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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How To Prepare Your Prince George’s Business For Fall Storms

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Air conditioning large fans on roof of building view from above It is essential to prepare your business for the colder months.

Know that we are always prepared when you call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover. If you are expecting storms to hit your Prince George’s location, you need to prepare for any type of harm that may affect your business. There are many risk factors to watch out for, from strong winds to hail damages as you work to prepare your business for the storm. Here are some of the steps you can take to prepare your business for autumn storms.

Inspect Your Roof

It is essential to closely identify any roof problems before attempting to shelter in your home during a storm. Signs to look out for include:

  • Cracks and holes
  • Loose roof materials 
  • Debris
  • Leaks and discoloration

In severe storm weather, a vulnerable roof can increase your chances of leaks, overflows, and damages to your property’s structure. If your roof is showing signs of damages, make sure to take care of it as soon as possible.

Check Your Commercial HVAC System

Make sure that you give your commercial HVAC system a fall season maintenance. Ensure that the state of the unit and metal panels are properly secured onto the roof to prevent any roof damage from occurring. An HVAC system contractor will ensure that your ac unit will run seamlessly all year round. Having a maintenance schedule in place can assure issues that may surface can be taken care of ahead of time.  

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover are Here to Help!

Post-storm damages are not limited to, but can certainly include water, fire, and even mold damages. If you have experienced any problems, either residential or commercial, SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover will get you back on your feet with a quick response. Call us at 301-779-3662 or 301-577-1166.

Burst Pipe Overflow? We can help!

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Green water extractor machine placed in a water overflow area Call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover the experts in fire & water, mold, and bio-hazards remediation.

Get fast water removal after a burst pipe with the help of SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/ Landover. 

Indoor plumbing can quickly cause damage to the structure and contents of your home. You may think you can take care of a pipe burst clean-up on your own, but this requires the help of professionals. SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover can provide you with water removal services. Every homeowner cares about protecting their property, and poor cleaning can create more significant damages. 

Our certified technicians understand that water damage situations are time-sensitive. The longer the water lingers throughout the affected areas, the structure and materials can weaken and become even more damaged.

Fixing the source of the water and shutting off the water is essential when requesting water mitigation services. Before our SERVPRO team can start the restoration process, you must ensure that the source is fixed. When the problem has been located, we can get the pipe repaired and reassure that water does not contribute to mold or a recurring disaster event.

Our highly trained technicians will determine what equipment should be used depending on the amount of water. During the water removal process, technicians will carefully monitor the drying progress using moisture meters until the materials read acceptable drying goals. In addition to cleaning your property’s structure, we will clean your furniture, upholstery, clothing, and other restorable belongings damaged by the water. Most flooding and water damage also require odor removal and deodorization by professionals.

Your home can face multiple threats in a lifetime. You can not always account for or prevent some of them. Most homeowners do not realize there is a problem until they face the pool of water the incident created. Trust in our SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover technicians to help you clean up the mess, remove the water, and get back to your regular life. You can call us 24/7 at 301-779-3662 or 301-577-1166.

When Accidents Happen, count on SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover to make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of College Park and SERVPRO of District Heights Immediate Board-up and Roof-Tarp Service

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

When your home or business has had a fire, the restoration process involves more than the structural restoration of the house. After a fire occurs, buildings are likely to have windows or doors that are no longer secure. Boarding up ensures that personal belongings do not get tampered with and that your property is secured.

Board-ups

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover can help you with the board up. Our team uses sturdy, durable materials designed to protect your homes from outside elements such as rain, snow, and intrusion by outsiders. After a fire, this is the first step we often take when we arrive at the job site. 

How will we assess the damage of your fire?

When a commercial and residential has happened, the first thing our certified trained technicians will do is inspect the extent of the damage. Your property may contain smoke and soot damage in one area, or it may have spread to multiple rooms, depending on the scope of the fire damage. Before help arrives, be prepared, take note of all damages that have occurred. Taking notes and photos of damages allows your insurance company to cover your claim efficiently and quickly.

Fire Cleanup

A significant concern for College Park/ Hyattsville/DistrictHeights/Landover property Managers, tenants, and homeowners is getting rid of the soot and smoke smell. When fire damage is not taken care of the right way, smoke can linger and ruin moments spent in your property. If your property has suffered from soot and smoke damage, take care of it right by scheduling a restoration like SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights.

Call Us at 301-779-3662 or 301-577-1166

Working with a professional who specializes in fire damage repair is essential when dealing with fire damage. Call our office to set up an appointment to ask any questions you might have concerning fires.

Can SERVPRO make my home "Like it never even happened."?

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage in your College Park, Hyattsville, District Heights, and Landover home can be cleared out by our SERVPRO team. SERVPRO can assure property managers, Homeowners, and renters that our team will be able to promptly extract your home and restore any damages by the water. As a result, SERVPRO will make it "Like it never even happened."

Why should I not fix the water damage myself?

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover use commercial-grade equipment in all of our residential and commercial water losses. We have more resources and professional-grade options than what can be found available at stores or in your shed. Our certified technicians follow guidelines to ensure we do not miss anything and provide a safe home environment.

Inspection and Walk-through: Project Managers and Technicians examine your property to make sure we understand the damage extent and have the equipment needed to restore your home. During the stage of the inspection and walk-through, project managers will develop the appropriate plan of action.

Water Extraction and Removal: We use powerful submersible pumps and smaller vacuums to quickly remove hundreds if not thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent any further damage and mold growth.

Drying Materials and Structure: Our certified-trained technicians will carefully monitor the drying progress using moisture meters until materials read acceptable dry. On the field, the technician will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.  

Cleaning and Restoration: We clean all the restorable items and structures damaged by water. Our professionals will use several techniques to provide sanitizing treatments and deodorize restorable items.

Contact SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover if you have water in your home or business immediately. We are always Here to Help!

For SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville, call 301-799-3662

For SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover, call 301-577-1166

Tropical Storm Ida In College Park, Hyattsville, District Heights, and Landover

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Hands holding a cut out of a red house If your property has experienced storm damage call us at 301-779-3662 or 301-577-1166. We will be there “faster to any size disaster!”

A few storms ahead, hurricane Ida moves through with a risk of flash floods. According to the National Hurricane Center, there is an increasing risk of dangerous hurricane-force winds, heavy rain, and life-threatening storm surge along the Gulf Coast. 

Keep in mind that the path, magnitude, strength, and direction of a storm can change at any time. Flooding, heavy rains, and strong gusts may occur in areas far from the hurricane’s center. 

Nearly 90% of all hurricane-related deaths involve water, according to the National Weather Service. The peak of hurricane season for Maryland is between mid-August to late October.

Hurricanes present various hazards, including power outages, rising water levels, high winds, and intense rainfall. 

Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration In Prince George’s

Call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville at 301-779-3662 or SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover at 301-577-1166 if a storm has damaged your home or business.

Our technicians at SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover specialize in cleaning and restoring residential and commercial properties after a fire, water, and storm incident.

Our team is well-versed in property damage repairs. We are storm and water damage specialists who will dry your property back to its pre-storm condition effectively. You can be confident that our staff is prepared to restore your property and make it “Like it never even happened.” 

We respond immediately to water and storm damage emergencies. A fast response will lessen the damage, limit further damage, and reduce cost. SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and have the training and ability to address any restoration or cleaning emergencies that arise.

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover 301-779-3662 and 301-577-1166.

Commercial Fire Restoration in College Park/Hyattsville and District Heights/Landover

8/28/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Truck in a community Our team will work around the clock to keep your business running and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial fires in the College Park/Hyattsville and District Heights/Landover area can be critical. A fire can quickly spread and impact your equipment, property, hours of operation and can even put your team at risk. Additional damage from water and mold can occur after a fire. Good planning can help ensure that a fire does not happen. Read on to learn more about the top causes of commercial fires and how to prevent such fires.

Cooking incidents

Cooking incidents are the top cause of cooking fires. Flammable materials and high cooking temperatures together can be dangerous if not used properly. All businesses can suffer from cooking fires. However, restaurants are more likely to experience a cooking fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment was the leading cause of fires in all health care facilities.

Lighting/Electrical Issues

Worn-out electrical cords and faulty wiring are also causes of commercial fires. Many electrical or lighting problems can develop from old defective wiring, overloaded circuits, faulty fuses, and many other electrical issues. 

Smoking

Cigarettes that are not extinguished and disposed of properly cause smoking and can lead to a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials account for 9% of fires in commercial buildings.

Heating Equipment

In our area during the winter season, we use heating equipment more frequently than in other states. Furnaces, radiators, and boilers can overheat and result in a fire. In addition, improperly installing equipment can prove to be hazardous and also cause a fire. It is important to have heating equipment installed by trusted professionals. Having the heating equipment maintained regularly and checking if it is in good working condition can also prevent a fire.

Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors

It is important to follow fire regulations for all commercial buildings. Fire alarms and smoke detectors are vital components of an early warning system. Review our fire safety tips to ensure everyone understands how to minimize the risk for commercial fires.

Quick Response Around College Park / Hyattsville / District Heights / Landover

Trust our team at SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover. Our team will work around the clock to keep your business running and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today for a free quote.

For College Park/Hyattsville dial 301-779-3662

For District Heights/Landover dial 301-577-1166

Back to School SERVPRO Preventative Cleaning

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Back board with school utensils featuring SERVPRO logo Choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned to help keep your customers, employees, students, and teachers safe.

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville & SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover Can Help Get Your Schools And Daycares Safe For Everyone

August is here, and we are heading into another school year! Last year SERVPRO worked with schools and daycares in the DMV area to help keep their customers, employees, students, and teachers safe. This year, as a result of the delta variant and increasing COVID-19 cases, masks are recommended and required. SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover can help you keep schools and daycares cleaned and disinfected.

We want to show our support this upcoming school year by providing cleaning services including, disinfecting, sanitizing, and proactively cleaning. Our cleanup procedures are in accordance with the CDC recommendations and local authorities. Surfaces to consider for cleaning and disinfecting include but are not limited to classrooms, offices, bathrooms, hallways, cafeterias, and teacher lounges.

SERVPRO® of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights/Landover are called on by businesses to perform the necessary services to clean, sanitize, and disinfect commercial properties. Call us today! Our dispatchers can provide you with more information about our services and get you scheduled for an appointment. Our cleaning services can be scheduled recurring and also one-time.

To schedule a consultation for our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program, call us at 301-779-3662 or 301-577-1166. We are here to help!

Heavy Rains And Water Damage In Our Area

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO truck pictured outside on a sunny day SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover is on call 24 hours a day for water mitigation and restoration

Water Damage In College Park / Hyattsville / District Heights / Landover

While all types of water can damage your property, some are more damaging than others. When your property suffers water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensure proper cleanup. Experts have broken down water into three types of categories. Read on to see which type of water contamination can be on your property.

Category 1: Clean Water

Clean water originates from a broken pipe or a supply line. If not treated, clean water is likely to convert to gray water. Clean water left untreated allows bacteria to grow as well as other contaminants.

Category 2: Gray Water

Overflows from home appliances like a dishwasher to a washing machine can be the cause of Gray water. Gray water contains mild contamination, however not enough to be considered a biohazard. If left untreated, the water can quickly become black water.

Category 3: Black Water

Black water ranges from sewage damage, flooding or any natural disaster. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals, and more. Water from sewer backups should be considered very dangerous and can cause massive amounts of water damage. Black water should be remediated by trained professionals.

Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today – (301) 779-3662 or 301-577-1166

Call your local SERVPRO® franchise professionals. SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover technicians will inspect the water damage to determine the appropriate response to restore your home or business safely. We are on call 24/7 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. Call SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover at 301-779-3662 or 301-577-1166.

Commercial Fire Restoration in College Park/Hyattsville and District Heights/Landover

8/5/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial fires in the College Park/Hyattsville and District Heights/Landover area can be critical. A fire can quickly spread and impact your equipment, property, hours of operation and can even put your team at risk. Additional damage from water and mold can occur after a fire. Good planning can help ensure that a fire does not happen. Read on to learn more about the top causes of commercial fires and how to prevent such fires.

Cooking incidents

Cooking incidents are the top cause of cooking fires. Flammable materials and high cooking temperatures together can be dangerous if not used properly. All businesses can suffer from cooking fires. However, restaurants are more likely to experience a cooking fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking equipment was the leading cause of fires in all health care facilities.

Lighting/Electrical Issues

Worn-out electrical cords and faulty wiring are also causes of commercial fires. Many electrical or lighting problems can develop from old defective wiring, overloaded circuits, faulty fuses, and many other electrical issues. 

Smoking

Cigarettes that are not extinguished and disposed of properly cause smoking and can lead to a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoking materials account for 9% of fires in commercial buildings.

Heating Equipment

In our area during the winter season, we use heating equipment more frequently than in other states. Furnaces, radiators, and boilers can overheat and result in a fire. In addition, improperly installing equipment can prove to be hazardous and cause a fire. It is important to have heating equipment installed by trusted professionals. Having the heating equipment maintained regularly and checking if it is in good working condition can also prevent a fire.

Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors

It is important to follow fire regulations for all commercial buildings. Fire alarms and smoke detectors are vital components of an early warning system. Review our fire safety tips to ensure everyone understands how to minimize the risk for commercial fires.

Quick Response Around College Park / Hyattsville / District Heights / Landover

Trust our team at SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover. Our team will work around the clock to keep your business running and make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today for a free quote.

For College Park/Hyattsville dial 301-779-3662

For District Heights/Landover dial 301-577-1166

Bring In The Experts For Help

7/29/2021 (Permalink)

kat wilcox from Pexels alt description Leave any size cleanup for the professionals. SERVPRO® will restore your property to its original state.

Response Time Is Important When You Have A Bio-hazardous Situation

SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover offers services from water mitigation, fire restoration, mold mitigation, and clean up. But did you know that SERVPRO® also specializes in crime scene cleaning? Yes, our technicians do! When the fingerprint dust used by law enforcement gets too messy, call SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover for help. Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA guidelines and protocol calls to make it, "Like it never even happened."®

Here is the unique process SERVPRO® technicians follow for bio-hazardous situations:

Ensure, inspect, and evaluate the health and safety of our team and the occupants of the property.

Isolate and contain affected areas; establish a decontamination chamber if needed.

Remove the uncontaminated chamber, if applicable.

Contain and dispose of un-restorable contents.

Contain and remove restorable contents for off-site processing.

Clean, decontaminate, and possibly seal restorable structural materials.

Test, evaluate and confirm cleanliness.

Remove all contaminants.

Call Us For Help!

SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover can provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazardous situations, including crime scene fingerprint dust, suicide/death accidents, chemical spills, animal waste/remains, and hoarding.

Biohazard emergencies don’t always happen during the regular work week. At SERVPRO®, we are HERE to HELP 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can expect a quick response time.

Faster to Any Size Disaster

We are locally owned and operated. We can respond quickly with the appropriate resources, which is critical. A fast response reduces the restoration costs and prevents additional damage.

For more information visit: https://www.SERVPROcollegeparkhyattsville.com/biohazard-cleaning

Fire Damage Restoration: Ice Blasting Service

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Damage In Your College Park / Hyattsville / District Heights / Landover Home

Fire and smoke damage can be devastating to commercial structures and homes. In times of a disaster, SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover are Here to Help! We have an advanced cleaning method that could be the solution for you. It's called ice blasting.

Ice Blasting

Ice blasting is the process of using dry ice to clean and restore your property. Dry ice blasting uses compressed air at supersonic speed. Ice blasting is the perfect solution for mitigating fire damage to the ceiling and rafters to your property. SERVPRO® of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover will efficiently use this method in cases, including fire, smoke restoration, mold mitigation and remediation and odor elimination. Ice blasting provides several benefits to you as a homeowner, including:

  • Cleaning standards: ice basting is a higher standard of cleaning without toxins or residues left behind.
  • A quicker restoration process: instead of having 2 to 3 people wet wiping the affected area or dry sponging, ice blasting can expedite the cleaning process.
  • Thorough method: when removing soot and odor, ice blasting will get the affected areas prepped and ready for the next step of encapsulating.

Restoration Services

SERVPRO® is the #1 industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more information about our fire and water damage restoration services, please visit our website at SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover. Give us a call today for fire and water damage restoration at 301-799-3662 or 301-577-1166.

Our out of the box and innovative cleaning methods are another reason to choose SERVPRO® of College Park/ Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights / Landover when your property has experienced fire damage.

Severe Storms Around College Park / Hyattsville / District Heights / Landover Can Cause Power Outages

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Severe storms can lead to flooding and extended power outages in your entire neighborhood. Being without power can be costly for homeowners and commercial businesses. Don't leave your property to chance when thunderstorms, high winds, and showers hit. Call SERVPRO® of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights/Landover for help. In the meantime, take the following steps to help protect yourself during a power outage.

How Power Outages Impact Us:

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination
  • Can disrupt communications, water, and transportation
  • Cause closures of grocery stores, gas stations, retail businesses, ATMs, banks, and other services

During A Power Outage:

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges
  • Keep refrigerators and freezers closed
  • If you need to heat your home, do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home
  • If anyone has medical equipment that requires electricity, get them to a place with working electricity or get them to help
  • When the lights go off, use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from the windows

Water Damage In Your Property

SERVPRO® of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights/Landover specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, water, or smoke damage. Our staff are highly trained in property damage restoration, and we are an IICRC Certified Firm.

Quick Response Around College Park / Hyattsville / District Heights / Landover

We respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

Give us a call today if you have any questions about water damage and water mitigation. Call SERVPRO® of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights/Landover at 301-779-3662 or 301-577-1166.

SERVPRO® of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO® of District Heights/Landover provide 24-hour emergency service. When fire and water take control of your life, we help you get it back.

Source:https://www.ready.gov/power-outages

Wet Carpet? SERVPRO is Here to Help!

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded basement with water mitigation equipment Call us today at 301-530-7400 if you have recently experienced water damage to your property

When you have a flood on your property, you must act quickly. Floods, leaks, spills, or burst pipes can all weaken your carpet and gather microorganisms. If you do not address the water right away, you might face major problems like mold in your property. The best solution is to call in trained, experienced professionals. 

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover are HERE TO HELP when your home or business has suffered water damage. Our technicians use several methods to clean carpets. At SERVPRO, we have five carpet methods and determine the proper cleaning method for you based on the inspection.

SERVPRO carpet cleaning methods in order of least aggressive to most aggressive are as follows:

  • Bonnet Cleaning
  • Hot Water Extraction
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse
  • Rotary Jet Extraction
  • Showcase

Our technicians check and test to determine the level of damage and how far the moisture has migrated to ensure a successful and complete restoration. While we are on-site, we will also look for any potential safety hazards. A homeowner in the College Park/Hyattsville area recently experienced flood damage in his home when a pipe burst from a water filtration system and the entire basement was affected. Our technicians ran equipment to extract and dry affected materials.

"Like it never even happened."®

Floods and overflowing water emergencies do not wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. To avoid renting expenses, replacing your carpet, and extra expenses, call for reinforcements. Call SERVPRO of College/Park and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover for water damage restoration at 301-530-7400. 

We are on call 24 hours a day, 7-days a week, including holidays.

Grilling Safety Tips You Can Take To Avoid A Fire In Your Home

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

BBQ grill with flames and charcoal Knowing a few fire safety grilling tips will help everyone have a safe summer.

Grill fires peak during the summer season. Grilling outdoors is one of the most popular ways to cook food. A grill placed too close to any object is a fire hazard. According to the Fire Protection Association (NFPA), nearly 10,000 home fires involve grills. If you experience fire, call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover. Follow the tips below for grilling safety.

Tips For Grilling Safety

  • Use propane and charcoal BBQ grills only outdoors.
  • Place the grill away from your property, deck railings and out from under leaves and overhanging branches.
  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills.
  • When using a gas grill, check for leaks before using it for the first time each year. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the fire.
  • When finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container.

Fire Damage

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights technicians are the leading experts in fire restoration. We have the skills to help you pack out your belongings as well as storing them until your property has been restored to its original state, "Like it never even happened."®

Quick Response Around College Park / Hyattsville / District Heights / Landover

We are a locally owned franchise and can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

FASTER TO ANY SIZE DISASTER™, Call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover today 301-530-7400.

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover are available 24-hours a day for restoration after damage, large or small. When you are dealing with fire damage, immediate action is crucial.

Commercial Fire Damage in a Local Violin Shop

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

Violins displayed in a violin shop. Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover cleaned and restored a violin shop that was damaged by fire

During recent events, a fire broke out in a local College Park violin shop. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover removed and hauled away everything from the damaged section of the building. Our crew cleaned everything in the violin shop. We placed containment areas with hydroxyl machines to treat all of the musical instruments and cases. SERVPRO also arranged for a generator to run electrical cords throughout the violin shop. We were able to keep the business open through the whole cleaning and restoration process.

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover professionals are ready to clean and restore your business. We recognize that a safe environment is important for your business and that every hour spent restoring is an hour missed in productivity. When you need cleaning and restoration services, SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover are Here to Help.

If you have commercial fire damage or would like to get a free Emergency Response Plan for your business, call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover today.

For SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville Call: 301-799-3662

For SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover Call: 301-577-1166

Are Your Fur Friends Safe for When A Storm Hits?

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO disaster recovery team vehicle Our SERVPRO® experts will take care of any storm damage and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Severe Storms in College Park/Hyattsville/District Heights/Landover

Always prepare for the unexpected. To most people, pets are just as important as family members, so include them in your disaster emergency preparedness plan. When a severe storm hits, if local officials ask you to evacuate, this means your fur friend should too.

