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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Pipes 101

3/12/2020 (Permalink)

Spring is right around the corner, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that cold temperatures will disappear immediately. Rather, temperatures will fluctuate in the coming months, with some warm days that are characteristic of spring, alongside some cold days. These variable temperatures can wreak potential havoc on your business through their effects on pipes, which can lead to water damage if they burst. Water within the pipes expands and contracts when temperatures fluctuate, which leads to increased pressure in the pipes. Pipes burst under this pressure. Because burst pipes can cause devastating water damage to your commercial business, it is important to understand ways in which burst pipes can be prevented in addition to the best deal with the water damage if pipes were to burst in your building.

Prevention

First and foremost, make sure that your business is protected by an insurance plan that covers water damage caused by burst pipes. The bottom line is, clean up services can be costly. Pipes that are located outdoors or in unheated places should be wrapped in insulated sleeves in order to prevent the water inside from freezing during cold weather. If pipes do freeze, it may be beneficial to let water run through the pipes in order to avoid bursting. Finally, checking pipes daily for small leaks is a helpful preventative measure to take, especially when temperatures decrease.

If Your Pipes Burst…

Immediately turn off water, electricity, and heating systems at the first sight of burst pipes in order to limit the damage caused by the ruptured pipes. Documents, inventory, and other important items should be moved to a safe location as soon as possible, as they can become damaged or destroyed in water in the wake of burst pipes. If it is safe to do so, check the building for signs of water damage, such as stains or discoloration, musty smells, or mold growth. It may also be beneficial to open doors and windows, as doing so allows air to move through the building, drying any damp areas and preventing the growth of mold or mildew. It is important for your business to quickly get back on its feet following burst pipes, so call SERVPRO in order to restore any impacted areas of your affected business by water damage as quickly as possible “Like it never even happened.”

The SERVPRO Vision

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

A first impression is important throughout your everyday life.  It is a more pleasant experience having a positive first impression as opposed to the challenge established by a negative first impression. For instance, a clean business “setting” is vital if your objective is developing a successful, long lasting relationship with your customers. 

SERVPRO can help you. In fact, we want to service your restoration needs and become your solution provider. Our vision is to be the premier cleaning and restoration company in the world while developing a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect.  

We are a trusted leader in the restoration industry providing 24/365 residential and commercial services. As a locally owned and operated business, we are dedicated to being faster to any size disaster. We have an extensive background in training, equipment, as well as expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. 

Not only can SERVPRO Bethesda / Potomac clean up the aftermath of the larger disasters, but we can manage and clean the small valuable items impacted by the disaster. This includes carpets, upholstery, drapes, and blinds. We can bring your older tile back to life and make your floors sparkle again. Furthermore, we can counteract lingering odors and perform deodorization of your property.

SERVPRO is always here to help for your restoration and cleaning needs. We can help maintain your place of residency or business and keep it shining while you continue to make countless first impressions.

Removing Commercial Water Damage

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

There are many instances where water can flood a commercial space. Perhaps a pipe breaks or sprinkler systems default and begins pouring out water overnight causing high levels of water to rise overnight. Additionally, severe weather can cause unwanted, indoor moisture to enter a commercial building.

Extracting water is important when mitigating water damage. SERVPRO’s water removal technicians use the industry’s best equipment during extraction. Please see the picture to the right for our extraction equipment as well as one of our dehumidifiers. We implement procedures to complete the job right the first time.

First and foremost, when our team arrives at the scene of an emergency, we ensure the work area is safe for our technicians, employees, and the business. At that moment, we begin the clean-up process by fixing as many hazards in the area as possible. Areas that are not safe to access are blocked off. Caution signs are posted to reinforce dangerous areas.

The source of the problem is repaired. If the issue results from faulty sprinklers or a pipe break, a plumber is called to fix the problem. Under the circumstance that rainwater enters the building due to a broken or exterior wall, we board up the hole for you, so the moisture is blocked completely and will not continue to enter the building.

We then begin the extraction process with either a portable or truck-mounted extractor. Portable extractors get used for places that are difficult to get to or if parking a van at your business is impossible. Portable extractors weigh 40 to 90 pounds and they hold 5 to 12 gallons of wastewater with a vacuum power of lifting approximately 12 feet of water in height.

Truck-mounted extractors get used for severe projects that contain larger amounts of water. Vans that have an extractor park close to an entrance to your building, and the vacuum hose gets pulled in for extraction. Truck-mounted extractors weigh 500 to 1,100 pounds and have storage tanks that can hold 60 to 100 gallons of waste. The vacuum lift capabilities for these extractors are more powerful and can extract up to 16 feet of water.

Because SERVPRO Washington D.C. provides 24-hour services that allows us to complete your water extraction work during hours when your building is not in use. This process does not have to hinder your business operations. We extract the water one small section at a time. This also allows for part of your building to always remain open. For professional help with water removal from your building, please call SERVPRO Washington D.C. at 301-530-7400 so that we can take care of your commercial water extraction concerns, “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot are invasive and can infiltrate various cavities within your home, furthermore, causing hidden damage and odor. Our expertise within smoke damage allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage and develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and Soot facts:

  • Smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may significantly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke—wet and dry; therefore, different types of soot and residue exist after a fire takes place. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage is present. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.

Here are more details about the various types of smoke and fire residue:

  1. Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

Signs: Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

  1. Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

Signs: Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rise – therefore smoke rises.

  1. Protein Fire Residue – produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

Signs: Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each situation is different, your fire damage requires a unique solution tailored to its specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will treat your family with empathy as well as the respect and care your property needs.

Being Aware of Commercial Property Damage

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

We do not want your business to have any type of damage. The bottom line is damage that has the potential to impact a residential property can also impact a commercial building.

Types of Damages

Storm: Damage caused by strong winds and heavy rain can remove roof tiles, break windows, plus more. Storm damages can be devastating and can cause delay in business.

Water: Water damage is typically due to burst pipes, floods, or rain. In any case, this can result in contaminated water affecting surfaces and furniture, but also mold growing and eroded belongings. Electricity and water damage quickly become volatile when combined.

Fire: Fire damage can result from a gas stove, faulty outlet, or candles and cigarettes that are not properly put out. This can also cause severe destruction to your property, which requires cleaning and restoration services.

Mold: As a highly unhygienic and unappealing, mold spreads quickly around properties as air-borne spores and remediation is very important to prevent it from rapid growth. Mold grows in any moist environment. Even that small leak under your office’s bathroom sink can eventually attract mold to grow.   

If you have any questions of a problem you may be having, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO Bethesda/Potomac at 301-530-7400.

Do's & Don'ts After a Flood by SERVPRO

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Proceeding water damage, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and “slip and fall” hazards are a prevalent concern.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform with the damage.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful lifting them!

Have A Water Damage Emergency? 

  • What To DO After A Flood
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal or lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying if damage is in the summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from water damage.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from the floors.
  • What NOT To Do After Flooding
  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in damaged areas. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don’t leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.
  • Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

How to Read Storm Warnings

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

With the help of technology, there are now several ways to receive storm warning alerts. The television, your cell phone, the internet, and radio are some of these sources where you can discover this information. The real question is if we truly understand what these warnings mean? You will find that knowing these definitions will be very useful knowledge in preparation for a storm:

  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch – Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning – There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning.
  • Flash Flood Watch – Flash floods are likely to occur soon. Be aware that water levels could rise at any point in time. Anticipate moving to a higher ground level.
  • Flash Flood Warning – Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur soon. If this happens, get to a high ground level immediately, and stay away from vehicles. It only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car of truck away.
  • High Wind Advisory – Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This can make for unsafe driving conditions. Especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. In addition, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning – Very strong winds are expected or already occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating, or any outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.
  • Tornado Watch – Conditions are suitable for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning – A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado warning is issued where you live, then proceed to the middle of the lowest floor of a strong building immediately.

Top 3 Reasons Why Your Roof Leaks

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Roofs are susceptible to water damage, which can lead to structure and mold issues if not addressed immediately. There are several ways water can infiltrate building materials surrounding a roof. Here are the three most common reasons why roofs leak:

  1. Water pipes leaking or dripping.
  2. Condensation accumulating inside your home.
  3. Clogged gutters and downspouts

Routine attic and roof inspections can help avoid any roof leak issues. If you spot damages and need professional repairs, please call SERVPRO for help.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment we will need to bring with us as well as how many SERVPRO team members we need to help clean up the damages.   

Call Today

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 has specific water damage training and experience to help you through such a difficult time. We specialize in water damage restoration. In fact, it is the cornerstone of our business.

Our SERVPRO professionals will likely ask for the following information:

  • Your name and contact information.
  • Your insurance information (if applicable).
  • Street address of the damaged home or business.
  • When did the water damage take place?
  • If known, what caused the water damage?
  • Is there electricity on-site?

SERVPRO Can't Stop the Flood, But We Can Manage the Damage!

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Flood damage does not always present itself immediately. Damages can surface after a storm due to the quality of the flood water and the impacted property.

A fire in your home is preventable when the risk is lessened with enough precautions. Other similar types of damage can be controlled to an extent with the homeowner’s help. No matter what effort you put forth, flooding is uncooperative after taking place.  

Slower moving floods create fewer risks to those outside at the time of the flood. For instance, flash floods are catastrophically powerful enough to sweep cars away. Both types of floods can create bio-hazard risks in a home. If a home has been flooded, it must be cleaned to a sanitary state before anyone lives there again. 

SERVPRO cleaning and restoration services targets biological presences, microbial organisms, chemical compounds as well as structural damages. 100% of flood damages typically do not present immediately which includes electrical wiring in addition to waterlogged outlets. Chemical compounds such as various salts, fertilizers, sewage, motor fluids (such as gasoline, oil, brake fluid), and run-off from local factories can cause additional damages to a flooded property.

Gutting a home should take priority while restoring a residence to suitable living conditions. Furnishings can be cleaned to acceptable levels unless they have been submerged for an extended time period. This is detrimental when handling compressed wood products. Solid wood furniture is not as easily damaged; however, it is more likely to crack in places where two pieces of wood were fastened together. Fabric that covers upholstery can harbor pathogens such as mold and bacteria. Precautionary care must be completed when cleaning these items. If needed, special brushes may need to be used in order to preserve raised patterns while still cleaning the furniture piece adequately.

3 Tips: How to Prepare Your Business for a Flood

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Flood damage can occur quicker than you ever expected. Depending on the floods' severity. it can cause flooring, wall, and inventory damage. However, if you know that a flood is imminent, there are ways to protect your business by minimizing the destruction a natural disaster can create.  

  1. Make Backup Copies of Important Data

If you believe your building could suffer from storm damage, it is crucial to back up your data. This includes shipping records, customer data, and any inventory records that may not be retrievable if your computer system is damaged by water. Having more than one copy of your data can save you a lot of time and money during the aftermath of a potential flood. Consider cloud storage as a solution for retrieving real-time data in the event of a storm.

  1. Rent a Sump Pump

If your business location is at risk of a flood, consider investing in a sump pump. This machine is commonly used by flood damage and restoration service technicians to drain excess water from the impacted area. Portable and underwater pumps will ultimately reduce the amount of standing water you may encounter after a flood.

  1. Do Not Hesitate To Act

In the event of a flood, evacuate your customers and employees as quickly as possible to ensure their safety. It is important be vigilant regarding staying up to date on any flood watches or warnings. If a flood has a chance of taking place, shut down all vital systems and try to seal off all doors as well as windows once the building has been evacuated.

Knowing how to prepare for a flood and protect your business will not only reduce the damages, but it will also give you peace of mind before and after the event of a flood. Use these helpful tips to your advantage when preparing for a flood and avoiding the detrimental impact it could have on your business.

SERVPRO Fire Damage Restoration: Start to Finish

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bethesda and Potomac can handle any size fire loss from the initial phases of clean up to the final stages of restoring one’s property. We have an in-house construction team that completes the highest quality of work for SERVPRO Bethesda and Potomac in Maryland.  

After a fire, it is vital to clean your property as soon as possible. If there is any standing water, it will need to be extracted for the building’s structure to completely dry.   

After the removal of water, SERVPRO can begin the cleaning process. In most cases, air purification will need to be completed using air scrubbers. Additionally, SERVPRO has the necessary professional cleaning products to prepare the property for any remaining repairs.  

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out at any time!

What Happens to Your Solar Panels During a Storm

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Worrying about solar panel damage depending on the weather may not be your highest priority. Storms of all sizes have more than likely passed through the area at different points of the year. Most storms create little, if any, damage to your home. This does not mean you should not be concerned about the possibility of weather harming your home. High winds, rain, and other conditions have the potential to cause harm to the solar panels on your roof. It is important to understand what your home, including your solar panels, can withstand.

