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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Water damaged basement

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water damaged basement Water is extracted and antimicrobial is applied to affected areas of structure.

With over 40 years of experience, SERVPRO professionals have restored flood-damaged homes and businesses from coast to coast.  SERVPRO'S disaster recovery team is equipped to handle the largest storms and the highest flood waters.

If water damages your home or business, call SERVPRO of Berrien County  269-925-6841.

Even minor floods or heavy rains have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task.  The SERVPRO system is prepared to handle any size disaster and lelp make it "Like it never even happened."

If  flood damage is not promptly mitigated, lingering moisture from floodwater may elevate the risk of mold growth.  SERVPRO can properly remediate mold damage in your home.

Water damaged business from clean water.

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water damaged business from clean water. Pipe fittings failed allowing hundreds of gallons of water to flood this business.

Benton Harbor, MI.

Water damage from clean water.  These pipes had some corrosion on multiple fittings which caused this flooding.

  What to do?

- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified plumber to stop the water source.

- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building.

- Call SERVPRO of Berrien County for mitigation.

- Remove as much excess water as possible.

- Place foil, plastic or wood blocks under furniture legs to stop staining.

- Remove contents that are sensitive to moisture to a dry, safe place.

- Hang drapes with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting of floors.

- Do Not enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

- Do Not leave books, magazines, oriental rugs or other colored items on carpeting that could stain.

SERVPRO of Berrien County 269-207-4009

Fire damage to your Michigan home.

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Niles, New Buffalo, Stevensville, Bridgman, Buchanan, Eau Claire, Watervliet, Coloma

More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else. In 2011, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,300 home fires that caused:

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

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

Unattended Cooking

is the leading cause of kitchen fires

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

Stay Alert

to avoid stirring up trouble

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

Hot Tips

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

Flammable Objects

Keep away from the stove

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

Be Ready

to react fast to a cooking fire

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

If you do have a problem in the kitchen or any other room in the house give SERVPRO of Berrien County a call.  We will clean up all Fire, Smoke and water damage. 

Niles, Michgian water damage from fire.

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Niles, Michgian water damage from fire. Apartment Fire with water

Fire and water damage events at  commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Berrien County 269-925-6841

SERVPRO  specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Niles, MI flooding

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Niles, MI flooding Flooded St. Joe river in Niles, MI

Feb 23, 2018 Berrien County, MI had frozen ground, 18" of snow, high river and lake levels.  Then it rained for three days with warm temps.  The entire county was flooded because the water had nowhere to drain properly.  Businesses, trailer parks, entire river communities.  Thousands of people were affected and had evacuate until the water levels receded.  For many it was days or weeks.  Lives and jobs are greatly affected by mother nature.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County is trained to help flood victims cleanup and restore commercial properties. A strip mall within 200 yards of this river needed steam cleaning, sanitizing, dry out, demolition of affected materials and some remodeling.  Business must go on and SERVPRO is ready to help.

When your needs are extreme, call

SERVPRO at 269-926-6841 

Berrien County, MI flooding

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Berrien County, MI flooding Front St. between Wonderland Theater and the Save-A-Lot strip mall. Feb 26, 2018

Feb 22, 2018 Berrien County, MI had frozen ground, 18" of snow, high river and lake levels.  Then it rained for three days with warm temps.  The entire county was flooded.  Businesses, trailer parks, entire river communities.  Thousands of people were affected and had evacuate until the water levels receded.  For many it was days or weeks.  The water was so deep in many areas that the Utility companies shut off gas and electric.  Then sump pumps didn't work without a generator.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is trained to help flood victims cleanup and restore commercial properties. Affected buildings needed steam cleaning, sanitizing, dry out, demolition of affected materials and some remodeling.  Business must go on and SERVPRO is ready to help.

When your needs are extreme, call

SERVPRO at 269-926-6841 

Niles, MI flooding

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Niles, MI flooding St. Joseph river flooding, Niles, MI

Winter 2018 Berrien County, MI had frozen ground, 18" of snow, high river and lake levels.  Then it rained for three days with warm temps.  The entire county was flooded.  These Niles, MI businesses were all flooded.  Businesses close until water recedes and cleanup/remodel is finished.  It is a great financial hardship because so few have flood insurance.  All repairs are out of pocket.  SERVPRO helps businesses return to normal operations quickly.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is trained to help flood victims cleanup and restore commercial properties. The strip mall in this picture needed steam cleaning, sanitizing, dry out, demolition of affected materials and some remodeling.  Business must go on and SERVPRO is ready to help.

