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5 Tips To Stop Water From Damaging Your Belfast Home

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

rural area flooding Water Can Quickly Damage Your Home

If your home is in an area where your home may be in danger when heavy rains hit the mid-coast of Maine, then it’s a good idea to have some plans in place ahead of these damaging events. To help you prepare to protect you home from potential water damage, your friends here at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland have put together some tips.

Home Preparation Tips

One of the best ways that you can handle water damage as a homeowner is taking preventative steps before the rain hits and flooding happens. Prevention can significantly reduce the amount of damage done to your home, so the following tips is meant to be a basic guide to help homeowners in our area before suffering the damaging effects of flooding and water damage.

However, if you are the victim of water related damage, we are here to help. We are the area professionals who have a proven process to help you recover from what could otherwise be a devastating event. You can learn more about our water restoration services here.

Tip 1 - Seal Gaps & Cracks on the Exterior of Your Home

This first tip can help minimize the amount of water that gets into your home. The smallest cracks and gaps in your home’s exterior can let in an amazing amount of water if not properly sealed.

When looking around your home for these areas, look in brickwork and stucco, gaps in siding, as well as areas around windows, doors, pipes, cables and vents.

Tip 2 - Install Hurricane Shutters

This was one of the prevention options that we mentioned in our ‘Storm Series’ on hurricanes.

However, there does not need to be a hurricane bearing down on Maine for these shutters to provide a level of protection for your home. During winds storms, these shutters are the best way to prevent your windows from breaking.

Keeping your home windows intact, obviously prevents water damage, but also has the added benefit of preventing flying debris from causing harm to the occupants.

Tip 3 - Consider Installing a Sewer Back Flow Valve

If your neck of the woods is an area prone to flooding, keep in mind that flood waters could bring backed-up sewage into your home through the sewage drainpipe. It may be possible to prevent this by installing a back flow valve into your drain line.

The valve will automatically close a flapper--which can also be manually operated--to prevent sewage from backing up through the drain pipe.

Tip 4 - Keep Storm Drains & Gutters Clear

It’s easy to forget how important the storm drains and gutters are when it comes to protecting your home. Heck, most of us don’t even want to take the time to clean them out… and that is where the problems can begin.

If water backs up from your gutters and drains, it can cause serious damage to your roof, walls, basement and quite frankly, your entire home itself. With Fall upon us, the leaves are going to start falling and this can be a recipe for disaster.

Consider making time to clean out your gutters and make sure there are no blockages in the storm drains. If this is not something you want to do yourself, now is the time to consider scheduling one of the great local vendors in our area to come and lean them out.

Tip 5 - Keep Valuables Off The Ground

Now this tip kind of assumes that somewhere, somehow, water has made it into your home and certain areas may be flooded. Let’s face it, even the best prevention cannot guarantee that all water can be kept out of your home.

So, it’s a good idea to practice this tip year round, as you never know when your home could accidentally flood from something as unpredictable as a broken pipe.

It’s a good practice to keep your most important/valuable items, such as sensitive paperwork, certain electronics, etc. as far off the ground as possible. If flooding does occur, placing these items in waterproof bags, water resistant safes in a higher location within your home can save you future headaches.

Bringing It All Together

No matter where you live in the mid-coast of Maine, it’s possible for you to be the victim of flooding due to Mother Nature. Moreover, it’s probably more likely that your home may suffer this occurrence simply because of a busted pipe. But no matter how your home may suffer water damage, one thing is for certain… you must have it taken care of correctly and immediately.

Remember, we encourage you to make us part of your prevention plan. Call us today and ask us to put together an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your home. This will put you leaps and bounds ahead if the unthinkable happens.

However, not matter what, your friends & neighbors here at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland are ready and able to help. We’re only a phone call away; you can reach us at 338-1850.

Practical Tips To Mitigate Hurricane Damage

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare Now For Hurricane Season

Well guess what…

You made it!

Right now, you’re probably reading this and thinking we’ve lost our collective minds…

Actually, we know exactly what we are saying… and congratulations are in order…

Why?

Because this is the last post in our ‘Storm Series’ and if you’ve made it this far, you have all the information you need to help put yourself, your home and your business in a better position by being prepared before a hurricane arrives here in mid-coast Maine.

