Cleaning Up After Smoke Damage
Fire and the accompanying smoke and soot affects everything in your home or business and will include the structure itself, equipment, and belongings. After a fire, contacting a cleaning professional may be the best decision you can make. You will need the assistance of professionals who have the expertise and equipment necessary to get your work or personal space back to normal as soon as possible.
Inhaling smoke, even for a short time, can have an immediate negative effect on anyone, so avoiding a smoky situation is vital. You will want to avoid entering your home or business until all the smoke is cleared from your premises. Hiring a professional fire and smoke damage restoration contractor will ensure that you experience a speedy and expedient return to normalcy.
SERVPRO specializes in restoring the contents of a home or business that have suffered from fire damage or water damage. They will assess all your belongings carefully to determine what items can be restored to their “pre-fire” condition. A professional cleaning company will use several methods to restore your property to its original condition, such as;
- Foam cleaning: used for upholstery, since it can shrink or bleed when water is used.
- Dry cleaning: used to clean light residue.
- Wet cleaning: a very effective cleaning method used to remove moderate to heavy residues.
- Immersion cleaning: items are dipped into a bath of cleaning products.
Electronics that have been damaged by fire and smoke often present a serious hazard. To maintain safety, never attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that could possibly have been affected. Smoke residue contains acids that corrode metal and that can cause electronic failure in a device. Items that you should be careful of are:
- CD and DVD Players
SERVPRO technicians are experienced in document and photograph restoration and can help in the event that your important records or personal keepsakes have been damaged during a fire.
If the damage to your home or business is such that it will need extensive restoration or cleaning, SERVPRO can organize an efficient move-out process of the affected areas. Removing your items from the area will aid in a quicker remodeling process and will protect your items from any further potential damage. After the restoration is complete, move-in can be coordinated easily.
If your home or business has suffered damage from fire, water, or mold, the members of the team here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids are fire and water damage experts, and we maintain the training and equipment necessary to help our customers get back to normal after a fire event as soon as possible.
Creating An Exit Strategy For Your Commercial Building
You know that anything can happen during the course of even the most normal business day so it’s a smart move to be ready for whatever you might face. Your commercial property is an important investment, not only to you, but also to the people who work there, and as a smart business person, you want to protect that investment and the well-being of all involved.
Having an exit strategy in place is a basic requirement for guarding lives and keeping people safe. As you are creating your exit strategy, think about the types of disasters that are most common to your area, as well as those that are not common or weather-related, such as human threat or fire.
Six important points to consider first are:
- How will tenants and workforce members receive emergency alerts or warnings? An alarm system within the building might work best if your commercial building is composed of large shops or warehouses. If your property is an office, then perhaps a phone tree to contact each department or office individually would work best.
- What kind of shelters are available onsite for people? For areas that experience tornadoes, for example, an area on the lowest floor or below ground that is constructed to withstand the highest wind forces will be necessary.
- What are the evacuation routes in your commercial building? Ensure that a map is posted in all public areas. It needs to be clear and labeled properly so that anyone can reference it and easily know where to go.
- What is the communication plan? During the event and afterward, you will need to be able to communicate with your tenants so that they are updated concerning the state of your building. Your business will be discontinued so that the emergency can be handled, and they will want to know when it is safe and when they can exit shelters or re-enter the building and get back to work. Create a strategy where you can communicate with everyone in a timely and efficient way to prevent misinformation and confusion. Text messages could be the best course here, for example.
- Take special situations into consideration. It is a requirement that any exit strategy is tailored to individuals with any special needs, and you will want to think about older people and those that are impaired visually or in their hearing. Designating areas to gather ahead of time for having volunteers in place that can manage and oversee these situations will be helpful. If your commercial business houses sensitive equipment or machinery that is designed to save lives, this will need to be taken into consideration when dealing with emergency evacuation, as well.
- Create a complete guide for all tenants and members of the workforce who use your commercial building, outlining the information discussed above and including all templates, maps, and contact information, and place it online for easy access to all.
SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help in the event of any emergency or accident. We specialize in water and fire damage clean-ups no matter the size.
