Recent Posts

Fix Water Heater Issues by Listening to These 3 Noises

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler An annual water heater flush prevents popping and crackling noises

Prevent Damage To Your System by Paying Attention To These Sounds

A functioning water heater may make noise, as some devices do. However, not all these noises are harmless. Sometimes they can disrupt your peaceful home life. Other times, they can be signs of a larger problem with the unit that leads to water damage and necessitates emergency remediation services. Prevent damage to your system and your house by paying attention to these sounds and tackling the corresponding situation.

1. Water Hammering

When the water that usually flows through the tank suddenly cuts off or switches directions, it can sometimes create a pressure surge that moves the pipes. This motion impacts against the pipes' walls and studs, creating a sound known as water hammering. Even though this sound can be intense, it does not actually damage the heater. However, hammering can wear down and damage the pipe walls over time. A heater arrestor mitigates this effect with a cushion of air.

2. Popping and Crackling

If you have an older water heater, you might hear crackling and popping sounds when the unit works. These noises are a result of a sediment build-up at the bottom of the device, where the elements are located. The heating process causes the layer to crack and pop. Sediments can also create noise due to the water flow moving them. This issue can cause your unit to overwork, overheat and break down prematurely. An annual water heater flush prevents this issue.

3. Screeching

Another particular noise you might hear inside your heating unit is screaming or screeching. This type of sound can severely disrupt your home life in Harpswell, ME. However, this incident actually has an easy fix, since it is most likely caused by a partially-opened water valve. Ensure the valves of your unit or another water outlet are fully opened.
The water heater can emit noises that are not only annoying to you and your loved ones, but can also indicate a more serious issue. Differentiate these sounds to treat the problems properly and promptly.

The Hidden Cost of Disaster Events

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Picture of an office, book shelves, books and chair on the floor Water loss damage in a Topsham, ME office

Business owners understand the importance of property insurance to protect their facility in the event of fire or storm damage. A major catastrophe caused by such things as flooding or a broken pipe would be covered under basic property insurance. Proprietors of small businesses, however, don't always consider the downtime costs involved in leaving the premises while water damage repair is in progress.

Downtime Costs

Business interruption insurance can give a business owner in Topsham, ME the peace of mind needed while the business is in limbo. Getting the facility back up and running as quickly as possible is key. Competitors can take away valuable customers before the plant is functioning again. There are several downtime costs that could be covered by interruption insurance:

Revenue Protection – When the business is down, revenue stops coming in. Insurance could help cover the income that is lost until the business is operating again. It can also cover expenses needed to operate the business, such as heating and electric bills.
Employee Retention – If revenue isn’t coming in, employee salaries can’t be covered. Business interruption insurance can make sure that payroll is still met.
Moving operations – The costs involved with temporarily moving the business to another location can be significant. Insurance could cover the cost involved in moving and also include the temporary rent at a new place.

It is important to ensure that the facility will be covered for more than a couple of days. In the event of a major flooding disaster or other large water damage, it could be several weeks before the business is operating again.
The cost of a policy would take into consideration the risk involved. If a company is located near a river that is prone to flooding, the cost may be higher. A business that can move its operations easily, such as a real estate agency, may see lower costs. Whatever the cost, the risk of having no insurance would be much greater.

3 Ways SERVPRO Can Help With Your Insurance Claim

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance claim waiting to be filled out, pen on top of form SERVPRO can help you with your insurance claim

3 Ways SERVPRO Can Help With Your Insurance Claim

After a disaster at your place Bath, ME, of business you may check in with your insurance claim services to see if they can recommend a Local restoration service. In many cases, SERVPRO may be listed among your insurance’s preferred vendors. One of the reasons for this is their ability to help with your claim. Here are three of the ways they do this.

1. Electronic Inventory System

The electronic inventory system is a tool that many professionals find useful for its ability to store information needed for the claim in one location. This information can include photographs of the damage, a list of items awaiting repairs, and progress updates. Having this data available in one place can help keep things organized, and prevent the loss of data needed for the claim.

