If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (616) 396-8180

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Summer Storms Are Here

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

The summer season is upon us and with it comes the summer storms. Each year we seem to experience a variety of summer storms that range in severity and the damage that they can cause. It is not uncommon for these storms to bring home damage resulting from flooding, power outages, strong winds, fallen trees and branches, and more. Many times when these storms come, they come quickly and violently with not much time to prepare. Take the time now to ensure that your home is equipped for the storms we may experience this summer.

If your home happens to experience damage resulting from these storms, we are here to help. Our 24-hour service means that we are available to assist you day or night.

Summer Storm Ready?

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

It is that time of year where violent thunderstorms can appear very quickly. Although the increases in technology have given us more of a heads up when these storms are going to take place, they can still be difficult to predict. It is always important to make sure that you have a plan in place when these storms occur. Create a checklist and an emergency plan with your family so that all the essentials that you may need are easily obtainable. These items could include flashlights, food, water, and more. Also educate your children on thunderstorm safety such as remaining indoors, staying away from metal objects, avoiding water and electronic equipment, and more. Many of these safety precautions slip our mind but could potentially save your life. Be prepared for the summer storms ahead.

Keep A Radio Nearby

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Many individuals living in today's society, with the technology we have, believe that going "Back To Basics" isn't necessary. Who needs a radio when we all have smartphones! Although it may seem silly, it doesn't hurt to have a working portable radio in your home in case of an emergency. Thunderstorms often bring power outages that are very inconvenient. If your smartphone is dead or close to being dead and you don't have a portable charger, it is no longer useful. This is where that little portable radio could really come in handy. Nobody likes to feel helpless. A radio can allow you to listen to local weather stations to know what is going on and when the storm will pass. Never be unprepared when it comes to planning for summer storms!

Summer Basement Flooding

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

Heavy rains from summer storms can easily result in a flooded basement. No homeowner likes to walk downstairs and find squishy carpet. Not only is water damage very difficult to handle yourself, it also poses serious health risks. Ground water has a lot of contaminants that can result in illness. The chance of it causing illness only grows the longer it sits as well. If water damage is not handled quickly and effectively, it can result in a mold problem. If you experience water damage to your home, do not hesitate to call. The longer you wait, the more expensive and time consuming the restoration process becomes. Do not fall victim to extensive home damage resulting from summer storms. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Smoke Alarm Safety

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

If there is one thing that many of us do not set as a priority on our "To-Do" list but should, it is checking our smoke alarms. Individuals who have never experienced a house fire do not take preventative measures as seriously as those who have. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital 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. According to the National Fire Protection Association, here are some things 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.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month.
  • Today's smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

Commercial General Cleaning

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Is your commercial facility in need of a deep clean? Luckily, we got you covered. Many facility owners realize that due to contents, structural materials, etc. they are not able to simply hose down the inside of their building without causing serious damages. Taking trained employees off their jobs to hand clean your facility can really cut into revenue.

Our technicians have experience cleaning large commercial facilities by hand to ensure that no damage is done and your building is left looking flawless. We have the equipment needed to successfully clean a variety of different surfaces and structures.

If you have recently acquired a new facility or looking to get rid of years of dust and grime in your business, we are the company for you.

Have Questions? Call Today – (616) 396-8180

April Showers

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

The good news is that spring is officially here! Coming with it is often times a large amount of rain. Even though you probably spent a good chunk of time cleaning out your gutters in the fall, it is very important to give them a quick inspection in the spring as well. The reason behind this is that it is not uncommon for melting snow and rain to push any kind of debris accumulated over winter towards the downspouts. Once these are clogged, water is no longer able to safely drain from your gutters. If water begins to back up and become stagnant, it has the ability to get under the shingles and create a roof leak. It is also very important to make sure that the water draining from your downspout is not pooling up right next to or against the house. This has the ability to create additional water damage if there are any cracks in your foundation. Inspecting your gutters and downspouts may take a little time, but could save you thousands down the road.

Spring Fire Season

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

It is officially that time of the year again. The spring fire season can be very dangerous and not something to be taken lightly. With trees bare and sunlight drying out sticks and leaves, debris burning can easily get out of hand. If your yard is littered with fallen sticks from winter storms, consider waiting until summer to do any controlled burning. With leaves being dried out, they are highly flammable and can easily become airborne if breezy. Flaming leaves that go airborne are very likely to start more fires that may become uncontrollable. Debris burning is one of the most common causes of wildfires according to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Please obey any fire restrictions and be smart when burning debris.

Self Drying Dangers

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

The water table tends to rise drastically in the spring with snow thawing and heavy rains. When this happens, it is not uncommon to experience a flooded basement. It can be difficult to differ between something that can be self-resolved, and something in need of professional attention. If this is a question you find yourself asking, it is best to go with the latter. A variety of issues can arise from attempting to self dry your home after experiencing water damage. If the moisture is not dried quick enough, there is a large possibility that you could experience mold. If the moisture is dried in an adequate amount of time, but a dehumidifier is not set up, mold could begin to grow as well. When it comes to water damage and its ability to quickly turn into a mold issue, call the professionals. It is better to be safe than sorry.

SERVPRO of Holland/West Ottawa County: 616-396-8180

Overloading Outlets

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

With spring cleaning and remodeling taking place, there is a certain tool that comes in handy when extra outlets are needed: Power strips. Although they are helpful, they can pose a serious fire risk. We are often times not worried about how much power we may be drawing through a single outlet. With many homeowners living in 30+ year old homes, the power outlets are not capable of handling the usage of modern day technology. Major appliances such as dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, etc. should always be plugged into their own outlet due to their heavy power usage.

Look for these signs that your electrical system may be overloaded:

- Lights flicker or dim

- Circuit breakers trip or fuses blow regularly

- Cords or wall plates are warm or discolored

- Crackling, sizzling or buzzing is heard from outlets

If you notice any of these signs, reduce electrical usage and have your home inspected by a professional. Do not fall victim to an electrical fire. 

Checking Newly Acquired Facilities

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Many businesses, if successful, will begin to acquire new facilities as they expand and grow. Sometimes this means building a new structure, and other times it means gaining ownership of an already existing one. Many businesses that acquire existing facilities with plans to remodel discover that their facility may have water/mold damage. This is not uncommon when a facility has sat vacant for some time. When a situation such as this occurs, it is important that the new owner takes proper precautionary measures. Our highly trained team of technicians have experience working with vacant facilities. If your business has recently acquired a building that you fear has experienced water/mold damage, call SERVPRO of Holland/West Ottawa County. We make it our priority to ensure the health and safety of our customers.

SERVPRO of Holland/West Ottawa County: 616-396-8180

Frozen Pipes In West Michigan

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

During the winter season in West Michigan, is not uncommon for homeowners and business owners to experience frozen pipes. When a pipe freezes and bursts, quick action is required. Be sure that you check your basement and crawlspace regularly during the winter to ensure that no broken pipes have gone unnoticed.

If you notice wet floors, walls, or ceilings, shut off your water immediately. A small amount of water has the ability to effect a large amount of your facility. The longer the water exists before it is successfully dried, the more extensive the damage will be. If you feel that the water damage is too much to handle, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County. We have the training and equipment to make sure that your home or business is dried successfully to prevent further damages.

Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

Preventing Commercial Grease Fires

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

There are a variety of different ways that a grease fire can start in a commercial kitchen. A mixture of flammable items and a chaotic environment is a recipe for a fire eventually. Luckily, there are safety precautions that you can take to prevent a kitchen fire.

Always make sure that you keep everything clean. Most kitchen fires begin when flammable cooking material such as oil or grease is ignited. It is also important to make sure that deep fryers and hood filters are properly maintained. Although having a clean kitchen doesn't make it completely fireproof, it highly decreases the likelihood of experiencing a fire.

Make sure you have proper safety equipment on-site. This includes having up-to-date fire extinguishers as well as investing in a fire suppression system. The fire suppression system will dispense chemicals immediately to combat a fire, helping to prevent the spread. 

Be sure that kitchen staff have training on how to prevent fires as well as procedures for if one does occur. Think about fire prevention as an investment.

Spring Flooding

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

As the snow melts throughout West Michigan and rivers begin to rise, homeowners begin to experience flooding. Many residents who live along rivers, lakes, or areas with a high water table may experience ground water start to seep through cracks within their foundation. If you live in an area prone to flooding, be sure to check your home for areas where water could enter.

A great way to prevent basement flooding in areas with a high water table is to install a sump pump. A sump pump is used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin. The pump will send the water away from the house to any place where it is no longer problematic. Since sump pumps are typically hardwired into a home's electrical system, it is important to ensure that it has a battery backup should your home lose power.

Hidden Moisture

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

When you step into your living room and hear the carpet squish under your feet as your socks become wet, you know that something is wrong. Your home has experienced a water loss. Whether it be a broken pipe, flooding, roof leak, etc., your home now contains water where it shouldn't. At first glance, it may seem easy enough to throw down a few towels and break out the box fans and everything will be good as new in a day or two. Although this may appear to work, it is very likely that your home has experienced more extensive damage that you are unaware of. The drywall, foundation, wall interiors, and more could still contain moisture that may go unnoticed. This can lead to far more serious damages and could cost you thousands in repairs. 

We have equipment such as moisture detectors and thermal imaging devices that allow us to see how extensive the water damage really is. If your home experiences a water loss, we are here to help.

Travelling Mold

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Moisture within a home or business can be the result of a variety of different situations. Maybe you recently experienced a water loss or maybe you have above average humidity levels. No matter the case, it doesn't take a lot of stagnant moisture to begin the process of mold growth. If you have discovered mold in your home or business, the best thing that you can do is to not disturb it and call us. Mold spores have the ability to go airborne once they are disturbed. This can result in mold growth in other areas of your home or business where the spores land, as well as respiratory issues for occupants. 

We have the equipment and training to safely remediate the mold situation in your home or business.

Signs of Mold? Call Today – (616) 396-8180

Pipe Breaks Causing Mold

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Throughout the winter season of pipe breaks, many West Michigan homeowners experienced a water loss of some degree. Whether it be a small loss, or a large loss, both have the ability to bring about a variety of other issues. One of the main issues that often times stem from a residential water loss is the entrance of mold.

Many homeowners who experience a minor water loss will attempt to handle the situation themselves. Although some are able to do this successfully, many soon realize that it is too much for them to handle. If a water loss is not successfully dried completely, mold can begin to set in. This mold can begin to appear on drywall, carpet, floor joists, and a variety of other surfaces. Once mold has set in, the restoration process becomes more extensive since not only is mold remediation required, but it is also a sign of additional moisture presence that is generating more damage. Our highly trained technicians can make it "Like it never even happened."

Mold In Your Commercial Facility

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to running a commercial facility, there are a variety of responsibilities. One of the main ones is protecting your employees and occupants from any harmful substances. A commercial facility can be a manufacturer, school, church, etc. When it comes to facilities such as schools and churches, children are often present. This raises even more of a health protection concern as children are more susceptible to illness.

Commercial facilities range in size and frequently experience water losses due to their increased risk. When a loss occurs, it is very important that facility managers ensure that it is properly resolved. A lack of equipment or training could result in health risks should mold begin to appear. Along with health risks comes a shutdown period. In order to maintain the health of employees and occupants, the facility will often times need to be closed until the mold remediation is complete. This can cause large drops in revenue.

If your commercial facility experiences a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Holland/West Ottawa County to ensure that it is properly handled. 

