Recent Posts

Water Stains on Your Ceilings? Call Us ASAP!

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

water stain on ceiling Call SERVPRO of Laurel as soon as possible to get those water stains on your ceiling checked out!

Water stains aren’t something to ignore. Instead, they are indicators of an urgent matter!

If you see water stain(s) on your ceiling, you should request help promptly.

Water stains can mean:

  • Leaky pipe(s)
  • Old caulking
  • Problem with roof
  • Poor insulation

Whatever is above your ceiling is typically the source of the moisture issue. Is your property’s roof or a bathroom above the water stain? That may just be the source of the problem. However, if you cannot determine a water source above the stain, you may have a leaky pipe.

Water seepage from old caulking or piping in disrepair are other common sources of water stains. It’s very important that damaged or old pipes are replaced to avoid leaking or “sweating.”

After a snowstorm or even a rain downpour, water stains can show up on your ceiling. For instance, rain can leak through from the gutter. Therefore, you have a roofing issue upon your property.

However, if an ice dam forms on your roof and water is able to seep in, it’s a good indicator of a need to improve the insulation.

Sometimes, a professional may need to remove a portion of the ceiling, and possibly the wall, to completely restore and fix the affected area for good.

Remember, don't put off too long to deal with the stain! Applying a quick coat of paint over the stain can make a temporarily, cosmetic difference, but oftentime, the stain will bleed right through the new paint.

Instead, call a professional to ensure the source of the water is correctly identified and handled properly. Ignoring the issue can lead to expensive repairs. It’s much better to catch the problem sooner than having to have sections of your ceiling teared down and replaced.

Call SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E to have water stains in your home or office checked out. We are the area’s water damage experts and are always “Faster to any size disaster.” Large or small, we will restore your water-damaged property with efficiency and detail.

We are here 24/7. 301-323-8862. 

What's the Difference: Gray Water vs. Black Water

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

feet in yellow boots in water If you had flood water in your home or business recently, have it checked out for toxic contaminants.

If your home floods, you’ll probably wonder how safe the water is.

Should you retrieve possessions from the puddles left behind? If you forgot to wear gloves and boots, will soap and water be enough to rid the germs from your hands?

Those are excellent questions.

First, you must identify the water source.

Clean water will not cause an immediate threat. It contains no contaminants and originates from toilet holding tanks, snow melt, rain, appliances such as a broken refrigerator, air conditioning units, etc.

Gray water contains chemical or biological contaminates, and therefore, may pose some health risk. It originates from washing machines, showers, sinks, aquariums, etc.

Black water causes an immediate threat due to the expected contaminants in it, including but not limited to, viruses, bacteria and protozoan. This water originates from toilets and floodwaters. Oftentimes, after a flood, water collect soils, sewage, etc. which contain harmful contaminants, which explains why it’s marked as "black water." 

However, please note that as these waters sit, they can advance to a more serious level. For instance, after sitting for two days, clean water can turn into gray water. This is why water removal should be handled immediately.

Contact with contaminated water can cause vomiting, nausea, parasitic illness and fever.

If you’re not sure of the source, contact a professional.                           

If you’re dealing with gray or black water, it’s very important to get help as soon as possible. Keep in mind that if it’s clean water, and it’s been sitting for over 48 hours, it should be treated as a gray water problem.

At SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, we are water damage and biohazard experts. We will efficiently restore any water damage and carefully treat and disinfect your home, so you feel safe in it again.

Take a look at our website for more details: www.SERVPROlaurelgreenbelt.com/sewage-cleanup

Does your Bowie, Burtonsville, Calverton, Laurel, Beltsville, Greenbelt, Lanham home or office need restoration or cleanup? Call us today at 301-323-8862, and we will give you peace of mind!

SERVPRO uses different methods for each unique surface to remediate Mold

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

mold Mold, if not treated properly and efficiently, can lead to other problems in the home, and to your health. We can help!

