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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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.

Effective Steps to Prevent Flooding in Your Building

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of a worker fixing a rain gutter Make sure rain gutters are diverting water away from the building

You can't control the weather, but there are ways you can reduce the risk of having high water in your Gorham, ME, building. With careful planning and a focused effort, you can save your company a lot of money and hassle. Follow these guidelines to keep unwanted water away from your facility.

Do Some Inspecting

If your building is getting along in years, it may be a good time to make sure different systems are performing well. You should even inspect these areas if you didn't install them too long ago. For flood prevention, each year, you should do the following:

  • Check the roof for weak spots, missing shingles or damage.
  • Inspect the pipes in your plumbing system for cracks or leaks.
  • Make sure rain gutters and downspouts are diverting water away from the building.
  • Check windows and the foundation to ensure water can't seep through.

Think About Landscaping

The property surrounding your building could play a role as you try to stop flooding. Planting trees around the edge of the property could help block floodwater. Also, using native plants and thick mulch can soak up heavy rains. Make sure the yard is graded properly and slants away from the building.

Elevate the building

If you work in an area prone to high water and flooding, you should consider raising the entire building off the ground a few feet. This is an expensive process, but it could be worth it when heavy rains increase water levels and threaten your workplace.

Ask the Experts

If you need further information on how to prevent water damage, talk to a professional flood remediation company. These experts know how to clean up after flooding, but they also understand effective ways to keep water away.
Don't put your building at risk when high water rears its ugly head. Take these measures so you can avoid costly damage.

Water Damage Cleanup

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a home Water cleanup in a Westbrook, ME home

Water Damage Cleanup

When unexpected water seeps into your Westbrook, ME, home, especially from flooding, safety should always be the top priority. While your belongings are precious, ensuring it is safe to be in the home is more important. Even a broken pipe could affect the electrical system, creating potential hazards. After you have verified there is no visible structural damage, foundation issues or electrical damage, you can begin the cleanup.

Ensure a Safe Cleanup

When there is a lot of water in home, it’s best to contact your insurance company and a water damage expert. Before cleanup can begin, turn off the power and unplug electronics. Furniture and other wet items should be removed. After the situation has been assessed, the following are basic steps for cleaning up the damage.

Eliminate the Water – Getting rid of as much water as possible is vital to a successful cleanup. The old standards like towels and mops can be used if the water is from a broken pipe. If there is flooding or sewage backup, use a wet/dry vacuum or rent a sump pump.
Allow for Amply Drying Time – Once the visible water is cleaned up, it’s time to get rid of the moisture you can’t see. If it isn’t humid out, open the windows to help your home dry out. Use fans and a dehumidifier to speed up the process.
Disinfect Everything – Dry time can last a couple of days depending on the extent of the damage. Once everything is dry, sanitizing is the next step. Any area that has been in contact with water needs to be disinfected.

Avoid Secondary Damage

If your home isn’t thoroughly dried and clean, secondary damage can quickly begin to take root. Since water can sneakily be hidden within and behind walls and flooring, if it is missed, it can create the perfect conditions for mold growth or begin to rot wood or corrode metal, which could affect your home’s integrity.
Although a broken pipe can feel like an overwhelming, quick action can keep damage from spreading. To stop that from happening, count on help that is Faster to any size disaster.

5 Keys for Safe Cooking

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

man holding fire extingisher Kitchen fire safety is priority during the holidays.

Whenever you first began to cook at home, you were probably given several important tips to keep in mind. Chances are this advice is still valid today. Here are some keys to safe cooking that will probably never go out of style.

Keep Clutter to a Minimum.

It's hard to stay safe when bowls, ingredients, salt and pepper shakers and wrappers mess up your counter tops.

Know Where the Fire Extinguisher Is Located.

If a grease fire starts you want to be able to grab a fire extinguisher quickly, particularly one labelled B that is effective on hot oils.

Stay in the Cooking Area.

Leaving an open flame unattended is a bad practice and the cause of many home fires.

Heed Alarms and Smoke Detectors.

Your stove and your home should be equipped with working alarms that alert you to possible fire damage.

Keep Flammables Away.

The cooking area should never be a place to store gasoline, fire starter or other flammable items.

Make Fire Safety a Priority

Be sure to share these safe cooking tips with everyone in your family. Go beyond the cooking area and come up with a home fire safety plan. This should include placing the fire department number in Portland, ME, in an accessible spot. Go over an evacuation plan. Check that fire alarms, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in working condition.

Don't Forget About Cleanup

A complete fire safety plan includes measures for cleaning up fire damage. This can be accomplished by contacting a fire remediation team. Not only will professionals be able to assess the damage and secure your home against further damage, they will be able to take care of water damage as a result of putting the fire out. It's always a good idea to follow safe cooking tips, and its smart to prepare for the aftermath of a home fire.

How To Clean Shower Mold

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Shower mold can be a frustrating problem. Mold grows in wet conditions, so it thrives in consistently moist areas such as bathrooms.
Thankfully, you do not have to live with a moldy shower. If the contamination is limited to a small area, you can attempt mold cleanup yourself. Below are some tips for removing black mold from your shower.

Stay Safe

Safety should be your top priority when you attempt to get rid of mold in your Portland, ME, home. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and old clothes. You should also open a window or use a fan to keep the bathroom ventilated. When you are finished with the black mold cleanup, take off your gloves and clothes immediately so they don’t spread spores throughout your home. You can then clean the clothes in the washing machine using hot water.

Create a Cleaning Solution

You next need to decide what solution to use to clean the shower mold. White vinegar is an effective and non-toxic choice. If you want a more natural cleaner, combine a gallon of water with a cup of Borax. Borax is a white powder you can usually find in the laundry aisle of your supermarket. Bleach can be dangerous and should only be used as a last resort.

Use the Solution

Whichever cleaning solution you choose should be poured into a spray bottle. You can then spray the entire affected area with the liquid. The cleaner should saturate the mold but not create any puddles. Then wipe away the mold and the cleaner using a cloth. If the mold remains stuck, try using a scrubbing brush. Shower mold stuck in caulking or grout should be scrubbed away with an old toothbrush.

By following the above suggestions, you can limit the mold damage in your home. If the problem persists, consider contacting your local mold remediation and cleanup experts.

5 Steps for Dealing With Storm Damage

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

A man in white personal protective gear shuffling through trash It's also important to wear the proper safety gear when entering the space

5 Steps for Dealing With Storm Damage

After a storm in Falmouth, ME, you my find it necessary cleanup water damage in your home. Fortunately, there are many professionals who can help. Here are a few helpful storm tips you may wish to know before you begin the cleanup process

1. Follow Safety Procedures

It's important to follow safety procedures before you proceed with a storm cleanup. For example turn off any electricity before entering a flooded area, and only use properly rated equipment when removing water.

2. Contact Your Insurance

You may also wish to contact your insurance about the damage to your property. Repairs can begin before your agent arrives on scene, but you may find your insurance company has a couple recommendations for local storm damage restoration companies you can work with.

3. Contact a Professional Quickly

Another among many commonly recommended storm tips, is to contact a professional for any repairs that need to be made. This will help ensure that the restoration is conducted properly, and in some cases can help your insurance claim as well.

4. Wear Safety Gear

It's also important to wear the proper safety gear when entering the space. This may include work gloves, face mask, clothing that covers the skin, proper shoes, and depending on the damage type a work helmet.

5. Cover Over Damaged Areas

Another step many professionals recommend is to cover over any damages until repairs can be made. This will help prevent further damage and help keep animals out of your home.
Remember to follow these helpful storm tips when restoring your home. Always follow safety procedures such as turning off any electricity and wearing the proper safety equipment. It's also wise to contact a professional to perform any repairs, as well as your insurance company for any recommendations they may have. You should also cover over any damaged space until the repairs can begin in the area.

How To Protect Your Business From Flood Damage

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Laying of waterproofing sheathing and insulation during the renovation of a roof Worker laying of waterproof sheating on roof

Here Are Some Steps To Protect Your Commercial Property

When most people think of flood damage, they are probably picturing storm damage from a hurricane or an overflowing river. However, flooding can occur almost anywhere and cause significant destruction to your property. Even if your business in Portland, ME, is not located in a high-risk flood zone, it could be wise to take steps to protect your commercial property.

Assess Your Risk

Assessing the perils unique to your business can be a good place to start. Answering these questions will help you pinpoint hazards you need to address:

  • Is your business located in a high flood-risk area, such as a flood plain or a location that frequently experiences storm damage?
  • Which parts of your valuable property are most endangered?
  • Do your buildings have any structural vulnerabilities?

Prepare Your Basement

Basements of commercial properties are particularly vulnerable to flood damage due to the risk of water seeping in from the surrounding saturated ground. If you are storing anything of value in the basement, you may want to consider moving it to an area less prone to flooding, such as a higher floor. Other steps you can take to safeguard your basement include sealing up any leaks in the floor or walls, regrading your landscape to direct water away from your building, and installing a sump pump and drainage system.

Prepare the Rest of Your Property

Once you’ve got the basement squared away, turn your attention to the rest of your property. You may be able to reduce your potential for damage by inspecting and cleaning your gutters, sealing up any leaks, installing moisture detection systems, and using flood-resistant materials in any new construction or repair work. Addressing any standing water promptly after flooding can also help reduce future problems. A professional storm cleanup service may be helpful to evaluate the situation.
Flood damage can be a costly interruption to your business functions. By taking steps to protect your building and promptly address your flood cleanup needs, you may be able to significantly reduce the impact on your operations.

The 2 Most Important Things You Should Know About Water Damage

10/15/2019 (Permalink)

Two air movers placed on carpet drying up affected area after water damage Water damage in a Casco Bay Islands, ME home

Two Things You Should Know About Water Damage

Virtually no expects to spend the weekend dealing with the fallout from a pipe burst, but that doesn't stop water lines from breaking and homes from flooding. When it comes to unexpected water in Casco Bay Islands,ME, knowledge is power. Here are two things you should know about water damage.

1. It Might Go Deeper Than You Think

When water surges in your home, it's imperative to clean up the water and begin drying the area as quickly as possible. Be aware, however, that water may have penetrated your home's porous surfaces more deeply than is visually apparent.
When water creeps under baseboards, into carpeting, and up drywall, it needs to be handled by a professional water damage restoration company. It will have the drying and cleaning equipment necessary to remove moisture completely and repair or replace damaged items after a pipe burst or storm surge. If left untreated, these concealed yet damp areas can lead to mold and other potentially hazardous conditions in your home.

2. It May Not Be Covered by Your Insurance Policy

Not all water damage is created equal in the eyes of most insurance companies. If the water damage was due to conditions beyond your control, such as a storm or flood, it'll likely be covered under your policy. If the water damage was due to a lack of intervention or carelessness on your part, however, it's unlikely that it will be covered.
In short, if your insurer feels that you could've prevented the water issue, it probably won't cover your expenses. That's just a general guideline, though; be sure to consult your insurance policy to understand its terms and conditions in full.
A pipe burst or supply line break doesn't have to spell disaster for your home. When flooding happens, enlist the help of an experienced water damage restoration company to return your home to normal quickly and safely.

The 3 Most Common Causes of Home Fires

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

house on fire and a lot of smoke in the air Home fire in North Deering, ME

Understanding The Most Common Sources of Home Fires

Items you use daily can be the most common sources of fire in your North Deering,ME, home. It may be hard to imagine that the space heater you have always loved could cause a home fire, but that is just what can happen. Understanding the most common sources of home fires can help you reduce your risk of injury and property damage.

Cooking Equipment Building codes require smoke detectors near kitchens because fires related to cooking represent nearly half of all residential fires and often result in the need for complex fire restoration services. Several kitchen scenarios can create the dangerous combination of high heat and combustible materials.

A hot stove burner can cause grease on a pan or a burner to ignite.
A hot oven can ignite grease that has splashed or dripped onto the oven interior.
Food in close proximity to a glowing broiler coil is susceptible to combustion.
Small appliances, such as toasters and griddles, can ignite crumbs or grease.
A hot barbecue grill can ignite a nearby item, such as a landscape plant or wooden fence.

Frequently cleaning your cooking equipment and appliances, and observing all cooking activities will significantly minimize the likelihood of a cooking-related home fire.

Heating Systems

Space heaters can overheat, igniting various internal components and nearby items such as drapes, upholstery or carpets. Following the instructions on the appliance carefully and making sure the heater is never unattended can reduce your fire risk from these sources.

Human Carelessness

Human error contributes to each category of common fire causes, but certain behaviors are known to raise fire risk dramatically. Unattended lit cigarettes cause more residential fire fatalities than any other source; consequently, smoking in the bedroom is strongly discouraged. Unattended burning candles pose a similar risk.

Much of fire safety is common sense. The primary goal is to keep fuel sources, such as grease or textiles, separated from flame or high heat. Equally important is being present to observe anything that is burning or has an active heating element. These precautions are simple and may save you from experiencing a home fire and a disruptive fire cleaning and restoration process.

How To Protect Your Plants From Mildew

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Plant mildew is easier to prevent than it is to remove

How To Protect Your Plants From Mildew

The labels on many household cleaners claim that they can be used for mildew cleanup. Most of these cleaners, however, are for household surfaces and address mold growth that may be better handled by mold remediation specialists. Mildew, on the other hand, is a specific fungus that grows on vegetation. When the humidity is high in Munjoy Hill,ME, you may find plant mildew on many of your shrubs or the leaves of your potted flowers. To protect your greenery, there are a few steps you can take.

Mildew Removal

Once you have a problem with mildew, it can be a challenge to get rid of it. There are several factors that can contribute to mildew growth on a plant:

  • Proximity to other infected plants
  • Plant weakness due to other maladies
  • Overcrowding in pots
  • Excessive dampness

You may be able to salvage a plant that is affected by mildew. Start by moving it outdoors so that it can be in more direct sunlight, as this will reduce the moisture, making mildew less likely to grow. You can wash the plant with plain water to remove large patches of mildew, but be sure to dry the leaves as well. You may be able to save the whole plant by pruning the portions with the heaviest plant mildew.

Mildew Prevention

The best solution to mildew growth is to keep it from happening in the first place. Make sure your plants stay healthy, as a healthy plant is less likely to develop a fungus problem. It is a good idea to use a mildew-resistant soil. Avoid watering plants from the top down; instead, apply water to the soil itself to keep the leaves dry. Try to plant it in an area that gets the most amount of sun it can handle, as sunlight is a natural mildew deterrent.
Your plants are vulnerable to their environment, so it's important to make sure that environment is resistant to mildew. Plant mildew is easier to prevent than it is to remove.

What To Do If a Toilet Overflows on the Top Floor

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A toilet with sewage water Overflowing water in North Deering, ME

Handling an overflowing toilet is a frustrating situation enough on its own, but the issue can become even more complicated when dealing with a multi-floor building. If the bathroom is located on one of the higher floors, sewer damage can make its way into the ceiling of the lower floor and start to leak. Even if you can’t tell by inspecting the area yourself, a flooded toilet in your business in North Deering,ME, can cause substantial problems that require specials steps to remedy.

Always Start by Getting Help

Since it can be difficult to determine the extent of the problem without the proper equipment on hand, it always best to get help from a water restoration company to assess the situation and take the appropriate next steps. It is very important to leave the area and immediately call a sewage company if there is any raw sewage in the water to avoid coming in contact with harmful bacteria.

The Water Damage Cleanup Process

A flooded toilet on the top floor can lead to several types of sewer damage including:

  • Damage to drywall and flooring
  • Soaked insulation or subfloor
  • Exposure to electrical wiring
  • Water damage to cabinets
  • Staining, leaking, and cracking of the ceiling below
  • Mold growth

If no sewage is present, you should immediately stop the source of the overflow by turning off the water supply valve and mop up as much water as possible. After the water restoration company arrives and inspects the area, they will start by using pumps, industrial vacuums, and other drying methods to remove all water from walls, floors, and ceilings. Once all wet materials are removed and the area is dried, the area will be sanitized and disinfected as necessary. Following this step, restoration can begin which may include installing new walls and floors, repairing the subfloor, and painting walls.
Sewer damage caused by an overflowing toilet might cause more damage than you’d imagine. However, a water restoration company can tackle situations that may seem beyond repair.

Determining Your Home’s Risk Level During a Flood

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

A house surrounded by flooded water Flood zone in West Falmouth, ME

When a major storm hits your neighborhood, the results can be devastating. For those living in a flood zone in West Falmouth,ME, the risk of serious or total loss of your home and possessions is significantly higher. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has mapped out these areas, since your home’s location will help determine whether you need flood insurance and how much assistance FEMA will provide.

Understanding Flood Risk Levels

FEMA has built an ever-evolving map, called the Flood Insurance Rate Map, that allows homeowners to easily see whether they live in a flood zone. There are three main designations in which your home can fall:

  1. Special Flood Hazard Area: Homes in this area have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any given year, often referred to as the 100-year flood
  2. Moderate flood hazard area: Often more inland, homes in this area have a 0.2 percent chance of flooding, known as the 500-year flood
  3. Minimal flood hazard: Those homes located in higher elevations are considered unlikely, though not impossible, to fall victim to floods with a probability higher than 0.2 percent

Note that the 100-year and 500-year flood designations do not indicate that these types of storms are expected to only happen once every 100 or 500 years. While unlikely, they can happen multiple times a year, but the designation comes from the probability that flooding will occur in any given year, so a 1-in-a-100 and a 0.2-in-a-500 chance, respectively.

Where To Determine Your Risk Level

The FIRM mentioned above can be found on the FEMA website. Here you will be able to input your address and easily see the flood zone in which your home is located. This site also has valuable information, including insight on obtaining flood insurance, which you will need when you begin the flood cleanup and restoration process.
Knowing the risks associated with your home’s location will allow you to have a plan of action ready in the event of a major flood, which will help you get your home, and your life, back to normal more quickly.

A Professional Response to Smoke and Fire Damage

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

employee on lift cleaning ceiling Cleanup process in a Windham, ME commercial building

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.

Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

flood insurance document with glasses and a pen Storm damage can be devastating to a commercial building. However, with proper flood insurance, your losses will be covered.

With Proper Flood Insurance, Your Losses Will be Covered

If you own a business in Falmouth Foreside,ME, you may think that regular property insurance for your office building is sufficient. However, general commercial insurance policies, including Business Owners Policies and Commercial Package Policies, do not cover flood damage.
That is why you need to buy separate flood insurance for your building. This insurance provides coverage for flood damage, which can be caused by:

  • Snowmelt
  • Prolonged or heavy rains
  • Broken levees or dams
  • Storm surges
  • Overflowing streams and rivers
  • Blocked storm drains

Flood cleanup after any of these disasters can be extensive. Insurance, however, can cover the cost of replacement items and any water damage repair. In fact, if your property is in a high-risk zone, you may have to buy a flood policy as part of the terms of your mortgage.

What Isn't Covered

While a flood policy is a great way to protect your business in case of a storm, this type of insurance doesn’t cover everything. Most policies do not cover damage to septic systems, business vehicles or landscapes.

How To Get a Flood Policy

To protect your business from flood damage, you can contact a private insurer. You can also get coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. While you cannot buy insurance from the NFIP directly, the organization can refer you to a qualified agent who can get a policy for you.
A typical flood policy usually provides $500,000 in coverage for the contents of your building and another $500,000 for the structure itself. If you think your property is worth more than this, or if you are worried about an expensive storm cleanup, you can also purchase excess coverage. Excess insurance may even compensate you for the temporary closure of your business following a flood.
Storm damage can be devastating to a commercial building. However, with proper flood insurance, your losses will be covered.

What Steps Should I Take After a Sewage Backup?

