Recent Posts

Where Does Mold Hide?

7/15/2018 (Permalink)

Everyone wants to think their home is pristine. You do your best to maintain a clean environment and try to be thorough with your chores. There's no way mold can be infesting your sanctuary...right? Unfortunately, there are man instances where mold may be hiding within your residence, despite your best efforts.

Mold problems can occur in any home or business as long as conditions are ideal for growth. No amount of vacuuming or dusting will prevent mold growth as long as warmth, moisture and a nutrient source are present.

Here are some common "hot spots" to keep an eye on:

Kitchen

The kitchen is a location that may have moisture issues which can contribute to mold growth.

  • Check under your sink. A small pipe leak may go unnoticed, letting the moisture and water damage sit untreated. Leaks combined with dark spaces are the perfect environment for mold.
  • The sponge dish may have a mold problem. You use your sponge to wash dishes every day, but when you put it back in its dish, moisture may begin to collect and mold begin to form.
  • Under your fridge isn’t safe either. Yes, even your refrigerator may have moisture issues. The refrigerator can leak without you knowing. There is a drip pan under your refrigerator that can collect excess water, but if left untreated, mold can form.

Laundry Room

Your washing machine can be a hot spot for mold. Check the door of the washing machine, inside the gasket. Dark, warm, moist areas are ideal for mold growth. Make sure to wipe under the door gasket after each wash to prevent mold growth. Also leave the door open to air-out the washing machine.

Bathroom

Your shower or tub may be hiding mold without your knowledge.

  • Check under lids and bottoms of shower products. You may forget to pick these products up and clean underneath. Moisture can become trapped under the lids or under the products and mold can form.
  • Bath toys may be fun for kids, but they may also be housing mold. Water may get inside the toys and be unable to get out. This is a difficult location to discover mold. You may need to open up one of the toys to see if mold is growing inside, and if there is mold, replace all of the toys, as there most-likely will be mold within them as well.

Mold does not discriminate and may develop in any property as long as ideal conditions are met. Mold can cause health issues with excess exposure, so it is important to remove any mold you discover. If you suspect mold may be in your property, contact a professional home inspector. A home inspector will be able to conduct mold tests which will be able to identify moldy areas within your home. Once mold is officially discovered, contact a qualified mold remediation company, such as SERVPRO of Providence, to remediate the mold and restore your home to the haven you work so hard to maintain.

If you have mold issues in your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400 to arrange for a mold inspection today!

Understanding the Process of Commercial Fire Restoration

7/10/2018 (Permalink)

Understanding Commercial Fire Damage and the Restoration Process

One of the worst things a property or business owner can experience is fire damage. Unfortunately, the toughest part of dealing with commercial fire damage occurs after the fire trucks have left and the fire is extinguished; assessing, mitigating and repairing the damage is often more stressful than dealing with the fire itself.

• In most cases, large amounts of water - either from fire hoses or sprinkler systems - was used to extinguish the fire; water damage must be mitigated and restored along with the damage caused by the fire itself.

• Soot and smoke will adhere to upholstery, furniture, and other appliances after a fire. It is the responsibility of the restoration company to use the appropriate detergents and cleaning agents to make sure that any smoke damage and soot damage on the floors, walls or appliances has been completely removed.

• The fire restoration process is designed to ensure the house is brought back to the state it was in before the fire. To make this happen, the commercial fire damage restoration experts assess the damage caused by the fire after the cleanup and give a quotation of what is needed to be done, and the cost. .

The quality of the commercial fire damage restoration depends on the competence of the company which you hire to handle the fire restoration for you. It is best to take time, look at the offers on the table from different companies and select the one which best suits your needs.

Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Prevent Water Damage Before It Starts

7/7/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to overflowing toilets and even natural disasters. Regardless of the source, the crew at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can handle any size disaster.

Even though most Homeowners insurance policies cover water damage, it can be easier to prevent the damage rather than go through the stress and headache of the mitigation, repair and claims process!