Mold is often undetectable in homes until it has become a significant problem. Not every type of mold has that distinctive, ‘musty’ odor and if the growth started behind a wall or in the attic, the smell is not noticeable until the mold has grown into a large colony of spores.

Restoring a home due to the effects of mold damage is a task that needs a professional service. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney and our sister franchises SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt/Beltsville have trained crews on 24-hour notice to support our neighbors and customers. We have some of the best-trained personnel in the industry to safely remove & remediate mold from the property.

The technicians first determine the type of surface infested. This inspection decides both the cleaning methods needed and how much time may be required to complete the job. We usually divide surfaces into porous, nonporous and semi-porous categories.

Porous surfaces are typically building materials and fabrics; drywall and upholstery for example. They are often cleanable, but if the mold is very thick or has grown into the material, we dispose of it. Our cleaning methods for these surfaces involve vacuuming them with special HEPA filters that catch tiny amounts of loose mold, even a single spore.

After vacuuming, we move on to using spray bottles with an antimicrobial cleaner and foaming agents to dampen the surface. Wetting loosens the mold and allows technicians to remove it with cloths and sponges.

Nonporous surfaces are the easiest to clean. This category includes metal and glass tabletops, as well as marble and smooth stone kitchen countertops. In many cases, we can remove the mold with dry cloths and sponges. Technicians wipe down the surfaces from top to bottom to prevent accidentally leaving spores at the top or along the sides. If the mold layer is thick, we vacuum it first before dry wiping.

Semi-porous surfaces (concrete and wood decks for example) require methods not acceptable on other surfaces. Affected surfaces may need sanding to wire brushing and other abrasive tools to dig out the mold. The cleaners we use on these surfaces would mar or otherwise destroy glass and metal surfaces. If mold has penetrated the surface of the wood or concrete, technicians may have to sand them down by hand or with a power sander to remove it.

Returning your home to its pre-mold condition is not a quick or easy set of processes. SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney, Silver Spring North and Laurel/Greenbelt-Beltsville have years of experience in helping our customers through each step, to put you back into your home.

Call us at 301-340-1313 in Montgomery County, or 301-323-8862 in Prince George's County today to set up an inspection.

Holiday & Christmas tree safety

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

santa ornament on christmas tree Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year. Follow these tips to prevent such disasters.

Statistics from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) show the holidays are a high-risk time for home fires. Christmas trees are responsible for 240 home fires each year, and other holiday decorations are the cause of another 1,170 fires.

Here are some tips to keep your home safe this holiday season: 

•Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.

•Keep trees at least 3 feet away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process.

•Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree.

•Always inspect light sets before placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.

•Do not overload electrical circuits.

•Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house and before going to bed.

•Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

•Install and ensure smoke alarms work inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.

If you have a fire, call SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt/Beltsville, 301-323-8862. We are here 24/7 to make it "Like it never even happened."

In Prince George's County, we serve Ammendale, Bowie, Burtonsville, Calverton, Glenn Dale, Goddard, Lanham, Greenbelt NE and Beltsville E.

IICRC Certified With Decades of Experience

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

IICRC logo SERVPRO of Laurel & our parent franchise of Rockville-Olney take pride in our well-strained staff and decades of water & fire restoration experience.

SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, and our Montgomery County counterparts SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North, have decades of fire and water restoration experience in helping our customers, and we pride ourselves in having one of the most well-trained technicians in the business.

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup, restoration and reconstruction of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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.

Here are some of our Certifications:

  • IICRC - Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician
  • RRP - Lead-based paint Renovation, Repair and Painting
  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • HST - Health and Safety Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • RRT - Carpet Repair & Reinstallation Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program

All our four SERVPRO franchises -- Laurel, Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North -- are IICRC firms. 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 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.

Our office phones are staffed 24/7 for emergencies. Call us at 301-340-1313 in Montgomery County, or 301-323-8862 in Prince George's County today if we can help with restoration needs.

What Are Your Goals for 2022?

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

white background with a calendar & pen Getting smaller tasks completed make way for the completion of larger & more challenging goals. SERVPRO of Laurel wishes you a successful 2022!

