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Effective Ways to Get Rid of Dryer Lint

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Effective Ways to Get Rid of Dryer Lint Cleaning your dryer vent will help ensure your home is safe from a lint fire

Excess dryer lint: It’s a problem just about everyone deals with, but it can be much more serious than you may think. Over time, your dryer will collect lint from your apparel as well as towels, blankets and anything else you wash and dry. If you neglect to dispose of these materials and clean out the dryer exhaust, a lint fire could result in your Harford County, MD, home. The consequences of this could be disastrous. Fortunately, there are some basic ways you can handle this situation and avoid catastrophe.

Clean the Screen

The simplest ways to clean lint from your dryer and stave off the risk of a dryer fire is to clean the lint screen. Depending on the type of dryer you have, you can find this at the top of your dryer or even inside the door or on the side.

* Gently pull out the screen; do not bend.
* Run your hands across the screen and collect the lint; discard it.
* Vacuum the surface of the screen.
* Rinse the screen with water.

Clean Inside the Trap

Often, cleaning off the screen isn’t enough to avoid the risk of fire damage. It’s a good idea to regularly clean out the trap as well. It’s easy for lint to get trapped in this area, so take a vacuum and suction out any remaining debris. Make sure you get your vacuum hose and attachment as far down the trap as possible.

Clean the Exhaust Hose

Another important way to reduce the risk of a lint fire is to unplug your dryer and remove the exhaust hose. You can then vacuum inside the hose or use a long brush to remove lint that may be stuck far inside. Make sure when you put the hose back on that it’s secure.

If you follow these steps, you can help ensure you won’t have a lint fire in your Harford County, MD, home. Cleaning your dryer regularly is an essential way to stay safe.

For more on Harford County click here

3 Mold Prevention Facts That Nobody Told You

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Mold Prevention Facts That Nobody Told You Drywall Mold Damage

Tired of trying the same mold prevention methods as everyone else in Harford County, MD? Here’s why they aren’t working and why you shouldn’t wait too long to deal with water damage.

1. Ventilation Systems Only Work Before Mold Forms

After mold has formed and dried up, its cellular legs become exposed, allowing them to fly through the air like a dandelion seed. Mold can be “planted” once again or remain dormant until it finds a suitable area to grow. Turning on a ventilation system may pull dried mold throughout your building, allowing it to spread. Always stop your ventilation system if you’ve had a mold outbreak.

2. Mold Can Still Spread With Mold-Resistant Materials

When a product like drywall or sheetrock claims to be mold-resistant, it may give you the impression that it completely prevents mold growth. This is simply not true, especially if you’ve already had a mold outbreak and the spores were allowed to spread throughout the building. If the building materials are exposed to moisture for prolonged periods of time, mold can survive on them temporarily until it dries up or finds a better area to settle in the building.

3. The Basement Isn’t Your Only Priority

After water damage, most folks focus their mold prevention efforts only on the inside of a basement, draining it and placing humidifiers throughout. However, before a basement becomes flooded, the water has to come in from the ground around it. If your building isn’t naturally elevated, excess rain water may try to escape directly to the basement.

You may need a professional restoration service to rework the walls in your basement and lay tile lines under the ground around your building. They can guide rainwater away from the basement to help prevent it from entering the building and creating mold.

If you have water damage in Harford County, MD, don’t wait to deal with it until mold settles in. The key to preventing mold growth is to act quickly and mitigate further damage by restoring the area of your property that has been affected.

For more on Harford County click here

Hidden Fire Hazards in Your Havre De Grace Home

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Hidden Fire Hazards in Your Havre De Grace Home Check the Wiring and Watch the Food Cooking

Your Havre De Grace House has Hidden Fire Damage Opportunities.

Are you aware there are common household fire hazards, such as candles, hot plates, and electrical issues that may lead to fire damage in your Bel Air home? There are other sources of potential fire danger that could be lurking in your home.

