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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Owner’s Corner 3rd Quarter 2019

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Every year at this time, all of the SERVPRO franchises worldwide, totalling over 1700 in number, came together for the yearly SERVPRO convention. Learning, networking, and sharing advice as well as stories, we all came together as one team. Doing so facilitated the growth and strength of SERVPRO’s presence in today’s cleanup and restoration business.

This year’s convention was particularly special, as it marked the 50th year of all the franchises coming together. To honor the milestone, the SERVPRO story was told, illustrating Ted and Doris Isaacson’s creation of the company in Sacramento, California in 1967. It was inspiring to learn how the Isaacsons’ business grew into a $2.4 billion franchise thanks to the persistence of a talented couple and, eventually, their three children as well. 

The company that Ted and Doris was initially a painting service, but became a carpet and drapery cleaning service soon after. After this decision was made, Ted and Doris chose to franchise the company. With a considerable amount of hard work and perseverance, SERVPRO has grown into the international emergency restoration, reconstruction, cleanup, and asbestos elimination service that it is today. 

Celebrating our 10 year anniversary this past May, Jim and I can attest to the fact that SERVPRO underwent various significant changes just during our short time here. While change can bring about both positive and negative results, these changes have all had the common goal of keeping the franchise on its toes, becoming a proactive force in the midst of modern customers’ ever-changing expectations. In March, an unexpected press release surfaced that brought about arguably the most significant change:

By Jaewon Kang and Miriam Gottfried

March 18, 2019 3:12pm ET

Blackstone Group BX -0.11% ?? LP is nearing a deal to acquire cleaning- and emergency-restoration services provider SERVPRO Industries Inc. for more than $1 billion including debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

The private-equity has emerged as the winner in an auction for SERVPRO run by investment bank Harris Williams & Co., the people said.

SERVPRO, of Gallatin, Tenn., operates a network of more than 1,700 franchises that specializes in fire, water, mold and other cleanup services for residential and commercial customers. The closely held company was founded in 1967 by Doris Isaacson and her late husband, Ted Isaacson, as a painting business and is currently run by their eldest child, Susan Steen. 

Two out of the three Isaacson children who had been serving as leaders of the company decided to step down and retire after their father, Ted Isaacson, passed away in 2017. From this point, Blackstone entered SERVPRO, ushering in tremendous ownership changes. Though franchises and employees were concerned for what this change would mean for SERVPRO’s future at the beginning, attending a convention detailing Blackstone’s intentions of increasing opportunities for our franchises, that attitude has changed. We are so excited about what Team Wall will be able to supply to our customers in the near future.

Finally, we’d like to acknowledge the accomplishments of our 70+ team members whose loyalty and diligence has allowed our franchise to be so successful. In 2018, 0ur franchise was ranked in the top 20 out of all 1700 franchises for the fourth year in a row. Without the everyday hard work and excellence of our team members, this kind of recognition wouldn’t be possible. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge our customers, whose loyalty has been the driving force behind our growth. Thank you for all of your support! 

The future is looking bright and we’re looking forward to sharing the road ahead with all of you!

With thanks,

Jim and Trish Wall

ERP Profile

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Out of all the businesses damaged in the wake of natural disasters, half never make a complete recovery. What’s the secret behind those companies that do recover? The answer: An emergency plan put in place well in advance. Opting to have an emergency plan can act almost as an insurance policy, ensuring protection that will decrease the stress that you feel no matter what mother nature has in store.

Even though there are a plethora of different types of disasters, no one type is more serious than another. Despite the size of the disaster, from a small leak to major flooding, there’s no harm in being as prepared as possible.

With this considered, SERVPRO has created the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) app, accessible to tablets and smartphones. A convenient, easy to use, and completely free tool, the app allows you to formulate and control your specialized emergency plan using a method that is as stress-free and simple as possible.

A simplistic process, completion will only take up a small portion of your time. Verifying your preferred SERVPRO, the app can preserve your time and money through its simplification of the process of authorizing the start of restoration.

The profile offers convenient access to various resources that will be helpful in the event of an emergency, allowing you to quickly reference facility details and contact information. Restoration is  a time-sensitive process, therefore having SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready Profile app will prove to be a useful tool, promising that you will be “Ready for whatever happens”.

Roof Damage Due to Summer Sun

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Spending our days under the sweltering summer sun, we’re all too familiar with the intensity of the sun’s rays and the red sunburn that can damage our skin when we forget to wear sunscreen. Sunburn can result in long-term skin damage, and much like causing sunburn, sun exposure can inflict damage upon roofs of businesses, as they are exposed to the sun’s rays throughout the summer. As time goes by, the severity of this type of damage can worsen, deteriorating the condition of the roof’s materials and structure, just as our sunburn can lead to skin issues later in life. In order to protect your business’ roof from irreparable damage, it is important to understand how the sun specifically causes damage to your roof.

Compared to those of the other three seasons, summer days are considerably longer with more hours of intense sunlight and therefore, increased exposure of roofs to detrimental UV rays. Depriving the roof’s wooden materials from oil by drying it out, serious architectural harm can be inflicted upon the roof. Thermal shock, a phenomenon caused by the significant temperature change from warmer temperatures during the day to colder temperatures during the night that is common during the summer, is another cause of roof damage. The roof’s materials expand and contract under these circumstances, causing their condition to decline over time and eventually damage the roof’s structure.

Once you understand the causes, learning what to look for when checking your roof for damage will further protect it. Decay, evident in the rotting, breaking, or deformation of shingles, is one indicator typically found in older roofs. If your roof is relatively new, warped shingles are far more common and you should be on the lookout for bent or curled shingles instead. Be aware that warped shingles are a sign that damage has been inflicted and will worsen over time, so once you have observed it, remember to check your roof’s condition regularly. When shingles appear to be cracked, it is an indicator that tension overpowered the shingles as they curled, permanently damaging them. Calling an expert once you’ve observed cracked shingles is recommended, as leaving them broken can lead to permanent structural damage if not dealt with quickly.

With an understanding of what causes roof damage due to sun exposure and the types of damage to expect, you will be able to keep your business’ roof safe during the summer.

Summer Weather Calls For Humidity… and Mold

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Mold is a common result of water damage throughout the year, but mold can grow any time an abundance of moisture is present in your business. There are two ways in which mold can grow in your business during the summer due to warm temperatures. Firstly, warm temperatures that are common during the summer increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, causing the air to become more humid. High humidity can therefore facilitate mold growth, as mold can multiply and thrive in the moisture created by a humid atmosphere. Another common cause of mold growth during the summer is a result of condensation. Humidity from outside of the building can create condensation on surfaces if it finds its way indoors.

There are several simple things that you can do in order to prevent high humidity or condensation from spawning mold growth inside your business. In terms of humidity, regulating the indoor humidity levels can be crucial during the summer. Keep the humidity level inside your business below 60 percent during the summer in order to prevent mold from growing. If your business is located in an area that is habitually humid, it may be worthwhile to invest in a dehumidifier. In rooms with surfaces that display condensation, it is important to clean and dry those areas with a dry sponge or rag as soon as possible when condensation becomes visible. Make sure that you also keep windows and doors closed when your air conditioner is on to prevent the cold air from escaping.

If mold does ultimately grow inside your business, continue to circulate air and keep humidity levels low in order to prevent the mold from spreading any further. Call SERVPRO to assess the extent of the damage and to help your business get back on its feet, free of mold, for the rest of the summer.

Preventing Garage Fires

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Thousands of garage fires occur every year across the country, putting homes at a greater risk of catching fire, especially if the garage is attached to the home. Considering their frequency, it is important to identify the causes of garage fires as well as how to prevent them from igniting in order to protect your home from damage.

Electrical complications such as faulty circuits and overloaded outlets can cause sparks to fly, which can ignite combustible items that may be located nearby. To decrease the chances of this happening, have an electrician investigate the condition of your garage’s wiring. Also, be sure to refrain from using extension cords to power electrical appliances in the garage by instead solely utilizing wall outlets.

It may be helpful to store unwanted items in the garage, however, clutter sitting idly in garages increases the chances of a large fire igniting, as the clutter allows fires to spread quickly and easily. To combat this issue, declutter your garage on a regular basis.

Commonly found in garages, flammable liquids including gasoline, paint, paint thinner, and oil can spark when making physical contact with a flame or when fumes coming off of the liquid reach a flame. Instead of housing these flammable liquids in your garage, opt to store them in sheds of someplace distant from your home.

Alongside flammable liquids, propane tanks used for outdoor grills may also reside in your garage whenever they are not in use. There is a chance that the tanks may not be stored or sealed correctly, so keeping them in an outdoor area that is dry and ventilated would be a much safer storage practice.

Although these tips will help to decrease the probability of a fire igniting in your garage, there is always a chance that a fire will start. Therefore, it is imperative that you keep a fire extinguisher either in your home or in the garage that can be accessed quickly in the event of an emergency. Installing a heat alarm in your garage may also be beneficial in catching a fire before or as soon as it starts.

Protecting Your Business From Summer Storms

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Severe storms frequently rock areas across the country during the summer months, as the combination of moisture and rising warm air in the atmosphere creates the perfect conditions for a storm to brew. As hail pummels the roof and wind whips outside of the building that houses your business, you may be anxious about damage that could potentially be inflicted upon your business in the event of a severe storm. That anxiety is completely warranted, as hail and vicious winds can cause structural damage such as damaged roofs and shattered windows. This kind of damage can lead to rather costly repairs, so preventing such damage is of utmost importance.

Firstly, make sure that your company has business insurance, since it can cover the cost to repair any damage directly caused by the storm. In addition, it would also be wise to take your own precautions by inspecting your roof regularly and cleaning out any debris that may clog gutters, therefore preventing sufficient drainage. Consider installing impact-resistant glass for windows in order to decrease the chances of windows shattering, projecting glass across the floor of your business and damaging any items in its path. In the event that windows do shatter, store valuable equipment in areas that are high off the ground and away from windows so that they cannot be damaged by flying glass. For outdoor equipment, make sure that it is secured before a storm hits.

In general, it is safe practice to monitor weather forecasts, especially if your business is located in an area that is subject to severe storms. Taking extra precautionary steps and having an emergency plan in place when storms hit will alleviate some of the stress surrounding the cleanup process and simultaneously keep your business as safe as possible.

How Do Electrical Fires Start?

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

When we think about residential fires, the first things that usually come to mind are accidents with matches, candles, or other items that involve a visible flame. However, electrical issues are often invisible culprits, erupting in electrical fires, which account for a significant margin of all residential fires. Electrical fires are most common during the cold, dark winter months due to increased use of heating systems as well as light fixtures. Understanding what causes electrical fires can help you to prevent them from igniting in your home.

Common Causes of Electrical Fires

The use of inadequate electrical wires in the home can often cause electrical fires to ignite if the wires are torn or frayed. When plugged into outlets, appliances with frayed wires can relocate heat to nearby combustible items such as curtains and rugs, which can catch fire. Refrain from running faulty cords under or on top of rugs in order to prevent carpets from igniting.

Be sure to utilize the correct wattage bulb for light fixtures, as installing a bulb with a higher wattage than what is recommended for the fixture can cause a fire. Make sure to also keep combustible items such as cloth on lightbulbs, as the contact with the bulb can cause the item to overheat and subsequently ignite.

Relying on extension cords instead of wall outlets to power appliances may be convenient, but they can increase the risk of an electrical fire igniting because they are only temporary devices for wiring. All major electrical appliances should be plugged into wall outlets to prevent extension cords from creating electrical shock or igniting fires, which can occur if extension cords are utilized over an extended period of time. Call an electrician to install more wall outlets instead if you have a shortage.

Finally, the age of your home and its wiring can be problematic due to the increased amount of electricity demanded by modern electrical appliances if your home was not built within the last 20 years. In theory, the breakers in your home should be triggered if there has been an electricity overload, but aging breakers may not be capable of giving that warning and immediately cause an electrical fire instead.

Urban Flooding

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

With the prevalence of urban developments in our society today, flooding in urban areas is quite common. Cities are prone to flooding due to their lack of soil. Rain and flood water should theoretically be absorbed by soil, but since soil is scarcely found in cities, all of the water must be drained through draining and sewage systems beneath city streets.

This particular type of flooding can have detrimental effects on daily life, as standing water in city streets can block roads, preventing people from getting to work or school. A phenomenon known as “dancing drain covers” can occur when pressure or flood water builds up in drainage systems, causing covers to elevate off of the street level and shift their position off of the holes. This can prove to be dangerous, as vehicles attempting to drive on city streets will encounter those holes in the street and pedestrians could fall into the holes if they do not notice the absence of a cover.

When flooding hits urban areas, the majority of those affected usually do not receive the attention given to massive floods from hurricanes or major rivers, even though the damage may be just as serious. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the risk of flooding in your area if you live or work in an urban area. Coastal cities or cities situated near rivers are at a greater risk for flooding due to their proximity to bodies of water that could cause high tides or overflow respectively when impacted by heavy rain. If your home is located in an area that is prone to flooding, consider creating an emergency flood kit, filled with food, water, batteries, and flashlights in the event of a flood emergency in your city.

Job of the Quarter: Q3 2019

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Ken Matejek and our storm team celebrating their last night as SERVPRO heroes in the Iowa floods

We typically use this portion of our quarterly newsletter to describe a particular job we produced that sparked an out of the ordinary sense of pride and accomplishment by our team members. After reviewing the losses we have serviced throughout the 2nd quarter of 2019, it quickly became apparent that is was not just a singular job, but a new branch of our franchises’ business that has brought a sense of achievement to our team. 

Ken Matejek has been an owner/operator of SERVPRO of Plymouth/Wareham, Massachusetts for 10 years. He bleeds green and believes wholeheartedly in the SERVPRO brand, but found what brought him the most joy and gratification was in helping those folks across the country affected by catastrophic storm situations. Ken took the leap of faith to simplify and focus his life on what he truly enjoyed. It was bittersweet, but he closed the doors to his Massachusetts franchise and began a partnership with Team Wall to make his passion for helping people in need a reality. 

Since our partnership’s inception earlier this year, Ken and members  of our travel storm team have helped service losses all over the country. They have been a part of Chicago’s deep freeze in February, Minnesota and Iowa’s spring floods in March, a microburst of flooding in June affecting a small portion of Central New Jersey, and most recently the DC floods this July. Between all of these storm travel experiences, we have helped over 115 homeowners nationwide make it “Like it Never Even Happened”. We are thankful Ken took that leap of faith to join our team and create a residential catastrophic storm response team that makes such a difference throughout our country. We’re looking forward to highlighting many more of their SERVPRO hero stories.

Surviving Summer Storms

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Torrential rain and flash flooding hit the nation’s capital and various areas of Maryland, notably Frederick, Maryland, during the July 4th holiday weekend. The tremendous amount of rain that the thunderstorm carried caused widespread flooding, which transformed streets into rivers and caused even The White House basement to flood. Thunderstorms are most common during the summer due to the surplus of moisture in the air as well as rising warm air. These two factors combined together create prime conditions for thunderstorms. With their prevalence throughout the summer season and sporadically during the rest of the year, it is important to understand the threats to homes and businesses posed by the lightning and flash flooding brought by thunderstorms.

Damage Caused by Lightning

Lightning can cause both physical and electrical damage to homes and businesses if the building is directly hit by lightning during a thunderstorm. Lightning can burn through roofs, rip shingles or gutters from the building, and even tear into attics. In terms of electrical damage, lightning can increase the risk of an electrical fire igniting. Electronic appliances inside of your home, such as computers and refrigerators, can be harmed or destroyed if left plugged into an outlet during a thunderstorm.

Damage Caused by Flash Flooding

When a flood strikes your home or business, especially one like that which dumped excessive amounts of rain on Frederick, Maryland and Washington, D.C this past weekend, water levels can rise quickly and inflict a significant amount of damage. The flood water can carry mud and sediment, therefore contaminating the water and whatever it touches in your home or business. From this water damage, mold can grow and spread if the affected area is not remediated quickly. Flood water commonly affects drywall, flooring, and electrical systems such as cooling and heating systems, so it will be crucial to assess these areas for damage after a flood. On a larger scale, flood water can move houses or buildings off of their foundation, so be sure to watch for signs of that as well.

What to Do After the Storm

Immediately following the storm, survey your home or building for any visible indicators of lightning or water damage. This includes making sure that electrical breakers, outlets, and light switches are still functioning, checking plumbing systems for any leakage, and looking for any visible signs of water damage to items within the house or building. While cleaning up any damage, be sure to turn off all water and electrical systems so that when the electricity is restored, the water and electricity do not react with one another, which would result in further damage.

What to Do When Your Washing Machine Floods

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Considering how often we use washing machines in our daily lives, simply the idea of them  inopportunely breaking and flooding is one that evokes dread and an aggravated groan. Unfortunately, washing machines can flood and strike at any moment if a seal or hose inside the machine breaks. When this does occur, cleanup must be hasty in order to protect surrounding objects from the harmful effects of water damage.

When you notice that the washing machine is flooding, immediately turn off the water to prevent any more water from escaping and unplug the washer to eliminate the chance of electric shock during the cleanup. Be sure to also empty any clothes out of the washing machine while you clean up. Use towels, a mop, or a wet water vacuum to remove any standing water from the surrounding area. To dry out the area, turn on fans and dehumidifiers. You could also open windows if the weather is pleasant. Sanitize the area and replace any items that could not be salvaged after the flood. Examples of such items usually include carpets and walls, which can be replaced by the instillation of new carpet and fresh drywall.

There are several things that you can do in order to prevent your washing machine from flooding. Refrain from using too much detergent when running loads of laundry, as excess detergent can create too many suds, which can overflow. Regularly check the condition of the washing machine’s hoses and be on the lookout for corrosion, which can signify that they may be on the verge of breaking. Be sure to also monitor the drain line, as it can cause the washer to flood if it becomes clogged.

How to Prevent Grease Fires

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

From the title of a hit musical to its use as an industrial lubricant, grease plays a variety of roles in our lives, but it may be surprising to many that grease is also a common instigator of kitchen fires. It is crucial to prevent grease fires from starting in your home, as they can get out of hand rather quickly. Consider these do’s and don’ts in order to protect your home from the detrimental effects of grease fires.

Before cooking, do make sure to remove any combustible items, such as towels or cookbooks, away from the cooking space. Next, pay close attention when cooking. The majority of grease fires are caused when no one is monitoring what is cooking. Grease fires can ignite and grow in a matter of seconds, so looking away for even a quick moment could enhance the risk. If you’re planning on drinking cocktails before dinner, save those drinks until after you’ve finished cooking dinner, as cooking while intoxicated can increase the risk of accidents occurring or misjudgment, which can subsequently increase the chance of a grease fire igniting. Keep a metal lid close by when cooking in case a grease fire ignites, as you would need to smother this particular type of fire in order to put it out. It would also be wise to keep baking soda handy, since it can also be used to put out grease fires, but only if the fire is small.

When cooking, don’t throw food into the hot oil. Doing so can cause the oil to splatter and potentially catch fire when met with a hot burner. Exercise caution when placing food into the oil by slowly and carefully dropping the items into the oil, especially if the food was previously frozen. Allow frozen food to thaw before cooking it in hot grease. Also, do not throw liquid onto a grease fire if one breaks out, as doing so will cause the fire to spread.

What Causes Pipes to Leak?

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Leaky pipes is a common cause of flooding in homes, which can ultimately lead to water damage. By understanding what causes pipes to leak and learning how to identify warning signs, you can prevent water damage due to leaky pipes in your home.

Corrosion can eat away at pipes, rusting and consuming them until they begin to leak. Be sure to keep your eyes out for any discoloration of the water or warping of pipes, as these can be signs signifying corrosion, alongside any common visible signs of corrosion, such as rusting, on the pipe itself. Ways to avoid pipe corrosion include inspecting pipes before buying a home to make certain that they are in decent shape, having the pH of your water professionally tested, and stifling any leakage with sufficient clamps until professionals can repair the damage.

When pipes are installed, seals are secured in order to attach water connectors. These seals can break with age and/or wear, which can result in flooding. You can tell that seals are breaking or have broken if there is condensation present on the pipes or if there are any puddles of water gathering on the ground beneath the seal. In order to prevent the seals from cracking and breaking, watch for the aforementioned physical signs of broken seals and refrain from neglecting to run water for extended periods of time. Doing so can dry out the pipes and cause seals to crack. If you leave to town for several days, it might be wise to ask a neighbor to stop by and run the water to make sure that everything is working properly.

Rapid and drastic changes in temperature can force pipes to expand and contract, which can cause the pipes to crack under pressure and therefore, leak. A heightened water bill, a musty smell around the drain, and changes in water pressure or its flow can indicate broken pipes. To prevent pipes from freezing in cold temperatures, allow warmth to circulate by opening cabinet doors, running water through the pipes, and keep your thermostat set at a consistent temperature.

Preventing Water Damage To Carpets

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

What Causes Water Damage to Carpets?

Whether you’re dealing with flooding, leaky pipes, or any other household event that can cause water damage, wet carpets are an issue that should not be taken lightly. Water damage in carpets can be caused by plumbing issues, weather, or buildup of water in areas such as basements or attics that collect water.

How Can I Detect It?

Water damage is not always evident in carpets, so it is important to be aware of other warning signs that could signify it. A foul, musty odor that won’t go away when the area is cleaned and constant illness or allergy symptoms of family members or pets living in the house are signs that water damage to carpets is occurring somewhere in the house. Another physical indicator of water damage to carpets is discoloration of the affected area.

What Will Happen If It Isn’t Removed?

Leaving such water damage to sit would be unwise, as it causes harm to the sub-floor in addition to the carpet itself. The longer the damaged carpet remains untreated, the risk of mold and mildew growth is amplified. Once it grows in the carpet, it cannot be destroyed through cleaning and would therefore have to be eliminated through complete removal. It is crucial to get rid of mold and mildew, as it can contaminate the home’s air supply, which can cause detrimental effects to the health of anyone living in the home.

What Can I Do To Prevent This?

To eliminate water damage to carpets, the moisture should be removed using a wet water vacuum. Furniture surrounding the affected area should be checked for damage as well. Dry out the room by opening windows and utilizing fans or a dehumidifier. The carpet padding that lies under the carpet should also be replaced. When it comes to treating the specific area, it can be steam cleaned to remove dead mold spores or baking soda can be sprinkled onto the affected area and then vacuumed. It would also be wise to scrub carpets and walls within the room to prevent further mold growth. Trust SERVPRO to sufficiently re-mediate any water damage to your carpets.

Preventing Fire Damage in Your Home

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing Fire Damage in Your Home

What Causes Fires in Homes?

It is important to recognize common flammable household items in order to prevent fires.

Some of these objects including anything from kitchen items such as flour and oranges to hair spray, shaving cream, and even hand sanitizer.

Electrical

Hot plugs and sockets as well as blown fuses can often serve as instigators of fires in homes. Exploded wires can spark, thus resulting in a flame, but a flame does not need to be present in order for there to be a risk of fire.

Smoking

Caution when smoking indoors must be taken, as neglecting to completely put out a cigarette, falling asleep with a cigarette still burning, and the use of improper ashtrays can lead to fires in homes.

Candles

Lighting candles in a home can increase the risk for fires to start in homes. Drafts of wind, such as those emanating from nearby open windows, can push candle flames toward flammable objects, thus resulting in a larger fire. Neglecting to keep candles in proper candle holders can also increase this risk.

Hazards

Certain combinations of household objects can increase the risk for a fire to spark. Among those combinations are: open fire and grease, electricity and water, and keeping linens/clothes next to heaters. Fireplaces can also instigate fires if they are not protected by a screen or glass doors.

5 Tips For Avoiding Fires in Homes

  1. Routinely check and maintain heating sources
  2. Test smoke alarm batteries once a month
  3. Replace frayed wire cords immediately
  4. Keep fire extinguishers handy
  5. Keep hot surfaces clear

Emergency Ready Profile App

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

As much as 50% of businesses never fully recover from a natural disaster. The overwhelming majority of the businesses that did fully recover from these events had prepared a readiness plan ahead of time. Pre-Planning can serve as a type of insurance policy that provides not only the peace of mind in case a disaster does happen, but also lessen the mental stress that comes from the fear of an event happening in the first place.

There are a multitude of different types of disasters that are easy to lose track of, and none of them are less important than the others. From a small water leak to a massive fire or flooding, there’s no downside to being as ready as possible

As such SERVPRO has developed the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) app for mobile smart phones and tablets. This is a great tool that is completely free at no cost to you, and provides many convenient and simplified processes that allow you to create and maintain your ERP with the least amount of stress or confusion as possible.

The process is very streamlined and doesn’t take very long to fill out at all and will not take you away from other important projects. The profile also establishes your SERVPRO of choice and simplifies the process of authorizing work to begin on the damage relief which can save you time and money.

Perhaps the most convenient aspect of the profile is having a quick reference for facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information which gives you immediate access to information during an emergency so you can be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Flooding in Iowa

6/22/2019 (Permalink)

This May, SERVPRO crews traveled to Burlington, Iowa, after 13 inches of rain inundated the region over a 2-day period. Along with rain, golf ball-sized hail, high winds, and tornadoes rocked the area, resulting in widespread flooding as well as the flooding of nearby rivers.

