Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Highlighting Our Advanced Technology

11/26/2021 (Permalink)

Advanced technology At SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall, we utilize the most advanced, top-of-the-line equipment and technology.

Restoration and remediation technology has experienced tremendous advancements in recent years. Here at SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall, we utilize the most advanced, top-of-the-line equipment and technology in order to serve our customers as efficiently as possible. In this blog, we’ll share with you 3 examples of advanced technology and equipment, including infrared cameras, air movers and dehumidifiers, and OSHA-approved cleaning agents, that our crews utilize day in and day out.

Moisture Detection and Measurement: Infrared Cameras

In order to effectively dry any residential or commercial property, moisture must be detected, measured, and monitored, which requires the help of technology. Specifically, infrared cameras are an example of a recent technological advancement that enables us to more effectively detect the presence of moisture through flooring, walls, and ceilings. In this way, we can be sure that our crews thoroughly remove moisture. 

Drying: Air Movers & Dehumidifiers

As soon as moisture is detected and extracted, it comes time for drying the affected areas. In this process, we utilize industrial strength air movers, which help moisture evaporate faster, and dehumidifiers, which extract water vapor from the air. Thorough drying is crucial in protecting flooring, walls, and furniture from experiencing warping and swelling. 

Sanitization: OSHA-Approved Cleaning Agents

Following the drying process, sanitation services are often necessary in order to clean affected surfaces, remove odors and contaminants, and prevent future issues. For this important job, our SERVPRO crews utilize cleaning agents approved by OSHA, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, which means that your property will be cleaned according to industry standards. Two types of cleaning agents, those specified for deodorization and those for disinfection, are utilized based on your property’s unique needs. In order to control odors resulting from excessive moisture, deodorization products are utilized.  Disinfection products, on the other hand, are used to stop bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms from growing.

SERVPRO’s Advanced Technology Gets the Job Done

In the event that your residential or commercial property experiences a loss of any type or size, be sure to call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 right away. Take comfort in knowing that our advanced technology and state-of-the-art equipment will both thoroughly restore your property to its preloss condition and protect it from future issues stemming from incomplete restoration and remediation efforts. Learn more about our residential and commercial restoration services by visiting our website. Additionally, be sure to check out our pages devoted to commercial cleaning services and 24-Hour services, as well as our customer testimonials page to read more about how we make it “Like it never even happened.”

Owner's Corner: 3rd Quarter

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

Our Owners It’s always been in the places I least expect it that I hear or read a few impactful words that help me in moments I need it most.

“Mom, can I ask you a question?”

“Sure.”

“Who are the two people in the world that you want to make most proud?”

“Just two? There are SO many”

“Just two.”

“Ummmm”… Moments of thought and deliberation… “my mom and dad???”

“Wrong. Your 8-year-old self and your 80-year-old self. You want the 8-year-old self to think you had a really cool life and your 80-year-old self to think you had a worthy life.”

I go quiet. Humbled by the unbelievable wisdom spewing from my 12-year-old and wondering where the heck he came up with this? Tik Tok??

Waking me out of my daze he pushes on, “So what would they think of you?”

Taking a deep, thoughtful breath, “Well. I think my 8-year-old self would be proud of the cool adventures I’ve been on and places I have seen?”

“What about your 80-year-old self?”

“Whew. That’s a much harder one. I really don’t know.”

“Well, you have another 40 years to figure it out.”

Spot on and a little jolting.

So I’ll be open with it for those that didn’t catch the subtle math above. I turned 40 this year. I dreaded it. I don’t know what I thought might happen as the numbers rolled over into a new decade, but I don’t feel too much different - physically. Mentally - that’s a different story. But, a good one. There’s a lot of confidence gained with age and a lot of lessons learned that turn you into a better person.

To some reading this you may be chuckling at me for pontificating on only 40 years lived. Others may be right in the game with me and feeling the same feels. No matter on which side of the fence you lie, I thought I’d share five of my favorite sentiments I’ve learned along the road of life thus far. They are hard to ALWAYS fulfill 100% of the time, but if I do, I think it will keep me moving towards impressing that 80-year-old self of mine.

  1. “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work” – There’s not much in life that comes easy. And if it does? Be wary. Work is a non-negotiable in anything worth having.
  1. “Do What Scares You Until it Doesn’t” – I wrote a whole blog about this awhile back. There are a lot of things in life that have been attempted and successfully completed by other people. If they can do it, what’s stopping you? It will be scary and you might fail a few times, but a switch will eventually flip . That thing that seemed terrifying? All of a sudden it’s no big thing.

  1. “Be the Buffalo” – Have you heard this one? It’s fascinating. Cows and buffalos. They handle approaching danger in TOTALLY different ways. A cow will run away from a storm and a buffalo charges towards Instead of outrunning the storm, the cows end up running right along with it. Maximizing the pain and frustration they have to endure. Lesson? Face your problems head on. Running only prolongs your suffering.
  1. “It takes twice as long to build bridges you’ve burnt” – It was Christmas day in 1988. My sister and I got into a brutal fight that didn’t end well. As punishment, my mom made me write 100 times, “Do unto others as you would have them to unto you” – The Golden Rule. I’ve witnessed people burn bridges and I know I’ve done it myself. It’s a horrible feeling and I find myself reliving those moments over and over wishing I handled things differently. Deal with hard things with transparency, empathy, and honesty. Keep the Golden Rule front and center – weight will be lifted from your shoulders and peace settled on your mind.

  1. “No one wears the jersey of a Monday Morning Quarterback” – I recently discovered Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena”. Have you read this genius or learned the history behind it? Critics are a dime a dozen. But, how many have actually walked the path of those they criticize? Unless you’ve worn someone’s exact same pair of shoes – size, model, color, wear and tear – don’t dare think critically on their words and actions. There will be a thousand things you can’t possibly understand. And after all, the hero is the one inventing, trying, failing, and getting up to do it again amidst the voices of those “Monday Morning Quarterbacks”. Which one do you want to be?

It’s always been in the places I least expect it that I hear or read a few impactful words that help me in moments I need it most. This article? Just my measly attempt to pay it forward. But, if it helps one person, I’ll call it a success.

What about you? What helps you move towards impressing that 80-year-old self of yours? I’d love to hear all about it.

