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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Fall Weather Can Be Destructive

10/18/2021 (Permalink)

Hole in wall with red bucket on the floor. In these wetter months, we all must consider the possible damages that can happen to our structures during this time of year.

Since we are now in the fall season you may have noticed a lot of rain. In these wetter months, we all must consider the possible damages that can happen to our structures during this time of year. Fall weather may not be as destructive as winter, but it is better to prepare for water damage before it is too late. 

For homeowners, some concerns due to fall weather can be: 

  • Eroded landscaping 
  • Rutted driveways, especially those that are graded either up or downhill 
  • Moldy siding, windowsills, doorjambs, windowpanes, and roofing 
  • Rotting wooden fencing and decking 
  • Leaking roof 
  • Puddles and pooling 

For business owners, some concerns can be: 

  • Potholes and eroded surfaces in public parking areas 
  • Eroded walkways or damaged, buckling sidewalks and public walkways 
  • Leaking roofs 
  • Damaged materials and machinery that have not been stored properly 

Businesses must also keep an eye on employee bathrooms and kitchen/break areas to make sure that leaks are handled immediately and that spills are cleaned up right away. During bad weather, customers and vendors will track water and debris into your building, and both for safety and aesthetics, it will be a good idea to keep up with this type of accumulation to prevent water damage. Have an umbrella stand ready for everyone who comes through the door! 

Homeowners also need to keep up with spills, leaks, and traffic, but it will obviously not be such a large job. In a home, water damage is more likely to come from a water heater or dishwasher that is malfunctioning, or a washer that has developed an issue. 

One thing both types of structures must be concerned about is mold, however - it is never a good thing to realize that mold has taken hold in either your home or your business. Mold just needs two things to grow: water and humidity. It can infest a home or business in as little as 48 hours and even the tiniest of unchecked leaks can produce an infestation. With a household or workplace, a mold infestation can cause health effects, making it an uncomfortable living, or working environment. 

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." 

Hidden Water Damage in Your Home

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Water damaged ceiling. In most cases, undetected water damage can cause the most damage and be quite the headache.

Water damage does not only come from burst pipes or flooding to damage your home. In most cases, undetected water damage can cause the most damage and be quite the headache. 

There are five indicators that there’s water damage going hidden in your home: 

  • Stains on walls and ceilings: Nobody purposefully looks up at their ceiling. However, it is important to thoroughly check the ceilings in your home for stains. There might be a bathtub or shower leak from one floor to the next, or your ceiling could be leaking into the attic. 
  • Musty or unpleasant smells: Do you smell something musty, or even earthy, in your home? Hidden water can cause mold to grow, and a nasty smell is a good signal that something is wrong. 
  • Peeling paint: Not only can water stain your walls, but it can also cause the paint to lift. If you see your paint starting to peel, quickly find the source of the problem, or call a professional to fix it. 
  • Mold Growth: Just like with ceilings, we do not exactly pay attention to the corners of our homes, but often these small hidden areas can tell us about potentially harmful leaks or spills. Check to see if there are any discolored or fuzzy looking spots in isolated corners or hidden areas. 
  • Flooring: When allowed to flow, water naturally seeks the lowest level. Therefore, rivers flow downstream. Water can seep under your flooring and collect – damaging your sub-floors. Check for and warping or deformation to make sure there is no water hiding beneath the floorboards. When this happens, it is important to act as quickly as possible, so we can restore your flooring to good as new. 

Here at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights, we are water damage restoration specialists and are ready to restore your home back to pre-water damage condition. Whether water damage sneaks up on you or not, we are available 24/7 to make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Prepare Your Home for Fall

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Colored leaves on roof of house. Decorating your home for fall is always fun, but have you prepared your home for it?

Sweater weather is now in full swing. It is time for leaves changing colors, cider mills, and pumpkin spice everything! Decorating your home for fall is always fun, but have you prepared your home for it?  Follow our checklist to make sure your home is ready to take on fall. 

  • Clean or replace your gutters – Not cleaning and draining your gutters can cause water damage inside and outside your home. 
  • Drain your outdoor faucets – Drain and disconnect all garden hoses to prevent water from freeing. Not doing this can cause pipes to burst, leading to water damage. 
  • Check for drafts – If you have drafts in your home, this only causes heating cost to rise. Consider weather-stripping to keep heating costs down. 
  • Change your batteries – It is always important to check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide devices in your home. 
  • Have your furnace inspected – Hire an HVAC professional to test for leaks, change the filter, and check for heating efficiency. 
  • Check water drainage – Rainwater downspouts need to be clear of obstructions and direct water away from foundations, walkways, and driveways. 

Take care of the little things that can make a huge difference for you and your home. By following this checklist, you could potentially avoid extensive damage to your home. As always, if you happen to have water damage, we are here to help 24/7. 

Halloween Safety Tips

10/1/2021 (Permalink)

Family with masks carving pumpkins. With a season full of tricks and treats, SERVPRO wants to provide with fire safety tips to ensure a safe and fun Halloween.

