Recent Commercial Posts

Roof Damage Due to Summer Sun

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

During the summer, it is not uncommon for us to discover red patches of sunburn across our skin, which can lead to various types of damage such as wrinkling and even skin cancer. What we often forget is that the sun’s oppressive heat can damage more than just our skin. As a business owner, it is important to remember the roof of your business during the summer, as prolonged heat exposure can deteriorate the roof’s materials as well as its over all structure. Recognizing the specific causes of roof damage due to the sun is the first step towards protecting your business’ roof from serious damage.

Longer summer days, filled with more hours of sunlight than spring, autumn, or winter, increases the amount of time that roofs are exposed to damaging UV rays from the sun. Sucking the oil out of the wood from which the roof is made, this exposure can cause major structural damage. In addition to exposure to UV rays, roofs can undergo a phenomenon referred to as thermal shock. With high temperatures during the daytime and cooler temperatures at night, summer weather entails rapid temperature change, which can cause the roof’s materials to expand and contract. Over time, this motion can harm not only the materials, but the roof’s complete structure as well.

The next step in protecting your business is knowing which types of damage to look for when assessing your roof’s condition. One indicator is decay, which is commonly found in older roofs. Surefire indicators of decay in roofs include rotting, deformed, or broken shingles. In newer roofs, warping, marked by curled or bent shingles, is much more common. This kind of damage does not imply that your business’ roof is on the brink of severe damage, but it is a warning sign that the roof has suffered some damage. Regularly examine your roof, as this damage can build over time. Cracked shingles, which occurs when tension increases as the shingles curl, is the most severe of the three indicators of damage. Shingles can crack when that tension becomes too oppressive. Hire an expert to survey the damage as soon as you see cracked shingles, as it can lead to more serious damage if it isn’t repaired quickly.

Being conscious of how severely the sun can damage your business’ roof and which signs of damage to watch for will help prevent your roof from major structural deterioration during the summer.

Summer Weather Calls For Humidity… and Mold

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

When water damages areas of your business, it’s common knowledge that mold is sure to follow if the water isn’t removed and the area isn’t cleaned quickly. While we commonly associate water damage with carpets and floors, mold will grow in any place with excess moisture, including walls and other surfaces. During the summer months, warmer temperatures can cause mold to grow due to the presence of water vapor and therefore, increased humidity in the atmosphere. Thriving in a humid atmosphere, mold will grow and multiply wherever there is moisture within your business if it’s not handled sufficiently. With warmer temperatures outside, condensation can form on walls within your business if it is humid inside, creating prime conditions for mold growth.

As mold can be incredibly difficult to remove, it is of the utmost importance that you prevent it from growing inside your business. There are many steps that you can take as a business owner in order to protect against major damage. First and foremost, control the humidity levels within your business by making sure that humidity levels are below 60 percent. A dehumidifier can be utilized if your business is located in a particularly humid place. In terms of preventing moisture from condensation, dry the area as soon as condensation becomes visible using a sponge or dry rag. Be sure to also keep windows and doors shut while the AC is running to best decrease humidity levels.

There is always the chance that mold will grow even if you take precautions. As soon as you discover mold within your business, be sure to keep steady airflow and low humidity levels throughout the building. These actions will prevent any further mold growth. In the meantime, call SERVPRO to examine the scope of the damage and restore the area. By taking precautions, your business can remain free of mold during the humid summer season.

Protecting Your Business From Summer Storms

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Severe storms, fueled by moisture and rising warm air in the atmosphere, occur quite frequently during the summer. These storms often times carry dangerous hail and heavy winds, which could leave you, as a business owner, worried about the damage that they could inflict upon your business. Shattering windows and battering roofs, summer storms can lead to major structural damage. Because such damage can require expensive repairs, it is imperative that you formulate an emergency plan to limit the amount of damage to your business in the event of a severe storm.

