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When Bread Goes Bad: Why Mold Grows on Food

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation When Bread Goes Bad: Why Mold Grows on Food Mold can grow on food after sitting in the cabinet for a long period of time

When Bread Goes Bad: Why Mold Grows on Food

It may not be a surprise to you when you find mold growing in the grout in your shower. Then you open your bread box to make a sandwich, and you see bread mold there too! Before you decide to pack up and move from your moldy home in Harford County, MD, keep in mind that mold is everywhere you go. All it needs is a warm, moist place to grow and something to eat. Bread supplies all the necessary criteria.

The Mold Trifecta

Bread is a comfort food for humans and mold alike. The same qualities that make it a delicious snack to people make it a nice home for mold. Bread contains three characteristics that mold needs to thrive:

• Moisture
• Warmth
• Organic Matter

Bread mold needs moisture, and compared to other surfaces in your house, your bread box can hold in a great deal of dampness. The air in the bread box is also relatively warm and lacking in air flow. Finally, the ingredients in bread are all organic matter that mold loves to feed on. These three criteria combine to make bread a homey place for mold growth.

Lurking Mold

Just because a place is a little cooler doesn’t mean mold won’t grow there. Fridge mold is common with foods that have been left too long or are more exposed to wet air. Condensation that builds up in your fridge can also contribute to mold issues that, if left unchecked, may require a mold remediation specialist to overcome. The fungus growth in your fridge can spread from food to food if you aren’t careful.

Mold spores in the air land and grow wherever they find a hospitable home. Bread mold on your loaf in the bread box can be an indication that your home may be too humid or that some moisture issue persists, but it also may just mean you need to consume your bread more quickly before it has time to go moldy.

Family Pets and Fires: What You Need To Know

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Family Pets and Fires: What You Need To Know Fire emergency in Harford County can be scary for your family pets

Avoiding a fire emergency in Harford County, MD, begins with efforts to prevent your pets from starting fires. Cats and dogs can inadvertently start a fire in your home in these ways:

? Loose pets are naturally curious and may chew on or play with electrical cords.
? Stove knobs can accidentally be turned on by a jumping dog.
? Cats are infamous for knocking items over, including burning candles.

Before you leave your furry friends home alone, secure pets in crates or with baby gates, remove stove knobs, and extinguish candles. Practicing common pet safety is an easy way to partake in fire prevention.

Before a Fire

While you can do your best to stop your pet from starting a fire, fires still occur for other reasons. It’s crucial to take steps with pet preparation in case a fire emergency does happen. Be sure all important pet items are placed in a fireproof safe, including vet records, proof of vaccinations, and any medications. Finding several pet-friendly places to stay, in the event you are dislocated from your home as a result of a fire, should be part of your pet preparation plan. Finally, training can play an important role in pet safety related to fires. Teaching your dog to come when called may help you locate your pet during an emergency. Be sure to keep collars on your pets when you are not home and leave leashes where they are easily accessible.

After a Fire

Cleaning up after a fire can be a daunting process. A professional company can speed things along to get your house back to pre-fire condition as quickly as possible. This is often the best way to ensure that your home is completely free of visible fire damage, as well as invisible damage such as smoke or odors. A fire restoration company can also resolve any water damage.

A fire emergency can be devastating in Harford County, MD. However, working with a reputable fire cleanup and restoration company makes the disaster aftermath much easier.

For more on Harford County click here.

3 Important Facts About Commercial Mold Insurance Coverage

4/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Important Facts About Commercial Mold Insurance Coverage Mold damage in Aberdeen Commercial Property

Your Aberdeen, MD, commercial building does not have to suffer a major flood to develop mold. Even minor indoor floods or slow leaks can cause mold to grow. Commercial insurance can help you recover from damage caused by fungi; however, there are a few facts you may want to learn about this coverage before you file a claim.

1. Most Water Damage Claims Are Covered

Because most types of indoor mold form due to hidden leaks, water pipe breaks or carpeting that is improperly dried after a flood, most claims that spring from water damage are typically covered by commercial insurance. If a building’s fire safety equipment should spring a leak and cause mold growth where it is not detected until months later, this instance is usually covered as well. You may want to review your policy with a qualified insurance agent to ensure floods caused by natural disasters are covered as well.

