Recent Posts

What To Do Before Your Adjuster Arrives

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do Before Your Adjuster Arrives Flooding in your Maine home can cause huge damages after a severe storm

Flooding in your home in Cape Elizabeth, ME, can be expensive to resolve. Your homeowner’s insurance is designed to help you cover it, but to get the settlement you need, you must take several steps. A home adjuster visits your home to examine the damage and decide how much your claim is worth. Here are a few things to do before the adjuster arrives that may maximize your payout.

Document the Damage

Your adjuster is going to walk through your home and assess the damage. Ideally, you would be able to trust this assessment, but it is helpful to document the damage on your own so that you have something to compare with the adjuster's observations. Your documentation should include the following items:

• Inventory of damaged items and the approximate cost of replacing them
• Photographs or videos of the damage
• List of structural damages
• Bills from emergency inspections and temporary repairs

Consult the Professionals

One of the first calls you make should be to water restoration experts. In addition to restoring your property, there are several benefits their services provide to help you with your insurance claim. They can conduct temporary repairs to keep the damage from spreading, and the itemized list of the repairs they make tells the home adjuster that you took proactive steps to minimize the problem. The proposed bid you get from the specialists can also speed up the processing of your claim adjustment.

Once you collect your lists and the itemized repair plans from the contractors, make a copy of everything so that you have it for your records. Fill out your claim correctly and completely. Detailed efficiency is the key to your success when filing a claim. The more information you can provide and the more helpful you can be to your home adjuster, the better chance you have of the insurance company honoring the claim you make.

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Can You Save Personal Items After a Flood?

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Can You Save Personal Items After a Flood? Personal belonging may be damaged after flooding in your home or business

After a flood in Cape Elizabeth, ME, you are first concerned with the structure of your home, but very quickly you realize that you still need to act on your personal belongings as well. Can you save anything that has been in a flood? While many items must be disposed of, you will be glad to know that you can save some of your personal belongings and experts are available to help you. A good professional knows you have things of a personal and meaningful nature and they want to help you save these things. A good restoration specialist also knows that saving your personal belongings can also save you money, but they will clearly communicate when something is not safe to keep or not possible to restore. Here are some factors that come into play for proper content cleaning:

• Type of material. Most restoration ability is determined by whether materials are non-porous or porous.


• Contamination exposure. The method of cleaning also depends on the type of flood exposure, such as clean water versus black water.

Restoration Techniques

Experienced professionals use a variety of techniques for content cleaning. The item may be something that can be dunked in a cleaning solution. Scrubbing may be needed or wet cleaning may be needed for items that are heavily soiled. For materials that can't take a deep cleaning, a foam or dry cleaning may be best. Some materials may be fine with a surface disinfectant and wipe down.

When to Throw Away

Sadly, content cleaning won't work for all your personal belongings and some things must be tossed. This is limited to items that truly can't be restored or that would be unsafe to keep and usually comes down to porous materials. Drywall and carpet padding are two examples of porous materials that may need tossed but working with a knowledgeable and experienced professional will save you time and money on replacing belongings.

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Understanding Home Fires and Insurance

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Understanding Home Fires and Insurance This home suffered from significant fire damage

A home fire at your dwelling in Cape Elizabeth, ME, is devastating. There is soot damage, smoke damage and water damage from the firefighters putting out the flames. Many of your personal belongings are lost or in need of proper cleaning. Most residential fires are covered by insurance, but some are not. The cause is crucial to determining coverage. Read below to know what is typically covered and what is not. Each individual policy is different, so be sure to confirm with your agent.

What Causes Are Usually Covered?

For most homeowner’s insurance, almost all fire types are covered under the policy, including, but not limited to the following:

• Kitchen fires are one of the main causes of residential fires. This type of fire spreads quickly and leads to significant damage.


• Failing electrical systems or appliances, especially those that are old or poorly maintained, pose a fire risk.


• The HVAC system, space heater or wood stove may ignite a house fire.


• Even though smoking rates have decreased over the past few decades, it remains a common reason for residential fires.


• External causes, such as lightning strikes and wildfires, are rare but can be a fire hazard.

When Is a Home Fire Not Covered?

