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SERVPRO of Portland is here to help during this time. Please reach out to our office if we can of any help to you.
SERVPRO of Portland is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call our Office Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – 207-772-5032.
5 Places Mold Might Be Hiding in Your Home
Mold damage in Falmouth, ME
5 Places Mold Might Be Hiding in Your Home
If you have experienced water damage or have high levels of moisture in your home in Falmouth, ME, then you might have a problem with mold growth. However, sometimes it can be difficult to find. If you smell a musty odor in the house but don’t see any signs of the fungus, it might be hiding in one of the following locations.
1. Behind the Walls
One common place for hidden mold is behind the walls. If moisture is trapped here, you might be able to smell moldy drywall. If the growth continues to spread, you will likely see discoloration on your walls.
2. Underneath the Floors
As well as behind walls, mold can grow beneath the flooring. This can be especially common in homes with carpeting, as this material is absorbent and more likely to hold moisture. It might grow underneath laminate and between tiles as well.
3. Near Leaks
Mold needs moisture to grow, so you can often find it in an area where leaking has occurred. Whether it is a leaky roof or a damaged pipe, these areas should be repaired quickly to prevent mold from growing.
4. Inside Air Conditioners
If they are not well-maintained, air conditioning units can become a breeding ground for mold growth. This can happen if the moisture is not properly escaping and is building up in the unit.
5. Around Windows and Doors
During a storm, moisture can build up in the areas around doors and windows which can result in mold on wood around these structures. It can help to wipe them down after rainy weather.
Because mold growth is not always easy to locate, it can be a good idea to hire a mold remediation company if you think this fungus might be growing in your house. If they find any growth, they can take the necessary steps to remove it and help prevent it from returning.
Why Does Mold Smell So Bad?
A musty odor may indicate mold growth in your property
An easy way to tell that mold growth has begun in your home in Portland, ME is the unmistakable musty odor mold produces. Any amount of flood water, even if it was not contaminated, can lead to mold and in many cases odors. When you smell this distinctive mustiness, do not hesitate to take action. You need to remove the mold itself as well as the odor promptly or else your home can become uninhabitable.
What Creates the Smell?
Mold can produce a number of different gasses, referred to as microbial volatile organic compounds. These MVOCs can be odorless, or they can also be musty. The fact that mold growth can be odorless and that it tends to happen in hidden places means it is vital to hire a mold remediation service right away so that professionals can inspect your home thoroughly.
Does Mold Produce Different Odors?
Different types of mold can emit different compounds, each of which with its own distinct odor. For example, mold can produce the following odors:
- 2-hexanone, which has an acetone-like smell
- 1-octen-3-ol, which smells meaty
- 1-butanol may smell similar to alcohol fermentation
- 3-octanone has a fatty, nutty aroma to it.
Ultimately, homeowners in Portland, ME need to take note of any odors out of the ordinary because a wide range of smells could indicate mold and mildew are present.
How Can You Get Rid of the Odor?
After a flood of any size, sewage loss and mold growth can foster an unpleasant aroma that permeates the entire abode. To rid your home of it, you must remove all damaged and wet materials from the premises. You need to make sure to get rid of everything dampened that cannot be dried or cleaned before beginning the repair process. If any amount of mold is left behind, it will simply grow back. Ventilate the area to promote airflow and deodorize using baking soda.
What It Means To Be a Preferred Vendor for Insurance Companies
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.
3 Things To DO After a Fire in Your Facility
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.
- Call Your Insurer
- Don't Touch Anything
- 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.
How To Clean Shower Mold
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.
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.
How To Protect Your Plants From 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.
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.
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.
Should You Buy a Property Without a Mold Inspection?
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 Importance of IICRC Certification in the Restoration Industry
SERVPRO is certified with the IICRC for water, fire, and mold damage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Facts About Black Mold
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
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.
How to Control Mold Damage by Mitigating Growth
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How To Mitigate and Restore After a Fire
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
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?
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
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.