Recent Water Damage Posts

Rain is Great OUTSIDE

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

Rain is great for your yard but not so great when it makes its way into your home!

Many people wake up from a rain storm to a wet basement. It may be from the foundation or could be a pipe leakage, sub pump failure. Many things could have happened and you will want to determine how it happened to get the right person out to repair.

In all the cases though you are going to want to call an expert in helping you to dry out your basement. That expert would be SERVPRO of Howard County!

We can get right to work in getting the water up , drying the structure etc. SERVPRO has the knowledge as to what can be dried and saved and what is better off being throw away. 

Did you know that organic materials like paper, fabric, wood, leather can start to grow mold in as little as a day? Let SERVPRO help you save as much as possible of your things.

SERVPRO of Howard County is here to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

(410) 465-7333

Have a Relaxing Vacation!

8/29/2021 (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.

We want you to 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 for you if you need us, no matter what may go wrong! We are there 24/7 and we don't take a vacation. 

Maryland Flash Floods

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

With all these crazy flash floods (or flash flood warnings) happening in the Maryland area recently, it’s hard to know whether your home or office is safe from water damage. Water can get into places that you would never expect and can cause damage that you never even knew existed! Damage over time can sometimes be worse than immediate damage because it becomes deep-rooted and can harm the actual foundations or supports of certain structures.

Don’t let something as simple as water affect your daily routine. The last thing we ever want to see is anybody suffering from water damage (or any damage for that matter). We care about our county and we care about you, that’s why SERVPRO of Howard County is dedicated to giving you peace of mind through our 24/7 restorative services. Feel free to give us a call any time and we will be ready to send out a crew of our professionally trained staff members to inspect or restore your home or office! (410) 465-7333

The Inconvenience of Water Damage

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Stay Dry!

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

By now, we're sure you've heard us talk about how there is an exact science when it comes to structural drying. That's why our SERVPRO of Howard County professionals are specifically trained to dry your property to such standards. When you come across water damage in your home or water damage in your business, it's common to think you can clean it up yourself. In smaller cases this is likely true; however, in cases with more water and more extensive damage, DIY drying can potentially worsen the extent of the damage itself. When water is dried improperly, you run the additional risk for mold growing. 

Still need some other reasons to leave the drying to the professionals? Well, SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor will:

  • Inspect the property to find everything that may have been exposed to water to prevent that secondary damage
  • Measure how much moisture is in the wet materials affected by the water loss and monitor their drying
  • Use professional drying equipment to speed the drying process along

The bottom line is that while DIY drying might seem easier and faster, it is usually far less effective and can leave you with more damage than what you started out with. Our SERVPRO pros have the equipment and the training to move the process along as quickly as possible!

Avoid Water Damage in your New Home

6/4/2021 (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.

Friendly Fish Fun Facts

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

When we purchase a brand new fish tank and stock it up with our fascinating little aquatic buddies, most of us never expect how much damage that one tank is capable of doing to our homes. A small fish tank usually holds around 10 gallons of water, and some fish enthusiasts will go much bigger - around 100 or 200 gallons!

Let’s say you get a very small, cheap 5 gallon fish tank for a single betta. Imagine you go to work one day and you come home to a leak that has sprung in that tank and water all over your wooden dresser and beige carpet. Fish tank water is full of bacteria (which is beneficial for the fish) that will help quickly warp wood and destroy your carpet or other flooring. Even a 5 gallon tank is a massive amount of water to pour directly onto your floor! So what can you do to help prevent this?

First and foremost, buy a plastic tank rather than a glass one. Although glass tanks are more transparent and more visually appealing to most aquarium owners, they have separate panels that must be sealed together, which is not nearly as secure as one piece of plastic creating the whole tank with no seals. Secondly, put some sort of dish or pan underneath the tank. Most fish tanks do not explode when they spring a leak, they drain water slowly and a dish/pan can help keep your stand/floor safe while you buy some time to clean up the mess. Lastly, remember to call SERVPRO of Howard County if your aquarium does spring a leak! Our team is highly trained in water damage remediation and will be ready to help you any time you need us! (410) 465-7333.