Here are five tips to help prevent water damage in your home or business:

1. Be careful where you plant

Some plants and trees have very invasive roots; while all plants' root systems will grow and extend in search of water, some can be exceedingly tenacious in their hunt for moisture. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.

2. Clean out roof gutters

Even though it's very easy to put this particular chore off for another day, it can be worth it to perform routine cleaning and maintenance on your gutters If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and other debris, your gutters are not going to be operating at peak efficiency. On a rainy day or during a Spring thaw, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. Simple, routine maintenance can help prevent water from unnecessarily flowing into your home.

3.  Keep an eye on your water bill

"Out of sight, out of mind": Most of the water pipes in a home or business are hidden behind walls or underneath floorboards, which means most people don't typically think about them...until there happens to be an issue. Since they tend to be hidden, you might not know there’s a leak until the damage is already done. The best way to monitor the situation is to keep an eye on your monthly water bill. If the bill seems uncommonly high or is trending upward despite your normal usage, it could be a solid indicator of a leak somewhere in your structure.

4. Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals

Regardless of what you do, clogged sink or shower drains are going to happen from time to time. When these problems inevitably crop up, most people typically reach for a chemical drain cleaner. Although these products tend to be very effective and convenient, they are also comprised of caustic chemicals that will also damage your pipes. Regular use of these substances can eventually cause holes to form in your pipes, which obviously leads to leaks.

A good alternative to chemical drain clears is a drain snake. They're easy to use, readily available at any hardware store and are more than capable of taking care of normal clogs. Plus, you won't have to handle dangerous chemicals.

5. Never pour grease down your sink

It is always best to avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. Regardless of what you to do to "treat" it - such as flushing it with hot or cold water or using detergent to break up the grease - it can still congeal and cling to your pipes, causing serious damage and blockage over time.

The best course of action is to pour your grease in an empty disposable container and either let it sit; once it hardens, toss it in the trash.

No matter how many preventative measures you take, disasters will still unfortunately strike. When you do find yourself in the middle of a water damage, don't hesitate to reach out to the experts at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth!

Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

A Dangerous Way to Celebrate: Fireworks are Fire Hazards

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

For many Americans, July 4th is synonymous with grilling, apple pie and fireworks of all shapes and sizes. While professional shows can be entertaining and beautiful, fireworks are extremely dangerous and pose many risks to those using them. Despite the dangers, few people understand the associated risks – devastating burns, severe injuries, fires and even death.

From 2009 to 2013, fire departments in the U.S. responded to an average number of 18,500 fireworks-related fired. These included 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires, and 16,900 assorted other fires. More than one-quarter of the fires started during this period were reported on July 4th; almost half of these fires were started by fireworks. In 2014, emergency rooms across the country treated roughly 10,500 people for firework-related injuries. Most of these injuries were to the extremities or the head.

Ultimately, the best way to enjoy your holiday and fireworks is to leave them to the professionals; consumer fireworks are extremely dangerous explosive devices. Attend the public display conducted by trained professionals! If you still feel inclined to use fireworks on your own, please follow these safety tips:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  • Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  • Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  • Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!

  • Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  • If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  • Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  • Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

Should you suffer fire damage this Summer, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Mold Myths & Facts

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Molds can grow on virtually anything around the house — from wood, carpet and food to insulation systems in your walls. Mold typically grows where there’s excessive moisture, like in a damp cabinet under the sink or around a leaky window, so it’s important to ventilate these areas and prevent moisture from accumulating.

It’s also critical to prevent mold from intruding your home. Mold usually forms by water or mildew entering through vents and heating and cooling systems and then latching onto the walls of a tightly sealed bathroom with little or no ventilation. Keeping these places well-maintained and aired out will help prevent mold from growing and taking hold.

Despite its prolificness, there are many misconceptions regarding mold and mold growth. Today, we'll look at a few common myths.

Myth #1: Mold Only Grows on Organic Material

Most people assume mold will only grow on things such as wood, paper or food products. In truth, mold will grow on any surface. Even flat and smooth surfaces like glass, fiberglass, and steel are mold-susceptible. As long as mold spores (which are always in the air), moisture, heat and particulate matter (like dust) are prevalent, mold can grow. The only effective strategy to control mold is to control moisture, like installing dehumidifiers and fans in basements and kitchens.