Before all else, be sure that your business is covered by business insurance, as it can compensate for the expenses to repair damage that is a direct result of the storm. Besides business insurance, there are several precautions that you can take on your own, such as regularly surveying your roof for damage and clearing out any debris left in your gutters from previous storms, since debris can clog gutters and lead to insufficient drainage. As far as windows, installing impact-resistant glass can prevent windows from shattering during a storm. Items located close to windows will also be protected by this glass because it would eliminate the flying glass that would usually be produced by a shattered window. Just in case windows shatter, it would be beneficial to keep valuable items tucked away in safe areas away from windows and high above the ground so that any flying glass cannot reach them. Before a storm, also be sure to secure outdoor equipment as best you can.

Keep an eye on weather forecasts as a general safe practice in order to decrease the chances of your business becoming blindsided by a storm. This is especially important to do if your business is situated within a region that frequently experiences severe storms. Consider formulating an emergency storm plan in order to keep your business safe and keep the cleanup process as stress-free as possible.

Job of the Quarter - April 2019

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

Our team in action!

Each quarter SERVPRO of Harford County highlights our “Job of the Quarter”. Basically, a loss we cleaned and restored that highlights not only our breadth of services, but the scale of work we are able to complete.

This quarter was no exception. A storage facility in Virginia Beach suffered a devastating fire started inside one of the storage units. The fire quickly turned to 167 units that were emblazoned and ended in only 80 of those units being salvageable.

We were called to the job to help clean up this unfortunate situation. “Wait a minute?”… you might be thinking, “Virginia Beach?”. That’s right. We have large loss teams that specialize in servicing our commercial clients in whatever location they may need us. The ability to respond directly to our customer’s needs outside of just our local market sets us apart from our competition. We are here to help, no matter where you need it!

Our teams hit the road running and were able to work with each individual storage unit owner to determine which items they would like to salvage and which items were to be disposed. After the debris removal was complete, the 80 salvageable units were cleaned, sanitized, and restored to pre loss conditions. The work did not end there, however. Our team then was responsible for the demolition and removal of the 87 units that were deemed a total loss. Please see our picture to the left of our team in action operating an excavator to complete the demolition portion of this job.

Helping people is certainly our passion, and in this case, we were able to get this business operational quickly and help their customers clean and organize their affected belongings quickly. We were honored to be chosen to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Top Reasons to Clean HVAC and Ducts

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Top Reasons to Clean HVAC and Ducts

Your HVAC system not only helps maintain an optimal temperature inside your building, but also prevents dust particles and other harmful contaminants from entering the interiors. A malfunctioning HVAC system, however, is more of a liability than an asset and fails miserably at performing its job. Additionally, a dysfunctional HVAC system can cause mold growth. More often than not unclean ducts are the culprits behind malfunctioning HVAC systems. Getting your HVAC system and ducts cleaned regularly pays dividends in the long run. Not sure about whether to get your system cleaned regularly? We, in this post, will give you not one but four reasons to show some love to your HVAC and duct. Take a look.

1.Helps avoid health issues

With time dirt, dust particles, mildew, mold, and allergens settle in and around HVAC ducts. The system circulates these particles with air. Inhaling air laden with these contaminants can give rise to a number of health issues such as skin allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions. Your HVAC's filter cannot trap all these contaminants, which is why it is necessary to get your ducts cleaned regularly.

2.Helps improve performance

Unclean and clogged ducts drag down your system's performance and can result in high energy bills. Cleaning ducts regularly help improve the airflow, which is one of the essential prerequisites for ensuring flawless performance.

3.Adds years to the system’s service life

Studies suggest that 9 out of 10 systems do not last long due to improper or inadequate maintenance. Getting your system cleaned regularly not only adds years to its service life, but also helps avoid costly fixes. Getting your system cleaned regularly can expose underlying mechanic and other issues before they snowball into major concerns.

4.Helps eliminate musty odors

HVAC systems with unclean ducts often circulate stale air with a strong metallic or musty smell. Moisture builds up in the duct often results in a burning smell. To maintain the quality of life, contact an HVAC repair expert who will perform a thorough checkup and address system issues.

