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SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney rolls out to Texas to help with restoration efforts

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Crew members go over the day's work projects SERVPRO of Rockville Storm Team members go over the day's jobs in Plano, Texas

Unprecedented disasters call for unprecedented response.

Which is exactly what SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North did -- crews from the Maryland franchises swiftly prepared, packed up and departed for Dallas, Texas to lend a hand to the massive cleanup and restoration efforts in the wake of the historic snow storms that devastated hundreds of lives and damaged thousands and thousands of homes and businesses throughout numerous southern U.S. states. Our local teams left for Grapevine, a suburb of Dallas, on Wednesday (2/17/21) mid-morning and arrived well over the estimated 24-hour trip due to treacherous road conditions in many stretches of highways. As of Tuesday (2/23/21), SERVPRO corporate's urgent call for more help from other franchises continues, as officials project 35,000 lead referrals. SERVPRO has received more than 22,000 lead referrals in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and other surrounding locations. Home and business owners in Texas and a host of other states including Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and Louisiana are crying for help to clean up and restore their structures.  Extreme cold weather, especially in states that aren't usually prepared for such conditions, commonly cause frozen pipes that result in water damage. In Texas, for example, the temperatures in many cities dipped below 20 degrees F the weekend of Feb. 13, when many celebrated Lunar New Year and Valentine's Day. Both indoor & outdoor pipes in thousands of homes froze due to improper insulation. The water damage can be extensive, as most homes in the south have attics and not basements, causing water to trickle down from the top and wreak havoc to ceilings and walls in addition to floorings, furniture and other household items. Other areas in the homes where pipes are unheated or partially heated that are also at risk of freezing include crawl spaces and garages. State of emergency has been declared in the affected southern states, making it easier for residents to apply for federal aid to help pay for losses, repairs and other areas including salary loss due to inability to get to work. Insurance companies also are making it easier for policy holders to file claims, and restoration companies like SERVPRO also are doing what they can to make it easier for customers to file insurance claims, by making electronic claim forms easily available as part of their response process. 

Another potential hazard to consider as the snow/ice begins to melt is damage to your roof and ice dams. An ice dam is formed when snow melts unevenly on a roof and refreezes into a dam at the edge of the roof, near the eaves. This dam prevents any further snowmelt from draining off of the roof. This standing water can back up under shingles, leak into a home, and cause significant water damage to ceilings, walls, and other areas. Ice dams can also tear off gutters and loosen shingles.

Snow and ice can cause significant damage to your gutters and roof. The additional weight of snow and ice can even cause a roof to collapse. When there’s a cold snap, water can get into cracks and small spaces and expand when it freezes, causing larger cracks and more damage. The repetition of freezing and thawing cycles can cause small cracks to get larger. 

Our SERVPRO corporate experts offer these suggestions for affected residents: 

What you can do until help arrives

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety.

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What Not To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Certified Covid Cleaning by SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney: A higher standard of clean

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

Decal with words Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned When a structure is sanitized and disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure.

We have lived in unprecedented times since March 2020, when the outbreak of the Coronavirus hit the world, and Montgomery County, Maryland is no exception. Since last May, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney -- part of a leading national company that provides fire & water cleanup and restoration, as well as mold & biohazard remediation – kicked off a certified cleaning program designed to provide communities with a way to know that a structure has been cleaned, sanitized and disinfected to minimize harmful pathogens.  

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program allows business and company locations to address the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a level of clean that goes beyond janitorial and carpet cleaning. It is “proactive viral pathogen cleaning.” When businesses choose SERVPRO, their employees, customers and community can rest assured they’ve selected a higher standard of clean -- Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned (CSC).  

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North, as well as our other recently-acquired SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E franchises, we have been quite busy with our disinfecting service as businesses small & large are bringing back their workforce. Our crews use special equipment to provide this Covid cleaning; equipment such as the Electrostatic Disinfectant Spray, for example, and fogging  devices are effective in covering even those harder-to-reach spots around offices and work environments. Our goal: to help keep our communities safe and protected during this pandemic.  

How would you know if a business has had a SERVPRO-certified cleaning? If a structure is sanitized and disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure, as well as a separate window decal that is dated by our crews to let everyone know when it was last sanitized and disinfected.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean. Being open for business is just the beginning of our new journey forward. Employees may be hesitant to return to work, and customers may wonder whether the businesses they patron are safe. Our CSC program will give patrons and employees peace of mind that the space has been protected by SERVPRO, an authority on what it means to be clean.

Businesses & companies preparing to reopen their doors are encouraged to reach out to us 24/7, as we are happy to discuss the 3 C’s: Consult, Clean and Certify. We can create a custom cleaning plan for the business or property owner, followed by our best-in-class cleaning and disinfecting services, and finishing with a certification they can share with their patrons and staff. Rest assured all our crew members and products adhere to Centers for Disease Control and local cleaning guidelines. 