When your needs are extreme, call

SERVPRO at 269-926-6841 

When the flood water recedes...

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial When the flood water recedes... Cat 3 water in a business by the river.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 269-925-6841

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Berrien County has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Berrien County

SERVPRO  specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Water damaged business

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water damaged business Flood goo.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Berrien County provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Berrien County arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 269-925-6841

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Berrien County. SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Community Service with Fire Dept

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Community Service with Fire Dept St. Joseph Fire Dept has free smoke alarms.

SERVPRO gives back to the community.

For the past 10 years SERVPRO of Berrien County has provided free smoke alarms to fire departments for distribution to residents.  The fire dept will even install them for residents.  

Why do we do this?  Because we believe in fire prevention.  We clean up after fires but also help before the fire.  Smoke alarms are probably the most important safety item a home can have.  They save lives by helping residents escape before its too late.  

Each October SERVPRO distributes 1,000 smoke alarms to Berrien County Fire Departments.  This quantity usually lasts all year.  This is a community service SERVPRO provides.  Check with your local Berrien County, MI fire dept for smoke alarms.  They are always willing to help keep you safe.

Backside of moldy cabinets

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Backside of moldy cabinets A perfect wet and warm place for mold to grow.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 269-925-6841

Backside of moldy cabinets

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Backside of moldy cabinets A perfect wet and warm place for mold to grow.

SERVPRO of Berrien County cleans up mold.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 269-925-6841

HVAC Cleaning

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation HVAC Cleaning Mold spores can exist in the HVAC system. Have them cleaned and sanitized.

SERVPRO of Berrien County can clean your HVAC duct work and sanitize it.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 269-925-6841

Is it mold or not?

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Is it mold or not? This house was tested for possible mold. SERVPRO is remediating.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Berrien County for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Berrien County specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 269-925-6841

How to maintain your sump pump.

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to maintain your sump pump. Sump pump

If your home has a wet basement, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that more than 60 percent of homes have issues with water in the basement.A sump pump can be an effective option for preventing water damage. Installed in a pit in the basement, these units sense when the water from rain or snow melt is rising in the pit and approaching the floor level. The incoming water is then pumped outside before it can damage the home or its furnishings.Sump pumps are relatively low-maintenance devices, but you can help keep your unit operational by inspecting it regularly. Steps in a regular maintenance program can include:

  • Checking the discharge line to make sure it is not stopped up or frozen. If necessary, unclog the air vent hole in the line.
  • Checking the inlet screen to ensure that it’s not clogged with residue and debris. Do this three or four times per year.
  • Making sure the float component is unobstructed and can move smoothly.
  • Scanning the pit and removing any visible debris, mud, or stones.
  • Testing the pump by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The float should rise with the water level, triggering the unit to start pumping. If pumping doesn’t begin, check to see that the unit is plugged in. Your float switch or check valve might also be at fault.
  • Going outside to see that water is discharging and flowing where it’s supposed to go – well away from your home.

Once a year, disconnect the pump from the power source and remove the unit. Flush it thoroughly with water to remove impurities and debris. While you have the pump out, also clean debris from the sump pit.  Reinstall the pump and reconnect the power source.  Test the unit by pouring a bucket of water into the pit and making sure the pump starts.If your unit has backup battery power, replace the battery every two to three years, or as directed by the manufacturer.Always refer to your pump’s instruction manual for specific information about maintenance and operation. More information about sump pumps is available from the Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association.If your sump pump does fail  Call (269)925-6841 and a crew from SERVPRO of Berrien County will come out and dry your basement and all other ares that are wet.  

Spring rains can bring wet pains.

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Spring rains can bring wet pains. Niles Feb 2018 flood

Here in Southwest Michigan we get some very heavy spring rains.  They usually come with powerful winds resulting in power outages.  This combination results in many flooded basements.