But, if you have not read all the posts in our storm series, then here are the links to what you have missed:

Hey Maine – Hurricane Season is Here

Hurricanes vs Tropical Storms – Know The Difference

Hurricane Storm Watch vs Storm Warning

Understanding Hurricane Categories

Now, if you’ve been through a hurricane, you know that one of the experiences you are likely to have is increased chances of lightning strikes.  This is not just isolated to hurricanes however, so we suggest you add this blog post to your list of reading as part of the ‘storm series’:

Summertime Lightning Safety

Hurricane Storm Preparation Tips

Even if you haven’t read our entire hurricane series, you know what to expect during a hurricane… heavy rain, possible flooding, high winds, flying debris, loss of electricity, etc.

But, the key is how you protect your home, property and business against all the damage that comes with that extreme weather. 

Well, hurricanes are some of the most destructive forces of nature on Earth.  Let’s be honest, in some cases there isn’t much you can do.

But don’t lose hope, we’re going to give you some basic tips to help you prepare. But, if the unthinkable happens and you suffer from a hurricane that hits our area, we are only call away. We can respond quickly and help deal with the potential flooding that may occur.

But, let’s hope it doesn’t need to come to that. Here are some tips to help you avoid unnecessary damage during a hurricane.

Reinforce Doors & Windows

One of the time tested methods for protecting your home from hurricane damage is simply to board up all windows in your home with plywood.

‘I remember helping to do this as a kid’

This is a relatively inexpensive means of helping to protect your property. You can help increase your peace of mind for the cost of a hammer, nails, a sturdy ladder and some plywood.

It may be worth your time to obtain some plywood ahead of time, especially, if you have a place to store it. The additional bonus to doing this is you will avoid all the lines of others trying to make the same purchase at the same time.

Install Shutters

Another option is to install hurricane shutters. This is much more expensive than our previous tip and will require a professional to install it ahead of hurricane season.

The added bonus to this tip is that there are different styles of shutters that you can choose from, allowing you to decide which kind fits your home’s aesthetics best.

Replace Windows With Hurricane Glass

A more permanent alternative to shutters is to install hurricane glass in all of your windows. Like windshield glass, if hurricane glass is hit by debris and breaks it will stay in one piece and remain in the window. Although this method does not protect the actual window from being damaged it does prevent the interior of your home from incurring damage due to additional water or debris getting inside.

Remove Trees That Could Fall Into Your Home

Although this is not always an option, it can be a good idea to prune back, or remove entirely any trees near your home that could present a potential fall risk.  In particular, remove any overhanging branches that could break and fall onto your roof or other important structures like power lines.

Build Flood Barriers

Although once the storm surge and torrential rains hit, they may certainly usurp permanent and temporary flood barriers. However, they can still be great options to prevent against more than just minor flooding.

Piled sandbags will work handily as a temporary solution whereas concrete walls and raised doorways would be a sturdier, longer lasting investment for properties that experience flooding regularly.

A Final Prevention Tip

SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland is dedicated to providing the best restorations services throughout the Belfast, Camden and Rockland areas. Let us help you prepare now by completing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). Reach out to us about it today at 338-1850.

Hurricane Damage Your Home and Business Can Suffer

7/28/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane Damage Can Be Devastating

As we say good-bye to July and hello to August, the likelihood of feeling the effects of a hurricane here in Maine increases.

Hopefully you’ve been following along with our ‘Storm Series’ to help yourself prepare ahead of time and potentially mitigate the damaging effects we will review in this post. 

If you need to catch up, here are the blogs in the series:

Hey Maine – Hurricane Season is Here

Hurricanes vs Tropical Storms – Know The Difference

Hurricane Storm Watch vs Storm Warning

Understanding Hurricane Categories

Now, if you’ve been through a hurricane, you know that one of the experiences you are likely to have is increased chances of lightning strikes.  This is not just isolated to hurricanes however, so we suggest you add this blog post to your list of reading as part of the ‘storm series’:

Summertime Lightning Safety

As if we haven’t already made this clear… hurricanes are some of the most destructive forces of nature known to man.  

They uproot trees, pull roofs off of homes, cause widespread flooding and generally cause mayhem and destruction.  Not only do they represent a significant risk to your life and personal safety, but even a mild hurricane or tropical storm can cause costly damage to your home or business.

Hurricane and tropical storm damage can generally be separated into three categories: water damage, wind-related damage and damage caused by ocean storm surges.

