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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.

What is involved in a water damage inspection?

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is involved in a water damage inspection? Water damage inspections entail a great deal, and it can really be to your benefit to be knowledgeable about the process.

In the aftermath of a flood or a house fire, it is important to have a Harford County water damage inspection conducted, so that the extent of water damage to the home and your possessions can be determined. You will need to do this, as it will provide you with a good idea of what needs to be replaced in your home, as well as providing your insurance adjuster with what they need in order to adjust your claim for damage with speed and efficiency. You can hire professional water damage inspectors, who frequently tend to by employed by water damage restoration companies. Water damage inspections entail a great deal, and it can really be to your benefit to be knowledgeable about the process.

Inspections for Potential Structural Damage
In the course of a Harford County water damage inspection, the professional who comes to your home will usually begin outside and proceed inside the house. If your water damage is severe, it would be advisable to keep a record (video or photo) of the damage so that you can get the money you need from your insurance company.

Water Damage Inspection on the Outside
If the roof of your home is impacted by the flood or house fire, a professional will be able to check and see if the roof has missing shingles or if it has collapsed to any extent. Additionally, a professional inspector will know how to properly check your chimney, if you have one. He or she will check the chimney for damage, such as cracks, along with making sure that your gutters are not damaged. The inspector can also examine exterior walls for broken windows, collapses, and any indications that there is exterior leaking (examples would be water entering through sealed windows or areas of foundation damage). This professional will also see if there is water damage in your lawn.

Water Damage Inspection on the Inside
When the inspectors get to the interior of your home during a water damage inspection, they will typically begin at the top of the house and work downwards. They will start with the attic, checking for cracked floors and joists, wet ceilings, insulation with excess water, and ductwork that is bent or distorted. When they get to the rooms within the other parts of your home, they will look for damaged ceilings and drywall, wood that is stained or warped, windows that are cracked, and doors that are unable to properly close. Once they are in the kitchen and the bathroom, they will look at the ceramic fixtures, such as toilets, bathtubs, sinks, and tiles on the floor. In the basement, they will search for issues such as pooling water, stained drywall and carpets, cracked floors and walls. They will also look at personal possessions that may be damaged by water, such as clothes, furniture, appliances, and electronics.

Why It Is Important to Hire a Professional to Perform a Water Damage Inspection
Professional water damage inspectors are qualified to inspect your home, as they have the extensive training, experience, and specialized equipment to make sure that they are able to correctly and effectively find any water damage that is present in your home. They have moisture sensor probes, which can detect the amount of moisture in your carpets and walls. Additionally, they use infrared thermography devices so that they can check the parts of your home that are not visible.

Water damage Harford County inspections are crucial after events that cause water damage. You should hire a water damage inspector to assess damages, so that your insurance adjuster can give you a settlement (if it is allowed by your homeowner's insurance policy). It is important to have a trained professional perform this job, as they will have the resources to detect any water damage that is present and that you may miss. If you would like to know more about the process, ask your insurance provider.

Storm Floods are the Worst Kind

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Floods are the Worst Kind Storm damage in a Riverside, MD home

Officially, flooding from a storm is classified as Category 3. In comparison, if the water pipe coming into your home in Riverside, MD, was to break, that would cause a Category 1 flood. The difference is that the Category 1 flood is clean water and the Category 3 flood is some combination of sewage, sea water, river water and stream water.

Some Aspects of Flood Restoration are the Same Regardless of Category

When it comes to water damage, the difference between categories is their levels of contamination. The damage from the wetness is the same across all categories. The damage is found in:

  • Drywall that needs to be torn out.
  • Insulation that needs to be replaced.
  • Flooring that needs to be removed and discarded
  • Items that need to be restored or replaced.
    Category 3 Flood Restoration Presents Special Challenges

The differences between a Category 1 and Category 3 flooding can be seen through a microscope.

Whereas Category 1 water would be relatively clear, Category 3 water would be teeming with bacteria and mold spores. Both categories bring moisture into the home, but the Category 3 flood also seeds it with mold and the nutrients required for growth. This gives the home a virtually instant mold problem.

Category 3 Flood Restoration Requires Immediate Attention

The number one priority in dealing with Category 3 flood damage is to dry out the house as quickly as possible. A totally dry home is not conducive to mold growth. After everything that can be torn out, thrown out or sent out is gone, the goal is to dry out everything that remains. This is where high volume specialty fans come into play. They circulate the air which picks up moisture and takes it outside.

Floods of All Categories Need to Be Addressed Promptly

All categories of flooding are bad. Even the moisture from a Category 1 flood can foster mold growth. With an early start, flood restoration experts can eliminate your flood damage in short order. In the end, that’s what really counts.

How Much Does Mold Damage Cost To Fix?

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How Much Does Mold Damage Cost To Fix? Mold damage from a leak in Aberdeen, MD

There are a wide range of costs for removing mold depending on the type and severity of the problem. The following factors impact the overall cost of mold removal for a residence located in Aberdeen,MD .

How Much Mold is Present

Removal costs are likely to depend on the extent of the growth. A minor growth tends to

  • Cover than 10 square feet
  • Be visible without extensive surface opening
  • Involve a type of mold other than black mold

A major growth, on the other hand, is distinguished by

  • Affecting more than 10 square feet
  • Growing hidden behind walls or under floors
  • Involving Stachybotrys or other risky species

A hygienist or mold specialist can determine the amount and type of mold present in your home. This inspection should last several hours and may cost anywhere from $200 up to $600 or more.

