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Don't Fall for Duct Cleaning Scams in St. Mary's and Calvert Counties.

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

Duct cleanng SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties Duct Cleaning.

Duct Cleaning Scammers are everywhere in St. Mary's County and Calvert County. They use a Variety of tactics to get you to fall into their trap such as cut rates, blow and go scams, and bait an switch. 

Cut Rates

That old phrase, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is," comes into play here. Illegitimate air duct cleaners love to outbid their competitors for offering "whole house duct cleaning" for $50 or $100. In some cases, these deals simply help them get in the door to upsell you for more work or do a quick and unthorough job before disappearing.

In other more sinister instances, particularly online, scams like these are a method to get your personal information. Never send a deposit, sign forms, or answer personal questions on the phone without verifying the air duct company as certified and insured. Real companies will not demand personal and financial data upfront.

Blow-and-Go Scams

This old scam has happened so many times that it's earned a nickname. Blow-and-go scams simply involve the company coming into your home, quickly vacuuming your vents, and hitting the road for the next house. Reputable experts should inspect all the various parts of your system, not just the vents themselves.

These scammers may also perform the bare minimum of work before alerting homeowners of the extensive and costly work they need to perform in addition to the base price. Be sure to research a company's name on the Better Business Bureau site and ask for recent customer testimonials to ensure the quality of the team's work.

Bait-and-Switch

Similar to blow-and-go, the infamous bait-and-switch adds unwanted services on top of what you already agreed to pay. While the advertised price may have looked like it included all your vents, the scammer may claim that the rate only covered a small part of the system. By the time the work is done, you're paying far more than originally expected. Always be sure to read the small print on flyers and ask cleaners to clarify their contracts before getting started.

You may encounter someone who "found mold" or "needed to apply a sealant or biocide" to your vents. While reputable contractors often offer biocides and sealants, the EPA has not registered either of these as necessary at this time. 

Always make sure that you have a full contract in writing before the work begins and report any bait-and-switch tactics to the Better Business Bureau immediately.

How do you find a reputable duct cleaner? Go to National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) which will provide you with a list of professionally certified duct cleaners in your area. SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties is NADCA certified. If you wish to have your ducts cleaned give us a call today at 301-862-9500 to have one of our technicians come out and give a FREE estimate.

Dirty Ducts can lead to fires in Southern Maryland

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

dirty duct to clean duct Before and After of Duct Cleaning

When thinking about fire prevention tactics, duct cleaning to prevent a fire from starting is probably not the first thing you would think about. Not to mention, ducts are typically hidden above the ceiling, so they are always out of sight. But there is more than just ducts above a facility’s ceiling. There are mechanical systems, structural elements, wires and anything else that would be hidden above the ceiling. And with work from insulation, firestopping as well as construction, dust can easily build up quick.

Accumulated dust can pose as a fire hazard. Dust is flammable and a fire can start from a spark of energy, or an extremely hot surface. The more dust build up there is, the more chances there are for a fire to happen. According to NFPA 654, annex D states that cleaning is needed immediately “whenever a dust layer of 1/32- inch thickness accumulates over a surface area of at least 5% of the floor area of the facility or any given room.” The same rule applies when it comes to cleaning a facility’s ductwork.

Although duct cleaning may not be the first thing you think about in fire prevention, it is important to clean your facility’s ducts. Not only does cleaning ducts help reduce the risk of a fire from starting, but it improves airflow in your facility’s HVAC system. All dust can be a fire hazard, and by cleaning your facility’s ducts, you are preventing dust from accumulating. By preventing dust from accumulating, you are ultimately helping to reduce the chances of a fire from starting.

If you have dirty ducts or experience a fire/smoke loss at your Southern Maryland property give us a call today at 301-862-9500. 

St. Mary's County and Calvert County Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Soot cleaning Cleaning of Soot

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 301-862-9500 for St. Mary's County or 410-535-4733 for Calvert County. 

Faster to your St. Mary's and Calvert Counties Water Damage Event

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO HOUSE We are always here to help.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 301-862-9500 for St. Mary's County or 410-535-4733 for Calvert County

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

Does Your Southern Maryland Home Have A Mold Problem?

12/29/2021 (Permalink)

MOLD In Southern Maryland, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 301-862-9500 or 410-535-4733

Having a plan for when serve storms strike.

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO HOUSE We are here to help.

Storms can bring devastation to our area. It is always important for you and your family to have a plan for when devastating storms are coming.  

