Recent Posts

Let's keep our schools, daycare centers mold-free!

5/10/2024 (Permalink)

classroom with desks To keep our students & teachers safe, we must ensure their campus and daycare center are mold-free!

Schools and daycare centers that have experienced water damage from instances such as plumbing leaks, water overflows from toilets, for example, or poor drainage of rainwater, are at risk of mold growth, which can take place within the first 48 hours of the accident.

If you can see the mold or smell it (usually similar to that of something rotting), it’s usually an indicator. It’s imperative to call professionals to come take a look as students’ and faculties’ health alike are at risk.

Yet there are other instances where mold isn’t caused immediately by a plumping issue, for example. Mold can develop behind paint, walls, under tiles, etc. and can grow there for years. Mold behind paint can begin appearing over it, but simply scrubbing the mold off the paint won’t solve the problem; it will just grow back.

In these cases, remediation is necessary. Give Team Gutierrez of SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North a call today at (301) 340-1313.

We serve public and private schools throughout the county and the DMV. Mold can pose serious health risks including fatigue, nausea, headaches and respiratory irritation, to name a few. Our crew is well-trained and seasoned in mold remediation and will have your property mold-free and safe in no time! 

What if there's Mold on my food?

5/10/2024 (Permalink)

mold on food Moldy food may contain toxic substance and can cause health problems. Best to throw it out!

Have you ever noticed a few green or black spots of mold on the slice of bread or cheese you were about to eat? If the spots are small and look easy to pinch off, it’s pretty tempting to try salvaging. But, you run the risk of getting sick!

First, it’s important to know that simply cutting or scrapping mold off your bread, strawberry, etc. won’t save you from ingesting mold. The mold has already rooted itself in your food, so what you're looking at are surface spores. Even if you no longer see it, the mold has already made its home in your food. So yes, your piece of bread or cheese is more contaminated than you think!

Consuming moldy food can be harmful. Bacteria can grow along with the mold, and it’s easy for mold to contaminate porous foods like bread.

For example, black bread mold is a rarer, but very dangerous mold that grows on bread. It can cause serious infection. It’s best to toss out the moldy bread!

Mycotoxins, a toxic substance, can be produced by certain molds usually found in grain and nut crops. Mycotoxins can also contaminate apples, celery, grapes and other produce. Consumption of mycotoxins can cause respiratory problems and allergic reactions.

Additionally, if you see mold on any of the following, throw it away:

  • Lunch meat
  • Bacon
  • Hot dogs
  • Cooked pasta
  • Cream or cottage cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Peaches
  • Peanut better
  • Jelly (mycotoxins commonly found within the mold in jams and jellies)
  • And yes… bread!

A few food items you can cut the mold off from include:

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Hard cheese
  • Hard salami
  • Dry-cured country hams

Best advice: When in doubt, throw it out! 

Our Promise: We're Here to Help 365 Days, Every Day!

5/7/2024 (Permalink)

fire damage on home exterior Emergencies don’t wait to happen on a day that’s convenient for us. A house fire or an office flood can happen anytime; we are ready to help 24/7!

Let's be real: Emergencies don’t wait to happen on a day that’s convenient for us. A house fire or an office flood won’t wait until our birthday is over or until Christmas Day comes to an end.

It's why Team Gutierrez of SERVPRO® of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO® of Silver Spring North stands ready for when tragedy strikes, whenever that may be. It doesn’t matter if it’s Easter morning or New Year’s Eve. Life happens, and we are ready to help!

At SERVPRO, we want to make sure whatever nature might throw your way, that we are here to help with the cleanup & restoration of your property! Whether it’s water damage, fire damage, storm damage, or an issue with mold, we are here to help 24/7, 365 days a year, and “Faster to any size disaster” at that!

Facing a disaster can be terrifying, and dealing with its effects is very stressful. We hope to diminish some of that stress.

We know the importance of reliability. We are a trusted and widely known brand in Montgomery County, as well as Prince George's County and beyond the DMV. As a family-owned business for 44+ years, we pride ourselves on fast response, quality service and excellent customer care!

Give us a call anytime, 301-340-1313.

Working from home? These tips may help!

5/7/2024 (Permalink)

clean home office with a desk Arrange your workspace at home in a way you’ll be the most organized and least distracted.

A growing number of workers continue to work from home well after the 2020 pandemic is over. The consensus is that many workplaces and how America conducts business have shifted in recent years, making use of the Internet and online tools such as Zoom and Teams for meetings.

