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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

DO YOU HAVE DIRTY DUCTS?

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Improve your indoor air quality with duct cleaning. 

Inspecting the duct work in your home or facility should be a high priority. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. 

SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn are your local professionals for all your cleaning needs. Spring is in the air which means maybe it is time to get those ducts cleaned out and deodorized. 

While you are in the Spring Cleaning mood don't forget SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn can also preform many other spring cleaning tasks for you as well. Such as carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, ceiling and wall cleaning and hard floor cleaning. 

Leave it up to the SERVPRO Professionals to help you this Spring season! 

UNDERSTANDING WATER TYPES

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanups. There are 3 types of water. Clean water, Gray water (slightly contaminated), and Black water (contaminated.) 

DAMAGE FROM CLEAN WATER

  • Shut off water source
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
  • remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets
  • Do not turn on ceiling fan fixtures if ceiling is wet

DAMAGE FROM CONTAMINATED WATER

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is possibility of spreading contaminated air
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants 
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to contaminated areas

When you have a water damage, don't leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn! 

Fire Extinguishers

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association suggests remembering the words PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism. 

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side to side. 

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org. 

Winter Weather

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

Winter weather can bring about more issues than just slippery roads and a sidewalk to shovel. If you live where temperatures sink below freezing level, you are also at risk for frozen pipes and ice dams, which can create a major disaster at your home or property. 

Frozen pipes are often those exposed to the cold weather, such as those outside your home, or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen cabinets. To prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:

  • Be sure to completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses
  • Open kitchen cabinets to let warm air circulate near the plumbing
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes. 
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night

If winter weather causes water damage to your property, SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn Professionals are only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition. 

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the cold weather coming?

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home and business if you are not ready for it. 

From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to damaging winds, sleet or snow. 

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property. 

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs & branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries. 
  • Roofs, water pipes, and gutters should all be inspected to help ensure they are in proper order. 
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open, allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. 

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn to strike back!  

BEFORE THE FEAST

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

BEFORE THE FEAST

Safety first before the feast!

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly. 

Cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday. 

  • Never leave cooking food unattended-stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food. 
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a " kid free zone" and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything flammable-pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging and towels or curtains- away from the stove
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build up. 

SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season. 

FIRE PREVENTION MONTH

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month! 

Do you have a fire escape plan?

Have you charged your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

LOOK, LISTEN AND LEARN!

LOOK for places fire could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them. 

LISTEN for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could only have minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. 

LEARN two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter. 

Stay safe and prepare now!

Fires are preventable. For Electrical and Appliance Safety keep in mind that frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture. 

If an appliance has a three prong plug, use it only in a three slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two slot outlet or extension cord. 

Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.  

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Crofton Home

4/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn

SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Overloaded Outlets Can Lead to Fires

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

EFSI has great tips for Crofton residents about outlet safety this holiday season.

December is the season of lights, candles and food.  Driving around Crofton, Odenton, and Severn neighborhoods; looking at all the holiday lights and seeing all the extension cords gave us pause.  Are those cords rated for outside use, are they all hooked to the same outlet?

There are some safety tips to follow when using lights outside:

  1. Purchase certified and lab tested cords
  2. Make sure they are rated for outdoor use
  3. Do not use multiple plug outlets chained together

Inside the home you may add some lights, your tree and maybe even some cooking appliances.  Using certified and lab tested cords inside is important as well.  Overloading outlets is the biggest issues that can lead to a fire.  Checking connections for fraying wires, limiting the number of units per outlet and unplugging items when not in use are best practices we should all follow.

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) has other great safety tips that will help limit your holiday fire risk.  SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn will have crews working throughout the holiday if you find yourself in need of smoke, soot or fire damage repair.

CELEBRATE SUMMER SAFETY

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Grill Safety

SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn is ready for whatever happens, you can be too this summer!

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider following the tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long. 

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after coals are lit
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set camp far away from the campfire
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.  

SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn wishes you a safe and happy summer! 

SERVPRO Biohazard Cleanup

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn also offers fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners. 

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. 

SERVPRO professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations. 

SERVPRO of Crofton can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism 
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

Contact us, SERVPRO of Crofton/Odenton/Severn today for 24-hour emergency service needs. 

