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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Proactive Cleaning - Commercial Cleaning Services For Your Business

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

The professionals at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth offer commercial cleaning services, including the removal of biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property ready for business.

About Coronavirus

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and has spread to 60 locations internationally (as of this publication), including cases in the United States. The virus known as “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”) is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

Scope of Cleanup Protocol

The SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth team can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building.

Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum.iii These same surfaces are mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces as well, including:

• Kitchen/Food Areas
• Bathrooms
• Schools/Classrooms
• Offices
• Retail Spaces
• Water Fountains
• Shelving and Racks
• Sales Counters
• Carpets and rugs
• Stair Handrails
• Elevator Cars
• Playground Equipment
• Fitness Equipment

Cleanup and Disinfecting Procedures

Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of waste.

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPAapproved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – (207)947-0400

We Are Cleaning Experts - COVID-19 Proactive Cleaning

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of COVID-19, a novel strain of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – [SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth, 207-947-0400]

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Why SERVPRO: The Emergency READY Profile

3/15/2020 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors, according to recent research. Whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a faulty sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time, and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.


Preparation is a key component for surviving any size disaster. The best time for planning for such events is now when the event happens, but before it happens. No one every plans on suffering through a disaster, but you can certainly plan for it. Today is the day to ask yourself, "Are you ready for whatever could happen tomorrow?"


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. 


SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!

How Does Commercial Fire Restoration Work?

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

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."

How To Prevent Water Damage Before It Starts

3/11/2020 (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

IICRC Certification - Why Is That Important?

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

Why should you choose SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth? We're IICRC certified, which means we're very well-versed in the industry standards.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Prepping Your Workplace For A Fire

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace

For most businesses, the primary concerns are achieving their stated goals, hitting their metrics, and handling the day-to-day tribulations of running a business. Disasters and emergencies are typically the furthest thing on anyone's mind, because they seemingly occur so infrequently. Unfortunately, emergency preparedness often takes a back seat to the "normal" curve balls of everyday life.

No matter what type of business you conduct at your workplace, however, fire safety should always be the main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.

Fire Prevention

  • 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 pre-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."

After The Fire: Content Restoration

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions and houses those you love the most. Your business is your livelihood. The team at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth understands just how trying, disruptive and traumatic major losses - such as a fire - can be.

As part of our fire restoration service, we don't just pay attention to the structure; we'll also help take care of the contents of your home or business, as well. Some of our contents services include:

Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technician can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.

Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.

Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technicians begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate; we provide both wet or dry cleaning methods. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible; this includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more.

When a fire takes control of your life, we help you take control back. Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today: (207)947-0400

What To Do When Your Pipes Freeze

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

It's that time of the year again: The snow is falling, ice is building up, the temperature is dropping...and water pipes are freezing. Without thawing these pipes, the ice will expand and potentially burst the pipe.

Here are a few quick tips to help in the event of a broken pipe emergency:

Locate Shutoff Vales - Closing the appropriate water valves (including the water main) will help prevent further water from pouring out into areas it does not belong.

Contact Your Agent - Be sure to contact your insurance agent to notify them of your loss. They can also assist you with filing a claim

Call a Plumber - Unfortunately, cleanup procedures cannot being until the source of the issue has been fixed.

Contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth - SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

When we answer the phone, we're ready to help! Call Today - (207)947-0400

Staying Safe While Staying Warm This Winter

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

As any Maine resident would know, our winters tend to be on the colder end of the spectrum. Although this winter has been fairly mild so far, you never know when the next cold snap will strike. Every time we crank the heat, it's important to remember the hazards involved.

Unfortunately, heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires in the United States. During the period of 2009-2013, heating equipment was the cause of 16% of all reported home fires, which is roughly 56,000 fires; these fires led to 470 deaths, 1,490 injuries and $1 billion in property damage. Half of all home fires caused by heating equipment occur in December, January and February.

Here are some easy steps to help prevent heating-related fires from occurring: 

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Keep an eye on your pets when they're within proximity of all space heaters and open fires, as well.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Heating your home is extremely important during the cold winter months, but it's equally as important to do so safely.

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."

Furnace Puffbacks and You

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Despite the increasing number of viable alternative heating methods available on the market, a large number of people in Maine and New England still rely on oil furnaces to heat their homes and businesses. Modern heating systems are very reliable and dependable; most issues can be readily addressed by a qualified professional. Unfortunately, the malfunction commonly known as the "puff back" is not so easily dealt with.

A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace, similar to the backfiring of a car. While there are a number of causes - such as excessive debris or a buildup of oil fumes prior to burner ignition - the resulting explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace's exhaust system...and into your home.

This soot is not just a powder-like substance; instead, it is black, sticky and will include a mixture of oil that is difficult to clean. Walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture and curtains are coated with a fine film of soot and smoky streaks. Typically, the damage is worse with a forced-air heating system or central air-conditioning, because the duct work provides a path through the house, even into closets. In addition to the soot, a puff back causes a foul odor to permeate your home. Oil-based soot is extremely difficult to remove and needs to be cleaned as soon as possible.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the knowledge and experience to take care of difficult problems such as this. Since each puffback situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your home or business, while also treating your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

In the event of a puffback - or any fire, smoke or water emergency - SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is just a phone call away. Call us today at (207)947-0400

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile: It's Never Too Early To Be Prepared

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

On any given day, most business owners and managers are worrying about the day-to-day processes of operating their business. Perhaps they're focusing on weekly or monthly goals and projects, or an upcoming special event. One thing that typically isn't on their minds, however, is a major disaster - fires, significant water intrusions, or other major emergencies.

As many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors, according to recent research. Whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a faulty sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time, and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.


Preparation is a key component for surviving any size disaster. The best time for planning for such events is now when the event happens, but before it happens. No one every plans on suffering through a disaster, but you can certainly plan for it. Today is the day to ask yourself, "Are you ready for whatever could happen tomorrow?"


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. 


SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!

Handling the Aftermath: Soot and Smoke Damage

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

Understanding the Process of Commercial Fire Restoration

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

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."

Mold: Where Does It Hide?

1/2/2020 (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 many 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 may 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!

Preventing Winter Water Damage

1/1/2020 (Permalink)

Typically, water damage accounts for nearly half of all property damage claims. Burst pipes or undetected leaks can cause damage to the floor, walls, ceilings, furniture, and valuables. It can damage electrical systems and can even cause mold if not cleaned up properly.

Here are a few tips to help prevent water damage this winter.

  • Install a water leak detection device
    Even minor leaks can cause extensive damage if it remains undetected. The lowest-cost leak detectors include sensors, which can be placed throughout the home; an alarm will sound if they detect any moisture. There are a variety of types, with more expensive units providing smartphone connectivity and other features. Your home insurance company may offer a discount for installing some kinds of leak detection devices.

  • Check your water supply lines at least once a year
    Give your house an annual leak checkup to inspect water supply lines for signs of wear. Check for leaks from your hot water heater, washing machine and any other appliances that can leak. Most water supply lines tend to last for about five years.

  • Clean your gutters and inspect your roof.
    Prior to the first few snowfalls, remove leaves and other debris, which can clog gutters and send water pouring down the side of your house or under your roof. During the winter months, ensure your roof remains clear of snow and ice to prevent water backups during thaws. Inspect your roof and repair or replace missing or damaged shingles.

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

Blizzards, Home Damage, and You

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Winter is officially here, which means folks in Maine are eagerly awaiting the next big snow storm. While most people assume the only disruptions blizzards can bring are travel difficulties and requiring quality time with the snowblower, they can actually have a significant affect on your property. Damage to your home caused by blizzards can be severe and difficult to repair. Winter storms and blizzards in Maine can bring about many hazards we need to prepare for.

  • Snow
    • Snow is, of course, typically the primary component to any winter storm. During blizzards, it can accumulate quickly on roofs and other structures associated with your home. If left unattended, this additional weight could compromise the structural integrity of your roof deck. If there are any trees near your home, snow accumulation can potentially result in bringing the trees down on top of your home. In either case, the damage can be significant; the situation is also exacerbated by the colder temperatures during the winter months.
  • Ice
    • Aside from the obvious slipping hazards ice creates, it can also be extremely problematic for your home. Melting caused by the natural insulating properties of snow can result in ice dams, which can lead to significant moisture intrusion into your home. If left undetected or untreated, this moisture intrusion result in a significant mold infestation.
  • Wind
    • Blizzards often bring high winds along to the party, which can easily lead to damage to your home. Aside from the potential for superficial damage, object becoming airborne are projectiles that could easily break windows, or damage siding or shingles; in any case, the end result is intrusion of the outside elements, which can lead to significant problems down the road.

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

Ice Dams - A Roof's Worst Nightmare

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Living in Maine, we’re all used to the conditions Winter brings with it; cold temperatures, high winds, and plenty of ice and snow. When the snow begins to fly, people ensure their vehicles are prepped and their snowblowers are tuned up…but they don’t always stop to think about the roof over their head. Of all of the things Winter brings with it, the most troublesome can be ice dams.

An ice dam is, quite simply, a mass of ice that forms along the lower edge of rooflines; as snow melts on the upper, warmer parts of the roof, it runs toward the colder eave overhang and freezes.  As it accumulates, it creates a blockage preventing melting snow from flowing off of the roof. If left unattended, they can easily weigh hundreds of pounds, and cause meltwater to back up under the shingles, flowing down into the structure of your home. They can easily cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, paint, insulation, and interior surfaces.

The issue of ice dams stems directly from the space inside the attic or the underside of the roof deck. When the air in this space is above the freezing point, it begins to heat the shingles and melts the snow on the roof. If the external air is below freezing - which it typically is during the winter months – this water will eventually refreeze as it reaches the overhanging eave structure.

Ice dams can be prevented by ensuring good attic ventilation via vent systems and adequate insulation above the living spaces below the attic or roof deck, as well as by removing potential heat sources (such as older recessed lighting). If these methods aren’t practical, installing electric heat cables along the edge of the roof and ensuring your gutters are clean  are viable alternatives.

If you find yourself battling ice dams this winter, there are several options to minimize or eliminate them:

  • Use A Roof Rake After Heavy Snowfalls
    • Ice damns can form very quickly when large amounts of snow fall quickly, due to snow’s natural insulating properties. Removing snow from at least the lower four feet of the roof’s edge can help prevent ice dams from forming.
  • Use Ice-Melt Products
    • If you notice an ice dam beginning to form, applying calcium chloride or other ice-melt products can help break them up
  • Chip Off Ice
    • While roof rakes and ice-melt products are most advisable, chipping away at the ice by hand is an alternative solution. Removing the entire damn is not typically necessary, because creating channels for meltwater to flow through is often sufficient. This method does, however, require repeated work; as the ice builds up again, channels previously cut will be sealed and will need to be reopened.
  • Hire A Professional
    • If all else fails and the ice damn becomes too much to handle, hiring a specialist is the best solution. They have the equipment – such as specialized steamers – to melt the ice and snow and prevent significant damage to your home.

If you discover the ice dams too late and realize meltwater has already backed up into your home, there are still options to mitigate the damage. Once the ice is removed and any potential roof issues are repaired, the crew at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is equipped to tackle any water intrusion situation.

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

Is Your Workplace Ready For A Fire?

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace

For most businesses, the primary concerns are achieving their stated goals, hitting their metrics, and handling the day-to-day tribulations of running a business. Disasters and emergencies are typically the furthest thing on anyone's mind, because they seemingly occur so infrequently. Unfortunately, emergency preparedness often takes a back seat to the "normal" curve balls of everyday life.

No matter what type of business you conduct at your workplace, however,  fire safety should always be the main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.

Fire Prevention

  • 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 pre-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."

Holiday Fire Safety: Christmas Trees

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

The Holidays are upon us, which means Christmas trees and lights have been set up in homes for many families across the country. While they're certainly a great way to decorate and get festive, they also pose a very high risk to the safety of your home and your family.

Annually, Christmas trees alone result in $13 million dollars in property damage More importantly, these fires present real risk towards family and friends. When showcasing a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.

IF YOUR HOLIDAY IS JUST NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT A LIVE TREE, FOLLOW THESE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS TO KEEP THREATS AT BAY:

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
  • Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.

When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your evergreen foliage until next year. So this year, follow our guidelines to avoid being another statistic in the National Fire Protection Association or United States Fire Administration report during the upcoming holiday season.

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

Ringing in the New Year with Fire Safety

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

The New Year - and a new decade -  is almost upon us! At this time of the year, many of us resolve to make improvements in our lives. Most often, those improvements are focused on our health, finances, or other aspects of our personal lives. It is, however, also a great time to review your personal emergency planning!

Here are a few tips to help ensure your family is better prepared for fires as we transition into 2020:

  • Test your smoke alarms! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has found that three out of five home fire deaths are a result from fires in properties that did not have working smoke alarms. Remember to test your smoke alarms once a month!
  • Smoke alarms have a shelf-life. Check the date on your smoke alarms – they typically need to be replaced every seven to ten years.
  • Never remove the battery in your smoke alarm without immediately replacing it, especially if your alarms are not connected to your home's electrical service panel. Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a fatal mistake.
  • Cooking is one of the main causes of home fires each and every year. Never leave cooking food unattended and turn the handles of pots and pans on stoves inward to avoid accidents. Always be sure to make sure your sleeves (or other loose fitting clothing) are out of the way while cooking.
  • Don’t use appliances with frayed or damaged cords.
  • Don’t place space heaters too close (within three feet of) curtains, clothing, rugs, furniture, and other combustible surfaces. Never leave space heaters running unattended. Always consider using heaters with automatic shut-offs.
  • Develop an emergency escape plan. It’s important to ensure everyone in the home knows what to do in case of a fire. Develop a fire escape plan with your family and practice that plan at least twice a year.
  • Teach your children basic fire safety tips: Stay as low to the ground as possible, test a door to see if it’s hot before grabbing the doorknob, and know at least two ways out of every room in case of an emergency.