Sincerely,

Trish Wall

Celebrating Our Employees of the Quarter

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Employees of the quarter SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County is thrilled to recognize three outstanding employees as our Employees of the Quarter.

This quarter, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County would like to recognize three outstanding employees as our Employees of the Quarter, an award we present at each quarterly meeting. This quarter’s recipients are Sulma Morales, John Carter, and Megan Badorrek. Keep reading to learn more about our fantastic employees!

Fire Restoration Crew Chief Sulma Morales has been with us for just over 9 years. Although she specializes in fire restoration, she also excels in commercial and residential cleaning and sanitizing. Over the course of the last 18 months, she has performed hundreds of COVID-related cleanings. The quality of her work and dedication are truly unmatched. Thank you for all you do, Sulma! You are an integral part of our Hunt Valley and Harford County team. 

Serving as fire Fire Restoration Technician, John Carter has been with SERVPRO for 7 years. John has filled different positions throughout his time with Team Wall and has always been willing to help and train others. Recently, we have leaned on John as our media blasting and duct cleaning expert and trainer. John is quietly consistent and produces top quality work no matter what he does. We are incredibly fortunate to have you on our team, John!

Job File Coordinator Megan Badorrek has been with SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County for just over 1 year.  Turning the data received from crews in the field into estimates, Megan has an important role in our office. She has helped write reconstruction estimates both in the office and on-site as well.  Megan is always willing to do whatever is needed and the quality of her work is outstanding. Megan, you have a bright future with Team Wall and we’re so appreciative of all that you do.  

Independently Owned and Operated: Owner’s Corner

8/7/2021 (Permalink)

Convention photo We came home with ideas buzzing through our heads to make Team Wall the best it can be.

“Independently Owned and Operated”. We have all seen this tagline a million times, but I’d bet most probably don’t fully recognize what it means.

Independently owned and operated businesses are franchised businesses owned and operated by individuals, but with the guidance, support, and architecture for growth designed by its founders, corporate team, or central board.

Just having a predetermined plan to follow does not translate to instant success, however. It certainly takes owners with an entrepreneurial spirit, a strong team with hustle in their DNA, and loyal customers to move the needle.

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team – Team Wall began as a one license franchise in May 2009 – a husband and wife team trying something new amid a recession that rocked our country. We became small business owners for the first time with the amazing blessing of youth and ignorance on our side – never thinking of the possibility of failure or the “What If?” consequences. We followed the path set out by those SERVPRO franchisees who came before us. It was awesome. But, awesomely hard work as well.

Fast forward, Team Wall now operates 12 franchise licenses throughout 3 metro markets. The architecture designed for us as we started our journey in 2009 was invaluable, but now as we enter a world of unknown – becoming “Multi-Market Operators” – we find ourselves carving our own path in an unraveling (and exciting) time for SERVPRO franchise owners.

Multi-Market Operations by individual franchise owners is not a new concept. Being a part of navigating this concept in the service sector with SERVPRO Industries and about 20 fellow franchisees has been an honor for Team Wall.

Team Wall started down the Multi-Market Operator path in 4th Quarter 2019. In walked the warmest winter on record in 100 years and then a global pandemic. Whew. Not a time we’d like to repeat, but let me tell you, it made us appreciate the week of July 20th, 2021 more than you could ever know. It was SERVPRO’s 52nd Annual Convention and the first time we were able to see our SERVPRO family in person in well over 2 years.

The fellowship, guidance, and inspiration we receive from these events is second to none. We learned about technology, integration, automation, new marketing strategies, industry best practices, key accounts and new relationships, and better ways to serve our customers. We networked with our peers talking through our triumphs, challenges, and lessons learned. After all, Eleanor Roosevelt said it best, “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

The enthusiasm during convention week is contagious. We came home with ideas buzzing through our heads to make Team Wall the best it can be and to rock this opportunity we have been so blessed to pursue... the Multi-Market Operator.

We will always and forever be humbled by the opportunities our customers have given us through the years. And for the continued enthusiasm and dedication by our team members. Without these two factors, none of it would be possible.

With sincere thanks and heartfelt gratitude,

Jim and Trish Wall

How Do We Recognize Our Employees?

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

Crab Feast Employees enjoy a crab feast at our annual office picnic.

Here at SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team- Team Wall, we do a lot to recognize our employees for all that they do and show them that their hard work and dedication are appreciated. In a recent corporate blog series spotlighting our team, one of our owners, Trish Wall, expressed, “Culture really is the ultimate competitive advantage. Recognition is a big part of culture, and it’s so important to make recognition a consistent part of our core practices.” In this blog, we’ll walk through some of our favorite ways in which we have emphasized employee appreciation this summer.

Crab Feast and BBQ

Perhaps nothing is more quintessentially summer than sitting down with friends and enjoying a barbeque or crab feast, especially here in Maryland. Across all three of our offices, the office barbeque has become an annual event that celebrates our employees in a relaxed setting away from the sometimes stressful ins-and-outs of our daily disaster recovery work. 

Department Outings

Getting out of the office and spending the afternoon with coworkers is another way in which we strengthen the bond between our employees and recognize everyone’s efforts. In June, our Sales and Marketing teams came together for an afternoon at Big Truck Farm Brewery for a team outing. After over a year of seeing each other only through our computer screens, the outing allowed some team members to finally meet in person and share a few laughs while partaking in Big Truck’s archery activities.

The “Wall of Praise”

One of our conference rooms features a custom-made decal and notepad sheets that places our employees’ efforts front and center. We call it “The Wall of Praise” and it provides employees with the opportunity to write shoutouts to their coworkers and post them on the wall. At our quarterly meetings, we pick 4 or 5 of these shoutouts to read aloud, recognizing team members for all that they do behind the scenes and boosting team morale.

Employee Highlights and Awards

Every quarter, we spotlight team members in-person at our quarterly meetings and on social media through employee highlights. Various awards are presented at our quarterly meetings, including tenure and anniversary awards, as well as specific sales and marketing team awards, such as “Top Producer”, “Most Improved”, and “Coach’s Award”. These in-person meetings provide a special setting for employee appreciation, as we are able to gather the entire SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall together in one place, creating a large audience for employee recognition. The “Employee of the Quarter” award recognizes one employee who best embodies our “7 Pillars”: Hustle, Solutions, Team, Accountability, Quality, Persistence, and Consistency. The recipient is then highlighted not only in our quarterly newsletter, but on our blog and social media platforms as well. 

