Recent Posts

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

11/25/2020 (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 South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at  616-662-9700 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.

SERVPRO Professional Disinfecting Services

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we have increased our focus and commitment to our commercial cleaning services so that we can provide you with the highest quality disinfection processes possible for your manufacturing and food processing facilities.

As our communities get back to business, we all have gained a new sense of what it means to be clean. Many consumers and employees are uneasy about going back to brick-and-mortar locations, especially when a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been discovered. Our facility disinfection practices utilize EPA-registered disinfectants to support consumer and employee confidence.

SERVPRO is able to sanitize spaces of up to 200,000 square feet in just one day, allowing your business to experience minimal downtime and loss of production. Our facility disinfecting services can be done either as an emergency measure, such as if a staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you can contract our professional disinfecting services on a monthly basis, as well, to ensure that your sanitation standards are exceptional. 

Our defensive pathogen cleaning program, Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, goes above and beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices; it is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. Certified: SERVPRO Clean is grounded in our unique 3 C’s:

  • Consult: Not all businesses are the same, so we tailor a bespoke cleaning program based on the unique needs of each facility.

  • Clean: Based on the agreed plan, an expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions while always adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.

  • Certify: You’ll know a business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned by the shield posted on their front window. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon represents their commitment to the comfort and security of their employees, customers, and community.

With over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids to bring a higher standard of clean to the places we gather. For more information on our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned proactive viral pathogen cleaning, give us a call at (616) 662-9700 or visit our website today.

Space Heater Safety Tips

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Many of us will be using space heaters to help keep our homes or businesses warm in those hard-to-heat corners and drafty areas. These units can be dangerous, however. Space heaters are high-wattage appliances and do have the potential to cause fires if they are not used correctly. We would like to share some space heater safety tips today to help keep you and those you care about safe:

If you are purchasing a new space heater:

  • Make sure that any heater you consider is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
  • Only purchase one with a sensor that will shut it off automatically if it overheats or gets tipped over if at all possible. 
  • Inspect heaters and their cords and plugs. Do not purchase one if you think it could be defective. 

Setting up your space heater:

  • Ensure your heater is settled on a solid flat surface, and that it’s at least 3 feet from anything flammable. If it is being used in a garage or workshop, keep it away from any paint, oil, and gas cans. 
  • Never place the heater on furniture or cover it up, and be careful of high-traffic areas and doorways; someone could trip over it or the cord and get burned. Never run a power cord under carpets, rugs, or furniture. 
  • Plug your heater into an outlet directly rather than using an extension cord or power strip, and ensure that the plug fits well and is the only plug in the outlet.  
  • Always keep your heater away from water, and if you’re wet, stay away.

When your space heater is in use: 

  • Check your heater regularly during its use to make sure that the plug, cord, outlet, or faceplate isn’t hot. If it is, turn it off immediately; a hot cord may mean it is defective and could ignite a fire. 
  • Don’t run your heater 24/7. These units aren’t made to work for long periods of time. 
  • Never leave a space heater unattended or in a child’s room, and turn it off while you are sleeping. 
  • Install smoke detectors in your home, as well as carbon monoxide alarms and ensure they are tested monthly. 

We hope these best practice tips will help you to use your space heater properly. Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we want you, your family, and your friends to be safe this winter. If you do experience damage to your home or property, we’re here to help, We are also specialists when it comes to fire damage or water damage, and mold remediation is one of our specialties. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned if you need it, so ask us how.

Do You Have An Emergency Exit Plan For Your Business?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

The threat of an emergency, such as a fire or a flood, can be compounded by panic and chaos if you aren’t prepared, and injuries and even more damage can be the unfortunate result. You can prevent this kind of thing by putting in place a detailed emergency evacuation plan. A high-quality evacuation plan will help prepare you and your workforce in the event of any kind of emergency that could happen on your business premises. 

Do you have an emergency evacuation plan for your business? The law requires you to have a plan in place, so if the answer is no, or if you need to revisit the one you have, we have some things to share today for you to think about while you are creating a fire evacuation plan.

