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How to Maintain a Sump Pump

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Maintain a Sump Pump Sump pump ready to prevent flooding in Towson North, MD

A sump pump is a handy tool, especially in Towson North, MD, that helps to prevent flooding; however, it does require a certain level of pump maintenance to ensure that it is always operating to its full capability. To maintain your pump, there are six areas that you should check before severe weather hits.

1. GFCI

Every so often, it is important to check that the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) that your unit is plugged into is properly working. To ensure the outlet is working correctly simply plug any electronic into it and make sure that you can power it on.

2. Discharge Pipe

As an essential part of any pump operation, the discharge pipe can become clogged by debris, like dirt and gravel, so it is necessary to inspect the pipe and clean out any blockages.

3. Intake Screen

Like the discharge pipe, the intake screen of your pump can become clogged with debris and will need to be cleaned once in a while to ensure the free flow of water.

4. Float Component

The float mechanism in the sump pump housing can become obstructed, which means that it will not activate the pump mechanism. This area of the pump should be inspected regularly for debris to ensure proper operation.

5. Pump

The pump mechanism can be tested by merely pouring a bucket of water into the pump basin. As the float rises in the water, it should activate the pump. If the pump does not activate and there is no debris, you may want to call in a professional to inspect it.

6. Battery Backup

Many pumps come with a battery backup. If your pump is one of these types, then every few years, 2 to 3, you will want to replace the battery.

A sump pump, while an essential tool in the prevention of home flooding, is not without its quirks, and it is normal to have to perform routine maintenance to keep it functioning as intended.

Most Effective Ways to Remove Black Mold From the Shower

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Most Effective Ways to Remove Black Mold From the Shower Mold damage developed in this Cockeysville, MD bathroom

If you’ve ever stepped into a dirty shower, you know how unpleasant the experience can be. If you’ve seen shower mold in your Cockeysville,MD, bathroom, you don’t want to waste any time cleaning it up. These unsightly spots can be embarrassing and disgusting. Luckily, with a few simple steps, you can get rid of this mold once and for all and reclaim a clean shower.

Call a Professional

If you don’t want to deal with black mold on your own, you can call a trained professional to take care of it. You’ll have to pay for quality work, but you can have confidence the expert will do thorough work. Here are some advantages to calling the pros:

  • They have experience cleaning up shower mold.
  • They have the right equipment and cleaning materials.
  • They can work quickly and efficiently, saving you time and effort.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda can be exceptionally useful for many household needs. If you’ve got moldy shower walls or floors, you can put baking soda to use and watch it do its amazing work. Baking soda won’t leave harmful fumes, and it’s easy and cheap to purchase. Just combine a cup of this with a teaspoon of liquid soap, along with enough water to make the mixture into a paste. You can even add some oils such as lavender or peppermint if you want to leave a pleasant smell behind. Take this solution and scrub out the mold.

Try Bleach

You can use bleach for much more than whitening your clothes. If you fill a spray bottle with half-bleach, half-water, you may be amazed with the results. Spray the cleaner on, let it sit for a minute and then scrub it off with a brush.

You shouldn’t have to contend with shower mold in your bathroom. These household remedies and professional services can take of this annoyance in a hurry.

Don’t Blame the Rain: Other Ways Storms Can Damage Your Business

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Don’t Blame the Rain: Other Ways Storms Can Damage Your Business Pipe break after significant rain and storm can cause flooding in your home

When a huge storm rolls through Towson, MD, you might worry most about heavy rains. After all, significant rainfall can find its way into your building and flood your office. However, this isn’t the only flooding that can occur, nor is it the only concern you should have with storms. It’s important to be aware of dangers such as a burst pipe, or flooding situations so you can prepare and act appropriately.

Pipes Burst

Within the plumbing and water systems of your office building, there is a network of pipes carrying water, sewage, and possibly other chemicals throughout the facility. A burst pipe could empty gallon upon gallon of water into your building, leaving standing water and severe damage. Here are a few ways in which pipes burst:

• Pressure buildup
• Corrosion
• Extremely cold temperatures

If a winter storm brings low temperatures, you may be at risk for these issues. Make sure your building has sufficient insulation and that you drain any outside lines before winter hits.

Pipes Freeze

If your building pipes do freeze, you need to act quickly to ensure they don’t burst and cause flooding. A professional restoration company can help you clean up the mess and mitigate damage, but you don’t want to get to that point if you can avoid it. If you do find a frozen pipe, keep faucets open, as running water can help melt the ice. You can treat the pipes by wrapping pads around them, or you can even use space heaters.

