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The Steps Involved in Fire Damage Restoration

1/26/2023 (Permalink)

Fire damaged staircase in a multi-story old building. Fire damage cleanup isn't as simple as picking up debris. There's a process that's proven and effective.

Fire damage restoration is a process that cannot be rushed. Although the damage caused by fire can be worked on directly, it requires a lot of patience and planning. When it comes to fire damage restoration, understanding the process is essential, which will allow you to decide when professional help should be sought. The following is a rough guide to the process of fire damage restoration.

Step 1: Assessment of Damage

The first step in the fire damage restoration process is to assess the damage. A technician will inspect your property and give an estimate of how much time it will take for the restoration process to be completed, as well as its cost.

Although some homeowners choose to do the renovation themselves, hiring a fire damage restoration company capable of catching problems you might not notice is smart.

Step 2: Isolation

A home should be secured before beginning any renovations to prevent additional damage that might occur due to holes, weakened beams, or other structural problems.

Home renovation experts may reinforce structures and secure open doors, windows, or roofing structures by tarping them. Depending on the property's size, this process may take a few days or extend over weeks.

Step 3: Water Assessment and Removal

In many cases, water is used to extinguish a fire during the course of putting it out. Inspection for water damage and drying the interior of a house may precede cleaning up debris. This can be a delicate process, as water can cause damage to the structure of a house. The home inspector will look for signs of flooding, like standing water in the basement or ground-level floors.

Fire damage restoration companies employ industrial-sized dehumidifiers and air movers to dry your premises. This lowers the chances of mold production and helps to prevent structural damage.

Step 4: Smoke Removal

The longer smoke is allowed to linger, the more damage it can cause. The smoke can cause severe respiratory problems and discoloration of walls and ceilings. Smoke damage restoration is a specialized service that requires special equipment, training, and experience.

It is important to remember that smoke damage restoration is not the same as smoke cleaning. Smoke cleaning involves removing soot from surfaces, while smoke damage restoration involves restoring the damaged areas to their pre-fire condition. It also involves removing odors, which can take some time and effort.

Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitation

After the smoke damage restoration process, it is crucial to thoroughly clean and sanitize the area. This step ensures that no bacteria or mold remains in your home or business. For this step, commercial-grade equipment and the knowledge and expertise to use it properly are required.

Step 6: Repairing and Renovations

After the smoke damage restoration process is complete, it is essential to repair and renovate the damaged areas. This step ensures that your home or business looks as good as new after a fire. You may need help from a professional contractor with this step if the damage is extensive.

Step 7: Preventative Measures

In addition to the above steps, it is essential to take preventative measures to avoid future fires in your home or business. This step can be done on your own by checking smoke detectors and updating any faulty wiring or equipment.

You can also help prevent fires by keeping an eye on your heating system, ensuring that it is properly maintained and inspected by a professional.

Step 8: Claiming Insurance

You should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim. They will send an adjuster to review the damage and determine how much you are due for reimbursement.

Sometimes, fire damage is hard to spot. Often the people most affected by fire damage are distracted by other things. That's why it's always essential to have a professional look over your property after a fire to help you understand what you're dealing with and what your next step should be. SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is ready to help with any fire damage needs that you may have. To speak with one of our professionals, call us at (616) 662-9700 today.

What Is Considered Storm Damage to a Roof?

1/13/2023 (Permalink)

A tree cracks the front facing part of a roof after a heavy storm. Some signs of storm damage are more apparent than others.

When severe weather strikes, the damage to your house can be extensive. Without a proper assessment, it's impossible to know the extent of the damage. One area that is particularly vulnerable to storm damage is the roof. Knowing what constitutes storm damage to your roof can help you understand what kind of repairs you need to make and how urgent the situation is.

What Are the Signs of Storm Damage?

When assessing storm damage to your roof, several indicators should be considered. Hail damage is one of the most common indicators of roof damage, as hail can cause dents or punctures in shingles. Wind damage can also be a sign, as strong winds can easily tear off or lift shingles. Additionally, look for signs of water damage, such as water stains or water leaking inside your home.

It's also important to inspect the interior of your home for signs of roof damage, such as cracked or bubbled paint, stained ceilings and walls, and musty smells. If you notice any of these signs, it's important to call for help as soon as possible.