With a season full of tricks and treats, SERVPRO wants to provide with fire safety tips to ensure a safe and fun Halloween. Halloween decorations are the first thing to ignite in over than 1,000 reported home fires each year. Whether you are trick or treating, throwing a party, or staying inside, decorations can be a lurking fire risk and it is important to be aware. 

From the National Fire Protection Association, here are five Halloween fire safety tips: 

  • Use a battery-operated candle or glow stick in jack-o-lanterns. 
  • When choosing costumes, stay away from long trailing fabric. 
  • Teach young children to stay away from open flames, including jack-o-lanterns with candles in them. 
  • Keep all decorations away from open flames, especially cornstalks, dried flowers, and crepe paper. 
  • Provide young children with glow sticks or flashlights to carry with their costume. 
  • Remember to keep all exits clear of decorations so escape routes are not blocked. Also, make sure all smoke alarms are working properly. 

Everyone one is entitled to one good scare on Halloween but let’s keep a house fire out of it. Don’t be haunted with fire damage. Follow these steps to enjoy your spooky season with tricks and treats. 

Your friends at SERVPRO are wishing you a happy and safe Halloween. As always, if the unexpected happens, SERVPRO is here to help with fire and water damage. 

Emergency Fire Damage Process

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

Fire flames. Fire and smoke damage is especially destructive.

Fire and smoke damage is especially destructive. In many cases, your property will also suffer from water damage from firefighting efforts. With our emergency fire damage process, we can get your property back to pre-fire condition “Like it never even happened.” 

One Hour: 

Within one hour from notice of loss, we will contact you to arrange for service. You will know help is on the way! 

Four Hours: 

Within four hours of loss notification, we will be on-site to start mitigation services. The key to reducing damage and saving money is responding quickly to your damage. 

Detailed Explanation: 

A trained, uniformed, and equipped SERVPRO professional will walk you through the job process step-by-step, explaining what to expect and the anticipated outcome. 

Pretesting: 

We will begin pretesting for restorability, working from the source of the damage outward. 

Eight Hours: 

Within eight business hours of on-site arrival, a verbal briefing of scope will be communicated to the appropriate person, normally your adjuster or property manager. 

Cleaning, Restoration, & Deodorization: 

We will work neatly and efficiently to help you regain control of your property when a damaging event has taken over. We use state-of-the-art restoration techniques to ensure your property is taken care of right the first time. 

Final Walk-Through: 

After the work has been completed, a final walk-through will be conducted with you to help ensure your satisfaction. 

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. 

Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today!

9/28/2021 (Permalink)

House decoy on top of maps. When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense.

Each year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designates September as National Preparedness Month to promote the importance of family and community disaster planning. This year’s theme, “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today,” resonates strongly as local communities and communities around the world battle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For disaster mitigation specialists at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights y, the scope and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all aspects of everyday life, health, and well-being have magnified the importance of SERVPRO’s ongoing message to the communities it serves: When disaster strikes, preparedness is the best defense. 

Before COVID-19 exploded into a global crisis, ‘disaster preparedness’ for the everyday home or business owner was largely dictated by the hazards unique to their location or their business. For some, that meant preparing for hurricanes and water damage, for others, tornadoes, flooding, wind damage, or even wildfires. But COVID-19 taught us that everyone – individuals and business owners alike – needs to be prepared for a national emergency that may disrupt food and medical supplies, transportation systems, schools, businesses, and every single aspect of everyday life that we take for granted. We have learned that no matter where you live or work, in addition to your ‘disaster’ preparations, making certain that you have a stock of some basic items on hand can make a huge difference if a national or global event suddenly disrupts – or even stops – everyday life. 

At SERVPRO, we emphasize that everyone still needs to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. FEMA provides easy-to-use disaster planning guidelines at https://www.ready.gov, and home and business owners both can take advantage of free tools like the SERVPRO READY app at https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp. The app stores essential contact and property information electronically where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes. Local business owners can take an additional preparedness step by designating SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights as their disaster mitigation and restoration provider. SERVPRO professionals will conduct a no cost assessment of the facility and assist the owner in completing a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) to be stored in the READY app. 

COVID-19 has taught us we need to rethink and add to our disaster preparedness toolkits. We are all still struggling with a ‘disaster’ that has disrupted not only our lives and our jobs, but our entire community, our society, and the supply chain that we depend on. While in retrospect, the shortages of some of these items have become the stuff of urban legend, it is a good idea to stockpile a supply of items for which there are no easy substitutes. Toilet paper; yeast and flour for breadmaking; detergents; canned foods, fruits, and vegetables; pet foods and cat litter; fresh dairy items; diapers; and a host of other items were in short supply for weeks at the beginning of the crisis. Think back on those weeks and keep a supply of the things that you just don’t want to do without – along with some shelf-stable dairy items, dried beans, and frozen meals. Use them before they expire but be sure to replace them. 

