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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Different Types of Smoke

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Fire losses and the damage they leave behind can be an incredibly complex job to deal with. This is caused largely by the behavior of smoke. When our SERVPRO professionals respond to a call for a fire job, their initial goal is to determine the extent of damage from fire itself, smoke, heat, and moisture. Not only do we deal with damage to building structures, but we work to clean buildings contents.

Our SERVPRO trained professionals are trained to understand how smoke penetrates various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Our teams knowledge helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. We know it can be stressful when you don't understand the issues facing your home, so take a moment to read up on the different kinds of smoke and soot that could potentially effect your property.

While there are technically only two different types of smoke - wet and dry, there are varying types of soot residue after a fire. Here's a handy glossary of smoke and soot types that might come in handy if you're ever faced with the misfortune of dealing with a property fire:

Wet smoke (plastic & rubber): Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. These smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry smoke (paper & wood): Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises and thus so does the smoke

Protein fire residue (caused by evaporation of material instead of fire): Virtually invisible discolors paints and varnishes, extremely pungent odor

Fuel oil soot (furnace puff backs): While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO can, in most cases, restore your contents and your Baltimore structure quickly (thanks to their training)

Additionally, we do deal with tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher resides. These special situations require special care and evaluation.

Understanding and having the ability to differentiate between these different types of smoke and soot is part of SERVPRO's specific training which makes us a cut above any other local restoration team. Trusting a company  to care about your home like you do can seem daunting and feel impossible, but when it comes to SERVPRO, you can trust you are in good hands at SERVPRO of Carroll County. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Fire Do's and Don'ts

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage itself is enough trouble as is, but most forget that smoke damage and other odors can be just as much of a nuisance. After a fire, it's important to act appropriately in order to avoid secondary damage. These do's and don'ts might come in handy to help you increase chances of a successful restoration.

DO:

  • Limit movement. Extensive movement can further embed soot particles in your carpet and other upholstered surfaces
  • Keep you hands clean so you don't transfer any soot around and damage walls and woodwork, etc.
  • Put dry, colorfast towels and/or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If your electricity has failed, empty any fridges and freezer entirely. Then prop their doors open to prevent odor
  • If you have chrome appliances or trim, you can wipe soot from those surfaces and apply a thin coating of lubricant to them
  • If you fire occurs during winter and your heat fails, pour RV antifreeze into sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to ensure your pipes and other fixtures don't freeze
  • Change your HVAC filters, but leave the system off until it is checked by a professional
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over your air registers. This keeps soot particles out of your HVAC system

DON'T:

  • Don't try to wash any walls or painted surfaces without calling SERVPRO of Carroll County to consult about the extent of the damage
  • Don't shampoo carpet of upholstered furniture
  • Don't try to clean any electrical appliances that might have been close to the flames, heat, or water, because they might have become contaminated
  • If your ceiling is wet, do not turn on the fan. The wiring might be wet or damaged and could cause electrical shock. Air movement could also spread around other particles and cause secondary damage
  • Don't send your garments to the dry cleaner, as improper cleaning might only set in the smoke odor

If your home or business is faced with fire damage, don't try to clean it yourself. Our SERVPRO professionals are given special training and specific equipment to mitigate fire damage without furthering damage.

Broken Pipes don't take Vacations

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

Many people think they don't have to worry about broken pipes in the summer, but that really isn't the case. Before leaving for that vacation you have planned, you might want to turn off your water and drain the pipes just like you would in the winter.

There are many reasons for a broken pipe in the summer. Here are a few:

Invasive tree roots.

Extended wet/dry spells (this can make the ground shift and the extra pressure of this movement can cause problems with buried pipes).

Rust in Metal Pipes.

Wear and old age.

Hard Water.

Clogs.

Substandard repairs.

When a pipe bursts, if you can, turn off the water supply at the main cut off valve when a pipe breaks.

Drain the water by running cold water in the sink and flushing the toilets.

Of course, be sure to call SERVPRO of Carroll County at (410) 857-5332 to help get your property dried out.

SERVPRO of Carroll County is there for you year round!

The Fire Remediation Process

8/29/2021 (Permalink)

When you have a fire, it can be devastating. The most difficult part of having a fire in your home or business is losing your precious belongings. When a fire occurs in your space, it typically comes along with soot, odor, and other water damage.

We at SERVPRO of Carroll County want to help restore as much as we can for you. Our professional team has specialized training in doing just that.

First, we do an inspection and fire damage assessment to begin to form a plan of action, customized especially for your individual space. If necessary, we will properly board up your home and put up a roof tarp. 

The water removal will  begin immediately as well as the drying.

We have specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces. We will clean, disinfect, and sanitize all of the restorable items. 

Finally, SERVPRO of Carroll County can even help you with the construction process after remediation is done. Our Rebuild Division has the tools you need to get your place back in tip top shape!

Protecting your Home from Storms

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

One of the most expensive things you will ever own is your home. Keeping up with maintenance is usually easier said than done and can be difficult to plan on at times. Storms are one of many things that can throw a wrench in your plans.

The first thing I always tell my friends is to make sure that their insurance covers all that they think it does. Did you know that water that enters your home from the bottom up (flooding) isn’t covered by homeowners insurance? You can usually get coverage for it but it doesn't come standard usually. For people living on flood plains, adding flood insurance is common practice. Most people don't know  that neither flood insurance nor a homeowner’s policy covers sump pump failure though.

Avoid the stress associated with sewer back-ups, seepage issues or flood waters by purchasing targeted pump failure insurance coverage. I've seen people taken by complete surprise that they don't have the coverage that they thought they did.

So one the best things you can do might not be what you thought to protect your house. Having a conversation with your insurance agent is one of the Best. Know what coverage you have and don't have so your not  taken by surprise when a storm comes into your life.

Planning for a Natural Disaster

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

Create safety plans for your business. 

Every business should have a business continuity plan that outlines what you will do and who you can call on to help keep your business running in the event of a disaster.

Keep your desk stocked with these items.

* One gallon of water: Keep enough water in your work kit to last you at least 24 hours.

* Non-perishable food: Pack some granola bars in your emergency kit that will last until you can get home to your family.

* Flashlights: Stow a small flashlight at your workplace in case of a power outage.

* Batteries: Purchase extra batteries and keep them in your desk.

* Toilet paper: Ensure the office supply cupboard has the essentials like toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

* First-Aid kit: Keep a large First-Aid kit on hand at the office, and supply each employee with small, personal-sized emergency kits for their supply kit.

* Walking shoes: Keep an old pair of walking shoes at your desk in case you need to walk home from work.

Most business owners don’t have interruption insurance, which offers to reimburse all or part of the income a business might have generated without an interruption. Cost may be a factor in why entrepreneurs pass on such coverage: Policy prices range from $750 to $10,000 or more, depending on business size.

Back up all your electronic data, you don’t know when a disaster will happen.

Develop several ways to alert employees of an emergency.

For instance, maybe use email blasts, text blasts and voice broadcasting, which allows to simultaneously send a voice message to everyone's office phone and cell phone. Also, install alarms throughout the building and test them regularly. For retailers and other businesses that often have customers on site, consider installing intercoms to issue instructions to staff and customers at the same time.

Consider temporary relocation if needed.

Fight feelings of isolation through relaxation techniques. In addition to the change in your routine, Employees may also be feeling cooped up and anxious about not being able to leave their home. Inform employee’s uses of relaxation and meditation techniques such as yoga and deep breathing exercises to calm their nerves during times of heightened insecurity.

Preventable Water Damage

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

When a business owner thinks of water damage happening to their property, they may think of water damage coming from mother nature. If we can't control the rain, why do we worry about it? The fact is that we are more likely to have water damage from controllable or preventable things!

For example; the roof is one of the most common places to cause water damage. Owners should make sure the roof is checked regularly. One inch of rain weighs about 5 pounds. This can cause a lot of strain on a roof and can lead to leaking. 

Pipes and drains seem like they would be checked but most aren't checked regularly. A crack as small as an eight of an inch can dump 250 gallons of water per day. 

Sprinklers are great if you have a fire but not so great if it malfunctions. Sprinklers should be checked for updates but also signs of rust or damage. 

Appliances should be checked regularly ; water heaters, air conditioners, etc. can cause a lot of water damage if things break on them.

We can't stop all water damage but we can try to do as  much preventative care as we can. SERVPRO of Carroll County is here to help when the unexpected happens! We are here for your business 24/7!