Prep Before Severe Storms

  • Have an evacuation plan for you and your pets.
  • Have a buddy system in place to ensure that someone can take care of your pets or help evacuate your pets if you cannot.
  • Make sure to microchip your pet.
  • To get additional information, contact your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control.
  • Build an emergency kit for your pets.

What to Include In A Pet Emergency Kit?

  • Store several days of pet food supplies and water in appropriate containers.
  • Be sure to include your pet’s medicine and medical records.
  • Include important paperwork like registration information, adoption papers, and vaccination records. Also, make sure that they are available online.
  • Keep a spare leash, collar, and identification tag.
  • First aid kit.
  • Include familiar treats, blankets, toys, and bedding.

Lastly - Keep Yourself Updated!

  • For local alerts and warnings, pay attention to wireless emergency alerts.
  • When told to evacuate or shelter at home and listen to local officials.
  • To get weather alerts from the National Weather Service, download the FEMA app.
  • At the first sign of a severe storm approaching, always bring your pets indoors.

When flooding incidents occur, call SERVPRO® to handle the mitigation and restoration processes in your College Park/Hyattsville/District Heights/Landover property to eliminate mistakes. If you find yourself in need of our expertise or services, visit our website at 

SERVPRO® of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/Landover or give us a call at 301-530-7400.

Ready.gov/animals lists the following items as essentials for building a Pet Emergency Kit

Water Damage? Know Who and When to Call

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

Water Damage in the basement Water damage caused by a water leak in basement

Water damage caused by heavy summer rains can create a messy and stressful situation. According to the American Insurance Association, water damage claims grow faster than other homeowner’s insurance claims. Every year, about one in 50 homeowners will experience water damage and file a claim.

At SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover, we have certified specialists with the specific water damage training who will walk you through this challenging and often confusing time. If you need emergency services, we recommend calling our SERVPRO team to get you the help you need.

For SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville Call: 301-779-3662

For SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover Call: 301-577-1166

Here are a few tips of what you can do before a SERVPRO technician arrives.

  • Evaluate whether your property is safe to live in and hazard-free.
  • If your property is safe, remove any slip and fall hazards.
  • Identify visible mold growth.
  • Stop the water source or minimize the flow of the water entering.
  • Try to remove excess water by using a mop, a wet vacuum, or a cloth.
  • Clean and dry small areas affected by water damage.
  • Protect carpet and furnishings in the affected area.
  • Remove any valuable items, including personal items, jewelry, and heirlooms.

When you call, a SERVPRO representative will go through some quick questions to help better understand your current situation. The following are examples of questions they will ask:

  • Name and Contact information.
  • Location of the affected property.
  • Source of the water damage.
  • Approximate time the water damage occurred.
  • Rooms affected by the water damage.
  • Have you seen signs of mold growing anywhere in the structure or its contents?

As you can see, immediate action is needed to minimize the damage, cleaning, and restoration costs. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights highly trained technicians will get to work quickly on mitigating damage and restoring your home or business.

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover, Here to Help during this time of need

5/13/2021 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO? When an unprecedented event hit Texas this past winter, SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover went to help! It is a reminder to our customers that we are here to help no matter how big the job. We are dedicated to ongoing training and keeping up with the latest industry standards.

Tell Me More: SERVPRO Featured In Insurance Business Magazine

The Winter Storm Uri was unusual because it was a storm coupled with power failures all over Texas. The power outages caused a surge of burst pipe claims in several major Texas cities, including Houston and Dallas. SERVPRO had the opportunity to help the community of Texas during this severe storm. When a natural disaster strikes and hits your home or commercial property, it is important to act fast. We have dispatchers strategically placed and are on the call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Not only can SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover clean up the aftermath of large disasters, but we can also clean valuable items damaged by the disaster. Some of these items include carpets, upholstery, blinds, blankets, and drapes. We can also counteract lingering odors and deodorize your property.

In the event of any natural disaster, our team will come to your rescue. We understand that damaged building materials and contents can not only cost you money but can also cost you your time.

Learn more about SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover Faster to Any Size Disaster.

If your home or commercial property is in the College Park, Hyattsville, District Heights, and Landover area and has suffered water damage, fire damage, and or mold damage, please call us today! Our team of professionals are available 24 / 7 / 365.

For College Park / Hyattsville Call: 301-779-3662

For District Heights / Landover Call: 301-577-1166

Source: https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/catastrophe/why-was-the-texas-freeze-such-an-unprecedented-event-252763.aspx

Thunderstorms & Lightning Hazard Information

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms and cloudy sky in the neighborhood. Photo by Peter from Pexels SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover specializes in mitigation and restoration services.

When thunder roars, go indoors! Thunderstorms are dangerous storms that can create hail, cause flash floods and tornadoes. Which often leads to structural roof and mold problems. According to FEMA, no state in the U.S. is 100% safe from severe weather threats. When a thunderstorm threatens the College Park / Hyattsville and District Heights / Landover area, it is important to stay safe.

Here are a few Storm Facts provided by Ready.Gov:

Thunderstorms can produce damaging straight-line winds over 50 MPH.

Storms can create a temporary overflow of water onto dry land.

Thunderstorms can cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings, and create landslides.

At any given time, there are about 2,000 thunderstorms in progress.

Here are a few steps to take to prepare for thunderstorms:

Create an emergency plan

Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling on your home

Sign up for your community’s warning system

Assess your area’s risk for thunderstorms

Prep your first aid kit

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for storm and water emergencies. SERVPRO of College Park/ Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover provides emergency mitigation and restoration services 24 / 7 / 365.

Thunderstorms and water leaks can be very damaging. Water can easily seep into your home and soak into the floors, walls, furniture and other surfaces. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover respond quickly and immediately begin the water extraction process.

If flood water is not dealt with quickly and correctly, it can cause structural damage to your house. Keep in mind that the longer you wait, the more serious the damage will get.

Call Us Today! SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover

The bottom line: thunderstorms can affect your safety and your home’s integrity. Let our trained professional at SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover handle the situation safely and correctly.

For SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville Call: 301-779-3662

For SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover Call: 301-577-1166

Understand Why You Need Trained Pros When Dealing With Mold

5/4/2021 (Permalink)

Sky view of commercial buildings. Photo by Philipp Birmes from Pexels Don’t delay, if you have mold problem call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover today

Mold damage incidents in commercial buildings are often a challenge to fix. If you suspect mold in your commercial building, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover. When you are dealing with mold, it is time-sensitive. Severe damages to your commercial building can occur if you do not control moisture levels and eliminate mold growth.

Moisture problems may include:

  • Unvented combustion appliances
  • Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems 
  • Landscaping/gutters that direct water into or under the commercial buildings
  • Roof leaks and pipe leaks

Places where you can find mold:

  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Carpet
  • Foods
  • Insulation
  • On organic substance
  • In commercial buildings and on commercial building materials

When mold growth occurs in commercial buildings, bring in the experts, SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover, to check out the damages. We tackle commercial and residential damage. Let us help you prevent damage to building materials, and save money.

So How Are Our Crews Trained?

SERVPRO is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standard for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

We Are Here to Help

For SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville (301) 779 - 3662.

For SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover (301) 557 - 1166.

Commercial property loss doesn't wait for regular business hours, and neither do we. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 / 7/ 365.

Fire Damage in College Park / Hyattsville and District Heights / Landover

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Outlet Damage Fire Damage can be a lot to handle, SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and District Heights / Landover is here to help CP/H (301) 779 - 3662; DH/L

Fire Damage in College Park / Hyattsville and District Heights / Landover

Post - Fire Damage Tips:

  • To prevent soot particles from being embedded into textiles, limit movement in the home. 
  • Place clean towels or old linens on top of rugs, upholstery, and carpet to prevent further damage.
  • Change/replace the HVAC filter.
  • Over air registers - tape double layers of cheesecloth.
  • Empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open if the electricity has gone off.

Common Hazards Found in Fire-Damaged Alerts!

  • Stay alert! - although the electrical power may be off, there are existing electrical currents.
  • Use extreme caution when dealing with electricity in wet environments. Water used to extinguish the fire may have saturated the wiring system.
  • Do not wash walls, painted surfaces, carpet, upholstery on your own without contacting us. This may lead to smoke odor and further damage.
  • Throw out canned or packaged food or beverages damaged in the fire.
  • Never smoke where oxygen is present.
  • Be cautious of loose or falling debris. Damaged structure components may cause puncture wounds.

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and District Heights / Landover is here to help! Give us a call if you have fire damage or additional questions.

For SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville (301) 779 - 3662.

For SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover (301) 557 - 1166.

At SERVPRO, we understand that when you call, you may be under distress and confused. When you need an expert to help you through a job loss, SERVPRO is here to help. We specialize in fire damage restoration and are trained for these situations.

Water Damage From Hurricanes

4/30/2021 (Permalink)

A neighborhood after the hurricane. Photo by Alari Tammsalu from Pexels. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover specializes in mitigation and restoration services.

Heavy rain and damaging wind speeds can cause flooding in a matter of minutes. In our area, hurricane season begins June 1st to November 30th, with its peak in September. According to Ready DC, mapping out an emergency communication plan is essential. The National Weather Service provides safety regulations and alerts to keep us informed during the storm.

After The Hurricane

After the hurricane, rains and high winds usually cause flooding. Standing water is a breeding ground for all types of mold and bacteria. The level of damage to your home or business depends on how long the standing water is ignored. There is no set time frame to tell how long the water will be present in a business or residence. 

After the hurricane has passed and before you think of entering your home, refer to this checklist.

  1. Be aware of wires, power lines, and places where the floor washed away
  2. Watch out for poisonous snakes and wild animals that may have entered your home
  3. Throw out food that could have been in contact with the water
  4. Document and take any photos of all damaged for your reference and the insurance

Call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville (301) 779-3662 and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover (301) 557-1166. No matter how big the job may be, we are here to help. 

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our technicians at SERVPRO are highly trained professionals and use specialized equipment to restore your home or business to its pre-existing state. As our tagline states, “Like it never even happened.”

We Are Local And Can Get To You Faster

Since we are a locally owned franchise, we can get a dispatcher to your location as soon as possible. Having a fast response from our team lessens the damage and limits any further damages.

What Every Family Should Know About Fire Damage Prevention

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 minute

We understand the importance of keeping our families and loved ones secure as a family-owned franchise. According to the NFPA, "over five years, house fires claimed the lives of 2,620 civilians and caused $6.9 billion in property damage." The majority of fire deaths occur in the kitchen. SERVPRO upholds our dedication to being a resource in Prince George’s County. We want to make sure that our community is taking precautions to stop home fires. To avoid infamous kitchen mishaps, follow the advice below.

Recipe For Kitchen Safety

  • When cooking on the stovetop, stay in the kitchen to keep an eye on the food.
  • When cooking food, stay at home and keep an eye on it.
  • When you're cooking, keep children away from the kitchen.
  • Keep cooking surfaces clean to avoid food and grease buildup.
  • Curtains, blankets, and pot holders should be kept away from hot surfaces.
  • Solvents and flammable cleaners should be kept away from heat sources.
  • Never store fuel in your home.
  • To avoid food spills, turn the panhandles inward.
  • Check that no electric cords from your appliances are hanging from the counters.

Smoke Detector tools

  • Replace the smoke detector every six months.
  • Remove any dust from the device as it can interfere with the sensor.
  • Check the status of your smoke detectors.
  • Plan a fire escape strategy for family members.
  • In the event of a fire or smoke damage, please contact SERVPRO to help restore your home or property to normalcy.

Hurricane Preparedness for Drinking Water Utilities

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 41 sec

Hurricane Preparedness for Drinking Water Utilities from SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover

Drinking water services must be proactive. Public water suppliers in the storm's path should brace themselves for

  • high winds 
  • storm surge
  • torrential rain
  • flooding
  • prolonged power outages. 

SERVPRO understands how imperative drinking water utilities for the Prince George's County community. They must continue to provide their services before, during, and after the storm. Below are suggested hurricane preparedness tips for Drinking Water Utilities 

Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Drinking Water Utilities

Water Storage 

Fill the storage tanks to meet demand during a power outage. This will help anchor the tanks during high winds and flooding.

Back-Up Power 

Refuel the generators' fuel tanks. Test each generator under load to ensure that they are operating. Also, check that power transmission is secure, in case of a prolonged power outage. Estimate how long it will take to meet demand using the backup power, fuel, and water storage on hand. Count the number of alternative fuel sources in case the main supplier is unable to supply them.

Continuity of Operation

Contact all-important workers and put them on high alert. Ensure that enough resources will be on duty for the duration of the predicted storm. Provide adequate food and clean water for employees who work long hours. Employees should bring extra dry clothing. Also, they should arrange their sleeping quarter so that extended duty staff does not get too tired.

Chemical and Fuel Storage 

Check the tanks to ensure there are critical chemicals (e.g., disinfectant) to last the storm. Check that the tanks are anchoring to ensure that it is safe from wind damage and forces (floating or overturning) if it becomes submerged.

Water Sources 

Determine which sources can become overburdened. Prepare to remove any sources that may be vulnerable to damage from a flood. This includes intrusion by flood-borne pathogens or saltwater before the flood.

Emergency Communications 

Make sure the emergency communications equipment is in good working order. Both batteries should be changed or replaced. Distribute relevant communication equipment to the appropriate personnel.

Public Communications 

Prepare to make public information available as appropriate. Check with local radio and television stations for contact information. If there isn't adequate storage and/or dedicated backup power for three days, consider pre-planning water conservation alert notices that can be released if necessary.

Vehicles 

Fill vehicle fuel tanks to ensure that they are ready for use in the event of a storm. Provide necessary equipment (radios, instruments, tools, safety equipment, lights, ropes, etc.).

SERVPRO is Here to Help

If recent storms have caused flooding or a pipe has burst, our highly trained technicians are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond immediately to flood or water damage at your Prince George's property. 

Learn more about our Water Damage Repair and Restoration >

Facts provided by EPA.gov

Keeping PG County Residents Safe During Storms

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 15 sec

As a property manager, Leaving your property after a big storm can be terrifying. The extent of the damage to your property can vary from mild to serious. You can rest assured that a SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover restoration specialist in Prince Geroge’s county will be able to assist in cleaning up and rebuilding from almost any damage. You can begin recovery before support arrives by following these storm recovery tips.

Storm Recovery Tips

Safety

Your first priority is protection. Look for fallen power lines, trees that have been damaged and are at risk of falling, structural damage to your house, and any other dangerous storm damage.

Company

If you are alone, try to connect with others, particularly residents who may be alone or in need of assistance. Many individuals can be pushed to their best by hardship. You can work together to accomplish things that you couldn't do alone, such as food planning, shelter setup or cleanup, or even fire starting if the weather is especially cold.

Information

Look for radio, television, telephone, or another useful communication device in a secure location. News sources and emergency broadcasts may provide useful information on where to anticipate rescue teams.

Water

If help is unlikely to arrive for more than a day, water can pose the greatest threat to your and your resident’s health. Water that has been stored can be incredibly useful. If you don't have clean water, make sure to purify any available water. Here are a few strategies for purifying water: 

  • Iodine solution
  • Chlorine fall 
  • Filtering

Following these storm tips will help ensure that you and your residents recover safely from the effects of storm destruction. And if the post-storm damage is too big for you to handle, don't wait! Call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover right away. 

Learn More About Our Disaster Recovery Team >

Look Listen Learn | Prince George's County Fire Hazard Information

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 16 sec 

Look, listen, and learn. Keep an eye out for something unusual. Fire can begin anywhere. The National Fire Protection Association reports that four out of every five fire deaths in the United States occur in the home. Take a look, listen, and learn how to stop deadly fires.

Look 

Be aware of fire hazards around you.

    • Cooking:  Cooking: Cooking and kitchen-related injuries account for 47 percent of all home fires.
      • Remove any covers, discarded wrappers, or other flammable materials from any cooking surface.
      • Keep an eye on what you're cooking. Food that is cooking should not be left unattended for an extended period of time. Cooking when intoxicated is often not a good idea.
    • Heating: The second leading cause of home fires.
      • Every year, get your heating system and chimney professionally tested. Any maintenance should be done by a specialist as well.
      • If you have a space heater, never leave it unattended.
  • Electric Distribution:
    • Only plugin one heat-producing appliance (coffee maker, toaster, space heater) at a time.
    • Extension cords are only for TEMPORARY use.
  • Candles:
    • Don’t leave candles light unattended. 
    • Blow all candles before you go to sleep or leave a room 

Listen

Listen for smoke alarms and make sure your home is adequately equipped.

  • Make ensure that you have smoke detectors on each floor of your house, as well as in each bedroom.
  • Replace any smoke detectors that are more than a year old and monitor the batteries on a monthly basis.

Learn

Learn an emergency exit plan

  • Learn two ways out of every room
  • Learn how each exit leads outside of the home
  • Learn a meeting spot outside where your family will meet in the case of an emergency.

Home fires are more common than you may think. Firefighters across the United States respond to a house fire every 90 seconds. In 2020, 35 Maryland home fire fatalities were reported by the news media. Do not be caught unprepared.

Facts provided by esfi.gov

Water Damage Statistics

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 37 sec

Water Damage Statistics

Water damage can cause a wide range of losses. Homeowners recognize that wear and tear can occur in every situation; however, there is a range of unexpected incidents that can result in water harm. Natural disasters are often blamed for water pollution, and understandably so, considering that the majority of water-related losses are caused by an external environmental factor.

Nonetheless, water damage can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Understanding the causes of this form of harm is vital not just for avoiding an injury, but also for understanding where you stand in the eyes of your insurance company. Water damage in homes is most frequently caused by the following factors:

  • Frozen pipes
  • Leaking pipes
  • Leaky roof
  • Broken washing machine hose
  • Plumbing problems
  • Insulations issues

The water damage statistics provided below demonstrate the pervasiveness of this issue. Although many people do not consider water damage to be a normal event, it accounts for a large number of homeowners insurance claims. Some of the most interesting water damage figures are as follows:

  • Almost 40% of all homeowners have reported that they have suffered financial losses as a result of water damage.
  • Approximately 93 percent of all water damage can be avoided.
  • Water damage is the second most common explanation for insurance claims in the United States.
  • A 1/8-inch gap in a pipe leaks 250 gallons of water every day.
  • Water damage accounts for nearly 20% of all insurance claims.
  • Every year, billions of dollars in property losses are incurred as a direct result of water damage.
  • Homeowners who realize the potential harm caused by water are far more likely to avoid problems before they become big issues.

Water Damage Insurance Coverage

Homeowners must be aware of what is and is not protected by their new insurance policy. Without this understanding, homeowners will be taken back if a disaster happens, and they are forced to pay for the losses out of pocket. In addition to buying a flood policy, you might be able to add coverage to your current policy. These additions may include the following.

  • Mold remediation (varies on the state)
  • Backup of drains or sewers
  • Plumbing water damage
  • Air conditioning damages
  • Water heater damage

We Work With Your Insurance

For a stress-free claims process, SERVPRO can help manage the insurance paperwork and process. Call us for more details.

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover 

(301) 779 3662

What is Lurking in Your Ducts

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 4 sec

Mold in heating ducts is a serious problem. Of course, household mold is never a good thing, no matter where in the home it's found. Mold exposure has been linked to health effects and it can eat away at some building materials, including wood. There are a few reasons mold in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ducts is particularly problematic, though. We'll tell you why it's such a bad thing and what to do if you think you may have mold in your heating ducts.

The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process

  • The method starts with the use of proprietary devices, such as a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the shape and diameter of the duct when passing through it, eliminating debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • The debris is then moved from the ducting to a 16-gallon container using an efficient push-pull air distribution and collection system.
  • A HEPA filtration system filters the air, eliminating 99.97 percent of the contaminants in the airstream. HEPA filters collect debris and help to keep the air safe.
  • A sealant or coating substance can be sprayed as an optional process to resolve odor or microbial issues.
  • To extract odors or debris, filters will be washed or replaced.

The SERVPRO System is the Difference 

Cleaning a duct is not something you can make into a DIY project. Trust the leading company to help you remove nasty and unnecessary particles that live in your ducts. SERVPRO can

  • Clean up bacteria, fungus, and mold.
  • Reduce the likelihood of mold formation.
  • Restore maximum energy efficiency.
  • Delete any unpleasant odors.
  • Free written inspections and estimates are available.

Home Fires Caused By Dryers

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 Minute

according to the National Fire Protection Association, clothes dryer fires occur more often than expected. According to the U.S. fire administration, “2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.”

Common Causes of Dryer Fires

  • Lint/dust: counting for 29% incidents
  • Clothing: counting for 28% incidents

Common Causes of Washer Fires

  • Wire/cable insulation: counting for 26% of incidents 
  • Appliance housing: counting for 21% of incidents 
  • Drive belt: counting for 15% of incidents

Dryers were the cause of 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; with the risk of fire essentially being the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety Tips:

  • Clean the lint panel regularly and never run the dryer without it.
  • Make sure there are no leaks in the lines for gas and propane dryers.
  • Make sure the dryer is vented to the outside of the house and that nothing is blocking the vent shaft.
  • Clean the vent pipe as well as the place where the panel is held.
  • Keep combustible materials out of the region around the dryer.

Fire Damage Repair and Restoration

We realize that your home is more than four walls and a roof. Your home and belongings are extremely valuable to you, and SERVPRO will help minimize the damage to your home and contents with our quick response after a fire.

