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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Disasters Can Happen In Catonsville

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, business owner, insurer or property manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customers and community to follow.

Join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes.

As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster. You can do this by taking three simple steps:

  • Plan to stay in business
  • Encourage your employees to become ready
  • Protect your investment

We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are ready. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to begin preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency. 

Preventing Frozen Pipes your Home and Business

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Wintertime is a worrisome time of year for many business owners, especially those who operate out of warehouse facilities where exposed pipes are part of the territory. Cold weather instigates freezing, which in turn threatens a business with the risk of a burst pipe or water line. Thankfully, there are several ways you can prevent frozen pipes  

1. Keep Doors Closed

While it may seem obvious, keeping doors, especially warehouse garages, closed during business hours can be one of the easiest ways to prevent a frozen pipe. Warehouses often have exposed water lines, and if these lines are not insulated properly, they can freeze and possibly burst, creating a significant amount of damage and expense.

2. Open Faucets a Smidge

When expecting cold or below-freezing temperatures, merely opening the cold-water supply on faucets nearest the exterior water lines can minimize the risk of a frozen or burst pipe. The moving water will not freeze as easily as standing water. 

3. Maintain a Steady Temperature

Likely, the best way to prevent freezing in your company’s pipes is to maintain a steady temperature, no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit. While lowering the temperature of your business after closing or during extended holidays may seem like a fiscal responsibility, you may be putting your business at risk for water damage, which may lead to significant business interruption.

4. Have a Plan in Place

Lastly, if the worst happens despite your preventative actions, it may be a good idea to have an emergency plan in place. While you can and should create an in-house emergency action plan and checklist, you may also want to contact a restoration company because many of these companies offer emergency planning services. These services typically include an initial inspection of your property and the customization of an action plan in the event of an emergency or disaster.

A burst pipe can be devastating for a business, not only due to the damage but also the operational interruption. Avoiding a pipe burst due to freezing can be as easy as keeping doors closed, opening a faucet when necessary, and maintaining a steady temperature throughout your facility.

If You Suspect Mold, Follow These Tips

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Catonsville for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

 If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

Causes of Mold

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Common Source of excessive mold-causing moisture

Flooding from storms coming from outside

Sump pump overflow

Roof leaks from damaged roofs, ice dams or blocked gutters

Rain from storms through window frames, exterior walls, or doors

Leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows

Damp basements due to high water table or badly managed water drainage

Condensation on cold surfaces

Mold needs these 3 main things to thrive and stay alive.

High humidity

Warm or temperate Temperature

Poor ventilation

Mold is easier to prevent than it is to clean so keeping a watch on common sources of mold and maintaining a dry, ventilated home and drying homes from water damage within 24 hours of the incidence is the best way to prevent mold from happening in the first place. If you have a mold problem and you would like information about how to get it professionally cleaned, please call us and we will direct you on the companies that we use to test for mold.

SERVPRO of Catonsville, specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If you have mold, call us 410-242-7370

Your Pets and Winter Weather

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

It’s no surprise that the people in Catonsville love their pets.  Your furry family members need to be safe during the winter just like humans.  At SERVPRO of Catonsville we know that your pets are an important part of your family. Most pets in Catonsville are indoor animals and those animals are prone to the same winter hazards as humans.  Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind for your furry friend.

Limit outdoor time on bitter cold days. Try to go out when the sun is shining. If you have a dog with fur, they can still suffer from hypothermia.  Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather.  Dogs with long or short hair should have winter sweaters or coats to help them maintain their body temperature.

Avoid the ice. Animals can slip and fall just like you. More importantly, animals cannot recognize the danger of breaking through thin ice on frozen water. It is always better to keep your pet on a leash during the winter to help them steer clear of hazards.

Wipe their paws when you come inside. The streets and sidewalks of you neighborhood are often treated with salt or other de-icers. These substances can irritate your animal's paws. Some can be toxic, which is especially dangerous if your pet licks its paws.

People and pets want a safe place inside for the cold months. If a winter emergency, like a burst pipe, makes your home unsafe, contact SERVPRO of Catonsville. We are here to help the residents of Catonsville recover when winter storms hit. 

Are You Winter Weather Ready?!?

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the cold Maryland weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your Annapolis home or business if you’re not ready for it. From freezing rain and low temperatures, to damaging winds, sleet or snow, can all cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to prepare your Catonsville home or business.

To help prevent costly winter storm damages, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before winter weather hits.

Check your Catonsville business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to your property and potentially cause personal injuries.

Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potentially slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water or ice could be present.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Catonsville to strike back. 410-242-7370

We've Got What You Need

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

When a disaster strikes your property, the last thing you want to do is vet remediation companies. Trust a national brand with local presence, SERVPRO of Catonsville. Our team carries various certifications that will help resolve any problem and make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Catonsville Certifications

  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • CMR - IAQC Certified Mold Remediator
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • HST - Health and safety Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician

Trust an industry leader at the local level. Call SERVPRO of Catonsville for any restoration needs 410-242-7370

Protect Your Commercial Building from Water Damage

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage and Your Business

Every day, thousands of commercial buildings experience water damage. In some cases, the damage is from storms or flash floods.  In others, it is simply from a leak.  Quite often the damage is from a fire being extinguished -- in fact, counter-intuitively, most fires result in more water damage than fire damage. Water is the most common type of damage that commercial buildings experience. When it is not dealt with promptly and effectively, the problem can rapidly grow from a minor issue to something costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. SERVPRO of Catonsville can help.

Here are a few suggestions for how to best protect your business from water damage and minimize the fall-out when something does happen:

Prepare An Emergency Plan

Given how integral water is to all life and most industries, it is almost guaranteed that a commercial building will have to deal with water damage at some point. Thus, one of the best things a business owner can do is prepare for that inevitability ahead of time to keep losses to a minimum. Because water damage in Catonsville can grow exponentially if not addressed immediately, time is of the essence.  Be prepared by having a company like SERVPRO of Catonsville on your speed dial.