Predicting a Disaster

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cleaning up After a Fire

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

You had a fire in your home, but before it got too out of control, SERVPRO was able to put it out; thank goodness! You're so glad that the disaster was mitigated quickly and efficiently, but all of a sudden, it hits you... your home is a MESS!

You now may have water damage, fire extinguisher damage, odor damage, soot damage,  just to name a few.

SERVPRO of Carroll County is here to help figure out exactly how to clean what and with what method.

We provide you with Dry Cleaning Services, Wet Cleaning, Spray and Wipe, Foam Cleaning, Abrasive Cleaning, Immersion Cleaning to name some. 

If you have valuable documents, SERVPRO might use alternative methods such as Air Drying, Dehumidification, Freeze Drying, Vacuum Freeze Drying or Vacuum Thermal Drying.

SERVPRO can coordinate with your Electronic Clean up. Believe it or not, some or all of your electronics can be restored!

So to answer the question...Yes, there is more than one way to clean your items after a fire.

Predictions vs. Facts

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

 Maybe you're relying on the fact that the so-called "experts" predict a mild winter so you're going to pass on getting your roof checked for cracks, or will wait another year before properly insulating your pipes. These could end up being very costly mistakes!

The fact is that being prepared for storm damage will benefit you in the long run. Having a well sealed home can save your home from a tremendous amount of damage.

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

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

Standing Sewage Water

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

It's very important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear, doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself.

Our SERVPRO of Carroll County crews are specifically trained on dealing with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.

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

Just what the Doctor Ordered

8/9/2021 (Permalink)

Our trained technicians know the proper procedure to cure you headaches. SERVPRO of Carroll County is there for your business when you need them, just like your local Pharmacy is there for you 24/7, so is SERVPRO.

We're even there when the Pharmacy needs us in their time of need!

When a local pharmacy had to close down due to a disaster they had in their main room, SERVPRO of Carroll County came to the rescue!

As customers flooded into the room to fulfill their medical needs, they were unfortunately told that they had to wait during regular business hours. Our team got out to them on a Saturday to help them get back in business, because when their clients need them they have to be ready!

SERVPRO is not the, "Take two of these and call us in the morning" type. We are the "Let us treat you and your business anytime, any day, so you can feel better in the morning" type.

That's just what the doctor ordered!

Keeping your Business Cool and Mold-Free

8/4/2021 (Permalink)

Summer is here and with it are those warm temperatures!

What does that mean for your business?

Well, a majority of businesses consider summer to be their busy season. If you're one of those businesses, you know that damage or a loss in your facility can cost you time that your business can't afford to lose.

Avoiding mold damage can be simple, especially when it comes to air conditioning condensation lines.

When the warm weather is here, we know your employees are turning up the AC and making it work overtime with them. This extra work for the air conditioner could lead to leaks in the condensation lines, which can potentially feed hidden mold. Not only is mold inconvenient to your business, it can carry health effects. And for those reasons, the U.S. EPA recommends routinely inspecting your HVAC units. Depending on how large your business is, there might be more than one in your facility.

When you inspect these units/systems, you shouldn't only be looking for mold. It's important to check for moisture or any dripping. No matter how little the amount of water may seem, mold starts on a microscopic level. It doesn't take that much liquid to keep mold alive and thriving!

If you think you find mold in your commercial property, it's important to proceed with caution.

Better yet, call our professional crews in and we will take care of drying out any moisture and removing any mold you find or even if you're just suspicious of mold. Remember that mold carries risks and if you don't know what you're doing, it can be incredibly dangerous.

That's why our specially trained teams are here to help!

Coming Home to Water Damage

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

(410) 857-5332

Back Up and Running!

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Carroll County is dedicated to getting your business back up and running as quickly as possible and lays out a detailed plan of how we will get you there.

We will work when you need us to, to keep business interruption at a minimal.

SERVPRO of Carroll County works for your company and works with commercial structures all the time. We know every business is unique and work with you for the best outcomes in the most timely matter. SERVPRO always has your best interest in mind. We will keep your updated daily throughout the process.

You can rest assured knowing our staff is awaiting your call and is happy to help you. (410) 857-5332 SERVPRO of Carroll County is always Ready for Whatever Happens.

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

The Lingering Smell

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever noticed how when you burn a bag of popcorn in the microwave the smell seems to linger for way longer than it should?

That's what happens with even the smallest fire in your home or business. After a fire if the area isn't properly cleaned, restored, and deodorized the burnt scent  can hold onto to your space for years to come. The smoke from a fire is what carries the awful scent throughout a structure. This smoke sets into any surface it can touch.

If a cleanup isn't executed as fast as possible, the residue can cause permanent damage and could even cause the smell to come back! 

The SERVPRO of Carroll County team is highly trained to locate and remove the source of the odor. Other professionals will just mask the scent with a fragrance of some kind and once it wears off, you're left with the bill and no actual solution to your odor problem. 

Our professionals also work to make sure you understand all of your possible options when it comes to deodorization.

Fire from the Dryer!

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failing to clean your home dryer causes 34% of home dryer fires.

These dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and are also capable of causing injury or even death.

Reducing your risk for dryer fire is incredibly simple. Let SERVPRO clean your vents and ducts that may being holding lint buildup. 

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that you clean your dryers lint filter every time you do a load of laundry. This ensures the outdoor vent flap will open with ease. This flap could be restricted by snow or even a bird's nest.

Let our specifically trained technicians make sure all of your vents, filters, and ducts aren't restricted and can let air flow freely.

For more info about the vent and duct cleaning services SERVPRO of Carroll County offers, give us a call at (410) 857-5332.

Being Prepared for Water Damage

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Basement flooded or questions about flooding?

Feel free to call us ASAP (410) 857-5332

Construction, Home Improvement, & Remodeling

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

More than Mitigation

When you think of SERVPRO, what do you think of? Restoration, disasters, fires, floods? Did you know that SERVPRO of Carroll County has the professional equipment and highly trained teams that are ready to do construction or remodeling on your home or business? That's right, we're more than just a restoration company, we're also your local experts on rebuilds! There's no job too tough for us, we're always ready and willing to come to your location and work on your space, whatever your needs may be!

Wait, SERVPRO of Carroll County Does More Than Just Restoration Work?

Yes! Our teams have years of experience under their (tool) belts and can do any type of work you need done in your space. Check out this list of services we provide:

  • Board Up
  • Carpet, Vinyl Plank, Laminate, and Hardwood Installation
  • Complete Remodels
  • Door Replacement
  • Drywall Repair and Installation
  • Drywall Removal
  • Electrical Services
  • Fencing
  • General Contracting
  • Hardwood Floor Repair
  • HVAC Services
  • Insulation
  • Kitchens and Baths
  • Linoleum Floor Repair
  • Marble Floor Repair
  • Masonry
  • Painting – Interior and Exterior
  • Plumbing
  • Roof Tarp
  • Roofing Repair and Replacement
  • Siding Repair and Replacement
  • Tile Floors, Showers, Backsplashes
  • Window Replacement
  • Any and All Other Carpentry Repairs

Here is a list of some of the types of spaces that SERVPRO of Carroll County will work on:

  • Single-Family Homes
  • Apartments and Condos
  • Townhomes
  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

To sum these lists up, our Rebuild Services Department is ready and willing to work on anything, anywhere. You name it, we’re on it!

Why Should I Choose SERVPRO of Carroll County for my Remodeling Needs?

SERVPRO has been a trusted name in the United States since 1967. Although SERVPRO is a broad name across the country, each of our 1,500 franchises are independently owned, so you know that you’re getting your individual needs fulfilled by a local business! Here at SERVPRO of Carroll County, we value our customers, and we strive to do our best on any type of job.

Because we also specialize in all other forms of remediation, we are ready for any other surprises that may arise while doing a home improvement job. If your space has unknown water under the floorboards, mold in the walls, or any other type of damage causing issue, SERVPRO of Carroll County will get you all fixed up! We have specialized teams that will come out any time to get your space back to normal, we won’t just have our rebuild team cover it up with a few nice looking slabs of wood!

We also place a strong emphasis on family. In fact, many of our employees are family members who were born and raised locally and have grown in and around the community! Our family values set us apart from many other local businesses and provide the work ethic needed for tough rebuild work. If you’re looking for a remodeling company that has all the state-of-the-art equipment and tools and has highly trained staff members with strong core family values, SERVPRO of Carroll County should be your first phone call!

