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Making Sure Your Business Is Protected in the Event of a Flood | SERVPRO® of Mid-Upper Shore

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

This is a photo of a clip board with a letter that says Insurance Claim on it Protect yourself with insurance before a disaster happens.

Flooding is one of the most devastating types of damage that a business can endure from a natural disaster. FEMA reports that just one inch of water can lead to approximately $27,000 in damage—and unfortunately, many commercial policies do not extend any coverage to flooding-related issues. Understanding the details of flood insurance and what it means for your business can help you determine if it is an extra expense you can justify to protect your business.

Your Guide to Commercial Flood Insurance

Make sure to purchase your policy in advance. Flood insurance is something that business owners hope that they never have to use, but just in case you do, be sure to make your purchase well in advance. There is a mandatory 30-day waiting period for coverage to kick in on flood policies to prevent fraudulent policy purchases, so do not wait until a storm or other natural disaster is in the forecast to explore your options.

Know what is and is not covered. Though flood insurance provides many additional coverages for your business, it still does not cover absolutely everything. Flood insurance covers flood-related damages to both your business’s building, as well as the contents within. This includes floods from situations like broken dams, storm surges, blocked storm drains and prolonged rains, but to be considered a flood, the water must impact at least two properties or a minimum of two acres. However, property outside the building will generally not be covered, and if you would like protection for your commercial vehicles, this will likely need to be added to the policy.

Determine your flood risks. There is no sure way to determine how likely you are to experience a flood. While making use of the FEMA Flood Map online tool will provide more context for historical risks, floods are becoming more common even in areas that are traditionally not considered flood zones. It is wise to take a detailed overview of your flood risks and err on the side of caution when determining if you require coverage.

Has your business been impacted by flooding? We are here 247 to respond to water damage and begin restoration. Contact us to learn more.


Reasons to Take Storm Damage Prevention Seriously | SERVPRO® of MId-Upper Shore

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

This is a roof that has some damage to the shingles. Storm Damage Prevention is key to not having serious damages during a storm.

Though there is no way to determine the type of damage that any given storm will do, taking storm damage prevention seriously is one of the smartest things for homeowners to consider when thinking of ways to keep their home resilient.

Severe weather can cause serious amounts of damage, but with the simplicity of weatherproofing, there is no reason to leave your household at risk. If you are still unsure about how important preparing for storm damage is, read on to discover why it is an important thing for all homeowners to consider.

Storm Damage Is a Common Cause of Insurance Claims

While we all hope that storm damage will not have an impact on our home, homeowners find themselves faced with storm damage quite frequently. In fact, storm damage accounts for around half of the insurance claims filed by homeowners.

While some storm damage can be claimed on insurance and therefore not be costly, it is still a difficult process that can be mitigated with advanced preparation.

Weatherproofing Your House Is a Fairly Simple Project

Implementing weatherproofing around the house is something that most homeowners can do over a weekend to keep their homes more protected during storms.

Simple tasks like checking your roof for missing shingles, cleaning out your gutters regularly to prevent standing water and installing weatherstripping around all the doors and windows of your home are things that do not take very much time but can significantly increase your home’s resilience to storms.

Severe Weather Can Be Unpredictable

There is no way to determine how much damage a storm can cause, so it is better to be prepared for all scenarios instead of waiting until you think a large storm is on the way to implement weatherproofing efforts.

A regular rain shower can turn into a severe thunderstorm in an instant if conditions are right, leading to high winds, hail and heavy rains that can damage a home instantaneously in certain scenarios.

If your home has been damaged by a storm, you can count on us for restoration. You can get in touch with us at any hour to have your restoration process started.


The Business of Disaster Preparedness | SERVPRO® of Mid-Upper Shore

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

This is a photo of a man in a suit with the work INSURANCE going across it. Protect yourself before an disaster hits.

Disasters are always a terrifying experience, but they are especially dangerous for those who own a business. The most recent numbers from FEMA say that 40% of businesses remain closed after a disaster—a dismal statistic that drives home the importance of being prepared.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can protect your business from a disaster. Keeping an office emergency kit and creating an emergency evacuation plan are great ways to keep personnel safe, and we also have tips for making sure your documentation and insurance coverage is adequate to help you recover as quickly as possible. Read on to find out how you can protect your business both during a disaster and in the aftermath.

