Recent Posts

Winter Water Damage

12/1/2021 (Permalink)

Green house with large icicles hanging from the gutters. It is crucial that you are aware of the hazards and can prepare, prevent or act quickly if faced with winter water damage.

Michigan winters are known to be brutally cold and large amounts of snow is always expected. With below freezing temperatures, snow, and ice, your home or business could be in jeopardy for water damage. It is crucial that you are aware of the hazards and can prepare, prevent or act quickly if faced with winter water damage. 

FROZEN PIPES 

A frozen pipe can burst at the point where the ice blockage inside the pipe is located, but typically 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. 

ICE DAMS 

Ice dams can be a major problem during the winter season. They form when heated air melts roof snow downward into water dammed behind still-frozen ice. When the trapped water cannot safely flow or run into the gutter system, it can backflow under the roof ’s shingles and into the structure’s interior areas. 

PREPARE YOUR HOME 

  • If you own a home which is unoccupied during a cold period, ensure you have ample heating fuel and that the indoor thermostat, in all areas of the home, is minimally kept at 55 degrees and ensure that you have a trusted person check the home periodically during your absence. 
  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes. 
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home. 
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off.” 
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off. 
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage. 

PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS 

  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. Our team has the winter storm experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. If disaster strikes your home or business during the winter months, know that SERVPRO has your back. 

Celebrate Safely This Holiday Season

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

Christmas decorations on a wooden backdrop. It is as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday party.

Local SERVPRO fire restoration specialists say use common sense and caution to help control risk of holiday season home fires! 

In a year when large holiday gatherings may not be possible, fire damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights say to focus on family decorating traditions and more intimate celebrations may take on extra significance. It is as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday party. We all enjoy bringing the glow of the holiday season to our homes with Christmas trees or menorahs and candlelight, but these statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration show how easy it is for home decorating to turn into a home disaster. 

  • The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve. 
  • More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles. 
  • A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires. 
  • On average, one of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death. 

In addition to exercising caution with candles and heat sources, it is important to follow manufacturers’ guidelines for holiday lighting. According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution, or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires. Though Christmas tree fires may not be common, they can be devastating to more than the house itself. They can destroy irreplaceable photos, mementos, and family heirlooms and even cost lives. To help keep your holidays bright and your home and family safe, use common sense with candles and tree placement and follow these important home decorating guidelines. 

  • Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable. 
  • Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear. 
  • Don’t link more than three strands of holiday lights. 

In a year when so many of the things we take for granted have changed, we know people will still come together – in person or virtually – to celebrate family and holiday traditions. Stay safe’ has become a common expression in the context of public health, but this holiday season, we urge all Metro-Detroit home and business owners to think about ‘staying safe’ in their homes as they prepare for and enjoy the holiday season. 

SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, call 586-480-2400. 

Get Your Emergency Storm Kit Ready!

11/25/2021 (Permalink)

Emergency kit items on a table. Here are some basic you should have in your Emergency Storm Kit.

Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO is always here to help and want to give you tips on a basic emergency kit in case the unpredictable happens. 

In a year filled with the unexpected, one thing that 2021 has shown us is to always be prepared. Here are some basic you should have in your Emergency Storm Kit. 

Basic emergency supply kit should include these recommended items: 

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation) 
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food) 
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert 
  • Flashlight 
  • First aid kit 
  • Extra batteries 
  • Whistle (to signal for help) 
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air) 
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place) 
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation) 
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities) 
  • Manual can opener (for food) 
  • Local maps 
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery 

Also look at ready.gov for more ideas on emergency kits!  

Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes and businesses an easy target for winter storm damage. That is why we here at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights are ready to help 24/7. We will work around the clock to get your property back to preloss condition. 

Tips for a Leaking Roof

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

Water stained ceiling. A roof leak may seem small, but it can potentially cause severe damage to your property.

A major storm in Michigan can do serious damage to many properties, including the roof of your home or business. When it comes to a leaking roof, you will need a professional not only to fix the exterior but to repair your attic and ceilings. A roof leak may seem small, but it can potentially cause severe damage to your property. 

