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A puff-back can deposit soot all over you home.

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage A puff-back can deposit soot all over you home. Soot webs are usually left behind in a fire or puff-back

What is a puff back you ask?  It is a misfiring in the furnace that, at its worst, can send soot throughout your home, covering drapes, bedding, furniture, cabinets, walls, and everything in between. It requires expensive cleaning and restoration in addition to repairs on your heating system. It is basically like having a small fire in your home.  

So what should you do if this happens to you? First limit movement in the house to avoid spreading the soot.  Then call SERVPRO of Midland / Gladwin counties at (989)835-5015.  We will come in and clean every square inch of your home using industry standard as our guideline.  Depending on how bad the contamination is some areas may need to be repainted after the soot is removed.   

Michigan weather is extreme but not as bad as other areas of the country

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Michigan weather is extreme but not as bad as other areas of the country Michigan has many different types of weather

There are many varieties and names for storms.  Luckily we do not experience all of these here in Michigan. 

  • Ice storm — Ice storms are one of the most dangerous forms of winter storms. When surface temperatures are below freezing, but a thick layer of above-freezing air remains aloft, rain can fall into the freezing layer and freeze upon impact into a glaze of ice. In general, 8 millimeters (0.31 in) of accumulation is all that is required, especially in combination with breezy conditions, to start downing power lines as well as tree limbs.Ice storms also make unheated road surfaces too slick to drive upon. Ice storms can vary in time range from hours to days and can cripple small towns and large urban centers alike.
  • Blizzard — There are varying definitions for blizzards, both over time and by location. In general, a blizzard is accompanied by gale-force winds, heavy snow (accumulating at a rate of at least 5 centimeters (2 in) per hour), and very cold conditions (below approximately −10 degrees Celsius or 14 F). Lately, the temperature criterion has fallen out of the definition across the United States
  • Snowstorm — A heavy fall of snow accumulating at a rate of more than 5 centimeters (2 in) per hour that lasts several hours. Snow storms, especially ones with a high liquid equivalent and breezy conditions, can down tree limbs, cut off power, and paralyze travel over a large region.
  • Coastal Storm — large wind waves and/or storm surge that strike the coastal zone. Their impacts include coastal erosion and coastal flooding
  • Ocean Storm — Storm conditions out at sea are defined as having sustained winds of 48 knots (55 mph or 90 km/h) or greater. Usually just referred to as a storm, these systems can sink vessels of all types and sizes.
  • Firestorm — Firestorms are conflagrations which attain such intensity that they create and sustain their own wind systems. It is most commonly a natural phenomenon, created during some of the largest bushfires, forest fires, and wildfires. The Peshtigo Fire is one example of a firestorm. Firestorms can also be deliberate effects of targeted explosives such as occurred as a result of the aerial bombings of DresdenNuclear detonations generate firestorms if high winds are not present.
  • Dust devil — a small, localized updraft of rising air.
  • Wind storm— A storm marked by high wind with little or no precipitation. Windstorm damage often opens the door for massive amounts of water and debris to cause further damage to a structure. European windstorms and derechos are two type of windstorms. High wind is also the cause of sandstorms in dry climates.
  • Squall — sudden onset of wind increase of at least 16 knots (30 km/h) or greater sustained for at least one minute.
  • Gale — An extra-tropical storm with sustained winds between 34–48 knots (39–55 mph or 63–90 km/h). 
  • Thunderstorm — A thunderstorm is a type of storm that generates lightning and the attendant thunder. It is normally accompanied by heavy precipitation. Thunderstorms occur throughout the world, with the highest frequency in tropical rain forest regions where there are conditions of high humidity and temperature along with atmospheric instability. These storms occur when high levels of condensation form in a volume of unstable air that generates deep, rapid, upward motion in the atmosphere. The heat energy creates powerful rising air currents that swirl upwards to the tropopause. Cool descending air currents produce strong down droughts below the storm. After the storm has spent its energy, the rising currents die away and down droughts break up the cloud. Individual storm clouds can measure 2–10 km across.
  • Tropical cyclone — A tropical cyclone is a storm system with a closed circulation around a center of low pressure, fueled by the heat released when moist air rises and condenses. The name underscores its origin in the tropics and their cyclonic nature. Tropical cyclones are distinguished from other cyclonic storms such as nor'easter s and polar lows by the heat mechanism that fuels them, which makes them "warm core" storm systems.
Tropical cyclones form in the oceans if the conditions in the area are favorable, and depending on their strength and location, there are various terms by which they are called, such as tropical depressiontropical stormhurricane and typhoon.
  • Hailstorm — a type of storm that precipitates round chunks of ice. Hailstorms usually occur during regular thunder storms. While most of the hail that precipitates from the clouds is fairly small and virtually harmless, there are occasional occurrences of hail greater than 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter that can cause much damage and injuries.
 
