Recent Commercial Posts

Content cleaning and fire damage

10/12/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke If you need Odor Removal and Deodorization call SERVPRO.

Cleaning of the contents and fire damage

A home fire is devastating, and it doesn't help that you can't even think about cleaning up until the smell of smoke has been dealt with. I know it can be hard to imagine, but there are things you can do to restore your clothing and other belongings. In this article, we'll explore the options for cleaning clothes after a fire, including professional dry-cleaning and content cleaning (home remedies). We'll also talk about how to remove odors from soiled items that may not be salvageable through washing alone.

Not all items are unsalvageable 

The first thing to remember about cleaning clothes after a fire is that you have options. If the damage is minor, you can attempt to clean it yourself. If the clothes are soiled by water or smoke inhalation, professional cleaning may be necessary.

While all these methods can remove fire-related odors from clothing:

  • Dry cleaning - The most expensive method, but also one of the most effective for removing smoke smells. It's best if you take your clothing directly to a dry cleaner instead of trying this at home because they'll know how best to treat each material type (and won't lose their license).
  • Ultrasonic cleaning - This uses high-frequency sound waves that break up dirt and grime so they can be rinsed away with water during washing machine use; it's also an excellent option for soaking garments that aren't safe for dry cleaning or steam pressing (such as leather).
  • Steam pressing - You'll want a professional pressing service rather than trying this at home—if done improperly by an amateur, hot steam could damage delicate fabrics like silk or wool!

Removing smoke odor from clothing can be expensive or impossible.

While it is possible to remove smoke odor from clothing and other non-porous items, such as linens, carpets and upholstery, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of smoke odor removal in the future.

  1. Vacuum your home thoroughly each day. This will help remove any loose particulate matter that would otherwise settle on furniture or in carpeting over time.
  2. Make sure your furnace filter is changed monthly (at minimum).
  3. Use a dehumidifier if humid conditions are causing problems with mold growth or mildew formation in carpeting or upholstery fabrics. This can help reduce moisture levels while also removing excess humidity from living spaces where people spend time indoors during colder weather periods when they wouldn't normally be outside enjoying themselves at all hours of the day!

Content cleaning is worth the investment

Content cleaning isn't always easy, and it can be expensive. You need a professional who knows how to clean your belongings without damaging them further. To find the right professional, start by asking friends or family members if they have any recommendations. If they don't know of anyone, ask your local fire department if there are any companies in the area that specialize in content cleaning after fire damage.

Once you've found a company, its website will have information about its services and prices on it. Read through this carefully so that you know exactly what they do before hiring them (such as whether they'll be cleaning specific items). Also, make sure that everything listed on the website is available locally—if not, find out how much more it would cost for shipping costs or travel expenses for someone to come out from another city or state!

Once you've hired an expert who can help clean up after your home has been damaged by fire very carefully review all bills before paying them so there are no surprises later down road! In many cases, your insurance company will pay for the content cleaning.

The best way to protect your belongings is by keeping them out of harm's way. If you've been affected by a fire, it's important to get an expert inspection and evaluation before cleaning up the mess. This will ensure that your efforts at restoration don't cause more damage than the fire itself did!

How to Repair a Flooded Toilet

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow Toilet overflow in Falmouth, ME

Many toilets in commercial buildings are controlled by a device known as a flushometer. While these devices usually work quite well, they are still prone to malfunctioning. This can cause toilets to engage in a never-ending flush cycle, ultimately driving up your water bill and resulting in damage from toilet overflow. If your building in Falmouth, ME, is suffering from this affliction, consult the following guide.

Step-by-Step Toilet Repair Guide

Repairing a toilet is a relatively simple process, even if you have very little plumbing experience. Follow this guide to stop a toilet flood:

  • Use a flat screwdriver to shut off the water. There should be a slot on either side of the flushometer, depending on which direction it's facing.
  • Use a wrench to loosen the flushometer's top lid. After this, you should be able to unscrew the lid using your hands.
  • Carefully remove the flange cover to expose the gasket. You may experience some water spray while performing this step.
  • Remove the gasket and clean out any built up sediment. It's a good idea to thoroughly rinse the gasket as well. Use a small, thin object to clean out the weep hole as well.
  • Replace the gasket after you finish cleaning it and reverse steps 1 through 4 to reassemble the flushometer.

If the above steps do not resolve your toilet overflow problem, you may have to replace the gasket completely. If your toilet still isn't working properly, you may have to contact professional plumbers to assist you with the issue.

