Recent Posts

Preventing Contaminated Water From Intrusion

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

water with DPW mascot Splash

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park receives several calls a week regarding overflowing toilets or other intrusions of contaminated water. The questions most property management companies ask is how do we prevent this.

According to Anne Arundel County Public Works:

“All homeowners, business, and facilities are required to install a backflow prevention assembly on point of use water supply lines where deemed necessary. Classification of hazard (low or high) will be determined to establish the type of backflow prevention assembly to be installed. All installation procedures and assemblies will have to meet definitions of certification and be approved. All testing of assemblies will also need to be performed by certified and County approved testers with an initial test after installation then annually or more frequently if deemed necessary (with relation to hazard) by Anne Arundel County. Proper maintenance and replacement of faulty assemblies will also be the responsibility of the business/homeowner.”

Click here to view Anne Arundel County’s Department of Public Works Sanitary Sewer Overflow Data.

If you have any questions regarding water line flushing, you may contact the Systems Evaluation and Rehabilitation Division at (410) 222-8407.

For more facts about Anne Arundel County water, click here.

The most important fact to understand about contaminated water is that is must be cleaned quickly and properly.

Water that is grossly contaminated could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes.
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup.

Sewage cleanup must not be taken lightly. Serious long term health issues to adults, children and even pets may occur due to bacteria, viruses and even parasites. Don't delay. Take immediate action. Call SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park today at (410) 647-8181.

2019 Community Involvement

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

man dressed as fortune teller Fortune Teller Phil

There are many reasons why you may need SERVPRO, but one reason to call SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park is because of our involvement with the community. In 2019, our team has donated time and resources to the following organizations:

  • United States Naval Academy Alumni Association
  • Chesapeake Hospice Cup
  • Mary’s Annapolis School
  • Banneker Douglas Museum
  • 100 Club of Anne Arundel County
  • Light House Shelter
  • National Night Out
  • Burgers and Bands
  • Fight Colorectal Cancer
  • Severna Park High School Boosters
  • Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce
  • Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation
  • Anne Arundel County Volunteer Fire Department
  • Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer

You may see us on the golf course, sailing at boat races, glowing with glow sticks, collecting food for the homeless, dancing at fundraisers, walking for cures, or telling fortunes at Shoptoberfest, or helping you clean up your wet basement!

But, wherever you see us, we are ALWAYS here to help.

How Do I Detect Mold?

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

wall with mold Mold

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you suspect your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Can Mold Affect My Health?

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

child sneezing Sneeze

Molds spores are everywhere. Many different kinds of molds are present in buildings, and not all molds are as a risk to your health. Molds affects people differently.

Chemical Compounds

Molds produce two types of chemical compounds to which occupants of water-damaged buildings may be exposed:
• Mycotoxins are known to cause health problems in humans.
• Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds (mVOCs) result in unpleasant smells in our
homes.

Mycotoxins are poisonous substances. (“Myco” means fungus, so think of mycotoxins as “fungi toxins.”) They are designed for chemical warfare against other organisms, even against other types of molds. Living molds may produce mycotoxins to discourage other molds or bacteria from growing in the same territory. Unfortunately, humans who inhale, ingest, or touch mycotoxins may have a toxic reaction. Not all molds produce mycotoxins; furthermore, molds that can produce mycotoxins do not produce them in all situations.

Microbial Volatile Organic Compounds are called mVOCs. mVOCs are produced by chemical changes that take place during the mold life process. They are waste products given off by actively growing molds. Some mVOCs produce musty and moldy odors. Research has not proven that exposure to mVOCs causes health effects, but the odors from mVOCs may indicate a level of mold contamination requiring remediation. Research is ongoing as to how chemical compounds from mold relate to health effects in humans.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that more studies are needed to understand the relation between mycotoxins and health. Also according to EPA, research in mVOCs is still in an early phase.2 Perhaps one of the most extensive studies on mold’s health effects is the report by the Institute of Medicine.

