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Save Your Restaurant From Becoming a Nightmare

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

A large pan catches fire in a restaurant kitchen. The chef ducks out of the way. A chef ducks away from a large fireball in a grill pan.

A restaurant must have delicious food and drinks, but it should also provide excellent customer service. Your goal is to make every customer so happy that they can’t wait to come back. Unfortunately, disasters such as fires and floods can occur, which can force a restaurant to close down for a while. To save your restaurant from this nightmare, you may need the help of a restaurant fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO.

Fires in restaurants are unfortunately more common than you might think. If you're a restaurant owner, this is a nightmare scenario. You work so hard to build your business and create a fantastic dining experience for your customers, but a fire can destroy everything in moments. What's worse is that even if your restaurant doesn't burn down completely, smoke and water damage can be just as devastating.

Your restaurant will not be able to serve guests after a fire until it is cleaned and restored. Time is of the essence when it comes to restaurant fire damage restoration. Every day your doors are closed you lose money. This is where a professional fire restoration company comes in. To save your restaurant from turning into a nightmare, you need the help of professionals that know how to restore a commercial kitchen and restaurant after a fire, flood, or other disaster.

When your restaurant is hit with a nightmare, SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is here to help. We respond 24/7 to help you clean up the disaster, restore the damages, and get your restaurant doors open again as quickly as possible.

What happens during a restaurant fire damage restoration?

In the wake of a fire, how do you proceed? First, an inspection is conducted to understand the impact and damage to your restaurant, and then a plan is implemented to get your restaurant back to normal. Our restoration team will inspect your entire building to find out how much damage the fire has caused and which parts of the restaurant are salvageable and which must be replaced.

After a complete evaluation is done, we will help you clean your restaurant and get your restaurant operational again. Most times, kitchen equipment will need to be replaced. While it may be possible to repair some of your restaurant equipment and appliances, it’s often more efficient and affordable to replace equipment.

Restaurants are susceptible to fire damage. When a fire occurs, the building and everything in it is usually covered in soot and smoke. The restaurant will need to be fully cleaned from top to bottom in order to return it to its original state. Special chemicals will need to be used to clean the kitchen and cooking equipment, as well as appliances and counters. We provide complete restaurant fire damage restoration services.

We are trained professionals in the restoration industry. Our team is IICRC certified, which means we have specialized training from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration, Our team knows the best practices for water and fire restoration including carpet and upholstery cleaning, and cleaning counters and other surfaces in your restaurant. This means once we’ve done our job, you can bring back your customers and resume business as usual.

If you’re facing a restaurant disaster, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at (616) 662-9700. At SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we will get your restaurant up and running again, no matter what the problem is. Whether it's fire damage or water damage, we can get to business quickly and save your restaurant from becoming a nightmare.

SERVPRO of South and Northwest: Investing in local business

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Logos of Chambers Proud members of our local chambers in West Michigan

SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is investing in the communities and local businesses throughout our area.  We are proud active members of the Hudsonville Chamber of Commerce, Grandville Jenison Chamber of Commerce, Sparta Chamber of Commerce, Byron Center Chamber of Commerce, Wyoming Kentwood Chamber of Commerce, Caledonia Chamber of Commerce, Ada Business Association and the Gaines Township Chamber of Commerce.  It's a privilege to invest into local businesses and these chambers, to offer our water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, storm damage clean up services to the community and businesses.  Our team also sit on the Board of Directors, Ambassadors groups and event development teams on many of these chambers.  West Michigan and Grand Rapids is a great place to serve!  Follow our Facebook page to see what else is going on in our community.

Problems a Power Outage Can Cause in Your Home

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

A line worker in a lift repairs a wire after a power outage. When storms hit, manual fixes are usually the only option, and that takes time. A line worker repairs a wire after a power outage.

One thing we often take for granted is the electricity that powers everything in our home. But, when an extreme weather event occurs, you have to be prepared for power outages. A power outage can cause a myriad of problems in your home.

When a storm hits, it may cause trees to fall down, unusual wind, or other damage to your home. But most people don’t think about power outage problems that can occur when the electricity goes out and stays out for a long period‌.

