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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How To Prevent Water Damage In Your Bathroom

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Your bathroom is probably the most vulnerable area in your home or business when it comes to damage from water, and that only makes sense. To prevent such damage from occurring, you will want to do regular assessments of pipes, faucets and fixtures, caulking, and more. If you can identify aging equipment and replace it before it fails, you will avoid the most common causes of water damage in your bathroom. 

Here is a great list of things to look for:

  • You may notice wallpaper or paint peeling away or appearing discolored in your bath area. Check for bowing in the walls, which can be a result of long-term seepage. If the flooring is swollen or removed from the subfloor, that is another indicator of water seepage. If any of these signs appear, it’s important to find the source of the leak. 
  • Look for cracks in window seals and door panes, as well. 
  • Odors are a powerful indicator that there is an excess water problem. Oftentimes, it’s mold or mildew that causes those smells, so look in those hard-to-see places, such as under the sink, behind the toilet, and in the closet. 
  • Make a regular inspection of pipes and hoses; if you see one that is getting old, replace it BEFORE it fails. Waiting until it breaks will mean a water damage event, which you want to avoid. 
  • If you do experience flooding in your bathroom, such as from a toilet backing up or a bathtub overflowing, make sure you remove the standing water right away. Employ fans if you can (be sure not to plug them in until you know that there is no dampness in the wall); these will help to speed up the drying process. 

Call the professionals at SERVPRO if the worst happens; we’re experienced and trained to remediate and repair areas 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 here to help with cleanups after water damage or fire damage, and we handle mold invasions, biohazards, vandalism, and more. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too! This franchise is independently owned and operated. 

Preparing Your Home For A Major Storm

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

When the warmer air of Spring collides with the last of winter cold, major storms can be the result. Preparing your home for a major storm will help you and your loved ones stay safe and can prevent damages in many cases. Here are tips to help you prepare your home for a major storm:

BE PROACTIVE

Conduct an inspection of your home and yard before stormy weather hits to determine if your home has a leaky roof or windows - these can of course cause big problems during the heavy rains and strong winds of a major storm. Ensure that all your exterior doors, windows, and shutters fit correctly and are weather-stripped appropriately. Be proactive by inspecting roofing and repairing issues ahead of storms so that your home will withstand high winds.

TREES AND BUSHES

Unstable large trees and bushes will be a danger in the high winds of a major storm. To avoid severe damages to your home, trim back trees and bushes with large heavy branches so that windows and vehicles are not in danger of being destroyed by flying debris. If vegetation is unhealthy and dying, it should be removed from your property as a proactive measure.

PROPER DRAINAGE

Your property may have drainage ditches or creeks that are meant to handle excess water during storms. Take time to inspect these areas and remove debris or dirt that might obstruct the flow of water from heavy rain, since a major storm will very often cause flooding of all waterways. A clogged drainage ditch or creek bed can be the source of damage to your property during such an event. Proper drainage can be an issue in parking areas as well, so you will want to make a thorough inspection of your walkways, parking areas, and entrances to your home, garage, and any outbuildings to ensure that they can all be accessed even in the event that you experience flooding on your property. 

EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION

In the case of a major storm, your cell phone service could be at risk, so you might want to consider installing a landline in case area cell phone towers are damaged or go down. Having an emergency radio and a supply of batteries on hand is another proactive way to prepare.  Make sure that everyone who drives in your family knows safe routes home and that they should never drive into flowing water. Even the smallest creek can become a huge danger during a major storm that involves heavy rainfall. Establish a safe place to stay for those who may be out during bad weather in case they get caught behind floodwaters. Stock up on drinking water and foods that can be prepared without heat, and be sure to have sources of light. Those who are on regular medication need to have adequate amounts on hand as a proactive step. 

The professionals here SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids are always available in the event of damage to your home from a major storm, as well as fire damage, mold issues, biological contamination, vandalism, and more, and we are faster to disasters of any size. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, as well - ask us how. This franchise is independently owned and operated. 

Creating An Emergency-Ready Plan For Your Business

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

The structures and equipment of your business can be negatively affected by an emergency and these are most often completely unexpected. Staff can be injured or find themselves in dangerous situations so you will want to be able to prevent this kind of situation whenever possible. You should have an emergency preparedness plan in place, and if you do it needs to be kept up-to-date. If you do not have such a plan in place, now is the perfect time to create an emergency-ready plan for your business.

You want to be prepared for any emergency event, such as: 

  • Pandemic
  • Fire/Wildfire
  • Earthquake
  • Hurricane
  • Tornado
  • Flood
  • Hazardous material spill
  • Blizzard

PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE

Establish a regular maintenance plan to ensure that all areas around your buildings are kept free from flammable materials and that landscaping is trimmed well on a regular basis to prevent fires from spreading if they occur; this is a vital first step to any emergency ready plan. Doors or windows need to be properly sealed, parking and entrance/exit areas should always be clear and safe, and the roofing of your structures should be kept in good repair, as a start. 

EVACUATION INFORMATION

State law requires that you post an evacuation plan in a visible place for your staff and customers, and this needs to be current at all times. Make sure that your employees know where it can be found and that it is clear to them, and practice evacuation procedures so that they can be followed easily should the worst happen. 