8/21/2019 (Permalink)

man wearing white protective gear Use of protective gear while cleaning sewage backup

Initial Steps o Take In a Sewage Cleanup Process

The moment you discover a sewer backup at your home in West Falmouth,ME, panic is likely to set in. A flooded toilet is one sign that a disaster is looming. Your floor may already be flooded with water and debris, accompanied by a foul odor. It’s overwhelming, but immediate action must be taken to minimize damage. Here are the initial steps to take in the sewage cleanup process:

Get Ready for Cleanup

First, it’s important to turn off the electricity if there are any appliances or other electronics in the standing water. Wear protective gear such as safety goggles, rubber gloves and boots. Do not flush toilets.

Start the Drying Process

Standing water is best removed with a wet/dry vacuum; it can quickly eliminate water and debris. Soak up the remaining water with a mop or towels. The area will need to be thoroughly dried. Turn up the heat in the area, use space heaters and dehumidifiers.

Discard Contaminated Property

Any porous items that aren’t easily sanitizable should be thrown out. This includes big items like mattresses, upholstered furniture, carpeting and rugs. Toys such as stuffed animals should also be discarded. Affected drywall will need to be cut out above the waterline.

Sanitize Everything

During the sewage cleanup process, it’s critical that everything is thoroughly sanitized, even tiny crevices, furniture, walls and appliances. You can mix up your own disinfectant (one part bleach to nine parts water) or use a commercial heavy-duty disinfectant.

Call Professionals

Unless you have professional equipment, you probably won’t be able to sanitize everything as well as it should be. It‘s likely that a stench will still be present after the cleaning. Now it’s time to hire sewage cleanup specialists to complete the job.

Call Insurance Company

If you have enough damage to file an insurance claim, take pictures of the damage. Call your insurance company to get instructions on how to navigate the claims process.
The faster you act after a sewer backup, the less damage to your property. It’s imperative that the sewage cleanup process is completed as quickly as possible.

Should You Buy a Property Without a Mold Inspection?

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

window seal Windows - Rainwater leaks and condensation from humidity can cause mold formation

As you consider purchasing a commercial property in Gorham, ME, you likely have a checklist of things to look for. The building should suit all your business needs, but you also want to ensure that it is in good structural condition. This means checking for signs of mold and knowing when you may need a mold inspection.

Know Where to Look

Mold grows best in damp, moist conditions. As you walk through the property, consider any areas of the building that fit this description, and keep an eye out for signs of water damage. Some notable places to look for visible mold include:

  • Bathrooms - Check near showers, sinks, tubs and toilets.
  • Basements - Pay attention to signs of leakage or condensation on pipes, as well as flood-prone areas.
  • Windows - Rainwater leaks and condensation from humidity can cause mold formation.

Of course, not all mold is outwardly apparent. It can lurk within HVAC ducts and behind walls, ceilings or floorboards. If you notice any current or previous signs of water damage, you may want to have a professional mold inspection done.

Inspection and Remediation

If there are no signs of mold or water damage, it may not be worthwhile to pay for a mold inspection. However, if you suspect a problem, trained inspection and restoration experts can help you determine the extent of the issue and figure out a cleanup method. The good news is that even if your ideal property has a slight mold problem, this does not mean it is out of the running. With the assistance of skilled mold remediation specialists, you can fix the source of water fueling the mold growth and move ahead with a full cleanup and mold removal.

Whether or not an inspection is necessary depends on the condition of the property and if there are signs of water damage. In either case, it is important to know that with professional help, many buildings can make a full recovery in the aftermath of a mold problem.

The Purpose of a Flood Cut

7/23/2019 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed in a Portland, ME home.

After a storm rages in Portland, ME, it is likely that your home will experience a bit of flooding. When this happens, you will probably hear the water remediation technicians you hire talk about making a flood cut. A flood cut is a mark that is made 12 inches above the spot where the water damage stops. Specialists tear out everything below the flood cut to stop the spread of contamination and prevent mold growth.

Q/A Regarding Flood Cuts.

Here are some common questions about this process.

  1. What Circumstances Require a Flood Cut?

Any time there is damage that cannot be dried with a fan, professionals are probably going to use a flood cut to be on the safe side. Insulation cannot be dried, so if there is wet insulation, the wall has to be cut out and the insulation removed. If the water is contaminated by storm-related debris or sewage, the wall must be discarded. If tests show any harmful microbes, the affected area must go.

  1. Why Does the Flood Cut Have To Be a Foot Above the Damage?

Water damage from flooding does not like to stay politely in its place. What technicians can see with the naked eye may only be the beginning of the story. Placing the flood cut 12 inches above the visible water damage ensures that everything affected is remediated.

  1. Is There Any Way To Save the Wall?

If the water damage is minimal and no insulation is affected, it is possible that quick removal of water and fast drying techniques can allow the wall to be salvaged. The water in question must also be clean. If it is contaminated at all, the wall has to be replaced.

Flooding in Portland, ME, may cause damage to your home. While technicians will do everything they can to avoid removing walls, a flood cut may be required to make sure your home is completely restored.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe in the Case of a House Fire

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Remember to include your pet in your fire escape plan

Pets become part of the family and, for some people, their safety matters almost as much as their own kids! In the event of a fire emergency or other disaster in Westbrook, ME, it’s important to prepare ahead of time for both your family and pets.

Pet Evacuation Plan

Many families with small children create a fire emergency escape plan and occasionally practice evacuating the home. It’s a good idea to include your pets while you’re running through your drill, and even including some pet training if possible so they’re more likely to be cooperative in a time-sensitive situation. It may also be a good idea to prearrange a place for your pets to stay if you’re unable to return to your home for a period of time.

Preventative Pet Preparation

If you have a disaster or fire emergency kit that you know to grab as you leave the house, prepare one for your pets as well. This can include:

  • Pet ownership and vaccination records
  • Food and water supply and dishes
  • Feeding instructions
  • Medications and instructions (if applicable)
  • Leash and collar/harness
  • Pet carrier and bedding/blankets
  • First aid kit
  • Cleaning supplies

In the case that you’re not home when a fire breaks out and firefighters need to enter, keep your pets near the door when you leave and keep leashes and your fire emergency kit in a visible place. There are also “pet alert” stickers you can place on a visible window with the number of pets in your home so they aren’t left behind.

Pet Safety

Pets are an important part of most families, and if disaster strikes, it’s always better to be prepared. Create your emergency kit using the checklist provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and include your pets when you practice evacuating the home. This type of preparedness takes time, but the peace of mind it brings will be well worth the effort.

Identifying and Fixing Flood Issues After a Storm

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

How To Address Mold in Your Multifamily Units

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

If you have mold problems you need professionals like SERVPRO. We'll make it "Like it never even happened."

When you own commercial housing properties, you don’t always have a lot of control for the problems that occur within each unit. You must rely on tenants to report problems in a timely manner so that you can take care of them. If you need mold cleanup in your building in Gorham, ME, it’s important to know how to handle the problem responsibly.

Quick Response

As soon as your tenant tells you that mold spores have formed a growth on their walls or under their sink, you should respond as soon as you get the message. If you do not respond quickly to their request for mold mitigation services, you could end up being held liable for:

  • Reduced rent for the time it takes to resolve the problem
  • Replacement costs of damages caused to the tenant’s property
  • Legal fees
  • Civil penalties

The sooner you can start the mold cleanup process, the better off you will be. Not only does this communicate to your tenants that you care about them and your relationship with them, but it also fixes the problem before it gets too out of hand.

Proper Documentation

When you have mold contamination in your building, you may end up filing a claim with your insurance company. Mold claims can be difficult to get approved, so it’s important to document the problem well. Keep all evidence of correspondence with tenants and the remediation company to show the timeline of your response. Take pictures and videos to show exactly how extensive the damage is. Be prepared to provide an itemized list of the tasks and expenses involved in the restoration process.

As the building owner, you have a responsibility to your tenant to provide reasonable maintenance. This includes mold cleanup whenever necessary. Responding quickly to reports of mold growth and keeping accurate records of the cleanup process is how you fulfill that responsibility.

What to Know About Storm Restoration

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can cause severe Damage in local Portland, ME properties. You may need storm remediation when dealing with flooding, roof damage or roof leaks.

When it comes to storm damage in Portland, ME you need professionals dealing with storm remediation. There are so many different things that go into home restoration that is the result of storm damage in your area, so be sure to contact a local professional who deals specifically with storm remediation.

Whether you are dealing with a significant amount of flooding, roof damage, hail damage, ice damage or even roof leaks, you need storm remediation. There is a reason why a lot of people are currently contacting home restoration experts specializing in storm remediation. These professionals come to your home with their own flood pumps and tools to get rid of the ground water, flooding, River flooding and flood water that is currently causing frozen pipes and Ice damming to form.

Why should we contact a Storm Restoration professional?

Storm Damage can leave behind a lot of problems once the storm has passed, and this is why storm damage involves so much cleanup. Whether you are looking for water restoration due to River flooding or residential flooding or you need professional roof repair done because you have a significant amount of roof damage and roof leaks due to wind damage or hail damage, you need to contact a Storm Restoration professional.

Home restoration and water restoration involves a variety of different skills and tools necessary, especially when you are dealing with a lot of river flooding in your area or have residential flooding due to frozen pipes, ice damming or hail damage.

Storm Restoration and home restoration as well as high quality water restoration is more than just using a professional flood pump. You are going to need to have the storm damage restored by professionals dealing specifically with storm damage, wind damage and even roof damage.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at (207) 772-5032

SERVPRO of Portland is ready to respond inmediately, we are prepared for local storm damage and are able to bring the expertise and equipment necessary to get the job done. 

The Importance of IICRC Certification in the Restoration Industry

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage.

IICRC Certification

Restoration industry standards are set by the Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification Board. It is a non-profit group overseeing the qualification of the restoration, remediation and cleaning trade. When a technician obtains a program mitigation certificate from the IICRC, he or she is held to the highest standards. Not only does this keep industry standards high, but it also establishes a recognized national standard, and that is why insurance agents and adjusters keep the graduates on their preferred vendor's lists. Here are a few of the values the technicians are expected to uphold.

1. Respect

Technicians are taught that working with clients and staff that everyone treats respectfully can elevate the job site. It can also help bring out natural abilities and let inborn qualities shine.

2. Integrity

Valuing integrity, the expectation is that all graduating technicians will have strong ethical principles. Dealing honestly and upholding high values is important in developing an honorable reputation within the cleaning and restoration industry.

3. Responsibility

Once at a job, all IICRC technicians are expected to work as if the property were their own. This includes completing the job promptly and using the best tools available to finish the job.

4. Excellence

Service, leadership, and duty are all part of what the graduate is expected to bring to the office each day. Technicians are also taught to hold high standards in service, on the job and off.

5. Expertise

To keep standards, values, and expertise high, the board continues to hold classes to improve industry knowledge. As new and improved tools become available, they are incorporated into the classes. Also, certification is a lifelong process of self-improvement and gaining professional knowledge. Technicians must obtain 14 hours of education every four years.

The IICRC helps hold trained technicians of the cleaning and restoration industry to a high standard. That may be why the insurance agent’s preferred vendor lists in Gorham, ME, are filled with program graduates.

3 Steps for Safely Handling a Flooded Basement

3/14/2019 (Permalink)

If you have flood damage call SERVPRO

How To Handle Flooded Basement

Whether your flooded basement is the result of torrential rain, a broken dam, or melting winter snows, the result is almost always the same: unwanted standing water. Here are three steps for safely handing your basement flood.

1. Switch Off the Utilities

Turning off the electricity or gas to your home may be a problem if your home’s breaker box or meter is in the basement. If so, contact the utility companies and request they turn the power and gas off. Turning the utilities off before you begin any cleanup effort can help ensure your work environment is a safe one.

2. Locate a Professional Team

Many people panic when they find their Portland, ME, basement floor flooded with water. The loss of stored items, children’s bedrooms, or an extra living area with all the sundry additional items those rooms entails, can be upsetting. Calling in a professional water mitigation team can help you make sure your damaged basement has insurance coverage because the professionals often document everything they do. They can also help save as many of the basement floodwater-damaged items as possible because the knowledgeable team can help you tell the difference between what can be saved and what should probably be thrown away.

3. Remove the Standing Water

The first thing the water damage team will typically do is remove the standing water and investigate for signs of structural damage. Water removal is important because standing water can:

  • Encourage mold growth
  • Cause foundation damage
  • Ruin walls and insulation

Once the water is gone, the team can begin cleaning and disinfecting the area, and, if needed, technicians can generally begin rebuilding the damaged areas.

A flood in your home can be devastating. Don’t let it paralyze you; instead, take the above three steps to help minimize the damage of any basement flood. You can fight back when you have a professional water mitigation team on your side.

Facts About Black Mold

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

If you smell something musty, you may have black mold in your home.

A strong, musty odor is a tell-tale sign that you need to hire a certified mold specialist to assess your home. One of the things a mold inspection can tell you is if your problem is black mold. There are several misconceptions about this particular strain of fungus. Clearing up this confusion can help you better understand what steps need to be taken to fix the problem.


Contrary to popular belief, Stachybotrys is not always black. Its appearance can take on several different attributes:

  • Black, gray or green tint
  • Slimy texture
  • Dampened concentration

Because this type of mold tends to be denser than others, it is less likely to spread quickly in the air. It can grow exponentially once it has attached to a surface and has sufficient moisture and organic matter to feed it, though.


Mold often grows in places that you can't see. When a water leak dampens the area inside your walls or above your ceiling tiles, for example, the mold growth you smell may be hidden behind them. Stachybotrys is particularly prone to these areas because they are high in cellulose fibers and low in nitrogen. A professional mold inspection can help locate the mold even if you can't see it.


If you have house mold in Portland, ME, you probably need to contact experts to address the problem. Trying to handle the issue yourself can make it worse. If you try to take out affected drywall without first closing off the surrounding area, you may end up spreading the mold into your air ducts or other areas of the home. Certified specialists are trained to go through every necessary step of the remediation process to resolve the problem efficiently.

If you smell something musty, you may have black mold in your home. A mold inspection can help pinpoint the problem, and professional remediation can solve it.

5 Ways SERVPRO Serves You Best

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Portland is here to help!

SERVPRO Serves You Best

Assessing a claim from a client can be a complicated process. You don’t need the vendor that performs the restoration to throw a proverbial wrench in the mix. If you are an insurance adjuster in Portland, ME , SERVPRO is provides up-to-date information and keeps costs as low as possible.

1. Nationwide Support

While your client may just be working with the local franchise, you have the backing of the company’s national resources. These include:

  • Call center
  • Standardized quality requirements
  • Exemplary record-keeping

2. Commitment to Restoration

While many remediation companies may default to tearing out and replacing materials, most insurance companies want to work with certified restoration experts who seek first to restore the existing structure and materials. Each item is tested to see if it’s salvageable to cut down on costs.

3. Accessible Records

As the insurance adjuster assigned to a case, you have access to the Claims Information Center. This is a record of all the documentation associated with your client’s claim, including photos of the damage, response time a detailed estimate of the final cost of repairs.

4. Immaculate Itemization

In addition to online records, you receive an itemized list of everything that needs to be replaced. This information is crucial to assessing the insurance claim made by your client.

5. Professional Service

SERVPRO technicians complete an IICRC-certified training program. As methods improve in the industry, they participate in ongoing education to ensure that they provide the highest standard of mitigation services. You can depend on your local franchise to respond quickly to your client’s call and start repairs in a timely manner. This minimizes the damage and, ultimately, your final cost.

An insurance adjuster is often the first person to assess the damage to a client’s home. The professional knowledge and experience of qualified restoration specialists can prove to be invaluable resources during this process. When it comes to assessing your client’s claim, SERVPRO is Here to Help.

Help Your Business Survive a Storm

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Be prepared to prevent Water Damage and help your Business survive a Storm.

Severe storms are a part of life in Portland, Maine and it only takes a brief period of sustained rainfall to cause significant flooding in low-lying areas. As a business owner, you know the financial impact of lost days due to closures, which is why it’s important to do everything in your power to stop flood water from disrupting your operations. Here are a few strategies to help minimize complications from a flooded building.

Help Your Business Survive a Storm

Prepare Your Building

The best way to cut down on water damage is to keep it from happening, and there are some steps you can take to prevent incursion from unwanted moisture. You can start long before any storms enter the forecast by building levees, flooding control walls and berms. Once the skies start darkening, you can spring into action to minimize the impact of flood water: 

  • Clean gutters and storm drains from debris that could cause backups.
  • Build sandbag barriers in front of entry points such as front and garage doors.
  • Use sandbags around floor drains to keep sewer backflow at bay.
  • Apply waterproofing products on ground floors and basements.

Mind Your Electronics

Bad things happen when moisture comes into contact with electrical equipment, which is why any storm preparation plan should ensure survivability of your hardware and data. Have an electrician look at circuit breakers and relocate them higher if necessary. You should also arrange storage of important information on cloud-based servers so you can access your files remotely if your building gets shut down by flood water.

Start Restoration Immediately

While preparation can help, there’s little you can do if a catastrophic event overwhelms your defenses with flood water. In instances like this, your actions in the aftermath could have a significant impact on how long you’re out of commission. As soon as the waters recede, your first call should be to a trusted restoration company so you can start the recovery process. The longer you wait, the bigger the chance of structural damage, mold, mildew and other long-term complications.

How to Control Mold Damage by Mitigating Growth

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

meter on floor Moisture Meter used by professionals. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

Before trying remediation, mitigate and assess mold damage, one must first know what mold is. Mold and mildew are both fungi. Fungi are neither animals nor plants. The fungus kingdom contains organisms such as edible mushrooms and penicillin. We interact with these fungi in our daily activities. Mold growth can occur in homes, classrooms and by extent even commercial mold damage in buildings.

Requirements for Mold Growth.

For mold growth to occur, there must be four conditions;

  • Appropriate temperatures.
  • Mold spores.
  • Mold food.
  • Considerable moisture.

Mold Spores 

They are everywhere and cannot be easily noticed unless by their smelly odor which can be eliminated by deodorization. Removing them from the environment might be hard and impossible.

Appropriate Temperatures

Mold and mildew growth prefers temperatures that human beings like. Temperatures like the ones in the tropics will favor the growth of a lot of fungus. Mold in homes them becomes difficult to control although mold damage can be controlled. The temperatures also support dry rot thriving. If the molds are left to grow then at times mold removal becomes a challenge.

Mold Food

Organic substances provide nutrients to support mold growth. Surprisingly, even the oil that is left when someone touches unsuitable surface such as behind dirty walls will provide nutrients for fungus growth. Most restoration company representatives say that it is possible to eliminate these nutrients, but it is an impossible task.

Considerable Moisture

Many molds (and mildew) need the availability of essential moisture for growth. Every mold species require different water activity. In many cases, serious mold and mildew breaks out in homes, whereas commercial mold damage can occur where porous materials have been kept wet by liquid water. If left for some time the fungus will grow and cause both home and commercial damage. In this case, only a restoration company can help with the removal process.

Determining if a Home has Mold

Most of the molds in homes have the same characteristic of a smelly odor. Some households love deodorization of the smelly odor instead of removing the dry rot in homes and mitigating the problem. Many individuals know mold growth on bread and other food stuffs making it familiar. Most active mold colonies are greenish to black. Others are pinkish especially the mold growth behind walls. When the pinkish color appears, it is a sign of a serious, detrimental moisture growth behind the walls. They can be removed by majorly air conditioning or through de-humidification. At times the mold damage might be intense that it may require professionals. In such a situation restoration companies are contacted to deal with the mold remediation, mitigation and complete removal of the dry rot and mold in homes.

There are many practices that can be followed to facilitate mitigation of the mold issues and reduce mold damage. The obvious one is to reduce moisture which supports for example mold growth behind walls. Mold removal from the affected areas is not effective according to the necessary remediation procedures.

Dry rot can be easily identified since it is a wood decay which is mainly caused by fungi that digest essential parts of the wood that give it strength. Dry rot can be found in cured wood in ships. A restoration company representative can offer guidance on how to deal with this menace.

