Debunking "Black Mold"
We often receive calls from clients in a panic, worried because they have found "black mold". While mold in any form is scary enough, add the color black to it and it definitely gives you a reason to be concerned! The truth is, "black mold" is really no worse than any other mold and the color serves no real significance!
Mold can take many colors but is most often seen to be gray, black, brown or green. Mold color can be influence by humidity level, the surface its on, it's food source, humidity levels and even light. The same type of mold can be many different colors and can even change color over time!
While you should pay attention to all mold, it is important you do not assume that mold of a certain color is releasing mycotoxins. The risk of mold should never be assessed solely on the color of the visible mold.
Active, visible mold growth means there is or has been a source of moisture. The moisture source must be identified and stopped. If you suspect mold of any kind, call SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties to assess the situation and remediate it properly! As always, we are Here to Help. 443-737-8776
A Guide to Maintaining Infection Disease Control in the Workplace
While work may look a lot different for some people amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, people returning to their workplace want to ensure it is a clean, safe place to be.
There are several steps you can take to help maintain control over infectious diseases within your office.
What is infectious disease control?
Very simply put, infectious disease prevention and control is a method of cleaning and minimizing the spread of contagious disease.
Why is it important in the workplace?
Ensuring that a workplace is safe and clean can contribute greatly to productivity and loyalty within you employees. Office spaces, especially smaller scaled, can be some of the easiest places for germs to spread. Everyone often touches the same high traffic touch points, visits the same break room, works in close corners, etc. and it is critical these places are kept clean to minimize the spread.
- Plan Accordingly. The first thing that you should do is to come up with an infection control plan. Involve a management team to work more closely with employees and enforce any established workplace policies and procedures for infection control.
- Remove Common-Use Items. Something as simple as removing common items like magazines, community snack baskets, pens, etc. can greatly help slow the spread of any germs.
- Encourage Basic Etiquette. Encourage employees to practice the basic etiquette of covering their mouths when they cough or sneeze. Provide boxes of tissues and disinfectant wipes in common rooms where they interact with more people. At the same time, discourage them from sharing personal items like cups, glasses, and cutleries where they can easily transfer their respiratory droplets to other people. Most importantly, encourage employees to stay home if they feel under the weather.
- Basic Sanitation. The way to prevent the spread of infection is to provide ways for your employees to rid themselves of germs by putting up clean handwashing facilities and sanitation stations equipped with alcohol or alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties offers commercial and residential COVID-19 cleaning services that range from expected exposure to preventative cleaning. Allow us to be part of your plan and ensure your work place is a safe and healthy environment! 443-737-8776
Choosing Home Restoration Services in Advance | SERVPRO® of Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline Counties
If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 24/7 to help you recover.
Fires can happen regardless of the weather, which is why fire preparedness is so important throughout the year. However, experts like the Red Cross recommend being extra prepared in winter months as that is when the rate of home fires peaks throughout the United States.
Planning for both during and after a fire is extremely important. Create an emergency escape plan so your entire family knows what to do the moment a fire breaks out. For afterward, knowing what restoration company to call can help things move along quickly so you can reclaim your home.
Choosing Us for Fire Restoration
It goes without saying that you want the company you choose for fire restoration to do a good job, but it is important to know what that means. Working with a company that will compromise on quality or service offerings can create further headache down the road—that is why we offer a three-step fire cleanup process to take care of everything for you:
The structure of a home is made up of many important elements, all of which can be damaged in a fire. Beginning with establishing the extent of the damage with pretesting, we will then bring in the tools we need for restoration. We will clean and repair the area, and can even prepare soot-covered walls for paint application.
Replacing your items after a fire is often costlier than having them restored, which is why we make sure to have the tools on hand to clean a variety of belongings. Utilizing both wet and dry cleaning equipment, we can handle a variety of items from wood furniture to area rugs to electronics. This allows you to keep the items you love while ensuring they are cleaned, deodorized and safe to use.
Fires can leave behind smoke and soot odors that linger unpleasantly. Air scrubbing equipment ensures these hazardous particles are removed instead of simply covering up odors with fragrances.
How to Prevent Water Damage
Although water losses can occur despite our best preparation efforts, there is a lot that home owners can do to try to prevent it as well as lessen the damage.
We have a few tips for if you find yourself in a water damage situation:
• Shut off the water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
• Turn off any circuit breakers for the wet areas of the property once access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
• Remove as much of the excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
• Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
• Remove and prop-up wet upholstery cushions for drying.
• Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
• Remove any art, technology, important documents, and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture to a safe, dry area.
• Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
• Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
We also have a few tips for what NOT to do:
• Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazard may exist.
• Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
• Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.
• Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on any wet surface- may cause colors to bleed and stain.
• Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
• Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
• Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retaining water.
If you or someone you know finds themselves in a water loss situation, call SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties to help remediate the problem! 443-737-8776
Always educate yourself on fire safety!
Chimney fires happen every year and more often than you'd probably suspect. It's incredibly important that you're chimney is prepped and ready for a fire and that you are safely and properly maintaining the fire once lit.
Prior to using your chimney you should get it professionally inspected.. This will ensure that your flute is working properly and everything is safe and ready to go!
Once you have the OK, here are a few tips to safely enjoy fires all winter long!
- Burn fires that are proportionality sized for YOUR fire place. This makes it much easy to have the fire under control!
- ONLY burn proper wood and materials. Plastic and styrofoam should never be burned within a fire- especially indoors.
- Make sure there is a significant draft when burning a fire. However, be weary when choosing to light a fire on especially windy days. The draft may cause smoke to linger within your house rather than up and out of the chimney.
If you suspect your fireplace is a hazard or you've lit a fire that has become to large to handle, you should call 911 to properly handle the situation.