Have a Mold Problem? Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

Post Winter Roof Leaks

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

It has been a relatively mild winter in West Michigan, for the first half anyway. January and February brought with it a variety of snow storms that dumped inches upon inches of snow. As we are approaching the tail end of the winter season, we can be thankful that the snow is soon to melt. Although it is a glorious sight to see the eves begin to drip, melting snow will reveal roof leaks to many homeowners. Gutter and roof damage throughout winter is noticed through those dreaded water stains on your white ceiling. It becomes evident that your ceiling now contains moisture and not only do you have a leak to fix, but also a ceiling to dry.

Luckily, we are the professionals that deal with these cases very often. Once the leak is fixed, we can ensure that the moisture that has made its way inside does not begin to create further issues. If you experience a roof leak, let us help!

Water Loss Warps Wood Floor

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Hardwood floor may be the touch of elegance for your home that you always wanted. It is easy to clean if you have pets and takes away the hassle of picking out what type and color of carpet you want. Although it looks great, hardwood floor can  be easily damaged if you experience a water loss. Many homeowners who have experienced water damage have reported that if not resolved extremely quickly and effectively, their hardwood floor began to warp. As a homeowner, it is crushing to see your beautiful flooring start to buckle. Although it may appear that all is lost, that is not the case. We have equipment, that if caught soon enough, can save you from replacing your hardwood floor. These mats are placed on the floor and hooked to tubes that draw the moisture up. Just when you think all is lost, we are here to save the day! 

Preparation Is Key

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

It is not a matter of if, but rather when something is going to happen. A disaster can and will happen at any moment in time. This can range from a small pipe break, to half of your facility going up in flames. One of the most important things you, as a facility manager, can do is to be prepared. This means knowing where things are located in your facility, and knowing who to call. If somebody were to ask you the name and number of the plumber, or electrician, or building contractor, etc. in an emergency situation, would you know it off hand? This is the problem that many facility managers do not regularly think about. If you do not have a plan in place should an emergency occur, then you are not prepared. The longer a fire burns or water runs, the more money it will cost you. Preparation truly is key to whether your business bounces back, or shuts its doors.

Emergency Response

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to handling a commercial loss, time is of the essence. The most important thing is getting the problem resolved as quickly and effectively as possible so that you can get back to making money. You also do not want a loss to prolong and begin creating further damages. 

Luckily, we have a 24 Hour Emergency Response Service. We have the ability to respond to a loss at your facility at anytime to begin the restoration process. This can save you not only income from production halt, but also thousands of dollars worth of extensive damages. The sooner the restoration process begins, the less damage done. If your commercial facility experiences a loss, do not hesitate. Time is money.

Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

Generator Safety

2/8/2019 (Permalink)

Use a generator safely

It is true that you do not realize how much we rely on electricity until we experience a power outage. Losing power easily disrupts some of the convenience in our lives, often resulting in many homeowners purchasing generators. This piece of equipment can help get you through until power is restored. Although they can be very useful, generators can also raise a variety of dangers. If you have a generator for your home or business, here are some safety tips from the American Red Cross:

-Keep the generator dry. Do not use it in rainy or wet conditions

-Be aware of the amount of power your generator can produce to reduce the chance of overload

-Do not use the generator in any partially enclosed area

-Keep the generator away from doors, windows, and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors

Read more generator safety tips: Safe Generator Use

Winter Storms Causing Ice Dams

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Although a mild winter is nice, it also brings about an increased chance of water damage from ice dams. An ice dam is when a ridge of ice forms at the edge of a roof. It prevents melting snow and rain from draining off the roof. Snow and rain storms flip-flopping regularly is a recipe for disaster when it comes to ice dams. As the water gets backed up behind the ice, it can easily find its way under your shingles and effect your ceiling and wall cavities. This can bring about many more issues such as droopy ceilings and moldy wall cavities. 

There are a couple different ways to prevent ice dams and ice dam damage. The first is that many homeowners will have heating cables installed to prevent ice from building up. The second is having a contractor evaluate your insulation and ventilation in order to recommend solutions to possible ice dam concerns. 

If you experience water damage due to ice dams, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County is here to help!

Oh Christmas Tree

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Christmas tree season is upon us!

Most people begin setting dates to shop for their tree shortly after Thanksgiving. The tree farms grow busier and busier, and you begin seeing trees on top of cars going down the road. The local supermarkets have shelves packed full of lights and holiday music is in the air. 

Christmas trees, although festive and pretty, bring along some extreme dangers. It is not uncommon during the holiday season for families to experience Christmas tree fires. Here are some tips on how to avoid these disasters:

- Always re-cut the trunk at least one inch from the bottom and drill a hole in the middle to allow the tree to absorb water and stay healthy.

- Keep your tree away from heat sources. These can include space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, televisions, computer monitors, and more. 

- Do not put too many strands of lights on your tree. The rule of thumb is a maximum of three plugs per extension cord. 

- Always make sure your tree has water! A Christmas tree fire is much more likely when your tree is dry. 

If you do experience a tree fire, we are here to help. Our highly trained technicians are not strangers to these kinds of situations. You can trust us to be there for you in your time of need.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

Broken Pipes

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

As winter approaches, the fear of frozen and broken pipes are on the minds of many homeowners and maintenance people. These fears are a reality for many individuals who have faced severe damages in the past. When it comes to sudden disasters, it is all about response time. When a school or a manufacturer experiences extensive water damage, it has the ability to put them out of commission for an extended period of time. This is especially harmful to businesses as their profit is reliant on being open. 

If you need help NOW, call SERVPRO of Holland/West Ottawa County. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year. If the thought of dealing with your insurance provider has you stressed out even more, don't worry! We will work with your insurance company to help make everything run as smooth as possible. 

Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

Cleaning Your Gutters

11/5/2018 (Permalink)

As the Fall season comes to a close, the leaves begin to fall faster than ever. What does this result in? You guessed it, clogged gutters. So how important is it to make sure your gutters are clean? We will tell you, very. Your gutters can become full of leaves and sticks, creating numerous issues. Clogged gutters begin to hold standing water. As the temperature outside drops, this water can freeze and expand. This can easily lead to gutter repair or replacement over night. If water is unable to successfully drain from your roof, it can also begin to seep into your foundation, walls, and attic. For those of you who may experience this unfortunate situation, we have the ability to solve your problem before more arise. If you have water damage to your home or business, we are here to help. 

Make sure your gutters are clean and can successfully drain water, even if this means calling a professional. If you do experience water damage, give us a call. We will come running. 

Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

The Holidays

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

With the holiday season looming around the corner, the amount of house fires begin to increase. This is often due to cooking, space heaters, fireplaces/wood stoves, and decorations such as candles. These different factors play a huge part in the spike in house fires around the holidays. It is very important to take many precautions in order to prevent house fires. A few are as follows:

  1. Do not cook when you have been drinking or are very tired
  2. Plug space heaters directly into outlets and not into extension cords or power strips
  3. Have your fireplace/wood stove inspected every year and cleaned when needed
  4. Do not sleep with lit candles or put candles on your Christmas tree

Even though homeowners take many precautions, accidents do still happen. When disaster strikes, have a company on speed dial that you can trust. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County has highly trained technicians with the skills and equipment needed to be there in your time of need. We deal with many house fires around the holidays and have experience in all different circumstances and parts of the restoration process.

Have Questions? Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

Chimney Fires

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

It is that time of the year again. As temperatures drop in West Michigan, fireplaces and wood stoves begin to come back into use. That means that chimney fires become a concern for many homeowners. Chimney fires are caused by creosote, a combustible substance that is formed by gases during the burning process. This substance hardens to the chimney liner and poses a serious fire risk. Here are some ways that you can prevent chimney fires:

1. Clean your chimney: It is very important that your chimney is inspected every year. Making sure your chimney is safe and cleaning it when it becomes a possible hazard is a great way to prevent a fire. 

2. Use dry wood: If your wood is wet, it will not burn as hot as dry wood and will produce much more smoke. This increase in smoke can lead to an increase in creosote production. 

3. Burn the hardest firewood you can find: Softer wood tends to increase the production of creosote in your chimney. This is often due to the amount of pitch in softer wood such as pine. 

4. Try to burn at the right temperature: It is best when using a wood stove to have a temperature gauge that ensures you remain in the "burn zone". 

5. Use a creosote remover powder: This powder is to be placed on the wood and burned at a high temperature. It helps to turn the creosote that may be forming in the chimney into powder to reduce buildup. 

All of these tips can reduce your chances of a chimney fire, but the most important one is the first. Always make sure your chimney is inspected and cleaned regularly to ensure the safety of your household. 

Fire Prevention Open Houses

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

As fire prevention open houses are nearing an end for this year, we encourage families to attend at least one in your local area. These events serve as great educational opportunities for individuals of all ages. They have educational material and demonstrations on how you can keep your family safe in case of a fire. These demonstrations include the importance of shutting doors when sleeping, having working smoke detectors, how to escape a burning structure, and more. These events are often attended by other branches of first responders as well, such as law enforcement, ems, etc. that educate individuals on their jobs and what they do to help people each and every day. The open houses are totally free and leave your kids walking away with memories of a lifetime!

Moisture & Mold

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

West Michigan has received plenty of storms and heavy rain this summer. All of the flooding and high humidity has left homes and businesses in need of water extraction and drying. The severity of water damage to buildings throughout the summer have ranged from water pouring through windows and flooding basements, to small roof leaks. No matter the size, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. if you are unsure if you can successfully dry your home or business. Even the smallest amount of water or moisture can begin to produce mold. Mold has the ability to spread and generate serious health concerns if not remediated promptly. Our technicians are trained professionals with the knowledge and equipment needed to remediate your mold problem and ensure safety. 

If You See Signs of Mold, 
Call Us Today – (616) 396-8180

National Preparedness Month

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

This year for National Preparedness Month, join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types, and leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. “Disasters happen” and not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. It is very important as a business owner that you are prepared for whatever may happen. Disasters can take a toll on your business and heavily impact finances and the ability to stay open. You have the tools at your finger tips to be prepared and maximize your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster by using these three steps:

-Plan to stay in business
-Encourage your employees to become ready
-Protect your investment


We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods are ready. At Ready.gov/business,
companies can find vital information on how to begin preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency. You
can also contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to find out more on how to be ready when disaster strikes with the Emergency READY Program®.

Smoke Alarms

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to residential and commercial safety, smoke alarms play a huge role. Smoke alarms are very beneficial; however, that is only if they are working. You should test your smoke alarms a minimum of once a month by using the test button. Smoke alarms that have batteries should have the batteries replaced once a year. Smoke alarms that do not have replaceable batteries should have the whole unit replaced every ten years. If smoke alarms begin to chirp, indicating low battery, you should take the proper steps of replacing the batteries or unit. Make sure that smoke alarms are in every room that is commonly occupied in your residential and commercial buildings.  

If you are a commercial business owner, ensure that all fire codes in your facility are met. If you are unsure if your building is up to par, contact your local Fire Marshall. 

Smoke alarms do not only play a huge part in safety, they also play a huge part in reducing fire damage. The longer a fire burns, the more damage it produces. The sooner you are made aware that a fire has started, the sooner first responders can arrive on scene and prevent further damage. This just gives you all the more reason to make sure that your smoke alarms are where they need to be and working properly. 

