Recent Posts

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

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

In 2016, there were 61,920 wildfires in the U.S., which burned 5.3 million acres, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Nearly 90% of wildfires are caused by humans.

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

On Saturday, May 6, 2017 the NFPA celebrates national Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. At a time when wildfires are causing more damage to homes and businesses each year, Preparedness Day is a reminder that there are many things we can do to be prepared for wildfire. The event serves as means to inspire and encourage people of all ages to plan and participate in a risk reduction or wildfire preparedness activity that makes there community a safer place to live.

Contact SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880 today for 24-hour emergency service.

Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION in Northwest Grand Rapids

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

Other odors that may require deodorization:

  • Cigarette Smoke
  • Pet Odors
  • Decomposition
  • Mold

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

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

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

If you or a neighbor suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880 today for 24-hour service. Whether it’s fire, water, or mold damage, or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents for Northwest Grand Rapids

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your or your insured’s home or business, SERVPRO® can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each load, and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a bird’s nest, or other potential obstacles.

For more information on cleaning dryer vents contact SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880 today.

Family dinner gatherings dangers for Northwest Grand Rapids

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Northwest Grand Rapids BBQ Hazards to avoid

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880 for emergency services.

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

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Northwest Grand Rapids Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals Boarded up apartment after a fire.

Why take the risk? Call SERVPRO of Northwest 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 Northwest 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 616-791-8880 for 24/7 emergency service.

Northwest Grand Rapids Get the facts on mold.

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-791-8880.

Northwest Grand Rapids, Who can clean up Mold?

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-791-8880.

Northwest Grand Rapids Take control of the Mold situation.

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-791-8880.

Northwest Grand Rapids Know your insurance coverage for Mold.

5/25/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids can mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 616-791-8880.