Here is what you can do once a leak has been discovered: 

Check the Roof 

If your property has a shingled roof, check for missing shingles. That may give you an idea of how water is getting in. If water is coming through, puncture a small hole that will allow the water to flow out freely. If you leave it intact, water will spread over the ceiling which could cause it to sag and possibly collapse. A hole gives the water somewhere to go. Put a bucket underneath to catch the water and move furniture and other items out of the way. 

Move Wet Items 

Once belongings are wet, they need to be dried and disinfected. If there are no electrical dangers, launder furniture covers, bedding, and other washable items. Air out and clean furniture and rugs. Check for irreparable damage. If something is in poor condition, throw it away. 

Dry Everything Well 

From the attic on down, everything needs to be as dry as possible. Run fans or heaters or open windows to get air circulating through the area. Once everything is completely dry, then restoration work for the roof leak begins. 

Call SERVPRO 

A roof leak can cause substantial damage in hard-to-reach areas. Call the experts to evaluate the safety of your building before you attempt any repairs yourself. It is important to have everything dry and disinfected to prevent future problems. A damaged roof can cause extensive issues for your property. Cleaning up properly after storm damage ensures that you have a safe environment. 

At SERVPRO, we are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back. 

Mold Growth in Your Business?

11/18/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on corner of wall. If your commercial property has suffered water damage, you may be concerned about the potential for mold growth.

Mold Growth in Your Business? 

If your commercial property has suffered water damage, you may be concerned about the potential for mold growth. Since mold spores live everywhere, it is especially important to address any wet areas after a water leak or flood. Mold spores travel through the air and attach to damp surfaces, which can lead to mold colonies if left untreated. 

Important Tips to Remember About Mold Include the Following: 

  • Mold can establish itself in as little as 24 to 48 hours. 
  • Mold thrives in areas with high humidity, dim lighting, and low air circulation. 
  • Mold can form colonies in as little as 1 to 12 days. 

Mold Growth 

If you suspect that mold is growing in your building, it is crucial to check areas that have sustained water damage. Whether the water is from a small, consistent leak or a major disaster, it can lead to conditions that foster mold. When the mold spores land in the correct environment, they begin feeding and breaking down materials such as wood, carpet, fabric, and sheetrock. This can lead to structural damage if not taken care of. 

Mold Remediation 

Professional cleanup and remediation services are essential to effectively handle mold growth, as experts have specialized equipment and training to detect and remediate the situation. Not only is it imperative to remove the existing mold, but it is also important to fix the source of the water feeding the mold. If the source of the water is not addressed, the mold will return and cause more damage, so this is a crucial step in mold prevention. 

If you suspect mold, weather because of water damage, or just from damp conditions, you should call SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights as quickly as possible. We are always “here to help," and have the training, equipment, and expertise to take care of your mold problem. Our goal is to get you back to a clean, healthy home and make it "Like it never even happened." 

Consult, Clean, and Certify

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned sticker on window. The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program is centered around the three C's- Consult, Clean, and Certify.

The Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program is centered around the three C's- Consult, Clean, and Certify. 

Consult: 

We will meet with the property owner to evaluate current cleaning processes, and propose additional services that SERVPRO® of West Sterling Heights can offer to minimize the potential transmission of COVID-19. We will also discuss how frequently these services should occur. Higher frequency service is recommended for businesses with high traffic and an inability to implement health screening of people entering the business. 

Clean: 

Standard services focus on cleaning and disinfectant application to limit the emergence of viral pathogens. This may include disinfectant application to frequently contacted touch points such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, and desks to minimize the potential transmission of COVID-19. 

Enhanced services build upon standard services by adding cleaning and disinfectant application to less frequently contacted touch points. This would be implemented in the case of having a person that tests positive for COVID-19 or a person that may be exhibiting symptoms of the virus. 

Certify: 

A Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned window cling with the last date serviced or a table tent would be placed at the site letting the people that enter your building know that your building has been cleaned by the professionals at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights. For more information, call us at 586-480-2400. 

Preventing Frozen Pipes

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

Frozen water coming out of a pipe. SERVPRO offers the following tips for preventing frozen pipes and mitigating potential damage that they can cause.

Living in Michigan, we all know sub-zero temperatures are ahead. With frigid temperatures and winter storms coming, now is the time to learn more about how to avoid frozen pipes and water damage that can occur if those pipes expand and burst. Frozen pipes are actually very preventable, SERVPRO offers the following tips for preventing frozen pipes and mitigating potential damage that they can cause.  