  1. Hailstorms

Hailstorms are less likely throughout the DC Metro area. However, when they occur, it can create problems for homeowners. Having this concern for your solar panels when hail starts to fall is common. Installing solar panels under the suggestions provided below will ensure that they remain in good condition:

  • The panels are made of tempered glass as well as a highly flexible material.
  • The panels are built to withstand impact from rock, hail, or similar materials.
  • Panels are usually only damaged from hail when stones hit the same spot repeatedly.
  1. Wind

Wind may be even more worrisome than hailstorms, especially if you live in an area where hurricanes are common. While high winds can cause roof damage, they are less likely to cause panel damage. This is due to the solar panels being able to withstand up to 140-mph winds. Panels can therefore withstand most hurricanes and certainly weaker storms.

  1. Storm and Rain

Installing high quality solar panels should ensure a lifetime of at least 25 years. These panels are well equipped to do their job effectively in the middle of severe weather conditions. 

When initially purchasing your solar panels, you may have wondered how they would succumb to the inclement weather. With high quality panels that meet the list provided above, you should not feel the need to worry about any damage to your solar panels, no matter how severe the weather is.  

How To Restore Toilet Flood Damage

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

When a toilet floods a commercial property, the water damage may affect more than one floor. If water impacts multiple building materials, it can lead to significant sewer damages that require restoration.

There are five steps you should take to clean up the damage and restore your property to a sanitary condition:

  1. Clear the Clog or Backup

Depending upon why the toilet is flooding, you may need to contact a plumber or sewage company. A clog or backup could be caused by materials that should not be flushed or a backed up sewer line. Until the problem is completely fixed, the flood will persist.

  1. Remove Standing Water

Limit the severity of the flood by eliminating all standing water. You will need to determine the extent the building’s material damages including the floor and ceiling. 

  1. Consult Restoration Specialists

Commercial water and sewer damage restoration experts can help determine which materials need replacement. In addition, these experts can assist with any cleanup and remediation. 

  1. Clean and Disinfect the Area

A flooding toilet can lead to the leaking of category two of three water. Category two, or gray water, may contain bacteria or chemicals, but does not contain solid waste. Category three or black water contains solid waste. Both types of water require cleaning and disinfection. 

  1. Dry the Affected Area

Take measures to dry the affected area that contain sewage damage as quickly as possible. This prevents the potential for mold growth or the development of any secondary damages.

When you experience sewer damage in a commercial property, rely on plumbers and restoration experts, such as SERVPRO professionals. These highly trained specialists can resolve the problem quickly and completely, enabling the tenants of the building to resume their business as soon as possible.  

Is Smoke Damage Covered By Insurance?

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

Are you dealing with smoke-related damage to your building? If your commercial building or the one adjacent to yours recently sustained a fire, you are most likely dealing with the aftermath of the event. You may be worried about making a claim with your insurance company. Is smoke damage a covered loss? Read on to learn everything you need to know about smoke claims that will help put your mind at ease.

Soot Damage and Insurance

Most of the time, smoke damage will be covered by your commercial insurance policy. This is often even the case if the fire occurred at an office right next to yours. However, there are some steps you should take to properly file your claim and increase your chances of being accepted:

  1. Contact your insurance company to report the smoke damage and file a claim.
  2. Assess your loss and prepare a smoke cleanup plan with the help of professionals.
  3. Record proof of any damage and repairs through pictures, receipts, and other documents.
  4. Prepare for the insurance adjuster to arrive for surveying purposes.

Following the steps above will increase the chances of restoring your property entirely. Having a solid plan in place will also make it more likely that your insurance company will approve your claim.

Smoke Cleaning Assistance

Creating an action plan for cleanup is one of the most important steps to the entire claims and restoration process. A reliable fire damage restoration company, such as SERVPRO, will arrive on an emergency basis. They will assess the situation and help you build a cleanup plan that will aim to reduce odors and eliminate smoke from your building.

Smoke damage isn’t easy to deal with and communicating with your insurance provider can be even more frustrating. Following the steps above and knowing where to turn for cleanup help can make your business’s post fire experience a more positive one.

Preventing Water Damage While Under Construction

2/26/2020 (Permalink)

A building does not have to be completed to undergo water damage. Construction projects are often delayed by water, pipe repair, and the subsequent damages a busted pipe causes. To increase profit for your construction business, you should take precaution and prevent floods in the first place.

The Cost of Damage

A delay during a project can cost you additional time and money. These are a few of the expenses you would have to think about when you may have to pause a project due to a broken pipe:

  • The labor needed to conduct the repair and rebuild the damaged area.
  • Mitigation charges from professional water remediation services.
  • Materials needed to rebuild the damaged section.

Non-monetary costs of the delay include damage to your reputation and potentially impatient clients. Your insurance company may cover some of the financial burden, however repairing the relationship with your client will be your responsibility alone.

The Prevention of Damage

Timely water pipe repair is a great solution. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice to avoid flooding in the first place? Before construction begins, we suggest creating a plan for careful on-site water management. Develop a drainage system, and test pumps as well as plumbing before proceeding with any major work. During construction, it is easy to let your plan fall to the wayside. Hiring someone to assure your team follows the guidelines will create a much smoother process for everyone. The designated person should monitor piping systems and help keep the air pressure in the pipes under control. Finally, keep water mitigation specialists on speed dial to ensure that if there is a problem, you can resolve it before a large area of your site is impacted.

Preventing water at your construction site decreases you chances of having to worry about water pipe repair. By keeping water sources closely monitored and structuring drainage systems wisely, you are more likely to stay on schedule ultimately leading to more customer satisfaction.  

Water Damage To Your Sports Complex

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

With this focus on athletics being such a staple for the region, it is no wonder why there are so many sports complexes for youth and adults alike throughout the city. When a disaster threatens this facility, you might find that the full scope of the damage far exceeds what your maintenance department is able to repair or restore on their own successfully.

Running a sports complex is very difficult with water damage threatening specific areas of the facility. Professional restoration services can help you get these damaged areas back to their normal operating conditions more expediently, which aids you in being available for the community and individual players as needed.

Our SERVPRO professionals begin the restoration process by assessing the full scope of the damage to the facility, determining all of the areas that have gotten effected and the best approach to remedy it. This process also helps to identify where the water is coming from so that this source can get stopped and the damage to it repaired while the restoration steps are underway.

Considering that many of the sports complexes have expensive flooring in areas like basketball courts, racquetball rooms, and indoor soccer or football fields, getting the water out of these areas is a top priority. Ultimately the goal is to preserve the floor as much as possible, implementing equipment like large drying mats to penetrate below the surface and pull out lingering moisture that could warp or disfigure the flooring.


Commercial Property After Water Damage

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

How Critical Thinking Can Help Communication

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

It has been said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” So how do you get a message across when the most direct way is not working, or the other party isn’t exactly receptive? You have to change the delivery of the message without changing the message.

The concept of making a message more receptive isn’t the same as hiding pet medicine in a treat, the point of adjusting the message is so that the other party comprehends the message not just accepts it. It can take a lot of creativity and critical thinking skills to “customize information for the audience.” 

Years ago, there was a hashtag on Twitter #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly that centered around describing a film’s plot without any significant details. It was just as much fun to decipher the movie as it was to come up with a description all of your own. I then tried using it to train a group of support reps on how to deliver a message to a customer if they did not seem to understand or accept it: saying no without using “no,” describing directions on a computer or phone, etc. And this method seemed to click with those that I trained even more so than the standard “say this not that” lessons. So the idea was itself an example of how it worked.

These exercises helped to jump start the trainees critical thinking on how they can change the message and improve their customer service skills and increased efficiency. And are a great way to see you can help get your message across the next time you feel like you are stuck in a loop with a customer, coworker, or family member

When the Power is out , The Generator Should stay Out

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Always place your generator Outside of the home for safety.

When the lights start to flicker one's first instinct is to grab the flashlights to be ready if the power goes out.

There is a large number of homeowners and businesses that own generators that can keep the vital systems in a building running.

The generators exhaust fumes very similar to your automobile. Making sure these fumes don't come back into your home is extremely important!

Generators should be placed Outside in order to exhaust the fumes out into the open.  Even putting the generator in the garage is not a safe practice, the generator should be outside of the home and venting away from any fresh air inlet.

When the power goes off and your property sustains property damage, call SERVPRO to do your repairs and mitigate the damage.

Why SERVPRO? 

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Seattle, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access 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.

 

Large Loss Division

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. 

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Good thing we are one of these Commercial Large Loss facilities.

The Large Loss team consists of large-loss specialists that are highly trained. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and highly trained crews. 

Some of our clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include:

The Pentagon

Hospitals

Hotel Industry

Universities

Municipalities

Property Management

Water Damage- Clean and Contaminated

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

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.

Fire Safety

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are due to non- working smoke alarms? Have you checked yours? It is as simple as looking on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture.

It is recommended that you try and change smoke alarms every 10 years if not sooner to avoid problems.

To find out more information on fire safety visit the website of Fema:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

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.

Why trusting a Restoration Professional After a fire is Very Important

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

After a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals.  

A restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort.  

Companies like SERVPRO are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

Awareness Of Business Damage

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

We don’t want your business to have any type of damage, but the fact of the matter is that any damage that can affect a residential property can also affect your commercial building. 

Kinds of Damage

Storm: Damage caused by strong winds and heavy rain which can remove roof tiles, break windows and more. Storm damages can be very devastating and can cause your business to be put on hold.

Water: This damage can be caused by burst pipes, floods, rain or a number of other things. In any case, this can then result in contaminated water affecting surfaces and furniture, in mold growing and in items being eroded. Electricity and water damage are particularly volatile when combined.

Fire: This type damage can come from a gas stove, faulty outlet or a cigarette that isn’t properly put out. This can then cause severe destruction to your property which requires cleaning and restoration services.

Mold: This is highly unhygienic as well as being unappealing to look at. Mold spreads quickly around properties as air-borne spores and remediation is very important to prevent it from getting out of hand. Mold grows in any moist environment. Even that small leak under your office’s bathroom sink can eventually cause mold growth.

 If you have any uncertainties of a problem you may be having, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO Bethesda/Potomac. 301-530-7400

Build An Emergency Kit

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Whether if it is at home, in a business setting, or in your very own vehicle, it is important to be properly equipped with an emergency kit.

Now, the true question is what are the essentials needed to complete this kit? Ready.gov suggests having enough supplies to last you at least three days. In the state of an emergency, this is critical.

Below, you can find a list of items that we believe are necessary to include in your emergency kit:

  • 3 day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Water
  • First aid kit
  • Medication
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Hygiene products 
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Chargers
  • Clothes
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Whistle - to signal for help
  • Pet supplies
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Important documents such as insurance policies, IDs, and bank records in a plastic container

SERVPRO Is Ready For Any Disaster

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

When a disaster strikes, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery team is ready for anything that happens. With a network of over 1,700 franchises, SERVPRO strives to be faster to any disaster. While in business for more than fifty years, our mission is to develop a team of people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect. Our team is trained and equipped to handle fire, water, mold, and other specialty cleanup and restoration services. SERVPRO professionals are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are ready to restore and clean your property. Our disaster recovery team has responded to an abundance of disastrous events. In the aftermath of a disaster, our objective is to help make it feel "Like it never even happened."

Did you know?

6/24/2019 (Permalink)

Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!

The picture is from a fire damage that our large loss division assisted with out of state. The building had 35,000 square feet that was affected, it took our team a few weeks to completely clean the facility. 

Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

How to Restore Damage When a Toilet Floods Two Floors

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

 

When a toilet floods in a commercial property, the resulting water damage may affect more than one floor. If water works its way down through building materials, it can lead to significant sewer damage that requires restoration. There are five steps you should take to clean up the damage and restore your property to sanitary condition.

1. Clear the Clog or Backup

Depending on whether the toilet is flooding due to a clog caused by inappropriate materials being flushed or a backed up sewer line, you may need to contact a plumber or sewage company. Until the problem is fixed, the leak may continue or become worse.

2. Remove Standing Water

Limit the severity of the leak between floors by eliminating all standing water near the flooded toilet. You will still need to determine the extent of the damage to building materials such as floors and ceilings. 

3. Consult Restoration Specialists

Commercial water and sewer damage restoration experts can help you determine which materials will need to be replaced. These experts can also help with cleanup and remediation.

4. Clean and Disinfect the Area

Toilets that flood tend to lead to a leak of Category Two or Category Three water. Category Two water or gray water may contain bacteria or chemicals but does not contain solid waste. Category Three or black water contains solid waste. Either type of leak calls for thorough cleaning and disinfection.