Your emergency plan should include:

A blueprint is showing where the shut-off points are for water, electricity and gas plus a set of instructions on how to shut them down fast.
 A conveniently located toolbox.
 A list of emergency phone numbers, such as the fire department, plumbers, SERVPRO of Catonsville, emergency personnel, and police.

After you have an emergency plan in place for your commercial building, you should focus on prevention. Inspecting vulnerable areas is a good practice.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Check all rooftop penetrations, both interior and exterior.
Look for water stains.
Check all flashing, drains and seals.

Inspect Your Walls Regularly

Check wall joints around doors and windows.
Check flashing and sealant integrity.

Inspect Your Windows Regularly

Check for air seal integrity.
Test all locks and other mechanical parts.
Check flashing and joints.
Look for water stains or mold growth on window sills and interior walls.

Emergency plans and inspections are both measures to lessen any disruption to your commercial building.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too, and are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.  We're Faster to Any Disaster.

We are just a phone call away to help.

410-242-7370

Storm Safety Tips

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorm Safety Tips 

To keep your home and family safe before and during a thunderstorm, it’s imperative that you take precautionary measures — especially if you live in an area prone to storms.

To prepare for a thunderstorm, we recommend:

  • Putting together an emergency kit and family plan
  • Removing debris and branches
  • Securing outdoor objects that could blow away or damage the home
  • Staying inside your home
  • Closing all exterior windows and doors
  • Unplugging all electronic equipment before the storm.

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent a severe thunderstorm, you can keep the damages to a minimum by securing as much in your home as possible and reinforcing the defenses around your home exterior. Tie down your roofing or seal it with mortar, call SERVPRO of Catonsville to clean up all the debris within and around your house.We are storm damage professionals who can come in following a natural disaster and help with the recovery. SERVPRO of Catonsville 410-242-7370

Thunderstorm Facts & Causes

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Thunderstorms are defined as storms that produce thunder and lightning. Severe thunderstorms may also produce:

  • Rain
  • High winds
  • Sleet or snow

It’s important to note that thunderstorms do not always produce moisture. A storm in which you see lightning and hear thunder but never feel a drop of water is known as a “dry” thunderstorm. Thunderstorms that produce hail and tornadoes are known as “supercell” storms. Storms occur either in clusters or lines; therefore, they may present as a single thunderstorm or as multiple thunderstorms hitting one after the other.

Causes

Thunderstorms are caused when moisture from the lower or mid-level part of the atmosphere mixes with warm, unstable air from the ground. Moisture and air then push upwards into the higher atmosphere to form clouds that produce thunder and lightning, as well as potential precipitation. Spring, summer and fall are most conducive to thunderstorms because the sun heats the ground and moisture is more perceptible in the air, especially in humid climates.

Thunderstorms must also be lifted to begin their formation. Some sources of lift include:

  • More heat on the ground than in the air
  • Changes in atmospheric conditions near mountains
  • Weather front changes caused by clashing cold and hot air
  • Drylines, or when moist and dry air clash
  • Land or sea breezes

Any of these situations can immediately create a thunderstorm without warning, even in the middle of a clear blue day. In many cases, these storms will also be accompanied by lightning. Most will not come with hail or tornadoes, unless they occur in tornado-prone states such as Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri.

Flooding In Your Home After A Storm

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

If your home is flooded following a severe thunderstorm, there are various steps you can take to recover your home. It’s going to be a long process, involve a lot of tearing up, remodeling and time, but your home will go back to its original state eventually. Some recommendations include:

  • Wear safety gear.
  • Get rid of anything that can’t be cleaned (bedding, fabric flooring, upholstery, toys, linens)
  • Throw away drywall and insulation that’s wet.
  • Deep clean and scrub hard surfaces with hot water and dish detergent.
  • Use fans, A/C units and dehumidifiers to speed the drying process.
  • Wash all clothing touched by flood water with hot water and laundry detergent.

Be aware of electrical power lines, natural gas lines, frayed wires and any other hazards from flooding that could injure you. You should check with the gas company or the fire department before returning to your home to avoid injury. Do not return to your home during the day to avoid any accidents from being unable to see. You shouldn’t be allowed to return until the police or fire department say it’s okay. You should also not wade in standing water or around downed power lines, just in case.

If you need help with the big part of the recovery job — pulling up carpet, taking down drywall, removing appliances, so forth — you can SERVPRO of Catonsville to help you 410-242-7370. These professionals are licensed and experienced in handling situations like flood recovery and know where to start. They can also look out for disaster-specific issues like mold, foundation issues and the like.

Heating Fire Statistics You Should Know In Catonsville

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Heating fire statistics for the United States

Heating appliance related fires are the leading cause in fire related deaths and causes of home fires. Some people are very aware of the dangers of home heating appliances and take great care to make sure they are watched after properly – other people think it will never happen to them. Hopefully these statistics will help reinforce the idea of protecting your home against home heating appliance fires.

  • Heating fires are the second leading cause of home fires.**
  • Fixed and portable space heaters, including wood stoves, are involved in 74 percent of fire-related deaths.**
  • Nearly half of American families use alternative heating sources such as space heaters, fireplaces, or wood/coal stoves to stay warm.*
  • Each year over 200 people die from carbon monoxide produced by fuel burning appliances in the home including furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters.***
  • The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.*
  • Only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.*
  • Eighty percent of Americans don’t realize that home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation.*
  • Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.**

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 at 410-242-7370

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/home-fire-preparedness

About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Candle Fire Safety

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

From 2009-2013, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 9,300 home structure fires that were started by candles. These fires caused 86 deaths, 827 injuries and $374 million in direct property damage. 