  • Tornado — A tornado is a violent, destructive wind storm occurring on land. Usually its appearance is that of a dark, funnel-shaped cloud. Often tornadoes are preceded by thunderstorms and a wall cloud. They are often called the most destructive of storms, and while they form all over the world, the interior of the United States is the most prone area, especially throughout Tornado Alley.

Proper planing could save your Business

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

If you are a business owner in the Midland or Gladwin county area SERVPRO has a great emergency plan for you.  Getting prepared for what could happen has never been easier.

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business. 

Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?”

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information.  By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage

  • A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.” 

Call Us Today To Get Started! (989)835-5015

 

State police encourage severe storm readiness this spring

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage State police encourage severe storm readiness this spring This is a very familiar sight here in Midland. So advanced preparation can limit your damages

Michigan State Police is encouraging residents to be ready for severe weather, with a nod to last summer’s flooding as a big reason for preparation.

Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed April 8 to 14 as Severe Weather Awareness Week.

“Severe Weather Awareness Week is the time of year to learn what to do before, during and after severe weather occurs,” Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the state police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, stated in a media release. “In Michigan, severe weather can include flooding, thunderstorms and tornadoes. By taking the initiative to learn about possible hazards and what to do until help arrives, you and your family will be better prepared when an emergency or disaster happens.”

 

Spring and summer frequently bring fast-changing weather conditions that increase the potential for severe weather. Steps to keep residents safe and minimize damage that can be taken before severe weather strikes include understanding severe weather warnings and terms, preparing an emergency supply kit, making an emergency plan and creating an emergency contact list.

Midland County was among those struck by flooding on June 23 after a series of thunderstorms poured torrential rains on the area.

All in all, the Tittabawassee River crested at 32.15 feet by 7:13 p.m. Saturday, June 24 — the second highest crest in history, according to National Weather Service records. It was surpassed only by the 33.89-foot crest during the flood of 1986.

 

The floodwaters left many residents across the city and county awestruck and recovering from damage including flooded homes, washed out roads and bridges, and destruction at landmarks like the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library. Bay, Gladwin and Isabella counties also suffered damage from the flooding.

The magnitude of the damage was severe enough to result in a federal disaster declaration and two disaster case managers were hired to work through the Great Lakes Bay Region Long Term Disaster Recovery Group in October to assist local residents dealing with long-term effects.

9 Ways To Prevent Shower Mold

4/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 9 Ways To Prevent Shower Mold Cracked caulk let water behind this shower enclosure leading to big problems

3 tips to make sure your rental home is safe from carbon monoxide and fire

4/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 tips to make sure your rental home is safe from carbon monoxide and fire Remember safety first when traveling
The death of a family of four from Iowa at a property in Mexico has illustrated the potentially lethal hazards when renting a home or condominium for vacation.

Authorities say Kevin and Amy Sharp and their two children were found dead on March 23 after they inhaled a toxic gas in their vacation rental in Tulum.

 So how do you know if a vacation rental property is safe for your family?

TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen spoke with an expert who provided three things you should do the moment you first arrive at your vacation rental in order to protect your family

Experts believe the toxic gas that killed the Sharp family was most likely carbon monoxide, which is tasteless, odorless and invisible.

Dave Hamilton with the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in New Jersey noted to Rossen how it's not possible to tell that a hot water heater is leaking gas even by standing right next to it. So there is a crucial item to bring on vacation - a carbon monoxide detector.

Hamilton suggests mounting a battery-operated or plug-in carbon monoxide detector, which can be purchased for under $30, right outside the room that contains the furnace and water heater. Those are usually the common generation points for carbon monoxide.

In many popular vacation destinations in foreign countries, carbon monoxide detectors are not necessarily required by law.

 "One of the best things you can do is take one, and put it in your suitcase,'' Hamilton told Rossen. "Travel with it. They're going to protect you."

Another potential danger in vacation rentals is fire, as you would have no idea if the home you rented is up to code.

Hamilton suggests immediately learning where the fire extinguisher in the rental is located and double-checking so that you know how to get to it quickly in case of an emergency.

Hamilton's third tip is making sure you know where all the exits to the home are located so that you have a fire escape plan.