5. Dry the Affected Area

Take measures to dry the area affected by sewage damage as quickly as possible. This can help to prevent mold and other secondary damage from starting to develop.

When you experience sewer damage in a commercial property rely on the skills of professional plumbers and restoration experts. These specialists can resolve the problem quickly and completely, enabling the tenants of the building to get back to business.

Preparing Your Business for a Flood: 3 Tips

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

 

When flooding affects your business may be at risk. If flood waters are powerful enough, they can force their way into your building and cause damage to floors, walls and your inventory. However, if you know that a flood is imminent, there are a few ways you can protect your business and minimize the destruction that a natural disaster like this might cause.

1. Make Backup Copies of Important Data

If you know your building might suffer storm damage, it is important to make data backup a high priority. Shipping records, customer data and inventory records may not be retrievable if your computer system is damaged by water, so having multiple files of this information can save you time and money in the aftermath of the flood. Consider cloud storage for real-time data retrieval. 

2. Rent a Sump Pump 

If your building sits on low ground and your basement or crawl space is prone to flooding, then you may want to invest in a sump pump. This machine, which is often used by flood damage and restoration service technicians, drains away excess water from the area where it located. Portable and underwater pumps can reduce the amount of standing you might encounter after the flood. 

3. Do Not Hesitate To Act 

Flood damage can happen quickly, especially in the case of flash floods. If you suspect this might happen, evacuate your business quickly and ensure that customers and employees are safe. Heavy rains can cause this type of flood, so it is wise to be vigilant and watch your local weather to be aware of any watches or warnings. If you realize a flood is imminent, shut down vital systems and try to seal off doors and windows after the building is empty. 

When flooding impacts, you may be concerned about the best way to protect your business. However, knowing how to take action and prepare yourself for a flood can reduce the damage and give you peace of mind both before and after the event. 

What Happens to You Solar Panels During a Storm?

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

You shouldn’t have to worry about panel damage, no matter what the weather is like outside.

Storm of all sizes come through, during various parts of the year. Many of these storms cause little concern and do little, if any, damage to your home. This doesn’t mean you don’t worry about the possibility of weather doing harm to your home. For example, high winds, rain, and other conditions may beat upon the solar panels in your roof. It’s important to understand what these items can withstand. 

Hail Stones

Hail storm may be rare in your area, but when they hit, they can create problems for homeowners. You may be worried about panel damage when hail starts falling. However, you can have peace of mind knowing that these panels should be in good shape under these conditions. 

• The panels are made of tempered glass and a highly flexible material.
• The panels are built to withstand impact from rock, hail or other materials.
• Panels are usually only damaged from hail when stones hit the same spot repeatedly. 

Wind

This probably worries you more than hailstones, especially if you live in an area where hurricanes are common. While high winds can cause roof damage, they are much less likely to cause panel damage. This is because your solar panels are designed to withstand up to 140-mph winds. This means they can hold up against hurricanes and certainly other less potent storms. 

Snow and Rain

If you purchase a high-quality set of panels, they should last 25 years or more. They are well-equipped to do their jobs well in the middle of a rainstorm or a snowstorm. The glass portion of the panels has protection to ward off any negative effects from precipitation. 

When you purchased your solar panels, you may have been concerned that they would succumb to the elements. However, you shouldn’t have to worry about panel damage, no matter what the weather is like outside. For more 

Is Smoke Damage Covered By Insurance?

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

 

If your commercial building or one adjacent to yours recently sustained a fire, and you are left dealing with smoke-related damage, you may be worried about making a claim with your insurance company. Is smoke damage a covered loss? Read on to learn everything you need to know about smoke claims to put your mind at ease.

Soot Damage and Insurance

In most cases, damage from smoke will be covered by your commercial insurance policy. This is even the case if the fire occurred at a company right next to yours. However, there are some steps you need to take to properly file your claim and increase the chances of it being accepted. They are as follows:

  1. Contact your insurance company to report the smoke damage and file a claim.
  2. Assess your loss and prepare a smoke cleanup plan with the help of professionals.
  3. Record proof of any damage and repairs through photographs, receipts and other documents.
  4. Prepare for the insurance adjuster to arrive for surveying purposes.

Following the steps above will increase the chances of restoring your property as best as you can. Having a solid plan in place will also make it more likely that your insurance company will approve your claim.

Smoke Cleaning Assistance

As you can see above, creating an action plan for cleanup is one of the most important parts of this entire claims and restoration process. A reliable , fire damage restoration company should be able to arrive on an emergency basis, assess the situation and help you build a cleanup plan that will likely include reducing odors and eliminating smoke from your building.

Smoke damage isn’t always easy to deal with, and communication with your insurance provider can be even more frustrating. Following the steps above and knowing where to turn for cleanup help can make your business’s post-fire future more positive.

Under Construction: How To Prevent Water Damage

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

 

A building doesn’t have to be fully constructed to have water damage. Construction projects are often delayed by water piperepair and the subsequent damages a busted pipe causes. To keep your construction business in , as profitable as possible, you want to prevent the flooding you can and mitigate the rest quickly.

The Cost of Damage

Any delay during a project can cost you money. When you have to stop construction because of a broken pipe, there are several expenses involved:

  • Extra labor needed to conduct the repair and rebuild the damaged area
  • Mitigation charges from professional water remediation services
  • Additional materials needed to rebuild the damaged section

Non-monetary costs of the delay may include damage to your reputation and potentially impatient client response. Your insurance may cover some of the financial burden, but repairing the relationship with your client is your responsibility alone.

The Prevention of Damage

Timely water pipe repair is a great solution, but it’s even better to avoid flooding in the first place. Before construction begins, create a plan for careful on-site water management. Institute a drainage system, and test pumps and plumbing before major work begins. During construction, it’s easy to let your plan fall to the wayside, so hire people to make sure your team follows the guidelines you set forth. They should monitor piping systems and help keep the air pressure in the pipes under control. Finally, keep water mitigation specialists on speed dial to ensure that, if there is a problem, you can get it resolved before a large area of your site is flooded.

Preventing water at your construction site increases the chance that you may never have to worry about water pipe repair. By keeping water sources closely monitored and structuring drainage systems wisely, you are more likely to stay on schedule, and that helps you please your client.

Answering the Call

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

When Hurricane Harvey left his wake of destruction the Emergency Response Team from SERVPRO answered the call sending teams to . Taking supplies and equipment our teams went down to help the residents and were humbled by the generosity of a community that didn’t have any clue how they were going to recover financially, much less emotionally from the impact of the storm. Rescuees were evacuated by boats from their homes and neighborhoods, leaving everything behind, but the spirit of giving and resilience impacted the teams from Knoxville.

The long-standing relationship between SERVPRO and the insurance companies helped our teams make a big impact and quickly. The insurance adjusters were recommending people call SERVPRO because it was a name that they could trust. Our teams were able to start water mitigation quickly and come alongside homeowners and other countless volunteers to help these families begin to get some semblance of recovery started.

Imagine your home with six to eight feet of standing water with the rescue boat pulling up outside and telling you it was the last call. Our team was humbled time and time again meeting over a hundred different families that had met that fate and yet met our team with smiles on their faces. Unanimously our team was impacted, and have spoken so highly of these families since their return.

SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac are professionals at serving you. That is why we are here, and that is what we do.

Exploring the Science of Drying

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know, there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychometrics is essential to restoring a water damage structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and places a fan or two around the damage, professional service may be necessary. 

What exactly does “speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material-but only if the air is, indeed drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO has been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

SERVPRO is proud to utilize a newly developed tool SERVPRO DryBook.

The SERVPRO DryBook is a proprietary tool allowing us to capture and track the steps of restoration project according to industry best practices and standards. This ensures your restoration is done properly and efficiently. It also improves results and restores your property at a faster rate, getting you back in your home sooner.

3 Things You Should Know About Electronics Damaged by Fire

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

3 Things You Should Know About Electronics Damaged by Fire

Recovering items that have been damaged by a fire in your home and staring the fire cleanup process can be a difficult. However, many people are unsure how to handle electronic items that have been damaged. There are several tips that can make it easier to handle and clean damaged electronics.


      1. Don’t Use Damaged                      Electronics

After a fire, you may be tempted to test out your electronics to see what is damaged and what still works. However, using electronics that have been impacted by soot and smoke damage can actually cause more damage to the items, and could potentially cause a fire. Instead of plugging in or turning on damaged electronics, try to avoid moving them in order to prevent further damage from occurring.

     2. Damage Can Be Hidden

Some electronic items may have visible marks that indicate the item has been damaged. However, electronics can often appear as if they are undamaged if the majority of the damage has occurred within the electrical components. Electronics that have been damaged by smoke are susceptible to overheating, so in the fire cleanup process, it’s often best to not use an item if you are unsure whether or not it has been damaged.

     3. Act Quickly

It is often possible for electronics to be restored, but time matters when it comes to restoring electronics. The longer an electronic item has soot in it, the more damage that is likely to occur. However, it can be hard to restore these items without the proper equipment. it’s often important to move the items carefully or have the items professionally removed to ensure that soot throughout the home isn’t disturbed.

Knowing that electronic items that are damaged shouldn’t be used, understanding that damage is not always visible and knowing to act quickly to restore your electronics can make the fire cleanup process easier. However, if you need assistance with the cleanup process, it could be useful to contact fire damage restoration professionals.

SERVPRO of Bethesda Potomac can handle a fire loss from start to finish

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  can handle any size fire loss from start to finish. We have an in house construction team that does top quality work all over Las Vegas. 

After a fire it is important to get the home or business cleaned up as much as possible. If there is standing water, it will need to be extracted and then the structure will need to be dried. 

After all of the water is removed, SERVPRO can begin the cleaning process. In many cases there will need to be air purification through the use of air scrubbers. SERVPRO has all of the necessary professional cleaning products to get the home or business clean and ready for repairs. 

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at anytime. 

Kitchen Fires: 4 Cooking Tips To Reduce Fire Hazards

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen Fires: Four Risk Factors

While every home should have a smoke detector in the kitchen, there are several other tips for keeping your home and yourself safe when cooking. From rolling up your sleeves and tying back your hair to keeping flammable materials, like paper towel and dish towels, away from the stove, cooking safety is essential when it comes to fire prevention. However, many homeowners can be complacent about the following four risk factors. 

1. Appliances 

fire damage is devastating, but the fact that so many fires are caused by faulty or mishandled appliances is shocking. Appliances, if not maintained, are a leading cause of home fires. Be sure to service all your appliances properly. Additionally, unplug small countertop appliances as they draw electricity even when not in use, which can lead to overheating.

2. Too Much Oil or Grease

One of the most overlooked cooking tips is to use less oil and grease. In cooking, a little goes a long way when it comes to these two substances. Using too much of either can lead to grease fires which, if left unattended, can get out of hand quickly. It is important to remember not to throw water on a grease fire because it will only splash the pan and cause the fire to spread, instead use salt or baking soda. For other possible ways to extinguish a grease or oil fire, call a fire remediation specialist in the Bethesda/Potomac area.

3. Spills

Another common cause of many kitchen fires is a dirty stove or oven. Always wipe up spills immediately and clean cooktops after use. Leftover grease, oil or food can ignite on the burner, causing a fire. This is another reason why it is essential to keep an eye on food as it cooks because these types of fires require a quick response, or they can spread quickly. 

Unfortunately, while the kitchen is the heart of the home, it is also the most likely place for fires to begin. The above tips offer several suggestions for helping you maintain a safe and fire-free home.

When the Burnt Fish from Friday's meal is still there Monday

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Burning food can cause odor damage in your home

Why does the last 5 minutes of a football game on TV seem to take an hour? You decided to make that salmon dish your uncle was telling you about so you prepped for it first thing this morning.

Start of the 4th quarter you decided to put it into the oven right as your team fell behind 14 points and the game seemed over.

That's when the magic started!  The rookie they just drafted gets put in the game and the biggest comeback in franchise history starts.

They tie up the game with 10 seconds left as the wide receiver torched the defender.  Torched him so bad you can smell the burning as if you were there.

Wait.....that's not torched defender...that's your Salmon burning in the oven!

It's happened to us all, we see it every day.  If this happens to you call SERVPRO and we'll come out and repair the damage.  Not all smoke and soot are the same, and trained professionals like we have at SERVPRO know how to deal with each type that occurs.

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

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.

Bethesda/Potomac Smoke and Soot Cleanup

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

 

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

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.

Sometimes your Kitchen just needs to Vent

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Vent On = Bad Odors and Moisture Out

We’ve all been there, it seemed like a good idea to cook the bacon on High heat but that Text from a friend or the person that distracted us from our stove was enough to make it happen.