Facts and figures

During the five-year period of 2009-2013:

  • Candles caused 3% of reported home fires, 3% of home fire deaths, 6% of home fire injuries, and 5% of the direct property damage in home fires.
  • Roughly one-third (36%) of home candle fires started in bedrooms. These fires caused 32% of the associated deaths and 47% of the associated injuries.
  • Falling asleep was a factor in 11% percent of the home candle fires and 30% of the associated deaths.
  • On average, 25 home candle fires were reported per day. 
  • More than half (58%) of home candle fires occurred when some form of combustible material was left or came too close to the candle.
  • December is the peak time of year for home candle fires. In December, 11% of home candle fires began with decorations compared to 4% the rest of the year.

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 at 410-242-7370

Safety While Heating Your Home

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

 Heating Your Home

Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.

  • Supervise children when a fireplace, fire pit, or other space heater is being used. Use a sturdy, metal screen to prevent contact burns, which are even more common than flame burns.
  • All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn, such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least 3 feet away from heating equipment.
  • Use heating equipment that has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Never use your oven for heating.
  • Install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment, according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Have a qualified professional install the equipment.
    • Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is created when fuels burn incompletely. CO poisoning can cause illness and even death. Make sure the venting for exhaust is kept clear and unobstructed. This includes removal of snow and ice around the outlet to the outside.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

Portable electric space heaters

  • Turn heaters off when you go to bed or leave the room.
  • Use and purchase portable space heaters with an automatic shut off so if they’re tipped over they will shut off.
  • Place space heater on solid, flat surface.
  • Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged, broken plugs or loose connections. Replace before using.

Fuel burning space heaters

  • Always use the proper fuel as specified by the manufacturer.
  • When refueling, allow the appliance to cool and refuel outside or in a well-ventilated area.
  • When using the heater, open a window to ensure proper ventilation.
  • In portable kerosene or other liquid-fueled space heaters, always use the proper grade of the proper fuel.
  • All new unvented gas-fired space heaters have an oxygen depletion sensor that detects a reduced level of oxygen in the area where the heater is operating and shuts off the heater before a hazardous level of carbon monoxide accumulates. If you have an older heater without this feature, replace it.
  • If the pilot light of your gas heater goes out, allow 5 minutes or more for the gas to go away before trying again, do not allow gas to accumulate, and light the match before you turn on the gas to the pilot to avoid risk of flashback.
  • If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not attempt to light the appliance. Turn off all the controls and open doors and window. Call a gas service person.

Wood burning stoves

  • Install the stove, chimney connectors and chimneys following manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation.
  • Wood stoves should bear the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • In wood stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood. In pellet stoves, burn only dry, seasoned wood pellets.
  • Start the fire with newspaper or kindling, never with a flammable liquid, such as lighter fluid, kerosene or gasoline.
  • Keep the doors of your wood stove closed unless loading or stoking the live fire.
  • Allow ashes to cool before disposing. Dispose of ashes in a tightly covered metal container and keep the ash container at least 10 feet away from the home and any other nearby buildings. Douse and saturate with water.
  • Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected at least once a year.

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 at 410-242-737

WHY SERVPRO of Catonsville??

1/30/2019 (Permalink)

Stephen

Initially called because I thought they could help with the leak (that eventually turned into a geyser) Brittany was most helpful and even after what seemed like 10 calls ... they were there quickly and courteously to hold my hand and walk me through a 5 day process that left my home in incredible shape ... I HIGHLY RECOMMEND their company ... every employee we dealt with was outstanding!!!

Brittney

Great service, great staff.

Mike

I recently used SERVPRO of Catonsville for a commercial cleanup. The team arrived within a few hours of my calling and stayed late into the night to finish the job. They returned a few days later to pick up their equipment. No problems, I'd use them again

Margaret

I read the other reviews. Our case was a little different. My son was found dead at home after several days during this last heat wave. SERVPRO  responded quickly as conditions were such that we could not enter the house till their work was done. They responded to changes quickly and courteously.

Is your Business Prepared

1/28/2019 (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.

Most Common Causes of Fires In Commercial Buildings

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fires due to equipment failures might make headlines but 85 percent of the fires that occur in commercial buildings are due to human error or intent, reports Maine Municipal Association Risk Management Services (MMARMS).

 Over 3,000 fatalities and 18,000 injuries occur every year in the US because of fire and fires consume $10 billion in property damage costs annually. MMARMS reports that 70-80,000 workplaces experience fire every year, causing disruption of public services and utilities and the loss of valuable property and information.

Arson is the leading cause of damage, death and workplace injuries that occur in commercial buildings. Arson doesn’t just financially affect a business owner or company, it injures or kills workers and fire fighters; it results in job loss for many; and fire can easily spread to other buildings and damage public utilities. The motive for arson might be a way to camouflage other crimes, it can be instigated by an unhappy worker or client, or arson may occur due to mental instability. Economic and political grievances may lie behind an arson attack and arson may be committed in cases of insurance fraud. Simple vandalism is another common cause of arson.

Human Error

FM Global hazards manager George Capko points out that fires in warehouses are rare compared to those that occur in commercial buildings where people work. A smoldering cigarette, a forgotten coffee pot or a paper-laden computer are common causes of commercial fires.

 Fire risk increase the higher the number of people that work in a building: it’s the use of equipment rather than the equipment itself that is usually the cause of a commercial fire.   

If your property does suffer fire damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Catonsville  to handle cleanup and restoration. We provide emergency response 24/7 and will respond quickly in your time of need. Contact us 410-242-7370

If You See Mold In Your Home

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

If you see or smell mold in home, the most important step is to locate the source of moisture and make repairs to stop them. Cleaning only the mold without fixing the problem, the mold will recur and may not be as easy to find (it is a living breathing organism).

Places to inspect for moisture if mold is present in home:

    • Foundation
    • Pipes
    • Leaking roof

IF you do not see mold but only smell it, it may be growing behind previously water damaged walls carpet or wallpaper. Resulting in more extensive mold damage. Once the moisture source has been fixed, you need to decide if removing the mold requires a professional.

If the mold is from a sewage back up, other contaminated water such as a water damage left for an unknown amount of time –it is best if you contact a professional.

