Recent Posts

Effects of Water Damage

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is a problem that most property owners dread. When it rains heavily or snow melts quickly, the risk of this type of damage increases. Water can cause thousands of dollars’ worth of damage by damaging wood furniture, upholstery, electronics, household appliances, and plumbing equipment. Water damage also increases the risk of mold growth, which is a very expensive problem to remediate. Hiring a water damage restoration company can make the cleanup process easier to handle, as these companies employ experienced workers who know the best ways to repair or replace damaged items and help with water damage cleanup.

Causes of Water Damage

There are several possible causes of water damage. Leaky dishwashers, clogged toilets, broken pipes, broken dishwasher hoses, overflowing washing machines, leaky roofs, plumbing leaks, and foundation cracks are just some of the possible causes of water damage in homes and businesses. Floods, heavy snow, and heavy rain are other possible causes of this type of damage and can lead to having water in basements. Too much water can lead to minor problems such as water in basement areas, or it can lead to the destruction of homes and businesses. Once a home or business sustains water damage, it is important to start the water damage cleanup immediately. Starting water damage cleanup as soon as possible increases the likelihood of saving water-soaked furniture, carpets, rugs, clothing, and other items.

Categories of Water Damage

Assessing the severity of the damage is important for determining what is needed to start water damage repair and water removal. There are several different categories assigned to water damage. Category 1 refers to clean water, or water that does not pose a threat to humans. Possible causes of this type of damage include broken appliances or sink overflows. Category 2 water is also called gray water. This means that the water is contaminated and may cause sickness of ingested. This type of water contains microorganisms. Broken toilets, broken sump pumps, and seepage may cause category 2 water damage. Category 3 water is known as black water. This type of water is unsanitary, as it contains bacteria and other organisms that cause sickness. The possible sources of black water damage include sewage problems and contamination of standing water.

There are also several classes of water damage. The class of damage is important when assessing water damage repair options. Class 1 is the least harmful form of damage. Materials absorb very little of the water from this type of damage. Water damage repair is the easiest in this type of situation. Class 2 has a fast rate of evaporation, which means that carpets and cushions may be damaged. Water damage repair is more difficult when it involves class 2 damage. Class 3 has the fastest rate of evaporation. In this case, the water may come from broken sprinklers or other overhead sources, soaking the walls and furniture. Class 4 requires special water restoration and water removal procedures. This type of damage may affect hardwood floors, plaster, and concrete.

Restoration Process

The water restoration process is an important one. Using the right procedures and materials can help people save cherished belongings and even prevent their homes from being condemned. Water restoration companies specialize in mitigating the effects of water, but the success for water damage restoration depends on the severity of the damage and the amount of water that caused the damage. Water restoration companies may hire outside experts to assess a property and determine a water restoration and water removal plan. These water restoration companies typically use high-tech equipment and well-documented procedures to control water damage. Water in basement areas may only require a short cleanup process, but water in other areas of a property will require extensive remediation.

Health Hazards

It is important to hire one of these water damage restoration companies as soon as possible after water damage occurs. Moisture promotes the growth of mold and other organisms, increasing the risk for serious health problems. Mold exposure may aggravate allergy and asthma symptoms, especially in children and people with compromised immune systems. Exposure may also increase the risk for respiratory diseases and other medical problems. Cleaning up immediately can help mitigate the health effects of water damage on everyone in a home or commercial space.

If you find yourself faced with flooding in your home, it is vital that you contact the right professionals right away, which should include emergency plumbers and water damage repair like SERVPRO of Catonsville 410-242-7370. Do know though that while an immediate reaction can help mitigate damage, it is just as important to give your plumbing system the care and attention it deserves.

When Storms or Flood Hit Catonsville

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Catonsville we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 410-242-7370

Faster to Any Disaster

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

Faster to Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO of Catonsville services Residential and Commercial properties. We are an Emergency Service company that is open 24/7 that's ready to do any remediation or cleaning for your property.

