Recent Posts

Spring is near... but stay prepared for late winter storm!

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

blue sky with smoke Blue sky and balmy weather are nice, but stay prepared for late-winter surprises!

Our DMV region is enjoying some balmy weather in early February... until the next cold blast with temps dipping to the teens overnight later in the week!

But that's the norm in DC and Maryland! Balmy weather one day; frigid to near-freeze temperature the next. To wear a sweater or not. To bring in the plants or not…

Spring weather can be unpredictable, as many of us here in the Washington, D.C. region have experienced a time or two. Remember the heavy April snowfall over a decade ago? And the wind gusts of 20-30+ mph every now and then?

While we can’t predict when severe weather hits, we can always plan for those unexpected storms to minimize injury to ourselves and damages to our properties. A viable plan of action for storms, floods, tornadoes, even fires, can save lives and costly repairs in the aftermath of severe weather that can occur, even within the same day.

Mark Twain said it best: “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”

Preparing an emergency kit to keep on hand is a great start to advance planning for storms. Some items to include, as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
  • An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and routes to safety from each room
  • A list of important personal information, including:
    • telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends
    • insurance and property information
    • telephone numbers of utility companies
    • medical information
  • A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • A first-aid kit, which may include:
    • non-latex gloves
    • assortment of adhesive bandages
    • antibiotic ointment
    • sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
    • absorbent compress dressings
    • tweezers
    • scissors
    • adhesive cloth tape
    • aspirin packets

Being prepared & proactive for storms and severe weather can save lives and minimize costly repairs to damaged property. Oftentimes we have little if any time to prepare for an approaching storm. For families with young children, a mock emergency drill may be a fun yet helpful activity. Show them where to go; where emergency supplies are stored; and make sure everyone in the family knows where & how to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your home.

Preparedness and swift response may save a life or two!

When all’s settled and you find your damaged properties needing cleanup & restoration, call us – SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North – 24/7 at 301-340-1313.

We are the area’s water & storm damage experts and are always “Faster to any size disaster.” Large or small, we will restore your water-damaged property, residential or commercial, with efficiency and detail.

Keeping schools, daycares & other buildings SERVPRO-clean is good for public safety

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Clean decal When a structure is sanitized & disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure.

Though we have moved forward since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, many public facilities such as schools, daycares, hospitals, government buildings throughout Montgomery County, Maryland are still vigilant about keeping their facilities cleaned & sanitized for public safety.

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North continue to provide the SERVPRO 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 sister franchises SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, we continue with our disinfecting service as businesses small & large are in keeping their workplaces safe for employees and customers. 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.

Contact us today at 301-340-1313 if we can help. We are locally-owned and operating for 43+ years, and always open & ready to help!  

Routine duct cleaning keeps indoor air safe & extends HVAC system's life span

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

vent cleaning Routine duct cleaning is recommended to keep your indoor air safe, and your HVAC system running efficiently.

Dust, pet dander and other containments from everyday living are circulated through your ducts and can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC heating & 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 you 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 ductwork 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. 

The EPA’s website states: “In the last several years, 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 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 SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North today to schedule a cleaning! 301-340-1313.

Prevent a house fire by cleaning your dryer vents regularly

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

fire in dryer duct Routine cleaning of your dryer vent can prevent a home fire.

Did you know that 34% of home fires are caused by failure to clean the vent in a clothe 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 & Silver Spring North can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

The National Fire Protection Agency suggests we 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 hear any noise outside your house at the wall vent when you run the dryer.

If you do experience a fire caused by your dryer or any other appliances in your home, call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North at 301-340-1313. Our teams stand ready 24/7 to clean up and restore your property from fire, smoke, water, mold and biohazards such as sewer and graffiti.

Team Gutierrez stands ready for storm response large or small

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

five crew members in black shirts Our crew chiefs & their teams are always ready to respond to storm damage of any size. Count on us!

Disasters call for swift response.

Which is why our crew chiefs & teams at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North stand ready for when & where help is needed.