SERVPRO of Berrien County cleans and restores flooded basements.  269-925-6841

 Wind driven rain can enter your home under shingles.  Trees can fall on your roof letting water in.  Gutters clogged with leaves and sticks can overflow water against your foundation. Clear them out and drain 5 foot away from home. Hydrostatic pressure can push water through foundation walls.  When power is lost your sump pump stops working and the basement floods.  *Check to see if you have a sump pump rider on your homeowners insurance policy.  If you don't the water damage may not be a covered loss.*

Are your drain lines clear of roots and debris so water can move to sewer?  If not you could experience backups.  

SERVPRO  269-925-6841

The water you don't see causes mold.

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The water you don't see causes mold. Water in the walls

There's no such thing as a small disaster.  Especially when the water you don't see contains bacteria - or causes mold, rot and other unseen damage.  Water damage can affect the value of your property.  So before you get out the wet vac and fans to try and clean it up yourself, consider how this will affect your property.

The Feb 2018 floods affected many homes and businesses in Berrien County.  This water is Category 3 which is some of the most bacteria ridden. Water wicks up the drywall, soaks insulation, saturates baseboards, ruins carpet and padding and starts the mold growth process.

Anything the water touches must be disposed of or sanitized.  Please ask us to inspect your home or business for safe and proper remediation methods.

Winter flooding 2018

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter flooding 2018 St. Joseph River - Michgian

Winter Feb 2018.  The ground was frozen with about 2 feet of snow.  All at once it rained hard for a couple days.  All the storm runoff had no place to soak into the ground.  All creeks, streams, rivers rose above flood stage quickly.  The river level was already at an all time high and soon went 7 feet past flood stage.  Sand bags did little to slow the intrusion.  Homes that never had water now saw feet of dirty river water in their basements.  Many were not able to reach their homes due to the depth of the water.  Pets had to be rescued and many communities had utilities shut off for safety.

SERVPRO helps home owners dry out and sanitize their property so they can remodel.  

Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Eliminating Heating Hazards This Winter St. Joseph, Michigan home fire safely extinguished by local fire fighters. #supportfirefighters

SERVPRO of Berrien County 

269-925-6841

Fire Safety

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. Have a three foot "Kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met. 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. 

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement. 

- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. 

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. 

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Storm Damage - Trees Falling

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

Summer/Fall is upon us which means storm season is here! 

A common occurrence during Southwest Michigan storms is trees falling on and damaging your property. Don’t wait until it happens. Be prepared for this type of storm emergency. Here are 5 steps to take for emergency tree removal:

  1. Trees that are old or diseased can easily succumb to flooding and windy storms. Go ahead and remove hazardous trees before a storm approaches.
  2. In the event a tree does fall on your property, first make sure everyone is okay. Leave your home if you feel unsafe inside the property.
  3.  Look to see if there are any wires or power lines hanging and if they are call the police and the power company.
  4.  Call your insurance company and if you can safely do so take pictures.
  5. Contact your local mitigations and emergency storm cleanup provider in Berrien County. They will place a tarp on the roof if needed. They will also carry out any board up services required and cleanup any water inside the home. Boarding up parts of the home that have structural damage will help with your insurance claim and also deter any vandals while you are away from your home.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Berrien County has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. We are faster to any disaster and will make it "Like it never even happened."  

Storm Disaster Recovery Team - TEXAS August 2017

8/30/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Berrien County is a Large Loss Response Team. When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is poised and "Ready for Whatever Happens." With a network of nearly 1700 franchises, the SERVPRO system strives to be faster to any disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, additional manpower, equipment and other resources, The Disaster Recovery Team assists your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events in many regions across the country. In the aftermath of disaster, there is only one objective, to help make it like it "Like it never even happened."

Continuing Education Classes-Insurance Agents

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Insurance agents that need CE credits have an opportunity for 6 credits Sept. 13, 2017.  4 credit hours for "Restorative Drying for Water Damage" and 2 credit hours for "Cleaning and Restoring Smoke Damaged Contents".

Both classes are free and held at Lake Michigan College.  A presenter from SERVPRO Corporate will hosting the classes.  Jason Garrett.  He also presented in 2016.  Entertaining and informative.

