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Mold or Mildew: Understanding the Difference

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold or Mildew: Understanding the Difference Mold or Mildew can be found in your Bel Air home

Mold or Mildew: Understanding the Difference

If you see something growing on a surface in your home in Bel Air North, MD, you may not know right off the bat whether it is mold damage or mildew growth. After all, both substances have some things in common:

• Love warm, moist environments
• Grow on any surface
• Give off an unpleasant odor

There are, however, key differences between mold and mildew. Those differences can affect how you resolve each issue.

Dealing With Mildew

Mildew is often gray or white, and it clings to wet surfaces. The surface is typically as far as it gets, though. Mildew doesn’t tend to bore into surfaces, causing damage below the top of the item where it grows. Because of this, it can usually be cleaned with a simple household cleaner and a stiff brush. As long as you dry the affected area after cleaning and commit to a regular cleaning schedule, the mildew is unlikely to return.

Dealing With Mold

Mold comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes and textures. It tends to spread more quickly than mildew. Mold damage often goes way below the surface, sometimes rendering the affected item unsalvageable. Its spores take root in porous surfaces, making it impossible to clean with cleaners that you keep in your home. Mold growth requires professional remediation to resolve the issue. If you try to clean mold yourself using the same techniques you use to clean mildew, you are likely to make the problem worse and cause it to spread. It may even get in the air ducts of your home’s HVAC system, causing the spores to be dispersed throughout the home.

While your initial reaction to mold and mildew may be the same, it is much easier and less expensive to rid your home of mildew growth than mold damage. If you suspect your problem is more than mildew, call trained technicians as soon as possible.

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Fire and Lightning

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire and Lightning Lightening can be dangerous to your Bel Air home

Lightning can cause serious damage to a house depending on where it strikes. When it strikes a home in Bel Air North, MD, it can potentially lead to a house fire or an electrical short in the wiring that destroys unprotected appliances or devices. A lightning fire can also cause major damage to a home’s structural integrity.

A bolt of lightning will always find the fastest way to the ground, usually through a home’s wires or plumbing. The biggest dangers of a strike are fire, shock waves, and power surges.

Problems Lightning Strikes Cause

• Fires can start from an electrical short when lightning travels through power lines, wiring, or plumbing in your home. A lightning fire can create sparks that ignite insulation and building materials in the walls or attic, both of which are dangerous because they’re not immediately noticeable.

• Shock waves can destroy brick and concrete, crack housing foundations and chimneys, and shatter windows.

• Electrical surges pose a fire hazard should wires ignite. They also generate massive currents of electricity that can overheat electronic devices such as TVs, computers, and appliances.

Actions To Take After a Strike

• Call your local fire department or 911 if you smell smoke. If a fire starts in the attic, you may not notice right away. The fire department can perform an inspection and search for issues.

• Find an electrician to assess your wiring and make sure there are no damaged wires that may cause a fire hazard later.

• Inspect your roofing and siding for damage from the strike itself.

If you know your house has been struck, call the fire department immediately. Ignited materials in the roof or walls may start with a slow burn before turning into a full house fire. A lightning fire is particularly dangerous for this reason, and steps should always be taken to ensure the safety of your home and family.

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3 Strategies for Preventing a Mold Infestation at Your Business

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Strategies for Preventing a Mold Infestation at Your Business Preventing Mold infestation with preventative strategies

You likely invested a great deal of time and money in your Bel Air, CA, commercial property and wish to protect it from any type of damage. While fire and theft prevention can be vital for the defense of your business, there are other dangers you may not have considered, such as a mold outbreak. Water damage is usually the most common cause of fungi, but fortunately, there are a few ways you can prevent this issue before it can wreak havoc on your business.

1. Catch Potential Problems Early

Water mishaps like broken bathroom pipes and line breaks may seem sudden, but in truth, most of these problems develop slowly and usually go unnoticed until the leakage occurs. You can prevent major water damage by having your plumbing inspected at least once a year. Have worn parts replaced quickly, and do not put repairs off, especially in wintertime when weak pipes are more likely to burst during a freeze.

2. Have Standing Water Cleaned Up Quickly

Indoor flooding can cause standing water that may increase the possibility of mold growth. While you may believe the damage has already been done after a flood, allowing standing water to remain in a room may make your mold problem worse. Calling in a water mitigation and restoration service to have the water drained away as soon as possible can reduce the risk of major mold formation in the days following the flood.