2. Restoration Costs Are Usually Included in Coverage

If your commercial property suffers enough mold damage that walls, ceilings or floors must be torn out and replaced, your policy will likely cover the cost of these repairs. For example, if mold develops in the ceiling because of a slow leak in the roof, your coverage would likely pay for a mold mitigation and removal company to come in and resolve the issue. However, you may want to check to see if there is a cap on these costs before you file a claim.

3. There May Be Exceptions to Coverage

While mold insurance typically covers many different instances of mold damage, there may be some exceptions to your policy. Some companies may not cover damage resulting from owner negligence, such as a failure to maintain a building’s plumbing system. Some may limit the amount they cover per policy year, so it is important to read the fine print on your coverage.

Commercial insurance typically covers mold damage stemming from a water mishap in your Aberdeen, MD, building. However, because there are exceptions, you may want to review your policy at least once a year to ensure you have all the coverage you need.

For more on Aberdeen click here.

3 Benefits of Retaining a Water Damage Expert for Your Business

4/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Benefits of Retaining a Water Damage Expert for Your Business Water Damage experts are ready to respond to your restoration emergency

An unexpected flood in your Edgewood, MD, commercial building can cause severe damage to its structure, your office equipment and valuable inventory. Even after flood waters recede, you may be facing the issue of how to handle water clean up and the drying and restoration of affected rooms and items. Having a water damage expert on call can help you resolve these problems and give you peace of mind when it comes to recovering from a flood.

1. IICRC Certification

Whether flooding in your building was caused by a broken pipe or as the result of a torrential storm, a water damage expert registered with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification has the education to not only properly assess the damage but also form a water clean up plan that conforms to the IICRC’s strict standards. This includes official procedures for mold remediation, upholstery cleaning and other restoration details that you may require for your business.

2. Faster Flood Response

Having a flood cleanup and restoration company on call that is staffed with water damage experts can help prevent the kinds of problems that may arise when water is not removed within 24 hours of flooding. Wood warping, mold growth and the spread of bacteria from contaminated flood water can all be mitigated quickly, and since you can contract the same company to perform restoration as well, you do not have to waste time looking for separate services.

3. Expert Drying Services

Drying rooms and items after a flood can be a challenge, and if it is not done correctly, remaining moisture can cause unpleasant odors and mold growth. A water damage expert who has been certified as an IICRC Commercial Drying Specialist can form a drying plan specific to your building’s needs and overcome the challenges that a commercial space may present after a flood.

Flooding may occur at your Edgewood, MD, business without warning. Having a water damage expert on call can prevent long-term damage to your property, as techs can assist you with water clean up and get your business back on its feet quickly.

For more about Edgewood Click here.

A Guide To Preparing Your Home for a Flood

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage A Guide To Preparing Your Home for a Flood When disaster strikes SERVPRO is reliable and ready to respond

When the threat of an impending storm is approaching your Aberdeen, MD, home, it can be difficult to maintain your composure and stay focused enough to prepare your home for flood water. Therefore, it’s important to create a flood preparedness plan for your property ahead of time that can help prevent excess water damage when disaster strikes. Read on to discover how to safeguard your home in the event of a massive storm, giving yourself a go-to resource to use when your adrenaline is overtaking your ability to think and act accordingly.

? Elevate the important interior and exterior components of your home. The first thing flooding can damage is your home’s electrical systems and your various appliances. Therefore, it’s crucial to raise items like your water heater, furnace and electrical panel to higher levels in your home, if possible. If there’s time, contact a professional for help with this matter.

? Invest in check valves to install into your plumbing. A check valve can help prevent any potential flood water from backing up into your home through your drains. If this option isn’t feasible, acquiring large-scale stoppers or corks to plug your tubs, sinks, etc. can be highly valuable.

? Make or restock an existing emergency kit. Keeping things like common medications, bandages, bottled water, non-perishable foods and more in an easy-to-grab storage container or sealed bag can be a life-saving preventative measure for you and your family.

? Line up sandbags around your home. While this presumably isn’t an option if you only have hours left to prepare for an impending storm, filling up sandbags and placing them around your home’s perimeter in the days before a major weather event can help prevent your property from becoming a flooded building.

Controlling your emotions under the threat of an oncoming natural disaster in Aberdeen, MD, can be hard to do. Therefore, having a reliable and handy preparedness plan to protect your home from flood water is key to ensuring you and your family are safe as well as safeguarding your property against maximum water damage.

