Recent Posts

Coastal Carolina Condo Development

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Coastal Carolina Condo Development Condo devastated by Hurricane Florence

SERVPRO of Harford County was quick to respond to the aftermath of Hurricane Florence's destruction of the Carolina Coast. Our crews were called into help restore eight condo buildings on the coast of North Carolina which suffered varied degrees of water damage from the storm. 

Our team walked each and every room of the eight buildings affected with a member of the condo association board. We worked with them closely documenting the steps to be taken to restore their buildings and educating them on the process along the way. 

Each room had varied degrees of damage and so a thorough and detailed scope of action was necessary. Our team continued to work very closely with the condo association board and property manager keeping them up to date and fully informed on our daily progress for the duration of the project.

SERVPRO of Harford County successfully mitigated water damage in 70 of the condos in this coastal development within the expected time frame of two weeks. We are known for our quick response, but also have a long resume of large-scale jobs with quick turnaround times. We couldn't be more proud of our team and the kind accolades they received from this condo development's property manager:

"SERVPRO was onsite less than 24 hours after contacting them, ready to work...they were able to scope the damage in all units and begin placing drying equipment within 48 hours of arriving onsite. Demo of wet and damaged areas began shortly thereafter and was extremely organized. The SERVPRO staff was courteous and worked amazingly well with my owners and guests onsite. They made a huge job, and even bigger mess, something manageable. I highly recommend them because of their professional attitude, meticulous work ethic, and unmatched experience." 

Mold Growth in Your Home

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold Growth in Your Home Significant mold growth in a basement after water loss

At SERVPRO we are not only dedicated to helping our customers get back to their lives after a disaster, but we also feel it's important to educate our customers so that they can make informed decisions. Mold is a common problem that most homeowners in the area deal with. What is mold? They are a type of fungi that exist everywhere and only need moisture and a compatible surface to survive. There are at least a hundred thousand different species of mold. While some types of mold are benign, some other types can be toxic. 

To address mold growth, it’s important to know the different types of mold you’re dealing with. Each one comes with its unique characteristics, and growth patterns. It’s also important to know what areas are attractive to mold in your home.

Here are some of the common mold species found in your home:

Acremonium: Found on dead plants and soil, it grows indoors on paper and drywall tiles.

Alternaria: This mold is very commonly found on food, plants, rotting farmland manure and is resistant to most fungicides. 

Aspergillus: There are many species of Aspergillus

Botrytis: Associated with plants, high humidity levels and plenty of plants attract this mold.

Our technicians receive advanced training to deal with your mold issues. When you are looking for the best mold remediation services, SERVPRO is the only name to trust. Committed to providing excellent remediation and restoration services, SERVPRO has the dual advantage of highly trained staff and cutting edge technology.

Causes of a Flooded Basement

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Causes of a Flooded Basement Flooded basement caused by sump pump failure

Main Causes Of Basement Flooding

Whether you're in Bel Air, Fallston or Forest Hill, flooding of basements is one of the most common issues most homeowners face. Although flooding occurs during the rains or rapid snowmelts, it can also occur in dry weather.

There are many reasons for basement flooding including seepage, storm sewer backup, improper sloping and others. As the basement lies in the lowest level of a building, it is prone to flooding.

What causes basement flooding?

These are the most common causes of basement flooding:

Foundation Leaks: Water can seep into the foundation if there are cracks in it. The risk of flood in your foundation is more if your home is near groundwater. Cracks in the foundation can lead to significant water leakage into the basement.

Leaking basement windows: Windows in the basement can leak and let water creep in during rains. Whenever it rains, there could be a significant collection of water on the windowsills. Fixing the windowsill is the only option to prevent basement flooding.

Blocked sewer: If the manifold that connects the public sewer system to your house is blocked it can lead to floods in your basement. It is important to call local authorities immediately to address blocked gutters.

Debris in gutters: The gutters play a critical role in preventing basement flooding as they carry away rain water from the home.  If they are clogged or damaged, they can overflow during rains and allow water to build up. If the ground near the basement soaks up too much water, it can seep into the basement as well.