SERVPRO of Harford County is a trusted leader in the clean-up and restoration industry. We are NADCA certified and have completed HVAC and duct cleaning for both large and small commercial facilities. Please give us a call directly at 410-679-6260 for an estimate to help improve the efficiencies of your property.

When Is a Roof More Than a Roof?

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Recognizing the Signs of Common Sewage Problems in Your Building

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

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.

4 Tips for Responding to Commercial Water Damage

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Loss in Harford County

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

Tip One: Focus on Safety

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

Tip Two: Understand How Water Causes Damage

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

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

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

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

Tip Three: Use Natural Ventilation as Much as Possible

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

Tip Four: Contact a Professional

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

Post Fire Water Cleanup

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

When cleaning up after a fire there are damages from the flames, smoke, soot, and water from fire fighting efforts

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

Damage Caused by Water

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

Tips for Water Cleanup After a Fire

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

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

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

For more on Harford County click here.

Wanda and Elenor have worked for SERVPRO 37 Years!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Wanda and Elenor holding up a signed thank you poster.

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

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

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

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

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

A Severe Fire Can Be a Devastating Catastrophe to a Business Owner in Bel Air

2/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Escape Plan to Safety

SERVPRO Can Quickly Fix the Fire Damage in your Bel Air Business

It is important to consult with a fire damage restoration service like SERVPRO.  But what, exactly, can you expect during the disaster recovery process?

Post-fire restoration and fire damage clean-up can be a complicated process for business owners. The added difficulties of dealing with displaced employees, customers, retail or home renters, compounds the recovery process. Lost revenue does not soften the blow.

Once the firefighters have finished their efforts and deemed your business safe to enter, please follow this advice. You should be first through the door with an experienced fire damage restoration leader--SERVPRO. When this team arrives at your business, their first step will be to inspect your property and assess any fire damage that has occurred. They will check for structural integrity, broken windows, and remaining fire hazards. Once this property damage assessment is completed, a plan of action will be put into place. You will be given a detailed report called the CCIS that indicates salvageable, non-salvageable and questionable inventory lists. This document will aid you in your pursuit of a content settlement with your insurance company.

For any damaged windows, walls, doors, or other structural damage, the team will take steps to secure the area. In addition to fire damage, you can also expect to have soot, smoke, and water damage from the rescue effort. The removal of smoke odor, and, because of secondary water damage, mold remediation may also be required services.

After your business’s structural integrity is secured, the clean-up process can begin. Your business may need water removal or water extraction, as well as drying. Equipment such as water pumps, air-movers and dehumidifiers will be strategically placed in the structure. We may also need to perform content restoration for any furniture or vital business documents and furnishings. This may encompass cleaning and drying to salvage as much as possible. We want to save you money.

Once the disaster water removal and clean-up are completed, our next step will be fire damage repair and restoration of your Bel Air business. This is the process of returning your business (and life) back to normal. Any damaged walls will be fully repaired and painted, damaged drywall will be replaced, and new carpeting installed.
During the entire process, you will need to be in contact with your insurance company and so will we. SERVPRO takes pride in having strong relationships with hundreds of insurance companies, agencies and property management companies. We will expedite the fire damage restoration process to get your doors re-opened in Bel Air as quickly as possible.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Harford County can respond immediately to your commercial fire damage emergency in Bel Air regardless of the size or scope of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,650 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams. We are faster to any size disaster.  Call us at (410) 679-6260

Cleaning Up Your Contents After a Fire

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

Recovering from a fire is never an easy task. Even if you managed to contain it to one room or space of the building, the smoke can easily reach other areas and cause damage. Cleaning up can be a daunting and emotional task. Keep these tips in mind as you proceed.

Before entering the building, ensure that it is safe. Document all damage. Start cleaning and repairing what you can. Remember that professional assistance is available in Perryman, Maryland, for those tasks you can’t handle on your own, such as dry-cleaning.

Smoke can leave a distinctly unpleasant odor. The following supplies can help eliminate odor from different items on your property:

• Vinegar
• Baking soda
• Fresh air
• Ozone generators
• Activated charcoal

Content cleaning may need to be done in several stages. Remove as many items as possible from the building while damage is being fixed. Furniture and inventory may absorb odors by simply being inside. Rent a content storage unit and put supplies there until you can deal with them.

