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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog 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.

Vents

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. 

Exterior

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.

Drainage

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.

How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Gutters?

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Rain gutters that are clogged with debris from storms, high winds, or falling leaves during the Fall season are often the cause of water damage to your home or business. If you are wondering how often you should be cleaning your gutters, the answer to that can be found in thinking about the seasons. If you know we are heading into a season that may involve falling leaves, flying debris, or heavy downpours, that is the perfect time to schedule a rain gutter cleaning. A good rule of thumb would probably be to make sure your gutters are in good shape at least four times a year, as each new season is starting. That way you will always be ready for whatever comes.

This task is actually a fairly simple one that you can do yourself, but if you are not comfortable on a ladder or if the areas you need to reach are not easily accessible, it may be time to call a professional service in Grand Rapids, MI to help you with the cleaning and the unclogging of your gutters, and that will protect you from having to deal with water-related damages.

If you do decide to do the job on your own, make sure you stay safe. You will want to use step ladders on solid level ground and try to complete cleaning when the weather has been dry for a few days. If you do this, you can be confident that the debris, leaves, and pine needles will be much easier to remove.  Once the larger debris is gone, follow that up with a powerful hose that is able to wash the residuals down the downspout. You will also want to clean the gutter filter screens and make sure there are no clogs in your downspout. Above all safety is key.

Contact us here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids if your home or business experiences any water damage due to overflowing rain gutters, as well as damage from storms and floods. We are mold prevention and remediation experts, too. We are proud to serve our Grand Rapids neighbors!

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 area 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

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

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. 

Creating An Exit Strategy For Your Commercial Building

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

You know that anything can happen during the course of even the most normal business day so it’s a smart move to be ready for whatever you might face. Your commercial property is an important investment, not only to you, but also to the people who work there, and as a smart business person, you want to protect that investment and the well-being of all involved. 

Having an exit strategy in place is a basic requirement for guarding lives and keeping people safe. As you are creating your exit strategy, think about the types of disasters that are most common to your area, as well as those that are not common or weather-related, such as human threat or fire.

Six important points to consider first are:

  • How will tenants and workforce members receive emergency alerts or warnings? An alarm system within the building might work best if your commercial building is composed of large shops or warehouses. If your property is an office, then perhaps a phone tree to contact each department or office individually would work best.
  • What kind of shelters are available onsite for people? For areas that experience tornadoes, for example, an area on the lowest floor or below ground that is constructed to withstand the highest wind forces will be necessary. 
  • What are the evacuation routes in your commercial building? Ensure that a map is posted in all public areas. It needs to be clear and labeled properly so that anyone can reference it and easily know where to go.
  • What is the communication plan? During the event and afterward, you will need to be able to communicate with your tenants so that they are updated concerning the state of your building. Your business will be discontinued so that the emergency can be handled, and they will want to know when it is safe and when they can exit shelters or re-enter the building and get back to work. Create a strategy where you can communicate with everyone in a timely and efficient way to prevent misinformation and confusion. Text messages could be the best course here, for example. 
  • Take special situations into consideration. It is a requirement that any exit strategy is tailored to individuals with any special needs, and you will want to think about older people and those that are impaired visually or in their hearing. Designating areas to gather ahead of time for having volunteers in place that can manage and oversee these situations will be helpful. If your commercial business houses sensitive equipment or machinery that is designed to save lives, this will need to be taken into consideration when dealing with emergency evacuation, as well. 
  • Create a complete guide for all tenants and members of the workforce who use your commercial building, outlining the information discussed above and including all templates, maps, and contact information, and place it online for easy access to all. 


SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help in the event of any emergency or accident. We specialize in water and fire damage clean-ups no matter the size.

Mold Prevention Tips This Winter

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Kicking up the heater in the coming colder months will keep you cozy and warm. Unfortunately, it also creates the perfect environment for a colony of mold. These infestations are both unsightly and unhealthy and can make life truly miserable for those who have an allergic reaction. A mold colony can also spread quickly and secretly within your walls, compromising their integrity and strength. 

Mold and its cousin, mildew, are both unpleasant and undesirable, with recognizable differences. Mildew has a flat surface and will appear powdery; it begins growing with white coloration and generally becomes yellow, brown, or black over time. Mold can be a wide range of colors and will have a fluffy appearance. The spores for both are everywhere, even in the air we breathe, and their risk increases when winter arrives due to the warmth of indoor temperatures in comparison to the outdoors. 

Their growth can be prevented, however. Here are some tips for mold prevention this winter:

  • Don’t Feed It. Mold and mildew feed on any organic material. Old bread, the rug on your kitchen floor, or wooden cupboards - it’s all a smorgasbord for these organisms. Make sure surfaces are kept clean and dry and don’t allow food to sit out and become moist and warm.
  • Keep Things Dry. Moisture condenses when it comes into contact with a colder area, so you will most likely see mold or mildew on tile grout, windowsills, and baseboards during the colder months. 
  • Be Vigilant. Once a colony establishes itself, it cannot ever be completely eradicated. Once the moisture, warmth, and food it needs are reintroduced it will simply start to grow again. 
  • Look For Leaks. Improperly sealed windows, exterior doorways, skylights, and indoor plumbing will attract mold colonies. 
  • Exhaust Fans. Keeping the air dry in kitchens, laundries, and bathrooms will help prevent mold this winter. Running these fans during times when the air is moist will do wonders. You can also use dehumidifiers in your home to prevent mold from establishing itself. Follow the established recommendations for keeping your home at the proper level of humidity for this purpose. 

SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help if you experience a mold or mildew invasion this winter. Call us for more prevention tips or for mold remediation. We are experts in this area!

Storm-Proofing Your Basement

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 South and North West Grand Rapids is ready to help with any size disaster caused by flooding or other water-related issues. When it comes to disaster recovery, we can be there right away to get your apartment complex back to normal. We are fire and water damage specialists, and mold remediation experts, as well.

SERVPRO - The Flooded Basement Experts

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:

https://www.SERVPROnorthwestsouthgrandrapids.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

  • 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. 

Fall Fire Prevention Tips

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

With the cooler temperatures of fall just around the corner, it is a good idea to revisit fire prevention and safety tips that are specific to this time of year. As you focus more and more on staying warm, you’ll also want to focus on staying safe while enjoying this season. 

  • Checkups. Your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors will need a change of batteries so they can stay on duty. Take a look at your fire extinguishers to ensure they are fully charged and in good working order. 
  • HVAC. Call your local certified HVAC technician and have them come clean, inspect and service your central heating system to avoid potential issues. 
  • Space heaters. Practice safety when using space heaters by:
    • Making sure any unit is surrounded by at least three feet of empty space
    • Never using these units to dry clothing or other objects
    • Keep any space heater away from furniture or drapery
    • Always turn these units off when you go to bed or leave the house
  • Fireplaces. Practice fireplace safety using these tips:
    • Your chimney should be inspected yearly
    • Employ a certified chimney sweep to clean your chimney in early fall, every year
    • Repair all cracks in your fireplace
    • Use screens to keep sparks and debris inside your fireplace
    • NEVER use gasoline to start a fire in your fireplace
    • NEVER leave your fire unattended
    • Store any combustible materials at least three feet away from the fireplace
  • Holiday decorations. Enjoy the holidays safely by taking these precautions:
    • Use flashlights instead of burning candles in your Jack-O-Lanterns
    • Halloween costumes should be constructed with fire-retardant materials, as should all holiday decorations. 
    • Make sure that all extension cords and holiday lights have been tested by an approved organization - pay attention to labeling. 
  • Teach your family fire safety:
    •  Make sure even young children know how to call 911.
    • Establish a fire escape plan for your family, and practice it until everyone is sure they know what to do, and where to meet. 
    • “Stop, drop, and roll” needs to be taught to everyone and practiced. 
  • Outdoor fire safety for fall:
    • Clear your rain gutters and roof of debris buildup
    • Find the outdoor burning regulations for your area, and never illegally burn leaves or other outdoor debris

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids, we care about the safety of your family. Call us for help with fire or water damage, or when you are experiencing issues with mold or mildew. We’re always here to help. 

How To Prevent Mold Damage In Your Commercial Building

9/24/2019 (Permalink)

You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and as a savvy business owner, you want to do everything possible to protect your enterprise. Routine preventive maintenance is one of the main methods to keep everything in great shape and operating smoothly. This gives your roofing, exterior doors and windows, parking areas, warehousing and storage, and office space the attention they need. You’ve thought of everything….or have you?

Today we would like to share some tips on preventing mold in your commercial building:

  • Be aware. Mold can grow quickly in unexpected places. Create an inspection plan for your business that is designed to be done on a routine basis. Search for signs of mold in damp, high moisture areas, and look for spotty or fuzzy stains on walls, floors, and carpeting. Take note of musty smells, too. Request your cleaning crew to notify you of any specific areas they think may be at risk.
  • Timely repair. Make sure any issues in your building are taken care of right away, especially leaks and water damage. Damaged roofing, unsealed windows and door frames, and cracked foundations are all risks for the establishment of a mold colony.
  • Damp air. Your geographic location may mean that you are always dealing with high humidity, and since damp air encourages mold to grow, you may want to install dehumidifiers in your commercial building.
  • Clean air. You can reduce the transfer of mold spores throughout your commercial property by cleaning and maintaining your HVAC system and air ducts properly and regularly.