Make 2020 a great - and safe - new year!

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

Meet the Newest Addition to the SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth Shop: The Rotobrush BrushBeast!

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Black and grey vacuum system with red hoses wrapped around it Meet the Rotobrush BrushBeast!

At SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth, our #1 priority is ensuring we can properly service the communities we work and live in. While we provide the much-needed Fire and Water Restoration, and Mold Remediation services, we found an increased demand over the past few months for duct cleaning. Although we were always capable of providing this service to our customers, we wanted to ensure we had the state-of-the-art equipment needed to do the best possible job in any home or business. Enter: The Rotobrush BrushBeast!

With four powerful vacuum motors, up to 52’ of hose, rotating brush heads at the end of the hose, and HEPA filtration in the unit, the state-of-the-art BrushBeast ensures we will thoroughly clean your air duct systems each and every time.  It is in everyone’s best interest to ensure the air flowing through your home is as clean as possible, and regular cleaning of your ductwork will help keep it free from contaminants.

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.

Our goal is to support the Bangor-area communities with the services they need the most. With the Rotobrush BrushBeast, we’ll be able to get your ductwork clean every time!

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (207) 947-0400.

Winter Fire Safety - Heating Your Home

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

The Holidays are already here...which means January is just around the corner. The official start of Winter is just a few days away. which means it's definitely time to fire up the fireplaces, turn on the furnace, and get that space heater out of storage. These are all great ways to keep homes toasty and warm, but they also increase the risk of residential fires. Be sure to follow the safety tips below when preparing to heat your home as we head into the Fall and Winter months:

Fireplaces

  • Inspect your chimney regularly for cracks and obstructions.
  • Don't let creosote build up in your chimney, as it could set off a roof fire.
  • Don't "over build" your fire using too much paper. You could ignite the soot in your chimney.
  • Never burn charcoal in your fireplace. It gives off deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Keep your damper open if there are hot ashes in your fireplace. Closing the damper could enable hot ashes to heat up and cause a damaging fire.
  • Let ashes cool in a sealed metal container.

Furnaces

  • Before you turn on your furnace, have it inspected by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure to check the condition of the automatic controls and emergency shutoffs.
  • If the walls and ceiling around your furnace feel too, add insulation or additional clearance space.
  • Keep all trash and combustibles away from the furnace.
  • Check your chimney for cracks or loose bricks.
  • Seal all unused flue openings with solid masonry.

Space Heaters

  • Make sure your space heater has a working safety light, alarm, automatic shut-off switch, and a cut-off device to prevent overheating.
  • Keep all objects, people and pets at least three feet away from the heater.
  • Never use a space heater in your bathroom. Water and electric appliances don't mix.

Heating your home is extremely important, but it's equally as important to do so safely.

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."

Why SERVPRO? Board-Up Services

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

The image of boarded up buildings is a familiar one for most people. While there are many reasons to do so, ensuring your building is properly boarded up after a significant fire or prior to an impending storm is extremely important.

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through-especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us today - (207)947-0400

Why SERVPRO? IICRC Certification

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Why should you choose SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth? We're IICRC certified, which means we're very well-versed in the industry standards.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Why SERVPRO?: Biohazard Cleanup

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

While SERVPRO is the #1 leader in the restoration industry, we're equipped to handle much more than just fire or water damage! Disasters come in all shapes and sizes; whether it is an act of vandalism or a full on crime scene, SERVPRO Technicians are trained to cleanup and restore messes of all degrees: 

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPRO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the scene.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. Your professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.

Sewage Backup

Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting and deodorizing as they clean.

No one should have to sit in a house or work in a business contaminated with anything listed above, so make sure you call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)948-0400. One phone call to us will begin the process of making it "Like it never even happened."

The SERVPRO Water Restoration Process

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage events - whether caused by broken pipes, faulty roofs, or weather - in the Greater Bangor area are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

How Can Winter Water Damage Be Prevented?

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Typically, water damage accounts for nearly half of all property damage claims. Burst pipes or undetected leaks can cause damage to the floor, walls, ceilings, furniture, and valuables. It can damage electrical systems and can even cause mold if not cleaned up properly.

Here are a few tips to help prevent water damage this winter.

  • Install a water leak detection device
    Even minor leaks can cause extensive damage if it remains undetected. The lowest-cost leak detectors include sensors, which can be placed throughout the home; an alarm will sound if they detect any moisture. There are a variety of types, with more expensive units providing smartphone connectivity and other features. Your home insurance company may offer a discount for installing some kinds of leak detection devices.

  • Check your water supply lines at least once a year
    Give your house an annual leak checkup to inspect water supply lines for signs of wear. Check for leaks from your hot water heater, washing machine and any other appliances that can leak. Most water supply lines tend to last for about five years.

  • Clean your gutters and inspect your roof.
    Prior to the first few snowfalls, remove leaves and other debris, which can clog gutters and send water pouring down the side of your house or under your roof. During the winter months, ensure your roof remains clear of snow and ice to prevent water backups during thaws. Inspect your roof and repair or replace missing or damaged shingles.

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

Autumn Fire Safety Tips

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

The holidays are nearly upon us, and while they certainly are a great time to gather with friends and family, they can also be create a number of hazards along the way. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fire happen each Thanksgiving Day, usually in the kitchen!

  • Never leave your food unattended while frying or grilling.
  • Use a timer and routinely check whatever you’re cooking.
  • If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, and free from moisture.
  • Never use a glass casserole or lid on the stove or burner, as it may explode from the heat.
  • Ensure that pot holders and food wrappers are a safe distance— at least 3 feet!—from warmed surfaces (i.e. the stove). Position those handles so that they face inward.
  • Avoid dangling accessories or loose clothes around kitchen fires.
  • If using candles or the fireplace, keep these sources of fire shuttered or isolated, and never leave them unattended.
  • Never douse a grease fire with water, as the fire can thus spread. Turn off the burner, smother the flames with a lid (wearing an oven mitt!), or douse with baking soda or a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, and know how to use it.
  • Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working.
  • Better safe than sorry. You can call the pros at 1888-674-6854 (USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline) with any cooking questions!
  • Unplug appliances that are small and unnecessary; it’s a smart way to save energy and eliminate potential dangers if something is accidently turned on.
  • After the party, walk around the home and ensure candles and fireplaces are extinguished, unnecessary appliances are turned off, and no potential hazards (leftovers, sharp/flammable objects) are in reach of your kids or pets.

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

Fall Fire Safety Tips

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Can you believe Fall is already here? Temperatures are beginning to cool - especially at night - which means it will soon be time to fire up the fireplaces, turn on the furnace, and get that space heater out of storage. These are all great ways to keep homes toasty and warm, but they also increase the risk of residential fires. Be sure to follow the safety tips below when preparing to heat your home as we head into the Fall and Winter months:

Fireplaces

  • Inspect your chimney regularly for cracks and obstructions.
  • Don't let creosote build up in your chimney, as it could set off a roof fire.
  • Don't "over build" your fire using too much paper. You could ignite the soot in your chimney.
  • Never burn charcoal in your fireplace. It gives off deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Keep your damper open if there are hot ashes in your fireplace. Closing the damper could enable hot ashes to heat up and cause a damaging fire.
  • Let ashes cool in a sealed metal container.

Furnaces

  • Before you turn on your furnace, have it inspected by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure to check the condition of the automatic controls and emergency shutoffs.
  • If the walls and ceiling around your furnace feel too, add insulation or additional clearance space.
  • Keep all trash and combustibles away from the furnace.
  • Check your chimney for cracks or loose bricks.
  • Seal all unused flue openings with solid masonry.

Space Heaters

  • Make sure your space heater has a working safety light, alarm, automatic shut-off switch, and a cut-off device to prevent overheating.
  • Keep all objects, people and pets at least three feet away from the heater.
  • Never use a space heater in your bathroom. Water and electric appliances don't mix.

Heating your home is extremely important, but it's equally as important to do so safely.

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."

Prepping Your Pipes For Winter

9/19/2019 (Permalink)

It's never too early to prep your home for the impending Winter; Fall is nearly upon us, so now is a great time to begin preparing for the colder weather while it's still warm! Colder temperatures can be extremely damaging to your home if you're not prepared.

Contrary to popular belief, pipes don't typically burst at the point where water freezes, but somewhere between the freeze and a closed faucet. When the pressure builds due to ice blockage, it has nowhere to go but through the pipe walls, which can quickly lead to extensive water damage. Winterize your home plumbing, stop frozen pipes before they happen and prevent expensive water damage by properly insulating the plumbing pipes in your home.

1. Pipe insulation

Your pipes are more susceptible to freezing damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Pipe insulation provides you with a first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes. For pipe winterization, add a thicker layer of insulation around your pipes.

Insulate the pipes in all unheated areas, as they are most likely to freeze. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Measure the outside diameter of your pipes to make sure you purchase the correct size of tube. Wrapping pipes in heat-tape prior to insulating adds an extra layer of protection, but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage.

2. Keep a dripping faucet

On nights when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing, turn on faucets along the exterior walls to create a small, steady drip; doing so will allow the water to move and flow, helping to keep it from freezing. This also eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and an ice blockage, so even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst. 

3. Open cabinets

You can stop frozen pipes by introducing more heat. Open all sink-based cabinet doors along exterior walls to allow more heat to reach the pipes.

4. Fix exterior cracks

Note any cracks or holes along the outside walls and foundation of your home. Filling holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can help stop the cold air from coming into contact with your water pipes during extremely cold weather.

 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!

How To Properly Burn Brush

9/12/2019 (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."

The Commercial Fire Restoration Process: How Does It Work?

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

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."

We Are Always Ready for Water Damage At SERVPRO!

8/31/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
(207) 947-0400

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth 

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors, according to recent research. Whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a faulty sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time, and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.


Preparation is a key component for surviving any size disaster. The best time for planning for such events is now when the event happens, but before it happens. No one every plans on suffering through a disaster, but you can certainly plan for it. Today is the day to ask yourself, "Are you ready for whatever could happen tomorrow?"


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. 


SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!

We're IICRC Certified. What Does That Mean?

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is ALWAYS Ready for Storms!

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

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

On top of that, we have the knowledge and experience to tackle your problem head-on quickly and efficiently.

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, reduces the restoration cost, and gets you back into your home sooner.

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.

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is a locally-owned company with the power of a national brand behind it to support any size loss.

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

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes: Tips for Maine Homeowners

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm and Hurricane season is fast approaching. Although we don't typically see the full brunt of these sorts of storms in Maine, we often catch portions of them every year. Recently, the intensity, severity, and regularity of these storms have seemingly been increasing; as such general preparedness during this part of the year is always a good idea.

Here are a few tips to keep your home and family safe in the event of a Tropical Storm or Hurricane.

  • Leave low lying areas. Flooding is a real possibility with strong storms that generate high levels of rainfall.
  • Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters. Strong winds and flying debris can easily lead to broken windows.
  • Secure outside objects. Unsecured objects can easily become flying debris due to high-force winds.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water. Power outages can easily occur and - depending upon the severity - can last for hours, days, or even weeks.
  • Have several days supply of food and water for each family member. Extended utility outages could necessitate the need for emergency supplies.
  • If called to evacuate, do so immediately.

While we don't often see the full power of these major storms in Maine, it's always a good idea to be prepared.

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." 

Mold: Where Can It Hide?

7/9/2019 (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!

Preventing Water Damage Before It Starts

7/5/2019 (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

Fireworks: A Hazardous Way to Celebrate

6/27/2019 (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."

SERVPRO is Always Ready for Flood Season

6/13/2019 (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

After A Flood: What To Do When Returning To Your Home

6/11/2019 (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!

What To Do During Hurricane Season In Maine

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm and Hurricane season is fast approaching. Although we don't typically see the full brunt of these sorts of storms in Maine, we often catch portions of them every year. Recently, the intensity, severity, and regularity of these storms have seemingly been increasing; as such general preparedness during this part of the year is always a good idea.

Here are a few tips to keep your home and family safe in the event of a Tropical Storm or Hurricane.

  • Leave low lying areas. Flooding is a real possibility with strong storms that generate high levels of rainfall.
  • Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters. Strong winds and flying debris can easily lead to broken windows.
  • Secure outside objects. Unsecured objects can easily become flying debris due to high-force winds.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water. Power outages can easily occur and - depending upon the severity - can last for hours, days, or even weeks.
  • Have several days supply of food and water for each family member. Extended utility outages could necessitate the need for emergency supplies.
  • If called to evacuate, do so immediately.

While we don't often see the full power of these major storms in Maine, it's always a good idea to be prepared.

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." 

Why SERVPRO: How the Water Restoration Process Works

6/2/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in the Greater Bangor area are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Removing Smoke Odor From Your Home

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Cooktops and ovens account for over 166,000 home fires in the US each and every year. The reasons behind these fires vary and they may not always cause extensive damage to the home, but there are still plenty of related issues.