IF you see mold in more than one area in one room, or on walls, carpet or ceiling it is best to call a professional, check out our mold gallery photos and before and after pictures to get an idea of what professionals are called in to clean up. You’ll see some examples where the mold isn’t visible and others where it is very VERY visible.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

Mold Safety Tips

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Catonsville for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

6 steps to prepare your family and home a thunderstorm before it hits Catonsville Md

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

6 steps to prepare your family and home a thunderstorm before it hits Catonsville Md

  1. Pick a safe place in your home to gather during a thunderstorm event: make sure its away from windows, skylights, and glass doors.
  2. Make a list of items to be brought inside if a thunderstorm is on its way
  3. Make trees and shrubbery more wind tolerant by keeping them trimmed and removing damaged branches
  4. Protect your pets by making sure they are inside, or in a safe, secure barn.
  5. If you are considering installing lightning rods, consult your fire department
  6. Put together an emergency kit

Review this step-by-step plan with your family.

We are Flooded Business Specialists:

  •  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
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

With any leak, IT IS THE WATER you do not see that CAUSES THE MOST DAMAGE

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

There's no such thing as a small disaster. Especially when the water you don't see contains bacteria or causes mold, rot and other unseen damage. Water damage can affect the value of your property. So before you get out the mop, bucket, and box fan to try and clean it up yourself, consider how this will affect your property.

A mop and common cleaning products may not be enough for serious water intrusions. Your local SERVPRO® of Catonsville  is trained to safely clean and RESTORE your building, utilizing the following procedures:

    • Identify the Source/Type of Water
    • Measure Temperature and Humidity for Drying Analysis
    • Survey the Extent of Damage and Inspect the Premises
    • Perform Emergency Water Extraction
    • Apply Necessary Treatments
  • Utilize Drying Equipment and Monitor Drying

So, before you risk further damaging the value of your home or facility by attempting to clean up the mess yourself, call your local SERVPRO® of Catonsville water damage cleanup and restoration specialist at 410-242-7370

Water Cleanup

5/22/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Catonsville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

Category: Water Damage

 SERVPRO of Catonsville provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Catonsville, Baltimore, Arbutus, Gwynn Oak/Woodlawn, Lansdowne,Windsor Mill

SERVPRO of Catonsville is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 410-242-7370

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Catonsville has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Catonsville

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

SERVPRO of Catonsville Specializes in Flooded Business Cleanup & Restoration

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

A business can have a flood at any time, although water damage most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to water intrusion because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level – this is also where businesses typically store important documents and inventory. There are a number of reasons why your Catonsville business could flood, including:

  •  A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface Fire to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Fire supply-line break or hot-Fire tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about business Flooding?

Call Today - 410-242-7370

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your business's structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. Not only that but the damage to inventory and important documents could be dramatic and irreversible.

The bottom line: a flooded business can jeopardize your health, safety, and your business’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Catonsville let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Business Specialists:

  •  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
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Business Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 410-242-7370

Commercial Building Fire Safety

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Maintaining fire safety in your commercial building is essential to protect your employees and your customers. Proper fire safety also provides a level of protection for your equipment, tools, merchandise and raw materials, records and the building itself. There are four crucial elements to a commercial building fire safety system.

Fire Alarms

Fire alarms are your first line of defense against the potential risks of fires and are perhaps the most critical element of a commercial building fire safety system. When a fire alarm sounds, everyone in your building knows that a potential danger exists and that immediate evacuation is necessary. Even if it turns out to be a false alarm, employees and customers should recognize that the system works to protect them.

Fire alarms should be inspected and maintained at least annually to keep them in proper operating condition. You should also conduct regular tests of the fire alarm system along with fire drills to ensure that your employees understand and can conduct fire safety and evacuation procedures. Contact your local fire safety authorities for information on local, state and federal requirements for fire alarm systems.

Emergency Lights and Exit Signs

During a fire, conditions can be chaotic and confusing. Electrical power to the building will most likely be lost. Smoke can obscure vision and make it difficult to navigate even a highly familiar building. People will be tense and possibly on the verge of panic. Emergency lights and exit signs make it more likely that individuals will be able to see well enough to get out of the building and to a safe area.

Emergency lights are designed to come on when main power supplies are lost. Similarly, lighted exit signs switch to emergency power when they no longer get electricity from the main source. These devices help light up emergency evacuation routes and make it clear where doorways and exits can be found.

These lights and signs should be tested regularly to ensure proper operation. This often involves simply pressing the "test" button to ensure they correctly switch to standby power. A monthly 30-minute minimum function test and an annual 90-minute function test should also be conducted and documented.

Fire Extinguishers

Most fire codes require access to fire extinguishers in a commercial setting. They provide individuals with a means to put out small fires or stop the spread of a larger fire long enough for a safe evacuation of the building.

In general, fire extinguishers should be mounted on walls at distances of less then 75 feet, meaning that no one should have to travel more than 75 feet to get to a fire extinguisher. There should also be extinguishers mounted near exits to ensure easy access and that no one has to go farther into a burning building to find an extinguisher.

Make sure your employees know how to operate a fire extinguisher and that the extinguishers are maintained and inspected regularly.

Fire Sprinkler/Standpipe Systems

In some commercial facilities, a sprinkler system may be used. These systems react to heat and turn on a water sprinkler to suppress or extinguish larger fires.

Sprinkler and standpipe systems will likely require the services of licensed inspectors to ensure they are maintained and are in proper working order. Tests and inspections should include:

  • A monthly check to ensure all control valves are in the proper position.
  • A quarterly test of the system's main drain.
  • An annual inspection by a professional sprinkler system contractor.
  • A five-year reconstruction of the back flow device and internal inspection of the sprinkler pipes.

Prevent Home Fires

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Prevent Home Fires

Home fires are preventable! The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy.

Cooking

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling, or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking.
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforcing a "kid-free zone" of 3 feet around the stove.
  • Position barbecue grills at least 10 feet away from siding and deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

Smoking

  • Smoke outside and completely stub out butts in an ashtray or a can filled with sand.
  • Soak cigarette butts and ashes in water before throwing them away. Never toss hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used, even if it is turned off. Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster.
  • Be alert - don’t smoke in bed! If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first.

