Recent Water Damage Posts
How To Maintain Fire Sprinklers in Your Building
All gauges should be inspected weekly, or possibly monthly depending on your system.
Maintenance Steps For Fire Sprinklers
A properly functioning sprinkler system can save lives. Sprinkler maintenance should be part of the safety plan for every building. Regular maintenance of sprinkler systems is essential in the prevention of accidental activation. Locate a sprinkler inspection company in Westbrook, ME, that can schedule and perform these necessary maintenance steps.
1. Weekly Maintenance
A designated member of your staff trained in the standards and local codes can perform the weekly maintenance to ensure there is proper air and water pressure on the dry, pre-action, and deluge system gauges. All gauges should be inspected weekly, or possibly monthly depending on your system. Wet pipe systems should be checked monthly. All inspections should include looking for signs of physical damage.
2. Quarterly Maintenance
Outside of the weekly maintenance, a licensed fire protection technician should conduct all testing and maintenance. Every three months all alarm systems should be inspected as well as the connection to the fire department.
3. Yearly Maintenance
Yearly sprinkler maintenance includes the inspection of buildings, bracings, pipes, fittings, and fire sprinklers. In addition to physical inspection, several things should be tested each year. Control valves, alarm switches, gauges, backflow preventers, anti-freeze loops, fire department connections, and visible piping should all be inspected and tested to make sure they are functioning properly. Running a test for dry, pre-action, and deluge systems is also recommended on a yearly basis.
4. Maintenance Every Five Years
Hoses, connections, and piping should be inspected every five years. Testing of standpipes, internal pipe inspections, and obstruction investigations should also be conducted every five years.
A functional and reliable sprinkler system should be a priority for every building owner. They act as both a warning system and a lifesaver. Accidental activation of a sprinkler system can cause costly water damage that may require water damage restoration. Keeping up with regular sprinkler maintenance can help prevent the need for cleanup from easily avoidable water damage.
3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage
Basement water damage
3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage
Whether you have a pipe burst or a leak in your water line, water damage to your home is not good. Therefore, it is crucial to get a qualified restoration company out as soon as you discover the issue to clean up. But before this, there are some things you should know about water damage.
1. There Are Different Categories
Each instance of water damage is unique. There are actually three different categories for this type of disaster. Category 1 is considered clean water. Any water that has come into contact with potential pollutants is category 2. If the water is highly contaminated with dangerous pollutants, it is considered category 3.
2. You Must Respond Quickly
If a pipe burst has caused flooding in your Windham, ME home, you need to act within 48 hours to prevent mold spores from growing. You should immediately contact your insurance company and a cleanup crew. When talking to the insurance company, it is important to know exactly where the flood came from to estimate how much will be covered. They will also likely recommend a restoration company. Just remember that you can choose to use the recommended company or a different one.
3. Drying Out Your Home Is Crucial
Many people think they can clean the water, and they are done. However, this is just the beginning, and any porous materials may have to be discarded. Generally, only hard non-porous materials can be salvaged. These items will need to be thoroughly dried out. Additionally, home building materials, such as drywall, may have to be removed or undergo a drying treatment to be salvageable.
Water damage can be caused by mother nature or a pipe burst. To minimize the damage to your home, you must know some basic facts about water damage and how to react. Understanding the different categories, the reaction time, and the cleanup process can make your after-flood experience much smoother.
3 Tips for Handling Your Home's Sewage Problems
A toilet overflow begins with a complication in the lines
3 Tips for Handling Your Home's Sewage Problems
Unusual odors, gurgling sinks and flooding toilets are indicators that a home is suffering from a sewage backup. A blockage within the pipes prevents the proper water flow, forcing the fluid to exit out of the nearest exit; therefore, simple acts such as washing a load of clothes or taking a warm shower could lead to a major flood as the water moves throughout the system, eventually coming out when it cannot continue to pass. The flooding becomes a sewage hazard and requires particularly cleaning. Homeowners in Portland, ME, should be aware of the following three things that help with sewage cleaning.
