Archived Blog Posts
Categories of Water Contamination
All water losses are different!
Here at SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus safety is our first priority. Knowing how to react when you experience a water loss is vital to you and your families’ health. All water poses potential health problems. It is the single leading cause of disease in the world. Understanding the different types of water contamination levels and their health risks can make a big difference in restoration process as well as minimize your chances in becoming sick. This information will help you determine if you need to evacuate the home or not. Below you will find a description of the different types of water contamination categories.
Category 1 – Clean Water: This water originates from a sanitary water source that does not pose substantial harm to humans. This may include broken water lines, tub or sink overflows with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines, melting ice or snow, falling rain water, broken toilet tanks and toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives.
Category 2 – Gray Water: This water contains a significant level of contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if consumed by or exposed to humans. Examples of this include discharge from dish washers or washing machine overflows, toilet overflows, toilet overflow with urine, but not feces, and other sources where water has been contaminated.
Category 3 – Black Water: This water is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. Elderly, children under the age of 2, and people with respiratory issues should not occupy the facility until the building safe. Examples of Category 3 water are all forms of flooding due to sewage, flooding due to sea water or rain fall (rain, natural disaster), and colored water,
Keep in mind that every water loss is different, and determining the type of water category you have is the first step towards figuring out what the next step is. Once we establish the water category we put together our plan of action.
The information above was provided by The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). We hope we’ve provided a better insight on the different water types. Remember that your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is always here to help, and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Tips on preventing kitchen fires this Holiday season from your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus
We wish you a safe holiday season.
The Holiday season is like a whirlwind of different activities, the decorating, the gift wrapping, the cooking! Sometimes it feels like there’s so much to do with so little time. Here at SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus we understand the meaning of the “whirlwind” that comes along with the Holiday season. We know that a celebration isn’t complete without a feast to share with your loved ones. Your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is here with helpful tips to prevent kitchen fires this Holiday season.
- Watch what you are cooking! The leading cause of kitchen fires is because the kitchen was left unattended whilst cooking a meal.
- Keep children at least 3ft away from the stove. Enforce a 3ft area perimeter around the stove for your children to avoid. Younger children run higher risks of being burned from hot food or hot liquids on the stove.
- Use kitchen appliances correctly. Follow manufacturer recommendations when connecting appliances like microwaves, crock pots, steamers, toaster ovens, and any other appliance. Connect these items directly to a wall outlet, using extension cords can overload the circuit and cause a fire.
- Keep flammable items away from the stove. Keeping the following items away from your stove top can potentially prevent a fire in your home. Common flammable ingredients and items: Flour, sugar, cooking alcohols, oils, paper products, wooden spoons, cloth napkins etc.
Keeping a fire extinguisher in your home is always a good idea. A class K fire extinguisher is most commonly used in the kitchen area. Fire extinguishers should be placed at least 30 feet away from the stove. Always remember safety is the most important aspect when putting together a feast for your family this Holiday season. Keep in mind that your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is always here to help, and make it “Like it never even happened”.
Christmas tree precautions from your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus
Happy holidays from your local SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus!
Though Christmas is a time for celebration, it is wise to be cautious too. Old fashioned Christmas trees were displayed with wax on live tree branches to simulate snow. Since then we’ve grown wiser, and safer. Your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is her to help with safety tips to reduce the risk of a fire caused by Christmas trees.
- Be sure to water your live trees, this decreases dryness on the branches. Dry needles and wood are more likely to catch on fire quicker.
- Avoid plugging more than 3 strings into one outlet. It’s best to opt for a power strip.
- Discard light strings that are worn or broken.
- Always remember to turn off your Christmas tree when leaving your home.
- When placing your tree in your home, choose wisely. Make sure that your Christmas tree does not block an exit. Also, try to keep it at least 3 feet away from any heat sources like space heaters, candles, fireplaces, heat vents or lamps.
For this Christmas season keep yourself and your family safe. We hope that you find these safety precautions helpful. Always remember that your local SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is always here to help, and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Biohazard and crime scene cleanup from SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus
We are always here to help, and make it "Like it never even happened"!
