Recent Posts

Most Home Fires Start in the Kitchen

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

kitchen fire Follow these quick tips to help prevent a major fire damage emergency in your home!

With Halloween just around the corner, the holiday season won't be far after that, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen.

This also means that, with every dish we cook on the stove or in the oven, every pumpkin pie and each batch of Christmas cookies you make, there is a greater risk of a fire emergency. 

Aside from calling 9-1-1, which should be one of your first moves, here are some quick tips for dealing with a fire emergency in your kitchen.

  1. Always watch your cooking; don't leave anything unattended
  2. Set a timer so that you don't accidentally burn something or forget that an appliance is being used
  3. If something on the stove catches on fire and it is small, cover it with a lid and turn off the burner
  4. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen near your cooking area where it is easily accessible
  5. Add baking soda to a grease fire, not water
  6. Clean your appliances regularly so that grease does not accumulate and start a fire
  7. Clean and dust around and behind appliances, as dust accumulation can cause fires if it is close to electrical wiring
  8. Keep flammable objects away from cooking appliances, especially items like tea towels and potholders 
  9. Install a smoke alarm in your kitchen
  10. Test your smoke alarms and make sure they will work when you most need them!

Keep these quick tips in mind to help prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!

In the event that you've got fire or water damage in your home, you can count on the experts like us, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, to respond quickly to restore your property to minimize further damage. Call us 24/7 at 301-340-1313.

Keeping your pets safe during a storm

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Cat snuggle in soft bed Follow these tips to keep your pets safe during storms!

Like us, pets can face a lot of anxiety during a storm.

If you know a storm is approaching, or see the first sign of one, immediately bring your pet(s) indoors. Animals can become disoriented and panicky when witnessing intense conditions, and it’s not uncommon for them to wander away under these circumstances.

Also, if a veterinarian has prescribed your pet(s) any anxiety medication, administer the medication to them as soon as possible.

It’s also important your pets wear ID tags, or better yet, are microchipped. If they do get lost, they will be much easier to identify and more quickly returned to you.

It’s very common for your pet(s) to become frightened when they hear thunder or feel the house shake due to high winds. In case of emergency, in an instance where you have to pick them up and flee your home, be sure to remember their favorite hiding spaces. This way, you won’t waste time wandering around your home in search of them.

If you are leaving your home, it’s best to bring your pet(s) with you. Create a list of surrounding lodging choices that are pet-friendly. See if you could drop off your furry friend(s) at a friend or relative’s home, or call to see if any boarding kennels have space.

If you are staying home, keep your pets away from windows as much as possible. In a state of panic, your pets could either try jumping out (however, your windows should definitely be shut), or something may cause your window to shatter, sending pieces of broken glass everywhere.

In the event heavy rains begin to come inside your home, and it begins to flood, move yourself and your pet(s) to the highest location inside your home; they can take shelter in cabinets or shelving.

A few tips include moving your pet inside a room with no carpeting, in case of bathroom emergency, and having a fresh supply of water readily available, as you do not want your pet to dehydrate. Taking them to a veterinarian would be nearly impossible in the case of a serious weather crisis.

Additionally, make sure there are no poisonous substances or baits your pet can get ahold of. When taking shelter, your pet(s) might either be in an unfamiliar room that you are not used to them being in, or they might get bored and begin getting into boxes, bins, or shelves. Again, if they consume something that will cause them to fall ill, it would be nearly impossible for you to bring them to the veterinarian.

Lastly, consider creating a first-aid kit for your pet(s). ASPCA has created a list of items you should include in your own kit. Check out their link:

https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/how-make-pet-first-aid-kit

How to Recover Damaged Items After Flooding

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

flooding waters It’s essential you dry items within 48 hours after a house flood, if you want to salvage your goods.

If you’ve ever experienced a house flood, you might have lost a few items, or maybe you lost most of your possessions depending on the extent of the waters and how long you waited to dry your furnishings, accessories and trinkets.

If you want to salvage your goods after experiencing a flood, it’s essential you dry items within a 48-hour timeframe.

We want to offer some tips & suggestions on how to salvage your items:

  • Improve air circulation! Don’t contain the moisture. Instead, open windows and doors. If there are no windows or doors leading outside in the particular room, open closet and cabinet doors.
  • Turn on a fan! It can either be a ceiling fan, a floor fan, or both. However, please do not plug a fan into an outlet attached to a wall that is wet or has water behind it. That’s an easy way to get electrocuted.
  • Use a dehumidifier. These remove water vapor from the air. To be effective, it must be used in a contained area. Be sure to shut all doors and windows during use to prohibit more humidity from entering.
  • Use a sump pump. These remove water out of house or office through a hose or pipe. They’re useful when the floodwater level is more than a couple inches deep. 
  • Got soaked items? Quick! Take them out of your house. Allow them to dry off in the sun. Keeping them indoors will ensure nothing ever dries up as their excessive moisture will travel to surrounding objects.
  • Try a wet-dry shop vacuum. Never use a regular vacuum cleaner. A shop vac is specifically made for wet conditions.