Some signs to look out for include:

  • Missing or broken shingles
  • Evidence of water infiltration
  • Visible dents or gouges in the roof
  • Exposed nails or other hardware on the roof surface
  • Loose or missing seals around vents, chimneys, and skylights
  • Trees or other debris that have fallen on the roof
  • Flashing that has become loose or detached.

Remember that some of these indicators may not be immediately apparent. That is why it's important to have a trained professional evaluate your roof after a storm event.

What to Do after Storm Damage

If you suspect that your roof has suffered storm damage, it's essential to take action immediately. Even if you think the damage is minor, waiting too long can lead to more costly repairs.

The first step is to contact a qualified roofing contractor who can assess the damage and provide an estimate for repairs. Make sure the contractor has experience in dealing with storm-damaged roofs, as they will be able to recognize potential issues that are not always obvious.

Once the damage has been assessed, the contractor can recommend repairs or replacement of the affected areas. If repair is necessary, they can estimate the cost of the repairs.

In some cases, however, a full roof replacement may be necessary. If this is the case, getting several estimates from different contractors is crucial to ensure you get the best deal.

Repercussions of Unrepaired Storm Damage

If left unaddressed, storm damage can further damage your home's roof. Fallen trees and debris can cause holes in the roof, allowing water to seep in and accumulate, which can increase the risk of mold growth. Mold can spread quickly and cause health issues such as respiratory and allergen problems to those living in the home, even if they are not directly exposed to the mold.

In addition to health issues, mold can cause further structural damage leading to costly repairs down the line. Strong storm winds can cause shingles to erode, leading to water damage in the attic and other areas. Water damage can also cause roof deterioration, leading to additional repairs and even replacement if not taken care of promptly.

It's important to contact a professional roofing company as soon as possible after a storm to inspect and assess the damage and make any necessary repairs.

At SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we're experienced in helping homeowners assess and repair storm damage. We use the latest technology to quickly and efficiently inspect your roof, evaluate the damage and recommend a course of action. If repairs are necessary, our team of professionals will get the job done quickly and affordably.

Don't let storm damage go unchecked; contact SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids at (616) 662-9700 with any questions; we're here to help!

Common Causes of Fire Damage in Business Spaces

1/13/2023 (Permalink)

A male worker uses a fire extinguisher while another is passed out due to smoke inhalation. Watch out for various fire or smoke hazards, especially in office settings where not everyone is trained on how to handle a scary situation.

Fire is a destructive force that can cause irreparable damage to homes, businesses, and lives. While the causes of fires vary across different settings, understanding common fire risks in your business can help you protect against them. This article will look at some of the most common causes of fire damage in commercial buildings.

Electrical Hazards

Electrical hazards are the most common cause of fire damage in homes and businesses. This includes faulty wiring, overloaded outlets, faulty or outdated appliances, frayed cords, and exposed wires.

These issues can cause an electrical fire that can quickly spread if not addressed immediately. Electrical fires are often hard to detect and can do significant damage without being noticed. It's important to regularly inspect your business wiring, appliances, and cords to ensure everything is in good condition and up to code.

Cooking Fires

Another common cause of fire damage is cooking fires. These are often caused by unattended appliances, grease build-up, combustible items being too close to the stove or oven, and faulty thermostats or wiring. It's important to ensure all of your cooking appliances are in good working order and that you never leave them unattended. Grease build-up should also be regularly cleaned to reduce the risk of fire.

To reduce the risk of cooking fires, never leave food unattended while cooking. It's also important to keep combustible items, like paper towels and cooking utensils, at least three feet away from the stove or oven. Finally, ensure your thermostats and wiring are routinely inspected.

If you experience a cooking fire, it's important to evacuate the house immediately and call your local fire department. If you have fire extinguishers in the home, they can help put out small fires. Otherwise, it's best to leave the house and call for help.

Heating Systems

One of the most common causes of fire damage in businesses is heating systems. Inadequate or poor maintenance can lead to fires due to the build-up of lint and other debris in dryer vents, chimneys, and furnace ducts. These combustible materials can easily ignite and cause a dangerous fire if left unchecked; therefore, cleaning them is important to reduce the fire risk.