At the time, Iowa also happened to be recovering from a major snow melt, which flooded the Missouri River earlier in the year. A record-breaking 25 inches of snow fell in Des Moines, Iowa during February of this year. After the extensive snowfall, the ground was unable to absorb any more liquid due to the soil saturation, and the 13 inches of rain spread across the ground, flooding highways, roads, and homes. SERVPRO received approximately 30 job files and three crews were sent to Iowa for this restoration.

Flooding can contaminate and damage drywall, support beams, and the foundation of homes. The damage to homes consisted of wet finished basements that range from 500 square ft to 3,000 square ft, wet flooring, walls, and content. The risk for mold to grow is most heightened during the first 24 hours of the flooding, so remediation had to be hasty.

The most rewarding aspect of working the Iowa storm was the ability to help flood victims’ lives return to normal as well as the good feeling that arises from helping those affected by the floods!

Broken Pipes in Chicago

6/22/2019 (Permalink)

In Chicago, Illinois, five consecutive days of  -50 degree temperatures froze over the windy city, turning The Chicago River to ice in its path. These frigid temperatures were then followed by a heat wave just shortly after the deep freeze, with temperatures soaring into the upper 40s and 50s. This radical shift in temperature caused Chicago homeowners’ pipes to break.

This occurrence is not, however, specific only to Chicago. Pipes can burst and initiate flooding wherever conditions are favorable. The water carried by pipes tends to freeze over when faced with negative temperatures, so when those subzero temperatures rise, the water begins to thaw and the pressure inside of the pipes increases until it reaches its maximum. The pipes then burst, resulting in flooding.

Flooding caused by burst pipes can trigger a wide range of water damage: carpets and even walls can be prone to water damage as a result of burst pipes and basements can flood. Mold commonly grows in flood-damaged homes or damp areas, as the moisture allows for mold to grow and multiply. To protect against mold, objects that cannot be cleaned, such as drywall or ceiling tiles, should be removed, while items such as glass or ceramic may be cleaned.

SERVPRO was presented with about 30 job files and three crews were required to confront the issue. Among the factors motivating the crews to make the journey to Chicago were the elation surrounding the prospect of helping victims to recover and devising a plan to combat the widespread flooding.

Job of the Quarter - April 2019

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Our team at work!

Each quarter SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville highlights our “Job of the Quarter”. Basically, a loss we cleaned and restored that highlights not only our breadth of services, but the scale of work we are able to complete.

This quarter was no exception. A storage facility in Virginia Beach suffered a devastating fire started inside one of the storage units. The fire quickly turned to 167 units that were emblazoned and ended in only 80 of those units being salvageable.

We were called to the job to help clean up this unfortunate situation. “Wait a minute?”… you might be thinking, “Virginia Beach?”. That’s right. We have large loss teams that specialize in servicing our commercial clients in whatever location they may need us. The ability to respond directly to our customer’s needs outside of just our local market sets us apart from our competition. We are here to help, no matter where you need it!

Our teams hit the road running and were able to work with each individual storage unit owner to determine which items they would like to salvage and which items were to be disposed. After the debris removal was complete, the 80 salvageable units were cleaned, sanitized, and restored to pre loss conditions. The work did not end there, however. Our team then was responsible for the demolition and removal of the 87 units that were deemed a total loss. Please see our picture to the left of our team in action operating an excavator to complete the demolition portion of this job.

Helping people is certainly our passion, and in this case, we were able to get this business operational quickly and help their customers clean and organize their affected belongings quickly. We were honored to be chosen to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Happy 10 Year Anniversary!

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO family!

May 2019 marks a very big milestone for the Wall Family. 10 years as SERVPRO owners and operators!

Many people don’t know the personal journey behind our SERVPRO franchises and many more don’t realize that SERVPROs are independently owned and operated.

There are over 1800 SERVPRO franchises throughout the United States and Canada. Our family runs and operates three of these offices: Hunt Valley, Harford County, and New Cumberland/Carlisle, PA. It’s been a path of quick growth and an incredible amount of dedication and hard work by an entire team of people.

We thought sharing our SERVPRO story might be appropriate for our 10-year anniversary. So, here’s how we got here…

Jim and I met while working in Philadelphia, PA at a public accounting firm, KPMG. We were engaged quickly… 6 months! And, at the same time, left our public accounting firm jobs to pursue other career paths. Newlywed life was good and our jobs were solid. That is until the recession rocked our country to the core. We found ourselves laid off (both of us), living with Jim’s parents, and pregnant with our first child. Life never goes the way you plan it, does it?

An opportunity to open a SERVPRO franchise in Hunt Valley, MD presented itself and we are thankful every day for taking the chance. SERVPRO corporate provides tremendous support to their franchisees and their core values aligned directly with ours. It was a great fit, and luckily due to the optimism youth can bring, we took the risk, moved our life to Northern Baltimore County, rolled up our sleeves, and got to work.

This is very much the abbreviated version and those 10 years hold a lot of trials and tribulations along our path to growth. It is ultimately the solid team we have been so lucky to build that has helped us grow to be among the top 20 of 1800 SERVPRO franchises. Consistently. Year after year.

We want to take the opportunity to thank all of you directly for your continued support through out the last decade. Ultimately, if it wasn’t for a customer, we would not have the opportunity to be a business. Thank you very much for giving us a chance to earn your business not just once, but for a lifetime.

Many thanks and looking forward to another great 10 years on this SERVPRO journey!

Jim and Trish

Why Did My Basement Flood?

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Water will find the least path of resistance and it could be into your basement. Be prepared and know how to prevent a flooded home!

Why Did My Basement Flood?

Flooding of basements is one of the most common issues most homeowners face. Although flooding occurs during heavy rains or rapid snowmelts, it can also occur in dry weather.

There are many reasons for basement flooding including seepage, storm sewer backup, and improper grading among others. As the basement lies in the lowest level of a building, it is prone to flooding.

What causes basement flooding?

These are the most common causes of basement flooding:

Foundation Leaks: Water can seep into the foundation if there are cracks in it. The risk of flood in your foundation is more if your home is near groundwater. Cracks in the foundation can lead to significant water leakage into the basement.

Leaking basement windows: Windows in the basement can leak and let water creep in during rains. Whenever it rains, there could be a significant collection of water on the windowsills. Fixing the windowsill is the only option to prevent basement flooding.

Blocked sewer: If the manifold that connects the public sewer system to your house is blocked it can lead to floods in your basement. It is important to call local authorities immediately to address blocked gutters and SERVPRO of Hunt Valley to mitigate the sewage and water damage.

Debris in gutters: The gutters play a critical role in preventing basement flooding as they carry away rain water from the home.  If they are clogged or damaged, they can overflow during rains and allow water to build up. If the ground near the basement soaks up too much water, it can seep into the basement as well.

Improper grading or sloping: If the yard does not slope away in the right manner, rain water does not drain effectively. If the sloping is towards your home rather than away, excess water can result in basement flooding. 

Improper downspouts: Downspouts channel water away from the foundation and should be at least 5 to 6 feet away from the wall of the basement. If the downspouts are missing or broken, water tends to pool near the house and slowly seeps into the basement.

SERVPRO provides professional emergency clean up and restoration services on a 24/7 basis. Should you encounter water or sewage damage call our office directly at 410-229-0012.

Top Reasons to Clean HVAC and Ducts

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Top Reasons to Clean HVAC and Ducts

Your HVAC system not only helps maintain an optimal temperature inside your building, but also prevents dust particles and other harmful contaminants from entering the interiors. A malfunctioning HVAC system, however, is more of a liability than an asset and fails miserably at performing its job. Additionally, a dysfunctional HVAC system can cause mold growth. More often than not unclean ducts are the culprits behind malfunctioning HVAC systems. Getting your HVAC system and ducts cleaned regularly pays dividends in the long run. Not sure about whether to get your system cleaned regularly? We, in this post, will give you not one but four reasons to show some love to your HVAC and duct. Take a look.

1.Helps avoid health issues

With time dirt, dust particles, mildew, mold, and allergens settle in and around HVAC ducts. The system circulates these particles with air. Inhaling air laden with these contaminants can give rise to a number of health issues such as skin allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. Your HVAC's filter cannot trap all these contaminants, which is why it is necessary to get your ducts cleaned regularly.

2.Helps improve performance

Unclean and clogged ducts drag down your system's performance and can result in high energy bills. Cleaning ducts regularly help improve the airflow, which is one of the essential prerequisites for ensuring flawless performance.

3.Adds years to the system’s service life

Studies suggest that 9 out of 10 systems do not last long due to improper or inadequate maintenance. Getting your system cleaned regularly not only adds years to its service life, but also helps avoid costly fixes. Getting your system cleaned regularly can expose underlying mechanic and other issues before they snowball into major concerns.

4.Helps eliminate musty odors

HVAC systems with unclean ducts often circulate stale air with a strong metallic or musty smell. Moisture builds up in the duct often results in a burning smell. To maintain the quality of life, contact an HVAC repair expert who will perform a thorough checkup and address system issues.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is a trusted leader in the clean-up and restoration industry. We are NADCA certified and have completed HVAC and duct cleaning for both large and small commercial facilities. Please give us a call directly at 410-229-0012 for an estimate to help improve the efficiencies of your property.

Does Insurance Cover Mold Remediation?

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage that goes unaddressed can lead to a much bigger and more costly problem!

When Insurance Will and Won’t Cover Mold Remediation

One of the unwelcome consequences of water damage, dampness or humidity is mold overgrowth. People who are sensitive to mold experience wide-ranging health problems including wheezing, nasal stuffiness, coughing, throat irritation, skin and eye irritation. Those who are allergic to mold can experience severe reactions. Mold can worsen the health condition of those who are immune-compromised or have chronic lung/respiratory illnesses. The costs of mold-related diseases are as high as $22.4 billion annually in the U.S. alone as per the Journal of Environmental and Public Health.

Mold is a fungus that occurs naturally and is not visible to the naked eye. Reproducing with the help of spores, mold can infiltrate buildings easily. Mold insurance is an absolute must for homeowners given the high cost of repair and maintenance of buildings that have been damaged by mold.

What does insurance cover mold remediation?

Homeowners insurance typically covers mold damage only when a "covered peril" causes it. The “covered perils” for which mold remediation is covered by insurance companies include:

  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Malicious mischief
  • Lightning
  • Damage due to vehicles
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, or sleet
  • Frozen pipes
  • Accidental water overflow from heating, plumbing, sprinkler systems, air conditioners, and household appliances

When does insurance not cover mold remediation?

Home insurance policies do not cover mold remediation if it resulted from preventable causes such as flood, water damage, or high humidity. Homeowners are expected to take preventive measures to avoid mold damage that includes professional cleaning, drying, and regular maintenance.

Standard homeowners’ policies will not provide mold remediation cover for “maintenance” problems such as repeated water leaks, continuous water seepage, humidity problems, and ongoing issues related to condensation, landscaping or drainage. Most homeowners’ policies also do not cover flood damage which is usually provided as a separate add-on.

Addressing water damage at it's onset with the help of professionals at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is the ideal way to prevent the costly expense of mold remediation.

Coastal Carolina Condo Development

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged interior caused by Hurricane Florence

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville was quick to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Florence's destruction of the Carolina Coast. Our crews were called into help restore eight condo buildings on the coast of North Carolina which suffered varied degrees of water damage from the storm. 

Our team walked each and every room of the eight buildings affected with a member of the condo association board. We worked with them closely documenting the steps to be taken to restore their buildings and educating them on the process along the way. 

Each room had varied degrees of damage and so a thorough and detailed scope of action was necessary. Our team continued to work very closely with the condo association board and property manager keeping them up to date and fully informed on our daily progress for the duration of the project.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville successfully mitigated water damage in 70 of the condos in this coastal development within the expected time frame of two weeks. We are known for our quick response, but also have a long resume of large-scale jobs with quick turnaround times. We couldn't be more proud of our team and the kind accolades they received from this condo development's property manager:

"SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville was onsite less than 24 hours after contacting them, ready to work...they were able to scope the damage in all units and begin placing drying equipment within 48 hours of arriving onsite. Demo of wet and damaged areas began shortly thereafter and was extremely organized. The SERVPRO staff was courteous and worked amazingly well with my owners and guests onsite. They made a huge job, and even bigger mess, something manageable. I highly recommend them because of their professional attitude, meticulous work ethic, and unmatched experience." 

Mold Growth

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth in a basement after significant water loss

At SERVPRO we are not only dedicated to helping our customers get back to their lives after a disaster, but we also feel it's important to educate our customers so that they can make informed decisions. Mold is a common problem that most homeowners in the area deal with. What is mold? They are a type of fungi that exist everywhere and only need moisture and a compatible surface to survive. There are at least a hundred thousand different species of mold. While some types of mold are benign, some other types can be toxic. 

To address mold growth, it’s important to know the different types of mold you’re dealing with. Each one comes with its unique characteristics, and growth patterns. It’s also important to know what areas are attractive to mold in your home.

Here are some of the common mold species found in your home:

Acremonium: Found on dead plants and soil, it grows indoors on paper and drywall tiles.

Alternaria: This mold is very commonly found on food, plants, rotting farmland manure and is resistant to most fungicides. 

Aspergillus: There are many species of Aspergillus

Botrytis: Associated with plants, high humidity levels and plenty of plants attract this mold.

Our technicians receive advanced training to deal with your mold issues. When you are looking for the best mold remediation services, SERVPRO is the only name to trust. Committed to providing excellent remediation and restoration services, SERVPRO has the dual advantage of highly trained staff and cutting edge technology.

Causes of a Flooded Basement

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Sump pump failure caused this flooded basement

Main Causes Of Basement Flooding

Whether in Towson, Timonium, or Parkton, flooding of basements is one of the most common issues homeowners face. Although flooding occurs during the rains or rapid snowmelts, it can also occur in dry weather.

There are many reasons for basement flooding including seepage, storm sewer backup, improper sloping and others. As the basement lies in the lowest level of a building, it is prone to flooding.

What causes basement flooding?

These are the most common causes of basement flooding:

Foundation Leaks: Water can seep into the foundation if there are cracks in it. The risk of flood in your foundation is more if your home is near groundwater. Cracks in the foundation can lead to significant water leakage into the basement.

Leaking basement windows: Windows in the basement can leak and let water creep in during rains. Whenever it rains, there could be a significant collection of water on the windowsills. Fixing the windowsill is the only option to prevent basement flooding.

Blocked sewer: If the manifold that connects the public sewer system to your house is blocked it can lead to floods in your basement. It is important to call local authorities immediately to address blocked gutters.

Debris in gutters: The gutters play a critical role in preventing basement flooding as they carry away rain water from the home.  If they are clogged or damaged, they can overflow during rains and allow water to build up. If the ground near the basement soaks up too much water, it can seep into the basement as well.

Improper grading or sloping: If the yard does not slope away in the right manner, rain water does not drain effectively. If the sloping is towards your home rather than away, excess water can result in basement flooding. 

Improper downspouts: Downspouts channel water away from the foundation and should be at least 5 to 6 feet away from the wall of the basement. If the downspouts are missing or broken, water tends to pool near the house and slowly seeps into the basement.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville provides professional cleanup and restoration services on a 24 x 7 basis to ensure your building and basement is free from flooding and other water-related damage.

Ice Damming

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Illustration of ice damming

What Is Ice Damming?

Weather is often the most obvious culprit behind a host of problems including building or structural damage, injuries, mold growth, water damage or flood.

An ice dam is a common occurrence in winter in areas where snow is in plenty such as the Hereford Zone. Basically, an ice dam refers to build-up of ice on sloped roofs’ edges of heated buildings. The build up occurs when melting snow beneath a snow pack reaches the roof edge or eave and freezes there.

The frozen snow on the eave prevents the meltwater drainage that further builds the ice dam. The backup of meltwater causes water leakage and structural damage to buildings and their contents. Ice dams can also damage ceilings, walls, insulation and other areas. When there are areas of dampness, the risk of mold growth is also high.

What causes ice dams?

Along with snow, the outside surface temperature on the roof should be more than 32 degrees F with lower surfaces on the roof being less than 32.  When outer surface temperature is more than 32, the snow begins to melt. The melted snow flows down into the roof and reaches the lower surface where the temperature is less than 32 and here is where it freezes forming an ice dam.

Sources of heat within the building lead to formation of ice dams include:

  • Chimneys
  • Air leakage
  • Improper insulation
  • Exhaust systems

Ice dams and injuries

Ice dams can cause serious injuries and some businesses and homeowners have experienced property damage up to $20,000 because of this phenomenon.

Many of the claims are because of property damage that occurred due to pooled water in the ice dam or roofs collapsing.

Why choose SERVPRO? SERVPRO is the leading specialist in water removal and clean-up when your property or structure is at high risk of damage from ice damming or water leaks. With state-of-the-art drying techniques and water removal equipment, SERVPRO can help restore the building to its original glory.

What to do When You Have Frozen Pipes

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO responded to a burst pipe at a 12 story office building in Cockeysville, MD in the midst of the freeze-and-thaw winter pattern

Every year when winter arrives, homeowners and commercial establishments brace for icy conditions and plummeting temperatures. Close to 250,000 homes experience burst or frozen pipes in the U.S. every year. In fact, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville responded to a burst pipe at a 12 story office building in Cockeysville, MD in the midst of the freeze-and-thaw winter pattern. A pipe broke on the top floor of a 12 story office building affecting every floor beneath it and 30 occupied units. Our team was able to extract and dry the building in 72 hours with minor demolition required. All tenants were able to stay open for business throughout mitigation.

Apart from cutting off access to running water, frozen pipes can damage property when they burst because of the immense pressure created in the faucet, so what should you do when pipes are frozen? Here are some of the emergency measures you can take to thaw frozen pipes:

  • The most popular pipe-thawing option is with hot water. Wrap the pipe with a burlap bag or a heavy towel to concentrate heat against it. Place a bucket to catch excess water and pour boiling water on the towel.
  • Some plumbers also advise pouring a big bowl of hot water to which some salt is added down the frozen drain. The slurry acts like rock salt that is used to melt sidewalks that are covered with ice. Repeating this a couple of times can get water flowing again through the pipe.
  • A thaw machine is a portable device used by plumbers to thaw the frozen pipe. The thaw machine provides high currency, low-voltage electricity to thaw the pipe. As sections start to thaw, warm water flows through the ice and melts it. 
  • Propane torch with flame-spreader nozzle is used by some, but this can be a dangerous device to use. When not used carefully, the torch flame can ignite or damage wall behind pipe. Placing fireproof material between the wall and pipe can be a precautionary measure.
  • Using a garden hose is also one of the safer options to thaw pipes. Insert a hose as far as possible and feed hot water using a funnel at the other end.

Calling a plumber immediately is always the best course of action to prevent serious consequences of a frozen pipe, but if you need mitigation from a burst or frozen pipe, SERVPRO is the trusted leader in the cleaning and restoration industry and has the required expertise, technology and training to handle wide-ranging water damage restoration services.

SERVPRO Cares

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville was thrilled to raise $2,700 for the children of St. Vincent's Villa.

It has always been important for SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville owners Jim and Trish Wall to give back to the community. They were thrilled to be a part of St. Vincent's Villa Pancake Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on Saturday, December 8th in Timonium, MD.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley reached out to friends, family, vendors and to the public, and boy did they respond! We collected $1,350 which was matched by the company for a total donation of $2,700 for gift cards for the children of St. Vincent's, a comprehensive residential treatment facility for children, ages 5-14 operated by Catholic Charities of Baltimore. Our generous donors had their names written on ornaments placed on a tree which was presented to St. Vincent's along with gift cards and small gifts by our festively dressed marketing staff, and our very own SERVPRO Storm-troopers.

As you can imagine, the Storm troopers were a big hit with the children. According to Trish, "This morning was truly one of the most special and rewarding experiences I have ever had. Watching those kids’ faces was priceless and getting to interact with them to make them smile was amazing. Thank you all for making this a possibility and I really hope we can make it an annual event."

5 Steps to Putting Out a Kitchen Grease Fire

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Concentrate while you are cooking

Over 160,000 home fires happen while people are cooking and, unfortunately, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. About two-thirds of those fires began when food and other cooking materials caught on fire. If you know how to respond to a kitchen fire, and specifically a grease fire, you'll be prepared to minimize damages when an emergency happens. Quick action could reduce the need for fire cleanup and the cost of hiring restoration professionals.

1. Prevent fires by removing flammable items from the area.

Towels, flowing sleeves, curtains, and ingredients that could catch on fire should be moved away from the stove. Clean out burners, so that crumbs and caked-on grease can't burst into flames while you're cooking.

2. Stay with your food.

Too many home chefs get food cooking and then walk into the other room while they wait for pots to boil or pans to heat up. If something in the kitchen does catch on fire, you should be there to quickly respond.

3. Cut off the fire's fuel supply.

One of the quickest ways to put out a cooking fire is to cover the flames with a cookie sheet or a large metal lid. DO NOT POUR WATER ON THE FIRE. Turn off the heat source.

4. Put out the flames with appropriate materials.

Throwing water or baking powder on a grease fire could cause heavy damage and serious injuries. Be very careful to use baking soda or even a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher to put out kitchen fires if the flames haven't died down. Never use water to put out a grease fire because it will cause the grease to splatter, hitting people and flammable items throughout your kitchen.

5. Contact the fire department from outside the home.

If you haven't been able to put out the fire at this point, it's best to evacuate the home. Once the fire is out of control, you only have a couple of minutes to get everyone out of the house and to safety. Use a cellphone or the neighbor's phone to contact the Timonium,MD, fire department.

Flood Damage and Storm Damage

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Damaged roof caused by storm that impacted our Cockeysville,MD area

When looking into purchasing more weather protection for your business, it is important to recognize the types of damages you could end up with. One problem associated with storms that many people may not consider a risk at first is flooding, which can wreak havoc on your business structure and ruin your inventory. Business owners in Cockeysville,MD, have often prepared for storm damage, but preparation for flood damage goes one step further.

Kinds of Damage

High gusts of wind and excessive rain can be caused by storms, but in addition to the types of damage that can occur under these conditions, flooding can also create these problems:

  • Cause erosion in the base structure of your building
  • Destroy inventory, especially electronics and paper supplies
  • Create conditions for mold growth
  • Carry in unsanitary chemicals and harmful debris

It is clear that these problems can present a real risk to your company, so it is important to figure out what the next steps should be.

Damage Prevention

Regardless of whether you are focusing on general storm or flood damage, there are several preventative measures you can take. Do this for general weather protection:

  • Install a lightning rod on the roof of your building
  • Keep more valuable inventory away from windows
  • Strengthen walls with an extra layer of construction

Of course, flooding can bring about a whole new list of damage possibilities, so there are many other precautions you can exercise:

  • Reconstructing the floor so it does not slope down
  • Sealing shut areas where utilities enter the building
  • Keeping valuable inventory above ground level

Final Step

Even though you can often carry out some of these preparatory tasks without much trouble, there is always the potential for damages when a major storm occurs. Calling a professional cleanup service after suffering flood damage is the smartest thing to do. They will assess the situation through a lens of expertise and ensure safety standards are practiced when restoring your business to its former glory.

Understanding Why Your Sewer Backed Up

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage back up in Towson North,MD

One important part of a residential sewer cleanup in Towson North, MD, is figuring out why your home was flooded with sewage. Your team of water damage experts can help you figure out the source of the damage, which helps you create a better repair plan. You can also use this quick guide to learn more about the potential causes.

1. Damaged Pipes

A damaged pipe may allow sewage to leak into your home. If a tree root has cracked open the pipe in your yard, the sewage may fill the ground and travel into the lower levels of your home. In some cases, a pipe in your walls could have burst and unleashed sewer water.

2. Faulty Fixtures

A flooded toilet could also be the source of dirty flood water. While this water may not contain fecal matter, it may still have traces of urine from the bowl of the toilet. A broken or clogged toilet can cause the water to fill your bathroom.

3. Heavy Rainfall

When there's a lot of rain in Towson North, MD, the water table level can rise exponentially. This extra water can flood into the city sewer line. When this line reaches its capacity, the water and sewage have to go somewhere. You may not think of a sewer cleanup being tied to a storm, but it does happen when the system gets overloaded.

4. Clogs

Clogs and blockages are another common cause of a sewer backup. The blockage could be located in your plumbing or it could be in the sewer main pipes. No matter where the clog is, it causes the same problem. The sewage leaving your house cannot travel past the clog. The pressure builds up and causes the contents of the pipes to travel backwards into your home.

Sewer doesn't often fill a home, but when it does you need to start sewer cleanup as soon as possible. Understanding the potential cause of your flooding can make creating a repair plan easier.

Water Damage: The Reason You Pay for Business Insurance

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Water supply line burst causing flooding in a Lutherville, MD store

Water damage can be one of the costliest repairs made by business owners. Between the broken pipes and water cleanup, owners can be left paying the expense of not only the damage caused but for the loss of business during the restoration. This combined loss is what makes business insurance so important; however, it is also essential to understand what business insurance covers, standard exclusions, and why you may benefit from additional coverage.

1. Broken Pipes

As anyone living in Lutherville, MD, knows, the winter can be problematic for even the most prepared business owners. Frigid temperatures can potentially lead to frozen water lines, which cause increased pressure and may eventually burst the line. Most commercial insurance policies likely cover the sudden damage caused by burst lines.