The state of Michigan enforces all rules associated with these mandatory credit classes for the insurance industry.  Pay close attention to registration times, attendance, breaks, use of technology and license information.

We will provide coffee and breakfast snacks, lunch catered by Qdoba and bottles of water and candy to help stay alert.

Classes will be held in the WMU building room #2405 which is upstairs.  

Prepare for severe weather.

8/29/2017 (Permalink)

Emergency  Ready Profile

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster and having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive.  Preparation can get you back in the building faster following a disaster.  Don't wait until disaster strikes.  Call us today to establish an Emergency Ready Profile for your property and be ready for whatever happens. 

Build an emergency kit:

- Water (one gallon per person per day)

-Food (Non perishable, 3-day supply)

-Manual can opener

-Battery operated radio

-Flashlight and extra batteries

-First aid kit

-Whistle to signal for help

-Clothing

-Dust masks or bandanas

-Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

-Hygiene items

-Important documents-insurance-financial

-Cash

-Fire Extinguisher

-Matches in waterproof container

Large Loss at Auto Parts Distributor

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Large Loss at Auto Parts Distributor Satellite shot

Summer of 2017.  Berrien County MI 3:00 AM a semi truck ran off the highway and penetrated a commercial building 400 ft off the road.  The driver fell asleep with cruise control on and never touched the brakes.  The cab penetrated the building ending up in the owners office space.  The overhead fire suppression line was ruptured spilling 65,000 gallons of water.  This mixed with the diesel from the cab fuel tanks.  Affecting approximately 10,000 sq. ft. of administration space and warehouse.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County was called.  The damage was so extensive we called in our EXTREME team from Saginaw to help.  An environmental company was brought in to remove toxic water properly.  Staff were relocated to another building.  120 cubicles, walls, carpet, files and equipment were removed or relocated.  

The company's IT department was online by 10AM to continue operations.  A job well done by SERVPRO and the customer.

Spring rains can bring many pains.

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Spring rains can bring many pains. Wind and rain damage

Here in Southwest Michigan we get some very heavy spring rains.  They usually come with powerful winds resulting in power outages.  This combination results in many flooded basements.  Wind driven rain can enter your home under shingles.  Trees can fall on your roof letting water in.  Gutters clogged with leaves and sticks can overflow water against your foundation. Clear them out and drain 5 foot away from home. Hydrostatic pressure can push water through foundation walls.  When power is lost your sump pump stops working and the basement floods.  *Check to see if you have a sump pump rider on your homeowners insurance policy.  If you don't the water damage may not be a covered loss.*

Are your drain lines clear of roots and debris so water can move to sewer?  If not you could experience backups.  

Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

Cornerstone Chamber of Commerce 2017 Recognition Breakfast

SERVPRO was nominated for:

Pat Moody Award

Small Business Award

2016 Chamber Ambassador of the year Award

Keynote speaker: Governor Rick Snyder

Kris popp, Joe Rosenhagen, and Bob Rogers attended the breakfast on behalf of SERVPRO of Berrien County. It is an honor to have received these awards. We, here at SERVPRO love making such a great impact in the community. When disaster strikes we are on it. We would like to thank our community from all of us here at SERVPRO of Berrien County for taking such notice in all of our efforts. We love what we stand for in the fact that when disaster hits we are in control of the outcome of that storm and can bring a little light back into the lives of others. 

High School Gym Floods!

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage High School Gym Floods! Dry out containment under bleachers.

Disaster of the month:


Winter 2017.  Buchanan High School locker room and gym floor floods from a broken fire suppression line in the ceiling.  The fire department turned off the suppression line and a plumber repaired it.  SERVPRO was deployed to extract water and dry affected areas.  


SERVPRO set 11 dehumidifiers and 60 air movers in the gym.  Air was circulated under the floor by removing base board and injecting heated air under a plastic containment for 6 days.


During this dehumidification process a scheduled basketball game was held in the gym.  SERVPRO manipulated the equipment so the game could be played.


Due to the immediate action taken by school administrators the gym floor will be refinished vs. replaced.  Avoiding a more costly and time consuming insurance claim.


The school was extremely happy with the fast, professional response SERVPRO provided.

Emergency Ready Profile

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Emergency Ready Profile Emergency Ready Profile

 It is estimated that up to 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.