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we are water damage restoration experts. With the latest, state-of-the-art equipment and certified technicians, you can trust us to clean up and restore your property back to how it used to be!

You can review our water damage restoration process here:

https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/water-damage-restoration

Give us a call today at 301-340-1313 if we can help!

Our teams are IICRC-trained & certified!

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

IICRC logo Our technicians are certified in the latest industry techniques & services.

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, we strive for excellence at every job we do. It's why our team members go through regular training and certification.

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

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

Our SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North technicians are IICRC-certified and continue their education and certification throughout their employment. As new certifications become available through the IICRC, steps are taken to ensure that our technicians are certified in the latest techniques and services. Our customers can rest assured knowing that only the most qualified technicians will be sent into your business or home to restore and repair damage when you use our company!

We are here 24/7 to help tackle water-, fire- or mold-damaged property. Call us at 301-340-1313.

Got Mold: Follow these important steps

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

mold Call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, the experts on not only mold, but fire & water restoration.

Mold can be visible or not.

If you see visible mold in your office or other commercial property, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread this mold infestation throughout your building, office, store, or other structures. When mold is disturbed, it can release microscopic mold spores that become airborne and can circulate inside the building. This can create or worsen health effects for your employees, customers and you.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North specialize in mold cleanup and restoration; in fact, it is a cornerstone of our businesses. Our crews are highly-trained restoration professionals who use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 301-340-1313. We are here to help!

Ways to conserve water in your commercial buildings

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

water faucet Install energy-saving faucets and appliances to save water (and money!)

Unlike your home, your commercial building is comprised of various employees and clients/customers. You and your family might make conscious efforts to conserve water at home, but oftentimes, those in your building may not.

How often do you use your bathroom sink and walk out with the water still running? Probably never! Now consider this. How many times have you visited an empty public restroom with a running faucet? Probably a few times a year!

One solution would be to install touch-free faucets. This and other energy-saving fixtures and appliances nowadays can save businesses a lot of money, even if the initial cost isn’t very low.

Additionally, you can make an easy switch of replacing your faucet aerators with newer ones of lower power. After companies make this switch, they typically notice the new aerators only use a fifth of the water the older ones did.

Another money-saving bathroom investment is purchasing new flush valves. Today, there are some great options to choose from. You can buy water-saving flush valves that use 20 percent less water than newer toilets and 70 percent less water than pre-1992 toilets.

If you operate a restaurant or any other facility that calls for a dishwasher, you may want to upgrade to a water-saving dishwasher. Although they cost about the same as normal dishwashers, these washers use 40 percent less water, not to mention less energy too.

A few more tips for saving water in your commercial building include planting shrubs, bushes, flowers, etc. that require less water instead of growing plants that demand water. Additionally, you should make sure your irrigation device is positioned practically. The sidewalk shouldn’t be drenched after a watering session. Also, check for leaks or drips. You'll need them repaired to save water (and money).

If you’ve noticed rainfall and your irrigation schedule collide, you may want to invest in a rain or soil moisture sensor. You can save a lot on your water bill from what nature has to offer. Plus, if it has rained or the soil is damp enough, the plants could potential drown.

Lastly, meter your irrigation separately, as unless you do so, your water company will send all the water coming from the property to a wastewater treatment plant. If you do choose to meter, your sewer bill will plummet.

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North encourage you to incorporate a few of these tips into your commercial business and see how much water (and money) you can save!

What to do when dealing with fire damage

10/7/2021 (Permalink)

fire damage At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, we are the experts on restoring fire, water and mold-damaged property.

Life has enough interruptions and bumps along the way without the unwanted disaster of a house fire.

The aftermath is almost as bad but much longer-lasting. Even small fires can merit the use of a professional restoration company. Cooking fires that spread beyond the stove, barbecue grills that go haywire, and even small appliances that catch fire can cause damage to surrounding areas. 

Small Fires can Pose High Risks 

While you should never pour water on a grease fire, nor on an electrical one, many times that is a person's first reaction. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of fire in Montgomery County. It can also create physical risks to people standing nearby. With grease fires, baking soda should be poured into the skillet and any grease or oil that has caught fire outside of the cooking pan or skillet instead of water. 

With electrical fires, the appliance should be unplugged if it can be safely done, but not by pulling on the cord. This can cause the cord to snap, leaving the plug without the cord still in the outlet. The power to the area where this is happening should be shut off at the fuse box as quickly as possible to eliminate the hazard. 

After the Fire is Out, It's Time to Repair the Damage 

When there has been a localized fire, you should have someone assess the damages for you. This can often help with insurance documentation. Landlords, if you are renting, will also appreciate if you inform them of the fire, and they can see the damage for themselves. It is every landlord's worst nightmare to have a fire or flood damage their properties. If they can see the amount of damage, they can rest easier knowing the extent of the repairs required. Fires do happen, through nobody's fault, and your landlord will know this. 

