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Archived Blog Posts

Severe Thunderstorms

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

As we move into thunderstorm season here in Maryland, are you prepared for a severe storm?

According to the National Weather Service, severe thunderstorms are officially defined as storms that are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph.

Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs and vehicles. Wind this strong is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees. Some severe thunderstorms can produce hail larger than softballs or winds over 100 mph. Thunderstorms also produce tornadoes and dangerous lightning; heavy rain can cause flash flooding.

What should you do to stay safe?

1. BEFORE A SEVERE STORM

  • Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.
  • Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warning. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms.
  • Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
  • Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.
  • Prepare Your Home: Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
  • Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.

2. DURING A SEVERE STORM

  • Stay Weather Ready: Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
  • At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
  • At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
  • Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
  • In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.

3. AFTER A SEVERE STORM

  • Stay Informed: Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. More severe thunderstorms could be headed your way.
  • Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you're okay so they can help spread the word. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.
  • Assess the Damage: After you are sure the severe weather threat has ended, check your property for damages. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes. Contact local authorities if you see power lines down. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be aware of insurance scammers if your property has been damaged.
  • Help Your Neighbor: If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, if needed, provide first aid to victims until emergency response team members arrive.

Even with proper planning and precautions, severe storms can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience damage related to wind or water from a severe thunderstorm call us, we’re here to help: 410-242-7370.

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

Cleaning & Disinfecting: Soft Surfaces, Electronics, & Laundry

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

In addition to recommendations for wiping down frequently touched surfaces in your home, the CDC offers the following guidelines for Soft Surfaces, Electronics, and Laundry.

SOFT SURFACES

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes.

Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.

Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
OR

Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant

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ELECTRONICS

For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.

• Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics

• Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting. (If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.)

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LAUNDRY

For clothing, towels, linens and other items.

• Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.

Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.

• Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.

Do not shake dirty laundry.

Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to CDC guidance for surfaces.

• Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.

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Questions about cleaning and disinfecting your home? Call us: 410-242-7370

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

5 Ways to Cope With Disaster

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be stressful for people. It is natural to feel stress, anxiety, grief, and worry during and after a disaster. 

The CDC recommends the following steps to cope with a disaster:

• Take care of your body: Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

• Connect with others: Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.

• Stay informed: When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. Be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis, especially on social media. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.

• Take breaks: Make time to unwind and remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths. Try to do activities you usually enjoy.

• Avoid too much exposure to news: Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. It can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly. Try to do enjoyable activities and return to normal life as much as possible and check for updates between breaks.

If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to someone in your local Catonsville community or online such as a clergy member, counselor, or doctor, or contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-985-5990.

Water Damage Amid COVID-19

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Unexpected water damage during the COVID-19 crisis?

You know you need to address and fix the problem but you’re probably concerned about inviting anyone into your home at this time. What do you do?

At SERVPRO of Catonsville, we’re open and here to help. Not only to fix the water damage but to make you feel comfortable with our presence in your home.

Rest assured, we are absolutely committed to keeping your family, your home, and our technicians safe during this challenging time.

What we’re doing:

1. Additional questions: When you call our office, we’ll ask additional questions to understand your individual household situation.

  • Is anyone in your home currently sick?
  • Has anyone in your home recently been sick?
  • Has anyone in your home recently traveled?

2. At a minimum, our Technicians are required to wear gloves and at least a half-face respirator on any and all jobs until further notice.

3. Our Technicians will respect your space and work quickly and efficiently to fix the damage

We know this is a difficult time, so if you’ve experienced a recent water loss, call us: 410-242-7370. We’ll answer all of your questions and get the problem fixed quickly and safely.

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

How to Create the Best Movie Night Ever

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

What are your plans this weekend? Like most of us in the Catonsville area, you’ll probably watch movies, read books, and play games. Again. Bored just thinking about it? Never fear! We’re here with a plan to make watching any movie significantly more fun.

And it’s not just for the kiddos. Adults home alone… you’ll love this too!

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Step 1: Build a pillow & blanket fort.

You can do this by simply draping sheets or blankets over chairs, tables, and couches and filling the space with cozy throws and pillows.

