Archived Blog Posts
Halloween Safety Tips
Make sure to inspect your child's candy before they consume it!
It’s that time of year again to stock up on candy, as trick-or-treaters will be arriving in the masses at your door any day now! Whether you’ll be passing out the candy or accompanying your own trick-or-treater, follow the tips below to ensure everyone has a safe and happy experience.
- Always accompany children! Do not let them go alone. This is the most important step to follow to ensure a safe Halloween.
- Carry a cell phone and flashlight with you at all times. Have your child carry a flashlight to increase visibility too.
- Walk on the sidewalk and in residential neighborhoods whenever possible. Walking on streets or up long driveways can be dangerous. A great Halloween tip is if you live in the country or in an area where homes are quite spread out, drive and park in a neighborhood with homes in close proximity, i.e., townhomes.
- Make sure the costume fits well! If costumes are too large, they become a fire hazard (people commonly place burning candles inside pumpkins). Furthermore, tree branches, fallen sticks, debris, etc. is less visible at night, and long costumes could get caught or tangled in the mix.
- It’s also highly recommended your costume and trick-or-treat bag is reflective in the dark. Adding reflective tape to both is an easy and inexpensive way of doing so.
- Avoid masks and long and sharp accessories. Masks can limit eyesight, and sharp and long objects that play apart in your costume can cause injury. Both may play a part in your costume, but they can cause risks that aren’t worth risking.
- Speaking of fire hazards, avoid placing a burning candle inside your pumpkin. Instead, opt for a flashlight or glow stick. If you must use a candle, consider a tea light.
- If you will pass out candy, make sure your home, walkways, etc. are well-lit to ensure no one gets injured due to lack of vision on your property… that could end poorly.
- Make sure pets are inside their kennels, locked in the basement, etc.; anything to ensure they cannot run outside or “greet” trick-or-treaters. Pets either become excited, protective, or terrified, which can lead to shocking or harming both your pet and whoever is at your door.
- Do not take your child to a home with no light on. That almost always means they do not want trick-or-treaters at their door and that they are not passing out candy.
- Additionally, candy should be passed out at the door or sometimes, in a bowl sitting outside the door. Do not step into homes or vehicles to receive candy. That’s could be very dangerous.
- After your children collect their candy, inspect each piece, ensuring no wrappers have been opened or tampered with. Candy without a wrapper, such as candy corn or gumballs, should be discarded immediately.
- Feed your children a large meal before trick-or-treating so that they do not come home very hungering and make a meal out of their candy. Instead, ration candy for the days and weeks to come.
How to Conserve Water in Your Rockville or Olney Home
Place your yard sprinkler strategically so that it only waters what's needed to be watered. Your plants need water, not your driveway or sidewalk.
At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, we see a lot of aftermath from home flooding, which means a lot of wasted water. Excessive amounts of water leaking, bursting, or draining cause these floods. Our website mentions all the details on how we clean up and restore the flooded areas.
In this blog, we will talk about the opposite, water conservation. We hope to provide you with useful tips you can follow to save on your water bill and to our natural resources alike.
Try the following suggestions below. You can see if your monthly water bill decreases by doing so.
- Check your toilet for leaks (the old food coloring trick is a sure way to discover any)
- Check for leaks in pipes and faucets too
- Do not leave you water running the entire time you brush your teeth, shaving or showering
- Purchase water-saving appliances (a shower head is probably the cheapest and will save you)
- Wait until you have enough clothes for a full load to do laundry
- Position your lawn sprinkler in the most efficient way possible. Often times, sprinkler water ends up watering the road or sidewalks
- Plant drought-resistant plants and trees
- Use a broom, instead of a hose, to remove dust and dirt from your sidewalks, etc.
- Reuse water when possible. You can water your garden instead of allowing a lot of the water you’ve used to flow down the drain
- Capture rainwater! Invest in a water drum to catch water from gutters and downspouts
Start helping the environment (and your wallet) today by conserving water in your Rockville, Olney or Derwood home or office today!
How to Conserve Water in a Commercial Building
Consider installing touch-free faucets in your business' bathrooms to conserve water.
Unlike your home, your commercial building is comprised of various employees and clients or customers. You and your family might make a conscious effort to conserve water, but often times, may not strangers.
How often do you use your bathroom sink and walk out with the water still running? Probably never in your life. Now consider this. How many times have you visited an empty public restroom with a running faucet? Probably a few times a year, at least.
One solution would be to install touch-free faucets. This saves businesses a lot of money, even if the initial cost isn’t the cheapest.
Speaking of faucets, you can make an easy switch of replacing your faucet aerators with newer ones of lower power. After companies make this switch, they typically notice the new aerators only use a fifth of the water the older ones did.
Another money-saving, bathroom investment is purchasing new flush valves. Today, there are some great options to choose from. You can buy water-saving flush valves that use 20 percent less water that newer toilets and 70 percent less water than pre-1992 toilets.
If you operate a restaurant or any other facility that calls for a dishwasher, you may want to upgrade to a water-saving dishwater. Although they cost about the same as normal dishwashers, these washers use 40 percent less water, not to mention less energy too.
A few more tips for saving water in your commercial building include planting scrubs, bushes, flowers, etc. that require less water instead of growing plants that demand water. Additionally, you should make sure your irrigation device is positioned practically. The sidewalk shouldn’t be drenched after a watering session. Also, check for leaks or dripping. There’s no point for a small patch of dirt to be thoroughly watered.
If you’ve noticed rainfall and your irrigation schedule collide quite a few times, you may want to invest in a rain or soil moisture sensor. You can save a lot on your water bill from what nature has to offer. Plus, if it has rained or the soil is damp enough, the plants could potential drown.
Lastly, separately meter your irrigation. Unless you do choose to meter, your water company will send all the water coming from the property to a wastewater treatment plant. If you do choose to meter, your sewer bill will plummet.
We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney encourage you to incorporate a few of these tips into your commercial business and see how much water (and money) you can save!
Local Pumpkin Patches and More!
It's a common tradition for families and friends alike to pick pumpkins together every fall!
