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Identifying and Fixing Flood Issues After a Storm

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Identifying and Fixing Flood Issues After a Storm Flooded basement in Portland, ME

A heavy storm in Portland, ME, can affect your home in several ways. One of the main issues to look out for is a flooded basement. Water can get into the lowest level of your home through various means. First you must identify the problem. Then you can take measures to resolve it.

Where Did It Come From?

When you see water in your basement, the first thing to figure out is where it came from. When it's wet outside, flooding can come from many places:

  • Seepage from excessive groundwater
  • Water running down exterior walls into cracks in the foundation
  • Clog in your home's sewer line
  • Sewage backing up from clogged municipal line

Locating the source of the floodwater is key. This is the first step to figuring out whom to call or how to stop more water from getting into your basement.

How Do You Prevent Flooding?

There are quite a few ways to lower the chances of a flooded basement. Keep gutters and downspouts clear so that they can direct water away from your foundation. Have your foundation inspected for cracks frequently. Perform regular maintenance on your home sewer lines to keep them free of clogs, and install backflow valves to prevent sewer backup from city lines.

How Do You Prevent Damage?

Even the most vigilant maintenance regimen can't prevent all flooding. You can minimize damage, though. Elevate all sensitive appliances and equipment at least 18 inches off the ground. Store heirlooms and important documents in waterproof containers on a high shelf. Install a sump pump in your basement to remove excess water when it floods. You may still need flood restoration specialists to mitigate the damage to your basement floor and walls, but at least you can keep important items out of harm's way.
A strong storm can easily lead to a flooded basement. Identify the source of the flood and taking the appropriate steps to fix it.

5 Things You Should Do Following A Fire

6/27/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Things You Should Do Following A Fire Board the building up if needed to prevent weather damage or looting

There are many things that could start a fire at your business in Falmouth Foreside, ME; electrical or machinery malfunctions, space heaters and placed too close to flammable materials or plugged into an extension cord, even an overcrowded outlet or a glitch in a break room microwave. Lightening during an intense thunderstorm can also cause a hazardous fire, but is much less likely than things that can go wrong during an everyday work situation.

Encouraging employees to be careful, replacing defective appliances and machinery, and having your electrical system inspected regularly can all help prevent a fire disaster. Sometimes, however, prevention is not enough and the unexpected can happen.

5 Steps To Take Immediately After a Fire

There are several things that need to happen right immediately following a blaze before fire restoration can begin. There are also some big don’ts. Here is a helpful list to keep in mind.

  1. Call 911, then get everyone out and to safety, if possible
  2. Call your fire insurance company for instructions
  3. Board the building up if needed to prevent weather damage or looting
  4. Do not let anyone go back into the building prior to an inspection and an OK that it is safe.
  5. Do not touch anything or try to do anything about the damage yourself – it is possible to get injured or to void your insurance company’s requirements of coverage.

Getting Professional Help can Make it Easier

The best thing you can do next is to get help from a professional fire restoration service in Falmouth Foreside, ME. They can perform a through assessment of the damage and help you file the report for fire insurance. They can also direct the cleanup and removal of destroyed materials, smoke cleaning and help with restoration of your building.
Although a blaze can be a serious setback for your business, you can take some comfort in knowing that your local fire restoration service can help. As always, prevention is the best route, but if an unforeseen fire happens, following these steps can help get you back on track.

Tips for Avoiding a Dryer Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for Avoiding a Dryer Fire Cleaning your Portland dryer vent will prevent future fires from lint and dust.

Though you and your family probably take the time to exchange chore duties in your Portland, ME, home, some cleaning tasks inevitably fall by the wayside. One of these tasks includes keeping your dryer maintained and well-kempt, preventing a potential dryer fire in the process. Here are three helpful tips for avoiding a fire through your home’s dryer, whether it be due to a lint fire, an electrical issue or something more hazardous.

3 Helpful Tips for Avoiding a Dryer Fire

  1. Be sure to clean the lint filter before and after every load of laundry. While cleaning out lint from the trap can easily be overlooked, creating a schedule to regularly follow can quickly make the task become a common habit in your family. This prevents considerable lint and dust build-up from forming near the heating element, eliminating a possible dryer fire hazard with every use thereafter.
  1. Make it a priority to snake out your air exhaust vent pipe. A lint fire can erupt just as easily through the exhaust pipe as the filter since air flow can become restricted in the ventilation path due to build-up over time. Not only should professional inspections be conducted on a consistent basis but the outside vent ducting should be unblocked from time to time, as well.
  1. Frequently inspect for and remove any dust collection behind the dryer, and ensure that flammable items aren’t resting too close to the heating element. Excess dust, lint and dirt can collect on the electrical wiring and tubing behind your dryer, so using a duster or vacuum to remove build-up is crucial to keeping the machine working properly and safely. Furthermore, be wary of storing any flammable objects or chemicals near the heating element. 

