Recent Posts

Spotlight on Harrisburg Construction

6/6/2024 (Permalink)

In today's blog, we’re spotlighting an integral part of SERVPRO Team Wall, the Harrisburg West Construction team, headed by Construction Operations Manager Jon Blakeslee. Composed of in-house crews of carpenters, crew members, project managers, the coordinator, admin, and estimator, the Harrisburg West Construction team draws on the expertise of many team members to operate on a daily basis.

An average day for the Harrisburg West Construction team begins at 7:30 a.m. with a full-team meeting, discussing the events of the day ahead and any challenges that might present themselves. On the job site, team members do everything from drywall work and painting to tilework, light plumbing, and installing kitchens, with the ultimate goal of keeping customers happy. Communication with customers is a top priority for the Harrisburg West Construction team, and they make certain to keep customers up to date on progress throughout the job process. Customers know they’re in good hands when the SERVPRO of Harrisburg West Construction team handles the job.

Currently, the team is in the process of completing work on a house fire. To get the job done, the team was hard at work replacing the roof of the home, removing drywall inside, and sealing. The customers were living in an apartment while their home was being restored, so the team had to work efficiently, with the goal of getting the homeowners back into their home in a safe and timely manner.

Looking ahead, a top goal for the team is to smooth the transition from mitigation to construction, decreasing the waiting time for the customer between the time of their loss and when the team can begin work on the job site. While there are many moving pieces, Construction Operations Manager Jon Blakeslee believes, “that’s where fine-tuning the construction coordinator role has really helped us create a smoother process for our customers.”

For Jon, his favorite part of the job is sharing the finished product with customers and “getting to watch customers get back into their house and live a normal life again. It’s a very emotional experience for these customers and, for us, it’s our day-to-day. It’s being able to present them with the finished product and restoring their peace of mind.”

SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County is here to help. Learn more about our Construction and Remodeling Services on our website or give us a call at (443) 539-7709.

2024 Key Initiatives

3/12/2024 (Permalink)

Reflecting on 2023, owner Jim Wall says, "It was a year of positive change and growth. We had a successful year and we grew but it was not without obstacles." The past year wasn’t without its hardships, but SERVPRO Team Wall ultimately persevered forward. Jim remarks, "2023 required a significant amount of time creating, developing, documenting, and implementing processes." These processes will result in increased accountability and measurement of performance, allowing greater insight into the team’s performance and the ability to identify areas of improvement. Moving forward into 2024, Team Wall has its sights set on four key initiatives: emphasizing team, improving the customer service experience, refusing to accept mediocrity, and increasing profit to reinvest in the company’s growth.

Prioritizing Team

Embracing the "one team" mentality, regardless of individual office or department, will lead to success. Jim likens the "one team" mentality to rowing. He says, "We need all people rowing in the same direction and at the same time. If we’re able to work together and focus our efforts, there really isn’t anything we can’t achieve." He identifies collaborative problem-solving in place of departmental problem-solving as one way in which we can place a stronger emphasis on team in 2024.

Strengthening the Customer Service Experience

Customer service is present in all aspects of what SERVPRO Team Wall does on a daily basis and lasts through the entire lifecycle of the job. It is important to remember that it’s the same for many other companies. "There are many people who do what we do, but we can distinguish ourselves through excellent customer service," Jim remarks. But what makes a customer service experience with SERVPRO Team Wall stand out? "Everyone has a role in the customer service experience. It’s not just the crew chief and the production team. It’s the person who answers the phone. It’s the person who’s out in the field. We all have a role in making the customer service experience exceptional. We can distinguish ourselves by providing first-class experiences to our customers," he says. Team Wall always strives for the best possible customer service experiences, but we are always looking for ways to be better. One such way is refusing to accept mediocrity.

Excellence Over Mediocrity

"Many people accept mediocrity. We need to constantly be looking for ways to be better," Jim explains. He points to the use of technology, improving speed, and constantly self-evaluating as ways in which Team Wall can identify areas to improve upon. "It’s easy to settle for what we’ve done in the past," Jim admits, "but there’s always someone right behind us, looking to beat us." Being aware of where we need to improve, as well as understanding how to improve, are key to pushing past mediocrity. "If we have high standards and demand excellence of ourselves, it’s not that difficult to achieve excellence."