Pumpkins symbolize prosperity, growth, and well-being. They’re also a symbol of fall. Whether you need a few pumpkins to decorate your porch with, one to make a pie with, or to carve into a jack-o’-lantern, we’re here to provide you with information on where to find pumpkins locally.
If you’re looking for a pumpkin patch, look no further than Sharp’s At Waterford Farm (4003 Jennings Chapel Rd, Brookeville, MD 20833) or Larriland Farm (2415 Woodbine Rd, Woodbine, MD 21797). These pumpkin patches will provide you with the fall, farm experience in full. Sharp’s offers free hayrides to pick your own pumpkins. They also offer educational tours. Larriland also offers hayrides for a small fee, as well as a straw maze, a boo barn, and seasonal goodies from local vendors. Both farms also have large markets with an abundance of produce. Pumpkins which have already been picked can also be purchased inside the market.
If you’re looking to make a quicker purchase, consider stopping by Johnson’s Florist and Garden Centers (5011 Olney Laytonsville Rd, Olney, MD 20832) or by St. John’s Episcopal Church (3427 Olney Laytonsville Rd, Olney, MD 20832). Johnson’s always offers a wide selection of pumpkins, ranging in colors, sizes, and varieties. St. John’s does too. The yearly patch in front of their church serves as a fundraiser for their outreach programs. Interestingly enough, the pumpkins sold on their lot are grown on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, which is another outreach. By purchasing a pumpkin from St. John’s, you’re giving back twice!
Additionally, you should check out your local farmers market. Even if they do not have an entire field of pumpkins, local farmers oftentimes plant pumpkin seeds to harvest a seasonal crop and bring whatever pumpkins their land has yielded to the market, along with their apples, beets, and other fall produce. Olney and Rockville have their own farmers markets. There happen to be an abundance of local markets, so search your town’s market up today!
We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney hope you find the perfect pumpkin and all that it symbolizes!
Is Your Business Resilient?
It's important to make a plan with your team for your business in case of disaster.
Is your business resilient?
According to FEMA, around 40-60 percent of small businesses that have been struck by disaster will not reopen.
Does this statistic surprise you? A lot of people don’t consider the serious impact a disaster, such as a storm, fire, or flood, can have on a small business. It not only can destroy the building and surrounding property of the business, but can also destroy essential information, contacts, etc., which can put a quick end to the business’ existence.
By taking action before a disaster strikes, you can take steps to increase your employees’ safety, your business’ resiliency, and your clients’ trust.
It’s important you follow the steps below to keep your business safe!
- Keep your company records, documents, and contacts stored in paperless form (on Google Drive or iCloud, for example)
- Pre-establish policies for employees, vendors, and customers in order to maintain trust and stability, and also to retain relationships and positions
- Do a threat analysis. Assess any possible risks your business may be susceptible to, from a hurricane to a cyber attack
- Develop a continuity plan. FEMA recommends creating your plan using these four steps:
- Conduct a business impact analysis
- Identify, document, and implement recovery strategies
- Compile a business continuity plan with others in your business
- Conduct training, testing, drills, and exercises to teach, practice, and evaluate the plan
Most Common Issues in a Commercial Building
High energy costs can easily add up, but they can be avoided by keeping your building in good repair and taking initiatives to save energy!
At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, we offer many commercial services. From working with small office buildings to restaurants, to government agencies, we solve problems anywhere from water damage to mold damage and beyond.
We realize it’s important you keep your commercial property in the best repair possible. You building, both on the outside and inside, is often times the face of the company.
Below, we have listed some of the most common issues commercial buildings face. You may want to take note of these issues, and check your building for them. If you do come across any of these problems, it’s important to get them fixed immediately as you commercial building holds many employees and customers daily. The sooner repaired, the more guaranteed everyone’s safety and well-being can be.
Check for the following (or you may need to hire a professional to investigate for some of these):
- Leaks: From roofs, to gutters, to serious moisture buildup, water leaks can cause an assortment of problems including mold growth and rotting
- Asbestos: If your building is older than 20 years, you should have it inspected for asbestos, which if present, can cause detrimental effects on one’s health
- Cracking: Could possibly be a sign of an underlying problem in the building’s structure
- Fire and safety regulations: Make sure your building and property meet all standards regarding the current safety and fire requirements
- Infestation of bugs or rodents: Yikes! No one feels to comfortable working in a building knowing it’s home to an abundance of rodents. It also doesn’t look pleasant to visitors or clients when ants or gnats are buzzing around or see a few rodent droppings. Additionally, pests can damage the wiring of a building.
- High energy costs: Keeping your commercial building in good repair can help keep your energy consumption at a manageable level. Also consider installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Consider creating energy and water-saving campaigns throughout your building. Make colorful posters and have prizes for whichever floor most actively participates, for example.
- Electrical faults: Dead outlets, melting wires, and faulty circuits can cause fires. A trusted electrician should be called to check out the situation immediately.
Fire Prevention Week!
Fire Prevention Week, brought to us by the National Fire Protection Association, is observed Sunday, October 6 through Saturday, October 12 of 2019.
The NFPA has sponsored this national and public observance week since 1922. With a goal of increasing awareness and education people young and old about fire safety, NFPA hopes causalities caused by fire will drastically decrease.
This year, the theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”, and it aims to inform about the importance of escape planning and practicing it at least twice a year. The NFPA wants to encourage people to take small, but very important steps to ensure they and others will stay safe from fire.
It may be surprising to hear, but the average time it takes for a fire to consume an entire home is five minutes. Often times, there will only be one or two minutes for your escape. If you don’t have an escape plan, much disarray and chaos will result. A lack of an escape plan also puts you, your family, and even pets in a vulnerable position.
A video on the NFPA website highlights a few steps you can easily take to create your home fire escape plan. The steps are listed below and can also be found on the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khyHziYGFZg&feature=youtu.be).
- Draw a map of your home
- Mark two exits from each room, typically a door and a window. Mark a path from each exit to the outside.