All of This is Sounding Too Good to be True

Of course any company that you talk to is going to say they are the best local remodeling business and you should go with their services. Here at SERVPRO of Carroll County, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. If you still don’t trust us, just look at what our customers have to say on Google! And if that isn’t good enough for you, check out our Facebook page too!

Our Rebuild Services Department exists to fulfill your construction needs. Keeping our customers happy and satisfied is our main goal, and so far, we believe we’ve done a pretty darn good job of doing just that! We work as a team under one roof and are here for you!

So, How Can I Set Up an Appointment?

Give us a call! We’re always open and always ready for you. You can reach us 24/7 any day of the week at (410) 857-5332.

Where Can I Find More Information?

To stay on top of all the latest SERVPRO of Carroll County news/updates, join in on fun conversations, and participate in contests with prizes, you should like, follow, or subscribe to each of our incredible social media pages!

Visit our home page for more information about all our other services!

Back to Normal

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Carroll County is dedicated to getting your business back up and running as quickly as possible and lays out a detailed plan of how we will get you there.

We will work when you need us to, to keep business interruption at a minimal.

SERVPRO of Carroll County works for your company and works with commercial structures all the time. We know every business is unique and work with you for the best outcomes in the most timely matter. SERVPRO always has your best interest in mind. We will keep your updated daily throughout the process.

You can rest assured knowing our staff is awaiting your call and is happy to help you. (410) 857-5332 SERVPRO of Carroll County is always Ready for Whatever Happens.

  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Apartment Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

Showers and Flowers

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

Commercial Water Damage

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events that affect Carroll County commercial properties are often complex with many 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 most instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility. Our Technicians 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. When an emergency situation arises in your business, please call SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332

Winter Storm Safety Tips

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

WINTER STORM SAFETY

  • Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.
  • Listen to a local station on battery-powered radio or television or to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information.
  • Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins.
  • Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.
  • Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
  • Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia. Alcohol, such as brandy, is a depressant and hastens the effects of cold on the body. Alcohol also slows circulation and can make you less aware of the effects of cold. Both caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration.
  • Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems (fuel oil, propane, etc.). Lower the thermostat to 65° F (18° C) during the day and to 55° F (13° C) at night. Close off unused rooms, and stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors. Cover the windows at night.
  • Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.

Generator Safety

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

The primary hazards to avoid when using a generator are carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from the toxic engine exhaust, electric shock or electrocution, and fire. Follow the directions supplied with the generator. To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure, like under a tarp held up on poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands. Be sure to turn the generator off and let it cool down before refueling. Gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite. Store fuel for the generator in an approved safety can. Use the type of fuel recommended in the instructions or on the label on the generator. Local laws may restrict the amount of fuel you may store, or the storage location. Ask your local fire department. Store the fuel outside of living areas in a locked shed or other protected area. To guard against accidental fire, do not store it near a fuel-burning appliance, such as a natural gas water heater in a garage. Plug appliances directly into the generator, or use a heavy duty, outdoor-rated extension cord that is rated (in watts or amps) at least equal to the sum of the connected appliance loads. Check that the entire cord is free of cuts or tears and that the plug has all three prongs, especially a grounding pin. Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet. Known as “backfeeding,” this practice puts utility workers, your neighbors and your household at risk of electrocution. Remember, even a properly connected portable generator can become overloaded, resulting in overheating or generator failure. Be sure to read the instructions. If necessary, stagger the operating times for various equipment to prevent overloads.

What is an Ice Dam?

9/30/2020 (Permalink)

Correct ventilation in an attic is key to avoiding ice dams in your home. Without proper ventilation in the attic, heat will rise through the roof peak, making the center of the roof warmer than the edges. After a snowstorm, this uneven spread in temperature causes the snow to melt at different rates. Ice then builds near the edges and blocks snow-melt from draining through the gutter system. This process is called ice damming. As the snow melts, water can dislodge the shingles and roof flashing and even pry apart gutter seams. Because water expands when it freezes, the cycle of freezing and thawing can magnify this damage. If ice dams form on your gutters, water can eventually permeate the roof and cause wood-rot, mold, and drywall damage in your attic. For restoration services please call SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332

Candle Safety 101

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Never leave a burning candle unattended or lit while sleeping. If you are going to leave the room or go to bed, be sure to extinguish all candles first.

Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a candle container when the wax is liquified.

Don’t burn a candle all the way down. For safety measures, stop burning a candle when there is ¼ inch of wax left in the vessel.

If burning multiple candles, place each candle at least three inches apart from one another. This is to ensure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts.

Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Before re-lighting, let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts.

Use extra caution when burning candles during a power outage. Battery-powered lights like flashlights are much safer sources of light during a power failure.

Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.

Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lit candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.

How SERVORO of Carroll County can help your business

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

There is never a convenient time to find your business at the mercy of fire or water damage.  The destruction can be very challenging to say the least, and in severe cases may be very expensive and time consuming.  Every hour spent cleaning or remediating can result in lost revenue and productivity, compounding your loss.  Knowing where to start the recovery process can be overwhelming and confusing. In extreme situations, you need help.  The SERVPRO of Carroll County team has more than 43 years of experience aiding local business owners when the stakes are high.

Disasters can grow in scope very quickly.  Water loss can lead to contamination and damaged electronics. There’s no telling how long it may take to get back on your feet.  Fortunately, we are a 24-7 emergency service with professionals on-call to remediate any damage, regardless of the scale or cause.  We have a very wide range of knowledge and services to offer for all types of commercial properties:

Since our company was founded, we have made it a constant priority to mitigate the effects of the unexpected by providing amazing service.  As members of the Carroll County community, we are heavily invested in the welfare of our fellow business owners, friends and neighbors.  Restoring your livelihood to its preloss condition is what we do.  If you find yourself in need of help, please call SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332.

Flood Zone

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near the coastline, along city streets or near a river or lake, there is always a potential for suffering flood damage. On average, floods cost $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S. Flooding can also result from plumbing failures, frozen pipes and damaged structures. Flood damage can affect your business operation in a variety of ways and can range in size from being isolated to a single room to entire floors being fully submerged.

Knowing how to prepare and deal with potential flooding in advance can affect how much of your property can be restored and how much has to be replaced. Below are prevention, mitigation and restoration tips to follow until help arrives:

Flood Prevention Tips:

  • Determine if your property is in a floodplain.
  • In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
  • Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not accessible. This type of planning is often referred to as a continuity of operations plan, or COOP, and includes all facets of your business.
  • Plan for payroll continuity.
  • Review your emergency plans annually. Just as your business changes over time, so do your preparedness needs. When you hire new employees or when there are changes in how your company functions, you should update your plans and inform your people.

Drying Hard Wood Floors

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

Water losses often migrate to the flooring of your home, making it necessary for our restorers to dry up many types of materials. Cleaning up water from the floors of your Carroll County home can be more complicated and complex than it initially appears. While many homeowners understand what is necessary to remove surface water and pooling after a loss incident, often underlying concerns like absorption and migrating water beyond the surface goes unchecked and unmanaged.

Water damage in Carroll County homes can vary significantly based on the source of the emergency. Plumbing breaks and appliance failures can often leave your home contending with higher volumes of water, sometimes even hundreds or thousands of gallons. Within minutes, some sensitive materials used in flooring and wall systems can begin absorbing the standing water. Removing surface and trapped water from these materials involves several advanced tools and technologies available to our responding SERVPRO technicians. 

Water Heater Maintenance

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Water heaters work very hard for you, providing hot showers, clean clothes, and sparkling pots and pans. So show your water heater some love by following a routine maintenance schedule that will keep it running for its 15-year expected lifetime, and perhaps beyond.

Always maintain 2 feet of clearance around the appliance unless the manual specifically states otherwise. Adjust the thermostat to 120 degrees. You’ll save up to 5% in energy costs for every 10 degrees you lower the temperature, plus you’ll reduce the risk of scalding.

Drain about a quarter of the tank a couple of  times per year to remove sediment and debris. Turn off the cold water supply, hook up a garden hose to the drain valve, then run into a bucket until the water is clear. If the water remains cloudy, briefly open the water supply valve to stir up remaining sediment, and drain the tank again. This also makes the unit operate more quietly.

