Recent Posts

Can Your Valuable Possession Be Salvaged After a Mold Infestation?

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on white surface Mold usually grows when there is water damage

Can Valuable Belongings Be Salvaged After a Mold Infestation?

Mold damage to your walls and floors is unsightly, but those parts of your Brunswick, ME, home can be replaced. Some of your personal belongings, however, are more valuable and sentimental. While you may have to throw some of these items away, mold cleaning professionals may be able to salvage the things you care about most.

Photos and Documents

The world has become increasingly digital. Yet you probably still have cherished old photos or important paper documents laying around your home.
If you act quickly following a mold infestation, these items can be saved. Some restoration companies even use gamma irradiation to sterilize and disinfect contaminated documents such as:

  • Magazines
  • Blueprints
  • Manuscripts
  • Books
  • Films
  • Photographs

Mold usually grows when there is water damage. You should thus choose a mold remediation company that uses state-of-the-art drying techniques such as vacuum freeze-drying. This is actually the same method the Library of Congress uses to restore historical documents.

Other Contents
Photos and letters may not be the only valuable items in your home. You may also have priceless family heirlooms. There are several techniques that mold cleaning experts can use to salvage these possessions, as well.
Remediation professionals can use wet cleaning for items with heavy residues. If your belongings cannot withstand this technique, the spray and wipe method may be used, instead. Valuable upholstery, meanwhile, can be cleaned using foam to prevent bleeding or shrinking.
You may even be able to save electronics that have been damaged by mold. Just be sure to save the cleaning of these items to the professionals. Do not operate any computers or televisions until they have been fully restored.
To protect your family and your home, you may have to throw out some damaged items during the mold cleaning process. Non-sentimental items, in particular, should be discarded and replaced. Still, there are ways to clean and restore your valuable documents and keepsakes.

5 Essential Fire Prevention Tips

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

People in the conflagration preventive extinguisher training program Teach your employees how to use a fire extinguisher

5 Essential Fire Prevention Tips

Silence doesn't stop a fire, but it can make it more difficult to fight. In fact, remaining quiet about fire safety means that people don't know what to do. In their ignorance, workers may make mistakes. Commercial owners in Arrowsic, ME, therefore, should take an active role in fire prevention, arming their employees and buildings with tools and knowledge. Here are five essential things to consider.

1. Make Others Aware of Your Business Emergency Plan
Create a business fire plan. With a team of staff members, discuss the steps required to minimize the likelihood of a fire as well as how staff should handle an emergency. This includes designating a leader who would take charge in the chaos. Evacuation maps should be created, keeping in mind obstacles and handicap accessibility. Furthermore, these should be regularly shared with the office, keeping everyone updated on any changes.

2. Teach How To Use an Extinguisher
Part of fire prevention is understanding how to reduce the flames early on. Extinguishers should be available throughout the facility. It's not enough, though, to possess them. People should be trained on how to use them. This is a first line of defense for minimizing harm and helping others escape.

3. Inspect and Update Equipment Regularly
Ensure that your safety devices are functional and capable of warding off major fire damage. Sprinkler systems should be tested annually. If anything seems off, repair it as soon as possible.

4. Have Kits Prepared Ahead of Time
When smoke builds, team members may need tools to make the escape possible. Put together kits of bottled water, masks, and a flashlight. These could be used to avoid smoke inhalation and locate the exits.

5. Remain Aware of Electrical Hazards
Too many wires or misplaced equipment could increase the odds that your establishment might suffer from flames. Discuss how cords should be used, discouraging stringing them together. In fact, a fire restoration company could come in and survey the building, offering suggestions on how to improve.
Be proactive in your fire prevention measures. Talk about efforts with your company, arming them just in case of potential danger.