When the power goes out, it can cause serious problems not just during the outage but when the power comes back on. For example, the food in the fridge may go bad. You will have no heat, no lights, and no way to cook meals. While this is inconvenient, when the power comes back on, you may have an even bigger problem than you’re prepared for. Here are a few reasons why.

Here are a couple of power outage problems that you might not expect.

A flooded basement

Aside from issues with your fridge, stove, and other electrical appliances not working during an outage, another important thing that doesn’t work during a power outage is your basement’s sump pump.

Sump pumps run on electricity. While your power is out, they stop working. This is not a big deal in short outages, but if it rains heavily and your sump pump isn’t working, you could end up with a lot of water in your basement. This can cause serious damage to your home. Any items that are stored in your basement may be destroyed, and the moisture can cause mold to grow even after the water has been cleaned up.

Unfortunately, sump pumps are one of those things that are easy to forget about. When you’re in the middle of a power outage, it may not even occur to check your basement for flooding. In addition to that, many people choose to stay in a hotel if their power stays out for more than a few hours. And, when they come back home they may come home to a big mess they weren’t prepared for.

Water pipes may freeze or burst

Burst pipes are an unfortunate problem during the winter months here in Michigan, and they can cause a lot of water damage to your home. This is especially true if a pipe bursts while you’re not home. When it’s cold, the heat from your home helps to keep your pipes from freezing. However, during a power outage, you lose heat, which can cause frozen pipes or a pipe that bursts.

A great preventative measure to keep them from freezing is to have a trickle of water running through the pipes. This will keep water slowly circulating through your pipes and keep them from freezing. You should also open cabinet doors to allow heat to circulate and prevent pipes from freezing.

What should you do if there is water damage after a power outage?

The first thing to do is to clean up as much of the water as you can by mopping and wiping up as much of the water as you. Move any items from your basement to a dry location if possible and then call for help.

Call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at (616) 662-9700. At SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we can help you after a disaster strikes. Whether it's water damage or storm damage, we can get to your home quickly. If you do notice mold, we can help with that too. We are specialists at mold and mildew remediation and much more.

Preventing Mold Growth in Your Attic

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Mold will almost always grow in areas where the conditions allow. This means in hot or humid areas like your attic, where it also has an abundance of wood sheathing as a food source. Attic mold can go for a long time being unnoticed. Removing that mold quickly becomes paramount. 

Many homeowners rarely go up to their attic, meaning that mold could be growing up, unseen for months or even years. What can also be frightening is that mold in the attic could suggest other areas in your home with high levels of moisture, and mold growth in more than one location. Mold can be a deal breaker if you are trying to sell your home.

Even if you cannot initially see the mold, you may notice some signs that it could be present. Just popping into your attic can give you an indication of mold if you find that it is hot and stuffy. That usually means that there is not enough air circulation or proper ventilation. You could also quickly notice the smell of mildew or see that there are dark stains on wood surfaces.

During the winter, if you spot frost building up on the underside of the roof, that shows that poor ventilation in the attic has allowed water vapor to freeze. That moisture will linger as the seasons change, again creating an ideal environment for mold growth.

Removing mold can be a hassle and costly experience, so the best thing you can do as a homeowner is take all the necessary steps to prevent mold from growing in the first place. The best thing you can do for your attic is to create a space that has proper airflow and ventilation to help remove moisture and discourage mold growth.

Your home may already have the right vents, but there could be a blockage. Inspect the soffit vents and the ridge vents that give air a clear path to flow through the attic. Exhaust fans also need to be in working condition, as they are there to help pump moisture out of your kitchen or bathroom. Insulation is another key component to fight mold growth, as the insulation prevents warmer air from entering cold attics, causing condensation and the buildup of moisture.

Mold can cause serious damage to your home. For mold prevention and removal, SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is here to help you recover as quickly as possible. For more information on removing mold from your home’s attic, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at (616) 662-9700. Our specialties include fire, water, and storm damage restoration for residential and commercial clients. We also do mold and mildew remediation and much more.

Deep Cleaning Your House to Prevent Disaster

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

No matter what the state of your house looks like, when you set out to clean up, you know you’re in for more work than you bargained for. Exceptional presentation standards are great if you’re having people over, transitioning from winter to spring, or staging your house for a sale, but your home being free of what lies beneath — mold, mildew, foundation, or wall damage, etc. is something else.

