Condo Fire in Frederick
Our parent franchise SERVPRO of Hunt Valley & Harford County was dispatched to a large fire loss in which the roof needed to be addressed so that any incoming storms would not soak through and damage the rest of the condos below. We are always on the lookout for the best technology in order to provide the highest level of service to all of our customers. That's why we're the best in the industry
For more information, and progress photos, check out our Facebook post!
"SERVPRO of Hunt Valley & Harford County, along with SERVPRO of Frederick County were recently called to mitigate a devastating condo fire. The roof of the 12 unit building was completely destroyed. Check out these pictures to see the installation progress on the temporary roof and shrink wrap installed last week. This will protect the condo units through the restoration process until a permanent roof can be rebuilt. Isais didn’t stand a chance."
Owners Corner: 2nd Quarter 2020
The following is an excerpt from our 3rd quarter newsletter. This quarter’s Owner’s Corner features one of our owners, Trish Wall, giving her thoughts on the company’s experience over the last several months dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:
It’s been 6 months since we published our last quarterly newsletter back in January. Now, at the end of July, we’re here looking at only our second “Quarterly” newsletter of 2020. If you’re doing the math and wondering why it doesn’t quite add up, you’re not mistaken. I’ll give you two guesses at the reason for this and the first one doesn’t count… COVID-19.
It was the afternoon of New Year’s Eve when I wrote the last “Owner’s Corner” article and I was filled with emotions anticipating the new year. Feeling pensive, excited, anxious, and hopeful, I summarized our strategy for 2020 as “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”, which ended up being more prophetic than any of us could have imagined.
Everyone was uniquely impacted by COVID-19 in this country. Professionally, the pandemic forced our team to take on an abrupt change. We were a restoration company that offered cleaning services on 3/11/20. By 3/12/20, we suddenly became a cleaning company that offered restoration services after our first COVID-19 cleaning job began. It doesn’t get more uncomfortable than reversing your business model overnight.
Every member of our team dove in headfirst, taking the challenge of shifting right away. “Flattening the curve” was the country’s top priority and our company had the resources and tools to help do so. Therefore, we felt and still feel an immense social responsibility to service our communities. After four months and a plethora of COVID-19 cleaning jobs, our team is incredibly proud of the contributions that they have made in an effort to combat this pandemic.
The pride that Jim and I hold for our team is even more extensive. I’m reminded of the John Maxwell quote, “Change is Inevitable. Growth is Optional.” Growth was something consciously chosen by our team members when they were surrounded by the numerous uncertainties of this time. Their decision to choose growth has left us in awe.
We strive to instill the mindset of always pursuing professional as well as personal growth. It was incredibly gratifying to watch it play out right before our eyes. Our company’s ability to positively impact our community amidst the turbulence our country is facing has brought us gratitude. We are even more appreciative of our team for carrying out Team Wall’s vision statement, “Restoring peace of mind to EVERY customer. EVERY day”.
We hope that you stay healthy and stay safe. Keep growing!
Jim and Trish Wall
P.S. Entreleadership is one of our favorite podcast series. One episode in May featured John Maxwell as a guest, speaking about Personal Growth. It had a great impact on us and we think that giving it a listen would be worth your time: https://www.entreleadership.com/blog/podcasts/john-maxwell-success. I have many favorite thoughts from this podcasts, but this quote is a particular favorite:
“I’m going to live til I die and I’m not going to get the two confused.”
Dealing With Toilet Overflow
Sometimes, it is possible to resolve a toilet overflow on your own if you catch it right away and know for a fact that it hasn’t caused water damage.
There’s nothing worse than realizing that your toilet has overflowed, leaving water spread across your bathroom floor, risking serious water damage. Water resulting from a toilet overflow can inflict damage on bathroom floors and potentially leak into the ceiling below, creating an ever more serious issue. Toilet overflows can be messy, unpleasant, and potentially costly, which makes it important to do everything in your power to prevent them from happening. To understand common causes of toilet overflows, prevent them from happening, and know how to clean up, continue reading.
What Causes a Toilet Overflow?
Toilet overflows can be the result of many different complications. Three common causes are sewage complications, a clogged drain, and a blocked vent.