Mold Prevention Tips This Winter
Kicking up the heater in the coming colder months will keep you cozy and warm. Unfortunately, it also creates the perfect environment for a colony of mold. These infestations are both unsightly and unhealthy and can make life truly miserable for those who have an allergic reaction. A mold colony can also spread quickly and secretly within your walls, compromising their integrity and strength.
Mold and its cousin, mildew, are both unpleasant and undesirable, with recognizable differences. Mildew has a flat surface and will appear powdery; it begins growing with white coloration and generally becomes yellow, brown, or black over time. Mold can be a wide range of colors and will have a fluffy appearance. The spores for both are everywhere, even in the air we breathe, and their risk increases when winter arrives due to the warmth of indoor temperatures in comparison to the outdoors.
Their growth can be prevented, however. Here are some tips for mold prevention this winter:
- Don’t Feed It. Mold and mildew feed on any organic material. Old bread, the rug on your kitchen floor, or wooden cupboards - it’s all a smorgasbord for these organisms. Make sure surfaces are kept clean and dry and don’t allow food to sit out and become moist and warm.
- Keep Things Dry. Moisture condenses when it comes into contact with a colder area, so you will most likely see mold or mildew on tile grout, windowsills, and baseboards during the colder months.
- Be Vigilant. Once a colony establishes itself, it cannot ever be completely eradicated. Once the moisture, warmth, and food it needs are reintroduced it will simply start to grow again.
- Look For Leaks. Improperly sealed windows, exterior doorways, skylights, and indoor plumbing will attract mold colonies.
- Exhaust Fans. Keeping the air dry in kitchens, laundries, and bathrooms will help prevent mold this winter. Running these fans during times when the air is moist will do wonders. You can also use dehumidifiers in your home to prevent mold from establishing itself. Follow the established recommendations for keeping your home at the proper level of humidity for this purpose.
SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help if you experience a mold or mildew invasion this winter. Call us for more prevention tips or for mold remediation. We are experts in this area!
Storm-Proofing Your Basement
Water-proofing your basement will be the best way to storm-proof it, since most storms involve lots of water. You will be able to avoid a wet basement that encourages mold growth, which is another nightmare you don’t need. During a storm, water can leak through roofs and pipes and affect foundations, too, and flooded foundations will almost inevitably affect your basement.
Here are a few ways you can both water- and storm-proof your basement:
If you experience flooding or wet conditions after a heavy storm, your trouble can almost certainly be traced to your drainage conditions around the outside of your home. If too much water has collected around the foundation in the soil it will leak into your basement through the walls. The solution here will be to improve your drainage conditions ahead of more storms.
- Roof Drainage. This is the number one cause of basement leakage. Make sure your gutters have at least one downspout for every 600 to 800 square feet of roof surface for proper drainage. Keep them clean so that water doesn’t collect and overflow down to your foundations. Ensure that the ends of the downspouts are extended so that they direct water at least 4 to 6 feet away from the foundation, protecting your basement from storm damage. If your local building laws permit you to, you can direct this water into the street or another low-lying area.
- Sloping Soil. The angle of your soil around your home’s foundation can also cause wet basement issues after a storm. Your soil should slope away from the home to keep rainfall from collecting there. If your grading needs improvement, use clean fill dirt to build up soil around your house, and tamp it down to the correct slope. Finish with a topsoil layer and grass seed to prevent erosion, further storm-proofing your basement.
- Landscaping. Avoid landscaping that holds soil close to the house. It may look great but those brick or stone edgings can prevent water from draining away and increase your basement flooding risk.
These water- and storm-proofing measures will help prevent many of your wet basement situations, keeping you safe from all the unpleasant side effects of damp. If you experience a large flooding event or need help drying out a wet basement after a storm, the team here at SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids is ready to help at a moment’s notice. We are mold remediation experts, too!
Preventing Water Damage In Your Apartment Complex
As we head into a season of wetter weather, now is a great time to think ahead concerning ways you can prevent damage from water in your apartment complex. From rain gutters that need attention to burst pipes from freezing temperatures, you can run into a lot of issues in the coming months that could have been prevented.