2. Storm Damage

Additionally, most policies will cover storm damage, like broken windows or damaged roofs, but this can depend on the type of damage. For example, hail damage that causes a broken window is likely covered; however, heavy rains that cause a flood is most likely not covered under a traditional business insurance policy.

3. Be Aware of Exclusions

Every policy will have exclusions. Some of the typical exclusions that will require additional coverage are flooding and sewer backups. The water damage caused by these two issues alone can create dire situations for a business and its continued operations, often requiring the work of a restoration company. If you want to cover these two disasters, then you may want to add an endorsement to your current policy as well as purchase flood insurance separately.

4. Combining Flood Insurance and Business Insurance

The combination of flood insurance and business insurance with an additional sewer and drain endorsement can be a balanced policy that protects you from numerous potential disasters; however, it is still essential to be aware of any exclusions or deductibles.

Water damage can cripple a business and, depending on your coverage, you, as the owner, may be left footing the bill; however, if you choose the right combination of insurance policies and endorsements, the potential risks of flooding and burst pipes may not seem like that big of a concern.

How to Maintain a Sump Pump

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Sump pump ready to prevent flooding in Towson North, MD

A sump pump is a handy tool, especially in Towson North, MD, that helps to prevent flooding; however, it does require a certain level of pump maintenance to ensure that it is always operating to its full capability. To maintain your pump, there are six areas that you should check before severe weather hits.

1. GFCI

Every so often, it is important to check that the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) that your unit is plugged into is properly working. To ensure the outlet is working correctly simply plug any electronic into it and make sure that you can power it on.

2. Discharge Pipe

As an essential part of any pump operation, the discharge pipe can become clogged by debris, like dirt and gravel, so it is necessary to inspect the pipe and clean out any blockages.

3. Intake Screen

Like the discharge pipe, the intake screen of your pump can become clogged with debris and will need to be cleaned once in a while to ensure the free flow of water.

4. Float Component

The float mechanism in the sump pump housing can become obstructed, which means that it will not activate the pump mechanism. This area of the pump should be inspected regularly for debris to ensure proper operation.

5. Pump

The pump mechanism can be tested by merely pouring a bucket of water into the pump basin. As the float rises in the water, it should activate the pump. If the pump does not activate and there is no debris, you may want to call in a professional to inspect it.

6. Battery Backup

Many pumps come with a battery backup. If your pump is one of these types, then every few years, 2 to 3, you will want to replace the battery.

A sump pump, while an essential tool in the prevention of home flooding, is not without its quirks, and it is normal to have to perform routine maintenance to keep it functioning as intended.

Most Effective Ways to Remove Black Mold From the Shower

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage developed in this Cockeysville, MD bathroom

If you’ve ever stepped into a dirty shower, you know how unpleasant the experience can be. If you’ve seen shower mold in your Cockeysville,MD, bathroom, you don’t want to waste any time cleaning it up. These unsightly spots can be embarrassing and disgusting. Luckily, with a few simple steps, you can get rid of this mold once and for all and reclaim a clean shower.

Call a Professional

If you don’t want to deal with black mold on your own, you can call a trained professional to take care of it. You’ll have to pay for quality work, but you can have confidence the expert will do thorough work. Here are some advantages to calling the pros:

  • They have experience cleaning up shower mold.
  • They have the right equipment and cleaning materials.
  • They can work quickly and efficiently, saving you time and effort.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda can be exceptionally useful for many household needs. If you’ve got moldy shower walls or floors, you can put baking soda to use and watch it do its amazing work. Baking soda won’t leave harmful fumes, and it’s easy and cheap to purchase. Just combine a cup of this with a teaspoon of liquid soap, along with enough water to make the mixture into a paste. You can even add some oils such as lavender or peppermint if you want to leave a pleasant smell behind. Take this solution and scrub out the mold.

Try Bleach

You can use bleach for much more than whitening your clothes. If you fill a spray bottle with half-bleach, half-water, you may be amazed with the results. Spray the cleaner on, let it sit for a minute and then scrub it off with a brush.

You shouldn’t have to contend with shower mold in your bathroom. These household remedies and professional services can take of this annoyance in a hurry.

Don’t Blame the Rain: Other Ways Storms Can Damage Your Business

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Pipe break after significant rain and storm can cause flooding in your home

When a huge storm rolls through Towson, MD, you might worry most about heavy rains. After all, significant rainfall can find its way into your building and flood your office. However, this isn’t the only flooding that can occur, nor is it the only concern you should have with storms. It’s important to be aware of dangers such as a burst pipe, or flooding situations so you can prepare and act appropriately.

Pipes Burst

Within the plumbing and water systems of your office building, there is a network of pipes carrying water, sewage, and possibly other chemicals throughout the facility. A burst pipe could empty gallon upon gallon of water into your building, leaving standing water and severe damage. Here are a few ways in which pipes burst:

• Pressure buildup
• Corrosion
• Extremely cold temperatures

If a winter storm brings low temperatures, you may be at risk for these issues. Make sure your building has sufficient insulation and that you drain any outside lines before winter hits.

Pipes Freeze

If your building pipes do freeze, you need to act quickly to ensure they don’t burst and cause flooding. A professional restoration company can help you clean up the mess and mitigate damage, but you don’t want to get to that point if you can avoid it. If you do find a frozen pipe, keep faucets open, as running water can help melt the ice. You can treat the pipes by wrapping pads around them, or you can even use space heaters.

Pipes Flood

At worst, bursting pipes can cause significant flooding and render your office unsafe. The floodwater can damage furniture, carpet, walls, or equipment. Also, a frozen pipe could prevent water from reaching the building.

As winter approaches and during large storms, make sure you keep an eye on your interior and exterior pipes. A little effort and mindfulness can help prevent the major disasters a burst pipe can cause.

For more on Towson click here.

Don't Neglect Your Bathroom Water Supply Line

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Supply lines should be checked frequently to avoid flooding

Every homeowner in Towson, MD, needs reliable water. Since bathrooms account for 71 percent of daily water use, a simple check for water supply line damage may help prevent a bathroom leak.

1. How do I evaluate a supply line? Look behind the toilet for either a plastic or stainless steel pipe with a metal shut-off valve at the base. There will be a similar pipe under your sink. Check for cracks in the plastic or corrosion in the stainless steel.

2. What causes a bathroom supply line to fail? Water damage can come from aging plastic. A water supply line leak or burst can occur in either plastic or stainless steel lines if they are not rated correctly for the city water pressure. Stainless steel pipes have a robust metal skin and a tougher internal sheath, but even they can corrode from small amounts of airborne bathroom chemicals. Supply line damage can be detected in most cases before water escapes.

3. Will my warranty cover a damaged supply line? Your homeowner's policy may cover certain types of water damage. Plastic pipes last only a few years and are unlikely to have significant warranties, whereas metal pipes usually have lifetime warranties. If your house is not new and you have plastic lines, it may be a good idea to upgrade them to stainless steel.

4. What if my water supply line is already leaking? Turn off the valve to the line. Mop up any water, and then notify your homeowner's insurance company. If you have a supply line warranty, call to report the damage. You may want to immediately call a professional water control expert in Towson, MD, to help salvage property and stop hidden damage from progressing.

With a quick, routine check, you can lessen the possibility of impending water supply line damage. In the event trouble is brewing, preventive measures can pay off.

For more on Towson click here

First Aid Tips for Burns in the Workplace

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Burns in workplace can be dangerous and need to be treated differently for different people

Undeniably, when you own a business in Towson, MD, you must expect the unexpected. This also applies to the health, safety and well-being of your employees. If a fire occurs onsite, you trust your commercial property insurance and fire restoration specialist to handle fire damage to the building. But, are you prepared to handle burn first aid if the damage is to one of your staff?

Care for Minor Burns

A burn is considered minor when the diameter is less than three inches. Pain, blisters or superficial redness are characteristic of this type of injury. You do not typically need to seek professional medical attention for minor burns.

• Train your staff in basic first aid skills, including burns.
• Have a kit of medical supplies on hand in the case of an emergency. This includes cold compresses, sterile gauze bandages, antibiotic ointment, aloe lotion and an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Care for Major Burns

A major burn is greater than three inches in diameter and covers a person’s face, extremities or major joints. These burns may be deep and exhibit a discolored appearance. If an employee suffers a major burn, seek professional medical treatment immediately. Here are some steps you can take until help arrives.

• Keep the injured employee safe from further harm. If fire damage continues to occur to the grounds, evacuate staff promptly.
• Loosen restrictive clothing and accessories to allow for swelling of the burned area.
• Elevate and cover the burned skin with a cool cloth.
• Be alert for reduced respiration or signs of shock.

Your employees are an integral part of your business in Towson, MD, and it is important to provide a safe working environment. In the unexpected event of a fire, care for your staff first and worry about the fire damage to your property second. Train and plan for proper minor burn first aid on the premises. For major burns, call 911 and care for the injured staff member until help arrives.

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Setting Those Stormy Expectations

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Waters can cause flooding in your Maryland neighborhood

If your home suffered damage as a result of a storm in Towson, MD, complete and accurate restoration is your overall end goal. Storm restoration can only be achieved after you assess water damage, tear out appropriate items and reconstruct as necessary. It is critical to manage your expectations of damages. Understanding the process involved can minimize your storm stresses.

1. Extraction of Water

Begin water extraction by making sure it is safe to be inside your property. Opening doors and windows allows pooled water to drain. Mop saturated areas and blot floors and walls with towels and other dry materials. Move wet furniture and articles into the driest spaces available and turn the air on in your house (blasting the air conditioning in summer or heat during winter).

2. Tear Out of Wet Materials

Removing wet materials from your home in a timely manner is crucial. Mold quickly begins to form on items that are not dried, removed or torn from their location. Extremely damaged carpets or drywall should be removed, though take care not to tear any loadbearing structures from your home without seeking a professional opinion.

3. Drying of Structures

Dry and dehumidify structures as soon as possible. Ceiling fans and box fans can be utilized to dry open areas of the home. Certain areas of your property are harder to access; however, restoration service professionals should have advanced methods, including industrial fans and treatments, to reach these areas and shorten the drying process.

4. Restoration

The last and final step of restoration varies in scope. Occasionally only some drywall and furniture will need to be replaced, while other instances may require expansive rebuilding and landscaping.

Dealing with a storm and its aftermath can be a tricky, cumbersome experience logistically and emotionally. It is important for homeowners in Towson, MD, to know what to expect as they deal with the cleanup process. Remember before, during and after the storm that you have four basic steps to complete in order to restore your home to its previous glory: extract, tear out, dry, restore.

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How To Prevent Grill Fires

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Proper grill maintenance is key to preventing future fires during cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 9,600 home fires are started from grills each year. The leading cause of those grill fires was that the grills had not been properly cleaned. It doesn't matter if your grill is gas, charcoal or a smoker, all grills need cleaned just as you already clean your stovetop in Towson, MD to prevent a grease fire. Take this fire safety precaution and learn the art of grill cleaning. Here is how:

Turn off gas. Close the valve and move the propane tank away from the area. Begin grill cleaning when the grill has cooled to just warm.

Wipe the outside. Just use soapy water and a cotton cloth.

Clean cooking grates. When cool enough to touch, start brushing the bars with a wire brush, then remove them and place in soapy water.

Empty the catch pan. For gas grills, empty the drip pan. For charcoal grills, you simply lift the charcoal grate and rotate the bottom mechanism to dump ash into the catch pan. Empty the ash catch pan. If ash is still hot, store in a metal covered pail.

Clean the cook box of the grill. Grill cleaning the interior of a gas grill includes burner tubes and heat deflectors. For either grill, you can scrape carbon and grease build-up from the interior of the grill with a wire brush and scrub with soapy water.

Reassemble your grill and enjoy safe use. Keep the grill a safe distance from the house when in operation and never leave the grill unattended while food is cooking.

Another important fire safety precaution is to keep children away from grills. Declare a three-foot area around the grill to be a no-kid zone and stay in the area. Proper grill maintenance is the key to preventing structure fires from your grill. If you do have fire damage, at least you can trust restoration specialists to help assess and restore your property to its pre-fire conditions.

For more on Towson click here

A Claim Against Mold

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Bathroom Mold Damage

Mold can grow in any climate, even in Towson, MD. It takes only 48 hours for growth to take root, beginning life unseen and unknown. By the time the fungus is detected, it may have already affected the structure and employees of the business. Because mold damage requires professional expertise and equipment to eradicate it properly, fiscally responsible business owners should look to commercial insurance coverage for assistance.

Covering Mold or Fungus

Whether purchasing a new policy or reviewing an existing one, it is important to note that mold insurance may never be mentioned. Instead, many companies refer only to fungus, broadening the scope to address additional concerns that fall under that category. The following issues are often covered under Limited Fungus Coverage:

• Mold
• Mildew
• Released spores
• Emitted toxins

Getting to the Root of the Policy

It is a good practice for business owners to be personally familiar with the company’s commercial insurance coverage, taking time to sit down with an agent to get a clear understanding of what situations are included. Not every occurrence is honored by the insurance company. Instead, there may be exceptions, which can vary from state to state. Therefore, it is essential to make sure the rules of Towson, MD, meet the needs of the business.

Proactively Ensuring Success

Having a full understanding of the insurance policy helps a business properly execute mold damage remediation, and it also creates an opportunity to explore proactive plans. Long-term leaks that cause fungi to grow are often not covered, so establishing routine maintenance and inspections could save thousands of dollars. It is also common for insurance policies to have a cap on how much will be paid to cover damages. Knowing this dollar limit can help a business budget for extra costs that may arise.

Good policies and good coverage are always desirable. In addition, awareness and aggressive measures make any commercial insurance policy stronger and more effective.

For more on Towson click here

What to do about drywall water damage

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

If your drywall is actually compromised by water, you will need to address the situation before development of mildew or mold takes place.

When you have Baltimore drywall water damage in your home, which often happens after a flood or fire, it is not always necessary to get new drywall. In order to successfully deal with drywall water damage, you will need to follow a series of steps. This kind of damage can vary quite a bit in extent; if the damage is severe, it may be necessary to call a professional for assistance. If your drywall is actually compromised by water, you will need to address the situation before development of mildew or mold takes place. The development of these fungi can present danger to everyone in your home and can lead to even more severe damage.

Detection of Drywall Water Damage
The first thing you should do is assess how much Baltimore water damage has happened within your drywall. This kind of damage shows up as softened or discolored areas within the drywall. If you have just dealt with a house fire, it is probably that any drywall water damage present will be spread all through the home. If the damage is widespread, it will be important that you contact a professional restoration company for help. However, if the damage is more mild or only has an effect on a small number of panels of drywall, you can actually consider replacing the panels yourself, as long as you have experience with drywall and can safely complete this task. It is important that you make sure to hire a professional company in any case where there is extensive damage to the home.

Mildew and Mold As A Consequence of Drywall Water Damage
If the drywall panels are not dried to an adequate extent, the possibility will exist that mildew and mold can start growing. This is a great danger to the inhabitants of any home. If black spots are visible, or if a foul smell starts to emerge from the drywall, you must call a professional right away. These fungi will most often start to grow in cases where there is damp or moist drywall in an area that is poorly ventilated. You can easily see that there is no mildew on the outside of your drywall, but what you may be missing is that the interior may have a high amount of spores. This is a determination that is best left to experienced professionals; you should not try to make this assessment on your own if you do not have the appropriate qualifications.

Actions That You Can Take to Prevent Drywall Water Damage
No matter where the damage is located or how severe it is, it is important that you use machines that can force air to circulate and provide the maximum amount of ventilation, such as dehumidifiers. The standard oscillating house fan will not be capable of moving enough air for the room to be able to dry adequately for safe and sanitary conditions. You will find that there are special machines that move air that you will be able to rent. However, once again, if the damage is extensive enough that these machines are necessary, you should probably contact a professional to make sure that everything is being done correctly. These professional restoration companies will have all of the necessary equipment for the job, as well as the experience needed to use it properly and the expertise to ensure that your home is safe.

When you are dealing with Baltimore drywall water damage, make sure that no additional damage (typically an infestation of mildew and/or mold) occurs. A professional restoration company will have all of the resources to be able to tackle any job that involves drywall water damage. With all of their experience, expertise, and equipment, these professionals will be able to assess which parts of the drywall need to be repaired or replaced. If you want to know more about the process, you should call a professional restoration company.

Why You Need A Cockeysville Water Damage Company

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Another advantage of hiring a water damage company is that they can offer high-quality mold and mildew prevention services.

Once a flood or fire damages your residential property, attaining an excellent Cockeysville water damage restoration services is important. This is the case for numerous reasons, including the fact that the restoration process is complicated and requires completion by a team of trained experts. There is a broad range of remediation services that water damage companies can offer to help restore your property. Refer to this quick reference guide to get a basic understanding of how professional remediation specialists can assist you:

Speedy Home Restoration
When your property is impacted by a natural disaster, getting immediate assistance is important. If you do not, your house can suffer from secondary Cockeysville water damage, structural weakening, and serious sanitation issues. Luckily, water damage restoration companies are highly skilled in completing the cleanup, repair, and restoration services with excellence and expediency. By working quickly and efficiently, remediation specialists prevent secondary water damage and help whip your home back into its original state.

Mold and Mildew Growth Prevention
Another advantage of hiring a water damage company is that they can offer high-quality mold and mildew prevention services. These services are important because mold and mildew accumulation can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Additionally, mold growth can cause severe damage to the structure of your property. In the event that water damage specialists find mold growth on your property, they can use industrial cleaners and disinfectants to eradicate the problem quickly. Although some homeowners are inclined to complete this process for themselves, it is best left to professionals who possess the extensive experience and specialized equipment necessary to expedite the process speedily and safely.

Don't Delay: Call SERVPRO Now
When Cockeysville water damage impacts your residential property, the best thing to do is call a company you can trust to offer you cutting edge, efficient restoration services. We are that company. As a team of talented technicians who offer 24/7 emergency assistance and impeccable customer service, we're your first choice when you want to have your home restored with speed and skill. Our fast response helps limit costs, repair damages, and decrease the likelihood of secondary water damage. Additionally, our commitment to excellence has made us industry leaders as well as the preferred vendor for numerous insurance companies. We're ready to restore your property right now, so call us today at (410) 229-0012 to attain a free estimate and consultation.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is strategically located to respond quickly to your water or flood damage event. When a major flooding event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,650 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams if we need additional resources or personnel. 

Our expertise in fire damage and water restoration is extensive. SERVPRO utilizes IICRC training as part of our on-going education to stay ahead of the curve. Call us for help. (410) 229-0012

How To Choose a Fire Damage Restoration Company for a Home in Cockeysville

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

After the House Fire, Tarps and Boarding

When you find that your property in Cockeysville is subjected to a fire, responding effectively and immediately is important. If you don't take the appropriate course of action, your home could be victimized to not only fire damage, but secondary water damage from the fire extinguishing efforts by the local fire department. Structural weaknesses are always issues along with potential health hazards. A prudent course of action to take during the aftermath of a fire is hiring a fire damage restoration company. Learn more about how to select the company that best fits your needs by reading the following information.


Obtain A Referral from Your Insurance Agent

One strategy you can employ to secure assistance from an experienced fire damage restoration company is to request a referral from your insurance company. This should be your first call once the smoke has settled, your insurance company or agent. Your insurance agency has gained enough industry experience to know which fire damage restoration companies will be able to offer the most efficient, expedient services. An added benefit of following a referral from your provider is that it increases the likelihood that your agent has worked well, in the past, with a company like SERVPRO. We are preferred vendors for over 300 insurance companies, government entities (we did extensive clean up for the Pentagon), and property management companies.  SERVPRO have developed excellent communicative and coordinated cooperation with many insurance adjusters. Our policy of cleaning and restoring, rather than simply replacing fire damaged materials and personal items, saves you money and may help to control your insurance premiums, also.

Do Your Research

The impact to your house from the fire will dictate the degree of restoration required to return your home in Cockeysville to its preloss condition. After the flames are put out, a careful assessment must be made to ascertain the best course of action. The goal is to get you back into your home, if you must vacate during restoration, as soon and as safely as possible. Below is a step by step approach to how SERVPRO executes the fire damage restoration service necessary for a large house fire event.

* Water Removal--post-fire using water pumps, wet vacs, and even mops
* CCIS inventory for all affected items and materials
* Cleaning and wiping of smoke and soot
* HVAC system cleaning
* Debris removal
* Extensive drying utilizing air movers and dehumidifiers
* Sanitize and Odor Removal using various air scrubbers, foggers, and chemicals
* Potential structural rebuild including initial tarping of roof or walls and boarding up for security and safety

Why SERVPRO for Fire Damage Restoration for Your Cockeysville Home.

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Why Choose SERVPRO?

Once a fire has hit your residential property, your living space may become dangerous. To ensure that the fire damage restoration process is completed quickly and correctly to restore safety and sanitation, you should hire the best fire restoration company on the block. That company is SERVPRO. Here are just a few of the great benefits that we have to offer:

• 24/7 Emergency Services
• Highly Trained Fire, Water, and Mold Remediation Specialists
• Fast Response, Local Company
• Trusted Industry Leader With More Than 1,650 Franchises
• Preferred Vendor For Many Local And National Insurance Companies

Over the years, our SERVPRO's trained and certified IICRC technicians and owners, have offered our clients in Cockeysville the customized, cutting edge services they need and deserve. We will alleviate your stressful situation and return you to your home "Like it never even happened."

Locally Owned, with National Resources

We live and work in Cockeysville too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is close by and ready to respond to your fire damage emergency also in Towson and Lutherville. We are proud to be an active member of the Cockeysville community. We are close by, call for assistance. (410) 229-0012

What To Do With Belongings After Water Damage

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Professional help to restore belongings to original state

If your Towson, MD, home has experienced water damage, salvaging your valuable belongings should be dealt with quickly. Any water in your home resulting from a flood, severe storm, broken pipe, or a leaking roof or window can lead to significant damage to your household items. Whether you are concerned for your everyday tools or sentimental keepsakes, your objects will benefit from quick action to preserve whatever possible.

Salvaging Your Water-Damaged Belongings

It’s important to quickly take stock of affected items if damage from water in your home has recently threatened your possessions. Follow these tips to recover items as best as possible:

• If objects are still wet, rinse with clear water first. You can also wipe off dry debris with a soft cloth or brush. This prevents any remaining debris or silt from further harming your items.


• Whenever possible, allow objects to air-dry indoors. Avoiding sunlight can help prevent warping and buckling of many materials.


• Air-dry photographs, documents, and books for best ventilation and recovery. Papers are very fragile when wet – be sure to handle important documents carefully and utilize indirect airflow to dry.


• Airflow and quality is important while recovering your items. Use open windows, fans, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers to your advantage while drying out your belongings. Also, be sure to preclude any mold or mildew from growing in the space. If you have visible mold growth, clean it with a disinfectant to prevent further growth and moisture in the air.


• If there are metal objects that have been exposed to flood water, wash with clear water and dry with a clean cloth as soon as you’re able.


• For clothing and other textiles, dry cleaning is often the most effective method of preservation. Air dry first and take to a professional soon.

Get Help From a Professional

With quick action, many objects can be saved and restored to their original state. It is possible, unfortunately, that some items may be damaged beyond repair after a natural disaster. It is always a good idea to contact a restoration specialist or professional conservator to help treat damaged goods while recovering from water in your home.

For more on Towson click here

4 Common Causes of Water Damage to Commercial Properties

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen anytime in your commercial property

As a business owner in Towson, MD, you take great pride in your company. You have property insurance and conduct regular maintenance. Although you do everything right, sometimes problems arise. From a toilet overflow to a broken pipe, know the four common causes that may have your property under water and how to handle them:

1. Toilet Overflow

A toilet blockage or tank malfunction causes the water in the bowl to rise and overflow. The damage is easily contained when noticed right away by turning off the water valve on the toilet. However, with a commercial property you are not always notified as soon as the problem occurs. Rather, a regular cleaning of the restroom may reveal significant contaminated water flooding the facility.

2. Broken Pipe

At your property, a pipe may burst suddenly or a gradual leak may occur. Bursting pipes typically result from water expanding when the pipe freezes and could quickly cause flooding. Leaks usually happen due to age or degradation of the pipe and may slowly damage your property over time.

3. Supply Line Breaks

A water main often breaks due to corrosion of the pipe over time or extreme change in temperature. Although not specifically on your property, this type of damage can cause flooding at your business and in the street and surrounding areas.

4. Fire Sprinklers

A sprinkler system is an excellent way to prevent fire damage. However, sprinklers may accidentally activate if not maintained properly. In this case, turn off the water to the sprinkler system as soon as possible to prevent the need for additional water repair.

Regardless of the cause, water damage can cause significant problems to your business in Towson, MD. There are two important actions to take when a broken pipe or other malfunction wreaks havoc to your property. First, call a water restoration specialist to assess the damage, make a plan and restore your premises to preloss condition. Second, call your insurance agent, as water damage is typically covered under your commercial property policy.

For more on Towson click here

Cleaning Up Your Business After a Flood

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Flooding in Towson, Maryland

Floods are dangerous and unpredictable, and they rarely recede without leaving their mark. The problem is that floodwater isn’t usually clean water – it can be filled with sewage, termed “black water” – and is not always easy to clean up. Whether from a storm, a busted pipe or a sewage overflow, facing the aftermath of a flood is never fun for any business.

If you’re worried about flooding in your Towson, MD, business, then it’s important to become familiar with some of the basics of content cleaning after such an event, such as what can be disinfected and restored, and what must be thrown away.