CURRENT CONTACT INFORMATION

Update your phone and email contact information regularly so that all employees can be effectively alerted to important information whether they are at work or at home, should an emergency occur. Contacts for utilities, fire departments, law enforcement, and other government agencies should be listed in a specific location and each employee should have easy access to this information at all times. 

RESOURCES

There are some great resources available for you to use when you are creating your emergency ready plan, and some examples are:


Our team here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is ready to help when your home or business is affected by water damage, fire damage, mold infestations, biological contamination, vandalism, and more. Our professional damage restoration company is an important resource during tough times; we are able to complete all necessary repairs in a timely and efficient manner to keep you, your workforce, or your loved ones out of harm’s way. Ask us how we can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! This franchise is independently owned and operated.

Top 3 Fire Hazards In Your Home

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

House fires cause injury, property damage, and death throughout the nation every year. Being aware of the biggest hazards could help you keep your loved ones safe from the results of a house fire, and help you avoid the costs associated with recovering from that kind of disastrous event.

Here are the top 3 fire hazards in your home to be aware of (plus some safety tips to help you manage them):

CANDLES

It’s never wise to light a candle and leave the room. Research has found that there is an average of 10,000-plus fires in the U.S. started by candles every year; that’s an average of 29 candle fires per day! Additionally, one-third of these fires were found to have started in bedrooms, and half of those incidents were due to fires from candles that were left too close to flammable items.

SERVPRO Safety tips:

  • Never leave a candle burning near flammable items, and extinguish all candles before leaving the room.
  • Never leave a candle burning in a child’s room or an unoccupied room.
  • Make sure candles fit securely into candle holders to avoid accidents from tipping.

SMOKING

The number of fires caused by smoking is trending downward, but The National Fire Protection Association reports that there are still currently an average of over 17,000 smoking-related fires per year! This agency also shares that even though the number of smoking-material-related fires has dropped in the last few years due to a decline in smoking, it is still a major culprit. Especially among older people, who are at higher risk.

SERVPRO Safety tips:

  • Smoke outside whenever possible.
  • Look for cigarette butts under furniture and between seat cushions for those that might not have been extinguished.
  • Never smoke when you’re tired or around medical oxygen, or in bed.

ELECTRICAL/LIGHTING

Electrical fires can be caused by an equipment malfunction due to an overloaded circuit, a bad extension cord, an overheated light bulb, or various types of home appliances.

SERVPRO Safety tips:

  • Don’t overload outlets or electrical cords.
  • Ensure you use the right cord for the job; use inside cords for inside and heavy-duty/outside cords outdoors.
  • Don’t leave Christmas lights, Christmas trees, or halogen lights on overnight or when gone from your home.
  • Schedule an electrician to come and perform an annual checkup of your home’s wiring.

These are the top three fire hazards you need to be aware of in your home, but there are other fire hazards to guard against, as well. SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is always available to come to your home and conduct an assessment of your fire safety practices. We are proud to serve our community in the restoration of homes and businesses when damage happens from fire, water, accidents, vandalism, biohazards, and more. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

3 Ways SERVPRO Can Help Your Business After A Disaster

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is your trusted leader when it comes to disasters in your business, and our highly trained restoration industry technicians are standing ready 24-hours a day to bring you emergency service. When fire damage or water damage affects your business, you can count on us.

Here are three ways SERVPRO can help your business after a disaster:

MOISTURE MANAGEMENT

We can help you dry up!

SERVPRO has all the skills and equipment necessary to dry damp areas and restore items that have been negatively affected by moisture; these items can be textiles, structure-related, documents, and more. If you have experienced a fire, the fire-fighting efforts will include a lot of water, or you may have undergone a flooding event. Each of these situations will involve moisture and that can be very damaging to your business. We will help you pack up what is salvageable so that it can be cleaned and inventory every piece. We remove sheetrock, carpet, and insulation and remediate the building.

MANAGEMENT OF UNHEALTHY ENVIRONMENTS

Your belongings and structure will be compromised and damaged by fire, no matter what size the blaze may have been, or you may have experienced a chemical spill, a biohazard, or a mold infestation. Each of these scenarios can create unhealthy - and even dangerous - environments that can cause severe illness and injury. SERVPRO is a professional company that can manage unhealthy odors, air quality issues, dangerous substances, and more, ensuring that your business premises are safe and accessible.

MANAGEMENT OF STRUCTURAL SAFETY

If your business experiences an event that compromises your premises, such as a fire, a flood, or a large accident, we are here to inspect and assess your buildings and grounds, prepare a thorough evaluation with recommendations, and complete all the necessary recovery procedures needed to get you back to work as soon as possible. We are experienced in working together with insurance claim adjusters and are happy to help you make those processes as smooth as possible.

These are just three of the many ways we are here to help you recover your business after a disaster. Visit our website for more information!

Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we can be on-site with all the experience and equipment necessary to get you back to normal quickly if you experience a disaster of any size. We handle cleanup projects of all types, including after water damage, fire damage, mold infestation, vandalism, and more. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

What To Do If Your Basement Floods

3/23/2021 (Permalink)

Since your basement is often used for storage, vulnerable items such as electronics, textiles, and items made with paper will be damaged if they become water-logged from a flooding event. Once that happens, you may find yourself with a lot of personal belongings that could be lost forever, and employing the help of a professional restoration can keep that from happening. They can also assist with mold and mildew remediation, water removal, structure repair, and other flooding-related issues. 