The Importance of a Restore Versus Replace Mentality

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

air movers placed in a building Commercial drying after water damage

The Importance of a Restore Versus Replace Mentality

An experienced disaster mitigation franchise has many tools at its disposal. These methods are gained through training and experience dealing with floods, fires, and other emergencies. Though each situation is different, two main goals always take precedence: performing quality work and keeping costs down. One important tool that maintains quality and reduces costs is pretesting of damaged items. A pretest performed by technicians has the following benefits:

  • Identifies restorable items
  • Determines the best methods of cleaning
  • Saves one-of-a-kind items
  • Reduces costs

Not all items can be restored. If the damage is too extensive, such items as clothing or furniture may need to be replaced, but making an effort to save items has financial as well as emotional benefits for clients.

More Ways To Reduce Costs
While pretesting is an effective way to keep costs under control, a SERVPRO franchise in Georgetown, ME, has other best practices that reduce expenses during restoration. A fast response to any emergency is important. The longer a cleanup is delayed, the more damage is likely to occur to property. Standing water quickly begins to break down materials, tarnish metal, and corrode electrical systems. Fast water removal and extraction followed by aggressive drying methods reduce the expenses of an insurance claim. Since mold can begin to spread in moist conditions, a quick cleanup prevents the problems associated with mold growth.

Additional Best Practices
A quality restoration company will work closely with an insurance agent throughout the entire process. A detailed list of work will be sent to the agent through electronic and hard copy methods. Photos will be used to document such work as pretesting, inspection, and water removal. This information is sent quickly to the agent working with the client. A customer care center helps keep track of claims and works to promote prompt handling of insurance matters. The care center is also available to answer questions and provide additional information as needed.

What to Know About Water Damage Categories

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Background of blue water and on the middle a sign that says water categories Here’s what you should know about each of the three categories

What to Know About Water Damage Categories

When water damage hits your Woolwich, ME, home, it’s important to know what type of damage you’re dealing with. Flood water is usually classified into three sections, and category 3 includes black water. This could mean extra cleaning steps are required. Here’s what you should know about each of the three categories.

1. The First Category

White water is the first category. This is typically clean water that is safe for human consumption and carries no contaminants. The most common sources for white water flooding in the home include leaking supply lines, a broken pike, or a problem with a faucet or shower. Like other types of flooding, this water should be cleaned up quickly to avoid long term problems such as warped wood or crumbled drywall.

2. The Second Category

Water in the second category is known as greywater. This is water that has mild contaminants. such as soap, food particles, and cleaning chemicals. While not directly harmful it could cause irritation if it comes into skin contacts. Greywater may come from a leaking sink drain or washing machine.

3. The Third Category

The third category is called black water. This is any type of water that may have been contaminated by harmful substances such as sewage or chemicals. If you believe you may have this type of flooding in your home, or need a sewage cleanup, it’s best to contact a local water damage restoration service for help with cleanup. Category 3 water also includes storm flooding as it is difficult to know what stormwater may have come into contact with.

It’s important to know what water category has flooded your home so that you can take the proper clean up steps. White water is usually clean while greywater may have mild contaminants such as soap or food particles. Blackwater could have bacteria in it. In all cases, it’s recommended to contact a professional for help.

Eliminating Smoke Odor From the Home

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone treatments are good for homes with strong lingering odors

Three Popular Techniques

Smoke odor, whether from cigarettes or a house fire, can linger for a long time. The smell can get trapped within porous surfaces and does not respond well to traditional deodorization techniques, like fans and air fresheners. Fortunately, there are a variety of effective home deodorization methods available today. The following are three popular techniques:

1. Air Purification Air purifiers are a good starting point for odor removal because they do not necessarily require professional assistance. Choose a machine with a high-quality filter to trap the smoke particles. HEPA or activated carbon filters are a good choice. Clean or replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the best results. In some cases, the air purification process alone may eliminate all the smoke odor.

2. Ozone Treatments Ozone treatments are good for homes with strong lingering odors from a house fire or cigarette smoke. Unlike the oxygen that humans breathe, ozone has only two oxygen particles. This fact allows it to bond with the lingering smoke particles, forming a new and odorless molecule. Ozone can be dangerous, so it is a good idea to seek professional assistance with this treatment.

