Recent Posts

Your Commercial Water Loss Solution

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

Local factory floor, flooded with water This water loss needed to be addressed quickly to allow production to resume.

Commercial flooding and water damage events at properties in the Grand Rapids, MI are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. Additionally, fast service is crucial as a matter of employee and client safety. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be onsite quickly with the help you need.

About your local SERVPRO 

SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Storms Come Unexpectedly; prepare now

5/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Jeep in a flooded street Most of the streets in this town were completely flooded. SERVPRO answered the call for help.

The dam failures not too far from us in Grand Rapids, MI serve as a harsh reminder that nature is an unpredictable force to be reckoned with. Tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities are more examples that affect millions of people for days at a time.

Now is the time to think about the basics, things you will need in advance of an emergency: how you will communicate, what supplies you will need to keep in your home, car or office. Use the list provided here to build an emergency supply kit to ensure your family is equipped and ready for any type of disaster.

The more you know about what to do in an emergency, the more confident and secure you will feel in your abilities to manage through a disaster.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.

Build An Emergency Supply Kit:

  • Water, gallon per person per day
  • Food, non-perishable 3-day supply
  • Manual can opener             
  • Battery operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help    
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities, if necessary
  • Dust masks or bandannas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags and duct tape
  • Local maps        
  • Hygiene items
  • Clothing
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof container
  • Cash
  • Important documents such as:
    • Copies of insurance
    • Policies, identification and
    • Bank account information

Contact your local professionals at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids  for more information and tools to help you be “Ready for whatever happens.”

How To Reduce Fire Hazards As We Head Into Summer

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

As we head into the summer season, we want to talk about possible fire hazards that you may face during the warmer months. You’ll be outdoors more often, and between all the cookouts and the heavier use of your HVAC system, in addition to using your landscaping machinery, your home and business property are both at a higher risk for damage from fires. 

Here are a few tips to help you reduce fire hazards in the months to come:

  • Care For Your HVAC. Dust can settle on electrical components of these units, and this can cause tracking faults which may lead to a fire. Keeping your HVAC clean from dusty conditions is one way to prevent a fire as we head into summer. Having it inspected by a professional to ensure that all moving parts and wiring are in good working order is also a good idea. 
  • Clean Exhaust Fans. Clean out exhaust fans regularly and take all debris out of the vents. Try to avoid running these fans for long periods of time on a consistent basis, as well, to avoid burning out moving parts. 
  • Service You Lawn Mower. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance and care schedule on your mowing equipment, and remember to remove debris and grass clippings from the cutting units, mufflers, and engines on a routine basis. Also, remember to never refuel your mower when it is overheated. 
  • Store Fuel Properly. You will be using fuel for mowers and grills during the warmer months and may have to store propane or gasoline. The risk from fire is heightened by high ambient temperatures and relief valves that open at pressures that are too low. Always store your gas cylinders upright and always out of doors. 
  • Be Safe While Grilling. Make sure your grill is stored away from your buildings, as well as overhanging branches. Always maintain a safe zone of at least three feet around the grill, and regularly remove any grease or gas buildup from the grills and trays. Never leave your grill unattended under any circumstances. 
  • Perform Alarm Audits. Fire prevention should always include fire alarm tests. Be sure to replace any old or burned out batteries regularly.

Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we care about your safety and the safety of those you love. If you have experienced damages from a fire, or from water or flooding, we’re here to help and can be there right away! We are experts in cleanups from all kinds of disasters, both large and small, and we are mold prevention and remediation specialists, too.

What To Do If Your Sprinkler System Goes Off

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

The overhead sprinkler system in your home or business is there to keep occupants safe from injuries during a fire. However, when they do go off, there is going to be a mess to clean up, which is usually time-consuming and labor-intensive. You know that it is important to handle any sort of water issues immediately in order to avoid the costly problems that can arise from your damp property, such as mold and mildew. Today we wanted to share a few tips to help make cleanup a bit easier. 