For something slightly more elaborate, follow this tutorial: https://www.thekitchn.com/an-interior-designers-tips-for-building-an-awesome-indoor-fort-240506

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Step 2: Choose a movie.

At this point, it may feel like you’ve see every movie ever made.

Check out this list for some ideas for classic favorites: https://www.timeout.com/new-york-kids/things-to-do/films-for-families-the-top-50-movies-to-watch-as-a-family

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Step 3: Don’t forget the snacks.

Order delivery or pickup from your favorite local restaurant. Get candy and microwave popcorn delivered with a service like GoPuff. Or check out one of these recipes:

Indoor S’mores: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/indoor-smores-recipe-1941607

Sheet Pan Nachos: https://damndelicious.net/2016/09/06/sheet-pan-nachos/

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Bonus:

Use your fort the next day for quiet reading time for the kids or a FaceTime call to your friends and loved ones.

Household Cleaning Checklist

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Looking for a way to keep track of your household cleaning efforts? Use our checklist below as a guide and add additional tasks based on your own household needs.

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KITCHEN

__ Doorknobs & light switches

__ Drawer & cabinet pulls/handles

__ Appliance handles/knobs

__ Trash can

__ Sink: basin, faucet, knobs

__ Countertops

__ _____________________________________

__ _____________________________________

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BATHROOMS

__ Doorknobs & light switches

__ Drawer & cabinet pulls/handles

__ Toilet

__ Countertops

__ Shower & tub: handles, knobs, doors

__ Sink: basin, faucet, knobs

__ Trash can

__ _____________________________________

__ _____________________________________

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LIVING/FAMILY ROOM

__ TV remote controls

__ Video game controllers

__ Light switches and lamps

__ Table surfaces

__ Doorknobs

__  ______________________________________

__  ______________________________________

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BEDROOMS

__ Doorknobs

__ Drawer pulls/handles

__ Table surfaces

__ Light switches and lamps

__ TV remote controls

__  ______________________________________

__  ______________________________________

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THE REST OF THE HOUSE

__ Doorknobs: entry, closets

__ Stair railings

__ Drawer pulls/handles

__ Light switches and lamps

__ Toys & toy boxes

__ Art/Craft supplies & games

__ Tools

__ Phones

__ Computers/keyboards & tablets

__ Desks & office supplies

__ Fitness/sports equipment & bikes

__  ______________________________________

__  ______________________________________

__  ______________________________________

__  ______________________________________

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Questions? We’re here to help. Call us: 410-242-7370

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

Cleaning + Disinfecting

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Catonsville is uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC.

According to the CDC, CLEANING of visibly dirty surfaces followed by DISINFECTION is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.

CLEANING refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces.

DISINFECTING refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces.

CLEANING does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

DISINFECTING does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

Overwhelmed by proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures right now? Call us. We can help! 410-242-7370

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html

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

We are Cleaning Experts

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Catonsville, 410-242-7370. 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

"Above and Beyond"

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

A note from a recent customer:

"My wife and I would like to thank SERVPRO for going above and beyond in helping us in our time of need when our hot water heater broke and flooded our basement! Everyone was extremely professional, courteous and kind, and very hard working. We were amazed at how swift, efficient and proficient each employee was in doing their job. We actually felt spoiled as they prepared our basement for the new walls, paint job and new carpeting.

Brandy, the adjustor, was very sweet and really gave the basement a good once over and figured out where all the water and moisture damage was and we were especially thankful to her for her diligence. Brittany, the JFC, was also very friendly and accomadating over the phone, patiently answering any and all questions in her cheerful voice. She and everyone on the crew were very patient, helpful, polite, and extremely professional.

On day one, demo day, Corey, Brandy, and Brandon came in and took charge and we knew we were going to be cared for! Brandon, who cut the affected drywall, did so with such precision, it was awesome -- and he had a lot to cut! On day two, Corey and Will came to monitor and check the drying process. They were so dear and they answered every question, giving up piece of mind. They were so gentlemanly and professional. On the first of 3 pack-out days were Corey, Mike, Johnny, and Bernie. It was unbelievable how quickly they packed and moved so much heavy furniture (and trash!) out to their trucks in such a short amount of time. And these guys did not break a sweat or appear tired! And, on top of their courteousness and professionality, they exuded a great sense of humor which made the process seem effortless.

