Recent Posts

Structural Drying

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building being dried out after flooding. Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business.

Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There is never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need. 

Time is Money 

As a leader in water damage restoration, we know fast mitigation is the key to limiting business interruption. With an unmatched national footprint of over 1,800 franchises, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team can provide trained crews faster to any size disaster and can be on-site within a few hours to help reduce the future damage that water can cause. We have the right equipment, procedures, and training to help ensure the structure is dry the first time, saving you time and money. 

Specific Tasks to Include: 

  • Containment of damaged area to reduce in-flow of water. 
  • Shrink-wrapping of structures to control inflow of mixture. 
  • Water Extraction – to remove excess water from a structure. 
  • Moisture Mapping – to determine impacted areas of a structure. 
  • Selective Demolition – to remove wet building materials that cannot be economically dried in place. 
  • Containment – to assure potential contaminants do not spread. 
  • Evaporation Enhancement – to remove moisture content from building materials. 
  • Dehumidification – to remove excess water vapor from the structures’ environments. 
  • Temperature Control – to assist in dehumidification and to prevent the onset of mold growth. 
  • Post-Drying Cleaning – to remove any potential contaminants from dried building materials. 

When disaster strikes, so do we! Our team members live locally and are available 24/7 to respond to your call. 

Preparing Your Summer Home for Cooler Weather

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Large homes by a lake. Now that summer is sadly coming to an end, it is time to start preparing your vacation home for cooler weather.

Now that summer is sadly coming to an end, it is time to start preparing your vacation home for cooler weather. 

As you are packing the car and getting ready to head out, do a quick inspection of your home to ensure you are ready to leave. Turn off the water main, and drain the existing water from sinks, toilets, and outdoor spigots. Once the water main is switched off, turn on faucets, spigots, and flush toilets until water no longer flows out. 

  • Pipes under every sink. 
  • Water heater. 
  • Seals around windows (in case it rains). 
  • Appliance hoses: washing machine, dishwasher, and ice maker. 
  • Sump pump. Dump a bucket of water into the sump pump to ensure it is working. Make sure to listen to its motor running as well. 
  • Toilet tanks. Look for cracks that may worsen and leak while you are gone. 

Give a set of keys to a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor and have them check on your home periodically while you are gone. The number of times they should check in depends on the length of your trip, but it should be at least twice a week. Once water damage occurs, letting it stagnate for days at a time can multiply the cleanup costs tremendously. Show your house sitter all bathrooms, where the water main is, and other areas at risk of water damage. Leaving a check list for them will make sure they do not miss any subtle leaks or moisture. 

Leave heating and cooling systems running as normal, these allow air flow through your home and prevent humidity from building up. They also will keep pipes from freezing if there is a sudden temperature drop one night, which is more of a risk during the fall and winter months than in summer. 

If you happen to have any type of water damage during your time away, we are always here to help! We are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back. We quickly extract the water and then dry your property using state-of-the-art equipment. 

Make a Plan Today!

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Wooden blocks stacked on top of one another spelling out PLAN. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.

It is never too early to start a plan. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find. 

Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan. 

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? 
  2. What is my shelter plan? 
  3. What is my evacuation route? 
  4. What is my family/household communication plan? 
  5. Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit? 
  6. Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update my emergency plans due to Coronavirus. 
  7. Get cloth face coverings (for everyone over 2 years old), disinfectants, and check my sheltering plan. 

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household. 

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan: 

  • Different ages of members within your household 
  • Responsibilities for assisting others 
  • Locations frequented 
  • Dietary needs 
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment 
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment 
  • Languages spoken 
  • Cultural and religious considerations 
  • Pets or service animals 
  • Households with school-aged children 

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan 

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own. 

Emergency Plan for Parents (PDF) 

For more information on how to make a plan for you and your family, visit ready.gov/plan. 

Learn About Duct Cleaning

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Dirty air duct. Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. 

A routine part of SERVPRO’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money. 

Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, we use a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. 

Our Process: 

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the ducts’ shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming beings. 
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container. 
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean. 
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns. 
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt. 

We Can Help: 

  • Remediate Bacteria, Fungi, and Mold 
  • Reduce Potential for Mold Growth 
  • Restore Peak Energy Efficiency 
  • Eliminate Odors 
  • Provide Free Written Inspections and Estimates 

Commercial Building Fire? We Can Help!

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building burnt after fire. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.

The Right Equipment 

We understand that using professional equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing claims loss expense. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. We will answer your call with fast reaction, exceptional equipment, and trained, uniformed personnel. Certainly, the right tool for the job is vital to timely mitigation and restoration, but perhaps more important, our fire damage professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration. For instance, knowing the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns are viral to proper restoration. 

  • Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. 
  • Dry Smoke – Paper and Woods; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, no smeary residues. 
  • Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 
  • Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs. 
  • Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue. 

Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows us to focus on saving your precious items. Isn’t that what really matters? 

Deodorization Equipment 

  • Ultra-Low Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that easily penetrates sites where odor-causing residues accumulate. The device can also be used to apply fungicides and disinfectants. 
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products in large volume, dense fogs suitable for confined areas. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that pair with and neutralize odor-causing particles. 