Are you “Ready for whatever happens?”


Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.


The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company. 


By working with SERVPRO® of Berrien County to develop your personalized Emergency READY Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.


Call Bob at (269) 925-6841 Today for a No Cost Assessment 
of Your Facility!


Helping you to be “Ready for whatever happens,” 

Pets and Fire Damage

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Pets and Fire Damage Pets

Data Says Pets Start Nearly 1,000 Fires Each Year!

SERVPRO Of Berrien County wants all of you pet owners to know these important facts.  An estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by home fires, however, nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets, according to a new data analysis by the National Fire Protection Association.

The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) and ADT Security Services have joined forces once again for the third annual National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15) to spread awareness about how pets can start home fires but more importantly how to prevent them.

"Not many pet owners realize that their pet can actually be the cause of a devastating fire," said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson.  "Simple preventative measures, such as flameless candles and stove knob covers, can mean the difference between life and death for your four-legged friends."

Chris and Kay Wardlow of Oklahoma know that all too well.  Their curious dog Lucy was home alone and spied a cake on the stove top. As Lucy tried to get a taste, her paw accidentally hit the stove knob and turned on the gas burner that was under the cake pan. Within minutes, the house was filled with smoke, triggering the Wardlow’s ADT monitored smoke detector. Firefighters were called to the scene, the house was saved and Lucy was rescued.

"Planning for unexpected emergencies like home fires and taking these precautions are an integral part of responsible pet ownership," Peterson said.


AKC® and ADT offer the following tips to educate pet owners on how to prevent your beloved pet from starting a fire, as well as how to keep your pets safe.

PREVENT YOUR PET FROM STARTING FIRES

  • Extinguish open flames - Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove stove knobs - Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless candles – These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Beware of water bowls on wooden decks – Do not leave a glass water bowl for your pet outside on a wooden deck.  The sun’s rays when filtered through the glass and water can actually heat up and ignite the wooden deck beneath it. Choose stainless steel or ceramic bowls instead.     

Keep your pets safe

  • Keep Pets Near Entrances When Away From Home – Keep collars on pets and leashes at the ready in case firefighters need to rescue your pet.  When leaving pets home alone, keep them in areas or rooms near entrances where firefighters can easily find them. 
  • Secure Young Pets - Especially with young puppies, keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.
  • Since Pets Left Alone Can’t Escape a Burning Home – Consider using monitored smoke detectors which are connected to a monitoring center so emergency responders can be contacted when you’re not home. These systems provide an added layer of protection beyond battery-operated smoke alarms.
  • Affix a Pet Alert Window Cling – Write down the number of pets inside your house and attach the static cling to a front window. Thiscritical information saves rescuers time when locating your pets.  Make sure to update the number of pets listed.

How To Maintain Your Sump Pump

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Maintain Your Sump Pump Sump Pump

If your home has a wet basement, you’re not alone. The American Society of Home Inspectors estimates that more than 60 percent of homes have issues with water in the basement.A sump pump can be an effective option for preventing water damage. Installed in a pit in the basement, these units sense when the water from rain or snow melt is rising in the pit and approaching the floor level. The incoming water is then pumped outside before it can damage the home or its furnishings.Sump pumps are relatively low-maintenance devices, but you can help keep your unit operational by inspecting it regularly. Steps in a regular maintenance program can include:

  • Checking the discharge line to make sure it is not stopped up or frozen. If necessary, unclog the air vent hole in the line.
  • Checking the inlet screen to ensure that it’s not clogged with residue and debris. Do this three or four times per year.
  • Making sure the float component is unobstructed and can move smoothly.
  • Scanning the pit and removing any visible debris, mud, or stones.
  • Testing the pump by slowly pouring a bucket of water into the pit. The float should rise with the water level, triggering the unit to start pumping. If pumping doesn’t begin, check to see that the unit is plugged in. Your float switch or check valve might also be at fault.
  • Going outside to see that water is discharging and flowing where it’s supposed to go – well away from your home.
Once a year, disconnect the pump from the power source and remove the unit. Flush it thoroughly with water to remove impurities and debris. While you have the pump out, also clean debris from the sump pit.  Reinstall the pump and reconnect the power source.  Test the unit by pouring a bucket of water into the pit and making sure the pump starts.If your unit has backup battery power, replace the battery every two to three years, or as directed by the manufacturer.Always refer to your pump’s instruction manual for specific information about maintenance and operation. More information about sump pumps is available from the Sump and Sewage Pump Manufacturers Association.If your sump pump does fail  Call (269)925-6841 and a crew from SERVPRO of Berrien County will come out and dry your basement and all other ares that are wet.  

