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5 Steps to Putting Out a Kitchen Grease Fire

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Steps to Putting Out a Kitchen Grease Fire Concentrate while you are cooking

Over 160,000 home fires happen while people are cooking and, unfortunately, cooking is the leading cause of home fires. About two-thirds of those fires began when food and other cooking materials caught on fire. If you know how to respond to a kitchen fire, and specifically a grease fire, you'll be prepared to minimize damages when an emergency happens. Quick action could reduce the need for fire cleanup and the cost of hiring restoration professionals.

1. Prevent fires by removing flammable items from the area.

Towels, flowing sleeves, curtains, and ingredients that could catch on fire should be moved away from the stove. Clean out burners, so that crumbs and caked-on grease can't burst into flames while you're cooking.

2. Stay with your food.

Too many home chefs get food cooking and then walk into the other room while they wait for pots to boil or pans to heat up. If something in the kitchen does catch on fire, you should be there to quickly respond.

3. Cut off the fire's fuel supply.

One of the quickest ways to put out a cooking fire is to cover the flames with a cookie sheet or a large metal lid. DO NOT POUR WATER ON THE FIRE. Turn off the heat source.

4. Put out the flames with appropriate materials.

Throwing water or baking powder on a grease fire could cause heavy damage and serious injuries. Be very careful to use baking soda or even a Class B dry chemical fire extinguisher to put out kitchen fires if the flames haven't died down. Never use water to put out a grease fire because it will cause the grease to splatter, hitting people and flammable items throughout your kitchen.

5. Contact the fire department from outside the home.

If you haven't been able to put out the fire at this point, it's best to evacuate the home. Once the fire is out of control, you only have a couple of minutes to get everyone out of the house and to safety. Use a cellphone or the neighbor's phone to contact the Timonium,MD, fire department.

Flood Damage and Storm Damage

10/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Flood Damage and Storm Damage Damaged roof caused by storm that impacted our Cockeysville,MD area

When looking into purchasing more weather protection for your business, it is important to recognize the types of damages you could end up with. One problem associated with storms that many people may not consider a risk at first is flooding, which can wreak havoc on your business structure and ruin your inventory. Business owners in Cockeysville,MD, have often prepared for storm damage, but preparation for flood damage goes one step further.

Kinds of Damage

High gusts of wind and excessive rain can be caused by storms, but in addition to the types of damage that can occur under these conditions, flooding can also create these problems:

  • Cause erosion in the base structure of your building
  • Destroy inventory, especially electronics and paper supplies
  • Create conditions for mold growth
  • Carry in unsanitary chemicals and harmful debris

It is clear that these problems can present a real risk to your company, so it is important to figure out what the next steps should be.

Damage Prevention

Regardless of whether you are focusing on general storm or flood damage, there are several preventative measures you can take. Do this for general weather protection:

  • Install a lightning rod on the roof of your building
  • Keep more valuable inventory away from windows
  • Strengthen walls with an extra layer of construction

Of course, flooding can bring about a whole new list of damage possibilities, so there are many other precautions you can exercise:

  • Reconstructing the floor so it does not slope down
  • Sealing shut areas where utilities enter the building
  • Keeping valuable inventory above ground level

Final Step

Even though you can often carry out some of these preparatory tasks without much trouble, there is always the potential for damages when a major storm occurs. Calling a professional cleanup service after suffering flood damage is the smartest thing to do. They will assess the situation through a lens of expertise and ensure safety standards are practiced when restoring your business to its former glory.

Understanding Why Your Sewer Backed Up

10/12/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Understanding Why Your Sewer Backed Up Sewage back up in Towson North,MD

One important part of a residential sewer cleanup in Towson North, MD, is figuring out why your home was flooded with sewage. Your team of water damage experts can help you figure out the source of the damage, which helps you create a better repair plan. You can also use this quick guide to learn more about the potential causes.

1. Damaged Pipes

A damaged pipe may allow sewage to leak into your home. If a tree root has cracked open the pipe in your yard, the sewage may fill the ground and travel into the lower levels of your home. In some cases, a pipe in your walls could have burst and unleashed sewer water.

2. Faulty Fixtures

A flooded toilet could also be the source of dirty flood water. While this water may not contain fecal matter, it may still have traces of urine from the bowl of the toilet. A broken or clogged toilet can cause the water to fill your bathroom.

3. Heavy Rainfall

When there's a lot of rain in Towson North, MD, the water table level can rise exponentially. This extra water can flood into the city sewer line. When this line reaches its capacity, the water and sewage have to go somewhere. You may not think of a sewer cleanup being tied to a storm, but it does happen when the system gets overloaded.

4. Clogs

Clogs and blockages are another common cause of a sewer backup. The blockage could be located in your plumbing or it could be in the sewer main pipes. No matter where the clog is, it causes the same problem. The sewage leaving your house cannot travel past the clog. The pressure builds up and causes the contents of the pipes to travel backwards into your home.

Sewer doesn't often fill a home, but when it does you need to start sewer cleanup as soon as possible. Understanding the potential cause of your flooding can make creating a repair plan easier.

Water Damage: The Reason You Pay for Business Insurance

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage: The Reason You Pay for Business Insurance Water supply line burst causing flooding in a Lutherville, MD store

Water damage can be one of the costliest repairs made by business owners. Between the broken pipes and water cleanup, owners can be left paying the expense of not only the damage caused but for the loss of business during the restoration. This combined loss is what makes business insurance so important; however, it is also essential to understand what business insurance covers, standard exclusions, and why you may benefit from additional coverage.

1. Broken Pipes

As anyone living in Lutherville, MD, knows, the winter can be problematic for even the most prepared business owners. Frigid temperatures can potentially lead to frozen water lines, which cause increased pressure and may eventually burst the line. Most commercial insurance policies likely cover the sudden damage caused by burst lines.

2. Storm Damage

Additionally, most policies will cover storm damage, like broken windows or damaged roofs, but this can depend on the type of damage. For example, hail damage that causes a broken window is likely covered; however, heavy rains that cause a flood is most likely not covered under a traditional business insurance policy.

3. Be Aware of Exclusions

Every policy will have exclusions. Some of the typical exclusions that will require additional coverage are flooding and sewer backups. The water damage caused by these two issues alone can create dire situations for a business and its continued operations, often requiring the work of a restoration company. If you want to cover these two disasters, then you may want to add an endorsement to your current policy as well as purchase flood insurance separately.

4. Combining Flood Insurance and Business Insurance

The combination of flood insurance and business insurance with an additional sewer and drain endorsement can be a balanced policy that protects you from numerous potential disasters; however, it is still essential to be aware of any exclusions or deductibles.

Water damage can cripple a business and, depending on your coverage, you, as the owner, may be left footing the bill; however, if you choose the right combination of insurance policies and endorsements, the potential risks of flooding and burst pipes may not seem like that big of a concern.

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