  • Prompt Assistance. Prompt professional assistance following a sprinkler discharge could be vital in saving your property and your belongings from permanent damage. Your actions in the first 24-48 hours can save you significant time and money and eliminate subsequent mold growth. 
  • Professional Followup. Professional followup will also be a big help when it comes to odors, and professionals can accurately evaluate the water damage and potential for mold growth in hidden areas, as well as ensure that any affected building materials are dry prior to work area rebuilding. We recommend that you hire an independent water damage and mold remediation expert to represent you during planning, response, and closeout, and work together with your insurance carrier. 
  • Piping. Water within the sprinkler system is stagnant and non-potable, and the water picks up and absorbs oils and other contaminants within the piping, resulting in discoloration and odors from sediments. Cleanup actions typically not only involve moisture remediation but also involve surface cleaning from these types of stains as well as additional measures to alleviate odors. 
  • Prompt Action. Prompt action in cleaning will be essential when it comes to fabric and textile items that have been affected to minimize permanent staining and damage.
  • Prevention. Keep in mind that any intense heat will cause your sprinklers to discharge, and the sprinkler heads contain a temperature-sensitive mechanism that can only be activated when the temperature at the sprinkler head exceeds the allowable range, so make sure to be careful with heating. You will also want to make sure that your family or other occupants know never to hang items from the sprinkler heads, as this can damage them, as well as cause them to go off unexpectedly. 

If your home or business has been affected by water damage, whether from an overhead sprinkler system, flooding, or leaks both large and small, here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids we are ready to help. We are also mold prevention and remediation specialists!

Steps To Take After A Flood In Your Apartment Complex

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

If your apartment complex experiences a flood, the damage from that flooding can have serious consequences. It can make affected units impossible to live in and possibly ruin the personal property of your residents permanently. Even the smallest of floods can have long-lasting consequences. 

Here are some important steps for you to take if your apartment complex floods:

  • Safety should always be the very first consideration in any emergency situation. Even the most minor flooding event can create unsafe conditions, such as washing out walkways or causing potholes in the parking lot, so you will want to inspect your grounds thoroughly to identify any unsafe situations that have become an issue, and then take the necessary steps to restrict people from going near them. Log these observations by taking pictures and videos, as well. 
  • Visit each and every affected unit to ascertain what damage has been experienced, and pay special attention to the presence of mold. Wet surfaces and damp environments are the perfect conditions for mold, and a colony can further damage the apartment and create substantial health hazards.
  • You will be responsible for the repair of the damage, but be aware of your tenants’ rights, as well. Always do the right thing, keeping in mind that this is actually great advertising. Some of your residents may be under the impression that the owner is liable for the replacement of personal property in every case, so make sure you know the laws. The principles that support basic tenants’ rights are the same throughout the U.S., while each state will vary in detail. You or your residents can consult the local housing authority or a tenants’ rights organization for clarification if needed. 
  • If a resident has to leave their unit due to severe water damage, they may not be required to pay rent for that particular month, nor until their apartment is completely repaired, depending on state law. If the apartment is totally destroyed, they may be able to lawfully request to cancel their lease. 
  • After you have ensured that the safety of all involved is secured and ascertained which repairs need to be made, call in a professional repair company with the expertise and equipment needed to get you back to normal as soon as possible. You are required by law to get these repairs completed in a timely manner, ensuring that the units are fit to live in, so make sure you use a company that has a great reputation for thorough and timely completion of all projects.

Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we have the experience and skill you need to get your apartment complex back to pre-flood condition as soon as possible. Call us for help if you experience flooding in your home, business, or apartment complex.

How To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

There is water in use in your bathroom all throughout the day, every day, so you’ll need to practice preventive measures to ensure that you don’t develop serious mold growth in this most important, and wet, room in your home. 

Your bathing area has a higher moisture level than that of most of the other rooms in your home, of course, and surfaces can easily become moldy quickly if they are damp for too long. Once mold has established a hold on an area, it will then re-establish itself even more quickly every time the humidity rises and is impossible to completely eradicate. 

To prevent mold in the first place:

  • Mold-resistant products are readily accessible at your local hardware or home goods store, and are a good choice when refreshing your bathroom, and using these products - such as paint - is a great idea for your kitchen, as well. 
  • When doing any type of major repair or renovation in the bathroom area, check with your professional to see if they can use products that contain mold-resistant ingredients, such as flooring and drywall, for example.  
  • Take care of standing water in this area of the home immediately. When cleaning the flooring, use less water than you might otherwise, and always dry countertops completely, paying special attention to cracks and crevasses. 
  • When it comes to the windows in both your bath and your home, ensure that all frames and weather stripping are in good repair in advance of wet and humid weather.
  • Check on the cabinets under the sinks and around the toilet for leaks from hoses and pipes leading to walls regularly, cleaning behind and underneath them on a regular basis; while you are completing this task take note of any dampness, rust, or puddles. 
  • Ensure your bathroom area is well-ventilated; you can always use a dehumidifier if you feel it necessary. 

Keeping mold out of your bathroom will help you to maintain a pleasant experience in your bathroom space, and your family will thank you. 