We consider ourselves Professionals because

  • Provide 24/7 Emergency Services
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • We have trusted Production Managers and Crew Chiefs to lead the way
  • Highly Trained Water Restoration Specialists
  • Preferred Vendor for many local Insurance Companies

We are here to assist you in any needs or questions you may have 24/7. Please call today!

410-242-7370

Is Your Business Prepared

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Is your business prepared in case a disaster or emergency situation should occur? Disasters and resulting business interruptions can devastate companies; in fact, as many as 50% of businesses that experience a disaster never reopen. With the proper planning and proactive restoration, you can be better prepared to survive a disaster should one occur.

     The need and benefit of having a detailed emergency action plan is crucial. A well-developed plan can help mitigate the effects of disasters and help you return to business quickly, saving time, unnecessary frustration and money. Those few minutes and hours immediately following a loss can be significant in determining the amount of time the property will be non-functional. Fast response can mean the difference between restoration and cleaning versus costly replacement resulting from prolonged exposure and secondary damage.

     Developing a solid working contingency plan and networking with reputable vendors to assist you in your time of need are essential in your recovery efforts. Having a reliable company to respond immediately and begin emergency procedures is a critical part of any contingency plan. As part of a Franchise System, SERVPRO of Catonsville has access to over 10,000 quality teammates with thousands of pieces of commercial equipment and service vehicles that can typically respond to a crisis within hours.

     SERVPRO of Catonsville can provide you a free emergency preparedness plan to help minimize interruption, overall costs and tenant inconvenience. Listed below are some of the items that are found in the Emergency Response Profile:

  • Immediate Response Checklist - An organized and prioritized list of persons who need to be contacted when an emergency occurs, including insurance contacts and emergency service providers.
  •  Building and Grounds Information - Building statistics and key support companies (i.e. security, engineering and elevator).
  • Content Information – Inventories of contents and locations of valuable documents, articles and other important items. This also includes machinery and office equipment inventory lists and information as well as vital documents and records.

      As a free service to you, we will catalog all of this important information into a customized Emergency Response Profile for your property or properties. Call us today at 410-242-7370 for a straight, no-nonsense discussion on how to get your facility back up and running following an adverse situation.

Our Emergency Ready Profile App will help Protect your Catonsville Business

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

No one ever plans for a disaster, but you can always prepare for it. Did you know 50% of businesses never reopen following a disaster? Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your Catonsville business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO emergency Ready Profile

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • a concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency
  • a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster
  • establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider
  • identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin
  • provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information

This App is of no cost to you. It is a complimentary service that SERVPRO of Catonsville will provide to you. We hope that you use us in the event of a disaster, but in the end that choice will always be yours!

8 Things to do after a Fire in your Catonsville Home

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

8 Things to do after a Fire in your Catonsville  home. 

The following checklist serves as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes.

  1. Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter. Be watchful of any structural damage caused by the fire
  2. The fire department should see that utilities are either safe to use or are disconnected before they leave the site.  DO NOT attempt to reconnect utilities yourself.
  3. Contact your local disaster relief service, such as The Red Cross, if you need temporary housing, food and medicines.
  1. If you are insured, contact your insurance company for detailed instructions on protecting the property, conducting inventory and contacting fire damage restoration companies. SERVPRO of Catonsville is approved by all insurance companies. 
  2. Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. SERVPRO of Catonsville crews are trained to properly document, clean and store damaged items. Nothing will be disposed of without your knowledge or permission and we do our best to salvage your precious items.
  3. Try to locate valuable documents and records-deed to home, car, bank information, birth certificates, etc. 
  4. Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to fire loss. The receipts may be needed later by the insurance company and for verifying losses claimed on income tax
  5. notify your mortgage company of the fire.