2. Pretesting for Smoke Damage

One offering by a restoration professional that can help claim services, is the ability to pretest for smoke or soot damage. This process can help save both time and money by allowing the restoration team to determine how much if any damage a surface has sustained when such might not otherwise be visible.

3. Restoration Status Updates

Another aspect insurance providers like in addition to a quick emergency response time is the ability to access regular status updates on the restoration progress. These progress reports can be included in the electronic system removing the need to play phone tag, or send someone to the job-site to check in person. The electronic system allows for this information to be accessed remotely, meaning that you can check on repair progress from a variety of locations.
Three of the many claim services SERVPRO offers include an electronic inventory system, pretesting for smoke damage, and status updates. These services can help ensure that your restoration is done efficiently, while also keeping you and your insurance agent in the loop about what is being done to restore your business property to pre-damage conditions.

The Effect Mold Can Have on Your HVAC System

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Male technician cleaning industrial air conditioner indoors HVAC cleaning is the most effective way to eliminate mold from your heating and cooling system

When you think about the possibility of having mold in your building, you may consider the usual suspects. Mold often shows up in damp, humid places such as basements, attics and bathrooms. You may discover it under sinks and behind appliances. You also can't forget to check in air ducts. HVAC cleaning is essential to keeping fungal growth at bay. If you neglect this duty, you could soon discover a mold infestation.

Factors That Lead to Mold Growth

Mold spores travel in through the air but can make their way into your Brunswick, ME, office building through doors and windows as well as on people who come inside. Mold becomes visible and spreads when the following conditions are present:

  • There is standing water
  • There are damp areas in the building
  • There is poor airflow

Mold and Your HVAC System

If you smell a foul odor in the air ducts of your office, mold could be the culprit. Not only can this fungus develop where there is water, but it can also collect on dust. It is common for dust to gather in the HVAC ducts. The challenge is, you will not be able to see the mold inside the duct work, so you'll have to pay attention to smells and whether the system isn't working efficiently.

Clean it Up

HVAC cleaning is the most effective way to eliminate mold from your heating and cooling system. Your best move is to hire an experienced mold remediation company to tackle this job. The professionals have the knowledge, training and tools to remove dust from the ducts and thus get rid of accompanying mold. You should focus on cleaning vents in your building at least once a year, especially if you have had mold in the past.
Don't put off HVAC cleaning in your office. Mold loves to hide in these areas, so call a specialist today.

Best Practices After a Commercial Fire

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Fire in a warehouse Commercial fire in Arrowsic, ME

Best Practices After a Commercial Fire

After you have experienced a commercial fire at your place of business, there is still a lot of work to do. By following the best practices for recovery, your business can save money and return to full operations more quickly. A professional fire remediation company from Arrowsic, ME, will be able to guide you through proven methods to clean and restore everything from clothes to upholstery to carpeting. Dry-cleaning is particularly effective in removing soot and smoke damage from clothes that have been slightly soiled. Advanced techniques such as foam cleaning, immersion cleaning and wet cleaning may be needed for materials that show more damage.

Fire Damage

A fire causes everything from smoke and soot damage to water damage as a result of a sprinkler system or the fire department. While it might be tempting to throw everything away and start all over, that approach is costly. With the proper content cleaning, much be restored. These steps yield the best results.

  • An inspection and assessment of damaged materials
  • An assessment of which materials can be successfully restored
  • A process of cleaning materials with the most effective methods

A professional company will understand that dry-cleaning works best for such items as clothes, while ultrasonic methods are better for non-porous items. The goal is to restore everything to excellent condition.

Fire Cleanup

Content storage may be an option in cases where the business is too messy to complete work. An orderly moving out process will take items to a safe and secure location where clothes and fabrics can be given a deeper cleaning. It's important to remember that in the case of a commercial fire, many contents can be properly cleaned. Dry-cleaning is just one of many methods available to a professional team. Expert cleaning procedures will make your business look "Like it never even happened." and restore everything from clothes to electronics to documents.

Is It Possible To Clean Up Commercial Contents After a Flood?