“It” is that smell that enters your nostrils that makes your hard race as you run to the stove and turn down the heat.  As you fan smoke away from the pan you realize you’re spreading this smoke into other parts of the kitchen.  You reach for the fan and turn it on for the first time in a while.  

Cranking the knob up to high you look over at the smoke detector and the race is on.

“Will the fan suck up the smoke before it gets to the smoke detector and informs everyone in the house you’ve just burned the bacon?”

The Kitchen Fan is mostly a Reactive function in the kitchen.  It rarely gets turned on until smoke comes out of a pan or that pot of water starts to fog up the room.  

The perfect time to turn on the fan is actually Before you turn on the stove and start cooking.  The main purpose of the fan is to eliminate heat and odors from the cooking that you’re doing.  The moisture and odors tend to stick to the walls of your kitchen.

The odors and moisture builds up and can turn your kitchen area into a feeding ground for microbial growth.  

How do you reduce the chance for moisture and odor issues in your kitchen? Be proactive and turn the Fan on every time you turn the stove on.


If you ever do run into issues in your Home or Commercial building reach out to SERVPRO and we’ll come out and take care of you.

Small toilet leaks can turn into Large issues with your home

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Small toilet leaks can turn into Large issues with your home

We've all seen it, the first sign of a leaking toilet as we are cleaning the bathroom.  A slow drip in the supply line, leaking around the base of the toilet, or even condensation coming from a loose joint can cause water to affect a bathrooms floor.

If the leak continues it can cause damage to the sub floor and in some cases even the framing.

Routine inspections of your home's toilets can identify these leaks before they cause damage that  needs to be repaired.

If you do run into a repair that needs professional help give us a call!

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today

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 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, 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)?

About SERVPRO

SERVPRO 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. 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

The Top 3 reasons your Roof might be leaking

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Roofs are often susceptible to water damage that can lead to structure and mold issues if not addressed.  There are several ways water can infiltrate building materials surrounding a roof and the top 3 are:

  • Water pipes leaking or dripping
  • Condensation inside your home

  • Clogged gutters and downspouts

Most of the issues relating to a roof leak can be avoided by doing routine inspections of the attic/roof area on a regular basis.

If you do spot damage and are needing professional repairs call SERVPRO for help.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today


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 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, 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)?

Advanced Technology and technicians can often times save a floor

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

The kitchen lights turn on as you rub the sleep out of your eyes and stumble towards the coffee maker.  Two steps in you realize the smooth wooden floor you’ve walked across every morning for the last two years now feels different.

The smooth, dry floor you are accustomed to is now a cupped bundle of lumber that feels like it’s been soaked in the bathtub.  You quickly realize that the dishwasher you turned on as you went to bed the night before has been leaking water all over the kitchen.

The wood has begun to swell and buckle and your plans for a quiet Saturday morning reading the paper quickly turns into a call to SERVPRO for help.

For a lot of companies replacing a floor is the first choice to repair.  It seems like the quickest way in the moment, but there are weeks ahead of a compromised kitchen as replacement flooring is order.  

There is a better choice though!  With skilled technicians and the latest in drying technology, SERVPRO can oftentimes dry the wood floor in place using a complex system of Dehumidifying Mats places on the floor and hooked up to a labyrinth of air hoses.

If you find yourself in this situation give SERVPRO a call, go ahead and make that coffee, we’ll be there soon to help get your life back to normal.

Faster to your Central Seattle Water Damage Event

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration services.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO  arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

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.

About SERVPRO 

SERVPRO 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. 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.

Basement Leaks can affect your Home's Health

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Basements can completely flood, have a slow leak, or there’s just have an odd smell in the air – keeping your basement healthy and dry is one of the most important maintenance items you should keep up with.

Here are some places that your basement can leak:

  • Top of the Wall
  • Window Wells
  • Wall Cracks
  • Tie Rod Holes
  • Honeycomb
  • Sewer Pipe
  • Mortar Joint
  • Water Pipes Conduits
  • Floor Cracks
  • Sump Pump
  • Floor Drain
  • Floor & Wall Joint
  • Plugged Drain Tile

If you do find elevated moisture levels in your basement, give SERVPRO a call.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help

Call Today


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 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, 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)?


About SERVPRO


SERVPRO 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. 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.

Use extra caution when navigating flooded roads during a storm

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Driving on the roads during a storm doesn't seem like that big of a deal to some.  Getting home is often the biggest concern on someone's mind and choosing an alternate route just doesn't seem efficient.

When flood waters raise it is hard to distinguish just how high the water level is.  Underestimating the power of a few inches of rain has left more than one Seattle area driver stranded in the middle of the river flowing road.

Always pay attention to the emergency ponderer's warning signs on roads and back trails.  Using extra caution when signs aren't present reduces the risk of being stranded as well.

When water levels flood roads and buildings sustain damage, SERVPRO is your choice for repair and mitigation.

Why SERVPRO?

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Seattle, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access 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.

What's the deal with that Bathroom Fan?

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Keep your Fan Clean for a Happy Home

Bathroom fans are a unique part of your home’s overall health.  Oh sure, “getting that smell out” is one of the obvious benefits of the fan but it provides more than a clean smelling bathroom.

  • Did you know that a bathroom fan that’s used one hour a day will exhaust over 2,000,000 cubic feet of air a year, or the equivalent of the air inside 1,000 homes?

    The moist air that is created when you take a shower or bath can combine with spores and all kinds of organic materials that are brought from the outside into your home.  This can increase the occurrence of microbial growth , which has shown to cause several health conditions.

    Exhausting this moist are from the structure helps keep moisture levels low.  To be efficient , though, the vent on the fan should be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis to allow for proper air flow.

    Turn the fan off at the switch or circuit breaker before removing the vent cover.

    Remove the cover by pulling down until the cover is several inches from the ceiling.
  • Press the spring loaded wire clips, found on two sides of the cover, together then remove the clips from the slots in the fan housing.
  • Use a vacuum to clean the vent of lint and debris.

    Use an extension attachment to vacuum out the cavity of the fan.
  • The last step is simply replacing the vent cover and testing it out with a flip of a switch!

Do you know where your Shutoffs are?

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Shutoff tags are a great way to reduce confusion during a loss

Knowing where your shutoffs are in your commercial building could save you thousands of unnecessary damage to your building.

Often times building owners will rely on the Fire Department to come in and shut off the water to the buildings once a loss has occurred.

Knowing where your shutoffs are and clearly marking them enables the building owner to shut off water several minutes before first responders can.

In the case of sprinklers that malfunction and turn on, just 1 minute less of water flowing could cut days off of a drying project.

If you don;t already , make sure you put together a plan of where the following shutoffs are:

  • Gas

  • Water

  • Electricity


Commercial buildings often times require elevated training and equipment to dry and repair.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints.

We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

Cold weather storms can cause damages to your home

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Trees are often the cause of property damage during a storm

Severe freezing with high winds are a recipe for downed trees which can cause property damage.  Every year the Puget Sound experiences a few storms that pass through leaving millions of dollars in property damage.

The biggest source of property damage comes by way of downed trees which fall onto the roofs of homes.

Damage to Gutters and Siding are just a couple of the types of damage a home will incur.  Broken windows and roof penetrations are two types of damage that require emergency mitigation services to cover up the opening in the structure.

When damage from the cold and wind occur SERVPRO is the choice for repairing your damaged home.

Why SERVPRO?

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Seattle, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access 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.

When the Power is Out, the Generator should Stay Out as well

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Always place your generator Outside of the home for safety

When the lights start to flicker one's first instinct is to grab the flashlights to be ready if the power goes out.

There is a large number of homeowners and businesses that own generators that can keep the vital systems in a building running.

The generators, which run on gas, exhaust fumes very similar to your automobile.  Making sure these fumes don't come back into your home is extremely important.

Generators should be placed Outside in order to exhaust the fumes out into the open.  Even putting the generator int he garage is not safe practice, the generator should be outside of the home and venting away from any fresh air inlet.

When the power goes off and your property sustains property damage, call SERVPRO to do your repairs and mitigate the damage.

Why SERVPRO? 

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Seattle, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access 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.

When Storms or Floods hit SERVPRO is ready!

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Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage!

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

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access 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.

Building Pop Up Parking Garages to avoid Storm Water

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Rising Storm waters can cause damage in Parking Garages

One of the biggest issues when heavy rains cause flooding lies underneath the commercial buildings of the Pacific Northwest.  As the amount of water flowing onto city streets overwhelms the drainage system, cars parked inside parking garages begin to take on water damage.

The issue is a worldwide one and important enough that Danish architects have drawn up plans to build parking garages that rise with the water level.

Until this type of system is common practice, making sure your building's drainage system is adequate is a top priority.

If the rains do overcome the drainage system, SERVPRO is available to mitigate the water in the structure as well as restore the vehicles that received damage.

Why SERVPRO?

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Seattle, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access 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.

Rains Bringing Storm Damage Pains? SERVPRO is Here to Help!

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Don't let the weather get you down 

The unpredictable weather of the last several weeks has brought about an incredible amount of inconveniences and headaches for many Central Seattle home owners and property managers alike.

The recent bouts of cold temperatures and snow, milder temperature and rain, and sporadic gusts have tested many of the neighborhoods and systems around the city, including backing up King County's West Point Treatment Plant to its maximum intake capacity and forcing the facility to temporarily bypass the excess into the Puget Sound.

Always Ready to Help

Because we are locally owned, we are ready and capable to respond at a moments notice. With 1650 franchises operating nationwide, SERVPRO  has access to equipment required to handle any issues a storm or flooding may bring.

SERVPRO can't stop the flood but we can stop the damage!

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Flood damage does not solely present damage from the water alone but also what is present in the water.

Having a fire in your home can be prevented, and the risk lessened with adequate precautions. Other types of damage are similar and can be controlled to some extent with a bit of effort on a homeowner's part. Flooding and the damage that it causes, however, is extremely uncooperative, no matter what efforts you put forth. 
 
 Floods of slower moving water create fewer risks to motorists and those who are outside, as knowledge of them is more widely known. Flash floods can sweep cars away because they are powerful enough to do so. The amount of damage these types of floods can create in a home can be catastrophic. Both types of floods can create bio-hazard risks in a home. If a home has been flooded, it must be cleaned to a sanitary state again before people live in it again. 
 
SERVPRO cleaning and restorative work must target biological presences and microbial organisms, chemical compounds, and structural damages. Flood damage does not solely present damage from the water alone but also what is present in the water, and sometimes this can include structural damage caused by objects being forced through a home during the flood. At times, these can include damage to electrical wiring in addition to waterlogged outlets. Chemical compounds can include various mixes of salts, fertilizers, sewage (which can also be biological), motor fluids (gasoline, oil, brake fluid), and run-off from local factories. 
 
Gutting a home is often needed to restore a residence to suitable conditions. Furnishings can be cleaned to acceptable levels unless they have been submerged for extended periods of time. This is especially true of compressed wood products. Solid wood furniture is not as easily damaged, although instead of swelling and crumbling, this type of furniture is more likely to crack in places where two pieces of wood were fastened together. Fabric that covers upholstery can harbor pathogens such as mold and bacteria, and care must be taken when cleaning these items. Special brushes may need to be used to preserve raised patterns while still cleaning the piece adequately. 
 

Storm flooding can tear into a home, quickly destroying small items along with upholstered furniture and drapes.

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Water Removal

Storm flooding can tear into a home, quickly destroying small items like books and magazines along with upholstered furniture and drapes which can bleed color soon after becoming soaked. It is necessary to get the stormwater out of the home promptly to prevent further damage.

That means SERVPRO technicians have to goals when it comes to water removal  We work to minimize the damage which has already occurred and to prevent further damage from even beginning.

We start with preventing more water from entering the house. Since the problem is stormwater, we may have to lay down sandbags or some other method to prevent more water entering as we use pumps to remove standing water inside. The pumps we use are adjustable to match the level and overall amount of water in the home. Even in a large home, we can clear out the water in less than a day. The sandbags may also be necessary to prevent any water pumped out from re-entering the home.

After removing the majority of the water SERVPRO technicians concentrate on the carpets and floors. To remove moisture trapped in the carpet fibers and between floorboards, we bring in extraction wands. We can adjust these devices to draw out water quickly, but without causing any secondary damage to the nape of the carpet or the wood floors.

Our next task is to lift the carpets and remove any pads underneath them. Pads begin to disintegrate soon after becoming soaked, and it is much cheaper for us to remove them than to attempt to dry them. To dry out any remaining moisture, we place air movers at key points to force warm air under the carpet and exhaust fans to draw out the damp air already present.