If you've experienced a home fire, and aren't sure what to do, please call SERVPRO of Catonsville, or your insurance agent. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

4 Things to know about Home Fires in Catonsville

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Timing is everything, in just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

Learn About Fires

  • Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a serious fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames - impairing vision and breathing.
  • Fire is HOT! Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes to your skin. Always crawl on the floor!
  • Fire is DARK! Fire starts bright, but quickly produces black smoke and complete darkness.
  • Fire is Scary! Smoke is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that  disorient you. asphyxiation (suffocation) is the leading cause of death from home related fires.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services for Catonsville

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

Tips for Using a Fire Extinguisher

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

As a homeowner or business owner you need to be prepared for emergencies. If you've ever had a  fire and had to call in professionals to restore your home or business, you understand the importance of having a fire extinguisher on hand. Following the steps below can ensure that you're using it correctly.

1. Assess the Situation

First, understand what you're dealing with. If the blaze is already too big, the best idea may be to call the fire department and get yourself and anyone else in the house to safety. If you can safely douse it with a fire extinguisher, you need to next make sure that you have right type for whatever material is burning.

2. Use the Right Extinguisher for the Fire

Experts classify extinguishers based on the type of fire they can combat. These include:

  • Type A: for fires involving plastics, wood, textiles and paper
  • Type B: used on fires involving solvents, gasoline, oils, paints and other flammable liquids
  • Type C: for electrical fires, including plugged-in equipment like computers or appliances
  • Type D: for fires involving combustible powders or metals
  • Type E: commonly used for a kitchen fire involving fats or cooking oils

These letter classifications are always found on the sides of the extinguishers, many of which are rated for putting out fires of more than one type.

3. Remember: "PASS"

The PASS method is an easy way to remember how to use most fire extinguishers. Each letter in "PASS" stands for the first word of an operational step. The "P" tells you to pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation. The "A" tells you to aim the nozzle. The nozzle should not be aimed at the top of the flames, but at the bottom, where the combustion is taking place. The first "S" tells you to squeeze the handle to start the flow, and the second one reminds you to sweep from side to side while spraying.

By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can safely prevent fire damage before it has a chance.

What to Do Until Help Arrives in Catonsville

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Tips For Your Home or Business

Water Damage from Clean Water

DO:

  • Shut off the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much of the excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Remove to a safe dry place any paintings, art objects, computer, documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
  • Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
  • Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

DON’T:

  • Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazard may exist.
  • Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
  • Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.
  • Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall to wall carpets to cause staining.
  • Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retaining water.

Fire Sprinklers Save Money and Time

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

No home or business, wants to deal with the destruction caused by fire or water. One of the best ways to minimize potential damage and associated expenses is to maintain a commercial fire sprinkler system. A sprinkler system is a highly effective fire suppression strategy that can prevent many significant losses.  

1. They're Activated by Heat, Not Smoke

A sprinkler system is not activated by smoke Instead, the heat generated by a fire rises to the ceiling, where the sprinkler heads are located. Sensors recognize the change in temperature and trigger the release of water. Only sprinklers in the area of the fire will be activated. It is possible that only a single sprinkler head will deploy.

2. They Use High-Pressure Water

The pipes that feed the fire sprinkler system are filled with pressurized water at all times. There will be no delay between the activation of the system and the release of water. The volume of water from even a single sprinkler can help contain a fire, which reduces fire and water damage to the rest of the structure. By the time the fire department arrives, the fire will likely not have spread further. It may even be extinguished by the sprinkler system.

3. They Can Minimize Cleanup After a Fire

Minimal fire sprinkler cleanup is another key advantage of a sprinkler system. While there will still be fire and water damage, it is likely to be much less extensive than what you'd find in a building without a sprinkler system. The fire damage should be limited to the area where sprinklers activated. The water damage from sprinklers is far less intrusive than water damage caused by fire hoses.

Any fire will cause structural and water damage. The primary benefit of a fire sprinkler system is that inevitable damage will be kept to a minimum, resulting in saved dollars and saved lives.

We are Flood Damage Specialists: What ever the cause may be.

·  We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week

· We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

· We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About

· Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques

SERVPRO of Catonsville 410-242-7370