After all, people have expectations of walking into a clean house. One of the most effective things you can do is to remove clutter. Not only will this let you evaluate what needs to stay and what can go, but it helps you see into neglected spaces that cover damaged areas.

With the clutter out of the way, you can then inspect and clean spaces that need to be well organized. Deep cleaning can be more complex than the routine you are used to, and it is important to get your home in the best shape possible.

A deep clean creates the most appealing living space possible. There might be some things you can live with, such as smudges on the appliances or a tiny stain on the rug, but you should inspect further. What’s under the appliances? Are the gas lines secure? Are the floors stained beneath the carpet?

In the worst-case scenarios, a deep cleaning session will identify areas in need of professional help. There might be mold or another serious issue behind the walls, and a remediation team can assess the problem before guests come knocking.

SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids offers emergency fire, water, and storm damage restoration for residential and commercial clients. Call us at (616) 662-9700.

Investing in a Commercial Fire Suppression System

4/26/2022 (Permalink)

Fire suppression systems can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they are all designed for the same task. Quickly extinguishing a fire is essential to protect and save lives and property. Whereas most homes are equipped only with a smoke alarm, commercial fire protection involves much, much more. The method of fire detection and suppression will differ in each building, so it is important to learn about the types available.

To get started, you should know that there are two categories of fire alarms: automatic fire alarms and manual fire alarms. Every commercial building is required to have at least one fire alarm. An automatic fire alarm works when it detects heat or smoke, and once it does it will send an alert throughout the building to warn those inside. The typical manual fire alarm is the pull station on the wall, where the alarm requires an employee to pull the lever in order to alert the occupants. 

Buildings can be equipped with both automatic and manual fire alarms, but the types of suppression systems might vary. One of the most common systems is the commercial fire sprinkler system, which controls and extinguishes flames rapidly by discharging water when the fire’s heat is detected. These are found in commercial buildings like grocery stores, restaurants, retail chains, and distribution centers. 

There are a couple different types of sprinkler system, each with a slightly different function, but a similar purpose. A wet-pipe sprinkler system holds water constantly and is ready to spray at any time. Dry powder systems will fill with water only when the system is activated. Deluge systems keep the heads open at all times and will fill with water when activated. Pre-action systems require a supplemental fire detection system to avoid accidental discharge.

However, water and sprinkler systems may not always be the best option. Sprinkler systems should not be used where water cannot put out a fire, like in kitchens, or when water might cause irreparable damage to the building’s contents, like computer rooms or file storage. These areas need a non-water-based system.

Commercial fire suppression systems will suffocate a fire by using chemical, gaseous or foam agents, rather than using water. These systems typically cause minimal damage to expensive equipment, and will even stop chemical-based or grease fires quickly.  

To determine whether your commercial buildings need a sprinkler system or a fire suppression system, you need to know what it is inside your building and if a sprinkler system could be harmful in its own way. If you need to be able to protect computers, expensive equipment, important files, or irreplaceable items, it would be wise to install a fire suppression system over a sprinkler system. 

Regardless of the type of fire suppression system you choose for your commercial building, know that it is better than nothing at all. Commercial fire suppression systems are important to not only protect your property, but to also save lives.

For more information on commercial fire suppression systems, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at (616) 662-9700. Our specialties include fire, water, and storm damage restoration for residential and commercial clients. We also do mold and mildew remediation and much more.

Spring Cleaning Can Make Your Home Healtheir

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

When it comes to tidying up around the house, spring cleaning can be a time to really overhaul both inside and outside your home. This annual chore does more than just encourage you to declutter your house, but it gives you a chance to give your home better protection from the elements, as well as providing a boost to your indoor air quality.

The first item on your spring cleaning checklist is to fortify your home against April showers. Water damage is the biggest threat that your home will face between the melting snow and the heavy rains ahead. In order to make sure water stays out of your space, you need to make sure that it can properly and freely flow away from your home. This requires you to work both inside and outside.

Months ago, the leaves were falling from the trees. While you may have thought that raking them from the lawn was the only thing you had to do, you missed the leaves that did not make it all the way to the ground. Those leaves most likely ended up in your gutters, and if they are to remain there, you might be faced with an avoidable problem. When leaves and other debris clog the gutters, rain cannot drain away from the house properly, and can end up getting inside.

