Recent Posts

Masters of Mitigation

9/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Masters of Mitigation Mold always has a way of hiding in places you might never check, but that's why the SERVPRO of HoCo mold removal team is here for!

Where there's water, there is mold risk. Mold can not only affect your health, but it can also cause significant damage to your property. It is for the very same reasons that our SERVPRO of Howard County teams have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle any mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is unique, and requires an equally unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same, so as to meet top industry standards.

Curious how we do it? Here are the basics for a "typical" mold job:

Dial 410-465-7333

The mold cleanup and restoration process starts when you call us and tell us about the problem affecting your home. One of our fabulous office admins will ask you a series of questions that help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed to get your home back to normal

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Our team will inspect your home or business for signs of mold using technology designed to detect spores and any hidden water that might be feeding the mold and growing it

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures are followed prevent the mold from spreading and to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to also keep the mold spores from spreading during the rest of the cleanup process

Air Filtration

Special filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores in the air. Our professionals use powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to further prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on

a variety of factors, but mainly the amount of mold, and the types of surfaces the mold appears on. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments are then employed to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, is sometimes necessary to remediate heavier mold growth

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

Our SERVPRO pros thoroughly clean your furniture, miscellaneous items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. Our teams are also trained to remove odors/deodorize using fogging equipment

Restoration

Depending on the extent of the mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. Our Rebuild division is more than happy to help replace and restore after the remediation process is complete.

This process might seem like a lot to deal with, but that is what the SERVPRO of HoCo mold specialists are here for!

Can Your Business Bounce Back?

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Far too often, disaster can strike without even the slightest warning. We know how important it is for your business to not be bogged down by unforeseen circumstances. You already know how important it is to be prepared for anything that could happen to your home, whether it be fire, water, mold, or storm damage. Have you applied the same thought to your business? If not, keep reading for tips on how to best protect and prepare for commercial risks.

While each situation is unique and deserves personalized care, careful planning and procedures can keep you ready no matter what. Over 50% of businesses may never reopen after suffering a disaster. You don't have to be another statistic. Here's how:

Be informed.

Learn what kind of emergencies can affect not only your company, but your industry. 

Develop a business continuity plan.

Make a list of which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely vital for continued operation. Make a list of backups for that list. Have a plan for what to do if you are unable to access your office/facility. Have a plan for what you'll do if your industry suppliers are impacted, or what you'll do during utility disruptions.

Prepare a finite emergency plan.

Make an evacuation and a shelter-in-place plan. Form a communications plan for you and your employees for before, during, and after any emergency incident. Make copies of building and site maps, on those maps be sure to mark off utilities and emergency exit routes. It is especially helpful if your employees are trained for medical emergencies.

Practice your emergency plans.

Practice your plan, at the bare minimum, once a year. If there are other businesses in your building/facility, try to coordinate with them to plan and practice for emergencies.

Review your insurance coverage.

Make sure your insurance covers your for the disasters your company is at risk for suffering from.

Secure your facility and equipment.

Secure all the ways people, products, and supplies enter and exit your building. Conduct a walk-through to see if anything needs to be strapped down. Unsecured equipment can make a bad situation even worse, in terms of secondary damage.

Promote family and individual preparedness.

Encourage your employees to make personal emergency plans and supply kits.

Preparedness doesn't need to be daunting, as long as you give yourself enough time to plan. SERVPRO of Howard County can also provide a free ERP plan for your business. 410-465-7333

A Mold Defense Is Your Guaranteed MVP

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation A Mold Defense Is Your Guaranteed MVP Save this graphic to have on hand for mold defense tips at a glance!

Defending against mold growth can feel like such a major feat to take on, but have no fear. Your local mold specialists are on the case. However, just because we are on hand to help whenever mold should occur, we think you should be prepared to prevent mold on your own. Use the following tips to amp up your mold defense.

  • Keep the humidity in your home or business between 30-60%
  • Make sure your property has property drainage to keep water away from your building's foundation
  • Regularly inspect your plumbing and other appliances for any leaks. Water left to sit is mold's favorite food!
  • Keep your gutters and drains clear and free of any debris
  • Inspect your roofs, windows, and any other potential entryways for water. Perform maintenance ASAP when necessary
  • Immediately deal with water intrusions in your home
  • Never try DIY mold removal!
  • If your home experiences water damage, call SERVPRO of Howard County for immediate assistance, as improper mitigation of water damage can lead to secondary damages such as mold

Dealing with any damage to your home or business can feel so daunting, but that is what SERVPRO of HoCo is here for. Other mold cleaning services might not take the time to educate you and answer any questions you might have, but we know how important it is to make sure you understand the process your home is undergoing in such stressful times.

