Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
Top Places To Look For Mold In Your Home
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!
Maintaining Your HVAC This Summer
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Odor Removal In Your Apartment Complex
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 To Prevent Mold Growth In Your Bathroom
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.
We are Cleaning Experts
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.
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
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
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
Mold Prevention Tips This Winter
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!
How To Prepare Your Home For Freezing Temperatures
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.
Cleaning Your Commercial Office Building
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
5 Ways to Prevent Water Damage In Your Commercial Building
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.