Recent Storm Damage Posts

If you Hear a Roar, Get Indoors!

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Summer time is the perfect time for people to relax and enjoy the great outdoors. But outdoors is not the place to be when you hear a storm rolling in!

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

Never seek shelter under a tree or around poles. Lightning 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 lightning. Listen. If you hear thunder get indoors and waiting patiently for the storm to pass. 

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

Caught in a Flood Situation

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

If someone asked you which weather event causes the most damage, most people would probably jump to say hurricanes or tornadoes. However, according to the NOAA, flooding kills more people each year than tornadoes, hurricanes, and lightning.  

Flooding can cause damage quickly, and can often occur with little to no warning. That said, it is possible to be safe and be prepared when flood risk is present or actively occurring. 

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

If find yourself caught in a flooding situation it seems obvious, but it is important to remember to stay away from flood waters, no matter the height of the standing water. A mere six inches of swiftly moving water could easily sweep you off your feet. If you happen to be driving when you get caught in a flood, turn around and don't drown! Most cars (it is safe to assume that your car is one of most cars) can get swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If flood waters are rapidly rising whilst you are driving through a flooded road, exit your vehicle and move yourself to higher ground. Value your safety first! Also be sure to keep children out of and away from any flooding water or potential flood zones during heightened risk times. 

It does not matter if you live near a coastline, in the city, the mountains, near a tiny river, or even in the desert...there is always potential risk for flooding and flood damage. Just because you and your property have never 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. This includes mold damage from improper drying of flooding.

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 quickly and efficiently.

When you feel like you're drowning in water damage, SERVPRO helps you stay above water!

Hazardous Water

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

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."

SERVPRO of Howard County

(410) 465-7333

When Disaster Strikes

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

We all know in the back of our minds that we should be ready for a disaster. We think we will get to a plan of action, someday. Well, you really need to make it today.

Some steps to help you prepare for an emergency situation. 

You should sign up for local alerts/warnings. Download apps but also have wireless emergency alerts.

Design emergency communication plans but also test them in advance.

Assemble emergency supplies. There are many organizations that can help give you a checklist.

Educate yourself and others on local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency responses.

Sign up for trainings and classes on preparedness for yourself and even your business employees.

Organize and safeguard critical documents.

Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources. 

Make documents of property and check your insurance to make sure you have relevant coverage. Keep documents at another location if possible.

Keep up your property and make improvements to reduce injury as well as property damage.

You never know when an emergency situation will occur. Make today the day your start to get prepared.

Boarding Up!

6/2/2021 (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 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 is known to mitigate and remediate fire and water damage, don't forget that we are trained to deal with damage from storms as well. Whether it's a tree on your roof, or a flooded basement, we are here to help!

With our top of the line rebuild division, we 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."

Storm Do's and Don'ts

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Storm damage can be a rather difficult thing to deal with in your home. Leave the complexities to our SERVPRO professionals, and use these helpful do's and don'ts while you wait for us to arrive on scene. These handy tips can keep you from unknowingly furthering any damage to your property:

DO:

  • Wait for the "all clear" before worrying about minimizing your storm damage. Your safety should be prioritized above property safety
  • Avoid entering a flooded area, unless the electricity is turned off
  • Try to remove as much excess water as possible with wet-dry vacuums, mops, and towels you don't mind potentially ruining (if the water is contaminated)
  • Prop up wet upholstery and pillow cushions for proper drying after you remove them from the affected area

DON'T:

  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water. Your standard vacuum does not double as a shop vac
  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place to sit and mildew. Be sure to dry any wet items as soon as you can!
  • Don't leave books magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors. If left on wet surfaces, the ink can bleed and permanently stain surfaces
  • Don't use any household appliances or electronics while standing on wet surfaces

Any damage to your home or business can seem daunting. If you have a few do's or don'ts in the back of your mind when a loss occurs, you will feel more in control. We make it, "like it never even happened."

We Can't Predict the Future

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Even the Farmer's Almanac can be wrong and miss a storm predication.

Our high tech equipment, can miss a prediction when it comes to the weather as well.

Maybe you're relying on the fact that the experts predicted mild weather, so you're going to pass on getting your roof checked for cracks, or will wait another year before properly insulating your pipes. This could unfortunately end up being a very costly mistake.