Extinguishing a kitchen fire

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

If a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act quickly to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you proceed depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is. Follow these instructions for putting out kitchen fires:

If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames. If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call 911. If you have a fire in a frying pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.

If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames. Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:

If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner. Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse. Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.

Use a fire extinguisher, don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire. If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape plan.

Sick Building Syndrome

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Sick building syndrome is a common worldwide health concern, where people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or become infected with chronic disease from the building in which they work or reside. The outbreaks may or may not be a direct result of inadequate cleaning or improper cleaning methods.  Some symptoms tend to increase in severity with the time people spend in the building; often getting better over time or even disappearing all together when people are away from the building. Exposure to toxic black mold could cause health effects. Sick building causes are frequently pinned down to flaws in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Other causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by out gassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds, molds, improper exhaust ventilation of ozone, light industrial chemicals used within, or lack of adequate fresh-air intake/air filtration.

Protein Fire

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

You have dinner cooking and the phone rang, then you had visitors knocking on your door and lost track of time. An hour or two later you realize the food you have been cooking is now a charred clump of chicken or roast with a pot of burnt chili – with a distinct, overwhelming rancid smell. What you have actually created is what the Restoration Industry refers to as a Protein Fire. Smoke damage resulting from the burn of a protein enriched fiber.

At first look, protein fires do not appear to cause any damage to your home and contents. But actually, the aftermath of a protein fire is an invisible and often sticky, foul smelling residue that covers the many surfaces throughout your home.

Restoration after this kind of fire requires special products and experience.

When you experience this kind of damage, DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent residue from being embedded into your upholstery and carpeting.
  • Keep your hands clean. Residue on hands can soil upholstery, woodwork and walls.
  • Place old linens on rugs, upholstery and areas where there is traffic.
  • Contact your insurance company to file a claim.

DO NOT:

  • Attempt to clean anything. Household cleaners applied to the surfaces will not clean away the residue.
  • Use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, as they may be contaminated.
  • Clothing from a protein fire require specialized cleaning.
  • Wait to call our office for professional help! 410 857 5332

Space Heater Safety

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Heating equipment is the second leading cause of home fires in the United States. More than 65,000 home fires are caused by heating equipment every year. These fire result in hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. 
 
Portable electric space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home in cold weather. Unfortunately, they can pose significant fire and electric shock hazards if not used properly. Fire and electrical hazards can be caused by space heaters without enough safety features, space heaters placed near combustibles, or space heaters that are improperly plugged in.
 
Safety should always be a top consideration when using space heaters. Here are some tips for keeping your home safe and warm when it’s cold outside:

  • Make sure the space heater has the label showing that it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory. Inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs or loose connections before each use. If frayed, worn or damaged, do not use the heater.
  • Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you're leaving a room or going to sleep, and don't let pets or children play too close to a space heater.
  • Space heaters are only meant to provide supplemental heat and should never be used to warm bedding, cook food, dry clothing or thaw pipes.
  • Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home and outside all sleeping areas and test them once a month.
  • Proper placement of space heaters is critical. Heaters must be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn, including papers, clothing and rugs.
  • Locate space heaters out of high traffic areas and doorways where they may pose a tripping hazard.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Do not use an extension cord or power strip, which could overheat and result in a fire. Do not plug any other electrical devices into the same outlet as the heater.
  • Place space heaters on level, flat surfaces. Never place heaters on cabinets, tables, furniture, or carpet, which can overheat and start a fire.
  • Always unplug and safely store the heater when it is not in use.

Removing Odors

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

We use Ozone generators after many fire damages to neutralize odors in homes, businesses and in our warehouse on personal property. It is an extremely effective process and works on most odors and materials, even on nicotine. Our SERVPRO technicians are trained to determine which deodorization method is best for each project. One of the many benefits to Ozone is that because it causes a chemical reaction, the odor will not return as long as everything has been thoroughly cleaned.

Ozone is one of the chemicals that SERVPRO of Carroll County uses to neutralize odors. It is made of three oxygen atoms, which is not a very stable configuration. This makes it reactive, because it wants to convert into oxygen molecules, which are made out of two Oxygen atoms and are much more stable. Ozone works to neutralize odor molecules by reacting with them to create oxygen atoms and other less foul-smelling molecules.

One of the drawbacks is that care must be taken not to expose elastic and certain rubbers to ozone because it can react with them and break them down, so no vehicles. The Ozone generator creates Ozone by removing Oxygen from the environment, which makes it impossible to breathe while it is running. We only use Ozone when structures are unoccupied to avoid problems with this. Once the generator is turned off, the environment will refill with Oxygen as the Ozone reacts with odor molecules making the space safe to inhabit again. Our technicians weigh the pros and cons of each deodorization method to determine which method or combination of methods is most appropriate for each project.

What is mold?

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is a natural part of the environment and can be found almost anywhere that moisture and oxygen are present. They belong to the kingdom Fungi and live in moist places such as soil, plants and dead or decaying matter. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves, dead trees and other debris; however, indoors mold growth should be avoided.

The spores are like seeds, but invisible to the naked eye, that float through the air and deposit on surfaces. When the temperature, moisture, and available nutrient conditions are correct, the spores can form into new mold colonies where they are deposited. There are many types of mold, but all require moisture and a food source for growth. If you see mold growing in your home please call SERVPRO of Carroll County for an estimate.

After storm safety check list

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

  • Make contact with family and friends in the affected area and let those that you know outside of the affected area that you are safe.
  • Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe. Attempting to re-enter the area can be dangerous and it is important to wait until the area has been cleared as safe by officials.
  • Avoid areas with debris and downed power lines.
  • Avoid flood waters, whether on foot or in vehicle. Just 6 inches of moving water can knock a person down, and one foot of fast-moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Take note of any damage to your belongings or to your property
  • Photograph any damage to your belongings/property for insurance purposes
  • Tarp or board up damaged roofs and windows to prevent further damage. Your insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm has passed.

MOLD

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

There are many types of mold and all molds have the potential to cause health effects. One of the myths regarding mold is that people believe ALL mold is bad. Mold is used in the making of penicillin. Penicillin is an antibiotic that is commonly used for treating certain infections caused by bacteria such as pneumonia, ear, skin and throat infections. So you see, not all mold is bad.

It is literally impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in an indoor environment; however, mold growth can be controlled simply by controlling the moisture indoors.

Some forms of mold can certainly cause health effects, but not all kinds of molds cause health effects in all people. Molds produce allergens, but not all people will have the sensitivity to react to the molds. However, those allergens can trigger health effects in people who are allergic to mold.

For mold to grow it takes moisture and oxygen. Mold can grow on any organic substance such as wood, paper, carpet, and foods. If mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Over time molds can gradually destroy the things they grow on if the mold is not remediated.

Today most builders are making buildings that are tightly sealed, and can lack adequate ventilation which can potentially lead to moisture buildup. Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems can be a result of roof leaks, landscaping and lack of timely maintenance of moisture problems.

Lightning

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

What You Need to Know, NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area. If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up. Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

SERVPRO of Carroll County is here to help if you experience damage to your home or business from lightening. Lightening is very powerful and can cause odor, damaged structure, or even a fire. We are here to help you clean it up.  410-857-5332

Duct Cleaning

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

HVAC systems are often the cause of bad indoor air quality, so inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for years without any attention. Dirty ducts will circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout the system in your building or home.

Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean could potentially extend the life span of the equipment by letting it operate at peak condition, which will save you money.

In some circumstances, such as after fire, smoke or possible mold growth, duct cleaning becomes a very important part of the cleanup process. In these cases, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional can often restore the ductwork to pre-damage condition.

A powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.

Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the air-stream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.

Call 410-857-5332 to schedule and estimate.

Chimney Safety

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Keeping your chimney clean can eliminate the possibility of chimney fires. If your chimney is not maintained properly, it could lead to fires as the creosote builds up when the firewood is not burned completely.

A smoky fire without the proper amount oxygen emits particles of unburned tar vapors that can re-solidify inside the flue and stick to it, possibly leading to a chimney fire. You can reduce creosote buildup in your fireplace by providing enough combustion air, which will encourage a hot, clean-burning fire.

To check for creosote, shine a light near the top of the firebox, in the smoke chamber and around the damper. And check the flue also, especially on and around exterior chimneys, where creosote builds faster than on interior chimneys because of lower outside temperatures.

Don't drown, turn around!

