Recent Posts

What To Do When A Pipe Bursts In Your Commercial Building

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to a burst water pipe, the damage to your commercial building can be serious, and your equipment, possessions, and the health of your workforce can be damaged if the mess is not cleaned up properly.

Here are some important steps to take when a pipe bursts in your commercial building:

First thing, turn off the water flow when you suspect a pipe has broken. You’ll find the stop tap on the water main. It is typically located under the main sink or where the main service pipe connects to your building. Key people on your staff should know the location of the water shut-off stopcock for emergencies.

Once the main water switch is off, you’ll need to drain the pipes. Run cold water through all the faucets, and be sure to flush each toilet at least once. The hot water system needs to be turned off, which runs hot water through the faucets to drain that supply. When there is no more running tap water, the leak will stop.

After draining all the excess water, locate the burst pipe and inspect the damage. Consider where the pipe is located before you purchase parts or fittings. Regardless of the damage or size of the break, a major water pipe will take more time and effort to replace because it holds more water and leads to additional connections.

You might be able to patch a smaller leak yourself and prevent further damage while saving money. If you use commercial tape or chemical bonding agent you will need to keep an eye on that repair job, because it might burst later and create even more issues.

Fixing a rupture or crack in non-main pipes is usually fairly simple, but when it comes to bigger issues, you will want to call in professionals.

If the water from the burst pipe is on the walls or ceilings as well as the floor, contact a professional water restoration company. Simply using fans and open windows to dry a soaked area is not going to be sufficient to prevent mold and mildew from developing and possibly causing serious illness for your staff. You will also want to shut off the electrical power to that area of the house as a precaution against shocks. 

The team here at SERVPRO of Grand Rapids is here to help in the event of a water damage event. Call us if you experience issues from a burst pipe, and don’t forget we are fire damage experts, too!

Wind Storms are here, are you ready? SERVPRO is!

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Close up of green SERVPRO air movers SERVPRO's state-of-the-art equipment

SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.


Faster Response


Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quickly with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.


Resources to Handle Floods and Storms


When storms hit the greater Grand Rapids area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,700 Locations across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.


Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 616-662-9700

How To Prepare Your Home For Freezing Temperatures

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

We all know that freezing temperatures will be in Grand Rapids soon enough. None of us are fooled by the beautiful fall weather - winter will be here in just a few short weeks. If you haven't done so already, now is the time to prepare your home for freezing temperatures.

Water and storm damage from winter storms account for a large percentage of homeowner’s insurance claims, and it’s a busy time of the year for plumbers. It can be hard for local plumbing and clean-up companies to keep up with the demand.

Some home preparation ahead of time will help you avoid the costs of repairs that come from not planning ahead. There are a number of things you can do to ensure your house will not be a victim to freezing temperatures, many of which are fairly simple and easy on your wallet.

For example, one great place to start is by insulating exposed water pipes so they won't freeze when the thermometer is reading below freezing. If your pipes do crack, you also need to know how to shut off the water so that damage is minimized. It’s a good idea to make sure that family members or others in the household know how to do this, as well. 

Insulation is key and should be packed into all corners of your house - from your walls to your attics and crawl spaces. This will keep the heat inside where you need it most.

When temperatures are forecasted to fall below freezing, make sure your room temperatures are set no lower than 65 degrees. Also, open the doors beneath your sinks to circulate any warmer air there, and set your faucet to drip water overnight. A slow drip will work just fine, and it’s a simple fix that will keep pipes from freezing and bursting. 

A common oversight of many homeowners is forgetting to unhook the garden hoses. When this happens the water left in the pipes can freeze and burst inside your home. Make sure all those faucets outside are turned off!

Many of us will be traveling during the winter holidays, so if you are planning on going out of town and you anticipate a big freeze while you are away, turn off the main water valve to the house so that you don’t have a huge water cleanup project to do when you get home. 

A little prevention goes a long way and can save you a lot of money spent on energy bills, too. The team here at SERVPRO of Grand Rapids is here to help with any water damage you may experience. We are also experts at handling fire damage and mold remediation.

Preparing Your Yard/Property For Storm Damage

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we advise homeowners to prepare their homes and property for the coming winter storm season. Extreme weather can lead to power outages and disruption of communications, as well as damaging personal and business property and belongings. Flooding and large snow accumulations can cause travel to become extremely dangerous and even deadly, so it’s important to be prepared for many different serious situations to occur during winter here in Michigan. 