- Include the location of all smoke alarms in your home
- Choose a meeting place outside of your home where everyone will meet up once they have exited
- Add 911 or any other emergency number to your plan
- Call 911 once you’re outside. Use a neighbor’s phone or a cellphone if you have one on you
Check out NFPA’s website where you can gain valuable and even life-saving information. The website will equip you with free apps, videos, printables, and much more! There’s something for everyone of any age to check out on their page. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Fire-Prevention-Week/Resources
We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney want you to stay safe! We know the damage a fire can do and find it very important that you create your own, home fire escape plan. We encourage you to take charge in preventing fires!
What if There's Mold on my Food?
Have you ever noticed a few small spots of mold on the slice you were about to use? If the spots small and look easy to pinch off, it’s pretty tempting to try salvaging, but also, you don’t want to get sick! Have the small mold spots contaminated the whole piece, or will you be just find removing them by hand?
First, it’s important to know that simply cutting or scrapping mold off your bread, strawberry, etc. won’t save you from ingesting mold. The mold has already rooted itself in your food, so what you are looking at are surface spores where it’s emerged. Even if you no longer see it, the mold has already made its home in your food. So yes, your piece of bread is more contaminated than you think.
Although we’ve all probably pinched mold of a piece of bread at one time of our lives or another, consuming moldy food can sometimes be very harmful. Bacteria can grow along with the mold, and it’s easy for mold to contaminate porous foods like bread.
For example, black bread mold is a rarer, but very dangerous mold that grows on bread. It can cause serious infection. That being said, it’s in your best interest to toss out the moldy bread.
Mycotoxins, a toxic substance, can be produced by certain molds usually found in grain and nut crops. Mycotoxins can also contaminate apples, celery, grapes, and other produce. Consumption of mycotoxins can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.
Additionally, if you see mold on any of the following, throw it away!
- Lunch meat
- Hot dogs
- Cooked pasta
- Cream or cottage cheese
- Citrus fruits
- Peanut better
- Jelly (mycotoxins commonly found within the mold in jams and jellies)
- And yes… bread!
A few food items you can cut the mold out from include:
- Hard cheese
- Hard salami
- Dry-cured country hams
How to Salvage Pictures After a Flood
If you’ve experienced a flood in your home, chances are many of your belongings were damaged by the waters. Among your valuables, your photographs are most likely one of your most personal and cherished items.
Maybe it was a childhood image of a late grandparent from the 1930’s or your parent’s wedding photo. Maybe it was a favorite photo booth picture of you and your sibling or your son or daughter’s first grade school picture. Maybe the flood damaged entire photo albums, collections, and scrapbooks.
Whatever the loss, losing pictures to a flood can be one of the most devastating aspects. You feel powerless as these family heirlooms passed down for decades or a treasured image is seemingly damaged and potentially lost due to the waters of the flood.
Don’t stress too much! There may be hope!
There are plenty of tips on how to salvage your photos. Surprisingly, most can be cleaned and dried.
Follow the steps promptly to avoid damage. Please note, you should follow these steps within at most two days, or else they will begin to mold and stick together. Lastly, if the pictures are quite old, consult a professional photograph restorer, but in the meanwhile, have the wet images drying.
- Gently remove the photographs from the water. If any pictures are stuck together, carefully separate. If they will not part easily, do not force a separation.
- Using cold, clean water, rinse each side of the picture. This way, any dirt will come off.
- On an indoor flat surface, lay down paper towels. Lay the photo, face-up, on the paper towel, and replace the paper towel (as it will get wet) with a dry one each hour, until completely dried.
If you want to want to put the drying process on hold, place the wet photos (after rinsing with cold, clean water) between sheets of wax paper before storing them in an airtight plastic bag in the freezer.
We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney want your valuables to be restored to you at ease. If you are concerned about water damage in your home (walls, floors, etc.), we will restore your home to you at ease too. We are the water damage experts!
If you have any questions or needs, give us a call today at (301) 340-1313.
What's the Difference: black water vs. clean water vs. gray water
If you’re home floods, you’ll probably wonder how safe the water is to come in contact with.
Should you retrieve possessions from the puddles left behind? If you forgot to wear gloves and boots, will soap and water be enough to rid the germs from your hands?
Those are excellent questions.
First, you must identify the water source.
Clean water will not cause an immediate threat. It contains no contaminants and originates from toilet holding tanks, snow melt, rain, appliances such as a broken refrigerator, air conditioning units, etc.
Gray water contains chemical or biological contaminates, and therefore, may pose some health risk. It originates from washing machines, showers, sinks, aquariums, etc.
Black water causes an immediate threat due to the expected contaminants in it, including but not limited to, viruses, bacteria, and protozoan. This water originates from toilets and floodwaters. Often times, after a flood, water collect soils, sewage, etc. which contain harmful contaminants, which explains why it’s marked as black water.
However, please note that as these waters sit, they can advance to a more serious level. For instance, after sitting for two days, clean water can turn into gray water. This is why water removal should be handled immediately.
Contact with contaminated water can cause vomiting, nausea, parasitic illness, and fever.
If you’re not sure of the source, contact a professional.
If you’re dealing with gray or black water, it’s very important to get help as soon as possible. Keep in mind that if it’s clean water, and it’s been sitting for over 48 hours, it should be treated as a gray water problem.
At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, we are water damage and biohazard experts. We will efficiently restore any water damage and carefully treat and disinfect your home, so you feel safe in it again.
Take a look at our website for more details: https://www.SERVPROrockvilleolney.com/sewage-cleanup
Does your Rockville, Olney, Sandy Spring, or Laytonsville home or office need restoration or cleanup?
Give us a call today at (301) 340-1313, and we will give you peace of mind!
What's Leaf Mold? Common Fall Allergen in Maryland
Now that summer has come to a close, we are in the first few days of fall. The temperatures were quite high (and are still), and we’ve experienced a normal amount of rain for a Maryland summer (9.19 inches in Baltimore, according to https://www.weather.gov/media/lwx/climate/bwiprecip.pdf).
As leaves are beginning to change color, we realize they’ll soon be falling from their trees. The hot, humid weather of summer enables mold growth on dying grass patches, and as soon as the leaves fall, the mold on the ground begins to quickly spread over them.
Do you have a mold allergy? If so, you may be wondering if leaf mold is a threat at all.