Contact us today at 301-340-1313. We are locally-owned and operating for 41 years, and always open & ready to help!  

What You Need to Know Before a Winter Storm!

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Snow falling Follow these tips to help protect your property this winter!

Winter storms can cause a lot of damage! Not only is your home or business at risk, but also your health, the roads, and your vehicle. Unlike storms occurring during the warmer seasons, winter storms can bring freezing rain, snow, ice, and intense, cold winds.

                It’s important to make sure your home or office is properly insulated. Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows will keep cold air from seeping into your property. Also consider installing a storm door. That will provide an extra layer of insulation and protection.

                Also remember your pipes! To keep them from freezing, insulate them by wrapping them in old newspaper, for example. Then, cover the newspaper with plastic to keep any moisture out. It’s also a good idea to allow your faucets a bit to avoid freezing. One of the last things you want to happen is have a pipe freeze, which can then break it, ultimately resulting in an outpour of water. You do not want to deal with a house or building flood in the midst of a midst of a snowstorm.

                One of the most important things to keep in mind, especially during the coldest time of the year, is carbon monoxide. During a snowstorm in particular, it’s safe to assume your windows and doors are tightly shut. It’s great that snow and frigid air can’t make their way into your home, yet carbon monoxide can begin poisoning your air by quickly filling up the confined air. Carbon monoxide can be released from the gas of generators, stoves, and other equipment. Furthermore, having your car run, to warm up for example, or sitting in it for heat purposes, will result in the release of carbon monoxide. If the vehicle is in an enclosed or poorly ventilated area, the buildup can be deadly. It’s odorless, silent and quick to poison. This is why it’s extremely important to be educated on this topic.

                Of course snowstorms also have a direct impact on the structure of your home. Heavy snow can cause your roof to weaken, possibly resulting in its collapse. Snowstorms can also cause windows to break. Be careful of falling trees. Before cold temperatures set in, check your property for any dying trees or breaking branches. It’s a good idea to call a professional company if anything seems questionable. You will want to get any trees or branches removed that might put your property at risk. Once the snow begins falling, its weight can easily snap a branch or even an entire tree that can land on your home or office, which in turn would create an opening for snow, rain, or ice to fall directly in your home.

Snowstorms can also affect the health of you and those around you, including neighbors, homeless members of your community, and animals, including pets. Health risks include hypothermia, heart attacks from overexertion, and frostbite. A common result of a winter storm is losing heat and communication services. Especially for the elderly and young children, losing heat can be life-threatening. Additionally, if communication services are temporarily out and an emergency occurs, there is basically no way of getting help. As winter is quickly approaching, we encourage you to purchase a mobile phone from a reliable and trusted carrier if you currently only have a landline. We also encourage you to check on anyone you might see as at-risk. If you know a winter storm is approaching, make sure to warn members of your community, such as an elderly neighbor, who may have not heard, or notify a local homeless shelter if you see someone you think would benefit from their services.

Lastly, make sure you are dressed warmly, covering yourself in winter gear from head to toe. Warm gloves and socks are essential as frostbite is most common on fingers and toes. You should stay indoors as much as possible and be sure to stay off the road. The road is an extremely dangerous place to be during a snowstorm. These weather conditions can make it nearly impossible to drive, and the last place you want to be is sitting on the side of a road as the snow on the ground grows higher.

Feel free to share this blog on your social media page, to send it via email or to text it to your friends, family, or community page! Let’s keep everyone safe and warm this winter!

Fast And Timely Water Removal Can Reduce Damages in Your Rockville, Olney or Silver Spring Home

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Water droplet When a pipe has burst apart, or a tub has overflowed, your home or office needs to have that excess water removed ASAP.

Quick Water Removal Can Reduce Damages

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Restoring Your Rockville-Olney/Silver Spring North Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Office building Always "Faster to any size disaster," any property manager's dream!

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

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call at 301-340-1313, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North specialize in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster To Clean a Biohazard Mess in the Rockville-Olney-Silver Spring North Areas

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Trash on bedroom floor The "before" photo from a biohazardous cleanup we completed.

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

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

Biohazard emergencies don't always happen during the regular work week. That's why SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for your call. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night. Call us at 301-340-1313 if you are in need of a biohazard cleanup.

Winter Checklist for Your Commercial Building

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

Snow falling Preparing your commercial property for winter is an essential part of maintaining your building!

Preparing your commercial property for winter is an essential part of maintaining your building! As you know, harsh winter weathers can take a toll on your property, so make sure to check off each of the items below before our Maryland winter weather goes into full swing.

