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6 Ways To Get Your Home Ready For a Storm

6/26/2022 (Permalink)

Man on top of a roof To prepare for a storm, it is critical to give maintenance to your roof in Westbrook, ME.

How to Prepare Your Home for a Storm in 6 Easy Steps

Preparing for a storm may prevent damage and promote safety at a residence in Westbrook, ME. Homeowners should maintain the exterior of a residence and take a few important measures to avoid wind damage and keep out flood water.

1. Maintain Roofing

It is important to maintain the roof on a residence. Leaks or wind damage may be more likely if shingles or roofing materials are damaged or missing at the start of a storm.

2. Trim Trees

Have overhanging or large trees trimmed on a regular basis. Fallen limbs and flying branches are common causes of storm damage.

3. Consider Storm Windows and Flood Barriers

Residents of regions prone to storms with high wind speeds may want to have storm windows installed. Reusable sandbag alternatives can also be helpful for keeping out flood water and avoiding a flooded building.

4. Acquire a Generator and Fuel

If storm conditions interrupt the supply of electricity, homeowners can rely on a generator that runs on gasoline, diesel, propane or natural gas. Generators should only be operated outside. It may be worthwhile to invest in a way to protect or anchor down a generator.

5. Make Emergency Plans and Assemble Kits

Assemble a home kit with enough non-perishable food for three days, a gallon of water per person per day, first aid supplies, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlights, and batteries. Homeowners should also prepare a mobile kit in case of evacuation.

6. Stow Away Outdoor Items

Patio furniture, grills, and other items that are typically kept outside may sustain damage or become flying debris. Any loose items should be stowed indoors in the days or hours before a storm.

All of these steps can help homeowners prepare for a storm in Westbrook, ME. If a residence suffers damage from flood water or wind, homeowners should contact insurance providers and a storm and water damage restoration service.

Why Do Fires Often Lead To Floods?

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

Hands holding an insurances form, Large Font letters saying " ARE YOU COVERED" If a fire has caused damage at your residence, you should document and report damage to a homeowners insurance provider.

Why Do Fires Frequently Cause Floods?

Fire damage often leads to or coincides with flood damage. If you reside in a region that has recently experienced wildfire damage, you may want to obtain flood insurance coverage. The Federal Emergency Management Association is partnered with the National Flood Insurance Program. Learn more about the connections between fire and flooding damage and the coverage offered by FEMA NFIP to offset mitigation and restoration expenses.

Exterior Fires and Floods

Wildfires char the ground and eliminate vegetation. A fire near a residence can have several effects that combine to increase flooding risks:

• Charred becomes resistant to absorbing rainfall
• Runoff increases and may result in mudflows
• Flash flooding risks increase

Flood risks may remain elevated for up to five years following a wildfire. Nearby homeowners should consider obtaining insurance coverage through FEMA NFIP or a private flood insurance provider.

Interior Combined Damage

Localized fires that affect a single residence or a limited area can also result in a combination of fire and water damage. This type of flooding usually results from suppression attempts and can exacerbate fire damage in a few ways:

• Thousands of gallons of water may be present in a structure
Water damage must be mitigated before fire damage
• Combined damage increases risks of superficial and structural damage

If a fire has caused damage at your residence, you should document and report damage to a homeowners insurance provider. Standard policies usually cover fire damage and water damage due to fire suppression efforts. Flood insurance is only necessary for external water damage caused by heavy rains or rising bodies of water.

If wildfire damage has recently affected your area in or near Falmouth, ME, you may want to investigate flood insurance coverage through FEMA NFIP. For combined fire and flooding damage resulting from fire suppression, notify your homeowner's insurance provider and arrange to have damage assessed by mitigation and restoration professionals.

How To Eliminate Smoke Odor From Your Home

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Man smoking An unpleasant smoke odor may linger in your Portland, ME, home even after the fire has been controlled and the damage repaired.

How to Get Rid of Smoke Odors in Your Home

A fire at your Portland, ME, home may cause many problems. Lingering smoke smell is likely to be one of the most stubborn. Fortunately, there are several smoke cleaning methods available.

Understanding Smoke Damage

The temperature and speed of the fire, as well as the items, burned, determine the type of smoke. There may be more than one type. Wet, dry, and protein smokes are common in house fires.
The types of smoke present are important factors when choosing a cleaning method. Fortunately, a fire restoration service can tell you which type of smoke you are dealing with and the best way to remove it.

