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4 Tips for Cleaning Up a Leaking Roof

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Check for missing shingles on your roof

What To Do When You Discover A Roof Leak?

A major storm in Westbrook, ME, did serious damage to many properties, including to the roof of your business. Suddenly, you need a roofing professional not only to fix the exterior but to repair your attic storage space and the ceilings in the upstairs offices. A roof leak may seem small, but it can result in lots of damage. Here's what to do once you've discovered a leak.

1. Check the Roof
If your building has a shingled roof, check for missing shingles. That may give you an idea of how water is getting in. If water is definitely coming through, puncture a small hole that will allow the water to flow out freely. If you leave it intact, water will spread over the ceiling which could cause the whole thing to sag and possibly collapse. A hole gives the water somewhere to go. Put a bucket underneath to catch the water and move furniture and other items out of the way.

2. Move Wet Items
Once belongings are wet, they need to be dried and disinfected. As long as there are no electrical dangers, launder furniture covers, bedding, and other washable items. Air out and clean furniture and rugs. Check for irreparable damage. If something is in poor condition, throw it away.

3. Dry Everything Well
From the attic on down, everything needs to be as dry as possible. Run fans or heaters or open windows to get air circulating through the area. Only once everything is completely dry can any restoration work for the roof leak begin.

4. Call a Restoration Company
A roof leak can cause substantial damage in hard-to-reach areas. Call a water damage restoration specialist to evaluate the safety of your building before you attempt any repairs yourself. It's important to have everything dry and disinfected to prevent future problems.
A damaged roof can cause extensive issues for your business. Cleaning up properly after storm damage ensures that you have a safe working environment for your company's future.

How To Clean Up Damage After a Fire

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Structure of a building burned down Fire damage to a local business in Portland, ME

How To Clean Up Damage After a Fire

Fire cleanup takes place in multiple stages. When your commercial property in Portland, ME, has water, fire and smoke damage, it all has to be dealt with before the building can be rebuilt. Fire restoration specialists take several steps to make sure your building is restored fully.

Water Damage
Before technicians can get to the soot damage done by the fire, they typically have to address the problems the water used to put out the fire left behind. Firefighters must use water liberally to ensure that all flames are extinguished, and this can lead to a lot of water damage. They must inspect and tear out all materials affected:

  • Drywall
  • Insulation
  • Tile
  • Carpet
  • Textiles

Fire Damage
At the same time as the water damage removal is happening, the smoke cleaning crew is likely to remove materials with fire damage as well. If a support beam is burned beyond repair, for example, it has to go. Temporary supports are installed in its place until the final stage of the process when it can be rebuilt.

Soot Damage
The last step of the cleanup phase is soot and smoke damage cleaning. During a fire, these particles get everywhere. They don't just land on surfaces. They also get trapped in corners and cracks. It is not unusual to even find soot damage under floor tiles or in air ducts. To infiltrate all the areas that smoke and soot can go, a thermal fogger may need to be used. It disperses the cleaning agent the same way that a fire disperses smoke so that the detergent can get to every place the particles are hiding. Afterward, an ozone machine may be used to clean the remaining odor from the air.
Fire damage is only the start of what technicians have to handle during the cleanup stage of the restoration process. Both water and smoke damage must also be cleaned before rebuilding can begin.

How to Repair a Flooded Toilet

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Toilet overflow in Falmouth, ME

Many toilets in commercial buildings are controlled by a device known as a flushometer. While these devices usually work quite well, they are still prone to malfunctioning. This can cause toilets to engage in a never-ending flush cycle, ultimately driving up your water bill and resulting in damage from toilet overflow. If your building in Falmouth, ME, is suffering from this affliction, consult the following guide.

Step-by-Step Toilet Repair Guide

Repairing a toilet is a relatively simple process, even if you have very little plumbing experience. Follow this guide to stop a toilet flood:

Use a flat screwdriver to shut off the water. There should be a slot on either side of the flushometer, depending on which direction it's facing.
Use a wrench to loosen the flushometer's top lid. After this, you should be able to unscrew the lid using your hands.
Carefully remove the flange cover to expose the gasket. You may experience some water spray while performing this step.
Remove the gasket and clean out any built up sediment. It's a good idea to thoroughly rinse the gasket as well. Use a small, thin object to clean out the weep hole as well.
Replace the gasket after you finish cleaning it and reverse steps 1 through 4 to reassemble the flushometer.

If the above steps do not resolve your toilet overflow problem, you may have to replace the gasket completely. If your toilet still isn't working properly, you may have to contact professional plumbers to assist you with the issue.
A continuously flushing toilet can drive your water bill up, as well as annoy your employees and drive customers away. It's imperative that you resolve any toilet overflow issues as soon as possible so that you can resume business as usual. If your commercial bathroom has suffered any type of water damage as a result of the toilet flood, you need to contact flood remediation experts to help resolve the problem.

How Can I Prevent Sewer Backup in My Home?

