Recent Posts

How Long Does It Take For Mold To Grow After Water Damage?

9/22/2020 (Permalink)

You may have experienced a flooding event in the past due to bad weather or equipment failure of some kind. There are many issues that can result from this kind of damage that can last well into the future if the cleanup is not done correctly. 

All belongings must be thoroughly dried and restored. This will often require the assistance of a professional cleanup and restoration company. Here at SERVPRO, we are experienced in assisting our customers with situations of this kind. We can help to recover your possessions if they have been damaged by water. This includes furniture, technological equipment, and even documents. 

Another concern is mold, of course. After a flooding event, mold can establish a colony in the darkest, damp corners before you even know it has happened. If you don’t know much about mold, you may be asking yourself how long it takes for mold to grow after water damage. The answer? Not very long at all. 

After a flood in your home or business, a mold colony can establish itself within 24 to 48 hours, and once a colony has been established, it can never be completely eradicated. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to make sure your premises are dried and restored completely as soon as possible after a flooding event.

Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we care about you, your family, and your business. When the worst happens, we can be there right away to handle any kind of disaster you may have experienced. Mold prevention/remediation is one of our specialities, and we handle water damage and fire damage, as well. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!

Fire Prevention In Your Commercial Kitchen

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

As the owner or manager of a restaurant and commercial kitchen, you know that fire is one of the worst things imaginable. It will greatly endanger the lives of your staff and your guests and destroy your property, putting you out of business for who knows how long. 

Here are some essential fire damage prevention tips for your commercial kitchen:

Faulty cooking equipment is often responsible for restaurant building fires. All your equipment must be maintained in top condition, from ovens to fryers, and your staff should be following established cleaning practices daily, and to the letter, so that everything is in the best shape possible. Regular professional inspections will also ensure that repairs are made before a fire event takes place. 

Grease buildup in stove-hoods and grease traps can be a dangerous thing in your commercial kitchen. These equipment components operate under high heat constantly, so they can easily become a fire hazard; kitchen ductwork is at risk, as well. Contact an experienced cleaning and restoration professional to address these issues and help you to maintain healthy indoor air quality. 

A critical component of your commercial kitchen fire safety is your fire sprinkler system. Have  them regularly inspected as a best safety practice in preventing fire damage; corrosion will definitely affect their performance. 

If you don’t know how old your kitchen UL suppression system is, make sure you verify that information during your next inspection. You may want to consider an upgrade to UL 300 compliance to help support your commercial kitchen’s safety. 

The very best equipment and the most top quality maintenance can never completely prevent restaurant fires, and the most effective weapon in your arsenal is going to be your employees. Train them to always be ready for restaurant fire emergencies through monthly meetings and drills, and always encourage their input when addressing safety issues. Make sure everyone that is comfortable with fire extinguishers knows how to use them, and ensure that everyone knows how to safely evacuate your building. 

Getting you back to business soon is our primary focus. We are always ready here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, so call us if you experience fire damage, water damage, or mold issues. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too. 

Maintaining Your HVAC This Summer

8/25/2020 (Permalink)

HVAC maintenance will help your air conditioner perform at its best throughout the warmest season. Scheduling a preventative maintenance tune-up at the beginning of every change in weather will help to alleviate wear and tear and other issues that hinder the performance of your system performance.  It is recommended that you have your HVAC serviced every year, before the hotter summer months set in. 

In the middle of the summer, there are some steps you can take to maintain your HVAC, as well:

Air Filter

Check your air filter; during heavy use, your filter should be inspected every month to make sure it hasn’t gotten full of contaminants. It may need to be replaced even sooner than the recommended 3-month mark during times when use is heavy, so make sure you have the proper replacement handy. 

Air Grilles

Look over all registers and air return grilles in your home or business to make sure they haven’t become blocked or shut; this will restrict the airflow throughout your HVAC systems and this will negatively affect its performance, possibly even causing overheating.


Keep all carpets, rugs, and furniture away from vents. Take steps to ensure that vent louvers are open in the appropriate rooms; if you do decide to shut off cooling to unused areas of your home or building, never close more than 20 percent of the structure’s HVAC vents. When you find that you have several unused areas that you don’t need to cool, consider investing in a zoning system that will allow you to reduce energy waste while facilitating your HVAC system performance. 


Inspect your cooling equipment outside. Remove grass clippings and other debris that may have collected on the unit, and trim vegetation that has grown up around it. Make sure the area around your HVAC is not used for storage of outdoor furniture and other items.


Ensure that the drip pan and the condensate drain lines are clear. If these components of your HVAC system become clogged with mold or algae, condensation will not exit your home or business premises, and that can cause the cooling system to malfunction or water to back up indoors, causing water damage. Clear any clogs within the drip pan or condensate drain lines as soon as you find them, and be sure to turn off power to the system for safety before doing so. You can use a wet/dry vacuum to remove water from the drip pan or use rags to soak it up, and then follow this with cleaning the drip pan using a mild soap. 

Whenever you need help with HVAC maintenance, or if your home or business has experienced fire damage, water damage, or a mold infestation, remember that your friends here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids are here to get you back to normal right away. We are able to get your premises Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned anytime!