A continuously flushing toilet can drive your water bill up, as well as annoy your employees and drive customers away. It's imperative that you resolve any toilet overflow issues as soon as possible so that you can resume business as usual.

If your commercial bathroom has suffered any type of water damage as a result of the toilet flood, you need to contact flood remediation experts to help resolve the problem.

The Challenges of a Partial Loss Fire

5/27/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke on the glass modern building A partial loss fire is more common and can range from completely destroying rooms and physical structures to causing only minor smoke and soot damage.

The Difficulties Of A Partial Loss Fire

Every business fire is unique in some way. A catastrophic fire can take down entire buildings and leave nothing more than rubble and ash. A partial loss fire is more common and runs the spectrum of destroying rooms and physical structures to only inflicting some relatively minor smoke and soot damage. While you would much prefer a minor fire to a major one, your company in Falmouth, ME, will still face significant challenges. 

Dealing With Smoke Damage

Smoke has several insidious qualities that can damage various aspects of your business. It can leave your facility unusable for a time and it can penetrate HVAC systems and electrical components. The residues from smoke often contain acidic compounds that damage walls and corrode metal. Cleanup is often technical, requiring the services of an experienced fire mitigation franchise.

Working With the Insurance Company

After a partial fire loss, you could have more work and contact with your insurance provider. There could be a series of questions on the ability to repair or replace a list of items and materials:

  • Personal objects
  • Ceramic fixtures
  • Carpeting
  • Furniture
  • Computers
  • Artwork

In general, restoring an item is more cost-effective than replacing it, but this is not a hard and fast rule. The cleaning process could be too labor-intensive to merit cleaning, and some items are just not salvageable.

Handling a Complicated Cleanup

Not all fire restoration jobs are the same. While the general process is similar, the details vary. Some jobs involve the removal of water damage from fire fighting equipment as well as the rebuilding of burned structures. Most cleanups are time-sensitive and work has a certain urgency. A fast response can reduce expenses and prevent additional damage such as mold growth and damage from weather.

A partial loss fire presents your company with many obstacles. Professionals can help you meet this challenge in the best manner possible.

5 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Fire

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

Engineer checking Industrial fire control system Depending on your business space, you may need more than one fire extinguisher. A multi-story building must have at least one per floor.

5 Steps To Prepare Your Company For A Fire

No one ever wants to experience a business fire in Portland, ME. But the National Fire Protection Association reported 111,000 non-residential fires in 2020 alone. With those statistics, it's crucial to set up your business to prevent fires and respond to fires. Here are five ways to prepare.

1. Have Enough Fire Extinguishers

Depending on the size of your office or retail space, you need more than one fire extinguisher. There should be one per floor in a multi-level building at the absolute minimum. Fire extinguishers come in various sizes and should be placed in key areas of your business, such as the kitchen area, central office, and near tools or electrical panels.

2. Prevent Fire Damage Through Organization

One way to prevent fire damage is to stay organized. The more dust and clutter, the easier it is for a spark to become a major fire as flames spread over boxes, papers, and other office debris. After a fire, a commercial restoration team can assess the damage to recommend repairs and give prevention tips for the future.

3. Conduct Regular Fire Drills

To keep your staff safe, make fire preparation drills a regular event. Fire drills aren't just for students in school. It's important for everyone to confidently be able to exit the building from any and all exit points.

4. Maintain Exit Routes Regularly

All exit points must be maintained regularly. Ensure that any automatic fire doors work correctly. Keep exit doors unlocked. Check fire escapes or window ladders. A business fire can spread quickly, which won't leave time to address locked doors or broken ladders.

5. Inspect Wiring on a Schedule

Inspect wiring on a scheduled basis. Instead of waiting for a problem, such as an outlet that starts to spark or the discovery of a wire that has lost its covering, inspect all electrical sources every six months and correct any problems immediately.

A business fire can be prevented or mitigated by preparing your business in advance.

4 Tips for Drying Out a Commercial Building

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Drying Equipment If your building floods, it and its contents need to be thoroughly dried as soon as possible.

4 Recommendations For Drying Out A Commercial Building

When your Portland, ME, commercial building suffers water incursion, whether it's from a pipe burst or act of nature, the same basic steps will have to be taken. These steps will help protect any occupants in the affected area and the building and its contents. Professionals will probably have to be called in to remedy the situation thoroughly. Still, you can follow water damage tips to begin drying out the building before help arrives. After all, the quicker drying begins, the less damage will occur.