The fact is that being prepared for storm damage will benefit you in the long run. Having a well sealed home can save your home from major damage in the future, sometimes the very near future!

If you do get storm damage though it's not recommended to try and do the mitigation yourself.

The experts at SERVPRO of Howard County have the correct tools and equipment to help save your home when it looks like a total loss. We are the remediation experts and that's a fact, not a prediction!

Call your neighbor, SERVPRO

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Howard County specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. 

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost. SERVPRO of Howard County was able to be there right away with the flooding of Ellicott City, 

A fast response is crucial to flooding and storm damage, because it reduces secondary damage and restoration costs. Storms don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. Our technicians will respond immediately, day or night, to help business owners and residents.

Call your neighbor , SERVPRO of Howard County, when you need help quickly. 410-465-7333

Flooding in your house.

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Don't think just because you don't reside in a flood means that you won't get flooding. 

 Even the driest areas can experience what are known as flash floods. Rivers, streams, and lakes are almost always overflowing their banks, given a couple of rainy days. 

New construction in your neighborhood can even change runoff patterns in the area and can increase our flood risks. 

The cost of flood damage is expensive. This cost can vary depending on the type of damage and where the water came from. Any tips that can help prevent this has to be worth the time to try them. You can't stop a flood from damaging your home from the above situations but you can do some things to keep a flood from happening inside your home. 

Here are some things to try:


    •    An inspection and flushing your water heater once a year, by a plumber, can contribute to preventing it bursting on you and flooding the area.
    •    Replacing the rubber hoses on all appliances that use water with metal braided ones can help to avoid the failing of the rubber ones as they can get hard and burst. Check all hoses; even the metal braided ones every year. 
    •    Leaks from toilets are often indicated by a little leakage from the base. 
    •    Do you know where to locate the main water shut-off? If a pipe burst, inside, you need to be able to get it turned off quickly. 
    •    If you have a sump pump, now is a good time to get it checked and think about a backup unit. 
    •    Always be looking for signs of plumbing leaks, such as on ceilings and walls; you are looking for stains and moisture on those walls and floors. 
    •    Leaking or even broken pipes are often gushing water, and it is not noticed because it might be hidden. Check out your water usage when no faucets are turned on; locate the water meter and take a reading, then use no water for an hour or so and read it again. Has it moved? If so, you have a leak someplace, so get a plumber to check it out. 
    •    Always monitor your monthly water bill. If it goes up a lot one billing cycle, you might have the need for a plumber to come in and check all connections. 
    •    Since a lot of water comes from inside your home and can damage many walls, floors, furniture and provide the moisture needed for molds to grow, doing whatever can be done to prevent leaks is a good exercise to undertake. 

If you have water damage from any source call SERVPRO of Howard County. 410-465-7333

SERVPRO IS A LEADER IN STORM RESPONSE

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

The team at SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor is ready for whatever happens, no matter the time, night or day. When it comes to fire & water damage, our professionals work endlessly to make sure our customers are happy and that we walk them through each step of the process.

As leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, as well as hands-on experience. This training and experience will be used to quickly dry your home or business and restore it back to pre-storm condition.

When a storm hits your home or business, you need help immediately. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

We can access the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. We also have access to special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to catastrophic storms and events.

SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor  is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a storm event or flooding emergency, we are in the area and ready to help.

Have Storm or Flood Damage?

Call SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor 

410-637-3433

Who are ya gonna call?

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Remember the movie Ghost Buster? Remember the catch the phrase from the theme song....Who ya gonna call? I'm sure when you have damage from a storm one of the first questions might be, "Who am I gonna call?"

Well, that question is easy to answer. SERVPRO of Howard County 410-465-7333. You may want to first know the answer to "why" as well .

That answer is easy. SERVPRO is faster to any disaster. Getting to a loss quickly is key in reducing the secondary damage and restoration cost. Emergencies do not always happen during regular hours; which SERVPRO understands .This is why we are available 24/7/365. We are always ready to help.  

Another reason to call is because SERVPRO is a  leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

SERVPRO of Howard County is locally owned. We are party of your community and will be there whenever you need us. 

