Recent Posts

SERVPRO NE Grand Rapids’ Response to Hurricane Ian

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

Picture of Hurricane from space Hurricane Ian approaching Florida as a category 4 storm.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, as a category 4 storm. It ripped through the Fort Myers area with wind speeds up to 150 mph. After the storm made landfall, millions of Floridians quickly experienced widespread damage, including power outages and extreme flooding. Families were trapped in their homes due to fallen trees and debris. Sunday night's death toll had risen to at least 62 individuals. Search and rescue missions quickly went into action to find missing people. This storm has quickly become one of the most devastating hurricanes to have ripped through the state of Florida in recent memory.

SERVPRO reacted quickly to the news of storm damage by activating hundreds of storm teams and sending them to help the most affected areas. Franchise teams packed up all the necessary trucks, machinery, and equipment to appropriately deal with the water and storm damage. Our SERVPRO Grand Rapids NE franchise loaded up as soon as possible and began the twenty-hour drive from Michigan, even driving through several feet of water to reach their final destination in South Florida. They arrived Friday night and have already been helping to mitigate water damage caused by the flood waters in schools, homes, and businesses.

Our teams are highly trained and equipped with the proper hardware to complete the mitigation process efficiently. SERVPRO's storm teams are prequalified to address the damage and ready to help you navigate the insurance claims process coordinating necessary paperwork. We're standing by to walk alongside you.

We know that storms can be devastating. You can trust our storm recovery teams to help get you back in your home or business as quickly as possible. We serve so that you can get back on your feet quickly because no one should go through a natural disaster alone. We are only one call away and available 24/7. Disasters strike at a moment's notice, and we are here to help make storm damage like it never happened.

North Grand Rapids Water Damage and Mold Remediation Project

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician in a hazmat suit spraying chemicals underneath a house Technicians spraying chemicals on damaged areas of a basement.

Surprisingly, water damage is not just caused by a flood or a busted pipe. Many homes need mold remediation due to high levels of humidity, roof and foundation leaks, and even from overflowing washing machines. 

Since mold spores are microscopic, they can float in the air and enter through windows, doors, and even HVAC systems. They can even come into your home with clothing and pets. Without being addressed, mold can spread and cause prolonged health problems.

Recently, our team took on a mold and water damage remediation project in northern Grand Rapids, Michigan, dealing with high humidity levels causing persistent mold growth. Our team went to work using SERVPRO's specific procedures to remove the mold and prevent further damage.

Water and Mold Remediation Process

  1. First, we started by HEPA vacuuming all the wood framing in the damaged location to remove the mold particles. HEPA vacuums remove 99.9% of airborne pollutants.
  1. Then we sprayed the damaged area with a pet and kid-friendly chemical that kills the mold and prevents it from growing back and spreading to other places around the house.
  1. From there, we set up drying equipment for several days to remove the air's moisture and fully dry the damaged structures from the original water.
  1. Finally, we used a stronger than bleach chemical called MMR to clean the affected areas and remove any stains from the damaged areas.

This week-long process makes surfaces look like the mold never even happened.

When to Call About a Water or Mold Problem

If your home or business begins to smell musty and feel damp or wet, or if anyone starts to show prolonged allergic symptoms in your home, call us to diagnose the issue and determine the best action plan to resolve your mold issues. 

Mold can pose dangerous health problems to you and your loved ones. Be proactive and take care of your mold damage at the onset before it causes more significant issues down the road. If you have a mold problem, call us at (616) 647-4300.

Emergency Response Plan in Case of Fire

9/7/2022 (Permalink)

Burned Garage This house fire not only damaged the inside of the home, but it also destroyed the garage and the vehicles in it.

Did you know that in only 3 ½ minutes, a fire in your home or business can reach up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit? They can kill people in the building within minutes. Fires are extremely dangerous, causing danger to life, expensive damage repair, and cleanup costs.

Stay ahead of unexpected events with an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP). When disaster strikes, be prepared. An ERP is an in-depth plan created by one of our SERVPRO representatives for your business. It contains all the essential information needed to respond to an emergency quickly. This plan allows our team at SERVPRO to start the mitigation project so your business gets back on its feet. These plans are tailored to your facility with access to an app to feature the emergency process and contact information. 

An ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility with a profile document that contains critical information. It's a short time to complete, but it will save time and effort over the long haul. 

An ERP contains information such as insurance, subcontractor contacts, primary on-site maintenance contact, and an in-depth building description of where control panels, fire extinguishers, etc., are located. We'll give you a guide to getting back into your building after a fire and help you identify the line of command for authorizing mitigation work. 

These plans are vital for your business to ensure safety and minimize damage and losses. With an Emergency Readiness Plan, you'll know what to do in case of disaster and avoid any interruption to your business.

Having a plan will give you and your employees peace of mind. The consultation and plan are free. You can download the "SERVPRO Ready Plan" mobile app on your iPhone or Android device. Learn more about the app here

Give our SERVPRO NE Grand Rapids office a call to set up an ERP appointment for all your properties today!

