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Florida and Hurricane Season 2022

11/20/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricanes Hurricanes – and strong storms in general – can impact your area at any time during hurricane season, even as late as November.

Towards the end of year’s Atlantic hurricane season, Florida received the bulk of the action. As we’ve seen in the news, Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole left their mark on Florida communities. SERVPRO Team Wall had the opportunity to serve affected communities in Florida, made possible by our Disaster Recovery Team. Making landfall in Florida within a relatively short time of each other, Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole wreaked havoc on residential and commercial properties alike. Keep reading to learn more about where Florida’s 2022 hurricanes fit in the grand scheme of the Atlantic hurricane season.

Florida 2022 Hurricanes

Hurricane Ian, after making landfall in Southwest Florida in mid-September, caused significant damage, left many without power, and resulted in a devastating number of casualties. Just 43 days later, Florida was hit with yet another hurricane, Hurricane Nicole, once again caused power issues and sent first responders on search and rescue missions. This double-whammy may seem to be an anomaly, but something very similar happened in 2004. Hurricanes Charley and Jeanne, which both made landfall in Florida in 2004, affected nearly the same areas of the state as Ian and Nicole with the same amount of time in between the two storms. But what does this mean for property owners in Florida and across the country?

Call SERVPRO with Any Storm Emergency

Hurricanes – and strong storms in general – can impact your area at any time during hurricane season, even as late as November, which we see in the case of Hurricane Nicole. A November hurricane isn’t a rare occurrence; it is a very real possibility, especially for coastal states like Florida. For any emergency, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 for professional Storm Damage Restoration services. For commercial businesses, we also offer storm damage restoration services tailored to commercial properties. On our website, you can also learn more about our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team and our other storm-related offerings like residential and commercial Water Damage Restoration services. Let SERVPRO Team Wall make it “Like it never even happened” after any emergency.

Water Damage to Your Commercial Roof

11/10/2022 (Permalink)

Water damage roof It is important to learn ways to spot water damage in commercial properties' roofing.

As they say, “out of sight, out of mind.” Roof damage is difficult to detect for precisely this reason. Since we can’t see our roofs, how can we possibly know if it experiences damage? Today’s blog will focus on spotting water damage in commercial properties' roofing. Knowing what to look for on both the inside and outside when inspecting your commercial property’s roof can help prevent the problem from festering and causing further damage.

Interior Indicators

On the inside of your property, there are several things you can look for as indicators of water damage. First, be on the lookout for any leaks or spaces where water is accumulating. You may even see water spots on the ceiling, which are areas of discoloration and are often damp to the touch. Lastly, if you see or smell mold, this can be a sign that mold is growing as a result of a roof leak, caused by roof damage.

Exterior Indicators

On the exterior of your property, when inspecting your roof, you may find cracks and tears, which are typically the result of aging. Water can seep into these small areas of damage. Additionally, if you spot puddles of water on your commercial property’s roof, it may be indicative of an issue with your roof’s draining system. This is not a problem to ignore, as the water must move or else, your property will be at risk of roof and water damage. Finally, if water is visibly leaking into the seams of your roof, which can occur when your roof seams loosen, be sure to get professional help right away. The more proactive you can be and the sooner you can take action after spotting a problem, the better you can avoid sizable roof damage and repairs.

Call SERVPRO Team Wall with Water and Roof Damage

For more information about our Commercial Restoration and Building Services, you can visit our website or give us a call at (410) 229-0012 to speak with one of our knowledgeable SERVPRO Team Wall team members. On our website, you can also learn more about the Water and Storm Damage Restoration that we offer in the event that any of the aforementioned topics in this blog occur on your commercial property. At the first sign of damage, don’t hesitate. Call SERVPRO Team Wall for trustworthy, professional service. We’re committed to making it “Like it never even happened.”

Quarter 3 "Employee of the Quarter" Recipients

10/25/2022 (Permalink)

Employees of the quarter We are excited to congratulate Team Wall’s Q3 EOQs, Brian Barry and Mike Kelso!

Every quarter, we select one exemplary employee from each area of SERVPRO Team Wall to be recognized as Team Wall’s “Employee of the Quarter.” This quarter, we are excited to celebrate Team Wall’s Centralized team’s EOQ, Brian Barry, and our SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County office EOQ, Mike Kelso. Keep reading to learn more about Brian and Mike.