Additionally, space heaters can also be a major cause of fire safety concerns. Space heaters that are not regularly maintained and inspected and placed too close to combustible materials such as furniture, curtains, or bedding can easily cause a fire. It is important to keep an eye on the placement of space heaters and regularly maintain and inspect them for any signs of damage or malfunction.

Irresponsible Use of Candles

Candles are often used for decoration and to set the mood, but they can also be a major source of fire damage in businesses. Candles should only be lit when a responsible adult is in the room and must be extinguished before leaving the area. Additionally, never place candles near combustible materials as they can easily catch fire.

Smoking

Smoking is one of the most common causes of fire damage in businesses. It's important to never smoke indoors as the ashes, cigarette butts, and lighters can easily start a fire. It's also important to ensure that smoking materials are always disposed of properly and never left unattended.

It's imperative to be aware of the common causes of fire damage in businesses and to take the necessary steps to prevent them. Regularly inspect your wiring, appliances, heating systems, and smoking materials, and practice responsible candle use.

If you experience fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids at (616) 662-9700 for help. We are here to help you get back on your feet after a fire and ensure that your business returns to how it was before. Our experienced professionals are available 24/7, so do not hesitate to call us with any questions.

Save Your Documents after Water Damage

12/27/2022 (Permalink)

A pile of wet newspapers, magazines, and other documents. Certain documents can be replaced, but keepsakes require special care.

It is possible to save and restore water-damaged documents by using various techniques. When faced with a disaster like water damage, it's absolutely necessary to recover any physical documents you own first.

Documents that have been damaged by water need specific drying procedures. Some of the techniques that can be applied are air-drying, freeze-drying, desiccant dehumidifying, and even hand-dry cleaning. These techniques are able to restore photos, business records, and other vital documents not easily replaced. So don't be discouraged if you find your documents wet and soggy. Here are a few tips and techniques to help you save documents after water damage.

How to Dry Loose Sheets

If your papers are wet, you must gently remove them from the water as soon as possible. Be extremely careful while removing them since the papers can easily tear. If the papers have become dirty, clean them using wet tissue paper. Place the individual papers on a plain paper towel - the paper towel must be thick and plain. The wet papers might absorb the print from the paper towel if it isn't plain and could stick to them. Place the documents near an air source such as a fan.

You can also place them under direct sunlight to speed up the process but make sure there isn't any wind. You could also use blotting paper to dry damp spots. Another option is to place them in a freeze dryer to fast-track the drying. Keep changing the drying paper beneath to prevent the papers from sticking together, and hang them up after substantial drying to treat the backside. You can also keep the documents or books in the freezer after placing them in plastic zip locks; this preserves the pages and prevents mold growth.

How to Dry Books

Drying books is a little harder than drying individual sheets of paper, especially if the book is hardbound. Place paper towels between the wet pages and lay the book flat or upside down to facilitate airflow. You can't put paper towels between every page, so place them continuously wherever the pages are most wet. For the other pages, place paper towels between every 20 pages or so. Use a fan to speed up the drying process.

Do not use hot air since it can lead to tearing. Do not keep your book outside since it might curl due to the wind. You can place paper weights on the edges to prevent curling or folding edges. Replace the wet paper towels regularly. If the book smells unpleasant after drying, place it in a closed container with baking soda or odor absorbents. But ensure the powder doesn't touch the book or papers directly.

How to Dry Photos

When drying wet photos, gently remove the photos from the wet area. Clean them using wet tissue paper dipped in cold water. Be careful not to smudge the photos. Place them on a plain paper towel and away from direct sunlight. You can use a fan or desiccant dehumidifier to speed up the process. Once the pictures have dried a little, hang them up to dry the backside. If you're unable to dry them yourself or want to preserve them for longer, consider professional drying that will help with complete restoration.

Drying water-damaged papers, books, documents, and photos is a fairly simple process. Handling the papers with care and taking immediate action will make it easier to restore them. If you ever find yourself in a situation needing to recover water-damaged papers, keep the tips we've given in mind.

When you notice something out of the ordinary, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700. Our professional team will help you with your document recovery.

Benefits of Installing a Dehumidifier

12/20/2022 (Permalink)

A woman changes the water repository in a dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers can be great proactive solutions against the buildup of mold and mildew.