Trust Our Team

While we recognize individual employees for their strengths and dedication, our team is stronger together. “Team” is an important component of our SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County’s “7 Pillars” and values. Call us today at (410) 229-0012 and know that our tight-knit team is always standing by for our community, ready to restore your residential or commercial property after any disaster. 

Employee of the Quarter: Norma Hernandez

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Employee of the Quarter This quarter, we would like to highlight Norma Hernandez, our Fire and Smoke Crew Chief.

Every quarter, we recognize one employee who embodies SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team - Team Wall’s “7 Pillars” that describe an outstanding team member. This quarter, we would like to highlight Norma Hernandez, our Fire and Smoke Crew Chief. After starting with SERVPRO Team Wall back in October of 2013, Norma has consistently expanded upon her skills and gained valuable experience in fire damage restoration. 

An Exemplary Employee

On a daily basis, Norma displays our “7 Pillars,” which make her an exemplary employee for her team members. These pillars include hustle, solutions, team, accountability, quality, persistence, and consistency. Norma especially excels in hustle, solutions, persistence, and accountability. Her co-workers can count on her every day to produce quality work. She hustles and comes up with solutions to obstacles when needed. On top of it all, she consistently shows up with a smile on her face and a great attitude.

Dedicated and Consistent Team Members

While Norma received the most votes in our office-wide “Employee of the Quarter” voting, four other team members tied for second place. These four employees, Reconstruction Technician Juan Duarte, Mitigation Crew Chief Brian Haines, Job File Coordinator Megan Badorrek, and Scheduling/Dispatch Coordinator Kristina Dubyoski, are all deserving of recognition as well. They are all important members of our team that produce high quality work within their departments, showing up each and every day to deliver solutions with smiles on their faces. They each care about what they do and will go the extra mile for our team, which is exactly what makes a praiseworthy SERVPRO employee.

Highlighting Our Employees: Jaime Orellana, Brian Barry, and Darrin Grant

5/5/2021 (Permalink)

This quarter, our Hunt Valley and Harford County office would like to congratulate Jaime Orellana as our “Employee of the Quarter.” However, we would be remiss if we did not also highlight two additional outstanding employees, Brian Barry and Darrin Grant, for their noteworthy efforts in combating the damage left behind by Winter Storm Uri in Oklahoma and Texas. A common thread that runs all three of these employees is that they are friendly and hard working team players who are willing to put in the extra time to produce excellent results.

Jaime Orellana

Starting as a Fire Technician with the company in 2017, Jaime has experienced multiple sides of SERVPRO. Transferring from the fire sector to water, Jaime worked as a Water Technician and eventually worked his way up to his current position as Water Mitigation Crew Chief. If you ask any of Jaime’s coworkers about his character, they’ll tell you that he is a hard worker and a team player.  He is friendly, always willing to help out his teammates, and consistently produces excellent work.  Jaime recently traveled with his team members to Dallas, Texas to help in the recovery from Winter Storm Uri. There, he led a crew to produce what became our “Job of the Quarter,”  directing a large crew to restore a school that had a lot of water damage from a broken fire suppression pipe, which left water flooded throughout the school.  After several days and a lot of hard work, the school was left dry, clean, and ready for the reconstruction services that we are currently in the midst of completing. Our success in Dallas would not have been possible without Jaime’s leadership. Thank you for all that you do, Jaime!

We would like to extend honorable mentions to the following team members:

Brian Barry

Brian started with us only six months ago as an Estimator but in that time, he has become our Fire Production Manager.  Brian jumped right in with a great attitude and has made himself available to help his colleagues with everything from estimating and Matterporting to lending a hand on water, fire and COVID cleaning jobs.  On social media, Brian also posts great updates about SERVPRO Team Wall, keeping customers in the loop with our work. Brian recently returned home from thirty-three days in Oklahoma as a part of our team’s effort to help with mitigation and reconstruction work due to Winter Storm Uri. Thank you for your hard work this quarter, Brian!

Darrin Grant

Since joining our SERVPRO team in 2013 as a Water Technician, Water Mitigation Crew Chief Darrin has demonstrated his role as yet another team member who is always willing to go to any lengths to help others. His colleagues describe Darrin as positive and cheerful.  This quarter, Darrin also spent several weeks in Dallas, Texas and Oklahoma with our storm response team before a brief return home. Currently, he is back in Oklahoma with his technician, Eric to help finish up mold remediation work.  We expect them back home soon and we can’t wait to congratulate them on a job well-done. We are grateful for all that you do, Darrin!

Owners Corner: 1st Quarter 2021

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

The following article is a small excerpt of our most recent Quarterly Newsletter. If you find this to be an interesting read, please consider signing up.

It was the most heart wrenching moment of my life. Jim, his brothers, their wives, and my mother in law’s eight grandsons circled around her as she said her last and final goodbye to her husband of 48 years. It is a moment that will stick with me for perpetuity. And one that made me understand the wide footprint left behind with a life well lived.

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

The first time I met my father-in-law, I was dating his son for a mere few weeks. We sat down to dinner and he asked me two questions… “What was your college GPA?” and “How much money do you make?”. (Insert that emoji with big, wide surprised eyes here). Yikes! Seventeen years later, I know that was just Dr. Jim Wall’s way. He cared fiercely for his children and did everything in his power to give them the best life possible. Even vetting a few potential girlfriends here and there.

His impact on my husband was immense. And little did Jim Sr. know, his unwavering direction and guidance would go well beyond his son’s life with a rippling effect touching thousands of people he would never have met.

You see, Jim Sr. was an entrepreneur himself. He and his wife, Jane, saw from a very early age their son’s innate ability to lead. They knew a path of entrepreneurship was in his future. The word “encouraged” may be a little too delicate and the word “forced” doesn’t represent my father in law’s intentions fairly. Let’s just say the direction he gave my husband fell somewhere in between these two verbs (and if you ever knew Jim Sr. this would make perfect sense).

He taught his son that “work” and “goals” will never be incongruous. He taught him the fine art of balancing frugality and treating yourself occasionally. He taught him to experience as much of life as you are able (I am going to thank Jim Sr. for his son’s incubator idea and the resulting 5 baby chicks in my house). And he taught his son to always be curious. Asking questions and learning from others every step of the way.