Brian Barry

A member of our SERVPRO Team Wall for the last 2 years, Brian Barry is a valued member of our centralized team. Prior to his current role as Construction Estimator, he was Fire Production Manager. Brian is always willing to help, even when tasks that need to be accomplished fall outside of his job description. During his time with Team Wall, Brian has assisted with project management on large construction jobs and has made many estimating trips to Pittsburgh.  What makes Brian an exemplary employee is that, on top of all this, Brian always takes time to look out for customers and ensure that we are addressing their concerns so that we know customers find peace of mind in their unique times of need. Thank you for all you do, Brian! 

Mike Kelso

Mike Kelso has been a member of SERVPRO Team Wall for almost 7 years, as he started in 2015 as a warehouse helper and water mitigation technician before working his way up to the role of Crew Chief. For the past 4 years, Mike has been a Production Manager with SERVPRO Team Wall. Recently, Mike attained the status of IICRC Master Water Restorer, which is an impressive qualification. Mike also stays up to date with new treads, equipment, and methods in the Restoration Industry, which he passes on to his fellow team members. He even helps lead our Water Department in semi-regular training sessions. Additionally, Mike is a consistent, dependable team member upon whom we can trust to get the job done day in and day out. If a call with a serious issue comes in at midnight, we can count on Mike’s willingness to help. Taking great pride in the quality of his crew's work and the amount of knowledge he has acquired over his years in the restoration industry, Mike leads by example. Outside of Team Wall, Mike is a father and football coach. Thank you for being such an incredible asset to our team, Mike!

Heating Equipment Safety

10/14/2022 (Permalink)

Heater Any time we use heating equipment, it is important to talk about fire safety in order to decrease your property's fire risk.

It’s getting to be that time of year again when the temperature starts to drop and we begin to feel a chill in the air. It is this time of year when many homeowners and business owners start thinking about turning on their property’s heating system. Any time we use heating equipment, it is important to talk about fire safety. In today’s blog, we’ll consider 3 statistical observations on the subject of heating safety risks from the National Fire Protection Agency and discuss ways in which you can prevent your property from becoming part of the statistics.

In a report based on annual averages between 2014 and 2018, the NFPA found that…

1. “Most home heating fire deaths (81%) involved stationary or portable space heaters.”

To prevent fires from portable heaters, be sure to keep them at least 3ft away from people and combustible objects, like blankets and upholstery.

2. “The leading factor contributing to home heating fires (25%) was failure to clean, principally from solid-fueled heating equipment, primarily chimneys.”

Chimneys and other solid-fueled heating systems should receive professional cleaning services on an annual basis. Getting into the habit of having your chimney inspected and cleaned once every year can help decrease your property’s fire risk.

3. “Nearly half (48%) of all home heating fires occurred in December, January and February.”

It can get extremely cold during the winter months, which makes it easy to want to keep portable heaters on 24/7. However, it is important to turn heaters off when you leave the room or go to bed, as fires can ignite when heaters are unsupervised.

Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Fire Damage Restoration Services

For more Fire Tips, in addition to more information about our Fire Damage Restoration services and Fire Restoration Process, and check out our website. If your home or business experiences fire damage this fall or winter, call SERVPRO Team Wall right away at (410) 229-0012 to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Storm Safety: Lightning 101

9/23/2022 (Permalink)

Lightning An important part of storm safety is understanding different types of lightning that you may see in a thunderstorm.

With almost any storm event, lightning is a serious human safety concern, but it also poses risks to residential and commercial properties. Even hurricanes sometimes produce lightning near the eye of the storm. An important part of storm safety is understanding different types of lightning that you may see in a thunderstorm. In today’s blog, informed by NOAA’s “Lightning Types” article, we’ll describe 3 different kinds of lightning and the property safety risks associated with them so that you can best protect yourself, as well as your home or business.

Cloud-to-Ground Lightning

The type of lightning with which the majority of people are familiar is cloud-to-ground lighting, which means that a channel of negative charge descends from a storm cloud and is met with a positive charge from tall objects nearby, which can include trees and power lines but- most important with regards to our topic today- tall structures like homes, office buildings, and other commercial buildings as well. The unification of the negative and positive charges causes an electrical current to flow. If the catalyst of the positive charge is a home or commercial property, the electrical current generated can pose safety risks to the property and people inside of it, as it can impact the electrical system and ignite fires. One way to prevent extensive damage from a lightning strike is equipping your property with surge protectors. Additionally, if you know that there is lightning in the area, stay away from electrical appliances and refrain from activities involving water, like taking a shower or washing dishes.