We’re there. Every commercial property is different, so you may need to consult a mold remediation specialist for help in creating a customized plan that will fit the needs of your structure and your business. Working with a company that has experience handling mold and mildew issues will ensure that this expensive and harmful situation won’t cause problems for you, now or in the future. The SERVPRO of Northwest/South Grand Rapids team is always here to help, and we respond faster to any disaster, large or small!

Cleaning Your Commercial Office Building

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

A thorough cleaning will rid your commercial office building of the dust and grime of summer, bringing a clean and refreshed feel to your workplace as well as positively impacting your business’ profitability and your workers’ productivity. Commercial cleaning is a bit different than residential cleaning since it will call for more in-depth cleaning processes and better organization. You have a lot of people, and aspects, to think of. 

Let your employees know that a cleaning process will be beginning, and inform them what that process will look like. If there are any possible interruptions in tools or workflow, you will want to let them know and get their feedback on how to handle these situations. Make sure they are aware of the cleaning products that will be used in case there are possible irritations or allergies that some may experience. Many people prefer to be exposed to more eco-friendly products these days, so that’s an option that will make everyone happy.

Provide employees with a schedule so that they know exactly what to expect as your cleaning process moves forward. If it will be necessary for them to box up any of their work items, let them know as far in advance as possible so that they can plan for the event. 

The key areas you will want to focus on include:

Flooring

  • Deep-clean carpets to remove stains.
  • Move file cabinets, conference tables, desks, and other large furniture items to clean the entire floor. 
  • Clean flooring baseboards and corners with a high-powered vacuum.
  • Buff and scrub tile and concrete.
  • Consider re-finishing and re-sealing floors for a renewed appearance.
  • Look for fire hazards on the floor. Remove any floor or stairway blockages.
  • Observe tile for breaks, dents, or cracks, and consider replacing broken tile or redoing the flooring. 

Walls.

  • Look for chipped paint and cracks, and decide if you need to repaint. If the cracks are large, you may want to have a professional inspect for damage.
  • Clean all windows to remove dust and marks, cleaning both outside and inside. For tall or high windows, hire a professional window cleaning service.
  • Dust and wash the drapes and blinds. This area is usually forgotten in weekly cleanings.
  • Dust ceiling corners, light fixtures, and tops of doors.

Bathrooms

  • Clean the grout in between the tiles.
  • Sanitize and deep clean all surfaces with bleach-based products.
  • Re-caulk in areas of cracking or splitting.
  • Bleach the inside of toilet bowls. Rub the external of the toilet bowls with a sanitizing cleanser.
  • Wash the floor baseboards around toilets and urinals.
  • Wash all trash-cans.
  • Replace all toilet paper, soap, and other usables.
  • Look for signs of mold or mildew, which is more common in high-humidity environments like bathrooms. Remove any mildew immediately.

Cleaning your commercial office building can be a big job. Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we can help you get your cleaning projects done in record time. Call us today for your commercial office building needs. 

How To Prevent Storm Damage To Your Business

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning bolt during thunderstorm Lightning strikes during thunderstorms can cause significant damage to your home and property.

Falling trees, fire, high wind and hail storms often cause damage to roofing and other vulnerable parts of your property. Safety should always be your primary concern to prevent storm damage to your business.

  • Roofing. The best way to prevent unnecessary damages is to ensure that your roof is in the best shape possible before storm season hits. After a storm, any initial roof assessment should be completed from the ground as you want to make sure you are safe. If you suspect damage to your shingles or structure, contact a professional immediately. Make sure everyone vacates the premises in the event of major roof damage. 
  • Landscaping. Before the stormy season, have your landscaping trimmed back and remove all dead or dying vegetation. This will help to lessen the risk of flying branches or falling trees. 
  • Parking Areas. Keeping your parking areas in good repair will mean that after a storm, your clients will still be able to get to you. Potholes and flooding in your parking lot will keep everyone away, including your workforce. 
  • Walkways. Heavy storms can undercut walkways, making them dangerous for pedestrians, and that’s something you definitely want to avoid. Have them updated and strengthened before heavy weather, and take a good look at them after a storm moves through the area. If you need a second pair of eyes, call a professional storm damage cleanup company for help. 

Storms and inclement weather can bring wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding that can devastate any business in a matter of minutes. There’s never a convenient time for flooding or water damage to strike, and storms don’t just strike during regular business hours; that’s why SERVPRO Franchise Professionals offer 24-hour emergency service 365 days of the year.

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether your property has experienced a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we are always prepared for the unpredictable. 

Preparing Your Grand Rapids Home For Fall

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

As summer comes to a close, it’s a good idea to think ahead to the colder months coming to our area. Getting your home ready for fall and winter’s colder temperatures and harsher weather conditions while it’s still warm and pleasant will make your life a lot easier and leave you with plenty of time to enjoy the coziness of your house during the holidays. Weather may be unpredictable during the fall here in Grand Rapids, but you won’t have to worry about it if you prepare your home for fall now! Here are some preparations to consider:

  • Gutters. Remove dead leaves and debris from your gutters and drainpipes. This will prevent clogging during wetter weather. Drain all outdoor faucets ahead of freezing weather now, as well. 
  • Chimney and Fireplace. Clear out leftover ash and charred wood from the fireplace, and contact a professional to clean the chimney. Ask the chimney cleaning company to make sure your damper can be closed properly so that drafts of cold air won’t be coming into your home during fall and winter months. 
  • Heating System. Check your home’s heating vents to make sure they won’t be blocked by furniture, floor coverings, or curtains, and dust them as well. All filters should be changed, and now is a great time to have a professional come and make that annual system checkup.
  • Air Conditioners. Unplug any removable window air conditioners, cleaning them thoroughly before putting them in storage.
  • Drafts. Examine all your windows and doors for cracks. If you find any, have them sealed now so that you can stay warm and save energy this fall and winter. You’ll be saving both time and money here!
  • Storm Windows. Removable screens should be taken down and cleaned, stored and replaced with storm windows. 
  • Water Heater. Drain the water heater and clean out any debris that may have settled in the tank. 

If you need help with the job of preparing your home for fall, just call the professional team here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids. We have the expertise and the equipment needed to get the job done right. 

How to Clean Up Smoke Damage in Your Home

7/31/2019 (Permalink)

Enjoy a smoke-free home!

Cleaning up smoke damage in your home is extremely important, but unfortunately, it won’t be as easy as opening a window and letting things air out. The acidic nature of smoke and soot makes them difficult to remove. However, they both contain unpleasant odors and particles that are harmful to breathe, so it’s important to clean them up completely to maintain a healthy living environment. Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we have years of fire damage clean-up experience, and over the years, we’ve picked up a few helpful tips that we’re sharing today:

What You’ll Need

One item you may have to buy is a dry-cleaning sponge, but many other helpful cleaning products can probably be found around your home. A sponge, however, is very important for smoke damage removal, so we encourage you not to neglect adding this effective cleaning tool to your list of supplies. We recommend you acquire the following:

  • Rubbing alcohol/paint thinner
  • Vinegar
  • Degreaser / commercial soot remover
  • Vacuum (ideally a strong shop-vac) with an upholstery attachment
  • Bucket / hot water
  • Dry-cleaning sponge (chemical sponge)
  • Clean rags
  • Sponge
  • Fan

After obtaining the cleaning tools above, here are a few next steps:

Ventilate. The first thing you need to do is ventilate the house to get fresh air flowing; be sure to open all the doors and windows in the home. You also can use fans to encourage airflow. Additionally, turn off your HVAC system to prevent smoke and soot from spreading.

Use Protection. Before you clean your house, make sure to protect yourself properly. Soot, smoke, and debris can be dangerous to inhale, so wear a respirator if there is significant soot in the damaged area. Long pants and sleeves will protect your skin, and wearing gloves and eye protection can help save your eyes and hands. Since you will be freeing soot as you clean, it’s important to lay down floor protection and remove any furniture or household objects that are not damaged. If the damaged area is small, you can simply cover furniture with plastic or sheets, but if you’re cleaning an entire room, it’s wise to remove clean items and even seal off other rooms that were not affected. Be mindful of the shoes you’re wearing so you don’t track soot stains into other rooms.

Vacuum It Up. Soot and smoke damage usually come in one ugly, smelly package, so remove loose soot particles with a vacuum with an upholstery attachment. A shop-vac with strong suction power is best for this task. Lightly brush the affected area with the brush attachment, vacuuming up the loose particles. Be gentle and avoid scrubbing, which can make stains worse.

Use The Sponge. After performing the steps above, it’s time to use that dry-cleaning sponge (chemical sponge) to wipe up the soot and smoke stains; these sponges use special chemicals to lift stains from walls. Never use soot cleaner or water before you use a dry-cleaning sponge or you could spread the soot, making it impossible to remove with a chemical sponge. Begin by wiping the walls gently with the dry-cleaning sponge, and turn the sponge to a different side as it gets soiled so that you are always using a clean surface. When all sides are soiled, slice off the dirty sides with a knife to reveal fresh surfaces beneath, or use a new sponge. Make sure you use a wiping motion the entire time because when you scrub the stains, you spread them and work the soot deeper into the surface.

