Recent Posts

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!

Hurricane Season is Here!

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Season is Here! Atlantic hurricane season lasts from June to November. Do you know how to be prepared for a hurricane watch or warning?

June 1 marked the start of Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane season lasts until the end of November, but do you know much about these hurricanes that could possibly strike where you live?

Have no fear, SERVPRO is here!

Hurricanes can cost billions in damages. According to the NOAA, Hurricane Sandy costed $62 billion, and Hurricane Katrina caused $128 billion in damages. How do hurricanes cause that much damage? These types of storms can bring winds with forces ranging from 74 to over 155 miles per hour.

While we recommend preparing far ahead of a hurricane watch or warning, it's important to know what to do upon receiving a hurricane watch or a hurricane warning.

Per Ready.gov's hurricane fact sheet:

Hurricane watches indicate that hurricane conditions are possible within the next 48 hrs.

When a hurricane watch is issued, be sure to: 

  • Review possible evacuation route(s) & listen to local officials for information regarding your town, city, and or state
  • Review your disaster supply kit, and add items to meet the household needs for children, parents, individuals with disabilities or other access and functional needs or pets

Hurricane warnings indicate conditions are expected within 36 hrs.

When a hurricane warning is issued, be sure to:

  • If a local official gives evacuation orders be sure to follow such orders
  • Check in with family and friends
  • If you aren't evacuating be sure to prepare yourself and your home as best as you can to brace for the storm. Note: it's important to not put yourself at risk in order to protect your property!

For some more basics about how to be best prepared for hurricane season, check out some of our previous blogs. Be sure to follow us on all social media (Twitter and Facebook) as we post updates for Howard County weather and other storm readiness content.

Remember: we are faster to any size disaster. Whether it be flooding or storm collateral damage to your home/business, just call 410-465-7333 for a swift restoration response.

Managing Mold

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Managing Mold Pictured here is one of our moisture/mold meters. We are sure to check these readings before and after the remediation process.

You've found mold in your Howard County home or business...now what?

Your first step should be limiting your exposure to the area, as you can't be certain of the negative health effects of mold.

Then you should be sure to call 410-465-7333. That's where the mold abatement, cleanup, and restoration process begins. One of our representatives will ask you some questions to gain additional insight on the mold you've found. This helps our crews determine the equipment, personnel, and resources they need to have at their disposal. 

Next, a SERVPRO HoCo team member will be inspected for mold via technology designed to detect hidden mold or water sources feeding the mold. Our SERVPRO professionals then follow various contaminant procedures that prevent mold spreading. They utilize barriers and negative air pressure to isolate the mold. Our teams are trained to use specialized air filtration equipment that captures and removes microscopic mold spores from the air in your property. Power air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums prevent the spreading or spores while the remediation is in progress. 

Depending on the amount of mold growth and the type of surface it has latched onto, the mold remediation process is customized to match the damage. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments are used to eradicate mold colonies. We are also sure to remove mold infested porous materials like drywall and flooring to ensure mold does not return. If necessary, SERVPRO also cleans your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items that have been damaged or affected by mold. Our professionals are also trained in deodorization so special fogging equipment is used to ensure your items no longer smell like mold.

In extreme cases, replacing drywall, painting, and new carpet may need to be put in. In rare, but still possible cases, entire areas or rooms of your property may need to be rebuilt. If that is the case, we have a specific Rebuild team that can take care of such needs.

When you spot mold, it can be stressful or even scary. That's why SERVPRO of Howard County should be your first call.

Home from Vacation...Back to...Water Damage?!

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Home from Vacation...Back to...Water Damage?! Flooding in Ellicott City destroyed homes and businesses, so we arrived on scene ASAP to help minimize costs and damages.

Those summer vacations are on the way, and the last thing you want to come back to after a relaxing getaway is a flooded home.

Did you know that it only takes 1-2 inches of water to damage your property? Depending on how long you're away from home, thousands of gallons of water can flood your home in cases of pipe bursts. In such cases, it's practically impossible to DIY your way out from under water. That's when you call SERVPRO of Howard County! We are open 24/7 to take such urgent calls and help get water out of your flooded home, flooded basement, or flooded business. 

If you put off calling mitigation specialists, or try to deal with it yourself, the cost to get rid of water in your home can exponentially increase. Standing water in your home can cause wood floors to warp, dry wall can become moldy after absorbing such moisture, amongst other damage to your belongings

When you call immediately upon discovering that your home has flooded, the cost of servicing your home can go down because the severity of damages is likely less.

We respond faster to any size disaster because we know how to turn your before into a happily ever after!

Technology and Time

5/16/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Technology and Time Our trademark green equipment is part of a wide range of tools we rely on to give you the best service we possibly can

A little water goes a long way in most cases, but especially in terms of water damage. Even the smallest drop of water left to sit after a loss can lead to much bigger problems, including mold. The key to avoiding such mishaps? Proper mitigation and drying techniques. That's why SERVPRO of Howard County should always be your first call when you suspect your home or business has been struck with water damage. Our professionals are specifically trained to use special technology to mitigate properly and efficiently. 

Our SERVPRO trained professionals rely on special technology in multitudes of equipment to see to it that affected areas are completely dry after mitigation. The top 5 pieces of equipment we use are:

  • Moisture Sensors to detect lingering moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls
  • Moisture Meters determine the actual amount of moisture in different materials. The reading these meters provide aids in the drying process
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity, this helps calculations for making the environment more conducive to drying procedures
  • Ultra Low-Volume Foggers atomize liquid deodorizing agents which creates a mist for penetrating any odor causing sites. This tool is also useful for injecting fungicides and disinfectant into wall cavities an other hard to reach spaces
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based solutions via a dense fog. The fog is made up of small particles of deodorizing solutions to neutralize any odors

If this all sounds overwhelming to you, have no fear...SERVPRO is here! Let us worry about the technicalities when it comes to drying your home or business. We have the know how AND the equipment to prevent further damage after a loss that DIY mitigation puts you at risk for.

Be Storm Smart

5/4/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be Storm Smart Severe weather in Howard County can vary each year, but you can be prepared no matter what!

It must feel like we constantly remind you that anything can happen at any time. That said, it probably isn't a shock to you when we apply the same reminder to storm readiness and potential storm damage

The NOAA states that each year Americans cope with an average of the following:

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 landfalling deadly hurricanes

These events can be apart of the 98 percent of presidentially declared disasters that are weather-related. These incidents lead to about 500 deaths per year and almost $15 billion in damage. In these cases, it's incredibly important to know your risk, take action, and be an example. Now what do we mean when we say that?

Know your risk: Severe weather comes in many forms and it's important to know what you're at risk for because of where you live. Be sure to regularly check the weather and make sure you're enrolled in Wireless Emergency Alerts.

Take action: Create an emergency plan and put together an emergency kit. Keep your valuables in a safe place.

Be an example: Share your preparedness story anywhere and with anyone who might need an extra push to be ready when disaster strikes.

We can't predict the weather, but we can be as prepared as possible.

Always remember that when disaster strikes, we are here to help make it, 'like it never even happened.'