410-465-7333

Basement Under Water? Drop Us A Line!

8/14/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Basement Under Water? Drop Us A Line! Being prepared is half your battle, but when it comes to fighting damage in your home or business...SERVPRO will win every time

Heavy rainfall can cause some pretty annoying issues for your property. A flooded basement is commonplace when it comes to problems in your Howard County home. There are a number of reasons why your basement could be susceptible to flooding, including:

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • ...and many more

We know we say it often, but it really is so true that if flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety. Standing water not handled right away can potentially cause even more severe damage to your home’s structure. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Howard County and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

Why should we be your go-to for flooding situations in your HoCo home or business?

  • We are available 24/7 days a week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many national insurance companies
  • We bill the insurance directly – one less thing for you to worry about
  • Our technicians are highly-trained in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards,
    advanced inspection and extraction equipment

Basement flooded or questions about flooding?

Feel free to call us ASAP – 410-465-7333

Flash Flooding: Warning vs. Watch

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flash Flooding: Warning vs. Watch The difference between watches and warnings could be the difference between being prepared and being at greater risk for storm damage.

We've definitely seen our fair share of summer storms so far this season, but we've also had a good bit of flash flood warnings and watches. Since SERVPRO of Howard County is one of the most reliable sources in the community for storm and water damage remediation, we figured it's only fair we provide you some flash flood facts. Knowing the difference between and warning and a watch could be the difference between being prepared and being at risk for flood damage.

Flood warnings:

When your local agencies (whether it be NWS or a local weather station) issue a flash flood/flood warning this means flooding is happening or will happen soon. When you see this warning, it means you should move to high ground or be prepared for flooding ASAP. Often times it is important to be aware of any announcements from local officials if the flooding is projected to be particularly severe.

Flood watches:

When local agencies issue a flash flood/flood watch, it means that flooding is possible. Upon the release of this watch, you should be sure to stay tuned to radio or TV for more information about the potential severity of the flood, should the watch be converted into a warning.

We know this can seem confusing, but if you're connected with us on Facebook or Twitter, we are sure to clarify what and when each watch/warning means, when we can. But be sure to connect with your local Emergency Management channels. We recommend MDMEMA, HoCo OEM, NWS Baltimore, Maryland OPR, and FEMA.

Can We Dry It? Yes We Can!

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Can We Dry It? Yes We Can! There is a method to our drying madness, so let us handle your drying needs!

Drying is not a process that should be based on guess work. That's why our SERVPRO of Howard County professionals are trained in psychrometrics. This knowledge and skill set is essential for ensuring that your property dries properly after water damage, in order to avoid secondary damage and/or mold growth.

When you first spot water in your home, it is completely natural to immediately reach for a towel, mop, or a fan to handle the mess yourself. However, it is important to know, that these DIY methods might not actually solve your problem, and can even lead to more damage. Our crews follow strict industry-approved standards that make our applied structural drying process successful.

Restoration starts with your first phone call to SERVPRO. After you have reached out to us and one of our office admins have taken your info and asked you some more questions to further understand your situation:

  • A SERVPRO HoCo professional will respond to your location in order to inspect and assess the damage in person. This inspection includes an estimate based on their findings. They carefully inspect your property to detect every component that is wet from the water damage
  • Our crews then look to special technology to measure how much moisture is in the wet affected materials, and continuously monitor them to ensure these items and materials are drying properly
  • Our professional drying equipment is utilized to speed up the process of Mother Nature, so your property can be dried as soon as possible to get you back to normal and, "like it never even happened."

If these parts of the process seem confusing, have no fear...SERVPRO is here! Other mitigation companies might not strive to help you understand your situation or our work, but the team member on site is willing and eager to answer any and all questions you might have. We know it can be overwhelming having to deal with any kind of damage in your home, but SERVPRO always does our very best to comfort and inform you in such times.

The bottom line is that SERVPRO of Howard County has the equipment, sensitivity, and know how to make such stressful situations feel like an absolute breeze!

Is Your Home Fire Escape Plan Up to Par?

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Is Your Home Fire Escape Plan Up to Par? Even the smallest fire can cause extensive damage, so it's crucial that your family is prepared to get out of the house if need be!

Fire experts agree that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning building before it is too late to exit safely. When it comes to a fire escape plan, every second counts. In a matter of seconds, even the smallest flame can become a massive blaze. The American Cross conducted a survey that found only 26% of families have made and practiced their fire escape plans. If you don't have a plan in place for your home or business, use these tips to develop one!