Water Related Hurricane Damage

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, with any hurricane or tropical storm will come a significant increase in rainfall, resulting in flooding and increased likelihood of mudslides.  

Other flooding related things include local rivers and lakes will likely overflow their normal banks and follow the path of least resistance.  If you live near one of these, that path may often mean moving right through your property.

A business consideration with regard to large amounts of rain includes ensuring drainage in parking lots and structures are clear and designed for the amounts of rain this storm will deliver.  It’s also a good idea to be sure your drainage systems are designed to move the water away from your structures and it prevents the water from collecting in one place.

Mudslides can be some of the most dangerous results heavy rainfall.  When the ground becomes saturated with water and begins to move from its original position it will take whatever is sitting upon it along for the ride.  

We’ve all watched the videos on YouTube, standing items like cars are easily swept away, as well as small structures like garden sheds… but larger mudslides can displace entire buildings.

Wind-Related Hurricane Damage

Although the wind itself can be dangerous, uprooting trees and picking up untethered items, much of the damage is actually caused by what the hurricane has picked up striking something else.  While you may be upset by a tree being uprooted from your front yard, the real danger is in that tree falling on your home or even power lines.

These dangers are compounded by pieces of flying debris that can also represent the most immediate risk for personal safety and it is advisable to stay indoors during any wind storm, not to mention a hurricane.

All of this flying debris can wreak havoc with your property.  The sheer speed of these flying objects from the hurricane force winds cause significant external damage, damaging roofs and breaking windows, as well as bring down power lines which may also cause fires.

Ocean Storm Surge Related Damage

Oceanside property is often some of the most sought after pieces of property in the great state of Maine.  However, this can also be one of the scariest places to be during hurricane season.

While boats can and should be moved to safe places in preparation for a large storm, the same cannot be said about ocean-front homes and businesses.  In fact, it was storm surges that caused much of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  High winds and large, powerful waves caused ocean levees to break and flooding to spread for miles inland.

Even in milder (category 1) hurricanes or tropical storms these surges will push much further inland than the average high tide.  Because of the high volume of water, damage from these surges can be hard to avoid.

Hurricane Preparation

As we’ve been mentioning, SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland is offering a free service to all residents in the mid-coast of Maine.  Reach out to us today and ask for us to set you up with and Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).  You can reach us at 207-355-4310.

Summertime Lightning Safety

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Stay Safe This Summer When Lightning Strikes

We think it’s fair to say that we are deep into Summer here in Maine… and we know what that means… severe weather can pop up in an instant.

On those humid days, nasty thunder and lightning can pound the mid-coast area.

Summertime is short in Maine, so we can’t let lightning storms prevent any of our outdoor activities… but we still need to be safe.

Let’s face it, lightning is one of the most serious weather concerns that people face on a daily basis, it doesn’t necessarily need to be summertime. 

However, most people do not realize the danger that lightning poses--whether they are indoors or outdoors.  If you want to stay safe when lightning may strike, consider the following safety tips.

Thunderstorms and Lighting

It is a little known fact that all thunderstorms produce lightning, even if you don't see any visible lightning flashes.

This is why it is essential to act swiftly whenever any thunderstorms are in the area.

Lightning can even occur when a thunderstorm isn't in the immediate vicinity; in fact, a significant amount of lightning strikes happen away from areas of heavy rain and can strike as far as 10 miles away from any current rainfall.

If you hear thunder, take shelter immediately inside a building or in a hard-topped vehicle.  Do not come back outside until at least 30 minutes after the thunderstorm is completely over.  

Many people are injured or killed because they mistakenly believe it is safe to be outside as soon as the storm has passed.

Injuries & Fatalities From Lightning

In the United States, around 300 people every year are struck by lightning.  Of these 300 people, around 50 of them are killed.

However, fatalities are not the only concern when it comes to lightning strikes: most people struck by lightning suffer lifelong injuries, including serious pain, depression, neurological disabilities, hearing loss and other medical concerns.

These statistics highlight the need to take lightning safety seriously.

What To Do When Thunderstorms Roll In

When you are outside and you hear the sound of thunder--even if you don't see storm clouds or the storm is not yet in your area--is to start thinking about your safety. 

