Recent Storm Damage Posts

Flooding: What it Does, and What to Do

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

In the spring and summer months (sometimes as late as the fall), flooding is a common phenomenon to occur in the state of Maryland. In fact, the entire state minus the westernmost portions is a part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed: in other words, most of the state serves as a channel for the rainfall and snowmelt to flow through streams and rivers all the way into the Chesapeake Bay. Combined with its position next to the Atlantic Ocean, Maryland witnesses about 42 inches of precipitation on average every year.

Whether it’s a flash flood that strikes out of nowhere or the steady overflow of a river, both can be incredibly dangerous if you are not careful. While it’s common for local flooding to affect your home perhaps only via leaks or failing sump pumps, flood water is powerful enough to sweep away vehicles and even homes. Some homes are more prone to flooding than others depending on how high the property is in comparison to the surrounding area. In general, it is recommended that you check if your property is located within a flood plain. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a useful resource for determining this, as they have a Flood Map Service that can determine which areas are more likely to be flooded. 

If you ever encounter flood waters outside your home:

  1. Keep listening to the radio or local news stations for any developing information on the flood. This will help you learn to avoid flooded areas if you are on the road.
  2. Stay away from flood waters – if you come up on a flowing stream where the water is above your ankles, stop and turn around. 6 inches of water can sweep you off your feet. Tip: Find a large walking stick to use to check the ground’s firmness as you walk. 
  3. If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooding road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car immediately and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away in less than 2 feet of water
  4. Keep children and pets away from the water.

After the flooding, even if the water is still, do not touch or enter the water. Flood water is heavily prone to contamination of oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Such contaminated water is extremely harmful to one’s health. Not only that, but flood water is murky and makes it hard to see where you are putting your feet when you walk. When the water has receded and gone, then you may assess the possible damages left in its wake.

Damage can occur long after the water has gone. The remaining moisture in the area is the perfect recipe for mold growth, especially in flooded basements where walls and floors were soaked. If left untreated, mold can go on to damage the structural integrity of your home. This can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and treatments. At the same time, do not try to clean it by yourself. Even if it seems clean and dry, you have no means of accurately assessing the area without the proper tools and experience.

If a flood strikes your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/ Chase

immediately! Even minor floods have the potential to cause MAJOR damage and if not treated properly, can result in mold growth.

About SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase

SERVPRO of Sparrows Point 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 to restore your property.

Ice damming could be the reason your Colgate home is leaking after a winter storm event!

12/21/2021 (Permalink)

If your home in Colgate, Baltimore County Maryland has a roof is covered in snow or ice, and you’re noticing water coming in from the sides of your home or business, you may be experiencing what's known as Ice Damming.

An Ice dam is ice build-up on roofs that form a blockage, preventing snow melt from draining off the roof properly. We Marylanders are at a high risk for ice damming related water damage due to our fluctuating weather; our warm days melt the snow, and our freezing winter nights refreeze the water, this is known as a melt-refreeze cycle—especially in Colgate, Maryland!

How an Ice Dam Damages your Colgate Property

  1. Heat collects in the attic and warms the roof, except at the eaves. The eaves are the edges of the roof which overhang the face of a wall and, normally, project beyond the side of a building. The eaves form an overhang to throw water clear of the walls
  2.  Snow melts on the warm roof and then freezes on the cold eaves
  3. Ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam. Melted water from the warm roof backs up behind it, flows under the shingles, and into the house

This water gets trapped, seeps through the shingles and enters your home through the attic, affecting your walls, ceiling, and roof, causing walls to sag, ceilings to buckle, crumble, and even collapse.

Chances are, if you’re reading this now you may be in need of repair, if so, don’t wait! Call your local SERVPRO you see signs of any water coming into your home. Water damage restoration can be expensive, but it’s more expensive to wait. A water damage specialist will be able to dry the structure, carpet, and hardwood, and salvage contents such as clothing and electronics but not everyone is equipped to do this (WE ARE!). If the water damage in your home is not treated within by a professional within 48-72 hours of the initial leak, it’s highly likely you will get mold, which will cause the removal process to become more hazardous, and difficult to remove as time allows the mold to grow and spread.

*SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase is a Locally owned and independently operated Franchise, nationally recognized by all insurance companies. We go anywhere we are called and we will make it "Like it never even happened."