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Contents and furniture of a bank office Storm damage in a bank office in Georgetown, ME

When your Georgetown, ME, business is affected by storm damage, there's more at stake than the stability of the structure. Everything inside your building could be affected, such as inventory, supplies, and machinery. As you plan to recover from flood damage, content cleaning must be one of the tasks at the top of your list.

Methods Used to Salvage Your Belongings

Flood cleanup professionals do more than remove water from your carpeting and structure. They also work to repair and restore the items inside your building. Plenty of experience, specialized training, and access to the right resources mean that professionals can often save documents, electronics, and any inventory stored in the building. The techniques used for effective content cleaning include

Spraying and wiping down items that can't stand up to heavy cleaning
Dry cleaning for items that shouldn't get wet or as a pre-treatment
Wet cleaning to remove residues left by flood water
Foam cleaning for certain types of upholstery and window treatments
Immersion cleaning for all-over disinfection
Abrasive cleaning for belongings that require a deeper clean and can stand up to abrasion

When storm cleanup technicians arrive, they will assess damages and determine the best cleanup methods for the contents of your building.

Sometimes Replacement Is the Only Option

There are times when you must throw out your belongings. Porous materials often absorb water quickly. If it isn't possible to clean those items, technicians may have to haul them away. When water damage occurs from black water, the risk of contaminants and illness is too high to ignore. This type of water may contain feces, chemicals, and harmful bacteria, as well as other dangerous contaminants. In this case, it's better to replace structural elements and affected belongings than to risk unpleasant consequences.

Act Quickly for Positive Results

Flood cleanup tasks aren't pleasant, but Georgetown, ME, professionals can make things easier on you. Contact technicians as soon as possible to increase the chance of successful content cleaning and a full recovery.

When Should You Replace Bathroom Supply Lines

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water piping tube installed externally along the bathroom wall Bathroom supply line

When Should You Replace Bathroom Supply Lines

Supply line damage can happen for several reasons: trouble with parts, construction interference and age. These malleable pipes, often connected to a valve, are important in getting water from the main line. Problems in these areas may seem small, but they can become large quickly. Don't procrastinate. Contact experts in Phippsburg, ME, to evaluate your concerns.

1. Does the Area Look or Sound Strange?

When you wash your hands or flush a toilet, occasionally take some time to think about how these fixtures are working. Do they make the right sounds? Is water running properly? Gurgling noises, bubbling or whistling are all out of the ordinary, requiring inspection. Furthermore, rust and corrosion could be sign the sign of a slow, but troublesome bathroom leak. This is problematic for a couple of reasons. First of all, the drips could be occurring in the walls, developing water damage and mold. Second of all, it could eventually bust, resulting in the need for a water restoration company. Proactively taking care of things when they start might prevent that from happening.

2. Have You Recently Renovated the Room?

When construction is done, it's a good time to evaluate the valves and pipes, checking for any issues. After all, the spot is torn up to begin with. Knock what you can off the list. In addition, if workers have been tearing up walls or removing large pieces, they could have moved things around, creating supply line damage. Changing things out now simply helps ensure it's in working condition.

3. How Long Have the Pipes Been Present?

When the house was built, the contractor installed your piping. Chances are you have one of two types: plastic or braided steel. Both are flexible items; however, flexible is not as strong, often needing replacement every five to eight years. Braided steel, on the other hand, often has a lifetime warranty. Just make sure a plumber periodically checks to make sure a supply line leak hasn't begun.
Don't put off the little annoyances. Know the signs, and keep your eyes open, actively working to avoid supply line damage.

Should I Change My Fire Alarm Batteries? 3 Tips for Knowing

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

fire alarm on ceiling Change your smoke alarm batteries to prevent a fire.

Every year, fire officials insist, you need to change the batteries in your smoke alarm, even if you aren’t sure they’re dead. It’s overkill right? If you think that, you just might be putting your Brunswick, ME, home at risk. When should you change your smoke detector’s batteries? Keep reading to find out.

Alarm Facts

Fire experts credit home alarms with drastically reducing incidences of house fires. Yet every alarm installed isn’t functional. The result is:

Most of home fire deaths happen in homes with no alarms or alarms that don’t work
Of fires in homes with alarms that failed, about half were due to missing batteries

Keep reading to learn how you can reduce the odds of your home becoming a statistic.

