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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Does your Business Need a Demo?

11/5/2021 (Permalink)

While terms like demolition might not be what you want to hear when you own a business, this mitigation step is often one of the most important actions that ultimately saves time and money on restoration. This decision is not one that gets made lightly, however. 

It is always the objective of our SERVPRO team to restore before replacement when it is cost-efficient. Controlled demolition is done meticulously, only removing the portions of materials too severely impacted to restore. 

While much of your stock and inventory can be damaged by standing or spreading water, many of your shop's structural elements can also be damaged with saturation. Some of the most sensitive materials might include: 

  • Drywall
  • Wood Flooring
  • Shelving
  • Clothing
  • Ceiling Tiles 
  • Carpets

No matter how damaging that water loss might be to your business, or when controlled demolition might be necessary,  SERVPRO of Washington County can help. We have a full-service approach from restoration to reconstruction. Call us today!

Knowledge is Power

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

"The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power" -David Bailey

It always makes sense to be a lifetime learner. SERVPRO of Washington County couldn't agree more!

Our crews are always learning. We constantly keep up on all the new equipment, new techniques, etc. Our crew members have to always keep their credentials up to date every year and are always continuing to add to their expertise. 

SERVPRO of Washington County is so proud of the men and women that are called in to help people on some of their worst days. We are able to keep them informed every step of the way. Our crews are able to help them understand the methods they are using, the chemicals they are using, and why these practices are the safest and most effective. The more they know the more "super" powers they have! Next time you see one of our crew members, don't be afraid to ask them about their ever-evolving credentials!

We are here to help.

Fire Prevention for MD Businesses

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Smart Fire Prevention Practices for Maryland Businesses:

  • Hold meetings to educate your employees on emergency evacuation plans.
  • Familiarize and train employees on how to use fire extinguishers and other fire-fighting tools.
  • Stage a fire drill at least once a year.
  • Clearly mark emergency exits and escape routes, and keep them unobstructed at all times.
  • Provide a minimum of one 2A 10BC-rated fire extinguisher for every 75 feet of travel distance within every 6,000 square feet. Mount fire extinguishers on the wall, three to five feet from the floor.
  • Provide quarterly maintenance and 5-year certification of your fire sprinkler system.
  • Remove trash and waste paper from the office on a regular basis.
  • Keep the furnace room, electrical rooms, and spaces below stairwells clear—never use them for storage.
  • Place heat-generating appliances such as copiers, heaters, and coffee makers away from combustible materials.
  • Keep your workspace and equipment well ventilated and clean—especially clear of oil and dust.
  • Do not use electrical equipment when flammable gases, vapors, liquids, dust, or fibers are present.
  • Check to make sure your circuits are not overloaded.
  • Maintain free access to all electrical control panels. Material or equipment stored in front of the panels will slow down power shut-downs in an emergency situation.
  • Use extension cords ONLY for temporary wiring.
  • Replace any damaged or missing electrical components, including the covers on all plates.
  • Identify each circuit breaker in an electrical panel and install blanks for missing circuit breakers.
  • Clearly label the contents of all compressed gas cylinders. Chain or nest cylinders to prevent them from falling over.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Howard County at 410-465-7333 to have us do a complete ERP (Emergency Response Plan) for your business.  We service all of Howard County Maryland including Columbia, Ellicott City, Laurel, Elkridge, and Clarksville.

Keep Rain Outdoors

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

Rain is great for your yard but not to get inside your home.

Many people wake up from a rain storm to a wet basement. It may be from the foundation or could be a pipe leakage, sub pump failure. Many things could have happened and you will want to determine how it happened to get the right person out to repair.

In all the cases though you are going to want to call an expert in helping you to dry out your basement. That expert would be SERVPRO of Washington County.

We can get right to work in getting the water up , drying the structure etc. SERVPRO has the knowledge as to what can be dried and saved and what is better off being throw away. 

Did you know that organic materials like paper, fabric, wood, leather can start to grow mold in as little as a day? Let SERVPRO help you save as much as possible of your things.

SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

(301) 797-0677

Hazardous Sewage Water

10/13/2021 (Permalink)

It's certainly not a pleasant topic to discuss...but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

Earlier in April we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated. It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our SERVPRO IIRC trained professionals determines otherwise).

Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear... doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself.

Our SERVPRO of Washington County crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.

If you experience a sewage backup or sewage related flooding, etc., let us be your first call. We make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Washington County

(301) 797-0677

Let's Learn About Lightning

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

Lightning fires most commonly occur during the summer months when afternoon and early evening storms are at their peak. Homes in heavily wooded areas are extra vulnerable to lightning strikes that set the surrounding landscape on fire. Most people might already know this but do they know what to do to help their home could be as easy as installing a lightening rod or the professional term would be a lightning protection system.

These systems are not intended to prevent a strike. Its purpose is to provide a safe path on which the current can be safely directed to the ground. Talk with an expert and find out if you should have a system on your house.

You will also want to help protect the inside of your house during a storm. Lightning can damage the electronics, telephone and other systems in your house connected to an electrical outlet. The easiest way to protect your appliances is to unplug them when you first hear the clap of thunder.

Surge protectors can help but are not fail-proof if the strike is a powerful one. To protect yourself, stay away from all plumbing including toilets, sinks and faucets as the pipes of your house make excellent conductors. Stay off the phone , corded phone scan conduct the lightening and therefore strike you when your on the phone.

Lightening is amazing and beautiful but also deadly. Make sure not to ever forget that!

Why Use SERVPRO?

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Why use SERVPRO? The toughest part about this question is picking just one answer! Instead of doing it that way, here are a few reasons that you should pick SERVPRO as your go-to disaster mitigation expert.

Things don't always happen between 9 to 5.

You are going to want to call and be heard by a real person. SERVPRO of Washington County is open 27/7/365 days a year. We have a state of the art answering service so that someone can talk to you direct and then get you to the right person to help get this problem on the way to being solved.

All crew members receive the best training in the industry via IICRC. (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification).

Restore vs Replace Philosophy

The drying and cleaning method allows us to save a lot more than replace. The benefits are cost effective, time saving and it helps to give the customer piece of mind. 

To hear even more reasons just give SERVPRO of Washington County a call and we can answer any of your questions.