What To Throw Away?

Unfortunately, not everything survives a flood. Some things simply have to go. Here is a list of items that often need to be disposed of during the content cleaning process.

• Porous materials – contaminated wood, drywall, insulation
• Medication and food
• Furniture made with veneer or upholstery
• Carpeting and rugs
• Books

What To Keep?

Not everything in your business will likely be destroyed by contaminated floodwaters. While these tips can help you identify what can be saved, a content cleaning service can certainly help to speed things along. Here is a list of salvageable items that can potentially be sanitized and restored.

• Nonporous items – objects made of metal, glass, porcelain, hard plastic, silver, etc.
• Photographs
• Carpeting (only if floodwater is not contaminated)
• Wood furniture (if not soaked for too long)
• Appliances – heating, air conditioning, air ducts and vents
• Textiles, linens and clothing

What To Do After?

Although some items will need to be discarded and others can be restored, it’s important to remember that the best mitigation measure your business can take is to prevent disasters before they have the chance to happen. Whether you’ve suffered flooding already or are just planning ahead, it may be worth upgrading your business’s infrastructure so that it is more prepared for floods, storms and sewage overflows in the future.

Take measures to prevent a flooding from happening to your commercial building. However, if black water does enter the premises, take note of what can be saved and what must be thrown away when cleaning up afterwards.

For more on Towson click here

Fun Mold Experiment

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

You can contact SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville to get an estimate for mold remediation in your home: (410) 229-0012

Mold can easily grow within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage occurs. It begins to colonize in 1 to 12 days! SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville decided to put this to the test...

The photos on the left represent the control group. The pieces of drywall pictured encountered zero excess moisture.

The photos in the center mimic a water damage that occurs during the winter months and goes undiscovered until the spring when weather warms up and mold spores reach their "happy" place (70+ degrees). These pieces of drywall were submerged in water for ten minutes then placed in Ziploc bags to observe.

The column of pictures on the right represents a DIY water mitigation job. This happens more than you would think. A homeowner dries and cleans the water damage on their own without the help of a professional. Approaching a water damage this way often leads to the structure not being fully dried and susceptible to mold growth. These pieces of drywall were submerged in water for 30 seconds and then placed in the Ziploc bags for observation.

The results are right on. Mold growth was seen a mere 7 days after encountering moisture... and after 4 weeks?!? No thank you! It's of utmost importance to have water mitigated correctly after a loss. But, if it's not, we are here for you as well. Mold mitigation just happens to be one of SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/ Lutherville specialties. 

Prepare Your Business for Emergencies Now

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Being prepared for business fire emergencies is important for your employees to know the procedures

You hope to never have a fire in your Towson, MD, business, but if one were to occur, you don’t want to be without a contingency plan. The best way to prepare for an emergency is to create an action plan before the actual emergency. Here are four steps to take before a fire strikes.

1. Create a Thorough Plan

Discuss with your employees or managers how to make the most effective emergency strategies possible. In the written plan, include methods for reporting safety concerns, emergency contact information, the evacuation plan, emergency shut-down procedures, and individual safety policies.

2. Distribute the Contingency Plan

Your employees should be able to respond quickly to emergencies if they already know what to do. Include emergency plans in all your new employee training and hold regular meetings to make sure everyone is up-to-date on current procedures. Make it clear who is responsible for reporting emergencies and whose responsibility it is to make use of fire extinguishers or other emergency equipment.

3. Maintain Clear Evacuation Routes

Keep emergency exits clearly labeled and clear of obstacles. Keep pathways clear of loose cords or spare objects, such as garbage cans or unused furniture that sometimes gets set in back hallways and might become hazards when people try to evacuate.

4. Monitor Emergency Equipment

You have smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in your building, but are they in good working order? Take time to check smoke alarms at least once a month to make sure the batteries are still good and there are enough alarms for the whole building. Check the expiration date on all fire extinguishers. If you have other emergency equipment such as sprinklers or defibrillators, you can include these in your regular emergency equipment checkups.

While no one ever expects a fire, taking the time to create and maintain a contingency plan can keep your employees safe and save time and money when it is time to restore your business after a fire.

For more on Towson click here.

Towson Flood Damage - Overcoming Flood Damage in Towson

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Towson Home Damaged from Flooding

Call SERVPRO for Towson Flood Damage Remediation

The unfortunate reality is that many homeowners will have to contend with flood damage Towson at one time or another. Flooding can occur for any number of reasons, such as a leaky or burst pipe, a natural weather event that brings floodwaters into the home, and more. Whether you have a few inches of water or several feet or water in your home, you need to find a company that offers a fast response to water remediation and flood damage in Towson if you want to return your home to normal.

Why a Fast Response Is Needed
Water may be an essential for life, but it also can be very destructive. Consider that water can cause your wood furnishings and fixtures to warp, mold or mildew. Mold can begin to grow on various other surfaces when water is not removed promptly. In addition, water staining is common. Such issues with staining, warping and mold growth can wreak havoc in your home, but you will find that the damage to your property is significantly reduced when you set up fast efficient Towson flood damage service. Keep in mind that mold and mildew damage can quickly spread to other areas of the home where water damage is not present, posing a health and safety hazard to your loved ones. Preventing the growth of mold in the home is a top priority, and a fast response to water damage is the best option to take.

What to Expect From Flood Damage Services
While flooding is common in homes in this area, you may have never had a reason to contact a professional service provider for Towson flood damage services in the past, and you may not know what to expect from the service. With SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville, you can expect a team of skilled and hardworking professionals to arrive at your home promptly and begin extracting the standing water from the home. As soon as the standing water has been removed, additional steps will be taken to reduce the humidity level in the home. Keep in mind that high levels of moisture can be almost as damaging to a home as water itself. The restoration work will begin once the water and humidity have been removed.

When to Call for Help
If you have discovered standing water in your home, you may not be certain when you should contact a professional for assistance with water remediation services. Towson flood damage services are available to help you with all aspects of water remediation, and this includes water extraction, which should begin as soon as possible. This can start as soon as fresh water is no longer pouring into the home. After you have turned off or stopped the flow of water into the home, you can begin eradicating the water through remediation services.

Water damage can be difficult to deal with, but there is a fast and easy solution to your problem available. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville for Towson flood damage services. As a locally owned and operated company, we have the resources and personnel to help restore your home. Contact us today at (410) 229-0012.

How To Deal with House Mold

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Take precautions in your home to keep mold and mildew from growing

How To Deal with House Mold

Many types of mold growth can occur in your home in Towson, MD, and most mold problems can be traced back to water damage. Any time there is high humidity in your home, you raise your risk of having a serious mold problem develop. Most issues with mold must be handled by a mold remediation specialist so that the problem does not spread or return after cleanup.

Types of Indoor Mold

Almost any type of mold can grow indoors, but some are more common than others. The molds that grow most often in homes are the ones that are particularly attracted to surfaces found therein:

• Penicillium – wallpaper, air ducts and mattresses
• Cladosporium – carpets and fabrics
• Alternaria – showers and leaky sinks
• Aspergillus – hard surfaces
• Stachybotrys – wood and drywall

If you see mold growth or smell its telltale musk, it is better to contact a mold remediation specialist to see what kind of mold it is rather than try to figure it out yourself. Professional experts are better equipped to solve the problem and avoid further growth.

Controlling Humidity

Other than taking care of water damage as soon as it occurs, you can help prevent mold problems by lowering the high humidity in your home. A dehumidifier keeps the air from dampening surfaces and making them more prone to a mold infestation. Running your air conditioner regularly helps keep air flowing throughout your HVAC system, reducing the likelihood of moisture buildup. Keeping outside humidity out of your home by having holes, cracks and air leaks repaired can bring your indoor humidity level to the 30-60 percent range where it needs to be.

No matter what type of mold may grow home, any type is unwelcome. You can take precautions against mold growth by limiting your home’s moisture levels, both on surfaces and in the air. If a mold problem does occur, make sure you have it handled by the experts as soon as possible.

For more on Towson click here.

Have the Skill To Keep the Fire in Your Grill

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Skills to keep the fire in the grill is needed during this time of the year

The weather is warming up in Towson, MD, and you can mentally smell the BBQ food you’re eager to cook outside. Unfortunately, a grill fire can surprise you as something that wasn’t on the menu if you are ill-prepared. Before looking up new recipes or seasonings to try, it’s worth learning the basics of grill safety.

Preparation Is the Key to Prevention

After ensuring the grill’s footing is stable and removing low-hanging tree branches and other flammable items near the grill, it’s time to start your grill the safe and proper way:

• Gas grills: Check the connections on both ends of the gas tank to make sure they are tight. After securing the connectors, coat the hose with a 50/50 water and soap solution before turning the grill on while its lid is open. If you witness any bubbles on the soapy hose during this test, immediately turn off the grill and have it serviced because those leaks put you at risk for a grill fire.


• Charcoal grills: A charcoal grill should be safely lit only with charcoal starter fluid or a charcoal chimney starter. Using other flammable liquids instead, a fire can get out of hand and cause flare-ups that can spread to your residence or cause BBQ smoke damage.

Meat Temperature Shouldn’t Be the Only Thing Monitored While Cooking

While cooking outside, exercise vigilance by following these tips to prevent a BBQ fire:

• Supervise the grill until it is off
• Turn the grill off if you suddenly smell gas
• Call emergency services if a gas smell doesn’t subside after turning the grill off
• Wear clothing that has no loose or hanging parts that could catch fire
• Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and know how to use it

If Fire Spreads Despite Precaution

Following these tips, most accidents can be prevented. If a grill fire occurs and cannot be contained with an extinguisher, contact your local emergency number. If the fire damages your property, a professional fire restoration crew is worth considering to restore your home’s condition and remove any residual smoke smell.

For more on Towson click here.

3 Mold Containment Methods To Keep Your Employees Safe During Remediation

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your Employees safe during Mold Remediation

Finding mold in your Towson North, MD, commercial building can be troubling for you as a business owner, especially when it comes to the well-being of your employees. While your first instinct might be to try and eradicate any fungi on your own, mold removal is best left to experts who have the knowledge and equipment to handle the job correctly. However, there are a few containment methods you can use that may keep your employees safe until help arrives.

1. Evacuate Affected Spaces

Once mold is discovered, it is a good idea to evacuate the area. Mold growth can be affected by employee or operational activity, which can send spores into the air and allow them to settle in other areas to grow anew. Evacuating and sealing off the area until mold mitigation and restoration specialists arrive can lower the risk of additional contamination.

2. Shut Off Ventilation Systems

If your building has suffered water damage and you have a black mold problem, temporarily shutting off your ventilation and air conditioning system can prevent the spread of spores to other areas. Moist air ducts can encourage fungi growth where you cannot see it, so shutting them down until they can be cleaned and sanitized can keep mold from spreading to other parts of your building.

3. Allow Specialists To Work Unfettered

Restricting access to affected spaces so your restoration techs can focus on mold removal may help them resolve the issue faster. Do not allow employees to enter rooms where mitigation is being performed, as negative air pressure chambers may be in use to kill mold spores in the air. Move operations from the area to another floor to give your techs plenty of room to work.

Mold removal at your Towson North, MD, business may take up to a week to complete. However, taking steps to protect your employees during mitigation and restoration can lower their risk of exposure to mold and allow your techs to work more efficiently.

Click here for more on Towson North.

3 Steps for Handling a Flooded Furnace in Your Commercial Building

4/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage in Commercial Building

When a plumbing mishap occurs in your Lutherville, MD, commercial building, electrical and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems can be vulnerable to water damage. If you discover that a pipe burst in your basement during a cold snap or because of some other issue, you may also be facing a furnace flood. While this can be troubling, there are a few actions you can take to handle the situation and resolve it as soon as possible.

1. Avoid Operating the Furnace

When you realize your furnace is flooded, your first instinct may be to try and operate it to see if it is still functional. However, this can be dangerous and cause further damage to the unit. If your furnace is electric, it is especially important that you avoid touching the furnace or its controls, as this could result in a serious electric shock. Seal off the basement and contact your local electric company to inform it about the furnace flood.

2. Call In Professional Flood Cleanup Services

Contacting a qualified flood cleanup and restoration company can be an effective step in dealing with a flooded furnace. Flood technicians have the equipment and experience needed to drain flood waters from your basement and employ drying and cleaning techniques that can prevent the growth and spread of mold, which can be especially important if flood waters have sat for more than 24 hours. Removal of the water may also help your furnace repair crew reach and repair your unit with more efficiency.

3. Have the Furnace Repaired

Once flood waters are cleared, HVAC experts can assess the damage to your furnace and advise you about whether it should be repaired or replaced. They can also perform air duct cleaning to ensure your building’s ducts are free of mold, which can spread quickly after a flood.

Dealing with a furnace flood in your Lutherville, MD, commercial building can be a stressful experience. However, when you know how to approach the problem, you can resolve it with confidence and get your heating system up and running again as soon as possible.

Click here for more on Lutherville.

Safeguarding Your Home Against Potential Flood Damage

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Severe Flooding Damage can ruin your Hardwoods in your home or business

When there’s a severe storm making its way toward your Towson North, MD, home, the most important task is to get you and your family out of harm’s way. However, if you have a few days to prepare for a potential flooding event, there are ways to organize and safeguard your property from impending flood damage. Help eliminate your chances of getting hit with extreme storm damage by following these few handy rules for flood preparation.

? Elevate your electronics and necessary utility panels. Place any objects like wiring, sockets, appliances, electrical panels or heating systems at a higher elevation in your home if possible, or simply disconnect them before you leave to prevent a potential electrical fire before any flooding occurs.

? Waterproof your basement or cellar. This can help protect your valuables from becoming part of the flood damage, as well as prevent the interior drywall or insulation from soaking up excess water — a situation that could potentially lead to mold growth later on.

? Clear away any debris caught in your home’s gutters, downspouts or storm drains. Any buildup in these areas won’t allow water to flow naturally, which can cause it to get backed up and seep into your home. Clearing the way gives the water a place to escape and increases the likelihood of your home avoiding a major flood issue.

? Move your home’s furniture and valuables to higher ground if the option is available. Keep all important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, social security cards and the like contained in a steel lockbox or safe that won’t be affected by the presence of water.

Though it’s nearly impossible to be prepared for every extreme weather event that occurs in Towson North, MD, it is possible to take preventative measures to secure your home from the worst that flooding can do. Furthermore, seeking professional help from restoration specialists to clean up and secure your property after a disaster can help you return home that much faster.

Click here for more on Towson North.

Recovering from Home Fire Damage in Baltimore

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

After your home is aired out and clean, professionals will repair any damage the fire may have caused.

Recovering from home fire damage

Cleaning up the damage from a fire can be a time consuming task. Recovering from a home fire often involves expensive repairs to your home. When dealing with fire damage, you must contact your insurance agent and work to restore your home to its former glory. On top of that, your home likely won't be livable, which forces you to reside in temporary housing. All of these things can certainly take a toll, and that is why hiring a professional Baltimore fire damage contractor can be a worthwhile investment. They take care of cleaning and restoring your home, so you have one less thing to worry about. 

Cleaning Your Home

The first thing a professional Baltimore fire damage contractor does is clean your home. Bringing in a professional to do this can be extremely helpful because the cleaning process is not always something you can do yourself. Cleaning up after a fire is a long process involving special equipment and expertise in order to ensure that the job is done well. A professional fire damage contractor will first assess the damage caused by the fire. This helps him or her to determine how extensive the damage is, what equipment is necessary to repair and clean it, and how long it will take.  

After the damage is assessed, the fire damage contractor will immediately begin to air out the home so that mold and mildew do not begin to grow. Mold and mildew can start growing in your home in as little as 24 hours after a fire, and if they are left untreated, they can eventually cause health problems to the home's residents. 

Repairing The Damage

After your home is aired out and clean, professionals will repair any damage the fire may have caused. They will repair things like structural, drywall, carpet, and plumbing damage. They will also work to repair any other extensive damage the home may have endured. Professionals will also work quickly to fix your home. They often bring in multiple experts to assist them in making repairs so that the process is quicker. Typically, it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to a few months for repairs to be completed, but it depends on the extent of the damage.  

If your home has suffered Baltimore fire damage, it is important to contact a professional. They have experience repairing this type of damage and the proper equipment to get the job done right. No matter what the extent of the damage to your home is, it is helpful to have professional help so you can be sure the repairs will be done correctly.

Air Duct Cleaning

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

WHY CLEAN AIR DUCTS?

by NADCA (North American Duct Cleaning Association)

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville have been members since 2015

In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes with air ducts, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning: pets, occupants with allergies or asthma, cigarette or cigar smoke, water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system, and home renovation or remodeling projects.

Indoor air quality is one concern that homeowners have when they decide to investigate air duct cleaning. Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and breathes air out.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system.

TAKING IT TO THE STREETS

Applying industry knowledge to a real life situation

Before a couple moved into their newly purchased home, they had mold mitigation services preformed before closing. After 5 years they were afraid that the mold had come back because of ongoing sickness in the family. SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville came out and informed them that it was, in fact, not mold but a vent cleaning problem. After cleaning out the ducts in their home, the family felt much better and the constant sickness subsided. They stated that they could tell a difference instantly.

An Introduction to Black Mold

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Black Mold Remediation

With so many news stories about black mold, you may be worried about whether you have mold growing in your home. Before you panic or spend a large sum of money for a mold test in Hampton, MD, here are the things you need to know about mold and the signs that you may have it in your house.

What Is It?

Mold is a type of fungus, distantly related to the mushrooms you put in your salad and the yeast used to brew beer and make bread. While much attention has been given to Stachybotrys Chartarum, a species of black mold that is particularly toxic, there are actually many species of mold that appear black. Other species may appear as green, brown, white or even pink.

Mold reproduces by releasing spores, which are carried on the breeze new locations. If the spores land in a moist, dark, warm environment, they will flourish and grow into a large colony. This is what you see on your bathroom tile.

What Makes It Grow in Your Home?

Moisture is the number-one factor that determines where mold grows. If you have any areas in your house that are always damp, then you have prime real estate for mold. The most common causes of excess moisture in houses are:

• Leaks in the roof or around windows and doors
• Broken water supply lines
• Broken water pipes
• Leaking bathtubs or showers
• High humidity
• Condensation
• Flooding

If you don’t have a problem with excess moisture in your home, you likely don’t need to worry about mold.

How Can You Prevent It?

The best way to prevent mold from growing is to prevent moisture build-up. Keep your home in good repair, do regular maintenance on your plumbing and keep rooms well ventilated. If you live in an area where humidity is an issue, use a dehumidifier or air conditioner to keep indoor humidity below 50 percent - 60 percent. If you do notice black mold in your home, don’t attempt to do a mold cleanup on your own. A professional mold remediation service in Hampton, MD, can return your home to a healthy state.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROhuntvalleylutherville.com for more information. 

Wanda and Elenor have worked for SERVPRO 37 Years!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Wanda and Sissy Holding up a signed thank you poster for their dedication.

What makes a SERVPRO Crew Chief show up for work 37 years, and counting? Just one little comment…

Wanda Albright, and her sister, Eleanor “Sissy” Helmick, have been SERVPRO of East Harford County Crew Chiefs for nearly four decades, through countless restoration industry changes and three different franchise owners, giving their all for customers and co-workers, too!

Since 1981, this dedicated pair have seen many changes in the restoration industry, and drastic growth for the company, but their focus remains the same: on those experiencing stress and trauma from damages to their homes. Wanda sums up her work’s greatest reward, helping customers and their homes return to normalcy, “I just love going into a home where it’s a disaster and I make it perfect… I like to make a difference.”

Owners Jim and Trish Wall, SERVPRO of East Harford County; SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville; and SERVPRO of Bel Air, understand employees are what makes a business great, and Wanda and Sis are, no doubt, exceptional in their dedication to customer, company, and team. “Throughout their 38+ year careers, Wanda and Sissy have always dreamed of visiting the corporate headquarters, so this past January, we made their dreams come true with an anniversary trip to Tennessee. With the help of our East Harford County General Manager, Toni Townsley, Wanda and Sissy visited SERVPRO Industries, Inc. headquarters, toured the facility, met several corporate employees, and made the SERVPRO TV news in a segment dedicated to them!” Then to top off the fun, the pair spent two nights downtown, enjoying themselves and the sights and sounds of Nashville. It was quite a memorable trip and well-deserved for such dedicated and loyal people.

And while recognition of their accomplishments and acknowledgment of their dedication is surely important to good employee morale, what exactly could keep these crew chiefs coming back year-after-year to the very same job? According to Sis Helmick, just one thing… “It makes me feel good. It makes me feel proud when someone comes to me and tells me ‘Thank you so much. You’ve helped us tremendously.’ That’s what I do it for. That one little comment.”

3 Tips for Cleaning Up After Your Home Is Damaged by Water

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water loss in Hampton

When you think of water damage, you might think of issues caused by heavy rains or hurricanes. However, your Hampton, MD, home can be affected by flooding as the result of a plumbing disaster or a failed water appliance, such as a washing machine or dishwasher. When this type of problem occurs, there are a few steps you can take to clean up the water and assess the damage.

1. Avoid Flooded Rooms

Water from your dishwasher or washing machine can contain detergent chemicals that might harm your skin, and a malfunctioning water heater may burst and give you serious burns. It is wise to shut off the water supply to the broken appliance and then seal the room until help arrives. Do not let anyone go into the room, especially if you know electrical systems might have been damaged.

2. Call in Restoration Services

A professional flood cleanup and restoration company can help get the cleanup process started when you are dealing with water damage. Flood technicians may assist with removing any remaining water and advise you on what kind of repairs you might need to make. For example, if broken pipes have caused a flood in your kitchen, restoration experts can help you understand whether wall sections or flooring can be repaired or if they will need replacing.

3. Sort Through Wet Items

Once the area is safe to enter, you can then take stock of water damage by retrieving wet items and sorting them. Dry what you can in a low-humidity area, out of direct sunlight, and then disinfect smaller objects. You may want to ask your restoration company which items are safe to keep and which you must throw away after the water cleanup.

When a water appliance breaks and causes a flood in your Hampton, MD, home, it can cause a variety of problems. However, knowing how to deal with water damage may go a long way in keeping you safe and preventing long-term harm to your home.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROhuntvalleylutherville.com for more information. 

Identifying Your Flood Water Threat Level

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Store Flooding

No flood is a good flood, but did you know that some floods are much more dangerous than others? Flood water is graded on a system, ranging from clear, safe water to “black water,” which tends to carry a wide range of dangerous contaminants. In order to keep your business and employees safe in the aftermath of a flood in Towson North, MD, it’s imperative to learn the defining qualities and natures of:

• Clean/Clear Water
• Gray Water
• Black Water

Learning the differences could very well help to save a life while you wait on your preferred cleanup crew to arrive.

Clean Water

This type of flood typically results from broken water lines, rainwater, toilet tanks and snow melt – sources of water that’s typically considered clean enough to drink. While floods of this water type can be pesky and promote mold growth, they’re not considered a health threat.

Gray Water

Gray water is, simply put, water that comes from sources that may be tainted with chemicals. This can include dishwasher and washing machine overflows, aquariums and other household belongings that deal with water and any sort of cleaner. While it’s mostly harmless, this type of flood water should still be handled by a professional cleanup crew.

Black Water

This is the type of water you’ll find in the aftermath of heavy storm damage, septic tank issues, sewage backup and other issues where unclean water and fluids find a way into your business. This water is likely to carry a wide range of bacteria and diseases, and has a high likelihood of making those who come into contact with it ill. A professional team should always be consulted for cleanup.

Identifying your flood water type is only the first step, of course. You’ll need to work alongside a team of professionals to dry out your property, replace damaged flooring and perform other restoration tasks to get your business back in shape. However, learning the difference between clean water and dangerous water can go a long way towards creating a safe cleanup environment in the meantime.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROhuntvalleylutherville.com for more information. 

Mold Can Spread Quickly, So What Can You Do To Stop It From Wreaking Havoc?

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold spores are extremely lightweight, and they can easily spread from one room to the next with a single puff of air. Black mold can wreak havoc on the structure of a building, which is why immediate and professional mold cleanup should be your number one priority upon the discovery of the fungus. While you’re waiting for a professional to arrive, there are a few things you can do to keep the mold from spreading:

• Identify and address moisture issues, as any moisture problem can lead to mold growth in as little as 24 hours.
• Prevent moisture buildup with proper ventilation.
• Turn off your HVAC system until a Gravestone, Maryland, mold remediation expert has eradicated the issue.
• Monitor your building’s humidity level (ideally, it should be between 30 and 60 percent).
• Improve airflow in your building, as when temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good airflow, that moisture will attach itself to your walls, ceilings, floors and furniture.

The Mold Remediation Process

You should never attempt to clean up black mold yourself, for two reasons:

1) This mold is extremely toxic.
2) Only a professional can tell just how bad the problem is and understand what measures are necessary to not just clean the mold, but kill it.

The team you hire will be well equipped to deal with the issue safely and effectively. They may begin by identifying any moisture buildup and drying those areas out. Some situations may require a vet vacuum, which is designed to suck up standing water. They may also seal off any doorways or air ducts that lead from room to room. If the mold hasn’t already spread, it will later, which can increase the cost and length of the mold cleanup process. Finally, the team will clean and disinfect any contaminated areas and possibly apply an EPA-recommended mold inhibitor to prevent future infestations.

