Preparing for Maryland’s Thunderstorm Season | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
The weather is finally warming up here in Maryland. And that’s great news for kids and families who want to get outdoors and enjoy some warm, sunny days!
Life definitely gets sweeter on The Lower Shore when we can go outside and enjoy longer, warmer days. But this season also brings with it some weather risk that Marylanders need to be aware of, so they can prepare their homes and families for what to do—and be sure their homes are in the best shape possible to withstand anything the weather throws at them.
Flooding in Maryland
Storms, both tropical and otherwise, can bring a lot of rainfall to our region. In fact, two of the worst natural disasters in Maryland’s history happened because of flooding related to storms.
While both of these events were related to tropical systems, Maryland is prone to flooding on a smaller scale. So you need to be able to take the right steps to protect your home. Here are some things experts recommend to help you prepare for severe weather.
Be sure your roof is ready. The rains and winds that can bring flooding can also cause issues for your roof. Have it inspected so you can rest a little easier, knowing that leaks and missing shingles won’t be a problem.
Store your outdoor furniture (or secure it). In the right conditions, outdoor furniture that isn’t secure can become a hazard. Don’t let that happen! Work to make it secure instead. If you can’t, consider putting it away for a while if major storms are forecast.
Prepare your family, too. This is where an emergency kit and a disaster plan can make a difference. Talk with your family about how you will handle severe weather, what you need, and if your area is under a severe threat, the best places to take shelter.
If you need help dealing with damage caused by water, fire or any other issue, we’re here to help you restore your home. We have crews who are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about us and how we can help you restore your home to its original state.
Protect your home from flood waters. l SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Flooding is the most common disaster in the United States. It can be very costly and can occur anywhere and anytime it rains, even if your property is not located next to a large body of water.
Homeowners should know their flood-zone. You can begin to evaluate your risk by checking at FEMA’s online Flood Map Service Center. Locate the base flood elevation (BFE) for your home, or the elevation at which your building has a 1 % chance of flooding in a given year. Structures should be at least 3 foot above the BFE.
It is recommended you speak with your insurance agent about flood insurance as it pertains to your policy as flood damage is not typically covered by a standard homeowner policy. Just a few inches of water can cost thousands of dollars with data demonstrating over 25% of claims coming from areas outside of the high-risk flood zone. The National Flood Insurance Program can help you locate insurance.
Steps to Prepare for a Flood:
- Make an inventory of personal belongings by taking photos as well as a video of your property, household items and valuables if possible.
- Keep certifications, passports, medical records and other important documents like insurance paperwork in a watertight box.
- Raise electrical components at least 12 inches above your BFE and have utilities like HVAC units placed at higher elevations such as second story levels or even roofs. Install a sewer backflow valve to prevent sewage from returning to the structure. Regularly check to make sure your sump pump is operational and has a battery back-up if available for your unit.
- Check your property’s slope, to ensure water runs away from your structure and that gutters are free of debris. Reducing impervious surface, like concrete and asphalt with green spaces that absorb rainfall are additional measures to reduce flooding.
- Anchor loose property and propane tanks to prevent property damage and contamination of the flood water from chemical leakages.
If a flood is expected, move your valuables to higher ground. Elevate or move furniture if possible. Stay alert, follow the guidance of local officials. Never drive into flood waters, regardless of the apparent depth as there may be unseen currents. Make sure you have a plan in place and a “go kit” (an emergency supply kit consisting of a waterproof tub filled with drinking water, dry or canned food, batteries and other essentials). Be prepared for potential long term power outages.
Once a flooding disaster has passed, contact SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore to obtain assistance with your remediation needs at 410-749-2221.
Is Your Lower Shore Business Ready for Disaster? l SERVPRO of The Lower Shore
Business owners are planners. After all, it takes a lot of work to open your own company.
While you’ve probably taken the time to plan for future revenue, employee expansion, the next five years of growth, and now, a pandemic, it’s important to have another type of plan, too.