The disaster remediation specialists at SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights extend their sincere sympathy to those who have lost loved ones or have been otherwise affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the Mid-Michigan area commercial and residential customers, SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights continues to specialize in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “Like it never even happened.” 

Mold in Your Commercial Building?

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Mold on a floor. If you think you have mold in your building, you may consider the usual suspects.

Mold just needs two things to grow: water and humidity. It can infest your business in as little as 48 hours and even the tiniest of unchecked leaks can produce an infestation. 

If you think you have mold in your building, you may consider the usual suspects. Mold often shows up in damp, humid places such as basements, attics, and bathrooms. You may discover it under sinks and behind appliances. You also cannot forget to check in air ducts. HVAC cleaning is essential to keeping fungal growth at bay. If you neglect this duty, you could soon discover a mold infestation. 

What Causes Mold Growth 

Mold spores travel in through the air but can make their way into office buildings through doors and windows as well as on people who come inside. Mold becomes visible and spreads when the following conditions are present: 

  • There is standing water 
  • There are damp areas in the building 
  • There is poor airflow 

Mold and Your HVAC System 

If you smell a foul odor in the air ducts of your office, mold could be the culprit. Not only can this fungus develop where there is water, but it can also collect on dust. It is common for dust to gather in the HVAC ducts. The challenge is, you will not be able to see the mold inside the duct work, so you will have to pay attention to smells and whether the system is not working efficiently. 

Here to Help 

HVAC cleaning is the most effective way to eliminate mold from your heating and cooling system. Your best move is to hire an experienced mold remediation company to tackle this job. The professionals have the knowledge, training, and tools to remove dust from the ducts and thus get rid of accompanying mold. You should focus on cleaning vents in your building at least once a year, especially if you have had mold in the past. 

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.” 

Commercial Biohazard

9/24/2021 (Permalink)

Tech carrying a red can with the biohazard logo on it. Whether it is blood, fluids, or tissue, our technicians have the tools and equipment to detect every spot, splatter, or shard.

At SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights, we understand that any type of exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose some serious health threats and consequences. In a commercial setting, any type of sewage backup, blood cleanup or even chemical spill can place YOU and all the occupants of the area at risk. Upon recognizing the situation, your primary focus should be safety. If you ever have a biohazard, follow these tips to keep you and everyone in your commercial building safe. 

What to Do After a Contamination 

  • Stay out of affected areas. 
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening. 
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated. 
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage. 

What Not to Do After a Contamination 

  • Do not leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods. 
  • Do not leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors. 
  • Do not use your household vacuum to remove water. 
  • Do not use television or other household appliances. 
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging. 

Whether it is blood, fluids, or tissue, our technicians have the tools and equipment to detect every spot, splatter, or shard. Biohazard cleanups are the hardest cleanup sites we face as industry experts. But rest assured when SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights has completed the cleaning, your property will be restored to a safe and healthy environment. 

Prepare for Storms!

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Dark clouds and lightning in a landscape. Storms can be dangerous weather events that leave destruction to your property as well as cause injuries and occasionally even death.

Michigan is known for its constant changes in weather, making our homes an easy target for storm damage. Storms can be dangerous weather events that leave destruction to your property as well as cause injuries and occasionally even death. Below is a checklist to make sure your home and family are best prepared for any storms, so that you, your loved ones, and your home can stay safe. 

Prepare a storm shelter. 

Include essential supplies such as food, water, a first aid kid, flashlights, and batteries to last a few days in the case of a severe storm or tornado. 

Clear branches and dead trees around your home. 

The high-speed wind of storms can send dead branches or even trees crashing through your windows, siding, and roof. Clearing these objects away from your house is an easy way to make sure they do not cause any damage. 

Secure outside objects 

The benefits of technology include having weather apps and stations that give us warning before a storm arrives. If a bad one is coming up, move large outdoor objects inside to prevent damage to your house and those objects. 

Document your valuable items. 

Take pictures of valuable items that you can use to show insurance later. If they are damaged or lost in the storm, you have better luck with your claim if you have documentation. Include date of purchase and purchase amount if you have that as well. Bonus points for saving receipts! 

Protect Your Pets! 

When preparing for storms, oftentimes pets are forgotten about. Make sure to have a plan in place for your pets, whether that is in your storm shelter or if that means having them in a separate safe location for when the storm hits. 

Why SERVPRO 

Whether your home or business is affected by storm, or if it’s flood damage, your property needs specialized equipment and techniques to restore it back to its pre-damaged condition. Our technicians have been specially trained to handle these sorts of unique situations to help get your life back to normal as soon as possible. Storm damage can include not only water damage but mold damage, too. It may seem like a daunting challenge to overcome, but we have the resources and tools to restore your home and make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Circuit Overload

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Wire on fire plugged into an outlet. Have you ever plugged in too many devices into one outlet at once?