1. Turn Off Electricity

If you can safely make your way to the breaker box, the power to the area should be turned off immediately. Never walk through standing water in which electrical items are sitting. The electricity can travel throughout the water, electrocuting you. If you can't navigate to the breaker safely, or if you're unsure, you must wait for a professional to cut the power supply.

2. Extract Standing Water

Next, all the standing water will need to be extracted. A wet/dry vacuum is excellent for doing this safely and efficiently. It will also remove smaller debris.

3. Remove Soaked Materials

After you've extracted as much water as possible, one of the most critical damage tips to follow is to remove as many wet materials as possible. This can even include drywall and flooring. Soaked carpet and padding typically aren't salvageable; it can't be dried entirely before mold growth occurs (within 24 to 48 hours). Water damage remediation experts are highly recommended, as they can bring in industrial-grade equipment.

4. Dry Remaining Contents

You can try to dry the remaining contents by opening windows and doors if the outside is less humid than inside, using dehumidifiers, running fans and turning up the heat via the HVAC system or space heaters.

If your building floods, it and its contents need to be thoroughly dried as soon as possible. These are a few damage tips and cleaning tips you can begin before professionals arrive on the scene.

Can You Deduct Storm Damage From Your Business Taxes? 3 Factors To Consider

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Closeup on businessman holding a card with text TAX DEDUCTIBLE, business concept image with soft focus background and vintage Not all storm damage to your businesses is tax deductible, and the rules are typically different for commercial properties.

Is It Possible To Deduct Storm Damage From Business Taxes? 3 Things To Think About

Flooding, hurricanes and other types of violent weather events can cause severe storm damage to your Portland, ME, business. The removal of flood water and the repair and restoration of one or more areas of your building may force you to close your business until the damage is fixed. You may be able to recover some of this loss when you file your taxes; however, there are a few questions you might want to ask yourself before you try to claim these damages.

1. Did I File an Insurance Claim?

Before you try to claim damage that occurred from flooding or other types of weather-related events, it is important to ask yourself if you filed an insurance claim and whether you received any compensation. If so, you cannot deduct such losses from your taxes. While it is permissible to receive recompence, you cannot file a claim and then receive a tax discount as well. If you have business insurance, check with your agent concerning your options before you file.

2. How Much Can I Claim?

Not all storm damage to your businesses is tax deductible, and the rules are typically different for commercial properties. For example, homeowners are bound by certain restrictions that involve the total amount of their gross income. As a business owner affected by a weather event, you could be exempt from these caveats. The total amount you can claim will likely depend on past insurance claims and the type of damage your property endured.

3. How Long Do I Have To File?

You may have delayed in your filing as you wait for your flood damage and restoration service to finish repairs to your business in order to have specific cost amounts instead of estimations. While this may help you claim a larger refund, it is a good idea to contact your accountant or local tax office to ask about filing deadlines.

When storm damage impacts your Portland, ME, business, the monetary loss can be considerable. Understanding how to claim it on your taxes before you file may result in faster compensation and avoid delays that could harm your business in the long run.

When To Call A Professional

12/22/2021 (Permalink)

Restoration machines are cleaning water damage in a bathroom This toilet had a plumbing issue causing massive amounts of water damage. SERVPRO to respond to extract and start the drying process.

When Should You Hire A Professional?

Many commercial flooding situations, such as a pipe burst cleanup, are user serviceable. However, not all are, and there are inherent risks involved with an amateur or provisional water damage repair. Consider a few tips about when to leave your problems to a qualified cleanup service.

1. Standards

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Services (IICRC) maintains a large number of guidelines and standards relating to the certification of companies to do cleanup work. For example, a sewer cleanup company might choose to comply with the BSR/IICRC S550, which outlines the standards for water damage cleanup for commercial structures. By voluntarily adopting these standards, the company signals its qualifications to potential customers and ensures efficient communication with other companies with which they may have to coordinate.

2. Safety and Liability

By contacting an IICRC-certified service for a pipe burst cleanup, you protect yourself from the liability that comes from attempting any unorthodox or temporary repair procedures. While these may save money in the short term, they can lead to costly problems down the line. Additionally, a broken pipe or other flooding issue can create safety concerns for you and your employees. For example, if wall outlets are inundated, then pooled water can become an electrical hazard. In these situations, a professional agency can mitigate the damage safely.

3. Documentation and Coverage

In the meantime, the business owner should document any visible flood damage that cannot be obviously remedied. Make an inventory of all affected areas and any components that you think need attention or repair. Any sensitive electronic devices, such as personal computers, should be moved out of the affected area. If flooding can be stopped by shutting off water at a valve or main, do so until restoration services arrive and continue the cleanup process.