You need to check both the top and the bottom of the gutter system, ensuring that the downspouts are also free of clogs. Also important is to make sure that the downspouts are positioned to direct water away from your home’s foundation.

Not only do you want to keep the water out, but you want to keep allergens out of your home, too. A hardcore cleaning session is a good start to improving your home’s indoor air quality, but there are other steps you should take to maintain it. Proper ventilation is key for improving indoor air quality, especially when working with household cleaning products that contain volatile organic compounds. 

Prepare for the days ahead by changing your air filters. This should already be a routine task, as air filters also help keep your HVAC system running more efficiently. As for your indoor air quality, a new air filter is more capable of trapping allergens, preventing them from recirculating throughout the house.

Air purifiers are helpful tools for reducing pollutants, and an air purifier in the bedroom can even improve your sleep habits. These work great in living rooms, but if you want to protect the entire house, you can install a whole-home air purification system.

Lastly, controlling your home’s humidity will not only make it more comfortable as the temperatures climb higher, but will help prevent mold growth. Remember those tips for keeping water out of the home? If water finds its way inside, it creates an environment for mold growth to thrive.

Spring cleaning should be seen as more than just an annual chore. Use this time to build a strong routine of protecting your home from the elements, and keep your family safe. SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is here to help you recover as quickly as possible.

For more information on protecting your home from water damage, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at (616) 662-9700. Our specialties include fire, water, and storm damage restoration for residential and commercial clients. We also do mold and mildew remediation and much more.

Dealing With Trees Before and After a Storm

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

storm damaged trees Storm Damaged Trees

You know the phrase, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”? In a literal sense, that is especially true for trees. During harsh storms, trees take a massive hit, and extreme winds can topple trees, which then cause damage to your home and property. To better protect your home, you need to start by protecting your trees.

Tree damage can cost homeowners thousands of dollars, and insurance will likely cover only a fraction of that damage. Taking the first steps to preventing that damage involves understanding the types of trees that surround your house, and the reasons why they might fall.

Unfortunately, all trees have the potential to fall over. This may be caused by wind, snow or ice, or a combination of those factors. Taller trees are more likely to get thrown down by winds, as more force is applied to the trunk with the increase in height. Also, roots can extend more than two times the radius of the branches, and not all environments allow this type of growth or development.

Also, trees with visible signs of damage or decay are even more likely to fall. If there is a tree leaning on your property, have you been able to notice an increase in its lean recently? Perhaps there are cracks in the stem. Maybe the roots are showing signs of decay. Some species of mushroom growing in the soil near trees also might indicate signs of decay.

Addressing these issues, as well as others, will help keep your tree standing. Protecting your trees also means keeping them healthy. You can help strengthen your trees by providing them with enough water and fertilizer. This becomes even more effective when you start these routines while the tree is still young.

Seasonal maintenance to your trees is essential, from the bottom to the top. Ensuring that the roots system is protected means that the tree has a solid anchor to the ground. Avoid construction or excavation around the tree and laying mulch will also help preserve nutrients and discourage weed growth.

Trimming the tree and pruning damages will not hurt the tree if done properly. In fact, with the right care you will help the tree fare much better in storms. Removing dead or weak branches ultimately boosts the growth of the tree and helps strengthen its structure. When shaping the tree correctly, it becomes more resistant to all types of weather damage.

However, once a storm passes and leaves a trail of tree damage in its wake, you will need to know a couple cleanup tips to keep the damage from getting worse. The most important thing to know is that if a tree has caused damage to power lines, you need to leave it be. In these cases, rely on the professionals to assess the severity of the damage, and allow them to repair or remove branches that put power lines in jeopardy.

Injured trees may also require the work of climbing or a chainsaw. Again, these situations need to be handled by licensed arborists, who are tree care professionals with the experience needed to remove or repair a tree.

Finally, you need to know what type of insurance coverage you have for your property, for both your home and your car. Not all insurances cover the same things, and the compensation might be different based on each circumstance.

When it comes to cleaning up the aftermath of a heavy storm, SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is here to help you recover as quickly as possible. For more information on protecting your home from tree damage, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at (616) 662-9700. Our specialties include fire, water, and storm damage restoration for residential and commercial clients. We also do mold and mildew remediation and much more.