To dry out wood floors, we use the same fans and air movers. If we detect a large amount of moisture in the sub-floor, technicians lift a floorboard at entry and exit points to force warm air underneath and dry the space out.

Beautiful Spring... It can also bring major storm activity and being prepared to protect yourself, your home and contents is important.

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Spring-

Green grass, colorful flowers, relaxing rain showers and distant, whispering rumbles of thunder. But it isn't always this peaceful. Consider the notes below, Northeast Ohio, and take to safe steps when dangerous weather is predicted for Summit County, Portage County and/or Canton.

Tornadoes- Spring can be the peak season for tornado activity. Tornadoes occur mostly on warm spring days between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m. However, tornadoes can occur anywhere, at any time of the year, at any time of the day.

The Red Cross has safety steps people should take now to be ready if a tornado warning is issued for someone’s neighborhood:

  • Download the free Red Cross tornado app for mobile devices. The tornado app puts everything you need to know to stay safe in a tornado at your fingertips. The app can be downloaded from the iTunes or Google Play stores by searching for American Red Cross.
  • Know your community’s warning system.
  • Pick a safe room in your home where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way. This should be a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
  • Prepare for strong winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
  • Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
  • Know the tornado danger signs – dark, often greenish clouds, a wall cloud, cloud of debris, large hail, a funnel cloud or a roaring noise.

Thunderstorms- Thunderstorms are most likely to happen in the spring and summer, during the afternoon and evening. However, like tornadoes, they can happen anywhere, at any hour of the day. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people every year that tornadoes or hurricanes.

The Red Cross has steps you can take if a thunderstorm is predicted for your area:

  • If thunder roars, go indoors. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning.
  • Watch for storm signs like darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing winds.
    Postpone any outdoor activities. Many people who are struck by lightning are not where it is raining.
  • Take shelter in a substantial building or a vehicle with the windows closed. Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Stay away from windows.
  • Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.

Flooding- Spring can be a time of year for flooding. Communities in the Midwest and south have already seen floodwaters inundate neighborhoods. Snow melt and heavy spring rains fill rivers and streams and flooding can occur. Flash floods occur suddenly when water rises rapidly along a stream or low-lying area. People should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice and head for higher ground when a flood or flash flood warning is issued.

Other safety steps include:

  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

FEMA Publishes Guidance for Handling Flood Losses

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

FEMA Publishes Guidance for Handling Flood Losses

There's no easy solution.

The 2017 Hurricane Season was a brutal one. Seventeen named storms struck the United States causing a record-setting $200 billion in damage.

Much of this damage occurred not from high winds or storm surges, but from extended heavy rains that triggered major flooding.

In an effort to facilitate prompt post-inspection advance payments to policyholders, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) published an outline of steps, serving as guidance for handling flood losses.

  1. Report the loss to your insurance agent or the insurance carrier, who will in turn assign an adjusting firm who provides an adjuster to assist you with presenting the support for your loss.
  2. The adjuster inspects the property (scoping visit) and may ask if you wish to request an advance payment from your insurer; the adjuster will send you a detailed room-by-room unit-cost estimate of damage and a proof of loss form. If you agree, the proof of loss form should be signed to and sworn to, and upon your insurer's review and agreement, the loss is settled.
  3. If you do not agree, you should work with your adjuster to find a dollar amount for the covered loss that can be agreed on. Also, working with your general contractor is helpful.
  4. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the adjuster, you should contact your adjuster's supervisor by calling the adjusting firm.
  5. The supervisor should work with you to find a dollar amount for the covered loss that can be agreed on.
  6. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the adjuster's supervisor, you should contact your insurance carrier's claims department to discuss the amount difference or coverage issue with the claim examiner.
  7. If you are unable to reach an agreement with the claims examiner, you should complete a proof of loss form for the total amount you are requesting (the disputed amount plus any additional amount), and then send the signed and sworn-to proof of loss form with documentation to support the additional amount you are requesting, directly to the insurance carrier claim examiner.
  8. If the insurer agrees with your documentation, they will pay the amount you are requesting; or they may provide the adjusting firm with their recommendation which may lead to an additional payable amount and a new Proof of Loss. If the insurer disagrees, they will issue payment for any undisputed amount, and a written denial letter will be sent to you fully explaining the reasons for the disallowance (denial) of your claim or any portion of your claim.
  9. If you agree with the denial or no longer dispute the decision, the loss is settled.
  10. For any denial of payment, in whole or in part, which you are disputing, three options remain:
    • You may send an amended Proof of Loss with supporting documentation back to the claim examiner; see STEP 8
    • You may submit a formal Appeal to FEMA
      • A written appeal letter must be sent to FEMA within 60 days of your insurer's denial letter, along with a copy of the denial letter and the documentation you have to support your appeal.
    • You may file a lawsuit against your insurer
      • A lawsuit must be filed within one year of your insurer's first written denial letter and only in U.S. District Court in the district where the property is located at the time of the loss
      • However, once you file a lawsuit, you may no longer appeal your claim to FEMA or file an amended Proof of Loss with your insurer.

Water Damage After A Major Storm

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SERVPRO  arrives quickly & starts the water extraction process almost immediately, minimizing the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

When a major storm passes close to the house, the home may suffer water damage that is difficult to repair.

There are many things a family can do to begin repairing any destruction, but a certified professional will likely be needed to get rid of any serious health or structural threats. Contaminated storm surges or floods can carry pathogens and become a breeding ground for mold. If allowed to fester, these mold spores can spread throughout the building and become even more difficult to remove. In many cases,  governmental agencies could condemn the structure if the microbial threat is too great.

The main reason a home is sensitive to water damage is because moisture is difficult to detect once the floods recede. Standing liquids can encourage microbial growth within 24 hours and can saturate all kinds of textiles and seep through drywall. Moisture may collect behind the walls, where mold and bacteria may multiply out of sight.

Professional restoration services can quickly identify what items in the home are compromised by water damage. Normally, anything that is porous may need to be discarded if it has come in contact with contaminated fluids. These items, like mattresses, box springs, pillows and particle board, trap more moisture than other materials and foster the growth of microbes.

A family can prepare for professional cleaning by getting rid of these items before the technicians arrive, but be sure to properly record and itemize the items for insurance purposes prior to disposing. Once professionals arrive at the building, they will be able to track down any pockets of excess moisture and remove them. 

It’s important for a family to hire professionals that are certified through a reputable organization. Technicians trained in this area know how to find compromised areas and do what it takes to restore them

The Importance of Adding Value to the Client/Realtor Relationship

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

The Importance of Adding Value to the Client/Realtor Relationship

SERVPRO  had the opportunity to interact with the That Realty Group sales team during a lunch and learn earlier this week. Both teams had a great time and shared a delicious meal form Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House. The focus of the lunch and learn was to highlight the benefits of SERVPRO residential service to both buyers and sellers of homes

One such benefit is the knowledge that any water or mold damage that is discovered during an inspection will be mitigated by a professional company with an excellent reputation and level of customer service. This can add peace of mind for the buyer, seller, and realtor throughout the transaction.

Realtors can also further develop a level of trust with their clients by being proactive with SERVPRO’s contact information in anticipation of an event. These events do not have to necessarily disastrous in nature either. A great example is a home was vandalized with tattoo ink on the front porch, windows, and some exterior walls, and this was within three months of purchasing the home. The homeowners felt angry, victimized, and embarrassed. And they were completely new with the police, so they reached out to their realtor. Their realtor contacted our office to see if there was availability to assist her former clients quickly, and SERVPRO was on site that same morning to determine the best action plan. The home was cleaned up and only a few pieces of wicker furniture needed to be replaced, saying the homeowner a significant amount. But more importantly, the homeowners and realtor relationship grew stronger even though their transaction had been completed. A month later when friends of the homeowner were looking to relocate, they immediately reached out to that same realtor because they trusted them to take care of those they cared about.

Realtors that utilize SERVPRO get the immediate benefit of quality, reputable work. But they also get the long-term benefit of adding value to their client relationships as well.  

Clear Communication and Customer Service

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Clear Communication and Customer Service

Developing strong communication skills is essential for many levels of personal and professional success. Those same skills can be applied to assist in creating exceptional customer experiences. Practicing a communication skill will make that skill second nature and reinforce the benefit clear communication will have. Many communication skill drills involve role-playing, and while that can be helpful it is not necessarily retainable, and “retainability” is a significant part of training.

One of the alternatives to role-playing exercises is the “building block challenge.”Which involves breaking up participants into groups of three and having them work together to build a small set from a building block toy line. The catch is that only one person can see and read the instructions, one person is allowed to build the set, and the “middle person” identifies the pieces based on the description. You set a time limit and rotate roles so that each participant gets an opportunity with providing and executing the instructions and change out block sets each rotation to ensure each experience is different. The purpose of this activity is to build skills based around providing instructions and directions without having any physical input on the project. The challenge has been used to train over the phone technical support specialists and provided measurable positive changes to efficiency and customer service metrics.   

You may not provide support over the phone, but practicing conveying a message clearly while having tactile tools for the exercise to view progress, can improve your ability to communicate and provide benefits to personal, professional, and customer relationships.

How Critical Thinking Can Help Communication

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

It has been said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” And if you have tried to make an eight-year-old do their homework or walk someone through a full system restore to their cell phone, then you may feel that this in fact true. So how do you get a message across when the most direct way is not working, or the other party isn’t exactly receptive? You have to change the delivery of the message without changing the message. Simple right, not so much.

The concept of making a message more receptive isn’t the same as hiding pet medicine in a treat, the point of adjusting the message is so that the other party comprehends the message not just accepts it. It can take a lot of creativity and critical thinking skills to “customize information for the audience,” but how do you practice that? Puzzles? Puns? Math? Well, yes. But there is a way to do so that doesn’t require an investment in school supplies.

Years ago, there was a hashtag on Twitter #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly that centered around describing a film’s plot without any significant details. It was just as much fun to decipher the movie as it was to come up with a description all of your own. I then tried using it to train a group of support reps on how to deliver a message to a customer if they did not seem to understand or accept it: saying no without using “no,” describing directions on a computer or phone, etc. And this method seemed to click with those that I trained even more so than the standard “say this not that” lessons. So the idea was itself an example of how it worked.

Some of the examples are simple and easy to guess:

Moody billionaire works out his abandonment issues by arguing with clowns (Batman).

And some were more complex and required a great deal of thought:

A widower’s son is kidnapped, and the only person that will help him has short-term amnesia (Finding Nemo).

These exercises helped to jumpstart the trainees critical thinking on how they can change the message and improve their customer service skills and increased efficiency. And are a great way to see you can help get your message across the next time you feel like you are stuck in a loop with a customer, coworker, or family memb

Document Drying and Restoration Services

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  offers a variety of services from water/fire damage restoration, mold mitigation, and commercial/residential cleaning services. But did you know that we also provide Document Drying and Restoration for our commercial clients?

Damage from a water or fire event is not limited to the building and furniture. Sometimes files such as patient records, invoices, and legal documents are impacted by water, smoke, and soot contact. SERVPRO’s document drying process is designed to stabilize damaged documents and prevent further damage quickly. The treatment facility is secured, the chain of custody follows HIPAA guidelines, and our Drying Chamber personnel is Master HIPAA certified allowing them to handle protected health information (PHI).

Our Document Restoration Facility:

  • Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
  • Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
  • Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
  • Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
  • Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization

SERVPRO document services also include digitization services that reduce the need for large filing rooms and help make data access more accessible for businesses. Certified destruction services allow for sensitive information to be appropriately disposed of and provide peace of mind to businesses and their clients.

Types of content:

  • paper documents
  • books and magazines
  • manuscripts and files
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • x-rays
  • blueprints and maps
  • parchment

Making a fire Escape Plan for Your Home

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

You had fire drills growing up at school, (hopefully) you have the occasional fire drill at work now that you are an adult, but do you ever have fire drills at home? Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.

The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.

Some of the tips include:

  • Call 911 as soon as possible, even if you think you can contain the fire
  • Know at least 2 ways out of each room
  • Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
  • Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
  • Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire

Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.

Pack-Out Services

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  specializes in emergency services for water, fire, and storm damage. But you do not have to have an emergency to take advantage of our service. In fact, a few of our services can be a part of your remodel plan.

Remodeling your home can be an exciting way to truly make your house your home. The concepts of expanding living spaces, adding a garden tub, or getting the perfect kitchen can all get the imagination racing. But often it’s the tiny details that are overlooked and bring large amounts of stress and frustration as they insert a little reality into your dream. Especially the ever so small detail of “Where are we going to put all of our stuff while we do this?”

Having the contents of your home packed-out by SERVPRO professional team can help answer that question and significantly reduce stress. We can provide you with an efficient and organized pack-out based on your needs. This will help reduce the amount of time the remodel can take, protect your belongings from unexpected damage from accidents or construction debris, and give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your project. We have local business partners that can facilitate moving and storage as well, helping to lighten the burden even more.

