Preparing for colder temperature
Insulate your water pipes can help protect from cold temperature burst.
With Winter approaching, there are simple steps that can be taken to ensure your home is ready to withstand the cold temperatures. Most steps are inexpensive and take little time, but can help avoid property damage that can be costly to repair.
Following are a few tips to consider before Winter arrives:
1) Seal off drafty windows and patio doors with clear plastic.
2) Insulate the hot water lines around your hot water heater and turn down the temperature to the "warm" setting.
3) Replace your furnace filter.
4) Use a programmable thermostat to reduce heating costs when no one is home.
5) Keep all vents and baseboard heaters clean.
6) Install foam insulators behind the face plates of light switches and electrical outlets.
7) Remove any window unit air conditioners.
8) Shut the vents in rooms that aren't used.
In the unfortunate event you experience a pipe burst or other water damage in your home or business, SERVPRO Team Gutierrez of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring is here to help 24/7 and just a phone call away. 301-340-1313.
Time to Winterize Your Property, to Avoid Pipe Bursts & Other Water Issues
Pipe burst or other water-related damages? SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney is a phone call away. 301-340-1313
With Winter just weeks away, we are reminding our customers & friends in Montgomery County and surrounding Maryland areas to walk around your home and yard and take a few simple steps to winterize your property.
The below 30 temperatures can freeze exposed water pipes. In the event you have frozen pipes, take these steps to be safe and help prevent further damage:
- First, find your home’s main water supply and shut it off.
- Next, turn off your main electrical supply to reduce the risk of electrical shock and damage to circuits and electrical appliances.
- If the water comes from a hot water pipe, shut the main valve to your hot water heater as well.
- Call a plumber for help as soon as possible.
- Your safety is most important. Please do not attempt potentially dangerous repairs. Be aware of submerged electrical outlets, appliances or chemicals that may be inside standing water.
The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) offers the following tips to winterize your pipes and doors & windows this winter:
- Make sure to drain outdoor water spigots and winterize water pipes. You can winterize water pipes by locating your hose bib shut-off valve, which may be in a basement or crawl space, and turning it off at the source. For extra protection, purchase a Styrofoam cover that attaches over the outdoor spigots to keep them from freezing.
- You may also want to shut off water to exterior faucets and drain sprinkler systems for extra protection against freezing pipes and water lines.
- Heat lost through windows and doors can account for up to 30 percent of home energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. To keep heat in the house, look for cracks or gaps in the exterior caulking, check seals around exterior door and add caulking or weather stripping as needed. While these do-it-yourself fixes can reduce heat loss, a professional energy assessment can provide additional insights into areas where you may be losing heat and recommend fixes. Call your utility company to ask about their services or get a recommendation for a pro.
Check out this article from the AARP website for more tips to winterize your home and save money:
In the event you experience pipe bursts and other water-related damages to your home or business property, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & SERVPRO of Silver Spring North are available 24/7 to respond to water damage emergencies. We are a water & fire cleanup and restoration company and can do the job right the first time!
Call us 24/7 at 301-340-1313.
Tips for Purer Air in Your Home
There are many benefits to having house plants!
Why not show your home or office some love during this time of year! Not only can plants and candles add beauty and pleasant scent to your spaces, they have health benefits as well, by purifying the indoor air and add a sense of calm.
Below are a few tips to improve the quality of your already amazing property:
- Buy a few beeswax candles (but be sure to never leave them unattended!). Beeswax candles are amazing air purifiers due to their release of negative ions, which cancel out many of the already existing positive ions in the air, which have been released from dust, pollen, etc.
- Not into candles? Salt lamps have the same effect!
- Invest in house plants! Just make sure they are pet friendly if you have a four-legged friend in the household! House plants have numerous benefits, including an increase in oxygen, allergy relief and mood-boosting properties. They also absorb toxins. A few house plants to consider:
- Spider plant
- English ivy
- Dragon tree
- Peace lily
- Activated charcoal also purifies the air. Additionally, it removes odor.
- Have a smelly refrigerator in the work lounge or in your kitchen? Both activated charcoal and baking soda work as agents to eliminate odor. Just place an opened jar or bowl of activated charcoal or an opened box of baking soda inside the refrigerator, and say goodbye to that smell!
- Smell something different? Something musty? It could be mold! Have your home checked by a professional (such as your SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North!) as mold can be hazardous to breathe in.
- Replace older appliance and fixtures with newer, energy-efficient ones.
