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Dealing With Soot and Smoke Damage After a Fire

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

wooden structure of a bedroom burned Smoke damage on wooden structure of a bedroom.

If your home in Brunswick, ME, has sustained, the restoration process isn’t always cut and dry. Even if it is a small fire, smoke damage that isn’t properly addressed may seem like it never goes away. Understanding the effects of smoke and ensuring proper cleanup are essential in restoring your home back to “Like it never even happened.”

Common Types of Damage

It’s important to know that not all smoke and soot damage is the same. Some types are easier to clean, while others can smear or permeate the porous materials in a home. There are four common types of damage:

Dry Smoke: Fast-burning, high-temperature fires produce this kind of smoke. It is usually a powdery texture that is easier to clean than other residues left behind. This type can find its way into hidden areas, leaving a long-lasting odor behind.
Protein Residue: Most associated with kitchen fires, it tends to be easily missed. Although it may not leave visible streaks behind, it has a strong odor and discolors surfaces.
Fuel or Oil Residue: This type is not often associated with a home fire, but it can happen if a furnace experiences a puff back. This residue is dense and hard to clean.
Wet Smoke: If the fire was smoldering at low heat, the damage left behind is considered wet smoke. It is also associated with burning rubber or plastic. It is especially odorous and leaves behind sticky, black smoke damage that smears if not properly cleaned.

Cleanup Process
While the damage left behind can feel overwhelming, there are professionals available to help that are trained on all forms and techniques of smoke cleaning. A fire damage and restoration specialist can focus on cleaning and restoring as much of your belongings as possible via an array of industrial techniques. From ozone machines to eliminate hidden odors to numerous methods of soot removal, the damage can be eliminated the right way.
Smoke damage is one of the many negatives of experiencing a fire. Having a better understanding of what you are facing and finding the right help makes it easier to deal with the cleanup process.

What Is a Flood Cut?

3/26/2021 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak Flood cuts performed in a Bath, ME building.

Here's How To Complete A Flood Cut

When your Bath, ME, building floods, whether a result of heavy rainfall, a burst pipe or another type of disaster, flood cleanup must begin immediately. Flooding can lead to numerous problems (e.g., contamination, mold growth) to various materials and surfaces, even drywall. Drywall will probably require you or storm damage cleanup professionals to perform a flood cut because water can soak in and through it, making it impossible to dry. This can shortly lead to mold growth.

1. Remove Excess Water
First, you'll need to stop the water flow and extract all of the standing water. Drywall soaks up water, so the water will wick up and through the wall. This means you'll also need to remove water-soaked carpet and padding and clear the affected area as much as possible to reduce humidity.

2. Shut Off Electricity
Turn off electricity at the breaker box and remove electrical outlets that were not affected by moisture. Any outlets that have been exposed to water should be removed and disposed of.

3. Measure
Then, you'll need to determine how much drywall to remove. If the water level was less than two-and-a-half feet, you need to cut out the drywall to a height of four feet. A higher water level than two-and-a-half feet requires a tear-out at the height of eight feet.

4. Cut and Remove Drywall
Using chalk, mark a straight line where you're going to cut above the line of the flooding. With a utility knife, cut about half-way through the drywall's thickness. Carefully loosen and remove this piece. Then, remove all of the insulation behind it.

5. Dry the Area
When all of the affected material is removed, you can use fans, blowers and dehumidifiers to dry the area.
Indoor flooding can cause multiple potentially serious issues. Begin drying immediately to minimize as much damage as possible.

3 Signs Your Shower or Bathtub May Be Leaking

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a shower cabin with glass wall that is damaged A shower leak in an Arrowsic, ME home,

3 Signs Your Shower or Bathtub May Be Leaking

A bathtub leak or a shower pan leak may result in permanent harm to your bathroom. Such a leak may go unnoticed for a significant period of time, leading to wood and sheetrock decay and extensive mold growth in out-of-sight areas. Water damage may end up severe enough to require the services of a professional cleanup and restoration company in Arrowsic, ME, to handle. It is important to recognize potential indicators of such an issue so you can identify and correct them as soon as possible.