A full septic tank or a clogged sewer line are two sewage complications that can be the root cause of a toilet overflow. If your home has a septic tank, it works to release excess water into the ground. If your tank is full, the water will travel back into the house, risking an overflow. Additionally, if a sewer line becomes blocked, whether it be by tree roots and debris or sanitary wipes, flooding can occur in addition to a toilet overflow.
When the toilet drain becomes clogged or blocked, which can occur frequently, the toilet cannot flush properly and may overflow. Usually, using a plunger to unclog the toilet works to resolve the issue.
Lastly, the vent pipe works to pump external air, which is used every time you flush the toilet. A blocked vent pipe restricts proper flushing, therefore risking an overflow. A professional, experienced plumber is usually needed in order to relieve the problem.
How to Clean Up
Upon seeing a toilet overflow, your initial reaction may consist of wincing and exclaiming “oh no!” Immediately after coming to terms with what happened, the first thing that you should do is turn off the water and stop the flow of water from the toilet. Next, remove any standing water on your bathroom surfaces as quickly as possible using a mop, wet vacuum, or towels. Regardless of the method you choose, time is of the essence because the longer water sits on surfaces, the more serious damage it may cause. Once all standing water is removed, it is important to use a high-powered fan to dry out the area in order to prevent mold and mildew growth. Lastly, be sure to disinfect and clean both the affected surfaces and any areas nearby.
We’re Water Damage Specialists
Sometimes, it is possible to resolve a toilet overflow on your own if you catch it right away and know for a fact that it hasn’t caused water damage. In most cases, however, toilet overflows cause serious damage that requires the help of a professional to remediate water damage caused by the overflow. For a water damage restoration that you can trust, call SERVPRO today. Our team of water damage specialists are experienced in restoring water damage resulting from toilet overflows. To learn more about the water damage services that we provide, click here.
Be Ready For Anything This Hurricane Season
In the event that your business is hit with unexpected hurricane damage this hurricane season, SERVPRO is only a call away.
June 1st through November 30th is home to hurricane season in the United States. On the east coast specifically, the height of hurricane season usually occurs between August and October. With August quickly approaching and the number of named storms already uncharacteristically high this year, it’s time to get into gear for what could be a hurricane season that is 50% more severe than usual, according to a recent Colorado State University study. It is of the utmost importance that before a storm, commercial businesses develop an emergency plan in order to stay afloat after enduring a hurricane. Take these proactive steps to make sure that your commercial business is ready for anything this hurricane season.
Take Action Before The Storm
Important documents that house data essential to your business should be protected as best as possible in order to prevent them from becoming damaged during a hurricane emergency. Having information stored digitally, making copies, and placing physical documents in a waterproof container can help protect the information your business needs in order to operate. This hurricane season, many employees may still be working remotely. Therefore, it is especially important to have accurate contact information for every employee in order to get in touch and confirm their safety in case of an emergency. In terms of protecting your property, there are several steps you can take. To make sure that your roof is sturdy, have a professional inspect your roof so that any underlying issues can be dealt with prior to a storm. You can also purchase storm shutters to protect windows from debris and sandbags to minimize flooding around doors.
Have a Plan in Place
Protecting your physical workplace is critical to your business’ survival in the event of a hurricane. Having an emergency evacuation plan that details the safest stairwells and doorways to use will help employees know what to do if disaster strikes while at work. Familiarize employees with your business’ evacuation plan and create multiple copies of your business’ evacuation plan to post throughout the workplace in case employees need to be reminded during an emergency.
SERVPRO Is Here To Help
Even though taking the proactive actions listed above can help in limiting the damage your commercial business experiences during a hurricane, hurricanes can still bring unforeseen devastation. In the event that your business is hit with unexpected hurricane damage this hurricane season, SERVPRO is only a call away. Our team of storm damage professionals will arrive quickly, providing your commercial business with a thorough restoration.
Commercial Ice Blasting: A Cool Damage Solution
Before and After some Iceblasting work pictured on the lefthand side
At SERVPRO of Harrisburg West, we offer a variety of services for commercial restoration. Commercial ice blasting is one type of cleanup service we provide that can tackle everything from mold growth and water damage to fire and smoke damage. To find out if our commercial ice blasting services are right for your commercial business, read more about ice blasting below.
What is Ice Blasting?