Today we have some tips that can help you know what to do if your basement floods.

Call The Professionals

First, make sure anyone who is involved is safe, and being careful in navigating the situation. If you have a large amount of standing water in your basement, call your power company, electrician, and/or your professional water damage cleanup team immediately. These professionals have the tools and training to handle the situation properly and will be able to determine the safest steps to take in beginning the cleanup process without increasing the risk of fire damage exposed wiring, etc. 

Increase and Sustain Air Flow

You can use your shop-vac to clean up smaller amounts of standing water while you are waiting for the professionals to arrive. Once the water is removed, a dehumidifier or fans can be used to circulate air to discourage mold growth and mildew. Make sure to keep any machinery at least eight inches away from walls to allow for the best circulation possible. Your air conditioning can be a big help here; keep it running throughout the building for further help in discouraging a mold colony from starting. 

Use Cleaning Solution

Another way to keep mold from taking advantage of damp surfaces is by scrubbing them with a solution of one cup bleach to one gallon of water; be sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear during this process, and don’t forget to keep the room ventilated while you are using cleaning solutions.

You don’t have space anywhere else in your home or business to store excess items, so using air- and water-tight plastic bins will protect your items against a future flooding event. 


Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we have all the skills necessary to be able to help whenever you experience water damage or fire damage, and we are mold and mildew remediation specialists, too. We handle large cleanup projects for commercial business owners and smaller projects for area homeowners, and we can get your premises Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned! This franchise is independently owned and operated.

Commercial Cleaning Services For Your Business

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Our highly-trained technicians here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids team are always dedicated to responding quickly to disasters of any size, and that includes those that involve cleanup after fire damage or water damage in your business. Our team consists of professionals who are from the Grand Rapids area and we know our community inside and out. We can be onsite to help you with your commercial cleaning needs right away so that we can get you back to work as soon as possible.

In the case of a health-related issue, our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned defensive cleaning program will give your business a way forward to provide your employees and customers with ongoing safety as you operate during such an event and afterward. As America’s #1 cleanup and restoration brand, we have developed a program that is grounded in our 3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify:

Consult

We start by consulting the client about the unique needs of each space.

Clean

An expert deep clean is then initiated using our proprietary EPA-approved, hospital-grade cleaning solutions. We always adhere to CDC standards.

Certify

You’ll know a business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned by the shield posted on their front window. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon represents their commitment to the comfort and security of their employees, customers, and community.

We are trusted leaders in the disaster restoration industry, and mold remediation is one of our specialties. We provide 24-hour emergency service, and our team’s intensive, ongoing training ensures that we have the expertise to handle all your restoration and cleaning projects. We also handle specialty cleaning projects, such as:

Every hour you have to spend cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity, so SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids provides professional cleaning or emergency restoration services to get your business running smoothly again as soon as possible. We have the training, equipment, and resources to handle commercial cleaning projects of any size. 


Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids to get the job done right the first time. They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

Bonfire Safety Tips

2/23/2021 (Permalink)

Cold weather is ideal for bonfires, and it is an activity that many people enjoy during the colder months. You may be planning a barbecue or a bonfire party, and we know you and your guests will have an awesome time, but we also know that accidents can happen if good safety practices are not observed at these types of events. With that in mind, we are going to share some bonfire safety tips with you today so that you can be sure that your event is memorable for all the right reasons. 

Never Leave Bonfire Unattended

Most bonfire accidents happen quickly, so don’t step away from the fire for even a few minutes. Keep a bucket of dirt or a hose nearby to deal with any incidents immediately. Being vigilant will let you address any problems before severe fire damage happens. We recommend that you wear hard-soled shoes around the fire, too, for protection from flying sparks.

Build In A Safe Location

Choose a location well removed from any flammable materials. Prepare a patch of bare dirt, dig a small depression, and surround the perimeter of your fire with stones; these steps will prevent your bonfire from spreading unexpectedly. Make sure there are no dry grasses, trees, shrubs, fences, sheds, cables, or wires around or above the bonfire. 

Choose Proper Materials

An ideal bonfire should be built only from wood, charcoal, paper, sticks, and other organic materials, and you should never use accelerants like lighter fluid or gasoline on the fire. These can cause the bonfire to quickly spread and even to explode. Once the fire is going, avoid throwing batteries, fireworks, and other combustible materials into the fire, and don’t burn items such as tires, furniture, or other things that are man-made, since the materials used in their construction can be toxic when burned. 

Extinguish Fire Properly

Even when a bonfire burns down, it still contains a lot of heat. Many fire damage incidents happen because a smoldering bonfire reignites long after everyone is gone. To put a fire out properly, spread the ashes out with a rake or shovel to let them cool, and gently pour water over the ashes until no burning or hot areas are left. If the fire is properly put out, you will not feel any heat if you extend your hand over the area above it. 

If you experience damage from fire, water, or a weather event, keep in mind that the team here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is ready to help at a moment’s notice. We are disaster restoration experts, and we have all the skills and tools necessary for mold prevention and remediation, too. 

This SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

HVAC Maintenance This Winter

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

One of the most important home or business maintenance projects during the winter months is maintaining your HVAC unit. Neglecting this most important piece of equipment can lead to extremely bothersome situations, but regular maintenance practices can help you avoid that altogether. You can choose to do it yourself or to hire a professional to oversee your HVAC.

A professional will inspect and clean the wiring and mechanisms for your HVAC unit and determine if you have any outstanding operational issues that need to be addressed immediately. You can also maintain your HVAC yourself to increase its efficiency between professional inspections and maintenance visits through these practices found below:

  • Check thermostat and controls for proper measurement and regulations
  • Inspect fan motors, blowers, vents, and ductwork and lubricate all moving parts
  • Replace worn-out belts and pulleys
  • Inspect electrical components and connections as well as replacing batteries
  • Check for gas leaks and flue gas passageways
  • Install high-efficiency, pleated air filters and be sure to change regularly
  • Keep your heating units and AC free of pollen, leaves, and grass
  • Maintain a clear two feet of space around your outdoor AC and heating units
  • Inspect refrigerant lines every month and clean drain lines and pans
  • Inspecting the heat exchanger, heating elements, heat pump, burner, and the ignition system

Inspection, preparation, and maintenance of your HVAC throughout this will keep your unit in top form and that means your interior living and working environments will be comfortable through all kinds of freezing conditions and will help you avoid going out into such conditions to handle any HVAC issues. 

At SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, our team continually maintains the skill and equipment necessary to keep your HVAC working perfectly during even the coldest winter weather. We are also experienced in large cleanup projects that can help you to recover from fire damage or water damage, and we are mold remediation experts. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, as well. Ask us how!

This SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

5 Tips for Home Owners

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

Chalkboard drawing of a house that includes a red heart within the house. If you love your home, take steps to proactively protect it.

Your home is likely the largest asset you will ever own. So what are a few things that you can do to ensure that your investment is protected? We are glad you asked! Here are a few tips from your local SERVPRO professionals right here in Grand Rapids, MI.

Know where your main water valve is located

It is incredible how many people think that they can shut the water off to the entire house by closing the valve located under the sink in the kitchen or behind the toilet. These are not the only water valves in the house. In fact, they are only meant to cut water supply to that specific unit. Look for the water meter in your home. There should be a valve located next to that water meter; that is the valve you want to tag as the primary shut-off point. Make certain that each member of the family knows what this is and where it is located. Properly shutting the water down quickly can save you a lot of money and spare your home from a lot of damage. If you do need water damage restoration, your team at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids can be there quickly and get your home on the road to recovery in a flash.

Inspect your home

At the time of purchase, many people choose to have the home inspected. This is a good precaution to take, but what about years down the road? Keep an eye on your appliances and the integrity of the general structure of your home; especially areas that grant some sort of access to the outside. If you are not sure what to look for to determine the current areas that could pose an issue in the future, hire an inspector to evaluate your home. Licensed home inspectors are a knowledgeable resource that could help you prevent an expensive repair down the road.

Change your locks

This tip applies mostly to those who have recently purchased a home. It is quite standard for the previous home owner to leave a couple of sets of keys on the counter, which is great. However, those keys are usually the sets that the homeowner utilized, but what about family and friends that may have house sat on occasion? There is no telling how many copies of that key are floating around the neighborhood.  If there is a keyless entry system set up for your home or the garage be sure to clear the current code and update it.

Emergency Contact List

Working with a person or company you trust is SO important. Especially if you are working with a service provider such as a local plumber, electrician, or restoration partner that would likely need access to your home for a period of time. Having a list of those trusted contacts will empower the entire household to be proactive when a situation occurs. Making the emergency list easily accessible could also significantly reduce response time and limit the damage or danger of an unexpected event.

Proper Insurances

This is a two for one!

Home insurance - As your most valuable asset, you want to be sure that it is properly insured with a local home insurance agent.  Your local agent will have a good idea of what costs are involved when it comes to rebuilding a structure and can advise you on your policy limits accordingly. In addition to risks involving physical repairs, your agent can advise you on what type of liability coverage should accompany that homeowners policy. Lastly, be sure to elect to have sewer and drain coverage included on your policy. SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids has helped countless households recover from water damage that happened as a result of sewer and drain backup.

Life Insurance - Most families do not have enough cash in their back pocket to pay off their home if the primary bread winner were to pass unexpectedly. Life insurance is commonly overlooked by younger adults because they do not feel a sense of urgency and often do not have hefty financial obligations depending upon them. However, as a homeowner, a lot rides on the income and expertise you provide to maintaining the structure and financial well-being of any dependents. Knowing what type of life insurance policy to purchase and how much coverage is appropriate is something that a local life insurance expert can talk though with you. Consultations are typically free and you will have a better understanding of your options.

As a homeowner, you likely have some of these measures in place, but we hope that you were able to glean a valuable nugget of information that will set you up for long term success. If you have any questions involving fire, water, or mold, please give us a call at 616-662-9700. SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is here for you 24/7/365.

What Happens After Water Damage?