There are two main causes of house fires not covered by homeowner’s insurance:

• Arson is never covered if the fire is set by the homeowner or someone acting on the homeowner’s behalf. If investigators find evidence of a fire set by the owner to collect insurance money, no damage is covered and criminal charges may be filed.


• A vacant home fire is not typically covered if it is unoccupied at the time of the fire. However, this is covered if the homeowner has an added endorsement to the policy.

When you have a home fire in Cape Elizabeth, ME, insurance coverage for fire and water damage is key to an affordable recovery. Work with your insurance adjustor and a fire restoration specialist to rebuild, replace and restore your home to pre-fire condition.

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5 Steps To Protect Your Rental Property From Mold

7/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 5 Steps To Protect Your Rental Property From Mold Ensure your rental property is visited periodically to ensure mold damage is not present

Mold grows nearly everywhere. Because mold can develop in as few as 24 hours, it is important to adapt a few key mold prevention practices to protect your investment. Here are five things you can do to protect your rental home while you are away:

1. Use a checklist. Whether you provide the checklist directly to renters or your property manager, make sure to share the steps listed here as proper actions for guest departure.

2. Turn off water. The source of a leak or flood must be resolved immediately to minimize damage to your home. Mold growth can take place in several hours. Turning off the water to your home whenever guests leave is the only way to guarantee no water damage from pipes.

3. Don't turn off heat. You may be tempted to save yourself some money on power bills during winter by shutting the heat down completely, but you should just maintain a lower setting to prevent pipe breakage due to freezing temperatures.

4. Keep air conditioning on. Relative humidity of more than 45% is enough moisture for mold to grow. In hot, humid regions, a closed-up house without ventilation quickly becomes an incubation chamber for mold. Keep your air conditioner running between guests to reduce humidity levels in your rental home and aid in mold prevention.

5. Inspect periodically. Mold reproduces quickly by sending spores into the air. When those spores meet a moist environment, they begin to form colonies that dig deep into the building materials in your home. Mold damages building materials during the digestive process. While prevention is the best practice, quick response to any mold growth is also critical to minimize damage.

While mold prevention efforts are very effective at protecting your property, sometimes things are out of your control when you are away from your rental home. Flood damage in Cape Elizabeth, ME, or a leak that was not fixed immediately, can cause enough moisture for mold growth. When that happens, it may seem tempting to clean mold yourself or have existing maintenance staff do the job, but trained and knowledgeable professionals will make sure the cleanup is quick, safe, and effective.

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How to Clean Up After Sewage Damage

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Clean Up After Sewage Damage Sewage damage in Cape Elizabeth

There’s never anything pleasant about a smelly, unsightly sewer backup in Cape Elizabeth, ME. One flooded toilet can cause untold damage, and a broken sewage main can be catastrophic. Once your home has suffered sewage damage, however, what are the best steps to take for effective sewer cleanup?

Don’t Try This at Home

To be as safe as possible, it’s better if you don’t try sewer cleanup on your own. Sewage handling and disposal should be left to professionals. This is because:

• Sewage is usually made up of highly contaminated black water, which can contain fecal matter, bacteria, and other harmful substances.
• Cleanup often requires specialized equipment and cleaning substances not available over the counter to consumers.
• Black water can also hide other dangers, such as rodents or other sewer animals.

The potential health risk of contamination is too great in many instances. While you may be all right mopping up after a quick toilet spill, major sewer damage should be left in the hands of trained and qualified specialists.

These specialists will use special pumps to remove the water and sewage contaminating the area, and identify what materials must be thrown out and what can be decontaminated. Decontamination generally involves application of specialized chemicals, often in multiple treatments, to eliminate any bacteria left behind by black water. After drying, the flooded area will likely require a preventative coating on surfaces such as floors and walls.

Focus on Mitigation Instead

Your best option is to mitigate the existing damage prior to professional sewer cleanup. If you can shut off the water to the location of the damage, do so. Remove anything that hasn’t been contaminated to prevent damage. Put down towels or other absorbent materials you’re willing to dispose of to soak up the worst of the liquid and act as a buffer to prevent it from spreading throughout your house.

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Help! A Burst Pipe Flooded the Furnace

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Help! A Burst Pipe Flooded the Furnace Pipe Busted causing this furnace to flood in Cape Elizabeth

As a commercial building owner in Cape Elizabeth, ME, you may see some strange things on your property. From odd storm damage to unbelievable plumbing problems, you've seen almost as much as your commercial water remediation team. Even with so much experience under your belt, you're still bound to get surprised from time to time. When a pipe bursts and causes a furnace flood, you may have a few questions about what your next step should be.