Draw a map of each level of your home indicating exits (windows and doors)

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on higher floors. Store them near the window. If you buy these ladders, make sure they are tested by a reliable testing laboratory

Pick a meeting place outside that keeps a safe distance from your home. Mark it well so everyone remembers where it is

Teach the youngest members of your family how to escape on their own if no one is able to help them. Make accommodations for the elderly, disabled, and your pets

Practice your plan at least twice a year (once during the day and once at nighttime)

Fires can be unpredictable, so your escape plan shouldn't be! Restoring your property after a fire shouldn't be difficult either. That's why SERVPRO of Howard County works so efficiently to cleanup your property ASAP after damage or a loss.

Summer Storm Damage Shouldn't Throw Off Your Schedule

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Summer Storm Damage Shouldn't Throw Off Your Schedule Committing to preparedness is a positive chain reaction that can help a lot more people than you think

How quickly your business is able to return to normal operations after a tornado, fire, or even a flood is, more often than not, dependent on emergency planning. After damage or a loss, 50% of businesses may never reopen or recover.

It can be easy to think that emergencies are unlikely to hurt your business, because they aren't necessarily a common occurrence. That said, it can be even easier to simply take the time to prepare for anything.

Even though every situation is unique, your business can still be prepared for just about anything with the simple steps below. Your commitment to emergency planning can and will help your employees, customers, industry, community, and even the country. Additionally, emergency planning protects your business investment by giving the facility and company a better chance of survival after various emergencies. 

Be informed:

Know what kinds of emergencies are most likely to affect your business and devise a plan to deal with them

Develop a Business Continuity Plan:

Plan for what staff, procedures, and equipment are undeniably necessary to keep operating. Make a backup plan for everything! Put together a procedure for what to do if your facility isn't accessible or if there are utilities disruptions. 

Make Your Emergency Plan:

Evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place plans, communications procedures for before, during and after an incident. Make them. Practice and review them at least once a year.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness:

Emergency preparedness is a chain reaction. Preparing your business for an emergency will encourage your employees to prepare their families, their families will encourage their friends, friends will encourage other community members, and so on and so forth.

Be a leader.

Let SERVPRO of Howard County prepare your business for anything with a FREE Emergency Ready Profile assessment.

Special Summer Mold Strains

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Special Summer Mold Strains Our special technology helps read if there is moisture or mold hiding in especially hard to reach places, so our abatement process can be thorough

Believe it or not, summer is prime time for mold to spawn in your home. Mold thrives in temperatures above 77 degrees, which is, as you know, around the average summer temperature in Howard County. Follow these handy tips to keep your mold risk low so you can enjoy the summer months.

  • Use your air conditioner when it's hot. By keeping the inside of your house cool, you're already starting the mold abatement process
  • Look for condensation or moisture in any of your air ducts. Air conditioning units can produce a small drip of water that can serve as food for mold spores
  • Try to keep humidity down in your home. Moisture in the air is the prime condition for mold to form and thrive when humidity is above 50 percent. Dehumidifiers will help with this by keeping your home or business dry
  • If rain starts to fall, keep your windows closed. This locks moisture and excess water out
  • If rainfall is heavy, keep an eye on your roof for any leaks. Any ceiling discoloration can be indicative of a leak or even mold 
  • If you notice any appliances or pipes in your home are leaking, clean the water and fix the leak ASAP
  • Your dryer should be vented to the outdoors, not your attic or crawlspace to build moisture in dark spaces (which mold loves)
  • Keep an open pathway for air when you take a shower. Whether it be the fan or a window, the circulation of air can keep moisture down.
  • Keep carpeting out of your bathrooms or other commonly wet spaces

If you suspect mold in your home, call us (the real mold remediation professionals) ASAP for an inspection. 

410-465-7333

Are You Flood Smart?

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are You Flood Smart? Flood safety is crucial because flooding is possible year round. Flooding can occur with little to no warning.

What is the most common and widespread natural disaster in the United States? If you answered floods, then you are well on your way to being flood smart.

Floodsmart.gov reports that in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster.

If you get stuck in a flooding situation be sure to stay away from flood waters. A mere six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet. If you're driving, turn around and don't drown! Most cars can get swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If waters are rapidly rising whilst you're driving on a flooded road, get out of your car and move yourself to higher ground. Value your safety first! Also be sure to keep children out and away from any flooding water zones. 

Whether your home or business is near a coastline, in the city, the mountains, near a tiny river, or even in the desert...there is always potential for flood damage. Never having experienced a flood or flood damage does not mean you never will! 20% of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk area. On average, flooding costs $3.5 billion in annual losses for the USA.

Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when it isn't treated quickly and properly. The cleanup can be overwhelming, but that is what SERVPRO of Howard County is here for. Our crews are trained to handle an size disaster. When you feel like you're drowning in water damage, SERVPRO helps you stay above water!