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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How to Salvage Pictures After a Flood

11/13/2020 (Permalink)

Photographs in a box If the pictures are quite old, consult a professional photograph restorer, but in the meanwhile, have the wet images drying. 

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. Using cold, clean water, rinse each side of the picture. This way, any dirt will come off.
  3. 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. 

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North want your valuables to be restored to you at ease. If you are concerned about water damage in your home (walls, floors, etc.), we will restore your home to you at ease too. We are the water damage experts!

If you have any questions or needs, give us a call today at (301) 340-1313.

What's Causing the Odor in Your Montgomery County, MD Home?

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Two candles Candles can be an easy (but temporary and sometimes dangerous) mask for odors. Call us today if you'd like to make the odor removal permanent!

Do you have an odor in your Rockville-Olney or Silver Spring North residence or commercial building?

If so, you might ask where it’s coming from. Is there a specific source that’s letting off this smell? What’s causing it, and how can it be eliminated once and for all?

Sometimes, an odor can originate from a deceased animal trapped in your attic. That’s a simpler cleanup. Other times, the odor could be much more difficult to pinpoint. When the situation is more complex or dispersed, there’s more of a science to identifying the root of the issue.

This is when SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or SERVPRO of Silver Spring North steps in. Our highly trained technicians have taken IICRC technical classes to learn how to properly identify and remove odors.

Let’s get rid of this smell so that your personal chemical sensor (your nose!) agrees with the surrounding air once again!

Oftentimes, people try masking a serious odor. In attempt to scare the smell away, here are a few common methods used, but are either very temporary or to be used with caution:

  • Purchase and light a candle warmer
  • Spray a pleasant scent
  • Sprinkle baking soda everywhere (which can neutralize odors permanently, however, use caution or avoid if you have pets. If ingested, animals can become ill)
  • Cleaning furniture or walls with soapy water
  • Leaving windows open (which is sometimes a preventative measure to take, but can also allow additional moisture to travel inside depending on climate and temperatures)

If the odor stems from an issue such as mold, a gas leak, improper heating equipment, a blocked chimney, or spilled chemicals, the methods above might cover the smell for a short while, but will not be able to stop the smell from resurfacing. In many of these instances, the smell could lead to sickness or could even be fatal.

If you discover the source, and it’s an easy fix (rotting vegetables in your refrigerator, a bag of old gym shoes in your garage, food stuck in your drain because you forgot to use the garbage disposal, etc.), then you’re in luck. However, you will want to call a professional immediately if the circumstances seem more dangerous/hazardous or if you cannot pinpoint a harmless source after searching.

Leave it to SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North if you want a safe, thorough, and effective cleanup. With our extensive knowledge and latest, state-of-the-art equipment, we will have the smell source identified, located, and carefully eliminated.

Give us a call at (301) 340-1313 with any questions or needs for odor removal and deodorization, and see our page for more details https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/odor-removal-deodorization

Reasons for Professional Water Damage Restoration

11/6/2020 (Permalink)

Wet wood floor Call us today at 301-340-1313 if you have recently experienced water damage in your home or business.

When a flood or any other water events like supply line break or pipe break destroys your home, it's necessary for you to act quickly by getting professional flood restoration services. 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, and this 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 which occurs when water gets into a building. This can be caused by a pipe break, supply line break, or floods after it has rained heavily. 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 all the affected areas.

After the restoration company team assess the documents, equipment as well as other items to know if the contents can be restored or not. Mold mitigation services also come in handy as they help with getting 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 a reliable restoration company, water damage mitigation becomes manageable. The water cleanup and drying process is handled efficiently and quickly by flood damage professionals.

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 in, the mitigation firm will assist you to deal with the needed procedures and forms. The restoration company helps its clients to document the losses they suffered so that they can get the proper settlement from the insurance company. With the water cleanup company, you will get a list of the needed repairs and proof of damages in case the insurance company decides to dispute the claim.

In case you have suffered water in home or water in business damage, consider contacting a restoration company immediately to prevent further damage. Although hiring experts will cost you to get restoration services, the expenses can't compare to the costs you'll incur if you do nothing or decide to handle the restoration all by yourself.

What is the IICRC?

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

IICRC logo The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)

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.

Here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North, our 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. You can rest assure 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!

How to Conserve Water in a Commercial Building

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom faucet Follow these tips to conserve water and to save on your business' water bill!

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, but often times, 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 saves 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 that 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 dishwater. 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!

Follow These Very Important Mold Safety Measures

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Got mold? Call us today at 301-340-1313 for professional remediation and restoration services.

If you see visible mold on your property, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread this mold infestation throughout your building, office, store, or other property. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which 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 of 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 that 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

What You Should Do When Dealing with Fire Damage in Your Home

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Bedroom Fire damage can have extremely catastrophic effects on your property

Fire Damage on Residential or Commercial 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 anywhere. This can cause even more damage. Cooking fires and electrical shorts are common causes of Montgomery County fire damages. 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 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. We are always “Faster to any size disaster.” No job is too large or too small!

Safety Tips to Help Avoid a Kitchen Fire

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Reaching to take cookies out of oven Keep these tips in mind as you cook and bake treats for the holidays!

Did you know...

A majority of fires that take place in homes begin in the kitchen.

The holiday season is approaching, which means that many of us will be spending a lot more time in the kitchen. This also means that, with 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 those things 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, and prevent a major fire damage emergency from taking place in your home this season!

How to Keep Your Pet Safe During a Storm

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Sleeping cat It's important to make sure your pets are safe and comfortable during inclement weather!

Pets can face a lot of anxiety amidst a storm.

If you know a storm is approaching, or see the first sign of one, immediately bring your pet 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 any anxiety medication, administer the medication to them as soon as possible.

This brings us to our next point. It’s 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 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 with you. Create a list of surrounding lodging choices that are pet-friendly. See if you could drop off your furry friend 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 pet 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 instance of heavy rains beginning to come inside your home, and it begins to flood, move yourself and your pet to the highest location inside your home. Your pet 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 might either be in an unfamiliar room which 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. ASPCA has created a list of items you should include in your own kit. Check out their link! https://www.aspcapro.org/resource/saving-lives-shelter-health-poison-control/how-make-pet-first-aid-kit

How to Recover Items After Flooding

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

High waters and house Follow these tips if you have recently experienced flood damage in your home or office

If you’ve ever experienced a house flooding, 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 flooding, it’s essential you dry items within a 48 hour timeframe.

Below are a list of tips and suggestions on how to save 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. (Check out our other blog to learn more about sump pumps: https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/blog/post/247318/water-damage-restoration/sump-pump-failure-in-your-montgomery-county-home
  • Got soaked items? Quick! Take them out of your house. Allow them to try 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, 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 you have any questions about or needs for water damage restoration.

Faster to your Rockville-Olney or Silver Spring North Water Damage Event

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage Water damage caused by water heater leak.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and 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 more.  SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 301-340-1313

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • 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.

About SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North specialize in the cleanup and restoration 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.

Certifications

  • 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

Common Issues in Commercial Property

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Stairwell Problems your commercial property may face can be both visible and invisible.

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North, we offer many commercial services. From working in office buildings and restaurants, to government agencies and malls, we solve problems anywhere from water damage to mold damage and beyond.   

We realize it’s important to keep your commercial property in the best repair possible. Your building, both on the outside and inside, is oftentimes the face of the company.

Below, we have listed a few of the most common issues commercial properties face. You may want to take note of these issues and check your building for them. If you do come across any of these problems, it’s important to get them fixed immediately as holding off can increase the problem (and cost).

Check for the following (or you may need to hire a professional to investigate for some of these):

  • Leaks: From roofs, to gutters, to serious moisture buildup, water leaks can cause an assortment of problems including mold growth and rotting
  • Asbestos: If your building is older than 20 years, you should have it inspected for asbestos, which if present, can cause detrimental effects on one’s health
  • Cracking: Could possibly be a sign of an underlying problem in the building’s structure
  • Fire and safety regulations: Make sure your building and property meet all standards regarding the current safety and fire requirements
  • Infestation of bugs or rodents: Yikes! No one feels to comfortable working in a building knowing it’s home to an abundance of rodents. It also doesn’t look pleasant to visitors or clients when ants or gnats are buzzing around or see a few rodent droppings. Additionally, pests can damage the wiring of a building.
  • High energy costs: Keeping your commercial building in good repair can help keep your energy consumption at a manageable level. Also consider installing energy-efficient lighting and appliances. Consider creating energy and water-saving campaigns throughout your building. Make colorful posters and have prizes for whichever floor most actively participates, for example.
  • Electrical faults: Dead outlets, melting wires, and faulty circuits can cause fires. A trusted electrician should be called to check out the situation immediately.

As We Enter the Fall Season in Maryland

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Leaves on water With the change in season comes change in weather. Make sure your property is prepared!

As the summer heat dissipates in Maryland, we are now feeling the cool, dry fall air move in. On its way out, the humidity mixes with the drier air that’s on its way in. The encounter results in an increase of thunderstorms.

Gusty winds, heavy rainfall, and lightening 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, lightening, and hail can have devastating effects on your property.

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 extensive knowledge and quick action guarantee.

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 fall!