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Most of the flood related deaths occur in cars, because the driver didn’t realize the depth of the floodwater. However, even a little bit of standing water on a road can cause a big-time problem. Here's what can happen at specific water depths:

• 6 inches: Water up to 6 inches deep can cause your tires to lose traction with the road. When this happens, your vehicle can skid. While you probably won't drown in this situation, losing control of the vehicle may cause you to crash.
• 12 inches: A foot of water can cause small and midsize vehicles to float. If the water is moving fast, your car can be carried away by the current—with you still inside.
• 24 inches: Even large pickups and SUVs can be swept away by 2 feet of water on a flooded street. Worse yet, as the vehicle is carried along, it may tip over, trapping you inside with the floodwater still rising.

Your emergency check list

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

  • Water (one gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Manual can opener
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
  • Cash
  • first aid kit
  • Matches in a waterproof container

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

Commercial Water Loss

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

Water loss is something that almost everyone has to deal with at one point or another. It can creep up on you in a matter of minutes potentially causing huge amounts of damage to building or structure. SERVPRO of Carroll County prides itself on continuing to set the industry standard on the protocols and procedures used to deal with commercial water loss. From the state-of-the-art drying software and equipment, to the continuous training our SERVPRO staff receives to make sure that the job is not just done correctly, but done on time and done in a professional manor. The next time you or anyone you know suffers a devastating loss call SERVPRO of Carroll County and we will come out and get the job done right. 

Commercial Property Water Damage

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial property water damages can strike at any time, and can be very stressful. SERVPROcertified technicians understand how important it is to get your commercial property up and running as fast as possible.

Our trained technicians work quickly to assess the situation, communicate a cleanup and drying plan, contain the damaged areas, and begin work straight away. We have the required resources to handle any job, large or small. Time is critical to minimize damage, and to resume operations as soon as possible. SERVPRO has access to large loss teams specifically trained and ready to go in event of a large loss.

If your commercial property experiences awater damageevent call SERVPRO of Carroll County so we can put our many years of experience and our vast resources to work for you. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, we are always available to make your property “Like it never even happened.”

Highly Trained Restoration Specialists

Our SERVPRO technicians are highly trained in property restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our technicians are equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our SERVPRO training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training

We are Cleaning Experts

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Carroll County is Here to Help during this time of need

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

Specialized Training

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

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

Kitchen/Food Areas

Bathrooms

Schools/Classrooms

Offices

Retail Spaces

Water Fountains

Shelving/Racks

Sales Counters

Carpets and Rugs

Stair Handrails

Elevator Cars

Playground Equipment

Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

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

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Carroll County, 410-857-5332

Fire Facts

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

In 2019, the most recent year statistics are available, 1,319,700 fires were reported in the United States. These blazes caused 3,430 deaths and 14,670 civilian injuries while costing more than $23.9 billion in damage! Though some fires are unavoidable acts of nature or unpredictable accidents, many fires in the home and workplace are avoidable. The following tips, courtesy of the National Fire Protection Association, can help reduce the likelihood of a fire in your business or home.

1        Watch your cooking - Stay in the kitchen if you are frying, grilling or broiling food. Never allow young children around the stove or oven, especially if they are not closely attended.

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

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

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

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

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

7        Have a fire escape plan - Make a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year.

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

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

10      Install sprinklers - Sprinklers can help maintain and sometimes even extinguish fires, giving your local fire department a better chance of saving your property.

What type of smoke alarm should I buy?

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

There are many brands of smoke alarms on the market, but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric. Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms detect different types of fires. Since no one can predict what type of fire might start in their home, the USFA recommends that every home and place where people sleep have:

Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms. OR Dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.

Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.

There are also alarms for people with hearing loss. These alarms may have strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to alert those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

Emergency Ready Profile

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Most people don’t plan for a disaster, but you can always be ready for it. Did you know 50% of businesses never recover following a disaster? Preparation is very important to making it through any size disaster whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is down and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Advantages of the SERVPRO emergency Ready Profile

A no cost assessment of your facility

A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency

A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster

Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider

Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin

Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information

This App is of no cost to you. It is a complimentary service that SERVPRO of Carroll County will provide to you. We hope that you use us in the event of a disaster, but in the end that choice will always be yours!

Identifying Water Damage

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Mold can grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Stop mold growth, by identifying water damage fast. Here are some simple tips to help you identify water damage:

Identifying water in walls and ceilings may be obvious sometimes. However, it can be very easy to overlook the most common symptoms. The early warning signs of water damage are peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper. As more water comes into the property, walls and floors become bloated or swollen and may even warp. In severe cases, walls and ceilings may feel soggy to the touch.

Floors and carpets often hide water when the water is located in a corner. Many property owners often overlook the corner when looking for water damage. Floors can obviously be seen as wet, but carpet can hide water more easily. If the carpet feels spongy or soggy, you need to identify the source of that water.

Identifying water quickly is the best way to reduce damage. SERVPRO of Carroll County typically gets a call for mold damage after water was undetected by a slow leak. Protect your property. Identify Water Damage Fast!

What is Soot?

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage

SERVPRO of Carroll County has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition. Every fire is different, and smoke and soot creates a unique type of damage.

Smoke and soot damage is created after a fire has been extinguished in a home or a business, soot residue settles into the property. Soot is a very fine, black powder substance (0.25 µm in size) which binds to walls and fabric.

Like soot, smoke damage can be problematic, and it can cause serious health damage. It will cause discoloration of walls and it will sink into all property contents, causing smoke odor to linger for long periods of time.

This is why it is extremely important to hire a professional fire mitigation company to restore the damage.

The type of smoke or soot damage will define how we clean and treat the affected areas, but our process has several steps. We are trained extensively on all types of soot or smoke damage and if you contact as quickly enough, we will be able to restore most items. We also use Personal Protective Equipment as per Health and Safety regulations.

Fires can happen at any time, day or night. The most important thing is quick response time that’s why SERVPRO of Carroll County is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

How to prevent a Dryer Fire

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

9 TIPS TO PREVENT DRYER FIRES

  1. Clean out the lint. “It starts with cleaning out the lint filter every time you use the dryer.” says John Hall, Ph.D., division director of fire Analysis & Research for the National Fire Protection Association. He also advises clearing out the vent pipe to reduce the chance of fire and to maintain the efficiency of the dryer.
  1. Install with care. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing the vent pipe. Use a short, straight pipe that’s an adequate distance from the wall. By reducing the bends in the dryer vent pipe, it creates fewer opportunities for lint to gather. If you have to vent your dryer over a long distance, consider investing in a dryer vent fan. These automatic electric devices speed up airflow through the duct every time you turn on your dryer to keep things moving along. A dryer vent fan should be installed by a licensed electrician.
  1. Clear out combustibles. Move any flammables like cleaning supplies far away from your dryer. Also regularly sweep out dust in the areas around and underneath your dryer.
  1. Opt for a solid metal dryer duct. Research shows that flexible foil or plastic ducts can sag and lead to lint buildup at low points. Metal ducts of any variety don’t sag, and they’re more likely to contain any fires that would start.
  1. Read tags. If the care label reads tumble dry low, don’t turn the dryer up to high. Also use caution with certain items like bath mats, padded bras and bibs—they may contain rubber that shouldn’t be exposed to hot temperatures.
  1. Exercise extra caution with flammable liquids. Wash clothing stained with volatile chemicals more than once—and definitely opt to line dry over machine dry.
  1. Use your clothes to diagnose problems. Clothes that no longer feel dry or that are extra hot to the touch after a normal dry cycle are a telltale sign that something’s wrong. Before doing the next load, check for a plugged vent and clean out any lint.
  1. Don’t dry and dash. Turn off your dryer if you need to step out during the laundry cycle.

9.Give the outdoor vent a peek. Make sure that the outdoor vent flap isn’t covered by snow or debris.

Water Damage Class and Category

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

There are 3 Basic Categories of Water

Category 1 originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. However, it may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.

Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter (chemical or biological).

Category 3 is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.

The 4 Primary Classifications of Water Damage

Class 1 is the least amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.

Class 2 involves a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad).  Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.  There is moisture remaining in structural materials and substructure soil.

Class 3 involves the greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually all of the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 relates to specialty drying situations.  Wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (eg. hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, light-weight concrete and stone).  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.  These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.

