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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.

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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.

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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.

For more on Cape Elizabeth click here.

Understanding Mold Odors

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Understanding Mold Odors Mold can grow on anything associated with musty odors on your belongings or in your home or business

If you’re dealing with mold in South Portland, ME, then you have probably noticed an unpleasant odor in your building. Alternatively, if you’ve noticed a strange smell and can’t seem to get rid of it, it could be hidden mold growing in your walls or under your flooring. While people usually associate an earthy or musty odor with mold, there’s actually a wide variety of possible stenches depending on the species of mold you have growing on your property. If you’ve noticed any of the following smells, even after thoroughly cleaning the room in question, it could be mold mycotoxin:

• Mowed grass
• Grease
• Car exhaust
• Dirty socks
• Old cheese
• Cat urine
• Sour milk
• Maple syrup
• Wet dog

Why Does Mold Stink?

Most people assume that the unpleasant smell is the mold spores being released into the air; however, this is not the case. In fact, what you are smelling is a type of microbial volatile organic compound, or MVOC, produced by the mold. This mycotoxin is released by the mold during certain stages of its growth as a waste product of the mold’s metabolism. The more mold there is growing on your property, the more waste material it produces and the worse the air smells. Some people are very sensitive to it and can experience discomfort.

How Can You Eliminate Mold Smells?

The only way to eliminate mold smells is to completely eliminate the mold. The good news is that when you hire mold remediation specialists in South Portland, ME, they can clean the air of odors as well as remove the fungus from your building during a mold cleanup. This is done by containing the moldy area and vacuuming the air through a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA filter, to remove the mycotoxin. Once the mold and their MVOCs are removed from your property, the smell should disappear with them.

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How To Protect Your Business From Water Damage During Downtime

4/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Protect Your Business From Water Damage During Downtime Protect your Pipes during down time

It is important to protect your business in Scarborough, ME, from water damage all the time, but it is particularly pressing when the business closes. Water pipe repair can take quite a bit of time and can disrupt your business. Whether you flip your door sign from open to closed overnight or for an extended break, here are some tips to help you avoid returning to a mess.

1. Wrap Your Pipes

Adding extra insulation to your pipes, particularly during colder months, can keep your business from being flooded. It is also a good idea to add insulation to the building itself to keep as much cold air out as possible.

2. Open the Doors

Before you close, perform a walk-through of the building to open all the cabinet doors under the sinks. This gives warm air a direct path to the pipes under the sink, increasing the likelihood that you will not need to call water remediation specialists for water pipe repair when you return.

3. Heat the Building

It may be tempting to turn the heater off when no one is present, but doing so could actually spell disaster. The small amount of money you might save on electricity is not a bargain if the tradeoff is a broken pipe that pours water into floors, walls and insulation until you return.

4. Hire a Sitter

A good way to keep watch on your business and the building it occupies when you are not there is to hire someone for just that purpose. A night guard not only supplies security but also can help head water damage off at the pass. He or she can turn off the water at its source and call emergency personnel to stop the problem before it spreads.

Many things can happen to your business in Scarborough, ME, when you’re not there. To keep water damage from being one of them, avoid the need for water pipe repair by taking the necessary precautions.

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3 Reasons To Avoid Driving Through Flooded Streets

4/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Reasons To Avoid Driving Through Flooded Streets Streets can become very dangerous during a storm

When people think of bad driving weather, they usually imagine something like heavy storms or snow and ice. A simple, steady rain, however, can create hazardous driving conditions as well. When you approach a flooded street in South Portland, ME, it is best to turn around and find an alternate route. Here are three reasons why.

1. It does not take a lot of water to damage your vehicle. When you see flooded roads, the problem may not look very severe. It only takes a few inches of water, however, to stall your vehicle and seep into the cracks by the doors, causing your floorboard to flood. Water remediation specialists warn that flood water can contain contaminants that are harmful to humans. Vehicles that cannot make it through standing water are often washed away, taking control of your vehicle out of your hands.

2. Flood water potentially hides debris that can cause damage to your vehicle. Even if your car does miraculously make it through the flooded street, you never know what may be lurking beneath the standing water. Large branches and twigs could puncture your tires. Debris washed into the road by runoff from nearby yards could damage the undercarriage of your vehicle, costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs.

3. Flooded roads are weakened roads. Another danger of flood water is the impact it can have on the road itself. Fast-moving currents can wash away parts of the road, leaving large potholes that can damage your vehicle. If flooding weakens the road too much, it could even collapse when you drive onto it, leaving you stranded and possibly injured.

When you come across a flooded street, do not just assume you can drive through it. Follow these travel tips and find an alternate route to your destination. The extra time it takes is worth it to protect your vehicle, your passengers and yourself.

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Do You Need To Replace Your Carpet Post-Flood?

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Do You Need To Replace Your Carpet Post-Flood? Carpet Cleaning after Water Damage

Carpet is not cheap, so when something happens to it, such as a flood or stain, it can be frustrating. The first thing you may want to know is if you can save the damaged goods. Unlike a stain, water damage isn’t so easily cleansed. Depending on how long the water was allowed to sit, your flooring may be contaminated with mold and other harmful bacteria, in which case professional cleanup efforts by your Scarborough, ME, water restoration team may be necessary. For this reason, if you discover a pipe break, leak or other damaged water source, you need to act immediately. Some things you can do to save your flooring include:

• Remove water ASAP
• Use a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture
• Speed up the drying process with a fan
• Steam-clean your carpets
• Inspect furniture

The Sooner You Get Started, the Better

Though the saying, “Patience is a virtue” applies to most areas of life, it does not apply to water damage control. If your home was recently affected by a surge of water, you need to move fast. If you fail to act within 24 to 48 hours of a pipe break, you risk mold contamination, not just in your carpet but throughout your entire home. Minimize damage and prevent bacteria buildup by reaching out to your Scarborough, ME, water remediation team right away.

Invest in Professional Cleanup To Minimize Costs

Too many homeowners avoid hiring a professional cleanup crew because they want to save money. Unfortunately, what those homeowners don’t realize is that by trying to clean up water damage themselves, they may be accruing costs instead of cutting them. If not properly handled, the damage from a pipe break can quickly spread to other areas of the home. Once it does, not only will the whole carpet need to be taken out, but floor boards, drywall, insulation and furniture may need to be replaced as well.

If your home has water damage, don’t try to clean up the mess on your own. Contact your local water restoration team for quick, efficient and cost-effective help today.

Visit us for more information at http://www.SERVPROsouthportland.com.