What To Do First When Water Damage Strikes Your Home
A SERVPRO employee setting drying equipment on a water mitigation project.
Did you know that 29% of all insurance claims yearly come from water and freezing damage? That gives your home a good chance of experiencing some water damage. Even if it hasn’t happened before, it is essential to be prepared for any possibility. So what do you do when water does strike? Do you call emergency services? Do you call SERVPRO? Well…give us a few moments to answer those questions for you and let you know the most important steps to take to minimize damage.
There are several things to consider when water starts to enter unwanted areas. We’ve listed some of the most important ones down below.
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to do so.
-Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the home when access to the electrical panel is safe from electrical shock.
-Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping or blotting.
-Move any paintings, art, objects, computers, documents, or other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
-Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
-Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
These are six essential things to consider when water infiltrates your home. But the most important of them all is to call your local SERVPRO as soon as you face any water damage. We are open 24/7 and ready to react to emergencies promptly. We have the equipment, the people, and the knowledge to restore your home to the point that it never even happened. We do everything we can to preserve every inch of your home. Our team does the dirty work so that you don’t have to!
The Steps We Take To Restore Your Water-Damaged Home
SERVPRO equipment drying out a trampoline fun center effected by water damage.
Here at SERVPRO, we look to do everything with quality and excellence. Whether it is your business or home, we do everything we can to make it "Like it never even happened." So when it comes to water damage, nothing changes. If your basement floods or a small pipe leaks, we will fix it quickly and efficiently.
Water can quickly destroy parts of your home, especially if not addressed appropriately. So we take the steps needed to restore and protect your property.
- The first thing we do is make sure all water is removed from the affected area so that we can start the drying process. Sometimes that might require using equipment to pump out standing water.
- Sometimes drywall is involved. In that case, we cut 36 in. from the floor and remove the damaged drywall.
- Next, we spray the area with an antimicrobial to kill the spread of bacteria and mold. When carpet is affected, we steam clean it to remove dirt that might still be present from the incident.
- Finally, we set drying equipment in specific locations to remove moisture efficiently, which usually takes at least three days.
Water restoration can be a lengthy process. But we do everything to ensure you don't have to think about your water accident again. We have all-natural chemicals to spray damaged areas and respect your property as if it were our own.
No matter the size of your water damage, we will do everything we can to fix it. We have the equipment, the manpower, and the drive to serve you with everything we have so you don’t have to think about it again. Don't hesitate to contact us at SERVPRO NE Grand Rapids, Ionia & Montcalm Counties, and Big Rapids/Fremont. We're available 24/7 and here to make it like it never happened.
How Damaging Can Water Be to Your Home?
Water can be devastating.
Family and friends love to enjoy the pleasures of water together at all times of the year. Whether it be a summer day on Lake Michigan, or a ski trip to Northern Michigan. Water is something we all love in all forms. But we know that too much of it can cause problems. Water damage to your home or business needs to be remedied quickly with the least downtime to your daily business functions.
If not addressed quickly, water damage can be catastrophic to your home or business. A storm, flood, or plumbing problem can leave your home with extensive water damage. Damage can come from clogged gutters, clogged drains, exposed water supply lines, leaking water pipes, faulty appliances, and septic tank overflow.
Whether it’s from large amounts of rain, busted pipes, or clogged toilets, when water seeps into your home's infrastructure, it can become hazardous and costly. Current statistics for 2022 say that on any given day, water damage emergencies affect upwards of 14,000 people and household water damage costs $20 billion annually. (iPropertyManagement.com).
Water damage can also ruin standard house systems like electric and plumbing, resulting in thousands of dollars of remodeling if not taken care of appropriately. Mold is a secondary result of water damage inside a home. The mold that grows due to excess moisture can become a health threat to you and your loved ones causing significant respiratory issues.
Calling your local SERVPRO promptly when your home experiences water damage is the best way to limit further damage and preserve the health of the people you love. We’ll work closely with you to cause as little disruption to your home or business as possible.
No matter the size or type of water damage, we have the experience and equipment to deal with it. SERVPRO techs are professionally trained and will make it "Like it never even happened."
The Importance of Planning for Storms
Without warning, nature can take a violent turn. Rain, wind, fire, and snow can lead to major damage leaving you uncertain and overwhelmed by these destructive storms.
Did you know that every year over 3,500 people die in America from natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes? Economic losses due to natural disasters reach 1 billion dollars. These are staggering statistics, so it is essential to have a plan in case the unexpected happens.
As dangerous as storms can be, you must have a plan on how to react. Here are three steps to stay safe during a natural disaster.
- Create an emergency care kit that includes necessary food, water, batteries, flashlights, and any other items that might be helpful to you and your family during a storm.
- Check to ensure emergency equipment is in proper working order: test generators, flashlights, radios, and battery packs. Check to see that storm shutters and windows close and lock properly.
- Take an inventory of your personal belongings to ensure that you have enough property insurance to replace any possessions. Taking an inventory will also speed up the insurance claim and recovery process. Take pictures and write down descriptions of your items.