So it is essential for each household to know a mold before deciding to remediate it. Reading the above guides on the characteristics of a mold will equip one with they required skills of mold removal and mitigation. This is by also considering the commercial mold damage and the areas that are most affected. This is because some restoration companies are costly in things that an individual can carry out mitigation by him/herself. The spread of the black mold should be prevented, especially where there is some mold growth behind a wall. Instead of the only deodorization, an individual should also involve mold removal for complete remediation. This is because deodorization only kills the smelly odor but does not remediate them. Frequent check up walls is important to ensure there is no mold growth behind the walls.

What You Need To Know About Storm Damage and Flooding

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm damage in Westbrook, ME.

When it comes to storm or flood damage in Westbrook, ME, knowing how these things are different may help you when it comes time to conduct repairs on your business property. Many insurance companies categorize these as two separate types of damage under your policy. Here's what you may want to know.

What Is Storm Caused Damage?

Storm damage is often considered to be any damage caused by nature. Damages in this category may include

  •  Wind damage
  •  Hail damage
  •  Flooding caused by rain
  •  Broken gutters
  •  Fallen tree limbs

What Is Flood Caused Damage?

Flood damage is often considered to be a separate category from damage caused by a storm. Floodwater can be caused by a number of factors not related to nature. These include

  •  Broken or leaking pipes
  • Water from fire suppression effort
  • Water from irrigation systems
  • Sewer overflow

What Are Clean Up Methods?

Understanding the type of damage caused to your place of business can help when it comes time to conduct repairs. Different types of damage can require different repair methods. In many cases hiring a damage restoration service can help. These professionals have the tools and knowledge needed to deal with a variety of damages, including flooding, storm-related property destruction, and any potential mold problems that could result.

If your business has suffered damages, it's best to begin the repair process quickly in order to prevent further issues. Your insurance company might ask you to board over the damaged area. It might also be necessary to thoroughly dry the zone and inspect for possible mold growth or structural damages. In many cases, your policy may include coverage for repair costs.

When it comes to flood damage you want to protect your business. Understanding the difference between flood and storm damage can help when it comes time to talk to your insurance company and begin the repair process. If you have any questions, a professional may be able to help.

3 Do’s and Do Nots to Reduce Space Heater Fires

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Space heaters can result in burn injuries

Winter months mean homeowners looking to turn up the heat – be it central or other. That “other” often includes space heaters, a modern convenience that can also be dangerous. Just one burned space heater could be all that stands between your Portland, ME, home and disaster. Avoid catastrophe – read this list of things to do and not do for space heater use.

What Causes Space Heater Fires

Half of home heating fires happen between December and February when people seek alternative ways to keep utility costs low. Space heaters can result in:

  • small fires
  • burn injuries
  • smoke cleanup/damage

The things to do and not do below should keep your building warm and your family and belongings safe. 

Do Look for A Safety Certification
Before you buy your space heater, make sure it has a safety certification from a well-known source like Underwriters Laboratories. Such models typically feature auto shut off features that can prevent overheating and minimize chances of a burned space heater.

Do NOT Put a Space Heater Too Close to Things
Keep about three feet of space around a space heater, with flammable materials removed from nearby. Experts say that fires caused by putting flammable materials too close to space heaters is the second leading cause of house fires annually.

Do NOT Use an Extension Cord
Low amp extension cords are not prepared to handle the amount of power drawn from a space heater, making them a major fire hazard. The one exception is if you know the specific amps for which the extension cord and the space heater are rated. If you don’t, you’re risking a burned space heater.

Space heaters offer a convenient alternative when central heating is unavailable or simply inappropriate. But you must use them wisely. Follow these tips and if the unthinkable does happen, reach out to your local fire restoration expert to make things like new.

3 Preventative Measures For Maintaining a Mold-Free Bathroom

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold damage on bathroom

Mold Prevention In Your Bathroom

As a homeowner or renter in Portland, ME you understand just how irritating it can be to consistently see mold growth popping up in your bathroom. After all, you likely take precautions to secure any leaks that may cause water damage and you keep a clean, tidy house, in general. So, what’s the culprit behind the growing mold? There can be more than one. Here are three useful measures you can take to eradicate any growth for good and ensure proper mold prevention in your bathroom for years to come.

1. Install a proper ventilation system. When it comes to keeping moisture at bay, a high-powered ventilation system is key. Exhaust fans should not only be on during a shower, but be kept on for close to 20-30 minutes after a shower as a method of keeping constant air flow throughout the space. This can help enforce a moisture-free environment in areas where high humidity are common occurrences.

2. Keep a close eye on tile grout and caulking. Grout between your shower tiles, especially if it’s cracked in places, makes for great breeding ground for mold. Therefore, it pays to clean your grout on a weekly basis to hinder any mold growth. Furthermore, replace it every 6 months and seal it well to effectively ward off its potential spread. If you’ve noticed water damage and mold as a result of cracked grout or degraded caulking, contacting a highly-qualified mold remediation team could be crucial for eliminating any greater problem areas.

3. Focus on your shower curtains, towels, rugs and any cloth decor. Fibrous towels and rugs come into direct contact with water on a daily basis and should therefore be washed consistently. Shower curtains made of cloth should be washed in hot water or replaced by plastic varieties that can easily be wiped down and cleaned.

Once these areas of your bathroom have been addressed and any water damage has been restored, maintaining a mold-free environment in your Portland, ME bathroom should be an easy task.

When and When Not To Handle Toilet Overflow On Your Own

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Understanding the different types of water.

3 Types Of Water

If you're dealing with a flooded toilet, you should almost always call in for backup. This is because toilet water may or may not contain viruses, bacteria and other harmful contaminants. Your local Portland, ME , sewage company has the tools and equipment necessary to deal with sewer damage in a safe and efficient manner. That said, if you really want to know if it's necessary to call in the professionals, you need to understand the different types of water you may be dealing with and where each type comes from. There are three types of water:

  •  Clean water
  •  Gray water
  • Black water

Clean water is the only type of water you should attempt to clean up on your own.

Is It Clean Water?

You will know you are dealing with clean water, or category one water, if the leak is coming from a supply line or a leaking faucet. However, clean water can quickly become contaminated if allowed to sit for a certain period of time in certain conditions. It can also become dirty if it comes into contact with contaminants, such as soaps, detergents or chemicals. Clean water is safe to handle on your own, but only if you catch it before it becomes contaminated.

Is It Gray Water?

Gray water typically stems from a toilet overflow of water that has urine but no feces, a dishwasher mishap or a washing machine overflow. Though you may feel comfortable with the contaminants in gray water, health professionals warn against cleaning this type of sewer damage on your own. Many household cleaners and products can cause illness or discomfort when mixed with water. Gray water can also become black water if left untreated.

Is It Black Water?

Black water is the worst kind of water and does contain harmful contaminants. If you attempt to clean up black water on your own and without the proper tools and protective equipment, you put yourself at risk of developing severe illness. Depending on the contaminants, you may put yourself at risk of death. Black water may be water that contains feces, harsh chemicals or microbial growth.

If you don't know the source of your sewer damage, contact a professional water cleanup crew. If you know the water is gray or black water, contact a professional.

3 Workplace First Aid Basics You Should Know

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Knowing what to do in the wake of a health emergency can literally mean the difference between life and death. That’s especially true in the workplace, where things like fires can lead to devastating injuries and potential liability. Implementing a workplace first aid plan is crucial. Learn the ins and outs of basic workplace first aid following Portland, ME, fire damage and what you can do to keep your staff safe.

What Is First Aid?

First aid involves providing help to a person before medical personnel can arrive to take over. Types of burn first aid include:

  • Administering CPR
  • Applying pressure to a wound
  • Putting bandages on a wound


Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is among the most important forms of first aid. During a fire, smoke and toxic materials can be inhaled, causing breathing difficulty that can get serious fast.
Businesses should invest in basic CPR training well before a fire to learn how to respond. In general, CPR involves alternating between pushing on one’s chest 30 times and giving rescue breaths. Even without training this can be helpful until help arrives.

Applying Pressure

Bleeding wounds are often an unexpected side effect of fire damage, be it from efforts to put out the blaze or from escaping. First plug the wound to promote clotting. This can be done by applying clean gauze and holding it steady. Next elevate the wound above the heart to slow down blood flow.

Applying Bandages

Burns in particular are vulnerable to infection and need to be cleaned and covered fast. Wash out burned areas with cool water and use clean gauze to cover them. Never break any blisters or apply butter or folk remedies to a fresh burn as it can cause more harm than good.

Fire damage can have impacts well beyond property. When facing fire injuries, call 911 first, then take the above steps to minimize both damage and discomfort.

Can I Recover Wet Documents?

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

A flood in Westbrook,ME, can be a serious problem for any business that has to deal with sensitive information. If your files become contaminated with flood water due to a weather event or damage to the structure, there are a few steps you can take to restore and preserve your wet documents.

1. Collect and Categorize

Preserve the original organization system as much as possible. For example, files in a file cabinet should be removed from any standing water, but kept in their original order and with any accompanying folders or dividers. This will aide professional restoration services in the document drying process. If possible, create a new inventory of all known documents as well as their current state of water damage.

2. Safety

Mold and mildew can begin to set in relatively quickly from the time of the initial flooding event. Note that any wet documents made of paper will be susceptible to retaining these disease agents, including blueprints, books and tax records. Any photographic materials or medical scans may also need attention. Separate the affected documents in a temporary storage area and ensure thorough air circulation. Prevent employees from adding or removing any documents until they have been completely restored.

3. Further Processing

To guarantee optimal safety, a professional service may decide to use a vacuum freeze-drying process. This will help remove water quickly with the fewest possible side effects, such as curling or bleeding. Full sanitation may also require treatment with gamma rays to kill harmful viruses and bacteria. Afterward, prudent business owners may opt to back up the affected documents through digital scans, guaranteeing that any future flood event doesn’t result in a loss of critical information.

No business should be disrupted by a flood for longer than is absolutely necessary. Prevent wet documents from disrupting your schedule by having a plan for recovery in the event of a storm or other catastrophe.

Common Examples of Secondary Water Damage

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Black mold growth in Portland, ME

Secondary Damage: Black Mold Growth

If your home in Portland, ME becomes flooded with water, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of restoring your home. While primary damage is the direct result of water damage, if water is left to sit, secondary damage, such as black mold growth, can occur.

1. Loss of Personal Items

Though personal items may not be immediately damaged by water, water that is not removed immediately and high humidity can cause some belongings in your home to deteriorate. Items such as chairs, desks and other pieces of furniture may be affected by standing water and high levels of humidity. Belongings made of wood are particularly susceptible to damage as they may rot quickly.

2. Mold Growth

The potential for mold growth is a major concern that is often overlooked when a home is affected by water damage. Since mold most often grows close to water, damp areas with high humidity levels as a result of flooding create the perfect environment for mold. Mold can grow in a matter of days, and black mold, a type of mold that can be particularly hazardous, can cause extensive damage to a home and can create health risks.

3. Structural Damage

Though a pipe leak and minor flooding may seem to be a simple problem to fix, if water is not quickly removed, structural damage can occur. Floors and ceilings can become damaged due to consistent leaks, and in some cases, replacements are necessary. When a flood affects a larger area of your home, everything from drywall to the home’s foundation can become badly damaged if water remains in the area.

Although black mold and other types of secondary damage can cause major damage to your home, quickly removing water from affected areas can help to prevent such damage from occurring. As you begin the cleanup process, you might find it helpful to work with water damage restoration experts.

Renters Insurance: The Unsung Apartment Dweller’s Hero

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a Falmouth, ME apartment

Renters Insurance

Have you ever accidentally left the oven on and worried about whether you might inadvertently start a fire in your apartment? Have you ever wondered if your renters insurance would cover the ensuing damage? As a great relief to many apartment dwellers, insurance does cover you in most cases, offering significant protection in four ways.

1. Personal Property

Fire damage is typically covered under the peril portion of your policy, and the great thing is that negligence likely does not affect personal property coverage. Most plans include your property’s replacement cost rather than actual value, meaning you can afford a new sofa. However, check to make sure that your policy isn’t only covering actual cash value because this price takes into account depreciation, which can significantly lower replacement coverage.

2. Liability

Renters insurance also offers protection against liability. This means that you cannot personally be sued for damages caused by a fire, even if your negligence caused it. Your representative can respond to injury and loss claims and act on your behalf.

3. Medical Expenses

Your policy will most likely have a section for medical payments to others, which is no-fault insurance meant to handle minor injuries. This portion of your coverage is meant to expedite payments to others without declaring fault or blame.

4. Loss of Use

Unlike liability and medical payments, loss of use is for you personally. This coverage ensures that you continue to have a roof over your head while a fire restoration company in the Falmouth, ME, area fixes your apartment. Your policy will likely cover hotel stays for a certain period, depending on the extent of the damage.

Renters insurance is a valuable tool, and it can ease your worries when it comes to forgetfulness and personal liability. Be sure to either purchase a policy or check your coverage, so you know how you are protected in an emergency.

How To Mitigate and Restore After a Fire

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a Gorham,ME building

Your goal after a fire occurs at your commercial property in Gorham,ME, is to completely remedy the fire damage so that you can continue business as usual. There are many steps to doing so, and these steps involve both mitigation of the loss and restoration of the property. While many companies only offer one of these services, it may be in your best interest to find a fire remediation company with experts who are certified to perform both repair and reconstruction.

For Streamlined Service

Quite a bit goes into fire mitigation and restoration. There are several steps that technicians follow:

  • Assessment of the damage
  • Securing of the property
  • Water extraction
  • Smoke and soot cleanup
  • Sanitization
  • Restoration

Having one company to complete the whole cleanup process after fire damage streamlines the effort. While different members of the team may perform different services, they are more likely to have good communication strategies in place so that with each step you get a technician who knows exactly what transpired previously.

For Insurance Purposes

Another benefit of having one company perform both mitigation and restoration is that you can report the whole projected cost on your insurance claim earlier in the process. When your insurance adjuster arrives to survey the damage, he or she may want to know what the remediation team suggests. If one company handles the whole process, you can let the adjuster know what the recommendations are from start to finish. Getting this information before repairs even begin may help expedite the payment on your claim, getting you the money you need to cover the cost more quickly.

Fire damage can be a daunting problem, but with one team handling all the work, you can release some of that burden. This allows the process to run more smoothly and makes it easier on everyone involved in getting your building back to the way it was before.

What is the Black Mold Remediation Process?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Mold removal experts in Windham,ME

Removing and Cleaning Mold

When black mold affects your business in Windham,ME, you may not know what the remediation process will look like or how long the process will take. There are several important steps that should be taken when it comes to removing and cleaning mold.

1. Identifying the Cause

When mold is found in any building, it’s often important to identify the cause of the mold growth in order to prevent any further damage from occurring. Minor issues, such as pipe leaks, can be fixed with relative ease and at lower costs. However, tree roots growing into a pipe and causing the pipe to burst might not be so easily fixed and could require structural changes to your building.

2. Assessing the Damage

Once mold has been found and the cause has been identified, the next step is to assess the damage. Mold that is contained in one location could mean a simpler mold cleanup process. However, certain types of mold, such as black mold, can be more hazardous and may require a more extensive remediation process. When the damaged has been assessed, professionals can then start on the next step of the process.

3. Removal and Sanitization

One of the final steps of in restoring a building that has been affected by mold is to make sure the building is clean, and mold is entirely removed. The air in the building must be filtered, and any belongings, items and areas affected by mold must be thoroughly sanitized after the mold is removed. Any items, such as furniture or carpet, should be removed. Though some items can be cleaned, some belongings may be unable to be effectively sanitized.

Knowing details about the mold remediation process can give you a better understanding of what will be done if your business is affected by black mold and how long it will take to restore the building. If your business has mold growth, it can be helpful to contact mold restoration professionals.

FEMA Assistance FAQ

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Tornado damage in a Portland,ME home

When natural disasters strike, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, often provides shelter, assistance, and inspections. What can you expect if they show up at your home?

  • The representative completes an overall assessment.
  • Paperwork is filled out, detailing the extent of the damage.
  • Proof of ownership is established.
  • Adjusters from insurance companies and the agency assign dollar values to property and belongings.

How Do I Obtain Assistance?

If you believe you qualify for federal disaster assistance, you'll need to apply by contacting www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling the agency. Act quickly to be sure you don't miss established deadlines. You may qualify for one or several grants to help you recover from flooding. These include grants for expenses related to medical, dental, and funeral costs, emergency home repairs, personal property losses, and temporary housing.

Are All Losses Covered?

FEMA provides grants to help cover costs not covered by your insurance company. This doesn't mean that the entire difference between the overall costs and your insurance coverage will be available. However, a disaster loan from the agency may give you the leeway you need to get your home back into a comfortable living condition. Work with a disaster recovery company in Portland, ME, to understand the potential costs.

What Do I Need To Pay Back?

The type of aid you receive affects whether you need to repay any of the funding. If you received grants, for example, you don't need to repay them. If you received loans, however, you will be responsible for repaying the amount. You may also find some relief by applying for a loan through the Small Business Administration. These low-interest loans are often available after natural disasters.

What Are the Requirements?

There are several requirements that may affect whether you qualify. These include providing proof of your citizenship status and proof of home ownership or rental status.

FEMA aid is not meant to cover all expenses related to getting your home back to pre-disaster condition. However, enlisting the agency's help can make the recovery process far less stressful.

How To Keep Dryer Lint Under Control

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Having a dryer in your home in Westbrook,ME, is a handy convenience, but it can turn into a nuisance if excess lint causes a fire. In order to avoid a lint fire, you need to properly maintain your dryer. Regular maintenance not only includes frequent cleaning but also involves professional help when necessary.


You need to do frequent lint checks on your dryer. A dryer fire can happen easily if the lint hiding inside it ignites. You need to clean every part of the machine where lint can linger, which involves:

  • Removing lint from filter after every load
  • Cleaning vent pipe once a quarter
  • Scrubbing lint filter at least twice a year to remove buildup
  • Calling for professional cleaning if your dry times become longer

A lint fire can happen even if you remove lint from the filter because that's not the only place lint ends up. Fire remediation experts advise cleaning the whole machine to reduce the chance of fire.


Keeping the dryer itself clean is only half the process of fire safety. Regular maintenance involves ensuring that the ventilation system is unhindered and working properly. If any restrictions exist, the dryer will not be able to vent well, and lint will inevitably build up. The indoor vent should be inspected before the dryer is installed to make sure that it is not damaged. The outdoor vent should be protected from the elements and small creatures looking to make a home inside of it with a reliable covering. This covering, however, should stay open when the dryer is on so that lint can escape. By taking the entire ventilation system into account, you are less likely to experience a fire due to excess lint.

A lint fire can break out if your dryer is not cleaned or well ventilated. By being diligent about regular maintenance, you can avoid damage to your dryer and your home in general.

3 Tips for Getting Rid of Flood Odors

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

An air scrubber help with odors in sewage jobs

It isn't uncommon for musty odors to remain after flood water has affected your building. Unfortunately, those smells generally signal mold growth and won't just go away with time. The good news is that there are steps you can take to get rid of those smells and protect the structure of your building in the process.

1. Completely Dry the Area

There are several methods of drying out rooms in your building, such as opening windows to provide plenty of ventilation, running dehumidifiers to pull moisture from the air and the carpets, and installing floor fans to increase circulation at carpet level. Don't forget to pay attention to corners of the room and other out-of-the-way areas. These spots are notorious for remaining moist and harboring colonies of mold.

2. Treat Carpeting and Other Materials With Disinfectants

Some of the chemicals used to treat mold and other odors associated with flooding are necessarily potent. Water restoration professionals have these disinfectants and the training necessary to use them safely, so consider scheduling an appointment with those professionals early on in the process. If only a small area has been affected, you may consider using a vinegar/water mixture to spot-treat. Just be careful not to use too much of the mixture or you'll trigger increased mold growth.