Flood Preparation for Commercial Buildings

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

flooding in the boardroom A flood can severely impact your business!

As far as natural disasters are concerned, flooding can be among the costliest. While you cannot always determine when a flood is going to happen, it is useful to take preventative measures. This will not only help keep your employees safe, but it will help protect your business and profit.

Contact a Mitigation Company

Have a mitigation company in mind before you end up with a flood on your hands. After a flood, it is better to have a professional service to call as soon as possible. They will be able to assess the damage done to your building and put forth a restoration plan. They will also be able to deal with dangerous black water. In contacting a professional, you are more likely to have your business up and running quickly.

Utilize Date and Cloud Backups
After the flooding occurs, you might not have time to save your electronics. While you may have time to elevate your computers and electronics, there is also a chance the flood waters could rise above them. Your computers store valuable information for your business, from important financial information to personal employee information. You should have a plan in place in case your computer systems are destroyed. Utilizing data and cloud backups allows you to have access to the information from anywhere.

Have a Continuity Plan
After a flood, your business may have to close for a length of time. It is good to have a continuity plan in place. You should determine what equipment is needed to keep your business running outside of the building. This could be as simple as answering phones or as complex as distributing your product. All of your important files should be located off-site as well.

You can't always stop flooding from occurring. However, you can make sure that despite extensive flood damage you can still restore your building, and continue with your business going forward.

Emergency Ready Program (ERP)

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

skyline Is your business ready for a disaster?

What is an ERP and how can it benefit your business in the event of an emergency?

ERP, which stands for "Emergency Ready Profile" is a service that SERVPRO provides and is 100% free! What's the catch you ask? That's the best part, there is no catch! We take your emergency needs very seriously in the event of a disaster, and with that comes a great sense of responsibility to get your business back up and running as soon as possible! The latest research shows that up to 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. The majority of businesses that survive have a readiness or preparedness plan in place. It's like having an insurance policy for your peace of mind. When your business is ready for whatever disaster may strike, no matter how your business was affected, your clients don't have to be.

Having a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile in place can greatly minimize interruptions to your business. When you know what to do in advance, the result is mitigation in a timely fashion. It can assist in limiting fire and water damage.

Having an Emergency Ready Profile in place is a simple process

We will come to you and do a no cost evaluation of your facility/business
This is a great value and is completely free to you!
A detailed document that contains crucial information required in case of an emergency
It will not take much time at all and should not disrupt your normal operations, but will save you valuable time if ever needed.
Instructions that will help you get back in to your facility as soon as possible
When you have an immediate plan of action it can greatly minimize the length at which your business is inactive
You have the premiere Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration company ready to spring into action
Confidence of knowing that an industry leader is close by and ready to serve you.
Establishes a chain of command authorizing work to begin
Crucial in saving time so we can begin work of mitigating the damage which in the end saves you money
Important details of your facility, where are all the shut-offs, areas of priority, and main contact information.
Having this information in place is crucial! Knowing where all the shut off valves are, areas of concern, and who to contact make all the difference in the world when disaster strikes!

Ready to put your "Emergency Ready Profile" In place? Give us a call!

(616) 647-4300

16 firework safety tips!

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

fireworks Make sure to keep a safe distance from the fireworks!

The National Council on Fireworks Safety’s (NCFS) mission is to educate the public on the safe use of fireworks and encourages consumers to follow the following safety tips before engaging in fireworks celebrations:

1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.

2. Know your fireworks – Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.

3. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.

4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.

5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.

6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.

7. Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand.

8. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.

9. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.

10. After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.

11. When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or another water source nearby.

12. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.

13. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

14. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place them in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

15. Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.

16. With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American servicemen and women pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.

If you have any questions regarding how to properly use fireworks we encourage you to consult your local dealer.

About The National Council on Fireworks Safety – The National Council on Fireworks Safety is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the safe and responsible enjoyment of consumer fireworks. For more information, visit http://www.fireworkssafety.org.

Stay safe this summer and 4th of July, and if a firework accident leaves your home with fire damage make sure to give us a call!

Campfire safety tips!

6/7/2022 (Permalink)

Campfire It's important to stay safe around campfires!

Having campfires and making smores are common summertime staples in the great state of Michigan! However, camp fires can quickly get out of hand if they are not monitored or properly managed. Here is a list of tips and tricks to keep in mind this summer while sitting around the campfire!