If your building has black mold, don’t try and attempt the cleanup process on your own. Reach out to your Gravestone, Maryland, mold remediation team for help today.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for your mold remediation emergencies. 

Board Up Services Keep Out Looters

2/10/2018 (Permalink)

If your business incurs storm or fire damage, you may need emergency board up services in Hampton, Maryland, to prevent more damage or theft. There are many reasons you may need to board up your business: storms can do a lot of damage, fires can leave your building vulnerable and weather can cause further damage.

Benefits of Board Up Services

Whether you are preparing for bad weather or recovering from damage, there are many advantages to boarding up your commercial building until the storm passes or the damage can be fixed.

• Discourage Looting. The biggest advantage is deterring theft and vandalism. Gaping holes and broken windows may invite vandals, thieves and looters to enter your facility. Don’t allow a bad situation to become worse. Board up your office to keep unwanted individuals out until the situation can be taken care of.
• Prevent further damage. Fire cleanup may take some time, depending on the level of damage. Broken windows can allow further weather in after a devastating natural disaster. Boarding your windows and holes can help secure your building.
• Maintain insurance coverage. Many insurance companies require that businesses pursue board up services to be eligible for coverage. Boarding up increases your likelihood of being able to show the damage you are claiming is due to the disaster or fire damage and did not occur in the days following.

Boarding Up

You want to make sure that your business is not easily accessible. Board up doors, windows and other points of entry accessible from a porch or fire escape. These are places that can be easily gotten into. Use plywood, 2x4s, nails and bolts for these entrance points. For holes, windows or doors more than ten feet off the ground and that are not easily accessible, plywood and nails should be sufficient.

After fire damage or a devastating natural disaster, you may have a lot on your plate dealing with damages alone. Boarding up your building can help deter vandals and protect your business from further weather damage.

Visit us at http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for your commercial restoration needs. 

How to Effectively Stop a Grease Fire From Spreading

2/1/2018 (Permalink)

Woodbrook, Maryland Grease Cleanup

It’s something most people don’t expect to experience, but a grease fire is a dangerous situation that can happen to anyone, including experienced cooks. If you ever end up dealing with the unfortunate situation of having this type of fire in your home in Woodbrook, Maryland there are three steps you should follow to effectively stop it from spreading any further.

  1. Cover your pot with a metal lid. If the grease fire is just starting inside a pot or pan on the stove, you may have time to put a stop to it before it spreads to the other burners and to other areas of your home. Grab a metal lid belonging to one of the pots or pans you’re using and quickly place it on top of the pot.
  2. Turn the stove burners off. After you’ve covered the pot with a metal lid, make sure to turn the burners off. If you leave the burners on, the pot will continue to stay hot, and that may cause the fire to spread out of control. The goal is to shut everything off before it has any time to spread throughout the home.
  3. Call for help to keep the fire from spreading. If covering the pot with a metal lid and turning the burners off hasn’t helped and you can see the grease fire spreading to other areas of the stove, call for help. You shouldn’t waste any time contacting firefighters.

Any fire is dangerous, but one caused by grease can spread quickly. Knowing how to protect yourself if you’re ever in that situation in Woodbrook, Maryland, is important for your safety as well as the overall protection of your home. You must act quickly to cover the pot, turn the stove off, and call for help to keep the fire from spreading out of control and causing serious damage.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for any fire tips. 

The Benefits of Hiring a Fire Restoration Company

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

One of the benefits to dealing with a fire restoration company is that they can clean up after a fire sprinkler system or fire suppression system has gone off in your building. This fire sprinkler system and fire suppression system is essential for when it comes to getting your company protected from future fire damage.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville will take care of smoke damage and soot damage that is left behind after fire damage has taken over the home. This is why it is important to hire a fire restoration company specializing in commercial fire damage.  The utility room fire and electrical fire that you have dealt with when it comes to commercial fire damage can easily be dealt with from a fire damage expert.

One of the problems when it comes to an electrical fire or utility room fire is the amount of smoke that stays inside the room and then gets filtered through the vents. Cleaning the vents is an important part of deodorization.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

Local Fire Restoration Company

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage Help

There are so many different options available to you, so be sure that you contact a local company that can respond right away and are certified for fire cleaning. If you have some fire and content insurance on your property, you may also want to contact the provider to see if they will be able to cover the costs of restoration. Restoration is something that you should never attempt to do on your own, as there are many different skills and tools that you need to get the job done. This is why it is so important that you look for a local company you can hire and they will come to your home and assess the damage. Once the assessment has been done, they will be able to let you know what exactly needs to be done and other types of options that are available to you. This is something that you will find to be incredibly beneficial if you have recently dealt with some type of fire in your company office.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

Mold and Deodorization - Trust the Experts.

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

Many people assume that mold is not a natural occurrence, but it does grow everywhere and even in your home. Your home shouldn't grow fungus but if it has a water damage then it will have the opportunity to root itself. Mold is fungus that requires a wet environment to grow. One way to notice if you have mold is if you smell a smelly odor with musty scents, it might be mold. This smelly odor is one of the most common indicators mold is growing behind walls.

Deodorization techniques might work for a while, but every deodorization technique someone tries will fail. This is why a restoration company should come in and handle the deodorization process when there is a smelly odor from mold. Remediation, mitigation, and the use of proper deodorization techniques are often the only way to help mold damage. Whether it's a smelly odor bothering homeowners or a business owner who suspects black mold is a problem, calling the professionals is the answer to any mold issue. DIY techniques are a terrible idea, and they only serve to make the situation that much worse.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

When the Bowl Runs Over

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

The scene caused by an overflowing toilet is all too familiar to many Towson North, MD business owners. If you're reading this, you have probably stopped the flow coming from the flooded toilet. If not, commercial toilets usually have a shut-off valve that you can locate and use a screwdriver to activate. If you can't find it, a sewage company should be able to stop the water easily. Act quickly, because this kind of sewer damage can cause:

• Health hazards
Facility water damage
• Lingering bad smell
• Secondary damage

Immediate Action

Your first step should be identifying the problem. Most situations involving sewer damage are far from pretty, but some are worse than others. If there's a presence of feces, for example, you should take extra care if attempting cleanup. If you aren't going to handle the problem yourself, you should ideally rope off the whole bathroom until help arrives.

Secondary Steps

After you determine the nature of the issue and take protective measures, it's time for cleanup to be performed. It's also important to make sure the area is completely sanitized and dry during this stage to prevent issues later on from lingering pathogens or high humidity.

Other Causes

Sometimes, damage outside of your facility can cause backflow that pushes material back through the lines. While this is less common cause of flooding than a clogged toilet or broken fixture, it does happen. Contact your utility company in cases like this as soon as possible. They are likely to have specific advice for Towson North, MD businesses in your situation.

Nobody wants to deal with a gurgling toilet, but this problem is an unfortunate fact of doing business. Sewer damage might come from inside or out of your building, but either cause needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. It's a good idea to prevent long-term issues and potential liability by dealing with all water issues decisively.
 Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on commercial water damage.

What To Do After Your Toilet Overflows

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

It can happen in an instant. You flush the toilet, and without warning, it backs up and overflows onto the bathroom floor of your Cockeysville, MD home. If you’re lucky, a flooded toilet is all you have to worry about. If you’re not so lucky, sewer damage may spread to other rooms and, in a worst-case scenario, the entire basement. Your first call should be to a plumber to stop the backup, followed by another call to a sewage company that can help you begin immediate cleanup and restoration.

What Not To Flush

Sewer backups seemingly come out of the blue, and nobody is ever really prepared for one. To help prevent a blocked sewer line, never flush items such as:

• Cotton balls or Q-tips
• Feminine products
• Baby wipes
• Paper towels
• Cigarette butts
• Dental floss

These things may or may not cause a blockage by themselves, but they can accumulate and block the toilet trap and pipes. Even too much toilet paper at one time can create or add to a blockage and the resulting sewer damage.

Removing the Clog

A professional plumber may be able to break the clog with the help of a sewer “snake,” or auger line. These handy tools can reach up to 100 feet in length to dislodge whatever is causing the clog. If a snake fails to resolve the problem, you’re likely going to need to reach the clog from outside, digging down to the line through your yard. This is often the only way to repair a line that is blocked by roots from a tree planted too close to the sewer line.

Cleanup and Restoration

Sewage is obviously full of contaminants and requires special cleanup and disposal of contaminated items, which may include flooring, baseboards, drywall and insulation. If you have a flooded toilet in your Cockeysville, MD home, contact a sewage company with restoration expertise that can help you assess the sewer damage, remove affected surfaces and clean and sanitize items that are salvageable. Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on water damage.

2 Instances When a Flood Cut Is Necessary

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Extreme flooding can leave you with a basement in a state of disarray. To get the room back to normal, a professional team from Cockeysville, MD can attempt a tear out known as a flood cut. This is when the team removes a portion of your drywall, usually 12 inches above where the water damage ends. While it is not necessary in every single case, most homeowners will find a flood cut to be highly advantageous.

1. When the Water Is Contaminated

When your home has been flooded with normal, clean water, the team may not have to cut out any part of the drywall. However, flood water can carry various hazardous substances, including

• Raw sewage
• Fecal matter
• Chemicals
• Other forms of contamination

Flooding with these substances can result in a variety of problems, and it may mean parts of the walls need to go. It is the only way to ensure the pathogens are removed from the building entirely. This most often occurs when the inside of a house has been flooded from the sewer line. Anything the sewage touches needs to go.

2. When the Walls Have Insulation Behind Them

If your basement walls do not have any insulation behind them, then the professionals may be able to dry the other side of the walls with a technique known as injectidry. This is when small holes are drilled into the wall and the experts use them to carefully dry the interior. However, if there is insulation, then a flood cut is necessary. It is practically impossible to dry insulation, so the walls will need to go to get the insulation out from the area.

When it comes to extreme water damage, professionals sometimes need to resort to drastic measures, but it is to ensure your house is safe to inhabit. If your house in Cockeysville, MD ends up flooding, then you can ask the experts what they would recommend for your specific scenario. Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on storm damage.

Answers to All Your Questions About Mold

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Answers to All Your Questions About Mold

Mold growth is not a popular topic, generally, but it’s something every property owner and even every renter ought to know about. A lot of factors contribute to the growth and spread of mold - things like high humidity and previous water damage. Knowing the risk factors can help you identify a problem in the early stages, when it is still easy and inexpensive to fix.

Facts About Mold

Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours, given the right conditions. A warm, wet climate is all that is really required.
Often, mold growth is accompanied by a strong, pungent odor that is fairly easy to recognize. Even if you can’t see it, mold hidden by carpeting or drywall might be evident due to the smell.
Mold isn’t always preceded by a flood; it can grow and thrive in indoor spaces with high humidity. For best prevention, keep humidity below 45 percent.
Water-damaged materials are a prime location for mold colonies. If the materials are not properly dehumidified promptly, mold can set in on the inside. Porous materials should always either be professionally treated or replaced after flood conditions.

Mold remediation by a professional is the best solution for dealing with mold in your space. A qualified contractor can use a specialized process to return mold levels in your space to a normal and safe status in order to maintain your property. They’ll employ the use of pumps and dehumidifiers to remove all excess moisture and negate the possibility of water damage. They’ll test your air quality and advise you on high humidity and how to correct it going forward. The restoration of your property will follow, with removal and replacement of all materials permanently altered by flooding or leaky or busted pipes.

Don’t let mold growth flourish in your space; learn to recognize the risks and the signs of present danger before you have a problem.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on mold.

Tips To Make Cleanup After a Fire Easy

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Tips To Make Cleanup After a Fire Easy

One of the most devastating events you and your family can experience is losing your home and belongings to a fire. Dealing with finding a temporary place to live while rebuilding your life can be a stressful time, especially if there was extensive smoke damage to some or all of your belongings. You may think your possessions are a total loss following a fire and that you should throw them away, but you may be surprised by the number of items you can save through dry cleaning and other professional cleanup efforts. Consider these tips on how you can clean smoke-damaged items and possibly preserve prized family heirlooms.

1. Inspect Your Home

After a fire, do a thorough inspection of your home and belongings to see what you can try to save. There may be some objects that have been thoroughly destroyed that will need to be tossed, but others may have simply suffered smoke or water damage.

2. Separate Objects by Damage

The type of damage your items suffered will determine how they’ll be cleaned and restored. For example, belongings ruined by water from when firefighters extinguished the fire will not be treated the same as possessions affected by smoke.

3. Clean and Store Items

After you’ve separated your items for cleanup, you’ll want to begin the restoration process. You should have higher-priority objects, such as clothing, treated first since they’re items you’re more likely to use daily. Dry cleaning your clothes can remove any smoke damage that may be present. When it comes to content cleaning, most fire remediation professionals in Towson North, Maryland can restore non-porous items using ultrasonic cleaning. Once your items have been restored, you’ll want to use a content storage facility to keep them safe until your home has been repaired or rebuilt.

It’s important to begin the post-fire cleanup and restoration process as soon as possible. The sooner you’re able to get fire damage restoration professionals in your home to assess the damage and begin dry cleaning, the more belongings you’ll likely be able to save. Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

How a Flood Cut Can Protect Your Property

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

How a Flood Cut Can Protect Your Property

Whether it is from a hurricane, a downpour or a broken drain line, each flooding event is unique. Flood restoration experts are trained in a variety of cleanup techniques and know how to operate industrial and technical equipment needed for the job. One of the more advanced techniques they employ is a flood cut. Here are four questions commonly asked about flood cuts.

What Is a Flood Cut? After a room has flooded, an area of drywall is often cut out and disposed of. That cut is usually 12 to 18 inches above the line of water damage, which means that flood damage cleanup technicians will tear out a bottom section of the drywall. This enables a more efficient removal of materials that were tainted by the water.

When Is a Flood Cut Necessary? There are several situations where a flood cut is needed:

In the case of sewage backups
When there is insulation behind the walls
When there is chemical contamination
When harmful pathogens might be present

When Is a Flood Cut Not Needed? In cases where the flooding is from clean water, and where no insulation is present, a flood cut will most likely not be needed. In this situation, the room can be cleaned by normal methods of pumping out the water and then using vacuums and fans to dry the area.

What Happens After a Flood Cut Is Performed? This depends upon the situation, but in most cases, a flood cut allows for a more thorough cleaning and drying out of the affected area. Once that is completed, a contractor can come in and replace the drywall and the insulation.

Flooding in Towson North, Maryland is always a traumatic event, but not every flood should be handled the same way. It’s important to become educated on the various flood damage restoration options before the waters flow. Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on flood damage.

How A Restoration Company Will Restore Your Home After Water Damage

9/26/2017 (Permalink)


How A Restoration Company Will Restore Your Home After Water Damage

After a long rainfall, hurricane, or any kind of storm, many people suffer from water damage. A pipe break or a supply line break can also cause water damage. Water damage can ruin your furniture, cause structural damage to your home, ruin your appliances, and make your home unlivable. Supply line breaks and pipe breaks are fairly common and can cause unexpected damage. If you have water in your home or water in your business, you’ll need to take the right steps towards the mitigation of future damage and the restoration of your flooded home. That will involve drying the water in your home and doing water cleanup. To do that, it is best to call a restoration company.

A restoration company will come down to your flooded home as soon as possible after you give them a call. They will do an inspection of your flooded home and find out the extent of the flood damage. This is something they need to do before starting the mitigation, water cleanup, drying, and restoration process. They will take steps towards the mitigation of future flood damage. This includes fixing whatever is causing the water in your flooded home or the water in your business, which may be a pipe break or a supply line break. They might have to shut off the valve which controls the flow of water in your home or water in your business.

They will use special equipment to clean up the water in your home or the water in your business. This includes flood pumps and other special tools. You do not want to try to do this yourself, as the water may be contaminated and the electric circuits must be turned off. You also do not know how to fix a pipe break or supply line break yourself. You also do not know how to do the kind of deep drying and water cleanup that is necessary after water damage occurs.

Keep in mind that water seeps into your furniture, walls, floors, ceiling, and anything else in your home. There will be pockets of moisture hiding behind tiles, in the walls, in your HVAC system (such as your air ducts), and in corners. This requires special equipment, and it is an aspect of flood damage that not everyone knows about. A professional restoration company will use special equipment to detect pockets of moisture around your home. Then they will use special tools to do a deep drying and water cleanup. Cleaning up the water that is hiding and which has seeped into your furniture is an important part of the mitigation and restoration process. This is because the longer the water stays there, the more water damage there will be. For example, mold, a common part of water damage, usually grows when water lingers around.

Next, after your home is completely dry and there is no more water left, the restoration company will take steps to restore your home to the way it was before the flood damage occurred. The restoration process requires repairs to parts of your home that are damaged. A restoration company is experienced with making these repairs.

There will be parts of your home that are damaged beyond repair. This is not a cause for concern, however. Whatever can not be fixed can easily be replaced. You may only have to replace parts of something. For example, perhaps only a few planks in your wall may need to be replaced. Replacing damaged objects is important in restoring your home back to normal. Any structural damage must also be repaired so that your home is safe to live in.

The restoration company will do a final inspection before they finish. The goal of this second inspection will be to make sure that everything is truly restored to the way it was before. Once your home is ready to be lived in, they will let you know and you will be able to safely move in without any concerns.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on water damage.

Getting Help for Commercial Fire Damage

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to the fire damage in your building, it is imperative that you get a fire restoration company to come in and help with the cleanup. Whether you dealt with an electrical fire or utility room fire, it is nice to know that there are professionals out there besides the firefighters with their fire trucks and fire hoses to help you out. This is why so many people have hired Professionals for the commercial fire damage they have dealt within their own building. Commercial fire damage is difficult to remediate yourself, and this is why it is so important to hire a professional who deals with fire restoration.

Most insurance agents will recommend that you get rid of smoke damage as well as any remaining soot damage as soon as the firefighters leave with their fire trucks and fire hoses. The reason for this is due to the fact that it can be a problem for your building if it is left to linger. There are too many things that need to be done when it comes to fire restoration, so it is always a good idea for you to contact the experts and have them work with you on a regular basis to restore your home to its former glory.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

What to Expect From Storm Damage Restoration

9/26/2017 (Permalink)


What to Expect From Storm Damage Restoration

Hurricane damage, storm damage, wind damage, ice damage and hail damage can wreak havoc in your home. When this happens, you may feel like all is lost. However, you will be surprised by how much can be saved through expert home restoration or storm remediation. Before you count your losses, give storm restoration a chance.

Home restoration services can be sought after calamities such as hail damage, river flooding, ice damage, wind damage, flood water damage, ice damage and hurricane damage. It is best to have the contacts of experts on storm remediation. This is especially in the wake of the recent hurricanes rocking the country.

Another harsh weather element is wind damage after a storm. Wind damage can cause extensive roof damage. This happens due to loose shingles or tiles. Wind damage can also cause moisture from ice dams or ice damming to penetrate the roof. This can lead to wood swelling. The outcome is a sagging ceiling and roof damage which needs extensive roof repair.

The ice dams or ice damming also pose a risk to the roof. A roof leak can develop into a crack. This has the potential to damage the structure. Ice damming also weigh down the roof due to the ice dam pools. Homeowners who live in areas prone to wind or winter damage should consider roofs with a higher slope to reduce roof damage. This will reduce the need for regular roof repairs and the possibility of a roof leak. A roof leak from ice damming or formation of ice dams should be repaired immediately. Putting off a roof repair means that the homeowner incurs more costs later.

Roof inspection before the harsh weather also minimizes the roof repair costs. Any broken or lose shingles should also be fixed. Storm restoration experts will advise you on the appropriate roof repairs to be done ahead of any harsh weather. They will also assess the roof leaks before they get worse.

When you engage the services of storm restoration experts after flood water damage, storm damage, ice damage, hail damage, river flooding, wind damage, flooding or hurricane damage, the experts are sent to your home immediately. The water restoration efforts begin after a careful assessment of the flooding.

The water restoration professionals will also conduct an examination of the exterior and the interior of the home. They also check the extent of the flood water and ground water levels. This helps them to come up with the home restoration plan based on the flooding, storm damage and ground water.

The teams work together after agreeing on where to start. Hurricane damage, storm damage, hail damage, flood water damage, roof damage and ice damage all have different water restoration processes. It is ill advised for home owners to attempt the storm restoration process without seeking professional storm remediation.

Storm remediation. experts also come equipped with the appropriate work gear and tools. An important tool is in the water restoration process is a flood pump. Flood pumps are designed to drain water in flooded areas. These flood pumps can be placed in rooms and left to drain the ground water automatically. The floods can also handle ground water as it rises to higher levels. River flooding pumps are also available for extensive flood water damage. Flood pumps are also used alongside vacuums.

Winter damage is another common weather calamity. Winter damage leads to frozen pipes. The frozen pipes are not able to allow for the flow of water. It can take time for the frozen pipes to unfreeze. It is best to call in the experts to deal with the frozen pipes. Applying heat on the frozen pipes can lead to damage and the pipes may need replacement.

Today, home restoration and storm restoration experts are fully equipped to handle flooding, river flooding and other harsh weather elements. Enlisting their services in good time can help to save your valuables after a storm.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on storm damage.

Reasons to Get Professional Water Damage Restoration

8/31/2017 (Permalink)


Reasons to Get Professional Water Damage Restoration

When a flood or any other water events like supply line break or pipe break destroys your home, it's necessary for you to act quickly by getting professional flood restoration services. Cleaning up water damage involves more than just drying and wiping the residue away. Additionally, delaying makes the damage worse because the water will seep into the walls, furnishings, floors, and this may result in mildew and mold growth. Water mitigation can be devastating, but when one gets professional services, restoring the home becomes easier and you can put the traumatic event behind.

Water damage mitigation

Water/flood damage is the destructive process which occurs when water gets into a building. This can be caused by a pipe break, supply line break, or floods after it has rained heavily. Water in a home or water in a business can cause damage like oxidation of metal (rust), rotting wood, composite building materials de-lamination, and microbial growth. Immediately water seeps into the building materials, a chemical reaction begins to occur hence breaking down the strength of the material. In case water cleanup and drying aren't done immediately, the stability of the structure can be compromised. This makes the flooded home unsafe for human occupancy. Sometimes the effect just comes from a simple pipe break.

Restoration Solutions

The first step for handling flood damage when you have a flooded home is emergency mitigation. This involves locating the cause of the problem (be it a pipe leak or a supply line break) and eliminating the problem. The next step in managing water in home or water in business damage would be assessing the water damage and any dangers to humans. All these services are to be handled by licensed and trained water cleanup professionals. What follows is the drying and dehumidifying all the affected areas.

After the restoration company team assess the documents, equipment as well as other items to know if the contents can be restored or not. Mold mitigation services also come in handy as they help with getting rid of any microbial growth associated with a flooded home. Once the structure is safe for occupation, your family or employees can get back to their normal operations.

Reasons to get professional help

Rapid restoration

Tackling the task of restoring your flooded home or business after flood damage can be slow and exhausting. This increase the probability of further damage especially when the cause of the problem, like supply line break or pipe break, hasn't been addressed. By working with a reliable restoration company, water damage mitigation becomes manageable. The water cleanup and drying process is handled efficiently and quickly by flood damage professionals.

Preventing mold and mildew

In case you have experienced mildew or mold after water in home or water in business, you know how hard it is to get rid of the problem. Prompt water and flood damage restoration can reduce the chances of mold growth.

Insurance issues

When you have water or flood damage coverage in, the mitigation firm will assist you to deal with the needed procedures and forms. The restoration company helps its clients to document the losses they suffered so that they can get the proper settlement from the insurance company. With the water cleanup company, you will get a list of the needed repairs and proof of damages in case the insurance company decides to dispute the claim.

In case you have suffered water in home or water in business damage, consider contacting a restoration company immediately to prevent further damage. Although hiring experts will cost you to get restoration services, the expenses can't compare to the costs you'll incur if you do nothing or decide to handle the restoration all by yourself.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on water damage.

How to Recover Your Home or Business After a Fire

8/31/2017 (Permalink)


How to Recover Your Home or Business After a Fire

Recovering from fire in home or fire in business can seem like an insurmountable task on first blush. A fire damage restoration service can provide you with invaluable assistance when it comes to the aftermath of a fire in home or fire in business.

Immediate Restoration Company Response

When it comes to understanding how to best recover from a fire in home or fire in business, you must never underestimate the importance of immediate restoration company response. The reality is that fire damage can best be remediated successfully when efforts at fire damage restoration commences directly after a fire is put out.

When it comes to fire damage, even a slight delay in beginning the fire cleanup process permits the situation to deteriorate further. Indeed, the rate of deterioration associated with fire damage is based on a rate measured in hours, not days.

A prime example of what needs to be done immediately is the board up of a fire damages property. Board up is vital to ensure that the elements do not cause further damage to a property. In addition, board up protects the premises from intrusion by people with no business being at the premises. A professional fire damage remediation company understands the vital necessity of the prompt board up of a residential or commercial property following a fire.

Comprehensive Fire Damage Restoration Services

When you are in need of assistance after a fire in home or fire in business, you are best served engaging a fire damage restoration firm that provides a comprehensive range of services. This includes everything from initial board up and fire cleanup to remediating issues like smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell.

When a company provides comprehensive services for smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell, you are in a better position to accomplish a thorough and efficient fire cleanup and recovery.

