Recent Posts

Biohazard Cleanup

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences.  A failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments.  SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney has highly trained technicians that can safely clean and remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

The decontamination process of a home or business due to trauma, sewage backups, chemical spills, hoarding or other biohazards can be both dangerous and emotional.  SERVPRO  of Rockville-Olney can provide cleanup and recovery services for many biohazardous situations including but not limited to:  sewage backups, crime scene residues, suicide/death accidents, blood cleanup, hoarding scenes, and animal waste/remains.

Biohazard emergencies don't always happen during the regular work week.  That's why SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for your call.  You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

Getting Ready for Colder Temperatures

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

With winter approaching, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure your home is ready to withstand the cold temperatures.  Most steps that are taken are inexpensive, and take little time, but can help avoid property damage.  

Following are a few tips to consider before winter arrives:

1). Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.

2). Insulate the hot water lines around your hot water heater and turn down the temperature to the "warm" setting.

3). Replace your furnace filter.

4). Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating costs when no one is at home.

5). Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean.

6). Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets.

7). Remove any window unit air conditioners.

8). Close off rooms that aren't used and shut the vents.

What is the IICRC?

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource.  It serves as an independent,  nonprofit standard-setting and certification body, to set and promote high standards of ethics; and to advance communication and technical proficiency within the inspection, cleaning and restoration service industries.

The IICRC offers certifications in several categories of Cleaning, Inspection and Restoration.  As well, there are Journeyman certifications available to those individuals advanced levels of recognition which are achieved by having several certifications in select categories and a minimum of three to five years of experience in the cleaning/restoration industry.

Here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney our technicians are IICRC certified and continue their education and certification throughout their employment.  As new certifications become available through the IICRC, steps are taken to ensure that our technicians are certified in the latest techniques and services.

Reasons for Professional Water Damage Restoration

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Reasons for Professional Water Damage Restoration

When a flood or any other water events like supply line break or pipe break destroys your home, it's necessary for you to act quickly by getting professional flood restoration services. Cleaning up water damage involves more than just drying and wiping the residue away. Additionally, delaying makes the damage worse because the water will seep into the walls, furnishings, floors, and this may result in mildew and mold growth. Water mitigation can be devastating, but when one gets professional services, restoring the home becomes easier and you can put the traumatic event behind.

Water damage mitigation

Water/flood damage is the destructive process which occurs when water gets into a building. This can be caused by a pipe break, supply line break, or floods after it has rained heavily. Water in a home or water in a business can cause damage like oxidation of metal (rust), rotting wood, composite building materials delamination, and microbial growth. Immediately water seeps into the building materials, a chemical reaction begins to occur hence breaking down the strength of the material. In case water cleanup and drying aren't done immediately, the stability of the structure can be compromised. This makes the flooded home unsafe for human occupancy. Sometimes the effect just comes from a simple pipe break.

Restoration Solutions

The first step for handling flood damage when you have a flooded home is emergency mitigation. This involves locating the cause of the problem (be it a pipe leak or a supply line break) and eliminating the problem. The next step in managing water in home or water in business damage would be assessing the water damage and any dangers to humans. All these services are to be handled by licensed and trained water cleanup professionals. What follows is the drying and dehumidifying all the affected areas.

After the restoration company team assess the documents, equipment as well as other items to know if the contents can be restored or not. Mold mitigation services also come in handy as they help with getting rid of any microbial growth associated with a flooded home. Once the structure is safe for occupation, your family or employees can get back to their normal operations.

Reasons to get professional help

Rapid restoration

Tackling the task of restoring your flooded home or business after flood damage can be slow and exhausting. This increase the probability of further damage especially when the cause of the problem, like supply line break or pipe break, hasn't been addressed. By working with a reliable restoration company, water damage mitigation becomes manageable. The water cleanup and drying process is handled efficiently and quickly by flood damage professionals.

Preventing mold and mildew

In case you have experienced mildew or mold after water in home or water in business, you know how hard it is to get rid of the problem. Prompt water and flood damage restoration can reduce the chances of mold growth.

Insurance issues

When you have water or flood damage coverage in, the mitigation firm will assist you to deal with the needed procedures and forms. The restoration company helps its clients to document the losses they suffered so that they can get the proper settlement from the insurance company. With the water cleanup company, you will get a list of the needed repairs and proof of damages in case the insurance company decides to dispute the claim.

In case you have suffered water in home or water in business damage, consider contacting a restoration company immediately to prevent further damage. Although hiring experts will cost you to get restoration services, the expenses can't compare to the costs you'll incur if you do nothing or decide to handle the restoration all by yourself.

Remediating Mold in Your Rockville Home

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO uses different cleaning methods for each unique surface to remediate mold

Mold is often undetectable in homes until it has become a significant problem. Not every type of mold has that distinctive, ‘musty’ odor and if the growth started behind a wall or in the attic, the smell is not noticeable until the mold has grown into a large colony of spores.