Those were the soft skills. In that grey area between “encouraged” and “forced” was how my husband ended up with a degree in Accounting from a top ranking college, fluent in a second language, and with his dad’s unabating voice in the back of his head guiding him towards the path of entrepreneurship.

It worked. Many, MANY small business ideas were considered from the time Jim was in high school all the way through his early 30’s. In 2009 the timing and opportunity was finally right; we took the plunge as I supported Jim in the dream his dad originated and he had finally realized. We opened our first SERVPRO franchise in Hunt Valley, MD and throughout the next 12 years expanded our geographic reach from Baltimore into both Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

12 franchise licenses, 133 employees, and over 3100 jobs completed in just the last year alone. It’s the latter two statistics that exemplify that “rippling effect” I mentioned earlier. That’s a lot of jobs created, families supported, customers helped, and lives touched because a father believed enough in his son to push him towards a dream.

Don’t ever underestimate the effect you have on those around you. Your words and actions, whether big or small, aggregate into the architecture of the footprint you leave behind in this world. I’d consider myself one of the lucky ones if mine is half as wide as the one my father-in-law built.

His presence is missed every second of every day, but our family - along with our SERVPRO family - is grateful for the legacy Dr. James R. Wall created and the echoing reverberations that will be felt for years to come.

Meet Our Employee of the Quarter: Q4 2020

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO, we select one exceptional employee each quarter to receive the title, “Employee of the Quarter”. This quarter, our Hunt Valley and Harford County office selected Labon Hardy. The following article is an excerpt from our most recent quarterly newsletter:

Meet Labon

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County’s “Employee of the Quarter” for 4th Quarter 2020 is Labon Hardy! Since starting as a Crew Chief at SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County in December of 2016, Labon has demonstrated that he is an outstanding member of our water mitigation team.

Following Our “7 Pillars”

Labon is a perfect example of an outstanding SERVPRO employee, as he follows our “7 Pillars”, Consistent, Quality, Team, Solutions, Hustle, Accountability, and Persistence, to a T. Labon never fails to be consistent, arriving at work either on time or early every single day. He is someone that everyone can count on to produce high-quality, thoroughly documented work on every job. When it comes to teamwork, Labon is always willing to lend a helping hand to his coworkers and train new technicians. When problems arise on the job, Labon is skilled in thinking of quick solutions and proactively foreseeing potential issues. There’s no doubt that Labon has tremendous hustle, as he is always willing to go the extra mile. Reliably delivering on his commitments, our team recognizes Labon’s accountability and knows that he is someone on which we can always rely. Finally, Labon’s persistence shines, as he always sees things through, regardless of how difficult a job may be.

Thank You!

Labon’s coworkers praise him for his stellar work ethic, communication, professionalism, and respect for others. Thank you for all that you do, Labon!

Owners Corner: 1st Quarter 2021

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

There is no doubt 2020 was filled with challenges… just check out 2020’s own Wikipedia page (it’s all itemized by month and day). Log into your favorite social media outlet of choice - within seconds you see a meme, a video, a friend’s “vent”, an article, an advertisement – all taking you down the rabbit hole of “holy crow… is there any light at the end of this 2020 tunnel?”. 

This feeling even crept its way into our holiday cards from friends and family. There were humorously staged pictures, kitschy tag lines, and even thoughtful “year in recap” notes that all played on the negative events and feelings that seemingly defined 2020. Until January 2nd, 2021. That’s when I received my last and final holiday card, and I couldn’t be more thankful for it.

The words printed on the back of the card caught my breath and changed my perspective as I trudge into 2021:

“And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore, be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” 

 ~Excerpt from Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

I am going to take from 2020 the lessons of good that rose from the times of challenge. Especially in the core parts of Jim’s and my world:

  1. Family: Our kids are growing so fast. We had a chance to slow down, spend time together – not in separate cars racing to the next sporting event. We ate dinner at the SAME table and at the SAME time. We got to talk – really talk – with our kids and watch their personalities grow. And speaking of grow… our 12-year-old grew 6 inches in 2020 all in front of our eyes (not amid the chaos where we had been so accustomed to residing). Being present and not distracted was one of the greatest blessings of 2020 and one I hope we can hold onto in the coming years.
  1. SERVPRO: Humility is an ongoing lesson, but it was kicked into high gear for us in 2020. We can plan, strategize, and control as much as we are able, but we are ultimately vulnerable to circumstances that will always lie out of our jurisdiction:
  • 1St Quarter 2020: A large geographic expansion of our business in October 2019 followed by the warmest winter on record in 125 years. A halt in business occurred, sweat on our brows accumulated, and the very real conversation of layoffs began. It was a kick in the gut. But, ultimately, reminded us the world does not revolve around our plans… we revolve our plans around the world. It was the first of many times the word “pivot” would be used this year.
  • 2nd Quarter 2020: I probably do not even need to say it. Shutdowns, fear, anxiety, and COVID-19. Our business and our team became “essential”. Within days our core service lines flipped. Restoration took a back seat as we focused on doing our part to “flatten the curve” through viral pathogen cleaning. We worked with the intent to keep businesses open, bring peace of mind to our communities, and do our part to slow the economic effects of prolonged shutdowns. This was a time we will never forget as entrepreneurs. Of course, the fear of all the unknown resonated, but surpassing that fear, was the pride we felt watching our team come together, accept our new circumstances, and utilize our synergies to live up to the “Here to Help” tag line.
  • 3rd Quarter 2020: It started with Arthur and ended with Iota. The 2020 hurricane season was a record breaker in so many ways. We got back to basics for a few months sending our Storm Response teams to Philadelphia, Delaware, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida in the wake of Hurricanes Isaias, Laura, and Sally. One of our favorite projects is detailed in our “Job of the Quarter”. Not because it highlighted the capabilities of our team alone, but because it showed the strength of our SERVPRO franchise system and our “One Team” mentality. As with 2nd quarter, our takeaway in humility mirrors the age-old proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
  • 4th Quarter 2020: Dolly Parton’s “Here you come again” started echoing in the back of my mind. The dichotomy in temperature from winter 2019 to winter 2020 is large. It has been a cold one and for the curbing of COVID-19… not helpful. A surge in cases returned in late October and our team was back to full throttle completing well over 400 COVID-19 related cleanings this quarter. The presence of the virus had resurged and so had our focus to help our communities. It was a blessing and a relief to know that we did not have to pave a new path as we did in the spring. Our team knew the ropes and all we had to do was refine the process to make our service capabilities that much better.

