Recent Posts

Make the fall your prep time for winter.

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

September is a great month for preparing for winter. It's not too hot or cold to check some areas of the house that need attention.

Check the roof for any loose or missing shingles. This should be repaired before winter hits.

Ducts should be checked. Over time the seal can come loose. This can let heat into the attic causing snow to melt and refreeze causing ice dams on your roof.

The end of fall is a great time to drain your water heater. This should be done once a year. Do it now before you find out your only have really cold water in your house.

 If you have a chimney, make sure you sweep it (or have it professionally swept) before lighting any fires for the season. Removing the excess soot, as well as the birds and animals that made their homes in chimneys throughout the year, will help prevent fires and smoke damage. Also, examine the damper to make sure it’s still looking good. If it’s bent or warped, warm air will be able to escape through the chimney.

If you have ceiling fans, now is the time to reverse them. Putting them in reverse will help blow down warm air that would otherwise be stuck near the ceiling, which will likely mean you can turn your heat down a degree or two. 

Enjoy the fall weather but also make it a time to check your home for the winter. 

Water damage isn't always caused by the weather.

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

If you are like a lot of people you might think of water damage to your home being caused by weather; maybe a hurricane or heavy rains. 

In reality most water damage comes for non-weather conditions. This might mean a plumbing issue such as pipes, drains and valves failing. It could also be many times from an appliance. This is something that most people don't think about.

Appliances do not always offer warning signs until the damage has already occurred. That is why it is important to check them regularly.  

First, know where the main water supply is located in case of emergency.

If you will be away from home for an extended period, shut off the water supply and drain the pipes.

Exceptions might be if your home is heated with steam system or your fire sprinkler system so consult with a professional if you can turn this supply off when leaving.

Consider having your air conditioning system inspected regularly by a professional. Check the drain lines annually and clean them if they are clogged.

Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks and dishwashers annually, and have them repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, install water heaters in areas with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.

Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases, and make repairs as needed.

If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, the hose between the wall and the refrigerator should be made of braided copper. 

Check pipes for cracks and leaks. Have pipe damage fixed immediately to prevent more costly repairs in the future.

Check appliance hoses and plumbing fittings for breakage, crimping or bending. 

You can't always prevent water damage from happening in your home but many times prevention is your best friend in avoiding water damage from happening. 

Commercial business interruption.

9/4/2019 (Permalink)

When your business has a situation that calls for SERVPRO's help, SERVPRO is there to work for you. SERVPRO understands that if possible you will want your business to still operate during clean up, even if at sub capacity. 

SERVPRO will put containment walls up around the work area. If possible, SERVPRO will work during non-traditional business hours to get the work done if that is what is requested.

SERVPRO will be discreet when it's needed for any sensitive clean ups. SERVPRO takes pride in our staff and their sensitivity to the fact that your business is the priority. We want to make sure your business is up to full capacity as soon as possible. 

SERVPRO understands that an unexpected period of lost productivity and revenue can be devastating to any business large or small.

SERVPRO has the training and resources to get your business up and running in the fastest time possible. 

Have your house prepared for you to leave it.

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Summertime is a great time for relaxation and travel for most. It's also a good time to get your house checked for leaks etc so you can take a vacation with a good piece of mind.

Check your home for leaks at the pipes under the sinks and check the water heater for cracks and rust.

Look at the seals around your windows and make sure their in good condition. If you have any shingles dislodged on the roof, now is a good time to have them replaced. 

All the hoses that connect major appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerator ice maker lines need to be checked for kinks, cracks etc. 

Examine your sump pump and check that it is in good condition and clear of debris by filling the sump pit and running the pump. Listen to the motor for strange sounds and watch that the water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup source in case there is a power outage while you are gone.

Turn off the water at the main if there is no one to check your house. Drain the pipes as a precaution and flush the toilets after . 

If possible have someone check on your house while your away.

Have a relaxing Summer but nothing is more relaxing then taking the time to prepare your house for your absence. 

SERVPRO of Howard County will be there if you need us of course if anything goes wrong. We are there 24/7 and we don't take a vacation. 

Check for water damage before buying a new home.

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage signs can be left in plain sight at times if you look. Grab a flashlight when looking at a home to buy .

Water damage can be hiding anyway but check the high risk areas at least.

Check the walls for spots and stains. Don't forget to look around doors and windows.