3. Treat Odors Topically

As you work on the underlying causes of odors, you may want to take steps such as using air fresheners or natural deodorizers, such as baking soda sprinkled on affected areas and bowls of vinegar placed around the room. Small bowls of cat litter will also absorb much of the odor in the space. As soon as your vinegar, baking soda, and cat litter have absorbed trouble odors, throw it out and replace it with a fresh bowl.

If you've experienced sewage loss during flooding, be aware of the dangers of coming into contact with raw sewage and the chemicals involved in treating sewage. It's best to contact trained professionals in Falmouth,ME, to resolve mold growth in those situations.

How To Fix a Noisy Water Heater

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

If you have a noisy water heater at your Portland,ME home you should address it

A noisy water heater may be a concern for many homeowners in Portland, ME. The noise itself is not detrimental, but the underlying cause of the disruption can damage your heater over time. Fortunately, the solution is often simple and straightforward.

Understand the Culprit

Over time, minerals from calcium and lime can accumulate inside the water tank, creating a sediment buildup. Sometimes water becomes trapped at the bottom of the tank under this sediment layer. As the water heats up, it bubbles. When the water breaches the sediment layer, you hear a loud noise.

If the noise does not bother you, you may decide to ignore the situation. However, sediment buildup can cause your water heater to overheat, which can compromise the heater’s structural integrity. Eventually, this problem can result in cracks and potentially damaging leaks.

Address the Problem

To help prevent leaks, potential water damage and the need for extensive cleanup efforts, you should promptly address a noisy heater by completing a water heater flush. To accomplish this task, complete the following actions:

  • Turn off the both the heater’s power supply and the cold-water supply valve
  • Connect a garden or yard hose to the drain valve
  • Open the valve and the pressure relief valve of the tank
  • Allow the water to drain completely from the tank

To flush out additional sediment, you may want to open and close the cold-water supply valve several times. Once you complete this step, you should see clear water draining from the end of the hose.

Complete Routine Maintenance

Sediment buildup is a common problem. To minimize noise and the risk of overheating, it’s a good idea to routinely flush your heater according to manufacturer recommendations. This may prolong the life of your water heating system, helping you save money in the long run.

A Manageable Problem

Over time, extensive sediment buildup can cause your water heater to overheat. This, in turn, may result in catastrophic tank cracking and extensive water damage. For this reason, every homeowner should address a noisy heater as soon as possible.

Make a Flood Damage Claim in 3 Steps

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

This property flooded from a recent severe storm

A flood can cause serious damage to your home. You should file a claim for flood damage as soon as possible. Check your policy to determine how much coverage you have for flooding and then follow these three steps to file a flood claim.

1. Document Damage

The first step toward filing an insurance claim is to document the extent of the damage. Capture photographic or video proof of standing water as well as damaged building materials and contents. While you should take timely steps to mitigate primary damage and limit the extent of secondary damage, you must capture the condition of the affected areas of your home beforehand. Also gather and prepare to provide information such as dates of purchase, item values, and any receipts for major possessions that you can find. You may dispose of damaged items after thoroughly documenting the damage.

2. Notify Your Insurer and Talk to an Adjuster

Next, notify your insurer of the property damage and file a flood claim. It is a good idea to file this claim as soon as possible, as it may take some time for your insurer to get around to processing your claim if the flood that has affected your home is widespread. An adjuster will contact you to discuss your coverage and help you prepare a sworn statement regarding the amount of damages supported by documentation.

3. File Proof of Loss Within 60 Days

Be sure to file proof of loss documentation with an insurance company within two months of a flood. Payouts can only be processed once Proof of Loss is on file.

These are the three major steps to file a flood claim. You should maintain a reliable method of contact such as a cell phone number. As soon as you document the damage, you can contact a residential damage restoration service in Portland, ME.

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Fire Sprinklers and Accidental Discharge: What to Do If the Fire Sprinklers Go off Accidentally?

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire sprinklers are an excellent safety measure that is most likely required by law in Portland, ME, but, while they are a lovely preventative and protective asset, in the case of accidental discharge, they can cause flooding and significant water damage. For most business owners who experience this unintentional disaster, they will typically want to know the process they should adhere to after.

1. Call Your Insurance Company

The first step is to call your insurance company. Most insurance companies will cover damage caused by a faulty or defective sprinkler system, but they will want to ensure that the responsibility lies with the manufacturer and not with the business owner. As the owner, insurers expect you to maintain your equipment, and if there is any sign of persistent issues resulting in the malfunction of the sprinkler system, most insurers will place the financial burden on the property owner.

2. Document the Incident and Any Damage

After you’ve called your insurance company, it is beneficial to document both the incident and the flooding or damage caused by the faulty fire sprinklers. You can document the incident by talking with any witnesses and finding out what occurred before the malfunction. Additionally, you may want to take photos of the area and any damaged merchandise to show as evidence and proof of loss.

3. Cleanup

Once you and your insurance company have determined responsibility, you can begin the cleanup process. Several companies specialize in water damage and can help you in your restoration efforts. The important thing, however, is to get your business back on track as fast as possible to minimize any significant interruption costs.

Fire sprinklers are essential and often required elements of a business, but, while they do require routine maintenance, they can malfunction, causing flooding and potential business interruption. In case of accidental discharge, it is important to keep the above steps in mind to speed up the recovery process and get back to day-to-day operation.

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The Advantages of Hiring a Professional Mold Inspector

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Professional technicians can help tackle your mold remediation

If your home sustains water damage from a flood or burst pipe, it is also vulnerable to mold damage. Extensive mold growth can be a difficult problem for any homeowner in Portland, ME, to battle, especially since mold is adept at finding hidden moisture spots. For peace of mind, you may wish to consult a professional mold inspector who can thoroughly examine your home and identify areas requiring mold cleaning.

Extensive Knowledge

A certified mold expert will have broad knowledge about mold growth and the ensuing damage it can cause. In addition, the certification process requires technicians to complete extensive training and hands-on experience. This proficiency will enable your inspector to complete numerous tasks:
• Recognize signs of moisture
• Identify subtle indications of mold damage
• Locate potential hiding spots

Access to Useful Tools

To complete a thorough mold cleaning, you will need to address every moldy spot. While some mold may be readily visible, it may be difficult to locate hidden sources, especially under flooring and behind drywall. To aid their work, professional inspectors have several useful tools at their disposal:

• Moisture meters to evaluate moisture levels in walls, carpets and other materials
• Borescopes to visually examine the area behind walls and other surfaces
• Hygrometers to measure humidity levels inside your home

Each of these instruments enable the expert to search for hidden mold in a minimally invasive manner that most homeowners cannot easily accomplish themselves.

A Beneficial Service

If it’s not quickly discovered, mold can significantly damage your home’s infrastructure. Hiring a professional mold inspector can help you efficiently identify mold sources behind drywall, in crawl spaces, under flooring and in other locations not readily visible. Quick identification is important because it enables you to jumpstart the mold cleaning process and hopefully address the situation before it becomes a serious problem. If the inspector does, however, discover extensive contamination, you may want to hire a professional mold remediation team to help you tackle the problem and reduce the risk of a future recurrence.

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4 Reasons You Should Have A Business Emergency Plan

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Always have an evaluation plan for your business in case of an emergency

Have you ever thought about what you would do if your business was affected by flood waters after a storm? A business continuity plan can help you prepare for the worst-case scenarios. As a business owner in Portland, ME, you may want to create this type of emergency plan for a number of reasons:

1. Figure out who to call. If you never think about the possibility of storm damage hurting your property, you may not know who you should call when disaster strikes. In your business plan, you can outline which insurance provider needs to be informed of any impending claims. You can even pick a commercial storm damage cleanup expert you would want to work with in this type of situation.

2. Think about how to keep business running. The continuity plan should also go over what you would do to help keep your business running. If flood waters made your building off limits, would you have to shut down until it is fixed or could you rent a temporary workspace?

3. Consider the financial impact of natural disasters. Flooding can also affect the finances of your company. Not only could you lose inventory and business, but you also have to pay for damages. When you create a business plan, it gives you a chance to make sure you have the best insurance policies for your commercial property.

4. Help you prepare employees. This type of plan can also help you think about evacuation methods. You can train employees on where to go in the event of flooding, fires or other emergencies. You can also outline who they should call if you are not around.

As a business owner, you want to be prepared for any type of situation. Creating a business continuity plan helps you think about the what-ifs associated with owning commercial property. You can become better prepared for any damages caused by storms.

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The Truth About Smoke, Soot and Insurance

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

This is the aftermath of a house fire in Portland

Perhaps you believe that insurance only covers smoke damage resulting from a fire in your business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your insurance should cover the smoke cleaning even if it was damaged by smoke from a nearby business. Regardless of the source, smoke cleanup challenges and procedures will be the same.
The cost and the magnitude of post-fire cleanup varies, depending heavily on the type of fire and residue.

• Hot, fast-burning fires result in a more complete combustion of the burned material. This results in a dry smoke with a powder-like residue that makes clean-up comparatively easy.

• Smoldering, slow-burning fires produce what is called wet smoke. It contains large amounts of unburned material including soot and sticky, odor-causing particles that adhere to surfaces. Most of the smoke damage from wet-smoke is invisible and difficult to address.

• Fires of any type that involve petroleum products are likely to generate significant amounts of soot. Soot damage is easily seen on hard light-colored surfaces but easily hides in carpets and fabrics. It still presents a significant cleaning challenge.

Smoke Cleaning Is Not for Amateurs

Finally, the end is in sight. The inspection is complete, the paperwork processed and the insurance company has approved the plan. The fire restoration specialists in Portland, ME, are ready to proceed with the cleanup. They bring with them a crew of experienced cleaning professionals and their specialized equipment. Visible surfaces are cleaned. Odors that can’t be cleaned are neutralized with the help of ozone machines. Odors that can’t be neutralized are completely masked by special deodorizers broadcast throughout the building by thermal foggers.

Open for Business Again

The process is complete and the air in the building no longer smells like smoke. The restoration specialists have done their job and moved on. Business is back to normal and the smoke damage is on its way to becoming a distant memory. Life is good.

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What To Avoid After Your Home Floods

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Call the experts for a Pipe break in your Portland home or business

When something is wrong with your home, your first instinct may be to jump in and start fixing it. This instinct could be wrong, though. When a broken pipe causes flooding in your home in Portland, ME, it is important to follow a few simple do's and don'ts.

Don't Wade Unprotected

Water in the home may seem harmless, especially if it came from a clean source. It is very easy, however, for flood water to get contaminated. Do not wade through standing water unprotected.

Do Wear Protective Gear

If you must go into the water, put on protective gear first:

• Rubber boots
• Protective Eye Gear
• Face Mask
• Rubber Coveralls

Don't Jump the Gun

In a hurry to get your problems fixed, you may decide to get a head start on your shopping. It doesn't make sense, however, to buy new furniture until you are sure that the old furniture is not salvageable. Besides, until the area is restored, you have no place to put it.

Do Document Damages

Take pictures of everything that may need repair or replacement. Even if you think it's insignificant, you should photograph and list everything affected by the broken pipe and the havoc it wreaked.

Don't Wait to Report

You may think you need all the information before you call your insurance agent or repair personnel. The longer you wait, however, the worse the problem may get. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours if the conditions are right. You are more likely to avoid bigger problems if you report early.

Do Call in the Experts

The fastest way to get your home back to its former state is to call the restoration experts who can make that happen. The quickest way to get your money is to call your insurance company. These calls should be the first thing you do when your home floods.

If your home is damaged by a broken pipe, you might not be thinking clearly. Instead of following instincts that could lead you astray, follow the advice outlined here to fix your home.

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What To Expect After Major Storm Flooding

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Quick response is key after a major storm flooding to prevent your home from damages.

When you experience the devastation of a big storm in Portland, ME, you need some guidance of what to expect in the cleanup process. It’s a huge undertaking to recover from water damage and bring your home back to pre-storm conditions, but experts bring you some peace of mind in their experience and thorough the tear out and remediation procedures. Here is that you can expect during the restoration process:

1. Water extraction. Powerful pumps and vacuums may be used to remove standing water immediately. A quick response to water removal is key to prevent consequential damage of long-term exposure to flood water.

2. Tear out. Personal belongings and ruined building materials are removed. Mostly porous, absorbent materials will be in this category, like carpet padding, drywall or plaster.

3. Clean personal belonging

4. Dry completely. Air movers and additional venting may be used. Experts monitor moisture levels to ensure complete drying. Many materials may look or seem dry, but professional rely on specialized instruments to make sure they are.

5. Repairs. Finally, when all other steps are complete, repairs can begin.

Start Right Away

The job seems impossible, but you need to start right away. The longer materials are exposed to flood water, the more damage is done. Initial storm damage may just be structural and messy, but water damage that is left too long is subject to damage from mold growth. Mold starts to grow colonies in as little as 48 hours, so timing is critical to prevent further damage.

Finding the Right Company

Finding the right company is key to managing this critical process. When looking for experts for your storm restoration, make sure you choose a company with experience responding to major disasters and floods. The right team will respond quickly, have professional and technical training, and will have access to resources like powerful pumps, air movers, and monitoring equipment. They will help you understand what materials they must tear out and what they can save. The right company will also be capable of managing all aspects of your cleanup from the beginning water extraction to the finishing repairs.

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Top 5 Causes of House Fires

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can destroy your home

Every 86 seconds, fire departments across the United States respond to residential fires. As a homeowner in Portland, ME, the prospect of a home fire is terrifying. Help prevent fires in your home by knowing the top five fire causes:

1. Cooking

Leaving cooking unattended is the leading fire cause in homes. The risk is increased with frying and attempting to extinguish the blaze without assistance from firefighters. Never leave your home with food cooking in the kitchen. If a fire starts, call 911 before attempting to put out the flames.

2. Smoking

The majority of house fires instigated by smoking involve bedding and upholstery. If you smoke, go outside if possible. Never smoke in bed or near flammable fabrics, especially when tired.

3. Heating

When heating is the reason for a home fire, it is commonly due to space heaters or wood stoves. Reduce your risk by turning off these devices when you are asleep or not at home. Furnace maintenance can help prevent fires due to central heating.

4. Electrical

Failures with electrical equipment or lighting cause 9-13% of residential fires. Check your cords, plugs, outlets and light fixtures for damage and repair or replace as needed.

5. Arson

There is little you can do to prevent a fire that is set intentionally. About half of this type of fire is set by children and adolescents.

The best way to protect your own safety and reduce fire damage at your home in Portland, ME, is to know the common causes of home fire and how to prevent them. In addition to the above information, keep at least one functioning smoke detector at each level of your home. If possible, install a home sprinkler system. Have and practice an escape plan with your family in case of a fire. After a fire, contact your insurance agent and a fire restoration specialist to begin the process of smoke and fire cleaning.

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3 Things You Need To Do Right When You Spot Mold

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Ceiling Mold Damage

Black mold can surface quickly in a commercial building in Portland, ME. One day you may not notice any signs of the fungus growth and the next you see spots of it on your walls. Whether you smell or see the growth, it is important to take action as quickly as possible.

1. Call in Help

As soon as you notice any type of mold growing in your commercial space, you need to call in a professional team. The experts in mold cleanup can quickly assess your problem, make a remediation plan and start the repairs. This fast action may help save you money. If you try to take on the cleanup on your own, you may end up making the problem worse because the growth can spread to remote areas on the property.

2. Stop the Airflow

If your cleanup team can't get out to your building right away, you shouldn't sit around and wait. You need to do what you can to stop the black mold from spreading to new parts of your building. Spores can travel in the air, so you should try to cut off airflow. This may mean turning off your HVAC system, closing windows and removing fans from the space.

3. Address the Water

If you notice mold growth, chances are you also have some sort of moisture problem. Whether it's standing water or high humidity, you need to address the water issue as quickly as possible. If you have standing water, start the drying out process. If you have high humidity, set up a dehumidifier. Identifying the cause of the water problem can make your mold cleanup a little easier because you need to stop the water before you can really remove the growth. In some cases, you may have to turn off the water to your building until the professionals arrive.

It doesn't take long for mold to spread and invade other parts of your building. Taking fast actions when you first notice black mold can help make the entire cleanup process a little easier.

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Smoke & Soot Cleanup

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

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

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows 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.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 207-772-5032

Cleaning Valued Possessions After a Flood

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

Possessions damaged after a flood in Portland Maine

Water in a home can range from a nuisance to a nightmare, as residents of Portland, ME, can attest. Storms or equipment failures are the most frequent offenders, and though vigilance can go a long way in avoiding loss, some incidents defy precautions. It is comforting to know that professionals are nearby to assist if serious water damage befalls your home.

Cleaning Tips for Your Family Treasures

If a flood damages an heirloom that cannot be replaced, there may be a way to salvage the item. Consider the following strategies for addressing harm to your sentimental favorites:

• Remove dirt or debris from still-wet objects with a gentle rinse of clean water. Lightly brush if necessary while applying a fine spray.
• Air dry the object indoors to avoid further damage from excessive heat or sunlight.
• Head off additional damage caused by mold or mildew after you have had water in a home. Allow air to gently move around the object.
• Leathers and textiles need to air dry. Don’t attempt to hurry the process. Professional dry cleaning can be very effective as the final step to restoration.
• Wet paintings need to remain on their stretchers, though they can be removed from frames. Air dry them face-up.
• Don’t pull apart photos or negatives that are stuck together. Rinse without touching the surfaces, and when they have separated, allow them to air dry.
• Objects made of paper need to be handled gently and allowed to air dry.
• Wood furniture will likely require the services of a conservator once it has dried.
• Collect pieces of anything that has disintegrated and allow them to dry. Assess later whether you can handle the repair on your own or defer to a professional conservator.

Avoiding Trouble

After an episode of water in a home, think about what you can do to avoid a recurrence. A broken pipe, for example, might be avoidable through routine inspection and preventative maintenance. If potentially catastrophic weather is on the way, plan for your family’s safety first, and then consider moving your most precious items to a place where they have a better chance of remaining safe and dry.

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Drying Important Company Documents After a Flood

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Damaged belongings can be restored when properly dried

Your immediate concern after a disaster strikes your company in Portland, ME, may be the safety of your employees, commercial building, and business inventory. Once the task of addressing urgent matters is complete, the need to assess the situation and stabilize the company will probably be your next mission. One way to mitigate possible damage after a water disaster is the preservation of key business items such as wet documents.

Saving Business Documents

Flooding response time can often determine whether documents can successfully be saved. Flood water generally has a high pH level, so the longer the papers are in the dirty water, the more ink can bleed and pages can deteriorate. Some of the business documents in question may include

• Employee medical documents
• Personal identification papers
• Financial papers
• Legal documentation
• Emergency contact information

Removing water as soon as possible is essential because mold can begin to develop in as little as 48 hours. A professional recovery service can remove standing water and sterilize the documents with gamma irradiation that can be critical to prevent mold and other contaminants from ruining the papers.

Freeze-Drying Papers

By using a state-of-the-art freeze-drying method to protect valuable data, the loss of documents due to water damage can be dramatically reduced. The new document drying technique safely processes the paperwork until it can be addressed by a specialized team. The materials are vacuumed and then dried using a process known as sublimation. During sublimation, the water is removed in a gaseous state. The vacuum process can safely be used on wet documents such as

• Photographs
• Files
• Blueprints
• Books
• Parchment
• Microfiche

The restoration procedure may also include cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing all materials.

Restoring Vacuumed Materials

Restoring wet documents to their pre-damaged condition is nearly impossible, but a professional recovery team can stabilize the acidity of the water damage and quickly freeze the documents. Once the recovery is completed, the materials can often return to your business with almost no visible damage.