1. Call your insurance company. Because the flooding was caused by a broken pipe, your damage may be covered under your insurance policy. If this is the case, you'll need to document the damage before you can start the repair process.


2. Call a remediation team. Whether or not your insurance will help cover the damages, you need to start the repair process as quickly as possible. Water damage can spread from your furnace to other parts of your building after a furnace flood.


3. Perform maintenance. Depending on the extent of your flooded furnace, you may be able to restore the appliance. Before you turn the equipment on, have it inspected by a professional. This person may be able to help you dry out and clean the furnace. If the damage is too great, you may have to replace the equipment.


4. Clean the ducts. Water may pool in your air ducts, so an air duct cleaning is needed to ensure you don't have mold growth in these unseen parts of your building. Even if you replace your old furnace, you should still make sure the vents are cleaned prior to use.

No one expects to enter their commercial building to find a furnace flood, but the fact is it can happen. Whether a pipe burst or a storm caused water to fill your boiler room, you need to address the issue as quickly as possible to ensure the problem doesn't spread.

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Protect Your Business With Emergency Drills

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Emergencies in Cape Elizabeth, ME, come in many forms: power outages, civil disturbances, workplace violence, and natural disasters. One thing most emergencies have in common is that they are rarely expected. Before you and your employees are caught in any type of disaster, put an emergency plan into place and then run through a disaster or fire drill on a consistent basis. With this plan in place, you and your staff will feel much more comfortable when chemicals get spilled or a fire breaks out.

Brainstorm Scenarios

One of the first things you need to do is brainstorm likely scenarios.

• Do you live in an area where flooding is a concern?
• Are you established in rural community where silo explosions are an issue or an urban area where armed robbery could occur?
• What if a train carrying your products derailed, dumping hazard materials?

Think of how these situations could affect you and your Cape Elizabeth, ME, business. Then, identify the best actions to take for everyone's safety.

Outline Your Plan

An effective plan should include the preferred method for reporting the emergency, an evacuation procedure, posted escape routes, a roster of names and numbers with explanations of responsibilities, procedures to follow for shutting down critical operations or operate fires extinguishers, and rescue duties for any employees with those assignments.

Train Your Staff

Of course, your plan won't be effective without training. Prepare for trouble by reviewing individual roles and responsibilities, communication procedures, evacuation and sheltering, and shutdown procedures before running a fire drill. You may also want to give employees pertinent trainings, such as in first aid procedures. Education is an important part of training. If you handle pathogens or chemicals, train employees how to contain those.

Run Drills

With the plan in place, it's important to hold practice drills. Before the day of the emergency or fire drill, alert the fire and police departments. During the drill, pay attention to how quickly your employees complete their tasks and evacuation procedures. Watch for areas of weakness. After the drill, discuss the effectiveness of the drill, its strengths and weaknesses, and ways to improve the plan. Get more information from OSHA.gov.

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Tips for Putting Out a Resturant Kitchen Fire

5/28/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Tips for Putting Out a Resturant Kitchen Fire Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher safely is important in keeping your restaurant safe

Being prepared for danger when you own a Cape Elizabeth, ME, restaurant can help you keep your employees and patrons safe. Knowing how to nip volatile situations in the bud prevents them from growing out of control and allows you to retain control. One common restaurant danger, a kitchen fire, is one such problem that can spread quickly unless you know how to react. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can keep in mind when it comes to snuffing out a blaze quickly and effectively, with or without a fire extinguisher.

Know How To Contain the Fire

Containing a small stovetop fire before it spreads can be the key to keeping it under control. These fires can start quickly, even while someone is standing at the stove, and may be caused by:

• A flareup of oil
• An overly-greased pan
• A burner flame turned up too high

If the fire starts in a pan, cover it with a tight-fitting lid. The absence of oxygen should put the fire out almost immediately. Take care to keep any long, loose sleeves away from the flames.