Here are some tips to help: 

  • Take shelter inside a building or a hard-topped vehicle. Tents, covered porches, and sheds cannot protect you from lightning; head inside a building that is fully enclosed.
  • Avoid being in an open area and avoid being the tallest object in an area, which increases your chances of being struck by lightning.
  • Avoid being near any isolated tall objects, such as isolated tall trees, utility poles or towers.
  • Avoid touching or standing by anything metal, such as metal wires or fences; lightning can travel through metal as a conductor and you could be shocked.

Outdoor Lightning Safety Tips

Unfortunately, it is sometimes not always possible to find indoor shelter before a thunderstorm arrives.  In these cases, these outdoor lightning safety tips can reduce your chances of being struck. 

  • Stay low and avoid high elevation, which means hiking down from hills, peaks or mountain ridges; ideally, look for low-lying areas such as valleys and ditches
  • Avoid isolated trees, poles, ladders and other tall objects; standing under trees is the second leading cause of deaths from lightning strike
  • Avoid taking shelter under cliffs or any rocky overhangs, which could be struck by lighting and fall
  • Get out of rivers, lakes, ponds or any bodies of water and get away from them
  • Do not lie down on the ground. This exposes you to ground currents and increases your risk of death or injury
  • If you can, get inside a hard-topped vehicle, this will provide you more protection than being completely exposed outside

Indoor Lightning Safety Tips

The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is indoors.

However, there are still some common sense lightning safety tips you should practice in order to avoid injury. 

Here are some safety tips to consider when you're indoors during a storm. 

  • Do not use or come into contact with plumbing, such as faucets, bathtubs or sinks; this includes taking baths and showers
  • Stay off any corded phones, computers, or any electronic equipment that puts you into direct contact with electricity; this includes laptops and computers that are connected via cables to the internet
  • Avoid being near windows and doors. It’s not safe on the porch, even a covered porch

The '30 minute' rule we mentioned earlier applies indoors as well.  

You should wait at least 30 minutes until the thunderstorm is completely over to use electronic equipment, plumbing, or get near windows and doors.

Lightning Damage

Besides the obvious personal injuries that can happen during these storms, lightning strikes can also cause significant property damage.

Property damage can range from fires to shock-wave damage.  Power surges caused by lightning strikes can fry electronics inside your home or business.

Should your home or business suffer fire damage due to lightning, call your local storm damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland.

Ideally, you will not suffer any effects of the thunderstorms that are certainly going to roll through the mid-coast area.  If you do your best to avoid being caught outside and if you are, by following proven safety precautions… you can have a safe Summer.

Remember, if you need help to recover from the effects of lightning, you can reach us at 207-338-1850.

When Disaster Strikes Use The SERVPRO Advantage

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

We Are Faster To Any Disaster

Let’s be honest, when disaster strikes, the last thing you want to be worried about is if you called the right company to help get you back on the road to recovering from your loss. 

So, it only makes sense to call the industry leader in commercial and residential restoration services… SERVPRO.

Throughout the mid-coast of Maine, SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland is proud to be your local professionals.  We have a highly trained staff, a large, modern fleet of vehicles and the latest industry equipment.

All of that might sound a bit like hype, but let’s take a closer look.

SERVPRO The Industry Leader

When the ‘worst case scenario’ happens, you can find comfort in the fact that your decision to call in SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland was the right choice.

Highly Trained Team

During this critical time, you need the most highly trained property restoration team available.  That is exactly what you get when you call us in.

Our staff receives initial training in many areas.  Some of these include fire restoration, water restoration and carpet & upholstery cleaning.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg.  Further training is provided through SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility as well as IICRC industry certifications.

Faster To Any Disaster

When emergencies happen, time is of the essence.  It is not overstating to say ‘minutes count.’

While SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland has the backing of over 1,700 franchises across the U.S. and Canada as well as SERVPRO’s Commercial Large Loss Division… it’s the fact that we are local that makes a difference when time is ticking away.

We are based in Belfast and our resources are ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

The Latest Technology & Techniques

As with most areas, there are continual advancements in the technology and techniques utilized throughout the restoration industry.  These industry innovations give SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland a huge advantage.

Some of the equipment we use to follow the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) standards includes infrared cameras, moisture meters, hygrometers, pumps, extraction units, high speed air movers, industrial grade dehumidifiers, air scrubbers and thermal foggers… to mention just a few.

The SERVPRO advantage doesn’t stop there.