Reinvesting in the Company

Last but not least, Team Wall is always committed to increasing profit because, without profit, there is no company. Heading into 2024, Jim states that "we need to consider the financial implication of every decision we make." He continues, "things should be done for the good of the customer and the good of the company alike." Reinvesting in the company is essential to its continued growth and success.

Emphasizing team, striving for exceptional customer experiences, leaving mediocrity in the dust, and ensuring the future success of the company through continued growth in profit, SERVPRO Team Wall has a bright 2024 ahead.

Curious as to what SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County can do for your home or business in 2024? Give us a call at (410) 229-0012 and check out some of our testimonials.

Intake Team Spotlight

3/12/2024 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Team Wall would like to spotlight the centralized Intake Team, led by Intake Operations Manager Kristen Kuser. The intake team is the very first line of contact for our customers when they call SERVPRO Team Wall. While they mainly handle customer calls, the intake team also speaks with adjustors and sometime even corporate. Listening to customers’ needs and determining what SERVPRO Team Wall can do for them, the intake team is responsible for setting up jobs and estimates.

The small but mighty and growing intake team is relatively new, having formed only five months ago. Formerly, the team was made up of localized office teams. Now, the intake team is centralized, taking calls for all offices. Hope Schofield serves as the Intake Lead. Additionally, there is an Intake Coordinator for each local office: Jessica Roberts for Hunt Valley and Harford County, Joanna Broyan for Harrisburg West, Bonnie Kent for Metro Pittsburgh East, and Brian Bui for Chantilly. Much of the team members’ days are spent communicating via Microsoft Teams, as the team has an active dialogue due to their need for constant communication throughout the day.

A typical day for the intake team includes the daily Work in Progress (WIP) meeting, reviewing the schedule for the day. They also utilize WorkCenter and Service Fusion (a service and dispatching app) to create job files and put jobs on the calendar for crews. After an already busy workday, the intake team and the mitigation administrative team work together as the on-call team for administration, available to customers 24/7, often answering the phone to frantic, after-hours customer calls when a water heater bursts at 3 A.M. With a job that is equal parts customer service and counseling, according to Kristen, who has a background in studying psychology, the team members are experts in keeping a level head while calming customers, who are oftentimes actively processing major life events when they dial our number.

Working on the intake team requires tremendous flexibility. Kristen shares, “Every single call is different, and every single circumstance is different. There’s no black and white process; we live in the grey.”

What’s on the horizon for this busy intake team? Kristen hopes to standardize the training process and get the process down on paper in order to build a uniform training process, emphasizing education about the systems the team uses and the insurance companies they deal with. The team is planning a roadshow to the offices in November to present their findings in constructing a standardized training process.

A long-term goal for the intake team is to cultivate a customer service-forward, centralized call center. Moving away from the localized aspect is difficult, but Kristen has faith that her team members will continue to emphasize customer service and personalize the experience for customers. “Whether it’s taking calls in a local office or taking calls in a centralized call center, solid customer service has to be the foundation,” Kristen says.

Such ambitious goals may appear daunting for a small team, but Kristen has complete confidence in her team members. “We all pull together. We all have each other’s backs, and that’s what’s really important.”

Want to learn more about what SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County can do for your home or business? Call us at (410) 229-0012 to talk with one of our team members and check out our Company Profile.

Celebrating Our Employees of the Quarter: Q4

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

Employees of the Quarter Please join us in congratulating our “Employee of the Quarter” award recipients for the fourth quarter of 2022: Dawnmarie Flanagan and Tracy Summers.

Every quarter, we select one employee from each of SERVPRO Team Wall’s offices, as well as one employee from our centralized team, to receive the “Employee of the Quarter” award. These employees fully embody Team Wall’s 7 Pillars: Hustle, Solutions, Team, Accountability, Quality, Persistence, and Consistency. They also serve as role models for the rest of our team. Please join us in congratulating our “Employee of the Quarter” award recipients for the fourth quarter of 2022: Dawnmarie Flanagan and Tracy Summers.