Although many smaller fires don't result in major damage to the home, they can still create a mess through smoke, ash and fire extinguisher residue. Small fires, especially in the kitchen, can coat an entire room in smoke and ash even if they only burn for a few minutes. As a result, multiple treatment techniques and avenues must be considered and used. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the experience to assess the situation and develop a restoration plan, as well as the equipment and expertise to ensure the odor is properly taken care of. 
 
Even “contained” fires often require a sizable cleanup job. Ash and smoke tend to coat nearby surfaces and common household cleaning supplies typically are not capable of removing this residue. Protein fires – caused by meat that catches fire – can be extremely problematic; the odors from these sorts of fires tend to be especially strong and difficult to remove. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has access to effective, specialized cleaning supplies that make short work of visible staining, streaking, and odors caused by cooking-related fires.
 
Once the visible damage and been cleaned, the scent of smoke can still linger in a room. Unfortunately, odor particles become embedded in ceilings, walls, and objects; it can be extremely difficult for a homeowner to remove the smell. Without the proper tools and equipment, eliminating the smell of smoke is virtually impossible. Just cleaning the carpet is not enough. We will often utilize use a thermal fogging machine to flush out the odors from a room, removing even the deepest smoke smells. 
 
Smoke damage isn’t simply limited to the room; objects and belongings typically suffer fire damage, as well. Carpets, rugs and other fabrics are excellent traps for ash and smoke particles. Important documents, electronics, furniture and other valuables may need restoration, as well.

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."

Grilling Safety: How To Prevent Unnecessary Fires

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Memorial Day weekend is upon us! For many homes throughout the country, this is the unofficial start of Summer...and to Grilling Season!

Americans absolutely love to cook out; three out of five households own a gas grill, which means there will be plenty of tasty meals this Summer. Unfortunately, it also means there is an increased risk of home fires, as well. An average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year and nearly half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While many people grill year-round, July is the peak month for grill-related fires. Before you fire up the grill, follow these simple times and you will on the way to a safer Summer!

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

CHARCOAL GRILLS

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.

PROPANE GRILLS

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill.
  • If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting it.

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."

Will Your Roof Stand Up to a Summer Storm?

5/15/2019 (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." 

What To Do About Leaky Windows

5/9/2019 (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)947-0400

How to Prepare for Tornadoes in Maine

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storm. By definition, a tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of the thunderstorm cloud to the ground. While they are rare in Maine when compared to other parts of the country, they can still form and be quite dangerous.

Prior to the development of a tornado, a thunderstorm typically begins to rotate. As this rotation becomes stronger, the chance that a tornado may develop also increases. Although the National Weather Service's Doppler Radar generally can not see the actual tornado, the Radar does detect rotation of the thunderstorm cloud; this gives some indication of the possibility that a tornado may be forming or has formed.

The scale used to measure tornado damage is the Enhanced Fujita scale, commonly referred to as the E-F scale. Based on scientific studies of tornado damage, the original Fujita scale was modified and the new "Enhanced Fujita Scale" was officially implemented in 2007.

  • EF-0 - Light damage (winds 65 to 85 mph)
  • EF-1 - Moderate damage (winds 86 to 110 mph)
  • EF-2 - Considerable damage (winds 111 to 135 mph)
  • EF-3 - Severe damage (winds 136 to 165 mph)
  • EF-4 - Devastating damage (winds 166 to 200 mph)
  • EF-5 - Incredible damage (winds over 200 mph)

Tornadoes and Maine:

Peak tornado activity in northern New England occurs between June and August, but tornadoes have occurred as early as May and as late as November. Most tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm and have an average forward speed of about 30 mph. For the 40 year period between 1950 and 1990, 74 tornadoes occurred in Maine. This is an average of about 2 tornadoes per year. During 2016 one tornado touched down in Maine.

Due to the usual short life-span of tornadoes in northern New England, there is often little, if any, advance warning.
Tornadoes in New England generally touch down and then lift off the ground very quickly. Many of the tornadoes that have occurred in the past, have occurred while severe thunderstorm warnings have been in effect. If you hear that a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for your area, be alert for the possibility of a tornado. A low rotating cloud, large hail, and/or a load roar are all signs that may precede the touchdown of a tornado.

Here are some tornado facts and safety tips:

  • Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries in tornadoes
  • The safest place in your home during a tornado is your basement.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of vehicles or mobile homes, they offer little protection. Seek shelter in a substantial building.
  • Do NOT seek shelter under a bridge overpass. Bridge overpasses offer little, if any, protection from wind- driven debris.

Although we can't stop tornadoes or severe storm damage, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after everything has calmed down. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!

Soot and Smoke Damage in Your Business

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within the structure your business is located in, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

Water Damage: What To Do Until Help Arrives

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

Water in unwanted places can easily cause a lot of damage. Not only can it ruin your belongings and mementos, but also damage the house in which they are kept. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. The professionals at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. We'll closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.

As with any emergency, the most important thing is safety. When it comes to water damage, it is important to consider the following:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Water damage can be extremely stressful, so it is always important to keep a level head. The last thing you'll want to do is put yourself into harm's way!

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Have A Water Damage Emergency? 
Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400

Emergency Ready Profile: Is Your Business ready?

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

According to recent research, as many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors; whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a faulty sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.

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. 

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!

Burning Brush the Proper Way

4/23/2019 (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."

Workplace Fire Safety

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Fire Prevention

  • 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

4/17/2019 (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."

Is Your Business Prepared for a Storm?

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

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!

4/8/2019 (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

Why SERVPRO? We're the Pros at Commercial Fire Restoration

4/2/2019 (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."

What Should You Do After A Flood?

4/2/2019 (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!

Mold Prevent Tips & Tricks

3/31/2019 (Permalink)

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

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

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:

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 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)!

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

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

SERVPRO is Always Ready for Water Damage

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
(207) 947-0400

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth 

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire Extinguishers: An Important Tool for the Workplace

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

According to OSHA, one of the most common emergencies small businesses must plan for is a fire. Fire extinguishers can be invaluable tools to help fight smaller fires in the workplace or to protect evacuation routes in the event of a larger one. It is, however, important to know how to properly and safely utilize one.

OSHA requires employers to thoroughly train workers not only how to use an extinguisher properly, but also how to accurately assess a situation and determine when evacuation is the safest course of action. OSHA requires employees to be trained in fire extinguisher use annually, at a minimum.

An easy to remember fire extinguisher training technique to use with employees is the PASS method:

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
  • Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.

Knowing how to correctly operate the extinguisher is not the end of training. Employees responding to a fire also should be trained to adhere to the following protocol:

  • Sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.
  • Before approaching the fire, determine an evacuation route safe of flames, excessive heat and smoke. Do not allow this evacuation route to become blocked.
  • Use the PASS technique for discharging an extinguisher and back away from the area if the fire flares up again.
  • If the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate immediately.
  • If the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled, evacuate immediately.

Fire extinguishers are designed to handle small fires. If a fire becomes too large or the environment becomes too dangerous, employees should know when and how to evacuate the area. If any of the following conditions are present, workers should follow evacuation procedures immediately and should not attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher:

The fire is too large. The fire involves flammable solvents, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, cannot be reached from a standing position, or covers more than 60 square feet in area.

The air is unsafe to breathe. Levels of smoke make the fire impossible to fight without some form of respiratory protection.

The environment is too hot or smoky. Radiated heat is easily felt, making it hard to approach a fire within adequate range of using the extinguisher (about 10-15 feet). It is necessary to crawl on the floor to avoid heat or smoke. Visibility is poor.

Evacuation paths are impaired. The fire is not contained and heat, smoke or flames block potential evacuation routes.

In the event of a fire emergency at your business, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Puff-Backs: A Complicated Problem

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Despite the increasing number of viable alternative heating methods available on the market, a large number of people in Maine and New England still rely on oil furnaces to heat their homes and businesses. Modern heating systems are very reliable and dependable; most issues can be readily addressed by a qualified professional. Unfortunately, the malfunction commonly known as the "puff back" is not so easily dealt with.

A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace, similar to the backfiring of a car. While there are a number of causes - such as excessive debris or a buildup of oil fumes prior to burner ignition - the resulting explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace's exhaust system...and into your home.

This soot is not just a powder-like substance; instead, it is black, sticky and will include a mixture of oil that is difficult to clean. Walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture and curtains are coated with a fine film of soot and smoky streaks. Typically, the damage is worse with a forced-air heating system or central air-conditioning, because the duct work provides a path through the house, even into closets. In addition to the soot, a puff back causes a foul odor to permeate your home. Oil-based soot is extremely difficult to remove and needs to be cleaned as soon as possible.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the knowledge and experience to take care of difficult problems such as this. Since each puffback situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your home or business, while also treating your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

In the event of a puffback - or any fire, smoke or water emergency - SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is just a phone call away.

Call us today at (207)947-0400!

Winter Water Damage: How Can You Prevent It?

2/9/2019 (Permalink)

Typically, water damage accounts for nearly half of all property damage claims. Burst pipes or undetected leaks can cause damage to the floor, walls, ceilings, furniture, and valuables. It can damage electrical systems and can even cause mold if not cleaned up properly.

Here are a few tips to help prevent water damage this winter.

  • Install a water leak detection device
    Even minor leaks can cause extensive damage if it remains undetected. The lowest-cost leak detectors include sensors, which can be placed throughout the home; an alarm will sound if they detect any moisture. There are a variety of types, with more expensive units providing smartphone connectivity and other features. Your home insurance company may offer a discount for installing some kinds of leak detection devices.

  • Check your water supply lines at least once a year
    Give your house an annual leak checkup to inspect water supply lines for signs of wear. Check for leaks from your hot water heater, washing machine and any other appliances that can leak. Most water supply lines tend to last for about five years.

  • Clean your gutters and inspect your roof.
    Prior to the first few snowfalls, remove leaves and other debris, which can clog gutters and send water pouring down the side of your house or under your roof. During the winter months, ensure your roof remains clear of snow and ice to prevent water backups during thaws. Inspect your roof and repair or replace missing or damaged shingles.

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

Why SERVPRO: IICRC Certification

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Why SERVPRO? Content Restoration

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions and houses those you love the most. Your business is your livelihood. The team at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth understands just how trying, disruptive and traumatic major losses - such as a fire - can be.

As part of our fire restoration service, we don't just pay attention to the structure; we'll also help take care of the contents of your home or business, as well. Some of our contents services include:

Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technician can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.

Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.

Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technicians begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate; we provide both wet or dry cleaning methods. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible; this includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more.

When a fire takes control of your life, we help you take control back. Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today: (207)947-0400

Workplace Fire Safety

1/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace

No matter type of business you conduct at your workplace, fire safety should always be the main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.

Fire Prevention

  • 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 pre-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."

Air Duct Cleaning: The Benefits for You and Your Business

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Why SERVPRO: Mold Remediation

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

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.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (207)947-0400

Why SERVPRO: Biohazard Cleanup

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

While SERVPRO is the #1 leader in the restoration industry, we're equipped to handle much more than just fire or water damage! Disasters come in all shapes and sizes; whether it is an act of vandalism or a full on crime scene, SERVPRO Technicians are trained to cleanup and restore messes of all degrees: 

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPRO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the scene.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. Your professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.

Sewage Backup

Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting and deodorizing as they clean.

No one should have to sit in a house or work in a business contaminated with anything listed above, so make sure you call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)948-0400. One phone call to us will begin the process of making it "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO: The Emergency Ready Profile

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Winter is fast approaching, which brings with it many unique concerns and problems to prepare for. Snow may already be coating the ground, but it's never too late to put your emergency planning into place.

According to recent research, as many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors; whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a faulty sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.

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. 

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!

Tips for a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving

11/19/2018 (Permalink)


When celebrating a holiday that focuses on food - such as Thanksgiving - its important to practice good food safety!

No one wants to think about accidents or mishaps during the festivities of the holiday season; they're supposed to be happy, enjoyable days shared with family and friends! With that being said, it's important to remain mindful to ensure everyone is able to share in the holiday cheer together!

Turkey safety—
 the turkey is the biggest star. Make sure he evokes a round of applause—not a round of visits to the bathroom or, worse, the hospital.

  • Buy carefully.
    1. Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys; buy your turkey at least 1-2 days before you cook it, and keep it in the fridge; keep it in the freezer if you’ve bought it earlier.
  • Defrost properly.
    1. Thaw in the refrigerator (every 4-5 lbs. needs one day to thaw).
    2. Submerge the turkey (wrapped in leak-proof packaging) in cold water (every 1 lb. needs 30 minutes to thaw) that should be changed every half hour.
    3. Microwave in a microwave-safe pan, removing any packaging and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Cook immediately after thawing.
    1. Avoid slow cooking or partially cooking the turkey.
    2. At 165 degrees F at least.
    3. Opt to cook the stuffing separately.
  • Use a thermometer on the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as the thickest portion of the breast, to ensure that the turkey is well cooked.
  • Don’t carve at once; give the juices time (20 min.) to settle.
  • Keep Clean!
    1. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
    2. Keep all surfaces and utensils clean.
    3. Never handle cooked and raw food together, in order to avoid cross-contamination.
    4. Keep raw meat away from vegetables or other uncooked food.

Thanksgiving is a social dinner; while talking, joking, and laughing, choking is a very dangerous possibility.

  • Call 911 if the person can’t cough, breathe, or speak.
  • Give the victim five sharp blows on the back with the heel of your hand.
  • If unsuccessful, wrap your hands around the victim’s abdomen and give five quick upward thrusts.

Store leftovers properly to eliminate food poisoning. 