Indeed, leaf mold can certainly cause symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestions, and runny noses.
Not only does the leaf mold lay under the foliage, but it also disperses through the air when leaves are raked or blown about by wind or leaf blower. When spores are stirred up, they’re basically being thrown up in the air to linger around.
However, leaf mold isn’t the fall season’s only allergen. Grasses and ragweed are also common sources of your sneezes.
If you suffer from mold allergy, you can look forward to colder temperatures within the next couple months. Once frost begins showing up on the ground, the mold begins to die off, and you can expect your symptoms to recede.
Feel free to check out our website. We have an entire tab dedicated to mold for your knowledge. https://www.SERVPROrockvilleolney.com/mold-remediation
The Latest Tropical Storms: Karen and Lorenzo
Just yesterday, tropical storm Karen was headed north. It had drenched Puerto Rico and left 29,000 people without power. Now Karen is moving towards Bermuda. However, it’s expected to travel in a loop-de-loop maneuver, swinging west towards Florida, meaning the island won’t be disturbed.
When meteorologists first noticed that Karen was circling back over its route, it was noted the Bahamas could be further impacted. The country was already devastated by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month.
Yet meteorologists have now discovered Karen is weakening and is “barely a tropical storm” that will not affect the Bahamas in any way. They expect Karen will continue to weaken over the next four days due to the high wind shear and dry air of the climate on her approaching path.
Additionally, Florida residents had been warned to keep a close eye on this storm as Karen is expected to make its way over to Florida over this weekend. However, Karen is presumably no danger to the state either.
Yet as soon as Karen became one less problem, Hurricane Lorenzo began strengthening rapidly and became a concern on the radar. Lorenzo morphed into a Category 3 storm this morning and by this afternoon, Category 4.
However, Lorenzo has been projected to head north-northeast. It is expected to weaken within the next few days. It’s also projected to stay in the water and never reach land. The only presumed effects of both tropical storms on land is some rainfall in northeastern Mexico.
Pet Safety during a Storm
Pets can face a lot of anxiety amidst a storm.
If you know a storm is approaching, or see the first sign of one, immediately bring your pet indoors. Animals can become disoriented and panicky when witnessing intense conditions, and it’s not uncommon for them to wander away under these circumstances. Also, if a veterinarian has prescribed your pet any anxiety medication, administer the medication to them as soon as possible.
This brings us to our next point. It’s important your pets wear ID tags, or better yet, are microchipped. If they do get lost, they will be much easier to identify and more quickly returned to you.
It’s very common for your pet to become frightened when they hear thunder or feel the house shake due to high winds. In case of emergency, in an instance where you have to pick them up and flee your home, be sure to remember their favorite hiding spaces. This way, you won’t waste time wondering around your home in search of them.
If you are leaving your home, it’s best to bring your pet with you. Create a list of surrounding lodging choices that are pet-friendly. See if you could drop off your furry friend at a friend or relative’s home, or call to see if any boarding kennels have space.
If you are staying home, keep your pets away from windows as much as possible. In a state of panic, your pet could either try jumping out (however, your windows should definitely be shut), or something may cause your window to shatter, sending pieces of broken glass everywhere.
In the instance of heavy rains beginning to come inside your home, and it begins to flood, move yourself and your pet to the highest location inside your home. Your pet can take shelter in cabinets or shelving.
A few tips include moving your pet inside a room with no carpeting, in case of bathroom emergency, and having a fresh supply of water readily available, as you do not want your pet to dehydrate. Taking them to a veterinarian would be nearly impossible in the case of a serious weather crisis.
Additionally, make sure there are no poisonous substances or baits your pet can get ahold of. When taking shelter, your pet might either be in an unfamiliar room which you are not used to them being in, or they might get bored and begin getting into boxes, bins, or shelves. Again, if they consume something that will cause them to fall ill, it would be nearly impossible for you to bring them to the veterinarian.
Lastly, consider creating a first-aid kit for your pet. ASPCA has created a list of items you should include in your own kit. Check out their link! https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/saving-lives-shelter-health-poison-control/how-make-pet-first-aid-kit
2019 Crawford & Company Day of Service
The 2019 Crawford & Company Global Day of Service extends from October 1st to 31st. Various companies around the world pay tribute to this day by selecting a day from the month of October to give back to their own community.
A few examples of projects that companies have completed in honor of the day, which is dedicated to stewardship and supporting the community where you work, include cleaning local parks, serving meals, repairing homes for residents in need, free of charge, and participating in charity walks.
Last year, we of SERVPRO Rockville-Olney cleaned the local stream that we had adopted. We removed debris from the water, including a car tire. We were sure to bring large trash bags to collect the litter that was scattered through the forest which surrounds the water too.
We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney believe it’s extremely important to take care of our community. We are here to support any commercial and residential needs you may have. We are also here to make sure the environment in our community is being taken care of. That’s why we are taking steps to improve it.
In general, Montgomery County is a populated area. The more crowded an area, the quicker litter tends to build up. Thankfully, a large percentage of residents are environmentally-conscious, and as a result, are careful to dispose of their trash properly and/or take time out of their busy schedules to collect trash.
That being said, we know a lot about water here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney. While we cleanup and restore water damage, we also know why waterways need to be cleaned and how they are damaged by litter.
Litter can have the following, but not limited to, effects on lakes, rivers, creeks, etc.:
- Clog storm drains (which can result in flooding)
- Increase algal blooms (which can suffocate aquatic life)
- Choke or entangle water species
- Prohibit drinking and swimming use
- Decrease aesthetics (not nearly as serious as the other effects, but still…)
We encourage you to donate a few hours of your time per year helping to clean up the environment in your community and are confident you properly throw away, or when appropriate, recycle items you no longer need. Carry a trash bag in your car to throw your personal waste in or to hold litter you may find on your travels.
We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney thank you for your efforts!
Do You Smell Something?
Do you have an odor in your Rockville-Olney residence or commercial building?
If so, you might ask where it’s coming from. Is there a specific source that’s letting off this smell? What’s causing it, and how can it be eliminated once and for all?