Carbon dioxide in its solid form, known as “dry ice”, is used in the process of ice blasting. When sprayed out of the nozzle, pellets or dry ice move quickly toward the affected surface. Sublimation occurs when the pellets reach the surface, causing the solid pellets to convert into a gas, which then aids in eliminating any unwanted residue, such as soot from fire damage or mold, from the surface.
How Can It Be Used?
Multiple different types of damage can be remediated through our ice blasting services. If your commercial business experiences mold growth, ice blasting can remove 99.9% of mold spores and eradicate mold’s musty odor. Ice blasting also successfully removes contaminants after a fire and deodorizes areas that have been impacted by fire or smoke damage. If your business has sustained damage from a flood or another type of water damage, ice blasting can be trusted to restore wet surfaces and get rid of any resulting mold. Another perk of utilizing ice blasting is that it can reach areas that are difficult to access, including crevices and corners. Ice blasting can be utilized to remediate damage on a variety of surfaces. SERVPRO’s ice blasting commercial services can provide concrete, brick, and wood ice blasting, among many more.
Why Choose Our Ice Blasting Commercial Services?
You may be wondering, why choose ice blasting over other cleanup services? Our ice blasting commercial services provide a quick and efficient solution to your business’ water damage, fire and smoke damage, or mold growth issue. Additionally, ice blasting is a non-abrasive cleaning treatment, meaning that it would cause any harm to the affected surface or its surrounding areas. Ice blasting is also environmentally-friendly. It is free of harmful chemicals and won’t produce secondary waste. Finally, because ice blasting is a dry process, you won’t have to worry about the affected surface becoming exposed to moisture.
If after learning more about our commercial ice blasting services, you think that your commercial business may benefit from ice blasting to remediate water, fire and smoke, or mold damage, call SERVPRO of Harrisburg West at (717) 510-6779. Our commercial ice blasting experts are standing by and are ready to help your business get back to normal.
Job of the Quarter (Q2 2020)
In order to complete this job with a quick turnaround time, everyone’s help was needed.
Choosing the job of the quarter is always difficult. Each day, we have the pleasure of supporting our customers with many different needs, and likewise, in every job our team members shine with their work ethic and customer service. So, how do you select just one particular, outstanding job? It came down to working as a team with our trademark hustle this quarter.
Getting the Call
Our phone rang at 3 PM one Saturday in June, calling our attention to a significant fire loss in a 375,000 square foot South Central Pennsylvania logistics warehouse. They needed service immediately. This customer's well-known retail client couldn't risk downtime, overdue shipments and angry customers. To make it “Like it never even happened,” they needed Team Wall’s help. However, because COVID-19 cleanings were consuming our production schedules after-hours, it wasn’t certain that one office would have the resources necessary or be able to complete the job as quickly as the customer needed. Nevertheless, what sets Team Wall apart, our labor and resource efficiency, is what we were able to offer this job.
Combining Our Powers
Pardon me for being cheesy, but remember Captain Planet and his saying “our powers combined”? That’s our reality at SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Wall. By having offices in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, we have a unique opportunity to not only serve customers across a large geographic area, but we’re also able to combine our labor and equipment resources when necessary. By doing so for this fire loss, we were able to react immediately and efficiently, making for a customer who was happy "beyond measure” with the final product.
Within an hour of the initial call, members of our Management and Production teams arrived on the scene from both our Baltimore and Harrisburg offices. Upon arrival, they created a mitigation strategy and immediately began services for water extraction, drying, and cleaning. A 45-person team worked to complete the fire restoration and keep the logistics warehouse running business as usual from Saturday evening through Tuesday.
All Hands On Deck
In order to complete this job with a quick turnaround time, everyone’s help was needed. Onsite, we had everyone from technicians to one of our owners, Jim Wall, helping out! In the photo above, you can see Jim on a scissor lift, working to mount a debris chute. It’s safe to say that this job required all hands on deck in order to complete.
SERVPRO has emphasized the importance of superior hustle and customer service since day one. Even today, 12 years later, we strive for these characteristics in every job and we never intend to stop doing so. We are so thankful for the opportunity you and your customer’s provide us to serve you when you need it most. We love being “Here to Help!” and we value your support more than you know!
Employee of the Quarter (Q2 2020)
Kyrie Muffley and Tony Keller
Each quarter, we recognize one exemplary employee as our “Employee of the Quarter”. With so many incredible employees, you may be wondering: How do we choose the employee of the quarter?