Improper grading or sloping: If the yard does not slope away in the right manner, rain water does not drain effectively. If the sloping is towards your home rather than away, excess water can result in basement flooding. 

Improper downspouts: Downspouts channel water away from the foundation and should be at least 5 to 6 feet away from the wall of the basement. If the downspouts are missing or broken, water tends to pool near the house and slowly seeps into the basement.

SERVPRO of Harford County provides professional cleanup and restoration services on a 24 x 7 basis to ensure your building and basement is free from flooding and other water-related damage.

What is Ice Damming?

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What is Ice Damming? Illustration of ice damming

What Is Ice Damming?

Weather is often the most obvious culprit behind a host of problems including building or structural damage, injuries, mold growth, water damage or flood.

An ice dam is a common occurrence in winter in areas where snow is in plenty such as the Hereford Zone. Basically, an ice dam refers to build-up of ice on sloped roofs’ edges of heated buildings. The build up occurs when melting snow beneath a snow pack reaches the roof edge or eave and freezes there.

The frozen snow on the eave prevents the meltwater drainage that further builds the ice dam. The backup of meltwater causes water leakage and structural damage to buildings and their contents. Ice dams can also damage ceilings, walls, insulation and other areas. When there are areas of dampness, the risk of mold growth is also high.

What causes ice dams?

Along with snow, the outside surface temperature on the roof should be more than 32 degrees F with lower surfaces on the roof being less than 32.  When outer surface temperature is more than 32, the snow begins to melt. The melted snow flows down into the roof and reaches the lower surface where the temperature is less than 32 and here is where it freezes forming an ice dam.

Sources of heat within the building lead to formation of ice dams include:

  • Chimneys
  • Air leakage
  • Improper insulation
  • Exhaust systems

Ice dams and injuries

Ice dams can cause serious injuries and some businesses and homeowners have experienced property damage up to $20,000 because of this phenomenon.

Many of the claims are because of property damage that occurred due to pooled water in the ice dam or roofs collapsing.

Why choose SERVPRO? SERVPRO is the leading specialist in water removal and clean-up when your property or structure is at high risk of damage from ice damming or water leaks. With state-of-the-art drying techniques and water removal equipment, SERVPRO can help restore the building to its original glory.

What to do When Your Pipes Freeze

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What to do When Your Pipes Freeze SERVPRO of Harford County responded to a burst pipe at a 12 story office building in the midst of the freeze-and-thaw winter pattern

Every year when winter arrives, homeowners and commercial establishments brace for icy conditions and plummeting temperatures. Close to 250,000 homes experience burst or frozen pipes in the U.S. every year. In fact, SERVPRO of Harford County responded to a burst pipe at a 12 story office building in Cockeysville, MD in the midst of the freeze-and-thaw winter pattern. A pipe broke on the top floor of a 12 story office building affecting every floor beneath it and 30 occupied units. Our team was able to extract and dry the building in 72 hours with minor demolition required. All tenants were able to stay open for business throughout mitigation.

Apart from cutting off access to running water, frozen pipes can damage property when they burst because of the immense pressure created in the faucet, so what should you do when pipes are frozen? Here are some of the emergency measures you can take to thaw frozen pipes:

  • The most popular pipe-thawing option is with hot water. Wrap the pipe with a burlap bag or a heavy towel to concentrate heat against it. Place a bucket to catch excess water and pour boiling water on the towel.
  • Some plumbers also advise pouring a big bowl of hot water to which some salt is added down the frozen drain. The slurry acts like rock salt that is used to melt sidewalks that are covered with ice. Repeating this a couple of times can get water flowing again through the pipe.
  • A thaw machine is a portable device used by plumbers to thaw the frozen pipe. The thaw machine provides high currency, low-voltage electricity to thaw the pipe. As sections start to thaw, warm water flows through the ice and melts it. 
  • Propane torch with flame-spreader nozzle is used by some, but this can be a dangerous device to use. When not used carefully, the torch flame can ignite or damage wall behind pipe. Placing fireproof material between the wall and pipe can be a precautionary measure.
  • Using a garden hose is also one of the safer options to thaw pipes. Insert a hose as far as possible and feed hot water using a funnel at the other end.