Learn More about our fire damage restoration process>

For more information about clothes dryer fire safety visit usfa.fema.gov

3 Tips To Operate Your Business During A Power Outage

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 1 sec

Power outages are one of the most common problems, particularly during thunder and wind storms. Dealing with a power outage can be aggravating, but there are a few tactics you can use to keep regular operations running when bad weather threatens to disrupt them.

Recommended Tips

1. Be Prepared With a Generator

Getting a portable generator on hand will assist you in keeping your business going during a storm. This is particularly useful if your store is crowded with customers. A generator will power the lights, heat, and air conditioning. If you own a restaurant, a generator will keep your refrigerators and freezers going so that food does not spoil.

2. Find Nearby Wi-Fi

If you own a small company, you should relocate it to a nearby café or coffee shop to take advantage of free Wi-Fi. Consider holding a meeting or catching up on invoices during the downtime. If your phone service is down and you don't have access to a mobile phone, you can also contact storm damage and cleanup services from your laptop.

3. Connect at Home

If a power outage causes you to close your building temporarily, you can save time by working from home and communicating with your employees from there. Request that your social media manager create new infographics and notify your followers of the temporary closure. Your content writers and bloggers will work from home and email you their posts. Although this is not the optimal mode of service, it can help you prevent a full shutdown before power is restored.

Hail Storms 101

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

Hail Storm

Are you scared of storms or do you like them? We all have some level of admiration for hurricanes, regardless of which side we are on. They can cause significant harm, paint beautiful pictures across the sky, disrupt any outdoor plans, and completely change the course of a day. While you've certainly seen a lot of thunderstorms in your life, you may not know much about them. In today's post, we'll share some interesting storm information that you may not have known!

  • A typical thunderstorm has a diameter of 15 miles!
  • A typical thunderstorm lasts approximately 30 minutes.
  • At any given time, approximately 1,800 thunderstorms are occurring around the planet.
  • Every year, lightning kills more people than tornadoes.
  • A severe storm “watch” indicates that a severe storm has the potential to form but has not yet done so. A severe storm "alert" on the other hand indicates that a storm has formed and been sighted.
  • Just about 10% of storms are rated as "extreme."
  • If you've heard the phrase "four horsemen" of thunderstorms, it refers to wind/tornadoes, hail, floods, and lightning.
  • Thunderstorm clouds can reach heights of more than 20,000 feet!
  • A “derecho” is a form of extreme storm that lasts a long time, travels a long distance, and has high winds.
  • Even without a tornado, wind speeds in thunderstorms can reach 120 mph.
  • In 1984, a major hailstorm in Munich, Germany, caused over $1 billion in damage.
  • Large hailstones containing new, frozen ducks were confirmed to have dropped across a city in Massachusetts in 1933.

Can You Stand The Rain? - Storm Safety Tips You Should Know

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 38 sec

Storms can strike any time anywhere. If a storm struck within the next 15 minutes...would you be prepared? If you answered no, you should keep reading.

Weather incidents account for about 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters. According to the NOAA, these incidents could result in 500 deaths and nearly $15 billion in damages.

So, how can you ensure that you're as prepared as possible when extreme weather strikes? Recognize the risk and take action. Regardless of how high or low the risk of extreme weather is, it's important to have an emergency plan and supply kit in place just in case.

Items For 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

Emergency Ready Profile

While this list is appropriate for a home or organization, if your company requires assistance in developing an emergency plan, let SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover do it for you. We specialize in Emergency Ready Profiles, which help to mitigate disruption and business interruption in the event of an emergency.

Learn More About Emergency Ready Profiles >

We Are Here To Help Every Step Of The Way

When storms hit Prince George’s County, there is always some kind of storm aftermath. If it's a downed tree branch or a power line. The damage caused by a storm's wind or hail to a home or business. Flooding is caused by rain in and around buildings or houses. Outages of electricity or other utilities. It's a mess that no one wants to talk about, but you can still count on SERVPRO professionals to help you recover some peace of mind and get back to work with our clean-up services for both residential and commercial customers.

We are here to service your day or night from the aftermath of any storm that comes to Prince Georges’s County. 

CALL US 

(301) 779-3662

Who Do You Call For A Flood?

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time:1 min 22 sec

Consider the following typical scenarios: Water pours through the downstairs ceiling and soaks the hardwood floors due to a leak in a second-floor supply line. A pipe bursts on the first floor, soaking carpets and the tile on the kitchen floor. You come home to a humid house with damp walls, a saturated roof, and standing water in the basement.

Obviously, in these situations, you contact SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover for assistance.

But what if the damage doesn’t look so bad and you're tempted to mop, towel, and fan instead? Here are a few things to think about:

Wet Seeks Dry

This means that water is constantly attempting to infiltrate dry building materials and contents. Moisture can cause warping, delamination, and staining depending on how long the water has been present. It takes time and a strategy to keep the water out of the flooring and drywall, just as it takes time and a strategy to get the moisture out. A specialist mitigation company, Like SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover experience, education, and equipment are frequently needed.

Secondary Damage from a Water Loss Can Exceed the Original Damage

For contractors coping with water loss, the insurance industry has a thick book of recommended guidelines. House floods, according to experience, destroy finishes, jeopardize the structural integrity of a building, and pose a health risk.

Our SERVPRO Team Has Seen It Before

We deal with variants of the above-mentioned circumstances hundreds of times a year. The only thing they share in common is a fear that problems will be fixed. We understand water and know that, no matter how familiar your dilemma is to us, it is terrifying, stressful, and disturbing to you. 

In the unlikely event that we come across a situation that we haven't seen before, we can turn to our SERVPRO network for support and advice. SERVPRO is the biggest and most trusted organization in the United States.

There are no unimaginable messes for our SERVPRO Team. The cleaning process starts with a phone call. 

Learn More About Our Water Damage Repair and Restoration >

CALL US TODAY!

(301) 779-3662

Business Disasters: Is Your Business Protected?

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 13 sec

Equipment malfunction caused this flood in a manufacturing plant. Not only was the production floor affected, so to was this restroom.

Business Disasters

A disaster is described as a significant disturbance in the functioning of a community or society that occurs over a relatively short period of time and results in widespread human, material, economic, or environmental loss. When we speak to business people, they think of a catastrophe as a big weather-related occurrence. A hurricane, a massive storm, or something along those lines. On a weekly basis, we see disasters, though on a smaller scale, to commercial properties.

In a commercial setting, a disaster is described as something that disrupts business or damages services or products, negatively impacting profitability. Here are some of the most common disasters we encounter.

  • Failed Plumbing
  • Appliances & Equipment
  • Sprinkler System Malfunction
  • Roof Leaks

Failed Plumbing

A commercial building, like your house, is vulnerable to faulty plumbing. Frozen pipe bursts are normal in the winter because people may try to save money by not keeping the property from freezing. The strain on plumbing caused by daily harsh use can also weaken and expose the plumbing..

Appliances & Equipment

From a basic water heater failure to big equipment requiring high water pressure, we've got you covered. Even with the best maintenance, appliances and equipment will fail. Examine the machinery in your commercial house. If you own a restaurant or provide food service, you will be more vulnerable.

Sprinkler System Malfunction

Get the sprinkler system serviced at least once a year. This is the most effective way to avoid malfunctions.

Roof Leaks

Okay, this one is weather-related. However, if you have roof problems, it does not take a major thunderstorm to leave water in your house. A simple shower can cause significant damage if the roof causes it to leak inside.

Spring Is On The Horizon!

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Spring Is Coming!

The birds are chirping, and the temperatures are rising – spring is finally here! Spring cleaning is a ritual that allows us to refresh our surroundings and prepare for the hectic seasons of spring and summer. While many people clean their homes thoroughly, this is also an excellent time to clean and organize your company.

We Are Here To Help!

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover will assist you in restoring your facility to preloss condition. Our SERVPRO  professionals are qualified to use cutting-edge equipment to remove soils hidden deep within your carpet, as well as concentrated stain removal and stain resistance applications, in addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning. Upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and maintenance, and odor deodorization are also available.

Trust The Leading Company In The Restoration Industry

A clean environment is a healthy environment! Improve your living and workspaces this spring. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover Spring have the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!



6 Rules For Cleaning Up Your Property After A Flood

3/17/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 22 sec

Cleaning up after a flood is unlike any other form of cleaning. If your home has been damaged by a flood, hurricane, or levy split, you know what a nightmare it can be. Sifting through personal belongings that have been saturated in dirty black water can be difficult, because although the objects may be packed with memories, they may also contain pollutants. If the content cleaning process starts, it can be difficult to determine what can be preserved and what must be discarded. Here are six things you need to think about when restoring your flooded property.

SIX RULES

  1. Clothing
  2. Surfaces
  3. Textiles
  4. Nonporous items
  5. Vintage/ Valuable items
  6. Floors

Clothing

Consider an object that can absorb water to be a sponge filled with possible toxins. Clothing, bedding, carpets, and couches are all examples of this.

Surfaces

Disinfectants are sometimes used to clean nonporous surfaces. Special precautions should be taken to eliminate the risk of mold or mildew development. When two surfaces on a nonporous object come into contact, the risk of mold or mildew grows exponentially. Consider oil paintings in boxes, metal cabinet handles, and plastic drawer bins.

Textiles

Textiles will often be salvaged if washed and dried within 48 hours. However, there are several exceptions to fabric material washing. It is not recommended to wash wool, leather, or silk pieces. Wool sometimes shrinks, leather cracks or loses its form, and silk becomes brittle after being dried.

Nonporous items

Nonporous items can also be saved if you have access to a functioning bathtub immediately after a flood. Small items of metal, plastic, or other manufactured materials should be soaked in a disinfecting solution before you have time to deal with them.

Vintage/ Valuable items

In plastic bags, freeze damaged heirloom books, framed pictures, or valuable documents. This can give you more time to think about recycling initiatives like photocopying.

Floor

After a saturating water disaster, Call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover. Experts with knowledge will include drying and dehumidifying equipment as well as a workforce to help with cleanup efforts.

My Food Is On Fire!

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Reading Time: 1 min 21 sec

If there is a grease fire in your house, it is vital that you know how to properly extinguish it. These fires are different from other forms of fires, since they burn as a result of oils being too hot, and they can never be extinguished with water. Fires that begin as a result of vegetable oils, animal fats, or other fats should be extinguished as follows:

  1. Switch the heat source off 
    Simply switching off the stove knob without removing any pots or pans from the stove.
  2. Cover the fire with a metal lid on it.
    If you do not have a lid big enough to cover the pot or pan that is on fire, you can use a baking sheet. This cuts off the oxygen that the fire needs to continue to burn. Do not use a glass lid because there is a chance of shattering.
  3. Throw soda or salt into the flames to extinguish it further
    Just use these two common ingredients in the kitchen. Never use flour or baking powder, as their individual chemical composition will potentially fuel the fire instead of putting it out.

As a last resort, you can use a fire extinguisher to fire grease. Use only the Class B extinguisher and aim at the lower part of the fire, following the instructions of the manufacturer.

What To Do If You Cannot Put the Fire Out

In case the fire spreads in your house, evacuate immediately. When you leave, be sure to close the door to help contain the flames. When you hit a safe distance, call 911 and wait for the firefighters to extinguish the flames. Do not return to your home under any conditions until you have been told that it is safe for you to do so by fire officials.

What To Do After The Fire 

A grease fire can cause your home to need a fire cleanup. If you need these services, it is best to always employ a fire-restoring company, and just know that SERVPRO of College Park/ Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/ Landover is always here to help.

Protect Your Business While You're Away

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

There are a lot of reasons you may need to shut down your business in Prince George’s Country. If you're away, your site can be at risk of catastrophic flood damage. Water pipe repair is expensive, so consider doing some preventive work if:

  • You work on a seasonal basis 
  • You have recently been the target of fire or other damage to the premises
  • Your location has been shut down by legal authorities 
  • You move to another location and sell your former property 
  • You have temporarily suspended operations for updating or remodeling

No matter why you decide to close down your store, the last thing you want is to go back to the disaster area. Here are a few precautions that may avoid harm to the water when you and your workers are elsewhere.

Keep Your Equipment Working

One of the best ways to protect your location from water damage is by maintaining your flood control equipment. Sump pumps are by far the most common water treatment equipment, so check your pump batteries and ensure proper mechanical operation before you leave for any period of time.

Close the Valves

You may also shut down your main water control system. It's always a good idea to be familiar with the following control valves: Fast responses to broken pipes will save hundreds of dollars in water pipe repair costs down the road.

Insulate

Isolation is commonly known to be prevention against freezing. You might be able to get more out of insulating your pipes, though, even if you're not afraid of them bursting. A little insulation may control small leaks, secure sensitive equipment or interior finishes.

It's pretty easy to make sure you have a safe, dry place to get back to, not a flooded one. These are not the steps you want to take every time you leave. However, if you're planning to be gone for more than a few days, these simple processes might save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in cleaning up and repairing water pipes. 

SERVPRO is Here 24/7

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

It can be a daunting experience for commercial property owners and administrators who are supposed to produce outstanding business operations and then a catastrophe occurs. The Pentagon clean-up after 9-11, the US Treasury, NIH, Francis Scott Key colleges, Georgetown University, Howard University, and the Department of Health are just a few of the major disasters SERVPRO has handled in the region. We can also help with industrial services. Facility managers enjoy working with SERVPRO and rely on us to help them recover from disasters.

Here To Help In PG County!

General adjusters and contractors in Prince Georges, entrust SERVPRO with their most serious damages and the most difficult claims.

Some of our specialties include, but are not limited to:

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Restaurants
  • Commercial Disaster Recovery Services 
  • Commercial Reconstruction

Faster To Any Disaster 

When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO is here to make it seem “Like it never even happened.” Choose SERVPRO of College Park and Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights/ Landover as your team who will assist you with any future disaster.

Protect Yourself From Lightning

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Reading time: 1 min 2 sec

One of the most common causes of weather-related deaths is lightning. Though the chances of being hit by lightning are only around 1 in 500,000 a year, certain factors can increase the chances of being struck. Here are several lightning safety recommendations.

Check The Weather

Be conscious of your surroundings. Before engaging in any outdoor activities, make sure to check the weather forecast. If thunderstorms are anticipated, postpone your trip or activity or make sure you have enough safe shelter.

Stay Indoors

Go inside. “When thunder roars, go indoors,” as the saying goes. When thunder is heard, seek cover in a dry, enclosed area. Homes, offices, shopping malls, and hard-top cars with the windows rolled up to serve as safe-havens.

Stay Away from Windows

Windows, doors, porches, and asphalt should all be avoided. Don’t lie on concrete floors and leaning against concrete walls. Any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring may conduct lightning.

Keep your distance from water.

Stay away from water. During a thunderstorm, avoid bathing, showering, washing dishes, or having any other contact with water because lightning can pass through a building's plumbing.

Don’t Use Electricity 

Electronic devices should be avoided. Computers, printers, game consoles, washers, dryers, stoves, and anything else with an electrical outlet should not be used. Electrical equipment, radio and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring may all be struck by lightning. Protect appliances by installing whole-house surge protectors in homes and workplaces.

Tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control; cdc.gov.

Protect Your Pipes

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Spring is just around the corner, but that doesn't mean the cold weather can go away right away. Rather, in the coming months, temperatures will fluctuate, with some warm days that are typical of spring and some cold days. Variable temperatures can cause havoc in your company by causing damage to pipes, which can result in water damage if they burst. As temperatures change, water in the pipes expands and contracts, causing increased pressure in the pipes.

Under this strain, pipes burst. Since burst pipes can cause significant water damage to your commercial building, it's critical to understand how to prevent them from happening in the first place, as well as how to deal with the water damage if they do.

Prevention

First and foremost, ensure that the company is covered by a water damage insurance policy that includes burst pipes. In the end, cleaning services can be expensive. Pipes that are outside or in unheated locations should be covered in insulated sleeves to keep the water inside from freezing in the winter. If pipes do freeze, it might be helpful to run water through them to prevent them from bursting. Finally, inspecting pipes for small leaks regularly is a good preventative measure to take, particularly as the weather gets colder.

If Your Pipes Burst…

At the first sign of a burst pipe, switch off the water, power, and heating systems to reduce the damage caused by the ruptured pipes. Documents, inventory, and other valuable objects should be transferred to a safe location as soon as possible, as water from burst pipes can harm or kill them.

Check the building for signs of water damage, such as stains or discoloration, musty odors, or mold formation, whether it is safe to do so. It can also be useful to open doors and windows, as this allows air to circulate within the structure, drying any damp areas and preventing mold or mildew growth. Your company must get back on its feet quickly after a burst pipe, so contact SERVPRO to repair any water-damaged areas of your business as soon as possible, "Like it never even happened."

What To Do Post Fire

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke Residue 

Smoky residue saturates any opening due to the convection pattern that flames usually form during ignition. Another reason to hire a professional to clean the soot is that it builds up in deposits that can become solidified and difficult to remove. When the cleaning crews arrive, they quickly separate salvageable objects from burned rubble, removing the items that emit the most potent odors for cleaning.

Soot Damage

Soot can cause damage to wall surface areas after a burn. To clean soot from walls, non-water-based cleaners must be used. Because of the fumes and toxicity, these substances can only be treated by a professional. Water-based cleaning products can cause spots to bleed onto plaster walls, which is why these chemicals should only be handled by a qualified professional.

Importance of Hiring a Professional 

Perhaps significantly, a repair campaign mitigates the health impact that a fire may have on those who return home. If a homeowner does not hire a specialist to repair their house, the consequences will be discovered later. They may think the problem has been resolved to the untrained eye, but they continue to feel the effects of indoor air pollution in the form of increased respiratory distress months later.

Trust The Leader In Restoration Industry

Here at SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover, we have the leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as clean and storing them until your property is back to normal, “Like it never even happened.” 

We Are Here To Help

3/4/2021 (Permalink)

Faster To Any Disaster

This is something we at SERVPRO are very proud of. To us, “Faster to Any Disaster” is more than a slogan. The peace of mind of the individual who has just experienced a tragedy is the number one reason we try to react as quickly as humanly possible.

24-Hour Emergency Service

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover have set a four-hour window as the maximum time required for us to arrive on jobs following our first notice of loss as a group. In the hustle and bustle of daily life, four hours can seem to be a short period of time. It can feel like an eternity to a property owner with water up to their knees and spreading rapidly through the building. The arrival of the green SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville and SERVPRO of District Heights / Landover truck would be the first sign of relief for them. Knowing this, we make every effort to respond to emergency calls within the four-hour window.

We Want to Minimize Damages 

Yes, fast response reduces damages and costs. The sooner we arrive, the less harm there will be and the quicker we will be able to dry. However, we want to help as soon as possible. “Like it never even happened,” gets off to a quick start in order to get people back to normal as quickly as possible.

Have you experienced water or fire damage to your home or place of business? Call us right now to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Let's Get Your Carpet Professionally Cleaned

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Carpet is one of the most popular floorings in U.S. homes. 

However, many homeowners may not know the process of maintaining a clean carpet. Sure, vacuums can clean the superficial mess, but there’s s much more stored inside most carpets. Part of this routine maintenance is having professional carpet cleaners come every 12 months depending on use. 

The Benefits of Having A Professionally Cleaned Carpet

Health

Carpet can store many allergens, dust particles, and bacteria. The airborne particles in the carpet can increase and/or lead to breathing problems, such as asthma & allergies

Airflow

As the carpet becomes clogged with Dust, Dirt, and Debris, the airflow will become compromised, especially in areas along the walls. The rooms in your home are more likely to become unpleasant and stuffy when the carpet is clogged with dirt and dust.

Look and Feel

Over time, the carpet becomes matted, which makes the carpet look old and worn. Expert cleaning helps to keep the dirt and dust from tearing away the fibers in the carpet, which makes them look better and feel softer for a longer amount of time.

Inside of a Dirty Carpet

Many unwanted particles can be found inside of a carpet such as

  1. Dirt
  2. Mold
  3. Dust Mites
  4. Bacteria
  5. Allergens
  6. Pollen

SERVPRO Can Help!

Our professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy soil conditions in your carpets. How often you’ll need professional cleaning depends on soil build-up, traffic, type, and color of carpeting. The best advice is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. If you wait until carpets look really dirty, the carpets may never be restored to their former appearance. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. More dirt is hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile, causing damage to the carpet.  We will get the job done right.

For a cleaning backed by state-of-the-art equipment, over 40 years of experience, and Professionals trained to the highest standards, call us today.

(301) 577 1166

We are here to help 24/7

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help During This Time of Need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have 45 years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform daily.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Chevy Chase / Silver Spring at 301-588-2240



9/11

9/11/2020 (Permalink)

September 11, 2001. A day that we will never forget. 19 years ago, our country lost nearly 3,000 people to terrorist attacks. As the traumatic events continued to unfold, Americans were hit with tragic loss, grief and sense of uncertainty.

The aftermath of the attacks were brutal and scarring. SERVPRO was called upon to assist with the restoration of the Pentagon. SERVPRO was able to complete the process of drying over 300,000 SQF of property due to water pipes bursting, and provide fire restoration. Despite the emotional nature of the job, SERVPRO professionals were honored in doing their part to help our Nation come back stronger. 

As we reflect almost two decades later, SERVPRO acknowledges that we as a country are still healing and recovering from those events. Despite all the loss, our spirit was never broken. We would like to thank all of our heroes. Our first responders, who put their life on the line to save another. Their bravery will never go unnoticed.

Today, on National Day of Service and Remembrance, we honor the victims, survivors of those who were impacted during the tragedies that took place in New York, DC and Pennsylvania.