There is a lot of good that sprouted out of the challenges of 2020 and I urge you all to recognize it and celebrate it. Life’s too short to wrap yourself around and around again with the disappointments.

“…it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” How fitting for those to be the last and final words I would hear from 2020? I’m folding those sentences up, putting them in my pocket, and living them fully for 2021. I hope you will too.

Stay well and be happy,

Trish and Jim Wall

Chris Employee Highlight Writeup

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

In summary of our most recent Employee Highlight video about Chris Hoeltke, Hoeltke is the kind of man who seeks unpredictability and challenge, while valuing loyalty and family.

Chris Hoeltke, the Warehouse Coordinator of SERVPRO, a full-service disaster-recovery company, has lived an interesting life. From his childhood spent working on cars with his father, to the boat he and his wife, Shannon, have decided to live on full-time.

During our conversation with Chris, we talked about his job history. He told us that he never stays at any place of work for too long. Since his first job position, he’s lasted roughly five years at any given job. He explained how he starts from the bottom, works his way up to the top, then moves on. 

“I get bored,” he explained. If his work is no longer challenging for him, Chris no longer finds excitement in what he does. He says this is why working as the Warehouse Coordinator for SERVPRO has been the perfect job, because he never knows what the day will bring when he arrives at work. Something that is broken might need fixing, a storm may have hit that he needs to travel to, a nearby job might need his assistance. Whatever the case may be, Chris is happy to do it because it’s always different from yesterday.

In the recent late August, you may be aware that Lake Charles in Louisiana was struck with the devastating Hurricane Laura. Shortly thereafter, the town was struck by Hurricane Delta. Hearing about the back to back devastation, SERVPRO sent several teams down to the scene to help any businesses or families in need. Hoeltke was part of those teams. 

“I was happy ‘cause I got to see my family,” Hoeltke stated. 

Prior to his scheduled Louisiana visit, Hoeltke had already spoken with Jim Wall, owner of SERVPRO Team Wall, about his roots in Louisiana. 

“[Jim] let me go down a day early so I could spend a day in New Orleans… I got to see my parents who I hadn’t seen in 15-18 years.” 

Hoeltke’s home reunion was successful to say the least. He got to meet nieces and nephews that he had never met before. 

In all, we appreciate the years Chris has spent with us thus far and are happy to have gotten to know him the way we have. Thank you Chris, for everything.

Taking It To The Streets: 3rd Quarter 2020

8/14/2020 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned signage As fall approaches, many are wondering: Will students be able to return to school or will virtual learning continue for the foreseeable future?

Way back in mid-March, the governors of Maryland and Pennsylvania announced the statewide closures of public schools due to COVID-19. Teachers, parents, and students adjusted to new methods of virtual learning and stayed at home for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Now, as fall approaches, many are wondering: Will students be able to return to school or will virtual learning continue for the foreseeable future?

Will Students Return to the Classroom?

A recent article in the Baltimore Sun, titled “Superintendents say schools in Central Maryland unlikely to return to normal in the fall, explains the dilemma that Maryland schools are facing as superintendents of Baltimore-area schools consider several options for the fall. By all accounts, the likelihood of students returning to “in-person classes five days a week” is slim (Bowie, 2020). Pittsburgh Public Schools and some counties in Maryland have decided that the fall will be entirely virtual. However, some schools will offer a hybrid method with a mix of in-person and online classes for the fall. 

Schools Consider Different Plans

Similar hybrid models, in varying degrees, are under consideration in the ranks of regional colleges and universities. Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania will not offer in-person classes this fall, opting for entirely remote learning. However, the University of Maryland and the University of Pittsburgh will both reopen campus this fall, providing a mix of in-person and online classes. Additionally, both schools have communicated that they will have extensive safety measures in place, including mandatory mask wearing and social distancing as well as isolation facilities, designed to protect students on campus (coronavirus.pitt.edu, 2020; umd.edu, 2020). But the million-dollar question is, do the safety precautions go far enough?

SERVPRO Can Help

Regardless of the model adopted by the schools, SERVPRO has a solution that fits. SERVPRO’s “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program can be implemented into schools’ reopening plans. By using the CSC program, schools will receive a thorough, hospital-grade clean that adheres to the Centers for Disease Control‘s guidelines, using EPA approved disinfectants. The cleaning targets both frequently contacted touchpoints, such as desktops, stair handrails, and chair backs, and less frequently contacted touchpoints, which include the backs of desks and bathroom stall walls, alike. After receiving CSC cleaning, SERVPRO provides both physical and digital signage that can be displayed in an effort to show students, parents, and faculty that the school has received the highest level of disinfectant cleaning and is “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned”. Schools can receive defensive CSC cleanings prior to the start of the school year or, if the school has a confirmed case of COVID-19 during the fall, SERVPRO will be standing by to quickly disinfect the building. 

Amidst all the uncertainty that this fall will bring, ensure that your school receives the highest standard of clean by making SERVPRO’s “Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned” program a part of your reopening plan. 

Owner’s Corner: 2nd Quarter 2020

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Our owners We are grateful our company is able to make a positive impact during such a turbulent time.

In our 3rd quarter 2020 newsletter, our own Trish Wall took a moment to reflect on the COVID-19 pandemic and SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team’s Team Wall response in this quarter’s Owner’s Corner:

Our last quarterly newsletter was published in January. And here we sit at the end of July with the second “Quarterly” newsletter of the year. The math doesn’t add up, right? I will give you 2 guesses as to what happened and I bet you would get it on the first try… COVID-19. 

I wrote our last “Owner’s Corner” article on New Year’s Eve. I was a bag of emotions that afternoon as the new year – 2020 – sat on our doorstep. Pensive, anxious, hopeful, excited… I ultimately summed up our strategy for the coming year as “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”. I had no idea how telling this would be. 

COVID-19 affected everyone in this country in very unique and personal ways. On a professional level, the pandemic catapulted our team into a hard, abrupt change. On 3/11/20, we were a restoration company that provided cleaning services. On 3/12/20 our first COVID-19 cleaning job commenced, and we were suddenly a cleaning company that provided restoration services. You can’t get any more uncomfortable than flipping your business model overnight.