Pipes Flood

At worst, bursting pipes can cause significant flooding and render your office unsafe. The floodwater can damage furniture, carpet, walls, or equipment. Also, a frozen pipe could prevent water from reaching the building.

As winter approaches and during large storms, make sure you keep an eye on your interior and exterior pipes. A little effort and mindfulness can help prevent the major disasters a burst pipe can cause.

For more on Towson click here.

Don't Neglect Your Bathroom Water Supply Line

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Don't Neglect Your Bathroom Water Supply Line Supply lines should be checked frequently to avoid flooding

Every homeowner in Towson, MD, needs reliable water. Since bathrooms account for 71 percent of daily water use, a simple check for water supply line damage may help prevent a bathroom leak.

1. How do I evaluate a supply line? Look behind the toilet for either a plastic or stainless steel pipe with a metal shut-off valve at the base. There will be a similar pipe under your sink. Check for cracks in the plastic or corrosion in the stainless steel.

2. What causes a bathroom supply line to fail? Water damage can come from aging plastic. A water supply line leak or burst can occur in either plastic or stainless steel lines if they are not rated correctly for the city water pressure. Stainless steel pipes have a robust metal skin and a tougher internal sheath, but even they can corrode from small amounts of airborne bathroom chemicals. Supply line damage can be detected in most cases before water escapes.

3. Will my warranty cover a damaged supply line? Your homeowner's policy may cover certain types of water damage. Plastic pipes last only a few years and are unlikely to have significant warranties, whereas metal pipes usually have lifetime warranties. If your house is not new and you have plastic lines, it may be a good idea to upgrade them to stainless steel.

4. What if my water supply line is already leaking? Turn off the valve to the line. Mop up any water, and then notify your homeowner's insurance company. If you have a supply line warranty, call to report the damage. You may want to immediately call a professional water control expert in Towson, MD, to help salvage property and stop hidden damage from progressing.

With a quick, routine check, you can lessen the possibility of impending water supply line damage. In the event trouble is brewing, preventive measures can pay off.

For more on Towson click here

First Aid Tips for Burns in the Workplace

8/17/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage First Aid Tips for Burns in the Workplace Burns in workplace can be dangerous and need to be treated differently for different people

Undeniably, when you own a business in Towson, MD, you must expect the unexpected. This also applies to the health, safety and well-being of your employees. If a fire occurs onsite, you trust your commercial property insurance and fire restoration specialist to handle fire damage to the building. But, are you prepared to handle burn first aid if the damage is to one of your staff?

Care for Minor Burns

A burn is considered minor when the diameter is less than three inches. Pain, blisters or superficial redness are characteristic of this type of injury. You do not typically need to seek professional medical attention for minor burns.

• Train your staff in basic first aid skills, including burns.
• Have a kit of medical supplies on hand in the case of an emergency. This includes cold compresses, sterile gauze bandages, antibiotic ointment, aloe lotion and an over-the-counter pain reliever.

Care for Major Burns

A major burn is greater than three inches in diameter and covers a person’s face, extremities or major joints. These burns may be deep and exhibit a discolored appearance. If an employee suffers a major burn, seek professional medical treatment immediately. Here are some steps you can take until help arrives.

• Keep the injured employee safe from further harm. If fire damage continues to occur to the grounds, evacuate staff promptly.
• Loosen restrictive clothing and accessories to allow for swelling of the burned area.
• Elevate and cover the burned skin with a cool cloth.
• Be alert for reduced respiration or signs of shock.

Your employees are an integral part of your business in Towson, MD, and it is important to provide a safe working environment. In the unexpected event of a fire, care for your staff first and worry about the fire damage to your property second. Train and plan for proper minor burn first aid on the premises. For major burns, call 911 and care for the injured staff member until help arrives.

For more on Towson click here

Setting Those Stormy Expectations

7/26/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Setting Those Stormy Expectations Storm Waters can cause flooding in your Maryland neighborhood

If your home suffered damage as a result of a storm in Towson, MD, complete and accurate restoration is your overall end goal. Storm restoration can only be achieved after you assess water damage, tear out appropriate items and reconstruct as necessary. It is critical to manage your expectations of damages. Understanding the process involved can minimize your storm stresses.

1. Extraction of Water

Begin water extraction by making sure it is safe to be inside your property. Opening doors and windows allows pooled water to drain. Mop saturated areas and blot floors and walls with towels and other dry materials. Move wet furniture and articles into the driest spaces available and turn the air on in your house (blasting the air conditioning in summer or heat during winter).

2. Tear Out of Wet Materials

Removing wet materials from your home in a timely manner is crucial. Mold quickly begins to form on items that are not dried, removed or torn from their location. Extremely damaged carpets or drywall should be removed, though take care not to tear any loadbearing structures from your home without seeking a professional opinion.