Here are some essential safety tips to help you prepare your home for the coming winter season:

  • Exterior Doors/Windows. These areas need to be inspected and sealed properly or replaced ahead of storms and other winter weather conditions. Not only will you stay safer, but you will save on related energy costs, especially if you replace old windows and doors with newer, more efficient models. There are many different types and styles to choose from. 
  • Gutters. When snow melts, it needs to be able to flow down your rain gutters and away from your roofing. If there is dirt and debris left in your gutters from last spring, the water will pool and begin to back up, possibly damaging even interior wall spaces in your home, and this can even lead to mold growth, causing a need for mold removal on top of the storm damage. A rain gutter that is full of dirt can become heavy and can pull away from the building, creating another set of issues. 
  • Landscaping. Before storm season comes, make sure all dead or unhealthy trees and bushes are trimmed back or removed. Cut away branches that are not stable, and clean up those items that may be littering your premises. Flying tree branches and other debris can cause major damages to your property when a storm hits. 


Our team here at SERVPRO of Grand Rapids cares about your safety and the safety of your loved ones and your property. If you need help after an extreme weather event, call us. We are water damage and fire damage experts, and we specialize in mold remediation.

Water Damage Recovery Tips For Your Hardwood Floors

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

hardwood floor If water damage affects your hardwood floor, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids!

Floods are devastating to many areas of your home or business, and your wood floors will be seriously at risk. When water sits on top of hardwood, the wood absorbs the water through its pores and will cause warping and discoloration, potentially causing permanent damage. If you have experienced water damage to your premises, we would like to share some water damage recovery tips with you that can help:

  • Remove Water Fast. Remove all water as quickly as you can. The longer the water remains, the worse the damage will be. The first 24 hours are critical, but if you are able to remove the water and dry your hardwood floors completely, you may be able to save them. You will also be alleviating the possibility of a mold invasion, too. 
  • Sand/Refinish. You will most likely need to sand and refinish the wood. This repair can bring your floors back to pre-flood conditions, or at least as close as possible. The sanding and refinishing step will save you both the time and the money that would be involved in having your flooring removed and new flooring installed. 
  • Bring In Professionals. If you have experienced really serious water damage, perhaps from a tornado, hurricane, or severe flooding, your best choice is contacting a professional water damage restoration service. Choose experts in this area that have the personnel and equipment necessary to get your water damage taken care of as fast as possible. Make sure you call them immediately, since these companies will probably have a waitlist if your entire area has been affected by a weather-related disaster.
  • Preventive Measures. 
    • Find the source of water and plug it up. 
    • Remove all wet items from the flooring. If you have carpeting on top of your hardwood floor, remove both the carpet and the padding immediately. This is an area where mold can quickly become a real issue. Remember that your restoration professionals can help you with carpet-cleaning after a water damage event, too. 
    • Use a household vacuum or a shop-vac to extract as much water as you can, and be sure to contact your professionals if the amount of water is really large. 
    • Disinfect. Prevent mold and preserve your hardwood floors by using a non-sudsy disinfectant, and then vacuum again to remove standing water. 
    • Drying. Use a dehumidifier or run your heater or air conditioner constantly to keep the air dry inside the affected room(s). 

These are just a few steps that you can take yourself when your hardwood floors are affected by water. SERVPRO of Grand Rapids is always here to help you with repairs and renovations to your property when you are affected by water damage, no matter the size. We also handle fire damage, and we are mold remediation experts, too. 

Fall Fire Prevention Tips

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

With the cooler temperatures of fall just around the corner, it is a good idea to revisit fire prevention and safety tips that are specific to this time of year. As you focus more and more on staying warm, you’ll also want to focus on staying safe while enjoying this season. 