There are different types of biohazard contaminants, however all of them are harmful to your health. Weather its blood borne pathogens, crime scene residues, or sewage backups, these situations can pose serious health risks. Your SERVPRO professionals can safely clean and remove biohazardous substances and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations. Here are a few tips on what you can do in case this unfortunate incident happens to you.
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening.
- Treatallbodily fluids as if they are contaminated.
- Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage.
After any incident involving biohazard contaminants your main focus should be keeping your family safe. Keep your local SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus in mind. We have you and your family’s best interest in mind. Our focus is to get your home or business to its back to its prior state, and make it “Like it never even happened”.
Why SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus?
Your SERVPRO superheroes!
Who can you trust when you are a victim of a disaster like a flood, or a fire? When these situations happen you may feel vulnerable, or even impotent. You may ask yourself, who should I trust? Will they have my best interest in mind? The question will then become, why SERVPRO?
- Our team is certified through IICRC for water, fire, mold and bio clean ups.
- We are the leading name in our industry, with years of experience.
- With over 1,700 franchise licenses to operate across the U.S, and Canada, you can believe that we are experienced and trained to take care of you.
- We are a part of a franchise system, but we are also independently owned and operated. You will received detailed attention every time!
- We are your one stop for cleaning, repairing, and managing your loss.
- We work with adjusters! We provide pictures, dry logs, and detailed explanations as to what needs to be done, and what is being done at your home or business.
- We can handle both residential, and commercial losses. With the support of our franchise, we feel confident enough to say that there is no job to big or too small for us.
Remember that having the support of a team like ours can make the difference with how quickly you recover from a disaster. When you think about clean up and restoration, think green, think SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus!
Fall Cleaning tip from your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus.
What’s in your ducts?
Fall cleaning? Is there such a thing as fall cleaning? Is spring cleaning not enough?
Although adding a chore like fall cleaning doesn’t sound like any fun, it can benefit you and your family’s health! A service that we recommend around this time is a good old fashioned Duct Cleaning. Having your ducts cleaned can avoid health issues like allergies. The dust, dirt, and pollen collected in your ducts can cause issues like worsening asthma symptoms. Not cleaning your ducts can also cause stale odors in your home. Cleaning your ducts will remove mold or other contaminants that may be spreading inside your home now. You may ask yourself, how frequently do I need to have my ducts serviced? That depends on a few different things such as, the size of the home, the amount of people that live in the home, and if you have pets or not.
Call your local SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus to determine how frequently you should clean your ducts, and for your free estimate!
Preparedness Month at SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus
Where is your water shut off valve?
Knowing where to shut off your water source in case of a flood is vital. We don’t mean the sink or water hose, we mean the main shut off. If your home is flooding and you can’t find the source, shutting off the main water valve is your next step. By doing this, you avoid further water damage. We recommend that you label your main water shut off valve with clear lettering, like the picture shown above. If you would like a label like this one, you’re local SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus will be happy to provide one at no charge! Keep in mind that we are always here to help and make it “Like it never even happened”.
Home Emergency Kits from SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus
Are you ready?
One of the things we pride ourselves in is trying to help the community by being prepared for a fire or a water loss. We make an effort to spread the word on being prepared. There is no better time to prepare then before a disaster. In this effort we offer free Home Emergency Ready Kits. This kit contains vital information that will better prepare you for a disaster. Below is a list that the Home Ready kits include, along with essential information you should know.
- Emergency Supply Check List
- Home Evacuation Plan
- Home Contents Inventory list for each room
- Family Emergency Communication Plan
- Disaster Preparedness Brochure – What You Can Do
Contact us today for your FREE Home Emergency Kit! We will gladly assist you with any questions you may have. Remember that your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is always here to help, and make it “Like it never even happened”.
Home Emergency Evacuation Plan
Get out, and stay out!
Are you ready for a fire, if a fire were to happen in your home? Where would you go? What do you take with you? Who do you call?
Most home owners are not prepared for an unfortunate event like a fire in their home. Fortunately SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is here to remind you. Nobody ever expects to be a victim of a fire loss, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare for one.
A home Evacuation plan is a precautionary measure you should review with everyone in your household. It is a sketch drawing of your home including all of the possible exits and escape routes. It’s recommended that you include at least two exits. In your home sketch include all of the rooms in your home, including restrooms. Draw markers like trees, fences, or your mailbox. Each room should have arrows pointing towards the exit route, and towards the meeting place.