Prepare Before Disaster Strikes

Having an emergency preparedness plan can be the reason a business survives a disaster.  We can help you be ready.

Consider completing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).

In short, our ERP is comprehensive document critical information to help your business mitigate any interruption during a disaster.  This is a service offered by us to all businesses throughout the mid-coast of Maine for free.  Once it’s complete, you can access all of this information right from your smartphone.

Learn more out our Emergency Ready Profile here.

The SERVPRO Advantage Is At Your Fingertips

While preparation before disaster strikes is always best. 

However, if an emergency comes knocking before your preparations are complete, start your journey to recovery on the right foot.  Choose the best qualified professionals to help.

SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland are your local professionals who have the team, equipment and experience to bring you back to pre-disaster conditions.

You can reach us on Waldo Ave. in Belfast, online or by calling 207-338-1850.

Understanding Hurricane Categories

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane Categories

Hey Belfast… here we are, deep into July and things are ‘heating up’ in the tropics.

This post is the latest in our ‘storm series’… in this series we are trying to give you great information about hurricanes so you are ready long before there is one in our mid-coast Maine forecast.

In case you missed it, here are our previous posts in the series.  You can catch up here:

Hey Maine – Hurricane Season is Here

Hurricanes vs Tropical Storms – Know the Difference

Hurricane Storm Watch vs Storm Warning

Hurricane Categories

When you are watching a weather forecast on one of our great local stations and they report about a hurricane coming our way, it’s likely you’ll have two questions on your mind:

How bad is the storm?

What do I need to do to prepare?

To answer these questions we need to understand what our local meteorologists are telling us.

One of the most common tools we have for understanding the hurricane on our weather report is the five category hurricane scale. This is called the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.

Unsurprisingly, this scale breaks up hurricanes into categories based on wind speed (here measured in miles per hour or mph) and ignores other factors such as rain fall. This scale is used exclusively on hurricanes or tropical cyclones of the Atlantic Ocean.

It is important to note that the Saffir-Simpson scale measures the highest average wind over a one minute span of time. As such, it indicates the higher end of wind speed that you are likely to experience in the hurricane, rather than a true average wind speed.

So what is the breakdown?

Category 1 – Wind Speeds 74 to 95 mph

A storm of this first category is likely to cause minimal damage if your home or property. Blowing around unsecured items and snapping tree branches is probably the lion’s share of the damage to be experienced. However, these winds and the ensuing damage can often result in a loss of power.  So it’s a good idea to have a generator and stock up accordingly.

Category 2 – Wind Speeds 96 to 110 mph

The increased wind speeds in this category will be where you can potentially start seeing increased levels of damage to your home and property. Damage can include significant roofing damage, roads can be blocked by downed trees and branches and power outages are pretty much a certainty. Along our Maine coastline the wind and waves created by the storm are generally strong enough to cause small boats to break from their moorings.

Category 3 – Wind Speeds 111 to 129 mph

It is at this point that hurricanes begin to be described as ‘major hurricanes’. Category 3 storms are likely to result in increased levels of damage to your home and property as well as a loss of power which is probably going to last for an extended period. If you live along the coastline, flood damage is almost a certainty.

Category 4 – Winds Speeds 130 to 156 mph

Category 4 storms have made up some of the deadliest and most dangerous disasters in the United States. Extensive and irreparable damage to your home is very likely.  Entire structures can be completely destroyed during storms of this magnitude. The uprooting of tress, extended loss of power as well as coastal flooding is a given.

Category 5 – Wind Speeds Greater than 157 mph

This category is currently the highest possible rating on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. With a storm of this scale complete devastation of buildings and entire neighborhoods is almost a given. Areas affected by the storm will have no electricity or water for extended periods, perhaps several months or more. Emergency and other infrastructure related services will likely be non-existent, especially in the days immediately following the storm.

Prepare Ahead of the Storm

While understanding the Saffir-Simpson Scale can help you prepare the potential effects of a major storm that may it the mid-coast area, getting your plans in place ahead of time is key.

We can help you begin your storm emergency preparations by completing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). We are just a phone call away.  You can reach us at 207-338-1850.

Summertime Fireworks Safety Tips

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Practice Fireworks Safety

Fireworks… a summertime staple…

Many of our summer events and holidays would just not be the same without being able to enjoy a great fireworks display.

