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Back to School Tips

8/14/2019 (Permalink)

So the blissful days of summer seem to be coming to an end.  This means that the kids are heading back to school and the headaches of scheduling activities are going away right? Well, if you’re children, and yourself of course are having some trouble getting back into a routine, then check out these tips to help ease the idea of Math, Social Studies, and English for your kids:


Your kid needs a good breakfast.

With a less-structured summer schedule, parents can tend to be more laid-back about meals. I’ve had students fall asleep or burst into tears in class, and I know it’s because they haven’t eaten. Get back into healthy breakfasts when school starts so kids can focus better. We’ll love you for it. —Colleen Mier, Irving, TX

Shoes can make or break their day.

There’s nothing more distracting than a pair of uncomfortable shoes. Make shopping for a new pair of sneakers a fun event that hypes the new school year. And please, have kids walk around in them for a few days before Day One. That way the shoes are broken in and I can have their full attention. —Jill Armstrong, Carlsbad, CA

Exploring the Globe with Kids

Life is short—why not explore? This blogger is committed to encouraging diversity while she shows her young family the world.

From HSBC Bank

If you get them excited before school starts, Day One will go easier.

Shop for a cool lunch box or backpack in the weeks leading up to school. Some principals will let kids visit their new classroom and even meet the teacher if you’re lucky. But we’re busy prepping, so please keep the visit to a few minutes! —Len Saunders, Montville, NJ

Setting goals can lead to success.

As the first day back draws closer, talk to your child about what a “good” day looks like and what the reward will be. Also discuss what would constitute a “bad” day and go over the consequences that would involve. A clear understanding of your expectations makes it more likely your kid will succeed. —Traci D. W. Jackson, Atlanta, GA

We dread when your child is late.

I don’t think parents realize the stress that being late puts on a kid. To make mornings run smoother, prepare everything the night before. I’m talking all clothes chosen and laid out, water bottles filled, schoolbags ready. I have my son and daughter, who are 13 and 11, put their backpacks in the car before they go to sleep. —Ann Boles, Plano, TX


You’re probably more nervous than your child.

Parents have a hard time—on so many levels—transitioning from elementary to middle school. Their sons and daughters are growing up! But kids see this as an exciting time. They could be going to a new school in a new environment with new teachers and new kids. I know it’s easier said than done, but please don’t convey to your kids that you’re anxious because they’ll feel anxious too. —Karen Evans, Old Saybrook, CT

Mindset-wise, sooner is better.

With my own kids, I gradually start transitioning back to school-year thinking in late summer, asking them to help pack lunches for the beach and getting them into bed a bit earlier. Sometimes we sit at the table and do a little reading or writing. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, just enough to ease them back into the routines they’ll need when school starts. —Sarah May, Bristol, CT

Don’t believe everything you hear.

If your child is assigned a teacher that other students supposedly hate, or someone goes out of their way to tell you how “mean” a certain teacher is, don’t agonize over it. Everyone is different, and your child may very well get along just fine with that teacher. —Stacy Kasse, Haddonfield, NJ

The locker may be the toughest part. Buy a lock early enough that your child can practice opening it until it’s easy. —Amy Buckelew, Bridgewater, NJ


We want you at Back-to-School Night.

By the time your kids reach high school, you’re likely not getting much face-to-face time at school, so it’s important to attend Back-to-School Night to get to know your child’s teachers and routines. Many districts have school websites or apps to keep you in the loop about assignments, tests and other key events. Use them! —Karen Herman, Richmond, VA

Trust me, I’m your partner.

I would love for parents to email me at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves. And yes, tone counts. Make it positive, with the assumption being, we’re a team. Something like, “I’m looking forward to working with you this year. If there’s anything I can do to make Suzy’s year better, please let me know.” That tells me you trust my experience. By supporting me, you empower me to get the best from your student. —Adrienne Oliver, Charlottesville, VA

Don’t do it for them.