To prevent frozen pipes and avoid any potential damage: 

  • Insulate all exposed pipes in your property. Pay close attention to where pipes may be unheated, such as the basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under cabinets in the kitchen and bathroom. 
  • Maintain a consistent temperature through your house day and night. 
  • Close any valves located inside that supply water outdoors and open outside valves to properly drain any excess water remaining in the pipes. 
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. 
  • In especially freezing temperatures, let your faucet trickle; running water is less likely to freeze. 
  • If you will be leaving your home unoccupied for an extended period, leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 55° F. 

Thawing Out a Frozen Pipe: 

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a few drips, come out, you may have a frozen pipe. Typically, frozen pipes are found along exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation. 
  • Leave the faucet on while treating any frozen pipes, as flowing water will help melt the ice. 
  • Apply heat to the frozen section of the pipe by using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or other open flame device. 
  • Check all other faucets in your home to see if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too. 

Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights has the winter storm experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather. We are always here to help! Call us today at 586-480-2400. 

Preventing a Kitchen Fire

11/5/2021 (Permalink)

Kitchen pan on fire. More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else.

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

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

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

Unattended Cooking is The Leading Cause of Kitchen Fires 

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

Stay Alert to Avoid Stirring Up Trouble 

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

Hot Tips 

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

Flammable Objects -Keep Away from the Stove 

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

Be Ready to React Fast to a Cooking Fire 

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

If you do have a problem in the kitchen or any other room in the house give SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights a call.  We will clean up all fire, smoke and water damage. 

COVID-19 and Trick-or-Treating

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Pumpkin with face mask over it. As many of us prepare to buy candy and costumes for Trick-or-Treating, the CDC has considerations to help protect families and communities from COVID.

As many of us prepare to buy candy and costumes for Trick-or-Treating, the CDC has considerations to help protect families and communities from COVID-19. Not only do we have to worry about COVID, flu season is also upon us. Following these considerations can help limit the spread while still being able to enjoy Halloween festivities. 

Make Trick-or-Treating Safer: 

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. 
  • Pass out candy outdoors. 
  • If possible, set up a station with individually bagged treats for children to take. 
  • Wash hands before handling candy. 
  • Wear a mask. 

Mask Up: 

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume. 
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. 
  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult. 
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing. 

Other Considerations: 

  • Stay at least 6 ft. away from others who do not live with you. 
  • Bring hand sanitizers with you. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any candy. 

For more information on making Trick-or-Treating safer, go to the cdc.gov. Your friends at SERVPRO are wishing you a fun and safe Halloween! 

Deep Fryer Safety

10/25/2021 (Permalink)

Deep fryer with potato wedges. Deep frying is more dangerous than any other types of cooking because it involves cooking oil and grease.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep fryer fires cause an average of 5 deaths, 60 injuries, and more than $15 million in property damage each year. Deep fryers are great for cooking up some delicious food for gatherings, etc. But frying is more dangerous than any other types of cooking because it involves cooking oil and grease. Not to mention, deep fryers involve larger quantities of hot cooking oil, so it creates a higher risk of injury and loss. 

To avoid a fire, please follow these safety tips provided by The National Fire Protection Association: 

  • Always use cooking equipment tested and approved by a recognized testing facility. 
  • Follow manufacturer’s instructions and code requirements when installing and operating cooking equipment. 
  • Plug cooking appliances directly into an outlet. Never use an extension cord for a cooking appliance as it can overload the circuit and cause a fire. Watch what you heat! 
  • The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. Stay in the kitchen when you are frying food. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the deep fryer. 
  • Do not use too much deep-frying oil. Having too much will result in excessive spillage. 
  • Stay alert! To prevent cooking fires, you must be alert. 
  • Keep the deep fryer clean and change cooking oil regularly. 
  • Keep pets away to prevent them from knocking over the deep fryer or knocking something onto or into the deep fryer. 
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – potholders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, boxes, food packaging, towels, or curtains – away from your deep fryer. 

If you happen to have damage from a fryer fire, we have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us to restore your home to pre-fire condition "Like it never even happened."