What is it? It’s a disaster plan. And it’s something that no one likes to think about, but every business owner needs. The reason for that is simple. We can’t predict a disaster. But they’re more common than most of us would like to believe.
Pandemics are rare, but damages due to water, fires and floods are more common. Experts estimate that most business owners will, at some point over the next 10 years, need to file a claim for some damage. (Water is the most common cause.)
So, do you have a business disaster plan in place? If not, here are some of the things that experts recommend you consider.
Building a Plan for Disasters
Here’s what you need to consider when you’re putting together a disaster plan:
Your unique risks. This may sound like an odd suggestion, but it matters. It’s not just the risks you think about. There are risks specific to your industry (like fires in restaurants) and natural disasters specific to your area (hurricanes on the coast or tornadoes in the Midwest and South). Do your research about what can impact your area. Then build your plan to take those into account.
Document your plan. This can be an involved step, depending on what you do at your business. You’ll want to consider ways to store information and data in a cloud-based system. If you can do your business remotely or from another location, you’ll want to include that information, too.
Educate your team. Make sure everyone you work with knows their part in the plan, so you can help ensure things move as smoothly as you can.
If your business is damaged during a disaster, we’re here. We have crews who are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our services and how we can help you
Helping Elderly Loved Ones Prepare for Disaster | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
A growing number of Americans have elderly relatives living in their homes. A recent study found that the number of families has risen by 14% over the past several years.
While many of these families are enjoying the benefits of having a grandparent in the home, adding an elderly family member means you have to keep special considerations in mind when you’re preparing your family to deal with emergencies like severe thunderstorms and other types of natural disasters.
No one likes to think about their home or community being impacted by a natural disaster. But millions of families every year find themselves in that position. That’s why it’s good to be as prepared as you can be for emergencies.
You’ll want to prepare a traditional emergency kit for your family, too. But taking these extra precautions for elderly family members living in your home can help them feel safer and more comfortable during an emergency.
Planning for Emergencies
Here are some tips experts recommend for family members helping an elderly loved one prepare for disaster situations.
Consider his or her unique needs. If your loved one needs a wheelchair, glasses, or other personal care items, they need to be accounted for in your emergency kit. When packing your emergency kit, be sure your loved one has at least a week’s worth of medication available. This will help him or her maintain good health during a disaster.
Locate the appropriate emergency shelters. You’ll want to call ahead and learn where accessible facilities are for your elderly loved one, so that he or she is able to get the care needed in the aftermath of an emergency.
Be sure there’s adequate food and water in your emergency kit. This is important for every single member of your family, but you’ll want to be sure any special dietary needs are met. For example, if your loved one is living with diabetes, you’ll want to be sure he or she has both the medication needed and food that will work for dietary needs.
If a fire, flood or any other cause damage to your home, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.
Is Your Hebron Business Prepared for a Fire? l SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Business owners love to plan for the future and like to imagine the growth and success their business will find over the next several years. None of them like to imagine a future where their business is impacted by a fire.
But it happens to more business owners than you might think. In fact, as many as 10% of American businesses file some kind of fire claim every year. These fires vary in severity and the damage they cause, but the majority of them do damage that can interrupt daily business. The average claim is for about $35,000 worth of repairs and losses.
Knowing that a fire can happen to as many as one out of 10 businesses every year, it’s a good idea to be prepared if something happens to yours.
Tips for Business Owners
Here’s what the experts recommend:
Take steps to lower your risk. There are things you can do before a fire happens to make it less likely that you’ll have to deal with one at all. You’ll want to ensure you’ve disposed of all the paper and waste properly each day. It’s also a good idea to monitor equipment for fire risks (like frayed cords) and keeping them well-maintained.
Have the equipment you need. Fire extinguishers on every floor can help stop fires before they spread. Also, a timely evacuation plan that every employee understands and practices is essential.
Control crowds and other risks. You’ll want to ensure that all your employees understand basic fire safety and that you always follow guidelines related to things like crowd control.
If your business is damaged due to fire, water or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help you.