Review the above procedures with your employees to keep your business running in the event that you need urgent pipe burst cleanup or other repairs in Westbrook, ME.

The Basics of Commercial Property Insurance

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

image of the engineer of the architectural project. Vintage tone and engineering tools in the workplace. Property insurance exists so that you can be compensated for losses that occur as the result of theft, natural disaster, flood or fire damage.

Commercial Property Insurance: A Guide to the Fundamentals

Your business in Falmouth, ME, is your lifeline. As with all things that are important to you, you want to protect your business by insuring it properly. Commercial insurance packages often contain general liability, workers’ compensation and property policies. When reviewing property policies, it’s good to know what you should expect it to cover and how to work out a fair deal with your insurer.

What It Covers

Property insurance exists so that you can be compensated for losses that occur as the result of theft, natural disaster, flood or fire damage. Your insurance adjuster can assess your claim to make sure you are made whole again after tragedy strikes. There are many aspects of your business that your commercial insurance should cover:

  • Building where your business is housed
  • Important documents
  • Equipment used, from computers to manufacturing machines
  • Inventory
  • Additional structures on the property, such as fencing or storage sheds
  • Signage

Anything that restoration specialists must assess, restore or replace should be covered under your policy.

What It Costs

When putting together your insurance package, your agent weighs risk factors to determine the cost of your property insurance premiums. The higher the risk to the insurance company, the higher your cost is likely to be. For example, if you live in an area that has excellent fire protection records, or if there is a fire hydrant right outside your door, you may enjoy less expensive premiums. If your area does not have good fire protection or your building has a bad fire rating, the risk of insuring you is higher for the insurance company, so you can expect your monthly cost to be higher. While there are few things under your control that affect prices of insurance, having a good fire alarm or sprinkler system can help a little.

Your commercial insurance policy is designed to protect your business from catastrophes outside your control. Finding a solid property policy at an affordable price can give you peace of mind.

How To Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

New gray and brown drain pipes isolated over white When the temperature is freezing, frozen water inside pipes can burst them.

How To Prevent Water Pipes From Freezing

Your Portland, ME, home can take a pounding from winter weather. Snow, ice and frigid wind can all affect its exterior, and one common problem you might experience as a homeowner is frozen pipes. When the temperature drops below freezing, frozen water inside pipes can expand and cause them to burst. However, there are a few ways you can prevent this problem, as well the water damage and flooding a broken pipe can cause.

Insulate Your Pipes

Exterior water pipes are typically the most vulnerable to bursting during cold weather, but certain indoor pipes can be affected as well. Consider insulating pipes with foam insulation in these areas:

  • Basement connections
  • Under kitchen or bathroom cabinets
  • Unfinished or non-insulated laundry rooms

Insulating pipes in these areas can offer them extra protection when winter temperatures plummet.

Drain Outdoor Water Lines

Maintaining outdoor water lines can prevent them from freezing over. Before the cold weather comes, drain sprinkler systems and hoses and winterize your pool. You may want to keep the outdoor valves open to prevent excess water from creating pressure, which can result in a costly water line repair bill if the pipes near these connections burst.

Use Pipe Sleeves

Fitting indoor and outdoor pipes with pipe sleeves can protect your plumbing when temperatures drop. Pipe sleeves can prevent freezing by providing pipes with insulation and by raising the temperature within the pipe. You can create your own sleeve with heated tape and layers of newspaper if you need a quick fix before storm cleanup professionals arrive. These sleeves can also be helpful in keeping your pipes in good working order if you plan to be away from home for an extended period, such as for a Christmas holiday.

Dealing with frozen pipes at your Portland, ME, home can be a stressful experience, especially if one or more burst due to the cold. However, knowing how winterize your plumbing and treat your pipes for the cold weather can help them withstand the ravages of subzero temperatures, wind, ice and snow.

How To Clean Mold by the Book

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Green and black mold on a wall Mold damage to a business in Westbrook, ME.

How to Remove Mold Using a Book

When you realize your business in Westbrook, ME has mold, you may be wondering where to start to combat the situation. Depending on its severity, you may even have some ideas on how you can tackle the task yourself. However, there are certain mold standards to which one must adhere when dealing with commercial properties, such as those recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency and outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Enlisting the experts in mold remediation will likely be your best bet for larger areas or certain mold types, but it can be helpful to be aware of the guidelines on how to prevent and handle a mold infestation in the meantime.