The Type of Mold Growth

A specialist should identify the type of mold before you pursue mold removal. This expert may take

  • Air samples
  • Surface tests with swabs
  • Bulk testing with contents

Analysis of each type of sample may cost anywhere from $30 to $150 to process. The type of mold found may also increase the overall cost of remediation, as in the case of black mold removal.

The Extent of Remediation

Experts may remediate a minor mold problem relatively quickly. This does not mean you should attempt to address a mold problem on your own, as you may spread or expose yourself to spores. A major problem will take more time and may require the removal and replacement of more building materials and contents, which will increase the cost.

Between detection, testing, and remediation costs, you should expect to spend anywhere from $1000 up to $7000 or more. Depending on your insurance coverage or endorsements, you may be able to offset the expense of mold removal and remediation.

How to Minimize Damage to Your Roof

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Minimize Damage to Your Roof This roof suffered significant damage after a recent storm

Of all the part of your office building, the roof should be among the most durable. A high-quality roof should last for decades; however, years of wear and tear from harsh elements and other factors can weaken it. If you detect a roof leak or other damage to your roof, you need to act quickly so the damage doesn’t accelerate and cause more problems.

Inspect It

You should have a qualified professional periodically inspect your company’s roof to ensure it’s in good working order. You can’t always detect issues before the damage is severe, so the inspection process is important. You or a professional in Harford County, MD, should do the following:

• Clear debris from rain gutters.
• Looking for missing shingles.
• Evaluate the soundness of the roof by looking for weak or soft spots.
• Look for holes or other openings where water could find its way into the building.

Cover Affected Areas

If your inspection yields bad news, and you’ve found a damaged roof, you need to cover areas as soon as possible. You can do this with plywood or with tarps. This will help prevent water from getting into the building during rainstorms or snowstorms. This will also help ensure the damaged areas don’t get larger or turn from a roof leak into something more significant.

Repair Quickly

A trained professional in roof cleanup should get your roof ready for restoration. The tart or plywood will do a sufficient job for a time, but it’s vital that you get a competent roofer on the job to replace shingles, repair holes, and handle any other issues your building is facing. The longer you wait to repair the damage, the more likely leaking or other problems will persist.

Over time, a roof leak can develop into a larger problem that could result in disaster. Once you identify the cause of your leak, make sure you follow these steps to avoid more complications.

For more on Harford County click here

How To Maintain Security After a Fire

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Maintain Security After a Fire This home suffered from significant smoke and soot stains after a fire.

Smoke, fire and soot are the new normal at your business site in Harford County, MD. After fire damage ravages your commercial building, you think the situation could not possibly get any worse. Unfortunately, you may be wrong. Imagine the remaining contents lost to looting: burglary or vandalism to property left unsecured by a manmade or natural disaster. Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize the likelihood of this unfortunate, and illegal, occurrence.

Steps To Securing Your Building

Fire damage can destroy exterior areas of the structure leaving it vulnerable to theft. Oftentimes, insurance does not cover stolen goods if you are negligent in safeguarding your property after a fire. Work with your insurance agent and fire restoration specialist to protect your inventory, equipment and other contents.

• Openings that are easily accessible need secured as soon as possible. This may include broken doors, windows, basement openings or areas reachable by a fire escape. Use solid materials to barricade the gaps, such as plywood, 2x4s, nails and bolts.

• For inaccessible areas over ten feet above ground level, nail plywood flush to the building around the perimeter.

Additional Benefits To Securing Your Building

In addition to reducing the chance of looting, preventative measures can thwart further destruction from occurring during the fire cleanup process.

• Tarping, boarding or installing plastic sheeting over a hole in the roof prevents damage from the elements. If left open, rains or high wind could cause added loss.

• Insurance coverage for fire cleanup may be dependent on taking appropriate measures to secure the property. This is to ensure that the claims associated with the fire are not due to other factors occurring after the fact, such as water damage from a storm.

After fire damage take place at your commercial property in Harford County, MD, there is still a risk to your business. During the fire cleanup process, secure your building to prevent looting and secondary destruction from inclement weather.

For more on Harford County click here

Why Is Your Water Heater Making Noise?

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Why Is Your Water Heater Making Noise? Inspect your water heater periodically to avoid your water heater going out and causing water damage in your Harford County home

Hot water is the lifeblood of your morning; it jolts you awake after you begrudgingly drag yourself out of bed. It’s a must have in Harford County, MD, but what if your water heater is making noise? Is there cause for concern? Odds are you just need to do some proper maintenance. Here are some of the more common sounds that you might hear, and how to go about fixing them.


Often a humming noise is caused by the element in your heater loosening over time, a natural occurrence as the water flows around it. Simply tightening things up will solve this problem in a jiff.

Bumping or Knocking

This isn’t actually coming from your unit, but rather the pipes in your walls moving as the heater starts up or turns off. There’s no issue here for your heater, but you should have someone check out your pipes to avoid wall damage in the future.

Rumbling and Popping

If you hear a rumble or pop coming from your water heater, it’s likely that some amount of sediment has cooled and settled toward the bottom of the element. When the hot water is forced through the sediment that’s gathered, it creates that sort of crackling sound. Simple maintenance should solve this problem, which is more common in older units than their more modern counterparts. A simple water heater flush should clear out that sediment, and the sounds should go away as a result.

These are the most common noises you’ll hear from your heating unit, but a number of other things can arise as your appliance progresses through the natural wear and tear of daily use. Sediment is naturally going to gather in your heater, but you can also prevent the accumulation through a number of other ways — like a water softener installed in your water line, for example.

The noises you’ll hear coming from your water heater often aren’t dangerous, but instead are indications that you should give it some proper care. Use the tips above to see what steps you should take, and don’t ever hesitate to reach out to trained professionals for additional help.

For more on Harford County click here