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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Job of the Quarter (Q4 2019)

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee working in a local office where a pipe had burst and flooded the entire hallway.

Job of the Quarter - "One Stop Solution Shop"

Baltimore was founded 47 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1729. It's an ancient city in terms of the "new world."

In the last 291 years since the city was founded, significant progress has been made over design, engineering, and innovation. The sewage system in Baltimore city has unfortunately not made the necessary progress to bring it up to modern standards. The best summary is a post from www.cleanwateraction.org:

“Baltimore City’s sewage system was designed with dozens of Sanitary Sewer Overflow Structures: intentional release valves that allowed sewage to overflow into streams, rather than streets or people’s basements. Although this was a best practice in the early 1900’s, using streams as open sewer pipes is a significant public health and environmental threat…”

“In 2002, Baltimore City finalized a Consent Decree… outlining how it would end the chronic sewage overflows into local streams that were fouling the Inner Harbor…”

“Between 2002 and 2016, Baltimore City completed half the work that was described in the Consent Decree - but backups of sewage into homes in Baltimore grew from a minor problem to a major hazard” According to an investigation by the Baltimore Sun, in 2004, the Department of Public Works responded to 622 sewage backups and by 2015, that number had hit nearly 5000.

 “When we closed those other 60 overflows that actually increased the number of basement backups that we saw in the city. Again, because the sewage has to go somewhere.” ~Department of Public Work’s General Counsel

At SERVPRO, we see sewage spills daily throughout the city and counties. Early November, we were honored to help multiple homeowners recover in all eight of their attached city row homes from a large sewage backup affecting basements. We chose this job as our "Quarter Job" not only for our quick response to completion timeline, but also because it is a great example of our full-service capabilities.

The call came to our office early on a Friday afternoon and we had crews on-site within 30 minutes to start sewage extraction from row home basements. Because drywall wicks up water as fast as 1 inch per hour and sewage qualify as water loss Category 3 (water containing unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness), it was necessary to cut drywall and remove insulation to 2' to allow proper drying and sanitation. All content in the sewage-affected basement was removed and disposed of. Including some appliances. We are proud to be the "one-stop solution shop" for all customer problems. We handled repairing appliances for those homeowners and helped to provide even more timely solutions.

Many people don't realize that SERVPRO not only mitigates your disaster, but we'll put it all back together. "Like it never even happened," remember? That's what we did for the 8-row home basements affected by this mass sewage backup. Our mitigation teams finished and our reconstruction team moved in, replaced all contaminated insulation, installed fresh drywall, and repainted the entire basement. Our team laid new carpets, tile floors, installed new kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities, and kitchen backsplashes tiled. New doors were installed and decorated, and appliances were installed. All this, time 8 homeowners, completed in 35 days.

Our team members signed up for a dirty, messy, and labor-intensive job. However, the pride they take in bringing back people's lives quickly and efficiently couldn't be greater. That's what Team Wall's SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team loves to do... we love being your "One Stop Solution Shop!"

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