Recent Posts

"Job of the Quarter: 3rd Quarter 2020"

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Debris chute in warehouse Our quick turnaround time required everyone’s involvement and when we say everyone, we mean everyone all the way from technicians to one of our owners

Picking the job of the quarter is always a tough decision. Every day we have the privilege of helping our customers with a variety of needs, and similarly, every day our team members shine throughout each job with the work ethic they display and customer service experience they produce. So how do you choose one particular job that stands out? This quarter it all came down to hustle and teamwork. 

Getting The Call

At 3 PM on a sunny Saturday afternoon in June, our phone rang with a large fire damage to a 375,000 square foot logistics warehouse in Southcentral Pennsylvania. They needed service then and there. The prominent retail client this customer manages could not afford downtime, delayed shipments, and upset customers. It was up to Team Wall to make it “Like it never even happened.” However, when COVID-19 cleanings were filling our after-hours production schedules, one office alone could not guarantee the response time and resources this job demanded. But, here is what sets this job and Team Wall apart from most: Labor and Resource Efficiency.

Combining Our Powers

Forgive me for getting cheesy, but do you remember Captain Planet? “With our powers combined”? It’s the real deal for Team Wall’s SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team. We have offices in Baltimore, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh. This gives us the unique ability to service customers easily in a far-reaching geographic area and combine labor and equipment resources when needed. This is exactly how we were able to respond so quickly and efficiently to this fire loss and make our customer happy “beyond measure”.

Management and Production team members from both our Baltimore and Harrisburg offices arrived onsite within 1 hour of initial contact. They developed a mitigation plan and began water extraction, drying, and cleaning services immediately. A team of 45 people worked from Saturday evening through Tuesday to complete the fire mitigation and keep this busy logistics warehouse running seamlessly.

All Hands on Deck

Our quick turnaround time required everyone’s involvement and when we say everyone, we mean everyone all the way from technicians to one of our owners, Jim Wall! Check out his picture above on the scissor lift helping to install a debris chute. It was truly an all hands on deck experience.

From day one, our company has been built on hustle and superior service. Going on 12 years later, we are still exemplifying these traits in every job we produce and it’s our goal to do so for perpetuity.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve when you and your customer’s need it most. We appreciate your support and truly enjoy being “Here to Help”!

3rd Quarter Employee of the Quarter

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Employees of the quarter Congratulations to our employees of the quarter: Chris Hoeltke and Tracy Summers!

Each quarter, we recognize one exemplary employee as our “Employee of the Quarter”. With so many incredible employees, you may be wondering: How do we choose the employee of the quarter?

Here at SERVPRO, we ask our employees to strive for our 7 “pillars”, which include: Quality, Persistence, Consistency, Team, Hustle, Solutions, and Accountability. The employee of the quarter not only follows and models all 7 pillars, but also surpasses expectations. This quarter, two employees possessed these qualities, so we couldn’t pick just one! Congratulations Chris Hoeltke and Tracy Summers!

Chris Hoeltke

One of Hunt Valley and Harford County’s employees of the quarter is our phenomenal equipment manager, Chris Hoeltke! He embodies an exemplary employee because he follows the company’s 7 pillars to a T and is flexible. Chris takes on a slew of daily responsibilities in his position, as he keeps the fleet in tip-top shape, inventories everything in the warehouse from pieces of equipment to every spec of dust in the warehouse, and sets up the morning crews. Even though he has so much going on, Chris is always willing to go above and beyond by going out of his way to run supplies up to our Pittsburgh and Harrisburg locations, fix trucks, repair equipment, and so much more. If there’s ever a crack in the seams, Chris can always be trusted to understand exactly what’s going on and fix it fast, keeping SERVPRO Team Wall supplied and moving right along. According to his coworkers, Chris is incredibly knowledgeable and always “does what he is asked and asks what he can do”. We love having Chris on our team!

Tracy Summers

Our second employee of the quarter for Hunt Valley and Harford County is our excellent receptionist and dispatcher, Tracy Summers. She has been with the company since October 2016 and has a multitude of responsibilities in her role. Tracy performs several general office duties, which include creating reports, drafting correspondence, and filing, in addition to many office administrative tasks related to job management and tracking, customer calls, job scheduling, and customer satisfaction activities. She exhibits strong teamwork, hustle, customer service, and multitasking skills. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Tracy has kept not only her head cool, but she has kept the day-to-day schedule organized and made sure that estimates were sent out to customers. Aside from her skills, Tracy was chosen as employee of the quarter because of her loyalty to the company and her unwavering willingness to help others and learn new things. She is known to her coworkers as being someone who is always willing to lend a helping hand, “even if she has 10,000 things to do”. We’re so lucky to have Tracy on our team!