When you think of a dehumidifier, you probably think of an appliance that helps remove excess moisture from the air to prevent mold and mildew growth. But did you know installing a dehumidifier in your home has many benefits? Let's look at some of the benefits of dehumidifiers:

Reduces Allergens in the Air

One of the benefits of dehumidifiers is they help reduce allergens in the air. If you suffer from allergies, installing a dehumidifier in your home reduces the number of allergens in the air, making it easier for you to breathe.

Reduced Condensation

One of the most common problems caused by high humidity is condensation on windows and walls. When the air is saturated with moisture, it condenses on surfaces cooler than the air, such as glass or metal. This condensation can lead to water damage and mold growth.

A dehumidifier reduces condensation by removing moisture from the air, creating a drier environment less likely to cause condensation.

Improved Air Quality

High humidity also leads to musty odors and dust mite infestations. Musty odors are caused by mold and mildew growth, which thrive in humid environments. Mold and dust mites can cause respiratory problems, like asthma.

It's essential to keep the air quality high, especially if you have infants or elderly family members living in your home.

Installing a dehumidifier helps remove musty odors and reduces dust mite populations, improving air quality.

Reduced Energy Costs

Running a dehumidifier reduces your energy costs. Since humid air feels warmer than dry air, you might be tempted to turn down your thermostat to compensate. However, this will only lead to higher energy bills.

Dehumidifiers help remove the extra moisture from the air, making it feel cooler and reducing the need to lower the temperature.

Extended Life for Your Home

Your home can also be damaged by high humidity. Wood materials, like flooring, furniture, and trim, can swell and warp when exposed to excessive moisture. Paint and wallpaper peel and blister in humid conditions, and drywall can weaken, sag, and crumble. These problems can be expensive to repair and even require completely replacing certain materials in your home.

A dehumidifier can help protect your home by reducing the moisture in the air. Keeping humidity levels at a comfortable level, you help extend your home's life and avoid costly repairs.

Fewer Pests

Pests like cockroaches, ants, termites, and rodents are attracted to moisture. If your home is humid, you will more likely have an infestation. Reducing the humidity in your home makes it less inviting for these pests. In addition, if you do have pests, they are easier to get rid of if your home isn't as humid.

Reduced Risk of Mold and Mildew

Mold and mildew thrive in humid environments and cause several problems, including respiratory issues, skin irritation, and allergic reactions. In addition, mold and mildew can damage your home, causing peeling paint, warped wood, and crumbling drywall.

A dehumidifier creates an inhospitable environment for mold and mildew, reducing the risks.

Healtheir Plants

Too much moisture can be harmful to your plants. While they need water to survive, they can suffocate and drown in too much of it. Excess moisture in the air encourages mold and mildew growth, harming your plants. Using a dehumidifier helps create the perfect balance of moisture in the air for your plants, keeping them healthy and happy.

Installing a dehumidifier provides many benefits for your home and your health. By reducing the amount of moisture in the air, you create a more comfortable environment and avoid problems like water damage, mold and mildew growth, and pest infestations.

If you struggle with high humidity levels, consider investing in a dehumidifier. For professional help with your indoor air quality, contact SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-622-9700. We're always here to help.

4 Most Common Causes of a Kitchen Fire

11/28/2022 (Permalink)

A woman ignores two fires in her kitchen while doing her nails at the table. There are many causes of kitchen fires, including burning food, poor electrical outlets, and inattentiveness.

A kitchen can be a dangerous place if you are not cautious. Most of us cook every day in the kitchen and deal with various electrical appliances near a water source and heating elements. 

Kitchen fires are usually how a home fire starts, so it can be very alarming when something catches on fire while you just want to fix yourself a meal. Here are the most common causes of kitchen fires so that you're prepared to avoid them. 

Most Likely to Cause a Kitchen Fire

Cooking Accidents 

Taking your eyes off your food while cooking is not a good idea. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires, accounting for more than half of all home fires. 

So, it is important to always stay in the kitchen when you're cooking. If you feel tired or out of it, this is one case when ordering takeout is not only the healthier option but the most responsible one, too. 