The meeting place is where everyone in the household should reunite in case you are separated during the process of evacuation. Keep in mind that during the process of evacuation you should worry about getting out as quickly and as safely as possible, don’t worry about appliances and furniture. Those things are replaceable, you aren’t!
Once you are safely out of your home call 911. They will contact the fire department, police department, and ambulance if needed.
Give us a call for a free sketch sheet for the home emergency evacuation plan. Remember were always here to help!
Did you know that mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours?
Mold spores are all around us! Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which just isn’t true. Unfortunately it is impossible to remove all mold from your home/business, however our mold remediation services can reduce the spore count back to its Natural state.
Here are some tips to help you defend your Home/Business from mold.
- Keep the humidity between 30-60 percent in your home.
- Provide the proper drainage away from building foundations.
- Regularly inspect plumbing and appliances for leaks.
- Keep gutters and drains clear from debris.
- Inspect roof, windows, and other areas where water might enter the building/home and perform necessary maintenance.
- Respond to all water intrusions immediately.
- Contact SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus for assistance after a water damage or if you discover mold.
Keep in mind that Prompt mitigation is vital to avoid mold growth which can be visible in as little as 48 hours. Protect your home/business from mold!
Call our highly trained team at SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus to inspect your home/business today!
Fire tips from SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus.
Did you know that according to The National Fire Protection Association, Firefighters respond to a fire every 79 seconds? Sounds terrifying, we know! Here are a few precautionary steps that may help you reduce the risk of a fire.
- A working smoke alarm in each room can definitely make the difference in your home. The batteries on the smoke alarms should be inspected monthly, just to make certain that the batteries are still intact.
- Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher in each level of your home; Also that every member of the household knows how to use them properly.
- Reduce the risk of a fire outside of your home. You can do this by removing dead trees, shrubs, and debris at least 30 feet away from your home; also by maintaining your gutters, roof, and eaves clear from debris.
- Be sure to keep candles away from curtains, furniture, and out of the reach of children.
Keep your home safe this 4th of July, and remember “We’re here to help” should you need your local SERVPRO!
Careful with that grill!
Be Grill cautious.
After all the spring showers and flash floods this year it is refreshing to know that summer has begun. Along with hot summer nights come delicious barbecues with a grill. While it may seem like something ordinary, a grill is actually cooking equipment which we should be cautious with. Did you know that 9,600 home fires are started by grills each year! You may ask yourself, what can I do to avoid a grill involved incident? According to The NFPA, “five out of six (or 82%) grills involved in home fires were fueled by gas, while 14% used charcoal or other solid fuel”. Simply changing your methods can drastically reduce the possibility of a grill caused home fire. For more tips and suggestions check out www.nfpa.org . Remember that SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is always here to help and make it “Like it never even happened.”
Get out, and stay out!
A kid’s favorite thing to hear is that Schools out. Summer time brings so much joy to children. After a long school year they finally get to relax and unwind. To parents however it brings worry, and stress. Will my children be safe at home? If something happens, will they know what to do? SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus has a few tips for you on having your children prepared in case of a fire.
- Teach your children what smoke alarms sound like, and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from each room, and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan, and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your house at least twice a year.
- Make sure everyone knows how to dial 9-1-1.
- Teach household members how to stop, drop, and roll in case their clothes were to catch on fire.
For more tips and recommendation’s contact SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus at (301)482-0818. Remember we’re always here to help, and make it "Like it never even happened.”
Faster to your Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus water loss!
Let the professionals handle it!
Along with a water loss comes a flood of emotions. You may be confused as to what to do next, or who to call. Here are a few tips on what your next steps should be, and whose information you should have handy just in case you have this unfortunate event happen to you.
First steps to follow for a water loss for clean water.
- Shut off the source of water if possible.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.
- Hang furs and leather goods separately at room temperature.
- Do not use a regular vacuum to remove water.
- Remove oriental or other colored rugs/books/magazines from wet carpeting.
Whose information should you have handy?
