Recent Posts

Storm-Proofing Your Basement

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

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

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

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 Northwest/South 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

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Basement bedroom with bed reflected kin standing water. 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
    • Storm sewer backup
    • Sanitary sewer backup
    • Foundation drainage failure
    • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
    • And many more

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

Basement Flooded? Call SERVPRO® of South and Northwest Grand Rapids Today – We’re Ready To Help 616-662-9700

Preventing Fires From Space Heaters

12/17/2019 (Permalink)

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!

For Fast Service, call SERVPRO!

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Two pickup trucks towing targe equipment Emergency services of any size are no problem for #SERVPRO. We have the right equipment for any size #waterdamage or #firedamage.

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 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 616-662-9700

Residential Services

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

Commercial 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

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

Faster Response

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

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

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

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

How To Prepare Your Home For Freezing Temperatures

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Preparing Your Yard/Property For Storm Damage

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

Water Damage Recovery Tips For Your Hardwood Floors

10/22/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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