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration Services 

  • Structural Cleaning – After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. We will pretest to determine the extent of products required to clean and protect the different types of soot, we may even be able to reduce the cost of recovery by cleaning lighter soot deposits found on some surfaces, eliminating the expense incurred with repainting or refinishing. In other cases, we will clean to “prepare for painting.” This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface. 
  • Contents Cleaning – All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. We will begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics in the structure to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate. We can provide wet or dry-cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, bric-a-brac and must more. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items if requested. 
  • Deodorization – We provide specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. Our team does not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. 

You have so much invested in your property. Trust professionals to protect your most valuable asset! 

Learn About Derechos

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

Dark storm clouds over a landscape. Treat a derecho like a tornado and follow the same safety procedures.

What is a Derecho? 

With hot and humid weather conditions that come with summer also comes a threat of a rare severe thunderstorm called a derecho. You may be familiar with this type of storm now after the events that happened in Iowa. According to the National Geographic, a derecho is a widespread, long-lived, straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving group of severe thunderstorms. Derechos produce walls of strong wind that run throughout the landscape, causing hundreds of miles of damage. 

For a band of severe storms to be classified as a derecho, it must travel 240 miles and move at a speed of at least 58 miles per hour. The Midwest Derecho swept across South Dakota to Ohio, traveling 770 miles in nearly 14 hours and knocking out power for over a million people. Unlike tornadoes and hurricanes, the winds from a derecho follow straight lines. In fact, the term “derecho” means straight in Spanish. 

How Derechos Form 

Derechos winds can be as strong as winds found in hurricanes and tornadoes. So, how do these strong winds form? It is created by a downburst. SciJinks stated that when the wet air in a thunderstorm meets the drier air surrounding it, the water in the air evaporates. When water evaporates, it cools the air around it. Since the cool air is denser, it rapidly sinks to the ground and creates strong winds. 

The downburst can suck more dry air into the storm, making stronger downbursts. Derechos happen when the right conditions for downbursts occur over a wide-ranging area. 

Where Derechos Happen 

Derechos are most common in the Midwestern United States but are quite rare. There is an average of 1 to 2 derechos a year. These storms most commonly occur in late spring and summer. 

Derecho Damage 

A derecho can be just as destructive as a tornado, but destructive in a different way. According to the National Geographic, downburst clusters of wind caused by derechos can range from four to six miles long, containing smaller pockets of extreme wind called microbursts and burst swaths. The latter are only about 150 to 450 feet long, but they are severe and concentrated like the winds of a tornado and can exceed 100 miles an hour. 

What to Do 

Treat a derecho like a tornado and follow the same safety procedures. The best thing to do in the event of a derecho is to go someplace safe and protected—high winds and falling trees can be quite dangerous. 

The Importance of Smoke Alarms

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

White smoke detector. Smoke alarms save lives every day.

Smoke alarms save lives every day. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a crucial role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Here at SERVPRO, we want to keep you and your loved ones safe. 

Here is what you need to know 

  • A closed-door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.  
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.  
  • Larger homes may need extra smoke alarms. 
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. If the alarm still does not work replace the batteries, and if it still doesn’t work replace it. 
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use both types of alarms in the home. 
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Don’t wait 
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years whether they are still working or not. 

Facts about smoke alarms  

  • Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people additional escape time. In 2012-2016, smoke alarms were present in three-quarters (74%) and sounded in more than half (53%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments. 
  • Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (40%) or no smoke alarms that were working (17%). 
  • The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms (12.3 deaths per 1,000 fires), either because no smoke alarm was present or an alarm was present but did not operate), as it was in homes with working smoke alarms (5.7 per 1,000 fires). 
  • In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than two of every five (43%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. 
  • Dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of the smoke alarm failures. 

For more information on smoke alarms and other fire protection related information visit the website for the National Fire Protection Association. 

Potential Floods in Your Business

8/19/2021 (Permalink)

Buildings underwater. The most common floods are caused by relatively innocent facilities you probably have on your premises.

There are many potential sources of flood damage for businesses, including broken roofs, raging rivers or even hurricanes. However, the most common floods are caused by relatively innocent facilities you probably have on your premises: 
 
• Water supply lines 
• Fire sprinkler systems 
• Toilet and bathroom fixtures 
• A broken pipe 
 
If you own or operate a business in Michigan, then chances are that you stand to come across at least one of these sources of commercial flooding. If it happens to you, remember that water repair technicians are well practiced in restoring damage caused by these issues. A good company should have you back to new in less time than you expect. 

 
Water Supply 

These water supply line systems are essential for nearly every business, but a broken pipe in one of them might create a complete disaster. The best way to deal with these issues is to shut off your water if possible. In fact, stopping the flow should be your first step in almost any flooding situation, as long as entering the flood area does not provide an immediate threat to your health. 

Fire Sprinklers 

Sprinkler systems are designed to protect you from disasters, but they can cause disasters as well. Prevent unfortunate losses by keeping your fire sprinklers maintained professionally. 