Sometimes, an odor could originate from a deceased animal trapped in your attic. That’s an easy and simple cleanup. Other times, the odor could be much more difficult to pinpoint. When the situation is more complex or dispersed, there’s more of a science to identifying the root of the issue.
This is when SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney steps in. Our highly trained technicians have taken IICRC technical classes to learn how to properly identify and remove odors.
Let’s get rid of this smell so that your personal chemical sensor (your nose) agrees with the surrounding air once again!
Oftentimes, people try masking a serious odor. In attempt to scare the smell away, here are a few common methods used, but are either very temporary or to be used with caution:
- Purchase and light a candle warmer
- Spray a pleasant scent
- Sprinkle baking soda everywhere (which can neutralize odors permanently, however, use caution or avoid if you have pets. If ingested, animals can become ill)
- Cleaning furniture or walls with soapy water
- Leaving windows open (which is sometimes a preventative measure to take, but can also allow additional moisture to travel inside depending on climate and temperatures)
If the odor stems from an issue such as mold, a gas leak, improper heating equipment, a blocked chimney, or spilled chemicals, the methods above might cover the smell for a short while, but will not be able to stop the smell from resurfacing. In many of these instances, the smell could lead to sickness or could even be fatal.
If you discover the source, and it’s an easy fix (rotting vegetables in your refrigerator, a bag of old gym shoes in your garage, food stuck in your drain because you forgot to use the garbage disposal, etc.), then you’re in luck.
However, if you suspect the smell source to be one of the issues listed two paragraphs above, you will want to call a professional immediately.
Leave it to SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney if you want a safe, thorough, and effective cleanup. With our extensive knowledge and latest, state-of-the-art equipment, we will have the smell source identified, located, and carefully eliminated.
Give us a call at (301) 340- 1313 with any questions or needs for odor removal and deodorization, and see our page for more details https://www.SERVPROrockvilleolney.com/odor-removal-deodorization.
Happy American Business Women's Day
September 22 is American Business Women’s Day.
First recognized in 1982, the day celebrates the women of the workforce and female business owners. It commemorates the achievements of working women around the county both now and from history.
Although these women hold diverse occupations, this day unites them due to their dedication and commitment to their careers and their successes and accomplishments in the workplace.
Here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, we would like to give a special thanks to all the women of our team!
Remember to reflect on the contributions of the women you know who are a part of the workplace on the 22nd!
Do you recall a woman from the past or present who has exhibited great leadership skills, innovation, or determination? It could be your mother, your boss or coworker, a past professor, your sister, or a famous scientist, or even someone you’ve seen in the movies.
You can celebrate that woman! Feel free to use the hashtag #AmericanBusinessWomensDay on social media, especially if you’re giving your favorite working woman a shoutout!
If you’re reading this, and you’re a woman of the workforce, we of SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney would like to let you know we notice and appreciate all your contributions!
How to Recover Items After Flooding
If you’ve ever experienced a house flooding, you might have lost a few items, or maybe you lost most of your possessions depending on the extent of the waters and how long you waited to dry your furnishings, accessories, and trinkets.
If you want to salvage your goods after experiencing a flooding, it’s essential you dry items within a 48 hour timeframe.
Below are a list of tips and suggestions on how to save your items:
- Improve air circulation! Don’t contain the moisture. Instead, open windows and doors. If there are no windows or doors leading outside in the particular room, open closet and cabinet doors.
- Turn on a fan! It can either be a ceiling fan, a floor fan, or both. However, please do not plug a fan into an outlet attached to a wall that is wet or has water behind it. That’s an easy way to get electrocuted.
- Use a dehumidifier. These remove water vapor from the air. To be effective, it must be used in a contained area. Be sure to shut all doors and windows during use to prohibit more humidity from entering.
- Use a sump pump. These remove water out of house or office through a hose or pipe. They’re useful when the floodwater level is more than a couple inches deep. (Check out our other blog to learn more about sump pumps: https://www.SERVPROrockvilleolney.com/blog/post/37474/water-damage-restoration/sump-pump-failure-in-your-montgomery-county-home).
- Got soaked items? Quick! Take them out of your house. Allow them to try off in the sun. Keeping them indoors will ensure nothing ever dries up as their excessive moisture will travel to surrounding objects.
- Try a wet-dry shop vacuum. Never use a regular vacuum cleaner. A shop vac is specifically made for wet conditions.
At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, we are water damage restoration experts. With the latest, state-of-the-art equipment, you can trust us to clean up and restore your property back to how it used to be!
You can review our water damage restoration process here:
Give us a call today at (301) 340-1313 if you have any questions about or needs for water damage restoration.
National Day of Encouragement
Yesterday marked the 13th annual National Day of Encouragement.
Its purpose is to encourage people to encourage others.
You never know how you can shape someone’s day or how you might be able to turn someone’s day around.
Were you ever having a rough day and a co-worker complimented you? Maybe a classmate told you that your presentation was great. Maybe a co-worker, sibling, or friend told you to keep up the great work.
It costs little to nothing to encourage someone, but it can impact someone’s day, week, or even life unimaginably.
Here a few simple ideas on how you can encourage someone:
- Write them a simple note and put it in their work mailbox, on their desk, or send via email
- Give them a small gift, such as a flower or notepad
- Invite them to lunch and talk with them. A listening ear is all someone needs sometimes!
- In an encouraging manner, give them advice on how they can stay on top of their goals
At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, we are confident you will be able to inspire and encourage someone every day!
Meet SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney at Community Night
Did you know Olney Chamber of Commerce has been actively serving the Olney community and supporting local businesses for over 50 years?
They will be hosting their 40th Annual Olney Chamber of Commerce Community Night at Our Lady of Good Counsel on Monday, October 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Check out exhibitor tables and demonstrations, including ours, sample food from favorite local restaurants, and participate in raffles, a 50/50, and the silent auction. With attendance expected in the thousands, you’re bound to see familiar faces.
Invite your friends to attend this event with you! This is the perfect time to socialize with neighbors and connect with others from your community. You’ll have the chance to meet and talk with local businesses and discover what’s right around the corner from your home.