Location. It has been reported that an average of 3,000 fires occur in office properties per year, and most of those fires were caused by faulty cooking equipment, intentional acts, or electrical malfunctions. Your business may be located near a river or other body of water or perhaps on a flood plain, so you will want to factor possible flooding into your exit plan. It may be that you live in an area prone to tornadoes and violent weather, so take this into consideration when you are designing your plan. These are some of the areas to pay special attention to in your business; make sure you understand all the specific threats in your area and on your particular premises. 

Leadership. Your employees will need people to look to for guidance and reassurance during an evacuation. Choose those you believe you can rely on to be responsible and create a chain of command. These leaders will be the ones who lead everyone to safety, handling communications, and ensuring that even the most vulnerable on your team are safe. Designate volunteers who are willing to learn about and operate fire extinguishers correctly, should the need arise. 

Communication. Designate someone to handle the job of calling the fire department and getting information to employees, customers, news media, and any other entities such as the community, organizational management, suppliers, transportation partners, and government officials. Whoever you choose will need a robust, multi-channel communication system, as the chaos of a disaster can mean people will not necessarily be thinking clearly and may miss important information. Being able to communicate through email, phone, text, and mobile app will ensure your communication gets to everyone in a timely manner. 

Route. A good emergency evacuation plan for your business will use primary and secondary escape routes, and clear signage should mark all the exit routes. Make multiple maps and post them so all your employees know the evacuation routes to the safe spot(s) you have designated.

Tools. With respect to a fire, it is recommended that you refill reusable fire extinguishers every 10 years and replace disposable ones every 12 years. Also, make sure your employees know where the fire extinguishers are located in the workplace. While you’re at it, make sure all tools, such as fire alarms, emergency lighting, escape ladders, and crowd control tools, are up-to-date and operational at all times wherever applicable. Create and maintain a first aid kit that is well and adequately stocked for the size and makeup of your workforce, and ensure that it is inspected regularly for expired or used medicines.

Drills. Regular fire drills will minimize confusion through repetition, giving your employees a clear idea of how a real evacuation should work. A safe outcome is more likely when everyone knows what is happening. 

Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we care about you and your business, and we care about the safety of your workforce, too. If you need help with cleanup after any emergency, such as a fire or flood. If you have experienced fire damage or water damage, we are here to help. We can get your home and business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too! Ask us how.

Top Places To Look For Mold In Your Home

10/26/2020 (Permalink)

Mold is odorous, unsightly, and can have health effects, and it can show up very quickly. Knowing where to look and what areas are most vulnerable can help keep you a step ahead of a mold issue. 

Here are the top places to look for mold in your home:

Sinks.  Underneath any sink, whether it’s in the kitchen, the bathroom, or the garage/workshop, is the number one place to look for mold, and we don’t need to tell you why! Make a routine visit to every sink and look for a possible mold infestation on a regular basis to ensure that you aren’t caught off guard. Once mold gets started it can’t ever really be eradicated, only controlled.  

Bathroom. Most of us clean our bathrooms thoroughly at least once a week, and this is the perfect time to check for mold. Look in the least traveled areas, such as corners of the linen or storage closet, behind the toilet, and - of course - under the sink. If there have been any leaks in these places in the past, these areas are in danger until they are fully dry. If you detect a brand new leak or drip, have it corrected immediately. You can invest in a dehumidifier for your bathroom, too, and that can be a great tool in the fight against mold. 

Kitchen. This room, known as the “heart of the home,” is going to be busy throughout the day, and water is in almost constant usage here. Keep an eye out for spills and leaks and clean them up immediately to ensure that they are not attracting mold spores, which are always in our air and cannot be removed. After dishes and cooking utensils are washed and put away, make sure all counter space and flooring are completely dry as added protection against mold. 

Laundry room. This room in your home has nooks and crannies that are not cleaned as often as other areas in your home. Add to that the humidity in the air and possible unseen leaks or drips, and you have all the elements present that can encourage the possible establishment of a mold colony. Enlist help to pull the washer and dryer out from the wall regularly and make sure the areas behind them are clean, dry, and disinfected. 

Other areas to keep an eye on in your home and business: hall closets, garages, storage units, warehouses, and basement areas. 

SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is always here to help you with any issues related to mold; we are experts in its prevention and its remediation. Large-scale cleanups after flooding and fire are also our specialties, and we can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too. Ask us how!

