Recent Posts

Prevent a house fire by cleaning your dryer vents regularly

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

fire in dryer duct Routine cleaning of your dryer vent can prevent a home fire.

Did you know that 34% of home fires are caused by failure to clean the vent in a clothe dryer?

A lint fire is a dangerous possibility. To avoid the hazard on lint buildup, occasionally pull out the vent and clean. Thoroughly dry the lint screen with a clean towel. You can also use a vacuum to clean the lint trap filter. SERVPRO® of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

The National Fire Protection Agency suggests we clean the lint filter before and after each load. It is vital to clean your dryer vents every so often to ensure your safety.

Here are some signs that your dryer vent may need to be cleaned:

  • Drying times are taking longer.
  • Your dryer is getting hot when you’re using it and your clothes are being damaged.
  • You can’t see any steam or hear any noise outside your house at the wall vent when you run the dryer.

If you do experience a fire caused by your dryer or any other appliances in your home, call SERVPRO® of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E  at 301-323-8862. Our teams stand ready 24/7 to clean up and restore your property from fire, smoke, water, mold and biohazards.

Routine duct cleaning keeps indoor air safe & extends HVAC system's life span

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

duct cleaning with a green cloth Routine duct cleaning is recommended to keep your indoor air safe, and your HVAC system running efficiently.

Dust, pet dander and other containments from everyday living are circulated through your ducts and can decrease the efficiency of your HVAC heating & cooling system, causing it to work much harder. Keeping the ductwork clean can extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which saves you money.

Duct Cleaning Can:

  • Remediate Bacteria, Fungi and Mold
  • Reduce Potential for Mold Growth
  • Restore Peak Energy Efficiency
  • Eliminate Offensive Odors

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, keeping your ductwork clean should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

These contaminants from day-to-day living are sucked into your HVAC system and recirculated throughout your home over and over. This causes a buildup over time inside the ductwork. This buildup can cause problems for people with asthma and other respiratory health conditions, auto immune disorders, and environmental allergies. 

The EPA’s website states: “In the last several years, a growing body of scientific evidence has indicated that the air within homes and other buildings can be more seriously polluted than the outdoor air in even the largest and most industrialized cities. Other research indicates that people spend approximately 90 percent of their time indoors. Thus, for many people, the risks to health may be greater due to exposure to air pollution indoors than outdoors.”

Cleaning your ducts can sweep away years of dust and dirt, helping to reduce potential for damage and health risks.

In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. This includes certain odors as well. In these cases a Duct Cleaning Professional can often restore the ductwork to pre-damage condition. It is also recommended that you have the ductwork cleaned after buying a home or after a renovation. Just like carpet cleaning, having your ductwork cleaned should be part of your home maintenance routine. 

Call SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E today to schedule a cleaning! 301-323-8862.

Keeping schools, daycares & other buildings SERVPRO-clean is good for public safety

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Clean decal When a structure is sanitized & disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure.

Though we have moved forward since the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, many public facilities such as schools, daycares, hospitals, government buildings throughout Montgomery County, Maryland are still vigilant about keeping their facilities cleaned & sanitized for public safety.

SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E continue to provide the SERVPRO certified cleaning program designed to provide communities with a way to know that a structure has been cleaned, sanitized and disinfected to minimize harmful pathogens.  

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program allows business and company locations to address the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a level of clean that goes beyond janitorial and carpet cleaning. It is “proactive viral pathogen cleaning.” When businesses choose SERVPRO, their employees, customers and community can rest assured they’ve selected a higher standard of clean -- Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned (CSC).  

At SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, as well as our sister franchises SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, we continue with our disinfecting service as businesses small & large are in keeping their workplaces safe for employees and customers. Our crews use special equipment to provide this Covid cleaning; equipment such as the Electrostatic Disinfectant Spray, for example, and fogging  devices are effective in covering even those harder-to-reach spots around offices and work environments. Our goal: to help keep our communities safe and protected during this pandemic.  