Dawnmarie Flanagan – Centralized Team

A pillar of our centralized SERVPRO Team Wall team, Dawnmarie Flanagan shines in her role as Large Loss/Storm Team Job File Coordinator. She has worked with SERVPRO for almost 13 years, as she worked for another SERVPRO for 9 years before joining SERVPRO Team Wall in 2019 as Large Loss/Storm Job File Coordinator. Dawnmarie, a remote employee joining us from Boston, is wicked smart in her attention to detail and organization. Likewise, she is also wicked independent. Dawnmarie works hard to manage extremely complex job files and properly process them. In addition to thriving when working independently, Dawnmarie is also a fabulous team player, who is always willing to help and put in the hours required by the demanding restoration industry. This balance makes Dawnmarie the backbone of our Large Loss/Storm Department and we are wicked grateful to have her on our team. Thank you for all you do, Dawnmarie!

Tracy Summers – Hunt Valley and Harford County Team

Tracy Summers, Office Manager of our Hunt Valley and Harford County office, plays a big part in SERVPRO Team Wall’s success. Tracy joined our team as a scheduler in 2016 and was promoted to her current role, Office Manager, a little over two years ago. Embracing the pillar of consistency, Tracy is extremely dedicated to her work, as you can often find her working late in her office during the week to ensure that tasks are complete, and that the office is prepared for whatever the next day brings. Additionally, Tracy assists her team on weekends, during storm events, and even during holidays, which further illustrates Tracey’s dedication to her team. She always looks for solutions to the challenges we face and helps her team to cooperate with the production staff in order to best meet customers’ needs. Tracy is not only a reliable member of her own team, but she is also an asset to every other department of SERVPRO Team Wall. We are so grateful for all you do, Tracy!

Frozen Pipes: Everything You Need to Know

1/7/2023 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, pipes can freeze.

Winter weather is as pretty as it comes but, for commercial businesses, it can pose some serious property damage risks. No matter the scope of the damage caused by winter weather, SERVPRO Team Wall is standing by with the resources, experience, and expert knowledge to remediate your commercial property and prevent further damage. In this blog, we will discuss a common cold weather issue for commercial properties, frozen pipes, and ways in which you can protect your property from any storm damage that might result from frozen pipes.

Prime Conditions

When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, pipes can freeze. It is only with proper insulation that pipes located outdoors or in unheated areas of your business can be at increased risk of bursting. Indoors, pipes in basements and crawl spaces are at the highest risk of freezing. During cold snaps, it is important to watch for frost, a lack of water coming from your faucet, and other signs of frozen pipes.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

The American Red Cross offers a few different suggestions to prevent pipes from freezing during cold periods. First and foremost, they assert that it is important to let water drip through your faucets. For pipes in unheated areas, consider adding insulation, which will help keep the pipes at higher temperatures than the rest of the room. It may also help to keep your nighttime thermostat temperature the same as your daytime temperature. Even though this hikes your heating costs, it will be worth it in the long run if it can help keep your pipes warm enough to protect against freezing and bursting.

Dealing With Frozen or Burst Pipes? Call SERVPRO Team Wall

If your commercial property’s pipes freeze and burst, SERVPRO Team Wall is here to help with our cutting-edge restoration equipment, as well as our expertise in storm and water damage restoration. Read more about our commercial storm and water damage restoration capabilities on our website. At first notice of burst pipes, call your local SERVPRO Team Wall office, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County, at (410) 229-0012 right away to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Avoiding Cooking Fires

12/26/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire Cooking fires are more prevalent during the holidays.

The kitchen is often a popular gathering spot during the holidays. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that, in 2019, Thanksgiving was the peak day for home cooking fires, followed by Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. This information tells us that cooking fires are more prevalent during the holidays. Understanding potential fire hazards and being aware of fire safety best practices can help keep your gatherings safe this holiday season. Keep reading for 3 proactive fire safety tips to keep in mind while cooking.