Is your Business Ready?

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

How quickly your business is able to return to normal operations after a tornado, fire, or even a flood often depends on emergency planning. It is easy to think that such emergencies are unlikely to hurt your business, because truly they aren't a terribly common occurrence. That said, it is even easier to just take the time to prepare for anything.

Even though every situation is unique, your business can still be prepared. Your commitment to emergency planning will help support your employees, customers, industry colleagues, your local community, and even the country. Additionally, it protects your business investment by giving the facility and company a better chance of survival after various emergencies. 

Be informed:

Know what kinds of emergencies might affect your business and devise a plan to deal with them

Develop a Business Continuity Plan:

Plan which staff, procedures and equipment are undeniably necessary to keep operating. Plan a backup plan for everything. Make a procedure for what to do if your facility isn't accessible or if there are utilities disruptions. 

Make Your Emergency Plan:

Evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place plans, communications procedures for before, during and after an incident. Make them. Practice them at least once a year.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness:

Emergency preparedness is a chain reaction. Preparing your business will encourage your employees to prepare their families, their families will encourage their friends, friends encourage other community members, so on and so forth.

Be a leader.

Time and Technology

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

A little water goes a long way in most cases, but especially in terms of water damage. Even the smallest drop of water left to sit after a loss can lead to much bigger problems, including mold. The key to avoiding such mishaps? Proper mitigation and drying techniques. That's why SERVPRO of Washington County should always be your first call when you suspect your home or business has been struck with water damage. Our professionals are specifically trained to use special technology to mitigate properly and efficiently. 

Our SERVPRO trained professionals rely on special technology in multitudes of equipment to see to it that affected areas are completely dry after mitigation. The top 5 pieces of equipment we use are:

  • Moisture Sensors to detect lingering moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls
  • Moisture Meters determine the actual amount of moisture in different materials. The reading these meters provide aids in the drying process
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity, this helps calculations for making the environment more conducive to drying procedures
  • Ultra Low-Volume Foggers atomize liquid deodorizing agents which creates a mist for penetrating any odor causing sites. This tool is also useful for injecting fungicides and disinfectant into wall cavities an other hard to reach spaces
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based solutions via a dense fog. The fog is made up of small particles of deodorizing solutions to neutralize any odors

If this all sounds overwhelming to you, have no fear...SERVPRO is here! Let us worry about the technicalities when it comes to drying your home or business. We have the know how AND the equipment to prevent further damage after a loss that DIY mitigation puts you at risk for.

A Fast Response!

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Washington County will arrive to your home or business quickly, trained and equipped to help people regain control of their lives.

Naturally people become distressed when they experience a loss. One of the most common fear is the loss of control. Our quick response can help ease this fear. 

SERVPRO's guideline is to respond to the insured to arrange service within an hour. SERVPRO of Washington County is always exceeding that guideline of an hour. Call directly to our office any time at (301) 797-0677 in order to speak to a live person.  

Within 4 hours is the guideline to be on site. Again depending on location SERVPRO of Washington County is more than likely going to be there sooner than that to help.

Within 8 business hours of on-site arrival, a verback briefing of the scope will be communicated to the adjuster. 

SERVPRO works directly with the insured's adjuster and make the process of the claim work easy on the assured. SERVPRO can help with the whole process. 

Let SERVPRO of Washington County be there to help you get your life under control if a loss occurs with you. 

SERVPRO of Washington County (301) 797-0677

Fun Summer Nights

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Who doesn't love sitting outside in the summer and enjoying an outdoor fire?

Those lazy night of summer can be fun but don't get lazy when it comes to the fire.

When you are building a fire pit. Make sure it's downwind of your camp site or any backyard items.

ideally you should clear out a 10 foot radius of space around your pit. Make sure there isn't any tree limbs hanging down as well.

Before you build the fire make sure the weather conditions are in the safe zone. Dry, windy weather for example can be a bad time to have an outdoor fire.

When you have finished enjoying the fire make sure it's out. Even if the embers are gray it doesn't mean it's safe.

Pour water on the fire and then stir it with a shovel to test for any hot spots

Summertime is a great time to be lazy but not when it comes to the fire.

Boarding Up!

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

You always see photos of homes and businesses boarding up before or after some kind of damaging event...but do you know why?

In the case of abandoned buildings, boarded up windows and doors are usually a measure to keep vandals or squatters out of the structure. However, in the event of damage or a loss, this process is to protect not only windows and doors from shattering, breaking, or failing in other ways, but to protect the structure itself.

Our professionally trained crews often times board up your home or business before or during mitigation and remediation to prevent any further damage.

If done incorrectly, the boarding up process could actually cause secondary damages such as additional moisture or even animal intrusion. 

Whether it's fire, storm, or another kind of structural damage, boarding up can be just as dangerous as it is important. Especially if the damage or loss has already occurred. 

The most common reasons to board up your home or business are severe rainstorms, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hailstorms, and of course, tornadoes. 

While SERVPRO of Washington County is known to mitigate and remediate fire and water damage, don't forget that we are trained to deal with storm damage as well. Whether it's a tree on your roof, or a flooded basement, we are here to help!

Especially with our rebuild division emerging, SERVPRO of Washington County should be your first call when it comes to recovering and rebuilding after a major storm event. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Also be sure to keep up with us on all social media because we will tweet or post to Facebook when our area is at risk for potential storm damage.

Storms in the Summer

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

It's dry, hot conditions outside. Who is thinking about flooding? Not many people.

The fact is that flooding can happen at anytime of the year. After long periods of dry weather, the ground can become hard and not able to absorb water from heavy rain fall.

Try to educate yourself about flood conditions before they happen. 

Do you know the difference between a "flood watch" and "flood warning"? A "flood watch" means that a flood is possible in your area. A "flood warning "means flooding is already occurring or will occur soon. You should be prepared to evacuate at a moments notice if needed with a warning. 

If there is a flood warning in your area, the smart thing to do is to evacuate and move to higher ground. Stay there until you know it's safe to return.

Don't try to walk through moving water. Even just 6" of water can make you fall down and only 12" can float most cars. 

Keep yourself informed and safe when there is a chance of flooding. Remember it can happen anytime of the year. 