Tips to prevent a kitchen fire in your Michigan home.

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips to prevent a kitchen fire in your Michigan home. Kitchen Fire

St. Joseph, Benton Harbor, Niles, New Buffalo, Stevensville, Bridgman, Buchanan, Eau Claire, Watervliet, Coloma

More home fires start in the kitchen than anywhere else. In 2011, cooking was involved in an estimated 156,300 home fires that caused:

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

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

Unattended Cooking

is the leading cause of kitchen fires

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

Stay Alert

to avoid stirring up trouble

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

Hot Tips

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

Flammable Objects

Keep away from the stove

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

Be Ready

to react fast to a cooking fire

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

If you do have a problem in the kitchen or any other room in the house give SERVPRO of Berrien County a call.  We will clean up all Fire, Smoke and water damage. 

10 Unexpected Places Where Mold Creeps Into Your Home

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 10 Unexpected Places Where Mold Creeps Into Your Home Mold

These are 10 places many homeowners overlook when checking for mold:

Dishwasher

Unless a dishwasher stops working or needs replacing or servicing, most of us don’t think about it as a potential source for mold. There are two connections under each dishwasher that have the potential for mold and mildew to get started–the water supply and the discharge connection. The water supply needs to be lubricated with the right sealant and properly tightened  periodically. The discharge connection involves a rubber hose and clamp, and installing the hose before the dishwasher is installed ensures it is done properly. Hoses wear out over time. If you’re buying an older house, it doesn’t hurt to check the dishwasher connections — especially if there’s an odd smell when you open the door.

Icemaker Connections

Refrigerators often get moved, either for cleaning or other projects. This can weaken or break the water line connection to the icemaker, causing leaks behind the refrigerator.

“It seems like a simple job, so in the real world the plumbing contractor doesn’t install the water line, another contractor does,” Hoffman said. “The connection is a compression fitting and it must be installed properly to ensure there are no leaks.”

Washing Machine Connections

 When installing a washing machine, always install a brand new washing machine hose, using the rubber washers the manufacturer recommends. Also, use Teflon tape and make sure to tighten the connection with vice grips so there are no drips or leaks. After all, it doesn’t take many drips to create an environment for mold.

Hot Water Heater

“Many states have laws regarding the installation of hot water heaters, and most of them involve overflow pans that are piped to drain outside the house. The pan must be tilted ¼ inch to ensure the water does drain. Newer heaters with quick connect connectors should be properly lubricated and tightened so the shut-off valve doesn’t leak,” Hoffman said.

Plastic P-Traps

 Under every sink in your home is a “P-Trap,” almost always made of PVC pipe, which expands, and contracts. This process eventually loosens the connection and allows water to leak onto the base of the cabinet. If you look under sinks in every room you’ll easily spot the stains and discoloration commonly caused by leaking P-Traps. Use Teflon tape to seal every P-Trap and check them periodically, tightening them by hand to ensure their connections don’t loosen and leak. Over tightening PVC can cause it to crack, so be careful.

Toilet Connections

“I’m amazed at how many steps the DIY home improvement shows leave out when they explain about how to install a toilet,” Hoffman said. “The base of the toilet is where most mold grows. Toilets should be installed with a horned wax ring, and then the base of the toilet grouted in with tile grout,” he said. “The grout serves as a filler between the bowl and the floor to keep the bowl from rocking. Rocking bowls are the number one reason for the wax ring being compromised, which then allows mold to get a foothold.”

Shower Doors

Shower doors should probably be installed by plumbing contractors, Hoffman said. “They know how to keep them from leaking.” Mold growing at the base of the tub may be from leaking or improperly installed shower doors. Shower doors need caulking on all three rails — the two side rails as well as the bottom rail.