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Essential Thunderstorm Safety Tips at Work

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage in Portland, Maine

It’s not uncommon for a thunderstorm to roll into the area. While the sound of booming thunder may mesmerize some people, a storm’s effects can cause significant harm to your office building. It’s important to have a plan in place to keep your employees safe during this severe weather but to also understand how you can prevent damages and other negative consequences.

Take a Look at Your Grounds

A heavy rain storm may be good for keeping things green, but it’s often accompanied by other concerning weather conditions. You can’t afford damage to your building, so make sure you prepare for large storms.

• Trim your trees to reduce the chances of broken windows or other destruction if trees are knocked over.
• Make sure your rain gutters are working properly and sending water away from the building’s foundation.
• Inspect the lightning rod on top of the building and make sure it will do its job properly.

Have a Safety Plan

Chances are you have instituted a fire evacuation plan at work. It’s also important to establish safety regulations during a major rain storm. Large storms can bring high winds, so employees should know to stay away from windows and skylights during these situations. Go over these and other important regulations annually and ensure that everyone commits to follow them.

Know First Aid

If a large storm comes to your Portland, ME, office, you face the possible risk of injuries. Not only should you have a first aid kit in the workplace, but you should train employees on basic first aid. You should be able to deal with minor injuries, but you can even handle more significant issues while you wait for responders to arrive on scene.

Don’t let a large rain storm catch you off guard at work. Consult an expert to help you prepare for these issues and avoid injury and major damage to your building.

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3 Factors To Consider When Creating an Evacuation Plan for Your Business

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

As a Portland, ME, business owner, one of your priorities might be to keep your employees and customers as safe as possible. One way to accomplish this is to have an evacuation plan in place in case of an emergency. If you ready to open a business or want to create a more effective fire escape plan for your building, there are several factors you may want to consider as you do so.

1. The Size of Your Building

If you own a building with one or two floors, your emergency escape plan will probably be simple to create. Be sure to mark any exits clearly and provide anyone inside with directions to the exits closest to them. For larger buildings, remind your employees to use the stairs in case of a fire and help those unfamiliar with the building follow the escape plan.

2. The Number of Exits

As you form a fire escape plan for your commercial building, consider how many exits are available and how people would escape if these doors were blocked by flames during a fire. If your building lacks additional exits, you might want to consider having a contractor install them. Not only can additional doors provide a means of escape during an emergency, they may make formulating an evacuation plan simpler.

3. Handicap Access

When an emergency arises, it may be more difficult for handicapped individuals to escape the building. This is a factor you might want to consider, especially if you own a retail business. A fire damage and restoration company may be able to assist you with a viable escape plan by noting where limited access might create a dangerous situation for the handicapped and advise you about how to modify these areas.

The thought of a sudden fire in your commercial building can be frightening. However, being prepared with an effective fire escape plan for your Portland, ME, business can help save the lives of your employees and customers if disaster strikes.

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Quick Guide Safety Gear Used During Mold Remediation

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Protective equipment during mold remediation is important for you or your mold remediation team

If you have found mold in your Portland, ME, home, you may be wondering what your next move should be. Calling a professional mold remediation team should be your first step. You may be tempted to take care of the issue yourself, but there are a lot of rules you need to follow. For example, you need to get rid of the entire problem and not just wipe away the surface mold. Experts in mold damage know exactly how to address fungus-related problems. Professionals also have access to the safety gear needed to tackle this big project. What type of protective equipment do most experts use and why do they use it?

• Face Masks: Safety masks play a major role in mold cleanup. These devices help keep mold spores from entering a person's lungs. Depending on the job at hand, remediation teams may use full-face or half-face respirators.

• Gloves: Mold can cling to the hands of those who touch it. Workers need to wear gloves to ensure they do not spread the spores to other areas of your home or other customer's homes.

• Eye Protection: This protective equipment is only needed if the crew uses face masks that don't cover the eyes. Goggles can protect the eyes from debris related to mold removal.

• Coveralls: Fungus can also cling to clothing, which is how it travels from location to location. Many professionals choose to use special coveralls that are washed after each job to limit the spread of mold.

• Shoe Coverings: Some coveralls may come with attached boots, but when this is not the case shoe coverings are needed. This equipment acts as a barrier between the workers and the rest of your home because they are removed before leaving the infested area.

Protective equipment, like face masks and body coverings, are used to not only protect the person handling the mold but also to protect the rest of your home. If you want mold removed removed properly, you need to work with a team that uses proper safety gear.

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How To Detect Mold Growth in Your Building

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold and mildew can grow after your belongings suffered from water or moisture damage

If your property has been affected by flooding in Portland, ME, you may be concerned about mold growth. Because mold spores are carried in the air, they are found everywhere. That means if there is any lingering moisture in your building, conditions are right for mold spores to settle and grow into a colony. If you can't locate the mold yourself, call in an indoor environmental specialist to conduct a mold test before you hire a mold remediation company to deal with it.

Look for It

In most cases, you can detect mold through visual inspection. Get a good flashlight and examine any locations likely to be affected. This includes areas prone to retaining moisture and harboring mold, such as rooms under the roof, basements and crawlspaces.

Mold appears as patches of discoloration, often growing in a circular or rounded pattern. There are more than 100,000 species of mold and they come in a range of colors:

• Black
• Grey
• Brown
• White
• Green
• Orange
• Yellow

Sniff It Out

If you don’t find any mold during your visual inspection but you notice a persistent odor, you could have mold growing in hidden locations, such as inside your walls or under carpets and floorboards. An indoor environmental specialist can test the air and tell you if there is an unusually high spore count inside your building. Although most people think of musty or earthy odors when they think of mold, different species can have distinct smells:

• Old cheese
• Cat urine
• Car exhaust
• Dirty, wet socks

If you can smell mold, chances are very good you have developing growth. Having your air tested by an indoor environmental specialist can help you decide if you need to bring in a mold remediation expert in Portland, ME, to perform a cleanup. These experts can use infrared light and hydrometers to locate hidden mold and design a plan to remove it quickly and efficiently.

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How Category 1 Water Damage Can Affect Your Business

4/22/2018 (Permalink)

Category 1 business water loss

There are many types of flooding that could happen to your business. Some floods involve clean water from a broken pipe or supply line, while others may contain sewage and require disinfection. Some floods affect a small area, while others are more extensive. Even if the water damage to your business in Portland, ME, is caused by Category 1 water, it could still have dire consequences.

Water and Electricity

Category 1 water is the cleanest category of water that could flood your business. It results from pipes or supply lines that break or leak. Even clean water can be dangerous when it comes into contact with electrical appliances, though. If the water damage seems to be near anything requiring electricity, play it safe by turning off the breakers to that area until a water remediation specialist can fix the problem.

Extent of Damage

Water damage falls within four main classifications:

• Class 1 affects a small area and requires little to no extraction.
• Class 2 affects at least one whole room and can involve up to 24 inches in saturation.
• Class 3 affects a large area – often more than one floor – and requires extensive remediation.
• Class 4 involves specific drying situations that do not necessarily fit within other classifications.

Category 1 water can still cause a great deal of damage if it affects a large area. For example, a broken pipe on the second floor that goes unchecked can cause Class 3 damage, requiring whole floors, walls and ceilings to need replacement.

Delay of Treatment

Even though the water leaking from a supply line is clean, a delay in the damage mitigation process could lead to further problems. A moist environment can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, turning Category 1 water into contaminated water. The cleanliness of the water is no excuse to put off resolving the problem.

If your business must flood, you want clean water to be the culprit. It is less dangerous than the other categories. That does not mean, however, that the damage can be ignored. Professionals must still fix the water damage to restore your business.

Click here for more on Portland.

What Is a Puffback?

3/31/2018 (Permalink)

The basement hallway carpet was affected by the puffback.

Soot is Left All Over House in Portland, ME

A puffback occurs when a furnace has malfunctioned where a small and confined explosion has occurred in the burner chamber sending soot and smoke throughout the home. The soot will attached itself to walls, ceilings, upholstery carpet and many other items within the home making it difficult to clean. Our office was recently called to a home in Falmouth where a puffback had taken place.

The soot traveled throughout the house which you can see in this picture. SERVPRO of Portland was called in to help with the cleanup. We have a great relationship with the insurance company these homeowners in Portland use. We were glad to be of service and the homeowners were very grateful to be back in a clean home.

When Storms or Floods hit Portland, We are Ready!

3/31/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding happens from time to time in Portland. This is just one of the areas that experience flooding from time to time.

SERVPRO of Portland specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response, Faster to Any Size Disaster

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

We Have the Resources to Handle Flood and Storm Damage

When the storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams. These teams are strategically placed and  located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today at 207-772-5032... Our Crews Are Available 24/7.

What You Need To Know About Lawn Slime

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

Your Portland, ME, home's lawn can be a major factor contributing to the beauty and curb appeal of your property. However, problems such as lawn slime can make it look sickly or unappealing. This slime, which may appear unexpectedly, can spread quickly if not treated. Before you attempt to battle this fungus, there are a few facts you may want to know about it beforehand.

It Feeds on Organic Matter

Much like other types of fungi, yard slime does not need sunlight to grow. Instead, it feeds on organic matter in your yard, which may include the following:

" Dead leaves
" Decaying twigs
" Dead turfgrass

Removing these food sources may help you reduce the spread of this outdoor mold, especially during humid weather, as humidity can accelerate mold growth.

It Is Usually Not Related to Other Lawn Problems

Unlike encroaching weeds, bald patches and problems that cause grass to thin or yellow, lawn slime is typically an isolated issue and not related to other yard illnesses. It grows only when there is a food source available, so starving it out can be one of the best defenses against this fungus.

You Can Treat It Several Ways

Fortunately, there are several different tactics you can use to treat this backyard fungus. One is to rake up all the thatching in your yard, along with dead leaves and twigs, to reduce the food supply. Avoid overwatering your lawn, and allow the sun to dry up the mold. You can call in a storm cleanup and mold remediation company to help you treat the fungus if it appeared after a flood. If the mold grows in dark, shady areas, consider pruning your trees to allow more sunlight in and ensure that no sprinkler water pools in these spots.

Dealing with lawn slime at your Portland, ME, home can be a frustrating experience. However, when you know why it grows, what feeds it and how to treat it, you can take the proper steps to heal your yard and make it healthy and green once again.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information. 

Planning for Water Damage Control: What You Need To Know

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

When homeowners find themselves faced with water damage from a flood or bursting pipes, they often want to know how long the restoration efforts will take. The answer depends on the extent of the damage, the type of water to invade the home and materials used throughout the affected area. A Westbrook, ME, water restoration team may tell homeowners to expect the process to take anywhere from two to three days, but to not be surprised if it takes as many as seven. Some factors that affect the time it takes to dry out a home include:

• The type of water to flood the home
• The size of the area affected
• The building materials affected

Type of Water

Clean water is easier to clean up than black water, as the former doesn’t require special Hazmat materials or equipment. If your problems stem from bursting pipes, the solution may be as simple as fixing the pipes and drying out the area. If you do so within 24 to 48 hours, you can prevent mold and bacteria growth as well.

Size of Affected Area

The type of water isn’t the only factor to affect restoration times. The size of area plays a huge part as well. If the size of the affected area is relatively small, less than ten square feet, restoration efforts can take as little as two days, and you may even be able to perform them yourself. However, if your entire ground floor is flooded, it could take several days of professional efforts.

Materials Impacted

If it is just your carpet that is affected, restoration efforts shouldn’t require much of your time at all. However, if your drywall, insulation and/or framing are impacted, you may need to do more than fix a broken pipe. Restoration efforts in the latter instance could take as long as 10 days or more.

Every situation is different, and the water damage caused by bursting pipes could be far more severe than damage from, say, a leaking pipe. Talk to your Westbrook, ME, water damage restoration team to learn more about what to expect.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information. 

What Should You Do When a Potential Flood Is on the Way?

3/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Storm Damage

If hurricanes, flash floods or other environmental acts are suspected, you may get a bit of a warning before high waters hit. When flooding is suspected for Portland, ME, you want to do whatever you can to get your commercial building ready for the potential damage. You don't always get a warning prior to a flood, so it's a good idea to use this time wisely. Consider using these steps to best prepare for a storm with high waters.

Rearrange Your Equipment and Furniture

If there's a potential for storm damage involving high waters in your area, you want to do what you can to move your important furniture and equipment up high. You can rearrange in a variety of ways, including the following:

* Move as much as possible to upper floors of the building.
* Create stacks of furniture with water-resistant items at the bottom on lower levels of the building.
* Use watertight totes to protect files and equipment.

Moving around office furniture could help you save as much as possible. As you get ready to rearrange your space, think about the items will you be able to easily dry out and clean after a flood. Keep those at the bottom and move other, less water-resistant furniture and equipment first.

Get Sandbags

You can also try to make your building impermeable to flooding. Stacking sandbags near the doors and windows can help keep water from entering your commercial space. You can even build up a wall of sandbags around the perimeter of your building to help keep water away from the foundation.

Flooding can leave your building unrecognizable. That's why commercial building owners want to do what they can to stop water from damaging their building. If you were unable to prepare for flood damage, you can still call in a flood cleanup team to help you fix the problems caused by the high waters.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information. 

Different Kinds of Containment Procedures

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Containing Mold Before Remediation

Have you recently discovered mold contamination in your Falmouth, Maine, business? Mold particles can spread quickly, so you need to take action as soon as possible. Your first step should be calling in commercial mold remediation experts. The mold cleanup process usually incorporates five important steps:

1. Having a damage assessment and inspection.
2. Getting mold spores contained.
3. Removing mold and infested materials.
4. Cleaning the area and belongings.
5. Restoring the damaged areas.

The containment part of the cleanup can use a few different procedures depending on the size of the problem. However, it is the most important step in making sure your business is not further contaminated.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more mold remediation information for your home or business. 

How To Eliminate Smoke Damage

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Whether your commercial property in Windham, Maine, has experienced a fire or a fire has occurred nearby, smoke damage is typically a covered loss. Depending on the proximity of the fire, soot damage can pose a threat to the condition of your property. The smell of smoke can also disturb employees and customers, but it is relatively easy to eliminate this odor with the right devices. Read on to learn about the specific types of damage that smoke can cause to a property and smoke cleaning methods.

Smoke can damage a property in several ways:

• Degrade air quality
• Discolor walls and contents
• Stain upholstery
• Corrode metals
• Degrade appliance finishes
• Strip wood finishes

Smoke can be particularly damaging if it has a high acid content. During a fire, hot air carries smoke and soot as it rises and expands, spreading both throughout the surrounding area. Layers of smoke and soot can form a residue on top of every surface that becomes more difficult to clean over time. It is important to contact restoration experts for smoke damage as soon as possible.

Hiring experts can prevent smoke and soot from lingering and causing damage over time. Cleaning experts will perform several steps to restore your commercial property to pre-fire condition, including:

• Inspecting and assessing the extent of the damage
• Removing smoke and soot from surfaces using specialized equipment and techniques
• Cleaning all restorable items and surfaces
• Filtering the air with air scrubbers and using ozone or fogging equipment to neutralize odors

If you are concerned about soot or smoke residue inside of electronics, ask the experts to take a look. Acidic smoke residue can corrode metal within devices and cause them to fail. Regardless of the extent of the smoke damage or soot damage, the right smoke cleaning service can eliminate the problem and completely restore your commercial property in Windham, Maine.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more on commercial fire.

Managing Electronics After Fire Damage.

2/10/2018 (Permalink)

Initial Inspections

As a general rule, you should steer clear of any electronics you suspect may have been affected by smoke damage during the fire until a professional can perform a quick inspection. This is to ensure that no moisture or other particles have entered parts of the device that could make it dangerous.

Cleaning Procedures

Smoke carries acids and a number of different chemicals that can corrode the metal pieces inside of your electronics’ casings. These substances typically need more than just a damp cloth to clean properly, which is why all cleaning should be left to trusted electronics professionals. Usually, your fire cleanup crew will work alongside an electronics shop of your choice to get the best possible results.

Successful Restoration

Of course, after the initial cleaning, you’ll want to have either the electronics store owner or a cleanup pro check the electronic in question to ensure its working properly. This can help them catch any unexpected remaining issues, so that when you do get your belongings back, they’ll be good as new.

Getting the proper care for your home during fire cleanup in Portland, Maine, is important if you want to get things back to normal again, and that includes your electronics. Fortunately, with the right crew, the process is easier, faster and more effective.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire. 

Caring for Your Electronics After a House Fire

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Caring for Your Electronics After a House Fire

After a house fire, there is a lot you and your family can get done with old-fashioned soap and water. However, there are some things that are best left to professional fire cleanup crews, such as your electronics. Instead of just scrubbing these belongings clean, pros will need to

• Inspect for any present safety issues

• Clean away corrosives from inside the casings

• Perform a thorough inspection of the item after professional cleaning to ensure performance safety

Each of these steps is important, and none of them can be missed if you want a truly good electronic restoration experience in Portland, Maine.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire. 

How to Use Containment for Mold Remediation

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Negative Air Chambers

The negative air procedure uses ventilation systems to create air flow in the area of the fungus growth. However, the ventilation is set up in such a way that the air cannot escape the room. This negative air flow helps keep the spores contained in a specific area, which can make cleanup much easier.

Work-Area Seals

Some professionals put up plastic sheets to cut off the contaminated area from the rest of your building. The sheets themselves are not always enough to stop the spread of spores, which is why many teams use multiple containment procedures. When these work-area seals are used, traffic into and out of the mold area is usually restricted.

General Cleanup

Throwing out the porous objects, such as baseboards, drywall and insulation, can actually be a very effective isolation procedure used throughout mold cleanup. While this process is not always categorized as control, it does help stop the spread of fungus.

Air Filters

Sometimes specialized air filters can be used to help isolate the mold problem. HEPA filters, for example, are fine filters that can catch spores and other particles. Regular filters might not be able to stop the spread of fungus, which is why it is so important to use expert-recommended products when trying to stop the spread of mold.

Understanding the containment procedures used to stop mold spores during mold cleanup may make you more comfortable with the commercial remediation process. You can learn more about the steps used to stop mold contamination before hiring a cleanup team.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more mold remediation information for your home or business. 

Storm Damage Restoration

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

What Will Your Storm Restoration Team Do First?

Call in your professional storm restoration crew once it is safe to enter your home again after storm damage has occurred. Your team of experts will begin with a complete evaluation. They will look for any type of damages caused by a roof leak when there has been roof damage after ice damage, wind damage, or hurricane damage. If you have an ice dam, expect roof damage. Ice damming is a major problem with winter storms and can cause considerable ice damage. Whether you have an ice dam that has caused roof damage or roof damage has occurred due to wind damage, hail damage, and hurricane damage, your roof will be a repair. Expect your roof to be covered to avoid additional roof damage and the havoc caused by a roof leak. Your storm restoration professionals will focus on any area of your home affected by flooding or river flooding. Ground water and flood water are going to result in a need for water restoration services. Frozen pipes are also a culprit of water damage. A flood pump can be used to eliminate any sources of water in your basement or on your first floor of your home. An industrial model is typical when you need a flood pump for water restoration services. You may have a flood pump that you have used in the past, but your professionals will bring in a flood pump that can rise to any challenge. They will get rid of ground water and flood water that has risen after flooding, river flooding, or frozen pipes have burst. Flood water and ground water require more than the removal of water for the water restoration process. If you want true home restoration, you will need to dry all surfaces completely after ground water, flood water, or frozen pipes have caused a problem. Once the water is gone, your crew can work on additional steps for storm remediation.

Look to the Roof

In addition to drying the premises as part of your home restoration process, roof repair will be an area of focus after wind damage, hurricane damage, and ice damage have taken place. You are sure to have a roof leak after hail damage or hurricane damage. Roof repair will be the next step to address a roof leak of any severity. Roof repair is a must after an ice dam or major ice damming as well. An ice dam and ice damming can cause just as much damage as hail damage. When your roof is fixed, you will be a step closer to storm remediation.

