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When Water Strikes Oxon Hill, MD

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

When Water Strikes Oxon Hill, MD

The first 24 hours following a water incident are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage. Within four hours of loss notification SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill will be on-site to help ensure a water damage is handled properly by completing the following steps.

INSPECTION

SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill will inspect affected areas of the property to determine the extent of damage. They will also review the inspection with you and answer any questions before beginning work. 

EMERGENCY SERVICES

Next, SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill will take immediate steps to protect the home or property and any personal belongings from additional or secondary damage by extracting the excess water and preparing for drying. They will explain in detail the needed emergency services step-by-step.

MONITORING

To help ensure your home and personal belongings, or property are dried to appropriate standards, SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill will monitor the drying process. The results will be consistently communicated to you throughout the monitoring process.

RESTORATION SERVICES

SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill will replace structural materials such as drywall and baseboards, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of the property and belongings. A Final walk-through of the job site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to preloss condition when possible.

Call us today 301.292.4447!

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met. 

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the batteries from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill at 301.292.4447.

Flooding can happen anywhere

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen anywhere

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy-five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA list the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris flows caused by wildfires
  • Ice/Debri jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash caused by heavy rain in dry areas
  • Dam Breaks/ Levee Failures

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood insurance program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States, and commercial claims more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill can help. We can prepare you ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile®(ERP) or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.

SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

EMERGENCY FIRE DAMAGE TIPS for Oxon Hill, MD

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

EMERGENCY FIRE DAMAGE TIPS for Oxon Hill, MD

These emergency tips will assist you in taking proper action until SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill arrives. Follow these DO’s and DON’Ts to help reduce damage and increase the chances of successful restoration.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded not the carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim and appliances.
  • If heat is off during the winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system OFF until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’Ts:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or panted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO® of Charles County.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill.
  • Don’t attempt to clean and electrical appliances such as TV, radios etc., that may have been close to fire, heat, or water. Consult an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. They may be contaminated.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may cause secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill will help you take it back.

Preparing for a Flood with SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Preparing for a Flood with SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill

Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding.

  • Water- 3+ day supply; one gallon per person
  • Food- 3+ day supply of non-perishable, easy to prepare food.
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered or hand crank radio
  • Extra batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • Medications- 7 day supply and medical items such as glasses, hearing aids, contact etc.
  • Multi-purpose tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items
  • Copies of personal documents such as medication list, ID, lease or deed etc.
  • Cell phone with chargers
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Extra Cash
  • Emergency Blanket
  • Maps of the area
  • Baby supplies
  • Pet supplies
  • Tools/Supplies for securing your home
  • Extra set of car keys and house keys
  • Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
  • Rain gear
  • Insect repellent
  • Camera for photos of damage

Understanding Water Types

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

Understanding Water Types

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rain water is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemical and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

DAMAGE FROM CLEAN WATER

  • Shut off water source if possible or contact a qualified professional.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building id access to the panel is safe
  • DO NOT enter rooms with standing water as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electric shock.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.

DAMAGE FROM CONTAMINATED WATER

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you do come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave you property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill at 301.292.4447.

SERVPRO® of Charles County’s Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill’s Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call your local SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill 301.292.4447

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill a representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill will clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill understands mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

YOU CAN BE RUINED, OR YOU CAN BE READY with the Help of Technology

7/2/2018 (Permalink)

YOU CAN BE RUINED, OR YOU CAN BE READY with the Help of Technology

Technology can now be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare, the following will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well.

Get an Emergency READY Profile®

SERVPRO® is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepare you, your property, or your business for an emergency. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App. Get in touch with your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business, and SERVPRO® will be there to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

SUMMER TIPS TO PREVENT MOLD

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

SUMMER TIPS TO PREVENT
MOLD IN YOUR HOME

SERVPRO® would like to offer you some summer tips to prevent mold in your home. During the warm summer months, mold thrives because mold needs warm temperatures in order to grow. Preventing mold takes preventative maintenance, but it’s a lot less work and a lot cheaper than cleaning up a household mold problem later.