Use Liquid Cleaners. After you remove as much soot as possible with the dry-cleaning sponge, you can use commercial soot/smoke remover (follow the manufacturer’s directions), rubbing alcohol, white vinegar or paint thinner and a clean rag. Soak the rag in your preferred cleaner and wipe the walls throughout the damaged room. Even if there is no sign of soot or smoke damage, it’s important to wipe every surface in the room, including light bulbs. Next, you’ll want to use TSP, dish soap or degreaser in a gallon of hot water to wash the walls with a rag or sponge; just a few teaspoons should be enough. Use the same wiping motion you used with the dry-cleaning sponge. You may need to use a combination or repeated treatments of these chemical cleaners depending on how bad the damage is. As the rag gets dirty, rinse it out in the bucket or use a new rag. The same applies to your cleaning water. Refresh your water when it gets black or smells like smoke. Once you’ve completed washing the room with your chosen cleaner, wipe the walls again with fresh water and a clean rag to remove any remaining cleaning products.

Dry It Up. Dry the clean surfaces with a clean rag. You can use fans to speed this process up if necessary. You will probably still smell smoke odors, as they can take a few days to a few weeks to dissipate. Identify materials that can easily absorb odors, such as upholstered furniture or area rugs, and place these items together in a separate room or outdoors to see if the smell dissipates after a few days. You may want to consider throwing out the items you can stand to part with. Getting your carpeting, curtains, and furniture professionally cleaned will also help with lingering smoke odors. Don’t forget to replace your HVAC filters, which may be circulating smoky air in your home.

Cleaning your home after smoke or soot damage can be a difficult job. If you need assistance, SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help. With IICRC-certified techniques and state-of-the-art equipment, our trustworthy experts are the best in the fire damage restoration industry. 

Storm Damage Prevention Advice for Your Home

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare for storms before they hit!

No homeowner gets to choose when a storm is headed his way, but a smart homeowner can choose to be ready for any kind of inclement weather. Today we’re sharing some advice for you that will help to reduce and prevent storm damage from adversely affecting your home and property.

  • Roofing. Regular roofing inspections will help you identify issues like minor leaks or missing shingles, allowing you to get them repaired right away. This will help you avoid serious structural damages when severe weather arrives. If your home does suffer storm damage, you can call us here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids to schedule repair and cleanup.
  • Landscaping. Hard winds and heavy rain will accompany the storms of summer, and dead tree branches, unhealthy vegetation, and unstable trees can cause damage to your property under these conditions. We recommend regularly trimming your plants and trees, removing dead or dying limbs and plants wherever necessary. Replace plantings if some are removed by storms to prevent erosion from heavy rains, too. 
  • Storm Windows. Invest in high-quality storm windows to prevent leaks and other storm damage. These do a great job of protecting window glass, adding an extra layer of safety to your home’s interior against the wind and rain. 
  • Entrance and Parking. Keep your driveway and your entrance in good repair, replacing buckling concrete or stepping stones and filling in potholes ahead of inclement weather. Your friends and family’s safety is important to you, we know, and this important step goes a long way towards ensuring that no one gets hurt during the storms of summer. 
  • Basements. Keep an eye on all low lying areas of your home, like your basement. This is where leaks will show up and often go unnoticed, so taking a close look before and after wet weather will help you spot a problem right away. 

For more tips on preventing storm damage, contact us here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids for assistance. We specialize in cleanup from water and fire damage, no matter the size. We are also mold remediation specialists. Visit us online for a complete list of our services. You can call us at (616) 662-9700 at any hour for assistance. We’re available 24/7. 

5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage In Your Commercial Building

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

Be on guard against water damage—it can happen at any time!

As a wise business owner, you know that damage prevention is always going to save you both time and money, and preventing damage from water is one of the most important prevention focuses you can have. Water damage is at the top of the list of mishaps a business can suffer from and the cleanup for this kind of event can be extensive, so today we want to share five ways to prevent water damage in your commercial building. 

  •  REGULAR MAINTENANCE. This is the number one way to prevent damage from water. Whether we are talking about the drainage areas for your entrances and your parking lots, or we are discussing leaks and floods in kitchen and bathroom areas, many times you can avoid these kinds of events through regular maintenance. Identify the areas on and around your premises that are the biggest risk, and schedule regular inspections and repairs for these areas. 
  • VIGILANCE. Instruct your workforce to say something if they see something. When an area is damp that should not be, something needs to be communicated. Additionally, when equipment that uses water, like dishwashers or commercial kitchen sinks, is not functioning properly, encourage your employees to let you know right away. 
  • WEATHER. If the weather news people are projecting a wet season, make it part of your daily routine to look around your grounds for overflowing ditches or gutters after heavy rains and storms. Take note of standing water, too. Issues like these can cause erosion and potholes, not to mention breed mosquitoes. 
  • RESTAURANTS/CAFES. If you own a restaurant or cafe, make sure the kitchen flooring is always properly taken care of to avoid water damage down the road. Closing after a long, busy evening can be stressful, but it’s not the time to cut corners when it comes to getting everything into shape for the next day. 
  • IMMEDIATE CLEANUP. If you have a flooding event, large or small, it is always going to be a good idea to get it cleaned up and dried completely as soon as possible. 

If you need help with a cleanup for water damage, large or small, here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids we are always ready to help. You can call us at (616) 662-9700

for assistance with fire damage and mold remediation, too.

Fire Prevention Tips for your Office

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Having proper equipment to prevent fires is important.

Studies have shown that most business fires occur while the premises are not populated, between the hours of 7 pm and 7 am, causing a large amount of damage. Commercial fires, caused by cooking equipment, are also potentially devastating, but surprisingly, the most damaging ones start in an office environment! Here are some fire prevention tips to help lower the odds your office is affected by fire.

Have A Plan. Designating someone as your “safety officer” is one step you can take that will really help. He or she can take the lead in establishing appropriate escape routes and meeting places, and setting up appropriate emergency procedures, as well. Your employees should be aware that the safety officer is in charge during any emergency and will be the one responsible for contacting emergency personnel, keeping track of employees, and assisting with providing information on equipment and chemicals kept in your office. An up-to-date emergency contact list should always be available at your place of business, and you should designate someone to be in charge of contacting family members or next-of-kin, in case of injury or a missing person.

Have Proper Equipment. There are specific items you will need to have on hand in advance of a fire, such as fire extinguishers and smoke alarms, and these are required through local building codes, so they should be present. Alarms and extinguishers need to be inspected monthly and replaced when necessary. You will also want to have a fully-stocked first aid kit and bottled water on hand, as well as flashlights, just in case.

Hold Regular Drills. Your safety officer should schedule regular drills and training to make sure everyone is well-versed in what to do in case of an emergency, such as an office fire. During these drills, new emergency response information can be shared to keep everyone up to date.

Follow these Preventive Tips to prevent a fire in the first place:

  • Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for maximum volt/wattage load for surge protectors, power strips and adapters, and ask your electrician to periodically inspect these items and outlets for potential overload.
  • Replace frayed power cords and never run them under rugs or carpeting. Use cord protectors, instead.
  • Unplug appliances (coffeemakers, microwaves) and other equipment not in use at the end of the day and over the weekend.
  • Replace appliances that feel warm or hot to touch.
  • Ask the fire marshal to inspect chemical and equipment storage areas periodically to ensure proper ventilation and stowage.
  • Store hazardous materials according to manufacturers’ instructions and OSHA regulations. Clearly mark these items to help emergency personnel identify and stabilize them.
  • Don’t prop fire doors open or block exits with furniture or boxes.
  • Don’t allow paper and other trash to accumulate outside of garbage or recycling receptacles, and never store this material near hot equipment, electrical outlets or the smoking areas.
  • Don’t permit employees to burn candles, scented oils, etc. in their personal work areas.

Our SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids team is here to help you in the event of damage from fire or water. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we are mold prevention and remediation specialists, too!

The 3 Most Common Places to Check for Mold Growth

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Make it a habit to regularly check under your sink for mold growth.

Mold. The mere mention of the word brings to mind all the unpleasant aspects of this organism - the unsightly black, red, or gray spots that appear, its odors, and the allergic reactions that many people experience when mold moves in. We all know that it can be very beneficial, though, by helping to create various cheeses and alleviate sickness, for example. But when we find it in our home or business, we forget about its benefits.

Keeping an eye out for mold growth in your house or place of business is a great way to prevent a colony from becoming established, protecting your possessions and the people you care about from being negatively impacted by its arrival.  

Here are three of the most common places you will find mold:

Under The Sink. Sinks often spring small leaks, and we may not even realize it for quite some time. A tiny leak in the darkness of a cabinet or at the base of a sink pedestal that goes unnoticed is prime real estate for a mold colony. When you are doing your regular inspections, this type of space is the first place you should check for mold growth.

Behind Appliances. The refrigerator, dishwasher, and washer are heavily used household items that involve large amounts of water, of course. They can also spring small leaks easily, and unless you look behind them or under them, you might never notice. These areas are also perfect places for mold spores to settle down.

Basements/Low-Lying Areas. Low-lying areas and basements can often experience damp conditions, especially during warm, wet weather. Windows that are not properly caulked, or roofing and rain gutters that haven’t been properly maintained, can allow water to reach these areas and create the dampness that mold just loves to inhabit.


When it comes to mold, remember that the SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids team is here to help. We are mold prevention and remediation specialists! We are also experienced in the areas of fire and water damage, too, and we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Preventing Flooding in Your Grand Rapids Office

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

If you're dealing with flooding, give us a call! We can help you out.

