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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.

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

5 Places Mold Might Be Hiding in Your Home

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a corner of a wall Mold damage in Falmouth, ME

5 Places Mold Might Be Hiding in Your Home

If you have experienced water damage or have high levels of moisture in your home in Falmouth, ME, then you might have a problem with mold growth. However, sometimes it can be difficult to find. If you smell a musty odor in the house but don’t see any signs of the fungus, it might be hiding in one of the following locations.

1. Behind the Walls

One common place for hidden mold is behind the walls. If moisture is trapped here, you might be able to smell moldy drywall. If the growth continues to spread, you will likely see discoloration on your walls.

2. Underneath the Floors

As well as behind walls, mold can grow beneath the flooring. This can be especially common in homes with carpeting, as this material is absorbent and more likely to hold moisture. It might grow underneath laminate and between tiles as well.

3. Near Leaks

Mold needs moisture to grow, so you can often find it in an area where leaking has occurred. Whether it is a leaky roof or a damaged pipe, these areas should be repaired quickly to prevent mold from growing.

4. Inside Air Conditioners

If they are not well-maintained, air conditioning units can become a breeding ground for mold growth. This can happen if the moisture is not properly escaping and is building up in the unit.

5. Around Windows and Doors

During a storm, moisture can build up in the areas around doors and windows which can result in mold on wood around these structures. It can help to wipe them down after rainy weather.
Because mold growth is not always easy to locate, it can be a good idea to hire a mold remediation company if you think this fungus might be growing in your house. If they find any growth, they can take the necessary steps to remove it and help prevent it from returning.

Why Does Mold Smell So Bad?

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Wall with mold growth. Words on the top of picture MUSTY ODOR? A musty odor may indicate mold growth in your property

An easy way to tell that mold growth has begun in your home in Portland, ME is the unmistakable musty odor mold produces. Any amount of flood water, even if it was not contaminated, can lead to mold and in many cases odors. When you smell this distinctive mustiness, do not hesitate to take action. You need to remove the mold itself as well as the odor promptly or else your home can become uninhabitable.

What Creates the Smell?

Mold can produce a number of different gasses, referred to as microbial volatile organic compounds. These MVOCs can be odorless, or they can also be musty. The fact that mold growth can be odorless and that it tends to happen in hidden places means it is vital to hire a mold remediation service right away so that professionals can inspect your home thoroughly.

Does Mold Produce Different Odors?

Different types of mold can emit different compounds, each of which with its own distinct odor. For example, mold can produce the following odors:

  • 2-hexanone, which has an acetone-like smell
  • 1-octen-3-ol, which smells meaty
  • 1-butanol may smell similar to alcohol fermentation
  • 3-octanone has a fatty, nutty aroma to it.

Ultimately, homeowners in Portland, ME need to take note of any odors out of the ordinary because a wide range of smells could indicate mold and mildew are present.

How Can You Get Rid of the Odor?

After a flood of any size, sewage loss and mold growth can foster an unpleasant aroma that permeates the entire abode. To rid your home of it, you must remove all damaged and wet materials from the premises. You need to make sure to get rid of everything dampened that cannot be dried or cleaned before beginning the repair process. If any amount of mold is left behind, it will simply grow back. Ventilate the area to promote airflow and deodorize using baking soda.

3 Things to Know About Sandbags

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water barrier of sand bag to prevent flood Water barrier of sandbags in Portland, Me

3 Things to Know About Sandbags

When faced with a storm in Portland, ME, you may be considering the possibility of a sand bag wall to protect your business. Many flood damage restoration services recommend taking steps to mitigate damage before it occurs as a way to protect the property and reduce clean up times and costs. A flood dam is one way to do this. Here is what you may want to know.

1. How They Work

In most cases flood dams work by directing water flow away from the threatened area. Many people choose sandbags as they are easy to build in a variety of protective formations. Dry sand is loaded into the bag, and the bag is then folded and placed to create a wall. When the water reaches the wall it is absorbed by the sand which then becomes heavier, harder to move, and creates a tighter seal.

2. Where to Place Them

When creating a sand bag barrier to protect your business it’s recommended to construct it in a way that directs the flow of water rather than trying to block it. This will put less force on the wall, and keep the water moving to a safe drainage location. Consider setting the barrier up so that the water flows down hill and away from the property, or into a drainage ditch or open field where it can disperse safely.

3. When to Use Them

One of the best ways to reduce flood damage is to know when to use a flood dam. In most cases you may want to consider the use of sand bags any time you believe flooding may pose a high risk to the property.

When making a sand bag wall or using another flood dam type to protect your company it’s important to understand how they work and where to place them to direct water flow. Using these tools properly may help you reduce the amount of damage your business could face in the next big storm.