Click here to read how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines how mold and dampness affects your health.

How Does Smoke and Soot Damage my Property?

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

home with fire damage Fire Smoke and Soot Damage

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park has the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition. Click here to review our complete fire damage restoration process. Every fire is different, and smoke and soot creates a unique type of damage.

Smoke and soot damage is created after a fire has been extinguished in a home or a business, soot residue settles into the property. Soot is a very fine, black powder substance (0.25 µm in size) which binds to walls and fabric.

Like soot, smoke damage can be problematic, and it can cause serious health damage. It will cause discoloration of walls and it will sink into all property contents, causing smoke odor to linger for long periods of time.

This is why it is extremely important to hire a professional fire mitigation company to restore the damage.

The type of smoke or soot damage will define how we clean and treat the affected areas, but our process has several steps. We are trained extensively on all types of soot or smoke damage and if you contact as quickly enough, we will be able to restore most items. We also use Personal Protective Equipment as per Health and Safety regulations.

Fires can happen at any time, day or night. The most important thing is quick response time that’s why SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Smoke Alarm Law

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke Detector Smoke Detector

October 6 – 12, 2019 is National Fire Prevention Week. Are you aware of the Smoke Alarm Laws in Anne Arundel County?

Every home is now required to have a 10-year tamper-proof smoke alarm with a hush feature. Please check your smoke detectors and replace old models right away. Click here to view Maryland’s Smoke Alarm Laws.

The National Fire Protection Week 2019 Campaign is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” There are 4 planning tips to incorporate in your fire plan:

  1. Draw a map of your home and identify 2 ways to escape from every room.
  2. Test your fire alarms.
  3. Establish a safe meeting place outside.
  4. Post the plan in your home.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit www.nfpa.org.

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

Fire Prevention Week

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

wall with fire alarm Fire Evacuation

October 6 – 12, 2019 is National Fire Prevention Week. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park performs fire damage remediation and, unfortunately, sees too many properties and lives go up in smoke. We urge you to take some time NOW to prepare.

The National Fire Protection Week 2019 Campaign is “Not Every Hero Wears a Cape. Plan and Practice Your Escape!” There are 4 planning tips to incorporate in your fire plan:

  1. Draw a map of your home and identify 2 ways to escape from every room.
  2. Test your fire alarms.
  3. Establish a safe meeting place outside.
  4. Post the plan in your home.

In a typical home fire, you may have as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds. For more information on Fire Prevention Week, visit www.nfpa.org.

In a fire, mere seconds can mean the difference between a safe escape and a tragedy. Fire safety education isn’t just for children. Teenagers, adults, and the elderly are also at risk in fires, making it important for every member of the community to take some time during Fire Prevention Week to make sure they understand how to stay safe in case of a fire.

6 Tips To Keep Your Pet Safe During a Storm

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

cute dog wrapped in a blanket Keep Your Pets Safe

A sudden thunderstorm can be terrifying for a pet. While no one is immune from the devastation of a natural disaster, preparing before a storm hits is key to keeping everyone in your family, including your pets, safe. September is National Preparedness Month. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park has developed the following 6 tips to keep your pets safe.

Have your pet microchipped. In the event of an emergency, natural or otherwise, you want to ensure your pet can get back to you if you’re separated. Collars and ID tags, though important, can break or detach. Microchips, computerized and scannable implants about the size of a grain of rice, are more fool-proof since they’re inserted under your pet’s skin. 

Bring your pets inside at the first sign of danger. Disasters can be disorienting for pets, 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 have to leave, keep your pet with you. 

Leaving your pets behind during a natural disaster is never a good idea because they could escape or become exposed to a number of life-threatening hazards. Keep them on a leash or in a pet carrier so they don’t escape even in a “familiar” neighborhood.  Determine where you’ll go. Coordinate, in advance, to stay with friends or family members, or find a pet- friendly hotel outside the disaster area. Have those conversations and do your research well ahead of time so you have a plan in place when needed. 