1. Locate the Cause of a Toilet Backup
A toilet overflow begins with a complication in the lines. When a backup begins, turn off the main water valve. Begin to observe the area near the spillage. Is something in the commode's drain? Is there a problem in the yard? Observational skills are important here. Look at the drain cleanout. It's either outside in the yard or in the basement. A long pipe wrench may be needed to take it off. Buildup of sewage is a sign of an external issue rather than something internal.
2. Grab the Proper Tools
Sewage cleaning demands proper equipment and materials. Gather the following items to assist in fixing the problem:
- A plunger
- An auger or snake
- Disinfectant cleaner
3. Dry and Wash the Area
Clear the clogged pipe with the auger or plunger. Then, run the dehumidifier to extract excess moisture. Wipe off fixtures, walls and flooring with warm water and soap. Discard porous items that have absorbed sewer water. Bacteria have penetrated it, making the object harder to sanitize. If in doubt, contact a sewage cleanup company for assistance. Finish off the project by using a disinfectant throughout the space.
Discover the source of the trouble. With that under control, sewage cleaning may start. Survey contaminated material, removing anything ruined. Then, properly wipe everything down and use cleaner that can effectively kill germs.
Can Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes?
Drain cleaners can damage your pipes
When a homeowner in North Deering, ME, experiences a clogged drain, often the first solution to come to mind is to purchase a chemical drain cleaner from the local hardware store. While these cleaners can clear a clog from your drain, they can also cause extensive damage to your pipes.
How Does Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes?
Drain cleaners contain chemicals that produce heat and cause materials to dissolve, which is why they are capable of clearing drains. When you pour the powerful cleaner down an old pipe made of metal, it can cause the pipe to be weakened even more as layers are eaten away by the chemicals.
When used improperly, chemical drain solutions can also warp plastic pipes. If the clogged drain is completely blocked, then the chemical isn't going anywhere and is going to continue to be exposed to the plastic, eating its way through causing even more damage.
Bigger damage is going to lead to a bigger mess. If you experience sewage flooding, call a professional restoration company to handle the cleanup. They have the training and equipment to do so safely.
What are Safe Alternatives to Drain Cleaners?
Homeowners have several options to try before resorting to a chemical cleaner. The first option would be to try a plunger or auger to clear the drain. For sewage cleaning, an auger can travel several feet, and commercial augers can travel even further.
Another option would be to try an organic solution. Enzymatic drain cleaners use bacteria to tear through your clogged pipes and drains. While the process will be slower, sometimes taking as long as a full day, it won't lead to damage to your plumbing materials.
Perhaps the fastest and safest alternative is to call a professional plumber. They have the tools and the knowledge to get your drains back in business, and likely draining faster than they have in months.
For clogged drains, always use chemical cleaner as a last resort. Your safest bet is to not use them at all, especially if your drain is completely clogged.
4 Methods of Drying a Flooded Building Before Help Arrives
Drying equipment in Falmouth Foreside, ME building
Put The Following Damage Tips In Action
When water infiltrates a building, it's critical to dry the property as quickly as possible. Water can do a lot of damage fast; the very structure of a building can be affected. Mold can also turn into a huge problem in a short time. Professionals should be called, but there are damage tips you can put into action to begin the process until they arrive.
1. Extracting the Water
First, the standing water will need to be extracted. Flood cleaning tips will usually recommend using a wet/dry vacuum to begin the process. Industrial pumps will be brought in by the restoration professionals to remove the remaining water.
2. Circulating the Air
Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours of water introduction. As long as the mold hasn't had time to begin growing, air circulation should begin as soon as possible. Open windows and doors if the outdoor humidity levels are lower outside than in. Fans can also be used. If it's been more than 24 hours, you should wait until help arrives; the slightest movement of air will blow mold spores throughout the area, and even into unaffected areas.