Have you ever plugged in too many devices into one outlet at once? Everything seemed fined and all of a sudden, the power goes off. You more than likely created a circuit overload in your home. 

All electrical circuits are designed to handle a certain amount of electricity. When you bring in more electricity than a circuit can handle, a circuit overload will occur, potentially causing a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical fires are one of the leading causes of structure fire annually. Which is accounted for nearly 13% of reported home fires and results in 420 fatalities, 1,520 injuries and nearly $1.5 billion in property damage. 

How can you prevent a potential house fire by an overloaded circuit? Follow the tips below: 

  • Never plug more than two devices into an outlet at once. 
  • Know the amount of power you are putting on an outlet or circuit. 
  • Large appliances like refrigerators and dryers should be plugged into their own outlet since they are heavy power users. 
  • If you see that you have been overloading an outlet or circuit in your home, you should consider contacting a professional to help resolve the problem. 

If an electrical fire does occur, we are always here to help 24/7. We specialize in fire and water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive fire damage cleanup and restoration training to get your property back to pre-fire condition. 

For more information about how to prevent electrical fires in your home, visit nfpa.org

Be Prepared for a Fire!

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke coming out of second story house. House fires come when you are least expecting it and can spread quickly throughout your home with little time to escape.

House fires come when you are least expecting it and can spread quickly throughout your home with little time to escape. That is why it is important to create a fire safety plan for you and your loved ones. 

The National Fire Protection Association has very useful tips to help you be prepared if you have a house fire. 

Escape Planning Tips: 

  • Get everyone in your household together to make a plan. Inspect all possible exits and escape routes in your home. If you have children, consider drawing a floor plan of your home, marking two ways out of each room, and mark the locations of smoke alarms. 
  • Install smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside of each bedroom, and on every level of your house. 
  • When walking through your plan, check to make sure your escape routes are clear, and doors and windows can open easily. 
  • Choose an outside meeting place that is a safe distance from your home. 
  • Make sure your street number is clearly visible from the road. If it is not, paint it on the curb or install house numbers to make sure that emergency responder can find your house. 
  • Have everyone in your household memorize the fire departments phone number. 
  • If you have infants, older adults, or family members with mobility limitations in your household, make sure that someone is assigned to help them in a drill and the event of an emergency. 
  • Inform visitors about your fire plan. 
  • Be prepared for a real fire, once you hear smoke alarms, get out immediately. 
  • Once you are out of the house, DO NOT go back in. 

It is always better to be safe than sorry. It is also important to be prepared in an event of a fire. For more information on how to create your fire plan, visit nfpa.org

Preparing Your Summer Home for Cooler Weather

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Large houses on the edge of a lake. Now that summer is sadly coming to an end, it is time to start preparing your vacation home for cooler weather.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make a Plan Today!

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household. 

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

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

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan 

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

Emergency Plan for Parents (PDF) 

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

Learn About Duct Cleaning

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Duct filled with dust. Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.

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

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

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

Our Process: 

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

We Can Help: 

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

Commercial Building Fire? We Can Help!

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Fire damage to a large commercial building. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.

The Right Equipment 

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

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

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

Deodorization Equipment 

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

Fire, Smoke, and Soot Restoration Services 

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

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

Learn About Derechos

8/30/2021 (Permalink)

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

What is a Derecho? 

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

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

How Derechos Form 

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

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

Where Derechos Happen 

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

Derecho Damage 

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

What to Do 

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

The Importance of Smoke Alarms

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

White smoke detector. Smoke alarms save lives every day.

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

Here is what you need to know 

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

Facts about smoke alarms  

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

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

Potential Floods in Your Business

8/25/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

 
Water Supply 

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

Fire Sprinklers 

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

Toilets 

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

Ruptured Pipes 

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

Why SERVPRO 

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

Flood Insurance

8/23/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

3 Things to Consider for Commercial Flood Insurance 

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

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

 
Is Your Building Really at Risk?  

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

Preparing for Back to School

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Staying Home when Appropriate 

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

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette 

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

Cloth Face Coverings 

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

Signs and Messages 

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

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

Floods Strike Everywhere

8/13/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded road. Floods ranks as one of the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United States.

Floods ranks 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. In fact, nearly 25% of last year’s claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in moderate to low-risk communities. According the NFIP, houses in the United States have a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, while businesses face similar risks by flooding. On average, flood cost $6 billion in annual losses in the U.S. The following are a few more little-known flood facts: 

  • Flood kills an average of 140 people per year in the U.S. making flooding the deadliest disaster. 
  • More than half of all fatalities during floods are auto related, often the result of drivers misjudging the depth of water on a road and being swept away in a swiftly moving current. 
  • The principle causes of floods in the eastern United States are hurricanes and storms. 
  • The principle causes of floods in the western United States are snowmelt and rainstorms. 
  • Underpasses can be some of the most dangerous places during a flash flood – especially at night, when it is difficult to see. 