Preparing For Fall Storms

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

Fall weather in the Grand Rapids area is beautiful, and the cooler temperatures are always welcome after the heat of summer. While you are enjoying the fall leaves, harvest decorations, and other fall-related fun, remember that stormy weather conditions are just around the corner.  Whether you are a homeowner, a business owner, or both, we know you want to be prepared.  Weather may be unpredictable during the fall, but you won’t have to worry about it if you prepare now. 

Here are some fall storm preparation projects to consider:

While early fall is not the prime time to heavily prune back trees and bushes, it is a great time to remove any branches that are dead or look like they could become dangerous during a fall storm. If you have a tree that is dead or dying, contact an arborist to come and do a professional assessment. He or she may recommend that you have it removed before anything happens during a fall storm. 

Take care of leaves and debris in your gutters and drainpipes; this will help prevent clogging during wetter weather. Clogged drains and gutters mean that rainwater will find an alternative route to the ground and it may back up into your attic or walls. 

Drain all outdoor faucets ahead of freezing weather now, too. 

Assess all your windows and doors for cracks; if you find issues, have them sealed now so that you can stay warm and save energy this fall and winter. You’ll be saving both time and money here!

A roof inspection ahead of colder weather will be helpful in letting you know if your roofing needs any attention before fall storms. Loose shingles can be replaced more easily when it’s done during warm and dry weather. If you have siding on your home, inspect it carefully for any loose sections. Fall storms often bring high winds that can create problems here. 

Make sure your entrance walkways are in good shape, and be sure to take care of any buckling or crumbling. If earth has eroded away underneath walkways this can become a much bigger issue when heavy rains move into the area, and this can compromise the  cement, causing it to crack and split. That’s an accident just waiting to happen. 

If you need help preparing your home for the upcoming fall storms, call our professionals here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids. We have the experience and skills necessary to take care of your property and belongings to keep them safe. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too!

How Long Does It Take For Mold To Grow After Water Damage?

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

You may have experienced a flooding event in the past due to bad weather or equipment failure of some kind. There are many issues that can result from this kind of damage that can last well into the future if the cleanup is not done correctly. 

All belongings must be thoroughly dried and restored. This will often require the assistance of a professional cleanup and restoration company. Here at SERVPRO, we are experienced in assisting our customers with situations of this kind. We can help to recover your possessions if they have been damaged by water. This includes furniture, technological equipment, and even documents. 

Another concern is mold, of course. After a flooding event, mold can establish a colony in the darkest, damp corners before you even know it has happened. If you don’t know much about mold, you may be asking yourself how long it takes for mold to grow after water damage. The answer? Not very long at all. 

After a flood in your home or business, a mold colony can establish itself within 24 to 48 hours, and once a colony has been established, it can never be completely eradicated. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to make sure your premises are dried and restored completely as soon as possible after a flooding event.

Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we care about you, your family, and your business. When the worst happens, we can be there right away to handle any kind of disaster you may have experienced. Mold prevention/remediation is one of our specialities, and we handle water damage and fire damage, as well. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!

Fire Prevention In Your Commercial Kitchen

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

As the owner or manager of a restaurant and commercial kitchen, you know that fire is one of the worst things imaginable. It will greatly endanger the lives of your staff and your guests and destroy your property, putting you out of business for who knows how long. 

Here are some essential fire damage prevention tips for your commercial kitchen:

Faulty cooking equipment is often responsible for restaurant building fires. All your equipment must be maintained in top condition, from ovens to fryers, and your staff should be following established cleaning practices daily, and to the letter, so that everything is in the best shape possible. Regular professional inspections will also ensure that repairs are made before a fire event takes place. 

Grease buildup in stove-hoods and grease traps can be a dangerous thing in your commercial kitchen. These equipment components operate under high heat constantly, so they can easily become a fire hazard; kitchen ductwork is at risk, as well. Contact an experienced cleaning and restoration professional to address these issues and help you to maintain healthy indoor air quality. 

A critical component of your commercial kitchen fire safety is your fire sprinkler system. Have  them regularly inspected as a best safety practice in preventing fire damage; corrosion will definitely affect their performance. 

If you don’t know how old your kitchen UL suppression system is, make sure you verify that information during your next inspection. You may want to consider an upgrade to UL 300 compliance to help support your commercial kitchen’s safety. 