EPA Guidelines

The EPA advises the following to prevent mold growth:

  • Control humidity and temperature indoors.
  • Ensure that rooms have adequate ventilation.
  • Check plumbing and drainage systems.
  • Thoroughly scrub any surface where mold is visible and keep it dry.
  • In areas prone to mold, clean more frequently.
  • Contract a mold remediation specialist.

OSHA Guidelines

There are plenty of areas of overlap between advice from the EPA and OSHA. The latter does specify in detail several additional tips of mold standards to consider, recommending the following:

  • In-house staff such as custodians or housekeepers can perform mold cleanup for milder cases if they are properly trained and wear personal protective equipment.
  • Prior to clean up, staff should be trained according to the OSHA Hazard Communication Standard.
  • Specific OSHA guidelines based on severity and size of the affected areas should be followed.

Going by the outlined mold standards of these reputable organizations can help you determine the course of action to take for your business in Westbrook, ME. You may be dealing with a mild situation that can be managed in-house through proper steps, or something more challenging, as is the case with black mold. For more severe cases, it may be best to contact a professional with certifications such as that from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration. Regardless, following these guidelines can help you restore your business to pre-mold condition.

Quick Guide to the Flood Cut

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

drywall removal from a water damage from a roof leak The flood cut is often used in flooding situations.

When it comes to the mitigation and remediation process of a commercial flood in Falmouth, ME, there are a lot of cleaning techniques that can be used. The exact process started by your commercial cleanup crew will depend on the type of flooding you are dealing with. When rain waters fill your space, your team will want to mitigate the damage as quickly as possible. This means making fast decisions to help stop the damage from spreading. A flood cut is one technique often used.

What It Is

A flood cut is part of the tear-out mitigation process. Any drywall in your building that was affected by floodwaters may be cut away. The line is usually 12 to 18 inches above the water line to ensure all water-damaged materials are removed.

When It's Needed

When water sits up against the drywall in your building, it can get soaked up into the porous material. Some liquid may even pass to materials behind the wall. The flood cut is often used in flooding situations, but may be even more pertinent if the following is true:

  • There is insulation and other building materials behind the drywall.
  • The remediation team needs to assess the damage in the interior walls.
  • The water that filled your space was contaminated.

Your cleanup professional may not always choose to do a flood cut. However, it can help remove excess water and jump-start the remediation process.

What Happens After

After the drywall has been ripped out, any other materials affected by the contamination are also removed. This can include busted pipes, insulation, ceiling tiles and flooring materials. Once the tear-out is complete, the repairs must get started. Your remediation team will replace any damaged materials including the drywall.

Flooding can do a lot of damage to a commercial space. A flood cut may help the experts better understand the damage done to your building and give them the tools needed to start making repairs.

3 Ways To Protect Your Business From Fire Damage

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

Automatic ceiling Fire Sprinkler at the Office Install a sprinkler system in your building.

Three Ways To Protect Your Business From Fire Damage

Because fire is one of the most common causes of loss for small businesses, fire preparation is very important to minimize potential financial loss and business interruption. These are three ways you can protect your business from fire damage.

1. Use Fire Extinguishers Properly
Fire extinguishers are your first line of defense against small fires. When used properly, small fires can often be put out before they can spread. Train your employees on when and how to use fire extinguishers as part of your disaster preparation plan. Inspect your equipment regularly to ensure it functions properly and is in compliance with the fire codes in Munjoy Hill, ME.

2. Install Sprinklers and Fire Suppression Systems
Depending on your local regulations, you may be required to install a sprinkler system in your building. Even if you are not, sprinklers are a valuable fire preparation tool for putting out small fires before they can become large fires. While sprinklers can cause water damage that may require the services of a water remediation company, because they deploy separately, only the part of the building where the fire is located should be affected. Additionally, if there is any cooking equipment in your building, it is a good idea to install fire suppression systems to douse any cooking fires that might occur.

3. Clean and Declutter
Cooking or manufacturing equipment that is not cleaned properly can become a fire hazard. Clutter can block fire exits or catch fire if it is too close to heat sources. Consider using an outside professional cleaning service to ensure your property is cleaned properly. It is also a good idea to periodically inspect the property for safety hazards.
Fires are one of the most common risks business owners face. However, proper fire preparation can reduce your risks of a fire occurring and minimize any damage that results if a fire does happen. Consider adding these three tips to your fire safety plan.