Eliminating Smoke Odor

Although it may be tempting to cover the smell of smoke with air fresheners, this won’t take care of the problem permanently. The only way to keep the odor from returning is to remove the smoke particles from the air and surfaces. The following are some of the most effective tools available for smoke cleaning:

  • Air filters
  • Ozone machines
  • Thermal foggers

Filtration devices work by circulating air and trapping the smoke particles in a HEPA or carbon filter. Ozone machines generate a compound, ozone, that binds with the smoke particles to create a new compound that does not smell. These two methods are ideal for eliminating smoke particles that are present in the air.

However, there may also be particles located inside porous surfaces. When the fire raised the temperature of the affected area, porous surfaces expanded. When the area cooled, the surfaces contracted, and the smoke odor became trapped inside. A thermal fogger works by heating the area again, causing porous surfaces to expand, allowing the deodorizing fog to reach the trapped particles.

Even after the fire has been extinguished and the damage repaired, an unpleasant smoke smell may linger in your Portland, ME, home. Thorough smoke cleaning is the only way to permanently remove the odor.

The Challenges of a Partial Loss Fire

5/27/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke on the glass modern building A partial loss fire is more common and can range from completely destroying rooms and physical structures to causing only minor smoke and soot damage.

The Difficulties Of A Partial Loss Fire

Every business fire is unique in some way. A catastrophic fire can take down entire buildings and leave nothing more than rubble and ash. A partial loss fire is more common and runs the spectrum of destroying rooms and physical structures to only inflicting some relatively minor smoke and soot damage. While you would much prefer a minor fire to a major one, your company in Falmouth, ME, will still face significant challenges. 

Dealing With Smoke Damage

Smoke has several insidious qualities that can damage various aspects of your business. It can leave your facility unusable for a time and it can penetrate HVAC systems and electrical components. The residues from smoke often contain acidic compounds that damage walls and corrode metal. Cleanup is often technical, requiring the services of an experienced fire mitigation franchise.

Working With the Insurance Company

After a partial fire loss, you could have more work and contact with your insurance provider. There could be a series of questions on the ability to repair or replace a list of items and materials:

  • Personal objects
  • Ceramic fixtures
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture
  • Computers
  • Artwork

In general, restoring an item is more cost-effective than replacing it, but this is not a hard and fast rule. The cleaning process could be too labor-intensive to merit cleaning, and some items are just not salvageable.

Handling a Complicated Cleanup

Not all fire restoration jobs are the same. While the general process is similar, the details vary. Some jobs involve the removal of water damage from fire fighting equipment as well as the rebuilding of burned structures. Most cleanups are time-sensitive and work has a certain urgency. A fast response can reduce expenses and prevent additional damage such as mold growth and damage from weather.

A partial loss fire presents your company with many obstacles. Professionals can help you meet this challenge in the best manner possible.

5 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

Engineer checking Industrial fire control system Depending on your business space, you may need more than one fire extinguisher. A multi-story building must have at least one per floor.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Company For A Fire

No one ever wants to experience a business fire in Portland, ME. But the National Fire Protection Association reported 111,000 non-residential fires in 2020 alone. With those statistics, it's crucial to set up your business to prevent fires and respond to fires. Here are five ways to prepare.

1. Have Enough Fire Extinguishers

Depending on the size of your office or retail space, you need more than one fire extinguisher. There should be one per floor in a multi-level building at the absolute minimum. Fire extinguishers come in various sizes and should be placed in key areas of your business, such as the kitchen area, central office, and near tools or electrical panels.

2. Prevent Fire Damage Through Organization

One way to prevent fire damage is to stay organized. The more dust and clutter, the easier it is for a spark to become a major fire as flames spread over boxes, papers, and other office debris. After a fire, a commercial restoration team can assess the damage to recommend repairs and give prevention tips for the future.

3. Conduct Regular Fire Drills

To keep your staff safe, make fire preparation drills a regular event. Fire drills aren't just for students in school. It's important for everyone to confidently be able to exit the building from any and all exit points.

4. Maintain Exit Routes Regularly

All exit points must be maintained regularly. Ensure that any automatic fire doors work correctly. Keep exit doors unlocked. Check fire escapes or window ladders. A business fire can spread quickly, which won't leave time to address locked doors or broken ladders.

5. Inspect Wiring on a Schedule

Inspect wiring on a scheduled basis. Instead of waiting for a problem, such as an outlet that starts to spark or the discovery of a wire that has lost its covering, inspect all electrical sources every six months and correct any problems immediately.

