The 3 Most Common Places to Check for Mold Growth
Make it a habit to regularly check under your sink for mold growth.
Mold. The mere mention of the word brings to mind all the unpleasant aspects of this organism - the unsightly black, red, or gray spots that appear, its odors, and the allergic reactions that many people experience when mold moves in. We all know that it can be very beneficial, though, by helping to create various cheeses and alleviate sickness, for example. But when we find it in our home or business, we forget about its benefits.
Keeping an eye out for mold growth in your house or place of business is a great way to prevent a colony from becoming established, protecting your possessions and the people you care about from being negatively impacted by its arrival.
Here are three of the most common places you will find mold:
Under The Sink. Sinks often spring small leaks, and we may not even realize it for quite some time. A tiny leak in the darkness of a cabinet or at the base of a sink pedestal that goes unnoticed is prime real estate for a mold colony. When you are doing your regular inspections, this type of space is the first place you should check for mold growth.
Behind Appliances. The refrigerator, dishwasher, and washer are heavily used household items that involve large amounts of water, of course. They can also spring small leaks easily, and unless you look behind them or under them, you might never notice. These areas are also perfect places for mold spores to settle down.
Basements/Low-Lying Areas. Low-lying areas and basements can often experience damp conditions, especially during warm, wet weather. Windows that are not properly caulked, or roofing and rain gutters that haven’t been properly maintained, can allow water to reach these areas and create the dampness that mold just loves to inhabit.
When it comes to mold, remember that the SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids team is here to help. We are mold prevention and remediation specialists! We are also experienced in the areas of fire and water damage, too, and we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Preventing Flooding in Your Grand Rapids Office
If you're dealing with flooding, give us a call! We can help you out.
We all know what water damage to a business looks like after a flood or during heavy rainfall. Oftentimes, events such as these are unexpected, so it’s just good business to be prepared for this type of event.
Here are some tips to help you prevent flooding in your Grand Rapids office:
- INSPECTIONS. Take a good look around your place of business to ensure that you are prepared for wet weather. Check exterior doors to see if they fit as tightly as they should and that both doors and windows are properly weather-stripped. A small leak can easily turn into a small flood in your office space. Your office parking lot or driveway needs to have a well-planned drainage system so entering and exiting your building can be safe even during wet weather. Flooding in your parking areas can bring your business to a halt. If you know you’ll see a lot of run-off from the parking area, consider using sandbags. Low-lying buildings next to a parking lot full of water can end up flooding, and you will want to plan ahead to prevent that from happening.
- COMMUNICATE WITH PUBLIC SERVICES. Drainage areas that are maintained by the city or county should be monitored, especially during heavy rains. If these spots begin to overflow, contact your city representatives immediately. Keep them updated about the rivers and streams in your area, as well. If there is a problem developing, you can take steps to sandbag vulnerable areas around your office building.
- INTERIORS. Some flooding isn’t caused by weather, it’s caused by an equipment failure. Make sure your plumbing and appliances are regularly inspected and maintained so that you don’t walk into a mess on a Monday morning. It’s all about preparedness.
The team here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is ready to help in any way we can. We have the expertise to handle water and fire damage, and we specialize in mold remediation. If you have sustained water damage to your property, give us a call today at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.
Five Steps to Storm-Proofing Your Garage
Make sure to equip your garage to prevent storm damage!
Make storm-proofing your attached garage a priority when planning to protect your home from storms. Being one of the largest spaces in any home, your garage is also the most vulnerable place when it comes to high winds. Here are some tips to storm-proof your garage, which will also protect the rest of your home:
- High Impact Ratings. Storms with extreme wind will cause the most damage; when a garage is breached, the rest of your home is at risk. Water can come in, and even just an inch of water can cause expensive and unwanted damage. If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, it is recommended that you invest in a door that can withstand winds of 130 mph or higher. Doors with high impact-ratings will protect your home and belongings from flying debris.
- Bracing system. You can reinforce your garage door with a proper bracing system. Most garage doors are secured only by the tracks or hinges, which will be of no benefit during a powerful storm. A bracing system works by anchoring the door to the walls and floors and into each hinge.
- Maintenance. If there are any holes, cracks, or breaches in your garage door, that will allow storm winds through. Perform a monthly inspection looking for these types of issues as well as problems with the weather stripping or any parts of the garage door mechanisms and functionality to ensure that any repairs are performed as soon as possible.
- Secure all windows. If you have windows in your attached garage, these are considered weak points during extreme weather. Ensure they are in good repair and the weather stripping is strong at all times. Having wrought-iron window protection installed can also be a protective addition to keep your glass safe from flying debris.
- Install drainage and flood vents. Make sure that your entire home is properly outfitted for the drainage of large amounts of water. You can have a trench drain installed around your home and on the sides of your driveway to divert water, and flood vents inside the garage can quickly drain any water coming inside before levels rise and cause damage.
Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we are always ready to help you if you experience water or fire damages; whether at home or in a commercial setting. Contact us today by phone at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.
Tips to Prevent Mold Damage in Your Home
Mold can wreak havoc on your home. Take preventive measures today!
The very mention of the word “mold” is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. We all know that mold can be beneficial, such as when used in penicillin or the making of cheeses, and we are aware of its role in the decomposition of organic matter, but when it comes to finding it in our homes, that is a different matter!
Mold spores spread easily and can never be completely eradicated. It can grow almost anywhere, too: carpet, clothing, food, and other places we never see. It is very difficult and costly to manage once it is detected. It can also produce irritants, allergens, and even toxins that can compromise your health--that’s what makes it such a serious matter when it takes hold in our living spaces.
Here are some tips to help you prevent mold damage in your home:
Identify issues. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home and determine the main weak spots. Does your basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window, or perhaps a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as removing carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Whatever the case may be, address the problem now.
Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so take care of wet areas right away. Any wet areas should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. Even everyday wet areas need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry outside or in areas with good air circulation.
Proper ventilation. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Use A/C units and dehumidifiers, but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer.
Use mold-resistant products. Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and use mold inhibitors for paints when building or renovating.
Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement. You may be experiencing leakage just because your gutters are full or damaged. Have your roof gutters cleaned and inspected regularly to make sure they are sending water away from your structure. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak has started.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step, and always keep in mind that the SERVPRO team at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help with any mold issues. We also handle damages from fire or water, such as flooding. Contact us today by phone at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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 ready.gov.
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.