Recent Posts

Cleaning up after a fire is a dirty job....

9/19/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning up after a fire is a dirty job.... Call SERVPRO no matter how small the fire is.

...But as the saying goes someone has to do it.  SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties is up to the task.   Making your home livable again is a big job even after the smallest fire.  Every single thing in the house has to be inspected before it should be used.  

Clothing and linen items should be professionally laundered to remove the soot or as one of our customers referred to it "that camp fire smell"

Soot can damage circuit boards so any electronics should be sent out and cleaned.  

Any food items that are in a house fire should not be eaten.

All carpet and upholstery should be cleaned if possible. Sometimes the damage is beyond cleaning and needs to be replaced.  

Our highly trained technicians could make that assessment during the initial walk through.

Here are some tips about the different types of Fire extinguishers

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Here are some tips about the different types of Fire extinguishers Soot webs that appear after a fire

There are 5 main fire extinguisher types – Water, Foam, Dry Powder, CO2 and Wet Chemical. You should have the right types of fire extinguisher for your premises, or you may not meet current regulations.

The various types of fire extinguisher put out fires started with different types of fuel – these are called ‘classes’ of fire.  The fire risk from the different classes of fire in your business premises will determine which fire extinguisher types you need.

Whilst there are 5 main types of fire extinguisher, there are different versions of both the Water and Dry Powder extinguishers, meaning there are a total of 8 fire extinguisher types to choose from.  The 8 types of fire extinguisher are:

– Water
– Water Mist
– Water Spray
– Foam
– Dry Powder – Standard
– Dry Powder – Specialist
– Carbon Dioxide (‘CO2’)
– Wet Chemical

There is no one extinguisher type which works on all classes of fire.

Below is a summary of the classes of fire, and a quick reference chart showing which types of extinguisher should be used on each.  We then provide a detailed explanation of each type of fire extinguisher below.

The classes of fire

There are six classes of fire: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, ‘Electrical’, and Class F.

 –    Class A fires – combustible materials: caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and fabric
 –    Class B fires – flammable liquids: such as petrol, turpentine or paint
 –    Class C fires – flammable gases: like hydrogen, butane or methane
 –    Class D fires – combustible metals: chemicals such as magnesium, aluminum or potassium
 –    Electrical fires – electrical equipment: once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class
 –    Class F fires – cooking oils: typically a chip-pan fire

 

Types of fire extinguisher – a detailed guide

Water Extinguishers

Overview:
Water extinguishers are the most common fire extinguisher type for class A fire risk. Most premises will require either water or foam extinguishers.

Label Colour:
– Bright Red

Use for:
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal

Do not use for:
– Fires involving electrical equipment
– Kitchen fires
– Flammable gas and liquids

How water extinguishers work:
The water has a cooling effect on the fuel, causing it to burn much more slowly until the flames are eventually extinguished.

Types of premises/business who may need water extinguishers:
– Buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
– Premises where there are organic materials to be found such as:
o Offices
o Schools
o Hospitals
o Residential properties
o Warehouses

In fact most buildings need either water or foam extinguishers.

Where to locate water extinguishers:
– By the exits on a floor where a Class A fire risk has been identified

Water spray extinguishers – what’s the difference?:
Water spray extinguishers are equipped with a spray nozzle, rather than a jet nozzle, meaning a greater surface area can be covered more quickly and the fire put out more rapidly.

Water mist extinguishers – what’s the difference?:
Water mist extinguishers have a different type of nozzle again which releases microscopic water particles. These particles ‘suffocate’ the fire and also create a wall of mist between the fire and the person using the extinguisher, reducing the feeling of heat.

Foam Extinguishers

Overview:
Foam extinguishers are most common type of fire extinguisher for Class B fires, but also work on Class A fires as they are water-based.

Label Colour:
– Cream

Use for:
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal
Plus:
– Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol

Do not use for:
– Kitchen fires
– Fires involving electrical equipment
– Flammable metals

How foam extinguishers work:
As with water extinguishers, foam extinguishers have a cooling effect on the fuel. On burning liquids, the foaming agent creates a barrier between the flame and the fuel, extinguishing the fire.

Types of premises/business who may need Foam extinguishers:
– Buildings constructed of wood or other organic materials
– Premises where there are organic materials to be found such as:
o Offices
o Schools
o Hospitals
o Residential properties
o Warehouses
– Buildings where flammable liquids are stored

In fact most buildings need either water or foam extinguishers

Where to locate foam extinguishers:
– By the exits on a floor where a Class A or Class B fire risk has been identified

Dry Powder Extinguishers

Overview:
Standard dry powder extinguishers are also called ‘ABC’ extinguishers because they tackle class A, B and C fires, however they are not recommended for use in enclosed spaces. This is because the powder can be easily inhaled, and also the residue is very difficult to clean up after. ABC powder extinguishers can also be used on some electrical fires. Specialist dry powder extinguishers are used for flammable metals.