And if you do have visible mold, our SERVPRO technicians can clean up & mitigate. Just give us a call, 301-340-1313.
Does Mold Die in the Winter?
If you see condensation on windows from inside, be sure to dry the area! Keeping windows closed keeps out the cold, but also shuts out ventilation.
Another cold front is on its way to Maryland and as the area gets more of those as Winter arrives, you may wonder if mold is still a concern even in extreme cold temperatures. Will snow or ice wipe it out?
Unfortunately, no. If you were trying to find a benefit of painfully cold temperatures, this certainly isn’t one.
While the cold can deactivate mold spores, warmer weather has the ability to quickly reactivate them. The spores will then begin to grow again. So watch out! The cold winter months of the Rockville, Olney and Silver Spring region does not put your home or office in the clear from mold growth.
Here are a few tips to prevent mold growth in your home or commercial property during the winter months:
- Make sure your pipes are insulated to ensure they will not crack or burst
- Check the seals on your windows and doors. Are they in good condition? This is important in keeping moisture out!
- Is there water collecting on the ground around your building? Sometimes snowmelt can create puddles, which turns into moisture seeping into your home or office. If this is the case, find a way to drain the water (ground around your building should slope away from the foundation).
- If you are indoors and see condensation on pipes, windows or walls, dry the area completely and investigate the cause. Is there a leak? Is there a reason why there is high humidity?
- Oftentimes, there will be high humidity in a building during the winter due to lack of ventilation. Having the windows closed will keep the cold air out, but also shuts out ventilation/fresh air.
If you experience a mold issue or simply want to have your home or commercial building inspected, contact SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or SERVPRO of Silver Spring North. We are the area’s mold damage mitigation experts, serving the area for 43+ years! 301-340-1313.
Got a BIG water or fire damage? We've got the Equipment & Manpower!
In over your head with a water or fire disaster? Don't panic! Our Disaster Recovery Team is here to help 24/7.
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North are equipped with the most advanced tools and with the most reliable and competent vehicles, including huge tractor trailers! Our tractor trailers are spacious enough to carry the equipment and tools needed to complete any size job! From condominiums to restaurants, office buildings to schools, no job is too large for us.
Large or small, our team is trained on how to get the job right the first time to your utmost satisfaction. With careful precision and efficiency, our awesome Commercial Large Loss Division will be “Faster to any size disaster.”
We know you’re in a hurry to get back into the swing of things. The damage caused by fire, water, etc. not only interrupts your daily life, but also the lives of your employees and clients. That’s why we at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North are right on the job and will completely remediate and restore your property with speed and accuracy.
You can rest assured knowing we are dedicated to handing your property back to you just the way it was before the damage occurred. Our commercial operations manager will personally supervise your case from start to finish to ensure timeliness and full communication throughout the entire process.
We are here 24/7, 365 days a year. Call us, SERVPRO Team Gutierrez at 301-340-1313.
Safety tips to prevent Christmas tree & house fires
Christmas isn't Christmas without a tree with lights! But follow these safety tips to prevent a fire!
With Thanksgiving just a week away, Christmas is near and for many, putting up a holiday tree is a post-Thanksgiving ritual!
During the winter holiday season, we notice a pattern of catastrophes, many caused by ovens, stoves and yes, Christmas trees! Due to the business 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 these tips to help keep you & your family safe and happy during this 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!
- It’s cold, but be careful where you place space heaters. They should always be at least 3 feet away from furniture, etc. and even farther from Christmas trees.
Team Gutierrez at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North wishes our customers and friends a happy & safe holiday season!
For more fire safety tips, check out our website:
Mold: We cannot ignore it, but we can prevent it
Mold can grow just about anywhere in our home or business. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney can help with mold remediation.
Mold can be found just about anywhere around us, and there’s always some level of mold or mildew in our home or business building.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following tips to help prevent mold growth in your home:
- Keep humidity levels in your home as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. You can buy a meter to check your home’s humidity at a home improvement store. Humidity levels change over the course of a day so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
- Be sure the air in your home flows freely. Use exhaust fans that vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Clean up and dry out your home fully and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after a flood.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting. You can buy mold inhibitors at paint and home improvement stores.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried right away. Think about not using carpet in places like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
- To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency’s book A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home at www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/moldguide12.pdf
To learn more about mold, how to clean it and whether to test for mold in your home, check out this article by CDC:
In the event you have severe and visible mold in your home or business, leave it to Team Gutierrez at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North. We are the experts on mold remediation, as well as fire & water cleanup and restoration. Call us 24/7 at 301-340-1313.
