Recent Posts

What to do if Ceiling has Wet Stains?

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

Water Stain on ceiling If you've got a wet spot on your ceiling that's not mold, you'll want to do everything in your power to get rid of it as fast as possible.

What to do if Ceiling has Wet Stains?

There are a variety of reasons your Portland, ME home has wet ceilings. Sometimes there might be water damage from a leaky roof, other times it could be condensation buildup caused by poor insulation or air circulation. It may look like nothing at first glance, but if left unchecked it can lead to serious problems over time. We want to help you better understand how to identify wet stains on ceilings and what action is appropriate depending on their cause.

Determine the source of the leak.

Water stains on your ceiling could indicate that there's a leak somewhere in your home. Leaks can be caused by a variety of things, including plumbing issues, roof problems, and leaks in the walls.

When faced with this situation, first determine the source of the leak. If there is water dripping from above, check for cracks or holes in your roof where rain could be entering; if there are no holes in your roof but water is still leaking through onto your ceiling, look for leaks in plumbing pipes that run through your attic and into your house below. After determining whether or not there are any obvious sources of water coming from above, clean up what has already spilled and make sure to dry out as much moisture as possible before moving on to step two: stopping further leaks and preventing future ones from happening again!

Fix the leak.

If you have a leak in your ceiling, this is the next step to take. If you don't fix the leak, more water will get into your home and damage your ceiling. You may need to call in a professional if you aren't sure how to fix it or if it requires expensive materials. 

Dry out water from the ceiling.

If you've got a wet spot on your ceiling that's not mold, you'll want to do everything in your power to get rid of it as fast as possible. First, use fans and other ventilation methods to dry out the ceiling. If the stain is large and there's plenty of water damage, hire a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Portland.

Water stains on ceiling can be caused by a variety of things.

The best thing you can do if you discover water stains on your ceiling is to locate the source of the leak as soon as possible, and then stop it. The source of the leak may be a fairly straightforward issue to fix, or it may be more complicated, such as replacing an old roof or repairing a broken pipe.

Whatever you decide to do about your water stains on the ceiling in order to prevent further damage, it’s important that you act quickly before too much damage has been done and before any mold starts growing in your home.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the problem of wet stains on the ceiling and what to do about it. If you have any additional questions or concerns please feel free to contact SERVPRO of Portland and we will be happy to assist you with whatever questions you may have.

Content cleaning and fire damage

10/12/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke If you need Odor Removal and Deodorization call SERVPRO.

Cleaning of the contents and fire damage

A home fire is devastating, and it doesn't help that you can't even think about cleaning up until the smell of smoke has been dealt with. I know it can be hard to imagine, but there are things you can do to restore your clothing and other belongings. In this article, we'll explore the options for cleaning clothes after a fire, including professional dry-cleaning and content cleaning (home remedies). We'll also talk about how to remove odors from soiled items that may not be salvageable through washing alone.

Not all items are unsalvageable 

The first thing to remember about cleaning clothes after a fire is that you have options. If the damage is minor, you can attempt to clean it yourself. If the clothes are soiled by water or smoke inhalation, professional cleaning may be necessary.

While all these methods can remove fire-related odors from clothing:

  • Dry cleaning - The most expensive method, but also one of the most effective for removing smoke smells. It's best if you take your clothing directly to a dry cleaner instead of trying this at home because they'll know how best to treat each material type (and won't lose their license).
  • Ultrasonic cleaning - This uses high-frequency sound waves that break up dirt and grime so they can be rinsed away with water during washing machine use; it's also an excellent option for soaking garments that aren't safe for dry cleaning or steam pressing (such as leather).
  • Steam pressing - You'll want a professional pressing service rather than trying this at home—if done improperly by an amateur, hot steam could damage delicate fabrics like silk or wool!

Removing smoke odor from clothing can be expensive or impossible.

While it is possible to remove smoke odor from clothing and other non-porous items, such as linens, carpets and upholstery, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of smoke odor removal in the future.

  1. Vacuum your home thoroughly each day. This will help remove any loose particulate matter that would otherwise settle on furniture or in carpeting over time.
  2. Make sure your furnace filter is changed monthly (at minimum).
  3. Use a dehumidifier if humid conditions are causing problems with mold growth or mildew formation in carpeting or upholstery fabrics. This can help reduce moisture levels while also removing excess humidity from living spaces where people spend time indoors during colder weather periods when they wouldn't normally be outside enjoying themselves at all hours of the day!