  • When serving, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly, no more than two hours after food has been served.
  • Leftovers are most safely eaten within 3 days, or should otherwise be moved to the freezer.
  • Store food in shallow containers.
  • Reheated leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees F; gravy should be boiled.

Halloween Safety Tips: Keep it Fun!

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

HALLOWEEN SAFETY

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to child safety. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury. 

Hard Facts

On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Trick-or-Treat Tips

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
  • Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. Visibility is key.

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

  • When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
  • Plan a route in advance. Trick-or-treating could take you several streets away from your house, so try to avoid long paths by mapping out a route before leaving the house. Stick to paths that you and your child are familiar with to avoid getting lost.

  • Check your child's candy. When sorting through candy at the end of the night, be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened.

Most importantly, make sure you - and your loved ones - have a spooky time!

Water Damage and Commercial Properties: How the Restoration Process Works

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Bangor, Greater Bangor, Ellsworth, and Bar Harbor commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Safety Tips for Autumn

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

While the holidays are a great time to gather with friends and family, they can also be create a number of hazards along the way. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fire happen each Thanksgiving Day, usually in the kitchen!

  • Never leave your food unattended while frying or grilling.
  • Use a timer and routinely check whatever you’re cooking.
  • If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, and free from moisture.
  • Never use a glass casserole or lid on the stove or burner, as it may explode from the heat.
  • Ensure that pot holders and food wrappers are a safe distance— at least 3 feet!—from warmed surfaces (i.e. the stove). Position those handles so that they face inward.
  • Avoid dangling accessories or loose clothes around kitchen fires.
  • If using candles or the fireplace, keep these sources of fire shuttered or isolated, and never leave them unattended.
  • Never douse a grease fire with water, as the fire can thus spread. Turn off the burner, smother the flames with a lid (wearing an oven mitt!), or douse with baking soda or a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, and know how to use it.
  • Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working.
  • Better safe than sorry. You can call the pros at 1888-674-6854 (USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline) with any cooking questions!
  • Unplug appliances that are small and unnecessary; it’s a smart way to save energy and eliminate potential dangers if something is accidently turned on.
  • After the party, walk around the home and ensure candles and fireplaces are extinguished, unnecessary appliances are turned off, and no potential hazards (leftovers, sharp/flammable objects) are in reach of your kids or pets.

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

Dealing With Mold in the Winter

9/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fall may have just arrived, but the cold Winter months won't be far behind.

To many, mold is something people think is only battled during the Spring or Summer Months. Unfortunately, mold issues can easily arise throughout the Winter, thanks to risks such as the potential for burst pipes, increased condensation, and a greater accumulation of moisture from rain and snow. Regular home maintenance and monitoring can significantly reduce the likelihood of mold-related

Stopping Winter Mold

To prevent mold from becoming an uninvited guest in your home this winter, here are several steps you should take:

  • Clean out the gutters. 
    Mold grows in moist areas, so regularly cleaning gutters will reduce the amount of standing water in which it can grow. If gutters overflow or water can’t drain properly, sections of your house can become damp. Removing blockages - such as ice buildup - will help ensure all water is draining properly, away from your house.

  • Check all seals.
    Houses are designed to withstand a certain amount of moisture; houses are, to a degree, waterproofed and have certain places sealed to keep moisture out. These seals can, however, become worn down, which decreases their effectiveness. Windows are particularly prone to losing their tight seal, which allows rain and moisture from snow to seep in. Similarly, seals inside your house (such as those around sinks and bathtubs) should be checked regularly for leaks as well.

  • Keep your roof clean and in proper order.
    When snow and ice build up too heavily on your roof, or heavy items drop on it (such as a tree branch falling from the weight of snow), leaks can develop. If your roof is prone to snow or ice buildup, you may want to talk to a contractor and look into options to correct the situation. If anything does happen to fall on your house, make sure the roof is checked thoroughly for damage and repaired as soon as possible.

  • Reduce humidity inside your home.
    While you want to stay cozy in winter, a warm house surrounded by cold air can cause condensation and moisture build up. While there are typically structural elements of your home that should help moderate this, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure humidity levels remain low. Using a dehumidifier and exhaust fans can help keep excess moisture out. Make sure to clean up any wet items around the house, such as damp towels and bathmats.

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."

Be Safe When Burning Brush

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fall is officially here, which means it's time to take care of all of those falling leaves.

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 meters (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."

Preparing Your Pipes for Winter

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

It's never too early to prep your home for the impending Winter; Fall is nearly upon us, so now is a great time to begin preparing for the colder weather while it's still warm! Colder temperatures can be extremely damaging to your home if you're not prepared.

Contrary to popular belief, pipes don't typically burst at the point where water freezes, but somewhere between the freeze and a closed faucet. When the pressure builds due to ice blockage, it has nowhere to go but through the pipe walls, which can quickly lead to extensive water damage. Winterize your home plumbing, stop frozen pipes before they happen and prevent expensive water damage by properly insulating the plumbing pipes in your home.

1. Pipe insulation

Your pipes are more susceptible to freezing damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Pipe insulation provides you with a first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes. For pipe winterization, add a thicker layer of insulation around your pipes.

Insulate the pipes in all unheated areas, as they are most likely to freeze. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Measure the outside diameter of your pipes to make sure you purchase the correct size of tube. Wrapping pipes in heat-tape prior to insulating adds an extra layer of protection, but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage.

2. Keep a dripping faucet

On nights when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing, turn on faucets along the exterior walls to create a small, steady drip; doing so will allow the water to move and flow, helping to keep it from freezing. This also eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and an ice blockage, so even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst. 

3. Open cabinets

You can stop frozen pipes by introducing more heat. Open all sink-based cabinet doors along exterior walls to allow more heat to reach the pipes.

4. Fix exterior cracks

Note any cracks or holes along the outside walls and foundation of your home. Filling holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can help stop the cold air from coming into contact with your water pipes during extremely cold weather.

 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!

Understanding Commercial Fire Damage and the Restoration Process

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

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."

We're Always Ready For Water Damage

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
(207) 947-0400

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth 

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Fire Safety for Fall

9/3/2018 (Permalink)

September is already here...which means Fall is just around the corner. Soon, temperatures will begin to cool - especially at night - which means it will be time to fire up the fireplaces, turn on the furnace, and get that space heater out of storage. These are all great ways to keep homes toasty and warm, but they also increase the risk of residential fires. Be sure to follow the safety tips below when preparing to heat your home as we head into the Fall and Winter months:

Fireplaces

  • Inspect your chimney regularly for cracks and obstructions.
  • Don't let creosote build up in your chimney, as it could set off a roof fire.
  • Don't "over build" your fire using too much paper. You could ignite the soot in your chimney.
  • Never burn charcoal in your fireplace. It gives off deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Keep your damper open if there are hot ashes in your fireplace. Closing the damper could enable hot ashes to heat up and cause a damaging fire.
  • Let ashes cool in a sealed metal container.

Furnaces

  • Before you turn on your furnace, have it inspected by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure to check the condition of the automatic controls and emergency shutoffs.
  • If the walls and ceiling around your furnace feel too, add insulation or additional clearance space.
  • Keep all trash and combustibles away from the furnace.
  • Check your chimney for cracks or loose bricks.
  • Seal all unused flue openings with solid masonry.

Space Heaters

  • Make sure your space heater has a working safety light, alarm, automatic shut-off switch, and a cut-off device to prevent overheating.
  • Keep all objects, people and pets at least three feet away from the heater.
  • Never use a space heater in your bathroom. Water and electric appliances don't mix.

Heating your home is extremely important, but it's equally as important to do so safely.

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."

Cleaning Up Soot and Smoke

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

Importance of Board-Up Services

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

The image of boarded up buildings is a familiar one for most people. While there are many reasons to do so, ensuring your building is properly boarded up after a significant fire or prior to an impending storm is extremely important.

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through-especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us today - (207)947-0400

Difficulties of Removing Smoke Odors

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Cooktops and ovens account for over 166,000 home fires in the US each and every year. The reasons behind these fires vary and they may not always cause extensive damage to the home, but there are still plenty of related issues.

Although many smaller fires don't result in major damage to the home, they can still create a mess through smoke, ash and fire extinguisher residue. Small fires, especially in the kitchen, can coat an entire room in smoke and ash even if they only burn for a few minutes. As a result, multiple treatment techniques and avenues must be considered and used. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the experience to assess the situation and develop a restoration plan, as well as the equipment and expertise to ensure the odor is properly taken care of. 
 
Even “contained” fires often require a sizable cleanup job. Ash and smoke tend to coat nearby surfaces and common household cleaning supplies typically are not capable of removing this residue. Protein fires – caused by meat that catches fire – can be extremely problematic; the odors from these sorts of fires tend to be especially strong and difficult to remove. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has access to effective, specialized cleaning supplies that make short work of visible staining, streaking, and odors caused by cooking-related fires.
 
Once the visible damage and been cleaned, the scent of smoke can still linger in a room. Unfortunately, odor particles become embedded in ceilings, walls, and objects; it can be extremely difficult for a homeowner to remove the smell. Without the proper tools and equipment, eliminating the smell of smoke is virtually impossible. Just cleaning the carpet is not enough. We will often utilize use a thermal fogging machine to flush out the odors from a room, removing even the deepest smoke smells. 
 
Smoke damage isn’t simply limited to the room; objects and belongings typically suffer fire damage, as well. Carpets, rugs and other fabrics are excellent traps for ash and smoke particles. Important documents, electronics, furniture and other valuables may need restoration, as well.

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."

When It Comes to Water Damage, Let The Professionals Take Care Of You

8/4/2018 (Permalink)

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of deadly substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of deadly pathogens.

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

Tropical Storm and Hurricane Safety Tips for Maine

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm and Hurricane season is fast approaching. Although we don't typically see the full brunt of these sorts of storms in Maine, we often catch portions of them every year. Recently, the intensity, severity, and regularity of these storms have seemingly been increasing; as such general preparedness during this part of the year is always a good idea.

Here are a few tips to keep your home and family safe in the event of a Tropical Storm or Hurricane.

  • Leave low lying areas. Flooding is a real possibility with strong storms that generate high levels of rainfall.
  • Protect windows with plywood boards, or storm shutters. Strong winds and flying debris can easily lead to broken windows.
  • Secure outside objects. Unsecured objects can easily become flying debris due to high-force winds.
  • Make sure you have plenty of fuel and water. Power outages can easily occur and - depending upon the severity - can last for hours, days, or even weeks.
  • Have several days supply of food and water for each family member. Extended utility outages could necessitate the need for emergency supplies.
  • If called to evacuate, do so immediately.

While we don't often see the full power of these major storms in Maine, it's always a good idea to be prepared.

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." 

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."

Grilling The Right Way: Cookout Safety Tips

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Memorial Day weekend is upon us! For many homes throughout the country, this is the unofficial start of Summer...and to Grilling Season!

Americans absolutely love to cook out; three out of five households own a gas grill, which means there will be plenty of tasty meals this Summer. Unfortunately, it also means there is an increased risk of home fires, as well. An average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year and nearly half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While many people grill year-round, July is the peak month for grill-related fires. Before you fire up the grill, follow these simple times and you will on the way to a safer Summer!

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

CHARCOAL GRILLS

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.

PROPANE GRILLS

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill.
  • If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting it.

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 Prevention Tips

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Three words you never want to hear: You've got mold!

Spring and Summer are 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 Mold, 
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

Emergency READY Profile: Is Your Business Ready?

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

As we move into the warmer months of the year, many business owners in Maine stop worrying about the potential for a major disaster. The temperatures may be higher, the sun may be shining and no one is shoveling snow...but, disasters can still strike. It's never to early to worry about preparedness. 

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

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.

Mold Tips: What To Do If You Suspect Mold

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

    • Stay out of affected areas.
    • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
    • Contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

    • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
    • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
    • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
    • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

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.

Your Home and Lightning Storms

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

Although houses and other substantial building offer the best protection from lightning, each year many homes across the United States are struck by lightning. In fact, on average, lightning causes about 4400 house fires and 1800 other structural fires each year, some of which are deadly. All totaled, lightning causes nearly $1 billion in damages each year.

There are three main ways lightning enters homes and buildings: (1) a direct strike, (2) through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure, and (3) through the ground. Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a structure, the lightning can travel through the electrical and phone wires, the plumbing, and/or radio and television reception systems.

Indoor safety depends on avoiding contact with items that could conduct lightning within the home. Here are some indoor safety tips to follow when a thunderstorm is in the area.

  1. Don't touch electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so WELL BEFORE the storm arrives.

  2. Stay off corded phones.

  3. Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes, or do laundry.

  4. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

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."

Why SERVPRO: Commercial Fire Restoration

5/1/2018 (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."

Preparing for Tornadoes in Maine

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storm. By definition, a tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of the thunderstorm cloud to the ground. While they are rare in Maine when compared to other parts of the country, they can still form and be quite dangerous.

Prior to the development of a tornado, a thunderstorm typically begins to rotate. As this rotation becomes stronger, the chance that a tornado may develop also increases. Although the National Weather Service's Doppler Radar generally can not see the actual tornado, the Radar does detect rotation of the thunderstorm cloud; this gives some indication of the possibility that a tornado may be forming or has formed.

The scale used to measure tornado damage is the Enhanced Fujita scale, commonly referred to as the E-F scale. Based on scientific studies of tornado damage, the original Fujita scale was modified and the new "Enhanced Fujita Scale" was officially implemented in 2007.