Restoring a home due to the effects of mold damage is a task that needs a professional service. SERVPRO keeps a trained crew on 24-hour notice to support our neighbors and customers. We have some of the best-trained personnel in the industry to clean mold from the property and safely remove it from each home.

These technicians first determine the type of surface infested. This inspection decides both the cleaning methods needed and how much time may be required to complete the job. We usually divide surfaces into porous, nonporous, and semi-porous categories.

Porous surfaces are typically building materials and fabrics; drywall and upholstery for example. They are often cleanable, but if the mold is very thick or has grown into the material, we dispose of it. Our cleaning methods for these surfaces involve vacuuming them with special HEPA filters that catch tiny amounts of loose mold, even a single spore.

After finishing vacuuming, we move on to using spray bottles with an antimicrobial cleaner and foaming agents to dampen the surface. Wetting loosens the mold and allows technicians to remove it with cloths and sponges.

Nonporous surfaces are the easiest to clean. This category includes metal and glass tabletops as well as marble and smooth stone kitchen countertops. In many cases, we can remove the mold with dry cloths and sponges. Technicians wipe down the surfaces from top to bottom to prevent accidentally leaving spores at the top or along the sides. If the mold layer is thick, we vacuum it first before dry wiping.

Semi-porous surfaces (concrete and wood decks for example) require methods not acceptable on other surfaces. Affected surfaces may need sanding to wire brushing and other abrasive tools to dig out the mold. The cleaners we use on these surfaces would mar or otherwise destroy glass and metal surfaces. If mold has penetrated the surface of the wood or concrete, technicians may have to sand them down by hand or with a power sander to remove it.

Returning your home to its pre-mold condition is not a quick or easy set of processes. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney has years of experience in helping our customers through each step to put you back into your home. If you need us, call (301) 340-1313 today to set up an inspection.

Fast And Timely Water Removal Can Reduce Damages in Your Rockville Home

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Quick Water Removal Can Reduce Damages

SERVPRO is Faster To Any Size Disaster, and this quality provides many benefits for homeowners of waterlogged residences. When a pipe has burst apart, or a tub has overflowed, your home needs to have that excess water removed as quickly as possible.

Homes in Rockville that have excess water from disasters such as pipe failures and forgotten tubs dry out best when water removal services from SERVPRO are the first part of the entire process. Pumping out any water that is visible upon our arrival helps us gain a better visual so we can more easily assess the extent of the overall damage.

Larger amounts of porous materials require more aggressive drying methods than materials that are less porous. Our experience benefits homeowners in many different kinds of disasters that can damage a home by giving us insight into how best proceed in almost any type of situation imaginable, and overflowing toilets and tubs, exploding water heaters, burst pipes, and flooding from natural sources are only a few of those catastrophes.

Removing water starts the process, but then we need to move toward removing the moisture that has escaped into the air through evaporation. This moisture can find its way into every part of your home and create problems later unless it is captured and removed. Dehumidifiers, heaters, air movers, and even open windows can work wonders when used together. Moisture meters provide us with a beginning readings of areas in your home that are compared to later readings, showing us our progress in drying out your home.

When dry, remaining problems can still exist, such as unusual odors. This is because odors are caused by particles, that although tiny, produce smells when they have been disturbed. We can rectify this problem with odor control methods. Other problems that can remain behind include over-stretched carpeting, and we can fix that problem, also.

Because floors are always saturated in a situation where standing water exists, we take great care in ensuring that these surfaces are completely dry. This prevents warping of wooden floors and sub-flooring. Otherwise, walking in your home may soon become hazardous for your family and guests.

In situations that have left your home partially submerged, call us, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney at 301-340-1313. We can begin water removal efforts so that your home is once again as it should be, perfectly dry. Accidents can occur at all hours of the day and night, and because of this, we are always available to take your call.

Duct Cleaning

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Dust, pet dander, and other containments from everyday living are circulated through your ducts and can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC heating and cooling system causing it to work much harder. Keeping the ductwork clean can extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which saves you money.

Duct Cleaning Can:

  • Remediate Bacteria, Fungi and Mold
  • Reduce Potential for Mold Growth
  • Restore Peak Energy Efficiency
  • Eliminate Offensive Odors

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor
indoor air quality, keeping your ductwork clean should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. These Contaminants from day to day living are sucked into your HVAC system and recirculated throughout your home over and over. This causes a buildup over time inside the ductwork. This buildup can cause problems for people with asthma and other respiratory health conditions, auto immune disorders, and environmental allergies. 

The EPA’s website states: “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.” Cleaning your ducts can sweep away years of dust and dirt, helping to reduce potential for damage and health risks.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. This includes certain odors as well. In these cases a Duct Cleaning Professional can often restore the ductwork to pre-damage condition. It is also recommended that you have the ductwork cleaned after buying a home or after a renovation.  Just like carpet cleaning, having your ductwork cleaned should be part of your home maintenance routine. 