We all know what water damage to a business looks like after a flood or during heavy rainfall. Oftentimes, events such as these are unexpected, so it’s just good business to be prepared for this type of event.

Here are some tips to help you prevent flooding in your Grand Rapids office:

  • INSPECTIONS. Take a good look around your place of business to ensure that you are prepared for wet weather. Check exterior doors to see if they fit as tightly as they should and that both doors and windows are properly weather-stripped. A small leak can easily turn into a small flood in your office space. Your office parking lot or driveway needs to have a well-planned drainage system so entering and exiting your building can be safe even during wet weather. Flooding in your parking areas can bring your business to a halt. If you know you’ll see a lot of run-off from the parking area, consider using sandbags. Low-lying buildings next to a parking lot full of water can end up flooding, and you will want to plan ahead to prevent that from happening.
  • COMMUNICATE WITH PUBLIC SERVICES. Drainage areas that are maintained by the city or county should be monitored, especially during heavy rains. If these spots begin to overflow, contact your city representatives immediately. Keep them updated about the rivers and streams in your area, as well. If there is a problem developing, you can take steps to sandbag vulnerable areas around your office building.
  • INTERIORS. Some flooding isn’t caused by weather, it’s caused by an equipment failure. Make sure your plumbing and appliances are regularly inspected and maintained so that you don’t walk into a mess on a Monday morning. It’s all about preparedness.

The team here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is ready to help in any way we can. We have the expertise to handle water and fire damage, and we specialize in mold remediation. If you have sustained water damage to your property, give us a call today at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.

Five Steps to Storm-Proofing Your Garage

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Make sure to equip your garage to prevent storm damage!

Make storm-proofing your attached garage a priority when planning to protect your home from storms. Being one of the largest spaces in any home, your garage is also the most vulnerable place when it comes to high winds. Here are some tips to storm-proof your garage, which will also protect the rest of your home:

  1. High Impact Ratings. Storms with extreme wind will cause the most damage; when a garage is breached, the rest of your home is at risk. Water can come in, and even just an inch of water can cause expensive and unwanted damage. If you live in an area prone to tornadoes, it is recommended that you invest in a door that can withstand winds of 130 mph or higher. Doors with high impact-ratings will protect your home and belongings from flying debris.
  2. Bracing system. You can reinforce your garage door with a proper bracing system. Most garage doors are secured only by the tracks or hinges, which will be of no benefit during a powerful storm. A bracing system works by anchoring the door to the walls and floors and into each hinge.  
  3. Maintenance. If there are any holes, cracks, or breaches in your garage door, that will allow storm winds through. Perform a monthly inspection looking for these types of issues as well as problems with the weather stripping or any parts of the garage door mechanisms and functionality to ensure that any repairs are performed as soon as possible.
  4. Secure all windows. If you have windows in your attached garage, these are considered weak points during extreme weather. Ensure they are in good repair and the weather stripping is strong at all times. Having wrought-iron window protection installed can also be a protective addition to keep your glass safe from flying debris.
  5. Install drainage and flood vents. Make sure that your entire home is properly outfitted for the drainage of large amounts of water. You can have a trench drain installed around your home and on the sides of your driveway to divert water, and flood vents inside the garage can quickly drain any water coming inside before levels rise and cause damage.

Here at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids, we are always ready to help you if you experience water or fire damages; whether at home or in a commercial setting. Contact us today by phone at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.

Tips to Prevent Mold Damage in Your Home

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can wreak havoc on your home. Take preventive measures today!

The very mention of the word “mold” is enough to make anyone uncomfortable. We all know that mold can be beneficial, such as when used in penicillin or the making of cheeses, and we are aware of its role in the decomposition of organic matter, but when it comes to finding it in our homes, that is a different matter!

Mold spores spread easily and can never be completely eradicated. It can grow almost anywhere, too: carpet, clothing, food, and other places we never see. It is very difficult and costly to manage once it is detected. It can also produce irritants, allergens, and even toxins that can compromise your health--that’s what makes it such a serious matter when it takes hold in our living spaces.

Here are some tips to help you prevent mold damage in your home:

Identify issues. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home and determine the main weak spots. Does your basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window, or perhaps a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as removing carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Whatever the case may be, address the problem now.

Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so take care of wet areas right away. Any wet areas should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. Even everyday wet areas need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry outside or in areas with good air circulation.

Proper ventilation. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Use A/C units and dehumidifiers, but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer.

Use mold-resistant products. Use mold-resistant products like mold-resistant drywall or mold-resistant Sheetrock, and use mold inhibitors for paints when building or renovating.

Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement. You may be experiencing leakage just because your gutters are full or damaged. Have your roof gutters cleaned and inspected regularly to make sure they are sending water away from your structure. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak has started.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step, and always keep in mind that the SERVPRO team at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is here to help with any mold issues. We also handle damages from fire or water, such as flooding. Contact us today by phone at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.

How to Prepare Your Grand Rapids Home for Spring

4/9/2019 (Permalink)

Spring brings showers...which can bring water damage. Call us today to help out!

There is often still some snow on the ground this time of year in Grand Rapids, but the obvious signs of springtime are around us, too. You can see buds on the trees and the daffodils are showing their faces. We know you are more than ready for warmer weather, but what about your home?

Here are a few things to think about when it comes to preparing your Grand Rapids home for Spring:

Rain Gutters. These should be first on your to-do list. They can be full of dead leaves, small branches, and even dirt from winter weather. Clean out all rain gutters right away so the spring showers don’t cause mold problems and water damage to interior walls, and make sure the downspouts are directing water the right way, as well. The winter weather here in Grand Rapids could have caused them to change position.

Roofing. Did your roof fare well during the winter? As the melting begins, keep an eye on it to see if any leaks have started over the past few weeks and months. Take a look at any vents to see if vegetation or mold has taken hold.

Filters. The filters in your HVAC unit will probably need to be changed at this point, and you will want to clean out ducts, vents, and the system itself. Ductwork can be hard to check, so keep in mind that the SERVPRO team at SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids is always ready to come out and help.

Windows. Now is a good time to inspect windows for storm and water damage. Cracks, damaged weather stripping, improper fit: all these issues can cause problems down the road. Make arrangements to get your windows professionally cleaned and ready to enjoy the warmth and sunshine.

Foundations. Remove any remaining snow 3 to 5 feet away from your foundations and inspect them for cracks caused by winter weather conditions. These can be caulked and sealed as soon as you notice them.

Irrigation Systems. Check sprinkler systems and replace anything that has been affected by freezing conditions.

If you notice any really severe damage from winter storms during your inspections, don’t forget to take pictures for insurance purposes. If you need to make a claim of any kind, photos will come in handy.

You can rely on SERVPRO of South and North West Grand Rapids for all your repairs and clean-up needs. We specialize in water and storm damage, fire damage, and mold prevention. You can contact us by phone at (616) 662-9700, or visit us on our website.

Call the CLEANUP TEAM SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids, Faster to any size disaster

5/4/2018 (Permalink)

We're here to help 24/7 for your water damage needs!

There’s no such thing as a small disaster—especially when a small leak now could blossom into a big claim later. Unseen water can soak through walls, seep through carpet and pool on sub floors, causing major problems over time. You need help—fast. No matter what time of day or night, contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 to begin emergency mitigation.

Emergency mitigation means that under normal circumstances, we will be on-site within four hours to begin drying your building and restoring contents. The faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage to your facility. Every SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids technician is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. By utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology, your structure will be quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids will remove moisture and any contaminants by disinfecting and deodorizing to safely clean and dry your building and contents. Help ensure the value of your property by calling us at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids Take control of the Mold situation.

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is serious, let us take care of it for you.

Moisture control is the key to controlling mold. Take time to check for water damage in your home, especially in your basement.

The CDC also recommends keeping the humidity level in your house below 50 percent. Use an air conditioner during humid months. Make sure to check the ventilation in the kitchen and the bathroom. Open a window or turn on a fan when showering. Do not carpet bathrooms and consider using mold inhibitors that can be added to paints.

If you see moisture building up, act quickly and dry the area. If you have any water leaks, whether it is coming in through the roof, or from a pipe or the ground, patch it up immediately.

Another thing to keep in mind: The recent trend in housing construction has been for "tight" houses that allow little air circulation. While they can be more energy efficient, they also encourage mold, because water that gets trapped inside walls may not be able to escape. In other words, the house doesn't "breathe."

While it is possible to have your home tested for mold, the CDC says reliable testing can be expensive. It also says that standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or a tolerable quantity of mold have yet to be established. Also, if you do have your home tested, chances are you won't get back the results for a couple of weeks. During that time the problem could get even worse.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids Know your insurance coverage for Mold.

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Check with your carrier and learn your options about Mold coverage.

From the insurance perspective, damage from mold, like rust, rot and mildew is excluded from the typical homeowner’s policy.

The Insurance Information Institute says mold is covered under the homeowner’s policy, only if it is the result of a covered danger. For example, the costs of cleaning up mold caused by water from a burst pipe are covered. But mold that develops from, say, humidity or flooding is a maintenance issue that the property owner is responsible for.

The insurance industry argues that in order to keep homeowners insurance affordable and available to the masses this coverage wound up being excluded. If the policyholder does want mold coverage there is going to be an additional premium for it.