Label Colour:
– Blue

Use for:
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal
Plus:
– Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol
Plus:
– Flammable gases, like liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and acetylene
Plus:
– Fires involving electrical equipment up to 1000v

Specialist dry powder extinguishers are only used on flammable metals, such as titanium and magnesium.

Do not use for:
– Fires involving cooking oil
– Fires involving electrical equipment over 1000v
– or in enclosed spaces, such as offices or residential properties

How dry powder extinguishers work:
Dry powder extinguishers smother fires by forming a barrier between the fuel and the source of oxygen.

Types of premises/business who may need Dry Powder extinguishers:
– Businesses using flammable gases for chemical processes
– Premises where welding and flame cutting takes place
– Garage forecourts
– Liquid petroleum gas (LPG) dispensing plants
– Premises with large, commercial boiler rooms

Where to locate Dry Powder extinguishers:
– Place dry powder extinguishers near to the source of the fire risk.

Specialist Dry Powder extinguishers – what’s the difference?:
Specialist dry powder extinguishers work in the same way as standard dry powder extinguishers but are for use with flammable metals only. There are 2 types of specialist dry powder extinguishers – ‘L2’ which only tackles lithium fires, and ‘M28’, for all other flammable metal fires.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers

Overview:
CO2 extinguishers are predominantly used for electrical fire risks and are usually the main fire extinguisher type provided in computer server rooms. They also put out Class B fires (flammable liquids, such as paint and petroleum).

Label Colour:
– Black

Use for:
– Flammable liquids, like paint and petrol
– Electrical fires

Do not use for:
– Kitchen fires – especially chip-pan fires
– Combustible materials like paper, wood or textiles
– Flammable metals

How CO2 extinguishers work:
CO2 extinguishers suffocate fires by displacing the oxygen the fire needs to burn.

Types of premises/business who may need CO2 extinguishers:
– Premises with electrical equipment, such as:
o Offices
o Kitchens
o Construction sites
o Server rooms

All work vehicles should also carry a smaller 2kg CO2 extinguisher.

Where to locate CO2 extinguishers:
– Place near to the source of the fire risk and/or near the fire exits.

Wet Chemical Extinguishers

Overview:
Wet chemical extinguishers are designed for use on Class F fires, involving cooking oils and fats.  They can also be used on Class A fires although it is more usual to have a foam or water extinguisher for this type of fire risk.

Label Colour:
– Yellow

Use for:
– Cooking oil/fat fires
– Organic materials such as:
o Paper and cardboard
o Fabrics and textiles
o Wood and coal

Do not use for:
– Flammable liquid or gas fires
– Electrical fires
– Flammable metals

How wet chemical extinguishers work:
Wet chemical extinguishers create a layer of foam on the surface of the burning oil or fat, preventing oxygen from fuelling the fire any further. The spray also has a cooling effect.

Types of premises/business who may need CO2 extinguishers:
– Commercial kitchens
– Canteens

Where to locate CO2 extinguishers:
– Place near to the source of the fire risk.

Remember safety first.  Always have a safe escape route planned and get out before its too late.

What to do after your house burns

7/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What to do after your house burns Fire affects your most valuable possession, your house. It is important to get it repaired properly

Once the fire is out and the fire department has determined it is safe for you to reenter there are a few things you should do.  Following these tips can help you get through the process of getting your home repaired and contents cleaned.

  • Contact your insurance agent and get a claim started immediately.  Even the smallest fire can cause smoke and soot damage to an entire house
  • Limit movement in the house until the damage can be surveyed by a professional.  sitting on furniture or walking on carpet with soot on it can cause repairable damage.
  • Do not eat or drink anything from the house.  Even if items may have been in an area away from the fire they may have contamination on them or in them and it is not worth getting sick.  
  • Do not remove items from the house.  Even if it appears to be clean it is best to have a professional inspect it.

If you do have a fire of any kind SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties is here to help. We can come out and inspect the damages and make it "Like it never even happened" Call us today @ (989)835-5015

My Gladwin county business flooded, can you help?

7/21/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial My Gladwin county business flooded, can you help? If your office floods what would you do?

Yes we can.  We understand how important it is for you and your employees to be able to get back to work and can get started as soon as you call.  No matter how big or small the job is SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin can help and if you are a franchise or chain we may be on your preferred vendor list.

In the event of a large loss we have a national network of over 1,700 franchises we can call on to help out.  We can access the damage and put together an immediate plan to minimize further damages.  Restoring what is salvageable vs. replacing to minimize costs, organizing packout and moving contents to a dry, safe location and getting documents prepared for drying are just a few things we can do to help out.