Commercial Property Water Removal

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Office buildings No job is too large for our SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North team!

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 a professional remediation service in, such as SERVPRO, 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 is out, and the area has been dried by our technicians at SERVPRO, we thoroughly inspect your property and figure out what has been affected and what is okay. We can then focus our effects on drying just what is damaged. This drying 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. Malfunctions can result from broken pipes, malfunctioning sprinkler systems, loose hoses and other plumbing sources.

Local Flooding
Flooding can come from sudden, heavy local rain falls. Downpours this intense can flood gutters, drains, and down spouts quickly, and the overflow can cause severe water damage to your business.

Long-Term Moisture And Humidity
Small leaks usually hide and are and overlooked, however, over time 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 which can be humid, leading to similar water and mold issues. Standing water can fast turn into damage that is more widespread if it is not cleaned up right away. Mold starts growing in as little as twenty-four 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 today! Someone is always standing by to receive your call. 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.

Sump Pump Failure in your Montgomery County Home

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

Sump pump It's best you replace your sump pump every 10 years.
Sump Pump Failure

 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 that 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.

Cleaning Services for Schools, Daycares, and Other Facilities

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Girl running down hallway Let's keep students, teachers and faculty together!

Montgomery County, MD schools for students grades K-12 will not be physically re-opening until at least the start of the second semester, which is February 1, 2021. In November, the county will release their plan for the second semester.

However, daycares, Montessori schools, and colleges can open their doors for students. While colleges are offering students many online courses, quite a few colleges are still offering hybrid or in-person courses. Many preschools and Montessori schools are also welcoming students back. Additionally, daycare centers have been allowed to re-opened. Other classes, offered by fitness and dance studios for example, are beginning to offer classes once again, all following strict protocol of course.

(See https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/covid19/reopening/requirements/childcare.html

for more information)

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North are offering a variety of cleaning services, including fogging, electrostatic disinfectant spraying, and proactive cleaning. We have been helping businesses and residences stay safe and protected throughout this COVID-19 crisis. We’d like to remind you of the services we can provide to your school, classroom, studio, etc. to keep it disinfected and clean! We have been helping various schools in the area, whether it’s a proactive cleaning, fogging, or by disinfecting cafeterias, gymnasiums, classrooms, including computers, cubbies, walls, chairs, etc.

Our services can be recurring too! Get scheduled for a one-time cleaning, or make services recurring.

If you’d like to learn more about our services, to schedule a cleaning, or for a quote, call us at 301-340-1313 today!

Commercial Property Fire Loss

8/3/2020 (Permalink)

Firefighters standing After a fire loss on your property, you may not know what to do first. Call us today, and we will guide you on a journey to restoration.

Has your commercial property recently experienced a fire? Whether you manage or own commercial property, you know that fire loss can be extremely devastating. Not only does fire destroy property, furnishings, flooring, and much more, but smoke also damages the property, leaving behind soot and strong, fiery odors. Water damage is an additional loss after a fire. Firefighters must use significant amounts of water to extinguish such a fire. With water damage comes the chance of mold growth. This is why it’s important to have the water dried as soon as possible.

Whether you own an office building, shop, car garage, museum, etc., dealing with the aftermath of a fire places a lot of responsibility on you. At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North, we are here for you. Our technicians are highly trained in all the areas listed above- fire, water, and mold remediation and restoration. Our franchise ensures that your property will be restored and made “Like it never even happened.” We are “Faster to any size disaster” and realize how stressful losses are. When choosing SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North, you can rest assure you are in good hands. Our Crew Chiefs communicate very closely with clients and are willing to answer as many questions as they may have, as we know there are many to be answered, especially with commercial fire losses.

We also realize you are in a hurry to proceed with business. Lost time is lost revenue. We will make sure your business is up-and-running as soon as it possibly can be. If your business has unfortunately experienced a fire, give us a call at (301) 340-1313, and we will be there for you.

Summer Fire Hazards & Tips

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Meat on grill Keep these safety tips in mind while grilling you favorite foods this summer!

Whether you’ve been loving the warmer temperatures and sunshine outdoors or have been staying indoors to keep it cool, we have compiled a list of tips to keep you safe this summer!

Here in Montgomery County, MD, we’re able to enjoy certain activities specifically in the summertime, whether it be outdoor cooking, camping or going to watch fireworks. These activities create many wonderful summer memories between family and friends. The following information will help your family reunion, 4th of July celebration, or barbeque cookout stay safe and fun!

As you know, fire can spread quite easily in hot, dry air. It spreads more rapidly when wind is present. Our weather in Maryland is often hot, but windy, so it’s important we pay attention to and follow safety precautions.

Fireworks

  • Instead of lighting your own fireworks, watch a public viewing. Leave the lighting up to the professionals.
  • If you do choose to use fireworks, do not attempt to re-light those that never lit on the first try. Instead, dump them in a bucket of water and properly dispose later.

Outdoor cooking

  • Propane and charcoal grills are to be used outside only.
  • Make sure your grill is well away from you home. Keep it out from under roof edges and keep it away from tree branches, shrubbery, etc.
  • Remove all grease buildup on your grill to avoid starting a fire.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Be sure to keep kids and pets away from it.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothes while cooking outside.
  • Do not pour lighter fluid directly onto a lit grill.
  • Make sure the coals from a charcoal grill are completely cool before disposing. Cover the coals with water and mix to ensure they are extinguished.

Campfires

  • Make sure the park or town you are starting a campfire at allows them before lighting one.
  • Do not build a campfire near dry leaves or around any overhanging tree branches. Clear any vegetation in the area in which you dig your campfire pit in.
  • Do not dig your firepit near your tent.
  • Watch the campfire closely, never leaving it unattended.
  • Always keep lots of water near your campfire.
  • Once finished, completely extinguish the fire.

We hope you’ve learned a thing or two from this list of tips! Enjoy your summer, and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

Learn More About Summer Storms in Maryland

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning bolts in sky Keep yourself, your family & your pets safe from any storms this summer!

While our summer season here in Maryland brings us pleasant warm weather and sunshine, it also gives us a fair share of summer storms. Recently, the area has experienced thunderstorms which brought about heavy rains and strong winds, causing trees and powerlines to fall. Lightning, thunder, flying debris and hail can also occur during these storms.

Just last week our emergency services team responded to a residential loss pertaining to a tree that fell on the side of a townhome during a thunderstorm. Our team tarped the affected area to prevent further damage to the home. This emergency tarping prevented other elements, such as rain and dust, from entering inside the cracks and openings of the siding, which the fallen tree caused.

Here are a few tips to make your property more secure during a storm:

  • Get your roof and foundation checked out! Are there any cracks in your roof? If so, call a professional to have it repaired ASAP.
  • Remove any tree branches that pose risk to breaking a window, for example. Getting a tree trimming before the summer storm season begins is a wise idea.
  • Invest in storm windows.
  • Bring all patio furniture, grills, etc. indoors before the storm hits.
  • Tightly secure outdoor items you cannot bring indoors.
  • Have a favorite potted plant? You will want to bring that inside until the storm passes over too.
  • If you have a garage, park your vehicle inside it before the storm hits.
  • If you must evacuate due to the storm, secure and board up windows.

We hope you find these tips helpful and wish you an enjoyable and safe summer!

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The Latest: Phase 2- What’s Happening in Montgomery County, MD

6/12/2020 (Permalink)

Customer and cashier We're here to give you, your employees, and your customers peace of mind.

Do you own a business or manage a facility in Montgomery County, Maryland? Do you live in Montgomery County? Here’s some news you do not want to miss!

Phase 2 will likely go into effect this coming week (June 15-19). As Montgomery County prepares to enter Phase 2, here is what you can expect:

  • Gyms, fitness centers, and other physical activities facilities will reopen with spacial requirements
  • Houses of worship will allow congregants to join in indoor or outdoor services, with requirements and with limited capacity
  • Pools will open lap lanes 
  • Restaurants will reopen indoor seating in addition to the recent reopening of outdoor seating, both limited and with restrictions
  • Retail stores will expand from only curbside pickup to now limited in-store shopping (strict patron per sq. ft. guidelines)\
  • Salons and barbershops will expand services
  • Youth sports and day camps will expand opening with requirements
  • Playgrounds and parks will reopen
  • Concert halls, theaters, recreational facilities and libraries will remain closed

Check out the Montgomery County MD website for more details and information: https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS/RightNav/reopening/index.html


If you own or manage property, we are here to give your business a professional, deep sanitization before anyone walks through your doors once again. Our latest program, Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, a defensive cleaning program that gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness. Our proactive viral pathogen cleaning program will help your business meet a higher standard of clean. Call us today with any questions or needs you may have at 301-340-1313. We look forward to hearing from you!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/23/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North today at 301-340-1313 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North Cleaning Service Update

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Open sign in window We're here for you to help with your next steps!

As of 5pm on May 15, 2020, Maryland’s stay-at-home order is to be lifted. This begins phase 1 of reopening the state.

Although there is still quite a bit of gray area, here are a few of the basics:

Retail stores can reopen

Manufacturing operations can resume

Pet services, such as groomers and animal shelters, can open doors to the public

Salons and barbershops can reopen

Religious gatherings, such as church services, can assemble once again

Please note, everything mentioned above can reopen only at half capacity. Mask wearing and social distancing is still to be enforced. Also note counties throughout the state of Maryland differ with regards to their reopening status. For instance, both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties are still under stay-at-home orders.