3. Heating the Area
Heaters work best when there are proper air circulation and ventilation. Warm air absorbs more moisture than cool air, so heaters evaporate the water more efficiently. Heaters with built-in fans are even more effective. Flood damage tips will often inform you that heat is typically the fastest way to dry an area. However, you should be cautious not to dry it so quickly that heat damage occurs.
4. Dehumidifying the Area
Dehumidifiers pull moisture from the air. Desiccant dehumidifiers are the most effective, as they also expel dry air. For best performance, the indoor temperature should be between 32 and 77 degrees with 40 to 90% relative humidity.
Be prepared for a building flood in Falmouth Foreside, ME, by remembering these water damage tips. It's helpful to plan which water cleanup experts to call well in advance of a disaster. Whether the flood is a result of a pipe burst or a storm, they'll return your building to its preloss condition as quickly as possible.
When Is It Time to Replace a Leaking Toilet?
Plumber replacing a broken toilet in a washroom
One of the most used rooms in your Munjoy Hill, ME, home is the bathroom. The fixtures within it get a lot of use, especially the toilet. Like with anything, over time, those fixtures can begin to stop working properly. When faced with a leaking toilet, it isn’t always easy to tell if a small fix will do or if it needs to be replaced.
Signs Its Time to Replace
Instead of waiting for a malfunctioning toilet to cause a massive water problem that requires a water and mold remediation expert, there are a few signs that may indicate a replacement is the best option.
Constant Repairs: If it seems like your old toilet needs repairs like clockwork, such as valves, a flapper, or handle, those little parts begin to add up. As well as avoiding the headache of the next repair, a new toilet can provide peace of mind and open your budget for other necessities.
Recurring Problem: Consistent clogs are a good indicator that your toilet is ready to be upgraded. Constant unclogging can create additional wear and wastes water whereas newer models are designed for stronger flushing.
Porcelain Cracks: A toilet repair is not an option if cracks begin to form. Although they can start as small slivers, they can quickly spread. This may lead to the toilet breaking and flooding in your home.
High Water Bills: If your home is equipped with older toilets, you may see an increase in your utility bills. Newer models are designed to use less water.
Replacing a Toilet
When faced with a constantly leaking toilet, replacement is likely the best solution. For those with a little home repair savvy, a replacement can be done on your own with a few simple tools. Before diving into the project, it is important to remove water from the toilet and turn off the main water supply during the replacement.
Although not every leaking toilet may need to be replaced, consider the signs above to keep a big water problem from happening.
5 Common Culprits of Commercial Property Water Damage
Water Damage Due to Sprinkler Head
Five Main Causes of Water Issues
When the weather turns extreme, it’s natural to worry about flooding damaging your commercial property in Falmouth Foreside, ME. Unfortunately, even when the weather is seemingly perfect, there are other culprits that can cause water damage. Below are five main causes of water issues to watch out for.
A broken pipe can happen for numerous reasons, including freezing temperatures, pressure changes, water supply deterioration. Water stains, bulging walls, musty odors, or damaged tiles are indicators that there may be a leaking pipe that requires a water repair.
2. Sprinkler System Issues
Vital as the first line of defense, if not properly maintained, a sprinkler system can lead to extensive damage, especially if a broken pipe is the issue. Along with accidental activation, which results in 100s of gallons of water pouring down, neglected systems can slowly leak.
3. Faulty Appliances or Equipment
Along with major systems like HVAC and water heaters, any dishwasher or equipment that uses water on the property could be the source of a lingering musty odor. Regular maintenance, inspections, and cleaning are necessary to keep them working properly.
4. Sewer and Toilet Backups
Regardless if the cause is improperly flushing items, flooding overfilling the sewer drain or issues with the city’s mainline, toilet and sewer water is not regular water. Full of contaminants, cleaning it up requires extra considerations. If these types of issues arise, it’s best to call a trusted plumber to determine the problem to help keep it from happening again.