At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, community means more than just a group of people living in close proximity. Community is home. It’s where you feel a sense of belonging and mutual trust.
To best serve the needs of our community, we get to know you personally. We take time to learn the unique concerns our Rockville-Olney neighbors have in order to best accommodate and serve them.
Please stop by our booth to enter in a raffle! We hope to see you October 14th.
You do not have to RSVP for this event.
What You Need to Know as Fall is Approaching
Can you believe we are in the last few weeks of summer? As the heat dissipates, the cooler, dry fall air moves in. On its way out, the humidity mixes with the drier air that’s on its way in. The encounter results in an increase of thunderstorms.
Gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and lightening are among the most common characteristics of a thunderstorm. When a thunderstorm updraft has enough strength to carry water to an area with below-freezing temperatures, hailstones begin to form. When the hailstones become too heavy for the updraft to hold, they are released, and that is when hail falls to the ground.
Damages caused by the winds, rainfall, lightening, and hail can have devastating effects on your property.
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 Rockville-Olney will get you back on your feet fast with our extensive knowledge and quick action guarantee.
If you want to ensure you don’t face any stormy issues this season, give us a call at (301) 340-1313, and we will help prepare and protect your property this fall!
How to Prepare Your Property for the Fall Season
Happy September! It’s important to get your home ready for the change of weather. Below are a few tips for how to prepare your home for fall.
- Test safety devices: Are your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices working? Batteries often time die during the winter months as cold temperatures slow or ultimately stop the chemical reactions (the power source) inside the battery.
- Clean your humidifier: Failure to clean humidifiers can result in growth of mold, bacteria, and certain germs.
- Eliminate drafts: Ensure cold air can’t seep through your windows. If you feel a draft, you should consider replacing seals or purchasing sturdier drapery.
- Inspect trees: Are there any broken, overgrown or suspicious limbs? Become a branch detective! Ensure no branches are too close to power lines (which can cause a fire) or to your roof.
- Organize your shed: Clear your garage of summer equipment, furniture, etc. and move it into the shed! Swap your summer items out for fall items for easier access.
- Secure all loose outdoor furniture and prepare to store them inside: Wind gusts blow over your outdoor furnishings, flower pots, parked bicycles, etc. Snow and heavy rains can damage your properties too. If you must leave certain items outside, consider chaining or roping them to a secure foundation.
Make sure the following aspects of your property are clean:
- The roof
- The chimney and fireplace
- The siding
- The gutters
- The water drainage
- The pipes and spouts
Keep in mind that preventative maintenance is cheaper than emergency repairs and damage!
If you need help safeguarding your home, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is here to offer you there service and expertise. Give us a call at (301) 340-1313.
Is Black Mold Growing in Your Home or Office?
This mold is growing on the wall inside a room.
We’ve all heard of black mold, but what exactly is it? Take a look at our website to find out, then return to this blog post to discover how you can identify black mold in your own home or office.
One of the most obvious signs happens to be scent. Have you smelled something earthy or musty? Think of a late fall’s odor of rotting leaves or the smell of dirt on a rainy spring day.
Next, consider the environment in which you suspect the mold is inhabiting, and ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the area damp?
- Has the area previously been flooded?
- Does it get little to no exposure to light?
Black mold feeds off water-saturated materials such as cotton, drywall, cardboard, and wood. It even thrives off of damp dust and lint.
If the scent of the mold leads you straight to where it is festering, examine the color but don’t get too close. In color, black mold is typically greenish-black and a bit slimy. However, it can also appear grayish and powdery.
Note other molds may appear similar in color, so it is impossible to determine which breed of mold is growing in your property unless it is examined under a microscope.
At the end of the day, this examination is expensive and unnecessary because whether it is black mold or not, mold must be removed for health and sanitary purposes.
If you detect mold, regardless of its color or texture, call the professionals to have it removed.
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is an experienced and trusted company that will get the job done promptly and carefully.
Call us at (301) 340-1313 today!
September is National Preparedness Month
September is National Preparedness Month. This year, ready.gov calls us to be “Prepared, Not Scared.”
Did you know you can:
- Download applications on your phone for weather alerts and updates?
- Create a financial plan with consideration of a potential storm or other act of nature?
- Check to see your insurance’s coverage for damages caused by an act of nature?
- Learn more about how to protect your assets, potentially by investing in flood insurance?
- Take a course or independently research about how to ensure safety during a storm or other event?
The list could go on as there are endless precautions one can take, in addition to the rapid increase of technology. With that being said, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney makes it easy for clients to be “Prepared, Not Scared,” as we stay up-to-date with the latest procedures and techniques to ensure your home or office is ready to face the potential natural force in its path.
Waiting for a storm to pass through before asking for help can have disastrous effects on your property and can leave you and your family overwhelmed.
It is important to know that creating a plan and taking preventative measures will impact your safety and your wallet for the better, but sometimes, these emergencies cannot be foreseen.
Luckily, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney offers 24-hour Emergency Service provided by highly trained weather-related damage specialists who are equipped with stellar knowledge and skill. You can rest assure knowing SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney will demonstrate their mastery over acts of nature. You can remain confident as they restore any damages on your property. See our website below for more details.
Please call (301) 340-1313 if you want to plan for an emergency or if you have damage from an emergency that needs to be fixed.
Why Your Business Needs SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
Did you know up to 50% of businesses afflicted by a disaster will never reopen? The statistic may be shocking, but what isn’t very surprising is that the vast majority of the surviving businesses had previously established a preparedness plan.
If you read our previous blog, you’ll recall September is National Preparedness Month. A weekly theme is presented each Sunday of the month. As we are entering September, let’s expound on this week’s theme titled “Save Early for Disaster Costs.”
Prevention saves a lot of time, energy and money. Who wouldn’t like saving all three, right?
Unfortunately, all catastrophes cannot be prevented, which means it is imperative to have an emergency plan set just in case an unexpected event occurs.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan application works to prevent situations from escalating. The app, designed for commercial use, is marketed towards property and risk managers and towards business owners.