Water Damage & Flooding

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

When inclement weather strikes, are you prepared for the worst? Storms can happen at anytime and can cause serious damage to homes and businesses. When water begins to flood basements or seep through cracks in the roof, damage begins taking place immediately. The longer your home or business is flooded, the more damage accrues. If recent storms have caused flooding or a pipe has burst, our highly trained technicians are ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to respond immediately to flood or water damage at your home or business. We have the experience, expertise, and training to restore your home or business quickly and properly. We use advanced inspection and extraction equipment to find the water and remove it as quickly as possible. Our local technicians will closely monitor and document the drying process to ensure your property is back to normal. 

If you have storm or flood damage, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. at: (616) 396-8180

Extreme HEAT

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

With summer in full swing and temperatures reaching well above 90, please consider safety precautions for extreme heat. It's not doubt that heat effects everyone differently especially those that are young, elderly, overweight or sick. And that goes for pets as well. In large populated areas residents have a greater risk because of how hot pavements and roofs get. Sometimes the heat on a surface can be 50-90 degrees hotter than the air. 

No matter where you live, you should always prepare for and prevent extreme heat exposure. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake. Stay indoors in the air conditioning if possible. If you have to go outside, wear clothes that are loose fitting and light colored. Always apply sunscreen often.

There are several signs of heat exhaustion:

  1. heavy sweating
  2. weakness
  3. cold
  4. pale
  5. clammy skin
  6. nausea
  7. vomiting
  8. fainting

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke and is life threatening.

Signs of heat stroke are:

  1. high body temperature (103 degrees plus)
  2. rapid and strong pulse
  3. unconsciousness

Call 911 if you suspect someone is having heat stroke. Use cool wet clothes or a bath to help bring the temperature down. Do not give fluids. This is a serious medical emergency, treat as such.

When the humidity is high, it can feel like the temperature is 15 degrees hotter. Extreme heat is very dangerous. For more information on prevention and preparedness, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov

Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire, smoke and soot damage in your business or home have the potential to create unpleasant odors for years if the effected areas are not properly cleaned, sanitized and deodorized. When different types of materials burn, the smoke travels throughout the structure leaving residue on surfaces and also in hard-to-reach places. Professional action should be taken quickly before permanent damages to contents occurs from residue and soot deposits. 

IICRC Certified technicians at SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. provide specialized services to rid your business or home of odors from a fire or smoke damage. Our technicians seek and remove the source of the odor not by covering it up with a fragrance. 

Do you know someone (friend, neighbor, client, customer, family member) that has had a fire, water, mold damage or some other type of odor that refuses to go away? Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. and we'll help make it "Like it never even happened."

Going on VACATION? Must Do's Before You Leave

7/6/2018 (Permalink)

Most American plan on taking at least one family vacation every year. When traveling for more than a couple of days, be sure your home is properly protected. Windows and doors being locked are a given however are you're missing steps to be sure your home will be the same when you return? 

Do Not Let People Know Your Home is Empty.

  1. Put a HOLD on your mail and newspaper service.
  2. Continue Lawn Care Services to make your home seem less abandoned.
  3. Set your indoor and outdoor lights on a timer or install motion detectors to deter burglars.
  4. Post vacation pictures on social media when you return.

Accident Proof Your Home.

  1. Check and replace batteries in your thermostat, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, security devices, cameras, motion detectors, etc.
  2. Shut off the main water supply or the water pump. We just received a call today from a homeowner who has been on vacation for the last week and his daughter just discovered that a water supply line sprung a leak on the second floor of their home causing damages to all three levels. All the drywall on the first level and in the finished basement level had fallen in, water was bubbled behind the paint in the walls and there were inches of standing water that had not yet found it's way to the lowest point in the home. Imagine coming home to that. This type of situation happens more often that you think.
  3. Switch your water heater to vacation mode or turn it off to conserve energy. 
  4. Unplug your electronics to prevent a power surge or make sure they are plugged into a surge protector. 
  5. If losing power is typical during a storm or heavy rain, freeze a cup of water and place a penny on top of the ice before you leave for vacation. When you return home, check to see if the penny is frozen on top or the bottom of the cup. This will tell you if your home lost power while you were on vacation. Inspect the food in your refrigerator or freezer.

While these tips may be time consuming before you go on vacation, they could save you a huge headache when you return. 

CRIME SCENE, BIOHAZARD AND VANDALISM CLEANUP

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County is highly recognized as a leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration provider not only in West Michigan along the Lakeshore but Nationwide by hundreds of insurance companies. But did you know that SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County also offers reliable and efficient crime scene and biohazard cleanup and other restoration services to both commercial and residential property owners. 

Failure to properly handle and safely remove hazardous substances can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners. Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants is dangerous. 

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County professionals are highly trained to remove hazardous substances safely and effectively. Disposal of hazardous materials and waste is just as important according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County has the necessary equipment and cleaning products needed to help turn an unsafe environment into a clean and safe office or home. 

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County can help you with the following:

  • Crime Scene Residues - fingerprint powder, evidence gathering chemicals, tear gas and pepper spray residues.
  • Bloodborne Pathogens - removal and disposal of bodily fluids, tissue and other pathogenic substances from accident, trauma, crime or death.
  • Methamphetamine Labs - chemicals used to produce illegal drugs leave behind harmful residues.
  • Arson
  • Sewage Backups
  • Vandalism - graffiti, eff, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation
  • Black Water Intrusions

Contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County today for 24-hour Emergency Services.

Be Aware and Use Precautions

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County technicians take care of water damages on a daily basis. We know that acting quickly is a requirement if we want to prevent mold growth. When there is an ongoing moisture problem in a home or building, be alert for:

  • Evidence of mold you can see.
  • Strong musty odors can be an indication that mold is present.
  • Evidence of moisture problems in the past that could have caused and mold growth that was undetected.
  • Excessive amounts of humidity and a lack of air circulation.

When the conditions listed above are present, you may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality Environmental Professional to inspect the building or home for mold growth and water damage problems. 

Signs of Mold? Call Today – (616) 396-8180

Are you Storm Ready?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Every year Americans are faced with thunderstorms, floods, flash floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

When the President declares an emergency because of weather related issues, around 98% of those disasters lead to about 500 deaths per year and almost $15 billion in damages. Being aware of the risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a couple of steps to take in being better prepared to save your life and helping to save the lives of others.

Being aware of the risk: The first step to becoming Storm Ready is to understand what types of weather can effect where you work and live and how that weather can impact you, your family and your business. Be aware of the weather in your area by checking the forecast regularly. Purchase a weather radio and also learn about wireless Emergency Weather Alerts. Severe weather comes in so many different forms so your shelter plan should also include all types of local hazards.

Taking Action: Create a communication plan for your home or business to prepare for severe weather. Emergency kits can be purchased. Be sure to keep important information and valuables in a safe place.

Be an Example: Once you have prepared for severe weather, share your story with family, friends and co-workers on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. Your preparedness story will be an inspiration to others to hopefully do the same. 

Contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County for more readiness tips and tools including SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). Having a no cost assessment of your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster. 

Contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County to learn more and be ready for whatever happens. 

How Important is a Weather Radio?

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that a Weather Radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts? Because of it's reliability, purchasing a good quality weather radio is one of the best precautions you can take. The weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations like a storm that could produce hail or an approaching tornado. This alert warns you ahead of time so you can seek shelter. 

Weather radios are very affordable and have many advancements from where they used to be. A basic weather radio can average around $30 and you can program it to send you weather alerts of your choice. 

There are key features to look for when shopping for a weather radio:

  • Alerts that can be reviewed so you can scroll thru the alerts and silence the ones you do not wish to hear.
  • Programmable Alert for Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) which alerts when specific counties are threatened and ensures you only receive alerts for your county.
  • System that is easily programmable.

Contacting your local National Weather Service Office is always an option if you need help programming your weather radio. Or visit the NOAA Weather Raodio webiste at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/ for additional information including county codes for your state.

Flooded Basement? Not Something You Want to Find!

6/4/2018 (Permalink)

The last thing you want to find when going into the basement or your lower level of your home is a pool of murky water. Flooding can happen for a number of reasons:

  • Heavy rain
  • Sump pump failure
  • Insufficient drainage away from your home
  • cracks in your foundation

And because water follows the path of least resistance, it finds cracks and holes in the foundation and fills your basement.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County technicians are highly trained in water damage restoration to include basement and crawlspace flooding. We have the knowledge, experience and equipment to remove the water and dry out your basement properly. Once the water is extracted, we focus on the drying process to include monitoring and documentation to validate the property is dry.

We offer:

  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Highly Trained Water Damage Restoration Specialists
  • We are "Faster to Any Size Disaster"
  • Locally Owned and Operated

Basement Flooding? Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County Today - 231-733-7601

24 Hour Emergency Water Removal Service

It is never a good time for your basement to flood and that's why no matter what time of day or night it is, even holidays, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County will immediately respond 365 days a year!

Got MOLD?

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Any time there is a water intrusion like a water line or a roof leak, the potential for having a problem with mold in your home or business is there. Mold can not only cause health issues but it can also cause damages to your property. Thankfully SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County has the specialized equipment, training and protective gear necessary to handle a mold problem. Every mold damage is different and each require specific solutions however the mold remediation process stays the same. Here are steps to illustrate a "typical" mold remediation process.

Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County

The process to cleanup and restore a mold loss begins when you call us. We gather all the pertinent information thru a series of questions and that helps us determine what equipment, personnel and resources are needed. 

Assess the Damages with an Inspection

We send a certified specialist to your property to carefully inspect looking for signs of mold. We use specialty equipment designed to detect water sources and mold which can be hidden from plain sight. Mold feeds on water and cellulose.

Mold Containment

Isolating the mold using various containment procedures is critical to prevent the spread of mold. During the cleanup process we use physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading.

Air Filtration

To capture mold spores from the air, we use specialized filtration equipment. With the use of powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums, our SERVPRO technicians prevent the spread of mold spores while the remediation is in process. 

Removing Mold and Materials Infested with Mold

Depending on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces the mold appears on will determine the remediation process needed. Solutions such as an Antifungal or an Antimicrobial are used to eliminate mold colonies. It also helps to prevent new colonies from forming. Mold-infested porous materials may need to be removed and disposed of like flooring and drywall.

Cleaning Contents and Belongings 

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County technicians will clean your furniture, decorations, and any other restorable items affected by mold. We use a wide variety of cleaning techniques to sanitize and clean your belongings. And we are trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Removal of building material such as drywall, subfloors, etc. could be necessary depending on the level of mold damage. The restoration process may involve minor repairs if such building materials need to be removed. Drywall replacement, painting and installing new carpet may be needed. Sometimes major repairs including reconstruction of areas or rooms in a home or business is possible. 

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County understands mold and mold growth. We have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

Summer Storm Safety

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is not the only season where the potential is great to experience severe weather. The threat exists throughout the summer months as well and in some areas, the threat is greater. 

Sometimes preparing for unpredictable weather can be challenging however there are steps you can take to ensure you and your business are ready when disaster strikes. Establishing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) is one way to prepare your business. Contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County to learn more about the ERP and how it can help. Here are some tips to consider when preparing for an approaching storm.

Holland/W. Ottawa County: 616-396-8180

Before the Storm

Develop a communication plan and build an emergency supply kit. Electrical devices like televisions, computers, etc should be unplugged. Objects that can easily be blown away in a storm should be secured. Don't watch the storm with all its fury but find shelter inside or in a hard top vehicle. 