Electrical and Appliance Safety

  • Frayed wires can cause fires. Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet. Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord.
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker.

Portable Space Heaters

  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
  • Check to make the portable heater has a thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over.
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters. Never overfill it. Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.

Fireplaces and Woodstoves

  • Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions.
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks.
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.

Children

  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool, not a toy.
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time.

More Prevention Tips

  • Never use stove range or oven to heat your home.
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas.

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 at 410-242-7370

Mold and your Health

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Mold and Your Health. Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation.

Signs and symptoms of allergic rhinitis caused by mold allergy can include:

  • Sneezing.
  • Runny or stuffy nose.
  • Cough and postnasal drip.
  • Itchy eyes, nose and throat.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Dry, scaly skin.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

How long does it take for mold spores to die?

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

How long does it take for mold spores to die?FACT: Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. FACT: With water, molds grow. Without water, molds die but the spores do not. If water returns, the spores regenerate growing colonies of mold. What kills mold spores in the air?Use a mold remover to kill visible mold.

  • Use a mold remover to kill visible mold. ...
  • Follow up with a mold preventer to assure mold does not grow back. ...
  • Run a HEPA air purifier to capture mold spores that have become airborne. ...
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep the relative indoor humidity below 50%.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

Water Damage Restoration Process w/ Professionals

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration Process

If you have water damage, you should absolutely consider contacting a professional to help with water removal. Water damage restoration follows several different classes and categories and you should always consult with an expert.

Step 1 – Technicians remove standing water with state-of-the-art extractors and pumps
Step 2 – Carpets are pulled up, and floors are dried completely
Step 3 – All electronics and appliances that are damaged will be brought back to their pre-damaged conditions where possible
Step 4 – The damaged site is disinfected in order to kill bacteria or mold growth

Water Damage Experts and Professionals

When you find yourself in a water damage crisis, no one can handle the damage better than professionals. During such a stressful time, you will need someone to help you see there is a light at the end of the tunnel; dealing with water damage can put a lot of strain on you.

A true professional will exhibit both experience and empathy while seamlessly guiding you through the process. They should explain every step and detail to you so that you’re fully aware of what will be happening in your home or workplace.

Fortunately, in most instances, your insurance will cover all damages sustained to your home. Most professionals will be able to help you start the claims process in order to quickly handle the situation. With the right preventative information and a good expert at your side, any water damage issues you face should hopefully be minimal and resolved before you know it.

If you need help with the big part of the recovery job — pulling up carpet, taking down drywall, removing appliances, so forth — you can SERVPRO of Catonsville to help you 410-242-7370. These professionals are licensed and experienced in handling situations like flood recovery and know where to start. They can also look out for disaster-specific issues like mold, foundation issues and the like.

Precautions Before Help Arrives To Clean Up Your Clean Water

11/29/2017 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers from a storm, its critical to know the difference between different levels of contaminated water. There are 3 classes of water, Clean, Gray and Black.

Clean water: Clean water is water from a broken pipe, water from a hot water heater, or sink. The time frame for a clean water water damage is limited as if it sits for longer than 24 hours it is then considered gray water. 

Here is a list of precautions to take to protect your personal belongings from a clean source water damage until help arrives.

    •  Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
    • Turn off the circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electric shock
    • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
    • remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow a more even drying.
    • move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place
    • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet as they may cause staining
    • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner
    • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

When you have a water damage, don't leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Catonsville. We are certified in Water damage, biohazard clean up and mold remediations. We also accept all insurance companies.   Call 410-242-7370 for more details.

How Mold Gets Into Your House

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

While mold occurs naturally in the outdoors, it needs excessive moisture to survive indoors. That’s why mold is problem when there is a water damage, high levels of humidity or dampness. Here is a guide on where to find sources of moisture-causing mold.

Common Source of excessive mold-causing moisture:

  • Flooding from storms coming from outside
  • Sump pump overflow
  • Roof leaks from damaged roofs, ice dams or blocked gutters
  • Rain from storms through window frames, exterior walls, or doors
  • Leaking pipes
  • sewer back-ups or overflows
  • Damp basements due to high water table or badly managed water drainage
  • Condensation on cold surfaces

Then mold needs these 3 main factors to thrive and survive!

  1. High Relative humidity
  2. Warm or temperate temperature
  3. Poor ventilation

Mold is easier to prevent than it is to clean so keeping a watch on common sources of mold and maintaining a dry, ventilated home and drying homes from water damage within 24 hours of the incidence is the best way to prevent mold from happening in the first place. If you have a mold problem and you would like information about how to get it professionally cleaned, please call us and we will direct you on where to get your mold tested.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 410-242-7370

Storm/Wind Damage

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Winds can reach at least 300 miles per hour during a severe thunderstorm, which can rip siding off your home and exacerbate the pelting of your exterior with hail and debris as well. Wind damage repairs can cost thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the injury. While you can’t prepare for flying debris from other houses, you can minimize damage by curtailing debris in your own yard. To prevent wind damage, you can:

  • Trim back tree branches to prevent fallen limbs.
  • Secure window shutters to defend against debris.
  • Tie down anything that could fly away and hit the siding or the roof.

If your siding is looking worse for wear, have a siding professional come out to repair it. It could make the difference in whether you’re left with an intact home exterior after a storm or not.

Storm/Tornado Damage

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Tornado damage occurs following high winds from blowing debris. While you can’t do a lot to prepare your home for a tornado, it helps to trim tree branches back from your roof and windows. You can also reinforce your roof to better handle high winds:

  • Shake roof: Add more nails.
  • Slate roof: Seal down with cement.
  • Tile roof: Place a steel strap over the tiles.
  • Asphalt roof: Nothing can be done, but inspect after.

