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How-To: Create a Fire Escape Plan

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

When your home is on fire, every second counts.

We consulted the National Fire Protection Association to bring you the following tips so you can be prepared with an escape plan in the unfortunate event of a fire in your home:

• Pull together everyone in your household and make a plan. Walk through your home and inspect all possible exits and escape routes.  Households with children should consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, including windows and doors. Also, mark the location of each smoke alarm.

• A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. 

• When you walk through your plan, check to make sure the escape routes are clear and doors and windows can be opened easily.

• Choose an outside meeting place (i.e. neighbor's house, a light post, mailbox, or stop sign) a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they've escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.

• Go outside to see if your street number is clearly visible from the road. If not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to ensure that responding emergency personnel can find your home.

• Have everyone memorize the emergency phone number of the fire department. That way any member of the household can call from a neighbor's home or a cellular phone once safely outside.

• If there are infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations, make sure that someone is assigned to assist them in the fire drill and in the event of an emergency. Assign a backup person too, in case the designee is not home during the emergency

• If windows or doors in your home have security bars, make sure that the bars have emergency release devices inside so that they can be opened immediately in an emergency. Emergency release devices won't compromise your security - but they will increase your chances of safely escaping a home fire.

• Tell guests or visitors to your home about your family's fire escape plan. When staying overnight at other people's homes, ask about their escape plan. If they don't have a plan in place, offer to help them make one. This is especially important when children are permitted to attend "sleepovers" at friends' homes.

• Be fully prepared for a real fire: when a smoke alarm sounds, get out immediately.

• Once you're out, stay out! Under no circumstances should you ever go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call. Firefighters have the skills and equipment to perform rescues.

Put your plan to the test:

• Practice your home fire escape plan twice a year, making the drill as realistic as possible.

• Make arrangements in your plan for anyone in your home who has a disability.

• Allow children to master fire escape planning and practice before holding a fire drill at night when they are sleeping. The objective is to practice, not to frighten, so telling children there will be a drill before they go to bed can be as effective as a surprise drill.

• It's important to determine during the drill whether children and others can readily waken to the sound of the smoke alarm. If they fail to awaken, make sure that someone is assigned to wake them up as part of the drill and in a real emergency situation.

• If your home has two floors, every family member (including children) must be able to escape from the second floor rooms. Escape ladders can be placed in or near windows to provide an additional escape route. Review the manufacturer's instructions carefully so you'll be able to use a safety ladder in an emergency. Practice setting up the ladder from a first floor window to make sure you can do it correctly and quickly. Children should only practice with a grown-up, and only from a first-story window. Store the ladder near the window, in an easily accessible location. You don't want to have to search for it during a fire.

• Always choose the escape route that is safest – the one with the least amount of smoke and heat – but be prepared to escape under toxic smoke if necessary. When you do your fire drill, everyone in the family should practice getting low and going under the smoke to your exit.

• Closing doors on your way out slows the spread of fire, giving you more time to safely escape.

• In some cases, smoke or fire may prevent you from exiting your home or apartment building. To prepare for an emergency like this, practice "sealing yourself in for safety" as part of your home fire escape plan. Close all doors between you and the fire. Use duct tape or towels to seal the door cracks and cover air vents to keep smoke from coming in. If possible, open your windows at the top and bottom so fresh air can get in. Call the fire department to report your exact location. Wave a flashlight or light-colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

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Each fire damage situation is different, so each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire Damage?
Call Us Today – 410-242-7371

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About SERVPRO of Reisterstown   

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO ofReisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of theReisterstown community.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Reisterstown today at  410-242-7371 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Hurricane Safety: Part 3 - After the Storm

5/7/2020 (Permalink)

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 - November 30. As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week, we’re sharing safety information from FEMA and the National Weather Service to help you stay safe after a hurricane hits your community.

Part 3: RETURNING HOME AFTER A HURRICANE

  • Listen to local officials for information and special instructions.
  • Be careful during clean-up. Wear protective clothing and work with someone else.
  • Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off electricity at the main breaker or fuse box to prevent electric shock.
  • Avoid wading in flood water, which can contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Save phone calls for emergencies. Phone systems are often down or busy after a disaster. Use text messages or social media to communicate with family and friends.
  • Document any property damage with photographs. Contact your insurance company for assistance.