Moreover, many states, including the great state of Maine, purchasing fireworks is legal.  This helps to increase our enjoyment, especially as we include them into our outdoor plans.

But for as much fun as they can give, they are also a potential source of injury or even fatalities.

Estimates are that around 11,000 to 13,000 people are injured due to fireworks every year and an average of 8 people are killed every year due to fireworks related incidents.

These numbers become even more depressing when you realize that about 1/3 of the people injured by fireworks every year are children.  This includes injuries from fireworks such as fire crackers and sparklers. 

Sparklers are commonly enjoyed by adults and children of all ages.  Unfortunately, most parents forget that these sparklers are extremely hot until it’s too late.  Sparklers burn hot enough to cause serious burns to the skin and even ignite clothing.

Fireworks Fire Hazards

As if the injury related statistics weren’t bad enough, fireworks also have a rather obvious track record when it comes to fire hazards.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates that fireworks are responsible for between 20,000 to 50,000 fires per year, including fires inside the home, inside or around vehicles, as well as outdoors.  

These fires not only destroy property, they cause thousands of injuries as well as at least 2-3 deaths per year.

Fireworks Fire Prevention

The key to preventing fires caused by fireworks is recognizing the fire hazards posed by fireworks and preventing them before they occur.  To that end, here are some safety tips:

Create an Open and Clear Space

Prepare a clear, open space that is away from buildings, trees and anything that might be flammable.  Your open space should have a fire extinguisher and a source of water on hand.  If you are in an area surrounded by foliage or brush, you can reduce the fire risk by watering them with a hose before you begin your fireworks display.

Respect Fireworks Restrictions

Even though fireworks are legal in the state, there may be a ban in your community.  Furthermore, there could be temporary restrictions due to drought or other conditions which make fires more likely.

Dispose of Fireworks Safely

Dispose of any 'duds' and spent fireworks properly.  Duds in particular can become serious fire hazards if they dry out, so dispose of it in a way that mitigates the risk of fire.  A good rule of thumb is to wait 20 minutes after attempting to light it.  Then soak it in a bucket of water for as long as possible.  Finally, double bag the soaked dud and dispose of it.

Wear Eye Protection

Fireworks have the potential to cause eye injuries.  These injuries are not only from the projectile sticking your eye, but the sparks and debris when the go off.  Though wearing safety goggles when using fireworks may seem a bit over the top, you’ll be glad you did. 

Use Fireworks Properly

Be sure to point fireworks away from people, animals, buildings and other objects.

When you’re lighting fireworks pay careful attention to their intended direction of travel.  Ensure that even fireworks that shoot into the air don’t land in areas dense in foliage such as trees, bushes and other vegetation.

Transport Fireworks Safely

It’s a good practice to never carry fireworks shoved in your pocket or purse/bag.  The friction from your pants or purse/bag can cause the fireworks to ignite and cause serious injury.  Carry fireworks in proper boxes or bags in which they were originally purchased from your local retailer.

Practice Fireworks Safety

Fireworks can be fun to see and enjoy if they are used properly.  By using common sense safety practices you can mitigate the risks of fire and serious injuries.

While we hope all of your summertime plans go off without a hitch, if disaster strikes, your friends and neighbors at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland are here to help. 

Our highly trained staff stands ready to assist you after damage from a fire.

We’re available 24/7at 207-338-1850.

Hurricane Storm Watch vs. Storm Warning

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Know The Difference Between Storm Watch & Storm Warning

Our ‘storm’ series continues…

But, if you missed our previous posts about hurricanes, you can read them here:

Hurricane Season is Here

Hurricane vs Tropical Storm

No matter what part of Maine you live in, you keep an eye to the weather.  For many, this is especially true this time of year.

So as you’re watching the forecast on any of the great local stations, at some point you’re going to hear the terms storm watch and a storm warning.

What do they mean?

More importantly, how should you prepare for each one?

The primary difference between a storm watch and storm warning is that for a storm watch, there is still a chance that the storm will not occur; during a storm warning, the storms arrival is already a surety.

Hurricane Storm Watch

When tracking a hurricane heading toward Maine, a storm watch means that there is a possibility of hurricane conditions developing in our area.  The primary effects of the hurricane likely to be experienced are wind speeds of greater than 74 mph.

It is at this point that you should be making preparations to gather supplies and weatherproof your home and property.