Some benefits of the app include:
- An assessment at no charge
- A Profile Document containing only necessary information geared for a time of emergency
- A quick reference for you and your employees (especially if the owner/manager is away on a business trip, for example).
- A free guide outlining important steps to take post-disaster
- A connection and direct contact with your local SERVPRO
As mentioned, SERVPRO clients are offered this service free of charge. After downloading the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan application onto an electronic device, a SERVPRO employee will meet with the client to map the property they own or manage.
Mapping the territory includes, but is not limited to, making note of water pipes, crawl spaces, and fire exits. Information such as the square footage of the building and photographs of the property are collected and stored in the app as well.
Although gathering and recording this information on the app may sound like a lengthy process, employees have noted they can finish the plan in about 30 minutes. Additionally, owners can go back into the app and add more detail or update over time. There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain!
If you prepare for the future, you will “Save Early for Disaster Costs.” Utilizing tools to prevent damage, to prevent lose, and to prevent losing your business to a disaster, is one of the best ways to ensure the
“health” of what you own or manage.
It’s simple, and it’s free. Save now to avoid large costs later.
Download the application in the App Store or from the link below:
Please call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney at (301) 340-1313 regarding any questions you may have about the Emergency Ready Plan or for any additional questions or needs.
Clean Dryer Vents
34% of home fires are caused by failure to clean the vent in a dryer. A lint fire is a dangerous possibility. To avoid the hazard on lint buildup, occasionally pull out the vent and clean. Thoroughly dry the lint screen with a clean towel. You can also use a vacuum to clean the lint trap filter. SERVPRO® of Rockville/Olney can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.
National Fire Protection Agency gives us advice on how to keep your vents clean. Clean the lint filter before and after each load. It is vital to clean your dryer vents every so often to ensure your safety.
Here are some signs that your dryer vent may need to be cleaned:
- Drying times are taking longer.
- Your dryer is getting hot when you’re using it and your clothes are being damaged.
- You can’t see any steam or head any noise outside your house at the wall vent when you run the dryer.
SERVPRO wants to make sure you are taking the right precautions to avoid a house fire. If you do experience a fire caused by your dyer or any other appliances in your home call us today!
Flames or Soot?
SERVPRO® of Rockville/Olney was recently called in to clean up a fire damaged building/home. Restoring a home after fire damage is a difficult and emotional process. Not only are we here to be there for your property but for your family as well.
Flames can cause the most visible damage to your property but the most damage comes from the smoke and soot. Soot is a coating of fine, black dust created when substances are burned. Inhaling soot can cause severe health issues. It is important to our team that we get rid of all the after-effects of the fire including damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Rockville/Olney will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will be based on which type of smoke damage there is. Below are the different types of smoke:
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.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Call SERVPRO® of Rockville/Olney when you are in need of cleaning after fire strikes. We know it is hard seeing your home in flames and we are here to restore it the best we can.
Summer Storm Planning
SERVPRO® of Rockville/ Olney wants you to be ready for summer storms. While we hope that summer just consists of vacations and sunny days that is not always the case. A summer storm happens quite often in Maryland. There are many possibilities of damage from summer storms whether that is…wind, heavy rain, and lightning. Wind causes constructional damage to your home, heavy rain can lead to flooding and if lightning strikes on your home or business it is at risk of a fire.
If you know a storm is coming, take these initiatives to ensure safety. Think ahead!
- Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
- Shutter windows and secure outside doors.
- Unplug any electronic equipment.
During the storm, remain calm and be aware.
- Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
- Avoid contact with cords.
- Stay away from windows and doors.
After the Storm, BE SAFE! It may not be storming anymore but the damage can still affect you.
- Never drive through a flooded roadway.
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately to 911.
If you are caught off guard to a dangerous storm during the night, don’t stress we are a 24 Hour Emergency Service and we will make your home look “Like it never even happened”. Our team is specially trained to deal with the mess of a storm. Let us be the experts that you need in your time of crisis.
Stay Safe This Fourth of July
Summer is traditionally known for fireworks, barbeques, and picnics with loved ones.
While putting on a firework show at your own home may seem fun, there are many risks. If lighting fireworks are not legal in your residential area there could be a large fine. As well as a fine, keep in mind the potential dangers that could occur. Fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, and scars. Kids should not be near or handling the firecrackers or rockets. Supervise children around fireworks at all times. To avoid the dangers of fireworks, enjoy a public firework display put on by professionals.
If you choose to give your children sparklers never leave children unattended with sparklers. It is possible to get burned by the tip of the sparkler. Make sure your children do not point the sparklers towards themselves or others. Keep a bucket of water near for when your child is finished with the sparkler to ensure that the sparkler is no longer lit.
Not only should you be cautious of your children with fireworks and sparklers but your pets too! Leave your pets inside your home so there are no risks. Loud fireworks and unfamiliar places can be scary to your pet which can lead to your pet running away.
Remember these tips while grilling:
- Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbeque.
- Never grill in an enclosed area, as carbon monoxide could be produced.
- Use caution when using lighter fluid on a barbeque. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire, as the flame can flashback into the container and explode.
- Make sure children are away from the grill.
Have fun this summer and stay safe!
What is a flood cut?
What is a flood cut? Removing the bottom 12-24 inches of drywall in a flood affected room.
Examples of why we flood cut:
· If we detect there is wet insulation
· The water is contaminated from the sewage or other storm related contaminates
· If any microbial growth is detected
After the lower wall portions are removed, any studs or framing are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Once the walls are completely dried out new insulations can easily be installed and the finalization of the build back can continue.
Some of our steps:
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.
We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals 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.
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney 301-340-1313...Here to help!
Kitchen Fire Tips
Did you know...
A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.
The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency.
Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.
- Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended
- Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used
- If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible
- Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water
- Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire
- Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring
- Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially those things like tea towels and potholders
- Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen
- Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!
Keep these quick tips in mind, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!
Preparing for Winter Weather
Winter weather is coming...are you prepared for anything?
Most of us would probably rather hibernate for the winter than deal with any of the home maintenance tasks that come along with owning property during the wintry months.
We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney would like to remind you that your winter will be much better if you take steps now to prevent any winter weather-related disasters or accidents happening in your home!