We encourage everyone to use this day to find an opportunity to volunteer and help your fellow neighbor.

Red Cross Safety Tips

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Check out www.redcross.org for more information!

TORNADOES Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds. Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things you should do:

1. Know your community’s warning system.

2. Pick a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.

3. If you are in a high-rise building and don’t have enough time to go to the lowest floor, pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

4. Remove diseased and damaged limbs from trees.

5. Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.

 

THUNDERSTORM SAFETY STEPS Thunderstorms injure an average of 300 people every year, and cause about 80 fatalities. Here are the top thunderstorm safety steps you should follow:

1. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.

2. As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.

3. If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.

4. If you are inside, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.

5. If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.

We Have the Solutions!

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has the unique ability to help property owners in a variety of ways. Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. With over three decades of experience we have seen most everything. We cannot say everything because even in the decades of helping our neighbors in the Carthage/ Joplin Area, we still see new things. But here are a few disasters we commonly take care of.

Water Damage – We see water damages from all kinds of sources. Busted pipes, malfunctioning appliances, human accidents or neglect, and ground flooding to name a few common sources. No matter the cause, or the epic story that explains it, we have a solution to return you to normal “Like it never even happened.”

Fire and Smoke Restoration – A fire can be very a huge inconvenience but it is not the end of the world. Many times, you would be surprised at how much of your personal property can be restored. We specialize in cleaning and deodorizing anything from family heirlooms, documents, to the very walls in your home or business.

Mold Remediation – With naturally high levels of humidity in the area of the country we live in mold can be an issue if a water intrusion is not properly taken care of. Not only do we offer remediation services but we also do mold testing and offer preventative measures such as crawl space moisture barrier installation.

Bio Hazard Clean Up – This area of our work is not enjoyable to talk about but many times it is necessary. We have the training and experience to properly clean up any area they may have the threat of blood born pathogens being present. These cases include trauma and crime scene clean up.

These are by no means the only services we offer. Frankly, whatever mankind or mother nature can throw at a structure, we can more than likely assist in the restoration.

How to Minimize Fire Damage

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Minimizing further fire damage is one of the first considerations after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Commercial fire damage can greatly affect the ability of a business to continue operations. In order to recover as much value as possible from a property that has undergone fire damage, smoke damage, and soot damage, a restoration company should be contacted immediately after the premises are secure. The fire cleanup team can aid in evaluating the damage to the property and listing the items that are present. They can also perform fire damage restoration and offer an estimate onsite.

A restoration company will also be instrumental in boarding up a property if commercial fire damage has compromised any doors or windows. Roofs and walls that may have been cut into by firefighters during the fire may also need to be boarded up. This process can be much more difficult than it originally appears due to the need to evaluate the structural integrity of much of the buildings foundation. A professional contractor should be contacted before an individual attempts to board up his or her own property after a fire in a home or a fire in a business. Boarding up a property that has undergone fire damage is important both to prevent the collapse of the building as well as to protect it from any intruders who may cause additional damage.

The fire cleanup will also involve drying up all the water that firefighters may flood the premises with in order to put out the fire. This water can cause extensive water damage as well as promote the growth of mold. A certified technician can employ all manner of techniques to dry out the property and prevent mold growth using industrial equipment that may include a water extractor, a dehumidifier, and an air current mover. This process will also somewhat remove the smoke smell that may persist after a fire.

After a list of personal belongings have been identified and list along with the property owner, a restoration company can work with him or her to reverse the smoke damage and soot damage that may have settled into the property. Surfaces can often be fully cleaned, even if it is porous like carpet. Deep vacuuming and steam injection are often successful in removing the oily soot that may lead to residual smoke smell. Fire damage restoration requires techniques that require specialized equipment, and these techniques can be discussed with the property owner in order to decide whether or not to proceed with restoration.

If fire damage restoration is not possible on certain items, they may be more easily replaced. In this case, the restoration company will also help to dispose of these items in the appropriate manner. After a fire in a home or a fire in a business, much debris will need to remove anyway. Smoke damage and soot damage is reversible, but property owners sometimes choose to replace items and surfaces instead.

All surfaces are sanitized and cleaned after all soot damage and smoke damage has been reversed. The fire clean up team will also instruct property owners on how to prevent commercial fire damage in the future. Any residual smoke smell will be ventilated until gone. If the smoke smell persists, chemical solutions like an ozone treatment or thermal fogging are also options depending on the needs of the property owner. Additional treatments may be needed weeks or even months after the initial incident.

Fire cleanup is extremely daunting for an individual who is shocked by a fire in a home or a fire in a business. However, fire damage restoration is normal for a fire cleanup specialist, even after extension commercial fire damage. A specialist who has the experience and the expertise to guide a property owner will ensure that fire damage is minimized as much as possible. 

SERVPRO's Relationships

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Involvement by our SERVPRO at all levels in the community cannot be understated. One of these levels is at the city and county economic level. Every town and city has a vested interest in trying to help their local business survive and thrive, providing much needed jobs to the members of their communities and also providing economic stimulus and tax revenue generation. 

These needs get interrupted when disaster strikes a business and it is vital to get their operations back up and running, as quickly as possible, "Like it never even happened." This is where the relationships you form with SERVPRO prior to the disaster striking are so important. Does your business already have a SERVPRO Representative (SMR) assigned to you? If not, complete a internet search for your local SERVPRO franchise and ask for one to be assigned to you. This SMR will go through the process of educating your business about all that they can do in advance of the coming disaster, to help you prepare so that when it happens, it is not as costly to you in downtime and lost production.       

There are many different ways to get involved with your community business members. Building relationships with our local businesses is key for when large events happen at this level, those leaders run in small circles and great relationships are needed here, so those business leaders can get their business's back up and running and restore their communities to like it was before the disaster.... "Like it never even happened." 

What's in a Flood?

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Not all water damages are the same. Many of our friends have found that out after recent flooding. The cleanup caused by recent flooding in much different than say a burst pipe you may have experienced in the past. In this blog we will look at the different water types.

What we call “clean” water when referring to water damage is water from a broken supply line for example. Clean water is pretty self-explanatory; it comes from a clean source. Rain water CAN be considered clean water if it is an isolated incident not related to wide spread flooding.

The second type of water is “grey” water. Grey water is slightly contaminated water. A good example of grey water is drain from a dishwasher. Keep in mind that water types can change. Clean water left too long without cleanup becomes grey water as bacteria and other contaminates can begin to grow.

The final classification is “black” water. Black water is highly contaminated as it is the result of encountering sewage, chemicals, or harmful bacteria. The tragic flooding we experienced this spring would be considered black water. Yes, we said earlier rain water was considered clean but as this water flowed out of control through farms and cities it picks up contaminates. Flooding to this extent has mixed with local sewage systems, as well as been in contact with an endless list of chemicals and contaminates.

SERVPRO always recommends you leave water damage cleanup to the professionals but we cannot stress enough how harmful black water can be. The type of water determines our protocol for proper cleanup. When handled improperly, it is easy to contaminate other areas of your home or business and instead of mitigating damage you may accidentally increase it. Black water should always be left to the pros.

Getting Prepared for Severe Weather

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, we have had an active spring weather wise but fortunately we have not encountered much in the way of severe weather here in the four states. But as we all know we are no where near being out of the woods for possible sever storms. We try to help our neighbors be as prepared as possible for any disaster. Here is our annual spring sever weather reminders.

Be vigilant and aware. There are a lot of ways to receive notice of the threat of sever weather these days. Weather radios (with properly charged batteries) are probably the most reliable but are sometimes impractical. Most people do not carry a weather radio around with them. Weather radios are also limited in accuracy for specific locations. The information released on weather radio stations covers entire counties. Cell phones are a better way to receive information of specific locations but they rely on a network of towers that can be damaged by strong storms. Television and radio are also great ways to receive updated information but they too can be interrupted by damage to their infrastructure.

Have an Emergency Kit ready. We all have been reminded many times to have a kit ready. Standard items include food and water for two days. A first aide kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, etc. The National Weather Service, the Red Cross, and FEMA all have detailed lists you can easily find online. Just don’t procrastinate! Get a kit ready and have it accessible.  

Have a rendezvous plan. Don’t assume if a disaster strikes your family will all be together and accounted for. We all have busy lives and are going in different directions. Have a plan to meet up with loved ones. Start with meeting back at your home, but if that is not possible have a back up plan to meet. Many families use a family member or other contact out of the area to coordinate the rendezvous.

As severe weather season rolls on, please be safe!

Spring Mold Prevention

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and temperatures are getting warmer little by little. It’s evident that spring is in the air. Spring weather motivates us to open windows and breathe in the fresh air, but it may be surprising to know that doing so can increase the chances of mold growth in your home due to the presence of moisture and humidity in the air. Many different surfaces, such as carpet, wood, and insulation, can serve as reservoirs for mold as long as moisture is present. It is also important to note that mold is capable of growing at any point during the year, but warmer temperatures and greater humidity in the spring increase the risk of mold growth during the season. Understanding what actions you can take in order to prevent mold growth will prove absolutely essential in protecting your home and those living in it from the harmful effects of mold this spring.
It is extremely important when protecting your home from mold growth during the spring to facilitate the circulation of air within your home so that warm air will not become stagnant in one area. Air can be circulated efficiently with the help of fans and moisture in the air can be decreased through the use of a dehumidifier. It is important to remember that humidity levels indoors should not be greater than 45%. It may also be beneficial to keep an eye on areas of the home that are cold or dark, which are especially susceptible to mold growth. To help prevent mold growth in these areas, do your best to expose these areas to natural or artificial light.
Finally, after rain showers or storms, which are prevalent during the spring, make sure to frequently check areas around windows and doors for mold growth. Moisture from rain water can gather around windows and doors, which can lead to mold growth if not dried immediately. Additionally, because temperatures indoors and outdoors differ during the springtime, condensation is often prevalent on doors and windows. Moisture from condensation, when met with humidity, can also lead to mold growth if the area is not dried.
If mold becomes visible on a surface in your home, be sure to diligently scrub the surface with water and detergent. After doing so, make sure that you dry the surface thoroughly in order to prevent further mold growth in that area. Small-scale, isolated mold growth is typically manageable, but larger-scale mold growth can be overwhelming and require professional remediation. Call the mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO in order to assess the situation and take care of your home’s mold infestation in a timely manner.

Commercial Fire Deodorization

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

This is a large commercial fire damage we produced as a result of an electrical malfunction. SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville. had a first responder on site quickly to expedite cleaning, demolition, and deodorization scope and planning. As this was located at a gymnasium, the vast majority of space was warehouse, with built-in tiered offices and party rooms. Total affected space in the building was 15,500 square feet, which made for an enormous amount of volume to conduct final deodorization. After weeks of demolition and specialized cleaning, we conducted thermal fogging for the final deodorization. Our two technicians donned their proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and fogged the entire cubic area of the gym. The photo shows the fogging after disperse, with the capability of it penetrating into high and small cavities.

Smoke Alarms

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire prevention is one of the most important things for you and your family. Ensuring that your home has smoke alarms are one of the first steps in fire prevention. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths were caused because of no smoke alarm or no working smoking alarm. Smoke alarm cut the risk of people dying. Hardwired fire alarms operated 94% of the time versus battery powered alarms. The battery may tend to fail because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires and can detect a fire faster during the night hours when you are sleeping to give you extra time to safety assist or waken others to evacuate from a fire.

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals understand the trauma that follows a loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back.

Contents Services

  1. Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
  2. Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.
  3. Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized as close to preloss condition as possible. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and much more.

Structural Cleaning

  1. Ceilings and Walls – Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will pretest to analyze the extent of the damage to your ceilings, walls and woodwork. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can reduce the cost of recovery by expertly cleaning lighter soot without incurring the expense associated with repainting. When higher concentrations of soot exist, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will clean the area to prepare the surface for smooth painting.
  2. Carpet & Floor Restoration – After a smoke or fire damage, carpeting and floors will often need a deep and thorough cleaning. Residue from smoke or soot settles and is ground into flooring every time someone walks on it. Whether it is wall-to-wall carpeting or the most expensive tile floor, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the experience, equipment and cleaning products to clean and protect all types of flooring surfaces.
  3. Ductwork – The ductwork and HVAC system will be inspected to determine if they were affected by the smoke damage. Depending on the amount of damage, the proper restoration process will be determined to clean and deodorize your HVAC and duct system.

Deodorization

  • SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Ask your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

Questions? 
Call Us Today – 301-779-3662

Fire Safety

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Clothes dryer fires happen more often than one might think, accounting for 16,800 home structure fires in 2010 and doing more than $236 million in property damage according to the National Fire Protection Association. The most frequent causes of fires in dryers are lint/dust (29%) and clothing (28%). In washers, they are wire or cable insulation (26%), the appliance housing (21%) or the drive belt (15%).

Dryers were involved in 92% of the Washer/Dryer fires; the risk of fire was basically the same for both gas and electric-powered dryers.

Safety tips:

  • Clean the lint screen frequently and don’t run the dryer without it.
  • For gas and propane dryers, make sure there aren’t any leaks in the lines.
  • Vent the dryer to the outside of the house and ensure nothing blocks the vent pipe.
  • Clean the vent pipe and the area where the screen is housed.
  • Keep the area around the dryer free of combustible materials.

Build Your Emergency Kit

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Whether if it is at home, in a business setting, or in your very own vehicle, it is important to be properly equipped with an emergency kit.

Now, the true question is what are the essentials needed to complete this kit? Ready.gov suggests having enough supplies to last you at least three days. In the state of an emergency, this is critical.

Below, you can find a list of items that we believe are necessary to include in your emergency kit:

  • 3 day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Water
  • First aid kit
  • Medication
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products 
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Chargers
  • Clothes
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Whistle - to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

Establishing an Emergency Ready Plan for Your Business

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

You can’t plan when an emergency will arise, but you can prepare for it before it does. This is especially important if you are a business owner. When a disaster occurs in your business, everything screeches to a halt. You are no longer able to help your customers and clients. You are no longer able to offer your services. You are no longer bringing in an income. Business has been interrupted and depending on the extent of the damage, you may be looking at a long road to recovery – not just for remediation, but also to get your business back to where it was before the disaster happened. So, what can you do to prevent an emergency situation from shutting down your business? While you can’t necessarily prevent disaster from occurring (it happens to the best of us), you can prepare for what to do when it does. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can minimize how fire and water affect your business.

That is where SERVPRO comes in. We can establish a plan for your business using our ERP, or Emergency READY Profile.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility. This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A Profile Document containing only the crucial information you will need in case of an emergency. It doesn’t take very long to complete, but it will save you a lot of time (and from one more headache) if you ever need it.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. By having an immediate plan of action, you can help minimize downtime.
  • Establishes SERVPRO as your emergency mitigation and restoration provider. You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is located right here in San Antonio.
  • Identifies the line of command for authorizing work to begin. This saves time so that we can begin the work of mitigating the damage immediately, which can save you both time and money.
  • Provides important facility details such as priority contact information, priority areas, and shut-off valves. Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

There is never a good time for it to be raining inside a building. An in-depth job scope and work plan are developed quickly to get the water out and dry the interior. Industrial water extractors, a desiccant dehumidifier the size of a tractor trailer, plenty of staff, and SERVPRO know-how to get the job started quickly and correctly. Working around the clock for days, our employees and hundreds of pieces of equipment work away to get the elementary school cleaned up and ready for the first day of school. 

What a sense of satisfaction it is to see this school opening right on time due to the hard work of our SERVPRO employees along with the faculty and staff of the school and the community!! It just goes to show that no job is too big or too small for our SERVPRO team.

With over 50 years in the industry, we know just what to do in the case of a water event that causes damage to a school, business or home! We make it "Like it never even happened." 

Be Prepared for When Storms Hit

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Whether there is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, or sleet and snow, all of these can cause property damage. You can't control mother nature, but you can be prepared.

Here are some tips to help you:

-Check for tree limbs and branches that might have fallen.

-Roofs, pipes and gutters should all be inspected and make sure they are in proper working order. Clear gutters from debris, a damming effect could cause roof damage or interior water problems. Downspouts should be facing away from the home or building.

-Clean your chimneys and exhaust systems from debris.

-Test your gas lines for leaks.

-Inspect your property for proper drainage.

-Protect pipes from freezing by allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If any pipes are under cabinets leave the cabinets open. Make sure exterior pipes are properly insulated.

-If there are any outdoor faucets, you might want to shut the water off.

-Make sure all exterior doors and windows have sufficient weather stripping.

Unexpected Water Damage

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO 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 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 has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call us, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring. This includes how many trained SERVPRO professionals we may need.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask 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)?

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville is here for you 24/7 all 365 days of the year. Call us at 301-779-3662.

Faster to Any Size Water Damage

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO provides 24/7/365 fire and water damage restoration service.

We do not wait for regular business hours. SERVPRO 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 invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, plus more.  SERVPRO arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

  • 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.

If you need further assistance with your water damage, please call SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville at 301-779-3662.

3 Things to Avoid After a Flood

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

If you have standing water from a recent flood, your business is susceptible to various types of infestation. The three most common and most damaging factors that affect flooded facilities are the following: 

• Insects 
• Bacteria 
• Mold growth

Bugs

Insects are important to the ecosystem, but you do not want a whole ecosystem growing throughout your business. Most of the peskiest bugs out there love it when your building has a flood. That's because some of them lay eggs in stagnant water and others enjoy dining on the building materials that have been softened up by moisture. Getting rid of the water as soon as possible is a priority if you want to avoid turning your facility into a swarm of insects.

Bacteria

Warm weather flooding provides a breeding ground for disease. Even if the water source is clean, it is unlikely that every object the floodwater comes into contact with is disinfected. Furthermore, organic materials start to dissolve in water very quickly, providing a solution that becomes a food source for disease-causing bacteria. A good flood recovery company will come armed with antiseptics for this reason.

Black Mold

Mold growth starts rapidly when water is present in a building. It can take as little as 24 hours for the first spores to start multiplying. This is because even in the most pristine buildings, the mold is already present. All it needs is a high level of moisture to get started multiplying and taking over the walls, ceilings and furnishings of your business. This is what makes mold one of the most common secondary sources of loss in businesses that experience flooding. 

Insects, diseases and mold growth form a triad of secondary problems that can end up costing you a fortune to clean. Make sure that your water damage is taken care of correctly, and your facility is thoroughly dried, and you will minimize the risk of having issues in the future.

Commercial Building Storm Damage

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

When preparing for an upcoming spring storm, protecting your home is the priority and something you should take seriously. As a business owner, you have to do double duty because it is crucial to ensure that your business is as secure as your home.

Here are a few ways to help you avoid storm damage to your commercial property:

1. Watch, Listen, or Read

By watching the local news channel, listening to the radio throughout your commute, or reading a weather app on your phone, you will know exactly what is coming your way as well as how to prepare for it. 

2. Protect the Property

Be knowledgeable about where your pipes are located. With a quick visit to the hardware store, you can gather insulation supplies for the pipes that are easy to reach. Hate the drip, drip, drip from a leaky faucet? In the event of a cold front that brings freezing weather, turning the faucet on to a drip can help you avoid a potential serious and costly pipe break. This is because the drip keeps the water moving in the pipe and does not allow it to sit and freeze. When left alone, the water can freeze and expand, and this pressure is what will break a pipe.

3. Ask for Help

Utilize others’ knowledge on how to keep your business safe. Know who you can call to help prevent damage or to fix an already broken pipe. Save the phone number of a cleanup and restoration company in your phone contacts for quick reference in case of an emergency.

No one wants to deal with the headache of storm damage or a pipe break. By being prepared and creating a plan for your business, you can ease the burden of an upcoming winter storm. Your business storm strategy can also be easily applied to your home so that you won’t have to worry if a storm hits while you’re at work.

2 Reasons to Address Mold Immediately

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

The presence of mold leaves behind an unmistakable musty odor. Although this fungus can develop inside a house when it is simply a little too humid, it is more likely to develop after floodwater damages the premises. When that flooding is accompanied by sewage loss, the contaminants only exacerbate the problem. Homeowners should try to prevent mold growth entirely. However, if mold does develop, then you need to address it right away before a bad stench turns into something much worse.

1. Structural Damage

Mold is particularly destructive to certain materials, including gypsum board, plaster and wood. Over time, these materials may weaken and change color. You may not even see the damage if the item is painted, but the paint merely hides the mildew. The only way to ensure your home remains structurally sound is to remove all presence of mold. Certain structures may need to be replaced entirely to make sure your house is safe.

2. Rapid Growth

Mold growth can get out of hand in just 24 hours. It can spread exponentially when exposed to the right conditions. Leaks, condensation and high humidity can accelerate the growth process, causing the mold to overtake entire sections of walls and flooring. Over time, this can lead to toxic black mold.

An even more dangerous aspect is that visible mold is only half the story. If you see mold, then there is a very high likelihood there is even more growing out of sight. You need someone to come out to your place immediately to ensure your house remains mold-free.

When bringing in a professional team to address mold in your home, it is vital that every sign of it is removed. This includes the mold you see on the wall as well as spores that have entered the air. Without addressing the problem comprehensively, the mold growth will simply resume, sometimes in less than a day.

The Fire is Out, Now What?

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

Residential and commercial fires are unpredictable and can be devastating. Hopefully you have given thought to fire prevention for your home. In addition to taking these steps, you have also developed an escape plan with your family. In the unfortunate case of a serious fire, would you know where to turn after the fire crews leave?


SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville 301-779-3662 is the simple, effective solution. We'll respond quickly and get to work restoring your property.


One of the first steps in our fire damage restoration process is the inspection.

Without proper and careful inspection, we cannot be sure of risk factors in the environment, the extent of damage, critical utility locations, and numerous other important factors. Inspection can sometimes be a lengthy process, as SERVPRO inspectors have to look for and catalog many different factors.

Here are some of the things that we look for in homes that have taken fire damage.
 
Structural Instability
 
One of the most important considerations when inspecting fire damage is structural stability. Fires, as they burn through supports and other structural components, can create unstable conditions and high potential for collapse. Our technicians look for signs of structural weakening to ensure the safety of both you and SERVPRO technicians, such as warped walls, burned columns, caved-in ceilings, buckled door frames, and scraping between doors, windows, and their upper frames. Any of these may be an indicator of a weakened structure, so knowing of them before any work begins has the potential to save lives.
 
Spots for Tarping and Boarding
 
Immediately following inspection, our crews move in with tarps and boards to seal up any windows, doors, or holes in the home that leave it open to the elements. Inspectors look for these openings and compose plans to seal them most effectively.
 
Damage Inspection
 
Of course, the central part of any fire damage inspection is what has been hurt, and how much. Inspectors will catalog items, surfaces, and areas which have taken damage, describing in detail for our other teams how bad the situation is and what factors caused it. From there, our technicians can work to apply appropriate cleanup processes and measures. If you have used our ERP (Emergency Ready Profile) system, this process may be greatly accelerated as our inspectors will have access to plans and inventory lists beforehand.
 
SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville works with you to get fire damage cleaned up quickly, cheaply, and with the minimal safety concern. Call us at all hours at 301-779-3662

We Are Cleaning Experts

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help During This Time of Need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have 45 years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform daily.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville at 301-779-3662

Cleaner Air Makes for Healthy Employees

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Think about the air quality you breathe regularly: both indoors and outdoors. Which type of air quality do you think is cleaner? If you believe the indoor air quality is cleaner as opposed to the outdoor air quality, think again. The EPA estimates that indoor air contains two to five times more pollution than outdoor air quality. Poor air quality causes problems such as reoccurring colds and sore throats or even headaches, asthma, allergies, and chronic fatigue. As a result, this could cause more employees to need copious amounts of down time ultimately leading them away from productivity.

When dust, debris, and other contaminants build up in your heater, ventilation system, and air conditioner, they can trigger allergies and other health issues. Additionally, these contaminants reduce your energy efficiency, which can ultimately increase your energy costs. These are two compelling reasons to confirm the air ducts and HVAC system in your workplace are running efficiently.

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. We suggest that you make it a priority to inspect the duct work of your home or business when it is being built. If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating at least one of the following unwanted contaminants throughout the space that which you spend most of your day breathing in:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Other contaminants

SERVPRO professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation, or air conditioning (HVAC) units. Keeping these machines clean not only extends the equipment’s lifetime, but it will also save money and time. This will, therefore, provide a better air quality experience throughout your everyday life.

Although, duct cleaning is not always necessary, we will at least make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. Additionally, this will boost the quality of air that is currently circulating your work environment that will contribute to your peace of mind.

Here are the benefits of servicing your HVAC unit regularly:

  • Restores peak energy efficiency.
  • May help eliminate offensive odors.
  • Reduces the potential for mold growth.

At least one of these benefits should help you take a step in the right direction when it comes to maintaining a cleaner HVAC system. If you do not, it can become detrimental to your health.   

Puffback Prevention

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

For those who live in colder parts of the United States, there are home appliances that play a critical role when it comes to your furnace. A quality furnace can ensure optimal comfort inside your home while minimizing the amount of energy you consume at home. Even a top-quality furnace will not provide consistent results if you do not maintain it properly.

Those who neglect regular furnace servicing may find themselves dealing with a wide variety of issues, including a common problem such as a puffback. Here are some key points to know about your furnace at home and how it could produce a puffback when it is least expected:

  1. What is a Puffback?

Puffbacks are explosions of soot and smoke caused by improper furnace ignition. They typically occur when excessive amounts of fuel vapors accumulate inside of your furnace’s burner chamber. When the furnace ignites, these vapors explode. Fortunately, this explosion does not have the force to put you and your family at risk. However, over time, a puffback can make a serious impact on your HVAC system.

When an oil burner does not ignite immediately, excess oil builds up within the combustion chamber. The fuel could then ignite explosively, like the backfiring of a car. Depending on how much fuel has built up in the chamber, the result can range from a small explosion to a cloud of oily smoke.  

This disaster poses the greatest threat due to the excessive amounts of soot and smoke they produce. Over time, soot builds up on the inner surfaces of your furnace and heat exchanger, often leading to problems such as corrosion and clogged burner nozzles. The worst aspect of a puffback is that both soot and smoke will find their way and impact your home’s air quality.  

  1. Oil and Gas Furnaces Can Have Puffbacks

Puffbacks can occur in both natural gas and oil-burning furnaces. All furnaces have the capability of accumulating fuel vapors in the combustion chamber if it is not properly maintained. With that said, a puffback poses a more common problem for oil furnaces.

Fun fact, oil furnaces have greater maintenance needs. A neglected oil furnace will accumulate issues that lead to a puffback at a faster rate. Furthermore, oil furnaces tend to experience more severe puffbacks. Heating oil dissipates at a lower rate than natural gas. This will ultimately allow it to accumulate in greater quantities.

  1. Issues Leading Up to a Puffback

A puffback may stem from a variety of furnace problems, many of which relate back to a lack of maintenance. The most direct mechanism of puffback involves leaks in or around the furnace’s combustion chamber. These leaks allow fuel to trickle into the combustion chamber even when the furnace is not running. As soon as the burner turns on, fuel will ignite.

A puffback can also be due to the exhaust flue or chimney. If exhaust gases cannot vacate the system quickly enough, they will remain inside of the furnace. This specific scenario alters the delicate pressure balance needed for proper combustion, changing the air-fuel ratio and leading to a puffback. Such pressure problems may cause additional damages to the heat exchanger.

Puffbacks frequently happen as the result of clogged burners. When fuel cannot enter a furnace efficiently, misfires allow for fuel (that was not burned) to accumulate inside the combustion chamber. Finally, puffbacks may stem from excessive dirt ignition electrodes. A dirty electrode may fail to generate the spark needed for combustion, instead of allowing fuel to puddle inside of the furnace.

As a result, the mess of soot and debris will be mixed with oil. It can quickly spread throughout your home, covering cabinets, walls, furniture, and everything else you would never want covered in black, sticky grime. In addition to the mess, puffbacks contaminate the air and surfaces with unhealthy material. The consequences can be unpleasant, but SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville can work with you in the cleaning and restoration process of your home and belongings.

Should a puffback occur, here are some helpful tips to follow:

  • Assess the damage
  • Wash all affected clothing and throw out exposed food
  • Contact a technician to repair the malfunctioning furnace
  • Contact SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville 

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville  is a trusted leader in the restoration industry. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to quickly restore your home to its original state. If you need someone to help with any type of smoke, soot, or fire damage, our high trained technicians will by there to start the restoration process. For more information about what it takes to manage a puffback and prevention steps towards avoiding an expected disaster, please reach out to us at SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville at 301-779-3662

Do Not Succumb to a Storm's Norm

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

Floodwaters are known for carrying mud and silt from the exterior of a home to the interior. Water removal is critical when limiting the damages to the first onslaught of storm waters. Minimizing non-salvageable materials to contaminated elements that can be demolished and discarded is challenging.

As you can see in the picture to the right, floods carried mud and silt from the exterior of this home and deposited it onto the basement floor. This before and after picture illustrates what a residency can look like after a storm’s floodwaters create water damage as well as after SERVPRO restores the property’s basement. If you have recently experienced a similar situation with water or storm damage, contact SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville. We will assist you in anyway to help you recover from a disaster.

While in 45 years of business, we have saved our clientele and their insurance companies from inconvenience, stress, and spending additional money. With the help of our team carefully planning an execution strategy, we always tailor our strategy towards the size of the cleanup, no matter what the damages may be, “Like it never even happened.”

Is it Time for a New Roof?

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

 

How long can your roof really weather all the ailments that Mother Nature brings? It’s summertime so that means extreme temperatures, and heavy rain showers that dump lots of water on homes and businesses. So, how can you tell if your roof is truly holding up to these challenges? There are many signs that say it’s time to get a new roof. Check these tips out and then check your roof to see where you stand.

  • Check for cracked shingles
  • Check to see if shingles are cupped, or if the edges are curled
  • Check for bald spots where granules are missing

You would also need to replace your roof if it is more than 20 years old, or if you notice that it just looks old and worn. If you have moss growing in some of the shingles, it might also mean that it’s time for a new roof. Though new roofs can be costly, it will save you from heartache if your home suffers water damage from a leak.

Call us today if you have water damage!

Cleaner air makes for healthier employees

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

 

If you think the air you breathe indoors is cleaner than what’s outside, think again. The EPA estimates indoor air can be two to five times more polluted than outdoor air. All that bad air translates into everything from frequent colds and sore throats to headaches, asthma, allergies and chronic fatigue, which in turn causes employee downtime.

When dust, debris and other contaminants build up in your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, they can trigger allergies and other health issues. But they also reduce energy efficiency, which increases your energy costs. Now you have two compelling reasons to make sure the air ducts and HVAC system in your workplace are running efficiently.

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

Dust

Pollen

Odors

Dirt and debris

Other contaminants

SERVPRO Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.

May help to eliminate offensive odors.

Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

SERVPRO relationships with businesses

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

 

Involvement by our SERVPRO at all levels in the community can not be understated. One of these levels is at the city and county economic level. Every town and city has a vested interest in trying to help their local business survive and thrive, providing much needed jobs to the members of their communities and also providing economic stimulus and tax revenue generation. 

These needs get interrupted when disaster strikes a business and it is vital to get their operations back up and running, as quickly as possible, "Like it never even happened." This is where the relationships you form with SERVPRO prior to the disaster striking are so important. Does your business already have a SERVPRO Representative (SMR) assigned to you? If not, complete a internet search for your local SERVPRO franchise and ask for one to be assigned to you. This SMR will go through the process of educating your business about all that they can do in advance of the coming disaster, to help you prepare so that when it happens, it is not as costly to you in downtime and lost production.       

There are many different ways to get involved with your community business members. Building relationships with our local businesses is key for when large events happen at this level, those leaders run in small circles and great relationships are needed here, so those business leaders can get their business's back up and running and restore their communities to like it was before the disaster.... "Like it never even happened." 

Water damage in your business

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

There are many property issues that business managers may have to grapple with, commercial water damage being one of the worst. Unfortunately, this type of damage can occur in the business setting at any moment. Whether the water damage results from a natural disaster or office mishap, substantial structural deterioration or destruction is often the result. In many cases, the emotional and economic pains that water produces force business owners to close their companies permanently. However, learning more about commercial water damage and how to efficiently complete the cleanup process, using an experienced company like SERVPRO, can help you impede this from happening.

Commercial Water Damage: Key Causes. The undesired result can be from numerous factors. The damages can result from flooding, roof leaks, frozen pipes, ice dams, and sewage backups. Additionally, disasters like fires can require extinguishing work from the fire department, leaving large quantities of standing water behind. No matter the cause of water intrusion, the effect is often the same: actual damage to the structural integrity of your property coupled with the compromise of safety to employees, and clients.

Identifying The Source Of The Problem. To deal with water damage effectively, you have to identify the source of the problem and then eliminate it. It's also important to know that there will be different methodologies for water damage restoration depending on the source. Excess water flowing from a broken or frozen pipe or ice damming on the roof will be handled differently than issues which result from floodwater or a sewage backup.

Avoiding DIY Projects. Business proprietors are tempted to begin the cleanup process by themselves to quickly reopen the doors to commerce. If the normal business traffic patterns have been disrupted, then it is time to call in SERVPRO, to mitigate water damage restoration time and costs. Rapid water pumping will diminish downtime and lessen damage to inventory, office furniture, supplies, and the building's structural components. Precise assessment and planning get results.

Contact SERVPRO Today. If your commercial property has been impacted by water damage, it's time to take action. When you call the friendly professionals of SERVPRO, you'll receive a fast response from IICRC-certified technicians who use cutting edge equipment and customized methodologies to expedite the restoration process. Our techs are trained in water damage restoration, applied structural drying techniques, odor control, and mold remediation. Cleaning and restoring, as opposed to more costly replacing, is our policy so that we save you money as we quickly work to get your business back in business. "Like it never 

Local Businesses can count on SERVPRO

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Property owners and Property Managers are entrusted with keeping their businesses operational. When Disaster Strikes, SERVPRO is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” We've assisted some of the Area's largest properties following disasters.  Denny's and many others have utilized our Commercial and Industrial Services. Facilities Managers rely on us to be Ready for Whatever Happens.

General Adjusteter and Consulting firms from around the Chicago and trust SERVPRO with their must complex claims. Some of our specialties include

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military
  • Universities
  • Schools
  • Restaurants
  • Commercial Disaster Recovery Services 
  • Commercial Reconstruction

Commercial Buildings and Water Damage

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damaged Warehouse

There are many property issues that business managers may have to grapple with, commercial water damage being one of the worst. Unfortunately, this type of damage can occur in the business setting at any moment. Whether the water damage results from a natural disaster or office mishap, substantial structural deterioration or destruction is often the result. In many cases, the emotional and economic pains that water damage produces force business owners to close their companies permanently. However, learning more about commercial water damage and how to efficiently complete the cleanup process, using an experienced company like SERVPRO, can help you impede this from happening.

Commercial Water Damage: Key Causes. The undesired result can be from numerous factors. The damages can result from flooding, roof leaks, frozen pipes, ice dams, and sewage backups. Additionally, disasters like fires can require extinguishing work from the fire department, leaving large quantities of standing water behind. No matter the cause of water intrusion, the effect is often the same: actual damage to the structural integrity of your property coupled with the compromise of safety to employees, and clients.

Identifying The Source Of The Problem. To deal with water damage effectively, you have to identify the source of the problem and then eliminate it. It's also important to know that there will be different methodologies for water damage restoration depending on the source. Excess water flowing from a broken or frozen pipe or ice damming on the roof will be handled differently than issues which result from floodwater or a sewage backup.

Avoiding DIY Projects. Business proprietors are tempted to begin the cleanup process by themselves to quickly reopen the doors to commerce. If the normal business traffic patterns have been disrupted, then it is time to call in SERVPRO, to mitigate water damage restoration time and costs. Rapid water pumping will diminish downtime and lessen damage to inventory, office furniture, supplies, and the building's structural components. Precise assessment and planning get results.

Contact SERVPRO Today. If your commercial property has been impacted by water damage, it's time to take action. When you call the friendly professionals of SERVPRO, you'll receive a fast response from IICRC-certified technicians who use cutting edge equipment and customized methodologies to expedite the restoration process. Our techs are trained in water damage restoration, applied structural drying techniques, odor control, and mold remediation. Cleaning and restoring, as opposed to more costly replacing, is our policy so that we save you money as we quickly work to get your business back in business. "Like it never even happened."

Has Your Business or Home Sustained a Water Damage?

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Not what you want to see in your home or business.

This time of year storms can pop up with little notice and often be severe in nature, causing wide spread power outages, localized flooding, and heavy wind damage. Often times sump pumps can become overwhelmed or fail due to overuse, causing basement flooding or other parts of your structure to be inundated with water of sewage backup. Being prepared ahead of time can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience or thousands of dollars in mitigation, restoration, and repairs. 

Having your sump pump inspected by a licensed professional, installing a battery back up system, a portable generator, moisture detection systems and check valves can also play a major role in the survivability of your commercial structure or home.

Even with some of those precautions being taken, disaster can still strike. That is when having a response team already in mind comes into play. Whether already having SOMEONE PROGRAMMED into your phone or having a qualified SERVPRO Representative complete a Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) in advance, these can be the most important steps you take.

Don't just let anyone help you on your next mitigation and restoration disaster, call the best call SERVPRO With our wide service area and trained and certified teams, we will make it "Like it never even happened."

#waterdamage #sewerdamage #flood #boardup #firedamage #smokedamage #sootdamage #biocleanup #mold

Water Damage Clean Up Is Not a D.I.Y. Project

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

We live in the Do-It-Yourself era. Home improvement stores and television shows promote it all the time. Heck, there is an entire television network dedicated to DIY programing. Many projects can be tackled by the weekend DIY pro. It can be a great way to reduce home improvement costs. Many people find pleasure and satisfaction in these projects. Today, we want to talk about a project that we recommend you not try to tackle yourself and that is water damage.

Depending on the source of the water intrusion, you may be dealing with various pathogens that can cause serious illness or death. Sewer backup is an example of a category 3 contamination.  Category 3 should never be handled except by a profession with the proper personal protective equipment to protect themselves and the proper training so other parts of the structure are not cross contaminated. Another example of a category 3 loss is flood waters from storms and swollen rivers and creeks.

Even lesser category losses can be harmful and need to be handled with care. Washing machine and dishwasher discharges are example of category 2 losses but can contain contaminates that can cause a reaction or illness. The time in which water sits is also a reason for concern. Even a category 1 loss such as a sink supply line busting, if let to sit for a few days can rapidly progress to category 2 or 3 as bacterial and microbial growth begins.

Mold is always a potential issue no matter the level of contamination of the water. This is where it gets tricky for the DIY person. People usually get blindsided by mold growth not from the moisture they seen and thought they took care of but by the hidden moisture. The carpet may feel dry to the touch a few days later but the pad may still be holding moisture, or the subfloor. Drywall will “wix” moisture up from a wet floor like a straw. Many times, moisture left on the backside of sheetrock is the beginning of extensive mold growth. Don’t chance it. SERVPRO has the training and technology to detect all moisture and properly dry all affected areas.

In the long run it will save you a lot of money. Money that can be used for all of the great DIY improvement projects you love.  

4 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO 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 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 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)?

What is In Flood Water?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

 

Not all water damages are the same. Many of our friends have found that out after recent flooding. The cleanup caused by recent flooding in much different than say a burst pipe you may have experienced in the past. In this blog we will look at the different water types.

What we call “clean” water when referring to water damage is water from a broken supply line for example. Clean water is pretty self-explanatory; it comes from a clean source. Rain water CAN be considered clean water if it is an isolated incident not related to wide spread flooding.

The second type of water is “grey” water. Grey water is slightly contaminated water. A good example of grey water is drain from a dishwasher. Keep in mind that water types can change. Clean water left too long without cleanup becomes grey water as bacteria and other contaminates can begin to grow.

The final classification is “black” water. Black water is highly contaminated as it is the result of encountering sewage, chemicals, or harmful bacteria. The tragic flooding we experienced this spring would be considered black water. Yes, we said earlier rain water was considered clean but as this water flowed out of control through farms and cities it picks up contaminates. Flooding to this extent has mixed with local sewage systems, as well as been in contact with an endless list of chemicals and contaminates.

SERVPRO always recommends you leave water damage cleanup to the professionals but we cannot stress enough how harmful black water can be. The type of water determines our protocol for proper cleanup. When handled improperly, it is easy to contaminate other areas of your home or business and instead of mitigating damage you may accidentally increase it. Black water should always be left to the pros.

Water you don't see can cost you money.

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water is the single most amazing substance on the planet.  Over 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by water. Our bodies are made up of over 60% water. Life as we know it is not sustainable without water. If you’re in the water damage restoration business what may amaze you the most is water’s incredible ability to travel. Water has an uncanny ability to travel around, over, and through about anything. For this fact, we at SERVPRO often talk about the water you don’t see. Hidden moisture can cause serious damage to your home or business and even your health. That is why even perceived “small” water damages should be handled by professionals.

To protect your investment you really need to view every water intrusion as a real threat.  SERVPRO has the experience, training, and the tools to properly scope water damaged property. Today we want to focus on the basic tools we use track the moisture.

  •         Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture. They can detect moisture in drywall, carpets, moldings, and other building materials. This tool is used to map out the full extent of the affected areas. What may appear dry or be dry to the touch may be affected and this tool helps us find all the moisture.
  •         Moisture Meters are used to actually measure the amount of moisture in the materials. This is a vital part in determining a drying strategy. Moisture meters are used throughout the drying process as areas are monitored daily to document the progress in drying.
  •         Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. SERVPRO techs use this information to create an environment in which materials can dry. As with the meters, this tool is used throughout the project to measure and document the progress of drying.

With a full and complete understanding of the severity of a water intrusion SERVPRO can eliminate the possibility of secondary damage resulting from a flood. A call to SERVPRO brings immediate action with our full arsenal of tools to prevent the further spread of water and the possibility of further damage such as rot an

Winter Temps in Spring? Be Prepared

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Be safe and disconnect hoses if temperatures near freezing.

Even for standards, this winter and early spring has been crazy! The official first day of spring was a weeks ago but you will be able to tell that by the nighttime low temperatures in this weekend’s forecast.

Everyone is in a scramble to cover outdoor plants and flowers to try to save them from the unusual cold temps. There is probably another thing you need to protect. Your outside faucet. As the temperatures have warmed over the last few weeks many of us have embarked on outdoor projects in the yard. Many of us have de-winterized the outside faucet and have connected hoses to complete chores.

Now a full weatherization like you do in the autumn with an insulated cover is probably not necessary but you do need to make sure your outside hose has been disconnected. The water in the connected hose is directly affected by the elements. When it freezes it can put pressure on the plumbing it is connected to and can lead to big time problems.

void Washing Machine Disasters

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage from a malfunctioning washing machine are common.

