Recent Posts

The warmth of a summertime fire.

8/1/2019 (Permalink)

Who doesn't love sitting outside in the summer with a nice fire going? It just goes hand and hand with summertime and roasting marshmallows. 

It sure can be relaxing but don't get too relaxed. You still need to be safe when having a fire. 

When you have campfires, make sure you build them at least 25 feet away from tents, shrubs or anything that has the potential to catch on fire.

When using a fire pit, outdoor fireplace or chiminea , you are going to want to make sure you have placed these things at least 10 feet away from your home or structure or again anything that could possibly catch on fire. 

Make sure when your tending the fire to not have loose sleeves or articles of clothing on that could catch on fire as well. 

Always think ahead and look around you for possible fire hazards. Once that is all done you can relax around the glow of the fire.

If anything happens though, you know that SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor is here to help. We never take a night off even in the summertime. 24/7 365 days a year . There when you need us. 410-637-3433

Prepare your house to leave it.

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Summertime is a great time for relaxation and travel for most. It's also a good time to get your house checked for leaks etc so you can take a vacation with a good piece of mind.

Check your home for leaks at the pipes under the sinks and check the water heater for cracks and rust.

Look at the seals around your windows and make sure their in good condition. If you have any shingles dislodged on the roof, now is a good time to have them replaced. 

All the hoses that connect major appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers and refrigerator ice maker lines need to be checked for kinks, cracks etc. 

Examine your sump pump and check that it is in good condition and clear of debris by filling the sump pit and running the pump. Listen to the motor for strange sounds and watch that the water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup source in case there is a power outage while you are gone.

Turn off the water at the main if there is no one to check your house. Drain the pipes as a precaution and flush the toilets after . 

If possible have someone check on your house while your away.

Have a relaxing Summer but nothing is more relaxing then taking the time to prepare your house for your absence. 

SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor will be there if you need us of course if anything goes wrong. We are there 24/7 and we don't take a vacation. 

Check for water damage before buying.

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage signs can be left in plain sight at times if you look. Grab a flashlight when looking at a home to buy .

Water damage can be hiding anyway but check the high risk areas at least.

Check the walls for spots and stains. Don't forget to look around doors and windows.

Check the floors for warping and buckling especially in the basement. Look for white or dark stains on wood floors, damp carpeting and a general smell of dampness and mold,

Check the piping in the kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and basement for corrosion around the pipe connections, leaks, or water stains. Inspect the caulking around the bathroom fixtures. Missing or loose caulking could be caused by water seepage. Look for missing grout or signs of mold. Check the water heater for wet spots on the floor and rust on the tank.

Check the attic for stains, mold, and other signs of leaks. The insulation should be dry and in good condition. 

Don't forget to check the outside of the house.  Check the roof for damaged flashing and missing, cracked, or curled shingles. If you see standing water anywhere outside the home, it could be the sign of a problem. The house should be situated on the highest point of the property, with the ground sloping away from the house.

Be safe in the summer when cooking.

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Although house fires are generally down in numbers during the summer months, you still need to be on your toes when cooking. Cooking is one of the most leading causes of house fires by far. Grease and oils can ignite an unattended stove. Another way that a fire can occur is with dish towels or other things being left on the stove. These items can ignite easily. 

Taking the cooking outdoors in the summer doesn't necessarily keep you safe from a cooking fire. Mishandled propane tanks are responsible for many fires and injuries. 

Summertime is a time to be careful as always whether you are cooking indoors or outdoors. Enjoy the easy breezy days of summer but stay on your toes when cooking.

If you have a problem of course SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor is here to help . 

Who doesn't love to grill?!

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

As the weather gets warmer, we are sure you're turning the temperature up on your grills to enjoy a meal outside this summer. Don't let a fire get in the way of your good time. If you follow these safety tips, your summer meals should go off without a hitch! Check these out courtesy of SERVPRO and the National Fire Protection Association:

  • If your grill is propane or charcoal powered (it probably is) only use it outside
  • Keep your grill away from your house or any overhangs, etc. that could catch flame if the blazes get too high
  • Children and pets should be kept away from the grill
  • Be sure to remove and clean any grease and/or fat build up
  • Don't walk away from the grill when it's on. Always supervise an in-use grill
  • Use tools with long handles meant for grilling, to avoid any injury

Grilling is a classic summer routine for your family, and maybe even for your business. Don't let small errors turn into a big mess. If you do have a grill mishap and your property experiences any fire damage, give us a call and we'll have you back to grilling in no time! 

410-637-3433

There is more than one type of water.

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage is always inconvenient, no matter the type of water causing it; however, understand which type of water you're dealing with can be crucial to minimize destruction until our professionals arrive.

Clean water can be from a broken pipe/water source, or even rainwater. 

Clean water becomes gray water after it has been left untreated. Untreated water allows for bacteria and fungi to grow and the water then becomes contaminated. This water can become hazardous. 