If you own or manage a business, you’re surely thinking about what the next phase holds for your company and are looking to plan for the future. So far, it appears the following will take place during phase 2:

Indoor fitness classes resume

Childcare centers reopen

Regular transportation schedules resume

Restaurants and bars reopen with restrictions

Do you wish to clean and sanitize your business before reopening, or if you have reopened, would you like a trusted, family-owned business that has been in the community for 40 years to provide you with a sanitizing service? Allow us to take care of that step for you. We know you value your employees and customers and will be happy to ensure each of you peace of mind.

Give us a call today at 301-340-1313 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

Tips on Working from Home, Spring/Summer 2020

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Work desk Follow these tips to better your experience of working from home!

Many Americans are now working from home due to the recent circumstances. If you transitioned from working in an office to working in your home, you’ve had to make many adjustments! Changes can be difficult, especially those that affect such a large part of your life, i.e., your job. At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, we are always here to help. We would like to provide you with some tips on how to 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
  • Focus on communication! You don’t get to see your boss and coworkers face-to-face for the time being, so call, text, and email them 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
  • Reward yourself! It’s not easy making such a drastic change, so get your favorite coffee from the local cafe everyday during your lunch break or buy yourself a gift online after completing a work goal
  • Of course, keep a close eye on your agenda book or calendar! Write down every deadline and meeting date as these can become very 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 for working from home!

Proactive Cleaning for Your Residence or Business in Maryland

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

Spray bottle We're here to help you feel safe and secure during these unprecedented times!

As Maryland anticipates reaching Stage 1 of reopening within the next week, which will allow many small businesses to open their doors once again, a few restrictions have already been lifted. For the time being, hair salons and barbershops have been able to serve a limited amount of customers, following strict protocol. The limits and restrictions of entering beaches, golf courses, tennis courts, and camp sites are now being lifted also.

Our business is being called by numerous business owners, community leaders, and residents to clean, disinfect, and sanitize their homes and facilities.

Do you have a business or facility that you plan to reopen? We can help you reassure your employees and your clients that they are being served in a sanitized facility. Our experienced team at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North is offering proactive cleaning services, carefully following both CDC and local guidelines, to the many businesses in the Montgomery County, Maryland area and beyond. 

We offer proactive cleaning services to the following (but not limited to): 

? SCHOOL FACILITIES AND CHILDCARE/DAYCARE CENTERS

? ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES

? LOCAL SMALL BUSINESSES (HAIR AND NAIL SALONS, RESTAURANTS)

? CHURCHES

? RESTAURANTS

? ENTERTAINMENT FACILITIES (MOVIE THEATERS)

? GROCERY STORES

? HOMES

? WAREHOUSES AND MANUFACTURING FACILITIES

Please call us today about our economical cleaning options at (301) 340-1313.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

Two men We are Here to Help 24/7, 365 days of the year.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North, (301) 340-1313

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F %2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Tips for Purer Air in Your Home

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Plants There are many benefits to having houseplants!

Why not show your home or office some love during this time of year!

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 effects!
  • Invest in houseplants- just make sure they are pet friendly if you have a four-legged friend in your family! Houseplants have numerous benefits, including an increase in oxygen, allergy relief, and mood-boosting properties. They also absorb toxins. A few amazing houseplants to consider include:
    • Bamboo
    • 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 once and for all!
  • Smell something different? Something musty? It could be mold! Have your home checked by a professional, (such as SERVPRO!) as mold can be hazardous to breathe in.
  • Replace older appliance and fixtures with newer, energy-efficient ones. Of course, this comes with time as appliances can get pricey! However, when it comes time to replace, consider going green with energy-saving appliances and fixtures!

How to Prevent Ice Dams

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Ice It's important to act immediately after spotting an ice dam on your property to prevent further damage!

You can take numerous actions to prevent an ice dam from forming on your property both before and after a snowfall. Whether you are concerned about a dam forming on your home or one forming on your building, you can follow these useful tips in order to prevent a catastrophe!

To stop an ice dam:

Keep your attic insulated

Improve ventilation, especially in the eaves and ridge

Prevent air leaks- caulk any gaps or openings

Install an extra barrier under the shingles to prevent water from seeping into home or building

Seal and insulate ducts

Cold temperatures can sometimes have their way of forming a dam on your property despite following these tips. Be sure to:

Clear snow from roof after every snow shower

Clear gutters of any leaves, snow, or debris

Clear around downspouts, too

However, your safety is your first priority! Snowy and icy conditions make everything more slippery and dangerous. Do not use a ladder or attempt climbing, as you could slide off the surface or the ladder. If you find it unsafe to remove an ice dam you spot on your property, for example, call a professional immediately!

Give us a call at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North today if you have any questions or needs! Our number is (301)340-1313.

Water Stains on Your Ceiling?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water stain on ceiling If you notice a water stain on your ceiling, give us a call!

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, deal with the stain in a very timely manner! Applying a quick coat of paint over the stain can make a temporarily, cosmetic difference, but often time, 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 us, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, to have water stains in your home or office checked out. We are the area’s water damage experts and are always “Faster to any size disaster.” Large or small, we will restore your water-damaged property with efficiency and detail.

Call us with any needs or questions at (301) 340-1313.   

Winter 2020 in Maryland

1/17/2020 (Permalink)

Snow-covered house We hope you’ve found these tips useful! Happy winter!

It’s that time of year to winter-proof your house. If you live in Maryland and haven’t already, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the warmer weather we have been experiencing recently in order to get your property ready for the colder weather coming our way.

Below are a few tips for keeping your property at its peak during the winter season:

  • Seal gaps around door frames and windows to keep cold air from slipping in
  • Insulate pipes and hot water tanks to avoid freezing and to reduce heat loss
  • Check your drainage. To avoid saturation, and then the thawing of the soil near your property’s structure, add extra soil to the affected area.
  • Clean your gutters to avoid a backup and potential overflow.
  • Clean your chimney! Before you begin using the fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned, or else, many problems can arise!
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and make sure they work properly. House fires most commonly occur in the winter months. While homes and offices are closed up tight during the winter to keep the cold air out, it also means carbon monoxide becomes more of a hazard.
  • Drain any outdoor faucets
    • These faucets can develop a costly leak
    • Faucets can also freeze over, sometimes splitting the water line, which can lead to a house flooding
  • Cover outdoor furniture to avoid damage from snow, hail, etc., but do so on a nice, dry day, so no moisture can become trapped under whatever you cover your furniture with
  • Find your shovel or snow blower ahead of time. One of the last things you want to do in a snowstorm is crawl your way through piles of snow to your shed to retrieve such items.
  • Check your trees. Is there any risk it could fall on your home or building? Could one of its dead branches? Is a branch touching your property? If so, it’s a good time to chop off whatever necessary before snow and ice come
  • Check your attic
    • Heats rises, so if you don’t insulate your attic well, the heat you’re paying for will rise right out of your home.
    • Check for critters! Animals want a warm place to stay during wintertime. Just make sure it’s not in your attic or home in general!

What Are Your Goals For 2020?

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Notebook and pen Create smaller and doable goals to reach your larger goals. We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & of Silver Spring North wish you a very successful 2020.

Do you manage or own a business?

As we approach 2020, both a new year and a new decade, you most likely have many goals for your business!

Oftentimes, getting smaller tasks and goals completed will make way for the completion of the larger and more challenging tasks!

Tackling smaller projects, such as signing your company up for a volunteer opportunity in your community, can become one of the stepping stones leading you towards a more long-term goal of creating more camaraderie between your employees, for example. 

Here are some more tips and recommendations for bettering your business in 2020!

Grow as a team! Get to know your employees or co-workers by having a monthly group lunch, going on a weekend hike with your team, or hosting a holiday game night after work. As relationships grow, employees will become more apt to help one another not only achieve personal goals, but also goals for the prosperity of the company!

Do you have a goal of refreshing your office space in 2020? That can be a daunting task, especially if it needs a complete makeover. Start small! Buy a few hardy plants to decorate your office with. Replace a piece of furniture or two at a time so you can stay within budget. Run a quick vacuum over your property once a week to avoid a messy and stained floor at the end of the month. It’s the “little things” you do that can really add up!

Sometimes, it’s hard to stay focused on all your goals. When you’re running a business, there are a million things going on, so other priorities can get in the way of achieving your goals. However, forming a habit is said to take 21 days. That’s three weeks! If you dedicate 30 minutes a day towards doing research, planning, etc. for your goal, it will become a habit you soon won’t even think twice about! Plus, stay on top of your goals by getting organized! Purchase an agenda book where you can write down what you need to get done for the day. Seeing it visually will help!

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! You are a busy individual with a lot of responsibility. Make sure you allow yourself time to recharge.

Here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we help many businesses in and around Montgomery County, MD. Whether we’re called for water damage restoration, a cleaning service, mold remediation, etc., we are always here to help lift a load off your shoulders! For any questions or needs, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (301)340-1313.

We wish you and your company a wonderful and successful New Year!