1. Peeling or Flaking Paint
When you have a shower or bathtub leak, the liquid can pool under the paint in your home. Over time, prolonged exposure to water can cause the paint to crack, peel and fall off in flakes. Such symptoms may present themselves in numerous areas, including:

  • The bathroom wall
  • The roof
  • The walls of other rooms

2. Mold or Mildew
Mold and mildew thrive in damp places. Dark, cool atmospheres with plenty of moisture serve as the perfect environment for these fungi to propagate. If you begin to notice a musty mildew smell or visible colonies, your bathing fixture may have sprung a leak, causing water to gather.

3. Water Stains
A major indicator that you might have a shower or bathtub problem is water stains spreading across the ceiling right beneath your bathroom or in the walls. Drywall often shows such signs in this kind of situation. If you have sheetrock, it may develop a saggy appearance, particularly if it is directly under the restroom.
If you have a bathtub leak or a shower pan leak, you need to find it and deal with it swiftly to mitigate possible negative consequences. You may have to employ an expert to tear out walls or ceilings to get to the issue. Fortunately, while insurance companies may not shell out for the replacement of a broken shower pan, they generally cover expenses for handling the damage caused by one.

How Restoration Companies Improve Fire Restoration Efforts

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Interior and exterior views of a new under construction building with drywall installation A fire restoration company is pivotal in easing the stress and burden of fire cleanup.

How Restoration Companies Improve Fire Restoration Efforts

In minutes, sparks can fly, quickly consuming most if not all of a commercial building. Fire crews battle the flames, attempting to control the situation and salvage what they can for owners. What happens, though, when the smoke clears and blaze dissipates? Proprietors in Georgetown, ME must face the destruction and hazards, swiftly working to secure and restore the premises. A fire restoration company is pivotal in easing the stress and burden of fire cleanup. The establishment is a customer's one-stop-shop for repair and insurance aid.

1. Around the Clock Response
Like much in life, disasters happen at the worst times, usually when most people are home sleeping. Commercial owners cannot afford to sit and wait for help with a fire rebuild; instead, they require assistance at the moment, even if it's in the middle of the night. Vendors such as SERVPRO understand this need, so they maintain a call line and an emergency crew, capable of working with proprietors at any point in the day and any day of the week.

2. Project Management From Start to Finish
Returning the space to normal isn't simple. It's a complex process that involves numerous parties and efforts. A fire restoration crew has a project manager that coordinates everything. Proprietors won't have to keep up with multiple numbers and companies. Insurers rely on one place to provide information and documentation.
During fire cleanup, this relationship is invaluable. Owners and insurers must expect to take care of all of the following stages:

  • Board up windows, doors and holes
  • Tarp weak areas of the roof
  • Extract moisture left from the fire hose
  • Eliminate smoke odor
  • Assess for mold and mildew
  • Tear out structurally damaged materials
  • Clean the air units
  • Scrub walls and floors
  • Perform content cleaning
  • Replace ruined structures

3. Invaluable Experience
Because so much is looked at with rebuilding services, owners and insurers benefit from collaborating with knowledgeable staff. With IICRC certification to meet national standards, both parties can feel good about sanitizing the property.
Fire restoration is a sophisticated, systematic effort. With the assistance of a professional group, owners are reassured that issues are handled correctly and timely.

What is Category 1 Damage?

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Air movers and dehumidifiers placed in the hallway of a building, drying up wet area If you spot clean water damage, be sure to call in professionals to help.

No one wants water damage in their building. If your commercial building in Phippsburg, ME, is experiencing an issue with water damage such as a broken supply line or a burst pipe, it's important to understand the three categories of water damage. After figuring out what type of category your water damage is, you can begin the clean-up and restoration process.
Category one, or clean water, is the least severe type of water damage. It is considered the least severe because it does not contain any contaminants. Category two, or gray water, is mixed with chemicals or other contaminants. Category three, the most severe, is also known as black water. This type of water damage can contain bacteria and viruses.

Causes of Category One Damage

Category one can come from many sources. However, in order for it to be classified as category one, it must come from a sanitary source. Examples of sources of category one water are:

  • A broken pipe
  • An overflowing sink or malfunctioning appliance
  • Melting snow or ice

Although clean water is the least severe category of water damage, it is still important to prevent lasting damages.

Clean-Up and Restoration From Category One Damage
The clean-up process for category one water damage is the easiest and quickest out of all the categories. Your first step should always be to contact a water restoration company to help you mitigate damages and restore your building. A restoration company will help by eliminating any standing water and removing any building materials or furniture that has been damage. The company will likely also dry out your building and help get air circulating to speed up this process.
Category one water damage poses the least risk to your building, but it is still important to clean it up as quickly as possible. If you spot clean water damage, be sure to call in the professionals to help you get your building back to its original state.

