Are You Winter Weather Ready?
Are you prepared for the cold Maryland weather? Cold weather can have a huge impact on your Edgewater home or business if you’re not ready for it. From freezing rain and low temperatures, to damaging winds, sleet or snow, can all cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to prepare your Davidsonville home or business.
To help prevent costly winter storm damages, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before winter weather hits.
Check your Edgewater business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Wind, heavy rain, ice and snow can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to your property and potentially cause personal injuries.
Inspect your roof, pipes, and gutters, downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Winter starts December 21, 2018 and leaves can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage.
Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potentially slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water or ice could be present.
When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian to strike back.
Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas Tree Fire
Edgewater and Anne Arundel County has seen it’s share of tragedies caused by Christmas tree fires. As your family decks the halls this holiday season, SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian encourages you to consider the following Christmas tree safety tips.
Selecting your Christmas Tree. Pick a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
Setting up the tree. Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. Make sure the tree is not blocking an exit. Add water to the tree stand and be sure to add water daily.
Lighting the tree. Use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of light strands to connect. Never use lit candles to decorate the tree. Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
Additionally, after Christmas, get rid of your tree! Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home. Christmas trees must be free from all lights, ornamentation and tree bags in order to be picked up by Anne Arundel County Waste Management. Only natural trees will be collected and tall trees should be cut in half in order to fit into the collection truck. Click here for more information on Anne Arundel County Yard Waste.
Mold Found in Severna Park Home
Mold caused by hot water heater
Mold found in Severna Park home basement was caused by a hot water heater leak. The SERVPRO Edgewater/Deale-Churchton/Lothian team arrived after the homeowner replaced the hot water heater. However, the area in the basement was still wet despite the homeowner’s efforts to dry it out. Our team dried the area around the hot water heater as well as the hallway for 3 days and treated it with an anti-microbial. It was determined that the mold was caused by a pin-hole leak in the hot water heater that occurred months before the actual unit was replaced.
Water heaters that are not cleaned out periodically can build up sediment in the tank. Here are some hot water heater maintenance tips you can use
Salt and other chemicals in the sediment may lead to premature rusting or corrosion inside of a water heater and eventually cause pinhole leaks to form. Once a pinhole leak is opened up, the pressure of the water inside the tank forcing its way through the opening will cause the leak to get larger over time.
The best solution for this problem is to replace the tank with a new unit. A leaking tank is an obvious sign of a water heater needing to be replaced. Normally, replacing a water heater should be done by a professional.
Another tip, to prevent the pink-hole leak is to test the pressure-relief valve located on the top or side of the water heater. Click here to read more tips by The Family Handyman.
Bottom line, mold can grow on almost any surface. Mold likes moisture and heat. This makes the hot water heater and surrounding area the perfect environment for mold. Take some time to maintain your hot water heater.
Is Your Business Prepared for Winter?
Emergency Ready Profile
Even the best-run businesses face risk of water, fire, natural disasters, and other damage during the winter season. SERVPRO of Edgewater/ Deale-Churchton/ Lothian can help your business prepare with an Emergency Ready Profile which can act as your business Disaster Recovery Plan.
First, here are some tips to get your building winterized. Allow cold water to drip from a faucet. Running water through a pipe—even at a trickle—helps prevent pipes from freezing. If a pipe has broken, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve, which is usually at the water meter or where the main line enters the building. Remember to turn off office space heaters in the evening to reduce your fire risk. To reduce heating costs, invest in air conditioner covers so cold air doesn’t come into your building where the in-take is located. Use weather strips and draft blockers to keep cold air out. SERVPRO of Edgewater/ Deale-Churchton/ Lothian recommends you take the time to winterize your building before the freezing weather settles in.
But even with all the winterization, building damage may be inevitable and that’s why we encourage you to create a plan to assist your team in an emergency event. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile is a no-cost assessment of your facility that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. Things like insurance information, shut off valve locations with clearly identified photographs and emergency contact and account numbers are just a few of the components of a SERVPRO ERP. It also serves as a guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster faster. The ERP establishes SERVPRO of Edgewater/ Deale-Churchton/ Lothian as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
While an ERP won’t completely insulate businesses from risks, a well-thought-out strategy can help minimize the impact. Call SERVPRO of Edgewater/ Deale-Churchton/ Lothian for your FREE Emergency Ready Profile today.
Sump Pump Failure Leads to Flooded Basement
During a recent rain event, SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian went to a home in Anne Arundel County to handle a sump pump failure. Sump pump failures happen for a variety of reasons including power failure, stuck switch, overwhelmed pump and more. For this specific home owner, there was a problem with their battery backup.
When SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian assessed the water damage, our water damage and restoration team determined that the effected areas included the storage/sump pump room, the recreational room and a basement bathroom.
In the recreational room, the laminate floor was removed because there was bound water underneath. Air movers and de-humidifiers were set up to dry the concrete subfloor. The bathroom tile is adhered to concrete subfloor and won’t facilitate mold growth. The SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian crew treated any effected areas with an anti-microbial and set air movers for a three day dry out. Lastly, the storage/sump pump room was also treated with an anti-microbial and air movers were set for drying. Our crew removed all furniture during the cleanup process.
After 3 days of drying, the team monitored the effected materials and determined everything was dry. All equipment was removed and the homeowners are ready to start with their reconstruction.
Bad weather storms and power failures often coincide to make one deadly combination that often results in flooded basements across Anne Arundel County. This is due to the fact that the heavy rain storms result in excess water and a power outage completely immobilizes your sump pumps ability to drain water.
This problem can be avoided by simply purchasing and installing a backup generator for your sump pump. If you ever lose power during a bad storm, you can manually turn this generator on to ensure your basement does not flood.