A business fire can be prevented or mitigated by preparing your business in advance.

How To Stop a Continuously Flushing Toilet

5/1/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Flushometer gaskets can become clogged with sediment as a result of constant exposure to water. you must wash the gaskets to remove the sediment.

How To Stop A Toilet From Flushing Constantly

If your toilets are continuously flushing, there may be a problem with the flushometer. The flushometer is the mechanism that flushes the toilet. If the flushing is not stopped, there may be toilet overflow that could result in damages. Here's how to stop a toilet from flushing continuously.

Take the First Steps

If your toilets won't stop flushing, there are a series of steps you can try:

  • Turn off the water
  • Remove the cover
  • Clean the gasket
  • Reinstall the gasket
  • Replace the gasket if flushing continues

Once the problem is fixed, you should call a water damage restoration service in Falmouth, ME, to clean up any toilet overflow and prevent mold growth.

Access the Gasket

To access the gasket, you should first turn off the water so that you do not have a toilet flood. You will then need to remove the cover on the flushometer. You will first need to unscrew the cover on the side of the flushometer and then use a wrench to remove the lid on top. This will expose the gasket, allowing you to remove and clean it.

Clean the Gasket

The gaskets in flushometers can become covered with sediment due to their constant exposure to water. You should wash the gasket, carefully removing as much sediment as possible. This includes using a small instrument, such as a needle, to clean out the weep hole. Doing this will improve the vacuum created by the gasket and hopefully stop the continuous flushing.

Reinstall and Test

After cleaning the gasket, you should put it back in its place and reattach the cover. You will then need to turn the water back on and flush the toilet. If the flushing still will not stop, you may have to replace the gasket or call a plumber.
You can stop a toilet that is continuously flushing by accessing the gasket, cleaning the gasket and then reinstalling and testing the gasket.

If cleaning or replacing the gasket does not work, you may need professional assistance to prevent toilet overflow.

How To Handle a House Fire

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company Our Disaster Recovery Team is available 24/7, 365 days a year to help with any size fire or water loss. Even if you just have a question, call us.

What To Do If Your House Is On Fire

House fires are common occurrences that affect and devastate many families every year. Residential blazes are scary, unpredictable, and alarming, so ensuring you and your family have a specific fire escape plan in place is crucial to your safety. Follow these simple steps, and be prepared during and after a potential emergency.

1. Be Alert and Take Action

If you experience a house fire in Casco Bay Islands, ME, promptly perform the following measures:

  • Enact your emergency escape plan
  • Dial 911 and alert emergency personnel to your situation
  • Secure medical care for any people or pets with severe burns or injuries
  • Call worried family and friends to let them know you are safe
  • Do not reenter your home until a proper fire damage assessment is complete

2. Put Safety First

Following a fire, confirm with firefighters that it is safe to reenter your home. Dress in boots, long pants, sleeves, helmets, protective eyewear, and masks as you inspect your damaged residence. Consider consulting a professional smoke and soot removal team to clean your house and restore it to a safe and livable status.

3. Check-In

It is crucial to remove any smoke-damaged paraphernalia from your home. Specifically, dispose of any food that might have soiled due to heat or smoke. Physical damage is only a portion of the devastation fires create. Despite devising even the most detailed fire escape plan, many survivors experience feelings of guilt and angst in the months following the disaster. Make it a point to check-in with your family members regularly. Ensure they appropriately deal with their stress and get professional help for anyone struggling mentally or financially. Further, watch your household pets, making sure they don't exhibit any long-term symptoms from the fire or smoke.

As ravaging as fires can be, remind yourself that your successful fire escape plan saved your family's lives. Remember that everything else is replaceable, and all that matters is the safety of your loved ones.

3 Essential Steps After a Basement Flood

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Basement flooded Once any floodwater around your house has receded, getting the water out of your home as soon as possible is imperative.

Three Important Steps To Take After A Basement Flood

Watching your lower level in Windham, ME, fill with water is scary and can feel impossible to fix. Regardless if it is from a torrential downpour, a sewer backup or some other emergency issue, a basement flood can be very damaging to your home without proper aftercare. Once you have checked your insurance coverage, here are three more things you must do afterward.