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Man crouching in trench with shovel showing an old terracotta sewer line broken open to reveal a solid tube of invasive tree Common causes of sewer issues are tree roots that crack and block the pipes

A sewer backup can cause your thousands of dollars in damaged floors, walls and electric wiring. Learn what causes sewer issues in the home and how to prevent catastrophes such as flooding.

What Causes Sewer Issues

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the most common causes of sewer issues are:

  • Tree roots that crack and block the pipes
  • Aging systems that weren’t built to handle a rapid increase in housing
  • Blockages in the city sanitary mains that aren’t found in time and back up water into homes through floor drains
  • Combined pipelines that have to deal with stormwater and raw sewage

How To Prevent a Blockage
You can avoid a sewer backup by taking some preventative measures.
Perform regular maintenance. Schedule routine sewer cleaning and inspection approximately every two years. The technician can use a camera to find cracks and any other issues in your pipe system. They can also clean out any residue that may clog your lines, such as grease, hair and food.
Discard grease and paper products correctly. Don’t pour cooking oil down the drain, as it will solidify as it cools and cause blocks. Instead, put it in a disposable container, and, once the oil has cooled, throw it away. Paper products — for example, diapers, paper towels and wipes — shouldn’t go down your drains because they don’t decompose easily.
Fix issues in your plumbing system. There may be rules against connecting a French drain or sump pump system to a city sewer in your area. These kinds of connections mean debris from storm damage could get into the system and block the water flow. If your Casco Bay Islands, ME, neighborhood has lots of trees, you may want to replace your lines. Plastic pipes are harder for tree roots to break through.
If your home has flooding damage from a backup, call a licensed water restoration company. They can come to your home, assess the damage and create a cleanup plan.

4 Ways to Prevent Mold

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on corner wall Mold growth in Munjoy Hill, ME

Mold Prevention Tips

Mold spores may be everywhere, but that doesn’t mean your Munjoy Hill, ME, home needs to be a place they thrive and grow. While water damage is a sure indicator of a potential problem, which often requires the help of a mold remediation and restoration professional, even small problems can quickly grow. Below are five mold prevention tips to keep your home how it should be.

1. Locate Problem Areas
Although it may be impossible to keep spores at bay, knowing your home can minimize mold growth. Inspect your home for areas prone to moisture and fix the issues before it turns into a bigger problem. If you notice signs of frequent condensation around a window, dampness in the basement or signs of a water leak, taking quick action can help you avoid mold issues.

2. Enhance Airflow
Airflow and proper ventilation may not be things people frequently think about, but they can make a big difference in keeping moisture levels down. Simple things like ensuring dryers, bathrooms and kitchen are ventilated will dissipate condensation. Good airflow will further circulate the air, ensuring moisture-prone areas can dry out.

3. Control Humidity Levels
When it comes to mold prevention, humidity levels rank high. If there are signs of condensation on pipes, walls or windows, it likely means the indoor humidity is above 60%. It is recommended to keep that number between 30 and 60%. If it is an ongoing issue, consider investing in a dehumidifier.

4. Dry Wet Areas
Since mold needs moisture to grow, immediately drying out any wet area is a must. Even a small spill on the carpet left unchecked has the potential to create the right environment for mold to grow. Any wet items should be dried out before stored in the home.
By adding mold prevention to your to-do list, you can have more peace of mind that those sneaky spores will stay in hibernation instead of making your home their own.

Can Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes?

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration Drain cleaners can damage your pipes

When a homeowner in North Deering, ME, experiences a clogged drain, often the first solution to come to mind is to purchase a chemical drain cleaner from the local hardware store. While these cleaners can clear a clog from your drain, they can also cause extensive damage to your pipes.

How Does Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes?

Drain cleaners contain chemicals that produce heat and cause materials to dissolve, which is why they are capable of clearing drains. When you pour the powerful cleaner down an old pipe made of metal, it can cause the pipe to be weakened even more as layers are eaten away by the chemicals.
When used improperly, chemical drain solutions can also warp plastic pipes. If the clogged drain is completely blocked, then the chemical isn't going anywhere and is going to continue to be exposed to the plastic, eating its way through causing even more damage.
Bigger damage is going to lead to a bigger mess. If you experience sewage flooding, call a professional restoration company to handle the cleanup. They have the training and equipment to do so safely.

What are Safe Alternatives to Drain Cleaners?
Homeowners have several options to try before resorting to a chemical cleaner. The first option would be to try a plunger or auger to clear the drain. For sewage cleaning, an auger can travel several feet, and commercial augers can travel even further.
Another option would be to try an organic solution. Enzymatic drain cleaners use bacteria to tear through your clogged pipes and drains. While the process will be slower, sometimes taking as long as a full day, it won't lead to damage to your plumbing materials.
Perhaps the fastest and safest alternative is to call a professional plumber. They have the tools and the knowledge to get your drains back in business, and likely draining faster than they have in months.
For clogged drains, always use chemical cleaner as a last resort. Your safest bet is to not use them at all, especially if your drain is completely clogged.

How to Safely Use Candles In Your Home

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Oil diffuser Perhaps the easiest way to prevent a fire is simply not to use candles at all

Avoid Candle Fires In Your Home

With warm light and pleasant fragrances, candles can be an easy way to create the atmosphere that you want in your West Falmouth, ME, home. However, they can also become a safety hazard if they are not used properly. Candle fires are common, but the following tips can help you avoid them.