Cloud Flashes

Sometimes, lightning does not reach the ground. Cloud flashes describe lightning that usually remains in the clouds through what NOAA calls “intra-cloud lightning flashes.” This type of lightning is caused by “an electrical discharge between oppositely charged areas within the thunderstorm cloud,” according to The National Weather Service. While cloud-to-ground lightning may be the most dangerous type of lightning, if you see cloud flashes, a safety risk is still present. Cloud flashes still indicate that the storm is producing lightning, which means that there is risk of cloud-to-ground lightning developing.

Heat Lightning

You are probably familiar with the term “heat lightning,” but there is actually no such thing as heat lightning. According to The National Weather Service, if you see cloud flashes without thunder, what you are seeing is faint lightning flashes from a thunderstorm far enough away that you can’t hear the thunder or see the cloud-to-ground lightning generated by it. 

Experience Lightning Damage? Call SERVPRO

If your residential or commercial business experiences lightning damage during a storm, call SERVPRO Team Wall. Our professional, experienced storm damage restoration specialists are equipped with the tools that will help make your property’s lighting damage “like it never even happened” after a storm. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 to get in touch with one of our team members or visit our website to learn more about our Storm Damage Restoration capabilities, such as storm restoration services tailored specifically to commercial properties, our Disaster Recovery Team for large losses, and our water restoration process. To find peace of mind after any storm emergency and restore your property to its preloss condition, call SERVPRO Team Wall today.

Why Is September Peak Hurricane Season?

9/16/2022 (Permalink)

Hurricane Property owners should continue preparedness efforts for storm activity, even as we enter the latter portion of hurricane season.

Just last week, weather.com posted an article referring to September as the “annual peak of Atlantic hurricane season.” According to the author, a senior meteorologist at weather.com, September 10th marked the statistical, climatological peak of hurricane season, which is “when the Atlantic Basin has had the most hurricanes and named storms over the course of history.” We know that hurricane season in the northern hemisphere lasts from June 1st through November 30th, according to NOAA. September 10th does not fall exactly in the middle of hurricane season, so what makes September peak hurricane season? Additionally, this blog will also explore the options property owners have when protecting their homes and businesses during peak hurricane season.

What Makes September Peak Hurricane Season?

The weather.com article points to several factors that increase the likelihood of hurricanes forming in the Atlantic during September, including “ocean water reaching its highest temperature, the atmosphere's ability to generate thunderstorms hitting its peak, and hostile shearing winds declining to a minimum,” as well as “tropical waves,” which peak in July and carry into September. Additionally, the author includes statistical data that illustrates the peak of hurricanes on or around September 10th, as well as 77% of named storms and 87% of hurricanes in an average hurricane season occurring in August, September, and October. From this information, it is clear that, while we are currently in the most active portion of hurricane season, hurricane prevalence stretches well into the next month. This means that residential and commercial property owners should continue preparedness efforts for storm activity, even as we enter the latter portion of hurricane season.

Hurricane Preparedness

The American Red Cross recommends that property owners prepare for two things before a hurricane: wind and flooding. To prepare for damaging winds caused by hurricanes, consider cutting back trees and bushes close to the property and secure windows with storm shutters. The best way to prepare for intense flooding is making sure that your gutters and drains are clear before the storm. Hurricanes, however, are a powerful force of nature and can cause unexpected property damage despite preventative measures. In the event that your residential or commercial property experiences storm damage in the aftermath of a hurricane, know that SERVPRO Team Wall is just a call away. At the first sight of damage, call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County at (410) 229-0012 or visit our website to learn more about our professional Storm Damage Restoration services, Commercial Storm Damage Restoration, and our experienced Disaster Recovery/Large Loss Team. Trust SERVPRO to make it “Like it never even happened” after any emergency, large or small.

Fire Safety at the Fire Pit

9/10/2022 (Permalink)

Fire pit Fire pits can cause mishaps that may lead to accidents when fire safety procedures are not followed.

Though it might be difficult to imagine right now with the summer heat still pounding down, temperatures will soon get colder. As we head further into fall, a season associated with s’mores, apple cider, and spending time outside, we approach prime fire pit season. According to the National Fire Protection Association, campfires and fire pits can cause mishaps that may lead to accidents when fire safety procedures are not followed. In this blog, we will discuss fire hazards associated with fire pits, as well as ways in which you can safely use a fire pit this fall. 

Fire Safety at the Fire Pit

Whether you have an in-ground or above-ground fire pit on your residential property, it is important to have it a safe distance away from your home, as well as any other flammable objects, such as trees, bushes, sheds, and brush. Additionally, your fire pit should be made of heavy metal, brick, stone, or other non-combustible materials. A responsible adult should always be present when a fire is active in the fire pit in order to make sure that the fire does not get out of hand or leave the fire pit. 