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Hurricanes can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience water or storm damage, call us. We’re here to help: 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Hurricane Safety: Part 2 - Staying Safe

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 - November 30. As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week, we’re sharing safety information from FEMA and the National Weather Service to help you stay safe during a hurricane.

PART 2: STAY SAFE DURING THE STORM

Stay Informed

  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • If told to evacuate by local officials, do so immediately.

Dealing with the Weather

  • Determine how best to protect yourself from high winds and flooding.
  • Take refuge in a designated storm shelter, or an interior room for high winds.
  • If trapped in a building by flooding, go to the highest level of the building. Do not climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising flood water.
  • Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.

Personal Safety

  • If you must go to a community or group shelter remember to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for protecting yourself and family from COVID-19.
  • Be prepared to take cleaning items with you like soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, or general household cleaning supplies to disinfect surfaces you may need to touch regularly.
  • Maintain at least 6 feet between you and persons not part of your immediate family while at the shelter [by avoiding crowds or gathering in groups] as much as possible. 
  • Anyone over 2 years old should use a cloth face covering while at these facilities.
  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows.

Hurricanes can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience water or storm damage, call us. We’re here to help: 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown 

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Hurricane Safety: Part 1 - Preparation

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Atlantic Hurricane Season runs from June 1 - November 30. As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week, we’re sharing safety information from FEMA and the National Weather Service to help you prepare.

According to ready.gov, “Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage because of storm surge, wind damage, and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Storm surge is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States.”

PART 1: PREPARE FOR A HURRICANE

Know your Hurricane Risk

Hurricanes are not just a coastal problem. Find out how rain, wind, water could happen where you live so you can start preparing now.

Make an Emergency Plan

Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan. Discuss the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how it may affect your hurricane planning. Don’t forget a plan for the office, kids’ daycare, and anywhere you frequent.

Gather Supplies

Have enough supplies for your household, include medication, disinfectant supplies, cloth face coveringspet supplies in your go bag or car trunk.

Those with Disabilities

If you or anyone in your household is an individual with a disability identify if you may need additional help during an emergency.

Know your Evacuation Zone

You may have to evacuate quickly due to a hurricane. Learn your evacuation routes, practice with household, pets, and identify where you will stay. 

Recognize Warnings and Alerts

Have several ways to receive alerts. Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Sign up for community alerts in your area and be aware of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)- which requires no-sign up.

Review Important Documents

Make sure your insurance policies and personal documents like ID are up to date. Make copies and keep them in a secure password protected digital space.

Strengthen your Home

Declutter drains and gutters, bring in outside furniture, consider hurricane shutters.

Get Tech Ready

Keep your cell phone charged when you know a hurricane is in the forecast and purchase backup charging devices to power electronics.

Help your Neighborhood

Check with neighbors, senior adults, or those who may need additional help securing hurricane plans to see how you can be of assistance to others

Prepare your Business

Make sure your business has a continuity plan to continue operating when disaster strikes.

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Hurricanes can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience water or storm damage, call us. We’re here to help: 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown 

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Flood Safety Basics

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, “Flooding is a coast-to-coast threat to some part of the United States and its territories nearly every day of the year.”

Below, we’ve compiled basic facts and safety tips from ready.gov, designed to keep you safe during a flooding event.

What is a flood?

Flooding is a temporary overflow of water onto land that is normally dry. Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Failing to evacuate flooded areas or entering flood waters can lead to injury or death.

Floods may:

  • Result from rain, snow, coastal storms, storm surges and overflows of dams and other water systems.
  • Develop slowly or quickly. Flash floods can come with no warning.
  • Cause outages, disrupt transportation, damage buildings and create landslides.

 IF YOU ARE UNDER A FLOOD WARNING, FIND SAFE SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn Around, Don’t Drown!
    • Just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.
  • Stay off of bridges over fast-moving water.
  • Depending on the type of flooding:
    • Evacuate if told to do so.
    • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
    • Stay where you are.