How would you know if a business has had a SERVPRO-certified cleaning? If a structure is sanitized and disinfected as part of the CSC program, a window decal shield will be left at the structure, as well as a separate window decal that is dated by our crews to let everyone know when it was last sanitized and disinfected.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean. Being open for business is just the beginning of our new journey forward. Employees may be hesitant to return to work, and customers may wonder whether the businesses they patron are safe. Our CSC program will give patrons and employees peace of mind that the space has been protected by SERVPRO, an authority on what it means to be clean.

Contact us today at 301-323-8862 if we can help. We are locally-owned and operating for 43+ years, and always open & ready to help!  

Stay prepared for late winter storm!

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

stormy sky Balmy weather in Winter is nice, but stay prepared for late-winter surprises!

Our DMV region is enjoying some balmy weather into early February... until the next cold snap later in the week when temps are to drop to the teens overnight!

But that's weather in DC & Maryland! Balmy weather one day; frigid to near-freeze temperature overnight. To wear a sweater or not. To bring in the plants or not…

The weather can be unpredictable, as many of us here in the Washington, D.C.-Maryland region have experienced a time or two. Remember the heavy April snowfall over a decade ago? And the wind gusts of 20-30+ mph every now and then?

While we can’t predict when severe weather hits, we can always plan for those unexpected storms to minimize injury to ourselves and damages to our properties. A viable plan of action for storms, floods, tornadoes, even fires, can save lives and costly repairs in the aftermath of severe weather that can occur, even within the same day.

Mark Twain said it best: “In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours.”

Preparing an emergency kit to keep on hand is a great start to advance planning for storms. Some items to include, as suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, are:

  • A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
  • An emergency evacuation or shelter plan, including a map of your home and routes to safety from each room
  • A list of important personal information, including:
    • telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends
    • insurance and property information
    • telephone numbers of utility companies
    • medical information
  • A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • A first-aid kit, which may include:
    • non-latex gloves
    • assortment of adhesive bandages
    • antibiotic ointment
    • sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
    • absorbent compress dressings
    • tweezers
    • scissors
    • adhesive cloth tape
    • aspirin packets

Being prepared & proactive for storms and severe weather can save lives and minimize costly repairs to damaged property. Oftentimes we have little if any time to prepare for an approaching storm. For families with young children, a mock emergency drill may be a fun yet helpful activity. Show them where to go; where emergency supplies are stored; and make sure everyone in the family knows where & how to turn off the water, gas and electricity in your home.

Preparedness and swift response may save a life or two!

When all’s settled and you find your damaged properties needing cleanup & restoration, call us – SERVPRO of Laurel and Greenbelt NE Beltsville E 24/7 at 301-323-8862.

We are the area’s water & storm damage experts and are always “Faster to any size disaster.” Large or small, we will restore your water-damaged property, residential or commercial, with efficiency and detail.

How to Prevent Ice Dams Around Your Property

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

Ice dams It's important to act immediately after spotting an ice dam on your property to prevent further damage!

You can take numerous actions to prevent an ice dam from forming on your property both before and after a snowfall. Whether you are concerned about a dam forming on your home or one forming on your building, you can follow these useful tips in order to prevent a catastrophe:

To stop an ice dam:

Keep your attic insulated

Improve ventilation, especially in the eaves and ridge

Prevent air leaks. Caulk any gaps or openings

Install an extra barrier under the shingles to prevent water from seeping into home or building

Seal and insulate ducts

Cold temperatures can sometimes have their way of forming a dam on your property despite following these tips. Be sure to:

Clear snow from roof after every snow shower

Clear gutters of any leaves, snow or debris

Clear around downspouts, too

However, your safety is your first priority! Snowy and icy conditions make everything more slippery and dangerous. Do not use a ladder or attempt climbing, as you could slide off the surface or the ladder. If you find it unsafe to remove an ice dam you spot on your property, for example, call a professional immediately!