According to the US Census over 85% of American homes have a washing machine. Washing machines are viewed today as an essential part of life. They provide an efficient and sanitary place to clean our clothes and other soiled textiles. But is your washing machine a ticking water damage time bomb?

Home floods resulting from a malfunctioning washing machine is in the top ten categories for water damages according to insurance carrier’s data. Over half the time the water supply line into the machine is the culprit. The life span of a washing machine supply line is less than 9 years. How old are yours?

There are other parts of the machine that can malfunction. Pump malfunctions or drain hoses being disconnected can result in a serious water intrusion. The average cost of a claim from a washing machine when the customer is home and catches the problem relatively quickly is just under $5,000. These accidents don’t always happen when we are home, if the property is unoccupied the results can cost into the tens of thousands of dollars to fix.

So, what can you do to prevent these kinds of losses?

  • Make sure the drain hose is firmly secured and cannot easily be jarred free from the drain.
  • If your supply hoses are more than 5 years old think about replacing them. Especially if they are made of rubber. The metal braided hoses are much more durable.
  • Don’t snug your washing machine to close to the wall. Being to close to the wall may cause kinks in the hoses. While water may be allowed through the restricted area it causes a stress point for the hoses exterior to break down.

Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries - Your Annual Reminder

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms saves lives only when they are in good working order.

Sunday March, 10th is the start of daylight savings time. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has unofficially adopted this occasion as time to not only turn your clock forward one hour, but it’s also a great time to change the batteries in your homes smoke alarms.

There are no doubt smoke alarms save lives but according to the NFPA they can only do that if they are installed properly and maintained. Here are a few maintenance reminders.

Test every smoke alarm monthly. Usually this as simple as pressing the test button on the unit. Pick a day you will remember and do it each month. Get the kids involved, they are great source reminders.

Change the batteries in your alarm annually at a minimum. Daylight savings is a nice reminder twice a year to do this.

If you smoke alarms are over ten years old the entire unit needs to replaced with a new one.

A SERVPRO we see victims of fires each week. It is a dangerous and traumatic event. Smoke alarms not only save lives but give early warning and allows for faster response by first responders.

Tips For Outdoor Burning

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Tips For Outdoor Burning

Use caution when burning outside. A grass fire and quickly become a damaging structure fire.

Let's face it, outdoor burning is the last thing most of us want to do right now.  Not only is it uncomfortable this time of year, if conditions are right it can be dangerous. But at SERVPRO we get calls each summer about homes and businesses being damaged because an outdoor fire has gotten out of hand. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe. 

Be aware of conditions.

  • Don’t burn on a windy day. One local fire department outlines regulations on their website and bans voluntarily burning with wind speeds over 13 mph.  This can change very fast so be vigilant.
  • Don’t burn in dry conditions. As of the time of writing this blog we are dry in the Joplin and Carthage area. Annual rainfall is down meaning the vegetation is dry and can catch fire and spread quickly.

Check with the local Fire Departments. The above factors and many more go into the process of determining the local fire warning. Check with your local fire department and they give you a fire warning level that will range from…

  • Low
  • Moderate
  • High
  • Very High
  • Extreme

Burn in a suitable location.

  • Don’t burn under trees or powerlines.
  • Don’t burn near any structures.
  • Insure a 10’ perimeter around your burn pile is gravel or is soil with no vegetation. If there is vegetation keep the area wet by periodically using a hose to wet it.

Be vigilant and be responsible when burning. Not only is your property at risk, so is the property of your neighbors. 

Char Your Dinner, Not Your Home!

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  wants to make sure these activities are conducted in a safe way. Each year we respond to property damage claims caused by grills or outdoor fires. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission over 8,700 of Americans are injured annually by mishaps with outdoor grills. Each year grills are linked as the cause to over 8,900 structure fires with property damage totaling millions of dollars. Here are a few tips from the National Fire Protection Association that can help you enjoy outdoor fire in a safe way.

BBQ purest will tell you charcoal is the only way to go and these type of grills and smokers are common because of that. Never use any product other than starter fluid designed specifically for charcoal grills. Once the charcoal has been lit, the starter fluid needs to be put away; never add fluid to coals after they are lit.

Gas or propane grills offer their own safety issues. Always check hose connections to insure there are no leaks. It is probably a good idea to use soapy water to periodically check the hose for leaks. No matter which style of grill you are using always make sure the grill is a safe distance from any structure. Weber Grills recommends a minimum of two feet between your grill and any combustible materials on their website. Always be aware of hot coals or ambers that may escape the cooking area or fire box.

When enjoying a fire pit or any other outdoor fire follow the same guidelines when lighting the fire as you would when using a charcoal grill. Remember to keep in mind wind speeds and direction before enjoying an outdoor fire.

We hope these tips help you enjoy a fun and safe summer of grilling and evenings around the fire. Mishaps do happen even when precautions are taken. If you experience damage to your home because of fire of any kind please call us immediately. SERVPRO has the training and experience to make it "Like it never even happened.”

Add Smoke Alarm Inspection To Your Spring Cleaning Routine

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Have your tested your smoke alarm recently?

When we think of home fires we normally think of the cooler fall and winter months. We have talked extensively in blogs in those seasons about safety regarding fireplaces, and space heaters, and other cold weather-related fire starters. But at SERVPRO we see fires affect our neighbors all year round and we actually think this is a great time to think about your homes smoke alarms.

First off, if you do not have smoke alarms in your home or business please stop reading and go to your local home improvement store and purchase some. A 2015 report showed that three of five fire related deaths were in homes without smoke alarms.

Now if you have smoke alarms I will ask when is the last time you inspected or tested them? The same study showed in smoke alarms that malfunctioned the vast majority was due to missing, dead or disconnected batteries.

Spring time is a time of cleaning and chores around the house. We suggest you add checking your smoke alarms as part of your spring cleaning routine. This way you can insure you have at least an annual inspection to make sure the equipment is working properly. It could mean you or your families life!

Keep Outdoor Fire Pits Safe

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Alright, it is officially feeling like spring outside. I think? Days are warm, nights are cool and it’s the perfect time to sit outside with a fire. Outdoor fire pits have exploded the last few years. If you are like me, you prefer the traditional hole in the ground surrounded by some stones to protect my lawn from the fire. But, there are many types to choose from. There are free standing metal fire pits and even sleek contemporary gas fire pits. Whatever your style, make sure you're using it safely.

Fire pits should never be located near any structures. If a fire escapes the bounds of the pit for any reason, you do not want your home, garage, or other out buildings to be in danger.

Burn suitable materials. Soft woods and green wood (wood recently cut down) pop and throw sparks. These sparks could be dangerous as they can burn family members and pets or land on a dry material and cause a fire. The same can be said for leaves, pine cones, or even paper. These light weight materials can catch fire then be caught in the breeze and cause fire where you do not want it.

Always make sure children and pets are kept at a safe distance to the pit. If roasting marshmallows is on the agenda make sure you have sticks long enough to reach the heat from a safe distance.

Most people enjoy outdoor fires safely with no incidents, but you can never be too careful. Have a bucket of water handy in case of an emergency. If things get out of hand, know that SERVPRO can put it back “Like it never even happened.”

ICRC Certified For Your Protection

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  is an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO is an IICRC Certified Firm. What does that mean and more importantly; why should you care?

IICRC is an acronym for the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.  It is a certification and standard-setting non-profit organization for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. In laymen’s terms, it is the governing body that regulates and sets the standards for our industry.

The following certifications are held by one or more of our local SERVPRO team members:

  • AMRT- Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying
  • CCT- Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • FSRT- Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • OCT- Odor Control Technician
  • WRT- Water Damage Restoration Technician  

So, what does this have to do with you? By closely following the standards set forth by the IICRC you can have peace of mind you are getting very best service possible. Our process use the best practices in the industry to guarantee the safest, most efficient, and healthy clean up of any disaster you may be faced with.

Can Your Basement Be A Hot Spot For Mold Growth?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)


Your sump-pump well may be prime real estate for mold growth.

As spring rolls around we always see an increase in rainfall. “April showers brings May flowers” the old saying goes, and so we look forward to this time of year with great anticipation. While we all enjoy the flowers blooming and the trees and grass coming back to life; for some the heavy rains brings some anxiety. Property owners with basements and crawlspaces look forward to spring rains with reservation.

Most property owners in this situation rely on sump-pumps to keep moisture out of basements and crawlspaces. This is always a good time to check your pumps to make sure they are operating properly. But this blog is about the potential of mold growth near the sump-pump.

The area around a sump-pump well can be prime conditions for mold growth. Remember, all mold needs to grow is moisture, a food source, and the optimal temperature. Carpet, carpet pad, wood moldings, and drywall are all cellulose materials mold can consume. Keep a close eye on these areas. Run a dehumidifier if needed to keep moisture levels low. If mold is detected call SERVPRO to help remediate the problem properly.

Invisible Mold?

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

We have had a lot of requests in the last few months for mold testing in homes. That in itself is nothing new. We live in a portion of the country that is prone to high levels of mold because of our elevated humidity. But lately we have been asked to investigate property where mold is suspected but no visible mold has been found. We just wanted to briefly discuss what mold needs to survive and grow.

Mold simply needs three things to thrive. A food source, the right temperature, and water.

  • Mold eats any kind of organic materials. This is really out of our control since most of the building materials in our home or business is made of organic materials. Wood, sheetrock, ceiling tiles, carpet and pad... all are made of organic materials that mold can consume.

  • Different molds grow at different temperatures. The range is between 22 and 120 degrees. Safe to say although we all like a different temperature to be comfortable; we like it between the freezing to scorching hot scale of mold growth. With tens of thousands of species of mold you can be confident there are a few species that like the same conditions that you do.

  • Water is the one element we have some control of. We are talking about moisture in the air, or humidity. Most of us running normal HVAC systems have humidity levels in the 30% to 40% range. When there is a water intrusion (such as a water leak) those levels rise. Any environment above 60% humidity can have mold growth.

Windy Weekend, Reminds Us Spring Storms Are Around the Corner

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

While temperatures continue to be on the cool side, Mother Nature reminded us that spring is around the corner. Sixty mile an hour wind gusts this last weekend was a reminder to the destructive nature of spring storms. The Joplin area suffered some minor damage. Down trees, and road signs, as well as some minor structure damage could be spotted around the area.

So, with that mind we probably need to go over our annual severe weather reminders. First, have an emergency kit ready. See our blog from last year to help build your own kit.

Spring storms carry a large amount of rain so we typically see an increase in water intrusions in the months of March through May. The destructive power of wind can also bring havoc to your home or business. We offer emergency board-up and security services if the wind leaves your structure vulnerable to the elements.

If something were to happen to your home or business please know we specialize in finding disaster recovery solutions. This goes beyond just mitigation and cleaning. We use our three decades of experience to try to be a resource to any obstacle you face in recovery. Our goal: doing what it takes to get you back to normal as soon as possible “Like it never even happened.”

Don't Let Heavy Rains Damage Home

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Living in the Midwest our homes are under constant attack by the elements. We face extreme heat as well bitter cold. Storms that used to primarily be associated with the spring season have wreaked havoc on our homes and business year-round the last few years. These storms many times bring destructive winds, hail, and heavy rainfall.  Just plain old rain can have a destructive result if your property is not properly maintained. Here are a few areas to keep your eye on as a frontline defense to water intrusion caused by rainfall.

  • The ROOF. A well installed and maintained roof will keep rain from leaking into the home. That’s pretty much its job. An annual inspection looking for damage can prove invaluable. If a particularly strong or damaging storm blows through, a quick inspection might be prudent as well.
  • Doors and Windows. Improperly installed or poorly sealed opening can allow water to get into the home. If you notice wet areas around these opening it should be addressed. Even a small amount of water can do damage or cause a mold problem over time.
  • Gutters and Downspouts. Clogged gutters will not allow water to properly flow away from your home. Downspouts that are blocked can allow water to pool up and eventually backup into the home.

These tasks will take a little effort, but the effort will be far less than dealing with a water intrusion. If for some reason your home or business is affected by rainfall call the experts at SERVPRO.

Don't Let Storms Catch You By Surprise

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month. Each week a different point of preparedness is emphasized. Week one’s theme is “Make and Practice Your Plan.” Here is what they stress.

  • Make an emergency plan.
  • Sign up for alerts
  • Establish your evacuation zone, and practice.
  • Put your plan in writing or a graphic

We need to be ready for anything at any time. The weather has proved to be both unpredictable and volatile the last few years. Here in the Joplin area it seems the threat of tornadoes that used to be a concern mainly in the spring months are a concern for the majority of the year.  Our crews were dispatched to Aurora Missouri just last week after a confirmed tornado touch-down.

We have also experienced unusually high rain fall amounts of the last few weeks. Localize flash flooding has been a problem in many areas.

The point? We have to be prepared at all times for just about anything. Plan ahead and I promise you will be glad you did when the moment of the unexpected happens.

Survival is obviously the main object to any disaster plans but do not overlook recovery! Let SERVPRO be a part of putting life back together in the aftermath of a storm. Are you responsible for commercial property? 

Heavy Rains Can Cause A Nasty Problem

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Too much water in the sewer can force sewer waste where you don not want it.

Heavy rains can put a lot of stress on the local drainage systems. When the sewer system reaches maximum volume waste water is forced out through floor drains, tubs, or any plumbing connected to the city sewer. Buildings with basements are particularly susceptible.

These situations are real health hazards. The water can contain solid waste and many other pathogenic hazards. It is never acceptable to enter areas affected by a sewer back up unprotected.

At Risk: With these kinds of health hazards all are considered at rick when in this environment but some are more susceptible than others. The very young, the very old, and anyone with a compromised immune system need to steer clear of these areas.

Category 3: All water damages are classified by category based on the degree of contaminationOne, being the cleanest down to three, which is considered grossly contaminated. Many times, you will hear this kind of loss be referred to as “Black” water.

Personal Protection: The IICRC has a strict standard for handling a water damage such as a sewer backup because of the potential health concerns. All persons who are involved with the clean up of a sewer backup are required to wear personal protective equipment. In this case it calls for boots, gloves, protective clothing, and a full-face respirator to protect the eyes and respiratory system.

Sump Pump Failure Can Cause Substantial Damage

3/12/2019 (Permalink)


A Columbus Kansas basement underwater after the sump pumpfailed during heavy rains.

Many area homes and businesses have basements or crawl spaces. During times of rainfall sump pumps are used to keep these areas from flooding. The problem is, ownership of a sump pumpdoes not guarantee you won’t experience a flood. Like everything else associated with your home the sump pump can fail.  Being in the basement or crawlspace the sump pump is many times forgotten about. Out of sight, out of mind. Overlooking normal testing of the sump pump can be a critical and expensive mistake.

  • Testing the pump. Test the pump by adding a little water to the pump well. Just add enough water to lift the float mechanism to engage the pump. If it begins to pump the water out you are good to go.
  • Check for blockage. After testing the pump follow the water out and away from your home. Make sure there is no blockage that would prevent water from building up and back flowing.
  • Have a backup plan. Most all sump pumps work off an electrical connection through a normal wall outlet. But if the electricity to your property is knocked out do you have aback up plan? There are options available. You might want to consult your local plumber for the solution that is best for you.

Let's Get Prepared for Possible Severe Weather

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, 

We have had an active spring weather wise but fortunately we have not encountered much in the way of severe weather here in the four states. But as we all know we are no where near being out of the woods for possible sever storms. We try to help our neighbors be as prepared as possible for any disaster. Here is our annual spring sever weather reminders.

Be vigilant and aware. There a lot of ways to receive notice of the threat of sever weather these days. Weather radios (with properly charged batteries) are probably the most reliable but are sometimes impractical. Most people do not carry a weather radio around with them. Weather radios are also limited in accuracy for specific locations. The information released on weather radios cover entire counties. Cell phones are a better way to receive information of specific locations but they rely on a network of towers that can be damaged by strong storms. Television and radio are also great ways to receive updated information but they too can be interrupted by damage to their infrastructure.

Have an Emergency Kit ready. We all have been reminded many times to have a kit ready. Standard items include food and water for two days. A first aide kit, flashlight, batteries, blankets, etc. The National Weather Service, the Red Cross, and FEMA all have detailed lists you can easily find online. Just don’t procrastinate! Get a kit ready and have it accessible.  

Have a rendezvous plan. Don’t assume if a disaster strikes your family will all be together and accounted for. We all have busy lives and are going in different directions. Have a plan to meet up with loved ones. Start with meeting back at your home, but if that is not possible have a back up plan to meet. Many families use a family member or other contact out of the area to coordinate the rendezvous.

As severe weather season rolls on, please be safe!

Do Not Neglect Vacant Property

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

The old adage is “out of sight, out of mind.” If you are a busy commercial property owner or manager you have a lot on your plate. Your priority tends to revolve around taking care of issues of the occupied spaces under your care. Neglecting vacant property this time of year however, can be disastrous.

One of the greatest issue we see this time of year is a lack of adequate heat in vacant structures. The key word is adequate! We were called to a vacant property in Joplin last winter during extremely low temperatures. The heat was on, set to 55 degrees. The problem, the plumbing was above a suspended ceiling. The air around that plumbing was not 55 degrees, it was well below freezing and the plumbing froze and burst in multiple places. That was a mistake that cost the owners tens of thousands of dollars.

Best case scenario is to winterize the property, shutting off the water supply and flushing the system. But that is not always an option. If the water supply is left on, be conscience of the temperature WHERE the plumbing is.

Exposed Roof Damages Church During Rainfall

3/12/2019 (Permalink)

Containment was set to protect other parts of the church.

Last month SERVPRO had the opportunity to help dry out a church damaged by water. An independent roofing contractor was replacing the roof and neglected to properly make a portion of the roof water tight. Unexpectantly a summer storm developed over Carthage, in the evening, dumping heavy rainfall into the vulnerable building.

SERVPRO was called to mitigate and dry the property. The water had damaged half of the fellowship hall so our technicians installed a 40-foot-long by 10-foot-tall containment barrier. Besides the fellowship hall there was extensive damage to a library and several offices. Instead of removing the entire ceiling technicians cut narrow troughs in the ceiling to remove wet insulation. Once the debris was removed hot dry air was piped into the cavity to expedite drying.  

This particular church was protected by our ERP Emergency Ready Profile. The ERP was designed to mitigate damage and make a fast response to a disaster. Dealing with a natural disaster such as this it is difficult to mitigate damages, but they knew exactly who to call. Once SERVPRO was informed of the loss they knew exactly who they needed to speak with and how to tackle the situation based on their prior knowledge of the building.

Thanksgiving

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving is here, so there is no better time to discuss holiday safety!

For most people during holiday time, the kitchen is the heart of the home. So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving is one of the top days that fires often occur as well as the day before Thanksgiving and on Christmas. As long as you practice good habits of fire prevention then you are on the way to keeping your home fire free.

Fire Extinguisher Tips

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher tips 

Only use a fire extinguisher if.....

*The fire is contained to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing.

*Everyone has exited the building

*The fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with smoke.

Steps to Take After a House Fire

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage

A house fire is traumatic event that can certainly leave you with a mix of emotions. You’ll be nervous, worried, scared, upset, wondering what to do next, and just how to do it.  First things first…take a deep breath, try to relax, and know that everything will be more than fine. Ultimately you need to make sure that your family is safe and sound. Once you can confirm that, then you can tackle the recovery process of your home and belongings.

We’ve compiled a list of five things that you should do and be aware of after a fire.  This way, you can approach the rebuilding of your home in a cool, calm, and collected manner!

(1) Review with the authorities and the professionals as to when it is safe to enter the home after the fire.  The fire department will make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and then will go through their precautionary measures in order to deem the area ‘safe’.

(2) Know who to contact. First, contact any family members to let them know of the occurrence and the fact that you are safe. Review, and then contact your insurance company. A clean-up team, such as G.W.Savage, should also be one of the first calls made.  We can efficiently and professionally get you back into your home – it will be as if nothing happened!

(3) Get the fire report. Typically coming to you from the fire department, this correspondence will review the facts of the fire – the home structure, the area of the fire, as well as the time and date. In some cities and towns, you may need to call the fire department directly in order to get a copy of this report.

(4) Make sure to secure your property.  If you are not securing the property, you could potentially be making a bad situation into a terrible one – your home could be robbed of it’s remaining property, or, in some cases, another individual could be injured on the property (becoming your responsibility). You can ask the authorities and emergency services on the best methods in securing what is yours.

Know the Facts about Business Fires

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, as many as one in four businesses that suffer some kind of major disaster do not reopen afterward. It’s true, overcoming a major loss is extremely difficult, but with the right restoration company and team on your side, working hand-in-hand with your insurance company, the chance of your Indianapolis-area company surviving is pretty high!

Depending on the size of the fire, and the amount of damage, some businesses that have come to SERVPRO for help have reopened just days after the fire happened. Thanks to innovations in smoke odor removal, fire damage restoration, and cleaning in general, it is possible for crews to start work nearly immediately after the fire department clears the scene, and have things back up and running in no time. Although, again, that all depends on the severity of the fire. But no matter the severity, recovery is possible!

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments responded to about 3,300 office property fires per year between 2007 and 2011. Those fires resulted in about $112 million in property damage each year, and most were in business offices – and happened during business hours. However, the good news is the number of business fires was down a whopping 71 percent from 1980 to 2011.