3 Factors That Affect the Amount of Time Required for Mold Removal

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Mold removal services in Woolwich, ME.

3 Factors That Affect the Amount of Time Required for Mold Removal

Mold is prevalent in buildings of all kinds, including commercial ones. This is true even if it is not visible to the naked eye because its spores still float through the air. The pervasive fungus is capable of thriving in virtually any environment that is cool, damp and dark and grows on almost any substance. It also feeds off of nutrients in construction materials such as paper, wood and fabric, potentially leading to decay and compromised structural integrity in a property over time. Black mold and other forms of mold growth also tend to negatively impact an establishment's image if in plain view of customers/clientele due to the negative connotation associated with its presence. To avoid these consequences, owners of places overtaken by the invasive microbes may wish to hire a professional remediation service in Woolwich, ME, to handle the mold removal. As time is valuable in and out of the business world, it is important to understand how much of it might be taken up by the cleanup process and the factors affecting that amount.

1. Location
Where the mold growth is located impacts how long the mold removal takes because some areas are more difficult to access than others, including:

  • HVAC systems
  • Under flooring
  • Behind walls
  • Beneath ceiling tiles

2. Surface
What it grows on can also complicate removal, lengthening how long the procedure takes. Porous materials such as concrete, fabric, insulation, drywall and particle board more easily collect and retain the moisture mold loves, attracting it. The fungus infiltrates and sticks to the many crevices and holes in these materials, making it harder to root out. In certain cases, they may have to be thrown out and completely replaced due to the difficulty involved in getting rid of it.

3. Amount
The size of the infestation correlates directly to the time necessary for completion. More mold takes more effort and more hours to remediate.
In general, mold removal may take between three and seven days, depending on the extent of the damage and the circumstances mentioned here. While mold cannot be completely erased, third party testing is a good method to determine if remediation is complete.

We are Growing!

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

men standing next to SERVPRO banner We are growing, SERVPRO of Bath/ Brunswick and new franchise!

We are Growing!

According to a Jan. 13 press release, longtime owner Bill Frysinger of Northport has sold the franchise to a neighboring franchisee, Shawn Cox of SERVPRO of Bath/Brunswick, the two businessmen announced Jan. 13. The local SERVPRO team remains the same, and there are plans to add staff to the existing team.

Frysinger, a former engineer who established the franchise in Belfast 15 years ago, has decided to retire. “My family and I are looking forward to my retirement,” he said, “but I will always cherish the relationships my team and I created here with clients and the community at large.”

Reached by phone Jan. 14, Frysinger told us he was already enjoying spending more time with his family, and added that he plans to take some time to relax before deciding on other pursuits. One interest he mentioned was the Maine Indoor Air Council, of which he has been a member. He also said that when he was first starting the franchise, Cox gave him his introduction to what SERVPRO does before he received formal training.

Cox brings 24 years of SERVPRO ownership experience. “We have partnered with Bill and his team in the past on client projects here,” Cox said, “and extending our operations further into the Midcoast region makes good sense for our business and for clients accustomed to the level of service we both provide.”

Cox has named Darren Currier of his Bath/Brunswick team as operations manager of the Belfast/Camden/Rockland business.

Currier brings with him four years of past SERVPRO experience and dedication to customer service.

Cox said the ownership change should be transparent to clients. “Darren and I and the entire team look forward to working with current clients and the community, just as Bill did in the past,” Cox said.

SERVPRO of the Midcoast region serves most of Waldo and Knox counties.

4 Ways To Mitigate Roof Damage

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

A roofer uses a nail gun to apply tarp to a roof in preparations for shingling. Place a tarp over your roof

Steps To Mitigate Roof Damage

If heavy wind, rain, and hail are common where you live, there is a good chance that you are susceptible to roof damage. Routine maintenance and inspection are key steps to catching damage before they turn into bigger issues. If you inspect your roof and notice that you have any areas that need repair or replacement, you should take steps to mitigate the damage until you have the time and budget to restore your roof in Harpswell, ME.
Here are four ways to mitigate damage to your roof:

1. Place a Tarp Over Your Roof
You can avoid additional water and wind damage by stretching a tarp over your roof. The tarp provides a barrier from water, allowing it to run off the roof instead of seeping into cracked shingles and intensifying existing damage. Use several pieces of lumber to secure the tarp to the roof by positioning them vertically on the slope of the roof.

