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When Winter Weather Strikes, We Strike Back

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage When Winter Weather Strikes, We Strike Back Ice Dam

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park wants your home or business to be prepared for winter weather.  Water damage can occur for different reasons during cold winter months.  Follow these winter weather tips to prevent water from damaging your property.

TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR WINTER WEATHER

Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.

Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.

Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off”.

Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.

Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puffbacks.

TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR BUSINESS FOR WINTER WEATHER

Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches.  Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.

Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.

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

Contact SERVPRO of Annapolis/Serverna Park for an Emergency Ready Profile for your business.

When water damage puts the things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well. That’s why knowing the easiest ways to contact SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park is so important. Just go to www.SERVPROannapolis.com on your mobile phone or call (410) 647-8181.

Winter Weather and Your Pets

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Weather and Your Pets Protect Your Pet From Winter Weather

It’s no surprise that Marylanders love their pets.  Your furry family members need to be safe during the winter just like humans.  At SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park we know that your pets are an important part of your family. Most pets in Anne Arundel County 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 Annapolis/Severna Park. We are here to help the residents of Anne Arundel County recover when winter storms hit. 

How to Train Employees for Fire Safety

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How to Train Employees for Fire Safety Practice Fire Safety

At SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park we restore buildings after fires have taken place.  We encourage you to train your employees on some basic fire safety techniques on an annual basis.

Here’s a quick list of some techniques you should use.

Fire extinguisher training should be done on an annual basis, at least, and should also be part of the initial training for new employees.

The P.A.S.S Technique

If employees aren't confident they can safely put out a fire, they should evacuate instead. The acronym P.A.S.S. helps employees remember each step of using an extinguisher to reduce fire damage.

  1. Pull the pin. Find the pin at the top of the canister and pull it out to break the tamper seal.
  2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire. When the source of water is doused, the flames should die down.
  3. Squeeze the handle to release the pressurized chemicals inside the canister.
  4. Sweep the spray from side to side, maintaining your focus at the base of the fire. 

After working through the steps, keep your eye on the area. If flames reappear, repeat steps 2 to 4.

Annual Fire Response Drills

Use the following steps in case of a fire (and during yearly drills.)

Pull the fire alarm and alert the fire department.

Protect the designated evacuation path. If fire, heat, or smoke threatens to come between employees and the exit, personnel should evacuate instead of fighting the fire.

Choose an appropriate extinguisher.

Complete the P.A.S.S. technique.

Observe the location of the fire to catch any flames that may reignite. 

Evacuate immediately if the fire is too big, if the air isn't safe to breathe, if the room is too hot or smoky, and/or if the evacuation path is compromised.

Once the ability to use the fire extinguisher has been mastered and employees have been trained in the fire response routine, schedule opportunities for employees to practice their responses to a fire.

Practice Safety

It doesn't take long for a kitchen fire to pop up in a restaurant or flames to appear in an industrial setting. Protect your employees with training on how to use a fire extinguisher and regular drills in fire safety techniques.

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park Facility

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park Facility SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park Facility

If your home or business suffers from a water or fire loss, SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park is here to help. With over 18,000 square feet of warehouse space, we have the capacity to handle any size disaster.  Our experience and proven leadership (43 years!) in the restoration industry with mold remediation, fire and water damage and biohazard recovery along with our large facility make us your local restoration leader.                                    

There are several reasons why a large facility is important when selecting an emergency cleanup company.  At SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park we have the capability to store (and clean if necessary) your belongings while your home or business is being repaired.  Our experienced crew will inventory and pack out your property carefully and efficiently.  Our content clean-room houses state of the art ultrasonic equipment that works miracles on soot damaged items.

From air scrubbers to dehumidifiers and air movers, we have the right equipment to get the job done.  The proper equipment allows a structure to dry properly and reduce further contamination and damage.

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park Tackles Large Commercial Losses

12/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park Tackles Large Commercial Losses High Rise Fire

When your Anne Arundel County business suffers a large loss from water, fire or natural disaster, you can count on SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park to restore your facility.  Our project management staff is well-qualified to handle any disaster. Plus, we own the equipment needed to mitigate large loss fire and flood restoration.

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

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

At SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park we employee experienced leaders in the restoration industry that specialize in all varieties of emergency cleanup with the capacity for any size job.  Our team includes IICRC certified technicians.  The IICRC certification is the highest standard of cleaning and remediation.  We are American Bio Recovery Association certified in biohazard recovery/infectious disease and blood-borne pathogens.  Our crew chiefs provide complete job file maintenance and electronic communication protocols. And, as a service to SERVPRO nationwide, we are part of the SERVPRO Industries traveling “STORM” team.

SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park owns a variety of specialized mitigation equipment, including testing and monitoring equipment.  Our 18,000 square foot warehouse facility houses over 45 warehouse crates providing extra-large storage capacity.  Our Ozone Room eradicates odor from business property and our clean room dedicated to content cleaning only.

When fire or water damage puts things that matter most on the line, you need the very best help on the line as well.  That’s why knowing contacting SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park is so important.