One thing to keep in mind is that there have been fewer claims recently. But critics say that is simply because insurers no longer cover the damage, so if it's not covered people do not put in claims.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids, understand water types to ensure proper clean up

5/3/2018 (Permalink)

Different types of water loss determine how you should take personal precautions.

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminate and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, document sand other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. 

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700.

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Set your plan in action!

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are basic measures business owner and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival. The following information is provided by ready.gov.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan

  • Your organization’s risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location.
  • Begin by reviewing your business process flow char, if one exist, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery.
  • Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
  • You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage

  • Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time.
  • Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruptions.
  • Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare your Emergency Plan

  • Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset.
  • Communication is essential before, during and after a disaster.
  • Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan

  • Some disaster will require employees to leave the workplace quickly.
  • The ability to evacuate works, customers and visitors effectively can save lives.
  • If your business operates out of o more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building.
  • If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure your facility and Equipment

  • Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places.
  • Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety.
  • Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable.
  • Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security

  • Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared.
  • Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date.
  • Don’t open e-mails from unknown sources.
  • Use hard-to-guess passwords.
  • Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls.
  • Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can help you prepare your Emergency READY Plan today! Call us at 616-662-9700.

No restoration need is too big for SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

No loss is too big for our fleet handle.

At SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids, no business is too big and no question is too small.  So when fire or water damage strikes your home or business, call on the cleanup team the insurance industry has trusted for more than 40 years.  That’s where you’ll find a team of specialist that’s faster to any-sized disaster.  So when the things that matter most are on the line, make sure we are too by calling 616-662-9700 or visiting www.SERVPROpsouthwestgrandrapids.com.  We’re here to help make Fire and Water damage “Like it never even happened.”

We are independently owned and operated with a team of 15 trained professionals. SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids is part of the nationwide Storm Response Team and has the support of over 1,700 franchises ready to serve your emergency needs.

Do you have an Emergency Communication Plan for when disaster strikes?

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Is your plan in place?

The following explains what an emergency communication plan is and why you should make one. It also provides tips and templates on how to make a plan. The following information is from ready.gov.

Why Make A Plan

Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan:

  • How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
  • How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
  • How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
  • How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
  • How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

Click here to Download And Print A Plan for:

Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

  • Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings. Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting: ready.gov/alerts.
  • Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go. Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire.  
  • Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:
    • phone (work, cell, office)
    • email
    • social media
    • medical facilities, doctors, service providers
    • school
  • Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:
  • Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.
  • Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.
  • If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.

Examples of meeting places:

  • In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
  • Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend’s home.
  • Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.
  1. Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.
  2. Practice your plan.Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.

Source ready.gov

When disaster hits your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 24/7 emergency services available.

Southwest Grand Rapids Get the facts on mold.

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is a fact of life, but there is bad mold. Know the facts!

Mold is not a plant or an animal. It is a type of fungus and a fact of life. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is always a little mold everywhere and one cannot avoid being exposed to it. It grows year round and is found both inside and outside. Mold has existed for at least 400 million years and doesn't need much to grow. All it takes is moisture, warmth and food.

If you are concerned, make sure to check out areas in your home where humidity and moisture levels are high. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and in walls where water from leaky pipes can accumulate.

The National Association of Home Builders says that in just 48 hours, a moist environment combined with the right room-temperature conditions can lead to mold growth. While you cannot keep mold spores completely out of your home, regular cleaning can often prevent severe problems before they arise. Log onto the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Web site for more details at epa.gov.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

PLAN AHEAD Southwest Grand Rapids: May is Wildfire Community Preparedness Day

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Wildfires happen! Join together to prevent with them.

In 2017, there were 66,131 wildfires in the U.S., which burned 9.7 million acres, according to National Centers for Environment Information (NOAA).

Help reduce your community’s wildfire risk by participating in a local event for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. To see a project map to locate local events, or for more information and resources to host your own event, visit wildfireprepday.org.

On Saturday, May 5, 2018 the NFPA celebrates national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. At a time when wildfires are causing more damage to homes and businesses each year, Preparedness Day is a reminder that there are many things we can do to be prepared for wildfire. The event serves as means to inspire and encourage people of all ages to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes there community a safer place to live.

If a wildfire affects your home or business, contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 today for 24-hour emergency service.

When you gather for dinner don't let fire ruin your supper

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

When your following your favorite recipe to cook, follow this safety recipe as well. Stay SAFE!

Every year families gather to celebrate special occasions by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your occasion could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It is important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire—
    • oven mitts
    • wooden utensils
    • food packaging
    • towels or curtains—away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids Professionals wish you a safe and happy family gathering.

Southwest Grand Rapids BBQ Hazards to avoid

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your grill at least 10 feet from any structure.

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms, especially during July. Each year, an average of 230 people are injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer

Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage.

There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous if safety precautions aren’t considered. SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill. Never leave your grill unattended.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don’t go off or in case of fire.
  • Children should never pick up left over fireworks as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

If you are affected by a fire contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 for emergency services for your home or business.

MAY IS NATIONAL BUILDING SAFETY MONTH

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Building codes provide you, your family and your community protection in the event of a natural disaster.

Building Safety Month, in its 38th year, is an initiative of the International Code Council (ICC) and their 64,000 members across the world, as well as their partners in building construction and design and the safety community. Building Safety Month is an opportunity to educate insurance and commercial property professionals, as well as the general public, on “what it takes to create safe, resilient, affordable, and energy efficient homes and buildings,” according to the ICC website.

The theme for 2018 is Building Codes Save Lives with a focus on safer communities over the five weeks in May.

One of the topics highlighted during the third week of the month is Protecting Communities from Disasters.

The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials “improve and protect the places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play,” and this month can certainly improve that awareness and educate communities on this topic!

IMPORTANT TIPS FROM THE ICC

Disaster Safety & Mitigation

  • If you live in a high wind or hurricane-prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from windborne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16" minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up.
  • Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your home. Follow ICC/ NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family.
  • In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse (dead twigs, branches, etc.) fuels within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks, and walkways. Follow ICC’s International Wildland-Urban Interface Code® for detailed requirements.
  • Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters. Never drive through floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle.

Source: iccsafe.org 

If a disaster hits your home Contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700, available 24/7 for emergency services.

When Tornadoes cause damage to your Southwest Grand Rapids property

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes happen when we least expect them, do you know what to do when then occur?

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado

After A Tornado

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust. Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and homes until local authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
  • If your home is without power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.

Source ready.gov

If a Tornado should hit your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 24/7 emergency services available.

Southwest Grand Rapids it’s the water you don’t see that causes the damage!

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

What's in your walls? Moisture in them can quickly lead to Mold.

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly problems in the future is to handle every water damage as a threat to your property. SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids Professionals.

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing our technicians to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity.

When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 616-662-9700 today for 24-hour emergency service.

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents to prevent fires

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Don't let lint ruin your home!

How often do you clean your dryer vent? Is this something you think about when you do your annual spring cleaning? Dryer lint is a great resource to save in a container to make fire starters for camping or outdoor fires. However it can wreak havoc in your home if you leave it in your dryer.

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can even cause injury or death.

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business ensure the following:

  • Clean your Lint filter after every use
  • Vacuum out the vent hose from the dryer
  • Keep debris clear from around and under the dryer
  • Keep vent flap clear of obstructions (such as: piled up lent, snow, a bird’s nest and potential obstacles)

For more information on cleaning dryer vents contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 today.

Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION in Southwest Grand Rapids

5/1/2018 (Permalink)

Let the professionals remove the odor from your home! We know how to attack source.

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized. Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.

Other odors that may require deodorization:

  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Pet Odors
  • Decomposition
  • Mold

As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.

With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids provides specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Our technicians do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO® own proprietary line of cleaning products is used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies and upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts, and more.

Our trained professional will explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.

If you or a neighbor suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 today for 24-hour service. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

No time like the present to Plan for disaster Southwest Grand Rapids

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Being prepared can save thousands of dollars in Restoration and Mitigation cost.

No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruptions by having and immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. The ERP also establishes SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years of experience and a System more than 1,700 franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO® READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device making help just a few clicks away. 

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a mall water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 to establish your Emergency READY Profile, and be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Advantages of the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document containing only the ciriti9cal information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Contact us today at 616-662-9700 to schedule your no-cost assessment!

BIOHAZARD, CRIME SCENE, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP

4/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids Professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids Professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove bio hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO® Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can help with the following issues:

  • Blood borne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson n Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 today for 24-hour emergency service.

Southwest Grand Rapids, Who can clean up Mold?

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

We are trained and certified to mitigate mold.

If you have mold, determining who should clean it up depends on several factors.

One consideration is the size of the mold problem. A little bit of mold in your shower is nothing to worry about. Frequent maintenance with bleach and water can do the trick. If the mold problem covers less than 10 square feet, chances are you can handle the cleanup yourself.

When handling or cleaning moldy materials wear gloves, goggles, and dress in long sleeves. If you want to limit your exposure to mold, you may want to consider wearing a respirator. They are available at many hardware stores for about $12 to $50. Also make sure the room is properly ventilated. Open a window, and get some fresh air.

If the problem extends beyond 10 square feet, consult the EPA's guide: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although it focuses on larger buildings, the advice applies to other areas as well. For a free copy call 1-800-438-4318.

