The Fireplace: A Possible Hazard
Christmas is only a little under two months away, and with Thanksgiving around the corner. It has started to get chilly quick. Even if Maine’s weather can be very unpredictable, there is no doubt that homeowners who have the means to do so will turn to that tried and true source of heat. The fireplace.
Of course, fire is very comforting, but can also be very dangerous. If you are to toss the kindling and newspaper in the fireplace, make sure to follow these important safety tips.
Ensure there is proper ventilation from your woodstove, to your chimney, out into the air. Smoke inhalation can cause respiratory disease and can instigate asthma attacks.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, 21,200 of the fires in 2012 were caused by fires in a fireplace, chimney or chimney connector. It is important to clean your chimney out based on how frequently you use it. Be mindful.
A means to extinguish the fire
A reminder to always have a working, inspected fire extinguisher in every household that produces a flame. Whenever there is fire, there comes the possibility of an accident. Make sure every member of the household is aware of where the fire extinguisher is kept, and how to properly use it.
Lightning Strikes and Their Danger
Lightning has always been a part of people’s lives and depending who you are or your geographical location, it may or may not be posed to be an immediate threat compared to a tornado. Make no mistake though, lightning is powerful and can lead to the damage of yourself or your home.
As a lightning storm approaches one of the safer areas is an indoor shelter with a hard top. Do not mistake a tree for shelter. The risk is much greater if you stand next to a tall object. Lightning will always try and seek the shortest path.
The chance is low, but lightning could cause a power surge to your electrical system, damaging almost all of your electronics. There are surge protectors, however, common surge protectors do little to stop the power of a lightning strike and end up destroying your electronics anyway. The best thing to do is to unplug your electronics.
While in your shelter, make note of the interval between the sound of thunder and the flash of lightning. The National Weather Service states it takes thunder 5 seconds to travel a mile. Count the number of seconds between the flash and the sound to estimate how far away the lightning strike was. The farther, the better.
Remember to seek shelter, prepare, determine the distance of the storm, and most importantly, stay safe.
Tornado season across the country is technically winding down, but that doesn’t mean the rotating columns of wind are gone completely. In Maine, it seems peevish to worry about a tornado, as Maine only averages about 2 a year. However, the possibility is still there and should be planned for in the chance a tornado does come tearing through your town, especially if you live in the western regions of Maine.
How To Prepare
- Have supplies ready for your shelter
- Plan the route to your shelter with your family
- Develop contingency plans in the event the original goes awry
- Listen to your local weather forecast, especially if there is a tornado warning
The Warning Signs
- A dark funnel-shaped cloud approaching
- An approaching cloud of debris
- A loud roar—similar to a freight train
What To Do
- Execute your shelter plans with you family
- Listen to your National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) broadcast to receive updates of the status of the tornado in your area
- Stay away from windows and shield yourself if you cannot
What To Do After
- Stay away from downed power lines
- Do not enter structures unless told or can reasonably assume it is stable
As rare as tornadoes are in Maine, do not underestimate their power and their capability of mass destruction. Stay safe, be smart!
We all love to go to our local lakes and beaches to cool off from the increasingly hot weather. Unfortunately sometimes these large cool bodies of water can pose a risk to you and your home.
When in the flood season be aware of the following areas and their risk:
- Densely populated areas
- The pavement, roads, and buildings restrict the water from being absorbed into the ground
- Storm drains do help in preventing a flood, but sometimes they can be clogged from debris or heavy downpour
- Areas near rivers
- Water can build up and overflow the riverbank, causing damage to nearby homes and possibly farther
- Levees are put in place to prevent overflow, but they can fail
- Areas near dams
- If a dam breaks, a surge of water will flood nearby areas and cause major damage
How To Prepare For A Flood
- Consult your local weather service to find out risks in your area
- Talk with your family to have an appropriate evacuation plan
- Turn off electricity and other utilities
Always be careful around floods, six inches of water can be enough to knock you off your feet. Water can be very damaging to you and your property. Be smart, stay dry, and stay safe.
Things are starting to heat up again, and that means summer is on the way. Not only is the season changing, but so is your list of what you have to keep track of for your home. Jack Frost may have left some damage to your home, and now is the opportune time to assess and repair the damage before anymore is inflicted by a summer storm.
The roof is one of the many crucial parts of your home. It shields the interior from rain and other hazards from the elements. Make sure to check your roof and attic to ensure there are no leaks. Especially be concerned if you see damp or wet areas in your attic. This may have been caused by snow and should be repaired as soon as possible.
Gutters allow water to flow off the roof. Relieving stress from it and removing buildup will aid in preventing leaks. Leaves and other debris can build up in the gutters and stop the water from moving. Clean out the gutters and remove the debris in order to restore water flow.
It is important to check these places in order to prevent mold growth and your leaky roof may cause a moldy attic or even worse.
If mold or water damages your home, be confident to call us at (207)947-0400
Mold At Your Business
What is it?
Mold is a type of fungus. It can be black, white, orange, green, or purple and live almost anywhere indoors and outside. Molds can grow on virtually any substance, as long as moisture or water, oxygen, and an organic source are present. Molds reproduce by creating tiny spores that usually cannot be seen to the naked eye. Mold spores continually float through the indoor and outdoor air until it finds a viable place to land and expand. Indoors, mold growth should be avoided.
