Recent Water Damage Posts

How to Salvage Your Photographs From Water

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

A house flood will cause an array of issue. The waters have great potential to damage many of your belongings. Furnishings, floors, shelves, and decorations can easily be affected by the water. Among your valuables, your photographs are very sensitive to contact with water, and as pictures are so personal and cherished, losing them to the floodwaters can easily be devastating.

The floodwaters could seep into family photo albums, picture collections passed down from a century ago, or into scrapbooks you so carefully crafted.

When you retrieve your pictures from the puddles in your basement, you probably think they’re already damaged and lost at first glance.

However, you shouldn’t stress too much! There may be hope!

Salvaging your photos isn’t as difficult or impossible as you might think. Surprisingly, most can be cleaned and dried.

Follow the steps below promptly to avoid damage. Follow the steps listed below within, at most, two days, or else they will begin to mold and stick together. Also note, if the pictures are older, consult a professional photograph restorer, but in the meanwhile, have the wet images drying. 

  1. Carefully lift the pictures from the floodwater. If any pictures are stuck together, carefully separate. If they will not part easily, do not force separation.
  2. Using cold, clean water, rinse each side of the picture. By doing so, any dirt will come off.
  3. Lay down paper towels somewhere flat and indoors. The photo must be face-up on the paper towel. Make sure to replace the paper towel with a dry one each hour, until completely dried.

If you don’t have time to immediately begin the drying process, rinse the photos, then place them between sheets of wax paper before storing them in an airtight plastic bag in the freezer.  

We at SERVPRO of Silver Spring North want your valuables to be restored to you at ease. If you are concerned about water damage in your home, from ceiling to floor, we will restore your home to you at ease too. We are the water damage experts!

Feel free to give us a call today at (301) 593-5444 if you have any restoration or cleanup needs!

Black water, gray water, and clean water

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

What’s the difference between black water, gray water, and clean water?

If you’re home or building floods, you’ll probably wonder how safe the water is to come in contact with, and what type of water is all over your residence or office.

Should you retrieve your goods from the floodwaters? If you forgot to wear gloves and boots, how much of health risk does your previous contact with the water pose?

These are great questions, but to gain the most accurate answer, you must first identify the water source.

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

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

Black water originates from toilets and floodwaters. It causes an immediate threat due to the expected contaminants in it, including but not limited to, viruses, bacteria, and protozoan. Often times, after a flood, the waters 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.

So, to answer the question above, yes, contact with contaminated water can pose serious health risks such as vomiting, nausea, parasitic illness, and fever.

If you’re not sure of the source, you won’t be able to identify the water category, so it’s important you contact a professional.

If you are sure of the source and know it’s either 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.

Here at SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we are water damage and biohazard experts. We will efficiently restore any water damage and carefully treat and disinfect your home, so you can feel safe in it again.

Take a look at our website for more details:

Does your Silver Spring, Cloverly, White Oak, or Fairland home or office need restoration or cleanup? We commonly (but not limited to those areas) clean and restore residential and commercial buildings in those communities. 

Give us a call today at (301) 593-5444, and we will give you peace of mind!

How to Recover Your Items Post-Flood

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

A house flooding causes many problems. Mold, odor, and damage are among the top issues. Depending on the depth of the waters and how long you waited to dry your furnishings, accessories, and trinkets, you may or may not lose many items to the flood waters.

It’s essential you dry items within a 48 hour time frame if you want to salvage your goods after experiencing a flooding.

Follow the suggestions below to increase your chances of recovering your items:

  • Use a sump pump. These remove water out of house or office through a hose or pipe. They’re useful when the floodwater level is more than a couple inches deep.
  • Use a wet-dry shop vacuum. Never use a regular vacuum cleaner. A shop vac is specifically made for wet conditions.
  • Use a dehumidifier. These remove water vapor from the air. To be effective, it must be used in a contained area. Be sure to shut all doors and windows during use to prohibit more humidity from entering.
  • Improve air circulation! Open windows and doors. If there are no windows or doors leading outside in the particular room, open closet and cabinet doors.
  • Turn on a fan! It can either be a ceiling fan, a floor fan, or both. However, please do not plug a fan into an outlet attached to a wall that is wet or has water behind it. That’s an easy way to get electrocuted.
  • Got soaked items? Quick! Take them out of your house. Allow them to try off in the sun. Keeping them indoors will ensure nothing ever dries up as their excessive moisture will travel to surrounding objects.

