Recent Posts

Fire Prevention and Preparedness for Pets

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

Your pets are an important part of your family, and you surely would do whatever you can to keep them from harm’s way. To help keep your pet and the rest of your family safe from the dangers of a home fire, here are several important steps you should take to prevent and prepare your pet for the possibility of a fire emergency in your home in Falmouth, ME.

Pet Fire Prevention

Like young children, your pets are not always aware of their surroundings and that their actions can result in a fire. Here are a few pet safety tips for preventing a fire:

  • Don’t leave pets unattended near space heaters or an open flame
  • Secure electrical cords that your dog might chew on
  • Remove stove knobs or use safety covers
  • Consider flameless candles or other candle alternatives

Pet Fire Preparedness

Once you have set up your home to help your pets from starting a fire emergency, you then need to start on your pet preparation and fire escape plan. When developing an evacuation plan with your family, identify which member of the family will be responsible for helping your pets get to safety, and make sure your dog comes when called.

Create a pet fire safety kit with medical supplies you might need to help your pet, some treats, and a leash or carrier. Also, add a pet alert window cling to a front window with information on all of your pets so firefighters can quickly find them.

While the tips in this guide can help you prevent a fire emergency and provide you with a plan for helping your pet if one does ever does occur, make sure to you don’t delay your escape if saving your pet isn’t possible. Once out of the house, never reenter until after firefighters extinguish the fire and the fire damage assessment team says your home is safe to enter.

How SERVPRO Can Help Your Insurance Agent

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Business Communication Connection People Concept Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies

How SERVPRO Can Help Your Insurance Agent

After a disaster at your Casco Bay Islands, ME, business you may contact your insurance adjuster to file a claim and figure out the next steps for restoration. In many cases, your agent may have a preferred restoration vendor such as SERVPRO they recommend for a variety of reasons. In addition to being certified professionals, a preferred restoration team may also be able to help your insurance agent in a number of ways.

1. Damage Assessment

One important aspect of an insurance claim is a damage assessment. In many cases a restoration service may have to do this as well, so choosing a preferred provider allows the restoration professionals to perform the assessment they need to create a repair plan, and then share this information with your insurance provider.

2. Electronic Inventory System

Your insurance adjuster may also recommend a local SERVPRO as they offer the use of an electronic inventory system. This system can be accessed remotely and can store files needed for the insurance claim. This can allow all the information to be kept in a single location making it easy for your agent to access what they need as they work on your claim.

3. Item Cleaning Services

Another service your professional restoration team may be able to offer is item cleaning. This means that they can possibly clean and restore many of the company items that may have been damaged. Each item will require a different cleaning solution depending on size, material, and if the item is mechanical or electrical in nature. A restoration service may even be able to repair documentation. This can be helpful to your agent because it allows them to recommend a single team to work with rather than several.

Your insurance adjuster may recommend a preferred restoration service such as SERVPRO for a number of reasons. These can include the team’s ability to help with damage assessment, as well as their ability to offer an electronic inventory service and item cleaning. If you have further questions a professional can help.

When Is It Time to Replace a Leaking Toilet?

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

When faced with a constantly leaking toilet, replacement is likely the best solution Plumber replacing a broken toilet in a washroom

One of the most used rooms in your Munjoy Hill, ME, home is the bathroom. The fixtures within it get a lot of use, especially the toilet. Like with anything, over time, those fixtures can begin to stop working properly. When faced with a leaking toilet, it isn’t always easy to tell if a small fix will do or if it needs to be replaced.

Signs Its Time to Replace

Instead of waiting for a malfunctioning toilet to cause a massive water problem that requires a water and mold remediation expert, there are a few signs that may indicate a replacement is the best option.