Water Alarms

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Water alarms can be very helpful and can save you money! Water alarms are made to detect water leaks, overflowing or broken sump pumps, or an overflowing toiler. That could come in really handy, especially if you’ve spent a small fortune finishing your basement. Even if you haven’t, a water alarm can help you avoid some costly issues, which can include anything from property damage to mold and mildew.

Ideal Locations to Install Water Alarms:

HVAC unit - There are condensation pumps, usually located at the foot of the unit, these pumps clog easily and often leak unnoticed 

Near a Washing Machine – A busted hose can do incredible amounts of damage in short amount of time.

Bathrooms & Kitchens – It could be a leaky pipe or someone simply forgetting to turn off a faucet. Either way, you’re prepared.

            Other locations include under cabinets, in basement corners or near your water heater. Think about your home and all of the places where a water alarm can stand guard against water damage. When choosing your water alarm, you will have several options from a simply battery-powered alarm. These simple alarms can be found at Home Depot or Lowes for under $15.00.

Sump Pump Maintenance

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

sump pump

Most sump pumps are equipped with water level or flood alarms, usually battery powered, that alert you if the pump isn't working properly and water is backing up. More sophisticated systems can notify your alarm company or call your cell phone if the water starts to rise. Fortunately, this shouldn't happen often! Sump pumps on the whole are quite reliable. But as with any other important piece of equipment, regular maintenance is always a good idea. Spend a few minutes every few months, when heavy rains are forecast and in early spring to ensure reliable sump pump operation. Basic sump pump maintenance is usually as simple as doing these few jobs.

Make sure the pump is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and the cord is in good shape. In damp areas, GFCI ­breakers may trip, effectively shutting off the sump pump. Check in on your sump pump periodically so you can reset the GFCI if necessary.

Ensure the pump itself is standing upright. Vibrations during operation can cause it to fall or tilt onto one side. This can jam the float arm so it won’t be able to activate the pump.

Periodically dump a bucket of water into the pit to make sure the pump starts automatically and the water drains quickly once the pump is on. If the pump doesn't start, have it serviced.

Physically remove a submersible pump from the pit and clean the grate on the bottom. The sucking action of the pump can pull small stones into the grate, blocking the inlet or damaging the pump over time.

Ensure the outlet pipes are tightly joined together and draining out at least 20 feet (6 meters) away from your foundation.

Make sure the vent hole in the discharge pipe is clear.

Carpet Delamination

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

delaminated carpet

Carpets consist of four distinct layers. The face yarn is the topmost, and it’s stitched to the next layer, known as primary carpet backing. Made with a pre-developed piece of fabric, it provides support and enhances the integrity of the carpet. Manufacturers then apply a bonding layer that affixes the primary backing to the final section, known as secondary backing. This piece improves the installation process by improving the carpet’s stability.

 The backing layers may separate when the bonding layer fails. Sometimes it’s due to poor installation, but in other cases it can happen when the carpet is damaged by water. A flood, for example, can leave the carpet soaked for days. That’s just enough time to weaken the bonding agent and cause the backing layers to separate. Even overexposure to moisture during carpet cleaning or due to harsh products can cause the problem. Heavy traffic may also eventually lead to adhesive separation between the carpet padding layers.

Winter Storm Safety

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

frozen water

WINTER STORM SAFETY

  • Stay indoors and wear warm clothes. Layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing will keep you warmer than a bulky sweater. If you feel too warm, remove layers to avoid sweating; if you feel chilled, add layers.
  • Listen to a local station on battery-powered radio or television or to NOAA Weather Radio for updated emergency information.
  • Bring your companion animals inside before the storm begins.
  • Move other animals to sheltered areas with a supply of non-frozen water. Most animal deaths in winter storms are caused by dehydration.
  • Eat regularly. Food provides the body with energy for producing its own heat.
  • Keep the body replenished with fluids to prevent dehydration. Drink liquids such as warm broth or juice. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, accelerates the symptoms of hypothermia. Alcohol, such as brandy, is a depressant and hastens the effects of cold on the body. Alcohol also slows circulation and can make you less aware of the effects of cold. Both caffeine and alcohol can cause dehydration.
  • Conserve fuel. Winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems (fuel oil, propane, etc.). Lower the thermostat to 65° F (18° C) during the day and to 55° F (13° C) at night. Close off unused rooms, and stuff towels or rags in cracks under the doors. Cover the windows at night.
  • Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends, particularly if they are elderly or if they live alone.

Is mold skulking around your Carroll County home?

7/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold runs rampant

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors. This makes it IMPOSSIBLE to remove all mold from any home or business. Mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Please consider the following mold facts:

Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.

Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.

Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold. SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332.

Spontaneous Plaster Ceiling Collapse

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Plaster ceiling collapse

There are a few things to look for such as cracks or nail pops. If you can see small round dimples scattered along a straight line it is a sign that your drywall is pulling away from the nails thus the dimples. Because drywall can warp significantly and the fact that nails can pull through the drywall without causing a hole or dimple in the overlying plaster these visual clues may not be present. People even report hearing the occasional popping or cracking sound prior to failure with no visual clues being seen. The absolute best way to check your ceilings is to go into the attic and see if you can slide something between the ceiling and the joists. Some other ways to check to see if your ceiling is about to fail is to measure the height of your ceiling where it meets the wall and then measure the ceiling height in several other areas in the middle of the room. You should suspect a problem if you find a measurement difference of a quarter inch. If it is a half inch or more you can be almost assured that your family is in danger. You can also try tightly stretching a string from one side of the room to another and see if there are low spots anywhere in your ceiling. You can also push up on the ceiling and see if it moves but remember ceilings are heavy and it takes some strength and experience to catch it this way. If you are experiencing any of these ceiling symptoms please call SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332.

Lightning

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Chimney hit by lightning

SERVPRO of Carroll County is here to help if you experience damage to your home or business from lightening. Lightening is very powerful and can cause odor, damaged structure, or even a fire. We are here to help you clean it up.  410-857-5332

Lightning

What You Need to Know, NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area!! If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up. Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

Stay off corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity. Avoid plumbing, including sinks, baths and faucets. Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches. Do not lie on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Professional Mold Cleanup

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage and mold can come from any direction foundation, a foundation leak, A/C condensation pump failure, old water heater, or from high humidity and need to be addressed immediately.  Mold feeds and grows in high moisture and warm environments.  Mold is present everywhere inside or outside.  There are hundreds of different types of mold, It is very important to start the drying process right away to prevent mold growth.  Organic materials found inside a building; wood, paper, drywall and insulation are great sources of food for mold.  Different types of mold are health threats.  It is very important though to remember that if you see visible mold spores to not put air flow directly across the mold. It can send the spores airborne causing more damage.  This is why it is so important to call a professional right away to make sure all areas are brought back to acceptable moisture levels inside a home after water damage. Call SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332

Commercial Response

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Large loss

SERVPRO of Carroll County has worked with many different types of commercial properties.

We have worked with many property management companies on apartments and hotels; Removing mold, removing odor, cleaning carpets, drying out after a water loss.

We have worked with schools; cleaning contents after a pipe break, drying out a water loss to reduce further damage, drying gym floors to avoid costly replacement, and cleaning after a fire.

We have worked with many commercial retail locations; cleaning soot and removing odor after a fire, cleaning contents, removing grease from surfaces, and drying out after a sprinkler head or a water intrusion.

We have worked with banks; cleaning sewage from basements, drying out and restoring important documents, and replacing all the affected carpet to name just a few.

Either way we have a proven track record of working with Commercial Businesses and getting them back and running as QUICK as possible to prevent excessive revenue loss. We even offer Emergency Ready Profiles for no charge on a handy app so that businesses have all their important information in the event of an emergency right in front of them all the time.

Ask our staff how we can help your business. 410-857-5332

Prevent mold growth this summer

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

In the summer, a closed house with the air-conditioning turned off will have higher humidity levels than an air-conditioned home. A vacant house also receives little or no sunlight through closed shades and no air movement with the fan off and the doors locked. If you simply leave the air conditioning running, it will cool the home and remove moisture from the air and circulate and filter the air. Molds thrive when the humidity levels exceed 70 percent. Because humidity levels vary from day to day, the thermostat should have been left at or below 74 degrees, and the fan should have been set to "On."

Normally, mold cleaning and remediation processes disturb the spores, which become airborne and can settle on unclean or untreated surfaces, where they continue to thrive in the humid, warm, dark conditions.

SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332

Flooded Office

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Carroll County 410-857-5332

Make a Plan.

Hurricane season starts on May 15 in the north Pacific and June 1 in the Atlantic and the Caribbean. It ends on November 30. Before hurricane season each year, make sure you and your family are prepared by planning ahead.

Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them on the refrigerator or near every phone in your house. Program them into your cell phone too.

Prepare an emergency supply kit.

Locate the nearest shelter and different routes you can take to get there from your home. If shelter locations in your area have not been identified, learn how to find them in the event of a hurricane.

Pet owners: Pre-identify shelters, a pet-friendly hotel, or an out-of-town friend or relative where you can take your pets in an evacuation. Local animal shelters may be able to offer advice on what to do with your pets if you are asked to evacuate your home.

Sewage Damage

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Has a toilet back-up in your Carroll County home or office?  Do you have contaminated water now on your floor?   Sewer system backups should be considered very hazardous. The water is very unsanitary and may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. Special training and equipment is necessary to safely clean this type of contamination.  SERVPRO of Carroll County has the experience and expertise to quickly remediate this special sewage damage situation.  Due to the immediate health concerns associated with contaminated water, SERVPRO of Carroll County highly recommends that you do not try to clean this up yourself, but instead call us immediately.

Sewage Backup or Toilet Overflow? Call Us Today –(410) 857-5332

There are three major types of contaminated water. SERVPRO of Carroll County will inspect the contaminated water to determine the type of water and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

This is water from a clean source, such as a broken clean water supply line or faucet. If left untreated, category 1 water can quickly degrade into category 2 or 3 water depending upon such factors as time, temperature, and contact with contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

This water has a significant level of contamination that could cause discomfort or illness if ingested. Sources for category 2 water may include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

This water is grossly unsanitary and could cause severe illness or death if ingested, and any contact should be avoided. Sources for category 3 water could include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Emergency Service

Sewage backup should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. We are the water damage restoration specialists with specific training and expertise to safely restore your home or business.

Preparing your Pets for Emergencies

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today. If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include: Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals. Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit. Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter. Consider an out-of-town friend or relative. Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit. Have your pet micro chipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area. Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information. If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

Prepare Your Home for an Emergency

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Planning for any emergency requires considering all likely scenarios that could result when things that you rely on daily- such as electricity, water, heat, air conditioning, telephone services and transportation- are disrupted or lost for a considerable amount of time. Consequently, you should plan on having food, water, and other essential goods to get you through the emergency. Most emergency management planner suggests having enough supplies to last you and your family for three to five days for weather -related events. However, many things may affect you decision, including storage space, special needs, number of people I the household and available resources.

The basic items that should be stored in your home include water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools, emergency supplies, and specialty items. Keep the items that you would most likely need at home in one easy-to-carry container such as a plastic storage bin, backpack, or duffel bag. Store it in a convenient place and put a smaller version in your car. Remember to change the stored water and rotate the food supplies every six months (place dates on the containers). Check the supplies and re-evaluate your needs every year. Consult your physician or pharmacist about storing medications, and maintain a current list of your family’s prescription needs.

Tornado Safety

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Tornado Safety - what YOU Can Do!

Before the Storm:

  • Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school, and when outdoors.
  • Have frequent drills
  • Know the county in which you live, and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movements from weather bulletins.
  • Have a NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and batter back-up to receive warnings.
  • Listen to radio and television for information
  • If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecasts and take necessary action if threatening weather is possible.

If a Tornado Warning is issued or if threatening weather approaches

  • In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement.
  • If an underground shelter is not available, more to an interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and get under a sturdy piece of furniture.
  • Stay away from windows
  • Do not try to out run a tornado in your car: get out of your car immediately and seek nearby safe shelter in a sturdy building.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes and should be abandoned.
  • If in open country and no shelter is available, lie flat and face down on low ground protecting the back of your head with your arms. Get as far away as possible from trees and cars, as they can be blown onto you.

WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

  • Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with with carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

Is your building sick?

4/30/2019 (Permalink)

Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a common worldwide health concern, where people in a building suffer from symptoms of illness or become infected with chronic disease from the building in which they work or reside. The outbreaks may or may not be a direct result of inadequate cleaning or inappropriate cleaning methods.  Certain symptoms tend to increase in severity with the time people spend in the building; often improving over time or even disappearing when people are away from the building. Exposure to toxic black mold might cause health effects. Sick building causes are frequently pinned down to flaws in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. Other causes have been attributed to contaminants produced by out gassing of some types of building materials, volatile organic compounds, molds, improper exhaust ventilation of ozone, light industrial chemicals used within, or lack of adequate fresh-air intake/air filtration.

Duct Cleaning

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes with air ducts, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning:

  • occupants with allergies or asthma
  • cigarette or cigar smoke
  • water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
  • home renovation or remodeling projects
  • Some occupants are more sensitive to these contaminants than others. Allergy and asthma sufferers, as well as young children and the elderly tend to be more susceptible to the types of poor indoor air quality that air duct cleaning can help address.

Indoor air quality is one concern that homeowners have when they decide to investigate air duct cleaning. Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and breathes air out. Through normal occupation in a home, we generate a great deal of contaminants and air pollutants, such as dander, dust, and chemicals. These contaminants are pulled into the HVAC system and re-circulated 5 to 7 times per day, on average. Over time, this re-circulation causes a build-up of contaminants in the duct work. While dirty ducts don’t necessarily mean unhealthy air in your home, school or workplace, they may be contributing to larger health issues or harboring contaminants that could cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies.

Storm Damage

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

FLOOD TIPS AND ACTION STEPS

AFTER A FLOOD

SAFETY FIRST (For businesses and home owners)

  •  Account that all employees or family members are safe by establishing evacuation plans in advance, identifying areas outside the building that are designated meeting places. Assign select individuals to keep a list of their assigned team’s names and contact numbers in order to account for their whereabouts.
  • If water enters the building and evacuation becomes impossible, move to an upper floor, and wait for rescuers.
  •  While evacuating, avoid attempting to drive through floods or rising water, nearly half of all flash flood fatalities are auto-related.
  •  Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
  •  Do not walk through moving water. Even six inches of moving water can make you fall.
  •  Use no open flames (there may be gas escaping from ruptured mains).
  •  Avoid floodwaters. Water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged. If the water has entered the structure through the flooding of a creek, stream or river, or if it has filtered through insulation during its intrusion, it is considered to be black water and could be hazardous to your health. Avoid contact with contaminated items as much as possible.
  •  Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
  •  Listen for news reports to learn if the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
  •  Return only when authorities indicate it is safe.

SECURE THE PROPERTY

  • Contact local emergency officials.
  • Secure main entrances to building.
  •  Alert Security company and Alarm company of the situation.

STABILIZE THE PROPERTY

  • Open basement or low-level windows to equalize water pressure on the building’s foundation and walls.
  • Begin water damage mitigation steps only if local emergency officials deem the structure safe to enter.
  •  Notify your insurance agent or Risk Manager to determine insurance policy guidelines and steps to take.

Who let the deer in?

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

A true story ...We got a call from a panicked customer who had just returned from being out of town for a few days. She found a juvenile white tailed deer had jumped through a window in her basement. The deer was still alive, but disoriented enough to not know how to get out of the house. Additionally, the deer, in its rummaging around through the kitchen area of the basement, had jumped on the counter tops and managed to turn the water on in the kitchen sink. Before long, the basement floor was full of water and one very confused deer. When we arrived on the scene 20 minutes later, the owner had coaxed the deer out of the house. That's when we went to work cleaning up blood, urine and hundreds of gallons of water. Shortly thereafter, we fired up our equipment and dried out the entire basement.

How to put out a kitchen fire

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

When a fire starts in the kitchen, you need to act fast to keep the fire from getting out of control. But how you act depends on what kind of fire you have and where it is. Follow these instructions for putting out kitchen fires:

If you have a fire in the oven or the microwave, close the door or keep it closed, and turn off the oven. Don’t open the door! The lack of oxygen will suffocate the flames.If your oven continues to smoke like a fire is still going on in there, call the fire department.If you have a fire in a cooking pan, use an oven mitt to clap on the lid, then move the pan off the burner, and turn off the stove. The lack of oxygen will stop the flames in a pot.

