Prevent the Spread of Flu Germs in Your Business
Businesses (and homes) can depend on SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA-registered cleaners and disinfectants. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals are also trained and equipped to clean your HVAC and duct systems to help provide better air quality and help reduce the risk of circulating harmful contaminants. If you have concerns about the cleanliness and sanitation of your place of business (or home), call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. today 231-733-7601.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people may take action everyday to stay healthy in the wake of the recent flu outbreak.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way
Try to avoid close contact with sick people. For more helpful information regarding Flu Germs, contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's website https://www.cdc.gov/
Avoid Appliance Fires
Most homes and businesses have multiple electrical appliances ranging from small appliances like toaster ovens and microwaves, to larger items like clothes dryers and dishwashers. These items have become staples in our everyday operation, and while these appliances make our lives easier, they can also pose significant risks, including fire.
Appliance fire safety can be accomplished by maintaining appliances and keeping them in good working order. Prior to using, ensure appliances are properly grounded. If an appliance has a three-prong plug, do not try to force it into a two prong outlet. Regularly check appliance cords for any visible damage, such as fraying or exposed wiring. Do not use until the cord can be replaced or repaired. If you notice smoke or sparks while operating an appliance, discontinue use immediately. Another indicator of potential hazards are outlets that do not work or are warm to the touch. When it comes to electricity, err on the side of safety, if any electrical appliance or outlet is causing concern, call a licensed electrician to inspect your property.
By The Numbers
- 9,600 fires
- 25 deaths
- 525 injuries
- $211 million in property loss
Source: National Fire Incident Reporting System
Extension Cord Tips for Safety
Extension cords are one of the most commonly misused items in homes or businesses. Consider the following tips when selecting an extension cord to ensure safe usage.
- Determine the wattage/size extension cord required to power a device. If connecting two or more appliances, add together the wattage rating for all appliances to prevent overload.
- Determine whether the cord will be used indoors or outdoors and select appropriately.
- Do not use extension cords that are cut or damaged. Touching even a single exposed strand of wire can give you an electric shock or burn.
- Do not keep extension cords plugged in when not in use. The cord will still conduct electricity until it is unplugged.
- Do not run the cord under carpet or across a doorway.
Controlling MOLD In Your Environment
Mold – It is a four letter word that makes most people cringe. But contrary to popular belief, not all mold is dangerous; some mold is even quite useful. Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. More than 100,000 different types of fungi have been identified. You can find fungi in our everyday lives in bread and baked products; the unique flavor of blue cheese is the result of mold. Though some types of mold can be useful, many other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold and mold exposure may present health concerns for some people.
The intrusion of water into your home or business can result in mold growth. Water intrusions can result from storm damage, plumbing or equipment failures, long standing leaks and poor humidity control. When these water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can be an increased risk of harmful mold growth. Mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water damaged environment are not controlled, mold spores can grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, like wood, drywall, paper and insulation, provide a food source for mold, allowing growth to flourish. This can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.
SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. handles water damage everyday and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. Mold is more likely to spread when an environment has been subject to moisture for an extended period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. Once the environment is dry, it is important the structure is properly cleaned. When determining if you have a mold problem, be alert for: the presence of visible mold, strong musty odors, evidence of past moisture problems and excessive humidity.
If you fear you have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. 616-396-8180. A technician trained in mold remediation will examine the structure and determine the steps needed to contain and clean the affected areas.
Understanding WATER Types
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 contaminated 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 tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and 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.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
- 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 Holland/W. Ottawa Co. 231-733-7601 24 hours a day/365 days a year.
Preparing for a FLOOD
Flooding can happen fast in many environments. The American Red Cross recommends having the following list of items packed and ready to go in the event of an evacuation due to flooding.
- Water—3+ day supply; one gallon per person per day
- Food—3+ day supply of nonperishable, easy-to-prepare food
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio (NOAA Weather Radio, if possible)
- Extra batteries
- First Aid kit
- Medications (7-day supply) and medical items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contact lenses, syringes, cane)
- Multi-purpose tool
- Sanitation/personal hygiene items
- Copies of personal documents (medication list and pertinent medical information, deed/lease to home, birth certificates, insurance policies)
- Cell phone with chargers
- Family and emergency contact information
- Extra cash
- Emergency blanket
- Map(s) of the area
- Baby supplies (bottles, formula, baby food, diapers)
- Pet supplies (collar, leash, ID, food, carrier, bowl)
- Tools/supplies for securing your home
- Extra set of car keys and house keys
- Extra clothing, hat and sturdy shoes
- Rain gear
- Insect repellent and sunscreen
- Camera for photos of damage
What is BLACK MOLD?
You may have seen sensational news reports that warn about the dangers of “black mold” or “toxic mold”. These reports can be alarming and confusing so it’s beneficial to get the facts to better understand mold.
Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called black mold, and it does produce allergens and irritants. However, many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants. Treat any mold with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.
Learn more about mold and what to do until help arrives by visiting Mold Damage Tips.
How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?
Since many types of mold can cause reactions, you should contact us regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold may exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect you have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. immediately at 231-733-7601.
"Mold Removal" vs Mold Remediation
What’s the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Many restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy. We understand mold and mold growth. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business.
Signs of Mold? Call Today – 616-396-8180
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and that odor can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
The Mold Remediation Process
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Learn more about our mold remediation process.
- Emergency Contact - (616) 396-8180
- Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
- Mold Containment
- Air Filtration
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
- Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Commercial Mold Remediation
Mold in a commercial structure no only causes an interruption in business but it can also present a serious health risk for people exposed. A minor water intrusion like a slow roof leak or loose plumbing fittings can cause a major mold infestation. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you suspect your property has a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co., who will respond quickly and work fast to manage the situation.
- 24 Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any Size Disaster
- A Trusted Leader in the Mold and Water Restoration Industry with over 1,700 Franchises
- Highly Trained Mold and Water Damage Restoration Specialists
Have a Mold Problem? Call Us Today – (231)733-7601
Commercial Mold Remediation Presents Unique Challenges
Mold left untreated can spread quickly through a property. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can respond quickly, working to first contain the infestation to help prevent its spread to other parts of the building. Next, we will begin the remediation process, working safely and effectively to manage the situation. We have the training, experience, and equipment to contain the mold infestation and remediate it to preloss condition. Learn more about SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. training and certifications.
- Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
- Water Damage Restoration Technician
- Applied Structural Drying Technician
- Odor Control Technician
- Upholstery and Fabric Cleaning Technician
Facts about FLOODING
Floods rank as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States. Whether you live near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is a potential for suffering flood damage.
Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the United States. Commercial flood claims average more than $75,000.
According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster. The ARC offers the following flood safety tips.
- Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way. Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
- If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
- Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water. Keep your pets out of the water too.
If a flood does strike your home or business, contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. The SERVPRO® System is prepared to handle any sized disaster. The sooner work begins, the sooner order can be restored.
When fire and water take control of your life, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. will help you take it back.