3. Thermal Fogging For homes that were affected by a fire, thermal fogging may be a particularly effective home deodorization technique. During the fire, the temperature in the home increased dramatically, opening up porous surfaces. After the fire was extinguished, these surfaces cooled and contracted, trapping smoke odors within them. Thermal fogging safely increases the temperature within the home, expands porous surfaces, and allows the deodorizing agent to reach the trapped smoke particles.
If your home smells of smoke, there are a variety of ways to approach the situation. It can seem overwhelming trying to determine the best home deodorization method for your Phippsburg, ME, home. Fortunately, an experienced restoration team can choose the best treatment and apply it safely to get your home back to normal.

Cleaning Lint From Your Dryer Can Prevent a Fire

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in clothes dryer. Clean the lint trap after every use

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the majority of dryer fires were due to lint fires. This means that homeowners in Brunswick, ME, may reduce their risk of fire damage by performing routine dryer maintenance to clear the dryer’s exhaust system of lint.

Here are three to remove lint from your dryer’s ventilation system:

1. Clean the lint trap after every use.

2. Clear the flexible vent pipe.

3. Brush the ventilation system.

After performing these three steps, run your dryer on a no-heat cycle, to push out any lint you loosened during cleaning. If you need professional help for mitigation and restoration after a lint fire, look for a company that is knowledgeable and experienced in disaster recovery. SERVPRO of Bath / Brunswick is your local fire restoration company.

What To Do About Water-Damaged Wood Floors

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Wooden floor damaged Wood floor damaged by water in Topsham, ME

What To Do About Water-Damaged Wood Floors

A pipe burst at your Topsham, ME, business can cause major damage, especially if you have wood floors. Fortunately, you can avoid disaster if you act quickly.

Drying Wood Floors
Even if your floor has a strong sealant, water can still penetrate the wood via seams and other openings. The most important step in saving your floors is to dry out the wood as quickly as possible. The following items can help you extract the water and minimize damage:

  • wet/dry vacuum
  • fan
  • dehumidifier
  • moisture meter

A vacuum cleaner on the "wet" setting is your first step in removing the water. Keep vacuuming the area until no more water is being suctioned out. After all visible water has been removed, turn on a dehumidifier and a fan to help extract more moisture. If the humidity outside is low enough, you can also open windows and doors to increase airflow. Use the moisture meter to compare the moisture content of the water-damaged floor to the moisture content of an undamaged area of wood floor. When the moisture level of the water-damaged area is equal to that of the non-damaged area, you can begin repairs.

Cleaning Wood Floors
While you are working with the wet floor, it may also be necessary to clean it after a pipe burst or other water damage event. Depending on the source of the water, there may be dirt and other material left on the floors. Use a non-sudsing cleanser (to minimize rinsing) and a scrub brush or other cleaning tool to remove all debris from the wood. Cleaning will not only help your floors look their best, but also help prevent mold growth.
Water damage can be a hassle to clean up. If your business experiences a pipe burst or any other type of water damage, a certified restoration company can help you clean it up quickly and safely.

Why Is Mold Testing Useful?

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Close-up of person hand wearing gloves measuring wetness of a moldy wall Only professional mold testing can provide definitive proof of hidden mold

How Mold Testing Can Be Useful

If a musty odor or other indications of mold are evident at a commercial building in Harpswell, ME, the property owner or manager should arrange for mold testing. An indoor environmental specialist can gather samples to submit to a lab for analysis. Here are three ways in which professional mold testing can be useful.

1. Determining Whether Mold Is Present
The presence of visible mold in a structure is a clear indication of a problem. Even if some mold is apparent, a portion of an infestation may be hidden. Only professional mold testing can provide definitive proof of hidden mold. Mold spores are everywhere and consumer-grade tests often return inaccurate results.

2. Identifying the Species of Mold
A mold test based on air, batch, or surface sampling and lab analysis provides accurate and specific information about an infestation. An indoor environmental specialist will take samples and interpret the results of lab analysis. Identifying the species of mold and whether an infestation is toxigenic will determine whether full containment and personal protective equipment are necessary for safe cleanup.

