Recent Posts

The Importance of Chimney Servicing

9/26/2022 (Permalink)

The seasons are finally changing. Summer is leaving us and the cool fall breeze is in the air. During this time of the year, homeowners start using their chimneys to heat their homes. Unfortunately, many homeowners in the Annapolis area forget to have their chimney inspected or serviced, leading to unforeseen challenges. 

With over 45 years of experience in the restoration industry, our SERVPRO franchise has seen its fair share of fire damage restoration work from chimney issues. The most common cause of chimney fires is ignited creosote inside your chimney flue or smoke chamber. Flammable creosote is produced by smoke during wood combustion, so it’s impossible to completely prevent it from getting into your chimney system. 

One way to effectively prevent fire, smoke or soot damage is by having a licensed chimney sweep clean your chimney once a year. Another is to burn only dry (seasoned) wood, which emits much less smoke than damp (unseasoned) wood. 

Smaller chimney fires, over time, can cause serious damage inside your flume and to the smoke chamber, which is the drafting portal that sits just above your fireplace. The most common types of damage include: 

  • Cracked or broken chimney liner that puts the bricks and mortar of your chimney’s masonry at risk 
  • Cracked smoke chamber bricks that allow intense heat to spread to vulnerable building materials of your home 
  • The escape of toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, which is known to be potentially fatal to people and pets 
  • Water damage that results from compromises in the masonry 

The worst part about a relatively small chimney fire is that it can be highly destructive, and most homeowners never even know when they happened. For this reason, the most efficient way to reduce the likelihood of chimney fires happening is by having your chimney cleaned and inspected on a regular basis. 

If you experience any fire, soot or smoke damage as a result of a chimney malfunction, call your experts over here at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park at 410-647-8181.  

Commercial Water Damage is No Joke

9/21/2022 (Permalink)

Annapolis and Severna Park businesses can be affected by storms, just like homes. Most flooding and other damage comes from more common threats like a broken pipe or toilet malfunction. In a few cases, sprinkler systems fail and cause even more problems when they soak merchandise, blueprints and books. 

Tourists flock to Annapolis so when water damage happens to a small business, of course it is best to dry things out as quickly as a restoration team can be called in. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park’s restoration teams are on-call seven days a week to help business owners reopen their doors to customers and prevent as much damage to merchandise. 

In smaller water-front shops like in downtown Annapolis, SERVPRO’s response time is critical. Technicians use extraction equipment to draw water out of carpets and/or from concrete and wood floors.  One advantage for a commercial or government facility is that if commercial carpet is in place, there is usually no padding underneath, so our teams will not necessarily need to lift them to remove padding. 

In cases with a water-soaked commercial property, SERVPRO can bring commercial-grade drying equipment and dehumidification to the structure.  Even if the electrical power is affected by the water damage, teams utilize a variety of generators that best suit the condition of the loss. 

Our goal at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park is to help our fellow business owners reopen for service as quickly as possible. If you are dealing with flooding or another water issue, call us today at (410) 647-8181 for help! 

Prepare for the Worst!

9/21/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know dogs can sense a drop in barometric pressure? Have you noticed that your furry friend knows it’s going to storm before you do? A sudden thunderstorm can be terrifying for your dog. September is National Preparedness Month and SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park wants to make sure your dog is safe. 

Veterinarians don't know all the triggers but suspect the dogs are set off by some combination of wind, thunder, lightning, barometric pressure changes, static electricity, and low-frequency rumbles preceding a storm that humans can't hear. 

Here are some tips you should consider: 

  • Bring your dogs inside at the first sign of danger. Disasters can be disorienting for dogs, and they could run away or hurt themselves reacting to loud noises and strange changes to their landscape. Also, rain, flying debris and high winds pose a danger. If you need to leave, keep your dog with you.  
  • Pack a dog emergency bag. You’ll want emergency provisions packed for your dog well in advance of a catastrophe so you can evacuate your home quickly if needed. Choose an easy-to-carry bag, label it and keep it where everyone in the family can find it quickly. The bag should include a dog first aid kit; enough food and bottled water for a week (rotate this every couple of months to keep it from going bad); medications (check periodically to ensure medicines in your emergency bag don’t expire); cleanup supplies; food and water dishes; bags (or litter for cats) for collecting waste; an extra collar and leash; photocopies of medical records; towels; recent photos of your furry friend; and a favorite toy or chewy for comfort.  
  • Create a dog-friendly resource list. Not all emergency shelters will accept dogs, so you need a Plan B. Develop a list of the dog-friendly hotels outside your immediate area. Research a list of veterinarians in the area should your dog need medical care (your regular vet may have some recommendations).  