Contact us at (989)835-5015 

Here is some information on how to prevent a kitchen fire

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Here is some information on how to prevent a kitchen fire When in doubt – just get out, Your belongings can be replaced you cannot!

More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else. In 2011, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,300 home fires that caused:

  • 470 deaths
  • 5,390 injuries
  • $1 billion in property damage

These Numbers could be greatly reduced if people paid more attention when they cooked and practiced simple fire safety behaviors.

Unattended Cooking

is the leading cause of kitchen fires

  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling of broiling food
  • Check food regularly – use a timer to remind you the stove/oven is On
  • If you must leave – turn the oven Off

Stay Alert

to avoid stirring up trouble

  • Don’t use the oven or stovetop if you are sleepy, have consumed alcohol or are using drugs.

Hot Tips

  • Keep pot handles turned in
  • When you microwave food, open the container slowly to let steam escape and let food cool before eating
  • Cool a burn under water for 3 to 5 minutes and cover it with a clean dry cloth
  • If the burn is bigger than your fist, seek immediate medical assistance

Flammable Objects

Keep away from the stove

  • Keep anything that can burn a safe distance away from the stove
  • Clean up food and grease from burners and the stovetop
  • Wear short, tight-fighting, or lightly-rolled sleeves. If clothes catch fire, stop, drop and roll over and over or back and forth to put the fire out. Get medical help.

Be Ready

to react fast to a cooking fire

  • When in doubt – just get out!
  • If you try to fight fire with a fire extinguisher, be sure:
    1. Other people are leaving the home
    2. Someone is calling the fire department
    3. You have a clear exit path
  • If a small fire starts:
    1. Slide a lid over the pan
    2. Turn Off the burner
    3. Leave a the pan covered until it is completely cool
  • For an oven or microwave fire, turn off the unit and keep the door closed.  

If you do have a problem in the kitchen or any other room in the house give SERVPRO a call.  We will clean up all Fire, Smoke and water damage. 

It's not that wet I can dry it myself.....Wrong!

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage It's not that wet I can dry it myself.....Wrong! Call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties at (989)835-5015

If you see water on your floor and feel wet carpet in just a small area of a room the damage can go way further than you can see.  Water can travel under walls and through floors.  Carpet pad is like a giant sponge that draws water several feet past the initial area that looks or feels wet.  SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties has several pieces of specialized equipment to find even the smallest amount of moisture.  We can check through flooring and inside walls to make sure we are drying everything that is wet.  

Once we find and remove all of the wet materials we use commercial air movers commonly referred to as fans and dehumidifiers to remove all the moisture and humidity.  So if you find a wet area in your home call SERVPRO first to make sure it is dried properly.

We have a broken water line what should we do?

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage We have a broken water line what should we do? The drying starts immediately once the equipment is in place.

When water comes from a clean source you can do some things to minimize the damage.  Here are some do's and dont's to get started on after you call SERVPRO.

DO

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors

DON'T

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Sump Pump maintenance is often overlooked by homeowners

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sump Pump maintenance is often overlooked by homeowners This is not just a hole in your floor that you can forget about.

If your home has a wet basement, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that more than 60 percent of homes have issues with water in the basement.A sump pump can be an effective option for preventing water damage. Installed in a pit in the basement, these units sense when the water from rain or snow melt is rising in the pit and approaching the floor level. The incoming water is then pumped outside before it can damage the home or its furnishings.Sump pumps are relatively low-maintenance devices, but you can help keep your unit operational by inspecting it regularly. Steps in a regular maintenance program can include:

  • Checking the discharge line to make sure it is not stopped up or frozen. If necessary, unclog the air vent hole in the line.
  • Checking the inlet screen to ensure that it’s not clogged with residue and debris. Do this three or four times per year.
  • Making sure the float component is unobstructed and can move smoothly.
  • Scanning the pit and removing any visible debris, mud, or stones.
  • Testing the pump by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The float should rise with the water level, triggering the unit to start pumping. If pumping doesn’t begin, check to see that the unit is plugged in. Your float switch or check valve might also be at fault.
  • Going outside to see that water is discharging and flowing where it’s supposed to go – well away from your home.

Once a year, disconnect the pump from the power source and remove the unit. Flush it thoroughly with water to remove impurities and debris. While you have the pump out, also clean debris from the sump pit.  Reinstall the pump and reconnect the power source.  Test the unit by pouring a bucket of water into the pit and making sure the pump starts.If your unit has backup battery power, replace the battery every two to three years, or as directed by the manufacturer.Always refer to your pump’s instruction manual for specific information about maintenance and operation. More information about sump pumps is available from the Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association.

If your sump pump does fail  Call (989)835-5015 and a crew from SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties will come out and dry your basement and any other areas that are wet.  

Here are some common places Mold can appear in your home.

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Here are some common places Mold can appear in your home. Mold spreads quickly if left untreated.