3 Things To Know About Mold

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a wall Mold can grow anywhere

Mold Prevention Tips

Although molds are a natural part of the environment, no one ever wants to find out that they have mold growing in their building. But how do you know if you have mold? Is mold there, even if you can’t see it? And what is an indoor environmental specialist? Here are three important things you need to know in order to prevent mold growth in your Falmouth Foreside, ME, building.

1. Mold Is Everywhere
Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. It’s impossible to completely eliminate mold; however, it’s important to control mold so that it doesn’t become a problem. Commercial buildings can be susceptible to mold because of high humidity levels, numerous water sources, or unidentified leaks. Many business owners or maintenance managers are unfamiliar with what mold looks like. An indoor environmental specialist is someone who is certified to identify mold and moisture problems. You can rely on professionals in the restoration industry if you think you might have mold.

2. Moisture Feeds Mold
Many people mistakenly think that they can simply wipe mold away. Conversely, the process for remediating mold growth involves more steps. The source of moisture that is feeding the mold must be identified and removed. For example, if mold is found in a bathroom, then an inspection should be done to check the humidity level and ensure proper ventilation. Additionally, pipes should be checked for potential leaks. Once the source of moisture has been removed, it’s necessary to thoroughly clean the area. Mold remediation specialists contain the mold, clean the air, remove damaged materials, and clean belongings.

3. Mold Tests Are Available
Mold can’t always be seen. If you notice a musty smell in your building, then it’s a good sign that mold is growing. A mold remediation specialist can do a mold test to help you find the mold and determine the next steps for fixing the problem.
Mold is present everywhere but only becomes a problem if moisture feeds the mold spores. If you notice any musty smells or water spots on ceilings or walls, then it’s time to get help from an indoor environmental specialist.

4 Steps for Filing a Fire Claim

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out fire in an old building Fire damage in West Falmouth, ME

Here Are Four Steps You Should Take To File a Claim After a Fire

If your business falls victim to a fire, you will have to file a claim with your insurance provider. Filing a fire claim can seem intimidating in West Falmouth, ME, but if you remain organized and work diligently, the process should go smoothly and quickly.
Here are 4 steps you should take to file a claim after a fire:

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider
Reach out to your insurer by phone, email, or through the company’s website to start your claim. Give them your contact information, including your mobile phone number and email address, so the company or the adjuster can reach you if they have any questions or concerns with your claim.

2. Prevent Additional Loss
Secure your property and make temporary repairs to prevent additional damage from occurring. Making these repairs can also help reduce the time it takes for a fire restoration services company to restore your business to its pre-fire condition.

3. Document the Damage
Make a detailed list of the fire damage and submit it with your fire claim. Wait until after the adjuster has visited to discard any damaged items. If you must throw away an item for safety purposes, take photographs of the item or record a video of the damage.

4. Record Your Expenses
Keep the receipts for all expenses incurred from repairing and restoring your business. If your business closes temporarily, provide documentation of the costs to operate your business in a temporary location.
Most insurance companies have websites that enable you to upload documents and check the status of your claim. Using your provider’s website can speed up the claims process, and you can usually access the website at any time.
When submitting a fire claim, be sure to have as much documentation as possible. If your claim is complete and has no missing items, it will be processed more quickly. Taking the time to be thorough and meticulous will help speed up the process once your claim is submitted.

Help! My Commercial Toilet Won’t Stop Flushing

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet, Flushing Water, close up My commercial toilet won't stop flushing!

Commercial toilets in Westbrook, ME, are quite different from the ones in your home. Bathrooms meant for public use typically use a tankless type of flushing system called a flushometer. These types tend to prevent a toilet overflow more effectively than toilets with a tank, but there are also some disadvantages.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The flushometer has some benefits compared to the tank type:

  • No time is required to fill a tank.
  • The high pressure of the water cleans the bowl better.
  • The force of the water dislodges all but the worst clogs.

One disadvantage is that it requires a larger than normal water supply line to function. Another is that it can spread germs more easily due to a phenomenon called a toilet plume. However, if they break and cause an overflow, you need a licensed commercial plumber to inspect the damage, fix the valve, and clean up any sewer water that spilled out.

How a Flushometer Works
In a typical toilet, when you depress the handle, gravity causes the tank to empty, pulling the water in the bowl down through suction. This works very well in most cases, but it does tend to clog if there is a lot of bulk in the bowl, potentially causing a toilet flood.
The flushometer system has no tank, helping to prevent toilet overflow. When the handle is depressed, it lifts a gasket that’s keeping the water pressure balanced inside the mechanism, creating a sudden, large pressure differential. This causes a blast of clean water to create the siphon necessary to flush the bowl.