Each of these steps will put you and your family in a better position to endure a storm that could occur in the future. Make sure that everyone in your family understands and knows the plan. Preparation is the key to good outcomes, which is why it is wise to prepare for anything.
Here at SERVPRO, we do everything we can to protect you, your family, and your belongings from the devastating effects of storms. Not only are our employees professionally trained, but we are available 24/7 and can react to your emergency quickly and efficiently. Don't hesitate to call us. We're right here to make it like it never happened.
SERVPRO NE Grand Rapids’ Response to Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian approaching Florida as a category 4 storm.
Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, as a category 4 storm. It ripped through the Fort Myers area with wind speeds up to 150 mph. After the storm made landfall, millions of Floridians quickly experienced widespread damage, including power outages and extreme flooding. Families were trapped in their homes due to fallen trees and debris. Sunday night's death toll had risen to at least 62 individuals. Search and rescue missions quickly went into action to find missing people. This storm has quickly become one of the most devastating hurricanes to have ripped through the state of Florida in recent memory.
SERVPRO reacted quickly to the news of storm damage by activating hundreds of storm teams and sending them to help the most affected areas. Franchise teams packed up all the necessary trucks, machinery, and equipment to appropriately deal with the water and storm damage. Our SERVPRO Grand Rapids NE franchise loaded up as soon as possible and began the twenty-hour drive from Michigan, even driving through several feet of water to reach their final destination in South Florida. They arrived Friday night and have already been helping to mitigate water damage caused by the flood waters in schools, homes, and businesses.
Our teams are highly trained and equipped with the proper hardware to complete the mitigation process efficiently. SERVPRO's storm teams are prequalified to address the damage and ready to help you navigate the insurance claims process coordinating necessary paperwork. We're standing by to walk alongside you.
We know that storms can be devastating. You can trust our storm recovery teams to help get you back in your home or business as quickly as possible. We serve so that you can get back on your feet quickly because no one should go through a natural disaster alone. We are only one call away and available 24/7. Disasters strike at a moment's notice, and we are here to help make storm damage like it never happened.
North Grand Rapids Water Damage and Mold Remediation Project
Technicians spraying chemicals on damaged areas of a basement.
Surprisingly, water damage is not just caused by a flood or a busted pipe. Many homes need mold remediation due to high levels of humidity, roof and foundation leaks, and even from overflowing washing machines.
Since mold spores are microscopic, they can float in the air and enter through windows, doors, and even HVAC systems. They can even come into your home with clothing and pets. Without being addressed, mold can spread and cause prolonged health problems.
Recently, our team took on a mold and water damage remediation project in northern Grand Rapids, Michigan, dealing with high humidity levels causing persistent mold growth. Our team went to work using SERVPRO's specific procedures to remove the mold and prevent further damage.
Water and Mold Remediation Process
- First, we started by HEPA vacuuming all the wood framing in the damaged location to remove the mold particles. HEPA vacuums remove 99.9% of airborne pollutants.
- Then we sprayed the damaged area with a pet and kid-friendly chemical that kills the mold and prevents it from growing back and spreading to other places around the house.
- From there, we set up drying equipment for several days to remove the air's moisture and fully dry the damaged structures from the original water.
- Finally, we used a stronger than bleach chemical called MMR to clean the affected areas and remove any stains from the damaged areas.
This week-long process makes surfaces look like the mold never even happened.
When to Call About a Water or Mold Problem
If your home or business begins to smell musty and feel damp or wet, or if anyone starts to show prolonged allergic symptoms in your home, call us to diagnose the issue and determine the best action plan to resolve your mold issues.
Mold can pose dangerous health problems to you and your loved ones. Be proactive and take care of your mold damage at the onset before it causes more significant issues down the road. If you have a mold problem, call us at (616) 647-4300.
Emergency Response Plan in Case of Fire
This house fire not only damaged the inside of the home, but it also destroyed the garage and the vehicles in it.
Did you know that in only 3 ½ minutes, a fire in your home or business can reach up to 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit? They can kill people in the building within minutes. Fires are extremely dangerous, causing danger to life, expensive damage repair, and cleanup costs.
Stay ahead of unexpected events with an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP). When disaster strikes, be prepared. An ERP is an in-depth plan created by one of our SERVPRO representatives for your business. It contains all the essential information needed to respond to an emergency quickly. This plan allows our team at SERVPRO to start the mitigation project so your business gets back on its feet. These plans are tailored to your facility with access to an app to feature the emergency process and contact information.
An ERP is a no-cost assessment of your facility with a profile document that contains critical information. It's a short time to complete, but it will save time and effort over the long haul.
An ERP contains information such as insurance, subcontractor contacts, primary on-site maintenance contact, and an in-depth building description of where control panels, fire extinguishers, etc., are located. We'll give you a guide to getting back into your building after a fire and help you identify the line of command for authorizing mitigation work.