In elementary and middle school, parents and teachers play more of a coach role. And students’ successes and failures rest on how well the adults do their job as coaches. But when kids get into high school, they have to control their own successes and failures. Remember, I want your child to succeed. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to fail them if they don’t do the work. I’m here to facilitate, but students have to do the work on their own. —Kim Mohn, Durham, NC

Encourage extracurriculars.

The work in high school can sometimes feel overwhelming. Finding something that interest’s teens and surrounds them with people who like that same thing can provide a welcome escape and be the key to staying positive. For instance, my daughter was involved in theater, French and art clubs. Those connections really helped her when things were tough. —Donna Allen-Krug, Plant City, FL

Your teen has to keep reading.

Most high schools give reading assignments over the summer, so make sure your kid does them. And as an English teacher, I’d like your child to be reading more than just that one assigned book. So read yourself—your kids need you modeling the behavior you want them to follow. —Lori Belbol, Franklin Square, NY

Connecting with one teacher can make all the difference.

High school teachers generally have large rosters and multiple subjects or sections. It can be easy for a child to start feeling invisible. A great solution: Encourage your child to find one teacher they trust. Send that teacher an email, introduce yourself and build a relationship with them as well. When your child is struggling, reach out to that teacher for guidance, suggestions or advice. —Jessica Todd,Saint Louis, MO

Help them get and stay organized.

There are a lot of moving pieces in high school, so a planner is crucial. Most versions have a month, a week and a day at a glance for scheduling homework. Also, teens can use their phones to set up reminders about assignments and due dates. Ask your kids at least once a week, “Do you have everything in your planner? Are you on track with all your work?” Then hopefully they won’t get crushed at the last minute. —Jeannette Wilt, Wilmington, DE

If you have any more questions, go to  for more information.

SERVPRO of Bowie is Hiring!!

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Bowie is Hiring!!

SERVPRO of Bowie is currently looking for good quality people in our Production Division.

We are currently looking for the following positions:

Crew Chiefs

  • Manage and complete jobs according to SERVPRO processes per work order.
  • Respond to service calls when needed.
  • Set up and establish efficient job flow, coordinate requirements for the job, complete job documentation, perform and supervise production work, and monitor assigned jobs from start to finish.
  • Follow and enforce all safety procedures on the job site.
  • Resolve problems quickly as they arise.
  • Monitor all assigned jobs to ensure customer needs are met.

Production Technicians/ Estimators

  • Respond to service calls as needed.
  • Must be capable of using Xactimate
  • Perform services as assigned, following SERVPRO production guidelines.
  • Communicate with crew chief to make sure all customer needs are met.
  • Support crew chief and other production personnel, as needed.
  • Clean and maintain vehicles, equipment, warehouse, and office areas, as needed.

Please call us at (301)-459-0444 to schedule an interview with us and send us your resume at

Is your AC in the heat of battle?

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

All of us here at SERVPRO of Bowie hope you are enjoying the summer break, whether it’s hitting the pool or the ocean for a family vacation. As we are reaching record highs this season, your AC maybe taking a toll and packing heat from the outside air.AC leaks are very common and can actually freeze the refrigerant coils  due to extreme heat. This may not seem like a big deal at first, but it will lead to leaks around your HVAC Unit and furnace. With that being said, here a few tips and suggestions to help you avoid a hot mess of an AC unit:

  • Turn the AC unit immediately if you spot frozen evaporator coil until the problem is successfully corrected.
  • Replace your Air filter every 30 to 90 days
  • Do not Cover any air vents or registers
  • For systems that drain by gravity, be sure the condensate is flowing freely to the outside; the drain line (especially the elbow) may be plugged with mold and slime.
  • For systems that use a condensate pump, if the pump has failed, that could lead to water backing up in the system and overflowing the pan.
  • That the large pan below the cold coil (called the condensate pan) is not rotted and full of holes, and leaking water into the house. Note, that in most cases, replacing the pan below the coil is usually not something a homeowner can tackle. A leaking pan is almost always better repaired by a licensed air conditioning heating ventilation contractor (HVAC).
  • Clean the elbowed plug that leads to the condensate pan. You may need to cut and replace the plastic elbow, depending on whether it has slime/mold or not.
  • Use a shop vacuum to the end of the condensate drain, if any, and run the vacuum for a few seconds to pull any dried or wet contents out of the line. You need to remove the shop vacuum’s paper air filter to do this.
  • For metal Condensate pans, use bleach and water solution to routinely clear you drain line and prevent it from creating mildew.
    • Plastic/copper drains can be corroded and damaged. It may easier to use chlorine tablets instead.

For more information, go to

And if all else fails, we’re always here to help remediate any water, fire or mold damages that wreak havoc on your home. Please call us at (301)-459-0444 or 1-800 SERVPRO for SERVPRO of Bowie.

SERVPRO of Bowie's Drying Equipment

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO of Bowie has the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology, and equipment must be counted on to perform properly. Our team will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our SERVPRO of Bowie technicians. 

Moisture Sensors - Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards, and walls. 

Moisture Meters - Used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO of Bowie to monitor the drying process. 

Thermohygrometers - Measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized. 

Ultra-Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers - Atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas. 

Thermal Foggers - Dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach. Call us Birmingham, we have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.” Remember, we’re always here to help! Call us at (301)-459-0444.

Mold Facts!

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.  
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Bowie to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business. If you suspect mold, call us today at (301) 459-0444

Mold Intruders!

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners take great care in protecting their home. They make sure their doors are locked, windows are secured, have alarm systems installed and many have security cameras in place. However, homeowners often do not pay as much attention to intruders coming from within the house; the less obvious ones. Small leaks from a tub, toilet, washing machine or leaky faucet all seem easily taken care of with a few drying swipes but what many fail to realize is that a lot of moisture still remains undealt with.

It is the water they didn’t see that causes the most damage with any leak. The team of trained professionals here at SERVPRO of Bowie understand how disruptive water damage can be and we are here to help your family ensure the moisture is identified, regardless of where it hides. Our IICRC certified technicians can inspect your home for hidden moisture, perform water extraction and drying techniques, and apply necessary disinfectant and deodorization treatments to give you the peace of mind that your home is safe and back to its preloss condition.

Our team is here to fight the possibility of harmful mold, rot and unseen damage that may affect the value of your home and the health of your loved ones. Tackling the issue early on can help prevent a bigger problem developing if left untreated. We are here to make it “Like it never even happened” and provide 24-hour emergency response.

Contact SERVPRO of Bowie for around the clock services, and we will try our best to give you some peace of mind with even the worst of home damage situations.

Calls us at: (301) 459-0444  or email at:

Carbon Monoxide

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that takes roughly 500 people every year.  The deadly gas takes its victims the most during winter months. Spreading often due to the usage of gas furnaces, cars, charcoal grills, propane stoves and portable generators, Carbon Monoxide sends over ten thousand people to the emergency room every year according to WebMD

To prevent carbon monoxide in your homes or businesses, consider these options:

  • If you are using a fireplace or plan on having some type of fire in an enclosed space, make sure you allow the smoke and other toxic fumes emitted by fire to be vented to the outside.
  • Do not run vehicles inside confined spaces (ex. Garages).
  • Do not try to heat your home or business using a stove.
  • If you are using generators, grills or any other gas/oil burning machines, do not use them inside your homes or businesses. While outside, though, keep them away from windows.
  • Have a Carbon Monoxide detector installed in your home/business
  • Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer and can already be effecting your home or business before you even realize. Take these tips into consideration and be sure to do your research on the dangers of Carbon Monoxide

    Polar Vortex Awareness

    1/15/2019 (Permalink)

    As winter sets in, the polar vortex is becoming a much stronger force to be reckoned with. The polar vortex is an immense low pressure and cold front that encompasses both of the Earth’s poles. Around this time of the year, the polar vortex may expand and generate cold air towards the southern areas of the earth. And though it’s a natural and normal occurrence of the earth, you should still be more aware of the colder temperatures this upcoming weekend, so here are a few tips on how to conquer this winter season.