3. Avoid Wasting Water

One strategy for mold prevention that can be effective is to avoid wasting water. Encourage your employees to only run taps when washing their hands and keep the pressure low so water does not splash onto the floor under the sink, where mold might form. Try not to overwater your building’s landscaping plants, as runoff may seep into your building’s basement due to insufficient drainage.

Protecting your Bel Air, CA, commercial building from water damage does not have to be difficult. By following a few simple preventative strategies, you can keep your property clean, dry and mold-free for years to come.

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3 Strategies To Keep Your Commercial Building’s Pipes From Freezing

4/21/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Strategies To Keep Your Commercial Building’s Pipes From Freezing Protecting your Pipes during cold weather can prevent from flooding

When cold temperatures strike Bel Air, CA, your commercial building may be vulnerable to several different weather-related problems, such as frozen pipes. Because commercial properties often have larger pipes to allow for greater water flow throughout the building, they may be difficult to protect from the cold. However, there are several strategies you can employ to protect your pipes and prevent floods that can occur when they burst.

1. Inspect Your Insulation

A building that is well insulated typically has a lower risk for pipe malfunction or bursting. Pipes usually fail because freezing water inside them expands until the piping material can no longer contain it. However, ensuring that your building does not have any gaps in its insulation may help you regulate temperatures inside and prevent pipes from freezing over.

2. Monitor Your Building’s Interior Temperature

Connecting a smartphone app to your building’s thermostat can help you monitor its interior temperature. Some apps allow you to set warnings that alert you if the temperature falls below a preset level. This type of warning system may help you prevent a flood, especially during the overnight hours, when lows tend to dip in the winter months.

3. Connect With a Flood Cleanup Service

Calling in a professional flood cleanup and restoration service to inspect your building and advise you on how to prevent frozen pipes can be an effective way to prevent flooding and water damage. Flood techs can perform water line repair if needed and check the condition of your building’s large exterior water pipes. This type of preventative maintenance can go a long way in preventing floods during the winter, especially if your building has multiple bathrooms or sinks.

Frozen pipes can be a common issue in your Bel Air, CA, when the weather turns cold. However, knowing how to prevent them can help you protect your commercial building from flooding and give you peace of mind as a business owner when temperatures start to drop.

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The Perils of Black Water Damage and Why To Avoid It

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The Perils of Black Water Damage and Why To Avoid It Contaminate water can be hazardous to your home or commercial environment

There are many dangerous situations that can arise after the passing of a major storm in Bel Air, CA, including massive flooding and unstable water damage to your home. However, there’s nothing quite as ominous as having to deal with flood waters or damage that’s contaminated with black water. This biohazard results from sewage and human waste getting backed up and mixing with clean water, causing a bacteria- and pathogen-ridden substance that should be avoided at all costs.

What Makes Water Black?

Water that’s typically called “black” is not always completely black in color, so it’s frequently not that easy to identify simply with the naked eye. It can be brown or murky by sight, but it is professionally known to be “black” when it has been tainted by the following:

? Bacteria
? Waste
? Fungi/Mold

Therefore, unless you know the exact source of the water and that the pipes supplying it to your home haven’t ruptured or cracked, it’s best to stay safe and avoid any contact with the water if possible. This contaminated substance can be dangerous to animals and humans if they’re exposed to it through touch or even just through the air. For this reason, it’s crucial to contact a professional restoration service to both remove any built-up flood water from your home and to handle the extraction of black water damage as well.

What Else Can Lurk in Black Water?

Not only does contaminated water create a hazardous environment on its own, but it can obscure your sight and prevent you from seeing into it. This makes the removal of any considerable storm damage the work for true professionals, as they’ll be more cautious in sifting through the wreckage and removing things like glass pieces, sharp wood, metal objects, etc. that could possibly harm you or your family.

Though the urge to start putting your home in Bel Air, CA, back together after a devastating storm can be a strong one, it’s imperative that you contact experienced restoration specialists to handle any water damage you come across.