Check the floors for warping and buckling especially in the basement. Look for white or dark stains on wood floors, damp carpeting and a general smell of dampness and mold,

Check the piping in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and basement for corrosion around the pipe connections, leaks, or water stains. Inspect the caulking around the bathroom fixtures. Missing or loose caulking could be caused by water seepage. Look for missing grout or signs of mold. Check the water heater for wet spots on the floor and rust on the tank.

Check the attic for stains, mold, and other signs of leaks. The insulation should be dry and in good condition. 

Don't forget to check the outside of the house.  Check the roof for damaged flashing and missing, cracked, or curled shingles. If you see standing water anywhere outside the home, it could be the sign of a problem. The house should be situated on the highest point of the property, with the ground sloping away from the house.

You have to cook no matter what the season.

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Although house fires are generally down in numbers during the summer months, you still need to be on your toes when cooking. Cooking is one of the most leading causes of house fires by far. Grease and oils can ignite an unattended stove. Another way that a fire can occur is with dish towels or other things being left on the stove. These items can ignite easily. 

Taking the cooking outdoors in the summer doesn't necessarily keep you safe from a cooking fire. Mishandled propane tanks are responsible for many fires and injuries. 

Summertime is a time to be careful as always whether you are cooking indoors or outdoors. Enjoy the easy breezy days of summer but stay on your toes when cooking.

If you have a problem of course SERVPRO of Howard County is always there to help. 

Relax in the Summer but be prepared.

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is a great time of year. Most people have a more casual lifestyle during the summer. Relaxing is great to recharge our inner batteries but don't get too relaxed when it comes to being prepared for summer weather.  

Summer thunderstorms can produce tornadoes, strong winds, large hail and lightening.

Keep you weather plan up to date for these types of situations.

Know what the weather forecast is so your not caught unaware.

With severe thunderstorms a vehicle is a safe location when there is no other nearby shelter.

With thunderstorms though too can come strong gusts of winds. This can make traveling difficult so be prepared to slow down and just wait in your vehicle on the side of the road for the storm to pass.

Hard topped vehicles are the best in these situations , especially if there is lightening.

Again, relax during the summer but keep up with the emergency plans. You want to be safe to enjoy the sun. 

Keep your dryer vents clean.

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failing to clean your home dryer causes 34% of home dryer fires.

These dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and are also capable of causing injury or even death.

Reducing your risk for dryer fire is incredibly simple. Let SERVPRO clean your vents and ducts that may being holding lint buildup. 

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that you clean your dryers lint filter every time you do a load of laundry. This ensures the outdoor vent flap will open with ease. This flap could be restricted by snow or even a bird's nest.

Let our specifically trained technicians make sure all of your vents, filters, and ducts aren't restricted and can let air flow freely.

For more info about the vent and duct cleaning services SERVPRO offers, give us a call at 410-465-7333

Make sure your employees are educated on fire prevention.

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Smart Fire Prevention Practices for Maryland Businesses

    • Hold meetings to educate your employees on emergency evacuation plans.
    • Familiarize and train employees on how to use fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting tools.
    • Stage a fire drill at least once a year.
    • Clearly mark emergency exits and escape routes, and keep them unobstructed at all times.
    • Provide a minimum of one 2A 10BC-rated fire extinguisher for every 75 feet of travel distance within every 6,000 square feet. Mount fire extinguishers on the wall, three to five feet from the floor.
    • Provide quarterly maintenance and 5-year certification of your fire sprinkler system.
    • Remove trash and waste paper from the office on a regular basis.
    • Keep the furnace room, electrical rooms, and spaces below stairwells clear—never use them for storage.
    • Place heat-generating appliances such as copiers, heaters, and coffee makers away from combustible materials.
    • Keep your workspace and equipment well ventilated and clean—especially clear of oil and dust.
    • Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dust, or fibers are present.
    • Check to make sure your circuits are not overloaded.
    • Maintain free access to all electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels will slow down power shut-downs in an emergency situation.
    • Use extension cords ONLY for temporary wiring.
    • Replace any damaged or missing electrical components, including the covers on all plates.
    • Identify each circuit breaker in an electrical panel and install blanks for missing circuit breakers.
    • Clearly label the contents of all compressed gas cylinders. Chain or nest cylinders to prevent them from falling over.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Howard County at 410-465-7333 to have us do a complete ERP (Emergency Response Plan) for your business. We service all of Howard County Maryland including Columbia, Ellicott City, Laurel, Elkridge, and Clarksville.

SERVPRO of Howard County is always open.

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Howard County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today- (410) 465-7333

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Howard County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Howard County

SERVPRO of Howard County 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. 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.