Prepare Your Home Before Heading Out of Town

4/1/2022 (Permalink)

preparing your home for vacation Mike Nitz with SERVPRO South and Northwest Grand Rapids.

VIDEO - How To Prepare Your Home Before Leaving on Vacation

Many people are heading out of town soon for spring break or vacation. Here are a few helpful tips we recommend you do before you leave. 

1. Leave a ‘lived in’ home. Set timers on lamps and place a hold on packages. 

2. Lock more than just the doors. Don't forget to lock all garage entry doors, back doors, and windows. Also, if you have any pet doors, cover them from the inside. 

3. Unplug all of your appliances. Mixers, coffee makers, other daily use countertop items. It's amazing how things can short out with minimal interference. 

4. Inform your most trusted neighbors. Let them know how long you’ll be away and ask them to check the house and maybe pull your mail. 

5. Contact the alarm company and let them know that you'll be gone. Activity from certain dates will be treated as legitimate. 

6. Remove outdoor spare or hidden keys. 

7. Turn off your water. Shutting the water off, whether it’s the main line, under the toilet or the kitchen sink, will mitigate water damage loss should disaster strike. 

If you do come home after a spring break and find a problem, our number is 616-662-9700. SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is locally owned and operated, and we are always glad to take care of you when the unexpected happens. 

Have a great vacation and stay safe!

How to Prepare for Snowmelt

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

water damage from snow melt Spring snow melt can cause water damage.

This recent Michigan winter has seen some interesting fluctuations in weather, both in terms of the temperature and the precipitation. Snowstorms have been followed by warmer, sunny days, which quickly eliminate the snow that had piled up. Then, it all happened again with another couple inches of snow falling just days later. Even though the weather may be a tad unpredictable, there are plenty of things you can do when it comes to snowmelt preparation and protecting your home.

Believe it or not, the earliest prep you can do for melting snow can come way before the first snowflakes drop. During the fall, you will want to be sure that your gutters are clean and clear from leaves and other debris. Melting snow can end up refreezing in the gutters, which can cause roof ice dams and damage your home.

Ice dams will form when the temperature in your attic or higher levels in the house are above freezing, and the snow on the roof melts and flows down the roof. Once the melted snow hits colder areas, like overhangs or gutters, it refreezes. Ice dams will cause water to pool, and if given enough time, that water can back up into your home through the roof shingles, leading to water damage to ceilings and walls.

Along with making sure your gutters are clear, preventing ice dams requires more snow removal and maintenance than normal. Keeping the amount of snow on your roof to a minimum can be tricky, but by using a roof rake, or a long-handled shovel, can pull heavy loads of snow off the roof. Inside your home, improving the insulation and ventilation in your attic can also help limit or prevent the occurrence of roof ice dams.

Throughout the winter, you will need to be ready to prepare both the inside and outside of your home. Michigan homeowners know the routine when it comes to clearing snow from their driveways and sidewalks, but the last thing you want to do is pile snow against the side of your home. As that snow melts, the water can go straight to the foundation.

Other areas that need to stay clear of snow include stairwells, window wells and egress exits. Drains near these areas also need to be kept clear so water can be redirected away from your home and not into the basement. Also, your sump pump discharge lines need to lead to a slope and not to an area where the water can accumulate and freeze.

Start with the sump pump when you do your indoor preparation, and perform any maintenance that it may require before a winter emergency can arrive. Next, as you inspect areas in the walls and flooring, repair any cracks and fill joints or other spaces before they can get worse. Any waterproofing that can be done should be done.

Lastly, as the temperatures steadily get higher and we move into spring, you will want to do an inspection of those areas that could have been affected by the snow melt. The gutters are the most likely victims to have been hurt by snow and ice, and repairs to the gutters should happen before the rain comes. Your landscaping also may need to be refreshed, and fixes to the grading should be done to help direct water away from your home.

No matter what you might be facing this season, SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is here to help you recover as quickly as possible. For more information on protecting your home from melting snow, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at (616) 662-9700. Our specialties include fire, water, and storm damage restoration for residential and commercial clients. We also do mold and mildew remediation and much more.