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HVAC Cleaning Services

4/6/2018 (Permalink)


by NADCA (North American Duct Cleaning Association)

SERVPRO of Harford County have been members since 2015

In addition to normal accumulations of dust and dirt found in all homes with air ducts, there are several other factors that can increase the need for regular HVAC system cleaning: pets, occupants with allergies or asthma, cigarette or cigar smoke, water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system, and home renovation or remodeling projects.

Indoor air quality is one concern that homeowners have when they decide to investigate air duct cleaning. Your heating and cooling system is the lungs of your home. The system takes air in and breathes air out.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 to 40 percent of the energy used for heating or cooling a home is wasted. Contaminants in the heating and cooling system cause it to work harder and shorten the life of your system.


Applying industry knowledge to a real life situation

Before a couple moved into their newly purchased home, they had mold mitigation services preformed before closing. After 5 years they were afraid that the mold had come back because of ongoing sickness in the family. SERVPRO of Harford County came out and informed them that it was, in fact, not mold but a vent cleaning problem. After cleaning out the ducts in their home, the family felt much better and the constant sickness subsided. They stated that they could tell a difference instantly.

Wanda and Elenor have worked for SERVPRO 37 Years!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Wanda and Elenor have worked for SERVPRO 37 Years! Wanda and Elenor holding up a signed thank you poster.

What makes a SERVPRO Crew Chief show up for work 37 years, and counting? Just one little comment…

Wanda Albright, and her sister, Eleanor “Sissy” Helmick, have been SERVPRO of East Harford County Crew Chiefs for nearly four decades, through countless restoration industry changes and three different franchise owners, giving their all for customers and co-workers, too!

Since 1981, this dedicated pair have seen many changes in the restoration industry, and drastic growth for the company, but their focus remains the same: on those experiencing stress and trauma from damages to their homes. Wanda sums up her work’s greatest reward, helping customers and their homes return to normalcy, “I just love going into a home where it’s a disaster and I make it perfect… I like to make a difference.”

Owners Jim and Trish Wall, SERVPRO of East Harford County; SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville; and SERVPRO of Bel Air, understand employees are what makes a business great, and Wanda and Sis are, no doubt, exceptional in their dedication to customer, company, and team. “Throughout their 38+ year careers, Wanda and Sissy have always dreamed of visiting the corporate headquarters, so this past January, we made their dreams come true with an anniversary trip to Tennessee. With the help of our East Harford County General Manager, Toni Townsley, Wanda and Sissy visited SERVPRO Industries, Inc. headquarters, toured the facility, met several corporate employees, and made the SERVPRO TV news in a segment dedicated to them!” Then to top off the fun, the pair spent two nights downtown, enjoying themselves and the sights and sounds of Nashville. It was quite a memorable trip and well-deserved for such dedicated and loyal people.

And while recognition of their accomplishments and acknowledgment of their dedication is surely important to good employee morale, what exactly could keep these crew chiefs coming back year-after-year to the very same job? According to Sis Helmick, just one thing… “It makes me feel good. It makes me feel proud when someone comes to me and tells me ‘Thank you so much. You’ve helped us tremendously.’ That’s what I do it for. That one little comment.”

How do home and business fires differ?

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

How can the fire damage be different between a business location and your own personal dwelling? Here's how.

Fire in Home

Your personal belongings will most likely have more sentimental attachment involved. This means fire damage restoration needs to happen quickly to keep those items in tact. The unfortunate thing about a fire is people typically wait too long to address the restoration process. The carpet will require soot damage removal. That way the smoke smell doesn't inhabit your home for years to come. Professionals can also clean walls and roofs during the fire restoration process. This gets your personal dwelling back to pre-fire condition. A fire in home can disrupt your normal life because you may have to find a different place to live. You may have to find an apartment during fire cleanup but insurance may cover that. The good news is during that period more can potentially be salvaged during the fire damage restoration process.

Fire in Business

Why is commercial fire damage so costly? A fire in business could be detrimental. The clock continues to tick every second the business owner doesn't have a storefront. With each second, the store owner feels as if he or is she is losing money. Most business operations depend on a storefront to make money. Customers need to be able to shop. This is true especially in the world of retail. Many other industries also need a place where potential customers can be welcomed in. Restaurants, financial industries, pharmacies and gas stations are all examples of businesses that would lose large chunks of money in a commercial fire damage loss.