Electrical Problems 

Malfunctioning appliances or faulty wiring are the second leading cause of kitchen fires. Be especially careful with old appliances, as wires can become loose and break. 

Electrical fires are especially dangerous because everyone's first instinct when dealing with a fire is to pour water over it. This is a big mistake because water conducts electricity! 

The first thing you should do is unplug the appliance if it's plugged in. Then smother the flames with fistfuls of baking soda. If this didn't put out the fire, call emergency services immediately. 

Make sure to properly maintain your electrical appliances so that this doesn't happen. A good habit to get into is not to overload circuits with too many appliances plugged in at once.

Candles 

Candles are one of the leading causes of house fires, usually because people underestimate the damage they can cause. Lit candles, especially when left unattended, can set fire to the whole house. 

Exercise caution with lit candles, especially near flammable materials like curtains or towels. It's also not advisable to put a candle in a drafty spot, like by a vent or a window, on a windy day. 

Don't burn a candle for longer than 4 hours, and never leave it unattended. This is especially important if you have children or pets in the house. 

Kids Playing with Fire 

Adding to the last point, kids often start kitchen fires by playing with matches or lighters they find around the house. A child's natural curiosity can put them at risk. 

They're too young to know any better, so it's on the adults to supervise them and teach them about fire safety. Children are usually fascinated by fire, so they won't immediately call out for help if they accidentally cause one. 

They associate fire with birthday candles and fireworks and don't realize how scary they can be until they potentially get hurt. They also tend to play with fire in hidden, enclosed places because they may have been told it's wrong. You can see how this can be disastrous. 

If you have a child in the house, educate them about fire safety as soon as possible. Teach them about the dangers of fire, and that matches, lighters, and heating elements in the kitchen aren't toys. 

Call Fire Damage Professionals

Kitchen fires are scary, but once the damage is done, you'll want your old kitchen back. After all, a kitchen is one of the most useful rooms in a house. 

We at SERVPRO have been doing fire damage restoration for years. Call us, and we'll make sure that not the slightest trace of smoke or soot is left in your home. We're available 24/7 to restore your home back to its unblemished state. 

Don't Mask Bad Odors, Stop Them at the Source

11/21/2022 (Permalink)

A technician inspects a sewer line that was overflowing. Sewer line inspections can help prevent disaster, and stops bad smells from permeating in your home.

Maybe you just moved into a new place and can't figure out where the weird smell is coming from. Or, maybe you've lived in your home for years, and it's time to do some deep cleaning. Either way, removing foul odors can be tricky. But don't worry - we're here to help. We'll give you some tips and tricks for getting rid of offensive smells in your home, so you can feel confident about inviting friends and family over.

Get Rid of Sewer Smells

When you notice a foul odor in your home, it's important to figure out where it's coming from and how to get rid of it. Sewer smells are one of the most common unpleasant odors and can be tricky to dispose of. You can do a few things to eliminate the smell if you think it is coming from your sewer line. First, check all your drains and ensure they're clear. If that doesn't solve it, pour a cup of bleach down the affected drain. If the odor persists, call a plumber to inspect your sewer line. Getting rid of foul odors in your home is important for your comfort and health, so immediately taking care of smells will keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

Clean Your Pet

When your pet has a bad odor, cleaning them as soon as possible is important. Not only will this remove the foul odor, but it will also prevent your pet from becoming sick. The odor from your pet will cling to household objects and furniture if not removed immediately. Give your pet a good shampooing with a mild soap. You could also rinse them with diluted vinegar or hydrogen peroxide if the odor is very intense.

Eliminate Mold and Mildew Odor

No one likes a smelly home. When trying to get rid of foul odors, it's important to deal with mold and mildew. These fungi love damp, dark places, so check any areas that might be prone to moisture buildup. Clean the tub, shower, sink, and toilet in the bathroom regularly. The kitchen is another place mold and mildew thrives, so don't forget to clean under the sink, behind the fridge, and in any other nooks and crannies where water might collect. 

If you have a major mold odor problem, it is best to call professional services like SERVPRO of the South and Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700. Our skilled professionals are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors, whether from an inside or outside source. We won't merely mask odors but use professional odor removal techniques to deal with the cause of the problem.