  • Checkups. Your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will need a change of batteries so they can stay on duty. Take a look at your fire extinguishers to ensure they are fully charged and in good working order. 
  • HVAC. Call your local certified HVAC technician and have them come clean, inspect and service your central heating system to avoid potential issues. 
  • Space heaters. Practice safety when using space heaters by:
    • Making sure any unit is surrounded by at least three feet of empty space
    • Never using these units to dry clothing or other objects
    • Keep any space heater away from furniture or drapery
    • Always turn these units off when you go to bed or leave the house
  • Fireplaces. Practice fireplace safety using these tips:
    • Your chimney should be inspected yearly
    • Employ a certified chimney sweep to clean your chimney in early fall, every year
    • Repair all cracks in your fireplace
    • Use screens to keep sparks and debris inside your fireplace
    • NEVER use gasoline to start a fire in your fireplace
    • NEVER leave your fire unattended
    • Store any combustible materials at least three feet away from the fireplace
  • Holiday decorations. Enjoy the holidays safely by taking these precautions:
    • Use flashlights instead of burning candles in your Jack-O-Lanterns
    • Halloween costumes should be constructed with fire-retardant materials, as should all holiday decorations. 
    • Make sure that all extension cords and holiday lights have been tested by an approved organization - pay attention to labeling. 
  • Teach your family fire safety:
    •  Make sure even young children know how to call 911.
    • Establish a fire escape plan for your family, and practice it until everyone is sure they know what to do, and where to meet. 
    • “Stop, drop, and roll” needs to be taught to everyone and practiced. 
  • Outdoor fire safety for fall:
    • Clear your rain gutters and roof of debris buildup
    • Find the outdoor burning regulations for your area, and never illegally burn leaves or other outdoor debris

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids, we care about the safety of your family. Call us for help with fire or water damage, or when you are experiencing issues with mold or mildew. We’re always here to help. 

How To Prevent Mold Damage In Your Commercial Building

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and as a savvy business owner, you want to do everything possible to protect your enterprise. Routine preventive maintenance is one of the main methods to keep everything in great shape and operating smoothly. This gives your roofing, exterior doors and windows, parking areas, warehousing and storage, and office space the attention they need. You’ve thought of everything….or have you?

Today we would like to share some tips on preventing mold in your commercial building:

  • Be aware. Mold can grow quickly in unexpected places. Create an inspection plan for your business that is designed to be done on a routine basis. Search for signs of mold in damp, high moisture areas, and look for spotty or fuzzy stains on walls, floors, and carpeting. Take note of musty smells, too. Request your cleaning crew to notify you of any specific areas they think may be at risk.
  • Timely repair. Make sure any issues in your building are taken care of right away, especially leaks and water damage. Damaged roofing, unsealed windows and door frames, and cracked foundations are all risks for the establishment of a mold colony.
  • Damp air. Your geographic location may mean that you are always dealing with high humidity, and since damp air encourages mold to grow, you may want to install dehumidifiers in your commercial building.
  • Clean air. You can reduce the transfer of mold spores throughout your commercial property by cleaning and maintaining your HVAC system and air ducts properly and regularly.

We’re there. Every commercial property is different, so you may need to consult a mold remediation specialist for help in creating a customized plan that will fit the needs of your structure and your business. Working with a company that has experience handling mold and mildew issues will ensure that this expensive and harmful situation won’t cause problems for you, now or in the future. The SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids team is always here to help, and we respond faster to any disaster, large or small!

Cleaning Your Commercial Office Building

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

A thorough cleaning will rid your commercial office building of the dust and grime of summer, bringing a clean and refreshed feel to your workplace as well as positively impacting your business’ profitability and your workers’ productivity. Commercial cleaning is a bit different than residential cleaning since it will call for more in-depth cleaning processes and better organization. You have a lot of people, and aspects, to think of. 

Let your employees know that a cleaning process will be beginning, and inform them what that process will look like. If there are any possible interruptions in tools or workflow, you will want to let them know and get their feedback on how to handle these situations. Make sure they are aware of the cleaning products that will be used in case there are possible irritations or allergies that some may experience. Many people prefer to be exposed to more eco-friendly products these days, so that’s an option that will make everyone happy.

Provide employees with a schedule so that they know exactly what to expect as your cleaning process moves forward. If it will be necessary for them to box up any of their work items, let them know as far in advance as possible so that they can plan for the event. 

The key areas you will want to focus on include:

Flooring

  • Deep-clean carpets to remove stains.
  • Move file cabinets, conference tables, desks, and other large furniture items to clean the entire floor. 
  • Clean flooring baseboards and corners with a high-powered vacuum.
  • Buff and scrub tile and concrete.
  • Consider re-finishing and re-sealing floors for a renewed appearance.
  • Look for fire hazards on the floor. Remove any floor or stairway blockages.
  • Observe tile for breaks, dents, or cracks, and consider replacing broken tile or redoing the flooring. 