So if your remodel and renovation is to finalize your dream home or a necessity because of damage, we are prepped and READY to be there for you.

Coffee Stain

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Years ago I worked for a company that prided itself on its customer service; they called it ‘legendary.” They didn’t just view customer service as the interactions between employees and guests or the quality of their food, but also as the cleanliness of the building. It was all part of the customer experience. One of the illustrations used to convey why cleanliness is part of customer service was The Coffee Stain Story.

A person books a flight across the country and they were able to get a great price and no layovers. The flight boarded on time, the seats on either side were empty, so there was plenty of room to be comfortable, the movie was good, and the headphones were complimentary. Flight staff was courteous and brought the passenger a free drink. The plane even landed on time. It was an incredible flight.

But, when they lowered the tray table, they noticed a small coffee ring stain. And even all of the free stuff, extra room, and no inconveniences, it was all they could think about. When they were asked “how was your flight,” they would respond with “It was OK, but my tray table was dirty. Had a big old nasty coffee ring on it.”

The story shows how the perception of their experience was hugely impacted by such a tiny detail, and customer perception is customer experience. It was taught to us to show how important every detail can be, and we must do all that we can to control the controllable.

Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

looding and water damage commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

when to call 911

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Know when to call 911

Even if you are fully trained in first aid or CPR always alert 911 right away during an emergency situation including:

  • Fire
  • Serious injury
  • Sudden violent illness (poisoning)

911 operators are trained to assist in any way possible, so it is important to answer their questions as best as you can, listen to them carefully, and do NOT hang up.

Take a class

Several types of courses available will teach first aid, CPR, and how to utilize an AED correctly. The American Red Cross’ website has a tool to help locate classes based on your city, and help you learn to handle:

  • Cuts, burns, head injuries, and broken bones.
  • Someone who cannot breathe
  • When a person’s heart suddenly stops beating

Make a First Aid Kit

First aid kits have all that you need for rapid response to many situations to treat those that require medical attention. It is incredibly important to have a kit nearby including in your home, at work, and even in the car.  A well-stocked first aid kit should include the following:

  • Directions on how to treat basic injuries and when to call for more help
  • Bandages
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Gloves to prevent contamination risks
  • Antiseptic solution or wipes

Be sure to check and restock your first aid kit regularly.

The knowledge and experience you will gain from learning these skills can empower you to make the right decision and take swift action in the event of an emergency.

How to Read Storm Warnings

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Warnings can pop up anywhere: TV, cell phone warnings, radio, etc., but do we really understand what these warnings mean? Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:

  • Tornado Watch Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!! 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
  • Flash Flood Watch Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
  • Flash Flood Warning Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
  • High Wind Advisory Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.

Remember these Storm tips

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

It has been a very stormy summer in Virginia and water damage as well as mold removal  has been a problem for many homeowners. We thank all of our customers for choosing SERVPRO to help them during this storm season.

In case of a flood here are some useful tips to protect yourself and your home.

TIPS: 

1. Do not walk through moving water. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

2. If your property suffers flood damage, clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud from floodwaters can contain sewage and checmicals. Dispose of any food or personal hygiene items exposed to floodwaters

3. Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, move to higher ground.

4. Avoid floodwaters because they can be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage.

Do's and Don't after a Flood by SERVPRO

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Water Damage Emergency? 

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
 
 

Odor Removal & Deodorization

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure.

SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other shortcuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.

We have the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contact any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace. Our technicians have access to several odor removal products capable of penetrating surfaces to neutralize an unpleasant odor thoroughly.

The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give us a call, and leave the restoration to us.

victim to Mold Infestation!

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

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 your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation

Does your Home have Black Mold

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

You may have seen sensational news reports that warn about the dangers of “black mold” or “toxic mold”. These reports can be alarming and confusing so it’s beneficial to get the facts to better understand mold.

Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called black mold, and it does produce allergens and irritants. However, many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants. Treat any mold with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.

Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by visiting our page

How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?

Since many types of mold can cause reactions, you should contact us regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold may exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect you have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO immediately. 

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 301-588-2240

Understanding Mold

When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic, 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 that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent

Are you Deep-Frying your Turkey this Thanksgiving?

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

With the popularity of turkey frying increasing every year, people are at risk for fryer-related fires and injuries. U.S. fire departments are responding to more than 1,000 deep fire related incidents each year. According to the National Fire Protection Association deep fryer fires result in more than $15 million in property damage each year. Here are some rules to follow when deep frying a turkey.

Don’t Deep Fry a Frozen Turkey Frozen turkeys are full of moisture. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed out because water and hot oil don’t mix well.

Don’t Let Oil Get Too Hot If you see your oil smoking, it is too hot. When oil gets around 400-425-degrees it can catch on fire by itself. So, when deep frying a turkey most oils should stay around 350-degrees.

Don’t Use Too Much Oil When deep-frying a turkey a common mistake people make is putting too much cooking oil in their pot. Overfilling your pot can result in the oil spilling over into the flame on the burner. If you need to figure out how much oil you need try putting your turkey in an empty pot, fill the pot with enough water to cover the turkey. Once you remove the turkey mark the water line.

Don’t Deep Fry Indoors You should never deep-fry a turkey in your house, garage or on a deck. You should always deep fry a turkey in a yard away from anything that’s flammable.

Hopefully, this Thanksgiving will go smoothly. 

Vacant homes can be breeding grounds for mold growth

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Vacant homes can be breeding grounds for mold growth. Quite often we are called to a vacant home that is up for sale or the renter has moved out. The realtor/rental agent has come to show the home and finds mold growing on the walls. Mold can be seen growing most often in the upper wall locations, though it is not unusual to see growth at the lower wall levels as well. Closets that have been closed will quite often have the worst mold growth, partly because they are dark and mold loves the dark.

What could cause this? No broken water lines are found, the water is usually turned off to the home. Sometimes the HVAC system is off and that is the source of the problem. Having the heating and air turned off creates a high humidity level in the home. When the HVAC system is off there is no airflow circulating in the home therefore the air becomes stagnant. This is the perfect scenario for mold development.

Here are some tips on preventing mold issues in vacant homes:

  • Always keep some heat and air running in the home. Set temperature so heat or air runs periodically during the day.
  • Open closet doors to allow for airflow and light to enter.
  • A ceiling fan left on low can help circulate the air in the home.
  • Open window treatments/blinds at least ¼ open to allow in extra light. Remember, mold loves the dark.
  • Visit the home occasionally. Just opening the doors and entering the structure allows for the exchange of fresh air and extra airflow. It’s also a great way to catch any issues before they become serious problems

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

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.

What Used to Be...

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Once upon a time not so long ago, there was a quaint little store located in a quiet little town.  The store was doing great and was a nice addition to the down town area.  

One day, the owner's husband passed away unexpectedly, leaving her in shambles.  She began to move on by putting all of her energy and focus into her store.  Soon, she had begun to acquire so much merchandise, that she had run out of shelf space.  

Boxes and totes, even closets began to expand with all of the stuff that she was bringing in.  The little town's people became concerned.  They called in their #WeAreLocal SERVPRO to help with the situation.  Not only were all three floors of this once beautiful building full, but the basement and the garage were also filled to the brim!  

When traumatic things happen, some people are unsure of how to cope.  This owner bought things to fill the emptiness inside and created for herself a very dangerous living situation.  With the help of SERVPRO, we were able to save the building and the woman's home.

When Winter Hits Hard

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

hen winter comes and you can have "faith" in SERVPRO.  Frozen pipes that can break and cause flooding as well as other types of water and fire damage that can cause trouble to your home or business are never convenient.  At SERVPRO "We can Manage the Damage" and have been helping customers deal with disaster for over 50 years.  SERVPRO has the Experience, Equipment and Expertise.  Besides water and fire damage we do mold mitigation and remediation.  Move outs and contents restoration.  We do Document drying and we also do carpets, upholstery, drapes and hard floors.  We can tackle  Biohazard, crime scene and vandalism which includes board ups

When Storms Damage Your Home or Business, SERVPRO is Ready!

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

torm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home.  Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees.  Some post-damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a plan to deal with the damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately following the storm.  

Take Safety Precautions

Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact SERVPRO to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.

Photograph the Damage

If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.

Your Restoration Company

  • Whether it is a business or residence, the restoration company will come to your property and their trained experts will do a thorough examination of the interior and exterior of your building. This will help them discover the level of the damage. In many cases, the restoration company will discuss the renovation plans with you and your insurance adjuster.
  • When everything is agreed upon, the work begins. Depending on what type of damage is present, this will determine the type of equipment the professional will use. In the case of flooding, they will use specialized pumps and vacuums to remove water from the affected areas.
  • Generators will be brought in to operate their dehumidifiers and air movers so mold and mildew do not have a change to make matters worse. Using customized cleaners, the specialist will then disinfect hard surfaces and shampoo salvageable carpets as well as apply deodorant to combat any odors.    

Once the Fire is Out-Who do You Call?

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Although a fire itself does a significant amount of fire and smoke damage to items touched by flames - smoke, soot residues and water damage or flooding from the fire department will affect other parts of your home. It is important to take all necessary precautions before entering your home after experiencing fire damage.

Besides natural hazards that may exist, entering your house can be 1) unsafe and 2) lead to secondary damages as movement or foot traffic can make some of your personal items unsalvageable. Protect your investment wisely and hire an established restoration contractor like SERVPRO to help get you back on your feet after fire or smoke damage has affected your home.

SERVPRO has 24-hour emergency services available 365-days a year, including holidays. Our technicians have received the necessary IICRC certifications and follow all municipal and OSHA safety guidelines to perform fire damage restoration on your property.

Fire Damage in Commercial Building

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

A fire that started in the elevator shaft of a commercial building caused repercussions throughout different parts of the structure as well. Unless it's summer and you're sitting next to a bonfire fires are never anticipated. In almost any case, they are not what any business owner wants for themselves. As you can see in the picture we have a different point of view from the building and there is soot damage present on the flooring. This is shown by the darker color on the floor and the foot prints shown within them. SERVPRO  went in to this job and before we even put a single piece of equipment down we assured the business owner that this was nothing new to us. 

Here what you need to know about mold

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Here what you need to know about mold

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all molds 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 molds, 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 your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Why and How To Create a Business Continuity Plan

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

A wide variety of vulnerabilities in your business may lead to loss of income and customer loyalty when a disaster occurs. A business continuity plan, also referred to as an emergency response plan is a technique you may use to identify and prepare for potential problems, keeping your activities running with the least disruption possible.

5 Steps To Create a Plan

To make the process easier, the creation process is broken down into five steps. Consider each part with your business’s needs.

1. Business Impact Analysis: This is a questionnaire that allows you and your managers to assess potential emergencies and the materials required to deal with them. Preparation, distribution and evaluation of results are usually necessary elements of this first step in your business continuity plan.


2. Recovery Strategies: These are plans that allow you to analyze resource needs, the gaps between the required resources and those currently available, managerial choices of strategies to be used and action on those decisions.


3. Plan Development: This is the laying out of the actual emergency response plan, the arrangement of teams to implement recovery from the disaster, production of documentation and approval by management.


4. Training: This is the preparation of the team responsible for continuity actions.


5. Testing and Exercises: This is the creation of training and evaluation materials, which are then tried and implemented.

Value of the Plan for Your Business

An emergency response plan provides a clear, deliberate and well-thought-out way to deal with potential disasters at your business facility. Employees and management should be trained in the procedures that should make a crucial difference in the rapid recovery of your business.

Smoke Alarms

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire prevention is one of the most important things for you and your family. Ensuring that your home has smoke alarms are one of the first steps in fire prevention. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of 5 home fire deaths were caused because of no smoke alarm or no working smoking alarm. Smoke alarm cut the risk of people dying. Hardwired fire alarms operated 94% of the time versus battery powered alarms. The battery may tend to fail because of missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires and can detect a fire faster during the night hours when you are sleeping to give you extra time to safety assist or waken others to evacuate from a fire.

Water Damage In Bedroom

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

drying carpet and walls

This picture depicts a water damage scene in which our SERVPRO of Bethesa/Potomac  team was called out to after water leaked into the bedroom.  The carpet was saturated upon arrival so the team jumped into action.  When this happens, the carpet must be dried out and in this case, the wall needed to be dried also.  After the moisture readings were complete,  the team pulled the carpet back from the wall and begin to set up the drying equipment.  In this scenario, the carpet is dried with different equipment that the SERVPRO of Bethesa/Potomac teams brings with the to the site.  As you can see in this picture, the carpet is lifted as the equipment sends air under it.  This helps the carpet dry more quickly and efficiently.   The wall is being dried with the equipment also.  This customer was very pleased with the results from our work and was surprised that we were able to work so quickly to get this job finished for them

Awareness of Business Damage

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Damage? To My Business? No way!