    Microwaves- A simple microwave malfunction could spark a fast, hot burning flame. Keep your microwave clean, use only microwave-safe dishes and never attempt repairs yourself.
    Batteries- Batteries possess a weak electrical charge, giving them the potential to spark a flame. 9 volt batteries are the most likely type to spark a fire due to the short area between terminals. For safe storage, use a battery case, keep them in the original package and never store near metal items.
    Light bulbs- Using a light bulb with too high of wattage for a fixture can pose a serious fire hazard leading to fire damage in your Bel Air home. It is easy to avoid this danger by locating the bulb wattage recommendation label, and if none is advised, a bulb under 60 watts is considered safe.
    Dryer Lint- Clean the lint trap of your clothing dryer after every use. Built up lint deposits can provide tinder for a quick-burning fire, so ensure that your ventilation duct is also free of debris.
    Stacks of magazines and/or newspapers- Any paper can pose a fire hazard if stored too closely to heating sources. For safety's sake, avoid collecting large amounts of paper in ill-organized stacks.
    Electric blankets and heating pads- Old or frayed wires on electric blankets or heating pads can ignite a fire when in close proximity to beds and sheets. Inspect cords regularly, operate at the lowest comfortable setting and never leave unattended.
    Barbeque Charcoal can easily ignite in storage, should it become damp. Store in a sealed container away from moisture, heat and light to avoid a fire and its result--fire damage.
    Cluttered closets- Piles of clutter that may come into contact with closet light fixtures can ignite unexpectedly. Keep things tidy and well away from light fixtures.
    Dust- Dust deposits around electronics, wires, outlets or heat sources may provide enough matter to ignite a fire. Regularly vacuum or dust around areas where dust buildup may come into contact with heat.
    Outdated appliances- Old wires and worn insulation are the perfect breeding ground for fire damage to nearby items.  Periodically inspection older appliances to check the integrity of wiring and connections.

Locally Owned, with National Resources

We are proud to be an active member of this community. SERVPRO of Harford County is locally owned and operated so we’re already nearby and ready to help Havre De Grace residents with any-sized smoke and fire damage emergencies.

We are fire damage specialists ready for your emergency call.  (410) 679-6260

Fire Damage from Hidden Fire Hazards in Churchville

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Damage from Hidden Fire Hazards in Churchville Check the Wiring and Watch the Food Cooking

Fires are one of the most devastating realities that a property owner might have to face. And unfortunately, there are numerous fire hazards that you may not be aware of that can cause problems. If left unchecked, these hazards could lead to Churchville fire damage to your property. However, learning more about hidden fire hazards can help you protect your property. Get the information you need about unseen fire dangers by SERVPRO to help protect your home from fire damage.

Churchville Fire Damage Prevention Tips from SERVPRO

Electrical Wires. In most residential properties, the cause of an accidental fire is electricity. Appliances that are plugged into your wall outlets are the most prevalent danger. Electrical arcing can send a spark into adjacent flammable material like a pillow resulting in a fire. However, one of the hidden causes of fire is arcing in electrical wiring. In fact, your home contains hundreds of feet of this wiring running down the interior of walls, attic spaces or basements and crawlspaces. Rodents that gnaw on insulation can expose the wiring. A screw or nail that is carelessly driven into your wall for picture hanging can puncture the wiring, thereby creating a significant fire hazard and possible electrocution. As reported by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical fires make up over 50,000 home fires every year, many resulting in significant fire damage.

The Laundry Room. Another hidden fire hazard is the laundry room or clothes dryer area. Clothes dryers collect lint during the drying process. Although many homeowners clean their lint trap regularly (should be cleaned before each use), this is not always enough to prevent a hidden fire mishap. The duct work leading to the exterior exhaust vent should both be inspected to allow unrestricted air movement. The dryer housing, which contains the heating elements, should be vacuumed to keep out the combustible lint. Of course, the clothes dryer must be connected to a UI approved outlet and amp load.

Household Appliances. All smaller electrical household appliances could be hidden fire dangers if not used, cleaned, and stored safely. Toasters and coffee makers should be kept free of debris and unplugged when not in use. SERVPRO suggests that you pay special attention to allow heat dissipation from the bottom of your laptop computer. Common sense works. Hair dryers and bathtubs are a deadly combination that not only can lead to fire damage but also death.

Let The Professionals Of SERVPRO Assist You. Although being aware of fire hazards can reduce your susceptibility to an unwanted incendiary event, there is still a chance that your property could go up in flames. Be careful, cautious, and safe. However, if you require high-quality fire damage restoration services for your Churchville home, call us for help. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will offer you the detail-oriented, customer-first services that you deserve, and we will always aim for your best interests.