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage of any kind can be devastating to your home or business. Structures, tools, documents, and household items can be compromised or lost this way, and depending on the extent of the water involved, your losses can be significant.

If your water damage is relatively small - such as a small leak under a sink or appliance - you can handle that fairly easily. You can expect to have some water to remove and some repairs to pipes or water lines to complete; you can do this yourself in most situations. If the water leak has been going on for some time, you may have a mold colony growing. This will almost certainly require the services of a professional mold remediation company since once mold gets established, it can never be completely eradicated. Choose a company that has the training and equipment needed to get your mold remediation project done right. 

If your water damage is extensive your building structures may be compromised and even unsafe. You can inspect your premises yourself, but it would be wise to engage a professional construction company to come and do a thorough inspection. There may be some small repairs that you can do yourself, but keep in mind that this may affect any insurance claims. Know your policy and requirements before the worst happens so that you can ensure your coverage is not affected by any actions you may decide to take. 

Documents that are stored where water can reach them will be adversely affected by damp conditions as well as the water itself. Storage for your paper documents needs to be properly addressed before a flooding event or damp conditions present themselves, and if you have already experienced such an event and you are faced with damaged documents, you can connect with a professional document restoration service to recover them if at all possible.


Many different situations can arise after water damage, but no matter what you are experiencing, you can always depend on SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids to help you clean up and recover. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too - ask us how. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

What To Do After Storm Damage To Your Home

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

The very first thing you will want to do after a storm is to make sure everyone is safe. A storm can create dangerous situations both for you and for your loved ones, so you’ll want to assess your home and outside premises to see what has been affected by heavy rains and high winds. 

As you check your yard, keep an eye out for debris that may be loose or hanging; branches from trees can sometimes be caught in lower branches and fall eventually - someone may be under the tree when that happens. Take stock of broken branches that will need to be removed, and if you find a tree that is down completely then you will need to contact a professional arborist to come and remove it. This type of business can take care of all your vegetation, so point out to them any issues you have found during your inspection.

If your roof has been affected by the storm this can cause you trouble in the days ahead, and you’ll only know when you have sustained water damage from the next storm. If you can safely view your roof, take the closest look that you can to see if any damage is apparent, such as gutters that have fallen, loose shingles, or even holes. If anything looks like it is wrong, connect with a professional construction company to come and handle that right away. Keep in mind that any projects you do yourself can affect your insurance claim, so be sure to educate yourself in that area.

The seals on doors and windows in your home can be affected by stormy conditions, so inspect these areas after a storm to see if they have sustained damage. You may discover that some spots will need to be re-caulked, or you may determine that it’s time for new windows if the damage to them is severe. 


If you have experienced damage to your home from area storms, SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is here to help. We specialize in clean up and restoration projects involving water damage and fire damage, and we’re mold remediation and prevention experts, too. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, as well; give us a call and we’ll tell you how. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

When your home gives you a "Surprise Party"

1/22/2021 (Permalink)

Living room with standing water and water damage surrounding sofa and lamp Your SERVPRO team has tackled circumstances like this one, and much worse. We will be there for you when you need us.

Imagine…

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. Much to your dismay, a water pipe burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your hardwood kitchen floor, your carpeted living room,  and it is raining water in your basement. SURPRISE!!! The problem is far beyond handling on your own. What do you do now?

Here to help 24/7

When it is your home or business that is underwater, time is of the essence. You need professional water damage restoration to begin immediately. Since SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids has someone on call for emergencies 24/7/365, you can call us any time at 616-662-9700.

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 team members at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids are experts at assessing what measures need to be taken to minimize damage and get you back to normal asap.

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

Fire Damage Restoration - It Takes A Tribe...

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

slightly charred and blackened floor joists amongst floor joists that are like new Our SERVPRO crew members were able to make this Grand Rapids basement like new. Fire damage clean up is something we know and do well.

A flood of questions and emotions can overwhelm those that experience a fire at their home or business. Most people do not have extensive experience with fire damage clean up. So it is no surprise that questions such as these create stress and anxiety:

  • What items are going to be replaced?
  • What irreplaceable heirlooms can be restored?
  • Is the structure safe to enter?
  • Should I submit an insurance claim?
  • What will my insurance cover?
  • How long will all of this take?
  • It takes a team, or tribe, of professionals to properly advise on questions such as those above. The answers (or lack thereof) to these questions are what fuel the emotions. Stress, sadness, and concern will likely all be present but with the right team on your side hope, relief and confidence will come through as well.

    Key Players

    Insurance Agent -

    Insurance agents are often underestimated and underutilized. Developing a relationship with a local agent begins with tailoring a policy that fits your needs and understanding what makes it special for your circumstances. If your agent is not detail oriented when the policy is being developed, they will not likely be a good advisor when something happens.

    Your local agent should also have a wealth of information on what types of rulings the local adjusters tend to be more lenient or stringent on and what vendors do good work. When in doubt, call your insurance agent before putting in a claim. They can save you a lot of money by advising a course of action based on how your policy is constructed.

    Restoration Team -

    It is crucial that you are working with a company that restores, as opposed to a company that just tosses and rebuilds. As mentioned earlier, a good restoration company knows that certain things simply cannot be replaced, items that hold significant sentimental value. Like anything else in life, experience hones skill; choose a company like SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids that has daily experience bringing cherished possessions back to life.