- We recommend you have an Emergency Ready Plan in place with your local SERVPRO location. This will facilitate the process for both you and your local SERVPRO. In the ERP form we have most of the essential information needed to begin the mitigation process for your home or business.
- Your Insurance Adjuster should be notified immediately after or during your loss.
- Your Plumber should be notified if the loss occurred due to plumbing/pipe issues. If the loss occurred due to those issues they can repair the cause of the of the water loss. Remember that when a water loss occurs you are in a sensitive time frame to be able to recuperate your personal property and prevent further damage such as mold etc...
Have this important information ready just in case. Also keep in mind that our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened."
Your SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus is always here to help!
Emergency Ready Profile - Phone Application
Emergency Ready Profile - Phone Application
In times of emergency it is crucial to be prepared. The Emergency Ready Profile application is a great step in the right direction of preparedness. Download the application in App Store by searching SERVPRO. You can also login and see profiles at www.ready.SERVPRO.com. The application allows the user to:
- Add multiple location profiles.
- Take pictures of shut off locations for fire sprinklers, water, and gas.
- Add insurance information
- Add local police and firefighter phone numbers
There are many other features within the application. One of the most popular is that of sharing the profile. Once the ERP is finished the owner of the profile can share with anyone who needs to be prepared. Now all your emergency personnel can find the shut off location just by opening their shared profile.
We never hope that you have an emergency in your home or business, but if it does, we hope you are prepared. And like our motto says, we are always here to help!
Bathtub and Dishwasher Overflow
Bathtub overflow: It’s important to make sure that fittings, seals, pipes, etc. are inspected thoroughly to prevent issues such as water damage.
The bathtub overflow drain can be the cause of a leak, even though it is not the first place you'd usually suspect. A water stain in the ceiling below a bathroom is often the first sign of a problem with a tub overflow drain.
Dishwasher Overflow: Is this something you've experienced before? "Why is my dishwasher leaking, where is it coming from?" There are many questionable factors for why a dishwasher is leaking
In these cases, make sure to contact a licensed and trained professional, like SERVPRO, to fix the issue. Our technicians source out the problem and fix the surrounding areas affected by water damage. It's not a fun experience dealing with any type of unexpected home repair, or disaster. However, SERVPRO helps alleviate your stress and turn your home back to a comfortable and functional space. While catching the problem early, it saves time and money.
Taking forever to dry your clothes?
Does your furnace sound like a freight train?
More than likely this is because your air or exhaust ducts are in need of an extensive cleaning and the filters changed out.
When the dust builds up in your air ducts and exhaust system it causes your dryer and HVAC system to work overtime and shorten the life of these expensive items. Not only is this bad for your appliances and mechanical system, it's also a fire hazard.
When to Call Professionals for a Duct Cleaning Service?
- Call when dust begins appearing shortly after cleaning.
- Call when musty or stale odors are appearing when a furnace runs.
Why Should You Call?
- Avoiding an air-duct clean could affect anyone living in the house with allergies or asthma.
- Dust, dirt, and pollen are pulled into the air duct system.
- Dismissing an air duct cleaning service could possibly leave room for mold, bacteria, fungus, and mildew to form.
- This will circulate whenever the furnace turns on.
- The services offered remove any mold or other contaminants providing a clean air circulation throughout your home.
The benefits of servicing Your HVAC Unit Include:
- Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
- May help to eliminate offensive odors.
- Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.
Be sure to clean out your air ducts and vents at least once a year in order to keep the airflow in your house clean and safe. Call to schedule an appointment today.
Types of Contaminated Water
Did you know that there are three different types of contaminated water that can cause water damage? The three different types of contaminated water are clean water, gray water, and black water. SERVPRO comes across all of these types of water in the field. Here are the 3 major differences.
Clean Water:This type of water generally comes from a clean source like a broken water supply line or faucet. Depending on the time it has been left, the temperature, contact with bacteria, and surrounding contaminates, this water can quickly become gray or black water. This is the most common type of water damage.
Gray Water: This type of water and water damage can cause discomfort or illness as it likely contains bacteria and illness. When left untreated, gray water will quickly become black water and the water damages associated with black water is much worse.
Black Water: This water and its water damages generally spawn from sewage, biological hazards, or flooding from rivers and streams. If left untreated, it will cause microbial growth, severe illness, and even possibly death.