On day 2 of the pack out, Corey, Jody, and Mike were at it and I have to say, Mrs. Jody was just as strong, fast, and efficient as all of the guys on the job! She was a very gentle and kind and courteous -- a real asset to SERVPRO! The last day of the packout was Corey and Mike and they rounded out the job nicely with placing things that could stay in a neat pile. This was no simple feat because the totes were heavy! They are very kind and courteous and also real assets to SERVPRO!

Everyone who came out did stellar work and we were proud to have them in our home helping us get our basement back to an even better one!! Tim came out to get measurements and get estimates and have us check paint and rug samples. He was very courteous and extremely helpful in answering questions. His professionalism assured us that this job was going to get done right!

We can't wait to see the finished product and continue with another customer review. We believe the saying "Like it never happened," because of the high caliber of work and professionalism we have seen thus far. May SERVPRO continue to prosper. We highly recommend them to ANY and EVERY one who needs help with restoration due to fire/water damage, etc. You WILL be in good hands for sure!"

Jon and Mary Irene V.

Thunderstorm Facts

2/24/2020 (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.

Have you experienced unexpected water or property damage from a storm? We’re here to help. Call us – 410-22-7370

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

Why Should You Clean Your Ducts?

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

Do you know what’s lurking in your ducts? You may not be able to see it, but ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.

If your Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Other contaminants

Keeping your ducts clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

SERVPRO of Catonsville professionals are trained to inspect the HVAC unit. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (410) 242-7370.

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

You're Invited: Free CE Classes

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

This June, SERVPRO of Catonsville is hosting 2 Free CE Classes for Insurance Professionals.

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WHEN: June 9, 2020

WHERE: 10 Azar Ct, Baltimore MD 21227

COURSES:

9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry (4 credits)

The insurance professional will gain a better understanding of how mold affects today’s society. They will also become more aware of the different entities that participate in the mold restoration industry.

The insurance professional will learn about mold, mold growth requirements and the goals of mold remediation followed by professional vendors. They will also be educated on the science of mold and the dangers/health effects of mold exposure. Insurance professionals will gain a better understanding of the processes professional vendors use to complete mold remediation projects, including the guidelines recommended by leaders in the mold industry.

The insurance professional will learn the procedures that must take place if any mold remediation is to happen. They will also gain an awareness of common issues related to mold property damages, including education on typical remediation cost parameters and the responses to the mold issue.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry (2 credits)

This course is designed to assist you in understanding the processes that are involved in cleaning homes and buildings that are or may be contaminated with viruses and blood borne pathogens. This course also discusses appropriate ways to communicate with customers who have recently dealt with the traumatic event that has caused this contamination.

As always, lunch will be provided! Please RSVP to Amy: AmyD@SERVPRO1115.com or call 410-242-7370

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

Own or Manage a Business? Consider the SERVPRO ERP

2/21/2020 (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 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. While we hope that you will call us for help in the event of a disaster, that choice will always be yours!

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

2019-2020 Baltimore Co. Winter Storm Data

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

Interested in how much winter costs here in Baltimore County? Check out the accumulation, salt use, and total costs for storms so far this winter season:

Storm #1: December 12, 2019 (2 a.m. – 7 a.m.)

  • Accumulation: .50 inches (snow)
  • Labor Cost: $65,948
  • Tons of salt used: 29

Total Cost: $67,386

Storm #2: December 16, 2019 (3 a.m. – 8 p.m.)

  • Accumulation: .50 inches (snow)
  • Labor Cost: $69,465
  • Tons of salt used: 1,277

Total Cost: $131,941

Storm #3: January 7, 2020 (3 p.m.) – January 8, 2020 (3 p.m.)

  • Accumulation: 2 inches (snow)
  • Labor Cost: $256,589
  • Tons of salt used: 7,185

Total Cost: $608,277

Storm #4: January 18, 2020 (5 a.m.) – January 19, 2020 (midnight)

  • Accumulation: .25 inches (snow & freezing rain)
  • Labor Cost: $446,813
  • Tons of salt used: 1,852

Total Cost: $537,472

You can also find a summary list of storm-related costs by fiscal year (dating back to 2001) on the Baltimore County website.