Content cleaning is worth the investment

Content cleaning isn't always easy, and it can be expensive. You need a professional who knows how to clean your belongings without damaging them further. To find the right professional, start by asking friends or family members if they have any recommendations. If they don't know of anyone, ask your local fire department if there are any companies in the area that specialize in content cleaning after fire damage.

Once you've found a company, its website will have information about its services and prices on it. Read through this carefully so that you know exactly what they do before hiring them (such as whether they'll be cleaning specific items). Also, make sure that everything listed on the website is available locally—if not, find out how much more it would cost for shipping costs or travel expenses for someone to come out from another city or state!

Once you've hired an expert who can help clean up after your home has been damaged by fire very carefully review all bills before paying them so there are no surprises later down road! In many cases, your insurance company will pay for the content cleaning.

The best way to protect your belongings is by keeping them out of harm's way. If you've been affected by a fire, it's important to get an expert inspection and evaluation before cleaning up the mess. This will ensure that your efforts at restoration don't cause more damage than the fire itself did!

How To Prevent Mold Growth on Bread

8/26/2022 (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.

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

8/21/2022 (Permalink)

Soot build up on light fixtures Soot buildup on these light fixtures after a fire occurred in a local business in Portland.

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your Portland, ME 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.

How to Repair a Flooded Toilet

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow 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.

4 Tips for Cleaning Sewer Problems

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement Flooded basement in Westbrook, ME

Four Important Things To Do When You Are Dealing With Dirty Water 

A flooded basement is one of the biggest problems a homeowner or renter can ever face. If the incoming water is contaminated with sewage, the situation is even more distressing. If you are faced with this situation, there are a number of things you can do to increase your own personal safety and limit the damage to your home. Here are four important things you can do when you are dealing with dirty water in Westbrook, ME.

1. Stay Safe. If you notice your plumbing is backing up, your first priority should be the safety of your family and your pets. Any water that comes from a sewage line is going to carry contaminated water. This should only be handled by experienced workers wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment. In many circumstances, your best option will be to vacate the premises and seek help.

2. Call in the Professionals. A flooded basement is definitely a situation that calls for trained workers. A certified flood mitigation franchise can arrive quickly on the scene and begin the restoration process. An experienced team will know how to deal with sewer issues. The company will make sure the scene is safe for everyone.

3. Look Into Insurance. Early on in the process, it is a good idea to call your insurance agent. They can tell you what will be covered and how to document any damages. More than likely, an insurance adjuster will be out to visit your property. As long as you are working with a reputable mitigation company, it's better to start with the cleanup process than to wait.

4. Make Sure the Work Is Complete. When dealing with a flooded basement, half measures will not be enough. It's important to make sure all moisture is removed and all surfaces are cleaned and scrubbed according to the highest standards. This will keep your home free of mold growth and unpleasant odors.

How SERVPRO Can Help Your Insurance Agent

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Two men and one women having a meeting 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, the 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.

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.

What Happens When Lighting Strikes a House?

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

House being strike by lightning Lightning strikes by a house in Gorham, ME

What Happens When a House is Hit by Lightning?

Approximately 22,600 house fires are started by lightning every year. In some areas of the United States, these bolts can strike the ground well over 100 times per second, and meteorologists have recorded over 900 strikes per minute. Although not all of these will cause a lightning fire, some of them can and do.

The Three Types of Damage

Fire is not the only thing that you have to worry about when volatile electricity strikes your home. There are three ways that it can cause both physical and fire damage.

  • Fired damage - caused by a direct strike to wood or other flammable substance
  • Electrical shorts - caused by electricity traveling through your wiring
  • Shock wave damage - damage caused by the wave of energy released during a strike

These three types are all dangerous and can be the cause of a lightning fire.


Strikes Are Preventable
Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to prevent direct strikes. The easiest is to trim tall trees around your home. Lightning looks for the quickest and easiest path downward. This means the taller the object, the more likely it is to be hit.
You should also make sure that your roof and shingles are in good repair. Use either asphalt shingles or another nonconductive material as roofing. This may not prevent a strike but will help insulate your home from fire damage.


After a Stike to Your Home
If your home takes a direct strike, you may have scorch marks on the walls even if it did not start a house fire. This is because lightning travels through conductive materials like wiring and coax cable. To clean these scorch marks, you will need a professional in Gorham, ME.

Fortunately, a strike does not always result in a lightning fire. By taking some simple precautions, you can lessen the chances that your home will be a victim of this type of fire.

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.