Causes of 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
Mold needs these 3 main things to thrive and stay alive.
Warm or temperate Temperature
Mold is easier to prevent than it is to clean so keeping a watch on common sources of mold and maintaining a dry, ventilated home and drying homes from water damage within 24 hours of the incidence is the best way to prevent mold from happening in the first place. If you have a mold problem and you would like information about how to get it professionally cleaned, please call us and we will direct you on the companies that we use to test for mold.
SERVPRO of Bethesda/ Potomac 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.
When a Fire happens what do pets do?
Help to save your pets and consider these tips when leaving your home
- Keep pets near entrances when away from home.
- Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case fire fighters need to rescue your pet
- When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where fire fighters can easily find them
- Save rescuers time by affixing a pet alert window cling and write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. Make sure number of pets are listed
Were these tips helpful? Check out some other tips on our website about what to do after a fire occurs in your home, and checkout our fire section of our blog!
Fire Damage Emergency Tips
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 301-537-7400
Steps on What to Do in Case of a Fire
Every fire damage event is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” fire damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service
Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing
Step 7: Restoration
For more details on the proper steps to follow after a fire, check out the fire damage section on our website.
After the fire trucks leave, your home likely suffers from fire and smoke damage and extensive water damage from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac have the specialized fire restoration training needed to restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Organization is Key
Divide Your Workspace Into Zones:
Determine how you want and need to use the space and set up zones for your daily functions. You may require a workspace for your computer, a library area for your research, a storage area for supplies and a filing area for your archives. This will provide a foundation for a more efficient use of space.
Keep Only What You Need at Arm’s Length:
Boxes of pens, stacks of papers and old coffee cups need to go. Rid your desk of visual clutter by paring down the items on top to the essentials only. Supplies, paperwork and personal items should be kept in the zones you’ve established for them.
Sort Your Catch-All Drawer:
Use drawer dividers to give everything a place, like compartments for paperclips and rubber bands. Go through the drawer every six weeks and clear out anything that is out of place or isn’t being used.
Eliminate Digital Clutter:
Digital clutter can be just as stressful as physical clutter. Organize digital files and your e-mail inbox just as you would paper files – with a system of logical and clearly labeled folders. Also, keep the icons on your desktop to a bare minimum, and trade in sticky notes on your monitor of calendar reminders.
Create A Daily Paper System:
Consider creating hanging files or baskets labeled “To Read,” “To Do,” and “To File.” Establish set days for each, so that you don’t get behind or feel the overwhelming need to do everything at once.
Prevent the buildup of dust, dirt, food stains and fingerprints. Wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard, and monitor once a week with disinfecting wipes.
Tips provided by Forbes, The Dangers of a Messy Desk.
Be Storm Ready
Sever weather can happen any time, and anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms*:
- 10,000 severe thunderstorms
- 5,000 floods or flash floods
- 1,000 tornadoes
- 2 land falling, deadly hurricanes
Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
Know Your Risk. The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home or business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example. Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.
*Facts provided by http://www.stormready.noaa.gov.
Make an Emergency Checklist
· Water (one gallon per person per day)
· Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
· Manual can opener
· Battery operated radio, preferably a NOAA Weather Radio
· Flashlight and extra batteries
· First aid kit
· Whistle to signal for help
· Dust masks or bandanas
· Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
· Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
· Hygiene items
· Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account information
· Fire extinguisher
· Matches in a waterproof container
SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac is locally owned and operated—so we’re a part of this community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 Franchises, which enables us to respond quicker with more resources. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country.
When Lighting Strikes
Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lightning safety tips.
Be aware. Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.
Go indoors. Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.
Avoid windows, doors, porches, and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.
Avoid water. Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.
Avoid electronic equipment. Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, radio, and television reception systems, and any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.
Tips provided by the Centers for Disease Control; cdc.gov.
Mold Prevention & Mitigation: For Your Health!
If you think you may have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac today!
Molds are found in every environment, and mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present. An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors encourages the growth of molds and other organisms, potentially causing a public health problem. The EPA advised that the potential health concerns from molds are an important reason to prevent moisture problems leading to mold growth. Possible health effects include runny nose, sneezing, coughing, aggravation of asthma, sore throat, or inflammation of the sinuses.
SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac's Professionals handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, be alert for:
· The presence of visible mold.
· Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
· Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
· Excessive humidity.
These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.
SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac cares about proper restoration of your structure and, in most water-damage situations, can safely restore your building to preloss condition.
Keep Your Kitchen Safe!
Recipe For Kitchen Safety:
· 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 food and check on it frequently.
· Watch children closely. It is a good rule of thumb to keep children three feet away from the cooking area.
· Clean cooking surfaces to prevent food and grease build-up.
· Keep curtains, towels and pot holders away from hot surfaces and store solvents and flammable cleaners away from heat sources. Never keep gasoline in the house.
· Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills.
· 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.
· Make sure your smoke alarms are working by testing them prior to beginning food preparation.
Tips and statistics reproduced from NFPA’s Web site, nfpa.org
Water Damage: Clean Water vs. Contaminated Water
When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac. Consider the following steps to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water:
· Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
· Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock.
· Remove as much 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.
Damage from Contaminated Water:
· Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
· Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
· Do not turn on HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
· Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
· Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.
Note: If exposed to harmful waste, OSHA recommends a post-exposure medical evaluation. Consult your local health department or physician.