1. Create Space

The National Fire Protection Agency recommends having a “kid-free zone” around particularly dangerous areas of the kitchen. This tip is actually helpful for everyone in the kitchen – not just children. For areas like stovetops and ovens, consider creating a buffer of at least 3 feet between cooking equipment and guests in your kitchen.

2. Keep a Lid Nearby

Cooking fires, according to the NFPA, most frequently involve the kitchen stove. In the event of a small fire, especially when cooking with a pan over the stove, having a lid at arm’s reach can help facilitate the process of smothering a fire. If the fire is small enough to contain on your own, you can carefully slide a lid over the pan before turning off your burner. For oven fires, however, a lid is not as helpful. Instead, it is best to keep the oven door closed and turn off the heat.

3. Be Prepared to Handle a Fire

Upon first discovery of a fire while cooking, a quick decision must be made: fight it or call for help? While action of some sort should be taken quickly, it is important to make a thoughtful, smart decision. If there is any doubt in your mind that you won’t be able to sufficiently handle the fire on your own, call 911, get everyone out of your home quickly, and close the door behind you to prevent the fire from spreading. If you think you can handle the fire, however, assess the situation first and foremost. Is the fire small enough that you could smother it? Do you have a fire extinguisher nearby? If the answer to these questions is yes, you might be able to extinguish the fire on your own. Being prepared to handle a fire means understanding when it is time to prioritize your safety and that of everyone else in your home. At the end of the day, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Residential Fire Damage Restoration

After any fire damage situation, know that you can turn to SERVPRO Team Wall. We are available 24/7 to provide our professional residential Fire Damage Restoration services. Learn more about the ways in which we can protect your fire damaged belongings, remove smoke odors, and provide building services in the aftermath of a fire by checking out our website. Give our SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County office a call at (410) 229-0012 today for more information. Trust SERVPRO Team Wall to make it “Like it never even happened” after any fire emergency.

3 Things You Can Do: Commercial Storm Damage

11/28/2022 (Permalink)

Storm over a town Storms can leave commercial buildings with significant storm or water damage, which makes minimizing further damage of the utmost importance.

In the event that your commercial property endures a storm that leaves your building with storm or water damage, minimizing further damage is of the utmost importance. Focusing on being proactive during the downtime before help arrives can be especially beneficial. Continue reading to learn more about 3 things you can do to protect your commercial property before the storm damage restoration experts get there.

1. Stay Away from the Affected Area

When standing water and electricity meet, there is a risk for electrocution. Therefore, it is imperative that people stay out of areas that have experienced water damage, especially if there are electrical appliances, wiring, or outlets in the space, which is common for rooms in commercial buildings. While keeping people out of affected areas, it is also important to refrain from turning on the lights or even unplugging electrical appliances, as these actions can be dangerous.

2. Turn Off the Water Source & Breakers

Another way to protect yourself and others working in your commercial building safe from electrical shock is by shutting off the water source and turning off the breakers immediately upon discovering water damage from a storm.

3. Protect Your Building’s Belongings

Commercial properties house many valuable items, including documents, equipment, retail items, and other products. In order to prevent further water damage to these items, it is beneficial to move valuables away from water damaged areas to facilitate drying and assess them for damage as soon as possible.

Call SERVPRO Team Wall for Commercial Storm Restoration Services

Whenever a storm – big or small – strikes, commercial property owners have valid cause for concern due to the stress and challenges that storm damage can cause. However, you can find peace of mind by trusting SERVPRO Team Wall and our storm damage restoration professionals. Call your local SERVPRO location, SERVPRO of Hunt Valley and Harford County, at (410) 229-0012 for more information about our Commercial Storm Restoration offerings. Looking to learn more about how SERVPRO can help your commercial property? Check out the pages dedicated to our other related offerings, from Commercial Water Restoration to general Commercial Restoration services, on our website. Lastly, our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team can be of assistance in the event of larger storm events, as we have an extensive network of teams located across the country, offering services 24/7. Don’t hesitate – call SERVPRO right away to restore your commercial property to its preloss condition and prevent further damage.

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!