  • EF-0 - Light damage (winds 65 to 85 mph)
  • EF-1 - Moderate damage (winds 86 to 110 mph)
  • EF-2 - Considerable damage (winds 111 to 135 mph)
  • EF-3 - Severe damage (winds 136 to 165 mph)
  • EF-4 - Devastating damage (winds 166 to 200 mph)
  • EF-5 - Incredible damage (winds over 200 mph)

Tornadoes and Maine:

Peak tornado activity in northern New England occurs between June and August, but tornadoes have occurred as early as May and as late as November. Most tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm and have an average forward speed of about 30 mph. For the 40 year period between 1950 and 1990, 74 tornadoes occurred in Maine. This is an average of about 2 tornadoes per year. During 2016 one tornado touched down in Maine.

Due to the usual short life-span of tornadoes in northern New England, there is often little, if any, advance warning.
Tornadoes in New England generally touch down and then lift off the ground very quickly. Many of the tornadoes that have occurred in the past, have occurred while severe thunderstorm warnings have been in effect. If you hear that a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for your area, be alert for the possibility of a tornado. A low rotating cloud, large hail, and/or a load roar are all signs that may precede the touchdown of a tornado.

Here are some tornado facts and safety tips:

  • Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries in tornadoes
  • The safest place in your home during a tornado is your basement.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of vehicles or mobile homes, they offer little protection. Seek shelter in a substantial building.
  • Do NOT seek shelter under a bridge overpass. Bridge overpasses offer little, if any, protection from wind- driven debris.

Although we can't stop tornadoes or severe storm damage, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after everything has calmed down. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!

Managing Mold Issues in Your Home

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

When left unchecked, moisture and mold can become a severe, serious problem.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (207)947-0400

How Air Duct Cleaning Can Benefit Your Business

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Spring Yard Work Safety

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is more or less in full-swing, which means it's time to hit the yard and start the post-winter cleanup and repairs. Before you head outside, it's important to keep safety in mind.

Here are a few tips to help keep you and your family safe during your Spring clean-up.

1) Know your equipment. Before operating your lawn equipment, read the owner’s manual and all of the safety information. Be sure to check with the manufacturers for any safety recalls, as well.

2) Practice Ladder Safety. Always ensure sure your ladder is firmly set on a level surface. Never set ladders on boxes or other objects to make the ladder reach higher areas.  Lock or barricade any doors that may open toward ladders. Never stand on the top rung or step of a ladder.

3) Protect your body. Always wear protective gear; lawnmowers hit rocks, sticks and other items which can be turned into flying projectiles. Wear long pants to protect your legs from flying objects and wear non-slip, closed-toe shoes. Sunglasses will protect you from sun and earplugs can eliminate loud noises from machinery.

4) Properly tools and materials. Stepping on, landing on or being hit with garden tools like shovels, rakes, and trowels can cause a number of potentially severe injuries. Do not use these tools when in close proximity to children. When not in use, store them in safe, enclosed areas.  If you have small children or pets, weed killer or lawn fertilizer can be deadly.  Seal bags and store at heights where small children cannot get in to potentially harmful materials.

5) Be aware of electricity. Don’t leave electrical tools plugged in while not in use. When ready to use a tool, make sure equipment is in the off position before you plug it in. And, as is obvious, always turn equipment off and unplug it from an outlet before you attempt to fix the machinery.

Fire Extinguishers: Using them Safely in the Workplace

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

According to OSHA, one of the most common emergencies small businesses must plan for is a fire. Fire extinguishers can be invaluable tools to help fight smaller fires in the workplace or to protect evacuation routes in the event of a larger one. It is, however, important to know how to properly and safely utilize one.

OSHA requires employers to thoroughly train workers not only how to use an extinguisher properly, but also how to accurately assess a situation and determine when evacuation is the safest course of action. OSHA requires employees to be trained in fire extinguisher use annually, at a minimum.

An easy to remember fire extinguisher training technique to use with employees is the PASS method:

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
  • Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.

Knowing how to correctly operate the extinguisher is not the end of training. Employees responding to a fire also should be trained to adhere to the following protocol:

  • Sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.
  • Before approaching the fire, determine an evacuation route safe of flames, excessive heat and smoke. Do not allow this evacuation route to become blocked.
  • Use the PASS technique for discharging an extinguisher and back away from the area if the fire flares up again.
  • If the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate immediately.
  • If the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled, evacuate immediately.

Fire extinguishers are designed to handle small fires. If a fire becomes too large or the environment becomes too dangerous, employees should know when and how to evacuate the area. If any of the following conditions are present, workers should follow evacuation procedures immediately and should not attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher:

The fire is too large. The fire involves flammable solvents, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, cannot be reached from a standing position, or covers more than 60 square feet in area.

The air is unsafe to breathe. Levels of smoke make the fire impossible to fight without some form of respiratory protection.

The environment is too hot or smoky. Radiated heat is easily felt, making it hard to approach a fire within adequate range of using the extinguisher (about 10-15 feet). It is necessary to crawl on the floor to avoid heat or smoke. Visibility is poor.

Evacuation paths are impaired. The fire is not contained and heat, smoke or flames block potential evacuation routes.

In the event of a fire emergency at your business, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO is Ready for Storms in Bangor!

4/9/2018 (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

Maine Flood Safety

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Typically, when seasonal flooding occurs in Maine, we usually have some advance notice and the National Weather Service issues flood watches and warnings. It gives us time to prepare and, if necessary, evacuate an affected area.

Flash floods, however, are quite a bit different; they can happen whenever we get too much rain in a small period of time, at any point during a year. Warnings are issued, but there may be little or no advance notice and flood waters can rapidly move into an area.

Flood Facts:

  • A car or small truck will float in as little as two feet of water. If your vehicle begins to float, you lose control over the vehicle. If your vehicle stalls in a flooded roadway, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. The water may sweep the vehicle and its occupants away.
  • Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related.

Flood Fatalities in Maine

  • In 1996, heavy rain caused serious flooding in New Hampshire and western Maine. A Scarborough, Maine man drowned when he drove his car into a flooded roadway where the road had washed away.
  • In 2004, a man died in Gardiner when attempting to kayak in a swollen stream. Rushing flood water may look exciting to the amateur canoeist or boater, but it has incredible power and may be carrying hidden debris.
  • In 2007, a woman and her little granddaughter in Limerick were swept away when they tried to walk through flood water.
  • In 2012, a Milo man was killed when he drove into a washed-out section of road.

Safety Tips:

  • Never drive a car into a flooded roadway as the road underneath may be washed out.
  • Stay clear of streams during heavy rainfall events. Swiftly moving water is extremely powerful and can easily overpower a person.
  • Do not attempt recreational boating in flood water. The current can be powerful and there may be heavy debris swept along in the water, making it extremely dangerous.
  • Keep children and pets inside and away from flooded streets, culverts, and streams.
  • Report flooding to the appropriate authorities.
  • Obey road blocks and barriers, even if the flooding has receded. Flood waters may have undercut the road surface or left dangerous debris in the roadway.
  • If you live in a flood prone area, have a plan in case the water starts rising quickly.
  • Know your evacuation route and if advised to evacuate do so immediately.

Although we can't stop the flood waters, 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: Hiding Where You Least Expect It

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

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:

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 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!

Water Damage: What Should You Do Until Help Arrives?

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

What you can do until help arrives

Water in unwanted places can easily cause a lot of damage. Not only can it ruin your belongings and mementos, but also damage the house in which they are kept. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. The professionals at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. We'll closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.

As with any emergency, the most important thing is safety. When it comes to water damage, it is important to consider the following:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Water damage can be extremely stressful, so it is always important to keep a level head. The last thing you'll want to do is put yourself into harm's way!

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Have A Water Damage Emergency? 
Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400

Fire Safety in the Workplace

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips for the Workplace

No matter type of business you conduct at your workplace, fire safety should always be the main concern. Here are a few fire safety tips you can distribute to your staff.

Fire Prevention

  • 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 pre-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."

Content Restoration: An Important Aspect of Any Restoration Job

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions and houses those you love the most. Your business is your livelihood. The team at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth understands just how trying, disruptive and traumatic major losses - such as a fire - can be.

As part of our fire restoration service, we don't just pay attention to the structure; we'll also help take care of the contents of your home or business, as well. Some of our contents services include:

Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technician can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.

Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.

Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technicians begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate; we provide both wet or dry cleaning methods. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible; this includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more.

When a fire takes control of your life, we help you take control back. Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today: (207)947-0400

What To Do When Your Windows Leak

3/12/2018 (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 assess 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)947-0400

Biohazard Clean-Up: A Necessary Service

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

While SERVPRO is the #1 leader in the restoration industry, we're equipped to handle much more than just fire or water damage! Disasters come in all shapes and sizes; whether it is an act of vandalism or a full on crime scene, SERVPRO Technicians are trained to cleanup and restore messes of all degrees: 

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPRO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the scene.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. Your professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.

Sewage Backup

Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting and deodorizing as they clean.

No one should have to sit in a house or work in a business contaminated with anything listed above, so make sure you call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)948-0400. One phone call to us will begin the process of making it "Like it never even happened."

Furnace Puff Back: A Difficult Mess

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Despite the increasing number of viable alternative heating methods available on the market, a large number of people in Maine and New England still rely on oil furnaces to heat their homes and businesses. Modern heating systems are very reliable and dependable; most issues can be readily addressed by a qualified professional. Unfortunately, the malfunction commonly known as the "puff back" is not so easily dealt with.

A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace, similar to the backfiring of a car. While there are a number of causes - such as excessive debris or a buildup of oil fumes prior to burner ignition - the resulting explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace's exhaust system...and into your home.

This soot is not just a powder-like substance; instead, it is black, sticky and will include a mixture of oil that is difficult to clean. Walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture and curtains are coated with a fine film of soot and smoky streaks. Typically, the damage is worse with a forced-air heating system or central air-conditioning, because the duct work provides a path through the house, even into closets. In addition to the soot, a puff back causes a foul odor to permeate your home. Oil-based soot is extremely difficult to remove and needs to be cleaned as soon as possible.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the knowledge and experience to take care of difficult problems such as this. Since each puffback situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your home or business, while also treating your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

In the event of a puffback - or any fire, smoke or water emergency - SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is just a phone call away.

Call us today at (207)947-0400!

Winter Water Damage: A Preventable Problem

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

Typically, water damage accounts for nearly half of all property damage claims. Burst pipes or undetected leaks can cause damage to the floor, walls, ceilings, furniture, and valuables. It can damage electrical systems and can even cause mold if not cleaned up properly.

Here are a few tips to help prevent water damage this winter.

  • Install a water leak detection device.
    Even minor leaks can cause extensive damage if it remains undetected. The lowest-cost leak detectors include sensors, which can be placed throughout the home; an alarm will sound if they detect any moisture. There are a variety of types, with more expensive units providing smartphone connectivity and other features. Your home insurance company may offer a discount for installing some kinds of leak detection devices.

  • Check your water supply lines at least once a year.
    Give your house an annual leak checkup to inspect water supply lines for signs of wear. Check for leaks from your hot water heater, washing machine and any other appliances that can leak. Most water supply lines tend to last for about five years.

  • Clean your gutters and inspect your roof.
    Prior to the first few snowfalls, remove leaves and other debris, which can clog gutters and send water pouring down the side of your house or under your roof. During the winter months, ensure your roof remains clear of snow and ice to prevent water backups during thaws. Inspect your roof and repair or replace missing or damaged shingles.

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

IICRC Certification: Why It's Important

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

24-Hour Water Damage Service

1/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
(207) 947-0400

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth 

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After Suffering Water Damage

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Bangor, Greater Bangor, Ellsworth, and Bar Harbor commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Emergency Ready Profile: Be Ready and Prepared!

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

According to recent research, as many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors; whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a fault sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as  important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.

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. 

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

WInter Mold: How to Keep Mold Out of Your Home

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

To many, mold is something people think is only battled during the Spring or Summer Months. Unfortunately, mold issues can easily arise throughout the Winter, thanks to risks such as the potential for burst pipes, increased condensation, and a greater accumulation of moisture from rain and snow. Regular home maintenance and monitoring can significantly reduce the likelihood of mold-related

Stopping Winter Mold

To prevent mold from becoming an uninvited guest in your home this winter, here are several steps you should take:

  • Clean out the gutters. 
    Mold grows in moist areas, so regularly cleaning gutters will reduce the amount of standing water in which it can grow. If gutters overflow or water can’t drain properly, sections of your house can become damp. Removing blockages - such as ice buildup - will help ensure all water is draining properly, away from your house.

  • Check all seals.
    Houses are designed to withstand a certain amount of moisture; houses are, to a degree, waterproofed and have certain places sealed to keep moisture out. These seals can, however, become worn down, which decreases their effectiveness. Windows are particularly prone to losing their tight seal, which allows rain and moisture from snow to seep in. Similarly, seals inside your house (such as those around sinks and bathtubs) should be checked regularly for leaks as well.

  • Keep your roof clean and in proper order.
    When snow and ice build up too heavily on your roof, or heavy items drop on it (such as a tree branch falling from the weight of snow), leaks can develop. If your roof is prone to snow or ice buildup, you may want to talk to a contractor and look into options to correct the situation. If anything does happen to fall on your house, make sure the roof is checked thoroughly for damage and repaired as soon as possible.

  • Reduce humidity inside your home.
    While you want to stay cozy in winter, a warm house surrounded by cold air can cause condensation and moisture build up. While there are typically structural elements of your home that should help moderate this, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure humidity levels remain low. Using a dehumidifier and exhaust fans can help keep excess moisture out. Make sure to clean up any wet items around the house, such as damp towels and bathmats.