Preventing Flooding In Your Basement

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

The best way to prevent water damage in your basement is to stay aware of the condition of this low-lying area in your home. You will want to make sure you take a look around and check for signs of potential issues regularly, and most especially after wet weather. Damage to the basement and foundation areas of a home are extremely important to repair as soon as possible in order to avoid larger structural and property damages in the future, and taking the steps to prevent flooding in the first place is imperative, and here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we have some tips to help.

Here are some things to look for:

  • Changes in the color or texture of surfaces. In a finished basement, wallpaper or paint might be peeling away or appear discolored; look for bowing in the walls, which can be a result of long-term seepage. When the basement is unfinished, you will want to keep an eye out for a white, salty substance known as “efflorescence”, which appears on foundational walls. This will tell you how high water has risen. If the basement flooring is swollen or removed from the subfloor, that is another indicator of water damages.
  • Cracking can occur in the foundation and/or the floor, and it is often due to water damage. Look for cracks in window seals and door panes, as well, and if you see anything that needs attention, don’t wait for the flooding to happen to get this taken care of! 
  • Odors are an indicator that there is an excess water problem. Oftentimes, it’s mold or mildew that causes those smells, which means you have water damage on your hands, so any preventive measures you take are going to definitely keep your space and belongings safe from this flooding side-effect.
  • Keep drainage areas well-maintained in expectation of summer storms. Directing water away from your buildings will stop any problems before they even start!

Whether you have found that you have water damage or you see that you need to take some preventive measures ahead of wetter weather, it’s time to call a professional general contractor. These companies are experienced and trained to repair and renovate spaces that have extensive damage from excess water due to leaky pipes, flooding, etc. 

Our team here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is the team to call if you need help in taking steps to prevent flooding in your basement, as well as for cleanups after water damage or fire damage, whether small or large. We are also mold-remediation experts, restoration specialists, and skilled in large scale commercial cleaning projects, and more.

What To Do In Case Of A Water Leak In Your Bathroom

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

A leak in the bathroom can happen quietly, over time, or they can show up suddenly with no warning. Either way, these leaks can cause a lot of water damage to any home or business owner. You will want to determine where the leak is coming from right away so that you can prevent as much damage as possible, and here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we have some tips for you.

Today we are sharing some things you can do in case of a water leak in your bathroom:

The first step is to find the bathroom leak, so you will need to inspect your bathroom for those telltale signs. Check the areas around your tub, the tub drain and overflow, your shower door, and the toilet. Inspect all drywall for water damage, looking for buckling, discoloration, and warping. Pay attention to any unpleasant odors; this can mean that you will also need to handle a mold infestation. 

If you find signs of water leaking from the base of either your tub or toilet, you can use a utility knife or grout saw to scratch out old grout and add new caulking from the joint between the floor and the tub or toilet. You will also want to apply a bead of clear silicone caulk to the joint between the floor and the affected fixture.

If you discover that your shower is the source of the trouble, take steps to determine exactly where the issue is coming from. It’s not uncommon to find that the seal at the base of the shower door needs to be replaced. That’s an easy fix, and you should be able do it yourself with no trouble. If your shower is older and needs to be replaced, call the professionals and get that taken care of. 

We don’t often look under our sinks to check on the condition of the plumbing, and it can sometimes turn out that there is an issue developing. One telltale sign is corrosion on pipes, while puddles and warped cabinet bases are another. Determine where the water is coming from, and then decide if this is a do-it-yourself project or if it might be time to call in the professionals.

Whether your water damage is minor or major, the team here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is happy to help. We handle fire damage, water damage, and restoration projects of all sizes. We’re experts in the areas of mold prevention and remediation, as well.

SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids Offers Commercial Cleaning Services

7/14/2020 (Permalink)

Taking your business to the next level will require you to create a fantastic first impression, and keeping your building clean is the absolute best thing that you can do. Consider the points below to learn why working with SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids for your commercial cleaning decision is going to be a smart one; there are a number of benefits you will enjoy when you decide to hire us to make your space Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Quality Work. You will get the highest quality of cleaning possible because we use commercial-grade cleaning products which will make your floors shine, your carpets fresh, and your surfaces gleam. We maintain high-quality training standards for all our team members, so each and every person who works with us is equipped to complete your commercial cleaning to the highest level of quality possible. Our machinery is top-level, as well, so that we can provide you with all the cleaning solutions and services that you might need, no matter what kind of business you operate. 

Time Saved. By working with SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids to clean your commercial enterprise, you will give yourself the opportunity to have peace of mind every time that you enter your office, and you will save time, too. Cleaning any business is a big job, and as a business owner, your time is always precious. Letting us help you here will enable you to keep doing what you do best. 

Great Customer Service. In terms of customer service, what our company provides is unparalleled in the industry. Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we only staff the best professionals around, and we are ready to provide cleaning services for you on a one-time or on a regular basis, depending on whatever your needs may be. 