3. Informing Remediation Work
In addition to providing information about the type of mold, mold testing also indicates the extent of an infestation. The concentration of spores and microbial volatile organic compounds in the air or on contents and surfaces can suggest the number of square feet in a structure affected by mold growth. This information determines the severity of an infestation and is used to estimate a cleanup time frame. Testing may also be part of the verification process after removal or remediation.
Only a professional mold test can accurately identify the species of mold and indicate the extent of a problem. A building owner or manager should contact an indoor environmental specialist and schedule mold testing if a musty odor emerges after water damage at a commercial property in Harpswell, ME.

What To Know About Nor'easters

4/30/2020 (Permalink)

Storm waves crash over the seawall causing massive flooding, power outages, road closures, and erosion damage along the Maine A nor'easter can bring excess rainwater into your home

If you live in Bath, ME, you have probably heard your local weatherperson talk about nor'easters. These storms can cause severe flooding to your home in a short amount of time.
Yet television meteorologists don’t often define exactly what a nor'easter is. Below are some nor'easter facts you need to know.

What Are Nor'easters?

While most people think of nor'easters as powerful snowstorms, snow is actually not a defining characteristic. Meteorologically, nor'easters are storms that:

  • Typically occur on the East Coast
  • Frequently take place in winter
  • Feature a strong northeastern wind

Nor'easters can technically occur at any time of year, but they are usually the strongest between September and April. They typically begin within 100 miles of the East Coast. They bring with them heavy snow or rain, coastal flooding, and powerful winds.
There are two main types of nor'easters. A "classic" or "Miller Type-A" nor'easter starts on the East Coast or Gulf Coast and works its way to the northeast section of the country. "Miller Type-B" nor'easters, meanwhile, begin in the Midwest before heading towards the Appalachian mountain and up the East Coast.

How Do You Prepare?
If one of these storms is heading your way, be sure to stock up on necessary supplies. Nor'easters can knock down power lines and trees, leaving your home without electricity for several days. You should thus collect at least three days' worth of provisions such as food and water. You may also want to research a local storm damage restoration company and keep its contact information in your phone.
You should also avoid going outside if a storm is approaching. You do not want to be stuck on unplowed or flooded roads.
A nor'easter can bring excess rainwater into your home. It can also lead to a buildup of snow on your roof. The strong winds can even shatter your windows. Whatever the damage to your home, restoration professionals can assist with the cleanup.

Tips for Removing Mold in Your Shower

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores (3D illustration) - Text on image that says THEY THRIVE Bathroom with showers should be properly ventilated to prevent mold growth due to humidity

Three Tips For Removing Mold In Your Shower

Bathrooms are prime places for mold to grow, particularly in the shower, where excess moisture abounds. If the problem gets out of hand, you may have to enlist the help of mold remediation specialists to completely take care of the problem. Fortunately, getting rid of small amounts of shower mold is pretty easy as long as you have the right tools. Here are three tips for removing mold in your shower.

1. Choose an Effective Cleaner

The key to cleaning black mold out of your shower is finding the right cleaner. You have a couple of choices that are natural mold combatants. Vinegar is one of the safest cleaners you can use. You don't have to dilute it, and the smell goes away after an hour or two. Borax is also a good option. Dilute it with water, and spray on. You can even leave it on to deter future mold infestation. 

2. Use an Effective Implement

The texture of the surface with the shower mold determines which cleaning implement will be more effective. A clean, dry cloth can be used to wipe mold off smooth surfaces. Grout is best cleaned with a scrub brush or a toothbrush. If scrubbing does not remove mold from grout, make sure you replace it to keep the problem from spreading.

3. Dry the Whole Area

Since moisture is usually the main culprit in mold growth, it makes sense to get rid of as much of it as possible. To prevent your shower from becoming moldy again, make sure that the whole area is dry after you finish cleaning. Clean rags and brushes thoroughly before storing them. 

Shower mold is common in Brunswick, ME, but it's also easy to remedy. With the right cleaning solution and something to scrub the affected surfaces well, you can remove the mold growth from your bathroom and perhaps even prevent it from recurring.