Calling a plumber immediately is always the best course of action to prevent serious consequences of a frozen pipe, but if you need mitigation from a burst or frozen pipe, SERVPRO is the trusted leader in the cleaning and restoration industry and has the required expertise, technology and training to handle wide-ranging water damage restoration services.

SERVPRO Cares

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO Cares SERVPRO fo Harford County raises $2,700 for the children at St. Vincent's Villa

It has always been important for SERVPRO of Harford County owners Jim and Trish Wall to give back to the community. They were thrilled to be a part of St. Vincent's Villa Pancake Breakfast with Santa, sponsored by the Knights of Columbus on Saturday, December 8th in Timonium, MD. 

SERVPRO of Harford County reached out to friends, family, vendors, and to the public, and boy did they respond! We collected $1,350 which was matched by the company for a total donation of $2,700 for gift cards for the children of St. Vincent's, a comprehensive residential treatment facility for children ages 5-14 operated by Catholic Charities of Baltimore. Our generous donors had their names written on ornaments placed on a tree which was presented to St. Vincent's along with gift cards and small gifts by our festively dressed marketing staff, and our very own SERVPRO Storm troopers. 

As you can imagine, the Storm troopers were a big hit with the children. According to Trish, "This morning was truly one of the most special and rewarding experiences I have ever had. Watching those kids' faces was priceless and getting to interact with them to make them smile was amazing. Thank you all for making this a possibility and I really hope we can make it an annual event."

Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires Stay with the food while you cook at your Edgewood,MD home

The kitchen is a source of many home fires, but there are many things you can do to keep your family out of harm's way. Some hazards you can easily remove by making small changes in the way you cook. Other risks can be minimized by properly maintaining the many appliances in the room. Take a look at some statistics from the National Fire Protection Association and then use the following quick tips to avoid the frustration and expense of kitchen fires.

  • Two-thirds of home-based kitchen fires start when food and other cooking materials ignite.
  • More than 60 percent of home cooking fires took place with ranges, as opposed to ovens.
  • The number of household kitchen fires peaks on Thanksgiving Day.

Don't Walk Away

One of the most important things you can do to protect your kitchen and home from fire damage is to stay with the food you're cooking. You need to act fast if you have a grease fire. Don't walk away while waiting for water to boil and if you have to run out to do some errands, turn off the stove and remove your pots of food. The same is true of any food you have in the broiler.

Clear the Area

The second of these tips is to inspect your cooking area for items that could catch fire. Check your clothing for large-fitting shirts or aprons. Watch out for oven mitts, appliance cords, or recipe books that could catch fire if they are too close to a burner. Many home chefs use towels to move pots off the stove, but these could dangle onto the burner and lead to flames.

Think Safety

As you invest in appliances for the kitchen, don't forget to purchase a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors. These two affordable devices could mean the difference between expensive fire damage with injuries and a small amount of cleanup without injuries. Don't just buy those items; make sure you know how to use them and that they are in working condition.

The more you know about cooking safely, the better off you and your family will be. You may find that fire departments and fire restoration companies in Edgewood,MD, have additional tips to offer.

When Is a Roof More Than a Roof?

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial When Is a Roof More Than a Roof? Roof damage due to storm and wind in Edgewood,MD

Businesses in Edgewood,MD, are sometimes battered by inclement weather with such ferocity that even the roofing materials can be in danger of being torn from the building. As a business owner or manager, you may already know how to maintain a secure roof, but you may not know why it is imperative to prevent roof damage. So, why is it important to maintain the security of roofing materials, including tiles and fabrics? The answers may surprise you.

1. Coverage

A roof is often designed to hold the building walls together. When the design is fractured, it can weaken the integrity of the whole building. With the loss of a secure structure, the chance of wind damage can splinter the walls or crash the roof onto the offices, apartments or work spaces below. If there are multiple floors, the damage can be costly.