Constant Repairs: If it seems like your old toilet needs repairs like clockwork, such as valves, a flapper, or handle, those little parts begin to add up. As well as avoiding the headache of the next repair, a new toilet can provide peace of mind and open your budget for other necessities.
Recurring Problem: Consistent clogs are a good indicator that your toilet is ready to be upgraded. Constant unclogging can create additional wear and wastes water whereas newer models are designed for stronger flushing.
Porcelain Cracks: A toilet repair is not an option if cracks begin to form. Although they can start as small slivers, they can quickly spread. This may lead to the toilet breaking and flooding in your home.
High Water Bills: If your home is equipped with older toilets, you may see an increase in your utility bills. Newer models are designed to use less water.

Replacing a Toilet
When faced with a constantly leaking toilet, replacement is likely the best solution. For those with a little home repair savvy, a replacement can be done on your own with a few simple tools. Before diving into the project, it is important to remove water from the toilet and turn off the main water supply during the replacement.
Although not every leaking toilet may need to be replaced, consider the signs above to keep a big water problem from happening.

How To Protect Your Home From Lightning Fires

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Thunderbolt over the house with dark stormy sky on the background and moon shining through the cloud Lightning strikes are rare, but when they hit, they can cause serious damage

Ways To Protect Your Home Against A Lightning Fire

Lightning strikes are rare, but when they hit, they can cause serious damage. You can protect your home in North Deering, ME, against a lightning fire in several ways.

Unplug All Electronics
If you know that a storm is approaching your area, unplug all of your electronics. A power surge can severely damage the system of electrical wires throughout the house. It can also destroy the electronics themselves. That includes your TV, computer and electric lamps. You should also unplug the toaster, blender, and any other electrical appliances in the kitchen. If you are going on an extended vacation, it's a good idea to unplug your electronics to reduce the risk of a house fire.

Install a Voltage Surge Protector
There will be times when you aren't home to unplug your electronics. If you're at work or running errands, you don't want to unplug everything each day before you leave the house. If you install surge protectors in the areas where electronics are positioned, they will limit the amount of voltage directed into the electronics.

Consider a Home Protection System
A home protection system combines aluminum material and highly conductive copper to provide a path of low resistance, which will safely ground dangerous electricity. If installed correctly, the system is 99% effective in protecting against a lightning fire. Some homeowner’s insurance policies will even offer a discount if you install a home protection system. If you need advice on installing a system, contact a fire assessment professional.
A protection system can include the following elements:

  • Lightning rods
  • Grounds
  • Bonds
  • Main Conductors

Check Your Insurance Policy
Make sure your homeowner's insurance policy covers damages from electrical storms. Some states are more prone to electrical storms, so it's critical that you are covered if you live in a high probability zone.
You can't totally prevent a lightning fire, but you can significantly reduce the risk by being proactive.

5 Common Culprits of Commercial Property Water Damage

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Wet floor Water Damage Due to Sprinkler Head

Five Main Causes of Water Issues

When the weather turns extreme, it’s natural to worry about flooding damaging your commercial property in Falmouth Foreside, ME. Unfortunately, even when the weather is seemingly perfect, there are other culprits that can cause water damage. Below are five main causes of water issues to watch out for.

1. Plumbing
A broken pipe can happen for numerous reasons, including freezing temperatures, pressure changes, water supply deterioration. Water stains, bulging walls, musty odors, or damaged tiles are indicators that there may be a leaking pipe that requires a water repair.
2. Sprinkler System Issues
Vital as the first line of defense, if not properly maintained, a sprinkler system can lead to extensive damage, especially if a broken pipe is the issue. Along with accidental activation, which results in 100s of gallons of water pouring down, neglected systems can slowly leak.
3. Faulty Appliances or Equipment
Along with major systems like HVAC and water heaters, any dishwasher or equipment that uses water on the property could be the source of a lingering musty odor. Regular maintenance, inspections, and cleaning are necessary to keep them working properly.
4. Sewer and Toilet Backups
Regardless if the cause is improperly flushing items, flooding overfilling the sewer drain or issues with the city’s mainline, toilet and sewer water is not regular water. Full of contaminants, cleaning it up requires extra considerations. If these types of issues arise, it’s best to call a trusted plumber to determine the problem to help keep it from happening again.
5. Structural Damage
Buildings may be built to last, but they are not invincible. Any part of it not doing what it should could let water seep in. Before the next rain, inspect the building for broken windows, leaky roofs, and foundation issues. Improper drainage, such as clogged gutters, can quickly lead to big foundational problems.
Regardless if it is the broken pipe or older HVAC not working properly, immediately addressing the problem is necessary to limit the damage. A professional water remediation and restoration expert can quickly access, clean, and repair the damage.