During the Storm

Have a battery operated NOAA Weather Radio handy for weather updates from local officials. Stay away from and avoid contact with electrical equipment and cords including corded telephones. Cordless and cellular devices should be safe. Unplug appliances you don't want damaged. Lightning can cause serious damage to appliances thru a power surge. Remember to stay away from windows and doors. Plumbing fixtures conduct electricity as well. 

After the Storm

Avoid driving through flooded roads. Stay away from downed power lines and storm damaged areas to keep yourself safe. Report downed power lines to your local electric supplier immediately.

Faster to Any Size Water Disaster

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Countythe Cleanup Team that's faster to any size water disaster.

You have leaking roofs or windows. A pipe breaks. Your toilet, sink or bathtub overflows. Your water heater bursts. A sprinkler system malfunctions. High water tables cause a sump pump failure. Flood waters rush in. Here are a few ways water damage can happen. If your home or business is under water, you put everything off to address the issue. Only ONE thing matters when you can't operate your business and only ONE thing matters when your personal belongings are soaked and under water: A SOLUTION.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County technicians are the solution. We have the experience, training and knowledge to help make your water damage "Like it never even happened". SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County will start helping you the moment you call by giving you tips on what you can do until help arrives, to getting a crew out to help you in your time of need. Serving the Lake Michigan Lakeshore with more than 20 years experience, helping to ease your worries because we are experts in the science of drying. 

Give SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County a call 616-396-8180 when water damage strikes, we will get a team out to extract water, set up fans and dehumidifiers to help make it "Like it never even happened".

Can You Prevent & Stop Mold Growth?

5/20/2018 (Permalink)

Can you Prevent & Stop Mold Growth? YES

Indoor mold has the potential and power to damage building materials and finishes. Mold spreads like weeds. It goes on surfaces like walls, ceilings and tile grout. Thankfully mold growth can be stopped and SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County can help you before it's too late.

MOLD DAMAGE

Mold loves and needs moisture, it cannot thrive and grow without it. You can find mold develop in areas where there has been water damage from a broken pipe, leaking window or roof, or after a basement flood. Many homes develop mold issues in bathrooms without adequate ventilation and closets that share a wall with those bathrooms. Mold can cause deterioration of ceiling tiles, grout, caulking around tubs and showers and it destroys any type of paperboard quickly.

HOW TO STOP MOLD

The key to eliminating mold indoors is to cut off its moisture supply. Mold thrives in moist, humid conditions. Eliminate those conditions and you can stop mold growth and prevent it's return. Whether your foundation is cracked and seeping water, you have a leaky roof or a broken water line, standing water needs to be extracted quickly.

After standing water is removed, the drying and the dehumidification process can begin. Keep in mind, it is all about removing the moisture including the excess moisture in the air. Dehumidifiers and fans can be a tremendous help during this part of the mold removal process.

Area rugs will need to be removed, cleaned and dried. Wall-to-wall carpeting may need professional cleaning to remove all traces of mold and its musty smell. Certain situations may require furniture, draperies and other upholstered items to be cleaned. Remove any cardboard boxes that have been contaminated with mold and only transfer their contents to totes after everything has been inspected and treated for mold growth.

In the bathroom: for mold issues in a bathroom, ensure a working exhaust fan is working. Always run the exhaust fan when a shower or bath is in use to reduce the risk of too much humidity or moisture in the air. Wipe down the bath and shower tiles after use to keep the moisture to a minimum and to eliminate mold growth.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County knows how to stop mold growth effectively and how to prevent mold from returning to your home or business. When you discover mold, don't hesitate. Contact the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County with more than 20 years experience along the Lake Michigan Coast. We have the expertise to deal with mold safely. You will not have to worry about the mold spreading to other areas or it affecting your employees, family or pets during the remediation process.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County is ready for whatever happens. Contact us at 231-733-7601 for all your microbial needs.

Information provided by SERVPRO of the Beaches/Ponte Vedra

Eliminating Electrical Fires is Risky Business

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

Electricians, engineers and other professionals who work directly with electricity have an increased risk of electrical related injuries. Office workers and sales people who indirectly work with electricity may also be exposed to electrical hazards. Without electricity and electrical products, we could not conduct business on a daily basis. Using electricity properly is very important in order to avoid serious safety risks. Working with electricity both directly and indirectly can be very dangerous.

According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, over the last ten years, more than 30,000 workers have been injured in workplace electrical accidents. Electrical system failures are the cause of electrical fires however more electrical fires are caused by incorrect installed wiring, overloaded circuits, and improperly used extension cords.

If you knew electrically related fatalities and injuries could easily be avoided, what would you do? Take precautions by routinely checking electrical appliances and wiring could help prevent electrical fires hazards. Buy electrical products that are evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory. Unplugging electrical devices that are not in use, never overload extension cords or wall outlets. Make the appropriate adjustments to protect yourself and make safety a huge part in how you do business.

Did you know? 

  • Electrical hazards cause more than 300 deaths and 4,000 injuries in the workplace each year.
  • Electrical accidents rank sixth among all types of work-related deaths in the US.
  • Electrical accidents on the job cause an average of 13 days away from work and nearly one fatality every day.
  • The non-fatal workplace incidents that cause the highest number of days away from work include contact with an electrical current or a machine, tool, appliance or light fixture (38 percent) and contact with wiring, transformers or other electrical components (33 percent).
  • Nonfatal electrical injury occurs most often to those who work with machines or tools and around electrical wiring other than power lines.
  • Over the last 10 years, more than 46,000 workers were injured from on-the-job electrical hazards.

*Facts and figures provided by the Electrical Safety Foundation

Smoke Alarms Saves Lives

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when they are installed properly, maintained and checked periodically to make sure they are in working order. 

In a home, there should be a smoke alarm in every bedroom on every level of the home including the basement. In an office or commercial environment, check with your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all the codes are met. 

Every month you should use the test button to test the smoke alarms. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries should be replaced every 10 years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year and the unit replaced every 10 years. Do not ignore the chirp of an alarm battery. That noise is an indication that the battery is low. Take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from the alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

Hard wired or wireless smoke alarms are often used in larger commercial facilities and offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and when smoke is detected in one area, the alarm activates throughout the entire building (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County 616-396-8180.

FIRE FACTS:

  • 7 People die ever day from a home fire.
  • 36 People suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day.
  • $7 BILLION in property damage occurs every year.

Prevent the Spread of Flu Germs in Your Business

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

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

Have Questions About Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Today – (616)396-8180

Extension Cord Tips for Safety

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Have Smoke or Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. (616)396-8180

Controlling MOLD In Your Environment

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

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

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

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

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

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
  • Flashlight
  • 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?

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

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

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

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

Understanding Mold

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.

  1. Emergency Contact - (616) 396-8180
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings

Commercial Mold Remediation

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

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

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Drying is a Science

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

The knowledge of psychometric is essentially restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a box fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. will follow strict industry approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damage.

If your home or business suffers water damage, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. will:

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

What exactly does "speed up Mother Nature" mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because our environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air at the surface of the material but only if the air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is nature takes too long and secondary damage may occur while the building is drying out.  

For this reason, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. professionals have been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help "Mother Nature" along including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. We also use state-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed the drying your property.  

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. has the training and equipment to help make it "Like it never even happened."  

Commit to Being Ready for any Disaster

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Business owners and managers are leaders in the community. They have the opportunity to set an example for their employees, customers, and community to follow. Join your community in preparing for emergencies and disasters of all types by leading efforts to encourage the community as a whole to become more prepared. Disasters not only devastate individuals and neighborhoods, but entire communities, including businesses of all sizes. As an employer in your community, having a business continuity plan can help protect your company, its employees, and its infrastructure, and maximizes your chances of recovery after an emergency or disaster.

Ready Business asks companies to take three simple steps:

  • Plan to stay in business
  • Encourage your people to become Ready
  • Protect your investment

The Ready Campaign and Citizen Corps, with support from members of the National Preparedness Community across the nation, including SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co., are focusing on encouraging individuals, families, and businesses to take active steps toward becoming Ready. We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods are Ready.

Ready Business, an extension of the Ready Campaign, helps business owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses prepare their employees, operations and assets in the event of an emergency. At Ready.gov/business, companies can find vital information on how to get started preparing their organization and addressing their unique needs during an emergency.

Tips to help your Business be READY

  • Update and distribute Emergency Contact Information to your Employees. Additionally, you can create and distribute a list of important emergency numbers in the areas you do business.
  • Organize an Emergency Preparedness Procedures review with employees to review your company’s emergency plans.
  • Conduct Office Evacuation/Shelter-in Place Exercises and Drills. Once completed, evaluate how well they worked and if additional training or exercises are needed.
  • Put Emergency Items on Display.Showcase an Emergency Supply Kit in your break room or other high-traffic locations and encourage employees to get their own Emergency Supply Kits for their homes.

Information provided by Ready.gov

Don't Let MOLD Grow!

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

Mold caused by a leaking water heater into a crawl space with high humidity and no ventilation.

From the Ordinary

Fungi and mold naturally occur in our environment. In fact, over 100,000 kinds of fungi have been identified. Fungi produce some very useful results. Yeast is a type of fungi used in preparing breads, baked goods and other food products, including some alcoholic beverages. The unique flavor of blue cheese is a result of mold. An edible mushroom is simply a type of fungi, and lifesaving penicillin is a product of mold (Penicillin chrysogenum). Even though some forms of mold can add value to our lives, other forms can be harmful. Excessive amounts of mold, different types of mold, and/or exposure to molds may present health concerns for some people.

To the Unhealthy

Intrusion of water into your home or place of 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 water intrusions are not addressed right away, the resulting damage can present increased risk of harmful mold growth. Some amount of mold spores are normally present in most environments. If the humidity and moisture levels in a water-damaged environment are not promptly returned to normal, mold spores may grow and multiply. Organic materials found inside a building, such as wood, paper, drywall and insulation, provide food sources for mold to flourish. Excessive mold growth can lead to indoor environmental conditions that pose a health threat.

Take Precautions

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Cohandle water damages every day 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 a long period of time. If your property has sustained a recent water damage, it is vital to remove excess water and dry the structure promptly. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, it is important to be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.

Help is Here

If you think you might have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Coand a Professional trained in mold remediation will examine the structure for any visible signs of mold. In the event mold is found, you will be asked to approve and sign a work authorization form prior to any mold cleanup or related work being performed. The technician may also recommend you leave the affected area while the mold cleanup and associated containment process is being safely completed. If extensive mold growth is present, additional assistance may be required. Some situations require the addition of an Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional with the specialized equipment and services needed to assess and/or repair property. You may wish to consult your adjuster if needed.

If you see MOLD in your home or business, contact the Professionals at SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. 616-396-8180.  Working hard in our community to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Ready for Ottawa County Winter Weather?

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you can’t control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions before winter weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, causing roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

Commercial Property Water Intrusion

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting and the effects can be more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume of water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number, as well.

Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and also building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage like the growth of mold may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or other commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.

Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:

  • Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
  • Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water. Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a bio-hazard and require evacuation of the premises.
  • Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes, rapid snow melt or local overflowing lakes or rivers.
  • Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically more subtle. Humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, unventilated attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.

For professional remediation of water intrusion in commercial buildings and its secondary damages such as mold growth, contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. if water becomes an unwanted guest. 

Emergencies can happen anytime and with the SERVPRO Ready Profile you can be prepared to handle those emergencies like a water intrusion caused by a broken pipe. For your FREE Emergency Ready Profile, contact the pros at SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. so we can make your property ready for whatever happens!