Do you manage or own a business?

As we approach 2022, you most likely have many goals for your business!

Oftentimes, getting smaller tasks completed will make way for the completion of the larger and more challenging goals!

Tackling smaller projects, such as signing your company up for a volunteer opportunity in your community, can become one of the stepping stones leading you towards a more long-term goal of creating more camaraderie between your employees, for example. 

Here are some more tips and recommendations for bettering your business in 2022:

* Grow as a team! Get to know your employees or co-workers by having a monthly group lunch, going on a weekend hike with your team, or hosting a holiday game night after work. As relationships grow, employees will become more apt to help one another not only achieve personal goals, but also goals for the prosperity of the company!

* Do you have a goal of refreshing your office space in 2022? That can be a daunting task, especially if it needs a complete makeover. Start small! Buy a few hardy plants to decorate your office with. Replace a piece of furniture or two at a time so you can stay within budget. Run a quick vacuum over your property once a week to avoid a messy and stained floor at the end of the month. It’s the “little things” you do that can really add up!

Sometimes, it’s hard to stay focused on all your goals. When you’re running a business, there are a million things going on, so other priorities can get in the way of achieving your goals. However, forming a habit is said to take 21 days. That’s three weeks! If you dedicate 30 minutes a day towards doing research, planning, etc. for your goal, it will become a habit you soon won’t even think twice about!

Plus, stay on top of your goals by getting organized! Purchase an agenda book where you can write down what you need to get done for the day. Seeing it visually will help!

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! You are a busy individual with a lot of responsibility. Make sure you allow yourself time to recharge.

Here at SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, we help many businesses in and around Prince George's County, MD. Whether we’re called for water damage restoration, cleaning service, mold remediation, etc., we are always here to help lift a load off your shoulders! Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 301-323-8862. We're here to help!

We wish you and your company a fabulous and successful New Year!

Check out the variety of cleaning services we offer to help get 2022 off to a great start:

www.SERVPROlaurelgreenbelt.com/cleaning-services

Why Your Business Needs a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

A mobile device with SERVPRO logo Having a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile can save you a lot of time, energy and money should disasters strike.

Disasters can strike at anytime, anywhere, and Prince George's County, Maryland is no exception.

Did you know up to 50% of businesses afflicted by a disaster will never reopen? The statistic may be shocking, but what isn’t very surprising is that the vast majority of the surviving businesses had previously established a preparedness plan.   

Prevention saves a lot of time, energy and money. Unfortunately, all catastrophes cannot be prevented, which means it is imperative to have an emergency plan in place just in case an unexpected event occurs.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan application works to prevent situations from escalating. The app, designed for commercial use, is marketed towards property and risk managers and towards business owners.

Some benefits of the app include:

  • An assessment at no charge
  • A Profile Document containing only necessary information geared for a time of emergency
  • A quick reference for you and your employees (especially if the owner/manager is away on a business trip, for example).
  • A free guide outlining important steps to take post-disaster
  • A connection and direct contact with your local SERVPRO

SERVPRO clients, including those in Rockville-Olney & Silver Spring North are offered this service free of charge. After downloading the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan application onto an electronic device, a SERVPRO employee will meet with the client to map the property they own or manage.

Mapping the territory includes, but is not limited to, making note of water pipes, crawl spaces and fire exits. Information such as the square footage of the building and photographs of the property are collected and stored in the app as well.

Although gathering and recording this information on the app may sound like a lengthy process, employees have noted they can finish the plan in about 30 minutes. Additionally, owners can go back into the app and add more detail or update over time. There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain!

If you prepare for the future, you will “Save Early for Disaster Costs.” Utilizing tools to prevent damage, to prevent loss, and to prevent losing your business to a disaster, is one of the best ways to ensure the “health” of what you own or manage. 

It’s simple, and it’s free. Save now to avoid large costs later. Download the application in the App Store or from the link below:

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/Home/MobileApp

Please feel free to call SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E at 301-323-8862 with any questions you may have about the Emergency Ready Plan. We're also here 24/7 for any cleanup & restoration needs from storm, water, fire or mold damage.