With over 45 years of experience, SERVPRO has restored flood-damaged homes and businesses from coast to coast. Our Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and the highest flood waters. 

Preparing Your Home or Business for Hurricanes

8/11/2021 (Permalink)

Here in Michigan, we obviously do not have to worry about hurricanes. But for those who own vacation homes or have friends/family living in hurricane zones, we have some helpful tips to prepare that you can share. 

Tips from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) for Preparing Your Home or Business for a Hurricane: 

Prepare your Home 

  • Cover all your home’s windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect your windows from high winds. 
  • Plan to bring in all your outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down. 
  • Turn off utilities as instructed. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep doors closed. 
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purposes such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other large containers with water. 

Prepare your Business 

  • Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. 
  • Identify operations critical to survival and recovery. 
  • Plan what you will do if your building, is not accessible. 
    • Consider if you can run the business from a different location or from your home. 
    • Develop relationships with other companies to use their facilities in case a disaster makes your location unusable. 

Learn About Desiccants

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO desiccants. At SERVPRO we use a variety of drying equipment to restore water damaged materials your Michigan property back to preloss conditions.

At SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights we use a variety of drying equipment to restore water damaged materials your Michigan property back to preloss conditions. One piece of equipment that excels at large loss drying is the desiccant dehumidifier. 

A desiccant dehumidifier has a moisture absorbing wheel inside the unit. The wheel is made of silica gel – which is the desiccant (drying) element. Air enters the unit through an opening and travels through the silica gel impregnated wheel. When the air reaches the other side of the wheel it is dry and pushed out of the unit by a high static blower. 

The process is as follows: 

  • Dehumidifiers absorb moisture from the air into desiccant materials. 
  • The air to be dried, or processed, is ducted through the rotor in one air stream. 
  • The rotor brings the moist desiccant to the reactivation air stream to heat it up. 
  • Moisture is expelled from the desiccant material as water vapor. 
  • Moist, warm air is ducted outdoors. 
  • The separate air streams move in different directions, blowing any debris away from the processed air. 
  • Dried processed air is circulated back into the area. 

Desiccant dehumidifiers range in size and configuration dramatically. They can be as small as a suitcase or as large as two semi tractor-trailers. Large desiccants are often self-contained dehumidification systems, utilizing onboard generators and running on propane or diesel fuel. When large catastrophic events occur, such as hurricanes or floods, large desiccants can provide a way of dehumidification when little or no power is available. 

If you experience water damage in your home or business, a desiccant dehumidifier might be used, depending on the extent of water damage. Here at SERVPRO we specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage restoration training, and our process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end. 

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned - A New Way of Cleaning

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned sticker on business window. Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchisees perform requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services.

Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchisees perform requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services to the properties identified below. Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned program ranges from standard to enhanced services and are intended to limit the survival and spread of emerging viral pathogens. 

 Standard services focus on cleaning and disinfectant application to frequently contacted touchpoints such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, and desks. Enhanced services build upon standard services by adding cleaning and disinfectant application to less frequently contacted touchpoints such as the front, sides, and backs of desks, counters, tables, vanities, or equipment. We will work with you to identify specific surfaces for cleaning and disinfectant application. 

The cleaning will remove dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces and applying a liquid disinfectant will aid in killing germs on surfaces. Please keep in mind that porous surfaces, such as carpets, cannot be truly disinfected; but they can be sanitized, which reduces but does not necessarily eliminate all the contaminants on a treated surface. 

Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned services exclude cleaning of ceilings or ceiling-mounted fixtures; inventory or retail merchandise; inside of cabinets, filing cabinets, desk drawers, refrigerators, ranges, microwaves, lockers or electronic items; food-related items, condiments, kitchen food boxes, kitchen food bags, kitchen food containers, beverages or anything that will be consumed by the public, unless agreement is made prior to beginning services. 

While no service can guarantee that all pathogens will be eliminated, our service is most effective on clean surfaces. CDC recognizes that cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. We will not replace your current cleaning crew or janitorial service, but rather supplement your current cleaning efforts. 

A SERVPRO® franchise professional will work with you to determine and obtain agreement on a specific scope of work and pricing prior to the start of services. We will follow the CDC’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. We will also follow state or local health department recommendations and protocols, if applicable. If you believe the facility and/or situation requires a more specific protocol, you are encouraged to hire an industrial hygienist to write a protocol for us to follow. 

Currently there are no disinfectants that have been tested specifically for this emerging viral pathogen. The CDC is recommending an EPA-registered disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to SARS-CoV-2. The disinfectants the workers will use meet the criteria. The EPA also publishes a list of disinfectants that have been approved for emergent pathogen claims. Product information can be found in Technical Data and Safety Data Sheets, available upon request. 

While we will follow recognized industry and CDC standards to clean and disinfect, due to the nature of certain surfaces, we cannot provide assurances that all pathogens will be eliminated, including coronaviruses. Of course, any area may be infected later if exposed to someone who is contagious with any pathogen. It is important that you continue to follow CDC’s recommendations found on their website. For example, it is important that you continue to perform routine environmental cleaning, including routinely cleaning with effective and approved cleaning agents. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. In addition, provide disinfectant wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be cleaned before each use. 