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

4 Things to Know About Home Fires

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

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

How to Prevent a Chimney Fire

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

These cold nights call for cozying up in front of a crackling fire with a hot drink and fuzzy blanket. But before you light it up, follow these steps to prevent a chimney fire.

  • Clean your chimney. You can tell if it’s time to clean it if the smoke is coming out of the stove and not drafting up through the chimney 
  • Use dry wood. If the wood is wet or not cured, it will not burn as hot and will smoke more. This can build up creosote in your chimney which can be dangerous. 
  • Do not overload your wood burning stove with wood. It can either burn too hot or get too much oxygen. This can cause the metal to warp or weaken.
  • Schedule an annual chimney inspection. Sometimes we can't see damage so an inspector can find out if there is a problem and fix it, remove creosote, debris, critters or nest. 
  • Install a chimney cap. This prevents debris and critters from getting in. It also prevents "back puffing" which is escaped smoke reentering the chimney and then your home. 

Questions about fire prevention or fire damage? We're here to help. Call us today - 410-242-7370

Benefits of Professional Carpet Cleaning

2/20/2020 (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 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.

Here are the top three ways the process leads to a healthier home:

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 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.

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.

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

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

What Causes Mold?

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

We’ve all heard horror stories about mold. Maybe you’ve even experienced mold in your own home. But where does it come from? What causes mold?

Below are some of the most common source of 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

To grow and thrive, mold needs:

  • High humidity
  • Warm or temperate Temperature
  • Poor ventilation

Mold is easier to prevent than it is to clean so keeping an eye on common sources of mold, maintaining a dry, ventilated home and drying homes from water damage within 24 hours of an incident is the best way to prevent mold from happening in the first place.

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 have mold, call us 410-242-7370

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

Water Damage Restoration

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Catonsville provides 24-hour fire and water damage restoration service to Catonsville and the surrounding communities.

Our professional restoration specialists are 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 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 Us

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)?

Since each water 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 water-damaged property.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have you experienced a flood or water damage situation? We’re here to help. Call us: 410-242-7370.

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

8 Things To Do After a Fire in Your Home

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

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.
  4. 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.) 
  5. Conduct an inventory of damaged property and items. Do not throw away any damaged goods until after an inventory is made. Try to locate valuable documents and records-deed to home, car, bank information, birth certificates, etc. 
  6. 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
  7. Notify your mortgage company of the fire.

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  At SERVPRO of Catonsville, 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

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

Storm Damage Restoration

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

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

Why choose SERVPRO of Catonsville to help with your storm damage needs?

1. Faster Response

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

2. Top Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When a major storm event impacts Catonsville we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We have access to 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

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

Stay Safe While Heating Your Home

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Stay Safe While Heating Your Home

It’s feeling like winter again here in Catonsville, which means turning up the heat and staying as cozy as possible at home, something you probably do without much thought. However, with anything that has potential to cause a fire, it’s a good idea to exercise caution, especially with space heaters, fireplaces, and wood burning stoves.

General Home Heating Tips

  • 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 Heater Tips

  • 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 knocked 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 Heater Tips

  • 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 un-vented 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 Stove Tips

  • 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.

Have questions about Fire prevention or Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call us at 410-242-7370. We’re here to help.

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

What To Do if You See Mold in Your Home

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage is one of the many causes of mold growth in a home. 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 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.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact a trusted professional for an inspection and mold remediation services.

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 eliminate your mold problem quickly and safely.

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

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

Meet Our Team: Office Edition

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Say hello to the office team at SERVPRO of Catonsville.

These hardworking ladies are the ones scheduling your estimates, dispatching service in the middle of the night, and keeping our crews running on time.

Pictured from left:

Brittany Wetzel, Job File Coordinator

Stephanie Turner, Office Manager

Patty Tuel, Rebuild Admin

Kayla Santmyer, Admin

Alexa Caviness, Job File Coordinator

Want to see more? Check out our Meet the Office Staff video.

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

A Timeline of Water Damage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

When it comes to water damage, a fast response is crucial.

