Recent Posts

Commercial water damage

6/13/2023 (Permalink)

room contents retail space

A new business has opened in St. Joseph, Michigan.  Home furnishings and vintage items for all kinds of reasons.  These owners remodeled a 100 year old brick and cement building for the yesteryear look and feel for customers.  The commercial building is cleaned up inside and out with new paint, walls and decorations.

This beautiful space is dry and ready for the rich seasonal customers.  Let's hope it stays that way.  But we all know that water damage comes in many forms.  From roof leaks during storms or broken pipes under pressure.  Water intrusion can damage drywall, contents and beautifully remodeled spaces.

Be prepared:  Know where your Main Water Shutoff is located and how to turn it off.  Know your plumber or fire suppression contractor in case pipes break.  And keep SERVPRO on speed dial.

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Storm damage

6/13/2023 (Permalink)

Lighthouse Be prepared

Storms come in all shapes and sizes when you live anywhere near Lake Michigan.  Mother nature can kick up some major winds and drenching rains for Berrien County.  New Buffalo seems to have a bullseye on it.

SERVPRO has been helping storm damage victims since 1995.  If a tree falls on your house and breaks the an emergency tree service for removal.  Then call SERVPRO to tarp the roof and clean up any water damage that comes with the storm.

Ground water flooding is also a result of storm damage.  Prepare for this by keeping gutters free of debris and keeping contents off the floor in your basement.  

When you need emergency service to clean up after storms damage your home, call SERVPRO to help return your house to normal.

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Fire and Smoke damage

6/13/2023 (Permalink)

burnt structure When your neighbor burns a brush pile...

Just when you least expect it, FIRE.  This Watervliet homeowner came home to a complete disaster.  His home was in great shape when he left for work that morning.  But conditions were just right for a major disaster.  No rain for 2+ weeks and it was windy that day.  So the neighbor made a poor decision and lit a large brush pile on fire.  It was too close  for the conditions.  

Things happen and then things happen.  It could have been an electrical event or lightning strike.  Nope, it was wind blown sparks from a nearby brush pile.

In this case SERVPRO was authorized to board up the home and work with the insurance carrier to help this homeowner recover.  It takes a village to help with this much damage.  

Please be careful when lighting fires.

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Fire fighters support

6/13/2023 (Permalink)

box of extinguishers Silent auction donation for fire fighters

The Berrien County Firefighters Association and Sheriff's Dept have a wonderful fund raiser every year.  It is a benefit car show for an entire day at  the Saint Joseph, Michigan soccer fields on Maiden Lane.  This annual event raises awareness for fire safety and funds for the departments.

SERVPRO has been supporting both groups since 1995 with money and a major smoke alarm donation each year.  We are proud to sponsor this event.

It is free to the public, with a swap meet, nitro car fireup, food vendors and live music.  There is also a pancake breakfast.

SERVPRO likes to participate in community events that provide support for our emergency responders.  These are the bravest people we know.

Contact us to find out how you can help support them in your own way.  

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Bad crawlspace

2/28/2023 (Permalink)

Debris in crawl Dirty crawl space

What's that terrible smell?  That's what diners at this Stevensville, MI restaurant were thinking when they visited.  Mystery odors can be one of the most difficult things to remediate or eliminate.  Obnoxious odors can generate from many things such as: wet dirt, leaking disposal pipes, cardboard, dead critters, pest excrement...

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping customers clean up crawlspaces since 1995.  The first thing is to identify what the cause is.  Then we remove debris, have broken pipes fixed, dry the area, apply deodorizers and antimicrobial, install 6 mil plastic sheeting to contain moisture in dirt.  Whatever is necessary to make the atmosphere clean and healthy.

When odors affect your building's operational ability there is always a cause that must be discovered and fixed.  

Call the pros at SERVPRO.

Here to Help

House Fire

2/27/2023 (Permalink)

Flames Catastrophic house fire

House fires come in all shapes and sizes.  This fire happened in Stevensville, MI during the dead of winter.  Single digit temperatures and strong winds off Lake Michigan combined to assist this fire in it's total consumption of this shoreline home.

SERVPRO of Berrien County assists Fire Departments in their fire prevention efforts annually.  We provide smoke alarms and prevention tips for residents.  It has been proven that the best defense against house fires is a good offense.  Be careful with lit candles, space heaters and compromised wiring.  Don't walk away from lit candles, keep space heaters at least 3 feet away from flammable items and replace bad wiring.

This fire house had a bad wiring issue that resulted in a total loss.  Luckily nobody was home.

If you experience fire or smoke damage call on SERVPRO for cleanup and repairs.  

Water heater drains

2/27/2023 (Permalink)

Damaged ceiling Water damage from water heater

Water heaters usually hold 40-80 gallons of water at any given time.  And they all malfunction at some point during their serviceable life usually 10-15 years.  But they can fail at any time because the water supply lines are constantly under pressure.  Lines leak, valves break and the water has to go someplace.

This St. Joseph, Michigan condominium ceiling was directly below the upper unit's water heater.  About 60 gallons of water drained into carpeting, padding and the ceiling below.  What you can see is wet drywall, separated tape and bulging paint areas.  These damaged material will be removed and replaced during remediation.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping residents clean up after water damage since 1995.  We are experts at what we do.

Here to Help

Fire and Smoke damage

2/27/2023 (Permalink)

Burnt room, broken window Fire and smoke damage

House fires have the potential to be huge disasters for everybody involved, including pets.  Sometimes the fire is so advanced that the firefighters must work from the outside.  They may need to cut holes in the roof, break down doors and window to put water on the flames.

Benton Harbor, Michigan fires are that same as anywhere else.  Once they get started the flames can be extremely hard to extinguish.  Even a fire in one room can smoke damage the entire home.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping fire victims reclaim their homes and possessions since 1995.  We start by boarding up holes and broken windows.  Then we remove damage contents that can be cleaned.  They are stored at our warehouse.  Then the damaged materials are removed, the areas cleaned and rebuilt.  This all takes time and labor.  Be as patient as possible.  

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Storm damage

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

fallen ceiling and insulation Storm water damage to attic

Summer storms in Southwest Michigan can be very violent with strong winds and heavy rains.  In May of 2022 along the coast of Lake Michigan a condo was severely damaged.  

A large tree limb broke off an enormous tree and crashed into the roof of this St. Joseph condo.  The branch penetrated the roof leaving a huge hole that wind driven rain poured into.  The cellulose insulation became saturated and very heavy.  The drywall ceiling got wet and caved in under the weight of water soaked materials.  

SERVPRO had the tree removed, tarped the hole in the roof and cleaning up the damaged materials.  Then we dried the entire area with dehumidifiers and air movers over a 4 day period.  Remodel came next.

You can count on SERVPRO 24/7 to respond to emergencies like this one.  

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Fire and Smoke

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

burnt insulation Affected materials hold odor.

SERVPRO of Berrien County was called upon to clean up and restore a St. Joseph children's museum after a fire started in the attic.  This tourist attraction will be sorely missed during cleanup and restoration.  

The fire department responded immediately and used water to extinguish the fire.  The entire facility was affected by smoke and water.  Ceilings, insulation, drywall, walls, wood floors, carpeting, fixtures, contents and museum displays.  Most of the affected materials required removal while critical structure was cleaned and sealed for odor control.

Where there is smoke there is fire and odor that will remain until removed through demolition, cleaning and reconstruction.  The picture shows how affected the drywall, paper and insulation is from fire.  All these absorbent materials will hold smoke odor until removed.  

SERVPRO is Here to Help you recover from fire and smoke damage.