Is Your Business Prepared?

2/23/2018 (Permalink)

There has never been a better time for business owners to review their emergency preparedness and business continuity plans than NOW. SERVPRO points to startling statistics like this one to emphasize the importance of advance planning:

  • According to FEMA, as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major flood disaster.

SERVPRO has developed the Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. The business owner works with SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to gather document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.

With an ERP in place, SERVPRO’s Disaster Response teams can immediately assess the situation and take the first critical steps to protect employees from harm and property from further damage, setting the business on the road to recovery.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. professionals specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

What is carbon monoxide?

Do you know why Carbon monoxide is called the “Invisible Killer”? It's because you can not see, smell or taste it. Hundreds of Americans die each year from accidental CO poisoning. These deaths are connected to products like portable generators, furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, ranges, etc. If not properly installed, vented or have faulty equipment, they can also be related to CO poisoning.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission 

The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness

High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:

  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death

Protect Your Family

Source: US Fire Administration

  • Install and maintain CO alarms inside your home to provide early warning of CO.
  • Install CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of your home.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well ventilated areas away from all doors, windows and vents.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.

Winter Weather Whoa's

1/12/2018 (Permalink)

Winter weather brings more than just slippery roads and sidewalks to shovel. In Michigan where temperatures sink below freezing level, frozen pipes and ice dams can create a major disaster for your home or business.  

FROZEN PIPES

Frozen pipes are often exposed to cold weather, whether they are outside your home or in cold areas such as basements, attics, garages, or kitchen/bathroom cabinets. A frozen pipe bursts typically where the ice blockage is located inside the pipe however the rupture is caused by the backflow pressure between the water source and the blockage. A burst pipe can cause considerable damage to your property if not addressed quickly. To help prevent pipes from freezing, here are a few steps you can take, according to The American Red Cross:

  • Completely drain water from swimming pool and sprinkler lines, as well as outside hoses.
  • Open kitchen/bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around plumbing.
  • When the weather is extremely cold, let water drip from faucets that may come from exposed pipes.
  • Keep your heat set to the same temperature both day and night.

ICE DAMS

Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter. Ice build-up on the eaves of your roof often times will prevent melting snow to flow off the roof or run into the gutter system. The water then is trapped under the ice which can backflow under the shingles and into the structures interior causing major water damage. Ice dams can also cause gutters and shingles to move or fall. Icicles can be an initial sign of an ice dam, according to Travelers.com. To spot ice dams inside, “check for water stains or moisture in your attic or along the ceiling of exterior walls of your house. Water stains or moisture may be an indication that an ice dam has formed and water has penetrated the roof membrane.” Removing an ice dam as soon as it is found is vital to helping prevent damage to your property and can be done using heated cables, a roof shovel, or calcium chloride ice melter. If winter weather causes water damage to you or your insured’s
property, SERVPRO® of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. is only a call away, 24/7, ready to restore to preloss condition.

Winter Weather is here. Are you ready?

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

The Cold Weather is Here. Are you Prepared? Heavy rain and freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet and snow can cause serious and costly property damage to your home or business if you are not ready. You can't control the weather however you can make provisions and be prepared to help take the sting out of winter weather.

Protect your property by taking these precautions before colder weather hits to help prevent costly damages from old man winter. 

  • Inspect tree limbs and branches around your property. Strong winds, heavy rain, snow and ice can cause branches to fall, which could potentially lead to damages to the structure and even cause personal injuries.
  • Inspect roofs, water pipes, and gutters to ensure they are in proper working order. Direct gutter downspouts away from your structure. Clear all debris from gutters. Leaves, pine needles and other obstructions can cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect walkways and parking lots for proper drainage to alleviate potential flood hazards.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells, and entryways to prevent potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces. Post caution signs where water could be present.
  • When temperatures dip below freezing, allow faucets to drip to help prevent pipes from freezing. Leaving cabinet doors open allows warm air to circulate around pipes located underneath cabinets helping to prevent freezing. If the structure has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask SERVPRO® of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO® Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to strike back. 231-733-7601

Stories from Hurricane Harvey

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

In a four-day period, Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 40 inches of rain as the destructive Atlantic hurricane system made it's way over eastern Texas. Since Wilma in 2005, Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States. 

SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® dispatched crews responding to losses across Southeast Texas including Houston, Port Arthur, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Victoria, and Bryan/College Station to assist in the cleanup and recovery efforts.

The SERVPRO® family around the U.S. responded not only to the restoration needs, but also helped secure critical donations and brought items like diapers (approximately 35,000!) and toiletries to help local residents gain access to these necessary items.

More than 240 SERVPRO® Franchises from across the country deployed to assist local SERVPRO® Franchises following Hurricane Harvey.

HARVEY BY THE NUMBERS

  • With peak accumulations of 51.88 inches, Harvey is the wettest tropical hurricane on record in the contiguous United States.1
  • Economic losses are preliminary estimated at between $81 to $108 billion, with a large portion of the losses sustained by uninsured homeowners.2
  • Following the storm, an estimated 550 storm crews were deployed, representing more than 240 SERVPRO® Franchises. Those numbers, in addition to area Franchises, placed more than 1,000 crews in storm-affected areas. Crews traveled from as far away as California, Washington, Wisconsin, and New York.
  • 20 local Franchises were impacted.

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Harvey#cite_note-1
2http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-harvey-economic-toll-20170901-story.html

Dangers of Extremely Cold Temperatures

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service, in 2015, extremely cold temperatures caused property damage in the amount of $2.84 million dollars. What's scarier? 53 people died and 3 were injured due to extremely cold temperatures the same year.

It is imperative that everyone be aware of the effects extremely cold temperatures can have on both humans and animals. The two main conditions to be aware of are frostbite and hypothermia.

Frostbite can occur when skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures. Physical symptoms are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm, or waxy and numbness.

Hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to an abnormally low temperature, caused from long exposure to cold weather. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness. Seek medical attention immediately if body temperature is below 95°F.

To avoid these conditions, stay indoors if possible. If not, dress warm in layers and try to keep dry.


Source: ready.gov/winter-weather

Christmas Lights and Candle Safety Tips

12/19/2017 (Permalink)

Christmas lights, candles and decorations bring holiday cheer to homes and businesses however if they are not used with caution, your holiday may go from festive to frightening.

The American Red Cross shared these valuable safety tips to help greatly reduce the risk of a fire in your home or business this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet from heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Inspect light strings and other holiday decorations for fraying electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree.
  • Never leave candles unattended.

SERVPRO® of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

Use Caution in the Kitchen

11/16/2017 (Permalink)

Pan fire

November brings families together in celebration of Thanksgiving. Most traditions include preparing a spectacular feast however if safe cooking habits are not practiced, your holiday could become hazardous quickly. The number one cause of home fires and injuries are from cooking according to the National Fire Protection Association with the leading cause being UNATTENDED COOKING. It's important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be alert! If you are tired or consumed alcohol, Do NOT use the stove or stove top.
  • Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • When simmering, baking, or roasting, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food
    is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels and curtains away from the stove top. 

If you have a cooking fire, following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Get out and close the door behind you
    to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1.
  • Oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off
    the stove top. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled. Do not try to move the pan off the stove.

SERVPRO® of Muskegon Professionals wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Dangers of Deep Frying a Turkey

11/10/2017 (Permalink)

Deep Fry Turkey Fire

Thinking about Deep-Fried Turkey this holiday season? Although it's delicious, the big question you should as yourself, "Is it worth it?". There are numerous videos online of turkey fryer fires and explosions. Do you want to risk bodily injury or property damage?

  • Place fryer on level surface away from structures and trees, fryers can tip easily.
  • Do not use fryer in a garage or on a deck. 
  • Never use a fryer in the rain or while it's snowing. 
  • Overfilling the cooking pot will cause the cooking oil to overflow when the turkey is put in. 8-10 lb turkeys work best. 
  • A partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot. Make sure turkey is thawed and dry. 
  • A small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • Without thermostat controls, deep fryers can overheat oil to the point of starting a fire. If oil is at its smoking point, turn the fryer off.
  • The sides of the cooking pot, lid, and pot handles can get dangerously hot. Avoid trying to move once fryer is in use.
  • Never leave fryers unattended.

Flooded Basement Clean-Up & Restoration

6/16/2017 (Permalink)

How many homeowners have descended their basement steps to find a pool of murky water? Water follows the path of least resistance, finding cracks and holes through basement walls. Flooding can often be attributed to insufficient drainage around basement walls, heavy rains, a faulty sump pump, or a combination of these factors.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. is highly trained in water damage restoration including basement and crawlspace flooding. We have the experience, expertise, and equipment to remove the water and dry your basement properly. Our water removal and drying process emphasizes monitoring and documentation to validate your property is dry.

  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Damage Restoration Specialists
  • Locally Owned and Operated

Basement Flooding? Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Today – (231) 733-7601 

24 Hour Emergency Water Removal Service

Basements can flood day or night, on weekends and even holidays, and that’s why SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. offers 24 emergency service, 365 days a year. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

Be Storm Smart, Be Storm Ready

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen anywhere and at any time. Yearly, Americans cope with: 

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,000 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Approximately 98 percent of all disasters that the President declares an emergency are weather related leading to around 500 deaths a year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving lives of others.  

Know Your Risk: The first step to becoming weather ready is to understand the type of weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather can impact you, your business, and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a weather radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.  

Take Action: Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communication plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important information and valuables in safe place.

Be an Example: Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.  

Contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO's Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having a Free ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.  

Contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals to learn more and be "ready for whatever happens." Continue to follow this page this week as we share additional tips to keep you safe.  

Tools To Keep You Safe

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to potentially dangerous weather situations, like an approaching tornado. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source of weather alerts.  

Weather radios have made many advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose.  

When shopping for a weather radio, look for the following key features: 

  • Review-able alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear). 
  • Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alert programming (alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts for your county).
  • Ease of programming.

If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit the NOAA Weather Radio website atwww.nws.noaa.gov/nwr

Stay Safe from Summer Storms

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

While the Spring season is known for the potential to experience severe weather, the threat exists throughout the summer months as well.  In fact, the potential for severe weather even increases in some areas.  Hurricane season in the Atlantic begins June 1st and runs through November 30th for example.  While the Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins May 15th also ending November 30th.  

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to ensure you are ready when disaster strikes.  One way to prepare your business, is to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP).  Contact SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. to learn more about the ERP and how it can help you.  Consider the following tips when preparing for an approaching storm.  

Ottawa County: (616) 396-8180 (http://bit.ly/1WYqwcf)

Before the Storm
You should build a emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.  Unplug your electrical devices like your computer, or television.  Secure objects that could easily be blown away in a storm.  When you see the storm coming don't watch the storm and all of its fury, find shelter inside or in your hard top vehicle (avoid convertibles). 

During the Storm
Use your battery operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from your local officials, for more information on weather radios  http://bit.ly/1UbFndg .  Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords, including corded telephones.  Cordless and cellular devices should be safe.  Unplug anything you don't want damaged as a result of the storm.  Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.  While staying away from windows and doors, remember that plumbing fixtures can conduct electricity.  

After the Storm
Never drive through flooded roadways.  Stay away from downed power lines,and storm damaged areas to keep from putting yourself in harms way.  Report any downed power line to your electric supplier immediately.  

What is the Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process?