Completing Your Home Restoration Services

You are well on your way to storm remediation. Watch as your professionals do wonders. They'll repair your floors and walls, apply a new coat of paint, and move your things that were saved back into your home. Get ready to have a homecoming once again.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on storm damage.

Water Removal Process

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Extracting Water From Pipe Break

The next step after inspection is water cleanup, which is a major mitigation strategy after a supply line break or pipe break. This involves removing water from all the rooms in a flooded home using vacuums and pumps. The extent of the damage caused by water in home determines the type of equipment the restoration company will use. The water should be removed as soon as possible to avoid bacterial and mold growth. The water from a supply line break or pipe break should be contained and extracted immediately to prevent further damage in a flooded home.

It is advisable to remove all wet materials like toys, clothing, pillows, throw rugs, and carpets from the affected area before water cleanup. Contractors can expedite drying by removing wet surfaces on floors, ceiling, and walls after water cleanup. Unsalvageable dry walls or insulations such as baseboards should be removed to accelerate drying. The other method that can be used to accelerate drying in a water cleanup process involves opening cabinet doors and drawers.

http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on water damage.

How To Preserve Your Items After a Water Disaster

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

A broken pipe can transport water, bacteria, mold and debris into your property. Apart from the bad smell, the damage can be serious enough for you to throw away important documents or equipment. While a pipe burst cleanup should always be completed by a sewer cleanup company, there are immediate steps you can take to save your items and keep your environment safe.

1.Unplug Electronic Appliances

Entering a wet room that has appliances plugged into outlets can be dangerous. Getting your electronic devices out of a water-damaged room as soon as possible can prevent them from short circuiting and keep the cleaning crew safe. Take care while transporting your items; don't yank the cord out of the outlet too fast, or it might spark.

2.Use Disinfectant

A pipe burst can cause bacteria to build-up. To thoroughly disinfect your items, avoid simply drying them with a rag or towel. Instead, use a quality disinfectant cleaner on any hard surfaces such as furniture. You don't need to search far and wide for a good cleaning product; local grocery stores typically carry several reputable brands.

3.Consult With Professionals

If the situation is unfortunate enough so that important items like paintings, books or photographs are damaged, you shouldn't immediately throw them away. There are professional cleaners in Windham, ME and surrounding areas that specialize in restoring such items. Call them right away to see if you can do anything to salvage your items. Sometimes, they might recommend rinsing them with water to prevent stains from setting.

A sewer cleanup company can usually send professionals to your home promptly for an emergency pipe burst cleanup. However, if you have to wait, taking these steps on your own can help minimize some of the damage. You don't have to spend a lot of money replacing your items if you get them away from a broken pipe and leaking water as soon as possible.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on commercial water damage.

Tips for Cleaning Personal Belongings After Water Damage

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Following water in a home in Windham, ME your affected belongings should be properly cleaned to prevent issues from making the situation worse. It is also important that you know when items are not able to be saved. Executing the cleaning process quickly following a broken pipe or another situation that caused water problems can ensure that you are able to preserve as many of your possessions as possible and get them adequately cleaned.

Items To Throw Away

Not all items can be saved after water in a home causes damage. Knowing what you should throw away can make this process a bit easier, saving you valuable time by not wasting energy trying to clean what cannot be saved. These are items that are usually good to toss:

• Medicines and supplements
• Food items touched by the water
• Wood that has become completely soaked
• Personal hygiene items touched by the water
• Anything with mold growth

Bedding and Clothing

Dry cleaning is a common method used to clean bedding and clothing items after they experienced water damage. It is typically best to take the items to a professional dry cleaner and let them know why they are being cleaned. They can then use the most effective products and methods for the job.

Solid Items

Items made of materials such as plastic, glass and metal can often be cleaned using a low-suds detergent. Then once you scrub them completely, simply use a sanitizer to help make sure that they are safe to use and touch. For solid materials such as wood, if water did not penetrate it, you can use this cleaning method, but if penetration did occur, you may not be able to save it.

You can surely see that following water in a home, there is a lot of work to be done. Use this information as a guideline to save as many of your personal belongings as possible while also ensuring that you get them completely clean.
 Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on water damage.

Finding Hidden Mold in Your Home

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Finding Hidden Mold in Your Home

Mold growth may be occurring in your home in hidden places that you can’t see. If your home smells rather musty, then mold might be lingering somewhere out of sight.

Hidden Mold

If you can see mold, the solution is rather easy. You know the source of your problem. You can clean and disinfect the area and resolve the cause of growth. Mold can hide in attic insulation, inside the walls, under the carpet or between floors.

A musty odor is one way to tell that you have a problem. When you smell these signs, you need to contact an indoor environmental specialist to come and run a mold test.

Checking for mold can be a risky game. You could actually disturb mold colonies and release spores that can go contaminate other areas of your home. If you do a preliminary search of your home and inspect easily examined places such as walls, ceilings, basements, bathrooms and inside cabinets with no luck, you need to call a professional.

If you suspect you have mold growth under the carpet or behind the walls due to previous water damage, go ahead and consult an indoor environmental specialist. She or he can perform a mold test and determine the source. Specialists know the likely places to find mold growth. They can get you accurate answers so you can fix the problem or lay your worries to rest.

Places Mold Hides

If you are conducting a search, turn off your HVAC system and any fans. This reduces the chance of spreading spores around your home. Here are some popular places mold might lurk:

Under carpets

Behind wallpaper

Behind wood paneling or drywall

Inside ductwork

In between floors

Above ceiling tiles

Have your home inspected by a seasoned indoor environmental specialist in Portland, Maine.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on mold.

Insurance and Mold: What Homeowners Need To Know

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Insurance and Mold: What Homeowners Need To Know

It's a nightmare for many homeowners: after dealing with water damage in your Portland, Maine home, you discover mold. Good thing you have insurance, right? Well, maybe not. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t always cover fungus growth. To get full mold coverage, you may need individual mold insurance. Here’s what every homeowner should know about fungus and insurance.

It’s Not Covered in Standard Policies

If you purchased a standard insurance policy for your home, the chances are that your insurance won’t pay for repairs needed due to fungus growth. Standard plans consider the growth of mold to be a home maintenance issue, which these policies don’t cover. However, if the mold is a result of an insurable peril, you may be in luck.

Secondary Mold May Be Different

While most home insurance policies don’t reimburse for the cost to get rid of the mold when the fungus is the primary problem, your plan may have you covered if the mold is the result of a different issue. If a pipe burst in your home in Portland, Maine and caused fungus to pop up, your homeowner’s insurance may pay for the repairs.

Flood Insurance May Provide Coverage

You may be surprised to learn that flooding caused by rain is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies. If a storm causes the mold in your home, the question of insurance covering the cost becomes more complicated. If you have flood insurance, the policy will likely pay out for mold removal. However, if you don’t, you may be stuck with the bill.

You Can Prevent Mold

The best strategy may be to prevent mold altogether. While it is not always possible, there are a few things you can do to guard your home against the fungus:

Clean gutters regularly
Use exhaust fans in your bathrooms and kitchen
Use bleach to clean your bathrooms
Leave carpets out of the basement, bathrooms, and kitchen

If you’re not sure if your insurance has mold coverage, you can talk to a local contractor. Larger, more sophisticated companies often have professionals who can speak to insurance providers on your behalf. The sooner you get rid of the fungus growth, the better.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on mold.

Storm Damage in Portland, Maine

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Whether you are looking for Storm Restoration or water restoration by using a flood pump, you need to contact local professionals dealing with ice damage because you may also have frozen pipes, ice damming and a lot of ice dams to get rid of. River flooding due to storm damage can also cause a lot of roof damage that is going to need professional roof repair to get rid of the roof leaks that are currently present due to flood water or large amounts of ground water on your roof. A flood pump that is the result of Storm Restoration is often not enough to get rid of the ice damage and hail damage that is in your area causing frozen pipes and large amounts of ice damming. The wind damage that you are currently dealing with can also cause roof leaks to happen that are then in need of professional roof repair. This is why it is so imperative that you get Professionals in who are specific to both wind damage and roof repair.

Whether you are currently dealing with ice dams in your area or have flood water and ground water to get rid of, you need to contact local professionals who can come in with their own tools and skills necessary to get the job done. Ice damage that causes a significant amount of ice dams to form is something that you should never attempt to do on your own when dealing with both flood water or a large amount of ground water. Ice dams can easily be rectified when you contact the right company to do the job for you. One of the main issues that people deal with when it comes to storm damage is that they do not know how to do the restoration on their own, but it is nice to know that there are professional companies out there that will be able to work exclusively with you to restore your home or business back to the way it was after a hurricane hit the area. This is also an important option if you have some type of property insurance and will have the project covered for you.

For more information about our service visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com or give us a call.

Fire Damage Remediation Service

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Comprehensive Fire Damage Remediation Service is Vital

In the aftermath of residential or commercial fire damage, you likely are best served by selecting a fire restoration company that provides comprehensive services. In other words, you need to select a firm that will provide you with assistance with smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell.

In considering a company, make sure that you fully explore the specific services that are offered. Ask a representative of a fire damage restoration company if the firm does assist with cleanup and also provides assistance with smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell. Although most companies in business today do address fire cleanup as well as remediate smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, that is not always the case. You will also want to inquire about board up assistance. Prompt board up is vital. Appropriate board up ensures that additional damage or harm not come to the premises. This includes protecting against vandalism and related activity that sometimes happens after a fire.

Check Out the Fire Specialists Closely

When considering engaging the services of a restoration company, you need to more than merely check out the work experience of the team of specialists with the firm. You need to examine the background of the fire damage remediation specialists associated with a firm.

You need to make sure that any specialists that will be working at your residence or commercial property to address fire in home or fire in business must be fully and appropriately licensed, bonded, and insured. You may also want to inquire of the firm about the type of background check it has run on the specialists that are on its residential or commercial fire damage remediation team.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information about our services.

Getting a Firm Quote

11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Getting a Firm Quote

The reality is that not all firms providing fire damage restoration services provide the same pricing scheme for its residential and commercial fire damage remediation services. Because of this reality, you need to make certain that you obtain a thorough estimate or fee quote from a commercial fire damage remediation service.

Although time is of the essence in the aftermath of a residential or commercial fire, if you can, you should attempt to do at least some price comparisons. You cannot sacrifice the need for immediate intervention at the premises, including prompt board up and fire cleanup, in order to spend an inordinate amount of time shopping for the lowest price. Keep in mind that the lowest price for fire damage remediation services typically is not the best deal. You want to seek out the more reputable, effective fire damage restoration professional at the most reasonable price.

Inquire About Equipment

Not only will you want to glean information about the team of specialists at a fire damage remediation firm, you will also want to inquire about the equipment a company uses. For example, you will want to find out what equipment a company uses to deal with issues like fire cleanup more generally, but also to address smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information about our services.

Surveying After a Fire

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Surveying After a Fire

In the aftermath of fire damage from an electrical fire, utility room fire or other source of soot damage, it is a good idea to let have a good look around the entire area. Many areas affected by smoke damage and soot damage and in need of fire restoration efforts may be only visible to the naked eye after a careful look. The fire sprinkler system may be need of a repair as it may have been damaged in the aftermath of the electrical fire. Now is the time to start thinking about future fire suppression efforts and fire restoration plans as well as how to cope with the immediate aftermath of the fire. Now is also the time to speak with any firefighter still there and find out their thoughts on the origin of the fire.

Cleaning Up

It's a good idea to keep in mind that any fire restoration efforts can be messy. The fire sprinkler system may have placed water all over the entire business. The fire sprinkler system may also have damaged the walls and other vitally important yet delicate items in the area such as computers and furniture. Cleaning up must begin as soon as possible in order to get the business up and working as soon as possible. The fire may have received local coverage. In that case, customers and clients may be left wondering what's going on. They may also be left wondering when the business will open up again. It's a good idea to begin a social media account reserved solely for communicating with clients and with all employees.

Prevention is Important

As the cleanup starts, many business owners realize the importance of future fire suppression efforts. The last thing the business owner needs is another fire. Working with professionals can help the business owner identify what needs to be done to prevent this from happening in their business ever again. Many business owners are also landlords. In that case, the business owner needs to make sure a fire never happens again or else face loses that including damage to their business and damage to the property they own at the same time.

Rebuilding Your Premises with Professional Fire Damage Restoration

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Rebuilding Your Premises with Professional Fire Damage Restoration

One of the greatest tragedies you can face during the course of a lifetime is a fire in home or fire in business. If you have experienced a fire in home or fire in business, it is vital that you obtain professional fire damages restoration services. With this in mind, when it come to your fire damage remediation.

Experience Matters When It Comes to a Fire Restoration Company

When seeking out and selecting a fire restoration company after a fire in home or fire in business, you need to explore the experience of a particular fire damage restoration service. You need to pay attention not only to how long a company has been in operation, but you need to consider the experience of its team of specialists as well. 

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com if you would like to learn more about our services.

Being Safe During Commercial Fire

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Being Safe During Commercial Fire

Commercial fire damage is a hazard every business owner faces. Each business owner must be prepared to cope with the possibility of a fire that may cause fire damage. Commercial fire damage can happen as a result of many factors including an electrical fire or utility room fire. During the fire, the business owner may need to deal with a firefighter on their company space. They may also need to cope with a fire truck and a fire hose that may be in use in order to help clear out soot damage and fire damage as well as smoke damage. The fire may have taken place in a single area of the business such as a utility room fire or it may be far more extensive requiring fire restoration efforts that can time to fully fix. It's best to realize that any commercial fire damage from any kind of fire including an electrical fire or utility room fire can take time to fix.

Stay out of the way

In the aftermath of commercial fire damage, there may be lots of things present including a fire hose, firefighter and fire truck. The owner may find it hard to get in during the fire to assess the fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage. A fire sprinkler system may still be on and going, possibly creating even more problems. Fire suppression efforts may be ongoing by the firefighter and a team with a fire truck and a fire hose. It's best to take the time and let the fire suppression efforts continue until the professionals with the fire hose and fire truck are finished.

The Categories of Water Damage

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

The Categories of Water Damage

It is always important to look for professional water damage restoration services after a water accident or flood damage to help you go back to your normal life as a soon as possible. A restoration company restores your building to the pre-damage condition by removing water in home or water in business. The damage restoration process should be carried out by an experienced water restoration expert from a reputable restoration company that is licensed and certified. The following are the four major steps that are normally followed when it comes to the water damage restoration process:

Initial visual Inspection

The first step is to determine the level of damage caused by water in home or water in business by conducting a thorough assessment. The main objective of the inspection is to define the category of flood damage in a flooded home for proper mitigation. It is difficult for a restoration company to outline the restoration strategy without knowing the category of damage. Flood damage from clean water sources such as supply line break, in-house pipe break, and toilet tanks falls under category 1.

This damage should be restored as soon as possible before it can generate into category 2 and 3. Category 2 damage results from water in home or water in business that contains detergents such as dishwasher water or washing machine water. Damage from toilet overflows also falls under this category. Unsanitary water falls under category 3. This includes standing water, river flooding, and water from the sewerage system.

Stabilizing and Drying

The process begins after the removal of all wet materials and water extraction. Professional contractors use commercial grade equipment such as heaters, wood floor drying systems, dehumidifiers, and air movers to generate dry air and at the same time increase evaporation and air circulation. It is important to prevent mold growth at this stage through moisture control. The materials impacted and the nature of damage determine the time the building will take to dry.

Reassessment of the Damage

Certified technicians have to reassess the extent of water damage after structural drying to ensure complete mitigation after a supply line break or a pipe break. This type of inspection is meant to ensure that there are no pockets of moisture that may still be hidden in the building. Such pockets of moisture can lead to mold growth or other water related damage.


The best way to prevent bacterial and mold growth is by cleaning and sanitizing all personal belongings. Anti-microbial treatments are also necessary for drapery, clothing, and carpeting. The moisture and particles present in the air can be removed using air scrubbers.


This mitigation process involves replacing material like insulation and drywall. In addition, reconstruction should involve the replacement of the structural damage after water damage has been mitigated. Some of the materials that can be replaced after water damage include heating systems, ductwork, drapery, clothing, shelves, floors, and walls.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on water damage.

Understanding Commercial Fire Damage and the Restoration Process

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Understanding Commercial Fire Damage and the Restoration Process

Most property owners know that the worst thing which can happen to them is fire damage. What many do not know is the fact that the toughest part of dealing with commercial fire damage comes in after the fire trucks and the firemen have left, and one has to assess and mitigate the damages they have suffered. Below are a few of the things you need to understand about fire damage and the fire restoration process.

The fire suppression

As a property owner, there are measures you are supposed to put in place to alert people in case there is an electrical fire or any other fire. These include smoke and electrical fire alarms. Mechanisms such as fire exits and fire extinguishers should also be in place to minimize loss of lives and property in case of a fire. When an electrical fire does break out, the first step should be getting everyone off the building to a safe place.he next step is calling in the fire truck.

The firefighter will deal with the electrical fire according to the suspected cause. For instance, if the reasons of the utility room fire was an electrical fault, there is no way the firefighter or the fire truck going to try and use a fire sprinkler system for fire suppression. The fire sprinkler system is used where the cause of the utility room fire has nothing to do with electricity. In cases where the fire was due to an electrical appliance, the firefighter will use the fire hose, which creates a carbon dioxide blanket, killing of oxygen supply to the fire and, therefore, killing it.

The fire restoration after fire suppression

You will only be allowed to access a building affected by fire damage after the firefighter has removed the fire truck and fire hose, and declared it safe for re-entry. In case the utility room fire was so extensive, and it destroyed structures such as the roof and parts of the drywall, board up, and roof tarp will be done to hold the structure upright and protect the house from vandalism. Note that the use of powerful fire sprinkler systems and fire hoses can also weaken the internal structure of the house. The following are some of the steps followed during fire suppression and utility room fire damage restoration.

• Fire cleanup: Fire damage leaves behind problems such as smoke damage, soot damage and lots of charred debris. If the fire were extinguished using the water fire sprinkler system, or the fire hose the restoration experts would have to start by removing the water and drying up the rooms before proceeding.

• Soot damage and smoke damage removal: smoke will adhere to upholstery, furniture, and other appliances after a fire. It is the responsibility of the restoration company to use the appropriate detergents and cleaning agents to make sure that any smoke damage and soot damage on the floors, walls or appliances has been completely removed.

• Fire restoration: This part of the process aims to make sure the house goes back to the state it was in before the commercial fire damage. To make this happen, the commercial fire damage restoration experts assess the damage caused by the fire after the cleanup and give a quotation of what is needed to be done, and the cost. They will repair any drywall which has fallen apart, replace parts of the roof that could have gotten burnt in the fire, and repaint the areas inside the home that could have stains from smoke damage and soot damage.

The quality of the commercial fire damage restoration depends on the competence of the company which you hire to handle the fire restoration for you. It is best to take time, look at the offers on the table from different companies and select the one which best suits your needs.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire damage.

Starting Over After Storm Damage Affects Your Home

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Starting Over After Storm Damage Affects Your Home

The flooding is over after the hurricane has run through. River flooding is finally going down. Now you have to look at what has been left behind when storm damage affects your home. Wind damage, hail damage, and roof damage has been considerable. You have no idea where to begin when dealing with storm damage of any kind. The same can be said when winter weather becomes severe, resulting in ice damming and frozen pipes. Ice damage can be just as devastating to your home. You know that storm restoration is a must if you are going to live in your home once again. Once the river flooding or flooding has settled, you will be able to see more clearly what you are dealing with. Professional storm damage restoration services make it possible to achieve storm restoration, water restoration, and home restoration. Your professional technicians have the skills, experience, and resources needed to achieve storm remediation.

Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on storm damage.