Listen for the Beep

Beeping alarms have become so common that most people just ignore them. But you do that at your own risk. The fact is, a beeping sound is the number one sign that your smoke alarm isn’t working properly. Instead of ignoring the beep, take it as a sign to change your battery.

Battery Type

Battery type is a top indicator of how often you’ll need to freshen up your alarm. Older alarms tend to work on 9-volt batteries; those will need to be changed annually. If you’re lucky enough to have a newer lithium-powered battery, experts say you should be ok for a decade.

Device Age

Smoke detectors are resilient, but they won’t last forever. Just like any device, they get worn out and need to be replaced. Minimize risk by reading the manual that comes with your alarm and changing the battery or replacing the device when it’s suggested.

Sadly, a large amount of home fire damage is the result of either absent or non-working smoke alarms. Don’t be a victim. Use these and other tips from local fire cleanup experts to keep your home secure.

Rules of Thumb for Mold Cleanup

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

man with mask Call the professionals for your Mold Remediation

Once you have discovered mold growth in your home, and after you've recovered from a slight revulsion, you might wonder what to do next. Should you attempt to clean it up yourself, or should your hire a professional remediation company in Brunswick, ME? the answer, as with so many things, is it depends. Here are the most pertinent factors that make it appropriate for a self cleanup:

The area is small, say less than 10 square feet
You don't have a particular sensitivity to mold spores
You don't mind a little scrubbing
You have some cleaning agents on hand

The Right Products and Techniques

Cleaning up house mold on your own requires some special knowledge. Always start by addressing the source of water damage or excess humidity and make sure the room is dry. This may require some airing out of the room and some ventilation such as opening windows. Have a safe cleaning agent that is antimicrobial. Next, scrub hard surfaces with detergent and water and then dry. For porous surfaces such as bathroom tiles, carpeting or clothing, some of the items may be beyond repair. To prevent mold growth in the future, make sure rooms are well-ventilated.

The Right Time To Call in Professionals

More often than not, the presence of mold in a home is a job for professionals. This is true when the area covered by mold is large and exceeds more than 10 square feet. Whenever you suspect that mold has spread to the heating and cooling system, professional services will be helpful. If the water damage has been caused by black water or contaminated water, it's wise to call in a professional team. They can handle the job safely and will be able to protect your family from adverse health affects. When you do hire a company for house mold cleanup, make sure they are certified and trained in the latest remediation standards.

Insurance Coverage for Sewer Backups

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Hand holding are you covered sign Do you have sewage backup coverage?

A sewer backup definitely qualifies as one of life's most unpleasant experiences. It can get worse, though, especially if you find out later that your insurance policy will not cover the damages and the cleanup expenses. As a homeowner, it pays to understand your home insurance policy for two big reasons. First, knowing your coverage will prevent the shock of finding you are not covered for an incident. Second, attention to your policy may allow you to negotiate and customize your insurance to cover certain events. When it comes to sewage overflows into the home, there are some things a standard policy typically covers and some things it often does not.

Standard Sewer Backup Coverage

The overflow of a toilet or other sewage conduit in a home is typically not covered by a standard homeowner policy. The homeowner is responsible for maintaining the plumbing lines and even the line from the home to the city sewer lines. Backups can be caused by several conditions:

  • A blocked or broken sewer line caused by tree roots or some other obstruction
  • A clogged main pipe
  • A flooded basement
  • A plugged up toilet

The cost for the repair of the problem and for the damage caused typically is not covered, unless you have specifically requested a rider to cover such events. As always, since contaminated water in the home poses a health hazard, cleanup should begin immediately. Call in a qualified water remediation team in Woolwich, ME, to get a damage assessment and to begin cleanup.

Added Coverage

A rider for sewer backup coverage in your home can be structured in several ways. You will likely have options for the size of your deductible and the dollar amount of coverage. These options put you in control for how much your annual premiums will be. Remember, when you file a claim to document the damage with before and after photographs and to keep all receipts.