Toilets 

Nobody wants to think about a toilet overflowing, but this is one of the most common water-related disasters in businesses. Well-maintained bathroom facilities have less chance of causing a catastrophe, but it's important to know how to shut off your fixtures just in case. Some commercial toilet shutoff processes are far from intuitive. 

Ruptured Pipes 

A broken pipe might happen as a result of extreme temperature changes, direct stress or simple disrepair. If it happens out of sight, you might not notice the problem until it's advanced far enough to have caused significant damage. If you find a pipe issue, it's usually a good idea to call a restoration company and your insurance provider immediately after you stop the flow of water. 

Why SERVPRO 

Here at SERVPRO, we are water damage restoration specialists and are ready to restore your home back to pre-water damage condition. We are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back. 

Flood Insurance

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Piece of paper on a clipboard with a pen. Preparing your building in advance can save you a lot of time and money.

Many businesses in Michigan are not prepared for floods or even have a plan for one. Disasters can strike anytime and anywhere, whether you are ready or not. Preparing your building in advance can save you a lot of time and money. One of the best ways to do this is by having the right flood insurance. Here are some things to know before confirming your policy though.   

3 Things to Consider for Commercial Flood Insurance 

  
What Kind of Damage Does Flooding Cause? 
You may be wondering what exactly you are protecting your building against. During heavy rainfall, water gets in through small cracks in the walls or foundation. It can also enter through small openings in the windows or through weak spots in the roof. This small amount of liquid can lead to a lot of damage. In addition to soaking the floors, it can also seep into the furniture, office equipment, important documents, and electronics.   

 
What Does Insurance Cover?  
Always check your policy, but commercial insurance typically covers damage to the structure of the building and the contents that were affected by the storm. External damage is usually caused by fall trees, while internal damage is more likely to be from flooding. Most policies pay for a restoration company to come handle the repairs and cleanup.   

 
Is Your Building Really at Risk?  

Unfortunately, weather is unpredictable, so you cannot know in advance whether you will ever use your flood insurance or not. However, it is best to be safe than sorry when it comes to your business. No building is ever truly safe from the dangers that storms bring, so most companies choose to get the insurance.  While getting flood insurance may not be at the top of your to-do list, getting it sooner rather than later is important because you never know when a storm may hit. If you aren't sure how much coverage you need or what type of policy to get, talk to your insurance company to find out what is right for you. 

Preparing for Back to School

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Back to School written on a chalkboard. Schools are a vital part of the infrastructure of communities and play a critical role in supporting the well-being of a child.

Schools are a vital part of the infrastructure of communities and play a critical role in supporting the well-being of a child, not just their academic achievement. With schools preparing to reopen their doors after shutdowns, parents and staff members have concerns about the health and safety of students. 

The CDC has put together a plan for K-12 school administrators to follow as students and staff return to school in the fall. According the CDC, it is critical that all administrators for these steps: 

  • Engage and encourage everyone in the school and the community to practice preventive behaviors. These are the most important actions that will support schools’ safe reopening and will help them stay open. 
  • Implement multiple SARS-CoV-2 mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing, cloth face coverings, hand hygiene, etc.). 
  • Communicate, educate, and reinforce appropriate hygiene and social distancing practices in ways that are developmentally appropriate for students, teachers, and staff. 
  • Integrate SARS-CoV-2 mitigation strategies into co-curricular and extracurricular activities (e.g., limiting or cancelling participation in activities where social distancing is not feasible). 
  • Maintain healthy environments (e.g., cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces). 
  • Make decisions that consider the level of community transmission. 
  • Re-purpose unused or underutilized school (or community) spaces to increase classroom space and facilitate social distancing, including outside spaces, where feasible. 
  • Develop a proactive plan for when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. 
  • Develop a plan with state and local health department to conduct case tracing in the event of a positive case. 
  • Educate parents and caregivers on the importance of monitoring for and responding to the symptoms of COVID-19 at home. 
  • Develop ongoing channels of communication with state and local health departments to stay updated on COVID-19 transmission and response in your local area. 

Schools may consider implementing strategies to encourage behaviors to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CDC has provided strategies on how to reduce the spread: 

Staying Home when Appropriate 

  • Educate staff and families about when they/their child(ren) should stay home and when they can return to school. 
    • Actively encourage employees and students who are sick or who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home. 
    • Staff and students should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. 
    • Staff and students who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. 
  • CDC’s criteria can help inform when employees should return to work: 
    • If they have been sick with COVID-19 
    • If they have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette 

  • Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among students and staff. 
    • If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer). 
  • Encourage staff and students to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. 

Cloth Face Coverings 

  • Teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings. Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. 
    • Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on: 
      • Children younger than 2 years old 
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious 
      • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance 
      • Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.  
    • Adequate Supplies 
      • Support healthy hygiene behaviors by providing adequate supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible) and no-touch/foot-pedal trash cans. 

Signs and Messages 

  • Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures pdf icon and describe how to stop the spread pdf icon of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering image icon). 
  • Broadcast regular announcements on reducing the spread of COVID-19 on PA systems. 

For more information on preparing for back to school, visit the CDC website