How To Fix a Flushometer
If the flushometer won’t shut off, you’ll need to manually close the valve to the toilet. There will either be a slot for a flat-blade screwdriver or a hexagonal head that requires a wrench.
However, there’s also a hexagonal head on top of the mechanism. Don’t open this while trying to stop a toilet from running! The shut-off valve will always face horizontal, not vertical. Once this is turned off, you have time to call a professional who can fix the mechanism.
The flushometer system is very low maintenance and helps prevent a toilet overflow. Once you’ve learned how to shut off the water flow in an emergency, it should give you many years of trouble-free use.

A Professional Response to Smoke and Fire Damage

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

Fire has a tremendous capacity for destruction and is one of the most widespread and common risks when it comes to commercial properties. As a result, most businesses have insurance coverage that includes protection against fire losses. When flames do break out, business owners contact professionals to respond to the fire and smoke damage. With the right equipment, these professionals help business owners get their properties back into working condition.

The Scope of Destruction

Experienced fire and smoke cleaning technicians understand that fire damage goes beyond the direct destruction. They take quick action to respond to several fire-related issues:

  • Stains left behind by soot resting on porous surfaces
  • Mold and mildew growth after the use of water to put out flames
  • Corrosion on metal surfaces exposed to water and oxygen
  • Poor air quality as smoke and mold particles hang in the air

The longer commercial properties sit after smoke damage occurs, the more likely it is that the extent and scope of the destruction will increase. The best response to fire and soot damage is to act as soon as possible.

Assessment of the Damage

As professionals arrive at a commercial property to respond, they'll assess the amount of fire, smoke, and water damage. As they begin their inspections, technicians also focused on safety. There are several safety risks inherent in the destruction left after a fire. Experienced fire damage cleanup and remediation professionals are certified and licensed to enter the property. In addition to training and authorization, they have the proper protective equipment to enter weakened structures.

The Cleanup Process

With safety procedures underway, cleanup and restoration professionals are ready to secure entry points and property breaches (such as broken windows and holes in the roof), establish security against further destruction, and begin removing debris. Technicians also remove as much equipment and inventory as possible. At this point, water removal and deep cleaning can begin.

The end goal of the cleanup work is to remove all evidence that a fire took place. When Windham, ME, properties are affected by the fire and smoke damage, the work of professionals begins with safety and results in pristine buildings.

Three Ways You Could Be Wasting Water and Money

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

When you own or manage commercial properties, identifying ways to keep costs down is crucial. Unfortunately, there are a few mistakes that many property managers make that cost them a lot of money. Several of these mistakes have to do with ignoring trouble (such as a water leak) along the plumbing system:

  • "Minor" faucet leaks
  • Slow-draining toilets
  • Hidden irrigation leaks
  • Leaking joints
  • Low water pressure

Any one of these problems could cost you up to hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.

Plumbing Maintenance

The plumbing through your property, including sinks, bathrooms, and landscaping, is generally an efficient system, but it does require routine maintenance to ensure optimal performance. If regular care isn't provided, there are several ways you could be losing money.

One: Increased Water Bill

A single leaky faucet in your Windham, ME, property could mean that you're paying for several gallons of wasted water. If you have several leaky faucets, toilets, and irrigation pipes, the resulting amount of water becomes very expensive.

Two: Damages Caused by Water

Just one unrepaired water leak can cause damage to walls, ceilings, and flooring as moisture seeps throughout the area. A musty odor could indicate mold growth. Of course, if there's more than one source of moisture, the damages may be widespread. As soon as you've noticed this type of water damage, contact a water remediation and cleanup agency right away.

Three: Secondary Damages

Even if you respond right away to a pipe break, it is possible to suffer ongoing damages. This is particularly true if water or moisture made its way into a hard-to-reach or unseen area of the property. High levels of humidity continue to affect those corners of the building until mold develops or warping, discoloration, and rust have settled in.
Are hidden costs relating to your plumbing system costing you money every month? Has a "minor" water leak been ignored to the point that it has become very expensive? Don't take risks when it comes to your property. Respond to any type of plumbing concerns immediately.

Why Is There So Much Water Damage After a Fire?