Clean Water or Not?

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Looking Closely

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

First impressions are hard to overcome if they are negative ones. You want the first impression of your business site to be positive. That's hard to do if it's dirty.

Keeping your business clean to make that great first impression is important. You want to keep your clients coming back and we want to help you.

There's so much that SERVPRO can help you with.

I'm sure you think of SERVPRO when a disaster hits but we can do some things you may not have thought about.

SERVPRO offers a variety of cleaning services from Air Ducts /HVAC to biohazard and everything in between.

We can clean carpet, upholstery, drapes, and blinds.

We can bring that old tile back to life and make your floors sparkle again.

We can also get rid of lingering odors and perform a deodorization of the facility.

As always, we are here to help.

Let us help you keep your place shining and making great first impressions for years to come.

Who You Gonna Call?

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

Remember the movie Ghost Buster? Remember the catch the phrase from the theme song....Who you gonna call? When a large storm affects your home or business, one of the first questions you might ask is, "Who am I gonna call?"

Well, that question is easy to answer. SERVPRO of Washington County at (301) 797-0677! You may want to first know the answer to "why" as well.

That answer is easy. SERVPRO is faster to any disaster. Getting to a loss quickly is key in reducing the secondary damage and restoration cost. Emergencies do not always happen during regular hours; which SERVPRO understands .This is why we are available 24/7/365. We are always ready to help.  

Another reason to call is because SERVPRO is a  leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

SERVPRO of Washington County is locally owned. We are party of your community and will be there whenever you need us. 

So do you know your answer when you ask yourself, "Who you gonna call?" The answer should be SERVPRO of Washington County!

(301) 797-0677

Cleaning your Items After a Fire

9/16/2021 (Permalink)

You had a fire and were so glad that it was able to be put out in time. Nobody got hurt, your water is still running, your electricity is still working, but then you realize, " Wow, what a mess!!!"

You now may have water damage, fire extinguisher damage , odor damage, soot all over your home, just to name a few.

SERVPRO is here to help figure out exactly how to clean what and with what method.

Here at SERVPRO of Washington County, we do Dry Cleaning, Wet Cleaning, Spray and Wipe, Foam Cleaning, Abrasive Cleaning, Immersion Cleaning to name some. 

If you have valuable documents SERVPRO might use: Air Drying, Dehumidification, Freeze Drying, Vacuum Freeze Drying or Vacuum Thermal Drying.

SERVPRO can coordinate with your Electronic Clean up. Believe it or not, some or all of your electronics and other appliances can be restored.

So to answer the question...Yes, there is more than one way to clean your items after a fire.

The Lingering Smell of Fire

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Have you ever noticed how when you burn a bag of popcorn in the microwave the smell seems to linger for way longer than it should?

That's what happens with even the smallest fire in your home or business. After a fire if the area isn't properly cleaned, restored, and deodorized the burnt scent  can hold onto to your space for years to come. The smoke from a fire is what carries the awful scent throughout a structure. This smoke sets into any surface it can touch.

If a cleanup isn't executed as fast as possible, the residue can cause permanent damage and could even cause the smell to come back! 

The SERVPRO of Washington County team is highly trained to locate and remove the source of the odor. Other professionals will just mask the scent with a fragrance of some kind and once it wears off, you're left with the bill and no actual solution to your odor problem. 

Our professionals also work to make sure you understand all of your possible options when it comes to deodorization.

Professional Crews and Equipment

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

A little goes a long way in most cases, but especially in terms of water damage. Even the smallest drop of water left to its own devices after a loss can lead to much bigger problems, including mold. The key to abating such mishaps? Proper mitigation and drying procedures. That's why SERVPRO of Washington County should always be your first call when you suspect your home or business has been struck with water damage. Our professionals are specifically trained to use special technology to mitigate properly and efficiently. 

Our SERVPRO trained professionals rely on special training in multitudes of equipment to see to it that the affected areas in your Baltimore area home/business are completely dry after mitigation. The top 5 pieces of equipment we use are:

  • Moisture Sensors to detect lingering moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls
  • Moisture Meters determine the actual amount of moisture in different materials. The reading these meters provide aids in the drying process
  • Thermohydrometers measure temperature and relative humidity, this helps calculations for making the environment more conducive to drying procedures
  • Ultra Low-Volume Foggers atomize liquid deodorizing agents which creates a mist for penetrating any odor causing sites. This tool is also useful for injecting fungicides and disinfectant into wall cavities an other hard to reach spaces
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based solutions via a dense fog. The fog is made up of small particles of deodorizing solutions to neutralize any odors

If this all sounds overwhelming to you, have no fear, SERVPRO is here! Let us worry about the technicalities when it comes to drying your home or business. We have the know how AND the equipment to prevent secondary damage after a loss that DIY mitigation puts you at risk for.

Why NOT use SERVPRO?

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been around since 1967. Wow, right? That's 54 whole years of operation!

We all know those companies that come and go. They get a truck and put their name on the side and seem like a reliable enough company. Just because they have a name and a truck doesn't mean they have the background and expertise you want working on your home or business.

SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor is proud to be one of over 1,700 SERVPRO franchises Nationwide. SERVPRO has won more awards than we can even begin to list in this blog post, but please feel free to go to the company website and check it out.

SERVPRO has the trust of all the top Insurance Companies and is a trusted name all across the nation. We can help with your claim to make your situation as seamless as possible.

The real question should be "Why NOT use SERVPRO?"

Running your AC

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

Those warm temperatures are certainly here! What does that mean for your business?

Well, a majority of businesses consider summer to be their busy season. If you're one of those businesses, you know that damage or a loss in your facility can cost you time that your business can't afford to lose.

Avoiding mold damage can be simple, especially when it comes to air conditioning condensation lines.

When the warm weather is here, we know your employees are turning up the AC and making it work overtime with them. This extra work for the air conditioner could lead to leaks in the condensation lines, which can potentially feed hidden mold. Not only is mold inconvenient to your business, it can carry health risks. And for those reasons, the U.S. EPA recommends routinely inspecting your HVAC units. Depending on how large your business is, there might be more than one in your facility.