1. Drain the Water

Once any floodwater around your house has receded, getting the water out of your home as soon as possible is imperative. You will need a few items to accomplish this:

  • Submersible pump
  • Long hose
  • Extension Cord
  • Generator

Pump as much water out as you can. Once you are down to smaller puddles you can work with a wet/dry vac as well to finish the job.

2. Dry and Clean Up

After the water has been removed, take out any damaged belongings. Use towels or blankets to soak up any further puddles and wipe everything down as much as you can. Set up some large fans to begin drying out the area. Depending on how long you were flooded and how deep the water was, you may need to replace any carpeting and drywall in the affected area. In order to prevent further damage from your basement flood, it is best to contact trained water restoration specialists to help complete the job thoroughly.

3. Prevent Future Floods

Determining the cause of the flood will help you to prevent future occurrences. Check your sump pump to ensure it is working properly and is appropriate for the amount of groundwater in your area. You should also check the drainage around your home and your gutter system to ensure each one is properly designed to funnel water away from your house.

It is important to remain calm and think ahead when you experience a home disaster. Although it can seem like an overwhelming experience, damage from a basement flood can be minimized if you take these steps.

4 Tips for Drying Out a Commercial Building

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Drying Equipment If your building floods, it and its contents need to be thoroughly dried as soon as possible.

4 Recommendations For Drying Out A Commercial Building

When your Portland, ME, commercial building suffers water incursion, whether it's from a pipe burst or act of nature, the same basic steps will have to be taken. These steps will help protect any occupants in the affected area and the building and its contents. Professionals will probably have to be called in to remedy the situation thoroughly. Still, you can follow water damage tips to begin drying out the building before help arrives. After all, the quicker drying begins, the less damage will occur.

1. Turn Off Electricity

If you can safely make your way to the breaker box, the power to the area should be turned off immediately. Never walk through standing water in which electrical items are sitting. The electricity can travel throughout the water, electrocuting you. If you can't navigate to the breaker safely, or if you're unsure, you must wait for a professional to cut the power supply.

2. Extract Standing Water

Next, all the standing water will need to be extracted. A wet/dry vacuum is excellent for doing this safely and efficiently. It will also remove smaller debris.

3. Remove Soaked Materials

After you've extracted as much water as possible, one of the most critical damage tips to follow is to remove as many wet materials as possible. This can even include drywall and flooring. Soaked carpet and padding typically aren't salvageable; it can't be dried entirely before mold growth occurs (within 24 to 48 hours). Water damage remediation experts are highly recommended, as they can bring in industrial-grade equipment.

4. Dry Remaining Contents

You can try to dry the remaining contents by opening windows and doors if the outside is less humid than inside, using dehumidifiers, running fans and turning up the heat via the HVAC system or space heaters.

If your building floods, it and its contents need to be thoroughly dried as soon as possible. These are a few damage tips and cleaning tips you can begin before professionals arrive on the scene.

3 Reasons You Need a Flood Insurance Policy

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book Whether you experience flood damage from nature or from some other source, a flood insurance policy will help you to recover more quickly.

Three Reasons You Need Flood Insurance

Your business in Falmouth, ME, isn't in a flood zone. In fact, you don't live in an area where flooding has historically been an issue. Although your commercial insurance agent is encouraging you to consider a policy, you're skeptical about the additional cost. Here are three reasons that you need a flood insurance policy even though you don't live in a flood zone.

1. Floods Aren't Always Natural

When you think of floods, you are probably thinking about naturally occurring ones that make news headlines. However, floods aren't always caused by nature. Your business could flood because of a burst water main line in the street or a leaking pipe in the basement.

2. Flood Damage Is Costly

Many commercial insurance policies have exclusions for floods, so you could find yourself on the financial hook for a lot of damage restoration without a separate policy for floods. A flood policy covers what your primary insurance does not in the event of an incident, including product that might be damaged or destroyed.

3. Flood Insurance Is Affordable

Don't let cost stand in the way of full coverage for your business. FEMA offers a National Flood Insurance Program that is affordable for business owners like you. Additionally, the NFIP supports communities as they plan flood mitigation efforts. Whether you experience flood damage from nature or from some other source, a flood insurance policy will help you to recover more quickly.

When you need restoration help after a flood, your commercial insurance provider will be able to suggest a water damage restoration team that will work with you from the initial damage assessment to the end of your project.

The way that this works best for you is if you have a flood policy that ensures there are no gaps in coverage with your general insurance plan.
Prevent financial strain on your bottom line by choosing a policy like NFIP from FEMA to keep your business safe.