Our entire team jumped in with both feet and took on the challenge of pivoting on a dime. After all, our company had the tools and resources to help “flatten the curve”. We felt (and still do feel) an immense social responsibility to be there for our communities. Four months and countless COVID-19 cleaning jobs later, our team has an incredible sense of pride for the contributions they have made in curtailing this pandemic. 

For Jim and I, the pride we hold for our team is even more broad. To quote John Maxwell, “Change is Inevitable. Growth is Optional”. Our team members made a conscious decision to choose growth when the uncertainties of life surrounded them. To us, the choice they made brought us an overwhelming sense of awe. 

The pursuit of both professional and personal growth has always been a mindset we strive to instill in our team. To see it played out in front of our eyes was more gratifying than we could have ever expected. We are grateful our company is able to make a positive impact during such a turbulent time for our country. And even more appreciative for a team that truly lives out Team Wall’s Vision statement “Restoring peace of mind to EVERY customer. EVERY day”.

Stay healthy, Stay safe, and keep growing!

Sincerely,

Jim and Trish Wall

P.S. One of my favorite podcast series is Entreleadership. John Maxwell was a guest on an episode in May speaking about Personal Growth. It was very impactful and, I believe, it would be worth your time to take a listen: https://www.entreleadership.com/blog/podcasts/john-maxwell-success. One of many of my favorite thoughts from this podcast:

“I’m going to live til I die and I’m not going to get the two confused.”

2nd Quarter Employee of the Quarter

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

Chris Hoeltke

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

Tracy Summers

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

2nd Quarter Meeting

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

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

Thank You Cockeysville Volunteer Fire Company

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Employee Highlight: Carrie Jackson

6/24/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

The Office is the Heartbeat

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

Get to Know Carrie Outside of the Office

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

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

Reflecting on Her Time at SERVPRO

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

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned - a defensive cleaning program

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley & Harford County today at  (410)229-0012 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

What Does FEMA Have to do With Waffles?

4/5/2020 (Permalink)

Waffles These are waffles

A storm roared through the East Coast many years ago, in 2004. FEMA went to work, doing what they could to assess the damage and to help the disaster-stricken communities. Around the same time, out of this slew of hurricanes would grow an informal measure which would confuse civilians for years to come. The Waffle House Index. What is The Waffle House List exactly? What does delicious fluffy syrup-ey goodness have to do with Emergency Management?     
Well, a researcher working for FEMA at the time found that by examining the actual operating state of Waffle Houses in the affected area one could potentially measure how serious a natural disaster was to the communities in the surrounding areas. When the store is open, green light, if the store is running on a small menu, yellow light, and if the store is shut down entirely, red light. Those were the key measurements.   Although the theory may have seemed strange, it turned out that FEMA could get a fairly good idea of the extent of the situation in a certain area. It began as a sort of joke until FEMA administrator Craig Fugate coined the word in May 2011 (https:/n.pr/2JznNEc).
Now, with the current epidemic, The Waffle House Index is being put to the test again but now on a nationwide scale. If we can take anything from this story, its that being able to support your community in its time of need is the most important thing one can do. Whether that's staying inside at all times, or gearing up and going out to help the good of mankind. Good risk management is one thing, but understanding how to prepare for any size disaster, and being able to hold the foundation of our communities because of our preparedness is a trait that we hold pride on as well. SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team-Team Wall, chooses to be that foundation for our community every day we put our boots on the ground. We are here to help. We are here to commit. We are here to serve.

If you would like to learn more about this topic, why not start at the Wikipedia page? If you're feeling so kind, they are in need of donations in order to stay running. All donations are appreciated. 

Contractor Connections - Golden Hammer Award

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Golden Hammer Award Plaque Our coveted Golden Hammer Award.

For 2018, we were kindly awarded the Golden Hammer Award for Top Performance in the restaurant industry.

This award is presented to those who perform exceedingly well in various metrics, including customer service, job performance, response time,  turnaround and cleanliness. We would like to thank Contractor Connections for acknowledging the hard work and commitment of SERVPRO of Harford County & Hunt Valley over the past year! Contractor Connection is the national renovation and repair company leader. They partner with a network of top-quality contractors (such as ourselves) to fit customers to their restoration and repair needs as well as possible. All contractor access to their network must be reviewed by their history, insured and approved and must have excellent credentials before accepting them into the network.

Why We Love Our New Matterport System

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Sections of a house The "Dollhouse" viewing option, allows us to get a birds-eye-view of the damage.

Have you ever been disappointed with the amount of time that insurance claims take to settle? If you're a qualified insurance or property manager, you realize that time is money! The cost and time involved in the resolution of a property dispute is usually based on the expertise and quality of the contractor undertaking maintenance and repairs. The retention of your insured or tenant is at great risk when you employ a contractor whom lacks the expertise, training and equipment to provide accurate estimates. Nevertheless, when you hire the right expert to help settle your lawsuit, you'll get pinpoint accuracy with your calculation, quick turnaround time and quality work. At the end of the day, your claim is handled fairly, quickly and your insured or occupant is rewarded with your service.

The Introduction of Matterport! The most sophisticated 3-dimensional camera ever made. With more than 2 million spaces recorded, Matterport holds the world's largest database of 3-D structure files. The Matterport is a game-changer to settle claims more effectively due to high-definition images, accurate measurements of detailed floor plans and guided tours. Imagine if you could literally stroll through a home or commercial structure to assess damage without ever having to leave your office chair... now you can!

No more messing around with hand-drawn sketches and having to take your own measurements because you have no confidence in the contractor you hired to help settle your claim. As an insurer, consultant or property manager, you can now view digital environments from multiple angles to take accurate measurements, access three-dimensional, self-guided tours, OBJ files 4 K print-quality photos and detailed floor plans. As an advanced media company that has created the first end-to-end video capture system, Matterport has transformed the concept of the restoration and rebuilding industry.

Why We Love Our New Matterport System

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Sections of a house The "Dollhouse" viewing option, allows us to get a birds-eye-view of the damage.

Have you ever been disappointed with the amount of time that insurance claims take to settle? If you're a qualified insurance or property manager, you realize that time is money! The cost and time involved in the resolution of a property dispute is usually based on the expertise and quality of the contractor undertaking maintenance and repairs. The retention of your insured or tenant is at great risk when you employ a contractor whom lacks the expertise, training and equipment to provide accurate estimates. Nevertheless, when you hire the right expert to help settle your lawsuit, you'll get pinpoint accuracy with your calculation, quick turnaround time and quality work. At the end of the day, your claim is handled fairly, quickly and your insured or occupant is rewarded with your service.