Make Sure Your Business Is Prepared for a Disaster

Consider flood insurance. Many business owners are shocked to find out that flood insurance is not included in a general business insurance policy in most situations. While businesses in areas with a high likelihood of flooding should absolutely consider flood insurance, even those located in low-risk areas are wise to consider it because of how devastating they can be.

Ask your insurance agent about business interruption insurance. If a natural disaster forced your business to close, do you know how long you would be able to miss out on a revenue source? With business interruption insurance, you will not have to worry about that. Interruption insurance provides coverage for nearly all the business expenses that are accrued during a natural disaster—including your lease, employee wages and making up for lost profits. Some policies will even cover the costs of moving your business to a temporary location during the closure so you can reopen more quickly.

Store important documents safely and back up digital files. While many documents are digital, you may still have important physical papers that you would not want to lose to a flood or fire. Consider investing in a fire- and waterproof safe or a safety deposit box so you can retain hard copies of these regardless of the emergency situation. Storing files digitally is also a great solution, but it is important to make sure you create a backup regularly to prevent any of these from going missing if your computer system becomes damaged.

If your business has suffered a disaster, our commercial restoration services are here to help you reopen. Call us 247 for a quick response.


How Our Technicians’ Training Sets Us Apart | SERVPRO® of Mid-Upper Shore

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

This is a photo of a light bulb over a photo of someone typing on a key board. We have the trailing and certificates to set our technicians' apart.

When we respond to a call about damage restoration, we want to make sure our technicians are prepared with all the resources and expertise they need to tackle the job with precision and confidence. That is why we invest so heavily in the training of our technicians, both upon their initial hiring and throughout their careers with us.

In addition to offering certifications and industry standard education from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certifications (IICRC), we also offer internal classes, online education and community-based classes that our technicians are encouraged to participate in. We believe strongly that confident employees are successful employees, which is why we are adamant about giving our technicians the tools and expertise they need to succeed.

Types of Training Our Technicians Receive

IICRC Certifications
The IICRC creates the industry standard for restoration professionals, which is why all of our technicians are trained according to their guidelines. Not only do they study best practices concerning fire, water, storm and other restorations, but they also receive their certifications through IICRC as well.

Employee Certification Training
This self-paced program is offered to every employee of ours, covering leadership skills and training, fire and water restoration, and carpet and upholstery cleaning. After completion, employees are eligible to take an exam and receive a certification for the course.

Web-Based Training
We have built a comprehensive network of web-based, self-paced training for our employees to utilize at any time. These modules cover best practices in the industry as well as any updates to technology, techniques or equipment. They are designed to be an ongoing process for our employees, allowing them to stay updated on the current developments and best practices in restoration throughout their careers.

Continuing Education Classes
These courses, offered both to our own employees as well as insurance and real estate professionals in the community, offer further insight into emergency mitigation after disasters. They cover procedures for emergencies such as fires, floods and general mitigation awareness, so we can build a more emergency preparedness-focused community.

If you need restoration to your home or business, you can trust that our qualified technicians can help. Get in touch with us to learn more.

The Importance of Having a Fire Escape Plan | SERVPRO® of Mid-Upper Shore

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

This is a person running out of a building that is on fire with smoke all around. Its important to have a fire escape plan before a fire accrues.

When it comes to fire safety, it is wise to focus first and foremost on preventing fires from starting. Putting fire safety measures into place around the house will reduce your chances of ever experiencing a house fire, which is something everyone would hope to achieve.

However, it is also vital that you have a plan in place in case a fire does start, namely including a plan for an evacuation if necessary. Having a fire escape plan for your household will help everyone have the ability to get to safety and call for help right away.

Why You Should Have a Fire Escape Plan

Having a household fire escape plan is key for increasing your fire safety efforts. In the event of a fire, every member of the household should be able to escape within two minutes as this is the typical time frame when the home will become oversaturated with smoke and be dangerous to remain in.