For more information on our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, give us a call at 586-480-2400! 

Unexpected Fire Hazards in Your Home

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

A house on fire. Some of the most dangerous fire hazards in your home are completely unexpected and are things you might not think about daily.

Some of the most dangerous fire hazards in your home are completely unexpected and are things you might not think about daily. Not all fire hazards are so predictable like leaving a candle unattended or smoking inside your house. The lesser-known fire hazards are just as troubling than most common ones because you do not see them coming until it is too late. 

Here are some unexpected fire hazards in your home that you should pay attention to: 

  • Dryer lint – Excessive heat and lint buildup is just asking for trouble. It is important to clean the dryer vent and exhaust duct regularly. 
  • Dust – Dust can be a fire hazard if it collects near floor heaters, electronics and sockets. If sparks fly, dust piles can ignite and start a house fire. Be sure to look under appliances and remove dust buildup. 
  • Gas water heater – Clothes piled too close to a gas water heater can ignite when the water heater comes on. 
  • Laptops – Laptops running for long periods of time tend to get hot. A hot laptop that is left on a bed, couch, blanket or other soft surfaces can prevent air flow in and out of the cooling vents. This can produce enough heat to ignite and start a fire. 
  • Crumbs in the toaster – Have you checked your toaster crumbs recently? As crumbs pile up on the bottom, a spark can easily catch fire and start a flame that catches on to items surrounding the toaster. 
  • Leaves in gutters – Allowing leaves to gather up in your gutters or bushes to over grow can cause a major fire risk. Be sure to clean your gutters and your lawn regularly to reduce the risk of a fire. 

An unexpected fire is devastating and can destroy your home along with your personal belongs. Be proactive in protecting your home from a fire hazard. Be alert and check your house routinely. If the unimaginable ever does happen, we are always ready to help. 

Ways To Protect Your Home Against Flood Damage

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded kitchen. Dealing with flood water can be a time-consuming mess.

Living in Michigan means knowing that flood water can easily rise, turning your home into a flooded building that needs extensive repairs by a water remediation and restoration partner. Although flooding from a burst pipe or flash flood can come on quickly, if your home is better prepared, the damage may be minimized. Below are five ways to be ready for unexpected water. 

Install a Sump Pump 

Sump pumps are installed in a pit in the lowest part of the home, such as the basement or crawlspace, and are designed to prevent water from entering the home. They automatically work to pump water out when it rises to a certain level. 

Raise Electric Components 

Along with water damage, flooding also creates potential fire hazard situations. It is recommended that wiring, outlets, sockets, and other electrical components be at least 12 inches above the structure’s projected flood elevation. A licensed electrician can raise them to meet those requirements. 

Waterproof Basements 

An easy way to keep basements dry is to regularly maintain outside the home. Along with keep gutters and drains free of debris, verifying the property slopes, and properly diverts water can keep water flowing away from the home. 

Keep Supplies On-hand 

Flood water can come on fast and rapidly rise. If you know you have foundation issues or have not cleaned the gutters yet, keeping supplies, such as sandbags and tarps, on-hand can minimize the amount of water entering the home. 

Maintain a Checklist 

Even if you are prepared, sometimes Mother Nature does not care. When that happens, it is important that everyone in the home knows what to do and precautions are taken to minimize damage. The checklist should be easily accessible and include items such as disconnecting appliances and turning off the main power, gas line, and water supply. 

Dealing with flood water can be a time-consuming mess. While total prevention may not be possible, being prepared can minimize damage. If you happen to have flood damage, we are available 24/7 so that when a disaster strikes, we have your back. 

Microwave Oven Safety

7/26/2021 (Permalink)

Woman's arm with an open microwave door. When not maintained properly, microwaves ovens can become extremely hazardous.

We have all thought about the left-over pizza in our refrigerators and cannot wait to get home to reheat it in a microwave oven. These appliances are great to reheat and enjoy leftovers and other snacks without the hassle of actually cooking them. But did you know that there are potential hazards to microwaves? 

When not maintained properly, microwaves ovens can become extremely hazardous. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 1 in 6 of microwave ovens cause home fires every year. Once a fire is ignited in the microwave, it can quickly catch the whole appliance on fire. This can lead to the fire spreading to other areas of your kitchen and potentially your whole house. These fires can cause an annual average of 10 deaths, 150 injuries, and around $31 million in property damage. 

To prevent potential, follow these tips below: 

  • Purchase a microwave oven that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Make sure to complete and return the product registration card. This way the manufacturer can reach you if there is a recall on the product. 
  • Make sure children are supervised when using microwaves. 
  • Plug the microwave oven directly into the wall outlet – never use an extension cord. 
  • Make sure the microwave oven is at a safe height, within easy reach of all users. 
  • Open food slowly, away from the face. Hot steam or the food itself can cause burns. 
  • Food heats unevenly in microwave ovens. Stir and test before eating or giving to children. 
  • Never heat a baby bottle in the microwave. 
  • Clean regularly. 