Feel free to check out the variety of cleaning services we offer in the link below:

https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/cleaning-services

Got a BIG Problem?

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Traffic sign in water Are you in over your head with the problems a disaster left behind? Don't panic! Our Disaster Recovery Team is here to help you immediately!

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 job! From condominiums to restaurants, office buildings to schools, no job is too large for us. Large or small, our team is educated and 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 the fire, by water, etc. has not only interrupted 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 assure 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 for you 24/7, 365 days a year. If you need us, give us a call today at (301) 340-1313.

SERVPRO's Christmas Season Safety for You!

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Christmas lights Use these safety tips in your Montgomery County residence or commercial building to make it the merriest time of the year!

Christmas will be here in a few days! Can you believe it?

During the winter holiday season, we notice a pattern of catastrophes, many dealing with Christmas trees. While they’re beautiful to look at, Christmas trees can cause a lot of issues if not properly taken care of.

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 2019 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? Sure you do, it’s the holiday season! 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.
  • But 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 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. Additionally, snow=water. Make sure you are dry when plugging in outdoor lights especially. Dry your hands from any falling elements such as rain and snow before dealing with electricity.
  • 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:

https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/fire-damage-tips

Is Your Montgomery County-Area Daycare Safe?

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Room in a daycare center Whether you manage a daycare or send your kids to one, we know your primary concern in their safety and well-being. We can help ensure that for you!

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we knows it’s important to make sure your commercial property reaches a high standard when it comes to a clean and safe environment for your clients, employees, etc. Quite often, we help daycares in the Rockville, Olney, Silver Spring North, and surrounding areas reach these standards. It’s very important to ensure your smallest customers are safe and healthy at all times, especially since they are more susceptible to common issues such as mold as well as bacteria pests such as rodents can leave behind, for instance.

Maybe you own or manage a daycare. Maybe you are considering starting your own daycare, or maybe you are a parent considering which daycare to enroll your child in.

In this blog, we will provide you with a checklist of what a daycare must include to provide the safest environment possible. Please note this list focuses on a few security measures, emergency safety measures, as well as cleanliness measures. There are many other factors involved with regard to a daycare facility. They can be investigated in more detail on the web.

Here are a few!                         

  • Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers must be present and in excellent, working condition
  • Windows in every classroom to provide fresh air and an emergency exit
  • Clean sleeping area, play areas, and toys (including carpets and upholstery, which can easily become soiled at daycares!)
  • All cleaning supplies must be locked away
  • Electrical outlets must be covered
  • Strict hygiene procedures (important when changing diapers)
  • Any necessary safety and cleanliness certifications (state and/or county, depending on local laws)
  • Regular health and cleanliness inspections
  • Documented emergency evacuation plans
  • Mold-free
  • Any expired food the center provided must be discarded
  • Professional pest removal is needed if you suspect or know there are pests in the building. Mouse traps present a danger, especially to small hands that like to get into everything!
    • Pests can carry diseases, bite children, and leave trails of bacteria behind
  • Fire drills are necessary in preparing for a smoother evacuation in an unfortunate event when an actual fire might take place
    • Similar to drills for potential earthquakes or storms, especially if the region is prone to these acts of nature
  • Locking gates at the top and bottom of any stairs
  • Exterior locking doors

We have worked around Montgomery County, Maryland and beyond to ensure local daycares are clean and safe places! Whether involved with mold remediation, restoring flood damages, or performing a general cleaning, we make it a priority to keep the children in our community safe and healthy!

If you have any needs regarding your daycare center or any other questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call today! Our telephone number is (301) 340-1313.

Does Mold Die in the Winter?

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Window If you're indoors and see condensation on windows, be sure to dry the area! Keeping windows closed keeps out the cold, but also shuts out ventilation.

As extreme winter weather is on its way to Maryland, you may wonder if mold is still a concern to be on your radar. Do extremely cold temperatures kill mold? 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 growing 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 of any sort or simply want to have your home or commercial building inspected, contact us, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or SERVPRO of Silver Spring North. We are the area’s mold damage experts, serving the area for nearly 40 years!

Need help or have questions? Give us a call at (301) 340-1313 today!

Turkey Tips

11/21/2019 (Permalink)

As Thanksgiving approaches (only one week away), we at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North want to give you a few very important tips on how to keep your home safe during the holidays.

Believe it or not, far too many home catch on fire during the fall season! Imagine preparing for the holidays just to have flames devour your property over something as small as a turkey. The impact around this time of year (as winter holidays quickly approach following Thanksgiving) is astronomical and quite stressful to say the least.

Yet time and time again, we are called to homes in the Silver Spring North, Rockville and Olney communities around Thanksgiving to cleanup and restore fire damage… and all because of a turkey.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, compared to any other day of the year, the number of house fires reportedly doubles on Thanksgiving Day.

We don’t want our neighbors of Silver Spring North and Rockville-Olney to have to experience such a catastrophe, especially during the busiest time of your year. We want to explain to you how a turkey can cause such a huge mess and then, provide you with some tips, so you are ready to enjoy the holidays!

So, how does the bird cause a fire? Well, these fires usually originate from a deep fryer. The oil used typically spills over the sides of fryer in these instances, and falls into flames beneath. Even vapors can react with the heat, causing a fire.

If your turkey has not been completely dried and thawed, the excess water will cause the oil to bubble and spill down.

Here in the Maryland/DC area, temperatures around the holidays drop. It’s typically quite cold outside. Rain or snow can also factor into the catastrophe. It can cause the oil to splatter.

Due to chilly weather, you might be tempted to shield yourself from the cold weather and fry your turkey in the garage or under your deck. Maybe you have a nice, screened-in deck you’d like to cook inside. Don’t! If your turkey catches on fire, the flames will extend to the ceiling or roof, then spread, engulfing the room and beyond.

Of course we understand people enjoy cooking their special dinner in a propane deep-fryer. So, we are including a few tips to follow in avoiding a fire!

  • Make sure your fryer is equipped with a gas valve controller
  • While in use, keep your fryer away from children, pets, trees, shrubs, bushes, vehicles, etc. alike
  • Your turkey must be completely thawed and dry before placing it in the fryer
  • Make sure the fryer in placed on a flat surface
  • Do not leave your fryer unattended
  • Notice the oil is beginning to smoke? Turn the propane tank off immediately!
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy

Be sure to check out our next blog including cautions and tips when cooking a turkey in the oven!

Our 365 Day a Year Promise

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Calendar Any day, any hour, we are here to help you!

Emergencies don’t wait to happen on a day that’s convenient for you. A house fire or an office flood won’t wait until your birthday is over or until Christmas Day comes to an end. We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North completely understand that tragedy strikes whenever. It doesn’t matter if it’s Easter morning or the night of New Year’s Eve. Life happens, and both the good and the bad come along with it.

At SERVPRO, we want to make sure whatever nature might through your way is taken care of properly! Whether it’s water damage, fire damage, storm damage, or an issue with mold, we are ready to help you- and “Faster to any size disaster” at that!

That’s why we are here for you 24/7, 365 days a year. Facing a disaster can be terrifying and dealing with its effects is very stressful. We hope to diminish the stress you could be facing with our guarantee.  We know the importance of reliability. We are a very trusted and known company in Montgomery County and have been in business for almost 40 years. As a family-owned business, we pride ourselves on fast response, doing great work, and taking care of our customers!

Take a look at what our amazing customers have to say about us!

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEU_enUS865US865&sxsrf=ACYBGNROdcP01nmlJEV2zVhN8ws2m0aQiQ%3A1573844131930&ei=o_TOXeuaOOeO5wLuxb1I&q=SERVPRO+of+rockville-olney&oq=SERVPRO+of+rockville-olney&gs_l=psy-ab.3..35i39l2j0j38.1425.2559..3024...0.0..0.181.701.6j2......0....1..gws-wiz.......0i22i30.XOmj0jeNqKg&ved=0ahUKEwir-Kij8uzlAhVnx1kKHe5iDwkQ4dUDCAs&uact=5#lrd=0x89b7cd8f9b128171:0xe81a9cce53f7e883,1,,,

If you ever face a disaster, day or night, we are here to support you and fix your problem, 365 days a year!

Our 2019 Crawford Day of Service in Rockville, Md.

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Three men in the woods We want to keep our community and its surrounding environment clean and free of litter! We are grateful for our beautiful surroundings!

This past weekend, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney participated in the 2019 Crawford Day of Service (explained in a previous blog: https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/blog/post/171132/why-SERVPRO/2019-crawford--company-day-of-service.

Similar to our last cleanup, we cleaned the local stream we’ve adopted. It’s located in Rockville, Md. Last time we went to clean up the stream, there was a lot of litter. We collected over 16 bags of trash. This time around, there wasn’t nearly as much. We hope the act of littering is on a steady decline!

Due to less litter and in comparison to the last time we cleaned the stream, the water appeared clearer and less stagnant. Litter can foster an environment for algae growth and can block water flow.

Although it felt like the coldest day of the year, we were happy to be out cleaning the local stream, as we at SERVPRO certainly know the importance of water!

Do you like to volunteer? Let us know where you enjoy volunteering most on one of our social media pages!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SERVPRO5186/

Instagram: @SERVPROofrockville

Twitter: @SERVPRO5186

Let's Keep Our Schools Mold-Free!

