Recent Posts

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.

Why board up?

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

You always see photos of homes and businesses boarding up before or after some kind of damaging event...but do you know why?

In the case of abandoned buildings, boarded up windows and doors are usually a measure to keep vandals or squatters out of the structure. However, in the event of damage or a loss, this process is to protect not only windows and doors from shattering, breaking, or failing in other ways, but to protect the structure itself.

Our professionally trained crews often times board up your home or business before or during mitigation and remediation to prevent any further damage.

If done incorrectly, the boarding up process could actually cause secondary damages such as additional moisture or even animal intrusion. 

Whether it's fire, storm, or another kind of structural damage, boarding up can be just as dangerous as it is important. Especially if the damage or loss has already occurred. 

The most common reasons to board up your home or business are severe rainstorms, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hailstorms, and of course, tornadoes. 

While SERVPRO of Howard County is known to mitigate and remediate fire and water damage, don't forget that we are trained to deal with storm damage as well. Whether it's a tree on your roof, or a flooded basement, we are here to help!

Especially with our rebuild divison emerging, SERVPRO of Howard County should be your first call when it comes to recovering and rebuilding after a major storm event. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Also be sure to keep up with us on all social media because we will tweet or post to Facebook when our area is at risk for potential storm damage.

Summer and Storms.

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

As you know, summer brings storms, and storms bring storm damage. Storm damage can come from a bunch of different sources. Whether it's fire, wind, water, or even the weather...SERVPRO is here to help!

While meteorologists do their best with the tools they have access to, it's sometimes tough to determine how much damage one storm can do to your home or business. They can be completely harmless...or they can destroy your roof and flood your home. No matter the size of the loss, SERVPRO of Howard County is specially trained to deal with the mess summer storms leave behind.

Wind is a pretty major culprit for summer storm damage. When it comes to storms with heavy winds, they can leave trees on the roof of your home, drag shingles off your roofing, or even bust out your roof to invite water damage into your home. While you should be sure to keep your roof in the best most up to date condition as you possibly can, you can never be certain when disaster will strike.

Wind isn't the only suspect to watch out for with summer storms. As you know, where there's thunder...there's lightning. If lightning strikes your home or business, it goes without saying, there is an immediate risk for fire.

And, of course, water damage can follow any of the above causes. This is because any holes in your home allow water to seep in and keep coming as the rain continues to fall.

Storm readiness is crucial to preventing severe storm damage to your residence or place of business...but if you get caught off-guard, SERVPRO of Howard County is always ready to make it, "like it never even happened."

Commercial business and water damage.

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Howard County commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Howard County

SERVPRO of Howard County specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a 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.