Black water is typically caused by sewage damage or natural disaster flooding. Black water should ALWAYS be handled by professionals. 

How do you minimize the damage from these water types?

For clean water:

If you can, shut off the water source.

Turn off any circuit breakers to affected areas. This protects from any potential electrical shock. Do not enter any rooms with standing water because unknown shock risks could be hiding. 

Mop, blot, or wipe down any excess water.

To start drying any damage or soaked upholstery, remove and prop them up to start the drying process.

Move valuables to a safe place

Remove colored items that might bleed or run, causing stains.

Never use a vacuum to remove water. Shock risk is high!

If your ceiling is wet, don't turn on any ceiling fixtures. Don't enter the room is the ceiling is sagging from retained water.

For contaminated water:

Avoid all contact with sewage. Wash yourself thoroughly if you come into contact with contaminated items.

Do not walk through affected areas.

Do not turn on your HVAC system as it could spread contaminated air.

Do not use fans. Air flow could spread contaminants.

If food or personal hygiene products are exposed to contaminated area, discard them.

Water damage can be traumatic, but the cleanup and restoration process doesn't need to be.

Sewage back ups are not easy to talk about.

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

Earlier we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated. It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear...doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself. 

Our SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.

If you experience sewage backup or sewage related flooding, let us be your first call. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor

410-637-3433

Are you ready ?

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Disaster can strike any time anywhere. If a major storm struck within the next 15 minutes...would you be prepared? No? Read on.

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are related to weather events. These events can lead to about 500 deaths and cause nearly $15 billion in damages, according to the NOAA. 

So, how do you make sure you're as ready as possible when severe weather hits? Know your risk and take action.

No matter how high or low your risk level is for severe weather, it's crucial to have an emergency plan and supply kit in place, just in case.

What do you include in your emergency supply kit?

It's important to mix and match these items to suit your specific personal needs, but here are some fundamentals to include:

  • Water (1 gallon per person per day)
  • Food (non-perishable 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably and NOAA Weather Radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help, if need be
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, especially during flood or lightning risks
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents; copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account info
  • Cash
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container

While this list is suitable for a home or business, if your business needs assistance devising an emergency plan, let us do it for you. We specialize in Emergency Ready Profiles which her minimize damage and business interruption in case of an emergency.

In any event, we are here to help you recover your home or business after any type of loss or damage.

SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor: 410-637-3433

We hate to even think about a sewage backup let alone talk about them .

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

It's definitely not the most pleasant problem to talk about, but sewage backups or leaks are very real and very serious issues you could face in your home or business.

Earlier we discussed how to tell if the water flooding in your property is clean or contaminated. It's probably the most important to know that sewage water should be assumed to be contaminated and hazardous at all times (until one of our professionals determines otherwise). Sewage water is typically referred to as category 3 black water. This classification is due to the dangerous contaminants in it. It's important to note that sewage water has the ability to appear clean. This is an instance of top water. If sewage runoff looks clean, it's usually because the waste and contaminants have sunk to the bottom. This water is still categorized as black water; not for the color, but for the risk it carries with it. In most cases of any standing water in your home, it's crucial to understand that just because you can't particularly see the contaminants or just because the water looks clear...doesn't mean that it is safe to try to mitigate yourself. 

Our SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor crews are specifically trained to deal with hazardous water and how to clean any harmful remnants once the water is drained. Without that training, your knowledge is your most powerful tool to keep you from putting yourself at risk upon spotting standing water in your residential or commercial property.

If you experience sewage backup or sewage related flooding, let us be your first call. We make it, "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Baltimore's Inner Harbor

410-637-3433

Are you prepared?

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

How quickly your business is able to return to normal operations after a tornado, fire, or even a flood often depends on emergency planning. It is easy to think that such emergencies are unlikely to hurt your business, because truly they aren't a terribly common occurrence. That said, it is even easier to just take the time to prepare for anything.

Even though every situation is unique, your business can still be prepared. Your commitment to emergency planning will help support your employees, customers, industry colleagues, your local community, and even the country. Additionally, it protects your business investment by giving the facility and company a better chance of survival after various emergencies. 

Be informed:

Know what kinds of emergencies might affect your business and devise a plan to deal with them

Develop a Business Continuity Plan:

Plan which staff, procedures and equipment are undeniably necessary to keep operating. Plan a backup plan for everything. Make a procedure for what to do if your facility isn't accessible or if there are utilities disruptions. 

Make Your Emergency Plan:

Evacuation procedures, shelter-in-place plans, communications procedures for before, during and after an incident. Make them. Practice them at least once a year.

Review Your Insurance Coverage

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness:

Emergency preparedness is a chain reaction. Preparing your business will encourage your employees to prepare their families, their families will encourage their friends, friends encourage other community members, so on and so forth.