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Desks in a classroom To keep our students safe, we must ensure their campus is mold-free!

Schools 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 its visible growth or can smell it (usually similar to that of something rotting), it’s an obvious indicator. After water damage, you can expect mold and in a school especially, 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 grow behind paint, walls, under tiles, etc. and can grow there for years. Mold can be growing behind paint and begin appearing over it, but simply scrubbing the mold off the paint won’t solve the problem as only part of the problem was removed, and it will just grow back.

In these cases, remediation is necessary. Give us of SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or SERVPRO of Silver Spring North a call today at (301) 340-1313! We serve public and private schools throughout the county. 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! Have us come inspect your school, commercial building, or home today! We’ll team up with you to keep those you care about safe!

Considering a Move to a Rockville, Olney, or Silver Spring North Neighborhood?

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Inside a metro car The Metro can save you a lot of time and money! It's very convenient and a huge asset to the community.

We love our Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North communities! Thinking about moving here? We’ll give you a few reasons why our community stands out to us!

Great schools: Montgomery County Public Schools are nationally ranked and recognized. Additionally, the area boasts many great private schools if you are looking for that options. Rockville is also the home of Montgomery College, Rockville Campus. For an affordable price, you can obtain your associates degree from this institution for a fraction of what you would pay at other colleges/universities.

Quick access to transit: Our area offers public transportation ranging from buses to trains. While the metro rail allows quick access from Rockville and Silver Spring (and many other stations in surrounding areas) to DC, parts of Virginia, and other local hotspots, bus services from Metrobus and Ride On are available throughout the county with thousands of bus stops.

Plenty of shopping centers, restaurants, entertainment: Rockville Pike is known for its diversity of restaurants. In addition, it has about every store you can think of along its stretch. Looking for something fun to do? Rockville provides plenty of entertainment to its residents and guests alike- and in very close proximity so you won’t have to drive far and can definitely save gas. With ice rinks (indoor and outdoor), movie theaters, bowling alleys, malls, community events and festivals etc. to nearby hiking trails and places to rent kayaks and canoes, Rockville is a happening place!

Safe communities: Our Rockville-Olney and Silver Spring North communities tends to be very family-oriented and diverse. People from around the world come to live in our communities as our area has much to offer. From amazing career opportunities to safe neighborhoods, the Rockville-Olney area is a great place to have a family and to start a great career alike. Our towns make great effort to keep residents safe by installing sidewalks to promote safer exercise, creating crosswalks, putting up speed cameras, and ensuring roads are smooth. Pedestrian safety is really prioritized, and it leads to a stronger community!

Close to Washington, D.C. (can easily metro from Silver Spring, Rockville, Twin Brook, or Shady Grove stations, to name a few): As mentioned above, our area is close to DC! It’s a happening place. From weekend activities, such as parades and museum trips, we are fortunate to have easy access to a city where people from around the world come to vacation to. We can’t forget to mention jobs! Many of our residents commute to DC daily for work. It’s a city of opportunity.

Arts, history and culture: Our area is known by its culture and history. Much of it is celebrated through art. Our area offers a wide variety of tours, including tours of farms, mansions, and old school houses for example. There happen to be many museums and theaters in our area as well. Keep an eye out on community pages for local concert series, pop-ups, and festivities.

A few great spots to explore history, culture, and talent include:

Sandy Spring Museum, Sandy Spring, Md.

Olney Theatre Center, Olney, Md.

Agricultural History Farm Park, Derwood, Md.

Meadowside Nature Center, Rockville, Md.

Glenview Mansion and Art Gallery, Rockville, Md.

National Capital Trolley Museum, Silver Spring, Md.

If you’ve never visited the Rockville-Olney-Silver Spring North area, we at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North encourage you to do so!

Snow Melt on Your Rockville-Olney-Silver Spring North Property

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

Snow-covered houses Keep these tips in mind as winter is quickly approaching!

As the temperatures are beginning to rapidly drop here in Montgomery County, Maryland, it’s safe to assume we can expect snowfall in a month or two. While a snow fall can be fascinating to watch and supports a wide variety of winter activities, such as sledding and skiing, it can also cause many home problems.

A buildup of snow can create massive drifts which gather and lean against the exterior walls of your property. As the temperatures begin to warm, the sun melts the snow, which can result in home flooding.

Below are a few consequences of snow melt/flooding:

  • Water damage
  • Warped/rotted wood and floorboards
  • Mold
  • Electrical damage

To avoid the potential problems snow can bring upon your property, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Shovel all snow away from the foundation of your home/office. Make sure all snow is away from ground level windows and doors to avoid seeping, etc.
  • Clear all drainage areas around your home/office
  • Make sure any garden beds are not creating dams the retain water (add extra soil if this is an issue)
  • Inspect your roof and eaves for ice and snow buildup. This is very important as melted snow can get under your shingles, causing damage inside your home. It can also result in giant icicles that can fall and break car windows, fall on people causing injury, etc.
  • Have your roof inspected before winter! Ice and snow weight on a roof can cause a roof to collapse. An over-stressed roof can begin to crack, then leak, then sag (or collapse). This weight can also pry open gutters.
  • Insulate and ventilate your attic

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North wish you a safe winter! We want you to enjoy the snow, not to become a victim of it!

Campfire Safety

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Campfire This fall season, create memories by having a campfire with family and friends! Be sure to follow safety precautions so that everyone has a good time!

Fall is the perfect time to have a campfire with family or friends. While enjoying spending time in the outdoors with your group, it’s important to remember campfire safety, especially as dry foliage can be a serious fire hazard.

When leaves catch on fire, irritants are released into the air, which can cause respiratory problems. Additionally, campfires that aren’t properly prepared or maintained can cause huge issues such as burns or out-of-control fires, possibly developing into a forest fires.

Follow these important steps to keep everyone safe before and after the campfire, so that everyone can have a great time!

  1. Picking your campfire spot: Look for signs and follow rules! If the area has rules prohibiting campfires, find another area, and do not build your campfire in an area with dry and/or hazardous conditions. Additionally, watch out for tree branches, and be sure to make your fire at least 15 feet from any shrubs, bushes, trees, and tents. Inspect the area, ensuring no flammable items are nearby. Do not build a fire if winds are strong.
  2. Building your pit: If there’s no pit, you can dig your own. This website has great tips, along with pictures, on how to do so. Take a look! https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety/how-to-prepare-your-campfire-pit
  3. Building your campfire: For everyone’s safety, it’s always important to gather a bucket filled with water along with a shovel before starting up the fire. When gathering wood, do not cut a tree or an entire branch. Instead, gather small twigs, and sticks or pieces of wood you find on the ground (or which you purchase). Large pieces of wood should always be stacked upwind, away from the fire. Make sure you don’t collect sticks from an animal’s dwelling space. For specific details on how to position and start your campfire, check out this link: https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety/how-to-build-your-campfire. If you’re using matches to start the fire, make sure it’s cold before discarding (into your trash bag, of course). Once you start a fire, it must be monitored at all times. Adult supervision is required at all times. Children and pets must be closely and carefully watched.
  4. Maintaining a fire: Once you are pleased with your campfire, add larger pieces of wood to keep it going steadily, but keep your fire to a manageable size. Do not let it get out of hand. Also, do not burn plastics, cans, or glass, as doing so can result in explosions, shattering, or the release of dangerous fumes.
  5. Extinguishing your fire: If possible, allow firewood to burn to ash. Then, pour water on the fire. All embers must be completely soaked and dead (no red embers). Until the hissing sound stops, keep pouring water on the area. Remember, if it’s too hot to touch, it’s not appropriate to leave. Add more water, dirt, and/or sand until all material is cool.

We hope these campfire tips were helpful and will keep you and your family and friends safe!

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North wishes you a happy autumn season.

Halloween Safety Tips

10/27/2019 (Permalink)

A cup with candy corn Make sure to inspect your child's candy before they consume it!

It’s that time of year again to stock up on candy, as trick-or-treaters will be arriving in the masses at your door any day now! Whether you’ll be passing out the candy or accompanying your own trick-or-treater, follow the tips below to ensure everyone has a safe and happy experience.