Give us a call at SERVPRO of Laurel and Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E today if you have any questions or storm & water damage restoration needs. 301-323-8862.

Water stains on your ceiling? Call us ASAP!

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

water stain on ceiling Call SERVPRO of Laurel as soon as possible to get those water stains on your ceiling checked out!

Water stains aren’t something to ignore. Instead, they are indicators of an urgent matter!

If you see water stain(s) on your ceiling, you should request help promptly.

Water stains can mean:

  • Leaky pipe(s)
  • Old caulking
  • Problem with roof
  • Poor insulation

Whatever is above your ceiling is typically the source of the moisture issue. Is your property’s roof or a bathroom above the water stain? That may just be the source of the problem. However, if you cannot determine a water source above the stain, you may have a leaky pipe.

Water seepage from old caulking or piping in disrepair are other common sources of water stains. It’s very important that damaged or old pipes are replaced to avoid leaking or “sweating.”

After a snowstorm or even a rain downpour, water stains can show up on your ceiling. For instance, rain can leak through from the gutter. Therefore, you have a roofing issue upon your property.

However, if an ice dam forms on your roof and water is able to seep in, it’s a good indicator of a need to improve the insulation.

Sometimes, a professional may need to remove a portion of the ceiling, and possibly the wall, to completely restore and fix the affected area for good.

Remember, don't put off too long to deal with the stain! Applying a quick coat of paint over the stain can make a temporarily, cosmetic difference, but oftentime, the stain will bleed right through the new paint.

Instead, call a professional to ensure the source of the water is correctly identified and handled properly. Ignoring the issue can lead to expensive repairs. It’s much better to catch the problem sooner than having to have sections of your ceiling teared down and replaced.

Call SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E to have water stains in your home or office checked out. We are the area’s water damage experts and are always “Faster to any size disaster.” Large or small, we will restore your water-damaged property with efficiency and detail.

We are here 24/7. 301-323-8862. 

SERVPRO uses different mold mitigation method for different surfaces

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

black mold Mold, if not treated properly and efficiently, can lead to other problems in the home, and to your health. We can help!

Mold is often undetectable in homes until it has become a significant problem. Not every type of mold has that distinctive, ‘musty’ odor and if the growth started behind a wall or in the attic, the smell is not noticeable until the mold has grown into a large colony of spores.

Restoring a home due to the effects of mold damage is a task that needs a professional service. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and our sister franchises SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt/Beltsville have trained crews on 24-hour notice to support our neighbors and customers. We have some of the best-trained personnel in the industry to safely remove & remediate mold from the property.

The technicians first determine the type of surface infested. This inspection decides both the cleaning methods needed and how much time may be required to complete the job. We usually divide surfaces into porous, nonporous and semi-porous categories.

Porous surfaces are typically building materials and fabrics; drywall and upholstery for example. They are often cleanable, but if the mold is very thick or has grown into the material, we dispose of it. Our cleaning methods for these surfaces involve vacuuming them with special HEPA filters that catch tiny amounts of loose mold, even a single spore.

After vacuuming, we move on to using spray bottles with an antimicrobial cleaner and foaming agents to dampen the surface. Wetting loosens the mold and allows technicians to remove it with cloths and sponges.

Nonporous surfaces are the easiest to clean. This category includes metal and glass tabletops, as well as marble and smooth stone kitchen countertops. In many cases, we can remove the mold with dry cloths and sponges. Technicians wipe down the surfaces from top to bottom to prevent accidentally leaving spores at the top or along the sides. If the mold layer is thick, we vacuum it first before dry wiping.

Semi-porous surfaces (concrete and wood decks for example) require methods not acceptable on other surfaces. Affected surfaces may need sanding to wire brushing and other abrasive tools to dig out the mold. The cleaners we use on these surfaces would mar or otherwise destroy glass and metal surfaces. If mold has penetrated the surface of the wood or concrete, technicians may have to sand them down by hand or with a power sander to remove it.