2. Keep Your Gutters Clear
Be sure to keep your gutters and downspouts clear of leaves and debris. If they become clogged, water can back up and overflow, causing additional roof damage.

3. Replace Damaged Shingles
If any shingles are broken or have water damage, replace them as soon as possible. Over time, damaged shingles can allow water to leak through, even if there is no visible hole in your roof. Water can also pool in cracks, allowing moss and algae to grow.

4. Cut Back Trees
If you have nearby trees with long branches that hang over your roof, trim them down. Remove any branches that could break off during a heavy storm and hit your roof.
Taking steps to mitigate roof damage is essential for avoiding additional damage and costly repairs. Routine maintenance and preventative measures are the best way to ensure that damage does not spiral out of control. However, if damage does occur, a professional storm restoration service can help you repair and restore your home and roof.

How Often Should Bathroom Water Supply Lines Be Replaced?

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Water piping tube installed externally along the bathroom wall to supply water for a heater. You should replace most supply lines after the warranty expires

Plumbing is something most of us don’t think about much. As long as there are no noticeable leaks and the water flows when the taps are turned on, who cares about the pipes? But supply line damage will occur eventually – if not from an accident, then simply from the passage of time.
Different plumbing materials have different expected lifespans. Every expert plumber in Bath, ME, agrees that you should replace most supply lines after the warranty expires. Once they inspect the plumbing, they’ll have an excellent idea of what’s there, the condition of the pipes, and how soon they should be replaced to avoid a supply line leak.

What Are the Different Types of Water Supply Lines?

Many different materials are used to transport freshwater, including

  • Copper
  • Galvanized steel
  • Lead
  • PVC
  • PEX
  • CPVC

Each material type has a different length of warranty. Also, different manufacturers also have different warranties, so it can be confusing.

What Causes Supply Line Damage?
In most cases, it’s just normal degradation that comes from aging. Plastics use organic materials that will harden over time. Metals are prone to corruption from corrosive elements in the water. Lead may last the longest, but it’s extremely toxic to humans and must be removed immediately upon discovery.

When Should They Be Replaced?
Galvanized steel also should be replaced quickly. They aren’t toxic, but they will rust and clog and cause a bathroom leak. They typically aren’t used anymore.
PVC and CPVC are the most popular choice today. They’re very durable for the price and can be warrantied up to 30 years, again depending on the manufacturer. CPVC is used for hot water lines, while PVC is used for both hot and cold lines.
PEX is a popular material for cheaper construction. Older PEX had a major manufacturing defect and should be replaced immediately. Newer PEX can be ok, but it should be inspected regularly.
If you have your lines inspected every decade, you can avoid most supply line damage from aging. This can save you many thousands of dollars in damage.

4 Things To Think About When Installing a Security Fence

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Private property in the forest angle shot Install your security fence

Top Factors You Should Consider During Planning and Installation

Security is one of the most important concerns of business owners. Therefore, it is important to know what your options are to protect your property, especially after a disaster like a fire. You may be surprised about some of the things that come up when installing your security fence. Here are the top factors you should consider during planning and installation.

1. Materials
A major factor for fencing is the materials it uses. While some types of fences may seem stronger and therefore better, you want to choose a material that provides the best security for your purposes. You can often find ratings for how secure each fence type is before you make your decision.

2. Lighting
If the amount of lighting you provide doesn't match the fence you choose, you could be making it easier for burglars to get in. On the other hand, effective lighting will enhance your security fence and deter criminals. It can also make customers feel more at ease and think of your business as a professional establishment.

3. Gates
Consider where the gates are going to allow for access but still protect your property. You want to place at least one or more fences strategically throughout your fence line while making sure not to open your Topsham, ME, business up to burglars.

4. Aesthetics
While security should be the foremost thing on your mind, you also should think about how your building looks. This may not be a major consideration for a business that has been damaged and you want to install a fence to protect it until it can go through professional fire remediation. However, bustling companies that want to appeal to their customers need to think about how the fence looks.
There are many factors that you need to consider while planning and installing your security fence. In addition to effectiveness, you should also think about things like aesthetics and access.