The Process of Professional Water Damage Restoration

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

The Process of Professional Water Damage Restoration

If you have ever seen water damage, then you know how devastating it can be. Whether the damage comes from a flood or a broken pipe or something else, water and buildings do not mix well! If you have experienced water damage and you are looking to professionals for mitigation and restoration, here's what you can expect.

Assessment and Inspection

The first thing that a restoration company will do is come look at your flooded home. They will assess the water in your home or business and determine how much damage it did. You may only need repair on some accessories, like drapes or shelving. However, the damage from water in your business or your house may be more extensive.

It's important to let professional water damage restoration company work in your home. Whether you have flood damage or a water pipe break, you may need more work done that you had thought. Parts of your building may need restoration and mitigation beyond what you can see, and professionals know how to assess these types of damage, too.

Getting the Water Out

The first step of water cleanup from flood damage or a water supply line break is to get the water in your home out. This means thoroughly drying out everything that got wet. This can include flooring, walls, and even the foundation or the ceiling.

The water cleanup process usually starts with vacuuming up as much water as possible. After that, the restoration company will work on drying up the water in your business or your home. Depending on the extent of the damage from your flood or pipe break, this can involve dehumidification, too. A flooded home or other building can take up to a few weeks to fully dry. Only when the drying is over can your professional water damage restoration company start the next steps.

Cleaning Your Building

When you get water in your business or your home, whether it's from a supply line break or is flood damage, you will need to clean everything affected by the water. Not only will it look dirty, but water can carry bacteria that you don't want to keep around!

This means that, after drying, the next step in water mitigation is thoroughly cleaning anything that got wet. Your water cleanup restoration people will treat your carpets and walls with agents designed to kill all sorts of microbes. Depending on where you had water in your home or business, they may also use agents that will clean the air, so you can feel sure that you are breathing safely.

Finishing the Restoration

Once your water cleanup is complete, it's time to restore your building to its former glory. Depending on the extent of the damage in your flooded home or business, this can be as simple as purchasing some new furniture or curtains, or as extensive as rebuilding walls and replacing flooring.

If your flood damage as from a pipe break or a supply line break, you will need to be sure that your pipes are repaired, so you don't face similar issues down the road. After all, you don't want water in your business or home again! It's worthwhile to make sure that the work is done well the first time, so you don't have to go through this again!

Having a flooded home or business is no fun! However, hiring a professional water damage restoration company to help with mitigation will ensure that the job gets done, with as little hassle for you as possible. When there's a flood, when you have a pipe break, when your water supply line breaks down, when you have water in your home for any reason, they will step in and help, so you can rest assured that your home will be restored, just the way it was before.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on water damage.

What to Expect from a Fire Damage Restoration Company

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

What to Expect from a Fire Damage Restoration Company

It is difficult to imagine anything that is more traumatizing than a fire in home or a fire in business. Home fire damage threatens the sense of security of a family or a group of professionals. Commercial fire damage can swiftly bring the operations of an enterprise to a sudden halt. It can therefore affect the business as well as the customers.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the latest survey shows that there is structure fire damage that takes place every 65 seconds. Emergency responders, along with the firefighters, answer the signal from the alarm sounds to provide help for those who are in need of a fast and decisive action. After the smoke clears, a team that will carry out the fire damage restoration and board up process should be contacted.

Why Fire Cleanup and Rebuilding with the Help of a Restoration Company is Crucial

The first 24 to 48 hours after the fire in home or fire in business are known as the golden hours – to be specific, they are the most important times for recovery after fire damage. A restoration company will provide professionals that will quickly help in stabilizing the facility. This helps ensure the recovery of possessions and the property as much as possible.

The soot damage and the smoke damage are considered to be acidic. This means that they can accelerate the corrosion and the deterioration of the components of the house or building. Not only that, the soot damage and the smoke damage that are a result of extinguishing the fire can lead to the destruction of vital assets. It becomes even worse because these days, water or dry chemicals are used to put out the fire. Aside from this problem, the smoke smell is toxic and therefore must be neutralized, cleaned, and deodorized.

How a Restoration Company Can Help

The home and commercial fire damage rebuilding procedure depends on the approach used by the restoration companies. Often though, it involves mitigating damage, fire cleanup and providing smoke smell solutions. It may also include water restoration and other ways to fix structural issues. Aside from that, a restoration company should understand that the contents within the structure should be saved or recovered as much as possible. Usually, evaluations will be made based on a number of factors including:

Comparison of costs between replacing the contents and restoring them

The extent of the aftereffects of smoke smell and damage

The loss of use of contents of the house or business due to heat, soot damage, and others

Loss of value of belongings due to fire damage

If an item has sentimental value

If an item has suffered from decreased life expectancy

After evaluation, home and commercial fire damage companies can provide services depending on the needs of the homeowner or business. In general, fire damage restoration can include services like emergency board up, fire cleanup, soot damage inspection and removal, thermal deodorization for mitigating smoke damage, and sometimes, even complete reconstruction after fire in home or fire in business.

A restoration company can work closely with the fire departments in the local area. A team of skilled specialists are often called in to help in dealing with fire cleanup, soot damage, and even smoke smell shortly after fire has been extinguished. These specialists can provide support services for the victims of fire and smoke damage such as:

Emergency board up services as well as site containment to secure the area or the premises and preserve the scene from additional smoke damage and soot damage

Assisting fire cleanup and fire damage restoration by working under arson investigators where they will secure evidence and perform other tasks for private and commercial fire damage

Providing cranes and heavy equipment to help in clearing paths, expediting hauling, and other needs for fire damage restoration

Moving materials to secure safe entry of authorized personnel before and during the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration process

The restoration company may also be responsible for the application of board up decals in case they are required to help in decreasing visual eyesore of the structures that have been affected by the fire in home or fire in business.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire damage.

4 Reasons to Focus on Mold Remediation

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

4 Reasons to Focus on Mold Remediation

Mold is a problematic type of fungus that is far worse than the average mildew in a shower or around a sink. Black mold, mold growth behind a wall, and more can wreak havoc inside of a home or business. Understanding the need for mold remediation will help mold in a home or business get under control much faster.

Eliminate Odors

The reality is that residential and commercial mold damage often comes with a smelly odor. The smelly odor is often one of the first things that people notice when there is any kind of fungus or mold damage in the room. Sometimes, the mold growth is behind a wall, so it's hard to see right away. However, the mold growth is there and needs to be addressed.

The smelly odor will often go away through deodorization and eliminating the mold damage. It's helpful to work with a restoration company that specializes in residential and commercial mold damage to ensure that deodorization is strong enough. When it's done properly, it will ensure that there is no smelly odor remaining. It's also an important part of mitigation to control the issue.

The deodorization is just one of the reasons to focus on remediation as it's something that needs to be taken care of in order to forget that there was ever a problem with fungus.

Repair Existing Damages
Whether it's black mold or even mildew, there is going to be some existing damage because of the mold growth. It's important for people to recognize that there is mold in a home or business so that mitigation can get addressed properly.

Depending on how long the fungus has been growing, there could be dry rot. When there is dry rot on wood, it shows that the mold growth has been strong. Especially when there is mold growth behind walls, it's particularly hard to notice right away. However, a restoration company will be able to identify where there is mold and therefore be able to make repairs to all of the existing damage.

There is a process for remediation. The mold removal has to be taken care of carefully so as not to allow the mold spores to spread. Professionals will be able to get rid of the mold and make the repairs so that it looks as though mold in a home or business never happened.

Prevent Further Damage
Remediation is a must because, without mold removal, the problem is only going to get worse. Mold can spread quickly, especially when the conditions are just right. Warm and moist environments can cause black mold, mildew, and other fungus to grow faster than you might realize. This means that there might be mold growth behind a wall or somewhere else, too.

By calling in a restoration company, they can find the dry rot, identify where the black mold is, and all sorts of other mold growth. With top-notch equipment, they can look beyond walls and flooring to ensure that all mold damage is identified. It will help with the mitigation as well as the actual mold removal.

Improve Air Quality
Mildew, mold in a home, and more can create spores in the air. When there is residential or commercial mold damage, it's important to schedule a restoration company to come out. They will focus on mold removal so that the air quality improves. As soon as the spores are no longer in the air, it can help everyone to breathe easier.

Mold damage is a concern. It can lead to dry rot, a strong odor, and more. Residential and commercial mold damage can be taken care of through the help of a restoration company. They will be able to come in and identify where the mold growth is. They will help with mitigation, including water removal, as well as deodorization. It ensures a building gets the assistance it needs to prevent mold from growing in the future.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on mold.

What to do After a Flood in the Home or Business

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

What to do After a Flood in the Home or Business

A supply line breaks to a washing machine or a pipe breaks to the water softener. There is standing water in the home or water in the business. What should be done?

Water damage is one of the most serious mishaps that can occur to a property. Water damage requires immediate, professional restoration efforts, in order to avoid permanent damage and potential loss of the property. Within the first 24 hours, water damage that is left to stand can seep into drywall, structural elements and carpeting, causing lasting damage.

Luckily, there are many professional restoration companies that make their living saving properties from water damage. In this article, we'll take a quick look at the restoration process and how property owners should handle a flood damage event, should one occur.

Because so much of the United States has always been built on rivers, near lakes and in areas that experience frequent, severe weather, the U.S. flood damage mitigation industry has developed to be one of the best in the world. Over 100 years of flood damage mitigation has yielded a set of procedures that have been established as the gold standard in flood damage mitigation. There is a five-step process that all but ensures that no lasting damage to the flooded home will occur.

It is imperative to understand that a flooded home is the real estate equivalent of a medical emergency. Time is the most crucial factor. The best possible move that a property owner could make is to call a professional restoration company immediately. The sooner a restoration company can arrive at the flooded home, the more likely mitigation efforts are to prevent any lasting damage.

Once the restoration company's team arrives, they will immediately begin surveying the extent of the water in the home or water in the business. This phase of the water cleanup process generally uses high-tech gadgets, such as hygrometers and infrared water detectors, to establish all of the places that may have been affected by water in the home or water in the business. If there is an active supply line break or a pipe break, the team will locate the fault and remediate it.

Once the extent of the water in the home or water in the business has been established and the location pinned down, the next phase of the water cleanup process can begin.

The next water cleanup phase involves the extraction of all standing water from the premises. Through the use of powerful, specialized pumps, the restoration company's team will be able to remove thousands of gallons per hour from the site. The water cleanup team will use sophisticated vacuum equipment to fully remove all standing water from the premises. At this point, the property may appear dry to the untrained eye. But this leads to the next step.

Now it will be time to begin the final drying of the property. The team will use high-power dryers and dehumidifiers, capable of removing thousands of pounds of water from material and the atmosphere every hour. Drying time may take as little as 30 minutes or as long as an entire day. Completely drying the property is absolutely crucial, as it avoids the formation of serious mold and mildew, and removes water from drywall and structural elements. When the drying process is complete, the home will no longer be at risk of sustaining further damage.

The final step is to chemically sanitize and cleanse the home to prevent mildew formation and eliminate smells.

When a pipe breaks or a supply line breaks, the most important thing you can do is to call in the pros. There's no reason to let a pipe break or a supply line break diminish or destroy the value of your home.
Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on water damage.

How Can Professional Fire Damage Restoration Help?

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

How Can Professional Fire Damage Restoration Help?

A fire in a home or a fire in a business can be one of the greatest challenges for an individual to overcome. It is tempting to attempt to fix the situation immediately and without assistance, but this is ill-advised for a number of reasons. A restoration company is much better equipped to handle the challenges of property recovery after fire damage. Smoke and soot settle into furniture, carpet, and household textiles within minutes causing smoke and soot damage as well as leaving a smoke smell. Calling a fire cleanup crew immediately will prevent further damage and allow for more stability more quickly.

A restoration company can begin fire damage restoration immediately by drying up the property after firefighting. Firefighting can cause flooding, which is not possible for an individual without training or the proper equipment to clean up. Water damage can reduce property values by just as much as fire damage and should be handled immediately. Industrial water extractors, dehumidifiers, and air current movers are all employed by technicians in order to better dry out a property.

Once fire damage has caused doors and windows to be compromised, it is important to board up these areas so as to secure the property. A fire cleanup crew will be more adept and better equipped than any individual at properly boarding up any weakened entry points. Boarding up a house is a temporary way to provide the kind of stability necessary for further fire damage restoration.

Smoke damage settles into the property quickly and leaves a smoke smell that is irritating. An odor control technician can employ a number of techniques to remove the smoke smell including ozone treatment, deodorizing sprays, and ventilation. The extent of smoke damage and smoke smell is invisible but can is just as damaging as fire damage.

Soot is oily and staining to any fabric or carpeting. Commercial fire damage can cause entire areas of carpet to require deep cleaning. A heavy duty industrial vacuum cleaner as operated by a professional is much more effective at removing soot damage than any individual. A fire in a home or a fire in a business can quickly cause soot damage and smoke damage that is impossible for a property owner to manage. Counteractants may be employed by a specialist to better manage soot damage and smoke damage. Commercial fire damage can be reversed in this way with these specialized chemicals.

Smoke smell is a common complaint after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Restoration companies often use thermal fogging, which is a technique that employs a chemical smoke that removes smoke smell. This is must more effective than regular ventilation. Fire cleanup teams specialize in removing odor in all fire damage restoration cases. Air purifying equipment is also often employed to better ventilate smoke out of the premises.

Commercial fire damage can cause debris to accumulate and require fire cleanup teams to remove debris. Managing large debris with heavy machinery is a job best left to professionals as it can be dangerous and require special licensing. A restoration company has extensive experience in their area and will know exactly how to manage the disposal of debris from a fire in a home or a fire in a business.

A restoration company is able to better manage commercial fire damage then any business owner. From boarding up doors and windows to removing odor, a property owner is much more likely to save money from employing a professional restoration company than by trying to manage the fire damage him- or herself. Most of these companies operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the unexpected need for their services. It is important to call them immediately after a fire in a home or a fire in a business due to how quickly damage can accumulate if left unmanaged. Visit http://www.SERVPROportland.com for more information on fire damage.

Commercial Losses-What to do when it happens to you.

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

A water, fire or mold damage to your commercial space is the last thing you want to deal with. Unfortunately, it does happen but if it happens to you, know that SERVPRO of Portland is "Here to help!" 

Here at SERVPRO of Portland we know that your daily business is of the utmost importance and we are ready and willing to work with you to get your Greater Portland area business  back to working order with minimal disruption to your daily routine. From the first notice of loss, to the final day of drying, we will do our best to accommodate any special requests that your business may need. Whether that means providing services after your business is closed, working within strict time frames to meet deadlines, or just maintaining open communication with you and your insurance company, SERVPRO of Portland has what it takes to make your commercial loss, less of a nightmare. 

The last 4 letter word any homeowner wants to hear...MOLD

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

MOLD...It's one of those words that just makes you cringe. The odor, the allergies, the associated health concerns and the overwhelming headache of having to deal with it all are all reasons why you should contact SERVPRO of Portland if you ever find yourself in a moldy situation. SERVPRO of Portland has highly trained professionals that are here to ease that stress. Each estimator and crew chief has been trained in mold remediation/abatement and adhere to the IICRC S520 Standard. Mold growth can occur as a result of improper ventilation in an attic, previous or unknown water damages or simply due to the environment in the house itself. Our friendly office staff will be more than happy to answer any questions or schedule a time for our estimators to inspect the loss and give you a quote! Just call us at 207-772-5032 to schedule an appointment for the Greater Portland Area today!

Ultrasonic Cleaning After A Fire

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Molly cleaning a blind from a residential home that suffered a smoke damage.

Ultrasonic Cleaning is commonly used in many different industries such as jewelers and medical facilities. Ultrasonic cleaning is the process of using high pressured waves with a cleaning solution to effectively clean an object  This type of cleaning removes particles that are adhered to an item especially in hard to reach places. Metals, plastics, glass, rubber and ceramics can be used in the ultrasonic machine. 

Ultrasonic cleaning in the restoration industry is applied and used to remove residue from fire, smoke and water losses. 

Our technician Molly is using the ultrasonic machine to clean a window blind from a residential home that suffered a  soot damage to their house.  

Should your commercial or residential property suffer a fire or water damage and contents are damaged, contact our office at 207-772-5032. We have the tools and resources making it "Like it never even happened". 




Water Damage in the middle of the night? YES... we will be there!

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Extraction of water has begun at a church we responded to.


A water damage can occur at any time of the year, whether it be a leaky or burst pipe, toilet overflow, a broken water supply line, flood or wind driven rain,  knowing who to call when a water damage occurs in your home or business can be key to timely mitigation damage to your property.  Our staff is ready for whatever happens 24/7, 365 days a year.  YES… we will respond to the 2am water damage emergency.  With our trained professionals and state of the art equipment we are able to effectively dry out the structure of your home or commercial space.

In this picture one our crew begins the extraction of water that caused a significant amount of water to a local church in Portland. The damage was due to a burst pipe that occurred during some freezing cold temperatures that had occurred overnight. Our crews responded quickly, minimizing the damage within the building.

Success in business requires training, discipline and hardwork. 


Celebrating 10 years at SERVPRO of Portland!

3/11/2017 (Permalink)

Kelly working the Southern Maine Claims annual golf event in Cumberland.


Happy 10th work anniversary to our Marketing Rep Kelly Overlock. Kelly came to SERVPRO of Portland in March of 2007 and worked in the office.  In her 7 years in the office she worked closely with adjusters and insurance agents as she was responsible for preparing estimates and billing. Kelly was also responsible for human resources within our franchise and managing the day to day duties in the office. As our franchise business grew, the need for an additional marketing representative was needed. Kelly was eager and motivated to take on this role and looking to put her sale experiences back into action. Kelly has been a huge asset to our marketing team. She currently is an Ambassador for the Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce, has volunteered for the American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness campaign and has worked with several businesses completing the Emergency Ready Profile tool for their business.  We are incredibly lucky to have Kelly on our team. Her dedication and motivation are key to what makes her successful in her role in marketing.

Cooking Safety Tips and Prevention

1/16/2017 (Permalink)

Remnants of a pan that caused a fire in a Scarborough home while the homeowner was cooking chicken. The fire caused odor and minor soot damage.

Cooking fires are the #1 cause of home fires and injuries according to the the NFPA.  The cause is unattended cooking so it is important to be alert and make sure you never leave the kitchen while cooking. A kitchen fire, regardless of the size, can be overwhelming. Most kitchen fires begin on the stove and the damage can affect the entire kitchen along with other areas in the home including walls, ceilings and appliances. A cooking fire is usually started by grease, oil or food which can make cleanup more difficult. 

Should you experience a kitchen fire that has left you with smoke, soot or fire damage, our office is available 24/7 to help with the cleanup whether it be the building structure or your personal property.

A few tips to remember in the kitchen:

  • If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by carefully sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner but do not remove the pan. 
  • Stay in the kichen while you cook
  • Remove items such as towels, plastic utenils and pot holders that can catch fire away from stove 
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean to prevent food & grease build up
  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm
  • Make sure you kitchen has a fire extinguisher
  • If you need to lave the room, be sure to turn the stove off

For more information on cooking fire safety visit the NFPA website at http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/top-causes-of-fire/cooking



2017 Resolution... Plan Ahead, Be Ready, Be Prepared

12/30/2016 (Permalink)

Do you know where the water shut off is to your business? The ERP can identify those areas and help you be prepared for any size disaster.

Our Portland office has helped over 100 businesses in the Greater Portland area over the last two years developing the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). The ERP has been created so their business is ready for whatever happens. Emergencies happen and being prepared for the unfortunate can help minimize business interruption and get you back in business. 

The Emergency Ready Profile is a comprehensive document that contains critical information including who to call, important shut off valve locations and priority areas of your business. Every second counts when an emergency strikes and we want you to be prepared. We offer this service free to businesses to help ensure their staff is educated should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP can be accessed on your smartphone or hard copies can be provided to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive. 

We believe preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, from a small water leak, large fire or an area that is known for flooding. 