Extreme cold weather, which can strike anytime in the Northeast including Washington D.C., Maryland & Virginia, can cause frozen pipes that result in water damage. The water damage can be extensive, such as those in tall buildings that can cause water to trickle down from the top and wreak havoc to ceilings and walls in addition to floorings, furniture and other items.

In homes, where pipes are unheated or partially heated, are also at risk of freezing. 

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 experts offer these suggestions: 

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.

Black, Gray or Clean Water. What's the Difference?

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

yellow boots in flood water If you had flood water in your home or business recently, may have it checked out for toxic contaminants.

If your home floods, you’ll probably wonder how safe the water is.

Should you retrieve possessions from the puddles left behind? If you forgot to wear gloves and boots, will soap and water be enough to rid the germs from your hands?

Those are excellent questions.

First, you must identify the water source.

Clean water will not cause an immediate threat. It contains no contaminants and originates from toilet holding tanks, snow melt, rain, appliances such as a broken refrigerator, air conditioning units, etc.

Gray water contains chemical or biological contaminates, and therefore, may pose some health risk. It originates from washing machines, showers, sinks, aquariums, etc.

Black water causes an immediate threat due to the expected contaminants in it, including but not limited to, viruses, bacteria and protozoan. This water originates from toilets and floodwaters. Oftentimes, after a flood, water collect soils, sewage, etc. which contain harmful contaminants, which explains why it’s marked as "black water." 

However, please note that as these waters sit, they can advance to a more serious level. For instance, after sitting for two days, clean water can turn into gray water. This is why water removal should be handled immediately.

Contact with contaminated water can cause vomiting, nausea, parasitic illness and fever.

If you’re not sure of the source, contact a professional.                           

If you’re dealing with gray or black water, it’s very important to get help as soon as possible. Keep in mind that if it’s clean water, and it’s been sitting for over 48 hours, it should be treated as a gray water problem.

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we are water damage and biohazard experts. We will efficiently restore any water damage and carefully treat and disinfect your home, so you feel safe in it again.

Take a look at our website for more details: www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/sewage-cleanup

Does your Rockville, Silver Spring North, Olney, Sandy Spring, or Laytonsville home or office need restoration or cleanup? Call us today at 301-340-1313, and we will give you peace of mind!

Holiday & Christmas tree safety tips

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

christmas tree with santa decoration Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year. Follow these safety tips to prevent such disasters.

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show the holidays are a high-risk time for home fires. Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year, and other holiday decorations are the cause of another 1,170 fires.

Here are some tips to keep your home safe this holiday season: 

•Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.

•Keep trees at least 3 feet away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process.

•Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree.

•Always inspect light sets before placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.

•Do not overload electrical circuits.

•Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house and before going to bed.

•Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

•Install and ensure smoke alarms work inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

In the unfortunate event you have a fire, call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, 301-340-1313. We are here 24/7 to make it "Like it never even happened."

Water stains on your ceiling? Call us ASAP!

12/13/2022 (Permalink)

water stain on ceiling Call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney as soon as possible to get those water stains on your ceilings checked out!

Water stains aren’t something to ignore. Instead, they are indicators of an urgent matter!

If you see water stain(s) on your ceiling, you should request help promptly.

Water stains can mean:

  • Leaky pipe(s)
  • Old caulking
  • Problem with roof
  • Poor insulation

Whatever is above your ceiling is typically the source of the moisture issue. Is your property’s roof or a bathroom above the water stain? That may just be the source of the problem. However, if you cannot determine a water source above the stain, you may have a leaky pipe.

Water seepage from old caulking or piping in disrepair are other common sources of water stains. It’s very important that damaged or old pipes are replaced to avoid leaking or “sweating.”

After a snowstorm or even a rain downpour, water stains can show up on your ceiling. For instance, rain can leak through from the gutter. Therefore, you have a roofing issue upon your property.

However, if an ice dam forms on your roof and water is able to seep in, it’s a good indicator of a need to improve the insulation.

Sometimes, a professional may need to remove a portion of the ceiling, and possibly the wall, to completely restore and fix the affected area for good.

Remember, don't put off too long to deal with the stain! Applying a quick coat of paint over the stain can make a temporarily, cosmetic difference, but oftentime, the stain will bleed right through the new paint.

