Burning Brush the Proper Way
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."
Workplace Fire Safety
Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace
No matter type of business you conduct at your workplace, fire safety should always be a main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.
- Keep your work area free of waste paper, trash and other items that can easily catch fire.
- Check on your electrical cords. If a cord is damaged in any way, replace it. Try not to lay cords in places where they can be stepped on, as this will contribute to deterioration of the protective outside coating.
- Don't overload your circuits.
- Turn off electrical appliances at the end of each day.
- Keep heat producing equipment away from anything that might burn. This includes copiers, coffee makers, computers, etc.
In the Event of a Fire
- Upon finding a fire, call 911 immediately and don't hand up with the emergency responder until told to do so.
- Close doors when exiting to help limit the spread of smoke and fire throughout the building.
- Never use elevators during an evacuation.
- Follow the escape plan and meet at a per-determined place outside of your building and away from danger. Conduct a headcount to ensure all of your staff has evacuated.
The best way to ensure the safety of your staff is through fire prevention and preparation. Talk with your staff about fire safety in the workplace today.
Should your business suffer fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400! Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."
Myths & Facts About Mold
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."
Is Your Business Prepared for a Storm?
When you’re running a business, there are many things to focus on; whether It’s an upcoming delivery, hiring staff, or the “simple” day-to-day operations, there are many things to worry about. Natural disasters and emergencies usually end up close to the bottom of that list. Unfortunately, all of the hard work and energy put into growing and maintaining your business can end up being for nothing without appropriate storm preparedness. The stark reality is that around 50% of businesses that suffer a disaster never recover; the doors close for good and that chapter comes to an end.
Disaster preparedness is extremely important for every business. With that being said, here are a few tips to help you get ready:
Identify Potential Problems
Is your business located in an area that regularly floods? Are heavy snowfall totals a regular occurrence? Identifying which natural disasters and weather events are more common will help you determine what your business’ risk factor is.
Perform a Business Impact Analysis
While every potential possibility or outcome can’t be foreseen, performing a Business Impact Analysis can help you predict the potential effect a disaster could have on your business. When done properly, a BIA can help you forecast lost or delayed income and sales, delayed implementation of business plans, and increased expenses due to repair work. Creating a BIA can help you identify possible holes in your current preparedness plans and refine your response to emergencies.
Develop an Emergency Response Plan
Developing an emergency response plan is crucial; it is the tool your business will utilize in the event of a disaster. There are many questions that need to be answered during an emergency situation: Who do you or your employees need to contact? How easy is it to exit the building? Where are fire extinguishers located? Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the solution: The Emergency READY Profile.
By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
- A no cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
- A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
- A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
- Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
- Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
- Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."
Ready to Get Started? Call us today, (207) 947-0400.
We're Always Ready For Storms!
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.
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
Why SERVPRO? We're the Pros at Commercial Fire Restoration
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."
What Should You Do After A Flood?
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.
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.
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.
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!
Mold Prevent Tips & Tricks
Three words you never want to hear: You've got mold!
Spring is here (technically speaking) and Summer is rapidly approaching. Sure, we all love to see the snow melt and the temperatures increase...but the change in seasons also brings with it increased moisture and humidity, two things mold absolutely loves.
"You've got mold" is one phrase every homeowner never wants to hear. Mold can be extremely damaging to the health of you and your family and it can be very time-consuming to fight on your own.
Here are 10 methods to help prevent and control mold growth in your home:
1. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter blocks airflow and prevents your HVAC system from circulating air. Furniture and draperies that block supply grilles cause condensation. All this moisture creates microclimates in your home that welcome and feed mold growth. Push furniture away from vents and grilles to keep air circulating. On humid, still days, run a couple of fans to keep air moving.
2. Control Indoor Climate
Mold problems often emerge during hot, humid summers when you’re tempted to play with the air conditioner. But set the thermostat too high, and the air conditioner won’t dehumidify your air effectively; set it too low, and you create cold surfaces where water vapor can condense.
3. Shut Windows and Doors When AC Is On
When you open windows and doors, you let air conditioning escape, waste money, and invite humid air into your cooler home. This causes condensation, which mold loves. So keep doors and windows shut when the AC is humming.
4. Properly Size Your AC Unit
Make sure your air-conditioning unit is properly sized for your house. If it’s too small, the unit will run constantly, elevating costs but not the temperature; too big, and the unit will constantly start and stop, which wastes energy, too.