Smoke Alarms: Save Lives

2/3/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environment, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met. 

 

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or batteries immediately.  Never disable or remove the batteries from the alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries.  

 

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. 

Safety Tips for Heating-Related Fire

1/10/2017 (Permalink)

Heating Hazards

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. In effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know that heating equipment is the leading cause of home fire deaths?

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire, 

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment. Have a three foot " kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 
  • Test smoke alarms monthly. 

If your property does suffer a fire damage, contact SERVPRO of Crofton/Gambrills/Odenton to help make it "Like it never even happend."

American Red Cross Fire Prevention Month

10/11/2016 (Permalink)

American Red Cross Fire Prevention Month

Did you know that home fires are actually the majority of the disasters that occur? 

You can easily prevent a home fire if you know the right protocol. The American Red Cross has many great tips for you. Please visit www.redcross.org to learn more about preventing home fires and be prepared if one does occur.

 

Don't let a home fire happen to you and your family. The American Red Cross can help you learn how to tips to prevent a home fire at your household. Make sure your family can safely escape your home in less than 2 minutes. Test your smoke alarms. To learn more please visit www.redcross.org/homefires

 

Over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year due to home fires. Your help is needed in every form. If you can give your time or effort, please become an American Red Cross volunteer at www.redcross.org to help others recover from home fires.

On average, 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day. You can help fire victims by donating to https://redcross.org/cm/SERVPROindustries-pub

 

 

10 Ways You Can Be PREPARED

9/12/2016 (Permalink)

If a Disaster strikes, will you be ready? It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation. 

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts
  • Develop and test emergency communication plans
  • Assemble or update emergency supplies
  • Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions
  • Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class
  • Collect and safeguard critical documents
  • Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources
  • Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards
  • Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage
  • Hold a scenario-based continuity of operations tabletop exercise for your organization 

Emergencies can happen to anytime to anyone. 

Take action now to protect yourself and your property.

Does Your Crofton Home Have A Mold Problem?

8/23/2016 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-721-9181

SERVPRO Ready Plan Mobile App

8/22/2016 (Permalink)

When Fire and Water cleanup is needed, getting help is now quicker and easier using the SERVPRO Ready Plan App. The Ready Plan is an emergency preparedness tool for home and business owners, property managers, risk managers and facility management. It allows for the creation of an Emergency Ready Profile containing critical facility information to help speed up response time. 

Download the App today on your smartphone!

Help is at your fingertips. 

SERVPRO encourages property owners to take advantage of free download to create an Emergency Ready Profile

Through the application, the user can quickly call SERVPRO or submit an electronic "First Notice of Loss" (FNOL)

Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal, "Like it never even happened."

IICRC Certifications

8/22/2016 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses. 

IICRC Certifications

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Technician 
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician 
  • Carpet Cleaning Technician 
  • Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician 
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician 

When you see a IICRC logo, you can be confident that an IICRC-certified experienced, qualified professional is caring for your valuable property. IICRC Certified Firms employ technicians who, after study, field experience and passing comprehensive exams, have received IICRC certifications in specific cleaning, restoration and inspection categories such as upholstery, wood flooring, stone and tile flooring, carpet cleaning, odor removal, mold remediation, water damage, fire damage restoration and more.

Emergency Tips for Mold

8/22/2016 (Permalink)

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects. If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Crofton/Gambrills/Odenton Professionals can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

WHAT TO DO:

  • Stay out of affected area
  • Turn off HVAC System and fans
  • Contact SERVPRO of Crofton/Gambrills/Odenton for mold remediation services

WHAT NOT TO DO:

  • Don't disturb the mold
  • Don't blow air across any surfaces with visible mold
  • Don't spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold

Water Damage Timeline

8/22/2016 (Permalink)

When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial.

WITHIN MINUTES 

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing staining to carpets
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp 

HOURS 1-24

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish
  • A Musty odor appears

48 HOURS TO 1 WEEK

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp
  • Furniture warps and show signs of mold
  • Paint begins to blister
  • Wood flooring swells and warps

MORE THAN 1 WEEK

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated and structural rebuilding may be extensive
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and bio hazard contaminants pose serious risk to occupants