So do you know your answer when you ask yourself, "Who are your gonna call?". The answer should be SERVPRO of Howard County. 410-465-7333

Are you ready for Summer Time ?

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

It's Summer, you know that means vacations, outdoor living and calmer days but it also means storms. Summer storms can really be dangerous and cause damage to your home. You might want to protect your home during a storm but making summer time as the marking time to have an annual to-do-list for the house. 

Some things you might want to do are:

Update your home inventory. This is so important when it comes to making a homeowners claim. Make sure you have taken pictures of your items to help report loss; save the pictures on the cloud or somewhere safe.

Look into your coverage. You will make want to make sure you have updated your insurer on any upgrades to your home. You will want to make sure everything is covered.

You will also want to know what your deductible is. You may need to boost your emergency fund account.

Trim your trees and fix any leaks. Small leaks in windows, roofs and skylights can become a bigger deal during a storm. 

Sign up for weather reports. Have your emergency kits updated and if you have pets, make sure you have a plan for them if you have to evacuate. 

Enjoy the calm of Summer but be ready for the storms. 

One other thing, Have SERVPRO of Howard County's  number in your phone. We are here to help during any season. 

410-465-7333

Why is there water in my basement?

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

A storm comes and everything seems okay but then you go downstairs and find that your basement is flooded. They first question might be, how did this happen?

There are many reasons that could have lead to this. 

Water tables vary and if the water table under the house gets too high it will find a way into the house. It might even find a small crack in the floor. This would be a great reason to see a water proofing company to take a look at the foundation etc.

Some other things to check would be the gutters. Sometimes they are clogged and will cause water to find a way in. Also, check if your down spouts. If they are not directed away from your home properly then water will get in. 

Check for clogging in storm drains is always best as well. 

Landscaping and pavers can shift over time and the slope can direct water towards the house. 

SERVPRO of Howard County is always there to help whenever you need us. We will get your basement back to normal.

Call us 24/7 410-465-7333

Hurricane Season is here- are your ready?

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Hurricane season starts June 1st. Things might be different with the threat of Covid-19 this year but you need to be prepared. Always check for updates from the CDC about Covid-19

Stay informed with the weather. 

  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • If told to evacuate by local officials, do so immediately. Do not wait.
  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
  • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds. Be prepared that your normal shelter may not be available this year with Covid-19 going on. 
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building but do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Do not go on bridges that are over fast-moving water.
  • If you must go to a community or group shelter remember to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from Covid-19.
  • Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly. 
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter,
  • Everyone over 2 years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities. 
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.
  • Listen to local officials for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

Please call SERVPRO of Howard County when you are ready. 410-465-7333

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."

Keep our number handy.

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can cause so much damage to your home or business. The key to getting back to normal is immediate response. The quicker you start the drying process, the less damage and more of your valuables can be saved.

You are going to want to call in an expert. SERVPRO of Howard County is that expert. SERVPRO provides 24/7 emergency services. We have highly trained water restoration specialists. 

Here are some related services of SERVPRO. 

  • Overview of Storm and Flood Services
  • Water and storm damage tips
  • Disaster recovery team
  • Water Restoration Process
  • Caring for your belongings
  • Mold Remediation
  • Sewage Cleanup
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Odor Removal
  • Roof Tarp and Board up Services
  • Commercial Storm Damage

When a storm is coming to your area do what you can to prepare you home and business but also make sure you have SERVPRO'S number handy in case you need help after a storm. You are gonna want to call the experts. 410-465-7333

A few things to have in place to be prepared for a Summer Storm.

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Make sure you have a first kit handy. Make sure you have at least the following items: bandages, pain relievers, antiseptic, tweezers, and scissors.

Make sure the gutters are clear.  I know this seems like a fall job but with the wind a debris that can come from any storm, you don't want the gutters to clog and pool water around your foundation. 

Be prepare for power outages. Along with owning a backup generator, flashlights, and a battery- or solar-powered cell phone charger, you should also keep a battery-operated radio handy. You should make sure that you keep a list of emergency contacts somewhere accessible. Your cell phone may lose power and your will want to have some numbers written down for back up. 

Make sure you have an evacuation plan. Between the Weather Channel, Twitter, and other alert systems, you should be comfortably aware of any severe weather warnings. Plan in the event of hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods for  a safe place to take shelter.