5. Look for Standing Water
If the air conditioner isn’t the issue, search for standing water or chronic dampness that’s increasing indoor humidity and providing a lovely environment for mold. Check for puddles or dampness around hot water tanks, sump pumps, freezers, refrigerators, basement doors, and windows. Inspect crawl spaces for groundwater dampness or foundation leaks.
6. Cover Your Crawl Space Floor
Groundwater seeping into crawl spaces can add gallons of moisture vapor into your house every day. The simplest defense is to cover crawl space floors with a plastic vapor barrier — 6 mil polyethylene (landscapers’ plastic) — that traps moisture in the ground. If you regularly crawl in your crawl space, use a heavier plastic that won’t rip as easily: Some 20 mil plastic coverings are on the market.
7. Monitor Humidity
An indoor humidity monitor will help you keep track of moisture levels that, ideally, fall between 35% and 50% relative humidity; in very humid climates, at the height of summer, you may have to live with readings closer to 55%. If you reach 60% relative humidity, it’s time to look for the source of the added moisture; above 70% relative humidity, certain species of mold can begin growing.
Indoor humidity monitors start at less than $20; more sophisticated models that simultaneously and remotely track several rooms can climb to $200.
8. Evaluate Your AC
If you get a high humidity reading of 60% or more, make sure your air conditioner is doing its job.
- Is it set to the proper temperature?
- Is it cycling on and off periodically?
- Does it blow cold air when it reaches the set point?
- Are the coils clean?
Inspect the condensate drain pipe (the narrow white pipe sticking out the side) to make sure it’s dripping regularly. If it isn’t, the pipe is blocked and water may be accumulating inside the unit — or on your floor. If you suspect a problem, call your HVAC professional. To prevent blockage and mold buildup, pour a cup of bleach mixed with water down the drain annually.
9. Add a Dehumidifier
A dehumidifier removes excess moisture from the air.
You can buy a whole house dehumidifier ($1,100-$1,800) that attaches to your furnace, treats air throughout the house, and connects to a drain so you never have to empty a tank. If you live in a very humid area, a whole-house system is the way to go. If you have occasional bouts of dampness and musty smells, a portable dehumidifier will suffice ($150-$200).
Most models have an auto shutoff that keeps the unit from overflowing when the storage tank is full. Some portables have a hose hookup that automatically sends water into a nearby floor drain.
10. Call a Professional
If you can’t find the moisture problem on your own, or you aren’t sure how to correct a problem you do find, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth. We can inspect, assess and remediate your property
If You See Signs of Water Intrusion or Mold,
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400
Mold: Always Hiding Where You Least Expect It
Where Does Mold Hide?
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:
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.
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.
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 Bangor/Ellsworth, 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!
After An Emergency, Call Your Insurance Carrier (And NOT Your Agent)!
People often wonder who to call immediately after a major incident. Do you know who your insurance carrier is?
Broken pipes, fires, and other emergencies in your home can be extremely stressful situations. They always seem to happen when you least expect it and can quickly turn everything in your life upside down. After an emergency, it’s important to get things back to normal as quickly as possible; in most cases, this process can be expedited by getting your insurance carrier involved and alerting them to the issues at hand. They, in turn, will help mobilize restoration companies – like SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth – to get on-site and begin the remediation and cleanup process.
Many people are unsure of where to turn immediately after a major incident. There tend to be many questions: Who should I call? Who do I need to contact? How do I report this, especially if it happened after-hours? Unfortunately, people often end up going through the wrong channels and can easily end up waiting far longer than they need to before even letting someone know, let alone getting a company like SERVPRO on-site. In many cases, people typically “follow the money” and contact the person who they send their insurance payments to; this is usually their insurance agent, the person who sold them their policies. While they are very good at their jobs, they’re usually unable to assist their customers during an emergency situation; it simply isn’t their department or area of expertise.
When an emergency occurs, it is typically advisable to immediately reach out to your insurance carrier, the company that actually covers your property and pays if you file a covered claim. Unlike an agent, most of the larger insurance companies are available 24/7/365; you’ll be able to speak with a representative to report your claim and being the process of getting an adjuster on-site to assess the situation and determine coverage. Best of all, they’ll often be able to help coordinate with restoration companies (such as SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth) to begin the clean-up, restoration, and remediation as quickly as possible. Many of these situations are very time-sensitive, so the faster we can get to your property, the better!
Remember: In the event of a water or fire emergency in your home, one of the first phone calls you should make is to your insurance carrier and not your agent. Your carrier is the company who actually insures your property, and they’re the ones who will be able to best assist you during the initial phases.
Do you know who your insurance carrier is?
When a fire or water event takes control of your life, we help you take control back. Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today: (207)947-0400