Here's How You Put out a Grease Fire

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

spoonful of baking soda and a jar on a wooden table If the fire is still going, dump a liberal amount of baking soda on the flames

While it's true that a fire can start anywhere in your home, the kitchen is one of the most common places. There are a lot of hazards in this room, so you need to be cautious when you're cooking on the stove or using the oven. A grease fire is one of the most concerning types of fires you could encounter at home. Extinguishing these fires is not the same as most kinds.

What Causes Grease Fires?

If you're like many people in North Deering, ME, you probably use your fair share of cooking oil on the stove. Whether it's frying up bacon or sausage for breakfast or grilling up something else delicious on the stove or griddle, you may frequently contend with grease. The common reasons a grease fire may start include:

  • Putting too much oil in the pan
  • Leaving the room while something is frying or grilling on the stove
  • Leaving panhandles away from the stove where other people can bump into them

Smother it Quickly
If a grease fire starts in the kitchen, don't panic. Your first job is to smother the flames and remove the fire's oxygen source. You can do this by grabbing a metal lid and covering the pan or burner.
Remove the Heat
You need to next kill the heat source. Turn off the stove or unplug the electric griddle.

Try Some Baking Soda
If the fire is still going, dump a liberal amount of baking soda on the flames. This should do enough to smother the flames and control the fire. It may require some fire cleanup, but you can control the damage.

What not To Do
Your first reaction to putting out a fire may be to dump water on the source. With grease, this won't work; it will only spread the flames. Never put water on these types of fires.
A licensed fire restoration company can clean up after a grease fire. Still, you don't want to get to this point. By following these pointers, you can stay away from these disasters.

How To Fix a Constantly Flushing Toilet

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom with flooding. A constantly flushing toilet is not a problem you want to ignore

A toilet that won't stop flushing in your commercial building can cause several problems. Toilet overflow doesn't just create extra work for the custodial staff; it also can lead to significant water damage. There are a couple of ways you can troubleshoot the problem before you have to call for help, though.

Clean the Flushometer

The toilet may be flushing because the flushometer is clogged. Sediment gets trapped in the gasket, but you can clean it in a few steps:

  • Remove the lid and the flange cover.
  • Clean the gasket and weep hole (if present).
  • Replace the cover.

Most of the time, this will stop a toilet from flushing constantly. If it doesn't, however, there's one more thing to try before calling for professional assistance.

Replace the Gasket

All parts wear out and have to be replaced eventually. If the gasket is cracked or not sealing properly, this is probably what is causing the toilet to malfunction. When a worn-out gasket is left unchecked, it leads to leaks and toilet overflow. Take the cover off and remove the damaged gasket gently, being careful not to scratch the chrome around it. Add the new gasket and replace the cover.

Call a Plumber

When neither of these quick fixes works, water restoration specialists recommend that you call someone with more expertise. An established plumber in Munjoy Hill, ME, who is familiar with commercial systems is your best bet. When the technicians arrive, they can assess the problem and get it fixed. Quick resolution can stop a toilet flood before it begins, which saves you a lot of money in the long run.
A constantly flushing toilet is not a problem you want to ignore. Just because it hasn't caused damage yet doesn't mean that it never will. It is a toilet overflow waiting to happen. Troubleshoot the problem or call someone to assist to avoid water damage.

3 Ways to Prepare for a Home Adjuster Visit

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on carpet Drying equipment in a Deering, ME home

Ways That You Can Prepare Yourself And Your House For The Visit

One of the first things that you should do if you have experienced water damage in your North Deering, ME, home is to call your insurance company and file a claim. During this process, a home adjuster will need to perform an inspection to determine the extent of the damage. The following are a few ways that you can prepare yourself and your house for the visit.

1. Make a List of Damage

Documenting the damage to your house and belongings is an important step when filing an insurance claim. It will save both you and the adjuster a lot of time if you begin working on it before he or she arrives. Along with listing areas and items that have been affected, you may want to take some pictures as well. If you have receipts for any belongings that have been damaged, these can help to determine the value of your loss.

2. Start Cleaning Up

Along with the primary damage that occurred, large amounts of water and moisture can cause secondary damage, such as mold growth, to your house if it is not removed quickly. For this reason, it is best not to wait for your home adjuster before you begin the cleanup process. In cases of severe damage, you may want to hire a water damage remediation company to start working on mitigation right away.

3. Go Over Your Policy

If it has been a while since you purchased your insurance, then it is possible that you may not remember all of the details of your policy. In order to be better prepared, you should read over it while waiting for your adjuster. Making yourself familiar with the terms and requirements can help move things along more smoothly.
In some cases, particularly if there has been a large storm in your area, it may take a while before your home adjuster is able to inspect your property. Taking this time to prepare for the visit can save time and help you complete your claim more easily.