"Not just the front door, you need to know where the secondary exits are,'' he said. "For example, there's a doorway hidden behind this curtain and there's also another doorway half way down the stairs that you would not be able to find in thick black smoke."

Three simple steps - bringing carbon monoxide detector, locating the fire extinguisher and knowing all the exits - can make sure your family can fully relax on vacation.

Mold can be a big problem in your Gladwin county home.

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold can be a big problem in your Gladwin county home. Mold that is left unchecked can contaminate an entire house

The best approach is preventing mold before it becomes a problem. The key to mold prevention is simple: moisture control.

Here are some great ways to curb moisture indoors, and the mold that thrives on it.

1. Identify problem areas in your home and correct them. You can't mold-proof your home, but you can make it mold-resistant. Do an audit of your home: where are the problem areas? Does the basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on an upstairs window? Is there a water stain on the ceiling from a persistent leak? Preventing mold from growing or spreading might be as simple as ripping up carpet in a damp basement, installing mold-resistant products, or repairing damaged gutters. Or it may be a matter of major excavation and waterproofing. Whatever the case, address the problem now. It might cost some money up front, but it will surely be more costly down the road if mold continues to grow unchecked.

2. Dry wet areas immediately. Mold can't grow without moisture, so tackle wet areas right away. Seepage into the basement after a heavy rainfall, accumulation from a leaky pipe, even a spill on the carpet should be dried within 24 to 48 hours. If you've experienced a flood, remove water-damaged carpets, bedding, and furniture if they can't be completely dried. Even everyday occurrences need attention: don't leave wet items lying around the house, and make sure to dry the floor and walls after a shower. Don't leave wet clothes in the washing machine, where mold can spread quickly. Hang them to dry — preferably outside or in areas with good air circulation.

3. Prevent moisture with proper ventilation. It may be that your routine domestic activities are encouraging the growth of mold in your home. Make sure an activity as simple as cooking dinner, taking a shower, or doing a load of laundry doesn't invite mold by providing proper ventilation in your bathroom, kitchen, laundry room, and any other high-moisture area. Vent appliances that produce moisture — clothes dryers, stoves — to the outside (not the attic). Use AC units and dehumidifiers (especially in humid climates), but make sure they don’t produce moisture themselves by checking them periodically and cleaning them as directed by the manufacturer. Your energy-efficient home may be holding moisture inside, so open a window when cooking or washing dishes or showering, or run an exhaust fan.

4. Monitor humidity indoors. The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can measure humidity with a moisture meter purchased from your local hardware store. You'll also be able to detect high humidity by simply paying attention to potential problem areas in your home. Telltale signs of excessive humidity include condensation on windows, pipes, and walls. If you notice condensation, dry the surface immediately and address the source of moisture (for example, turn off a humidifier if water appears on the inside of nearby windows).

5. Direct water away from your home. If the ground around your home isn't sufficiently sloped away from the foundation, water may collect there and seep into your crawlspace or basement.

6. Clean or repair roof gutters. A mold problem might be a simple matter of a roof that is leaking because of full or damaged gutters. Have your roof gutters cleaned regularly and inspected for damage. Repair them as necessary, and keep an eye out for water stains after storms that may indicate a leak.

7. Improve air flow in your home. According to the EPA, as temperatures drop, the air is able to hold less moisture. Without good air flow in your home, that excess moisture may appear on your walls, windows and floors. To increase circulation, open doors between rooms, move furniture away from walls, and open doors to closets that may be colder than the rooms they’re in. Let fresh air in to reduce moisture and keep mold at bay.

8. Keep mold off household plants. They're beautiful and help keep your indoor air clean — and mold loves them. The moist soil in indoor plants is a perfect breeding ground for mold, which may then spread to other areas of your house. Instead of getting rid of your plants, try adding a bit of Taheebo tea to the water you give to your houseplants. The oil of this tree, which withstands fungi even in rain forests, helps hinder mold growth in plant soil and can be found at natural food stores.

Finally, educate yourself on your region's climate — be it the cold and wet Northeast, the hot and wet South, the hot and dry Southwest, or the cold and dry West — and how it responds to moisture. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to mold prevention. Knowing what works for your climate and your home is an important first step.  

  If you see any type of mold in your home call us @ (989)835-5015 for a free inspection. 

Do you know who to call if your basement Floods

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Do you know who to call if your basement Floods SERVPRO's on site equipment trailer here to support franchises during a storm event.

In June of 2017 Midland county experienced extreme flooding worse than it has in 100 years.  This left a lot of its residents scrambling to find a solution to dry out there homes.  Calling several restoration company's,Carpet cleaners or handyman services to look for help only to find everyone was too busy. 