When you inspect these units/systems, you shouldn't only be looking for mold. It's important to check for moisture or any dripping. No matter how little the amount of water may seem, mold starts on a microscopic level. It doesn't take that much liquid to keep mold alive and thriving!

If you think you find mold in your commercial property, it's important to proceed with caution.

Better yet, call our professional crews in and we will take care of drying out any moisture and removing any mold you find or even if you're just suspicious of mold. Remember that mold carries risks and if you don't know what you're doing, it can be incredibly dangerous.

Any Time, Any Day

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

You might see a slew of SERVPRO of Washington County vehicles on a Sunday morning visiting a commercial client for a monthly facility cleaning. Some clients require we clean the premises outside of their regular business hours when they are closed and there are no employees in the building. Did you even know SERVPRO provides scheduled cleaning services? Most people are not aware of this service and assume we only handle disaster restoration clean-up after a flood, storm or fire. But our general cleaning services are second to none. Our technicians are professionally trained and have access to a vast array of SERVPRO equipment, cleaning solutions and techniques. If your business is in need of a weekly, monthly, annually or even one-time cleaning services we can help! Our professionally trained cleaning technicians can handle any industry, such as commercial, industrial, service businesses, warehouses, government buildings and more. Schedule your cleaning today! Call SERVPRO of Washington County.

(301) 797-0677

Dryer Fire!

2/9/2021 (Permalink)

According to FEMA, failing to clean your home dryer causes 34% of home dryer fires.

These dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss every year and are also capable of causing injury or even death!

Reducing your risk for dryer fire is incredibly simple. Let SERVPRO clean your vents and ducts that may being holding lint buildup in your home.

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that you clean your dryer's lint filter every time you do a load of laundry. This ensures the outdoor vent flap will open with ease. This flap could be restricted by snow or even something as obscure as a bird's nest.

Let our specifically trained technicians make sure all of your vents, filters, and ducts aren't restricted and can let air flow freely. A clean home is a safe home!

For more info about the vent and duct cleaning services that SERVPRO of Washington County offers, give us a call at (301) 797-0677.

A Quick Response

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Washington County will arrive to your home or business quickly, trained and equipped to help people regain control of their lives.

Naturally people become distressed when they experience a loss. One of the most common fear is the loss of control. Our quick response can help ease this fear. 

SERVPRO's guideline is to respond to the insured to arrange service within an hour. SERVPRO of Howard County is always exceeding that guideline of an hour.

Within 4 hours is the guideline to be on site. Again depending on location SERVPRO of Washington County is more than likely going to be there sooner than that to help.

Within 8 business hours of on-site arrival, a briefing of the scope will be communicated to the adjuster. 

SERVPRO works directly with the insured's adjuster and make the process of the claim work easy on the assured. SERVPRO can help with the whole process. 

Let SERVPRO of Washington County be there to help you get your life under control if a loss occurs with you. 

The Taboo Subject of Storms

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

Earlier we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear...doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself. 

Our SERVPRO of Washington County crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.

If you experience sewage backup or sewage related flooding, let us be your first call. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Extracting Water

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Look Good, Feel Good!

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

First impressions are hard to overcome if they are negative ones. You want the first impression of your business site to be positive. That's hard to do if it's dirty.

Keeping your business clean to make that great first impression is important. You want to keep your clients coming back and we want to help you.

SERVPRO of Washington County can help you with that!

I'm sure you think of SERVPRO when a disaster hits, but we can do some things you may not have ever thought about.

SERVPRO offers a variety of cleaning services from Air Ducts /HVAC to biohazard and everything in between.

We can clean carpet, upholstery, drapes, and blinds.

We can bring that old tile back to life and make your floors sparkle again.

We can also get rid of lingering odors and perform a deodorization of the facility.

As always, we are here to help.

Let us help you keep your place shining and making great first impressions for years to come.

Different Types of Water

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Do You have a Fire Escape Plan?

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Fire experts agree that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning building before it is too late to exit safely. When it comes to a fire escape plan, every second counts. In a matter of seconds, even the smallest flame can become a massive blaze. The American Cross conducted a survey that found only 26% of families have made and practiced their fire escape plans. If you don't have a plan in place for your home or business, use these tips to develop one!

Draw a map of each level of your home indicating exits (windows and doors)

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on higher floors. Store them near the window. If you buy these ladders, make sure they are tested by a reliable testing laboratory

Pick a meeting place outside that keeps a safe distance from your home. Mark it well so everyone remembers where it is

Teach the youngest members of your family how to escape on their own if no one is able to help them. Make accommodations for the elderly, disabled, and your pets

Practice your plan at least twice a year (once during the day and once at nighttime)

Fires can be unpredictable, so your escape plan shouldn't be! Restoring your property after a fire shouldn't be difficult either. That's why SERVPRO of Washington County works so efficiently to cleanup your property ASAP after damage or a loss.

Flooding in YOUR Home

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Don't think just because you don't reside in a flood means that you won't get flooding. 

 Even the driest areas can experience what are known as flash floods. Rivers, streams, and lakes are almost always overflowing their banks, given a couple of rainy days. 

New construction in your neighborhood can even change runoff patterns in the area and can increase our flood risks. 

The cost of flood damage is expensive. This cost can vary depending on the type of damage and where the water came from. Any tips that can help prevent this has to be worth the time to try them. You can't stop a flood from damaging your home from the above situations but you can do some things to keep a flood from happening inside your home. 

Here are some things to try:


    •    An inspection and flushing your water heater once a year, by a plumber, can contribute to preventing it bursting on you and flooding the area.
    •    Replacing the rubber hoses on all appliances that use water with metal braided ones can help to avoid the failing of the rubber ones as they can get hard and burst. Check all hoses; even the metal braided ones every year. 
    •    Leaks from toilets are often indicated by a little leakage from the base. 
    •    Do you know where to locate the main water shut-off? If a pipe burst, inside, you need to be able to get it turned off quickly. 
    •    If you have a sump pump, now is a good time to get it checked and think about a backup unit. 
    •    Always be looking for signs of plumbing leaks, such as on ceilings and walls; you are looking for stains and moisture on those walls and floors. 
    •    Leaking or even broken pipes are often gushing water, and it is not noticed because it might be hidden. Check out your water usage when no faucets are turned on; locate the water meter and take a reading, then use no water for an hour or so and read it again. Has it moved? If so, you have a leak someplace, so get a plumber to check it out. 
    •    Always monitor your monthly water bill. If it goes up a lot one billing cycle, you might have the need for a plumber to come in and check all connections. 
    •    Since a lot of water comes from inside your home and can damage many walls, floors, furniture and provide the moisture needed for molds to grow, doing whatever can be done to prevent leaks is a good exercise to undertake.