What to do when your pipes burst in Sparrows Point, Maryland

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Broken water pipes rank second only to hurricanes in terms of both frequency and severity in regards to annual claims resulting from water damage. Reduce your damage costs by calling SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase, then decrease the amount of water than can leak from a burst pipe by following these steps below..

Turn off your water main.

Completely switch off your water supply. If you think the water from the pipe burst may have reached any of the electrical sockets or the fuse box, turn off the electricity, too.

You can usually find your main water shut-off valve somewhere in your home. Check your basement, crawl spaces, and areas close to the water heater. If it’s not inside, you can usually find it under a metal lid on your property close to the street.

Here is a complete guide to finding your water shut off valve, written by Flo Technologies:

Drain the faucets — cold taps first.

Once the water supply has been turned off, drain all of the water out of your house’s water system. This will reduce the chance of any remaining water freezing over and relieve pressure buildup in your water pipes.

  • Open your faucets to drain the remaining cold water from the system.
  • Flush all toilets multiples times

Turn off heat and drain your hot taps.

Now shut off your water boiler and heating system and release all the water from your hot taps.

Let the warm air in.

If your pipe burst or froze from cold weather, let some warm air in by

  • Turn the heat back on and hike up thermostat
  • Use a hair dryer on the pipe that is burst after it is drained completely.
  • Open-up the cabinet doors where they live to let the warm air circulate.

Call SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase to clean up, document, restore and protect your house from mold.

SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase (443-231-6179), or your local SERVPRO (1-800-SERVPRO) if you don’t reside in our service area, will clean up the mess, document the damage, treat your home for potential mold growth and restore your home to pre-flooded conditions. We are accepted by all insurance companies and have a 4.5 star average customer rating!

 What to do until SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase Arrives

  •  Mop up excess water as best as you are able, to prevent slips and falls until help arrives.
  • Keep children, elderly, and pets out of the affected area.
  • Do not throw anything away, take pictures of damaged items.
  • Contact your insurance company to see you are eligible for coverage and file a claim.

Winter Storms and how they can damage your Bowleys Quarter Maryland Property

11/14/2021 (Permalink)

Winter storms can cause significant damage to your Sparrows Point property if you are not prepared. During power outages during a winter storm, using a generator will keep you and your family warm, as reduce the risk of frozen pipes.

Never use a generator, grill, camp stove, or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal burning device INSIDE a home, basement, garage, crawlspace or even partially enclosed area.

 If you have a generator on hand for power outages during severe weather, follow the safety tips below (from the American Red Cross).

  1. To avoid electrocution, keep the generator dry and do not use in rain or wet conditions. Operate it on a dry surface under an open canopy-like structure such as under a tarp held up by poles. Do not touch the generator with wet hands.
  2. Opening doors and windows or fans will not prevent Carbon monoxide build up in the home. Although Carbon monoxide can’t be smelled, it can rapidly build up and lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed. IF you start to feel dizzy, week, sick while using a generator, get to fresh air IMMEDIATELY
  3. Install Carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home or property and outside of sleeping areas to provide early warning of accumulating carbon monoxide.

Storm or Water Damage from a power outage? Call SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase (443)-231-6179

When winter storms hit Edgemere Maryland, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We are accepted by all insurance companies and are certified in Water restoration, mold remediation, Applied Structural Drying, and more from the IICRC. 

Why Storms cause Sewer Back Ups in Bowleys Quarters Maryland

8/14/2021 (Permalink)

A sewer backing up, or contaminated water backing out of your tub, sink or toilet can be an absolute nightmare for Bowleys Quarters homeowners. Sewer backups happen frequently during storms because the sewer system is overwhelmed causing it to "back-up" through your toilet or drains.

The truth is you can’t (and shouldn’t) do very much; sewage contaminated water is dangerous to your health and should be avoided at all costs. If you have water backing up out of toilet, sink or bathtub in your Colgate home, then follow these steps and call SERVPRO of Sparrows Point Essex/Chase


Your Game Plan

  • Stay out of the area/avoid cross contamination
  • Determine the source
  • Arrange repair and cleanup services with SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase or your local SERVPRO/Water restoration company
  • Call your Insurance Company

Keep Children and Pets away from sewer-water affected areas

Keep children and pets away the moment sewer water is discovered, until the clean-up crew and sanitation is complete. Sewage is Category 3 water, more commonly known as black water. Category 3 water or Black water is defined by the IICRC as “the worst classification and is grossly unsanitary. It could cause severe illness or death if ingested” Keep children and pets away at all times and if you yourself must go in the area, wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching cuts, eyes, mouth or ears with your hands or any item that came in contact with the black water.