Fire and Water are Related?

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

When you have a fire in your home or business, you probably don't think about things getting wet. Believe it or not, fires can cause major water damage in almost any area, and sometimes that water damage is even more significant than the damage directly caused by the fire! When a fire occurs in a space, sprinklers can go off, water pipes can become heated, O-rings and other vulnerable seals can burn up or melt, the possibilities are endless!

Just like fire damage, water damage gets into everything and it can continue to spread and deteriorate certain areas if left untreated! That’s where SERVPRO of Howard County comes in. Our trained professionals are ready to find any and all types of damage when a disaster occurs, even the unexpected kinds of damage that most of us wouldn’t even think of! Damage typically doesn’t come in one form, it comes in layers, so be sure to give us a call to have your home thoroughly inspected and for all of your restoration needs! (410) 465-7333.

Tut, Tut, It Looks Like Rain

7/20/2020 (Permalink)

April showers bring May flowers, right? Well when you live in Maryland, July showers can bring August flowers, or February showers can bring March flowers, or just about any combination of months can bring showers and flowers! We live in a wacky state with a lot of wacky whether, and with unpredictability comes possible damage to your homes or businesses! Water damage is not fun to deal with and can really put a “damper” on things (yes, the pun was intended).

We’ve had a couple flash floods recently in our county and that means we need to be ready for any degree of water damage. Make sure your gutters are in order, fix up any cracks in your concrete, and do your best to waterproof your home using caulk or other certified waterproof material! Remember that SERVPRO of Howard County is here for you. From wood corrosion to appliance damage to a waterlogged carpet, we’re ready for any issue you may face during this rainy weather!

You will need more than some towels.

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

There is nothing worse than coming home to find water damage on your property. Whether your water damage is from a storm or an overflowing toilet, the damage is real and must be dealt with correctly and swiftly since water can spread quickly.

If you find standing water all over the floor, the natural instinct is to pull out the bath or beach towels to dry up as much water as possible. While this is better than doing nothing if it is not contaminated water. You may need to call the experts at SERVPRO of Howard County to get professional help. Shop vacuums are resourceful to help remove standing water, but they will fill up quickly and they are not efficient at removing moisture from carpeting and padding. Regardless of the efforts made, the water travels quickly, and may have already found its way into ventilation systems or ducts.  Sometimes the signs of water damage may take a few days to show up on the surface, such as warped floorboards, peeling paint, bulging walls, or lifting tiles.

SERVPRO of Howard County has equipment that can help located the water that you can't see before you see the damage.

Call SERVPRO of Howard County right away to help with any amount of water loss , large or small.

410-465-7333

Water, Water everywhere.

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water covers 70 percent of the planet.

It can be found almost anywhere you turn. Thee only place you won't want it is your home.

You  need to minimize the amount of water in and around your home to prevent rot, insects, peeling paint and a shortened lifespan of your structure.

Although there are some types of water  damage that you have little control over. There are some things you can do to help prevent water damage in some situations. 

  • Check for any leaks around the doors and windows, especially at the corners. Peeling or discolored paint or swelling around the frame often mean water is leaking into the structure.
  • Replace or repair shingles allowing water to get underneath of the roof sheathing. Leaks often occur around the chimney, attic vent or plumbing vent. Water can run along the rafters, truss or attic floors before making its way through your ceiling.
  • Seal holes and cracks in the foundation, joints and external walls.
  • Check for sweating pipes or leaking faucets. Look for bulges, wetness or cracks on the hoses connected to your washing machine. Inspect your water heater for potential rust and water leakage.
  • Keep any trees trimmed to prevent them from touching the exterior of your home.

SERVPRO of Howard County is here to help with any water damage you might have. 

Call 410-465-7333

You can never say , "It's just water, no biggie".