Clients won't be able to visit an office so the price tag for commercial fire damage could be immense if fire restoration isn't a quick process. Machines may need to be cleansed. Walls and roofs can be exposed with soot damage. The smoke smell could be hard to erase. Fire cleanup by professionals can provide a business owner the opportunity to quickly get back on their feet and open those doors to customers.

Most business owners have insurance. This means fire restoration is a must with commercial fire damage. The fire cleanup is a necessity to get the business back running.
Visit for more information on fire damage.

How To Sort Through Wet Items After a Flood

3/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How To Sort Through Wet Items After a Flood Flooding in Edgewood Home

Not all flood water in a home is caused by heavy rains or storms. A sudden flood could occur in your Edgewood, MD, home as the result of a broken washing machine or a burst pipe during cold weather. When flooding happens, it can be difficult to know how to handle your water-damaged items. From furniture to toys and more, the drying and restoration process can be different for each object, but there are a few strategies you can use for sorting them safely.

Prepare a Drying Room

Having a room to dry soaked items properly can help prevent further damage, especially to fragile items like books and documents. Set up a dry cleaning room before you sort, and create an environment that includes the following:

" Low humidity
" Oscillating fans
" Little to no exposure to sunlight

Having a drying room can help you sort belongings with more efficiency and get the drying process started faster after a broken pipe or leaky washer causes a flood.

Sort Items by Material

Sorting items by their material can help you assess the worst of the damage. Metal objects, for example, will probably have suffered the least amount of harm from water in the home and can be dried, then sanitized. Porous items, like plastic toys and wooden objects, may suffer discoloration or warping after a flood. A flood cleanup and restoration company can advise you on whether furniture can be salvaged or repaired.

Treat Photos With Care

Sorting and salvaging photographs can be difficult, but it is possible to save them with a bit of patience. If photos are stuck together, do not pull them apart. Soak them in tepid water until they separate, and then dry them face up in your drying room. The low humidity can help prevent curling and fading.

Floods can happen in your Edgewood, MD, home for a variety of reasons. Knowing the best practices for sorting and salvaging wet items after water in a home causes damage may help you prevent further harm to family heirlooms and reduce loss.

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Can Beloved Possessions Be Restored After Black Mold Damage?

3/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Can Beloved Possessions Be Restored After Black Mold Damage? Mold Cleaning in Aberdeen Home

Black mold can be devastating. Whether it’s a result of a flooding event or an ongoing problem with high humidity, the destruction of your home’s building materials can pale in comparison to the loss of personal possessions. While drywall and flooring can be replaced by a good contractor, an old photograph or beloved leather sofa may not be so easy to replace. However, mold cleaning services are available. A reliable mold remediation service in Aberdeen, MD, can help.

You may be surprised by how many of your possessions can be saved. Cleaning and restoration are available for:

• Electronics
• Clothing
• Leather Goods
• Furniture
• Paintings
• Documents
• Photographs

Depending on how extensive the initial damage is, it may not be possible to restore items to perfect condition. However, sentimental items, such as photographs or important documents, may be restored to a state that is more acceptable than throwing the items out.

How Are Items Restored?

Mold cleaning professionals have a host of cleaning and disinfecting techniques available to them that are difficult or impossible to duplicate at home. These include:

• Immersion cleaning
• Abrasive cleaning
• Spray cleaning
• Foam cleaning
• Dry cleaning
• Wet cleaning

They also have industrial grade equipment to dry and dehumidify items, gamma irradiation to sterilize them and freeze-drying equipment to prevent further damage to delicate items, such as photographs. They can also digitize damaged documents so their contents are fully preserved.

What Should You Restore?

Whether a possession is worth restoring will depend on how extensive the mold damage is, how much it would cost to replace and how important it is to you. A one-of-a-kind photograph can’t be replaced and may be worth saving, even with minor signs of damage. On the other hand, it may be better to replace a favorite recliner that’s suffered extensive damage.

If your possessions have been damaged by mold, mold cleaning services in Aberdeen, MD, are available. While it may be better to replace some things, your most beloved possessions can be restored.

Visit us at for more information.