Make Safety a Priority

Be sure to abide by the safety guidelines of your fuel type, such as a propane fuel tank, and, if you’re using firewood, make sure that it is clean and dry. These precautionary measures can help prevent unwanted fire emergencies from occurring. Lastly, in case of emergency, be sure to always have fire extinguishing equipment nearby when using a fire pit. In addition to a fire extinguisher, a garden hose or bucket of water are both beneficial to have on hand when operating a fire pit.

Have a Fire? Call SERVPRO 

In the event that you encounter a fire emergency this fall, know that SERVPRO Team Wall is always just a call away. Our team of trained and experienced fire damage restoration professionals will make it “Like it never even happened” and quickly restore your residential property to its preloss condition. Call SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County today at (410) 229-0012 to speak with one of our team members. Additionally, be sure to check out our website, which includes a variety of fire damage restoration resources, such as our Fire Damage Restoration services overview, Fire Restoration Process, and Fire Damage Tips pages, all of which can be helpful while you are waiting for help to arrive.

Commercial Industry Offerings: An Overview

9/1/2022 (Permalink)

Buildings SERVPRO has experience providing professional restoration services to many different industries in the commercial realm.

It is common knowledge that, here at SERVPRO, we offer commercial properties both restoration and construction services alike. But what do we mean by “commercial restoration” and what does it entail? In today’s blog, we’ll break down our commercial restoration services, focusing on our diverse industry offerings so that you know what SERVPRO can do for your commercial business after an emergency. 

Why Choose SERVPRO for Your Commercial Business?

SERVPRO is experienced and trusted in the commercial restoration industry, with specializations in fire, water, mold, and storm damage restoration, as well as cleaning and construction. Our experienced team understands your needs, which means that our scheduling is flexible. We work with you and are able to work around the clock, including after hours, in order to get the job done without disrupting your commercial business’ daily operations. Our team can adjust our workspace to keep functional areas clear, which allows you to continue working. Time efficiency is our top priority, which is why we are “Faster to any disaster”, offering 24/7 emergency services and cooperating with our many SERVPRO locations across the country.

Experiences With Multiple Industries

SERVPRO has experience providing professional restoration services to many different industries in the commercial realm. In the past, we have assisted retail locations, schools and academic buildings, healthcare facilities, hospitality, and food service. This means that we also have experience working with commercial businesses of different sizes with various needs. From small apartment buildings and large office buildings to retail stores of all sizes and large government facilities, we’re experienced and prepared to handle it all.

Call SERVPRO After Any Emergency

In the event that your commercial business suffers water, storm, fire, or mold damage, be sure to call SERVPRO Team Wall for assistance at (410) 229-0012. You can also visit our website to learn more about our Commercial Restoration services, as well as our Commercial Cleaning services. Trust SERVPRO and our wide-ranging experience working with different commercial industries to make it “Like it never even happened” for your property after any disaster.

Team Wall: Franchise of the Year

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Trish at convention “And our new Franchise of the Year is…Team Wall.” It’s truly just the beginning!

June 2011.

We were a different company. We were a different team. We were different people.

With no family in the area to help with childcare and all our earnings being reinvested back in the business, I made the choice to stay home with our young kids to offset costs. Jim, meanwhile, was a full-time (to the third degree) entrepreneur. It’s no exaggeration that this man worked 18-hour days, every day and would go sometimes up to 2 weeks without seeing our boys. He was out the door before daybreak and back home after bedtime. Weekends did not exist. Vacations were an impossibility. And every event we attended always had a contingency plan… just in case that phone would ring. It was a way of life.

We learned a lot about the dichotomy of ‘teamwork’. We had a common goal (to succeed in family and business), but it required us to be so starkly independent to make it happen. It was a crash course in self-reliance, innovation, grit, and faith. And, man, it could be so lonely.

I more than often asked myself, “Is this all worth it?” Right around those times the weather would break, and the phones would start ringing. I wish I could capture into prose the joy that radiated from Jim’s every step and exuberance in each word he spoke. He thrived in these moments.  He absolutely loved taking on the challenge of a mounting workload with his team of 15 by his side. Saying “yes” was his mantra and “figuring it out” was like fire in his veins. This was his passion, and so, I continued to do all I could to support it.

For two years, I thought we were the only ones that lived and experienced this crazy way of life. Then I flew to St. Louis, MO for my very first SERVPRO convention. I looked around and realized I was dead wrong. Thousands of people just like us were gathered to network and learn from each other. It was an unforgettable week soaking in all things SERVPRO and really understanding at the core what got Jim so charged up about this business. (Side note: I do remember thinking, “If I have to listen to one more conversation about dehumidifiers…!” ??).