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Sewer Water Cleanup: What You Can Expect

3/29/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Sewer Water Cleanup: What You Can Expect Home suffered from Sewer Water

When flooding occurs in your Bel Air, MD, home, facing the cleanup process can be daunting. However, different types of floods may require different cleaning strategies, and few are more difficult than a sewer cleanup. When a backed-up sewer causes a flood at your home, you may have to call in professional flood cleanup and restoration experts to handle the situation safely, and knowing what to expect when they arrive can help you feel more comfortable about the results.


When flood technicians first arrive, they will probably perform immediate mitigation efforts to prevent the contaminated water from spreading to other parts of your home. If the issue is being caused by a flooded toilet, they will most likely turn off the water and drain the tank and bowl. These actions can keep the water contained and confined to one room.


Once the flooding stops, your flood techs will probably then take steps to remove the water and any other sludge caused by the sewer backup. They may bring in specialized machinery to drain water contaminated by pathogens that may also contain the following:

" Urine
" Feces
" Soiled toilet paper

Some machinery your techs might use include trash pumps, which typically handle heavier sludge, and portable sump pumps, which can remove standing water.

Disinfection and Deodorizing

Once the sewer cleanup is complete, flood techs will probably treat the area to prevent mold growth and to remove any bad odors that might have been left behind. Since smells caused by a sewer flood might be especially challenging, this process may take several days and may require removing sections of wall and wet insulation; if it cannot be dried, it must be replaced.

Dealing with a sewer cleanup in your Bel Air, MD, home can be a difficult prospect to face. Calling in professional flood techs to lend a hand and knowing what to expect can give you peace of mind about cleanup efforts and their outcome.

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Top 5 Hidden Places Mold Is Found

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Top 5 Hidden Places Mold Is Found Mold Damage found Behind Wall

Sometimes mold growth is obvious. It blooms in a room that’s been flooded or on a basement wall where groundwater is seeping in. Other times, it hides. You may think you’ve taken care of mold by cleaning it off a wall, but if a musty, dank odor persists, you know there’s still mold hiding somewhere. An experienced mold remediation specialist in Bel Air, MD, can help you pinpoint the location of the mold. Here are the top five places they’ll know to look for hidden mold.

1. Under Carpets and Carpet Pads

Damp carpeting provides an ideal habitat for mold. The space between the carpet or carpet pad and the underlying floor can hold moisture for a long time, allowing mold growth to flourish. If your carpet gets wet, be sure to dry it completely, including underneath.

2. Inside Walls

If you’ve noticed mold growing on a wall, there’s a fair chance it’s also growing inside the wall. A mold remediation service in Bel Air, MD, can remove moldy drywall, locate the source of moisture and clean and dry the wall interior to eliminate mold problems.

3. Behind Wallpaper

Wallpaper that has been around a while or was poorly hung may be harboring mold behind it. If you suspect this is the case, don’t attempt to remove it yourself or you may launch mold spores into your living space.

4. In the Attic

Your attic is the first place you’ll notice a leaking roof. If the leak is small or you don’t go into your attic very often, you may not even notice there’s a problem until it makes its way to the ceiling of your living space. If you find mold on wood in your attic, you may need to have it replaced.

5. In the Air Conditioner

If your air conditioner goes all season without use, you may end up with mold growing inside. It’s better to store it in a dry place during cooler seasons, or run it for 10 – 15 minutes a day to keep the inside clear of mold growth.

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Wanda and Elenor have worked for SERVPRO 37 Years!

3/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Wanda and Elenor have worked for SERVPRO 37 Years! Wanda and Elenor holding up a signed thank you poster for their dedication.

What makes a SERVPRO Crew Chief show up for work 37 years, and counting? Just one little comment…

Wanda Albright, and her sister, Eleanor “Sissy” Helmick, have been SERVPRO of East Harford County Crew Chiefs for nearly four decades, through countless restoration industry changes and three different franchise owners, giving their all for customers and co-workers, too!

Since 1981, this dedicated pair have seen many changes in the restoration industry, and drastic growth for the company, but their focus remains the same: on those experiencing stress and trauma from damages to their homes. Wanda sums up her work’s greatest reward, helping customers and their homes return to normalcy, “I just love going into a home where it’s a disaster and I make it perfect… I like to make a difference.”