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids, we have the experience, knowledge, and expertise to help you with any mold infestation. We are also experts when it comes to those necessary cleanup projects after both fire damage and water damage.

How To Storm-Proof Your Garage

3/24/2020 (Permalink)

It is vital to the safety of your entire home to stormproof your garage adequately. Completing this project will protect both your family and your home from heavy weather damages, such as high winds and flooding. If your garage is left unprotected, it is much more likely that there will be expensive damages from an event of this kind. Here are just a few tips to help you get started on storm-proofing the garage:

  • Garage Door. The door of your garage is going to be susceptible to damage, so your storm-proofing project should begin with ensuring you have a sturdy door. It is also important to regularly check your garage door for holes and cracks, and seal any that occur so that your garage will stay protected. We recommend installing a bracing system to the door; braces anchor the door to the floor, walls, and hinges, adding support and wind resistance. This can be done yourself or you can hire a professional.
  • Windows. You may want to remove windows in your garage if storms are expected in your area, but that may not always be an option. When purchasing windows for your garage, you can install windows with impact-resistant glass, as well as exterior window protection that can be closed and locked to protect the interior from impact and storm remnants.
  • Drainage. Water damage can always negatively impact your garage through flooding, potentially causing mold and health problems. You can install a trench drain outside your garage to prevent this occurrence. This drain will create a channel for water to flow through and avoid the overflow of water in gutters and low-lying areas on your property. You may also install flood vents, which allow water to flow through your garage easily, alleviating pressure on your foundation.

If you are concerned about your garage and need assistance in this area of your home, our team of highly trained professionals here at SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids is always ready to help. We are water damage and fire damage professionals, and mold cleanup and remediation experts, too.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

Black and white picture of professional office space with translucent green virus imaged overlaid. For peace of mind in your professional work space, consider SERVPRO for #germ #cleanup.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, 616-662-9700


How To Deal With Water Damage In Your Attic

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Few of us head up to the attic on a regular basis, so this space in a home is often completely ignored for months at a time. If your attic springs a leak, it can go on for quite some time before anyone realizes it. If you have discovered water damage in your attic area, you will want to take immediate action to avoid even more damage and the associated higher costs and stress.  

Here are some tips to help you deal with water damage in your attic:

  • Assess. Your first goal will be to fully assess the issue. You’ll need to find out if there is a leak, and if so, to determine where the leak is coming from. It may be from damage to your roof or a burst pipe, for example. Make sure you are thorough in your assessment and be sure to take safety precautions. Stay away from light sockets, recessed lights, and other electrical systems until the electricity to the attic area has been turned off. Also, be sure to get an accurate idea of how widespread the damage actually is, paying special attention to wood that could be rotten or moldy. 
  • Leaks. Find the source of the water issues and eliminate them before handling any of the damage. You may require the help of professionals here. Contact your homeowner’s insurance carrier at this point if it looks like repair costs will extend beyond your deductible. The carrier may decline to cover any damage, but it is better to be safe than sorry. 
  • Repairs. Your repair job will be unique to your property, but there are some common repairs you can probably expect after your attic experiences water damage, such as:
    • Structural Component Replacements. This can include anything from basic framework to floorboards. This process can be time-consuming since each board used needs to be checked carefully to ensure that it is in good condition. 
    • Plumbing Component Replacements. If the source of your attic water damage was a plumbing issue, you will want to replace pipes or components that led to the event. If the main cause was the freezing and bursting of pipes, ensure that this never happens again by installing proper insulation. 
    • Electrical Component Replacements. Lighting, light sockets, and electrical outlets may have been negatively affected by a water damage event. This kind of situation is not really something you can handle yourself unless you are an electrical professional, so be prepared to contact a reputable company to take care of this part of your repair project.
    • Insulation Replacement. If your insulation was affected when your attic was damaged, you have a great opportunity to replace or upgrade your attic insulation.  
    • Clean Up. The last step in the process of dealing with water damage in your attic will be the final clean up. Get rid of remaining items and residue, and wipe down surfaces with a bleach and water solution; don’t forget the Personal Protection Equipment here!

Your attic is a vital part of your home, even if you hardly ever visit it. This space protects everything underneath it, so it is important to make sure that you won’t experience damage from heavy weather and leaks to the rest of your house through your attic. If you need help with a major repair project of this kind, the SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids is here to help! We are water damage and fire damage experts, and we handle mold prevention and remediation, too.

Cleaning Up After Smoke Damage

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

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:

  • Computers
  • Televisions
  • 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.