Walls.

  • Look for chipped paint and cracks, and decide if you need to repaint. If the cracks are large, you may want to have a professional inspect for damage.
  • Clean all windows to remove dust and marks, cleaning both outside and inside. For tall or high windows, hire a professional window cleaning service.
  • Dust and wash the drapes and blinds. This area is usually forgotten in weekly cleanings.
  • Dust ceiling corners, light fixtures, and tops of doors.

Bathrooms

  • Clean the grout in between the tiles.
  • Sanitize and deep clean all surfaces with bleach-based products.
  • Re-caulk in areas of cracking or splitting.
  • Bleach the inside of toilet bowls. Rub the external of the toilet bowls with a sanitizing cleanser.
  • Wash the floor baseboards around toilets and urinals.
  • Wash all trash-cans.
  • Replace all toilet paper, soap, and other usables.
  • Look for signs of mold or mildew, which is more common in high-humidity environments like bathrooms. Remove any mildew immediately.

Cleaning your commercial office building can be a big job. Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we can help you get your cleaning projects done in record time. Call us today for your commercial office building needs. 

How To Prevent Storm Damage To Your Business

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning bolt during thunderstorm Lightning strikes during thunderstorms can cause significant damage to your home and property.

Falling trees, fire, high wind and hail storms often cause damage to roofing and other vulnerable parts of your property. Safety should always be your primary concern to prevent storm damage to your business.

  • Roofing. The best way to prevent unnecessary damages is to ensure that your roof is in the best shape possible before storm season hits. After a storm, any initial roof assessment should be completed from the ground as you want to make sure you are safe. If you suspect damage to your shingles or structure, contact a professional immediately. Make sure everyone vacates the premises in the event of major roof damage. 
  • Landscaping. Before the stormy season, have your landscaping trimmed back and remove all dead or dying vegetation. This will help to lessen the risk of flying branches or falling trees. 
  • Parking Areas. Keeping your parking areas in good repair will mean that after a storm, your clients will still be able to get to you. Potholes and flooding in your parking lot will keep everyone away, including your workforce. 
  • Walkways. Heavy storms can undercut walkways, making them dangerous for pedestrians, and that’s something you definitely want to avoid. Have them updated and strengthened before heavy weather, and take a good look at them after a storm moves through the area. If you need a second pair of eyes, call a professional storm damage cleanup company for help. 

Storms and inclement weather can bring wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding that can devastate any business in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike, and storms don’t just strike during regular business hours; that’s why SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer 24-hour emergency service 365 days of the year.

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether your property has experienced a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we are always prepared for the unpredictable. 

Preparing Your Grand Rapids Home For Fall

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

As summer comes to a close, it’s a good idea to think ahead to the colder months coming to our area. Getting your home ready for fall and winter’s colder temperatures and harsher weather conditions while it’s still warm and pleasant will make your life a lot easier and leave you with plenty of time to enjoy the coziness of your house during the holidays. Weather may be unpredictable during the fall here in Grand Rapids, but you won’t have to worry about it if you prepare your home for fall now! Here are some preparations to consider:

  • Gutters. Remove dead leaves and debris from your gutters and drainpipes. This will prevent clogging during wetter weather. Drain all outdoor faucets ahead of freezing weather now, as well. 
  • Chimney and Fireplace. Clear out leftover ash and charred wood from the fireplace, and contact a professional to clean the chimney. Ask the chimney cleaning company to make sure your damper can be closed properly so that drafts of cold air won’t be coming into your home during fall and winter months. 
  • Heating System. Check your home’s heating vents to make sure they won’t be blocked by furniture, floor coverings, or curtains, and dust them as well. All filters should be changed, and now is a great time to have a professional come and make that annual system checkup.
  • Air Conditioners. Unplug any removable window air conditioners, cleaning them thoroughly before putting them in storage.
  • Drafts. Examine all your windows and doors for cracks. If you find any, 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!
  • Storm Windows. Removable screens should be taken down and cleaned, stored and replaced with storm windows. 
  • Water Heater. Drain the water heater and clean out any debris that may have settled in the tank. 

If you need help with the job of preparing your home for fall, just call the professional team here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids. We have the expertise and the equipment needed to get the job done right.