Instead, call a professional to ensure the source of the water is correctly identified and handled properly. Ignoring the issue can lead to expensive repairs. It’s much better to catch the problem sooner than having to have sections of your ceiling teared down and replaced.

Call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North to have water stains in your home or office checked out. We are the area’s water damage experts and are “Faster to any size disaster.” Large or small, we will restore your water-damaged property with efficiency and detail.

We are here 24/7. 301-340-1313.   

Best to call SERVPRO when it comes to water damage restoration!

12/13/2022 (Permalink)

green air dryer Water damage can lead to further problems if not taken care of swiftly. SERVPRO Rockville-Olney has the manpower & equipment to respond quickly.

When a flood or any other water events like supply line break or pipe break destroys your home or business, it's crucial to act quickly by acquiring professional flood restoration services, like those offered by SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North. Cleaning up water damage involves more than just drying and wiping the residue away.

Additionally, delaying makes the damage worse because the water will seep into the walls, furnishings, floors, which may result in mildew and mold growth. Water mitigation can be devastating, but when one gets professional services, restoring the home becomes easier and you can put the traumatic event behind.

Water damage mitigation

Water/flood damage is the destructive process that occurs when water gets into a building. This can be caused by a pipe break, supply line break, or floods after heavy rains. Water in a home or water in a business can cause damage like oxidation of metal (rust), rotting wood, composite building materials delamination, and microbial growth. Immediately water seeps into the building materials, a chemical reaction begins to occur hence breaking down the strength of the material. In case water cleanup and drying aren't done immediately, the stability of the structure can be compromised. This makes the flooded home unsafe for human occupancy. Sometimes the effect just comes from a simple pipe break.

Restoration Solutions

The first step for handling flood damage when you have a flooded home is emergency mitigation. This involves locating the cause of the problem (be it a pipe leak or a supply line break) and eliminating the problem. The next step in managing water in home or water in business damage would be assessing the water damage and any dangers to humans. All these services are to be handled by licensed and trained water cleanup professionals. What follows is the drying and dehumidifying of all the affected areas.

After our SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney team assesses the property, equipment as well as other items to know if the contents can be restored are brought in. Mold mitigation services may be necessary as they help get rid of any microbial growth associated with a flooded home.

Once the structure is safe for occupation, your family or employees can get back to their normal operations.

Reasons to get professional help

Rapid restoration
Tackling the task of restoring your flooded home or business after flood damage can be slow and exhausting. This increase the probability of further damage especially when the cause of the problem, like supply line break or pipe break, hasn't been addressed. By working with SERVPRO, water damage mitigation becomes manageable. The water cleanup and drying process is handled efficiently and quickly by flood damage professionals with the right equipment.

Preventing mold and mildew
In case you have experienced mildew or mold after water in home or water in business, you know how hard it is to get rid of the problem. Prompt water and flood damage restoration can reduce the chances of mold growth.

Insurance issues
When you have water or flood damage coverage, the mitigation firm will assist you to deal with the needed procedures and forms. Here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, our team can help to document the losses they so that they can get the proper settlement from the insurance company. 

Although hiring restoration experts may cost a bit more, the expenses can't compare to the costs incurred if you do nothing or decide to handle the restoration by yourself. Oftentimes there are problems beyond the wet surface that the non-professional eyes cannot see. It's always best to call a professional when it comes to water damage!

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & SERVPRO of Silver Spring North teams are always here to help. 301-340-1313.

We use different method for each surface to remediate mold

12/13/2022 (Permalink)

mold on multi-color surface If not treated properly & efficiently, mold can lead to other problems around the home, and to your health. We can help!

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 of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North have trained crews on 24-hour notice to support our neighbors and customers. We have some of the best-trained personnel in the industry to safely remove & remediate mold from the property.

The 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 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, Silver Spring North and our Prince George's franchises SERVPRO of Laurel/Greenbelt-Beltsville have years of experience in helping our customers through each step, to put you back into your home.

Call us at 301-340-1313 today to set up an inspection.