Change Your Garbage Disposal

No one likes smelly garbage disposal. If your disposal is stinking, it's time to take action. The first step is to determine the cause of the smell. If you notice your disposal is smelling after you've put certain foods down, the food is likely to blame. Use running hot water and dish soap and pour it down the disposal to clear the smell. If the food is left at the disposal for too long, it will rot and produce a nauseating smell. You might need to remove the food with a pair of tongs or a plunger. If your garbage disposal still smells even after you've cleaned it, maybe your drain needs to be cleaned. 

Clean any spills or messes immediately, as they are often the source of bad smells. Open the windows and doors regularly to let fresh air in and circulate. Consider using air fresheners or scented candles to help mask any lingering odors. Following these tips, you will keep your home smelling fresh and clean.

Is Mold Really in Every Home?

11/10/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy duty fans dry walls after a flood corrupts basement drywall. Mold removal can be a tough task, taking repairs down to the studs, only to be built back up.

Of the many pests that can plague a house, mold is one of the most common. This is large because it requires very little for mold to grow and being the resilient pest that it is, and it can be very difficult to get rid of it. Ideally, you should go for a deep clean of the property to really get rid of the mold. 

Mold spreads through spores. The spores are tiny and light, so they have easily carried around in the air. Mold might seem like a minor problem, but it can be a very destructive pest if it is left untreated. Here is how you can manage the situation. 

Where Can I Find Mold?

Certain areas of the house are more likely to develop a mold infestation. Like any other living organism, water is a basic requirement for mold to live. Any place that has water or even a high level of humidity can be a breeding ground for mold. 

Places such as the crawl space, near a pool, a damp basement, or any area that has been recently affected by flooding can be good places for mold to grow. If you have indoor plants, then there will be more humidity in the house, which can also attract mold. 

Mold can latch onto nearly any surface and feed off it. Things like cardboard, drywall, paint, rugs, leather, wood, upholstery, and even insulation are places where mold can start growing if there is enough moisture in the environment for it to survive. 

How Did I Get Mold?

You might clean your house regularly, but that doesn't mean you can get rid of all the mold spores. These little spores can get in through your ventilation system, windows, and doors, or they can latch on to clothing and belongings and enter the house when you come in with them. Once inside, the spores may stay dormant for weeks or months until they get the right conditions to develop. 

They can easily be moved around the house through people and pets. If you recently had something that was affected by mold and you threw that item away, the spores from that item may have spread to other parts of the home. Spores can also distribute themselves through dust, so any contaminated dust in the home can also start a mold infestation. 

Signs Of Mold

The best solution is to detect mold before it becomes a major problem. In the right conditions, mold can grow extremely quickly and can easily eat away at the surface that it grows on. If this happens to be a valuable item or the structure of your home, it could lead to a lot of problems. 

One of the biggest signs is the odor that mold creates. Sometimes, this could smell like rotten eggs; in other cases, it might just smell like rubbish or like something is decaying. The odor depends on the surface that the mold is on. If anything smells off, get it inspected. 

The other major sign is fungus growth. Usually, you can spot fungus growth on carpets, furniture, clothing, or walls and floors. It can range from white to green to black, depending on the particular mold. 

Another sign is an increase in allergies and, specifically, breathing-related problems. If you have anyone in the house with asthma or a similar breathing condition, the allergy will flare up and won't go away because the mold spores are still in the air. 

Conclusion

The best solution is to get a professional team, such as the mold removal experts at SERVPRO, to help you with this situation. They will help you remove the mold properly and disinfect the area, so there is no possibility of the mold returning. The SERVPRO team has plenty of experience working with mold infestations, and they can help you get the issue resolved and prevent it from spreading.

How $5 Can Save You Thousands!

9/23/2022 (Permalink)

Foam cover for your faucet Just place the loop around the faucet handle, stretch the cord away from the house. Slide the cord lock until the cover is firmly against the house.

Every winter we see it, a client calls because they have a frozen pipe that has burst, and their basement is full of water.  The most vulnerable water pipe to freezing and bursting is the one that goes to the outside faucet of your home.  Clients always ask, how can this be prevented?  There are several things that we can recommend doing to prepare your home for the winter months, but the easiest and most overlooked are the most important.   