At SERVPRO of Silver Spring North, we are water damage restoration experts. With the latest, state-of-the-art equipment, you can trust us to clean up and restore your property back to how it used to be!

You can read another one of our blogs here for more information:

Give us a call today at (301) 593-5444 if you have any questions about or needs for water damage restoration.

Summer Vacation to do list...

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

It’s summertime! Which means vacations, weekend trips and day trips. It is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of planning and packing. Checking the safety of your home before you leave for vacation probably is not on the to do list… but make sure to add it!

To help you get your home ready for your summer travel, here are some water damage prevention tips:

Keep your home cool! Having wet or moist places in your home will lead to mold. Especially if you leave your house for a week or two unattended! Mold can grow rapidly. To prevent mold from forming or growing in your home, make sure to set a climate where it cannot thrive. If you set the temperature lower than 77 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll be able to starve any existing moisture of the heat it needs and ideally keep any moist areas from getting too humid. Most homeowners would not want to pay a high electricity bill, but you would rather pay the bill then creating water or mold damage within your home.

Turn off your water main! Examining your water main should be a habit for any homeowner, but especially so during summer travel season.Before you set off for your vacation, make sure the water main is turned off. This can prevent pipe bursts. If you forget to check your home before vacation and came back to water damage and mold, no worries. SERVPRO has 24/7 restoration services if your home has water damage and mold when you return.

What is a flood cut?

2/8/2018 (Permalink)

What is a flood cut?  Removing the bottom 12-24 inches of drywall in a flood affected room. 

Examples of why we flood cut:

·         If we detect there is wet insulation

·         The water is contaminated from the sewage or other storm  related contaminates

·         If any microbial growth is detected

After the lower wall portions are removed, any studs or framing are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Once the walls are completely dried out new insulations can easily be installed and the finalization of the build back can continue. 

Some of our steps:

The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes the majority of the water. We use powerful pumps and vacuum units to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons from your property, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

We use specialized equipment to remove the remaining water that is harder to access. Our Professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business.

SERVPRO of Silver Spring North 301-593-5444...Here to help!

Fast And Timely Water Removal Can Reduce Damages in Your Silver Spring Home

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Quick Water Removal Can Reduce Damages

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 Rockville 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 different 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 readings 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 we 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 us, SERVPRO of Rockville-Olney at 301-340-1313. 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 available to take your call.

Reasons for Professional Water Damage Restoration

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Reasons for Professional Water Damage Restoration

When a flood or any other water events like supply line break or pipe break destroys your home, it's necessary for you to act quickly by getting professional flood restoration services. Cleaning up water damage involves more than just drying and wiping the residue away. Additionally, delaying makes the damage worse because the water will seep into the walls, furnishings, floors, and this may result in mildew and mold growth. Water mitigation can be devastating, but when one gets professional services, restoring the home becomes easier and you can put the traumatic event behind.

Water damage mitigation

Water/flood damage is the destructive process which occurs when water gets into a building. This can be caused by a pipe break, supply line break, or floods after it has rained heavily. Water in a home or water in a business can cause damage like oxidation of metal (rust), rotting wood, composite building materials delamination, and microbial growth. Immediately water seeps into the building materials, a chemical reaction begins to occur hence breaking down the strength of the material. In case water cleanup and drying aren't done immediately, the stability of the structure can be compromised. This makes the flooded home unsafe for human occupancy. Sometimes the effect just comes from a simple pipe break.

Restoration Solutions

The first step for handling flood damage when you have a flooded home is emergency mitigation. This involves locating the cause of the problem (be it a pipe leak or a supply line break) and eliminating the problem. The next step in managing water in home or water in business damage would be assessing the water damage and any dangers to humans. All these services are to be handled by licensed and trained water cleanup professionals. What follows is the drying and dehumidifying all the affected areas.

After the restoration company team assess the documents, equipment as well as other items to know if the contents can be restored or not. Mold mitigation services also come in handy as they help with getting rid of any microbial growth associated with a flooded home. Once the structure is safe for occupation, your family or employees can get back to their normal operations.

Reasons to get professional help

Rapid restoration

Tackling the task of restoring your flooded home or business after flood damage can be slow and exhausting. This increase the probability of further damage especially when the cause of the problem, like supply line break or pipe break, hasn't been addressed. By working with a reliable restoration company, water damage mitigation becomes manageable. The water cleanup and drying process is handled efficiently and quickly by flood damage professionals.