You can also invest in a storm cellar, which is built underground and allows great defense against high winds during a tornado. A storm shelter is built close to the home so you have easy access during a tornado and don’t have to run far for safety. A storm cellar door is built at an angle so that debris blows over the door. This allows for debris to roll over the door rather than trap it, so you can get in and out easily. The confines of a storm cellar for a family is around 8 by 12 feet with an arched roof. It’s made of cement blocks and rebar to ensure maximum defenses.

Flood Damage

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Flood Damage

Flooding can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages to your home. To prepare your home for potential flooding, ensure that the ground is sloped away from your foundation. This will defend your home against water buildup. Also, regularly maintain any storm drains, gutters and downspouts. Other tips include:

  • Cleaning gutters regularly
  • Check and clean storm drains on a bimonthly basis
  • Clean the storm drain cover
  • Check window wells and sump pumps
  • Construct barriers to stop flood water from getting into your home.
  • Raise your heating system to a higher floor level to avoid flood water.
  • Seal cracks in the basement walls.

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.

Facts About Flooding & Water Damage

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Here are some interesting flood facts that might surprise you:

  • Floods ranked #1 in the United States for natural disasters.
  • Two feet of rushing water can easily carry a car away.
  • Flash floods are known to bring walls of water 10 to 15 feet high.
  • There is a risk of 1 in 4 chances of a flood damaging your home with a 30 year period in a high-risk area.
  • Homes in high-risk flood areas are more likely to suffer from water damage than fire damage.
  • Most basic homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
  • Areas experiencing new land development are at an increased risk of flooding, especially if the construction changes the natural runoff paths.
  • For the last decade, total flood insurance claims averages more than $3.4 billion per year.

Now that you know some interesting facts about floods, how can you prevent floods from damaging your home? Below are a couple of tips on ways you can prevent water damage from floods.

Check for dark spots and other signs of water damage under your pipes and inside cabinets. Check for water stains on ceilings and for toilets that aren’t secure. Take a moment to inspect your roof for missing or loose shingles. Repair any cracked caulking and check your windows and door frames for any damage or gaps.

If you find a leak and you put off fixing it, it could lead to an even bigger water damage disaster or even mold growth. Don’t delay addressing water damage – you may not be able to see the extent of the damage until it is too late.

If your property does suffer water damage, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Catonsville  to handle cleanup and restoration. We provide emergency response 24/7 and will respond quickly in your time of need. Contact us 410-242-7370

Preventing Water Damage in a Commercial Building

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

According to disaster safety.org, here are some items to keep in mind to prevent water damage in a commercial building. When looking at your property, keep in mind that it isn't always the obvious that causes water damage. 

 Ground Maintenance:

Grounds maintenance and landscaping are major components of the interconnected systems that work together to protect a commercial building from water damage. In sometimes unexpected ways these outdoor activities and elements can have sudden and extreme impact on the building itself. 

The Building Envelope 

All buildings are different, but each is at risk for water damage. From a minor roof leak to violently destructive hurricanes, any unwanted water intrusion can significantly impact the value of a commercial property. Protecting the roofs, walls, windows, and other components of ‘the envelope’ are essential to reduce the likelihood of water damage.

HVAC Systems 

Proper operation and maintenance of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system is essential to reduce the risk of water damage to a commercial building.  

SERVPRO Of Catonsville is IICRC trained and certified to clean up after all types of water damage. The quicker we get in to clean up, the less damage there will be and you can get back to operating your business!

Protect your Commercial Building from Water Damage

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage and Your Business

Every day, thousands of commercial buildings experience water damage. In some cases, the damage is from storms or flash floods.  In others, it is simply from a leak.  Quite often the damage is from a fire being extinguished -- in fact, counter-intuitively, most fires result in more water damage than fire damage. Water is the most common type of damage that commercial buildings experience. When it is not dealt with promptly and effectively, the problem can rapidly grow from a minor issue to something costing thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. SERVPRO of Catonsville can help.

Here are a few suggestions for how to best protect your business from water damage and minimize the fall-out when something does happen:

Prepare An Emergency Plan

Given how integral water is to all life and most industries, it is almost guaranteed that a commercial building will have to deal with water damage at some point. Thus, one of the best things a business owner can do is prepare for that inevitability ahead of time to keep losses to a minimum. Because water damage in Catonsville can grow exponentially if not addressed immediately, time is of the essence.  Be prepared by having a company like SERVPRO of Catonsville on your speed dial.

Your emergency plan should include:

A blueprint is showing where the shut-off points are for water, electricity and gas plus a set of instructions on how to shut them down fast.
 A conveniently located toolbox.
 A list of emergency phone numbers, such as the fire department, plumbers, SERVPRO of Catonsville, emergency personnel, and police.

After you have an emergency plan in place for your commercial building, you should focus on prevention. Inspecting vulnerable areas is a good practice.

Inspect Your Roof Regularly

Check all rooftop penetrations, both interior and exterior.
Look for water stains.
Check all flashing, drains and seals.

Inspect Your Walls Regularly

Check wall joints around doors and windows.
Check flashing and sealant integrity.

Inspect Your Windows Regularly

Check for air seal integrity.
Test all locks and other mechanical parts.
Check flashing and joints.
Look for water stains or mold growth on window sills and interior walls.

Emergency plans and inspections are both measures to lessen any disruption to your commercial building.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too, and are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.  We're Faster to Any Disaster.

We are just a phone call away to help.

410-242-7370

Mold In Your Home

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

The Facts about Mold: For Everyone 

What is mold?

The term “mold” is a colloquial term for a group of filamentous fungi that are common on food or wet materials. This includes the green Penicillium species that produces penicillin, and fungi that spoil our bread, fruit, cheese and crops. Most of these are Ascomycetes that produce a lot of spores.

The majority of the molds that grow on damp building materials are found in the soil and are adapted to grow on a wide variety of materials. Outdoors, molds live in the soil, on plants, and on dead or decaying matter. There are thousands of species of mold and they can be any color. Different mold species are adapted to different moisture conditions ranging from very wet to just damp. Many times, mold can be detected by a musty odor. Live spores act like seeds, forming new mold growths (colonies) under the right conditions. All of us are exposed to a variety of fungal spores daily in the air we breathe, both outdoors and indoors.