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak
or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. 616-396-8180. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. 

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold
and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold
remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Anti-fungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from
forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and
sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs,
such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

Severe Weather Tips for Yourself and Your Home

5/10/2017 (Permalink)

When a storm is headed your way, what can you do to help protect yourself, your business and your home from severe weather? Knowing the
difference between a storm watch and a storm
warning will help you know when to seek shelter. By taking a few simple precautions as storm season approaches, you can help minimize the potential for storm-related property damage; however if your home or business does sustain damage, it is important to know where to turn for prompt, professional help.

Although violent storms can strike anytime, the spring and summer months typically mark an increase in the threat of sudden, severe storms that sometimes include wind, rain, lightning and even hail.

Authorities issue a storm 'watch' when the potential for severe weather exists. A storm 'warning' will be issued when danger from a severe storm is imminent. The following tips will help prepare you to better protect yourself and your property when a storm is on the horizon.

  • Put a communication plan in place and prepare an emergency supply kit, including a battery-powered NOAA Weather radio.
  • Postpone outdoor activities; secure outdoor objects that could become airborne.
  • Don't use corded phones or any appliances that are "plugged in." Use cell or cordless phones instead.
  • Seek shelter in a home, building or hard top automobile. The steel frame of a vehicle – not the rubber tires – can help protect you from a lightning strike if you avoid touching metal or other conductive surfaces.
  • Avoid windows and doors, don't lie on concrete floors or lean on concrete walls, and stay off of porches.
  • If you are outside when a storm hits, seek shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid small, isolated structures in open areas and steer clear of hilltops, open fields, the beach or a boat on the water.

After the Storm:

  • Avoid storm-damaged areas. Stay away from downed power lines and never try to drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Replenish your emergency supplies and repair property damage promptly, before the next storm strikes.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can help you establish an Emergency READY Profile to expedite help and recovery in an emergency situation. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals quick response time helps limit secondary damage. If your property sustains damage from wind, water or fire, call SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

CRIME SCENE, BIOHAZARD, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

Although SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. is recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, we also offer fast and reliable Crime Scene and Biohazard cleanup and restoration services to both commercial and residential property owners.

There are serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers and owners when exposed to Biological and Chemical contaminates. If hazardous substances are not handled safely and properly, these contaminates can cause unhealthy and dangerous environments.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals are trained to remove biohazardous substances safely and effectively. Technicians are trained to prepare the waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, State and Local health regulations.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals can help you turn an unsafe environment into a clean and safe home or office by using the necessary equipment and cleaning products.

SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals are experience with the following situations:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens. Removal and disposal of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Technicians clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure.
  • Methamphetamine Labs. Chemicals used in the productions of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Technicians follow federal and state guidelines to property clean all surfaces.
  • Crime Scene Residues. Fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals, tear gas and pepper spray residues. Technicians will clean and restore your property and contents.
  • Arson
  • Vandalism. Graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, human and animal waste.
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation & Remediation

Contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals today for 24 HR Emergency Service. 

Put some SPRING in your CLEAN

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Birds chirping and temperatures rising–Spring is here! Spring cleaning is something that allows us to freshen up our homes and businesses before the hectic seasons of spring and summer. While many of us deep clean, it's a great time to also organize and purge.


SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can help get your facility in tip-top shape. Our technicians are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as stain removal and stain resistance applications. Other services include: Upholstery & drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, odor identification and deodorization.


A clean environment is a more healthy environment. Review these simple tips to improve your living and work spaces this spring. If you need a little help, don’t worry, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. has all of the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!



  • Clean your work space. Clutter piles up quickly. Start your spring cleaning by decluttering and organizing your work space. Sort files and figure out what you really need. Removing excess clutter will allow you to find things easier and help create a more productive environment.

  • Start an archive. While organizing your work space, you may find files you do not use daily, but need to keep. By creating an archive, you can save these files and keep your desk clutter-free. Maintain your archive by scheduling one day per month to sort through files and keep them organized.

  • Organize your inbox. Organize e-mails by creating folders in our inbox. Organizing these files will require some time investment, however this will be a tremendous time saver in the future. Consider backing up important electronic files and programs as well.

  • Deep clean your facility, including the floors. Floors bear the brunt of your daily business over time. If not properly maintained, they become dull and dingy. By deep cleaned the floors, this can improve the cleanliness and overall look of your facility.

  • Clean HVAC units. Most air conditioning units remain dormant throughout the winter. To ensure the best indoor air quality, consider having your HVAC and ducts professionally cleaned.

What's your Fire Escape Plan?

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

When there is an emergency situation, like a building fire, every second counts. The more prepared you are before the emergency determines how quickly you respond. Emergency planning and training is a direct influence on the outcome of an emergency situation. Facilities with well-prepared employees and well-developed plans will likely have less structural damage and fewer employee injuries.


It is important to designate multiple evacuation routes and exits when preparing a fire evacuation plan. This directs individuals to more than one way to exit the building, should an exit be blocked by fire. When choosing emergency exits, consider the following recommendations.



  • Exits should be clearly marked and well lit.

  • Exit routes should be wide enough to accommodate the number/volume of evacuating personnel.

  • Exit routes should remain unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.


When preparing drawings that show evacuation routes and exits, be sure to post them for all employees to see. Escape plan should be practiced to help familiarize staff with emergency exit routes. The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recommends practicing fire and emergency evacuations at least twice a year. Talk to your local fire department, as local codes may require more frequent drills for various facilities.


SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can help with emergency planning by creating an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your facility. For more information about the ERP or emergency planning, contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. 616-396-8180


Fire Escape Safety Tips



  • Make a plan. Remember, every second counts.

  • Practice your plan. Make sure you, your
    employees and your family know the escape routes from every area of your home or business. Practice leaving the property with your eyes closed, feeling your way out.

  • Leave immediately. Don’t stop for possessions or keepsakes. Exit as quickly as possible. If the smoke has already grown thick, crawl low and cover your mouth to avoid smoke inhalation.

  • Never open doors if they are hot to the touch. When you come to a closed door, use the back of your hand to see if the door is hot to the touch. If it appears the fire is on the other side of the door, leave it shut and find another escape route.

  • Designate an outside meeting place. Designate a meeting location away from the building. Take attendance to ensure everyone is accounted for and safely evacuated.

Risky Business Eliminating Electrical Fires

3/30/2017 (Permalink)

Working with electricity can be dangerous. Engineers, electricians, and other professionals who work with electricity directly have an increased risk of electrical related injuries. Other professionals, such as office workers and sales people who work with electricity indirectly, may also be exposed to electrical hazards. Electricity and electrical products play a key role in how we conduct business every day. It is important to use electricity properly to avoid serious safety risks.


According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, over the last ten years, more than 30,000 workers have been injured in workplace electrical accidents. Electrical fires can result from electrical system failures, but many more are caused by incorrectly installed wiring, overloaded circuits and improperly used extension cords.


Most electrically-related fatalities and injuries could easily be avoided. Take safety precautions to prevent electrical fire hazards by routinely checking electrical appliances and wiring. Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Consider unplugging electrical devices when not in use. Use extension cords wisely; never overload extension cords or wall sockets. Take steps to protect yourself everyday and make safety an integral part of how you do business.


DID YOU KNOW?



  • Electrical hazards cause more than 300
    deaths and 4,000 injuries in the workplace each year.

  • Electrical accidents rank sixth among all types of work-related deaths in the United States.

  • Electrical accidents on the job cause an
    average of 13 days away from work and nearly one fatality every day.

  • The non-fatal workplace incidents that cause the highest number of days away from work include contact with an electrical current or a machine, tool, appliance or light fixture (38 percent) and contact with wiring, transformers or other electrical components (33 percent).

  • Nonfatal electrical injury occurs most often to those who work with machines or tools and around electrical wiring other than power lines.

  • Over the last 10 years, more than 46,000 workers were injured from on-the-job electrical hazards.


*Facts and figures provided by the Electrical
Safety Foundation.

Sprucing Things Up This Spring

3/30/2017 (Permalink)

The flowers are blooming and the birds are chirping. Spring is in the air, but you can’t shake those winter blues! Spruce up your home or business with a deep cleaning.


Spring cleaning is a tradition that allows us to freshen up our environment and get a head start on the hectic seasons of spring and summer. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can help. SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications. Other services include: Upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, odor identification and deodorization.


A clean environment is a healthy environment. Improve your living and work spaces this spring. If you need a little help, don’t worry, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. has all of the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!


SPRING CLEANING TIPS



  • Always start from the top. As you clean higher items, like ceiling fans blades and top shelves on bookcases, you’ll knock dust down to a lower level. Cleaning from the top down will prevent soiling areas you have already cleaned.

  • Stay focused on the task at hand. When cleaning out a closet or drawer, it’s easy to get drawn in by old photo albums and keepsakes. Set aside time for the fond memories later; you’re on a mission!

  • Don’t be a pack rat. You don’t want to throw away precious keepsakes but try to limit junk laying around your home or office. If you haven’t used it in a year or two, throw it out!

  • Hit the hidden areas. We all avoid the dreaded hidden areas in our homes, but now is the time to face the dust bunnies!

  • Tackle big projects first. It happens every
    year, we start with the best intentions to scrub our homes from top to bottom, but somewhere in the middle we run out of steam. Tackle the biggest projects first or you may never get to them.

  • Yard Sale time! Don’t just chuck your unwanted items. Put them up for sale; you may be surprised to see what could bring in a few bucks.

Destroy Odors with DEODORIZATION

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Even a small fire can cause odors for years to come if the affected areas are not properly cleaned and deodorized.  Fire, smoke and soot damage in your home or business can create unpleasant and potentially permanent problems.  


As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels throughout the structure, leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in hard-to-reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in resurfacing odors.  


Other odors that may require deodorization: 



  • Cigarette Smoke

  • Pet Odors

  • Decomposition

  • Mold


With technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC), SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals provide specialized services that can rid your home or business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals do not cover up lingering odors with fragrance; they seek out and remove the sources of the odor. Once the source is found, SERVPRO's own proprietary line of cleaning products are used to treat and prevent the odor from returning. Any restorable item in affected areas will also be professionally cleaned and deodorized, including furniture, draperies, upholstery, electronics, art, flooring, walls, ceilings, and more.


Ask SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals to explain the various deodorization methods available and which will work best for you.


If you or a customer suffer a fire damage or some other accident and require deodorization services, contact SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Whether it's fire, water, mold damage or just a stubborn odor that refuses to go away, we'll help make it "Like it never even happened".

Spring is in the Air!

3/21/2017 (Permalink)

Spring is in the air! With the warmer weather comes the tradition of spring cleaning. It's a time to organize and clean what we encounter on a daily basis from your home to your business and office.

Perhaps you are selling a home and want to vanquish years of cigarette smoke odor that won't go away, or want to see if your ducts or HVAC system needs to be cleaned. SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. offers the following cleaning services:

  • Deodorization
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Drapery Cleaning
  • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning
  • Hard Floor Cleaning
  • Strip and Seals
  • Biohazard and Crime Scene Cleaning
  • Vandalism

Whatever your spring cleaning needs, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. has you covered. Call 231-733-7601 today to discuss or schedule your necessary spring cleaning services. 

FLOODING Can Happen ANYWHERE

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood
hazards in the United States as:



  • Flash Flooding

  • River Flooding

  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems

  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)

  • Ice/Debris Jams

  • Snow melt

  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy
    rainfall in dry areas)

  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure


Just because you haven’t experienced a flood 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 U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).