1. Don’t Leave Burning Candles Unattended
It may seem like an annoyance to extinguish a candle every time you leave the room. However, leaving it burning could result in a candle fire if something gets too close to the flame or if it burns too low. It is best to blow out candles before going to sleep as well, even if you are in the same room.

2. Keep Them Away From Flammable Items
When you are using a candle, you should be sure to have the area free of flammable objects. This can include papers as well as fabrics such as curtains and bedding. These types of items should be at least a foot away from any candles that are in use. Flammable liquids should be kept even further away.

3. Keep Them Out of Reach of Pets and Children
Both children and pets often come with an excess of energy and curiosity. For this reason, it can be easy for them to inadvertently start a candle fire. Keep burning candles in an area that is not within reach, and do not leave them unsupervised.

4. Use an Alternative
Perhaps the easiest way to prevent a fire is simply not to use candles at all. There are a variety of other ways that you can achieve a more relaxing home environment. If you are only interested in adding a nice scent to your home, a wax warmer is a great option. You can also buy battery-operated flameless candles that look and smell like the real thing.
While these tips can help you prevent an emergency, accidents can still occur. Whether it is small or large, fires often require smoke cleanup and some repairs. If this happens, a fire damage remediation company can help return your home to its previous condition.

A Professional Response to Smoke and Fire Damage

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

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.

4 Steps for Fighting Apartment Mold

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Removal of black fungus in the apartment Mold removal in a Gorham, ME apartment

Mold Cleanup Tips For Your Apartment

Mold is a common home invader that favors moist, dark conditions. Finding it growing in your apartment is nothing to be ashamed of, but you do need to take action as soon as possible. Follow these mold cleanup tips if your apartment in Gorham, ME, does have a mold issue.

1. Assess the Issue
What you might think is mold could actually just be mildew. While they're both fungi caused by mold spores, the treatment methods are different. Mold is typically black or green in color and might have a fuzzy or slimy texture. Mildew, on the other hand, is usually white, gray or yellow.
Additionally, you have to assess the breadth of the issue. Small mold contamination issues can be cleaned up with a bit of white vinegar, but bigger problems might require professional assistance.

2. Call Your Landlord
Depending on the nature of the issue, mold cleanup might be an issue for your landlord or property manager to resolve. Either way, it's in your best interest to inform them of the issue as soon as you can. Include pictures of the mold in your text or email.

3. Determine the Root of the Issue
Once your landlord arrives, you should work with them to figure out what is causing the mold. If the mold is a result of a leaky pipe or other internal water issue, then your landlord should take responsibility for resolving the issue. However, the problem falls onto your shoulders if the issue resulted from negligence. Your landlord can't be held accountable if you fell asleep in the bathtub and accidentally flooded the floor.

4. Enlist Professional Help
If the mold contamination is, in fact, your responsibility, then it's a good idea to enlist professional assistance. This is especially true for larger mold issues. Mold has a tendency to dig deep roots and can be very difficult to purge completely.
Don't allow mold growth in your apartment to become a bigger issue than it needs to be. Resolve the issue quickly and efficiently by contacting your local mold remediation specialists.

4 Methods of Drying a Flooded Building Before Help Arrives

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in carpet drying wet area Drying equipment in Falmouth Foreside, ME building

Put The Following Damage Tips In Action

When water infiltrates a building, it's critical to dry the property as quickly as possible. Water can do a lot of damage fast; the very structure of a building can be affected. Mold can also turn into a huge problem in a short time. Professionals should be called, but there are damage tips you can put into action to begin the process until they arrive.

1. Extracting the Water
First, the standing water will need to be extracted. Flood cleaning tips will usually recommend using a wet/dry vacuum to begin the process. Industrial pumps will be brought in by the restoration professionals to remove the remaining water.

2. Circulating the Air
Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours of water introduction. As long as the mold hasn't had time to begin growing, air circulation should begin as soon as possible. Open windows and doors if the outdoor humidity levels are lower outside than in. Fans can also be used. If it's been more than 24 hours, you should wait until help arrives; the slightest movement of air will blow mold spores throughout the area, and even into unaffected areas.

3. Heating the Area
Heaters work best when there are proper air circulation and ventilation. Warm air absorbs more moisture than cool air, so heaters evaporate the water more efficiently. Heaters with built-in fans are even more effective. Flood damage tips will often inform you that heat is typically the fastest way to dry an area. However, you should be cautious not to dry it so quickly that heat damage occurs.

4. Dehumidifying the Area
Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air. Desiccant dehumidifiers are the most effective, as they also expel dry air. For best performance, the indoor temperature should be between 32 and 77 degrees with 40 to 90% relative humidity.
Be prepared for a building flood in Falmouth Foreside, ME, by remembering these water damage tips. It's helpful to plan which water cleanup experts to call well in advance of a disaster. Whether the flood is a result of a pipe burst or a storm, they'll return your building to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.