Here are some other stats from the NFPA:

Time of Day

  • Peak time of day for office fires: Noon – 2p.m. (a.k.a. lunch time!)
  • 69% happened between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • The 31% that occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. caused 67% of recorded property damage, because they went undetected longer. This also highlights the need for automatic detection equipment and working sprinkler systems.
  • 19% of fires happened on weekends.

Cause of the Business Fires

  • 29% were caused by cooking equipment. However, just 6% of these fires caused actual property damage.
  • Intentionally-set fires caused the most direct property damage – 21%.
  • Electrical equipment is the second leading cause of office fires.
  • Just 2% of office fires start in a concealed space like an attic, in the ceiling, or in another conceals space. However, these fires accounted for 13% of the direct property damage.

Containment & Putting it Out

  • 4 out of 5 fires were confined to the room of origin.
  • 90% of fires were large enough to activate sprinklers, which were effective 88% of the time.
  • Deaths per 1,000 stores were 62% lower in offices equipped with sprinklers compared to those without.

Industrial/Manufacturing Facility Fires

The NFPA also has statistics specific to manufacturing facilities. According to their research, there are about 37,000 fires at industrial or manufacturing facilities each year, resulting in 18 deaths, 279 injuries, and $1 billion in property damage. Heating equipment and stop tools were the leading cause – sparking 28 percent of the fires. Mechanical failure or malfunction caused 24 percent of the fires.

Winter Heating Hazards

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Winter Heating Hazards

Fire Place

Winter is the same anywhere you go...lower temperatures & shorter days.  Often times we use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to make our homes cozy.  Did you know that heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths?

Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire:

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater.  Have a three foot "kid-free zone around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.  Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container.  Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.

Plan two escapes

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

One home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds in 2010.

Most fatal fires kill one or two people. In 2010, 19 home fires killed five or more people. These 19 fires resulted in 101 deaths.

In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to 369,500 home structure fires. These fires caused 13,350 civilian injuries, 2,640 civilian deaths, and $6.9 billion in direct damage.

As scary as those scenarios look in black and white, imagine just how frightening they are in technicolor.

Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.

Watch your cooking. Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling, or broiling food.

Give space heaters space. Keep space heaters at least three feet from anything that can burn.

Smoke outside. If you must smoke inside, have a sturdy, deep ashtray. Never smoke in bed.

Keep matches and lighters out of reach in high cabinets, preferably under a child lock.

Inspect electrical cords. Replace cords that are cracked, damaged, have broken plugs or have loose connections.

Be careful when using candles. Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn. Blow them out before you leave the room or go to sleep.

Have a fire escape plan. Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Also, as is this year's theme for fire prevention week -- MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TWO ESCAPE ROUTES.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your office or home and inside bedrooms. Interconnect them so they all sound at once.

Test smoke alarms. Test alarms once per month. Replace batteries once per year or as needed.

Install sprinklers. Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local Fire Department a better chance of saving your property.

*Fire Prevention Week* 
It is important to have a home and office fire escape plan that prepares your family or staff to think fast and get out quickly when the smoke alarm sounds. What if your first escape route is blocked by smoke or flames? That's why having two ways out is such a key part of your plan. This year's theme,"Have 2 Ways Out!", focuses on the importance of fire escape planning and practice. 
Have 2 Ways Out!

Storm Facts, Tips and Safety

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Facts, Tips and Safety

Storm Facts

Severe Thunderstorm Facts

Thunderstorms are defined as storms that produce thunder and lightning. Severe thunderstorms may also produce:

  • Rain
  • High winds
  • Sleet or snow

It’s important to note that thunderstorms do not always produce moisture. A storm in which you see lightning and hear thunder but never feel a drop of water is known as a “dry” thunderstorm. Thunderstorms that produce hail and tornadoes are known as “supercell” storms. Storms occur either in clusters or lines; therefore, they may present as a single thunderstorm or as multiple thunderstorms hitting one after the other.

Causes

Thunderstorms are caused when moisture from the lower or mid-level part of the atmosphere mixes with warm, unstable air from the ground. Moisture and air then push upwards into the higher atmosphere to form clouds that produce thunder and lightning, as well as potential precipitation. Spring, summer and fall are most conducive to thunderstorms because the sun heats the ground and moisture is more perceptible in the air, especially in humid climates.

Thunderstorms must also be lifted to begin their formation. Some sources of lift include:

  • More heat on the ground than in the air
  • Changes in atmospheric conditions near mountains
  • Weather front changes caused by clashing cold and hot air
  • Drylines, or when moist and dry air clash
  • Land or sea breezes

Any of these situations can immediately create a thunderstorm without warning, even in the middle of a clear blue day. In many cases, these storms will also be accompanied by lightning. Most will not come with hail or tornadoes, unless they occur in tornado-prone states such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

Severe Weather Facts & Myths

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Thunder Storm

Myth: Highway and interstate overpasses are safe shelters against a tornado.

Fact: Overpasses can concentrate the tornado winds, causing them to be significantly stronger. This places the people under them in an even more dangerous situation. In recent years, several people seeking shelter beneath overpasses have been killed or severely injured. Being above ground level during a tornado is dangerous.

Myth: The low pressure with a tornado causes buildings to explode. Opening the windows will equalize the pressure, saving the building.

Fact: Opening the windows in an attempt to equalize pressure will have no effect. It is the violent winds and debris that cause most structural damage. It is more important for you to move to a safe area away from windows and exterior walls. With a tornado, every second counts, so use your time wisely and take cover.

Myth: Thunderstorms and tornadoes always move from west to east.

Fact: More often than not, thunderstorms move from west to east. Conditions in the atmosphere dictate how and where storms will move, and it can be in any direction. Tornadoes have been known to act erratic, and can change directions and speed very quickly. Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.

Myth: It’s not raining here, and skies above me are clear, therefore I am safe from lightning.

Fact: Lightning can strike many miles away from the thunderstorm. If storms are in your area, but skies happen to be clear above you, that certainly does not imply you are safe from lightning. Though these “Bolts from the Blue” are infrequent, lightning strikes 10 to 15 miles away from the storm are not out of the question.

Myth: Since I am inside my house and out of the storm, I am completely safe from lightning.

Fact: Just because you have taken shelter inside, you are not automatically safe. While inside waiting out a storm, avoid using the telephone or electrical appliances and do not take showers or baths. Also stay away from doors and windows. Telephone lines, cords, plumbing, even metal window and door frames are all lightning conductors and pose a threat

Myth: Large and heavy vehicles, such as SUVs and pickups, are safe to drive through flood waters.

Fact: It is a common belief that the larger the vehicle, the deeper the water it can drive through. Many people do not realize that two feet of water can float most vehicles, including SUVs and pickups. If the water is moving rapidly, vehicles can be swept away.

Myth: Flash floods only occur along flowing streams.

Clean it up: Do not sweep common sense under the rug

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

 

*Room-by-Room*

Since you're already moving from room to room cleaning, it's the perfect time to update your home inventory-or start one. An up-to-date home inventory can help make the recovery process easier if you need to file an insurance claim. Just create a list and snap pictures of your belongings. And, while you are at it, give your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors a test, replace batteries if needed and take a peek at the expiration dates on your fire extinguishers.

*Give appliances some love*

Give your appliances some love. Dust and clean your refrigerator's coils using a vacuum attachment, or buy a refrigerator coil brush. Don't forget to change the filters in your furnace/air conditioner and stove hood. Clean, well-maintained appliances tend to run more efficiently,and safely which can mean a lower electric bill, cleaner air ducts and less chances for fire.

*Get Caulky*

Look for worn grout or caulk between tiles in the bathroom or kitchen. Even the smallest crack can lead to expensive repairs down the line. Reseal any areas you find with a penetrating grout sealer.

All of these great spring cleaning tips came from the folks at Allstate. We are just happy to pass them along.

And remember, should fire or water interrupt your home or business, SERVPRO is here 24 hours a day, seven days a week ready to make it Like it Never Even Happened!

It's always best to call us directly!

8 Bad "Facts" ABout Mold Everyone Thinks Are Tru

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Monster

8 Bad “Facts” About Mold That Everyone Thinks Are True

With all the misinformation about mold out there it is easy to over react. Here are four “facts” that are over reactions to mold.

Bad “Fact” 1: All Mold Is Bad

Nope! Have you ever eaten blue cheese or take penicillin? Mold is used in the making this kind of cheese and medicine.

Bad “Fact” 2: All Mold Causes Health Problems

 In reality, the effect of mold on people varies greatly. Molds produce allergens, and while some people will be allergic to the allergens produced by mold not everyone will react to mold, and the effects can be varied depending on ones’ sensitivity to mold

People who are highly sensitive to mold may develop allergic reactions and show symptoms such as difficulty breathing, bloody noses, itchy and watery eyes, etc. People with already compromised immune symptoms are also at risk for reacting to mold, and some studies have suggested that serious health effects can arise from repeated exposure to mold, so it is not something to play around with.

Bad “Fact” 3: There Should be No Mold Inside

In reality mold is all around us and is very natural. There are mold spores in the air you are breathing and there is really no way around this unless you decide to live inside a plastic, environmentally controlled bubble. The problem is not that there is mold indoors the problem is with the concentration of mold indoors. Mold should not be growing in your walls or on surfaces as that can be a problem and contribute to allergic reactions.

We will always live with mold, the question is how much mold should we live with? The answer to that is still being worked out. As mold affects people differently you should talk to your doctor if you think you are suffering from exposure to mold and you take steps to reduce your exposure to mold..

Bad “Fact” 4: Bleach Kills Mold

This is kind of a half truth. Bleach may kill certain kinds of mold on non-porous surfaces, however, it is not clear that bleach can kill all kinds of mold nor kill mold on porous surfaces such as wood. Research is continuing to be done on the effectiveness of bleach as a mold cleanup agent. It should be noted that using bleach to “kill” mold poses its own health risks and is not a recommended solution by EPA or OSHA. Bleach is also very corrosive and can cause further damage if not used correctly.

Bad “Fact” 5: Killing Mold is Enough, I Don’t Need to Remove it

Killing mold is not enough. Putting aside the conflicting reports on what kills mold, simply killing mold does not remove the health effects as the allergens are still present even in dead mold. To properly protect against health effects, removal of the affected areas is often necessary. Care must be taken when removing the affected areas so that the allergens and mold is not spread throughout the house. That is why professional mold remediation services are often necessary to properly fix a mold problem.

Bad “Fact” 6: Mold is Natural, You Shouldn’t Worry About it

While mold may be natural, consistent exposure to mold can have negative affects on ones health. If mold is growing in your home or place of business it needs to be addressed as it will deteriorate your building and can cause health problems.

Bad “Fact” 7: If You Only See a Little Mold it is Probably Nothing to Worry About

If mold is to the point where it is visibly growing on surfaces in your home you have a problem. Mold is like an iceberg, you generally only see the tip of it while the majority is below the surface. If you see a little bit of mold you most likely have more growing under the surface out of site.

Bad “Fact” 8: Cleaning up Mold isn’t Hard. You Should Do it Yourself

This is another half truth. While you may be able to clean up certain kinds of mold in small quantities most people are not equipped to do proper mold remediation. Simply wiping down the evidence is not good enough. To properly “cleanup” a mold problem you must identify the cause, isolate the area to keep the mold from spreading, and clean and or remove the affected surfaces. Unless you know how to setup a containment unit, have a couple of commercial sized HEPA air filtration units, protective gear, HEPA vacuums, specialized cleaning agents, and can do a wet extraction to keep mold spores from spreading.  

Prevent Water Damage to Your Furnace This Winter

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Every winter, especially if you live in a cold climate, your home is under assault from the elements. Eventually, that constant assault can cause your home’s systems to fail. One common result of these failures is water damage. And while any type of water damage is bad, there are certain types of damage that can be worse than others. That’s especially true in the winter.

Perhaps no system in your home is more important in the winter than your furnace. Without it, you’d be in big trouble. So while the impact of home water damage is bad no matter how you look at it, having your furnace damaged when the temps are freezing outside can be catastrophic. So let’s talk about things you can do to protect your furnace from water damage should the worst case scenario happen to you this winter.

Furnaces are hidden from view for a reason. They’re not exactly focal points of a home you want people’s eyes drawn towards. Whether it’s in a crawl space, basement or mechanical closet, it’s typically in a place you naturally don’t find yourself visiting very often. One way to help protect your furnace from water damage is to create an elevated platform upon which the furnace can sit. If it’s the case your furnace is found in an unfinished basement, you can simply pour a concrete block and install the furnace there. If it’s in a closet, it may make more sense to create a wooden box to hold the furnace. In either case, having the additional 18-24″ of height can typically protect against most types of home water damage.  Granted, in massive flood events this isn’t going to have much effect, but then again there isn’t much you can do from a preventative stand point when mother nature decides to take charge.

You gotta look good!

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

First impressions are hard to overcome if they are negative ones. You want the first impression of your business site to be positive. That's hard to do if it's dirty.

Keeping your business clean to make that great first impression is important. You want to keep your clients coming back and we want to help you.

There's so much that SERVPRO can help you with.

I'm sure you think of SERVPRO when a disaster hits but we can do some things you may not have thought about.

SERVPRO offers a variety of cleaning services from Air Ducts /HVAC to biohazard and everything in between.

We can clean carpet, upholstery, drapes, and blinds.

We can bring that old tile back to life and make your floors sparkle again.

We can also get rid of lingering odors and perform a deodorization of the facility.

As always, we are here to help.

Let us help you keep your place shining and making great first impressions for year

I found you!

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Many people may already know the most common places for mold :

Basements or cellars that have been flooded , underneath kitchen and bathroom sinks, underneath or behind refrigerators, behind walls that also house plumbing, under carpeting that may have become wet, stacks of damp or wet newspaper or cardboard boxes, wallboard , and around air-conditioning units.

But I want to tell you some uncommon places to look.

Chimneys, front-loading washing machines, window sashes and seals, dishes ( yep, if you don't dry them well and stack them up ), books ( that old book smell can really be the smell of mold).

Try to stay ahead of the hiding game with Mold, take a monthly check around the house. In this game it's better not to find the mold to win

Is it an allergy to pollen or mold?

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

I'm sure if you were asked the question, "can you have an allergy to mold?", your answer would more than likely be , "sure".

But if asked what the symptoms are then you might not be so quick to answer. Here's the thing, the symptoms of mold allergies are so similar to plant and animal allergies that you might get them confused. 

Typical allergy symptoms are sneezing, itching, runny nose, congestion, dry and scaling skin. All of these same symptoms are associated with mold allergy as well. 

Mold and mildew are fungi. The spores are the "seeds" of mold that travel through the air. These spores are what we inhale and have a reaction to. These spores can also get into our lungs and trigger asthma.

So if you think your allergies aren't going away, even when you've tried medicines and stayed in doors. It might not be the allergy that you think you have. 

When in doubt have SERVPRO check you home for Mold. We are here to help. 

We don't like to talk about it but it happens.

9/18/2018 (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 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.

Who are you going to call?

9/18/2018 (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.

Rain, rain go away or at least stay outside

9/18/2018 (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

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.

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

No Disaster Is Small When It Is Yours!

Your home or commercial facility contains many of your most valuable possessions. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals understand the trauma that follows a loss. When fire damage takes control of your life, we help you take it back.

Contents Services

  1. Inventory – One of the first priorities in fire restoration is to complete an accurate inventory to help ensure you can properly account for all your belongings. Your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional can provide a detailed room-by-room inventory of contents, including digital photographs and bar codes for each item, suitable for filing insurance claims forms and relieving you of this often stressful and time consuming process.
  2. Move Outs – When the structure has suffered extensive damage, the cleanup and restoration process may need to be facilitated by relocating the contents for cleaning, deodorization and storage while structural repairs are being completed. A supervised moving crew can carefully pack and move the entire contents of your home or office.
  3. Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to as near as preloss condition as possible. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and much more.

Structural Cleaning

  1. Ceilings and Walls – Your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will pretest to analyze the extent of the damage to your ceilings, walls and woodwork. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals can reduce the cost of recovery by expertly cleaning lighter soot without incurring the expense associated with repainting. When higher concentrations of soot exist, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals will clean the area to prepare the surface for smooth painting.
  2. Carpet & Floor Restoration – After a smoke or fire damage, carpeting and floors will often need a deep and thorough cleaning. Residue from smoke or soot settles and is ground into flooring every time someone walks on it. Whether it is wall-to-wall carpeting or the most expensive tile floor, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals have the experience, equipment and cleaning products to clean and protect all types of flooring surfaces.
  3. Ductwork – The ductwork and HVAC system will be inspected to determine if they were affected by the smoke damage. Depending on the amount of damage, the proper restoration process will be determined to clean and deodorize your HVAC and duct system.

Deodorization

  • SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Ask your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

Have a Question? 
Call Us Today – 301-779-3662

Let's Talk Storm Damage

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

When storm damage occurs to your home or business the restoration process can seem daunting. Not only are you faced with a frightening event most times, but as soon as the storm fades you are faced with unpleasant and unwanted damage. At SERVPRO, our goal is to make the restoration process as seamless and straightforward as possible. Our teams are equipped with the knowledge and certifications to complete the necessary restoration with as little disruption as possible.

From the moment that we receive the first call regarding storm damage to your home or business to the moment that we arrive on site to meet with the home or business owner and begin the restoration process our focus is on the customer. Our on-site professionals will explain the process and ensure that you are informed throughout the duration.

If you find yourself in need of restoration call the professionals at SERVPRO. We are always here to help and ensure that your home or business is brought back to its previous condition.

Should you clean your commercial air ducts?

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Indoor air can get polluted with dust, allergens, and other small particles. If you are concerned about your indoor air quality, you might benefit from having your air ducts cleaned. Having your air ducts professionally cleaned may make a difference in the overall quality of your indoor air. And, cleaning your air ducts may also help your HVAC system function more efficiently.

When it comes to air duct cleaning, homeowners often have many questions. Here are a few of the most common:

Does a professional air duct cleaning really make a difference?
A professional air duct cleaning can benefit you in more than one way. First, the cleaning will remove dust, debris and other pollutants from your air duct system. This can be beneficial to anyone living in the home who suffers from allergies, has breathing problems, or is sensitive to pollutants. Second, clean air ducts can result in a more efficient HVAC system. When your home’s ventilation system is clean, it can function more efficiently – which may ultimately save you money on your monthly energy bill.


How often should I have my air ducts cleaned?
Unless you are in the midst of a home renovation project or you live in an area with extremely high pollution, you should not need to clean your air ducts more than once a year. In fact, after your air ducts are professionally cleaned, you may not need another thorough cleaning for several years. For advice on how often you should have your air ducts cleaned, make sure to ask your air conditioner repair company. If the air conditioner company does not offer air duct cleaning services, they should be able to provide you with the name of a reputable company to call.


Can I clean the air ducts in my home myself?
Many homeowners wonder if they can clean their home’s air ducts with their own vacuum cleaner. In reality, it is practically impossible to clean an air duct system with a regular vacuum. Air duct cleaning companies use special equipment that is designed to specifically clean air ducts. As a homeowner, one of the best things you can do to prevent pollutants from infiltrating your air ducts is regularly change your HVAC system’s air filters.

Is a professional air duct cleaning expensive?
The cost of air duct cleaning services varies. Factors that are taken into consideration when an air duct cleaning company provides you with a quote include the number of air ducts in your home, the age of your home, the length of time since the air ducts were last cleaned, the current condition of the air ducts, and more. 

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

The importance of having a fire extinguisher in your home or business

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

You could save your home from fire with a fire extinguisher at your ready.

Close your eyes and imagine. You’re at home, or maybe in the office, and you smell ... smoke? Definitely smoke. Fire! You don’t panic, because you’re not the type and you’re prepared. You grab the nearest fire extinguisher, find the flames. You get ready, aim.... and suddenly realize you don’t know how this thing works.

Fire extinguishers can be the first line of defense if fire breaks out in your home or business, but they won’t do you any good if you don’t know how to use them or have the wrong extinguisher for the job. When it comes to fire, plan, prepare and remain calm. Knowing how, when and why to use your fire extinguisher—not to mention which fire extinguisher to use—will increase both your safety and peace of mind knowing you can protect you and your belonging from FIRE DAMAGE

When to Use a Fire Extinguisher
Home or office, when a fire breaks out you have moments to decide: fight or flight? If you feel even the slightest doubt about handling it yourself, move everyone to a safe place and call 911. Ditto if you don’t know how to use your extinguisher or aren’t sure it’s the right class for the fire you’re fighting; better to let the pros handle it than to try to navigate the learning curve mid-fire.

If you decide you can safely put out the fire, grab the extinguisher and get busy, after you locate a safe way out. If you spot a clear exit but it doesn’t look to stay clear long, get out now.

What Kind of Extinguisher to Use
Home- and business owners can choose from five types of fire extinguishers:

  • Class A: for a fire involving normal combustibles and flammables, including cloth, paper and wood
  • Class B: for a fire involving flammable liquids like gas, oil, paint, paint thinner and solvents
  • Class C: to fight a fire involving electrical equipment/appliances that are plugged in and receiving power—electric drills, table saws, computer equipment, televisions, wiring and fuse boxes, for example
  • Class D: to put out a fire involving combustible metals—magnesium, sodium, zirconium, etc. (Note: Don’t try to fight this kind of fire unless you’ve been specifically trained for it!)
  • Class K: for fires typically found in restaurants, involving cooking oil and commercial-grade cooking equipment

Some fires involve several or all of the above. Fortunately, fire extinguishers are labeled not only with the types of fire they’re designed to fight, but with the types of fire you should avoid using them on. Example: Never use a Class A extinguisher on a Class B or C fire—the results could be deadly!