When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can help. They can help you prepare ahead of time with an Emergency Ready Profile® (ERP), or respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back in business as soon as possible.


SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa Co. Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Portable FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

Portable fire extinguishers can be life and property saving tool when used correctly. In order to operate an extinguisher, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) suggests remembering the word PASS:

  • Pull the pin. Hold the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Read the instructions on the fire extinguisher and become familiar with them before a fire breaks out. Remember, extinguishers do have limitations. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of extinguisher for your facility. To find more information on choosing the
appropriate class of extinguisher, please visit the NFPA website at nfpa.org.

March is RED CROSS MONTH

3/3/2017 (Permalink)

March is RED CROSS MONTH

Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission. Whether it is disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, or training and certification in CPR, lifeguarding, first aid and more, the Red Cross is committed to helping those who need it most. The American Red Cross is part of the Global Red Cross Network, the world’s largest volunteer network found in 187 countries, according to redcross.org.

Every year, March is declared Red Cross Month by the President of the United States. The American Red Cross celebrates by honoring the “everyday heroes” who support and carry out the mission of the Red Cross by donating, giving blood, taking a
class or volunteering.

SERVPRO® began a partnership with the American Red Cross in 2013, and became an official Disaster Responder partner in 2016. The Disaster Responder program provides families and individuals immediate support, comfort and assistance when a disaster, such as a house fire,
happens to them. Disaster Responders also help communities prepare for disasters ahead of time by participating in preparedness activities such as the Smoke Alarm Installation Campaign.

To learn more about the American
Red Cross, or about how you can get
involved, visit redcross.org.

BY THE NUMBERS:

Around 3.1 million people donate blood through the American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross collects and processes about 40% of the nation’s blood supply to approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion
centers nationwide.

Volunteers constitute about 90% of the American Red Cross workforce, making it possible to respond to nearly 70,000 disasters every year, most of them home and apartment fires.

Source: The American Red Cross

Help Prevent the Spread of Flu Germs

2/24/2017 (Permalink)

Homes and businesses can depend on their local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to clean and sanitize building materials, surfaces and contents following restoration industry standards, using professional cleaning products and EPA-registered cleaners and disinfectants. SERVPRO® Franchise 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 home or place of business, call on your local SERVPRO® of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. today 231-733-7601/616-396-8180.  

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/

Facts about Flooding

2/21/2017 (Permalink)

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 Muskegon & 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 Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. will help you take it back.

The First 48 Hours After a Fire

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing damaged property and personal belongings. Rapid response and timely mitigation can help prevent fire damage from creating long term problems.

SERVPRO Professionals understand returning to normal is your primary concern. SERVPRO Response Teams are trained in caring for both you and your property. By responding quickly with a full line of fire cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can help you get your home or business back up and running quickly and help protect your property and belongings.

If your home or business suffers a fire damage, contact us to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

DO

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. will help you take it back.

Teaming Up to Help You Be Ready

2/8/2017 (Permalink)

The SERVPRO® Franchise System is teaming up with the American Red Cross to help business and homeowners across
the nation get READY for any disaster. The American Red Cross Ready Rating™ program, is a free, web-based program designed to help businesses, organizations and schools become better prepared for emergencies. Through the Ready Rating program website, readyrating.org, property owners complete a 123-point self-assessment of their level of preparedness for weather-related or other emergencies. The Ready Rating assessment also offers tips and best practices to help improve their level of preparedness.

“Through the generosity of SERVPRO®, the Red Cross will help empower workplaces to re-open more quickly after natural or man-made disasters such as water main breaks, medical emergencies, power outages, tornadoes, floods and hurricanes through the Ready Rating Program,” said Tom Heneghan, manager of Business Continuity Programs for Red Cross.

“Up to 40% of businesses never re-open their doors after such disasters; SERVPRO’s partnership will enable more businesses, schools and organizations to become better prepared. We are excited to have SERVPRO join us in community outreach efforts to educate and highlight the
importance of community preparedness in neighborhoods across the country.”

“This partnership just makes perfect sense,” said Rick Isaacson, Executive Vice President of SERVPRO Industries, Inc., “and truly completes the readiness equation for businesses and other property owners.

The Red Cross Ready Rating Program allows individuals to assess their readiness for a disaster, so they can take all necessary steps before disaster strikes to protect their property from damage and loss. But, when disaster does strike, knowing what to do and who to call saves time–and fast response is key to minimizing damage and downtime.

That’s where SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Program can help. Together, these two programs offer maximum peace of mind to businesses and other organizations.” With SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Program, your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional will establish an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your facility.

The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contact information, shut-off valve locations and priority areas. In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.

The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. The time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens. Taking steps to make your property as secure as possible, then having a plan to deal with the aftermath if disaster does strike is just good business sense.

For more information about SERVPRO’s Emergency Ready program, visit SERVPRO.com/ready. Call SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to learn how to develop an Emergency READY Profile® for your business and BE READY.

Puff Back? What's That?

2/1/2017 (Permalink)

Furnace 'puff backs' occur most often in the winter. A puff back is a misfiring of your furnace that can send soot throughout your home, covering furniture, cabinets, walls, linens and everything in between. The consequences can be severe but SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. can work closely with you in the cleaning and restoration of your home or business.

How Does a Puff Back Occur?

A puff back happens when an oil burner doesn't ignite immediately and oil fumes are allowed to build up resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car. The explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace or boiler's exhaust system throughout your home.

The soot is not just a powder-like substance, but is black and sticky and will include a mixture of oil that is difficult to clean. The first thing you should do is contact your insurance company to start a claim, which will usually cover your home and contents affected by the puff back (calling your insurance carrier should always be the first step to see if you have coverage. Understanding your coverage should be a high priority for any home or business owner).

What Should You Do?

Here are some helpful tips on what you should do, should a puff back occur in your home: 

  • Assess the situation and the amount of damage that was done.
  • Wash all affected clothing and fabrics in the house - some may require professional cleaning.
  • Throw away all exposed foods.
  • Call a repairman to fix the malfunctioning furnace.
  • Call SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to take care of the cleaning of the soot and chemicals.

We will work closely with you, your insurance agency and your adjuster to ensure that the job is done as quickly as possible to get you back to your normal, daily routine.

How to Prevent Puff Backs

  • There are a few steps you can take to prevent puff backs:
  • Keep your oil heating system free of dust
  • Inspect and service your heating system yearly
  • If you hear noises or see soot near your furnace, call your heating company

Your homeowners policy will usually cover damage to your home caused by a puff back. However, the cost to repair the furnace would most likely not be covered as it is most likely a maintenance issue. If a puff back occurs, we recommend that you do not attempt to clean it yourself. Using standard cleaning products could cause further damage and may not get rid of the oil residue and odors. The cost of hiring SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. and other related expenses would be covered as part of the claim and are subject to the policy deductible.

Alternative Heating Safety Tips

1/27/2017 (Permalink)

The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. Many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves to help keep homes cozy. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of a heating-related fire.

  • Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. If your property does suffer fire damage, contact your SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co. to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Smoke Alarms: LIFE SAVERS

1/27/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).


In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.


Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).


In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested
as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).


If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.


Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information
on Emergency Preparedness, contact your local SERVPRO of Muskegon & Holland/W. Ottawa Co.


FIRE FACTS:


7 People die every day from a home fire. 


36 People suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day.


$7 BILLION in property damage occurs every year.

Facts on Frozen Pipes

1/9/2017 (Permalink)

Water has a unique property in that it expands as it freezes. This expansion puts tremendous pressure on whatever is containing it, including metal and plastic pipes. No matter the strength of a container, expanding water can cause pipes to break. Pipes that freeze most frequently are those that are exposed to severe cold.

During cold weather, take preventative action:

  • Let the cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent freezing.
  • Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and night. You may incur a little higher heating bill, however you can prevent a much more costly repair job if a pipe were to burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55 degrees.

To thaw frozen pipes:

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a trickle comes out, suspect a frozen pipe. Likely places include against exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Keep the faucet open. As you treat the pipe and the frozen area begins to melt, water will begin to flow through the frozen area. Running water will help melt the ice inside.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe like using an electric heating pad or hairdryer. Never use an open flame.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored. If you cannot thaw the pipe, call a licensed plumber.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes.

Note- If in doubt about any of the above steps or if you do not feel comfortable with the situation, it is always best to contact a licensed plumber.

In the event you incur frozen pipe damage, SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa County and our trained technicians are available 24/7 to assist with your cleanup and restoration needs.

(231) 733-7601 Muskegon or (616) 396-8180 Ottawa County.

Odor? What's going on in your home in Ottawa County

12/1/2016 (Permalink)

How clean is your home? Are there odors in your home from being closed up all winter? Do you smoke inside your home? Do you have kids or pets?  

If any of these things are applicable to you then listen up. While most homes can be cleaned or freshened up by you, there are times where it is best to bring in the professional. 80% of home owners say that the cleanliness of a home determined by how clean their floors are yet only 15% have their carpets cleaned yearly. So I ask you again, how clean is your home?

Lingering odors can be traced to numerous issues in and around your home that can be hazardous to you, your family and pets. Most home remedies can mask or provide a temporary solution to the issue however they will come back. It does not eliminate the hazard and so it remains while you think the problem has been solved.

There are 4 general rules of getting rid of unpleasant smells.

  1. Locate and destroy the source of the smell
  2. Thoroughly clean any surfaces or items that were affected by the source
  3. Assess types of materials and cleaning products needed for each
  4. Spray and Treat the area to deodorize the air and seal any remaining odors

The primary areas that we see the most odor take root and cause damage are in carpets, furniture, clothing, and drywall if they are exposed long enough. These surfaces must be cleaned to prevent the smell from coming back. Every material has its own physical properties and the professionals at SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa County will be able to properly assess which cleaning products and method will yield the best results.

Many odors such as, urine from pet and children, mold from water damage, cigarette smoke, smoke and fire damage can be eliminated with our expertise. Have an issue? You may want to visit apartmenttherapy.com for helpful DIY tips. SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. is the faster to any size disaster or odor emergency.

Cook the Turkey Not the Garage in Ottawa County

11/17/2016 (Permalink)

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), cooking is the main cause for home fires and injuries with Thanksgiving being the peak day for cooking-related fires. Review the following safety tips to ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday. Click here to see a scary demonstration of how quickly a food related fire can get started.

  • Never leave cooking food unattended-stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling, or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time they should turn off the stove.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a "kid free zone" and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove
  • Keep anything flammable; pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Do Not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact your local fire department for training on the proper use of extinguishers. (click here)
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

Install smoke alarms near the kitchen, on each level of the home or business, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa County wishes your a safe and happy holiday season.

September is National Preparedness Month

9/14/2016 (Permalink)

With September being National Preparedness Month SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa Co. says this is a great time for business owners to review their emergency preparedness and business continuity plans. SERVPRO points to startling statistics like this one to emphasize the importance of advance planning: according to FEMA, as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopen following a major flood disaster.


“Business owners who think they are prepared for an emergency because exits are clearly marked and fire or flood drills are parts of the regular routine really need to take another look at their preparations,” said Sue Steen, SERVPRO Industries, Inc. chief executive officer. “A comprehensive emergency plan also contains critical information about the location of shut-off valves, fire suppression system controls, emergency contact numbers and more—information that can save emergency responders precious time and help contain damage and minimize injury.”