Is Mold Lurking in Your Home | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Is Mold Lurking in Your Home? | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
What are the factors that tend to allow mold to grow in your residence? Moisture, temperature, light, airflow and materials that mold can “consume” are the main reasons why mold will generate. When mold is allowed to fester (especially when it is hidden from sight), the spores will usually multiply rapidly. One of the most reliable ways to detect locations where mold may be susceptible to growth is by the use of a moisture meter. At SERVPRO®, we are able to utilize technology to help locate moisture in a variety of materials in your home quickly and with minimal invasion of the material itself.
As we start looking forward to the prospects of warmer weather with the usual spring-cleaning and home projects about to start up again, we at SERVPRO® would like to remind everyone to be diligent in reviewing the many different areas of their home. Homeowners should be extremely mindful of the unconditioned spaces such as attics and basements that may have been exposed to humid conditions where mold grows. As you enter these locations, be on the lookout for some of the most common areas of concern.
- Window sills where warm and cool air meet
- Washing machines, specifically around the valve box (where the shut off valves are) and the door gasket area on front loading machines
- Appliance drip pans, like those found on refrigerators and deep freezer units where there is limited air circulation
- Attics & basements where leaks often occur unnoticed for long periods of time and where the air is possibly stagnant due to lack of venting
- Central Air or A/C units with leaky condensation lines and drip pans that are not draining properly
- Carpets, padding, or any other type of flooring material that absorbed large spills or water over flows and were not properly mitigated
- Bathrooms, specifically the drywall around vanities, toilets and showers that have gotten wet or those that have a lack of proper ventilation due to a poorly operating or clogged exhaust fan
If you suspect or find mold in your home, contact SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore to assist with your remediation needs at 410-749-2221.
5 Tips When Dealing with a Renovation During a Pandemic l SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Renovations and remodeling during the pandemic have increased nationwide as more homeowners are available to address needed projects. With so many “Do It Yourself” jobs underway and the limitations set forth on everyone due to COVID-19, material costs are on the rise along with extended shipping times and contractor shortages. One specific way to reduce the frustration and stress associated with home improvement projects is to let the specialists manage your home restoration needs. SERVPRO® can be your one stop shop as we are able to address your project from start to finish.
Before you begin any work in your home, here are few tips to consider;
- Research the material and products you are interested in utilizing prior to speaking with your contractor. Make sure they are able to adequately answer any questions you may have and seem knowledgeable in all aspects of the project.
- Have an agreed upon construction plan worked out in advance and secure a legally binding contract as well which includes rough time frames for completion and outlines the way in which communication will take place.
- Ask questions about safety, including addressing COVID precautions, and settle any issues outside government regulations on how they might be handled. Will you allow access to a restroom? Will the contractor supply an off-site facility?
- Determine a fixed budget, payment schedule and how you prefer to work out unforeseen issues. Do you have a contingency fund? Who is purchasing and providing the materials?
- Be prepared for noisy days, possible loss of internet and electricity services and minor intrusions of your privacy. Make sure your plan allows for as minimal inconvenience as possible with items like zipper partitions, boot covers, masks, gloves and clearly designated off-limit areas.
Professionals, like SERVPRO®, will follow local, federal and state COVID guidelines, and will be proactive in assuring the safety of their clients and staff.
SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore provides services from mitigation to reconstruction and repair after a loss, which can greatly reduce the time and stress experienced. Contact us to find out more about our reconstruction services.
Your Local Resource for Home Restoration Will Be There Fast l SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Do you know how quickly water damage can spread through your home and begin to damage your valuable personal property, furniture and family heirlooms?
The answer is faster than you think.
Within just a few minutes, water contamination can begin to spread throughout your home. It will start soaking into wood and furniture, causing it to warp and making upholstered pieces begin to fade or stain. Additionally, it can begin to impact personal papers and photographs just as quickly.
It barely takes a day to notice wood warping and wet drywall. Mold can start to grow just as quickly, with a musty odor becoming noticeable, in some cases, within a few hours.