If you are developing a more severe mold problem you will most likely not only be able to see it, but also smell it. Have you ever walked into a room with a musty odor? Chances are you smell mold. Keep in mind, sometimes you will not be able to see the mold because it may be hidden on the back of the wallpaper, tile, drywall or even underneath the carpet.

If you detect mold on the surface or on some of your items, the items may be discolored or looked smudged and blotched. When hiring a professional to do the cleanup, make certain you are dealing with someone who is trained in this type of cleanup.

You'll want to be very careful when hiring someone to do the job. SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids is trained in Mold mitigation, with 25 years of experience. Don’t get stuck with an inexperienced remediator who ends up botching the job. And remediation can be very costly, ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to more than $100,000. Also make sure to check references and a company's complaint record with the Better Business Bureau.

One other point: non-porous items such as glass and hard plastics that are still in good condition after the mold has been removed can be reused after a thorough cleaning. But items such as carpeting, clothing and insulation should be thrown out.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

It only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damage to your Southwest Grand Rapids property

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

If water can move a car, imagine what it can do to your home!

Image its 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday, and you walk into your home after a relaxing vacation expecting to switch on the lights, put the kids to bed then get some rest yourself.

The only problem? A water pipe burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your hardwood kitchen floor, your carpeted living room and your cement utility room. You realize this problem is far beyond the reach of your shop vac. What do you do now?

When it is your home or business that is underwater, mitigation cannot wait. You need mitigation to begin immediately. If water damage strikes you or your neighbor give SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids a call at 616-662-9700 any time, any day.

The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time. Wood Floors warp, dry wall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard-to-reach areas of your home or business.

The benefit of rapid mitigation offer by SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.

If the unthinkable happens to your home or business, allow SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids to help quickly turn your “before” into a “happily ever after.”

Southwest Grand Rapids Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

Let us do the work!

Why take the risk? Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids.

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through—especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it

“Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 616-662-9700 for 24/7 emergency service.

How to prepare for a Thunderstorm in Southwest Grand Rapids

4/26/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning Fires cause about $451 Million in property damage each year.

Southwest Grand Rapids, Is your family prepared for a Thunderstorm?

To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.

Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors

If you are: In a forest

Then: Seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.

If you are: In an open area

Then: Go to a low place such as a ravine or valley. Be alert for flash floods.

If you are: On open water

Then: Get to land and find shelter immediately.

Facts about Thunderstorms

  • They may occur singly, in clusters or in lines.
  • Some of the most severe occur when a single thunderstorm affects one location for an extended time.
  • Thunderstorms typically produce heavy rain for a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Warm, humid conditions are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.
  • About 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe – one that produces hail at least an inch or larger in diameter, has winds of 58 miles per hour or higher or produces a tornado.

Facts about Lightning

  • Lightning’s unpredictability increases the risk to individuals and property.
  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • “Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away from thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction.
  • Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  • Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000 but could be reduced even further by following safety precautions.
  • Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

Know the Terms

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a thunderstorm hazard:

Severe Thunderstorm Watch- Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning- Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.

Source ready.gov

If a Thunderstorm should hit your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 24/7 emergency services available.

Southwest Grand Rapids, FLOODING CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen anywhere. Are you prepared?

According the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately 75% of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United Sates as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Strom Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burns Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. ON average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

When catastrophic storm water damage happens to your commercial property, SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids can Help. We help you prepare ahead of time with and Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin clean up and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids is ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 616-662-9700.

Smoke Alarms

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Test every month, change battery every year and replace every 10 years.

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level, including the basement. Extra smoke alarms may be needed in large homes.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills with your family. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids Professional at 616-662-9700.

FIRE FACTS

* 7 People die every day from a home fire.

* 36 People suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day.

* $7 BILLION in property damage occurs every year.

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen water line burst in the wall of this Southwest Grand Rapids home.

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 SW, SE, NW Grand Rapids responded to my call with-in 15 minutes with a team of Professionally Trained technicians.  Their handled all of our furniture and belonging’s with extreme care.  It was a real blessing to have them in my home to relieve the stress of the situation and to have all everything cleaned out 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.

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 Southwest 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 s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
    • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

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

Restoring Your Southwest Grand Rapids area Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

We are #heretohelp!

Flooding and water damage events at Grand Rapid’s commercial properties 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. 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 there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids

SERVPRO of Southwest 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.

Sump Pump Failure during storm

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

How to a sump pump works

When the ground is dry and then gets an influx of water to saturate the ground, where does the water go? Once the water has flooded the surrounding grounds, the water searches for the weakest point to enter any hard surfaces. Many times that is your basement floor. Which is why we have sump pumps.

How it works - A hole is dug in the lowest part of your basement or crawlspace where a sump pump sits and filters out water. As the pit fills up, the pump turns on and moves the liquid out of the pit through pipes that run away from the foundation of your home into an area where it can drain, such as a municipal storm drain or a dry well. A one-way valve (check valve) keeps water from entering back into the home.

Why does it fail?

  1. Power Failure
  2. Pump is the wrong Size
  3. Improper Installation
  4. Switch Problems on the pump
  5. Lack of Maintenance
  6. Frozen or Clogged Discharge Lines
  7. Product Default
  8. Passed Life Expectancy

How can you prevent failure? Quarterly maintenance.

When there’s an influx of ground water or your power goes out, keep an eye on your pump to make sure you don’t become a victim of a flooded area in your home.

Another important point is the sump pump's power supply. The fact that sump pumps rely on electricity to operate does make them vulnerable in the event of a power outage. Fortunately, there are backup options available. For some people, at least those on municipal water systems -- and assuming the city water system is still functional -- water-powered sump pumps that don't need any electricity are an option. These pumps literally use the pressure of flowing water to pump water out of the sump. The downside to this design is that the pumping process uses virtually the same amount of city water as the quantity of water it pumps out. So, while water-powered pumps aren't necessarily a good choice for a main pump, they offer a viable option for a short duration backup pump.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids is here to help. We are available 24/7 for emergency services. Call us at 616-662-9700

Insert pic Sump pump C:\Users\Sales1\Documents\Sales\Web stages\Blog Pics

Mold clean-up process

3/30/2018 (Permalink)

Mold likes to hide, let us take it away!

When there’s a water intrusion, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call Your Local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids  understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. Call us at 616-662-9700, were here to help with your mold mitigation.

Water damage prevention tips

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Decluttered and Organized spaces is a great way to protect your contents when water damage occurs at your home.

Water damage to your property is a very devastating experience. It gets into the tinniest of spaces and travels like a winding stream. That is because water has found the weak spot in any material and followed it. Have you ever had a sump pump fail or a busted water pipe? You unknowingly step in water and wonder where in the world is this coming from?

As you follow the water trail, you notice contents in your home are wet. It’s no big deal just the outside of the box is wet, Right? Keep following the water trail and now you know you have a bigger problem. Your entire floor is covered with water!

First things first – stop or turn off the water source, wither it be a water line or the sump pump. Turn off the main water line or just the affected portion to fix the pipe. Replace or fix the sump pump is that is the culprit. Either call a plumber or fix it yourself. Big thing is to stop the source of the leak to prevent more water damage.

Second call SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids to extract the water and dry out your home.

But what about all your contents that got damaged? How can you protect your personal belongings from being ruined by water? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Invest in Plastic totes with lids to store items instead of cardboard.
  • Annual declutter clean. Take time each year to go through your items and use the Keep, Donate or Trash pile system.   If it’s broke, trash it. If you have used in the last year and foresee usage in the next year keep it. If it doesn’t fit, haven’t used in the last year or more, donate it.
  • Make sure you have the proper insurance coverage for your contents, in the event they do get damaged.
  • Remember to winterize your pipes.
  • Perform annual maintenance on your sump pump.
  • Know where the main the water shut off valve to stop the water from pipes.

Being prepared to prevent damage is always a great measure to take, but do you know who to call when disaster strikes your property? Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700, we’re here to help!

What to do with Mold!

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

When you can see Mold, you need us!

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same.

Call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids for an estimate and we will do the rest! Our production manager will inspect your damage, give you an estimate and set you up with an appointment to get the rest of the job done.

Our trained technicians will arrive to set up the containment and air filtration system to protect from further mold spreading. We go through the process of removing the mold and Mold-Infested Materials, then we begin cleaning contents and belongings. Once that is complete we begin restoration process.

SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. Call us at 616-662-9700, were here to help with your mold mitigation.

Be prepared for Natural Disasters

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Have a kit and plan together for when the big storm hits!

Don’t wait to prepare!! Emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people just like you. Tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting 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 ever 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 bandanas
  • 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 SERVPRO® Southwest Grand Rapids  Professionals for more information and tools to help you be “Ready for whatever happens.”

Portable Fire Extinguishers

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids cleans up the mess after the extinguisher is dispensed.

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tools when used correctly. Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.

Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.

Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.

Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Help people decide when to use a fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers can be helpful on a small fire. Consider providing a checklist to help people prepare to use a fire extinguisher on a potential fire.

For example:

  • Have I alerted others in the building that there’s a fire?
  • Has someone called the fire department?
  • Am I physically able to use a fire extinguisher?
  • Is the fire small and contained in a single object (like a pan or a wastebasket)?
  • Am I safe from the fire’s toxic smoke?
  • Do I have a clear escape route?
  • Use a fire extinguisher when all of these questions are answered “yes.” If you’re unsure about whether or not it’s safe to use a fire extinguisher, and for all other situations, alert others, leave the building, and call 911 from a mobile or neighbor’s phone. It is not recommended that children use fire extinguishers.