  • Write down emergency phone numbers and keep them on the refrigerator or near every phone in your house.
  • Prepare an supply kit
  • Locate the nearest shelter and different routes you can take to get there from your home. 
  • Pet owners: Pre-identify shelters, a pet-friendly hotel, or an out-of-town friend or relative where you can take your pets in an evacuation. 

Gather emergency supplies.

During and after a storm, you may need supplies to keep your family safe and healthy. Remember that a storm could cut off your power and water supply. You also may not be able to drive because of damage to your car. Roads may be flooded or blocked.

That’s why it’s best to be prepared—stock up on everything you might need now. Be sure to prepare the following:

  • Food and Water.
  • Medical supply
  • Emergency power (Generators) 
  • Medical documents, wills, passports, and personal identification.
  • A fire extinguisher. Make sure your family knows where to find it and how to use it! 
 

Get your car ready.

Make sure your car is ready before the storm hits.

  • Fill your car’s gas tank.
  • Move cars and trucks into your garage or under cover.
  • Always keep an emergency kit in your car.

If you don’t own a car, consider making plans with friends or family or call authorities to get a ride if you need to evacuate.

Get your home ready.

  • Clear your yard. Make sure there’s nothing that could blow around during the storm and damage your home. Move bikes, lawn furniture, grills, propane tanks, and building material inside or under shelter.
  • Cover up windows and doors. Use storm shutters or nail pieces of plywood to the outside window frames to protect your windows. This can help keep you safe from pieces of shattered glass.
  • Be ready to turn off your power. If you see flooding, downed power lines, or you have to leave your home, switch your power off.
  • Fill clean water containers with drinking water. You’ll want to do this in case you lose your water supply during the storm. You can also fill up your sinks and bathtubs with water for washing.
  • Check your carbon monoxide (CO) detector’s battery 

Be ready to evacuate or stay at home.

Always listen to authorities regarding whether you should evacuate or stay at home.

If a storm is coming, you may hear an order from authorities to evacuate (leave your home). Never ignore an order to evacuate. Even sturdy, well-built houses may not hold up against a serve storm. Staying home to protect your property is not worth risking your health and safety.

You may hear an order to stay at home. If driving conditions are dangerous, staying at home might be safer than leaving.

  • Keep your emergency supply kit in a place you can easily access.
  • Listen to the radio or TV for updates on the storm
  • Stay inside. Even if it looks calm, don’t go outside. Wait until you hear or see an official message that the hurricane is over. Sometimes, weather gets calm in the middle of a storm but then quickly gets bad again.
  • Stay away from windows—you could get hurt by pieces of broken glass or flying debris during a storm. Stay in a room with no windows, or go inside a closet.
  • Be ready to leave. If emergency authorities order you to leave or if your home is damaged, you may need to go to a shelter or a neighbor’s house.

Remember we are always here to help. Give us a call if you suffer from storm damage. 

Preparing your commercial property for the winter

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO HOUSE SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert is always here to help.

The winter time brings challenges to commercial  property owners. Regular maintenance is key to preventing disasters which can stop business operations. Here are some tips to help you prepare your property this winter. 

  1. HVAC System Check-Up. During the winter months your HVAC system is going to be working hard to heat your property. Make sure you check your air filters and replace if needed, Inspect vents and hoses for holes, ensure that thermostats are working, and empty condensation drain traps. 
  2. Prepare Plumbing. Frozen pipes are a huge culprit when it comes to water damage during the winter months. Wrap pipes and faucets in the least heated area of your property. Seal areas where their are cracks and openings around exposed pipes. Maintain a temperature of at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit within your building. 
  3. Inspect your Roof. Keep an eye out for any damage and repair that as soon as possible. Clear out your gutters to prevent ice build ups on top of them. 
  4. Create an E.R.P. Give us a call and ask about our Emergency Readiness Profile for your business. We will have one of our technicians come out and do a walk through of your property and identify critical information such as where your water shut off is located, points of contact such as plumbers and electricians so if you experience an emergency you already have a plan to prevent future damages and to get your business back up and running.  

Give SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties a call if your experience a disaster at your commercial property.   

IICRC Certified Firm

12/20/2021 (Permalink)

IICRC IICRC certified firm

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties is an IICRC firm. 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 Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

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.

About SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO HOUSE SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 301-862-9500

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. 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.

When Storms or Floods hit St. Mary's and Calvert Counties, SERVPRO is ready!

12/8/2021 (Permalink)

We Are Always on Standby SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties is always ready for whatever happens.

SERVPRO ofSt. Mary's and Calvert counties specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit St. Mary's and Calvert counties, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams https://www.SERVPROstmarysandcalvert.com/storm-flooding-restoration  that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 301-862-9500