Myth #2: Bleach Kills Mold

While bleach may kill certain kinds of mold on non-porous surfaces, it is not clear that bleach can kill all forms of mold nor kill mold on porous surfaces such as wood. Research is continuing to be done on the effectiveness of bleach as a mold cleanup agent. It should be noted that using bleach to “kill” mold poses its own health risks and is not a recommended solution by EPA or OSHA. Bleach is also very corrosive and can cause further damage if not used correctly.

Myth #3: Mold Remediation is Easy

While most homeowners may be able to clean up certain kinds of mold in small quantities, the fact of the matter is most people simply are not equipped to properly handle mold remediation. To properly remediate a mold problem, the cause must be identified and isolated to prevent the mold from spreading. Additionally, the affected surfaces must be properly cleaned and treated or, in some cases, removed entirely. Unless you have access to the proper equipment, cleaning agents and knowledge, it is often best to contact a professional mold remediation company.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Should you discover mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Returning to Your Home After a Flood

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Floods can be extremely devastating, both to your property and mental well-being.  It can be tempting to immediately rush back into your home after the water finally recedes, but there are a number of factors that need to be considered first. A post-flood home can feature a variety of potential hazards that should be considered prior to reentry.

Gas Leaks

When first entering your home, be sure to open the doors and windows to ventilate the structure and help remove foul odors or leaking gas. Do not turn on any of the house’s lighting; instead, use a flashlight as you’re moving throughout the structure. Open flames, electrical sparks and cigarettes can cause an explosive fire if there is a gas leak. Should you discover a leak, immediately exit your home and contact your service company for assistance.

Electrical Hazards

After a severe flood, there will likely be damage to a house’s electrical system. Avoid turning on lights or operating electrical appliances. Ensure the electricity is turned off at the main panel before checking an individual circuits or equipment. If your basement is flooded, the utility company will need to disconnect the power from your house. If you absolutely must work on live circuits, don’t rely on basic rubber gloves or rubber soled footwear to protect you; only properly rated equipment is sufficient for use around electricity.

Structural Damage

Watch for falling debris and check for possible damage to floors and walls. Knock down any hanging plaster. If you are not sure of the dangers the structural damage presents, call the city building inspector or engineer.

There is a danger of foundation walls collapsing, especially if the basement is flooded. Keep an eye on the foundation walls as the water is removed. This causes a change in pressure and could cause the walls to cave in. To prevent radical changes in pressure, pump about a third of the water out each day. The water pressure needs a chance to equalize.

Drinking Water, Food Safety

Supplies from any source suspected of being affected by flood conditions may be treated by one of the following methods:

  • Mix teaspoonful of commercial laundry bleach with 2 gallons of water. Let stand five minutes before drinking.
  • Bring water to a boil for ten minutes in a clean container. Eliminate the flat taste by shaking the water in a bottle, by pouring from one container to another, or by adding a pinch of salt. If the water is from a public supply, local authorities will tell you if boiling is necessary.
  • Add five drops of tincture of iodine solution to one quart of water. Mix thoroughly and allow to stand for 30 minutes before drinking.
  • Use water purifying tablets, available in drug stores or camping equipment outlets.

Do not use fresh food that has come into contact with flood waters; it will likely be contaminated with any number of infectious agents.

Although we can't prevent floods from happening, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after the waters have receded. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!

Can Your Roof Handle a Summer Storm?

6/7/2018 (Permalink)

Everyone knows our cold, snowy, icy winters can wreak havoc on a roof. Our fast and furious summer storms, however, can be just as damaging as the worst blizzards. Summer storms often arrive quickly and with little warning, which forces most homeowners to be reactive in many cases. It is extremely important to be proactive and prepare or the strong thunderstorms that will inevitably rip through the area.