The best solution when there is any kind of flooding or water damage is to have it treated as soon as it is noticed. Hiring a professional company like SERVPRO is recommended as they can give advice on why the flood occurred, the category of the flood, and how to prevent water damages.
Are You Prepared?
Severe weather can happen any time, 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 landfalling 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.
How to be prepared:
- A gallon of water per person per day.
- Supply of non-perishable packaged or canned food and a manual can opener.
- Change of clothing, rain gear and sturdy shoes.
- Blankets and sleeping bags.
- First aid kit and prescription medications.
- Battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries.
- Credit cards, cash and extra set of car keys.
- List of family physicians.
- Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members.
- Call SERVPRO to get an Emergency Readiness Plan into place for your facility. The plan can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.
Houston, TX neighborhood
Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a major Hurricane at Category 4 strength on August 25 causing widespread devastating flooding and wind destruction along the Texas and Louisiana coast. After making landfall, the storm’s track continued through Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee, causing heavy rains and additional flooding.
Flooding occurred across Houston, Beaumont and Port Arthur in Texas. Rainfall totals exceeded 50 inches in Houston.
SERVPRO has mobilized and deployed the Storm Team, and luckily our franchise was chosen to visit Houston TX and help the residents with the beginning stages of their home clean up.
SERVPRO of Poolesville/Clarksburg/Damascus crew members, Luis, Harry, and Thomas, led by our owner Max, made it down to Texas in record time, and did an amazing job. We are so proud to have them be a part of the SERVPRO Storm Team.
Our thoughts and well wishes go out to any one has been affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you would like to help, please consider these options:
Donate money: The best way to help Texans affected by disasters is to donate money to charitable agencies that are experienced in disaster relief. Before giving money to an organization, do your research!
Donate blood: Blood banks have been urging people to donate since demand for blood is rising. Find your local Red Cross and donate!
Open your home: You can offer to provide free accommodations to hurricane evacuees through Airbnb. The service is waiving all fees until Sept. 25.
Adopt a pet: If you’re thinking about adopting a dog or a cat, this could be a great time. Animal welfare organizations in Texas, Florida and around the country are likely to take in pets that have lost their owners. Check with your local animal shelter and adopt!
Mold Clean Up
Mold Damage can be devastating. Once any sign of mold in home or office spaces becomes apparent, people should always reach out to SERVPRO.
After all, unchecked mold growth can ruin a structure:
Your structure can experience substantial dry rot, mold growth behind walls and other damage.
Office spaces may need to be vacated for significant repairs due to commercial mold damage.
Resale values can decline from commercial mold damage and mold in home spaces.
Mold growth behind wall studs can warp walls. Lingering, foul smells can make extensive deodorization necessary.
How to Know When a Home or Business Is at Risk of Mold Damage?
Due to mold's makeup, it can exist insignificantly in many places. As a result, most indoor spaces contain some mold. For structural integrity, owners and lessees must not allow mold growth to proliferate.
People sometimes confuse mildew with mold. Mildew is a fungus that likes flat surfaces. Often, folks can simply wipe away mildew. Though it is also a fungus, mold growth is very different from mildew.
Here are a few things to look out for if you are suspecting mold growth:
Discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings
Cracks in any surface in your structure
SERVPRO Professionals can provide
Mold fungus mitigation
Deodorization of smelly odors
Removal of dry rot
Expert handling of black mold
Termination of mold growth behind walls
Mold removal services can turn dry rot, smelly odors and other warning signs into memories.
Importantly, total mold removal is an impossible goal. Mold is tiny and abundant, so mold remediation experts carefully cleanse problem areas and help people take steps to prevent the return of mold growth behind wall segments, beneath floor pieces and across ceilings.
Call our professional team for an estimate if you suspect mold growth in your structure.
Flooded Basement in Kensington
A water main break caused a basement to flood in Kensington, MD. This picture shows the mess left behind after all water had receded.
SERVPRO of Kensington/Wheaton was called in to clean up the aftermath! The owner was thrilled and said "This basement has never looking this good in the 24 years we have owned this property."
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. With a nationwide system of qualified franchises, no damage is too large or too small