Disasters such as severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and fires can strike quickly. Your dog is part of your family and should be part of your preparedness plan. Disasters don’t wait; make your dog’s plan today. 

Post Construction Cleaning by the PROs

9/9/2022 (Permalink)

Have you made some modifications to your business post-pandemic? Added some walls or changed out the carpet? Do you need some post construction cleaning done? Once the floors are down and the drywall is painted, it is time to remove the debris and dust to prepare the building to welcome your customers and employees back.   

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park professionals provide cleaning services to give that building that extra shine. Services can include:  

  • Carpet/Floor prep and cleaning  
  • Ceiling, walls and fixture cleaning  
  • Deodorization   
  • Air Duct Cleaning   
  • Debris Removal (if necessary)  
  • Window Cleaning  

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park can help you meet your deadlines by providing thorough post construction services in a timely manner. Our post-construction cleaning services can make any mess look “Like it never even happened.” Call us to schedule a walk-through of your business to review recommendations at 410-647-8181. We are here to help!

Commercial Duct Cleaning

9/9/2022 (Permalink)

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be the highest priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention or maintenance. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants and irritating dust throughout the building or home.  

A routine part of our services here at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can help save money.  

The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process 

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris before vacuuming begins. 
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.  
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream.  
  • A sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns. 
  • Filters with either be cleaned or replaced after the process.  

In some circumstances, such as a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases, our uniformed professionals can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition. 

COVID Lingering in Your Business?

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Did you know that our professionals here at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and sanitize your business?  We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform daily.  

IICRC Certified. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the non-profit certifying body for the cleaning and restoration industry. Not only is SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park IICRC certified as a firm, but most members of our staff carry several IICRC certifications.  

Cleaning Experts. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. Most of our cleaning tactics will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform daily.  

The CDC also recommends regular cleaning of the following areas/items:  

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

Cleaning Products. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims.  

Our proprietary cleaning agents, Benefect and Shockwave, are EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectants that have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses like Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porous surfaces.  

We carry multiple hospital-grade disinfectants and provide our personnel with proper PPE. Not only does this protect everyone, but it also protects the building and people in it.    

Cleaning Procedures. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park technicians are experts in infectious disease cleanup and bio-hazard cleaning. Our proven cleaning procedures and protocols have been used to clean and sanitize rhinovirus and norovirus in the past.  

Bring the professionals in! Call SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park (410) 647-8181. 

Do You Hear Something Dripping? Leaky Roofs Spell Problems

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Do you hear that? That quiet dripping noise? Yep, that would be your roof leaking. Roof leaks can be detrimental to your home and if left untreated, can cause extensive damage and costly repairs. By being proactive, homeowners in the Severna Park area can prevent these damages or address them before they become major. Here are some ways untreated roof damage can cause issues for your home:  

Rotting Frames/Structural Damage 

Even the strongest, most durable homes are susceptible to the rot that follows any water damage. What starts as a small leak in the roof can develop into an alarming concern for your home’s foundation. Water is persistent and WILL find its way to your foundation causing rot. Stop roof leaks in their tracks before it becomes an overwhelming issue.  

Leaky Roofs Can Cause Mold 

A leak in your roof can inevitably lead to issues with mold or mildew growth. Mold spores in water damage can pass through HVAC systems, leading to serious health and safety concerns. Mold acts fast, so should you. 

Damaged Insulation  

As water leaks or pours through your roof, it can seriously damage any insulation you may have inside your roof or attic. The water causes the insulation to clump, making it essentially ineffective in insulating warm or cool air inside your home. Be sure to have your roof professionally expected in order to avoid damaged insulation. 

Sagging Drywall/Ceilings 

Drywalls are very commonly used to divide spaces within homes during the construction process. Drywall exposed to water can hold and trap moisture causing it to sag, buckle, crumble and fall apart. Water can even travel through drywall, causing more damage to surrounding areas.  