So if you have transitioned from working in an office to working in your home, you’ve had to make many adjustments! SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North offer these tips to help make the best of working from home:

  • Arrange your workspace in a way you’ll be the most organized and the least distracted
  • Inform your family members or roommates of your work schedule and create rules to diminish disruptions and distractions. Talking to family and friends is very tempting, so you may need to close your door or drown out chatter with classical music
  • Create a schedule that you follow each day, including clearly defined work hours
  • Learn something new! Watch webinars or attend a virtual training your company may offer
  • Keep the communication going! Call, text or email regularly 
  • Take a break! Make sure you know your company’s break policy, and take advantage of it. Go for a walk to take in sunshine during your break before having to return back indoors to complete your assignments
  • Keep an agenda book or calendar. Write down deadlines and meeting dates, as these can be easy to forget when working from home
  • Turn off the notifications on your personal phone (such as Instagram and Twitter notifications) to minimize getting distracted from your work

We hope these tips help and wish you much success!

Now is the time to prepare for a ‘turbulent’ 2024 Hurricane Season!

5/3/2024 (Permalink)

storm damage with U.S. flag A turbulent hurricane season is predicted for 2024. Now is the time to prepare your family & property!

Meteorologists are predicting 2024 to be one of the most turbulent hurricane seasons on record, with 24 named storms and 11 hurricanes forecasted. Six of those hurricanes are predicted to reach Category 3 status or stronger.

“The 2024 Atlantic hurricane season is forecast to feature well above the historical average number of tropical storms, hurricanes, major hurricanes and direct U.S. impacts," AccuWeather Lead Hurricane Forecaster Alex DaSilva said in an article.

Jonathan Belles, a graphics meteorologist and writer for, wrote that bigger impact from the hurricanes is likely this year. “Forecasters are also worried about more landfalls this season due to a troubling setup for storm movement,” he wrote.

Unlike last season, “a stronger high-pressure system is expected to set up shop near Bermuda and the Azores, which should deflect more storms westward toward the Caribbean and the United States,” Belles wrote.

As a restoration company – SERVPRO® Team Gutierrez of Rockville, Olney & Silver Spring North, as well as our sister franchises in Prince George’s County SERVPRO of Laurel & Beltsville/Greenbelt – is always prepared for disasters, and especially Hurricane Season that begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

Now is a good time to prepare your family and your property to help keep you safe & minimize response time. The American Red Cross offers these Hurricane Safety tips:

Plan to Evacuate

  • If advised to evacuate, do so immediately and go to a safe place.
  • Know where you will go, how you will get there, and where you will stay.
  • Plan well in advance if you will need help leaving or use public transportation.
  • Mobile & trailer homes and recreational vehicles (RVs) cannot provide safe shelter from tropical-storm or hurricane-force winds.

Plan to Shelter Safely

  • Be ready to live without power, water, gas, phone, and internet for a long time.
  • Practice going to a designated safe shelter for high winds. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level that is not likely to flood.
  • If you are in an area that is likely to flood, designate a location on higher ground that you can move to before floodwaters reach you.

Storm & water damage in your property can cause further damage if not mitigated swiftly and properly. That’s why our SERVPRO emergency response teams are on call 24/7 to help.

We have trained & experienced manpower, state-of-the-art equipment, and tried-and-true method to restore your property to preloss condition, “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call and see why our SERVPRO brand has been consistently ranked #1 by Entrepreneur magazine in the restoration services category for 22 years. 301-340-1313.

Keeping duct system clean can save money

5/3/2024 (Permalink)

duct system Keeping your duct system clean not only keeps a healthy home, but saves money!

Dust, pet dander and other containments from everyday living are circulated through your ducts and can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC heating and cooling system, causing it to work much harder.

Keeping the ductwork clean can extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which saves money.

Duct Cleaning can:

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

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, keeping your duct system clean should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

These contaminants from day to day living are sucked into your HVAC system and recirculated throughout your home over and over. This causes a buildup over time inside the ductwork. This buildup can cause problems for people with asthma and other respiratory health conditions, auto immune disorders and environmental allergies. 

According to the EPA, "a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.”

Cleaning your ducts can sweep away years of dust and dirt, helping to reduce potential for damage and health risks.

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

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

Planning for those unexpected Spring & Summer storms

5/3/2024 (Permalink)

storm damage Spring & Summer storms can occur anytime. Be prepared!

SERVPRO® of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North want you to be ready for those unexpected Spring & Summer storms.