Owners Jim and Trish Wall, SERVPRO of East Harford County; SERVPRO of Hunt Valley / Lutherville; and SERVPRO of Bel Air, understand employees are what makes a business great, and Wanda and Sis are, no doubt, exceptional in their dedication to customer, company, and team. “Throughout their 38+ year careers, Wanda and Sissy have always dreamed of visiting the corporate headquarters, so this past January, we made their dreams come true with an anniversary trip to Tennessee. With the help of our East Harford County General Manager, Toni Townsley, Wanda and Sissy visited SERVPRO Industries, Inc. headquarters, toured the facility, met several corporate employees, and made the SERVPRO TV news in a segment dedicated to them!” Then to top off the fun, the pair spent two nights downtown, enjoying themselves and the sights and sounds of Nashville. It was quite a memorable trip and well-deserved for such dedicated and loyal people.

And while recognition of their accomplishments and acknowledgment of their dedication is surely important to good employee morale, what exactly could keep these crew chiefs coming back year-after-year to the very same job? According to Sis Helmick, just one thing… “It makes me feel good. It makes me feel proud when someone comes to me and tells me ‘Thank you so much. You’ve helped us tremendously.’ That’s what I do it for. That one little comment.”

4 Ways To Bolster Your Business Against Flood Damage

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Ways To Bolster Your Business Against Flood Damage Commercial Water Loss

Even if you’ve never dealt with the issue personally before, you know that flooding is no joke, especially when it involves a business like yours. While being aware of the intensity of flood damage is important, it’s critical to take some precautions within your business in Bel Air, MD, to mitigate damage to your property if the issue ever does occur. Some effective steps include:

• Contracting a team of professionals ahead of time for faster responses during emergencies
• Backing up tech and databases
• Investing in the right insurance policies
• Preparing for damages

1. Seeking Professional Help

Regardless of how well you prepare your business, you’re still likely to see some sort of damage if the flood is bad enough, especially if you’re dealing with a threat like black water. Having a chosen team of professionals contracted and on hand means you’ll get faster response times during floods, meaning you’ll receive better damage mitigation thanks to more timely efforts.

2. Uploading Information to the Cloud

Not only do you run the risk of losing computers and other tech during floods, but also the important records and data that they hold. Take the time to back up your data on discs or to a cloud service so you have one less thing to worry about when and if flooding occurs within your business.

3. Adding Extra Insurance Coverage

Of course, having the right insurance can go a tremendous way towards recovering your business after flood damage has occurred. However, you may also want to check into adding business interruption insurance to your policy in order to have the best security possible during renovations.

4. Taking Preventative Measures

Prevention is often the best medicine, and the same can be said for keeping flood waters out of your business. Upgrade your weather stripping, have professional plumbers inspect your waterworks annually and take a few other steps to decrease the likelihood of flooding occurring in the first place. Dealing with floods is never simple, but following these 4 steps can help to mitigate the damage and make the cleanup process easier and less stressful.

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What is Mold and How Does It Spread?

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

You probably know that having black mold in your building can cost a lot of money in Fallston, Maryland. You may recognize that flooding is a primary cause of mold and that you should call a mold cleanup crew is you suspect you have a moisture problem in your business. However, business owners and operators should also ask these questions:

• Do I understand what mold is?
• Do I know how mold spreads?
• Do I know what to do the moment I suspect it’s in my business?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, you might need to learn more about this invasive substance. Knowledge is the key to stopping mold in its tracks.

What Is Mold?

On its most essential level, mold is a type of microscopic fungus. Each mold colony has spores and a small body. These colonies are so small that you cannot see them without a magnifying device. However, when several colonies grow together, that’s when you get visible mold in your business.

How Does Mold Spread?

Contrary to popular belief, mold spores are almost everywhere. However, these spores cannot multiply and spread without significant humidity for prolonged periods of time. Mold spores need humidity of at least 45 percent to spread. That’s when black mold can become a problem for your business.

It’s not the flood itself that causes mold to spread. Instead, it’s the significant increase in an area’s overall humidity that makes mold spread. As the water rises in your business, it evaporates into the air and causes the whole building to become prone to mold. That’s why it’s important not only to have a professional check below the flood line; they should check the whole area for signs of mold.

What to Do If You Suspect Mold?

If you smell that distinctive musty odor or have experienced a flood in your building, do not try to tackle it yourself. Call a mold remediation service in Fallston, Maryland. It’s important to let professionals handle it since black mold can be difficult to manage.

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