    Another major point to take into consideration is that every insurance policy has limits. Restoring (if possible) often costs less and takes less time than tearing out structural materials and replacing them. See the picture for an excellent example of this very point. The structure is solid, will be cleaned, and no smoke odor will be present once the job is completed; all in less time that rebuilding.

    If you or someone you know experiences a fire, help is available and a team is ready to come to your aid. Work with your insurance agent and SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids.

    Top 3 Winter Roof Saver Tips

    12/17/2020 (Permalink)

    icicles on Grand Rapids roof It all starts with a little snow build up and a few innocent icicles.

    When temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, you’ll want to be confident that your roof is ready for winter weather. Your roof is one of the most important elements of your home when it comes to protecting your property from the elements all year round, and it becomes especially important in the winter. 

    To help you get ready for Grand Rapids snowfall, we have some tips on how to take care of your roof this winter: 

    Prevent and Remove Debris

    Before the first significant snows ever fall, make sure to remove any fallen branches or other debris from your roof. If you see that there are tree branches hanging above your home, just know that these branches, twigs, and leaves may fall onto your roof and collect in gutters and overhangs, especially under the weight of snowfall, so a trim of trees and tall bushes may be in order. Gutters that are clogged with leaves and debris will stop melted snow from draining away properly, and you may experience water backing up into walls and attics. 

    Keep Snow Build Up at Bay

    While snow on a roof is a lovely sight, it can actually weaken your roofing if you let it sit there too long. Snow is actually pretty heavy, depending on how much has fallen, and if your structure has any weaknesses, that weight can be a problem. It also has the potential of creating an ice dam when it melts. (An ice dam is an ice build-up on the eaves of a sloping roof that happens when melting snow under a snowpack reaches the eave and freezes there.)

    Clear Your Gutters

    Your gutters are one of the places where freezing precipitation will accumulate right away. They should also be checked regularly to make sure that they are not filled with leaves, branches, and other debris. One of the main causes of ice dams that we just mentioned is when gutters are clogged; they are often unable to hold the added weight when they fill up with ice and can tear away from your home, causing a lot of damage and even affecting the structure. 

    If you are planning on maintaining your roof yourself, please remember that climbing up on a snowy and icy roof can be dangerous. You may want to hire professional roofing contractors to clear it for you.

    Our team here at SERVPRO of North and Southwest Grand Rapids is here to help you any time your home or business experiences damage from weather conditions, fire, or a mold infestation. When disaster strikes, we are there for you.

    What are some of your roof saving tips?

    What To Do If An Appliance Is Leaking

    12/1/2020 (Permalink)

    fridge with door open While refrigerators and dishwashers are fixtures in almost every kitchen in Grand Rapids, they are frequently the cause of water damage.

    Your household or business kitchen appliances can spring a leak and go undetected for quite a while. If the leak has been slowly developing over time with small amounts of water dripping, you may also find yourself with a mold infestation, as well. Mold requires a food source, moisture, and time to grow. Therefore a slow leak can create the perfect conditions for mold growth.

    If this happens to you and you find yourself asking what you should do if an appliance is leaking, we’ve got a few answers and tips for you below. 

    Minor Leak - Dripping/Puddle

    If a small leak has been detected, follow these simple steps to protect your flooring and any items around the leak that could be negatively affected:

    • Turn off the water supply to the appliance. A small issue can quickly become a big deal if circumstances should change.
    • Soak up any access water on the floor and surrounding areas with a towel.
    • If the appliance can easily be repaired, feel free to fix the issue, otherwise call your appliance repair professional right away for their expertise.
    • Lastly have a trusted restoration company send a trained technician to evaluate if there is any remaining moisture below the surface of the floor and walls. In most circumstances, charges do not come into play until remediation begins.

    Major Leak - Standing Water

    • Turn off the water supply to the appliance immediately. If you are not sure where the water originally came from shut off water to the entire house/business and locate the source.
    • Call your appliance repair professional right away for their expertise on whether the appliance should be repaired or replaced, as well as gauging the likelihood of a similar loss in the future.
    • Call your local restoration company as quickly as possible. Time is money. If water has been standing for any period of time you will likely have some damage to flooring, walls, or personal belongings.

     Your cleanup and repair professionals can be onsite in no time to get your home or business back to normal. If you find that paper files and documents have been affected, a professional restoration company will have the equipment and training to be able to save them in most cases, for example. 

    SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is ready and waiting to help you 24/7 with any kind of water-related issues, and we handle repairs and renovations related to fire damage, as well. Mold remediation and prevention is another one of the areas where we excel by maintaining the training and skills necessary to properly manage this particular kind of cleanup project.

    Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

    11/25/2020 (Permalink)

    Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

    Let us help you get back to business

    As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

    Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

    Extensive training and specialized products

    As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

    From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

    3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

    When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

    • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
    • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
    • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

    Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

    We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

    Call SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids today at  616-662-9700 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

    * #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

    Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

    SERVPRO Professional Disinfecting Services

    11/23/2020 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO disinfecting technician Our COVID disinfecting services are aimed at getting your Grand Rapids business up and running as close to the next business day as possible.