Any lamps or ceramic items should probably be cleaned as normal at first. If a deeper clean is necessary, you can use a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and soapy water. If you have any clothing that was in the building during the fire, it may require dry-cleaning services.

For bigger projects, you might consider hiring a fire restoration professional. If you own a business, you want to get back to normal as soon as possible. You also want to make sure you are maintaining a safe environment for your employees, customers and clients.

Cleaning up after a fire can be overwhelming, so take things one step at a time. Develop a plan for dealing with the structural damage. Remove inventory, furniture and other items. Hire dry-cleaning services to restore any fabrics damaged by smoke or soot. Bring in the specialists for a more thorough job.

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Commercial Fire Experts in Aberdeen, MD

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial fire damage experts have the expertise and skills in fire damage restoration.

Beyond what can be achieved by a fire truck and fire hose. A certified fire restraint expert has the right training and equipment to cleanup a fire damaged building. Commercial fires also pose a problem because a fire sprinkler system uses water and a fire suppression system uses foam agents and chemicals. Depending on the type will determine the strategy used to clean up the soot and smoke odor.

This is why fire restoration should be left to the commercial fire damage experts. These professionals have the right skills and expertise. They are also trained on how to handle fire safely. They use safety gears that you as the home owner may not have.

When you face a fire in the home or business, do not simply write everything off. The items in your home can still be salvaged. All you need to do is let the fire damage experts handle the job. This is what they are trained to do. They should be called immediately after the fire trucks and fire hose have performed their tasks.

You Wouldn't Want To Drink It

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

While you wouldn't be doing yourself any favors by scooping up your category one floodwater and taking a sip, the fact remains that it's basically clean water. However, it's still a risk for many of the nastier types of water-related problems, such as:

Black mold
• Pest infestation
• Staining
• Bad smells

It also affects the same level of structural damage on Aberdeen, MD buildings as dirty water. Don't let your guard down around a burst supply line or broken pipe just because the water is clean.

Don't Cut Corners

Sure, that water doesn't smell so bad now. You might even be able to remove it without any lingering odor. Even so, it's best to do as much as possible early on: One of the first rules of water damage mitigation is to attempt to get back to a like-new status right after the event. This might just mean removing the water. However, it could involve tasks that you might only think of in context of a remodel, such as removing walls and replacing carpeting.

Trapped Water

The reason for this seemingly excessive amount of work is that all of those structural and finishing materials can become saturated with clean water. Common offenders are:

• Drywall
• Carpeting
• Floorboard pads
• Open-cell and fiberglass insulation
• Ceiling tiles

That trapped water gets old and dirty quickly. In the best-case scenario, your business is left with a persistent and unpleasant aroma. In the worst case, black mold appears. When it comes to the safety of your stakeholders, it is typically best to err on the side of caution.

While a little mopping up might seem to do the trick, a more thorough job might be called for. Even if you start out with clean water, trapped moisture becomes dirty and infested quickly. It's best to get rid of it all, even if that means cutting out some of the affected materials and replacing them.
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The Need for Commercial Fire Damage Experts

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

The Need for Commercial Fire Damage Experts

The immediate reaction to fire is to call the firefighters to the scene. If you have a fire sprinkler system or fire suppression device, it should be used to contain the fire before the firefighters arrive. The fire truck and fire hose are immediately used by the firefighters to put out of the fire. Once the fire is out, the process of fire restoration begins.

You should have commercial fire damage experts on standby to deal with the fire damage, smoke damage and soot damage. After a fire, many homeowners assume that everything is lost. They do not see fire restoration damage efforts as beneficial. However, there are still many home items that can be saved, even those that are affected by soot damage. The work is not over when the fire trucks, fire hose and firefighters leave the scene.