Flash Storms In Annapolis

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

If you have lived in the Annapolis area during the summertime, then we’re sure that you’re aware of the severity and suddenness of flash storms rolling through the skies. What was once a calm summer afternoon with clear skies and cool breeze quickly turns into dark ominous clouds with high winds and heavy rain. Just on Friday, August 5th, Annapolis saw 0.37 inches of rain in just under a couple of hours.  

 Thunderstorms move swiftly and even more so does water damage. Water damage can often be sudden so knowing how to react can help save your business. When storms roll out, know how to protect your business with these preventative measures! 

  • Clean leaves out of your gutters  
  • Ensure downspouts are pointed away from the foundation 
  • Clean your roof if it is a flat roof or call a professional 
  • Know where your emergency water shut offs are 
  • Have your HVAC unit inspected by a professional 
  • Schedule an ERP with SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park! 

When water damage acts fast, use these tips to act faster! If you have water damage in your home or business, call the experts over here at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park at 410-647-8181! 

Water Acts Fast - Act Faster!

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage does not wait for resolution patiently. It has a destructive timetable that is as predictable for water restoration professionals as it is devastating for Annapolis homeowners. Some of the damage occurs just minutes to hours after the water event, and the severity of the consequences increases exponentially. Experts recommend contacting water restoration professionals immediately after the discovery of a water loss to arrange for swift removal of the damaging fluids and application of the industry’s best practices supporting structural drying. 

How Fast Damage Occurs 

First minutes to a few hours 

  • Documents, pictures, books, and other papers become soggy, with pages weakening and sticking together, bindings and glues loosening, inks spreading, and images blurring. 
  • Stain, varnish, and paints can transfer from wooden furniture legs and supports to carpeting, rugs, and floors. 
  • Textiles stretch or shrink, depending on composition, and dyes can run and stain adjacent surfaces. 
  • Electronics and electrical cords short out and expose occupants to the risk of shock. 

Up to 24 hours 

  • Pressed wood and particle board furniture and supports swell and warp. 
  • Hardwood frames on furniture swell and distort. 
  • Metal fasteners tarnish. 
  • Drywall and ceiling tiles bulge and begin to crumble, increasing personal safety and property damage risk when significant quantities of collected water force a structural breakdown. 
  • Insulation compresses, packing down between walls. 
  • Carpets stretch and become prone to rips and delamination. 
  • Laminate flooring peels and disintegrates. 

48-72 hours to a week 

  • Mold growth commences on all surfaces and contents. 
  • Water quality deteriorates, with pathogen growth possible. 
  • Door and window frames swell, preventing security issues due to improper closure. 
  • Metals corrode, and fasteners break down. 
  • Hardwood floors cup or crown, and planks or strips can buckle, pulling up from the subfloor. 

7 days or more 

  • Structural supports can fail. 
  • Molds, mildews, and other hazards proliferate, affecting air quality and infecting surfaces. 

When you notice water in your home, call the water restoration professionals, SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park. We have over 40 years’ experience and we can make it “Like it never even happened. 

Condensation on the Ducts

6/15/2022 (Permalink)

Who doesn’t love the summer? With the warm weather, constant sunshine, trips to the beach and so much more, summer seems like a great time. What people forget to mention about the summer is the amount of water damage insurance claims that are made in the Metropolitan area. A large portion of these water damage claims are a result of an accumulation of condensation on ductwork. If you see bubbling or staining in your ceiling or roof, that may be a sign of condensation forming on your ductwork. This can lead to several problems, such as:  

  • Damage to insulation  
  • High indoor humidity levels 
  • Mildew and mold growth  
  • Water damage to structural elements  

Typically, “sweating” ductwork is caused by improper insulation around or from an outside source. If a home’s siding is exposed, warm or hot air can seep into spaces around the ductwork. When the hot and cold air mix, condensation forms. To avoid this, have your ductwork properly insulated to avoid the mixing in air temperature. Additionally, HVAC units that have not been inspected in some time can add to this issue. Have your HVAC unit professionally inspected and request a new filter to be installed. A dirty HVAC filter can cause the unit to freeze up which can contribute to the ductwork condensation. 

If you see bubbling or staining from water damage in your home, don't wait! Call us at SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park at 410-647-8181!