    • Check the Forecast at govor your favorite weather app, station, etc.: Make checking the forecast part of your regular routine so you'll know when to expect cold weather.
    • Adjust Your Schedule: If possible, adjust your schedule to avoid being outside during the coldest part of the day, typically the early morning. Try to find a warm spot for your children while waiting for the school bus outside.
    • Protect Your Pets, Livestock and other Property:If you have pets or farm animals, make sure they have plenty of food and water, and are not overly exposed to extreme cold. Take precautions to ensure your water pipes do not freeze. Know the temperature thresholds of your plants and crops.
    • Fill up the tank:Make sure your car or vehicle has at least a half a tank of gas during extreme cold situations so that you can stay warm if you become stranded.
    • Dress for the outdoors even if you don't think you'll be out much.
    • Update Your Winter Car Survival Kit: Make sure your car survival kit has the following:
      • Jumper cables: flares or reflective triangle are great extras
      • Flashlights: Replace the batteries before the winter season starts and pack some extras
      • First Aid Kit:Also check your purse of bag for essential medications
      • Baby, special needs gear:If you have a baby or family member with special needs, pack diapers and any special formula or food
      • Food:Stock non-perishable food such as canned food and a can opener, dry cereal and protein rich foods like nuts and energy bars
      • Water:Have at least 1 gallon of water per person a day for at least 3 days
      • Basic toolkit: Pliers, wrench, screwdriver
      • Pet supplies: Food and water
      • Radio: Battery or hand cranked
      • Cat litter or sand:For better tire traction
      • Shovel:To dig out snow
      • Ice scraper:Even if you usually park in a garage, have one in the car.
      • Clothes: Make sure you dress for the weather in warm clothes, gloves, hat, sturdy boots, jacket and an extra change of clothes for the cold
      • Warmers:Pack extra for body, hand, feet
      • Blanketsor sleeping bags: If you get stranded in traffic on a lonely road, you'll be glad to have it.
      • Charged Cell Phone: Keep a spare charger in your car as well

    For more information, go to

    A Snowed-in Home Improvement weekend

    1/11/2019 (Permalink)

    Most would believe that the best time for home improvement projects is only during the warm seasons, but contrary to popular belief, there are many projects that work best during the winter! Even better, here are two projects for your home this season that cost less than $500!

    One thing to tackle this winter is applying new paint to the interior of your home. Not only is this a fun indoor project, but it also adds value to your home by providing a blank slate to any potential buyers if you are planning to sell, or even for yourself! With a fresh coat of paint, your home can be rejuvenated and have new paint shimmer.

    Technology has greatly influenced home appliances in recent years, especially when it comes to programmable thermostats. This winter home improvement project lets homeowners customize the heating and cooling of their home to fit their needs, automatically regulating the temperature in their home. With different programming options available, including the ability to control some thermostats remotely, this improvement project will not only enhance your quality of life but save you money in the process!

    For more winter projects to do this year, check out this awesome article from Fortune Builders

    How We Handle Mold

    12/18/2018 (Permalink)

    When a home suffers a water damage event, a mold infestation can quickly arise and spread throughout a home in 48-72 hours. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you will want a professional that has training and experience to properly resolve the mold infestation. If you suspect that your Bowie home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Bowie can inspect, assess and mediate your property.

    A minor mold problem can quickly become a major infestation if left untreated. We can start the remediation process immediately after you contact us. A faster response lessens the mold damage, limits additional damage, and reduces the remediation cost.

    Every mold infestation is different, from the amount of mold to the types of materials affected. Each scenario requires a unique solution. So be sure to get in contact with SERVPRO of Bowie if you suspect any threat of harmful mold in your home!