If you or someone you know has suffered the unfortunate instance of fire damage, allow us to take care of the damage and work to make it "Like it never even happened."
Halloween Fire Safety Tips
Happy Halloween!! Although Halloween and other holidays may feel a little different this year, we are hoping you and your loved ones are still able to celebrate and have fun in a safe way! Aside from health safety, we are here to share some important fire safety tips for you on Halloween!
- Ensure that any decorations such as hay bails or dried corn stalks are away from open flames or any light fixtures including open light bulbs, string lights, etc.
- Consider switching flames our for LEDs. There are a TON of faux candles/flame options available and they are a much safer alternative!
- While your costume is likely not flame resistant, it is important to be aware of the details of your costume including long strings, tassels, tails, etc. that may easily catch fire if near one. If this does happen, make sure to stop, drop & roll!
- If having a bonfire, make sure that you are a safe standing distance, there are no low over hanging branches, and ensure you have a safety plan incase of any accidents.
As always, we are Here to Help and want to make sure you and yours have a fun holiday weekend! Happy Halloween from your friend at SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties.
What are the Differences Between Janitorial Services and Commercial Cleaning for COVID-19?
SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties is being called on by numerous business and community leaders to perform the necessary bio-remediation services to clean and sanitize their properties for COVID-19.
SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and sanitize your business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have the experience in dealing with biological contaminants and we go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
Here are 3 things that show how our cleaning is different than general janitorial cleaning:
IICRC Certified. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the non-profit certifying body for the cleaning and restoration industry. Not only is SERVPRO of Annapolis/Severna Park IICRC certified as a firm, but most members of our staff carry several IICRC certifications.
Cleaning Experts. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables at a minimum. Most of our cleaning tactics will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis
The CDC also recommends regular cleaning of the following areas/items:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Bathrooms n Schools/Classrooms
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevators and Escalators
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
Cleaning Products. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the Corona Virus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Our proprietary cleaning agents, Benefect and Shockwave, are EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectants that have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porus surfaces.
We carry multiple hospital-grade disinfectants and provide our personnel with proper PPE. Not only does this protect everyone, but it also protects the building and people in it.
Call today- 443-SERVPRO
We are Cleaning Experts
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of corona-virus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Queen Anne's, Kent & Caroline Counties
When Storms Cause Destruction, You Can Depend on Us | SERVPRO® of Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline Counties
If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 24/7 for more details.
When storms are forecasted to roll through, it is common for homeowners to feel concern. Any storm brings with it the potential for house damage, and storm-related damages cost $2 billion for homeowners in 2018.
Storm damage is consistently one of the leading causes of house insurance claims, causing complicated and expensive problems for those in their wake.
Having a plan in place for post-storm restoration is a smart move, and we can help you recover from the damages. When you call us after a storm, you can depend on us for friendly, efficient service and much more.
What You Can Count on When You Choose Us for Storm Restoration
A Restoration Plan With Everything Accounted For
The damages from storm fronts require a holistic approach to be handled fully. Structural damage can beget water damage that leads to mold, which is why we make sure we carry full certifications and expertise in all of these areas to ensure we can handle whatever nature brings your way.
A Qualified Crew Working on Your Home
Our technicians are responsible for the quality of service our customers receive, which is why we care deeply about their training and education. By using the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification standards as our guideline, we have designed a comprehensive training regimen that includes initial education as well as developmental seminars and opportunities for our entire workforce.
An Adequate Number of Resources
As a local business, we have the benefit of getting involved with the community and caring deeply about our neighbors. However, when severe storms impact the area, we are able to scale our resources to match the demand thanks to our national SERVPRO® partners. This means that regardless of how large-scale the damage is, everyone will receive the attention they need.
A Restoration Experience You Can Trust
Following a large band of thunderstorms or other disaster, scams are unfortunately extremely common. It is wise to be wary of any “new” or “from out of town” companies that try and win your business with false promises, and instead go with an established leader in restoration such as SERVPRO®.
How You Can Reduce the Fire Risks That Could Affect Your Business | SERVPRO® of Queen Anne’s, Kent and Caroline Counties
If your business has experienced a fire, we’re here 24/7 to respond and begin restoration. Call us today to learn how we can help you.
Being aware of any potential threats to your business is a smart move as a business owner, and it is important that you consider emergencies in that category as well. Commercial fires can be extremely harmful for businesses, leading to permanent closures in the most severe of scenarios. However, by doing what you can in advance to reduce your risks and make sure you are prepared, you can reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring at all.
In order to provide a helpful reference guide, we have assembled the top fire safety tips that business owners should know. By understanding your codes, specific risks and how to prepare your staff, you can make big strides toward your fire safety goal.
Fire Safety Tips for Every Business Owner to Follow
Follow code guidelines and inspection schedules. The first step is to understand fire safety codes that the National Fire Protection Association has published for commercial properties to adhere to. These will cover the equipment you need, how often to inspect it and any other standards that should be followed for your business.
Identify your specific risks. Every commercial risk profile will look a bit different depending on the business, which is why determining your own specific business risks is so vital. Being aware of any equipment, chemicals or other things that are present that could increase your fire risk will help you make sure you are taking the proper precautions.
Create (and practice) a fire evacuation plan. Preventing panic when a fire alarm sounds is essential to getting everyone in the building safely evacuated. One of the best ways to do this is by making sure everyone is prepared by hosting regular fire safety drills with your staff. This way, when the alarm sounds for real, they will know exactly what to do and can remain calm.
Have regular fire safety seminars with staff. Helping your staff review the general fire safety guidelines of your building is a great supplement to regular fire drills. The location of fire alarms and extinguishers, as well as any special protocols, is useful knowledge that can help everyone who works in the building feel more prepared.