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Water damages 1000's of homes and properties each year due to floods, extreme weather events and plumbing disasters. The problem with water inside your home, besides from damaging your home and contents, is the fact that there are a variety of environmental concerns that can affect your health.

Here are some water damage tips :

Find the source of water leakage. If your problems result from plumbing pipes, then you should turn off the main water valve and seek help from a professional.

Lower humidity levels in your home by removing wet items such as rugs, carpets and furniture. Use a large fan to keep air moving inside your home.

If flood waters enter your home, you should immediately vacate the area. Plan ahead for natural disasters by packing important papers inside waterproof bags.

Most areas of the country that are prone to flooding have warning systems in place. Listen carefully to the news when heavy rains are headed into your area.

Flood waters are almost impossible to remove without consulting a professional service. You really shouldn't try to mitigate yourself without training. 

Make sure you have flood coverage on your homeowners policy. If you live in a flood zone, then you should prepare in advance.

Your home can fast become flooded even from running your washing machine. Never leave your home while your washing machine is running.

Wet floors and carpeting must be completely dry to prevent mold and bacteria from forming.

A professional service will remove the wet items and dry your floors. Check your homeowners policy to ensure your furniture, carpets and other items are covered. Planning ahead for natural disasters is the key to reducing costs.

Prepare an emergency strategy with all members of your family that include severe weather events and flooding.

Our technicians are highly trained and experienced with every type of water damage, situation from sewage damage clean up, mold removal, smoke damage repair, fire damage repair, flooded basement, wet carpet, wet walls, carpet water damage, basement water damage, flooded crawl space, sewer backup and sewage removal.

Call the professionals of SERVPRO of Howard County if water damage happens at your home 410-465-7333

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

Do all you can to start the water mitigation process.

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

When you have water damage the first thing you want to do is call the experts at SERVPRO of Howard County 410-465-7333

Here are some tips to do while waiting for SERVPRO.

Turn the water off. This might seem like the obvious thing to do but some people forget to do this. Water damage mitigation can't start until the water is off. 

Remove excess water.

Mop up as much excess water as possible. To speed the drying process, in cool weather, open windows. In hot weather, turn on the air conditioner.

Prop up upholstery. Any cushions on couches, etc should be propped up for more even drying.

Remove area rugs. Anything that is wet and can be moved should be moved away to dry. This includes area rugs, magazines, books, or anything that is sitting on top of the wall-to-wall carpet.

Open storage containers. Open any boxes, suitcases, etc that may contain moisture to let them dry.

Protect furniture.Place plastic bags between the legs of your furniture and the wet carpet. This will keep the pain and lacquer on the furniture from bleeding down into the carpet and ruining it permanently. Also, open any drawers or cabinet drawers to allow them to dry.

Protect your valuables. Remove any valuables from the affected area. This includes, paintings, papers, computers, etc. Drying out an area creates heat and humidity. Anything that can be affected by this should be move away.

Dry clothing. Dry all of your clothing as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather somewhere to dry. If necessary call a garment restoration professional. Our technicians can give you referrals to good, reputable companies who can help.

Remember the first thing to do is to call SERVPRO of Howard County 410-465-7333 then do all you can to start the process before SERVPRO arrives. 

Who are you going to call?

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Your water damage is new; who do you call? If I were you I wouldn't call a new company, call one that's been around and has the experience your looking for.

SERVPRO has been around since 1967 with over 1500 franchises. To say SERVPRO knows " a little bit about water damage" is an understatement. 

SERVPRO is an expert in water damage. Our professionals go through extensive training and certification to make sure your getting the most up to date techniques available.

SERVPRO's leadership has earned the trust of the insurance industry, homeowners, commercial property managers and even the Pentagon.

Make sure you have SERVPRO of Howard County's number for when you have a problem. We can service your loss with using SERVPRO's 40 years of knowledge and training to help you quickly recover. 

410-465-7333

Rain, rain go away or at least stay outside.

9/7/2018 (Permalink)

Rain is great for your yard but not to get inside your home.