Call us today to schedule your duct cleaning! 301-340-1313

TES -Thermal Energy System

3/30/2017 (Permalink)

General TES -Thermal Energy System The trailer that houses our Thermal Energy System

The Thermal Energy System more commonly known as TES is a special drying technique our company offers. This system allows us to combine controlled heat with air flow to produce high-speed evaporation for the drying of major water damages. 

TES is not a drying method that is used for all of our everyday water damage as it does use high temperatures of heat. For some people experiencing water damage, TES is not ideal, as they are trying to continue living in their homes. 

Special Uses 

However we can use the Thermal Energy System to aid in the drying process in areas like: 

 

  • Crawlspaces
  • Hardwood floors
  • Increasing the productivity of dehumidifiers
  • Supplement drying for hard to dry places

 

The TES system may raise concerns for you as a homeowner when we say high heat temperatures. Worry not, our Hero Ready Team has put safety switches in place. These help to keep the TES machine from reaching over a certain temperature or air flow rate which we set and control.

Sump Pump Failure in your Montgomery County Home

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

Sump Pump Failure

 A ‘sump pump’ is ‘a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basement of homes’. For the most part, sump pumps are relatively ‘unnecessary’, but when an emergency arises, you’ll be grateful you had it. A sump pump can easily avoid the crisis of having a flooded basement by draining all excess water back outside. However, when it fails, it’ll cost you a basement and thousands of dollars in water damage.

 

How does a sump pump fail?

It’s Installed Incorrectly

Instructions administered by the manufacturer must be followed diligently in order for the sump pump to be installed properly. Another issue is the size of the sump pump; while a small one can work just as fine as its larger counterpart, you must install the right size in order for it to function properly.

 

There Was A Power Failure

This is the most common cause of a sump pump’s failure, which renders this devise useless. A backup generator is always a good investment to make.

 

Problems With The Switch

This is the most common mechanical problem: a stuck switch. Debris can jam it and render it useless, or the pump can shift and the float can get stuck. A little cleaning and some adjustments to the sump pump’s position can go a long way to prevent this.

 

The Discharge Lines Are Frozen Or Clogged

Debris can clog the discharge lines, cause flood water to retreat back into the basement (to prevent this, be sure to install a grate at the opening of your pipe, preventing debris and even small animals from entering).

Prevention of frozen pipes is practically impossible. However, you can install an additional discharge line that continues to perform the original discharge line’s purpose when it is ineffective.

 

 Age

Sump pumps can be worn down over time and cease to work after 7-10 years of use. It’s best to replace your sump pump every ten years.

 

 There Is No Air Relief Hole in Discharge Line

 

 Gravel or Dirt?

Gravel and dirt can interfere with your pump’s switch and float arm. If you are unsure about your pump’s installation, contact a professional.

 

Lack of Maintenance

Clean your sump pump occasionally to make sure that it’s operational.

 

You Might Have A Defective Product

It’s rare, but you could have had a defective sump pump. It’s best to test it upon installation to be assured that there are no defects.

 

Call us for help: SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney at 301-340-1313.

SERVPRO Tip: Call US for All Mold Remediation Treatments

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation SERVPRO Tip:  Call US for All Mold Remediation Treatments SERVPRO Recommends Professional Clean Up of a Mold Infestation in Rockville-Olney

Mold can seem almost benign due to its slow rate of visible damage and sluggish spreading but make no mistake; it can pose a health hazard to you once it has taken hold. SERVPRO technicians take entire courses on mold safety. There are many species of fungi that can create widely varied situations and problems depending on a high number of factors. If you have uncovered mold in your home, protecting your health and safety becomes a concern, and should top your list of priorities. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you live and work in your home during the remediation service. SERVPRO stance is that mold does cause health effects, we do not diagnose, but we do remediate.

You May Want to Wear a Mask
Rockville mold damage has a potential to cause respiratory health issues, in particular for individuals with weakened immune systems or asthma. SERVPRO technicians have access to industrial-grade protective masks and even suits when needed, and you should, at the very least, try to protect your mouth and sinuses with a mask when working near mold damage. For those with asthma or respiratory issues, the urgency of this precaution is even higher. We firmly recommend that you do not grapple with this problem. Our main advice is to call us to tackle your mold problem. Be safe, not sorry.
 
Hands Off
Some types of mold can produce toxic or infectious byproducts, making the act of touching mold with your bare hands potentially dangerous. In general, you should never touch visible mold growth, as doing so can not only hurt you but also spread the mold to other surfaces. If you touch mold by accident, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching other surfaces.
 
Be Mindful of Other Dangers
Many mold damage cases come with additional problems, whether you are aware of them or not. That patch of mold could be the result of a five-year-old water pipe leak, and in addition to allowing mold growth, it may have already long weakened the surrounding structure. Being aware of structural issues and other types of damage could save you money while protecting your home investment.
 
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is ready 24/7 to respond to local disasters and home damages. Just give us a call at (301) 340-1313.