We don’t want your business to have any type of damage, but the reality of it is that any damage that can affect a residential property can also affect your commercial building. It is a topic no one likes to think about, but is necessary to be knowledge of.

So What Can Happen?

Storm: Damage caused by strong winds and heavy rain which can remove roof tiles, break windows and more. Storm damages can be very devastating and can cause your business to be put on hold until it’s restored.

Water: This damage can be caused by burst pipes, floods, rain or a number of other things. In any case, this can then result in contaminated water affecting surfaces and furniture, in mold growing and in items being eroded. Electricity and water damage are particularly volatile when combined.

Fire: This type damage can come from a gas stove, faulty outlet or a cigarette that isn’t properly put out. In any case, this can then cause severe destruction to your property which requires cleaning and restoration services.

Mold: This is highly unhygienic as well as being unappealing to look at. Mold spreads quickly around properties as air-borne spores and remediation is very important to prevent it from getting out of hand. Mold grows in any kind of moist environment. Even that small leak under your office’s bathroom sink can eventually cause mold growth.

Don’t remain unaware of what can happen to your commercial building. If you have any uncertainties of a problem you may be having, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO Bethesda/Potomac. 301-530-7400

 

Get Prepared!

8/23/2018 (Permalink)

Be prepared for any type of storm!

Common Types of Damaging Storms in the U.S.

Are You Covered?

Check your insurance policy and make sure you are covered for all the types of storms that affect your areas. Some insurance policies do not cover flooding and earthquakes. Fortunately hail, windstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes are typically covered by most insurances. We recommend that you check your individual policy and have a good understanding of your level of protection, and purchase additional protection if necessary.

Storms Can Cause Damage

  • It is common for the average U.S. citizen to have already experienced a severe hailstorm or witnessed the damage hail can cause to homes, automobiles, businesses and other property. Hailstorms can cause great amount of damage to the exterior of your home or property. Common types of damage caused by hail are: roof damage, siding damage, shingle damage, window damage and automobile damage
  • Thunderstorms can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding and more. The biggest contributors to damaged property are likely hail and wind, which can cause many types of exterior property damage
  • Ice storms produce freezing rain that coats everything in its path with a layer of glaze ice. Generally speaking, if a storm causes accumulation of more than a quarter inch on exposed surfaces, the storm can be classified as an ice storm. This type of accumulation can cause broken tree branches, power outages and other hazardous conditions.
  • Lightning storms are a major cause of storm damage in many areas around the country. The National Lightning Safety Institute estimates the cost of lightning damage in the $5 to $6 billion dollar per year range. Lightning that hits trees and the ground is a common cause of wildfires, structure fires, property damage and power outages
  • Blizzards are severe winter storms that combine heavy snowfall, with high winds and freezing temperatures. The combination of cold, wind and snow damages homes, businesses and automobiles. Heavy snow can produce dangerous conditions, including roof collapse.
  • Floods are typically the result of heavy rain and water that rises faster than storm drains can handle. Flash floods driven by quick, violent bursts of rain can flood homes, basements and businesses, causing serious damage to both interiors and exteriors. Flooding is a very dangerous storm phenomenon that results in numerous deaths and extensive property damage each year.

Don’t let storms sneak up on you. Be prepared!

How to Prepare for Hurricane Season

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are massive storm systems that form over ocean water and often move toward land. Threats from hurricanes include high winds, heavy rainfall, storm surge, coastal and inland flooding, rip currents, and tornadoes. The heavy winds of hurricanes can cause damage or destroy homes, buildings, and roads, as well as cause power, water, and gas outages. These effects can injure or kill people, disrupt transportation, and pollute drinking water. Hurricanes cause deaths and injuries primarily from drowning, wind, and wind-borne debris. The impact from hurricanes can extend from the coast to several hundred miles inland. To find your risk, visit FEMA’s “Know Your Risk Map.” Be better prepared for this hurricane season, and learn more at ready.gov/prepare.

  • Stayed informed
  • Plan for evacuation
  • Take action to protect your property from against wind and water damage

For more information check out www.fema.gov

Before you read can you tell us the 5 most common Fire Hazards?

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Below are the most common Fire Hazards in your home.

  • Alcohol and Fire

It's a fact that many house fires are caused by someone attempting to cook or smoke while under the influence of alcohol. 

  • Candles

Candle fires happen in places like bedrooms and bathrooms where people use them as mood enhancers. Unfortunately, people can fall asleep with a candle still burning or leave the room without snuffing out the flame. Candles should NEVER be left burning unattended!

  • Cooking

Many items in the kitchen can catch fire easily including pot holders, dish towels, and product packaging. Keep curtains away from the stove and clean up all spills on the stove top or near by counters.

  • Electrical 

Unsafe use of electricity can be a  ticking time bomb! An electrical fire can happen at any time. Follow-up when a fuse or circuit breaker blows. Don't just reset the breaker or replace the fuse. Find out what caused the problem.

  • Cigarettes

Too many fires are caused from careless disposal of smoking materials

Home Have A Mold Problem?

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

In Bethesda/Potomac mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

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 your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 301-530-7400

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Bethesda/Potomac Home

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac 

SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac 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.

CAUSES OF MOLD

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

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.

High humidity

Warm or temperate Temperature

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 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 the Pets do?

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

Help to save your pets and consider these tips when leaving your home

  1. Keep pets near entrances when away from home.
  2. Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case fire fighters need to rescue your pet
  3. When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where fire fighters can easily find them
  4. 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

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/fire/pet-fire-safety

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

Organization is Key

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Disinfect Regularly:

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.

An Emergency Checklist

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

5/15/2017

·       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

·        Clothing

·        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

·        Cash

·        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.

Be Storm Ready

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Steps On What To Do In Case of a Fire

6/11/2018 (Permalink)

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.

National Building Safety Month

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

in 2018, Building Safety Month celebrates 38 years. It is an initiative of the International Code Council also known as ICC. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public on " what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable and energy efficient homes and buildings."

Some of the topics and tips that are shared throughout the month on the ICC website are Disaster Safety and Mitigation as well as Fire Safety and Awareness.

The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials " improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play, " and this month will increase awareness.

For more detailed information please visit iccsafe.org as a reference.

Hurricane Preparedness Month Part 1

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

The week of May 6 - May 12 is known as Hurricane Preparedness Week. This week is dedicated to preparing for a tropical storm or a hurricane. Here are some steps to follow to prepare yourself each day this week.

1. Find out today what types of wind and water hazards could happen where you live, and then start preparing now for how to handle them. Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem.

2. Create an evacuation plan to follow in case of an emergency storm. Make sure to have it in writing and on a mobile device.

3. Assemble disaster supplies. You’re going to need supplies not just to get through the storm but for the potentially lengthy and unpleasant aftermath. Have enough non-perishable food, water and medicine to last each person in your family a minimum of one week. Electricity and water could be out for at least that long. You’ll need extra cash, a battery-powered radio and flashlights. Many of us have cell phones, and they all run on batteries. You’re going to need a portable, crank or solar powered USB charger

For more information and the full plan visit:

https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness Month Part 2

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

4.Call your insurance company to make sure your house, car and boat are covered in case of a disaster. You can also check National Flood Insurance Program.

5.If you plan to ride out the storm in your home, make sure it is in good repair and up to local hurricane building code specifications

6.Check on your neighbors to make sure that they are aware and prepared as well.

7.The time to prepare for a hurricane is before the season begins, when you have the time and are not under pressure. If you wait until a hurricane is on your doorstep, the odds are that you will be under duress and will make the wrong decisions. Take the time now to write down your hurricane plan.Being prepared, before a hurricane threatens, makes you resilient to the hurricane impacts of wind and water. It will mean the difference between your being a hurricane victim and a hurricane survivor.

For more information and the full plan visit:

https://www.weather.gov/wrn/hurricane-preparedness

Kitchen Safety

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

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

Mold Prevention & Mitigation: For Your Health

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

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. 

Take Precautions:

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.

When Lightning Strikes

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

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.

SERVPRO® Named Top Franchise Opportunity in Restoration Services Category for the 15th Consecutive Year

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO receives top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 15th consecutive year.

Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer, said the company also achieved the number 12 spot overall in the prestigious rankings, standing out in a record-breaking group of more than 1,020 franchises qualified for the 2018 list.

The purpose of the Franchise 500 list is to use objective and quantifiable measures of a franchise operation to help would-be entrepreneurs identify franchise investment opportunities.

"SERVPRO’s financial strength and stability, growth rate, and system size all contribute to the company’s success, and by extension to the success of its franchisees,” said Steen. “The commitment to excellence starts at the top and carries through to the service each franchisee provides to each and every customer."

Steen says key differentiators set SERVPRO apart from the competition, making it a strong business opportunity for both existing franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs. Those differentiators are:

  • SERVPRO’s strength as a brand, enabling the company to form national partnerships with organizations like the PGA TOUR®.
  • SERVPRO’s commitment to being a learning organization, helping franchisees plan, track, and deliver best-in-class services to consumers.
  • SERVPRO’s focus on continued technological development and support, resulting in industry-leading proprietary software and systems.

Commercial Fire Restoration

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage is especially devastating for a business or commercial property. In addition to the fire and smoke damage, significant water damage from firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If your business experiences a fire loss, call the fire and water damage restoration experts and we’ll respond immediately to get you back to business.

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

Are You Ready In Case of a Storm

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Summer is approaching and that means another hurricane season is soon to begin. While June 1st marks the official start of hurricane season, May is a month for hurricane awareness and preparation. The National Hurricane Center states,

“A lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster.”

Go to:  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/com/weatherreadynation/hurricane_preparedness.html for more information. 

As a leader in storm and water damage restoration, SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac has the specialized training and expertise to restore your home back to its pre-storm condition. Our restoration process puts an emphasis on scientific drying techniques, progress monitoring and documentation.

Water Damage: Clean vs Contaminated

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Indoor Air Quality Solutions to Alleviate Spring Allergies

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

- Have your home checked annually by a certified HVAC technician. An HVAC tech knows exactly what to look for.

-Even when it is nice outside, opening windows and doors brings allergens and dust into the home.

-Having your air ducts cleaned is important due to the dust and dirt that build up there. Some things are oblivious to the naked eye but can cause health problems.

-Check seals around windows and doors as one missing seal can be the reason that pollen, dust and other debris enter the home.

-Change air filters every 30 days especially during the months where the air conditioner is used more often.

-Clean hardwood floors, carpet, door mats regularly to avoid dust collection, debris build up.

All of these things listed can lead to more serious health problems if not maintained. In people with severe allergy problems you find that something's  may need to be cleaned even more. 

Spring Is Here

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Today is the spring equinox — when the day and night are equal in length. The word equinox comes from the Latin for equal and night. Almost everywhere in the world today, nighttime and daytime are each 12 hours. 

We use the equinox to mark the change of seasons, as the balance of light shifts to make for longer days or nights. It usually means that it's time to hunker down for colder seasons, or time to rise and shine for warmer ones, as in the case of our furry friend the mouse! You may also notice that on the equinox, the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west, whereas at other times in the year, it appears off-center if you're facing those directions. Today, we mark the equinox with a Doodle to celebrate the changing seasons.

The Most Common Types of Mold

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

The most common types of mold include aspergillus, cladosporium and stachybotrys atra (also known as black mold).

Aspergillus is a fairly allergenic mold that is commonly found on foods and in home air conditioning systems. Cladosporium is typically a black or green "pepper like" substance that grows on the back of toilets, painted surfaces and fiberglass air ducts. While this mold is nontoxic to humans, it can trigger common allergy symptoms, such as red and watery eyes, rashes and a sore throat.



Mold that appears to be orange or red in color is typically found outdoors, given its nature to thrive on decaying plants or moist wood. This type of mold, which can appear slimy, is harmless and should only be removed for aesthetic purposes.



White mold is not technically a type of mold, but the good news is that this typically indicates the mold is only in the early stages of growth and can easily be treated.


For more information check out:


https://www.ahs.com/home-matters/quick-tips/mildew-vs-mold

Inspection and Water Damage Assessment done by SERVPRO

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

When responding to a water damage emergency, we begin with a detailed inspection of your home or property, including a damage assessment. At this stage, our professionals are trying to determine the scope of the damage so that we can develop an appropriate plan of action.

We will identify the category and classification of water damage to ensure our professionals restore your property based on industry guidelines. The level of contamination of the water will affect the specific restoration processes we use.