Risks of Sewage back up debris

Category 3 water/Raw sewage contains diseases such as Hepatitis, Salmonella, E.Coli and Parasites just to name a few, would you risk cleaning this yourself without proper training or the tools and chemicals to do it correctly? These diseases survive weeks even months if not properly killed. Doing it yourself, or hiring the wrong professional puts you, your family, pets and house guests at a great risk. Call SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase to schedule emergency Service to have the job taken care of "Like it never even happened."

Determine whether the waste is local (as in, from your own home) or from the sewer system also known as “backflow”

IF you are able to do some inspecting, then determine the source by the amount and the flow rate. Determine the source of the sewage backup – if entering the area seems like it would be dangerous to your health (no proper protective equipment) then just skip on down to arrange services. A local waste product would be from a blockage, tree roots affecting plumbing lines or broken or collapsed lines on your property, this waste would be from your own home but is still considered a category 3. Backflow is when the sewer system in your neighborhood or municipality is overwhelmed, and it reverses in your pipes, causing it to erupt from toilets, sinks and tubs. This can happen from heavy rain-flow overwhelming your municipality’s sewer system, causing it to backflow into your home.

Arrange Services with SERVPRO of Sparrows Point /Essex/Chase

Call an Emergency Restoration company such as SERVPRO of Sparrows Point Essex/Chase as we are IICRC Certified and specialize in cleaning up hazardous waste. Most contractors and plumbers do not have the capability to clean up the site after the repairs have been made and may not be approved by your insurance company if you choose to claim the loss.

SERVPRO also has a 1-4-8 policy, which means

  • 1 hour from notice of loss - (When you call), a SERVPRO professional will contact you to arrange services.
  • 4 hours of calling - a SERVPRO professional will be onside to start mitigating services (or your earliest convenience).
  • 8 business hour- a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to your adjuster by a SERVPRO Professional.

Why call SERVPRO? If any SERVPRO believes they are incapable of responding within this time frame, they will refer you to a different SERVPRO so you are not left waiting!

Call your insurance company

Ask your agent if this is a covered loss, and what your deductible will be.  This can be done before or after calling SERVPRO of Sparrows Point Essex/Chase as we accept all insurance plans and you can also pay yourself – whether you are covered or not.

If you are not covered, not a problem, we will begin services after a deposit has been made and the rest will be due upon completion. Please call for deposit details!

Having a sewage back-up can stink up your day but no sewage backup is too small or too big for SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase.

Give us a call at (443)-231-6179

Floods - The most common reason for Water damage homes in Eastern Baltimore County

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Floods are one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether your home or business is near a a river such as the gunpowder, along the streets of towson, or in the valley of hydes, or EVEN in the deserts of Arizona – there is always potential for flooding. reports in the last 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past does not mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas, and even just one inch of flood damage in an average home can cost you up to 27,000. According to the American Red Cross, floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster

About SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase

SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase specializes in the cleanup and restoration of baltimore county 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 Bowleys Quarters Middlesex property.

Severe Weather Stats for Middlesex, Maryland Residents!

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen in any time, anywhere. Each year Americans cope with the average of the following intense storms

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5000 flash floods or floods
  • 1300 tornadoes
  • 2 land-falling deadly hurricanes

Middlesex Maryland, did you know...

Approximately 98% of all presidentially declared disasters are weather related, leading to about 650 deaths PER YEAR and nearly 15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others

Know your risk. The first step to becoming weather ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms, and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating an emergency communication plan for: work, family, and home. Put together or purchase and emergency ready kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example. Once you have taken actions to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers, family friends or on facebook or twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others

When Storms or Floods hit Baltimore County, SERVPRO is ready!

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Dark storm clouds behind a yellow storm warning street sign Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Baltimore County.

SERVPRO of Sparrows Point/Essex/Chase 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 Baltimore County, 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 that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (443)-231-6179