What happens in a typical water damage situation (burst pipe, sewage backup, aquarium breakage, roof/foundation leak, etc.)?

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Have questions about Water Damage prevention or mitigation? Call us at 410-242-7370. We’re here to help. 

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

Sprinkler Systems Save Time & Money

2/6/2020 (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 always filled with pressurized water. 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.

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Why trust SERVPRO of Catonsville as your Flood Damage Specialists?

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill your Insurance Directly – One Less Thing for You to Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques

Call us 24/7. We’re here to help. 410-242-7370

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

Commercial Water Damage Prevention

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Every day, thousands of commercial buildings experience water damage. In fact, 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. 

How can you best protect your business from water damage and minimize the fall-out when something does happen? Follow these steps:

  1. 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 can grow exponentially if not addressed immediately, time is of the essence. 
  • 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.
  1. Regularly Inspect Vulnerable Areas
  • 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. Questions about commercial water damage or how to prevent it? We’re here to help. Call us! 410-242-7370.

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

Commercial Building Fire Safety

2/6/2020 (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.

#1: 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.

#2: 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.

#3: 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 than 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 must 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.

#4: 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 backflow device and internal inspection of the sprinkler pipes.

Have questions about Fire Safety in your building? Call us at 410-242-7370. We’re here to help.

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

We're Your Commercial Flooding Specialists

1/27/2020 (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 several 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

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 the call to SERVPRO of Catonsville to 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.

Why should you rely on SERVPRO of Catonsville when your business experiences flooding?

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days a week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill your 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
  • We use Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Questions about flooding or water damage? Call Us Today – We’re Ready to Help! 410-242-7370

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

We Are Trained & Certified

1/20/2020 (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 the necessary certifications that will help resolve any problem and make it "Like it never even happened.”

  • 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

SERVPRO of Catonsville is an industry leader at the local level.

Call us for any WATER, FIRE, or STORM DAMAGE restoration needs or for ongoing maintenance and cleaning of CARPETS, FLOORS, or AIR DUCTS: 410-242-7370. We’re here to help.

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

Does Your Business Have an Emergency Plan?

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Is your business prepared in case a disaster or emergency 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 any situation.

The 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 Ready Profile (ERP):

  • 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 this important information into a customized Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business.

Call us today at 410-242-7370 for a straight, no-nonsense discussion on how to get your business back up and running following an adverse situation.

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

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

1/15/2020 (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 course of action is 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.

  • "P": Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher; it needs to be removed before operation.
  • A": 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.
  • "S": Squeeze the handle to start the flow.
  • S”: Sweep from side to side while spraying.

By acting quickly and following the instructions above, you can quickly and safely prevent fire damage.

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Every fire damage situation is different and each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. At SERVPRO of Catonsville, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damaged property and contents. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have questions about Fire & Smoke Damage? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7370.

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

The Water You DON'T See Can Cause the Most Damage

1/9/2020 (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

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.

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. SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated, so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. We’re also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which gives us access to more resources for larger cleaning or restoration projects or major storm scenarios.

Winter Storm Prep: Part 3

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

After the storm

When the storm has finally passed, it may be tempting to get back to life as usual but that may not be possible right away. In severe cases, it may take days or even weeks to thaw out and get back to normal.

Some tips for after a major winter storm:

  • Only drive if necessary.
    • Remove snow and ice from your tailpipe before starting your car and check regularly if idling.
    • Clean all snow and ice from your car before driving.
  • Dress in warm clothing, stay dry, and prevent prolonged exposure to cold and wind.
  • Avoid overexertion clearing/shoveling snow. Overexertion can lead to a medical emergency.
  • Monitor local news and alerts for emergency information and instructions.

Did your home or property suffer damage in the storm? If your home is damaged, no longer safe, and/or has lost power, you’ll need to get help as soon as possible. What are your options?