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."

Board Up: Another Service We Offer

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

The image of boarded up buildings is a familiar one for most people. While there are many reasons to do so, ensuring your building is properly boarded up after a significant fire or prior to an impending storm is extremely important.

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through-especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us today - (207)947-0400

Fire Safety for the New Year

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

The New Year is almost upon us and many of us resolve to make improvements in our lives. Most often, those improvements are focused on our health or finances, its also a great time to review your personal emergency planning. Here are a few tips to help ensure your family is better prepared for fires going into 2018:

  • Test your smoke alarms! The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has found that three out of five home fire deaths are a result from fires in properties that did not have working smoke alarms. Remember to test your smoke alarms once a month!
  • Smoke alarms have a shelf-life. Check the date on your smoke alarms – they typically need to be replaced every seven to ten years.
  • Never remove the battery in your smoke alarm without immediately replacing it, especially if your alarms are not connected to your home's electrical service panel. Disabling a smoke alarm or removing the battery can be a fatal mistake.
  • Cooking is one of the main causes of home fires each and every year. Never leave cooking food unattended and turn the handles of pots and pans on stoves inward to avoid accidents. Always be sure to make sure your sleeves (or other loose fitting clothing) are out of the way while cooking.
  • Don’t use appliances with frayed or damaged cords.
  • Don’t place space heaters too close (within three feet of) curtains, clothing, rugs, furniture, and other combustible surfaces. Never leave space heaters running unattended. Always consider using heaters with automatic shut-offs.
  • Develop an emergency escape plan. It’s important to ensure everyone in the home knows what to do in case of a fire. Develop a fire escape plan with your family and practice that plan at least twice a year.
  • Teach your children basic fire safety tips: Stay as low to the ground as possible, test a door to see if it’s hot before grabbing the doorknob, and know at least two ways out of every room in case of an emergency.

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

Winter Driving Tips

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Severe weather can be both frightening and dangerous for automobile travel. Motorists should know the safety rules for dealing with winter road emergencies. AAA reminds motorists to be cautious while driving in adverse weather. 

General winter driving tips:

  • Avoid driving while you’re fatigued. Getting the proper amount of rest before taking on winter weather tasks reduces driving risks.
  • Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed area, such as a garage.
  • Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  • Never mix radial tires with other tire types.
  • Keep your gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line freeze-up.
  • If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
  • Always look and steer where you want to go.
  • Use your seat belt every time you get into your vehicle.

Tips for long-distance winter trips:

  • Watch weather reports prior to a long-distance drive or before driving in isolated areas. Delay trips when especially bad weather is expected. If you must leave, let others know your route, destination and estimated time of arrival.
  • Always make sure your vehicle is in peak operating condition by having it inspected by a AAA Approved Auto Repair facility.
  • Keep at least half a tank of gasoline in your vehicle at all times.
  • Pack a cellular telephone with your local AAA’s telephone number, plus blankets, gloves, hats, food, water and any needed medication in your vehicle.
  • If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
  • Never over-exert yourself if you try to push or dig your vehicle out of the snow.
  • If you must pull over or go off the road, tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It only uses a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
  • Ensure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
  • Use whatever is available to insulate your body from the cold. This could include floor mats, newspapers or paper maps.
  • If possible, run the engine and heater just long enough to remove the chill and to conserve gasoline.

Tips for driving in the snow:

  • Accelerate and decelerate slowly. Applying the gas slowly to accelerate is the best method for regaining traction and avoiding skids. Don’t try to get moving in a hurry. And take time to slow down for a stoplight. Remember: It takes longer to slow down on icy roads.
  • Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement. Give yourself time to maneuver!
  • The normal dry pavement following distance of three to four seconds should be increased to eight to ten seconds. This increased margin of safety will provide the longer distance needed if you have to stop.
  • Know your brakes. Whether you have antilock brakes or not, the best way to stop is threshold breaking. Keep the heel of your foot on the floor and use the ball of your foot to apply firm, steady pressure on the brake pedal.
  • Don't use excessive force; "jamming/slamming" the breaks on an icy or snowy road can cause your vehicle to skid. Losing control of your vehicle in snowy or icy conditions is far from ideal.
  • Don’t stop, if at all possible. There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do so.
  • Don’t power up hills. Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads just starts your wheels spinning. Instead, try to get some inertia before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you crest the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.
  • Don’t stop going up a hill. There’s nothing worse than trying to get moving up a hill on an icy road. Gain inertia on a flat roadway before you take on the hill.
  • Stay home. If you really don’t have to go out, don’t. Even if you can drive well in the snow, not everyone else can. Don’t tempt fate: If you don’t have somewhere you have to be, watch the snow from indoors.

Winter Storms: Prepare Your Home For The Worst

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Surviving a winter storm involves more than just having shovels on hand while making sure the cupboards are stocked with bread and milk. It’s about fixing potential winter or blizzard to your home or possibly preventing it from happening at all.

Here are some cost-saving tips you can rely on when preparing for the next storm.

1. Look for Nearby Trees

Trees are a leading cause of incidental home damage during a storm. Limbs are torn by gusting winds or excessive snow weight and driven onto roofs and into siding. Inspect surrounding or neighboring trees in the fall. Significant tree service is best left to professionals.

2. Examine Your Roof

Roofs are the most vulnerable part of a home during a harsh winter storm. Roof areas typically account for half of the structure's exposed area and are often one of the most expensive areas to repair. Examining and making immediate repairs to your roof right after a storm can save thousands of dollars in collateral damage from leaks and water damage.

3. Check Your Ventilation

Ventilation openings in your home are easily damaged in a winter storm. Fireplace and chimney flues should be checked for blockage before finding out after lighting a fire. HVAC intakes and exhausts are easily clogged by blown leaves or icy buildup. 

4. Take Winter Water Damage Seriously

Deal with water damage immediately: Stop the source, protect valuables and begin drainage and drying. Make sure you contact your insurance company immediately and always consider hiring a water damage restoration company.

When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!

Christmas Tree Fire Safety

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Christmas trees are often the centerpiece of many homes' holiday decorations...but, they can also pose a great fire risk, as well!

The Holidays are upon us, which means it's time to start setting up a Christmas tree for many families across the country. While they're certainly a great way to decorate and get festive, they also pose a very high risk to the safety of your home and your family.

Annually, Christmas trees alone result in $13 million dollars in property damage More importantly, these fires present real risk towards family and friends. When showcasing a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.

IF YOUR HOLIDAY IS JUST NOT COMPLETE WITHOUT A LIVE TREE, FOLLOW THESE SAFETY PRECAUTIONS TO KEEP THREATS AT BAY:

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don’t break easily from its branches. The tree shouldn’t be shedding its needles readily.
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure all your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out any damaged lights.
  • Any lights you use outdoors must be labeled suitable for exterior placement, and be sure to plug them into a ground-fault circuit interrupter protected receptacle.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from your Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and décor.
  • Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.

When your tree begins to drop its needles, it’s time to say goodbye to your evergreen foliage until next year. So this year, follow our guidelines to avoid being another statistic in the National Fire Protection Association or United States Fire Administration report during the upcoming holiday season.

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

Commercial Fire Damage: Understanding the Process

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial fires can be extremely stressful. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to help put everything back together!

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."

Thanksgiving Day: Tips for a Safe Feast

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

When celebrating a holiday that focuses on food - such as Thanksgiving - its important to practice good food safety!

No one wants to think about accidents or mishaps during the festivities of the holiday season; they're supposed to be happy, enjoyable days shared with family and friends! With that being said, it's important to remain mindful to ensure everyone is able to share in the holiday cheer together!

Turkey safety—
 the turkey is the biggest star. Make sure he evokes a round of applause—not a round of visits to the bathroom or, worse, the hospital.

  • Buy carefully.
    1. Avoid fresh, stuffed turkeys; buy your turkey at least 1-2 days before you cook it, and keep it in the fridge; keep it in the freezer if you’ve bought it earlier.
  • Defrost properly.
    1. Thaw in the refrigerator (every 4-5 lbs. needs one day to thaw).
    2. Submerge the turkey (wrapped in leak-proof packaging) in cold water (every 1 lb. needs 30 minutes to thaw) that should be changed every half hour.
    3. Microwave in a microwave-safe pan, removing any packaging and following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Cook immediately after thawing.
    1. Avoid slow cooking or partially cooking the turkey.
    2. At 165 degrees F at least.
    3. Opt to cook the stuffing separately.
  • Use a thermometer on the innermost part of the thigh and wing, as well as the thickest portion of the breast, to ensure that the turkey is well cooked.
  • Don’t carve at once; give the juices time (20 min.) to settle.
  • Keep Clean!
    1. Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling food.
    2. Keep all surfaces and utensils clean.
    3. Never handle cooked and raw food together, in order to avoid cross-contamination.
    4. Keep raw meat away from vegetables or other uncooked food.

Thanksgiving is a social dinner; while talking, joking, and laughing, choking is a very dangerous possibility.

  • Call 911 if the person can’t cough, breathe, or speak.
  • Give the victim five sharp blows on the back with the heel of your hand.
  • If unsuccessful, wrap your hands around the victim’s abdomen and give five quick upward thrusts.

Store leftovers properly to eliminate food poisoning. 

  • When serving, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold!
  • Refrigerate leftovers promptly, no more than two hours after food has been served.
  • Leftovers are most safely eaten within 3 days, or should otherwise be moved to the freezer.
  • Store food in shallow containers.
  • Reheated leftovers should be cooked to 165 degrees F; gravy should be boiled.

After the Fire: Smoke and Soot Damage

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fire damage can extend well beyond what was burned; smoke and soot can spread throughout a house.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

Autumn Safety Tips

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Stay safe during the upcoming holiday season!

While the holidays are a great time to gather with friends and family, they can also be create a number of hazards along the way. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fire happen each Thanksgiving Day, usually in the kitchen!

  • Never leave your food unattended while frying or grilling.
  • Use a timer and routinely check whatever you’re cooking.
  • If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, and free from moisture.
  • Never use a glass casserole or lid on the stove or burner, as it may explode from the heat.
  • Ensure that pot holders and food wrappers are a safe distance— at least 3 feet!—from warmed surfaces (i.e. the stove). Position those handles so that they face inward.
  • Avoid dangling accessories or loose clothes around kitchen fires.
  • If using candles or the fireplace, keep these sources of fire shuttered or isolated, and never leave them unattended.
  • Never douse a grease fire with water, as the fire can thus spread. Turn off the burner, smother the flames with a lid (wearing an oven mitt!), or douse with baking soda or a fire extinguisher if it’s getting out of hand.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher handy in the kitchen, and know how to use it.
  • Ensure your smoke alarms are connected and working.
  • Better safe than sorry. You can call the pros at 1888-674-6854 (USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline) with any cooking questions!
  • Unplug appliances that are small and unnecessary; it’s a smart way to save energy and eliminate potential dangers if something is accidently turned on.
  • After the party, walk around the home and ensure candles and fireplaces are extinguished, unnecessary appliances are turned off, and no potential hazards (leftovers, sharp/flammable objects) are in reach of your kids or pets.

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

Halloween Safety Tips

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

Halloween can be great fun for kids of all ages...but, it's always important to keep things safe!

HALLOWEEN SAFETY

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween, but not when it comes to child safety. There are several easy and effective behaviors that parents can share with kids to help reduce their risk of injury. 

Hard Facts

On average, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year.

Trick-or-Treat Tips

  • Decorate costumes and bags with reflective tape or stickers and, if possible, choose light colors. Since masks can sometimes obstruct a child’s vision, try non-toxic face paint and makeup whenever possible.
  • Have kids use glow sticks or flashlights to help them see and be seen by drivers. Visibility is key.

  • Children under the age of 12 should not be alone at night without adult supervision. If kids are mature enough to be out without supervision, remind them to stick to familiar areas that are well lit and trick-or-treat in groups.

  • Popular trick-or-treating hours are 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. so be especially alert for kids during those hours.

  • When selecting a costume make sure it is the right size to prevent trips and falls.
  • Plan a route in advance. Trick-or-treating could take you several streets away from your house, so try to avoid long paths by mapping out a route before leaving the house. Stick to paths that you and your child are familiar with to avoid getting lost.

  • Check your child's candy. When sorting through candy at the end of the night, be sure to throw away any candy that is not in its original wrapper, or looks as though it has been opened.

Managing Mold Issues in Your Bangor-Area Home

10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours. When left unchecked, it can become a significant problem

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

When left unchecked, moisture and mold can become a severe, serious problem.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (207)947-0400

Brush Burning Safety Tips

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

When burning brush or lawn debris, always maintain a safe environment to prevent it from going out of control.

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."

Protect Your Pipes: Pipe Winterization Tips

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

No one wants to come home to a broken pipe. Follow these handy tips to help prevent this sort of damage in your home!

It may not quite be Fall just yet, but it's never too early to prep your home for the impending Winter. Colder temperatures can be extremely damaging to your home if you're not prepared.

Contrary to popular belief, pipes don't typically burst at the point where water freezes, but somewhere between the freeze and a closed faucet. When the pressure builds due to ice blockage, it has nowhere to go but through the pipe walls, which can quickly lead to extensive water damage. Winterize your home plumbing, stop frozen pipes before they happen and prevent expensive water damage by properly insulating the plumbing pipes in your home.