  • Category 1: "Clean Water"
  • Category 2: "Gray Water"
  • Category 3: "Black Water"

We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration. In addition, we will inspect for safety concerns that may be evident. If there are any safety issues like lead or asbestos, please bring them to our attention.

  • Survey Damage
  • Complete Safety Inspection

We move furniture and property contents and block items to help prevent rust or furniture stains on wet carpet.

Restoring your Commercial Property After a Loss

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

Commercial Water Restoration Presents Unique Challenges

SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. Whether your water emergency occurs in a small office building or big box store, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. 

SERVPRO of Bethesda / Potomac can respond immediately to your commercial water damage emergency regardless of the size or scope of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Mildew vs Mold: Do You Know The Difference

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to mildew vs. mold, homeowners often have trouble identifying the differences between these two fungi. Knowing their different characteristics will help you when preparing for the battle against these household culprits.

Mold and mildew are both members of the fungi kingdom.

Mildew is a common gray and white fungus that’s often powdery in appearance. In homes, mildew will grow on damp materials like paper, leather and fabrics in addition to walls and other wet surfaces. Because of this, mildew is most commonly found in bathrooms, kitchens and basements. In addition to identifying mildew by its fuzzy appearance, you can also point it out before actually seeing it. Mildew usually gives off a musty smell that indicates an infestation is nearby.

Unlike mildew, certain types of toxic molds can result in serious health problems for you and your family. Black mold can lead to serious respiratory complications, which may result in long-term health issues and even death in some cases. If you believe you may have a serious black mold infestation in your home, call a mold removal service to properly remove the infested area.

What is an ERP?

3/13/2018 (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 Bethesda/ Potomac 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

Prepare Your House For Santa

11/28/2017 (Permalink)

As we start December and get excited because the holidays are upon us, we must also keep in mind the importance of safety. Here are some tips to remember during the holidays.

Never use lighted candles near trees, boughs, curtains/drapes, or with any potentially flammable item.

Stand your tree away from fireplaces, radiators and other heat sources. Make sure the tree does not block foot traffic or doorways.

If you use an artificial tree, choose one that is tested and labeled as fire resistant. Artificial trees with built-in electrical systems should have the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) label.

If using a natural tree, make sure it is well watered to avoid dry branches from catching fire from the heat of light bulbs.

Turn off all lights on trees and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house. Unplug extension cords when not in use.

When putting up holiday decorations, always use the proper step stool or ladder to reach high places. Don’t stand on chairs, desks or other furniture.

Prepare your car for the winter by checking items such as the brakes, spark plugs, battery, and tires. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended interval for a tune-up.

Refer to the link below for more safety tips.

http://www.nsc.org/NSCDocuments/Holiday-Safety-Tips.pdf

FIRE SAFETY

10/31/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that 3 out of 5 home fire deaths are due to non- working smoke alarms? Have you checked yours? It is as simple as looking on the back of the smoke alarm for the date of manufacture.

It is recommended that you try and change smoke alarms every 10 years if not sooner to avoid problems.

To find out more information on fire safety visit the website of Fema:

https://www.usfa.fema.gov/

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.

SEPTEMBER IS NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH

9/27/2017 (Permalink)

Different types of disasters and emergencies happen in communities across the country, but there are key steps that every household can take to be better prepared for them. If you do nothing else this month, take time to create a disaster plan including an emergency escape plan.

Make a clear plan of what to do in an emergency and in case of an evacuation.

Identify clear roles for everyone in the house.

Discuss how to prepare and respond to emergencies that can happen at home, work, and school.

Make a list of all the important things you may forget when in an emergency.

Have a disaster kit assembled for everyone in the house.

Have an out of the area emergency contact person saved on a smartphone.

Practice evacuating your home twice a year, especially if you have kids or pets. This makes it a routine and can make a real emergency situation less stressful.

According to the Red Cross there are many disaster apps now available for smartphones and tablets that can be downloaded to help with emergencies. Some of these apps include a full emergency app, tornado, hurricane, earthquake, wildfire and flood apps. If any of these disasters are common in your areas I would recommend downloading the corresponding app. With these apps you can know when to evacuate, where a shelter may be located, and exactly where the disaster occurred.

Go to: http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps for more information

Areas in your house that mold can hide from you

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can occur anywhere in a home but mainly is concentrated to areas where moisture is present. These moisture areas are common to the bathroom and basements. Mold can cause respiratory problems and should be removed if found as soon as possible. Most restoration companies only do mold inspections if the mold is visible, an industrial hygienist would come in and search for traces of mold that are not visible.

One of the first places mold can collect and you may not think to check is under the refrigerator. Under the fridge tends to collect moisture and dirt which can cause a breeding ground for bacteria and mold.

Another place is the AC unit. AC units are known to collect debris, dust and moisture from the air, which can lead to mold spores.

Mold can even grow in or around a washing machine or its parts. Moisture and lint can cause a presence of mold spores.

Other area in the house include anywhere moisture and dirt may form such as window corners.

Why Trusting a Restoration Professional After a Fire Is So Important

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Because of the convection pattern that flames typically form during ignition, smoky residue saturates every opening. The soot constructs up in layers that may end up being solidified and tough to eliminate which is another reason to leave the cleaning to a specialist. When the cleaning teams do arrive, they promptly different salvageable items from charred debris, taking the things creating the strongest odors out for cleaning.

Following a fire, wall surface areas can be harmed by soot. Non-water based cleaners need to be used to remove soot from walls. These kinds of chemicals should be handled by a specialist due to the fumes and toxicity. Water-based cleaning items can cause spots to bleed into plaster walls which is why a trained specialist should be left to deal with these chemicals.  

Most importantly, a restoration effort reduces the after-effects a blaze can have on the health of those who return in. If a homeowner does not have the property restored by a professional, the results can be found later on down the line. To an untrained eye they might believe the issue has been fixed, they experience the remaining impacts of indoor air pollution for numerous months later on in the form of increased respiratory discomfort.  

Companies like SERVPRO are leading experts in fire restoration. They are trained to help remove your belongings as well as cleaning and storing them until your property has been restored to its original condition.

Flooding

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that it only take 1-2 inches of water to begin damaging your property?

Storms and heavy rains can cause heavy flooding in such a short period of time. A perfect example of this is in Lousiana currently. They had 2 feet of rain that fell consistently for 3 days, and within a 72-hour time span the streets were flooded. The National Weather Service is warning that rivers will stay in flood stage for days

Flooding means that not only will a homeowner have to think about the current situation of being displaced from their home and losing some of their personal belongings, but the results after the water is gone. Standing water is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Once the water has subsisded the presence of dirt, grime, bacteria and mold will be present. The level of these things depends on how long the standing water is left unattended.

After the waters have subsided and before you immediately enter your home refer to this checklist.

1. Watch out for wild animals, poisonous snakes that may have entered the home, check thru the debris.

2. Watch out for plaster, loose ceiling structures and document everything for yourself and for insurance purposes.

3. Throw away any food, anything that may have come in contact with the flood waters, anything in the fridge.

4. Check electrical systems, gas leaks, sewage and water lines all for damage.

Back To School Home Safety

8/16/2017 (Permalink)

As we are nearing the end of August, and parents are enjoying their last few days before school we can only think of the many safety tips that parents should consider around the house.

In the Kitchen:

 -Are knives, forks, scissors, and other sharp tools in a drawer with a childproof latch?

-Are glass objects and appliances with sharp blades stored out of reach?

-Are matches and lighters stored in a locked cabinet

In Bedrooms:

-Are window blind and curtain cords tied with clothespins or specially designed cord clips?

-Is there a smoke alarm outside the bedroom?

In Bathrooms:

- Are razor blades, nail scissors, and other sharp tools stored in a locked cabinet?

-Are all medication bottles, loose pills, coins, scissors, and any other small or sharp objects out of reach?

- Are all bleaches, detergents, and any other cleaning products out of reach?

Electrical:

 -Have you checked for and removed other potential electrical fire hazards, such as overloaded electrical sockets and electrical wires running under carpets?

- Are all unused outlets covered with safety plugs?

August Is National Water Quality Month

8/8/2017 (Permalink)

In the United States most of us are fortunate to have fresh drinking water available to us, and this is due to the thousands of water systems working hard to make that happen.

Most of our tap water is safe due to the regulations and standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency thru the safe drinking water act. This protects our water supplies as well as the sources of where our drinking water comes from.

You can help do your part by making an effort to keep your water sources clean. Using non-toxic house products, not dumping things other than water down storm drains, and not flushing medication down the toilet or sink are just a few things you can do to keep the water in your area clean.

For more info visit:

http://www.drinktap.org/blog/searchtag/national%20water%20quality%20month.aspx

Large Loss Division

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bethesda/Potomac Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. 

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Good thing we are one of these Commercial Large Loss facilities.

The Large Loss team consists of large-loss specialists that are highly trained. Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.

At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and highly trained crews. 

Some of our clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include:

The Pentagon

Hospitals

Hotel Industry

Universities

Municipalities

Property Management

Ladder Safety

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

As the summer comes to an end and people are having work done to get ready for fall such as; paint jobs, cleaning gutters, one should pay careful attention to the following ladder safety tips.

Ladder climbing takes place in almost every home and workplace. 

Falls off ladders are near the top in causes of fatal work related injuries in the construction industry and the third leading cause in all industries combined.

- Be sure to inspect the ladder before using it. Check for broken or missing parts, as well as grease, oil or other substances that could result in a slippery surface.

- To ensure stability, place the ladder on firm, even ground. Make sure it is not near any electrical wires or power lines.

 -  When setting up the ladder, use the 4 to 1 rule. For example, if the ladder touches the wall 16 feet above the ground, the feet of the ladder should be 4 feet away from the wall.

 -  Before climbing the ladder, make sure the braces are fully extended and locked in place. Never climb higher than the third rung from the top of the ladder, and never try to “jog” or “walk” the ladder to a new location. Descend and relocate the ladder instead.  

-When working from a ladder, stay in the center and do not reach more than a comfortable arm’s length away. Keep your feet braced against the side rails and lean slightly forward.

-Always face the ladder when ascending or descending.

-Whenever possible, work within sight of someone who could provide assistance in the event of an emergency.

SERVPRO Named to Entrepreneur's Top 10 Franchise List for 7th Consecutive Year

8/23/2016 (Permalink)

 SERVPRO, a cleanup and restoration franchise company, maintains its hold on the top ranking in the Restoration Services industry for the 13th consecutive year and moves up to the number four spot overall in the 2016 Franchise 500 rankings from Entrepreneur magazine. This is the seventh consecutive year SERVPRO has been included in the magazine's Top 10 list, standing out in a group of more than 951 franchises that qualified for inclusion in the list.

Entrepreneur magazine's Franchise 500 selection process uses "objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation" to help would-be entrepreneurs identify franchise investment opportunities. Some of the most important factors considered by Entrepreneur in developing the list each year are "financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system."

"This recognition affirms that SERVPRO is a dynamic organization that continues to grow and strives to always provide superior support for its franchisees, and by extension its customers," said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc., chief executive officer. "The recognition that the company earns year after year in this prestigious list is confirmation of a commitment to excellence that starts at the top and is evident in the service that each franchisee provides to each and every customer."

According to Steen, a number of differentiators set SERVPRO apart from the competition and fuel the attractiveness of the company to both existing franchisees and would-be entrepreneurs looking for a strong business opportunity. Key among these are:

  • SERVPRO's strength as a brand with a national footprint, wide-spread market penetration, laser-focused brand messaging, and the ability to create national partnerships with organizations such as the PGA TOUR and the American Red Cross.
  • SERVPRO's commitment to being a learning organization, which keeps training and support at the forefront of the company's culture and philosophy of success and helps franchisees plan, track, and deliver best-in-class services to consumers.
  • SERVPRO's focus on continued development and support for proprietary software and systems to allow the company's operational capacity to keep pace with an aggressive growth strategy.

Steen adds, "One of the potential pitfalls of growing too quickly is outpacing your capacity to train and support the franchisees. SERVPRO is a conservative company, and early on we took the time to build a strong system and put the building blocks in place to support growth without sacrificing support to our franchisees." "Today," Steen continues, "as a mature franchise organization with more than 1,700 locations under a single brand, recognition like this makes it clear we are reaping the rewards of having laid a solid foundation and a framework to handle quick growth. As our brand continues to grow, we will continue our winning strategy of supporting and improving upon our infrastructure and investing resources in training and support."

SERVPRO specializes in fire and water cleanup and restoration services, helping both commercial and residential customers recover from property damage emergencies "Like it never even happened." For more fire prevention tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.SERVPRO.com/.

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