  • You may want to go to a designated public shelter. Text SHELTER + your ZIP code (e.g., SHELTER 20472) to 43362 (FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area.
  • Friends, family, and neighbors will likely be the first to provide help. Plan with neighbors now to help each other and share resources.
  • Nonprofit and faith-based organizations often provide support immediately after a winter storm.
  • If you or someone in your household has a disability, an access or functional need, and receives disability services, contact your local disability service provider for assistance.
  • Insurance is an essential part of recovery. If you have insurance, you may receive financial compensation for some of your losses.
    • Take pictures to document your damage and file a claim as soon as possible.
    • Do what you can to prevent further damage (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof) because insurance may not cover damage that occurs after the winter storm.
  • Contact a leading restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Catonsville, to mitigate any damage and restore your property to its previous condition.

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Every winter storm damage situation is different and each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. At SERVPRO of Catonsville, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your storm damaged property and contents. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have questions about winter storm prep or damage caused by storm conditions? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7370.

Did you miss the previous posts in our Winter Storm Prep series? Read Part 1 and Part 2 now.

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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 so you can rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and skills to restore your property. SERVPRO of Catonsville is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Catonsville community.

Winter Storm Prep: Part 1

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Winter storm season is here in Catonsville and if you haven’t already prepared for damaging weather, now is the time. Don’t wait until a storm hits to take safety measures to protect your home and family.

Winter storms can cause major issues including:

  • Cold temperatures
  • Power Failures
  • Loss of communication services
  • Icy roads

We’ve consulted CDC and FEMA guidelines to bring you a 3-part series on winter storm prep tips so you’re ready for anything when winter storms strike.

WHAT TO DO BEFORE A STORM (NOW)

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings.
  • Create and test an emergency communication plan. Follow steps to create an emergency plan HERE.
  • Stock up on EMERGENCY SUPPLIES
  • Install battery-powered or battery backed-up carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.
  • Winterize your home:
    • Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze.
    • Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.
    • Insulate walls and attic.
    • Install storm or thermal-pane windows or cover windows with plastic from the inside.
    • Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
  • Review your property insurance and safeguard critical documents.
  • Keep an easy to read thermometer inside your home.
  • Get trained on specific needs your family may have.
  • Identify a place nearby where you can safely warm up should you lose heat in your home.
  • Prepare your vehicle.

Have questions about winter storm prep or damage caused by storm conditions? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7370.

Check back soon for Part 2 of our Winter Storm Prep series.

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 so you can rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and skills to restore your property.

Winter Storm Prep: Part 2

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Scenario: A major storm has hit the Catonsville area. Your home is winterized, your vehicle is ready if necessary, and you’ve stocked up on supplies. What should you do now?

  • Stay indoors. If you must go outside:
    • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
    • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water-repellent.
    • Wear mittens, which are warmer than gloves.
    • Cover all of your body. Wear a hat and a scarf, covering your mouth to protect your face and to help prevent loss of body heat.
  • Stay off the roads. If you must drive, make sure you have emergency supplies in your car.
  • Close off rooms to consolidate and retain heat.
  • Dress in layers and use blankets to stay warm.
  • Bring pets into a warm place and out of the storm or severe cold.
  • Never use a generator, camp stove, charcoal grill, or gasoline or propane heater indoors, as these items can start accidental fires, cause electric shock, and/or cause deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Ensure space heater safety with THESE TIPS
  • Never heat a home with a cooktop or oven.
  • Limit your time outdoors and stay dry.
  • Regularly check the temperature inside your home, especially if you are over 65.
    • Our ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age.
    • Older adults are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold.

You should also be aware of medical dangers during this time. Major concerns include frostbite and hypothermia.

HYPOTHERMIA

  • Signs of Hypothermia
    • Uncontrollable shivering
    • Memory loss, disorientation
    • Incoherence, slurred speech
    • Drowsiness
    • Apparent exhaustion
  • What should you do?
    • Get the victim to a warm location.
    • Remove wet clothing.
    • Warm the center of the body first by wrapping the person in blankets or putting on dry clothing.
    • Give warm, non-alcoholic beverages if the person is conscious.
    • Take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, seek medical attention immediately.

FROSTBITE

  • Signs of Frostbite
    • Numbness or loss of feeling in extremities, such as fingers, toes, earlobes, face, and the tip of the nose.
    • A white or grayish-yellow skin area
    • Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • What should you do?
    • Get the person into a warm room as soon as possible.
    • Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on feet or toes that show signs of frostbite—this increases the damage.
    • Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.
    • Put the areas affected by frostbite in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).
    • If warm water is not available, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, you can use the heat of an armpit to warm frostbitten fingers.
    • Do not use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can easily burn.