1. Pipe insulation

Your pipes are more susceptible to freezing damage when temperatures drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Pipe insulation provides you with a first line of defense against cold temperatures and frozen pipes. For pipe winterization, add a thicker layer of insulation around your pipes.

Insulate the pipes in all unheated areas, as they are most likely to freeze. Wrap the pipes in insulation tubes made of polyethylene or fiberglass. Measure the outside diameter of your pipes to make sure you purchase the correct size of tube. Wrapping pipes in heat-tape prior to insulating adds an extra layer of protection, but make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage.

2. Keep a dripping faucet

On nights when the temperature is expected to drop below freezing, turn on faucets along the exterior walls to create a small, steady drip; doing so will allow the water to move and flow, helping to keep it from freezing. This also eliminates pressure that can build between the faucet and an ice blockage, so even if a pipe freezes, it may not burst. 

3. Open cabinets

You can stop frozen pipes by introducing more heat. Open all sink-based cabinet doors along exterior walls to allow more heat to reach the pipes.

4. Fix exterior cracks

Note any cracks or holes along the outside walls and foundation of your home. Filling holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can help stop the cold air from coming into contact with your water pipes during extremely cold weather.

 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!

Fall Fire Safety Tips

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fireplaces are a great way to heat a room when the temperatures outside begin to dip...but, they can also be extremely dangerous fire hazards.

September is already here...which means Fall is just around the corner. Soon, temperatures will begin to cool - especially at night - which means it will be time to fire up the fireplaces, turn on the furnace, and get that space heater out of storage. These are all great ways to keep homes toasty and warm, but they also increase the risk of residential fires. Be sure to follow the safety tips below when preparing to heat your home as we head into the Fall and Winter months:

Fireplaces

  • Inspect your chimney regularly for cracks and obstructions.
  • Don't let creosote build up in your chimney, as it could set off a roof fire.
  • Don't "over build" your fire using too much paper. You could ignite the soot in your chimney.
  • Never burn charcoal in your fireplace. It gives off deadly carbon monoxide.
  • Keep your damper open if there are hot ashes in your fireplace. Closing the damper could enable hot ashes to heat up and cause a damaging fire.
  • Let ashes cool in a sealed metal container.

Furnaces

  • Before you turn on your furnace, have it inspected by a qualified professional.
  • Make sure to check the condition of the automatic controls and emergency shutoffs.
  • If the walls and ceiling around your furnace feel too, add insulation or additional clearance space.
  • Keep all trash and combustibles away from the furnace.
  • Check your chimney for cracks or loose bricks.
  • Seal all unused flue openings with solid masonry.

Space Heaters

  • Make sure your space heater has a working safety light, alarm, automatic shut-off switch, and a cut-off device to prevent overheating.
  • Keep all objects, people and pets at least three feet away from the heater.
  • Never use a space heater in your bathroom. Water and electric appliances don't mix.

Heating your home is extremely important, but it's equally as important to do so safely.

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."

Smoke Odor: Removal Can Be Difficult

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

Although a cooking-related fire may not cause extensive fire damage, the smoke and odor damage can still be quite extensive!

Cooktops and ovens account for over 166,000 home fires in the US each and every year. The reasons behind these fires vary and they may not always cause extensive damage to the home, but there are still plenty of related issues.

Although many smaller fires don't result in major damage to the home, they can still create a mess through smoke, ash and fire extinguisher residue. Small fires, especially in the kitchen, can coat an entire room in smoke and ash even if they only burn for a few minutes. As a result, multiple treatment techniques and avenues must be considered and used. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the experience to assess the situation and develop a restoration plan, as well as the equipment and expertise to ensure the odor is properly taken care of. 
 
Even “contained” fires often require a sizable cleanup job. Ash and smoke tend to coat nearby surfaces and common household cleaning supplies typically are not capable of removing this residue. Protein fires – caused by meat that catches fire – can be extremely problematic; the odors from these sorts of fires tend to be especially strong and difficult to remove. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has access to effective, specialized cleaning supplies that make short work of visible staining, streaking, and odors caused by cooking-related fires.
 
Once the visible damage and been cleaned, the scent of smoke can still linger in a room. Unfortunately, odor particles become embedded in ceilings, walls, and objects; it can be extremely difficult for a homeowner to remove the smell. Without the proper tools and equipment, eliminating the smell of smoke is virtually impossible. Just cleaning the carpet is not enough. We will often utilize use a thermal fogging machine to flush out the odors from a room, removing even the deepest smoke smells. 
 
Smoke damage isn’t simply limited to the room; objects and belongings typically suffer fire damage, as well. Carpets, rugs and other fabrics are excellent traps for ash and smoke particles. Important documents, electronics, furniture and other valuables may need restoration, as well.

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."

Board-Up Services

7/24/2017 (Permalink)

The most common reasons to board up your home or business are severe rainstorms, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hailstorms, and of course, torn

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through-especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it "Like it never even happened."

Call us today - (207)947-0400

Fire Extinguishers: Using Them Safely in the Workplace

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

PASS is a handy reminder on how to properly use a fire extinguisher during an emergency.

According to OSHA, one of the most common emergencies small businesses must plan for is a fire. Fire extinguishers can be invaluable tools to help fight smaller fires in the workplace or to protect evacuation routes in the event of a larger one. It is, however, important to know how to properly and safely utilize one.

OSHA requires employers to thoroughly train workers not only how to use an extinguisher properly, but also how to accurately assess a situation and determine when evacuation is the safest course of action. OSHA requires employees to be trained in fire extinguisher use annually, at a minimum.

An easy to remember fire extinguisher training technique to use with employees is the PASS method:

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher.
  • Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.

Knowing how to correctly operate the extinguisher is not the end of training. Employees responding to a fire also should be trained to adhere to the following protocol:

  • Sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.
  • Before approaching the fire, determine an evacuation route safe of flames, excessive heat and smoke. Do not allow this evacuation route to become blocked.
  • Use the PASS technique for discharging an extinguisher and back away from the area if the fire flares up again.
  • If the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out, evacuate immediately.
  • If the fire grows beyond what can be safely handled, evacuate immediately.

Fire extinguishers are designed to handle small fires. If a fire becomes too large or the environment becomes too dangerous, employees should know when and how to evacuate the area. If any of the following conditions are present, workers should follow evacuation procedures immediately and should not attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher:

The fire is too large. The fire involves flammable solvents, is partially hidden behind a wall or ceiling, cannot be reached from a standing position, or covers more than 60 square feet in area.

The air is unsafe to breathe. Levels of smoke make the fire impossible to fight without some form of respiratory protection.

The environment is too hot or smoky. Radiated heat is easily felt, making it hard to approach a fire within adequate range of using the extinguisher (about 10-15 feet). It is necessary to crawl on the floor to avoid heat or smoke. Visibility is poor.

Evacuation paths are impaired. The fire is not contained and heat, smoke or flames block potential evacuation routes.

In the event of a fire emergency at your business, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400!  Let us help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Workplace Fire Safety

7/17/2017 (Permalink)

Its everyone's responsibility to ensure the workplace is safe and fire-free.

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.

Fire Prevention

  • 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."

Water Damage: Let the Professionals Take Care of You

7/14/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be difficult to handle without proper training. Leave the cleanup to the professionals!

The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.

Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of deadly substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.

This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.

That’s why SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of deadly pathogens.

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

Lightning Storms and Your Home

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Lightning is extremely dangerous and causes numerous structural fires across the country every year.

Although houses and other substantial building offer the best protection from lightning, each year many homes across the United States are struck by lightning. In fact, on average, lightning causes about 4400 house fires and 1800 other structural fires each year, some of which are deadly. All totaled, lightning causes nearly $1 billion in damages each year.

There are three main ways lightning enters homes and buildings: (1) a direct strike, (2) through wires or pipes that extend outside the structure, and (3) through the ground. Regardless of the method of entrance, once in a structure, the lightning can travel through the electrical and phone wires, the plumbing, and/or radio and television reception systems.

Indoor safety depends on avoiding contact with items that could conduct lightning within the home. Here are some indoor safety tips to follow when a thunderstorm is in the area.

  1. Don't touch electrical equipment or cords. If you plan to unplug any electronic equipment, do so WELL BEFORE the storm arrives.

  2. Stay off corded phones.

  3. Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, take a shower, wash dishes, or do laundry.

  4. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.

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."

Tornado Preparedness in Maine

7/7/2017 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are fairly rare in Maine, but they can still form and cause extensive damage.

Tornadoes are nature's most violent storm. By definition, a tornado is a violently rotating column of air that extends from the base of the thunderstorm cloud to the ground. While they are rare in Maine when compared to other parts of the country, they can still form and be quite dangerous.

Prior to the development of a tornado, a thunderstorm typically begins to rotate. As this rotation becomes stronger, the chance that a tornado may develop also increases. Although the National Weather Service's Doppler Radar generally can not see the actual tornado, the Radar does detect rotation of the thunderstorm cloud; this gives some indication of the possibility that a tornado may be forming or has formed.

The scale used to measure tornado damage is the Enhanced Fujita scale, commonly referred to as the E-F scale. Based on scientific studies of tornado damage, the original Fujita scale was modified and the new "Enhanced Fujita Scale" was officially implemented in 2007.

  • EF-0 - Light damage (winds 65 to 85 mph)
  • EF-1 - Moderate damage (winds 86 to 110 mph)
  • EF-2 - Considerable damage (winds 111 to 135 mph)
  • EF-3 - Severe damage (winds 136 to 165 mph)
  • EF-4 - Devastating damage (winds 166 to 200 mph)
  • EF-5 - Incredible damage (winds over 200 mph)

Tornadoes and Maine:

Peak tornado activity in northern New England occurs between June and August, but tornadoes have occurred as early as May and as late as November. Most tornadoes occur between 3 and 9 pm and have an average forward speed of about 30 mph. For the 40 year period between 1950 and 1990, 74 tornadoes occurred in Maine. This is an average of about 2 tornadoes per year. During 2016 one tornado touched down in Maine.

Due to the usual short life-span of tornadoes in northern New England, there is often little, if any, advance warning.
Tornadoes in New England generally touch down and then lift off the ground very quickly. Many of the tornadoes that have occurred in the past, have occurred while severe thunderstorm warnings have been in effect. If you hear that a severe thunderstorm warning is in effect for your area, be alert for the possibility of a tornado. A low rotating cloud, large hail, and/or a load roar are all signs that may precede the touchdown of a tornado.

Here are some tornado facts and safety tips:

  • Flying debris causes most deaths and injuries in tornadoes
  • The safest place in your home during a tornado is your basement.
  • Stay away from windows.
  • Get out of vehicles or mobile homes, they offer little protection. Seek shelter in a substantial building.
  • Do NOT seek shelter under a bridge overpass. Bridge overpasses offer little, if any, protection from wind- driven debris.

Although we can't stop tornadoes or severe storm damage, we can certainly help with the cleanup and restoration after everything has calmed down. When in need, contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400; we're always here to help!

Mold: Myths and Facts

7/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold is always present and can grow on virtually any surface. Cleanup often requires the knowledge and expertise of professionals.

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 though 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 home owners 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."

Leaky Windows: What to Do if Your Window Leaks

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Leaking windows can cause much more than just a mess!

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

Fireworks - A Dangerous Way to Celebrate

6/28/2017 (Permalink)

Firework displays can be beautiful...but it's best to leave them to the professionals!

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."

Cooking Out the Right Way - Grilling Safety Tips

6/21/2017 (Permalink)

Grilling is a great way to prepare some delicious meals...but not doing it safely can lead to disasters!

Americans absolutely love to cook out; three out of five households own a gas grill, which means there will be plenty of tasty meals this Summer. Unfortunately, it also means there is an increased risk of home fires, as well. An average of 8,900 home fires are caused by grilling each year and nearly half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While many people grill year-round, July is the peak month for grill-related fires. Before you fire up the grill, follow these simple times and you will on  the way to a safer Summer!

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Always make sure your gas grill lid is open before lighting it.

CHARCOAL GRILLS

  • There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

PROPANE GRILLS

  • Check the gas tank hose for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose. A propane leak will release bubbles.
  • If your grill has a gas leak, by smell or the soapy bubble test, and there is no flame, turn off both the gas tank and the grill.
  • If the leak stops, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again. If the leak does not stop, call the fire department.
  • If you smell gas while cooking, immediately get away from the grill and call the fire department. Do not move the grill.
  • If the flame goes out, turn the grill and gas off and wait at least five minutes before re-lighting it.

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."

Greater Bangor Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

5/17/2017 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

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.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (207)947-0400 

Greater Bangor Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

5/11/2017 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.


What to Do:



  • Stay out of affected areas.

  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

  • Contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth for mold remediation services.


What Not to Do:



  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.

  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.

  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.


About Our Mold Remediation Services


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.


If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (207)947-0400 

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage: Now is the Time!

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

Are you prepared? Be ready for whatever happens with a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile!

As we move into the warmer months of the year, many business owners in Maine stop worrying about the potential for a major disaster. The temperatures may be higher, the sun may be shining and no one is shoveling snow...but, disasters can still strike. It's never to early to worry about preparedness. 

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

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.

Flood and Flash Flood Safety

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

We can't prevent a flood from happening, but we'll be here to restore your home of business afterward!

Typically, when seasonal flooding occurs in Maine, we usually have some advance notice and the National Weather Service issues flood watches and warnings. It gives us time to prepare and, if necessary, evacuate an affected area.

Flash floods, however, are quite a bit different; they can happen whenever we get too much rain in a small period of time, at any point during a year. Warnings are issued, but there may be little or no advance notice and flood waters can rapidly move into an area.

