A Professional Response to Smoke and Fire Damage
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
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
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.
How Can Property Managers Prepare for Storms?
Create a storm preparedness document
Every storm brings its problems, such as high winds, flooding, and even hail. Taking storm preparedness steps now ensures your property management company will be prepared for any emergency before, during, and after the event.
Start by making a list of all your residents’ information, including:
- Apartment or unit numbers and building addresses
- Best contact phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Pets (if any)
Compile a list of providers in Falmouth Foreside, ME, such as roofers, landscapers, and water damage specialists. Once the storm is over, you’ll want to get started on cleaning up.
Make a Plan
Next, put together an emergency plan with your team. Create a storm preparedness document that includes staff contact information, insurance policy coverage, and phone numbers for emergency services. Discuss the roles everyone will take on during the emergency.
You need to figure out how to get important information to your tenants. There are automated systems that can send updates via email or text to your residents.
Keep Everyone Safe
Work with your residents and ease their fears. In all your communications, emphasize that your property management firm cares about their safety.
Provide resources such as how to make an emergency kit, emergency response numbers and the locations of shelters and evacuation routes. Let tenants know if they are in a flood plain and need extra insurance. Most rental insurance policies don’t cover flooding.
Let them know about your organization’s policies on precautions like nailing up plywood to protect windows. Ask them to bring in items that are outside, such as patio furniture.
Before a storm, do preventative landscaping and grounds maintenance to remove any large branches or rocks that could damage the property. If possible, empty dumpsters and trashcans to mitigate flying debris.
The National Apartment Association has useful tips for preparing for bad storms. Taking time for storm preparedness will help you and your residents make it through whatever Mother Nature throws at you.
Three Ways You Could Be Wasting Water and Money
When you own or manage commercial properties, identifying ways to keep costs down is crucial. Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes that many property managers make that cost them a lot of money. Several of these mistakes have to do with ignoring trouble (such as a water leak) along the plumbing system:
- "Minor" faucet leaks
- Slow-draining toilets
- Hidden irrigation leaks
- Leaking joints
- Low water pressure
Any one of these problems could cost you up to hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
The plumbing through your property, including sinks, bathrooms, and landscaping, is generally an efficient system, but it does require routine maintenance to ensure optimal performance. If regular care isn't provided, there are several ways you could be losing money.
One: Increased Water Bill
A single leaky faucet in your Windham, ME, property could mean that you're paying for several gallons of wasted water. If you have several leaky faucets, toilets, and irrigation pipes, the resulting amount of water becomes very expensive.
Two: Damages Caused by Water
Just one unrepaired water leak can cause damage to walls, ceilings, and flooring as moisture seeps throughout the area. A musty odor could indicate mold growth. Of course, if there's more than one source of moisture, the damages may be widespread. As soon as you've noticed this type of water damage, contact a water remediation and cleanup agency right away.
Three: Secondary Damages
Even if you respond right away to a pipe break, it is possible to suffer ongoing damages. This is particularly true if water or moisture made its way into a hard-to-reach or unseen area of the property. High levels of humidity continue to affect those corners of the building until mold develops or warping, discoloration, and rust have settled in.
Are hidden costs relating to your plumbing system costing you money every month? Has a "minor" water leak been ignored to the point that it has become very expensive? Don't take risks when it comes to your property. Respond to any type of plumbing concerns immediately.
What Mold Growth on Food Says About Mold
Mold is common on bread for a variety of reasons
Interesting Facts About Mold
It's a tough choice: Would you rather have mold on your walls and ceilings or on your food? While bread mold is probably more unpalatable, it likely has less of a chance of causing significant damage to your home. Nonetheless, the presence of mold anywhere is always a good excuse to impart a few lessons. Here are some interesting facts about mold:
- It belongs to the kingdom Fungi
- It is neither plant nor animal
- It grows on all types of surfaces
- It is present nearly everywhere
- It spreads by microscopic spores
- It is related to mushrooms
Another important fact about mold is that it likes, wet, damp conditions. All of this information is important to a mold remediation franchise in Falmouth, ME when it comes to controlling mold growth.
More About Bread Mold
Mold is common on bread for a variety of reasons. For one thing, bread contains a desirable source of nutrients. Bread is also normally stored outside of the refrigerator and it often contains a bit of moisture. Since mold spores are ubiquitous, they can easily settle onto bread and begin to multiply, sometimes with amazing rapidity. Mold has been known to double in less than an hour. As an organism, mold is nothing if not resourceful. That is why you can find fridge mold growing on fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator as well.
More About Mold Cleanup
When mold begins to grow on your walls, ceilings and upholstery, it is important to get the fungus growth under control. Untreated mold in your home is potentially more serious than a little bread mold in the pantry. It can produce an unpleasant odor throughout the home and even degrade materials over time. For this reason, it should be mitigated as soon as possible. Professional cleanup methods include mold containment and cleaning and sanitizing with industry-approved disinfectants. Quick action will remove mold colonies from your home.
4 Tips for Cleaning Sewer Problems
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.
Minimize Damage After a Fire with a Temporary Roof Repair
Roof damaged by fire in a Portland, ME building
The aftermath of even a small or partial-loss fire at your Portland, ME, business can have lingering effects. While the first concern may be the fire cleanup, the potential for further issues to occur should also be a top priority if the roof was damaged. As you wait for the roof repair to take place, leaving it exposed means opening the building up to potential problems.
Roof Damage Woes
Fire cleanup doesn’t happen overnight. Calling a fire damage and restoration expert that is Faster to Any Size Disaster is the first step in ensuring speedy and professional repairs. In the interim, whether the hole was caused by the fire, or firefighters had to create an opening for ventilation, it leaves the structure vulnerable to non-fire losses or worries:
Cost – The longer the roof is exposed, the higher the potential for further environmental damage that can quickly increase repair costs.
Vandalism – While it depends on the extent of the roof destruction, the gap could create an access point for vandals or thieves.
Pests – Animals and insects can easily find their way in through the smallest spaces.
Safety – If the damage isn’t severe, you may be able to continue operating out of the business structure, but that could mean a potential safety hazard for anyone in the building.
Although not a permanent fix, using tarp services is an ideal way to minimize secondary damage or other issues. These experts will properly affix boards and tarps to keep debris and precipitation from entering through the ruined areas. Regardless of the type of roof, they will have the know-how to securely seal off entry points and create an insulation barrier to help minimize costly repairs while determining whether the roof needs to be fixed or replaced.
When fire cleanup includes the roof, take quick action to contain the damage, and help ease the restoration process.
Fire Prevention and Preparedness for Pets
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
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.