If you can’t safely put the lid on a flaming pan or you don’t have a lid for the pan, use your fire extinguisher. Aim at the base of the fire — not the flames.Never use water to put out grease fires! Water repels grease and can spread the fire by splattering the grease. Instead, try one of these methods:

If the fire is small, cover the pan with a lid and turn off the burner.Throw lots of baking soda or salt on it. Never use flour, which can explode or make the fire worse. Smother the fire with a wet towel or other large wet cloth.

Use a fire extinguisher. Don’t swat at a fire with a towel, apron, or other clothing. You’re likely to fan the flames and spread the fire.If the fire is spreading and you can’t control it, get everyone out of the house and call 911! Make sure everybody in your family knows how to get out of the house safely in case of a fire. Practice your fire escape route.

why should I clean my carpets?

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Top ten reasons why you should get your carpet cleaned

  1. Prolongs the life of carpeting. Regular carpet cleaning using the extraction method can increase the life of carpets significantly, protecting your floor-covering investment.
  1. Protects indoor air quality. Carpets trap airborne pollutants; however, eventually those pollutants must be removed in order to protect the carpet and maintain indoor air quality.
  1. Makes carpets easier to maintain. Most carpet soiling is made up of dry soils; when carpets are kept thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis, most dry soils can be removed with regular vacuuming.
  1. Removes spots and stains. As with other soils, spots and stains can attract more soiling. Removing them promptly protects carpeting from damage.
  1. Prevents buildup of allergens and bacteria. Moist soiling of carpets can result in the buildup of several unhealthy contaminants.
  1. Enhances the appearance of any room. Clean, well-maintained carpets speak volumes about the overall cleanliness of a home or facility.
  1. Improves worker morale. Workers feel better about their work environment when it is clean. This includes the carpeting.
  1. Makes carpeting look and feel clean and fresh.
  1. Removes dust mites and bedbugs that may have found a home in carpets.
  1. Maintains the carpet’s warranty. Most carpet warranties require that carpets be cleaned using the extraction method within a specific amount of time, usually every 12 to 18 months.

Are wood burning stoves safe?

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

The chimney for a wood burning stoves must be masonry or UL-listed, and factory built. Never, under any circumstances, should an unlined, single brick chimney be used for a wood stove. Single brick chimneys are prone to failure, which may allow potentially dangerous situations to develop.

There are lots older homes that have unlined chimneys constructed of double brick. These may be used for a wood stove after carefully checking for cracked mortar or loose or missing brick. Metal sleeves that are listed by the Underwriters Laboratory may be used as chimney lines if they were designed for such use.

Factory built, metal chimneys must never be used with a coal stove, as the corrosive flue gases produced by a coal fire will cause a rapid failure of the chimney. Metal chimneys should be completely disassembled after a chimney fire and checked for damage. Discoloration of the exterior indicates a possible breakdown of the insulating material. Any questionable section should be replaced.

A wood burning stove should never be connected to a wood stove flue which vents an oil burner. Deadly, unburned vapors from the oil burner could back up into the stove and the room where it is located.If your home came with an existing wood burning stove, you should have it serviced and inspected before use.

Venting the stove is the most important part of the wood-burning system. 90% of all stove-related fires start within the venting system. A venting system is not a chimney – it consists of lengths of 24-gauge or heavier, insulated stovepipe which connects the stove to an approved chimney.

Stovepipe clearance is extremely important. It must never pass through an interior wall, floor, or ceiling. Where possible, the insulated stovepipe must go directly into a lined masonry or UL-listed, factory-built chimney. If stovepipe must pass through an exterior wall to reach the chimney, maintain an 18-inch minimum clearance to all combustibles. Consult fire codes and use metal thimbles designed for this purpose.

Use proper fuel

Hardwoods, such as maple, beech, ash, hickory, or oak, are the best fuel for a wood burning stove. Wood should be cut, split and air dried for at least a year before burning. Well-seasoned hardwood will show cracks in the ends. Wood will dry faster and remain dry and protected from the elements if stored in a shed or under a tarp.

Regular cleaning

Use a wire brush to clean your stovepipe and chimney at least once a year. Also, occasionally use controlled high-temperature fires in the stove or furnace. Salt-based chemical cleaners are not very affective.  Never use heavy items such as chains, bricks or a brush on the end of a rope, because they could seriously damage the interior chimney lining.

Avoid creosote buildup

Creosote is a highly combustible fuel that burns intensely. A slow-burning fire such as those found in a modern, airtight stove damped way down, produces a flue temperature in the 100-200 degree Fahrenheit range. These comparatively low temperatures do not sufficiently carry all of the unburned, combustible gases into the atmosphere. Instead, they condense along the walls of the stovepipe and the chimney as creosote. Creosote may take 3 forms:

  • A sticky liquid that will run down the chimney and stove pipe where it will be burned
  • A flaky, black deposit which is easily removed by brushing
  • A hard, glazed tar which is almost impossible to remove, except by a certified professional chimney sweep

Tips for building a fire

  • Season wood outdoors through the hot, dry summer for at least 6 months before burning it. Properly seasoned wood is darker, has cracks in the end grain, and sounds hollow when smacked against another piece of wood.
  • Store wood outdoors, stacked neatly off the ground with the top covered.
  • Start fires with clean newspaper and dry kindling.
  • Burn hot, bright fires. But use smaller fires in milder weather.
  • Let the fire burn down to coals, then rake the coals toward the air inlet (and wood stove door), creating a mound. Do not spread the coals flat.
  • Reload your wood stove by adding at least three pieces of wood each time, on and behind the mound of hot coals. Avoid adding one log at a time.
  • Regularly remove ashes from the wood stove into a metal container with a cover, and store outdoors.

Mold vs Mildew

2/1/2019 (Permalink)

There are 3 Basic Categories of Water

Category 1 originates from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure. However, it may not always remain clean after it comes into contact with other surfaces or materials.

Category 2 contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans. It may contain potentially unsafe levels of microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter 

Category 3 is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Such water sources may carry silt, organic matter, pesticides, heavy metals, regulated materials, or toxic organic substances.

The 4 Primary Classifications of Water Damage

Class 1 is the least amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects only part of a room or area, or larger areas containing materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or no wet carpet and/or cushion is present.

Class 2 involves a large amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  It affects at least an entire room of carpet and cushion (pad).  Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.  There is moisture remaining in structural materials and substructure soil.

Class 3 involves the greatest amount of water, absorption and evaporation.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion and subfloor in virtually all of the entire area are saturated.

Class 4 relates to specialty drying situations.  Wet materials with very low permeance/porosity (eg. hardwood, plaster, brick, concrete, light-weight concrete and stone).  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity.  These types of losses may require longer drying times and special methods.

Mold in my basement

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Several times a week during this humid rainy summer we get called to inspect a basement with apparent mold growth primarily on furniture, clothing, and some of the drywall or paneling. With no apparent water damage, homeowners are stumped as to why they have mold. Here are some common factors in these outbreaks:

  1. Homeowners don’t go down to the basement much anymore.
  2. Humidity control by dehumidifier or central air conditioning is absent.
  3. If air conditioning is available, many times the vents are closed.
  4. Very little direct light and little or no air-flow.

 So if you have a basement that does have air conditioning, make sure you leave the vents open during the summer heat and humidity even if you don’t use the space often.

If you don’t have AC, put dehumidifiers in the space and use the manufacturer’s recommendations as to how much space the unit will handle. You may need more than one. Also, it’s a good idea to keep a fan running to circulate the air.

Sharon Miller Memorial: Swing Against ALS Golf Outing

9/16/2016 (Permalink)

ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Every day an average of 15 people are newly diagnosed with ALS. It is responsible for 2 deaths per 100,000 people.

On August 5th, 2016 SERVPRO of Carroll County was honored to sponsor and participate in the 6th annual Swing Against ALS Golf Outing on behalf of the Sharon Miller Memorial. This event is near and dear to the heart of one of our employees. It was a beautiful day and went off without a hitch.

For more information visit: www.alsa.org

Carroll County Emergency Preparedness Expo

9/15/2016 (Permalink)

Come out the annual Carroll County Emergency Preparedness Expo. This is a wonderful event where families can become more familiar with several aspects of emergency readiness, response and recovery teams. There will be live demonstrations, information booths, give-aways, and even prizes. SERVPRO of Carroll County will have their own booth right next to the MSFA Side by Side Burn Demonstration Trailer. Stop by anytime between 10 am - 2pm on September 24, 2016. We would love to see you!

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