2nd Quarter Meeting

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

Clear and consistent communication between our team is an ongoing goal for Team Wall. Our quarterly meetings are a big part of this, but COVID-19 definitely threw a wrench in those plans for 2020. Our 1st quarter meeting was canceled altogether, but letting another meeting slip by was not an option. We moved our meeting to the open-aired warehouse, placed chairs 6 feet apart, and kept to the key topics for discussion to minimize meeting length. We were grateful to find solutions that made coming together as a team a possibility.

Choose Commercial Ice Blasting For Your Business’ Cleanup Needs

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley & Harford County, we provide a wide array of commercial restoration services. One such service is commercial ice blasting, which can be used to combat fire and smoke damage, water and flood damage, and even mold growth. Keep reading to learn more about our commercial ice blasting services.

What is Ice Blasting?

Ice blasting involves carbon dioxide in its solid form, which is commonly referred to as “dry ice”. When sprayed, the pellets of dry ice travel toward the contaminated surface at a high speed and upon coming into contact with the surface, sublimation occurs. In sublimation, the dry ice converts to a gas and works to remove unwanted residue from the surface, such as mold or soot.

How Can It Be Used?

Ice blasting combats several different types of damage, including mold, fire and smoke, and water. When utilized for mold removal, ice blasting successfully removes 99.9% of mold spores. Additionally, ice blasting eliminates the unpleasant, musty odor that commonly accompanies mold. When an area in your business has sustained fire or smoke damage, ice blasting works to get rid of contaminants and deodorize the affected area. Finally, when dealing with a water damaged area, ice blasting can be used to remove mold and quickly remediate flooded surfaces. Ice blasting can reach affected areas that are hard-to-reach, such as corners and crevices, making it a good solution no matter where the damaged surface may be. It’s also important to note that ice blasting is effective on many different types of surfaces. Our ice blasting services offer brick, metal, and wood ice blasting, just to name a few.

Why Choose Our Ice Blasting Commercial Services?

Ice blasting offers a solution to mold, fire and smoke, and water damage that is both effective and efficient. A non-abrasive treatment, ice blasting will not inflict any further damage to surfaces or impact surrounding areas. Another reason to choose ice blasting is that it is an environmentally-friendly, chemical-free cleaning service. Ice blasting also won’t produce any secondary waste and because the process is dry, it doesn’t add moisture to the damaged surface.

If you believe that our commercial ice blasting services are right for your commercial business, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County today at (410) 229-0012. We understand the importance of getting your business back up and running as quickly as possible after enduring devastating mold, fire and smoke, or water damage. Trust SERVPRO and its ice blasting cleanup services experts for a clean that won’t disappoint.

Local Church Trusts "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" to Protect Parishioners

7/15/2020 (Permalink)

Table topper sitting on table at church The Bible Fellowship Church of Reisterstown recently trusted SERVPRO and our "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" program.

A recent survey found that 68% of respondents think about avoiding COVID-19 exposure constantly when out in public. Additionally, of respondents who constantly think about COVID-19 exposure when out in public claim that the venue must be professionally cleaned by a commercial cleaning company before the event that they would attend. In light of these concerns, SERVPRO’s recent initiative, “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned”, has stepped in to help commercial businesses ease their patrons’ concerns about potential exposure to COVID-19 upon return to public life. One such business, the Bible Fellowship Church of Reisterstown, recently trusted SERVPRO and our CSC program to thoroughly clean the church in order to ensure parishioners a safe return after Pastor Jim Crocker learned that “people were concerned about coming into the church.”

The “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program’s three C’s, Consult, Clean, and Certify, work to tailor the type of cleaning to the business’ specific needs, provide a hospital-grade disinfectant cleaning that adheres to CDC standards, and make the business’ employees and customers aware that by relying on SERVPRO’s trusted brand, the business has taken the proper steps to protect patrons. Pastor Jim Crocker at the Bible Fellowship Church of Reisterstown knew that by trusting SERVPRO’s “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program, he would “guarantee the church will be cleaned and sterilized properly.” The church is now undergoing regular cleanings to ensure both the safety and peace of mind of parishioners.

The “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program serves as a proactive and defensive cleaning service to reassure customers and employees that your business is regularly receiving the highest standard of cleaning. Additionally, the CSC program can be used to respond to suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. SERVPRO will arrive within 24 hours in order to get your business back on its feet. For your “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” consultation, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County today at (410) 299-0012. For more information about the “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program, check out our recent blog post.

Thank You Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Company

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

Team standing infront of a fire truck We couldn't be more proud of our SERVPRO team

Thank you so much Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Company for these gorgeous plaques. We really enjoy your team's attitude and all the friendly faces of the company during our return visit. We're so honored to be able to give back to you all!

A few months ago we made it our duty to go out and service as many emergency services locations as possible in order to give back to our friends on the front line. All of this was done on our dime. These are men and women who truly take a stand and give back to their community in inspiring ways.