Take these precautions to ensure your daycare is safe!

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

A daycare center room Whether you manage a daycare or send your kids to one, we know your primary concerns are their safety & well-being. SERVPRO of Laurel can help!

At SERVPRO of Laurel and SERVPRO of Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E, we knows it’s important to make sure your commercial property reaches a high standard when it comes to a clean and safe environment for your clients, employees, etc. Quite often, we help daycares in the Laurel, Greenbelt, Beltsville, College Park and surrounding areas reach these standards.

It’s very important to ensure your smallest customers are safe and healthy at all times, especially during this still-pandemic time and especially since children are more susceptible to common issues such as mold, as well as bacteria pests such as rodents can leave behind, for instance.

Maybe you own or manage a daycare. Maybe you are considering starting your own daycare, or maybe you are a parent considering which daycare to enroll your child in.

Here's a checklist of what a daycare should include to provide the safest environment possible. Please note this list focuses on a few security measures, emergency safety measures, as well as cleanliness measures. There are many other factors involved with regard to a daycare facility; they can be investigated in more detail on the web.

Here are a few:                      

  • Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers must be present and in excellent, working condition
  • Windows in every classroom to provide fresh air and an emergency exit
  • Clean sleeping area, play areas and toys (including carpets and upholstery, which can easily become soiled at daycares!)
  • All cleaning supplies must be locked away
  • Electrical outlets must be covered
  • Strict hygiene procedures (important when changing diapers)
  • Any necessary safety and cleanliness certifications (state and/or county, depending on local laws)
  • Regular health and cleanliness inspections
  • Documented emergency evacuation plans
  • Mold-free
  • Any expired food the center provided must be discarded
  • Professional pest removal is needed if you suspect or know there are pests in the building. Mouse traps present a danger, especially to small hands that like to get into everything!
    • Pests can carry diseases, bite children, and leave trails of bacteria behind
  • Fire drills are necessary in preparing for a smoother evacuation in an unfortunate event when an actual fire might take place
    • Similar to drills for potential earthquakes or storms, especially if the region is prone to these acts of nature
  • Locking gates at the top and bottom of any stairs
  • Exterior locking doors

We have worked around Prince George's County, Maryland and beyond to ensure local daycares are clean and safe places! Whether involved with mold remediation, restoring flood damages, or performing a general cleaning, we make it a priority to keep the children in our community safe and healthy.

If you have any cleaning & restoration needs at your daycare facilities, don’t hesitate to give us a call today at 301-323-8862.

Quick Water Removal is Crucial & Can Reduce Damages to Your Home

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

green drying equipment on kitchen floor Quick removal of water in your home is crucial & can prevent much further damage that can be costly.

SERVPRO is “Faster to any size disaster,” and this quality provides many benefits for homeowners of waterlogged residences. When a pipe has burst apart, or a tub has overflowed, your home needs to have that excess water removed as quickly as possible.


Homes in Laurel, Greenbelt, Beltsville and throughout Prince George's County, MD that have excess water from disasters such as pipe failures and forgotten tubs dry out best when water removal services from SERVPRO are the first part of the entire process. Pumping out any water that is visible upon our arrival helps us gain a better visual so we can more easily assess the extent of the overall damage.

Larger amounts of porous materials require more aggressive drying methods than materials that are less porous. Our experience benefits homeowners in many kinds of disasters that can damage a home by giving us insight into how best proceed in almost any type of situation imaginable, and overflowing toilets and tubs, exploding water heaters, burst pipes, and flooding from natural sources are only a few of those catastrophes.

Removing water starts the process, but then we need to move toward removing the moisture that has escaped into the air through evaporation. This moisture can find its way into every part of your home and create problems later unless it is captured and removed. Dehumidifiers, heaters, air movers, and even open windows can work wonders when used together. Moisture meters provide us with a beginning reading of areas in your home that are compared to later readings, showing us our progress in drying out your home.