First, make sure all your hoses are disconnected from your home. If water remains in your hose, and freezes and expands, it will work up into the faucet and waterline, and cause water damage in the home.

Second, if you have a zone shut off to your exterior water sources, turn them off.  Most newer homes are plumbed with a shut off to the exterior water, usually within 10 feet from the outside water source, and is usually easily accessible when you have a broken pipe. A zone shut off is more convenient than shutting the water to the entire home.

Third, you can purchase a foam insulated faucet cover to install on the exterior water sources to your home. They are cheap, usually right around $5, and simple to install. The cover is an easy way to protect outdoor faucets from freezing temperatures. Just place the loop around the faucet handle, stretch the cord by pulling away from the house. Slide the cord lock until the cover is firmly against the house.

The foam cover protects outdoor faucets against freeze damage, provides peace of mind when the temperatures drop, and they installation is quick and easy

SERVPRO of Grand Rapids South and Northwest Grand Rapids is always available when you experience water damage, a flooded basement or ice damming.  Winter is rough enough, having to worry about who to call when an emergency happens shouldn’t be.

Our local contact number is 616.662.9700, we are always local and available 24/7.

Severe Weather Should Not Take You by Surprise

9/22/2022 (Permalink)

The front door to a house is cracked open as flood waters seep in. Heavy rains can do more than flood streets. Some waters can meet you at your front door.

During severe weather, your house will endure brutal conditions like high winds, heavy rain, and mountains of snow. Take the time to equip your home with accessories to survive a storm. Don't wait until the forecast calls for severe weather because you might not have enough time to make the necessary preparations

Home Architecture

If you're building a new home, ensure it complies with your city's structural regulations. If you live in an area prone to harsh weather, ensure you follow all the building guidelines, making it easier to withstand any weather disasters. For instance, some common rules include a driveway of a certain length and width, building your home on an elevated platform (for floods), a fixed number of rooms and corridors, installing safety devices like fire alarms and smoke detectors, and maintaining your lawn. A clear lawn and backyard with fewer obstructions make evacuation easier.

General Tips

Prepare an emergency evacuation plan to help you get out of the house if under threat. Understand the layout of your home, and mark all doors, corridors, windows, etc., for easier evacuation - practice escape drills every few months to develop route memory of the plan. Build an emergency kit with canned food, water, and disaster control supplies to last at least two days. Create this kit a few days before the weather changes. It is advisable to keep the kit assembled at all times and place it in an easily accessible place since you may not have much time to evacuate. Also, develop a plan to communicate and meet up with your family at a specific spot if everybody isn't together.

House Inspections

Conducting regular home inspections is crucial to withstand severe weather conditions. These inspections should include roof, piping, electric line, and property evaluations. If you find any problems, get them fixed immediately. Delaying the repair will only burden you in bad weather circumstances. For instance, suppose your area experiences a flood. You risk pipelines breaking and cutting off your clean water supply with faulty plumbing.

If you have any issues with electrical lines and a fire breaks out, open or live electricity lines pose a serious threat that can hinder your chances of escape. Property inspections will also help you know if your home's structure follows all disaster management guidelines, and if anything requires changing, you can do it with ease.

When you notice something out of the ordinary, call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700. A professional inspection will help you thoroughly prepare your home for any natural disaster.

Preparing for a Tornado, Hurricane, Wildfire, and Thunderstorm

If you live in a tornado-prone zone, your home must have a basement or underground bunker where you can stay until the tornado passes. Ensure your house surroundings don't have fixtures that can be uprooted, like fences.

For hurricane zones, have your home built at the right elevation. If the hurricane is approaching, secure your home by covering windows with storm shutters and installing straps to stabilize your roof.

For areas that experience frequent wildfires, it is essential that your home has a comprehensive fire alarm and smoke detector system. Have many fire extinguishers on hand and learn the fire evacuation procedure in your area.

For thunderstorms, prepare your home well ahead of time by removing any tree branches that could collapse onto your roof. Stabilize your roof and cover all windows with storm shutters. Understand your city's evacuation strategy and storm signals.

Preparing your home to withstand severe weather conditions reduces the damage it endures. Don't be thrown off guard at the last moment by bad weather. These tips will help you thoroughly prepare yourself and your home for any weather conditions.