Visit US Fire Administration for more information on Choosing and using Fire extinguishers.

ARE YOU PREPARED?

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Our Emergency Ready Profile puts all your emergency information at the tip of your fingers 24/7.

Are You Prepared? As a member of the Ready Campaign’s National Preparedness Coalition, SERVPRO® is proud to present the following information.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies.

The following are common sense measures business owners and managers can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, the local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival. Review the following questions to learn if your company is prepared.

Be Informed

Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your company? Do you know what you will do in an emergency situation?

Develop a Business Continuity Plan Do you know which staff, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep operating? Do you have backup plans for those operations? Do you know what you will do if your building or plant is not accessible? Do you know what you will do if your suppliers are impacted by a disaster? Are you ready for utility disruptions?

Prepare Your Emergency Plan

Do you have an evacuation and shelter in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with employees before, during, and after an incident? Do you have copies of building and site maps with utilities and emergency routes marked? Are your employees trained for medical emergencies?

Practice the Emergency Plan

Have you practiced your plan recently? Do you practice and coordinate with other businesses in your building or industrial complex? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Facility and Equipment

Have you secured all the ways people, products, and supplies get into your building? Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what can be strapped down?

Improve Cybersecurity

Do you regularly install patches to your software? Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software? 

Promote Family and Individual Preparedness

Do you encourage employees to have a personal emergency supply kit and a family communication plan?

If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your business. Or call SERVPRO® of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 and ask to speak to us about the Emergency Ready Plan.

Southwest Grand Rapids, Are you prepared for Thunderstorms?

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Southwest Grand Rapids, To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:



  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.

  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.

  • Postpone outdoor activities.

  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.

  • Get inside a home, building, or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.

  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.

  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.

  • Unplug any electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.


Lightning Risk Reduction When Outdoors


If you are:


- In a forest; Seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.


- In an open area; Go to a low place such as a ravine or valley. Be alert for flash floods.


- On open water; Get to land and find shelter immediately.


 


Facts about Thunderstorms



  • They may occur singly, in clusters or in lines.

  • Some of the most severe occur when a single thunderstorm affects one location for an extended time.

  • Thunderstorms typically produce heavy rain for a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

  • Warm, humid conditions are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.

  • About 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe – one that produces hail at least an inch or larger in diameter, has winds of 58 miles per hour or higher or produces a tornado.


Facts about Lightning



  • Lightning’s unpredictability increases the risk to individuals and property.

  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.

  • “Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away from thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction.

  • Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.

  • Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000 but could be reduced even further by following safety precautions.

  • Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.


Know the Terms


Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a thunderstorm hazard:


Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Tells you when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio or television for information.


Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Issued when severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm.


Source ready.gov


If a Thunderstorm should hit your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 24/7 emergency services available.

When Tornadoes cause damage to your Southwest Grand Rapids property

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado

After A Tornado

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check-in with family and friends by texting or using social media.
  • Watch out for debris and downed power lines.
  • If you are trapped, do not move about or kick up dust. Tap on a pipe or wall or use a whistle, if you have one, so that rescuers can locate you.
  • Stay out of damaged buildings and homes until local authorities indicate it is safe.
  • Photograph the damage to your property in order to assist in filing an insurance claim.
  • Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property, (e.g., putting a tarp on a damaged roof), as insurance may not cover additional damage that occurs after the storm.
  • If your home is without power, use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns rather than candles to prevent accidental fires.

Source ready.gov 

If a Tornado should hit your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 24/7 emergency services available.

Do you have an Emergency Communication Plan for when disaster strikes?

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

This page explains what an emergency communication plan is and why you should make one. It also provides tips and templates on how to make a plan. The following information is from ready.gov.

Why Make A Plan

Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to think about the following situations and plan just in case. Consider the following questions when making a plan:

  • How will my family/household get emergency alerts and warnings?
  • How will my family/household get to safe locations for relevant emergencies?
  • How will my family/household get in touch if cell phone, internet, or landline doesn’t work?
  • How will I let loved ones know I am safe?
  • How will family/household get to a meeting place after the emergency?

Click here to Download and Print a Plan for:

Here are a few easy steps to start your emergency communication plan:

  1. Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings. Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting: ready.gov/alerts.
  2. Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go.Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire.  
  3. Collect information.Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:
  • phone (work, cell, office)
  • email
  • social media
  • medical facilities, doctors, service providers
  • school
  1. Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:
  • Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.
  • Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.
  • If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.

Examples of meeting places:

  • In your neighborhood: A mailbox at the end of the driveway, or a neighbor’s house.
  • Outside of your neighborhood: library, community center, place of worship, or family friend’s home.
  • Outside of your town or city: home of a relative or family friend. Make sure everyone knows the address of the meeting place and discuss ways you would get there.
  1. Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.
  2. Practice your plan. Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.

Source ready.gov

When disaster hits your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 24/7 emergency services available.

Southwest Grand Rapids it’s the water you don’t see that causes the damage!

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly problems in the future is to handle every water damage as a threat to your property. SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.

 

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids will answer your call with rapid action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids Professionals.

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing our technicians to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity.

 

When armed with this information, SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids can calculate and create an environment most condusive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.

  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles.

 

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 616-662-9700 today for 24-hour emergency service.

Southwest Grand Rapids Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Boarded up apartment after a fire.

Why take the risk? Call a SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids.

Whether after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through—especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself.

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it

“Like it never even happened.” Contact us at 616-662-9700 for 24/7 emergency service.

Southwest Grand Rapids Get the facts on mold.

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Mold is not a plant or an animal. It is a type of fungus and a fact of life. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is always a little mold everywhere and one cannot avoid being exposed to it. It grows year round and is found both inside and outside. Mold has existed for at least 400 million years and doesn't need much to grow. All it takes is moisture, warmth and food.

If you are concerned, make sure to check out areas in your home where humidity and moisture levels are high. This includes bathrooms, kitchens, basements, and in walls where water from leaky pipes can accumulate.

The National Association of Home Builders says that in just 48 hours, a moist environment combined with the right room-temperature conditions can lead to mold growth. While you cannot keep mold spores completely out of your home, regular cleaning can often prevent severe problems before they arise. Log onto the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Web site for more details at epa.gov.

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids, Who can clean up Mold?

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

If you have mold, determining who should clean it up depends on several factors.

One consideration is the size of the mold problem. A little bit of mold in your shower is nothing to worry about. Frequent maintenance with bleach and water can do the trick. If the mold problem covers less than 10 square feet, chances are you can handle the cleanup yourself.

When handling or cleaning moldy materials wear gloves, goggles, and dress in long sleeves. If you want to limit your exposure to mold, you may want to consider wearing a respirator. They are available at many hardware stores for about $12 to $50. Also make sure the room is properly ventilated. Open a window, and get some fresh air.

If the problem extends beyond 10 square feet, consult the EPA's guide: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although it focuses on larger buildings, the advice applies to other areas as well. For a free copy call 1-800-438-4318.

If you are developing a more severe mold problem you will most likely not only be able to see it, but also smell it. Have you ever walked into a room with a musty odor? Chances are you smell mold. Keep in mind, sometimes you will not be able to see the mold because it may be hidden on the back of the wallpaper, tile, drywall or even underneath the carpet.

If you detect mold on the surface or on some of your items, the items may be discolored or looked smudged and blotched. When hiring a professional to do the cleanup, make certain you are dealing with someone who is trained in this type of cleanup.

You'll want to be very careful when hiring someone to do the job. SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids is trained in Mold mitigation, with 25 years of experience. Don’t get stuck with an inexperienced remediator who ends up botching the job. And remediation can be very costly, ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to more than $100,000. Also make sure to check references and a company's complaint record with the Better Business Bureau.

One other point: non-porous items such as glass and hard plastics that are still in good condition after the mold has been removed can be reused after a thorough cleaning. But items such as carpeting, clothing and insulation should be thrown out.

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids Take control of the Mold situation.

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Moisture control is the key to controlling mold. Take time to check for water damage in your home, especially in your basement.

The CDC also recommends keeping the humidity level in your house below 50 percent. Use an air conditioner during humid months. Make sure to check the ventilation in the kitchen and the bathroom. Open a window or turn on a fan when showering. Do not carpet bathrooms and consider using mold inhibitors that can be added to paints.

If you see moisture building up, act quickly and dry the area. If you have any water leaks, whether it is coming in through the roof, or from a pipe or the ground, patch it up immediately.

Another thing to keep in mind: The recent trend in housing construction has been for "tight" houses that allow little air circulation. While they can be more energy efficient, they also encourage mold, because water that gets trapped inside walls may not be able to escape. In other words, the house doesn't "breathe."

While it is possible to have your home tested for mold, the CDC says reliable testing can be expensive. It also says that standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable or a tolerable quantity of mold have yet to be established. Also, if you do have your home tested, chances are you won't get back the results for a couple of weeks. During that time the problem could get even worse.

Your best bet is to clean the area immediately if you think you see or smell mold. If you are determined to hire a technician to test the area, check with your local health department for references.

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Southwest Grand Rapids Know your insurance coverage for Mold.