5. Structural Damage
Buildings may be built to last, but they are not invincible. Any part of it not doing what it should could let water seep in. Before the next rain, inspect the building for broken windows, leaky roofs, and foundation issues. Improper drainage, such as clogged gutters, can quickly lead to big foundational problems.
Regardless if it is the broken pipe or older HVAC not working properly, immediately addressing the problem is necessary to limit the damage. A professional water remediation and restoration expert can quickly access, clean, and repair the damage.
How To Fix a Constantly Flushing Toilet
A constantly flushing toilet is not a problem you want to ignore
A toilet that won't stop flushing in your commercial building can cause several problems. Toilet overflow doesn't just create extra work for the custodial staff; it also can lead to significant water damage. There are a couple of ways you can troubleshoot the problem before you have to call for help, though.
Clean the Flushometer
The toilet may be flushing because the flushometer is clogged. Sediment gets trapped in the gasket, but you can clean it in a few steps:
- Remove the lid and the flange cover.
- Clean the gasket and weep hole (if present).
- Replace the cover.
Most of the time, this will stop a toilet from flushing constantly. If it doesn't, however, there's one more thing to try before calling for professional assistance.
Replace the Gasket
All parts wear out and have to be replaced eventually. If the gasket is cracked or not sealing properly, this is probably what is causing the toilet to malfunction. When a worn-out gasket is left unchecked, it leads to leaks and toilet overflow. Take the cover off and remove the damaged gasket gently, being careful not to scratch the chrome around it. Add the new gasket and replace the cover.
Call a Plumber
When neither of these quick fixes works, water restoration specialists recommend that you call someone with more expertise. An established plumber in Munjoy Hill, ME, who is familiar with commercial systems is your best bet. When the technicians arrive, they can assess the problem and get it fixed. Quick resolution can stop a toilet flood before it begins, which saves you a lot of money in the long run.
A constantly flushing toilet is not a problem you want to ignore. Just because it hasn't caused damage yet doesn't mean that it never will. It is a toilet overflow waiting to happen. Troubleshoot the problem or call someone to assist to avoid water damage.
3 Ways to Prepare for a Home Adjuster Visit
Drying equipment in a Deering, ME home
Ways That You Can Prepare Yourself And Your House For The Visit
One of the first things that you should do if you have experienced water damage in your North Deering, ME, home is to call your insurance company and file a claim. During this process, a home adjuster will need to perform an inspection to determine the extent of the damage. The following are a few ways that you can prepare yourself and your house for the visit.
1. Make a List of Damage
Documenting the damage to your house and belongings is an important step when filing an insurance claim. It will save both you and the adjuster a lot of time if you begin working on it before he or she arrives. Along with listing areas and items that have been affected, you may want to take some pictures as well. If you have receipts for any belongings that have been damaged, these can help to determine the value of your loss.
2. Start Cleaning Up
Along with the primary damage that occurred, large amounts of water and moisture can cause secondary damage, such as mold growth, to your house if it is not removed quickly. For this reason, it is best not to wait for your home adjuster before you begin the cleanup process. In cases of severe damage, you may want to hire a water damage remediation company to start working on mitigation right away.
3. Go Over Your Policy
If it has been a while since you purchased your insurance, then it is possible that you may not remember all of the details of your policy. In order to be better prepared, you should read over it while waiting for your adjuster. Making yourself familiar with the terms and requirements can help move things along more smoothly.
In some cases, particularly if there has been a large storm in your area, it may take a while before your home adjuster is able to inspect your property. Taking this time to prepare for the visit can save time and help you complete your claim more easily.
Water Damage Cleanup
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.
The 2 Most Important Things You Should Know About 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.
What Steps Should I Take After a Sewage Backup?
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.
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.
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.