And then came awards night. Dressing up and dancing. Yes, please! But that’s not at all what I remember about that night. It was, again, the magnitude of what we were a part of that hit me like a ton of bricks.

At each awards banquet, the top 100 franchises in the entire SERVPRO system are highlighted. And the top 3?  Well, they get a special video. I remember watching those stellar teams highlighted on a 100-foot screen with pure awe plastered all over my face. Taking note of advice they gave, mentally logging their massive revenue volume (#1 was at $12M), and secretly wondering down deep inside, “Could it ever be us?”

“Us.” That was the very first time I thought of it that way. It wasn’t just ‘Jim’s Business.’ It was ours. I wasn’t just supporting his dream. We were tackling a vision together. No matter the period of time I was a stay-at-home mom or now fully involved in day-to-day operations, it was always “us” every step of the way. Building a team that redefined our last name to mean more than ‘just the two of us,’ but now a very cozy “just the 150 of us”…Team Wall.

Eleven years, massive growth, and so many life events later? I’m sitting among a thousand of my SERVPRO peers at the final gathering of the 2022 convention. Eight of our amazing team members by my side. And Jim, having to go home early, sitting on the tarmac of Dallas Love Field.

Wouldn’t you know it? An announcement we always quietly pondered if one day might include our last name. But, always with whimsy and a sense of improbability. After all, there are a sea of titans we roll with at SERVPRO and who were we among them?

“And our new Franchise of the Year is…Team Wall.”

My first thought? Elation…intricately weaved with devastation. Jim wasn’t there. This all began as his dream. And he wasn’t there. For him to miss an incredible moment like this had my heart breaking and tears welling up in my eyes for hours. Days? Maybe more. Still emotional just writing this. ??

I hugged each and every one of our Team Wall members tight and we walked up together to accept the incredible recognition. And then I did what anyone else out there would do. I told a thousand people to text Jim and let him know we are FRANCHISE OF THE YEAR baby!!!

His phone was blowing up. And he was crying tears of joy and pride for the achievement earned by each and every member of Team Wall. This may have started as a dream for one. But, it has turned into far more than could ever be imagined.

Cheers to all of you for this incredible accomplishment. You should be so proud of yourselves!

It’s truly just the beginning, my friends!

- Trish Wall

Storm Emergency Preparedness with SERVPRO

8/19/2022 (Permalink)

Storm approaching It is imperative that your home or business is prepared for whatever mother nature has in store.

As we near September, which is National Preparedness Month, it is imperative that your home or business is prepared for whatever mother nature has in store. Right now, we find ourselves in the middle of hurricane season, which lasts from June 1st-November 30th this year. NOAA also tells us that thunderstorms and severe weather are more likely this time of year due to summer’s heat and humidity. All this considered, it is proactive to have an emergency plan in place before the storm strikes and what better way to be prepared than getting acquainted with SERVPRO Team Wall’s Storm Damage Restoration capabilities ahead of time? Keep reading for 3 reasons why you can trust SERVPRO to help your property stay prepared for any emergency that comes your way.

1. We Provide 24/7 Emergency Service

Even with forecasting, no one can predict the precise moment when a disastrous storm, flood, or any weather emergency will reach your home or business. Additionally, there’s no way of telling exactly how a storm will impact your property. SERVPRO Team Wall works around these uncertainties, as we are available to be of assistance to you 24/7, 365 days a year. No matter the day or time, you can count on us to be there for you and your property.

2. We’re a Team of Highly Trained Technicians

Our team is composed of professionals with years of training and expertise in storm damage restoration. Additionally, we have the equipment necessary to provide thorough cleanup services to fully restore your home or business to its preloss condition. Our top priority is helping you get things back to normal as quickly as possible following a storm damage emergency.

3. We Are #1 in the Storm Damage and Flood Cleanup and Restoration Industry

Being #1 in the storm damage and flood cleanup and restoration industry, we are trusted industry leaders upon whom you can always rely to thoroughly restore your residential or commercial property after a storm of any kind. With more than 2,000 locations across the country, we have the resources necessary to handle storm damage emergencies of any size. Our professional technicians have experience restoring hospitals, universities and government facilities. We also provide full-service restoration, as we are capable of handling construction services in addition to storm damage restoration. Check out our Building Services to learn more.

Have an Emergency? Call SERVPRO Team Wall today or visit our website’s Storm Damage Restoration overview page to find more information about our Large-Loss/Disaster Recovery Team, Water Restoration Process, and Commercial Storm Damage services.