Because SERVPRO knows the time to create a disaster readiness plan is before you need it, they have developed the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for their facility, at no charge. The business owner works with SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. to gather and document information that will become critical if a disaster strikes. Once the ERP is created, business owners have access to their information 24/7 online and by using SERVPRO’s free smartphone app.


“For a business to survive and thrive, it needs to get back to business as soon as possible after a disaster strikes,” said Steen. “With an ERP in place, SERVPRO’s Disaster Response teams can immediately assess the situation and take the first critical steps to protect employees from harm and property from further damage, setting the business on the road to recovery.”


SERVPRO professionals specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened,” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on the SERVPRO and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileap

First 24 Hours After A Fire

7/27/2016 (Permalink)

The first 24 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.  SERVPRO's 1-4-8 Service Response Guidelines can help prevent fire damage from creating long term problems.  

Under normal circumstances, within one hour from notice of loss, a SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa County Professional will contact you to arrange for service.  Within four hours of loss notification our crew will be on site to begin mitigation services.  Finally, within eight business hours, a verbal job briefing will be communicated to the appropriate party.  

SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa County professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration.  These services help ensure ensure your property and belongings are restored to pre-loss condition when possible.  

Professionals from SERVPRO are available 24hours a day, 365 days a year to help you make it "like it never even happened." 

If you or your neighbor down the street suffers a fire whether at home or at the business, remember the following tips to help minimize damage while waiting for help to arrive.  

What to Do Until Help Arrives

  • Wipe soot from chrome on faucets, and appliances then protect with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces.  
  • Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.
  • Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire or water without consulting a repair service.

If you follow these tips, and contact SERVPRO of Muskegon, and Holland/W. Ottawa County right away you greatly reduce the claim.  Please post any questions you may have in the comments.

The Behavior of Smoke

6/15/2016 (Permalink)

A fire loss can result in complex damages because of the unique behavior of smoke.  A trained professional should survey the loss site to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat, and moisture impacted building materials and contents.  

SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa Co.  professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor.  Our knowledge of building systems helps us investigate how far smoke may have spread.  Here are some facts you may not know about smoke: 

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

The Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke, wet and dry.  As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, a professional from SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa Co. will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.  The cleaning procedure will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.  Here is some additional information regarding the various types of smoke.  

Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber)
Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.  Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.  

Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood)
Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises. 

Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from fire) 
Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs)
While "puff backs" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher) Special situation that requires special care.


Our professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses.  If your home or business sustains fire or smoke damage, contact SERVPRO Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa Co.  Professionals to help make it "Like it never even happened".

Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup

5/25/2016 (Permalink)

After the police have finished processing a crime or accident scene, the cleaning and restoration process can begin. Many times, crime and accident scenes have blood and other bio-hazard contaminants that pose a serious health risk. SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. will respond immediately and has the specialized training, protective equipment, and experience to safely clean trauma and crime scenes.

Need Trauma or Crime Scene Cleanup? Call Today –(231) 733-7601 Muskegon, (616) 396-8180 Ottawa County.

Our technicians follow OSHA and EPA protocols to help transform an unsafe environment back into a clean, safe home or business. Our first focus is always safety, since crime or accident scenes may involve blood-borne pathogens, harmful chemicals, and other dangers. We will always treat your property and the people involved with the greatest empathy and respect in the face of trying circumstances.

Crime Scene and Trauma Cleaning Services

  • Fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals
  • Tear gas and pepper spray residues
  • Fire extinguisher residue
  • Blood, bodily fluids, and tissue remnants

Common Trauma and Crime Scene Scenarios

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, we can clean and restore your property after a crime scene investigation.

Bloodborne Pathogens

We remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime or death. Our trained Professionals clean, disinfect and deodorize the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs

Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. Our technicians follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Electrical Safety in the Office and at Home

5/18/2016 (Permalink)

Electrical outlets can become dangerous when overloaded.  Though it may be easy to simply plug in another power strip or extension cord when adding equipment, the wiring in some buildings often isn't capable of supporting to many high powered electronics appliances.  Older office buildings and homes, in particular, often suffer from lack of electrical outlets.  The temptation is to simply add a power strip or plug in an extension cord from across the room.  Even in newer office buildings  and homes, it can be all too easy to overload a single outlet with power hungry machines such as computers, printers, scanners, and monitors.  

So what's the big deal?

When an employee or residents overloads an electrical outlet, that means more current is running through the outlet than it can handle.  This causes the outlet to overheat, which may lead to an electrical fire.  According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), electrical distribution and lighting equipment are involved in more than 24,000 home structure fires per year.  These fires result in an average of 320 deaths per year and an estimated $700 Million in property damage per year.  

  • If an electrical find should occur in your office or home, get safely away from the fire an call the fire department immediately.  If you choose to use an extinguisher on the fire, never let the fire get between you and a safe exit, and never use water to extinguish an electrical fire.  The risk of electrical shock is far to great.  Class C fire extinguishers use a non conductive extinguishing agent and should not cause electrical shock.

To help prevent this and other electrical hazards, refer to the list below (provided by Electrical Safety Foundation International).  

  • If you use a power strip, use a name brand product from a reputable retailer.  Low quality or counterfeit power strips may contain wiring that isn't adequate to carry the load.
  • Place power strips where there is plenty of air circulation to disperse the heat.
  • Never attempt to plug grounded (three pronged) cords into an ungrounded (two pronge) outlet.  
  • Do not bind, kink, or knot electrical cords.
  • Keep cords close to a wall to prevent the risk of tripping.

And as always should you or someone you know experience a loss due to an electrical fire, call the cleanup team that is faster to any disaster.  SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. is ready to make it like it never even happened.  For a full list of services visit our websiteswww.SERVPROmuskegon.com or www.SERVPROhollandwestottawacounty.com

Prevent & Stop Mold Growth

4/29/2016 (Permalink)

Prevent and Stop the Growth of Mold

Indoor mold has the power to damage building materials and finishes.  Like weeds, mold spreads, growing on surfaces like walls, ceilings, and tile grout. Fortunately, mold growth can be stopped and SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. can help you before it's to late.

Mold Damage

Mold loves moisture and cannot thrive without it.  Mold often develops in areas where there has been water damage from a broken pipe, leaking window or roof, or after a basement flood.  Many homes develop mold issues in bathrooms without adequate ventilation and closets that share a wall with those bathrooms. Mold causes the deterioration of ceiling tiles, grout, caulking around tubs and showers and it destroys any type of paperboard quickly.

How to Stop Mold

The key to eradicating mold indoors is to cut off its moisture supply.  Mold thrives in moist, humid conditions.  Eliminate those conditions and you can stop mold growth and prevent its return.  Quick extraction of flood water is the first step. Whether it’s seepage from foundation cracks, a leaky roof or a broken water line, that standing water needs to be removed quickly.

After any standing water is removed, the drying and dehumidification process can begin. Remember, it’s all about removing moisture, including excess moisture in the air. Dehumidifiers and fans can be a great help during this part of the mold removal process.

Area rugs will need to be removed, cleaned and dried and wall-to-wall carpeting may need professional cleaning to remove all traces of mold and its musty smell. Depending on the situation, furniture, draperies and other upholstered items also will need cleaning. Remove any cardboard boxes that have been contaminated with mold and only transfer their contents to totes after everything has been inspected and treated for mold growth.

In the bathroom: For mold issues in bathrooms, make sure the room has a working exhaust fan (which usually installed in the ceiling near the light fixture). Run the exhaust fan whenever anyone takes a shower or a bath to reduce as much humidity (moisture) from the air. Wipe down bath and shower tiles after use to keep moisture to a minimum and inhibit the growth of mold.

SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. knows how to stop mold growth effectively and how to prevent mold from returning to your home or business.  When you discover mold, don’t hesitate.  Contact the mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. with more than 20 years of experience along the Lake Michigan Coast, we have the expertise to deal with mold safely. You won’t have to worry about the mold spreading to other areas or it affecting your employees, family or pets during the remediation process.

SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. is ready for what ever happens, Contact us at (231) 733-7601- Muskegon, or (616) 396-8180 for all your microbial, water, fire, smoke damage or other cleaning needs.

information provided by SERVPRO of The Beaches/Ponte Vedra

Faster to any Water Loss

4/22/2016 (Permalink)

Call the Cleanup Team that's fastest to any size disaster.

A pipe bursts.  A water heater leaks.  A bathtub overflows. Flood waters rush in.  A sprinkler system malfunctions.  Water damage can happen any numbers of ways.  But if your business or home is under few inches of water, everything else takes a backseats.  Only one thing matters when your business can't operate, and there is just one thing on the mind of the water logged resident: A solution.  

SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa County Professionals are that solution.  Equipped with the knowledge, the experience, and the training to help make your water damage "like it never even happened," SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. will start helping from the moment you call.  Serving the Lake Michigan Lakeshore with more than 20 years experience, helping to put your worries to ease, because we understand the science of drying.  

When water damage strikes, give SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/W. Ottawa Co. a call; we will help to make things right,  make things dry, and make it "Like it never even happened." 

Spruce Up Your Space

4/14/2016 (Permalink)

Birds are chirping and the temperatures have warmed up, spring is finally here (maybe)!  Spring Cleaning is a tradition allowing us to freshen our environment and  get a head start on the hectic season of spring and summer.  While many people deep clean their homes, this is also a great time to clean and organize your business.  

SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa County can help get your facility in tip top shape.  In addition to recommending air duct and HVAC cleaning, SERVPRO Professionals are trained to use state-of-the-art equipment to remove soils hiding deep within your carpet, as well as focused stain removal and stain resistance applications.  Other services include: upholstery and drapery cleaning, hard floor cleaning and care, and floor deodorization.  

A clean environment is a healthy environment! Improve your living and workspaces this spring.  If you need a little help, don't worry, SERVPRO of Muskegon and Holland/ W. Ottawa Co. have the tools to make your home or business sparkle in no time!  

Watch this page this week as we update ways for you to Spring Clean Your Work Space.   As always like, comment, and share this post. Check out our LinkedIn, and facebook pages to keep up on the latest information.  

Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing in Ottawa County

1/19/2016 (Permalink)

Water Bursting Threw Thawing Frozen Pipe.

Every winter season, the pipes in your business and home are at risk of damage from freezing conditions. Low temperatures can cause your water pipes to freeze, and in some cases burst. The following tips can help you safeguard your home before, during and after a pipe freezes.

PREVENT YOUR PIPES FROM FREEZING

  • Disconnect all gardening hoses and install covers on all outside faucets.
  • Keep your house temperature at 68 degrees or higher, even if you're leaving the house for an extended period of time.
  • Open cabinet doors below sinks to allow heat from the home to circulate.
  • Identify the location of the main water valve and the valve on your water heater. (Learning the location of these valves may come in handy during an emergency.:
  • Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls and in crawl spaces with pipe insulation or with heating tape. This can prevent freezing, especially for interior pipes that run along outside walls.
  • Close all windows near water pipes; cover or close open-air vents. Freezing temperatures combined with wind drafts can cause pipes to freeze more frequently.
  • Heat your basement and consider weather sealing your windows.
  • Insulate outside walls and unheated areas of your home.
  • If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, shut off water supply valves to your washing machine.

IF YOUR PIPES STILL FREEZE AND BURST, CALL SERVPRO of Holland/W. Ottawa County AND YOUR INSURANCE AGENT FOR IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE!!

Categories

Archived Posts