Here at SERVPRO Harrisburg West, we ask our employees to strive for our 7 “pillars”, that which include: Quality, Persistence, Consistency, Team, Hustle, Solutions, and Accountability. The employee of the quarter not only follows and models all 7 pillars, but also surpasses expectations. This quarter, two employees possessed these qualities, so we couldn’t pick just one! Congratulations Kyrie Muffley and Tony Keller!
Kyrie Muffley serves as Office Administrator at SERVPRO of Harrisburg West. An exemplary employee, Kyrie always puts the needs of customers and team members first. You can always count on Kyrie, even if a job requires working extra hours before or after the workday or going out into the field. In her role as the office administrator, she keeps everyone and everything in check and we would be lost without her. We’re thrilled to have Kyrie as a part of our team!
The second employee of the quarter is SERVPRO of Harrisburg West’s crew chief, Tony Keller. Tony has a multitude of responsibilities in his position as crew chief, which includes mentoring team members, running job sites, and working with customers and insurance carriers. To all of these responsibilities, Tony brings a wonderful, even-keeled approach. His efforts as crew chief transcend what is expected of him. Tony never shies away from new opportunities and is always eager to try something new or expand his role in the company. There’s no doubt that you can always count on Tony when you need him. We’re so happy he’s part of our team!
Bathroom Mold: A Growing Concern
Set up your inspection and mold damage assessment by calling us at (717) 510-6779. Our mold remediation specialists will provide expert, reliable help
Habitually filled with moisture and humidity, it’s no wonder mold is so drawn to bathrooms. These two characteristics present prime conditions for mold growth. Mold can grow exponentially in as few as 24 hours in optimal conditions, which can bring about major damage. Because mold infestations can negatively affect not only the safety of your bathroom, but the health of those in your home as well, taking preventative measures against mold growth is critical. The first step is to develop an understanding of how and why mold grows in bathrooms.
Understanding the Causes of Bathroom Mold Growth
Lack of ventilation is one of the top reasons as to why mold can grow so easily in bathrooms. After taking a bath or shower, moisture has a habit of lingering on walls and other surfaces. Mold growth is facilitated if that moisture sits idly and isn’t dried. Additionally, fabric materials in the bathroom, such as bath rugs and towels, can become damp after a bath or shower, which increases the chances of mold growing on those surfaces. Finally, leaking plumbing, sinks, and toilets can cause moisture to accumulate in isolated areas, risking mold growth.
How to Prevent Mold Growth
Due to bathrooms’ constant exposure to water, eliminating moisture altogether is unreasonable. However, there are various ways in which you can reduce the chances of mold growth in your bathroom. Get into the habit of turning on your bathroom fan for a minimum of 30 minutes after every bath or shower in order to increase ventilation. It is also important that humidity levels in the home stay below 45% in an effort to reduce humidity in your bathroom. Bath towels, rugs, and other fabrics can be washed frequently to combat the risk of mold growth. Regularly check plumbing for leaks so that if a leak forms, you can bring it to a halt before it can do any serious damage. In an effort to prevent moisture from lingering after a bath or shower, consider using a squeegee to remove the moisture from shower walls.
What to Do If You Spot Mold Growth
Because mold commonly grows in dark, isolated, and hidden spots like corners and in between tile, it can sometimes be difficult to catch. In the event that you discover mold growth in your bathroom, it is imperative that you don’t touch the mold. Coming into contact with mold can cause health effects. Attempting to clean the mold or dry it out may seem like helpful steps, but they can actually cause mold spores to travel to other areas of the bathroom, increasing the severity of the mold problem. While all of this may seem scary, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to face your mold problem on your own. SERVPRO is here to help. Set up your inspection and mold damage assessment by calling us at (717) 510-6779. Our mold remediation specialists will provide expert, reliable help immediately so that your bathroom can return to a safe and clean condition as soon as possible. Visit https://www.SERVPROharrisburgwest.com/mold-remediation to learn more about our mold remediation services.
