Recent Storm Damage Posts

What Are Some Smart Ways To Storm-proof My Ada Garage?

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

It is crucial to storm-proof your garage. If the garage is left unprotected, it is much more likely that there will be expensive damages even in your Ada, Michigan home itself. According to BobVila.com, "failure of the garage door ... leaves a breach in the house envelope that can be as big as 300 square feet. Experts conclude that the resulting change in pressure can blow the roof off a house or create other tears and fissures in the home that allow rains and water to invade and damage or ruin drywall."

How Can I Best Protect My Home By Storm-proofing My Ada Garage?

  • Maintain Garage Door.

It is important to consistently inspect your garage door for holes and cracks and seal them when they are found. Install a bracing system to the door. Braces anchor the door to the floor, walls, and hinges, adding support and wind resistance. When it’s time to replace the garage door, look into purchasing a wind-resistant door. Install a garage door with a high wind-resistance rating. Storms that bring with them extreme levels of wind will cause the most damage, and when a garage is breached the winds will batter the rest of your home.

  • Storm-proof Windows.

You can remove windows in the garage if you are concerned about heavy storms, but that may not always be an option. If you have any windows in your garage, you want to make sure the glass is impact-resistant. Installing outside window protection that can be locked and protected from impact and storm remnants is another way to provide storm protection for your garage and home.

  • Provide Drainage.

Install a trench drain around your garage and down the sides of your driveway to divert water. Flood vents inside the garage can drain any water coming inside quickly before levels rise and cause water damage or mold growth down the line, preventing the need for mold removal.

How Can SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids Help Me Recover From Storm Damage To My Home in Ada, MI?

If your home has experienced storm damage, we are here to help. The SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids has the skills, training, and equipment needed to restore your property from all the destruction such an event can bring. You can count on us to handle such water damage issues as:

We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too. This franchise is independently owned and operated.

What To Do After A Tornado

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

A tornado can pop up with little-to-no warning, and while you want to be as prepared as possible ahead of time, such an event will cause a lot of damage. Do your due diligence when it comes to preparedness, always, and let’s talk about what to do afterwards, as well, so you can be as safe as possible. 

What to do after a tornado:

MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS SAFE. 

Take stock of everyone who is with you, whether that is family members, friends, co-workers, fellow shoppers, even pets. See if anyone needs medical attention, and if so, can you help them using first aid, or will you need to contact emergency health professionals? If there are any children with you, make sure they are connected with parents or guardians.

ASSESS DAMAGE.

Take inventory of the damage to the building you’re in. Notice any exposed wires, broken glass, sharp objects, or chemical spills, and take precautions. Do not touch or move anything without protecting yourself with personal protective equipment. Do you smell smoke or see any sparks? Do you see any unstable fixtures, walls, roofing, or other items? Move people away from areas that are possibly dangerous if it can be done safely. 

CONTACT HELP. 

Call emergency personnel right away. Let them know if there is anyone who is injured, and how badly. If your building has been damaged by a tornado, describe the damage and whether anything seems to be unsafe or dangerous. 

SCHEDULE RESTORATION AND RECOVERY.

Once people are safe, you can begin to consider recovery, if you are the owner or resident of the building that has been affected. A professional restoration company like SERVPRO can be onsite immediately to help you begin the restoration process. They can assess the damage, note any danger, and start to clean up the after-effects of the tornado.

When it comes to dangerous weather events, it’s good to know who’s on your side. You can always count on SERVPRO of South and Northwest Grand Rapids to help you manage when you experience a disaster of any kind. We handle fire damage, water damage, mold remediation, chemical spills, 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. 

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.

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?

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!

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.

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!

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 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.

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!

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

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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 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.

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

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.”

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 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.

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