The Right Equipment is Necessary

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Washington County knows that using the proper equipment makes a difference. When time matters and it does when reducing claim loss expense, you can count on us to have the right technology and equipment to get the job done.

For example, one of the most common losses is a water loss. Here is some information on the drying process. 

Psychrometrics is the study of the air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity and vapor pressure. Dew points are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure. These measurements allow for SERVPRO of Washington County to create the proper atmosphere for the most effective drying.

There is a science to drying everything properly.

The detection equipment used is always the most current in the industry. 

Moisture Sensors, Moisture Meters, Thermo-hygrometers, Infrared Cameras, and Manometers are some the detection equipment.

Extraction Equipment, Air Moving Equipment, Dehumdification Equipment, Deodorization Equipment are all used in the drying process. 

When it comes to drying we take it seriously.

Construction, Home Improvement, & Remodeling

12/16/2020 (Permalink)

House under construction with SERVPRO logo in top right corner SERVPRO of Washington County is ready and willing to do any construction or repairs that you may need done on your residency or business.

More than Mitigation

When you think of SERVPRO, what do you think of? Restoration, disasters, fires, floods? Did you know that SERVPRO of Washington County has the professional equipment and highly trained teams that are ready to do construction or remodeling on your home or business? That's right, we're more than just a restoration company, we're also your local experts on rebuilds! There's no job too tough for us, we're always ready and willing to come to your location and work on your space, whatever your needs may be!

Wait, SERVPRO of Washington County Does More Than Just Restoration Work?

Yes! Our teams have years of experience under their (tool) belts and can do any type of work you need done in your space. Check out this list of services we provide:

  • Board Up
  • Carpet, Vinyl Plank, Laminate, and Hardwood Installation
  • Complete Remodels
  • Door Replacement
  • Drywall Repair and Installation
  • Drywall Removal
  • Electrical Services
  • Fencing
  • General Contracting
  • Hardwood Floor Repair
  • HVAC Services
  • Insulation
  • Kitchens and Baths
  • Linoleum Floor Repair
  • Marble Floor Repair
  • Masonry
  • Painting – Interior and Exterior
  • Plumbing
  • Roof Tarp
  • Roofing Repair and Replacement
  • Siding Repair and Replacement
  • Tile Floors, Showers, Backsplashes
  • Window Replacement
  • Any and All Other Carpentry Repairs

Here is a list of some of the types of spaces that SERVPRO of Washington County will work on:

  • Single-Family Homes
  • Apartments and Condos
  • Townhomes
  • Small Office Buildings
  • Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Hotel/Motels
  • Small Retail Stores
  • Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
  • High-Rise Residential
  • Manufacturing & Industrial
  • Government/Military

To sum these lists up, our Rebuild Services Department is ready and willing to work on anything, anywhere. You name it, we’re on it!

Why Should I Choose SERVPRO of Washington County for my Remodeling Needs?

SERVPRO has been a trusted name in the United States since 1967. Although SERVPRO is a broad name across the country, each of our 1,500 franchises are independently owned, so you know that you’re getting your individual needs fulfilled by a local business! Here at SERVPRO of Washington County, we value our customers, and we strive to do our best on any type of job.

Because we also specialize in all other forms of remediation, we are ready for any other surprises that may arise while doing a home improvement job. If your space has unknown water under the floorboards, mold in the walls, or any other type of damage causing issue, SERVPRO of Washington County will get you all fixed up! We have specialized teams that will come out any time to get your space back to normal, we won’t just have our rebuild team cover it up with a few nice looking slabs of wood!

We also place a strong emphasis on family. In fact, many of our employees are family members who were born and raised locally and have grown in and around the community! Our family values set us apart from many other local businesses and provide the work ethic needed for tough rebuild work. If you’re looking for a remodeling company that has all the state-of-the-art equipment and tools and has highly trained staff members with strong core family values, SERVPRO of Washington County should be your first phone call!

All of This is Sounding Too Good to be True

Of course any company that you talk to is going to say they are the best local remodeling business and you should go with their services. Here at SERVPRO of Washington County, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. If you still don’t trust us, just look at what our customers have to say on Google! And if that isn’t good enough for you, check out our Facebook page too!

Our Rebuild Services Department exists to fulfill your construction needs. Keeping our customers happy and satisfied is our main goal, and so far, we believe we’ve done a pretty darn good job of doing just that! We work as a team under one roof and are here for you!

So, How Can I Set Up an Appointment?

Give us a call! We’re always open and always ready for you. You can reach us 24/7 any day of the week at (301) 797-0677.

Where Can I Find More Information?

To stay on top of all the latest SERVPRO of Washington County news/updates, join in on fun conversations, and participate in contests with prizes, you should like, follow, or subscribe to each of our incredible social media pages!

Visit our home page for more information about all our other services!

Knowledge is Power

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

"The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power." -David Bailey

It always makes sense to be a lifetime learner. SERVPRO of Washington County couldn't agree more. 

Our crews are always learning. Learning new equipment, new techniques etc. Our crew members have to always keep their credentials up to date every year and have to keep adding to their expertise. 

SERVPRO of Washington County is so proud of the men and women that are called in to help people on some of their worst days. We are able to keep them informed every step of the way. Our crews are able to help them understand the methods they are using, the chemicals they are using and why. The more they know the more "super" powers they have ;). Next time you see one of our crew members don't be afraid to ask them about their credentials etc.

We are here to help. 

Bouncing Back your Business

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Far too often, disaster can strike without even the slightest warning. We know how important it is for your business to not be bogged down by unforeseen circumstances. You already know how important it is to be prepared for anything that could happen to your home, whether it be fire, water, mold, or storm damage. Have you applied the same thought to your business? If not, keep reading for tips on how to best protect and prepare for commercial risks.

