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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Do I Need Renters Insurance?

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

You may wonder if Renter Insurance is a necessity or if it is just an extra cost and if you really need to have it. Well the answer is YES! Yes, Renter Insurance is a must. 

As a renter, you need insurance to protect your belongings. The owner of the property you are renting from will likely have insurance on the house but that does not include what you own. For example, if you have damage to your property from a pipe burst, a flood, a fire, hail, trees falling or other related events that were not planned, renters insurance will have you and your belongings covered.  

Renter Insurance is afforable and will help you have that peace of mind in the event of the unthinkable happening. SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties works directly with your insurance company to insure your belongings are repaired and restored "Like it never even happened." Be sure to call us if you need services to your retail property!

Tornado Warning in St. Mary's and Calvert Counties

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

On Sunday, April 14th, the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Watch early evening leading into the dawns of the night and ending around 4am for many Maryland Counties. Around 2:45am, the Southern area of St. Mary's County Tornado Watch was turned into a Tornado Warning and residents were advised to take immediate shelter. 

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties urges the importance of knowing the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning and the precautions you should take. 

Tornado Watch: Conditions are favorable for a tornado to develop

  • Have a reliable weather source in reach to keep you updated on weather changes
  • Have a plan of where and how you will take shelter 
  • Watch for changes in the weather. Green or orange sky and hail are tornado-friendly conditions

Tornado Warning: A tornado is in the area or radar indicates that a tornado is developing 

  • Take immediate shelter. Go to the lowest level in the building or safety shelter
  • Stay away from windows and grab blankets/furniture to cover yourself to avoid being injured by flying debris
  • If you are outside, find the lowest area like a ditch and lay face down covering your neck and head with your arms and hands. (Do not go under a bridge or overpass) 
  • Do not leave safety area until Warning is lifted 

If your area is heading into the night with a Tornado Watch in affect, make sure you have a way to get alerts while you are sleeping. Have your phone set up to get emergency alerts and listen for the Fire Departments siren. 

Mold At Its Finest

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

If moisture finds its way into your home, mold can quickly take over in as little as 48 hours. Mold can be a major health risk and cause signficiant damage to your St. Mary's and Calvert Counties homes. 

There are a few things to understand when it comes to mold:

  • Mold can present a greater risk to children, elderly people and those with respiratory problems
  • Mold is not always seen. Mold can hide behind drywall or under carpeting and can be noticed by a strong musty odor.
  • Mold can spread within 48-72 hours

If you suspect mold in your home do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties. We have the training, equipment and expertise to make it "Like it never even happened." and will be there in no time.

In the meantime while you wait for our arrival:

  • Stay out of affected areas 
  • Turn of HVAC system and fans 
  • DO NOT touch or disturb the mold
  • DO NOT attempt to dry 
  • DO NOT blow air near the area
  • DO NOT spray any products on affect area 

Flash Back Friday

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Talk about a flash back! This photograph was taken with SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties original sign back in 1984, located on their present office on 235. Photographed is the owner Vince Whittles, with five of the first employees to ever work for him. Three of the six photographed are still with us today, but with a little more grey hair.

  • Vince (second one on the left) has been the Owner of SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties for the past 35 years, with many years to come.
  • Frank Turner (furthest one from the right) started back in 1991 as the Production Manager and still is 28 years later.
  • Eddy Farell (last one on the left) has been with us since 1996 making 22 years as Duct Cleaning Production Manager.

Since this photo, SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties has grown significantly through excellent costumer service and dedication to the brand. Having employees still with us from the start, we can definitely say that we are one of the most experienced restoration companies in Maryland. We are excited about the future for SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties as we get ready for our next move into a larger facility. Relocating to a larger facility in the area will allow us to provide even better services for our customers and allow us to build our brand, SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties, even larger. 

Is That Thunder You Hear in Southern Maryland?

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

With May being right around the corner, it is time to start preparing yourself for the season of thunderstorms here in Southern Maryland. While thunderstorm can happen at any time of the year, they are most common within in the months of May - August. A thunderstorm is considered severe when it contains one or more of the following: winds 57.5 mph or above, hail one inch or greater or a tornado. Here at SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties we want you to be safe during all storms! 

Tips for Safety:

  • When you hear thunder, go inside!
  • Follow weather reports and warning signs
  • Be prepared to change plans if weather premits
  • Avoid windows, running water or using landlines phones
  • Unplug appplicances and other electric devices
  • If necessary take shelter in a vechile 
  • Avoid flooded areas, fast moving water can knock you down and take you away

What Should You Do If A Fire Has Happened?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fires are devastating. They leave a hopeless feeling and worry of what you should do after the flames are extinguished. All you can see is the soot and smoke damage that is left behind on your ceilings, walls, carpet and floors. SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties see your property restored to back to pre-fire. 

If your home or business has suffered a fire it is important that appropriate steps are taken in order to prevent further damage. SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties wants to make sure that your property has a successful restoration, therefore, we would like to provide you with some helpful tips.