Cost of Restoration Company Services

When in need of residential or commercial fire damage assistance, you want reliable services but you also desire reasonable pricing. The reality is that when it comes to residential and commercial fire damage recovery, there can be some fairly significant disparity between pricing from one restoration company to another. Although you want a company on site as soon as possible, you are best served carving out at least some time to a bit of price comparison from one fire cleanup and recovery company to another.

A reputable restoration company will be quick to come to the scene of a fire and undertake an appropriate inspection. Via this inspection, a recovery firm will be able to provide you with a reliable estimate for services necessary to restore your property after a fire in home or fire in business. Indeed, there are some firms that take this a step further and guarantee the initial estimate provide for a recovery and restoration project on a home or business.

Fire Damage Restoration Specialists

When in need of residential or commercial fire damage recovery assistance, you need individual specialists that are properly suited for the task. You need to access a residential or commercial fire damage recovery firm that maintains a properly trained, licensed, bonded, and insured team of specialists.

Proper Fire Cleanup and Recovery Equipment

The equipment utilized by a fire restoration company is a crucial consideration. This includes equipment designed to address issues like smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell. There exists some highly effective, recently developed technology associated with this type of equipment that is now being used by some restoration companies.

As an aside, you also need to ascertain what types of chemicals might be utilized when addressing smoke damage, soot damage, and smoke smell. You might have some definite preferences when it comes to the chemicals that might be utilized as part of the overall fire cleanup and recovery process.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

Why DIY Mold Removal is A Terrible Idea

8/31/2017 (Permalink)


Why DIY Mold Removal is A Terrible Idea

A professional restoration company is in business to help home and business owners when mold in the home and commercial mold damage occur. Whether there’s been a flood or someone’s building experienced a burst or leaking pipe, mold removal is mandatory. DIY mold removal is the worst thing anyone can attempt to get rid of mold growth, and it’s not something any restoration company recommends when someone finds mold in the home or commercial mold damage.

Mold growth happens fast, and it spreads even faster. Sometimes mold growth is obvious, and sometimes people realize months later they’re dealing with mold growth behind walls due to improperly cleaned water damage or even a small leak in a pipe. Whatever the cause, it’s unwise to assume mold, fungus, or mildew of any sort is problematic in any capacity. Mold in the home and commercial mold damage must not be ignored, and no one should ever attempt DIY mold removal.

What Happens When People DIY Mold Removal?

When someone finds mold in the home or commercial mold damage, they might be tempted to assume they can handle the mold damage on their own. Mold removal is not meant to be done by anyone but a restoration company with the proper equipment, remediation, and mitigation skills. When people attempt to remove mold growth at home or work without help, they risk making the mold damage worse.

Sometimes mold is black mold that causes additional problems. Sometimes home and business owners have no idea which black mold is more dangerous than others, and sometimes black mold is harmless. Some people mistake mildew or fungus as something other than mold, and sometimes they don’t know that mold growth behind the walls is also occurring.

When they try to clean up mold on their own, they disturb the spores and cause them to spread faster. If their air conditioning unit or heating unit is left on, the spores travel even faster through a building and cause further mold damage. If there is water damage due to flooding or a leaking pipe, home or business owners might not properly clean it up the way a restoration company can with their own mitigation and remediation knowledge. This makes mold growth behind walls worse.

The Signs of Mold Growth

Mold growth behind walls is one of the most common problems in homes and offices. When people find mold in the home or commercial mold damage, it’s often mold growth behind walls that causes the biggest issues. Dry rot is one sign of this kind of mold. When dry rot appears in a home or office, it signals there could be too much moisture. Most people view dry rot as a problem, but they don’t view dry rot as the appropriate kind of problem. Another problem is any mildew or fungus around a home or office. It requires remediation and mitigation to handle this problem.

Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on mold.

Restoring a Flooded Property

7/26/2017 (Permalink)


Restoring a Flooded Property

There are few events more serious for a property owner than incurring major water damage. A pipe break, supply line break or other source of water damage, even if the amount seems small and has apparently been contained, has the potential to cause major damage to the property, up to and including its total loss.

As a result, water damage must be treated as an acute emergency. The only effective way to deal with a flooded home is to call in a professional restoration company. A team of restoration professionals, with the high-powered and sophisticated equipment that the emergency calls for, will be able to act quickly, minimizing or eliminating the chances of permanent flood damage befalling the property. However, if the restoration of water damage is delayed, the chances of the property incurring costly superficial or structural damage begins rising quickly.

If a home experiences a pipe break, supply line break or other source of potential flood damage, there is an established protocol for dealing with the problem. A flooded home doesn't have to fall victim to serious flood damage or even being condemned. With the right restoration and mitigation techniques and with a timely response, the flood damage can be contained and completely reversed.

Any time there is water in a home or water in a business, the first and most crucial step is to call in a professional water restoration company. The sooner the mitigation process is started, the higher the likelihood of a complete success. If the water cleanup process is started within five hours of the initial flooding event, the likelihood of a successful mitigation is near 100 percent. But if the water cleanup is delayed more than 24 hours, the chances of the property incurring serious and lasting damage begin to rise starkly, with every hour that goes by.

When the water cleanup team arrives, they will use high-tech gear to assess the extent of the water in the home or water in the business. They will be able to determine if water has seeped into the materials that make up the subflooring or if structural elements, such as beams, joists and studs, will require a thorough drying.

If there is any standing water in the business or home, the team will begin extracting it. This will be accomplished through the use of heavy equipment. Industrial pumping systems and specialized vacuum hoses will be used to remove up to 2,000 gallons of water per hour. The water extraction phase should only last an hour or two, at the maximum. During this stage, if there are any active leaks from pipe breaks or supply line breaks, they will be addressed. In some cases, pipe breaks or supply line breaks may need to be welded.


Once all the water in the home or water in the business has been removed, the drying process can begin. The cleanup team will use industrial-strength drying apparatuses to both dry materials in the home as well as dehumidifying the air. The drying process is usually the longest part of the total restoration effort, usually taking between a couple of hours and an entire day. Once completed, the structure will no longer be at any risk of further damage. And it is likely that a full restoration to the property's prior condition will be nearly complete.

Finally, the home or business will be cleansed and sanitized. This will be carried out on furniture, household items, carpeting, flooring and walls. At this point, the property will be fully restored.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on water damage.

How to Effectively Address Fire Damage

7/26/2017 (Permalink)


How to Effectively Address Fire Damage

After a fire damage in your property, you will need to replace a lot of things. However, you can only know what you need to replace after undertaking a thorough fire cleanup. A fire cleanup will entail removing the burnt items and sweeping the floor so that you can begin to estimate the cost of repair. The cleanup can be a tricky exercise after the commercial fire damage if you have a lot of debris and charred items that could pose some dangers. Beware of the sharp things such as nails and steel rods that could be risky. While cleaning up, you need all hands on deck. While you might not want to rush the job and expose the workers to these risks, procrastination is not a good idea. Remember that the water used for firefighting could carry some corrosive chemicals that might affect your house. The best idea when it comes to fire cleanup after commercial fire damage is to hire as many workers as possible. While undertaking the job, ensure that the workers have the protective gear they require to avoid injuries. Alternatively, you can hire a commercial fire damage specialist to undertake the job. The restoration company will have the necessary gear and expertise to do the job safely in the event of a fire in business premises.

Smoke and soot

The commercial fire damage will leave some ugly discolorations of soot and smoke damage. The restoration company will start with a fire cleanup to eliminate the soot damage before embarking on the renovation. If you renovate your home without taking these considerations, you are likely to have some problems in the future. Be sure to complete the fire cleanup before you apply a coat of paint on the walls. Soot contains lots of carbon-based toxins that can be harmful. Besides, the presence of burnt plastics can lead to lots of problems that the restoration company will address as soon as possible. A restoration company will come in handy if you are dealing with fire in home floors, fire in business walls, smoke smell, soot damage, or smoke damage. You can save money if you salvage some things after a fire in home walls.

Avoid DIY fire damage restoration

Fire damage restoration is not a DIY exercise. With so many issues to handle, you must engage a professional company to address the effects of fire damage on your behalf. While dealing with the fire damage, you will notice that the board up is the most difficult issue to address. The board up entails removing the burnt ceiling and roof to replace it with new materials. As you undertake the board up, you will need to support these structures to prevent them from crumbling and causing some accidents. Since you might not have the necessary props and stakes, a fire damage restoration company will work to your advantage.

Safety precautions

Dealing with the effects of fire in home ceilings is a major board up operation that requires professional assistance and special equipment. Commercial fire damage restoration might even be more difficult than dealing with the fire in home roofs and ceilings since some commercial ceilings are quite high. When repairing the building after you experience a fire in business premises, you must hire a contractor if you want to get back on track as soon as possible. Avoid using your staff to undertake the job. If your staff members are injured in the process, you might have some lawsuits to handle. Engaging a restoration company to deal with the soot damage, smoke damage, and any other effects of fire in business premises will save you a lot of time and money. Repairing your floors and walls after a fire in home ceilings is a daunting task that calls for professional intervention. Since you have to consider the risks of soot damage and smoke damage, you do not want to expose your family to the smoke smell. The smoke smell can linger in your home for days after the fire damage. Instead of using deodorants to get rid of the smoke smell, you should open the windows. A proper ventilation system will come in handy when dealing with the smoke smell and addressing the soot damage.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

Professional Mold Remediation Techniques

7/26/2017 (Permalink)


Professional Mold Remediation Techniques

Mold damage usually results from warm, wet, dark and humid conditions. In case you have water lying on surfaces in your house, expect to see some mold damage after some time. It is especially common to find mold growth behind walls because of the darkness present in such sections. You will first spot the fungus as black mold spots on the wall. The smelly odor will also alert you to the presence of fungi. Restoration company personnel can spot mold growth long before dry rot occurs as they are better trained and have access to better tools that also help with deodorization. Mold removal and mitigation are quite complicated processes. Deodorization after commercial mold damage is also a challenge.

Once you note black mold in home environments, you should quickly get rid of water around the house. You can use vacuums to dry the water completely and also fix water leaks in the house as these will make the black mold problem recur in the future. Professionals from the restoration company can detect the source of water leaks using advanced equipment and then work to separate the mold in home from other surfaces by applying negative pressure.

The pressure will slow down the dry rot and mold growth behind wall. This will allow effective mold removal. It is not advisable to use fans or air conditioners since they will spread the fungus spores and lead to faster growth of mildew.

Mold removal can be done by scrubbing with anti-fungal and antimicrobial detergents and deodorization. Water is used to make a less concentrated mold growth removal solution with these products. Once you are done scrubbing the fungi off the surface, it is important to dry the area. This technique will usually work for fungi that grow on hard surfaces. You can employ this method to mitigate home or commercial mold damage.

Lots of other natural and safe products can be used in the place of detergents for mold remediation. Tea tree oil is one common natural fungicide that has been used in professional mold removal. This method might cost you a lot more money but has been discovered to be more effective than common detergents and toxic chemicals. Besides helping with fungi mitigation, tea tree oil also helps to prevent mold growth behind wall and other surfaces.

Commercial mold damage on carpets or similar materials is quite difficult to mitigate. You might have to simply dispose of the entire material. The mildew usually grows between the crevices, and this makes it very hard to control. If you leave these materials in the house, the mold will spread faster, and deodorizing will be very difficult. The smelly odor of black mold will linger in your house for much longer. There is also a greater risk of dry rot.

It is important to note that painting will not help with commercial mold damage mitigation. The paint will eventually peel off, and you will still have to deal with the dry rot. If you need to repaint a surface with mold growth behind wall, be sure to get rid of the fungus first. Painting can be part of the restoration process, and should only be done once the fungus has been eliminated. Call the restoration company in case you have trouble mitigating mildew.

Conclusion

Mold damage is a problem that affects all home and business owners. If water spills or leaks over the floor, fungus will grow in just a short period. Mitigation of home or commercial mold damage is quite a challenge, and that is why you need to take advantage of professional mold remediation companies. Besides getting rid of the fungus, the restoration company will also help with deodorization and offer recommendations on how to prevent future mold growth.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on mold.

Four Reasons To Hire a Water Damage Professional

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

Four Reasons To Hire a Water Damage Professional

Encountering water and flood damage in your home or business can be a stressful situation. Accumulated water in an inside area can damage belongings, electrical systems and equipment. Without proper drainage outdoors, water can flow into low-lying areas of your home or business, including basements.

Professional Water Damage Restoration and Mitigation

Our company offers professional services for water damage restoration, water cleanup and mitigation and drying services. These types of situations are best handled by professionals instead of dealing with the problem yourself. What follows are three reasons to use a water damage and restoration company to help you remove water in home or water in business effectively.

Detail-Oriented

A professional water restoration and mitigation company will cover every square inch of your home that’s affected by flood damage. It requires multiple comprehensive steps to fix, and each step has to be completed correctly before moving onto the next one. These steps include:

Full visible water cleanup, including water extraction from the area
Repairing and cleaning sections of walls and floors
Inspect for signs of mold and mildew
Inspect electrical systems for any issues
Complete drying of the area using large fans to circulate air and dehumidifiers.

Professional Equipment

Professional flood damage restoration and mitigation companies like us have industrial-grade, professional equipment for addressing water in home or water in business. This equipment helps us complete proper water extraction, cleanup processes, mitigation and drying. These types of tools are not available to the average consumer and many of them require special training to operate correctly. Special tools and equipment also ensure we’ll complete the job thoroughly and as efficiently as possible, so you can proceed with normal operation of your business or normal day-to-day living at home.

Even Though It Looks Dry, It May Not Be

Even after visible water is removed, there are often areas underneath the floors or behind the walls that have soaked in lots of moisture, creating a breeding ground for mold and mildew. Our specialized fans and dehumidifiers help remove built up water to help with drying and removing moisture in areas that you can’t see until the water cleanup process is complete.

Training & Experience

Finally, the last reason to hire a professional for flood damage repair and water damage restoration is our team of professionals has the proper training and experience to handle these situations. We’ve performed these tasks on a routine basis for many years, and that experience helps us do a better job for our customers.

When we repair the area that’s been affected by water in home or water in business, we’ll make sure to apply preventative measures, such as installing flooring and wall materials with moisture barriers, to prevent the future growth of mold and mildew. We’ll also make recommendations for how to avoid flood damage in the future. If the water entered from the outside as a result of a powerful storm, for instance, it may require making changes to your home or business’s drainage system. If it occurred as the result of a malfunctioning appliance, like a washing machine or dishwasher, that appliance may need to be repaired, replaced, or have some of its essential parts replaced, such as the hoses if they ruptured.

As a professional water damage company, we’re required to wear special clothing and gear to safely address your home or business’s flood damage problem. The average consumer doesn’t have this type of protection, and can end up exposing themselves to harmful water or chemicals.

If you’re in need of water cleanup services for your home or business, look no further than our professional water damage and mitigation company. Give us a call today to find out how we can provide you with excellent customer service and help restore your home or business to much drier levels. Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on water damage.

Why You Need Professional Help with Fire Damage Restoration

6/30/2017 (Permalink)


Why You Need Professional Help with Fire Damage Restoration

Fire damage is no joke, and it affects millions of people worldwide. It can be devastating to deal with some type of fire damage in your home, but it's great to know that there are professionals who are there to make life easier for you. Fire damage restoration professionals will come in and take care of the smoke damage and soot damage that has ravished your home or business.

What are the Effects of Fire Damage?

The problem with fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage is that it can linger for years if it is not properly cleaned. Another issue that homeowners and business owners have is that the water used to put out the fire causes additional damage that needs to be restored. If the soot damage and smoke damage is allowed to linger, it can weaken floor boards and make the structure of your home or building very unstable. This is why it is imperative that you work with an expert fire damage restoration team. Fire cleanup is beneficial for so many reasons, and it can be a lot cheaper than you think.

Professional Fire Cleanup

Professional fire cleanup is readily available to you if you're currently dealing with this problem. Fire damage restoration uses a variety of different tools, meters and commercial fire damage machines to get rid of the soot damage, smoke damage and the smoke smell that is left to linger. The reason it might be a better choice for you to let the experts deal with the fire in your home or fire in the business is because they have the tools and skills necessary to get the job done. Most homeowners are not skilled enough to get the full extent of the damage cleaned up in the proper manner.

Hiring a Fire Damage Restoration Company

In order for you to hire the pros, you need to find a commercial fire damage cleanup team who can come to your place of business or home and begin the work. They will take care of the damage left from a fire in your home or a fire in a business and rid the air of that lingering smoke smell. You can read reviews online to get a feel for the type of company you're looking to hire for this specific job.

What to Expect with Fire Cleanup

Once you make the decision to hire a commercial fire damage company, you'll be working with experts who bring all of their own tools and machines to get the job done. It can take several days to a few weeks to handle the aftermath of a fire in a home or a fire in a business when the experts get involved. The pros may also have to make multiple trips back to ensure that the smoke smell is totally gone from the air. They use specialty air monitoring devices to measure the smoke smell that is apparent and is being breathed in by you and your loved ones.

Preventing a Fire in Your Home and Fire in a Business

The most important thing that you can do in your home or for your business is to prevent a fire altogether in order to reduce the chances of dealing with commercial fire damage. The way to do this is to continually have the home or office inspected for any mechanical, electrical or fire hazards that might be an issue in the future. You will also want to make sure that you have the proper steps put into place to prevent a fire from getting out of hand, like having extinguishers readily available and teaching everyone how to use it in the correct manner. These extinguishers may not get rid of a large fire, but they will be ideal for when a fire is just getting started and has not yet spread.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

Reasons to Hire a Professional Mold Removal Company

6/30/2017 (Permalink)


Reasons to Hire a Professional Mold Removal Company

Finding mold damage at home or in the office is stressful for many. It means paying for professional mold removal companies to come out and handle the problem, and it means learning as much as possible about mold damage and mold removal as possible. Finding mold in the home or commercial mold damage certainly changes the face of anyone’s day, but it’s not a problem anyone can ignore. Mold damage spreads quickly and efficiently. It takes less than two days for mold to spread rapidly, and that causes more expensive and much larger problems.

Calling for professional mold removal, remediation, and mitigation is necessary when mold in the home or commercial mold damage is discovered. Handling the job without the help of professional mold removal and remediation is dangerous, and it’s not recommended. There are benefits to calling professional mold removal companies, and remediation and mitigation are just two of the primary benefits.

To Save Money

When mold in the home or commercial mold damage is a problem, many people believe they can handle the issue on their own. They can’t. They want to because it’s cheaper than calling for professional remediation and mitigation, but it’s only cheaper right now. Those who aren’t trained in mold removal might not handle the situation accordingly, and they can make the mold damage grow. This means it’s going to be more expensive in the future to fix the problem that could have been easily handled right away by a pro.

To Do the Job Correctly

No one likes a job that’s not well done, especially when the consequences mean paying more money and potentially re-building areas of a home or office. Commercial mold damage and mold in the home must be removed correctly the first time to prevent it from coming back or spreading. When it’s not handled correctly the first time, it comes back a second time. It could continue to grow where it’s not visible, which means it might cause massive damage to a home or office.

To Use Professional Equipment

Professionals have the right equipment and the right knowledge to do this job correctly. This equipment is designed to reach places not typically reachable. It’s designed to locate mold at the source, to find where mildew might be growing, to locate any other fungus, and to get rid of it. It’s not easy to find fungus, mildew, or mold when it’s not in plain sight, but this equipment makes the job much simpler and much more successful.

To Learn

Professional remediation and mitigation is designed to educate. It helps people learn the most common signs of mildew and mold damage. The most common is a smelly odor. It might come from the walls, from a room, or be slightly noticeable in the air throughout a building. Many use deodorization to make this smelly odor go away, but the deodorization only works for a short period of time. It’s not a bad idea to use deodorization to make a home or office smell much better, but a smelly odor must be removed rather than remedied. Deodorization helps temporarily, but remediation is needed to get rid of a smelly odor associated with mold damage and mildew.

Mold is a fungus, and no one wants to find fungus at home or work. It needs professional help, and there is no getting around it. People should never try to remove mold on their own without a professional. It’s best to handle something that’s potentially hazardous with help from those who know what they are doing, what they are working with, and what they must do to handle the situation correctly the first. There are plenty of DIY projects available for home and business owners, but this is not one of them. Call for professional help now to guarantee success.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofhuntvalley.com for more information on mold damage.

Providing You With The Water Removal Services You Deserve To Protect Your Lutherville Area Home

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

Having a flood in your house can be a terrible, unfortunate experience, and it could happen to anyone of us at any time.

Water Removal Services To Protect Your Home

Having a flood in your house can be a terrible, unfortunate experience, and it could happen to anyone of us at any time. The sheer destructive power of water can be nightmarish and amazing to behold at the same time.

When water begins inching its way into the living area of your Lutherville home having highly-trained water removal technicians on your side can benefit you greatly. You can learn a lot about what to do, or what not to do, as an event unfolds that makes a severe difference in your experience. SERVPRO water removal technicians greatly increase your chances of survival and decrease any losses you might experience when flooding incidents occur on your property. As always, we instruct customers to look at flood waters as if contaminated with a life-threatening biohazard. Even fresh water floods can develop biohazards over time that pose a significant risk to you and your family, never take chances.

At SERVPRO our IICRC certified water removal technicians follow strict guidelines to deal with floods on your property. We handle all of the contents of your home and your home itself with great care and professionalism. Our technicians remove water from a variety of objects found in your home, making drying, cleaning, and restoration easier, saving many of the items you thought lost forever. SERVPRO takes the time to address each area of your home, including those with hidden pockets of moisture that often cause excessive damage over time. We use infrared moisture detectors and a variety of water extraction equipment to reach even the smallest areas, ensuring total water removal on your property after an event occurs.

Never attempt to remove flood waters from your home on your own, especially without the proper protection. We can help you make your restoration as stress-free and safe as possible and give you an opportunity to concentrate on more important issues, the safety, and well-being of your family. Contact SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville at the first signs of water intrusion, or before. We can provide the solutions you deserve, make changes to your home, and prevent massive loss during situations that you have no control over. We are available anytime, 24-hours, day or night, call today (410) 229-0012.

For more information about the wonderful city of Lutherville, Maryland visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lutherville,_Maryland.

Restoring Your Property In Cockeysville After A Flood

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Storms can force an incredible amount of water through a home in a very short amount of time.

Flood Damage Repair

Storms can force an incredible amount of water through a home in a very short amount of time. The flood waters left behind can be clean or contain dirt and other soils which complicate the cleaning and restoration process. Regardless of what is in the water, it is the amount of time that it covers floors and personal property that causes the most damage.

Restoring a Cockeysville home from the effects of flood damage requires training and patience. When it comes to saving moisture soaked hardwood floors, SERVPRO has developed a set of procedures which take into consideration the time under water, moisture levels, and how to prevent cupping, warping or buckling.

All three effects on hardwood floors begin quickly after exposure to excess water. Our task is to keep it from becoming permanent. We eliminate cupping and warping by sanding down the bulging or twisted areas. Technicians disguise this action by making it part of the refinishing process to keep the wood surface with a smooth look. Sanding is very efficient unless the damage is very severe; if it is, then we remove the damaged board and sand a replacement to match the shape and appearance of the original wood. Buckling damage is more evident, but it can be sanded down in some cases. More often, our technicians remove the buckled wood and then sand a replacement to match.

Before we start any work on the floorboards, we test and lower the moisture content. If the moisture levels are very high, it may take four weeks or longer before we can begin work without causing secondary damage to the wood. The level must test out to twelve percent or lower to avoid this.

We start by reducing the relative humidity of the room to under forty-five percent. Technicians set up air movers to force airflow over and under the floorboards. Lowering prevents most of the damage and reduces the chance of mold growth after we get the humidity under twenty percent. Once the levels test under sixteen percent, we use specialized heaters to raise the temperature of the room to speed up evaporation.

Some varnishes and other floor finishes act as a vapor barrier. They slow and even prevent evaporation from happening. If our technicians determine this is the case, they use a pin roller to carefully pierce the finish in corners and out of the way areas. That increases the effectiveness of the air movers and speeds up evaporation.

Repairing and restoring your home after a flood can be a lengthy and expensive process. It is best accomplished by a professional company to avoid subsequent damage and keep costs to a minimum wherever possible. SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville helps you through every step. Call us today at (410) 229-0012.

Looking to learn more about Maryland click here http://www.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Commercial Mold Damage Can Turn Retail Shoppers Away, Impact Image and Profits in Lutherville

5/9/2017 (Permalink)

Moldy Bread in a Restaurant or Musty Odors in a Lutherville Office Need SERVPRO for Mold Remediation

Lutherville Businesses Benefit from SERVPRO Mold Remediation


When people go shopping, they expect not only great deals for the money they spend, but also to have an enjoyable shopping experience. Everything matters, from the lighting to the overall cleanliness of the store (both inside and out) to the customer service staff to the quality of the displays to the air quality.
 
Musty odors are one element that often makes customers decide to not return to a particular shop, and in Lutherville, commercial mold damage can cause this odor to permeate a building's interior. However, odors are not always caused by mold, and an absence of an odor does not guarantee that a retail shop is free of a mold problem. While mold exists everywhere, while it is under control and not growing wildly, it poses few problems.
 
The professional technicians at SERVPRO are trained in the remediation and monitoring of mold and have IICRC certifications in that area and several others. An entirely mold-free environment is a misnomer. Mold control and mold remediation are what we do, and we accomplish this with different measures.
 