The Introduction of Matterport! The most sophisticated 3-dimensional camera ever made. With more than 2 million spaces recorded, Matterport holds the world's largest database of 3-D structure files. The Matterport is a game-changer to settle claims more effectively due to high-definition images, accurate measurements of detailed floor plans and guided tours. Imagine if you could literally stroll through a home or commercial structure to assess damage without ever having to leave your office chair... now you can!

No more messing around with hand-drawn sketches and having to take your own measurements because you have no confidence in the contractor you hired to help settle your claim. As an insurer, consultant or property manager, you can now view digital environments from multiple angles to take accurate measurements, access three-dimensional, self-guided tours, OBJ files 4 K print-quality photos and detailed floor plans. As an advanced media company that has created the first end-to-end video capture system, Matterport has transformed the concept of the restoration and rebuilding industry.

Employee of the Quarter (Q4 2019)

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

Man with SERVPRO Logo Stamp Enrique Moran, excited to be praised for his excellent reconstruction work here at SERVPRO!

The following is an official write up from Jamie Alder, our Operations Manage for Reconstruction, regarding the exceptional work of one of our team members. This was presented at the End of the Year meeting last week for all to see and hear.

Jamie Alder:

EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER

This guy has been with Bella & SERVPRO since December 2015. He has worked his way up from a Production Crew Member to a Production Lead. He has a great work ethic and shows that on a daily basis with the Quality of Workmanship that he produces. Over the years he has improved greatly by learning new skills, running jobs, and having an "I can do anything" attitude, all while performing this with little to no supervision.

His Consistency of work shows by getting positive reviews and high scores on our Certificate of Satisfactions on a regular basis.

A lot of times we go onto jobs where we are under the gun so to speak and the people are upset due to the length of time that it has taken to get to this point by the Insurance Company. After speaking with the customer, he has been able to relax some intense situations with his Hustle and coming up with the Solutions needed to perform the job accurately and efficiently so he can exceed the expectations of our customer.

He is a problem solver by knowing there is always more than one way to do something. He also helps to show other employees how to gain the needed skills for them to be successful as well as by instructing and showing them how to do things in order for them to succeed. Everyone that has worked with him has stated “they enjoy working with him” along it is shortly followed with “He is a work horse!!!”

With that being said will you please help me in Congratulating

THIS QUARTERS EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER:

ENRIQUE "KiKi" MORAN

Owner's Corner: 1st Quarter 2020

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of the Owners Jim & Trish at the top of Mt. Mansfield

Owner's Corner

The following is an excerpt from our quarterly newsletter. It is an anecdotal tale from our own Trish Wall, simply recounting her vacation, but leaves us all with a lesson about understanding and triumphing over our human nature. Fear and the unknown.

Without further ado, a journal entry by Trish:

Here I sit. 2pm on New Year’s Eve with 10 more hours left in 2019. My mind has been reeling the last few days reflecting on what defined us in 2009 and what defines us now turning over into a new decade. Perhaps most of you won’t set eyes on this stream of my consciousness until well into the start of the New Year, but if you don’t mind my rumination, I’d love to share my “ah-ha” moment that is setting the tone for our second decade as entrepreneurs, leaders, and, most importantly, parents. I hope you get a little something out of it, and if not, at least you can come away with a new word of the day… rumination (www.dictionary.com never fails me).

"If you don’t step out of your comfort zone and face your fears, the number of situations that make you uncomfortable will keep growing."

When you start to think back through the defining moments, heartbreaks, and triumphs you have lived the last ten years, it starts to feel a little heavy. Ten years can seem like such a vast expanse of time, yet fly by faster than Usain Bolt in the 100M dash. The natural human instinct is to want to look back only to see how far you’ve come. It’s in our DNA to evolve after all. Survival of the fittest means constantly striving to create a better version of ourselves. But, are we? How can 10 years; 3,650 days; and countless moments pass us by and we haven’t become the person we want to be? Maybe you’ve made strides towards it, but what’s the secret to getting to the finish line? I’m not claiming to have THE answer, but my family vacation this week sure got me thinking.

We decided to spend our Christmas a little differently this year. We skipped the big presents, hosting of the families, fancy dinner that took me all day to cook, and endless cleaning. Instead, we headed north to Vermont to try our hand at skiing. Just the 5 of us for a few days of family, fun, and relaxation. Have we ever skied? No. Not really. Jim had taken our 3 boys for an afternoon a few years ago, and me, well I took a ski class in college. Yes, ski class is a legit thing! I got an A, thank you very much, however, that was 18 years ago. And it was on a “mountain” with a 500 foot vertical drop. According to my fuzzy memory that seemed pretty high. But, then we rolled into Stowe, VT and my palms started getting sweaty. 

Day one we dropped the kids off at ski school, awkwardly locked our skis into our boots, and headed blindly up the lift to the top of Mt. Mansfield (which I later learned is the highest mountain in Vermont, 3rd highest in New England... just for a little perspective). We were above the clouds. We were above the ever… loving… clouds. Let me just review. I learned to ski in college on Tussey Mountain, a 500 foot vertical drop. I now stood, two decades later, at the top of Mt. Mansfield, a 2,360 foot vertical drop, with only one way down. And all I could think was, “Jim did it to me again” (and maybe a few other select words sprinkled in there).

It’s what drew me to him at the start of our relationship. I had grown up very “stay in your lane”; adventure was something I saw in the movies; my risks were always heavily calculated; and the most dangerous thing I’d ever done was riding my bike to Dairy Queen without my mom knowing. Don’t judge. My mom could make Dirty Harry shake in his boots.

Jim was the complete opposite. He was 27 when we met and he had already had more adventures than I could hope to have in a lifetime. And his visions for his future were filled with challenges and opportunities that would never have crossed my mind in a million years. “Stay in your lane”, remember? He’s pushed me past my comfort zone more times than I can count. I truly give him credit for giving me the drive and confidence to jump into uncomfortable situations and find my way out. And I have grown exponentially because of it. 