A spring or summer storm happens quite often in Maryland including our Montgomery County. There are many possibilities of damage from such storms, whether from wind, heavy rain, or lightning. Wind can cause structural damage to your home or business, heavy rain can lead to flooding and if lightning strikes on your property, it is at risk of a fire.  

If you know a storm is coming, take these initiatives to ensure safety:

  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment.

During the storm, remain calm and be aware.

  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with cords.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.

After the Storm, BE SAFE! It may not be storming anymore but the damage can still affect you.

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately to 911.

If you are caught off-guard to a dangerous storm that caused damage to your property, we have an Emergency Response Team 24/7 specially-trained to deal with the mess of a storm. Let SERVPRO Team Gutierrez be the experts you need in your time of crisis! 301-340-1313.

Be ready for Hurricane Season with our SERVPRO Ready Plan!

5/3/2024 (Permalink)

Tree down over deck due to storm The hurricane season runs June 1 thru Nov. 30. Best be prepared with our SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan, or ERP.

Hurricane Season starts June 1 and weather forecasters are predicting an overactive storm season. Are you prepared for a big storm?

Now is a good time to have a plan – a SERVPRO® Ready Plan – in the event of an unexpected natural disaster!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts overactive activity, with 24 named storms, 11 of which will become hurricanes and 6 of which will reach Category 3 status or stronger.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan, or ERP, is a FREE tool for property managers, risk managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows the user to create an emergency ready profile of their facility containing critical information to help speed up response time after fire or water damage. Help is then just a few clicks away.

Contact SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North at 301-340-1313 today so we can help you prepare your free ERP assessment!

Clean dryer vents often to prevent a fire

4/30/2024 (Permalink)

dryer catches fire Empty or clean your dryer vent after each load to help prevent a fire disaster!

It can take minutes, but can prevent a fire that may cost a life or more.

Some 34% of home fires are caused by failure to clean the vent in a clothes dryer. A lint fire is a dangerous possibility. To avoid the hazard on lint buildup, occasionally pull out the vent and clean. Thoroughly dry the lint screen with a clean towel. You can also use a vacuum to clean the lint trap filter. SERVPRO® of Rockville-Olney can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

The National Fire Protection Agency gives us advice on how to keep your vents clean. Clean the lint filter before and after each load. It is vital to clean your dryer vents every so often to ensure your safety.

Here are some signs that your dryer vent may need to be cleaned:

  • Drying times are taking longer.
  • Your dryer is getting hot when you’re using it and your clothes are being damaged.
  • You can’t see any steam or head any noise outside your house at the wall vent when you run the dryer.

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, Team Gutierrez wants to make sure you are taking the right precautions to avoid a house fire. If you do experience a fire caused by your dyer or any other appliances in your home call us today! 301-340-1313.

Dealing with Severe Mold after 48 hours

4/30/2024 (Permalink)

black mold at floor corner Two days of water damage can turn into mold. Call the professionals for mitigation.

When it comes to residential water damage, there is a clear deadline that all technicians must follow. The 48-hour window is crucial for repairs. Up until this point, almost all flood affected materials can be dried and restored to their original condition.

After this point, repairs are still possible, but they are tough, and the outcome is not certain. Part of the reason for this is because two days is all that’s needed for flooding to turn into mold in homes.

At SERVPRO® of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, we are trained to handle these severe cases and can use a variety of strategies to neutralize mold spores and prevent them from spreading. Keep reading to find out what happens to household materials after the window has passed and mold develops.

Heavily affected areas of carpet are hard to clean. Usually, it is more economical to remove and replace them. We can help you to do this, as we have a wealth of industry contacts. New flooring is installed only after the subflooring is completely dry. It requires the use of high-powered fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers to draw water vapor out of materials. Concrete and cinder block surfaces respond very well to dehumidification and water extraction using motorized pumps.

Wallboard, which is not dry within 48 hours (after the initial incident), requires removal. However, it is rare for the whole wall to need disposal. The SERVPRO technicians measure 12 inches above the water line and take away all material beneath this boundary. It leaves a hole, which is helpful for drying. Fans are either pointed up into the cavity or placed inside it to deal with wet conditions between the boards. New wallboard only gets installed once the restoration experts have tested the moisture levels and found them to be safe and suitable.

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North specialize in fast, effective mold damage repairs. Our remediation strategies are designed to protect your home from further damage and mold breakouts.

Call SERVPRO Team Gutierrez at (301) 340-1313. We're here to help 24/7!