Prepare for Hurricane Season
As of June 1, it is officially hurricane season! Hurricane season runs from June to November and can bring a lot of uncertainty when it comes to number of storms and the strength that they may bring. Its best to be prepared for no matter what the turn out may be.
If a storm happens to be on the radar, keep these tips in mind to protect your home or business and minimize damage:
- Create a plan and properly communicate it to all necessary parties. Whether it be family, friends, neighbors, employees, etc. make sure everyone is in the loop on what to do should a storm hit.
- Bring in any and all outdoor furniture or properly secure it. Not only does this protect the actual furniture, but also protects your property from any lose furniture that may get moved around.
- Stock up on plenty of water, food and gas incase of power outages. Consider extra water for flushing toilets, cleaning items, etc.
- Make note of your evacuation route! Should a storm require full evacuation, be prepared and allow plenty of time.
As the season continues, be vigilant and knowledgeable in what to expect and how to handle storms. If you need to call on the experts, SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Co. is Here to Help!
What Does it Mean When Something Declared a 'Total Loss'
Essentially, when something is declared a "total loss", whether is be a car, house, commercial building, etc., it means that it is past the point of recovery and cannot be salvaged.
Often times in the restoration industry, it is easy to tell when a job will be considered a total loss. For example, if a house suffers a fire and there are multiple levels of structural damage, the roof has been burned completely, and contents are unrecognizable, we would consider it to be a total loss immediately. Insured parties will likely receive pay out for the complete repair cost of any and all effected items depending on coverage.
It is incredibly important to be in contact with your insurance company throughout the entirety of any loss, whether it be a total loss or not. SERVPRO also plays a vital role in salvaging what does remain and beginning the restoration process.
Do I Have to Worry About Mold in Colder Months?
A lot of people think they are off the hook in colder months when it comes to worrying about mold forming in their properties. While it is slightly less common for mold to appear in lower temperatures, it is definitely possible.
Mold requires three things in order to grow and survive- moisture, a food source, and the right temperature. There is a robust amount of different species of mold and most of them do thrive between the temperatures of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Each type of mold has a minimum and maximum temperature in which is is able to survive.
It is also a common belief that mold dies in lower temperatures. This, too, is a misconception. Colder weather will "pause" the growth/spread of mold, but mold is opportunistic and waits for the right time to reactivate and thrive.
Knowing that mold can still grow in the winter is even more of a reason to properly care for your properties and prep for the warmer temperatures as mold is likely to become more evident. Keeping a space at the right temperature isn't always enough- it is critical to control humidity levels to keep mold growth at bay.
Preparing Commercial Properties for Winter
Commercial and residential properties are different in a lot of ways, however, one way they are similar is how they should be prepared for colder months!
It is important to treat your commercial property just as meticulously as you would residential when it come to ensuring it is ready for harsh winter weather. Here are a few tips to properly care for your property and avoid costly damage due to weather:
- Although your commercial space may become less visited or even vacant in the winter months, don't neglect air flow/heat. Keep air regularly flowing and keep it at a decent temperature to avoid pipes freezing or breaking.
- Clean all gutters! Make sure all those fall leaves aren't trapped in your gutters causing rain to improperly drain and/or freeze leading to leaks in the roof.
- If not being occupied, turn off the water and drain all pipes. Should it get cold enough in the area to freeze, this now eliminates the risk of frozen/cracked pipes!
- Ensure that the roof is ready for any and all harsh winter weather. Ice can easily build up on roofs leading to leaks or damage and heavy snow can also wear on weak roofs. Make any patches and repairs before its too late!
- Check in on the property regularly. Especially if its a vacant property, a lot can go unnoticed in off-seasons and with the weather that winter brings, it's best to keep an eye out and make sure everything is well taken care of.
Again, commercial and residential property management can greatly differentiate, but the overall goal of maintaining and ensuring longevity should be a priority no matter what type of property you own. Plus, the repairs for commercial vs. residential can sometimes add up to be much greater!
Should your commercial property face any water damage due to winter weather, call us at 443-SERVPRO and allow us to make it "Like it never even happened."
Turkey Frying Safety
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and you know what that means! Time to cook up the turkey. One way, arguably the best way, to cook a turkey is to fry it. While it's relatively easy and incredibly delicious, it's very important to take great precaution and be fully prepared for what goes into deep frying a turkey. Please note some of the most important safety tips below:
Fry Your Turkey Away From the House. This means NO garages, too! You never want to be closer than 10 ft to any structure, weather it be a garage your home, a shed, etc.
Find a Flat Spot in the Yard. Having a flat spot to place your fryer on can really help minimize any tips or accidents when you place the turkey in the fryer as well as remove it. Remember, that oil is HOT and if it were to tip over, it could do a lot of damage.
Never Leave Your Fryer Unattended. Even if you're certain it will be OK sitting for 2 minutes while you run inside for a drink- don't risk it! Anything can happen. It is especially important to make sure there are no children around the fryer at any time.
Always Be Prepared. Expect the unexpected! Be overly prepared for anything that could happen! Have a fire extinguisher near by incase of emergency. Be mindful that water and oil don't mix, so a hose won't do the trick should a mishap occur.