When it comes to dealing with soot damage and smoke damage, timing is everything. Soot damage causes heavy discoloration on appliances and walls. Commercial fire damage experts have the right tools to deal with the soot damage. They use special deodorization agents to get rid of the discoloration. In most cases, you do not need to replace everything after a fire damage. A proper cleanup can make the items and walls look as good as new.

When they arrive on the scene, commercial fire damage experts begin by assessing the fire. They also seek to determine the cause of the fire. Electrical fires are very common in homes. Electrical fires are mainly caused by faulty electrical outlets and the use of old or outdated appliances. Electrical fires spread easily to other rooms. The fires can also spread once they catch rugs and curtains. The commercial fire damage will give an assessment and advice on the best way to avoid electrical fires.

Smoke damage and soot damage assessment are also part of the fire restoration process. Smoke can be categorized into protein smoke, wet smoke or dry smoke. Wet smoke results from low heat. Dry smoke is from high temperature and fast burning fire. Protein smoke damage has a pungent odor. A proper assessment of the soot and smoke damage is crucial in the process of fire restoration.

Most fires in the home also happen in utility rooms. Utility room fires account for more than 15, 000 of the fires reported annually. Utility room fires are hard to put out because in most cases the rooms are stuffy. Another cause of utility room fires is that most people store flammable items in these rooms. For instance, a hot dryer left in a laundry room can easily cause a fire when it comes into contact with lint. To reduce the occurrence of utility room fires, dryers should be stored safely. Electronics should also be maintained and old appliances replaced.

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The Effects of Long-term Water Damage

6/30/2017 (Permalink)

The Effects of Long-term Water Damage

Whether the cause is a broken pipe, a sewer backup, flood damage or another source of water, the result is often damage to home and property. Many of these issues occur in unseen areas, and homeowners are unaware it is happening. Without immediate restoration efforts, water cleanup and drying, the damage goes from bad to worse and eventually becomes a drastic situation that could lead to long-term problems.

Mold Damage

Within just a day or two of flood damage or any type of water damage, mold begins growing. These microscopic fungi thrive wherever moisture exists, so all that water in home that seeped into cracks and crevices and under carpet creates a mold colony breeding ground. As it grows, mold destroys what it touches and spreads to other areas. Once mold starts growing, it does not stop until the water in business is removed. Getting rid of the fungus, especially after it has been growing for a while, is typically time consuming, costly and inconvenient without proper mold mitigation help. When homeowners attempt do-it-yourself methods for drying and water cleanup, they often lack the skills needed to find all mold locations and breeding grounds, which means they may not solve the problem. Choosing a mitigation and restoration expert can effectively resolve mold issue caused by water damage.

Rotting Wood Damage

Water damage affecting wood can lead to rot, which leads to structural problems. Rotting wood is not caused by the water in business or home but by fungi breeding in moist conditions. Several types of fungi affect wood, and they can multiply rapidly. If the wood dries, the fungi may appear to disappear, but it is likely only dormant. When it becomes moist again, the fungi revives to begin destroying the wood. Any fungi-infected wood can spread to good wood on contact. Infection can also spread through wood-to-soil contact and by airborne fungi spores. Decomposition results in white rot or brown rot. White rotted wood becomes a paler color but may appear to still be intact. However, it has less shock resistance, is weaker and breaks easily. Brown rotted wood gets darker, shrinks and cracks into cube or oblong shaped pieces that easily crumble into a powder. Rotting wood is especially problematic if the wood is part of a home's support structure since the weight of the house will become too great for the wood to handle. Homeowners with this issue could face thousands in repair and construction costs outside of what's spent on drying and water cleanup. This money can be saved by dealing with the water in home problem as soon as it happens.

Concrete Damage

Concrete is durable but not indestructible, which is evident with flood damage and other water in business. Moisture that seeps into cracks and crevices and underneath concrete because of water damage can lead to multiple problems. They include erosion of the ground near the concrete and corrosion of steel reinforcements inside the concrete. This can weaken a foundation, making a house structurally unsound. Just above the concrete slab many homes rest upon is flooring, such as carpet, wood and tile. Moisture coming up from the concrete causes floors to peel, warp and buckle and sometimes lose its adhesion. Like other water in home damage, the issue needs mitigation and restoration work right away to prevent long-term problems.

