Recent Posts

Commercial Fears

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

A big fear of many business owners is a disaster striking their building. Not only is it a headache to deal with the situation, but the loss of revenue is another big concern. With everything happening, one can feel overwhelmed and loss. This is where SERVPRO® of Charles County strives in helping these owners. We follow the 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines. Within one hour from notice of a loss, SERVPRO® of Charles County will contact you to arrange scheduling. Within four hours of the loss notification, a SERVPRO® professional will be on-site to begin mitigation services. With eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope is communicated to the appropriate person. With the 1-4-8 Service Guidelines, any owner can take a sigh of relief knowing that SERVPRO® will make the remediation process easy and pain free. Additionally, SERVPRO® of Charles County offers business owners a free service called Emergency Response Plan (ERP). With an ERP, a SERVPRO® representative would have gone to the place of business and compiled information from important phone numbers, pictures and locations of shut offs, and have a point of contact in the event of a disaster. An ERP makes it easy for the business to respond to a disaster because all the information anyone would need to respond is in the packet that even employees can use. So, no matter the size of your commercial business, rest assured that SERVPRO® of Charles County will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Why SERVPRO

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

When an unexpected disaster hits your home, it is an emotional and tragic event. Many are left confused and upset, not knowing the next steps to take. Do not fret though, your Service Professionals at SERVPRO® of Charles County are here to help guide you through the remediation process making it as least worrisome as possible! With our crews who have the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifications, you know you are in good hands. With the highest standard of care, our crews are trained to not only take care of your property, but also you. With constant communication, you will always understand the steps in remediation process of your house. Any questions are answered with a detailed explanation to ensure that there is not any confusion. Whether you occupy the affected home or not, you can rest easy knowing you are being taken care of in the best matter of care provided. SERVPRO® of Charles County also deals directly with your insurance provider to make it easier for you. This limits the time needed to get approvals and helps the remediation process move along swiftly. We know that during this tragic time, the most important thing to you is getting your house back to its previous condition and to move along in your life from the disaster that has occurred to you. With SERVPRO® of Charles County, our goal is to not only remediate your home but also to make it "Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Charles County and SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill Fire and EMS Service

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Charles County and SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill Fire and EMS Service

Charles County Maryland is in the Southern Central part of Maryland with 643 Square miles of land and 185 square miles of water. The estimated population is 159,700 as of 2017. Charles County 12 all-volunteer fire departments and 14 all-volunteer Emergency Medical Service organizations. There is also an all-volunteer Dire-Rescue team within the county. There is also a 911 Communications Headquarters Center in La Plata, MD.

In 2018 there were 9,674 fires in Charles County Maryland with the highest month being April 2018 with 1266. This is an alarming number in general but especially when you think about the damage and stress caused by these fires.

SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill helps Accokeek, Brandywine, Clinton, Fort Washington, National Harbor, Oxon Hill and Temple Hills as well.  In our territory we have five (5) Volunteer Fire Departments that we are able to assist with fire damage.

With the new construction at the National Harbor and MGM at National Harbor our volunteer Fire Fighters and EMS personnel stay busy.

This is where SERVPRO® of Charles County comes in to provide an excellent level of customer service and make this process as seamless as possible. Our Technicians are properly trained in Fire & Smoke Restoration through IICRC. We take pride in making sure that we can handle each scenario and provide a sense of comfort knowing your home or business is in good hands.

If you have experienced a fire or smoke damage give us a call today! 301.753.8313.

Rainfall YTD

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Rainfall YTD

So I can’t be the only one who feels like a soggy mess! It seems like rain has been the only thing constant so far in 2019. As of March 1st 2019 the SERVPRO® of Charles County and SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill territory has accumulated over 10 inches of rain and that does not include SNOW! YIKES!

In 2018 we accumulated approximately 60-70 inches of rain and in some spots over 80 inches of rain. Rain can be a great thing for our ecosystem but can be very damaging to our homes and businesses. It is so important to understand and pay attention to the Weather warnings in our area.

Failed sump pumps, burst pipes and ground water intrusion are some of the common things in our area when we have storm conditions. These things should be understood and watched for by everyone.

