cleaning service to ensure your property is cleaned properly. It is also a good idea to periodically inspect the property for safety hazards.
Fires are one of the most common risks business owners face. However, proper fire preparation can reduce your risks of a fire occurring and minimize any damage that results if a fire does happen. Consider adding these three tips to your fire safety plan.

5 Things To Try When Your Smoke Alarm Beeps

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light Keep your family safe from fire and smoke damage.

How Do You Stop A Beeping Smoke Alarm

You installed a fire alarm in each room of your home in Falmouth Foreside, ME when you moved in. You regularly test the alarms to make sure they're working. The worst thing, then, is when one of the alarms starts beeping. It can take a while to figure out which one is beeping. Then, how do you make it stop? Here are five things to try.

1. Change the Batteries
Start simple and change the batteries. Even if you just did it, it's possible one of them is faulty or you accidentally mixed up an old one with a new one.

2. Use the Silent Button
Your fire alarm has a test/silent button. Try to use that to stop the beeping. This is probably also a good time to find the manual (or look it up online if it was thrown away) for ways to specifically test your brand of alarm.

3. Reset the Alarm
A slightly more complicated solution is to reset the whole device. Again, the manual or YouTube can provide help for how to conduct a full alarm reset. Don't get discouraged here, decide that it's not worth the effort, and leave the alarm unarmed. Fire damage occurs when you least expect it, so it's important to keep all of your detectors up and running properly.

4. Check for Dust
Some detectors are hardwired to your electrical system instead of using batteries. If dust is affecting the wiring, that could be a reason that your alarm is beeping. Use a keyboard air blower to clear out dust build-up.

5. Replace the Whole Thing
When no other solution will stop the beeping, it's time to replace the detector. They don't last forever, and chances are that it's been longer than you realize that since you installed your fire alarm. Don't put this off. The safety of your family could depend on functioning smoke detectors.
Troubleshooting your smoke detector can be a headache, but it's worth the effort to keep your family safe from fire and smoke damage. If a fire does occur, a fire damage assessment will help you determine the cause.

Modern Content Cleaning Methods

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Damage to the roof and ceiling of an office following a violent storm Commercial storm damage in West Falmouth, ME.

Content Cleaning Methods

If your West Falmouth, ME, commercial building suffers storm damage, the restoration process may feel overwhelming. In addition to the structural damage, your business’s contents may be damaged. Fortunately, there are a variety of content cleaning methods available today that can restore your possessions to preloss conditions.

Items That May Need Specialized Restoration
Your building contains a wide variety of items, possibly more than you realize. Some of these items, particularly nonporous items such as plastics, may be impervious to water damage. Other items, however, require specialized restoration techniques. The following is a list of common items that generally cannot be restored using simple methods:

  • Antiques
  • Photographs
  • Artwork
  • Electronics
  • Upholstery

Flood water is classified as gray or black water, meaning that bacteria and other contaminants are present. Unfortunately, not all affected items can be properly cleaned. A certified restoration service can let you know what can and cannot be restored using the available cleaning and restoration methods.

Content Cleaning Techniques
Different materials require different cleaning and restoration methods. Water-damaged paper documents can be dried through freeze-drying, thermal drying and dehumidification. Gamma irradiation is an effective cleaning method for many delicate items that have been contaminated by floodwater. Foam cleaning is ideal for many types of upholstery. There are a variety of other cleaning methods, including the following:

  • Wet cleaning
  • Dry cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning
  • Abrasive cleaning

Professionals can select the best cleaning method for your possessions and ensure your items are fully clean, dry and safe to use. If your business incurred a lot of damage and many items need restoration, a professional team may decide to do a move-out and take the contents to an off-site location for restoration while other team members focus on the structure and building materials.
Water damage can be a major setback for a business. Fortunately, today’s advanced content cleaning methods are capable of restoring many items to preloss conditions so that they can be returned to your commercial building.

The 3 Steps for Unclogging a Drain With a Snake

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

a new plumbers snake on a white background Snaking a stopped drain is a great way to prevent plumbing disasters.

The 3 Steps for Unclogging a Drain With a Snake

If you can't get a clogged pipe clear with a plunger or cleaning the trap, it is time to use an auger. This coiled snake will get fed down your drain, and you will twist the tip into the obstruction. While parts of the clog will break away and flow down the pipe, the rest will get trapped in the snake and pulled out. These tools are convenient for clogs deep in your pipes. Using one properly will prevent you from experiencing a pipe break or other plumbing disaster.

1. Find the Clog
Push the snake into your clogged pipe until you feel resistance. If there are any tight curves in your plumbing, you may feel some resistance, but you need to put a little extra force behind your reel and keep pressing until you find the clog. Just be sure you are gentle because you don't want to break your pipes on accident and end up having to hire a water restoration company anyway.

2. Snake the Debris
Rotate the snake until you feel it move freely in the spot where the block was. The rotating action will help the tip grab onto the debris and loosen it. If it is a solid object, you will likely feel the snakehead get wrapped around it. When you feel either it loosens the clog or get stuck, reel the tip out of the drain in your home in Windham, ME.

3. Wash It Away
When the tip is out of the clogged pipe, run the water down the drain. This will help flush any remaining debris down the pipe and ensure your drain is ready to go.
Snaking a stopped drain is a great way to prevent plumbing disasters and get your pipes working again. Follow these tips to ensure that the snaking process goes smoothly and you don't do any further damage to your home.