How mold gets into a house or building

Mold and fungal spores occur naturally outdoors, where fungi are the earth’s most important recyclers. Indoors, mold needs moisture to grow; it becomes a problem only where there is water damage, elevated and prolonged humidity, or dampness. Common sources of excessive indoor moisture that can lead to mold problems include:

  • flooding from surface waters (i.e., overflowing rivers) or from severe storms;
  • roof leaks from damaged or missing roofing materials, ice dams or blocked gutters;
  • storm-driven rain through window frames, exterior walls or door assemblies;
  • leaking pipes, sewer back-ups or overflows;
  • damp basements or crawl spaces due to a high water table or poorly managed rainwater drainage; and
  • condensation on cold surfaces.

How to prevent mold growth

The key to preventing and stopping indoor mold growth is to control excessive moisture and condensation. Keeping susceptible areas in the home clean and dry is critical. In general, mold will not grow indoors without water, dampness or excessive moisture.

Three main factors contribute to condensation of water on building surfaces:
  • Relative Humidity: Condensation occurs when the air is saturated with water and it cannot hold any more moisture. For example, steam generated from bathroom showers or from cooking can fill up the air with moisture, which will then condense into drops of water on cooler surfaces, such as mirrors and windows. Where possible, localized sources of humidity, such as clothes dryers, should be directly vented to the outdoors. To lower indoor humidity during warm, humid weather, air conditioners and/or dehumidifiers should be used. In chronically damp areas such as basements or crawlspaces, it is often recommended that dehumidifiers be used to maintain humidity levels below 60 percent.
  • Temperature: Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. Condensation occurs when warm humid air comes into contact with a cold surface and the moisture condenses into water. This can often be seen on single-pane windows, where water condenses and then runs down, causing the wood frames and sills to rot and the wall under the windows to blister. Condensation can occur on exterior walls, particularly north-facing walls, if they are not properly insulated. Other chronically cold surfaces, such as cold water pipes, should be covered with insulation to help prevent condensation.
  • Poor Ventilation: Indoor humidity can build up if there is not enough ventilation and exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Where there is little or no air movement, such as behind dressers and cabinets, surfaces can remain cooler than surrounding areas, which can lead to increased condensation and mold growth. It is recommended that the area be ventilated and the occupants use exhaust fans (vented to the outdoors) to remove moisture from high-humidity areas, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. Furniture should be moved slightly away from walls so that air can freely pass behind it. Air should be allowed to circulate between rooms and regularly ventilate to remove humid air. Fans should be used as needed.

Other things that can be done are to clean and repair gutters regularly, make sure the ground slopes down and away from the home’s foundation and keep air conditioner drip pans and drain lines clean. In addition, in air conditioned buildings in hot and humid climates, vinyl wall coverings on the interior sides of exterior walls should not be used, as these materials can trap moisture, resulting in mold growth underneath them.

In the case of floods or leaking pipes, any standing water should be promptly removed and water-damaged materials should either be dried out and cleaned, or removed and replaced. Porous materials that are wet for more than 48 hours are likely to produce mold growth and should be discarded. In instances where the water damage is extensive, it is recommended that professional help, such as a commercial restoration company, be consulted.

Call SERVPRO of Catonsville for any questions regarding mold. 410-242-7370

Hurricane Facts

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

  • A hurricane is an intense tropical storm with powerful winds and heavy rain.

  • Other names for a hurricane include cyclone, typhoon and tropical storm.

  • While they are essentially the same thing, the different names usually indicate where the storm took place. Tropical storms that form in the Atlantic or Northeast Pacific (near the United States) are called hurricanes, those that form near in the Northwest Pacific (near Japan) are called typhoons and those that form in the South Pacific or Indian oceans are called cyclones.

  • Hurricanes usually form in tropical areas of the world.

  • Hurricanes develop over warm water and use it as an energy source.

  • Hurricanes lose strength as they move over land.

  • Coastal regions are most at danger from hurricanes.

  • As well as violent winds and heavy rain, hurricanes can also create tornadoes, high waves and widespread flooding.

  • Hurricanes are regions of low atmospheric pressure (also known as a depression).

  • The wind flow of hurricanes in the southern hemisphere is clockwise while the wind flow of hurricanes in the northern hemisphere is counterclockwise.

  • Weather in the eye of a hurricane is usually calm.

  • The eye of a hurricane can be anywhere from 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) in diameter to over 200 miles (320 kilometres) but they are usually around 30 miles (48 kilometres).

  • The winds around the eye of a hurricane are usually the strongest.

  • Hurricanes can be tracked by weather satellites and weather radar closer to land.

  • Hurricanes have led to the death of around 2 million people over the last 200 years.

  • The 1970 Bhola Cyclone that struck Bangladesh killed over 300000 people.

  • In 2005 Hurricane Katrina killed over 1800 people in the United States and caused around $80 billion dollars worth of property damage. The city of New Orleans was hit particularly hard with levee breaches leading to around 80% of the city being flooded.

3 Home Health Benefits to Carpet Cleaning

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

Carpet cleaning can improve the appearance of your home and extend the life of your carpet, but perhaps the most valuable benefit from the process is improving you and your family’s health. According to the American Lung Association, if members of your household suffer from conditions that can affect their breathing, such as snoring or asthma, it’s especially crucial that you vacuum your carpets at least three times a week. Beyond vacuuming regularly, you may also benefit from having your carpets professionally cleaned at least once a year. If you’re not fully convinced of the benefits of professional carpet cleaning, consider the following top three ways the process leads to a healthier home:

1. Carpet cleaning eliminates trapped pollutants.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a dirty carpet can retain several sources of indoor air pollutants, including pet dander, cockroach allergens, lead, particle pollution, and everyday dirt and dust. Toxic airborne gases can adhere to these particles and also get trapped within the carpet. These toxic gases can be released through everyday activities such as vacuuming and walking across the carpet, which can cause them to contaminate the air in your home. Professional carpet cleaning services kills these bacteria through special shampooing formulas and can remove deeply trapped pollutants with high-powered vacuums.