What It Means To Be a Preferred Vendor for Insurance Companies

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

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

One of the main benefits of choosing SERVPRO for restoration services in West Falmouth, ME, is that the company is the preferred vendor for most insurance companies. This title often indicates that the restoration company has met a set of criteria pertaining to compliance and quality standards. The preferred vendor program also leads to a good relationship between the vendor and the insurance agent, streamlining the claims process and minimizing complications for all parties involved. Here is some general information on how a company becomes a preferred vendor and the benefits of being a part of the program.

How To Become a Preferred Vendor

The steps to becoming a preferred vendor can vary depending on the insurance company, but here are several steps that are usually required:

Application Process: Each insurance provider has its own unique application process, so vendors need to register separately with each company. The paperwork may ask for a tax identification number, the name of the company, the business structure, and a list of provided services.
Describe Qualifications: Some applications may allow the vendor to upload a document or give space for including any qualifications and incentives. This section should be drafted carefully, with attention to qualification a business owner or insurance agent would be interested in.
Wait for an Opening: The next step is to simply wait for a response. Some insurance companies will simply accept the application and provide work while others will then require the applicant to bid for a job.

Benefits of the Preferred Vendor Program

The main benefit of being a preferred vendor for companies is being supplied with plenty of work. In return, the vendor often agrees to reasonable pricing, consistent performance, and reduced claim costs. This ensures the client receives high-quality services while also meeting the needs of the insurance agent.
Being a preferred vendor isn’t just a phrase companies like SERVPRO use to make them sound professional. Rather, this term indicates an expectation for exceptional quality and a mutually beneficial partnership between insurance companies and vendors.

How Fast Can Mold Grow?

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a building Mold growth in Falmouth Foreside, ME

If your property in Falmouth Foreside, ME, has suffered water damage, you may be concerned about the potential for mold growth. Since mold spores live everywhere, it is especially important to address any wet areas after a water leak or flood. Mold spores travel through the air and attach to damp surfaces, which can lead to mold colonies if left treated.

Important Tips to Remember About Mold Include the Following:

  • Mold can establish itself in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
  • Mold thrives in areas with high humidity, dim lighting, and low air circulation.
  • Mold can form colonies in as little as 1 to 12 days.

Mold Growth

If you suspect that mold is growing in your building, it's crucial to check areas that have sustained water damage. Whether the water is from a small, consistent leak or a major disaster, it can lead to conditions that foster mold. When the mold spores land in the correct environment, they begin feeding and breaking down materials such as wood, carpet, fabric, and sheetrock. This can lead to structural damage if not taken care of.

Mold Remediation

Professional cleanup and remediation services are essential to effectively handle mold growth, as experts have specialized equipment and training to detect and remediate the situation. Not only is it imperative to remove the existing mold, but it's also important to fix the source of the water feeding the mold. If the source of the water isn't addressed, the mold will return and cause more damage, so this is a crucial step in mold prevention.
Since mold can spread so quickly once it is established, responding as soon as possible is your best bet. A fast response lessens the damage and saves you money in the long run. Professionals in the industry have the knowledge and tools to remediate the mold and water damage and return your property to a clean, safe state.

3 Things To DO After a Fire in Your Facility

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores Fire damage in Windham, ME

3 Things To DO After a Fire in Your Facility

The emergency responders have wrapped up the scene, and you are staring at a charred shell that used to be your business. Now, all you can think about is fire restoration and how soon you can open your doors again. However, you may be getting a little ahead of yourself. While you may be driven to start cleanout and demolition immediately, there are at least three things you need to do right away to protect your insurance claim and your recovery effort.

  1. Call Your Insurer
  2. Don't Touch Anything
  3. Hire a Mitigation Crew

Call Your Insurer

After dialing 911, your fire insurance company should be the first call you make. By calling quickly, you can help ensure that an adjuster will get out to your property at their earliest convenience. For many insurers, they try to get an adjuster out to the premises within a few days of the incident, which is why early notification is best.

Don't Touch Anything

Next, avoid touching anything until after the scene has been documented. While fire restoration may be the only thing you can think about, know that messing with too much before the adjuster is able to see the damage in-person can compromise your official claim. While that doesn't mean you have to avoid the entire building altogether, it does mean that you should stay clear of the affected areas.

Hire a Mitigation Crew

Last, hire a Windham, ME, fire mitigation company to seal any weak spots or points of entry in the building. An insurer will be looking to make sure that you did everything in your power to reduce the risk of greater property loss. Also, if you find the right one-stop restoration shop, you may only need one company for mitigation, fire and smoke cleaning and restoration.
In order to move ahead with fire restoration work, you need to make a successful claim to your insurer, which is often dependent on your ability to show forethought and patience. Follow the steps above to both protect and preserve your insurance coverage.