Flooding can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience water damage, call us. We’re here to help: 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown 

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Our Carpet Cleaning Process

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

As you’re spending more time at home, have you noticed your carpets looking dirty or dingy? As a general rule, you should deep clean your carpets every 12-18 months.

At SERVPRO of Reisterstown, our professionals use IICRC (Institution of Inspection and Restoration Certification) standards for carpet care as a guide and we will help you make best decisions to care for your carpet. This includes:

  • Showing you what cleaning option would be best for your level of soiling.
  • Giving you an estimate of time and cost for the carpet cleaning.
  • Explaining the benefits of soil protection and the advantages of a clean carpet for good indoor air quality

What are the different types of carpet cleaning?

1. Bonnet Cleaning Cleaning/maintenance method for light soiling.

  • Carpet is lightly sprayed with cleaning solution.
  • A rotary extractor with a “bonnet” pad is used to pull soil from the carpet.

2. Hot Water Extraction Cleaning for light to moderate soiling.

  • Truck mount or portable extraction unit applies cleaning solution with hot water while extracting soils.

3. Deluxe Precondition and Rinse Cleaning for moderate to heavy soiling; pre-treat and rinse.

  • Soil emulsifier sprayed on carpet, setting for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Thorough rinse and extraction of soils.

4. Showcase Premier Cleaning Cleaning for moderate to heavy soiling.

  • Two-step process:
    • Shampoo applied with rotary equipment.
    • Thorough rinse and extract of soils.

For questions about Carpet Cleaning or to schedule your service, call us: 410-242-7371

About SERVPRO of Catonsville  

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Flood Watch vs. Flood Warning

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, floods can occur almost any time of the year. When flooding conditions are possible, the NWS issues notifications to the public. Below is a breakdown of each type of alert:

Flood Watch (Be Prepared): A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur. A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Flood Advisory (Be Aware): A Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance. A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

Flood Warning (Take Action!): A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

Flash Flood Warning (Take Action!): A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

Strong rains and flooding can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience water damage, call us. We’re here to help: 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown  

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Severe Thunderstorms: Watch vs. Warning

4/15/2020 (Permalink)

When a severe thunderstorm is imminent, the National Weather Service issues two types of alerts to the public: Watches and Warnings.

What's the difference?

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: Be Prepared! 

Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: Take Action! 

Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take shelter in a substantial building. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a large hail or damaging wind identified by an NWS forecaster on radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.

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For severe thunderstorm safety tips, check out our previous post here.

Severe storms can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience damage related to wind or water from a severe thunderstorm call us, we’re here to help: 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown 

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.

Severe Thunderstorms

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

As we move into thunderstorm season here in Maryland, are you prepared for a severe storm?

According to the National Weather Service, severe thunderstorms are officially defined as storms that are capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger or wind gusts over 58 mph.

Hail this size can damage property such as plants, roofs and vehicles. Wind this strong is able to break off large branches, knock over trees or cause structural damage to trees. Some severe thunderstorms can produce hail larger than softballs or winds over 100 mph. Thunderstorms also produce tornadoes and dangerous lightning; heavy rain can cause flash flooding.

What should you do to stay safe?

1. BEFORE A SEVERE STORM

  • Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.
  • Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warning. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms.
  • Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
  • Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.
  • Prepare Your Home: Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
  • Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.

2. DURING A SEVERE STORM

  • Stay Weather Ready: Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
  • At Your House: Go to your secure location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
  • At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
  • Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
  • In a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest secure shelter if there is sufficient time.

3. AFTER A SEVERE STORM

  • Stay Informed: Continue listening to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. More severe thunderstorms could be headed your way.
  • Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you're okay so they can help spread the word. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.
  • Assess the Damage: After you are sure the severe weather threat has ended, check your property for damages. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes. Contact local authorities if you see power lines down. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be aware of insurance scammers if your property has been damaged.
  • Help Your Neighbor: If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, if needed, provide first aid to victims until emergency response team members arrive.

Even with proper planning and precautions, severe storms can cause serious damage to your home and property. If you experience damage related to wind or water from a severe thunderstorm call us, we’re here to help: 410-242-7371.

About SERVPRO of Reisterstown 

SERVPRO of Reisterstown specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. SERVPRO of Reisterstown is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here, too and we are proud to be part of the Reisterstown community.