Here are some helpful tips for winter preparedness in the coming weeks...
- Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes that could freeze.
- Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
- Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off."
- If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
- Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
- Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.
Don't overlook these tips this year as you head into the winter months and holiday season. Keep your home safe and secure so that you can focus staying warm and cozy with your loved ones this winter!
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
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?
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
However we can use the Thermal Energy System to aid in the drying process in areas like:
- 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
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.
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
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.
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.
Dealing With Severe Mold Damage After 48 Hours
When it comes to residential water damage, there is a clear deadline which all technicians must follow. The forty-eight-hour window is crucial for repairs. Up until this point, almost all flood affected materials can be dried and restored to their original condition.
After this point, repairs are still possible, but they are tough, and the outcome is not certain. Part of the reason for this is because two days is all that’s needed for flooding to turn into mold in Rockville homes. At SERVPRO, we are trained to handle these severe cases and can use a variety of strategies to neutralize mold spores and prevent them from spreading. Keep reading to find out what happens to household materials after the window has passed and mold is developing.
Heavily affected areas of carpet are heard to clean. Usually, it is more economical to remove them and find a replacement. We can help you to do this, as we have a wealth of industry contacts. Unless you would prefer to arrange your own replacement, our technicians are happy to source and install new carpeting. Replacement flooring is installed only after the subflooring is completely dry. It requires the use of high-powered fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to draw water vapor out of materials. Concrete and cinder block surfaces respond very well to dehumidification and water extraction using motorized pumps.
Wallboard which is not dry within 48 hours (after the initial incident) requires removal. However, it is rare for the whole wall to need disposal. The SERVPRO technicians measure twelve inches above the water line and take away all material beneath this boundary. It leaves a hole which is helpful for drying. Fans are either pointed up into the cavity or placed inside it to deal with wet conditions between the boards. New wallboard only gets installed once the restoration experts have tested the moisture levels and found them to be safe and suitable.
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney specializes in fast, effective mold damage repairs. Our remediation strategies are designed to protect your home from further damage and mold breakouts. Call us 24/7 on (301) 340-1313 for a professional restoration service.
Water Removal In Your Rockville-Olney Office Building
Water damage of any type can shut down your office building. Water can cause damage which you can see and damage that is not easily visible. No matter the damage, you need to call a professional remediation service in, such as SERVPRO, even if you think the repairs are small. Water takes the path of least resistance, so it finds its way through building materials where the water eventually gets trapped and can create rot and mold growth.
Emergency water removal is the first step in preventing more damage to your property in Hampton. Once the water is out, and the area has been dried by our technicians at SERVPRO, we thoroughly inspect your property and figure out what has been affected and what is okay. We can then focus our effects on drying just what is damaged. This drying process can usually be finished in a few days and is monitored closely to ensure proper drying. Water damage can be from any of the reasons below:
Failures In Your Plumbing
These events can release hundreds of gallons of water quickly into your office building. Malfunctions can result from broken pipes, malfunctioning sprinkler systems, loose hoses and other plumbing sources.
Flooding can come from sudden, heavy local rain falls. Downpours this intense can flood gutters, drains, and down spouts quickly, and the overflow can cause severe water damage to your business.
Long-Term Moisture And Humidity
Small leaks usually hide and are and overlooked, however, over time they lead to water damage problems that need repair. Ceilings, wall cavities, bathrooms, hallways, and attics are the most susceptible areas to mold growth and wood rot from continued exposure. Basements and vented crawlspaces are also environments which can be humid, leading to similar water and mold issues. Standing water can fast turn into damage that is more widespread if it is not cleaned up right away. Mold starts growing in as little as twenty-four hours after a water intrusion and can spread through your building and do much harm to the structural integrity, plus to the health of your employees and any equipment inside.
Therefore, you need to have SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney come out to look at the damage immediately. Someone is always standing by at (301) 340-1313 to receive your call. Our powerful truck mounted water extraction equipment, and our specially trained technicians are just what you need when a water disaster strikes your office building.
Restoring Your Rockville-Olney Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event
Flooding and water damage events at Rockville-Olney commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney 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.
IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry
The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
About SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney 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 and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.
Holiday Fires - Christmas Tree Fire Safety
Christmas Tree Fire Safety
Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show the holidays are a high-risk time for home fires. Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year, and other holiday decorations are the cause of another 1,170 fires.
Here are some tips to keep your home safe this holiday season:
•Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.
•Keep trees at least three feet away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process.
•Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree.
•Always inspect light sets before placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.
•Do not overload electrical circuits.
•Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
•Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.
•Install and ensure smoke alarms work inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
If you have a fire, call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney. We make it like it never even happened.
What to do in case of a fire
What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home
Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire. The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can merit the use of a professional restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go haywire, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas.
Small Fires can Pose High Risks
While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of Montgomery County fire damages. It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the skillet and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water.
With electrical fires, the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug, without the cord, still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard.
After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage
When there's been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation. Landlords, if you are renting, will also appreciate if you inform them of the fire, and they can see the damage for themselves. It is every landlord's worst nightmare to have a fire or flood damage their properties. If they can see the amount of damage, they can rest easier knowing the extent of the repairs required. Fires do happen, through nobody's fault, and your landlord will know this.
Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts conduct the repairs needed can greatly facilitate insurance claims being resolved, as well.
Locally Owned Company with National Resources
At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, we have highly trained and skilled professionals who are experienced in all sizes of fire damage clean-up and restoration. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you clean-up and repair fire damage, no matter how large or small. Call us at (301) 340-1313 to get the necessary damages repaired and the mess eliminated so you can go back to your daily routine.
Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold
Mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.
If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
About Our Mold Remediation Services
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.
If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 301-340-1313
Faster to your Rockville-Olney Water Damage Event
Water damage caused by water heater leak.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney 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 Rockville-Olney 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 – 301-340-1313
Water Damage Timeline
- 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 Rockville-Olney
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney 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.
- OCT - Odor Control Technician
- IICRC Certified Firm
- RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
- AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
- HST - Health and safety Technician
- ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
- SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
- CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
- RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
- WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
- ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program