  • Always accompany children! Do not let them go alone. This is the most important step to follow to ensure a safe Halloween.
  • Carry a cell phone and flashlight with you at all times. Have your child carry a flashlight to increase visibility too.
  • Walk on the sidewalk and in residential neighborhoods whenever possible. Walking on streets or up long driveways can be dangerous. A great Halloween tip is if you live in the country or in an area where homes are quite spread out, drive and park in a neighborhood with homes in close proximity, i.e., townhomes.
  • Make sure the costume fits well! If costumes are too large, they become a fire hazard (people commonly place burning candles inside pumpkins). Furthermore, tree branches, fallen sticks, debris, etc. is less visible at night, and long costumes could get caught or tangled in the mix.
  • It’s also highly recommended your costume and trick-or-treat bag is reflective in the dark. Adding reflective tape to both is an easy and inexpensive way of doing so.
  • Avoid masks and long and sharp accessories. Masks can limit eyesight, and sharp and long objects that play apart in your costume can cause injury. Both may play a part in your costume, but they can cause risks that aren’t worth risking.
  • Speaking of fire hazards, avoid placing a burning candle inside your pumpkin. Instead, opt for a flashlight or glow stick. If you must use a candle, consider a tea light.
  • If you will pass out candy, make sure your home, walkways, etc. are well-lit to ensure no one gets injured due to lack of vision on your property… that could end poorly.
  • Make sure pets are inside their kennels, locked in the basement, etc.; anything to ensure they cannot run outside or “greet” trick-or-treaters. Pets either become excited, protective, or terrified, which can lead to shocking or harming both your pet and whoever is at your door.
  • Do not take your child to a home with no light on. That almost always means they do not want trick-or-treaters at their door and that they are not passing out candy.
  • Additionally, candy should be passed out at the door or sometimes, in a bowl sitting outside the door. Do not step into homes or vehicles to receive candy. That’s could be very dangerous.
  • After your children collect their candy, inspect each piece, ensuring no wrappers have been opened or tampered with. Candy without a wrapper, such as candy corn or gumballs, should be discarded immediately.
  • Feed your children a large meal before trick-or-treating so that they do not come home very hungering and make a meal out of their candy. Instead, ration candy for the days and weeks to come.

Local Pumpkin Patches and More!

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

Pumpkins It's a common tradition for families and friends alike to pick pumpkins together every fall!

Pumpkins symbolize prosperity, growth, and well-being. They’re also a symbol of fall. Whether you need a few pumpkins to decorate your porch with, one to make a pie with, or to carve into a jack-o’-lantern, we’re here to provide you with information on where to find pumpkins locally.

If you’re looking for a pumpkin patch, look no further than Sharp’s At Waterford Farm (4003 Jennings Chapel Rd, Brookeville, MD 20833) or Larriland Farm (2415 Woodbine Rd, Woodbine, MD 21797). These pumpkin patches will provide you with the fall, farm experience in full. Sharp’s offers free hayrides to pick your own pumpkins. They also offer educational tours. Larriland also offers hayrides for a small fee, as well as a straw maze, a boo barn, and seasonal goodies from local vendors. Both farms also have large markets with an abundance of produce. Pumpkins which have already been picked can also be purchased inside the market.

If you’re looking to make a quicker purchase, consider stopping by Johnson’s Florist and Garden Centers (5011 Olney Laytonsville Rd, Olney, MD 20832) or by St. John’s Episcopal Church (3427 Olney Laytonsville Rd, Olney, MD 20832). Johnson’s always offers a wide selection of pumpkins, ranging in colors, sizes, and varieties. St. John’s does too. The yearly patch in front of their church serves as a fundraiser for their outreach programs. Interestingly enough, the pumpkins sold on their lot are grown on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico, which is another outreach. By purchasing a pumpkin from St. John’s, you’re giving back twice!

Additionally, you should check out your local farmers market. Even if they do not have an entire field of pumpkins, local farmers oftentimes plant pumpkin seeds to harvest a seasonal crop and bring whatever pumpkins their land has yielded to the market, along with their apples, beets, and other fall produce. Olney and Rockville have their own farmers markets. There happen to be an abundance of local markets, so search your town’s market up today!

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North hope you find the perfect pumpkin and all that it symbolizes!

Is Your Business Resilient?

10/3/2019 (Permalink)

A laptop, poster paper, and camera It's important to make a plan with your team for your business in case of disaster.

Is your business resilient?

According to FEMA, around 40-60 percent of small businesses that have been struck by disaster will not reopen.

Does this statistic surprise you? A lot of people don’t consider the serious impact a disaster, such as a storm, fire, or flood, can have on a small business. It not only can destroy the building and surrounding property of the business, but can also destroy essential information, contacts, etc., which can put a quick end to the business’ existence.

By taking action before a disaster strikes, you can take steps to increase your employees’ safety, your business’ resiliency, and your clients’ trust.

It’s important you follow the steps below to keep your business safe!

  • Keep your company records, documents, and contacts stored in paperless form (on Google Drive or iCloud, for example)
  • Pre-establish policies for employees, vendors, and customers in order to maintain trust and stability, and also to retain relationships and positions
  • Do a threat analysis. Assess any possible risks your business may be susceptible to, from a hurricane to a cyber attack
  • Develop a continuity plan. FEMA recommends creating your plan using these four steps:
  1. Conduct a business impact analysis
  2. Identify, document, and implement recovery strategies
  3. Compile a business continuity plan with others in your business
  4. Conduct training, testing, drills, and exercises to teach, practice, and evaluate the plan

Fire Prevention Week!

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week, brought to us by the National Fire Protection Association, is observed Sunday, October 6 through Saturday, October 12 of 2019.

The NFPA has sponsored this national and public observance week since 1922. With a goal of increasing awareness and education people young and old about fire safety, NFPA hopes causalities caused by fire will drastically decrease. 

This year, the theme is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!”, and it aims to inform about the importance of escape planning and practicing it at least twice a year. The NFPA wants to encourage people to take small, but very important steps to ensure they and others will stay safe from fire.

It may be surprising to hear, but the average time it takes for a fire to consume an entire home is five minutes. Often times, there will only be one or two minutes for your escape. If you don’t have an escape plan, much disarray and chaos will result. A lack of an escape plan also puts you, your family, and even pets in a vulnerable position.

A video on the NFPA website highlights a few steps you can easily take to create your home fire escape plan. The steps are listed below and can also be found on the video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khyHziYGFZg&feature=youtu.be).

  1. Draw a map of your home
  2. Mark two exits from each room, typically a door and a window. Mark a path from each exit to the outside.
  3. Include the location of all smoke alarms in your home
  4. Choose a meeting place outside of your home where everyone will meet up once they have exited
  5. Add 911 or any other emergency number to your plan
  6. Call 911 once you’re outside. Use a neighbor’s phone or a cellphone if you have one on you

Check out NFPA’s website where you can gain valuable and even life-saving information. The website will equip you with free apps, videos, printables, and much more! There’s something for everyone of any age to check out on their page. https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Preparedness/Fire-Prevention-Week/Resources

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North want you to stay safe! We know the damage a fire can do and find it very important that you create your own, home fire escape plan. We encourage you to take charge in preventing fires!

What if There's Mold on my Food?

9/27/2019 (Permalink)

Have you ever noticed a few small spots of mold on the slice you were about to use? If the spots small and look easy to pinch off, it’s pretty tempting to try salvaging, but also, you don’t want to get sick! Have the small mold spots contaminated the whole piece, or will you be just find removing them by hand?

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 are looking at are surface spores where it’s emerged. Even if you no longer see it, the mold has already made its home in your food. So yes, your piece of bread is more contaminated than you think.

Although we’ve all probably pinched mold of a piece of bread at one time of our lives or another, consuming moldy food can sometimes be very 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. That being said, it’s in your best interest 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 out from include:

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

What's the Difference: black water vs. clean water vs. gray water

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

If you’re home floods, you’ll probably wonder how safe the water is to come in contact with.

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. Often times, 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: https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/sewage-cleanup

Does your Rockville, Silver Spring North, Olney, Sandy Spring, or Laytonsville home or office need restoration or cleanup?

Give us a call today at (301) 340-1313, and we will give you peace of mind!

What's Leaf Mold? Common Fall Allergen in Maryland

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Now that summer has come to a close, we are in the first few days of fall. The temperatures were quite high (and are still), and we’ve experienced a normal amount of rain for a Maryland summer (9.19 inches in Baltimore, according to https://www.weather.gov/media/lwx/climate/bwiprecip.pdf). 

As leaves are beginning to change color, we realize they’ll soon be falling from their trees. The hot, humid weather of summer enables mold growth on dying grass patches, and as soon as the leaves fall, the mold on the ground begins to quickly spread over them.

Do you have a mold allergy? If so, you may be wondering if leaf mold is a threat at all.

Indeed, leaf mold can certainly cause symptoms including itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestions, and runny noses.

Not only does the leaf mold lay under the foliage, but it also disperses through the air when leaves are raked or blown about by wind or leaf blower. When spores are stirred up, they’re basically being thrown up in the air to linger around.  

However, leaf mold isn’t the fall season’s only allergen. Grasses and ragweed are also common sources of your sneezes.

If you suffer from mold allergy, you can look forward to colder temperatures within the next couple months. Once frost begins showing up on the ground, the mold begins to die off, and you can expect your symptoms to recede. 

Feel free to check out our website. We have an entire tab dedicated to mold for your knowledge. https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/mold-remediation

The Latest Tropical Storms: Karen and Lorenzo

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Just yesterday, tropical storm Karen was headed north. It had drenched Puerto Rico and left 29,000 people without power. Now Karen is moving towards Bermuda. However, it’s expected to travel in a loop-de-loop maneuver, swinging west towards Florida, meaning the island won’t be disturbed.

When meteorologists first noticed that Karen was circling back over its route, it was noted the Bahamas could be further impacted. The country was already devastated by Hurricane Dorian earlier this month.

Yet meteorologists have now discovered Karen is weakening and is “barely a tropical storm” that will not affect the Bahamas in any way. They expect Karen will continue to weaken over the next four days due to the high wind shear and dry air of the climate on her approaching path.