2. Security

Roofing materials are typically created to meld together into one unit once they are installed. This can provide security against roof damage for the apartments, offices, machines, and inventory hidden inside the rooms in your commercial building. When a sudden storm appears, knowing the building is secure can be important to tenants.

3. Protection

Sometimes storms rear their water-spattering heads without significant warning. When that occurs, employees, clients, or tenants can be stranded in your building during the worst of the tempest. Your roof may be the only protection between those people and rain, hail, or debris. In other words, your roof can be a protective umbrella.

Sometimes a roof is more than just a roof. Whether it is holding a building together, providing security for offices and apartments, or acting as a shielding umbrella, your roof may be the most important part of your building’s structure during the storm. Wind can be brutal in its roof damage, so rather than letting nature’s blasts cause you to get a roof rebuild, why not continue the regular annual maintenance on your roof? If you have questions, contact a storm cleanup expert to find out how to make your roof more storm-resistant.

4 Tips for Cleaning Furniture After a Flood

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Finding water in your home in Aberdeen,MD, can leave you wondering what to do next. No matter the source of the flooding, you may want to figure out a way to get your house back to normal. Working with a residential water remediation team can help you repair your space. This crew of professionals can even help you clean your waterlogged furniture. Keep these tips in mind as you go through the restoration process.

1. Let it dry out

You're likely eager to get your life back to normal after dealing with flooding in your home. However, you cannot generally speed through the restoration process. Your furniture has to completely dry out before you can start repairing it. If you skip this step, you may encourage the growth of mold. Removing the furniture from your house can facilitate drying. Taking pieces apart can also help speed up the drying time.

2. Try to remove contaminants

If the source of the water in your home came from a broken pipe, you might not have to worry about much bacteria or mold spores in the water. However, if the water source was a sewage backup or river overflow, your furniture may have soaked up a few contaminants. Using a cleaning solvent to disinfect the items may be necessary.

3. Use the best cleaning method

While solvents and other cleaners may work well for some pieces of furniture, others may have to be dry cleaned. Dry cleaning is often needed for upholstered furniture that has non-colorfast or delicate fabric.

4. Replace broken parts

Some parts of your furnishings may have been soaking in water for an extended period of time. This can wear out parts. Rather than keeping damaged pieces, consider replacing broken or warped items whenever possible.

Not all of your furniture will be able to survive standing water in your home. Knowing how to repair water-damaged furniture can help you feel more confident throughout the remediation process.

Recognizing the Signs of Common Sewage Problems in Your Building

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Recognizing the Signs of Common Sewage Problems in Your Building Massive sewage backup in a Aberdeen, MD facility

Have you currently had experience with a toilet overflow or a blocked sewer causing several clogged drains? If you have, then your business may be experiencing any number of common sewage problems. For instance, a simple leak may have caused the toilet overflow, while a deteriorated pipe may be causing your consistently clogged drains; however, the real culprit may be impossible to know without professional inspections, but knowing the signs of each type of leak can help a professional narrow down any likely causes.

1. Signs of Common Leaks

Most common leaks stem from leaky faucets or malfunctioning toilet flanges. Common leaks can be some of the easiest to fix and often can be handled without the need to hire a professional. For example, a running toilet can be fixed by replacing the malfunctioning gasket, while tightening or replacing the washer can fix a leaky faucet.

2. Signs of Deteriorated Pipes

The most apparent sign of deteriorated pipes is a blocked sewer or repetitive clogs in your system. Deterioration typically manifest in cast-iron pipes, which leads to the peeling away of the internal coating, and it is this coating that can end up blocking and clogging your drains. If you wish to remedy this kind of issue, you may need the assistance of a certified plumber.

3. Signs of Pipe Collapse

The most extreme sewage problem occurs when a pipe breaks or collapses. A pipe collapse typically occurs underground. Several things to watch out for are dramatic divots in your property, cracks along your foundation, or cracks on your walls and ceilings. As most pipe collapses can cause significant foundation issues, you will want to consult with a certified professional in the Aberdeen,MD , area.

A blocked sewer and other common problems can significantly hinder business operations; however, if you know the signs to look for, it is possible to seek the aid of a professional and resolve any concerns as efficiently as possible.