Why is it an issue?
Problems may arise when mold starts eating away at materials, affecting the look, smell, and possibly, with the respect to wood-framed buildings, affecting the structural integrity of the buildings. Molds digest whatever they land on in order to survive. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods and insulation, while other molds feast on the everyday dust and dirt that gather in the moist regions of a building.
What should I do?
Your first step is to try and determine the source. If the mold is not visible. We at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth are trained to detect areas of carpet or flooring that have moisture and provide a haven for mold to grow.
If a major mold discovery is made at your business. Please do not hesitate to call us at (207) 947-0400.
What To Do When Your Basement Floods
It’s spring time and that means mud season. Fun for the kids but not so much for the parents. The kids can track mud all over the floor. But even more worrisome is the fact that water can gather and cause your basement to flood. Not just because of the rain, but also be on the lookout for when the snow melts around your house.
When your basement does flood make sure to do the following
- Elevate objects that are on the ground to ensure they do not become ruined from the moisture
- If your basement has a drain, keep an eye on it to make sure it does not become clogged with bits of dirt
- If there is no visible accumulation on the surface, chances are it has been clogged, a drain snake can unclog the pipe
Make sure to contact us as soon as possible to ensure no further damage will be dealt to your household. Call us at (207)947-0400
Why SERVPRO? Your Home
Many homeowners fear many things. Whether it be home value going down, that the mortgage will increase, or the worst of all; damage to your household. Nobody wants it to happen, and it might very well just happen to you, or to someone you know. So what should you do? Contact SERVPRO!
But you may be wondering, “Why SERVPRO?”
SERVPRO offers many services to its community. Which includes but are not limited to:
- Fire damage repair and restoration
- Water damage repair and restoration
- Storm damage cleanup and restoration
- Mold remediation and restoration
All of which we do with the intent to get it done as soon as possible. To ensure we can make your home nice and cozy again, with as little hassle as possible.
Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened." Contact us at (207)947-0400
Duct Cleaning - A Necessary Precautionary Step
If you were to ask any given business owner what the most important piece of equipment in their facility was, you'd likely get a wide variety of responses: From computers to work vehicles, and everything in between, the responses would likely focus on the equipment and tools used specifically during the day-to-day operations. You would not, however, typically hear anyone mention their air ducts.
The air ducts in your business are extremely important; they circulate air from your heating and cooling systems throughout the building and into each room, which allows for a consistent temperature regardless of the season.
The air circulating throughout your business is the same air flowing through the ducts and being breathed by you, your employees and your customers. It's in everyone's best interest to ensure this air is as clean as possible. Regular cleaning of your business' ductwork will help keep it free from dust and other contaminants as well as increase its efficiency and prolong the life of the equipment.
Here are some of the benefits of having your duct systems professionally cleaned:
- Creates a Cleaner Living Environment
- Having your air ducts professionally cleaned reduces the dust that would otherwise circulate throughout your living space, landing on your furniture, your bedding, your flooring…just about everywhere. Fortunately, a thorough air duct cleaning reduces the amount of interior cleaning and dusting necessary to maintain a hygienic home.
- Reduces Allergens and Irritants
- In addition to dust, air ducts frequently contain harmful contaminants and micro-organisms. These include pet dander, bacteria, pollen, mildew, mold spores, and similar toxins. People who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems are particularly sensitive to these airborne particles. A periodic air duct cleaning promotes healthier living…otherwise the dirty air in your home just keeps re-circulating over and over.
- Helps Everyone Breathe Easier
- Even if no one in your household suffers from chronic allergies or respiratory problems, cleaner air makes it easier for everyone to breathe. Even among the most healthy, dust and pollutants entering the nose and lungs can trigger sneezing and coughing, as well as sinus and bronchial congestion. Air duct cleaning creates a more comfortable environment and promotes well-being. Given the choice between clean air and dirty air, which would you rather breathe?
- Removes Unpleasant Smells and Odors
- Pets, household cleaning agents, paint fumes, mold, tobacco use and even food preparation all contribute to stale smells in the air ducts. Every time the furnace or air conditioner is running, these odors will repeatedly flow through the house. Even an accumulation of dust and dirt over the years can lead to a musty scent coming from the ductwork. A detailed cleaning of the air ducts removes all odor trapping particles, resulting in a fresher smelling home.
- Improves Air Flow Efficiency
- Ductwork and registers that have a heavy build-up of dust and grime can restrict the flow of air from the furnace and air conditioner. This means your system will have to work harder to heat or cool your home, resulting in a decreased level of efficiency. Conversely, a clean system will operate at peak efficiency and provide the most cost-effective performance for your energy dollar.
For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (207) 947-0400.
Will Your Roof Hold Up Against A Storm?
Everyone knows our cold, snowy, icy winters can wreak havoc on a roof. Our fast and furious spring storms, however, can be just as damaging as the worst blizzard. Spring storms often arrive quickly and with little warning, which forces most homeowners to be reactive - instead of proactive - in many cases. It is extremely important to be proactive and prepare for 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 carries the reputation as a dangerous season for roofs - and deservedly so - but it is very important to not overlook the damage spring 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."