Water damage from storms, leaks and burst pipes is a common woe for homeowners. But knowing how quickly it can spread or worsen means that you know it’s time to take action if you notice it.
Your 24⁄7 Restoration Team
We know how important it is for you to move fast if your home starts to show signs of water damage. That’s why you can count on our team to be available to you 24⁄7.
We’re always here to help you during an emergency, and we pride ourselves on getting to the site fast. If you have an emergency, you can count on us.
Our technicians are highly trained and certified experts. You can trust that the team you work with will know how to restore your home best. They’ll be able to take the advanced technology SERVPRO offers and use it to create a restoration plan you can trust.
If your home is damaged due to fire, water or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.
Staying Safe While Using Your Home’s Fireplace l SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
If your family enjoys spending an evening by the fire, you’re not alone. For many people, a wood-burning fireplace is an attractive feature for a family living room. They’re especially popular during the winter months when long nights at home make a warm fire especially appealing.
Wood-burning fireplaces can be very safe if they’re used the right way. Before you start a roaring fire at your home, take steps to be certain your fireplace and chimney are ready to warm your family safely.
Fireplace Safety Basics
Before you light your fire, you’ll need to ensure your chimney is capped and doesn’t have any cracks. You can get your home inspected and your chimney checked to be certain that it’s ready to be used.
Here are a few more things to do before you start your fire:
Consider cracking a window. Even though it’s probably cold outside, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends this step to ensure your family is getting adequate clean air.
Add a screen. Fireplace screens are important to help protect your family from the dangers that an open fire can represent.
Clean your fireplace. Don’t let ashes and debris gather. These can cause a fire hazard if you light fire after fire on top of them.
Keep your fireplace clear. Not only is what’s inside the fireplace important, what’s around it matters, too. It would help if you kept your fireplace area clear from rugs, wood, paper and anything flammable. Don’t let kids or pets too close, either.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Have a fire extinguisher handy. Also, be certain you have working smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide detector.
If your home is damaged due to a fire or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have crews who are available 24⁄7 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help.
Hebron Families Can Protect Their Homes from Dryer Fire Risks l SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Did you know that clothes dryers cause more than 13,800 house fires every year?
This modern convenience that we rely on daily can indeed be a home fire hazard if it’s not maintained properly. Fires caused by dryers can really be boiled down to a couple of major causes. The first is an improperly vented dryer.
You can check your dryer’s vent against the standard safety regulations—they’re different for gas dryers and electric dryers.
The second is easier to prevent. If a dryer’s vent isn’t cleaned regularly, it can pose a problem. So the best way to lower your risk for this type of fire is to clean your dryer vent every time you use it.
While it’s smart to take steps to prevent problems like dryer fires, even the most diligent homeowner can be caught unaware sometimes. If that happens, it’s good to have a local team available to guide you through the restoration process.
We’re Here at Every Step
Families living in The Lower Shore can rely on us as a trusted partner during the restoration process. Here’s why:
We help with the whole restoration process. Depending on where it happens, fire can damage walls, upholstery and property. But that’s not all. The aftermath can also include water damage and smoke damage. Our team can repair and remediate all of these issues.
We work to restore your home first. It’s our goal to help you recover from a fire in a way that’s both logical and economical. We work with you through restoration and help you save money on repairs and insurance premiums. This often involves restoring or repairing rather than replacing.
We are locally owned. SERVPRO has locations all across the United States. But we’re also a Hebron-based business with a team of experts who live here in our community. That means we have access to the resources, equipment and training of a leading-edge company, combined with the benefit of knowing and understanding the area where we live.
We’re available to help at any time. Fires don’t always happen during regular working hours. Beginning the restoration process quickly is a vital step in getting your home back to its original state. Timing matters during an emergency. We make sure our team is available 24⁄7 you need us.
If you have fire damage in your home, you can count on us for restoration assistance. Our team is always ready to meet your needs and help you restore your home. Contact us any time to learn more about our restoration services.