The Process of Removing Mold and How it Will Affect Your Business

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bathroom ceiling Mold on the Bathroom Ceiling

No one wants to see mold, whether it's at home or work. If you detect this fungus in your office building, you don't want to wait a moment to get rid of it. Mold removal is a critical process. The more you understand about what goes into this effort and how it will impact your day-to-day operations, the more prepared you will be.

An Overview of Mold

With diligent efforts, you can prevent mold growth in your building. This fungus can grow and spread rapidly once it gets into the ideal environment. These are some problems areas that can cause mold issues in the workplace:

  • Leaky or broken pipes
  • Poor ventilation in basements, laundry facilities, and bathrooms
  • Failure to promptly clean up water spills and floods

Calling the Pros
If you spot mold, you can handle mold removal yourself if it affects a small area. However, widespread mold requires the expertise of a professional mold remediation company. A professional team has the experience, skill, and equipment to effectively and thoroughly get rid of mold and clean the affected area. Technicians will close off the area where mold is growing and restrict access to employees. The technicians will also wear the proper protective equipment. After removing the mold, the team will disinfect the area to reduce the risk of more mold showing up.

The Time Frame
As a business owner or building manager in West Falmouth, ME, you want to know how long the cleanup effort will take. The fewer disruptions to your work, the better off you will be. The cleanup could take anywhere from a day to more than a week. The timing depends on the extent of the damage. The presence of the more challenging black mold will also add to the process.
You shouldn't have to take care of mold removal on your own. Enlist the help of trained professionals. The team should communicate with you how long this will take.

Avoiding the Basement Water Blues

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Downspout Make sure downspouts are extended to at least three feet away from your house to avoid flooding in a basement

While many often only think of sewer line clogs or damage as reasons for sewage backing up in the basement, severe storms in Windham, ME, can also be the culprit. If foul excess water rears its ugly head, it may be time to consider if the systems protecting your home are working.

Causes of Basement Flooding

Bad weather can easily affect a sewer system. Massive amounts of rain can begin to overwhelm the system, forcing it up into your basement. Ways to assist the rain from saturating your home include:

Keep Gutters Clean: Regularly remove debris to prevent buildup. If water flow begins to happen within 15 minutes of heavy rain, they are likely clogged.
Downspout Location: They should come out at least 10 foot from the home.
Proper Sloping: Over time, concrete can settle, which may lead to water going directly toward the foundation and basement. Landscaping can also become flat, leading to the same issue.
Sealant: Cracks in any sealants, whether from age or improper insulation, can quickly create a flooded basement.

Regular cleaning and inspections of this trouble areas can reduce the chances of saturated soil aiding stormwater in raising the sewage levels and flooding your basement.

Cleaning Tips
To ensure proper cleanup, getting the help of a flood and stormwater cleanup expert is recommended. During any part of the cleanup process, consider the following:

Wear protective clothing including a long-sleeve shirt, pants, eye protection, gloves, and face mask.
Use a shovel and buckets to remove solid matter. Any towels or porous items used during cleanup needs to be thrown away.
A wet and dry vacuum should be used for leftover standing water.
Run fans and dehumidifiers to eliminate remaining moisture to reduce the potential for mold growth.
Items saturated in sewage water should be tossed. In some cases, items can be professionally cleaned.

