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Building Safety awareness during a storm

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Building Safety awareness during a storm Building codes can save lives during a storm.

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!


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 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.


If a disaster hits your home Contact SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880, available 24/7 for emergency services.

Leave the Board-ups to us

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Leave the Board-ups to us Board-ups can be dangerous, leave it to us to take care of it for you.

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

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.

Be prepared for a Storm

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Be prepared for a Storm Be prepared for storms, by making sure your covered and you have a plan.

Northwest 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. 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.


If a Thunderstorm should hit your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880 24/7 emergency services available.

Lightning can cause fire

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Lightning can cause fire WOW, $451 Million! Are you insured to cover the damage?

What do you do when Lightning strikes? Do you hide or sit and watch the beauty? Whatever you do, make sure you keep an eye out for the dangers it can cause.

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.

If a Lightning should hit your property and you need restoration services due to Storm Damage, Call SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880 24/7 emergency services available.

Northwest Grand Rapids, understand water types to ensure proper clean up

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Northwest Grand Rapids, understand water types to ensure proper clean up The dirtier the water, the more damage.

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminate and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and table top items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, document sand other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When you have a water damage, don’t leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids at 616-791-8880.

It only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damage to your Northwest Grand Rapids property

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage It only takes 1 to 2 inches of water to begin damage to your Northwest Grand Rapids property If water can move a vehicle, what kind of damage can it do to your property?

Image its 8:00 p.m. on a Sunday, and you walk into your home after a relaxing vacation expecting to switch on the lights, put the kids to bed then get some rest yourself.

The only problem? A water pipe burst over the weekend, dumping thousands of gallons of water over your hardwood kitchen floor, your carpeted living room and your cement utility room. You realize this problem is far beyond the reach of your shop vac. What do you do now?

When it is your home or business that is underwater, mitigation cannot wait. You need mitigation to begin immediately. If water damage strikes you or your neighbor give SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids a call at 616-791-8880 any time, any day.

The cost of water damages can increase exponentially with time. Wood Floors warp, dry wall soaks in moisture and mold develops in hard-to-reach areas of your home or business.

The benefit of rapid mitigation offer by SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids are two-fold: Your costs go down as potential hazards may be avoided, and your peace of mind goes through the roof.

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


5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage THE SCIENCE OF DRYING Drying a wet floor can save time and material.

Did you know there is actually a science behind the process of drying? Having the knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water-damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids Professionals are trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages.

If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids Professional will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does it mean to help “speed up Mother Nature”? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material–but only if the air is, indeed, drier.

The only problem is, nature often takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of Northwest Grand Rapids Professionals have the tools and equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. Our Professionals also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

It’s not only the equipment, but the technology too. SERVPRO® has developed DryBook™, a proprietary tool that provides real-time documentation and updates on the drying process and helps ensure industry drying requirements are met. With DryBook™ Mobile, you have the ability to know exactly where your property is in the drying process.

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids Professionals have the training and equipment to help make water damage “Like it never even happened.” Call us at 616-791-8880, we’re here to help!

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Sump Pump Maintenance

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sump Pump Maintenance Sump pump failures can cost you thousands of dollars in repair or a few hundred to replace the old one.

Being a home owner isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. Being able to call the home “mine”, knowing that you work hard for your money, you take pride in everything you put into your home. From the paint colors to the furniture, the pictures on the wall to way you clean it. It’s your sanctuary.

Every sanctuary has its own maintenance team, as a home owner that’s normally you. Most of the time you are not a master of all trades, so here are a few tips to help protect your home from a sump pump failure.

Performing basic sump pump maintenance is usually as simple as doing these few jobs:

  • Ensure the pump itself is standing upright. Vibrations during operation can cause it to fall or tilt onto one side. This can jam the float arm so it can't activate the pump.
  • Make sure the pump is plugged in to a working ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlet and the cord is in good shape. In damp areas, GFCI ­breakers may trip, effectively shutting off the sump pump. Check in on your sump pump periodically so you can reset the GFCI if necessary.
  • Physically remove a submersible pump from the pit and clean the grate on the bottom. The sucking action of the pump can pull small stones into the grate, blocking the inlet or damaging the pump over time.
  • Periodically pour a bucket of water into the pit to make sure the pump starts automatically and the water drains quickly once the pump is on. If the pump doesn't start, have it serviced.
  • Ensure the outlet pipes are tightly joined together and draining out at least 20 feet (6 meters) away from your foundation.
  • Make sure the vent hole in the discharge pipe is clear.

You may not be able to avoid a total disaster, but having an action plan in place can prevent further damage. SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids  is here to help with your sump pump failure 24/7 at 616-791-8880.

If you’re not sure what you are doing or have a bigger issue with your pump, call a plumber to have it checked out. Now that you know a few things on how to maintain your sump pump, go be your maintenance team and keep the pride of your sanctuary at the top of the list.

Northwest Grand Rapids Get the facts on mold

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Northwest Grand Rapids Get the facts on mold Knowing the facts about Mold, makes it easier to control.

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?

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Northwest Grand Rapids, Who can clean up Mold? We certified to remove mold.

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

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

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

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

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

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

You'll want to be very careful when hiring someone to do the job. SERVPRO® of Northwest Grand Rapids is trained in Mold mitigation, with 26 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.