Many people wake up from a rain storm to a wet basement. It may be from the foundation or could be a pipe leakage, sub pump failure. Many things could have happened and you will want to determine how it happened to get the right person out to repair.

In all the cases though you are going to want to call an expert in helping you to dry out your basement. That expert would be SERVPRO of Howard County.

We can get right to work in getting the water up , drying the structure etc. SERVPRO has the knowledge as to what can be dried and saved and what is better off being throw away. 

Did you know that organic materials like paper, fabric, wood, leather can start to grow mold in as little as a day? Let SERVPRO help you save as much as possible of your things.

SERVPRO of Howard County is here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

410-465-7333

Taking a vacation? Tips before you leave.

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

We think about shutting off water lines in the winter to avoid freezing pipes when we are away but we don't think about doing the same in the summer when we go away, but we should.

Many people don't think about it but pipes leak and break all the time in the summer.

If you are going away you might want to close the main water valve off to water in the house. It won't affect your water sprinkler system outside if that may be of a concern.

Instead of thousands of gallons of water spilling in your home you might only get a few gallons. To be even safer, drain the lines before you go. Open the faucet in the bathroom after you have shut off the valves and drain the water out of the pipes and flush the toilet.

The last thing you want is to come home from a relaxing vacation to have water in your house.

Some other great things to do before you leave :

Turn the air conditioner up but not off. You want to have air circulating because the heat can affect doors and flooring and you don't want it to have time to collect condensation.

Unplug your electronics. If they are connected to a surge protector just turn that off. You will save money while your away.

Put your lights on a timer to make the house less appealing for robbers.

I hope these help. Have a great vacation and great "welcome home" from your house.

Water Damage....is it clean water or not?!

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Is the water clean?

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

Blog | SERVPRO Franchise Website Administration

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Where is the most likely place to flood in your home?

5/15/2018 (Permalink)

Did you take a guess? Well is you guessed your bathroom; your right!

Bathrooms are the most likely place that flood will occur in your home. If you were like me you might have guessed laundry room or kitchen but if you think about it , I guess it does make sense. Think of all the water sources there. Sinks, toilets, bathtubs/showers. All of these features are connected to pipes and if these are clogged or leaking it could cause a flood.

The most common way a flood in the bathroom happens is from a clogged or blocked pipe/drain.

Malfunctions such as a leaking toilet or a broken toilet is a very common reason.

But guess what a very common reason is? Human error. Us, we leave running water, forget about it and there you have it a flood.

Life is busy and we get called away and think we will remember to be right back but that's not always what happens.

It's hard to keep on top of all your household features but take an extra moment and make sure your bathroom is in great running order and maybe leave a little note on the door for when your leaving. It could say something like , "make sure the water is off". Check under sinks once a month for leaks and ceilings under the bathroom for water stains. Staying ahead of a problem is always best.

Basement Under Water? Drop Us A Line!

8/14/2017 (Permalink)

Being prepared is half your battle, but when it comes to fighting damage in your home or business...SERVPRO will win every time

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basement flooded or questions about flooding?

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

Flash Flooding: Warning vs. Watch

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

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

Flood warnings:

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

Flood watches:

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

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

Can We Dry It? Yes We Can!

7/11/2017 (Permalink)

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!

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

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

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)

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.

Is Your Water Damage Contaminated or Clean?

4/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.


Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 


Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 


Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 


How do you minimize the damage from these water types?


For clean water:


If you can, shut off the water source.


Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 


Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.


To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.


Move valuables to a safe place


Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.


Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!


If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.


For contaminated water:


Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.


Do not walk through affected areas.


Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.


Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.


If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.


Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Howard County Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Howard County basement could flood, including:

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

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (410) 465-7333

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

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

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (410) 465-7333

Faster to your Howard County Water Damage Event

8/23/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Howard County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Howard County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (410) 465-7333

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

Drywall begins to swell and break down.
Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
Furniture begins to swell and crack.
Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
Metal begins to rust and corrode.
Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
Paint begins to blister.
Wood flooring swells and warps.
Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

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.

Howard County 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

7/19/2016 (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.