While perfectly maintaining your Portland, ME, home at all times can be impossible due to everyone’s busy schedules, making dryer maintenance a priority is vital to preventing a potential lint fire in your residence.

Three Ways You Could Be Wasting Water and Money

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Three Ways You Could Be Wasting Water and Money Minor faucet leaks can cause waste of water and money in your commercial property

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.

Plumbing Maintenance

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.

3 Types of Secondary Damage That Can Occur After a Flood

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Types of Secondary Damage That Can Occur After a Flood Left untreated, mold can continue to spread and damage other parts of the house

3 Types of Secondary Damage That Can Occur After a Flood

When a flood first occurs, your home in Portland, ME, may experience some immediate damage from the incident, such as wet drywall or carpet; this type of water damage is referred to as primary damage. If the water is left to sit long enough, secondary damage can occur and cause even more harm, such as black mold growth. The best way to prevent this type of water damage from happening is to immediately contact a water damage cleanup company to remove all water and reverse any damage that has been caused. However, if it not addressed fast enough, you might encounter these three types of secondary damage in your home.

1. Disintegrating Drywall

While flood waters can immediately make their way into your walls, drywall will start to disintegrate if not thoroughly dried. One common cause of rotting drywall is a leak caused by a broken pipe or a leaky roof.

2. Mold Growth

Mold loves moisture, which is why water damage can eventually lead to mold growing in your home. Some specific species of mold, such as black mold, thrive on a constant water source. Left untreated, mold can continue to spread and damage other parts of the house.

3. Warping Hardwood Floors

If faced with high humidity or extended contact with water, hardwood floors can experience warping. You can tell if your floors are warped if the planks look visibly disfigured and are rising off the ground. Warping typically occurs when water or moisture gets beneath the floor. This can happen if an undetected leak makes it way under your floors or flood waters aren’t dealt with fast enough.

Whether dealing with structural damage or black mold growth, secondary damage can be very harmful to your home. Cleaning up spills, addressing leaks, and quickly contacting a water cleanup company after a flood occurs can all help prevent this type of damage from occurring in the first place.

Learning To Live With Mold

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Learning To Live With Mold Mold is microscopic, and its spores are floating in the air both indoors and outdoors.

Most people have a visceral negative reaction when mold is brought up. They aren’t wrong; when it gets out of control it can seem gross, and almost everyone who owns a home has heard of the dangers of black mold. It certainly is something to be aware of in Westbrook, ME. However, mold is a natural part of the world that people should understand better in order to protect themselves and their homes.

What Is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus. When it grows, it usually causes discoloration and has a fuzzy appearance. It is normally invisible to the naked eye, until it starts gathering as a colony. Mold spores are often wind-borne and exist everywhere. There are many different types of mold to be aware of:

  • Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, likes places that are consistently damp
  • Serpula lacrymans, or yellow mold, likes to grow on wood
  • Aureobasidium, or pink mold, is usually outdoors but will prey on wet caulking and framing
  • Penicillium, or blue/green mold, spreads quickly and can appear on anything water damaged

Mold Tolerance

There is no such thing as a mold-free home in Westbrook, ME. Mold is microscopic, and its spores are floating in the air both indoors and outdoors. However, there is a limit to how much mold, including the infamous black mold, should be present in the home. This can be easily tested for, so instead of looking for total mold removal, if you suspect heightened levels, you should seek mold remediation, a process of lowering those levels and mitigating their fluctuation.

Too Much Mold

If mold becomes visible in your home, this may mean that there are more spores than normal in your environment. This is usually due to a water source, such as flooding or a pipe that is leaking. Professional mold cleanup can remove these manifestations, and mold remediation can return your home’s mold levels to normal.

Mold can be okay! Remember penicillin? You must simply try to be aware of the mechanisms of mold growth, the different types that exist and the mold cleanup services that exist to remediate it.

Fire Prevention and Preparedness for Pets

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Prevention and Preparedness for Pets Create a pet fire safety kit with medical supplies

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.

3 Steps Property Managers Should Take Before a Storm

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Steps Property Managers Should Take Before a Storm Heavy limbs from overhanging trees can fall on a building and cause roof damage

3 Steps That Can Reduce the Risk to Severe Storm Damage

Property managers should make storm preparedness one of their top priorities. These three steps can reduce the risk that severe storm damage resulting from hail, heavy rain, flooding, high winds or winter weather poses to a commercial building in Portland, ME.