Locally Owned, with National Resources

SERVPRO of Harford County is locally owned and operated. When you have a fire or water emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help. Our Disaster Recovery Teams are ready to help 24/7. Call (410) 679-6260

What Do You Do After Sewage Damage?

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Do You Do After Sewage Damage? Professional cleaning and sanitizing after a sewage backup

Damage that results from an overflowing sewer isn’t just annoying; it’s unsanitary, and it can be hazardous. Sewer cleanup is normally better left to the professionals, since there is a possibility of airborne contaminants and other health hazards. You might be able to clean a bathroom floor after a flooded toilet incident, but raw sewage water is a different thing altogether.

How To Tell Which Type of Cleanup You’ll Need

There are different categories of water:

• Category 1 water comes from a sanitary source of clean water. For instance, this water could come from your kitchen faucet.
• Category 2 water is usually contaminated. Water coming from a toilet overflow, your dishwasher, or your washing machine could fit into this category.
• Category 3 water is grossly contaminated. This water could cause illness or even death because the water might carry organic matter, microbes and silt. Water coming from an overflowing toilet with feces in it or from a sewer backup might be considered category 3.

Establishing which type of sewer cleanup you need is important. You might be able to handle category 1 water by yourself, but for a more serious spill in Harford County, MD, you likely need professional help.

How Cleaning Up Works

Once the category has been established, cleanup can begin. The first thing to do is shut off your water, but don’t touch any electric or submerged appliances. You must also make sure that your electric and gas services are shut off.

Wear protective clothing, which can sometimes be required and might even need to include a protective face mask. All the dirt, soil and particles from the water should be removed, and any items that might be saved should be rinsed with hot water and then disinfected.

The areas affected need to be sanitized and aired out. It’s important to not turn on the AC during cleanup, since contaminated water may get into the unit.

Sewer cleanup can be difficult to deal with due to how hazardous it can be. Make sure to reach out for professional help if you think you might need it.

For more on Harford County click here

4 Tips for Responding to Commercial Water Damage

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Tips for Responding to Commercial Water Damage Commercial Water Loss in Harford County

Floodwater, rainwater, or a pipe burst situation can all leave your business property damaged. Before further steps can be taken to remedy the situation, the entire building must be dried out. Only once the drying procedures have been completed can further plans for repair and restoration be undertaken. Review the following cleanup and damage tips to get started.

Tip One: Focus on Safety

There are several health and safety concerns to bear in mind for yourself, your clients, and your employees. Power lines may be live; natural gas appliances may be leaking; floodwaters may be contaminated by waste or sewage. Protecting safety is probably the most important of remediation and damage tips. At all times during cleanup efforts, be sure to wear gloves and protect your mouth and eyes.

Tip Two: Understand How Water Causes Damage

There are three ways water leads to property damage. It's important to understand all of them to effectively and thoroughly dry the building.

• Direct damage happens when wood warps, wallboard falls apart, and electrical parts malfunction.

• Contaminants affect nearly everything in the flood path. Mud, sewage, and unknown contaminants lead to dirty, unhealthy conditions.

• Moisture often goes unseen and continues to promote damage, including dry rot.

Tip Three: Use Natural Ventilation as Much as Possible

When your building is soaking wet, you may believe the best solution is to dry it out as quickly as possible. However, some drying methods can cause even more damage than the flooding caused. A hot air power drying system is especially dangerous for older buildings. Before renting this type of equipment, open all the windows in the building and let natural evaporation and air flow provide consistent drying. Learn more cleaning tips before proceeding.

Tip Four: Contact a Professional

In the best-case scenario, cleaning up after a flood is an overwhelming task. In the worst cases, the job is dangerous and hazardous to your health. Professionals have the equipment and training necessary to complete the work safely and completely. They may also share damage tips appropriate for Harford County, MD.

What Is That Smell? Removing Bad Odors After a Flood

6/13/2018 (Permalink)

After flood water recedes in Harford County, MD, sometimes unpleasant odors are left behind in commercial buildings. Unless addressed properly, these odors can linger, which can make getting back to business difficult. However, it does not have to be this way. These three tips can help get your building back to normal after a flood.

Tip 1: Prevent Fungus Growth

Some of the primary causes of unappealing smells after a flood are mildew and mold growth, which can occur if carpets, walls, and upholsteries are left damp for a long period of time. After a flood, there are a few things you can to stop the process:

• Remove water from carpets with a wet vacuum to begin the drying process.
• Run dehumidifiers.
• Increase circulation in the room with fans.