SERVPRO® of Charles County and SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill have seen businesses lose revenue because of water damages and 50% of small business that have to close due to damage NEVER reopen! That is a scary but true statistic. We have also seen people’s homes and belongings be destroyed due to water damages. One Property completely shifted from the foundation due to a water damage that was not caught in time.

Water is a tricky, dangerous thing and should be left for the professionals. If you have experienced a water damage and you need a professional, give us a call today! 301.753.8313!

Three Categories of Water Damage

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

When a home is flooded, water is the only thing that comes to your mind. Many people do not realize that there are actually classifications when is comes to the water that floods their homes and businesses. Water damages fall into three main categories according to the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification).

The first category is Clean Water. The classification of clean water means that the source of the water is from a sanitary place. This could be drinking fountains, faucets, or water lines. Even though the source is sanitary, it must not be taken lightly. Without proper remediation, clean water can become unsanitary and poses the possibility of causing health issues to anyone who lives in the affected home.

The second category is Grey Water. The classification of grey water is water that can cause illness or discomfort if ingested. The source of the water could come from “used” water, overflowing toilets with urine (not feces), dishwashers, and washing machines.

Lastly, the third category is Unsanitary. The classification of Unsanitary water in a water damage means that the water contains contaminants that are not only unsanitary but dangerous. If ingested, it may lead to serious illness or death if ingested. The sources could be sewer back up, flooding from rivers or streams, or stagnant water that has become a habitat for bacteria.

Therefore, it is important to contact a Service Professional such as SERVPRO® of Charles County or SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill to assist with your water damage. In the time of need, you want to make sure you have experienced professionals to help you through hard times and safely remediate your home.

Fire preparedness

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

As children, we have been told repeatedly what to do in case there is a fire in our homes. These lessons stay with us and help keep everyone safe. Between having working fire alarms to an emergency escape plan, ourselves as individuals have made it very important to not only prevent fires, but safely live through one if it happens. Something that is not brought up in school lessons a lot is fire safety for the elderly or individuals with access or functional needs. For those individuals, it may be hard or physically impossible for them to follow emergency escape plans that have been set up due to having different needs. Luckily, there are ways to accommodate so that they themselves are safe in the event of a fire.

Smoke Alarms are very loud and are a clear indicator that there is a fire present somewhere in the house but what would you do if you were hearing impaired? In that case, a smoke alarm with a flashing strobe light or vibrations are available. For visually impaired individuals, they have a smoke alarm that has paused in between each cycle so you would be able to hear any verbal instructions someone else in your home could tell you. Additionally, there are smoke alarms that can be connected to a strobe light outside the home to alert neighbors that there may be a fire and you need assistance.

Fire escape plans are very important, even more important that they are planned out and tested. If you have a wheelchair or a walker, you want to be sure that you can get through the doorways safely in the case of evacuation. Another thing the consider if is there are accessible ramps by the exit doors to assist your evacuation. If you live in an apartment building or a multi-leveled home, it may be best for you to live on the ground floor. Not only does it decrease your escape time, but if you are physically impaired if may safe your life. In the event of a fire, elevators are shut off leaving a stairway as the only means of transportation to the ground floor level. Make sure that you let your family, neighbors, and property manager know of your special needs and fire plan, so they know how to assist you if the time ever comes. Additionally, always keep a phone on you or near your bed just in case. Safety is something to be considered for everyone and is something that needs to be taken very seriously. Your life is too valuable to be lost to a fire.