Fire Extinguisher How-to

  1. Stand six to eight feet away from the flames.
  2. Make sure you have a clear exit, in case the fire spreads or flames out of control.
  3. Pull the pin to unlock the operating lever.
  4. Aim the hose at the base of the fire.
  5. Press the lever located above the handle to release the agent.
  6. Use a back-and-forth sweeping motion to saturate the base of the fire until the flames are extinguished.
  7. Continue the process if the fire re-ignites.
  8. If the fire doesn’t go out or spreads, get to safety.

Extinguisher Safety Tips

  • Install fire extinguishers in areas where fires are likely to break out, including kitchens and break rooms.
  • Check periodically to make sure all fire extinguishers are fully charged.
  • Show every family member or employee where the fire extinguishers and fire alarms are located.
  • Train yourself, your loved ones and your co-workers to use the equipment properly.

Even with a fire extinguisher, some fire damage will occur.

Fire Deodorization - Commercial

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

This is a large commercial fire damage we produced as a result of an electrical malfunction. SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville had a first responder on site quickly to expedite cleaning, demolition, and deodorization scope and planning. As this was a gymnasium, the vast majority of space was warehouse, with built-in tiered offices and party rooms. Total affected space in the building was 15,500 square feet, which made for an enormous amount of volume to conduct final deodorization. After weeks of demolition and specialized cleaning, we conducted thermal fogging for the final deodorization. Our two technicians donned their proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), and fogged the entire cubic area of the gym. The photo shows the fogging after disperse, with the capability of it penetrating into high and small cavities.

Air Quality

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Here are some things to consider from the American Lung Association about air quality in your home:

  • Is anyone smoking indoors? No one should smoke indoors.

  • Can you see or smell mold or mildew? 

  • Is the humidity regularly above 50 percent?

  • Are there leaks or standing water anywhere—kitchen, basement, attic?

  • Are all fuel-burning appliances (gas stoves, water heaters, fireplaces) fully vented to the outdoors?

  • Is there an attached garage or basement where cars, lawnmowers or motorcycles are stored?

  • Are household chemicals, paints or solvents stored indoors or in an attached garage or basement?

  • Have you recently remodeled or added new furniture, carpeting or painted?

  • Do you use odor-masking chemicals or "air-freshening" devices?

  • Has kitchen or food garbage been covered and removed?

  • Have you used pesticides recently?

    If you have an ongoing air quality issue, call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsvile for further consultation. We have a staff of professionals, certified in all aspects of deodorization and microbial remediation.

Removing Mold from your Bathroom

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Your bathroom is the number one room in residential and commercial buildings susceptible to mold growth. Mold can be found indoors and outdoors, however, it is more dangerous to people's health when found indoors. At the first sign of mold's toxic fungus, action needs to be taken to help prevent the rapid spread of mold spores. 

Bathroom Ventilation and Moisture

Bathrooms develop a great deal of moisture from showers, baths, and the humidity in the air. This is what causes mold spores to grow. Without proper ventilation, the wet areas of the bathroom do not dry properly leaving a perfect opportunity for mold spores to colonize and spread throughout the room.

Flood Damage and Mold Growth in Bathrooms

Bathrooms, much like kitchens, are prone to floods and water damage in both residential and commercial property. It takes only 48 hours for an untreated area exposed to excess moisture to develop colonized mold spores. Mold can damage residential and commercial property, but it is more detrimental to commercial property because it can cause a business to have to close down for repairs. Interrupting the flow of business can cost more than the necessary mold remediation to remedy the problem.

Mold Removal Products 

Mold is hazardous to the inhabitants of any residential or commercial property. Remedying the issue is not as simple as one would like it to be. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning, Restoration Certification (IICRC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggest mold in an excess of three square feet should be remediated by a licensed and certified mold remediation firm immediately at the onset of mold spore growth. Certified firms are recommended because they are more likely to follow the IICRC S520 guidelines for mold remediation. The IICRC S520 guidelines were designed to protect the technicians performing the mitigation and the property's inhabitants. 

A bathroom with a mold outbreak is likely to have a reoccurrence even after remediation. The best way to prevent this from happening is to address the moisture issue before hiring a remediation expert to treat the infected space. Without addressing the overall moisture issue, mold will continue to reappear and cost you a great deal of money in damages. 

There are many companies with the ability to remediate your bathroom space; however, SERVPRO is one of the leading remediation experts in the country. They have a reputation for providing great customer service. If you have any additional questions about mold and how to treat it, you can consult with SERVPRO. They will give you all the information you require.    

Mold Testing

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

In this day and age, you can order any testing online. But mold testing isn't something we recommend that you purchase online and start collecting a sample because of the cost and the incorrect readings which can lead to the potential for more growth of mold which is a danger to you and your family health. Let the professional of SERVPRO assist you any mold testing and mold removal. Testing for mold is essential especially after a flood or leak due to a natural disaster or leak within the structure. We want to ensure that your safety and your health is protected when it comes to mold issues so always reconsider hiring a professional when you want to test for mold in your home and business.

Get Your Commercial Property Up and Running!

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Get your office building up and running in no time!

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

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

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property as soon as possible to make it look like it never happened.

SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. Of the businesses that survive, the majority of them have had a preparedness plan already created. In the event your business is affected by a disaster, your clients and employees will have peace of mind if you are ready for whatever happens.

Creating a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. At no cost to you, SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. 

The Four Classes of a Water Damage

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

4 Classes of Water Damage

Classes of water losses are determined by the rate of evaporation based on the type of materials affected by water damage to your property. Determining the Class of Water is an important first step, and will determine the amount and type of equipment utilized to restore your business. There are four IICRC water damage classifications, they are as follows:

Class 1 - Slow Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect only part of a room or area, or losses with lower permeance/porosity materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, vinyl composition tile or VCT, concrete). Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present. Minimum moisture is absorbed by materials, releasing moisture slowly.

Class 2 - Fast Evaporation Rate 
Water losses that affect an entire room or carpet and cushion. Water has wicked up walls 12" - 24". There is moisture remaining in structural materials (e.g., plywood, particle board, structural wood, concrete).

Class 3 - Fastest Evaporation Rate
Water may have come from overhead. Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and sub-floor in the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 - Specialty Drying Situations
These consist of wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, stone, and crawlspace). Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which requires very low specific humidity.

Dryer Safety

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO we care about your safety of you and your family. Dryer safety is important to know. Here is some tips to keep your dryer safe from any potential fire.

  • Have a professional install and repair the dryer
  • Do not use the dryer without a lint filter
  • Always clean the lint filter before/after loads
  • Clean any loose or accumulating lint in and around the drum
  • Rigid or flexible metal should be used in venting for proper use and drying for the dryer
  • If clothing takes longer than usual check the vent pipe for any possible blockages
  • Never leave a dryer left on during the night while sleeping or when away from your home

These are great tips to follow and a great way to prevent fire happening in the home

Fire Prep

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire spreads quickly. If fire breaks out in your home, there is no time to gather valuables or make a phone call. In just two minutes, a fire can become life threatening. In five minutes, your home can be up in flames. Be prepared for a fire before it starts.


  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, outside bedrooms, at the top of open stairways, and at the bottom of stairways that are closed in between two walls.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries twice a year. Make it a habit when you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time.
  • Replace your smoke alarms once every 10 years.
  • Plan and review your home escape routes with your family. Practice getting out of each room.
  • Check that windows are not nailed or painted shut. If you have security gratings or burglar bars on windows, make sure they have a fire safety opening feature and can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Think about getting escape ladders if your home has more than one level.
  • Teach your family to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer) when getting away from a fire.
  • Put A-B-C-type fire extinguishers in your home and teach family members how to use them.
  • Put heaters at least three feet away from anything that could catch fire. Be very careful when using temporary heating sources like space heaters.
  • Make sure your home is insured. If you rent, consider buying renter’s insurance.

Fire Education

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

The fire department is very important to our community. Their goal in the Phialdelphia Bureau of Fire Prevention is to decrease the number and severity of all fires within our town. We believe this can be accomplished through an active code enforcement program, public education activities, engineering and plans review, and investigations. We strive to provide these services utilizing well trained and highly motivated personnel who understand the importance of customer service and fire safety education.

According to the US Fire Administration each year, more than 4,500 Americans die and more than 30,000 are injured in fires. Many of those deaths and injuries could have been prevented if people had a better understanding of fire.

The Philadelphia Bureau of Fire Prevention has the responsibility of educating the community, inspecting local businesses and various public establishments, and enforcing codes to ensure the safety of the community. This website has been established in order to assist in dispensing information to the community as well as aiding in its education.

SERVPRO is very luck to have them.

Know your Fire

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO takes pride in our highly trained team to make sure after something as devastating as a fire in your home or business we get you back to normal as soon as possible. With that being said when you call us we make sure you are getting the best service and one of the ways we do that identifying the type of fire to best perform our duties to restore the property.  

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

We strive to go above and beyond your expectations with our top of the line equipment, knowledge, efficiency, work ethic, and customer service. Next time there a fire we are both ready for whatever happens

Faster to College Park/Hyattsville Water Damage Event

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in College Park/Hyattsville

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. College Park/Hyattsville 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 College Park/Hyattsville 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 – 301-779-3662

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 College Park/Hyattsville 

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville 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.

Meet our crew  

http://www.SERVPRObethesdapotomacmd.com/employee-photos

Certifications

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • CMT - Commercial Carpet Maintenance Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FCT - Floor Care (Hard Surfaces) Technician
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • HST - Health and safety Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • MSR - Master Fire & Smoke Restorer
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • OSHA - 30-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • RCT - Rug Cleaning Technician
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
  • RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
  • UFT - Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician

BEHAVIORS OF SMOKE

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

The damage that is done to your property following a fire loss can be complicated due to the unique behaviors of smoke.

There area few different types of smoke. Here is a guide on how to differentiate between what kind of damage you have and what the cause was.

1.There is fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs)

While these "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of College Park/ Hyattsville can, in most cases restore the contents and structure quickly.

2. Protein fire Residue which is formed by evaporation of material rather than from a fire. Virtually invisible it discolors paints and varnishes, and carried an extreme pungent odor.

3. Dry Smoke (paper and wood) Fast-burning in high temperature setting. Heat rises causing the smoke to do the same.

4. Wet Smoke (pastic and rubber)  Low heat setting, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky and more difficult to clean behind.

Flooding

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Storms and heavy rains can cause heavy flooding in such a short period of time. A perfect example of this is in Lousiana currently. They had 2 feet of rain that fell consistently for 3 days, and within a 72-hour time span the streets were flooded. The National Weather Service is warning that rivers will stay in flood stage for days

Flooding means that not only will a homeowner have to think about the current situation of being displaced from their home and losing some of their personal belongings, but the results after the water is gone. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Once the water has subsisded the presence of dirt, grime, bacteria and mold will be present. The level of these things depends on how long the standing water is left unattended. In a case like Louisiana there is no telling when the water can be extracted from the towns let alone peoples houses.

After the waters have subsided and before you immediately enter your home refer to this checklist.

1. Watch out for wild animals, poisonous snakes that may have entered the home, check thru the debris.

2. Watch out for plaster, loose ceiling structures and document everything for yourself and for insurance purposes.

3. Throw away any food, anything that may have come in contact with the flood waters, anything in the fridge.

4. Check electrical systems, gas leaks, sewage and water lines all for damage.

Water : Clean Vs Contaminated

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville. Consider the following steps to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

 ·         Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.

·         Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock.

·         Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

·         Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

·         Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

·         Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

Damage from Contaminated Water:

·         Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.

·        Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.

·         Do not turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.

·         Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.

·         Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.

Fire Safety Week 2017

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are due to non- working smoke alarms? Have you checked yours? It is as simple as looking on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture.

It is recommended that you try and change smoke alarms every 10 years if not sooner to avoid problems.

To find out more information on fire safety week visit the website of Fema:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Areas in your house that mold can hide from you

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

9/6/2016

Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed if found as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.

One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.

Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.

Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.

Tips For Cleaning Your Home

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

5/12/2016

Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:

Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.

Keep Only What You Need at Arm’s Length:

Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you’ve established for them.

Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:

Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.

Eliminate Digital Clutter:

Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper files – with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor of calendar reminders.

Create A Daily Paper System:

Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled “To Read,” “To Do,” and “To File.” Establish set days for each, so that you don’t get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.

Disinfect Regularly:

Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard, and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.

Tips provided by Forbes, The Dangers of a Messy Desk.

Evacuation Plan

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Water (one gallon per person per day)

· Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)

· Manual can opener

· Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio

· Flashlight and extra batteries

· First aid kit

· Whistle to signal for help

· Clothing

· Dust masks or bandanas

· Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape

· Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

· Hygiene items

· Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information

· Cash

· Fire extinguisher

· Matches in a waterproof container

SERVPRO of College Park / Hyattsville is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.

Kitchen Safety

10/3/2017 (Permalink)

Recipe For Kitchen Safety:

·        Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

·        Stay in the home when cooking food and check on it frequently.

·        Watch children closely. It is a good rule of thumb to keep children three feet away from the cooking area.

·        Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up.

·        Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces and store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. Never keep gasoline in the house.

·        Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills.

·        Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.

·        Make sure your smoke alarms are working by testing them prior to beginning food preparation.

Tips and statistics reproduced from NFPA’s Web site, nfpa.org

Spruce Up Your Space

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Birds are chirping and the temperatures have warmed up – spring is finally here! Spring Cleaning is a tradition allowing us to freshen our environment and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. While many people deep clean their homes, this is also a great time to clean and organize your business.

SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville can help get your facility in tip top shape. In addition to air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville’s Professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications. Other services include: upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and odor deodorization.

A clean environment is a healthy environment! Improve your living and work spaces this spring. SERVPRO of College Park/Hyattsville has the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!

Holiday Safety Tips

12/1/2016 (Permalink)

As we start December and get excited because the holidays are upon us, we must also keep in mind the importance of safety. Here are some tips to remember during the holidays.

Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.

Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.

If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.

If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered to avoid dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs.

Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.

When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks or other furniture.

Prepare your car for the winter by checking items such as the brakes, spark plugs, battery, and tires. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval for a tune-up.

Refer to the link below for more safety tips.

http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments/Holiday-Safety-Tips.pdf

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH

9/15/2016 (Permalink)

Different types of disasters and emergencies happen in communities across the country, but there are key steps that every household can take to be better prepared for them. If you do nothing else this month, take time to create a disaster plan including an emergency escape plan.

Make a clear plan of what to do in an emergency and in case of an evacuation.

Identify clear roles for everyone in the house.

Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that can happen at home, work, and school.

Make a list of all the important things you may forget when in an emergency.

Have a disaster kit assembled for everyone in the house.

Have an out of the area emergency contact person saved on a smartphone.

Practice evacuating your home twice a year, especially if you have kids or pets. This makes it a routine and can make a real emergency situation less stressful.

According to the Red Cross there are many disaster apps now available for smartphones and tablets that can be downloaded to help with emergencies. Some of these apps include a full emergency app, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, wildfire and flood apps. If any of these disasters are common in your areas I would recommend downloading the corresponding app. With these apps you can know when to evacuate, where a shelter may be located, and exactly where the disaster occurred.

Go to: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps for more information

Happy 40th Anniversary!

8/30/2016 (Permalink)

Forty years ago, John and Nancy Hargrove acquired SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac with no idea as to how successful they would become. John started working for SERVPRO three years prior to becoming an owner as a crew chief. At that time this franchise only handled carpet and upholstery cleaning as well as water losses. Over the years, John has gained extensive knowledge on how different aspects of the business should be run effectively and is certified in all areas of mitigation and restoration. As a working owner, John has gained the respect and admiration of his peers and competitors by being a “hands on owner”, present in the daily operations of the business.  

Since the day it was acquired, SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac has helped countless families and businesses recover from unexpected disasters. We were brought on for an extensive part of the clean-up and restoration of the Pentagon after 9/11.  Whether you have a problem with water damage, fire damage, or need a cleaning service we have had you covered through the years.

We have been consistently expanding our franchises as well as our equipment over the years. John and Nancy Hargrove now own 5 franchises in total including Bethesda/Potomac, Washington DC, Chevy Chase/Silver Spring, College Park/Hyattsville and District Heights/Landover.  Now, in addition to Water Damage Restoration, we are able to serve a vast majority of the Washington Metropolitan area with Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation, Odor Control, Biohazard/Trauma Cleanup as well as Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning.

Today, SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac has a 40,000 square foot warehouse full of equipment, a fleet of vehicles, and a crew of highly trained technicians who are on call 24/7, ready for whatever disaster comes next.

We have paved the way in these 40 years.  Here’s to many more years to come!

SERVPRO Named to Entrepreneur's Top 10 Franchise List for 7th Consecutive Year

8/25/2016 (Permalink)

 SERVPRO, a cleanup and restoration franchise company, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 13th consecutive year and moves up to the number four spot overall in the 2016 Franchise 500 rankings from Entrepreneur magazine. This is the seventh consecutive year SERVPRO has been included in the magazine's Top 10 list, standing out in a group of more than 951 franchises that qualified for inclusion in the list.

Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 selection process uses "objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation" to help would-be entrepreneurs identify franchise investment opportunities. Some of the most important factors considered by Entrepreneur in developing the list each year are "financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system."

"This recognition affirms that SERVPRO is a dynamic organization that continues to grow and strives to always provide superior support for its franchisees, and by extension its customers," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer. "The recognition that the company earns year after year in this prestigious list is confirmation of a commitment to excellence that starts at the top and is evident in the service that each franchisee provides to each and every customer."

According to Steen, a number of differentiators set SERVPRO apart from the competition and fuel the attractiveness of the company to both existing franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs looking for a strong business opportunity. Key among these are:

  • SERVPRO's strength as a brand with a national footprint, wide-spread market penetration, laser-focused brand messaging, and the ability to create national partnerships with organizations such as the PGA TOUR and the American Red Cross.
  • SERVPRO's commitment to being a learning organization, which keeps training and support at the forefront of the company's culture and philosophy of success and helps franchisees plan, track, and deliver best-in-class services to consumers.
  • SERVPRO's focus on continued development and support for proprietary software and systems to allow the company's operational capacity to keep pace with an aggressive growth strategy.

Steen adds, "One of the potential pitfalls of growing too quickly is outpacing your capacity to train and support the franchisees. SERVPRO is a conservative company, and early on we took the time to build a strong system and put the building blocks in place to support growth without sacrificing support to our franchisees." "Today," Steen continues, "as a mature franchise organization with more than 1,700 locations under a single brand, recognition like this makes it clear we are reaping the rewards of having laid a solid foundation and a framework to handle quick growth. As our brand continues to grow, we will continue our winning strategy of supporting and improving upon our infrastructure and investing resources in training and support."

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies "Like it never even happened." For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com/.

Back To School Home Safety

8/22/2016 (Permalink)

As we are nearing the end of August, and parents are enjoying their last few days before school we can only think of the many safety tips that parents should consider around the house.

In the Kitchen:

-Are knives, forks, scissors, and other sharp tools in a drawer with a childproof latch?

-Are glass objects and appliances with sharp blades stored out of reach?

-Are matches and lighters stored in a locked cabinet

In Bedrooms:

-Are window blind and curtain cords tied with clothespins or specially designed cord clips?

-Is there a smoke alarm outside the bedroom?

In Bathrooms:

- Are razor blades, nail scissors, and other sharp tools stored in a locked cabinet?

-Are all medication bottles, loose pills, coins, scissors, and any other small or sharp objects out of reach?

- Are all bleaches, detergents, and any other cleaning products out of reach?

Electrical:

-Have you checked for and removed other potential electrical fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires running under carpets?

- Are all unused outlets covered with safety plugs?

August Ladder Safety

8/8/2016 (Permalink)

LADDER SAFETY TIPS

As the summer comes to an end and people are having work done to get ready for fall such as; paint jobs, cleaning gutters, one should pay careful attention to the following ladder safety tips.

Ladder climbing takes place in almost every home and workplace. 

Falls off ladders are near the top in causes of fatal work related injuries in the construction industry and the third leading cause in all industries combined.

- Be sure to inspect the ladder before using it. Check for broken or missing parts, as well as grease, oil or other substances that could result in a slippery surface.

- To ensure stability, place the ladder on firm, even ground. Make sure it is not near any electrical wires or power lines.

 -  When setting up the ladder, use the 4 to 1 rule. For example, if the ladder touches the wall 16 feet above the ground, the feet of the ladder should be 4 feet away from the wall.

 -  Before climbing the ladder, make sure the braces are fully extended and locked in place. Never climb higher than the third rung from the top of the ladder, and never try to “jog” or “walk” the ladder to a new location. Descend and relocate the ladder instead.  

-When working from a ladder, stay in the center and do not reach more than a comfortable arm’s length away. Keep your feet braced against the side rails and lean slightly forward.

-Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.

-Whenever possible, work within sight of someone who could provide assistance in the event of an emergency.

Hurricane Preparedness Week is Almost Here...

5/13/2016 (Permalink)

Look familiar?

Hurricane Preparedness:

Summer is approaching and that means another hurricane season is soon to begin. While June 1st marks the official start of hurricane season, May is a month for hurricane awareness and preparation. The National Hurricane Center states,

“A lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.”

This year National Hurricane Preparedness Week will be held May 15th through May 21st. The goal of Hurricane Preparedness Week is to help educate citizens by providing information about hurricane hazards and preparation, to help protect the public and their families. The more you know about preparing yourself the better you will be able to handle a disaster.

Go to:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html for more information. 

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