-Check your building’s winter inventory! Do you have all winter snow removal supplies, such as a salt spreader and snowplow, in stock? Are they in good repair? Make sure these items have adequate fuel, too!

-If you do not plow your own snow, see that you establish a contract with a snow removal service company.

-Make sure your building is safe for customers! This means removing snow from walkways and entrances, adding slip-resistant flooring as shoes tend to get wet from snow this time of year, and ensuring all areas of your building are well lit. During the winter, we see less daylight, so it is crucial to ensure good lighting for the safety of all!

-Clean snow piles from the roof or hire a professional company to do so. Also, check for loose shingles or any other damage to your roof that can be caused by the high winds or ice that winter brings.

-Keep the building temperature above 45 degrees Fahrenheit to protect plumbing (mainly to avoid frozen pipes). Regularly check both interior and exposed pipes. Insulate pipes and seal cracked ones to avoid broken pipes.

-Inspect your HVAC system. Look for cracks and leaks and listen out for any strange sounds originating from the system. The wintertime can give your system a real workout!

-Check for large icicles, especially when in harm’s way. Icicles can become quite heavy and very dangerous. Be sure to remove large icicles that have the potential to fall on someone or onto a car.

-Prevent power outages in your building by investing in backup generator(s) and inspecting nearby powerlines and the surrounding trees. Weak tree branches often cause outages by falling onto telephone poles and powerlines.

We hope you stay safe and are prepared for Winter 2020!

Christmas Safety Tips for Your Home

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas tree with lights Keep your home (and office, too!) jolly & safe this holiday season!

Christmas is right around the corner!

During the winter holiday season, we notice a pattern of catastrophes, many caused by ovens, stoves and also, Christmas trees. Due to the busyness and excitement-overload of the holidays, it’s important to keep safety in mind. Set reminders and alarms in your phone to ensure you don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off or to take the cookies out of the oven!

To avoid issues such as a tree fire, house fire, outlet overload, and even electrocution, follow the tips below to keep you and your family safe and happy during this 2020 holiday season!

  • Water your tree daily! A dry tree can quickly transform into a tree in flames.
  • Do not connect more than three strings of lights.
  • Got cords? Keep them away from heat sources. Do not nail or staple them either. Placing them under a rug isn’t a safe idea. Neither is completely shutting a door or closing a window with a cord running through it. This is a fire hazard.
  • Plugging in too many appliances can overload the outlet. Avoid doing so.
  • Before plugging in appliances, lights, yard decorations, etc., make sure your sockets are in good condition and that wires are not bare. Oftentimes, we use these decorations or particular outlets just once a year, so it’s important to carefully inspect them.
  • Turn off and unplug any lights before going to sleep or leaving your home. Extinguish any candles before leaving the vicinity.
  • Cooking or baking for the holidays? Make sure to stay in the kitchen when doing so.
  • Use battery-operated candles instead of candles with actual flames.
  • Water and electricity never mix well. Be careful your string lights are not touching or partially in the tree’s water bowl. Make sure you are dry when plugging in outdoor lights, especially.
  • It’s cold, but be careful where you place space heaters. They should always be at least three feet away from furniture, etc. and even farther from Christmas trees.

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and safe holiday season!

For more fire safety tips, check out our website:

Preparing For Winter Weather in Maryland

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

House in the snow Make sure your home is winter-ready this season!

Winter weather is coming... are you prepared?

Most of us would probably rather hibernate for the winter than deal with any of the home maintenance tasks that come along with owning property during the wintry months. 

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North would like to remind you that your winter will be much better if you take steps now to prevent any winter weather-related disasters or accidents happening in your home!

Here are some helpful tips for winter preparedness in the coming weeks...

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes that could freeze.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to "off."
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.

Don't overlook these tips this year as you head into the winter months and holiday season. Keep your home safe and secure so that you can focus staying warm and having a merry time with your loved ones this winter! 

Flames or Soot?

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Flames Fire damage can be devastating. Give us a call today, and we will make the restoration process as easy as possible for you.

SERVPRO® of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North were recently called in to clean up a fire damaged home. Restoring a home after fire damage is a difficult and emotional process. Not only are we here to be there for your property but for your family as well.

Flames can cause the most visible damage to your property but the most damage comes from the smoke and soot. Soot is a coating of fine, black dust created when substances are burned. Inhaling soot can cause severe health issues. It is important to our team that we get rid of all the after-effects of the fire- not only the damage but also the odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will be based on which type of smoke damage there is. Below are the different types of smoke:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire.

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Call SERVPRO® of Rockville-Olney or SERVPRO of Silver Spring North when you are in need of cleaning after fire strikes. We know it is hard seeing your home in flames and we are here to restore it the best we can. A friendly member of our team is waiting at the phone lines to answer any questions you might have or to schedule a visit at (301) 340-1313.