    During the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, we have increased our focus and commitment to our commercial cleaning services so that we can provide you with the highest quality disinfection processes possible for your manufacturing and food processing facilities.

    As our communities get back to business, we all have gained a new sense of what it means to be clean. Many consumers and employees are uneasy about going back to brick-and-mortar locations, especially when a confirmed case of COVID-19 has been discovered. Our facility disinfection practices utilize EPA-registered disinfectants to support consumer and employee confidence.

    Getting you back in business, quickly!

    SERVPRO is able to sanitize spaces of up to 200,000 square feet in just one day, allowing your business to experience minimal downtime and loss of production. Our facility disinfecting services can be done either as an emergency measure, such as if a staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or you can contract our professional disinfecting services on a monthly basis, as well, to ensure that your sanitation standards are exceptional. 

    The Process

    Our defensive pathogen cleaning program, Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, goes above and beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices; it is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. Certified: SERVPRO Clean is grounded in our unique 3 C’s:

    • Consult: Not all businesses are the same, so we tailor a bespoke cleaning program based on the unique needs of each facility.

    • Clean: Based on the agreed plan, an expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions while always adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.

    • Certify: You’ll know a business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned by the shield posted on their front window. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon represents their commitment to the comfort and security of their employees, customers, and community.

    With over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, you can trust the professionals at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids to bring a higher standard of clean to the places we gather. For more information on our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned proactive viral pathogen cleaning, give us a call at (616) 662-9700 or visit our website today.

    Space Heater Safety Tips

    11/18/2020 (Permalink)

    Many of us will be using space heaters to help keep our homes or businesses warm in those hard-to-heat corners and drafty areas. These units can be dangerous, however. Space heaters are high-wattage appliances and do have the potential to cause fires if they are not used correctly. We would like to share some space heater safety tips today to help keep you and those you care about safe:

    If you are purchasing a new space heater:

    • Make sure that any heater you consider is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
    • Only purchase one with a sensor that will shut it off automatically if it overheats or gets tipped over if at all possible. 
    • Inspect heaters and their cords and plugs. Do not purchase one if you think it could be defective. 

    Setting up your space heater:

    • Ensure your heater is settled on a solid flat surface, and that it’s at least 3 feet from anything flammable. If it is being used in a garage or workshop, keep it away from any paint, oil, and gas cans. 
    • Never place the heater on furniture or cover it up, and be careful of high-traffic areas and doorways; someone could trip over it or the cord and get burned. Never run a power cord under carpets, rugs, or furniture. 
    • Plug your heater into an outlet directly rather than using an extension cord or power strip, and ensure that the plug fits well and is the only plug in the outlet.  
    • Always keep your heater away from water, and if you’re wet, stay away.

    When your space heater is in use: 

    • Check your heater regularly during its use to make sure that the plug, cord, outlet, or faceplate isn’t hot. If it is, turn it off immediately; a hot cord may mean it is defective and could ignite a fire. 
    • Don’t run your heater 24/7. These units aren’t made to work for long periods of time. 
    • Never leave a space heater unattended or in a child’s room, and turn it off while you are sleeping. 
    • Install smoke detectors in your home, as well as carbon monoxide alarms and ensure they are tested monthly. 

    We hope these best practice tips will help you to use your space heater properly. Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we want you, your family, and your friends to be safe this winter. If you do experience damage to your home or property, we’re here to help, We are also specialists when it comes to fire damage or water damage, and mold remediation is one of our specialties. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned if you need it, so ask us how.

    Do You Have An Emergency Exit Plan For Your Business?

    11/4/2020 (Permalink)

    The threat of an emergency, such as a fire or a flood, can be compounded by panic and chaos if you aren’t prepared, and injuries and even more damage can be the unfortunate result. You can prevent this kind of thing by putting in place a detailed emergency evacuation plan. A high-quality evacuation plan will help prepare you and your workforce in the event of any kind of emergency that could happen on your business premises. 

    Do you have an emergency evacuation plan for your business? The law requires you to have a plan in place, so if the answer is no, or if you need to revisit the one you have, we have some things to share today for you to think about while you are creating a fire evacuation plan.

    Location. It has been reported that an average of 3,000 fires occur in office properties per year, and most of those fires were caused by faulty cooking equipment, intentional acts, or electrical malfunctions. Your business may be located near a river or other body of water or perhaps on a flood plain, so you will want to factor possible flooding into your exit plan. It may be that you live in an area prone to tornadoes and violent weather, so take this into consideration when you are designing your plan. These are some of the areas to pay special attention to in your business; make sure you understand all the specific threats in your area and on your particular premises. 

    Leadership. Your employees will need people to look to for guidance and reassurance during an evacuation. Choose those you believe you can rely on to be responsible and create a chain of command. These leaders will be the ones who lead everyone to safety, handling communications, and ensuring that even the most vulnerable on your team are safe. Designate volunteers who are willing to learn about and operate fire extinguishers correctly, should the need arise. 

    Communication. Designate someone to handle the job of calling the fire department and getting information to employees, customers, news media, and any other entities such as the community, organizational management, suppliers, transportation partners, and government officials. Whoever you choose will need a robust, multi-channel communication system, as the chaos of a disaster can mean people will not necessarily be thinking clearly and may miss important information. Being able to communicate through email, phone, text, and mobile app will ensure your communication gets to everyone in a timely manner. 