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets 
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean to not further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty refrigerator/freezer and prop doors open 
  • Clean soot off of appliances and protect them by applying a light coat of petroleum jelly or oil
  • Change HVAC filter and tape doubles layers of cheesecloth over air registers to prevent foot from entering

It is also important to know what NOT to do after a fire to ensure you are not further damaging your property.  

  • Do NOT attempt to wash walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery
  • Do NOT attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water
  • Do NOT use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water
  • Do NOT turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet
  • Do NOT send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning could set smoke odor.

In an event of a fire call, SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties, to ensure that your property is in great hands and follow our tips for a successful restoration. 

Clothes Dryer Safety

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Over 2,900 house fires are reported each year with the cause being a clothes dryer. Leading to an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries and $35 million in property damage. 

It is important to know how to keep yourself safe from fire. Regular cleaning and maintenance can be the simple solution to protecting your family and home. Knowing when and how often is a key step.

First - you want to have your dryer is properly installed. Have a professional make sure the correct plug and outlet are being used and that it is connected correctly. 

Cleaning:

Before Each Load - make sure that you clean the lint filter out before each load. Cleaning the lint filter is simple; all you have to do is pull the screen out a wipe the lint out. If it seems that the filter is clogged, submerge it into hot water and use a bristle brush to remove any excess lint. Check areas around the dryer to make sure there is no lint being built up.

Every Three Months - remove the lint from the lint pipe which is usually located behind the dryer and can be removed. Taking a damp wash cloth can help make sure any remaining lint is cleaned out.

If your clothes seem to be taking longer to dry call a professional to come inspect your dryer. 

Don't:

  • Use without a lint filter or one that is damage or lose
  • Overload
  • Leave dryer on when you are not home or going to bed 
  • Dry foam, rubber or plastic  

Rain Tips for Your Southern Maryland Home

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is here! The weather is getting warmer, birds are chirping in the morning and trees are starting to get their color back. Does it not make you want to jump into a cool pool!? Well of course that being outside and not in your home or business.

We all know, here in Southern Maryland our Spring weather typically brings a decent amount of rain. Often times rain can show problems within our homes or business that we did not know were there. Such as, holes in your roof which can lead to water damage and flooding in your basement. 

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties knows the excitement Spring brings and want to make sure you are fully prepared for what the weather could bring. 

Tips:

  • Check Roofing: carefully inspect your roof to locate any damaged area or areas that look susceptible to leaks. 
  • Check Door and Windows: make sure no water can slip through the cracks of your window sills or under your doors. An easy fix could be purchasing waterproof sealer.
  • Clear Gutters: gutters tend to get clogged with leaves and debris stopping the water being able to flow proper off the roof which can cause flooding or even in caving your roof. Check your gutters every couple of weeks, especially after a storm bringing a lot of rain and/or wind.
  • Garden: heavy mulch or hay along your property helps reduce the effect rain has on soil.

Here at SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert Counties we want to quickly Cleanup and Restore any small disaster before they become a big disaster. SERVPRO is always here to help. In result of an emergency or a simple question give us a call!

What Can SERVPRO Do For You?

4/8/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO has over 1,700 Franchises in the United States and Canada!? Or that SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry and are the preferred vendor for many National and Local Insurance Companies!? 

Our highly trained restoration technicians are dedicated to responding faster to any disaster. We provide 24 hour services with experts that are highly qualified and trained to properly take care of your cleaning and restoration needs. 

We are here to take the stress and worry you may have when a disaster occurs and make it "Like it never even happened." You can depend on us for services to your residential and commercial properties that include but are not limited too: 

  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Air Duct Cleaning
  • Cleaning Services 
  • Building Services 

St. Mary's Ryken Hall of Fame

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

Community St. Mary's Ryken Hall of Fame St. Mary's Ryken Hall of Fame

On October 26th, 2018 Vince Whittles, SERVPRO of St Mary's County owner was inducted into the St. Mary's Ryken High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Vince began coaching at St. Mary's Ryken during the 1988 season.  Over the past 30 years he has had a distinguished career coaching the wrestling team.  During his tenure, SMR has won the "B" Division State Championship and taken various wrestlers to win first in WCAC, State and National Prep-All-American Championships.  Overall, the wrestling coaching staff have produced ten WCAC Champions, four Maryland State Champs, five All-Americans and one National Prep champion.  In addition, Vince has coached three Nationally Ranked Wrestles.  

We couldn't be more proud of the example set by Mr. Vince Whittles.

Top Performer

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Top Performer Top Performer

SERVPRO of St. Mary's County is honored to be heading to Las Vegas, Nevada for the Crawford Contractor Connection top performer symposium.  SERVPRO of St. Mary's County has been a member of the Crawford Contractor Connection network for over 15 years and this is the first time the Top Performer award has been received.  Our General Manager, Chad Day, Will be flying to Las Vegas for a two day seminar and round table discussion about  the industry and the services we provide.  We are looking forward to the opportunity to spend time with other top performing SERVPROs which will allows us to further expand our knowledge base and improve the level of service we can provide.  SERVPRO of St. Mary's County is excited about any opportunity that helps us make it "Like it never even happened."