Flash Floods: Know Your Risk
High intensity and duration of rainfall combine to form optimum conditions for flash flooding
The roaring, fast-moving waters carried by flash floods can cause devastating damage to anything in its path, destroying roads, bridges, buildings, and even your home. Flash flooding is a type of rapid flooding that can occur at any time during the year, but is particularly common from early spring to late summer due to the slower jet stream and tendency for humidity during the season. According to NOAA, flooding is the number two weather-related killer in the United States, with an average of 81 deaths per year. Flash flooding poses even greater dangers due to the swift speed at which they develop combined with the overwhelming force of a flood. Therefore, it is important to develop a comprehensive understanding of the causes of flash flooding in order to know your risk and keep your home safe this summer.
Causes of Flash Flooding
During the summer the jet stream, which affects weather patterns, slows. As a result of the slower-moving jet stream, storms tend to remain in one area for an extended period of time. This causes the affected area to experience a significant amount of rainfall at once, therefore increasing the risk for flooding. Ultimately, high intensity and duration of rainfall combine to form optimum conditions for flash flooding. Several different weather scenarios can produce these optimum conditions for flash flooding, including slow-moving thunderstorms and hurricanes or other types of severe storms.
Additionally, topography plays an important role in the risk of flash flooding in an area. Proximity to bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes, or oceans, can increase the area’s risk for flash flooding, as they flood easily. Urban areas are also susceptible to flash flooding because they lack soil to absorb the water, resulting in floods developing quickly.
Know Your Risk
It is important to note that flash floods develop rapidly and as a result, you may not always receive warning before it hits. Flash floods can inflict water damage and even major structural damage on the home. For these reasons, it is crucial to know your area’s risk for flash flooding. If your area is at risk, consider creating an emergency flood kit and keep an eye out when storms are forecasted. Even if you are diligent, flash floods can still catch you off guard and cause devastating damage. Remember that SERVPRO and our team of storm damage experts have your back and will work hard to restore your home back to its condition before the flood.
Fire Up the Barbecue: Gas Grill Safety
It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association
The month of June is famous for backyard barbecues and cookouts. The grill is a staple for
these events and often, they are gas grills, which are usually powered by propane tanks or
cylinders. While grilling should be fun and enjoyable, it is important to recognize that gas grills are a prominent fire hazard. It is estimated that an average of 8,900 home fires are the result of gas grills each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. By understanding
how to safely go about each step in the grilling process, you can minimize the risk of a fire
igniting while keeping your summer cookouts enjoyable and safe.
Using a Propane Cylinder Safely
It is important to check your propane cylinder for damage, such as rust or dents, prior to use. If
you find that the propane cylinder is damaged, refrain from using that particular cylinder.
Additionally, make sure that the propane cylinder is not overfilled before firing up the grill.
Maintaining a distance of at least 10 ft between the propane cylinder and any combustible items
is crucial at all times. It is also extremely unsafe for children to be within close proximity to the
propane cylinder while it is in use. When not in use, propane cylinders should never be stored
inside. Instead, they should be kept in an outdoor location with sufficient ventilation in an upright
position. However, they should not be kept beside or underneath the gas grill.
Gas Grill Safety
Before any kind of cookout, be sure to check your grill for gas leaks. In order to do this, spray a
soapy water solution on the grill fitting and turn on the gas. Bubbles forming on that line
indicates a leak. Another important step is to check the hose that runs from the propane cylinder to the grill for any holes, which may leak gas. Also, be sure to remove any blockages that you find in the grill, which can range from bugs to old food grease, before you use the grill. Make
certain that the grill is located on a level surface in a ventilated outdoor space and don’t leave
the grill unattended while grilling. At any point while grilling you begin to smell gas, evacuate the
area and call the fire department from a safe distance. In the event of an emergency, it may be
beneficial to have a fire extinguisher on hand.
Once you’re finished grilling and the food is smelling wonderful, don’t forget to completely close the valve of the propane cylinder and turn off the grill’s burner controls. Before placing a cover over the grill, make sure that it has thoroughly cooled down.
In the Event of a Fire…
Adhering to safe grilling practices can reduce the chances of the ignition of an unwanted fire,
but regardless of how careful you are, accidents cannot be completely voided. If your home has experienced fire damage due to a gas grill mishap, be sure to call SERVPRO. From fire damage to smoke and soot damage, our team of skilled fire damage specialists will speedily remediate the damage so that you can continue to enjoy your sizzling summer barbecues and cookouts