Let SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland help you with your storm preparation by setting up an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for you.  It is a free service we offer to all our friends and neighbors throughout the mid-coast area. 

Call us today to find out more.

Keep in mind that while a storm watch brings with it the possibility that our area will not experience any effects from the hurricane, conditions may change.

Hurricane Storm Warning

If a hurricane (or any other major weather event for that matter) is going to affect our area, the forecast will likely be a storm warning.  Storm warnings are typically issued around 36 hours before the storm is due to arrive.

With any luck, your storm preparations are already be complete and only short list of final preparation items are left to complete.  

Keep in mind that based on the trajectory and severity of the hurricane, the total amount of precipitation and winds, you may need to evacuate your home.  So, the sooner you’re prepared the better.

Here To Help

Both warnings should be taken seriously.  Having plans in place in case you need to stay in your home for an extended period or if you need to evacuate can be key to survival.

Should this hurricane season deal a blow to our area, help from SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland is only a phone call away.  Reach us at 207-338-1850.

Hurricanes vs Tropical Storm – Know The Difference

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes Are Tropical Cyclones

If you’re a lifelong Maine resident, it’s probably a pretty good bet you’ve starred down the barrel of a major storm or two.

When that’s the case, you usually have little care what type of storm it is…

But in this next post in our ‘Storm Series’ that is exactly what we’re going to discuss.

Read our previous 'Storm Series' post about hurricanes here.

What exactly makes a hurricane vs. a tropical storm?

Both are large, spinning storm systems, also called tropical cyclones… both can cause serious damage to your home and property….

Technically, the difference is all in wind speed.

The 3 Types of Tropical Cyclone

Tropical Depression

Tropical storms and hurricanes actually have a lesser known primary stage. This stage is called a tropical depression.

These are smaller storms where wind speed only reaches up to 39 miles per hour, most remaining at some point around 30 mph.

On a weather report a depression will already be showing the characteristic lowered surface pressure and general circular wind pattern of larger cyclones but will be different in that they will not be as organized and show the distinct patterns that we come to expect in hurricanes.

In fact, to an untrained eye most tropical depressions appear most like a cluster of thunderstorms than a spinning cyclone.

This is already enough wind to make it somewhat difficult to drive, taller vehicles with larger side surface area especially might find themselves being blown a bit off course by the wind. While this is not enough wind to uproot most trees you will certainly find that large branches and debris will easily be thrown about in even this smallest type of tropical cyclone.

Tropical Storm

If a tropical depression does not dissipate it can become a tropical storm.

A tropical storm is, in turn is defined when its wind speeds reach between 39 and 73 mph.

Unlike a tropical depression, tropical storms display a much more easily observable spinning pattern and even the beginnings of spiral rain bands. It is at this point that we begin to name our storms.

With tropical storms, although their name does not strike the same panic as that of a hurricane, they can cause significant damage to your home and property just by themselves. These large storm systems carry with them, not just high wind speeds but large amount of rain as well.

Tropical storms can dump as much as 17 inches of rain in just one day, which can result in in significant flooding, mudslides, and causing people to evacuate to higher ground.

Hurricane

Hurricanes are the largest, strongest, and most organized of the Atlantic tropical cyclones with wind speeds that start at 74 mph and have been observed as high as 190 mph (Hurricane Allen in 1980).

They present the iconic, easily recognizable cyclone shape that rotates around the ‘eye’ at the core of the storm. The eye is unique to this largest stage of cyclone, as is the ‘eye wall’ or the area of strong winds and heavy rain that surrounds the relative calm of the eye.

With heavy rainfall that can cause damage still visible a decade later and winds that can rip a house from its foundations, hurricanes have the potential to be some of the most dangerous storms on Earth.

Prepare Ahead of the Storm

Though Maine has been spared from major devastation from hurricanes over recent years, a minor course change in any storm traversing the east coast can change all that. Taking time to prepare now can make the difference in how you fair any devastation.

Your friends and neighbors at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland are always ready to help you with our free Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) service. This small preparation can put you on the right track with your being prepared for any emergency that may strike.

Our highly trained staff stands ready to help. You can reach us at 207-338-1850.

Hey Maine - Hurricane Season Is Here

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare Now For Hurricane Season

We know it may be hard to believe… but hurricane season is here.