If a fire happens to break out, follow these steps: 

  • Leave the door to the microwave closed. 
  • Turn the microwave off and unplug it from the wall. 
  • Call the fire department immediately. 

Home fires happen unexpectedly and are can sometimes be out of control. Remember if your home suffers from fire damage, SERVPRO will be ready to help and make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Faster To Any Size Disaster

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team Semi Truck. Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood.

Storms and inclement weather can be devastating to any business. Wind damage, heavy rain, and flooding can occur suddenly and cause substantial damage in a matter of minutes. There is never a convenient time for flooding or storm damage to strike your business. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day, or night. 

Why Choose SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights? 

  • We are Faster to Any Size Disaster: Floods and storms do not wait for normal business hours, and neither do we. You can depend on an immediate response from our highly trained technicians, who are available 24 hours, seven days a week. 
  • We're Highly Trained Storm Damage Specialists: As leaders in the storm and water damage industry, we have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-storm condition. 
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician 
  • Applied Structural Drying Technicians 
  • We Have the Resources to Handle Storms and Disasters: In addition to our own resources, we can access equipment and personnel from over 1,800 Franchises across the state and country. We can even call upon strategically located Disaster Recovery Teams for catastrophic storms and major events. 

Our Disaster Recovery Team 

Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, we are prepared for the unpredictable. 

With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,800 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include: 

  • 2020 Midland Floods 
  • 2019 Hurricane Dorian 
  • 2018 Hurricane Florence 
  • 2018 Hurricane Michael 
  • 2017 California wildfires 
  • 2017 Hurricane Irma 
  • 2017 Hurricane Harvey 
  • 2016 Hurricane Matthew 
  • 2015 Carolina floods 
  • 2014 Polar Vortex 
  • 2012 Sandy 
  • 2010 Nashville floods 
  • 2008 Ike 
  • 2007 Chicago floods 
  • 2007 Ohio floods 
  • 2007 California wildfires 
  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita 

Should a storm or major event strike, we will make it “Like it never even happened.” Call 586-480-2400, we are always here to help! 

Biohazard Emergency Tips for Your Business

7/16/2021 (Permalink)

Biohazard sign on red garage door. Biohazard contaminants should be considered very dangerous as they can pose a serious health risk to you, your staff, and your customers.

Biohazard contaminants should be considered very dangerous as they can pose a serious health risk to you, your staff, and your customers. Sewer backups and flood water are two common biohazard scenarios that can affect businesses. SERVPRO of Saginaw / Bay City has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to safely clean and restore this type of contamination to get your business back up and running! 

After any biohazard or sewage contamination in your business, your primary focus should be safety: 

  • Is it safe to stay in your business? 
  • Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences. 
  • Flood water can contain sewage, pesticides, and other contaminants. 
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. 

What to Do After a Contamination 

  • Stay out of affected areas. 
  • Call emergency service personnel if the situation is life-threatening. 
  • Treat all bodily fluids as if they are contaminated. 
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is sewage damage. 

What Not to Do After a Contamination 

  • Do not leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods. 
  • Do not leave books, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpet or floors. 
  • Do not use your vacuum or other appliances to remove water. 
  • Do not use television or other appliances. 
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging. 

We Are Here to Help 24/7 

Biohazards like flood water or sewer backups should be considered an emergency and dealt with as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights has water damage restoration specialists and has specific training and expertise to safely remediate biohazard contaminants. 

We Specialize in Cleanup and Restoration!

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded basement. If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your basement could flood, including:  

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe 
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home 
  • Storm sewer backup 
  • Sanitary sewer backup 
  • Foundation drainage failure 
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure 
  • And many more 

Have questions about basement flooding? Call today at 586-480-2400. 

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get. 

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals. 

We are Flooded Basement Specialists: 

  • We are available 24 hours a day / 7 days per week 
  • We’re a preferred vendor to many national insurance companies 
  • We bill the insurance directly – one less thing for you to worry about 
  • Our technicians are highly trained in water restoration techniques 
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards 
  • Advanced inspection and extraction equipment 

Basement flooded? Call us today at 586-480-2400. We are ready to help!  

Bonfire Safety

7/14/2021 (Permalink)

Burning logs. Any open flame is a potential risk for a disaster.

Cozy, cool nights spent by the fire with friends and family while roasting marshmallows and enjoying each other’s presence is a recipe for a good night. All while maintaining 6 ft a part of course! 

Surrounding a campfire with loved ones creates special memories that you can cherish forever. Let us continue to create these memories by practicing bonfire safety! 