These methods include cleaning nonporous materials, cutting away and replacing other materials that have been affected by mold, non-toxic mold-encapsulating sprays, and humidity control measures. As we work, we also use plastic sheeting and air scrubbers to contain mold spores further. This keeps the spread of mold to a minimum. When these spores cannot spread, new growth patches of fungi are mitigated.
 
Without continued humidity control in your retail store, the mold is very likely to return, so it is recommended that the source of the elevated moisture is eliminated, and also that dehumidifiers be installed. We often provide these services to our customers with excellent long-term results.
 
When you need professionals experienced in the remediation of commercial mold damage, call us, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville. Locally owned and operated with many certifications, we are the right fit for any size disaster. Our number, (410) 229-0012, is always answered, whenever you call.

Historic Homes in Lutherville Need Special Care With Water Removal

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

When hardwood flooring is not dried out properly after damage, staining and discoloration can result. Call SERVPRO for certified water removal.

SERVPRO Technicians Have Years of Experience Remediating Historic Properties

Our area boasts spacious yards and pre-World War I housing stock, a very special, not to be recreated ambiance. When water seeps, leaks or floods into any interior space of a one-of-a-kind home, it is critical you seek out an experienced water removal specialist. SERVPRO is a trustworthy source of water removal knowledge and practical experience.
 
Beautiful hardwood floors have some natural defense against superficial moisture, but significant soaking requires expert water removal from your Lutherville house. A sudden leak in the aging radiators threatens the integrity and elegance of century-old parquet and strip flooring. When hardwood floors are at risk, we make sure the crew assigned has advanced training in targeted water removal techniques.
 
SERVPRO follows professionally researched protocols when removing water from antique flooring. First, water is extracted using specialized equipment, pulling standing water from the surface. Our technicians take care not to dislodge individual strips during the extraction. Visible water is removed from the surface, and then staff positions air movers to reduce the moisture content of the wood further. Since water often remains under the floorboards, we also employ efforts to dry from beneath. Aiming fans at the subflooring beneath the affected area, drilling small holes to release moisture, and lifting up some boards are all in the repertoire when stubborn water deposits remain.
 
We also use hardwood rescue or drying mat systems, consisting of special absorbent pads applied to the floor to draw moisture out gently yet persistently. This technique requires monitoring by our well-qualified technicians. Our staff continuously monitor moisture levels as sanding and refinishing of the soaked floor occurs only after the moisture content of the wood dips below 12 percent. Patience is essential as it can take weeks or months for the wood to reach that level. Pressing ahead before the wood has nearly all water removed results in unsightly warping.
 
To remove the remaining water, SERVPRO technicians recommend dehumidifiers and routine use of air conditioners, which remove water from the air to achieve cooling. In some cases, heat is added as an accelerant to the drying process. All efforts aim to restore the beauty of the original hardwood flooring, a highly sought after feature in traditional older homes.
 
Explore your options for expert water removal with the staff at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville. Schedule an appointment at (410) 229-0012 now.

Reconstruction Efforts in Towson North

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

Some damaged carpets may need to be replaced after your home experiences a storm damage event. Call us to discuss and start the restoration process.

Your Home Can Be Restored By SERVPRO Technicians After Experiencing Storm Damage


Storms in our state (not to mention all of New England) have broken records over winter and spring so far. Rainfall has been excessive, and the winds have knocked down more trees than many residents have ever seen. Unfortunately, this also means area homes have suffered more damage than in previous years.

Storm reconstruction needs to be done by a professional service, regardless of the extent of the damage to your Towson North home. SERVPRO has decades of experience in reconstruction and restoration of homes and businesses after storms, and other disasters have happened. We are licensed to handle all aspects except major construction (building a complete, new roof for example); from reframing interior walls to that final coat of paint on the trim of your new windows.

After we remove all damaged property and secure the home from the weather and trespassers, technicians start with the interior. If wood flooring is damaged, we replace the affected pieces and stain the new ones to match the existing area. In the case of carpets damaged past restoration, technicians pull up the carpet and pad and replace the tacking strips before laying new carpet.

With the floor back to its original state, technicians install new wall framing. We carefully measure to match the original floor plan and then hang new drywall or other paneling to return your rooms to their pre-damage dimensions and appearance.

Now, our team repairs the ceiling. If the damage is extensive, we recommend pulling down the framing as well as the tiles or panels. Our team members can install a wood or aluminum frame depending on the type of ceiling you choose to place in your home. If there are beams in the attic that need to be replaced or require additional support, our technicians are trained to do that as well.

Finally, we return the face of your home to normal. Our reconstruction crew can replace the windows and doors in most households in a single day. We can also reframe many windows and doorways if you decide to change the type or size of your windows and doors.

Although severe storms are not in the forecast, there is more rain expected this week. Contact us here at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville to begin reconstruction before further damage happens to your home. Call today at (410) 229-0012 to begin.

Professional Fire Damage Restoration in Cockeysville

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke & Fire Restoration Is a Cornerstone of SERVPRO Cleanup for Your Cockeysville Property

SERVPRO Holds the Answers to Smoke & Fire Damage Restoration


After a fire, your home and possessions are damaged, and you may feel devastated and unsure of what to do next. Your family is emotionally traumatized and in shock. You need to have SERVPRO come to your home to clean up the damage from fire. A professional fire damage restoration company, we are courteous and understanding as well. Our experts know how to perform cleanup for damage from fire efficiently and quickly while keeping you and your loved ones in mind.
 
At SERVPRO, we do everything needed to restore your Cockeysville home to its original state after fire damage. We clear out soot, smoke, and odors, wash surfaces and repaint, repair or replace areas of the structure so that your home is as good as new.
 
Inspection
After you hire SERVPRO to take care of your cleanup from fire damage, a representative and our certified technicians come to your home and conduct an inspection. They establish the scope of the damage. After it is approved by you and your insurance company, we can begin the work. For emergency situations requiring immediate cleanup, you can sign off on the work with a form and deposit. We need to start the restoration process as soon as we can after the fire. The damage worsens the longer you wait.
 
Clearing Odors
Large, industrial axial box fans are brought in to get rid of smoke and odors from the area which is damaged if there is access to the exterior in the damaged areas. We do this important step because smoke can contain substances which are corrosive and continue to damage the items in your home if it remains. The fans also assist in drying out walls and floors which have been damaged by water.
 
Removing Residues
We clean soot from ceilings, walls, and floors, which involves coating metal surfaces with petroleum jelly to keep them from corroding, getting rid of wet carpeting to protect wooden floors or other steps to prevent mold growth. Ceilings, walls, and woodwork are washed with special cleaners to remove soot. Circumstances guide the SERVPRO technicians on particular courses of action.
 
Protecting Unaffected Sections
Some areas of your home may not have suffered from the fire, so our team closes them off to keep odors and soot from traveling into them and creating more damage. Some items like furniture, appliances and personal items which are not damaged can be taken out and put in storage until after repairs and cleaning are complete. If the smoke and fire damage is limited, pack-out is not required.
 
Replace, Repaint, Repair
Some parts of your home may need repainting once smoke odors and soot are gone. Alternatively, they may need to be repaired or rebuilt completely. Sometimes, cleaning takes soot off ceilings and walls. However, many times repainting is necessary. We may at times sand and scrub flooring, but as with carpeting, at times these elements may not be restorable.
 
Your home is your sanctuary, and when it is damaged, you want to find someone you can depend on to restore it, so do not hesitate to contact us at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/ Lutherville after a fire. When you call us at (410) 229-0012, we are at your home quickly to efficiently perform restoration for fire damage.

Flood Damage can Harm Your Home, Your Belongings, and Your Health in Hampton

3/22/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding happens. SERVPRO's quick response can resolve the issue fast and with less chance of secondary damages.

SERVPRO's Quick Response Can Help Prevent Mold Growth


Flooding in your home can happen in several different ways. A broken water line or kids playing a prank with a hose placed through a window and then turned on can fill a home with water faster than might seem possible. Sewer backups from clogs can also happen. Moreover, there is always the traditional flood, caused by too much rain or melting snow.

Regardless of how your Hampton home goes underwater, any of it can cause flood damage. Even clean water from a busted water line or a misplaced hose can cause enormous amounts of water damage. This water can also become contaminated and create health problems in addition to the damage it causes to walls, floors, furniture and doors.

With flood damage, SERVPRO knows that we need to remove as much water as we possibly can and as quickly as our trucks can pump it out. For smaller floods, any secondary water damage can still affect the entire home if it is not sufficiently removed.

Water will damage many items on contact, including walls and floors. Painted walls can bubble or blister, and those with wallpaper can do the same. Both types need to be replaced wherever there is damage. Floors can either be damaged and swell, causing dangerously weak areas or warping, depending on the floor type.

Walls and floors must be repaired or even replaced for your home to be safe again. Quick action can decrease the amount of damage and save thousands of dollars over waiting. These areas of your home cannot easily dry out by themselves as they are saturated on the inside. Waiting leads to increased deterioration.

Furniture can also end up in bad shape because of flood damage. SERVPRO can restore furniture so that it no longer poses a risk of harming someone. If mold has begun to grow, or if metal fasteners have rusted, this can cause once safe furniture to become unstable, and also dangerous. The metal pieces can also become loose because swelling and shrinking of the wooden parts they are attached to will allow them to come loose.

Secondary flood damage includes mold growth in areas of your home. These areas may not have been affected by the flooding to begin with and can be anywhere in your home. Quick and prompt attention to the initial flood damage can stop this from happening.

When flood damage is destroying your home, call us, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville at (410) 229-0012, and we can arrive within an hour after your call.

After 48 Hours: Dealing With Serious Mold Damage In Hampton Homes

3/2/2017 (Permalink)

The forty-eight-hour window is crucial for repairs.

Dealing With Severe Mold Damage After 48 Hours


When it comes to residential water damage, there is a clear deadline which all technicians must follow. The forty-eight-hour window is crucial for repairs. Up until this point, almost all flood affected materials can be dried and restored to their original condition.

After this point, repairs are still possible, but they are tough, and the outcome is not certain. Part of the reason for this is because two days is all that’s needed for flooding to turn into mold in Hampton homes. At SERVPRO, we are trained to handle these severe cases and can use a variety of strategies to neutralize mold spores and prevent them from spreading. Keep reading to find out what happens to household materials after the window has passed and mold is developing.

Carpeting
Heavily affected areas of carpet are heard to clean. Usually, it is more economical to remove them and find a replacement. We can help you to do this, as we have a wealth of industry contacts. Unless you would prefer to arrange your own replacement, our technicians are happy to source and install new carpeting. Replacement flooring is installed only after the subflooring is completely dry. It requires the use of high-powered fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to draw water vapor out of materials. Concrete and cinder block surfaces respond very well to dehumidification and water extraction using motorized pumps.

Wallboard
Wallboard which is not dry within 48 hours (after the initial incident) requires removal. However, it is rare for the whole wall to need disposal. The SERVPRO technicians measure twelve inches above the water line and take away all material beneath this boundary. It leaves a hole which is helpful for drying. Fans are either pointed up into the cavity or placed inside it to deal with wet conditions between the boards. New wallboard only gets installed once the restoration experts have tested the moisture levels and found them to be safe and suitable.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville specializes in fast, effective mold damage repairs. Our remediation strategies are designed to protect your home from further damage and mold breakouts. Call us 24/7 on (410) 229-0012 for a professional restoration service.

Water Removal In Your Hampton Office Building

2/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage of any type can shut down your office building.

Water Removal


Water damage of any type can shut down your office building. Water can cause damage which you can see and damage that is not easily visible. No matter the damage, you need to call a professional remediation service in, such as SERVPRO, even if you think the repairs are small. Water takes the path of least resistance, so it finds its way through building materials where the water eventually gets trapped and can create rot and mold growth.

Emergency water removal is the first step in preventing more damage to your property in Hampton. Once the water is out, and the area has been dried by our technicians at SERVPRO, we thoroughly inspect your property and figure out what has been affected and what is okay. We can then focus our effects on drying just what is damaged. This drying process can usually be finished in a few days and is monitored closely to ensure proper drying. Water damage can be from any of the reasons below:

Failures In Your Plumbing
These events can release hundreds of gallons of water quickly into your office building. Malfunctions can result from broken pipes, malfunctioning sprinkler systems, loose hoses and other plumbing sources.

Local Flooding
Flooding can come from sudden, heavy local rain falls. Downpours this intense can flood gutters, drains, and down spouts quickly, and the overflow can cause severe water damage to your business.

Long-Term Moisture And Humidity
Small leaks usually hide and are and overlooked, however, over time they lead to water damage problems that need repair. Ceilings, wall cavities, bathrooms, hallways, and attics are the most susceptible areas to mold growth and wood rot from continued exposure. Basements and vented crawlspaces are also environments which can be humid, leading to similar water and mold issues. Standing water can fast turn into damage that is more widespread if it is not cleaned up right away. Mold starts growing in as little as twenty-four hours after a water intrusion and can spread through your building and do much harm to the structural integrity, plus to the health of your employees and any equipment inside.

Therefore, you need to have SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville come out to look at the damage immediately. Someone is always standing by at (410) 229-0012 to receive your call. Our powerful truck mounted water extraction equipment, and our specially trained technicians are just what you need when a water disaster strikes your office building.

Protect Your Responsible Renter Reputation after Fire has Caused Damage to Your Hampton Apartment

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

Fires in Hampton Can Destroy Rental Properties and Personal Possessions

SERVPRO Helps Renters with Fire Damaged Units

The small fire caused by one little candle falling over when you were relaxing in the tub caused more than a little bit of damage. It is a sad way to find out that the counter top in your bathroom is only imitation marble. Now the bathroom needs some serious work to get it back to how it used to be. It was bad enough that the fire ruined the little bit of time you managed to get chiseled out of your daily schedule, just for yourself. Now you have a mess that needs to be cleaned up before your landlord sees it. SERVPRO can help you set things right again, protecting your security deposit, and ensuring you can still use your bathroom for the remainder of your lease.
 
In Hampton, finding an apartment is not always easy, and having fire damage in a rental unit can cause problems for renters in the future, too. Potential landlords can locate and access not only court documents from previous landlord-tenant suits, but also fire department reports. Finding that there was a fire in a unit that you rented in the past has been known to be the reason many landlords refuse to rent to those who have had fires in the past. It is better to make sure that any fire damage in the apartment or home you are renting has been eliminated before the end of your lease.
 
SERVPRO employees are well-trained and educated in the many areas you are going to need to make things normal again, such as our Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT). We can significantly decrease odors if they are noticeable. Our belief is always to help our customers in ways that can provide the most benefit to them, long-term. We know that having one fire in your lifetime is more likely to make you more cautious with fire-causing materials in the future, not less cautious, as many believe. One small mistake in the placement of a candle should not cause you grief the next time you search for a new place to rent.
 
When you are facing the responsibility head-on of repairing fire damage that you caused instead of letting it wait until your landlord discovers it after you have moved out is commendable, but the work should always be top-notch. Call us, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville at (410) 229-0012, so we can provide you with the best in repair and restoration work.

Protecting Your Health Around Mold in Timonium

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Recommends Professional Clean Up of a Mold Infestation in Timonium

SERVPRO Tip:  Call US for All Mold Remediation Treatments

Mold can seem almost benign due to its slow rate of visible damage and sluggish spreading but make no mistake; it can pose a health hazard to you once it has taken hold. SERVPRO technicians take entire courses on mold safety. There are many species of fungi that can create widely varied situations and problems depending on a high number of factors. If you have uncovered mold in your home, protecting your health and safety becomes a concern, and should top your list of priorities. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you live and work in your home during the remediation service. SERVPRO stance is that mold does cause health effects, we do not diagnose, but we do remediate.

You May Want to Wear a Mask
Timonium mold damage has a potential to cause respiratory health issues, in particular for individuals with weakened immune systems or asthma. SERVPRO technicians have access to industrial-grade protective masks and even suits when needed, and you should, at the very least, try to protect your mouth and sinuses with a mask when working near mold damage. For those with asthma or respiratory issues, the urgency of this precaution is even higher. We firmly recommend that you do not grapple with this problem. Our main advice is to call us to tackle your mold problem. Be safe, not sorry.
 
Hands Off
Some types of mold can produce toxic or infectious byproducts, making the act of touching mold with your bare hands potentially dangerous. In general, you should never touch visible mold growth, as doing so can not only hurt you but also spread the mold to other surfaces. If you touch mold by accident, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching other surfaces.
 
Be Mindful of Other Dangers
Many mold damage cases come with additional problems, whether you are aware of them or not. That patch of mold could be the result of a five-year-old water pipe leak, and in addition to allowing mold growth, it may have already long weakened the surrounding structure. Being aware of structural issues and other types of damage could save you money while protecting your home investment.
 
SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville is ready 24/7 to respond to local disasters and home damages. Just give us a call at (410) 229-0012.

The Water Removal Process In Blue Mount

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

Just a few inches of standing water can create thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs if it is not removed quickly and efficiently.

Water Removal

Flooding from overflowing creeks and streams can destroy a home in under a day. Even if the damage is not immediate and obvious, just a few inches of standing water can create thousands of dollars in repair and replacement costs if it is not removed quickly and efficiently.

It is not likely that Big Gunpowder Falls is going to flood your Blue Mount home, but water removal will be required for nearly every house, condo and duplex at some point. SERVPRO has the expertise and equipment needed to accomplish it quickly and efficiently.

Our response teams will start with one or more commercial pumps. The size and number will depend on the amount of water present and the size and type of your home. For example, a duplex will require at least two pumps even if there is only an inch or two total. A single family home may require a single but large capacity pump if there is an excessive amount of water left standing.

Once the standing water has been extracted, then our technicians will deploy specialized vacuums that remove water from carpet fibers and the cracks between floorboards without damaging them. If done quickly enough, these extractors can draw water from the pads underneath carpets to restore them as well. This process also serves to prevent floorboards from warping due to extensive submersion in water.

While extraction from your floors is being performed, other team members will place fans in key areas to help draw water out of the surrounding walls. It may also be necessary to set up heaters and dehumidifiers to extract water from drywall before it is compromised and has to be replaced. Besides the physical damage, extracting the water will also help prevent the expansion and growth of mold. Water soaked drywall is a perfect food source for mold spores.

It is dry now, but rain is expected next week. If you want to get ahead of the next rain, call us today for an inspection to see where we can help you prevent or lessen the effects of flooding. When you do have water in your home, call us at (410) 229-0012. SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville is here to help.

Dealing With Commercial Fire Damage in Hampton

12/14/2016 (Permalink)

Fire damage can escalate quickly. Call SERVPRO to help sort it out!

SERVPRO Technicians Handle All Aspects of your Commercial Fire Damage

With more than enough interruptions revolving around your normal day-to-day life, the last thing you want to deal with is a fire damage situation on your commercial property. Disaster can strike fast, though, and even small fires need the attention of a professional restoration company to limit the additional damage they may cause. Fire, soot and smoke cause damage to surrounding areas not caught up in the actual flames or heat of a fire require the proper services to be performed to restore them correctly.
 
When this sort of disaster strikes your property in Hampton, our commercial fire damage specialists are ready to help. Take advantage of our expertly trained technicians and get the services that you need to restore your property to a quality pre-fire damage condition.
 
Fires can easily get out of control; people forget that pouring water on a grease fire or an electrical fire, for instance, can cause disastrous effects and introduce a lot of additional damage to your property that didn't need to happen. SERVPRO technicians highly recommend the installation of fire extinguishers and proper fire suppression systems to add safety and security to your business.
 
Whether you experience a small localized fire or a full structure has been affected by an event, you should have the professional technicians at SERVPRO assess the damage and perform the proper restoration services to get the repairs done correctly the first time around. Having professional services attend to the situation will protect you when dealing with your insurance company or even a property owner, if you rent your business space.
 
Handling things correctly can assist with insurance documentation and limit the costs associated with damage to blackened walls; soot covered surfaces, damaged electrical wiring, flooring replacement or other company assets that have taken damage during a fire. SERVPRO has the equipment and personnel available with the experience in handling these sorts of situations, regardless of the size or extent of harm to your commercial property.
 
Work with our professionally trained staff at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley - Lutherville; we have highly skilled professional technicians with years of experience in all types of commercial fire damage restoration and clean-up available. Call us today at (410) 229-0012.

The Hidden Dangers of Flood Damage

11/27/2016 (Permalink)

Fast Water Removal Mitigates Storm Damage to Your Parkton Home

Cost of Flooding Includes Extraction of the Water and Salvaging Possessions

Dealing with flood damage is troublesome and stressful enough, but such a water emergency also leaves behind some hazards and dangers. Many issues do not become apparent until well after the water has been extracted from a home, but they can be just as disastrous the water that caused the problem in the first place.

Being a homeowner with flood damage in Parkton, it is important that you know what dangers can lurk well after the water is gone. Here's information about the side effects of flooding and how SERVPRO can help get your home back in great shape.
 
Mold
Mold is one of the most notorious secondary water damages associated with flood damage, and it can lead to health effects in humans and animals. It is also unsightly and causes bad odors that are difficult to eliminate. Whether your home had dormant mold spores that became active during a flood or new spores have started to grow, our technicians can spot and help remedy the situation.
 
Damage to Electronics and Appliances
Water and electronics are never a good mix, but the damage typically goes beyond causing appliances and electronic devices to stop working. It can also cause wire corrosion and electrical fires, and even devices that aren't directly exposed to water can start to fail due to the excessive humidity in flood damaged house. We work to get your home's humidity normalized, and we are also able to restore a broad range of electronics and appliances. For some electrical devices, we strongly advise a third party that specializes in restoring sensitive computers, phones, and other equipment. When we salvage your belongings, we can save you money.
 
Structural Damage
Depending on the volume of water that flooded your home, you may have already witnessed the effects that a water emergency can have on your house's structure. However, any amount of water that's allowed to sit will cause serious damage eventually ranging from cracks in the floors and fissures in your walls. SERVPRO technicians are IICRC trained to look for these types of problems while restoring homes with flood damage, which can prevent unwelcome surprises in the future.
 
The team at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville can quickly restore your home after any flooding emergency and help guard against the potential hazards that come along with it. To receive a quote or get more information about our flood damage services, call us 24/7 at (410) 229-0012.

Air Conditioner Based Mold Damage In Timonium

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Mold spreads quickly. Call SERVPRO to assess the situation.

Mold Appears in Unsuspecting Places

After the long, hot and humid summer fall has not provided much of a respite. Many homeowners, perhaps including you, continue to run their air conditioners to cool and dehumidify the air as we await the crisp, cool air of autumn that seems to be delayed indefinitely. Unfortunately, air conditioners that are overdue for a thorough cleaning can become the home for significant mold growth within the unit itself as well as the drains and ductwork. You may be noticing a damp, musty odor in your home for which you cannot find the source. If this describes your situation contact SERVPRO for an inspection and consultation before the moldy smell gets completely out of control and the potential for microbial growth possibly contributes to health concerns for your family.

Air conditioners, whether free standing window units or central HVAC systems, naturally deal with water and moisture in their operation. One of the ways that air conditioners cools your home’s interior is to remove moisture from the air, effectively dehumidifying it. Less humid air feels cooler, allowing perspiration to evaporate from your skin more easily, creating a cooling sensation. As the higher humidity air blows over the air conditioner coils water condenses. A well-maintained air conditioner drains the water collected efficiently. Poorly maintained or dirty air conditioners may become plugged, creating areas where water collects. When water collects spores feed, resulting in mold damage in Timonium.

SERVPRO technicians can evaluate whether your hard-working air conditioner is actually contributing to a mold problem in your home. Rather than reducing the humidity it may be encouraging the microbial growth that is affecting your indoor air quality in a negative way. Cleaning of your central air conditioning’s ductwork may be precisely the solution to mold overgrowth in your home. Even if the mold is inside the system, invisible to the naked eye, it can still be damaging your air quality. If drains are obstructed it is just a matter of time before the water leaks through, damaging walls, ceilings or floors as it also spreads the mold.

Make it a point to schedule an appointment to have your air conditioning system inspected as a source of mold damage by the expert staff at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville. Our operators are waiting for your call at (410) 229-0012 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will dispatch trained technicians at your convenience.

Immediate and Long Term Water Damage Issues in Hampton

11/3/2016 (Permalink)

Appliances that are water damaged can create problems. Call SERVPRO to assess!

Quick Remediation After Water Damage Can Prevent Secondary Damage

There are unforeseen dangers from flooding and different water damage events. Inundation by water creates present and future consequences. Long-term damage is often delayed and isn't visible until time has elapsed. Dealing with the dangers of flooding means to mitigate the immediate problems after an incident. You must also be prepared to prevent hidden after-effects from water damage that is not visible.
 
Any water damage experienced in a home or office in Hampton can present several problems, including toxic mold growth. Mold spores exist everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. They remain dormant and harmless unless they are activated. An activation trigger is water. When mold spores become wet, they grow exponentially, within 24 to 48 hours. For this reason, qualified mold remediation specialists, like SERVPRO experts, should always be called for time-saving water damage remediation services.
 
Flooding may damage the foundation of any building, in ways that aren't immediately obvious. A flooded basement places a great deal of weight on a building's foundation, causing cracks in the floor and walls. Removing flood water is a gradual remediation process. Pumping water out too quickly after flooding, saturates the soil around the foundation, exerting external pressure on the basement sub-structure.
 
