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How to Prepare Your Grand Rapids Home for Spring

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Prepare Your Grand Rapids Home for Spring Spring brings showers...which can bring water damage. Call us today to help out!

There is often still some snow on the ground this time of year in Grand Rapids, but the obvious signs of springtime are around us, too. You can see buds on the trees and the daffodils are showing their faces. We know you are more than ready for warmer weather, but what about your home?

Here are a few things to think about when it comes to preparing your Grand Rapids home for Spring:

Rain Gutters. These should be first on your to-do list. They can be full of dead leaves, small branches, and even dirt from winter weather. Clean out all rain gutters right away so the spring showers don’t cause mold problems and water damage to interior walls, and make sure the downspouts are directing water the right way, as well. The winter weather here in Grand Rapids could have caused them to change position.

Roofing. Did your roof fare well during the winter? As the melting begins, keep an eye on it to see if any leaks have started over the past few weeks and months. Take a look at any vents to see if vegetation or mold has taken hold.

Filters. The filters in your HVAC unit will probably need to be changed at this point, and you will want to clean out ducts, vents, and the system itself. Ductwork can be hard to check, so keep in mind that the SERVPRO team at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is always ready to come out and help.

Windows. Now is a good time to inspect windows for storm and water damage. Cracks, damaged weather stripping, improper fit: all these issues can cause problems down the road. Make arrangements to get your windows professionally cleaned and ready to enjoy the warmth and sunshine.

Foundations. Remove any remaining snow 3 to 5 feet away from your foundations and inspect them for cracks caused by winter weather conditions. These can be caulked and sealed as soon as you notice them.

Irrigation Systems. Check sprinkler systems and replace anything that has been affected by freezing conditions.

If you notice any really severe damage from winter storms during your inspections, don’t forget to take pictures for insurance purposes. If you need to make a claim of any kind, photos will come in handy.

You can rely on SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids for all your repairs and clean-up needs. We specialize in water and storm damage, fire damage, and mold prevention. You can contact us by phone at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.

Call the CLEANUP TEAM SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids, Faster to any size disaster

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Call the CLEANUP TEAM SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids, Faster to any size disaster We're here to help 24/7 for your water damage needs!

There’s no such thing as a small disaster—especially when a small leak now could blossom into a big claim later. Unseen water can soak through walls, seep through carpet and pool on sub floors, causing major problems over time. You need help—fast. No matter what time of day or night, contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 to begin emergency mitigation.

Emergency mitigation means that under normal circumstances, we will be on-site within four hours to begin drying your building and restoring contents. The faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage to your facility. Every SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids technician is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. By utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology, your structure will be quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids will remove moisture and any contaminants by disinfecting and deodorizing to safely clean and dry your building and contents. Help ensure the value of your property by calling us at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids Take control of the Mold situation.

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Southwest Grand Rapids Take control of the Mold situation. Mold is serious, let us take care of it for you.

Moisture control is the key to controlling mold. Take time to check for water damage in your home, especially in your basement.

The CDC also recommends keeping the humidity level in your house below 50 percent. Use an air conditioner during humid months. Make sure to check the ventilation in the kitchen and the bathroom. Open a window or turn on a fan when showering. Do not carpet bathrooms and consider using mold inhibitors that can be added to paints.

If you see moisture building up, act quickly and dry the area. If you have any water leaks, whether it is coming in through the roof, or from a pipe or the ground, patch it up immediately.

Another thing to keep in mind: The recent trend in housing construction has been for "tight" houses that allow little air circulation. While they can be more energy efficient, they also encourage mold, because water that gets trapped inside walls may not be able to escape. In other words, the house doesn't "breathe."

While it is possible to have your home tested for mold, the CDC says reliable testing can be expensive. It also says that standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or a tolerable quantity of mold have yet to be established. Also, if you do have your home tested, chances are you won't get back the results for a couple of weeks. During that time the problem could get even worse.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids Know your insurance coverage for Mold.

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Southwest Grand Rapids Know your insurance coverage for Mold. Check with your carrier and learn your options about Mold coverage.

From the insurance perspective, damage from mold, like rust, rot and mildew is excluded from the typical homeowner’s policy.

The Insurance Information Institute says mold is covered under the homeowner’s policy, only if it is the result of a covered danger. For example, the costs of cleaning up mold caused by water from a burst pipe are covered. But mold that develops from, say, humidity or flooding is a maintenance issue that the property owner is responsible for.