Fill up your bathtubs with water. If something goes wrong, you will have a fresh supply of clean water to drink or use for bathing and flushing the toilets.

Reinforce your windows. If your area has been warned of an impending hurricane or tornado, you should reinforce your windows with wooden boards so that – even if the glass is broken – your home will remain relatively dry and undisturbed.

Inspect your trees and shrubbery. Don't have tall trees etc by your HVAC system. Have your trees checked by a specialist. You want to have dead trees removed and shrubbery trimmed etc. 

Store water and non-perishable foods. If you live in an area prone to power outages, you should consider storing bottled water and non-perishable food items, such as canned goods, energy bars, and peanut butter, in a safe and dry place.

Secure outdoor furniture. When a hurricane, tornado, or severe storm hits, any lightweight item can become a projectile. If you can bring things inside if you can secure them down. 

Plan on some activities. Especially if you have some children. A powerful storm can be stressful,especially after the power has gone out. Have some fun things planned to keep everyone distracted. 

Storms can bring unexpected Damage!

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can sometimes come unexpectedly and with little warning. This can be devastating . You are going to want to turn to a company that is an expert that you can trust to get your home or business back to normal. 

SERVPRO of Howard County is there for you. We have dealt with catastrophic events. SERVPRO in recent years was instrumental in getting the town of Ellicott City, MD back on their feet after two back to back floods in as many years. 

Damage from nature can come in many forms including, flooding by heavy rains, hurricanes, tidal surges, tornadoes, wind damage, ice, snow etc. 

SERVPRO of Howard County  is an expert in all kinds of damage so keep our number handy for the summer storms ahead. 

410-465-7333

We care more about the damage to our things then our structure.

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Storms can do some real damage to our home. Walls can come down, roofs come off and water come inside. We know this can be fixed for sure but what about our special items. Our "stuff" as we fondly refer to the things inside. 

SERVPRO of Howard County can do so many things to save your items.

Your Paper Stuff.

When your valuable documents, including photographs, are damaged by water, extreme caution should be taken to help ensure the water damage does not destroy the document. Although some documents may not be restored to pre-water damage condition, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can save a great deal and help minimize the loss. 

Depending on the type of documents and the level of water damage, they have five options for the restoration of documents:

  1. Air Drying
  2. Dehumidification
  3. Freezer Drying
  4. Vacuum Freeze Drying
  5. Vacuum Thermal Drying

Your Electronic Stuff

Water-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by water. They will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  •  Television sets
  •  DVD players
  •  Computers
  •  And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. They start by cleaning the exterior of electronic devices to help stop further corrosion and damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

 Those are just two categories of "stuff" that SERVPRO can help to restore after a loss.

SERVPRO of Howard County is here to help with all your items that are are sometimes more important to you than your roof that can be replaced .

SERVPRO of Howard County 

410-465-7333

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.

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.  

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. 

Summer Storms

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

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!"

Should I worry about floods in the Summer?

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

It's dry, hot conditions outside. Who is thinking about flooding? Not many people.

The fact is that flooding can happen at anytime of the year. After long periods of dry weather, the ground can become hard and not able to absorb water from heavy rain fall.

Try to educate yourself about flood conditions before they happen. 

Do you know the difference between a "flood watch" and "flood warning"? A "flood watch" means that a flood is possible in your area. A "flood warning "means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon. You should be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice if needed with a warning. 

If there is a flood warning in your area, the smart thing to do is to evacuate and move to higher ground. Stay there until you know it's safe to return.

Don't try to walk through moving water. Even just 6" of water can make you fall down and only 12" can float most cars. 

Keep yourself informed and safe when there is a chance of flooding. Remember it can happen anytime of the year. 

Are You Flood Smart?

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

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)

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.

Be Storm Smart

5/4/2017 (Permalink)

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.'

Back Up! It's A Sewage Incident.

5/3/2017 (Permalink)

It's certainly not a pleasant topic to discuss...but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

Earlier in April 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 SERVPRO IICRC trained 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 from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.

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

SERVPRO of Howard County

410-465-7333

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It's The Warm and Stormy Season!

4/28/2017 (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."

All a-Board!

4/24/2017 (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.