Resolve to be ready in 2017 and contact our office at 207-772-5032 to help us get your office ready and prepared. 

SERVPRO of Maine's Annual Appreciation Day

9/20/2016 (Permalink)

Our check presentation in 2015 for $14,000.

The SERVPRO of Maine franchises are gearing up for our 9th Annual Appreciation Day and golf event on September 26th at the Brunswick Golf Club. Our Maine Franchises come together each year to host this fun event for our customers but also to raise money for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. The money raised at the event stays here locally and helps Maine folks during their time of need.  Disaster can strike at any time whether it be a house fire or a natural disaster caused by flooding.  Our franchises take pride in the partnership we have established with the American Red Cross and enjoy giving back and helping out our community. Last year, we had another successful event and raised $14,000 for the Disaster Relief Fund and we hope to exceed that amount this year.  Thanks to the many sponsors we have supporting our event and our friends that attend to help make this event possible. 

Proud Sponsor of The Amazing Chase

9/6/2016 (Permalink)

Join us for the Sebago Lakes Chamber event.. The Amazing Chase!

On September 24, 2016 our office will proudly sponsor the The Amazing Chase, a Sebago Lakes Region Adventure Race. The race is being organized by the amazing folks at Sebago Lakes Chamber of Commerce. 

The four person teams will set out on an adventure of team building, challenges both mental and physical while exploring the area.  This is the first time this event has been held in Maine utilizing Ipads, video and photos and some teams will have Go-Pro cameras. 

Our office will be sponsoring a Pitstop challenge that centers around SERVPRO and our heros.  The teams that complete our Pitstop challenge will earn points for their team.

Registration Deadline is September 15, 2016.

The festivities will begin and end at the Wyndham Microtel. 

For more information or to register please check out www.amazingchasesebago.com 

We look forward to seeing you at The Amazing Chase Adventure Race! 

SERVPRO of Portland is Hiring!

8/29/2016 (Permalink)

Join our team!

Come join our team! We are hiring hardworking and motivated crew members to join our successful team! 

Physically you must be able to move, lift, carry, push and pull objects weighing more than 25 pounds; reach overhead and below the knees; including bending, twisting and stooping, as well as stand or walk for an extended period of time. Candidates will be required to pass a physical exam.

Perform water extraction and pack-out of contents
Remove and dispose of any non-salvageable flooring that was affected by the water loss
Perform light construction demo upon approval
Set up air movers and/or dehumidifiers
Perform hard surface cleaning
Complete paperwork when a new water loss is reported
Support Team Members

Restoration experience preferred but not required
Must be familiar with and be able to operate a wide range of equipment common to construction demo
Must be able to work for long periods of time in extreme temperatures both hot and cold
Must be able to work in an environment that has suffered fire, water and wind damage
Must be able to respond to service calls after-hours and during inclement weather
IICRC certified a plus

Candidates will be required to pass a state background check, have a Valid Driver’s license and a good driving record.

Because we provide 24 hour emergency services, must be willing to be on call, as needed, and willing to travel if needed.

Candidates will have a High School Diploma or Equivalent.
Candidates Must have the ability to communicate with others in written and verbal form

Pay Rate: Hourly Rate Depending on Experience

Experience: A plus but not required -- will train the right person!

Job Type: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full Time
Salary: Hourly Wage
Pay Grade: Dependent on Experience


Weekly Pay with Direct Deposit Option
Paid Holidays
Medical and Dental, Vision Insurance
Optional Voluntary benefits

Send Resume’ or Apply in Person

Contact Info
Ericca Young
Human Resources Manager
SERVPRO of Portland/South Portland
9 Hutcherson Drive
Gorham, Maine 04038


SERVPRO of Portland/South Portland
9 Hutcherson Drive
Gorham, Maine 04038

Website: http://www.SERVPROportland.com
Categories: Restoration / Mitigation

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location:
•Gorham, ME 04038

Required education:
•High school or equivalent

Required license or certification:
•Driver's License

SERVPRO of Portland is Hiring!

8/29/2016 (Permalink)

Join our team!

Come join our team! We are hiring hardworking and motivated crew members to join our successful team! 

Physically you must be able to move, lift, carry, push and pull objects weighing more than 25 pounds; reach overhead and below the knees; including bending, twisting and stooping, as well as stand or walk for an extended period of time. Candidates will be required to pass a physical exam.

Perform water extraction and pack-out of contents
Remove and dispose of any non-salvageable flooring that was affected by the water loss
Perform light construction demo upon approval
Set up air movers and/or dehumidifiers
Perform hard surface cleaning
Complete paperwork when a new water loss is reported
Support Team Members

Restoration experience preferred but not required
Must be familiar with and be able to operate a wide range of equipment common to construction demo
Must be able to work for long periods of time in extreme temperatures both hot and cold
Must be able to work in an environment that has suffered fire, water and wind damage
Must be able to respond to service calls after-hours and during inclement weather
IICRC certified a plus

Candidates will be required to pass a state background check, have a Valid Driver’s license and a good driving record.

Because we provide 24 hour emergency services, must be willing to be on call, as needed, and willing to travel if needed.

Candidates will have a High School Diploma or Equivalent.
Candidates Must have the ability to communicate with others in written and verbal form

Pay Rate: Hourly Rate Depending on Experience

Experience: A plus but not required -- will train the right person!

Job Type: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full Time
Salary: Hourly Wage
Pay Grade: Dependent on Experience


Weekly Pay with Direct Deposit Option
Paid Holidays
Medical and Dental, Vision Insurance
Optional Voluntary benefits

Send Resume’ or Apply in Person

Contact Info
Ericca Young
Human Resources Manager
SERVPRO of Portland/South Portland
9 Hutcherson Drive
Gorham, Maine 04038


SERVPRO of Portland/South Portland
9 Hutcherson Drive
Gorham, Maine 04038

Website: http://www.SERVPROportland.com
Categories: Restoration / Mitigation

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location:
•Gorham, ME 04038

Required education:
•High school or equivalent

Required license or certification:
•Driver's License

SERVPRO of Portland is Hiring!

8/29/2016 (Permalink)

Join our team!

Come join our team! We are hiring hardworking and motivated crew members to join our successful team! 

Physically you must be able to move, lift, carry, push and pull objects weighing more than 25 pounds; reach overhead and below the knees; including bending, twisting and stooping, as well as stand or walk for an extended period of time. Candidates will be required to pass a physical exam.

Perform water extraction and pack-out of contents
Remove and dispose of any non-salvageable flooring that was affected by the water loss
Perform light construction demo upon approval
Set up air movers and/or dehumidifiers
Perform hard surface cleaning
Complete paperwork when a new water loss is reported
Support Team Members

Restoration experience preferred but not required
Must be familiar with and be able to operate a wide range of equipment common to construction demo
Must be able to work for long periods of time in extreme temperatures both hot and cold
Must be able to work in an environment that has suffered fire, water and wind damage
Must be able to respond to service calls after-hours and during inclement weather
IICRC certified a plus

Candidates will be required to pass a state background check, have a Valid Driver’s license and a good driving record.

Because we provide 24 hour emergency services, must be willing to be on call, as needed, and willing to travel if needed.

Candidates will have a High School Diploma or Equivalent.
Candidates Must have the ability to communicate with others in written and verbal form

Pay Rate: Hourly Rate Depending on Experience

Experience: A plus but not required -- will train the right person!

Job Type: Regular
Full/Part Time: Full Time
Salary: Hourly Wage
Pay Grade: Dependent on Experience


Weekly Pay with Direct Deposit Option
Paid Holidays
Medical and Dental, Vision Insurance
Optional Voluntary benefits

Send Resume’ or Apply in Person

Contact Info
Ericca Young
Human Resources Manager
SERVPRO of Portland/South Portland
9 Hutcherson Drive
Gorham, Maine 04038


SERVPRO of Portland/South Portland
9 Hutcherson Drive
Gorham, Maine 04038

Website: http://www.SERVPROportland.com
Categories: Restoration / Mitigation

Job Type: Full-time

Job Location:
•Gorham, ME 04038

Required education:
•High school or equivalent

Required license or certification:
•Driver's License

Emergency Ready Profile for Commercial Businesses- Here to Help

8/12/2016 (Permalink)

Information and direction contained in the Emergency Ready Profile is key to timely mitigation.

50% of businesses never reopen after a catastrophic loss. As a business owner are you and your staff prepared and ready for whatever happens?  Disaster can strike at any time and knowing what to do and who to call is key to potentially minimizing damage to your property. Our Emergency Ready Profile is a great resource to have in place to educate staff on shut off locations and who to call during an emergency. Preparing your staff is key to timely mitigation. Does your staff know where the water shut off is in your building should a pipe burst occur? Does your staff know where to shut the electrical main off should an emergency occur in the building?  

The Emergency Ready Plan can be used on your smartphone or desktop. Hard copies can also be provided to help assist staff. 

Contact our office to schedule your free Emergency Ready Profile for your business and be ready for whatever happens! 

Emergency Ready Profile for Commercial Businesses- Here to Help

8/12/2016 (Permalink)

Information and direction contained in the Emergency Ready Profile is key to timely mitigation.

50% of businesses never reopen after a catastrophic loss. As a business owner are you and your staff prepared and ready for whatever happens?  Disaster can strike at any time and knowing what to do and who to call is key to potentially minimizing damage to your property. Our Emergency Ready Profile is a great resource to have in place to educate staff on shut off locations and who to call during an emergency. Preparing your staff is key to timely mitigation. Does your staff know where the water shut off is in your building should a pipe burst occur? Does your staff know where to shut the electrical main off should an emergency occur in the building?  

The Emergency Ready Plan can be used on your smartphone or desktop. Hard copies can also be provided to help assist staff. 

Contact our office to schedule your free Emergency Ready Profile for your business and be ready for whatever happens! 

Emergency Ready Profile for Commercial Businesses- Here to Help

8/12/2016 (Permalink)

A quick snapshot of the benefits of the Emergency Ready Profile

50% of businesses never reopen after a catastrophic loss. As a business owner are you and your staff prepared and ready for whatever happens?  Disaster can strike at any time and knowing what to do and who to call is key to potentially minimizing damage to your property. Our Emergency Ready Profile is a great resource to have in place to educate staff on shut off locations and who to call during an emergency. Preparing your staff is key to timely mitigation. Does your staff know where the water shut off is in your building should a pipe burst occur? Does your staff know where to shut the electrical main off should an emergency occur in the building?  

The Emergency Ready Plan can be used on your smartphone or desktop. Hard copies can also be provided to help assist staff. 

Contact our office to schedule your free Emergency Ready Profile for your business and be ready for whatever happens! 

SERVPRO of Portland is Expanding!

8/3/2016 (Permalink)

The digging has begun to expand our warehouse to 5000 more square feet. As our business has grown so had the need for space.

Our business is expanding and growing due to the high volume needs for our customers who have been affected by water and fire damage. We are excited that our building expansions is in progress as we are adding 5000 square feet to accommodate our content cleaning services. The expansion will include a dryer chamber and an ozone room to help remove odors from contents. We will also be updating our carpet cleaning area wihiin the warehouse along with more content storage for the items that we receive and clean after a disaster has occurred. As we have grown over the past several years we have acquired more equipment in order effectively handle any size disaster. The warehouse will offer more space for the drying equipment we use when working on a flooding or storm damage situation. We will continue to update you on the progress made on our building. Stay tuned...

Volunteering with American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign

7/9/2016 (Permalink)

Pictured: Aly Finn, Taylor LeClair, Kelly Overlock, Holly Merrill, Jared Lamey & Pat Murtagh

On July 9, 2016 our Franchise owner Jared Lamey, and employees Holly Merrill and Kelly Overlock and Kelly’s daughter Taylor volunteered their time to the American Red Cross of Maine for the Home Fire Preparedness event in Portland.  They along with 30 other volunteers and the Portland Fire Department installed smoke detectors in the Riverton neighborhood in Portland. The purpose of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is to encourage homeowners to check or install working smoke alarms in their homes. The volunteers also helped develop an emergency escape plan for the homeowners. This five-year initiative to help reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by 25 percent. Our SERVPRO team visited several homes during the day and installed 30 smoke detectors that day.

When fire strikes, you have about two minutes to escape a burning building. Make sure your home is equipped with a working smoke detector reduces the chance of you dying in a fire by nearly half.  Having a family escape plan ensures you and your family will know what to do and where to meet once outside.

Visit redcross.org/homefires for more information or to schedule your free home fire safety visit. 

Document Freeze Drying

6/20/2016 (Permalink)

This is the Document Freeze Drying Chamber at SERVPRO Corporate in Gallatin, TN

Fire and water damages can be a nightmare to deal with when they happen for multiple reasons. One aspect that is often overlooked at first is how to save important or sentimental documents after they have been drenched in water. SERVPRO of Portland has the capability to take those documents and limit the amount of permanent damage through a procedure called Document Freeze Drying. Document Freeze Drying is a process in which we take the wet documents and immediately freeze them to prevent further damage, next we ship them in a climate controlled environment to our corporate headquarters where they will be stored in a freezer until they are placed in SERVPRO’s Document Freeze Drying Chamber. The chamber uses a process called sublimation to evaporate the frozen water off the documents without allowing the water to go through the liquid phase. This is done by controlling the temperature in a vacuum—changing the melting and boiling points of water. This allows for the documents to be dried without allowing the liquid water to cause further damage. This can be beneficial to both our commercial and residential customers. On the commercial end, we have the abilities and necessary requirements to handle a large quantity of sensitive documents while adhering to proper chain of custody, HIPPA requirements and privacy standards. On the residential end, we have the abilities to handle smaller amounts of sentimental documents and photos that could be priceless and irreplaceable. So no matter what size disaster, SERVPRO of Portland is here to help you!

Large Loss

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

Our mobile command in use during a large water damage this spring. The water damage occurred in a large building during renovation.

It’s a Saturday night and you are enjoying your time off, prepping for another busy work week as a Project Manager working on renovations of a commercial space. Your phone rings, you answer and it’s one of your crew members telling you that a water main broke and all the new construction is currently being flooded with water. This is going to be what the insurance world calls a “Large Loss”. What do you do? This is the unfortunate situation one of our customers found themselves in recently. Thankfully, they knew that SERVPRO of Portland has the qualification and resources necessary to handle a job of that magnitude. SERVPRO of Portland is a Disaster Recovery Team which means we have the capabilities of handling Commercial Property Damages that are expected to exceed the $100,000 threshold. When dealing with these kinds of losses, a mitigation company can face many obstacles. One of those obstacles is figuring out a way to ensure that we provide our customer with the quality service they expect at a price that is fair and charges that are well documented. As a Disaster Recovery Team for SERVPRO, SERVPRO of Portland has access to state of the art software that allows us to bill these sized losses on a Time & Materials basis. What this means for our customers is that they will have the ability to see the documentation for everything that we have charged for. This level of transparency is important for Large Losses as it allows the customer, and the customer’s insurance company, to see exactly what was charged and why it was charged, providing them with the ability to monitor the bill and make sure they are receiving quality service at a fair price. So, if you find yourself in a catastrophic situation like a Large Loss, rest assured that SERVPRO of Portland is ready and prepared to help

Meet our SERVPRO Contractor

5/27/2016 (Permalink)

When you have been the victim of property damage, whether it is fire damage, water damage or even bio-hazard cleaning, trying to coordinate all the service providers can seem like a daunting task. We understand how stressful these situations can be here at SERVPRO of Portland and are here to help! A few months ago we hired a contractor who has been able to provide our customers with structural repairs following the demo needed to make the structure safe again. Jim is a reliable and honest contractor who owned and operated his construction company for 16 years before joining our team.  Adding Jim Francoeur to our SERVPRO Team has allowed us to provide our customers with a contractor, eliminating one of the service providers they would have to coordinate with, as well as adding a service we had not previously offered. We are excited for the opportunity to make a stressful situation go as smoothly as possible for all of our customers and get you back to "Like It Never Even Happened!" 

CE Class

5/18/2016 (Permalink)

A great turnout for our Ethics class at the Woodlands in Falmouth.

At SERVPRO we feel education is vital to professional growth. To show our support to fellow colleagues in the insurance and real estate industry we offer free CE classes. All classes are approved by the Maine Bureau of Insurance and the Maine Real Estate Commission.

We can schedule an in house class with 6 or more attendees. To book a class contact our office at 207-772-5032 and ask to speak with Holly. If you would like the the CE Course listing e-mailed to you, please contact our office. 

Classes that we offer for the insurance industry:

Biohazard Cleanup, Ethics, Mitigation Awareness & Response, Restoring Contaminated Buildings, Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry, Restorative Drying for Water Damage, Understanding the Restoration Industry- Property Fire Damage

For the Real Estate Professionals we offer a mold class. Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

5/2/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we're dealing with a relatively small water cleanup or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility. 

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to full restore the damaged area while working within your budget. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour lost of revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we'll be there fast with the help you need. 

If you find yourself needing an emergency water cleanup contact our office. Our crew is available 24/7.

Flooding .... Know the Terms

4/29/2016 (Permalink)

The Greater Portland area continues to experience more and more potential flooding situations. Know the terms and be prepared.

FLOOD WATCH - Flooding is possible. Listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information. 

FLASH FLOOD WATCH - Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; listen to weather radio, commercial radio, or TV for information.

FLOOD WARNING - Flooding is occuring or will occur soon; if advised to evacuate, do so immediately.

FLASH FLOOD WARNING - A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.


1/15/2016 (Permalink)

Compulsive hoarding is the excessive acquisition of possessions, even if the items are worthless, hazardous or unsanitary.  2-5% of Americans may meet the criteria of being a hoarder.

SERVPRO of Portland’s technicians always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) and are trained to assist in removing and disposing of unsalvageable materials.  We understand this is a sensitive concern for many and will work with the friends/family to make the cleanup process as smooth as possible.  We remove and dispose of items followed by sanitizing, cleaning and deodorizing the entire area. Our job is clean and sanitize in the most efficient and effective way possible make the living conditions safe and sanitary. 

Pipe Bursts

1/8/2016 (Permalink)

It's that time of year where pipes begin to freeze and burst. Here are a few things to know should you experience a burst pipe.

Locate your water shut off valve and turn off the main water supply. This will prevent water from continuing to pour out.

Contact your insurance agent to notify them of your loss and they can assist you in filing a claim.

Call a plumber to fix the pipe. Clean up services cannot begin until the source of the main issue has been fixed.

Call us at 207-772-5032 to assist you with the water damage cleanup. 

Insulation Removal for Mold Remediation

11/13/2015 (Permalink)

An insulation removal vacuum is being used at a home to remove blown insulation that had experienced a mold damage.

All mold damage scenarios are different and may require different techniques to aid in the mitigation process.  We recently removed blown insulation from an attic that had experienced a mold damage.  The insulation removal vacuum extracts blown insulation (wet or dry) from attics or crawl spaces saving time and money. This method  has the ability to remove 6,000 cubic feet of insulation an hour.  The insulation is then pumped into a container for easy disposal. 

One of the Rainiest Days in Portland Causes Flooding

10/5/2015 (Permalink)

Crew Chief Dillon extracting water from a classroom in that was caused by the torrential rain on September 30, 2015.

On September 30, 2015 Portland experienced it's sixth rainiest days ever. 5.63 inches of rain fell in Portland that day causing basement flooding in several residential and commercial buildings. Our crews responded to this commerical loss that affected a school in downtown Portland affecting many classrooms. 

Photo courtesy of Portland Press Herald 

No job is too big....

8/3/2015 (Permalink)

The square footage of this warehouse is 65,000.

SERVPRO of Portland has been approved and named to the Commerical Large Loss Division. Our trained and qualified team is here to serve all your commercial large loss needs. This picture shows our crews cleaning the ceiling of a large warehouse that caught fire. Our teams are working hard to make it like it never even happened.


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