Flood Facts:

  • A car or small truck will float in as little as two feet of water. If your vehicle begins to float, you lose control over the vehicle. If your vehicle stalls in a flooded roadway, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground. The water may sweep the vehicle and its occupants away.
  • Nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are vehicle related.

Flood Fatalities in Maine

  • In 1996, heavy rain caused serious flooding in New Hampshire and western Maine. A Scarborough, Maine man drowned when he drove his car into a flooded roadway where the road had washed away.
  • In 2004, a man died in Gardiner when attempting to kayak in a swollen stream. Rushing flood water may look exciting to the amateur canoeist or boater, but it has incredible power and may be carrying hidden debris.
  • In 2007, a woman and her little granddaughter in Limerick were swept away when they tried to walk through flood water.
  • In 2012, a Milo man was killed when he drove into a washed-out section of road.

Safety Tips:

  • Never drive a car into a flooded roadway as the road underneath may be washed out.
  • Stay clear of streams during heavy rainfall events. Swiftly moving water is extremely powerful and can easily overpower a person.
  • Do not attempt recreational boating in flood water. The current can be powerful and there may be heavy debris swept along in the water, making it extremely dangerous.
  • Keep children and pets inside and away from flooded streets, culverts, and streams.
  • Report flooding to the appropriate authorities.
  • Obey road blocks and barriers, even if the flooding has receded. Flood waters may have undercut the road surface or left dangerous debris in the roadway.
  • If you live in a flood prone area, have a plan in case the water starts rising quickly.
  • Know your evacuation route and if advised to evacuate do so immediately.

Although we can't stop the flood waters, 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!

When Storms or Floods hit Bangor, SERVPRO is ready!

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

When storms bring flood waters to your home, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to make it "Like it never even happened."

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

Does Your Greater Bangor Area Home Have A Mold Problem?

4/27/2017 (Permalink)

In Bangor, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

 

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (207)947-0400

Floods: Returning to Your Home

4/12/2017 (Permalink)

Always use caution when reentering a flooded home; there are any number of potentially hazardous situations awaiting inside.

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!

Flood Preparedness in Maine

4/4/2017 (Permalink)

loods are the most common natural disaster in Maine. Just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.

To most of us in Maine, "Spring" is synonymous with "Mud Season"...but, it should also be called "Flood Season", as well.

One of the most common natural disasters in Maine is flooding; they most often occur in March and April, when the snow pack is most subject to natural variables, such as rapidly increasing temperatures and heavier rainfall. Realistically, they can occur any time of the year.

Typically, we see flooding in Maine because of heavy rain, hurricanes, tropical storms, quickly melting snow, ice jams, dam breaches and seasonal storms.

Many flood-related deaths and injuries are caused by fast-moving water and in many cases could be avoided. The National Weather Service advises anyone who approaches a flooded area to Turn Around, Don’t Drown.™ As little as six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult and only a few feet can carry a vehicle away.

To protect your home or business from flood damage and loss:

  • Be aware of hazards that can increase the potential for flooding – including flash flooding.
  • Know the flood prone areas in your community - including dam locations.
  • Have a family evacuation/communications plan.
  • Know where and how to seek shelter in the event of evacuation.
  • Check with your insurance agent about flood insurance coverage; most homeowners insurance does not cover floods. Your agent should be able to help you secure insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
  • Take steps to “flood proof” your home, such as elevating electronics, appliances and furniture, building a dam of sandbags, unplugging electronics and equipment and varnishing wood doors and floors.
  • During the flood stay tuned to radio or TV to get the latest information or monitor a NOAA Weather radio.
  • Pay attention to evacuation orders.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams or areas at risk of flooding.
  • DO NOT DRIVE ON FLOODED ROADWAYS or cross flowing streams, as the road underneath may be washed out.
  • Be cautious when driving at night as it may be more difficult to recognize flood dangers.

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 Prevention - 10 Tips to Keep Your Home Mold-Free

3/29/2017 (Permalink)

No one wants to find mold in their home. If you find it, let the experts and SERVPRO help!

You've got mold!


Spring and Summer are 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 ground water 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 Mold,
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

Air Duct Cleaning - How Can It Benefit You?

3/22/2017 (Permalink)

Dirty air ducts not only circulate dust and contaminants throughout your structure, but can decrease the efficiency and lifespan of your equipment!

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.

Mold - It Can Hide Where You Least Expect It

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold is a health hazard that can occur in any home, as long as the conditions are sufficient for growth.

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:

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!

Stop It Before It Starts - Five Tips to Prevent Water Damage

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

Simple preventative maintenance can help keep unwanted water out of your home!

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

Water Damage - What To Do Until Help Arrives

3/2/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can be stressful...but, it's not the end of the world! Remember, we're always here to help!

What you can do until help arrives

Water in unwanted places can easily cause a lot of damage. Not only can it ruin your belongings and mementos, but also damage the house in which they are kept. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. The professionals at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. We'll closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.

As with any emergency, the most important thing is safety. When it comes to water damage, it is important to consider the following:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Water damage can be extremely stressful, so it is always important to keep a level head. The last thing you'll want to do is put yourself into harm's way!

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Have A Water Damage Emergency?
Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)947-0400

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that - when concentrated - is extremely toxic to humans and other mammals. When suffering from the effects of CO poisoning, symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness and confusion, but no fever. Prolonged exposure will cause sickness, coma and death. Needless to say, carbon monoxide is not something to be taken lightly.

In Maine, nearly 75 percent of all reported cases of carbon monoxide poisoning occur between November and March. Most of these poisonings are caused by home heating appliances that are either not functioning properly or have blocked vents. Anything that burns fuel - such as oil or propane boilers, wood stoves and gasoline-powered engines - produces carbon monoxide. When these appliances are not properly maintained or vented, carbon monoxide can quickly build up without warning.

Many Maine residents use portable, gas-powered generators during power outages. Unfortunately, these devices can also lead to severe carbon monoxide poisoning and deaths when not properly used; when run in a basement or garage, a generator is up to 300 times more likely to cause CO poisoning. Anyone with a portable generator should have an extension cord long enough to make sure the generator can be run outside and kept at least 15 feet from windows or doors. Additionally, a plan for keeping the generator protected from the elements should be in place prior to utilizing the generator. Forming a plan now can help help avoid the temptation to run a generator inside a basement, garage or cellar during a storm.

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, health officials recommend the following:

• Service your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil or coal burning appliances every year.

• Make sure appliance and heating exhaust vents are not blocked by snow after storms.

• Use your generator outdoors in the fresh air. Make a plan so that you can run your generator at least 15 feet from windows or doors and keep it protected from rain, ice, and snow.

• Make sure you have a CO detector that runs on your home’s power and has a battery back up. It is advisable to have one on every floor, especially near where people sleep. 

• Do not leave vehicles or any other gas-powered motors running inside a garage, barn, or shed, even if you leave the windows and doors open.

• Do not use a charcoal grill, camp stove or other gas or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement or garage or near a window or door.

• Don't try to heat your home with a gas oven.

If you suspect you or a loved one are experiencing CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseous or if your CO alarm goes off, immediately leave the house, call 911 and seek medical attention.

For more information, please visit the Maine Department of Environmental Health.

Keep Warm - And Stay Safe - This Winter!

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

Space heaters are great for warming a room...but they're also great at starting fires, as well!

As any Maine resident would know, our winters tend to be on the colder end of the spectrum. Although this winter has been fairly mild so far, you never know when the next cold snap will strike. Every time we crank the heat, its important to remember the hazards involved.

Unfortunately, heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires in the United States. During the period of 2009-2013, heating equipment was the cause of 16% of all reported home fires, which is roughly 56,000 fires; these fires led to 470 deaths, 1,490 injuries and $1 billion in property damage. Half of all home fires caused by heating equipment occur in December, January and February.

Here are some easy steps to help prevent heating-related fires from occurring: 

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Keep an eye on your pets when they're within proximity of all space heaters and open fires, as well.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Heating your home is extremely important during the cold winter months, but it's equally as important to do so safely.

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."

Biohazard Clean-Up: One of the Many Services We Offer

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is fully equipped to handle any sort of disaster and get you back into your home as quickly as possible.

While SERVPRO is the #1 leader in the restoration industry, we're equipped to handle much more than just fire or water damage! Disasters come in all shapes and sizes; whether it is an act of vandalism or a full on crime scene, SERVPRO Technicians are trained to cleanup and restore messes of all degrees: 

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Trained SERVPRO Technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect and deodorize the scene.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO Professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. Your professional also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.

Sewage Backup

Sewage backups and black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly deposits – these damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into a structure. SERVPRO Professionals remove the sewage, contaminants and moisture, disinfecting and deodorizing as they clean.

No one should have to sit in a house or work in a business contaminated with anything listed above, so make sure you call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth at (207)948-0400. One phone call to us will begin the process of making it "Like it never even happened."

Furnace Puff Back: What is it and How Does it Occur?

1/25/2017 (Permalink)

A furnace puffback can force oily, black soot through the heating ducts and onto your walls, carpets, ceilings all throughout your home.

Despite the increasing number of viable alternative heating methods available on the market, a large number of people in Maine and New England still rely on oil furnaces to heat their homes and businesses. Modern heating systems are very reliable and dependable; most issues can be readily addressed by a qualified professional. Unfortunately, the malfunction commonly known as the "puff back" is not so easily dealt with.

A puffback is an explosion inside the burner chamber of the furnace, similar to the backfiring of a car. While there are a number of causes - such as excessive debris or a buildup of oil fumes prior to burner ignition - the resulting explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace's exhaust system...and into your home.

This soot is not just a powder-like substance; instead, it is black, sticky and will include a mixture of oil that is difficult to clean. Walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture and curtains are coated with a fine film of soot and smoky streaks. Typically, the damage is worse with a forced-air heating system or central air-conditioning, because the duct work provides a path through the house, even into closets. In addition to the soot, a puff back causes a foul odor to permeate your home. Oil-based soot is extremely difficult to remove and needs to be cleaned as soon as possible.

Fortunately, SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth has the knowledge and experience to take care of difficult problems such as this. Since each puffback situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your home or business, while also treating your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

In the event of a puffback - or any fire, smoke or water emergency - SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is just a phone call away.

Call us today at (207)947-0400!

 

 

Content Restoration: We Do That, Too!

1/17/2017 (Permalink)

We'll do our best to ensure the contents of your home are restored to as close to pre-loss condition as possible!

Your home contains many of your most valuable possessions and houses those you love the most. Your business is your livelihood. The team at SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth understands just how trying, disruptive and traumatic major losses - such as a fire - can be.

As part of our fire restoration service, we don't just pay attention to the structure; we'll also help take care of the contents of your home or business, as well. Some of our contents services include:

Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technician can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time-consuming process.

Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.

Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth technicians begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate; we provide both wet or dry cleaning methods. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as pre-loss condition as possible; this includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more.

When a fire takes control of your life, we help you take control back. Call SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth today: (207)947-0400

Emergency Ready Profile: Be Prepared, Be Ready

1/10/2017 (Permalink)

The ERP can help you locate and identify key locations - such as the sprinkler system's shut off valve - quickly and efficiently in an emergency.

According to recent research, as many as 50% of businesses affected by a disaster will not reopen their doors; whether it's a large fire or water damage caused by a fault sprinkler system, incidences such as these can be catastrophic to any size business. Of the businesses that do survive, the vast majority of them had emergency preparedness planning in place. Unexpected emergencies can happen at any time and being prepared for these unfortunate events can help minimize interruption and get your business back up and running in relatively short order.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) to help ensure area businesses have a plan in place for when unexpected emergencies strike. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information, such as  important shut off valve locations, priority areas of your business and who to call to help contain and mitigate damage. When an emergency strikes, every second counts and SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth wants to help you be prepared. This service is offered at no cost to businesses; our goal is to help ensure everyone is educated and prepared should a water or fire damage occur. The ERP is accessible on your smartphone, ensuring a copy is always within reach. Hard copies are also available to ensure your staff has the tools needed to be proactive.

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. 

SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth is here to support your business and ensure you're ready in the event of an emergency. Contact our office at (207)947-0400 and we can begin the processes of building an ERP for your business today!

Frozen Pipes: What Should You Do?

1/4/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes can easily burst, causing a huge problem for any homeowner.

It's that time of the year again: The snow is falling, ice is building up, the temperature is dropping...and water pipes are freezing. Without thawing these pipes, the ice will expand and potentially burst the pipe.

Here are a few quick tips to help in the event of a broken pipe emergency:

Locate Shutoff Vales - Closing the appropriate water valves (including the water main) will help prevent further water from pouring out into areas it does not belong.

Contact Your Agent - Be sure to contact your insurance agent to notify them of your loss. They can also assist you with filing a claim

Call a Plumber - Unfortunately, cleanup procedures cannot being until the source of the issue has been fixed.

Contact SERVPRO of Bangor/Ellsworth - SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

When we answer the phone, we're ready to help! Call Today - (207)947-0400

IICRC Certified Firm

12/19/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is an IICRC certified firm.

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

12/16/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage can affect multiple floor layers if not mitigated on a timely basis.

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 
(207) 947-0400

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth 

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges, as was the case with this senior rehab facility.

Flooding and water damage events at Bangor, Greater Bangor, Ellsworth, and Bar Harbor commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth

SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/28/2016 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed due to fire damage in this bedroom.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Bangor Ellsworth will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (207) 947-0400

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