3. Drying of Structures

Dry and dehumidify structures as soon as possible. Ceiling fans and box fans can be utilized to dry open areas of the home. Certain areas of your property are harder to access; however, restoration service professionals should have advanced methods, including industrial fans and treatments, to reach these areas and shorten the drying process.

4. Restoration

The last and final step of restoration varies in scope. Occasionally only some drywall and furniture will need to be replaced, while other instances may require expansive rebuilding and landscaping.

Dealing with a storm and its aftermath can be a tricky, cumbersome experience logistically and emotionally. It is important for homeowners in Towson, MD, to know what to expect as they deal with the cleanup process. Remember before, during and after the storm that you have four basic steps to complete in order to restore your home to its previous glory: extract, tear out, dry, restore.

For more on Towson click here

How To Prevent Grill Fires

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Prevent Grill Fires Proper grill maintenance is key to preventing future fires during cooking

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 9,600 home fires are started from grills each year. The leading cause of those grill fires was that the grills had not been properly cleaned. It doesn't matter if your grill is gas, charcoal or a smoker, all grills need cleaned just as you already clean your stovetop in Towson, MD to prevent a grease fire. Take this fire safety precaution and learn the art of grill cleaning. Here is how:

Turn off gas. Close the valve and move the propane tank away from the area. Begin grill cleaning when the grill has cooled to just warm.

Wipe the outside. Just use soapy water and a cotton cloth.

Clean cooking grates. When cool enough to touch, start brushing the bars with a wire brush, then remove them and place in soapy water.

Empty the catch pan. For gas grills, empty the drip pan. For charcoal grills, you simply lift the charcoal grate and rotate the bottom mechanism to dump ash into the catch pan. Empty the ash catch pan. If ash is still hot, store in a metal covered pail.

Clean the cook box of the grill. Grill cleaning the interior of a gas grill includes burner tubes and heat deflectors. For either grill, you can scrape carbon and grease build-up from the interior of the grill with a wire brush and scrub with soapy water.

Reassemble your grill and enjoy safe use. Keep the grill a safe distance from the house when in operation and never leave the grill unattended while food is cooking.

Another important fire safety precaution is to keep children away from grills. Declare a three-foot area around the grill to be a no-kid zone and stay in the area. Proper grill maintenance is the key to preventing structure fires from your grill. If you do have fire damage, at least you can trust restoration specialists to help assess and restore your property to its pre-fire conditions.

For more on Towson click here

A Claim Against Mold

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation A Claim Against Mold Bathroom Mold Damage

Mold can grow in any climate, even in Towson, MD. It takes only 48 hours for growth to take root, beginning life unseen and unknown. By the time the fungus is detected, it may have already affected the structure and employees of the business. Because mold damage requires professional expertise and equipment to eradicate it properly, fiscally responsible business owners should look to commercial insurance coverage for assistance.

Covering Mold or Fungus

Whether purchasing a new policy or reviewing an existing one, it is important to note that mold insurance may never be mentioned. Instead, many companies refer only to fungus, broadening the scope to address additional concerns that fall under that category. The following issues are often covered under Limited Fungus Coverage:

• Mold
• Mildew
• Released spores
• Emitted toxins

Getting to the Root of the Policy

It is a good practice for business owners to be personally familiar with the company’s commercial insurance coverage, taking time to sit down with an agent to get a clear understanding of what situations are included. Not every occurrence is honored by the insurance company. Instead, there may be exceptions, which can vary from state to state. Therefore, it is essential to make sure the rules of Towson, MD, meet the needs of the business.

Proactively Ensuring Success

Having a full understanding of the insurance policy helps a business properly execute mold damage remediation, and it also creates an opportunity to explore proactive plans. Long-term leaks that cause fungi to grow are often not covered, so establishing routine maintenance and inspections could save thousands of dollars. It is also common for insurance policies to have a cap on how much will be paid to cover damages. Knowing this dollar limit can help a business budget for extra costs that may arise.

Good policies and good coverage are always desirable. In addition, awareness and aggressive measures make any commercial insurance policy stronger and more effective.

For more on Towson click here

What to do about drywall water damage

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What to do about drywall water damage If your drywall is actually compromised by water, you will need to address the situation before development of mildew or mold takes place.

When you have Baltimore drywall water damage in your home, which often happens after a flood or fire, it is not always necessary to get new drywall. In order to successfully deal with drywall water damage, you will need to follow a series of steps. This kind of damage can vary quite a bit in extent; if the damage is severe, it may be necessary to call a professional for assistance. If your drywall is actually compromised by water, you will need to address the situation before development of mildew or mold takes place. The development of these fungi can present danger to everyone in your home and can lead to even more severe damage.