When dry, remaining problems can still exist, such as unusual odors. This is because odors are caused by particles, that although tiny, produce smells when they have been disturbed. We can rectify this problem with odor control methods. Other problems that can remain behind include over-stretched carpeting, and SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E can fix that problem, also.

Because floors are always saturated in a situation where standing water exists, we take great care in ensuring that these surfaces are completely dry. This prevents warping of wooden floors and sub-flooring. Otherwise, walking in your home may soon become hazardous for your family and guests.

In situations that have left your home partially submerged, call SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E 24/7 at 301-323-8862.

We can begin water removal efforts so that your home is once again as it should be, perfectly dry. Accidents can occur at all hours of the day and night, and because of this, we are always here to help!

What You Need to Know Before a Winter Storm

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

frozen pipe Follow these tips to prepare for the Winter season.

Winter storms can cause a lot of damage! Not only is your home or business at risk, but also your health, the roads and your vehicle. Unlike storms occurring during the warmer seasons, winter storms can bring freezing rain, snow, ice, and intense, cold winds.

It’s important to make sure your home or office is properly insulated. Caulking and weather-stripping doors and windows will keep cold air from seeping into your property. Also consider installing a storm door. That will provide an extra layer of insulation and protection.

Also remember your pipes! To keep them from freezing, insulate them by wrapping them in old newspaper, for example. Then, cover the newspaper with plastic to keep any moisture out.  

One of the most important things to keep in mind, especially during the coldest time of the year, is carbon monoxide. During a snowstorm in particular, it’s safe to assume your windows and doors are tightly shut. It’s great that snow and frigid air can’t make their way into your home, yet carbon monoxide can begin poisoning your air by quickly filling up the confined air.

Carbon monoxide can be released from the gas of generators, stoves and other equipment. Furthermore, having your car run to warm up for example, or sitting in it for heat purposes, will result in the release of carbon monoxide. If the vehicle is in an enclosed or poorly ventilated area, the buildup can be deadly. It’s odorless, silent and quick to poison. 

Of course snowstorms also have a direct impact on the structure of your home. Heavy snow can cause your roof to weaken, possibly resulting in its collapse. Snowstorms can also cause windows to break.

Be careful of falling trees. Before cold temperatures set in, check your property for any dying trees or breaking branches. It’s a good idea to call a professional company if anything seems questionable. You will want to get any trees or branches removed that might put your property at risk. Once the snow begins falling, its weight can easily snap a branch or even an entire tree that can land on your home or office, which in turn would create an opening for snow, rain, or ice to fall directly in your home.

Snowstorms can also affect your & others' health, including neighbors, homeless members of your community, and animals including pets. Health risks include hypothermia, heart attacks from overexertion, and frostbite. A common result of a winter storm is losing heat and communication services. Especially for the elderly and young children, losing heat can be life-threatening.

Additionally, if communication services are temporarily out and an emergency occurs, there is basically no way of getting help. As winter is quickly approaching, we encourage you to purchase a mobile phone from a reliable and trusted carrier if you currently only have a landline. We also encourage you to check on anyone you might see as at-risk.

If you know a winter storm is approaching, make sure to warn members of your community, such as an elderly neighbor, who may have not heard, or notify a local homeless shelter if you see someone you think would benefit from their services.

Lastly, make sure you are dressed warmly, covering yourself in winter gear from head to toe. Warm gloves and socks are essential as frostbite is most common on fingers and toes. You should stay indoors as much as possible and be sure to stay off the road. The road is an extremely dangerous place to be during a snowstorm. These weather conditions can make it nearly impossible to drive, and the last place you want to be is sitting on the side of a road as the snow on the ground grows higher.

Keep yourself safe and let’s keep everyone else safe and warm this winter!

In the unfortunate event you have pipe burst or other storm damage around your property, SERVPRO of Laurel & Greenbelt NE/Beltsville E is here 24/7 to help. 301-323-8862.