Additionally, Florida residents had been warned to keep a close eye on this storm as Karen is expected to make its way over to Florida over this weekend. However, Karen is presumably no danger to the state either.

Yet as soon as Karen became one less problem, Hurricane Lorenzo began strengthening rapidly and became a concern on the radar. Lorenzo morphed into a Category 3 storm this morning and by this afternoon, Category 4.

However, Lorenzo has been projected to head north-northeast. It is expected to weaken within the next few days. It’s also projected to stay in the water and never reach land. The only presumed effects of both tropical storms on land is some rainfall in northeastern Mexico.

2019 Crawford & Company Day of Service

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

The 2019 Crawford & Company Global Day of Service extends from October 1st to 31st. Various companies around the world pay tribute to this day by selecting a day from the month of October to give back to their own community.

A few examples of projects that companies have completed in honor of the day, which is dedicated to stewardship and supporting the community where you work, include cleaning local parks, serving meals, repairing homes for residents in need, free of charge, and participating in charity walks.

Last year, we of SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North cleaned the local stream that we had adopted. We removed debris from the water, including a car tire. We were sure to bring large trash bags to collect the litter that was scattered through the forest which surrounds the water too.

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North believe it’s extremely important to take care of our community. We are here to support any commercial and residential needs you may have. We are also here to make sure the environment in our community is being taken care of. That’s why we are taking steps to improve it.

In general, Montgomery County is a populated area. The more crowded an area, the quicker litter tends to build up. Thankfully, a large percentage of residents are environmentally-conscious, and as a result, are careful to dispose of their trash properly and/or take time out of their busy schedules to collect trash.

That being said, we know a lot about water here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North. While we cleanup and restore water damage, we also know why waterways need to be cleaned and how they are damaged by litter.

Litter can have the following, but not limited to, effects on lakes, rivers, creeks, etc.:

  • Clog storm drains (which can result in flooding)
  • Increase algal blooms (which can suffocate aquatic life)
  • Choke or entangle water species
  • Prohibit drinking and swimming use
  • Decrease aesthetics (not nearly as serious as the other effects, but still…)

We encourage you to donate a few hours of your time per year helping to clean up the environment in your community and are confident you properly throw away, or when appropriate, recycle items you no longer need. Carry a trash bag in your car to throw your personal waste in or to hold litter you may find on your travels.

We at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North thank you for your efforts!

Happy American Business Women's Day

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

September 22 is American Business Women’s Day.

First recognized in 1982, the day celebrates the women of the workforce and female business owners. It commemorates the achievements of working women around the county both now and from history.

Although these women hold diverse occupations, this day unites them due to their dedication and commitment to their careers and their successes and accomplishments in the workplace.

Here at SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we would like to give a special thanks to all the women of our team!

Remember to reflect on the contributions of the women you know who are a part of the workplace on the 22nd! 

Do you recall a woman from the past or present who has exhibited great leadership skills, innovation, or determination? It could be your mother, your boss or coworker, a past professor, your sister, or a famous scientist, or even someone you’ve seen in the movies.

You can celebrate that woman! Feel free to use the hashtag #AmericanBusinessWomensDay on social media, especially if you’re giving your favorite working woman a shoutout!

If you’re reading this, and you’re a woman of the workforce, we of SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North would like to let you know we notice and appreciate all your contributions!

National Day of Encouragement

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Yesterday marked the 13th annual National Day of Encouragement.

Its purpose is to encourage people to encourage others.

You never know how you can shape someone’s day or how you might be able to turn someone’s day around.

Were you ever having a rough day and a co-worker complimented you? Maybe a classmate told you that your presentation was great. Maybe a co-worker, sibling, or friend told you to keep up the great work.

It costs little to nothing to encourage someone, but it can impact someone’s day, week, or even life unimaginably.

Here a few simple ideas on how you can encourage someone:

  • Write them a simple note and put it in their work mailbox, on their desk, or send via email
  • Give them a small gift, such as a flower or notepad
  • Invite them to lunch and talk with them. A listening ear is all someone needs sometimes!
  • In an encouraging manner, give them advice on how they can stay on top of their goals

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we are confident you will be able to inspire and encourage someone every day!

Meet SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney at Community Night

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know Olney Chamber of Commerce has been actively serving the Olney community and supporting local businesses for over 50 years?

They will be hosting their 40th Annual Olney Chamber of Commerce Community Night at Our Lady of Good Counsel on Monday, October 14 from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Check out exhibitor tables and demonstrations, including ours, sample food from favorite local restaurants, and participate in raffles, a 50/50, and the silent auction. With attendance expected in the thousands, you’re bound to see familiar faces.

Invite your friends to attend this event with you! This is the perfect time to socialize with neighbors and connect with others from your community. You’ll have the chance to meet and talk with local businesses and discover what’s right around the corner from your home.

At SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, community means more than just a group of people living in close proximity. Community is home. It’s where you feel a sense of belonging and mutual trust.

To best serve the needs of our community, we get to know you personally. We take time to learn the unique concerns our Rockville-Olney neighbors have in order to best accommodate and serve them.

Please stop by our booth to enter in a raffle! We hope to see you October 14th.

You do not have to RSVP for this event.

How to Prepare Your Property for the Fall Season

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Happy September! It’s important to get your home ready for the change of weather. Below are a few tips for how to prepare your home for fall.

  • Test safety devices: Are your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices working? Batteries often time die during the winter months as cold temperatures slow or ultimately stop the chemical reactions (the power source) inside the battery. 
  • Clean your humidifier: Failure to clean humidifiers can result in growth of mold, bacteria, and certain germs.
  • Eliminate drafts: Ensure cold air can’t seep through your windows. If you feel a draft, you should consider replacing seals or purchasing sturdier drapery.
  • Inspect trees: Are there any broken, overgrown or suspicious limbs? Become a branch detective! Ensure no branches are too close to power lines (which can cause a fire) or to your roof.
  • Organize your shed: Clear your garage of summer equipment, furniture, etc. and move it into the shed! Swap your summer items out for fall items for easier access.
  • Secure all loose outdoor furniture and prepare to store them inside: Wind gusts blow over your outdoor furnishings, flower pots, parked bicycles, etc. Snow and heavy rains can damage your properties too. If you must leave certain items outside, consider chaining or roping them to a secure foundation.

Make sure the following aspects of your property are clean:

  • The roof
  • The chimney and fireplace
  • The siding
  • The gutters
  • The water drainage
  • The pipes and spouts

Keep in mind that preventative maintenance is cheaper than emergency repairs and damage!

If you need help safeguarding your home, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North are here to offer you there services and expertise. Give us a call at (301) 340-1313.

Is Black Mold Growing in Your Home or Office?

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

Mold on the walls of a room. This mold is growing on the wall inside a room.

We’ve all heard of black mold, but what exactly is it? Take a look at our website to find out, then return to this blog post to discover how you can identify black mold in your own home or office.

https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/black-mold

One of the most obvious signs happens to be scent. Have you smelled something earthy or musty? Think of a late fall’s odor of rotting leaves or the smell of dirt on a rainy spring day.

Next, consider the environment in which you suspect the mold is inhabiting, and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the area damp?
  • Has the area previously been flooded?
  • Does it get little to no exposure to light?

Black mold feeds off water-saturated materials such as cotton, drywall, cardboard, and wood. It even thrives off of damp dust and lint.

If the scent of the mold leads you straight to where it is festering, examine the color but don’t get too close. In color, black mold is typically greenish-black and a bit slimy. However, it can also appear grayish and powdery.

Note other molds may appear similar in color, so it is impossible to determine which breed of mold is growing in your property unless it is examined under a microscope.

At the end of the day, this examination is expensive and unnecessary because whether it is black mold or not, mold must be removed for health and sanitary purposes.

If you detect mold, regardless of its color or texture, call the professionals to have it removed.

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North are experienced and trusted companies that will get the job done promptly and carefully.

Call us at (301) 340-1313 today!

September is National Preparedness Month

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

September is National Preparedness Month. This year, ready.gov calls us to be “Prepared, Not Scared.”

Did you know you can:

  • Download applications on your phone for weather alerts and updates?
  • Create a financial plan with consideration of a potential storm or other act of nature?
  • Check to see your insurance’s coverage for damages caused by an act of nature?
  • Learn more about how to protect your assets, potentially by investing in flood insurance?
  • Take a course or independently research about how to ensure safety during a storm or other event?

The list could go on as there are endless precautions one can take, in addition to the rapid increase of technology. With that being said, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North make it easy for clients to be “Prepared, Not Scared,” as we stay up-to-date with the latest procedures and techniques to ensure your home or office is ready to face the potential natural force in its path.  

Waiting for a storm to pass through before asking for help can have disastrous effects on your property and can leave you and your family overwhelmed.

It is important to know that creating a plan and taking preventative measures will impact your safety and your wallet for the better, but sometimes, these emergencies cannot be foreseen. 

Luckily, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North offers 24-hour Emergency Service provided by highly trained weather-related damage specialists who are equipped with stellar knowledge and skill. You can rest assure knowing SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North will demonstrate their mastery over acts of nature. You can remain confident as they restore any damages on your property. See our website below for more details.

https://www.SERVPROrockvillesilverspringnorth.com/storm-flooding-restoration

Please call (301) 340-1313 if you want to plan for an emergency or if you have damage from an emergency that needs to be fixed.  