While each situation is unique and deserves personalized care, careful planning and procedures can keep you ready no matter what. Over 50% of businesses may never reopen after suffering a disaster. You don't have to be another statistic. Here's how:

Be informed.

Learn what kind of emergencies can affect not only your company, but your industry. 

Develop a business continuity plan.

Make a list of which staff, procedures and equipment are absolutely vital for continued operation. Make a list of backups for that list. Have a plan for what to do if you are unable to access your office/facility. Have a plan for what you'll do if your industry suppliers are impacted, or what you'll do during utility disruptions.

Prepare a finite emergency plan.

Make an evacuation and a shelter-in-place plan. Form a communications plan for you and your employees for before, during, and after any emergency incident. Make copies of building and site maps, on those maps be sure to mark off utilities and emergency exit routes. It is especially helpful if your employees are trained for medical emergencies.

Practice your emergency plans.

Practice your plan, at the bare minimum, once a year. If there are other businesses in your building/facility, try to coordinate with them to plan and practice for emergencies.

Review your insurance coverage.

Make sure your insurance covers your for the disasters your company is at risk for suffering from.

Secure your facility and equipment.

Secure all the ways people, products, and supplies enter and exit your building. Conduct a walk-through to see if anything needs to be strapped down. Unsecured equipment can make a bad situation even worse, in terms of secondary damage.

Promote family and individual preparedness.

Encourage your employees to make personal emergency plans and supply kits.

Preparedness doesn't need to be daunting, as long as you give yourself enough time to plan. SERVPRO of Washington County can also provide a free ERP plan for your business.

Boarding Up!

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

You always see photos of homes and businesses boarding up before or after some kind of damaging event, but do you know why?

In the case of abandoned buildings, boarded up windows and doors are usually a measure to keep vandals or squatters out of the structure. However, in the event of damage or a loss, this process is to protect not only windows and doors from shattering, breaking, or failing in other ways, but to protect the structure itself.

Our professionally trained crews often times board up your home or business before or during mitigation and remediation to prevent any further damage.

If done incorrectly, the boarding up process could actually cause secondary damages such as additional moisture or even animal intrusion. 

Whether it's fire, storm, or another kind of structural damage, boarding up can be just as dangerous as it is important. Especially if the damage or loss has already occurred. 

The most common reasons to board up your home or business are severe rainstorms, flash flooding, severe thunderstorms, hailstorms, and of course, tornadoes. 

While SERVPRO of Washington County is known to mitigate and remediate fire and water damage, don't forget that our teams are trained to deal with storm damage as well. Whether it's a tree on your roof, or a flooded basement, we are here to help!

With our incredible rebuild division, SERVPRO of Washington County should be your first call when it comes to recovering and rebuilding after a major storm event. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

Also be sure to keep up with us on all social media because we will tweet or post to Facebook or Instagram when our area is at risk for potential storm damage.

How to Have a Worry-Free Vacation

10/14/2020 (Permalink)

We think about shutting off water lines in the winter to avoid freezing pipes when we are away but we don't think about doing the same in the summer when we go away, but we should.

Many people don't think about it but pipes leak and break all the time in the summer.

If you are going away, you might want to shut off the main water valve. It won't affect your water sprinkler system outside if that may be of a concern.

Instead of thousands of gallons of water spilling in your home you might only get a few gallons. To be even safer, drain the lines before you go. Open the faucet in the bathroom after you have shut off the valves and drain the water out of the pipes and flush the toilet.

The last thing you want is to come home from a relaxing vacation to have water in your house.

Turn the air conditioner up but not off. You want to have air circulating because the heat can affect doors and flooring and you don't want it to have time to collect condensation.

Unplug your electronics. If they are connected to a surge protector just turn that off. You will save money while your away.

Put your lights on a timer to make the house less appealing for robbers.

And most importantly, have a great vacation and a great "welcome home" from your house!

More Than Just a Name

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO has been around since 1967. Isn't that incredible?

We all know those companies that come and go. They get a truck and put their name on the side and you think they must be a well known local business with all the tools you might need. Unfortunately, a name and a truck don't mean they have the background and expertise you want working in your home or business.

SERVPRO of Washington County is proud to be one of over 1700 franchises Nationwide. Did I mention that SERVPRO has won numerous awards? There are far too many to list here, but feel free to check out our company website and check them out!

SERVPRO has the trust of all the top Insurance Companies. SERVPRO of Washington County can help with your claim to make your situation as seamless as possible.

We believe the question should be "Why Not" use SERVPRO? We're sure it will be hard to add any reason to that list!

The Lingering Problem

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Have you ever noticed how when you burn a bag of popcorn in the microwave the smell seems to linger for way longer than it should?

That's what happens with even the smallest fire in your home or business. After a fire in the area isn't properly cleaned, restored, and deodorized the burnt scent  can hold onto to your space for years to come. The smoke from a fire is what carries the awful scent throughout a structure and can set into almost any surface it can touch.

If a cleanup isn't executed as fast as possible, the residue can cause permanent damage and could even cause the smell to come back! 

SERVPRO of Washington County's cleaning team is highly trained to locate and remove the source of the odor. Other professionals will just mask the scent with a fragrance of some kind and once it wears off, you're left with a bill and no actual solution to your odor problem!

Our professionals also work to make sure you understand all of your possible options when it comes to deodorization. 

Non-Weather Related Water

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

If you are like a lot of people you might think of water damage to your home being caused by weather; maybe a hurricane or heavy rains. 

In reality most water damage comes for non-weather conditions. This might mean a plumbing issue such as pipes, drains and valves failing. It could also be many times from an appliance. This is something that most people don't think about.

Appliances do not always offer warning signs until the damage has already occurred. That is why it is important to check them regularly.  

First, know where the main water supply is located in case of emergency.

If you will be away from home for an extended period, shut off the water supply and drain the pipes.

Exceptions might be if your home is heated with steam system or your fire sprinkler system so consult with a professional if you can turn this supply off when leaving.

Consider having your air conditioning system inspected regularly by a professional. Check the drain lines annually and clean them if they are clogged.

Inspect water heaters, showers, tubs, toilets, sinks and dishwashers annually, and have them repaired if there are any signs of leaks or corrosion. When possible, install water heaters in areas with floor drains to minimize damage if leaks should occur.

