Recent Posts

Is the water clean?

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

We don't like to talk about it but it happens.

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

Earlier we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear...doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself. 

Our SERVPRO of Howard County crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.

If you experience sewage backup or sewage related flooding, let us be your first call. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Be Ready!

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

Storms can strike any time anywhere. If a storm struck within the next 15 minutes...would you be prepared? No? Read on.

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are related to weather events. These events can lead to about 500 deaths and cause nearly $15 billion in damages, according to the NOAA. 

So, how do you make sure you're as ready as possible when severe weather hits? Know your risk and take action.

No matter how high or low your risk level is for severe weather, it's crucial to have an emergency plan and supply kit in place, just in case.

What do you include in your emergency supply kit?

It's important to mix and match these items to suit your specific personal needs, but here are some fundamentals to include:

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably and NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help, if need be
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, especially during flood or lightning risks
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account info
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

While this list is suitable for a home or business, if your business needs assistance devising an emergency plan, let us do it for you. We specialize in Emergency Ready Profiles which her minimize damage and business interruption in case of an emergency.

In any event, we are here to help after any type of loss or damage.

Where is the most likely place to flood in your home?

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Where is the most likely place to flood in your home? Don't forget about the bath running......

Did you take a guess? Well is you guessed your bathroom; your right!

Bathrooms are the most likely place that flood will occur in your home. If you were like me you might have guessed laundry room or kitchen but if you think about it , I guess it does make sense. Think of all the water sources there. Sinks, toilets, bathtubs/showers. All of these features are connected to pipes and if these are clogged or leaking it could cause a flood.

The most common way a flood in the bathroom happens is from a clogged or blocked pipe/drain.

Malfunctions such as a leaking toilet or a broken toilet is a very common reason.

But guess what a very common reason is? Human error. Us, we leave running water, forget about it and there you have it a flood.

Life is busy and we get called away and think we will remember to be right back but that's not always what happens.

It's hard to keep on top of all your household features but take an extra moment and make sure your bathroom is in great running order and maybe leave a little note on the door for when your leaving. It could say something like , "make sure the water is off". Check under sinks once a month for leaks and ceilings under the bathroom for water stains. Staying ahead of a problem is always best.

Am I covered for a Storm?

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

One of the most expensive things you will ever own is your home. I'm sure you try to keep up with things but there are things we just can't expect and plan on at times. Storms can be one of them.

First thing I always tell my friends is to make sure that their insurance covers all that they think it does. Did you know that water that enters your home from the bottom up(flooding ) isn’t covered by homeowners insurance? You can usually get coverage for it but it doesn't come standard usually. For people living on flood plains, adding flood insurance is common practice. Most people don't know  that neither flood insurance nor a homeowner’s policy covers sump pump failure though.

Avoid the stress associated with sewer back-ups, seepage issues or flood waters by purchasing targeted pump failure insurance coverage. I've seen people taken by complete surprise that they don't have the coverage that they thought they did.

So one the best things you can do might not be what you thought to protect your house. Having a conversation with your insurance agent is one of the Best. Know what coverage you have and don't have so your not  taken by surprise when a storm comes into your life.  

What you don't know about lightening.

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning fires most commonly occur during the summer months when afternoon and early evening storms are at their peak. Homes in heavily wooded areas are extra vulnerable to lightning strikes that set the surrounding landscape on fire. Most people might already know this but do they know what to do to help their home could be as easy as installing a lightening rod or the professional term would be a lightning protection system.

These systems are  not intended to prevent a strike. Its purpose is to provide a safe path on which the current can be safely directed to the ground. Talk with an expert and find out if you should have a system on your house.

You will also want to help protect the inside of your house during a storm. Lightning can damage the electronics, telephone and other systems in your house connected to an electrical outlet. The easiest way to protect your appliances is to unplug them when you first hear the clap of thunder.

Surge protectors can help but are not fail-proof if the strike is a powerful one. To protect yourself, stay away from all plumbing including toilets, sinks and faucets as the pipes of your house make excellent conductors. Stay off the phone , corded phone scan conduct the lightening and therefore strike you when your on the phone.

Lightening is amazing and beautiful but also deadly. Don't ever let yourself forget that.

Spring , Yard work and flood prevention?

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

It's spring time and the yard work begins. Did you know this is a great time to help protect your basement form rain-induced flooding?

Something you can do now is to make sure your yard slopes away from the house and that your gutters are working properly.

It's harder to do this when it's cold outside and almost impossible to work on the yard grade when it's cold.

Also don't wait til' it's cold outside to look for cracks in your foundation. Spring time is a great time to see if you need to plug or seal any cracks.

It's always better to be prepared for a storm.

April and Spring showers can bring more than flowers. 

We want to help you restore all you can after a fire.

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

When you have a fire it can be devastating. Most of the time the hard part is loosing so much of your contents. When you have fire damage, you also have soot, odor and water damage.

We at SERVPRO want to help restore as much as we can for you. We have specialized training in doing just that.

First we do an inspection and fire damage assessment to begin to form a plan of action.

Immediately if need, we will properly board up your home and a roof tarp. 

The water removal will  begin immediately as well as the drying.

We have specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces.

We will clean, disinfect, and sanitize all of the restorable items. 

Finally , SERVPRO of Howard County can even help you with the restoration.


5/8/2018 (Permalink)

If you see an advertisement for " Mold Removal " don't believe it. That's a fallacy.

There is no way to rid your home or business of all mold. Mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere , indoors and out.

At SERVPRO we understand  mold and are trained to be able to remediate the mold in your home or business.

Every mold situation can be difficult and require a unique process but the general mold remediation stays the same.

Here are the basic steps:

Preform a mold damage assessment

Mold Containment

Air Filtration

Treat, remove the mold-infested materials

Clean contents

SERVPRO can make you feel safe again in your home and business.

We can also help with educating you to understand how mold grows and to try a avoid problems in the future.  

Summer Storms

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Summer Storms Don't seek shelter under a tree.

Summer time is when people are relaxed. They love enjoying the outdoors . But outdoors is not the place to be when a storm rolls in.

There is a saying, " If you hear a roar, get indoors."The roar is referring to thunder. There is no place outside that is safe during a storm. 

Never seek shelter under a tree or around poles. Lightening tends to strike taller objects. 

Don't lie down on the ground either; thinking it will hit something taller than you. It will travel to the ground. 

Stay away from water; even the kitchen sink or shower. 

Lightening can strike from even 10 miles away. Amazing right?

So don't wait to see lightening. Listen. If you hear thunder get indoors and waiting patiently for the storm to pass. 

Deaths happen every year from lightening strikes. Don't let it happen to you. Just remember that old saying, "when you hear the roar, get indoors!"