Why Your Business Needs SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know up to 50% of businesses afflicted by a disaster will never reopen? The statistic may be shocking, but what isn’t very surprising is that the vast majority of the surviving businesses had previously established a preparedness plan.   

If you read our previous blog, you’ll recall September is National Preparedness Month. A weekly theme is presented each Sunday of the month. As we are entering September, let’s expound on this week’s theme titled “Save Early for Disaster Costs.”

Prevention saves a lot of time, energy and money. Who wouldn’t like saving all three, right?

Unfortunately, all catastrophes cannot be prevented, which means it is imperative to have an emergency plan set just in case an unexpected event occurs.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan application works to prevent situations from escalating. The app, designed for commercial use, is marketed towards property and risk managers and towards business owners.

Some benefits of the app include:

  • An assessment at no charge
  • A Profile Document containing only necessary information geared for a time of emergency
  • A quick reference for you and your employees (especially if the owner/manager is away on a business trip, for example).
  • A free guide outlining important steps to take post-disaster
  • A connection and direct contact with your local SERVPRO

As mentioned, SERVPRO clients are offered this service free of charge. After downloading the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan application onto an electronic device, a SERVPRO employee will meet with the client to map the property they own or manage.

Mapping the territory includes, but is not limited to, making note of water pipes, crawl spaces, and fire exits. Information such as the square footage of the building and photographs of the property are collected and stored in the app as well.

Although gathering and recording this information on the app may sound like a lengthy process, employees have noted they can finish the plan in about 30 minutes. Additionally, owners can go back into the app and add more detail or update over time. There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

If you prepare for the future, you will “Save Early for Disaster Costs.” Utilizing tools to prevent damage, to prevent lose, and to prevent losing your business to a disaster, is one of the best ways to ensure the
“health” of what you own or manage. 

It’s simple, and it’s free. Save now to avoid large costs later.

Download the application in the App Store or from the link below:

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/Home/MobileApp

Please call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or of Silver Spring North at (301) 340-1313 regarding any questions you may have about the Emergency Ready Plan or for any additional questions or needs.

Clean Dryer Vents

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

34% of home fires are caused by failure to clean the vent in a 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.

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.

SERVPRO 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! 

Summer Storm Planning

7/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Rockville/Olney and of Silver Spring North want you to be ready for summer storms. While we hope that summer just consists of vacations and sunny days that is not always the case. A summer storm happens quite often in Maryland. There are many possibilities of damage from summer storms whether that is…wind, heavy rain, and lightning. Wind causes constructional damage to your home, heavy rain can lead to flooding and if lightning strikes on your home or business it is at risk of a fire.  

If you know a storm is coming, take these initiatives to ensure safety. Think ahead!

  • 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 during the night, don’t stress we are a 24 Hour Emergency Service and we will make your home look “Like it never even happened”. Our team is specially trained to deal with the mess of a storm. Let us be the experts that you need in your time of crisis.

Stay Safe This Fourth of July

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is traditionally known for fireworks, barbeques, and picnics with loved ones.

While putting on a firework show at your own home may seem fun, there are many risks. If lighting fireworks are not legal in your residential area there could be a large fine. As well as a fine, keep in mind the potential dangers that could occur. Fireworks can result in severe burns, blindness, and scars. Kids should not be near or handling the firecrackers or rockets. Supervise children around fireworks at all times. To avoid the dangers of fireworks, enjoy a public firework display put on by professionals.

If you choose to give your children sparklers never leave children unattended with sparklers. It is possible to get burned by the tip of the sparkler. Make sure your children do not point the sparklers towards themselves or others. Keep a bucket of water near for when your child is finished with the sparkler to ensure that the sparkler is no longer lit.

Not only should you be cautious of your children with fireworks and sparklers but your pets too! Leave your pets inside your home so there are no risks. Loud fireworks and unfamiliar places can be scary to your pet which can lead to your pet running away.

Remember these tips while grilling:

  • Do not wear loose clothing while cooking at a barbeque.
  • Never grill in an enclosed area, as carbon monoxide could be produced.
  • Use caution when using lighter fluid on a barbeque. Do not add fluid to an already lit fire, as the flame can flashback into the container and explode.
  • Make sure children are away from the grill.

Have fun this summer and stay safe!

What is a flood cut?

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

What is a flood cut?  Removing the bottom 12-24 inches of drywall in a flood affected room. 

Examples of why we flood cut:

·         If we detect there is wet insulation

·         The water is contaminated from the sewage or other storm  related contaminates

·         If any microbial growth is detected

After the lower wall portions are removed, any studs or framing are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Once the walls are completely dried out new insulations can easily be installed and the finalization of the build back can continue. 

Some of our steps:

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

Give SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and SERVPRO of Silver Spring North a call: 301-340-1313...Here to help!

Getting Ready for Colder Temperatures

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

With winter approaching, there are several steps that can be taken to ensure your home is ready to withstand the cold temperatures.  Most steps that are taken are inexpensive, and take little time, but can help avoid property damage.  

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 at 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). Close off rooms that aren't used and shut the vents.

Remediating Mold in Your Rockville, Olney or Silver Spring Home

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

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 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. If you need us, call (301) 340-1313 today to set up an inspection.

Duct Cleaning

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

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

TES -Thermal Energy System

3/30/2017 (Permalink)

The trailer that houses our Thermal Energy System

The Thermal Energy System more commonly known as TES is a special drying technique our company offers. This system allows us to combine controlled heat with air flow to produce high-speed evaporation for the drying of major water damages. 

TES is not a drying method that is used for all of our everyday water damage as it does use high temperatures of heat. For some people experiencing water damage, TES is not ideal, as they are trying to continue living in their homes. 

Special Uses 

However we can use the Thermal Energy System to aid in the drying process in areas like: 

 

  • Crawlspaces
  • Hardwood floors
  • Increasing the productivity of dehumidifiers
  • Supplement drying for hard to dry places

 

The TES system may raise concerns for you as a homeowner when we say high heat temperatures. Worry not, our Hero Ready Team has put safety switches in place. These help to keep the TES machine from reaching over a certain temperature or air flow rate which we set and control.

SERVPRO Tip: Call US for All Mold Remediation Treatments

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold SERVPRO Recommends Professional Clean Up of a Mold Infestation in Rockville-Olney

Mold can seem almost benign due to its slow rate of visible damage and sluggish spreading but make no mistake; it can pose a health hazard to you once it has taken hold. SERVPRO technicians take entire courses on mold safety. There are many species of fungi that can create widely varied situations and problems depending on a high number of factors. If you have uncovered mold in your home, protecting your health and safety becomes a concern, and should top your list of priorities. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind as you live and work in your home during the remediation service. SERVPRO stance is that mold does cause health effects, we do not diagnose, but we do remediate.

You May Want to Wear a Mask
Rockville mold damage has a potential to cause respiratory health issues, in particular for individuals with weakened immune systems or asthma. SERVPRO technicians have access to industrial-grade protective masks and even suits when needed, and you should, at the very least, try to protect your mouth and sinuses with a mask when working near mold damage. For those with asthma or respiratory issues, the urgency of this precaution is even higher. We firmly recommend that you do not grapple with this problem. Our main advice is to call us to tackle your mold problem. Be safe, not sorry.
 
Hands Off
Some types of mold can produce toxic or infectious byproducts, making the act of touching mold with your bare hands potentially dangerous. In general, you should never touch visible mold growth, as doing so can not only hurt you but also spread the mold to other surfaces. If you touch mold by accident, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching other surfaces.
 
Be Mindful of Other Dangers
Many mold damage cases come with additional problems, whether you are aware of them or not. That patch of mold could be the result of a five-year-old water pipe leak, and in addition to allowing mold growth, it may have already long weakened the surrounding structure. Being aware of structural issues and other types of damage could save you money while protecting your home investment.
 
SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North is ready 24/7 to respond to local disasters and home damages. Just give us a call at (301) 340-1313.

Dealing With Severe Mold Damage After 48 Hours

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to residential water damage, there is a clear deadline which all technicians must follow. The forty-eight-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 Rockville homes. At SERVPRO, 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 is developing.

Carpeting
Heavily affected areas of carpet are heard to clean. Usually, it is more economical to remove them and find a replacement. We can help you to do this, as we have a wealth of industry contacts. Unless you would prefer to arrange your own replacement, our technicians are happy to source and install new carpeting. Replacement 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
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 twelve 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 us 24/7 on (301) 340-1313 for a professional restoration service.

IICRC Certified Firm

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Both SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North are IICRC firms. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

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 residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

Holiday Fires - Christmas Tree Fire Safety

11/16/2016 (Permalink)

Bulbs on a tree Christmas Tree Fire Safety

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 three 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 or when 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.

If you have a fire, call SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney or of Silver Spring North. We make it "Like it never even happened."

Faster to your Rockville-Olney or Silver Spring North Water Damage Event

11/11/2016 (Permalink)

Water damage Water damage caused by water heater leak.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and 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 more.  SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 301-340-1313

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • 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.

About SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North

SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and of Silver Spring North specialize in the cleanup and restoration 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.

Certifications

  • 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

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