Check caulking around showers, bathtubs, sinks and toilet bases, and make repairs as needed.

If your refrigerator has an ice machine or water dispenser, the hose between the wall and the refrigerator should be made of braided copper. 

Check pipes for cracks and leaks. Have pipe damage fixed immediately to prevent more costly repairs in the future.

Check appliance hoses and plumbing fittings for breakage, crimping or bending. 

You can't always prevent water damage from happening in your home but many times prevention is your best friend in avoiding water damage from happening. 

First Impressions are Important!

9/28/2020 (Permalink)

First impressions are hard to overcome if they are negative ones. You want the first impression of your business site to be positive. That's hard to do if it's dirty.

Keeping your business clean to make that great first impression is important. You want to keep your clients coming back and we want to help you.

There's so much that SERVPRO can help you with.

I'm sure you think of SERVPRO when a disaster hits but we can do some things you may not have thought about.

SERVPRO offers a variety of cleaning services from Air Ducts /HVAC to biohazard and everything in between.

We can clean carpet, upholstery, drapes, and blinds.

We can bring that old tile back to life and make your floors sparkle again.

We can also get rid of lingering odors and perform a deodorization of the facility.

As always, we are here to help.

Let us help you keep your place shining and making great first impressions for years to come.

Using the Correct Equipment

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Washington County knows that using the proper equipment makes a difference. When time matters (and it does when reducing claim loss expense), you can count on us to have the right technology and equipment to get the job done.

For example, one of the most common losses is a water loss. Here is some information on the drying process. 

Psychrometrics is the study of the air and its properties. The properties of temperature, humidity and vapor pressure. Dew points are measured to evaluate air conditions in the structure. These measurements allow for us to create the proper atmosphere for the most effective drying.

There is a science to drying everything properly.

The detection equipment used is always the most current in the industry. 

Moisture Sensors, Moisture Meters, Thermo-hygrometers, Infrared Cameras, and Manometers are some the detection equipment.

Extraction Equipment, Air Moving Equipment, Dehumdification Equipment, Deodorization Equipment are all used in the drying process. 

When it comes to drying we take it seriously.

Call SERVPRO of Washington County. We are here to help. (301) 797-0677

Staying Above Water

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

What is the most common and widespread natural disaster in the United States? If you answered floods, then you are well on your way to staying above water!

Floodsmart.gov reports that in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather related disaster.

If you get stuck in a flooding situation be sure to stay away from flood waters. A mere six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet. If you're driving, turn around and don't drown! Most cars can get swept away by less than two feet of moving water. If waters are rapidly rising whilst you're driving on a flooded road, get out of your car and move yourself to higher ground. Value your safety first! Also be sure to keep children out and away from any flooding water zones. 

Whether your home or business is near a coastline, in the city, the mountains, near a tiny river, or even in the desert...there is always potential for flood damage. Never having experienced a flood or flood damage does not mean you never will! 20% of flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk area. On average, flooding costs $3.5 billion in annual losses for the USA.

Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when it isn't treated quickly and properly. The cleanup can be overwhelming, but that is what SERVPRO of Washington County is here for. Our crews are trained to handle an size disaster. When you feel like you're drowning in water damage, SERVPRO helps you stay above water!

Saving Yourself from a Wildfire

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

In recent years it seems like there are more wildfires than ever. Many times we have no control if we are going to lose our home to a wildfire but there are things we can do to prepare and hopefully at times save our home.

So be prepared. Create a defensible space around your home. Keep at least 30 feet between your home and your potential sources. Clean and remove all dead and dry leaves and pine needles from your yard, roof and rain gutters. Create a separation between trees, shrubs and items that would catch fire. These could be things like patio furniture, wood piles, swing sets, etc.

Stay aware of the latest news and updates from your local media and fire department. Get your family, home and pets ready to evacuate. Place an emergency supply kit and other valuables in your vehicle. Be sure to also close and protect your home’s openings, these could be the attic and basement doors and vents, windows, garage doors and pet doors to prevent embers from penetrating your home. Connect garden hoses and fill any pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs, or other large containers with water. Leave as early as possible, before you’re told to evacuate.  

SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help. Please be safe! (301) 797-0677

Are you Prepared for Water Damage?

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

When we think of water damage to our business or home, many owners think of water damage happening from mother nature. Rain and flooding to which they have little control. So why worry about what they can't control right? The fact is that they are more likely to have water damage from things they can try to control or at least prevent. 

For example, the roof is one of the most common places to cause water damage. Owners should make sure the roof is checked regularly. One inch of rain weighs about 5 pounds. This can cause a lot of strain on a roof and can lead to leaking. 

Pipes and drains seem like they would be checked but most aren't checked regularly. A crack as small as an eight of an inch can dump 250 gallons of water per day. 

Sprinklers are great if you have a fire but not so great if it malfunctions. Sprinklers should be checked for updates but also signs of rust or damage. 

Appliances should be checked regularly; water heaters, air conditioners, etc. can cause a lot of water damage if things break on them.

We can't stop all water damage but we can try to do as  much preventative care as we can. SERVPRO of Washington County is here to help when the unexpected happens. Give us a call at (301) 797-0677. We are there for your business 24/7.

Be a Leader

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

How quickly your business is able to return to normal operations after a tornado, fire, or even a flood is, more often than not, dependent on emergency planning. After damage or a loss, 50% of businesses may never reopen or recover.

It can be easy to think that emergencies are unlikely to hurt your business, because they aren't necessarily a common occurrence. That said, it can be even easier to simply take the time to prepare for anything.

Even though every situation is unique, your business can still be prepared for just about anything with the simple steps below. Your commitment to emergency planning can and will help your employees, customers, industry, community, and even the country. Additionally, emergency planning protects your business investment by giving the facility and company a better chance of survival after various emergencies. 

Be informed:

Know what kinds of emergencies are most likely to affect your business and devise a plan to deal with them

Develop a Business Continuity Plan:

Plan for what staff, procedures, and equipment are undeniably necessary to keep operating. Make a backup plan for everything! Put together a procedure for what to do if your facility isn't accessible or if there are utilities disruptions. 