Be Familiar With Your Fire Equipment

A fire is no time to learn how to use your kitchen’s fire extinguisher. Knowing how to operate one confidently and before a fire occurs can mean the difference between putting a blaze out quickly and having it rage out of control. Take a fire safety course, be familiar with how to use your fire safety equipment and ask a fire damage and restoration company to help you learn to operate any device you do not understand.

Know How To Mitigate a Fire

Avoiding fire damage in your restaurant kitchen means knowing how to douse a fire quickly. For example, baking soda can be useful for extinguishing grease fires. Avoiding using water or flour, as this can cause the fire to spread or even explode.

Knowing how to use a fire extinguisher and being aware of fire safety can keep your Cape Elizabeth, ME, restaurant safe. Even small blazes can spread quickly, so remaining vigilant can be one of the greatest safeguards against fire damage or injury.

For more on Cape Elizabeth click here.

How Do You Stop the Spread of Mold During Remediation

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How Do You Stop the Spread of Mold During Remediation Mold removal processes need to be started immediately after finding mold or fungus

As a homeowner in Cape Elizabeth, ME, you know that mold can be a big problem for your house. It doesn't take much for this fungus to spread to other rooms. In fact, mold can spread in a variety of ways:

• On your clothing
• Through the air
• Through water
• On animals

Because so many factors could lead to more mold contamination, you need to start the cleanup process as soon as possible. Residential mold removal teams can quickly assess your situation and create a plan that will keep the mold in a designated area until it is take care of.

Containment

To stop mold contamination, the professionals have to set up a containment unit. This can mean different things for different jobs. In some cases, it simply means closing windows and doors to discourage air flow and trap the spores. In other cases, it means setting up a negative air pressure system to ensure no air flows out of the room. Part of containment is limiting who can have access to the moldy parts of the home. You and your family may be asked to stay out of certain areas until the professionals have properly cleaned and removed the mold.

Filtration

Filtration often goes hand-in-hand with containment, but it is an important part of stopping the spread of mold. Because spores are so small, they can easily slip through barriers. If your team uses HEPA air filters, however, you have a better chance of keeping the spores to one place.

Removal

Another way to stop contamination is to remove all pieces of furniture, flooring and building materials that are affected by fungus growth. You may be able to clean and return some belongings, but others will have to simply be discarded. Ridding the area of mold contaminated objects can help reduce your chances of spreading the fungus to other parts of your home.

Mold contamination can affect large portions of your Cape Elizabeth, ME, home. With the proper containment plans, you may be able to stop the spread of the fungus.

For more on Cape Elizabeth click here.

Helpful Alternatives To Using Candles In Your Home

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Helpful Alternatives To Using Candles In Your Home Candles can be dangerous in your Cape Elizabeth home if left unattended

Many people enjoy using candles in the home, and the same goes for you and your family in your comfortable Cape Elizabeth, ME, home. However, candles are known fire-starters, usually due to misuse by people that can cause hazardous situations and expensive fire or smoke cleanup. Here are some helpful alternatives to use to avoid a candle fire in your home, whether you like them for the softer light or the lovely scents.

? Tea lights or electric candles. There’s no reason you have to give up on the romantic light of candles entirely. These days, many retailers sell flameless candles and tea lights that are simply powered by batteries instead of a wick and flame.


? Adorn your bedroom or other comfortable spaces with fairy lights. Again, softer light can be attained through other means than by candlelight, including the use of small fairy lights. String some up along the walls for a festive and romantic atmosphere that doesn’t involve a candle fire at the end of the night.


? Incorporate reed diffusers or wax/oil warmers around your home. Those who enjoy candles for their delightful scents can become familiar with these alternatives instead, which generally require no heat or fire altogether.


? Buy a clip-on book light for softer reading light. If candles were a frequent part of your nightly reading routine, switching up to a clip-on book light can be just as useful without the potential fire hazard attached. This light is more closely defined and is steadier than candlelight as well, helping to keep eye strain at bay in the meantime.


? Stock your home with air freshener sprays. Name-brand air freshener sprays can be used around your home to achieve a pleasant odor as opposed to burning fragrance candles. There’s far less danger involved and you can be sure to avoid smoke cleanup after use.

While lighting candles around your Cape Elizabeth, ME, home can initially make for a calm, romantic setting, the potential for a candle fire is significantly less relaxing. Use any of these alternatives to enhance your life in your home without creating hazardous situations.

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