2. Carpet cleaning can clear out dust mite infestations.

Many homes have dust mite infestations, yet most homeowners aren’t aware of the infestation, because the creatures are microscopic. Dust mites themselves aren’t allergens, but they often leave behind feces and body fragments which are. Because of the microscopic size of these particles, they can easily be inhaled when the area is disturbed, which can exacerbate allergies. Many professional carpet cleaning companies utilize a technique known as steam cleaning when performing carpet maintenance work, which exposes your carpet to high temperatures that dust mites can’t survive.

3. Carpet cleaning can help prevent mold growth.

Especially in areas with high humidity levels, dirty carpets are at a high risk of developing mold growth when exposed to moisture. In precipitous weather, moisture frequently gets tracked into the home and can sink deep in the carpet fibers if not dried and vacuumed immediately. Having your carpet cleaned regularly can prevent mold and mildew growth, because professional carpet cleaners have high-powered drying tools that annihilate moisture. By eliminating moisture, you can prevent mold growth that can be harmful to your health if ignored for too long.

Call SERVPRO of Catonsville for your next carpet cleaning    410-242-7370

Safety Tips For Deep Frying Turkeys

11/8/2017 (Permalink)

When it comes to deep frying turkey, you want to take every precaution to keep your family and your home safe. For the best suggestions, we went to an expert – a fire chief

Fried turkeys are delicious, but they come with a slew of safety issues. Thousands of fires as well as many deaths and injuries happen each year due to turkey fryer fires. Before you set up your turkey fryer this Thanksgiving, remember these safety tips.

  1. Stay Away from The House – Set up the turkey fryer more than 10 feet away from your home and keep children and pets away. Never leave it unattended.

  2. Find Flat Ground – The oil must be even and steady at all times to ensure safety. Place the fryer on a flat, level surface and carefully gauge the amount of oil needed.

  3. Use a Thawed and Dry Turkey – Make sure your Thanksgiving turkey is completely thawed and dry. Extra water will cause the oil to bubble furiously and spill over. If oil spills from the fryer onto the burner, it can cause a fire.

  4. Monitor the Temp – Use caution when touching the turkey fryer. The lid and handle can become very hot and could cause burns. Also be sure to keep track of the oil’s temperature as many fryers do not have their own thermostats.

  5. Be Prepared – Have a fire extinguisher (multipurpose, dry-powder) ready at all times in the event that the oil ignites.

Thanksgiving Safety

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving safety

For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.

So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.

Thanksgiving by the numbers
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve.
  • In 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,760 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking equipment was involved in almost half (48%) of all reported home fires and civilian and tied with heating equipment for the second leading cause of home fire deaths.
Safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

SERVPRO of Catonsville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

What you Should Know about Burst Pipes & Water Damage

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Burst pipes are quite a common emergency in homes anywhere in the U.S., but they particularly affect areas that experience freezing temperatures.

If you find yourself faced with burst pipes, 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.

Improper use and unfixed damage: Putting unnecessary stress on the pipes

Pipe failure does not happen merely because of nearly freezing water. It can also occur due to improper use of the plumbing system, or when you do not take care of existing problems right away. All these factors contribute to increased stress on the pipes, which then adds to the pressure building up inside, causing them to rupture.

Bursting due to clogging within, even in normal conditions

Internal blockages usually force the water back the way they came, resulting in the disgusting, even health-hazardous liquid commonly referred to as “back-ups.” However, this is not your only worry.

These clogged pipes can also burst, whether with freezing conditions or not. The blockages, combined with the pressure of the incoming water, create pressure. When this pressure reaches too great a level for the pipes to contain, they can rupture.

More than just filthy water or torrential flow to worry about

Although you should already be concerned about these two things, especially since the former can give rise to health hazards while the latter means so much water wastage, you still have to worry about plenty other things. Water damage is another huge problem, as this can put you out of your home for several days, especially when you do not have it fixed and restored right away.

Duct Cleaning

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

DO you know what is lurking in your vents, before you turn your heat on this winter, Call SERVPRO of Catonsvile 410-242-7370 to get your vents cleaned. It is estimated that poor air quality directly results, on a annual basis, one billion in medical costs and $60 billion in employee sick leave and lost production.

Fact: Legionnaire’s Disease was spawned in air conditioning ducts. It Killed 29 people in 1976. (American Lung Association)

Fact: In the summer of 1988 at least seven people died in Los Angeles area from Legionnaire’s disease. (Modesto Bee 9/22/88)

Fact: One out of six people who suffer from allergies do so because of the direct relationship of the fungi and bacteria in the air duct systems. (Total Health & Better Health Magazine)

Fact: Indoor air is found to be 70%more polluted than that of out door air.(EPA Environmental Protection Agency)

Fact: More people spend 60 to 90% of their time indoors. (American Lung Association)

Fact: Most commercial fiberglass filters are only 7% efficient in stopping dirt, dust, pollen, etc, passing through it. (ASHRAE- American Society of Heating, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Engineers, INC.)

Fact: Dirty ventilation systems and contaminated ductwork combined are a 50.9% contributor to sick building syndrome. (Healthy Buildings International)

Fact: IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) litigation increases every year: and recent IAQ lawsuits command hefty settlements. Businesses are faced with even more stringent responsibilities in providing employees withy a safe work environment.

Fact: It is estimated that poor air quality directly results, on a annual basis, one billion in medical costs and 60$ billion in employee sick leave and lost production

Teaming up with Red Cross

5/7/2015 (Permalink)

Members of our staff teamed up with Red Cross to walk the local neighborhoods with the fire departments to set up fire detectors.

New Building

5/7/2015 (Permalink)

Our company is expanding and will be moving into a new building this coming July.  We are increasing from our current 9,000 square foot location to a newer 36,000 square foot building! 

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