Here are some tips that could save you time and money spent on water damage:
- Keep Residents Informed. Update your residents on how to handle freezing temperatures. Many of your residents have moved from warmer climates and have no idea that this is an issue. They will need help in taking steps to avoid a water disaster from burst pipes. Use flyers and your website to keep everyone up to speed.
- See Something, Say Something. Make sure your residents know who to contact if they see a potential or actual problem. If your complex is really large, you could even offer prizes or discounts for those who identify an issue that is resolved before it becomes a real disaster. Ask for information about such things as loose or missing rain gutters, crumbling walkways from flooding, leaking pipes or water heaters inside units, or irrigation that is not in good repair.
- Inspections. Keep on top of potential issues by inspecting areas in your complex that could develop problems quickly, such as the pool area, laundry areas, and irrigation lines. Some complexes offer car washes, so if yours does, that’s another place to keep an eye on. Sprinkler heads can get broken off and spew water in places that aren’t supposed to get wet, hoses crack and lose water, and pools can develop leaks in their finish. All these issues can be prevented by being vigilant, saving you both time and money.
The team here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is ready to help with any size disaster caused by flooding or other water-related issues. When it comes to disaster recovery, we can be there right away to get your apartment complex back to normal. We are fire and water damage specialists, and mold remediation experts, as well.
SERVPRO - The Flooded Basement Experts
Flooded Basements can turn into serious water damage if not addressed quickly.
A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Grand Rapids basement could flood, including:
- A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
- Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
- Foundation drainage failure
- Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
Customer Testimonial - Joyce G "Our basement flooded due to septic pump failure and SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids responded to my call with-in 15 minutes with a team of Professionally Trained technicians. They handled all of our furniture and belongings with extreme care. It was a real blessing to have them in my home to relieve the stress of the situation and to have everything cleaned beyond my expectations."
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - 616-662-9700
If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait the worse the problem will get.
Here is the bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.
We are Flooded Basement Specialists:
- We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
- We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
- We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
- Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
- We use IICRC Restoration Standards
- Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment
Preventing Fires From Space Heaters
Almost half of all fires in homes across the country are caused by the use of space heaters, and an even larger amount of associated deaths from those fires happened because those space heaters weren’t handled correctly. This data is related to the misuse of electric space heaters, specifically; these heaters don’t use fuel so they aren’t vented to the outside of the home. Their proper use is important to keep you and your family safe. With that in mind, we are going to share some tips today that will prevent fires caused by the use of space heaters:
- Be Informed. Read your manufacturer’s information when you first purchase your space heater and make sure you understand how the heater works. Go over the warnings with your family so that everyone knows how to use the unit properly. Make sure the space heater is labeled by an approved entity.
- Be Aware. Your space heater is only intended for use in providing your home with supplemental heat and not as the primary source of heat for any part of the home. They must be kept at least three feet away from other objects. Data shows that this one issue is the main cause of many of the fires we talked about earlier!
- Be Careful. Never leave a space heater unattended - turn off the heat if you are leaving the area, and don’t leave children or pets alone with the unit. Make sure your smoke alarms are installed and working correctly and keep combustible materials away from your heater. The unit should only be placed on a flat floor rather than carpet, furniture, or tables, and away from foot traffic. Plug your space heater directly into the wall, not by an extension cord.
- Be Smart. Don’t use a space heater in damp or wet areas, such as your bathroom or kitchen. You may be able to purchase a safety plug for this purpose from some manufacturers.
- Be Proactive. Inspect your power cord often, looking for frayed insulation or exposed wires. Also, make sure your plug is in good condition. You might want to purchase a heater with a built-in heat sensor that will turn your unit off if it gets too hot.
Here at SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids, we care about you and your family’s safety. We can be there to help with any size disaster right away, and we are experts in fire damage, as well as damage from flooding. If you experience a fire event, call us right away!
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SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in the Grand Rapids area. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
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Whether your Grand Rapids home needs emergency flood damage or you have mold that needs to be addressed, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive remediation and restoration training and can make your property look and be its best. Learn more about our residential services:
- Water Damage Restoration
- Fire Damage Restoration
- Mold Remediation
- Storm Damage Restoration
- Building/Reconstruction Services
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Southwest Grand Rapids commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
What To Do When A Pipe Bursts In Your Commercial Building
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!
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.
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