Damage can range from blackened walls and countertops to heavily burned surfaces, electrical wires being damaged and requiring replacement, to floors suffering damage so severe they must be replaced to be safe again. Having experts assess and conduct the repairs needed can greatly facilitate insurance claims being resolved, as well. 

Hopefully you will never have to experience a fire in your home, business or building, but if you have recently dealt with this catastrophe and need professional restoration to your residential or commercial property, give us a call today at 301-340-1313.

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, we are the experts on restoring fire, water and mold-damaged property. And we are  always “faster to any size disaster.” No job is too large or too small!

Count on SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney to prepare your property for Autumn storms!

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Autumn foliage along lake Autumn weather & colors are welcome, but not seasonal thunderstorms that can wreak havoc to property. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney can help!

The cool weather and changing colors have arrived in Maryland, and as the warm and humidity from Summer mix with the drier air, the encounter can result in an increase of thunderstorms.

Gusty winds, heavy rainfall and lightning are among the most common characteristics of a thunderstorm. When a thunderstorm updraft has enough strength to carry water to an area with below-freezing temperatures, hailstones begin to form. When the hailstones become too heavy for the updraft to hold, they are released, and that is when hail falls to the ground.

Damages caused by the winds, rainfall, lightning and hail can have devastating effects on your property, residential and business.

Post-storm damages are not limited to, but can certainly include water, fire, and even mold damages.

If you have experienced any problems, either residential or commercial, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North will get you back on your feet fast, with our crews' extensive knowledge and swift response.

If you want to ensure you don’t face any stormy issues this season, give us a call at (301) 340-1313, and we will help prepare and protect your property this Autumn!

When water disasters strike, call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney right away!

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

A commercial glass building Water intrusion can spread through your building and wreak havoc to the structural integrity and equipment. Call 301-340-1313 right away!

Our Maryland region including the Rockville area has seen unexpected rainfall and flooding problems.

Water damage can shut down your office building. Water can cause damage that you can see, but also damage that is not easily visible. No matter the damage, you need to call in a professional remediation service, such as SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, even if you think the repairs are small. Water takes the path of least resistance, so it finds its way through building materials where the water eventually gets trapped and can create rot and mold growth.

Emergency water removal is the first step in preventing more damage to your property. Once the water has been dried out by our technicians, we thoroughly inspect your property and determine what has been affected and what is okay. We can then focus our effects on restoring the damaged areas. The drying & restoration process can usually be finished in a few days and is monitored closely to ensure proper drying. Water damage can be from any of the reasons below:

Failures In Your Plumbing
These events can release hundreds of gallons of water quickly into your office building. Malfunction can result from broken pipes, malfunctioning sprinkler systems, loose hoses and other plumbing sources.

Local Flooding
Flooding can come from sudden, heavy rainfalls. Intense downpours can flood gutters, drains and downspouts quickly, and the overflow can cause severe water damage to your business.

Long-Term Moisture And Humidity
Small leaks usually hide and are overlooked, however, overtime they lead to water damage problems that need repair. Ceilings, wall cavities, bathrooms, hallways and attics are the most susceptible areas to mold growth and wood rot from continued exposure. Basements and vented crawlspaces are also environments that can be humid, leading to similar water and mold issues. Standing water can fast turn into damage that is more widespread if not cleaned up right away. Mold starts growing in as little as 24 hours after a water intrusion and can spread through your building and do much harm to the structural integrity, plus to the health of your employees and any equipment inside.

If you want a trusted, professional company to come out to your property to access water damage and to begin the restoration process, give SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North a call today at (301) 340-1313!

Our powerful truck-mounted water extraction equipment and our specially-trained technicians are just what you need when a water disaster strikes your office building.

Check your sump pump regularly to make sure it's functional!

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

rusty sump pump Check & clean your sump pump occasionally to make sure it’s operational!

With the recent flooding in our Rockville and surrounding Montgomery County communities, many homes experience sump pump failure that led to flooded basements and leads from windows & doors.

A sump pump is used to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basement of homes. For the most part, sump pumps are relatively unnecessary, but when an emergency arises, you’ll be grateful you had it.

A sump pump can easily avoid the crisis of having a flooded basement by draining all excess water back outside. However, when it fails, it’ll cost you a basement and thousands of dollars in water damage.

How does a sump pump fail?

It’s Installed Incorrectly

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

There Was A Power Failure

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

Problems With The Switch

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

The Discharge Lines Are Frozen Or Clogged

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

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

Age

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

 There Is No Air Relief Hole in Discharge Line

 Gravel or Dirt?

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

Lack of Maintenance

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

You Might Have A Defective Product

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

Call us for help: SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North at 301-340-1313.