When appliances are affected by flooding, this is very dangerous. Heavy water levels and gas operated appliances like a furnace or water heater is not a safe mix. Water causes corrosion in contact with gas burners and electronic controls like igniters which cause failure problems. These situations could also be the cause of a fire.
 
Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville are nearby and ready to help. We are locally owned and operated. Water damage is an unanticipated event, but we are ready to help you. We are available 24 hours a day. Call us at (410) 229-0012 and let us restore you quickly to a normal condition.

Common Cleaning Methods Used For Fire Damage

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

When residential or commercial damage occurs due to a fire, restoration is needed to restore families and businesses back to a pre-damaged condition.

Different Cleaning Techniques

When residential or commercial damage occurs due to a fire, a storm, mold or water, restoration is vitally needed to help restore families and businesses back to a pre-damaged condition. SERVPRO uses various methods to help restore personal belongings and furnishings. One such successful method is called “immersion” which employs the scientific advancement of ultrasonic cleaning technology.

Ultrasound cleaning is a technologically advanced method of cleaning contaminants. It is based on the use of sound waves in a specially formulated cleaning fluid. When SERVPRO uses ultrasound as a cleaning method for fire damage in Cockeysville, it successfully helps to restore your valuable contents. Its strength to clean even the most stubborn substances from items affected by fire, water, or mold, stems from the industry approved use of a “transducer.” A transducer is only used by professional remediation technicians who are highly trained in OSHA and IICRC techniques. Professionals know how to safely use ultrasound cleaning because of the complex factors involved.

The factors include heat, power, frequency, detergent type and time, all of which affects the cleaning process to achieve the most effective results to help you become whole again. The method of using ultrasound in the restoration process, involves ultrasonic energy entering a liquid within a tank, causing agitating formation and the collapse of tiny bubbles or “cavitation.” The bubbles quickly increase in size until they implode against the item being cleaned which violently and safely lifts contamination from its surface and recesses. For efficient cleaning, the restoration industry rule is that the lower the frequency, the larger are the cavitation bubbles and higher is the level of energy released.

Ultrasonic cleaning technology works without harming metals, plastics, glass, rubber, ceramics and more. Ultrasound waves completely remove contaminants such as dirt, rust, dust, soot, grease, carbon deposits, mold, wax, lime scale, pigments, bacteria, fingerprints, fungus, algae, biological soil, etc.

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville specializes in a “restore” versus “replace” mentality to help our residents preserve as much of their precious keepsakes and belongings as possible. Our technicians are licensed professionals who are prepared to restore and repair any disaster your home may be experiencing.

We are available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. Call us today and let us explain our restoration services. Our experience and training are designed to give you peace of mind, from a remediation company that is compassionate and trusting – (410) 229-0012.

Contact A Professional Restoration Company When Dealing With Flood Damage

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

No matter the business, an interruption of any kind can make the difference between closing up or staying afloat.

Flood Damage

No matter the business, an interruption of any kind can make the difference between closing up or staying afloat. Even if your insurance policy covers business interruption, an unexpected closure can damage the relationships you have with customers and force any long-term clients to go elsewhere for their needs as a consumer. With this in mind, unexpected catastrophes and disasters can happen, and when they do, whether fire or flood, it is crucial that you get your property restored to a condition of pre-loss as fast and as possible by a reputable company like SERVPRO.

Flood damage in Hampton can strike when you least expect it, and when it comes to restoring your property to its condition before the loss, the faster a team can get to the scene and begin the work that is needed, the better. That is why you will want to call our professionals at SERVPRO, as we are proud to offer emergency response, and we will arrive quickly to start working on the job, any time of day. A large commercial loss due to flooding is a whole different situation than a leak in a wall cavity or a flooded basement. This is why you need to leave a job like this to a professional commercial restoration company like SERVPRO, as we can adequately handle the job. Our contractors have the training and experience needed, plus our fast response time will get your business back up and running quickly.

As a business proprietor, you never want to experience a catastrophe. However, if it does happen, you want to resolve the issue as soon as it is possible so that your business can go back to normal operations. Prompt response time any day or time, combined with the experience, knowledge, and professionalism is what sets our technicians above the rest. Contact us today at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville by dialing (410) 229-0012 for more information on our commercial flood damage restoration services.

Mold Damage Experts

8/21/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Attaches to Porous Surfaces and Spreads Quickly

SERVPRO is Trained in the Latest Effective Methods to Remediate Mold

Molds are natural fungi that are found both indoors and outdoors. These fungi grow exponentially without a clear picture of how many species there are. Molds grow best in damp, warm and humid conditions. The fungi spread and reproduce through spores. Mold spores thrive on moisture and within 48 hours, they can quickly spread through a home or business. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies, which can produce allergens and irritants.
 
If you suspect mold damage in Timonium, whether seen or unseen, we can inspect and assess your property with advanced equipment and expertise to remediate your mold problem. “Stachybotrys chartarum” is a mold type, often called “black mold.” You must treat any type of mold with caution. The question is – can you handle mold removal yourself? There are special precautions to take and special circumstances.
 
Mold remediation includes a DIY cleaning only if mold is covering a small area or if mold is on a non-porous surface like glass, tubs, tiles or sink. Make sure that you don't have any health issues before you come in contact with the mold. If mold is growing on carpets, then you can clean it, if you have the proper techniques and equipment. If not, then quickly remove the carpeting. Aside from these tips, if the opposite is true of these events, then you definitely need a professional to keep your home or office healthy.
 
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only professional technicians should be used if mold covers a large area, such as larger than three feet by three feet. Also, only use a professional if mold is a secondary damage after any type of water damage, especially a storm flooding, where the water can be contaminated. Whether at home or in a business, there can be mold in your HVAC system which must be addressed by mold remediation experts.
 
We at SERVPRO understand mold growth and how it can spread. We don't use fans or heating/cooling systems, which actually spread the spores. Our advanced mold remediation process includes a thorough inspection and assessment solution. Our professionals use various state-of-the-art containment procedures to prevent mold from spreading. We also use specialized filtration equipment, antifungal and antimicrobial treatments, a variety of cleaning techniques to disinfect and clean your belongings.
 
As water and mold professionals of SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville, we have the experience, the expertise, and advanced IICRC training. We are locally and owned and operated. We live and work within the Baltimore County community and are ready to help you with your mold damaged property. Call us at (410) 229-0012 to learn the facts about mold and to dispel any misconceptions. Let us give you peace of mind and a healthier indoor breathing environment.

Mold Damage Found in Your Home

7/26/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Damaged Bathroom - Result of Damp Conditions

Regardless of Type, Mold Damage Must be Remediated Thoroughly

Many people are concerned about mold growth they may have found in their home, or because of musty odors they have encountered. Some wish to know which kind of mold they have, although according to the CDC, this will not provide anything beneficial to them. Mold is mold, and all types can cause health effects in people.

But what can mold do to your home's health? In Lutherville, mold damage can affect any part of your home where moisture exists, including walls and ceilings, floors, under stairways, and the contents and belongings you have in your home. These can all be damaged by mold. You need to remove any mold growth, and then have the air cleaned so that spores are filtered out.

Air ducts in your heating and cooling system should be scraped and then vacuumed with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner.  If your home does not have central air, then your air conditioner should be examined to ensure that it does not have mold growing inside of it. At SERVPRO, we have mold detecting equipment that can quickly determine how much mold is present. We are certified in IICRC methods of not only measuring mold contamination but also remediation of mold.

Mold can grow on the surface of painted drywall, spreading underneath the painted surface. Because of this, it is tough to control without training and specialized equipment. While many sites online claim that mold can be controlled with a bleach and water solution, what they fail to point out is that mold is very hardy, and thrives in damp conditions. This is why many homeowners who attempt to get rid of mold on their own find that the mold not only comes back but comes back in additional locations. We do not recommend homeowners to clean mold because of this, and the fact that when mold is disturbed, it will send off spores, which is a part of its life cycle.

Mold can also grow inside the crevices of natural wood, in the porousness of concrete that never can dry out, and under your roof's eaves outside. Mold can grow anywhere, and scientists have found that while most strains of mold enjoy living in warmer temperatures, there are strains that find it easy enough to survive temperatures that were once thought to kill them off. This means that mold can make it through the winter in warmer states and not be killed off. The most reliable solution is to have certified professionals who are experienced in remediating mold growth in homes and other settings assess your home for mold growth. If mold damage is found, SERVPRO professionals are also skilled and experienced in performing the work needed to protect your home from further damage while restoring and repairing the damage that currently exists.

When mold damage is a concern in your home, call us at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville at (410) 229-0012. We can assist you in cleaning and repairing mold damage and ensure that mold does not easily return. We can also point out practices that we observe that may be the reason behind the mold damage's presence.

What You Should do if You've had Residential Fire Damage

6/27/2016 (Permalink)

If your Cockeysville home has sustained fire damage, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville can quickly restore it back to pre-loss condition!

What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home

Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire. The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can merit the use of a professional restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go haywire, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas. 

Small Fires can Pose High Risks 

While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of Cockeysville fire damage. It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the skillet and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water. 

With electrical fires, the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug, without the cord, still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard. 

After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage 

When there's been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation. Landlords, if you are renting, will also appreciate if you inform them of the fire, and they can see the damage for themselves. It is every landlord's worst nightmare to have a fire or flood damage their properties. If they can see the amount of damage, they can rest easier knowing the extent of the repairs required. Fires do happen, through nobody's fault, and your landlord will know this. 

Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts conduct the repairs needed can greatly facilitate insurance claims being resolved, as well. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

At SERRVPRO of Hunt Valley and Lutherville, we have highly trained and skilled professionals who are experienced in all sizes of fire damage clean-up and restoration. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you clean-up and repair fire damage, no matter how large or small. Call us at (410) 229-0012 to get the necessary damages repaired and the mess eliminated so you can go back to your daily routine. 

Water Damage Experts Restore Residential Lutherville Homes

5/24/2016 (Permalink)

When you are dealing with a water damage emergency in your Lutherville home, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville will take care of it!

Restoring Residential Lutherville Homes From Water Damage

It is a stressful occurrence when you have water everywhere in your home, and there seems to be no stopping it. This is the time when your local residential water damage Lutherville professional is on hand to mitigate the problem. To get water situations under control, the next step is to get you and the family back to some form of normalcy. That begins with the latest and most powerful drying equipment in the industry. SERVPRO technicians are certified in water restoration, so you will have the confidence in knowing things are done properly. 

Occasionally, Lutherville residents experience flooded basements due to storms or burst pipes. A rising water table can shift the soil beneath your home's foundation. This action can cause some structural movement of your home's foundation. In an extreme case, it can cause a home to collapse. Now, most of the time, basements don't flood in Lutherville, but they do experience some minor seepage. 

Seepage is when your basement floor gets little rivulets and water puddles. This type of standing water is not deeper than 1/4" to 1/2." But, just this amount can easily soak and ruin any carpeting and furnishings in your basement. Seepage can happen when there are cracks in your basement's concrete walls or if you have an older home, or when the CMU, the brick or stone foundation leaks. 

It is one thing to get the job done, but it is another to do it with compassion and genuine care. Our professional team will work with you and your insurance company to find out what your immediate concerns are. They will walk you through the cleanup process to make sure that everything goes well. Lutherville water damage extraction is our area of expertise. As an established local business with a strong reputation of quality service in Maryland, we are competent and effective in resolving any water damage concerns. 

Remember, if standing water is not addressed immediately, you could be at risk of many germs causing bacteria and even microscopic mold growth to occur. Our SERVPRO team has the skill needed to disinfect, sanitize, and cleanup after water damage emergencies. We have multiple Disaster Recovery Teams on call 24 hours a day for emergency services, and we are ready and willing to rescue you in the worst of situations. All of our specialists are IICRC-certified and experienced in residential water damage restoration. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is locally owned and operated. We are a part of the community which enables us to respond quicker with the right resources. We will work diligently to help you and your family get back to a pre-water condition. We are proud to serve all of our Maryland communities, including Timonium, Hunt Valley, and Towson. Call us today at (410) 229-0012 to alleviate your emergency concerns. 

Forest Hill Flood damage - Flood damage in Forest Hill and Protecting Your Home

5/2/2016 (Permalink)

One of the greatest ways to protect your Forrest Hill home from flood damage is to devise a plan for prevention.

Protecting Your Home from Flood damage

One of the greatest ways to protect a home from flood damage is to devise a plan for prevention. Even though homeowners cannot predict when a flood will occur or how extensive it will be, they can still take certain measures to minimize the Forrest Hill flood damage. In order to develop the best plan, here're a few recommendations listed below.
 
Recommendation #1 - Do Your Homework on Forrest Hill Flood Damage and How it Applies to the Area
Because some people live on the flood plains, it is important that they carefully consider what needs to be done in these situations. One of the first tasks is to make certain that the family knows how to follow safety guidelines in advance. By knowing what to do before problems occur, it can assist with minimizing issues with fear and everyone can react proactively to get to the safest places as quickly as possible.
 
Recommendation #2 - Public Works Department Provide Flood Maps
Knowing how to prepare for the worst or best possibilities is also a key factor in protecting the family members, the home and the assets within. To assist homeowners with this portion of the preparation, there is information available that is needed and available. In particular, the Public Works Department can provide the property owner with a flood map of their area so that they can review it for the potential impact. For instance, the flood maps will show the homeowner what type of damage that may occur. In some cases, the homeowner may reside in the area that is at the highest level of risk. Which means, in these situations, the owner must be prepared to protect their appliances, water heaters, and other items from damage. In some situations, the owner, and the family may need to move all of these items to a higher floor so that the flood waters cannot cause any unnecessary damage.
 
Recommendation #3 - Electrical Switches and Fuses most positioned above the flood line.
In addition to finding out the severity of the damage that can occur to the home from the Public Works Department, homeowners can also ensure the home’s electrical fuses and switches are seated above their flood line, whenever it is possible. If these items are taking care of in advance, it can also prevent the home’s electrical systems shorting out and causing substantial financial damages.
 
So, for those of you who are interested in finding out more information about preventive measures and how these professionals can help you with your flood damage needs, you can contact SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville at (410) 229-0012.

Commercial Water Damage Cockeysville - To Do or Don't List

3/17/2016 (Permalink)

When water damages your business or commercial property, it is crucial to handle the situation appropriately and safely.

Cockeysville Commercial Water Damage - To Do or Don't List

To Do or Not to Do 

When water damages your business or commercial property in Cockeysville, it is crucial to handle the situation appropriately and safely. 

Always remember you can call a commercial water damage expert in Cockeysville to help you address these challenging situations. Here are some things to do and not to do after water damage has threatened your business or property. 

To Do 

Remember whenever you are dealing with water damage you want to turn off the electricity. This eliminates the possibility of accidental shock or death by electrocution. 

Determine what type of water is present. Is it clear or clean water? Is the water black or contaminated with sewage? 

Remove all types of saturated building materials such as drywall, particle board, among others. These items include wet carpet, drywall, or even insulation. Don't be afraid to call a commercial water damage technician in Cockeysville if the damage is too large to handle on your own. Finally, remember to act quickly. The time you take to respond to the water damage helps reduce damages and costs to your commercial property or business. 

Not To Do 

Do not bite off more than you can chew. In other words, if the job is too large, call a professional right away. They have special equipment, expertise, and trained technicians to reduce damage and cost.

Don't try to dry everything on your own. Typically a damage restoration company in Cockeysville has the right tools to eradicate water from all places. They also know if something can be saved or if it needs to be replaced for health or safety reasons.  

Don't try to restore and replace things too fast. It takes some time to dry the area and treat it with sanitizers and deodorizers. This process can take more than 48 hours. Please be patient. If you rebuild too soon, mold and mold spores can grow rapidly if the area has not been thoroughly dried or cleaned. 

When commercial water damage threatens your business in Cockeysville, Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville at (410) 229-0012 

Lutherville Fire Damage: Why a Fast Response Is So Important

2/26/2016 (Permalink)

It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames.

Why a Fast Response Is Important For Fire Damage In Lutherville

After a fire in Lutherville, you should immediately notify your insurance company. Once you've put in your call to your local restoration specialists, they will secure your home, assess damages, and put together a cost estimate for restoration work. Damage caused by smoke, water, and other factors will be included in an estimate for cleaning, restoring and deodorizing. The experts will go through the entire house, assessing and inventorying all items that may have been damaged by fire, smoke or firefighting efforts. Types of fire damage include burnt structure, personal goods, soot, smoke, water and mold damage. Items assessed include everything from dishes, electronics and clothing to jewelry, furniture and artwork.

What Does the Fire Restoration Process Include?

A professional team will conduct a complete and comprehensive treatment and restoration after Lutherville fire damage. Items that have been affected by the fire will be removed, and personal property that is salvageable will be cleaned, dried and deodorized. The pungent odors caused by various types of smoke will be eliminated throughout the home. Smoke damage can be even more devastating than damage from the fire itself, and special equipment is required to track down the origin and eliminate residual pungent odors. Water damage from firefighting or damaged water pipes will also be mediated. Charred contents like burned wood and insulation can seal in smoke and may need to be removed. Carpeting, flooring, framing and subflooring will be inspected for safety and odors.

What Specific Services Will Help Restore a Home?

Lutherville Fire damage recovery services include comprehensive restoration and cleaning of all structure and property involved in the fire. Starting with board-up service and removal and inventorying of damaged items, our experts will take care of every last piece of property that has suffered fire, smoke or water damage, from electronic equipment repair to furniture refinishing and upholstery cleaning. From structural damage restoration to soot removal, HVAC duct cleaning, content restoration, biohazard cleaning and water damage mitigation, your local restoration specialists will attend to all aspects of restoring your home after the devastation of a house fire.

Fire damage mitigation experts have the experience and specialized equipment necessary to safely restore your home and property, eliminate the source of all post-fire odors, ferret out and repair water damage, and prevent the insidious growth of mold. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood and water emergency event. When fire damage occurs, we have the resources and personnel to help. Call us today! (410) 229-0012

The Bathroom: Towson Water Damage Hot Spot

12/23/2015 (Permalink)

Don't Let a Leaky Faucet Become a Service Call from SERVPRO

Call SERVPRO to Restore Your Water Damaged Towson Bathroom

Water damage in Towson often originates in the bathroom. Given the fact that multiple plumbing systems are often confined to a small space, it's not surprising to find that bathrooms tend to experience a wide variety of water damage emergencies. Although these issues can pose serious problems in your household, especially if a sewer or septic tank backup is the cause, learning more about them can prevent your property from becoming a mess. SERVPRO offers the following information you need regarding water damage in the privy.

Leaking Shower Pipes & Pans. Water damage that transpires from a small constant drip over time can be problematic for several reasons. First, it can cause mold problems. Second, the insurance company may not support your claim. And unfortunately, you may run into both of these problems if you experience a leaky shower fixture, pipe or a cracked shower pan. Over the course of time, the water can wick into your subfloor and wall voids. The accumulation of moisture in an enclosed, dark space is an open invitation for mold spores to start a colony. To prevent these issues from taking place, be sure to inspect your shower visually and ensure that there are no cracks in the shower pan area. Keep jointed areas with tile well caulked. If you fear a hidden leak, call SERVPRO to inspect the bathroom and offer suggestions or service.

Sinks. The most common type of water damage results from the breakdown of the supply line connection. When this connection is broken, pooling water will accumulate in the base cabinet of the sink. Don't put a pan there. Fix the leak before it becomes a deluge requiring water damage service. Be aware of this problem area.

Toilets. Toilets can be a big culprit for water damage. Even toilets that were installed and well maintained can malfunction and generate excess standing water in the bathroom. With this idea in mind, make sure that you inspect your toilet every couple of months to detect any tiny cracks in the porcelain. Replace the water tank float at the first hint of sticking. Also, be sure to check the toilet's supply lines and taps. If the commode rocks, the wax seating leading to the drain should be replaced.

Let The Professionals Of SERVPRO Assist You. While maintaining your household appliances and equipment is a great way to prevent water damage in Towson, it's important to know that disaster could still strike at any moment. To ensure that you can secure professional remediation services from a team of IICRC-certified technicians, keep the experts of SERVPRO in mind. If possible, we will assist you with your insurance claim. Don't let a drip become a flash flood. Call us 24/7 to restore your home to its pre-loss condition.

Highly-Trained Water Restoration Specialists

As leaders in the water damage industry, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville has advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-water damage condition. Call us for 24/7 service. (410) 229-0012

Why Time is of the Essence in Lutherville Water Damage

11/24/2015 (Permalink)

According to the EPA, the first 24-48 hours are the most crucial when dealing with water damage.

Lutherville Water Damage Time Crunch

Water Damage: A Brief Overview

Once your home or office is affected by water damage in Lutherville, there are numerous things you will need to do to restore order and safety to your property. In many cases, residential and commercial property owners feel overwhelmed upon considering all of the steps they will have to take to accomplish this objective. However, learning more about water damage and companies that offer restoration services can empower you to optimize and expedite the remediation process.

 Water Damage: The Basics

Water damage can result from numerous factors, including a natural disaster. In addition to surfacing as a result of a flood or fire, Lutherville water damage can be caused by household issues such as a burst pipe or malfunctioning washing machine. Irrespective of the cause, excess water in your home or office is a serious issue that must be addressed immediately and effectively. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that water can begin seeping into your walls, carpet padding, hardwood floors, and other property structures. If left unattended, water damage can cause serious issues such as the collapse of your ceiling.

 More Consequences Of Water Damage

 In addition to compromising the structural integrity of your residential or commercial property, water damage in Lutherville can lead to a plethora of health problems. This is the case because water damage creates the ideal conditions for mold to thrive in. Once property residents haven been exposed to mold, they become increasingly susceptible to health complications like skin infections, respiratory problems, lung complications, sinus infections, and cancer. Additionally, mold growth and proliferation can give rise to unwanted smells that begin to permeate ceilings, floors, and walls.

 Getting Professional Assistance

 After you realize that your home has been impacted by water damage, you should immediately call for professional assistance. Trained remediation specialists will be able to offer you comprehensive services that restore your property. The first step in the restoration process is the property inspection and assessment. This process will enable the remediation specialists to determine the extent of damages done to the property. Once these determinations have been made, the restoration experts will know which equipment and techniques to deploy to restore your property to its original condition.

 The Importance Of The Drying Process

 One of the best ways to prevent water damage from creating a high moisture environment that gives rise to mold is to thoroughly dry the property. Water remediation specialists understand this principle, and they use specialized equipment such as dehumidifiers and air movers to accomplish the objective. In many cases, a thorough drying of the property can eliminate the need to replace hardwood floor, carpet, and walls.

 The professionals of SERVPRO possess advanced water damage restoration skills, and we also offer the type of exceptional customer service that will set you at ease throughout the process. Our IICRC-certified technicians utilize a proven six-step restoration process to ensure that your residential or commercial property is made new with lightning speed.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

 As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is strategically located to respond quickly to your flood and water emergency event. When water damage occurs in Lutherville, Parkton, or Towson, we have the resources and personnel to help. Call us today! (410) 229-0012

Mold Remediation Can Be a Serious Matter in a Towson Home

9/25/2015 (Permalink)

Don't Let Mold Take Over Your House

SERVPRO'S Mold Remediation Process Will Make Your Towson Home Healthy Again

Most homeowners know mold growth that occurs in your Towson residential property can pose a variety of health risks to you and your loved ones. Additionally, mold growth can cause structural damage to your property. For these reasons, it is important that you handle any mold issues you experience as soon as they surface. To learn more about mold and the importance of obtaining professional assistance with the mold remediation process, consider the information found below:

Mold Assessment

Although you may be inclined to remove mold by completing a do-it-yourself project, this is not the most practical way to get rid of the fungus. Mold removal is difficult for several reasons. Though household mold is likely not toxic, there is a great chance that the infestation caused by growth due to excess water or humidity is toxic. Second, using incorrect cleaning techniques to remove mold can cause the spores to proliferate and grow in other regions of your home. SERVPRO will assess the situation in your home environment and then start to execute a plan of action specific to your home in Towson.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you should contact a professional company in the event that the infestation covers a region totaling over 10 square feet. A mold remediation company like SERVPRO has all of the training, experience, and tools necessary to expedite and optimize the remediation process. Careful protocol must be followed to prevent mold proliferation during the removal and remediation processes. This may include containment devices (negative air chambers), "air scrubbers', and HEPA vacuums. Other equipment and chemicals are at the ready.

When Should You Call A Mold Remediation Company?

There are several situations in which you should call a mold remediation company. Some of them include:

• The mold is covering 10 square feet (a rule of thumb)
• You think there may be some hidden mold on the property (odor)
• You don't know how expansive the mold issue is
• The mold returns despite your repeated cleaning
• There are moisture issues in your home
• One or more people in your household suffer from allergy symptoms or asthma

If you are currently experiencing mold issues at your residential property in Towson, it's important to know that professional solutions exist that will successfully eradicate the mold. By calling a team of well-trained, highly skilled remediation specialists, you can receive the expedient assistance necessary to get your home back in healthy condition. When you're ready to get this process started, the team to call is SERVPRO. With over 50 years in the industry, we possess the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to quickly return your home to its previous healthy condition. Contact us today so we can get the mold remediation process going!

Call us at (410) 229-0012

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