We're 'Faster to Any Size Disaster' because Flooding doesn't wait
Water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither does SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North.
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & SERVPRO of Silver Spring North provide emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week — including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture and beyond. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North crews arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning & restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call SERVPRO Team Gutierrez 24/7 – 301-340-1313
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & SERVPRO of Silver Spring North specialize in the cleanup, restoration and reconstruction of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
- OCT - Odor Control Technician
- IICRC Certified Firm
- RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
- AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
- HST - Health and safety Technician
- ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
- SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
- CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
- RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
- WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
- ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
Remediating Mold in Your Rockville, Olney or Silver Spring Home
Mold remediation is a job for the professionals. Let SERVPRO Team Gutierrez help!
SERVPRO® uses different cleaning methods for each unique surface to remediate mold
Mold is often undetectable in homes until it has become a significant problem. Not every type of mold has that distinctive, ‘musty’ odor and if the growth started behind a wall or in the attic, the smell is not noticeable until the mold has grown into a large colony of spores.
Restoring a home due to the effects of mold damage is a task that needs a professional service. SERVPRO Team Gutierrez keeps a trained crew on 24-hour notice to support our neighbors and customers. We have some of the best-trained personnel in the industry to clean mold from the property and safely remove it from each home.
These technicians first determine the type of surface infested. This inspection decides both the cleaning methods needed and how much time may be required to complete the job. We usually divide surfaces into porous, nonporous, and semi-porous categories.
Porous surfaces are typically building materials and fabrics; drywall and upholstery for example. They are often cleanable, but if the mold is very thick or has grown into the material, we dispose of it. Our cleaning methods for these surfaces involve vacuuming them with special HEPA filters that catch tiny amounts of loose mold, even a single spore.
After finishing vacuuming, we move on to using spray bottles with an antimicrobial cleaner and foaming agents to dampen the surface. Wetting loosens the mold and allows technicians to remove it with cloths and sponges.
Nonporous surfaces are the easiest to clean. This category includes metal and glass tabletops as well as marble and smooth stone kitchen countertops. In many cases, we can remove the mold with dry cloths and sponges. Technicians wipe down the surfaces from top to bottom to prevent accidentally leaving spores at the top or along the sides. If the mold layer is thick, we vacuum it first before dry wiping.
Semi-porous surfaces (concrete and wood decks for example) require methods not acceptable on other surfaces. Affected surfaces may need sanding to wire brushing and other abrasive tools to dig out the mold. The cleaners we use on these surfaces would mar or otherwise destroy glass and metal surfaces. If mold has penetrated the surface of the wood or concrete, technicians may have to sand them down by hand or with a power sander to remove it.
Returning your home to its pre-mold condition is not a quick or easy set of processes. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North has years of experience in helping our customers through each step to put you back into your home. Call (301) 340-1313 today to set up an inspection.
We can help restore cherished photos damaged by water
If the pictures are old, consult a professional photograph restorer; meantime, have the wet images dry out.
If you’ve experienced a flood in your home, chances are many of your belongings were damaged by the waters. Among your valuables, your photographs are most likely one of your most personal and cherished items.
Whatever the loss, losing pictures to a flood can be one of the most devastating aspects. You feel powerless as these family heirlooms passed down for decades or a priceless image is seemingly damaged and potentially lost due to the waters of the flood.
Don’t stress too much! There may be hope.
There are plenty of tips on how to salvage your photos. Surprisingly, most can be cleaned and dried.
Follow the steps promptly to avoid damage. Please note, you should follow these steps within at most two days, or else they will begin to mold and stick together.
- Gently remove the photographs from the water. If any pictures are stuck together, carefully separate. If they will not part easily, do not force a separation.
- Using cold, clean water, rinse each side of the picture. This way, any dirt will come off.
- On an indoor flat surface, lay down paper towels. Lay the photo, face-up, on the paper towel, and replace the paper towel (as it will get wet) with a dry one each hour, until completely dried.
If you want to want to put the drying process on hold, place the wet photos (after rinsing with cold, clean water) between sheets of wax paper before storing them in an airtight plastic bag in the freezer.
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North can help restore your valuables. If you are concerned about water damage in your home (walls, floors, etc.), we will restore your home, too. We are the water damage restoration experts!
If you have any questions or needs, give us a call today at 301-340-1313.