Resolving Water Damage Problems

Perhaps there was only a small amount of water that leaked in one room, or it was flood damage that impacted the entire house. Either way, any amount of water in home or water in business is potentially damaging. The solution is not merely water cleanup or drying wet areas. A professional restoration and mitigation expert knows how to spot damage, even when it is unseen. With professional help, business owners and homeowners can trust that the source of the problem is dealt with so that damage is prevented or minimized.
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Flood Damage Affecting Businesses In Havre De Grace

2/15/2017 (Permalink)

Natural disasters present business owners with unique situations that require specific attention to overcome.

Flood Damage And Your Business

Natural disasters present business owners with unique situations that require specific attention to overcome. The last heavy rain and flash flooding in our area occurred late last year. However, there are a variety of museums and other businesses within walking distance of Penny's Shoal that would benefit from a little preparation against flooding.
The utility managers were able to save downtown from flooding during a rather light event. However, what happens when we experience the intensity of a 100-year storm? These events could cause severe flood damage to businesses in Havre De Grace and make preparing to battle these kinds of events necessary, but whom do you call?
SERVPRO is a locally owned and operated company with years of experience in handling many situations that business owners experience, just like you. We have access to the resources necessary to provide you with the equipment and personnel needed to help prepare your business for surviving large-loss flooding events and prevent massive damage to your property. Restoring flood-damaged property is the cornerstone of SERVPRO's business, we are dedicated to quickly responding to your call for assistance and provide you with the services you need to get things back to normal as soon as possible during an emergency. However, why would you wait?
SERVPRO technicians have experience in handling a variety of issues, including breaches in your roofing that allow water to enter your show floor or office space. It is entirely possible for us to provide you with cleaning and drying services during off hours, working on a schedule that fits your situation to help limit interruptions and loss of revenue or productivity. However, in some cases, the damage is severe enough, or the flood waters are contaminated enough to require implementation of safety and containment protocols, which means that we make every effort to protect your building and its occupants from exposure.
Our technicians have access to quality personal protective equipment to remain safe while performing their duties and follow very strict guidelines to maintain containment and safety on all of our job sites. Special boots, gloves, masks, and even entire body suits protect those that enter contaminated areas. Contact SERVPRO of Harford County today for access to IICRC qualified technicians that can assist with providing you with the protection your business deserves (410) 679-6260.

Office Disasters in Aberdeen from Water Damage

1/31/2017 (Permalink)

Keep Your Office Humming without Water Damage to Your Equipment

Trust SERVPRO to Keep Your Office Humming

Although offices usually have fewer sources of potential water damage than other businesses, they are far from immune to it. Office buildings contain expensive equipment, furniture, and appliances that are highly susceptible to damage from high volumes of water, and in the event of a disaster, the results can be costly. Fast responses are critical so that SERVPRO can arrive and begin mitigation work to prevent expenses from piling up. Otherwise, some of these scenarios could crop up in your office building.
Structural Collapse
Ceiling collapses are some of the most costly effects of water damage in Aberdeen office buildings. When large volumes of water soak into a second floor, the weight may become unbearable or materials may be sufficiently weakened to cause a full collapse. In addition to costs related to restoration of the caved-in area, these events often occur far away from walls and supports. In an office environment, this is typically where computers, equipment, and other workspaces are located. By getting SERVPRO inspectors out to the property at the first sign of damage, you help to increase our inspectors' efficacy in identifying structural weak points before a collapse is allowed to happen.
Electronics Damage
In addition to computers, most offices now contain other expensive electronics such as televisions, copy machines, kitchen appliances, and more. With high volumes of water, these can be severely and permanently damaged, typically many thousands of dollars to replace. Documenting inventory is critical here for insurance purposes, our SERVPRO team can help.
Basement Damage
Many offices use basements for storage or server hosting purposes. In the event of a flood, be it human-made or natural in origin, these basements often take the worst of the damage. Any problems encountered elsewhere in the building are usually worsened underground, and it may be difficult to salvage expensive equipment lost down there.
SERVPRO of Harford County has the tools, technique, and technicians to handle even the most serious water damage cases in the local area. Call us anytime at (410) 679-6260 for our restoration services.