Returning your home to its pre-mold condition is not a quick or easy set of processes. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, Silver Spring North and Laurel/Greenbelt-Beltsville have years of experience in helping our customers through each step, to put you back into your home.

Call us at 301-340-1313 in Montgomery County, or 301-323-8862 in Prince George's County today to set up an inspection.

Holiday & Christmas tree safety

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

christmas tree with santa decoration Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year. Follow these safety tips to prevent such disasters.

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show the holidays are a high-risk time for home fires. Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year, and other holiday decorations are the cause of another 1,170 fires.

Here are some tips to keep your home safe this holiday season: 

•Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.

•Keep trees at least 3 feet away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process.

•Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree.

•Always inspect light sets before placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.

•Do not overload electrical circuits.

•Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house and before going to bed.

•Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

•Install and ensure smoke alarms work inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

If you have a fire, call SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt/Beltsville, 301-323-8862. We are here 24/7 to make it "Like it never even happened."

In Prince George's County, we serve Ammendale, Bowie, Burtonsville, Calverton, Glenn Dale, Goddard, Lanham, Greenbelt NE and Beltsville E.

IICRC certified with decades of experience in restoration

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

IICRC logo SERVPRO of Laurel & our parent franchise of Rockville-Olney take pride in our well-strained staff and decades of water & fire restoration experience.

SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, and our Montgomery County counterparts SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, have decades of fire and water restoration experience in helping our customers, and we pride ourselves in having one of the most well-trained technicians in the business.

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup, restoration and reconstruction of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Here are some of our Certifications:

  • IICRC - Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • RRP - Lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting
  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • HST - Health and Safety Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program

All our four SERVPRO franchises -- Laurel, Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North -- are IICRC firms. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must:

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals. Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

Our office phones are staffed 24/7 for emergencies. Call us at 301-323-8862 in Prince George's County, or 301-340-1313 in Montgomery County, if we can help with restoration needs.

What's the Difference: Gray or Black Water?

12/14/2022 (Permalink)

yellow boots in flood water If you had flood water in your home or business recently, may have it checked out for toxic contaminants.

If your home floods, you’ll probably wonder how safe the water is.

Should you retrieve possessions from the puddles left behind? If you forgot to wear gloves and boots, will soap and water be enough to rid the germs from your hands?

Those are excellent questions.

First, you must identify the water source.

Clean water will not cause an immediate threat. It contains no contaminants and originates from toilet holding tanks, snow melt, rain, appliances such as a broken refrigerator, air conditioning units, etc.

Gray water contains chemical or biological contaminates, and therefore, may pose some health risk. It originates from washing machines, showers, sinks, aquariums, etc.

Black water causes an immediate threat due to the expected contaminants in it, including but not limited to, viruses, bacteria and protozoan. This water originates from toilets and floodwaters. Oftentimes, after a flood, water collect soils, sewage, etc. which contain harmful contaminants, which explains why it’s marked as "black water." 

However, please note that as these waters sit, they can advance to a more serious level. For instance, after sitting for two days, clean water can turn into gray water. This is why water removal should be handled immediately.

Contact with contaminated water can cause vomiting, nausea, parasitic illness and fever.

If you’re not sure of the source, contact a professional.                           

If you’re dealing with gray or black water, it’s very important to get help as soon as possible. Keep in mind that if it’s clean water, and it’s been sitting for over 48 hours, it should be treated as a gray water problem.

At SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, we are water damage and biohazard experts. We will efficiently restore any water damage and carefully treat and disinfect your home, so you feel safe in it again.

Take a look at our website for more details: www.SERVPROlaurelgreenbelt.com/sewage-cleanup

Does your Bowie, Burtonsville, Calverton, Laurel, Beltsville, Greenbelt, Lanham home or office need restoration or cleanup? Call us today at 301-323-8862, and we will give you peace of mind!