Commercial Emergency Ready Plan

2/28/2019 (Permalink)

Being the owner and responsible for a commercial building can carry a lot of stress. Not only are you worried about day to day operations, but also what you would do if a disaster such as a fire, pipe burst, or mold should occur. Does your staff know what actions should they take if any of those things happen? Do they know where the main building shut offs are? These are very important questions that any owner should be asking. Being unprepared could mean not only the possibility of secondary damage, but also a larger loss of income. Do not worry though! SERVPRO® of Charles County offers a free service to lift the stress off your shoulders. It is called an Emergency Response Plan (ERP). And ERP not only labels important contacts, but also important shut off sources. Coming in a paper copy as well as a living online document, and owner can easily make sure that even if they are not on the property, they can get an ERP into the right hands. The ERP has not only pictures of important shut offs for a business, but also detailed notes of how one would access it. This makes the ERP valuable for even firefighters and plumbers. With quick action and a contingency plan, and Emergency Response Plan is a very valuable tool for any commercial building. Please take actions to make sure that you are prepared for any disaster that may occur. Call SERVPRO® of Charles County now to schedule your free Emergency Response Plan today at (301) 753-8313!

What you should know

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

What You Should Know about Mold

  1. Potential health effects 
  2. There is no practical way to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment; the way to control indoor mold growth is to control moisture.
  3. If mold is a problem in your home or school, you must clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
  4. Fix the source of the water problem or leak to prevent mold growth.
  5. Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60%) to decrease mold growth by:
    • Venting bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside
    • Using air conditioners and de-humidifiers
    • Increasing ventilation
    • Using exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  6. Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  7. Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need to be replaced.
  8. Prevent condensation: Reduce the potential for condensation on cold surfaces (i.e., windows, piping, exterior walls, roof, or floors) by adding insulation.
  9. In areas where there is a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation).
  10. Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any substance, providing moisture is present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and foods.

Charles County Water Damage

1/1/2019 (Permalink)

Charles County Water Damage

Water damage to a residential or commercial location can be very devastating to those involved. The problem is that water damage is one of the leading causes behind building damage that is irreversible. Damage to a building that is not taken care of properly might lead to further loss and damage to the building or location. SERVPRO® of Charles County is a professional water damage company that takes pride in providing high quality service to all their clients in a very timely manner.

Home owners and business owners first step is to seek the services of a professional water damage team like SERVPRO® who are involved with complete water damage restoration, complete cleanups, debris removal, water extraction, drying out the building, cleaning carpets, odor control, sanitizing the building, and more.

Home owners and commercial building owners require a reliable service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to handle the situation which could easily get out of hand. Our company hires only the best people to work with clients who are in a very stressful situation. Our team understands how to work quickly with removal and cleanup of the property. The team of specialists will work to bring the property back to normal and livable. Today, water damage is a very prevalent problem for home owners and business owners. It pays to hire the best qualified specialists who guarantee satisfaction.

It is important for our customers to understand that they should follow a few basic guidelines before the specialist arrives for the cleanup. Wait for the cleanup and damage control team to arrive. Never attempt to cleanup with a wet vacuum or electrical cleaning device while the carpets are soggy or there is a lot of water in the room. If possible, shut off the water to the building at the source. Here at SERVPRO® your safety is always a priority.

For water damage cleanup and restoration call us today @ 301.753.8313.

Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings Guide

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings Guide

Concern about indoor exposure to mold has been increasing as the public becomes aware that exposure to mold can cause a variety of health effects and symptoms, including allergic reactions. This document presents guidelines for the remediation/cleanup of mold and moisture problems in schools and commercial buildings; these guidelines include measures designed to protect the health of building occupants and remediators. It has been designed primarily for:

  • Building managers
  • Custodians
  • Others who are responsible for commercial building and school maintenance

It should serve as a reference for potential mold and moisture remediators. Using this document, individuals with little or no experience with mold remediation should be able to make a reasonable judgment as to whether the situation can be handled in-house. It will help those in charge of maintenance to evaluate an in-house remediation plan or a remediation plan submitted by an outside contractor1. Contractors and other professionals who respond to mold and moisture situations in commercial buildings and schools may also want to refer to these guidelines.

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.

Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.

Many types of molds exist. 

All molds have the potential to cause health effects. Molds can produce allergens that can trigger allergic reactions or even asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. Others are known to produce potent toxins and/or irritants. Potential health concerns are an important reason to prevent mold growth and to remediate/clean up any existing indoor mold growth.

Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building
  • Unvented combustion appliances
  • Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings

Moisture problems in portable classrooms and other temporary structures have frequently been associated with mold problems.

When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants