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.
A Look at Common Causes for Water Damage in the Home | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Water damage feels like a nightmare for homeowners, but there are many different paths to the same outcome. Water damage can occur for a variety of reasons throughout a home, and being aware of all the possibilities is a must so you are able to plan ahead.
While planning for water damage may seem futile, when you consider how many households experience it in any given year, having a plan can be a major factor in how easily your recovery process proceeds. Below, we will be looking at some of the causes of water damage that can occur in the home so you are aware of the possibilities and what to look for if you suspect something is amiss.
Common Causes of Household Water Damage
Weather-related damages. When most people think of water damage, weather-related causes are likely what comes to mind first. This can include something mild, such as a roof leak during heavy rainfall, or something far more serious such as a flash flood. If you experience weather-related water damage, it is vital to reach out to your insurance company about coverage as each scenario can be handled differently.
Plumbing-related damages. Damages due to plumbing issues, such as burst or leaking pipes, can range from sudden and dramatic to slow and gradual. Experiencing a burst pipe can cause serious amounts of damage in a short amount of time, while a leaking pipe can lead to a much more gradual issue. Fortunately, plumbing issues are typically covered by insurance provided the issue is not due to any negligence on behalf of the homeowner.
Appliance-related damages. Leaking appliances can cause serious water damage without homeowners ever realizing it, as the leak will likely occur behind or below the appliance. Dishwashers, refrigerators and washing machines are common sources of household leaks, so checking behind these appliances on a regular basis can help you discover these before they cause serious problems. Discoloration in areas, softening of walls or subfloors, and a musty smell are all signs that water damage may be present.
If you have water damage of any type, we have the expertise to be able to help. We are here for you 24⁄7 to provide a quick response and speed the restoration process along. Contact us today for more information.
How Can I Make Sure Severe Weather Does Not Pose a Risk to My Family? | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
As you think about all the ways to protect your family from harm, there are few things more important than considering a severe weather action plan for them. While severe weather may seem like an abstract and unpredictable threat, knowing what to do if you find yourself in its path can help you stay safer and even save a life in some incidents.
While there is no way to predict severe weather or to avoid it, there are plenty of ways that you can make a plan to keep your family safe from harm if it strikes. Below, we will look at some of the top ways that you can be certain your bases are covered in the event of severe weather so you and your family can achieve peace of mind.
Questions to Ask for Your Severe Weather Preparedness Plan
Do I have all the supplies I need at home? Severe weather can knock out power as well as cell networks and utility services, so it is always a good idea to make sure you have everything you need to be self-sufficient for at least a few days. Pack an emergency kit with enough food and water to last your family several days, and be sure to include other essentials such as first-aid supplies and comfort items as well.
Do I have a way to receive weather alerts? Staying tuned into the alerts issued by local officials can provide you with helpful information such as watches and warnings so you can be aware of the weather conditions that often change rapidly. Cell phones can be unreliable during severe storms, so having a radio or other low-tech method for receiving alerts is advised.
Do I have an evacuation plan? While staying put is typically the advised course of action during a severe thunderstorm, if heavy, sustained rain leads to the development of flash flood conditions, you may find yourself needing to evacuate to get to a safer spot. Make sure you have an evacuation plan in mind, complete with several different driving routes in case your preferred road becomes blocked by water.
If your home has damages due to severe weather of any kind, we are here to help. We can provide 24⁄7 restoration services so you never have to wait to give us a call. Contact us today to learn more.
Are You Confident That Your Business Is Prepared for a Disaster? | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
If a disaster struck your business, would you know what to do? Unfortunately, this is a question that many business owners are unable to answer.
Planning ahead is vital for businesses, but for those that are unprepared for a disaster, all that planning can be useless if an emergency does occur. While disaster planning may seem like another thing to add to your already-full plate, it is important that you think through the recovery steps to be certain a disaster does not ruin your livelihood as it does for many.
Simply thinking through all the steps required to prepare for and recover from a disaster is a great way to consider where there might be gaps in your plan. Simple things, like a first-aid kit or extra insurance coverage, can come in handy both for your safety and for your income should a disaster impact your business.
Be Confident in Your Business’ Disaster Preparedness Plan
Plan for the moments before a disaster. First and foremost, disaster planning should involve prioritizing the safety of yourself and the staff at your business. By planning for the moments leading up to a disaster, you can be sure to reduce panic and keep everyone safer when things turn dangerous. Planning your evacuation routes from the building, keeping your emergency kit stocked and handy and making sure there is a clear communications plan in place can help protect everyone when a disaster strikes.
Plan for the immediate aftermath. Once you discover that damage has been done to your business, it is important to act quickly to prevent further issues from arising. You will want to know how to contact your insurance company as well as your commercial restoration provider no matter the hour, so you can start filing a claim and have a restoration team dispatched to you immediately to begin working on restoring your business.
Plan for the long-term aftermath. Once the insurance claim and restoration processes are set in motion, you can begin the work of rebuilding your business operations. Determine if you will close completely for the time being, and if so, what your timeline for reopening will be. Also make sure to apply for the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan assistance program if you are eligible so you can receive funds towards your recovery.
If your business has been damaged in a disaster, you can depend on us for assistance. Contact us at any time of the day or night to report your damage and get a team dispatched to you quickly.
Make Sure to Prioritize Safety When Using Your Fireplace | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
As the weather turns cooler and the nights get longer, more and more of us will be making use of fireplaces to heat our homes throughout the winter. While this can be done safely, it is important to always use caution when an open flame is involved, even when it is mostly contained. It has been found that the majority of house fires occur during the winter months, many of which are due to issues related to fireplaces and heating accidents.
Fortunately, there are plenty of safety measures you can take to make using your fireplace a much less risky experience. You can have all the coziness of a warm, crackling fire without nearly as much of the risk thanks to these helpful tips below.
Helpful Tips to Make Using Your Fireplace Safer
The National Fire Protection Administration reports that half of home heating fires occur between December and February, but with safety in mind, you can reduce your chances of one happening to you. Here are some great tips for using your fireplace safely:
- Always have your chimney inspected before use each year.
- Never leave a fire unattended, whether you are going to sleep or leaving the house.
- Keep a three-foot buffer around the fireplace that is free from flammable objects, children and pets.
- Make sure to always have a fire extinguisher nearby in case embers do begin to spread.
- Avoid using a vacuum to clean up ashes, as they can still spark fires.
- Do not let ashes build up to be more than an inch thick in the bottom of the firebox.
- Be sure that no tree limbs or other debris have grown near your chimney, and always trim them back before using the fireplace.
- Use a metallic mesh screen or glass fireplace guard every time you start a fire.
- Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operational each time you use your fireplace.
If you have fire damage to your home, we are here to help with the restoration process from beginning to end. You can get in touch with us any hour of any day to report damage—contact us for more information.
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – [SERVPRO of the Lower Shore, 410-749-2221]
Making Sure Your Business Is Protected in the Event of a Flood | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
This photo is of a clip board with a letter that says INSURANCE CLAIM.
Flooding is one of the most devastating types of damage that a business can endure from a natural disaster. FEMA reports that just one inch of water can lead to approximately $27,000 in damage—and unfortunately, many commercial policies do not extend any coverage to flooding-related issues. Understanding the details of flood insurance and what it means for your business can help you determine if it is an extra expense you can justify to protect your business.
Your Guide to Commercial Flood Insurance
Make sure to purchase your policy in advance. Flood insurance is something that business owners hope that they never have to use, but just in case you do, be sure to make your purchase well in advance. There is a mandatory 30-day waiting period for coverage to kick in on flood policies to prevent fraudulent policy purchases, so do not wait until a storm or other natural disaster is in the forecast to explore your options.
Know what is and is not covered. Though flood insurance provides many additional coverages for your business, it still does not cover absolutely everything. Flood insurance covers flood-related damages to both your business’s building, as well as the contents within. This includes floods from situations like broken dams, storm surges, blocked storm drains and prolonged rains, but to be considered a flood, the water must impact at least two properties or a minimum of two acres. However, property outside the building will generally not be covered, and if you would like protection for your commercial vehicles, this will likely need to be added to the policy.
Determine your flood risks. There is no sure way to determine how likely you are to experience a flood. While making use of the FEMA Flood Map online tool will provide more context for historical risks, floods are becoming more common even in areas that are traditionally not considered flood zones. It is wise to take a detailed overview of your flood risks and err on the side of caution when determining if you require coverage.
Has your business been impacted by flooding? We are here 24⁄7 to respond to water damage and begin restoration. Contact us to learn more.
Reasons to Take Storm Damage Prevention Seriously | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
This is a roof has a shingle that needs to be repaired before a storm hits to prevent from interior home damages.
Though there is no way to determine the type of damage that any given storm will do, taking storm damage prevention seriously is one of the smartest things for homeowners to consider when thinking of ways to keep their home resilient.
Severe weather can cause serious amounts of damage, but with the simplicity of weatherproofing, there is no reason to leave your household at risk. If you are still unsure about how important preparing for storm damage is, read on to discover why it is an important thing for all homeowners to consider.
Storm Damage Is a Common Cause of Insurance Claims
While we all hope that storm damage will not have an impact on our home, homeowners find themselves faced with storm damage quite frequently. In fact, storm damage accounts for around half of the insurance claims filed by homeowners.
While some storm damage can be claimed on insurance and therefore not be costly, it is still a difficult process that can be mitigated with advanced preparation.
Weatherproofing Your House Is a Fairly Simple Project
Implementing weatherproofing around the house is something that most homeowners can do over a weekend to keep their homes more protected during storms.
Simple tasks like checking your roof for missing shingles, cleaning out your gutters regularly to prevent standing water and installing weatherstripping around all the doors and windows of your home are things that do not take very much time but can significantly increase your home’s resilience to storms.
Severe Weather Can Be Unpredictable
There is no way to determine how much damage a storm can cause, so it is better to be prepared for all scenarios instead of waiting until you think a large storm is on the way to implement weatherproofing efforts.
A regular rain shower can turn into a severe thunderstorm in an instant if conditions are right, leading to high winds, hail and heavy rains that can damage a home instantaneously in certain scenarios.
If your home has been damaged by a storm, you can count on us for restoration. You can get in touch with us at any hour to have your restoration process started.
Understanding Severe Weather Alerts | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
Storms and flooding are some of the most common and most dangerous weather events that can occur. There are an estimated 16 million thunderstorms a year, many of which result in flooding and severe damages to people and property.
Because of how severe weather can escalate to be so dangerous so quickly, it is important to be informed about the various alerts associated with thunderstorms and flooding. These alerts are issued by national weather experts and can give you insight about when to be on guard and when to take action immediately, so you and your family can stay safe.
A thunderstorm watch and a thunderstorm warning differ in the following ways:
Severe Thunderstorm Watch: A severe thunderstorm watch is an alert that can cover areas as small as a county or as large as several states. These indicate that there is evidence that a severe thunderstorm could move into the area. Residents should be alert to any signs of bad weather and continue to monitor official alerts.
Severe Thunderstorm Warning: A severe thunderstorm warning indicates that a severe thunderstorm has been reported or is showing on the radar. A watch means that there could be serious hazards that are associated with thunderstorms present to those who will be experiencing the storm and residents should seek shelter immediately.
There are several types of alerts associated with flooding:
Flood Advisory: Occurs when rainfall levels are favorable enough to produce a flood, but it is not expected to be severe. It may mean flooding is in very isolated areas, but it is still important to be aware.
Flood Watch: If conditions are favorable for flooding, a flood watch will be issued. It is not guaranteed to occur, but residents should be aware and stay informed by listening to the weather and emergency updates throughout the period of bad weather.
Flood Warning. A flood warning is issued when flooding is occurring somewhere in the area and could begin to spread. Residents should take action by collecting their family members, pets and emergency kits and moving to higher ground.
Flash Flood Warning: If a flash flood is occurring or about to occur, a flash flood warning is issued. Because flash floods are so sudden, it is important to act quickly should this alert be issued.
Severe thunderstorms and flooding can be scary, but if you have home damage as a result of one of these occurrences, we are always here to help. Call our emergency line at any hour to learn how we can help restore your home.
A Guide to the Categories & Classes of Water Damage | SERVPRO® of The Lower Shore
While all water damage is scary to experience, the good news is that there are some instances of water damage that are less severe than others. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification provides restoration professionals with guidelines to understand the types and classes of water damage so they are able to make decisions on how to best restore them.
As a homeowner, whether you have experienced water damage firsthand or just want to be educated in case a surprise situation were to occur, it is important to be aware of the categories and classes involved in water damage in order to have a full understanding of the situation.
Categories of Water Damage
Category One Water. The first category of water is defined by its lack of threat to people and animals. It is generally called clean water or white water. While it does not inherently pose a risk, it can cause damages if allowed to remain untreated. Common sources of Category One Water would be an overflowing sink drain or a busted intake pipe.
Category Two Water. Commonly referred to as gray water, Category Two Water may lead to sickness when ingested due to the contaminants and bacteria it contains. It typically comes from broken toilets, leaking dishwashers or washing machines, or malfunctioning sump pumps. Category Two Water can also grow bacteria and transition into Category Three Water if left untreated.
Category Three Water. Another name for this category of water is black water, which, as the name implies, can be extremely dangerous. Black water can contain bacteria, chemicals and microorganisms that cause extreme sickness when ingested. Category Three water will typically result from sewage problems, toilet overflows or flooding in an area that contains hazardous materials.
Classes of Water Damage
Class One Water Damage. As the name implies, this is the least damaging class of water damage. As long as it is treated quickly and cleaned up by certified professionals, it should not create any lasting negative effects.
Class Two Water Damage. Class Two Water Damage is slightly more severe, causing materials like carpets and drywall to become soaked through. This can lead to deeper structural damage if left untreated.
Class Three Water Damage. This occurs when water comes from malfunctioning sprinklers or flooding, causing materials such as subfloors and structural elements to be fully soaked.
Class Four Water Damage. Class Four also refers to water damage that has fully soaked through structural elements but has also been left to sit, compounding the initial damage.
If your home has experienced any of the types of water damage mentioned here, we are always here to help! We have a team of certified water remediation experts that can respond 24⁄7 to your call.