 During this time the SERVPRO disaster recovery team was already called into action. Bringing the knowledge and experience of over 1700 franchises to the Great Lakes Bay Region.  Within 48 hours Franchises from all over the country were Here to Help.  

So it does not matter if the water damage is confined to one room of your basement or flooded a several floor of an office building we are always ready to answer your phone call.  

Severe weather awareness week is April 8th - April 14th

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe weather awareness week is April 8th - April 14th The weather in Michigan can change quickly. Being prepared could save your life

If weather causes a problem in your home give SERVPRO a call. We are here to help.

Tornadoes, lightning, floods, rip currents and early season heat - spring is three months of danger that can imperil the unprepared. It roars in like a lion, rampaging across the United States throughout March, April and May.  And there’s one hazard that can strike the coasts at any time: tsunamis.


Spring hazards include:


    • Severe Weather
    • Tornadoes
    • Floods
    • Lightning
    • Tsunamis
    • Rip Currents/Beach Hazards
    • Heat


Nobody knows the hazards of this dynamic season more than NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS). We ask that you get weather-ready for spring with just a few simple steps:



    1. Know Your Risk


Check weather.gov every morning. It is a simple action that will ensure that you’re ready for the day’s weather. Don’t leave home without knowing the forecast.



    1. Take Action!


Assemble an emergency supplies kit with 72 hours worth of food and water. In an emergency (such as after a tornado or some other hazard event), you may be stuck at home without electricity for three days or more. Make sure that you’re prepared. Also, ensure that everyone in your life knows how to stay in touch with an emergency communication plan. This plan lists meeting places and alternate ways of communicating in case of emergency.



    1. Be A Force of Nature


Inspire others by sharing your weather-ready story on social media with the hashtag #SpringSafety. It can be a simple as posting a photo of your emergency supplies kit or letting your friends know how to reach you during an emergency. Together, we can build a Weather-Ready Nation, one that is ready for any extreme weather, water, or climate event.



For more information head over to the  National Weather Service Website

Is it mold or mildew in your Midland home?

1/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Is it mold or mildew in your Midland home? Mold will grow anywhere in the right conditions.

Many people commonly refer to various building molds as “mildew", and numerous mold cleanup products use the words “mildew” or “mildewcide” in their name and instructions. With most people, interchanging the two words isn’t a big deal. But if you regard yourself as a mold remediation expert, then you might consider be-ing more conscious of your phrasing.

Mold is a distinct species and genus within the fungi family. (Did you flashback to biology class?) It’s one of the main decomposition methods that nature utilizes. Molds or fungus feed upon dead and decaying organic matter, and so they enhance the decaying processes of nature on fallen trees, plants, dead animals, leaves, etc. Without life forms like mold, we’d be buried under piles of dead stuff. So that’s great. But problems arise because mold doesn’t know the different between dead trees in the forest and a wet wall stud in a home. And since mold spores are always floating around, they easily find what they need to grow and reproduce; food, moisture, and darkness. 

Mold can also grow on many nonporous materials such as concrete and brick. And with the right temperature, moisture and food, mold will grow most anywhere. A rolling stone may gather no moss, but one sitting still sure can. Although it's more prevalent and grows more quickly on porous surfaces like drywall and wood (because there's more food), over time even a large area of concrete or brick can be covered by it. This is especially true in high humidity when the temperature between the surface and the air are slightly different. 

Mildew is likewise a segment of the fungi family, but a different genus. In fact, mycologists regard it a parasite because it feeds only on living plants. They’re divided into two sub-groups: 

  1. Oidium-Erysiphe, familiarly named Powdery Mildew
  2. Peronosporaceae, familiarly named Downy Mildew

These take the form of a white or gray powdery or splotchy deposit on plant leaves and stems, and are often caused by poor air circulation within or around the plant, and dampness or high humidity. And that’s an important distinction because most buildings will never have a mildew infestation unless they're growing a ton of plants inside. But since the majority don’t, mildew is rarely an issue with indoor contamination. 

Many times, the term mildew will be used generically to refer to mold growth that has a flat growth tendency. In other words, it doesn't grow roots and thus it's non-destructive and easily scrubbed away. It, too, will grow anywhere there's enough moisture, such as bathroom sinks and showers, basement walls, or fabrics.

For these reasons, a mold expert or a home inspector should never lump mold and mildew together or say that they’ve found mildew growing in or on a building. Although the average customer wouldn't know any difference, some might, and you don’t want to end up saying anything that could damage your reputation.