Create a pet-friendly resource list. Not all emergency shelters will accept pets, so you need a Plan B. Develop a list of the pet-friendly hotels outside your immediate area. Research a list of veterinarians in the area should your pet need medical care (your regular vet may have some recommendations). Also, figure out which boarding facilities are nearby in case you need to separate from your pet for a time.  

Pack an emergency bag. You’ll want emergency provisions packed for your pet 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 pet 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 pets; and a favorite toy or chewy for comfort. 

It’s also a good idea to have a sturdy carrier or crate for each pet. “What’s good for us is good for our pets,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf cart, and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. “My dog is a member of the family, so we have a plan for keeping him safe in the event of an emergency, and we encourage all pet parents to do the same.”  By having all this in place, you can immediately put your pet preparedness plan into action when you know a storm is coming instead of spending valuable time trying to determine what needs to be done to best protect your pet.

Fighting Back-to-School Illnesses

9/9/2019 (Permalink)

virus bacteria with servpro phone number on chalkboard Call SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park

It’s back-to-school time! Teachers are working on lesson plans. Parents are buying school supplies. Did you know the classroom can be a breeding ground for organisms that cause illness in students?

Here is a list of the most common back-to-school illnesses to look out for:

  • Most commonly spread by direct contact with the hair.
  • Hand-Foot-and-Mouth-Disease (HFMD). HFMD is an acute virus that typically affects children younger than 5. Transmission occurs via contact, cough and sneezes as well as contaminated surfaces.
  • Scarlett Fever. Usually effects children ages 5 – 12 and comes from strep throat.
  • Pink Eye. Bacterial conjunctivitis that is highly contagious. Pink eye is an airborne viruses can be spread through sneezing and coughing. Viral conjunctivitis can also accompany common viral upper respiratory infections such as measles, the flu or the common cold.

When a child comes home from school sick, it’s affects the family. Parents miss work and students miss out on learning.

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Parks is helping schools provide clean, healthy environments for our community’s children. Over the Summer, we’ve worked with several educational facilities sanitizing classrooms. Our team cleaned and sanitized building materials, surfaces and contents using professional cleaning products as well as EPA registered cleaners and disinfectants.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the flu virus when writing about back-to-school. There are many different types of flu and the CDC has scientific-based prediction tools to help prevent and contain the spread of the flu. Last year, SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park helped several schools in our community by disinfecting after flu and virus outbreaks.

Making Schools Safer

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Chalk board with Safe Schools Maryland Phone Number 833-632-7233 Safe Schools Maryland

A safer school begins with you. It’s back-to-school time and teachers are all too familiar with active shooter drills. Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) has a Crisis and Emergency Management Plan in place that provides basic guidelines and procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency or crisis incident.

The Anne Arundel County Office of Emergency Management posted to following regarding active shootings:

  • Sign up to receive local emergency alerts and register your work and personal contact information with any work sponsored alert system
  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers
  • Remember during an active shooting, RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. 

You can also sign up for active shooter training with the Department of Homeland Security.

You could save a life by reporting an anonymous tip to Safe Schools Maryland 833-632-7233. The Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line is an anonymous reporting system used to report threats to the safety and/or well-being of students.

Students, parents, faculty, staff, and members of communities throughout Maryland may use this anonymous, app- and web-based reporting system to share their concerns, such as:

  • Mental health crises
  • Bullying
  • School and community violence
  • Drug activity
  • Abuse
  • Harassment
  • Other issues affecting our Maryland students

The Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line is a tool for proactively addressing harmful situations and helping students who need it. By using a variety of communication modes to support the reporting and routing of tips, The Safe Schools Maryland Tip Line empowers the citizens of Maryland to create a culture of preparedness, prevention, and school safety for our students.

Do you have a concern you want to share? Report an anonymous tip now. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park wants you to be prepared and stay safe.