Make Your Emergency Plan:

Evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place plans, communications procedures for before, during and after an incident. Make them. Practice and review them at least once a year.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness:

Emergency preparedness is a chain reaction. Preparing your business for an emergency will encourage your employees to prepare their families, their families will encourage their friends, friends will encourage other community members, and so on and so forth.

Be a leader.

Flash Flood Warning vs Watch

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

We've definitely seen our fair share of summer storms so far this season, and plenty of those have come with a good bit of flash flood warnings and watches! Since SERVPRO of Washington County is one of the most reliable sources in the community for storm and water damage remediation, we figured it's only fair we provide you some flash flood facts. Knowing the difference between and warning and a watch could be the difference between being prepared and being at risk for flood damage.

Flood warnings:

When your local agencies (whether it be NWS or a local weather station) issue a flash flood/flood warning this means flooding is happening or will happen soon. When you see this warning, it means you should move to high ground or be prepared for flooding ASAP. Often times it is important to be aware of any announcements from local officials if the flooding is projected to be particularly severe.

Flood watches:

When local agencies issue a flash flood/flood watch, it means that flooding is possible. Upon the release of this watch, you should be sure to stay tuned to radio or TV for more information about the potential severity of the flood, should the watch be converted into a warning.

We know this can seem confusing, but if you're connected with us on Facebook or Twitter, we are sure to clarify what and when each watch/warning means, when we can.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Although house fires are generally down in numbers during the summer months, you still need to be on your toes when cooking. Cooking is one of the top leading causes of house fires by far. Grease and oils can ignite an unattended stove or fires can even occur by igniting dish towels, cardboard boxes, or other flammable objects left near it.

Summertime is a time to be careful as always whether you are cooking indoors or outdoors. Enjoy the easy breezy days of summer but be sure to stay on your toes when cooking! Taking the cooking outdoors in the summer doesn't necessarily keep you safe from a cooking fire. Surprisingly enough, mishandled propane tanks are responsible for many fires and injuries!

If you ever have too many cooks in the kitchen and a fire ignites, you know that you can always call SERVPRO of Washington County for any of your restorative needs! We are always ready and always here to help.

Best of Both Worlds

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

When you experience a disaster in your home or business, how do you know who to call? There are so many restoration companies out there to choose from and so many small businesses or large companies chains whose names you may or may not recognize. Why not get the best of both world?

SERVPRO was founded in 1967 and has grown across the country over the last 53 years! Our franchise is staffed by many local families, husbands and wives, parents and children, etc. SERVPRO of Washington County is made up of families and we run on family core values!

SERVPRO is a name you know and trust and has a reputation for excellence with our highly trained professional staff and decades of experience in the mitigation industry. And SERVPRO of Washington County is your local franchise ready to treat you like family! We care about our neighbors and our community and want the best for you. Give us a call any time for any of your restoration needs. We are here for you!

(301) 797-0677

Don't Let Water Wait

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

When a disaster occurs in your home or business, it typically comes and goes. Fires burn and then they die out, wind blows through your neighborhood and then disappears, but water works a little differently than other types of damage. Water stays, and in many cases it continues to get worse and worse.

If you find an area in your flooring, walls, ceiling, appliances, etc. that is affected by water damage, it must be coming from some source. If that water is not removed and the source fixed, then the damage caused by that water will only grow. The longer you wait to mitigate the problem, the more of a problem it will become!

Water damage can also come in many forms such as rotting wood, rusting metal, or even something as simple as mold or mildew. Sometimes it can be very hard to spot, but if you think you’ve spotted the beginnings of a water issue in your space, give us a call for an inspection so we can help you as soon as possible! We are here for you no matter how big the disaster may be.

Soot is Small

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Soot is small. And we mean VERY small. In fact, one particle of soot is typically 2.5 micrometers or smaller, try imagining that! After a fire burns in an area, those teeny tiny soot particles float all over the place and spread burnt carbon, wood, oil, dirt, etc. in every nook and cranny that you didn’t even know existed.

Soot is so tiny that it doesn’t just cover the surface of everything in your space, it also gets INSIDE of almost everything. Your cabinets, drawers, air ducts, it can even make its way into the airtight sealed doors of refrigerators! How crazy is that?

When you have a fire in your home, you need a local team of highly trained professionals to come and clean all of those microscopic soot particles out of your space. You don’t want an unsanitary space that smells like burnt carbon, and neither do we! Give us a call and we will be there right away, we’re open 24/7!

(301) 797-0677

Safety in Uncertain Times

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

COVID-19 has really changed the way we run things. A small amount of you have hardly been affected by this pandemic while others have suffered greatly trying to make ends meet. Small business owners throughout the country have had difficulty drawing in customers as the virus continues to spread across the nation.

As a business owner, the last thing you need right now is for your customers to feel unsafe in your facility. If somebody feels as though they are in danger entering your space, they may never step foot in there until the pandemic is over.  For many of us, that is far too long of a time period to sit around and wait!

Our new Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program is a cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitization of your space from top to bottom. This cleaning is done by our highly trained professionals with state of the art industrial grade cleaning gear! We want to help slow the spread of this virus and allow you and your customers to feel safe entering your facility.

As we continue to reopen Maryland, let’s make our businesses feel safe and secure for all to enter and enjoy! Give us a call and ask about our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program!

(301) 797-0677

Maryland's Unpredictable Storms

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Maryland blue crabs, black-eyed Susans, great blue herrings – Maryland is such a lovely state for so many reasons. One of the greatest things about our great state is that we get to experience the perfect amount of all four seasons. However, Maryland does come with its disadvantages as well. With a wide range of weather also comes completely unpredictable weather. How many other states can go from snowy to shorts and t-shirt temperatures overnight?

With all these crazy weather swings, Maryland experiences a lot of storms, especially in the summer! This summer, we have been riddled with storms. Many storm-lovers have been on cloud 9 as the beautiful clouds roll in and the thunder booms, but many other Maryland residents have unfortunately endured flooding, wind damage, and all sorts of other disasters to their spaces.

Storms have their ups and downs, but just know that even if you experience a major issue in your home or business, SERVPRO of Washington County will be there to help – rain or shine! We are faster to any size disaster!

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