Having a plan in place that clearly outlines exits and an external meeting place, as well as practicing it twice per year, will make sure everyone remembers exactly what to do when the smoke alarm sounds for real.

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan

Building your fire escape plan is a fantastic way to get creative, even enlisting any children in the household to help with this stage. Create a drawing of your floorplan or make use of an online template to clearly identify exits and escape routes from each room.

What to Include in Your Fire Escape Plan

Making sure your fire escape plan has all the information you need will ensure that everyone in your household knows exactly what to do and can get to safety once the smoke alarm sounds. Some key elements of a fire escape plan include:

  • Two exits out of each room (purchase emergency ladders for second-story rooms if need be)
  • Provisions for children or elderly household members who will not be able to get out on their own
  • A plan for who will assist the pets out of the house if need be
  • A meeting place that is a safe distance from your home for everyone to reconvene at

If you experience a fire in your home, know that we are always here to help. You can call us 247 to begin the fire restoration process.


Signs Your Home May Have Hidden Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Mid-Upper Shore

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

This is a photo of a water spot with a cracking wall. Things to look for when your home has had a water damage.

Any type of water damage to a home is a frustrating thing to deal with, but when it comes to hidden water damage, homeowners can be even more dismayed.

While damage from floods or weather-related issues are generally obvious, hidden water damage can be perpetuated for years before it is discovered. If you suspect you may have hidden water damage in your home, here are some things to look out for and key areas to check.

Indicators of Hidden Water Damage

If you have a suspicion that water damage is present in your home, doing a thorough inspection for water damage is the first step. Some of the signs to look for include:

  • Musty, rancid odors
  • Soft spots in walls or floors
  • Discoloration or stains on surfaces
  • Mold growth in nearby areas
  • Flaking or peeling paint
  • Buckled ceilings, floorboards and walls

While these signs will help point you in the right direction, even if they are not present, water damage can be. Contacting a company that can do a thorough moisture-detection inspection is the only way to know for sure if there is water damage present.

Places to Check for Hidden Water Damage

Behind and Under Appliances. Appliance leaks are a leading cause of water damage, and because appliances are so rarely moved or inspected, these problems can go on for ages before they are discovered. Make a habit of inspecting the washing machine, hot water heater and air conditioning unit, and pulling the fridge and dishwasher away from the wall.

Under Roofing Material. If left untreated, a leaking roof can cause serious water damage, but until the leak becomes severe, it may be difficult to know it’s there. Have your roof regularly inspected for weak spots that may indicate a problem.

Behind Drywall. If a pipe has burst or a flood has impacted your home, drywall can become water-damaged inside without showing any outward signs. Replacing drywall is recommended, but it is not easy—that is why it’s important to always choose professional restoration when water damage is present.

Are you worried your home may have sustained water damage? Call us and we can respond quickly to inspect your home!


Mid-Upper Shore Soot Cleanups

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

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 the Mid/Upper Shore 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 – 410-758-8770

Need Immediate Service? Call SERVPRO of Mid-Upper Shore

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of the Mid-Upper Shore provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Kent, Queen Annes, or Caroline county. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 –410-758-8770

Residential Services

Whether your Queen Annes, Kent, Or Caroline county home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Queen Annes, Kent, Or Caroline county commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: Commercial Restoration Services

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Do you have any signs of mold?

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

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 – 410-785-8770

Do you remember the last time you've had your ducts cleaned?

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Ventilation systems can often be the biggest culprit of poor indoor air quality because many people allow HVAC systems to operate for some time without much attention or upkeep.  Your HVAC system could be circulating odors, dust, and other contaminants throughout your property.

A routine part of SERVPRO of the Mid/Upper service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

SERVPRO of the Mid/Upper Shore will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.  This inspection can provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.  Benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

Serving your HVAC ducts in Kent Island, Queen Anne's, Centreville, and Stevensville.  For more information on duct cleaning, or to set up a written inspection and estimate, call SERVPRO of the Mid/Upper Shore  today at (410)758-8770