The very best equipment and the most top quality maintenance can never completely prevent restaurant fires, and the most effective weapon in your arsenal is going to be your employees. Train them to always be ready for restaurant fire emergencies through monthly meetings and drills, and always encourage their input when addressing safety issues. Make sure everyone that is comfortable with fire extinguishers knows how to use them, and ensure that everyone knows how to safely evacuate your building. 

Getting you back to business soon is our primary focus. We are always ready here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, so call us if you experience fire damage, water damage, or mold issues. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too. 

Maintaining Your HVAC This Summer

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

HVAC maintenance will help your air conditioner perform at its best throughout the warmest season. Scheduling a preventative maintenance tune-up at the beginning of every change in weather will help to alleviate wear and tear and other issues that hinder the performance of your system performance.  It is recommended that you have your HVAC serviced every year, before the hotter summer months set in. 

In the middle of the summer, there are some steps you can take to maintain your HVAC, as well:

Air Filter

Check your air filter; during heavy use, your filter should be inspected every month to make sure it hasn’t gotten full of contaminants. It may need to be replaced even sooner than the recommended 3-month mark during times when use is heavy, so make sure you have the proper replacement handy. 

Air Grilles

Look over all registers and air return grilles in your home or business to make sure they haven’t become blocked or shut; this will restrict the airflow throughout your HVAC systems and this will negatively affect its performance, possibly even causing overheating.


Keep all carpets, rugs, and furniture away from vents. Take steps to ensure that vent louvers are open in the appropriate rooms; if you do decide to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. When you find that you have several unused areas that you don’t need to cool, consider investing in a zoning system that will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating your HVAC system performance. 


Inspect your cooling equipment outside. Remove grass clippings and other debris that may have collected on the unit, and trim vegetation that has grown up around it. Make sure the area around your HVAC is not used for storage of outdoor furniture and other items.


Ensure that the drip pan and the condensate drain lines are clear. If these components of your HVAC system become clogged with mold or algae, condensation will not exit your home or business premises, and that can cause the cooling system to malfunction or water to back up indoors, causing water damage. Clear any clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines as soon as you find them, and be sure to turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. You can use a wet/dry vacuum to remove water from the drip pan or use rags to soak it up, and then follow this with cleaning the drip pan using a mild soap. 

Whenever you need help with HVAC maintenance, or if your home or business has experienced fire damage, water damage, or a mold infestation, remember that your friends here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids are here to get you back to normal right away. We are able to get your premises Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned anytime!

Preventing Flooding In Your Basement

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

The best way to prevent water damage in your basement is to stay aware of the condition of this low-lying area in your home. You will want to make sure you take a look around and check for signs of potential issues regularly, and most especially after wet weather. Damage to the basement and foundation areas of a home are extremely important to repair as soon as possible in order to avoid larger structural and property damages in the future, and taking the steps to prevent flooding in the first place is imperative, and here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we have some tips to help.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Changes in the color or texture of surfaces. In a finished basement, wallpaper or paint might be peeling away or appear discolored; look for bowing in the walls, which can be a result of long-term seepage. When the basement is unfinished, you will want to keep an eye out for a white, salty substance known as “efflorescence”, which appears on foundational walls. This will tell you how high water has risen. If the basement flooring is swollen or removed from the subfloor, that is another indicator of water damages.
  • Cracking can occur in the foundation and/or the floor, and it is often due to water damage. Look for cracks in window seals and door panes, as well, and if you see anything that needs attention, don’t wait for the flooding to happen to get this taken care of! 
  • Odors are an indicator that there is an excess water problem. Oftentimes, it’s mold or mildew that causes those smells, which means you have water damage on your hands, so any preventive measures you take are going to definitely keep your space and belongings safe from this flooding side-effect.
  • Keep drainage areas well-maintained in expectation of summer storms. Directing water away from your buildings will stop any problems before they even start!

Whether you have found that you have water damage or you see that you need to take some preventive measures ahead of wetter weather, it’s time to call a professional general contractor. These companies are experienced and trained to repair and renovate spaces that have extensive damage from excess water due to leaky pipes, flooding, etc. 

Our team here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is the team to call if you need help in taking steps to prevent flooding in your basement, as well as for cleanups after water damage or fire damage, whether small or large. We are also mold-remediation experts, restoration specialists, and skilled in large scale commercial cleaning projects, and more.