Regardless of the cause of the flooded basement, taking quick action is necessary to reduce damage. If sewage water is in the mix, consider getting professional to clean up and solve the problem.

Why Is There So Much Water Damage After a Fire?

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Empty building, ceiling collapsed, water leaking from ceiling, water all over floor. Concept of water and fire damage Water and fire damage in a Gorham, ME building

Three Causes Of Water Damage After A Fire

It is hard to know what to expect when walking into a commercial property after a fire. As an owner or manager, you likely expect significant equipment loss because of fire and smoke damage, but what about water? Expecting flood loss after a fire seems unusual. Ask any disaster restoration company in Gorham, ME, and they will tell you water and fire damage go hand-in-hand. There are at least three causes of water damage during and after a commercial property fire.

  1. Hoses
  2. Suppression systems
  3. Pipe damage

The primary source of water loss during a fire rescue may come from a fire hose. These large-diameter, high-pressure hoses can expel hundreds of gallons of water per minute to flood and extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, the flooding of the blaze also floods your facility, and depending on the size and extent of the fire, you may have significant property loss.

Suppression Systems
Water-based suppression systems can also lead to extensive flooding. However, the extent of flooding caused by these systems depends on the type. Some systems do not use water. Other systems that use water may only release sprinklers in areas where fire damage is occurring, leaving other spaces dry.

Pipe Damage
Water damage can also occur because of damaged pipes. The temperatures in violent fires often reach the melting points of certain metals. If the fire reaches these temperatures, pipes may melt, warp or break. Since no one is in the facility, there is no way to shut off the water supply, meaning that water can flow freely from pipes until the system is shutdown.
Commercial property owners should have concerns over water and fire damage if such a disaster occurs. Knowing that one problem can lead to the other may allow you to better prepare for emergencies. Contact your local emergency services or fire restoration experts to discuss disaster planning and strategies.

How Cities Prepare for Flooding

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

Water spills over the top of Engle bright Dam on the Yuba River. Another common way for cities to stop flooding is to install dams

Common Large-Scale Flood- Prevention Techniques

High water can cause major problems for cities. The current rise in sea levels means that cities need to prepare for the increased likelihood of flooding. Fortunately, engineers have many ways to prevent rising water from flooding an area. The following are some common large-scale flood-prevention techniques:

1. Movable Barriers

Gates and other structures that can be opened or closed as necessary are fairly common methods of flood prevention. Some of these are controlled by water pressure and use hydraulics so that they function even when the power goes out. Others are manually raised and lowered and act as an alternative to traditional sandbags.

2. Fixed Barriers

Another common way for cities to stop flooding is to install barriers, such as dams, floodwalls, and levees that remain in place. These barriers are designed to keep high water from reaching populated areas.

3. Permeable Pavement

A more novel method of flood prevention involves making the city itself more absorbent. Natural ground, with greenery and dirt, absorbs a lot of rainfall. The more pavement that cities have, the more water will accumulate. Some places, such as Chicago, are beginning to install porous pavement that will allow water to flow through to the natural ground beneath.

4. Green Space

Because dirt and greenery are such effective methods of absorbing rainfall, some cities are working to increase their total green space. Developing rooftop gardens and restoring floodplains around rivers and lakes are two such methods.

5. Mixed Methods

Unfortunately, barriers can give way if they malfunction or are overwhelmed. Soil eventually becomes saturated, no matter how much foliage or permeable pavement a city has. Therefore, many cities use a combination of flood-prevention techniques to decrease the chances of flooding.
High water can be a problem in even well-prepared cities. If your Westbrook, ME, business suffers flood damage, a certified restoration service can help you get back to normal quickly and safely.

We are your Cleaning Experts

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

the words Here to Help with a dimmed image of the corona virus SERVPRO of Portland is here to help during this time. Please reach out to our office if we can of any help to you.

SERVPRO of Portland is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call our Office Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – 207-772-5032.