More information on frostbite and hypothermia can be found on the CDC’s website.

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Have questions about winter storm prep or damage caused by storm conditions? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7370.

Did you miss Part 1 of our Winter Storm Prep series? Read it HERE. And stay tuned for Part 3.

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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 so you can rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and skills to restore your property.

Water Damage in Your Home - What To Do Until Help Arrives

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage in your home is almost always an unexpected and stressful situation. In the moment, you’ll likely feel panic and devastation, wondering what steps to take and who to call for help.

Our team at SERVPRO of Catonsville is here for you. We’ve put together this list of Emergency Tips that you can use to take control of a water damage situation while you wait for help to arrive.

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.

Every water damage situation is a little different and each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. At SERVPRO of Catonsville, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your water damaged areas.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have questions about Water Damage? We’re here to help. Call us at 410-242-7370.

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 and skills to restore your property.

Friend or Foe: The Space Heater

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Most of us have used a space heater to provide a little extra warmth in a cold room in a big house or even under a desk at work.

This small but mighty appliance has many advantages:

  • Quickly heats small areas
  • Provides supplemental heat for a larger space
  • Very portable and easy to move around
  • Helps defray utility costs
  • Easy to find and relatively inexpensive

While these are all great reasons to use a space heater, use caution. When Space Heaters are operated incorrectly, they become a MAJOR fire hazard.

Luckily, you can help prevent disaster by following these simple steps:

  1. Position your heater AT LEAST 3 feet away from other objects: walls, furniture, curtains, bedding, clothing, etc.
  2. Place your heater on a flat, sturdy surface. Never place on tables, chairs, or other areas where it may get bumped into or knocked over.
  3. Always plug your heater directly into a wall outlet. Do not use extension cords.
  4. Never use your heater near water or to dry clothing or textiles. Do not operate with wet hands.
  5. Place your heater in an area away from children and pets. Don’t allow children to operate the heater without proper supervision.
  6. Turn off the heater before you go to bed or leave the house.

A little extra precaution will go a long way to ensuring the safety of your home and family. If disaster does occur, our certified specialists have the equipment, expertise, and experience to clean and restore areas affected by fire and smoke damage.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call us at 410-242-7370

Want to share this information? Check out this short video.

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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.

Is Your Business Ready for Winter?

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

Winter weather officially hit the Catonsville area this week. Was your business prepared?

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your business if you’re not ready for it. Freezing rain and low temperatures, damaging winds, sleet and snow can all cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to prepare your Catonsville business.

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

  1. 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 lead to personal injuries.
  2. Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potentially slippery or hazardous areas.
  3. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water or ice could be present.
  4. Take steps to prevent frozen pipes and avoid costly water damage to your property.

Even with proper precaution, the unexpected can happen. SERVPRO of Catonsville has the equipment, expertise, and experience to help with the cleanup and restoration of winter weather damage.

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

Tips for winterizing your home!

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

Tips for winterizing your home!

  • Keep water trickling through your faucets to be sure that your pipes won’t freeze especially if they run through and unheated area in the house.
  • Check all pipes that are visible. If you see a crack quickly use caulk or aluminum tape to seal the crack.
  • Pouring anti-freeze down the drains can prevent water from freezing in the traps.
  • Be sure that no windows or doors have a leak, if water or air comes through either entrance it can create more problems for your home in the winter.
  • For slow leaks you can use winterizing strips on doorways and caulk to seal off any crack in the windows causing water or air to leak through.
  • Keep proper maintenance up on your furnace.
  • Ensure that the gutters are clean and secure. Any debris can cause the gutters to clog or weigh down which can lead to roof problems and water damage.
  • Get your chimney swept for soot and debris.

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.

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

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!

Preventing Frozen Pipes in your 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, to prepare in case the worst happens despite your preventative actions, it's 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.

Each burst pipe or water damage situation is a little different, so each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  SERVPRO of Catonsville has the equipment, expertise, and experience to help.  We will also treat your business with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about burst pipes or water damage?


Call Us Today – 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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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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