    Route. A good emergency evacuation plan for your business will use primary and secondary escape routes, and clear signage should mark all the exit routes. Make multiple maps and post them so all your employees know the evacuation routes to the safe spot(s) you have designated.

    Tools. With respect to a fire, it is recommended that you refill reusable fire extinguishers every 10 years and replace disposable ones every 12 years. Also, make sure your employees know where the fire extinguishers are located in the workplace. While you’re at it, make sure all tools, such as fire alarms, emergency lighting, escape ladders, and crowd control tools, are up-to-date and operational at all times wherever applicable. Create and maintain a first aid kit that is well and adequately stocked for the size and makeup of your workforce, and ensure that it is inspected regularly for expired or used medicines.

    Drills. Regular fire drills will minimize confusion through repetition, giving your employees a clear idea of how a real evacuation should work. A safe outcome is more likely when everyone knows what is happening. 

    Here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids, we care about you and your business, and we care about the safety of your workforce, too. If you need help with cleanup after any emergency, such as a fire or flood. If you have experienced fire damage or water damage, we are here to help. We can get your home and business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too! Ask us how.

    Top Places To Look For Mold In Your Home

    10/26/2020 (Permalink)

    Mold is odorous, unsightly, and can have health effects, and it can show up very quickly. Knowing where to look and what areas are most vulnerable can help keep you a step ahead of a mold issue. 

    Here are the top places to look for mold in your home:

    Sinks.  Underneath any sink, whether it’s in the kitchen, the bathroom, or the garage/workshop, is the number one place to look for mold, and we don’t need to tell you why! Make a routine visit to every sink and look for a possible mold infestation on a regular basis to ensure that you aren’t caught off guard. Once mold gets started it can’t ever really be eradicated, only controlled.  

    Bathroom. Most of us clean our bathrooms thoroughly at least once a week, and this is the perfect time to check for mold. Look in the least traveled areas, such as corners of the linen or storage closet, behind the toilet, and - of course - under the sink. If there have been any leaks in these places in the past, these areas are in danger until they are fully dry. If you detect a brand new leak or drip, have it corrected immediately. You can invest in a dehumidifier for your bathroom, too, and that can be a great tool in the fight against mold. 

    Kitchen. This room, known as the “heart of the home,” is going to be busy throughout the day, and water is in almost constant usage here. Keep an eye out for spills and leaks and clean them up immediately to ensure that they are not attracting mold spores, which are always in our air and cannot be removed. After dishes and cooking utensils are washed and put away, make sure all counter space and flooring are completely dry as added protection against mold. 

    Laundry room. This room in your home has nooks and crannies that are not cleaned as often as other areas in your home. Add to that the humidity in the air and possible unseen leaks or drips, and you have all the elements present that can encourage the possible establishment of a mold colony. Enlist help to pull the washer and dryer out from the wall regularly and make sure the areas behind them are clean, dry, and disinfected. 

    Other areas to keep an eye on in your home and business: hall closets, garages, storage units, warehouses, and basement areas. 

    SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids is always here to help you with any issues related to mold; we are experts in its prevention and its remediation. Large-scale cleanups after flooding and fire are also our specialties, and we can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too. Ask us how!

    Preparing For Fall Storms

    10/6/2020 (Permalink)

    Fall weather in the Grand Rapids area is beautiful, and the cooler temperatures are always welcome after the heat of summer. While you are enjoying the fall leaves, harvest decorations, and other fall-related fun, remember that stormy weather conditions are just around the corner.  Whether you are a homeowner, a business owner, or both, we know you want to be prepared.  Weather may be unpredictable during the fall, but you won’t have to worry about it if you prepare now. 

    Here are some fall storm preparation projects to consider:

    While early fall is not the prime time to heavily prune back trees and bushes, it is a great time to remove any branches that are dead or look like they could become dangerous during a fall storm. If you have a tree that is dead or dying, contact an arborist to come and do a professional assessment. He or she may recommend that you have it removed before anything happens during a fall storm. 

    Take care of leaves and debris in your gutters and drainpipes; this will help prevent clogging during wetter weather. Clogged drains and gutters mean that rainwater will find an alternative route to the ground and it may back up into your attic or walls. 

    Drain all outdoor faucets ahead of freezing weather now, too. 

    Assess all your windows and doors for cracks; if you find issues, 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!

    A roof inspection ahead of colder weather will be helpful in letting you know if your roofing needs any attention before fall storms. Loose shingles can be replaced more easily when it’s done during warm and dry weather. If you have siding on your home, inspect it carefully for any loose sections. Fall storms often bring high winds that can create problems here. 

    Make sure your entrance walkways are in good shape, and be sure to take care of any buckling or crumbling. If earth has eroded away underneath walkways this can become a much bigger issue when heavy rains move into the area, and this can compromise the  cement, causing it to crack and split. That’s an accident just waiting to happen. 

    If you need help preparing your home for the upcoming fall storms, call our professionals here at SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids. We have the experience and skills necessary to take care of your property and belongings to keep them safe. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too!

    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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