We worked with Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Company a few times to wipe down and apply disinfectant to their apparatus and firehouse. When Larry Gribble invited the few of us to come out and meet them as a team we were so delighted to meet everyone and to finally put a face to the name. Larry was so kind and presented our team members with two plaques, and even offered to pull on of the trucks out for some great photos! We asked him if he ever feels like a big kid sometimes riding around in 'the thing' and a volunteer nearby responded "the only difference between men and boys is the size of the toys". We couldn't agree more. All in all, it was such a great experience. We look forward to being able to go out again and do more volunteer service for Cockeysville VFC and more in the local area. 

We're all about giving back to our community in their time of need!

Bathroom Mold: A Growing Concern

7/3/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom Tile It’s no secret that mold adores bathrooms.

It’s no secret that mold adores bathrooms. Mold thrives in bathrooms because they’re isolated, damp, and dark spaces. These characteristics create the perfect conditions for mold growth, which can escalate quickly. Mold infestations can lead to serious damage to your bathroom and threaten the health of those in the house, so protecting your home from mold growth is incredibly important. While preventing moisture in bathrooms is a relatively impossible feat due to the moisture that results from taking baths and showers, there are a few things that you can do to protect your bathroom.

Understanding the Causes of Bathroom Mold Growth

The top cause of mold growth in bathrooms is lacking ventilation, which causes moisture to linger, creating a damp environment. Leaking sinks, toilets, and plumbing can also be the catalyst of bathroom mold growth due to the excess moisture that they leave behind. Finally, after taking a bath or shower, fabric materials in the bathroom, such as rugs, hand towels, or shower curtains, can become damp and present an opportunity for mold to grow.

How to Prevent Mold Growth

In order to avoid dangerous mold growth in your bathroom, there are several steps that you can take. First, to combat lacking ventilation, make it a habit to turn on the bathroom fan for at least 30 minutes after taking a shower or a bath. It is also helpful to maintain a humidity level that is below 45% throughout the house. To decrease the chances of mold growth on damp fabric materials, be sure to wash towels, rugs, and other bathroom fabrics frequently. You can also check plumbing for leaks on a regular basis in hopes of catching a leak before it gets out of control. Finally, habitually using a squeegee to remove stagnant water on your shower walls can be effective in removing moisture that can lead to mold growth.

What to Do If You Spot Mold Growth

Oftentimes, mold grows in hidden areas of the bathroom, including corners and between tiles, making it difficult to spot. If you see mold growth, it is crucial that you follow these steps. First, don’t touch the mold, as doing so may result in allergic reactions. Secondly, don’t attempt to get rid of the mold or dry it out. Both activities can kick up mold spores and risk them traveling to other parts of the bathroom. Finally, don’t panic. While mold growth may appear frightening, remember that you are not alone. Call SERVPRO at (410) 229-0012 for an inspection and mold damage assessment, We provide professional and reliable mold remediation services to ensure that your bathroom quickly and safely returns to normal. For more information about our mold remediation services, visit https://www.SERVPROhuntvalleyharfordcounty.com/mold-remediation.

Employee Highlight: Carrie Jackson

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

Female Employee Smiling in front of green wall This month’s employee highlight is one of our favorite office managers, Carrie Jackson!

This month’s employee highlight is one of our favorite office managers, Carrie Jackson! This June marks 15 years since Carrie began her journey with SERVPRO, so we sat down with her to look back on the years she’s spent with the company, her role as office manager, and even talk about her love for murder mysteries! 

The Office is the Heartbeat

Carrie’s role as SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County’s office manager involves giving estimates, scheduling jobs, and getting billing out to customers. Because the office reaches and supports every area of the company, Carrie likens the office to the “heartbeat” of SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County. The office’s support is critical to the company’s success. Carrie says that her favorite aspects of working at SERVPRO are assisting people when they’ve faced a flood, fire, or water damage and helping them find peace of mind. 

Get to Know Carrie Outside of the Office

Even though Carrie was supposed to be on an exciting trip to Jamaica this month, she has been able to enjoy spending time with her family in Virginia during this time. Carrie’s dog, Izzy, recently turned three in May. Izzy is a rescue dog who Carrie met and adopted when her sister, who fosters rescues, convinced Carrie to meet the adorable Izzy. Carrie brings Izzy into the office occasionally, which Izzy loves because she’s given lots of treats. In addition, Carrie enjoys doing volunteer work for our veterans.

Carrie also loves delving into murder mysteries in her free time! Her fascination stems from the challenge and puzzle of figuring out what happened. She is particularly captivated by unsolved cases, such as a local case that took place in Maryland many years ago. Another fun fact about Carrie is that she likes ghost hunting in Gettysburg. 