Happy frying & Happy Thanksgiving!
Firework Safety Tips
Happy Independence Day from SEVRPO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties!
As the 4th of July festivities begin, it is important to practice good, smart safety to protect you and your home. Accidents happen, but it is best to be prepared incase anything does go wrong.
You should never allow young children to handle fireworks. Even sparklers pose a huge risk to children. Make sure they maintain safe distance and are supervised at all times.
Consider protective eyewear. Especially if you are handling fireworks, eyewear provides great protection incase something were to go wrong or you come in contact with falling embers.
Maintain optimal distance from homes, people and any flammable materials. Embers fall fast and sometimes still lit- make sure there is water near by should anything catch fire.
Do NOT try to re-light faulty fireworks. It is best to just pour water over it incase any part of it is still lit so that it doesn't misfire later on.
Have fun & enjoy the show!
Fire works are a huge hit and incredibly fun. Make sure you are taking all necessary precautions to avoid any damage or accidents!
Have a Happy 4th!
Summer Doesn't Have to Mean Mold
For a lot of people, summer weather brings mold. It doesn't have to! Here are a few basic tips to prevent mold in the summer months.
Mold needs water to grow and enough humidity in your home can be the perfect recipe for mold. Investing in a dehumidifier is a plus but if you're not able to, monitor moisture within your home coming from showers, outside, appliances, etc.
Control Overall Temperature
The optimal temperature for mold growth is anywhere between 77 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Make an effort to keep inside temperatures at bay to reduce the risk of mold growth.
Promote Air Circulation
Keeping vents open and utilizing fans is a great was to ensure air is circulation throughout your home. This prevents mold from having the chance to grow!
We hope these tips are found to be useful but should you find mold in your home, SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties here Here to Help!
Reversing Water Damage with the Injectidry System!
Reversing Water Damage with the Injectidry System!
SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties uses a number of different tools and equipment when it comes to treating damage due to water, mold and fire. One of our most valuable pieces of equipment is the Injectidry System. This system takes water damage restoration to a whole new level and allows us to treat delicate, inaccessible or hard to reach areas that have been saturated with water. The process is minimally invasive and is perfect for high risk areas.
The process begins with drilling small access holes. We like to try to place these holes in the least visible areas if possible. Next, small nozzles are inserted into the holes with hoses attached to them. A pressurized air pump then injects heated air through the nozzles and into the hidden air spaces. The air movement becomes a vehicle for moisture, and water can be suctioned out of cracks and crevices effortlessly!
While the Injectidry does most of the work, it is often partnered with traditional equipment like air movers and dehumidifiers.
While water damage of any kind is devastating to any home or property owner, it's even worse when it has happened to a beautiful gallery wall that they would hate to completely demo or custom hard wood floors that can never be replicated. These are a few examples of areas that are sometimes*the perfect candidate for the Injectidry System!
With this system, you can trust SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties to properly take care of your home! Don't hesitate to call us in case of a water emergency! 443-SERVPRO.
*Not every water loss qualifies for the Injectidry Drying System. Situations and circumstances vary based on location, severity, timing, etc.
The month of March here in Maryland can be pretty unpredictable. One day week we may get snow and the next it may be in the mid 60's! As we begin to welcome Spring weather, there are a few things we want home owners and property managers to keep in mind!
Basement pumps like sump pumps and sewer values can be a life saver. Snow melting at rapid speed or Spring rain can do a lot of damage! In case of a power outage, hand pumps are also great to have on hand.
Windows & doors are notorious for allowing moisture to seep in. Always make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed. Although it may not be at a noticeable rate, any moisture coming in (especially warmer, more humid air) will build up over time and can cause water damage/mold issues.
Your roof puts up with a lot throughout the winter! Be sure your roof is well maintained to prevent any moisture from getting in and leading to mold.
Here on the Eastern Shore we always predict a robust amount of mold to pop up in the Spring months. With the wetness that Spring brings partnered with the already low water table of the shore, warmer days are almost inevitably going to cause some sort of mold. It's important to keep an eye out for things within your home that may contribute to water damage and mold growth. If you or anyone you know becomes affected, give SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties a call- we are Here to Help!
Debunking "Black Mold"
We often receive calls from clients in a panic, worried because they have found "black mold". While mold in any form is scary enough, add the color black to it and it definitely gives you a reason to be concerned! The truth is, "black mold" is really no worse than any other mold and the color serves no real significance!
Mold can take many colors but is most often seen to be gray, black, brown or green. Mold color can be influence by humidity level, the surface its on, it's food source, humidity levels and even light. The same type of mold can be many different colors and can even change color over time!
While you should pay attention to all mold, it is important you do not assume that mold of a certain color is releasing mycotoxins. The risk of mold should never be assessed solely on the color of the visible mold.
Active, visible mold growth means there is or has been a source of moisture. The moisture source must be identified and stopped. If you suspect mold of any kind, call SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties to assess the situation and remediate it properly! As always, we are Here to Help. 443-737-8776