Starting the Fire: 

  • Make sure your fire pit is enclosed and there is enough room for a seating area 
  • Make sure that your bonfire is 10 ft away from your home or any structures 
  • Do not use gasoline or lighter fluid to start or relight the bonfire 

Bonfire Safety: 

  • Keep a bucket of water or hose handy in case of emergencies 
  • Do not leave bonfire unattended 
  • Keep children and pets away from the bonfire 
  • Do not throw fireworks into the bonfire 
  • Do not burn aerosols or anything that may produce toxic fumes or explode 

Putting Out the Fire: 

  • Use a shovel to spread out the ashes to let them cool down. Slowly pour water over the ashes and check to be sure that the fire is completely out 

Any open flame is a potential risk for a disaster. So next time you are planning a bonfire, use these tips to ensure everyone’s safety. As always, we are ready for whatever happens. If your bonfire gets out of hand and causes fire damage, you know we will be there to help! 

Keep Up with Your Business Carpet Cleaning

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

Carpet being cleaned. Cleaning your carpets at least twice a year can help preserve the life of your carpets and keep your building looking clean and smelling fresh.

Being a local independently owned franchise, we understand the challenges of owning a small business. Keeping a commercial space clean can be a big challenge but it needs to be done. First impressions are very important, and you don't want to turn customers off because your store has filthy carpets. Nobody wants to eat in a restaurant that has dirty carpets or upholstery 

We can take care of those things for you. Cleaning your carpets at least twice a year can help preserve the life of your carpets and keep your building looking clean and smelling fresh. We clean several businesses through-out the West Sterling Heights area already. Churches, nursing homes, senior living communities and apartment complexes use us regularly to keep the carpets in their property looking nice, you should too! Call today at 586-480-2400. 

We Have All Your Commercial Needs!

7/11/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial cleaning crew in commercial building. When you need it done right and done fast, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights.

Ever wonder what SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights can do for your commercial business? No matter the disaster, we can make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration: 

Pretesting helps SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights determine what type of fire has taken place. Knowing the types of smoke and their behavior patterns are vital to proper restoration. 

Water Removal and Dehumidification: 

Our Franchise Professionals identify the source and type of water, which determines the proper course of action. Drying equipment controls temperature and humidity, minimizing secondary damage. 

Air Duct and HVAC Cleaning: 

Our Franchise Professionals can inspect your HVAC system and ductwork. Cleaning services can be provided to help restore peak energy efficiency, eliminate offensive odors and improve indoor air quality. 

Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning and Care: 

SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights Franchise Professionals use the latest IICRC** training as well as state-of-the-art equipment to remove entrapped soils from deep within your carpet’s pile and backings. 

Crime Scene, Biohazard and Vandalism Cleanup: 

Our Franchise Technicians are trained to safely and effectively clean biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

Stain Removal, Stain Resistance Applications: 

Using IICRC standards for carpet as a guide, our Franchise Professionals will show you what cleaning option would be best for your carpet’s level of soiling and explain the benefits of soil protection. 

Mold Mitigation and Remediation: 

SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights work to control and remediate mold contaminants while protecting your health and safety. 

Odor Identification and Deodorization: 

SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights Franchise Professionals will find the source of the odor and determine the best methods to neutralize and eliminate it. 

Contents Claim Inventory Service: 

Accurate inventory helps keep costs low and reduces job completion time. We can provide an itemized, area-by-area loss inventory. 

Upholstery and Drapes: Wet or Dry-Cleaning Methods: 

Fabrics are inspected and tested to determine the safest and most effective cleaning method. 

When you need it done right and done fast, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of West Sterling Heights. Call us today at 586-480-2400. 

Learn About Benefect® Botanical Disinfectant

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Gallon jug of Benefect Botanical Disinfectant. Benefect® is ideal for use in sites such as water damage, sewage back up, mold remediation, fire restoration and trauma scene decontamination.

What is a Botanical Active Ingredient? In nature, plants produce germ-killing “essential oils” to protect themselves from invading microbes, similar to how our bodies produce antibodies for our protection against disease. Benefect® is a revolutionary blend of these antimicrobial extracts, particularly from the herb Thyme. Using these essential oils from plants allows Benefect® to achieve an unprecedented Category IV toxicity rating with a broad-spectrum disinfectant. To put it simply, Benefect® is a “plant immune system in a bottle.” 

Uses: 

  • Water damage & mold 
  • Catastrophic events 
  • Trauma & blood-borne pathogens 
  • Hard surface disinfectant 

Advantages: 

  • Excellent safety profile 
  • Hospital level disinfection for all restoration jobs 
  • OSHA compliant for blood-borne pathogens 
  • EPA registered disinfectant 
  • Ideal for use in schools and day care centers 
  • Outstanding product for “green cleaning” programs 

Benefect® is ideal for use in restoration sites such as water damage, sewage back up, mold remediation, fire restoration and trauma scene decontamination. Effectively eliminates odors produced by odor-causing bacteria, fungi and other organisms on concrete, wood framing and studding, trim and sub-floors. 

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