Detection of Drywall Water Damage
The first thing you should do is assess how much Baltimore water damage has happened within your drywall. This kind of damage shows up as softened or discolored areas within the drywall. If you have just dealt with a house fire, it is probably that any drywall water damage present will be spread all through the home. If the damage is widespread, it will be important that you contact a professional restoration company for help. However, if the damage is more mild or only has an effect on a small number of panels of drywall, you can actually consider replacing the panels yourself, as long as you have experience with drywall and can safely complete this task. It is important that you make sure to hire a professional company in any case where there is extensive damage to the home.

Mildew and Mold As A Consequence of Drywall Water Damage
If the drywall panels are not dried to an adequate extent, the possibility will exist that mildew and mold can start growing. This is a great danger to the inhabitants of any home. If black spots are visible, or if a foul smell starts to emerge from the drywall, you must call a professional right away. These fungi will most often start to grow in cases where there is damp or moist drywall in an area that is poorly ventilated. You can easily see that there is no mildew on the outside of your drywall, but what you may be missing is that the interior may have a high amount of spores. This is a determination that is best left to experienced professionals; you should not try to make this assessment on your own if you do not have the appropriate qualifications.

Actions That You Can Take to Prevent Drywall Water Damage
No matter where the damage is located or how severe it is, it is important that you use machines that can force air to circulate and provide the maximum amount of ventilation, such as dehumidifiers. The standard oscillating house fan will not be capable of moving enough air for the room to be able to dry adequately for safe and sanitary conditions. You will find that there are special machines that move air that you will be able to rent. However, once again, if the damage is extensive enough that these machines are necessary, you should probably contact a professional to make sure that everything is being done correctly. These professional restoration companies will have all of the necessary equipment for the job, as well as the experience needed to use it properly and the expertise to ensure that your home is safe.

When you are dealing with Baltimore drywall water damage, make sure that no additional damage (typically an infestation of mildew and/or mold) occurs. A professional restoration company will have all of the resources to be able to tackle any job that involves drywall water damage. With all of their experience, expertise, and equipment, these professionals will be able to assess which parts of the drywall need to be repaired or replaced. If you want to know more about the process, you should call a professional restoration company.

Why You Need A Cockeysville Water Damage Company

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Why You Need A Cockeysville Water Damage Company Another advantage of hiring a water damage company is that they can offer high-quality mold and mildew prevention services.

Once a flood or fire damages your residential property, attaining an excellent Cockeysville water damage restoration services is important. This is the case for numerous reasons, including the fact that the restoration process is complicated and requires completion by a team of trained experts. There is a broad range of remediation services that water damage companies can offer to help restore your property. Refer to this quick reference guide to get a basic understanding of how professional remediation specialists can assist you:

Speedy Home Restoration
When your property is impacted by a natural disaster, getting immediate assistance is important. If you do not, your house can suffer from secondary Cockeysville water damage, structural weakening, and serious sanitation issues. Luckily, water damage restoration companies are highly skilled in completing the cleanup, repair, and restoration services with excellence and expediency. By working quickly and efficiently, remediation specialists prevent secondary water damage and help whip your home back into its original state.

Mold and Mildew Growth Prevention
Another advantage of hiring a water damage company is that they can offer high-quality mold and mildew prevention services. These services are important because mold and mildew accumulation can pose serious health risks to you and your family. Additionally, mold growth can cause severe damage to the structure of your property. In the event that water damage specialists find mold growth on your property, they can use industrial cleaners and disinfectants to eradicate the problem quickly. Although some homeowners are inclined to complete this process for themselves, it is best left to professionals who possess the extensive experience and specialized equipment necessary to expedite the process speedily and safely.

Don't Delay: Call SERVPRO Now
When Cockeysville water damage impacts your residential property, the best thing to do is call a company you can trust to offer you cutting edge, efficient restoration services. We are that company. As a team of talented technicians who offer 24/7 emergency assistance and impeccable customer service, we're your first choice when you want to have your home restored with speed and skill. Our fast response helps limit costs, repair damages, and decrease the likelihood of secondary water damage. Additionally, our commitment to excellence has made us industry leaders as well as the preferred vendor for numerous insurance companies. We're ready to restore your property right now, so call us today at (410) 229-0012 to attain a free estimate and consultation.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley/Lutherville is strategically located to respond quickly to your water or flood damage event. When a major flooding event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,650 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams if we need additional resources or personnel. 

Our expertise in fire damage and water restoration is extensive. SERVPRO utilizes IICRC training as part of our on-going education to stay ahead of the curve. Call us for help. (410) 229-0012