Reflecting on Her Time at SERVPRO

Carrie has seen immense growth over her 15 years at SERVPRO. According to Carrie, the team has become a melting pot of people from contrasting backgrounds, bringing new ideas to the table and working together as a cohesive group. She feels as though the COVID-19 outbreak has challenged the company to adapt and grow, as SERVPRO has learned how to most effectively aid individuals, nursing homes, and the entire community. Carrie says that, strengthened by overcoming the pandemic’s challenges, SERVPRO has gained an understanding of what it can do to help and how to always be there to support the community.

Flash Floods: Know Your Risk

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

Summer rain showers can change from calm to severe in a matter of minutes. NOAA reports that flooding claims an average of 81 lives every year. While flooding in general is ranked the second most deadly weather-related killer in the United States, flash flooding can be even more dangerous. During a flash flood, rain rapidly creates a forceful rush of water that can destroy anything standing in its way, including buildings, roads, and homes. Due to the elevated humidity levels and slower jet stream characteristic of the summer season, flash flooding is particularly prevalent during the summer. Because flash flooding can strike at any given moment without warning, it is essential that you gain an understanding of how flash floods develop in order to best protect your home this summer. 

Causes of Flash Flooding

The jet stream has a significant impact on weather events. During the summer, the jet stream slows, causing storms to spend a longer amount of time than usual over one area. As a result, the area experiencing the storm observes a large amount of rainfall and has a greater risk of a flash flood developing. Generally, increased duration and greater intensity of rainfall contribute to flash flooding. A handful of different storms, such as severe storms (hurricanes and tropical storms) and slow-moving thunderstorms, can produce these conditions. 

Topography also plays a prominent part in the development of flash floods. If you live in a coastal town or any area located near bodies of water, including streams and rivers, you may be at greater risk for flash flooding. Urban areas are also at increased risk for flash flooding because they tend to lack drainage systems that can handle large amounts of rainfall. 

Know Your Risk

Unfortunately, early warning can often not be given prior to flash floods due to the rapid rate at which they develop. Additionally, homes can undergo major water damage or structural damage when no warning is given before a flash flood. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you understand your area’s risk of flash flooding. If you live in an area that is at risk, be sure to stay alert when the forecast calls for storms. It may also be helpful to put together an emergency flood kit that you can have on hand during a flash flood. In the event that a flash flood strikes unexpectedly and results in damage to your home this summer, call SERVPRO. Our team of storm damage experts are here for you and will restore your home to its pre-flood condition “Like it never even happened.”

Fire Up the Barbecue: Gas Grill Safety

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

BBQ Grill, Open Flame It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The month of June is famous for backyard barbecues and cookouts. The grill is a staple for
these events and often, they are gas grills, which are usually powered by propane tanks or
cylinders. While grilling should be fun and enjoyable, it is important to recognize that gas grills are a prominent fire hazard. It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. By understanding
how to safely go about each step in the grilling process, you can minimize the risk of a fire
igniting while keeping your summer cookouts enjoyable and safe.


Using a Propane Cylinder Safely

It is important to check your propane cylinder for damage, such as rust or dents, prior to use. If
you find that the propane cylinder is damaged, refrain from using that particular cylinder.
Additionally, make sure that the propane cylinder is not overfilled before firing up the grill.
Maintaining a distance of at least 10 ft between the propane cylinder and any combustible items
is crucial at all times. It is also extremely unsafe for children to be within close proximity to the
propane cylinder while it is in use. When not in use, propane cylinders should never be stored
inside. Instead, they should be kept in an outdoor location with sufficient ventilation in an upright
position. However, they should not be kept beside or underneath the gas grill.


Gas Grill Safety

Before any kind of cookout, be sure to check your grill for gas leaks. In order to do this, spray a
soapy water solution on the grill fitting and turn on the gas. Bubbles forming on that line
indicates a leak. Another important step is to check the hose that runs from the propane cylinder to the grill for any holes, which may leak gas. Also, be sure to remove any blockages that you find in the grill, which can range from bugs to old food grease, before you use the grill. Make
certain that the grill is located on a level surface in a ventilated outdoor space and don’t leave
the grill unattended while grilling. At any point while grilling you begin to smell gas, evacuate the
area and call the fire department from a safe distance. In the event of an emergency, it may be
beneficial to have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Once you’re finished grilling and the food is smelling wonderful, don’t forget to completely close the valve of the propane cylinder and turn off the grill’s burner controls. Before placing a cover over the grill, make sure that it has thoroughly cooled down.


In the Event of a Fire…

Adhering to safe grilling practices can reduce the chances of the ignition of an unwanted fire,
but regardless of how careful you are, accidents cannot be completely voided. If your home has experienced fire damage due to a gas grill mishap, be sure to call SERVPRO. From fire damage to smoke and soot damage, our team of skilled fire damage specialists will speedily remediate the damage so that you can continue to enjoy your sizzling summer barbecues and cookouts
this June.