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

From the insurance perspective, damage from mold, like rust, rot and mildew is excluded from the typical homeowner’s policy.

The Insurance Information Institute says mold is covered under the homeowner’s policy, only if it is the result of a covered danger. For example, the costs of cleaning up mold caused by water from a burst pipe are covered. But mold that develops from, say, humidity or flooding is a maintenance issue that the property owner is responsible for.

  

The insurance industry argues that in order to keep homeowners insurance affordable and available to the masses this coverage wound up being excluded. If the policyholder does want mold coverage there is going to be an additional premium for it.

One thing to keep in mind is that there have been fewer claims recently. But critics say that is simply because insurers no longer cover the damage, so if it's not covered people do not put in claims.

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-662-9700.

Call the CLEANUP TEAM SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids, Faster to any size disaster

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

There’s no such thing as a small disaster—especially when a small leak now could blossom into a big claim later. Unseen water can soak through walls, seep through carpet and pool on sub floors, causing major problems over time. You need help—fast. No matter what time of day or night, contact SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700 to begin emergency mitigation.

 

Emergency mitigation means that under normal circumstances, we will be on-site within four hours to begin drying your building and restoring contents. The faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage to your facility. Every SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids technician is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. By utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and the latest technology, your structure will be quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages.

 

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids will remove moisture and any contaminants by disinfecting and deodorizing to safely clean and dry your building and contents. Help ensure the value of your property by calling us at 616-662-9700.

It only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damage to your Southwest Grand Rapids property

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Image it’s 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday, and you walk into your home after a relaxing vacation expecting to switch on the lights, put the kids to bed then get some rest yourself.

 

The only problem? A water pipe burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your hardwood kitchen floor, your carpeted living room and your cement utility room. You realize this problem is far beyond the reach of your shop vac. What do you do now?

 

When it is your home or business that is underwater, mitigation cannot wait. You need mitigation to begin immediately. If water damage strikes you or your neighbor give SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids a call at 616-662-9700 any time, any day.

 

The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time. Wood Floors warp, dry wall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard-to-reach areas of your home or business.

 

The benefit of rapid mitigation offer by SERVPRO of southwest Grand Rapids are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.

 

If the unthinkable happens to your home or business, allow SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids to help quickly turn your “before” into a “happily ever after.”

Southwest Grand Rapids understand water types to ensure proper clean up

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminate and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

    • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, document sand other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids at 616-662-9700.

6 Money-Saving Spring-Cleaning Hacks For Your Home

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Spring is here and with it that familiar itch to overhaul your living space. Before you go wild buying fancy cleaning tools to eliminate every last speck of dust or raid your local home store for seasonal accents to fill every room in your house, pause to consider the cost. Spring cleaning doesn't have to be expensive. We've rounded up some affordable yet effective ways you can update your space.

Sell What You No Longer Need

Spring is about renewal, and Spring cleaning is about letting go of the old to make way for the new. So if you find yourself left with a pile of decor and furniture that no longer serves you, considering selling pieces or donating to organizations.

Rent or Borrow Expensive Equipment

Maybe you don't have room in your home for hefty cleaning supplies or maybe you just don't use them enough to justify the investment. This doesn't mean you can't go deep with your Spring cleaning; it just means you should outsource that carpet steamer or floor polisher, renting from local store or even borrowing from a neighbor or friend.

Shop Organizing Products Shrewdly

Baskets, bins, trays and canisters — these are the organization tools you need to organize pretty much every room in your home. And while buying them is a necessary evil for Spring cleaning, it doesn't have to be a budget blower. Instead of splurging on fancy products from name brand stores, shop at more affordable retailers.

Touch Up Old Pieces

If you do simple touch ups yourself, you may find you don't need to replace that dinged up ancient piece of furniture after all. A paint pen can erase a scratches in your table while a coat of fresh paint will make a chipped dresser look like new, all giving your home that fresh Spring look without the big expense.

DIY Products

From finding brilliant ways to clean everything in your home with WD-40 and vinegar, to mixing up your own fragrant air freshener, skip the expensive products and make your own.

Rearrange Your Furniture

Spring cleaning can remind you of what you hate or want to replace in your house, but if redecorating isn't in the budget, try rearranging instead. You'll be shocked by what a big design difference it makes to simply move pieces around — not to mention how much easier it is on your wallet.

https://www.popsugar.com/home/How-Spring-Clean-Budget-43350064

Is the job too big for you to handle? Call Us 24/7 – SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids 616-662-9700 

It's spring. Here's how to allergy-proof each room of your home

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Warmer-than-normal weather launched allergy season early this year, pumping up pollen counts across much of the nation. And if you think you can retreat indoors to relieve your sniffles, think again.


Two thirds of people with allergies suffer them year round, said allergist James Sublett, M.D., co-founder of Family Allergy & Asthma in Lousville, Ky. And the leading cause of those year-round allergies are dust mites, animals and cockroaches, he said, all of which make their homes inside of ours.


Outdoor allergens will make it into our homes through normal ventilation, Sublett said. "And of course it gets tracked in, too."


If you can't escape allergens, it's time to go on the attack. Here are Sublett's tips on allergy-proofing each room of your home.


The bedroom


Your bedroom deserves the most attention, Sublett said, since you lie and breathe there for eight or so hours a night. Dust mites live primarily in bedding, so buy a set of high-quality, mite-proof encasements for your pillows and mattress. They should be tightly woven with zippers that seal completely. Wash all your bedding weekly in any temperature of water to kill any mites. Doing this weekly is key as it ensures you eliminate both mites and their eggs before they hatch, Sublett said.


If you're allergic to pollen, it's a good idea to shower at night before bed. And consider keeping your room a pet-free zone, as a Golden Retriever can track in allergens on a high pollen day.


The living room


Your living room, and any space you spend much time in, should have "smooth surfaces as much as possible," Sublett said. Smooth, clear surfaces wipe down easily, such as a hardwood floor or a plastic chair. Window blinds are perhaps preferable to drapes for the same reason, he said. Avoid rugs or carpeting whenever possible.


"I know the carpeting industry doesn’t like this idea, but when you have a carpet, you do have like a big sponge there that collects dust," he said. "Normal activity is going to throw that back up in the air."


If rugs and carpeting are unavoidable, regular vacuuming removes much of the dust. Sublett recommends a respirator mask to protect from particles while cleaning—just make sure it's an N95 respirator that's NIOSH-approved, he said. Finding a high-quality disposable air filter for your furnace is important, too, Sublett said. Most are made to be replaced every three months.


The kitchen


Your biggest enemy in the kitchen is mold. Periodically clean any spots where leaks or spills might occur, including under the sink and your refrigerator's drain pan, Sublett said. When you do clean, avoid products with strong odors or fumes. Sublett prefers a small amount of bleach mixed in a bucket of water with some dishwasher detergent. And seal food in stored containers, leaving nothing that might attract pests such as cockroaches.


The bathroom


Using a ventilation fan when you shower helps cut back on your home's humidity, which should stay under 50% to ensure dust mites lack the moisture to thrive, Sublett said. A humidistat will help you measure it. Avoid humidifiers or vaporizers in the home, too.


The laundry room


Don't leave out piles of damp clothing and towels, Sublett said, which become a welcome mat for dust mites and mold. Ensure your clothes dryer vents to the outside of your home, too, doing away with excess moisture.


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/03/24/s-spring-heres-how-allergy-proof-each-room-your-home/99563062/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatodaycomnation-topstories


Have Questions? Gives a call – SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids 616-662-9700

Southwest Grand Rapids 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today – 616-227-9700

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids 

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

http://www.SERVPROsouthwestgrandrapids.com/employee-photos

Certifications

  • UFT - Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • HST - Health and safety Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • CMR - Council-certified Microbial Remediator
  • CCT - Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program

Does Your Southwest Grand Rapids Home Have A Mold Problem?

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

In Southwest Grand Rapids, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:



  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.

  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.

  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.

  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.

  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.


 


If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.


If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 616-662-9700

When Storms or Floods hit Southwest Grand Rapids, SERVPRO is ready!

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Southwest Grand Rapids.

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we 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 quicker 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 Southwest Grand Rapids, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises 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

For Immediate Service in Southwest Grand Rapids, Call SERVPRO

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Southwest Grand Rapids Residents: We provide immediate service day or night!

SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Southwest Grand Rapids. 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 Southwest Grand Rapids home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • 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:

http://www.SERVPROsouthwestgrandrapids.com/commercial-cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration

Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Southwest Grand Rapids, MI Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.


What to Do:



  • Stay out of affected areas.

  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

  • Contact SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids for mold remediation services.


What Not to Do:



  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.

  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.

  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.


About Our Mold Remediation Services


SERVPRO of Southwest Grand Rapids specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.


If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 616-662-9700

Southwest Grand Rapids, Smoke and Soot Cleanup

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  


Smoke and soot 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.

  • 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 Southwest 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. Here is some additional information:


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


Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.


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

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen water line burst in the wall of this Southwest Grand Rapids home.

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 SW, SE, NW Grand Rapids responded to my call with-in 15 minutes with a team of Professionally Trained technicians.  Their handled all of our furniture and belonging’s with extreme care.  It was a real blessing to have them in my home to relieve the stress of the situation and to have all everything cleaned out 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.

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 Southwest 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 s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
    • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

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

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