Who is SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian?
Standing knee deep in a flooded basement, the last thing you may be considering is what clean-up company can provide you with an accurate scope of work to present to your insurance company. So, before you select the company that is going to extract the water, you might want to know who SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian is.
SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian is a woman-owned business, owned by Severna Park native Diane Whittles. Did you know she has owned this franchise for 42 years? SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian employees around 25 Anne Arundel County residents, including some of Diane’s family members.
Craig Dellagatta, has been with SERVPRO for nearly two years. Craig is a lead estimator specializing in mold remediation. He served as a local police officer before joining our team.
You can read more about the team on the SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian employee page.
Most of our employees have worked with SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian for years. Diane insists and provides continuing education for all technicians throughout the year, ensuring that they are up do date on all the latest industry trends in remediation. This is perhaps one of the reasons SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian is a local leader.
Record Rainfall for Anne Arundel County
Did you know 2018 has been one of Southern Anne Arundel County’s wettest years on record? So far in 2018, Edgewater, Deale, Lothian, and other areas in the county have seen 60 inches of rain. That means 2018 will go down in record books in the top 10 wettest years in history. Anne Arundel County’s rainfall average is typically 42 inches.
So, what happens to your home or business when we get all this rain? You see water damage, flooded basements, sewer backups, flood damage and more. SERVPRO of Edgewater/Deale-Churchton/ Lothian has been working with Anne Arundel County business and residents to help cleanup water damage for over 42 years. Throughout the years we have seen lots of water damage. Here are a few tips to help you keep water away from your structure:
Safety First. Make sure it is safe for you to enter the wet area. Be sure to check for electrical hazards. Only do activates that are safe to perform.
- 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.
SERVPRO of Edgewater/Deale-Churchton/ Lothian is your emergency contact when you need water damage restoration. We answer the phone ready to help 24 hours a day/7 days a week.
House Overcome With Mold
Severe Mold Case
After a long hospital stay, an elderly home owner returned to his home to find it filled with mold. Unfortunately, there was a water leak in the basement that sat for approximately 2 months. SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian was called to remove the water and mold.
When our SERVPRO of Edgewater / Deale-Churchton / Lothian team first arrived to assess the flooded basement, we provided water removal. However, removing the water was just the first step. There entire basement and main level of the house was covered with surface mold. There was mold on the furniture, walls, and ceilings.
In order for the mold remediation to be effective, our team removed all porous materials, including drywall, carpet, flooring, insulation and more. The first floor contents, including the kitchen cabinets and wall studs, will be treated as well. This process includes pretreating the contents with a hepa vacuum which removes 99.97% of all particulates including mold, sewage, and soot. Next, the contents are disinfected with an anti-microbial, and then, treated again with the hepa vacuum.
To insure that mold spores are removed from the air, air scrubbers will run for approximately 3 days to clean any mold spores in the air.
This is a severe case of sitting water that resulted in a mold infestation. If you ever find flood water in your basement or have water damage, it’s important to stop the flow of water and get it removed right away.
How Can I Protect My Property From Mold?
Mold in Home
One of the most frequently asked questions SERVPRO of Edgewater/Deale-Churchton/Lothian hears from Anne Arundel County homeowners, landlords, and tenants is, “How can I protect my property from mold?” We’ve come up with a top 5 list of mold prevention tips.
Tip 1. Get to Know Your Weaknesses. Look around your home or office and identify areas where moisture comes in or collects. Frequently, we see moisture near/around windows.
Tip 2. Dry Wet Areas Immediately. If you see water collecting in your office or any other rooms, clean it up immediately. After a heavy rainfall, you may find some water in your basement. Dry that water up with towels and call us to make sure we get the area completely dry so mold doesn’t become a problem.
Tip 3. Direct Water Away from Your Home. There are many landscaping tricks you can install to track water away from your home. Installing something as simple as a French drain can reduce the amount of water coming near your house.
Tip 4. Prevent Mold with Proper Ventilation. It may be that your routine activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture areas. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in Maryland), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer.
Tip 5. Clean or Repair Roof Gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.
Does Your Insurance Cover You in the Event of a Fire?
Hopefully, you’ve never been through a home or office fire in Edgewater, Maryland. However, as part of being prepared for the unexpected, it’s important to make sure your insurance (home or renters), can protect your family and business in care of a fire.
You probably know someone who has been through a home fire. They are eager to share lessons learned the hard way. One of those lessons is that insurance can help protect your family financially if a fire should affect your home.
Here are a few ways renter’s insurance can help protect you from fire damage:
- Protect personal property. Your landlord’s insurance will cover the building and items that belong to the landlord, but your items are not included in that coverage. As a renter, you need a policy to provide replacement value of personal property lost from fire damage.
- Prevent financial destruction from liability. Most renter’s insurance policies include protection in case you accidentally start the fire. Of course, this doesn’t cover intentional or criminal conduct.
- Provide money for accommodations. Make sure your policy includes this coverage, which provides for hotel fees or the expense of relocation. A loss of use can help pay for you to live somewhere else if your current space becomes uninhabitable from a disaster, like fire.
Renters insurance is affordable, costing around $30 per month. It provides coverage of your belongings no matter where they are damaged or stolen, and it covers a variety of different types of disasters. Be sure to remember that flood damage still requires separate coverage, but fire and other disasters, such as wind, lightning, theft and vandalism, are usually covered. Coverage may have some limits, so consider getting a rider for special items that may be very valuable. It’s up to the landlord to have adequate coverage for the building and any furnishings that are included. Fire restoration can encompass many different types of damage including water, smoke and soot. A good restoration company will be able to handle all types of damage, working with you to minimize loss and clean your belongings when it is possible to do so.