Tips to Prevent Mold in Summer

Some simple things you can do to prevent mold in summer include:

  • Use your air conditioner on hot days. Mold grows best at temperatures above 77 degrees Fahrenheit, so keep the indoor temperature lower than that if you can.
  • Watch for any condensation or moisture in your air ducts. Sometimes using the air conditioner can cause condensation and that moisture provides a place for mold to grow.
  • Mold thrives in moist environments, so it’s best to keep the relative humidity below 50 percent. If any areas of your home have relative humidity higher than that, purchase a dehumidifier to reduce the amount of moisture in the air. Mold doesn’t grow well in dry environments.
  • Close windows when it rains. If windows are open when it rains, dry windowsills, floors or any other surfaces as soon as possible. If carpet gets wet, use a fan to dry it faster.
  • If it’s a rainy summer, watch for signs of a leak in your roof. A discolored spot on the ceiling generally means a leak, even if you don’t see water coming through the ceiling. Have any leaks repaired as soon as possible to keep mold from developing.

In addition to the above summer tips to prevent mold, you should do some basic things all year around, including:

  • Repair any leaky pipes or appliances as soon as possible.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outdoors, not into your attic or crawlspace.
  • Turn on the exhaust fan or open a bathroom window a couple inches when showering. The steam that fills the bathroom when you shower provides ample moisture for mold.
  • Don’t use carpet in bathrooms. It’s hard to dry out carpet thoroughly. It’s much easier to dry linoleum or tile floors if they get wet. You can use throw rugs in bathrooms, which can be machine washed and hung to dry, which prevents them from getting moldy.
  • Clean up any spills of water or other liquids immediately.
  • Address any mold problems that do occur promptly to prevent the mold from growing and spreading to other areas of the home.
  • If you notice a musty smell in the home, you probably have mold somewhere. Mold often grows in hard-to-see places, like under carpet and inside walls. If you smell something musty but can’t find any mold, call SERVPRO® of Oxon Hill @ 301.292.4447.

If Mold Develops Despite Your Best Efforts at Prevention

If mold does develop despite your best efforts at prevention, we recommend scheduling a free consultation. SERVPRO® will visit your home, inspect the premises for mold, provide recommendations and advice for cleaning up the mold, and also provide recommendations for preventing mold from recurring in the future.

Summer Fire Safety Tips From FEMA

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Summer Fire Safety Tips From FEMA Summer Fire Safety

Summer Fire Safety Tips From FEMA

<sectionblock-5"><sectionsystem-main">Release date: June 29, 2011Release Number: R10-11-22

SEATTLE, Wash. -- As skies clear and weather turns warmer, Pacific Northwest residents are hoping for glorious weather this Fourth of July. But however the weather turns out, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) warn that careless handling of fireworks and outdoor grills can ruin parties and picnics -- and entire summers. In 2010, U.S. hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 8,600 people for fireworks-related injuries, and according to FEMA Regional Administrator Ken Murphy, 73 percent of fireworks injuries occurred between 18 June and 18 July.

"When celebrating the Fourth of July, Americans need to remember to use fireworks, fires and barbecues with care. The best way to enjoy fireworks is to visit public displays held by trained professionals," said Murphy. "Summer holidays should be fun and generate good memories, not pain and remorse. Have fun, but be safe."

FIREWORKS SAFETY TIPS:

If fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to set them off on your own, be sure to follow these important safety tips:

  • Observe local laws.
  • Keep a bucket of water handy in case of a malfunction or fire.
  • Read and follow all warnings and instructions.
  • Never allow children to play with or ignite fireworks.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks. Never shoot a firework at or near another person.
  • Only light fireworks on a smooth, flat surface away from the house, dry leaves, and flammable materials.
  • Never try to relight fireworks that have not fully functioned. Douse and soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Never ignite fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a dry, cool place. Check instructions for special storage directions.

GRILLING FIRE SAFETY TIPS

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills must only be used outdoors. If used indoors, or in any enclosed spaces such as tents, they pose a fire hazard and a risk of exposing occupants to deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas, and foot traffic. Grills should be positioned at least 10 feet away from siding, deck railing, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep matches, lighters, and starter fluid out of the reach of children in a locked drawer or cabinet.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area: declare a three-foot "kid-free zone" around the grill.
  • Use long barbeque mitts and long-handled grilling tools to protect the chef from heat and flames when cooking.
  • Periodically remove grease or fat buildup in trays below the grill so it cannot be ignited by a hot grill.

USFA, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, serves the American public and the nation's fire services through training, data collection and analysis, public fire education, and fire protection technology research. For more information, visit: www.usfa.fema.gov. For wildfire preparedness tips, sample preparedness plans and emergency checklists, visit firewise.org or www.fema.gov.

Last Updated: January 3, 2018 - 12:19