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The 4 Components of Fire, and 4 Ways to Put it Out | SERVPRO® of Biddeford-Saco

1/21/2022 (Permalink)

< img src =”paper.jpg” alt = “a small paper house burning" >   If your home or business has any damage, SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco is ready around the clock to help you recover.

Quick: What’s a tetrahedron? If you don’t recall from junior high, it’s another name for a pyramid—a three-dimensional, triangular shape with four equal sides.

Why the sudden geometry quiz? Surprisingly, it relates to fire safety.

See, fire needs four components, known collectively as the fire tetrahedron, to occur and survive. Without these elements working together, fire can’t start—and on the opposite side of that coin, counteracting these elements is key to putting a fire out.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel—something to ignite. There has to be something to burn. This can be organic or inorganic material—woods, plastics, fibers and much more are all perfect fuel sources for fire.

Heat—enough to cause combustion. The amount of necessary heat varies from substance to substance, but almost everything has a threshold at which it will either ignite or melt.

Oxygen. Fires react with nearby oxygen to produce an expanding series of chemical reactions; in other words, oxygen feeds the fire so it can continue to grow, generating products of combustion (like smoke and carbon monoxide) in the process.

Chemical Chain Reaction. The continual cycle and feeding of heat, fuel and oxygen combine to produce a chain reaction, which will perpetuate the fire as long as it goes undisturbed. In other words, the chemical reaction is the natural force of the fire that, once started, will continue until something affects its ability to proceed.

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. This is likely the first thing you think of. Buckets, gallons or hoses full of water are often the solution, used to cool the fuel (the burning material) to a point at which combustion is no longer possible. Cooling the material to a thermal balance means the rate at which heat is generated can’t compete with the rate at which the heat is lost. Some water will evaporate or boil, so a great deal of it must be used to adequately cool the fuel.

Smother it. If a fire can’t breathe, it can’t live. The process of smothering a fire is one of depriving it of the oxygen it needs to continue. This can be as simple as snuffing a candle, or as complicated as introducing carbon dioxide into the fire’s vicinity, which chemically suffocates the oxygen.

Starve it. If a fire burns with no outside interference, this is the likely natural end. It will burn until it runs out of adequate fuel—be it grass, wood or other material. The proactive method for starving a fire, then, is removing a fire’s fuel source while it’s still trying to consume it. For example, if a fuel tank is on fire, the fuel can be drained from it. In the case of a wildfire, a containment can be attempted by actually burning and scorching areas on purpose, to create a boundary of starvation for the fire.

Interrupt the chain reaction. Chemical agents such as halon can effectively put a stop to fire by chemically disrupting the reaction that multiplies to keep a fire going. While halon itself is very effective and safe around humans, it has an elevated potential for ozone depletion, thus making it an environmental threat. For this reason, its production has been halted, though the existing supply is still legally bought, sold and sometimes recycled.

If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.

Dealing With Water Damage in Biddeford I SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Water Damage When water damage strikes, make the call to SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco for A-to-Z cleanup and restoration.

It’s happening right now, and—oh no, it’s happening again. And it’s going to happen several more times by the time you finish this blog. In fact it happens an average of 14,000 times a day. What is it?

It’s water damage, and every few seconds, statistically speaking, someone in the United States is dealing with it in one of its many forms. It’s one of the most likely home disasters you’re likely to have to combat, and it can come from within, in the form of a burst pipe or hose leak, or from without, in the case of flooding, roof leaks or even a sewage backup.

It may never happen to you, but it certainly could—and if it does, here’s how things will go when you call SERVPRO for help.

Emergency Contact. When you reach out by phone or web, the first person you’ll talk to will be a SERVPRO expert who will ask you some questions by which we hope to ascertain the nature and severity of your issue. Then we’ll plan a time with you wherein we can come meet you in person and get down to the dirty work.

Inspection and Water Damage Assessment. When we get to the scene, we’ll first make sure no further water is encroaching on your home. We’ll survey the damage and inspect your home, creating a fully-fledged plan for cleanup and recovery. We’ll also inform you of any hazards we find and make an estimate about items we think will need to be replaced.

Water Removal. If a bucket could fix it, you probably wouldn’t have called us. We’ll use our industrial pumps to get rid of the gallons, maybe even tons, of water soaking your space, and we’ll run them until every drop is removed.

Damaged Material Removal. As water is removed, we can safely haul away items that have been ruined beyond repair, leaving the rest of the home ready for drying.

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Deodorization. They don’t call them “watermarks” for nothing—water makes its presence, and yes, even its absence, known by leaving stains and other unpleasantness behind, and we won’t overlook that. We’ll make sure every inch of stain and every scent of odor gets scrubbed away and dealt with.

Drying. This is a crucial moment in the process, because it helps prevent mold that can grow in your home shortly after water damage occurs. Special, high-powered vacuums and dehumidifiers will pull unnecessary moisture from the air and from surfaces like walls, floors and more, until your home is safely dry.

Monitoring. When you need us, we’ll be right there, watching over the process to make sure everything performs its intended job and your home gets the care it deserves.

Repairs and Construction. Finally, we’ll go through your home with a fine-tooth paintbrush, and hammer, and whatever else we might need to restore damaged surfaces, areas and items. When we’re done, you’ll be amazed.

When water damage strikes, make the call to SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco for A-to-Z cleanup and restoration. We’ll make your damaged property look “Like it Never Even Happened.”

'Tis The Season

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Megan and Caryn posing with Christmas gifts Megan and Caryn posing with Christmas gifts SERVPRO donated to the Salvation Army.

Tis the season of giving back to those around us. During this special time of year, we love spreading holiday cheer! SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of the Sebago Lake Region make it a priority each year to purchase gifts for families in need. This year we partnered with the Salvation Army in Old Orchard Beach, ME. Our employees Caryn and Megan went on a shopping spree to gather items on a Wishlist. These items included coloring books, crayons, markers, Legos, Play-Doh, etc.

When delivering the items they were given a tour of the facility from Dan and Karen Brunelle who run the facility... It was AMAZING to see all of the items they were able to collect for these families. Each year they begin prepping for Christmas in October because there is so much to sort out and get ready for. We are so thankful to partner with such a great organization! 

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Soot Cleaning SERVPRO employees cleaning soot with chem sponges.

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 [[Franchise Name]] 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)283-4428

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage Aftermath This photo is from one of our jobs caused by a pipe burst on the second level of the home.

SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of the Sebago Lake Region 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)283-4428

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 [[Franchise Name]] 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 Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of the Sebago Lake Region

SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of the Sebago Lake Region specialize 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.

Why SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of the Sebago Lake Region

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Matt True, Owner Matt True on the phone discussing a loss with a customer.

SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of the Sebago Lake Region is owned and operated by Matt & Lisa True. 

Prior to owning a SERVPRO Franchise, Matt started out in the HVAC industry and still maintains his licenses today. On multiple occasions Matt has had to help our customers in need and repair frozen pipes and boilers. After many years in the HVAC industry Matt became an insurance adjuster. He handled property, casualty, and general contractor liability claims. Matt has been used as an expert for many insurance companies to troubleshoot what occurred within an appliance or boiler that may have caused damage to a variety of properties. 

Little did Matt know that the knowledge that he gained throughout the building trades and insurance industry would help him own and operate a SERVPRO Franchise. Our employees are thankful for the knowledge that Matt can provide them. 

Call us today at (207)283-4428 so you too can benefit from our knowledge and expertise. Not everyone knows the steps that should be taken when you have a loss. 

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage at a commercial property Water damage from a water heater letting go on the second level of a commercial building.

Flooding and water damage events at 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 Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of The Sebago Lake Region

SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco and SERVPRO of The Sebago Lake Region 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.

Spring Rain Brings Damage

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Springtime always seems to bring plenty of rain and plenty of rain always brings a higher risk of water damage to your home. The following are the most common causes of springtime water damage.

Roof Leaks

With the increased showers as well as high winds, roof damage can happen or be revealed as water seeps through your roof and damages your ceilings and walls. To reduce the risk of roof leaks, you should inspect your roof for any damages from the winter and inspect it after every major storm.

The most common cause of roof leaks is a damaged or missing shingle from storms or fallen branches. If you do experience water damage inside your home from the ceiling or wall, you will want to contact a professional from SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco to inspect the damage, remove the water, and remediate the damage. 

Window & Door Leaks

Another common source of water damage is from old or damaged windows. Water especially from a huge storm can blow into cracks and crevices around your window causing water damage that may not be discovered quickly allowing mold to develop and cause further damage.

Make sure to inspect around your windows and doors for cracks or old caulking that has peeled or cracked off. You can usually caulk any small cracks or crevices to ensure water doesn’t seep into your home causing damage.

Broken Sump Pump

If you have a basement, you understand the importance of a sump pump. Without one, water can seep into your basement and cause lots of damage. One of the most common causes of a flooded basement is a sump pump that stopped working.

To prevent this from happening, you can do three things.

  • You can get a backup battery for your sump in case the power goes out.
  • You can get a backup sump pump that is usually set to come on if the water rises above the normal level for your working sump pump.
  • You can install a water sensor alarm on the floor near the sump pump. While you may still have some water damage, at least you will be able to catch it fast and have SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco professionals come out to pump out the water and dry out your basement.

Foundation Cracks

If the foundation around the base of your home and the basement walls cracks, water can seep into the basement or crawl space. A sump pump won’t help you since the water is seeping through the walls as opposed to being channeled to the sump pump.

Usually, people discover foundation cracks after a big storm or when a gutter is clogged and the water is falling right by your house. Repairing foundation cracks can be a very expensive job depending on the situation but without the repair, there is no way to prevent the water leaking into your basement or crawlspace.

It never hurts to walk around the perimeter of your home checking for any potential foundation cracks as well as checking any bare walls in your basement and/or crawlspace.

Call the Pros of SERVPRO Biddeford-Saco for Water Damage This Spring

If you should suffer water damage whether from Spring weather or a cracked pipe or an overflowing bathtub or toilet, call the water damage cleanup experts at SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco at (207)-283-4428 for 24-hour emergency service. 

Why Choose SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco?

At SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco, we have specialized equipment, professional training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to its pre-water damage condition.

Returning Hotel Rooms Clean and Odor Free

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco Remedies Odor Problems in Hospitality Establishments

As a hospitality and lodging provider, you want your guests to be comfortable during their stay. This includes ensuring your guests that their environment is free of the odors and residues associated with cigarettes.

SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco help eliminate exposure to the harmful effects of third-hand-smoke — the residual, carcinogenic components of tobacco smoke that can linger on carpets, walls and other room surfaces long after smoking has actually occurred. Our IICRC-certified Cleaning and Odor Control Technicians have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors.

Nicotine Cleanup and Odor Removal

Upon arrival, SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco team members will assess the room or rooms that need cleaning and odor removal. Although it may seem that the odor is only in the air, we search for additional sources. Furnishings and carpeting can attract and hold the tiny particles of ash, tar, and other substances that are incompletely burned. We start with a thorough cleaning, including the upholstery and carpet, using our commercial-strength steam extractors and professional cleaning products.

In addition, nicotine and other substances can stain walls and emit smells. Our crews will wash the walls with appropriate cleaners and may even suggest repainting the walls and sealing wooden portions of furnishings and headboards to trap any odor lingering beneath these surfaces. Oftentimes, each room has a separate heating and cooling system, so we inspect and clean the vents and any ductwork to prevent the smoke smells from recirculating.

SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco can also eliminate odors by changing the chemical composition of the minute particles floating in the air and embedded in surfaces and fixtures. One option is thermal fogging, a process where air cleaners combust in a heated chamber and then bond with and render any airborne particles odor-free. Other resources include hydroxyl generators and other oxygenation systems. Hydroxyl generators use a form of UV light that creates the hydroxyl radicals, which then react with solid pollutants like cigarette smoke and help destroy them. These processes eliminate the odors, not just cover them up like most air fresheners.

For your hotel to be profitable, you want as many rooms as possible to be available to your guests. Help ensure your guests’ comfort by calling SERVPRO of Biddeford – Saco at (207)-283-4428.

Why Choose SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco & The Sebago Lakes Region?

As a locally owned and operated franchise, SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco understands the importance of a clean and fully functioning commercial property. We believe a building’s appearance is often its first impression, and take our commercial services very seriously. Whether you require professional cleaning and deodorization to make your business look and smell its best, water remediation following an emergency, mold remediation to prevent health effects, or a disaster recovery team, we have the training and expertise to minimize loss of productivity and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Evaluating the Preparedness Levels of Your Business

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Being aware of the risks your business faces is an essential part of being an owner, especially when those risks involve natural disasters. When it comes to disasters, preparing in advance can make all the difference regarding overall safety as well as recovery time for your operations.

By evaluating the preparedness levels of your business, you can understand exactly where you can improve your efforts to maximize your overall preparedness.

Though it might seem intimidating to do all of this planning in advance, by sorting your tasks into the following three categories, you can make sure you have everything squared away for the worst-case scenarios without spending an excessive amount of time or money in the process.

Your Commercial Insurance Coverage

The coverage of commercial policies is often far less encompassing than most business owners realize. The damages caused in a disaster scenario are often outside the scope of what a general policy will cover, which is why many business owners choose to add on policies for flood damages, pauses in operation and excessively expensive damages to make sure they are completely covered regardless of what comes their way.

Your Emergency Plan and Supply Kit

When severe weather or another emergency occurs, every second matters during your reaction. Putting a plan in place in advance for how to react will allow you to maximize your time and keep yourself and your employees safer. Be sure to plan for situations where you will need to evacuate, as well as situations where you need to remain in the office and stock your emergency supplies accordingly.

Your Plan for Restoration and Recovery

If a disaster forces you to pause operations for commercial restoration, it is wise to make sure that time is as short as possible to minimize the impact on your business. Look into the disaster loans from the Small Business Administration, which can help provide you with the liquid capital you need to cover short-term costs. Additionally, it is worth researching commercial restoration companies in advance—that way you can place the call as soon as you are ready to move forward with the restoration and get the process started right away.

Has Your Business Been Impacted by a Disaster?
Contact SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco – (207) 283-4428

Why Choose Us?

The professionals at SERVPRO of Biddeford-Saco have specialized in commercial water restoration for over 20 years. Our highly trained professionals use only state-of-the-art equipment and document every step of the drying process, ensuring the job is done correctly from the initial phone call to the final bill.

We have the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. When it comes to your business, time is money.