3 Types of Secondary Damage That Can Occur After a Flood
Left untreated, mold can continue to spread and damage other parts of the house
3 Types of Secondary Damage That Can Occur After a Flood
When a flood first occurs, your home in Portland, ME, may experience some immediate damage from the incident, such as wet drywall or carpet; this type of water damage is referred to as primary damage. If the water is left to sit long enough, secondary damage can occur and cause even more harm, such as black mold growth. The best way to prevent this type of water damage from happening is to immediately contact a water damage cleanup company to remove all water and reverse any damage that has been caused. However, if it not addressed fast enough, you might encounter these three types of secondary damage in your home.
1. Disintegrating Drywall
While flood waters can immediately make their way into your walls, drywall will start to disintegrate if not thoroughly dried. One common cause of rotting drywall is a leak caused by a broken pipe or a leaky roof.
2. Mold Growth
Mold loves moisture, which is why water damage can eventually lead to mold growing in your home. Some specific species of mold, such as black mold, thrive on a constant water source. Left untreated, mold can continue to spread and damage other parts of the house.
3. Warping Hardwood Floors
If faced with high humidity or extended contact with water, hardwood floors can experience warping. You can tell if your floors are warped if the planks look visibly disfigured and are rising off the ground. Warping typically occurs when water or moisture gets beneath the floor. This can happen if an undetected leak makes it way under your floors or flood waters aren’t dealt with fast enough.
Whether dealing with structural damage or black mold growth, secondary damage can be very harmful to your home. Cleaning up spills, addressing leaks, and quickly contacting a water cleanup company after a flood occurs can all help prevent this type of damage from occurring in the first place.
How To Stop the Nonstop Flushing
If you have a toilet that won’t stop running call a professional.
Commercial toilets are prone to quirks and constant maintenance, likely due to their continual usage. One of the more common issues is that of nonstop flushing which may occasionally lead to toilet overflow. The seemingly endless flushing is often caused by sediment in the gasket and a blocked weeping hole. The fix, thankfully, is quite simple.
1. Turn Off the Water
Before you can clean the gasket, you will need to turn off the water, which not only prevents a possible toilet flood, it also keeps you dry during the repair process. There should be a screwdriver slot somewhere along the handle shaft. Turn the screw to stop the water supply.
2. Remove Lid and Flange Cover
Using a wrench, you can remove the lid from the flange cover. Once the bolt on top is loose, you can remove it and the now exposed flange cover. You will likely notice a lot of sediment on the gasket which has been instigating your toilet overflow.
3. Clean the Gasket and Weep Hole
To stop a toilet from perpetual flushing, you will need to clean the gasket by first removing it and then running it under the faucet. Make sure that all debris is clear and that the weeping hold is visible and unclogged. You can use a pin or something small to free any potential blockages before returning the gasket.
4. Call a Professional If Problem Persists
If sediment is not the problem, then you may need to call a plumbing specialist in the West Falmouth, ME, area to inspect the toilet and the lines. While a thorough cleaning is often what is needed, there are times when the fixture needs to be replaced, or when there are other issues in the lines.
Commercial toilets require continuous maintenance to prevent toilet overflow and ensure functionality. If you have a toilet that won’t stop running, then try cleaning the gasket, but if that doesn’t work, then turn to the professionals.
3 Steps for Safely Handling a Flooded Basement
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.
When and When Not To Handle Toilet Overflow On Your Own
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.
Common Examples of Secondary Water Damage
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.
How To Fix a Noisy Water Heater
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.
What To Avoid After Your Home Floods
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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Cleaning Valued Possessions After a Flood
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.
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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3 Factors To Consider When Creating an Evacuation Plan for Your Business
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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How Category 1 Water Damage Can Affect Your Business
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.
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Planning for Water Damage Control: What You Need To Know
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.
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.
Water Removal Process
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.
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Tips for Cleaning Personal Belongings After Water Damage
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.
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.
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The Categories of Water Damage
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.
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The Process of Professional Water Damage Restoration
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 do After a Flood in the Home or Business
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.
Water Damage in the middle of the night? YES... we will be there!
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.
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Document Freeze Drying
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!
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.