Regular Services. We can schedule commercial cleaning services for you that are formulated precisely to provide you the cleaning services that you need, and our services can be customized to handle any unforeseen situations such as damage or accidents. Our team members will customize the services that you need on an individual basis.

We are available 24/7 to handle all of your commercial needs, whether it is large-scale cleanup, a small restoration project, or help to handle water damage, fire damage, or mold remediation. Contact us here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids and let’s get started on making your space Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!

Fireworks Safety

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Everyone loves the Fourth of July, and there are so many different reasons to love this holiday: the fireworks, the food and drink, the friends, the fun, and the celebration of our freedom as Americans. This year will be even more special as we move into the months following a tough time for our country, too. 

Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we want to make sure that you enjoy your Independence Day festivities to the fullest, so we wanted to take this opportunity to share some safety tips with you to help ensure you and your loved ones are safe during all the fun.

Here are some best practices for your fireworks safety:

  • Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  • Read the cautionary labels on all your fireworks, and make sure you understand all the performance descriptions before igniting.
  • A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities, and he or she should make sure no one gives fireworks to children.
  • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix, so please save your alcohol for after the show.
  • Wear safety glasses when shooting off your fireworks.
  • Light only one firework at a time and then quickly move away from them. 
  • Use fireworks outside in a clear area and far away from buildings and vehicles.
  • Always have a bucket of water or properly functioning water hose nearby during the time that you are firing off your fireworks.
  • Never relight a firework that didn’t fire properly, and wait for about 20 minutes for it to cool off, then soak in your bucket of water.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into any containers made of metal or glass; they could explode and send dangerous shards into your audience. 
  • Never experiment with homemade fireworks.
  • Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and placing them a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  • FAA regulations prohibit the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage, so don’t try to fly with them.
  • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.

It’s important that you and all your loved ones are safe while you are having fun. If you do experience a fire, call us here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids for help with any damage that may occur. We also handle water damage, large and small-scale cleanup, and mold prevention/remediation.  We are your go-to restoration resource.

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide - Smoke and Soot

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Soot covered wall, including heating vent The fire itself remained primarily in the basement, however it is easy to see how smoke and soot will find the path of least resistance to spread

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can affect areas within your home or business that you never imagined would be affected, causing hidden damage and odor. Our extensive knowledge of smoke damage allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Here are the facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • Smoke can make its way into a closed drawer in a room with a closed door on the other side of a home.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. 

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Every fire and associated soot situation is different; each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to address your fire and smoke damage to effectively restore you home or business.  Our trained crews will treat you with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 616-662-9700

Commercial Business Ready

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO service van inside a factory This facility, and its loss, was large enough that we drove our vehicles inside the building to address the situation.

Businesses in the Grand Rapids, MI area have unique needs. Some industries have significant restrictions on what products can be used for cleanup, while others are simply very large and may require significant manpower to help them with a loss that is too large for their in house team to handle. Where can they turn? SERVPRO!

SERVPRO has a national network of locations that is unparalleled. Whether a natural disaster strikes a community or a large commercial facility/complex experiences a major loss of magnificent proportion, SERVPRO has it covered. Teams across the United States go through the same corporate training, use the same type of equipment and are familiar with the same processes that are scientifically engineered to provide significant results in a short amount of time. When a loss occurs that is too large for a single location, a command center is established and crews from every part of the country unit as one, cohesive team to form the largest restoration force available. 

With SERVPRO's scalability, combined with the vast array of proprietary cleaning solutions designed to address every industry from food handling facilities to tool and die, the choice is clear; businesses that need restoration, need SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids.

Odor Removal In Your Apartment Complex

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

As the owner of an apartment complex, you are very familiar with the unpleasant existence of odor issues. It’s just reality that there are bound to be situations that arise to create unpleasant, and sometimes overpowering, odors when large numbers of people are living in close proximity to one another. There are lots of reasons issues of this kind arise; keep in mind that if it is a serious situation, your friends here at SERVPRO are here to help, 24/7.

Bad odors can often be dealt with by simply opening doors and windows to air out the units when those odors are caused by unpleasant cooking smells. If a tenant has had a leak or small flood in their unit and their wet carpeting is emitting an unpleasant smell, the carpet should be professionally dried and cleaned. It could require the removal and replacement of the carpeting after more extensive flooding, however - and this might inspire you to renovate the flooring in your units to faux wood or linoleum! Whatever you decide, you’ll need to get carpeting completely and thoroughly dried as soon as possible, because mold may very well appear in a damp environment.  

Sometimes an odor event is serious, and you know it is going to require professional help;  that’s where SERVPRO comes in. We are experts in deodorization, and our team receives technical training that is specifically designed to enable them to quickly identify and eliminate offensive odors by determining the conditions that are causing the issue. Many times, the problem can be removed without a trace. Our highly-trained team members are also very aware that simply masking odors or using shortcuts is not going to be sufficient when it comes to handling a serious and persistent problem.

The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be complex, so give us a call here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids and let us handle it for you. We are experts when it comes to mold prevention and remediation and damage from fire or water, as well, and we’re proud to serve the homeowners and entrepreneurs of the Grand Rapids area.