Honestly, nobody really even wants to think about it… heck you just probably opened your camp for the season… or you finally got your boat in the water.

Not to mention, that Maine has been lucky these last few years when it comes to hurricanes…

But, the truth is, the season is here… the Atlantic hurricane season actually began on June 1st.

Being prepared is half the battle… especially when it comes to recovering from a major storm like a hurricane.

To that end, we are putting together a ‘storm’ series here on our blog to give you all the information you need to help you understand hurricanes and to be ready in case the mid-coast area suffers the effects of a hurricane in the next few months.

So, with that… let’s kick this thing off…

The Anatomy of a Hurricane

If you’ve lived in Maine for any length of time, you’ve heard of hurricanes.  For that matter, you've probably experienced one or two of them first hand.

But what exactly is a hurricane?

A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone that occurs specifically in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Tropical cyclones are a particular type of storm, characterized by their rapid, circular rotation and low-pressure center (known as the “eye of the storm”).  They are also defined by strong, potentially destructive winds greater than 74 miles per hour that in extreme cases can reach up to 200 miles per hour.

We’ve all seen the familiar ‘pinwheel’ traveling up the east coast of the U.S. on our local weather stations. 

Hurricanes are very large storms and often have diameters of over 60 miles, some larger storm have even had diameters upwards of 400 miles across.  At the edges of the circular hurricane wind speeds are at their mildest and may be nearly calm, with the storm becoming stronger and more intense as you approach the center.

The most dangerous part of the storm is known as the “eye wall” which surrounds the center or “eye” of the storm; it is here that wind velocity is at its greatest and the most damage is likely to occur.

By contrast, the “eye” itself is clear as the air will sink and prevent the formation of clouds. This is but a short reprieve before the rest of the storm passes over.

Hurricane Formation

Typically, hurricanes are formed by the evaporation of water, rising from the surface of the ocean.  When this moisture reaches the colder parts of the atmosphere it cools and condenses into large rain clouds.

These clouds moving along the relatively flat surface of the ocean generate static electricity, creating thunder and lightning, and begin to rotate based on their hemispheric location.

In the Norther Hemisphere hurricanes rotate counter clockwise and in the Southern Hemisphere they rotate clockwise. This is called the Coriolis Effect … and no… it does not affect the direction your toilet flushes… no matter what your schoolyard friends told you as a kid.

Hurricanes are a type of tropical storm and as such are generally only found in tropical areas of the Western Atlantic such as the Caribbean and the Southern United States. Tropical cyclones, as a more general term, can be found in any tropical area around the world.

Hurricanes require the warm water found in tropical areas to exist, so as they move over land and cooler water hurricanes tend to lose strength.

So, often lower category hurricanes that reach as far north as New England will often began to dissipate as the storm travels over land and the cooler North Atlantic waters nearest us. 

Hurricane Classifications

Hurricanes are also rated on a five category scale called the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.  This scale only takes into account wind velocity.  

The scale breaks down as follows: 

  • Category 1 will have winds ranging from 74 to 95 mph
  • Category 2 will have winds ranging from 96 to 110 mph
  • Category 3 will have winds ranging from 111 to 130 mph
  • Category 4 will have winds ranging from 131 to 155 mph
  • Category 5 will be anything with winds greater than 155 mph

We will discuss more about the classification of hurricanes later in this series.

Damaging Effects of Hurricanes

Because of the high winds and heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes, they can be very dangerous to both yourself and your property.  Trees may be damaged or even be uprooted, any objects can become projectiles as winds increase and heavy rainfall can result in overfull rivers and flooding.

In certain circumstances with particularly severe hurricanes, those living in the path of a hurricane may be told to evacuate for their own safety and designated shelters are created.

We will discuss more about the effects experienced by hurricanes later on in this series.

Preparation Steps You Can Start Today

Given the destruction hurricanes can cause, taking precautions during hurricane season to protect yourself, your family, your home and business from injury and damage is a step in the right direction.

While we will discuss safety tips in greater detail later in this series, one thing you can do now is reaching out to your local restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Belfast/Camden/Rockland and let us set up an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP).

The ERP is a free service we offer to Belfast, Camden, Rockland and surrounding areas to help you, our friends and neighbors, have critical information at your fingertips during an emergency.

You can get more hurricane information the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA).

You can reach us at 207-338-1850.