Why SERVPRO's Quick Response Time Can Help Your Clients

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

drying equipment in commercial building. Commercial water damage in Gorham, ME.

Why SERVPRO's Quick Response Time Can Help Your Clients

After a water or fire emergency, a fast response is crucial. Water from a leaking pipe or a firefighter hose can start causing damage in a matter of minutes. Even a short delay can thus make the restoration process more costly for you and your clients.
Of course, not every water loss occurs during normal business hours. Sometimes a disaster occurs on a weekend or holiday. Your clients should not have to wait until the next business day to start the drying process. They need a 24-hour commercial cleanup company.
That is why SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for most insurance providers. A representative from the company will respond to your clients' calls right away. In fact, each client should receive:

  • A call within one hour
  • A visit within four hours
  • A verbal brief within eight hours

The Consequences of a Delayed Cleanup
Paper items such as books and photos may start to swell within a few minutes of a water damage. Furniture can bleed and stain carpets, as well. Over the next day, wet metals may begin to tarnish, and musty odors may start to spread. Water could also cause the Gorham, ME, building's drywall to break down. A 24-hour cleaning company can start the restoration right away and prevent many of these issues.

The Company That Responds Immediately
While SERVPRO is always open, that is not the only reason it can respond to emergencies right away. The company also has more than 1,700 franchises in Canada and America. At least one of these franchises is likely close to each of your clients' buildings, making it easier for SERVPRO to survey any damage in a timely matter.
SERVPRO understands that a fast response to water damage is so important. That is why its employees reply to all calls immediately, no matter the time or day. Choosing a company such as SERVPRO that provides 24-hour response can help minimize the damage your clients sustain following a water loss.

How To Maintain Fire Sprinklers in Your Building

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Red coloured deluge sprinkler. Passive fire fighting equipment. All gauges should be inspected weekly, or possibly monthly depending on your system.

Maintenance Steps For Fire Sprinklers

A properly functioning sprinkler system can save lives. Sprinkler maintenance should be part of the safety plan for every building. Regular maintenance of sprinkler systems is essential in the prevention of accidental activation. Locate a sprinkler inspection company in Westbrook, ME, that can schedule and perform these necessary maintenance steps.

1. Weekly Maintenance
A designated member of your staff trained in the standards and local codes can perform the weekly maintenance to ensure there is proper air and water pressure on the dry, pre-action, and deluge system gauges. All gauges should be inspected weekly, or possibly monthly depending on your system. Wet pipe systems should be checked monthly. All inspections should include looking for signs of physical damage.

2. Quarterly Maintenance
Outside of the weekly maintenance, a licensed fire protection technician should conduct all testing and maintenance. Every three months all alarm systems should be inspected as well as the connection to the fire department.

3. Yearly Maintenance
Yearly sprinkler maintenance includes the inspection of buildings, bracings, pipes, fittings, and fire sprinklers. In addition to physical inspection, several things should be tested each year. Control valves, alarm switches, gauges, backflow preventers, anti-freeze loops, fire department connections, and visible piping should all be inspected and tested to make sure they are functioning properly. Running a test for dry, pre-action, and deluge systems is also recommended on a yearly basis.

4. Maintenance Every Five Years
Hoses, connections, and piping should be inspected every five years. Testing of standpipes, internal pipe inspections, and obstruction investigations should also be conducted every five years.
A functional and reliable sprinkler system should be a priority for every building owner. They act as both a warning system and a lifesaver. Accidental activation of a sprinkler system can cause costly water damage that may require water damage restoration. Keeping up with regular sprinkler maintenance can help prevent the need for cleanup from easily avoidable water damage.

3 Things To Know About Mold

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a wall Mold can grow anywhere

Mold Prevention Tips

Although molds are a natural part of the environment, no one ever wants to find out that they have mold growing in their building. But how do you know if you have mold? Is mold there, even if you can’t see it? And what is an indoor environmental specialist? Here are three important things you need to know in order to prevent mold growth in your Falmouth Foreside, ME, building.

1. Mold Is Everywhere
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. It’s impossible to completely eliminate mold; however, it’s important to control mold so that it doesn’t become a problem. Commercial buildings can be susceptible to mold because of high humidity levels, numerous water sources, or unidentified leaks. Many business owners or maintenance managers are unfamiliar with what mold looks like. An indoor environmental specialist is someone who is certified to identify mold and moisture problems. You can rely on professionals in the restoration industry if you think you might have mold.

2. Moisture Feeds Mold
Many people mistakenly think that they can simply wipe mold away. Conversely, the process for remediating mold growth involves more steps. The source of moisture that is feeding the mold must be identified and removed. For example, if mold is found in a bathroom, then an inspection should be done to check the humidity level and ensure proper ventilation. Additionally, pipes should be checked for potential leaks. Once the source of moisture has been removed, it’s necessary to thoroughly clean the area. Mold remediation specialists contain the mold, clean the air, remove damaged materials, and clean belongings.

3. Mold Tests Are Available
Mold can’t always be seen. If you notice a musty smell in your building, then it’s a good sign that mold is growing. A mold remediation specialist can do a mold test to help you find the mold and determine the next steps for fixing the problem.
Mold is present everywhere but only becomes a problem if moisture feeds the mold spores. If you notice any musty smells or water spots on ceilings or walls, then it’s time to get help from an indoor environmental specialist.