The Smith’s didn’t notice the mold and mildew smell in their home until they came home from vacation.

“What’s that smell?” John asked.
“Mildew. Maybe mold. Maybe I left some clothes in the washer,” Kathy said.

After an hour-long search, the couple couldn’t find a leak. So they called John’s brother David — a plumber. He came right over.

“The number one rule for checking for mold and mildew?” David said, “If it uses water, chances are it’s going to leak.”

These are 10 places many homeowners overlook when checking for mold:

Dishwasher


Unless a dishwasher stops working or needs replacing or servicing, most of us don’t think about it as a potential source for mold. There are two connections under each dishwasher that have the potential for mold and mildew to get started–the water supply and the discharge connection. The water supply needs to be lubricated with the right sealant and properly tightened  periodically. The discharge connection involves a rubber hose and clamp, and installing the hose before the dishwasher is installed ensures it is done properly. Hoses wear out over time. If you’re buying an older house, it doesn’t hurt to check the dishwasher connections — especially if there’s an odd smell when you open the door.

Icemaker Connections


Refrigerators often get moved, either for cleaning or other projects. This can weaken or break the water line connection to the ice maker, causing leaks behind the refrigerator.

“It seems like a simple job, so in the real world the plumbing contractor doesn’t install the water line, another contractor does,” Hoffman said. “The connection is a compression fitting and it must be installed properly to ensure there are no leaks.”

Washing Machine Connections

When installing a washing machine, always install a brand new washing machine hose, using the rubber washers the manufacturer recommends. Also, use Teflon tape and make sure to tighten the connection with vice grips so there are no drips or leaks. After all, it doesn’t take many drips to create an environment for mold.

Hot Water Heater


“Many states have laws regarding the installation of hot water heaters, and most of them involve overflow pans that are piped to drain outside the house. The pan must be tilted ¼ inch to ensure the water does drain. Newer heaters with quick connect connectors should be properly lubricated and tightened so the shut-off valve doesn’t leak,” Hoffman said.

Plastic P-Traps

Under every sink in your home is a “P-Trap,” almost always made of PVC pipe, which expands, and contracts. This process eventually loosens the connection and allows water to leak onto the base of the cabinet. If you look under sinks in every room you’ll easily spot the stains and discoloration commonly caused by leaking P-Traps. Use Teflon tape to seal every P-Trap and check them periodically, tightening them by hand to ensure their connections don’t loosen and leak. Over tightening PVC can cause it to crack, so be careful.

Toilet Connections

“I’m amazed at how many steps the DIY home improvement shows leave out when they explain about how to install a toilet,” Hoffman said. “The base of the toilet is where most mold grows. Toilets should be installed with a horned wax ring, and then the base of the toilet grouted in with tile grout,” he said. “The grout serves as a filler between the bowl and the floor to keep the bowl from rocking. Rocking bowls are the number one reason for the wax ring being compromised, which then allows mold to get a foothold.”

Shower Doors

Shower doors should probably be installed by plumbing contractors, Hoffman said. “They know how to keep them from leaking.” Mold growing at the base of the tub may be from leaking or improperly installed shower doors. Shower doors need caulking on all three rails — the two side rails as well as the bottom rail.

Tub

A properly caulked tub isn’t just nicer looking. It keeps water and moisture from dripping down under the tub and causing mold issues. Slab floors can create more problems — especially if installed by a DIY’er. The hole(s) in concrete slabs under tubs should be filled with a liquid tar, or expandable foam insulation to ensure moisture does not wick up from the ground through the slab.

Exterior Hose Bib

If you have a home, you have an exterior hose bib — a place where the water connection sticks out from the house. If you’ve used a hose, you know a poor connection or missing rubber washer, or loose hose can result in water spraying the house. This uncontrolled spray allows water to enter the space between the sidings, or into the wall, leading to mold growth. Make sure all holes, gaps and areas around every outdoor water connection are properly caulked and sealed.

Outdoor Water Sprinklers

Siding is engineered to shed rain falling down, not sprinklers shooting water up. Make sure your sprinklers are well away from the house when turned on. If you have children or teens that are watering the yard or garden, make sure they know not to spray the house with the hose. If power washing your home, hire a professional, or take care that water is not forced up under the siding as you wash.

As a homeowner, if you take the appropriate precautions and are vigilant about upkeep, you should be able to avoid mold, or catch it at it’s outset. While mold can be a huge problem in homes, even causing health issues, it is easily preventable.

Any mold issues should be handled by trained professionals so if you suspect you have a problem call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties. @(989)835-5015

Flooded basement? We can help!

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Flooded basement?  We can help! We can get your home dried out quickly reducing the risk of secondary damage

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Midland and Gladwin county basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (989)835-5015

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin Counties and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (989)835-5015