1. Be aware of your surroundings by making sure the campfire is set up away from dry grass and leaves. Dried out grass and leaves catch fire easily, and they spread fire quickly too. Also, make sure your campfire is far away from hanging free branches that could catch on fire.
2. Keep the size of the fire relatively small. Large fires are riskier, and pose a greater chance of getting out of control.
3. It’s always a good idea to keep a shovel and water close by when you’re having a campfire, so you can safely put the fire out when finished. According to smokeybear.com, to put a fire out, follow these steps: Pour lots of water on the fire, and drown ALL embers, not just the red ones. Pour water until hissing sound stops. With your shovel, scrape any remaining sticks and logs to remove any embers. Make sure that no embers are exposed and still smoldering. Continue adding water, dirt or sand and stir with a shovel until all material is cool. If it’s too hot to touch, it’s too hot to leave.
https://smokeybear.com/en/prevention-how-tos/campfire-safety/how-to-maintain-and-extinguish-your-campfire
4. If you are enjoying your fire at a campground or RV park, make sure to follow park rules for starting and putting out fires.
5. Never leave a campfire unattended.
6. Do not put anything other than wood into the fire.
7. Do not pull sticks out of the fire when blazing
8. Check out the weather before starting a campfire, and do not make one if the forecast shows wind. Wind can cause the fire to spread!
We hope that by sharing these tips, you will feel confident hosting a campfire for your friends and family! However, if fire damage does occur, we are here to help and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Enjoy the smores, everybody!

Why you should have a sump pump in your home!

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

diagram of a sump pump A helpful diagram of how a sump pump works in your home!

Dealing with water damage in your basement is no laughing matter. A home owners’ basement is an important part of their home. It can be used for a variety of reasons including an additional bedroom, a lounge area, and storage. Important items in your life can get damaged if you have a water loss down there.
One of the main things protecting your basement from water is your home's sump pump! You may not know what sump pump is and what its use in your home is. Here's some helpful information on what it is, and what it does!

What is a Sump Pump?
A sump pump is in charge of pumping water that enters your basement out of your home and into an area where it is safe to drain. The device sits in a "sump" which is a pit dug into the lowest point of your home, generally this is either the basement or a crawl space. When it rains the soil around your home becomes oversaturated. When excess groundwater funnels toward the sump pump and begins to fill with water, the pump activates and begins to remove the water from the pit.

Do I need a Sump Pump?
Many Michigan homes already have a sump pump installed. Sump pumps are recommended for homes that are in areas that receive heavy rain or snow, built on a flood-prone plot, or have had water issues in the past. A sump pump is also recommended for homes that have a finished basement. Even though they may not be high risk, it’s important to protect the livable area.

How often should I check my sump pump?
It is recommended you should check your sump pump every 3 to 4 months to ensure that it is working properly! This is very important for insurance purposes. On most standard home owner insurance policies water damage caused by sump pump failure isn't covered. You can add coverage for an additional cost, but if you aren't willing to go that route, regularly checking that your sump pump works is your best bet!

Dealing with water damage in your basement? Give us a call! (616) 647-4300

Fire extinguisher tips in the work place

4/19/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher A fire extinguisher in in the work place.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the most common emergency small businesses must plan for is a fire. Fire extinguishers can be invaluable tools to help fight smaller fires in the workplace. Here are some tips on how and when to properly use a fire extinguisher!

Placement
There are certain legal requirements for fire extinguishers that every business has to follow. These rules can vary from state to state and city to city, so it's important to look up your local ordinances to ensure you're operating within fire code. There are general OSHA guidelines that require a fire extinguisher within 75 feet of locations where employees work, and one in stairwells.

Usage
When using a fire extinguisher it's important to remember the simple training technique, the PASS method.


P - Pull the pin on the extinguisher
A - Aim the hose nozzle low toward the base of the fire
S - Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent
S - Sweep the nozzle from side to side at the base of the flames until extinguished.


Fire extinguishers are meant to handle only small fires. If a fire becomes too large, or the environment becomes too dangerous, employees should know when and how to evacuate the area safely; and if appropriate, sound the fire alarm or call the fire department immediately.

Dealing with fire damage in your business? Give us a call! (616) 647-4300

Dealing with a biohazard in your commercial building

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

An office dealing with a biohazard Portions of an office quarantined due to a biohazard.

Owning a business means dealing with situation you may not have considered before. For instance, handling a biohazard in your building. A biohazard is a biological substance that's dangerous to people or the environment, such as blood or fecal matter. Because accidents are bound to happen, you may find yourself wondering what to do in case of a biohazard in your commercial building.

Anytime a business is dealing with a biohazard, there are procedures to follow set in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards. These guidelines were made to keep employees safe. According to Spaulding.co, the most common type of biohazard that happens in the work place is spilled blood. If a small amount of blood is spilled on a hard surface, it is possible to take care of the cleanup without calling a professional. However, to be compliant with OSHA standards, any employee who regularly handles the cleanup must have completed Bloodborne Pathogen Standards training. The employee must also be provided with personal protective equipment, and they must be using an approved disinfectant product. Lastly, any biohazard waste needs to be clearly marked and properly disposed of.

If you are still unsure of when to call for help, consider the dinner plate theory. If the size of the blood shed is grater than the size of a dinner place, it's best to call a professional. Also, if the blood/biohazardous chemical spills on carpet, calling a professional right away is the safest option.

When it comes to biohazards, anybody who comes into contact with the affected area is at risk for blood born pathogen exposure. If there is any doubt in your ability to take care of the biohazard yourself, call SERVPRO. Our teams are expertly trained, use state of the art equipment, and are faster to any disaster.

Dealing with a biohazard in your business? Give us a call! (616) 647-4300