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Empty building, ceiling collapsed, water leaking from ceiling, water all over floor. Concept of water and fire damage Water and fire damage in a Gorham, ME building

Three Causes Of Water Damage After A Fire

It is hard to know what to expect when walking into a commercial property after a fire. As an owner or manager, you likely expect significant equipment loss because of fire and smoke damage, but what about water? Expecting flood loss after a fire seems unusual. Ask any disaster restoration company in Gorham, ME, and they will tell you water and fire damage go hand-in-hand. There are at least three causes of water damage during and after a commercial property fire.

  1. Hoses
  2. Suppression systems
  3. Pipe damage

The primary source of water loss during a fire rescue may come from a fire hose. These large-diameter, high-pressure hoses can expel hundreds of gallons of water per minute to flood and extinguish the flames. Unfortunately, the flooding of the blaze also floods your facility, and depending on the size and extent of the fire, you may have significant property loss.

Suppression Systems
Water-based suppression systems can also lead to extensive flooding. However, the extent of flooding caused by these systems depends on the type. Some systems do not use water. Other systems that use water may only release sprinklers in areas where fire damage is occurring, leaving other spaces dry.

Pipe Damage
Water damage can also occur because of damaged pipes. The temperatures in violent fires often reach the melting points of certain metals. If the fire reaches these temperatures, pipes may melt, warp or break. Since no one is in the facility, there is no way to shut off the water supply, meaning that water can flow freely from pipes until the system is shutdown.
Commercial property owners should have concerns over water and fire damage if such a disaster occurs. Knowing that one problem can lead to the other may allow you to better prepare for emergencies. Contact your local emergency services or fire restoration experts to discuss disaster planning and strategies.

3 Things to Know About Sandbags

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water barrier of sand bag to prevent flood Water barrier of sandbags in Portland, Me

3 Things to Know About Sandbags

When faced with a storm in Portland, ME, you may be considering the possibility of a sand bag wall to protect your business. Many flood damage restoration services recommend taking steps to mitigate damage before it occurs as a way to protect the property and reduce clean up times and costs. A flood dam is one way to do this. Here is what you may want to know.

1. How They Work

In most cases flood dams work by directing water flow away from the threatened area. Many people choose sandbags as they are easy to build in a variety of protective formations. Dry sand is loaded into the bag, and the bag is then folded and placed to create a wall. When the water reaches the wall it is absorbed by the sand which then becomes heavier, harder to move, and creates a tighter seal.

2. Where to Place Them

When creating a sand bag barrier to protect your business it’s recommended to construct it in a way that directs the flow of water rather than trying to block it. This will put less force on the wall, and keep the water moving to a safe drainage location. Consider setting the barrier up so that the water flows down hill and away from the property, or into a drainage ditch or open field where it can disperse safely.

3. When to Use Them

One of the best ways to reduce flood damage is to know when to use a flood dam. In most cases you may want to consider the use of sand bags any time you believe flooding may pose a high risk to the property.

When making a sand bag wall or using another flood dam type to protect your company it’s important to understand how they work and where to place them to direct water flow. Using these tools properly may help you reduce the amount of damage your business could face in the next big storm.

How Fast Can Mold Grow?

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a building Mold growth in Falmouth Foreside, ME

If your property in Falmouth Foreside, ME, has suffered water damage, you may be concerned about the potential for mold growth. Since mold spores live everywhere, it is especially important to address any wet areas after a water leak or flood. Mold spores travel through the air and attach to damp surfaces, which can lead to mold colonies if left treated.

Important Tips to Remember About Mold Include the Following:

  • Mold can establish itself in as little as 24 to 48 hours.
  • Mold thrives in areas with high humidity, dim lighting, and low air circulation.
  • Mold can form colonies in as little as 1 to 12 days.

Mold Growth

If you suspect that mold is growing in your building, it's crucial to check areas that have sustained water damage. Whether the water is from a small, consistent leak or a major disaster, it can lead to conditions that foster mold. When the mold spores land in the correct environment, they begin feeding and breaking down materials such as wood, carpet, fabric, and sheetrock. This can lead to structural damage if not taken care of.

Mold Remediation

Professional cleanup and remediation services are essential to effectively handle mold growth, as experts have specialized equipment and training to detect and remediate the situation. Not only is it imperative to remove the existing mold, but it's also important to fix the source of the water feeding the mold. If the source of the water isn't addressed, the mold will return and cause more damage, so this is a crucial step in mold prevention.
Since mold can spread so quickly once it is established, responding as soon as possible is your best bet. A fast response lessens the damage and saves you money in the long run. Professionals in the industry have the knowledge and tools to remediate the mold and water damage and return your property to a clean, safe state.