The quicker you can get your commercial building dry, the less mildew and mold growth will occur.

Tip 2: Try a Natural Approach

Some of the best post-flood odor removers are common household products. There are many different cleaning solutions you can use to remove odor, but sometimes the simplest are the best:

• One part white vinegar mixed with two parts warm water is an effective odor-removal spray for curtains.
• Baking soda poured directly onto carpet can help absorb smells, exactly like it does in the refrigerator.
• Unused kitty litter is also an effective odor absorber when left in bowls around the room.

These often-overlooked items may help to get rid of an unwelcome smell.

Tip 3: Know When To Call a Professional

Sometimes, even after you have tried all of these tips, an odor can linger longer. This may be caused by sewage loss during a flood, which can cause an overgrowth of odor-causing bacteria. This can be resolved with the help of flood reparation professionals, who have special equipment to sanitize the items in your commercial building, killing these bacteria and stopping mold in its tracks.

Calling professionals can help you to get your commercial building up and running after a natural disaster. Rely on their assistance and these tips to eliminate mold growth and make your commercial building safe and odor-free.

For more on Harford County click here

A Fun Mold Experiment

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation A Fun Mold Experiment Call SERVPRO of Harford County for a mold estimate at tel:(410) 679-6260

Mold can easily grow within 24 to 48 hours after a water damage occurs. It begins to colonize in 1 to 12 days! SERVPRO of Harford County decided to put this to the test...

The photos on the left represent the control group. The pieces of drywall pictured encountered zero excess moisture.

The photos in the center mimic a water damage that occurs during the winter months and goes undiscovered until the spring when weather warms up and mold spores reach their "happy" place (70+ degrees). These pieces of drywall were submerged in water for ten minutes then placed in Ziploc bags to observe.

The column of pictures on the right represents a DIY water mitigation job. This happens more than you would think. A homeowner dries and cleans the water damage on their own without the help of a professional. Approaching a water damage this way often leads to the structure not being fully dried and susceptible to mold growth. These pieces of drywall were submerged in water for 30 seconds and then placed in the Ziploc bags for observation.

The results are right on. Mold growth was seen a mere 7 days after encountering moisture... and after 4 weeks?!? No thank you! It's of utmost importance to have water mitigated correctly after a loss. But, if it's not, we are here for you as well. Mold mitigation just happens to be one of SERVPRO of Harford County specialties. 

Post Fire Water Cleanup

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Post Fire Water Cleanup When cleaning up after a fire there are damages from the flames, smoke, soot, and water from fire fighting efforts

Water cleanup after a fire in Harford County, MD, can sometimes cause more stress than the fire itself. If the fire department gets to your home early enough, the fire may be put out before it can cause too much damage. The damage done during this period, however, can still be extremely costly.

Damage Caused by Water

A fire hose can spray 90 gallons per minute at a force great enough to crush simple furniture, and sometimes a firefighter will have to break through windows, walls, or doors. Water from a fire hose can also cause lasting damage if left alone. It can discolor furniture, build mildew in the walls or rugs, and cause mold to grow on carpet and furniture. Damage to second floors can create sagging areas that need to be carefully worked around until structural repairs can be made.

Tips for Water Cleanup After a Fire

If a fire damaged your commercial building, follow these water and smoke cleanup steps:

• Always have a professional service worker examine electronics and appliances that have been exposed to water before attempting to use them in post fire cleanup.
• Open windows and place fans as needed to properly ventilate carpet and furniture, and help speed up the drying process.
• Separate clothing and fabric for easier drying, and send a small sample for professional cleaning to get rid of the smoke smell. A test sample will tell you whether or not your clothing is salvageable, or if you need to throw out damaged items.
• Dry out furniture by opening drawers and cabinets, unless they’re stuck. Forcing swollen drawers to open could cause worse damage.

Water cleanup can feel like an enormous task, especially if the damage extends throughout your home, but there are a variety of ways to make cleanup semi-painless, including reaching out to fire restoration professionals. Always carefully go through your belongings to salvage whatever possible as soon as it’s safe, and ventilate your home to help dry residual water and air out smoke.

For more on Harford County click here.

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.