It's the people

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO It's the people Crew

Here at SERVPRO of St. Mary's County we often get the question of Why SERVPRO?  What is that SERVPRO can do differently than all the other cleaning and restoring companies out there.  The answer to the questions always starts the same way, with the list of all the training and certifications held by SERVPRO employees, the systematic process that are used to manage different projects, and the support provided by corporate and the SERVPRO network.  While those are all valuable assets what truly sets SERVPRO of St. Mary's County apart is the people.  Between the office manager, production manager and four crew chiefs they average 15 years of experience just with SERVPRO.  This amount of experience provides them all of the tools and knowledge necessary to handle project of any type or size.  Wether its routine carpet cleaning or a large commercial water or fire damage, the crew at SERVPRO of St. Mary's County has the experience to make it "Like it never even happened." 

Trauma Cleanup

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Trauma Cleanup Trauma Scene

Due to its uncomfortable nature, Trauma scene cleanup is a topic that is rarely considered until something happens. 

Once the need for trauma scene cleaning is required it is generally accompanied by a high level of emotional distress, which is compounded by the fact that most people have no idea what options they have.  

That's where the Trauma Scene and Bio-recovery experts at SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert County come in.  SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert has been providing trauma scene cleaning services in St. Mary's and Calvert county for more than 15 years.  SERVPRO production managers have been independently trained and certified through the American Bio Recovery Association.  This training allows them to provide the highest level of technical expertise and professional service.

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert County sincerely hopes that no-one ever has to deal with a trauma scene situation.  But, we take pride in knowing that, if the unthinkable happens, we are always here to help. 

HVAC system cleaning

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning HVAC system cleaning Duct cleaning equipment

SERVPRO of St. Mary's County just took deliver of our new duct cleaning system produced by Nikro Industries Inc.  

SERVPRO of St. Mary's County has been providing HVAC system cleaning services to the homes and business of Southern Maryland for over 20 years.

With NADCA (North American Duct Cleaning Asociation) certified technicians, following industry standard processes and using the latest in HVAC system cleaning and inspection equipment.  We are confident that, when given the opportunity, SERVPRO of St. Mary's County will perform to the highest standards.

Whether your're in a brand new home or it's been at least 5 years since the system was cleaned, duct cleaning can greatly improve indoor air quality and increase the efficiency of your HVAC system.

Give SERVPRO of St. Mary's County a call today to schedule your no cost estimate and start enjoying the benefits of clean ducts!

Celebrating 34 years in business

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Community Celebrating 34 years in business Owners Vince and Sherry Whittles Enjoying Seattle during the 2017 SERVPRO Convention.

2017 marks the 34th year in business for SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert owners Vince and Sherry Whittles.  Over the past 34 years SERVPRO has witnessed the tremendous growth experienced throughout Southern Maryland.  The business was originally operated from the basement of a local home with 4 employees and route 235 was two lanes each way.  Since that time SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert has grown to be a pillar of the business community, owning commercial space, employing over 20 people and the Whittles family has raised 4 children.  Never one to settle, SERVPRO has plans for expansion and even great involvement in the Southern Maryland community.

"Being part of the business community in Calvert and St. Mary's county has been a huge honor and we look forward to the next 34 years in business"     V. Whittles

Carpet Cleaning

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Carpet Cleaning carpet cleaning in progress!

Did you know that SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert offers carpet cleaning.

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert has been providing residential and commercial carpet cleaning services since we opened our doors in 1984.  

With our list of production managers averaging 13 years of experience providing carpet cleaning services.  We are confident our level of service is second to none. 

SERVPRO of St. Marys and Calvert also provided no cost estimates.  This gives our production managers the opportunity to inspect the areas to be cleaned, and provide an accurate cost without using high pressure sales methods. 

Using state of the art equipment and IICRC approved cleaning methods SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert can improve the appearance and condition of the carpets in your home or business.

Call SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert today to schedule your free estimate!

IICRC Certfied Firm

8/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert 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

SERVPRO of St. Mary's and Calvert 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.

Southern Maryland Summer Safety Times

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Here are some general tips for the summer to help ensure that you stay safe and have a great summer.

Sunburn

How to relieve sunburn and when to see a doctor because of sunburn. Use cold compresses along with creams and gels to relieve pain. You should see a doctor about your sunburn if you have a fever greater than 102, have blisters all over,or have serve pain.

Dehydration

Signs of dehydration:

  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Light-headedness
  • Dry Cough
  • Flushed Skin
  • Dark-colored urine

When to see a doctor:

  • Decreased urine production
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fainting
  • Seizures

Jellyfish Stings

Symptoms of jellyfish stings

  • Burning/stinging pain
  • Red marks on skin
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Numbness
  • Throbbing pain radiating 

Relief for jellyfish stings

  • Remove tentacles from jellyfish if on your body
  • Rinse effected area with vinegar or use baking soda
  • Apply cold water or ice to the sting