So let me bring you back to the top of Mt. Mansfield. Jim had done it to me again. He put me somewhere I was completely uncomfortable, forced me to jump in, figure it out, and hopefully have some fun along the way. And I did it. Twice. It wasn’t pretty and I won’t be considered for the Olympic Ski Team anytime soon, but I conquered my sweaty palms, frayed nerves, and Mt. Mansfield on skis. 

I wouldn’t say this “being comfortable being uncomfortable” is a personality trait Jim learned. It’s ingrained in his DNA. It’s who he is without thinking twice about it. But, I’d say for most of us out there, that is an anomaly. Who would want to live in a constant state of discomfort? Sounds like a prescription for Xanax to me. 

All kidding aside though, my “ah-ha” moment was looking over the crest of that daunting mountain, the 3,578th time Jim had pushed me to sink or swim. If we are looking for a life of comfort, we might very well miss the opportunities to become who we want to be. We will wake up on New Year’s Eve 2029… another decade passing us by… and have nothing to show for it. Don’t get caught in the trap of “staying in your lane”. Do what scares you. Find someone that pushes you. Move the things that make you uncomfortable to the top of your to-do list. I promise you, one day they will become second nature and you will probably wonder why on Earth you found them so scary in the first place? And then, most importantly, make sure to fill that list back up with more things that scare you. Get comfortable being uncomfortable. Ready or not… ski down that mountain!

Team Wall is running into 2020 with this mentality and I hope you all will too. There are big things to conquer out there. Godspeed and go forth and conquer, my friends!

Sincerely,

Trish and Jim Wall

P.S. We are challenging our team members to submit 3 things that make them uncomfortable. In 4th quarter 2020, we will pass them out again to our team and see how far they’ve come in conquering their fears. Please feel free to participate! I’ll keep it confidential, but hopefully be someone to keep you accountable.





Owners Corner: 4th Quarter 2019

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

mand and woman standing on green grass Jim and Trish Wall at the start of it all.

Owner’s Corner: 4th Quarter 2019

    Wowza. Has it been a year! Last quarter’s “Owner’s Corner” focused on the big, surprise announcement that occurred earlier this year.

Just as a quick recap, Blackstone entered into a recapitalization and long term partnership deal with SERVPRO Industries in March 2019. Blackstone did an incredible amount of market research and determined there is huge growth potential for the SERVPRO franchise system in the restoration market. This single conclusion has been THE catalyst for innovation and change for SERVPRO franchises across the country.

So how has it affected Team Wall’s business and franchises? One word… “wholeheartedly”. 

In January of this year, we had a total of 3 franchises and were a month away from opening up our very first out of state office in Harrisburg, PA. Now, here we are, midway into fourth-quarter 2019, and we have acquired a total of 11 franchises and are operating in 3 locations. This is the most in SERVPRO history and Team Wall is honored and proud to pave the way for others in our franchise community.

So let’s get down to it. Where in the world is Team Wall’s SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team? Well, here’s the rundown:

  1. Hunt Valley & Harford County: Our office is located in Sparks, MD; Employs over 70 people; Services Maryland, Virginia, Southern Pennsylvania, Delaware, and travels the East Coast for Catastrophic Storm Response; We offer full service mitigation and reconstruction in this office.
  1. Harrisburg West: Our office is located in Camp Hill, PA; Currently employs a team of 15; Services Central PA and travels the East Coast for Catastrophic Storm Response; We offer full service mitigation and reconstruction in this office.
  1. Metro Pittsburgh East: Our office is located in North Versailles, PA; Currently employs a team of 30; Services Western PA, Eastern Ohio, West Virginia, and travels the East Coast for Catastrophic Storm Response; We offer full service mitigation and reconstruction in this office.

Running 3 offices and a team of 115 plus employees may seem like a daunting task, but we have searched high and low for some amazing team members to help make this adventure a successful one. Please check them out in our 4th Quarter hiring class article! These added members to our team really have made a significant impact already and have been so helpful in navigating our new business model. 

Expanding geographically means nothing but good things for our customers:

  • Larger Geographic Territory: Operating 3 offices spaced out throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region enables us to service customers who have multiple locations as well. We can be the go-to vendor to count on no matter where a property is located.  
  • Larger Team: We have 4 crews in our smallest office and 15 crews in our largest… and that number is only growing. If a large influx of work affects one office, we can share resources from our others to ensure a quality and timely job is produced. These shared resources apply to production staff, equipment, office responsibilities, training, and so much more. Sharing resources and best practices makes Team Wall a more effective and reliable team no matter what region we are serving. 
  • Focus: Growing from 1 to 3 offices in a 250 mile radius within a mere 10 months may seem disorienting, but we have been able to focus more than ever. Focus on our processes, on our team, on our service lines, on our training programs… bottom line… on our business in every aspect. This has made our team more reactive, more knowledgeable, and completely focused on a superior customer service experience. Jim and I are focused on working “on” our business and not “in” our business. We have seen the positive impact this has made in the short term and we’re confident this will make us the restoration vendor of choice in the long term. 

Looking back through this article, we have used the words “change”, “daunting”, and “disorienting”. But, we’ve also used the words “innovation”, “impact”, and “successful”. 

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

We are excited to see where this road leads us and, as always, thank you for your support and loyalty as a customer!

Sincerely,

Jim and Trish Wall

Jaime the Employee of the Quarter: Q3 2019

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Hunt Valley & Harford County Hunt Valley

This month's Hunt Valley & Harford County SERVPRO Employee of the Quarter is Jaime Orellana!

Below is our Senior Production Managers official statement regarding Jaime's hard work and dedication over the last quarter:

"Jaime Orellana exemplifies everything we look for in an employee by consistently displaying SERVPRO’s “7 Pillars of Success” in his work without fail.  He produces high quality work in every job he performs and he consistently hustles to get his assignments complete.  He is a team player that is willing to assist other crews by lending a helping hand even when he is not obligated to do so.  His persistence to perform at his highest ability and his willingness to continue to learn is contagious while helping to motivate other employees around him.  He also is accountable for every issue, decision and solution that may arise on his jobs.  It’s because of his consistent hustle, quality, persistence, and his willingness to be a team player that we have chosen Jaime to be the Team Wall Hunt Valley employee of the quarter.  We are excited to see where Jaime’s drive and positive attitude can take him within the company and look forward to watching his continued development."

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”.

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

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."