Preventing mold and mildew

In case you have experienced mildew or mold after water in home or water in business, you know how hard it is to get rid of the problem. Prompt water and flood damage restoration can reduce the chances of mold growth.

Insurance issues

When you have water or flood damage coverage in, the mitigation firm will assist you to deal with the needed procedures and forms. The restoration company helps its clients to document the losses they suffered so that they can get the proper settlement from the insurance company. With the water cleanup company, you will get a list of the needed repairs and proof of damages in case the insurance company decides to dispute the claim.

In case you have suffered water in home or water in business damage, consider contacting a restoration company immediately to prevent further damage. Although hiring experts will cost you to get restoration services, the expenses can't compare to the costs you'll incur if you do nothing or decide to handle the restoration all by yourself.

Sump Pump Failure in your Silver Spring Home

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

Sump Pump Failure

 A ‘sump pump’ is ‘a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basement of homes’. For the most part, sump pumps are relatively ‘unnecessary’, but when an emergency arises, you’ll be grateful you had it. A sump pump can easily avoid the crisis of having a flooded basement by draining all excess water back outside. However, when it fails, it’ll cost you a basement and thousands of dollars in water damage.


How does a sump pump fail?

It’s Installed Incorrectly

Instructions administered by the manufacturer must be followed diligently in order for the sump pump to be installed properly. Another issue is the size of the sump pump; while a small one can work just as fine as its larger counterpart, you must install the right size in order for it to function properly.


There Was A Power Failure

This is the most common cause of a sump pump’s failure, which renders this devise useless. A backup generator is always a good investment to make.


Problems With The Switch

This is the most common mechanical problem: a stuck switch. Debris can jam it and render it useless, or the pump can shift and the float can get stuck. A little cleaning and some adjustments to the sump pump’s position can go a long way to prevent this.


The Discharge Lines Are Frozen Or Clogged

Debris can clog the discharge lines, cause flood water to retreat back into the basement (to prevent this, be sure to install a grate at the opening of your pipe, preventing debris and even small animals from entering).

Prevention of frozen pipes is practically impossible. However, you can install an additional discharge line that continues to perform the original discharge line’s purpose when it is ineffective.



Sump pumps can be worn down over time and cease to work after 7-10 years of use. It’s best to replace your sump pump every ten years.


 There Is No Air Relief Hole in Discharge Line


 Gravel or Dirt?

Gravel and dirt can interfere with your pump’s switch and float arm. If you are unsure about your pump’s installation, contact a professional.


Lack of Maintenance

Clean your sump pump occasionally to make sure that it’s operational.


You Might Have A Defective Product

It’s rare, but you could have had a defective sump pump. It’s best to test it upon installation to be assured that there are no defects.


Call us for help: SERVPRO of Silver Spring North at 301-593-5444.

Immediate and Long Term Water Damage Issues in Silver Spring

11/16/2016 (Permalink)

Quick Remediation After Water Damage Can Prevent Secondary Damage

There are unforeseen dangers from flooding and different water damage events. Inundation by water creates present and future consequences. Long-term damage is often delayed and isn't visible until time has elapsed. Dealing with the dangers of flooding means to mitigate the immediate problems after an incident. You must also be prepared to prevent hidden after-effects from water damage that is not visible.
Any water damage experienced in a home or office in Hampton can present several problems, including toxic mold growth. Mold spores exist everywhere, both indoors and outdoors. They remain dormant and harmless unless they are activated. An activation trigger is water. When mold spores become wet, they grow exponentially, within 24 to 48 hours. For this reason, qualified mold remediation specialists, like SERVPRO experts, should always be called for time-saving water damage remediation services.
Flooding may damage the foundation of any building, in ways that aren't immediately obvious. A flooded basement places a great deal of weight on a building's foundation, causing cracks in the floor and walls. Removing flood water is a gradual remediation process. Pumping water out too quickly after flooding, saturates the soil around the foundation, exerting external pressure on the basement sub-structure.
When appliances are affected by flooding, this is very dangerous. Heavy water levels and gas operated appliances like a furnace or water heater is not a safe mix. Water causes corrosion in contact with gas burners and electronic controls like igniters which cause failure problems. These situations could also be the cause of a fire.
Our professional technicians at SERVPRO of Silver Spring North are nearby and ready to help. We are locally owned and operated. Water damage is an unanticipated event, but we are ready to help you. We are available 24 hours a day. Call us at (301) 593-5444 and let us restore you quickly to a normal condition.