Why Clean Air Ducts Prevent Commercial Fire Damage in Aberdeen Restaurants

12/14/2016 (Permalink)

Restaurant kitchen fires can escalate quickly. Call SERVPRO to discuss prevention and to assess any damage!

SERVPRO Technicians Can Identify Possible Causes of Future Fires for Business Owners

For obvious reasons, restaurants are a common source of commercial fires. The combination of intense heat, lots of activity, and industrial powered equipment can be a veritable tinderbox if not handled correctly.

For example, the most common cause of restaurant fires is poorly maintained air duct and extraction systems. In other words, commercial fire damage in Aberdeen eateries is not usually linked to pan fires or unsafe behaviors. The culprit is a build-up of grease.

As a local provider of fire damage repairs, SERVPRO is used to dealing with this kind of problem. Our technicians do more than just restore. They help business owners to avoid further fires, by identifying the source.

Why Duct Maintenance Is Essential

In a commercial kitchen, grease and fat accumulate at a rapid rate. Air duct and extraction fans are actually designed to remove this grime from the air. Yet, many kitchens forget to clean them. The grease starts to coat the surface of the ducts.

If even a small fire occurs, there is a risk of the material catching alight and causing extensive damage. Walls may be stained and blackened with soot. In cases of serious fire, they will be burned and could need replacing.

How to Recover From a Duct Fire

All restaurants and commercial kitchens need to employ a professional service to clean and maintain their duct systems. This is the only way to ensure that a build-up of grease doesn’t significantly raise the risk of fire. However, if your business does fall victim to fire damage, it doesn’t have to be the end of your story.

SERVPRO has spent many years bringing commercial sites back from the brink of destruction. We have access to state of the art cleaning tools, which can remove stubborn soot and smoke stains. We use sophisticated deodorizing devices to disinfect the air and eliminate foul odors. And, we can help you replace damaged structural materials like drywall and plasterboard, in the event of serious damage.

If your business needs advice on fire prevention, you can get in touch with our experts. SERVPRO of Harford County is a local company, which carries out extensive fire damage repairs. We can help you, no matter how bad your situation. Call us 24/7 at (410) 679-6260.

SERVPRO Commercial Water Damage in Riverside

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

When you are facing commercial water damage, call SERVPRO to assess.

Don't Let Water Damage Ruin Your Business

For a local bakery, the chemical agents we use for cleaning may not be an option. Foodstuffs are very sensitive to absorbing odors, and even the lingering odor from a strong antimicrobial agent could render ingredients useless and serving areas irritating to customer's noses.

This means that cleaning up commercial water damage in a Riverside bakery may take a bit longer. Instead of using cleaning agents, our technicians here at SERVPRO will rely on the air moving equipment in our inventory to dry the building and reopen the doors for business.

Lower speed air movers work well to push wet air out of a room or hallway. By using a shroud with them to direct the air, these movers are also excellent for drying out the moisture that can be trapped between sheets of drywall or under cabinets.

The air movers we use are designed to not just dry out a room, but with the right attachment (a special clamp), our higher speed models can also be used to dry out a carpet and carpet pad in less than a day. If we can start this process quickly enough after standing water has been removed (and if the water was not contaminated), then we can restore most carpeted areas in a day or two without the need of chemical cleaning agents.

For large areas such as kitchens, we will use venting box fans to exchange the wet air for dry air. It is also in areas like this with large surfaces (preparations tables) where we may need to use some cleaning agents. The box fans will speed up removing odors as our technicians employ the chemical cleaners.

Restoring a food service business brings its own set of problems. SERVPRO of Harford County has the experience and the equipment to get the job done. If you have a water problem in your business, call us today at (410) 679-6260 to begin restoration and get your doors open to customers once more.