The insurance industry argues that in order to keep homeowners insurance affordable and available to the masses this coverage wound up being excluded. If the policyholder does want mold coverage there is going to be an additional premium for it.

One thing to keep in mind is that there have been fewer claims recently. But critics say that is simply because insurers no longer cover the damage, so if it's not covered people do not put in claims.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids, understand water types to ensure proper clean up

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Southwest Grand Rapids, understand water types to ensure proper clean up Different types of water loss determine how you should take personal precautions.

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminate and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, document sand other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. 

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700.

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance Set your plan in action!

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are basic measures business owner and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival. The following information is provided by

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

  • Your organization’s risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location.
  • Begin by reviewing your business process flow char, if one exist, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery.
  • Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
  • You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage

  • Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time.
  • Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruptions.
  • Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare your Emergency Plan

  • Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset.
  • Communication is essential before, during and after a disaster.
  • Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan

  • Some disaster will require employees to leave the workplace quickly.
  • The ability to evacuate works, customers and visitors effectively can save lives.
  • If your business operates out of o more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building.
  • If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure your facility and Equipment

  • Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places.
  • Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety.
  • Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable.
  • Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security

  • Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.
  • Don’t open e-mails from unknown sources.
  • Use hard-to-guess passwords.
  • Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls.
  • Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can help you prepare your Emergency READY Plan today! Call us at 616-662-9700.

No restoration need is too big for SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial No restoration need is too big for SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids No loss is too big for our fleet handle.

At SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids, no business is too big and no question is too small.  So when fire or water damage strikes your home or business, call on the cleanup team the insurance industry has trusted for more than 40 years.  That’s where you’ll find a team of specialist that’s faster to any-sized disaster.  So when the things that matter most are on the line, make sure we are too by calling 616-662-9700 or visiting  We’re here to help make Fire and Water damage “Like it never even happened.”

We are independently owned and operated with a team of 15 trained professionals. SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids is part of the nationwide Storm Response Team and has the support of over 1,700 franchises ready to serve your emergency needs.

Do you have an Emergency Communication Plan for when disaster strikes?

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Do you have an Emergency Communication Plan for when disaster strikes? Is your plan in place?

The following explains what an emergency communication plan is and why you should make one. It also provides tips and templates on how to make a plan. The following information is from

Why Make A Plan

Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan:

  • How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
  • How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
  • How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
  • How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
  • How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

Click here to Download And Print A Plan for:

Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

  • Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings. Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting:
  • Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go. Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire.  
  • Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:
    • phone (work, cell, office)
    • email
    • social media
    • medical facilities, doctors, service providers
    • school
  • Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:
  • Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.
  • Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.
  • If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.

Examples of meeting places:

  • In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
  • Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend’s home.
  • Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.
  1. Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.
  2. Practice your plan.Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.


When disaster hits your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 24/7 emergency services available.

Southwest Grand Rapids Get the facts on mold.

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Southwest Grand Rapids Get the facts on mold. Mold is a fact of life, but there is bad mold. Know the facts!

Mold is not a plant or an animal. It is a type of fungus and a fact of life. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is always a little mold everywhere and one cannot avoid being exposed to it. It grows year round and is found both inside and outside. Mold has existed for at least 400 million years and doesn't need much to grow. All it takes is moisture, warmth and food.

If you are concerned, make sure to check out areas in your home where humidity and moisture levels are high. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and in walls where water from leaky pipes can accumulate.

The National Association of Home Builders says that in just 48 hours, a moist environment combined with the right room-temperature conditions can lead to mold growth. While you cannot keep mold spores completely out of your home, regular cleaning can often prevent severe problems before they arise. Log onto the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Web site for more details at

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

PLAN AHEAD Southwest Grand Rapids: May is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage PLAN AHEAD Southwest Grand Rapids: May is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day Wildfires happen! Join together to prevent with them.

In 2017, there were 66,131 wildfires in the U.S., which burned 9.7 million acres, according to National Centers for Environment Information (NOAA).

Help reduce your community’s wildfire risk by participating in a local event for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. To see a project map to locate local events, or for more information and resources to host your own event, visit

On Saturday, May 5, 2018 the NFPA celebrates national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. At a time when wildfires are causing more damage to homes and businesses each year, Preparedness Day is a reminder that there are many things we can do to be prepared for wildfire. The event serves as means to inspire and encourage people of all ages to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes there community a safer place to live.

If a wildfire affects your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 today for 24-hour emergency service.