While having trees on your property brings a number of benefits, they can also lead to unexpected disasters. Trim trees located near structures. If this is not possible, consider removing or relocating them. Additionally, ensure all drains and gutters are free and clear of debris; clogs can lead to water backing up and flowing into - instead of away from - a structure.

Unfortunately, no amount of preparation can prevent all damage. As such, a thorough inspection after the weather has subsided is always a good idea. Some common issues are:

  • Debris and ponding water
  • Cuts and punctures in membranes
  • Edge metal pulled up
  • Damaged or missing siding
  • Damaged perimeter flashing
  • Damaged or missing shingles
  • Damaged or missing HVAC equipment
  • Cracks or wear on exterior walls
  • Damage to skylights or domes

Winter may deservedly carry the reputation as a dangerous season for roofs, it is important to not overlook the damage summer storms can cause.

Should you suffer storm damage this Summer, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened." 

How to Handle Leaky Windows

6/3/2018 (Permalink)

The natural elements can wear down the integrity of any home. Over time, the homeowner may notice leakage around a window, which can possibly result in wood rot, mold and water damage. The longer the leak is left unaddressed, the more the repairs will cost.

Locate the Problem

Even a slow drip can mean that more water is sitting inside of the wall. Once a homeowner notices moisture trickling from a window when it rains, the first step is to carefully look at the wall around the area to find the source of the leak. However, thanks to gravity, appearances can be deceiving; liquid may pool in one place, but that place is not always the leak's origin.

Two common problem areas are the edge and the rubber seal. The gap between the edge and the surrounding wall is usually sealed with caulk. Eventually, the caulk dries out and begins to peel and chip. Like caulk, the rubber seal situated between the panes and frame can ultimately dry out, creating rips in the rubber.

Gauge the Severity of Damage

Depending on the severity of the damage, the window may need to be replaced. A replacement is usually warranted when decaying or softness is found on nearby surfaces. However, even if the surrounding surfaces seem to be structurally sound, the homeowner should not just re-caulk the gaps without getting an expert's opinion on the full extent of the damage.

SERVPRO Can Help

The specialists at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can determine whether any ceiling tiles or drywall have sustained damage. After we assesses the situation, the restoration technician will give the homeowner the best remediation option to make the damage disappear. By acting quickly, the homeowner can prevent expensive repairs in the future. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is always ready to help the Great Bangor Area residents solve their water damage problems.

Do you have leaky windows or other water issues? Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today! (207)947-400

SERVPRO is Ready for Floods

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Greater Bangor area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,600 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (207)947-0400

How to Safely Burn Brush

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

In Maine, one of the standard methods of disposing of brush and lawn debris is to gather it into a pile and burn it. Although this is may be considered to be a time-honored tradition by many throughout the state, it also comes with its fair share of safety hazards.

Consider chipping or composting brush or grass before burning. If you must burn, make sure you know the rules and follow these tips to ensure you burn grass and woody debris safely.

Choose a safe time

  • Burn during the coolest, dampest and calmest time of the day: 2 hours before sunset, or later
  • Fires are more likely to get out of control on a hot, dry or windy day
  • Extinguish fires two hours after sunrise, or earlier.

Keep your fire small

  • Small fires can be controlled by 1 person using hand tools and water
  • Keep your pile of wood, brush, or wood by-products to be burned less than six feet in diameter and less than six feet high
  • An area of grass or leaves can be burned if the area is less than 2.5 acres and the length of the flaming edge is kept to less than 30 metres (100 feet)

Choose a safe site

  • Keep burning piles at least six feet from other flammable material so the fire doesn’t escape by running along the ground away from the pile or burn area
  • If burning an area of grass or leaves, make sure the area is surrounded by a fire-proof boundary, such as a road or a wet ditch.

Stay with your fire

  • If you start a fire outdoors, you must tend the fire, keep it under control, and extinguish it before leaving the site
  • A responsible person must be present to tend the fire at all times, even if it is contained in an incinerator
  • Keep adequate tools and water on hand to control the fire if it begins to spread

Should you suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."