1. Clear Drainage

A drainage system that is blocked or improperly designed can cause rain to work its way under roofing materials or accumulate around the foundation of a structure. If a roof has sustained damage from hail, ice or winds, leaks may be even more likely. Property managers should have the entire system, from roof drains to gutters and downspouts, cleared out several times a year to ensure proper drainage.

2. Trim Trees

Heavy limbs from overhanging trees can fall on a building and cause roof damage or become flying debris during storms with high wind speeds. It is a good idea for a property manager to schedule periodic tree care as part of a general storm preparedness plan. Arborists and tree care professionals can remove damaged, dead or overhanging branches that could result in serious damage to a structure.

3. Secure Items

Loose exterior items such as antennas, HVAC components, outdoor seating or trash cans can sustain damage or become flying debris depending on the severity of a storm. Some items can be anchored outside when high winds are expected. Other items should be stowed for the duration of a storm.

These storm preparedness steps may be helpful for property management at any commercial building in Portland, ME. Depending on the most probable weather risks, other measures such as the installation of storm windows and purchasing and setting up reusable sandbag alternatives may be effective ways to limit storm damage. If adverse weather affects the exterior or interior of any structure, mitigation and restoration specialists can assess the damage and start water removal within a matter of hours.

High Risk Flood Problems: What To Do

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage High Risk Flood Problems: What To Do If you live in a Flood Hazard Area, FEMA NFIP coverage may be available to you

FEMA NFIP Coverage

Is your home at high risk for flooding? If you recently learned that you live in a Flood Hazard Area or Special Flood Hazard Area, you may be unclear on what your protection plan should be or how to get FEMA NFIP coverage. Here are four steps you should take to get started.

1. Contact your insurance agent. You may want or need to purchase flood insurance to protect against potential flooding damage to your home, so the first thing that you should do after finding out you live in a high-risk flood zone is contact your insurance company to see what flood coverage you are eligible for.

2. If you need more help, visit FloodSmart.gov. This website provides homeowners like you with valuable resources regarding flood insurance and can even help you find an agent if your current insurance company cannot help you get coverage.

3. Learn about FEMA’S National Flood Insurance Program. If you live in a Flood Hazard Area, FEMA NFIP coverage may be available to you. Check with your local floodplain administrator to see if your community participates in this voluntary federal program. If it doesn’t, you do not need to meet federal coverage requirements.

4. Familiarize yourself with Munjoy Hill, ME, cleanup services. No matter how well you prepare for a potential flood, water damage is still a possibility that you need to be ready for. A reliable residential storm damage company can help you figure out a cleanup plan and begin to restore your property to the best of its ability.

Nobody wants to prepare for the worst, but living a high-risk flood area often forces you to do so. Learning about FEMA NFIP and other insurance options, as well as contacting local professionals that can help you with insurance and cleanup needs, will make it easier for you to keep your property secure in the long run.

How To Stop the Nonstop Flushing

4/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Stop the Nonstop Flushing If you have a toilet that won’t stop running call a professional.

Commercial toilets are prone to quirks and constant maintenance, likely due to their continual usage. One of the more common issues is that of nonstop flushing which may occasionally lead to toilet overflow. The seemingly endless flushing is often caused by sediment in the gasket and a blocked weeping hole. The fix, thankfully, is quite simple.

1. Turn Off the Water

Before you can clean the gasket, you will need to turn off the water, which not only prevents a possible toilet flood, it also keeps you dry during the repair process. There should be a screwdriver slot somewhere along the handle shaft. Turn the screw to stop the water supply.

2. Remove Lid and Flange Cover

Using a wrench, you can remove the lid from the flange cover. Once the bolt on top is loose, you can remove it and the now exposed flange cover. You will likely notice a lot of sediment on the gasket which has been instigating your toilet overflow.

3. Clean the Gasket and Weep Hole

To stop a toilet from perpetual flushing, you will need to clean the gasket by first removing it and then running it under the faucet. Make sure that all debris is clear and that the weeping hold is visible and unclogged. You can use a pin or something small to free any potential blockages before returning the gasket.

4. Call a Professional If Problem Persists

If sediment is not the problem, then you may need to call a plumbing specialist in the West Falmouth, ME, area to inspect the toilet and the lines. While a thorough cleaning is often what is needed, there are times when the fixture needs to be replaced, or when there are other issues in the lines.

Commercial toilets require continuous maintenance to prevent toilet overflow and ensure functionality. If you have a toilet that won’t stop running, then try cleaning the gasket, but if that doesn’t work, then turn to the professionals.