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are You Winter Weather Ready? Winter Weather

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 Severna Park 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 Annapolis 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 your roof, pipes, and gutters, downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Winter starts December 21, 2018 and leaves can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage.

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 Annapolis/Severna Park to strike back.

Christmas Tree Safety

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Annapolis and Anne Arundel County has seen it’s share of tragedies caused by Christmas tree fires.  As your family decks the halls this holiday season, SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park encourages you to consider the following Christmas tree safety tips.

Selecting your Christmas Tree. Pick a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.

Setting up the tree.  Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.  Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights.  Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit.  Add water to the tree stand and be sure to add water daily.

Lighting the tree.  Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use.  Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect.  Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.  Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. 

Additionally, after Christmas, get rid of your tree! Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.  Christmas trees must be free from all lights, ornamentation and tree bags in order to be picked up by Anne Arundel County Waste Management. Only natural trees will be collected and tall trees should be cut in half in order to fit into the collection truck.  Click here for more information on Anne Arundel County Yard Waste.

Mold Found in Severna Park Home

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Found in Severna Park Home Mold caused by hot water heater

Mold found in Severna Park home basement was caused by a hot water heater leak.  The SERVPRO Annapolis/Severna Park team arrived after the homeowner replaced the hot water heater.  However, the area in the basement was still wet despite the homeowner’s efforts to dry it out.  Our team dried the area around the hot water heater as well as the hallway for 3 days and treated it with an anti-microbial.  It was determined that the mold was caused by a pin-hole leak in the hot water heater that occurred months before the actual unit was replaced.

Water heaters that are not cleaned out periodically can build up sediment in the tank. Here are some hot water heater maintenance tips you can use

Salt and other chemicals in the sediment may lead to premature rusting or corrosion inside of a water heater and eventually cause pinhole leaks to form. Once a pinhole leak is opened up, the pressure of the water inside the tank forcing its way through the opening will cause the leak to get larger over time.

The best solution for this problem is to replace the tank with a new unit. A leaking tank is an obvious sign of a water heater needing to be replaced. Normally, replacing a water heater should be done by a professional.

Another tip, to prevent the pink-hole leak is to test the pressure-relief valve located on the top or side of the water heater. Click here to read more tips by The Family Handyman.

Bottom line, mold can grow on almost any surface. Mold likes moisture and heat. This makes the hot water heater and surrounding area the perfect environment for mold. Take some time to maintain your hot water heater.

Is Your Business Prepared for Winter?

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Your Business Prepared for Winter? Emergency Ready Profile

Even the best-run businesses face risk of water, fire, natural disasters, and other damage during the winter season. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park can help your business prepare with an Emergency Ready Profile which can act as your business Disaster Recovery Plan.

First, here are some tips to get your building winterized. Allow cold water to drip from a faucet. Running water through a pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing. If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the building. Remember to turn off office space heaters in the evening to reduce your fire risk.  To reduce heating costs, invest in air conditioner covers so cold air doesn’t come into your building where the in-take is located. Use weather strips and draft blockers to keep cold air out. SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park recommends you take the time to winterize your building before the freezing weather settles in.

But even with all the winterization, building damage may be inevitable and that’s why we encourage you to create a plan to assist your team in an emergency event. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile is a no-cost assessment of your facility that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.  Things like insurance information, shut off valve locations with clearly identified photographs and emergency contact and account numbers are just a few of the components of a SERVPRO ERP.   It also serves as a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster faster.  The ERP establishes SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.

While an ERP won’t completely insulate businesses from risks, a well-thought-out strategy can help minimize the impact.  Call SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park for your FREE Emergency Ready Profile today.

Sump Pump Failure Leads to a Flooded Basement

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sump Pump Failure Leads to a Flooded Basement Sump Pump

During a recent rain event, SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park went to a home in Anne Arundel County to handle a sump pump failure.  Sump pump failures happen for a variety of reasons including power failure, stuck switch, overwhelmed pump and more.  For this specific home owner, there was a problem with their battery backup.

When SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park assessed the water damage, our water damage and restoration team determined that the effected areas included the storage/sump pump room, the recreational room and a basement bathroom. 

In the recreational room, the laminate floor was removed because there was bound water underneath. Air movers and de-humidifiers were set up to dry the concrete subfloor. The bathroom tile is adhered to concrete subfloor and won’t facilitate mold growth.  The SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park crew treated any effected areas with an anti-microbial and set air movers for a three day dry out.  Lastly, the storage/sump pump room was also treated with an anti-microbial and air movers were set for drying. Our crew removed all furniture during the cleanup process.

After 3 days of drying, the team monitored the effected materials and determined everything was dry.  All equipment was removed and the homeowners are ready to start with their reconstruction.

Bad weather storms and power failures often coincide to make one deadly combination that often results in flooded basements across Anne Arundel County.  This is due to the fact that the heavy rain storms result in excess water and a power outage completely immobilizes your sump pumps ability to drain water.

This problem can be avoided by simply purchasing and installing a backup generator for your sump pump. If you ever lose power during a bad storm, you can manually turn this generator on to ensure your basement does not flood.