These plans are vital for your business to ensure safety and minimize damage and losses. With an Emergency Readiness Plan, you'll know what to do in case of disaster and avoid any interruption to your business.
Having a plan will give you and your employees peace of mind. The consultation and plan are free. You can download the "SERVPRO Ready Plan" mobile app on your iPhone or Android device. Learn more about the app here.
Give our SERVPRO NE Grand Rapids office a call to set up an ERP appointment for all your properties today!
Flood Preparation for Commercial Buildings
A flood can severely impact your business!
As far as natural disasters are concerned, flooding can be among the costliest. While you cannot always determine when a flood is going to happen, it is useful to take preventative measures. This will not only help keep your employees safe, but it will help protect your business and profit.
Contact a Mitigation Company
Have a mitigation company in mind before you end up with a flood on your hands. After a flood, it is better to have a professional service to call as soon as possible. They will be able to assess the damage done to your building and put forth a restoration plan. They will also be able to deal with dangerous black water. In contacting a professional, you are more likely to have your business up and running quickly.
Utilize Date and Cloud Backups
After the flooding occurs, you might not have time to save your electronics. While you may have time to elevate your computers and electronics, there is also a chance the flood waters could rise above them. Your computers store valuable information for your business, from important financial information to personal employee information. You should have a plan in place in case your computer systems are destroyed. Utilizing data and cloud backups allows you to have access to the information from anywhere.
Have a Continuity Plan
After a flood, your business may have to close for a length of time. It is good to have a continuity plan in place. You should determine what equipment is needed to keep your business running outside of the building. This could be as simple as answering phones or as complex as distributing your product. All of your important files should be located off-site as well.
You can't always stop flooding from occurring. However, you can make sure that despite extensive flood damage you can still restore your building, and continue with your business going forward.
Emergency Ready Program (ERP)
Is your business ready for a disaster?
What is an ERP and how can it benefit your business in the event of an emergency?
ERP, which stands for "Emergency Ready Profile" is a service that SERVPRO provides and is 100% free! What's the catch you ask? That's the best part, there is no catch! We take your emergency needs very seriously in the event of a disaster, and with that comes a great sense of responsibility to get your business back up and running as soon as possible! The latest research shows that up to 50% of businesses close down following a disaster. The majority of businesses that survive have a readiness or preparedness plan in place. It's like having an insurance policy for your peace of mind. When your business is ready for whatever disaster may strike, no matter how your business was affected, your clients don't have to be.
Having a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile in place can greatly minimize interruptions to your business. When you know what to do in advance, the result is mitigation in a timely fashion. It can assist in limiting fire and water damage.
Having an Emergency Ready Profile in place is a simple process
We will come to you and do a no cost evaluation of your facility/business
This is a great value and is completely free to you!
A detailed document that contains crucial information required in case of an emergency
It will not take much time at all and should not disrupt your normal operations, but will save you valuable time if ever needed.
Instructions that will help you get back in to your facility as soon as possible
When you have an immediate plan of action it can greatly minimize the length at which your business is inactive
You have the premiere Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration company ready to spring into action
Confidence of knowing that an industry leader is close by and ready to serve you.
Establishes a chain of command authorizing work to begin
Crucial in saving time so we can begin work of mitigating the damage which in the end saves you money
Important details of your facility, where are all the shut-offs, areas of priority, and main contact information.
Having this information in place is crucial! Knowing where all the shut off valves are, areas of concern, and who to contact make all the difference in the world when disaster strikes!
Ready to put your "Emergency Ready Profile" In place? Give us a call!
16 firework safety tips!
Make sure to keep a safe distance from the fireworks!
The National Council on Fireworks Safety’s (NCFS) mission is to educate the public on the safe use of fireworks and encourages consumers to follow the following safety tips before engaging in fireworks celebrations:
1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
2. Know your fireworks – Read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
3. A responsible adult should supervise all firework activities. Never give fireworks to children.
4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix. Save your alcohol for after the show.
5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
7. Do not hold a fireworks item in your hand.
8. Use fireworks outdoors in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
9. Never relight a “dud” firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water before you discard it.
10. After purchasing fireworks, always store them in a cool, dry place.
11. When using fireworks always have a connected hose, bucket of water, or another water source nearby.
12. Never carry fireworks in your pocket or shoot them into metal or glass containers.
13. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
14. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place them in a metal trashcan away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
15. Ensure all pets and animals are away from fireworks noise.
16. With the rise in stress-related disorders affecting American servicemen and women pay special consideration to individuals who may be sensitive to loud noises in proximity to your fireworks show.
If you have any questions regarding how to properly use fireworks we encourage you to consult your local dealer.
About The National Council on Fireworks Safety – The National Council on Fireworks Safety is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about the safe and responsible enjoyment of consumer fireworks. For more information, visit http://www.fireworkssafety.org.
Stay safe this summer and 4th of July, and if a firework accident leaves your home with fire damage make sure to give us a call!