Tub

A properly caulked tub isn’t just nicer looking. It keeps water and moisture from dripping down under the tub and causing mold issues. Slab floors can create more problems — especially if installed by a DIY’er. The hole(s) in concrete slabs under tubs should be filled with a liquid tar, or expandable foam insulation to ensure moisture does not wick up from the ground through the slab.

Exterior Hose Bib

If you have a home, you have an exterior hose bib — a place where the water connection sticks out from the house. If you’ve used a hose, you know a poor connection or missing rubber washer, or loose hose can result in water spraying the house. This uncontrolled spray allows water to enter the space between the sidings, or into the wall, leading to mold growth. Make sure all holes, gaps and areas around every outdoor water connection are properly caulked and sealed.

Outdoor Water Sprinklers

Siding is engineered to shed rain falling down, not sprinklers shooting water up. Make sure your sprinklers are well away from the house when turned on. If you have children or teens that are watering the yard or garden, make sure they know not to spray the house with the hose. If power washing your home, hire a professional, or take care that water is not forced up under the siding as you wash.

As a homeowner, if you take the appropriate precautions and are vigilant about upkeep, you should be able to avoid mold, or catch it at it’s outset. While mold can be a huge problem in homes, even causing health issues, it is easily preventable.

Water Damage

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Water Damage in Basement

If you have water in Southwest Mi basement what should you do?  Call the cleanup professionals at SERVPRO of Berrien County.  We will respond quickly and get things drying out.   Here are some other tips to help you out until we arrive.

 After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A  Water Damage Emergency? Call (269) 925-6841

What To Do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

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

Even if the wet area seams very small give us a call.  most times the damage goes way beyond what you can see.  Water will spread out very quickly and can create secondary damage to your home easily if not taken care of properly.

Beach Safety

8/10/2016 (Permalink)

General Beach Safety Beach Safety

SERVPRO of Berrien County has a few tips for beach safety         
Sun, Sand and Safety
Every summer, people pack their bathing suits, sunscreen, flip flops and a good book for a trip to the beach. Or, perhaps where you live, you are fortunate to have beach weather for the greater part of the year. Regardless of how often you get to sink your toes into the sand, the American Red Cross has some beach safety tips and steps you can take to be make sure you and your family remain safe. 
Beach Safety

Swimming in the lake or river takes different skills, so before you get your feet wet, it’s best to learn how to swim in the surf. You should also swim only at a lifeguard-protected beach, within the designated swimming area. Obey all instructions and orders from lifeguards.

While you’re enjoying the water, keep alert and check the local weather conditions. Make sure you swim sober and that you never swim alone. And even if you’re confident in your swimming skills, make sure you have enough energy to swim back to shore.

Other beach safety tips to keep in mind

  • Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets in and the around water. No one should use any other type of flotation device unless they are able to swim.
  • Don’t dive headfirst—protect your neck. Check for depth and obstructions before diving, and go in feet first the first time.
  • Pay especially close attention to children and elderly persons when at the beach. Even in shallow water, wave action can cause a loss of footing.
  • Keep a lookout for aquatic life. Water plants and animals may be dangerous. Avoid patches of plants. Leave animals alone.
Rip Currents

Rip currents are responsible for deaths on our nation’s beaches every year, and for most of the rescues performed by lifeguards. Beach goers should be aware of how dangerous rip currents are, and swim only at beaches with lifeguards in the designated swimming area. Rip currents can form in any large open water area, such as low spots and breaks in sandbars, or near structures such as jetties and piers.

 For your safety, be aware of the danger of rip currents and remember the following:

  • If you are caught in a rip current, stay calm and don’t fight the current.
  • Swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current. Once you are free, turn and swim toward shore.
  • If you can't swim to the shore, float or tread water until you are free of the rip current and then head toward shore.
  • If you feel you can’t make it to the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving and calling for help.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
  • If someone is in trouble in the water, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1.Throw the victim something that floats – a life jacket, cooler, inflatable ball and yell instructions on how to escape the current.
  • When at the beach, check conditions before entering the water. Check to see if any warning flags are up or ask a lifeguard about water conditions, beach conditions, or any potential hazards.

Storm Damage - Trees Falling

5/26/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Damage - Trees Falling Storm Damage - Trees Falling

Summer is upon us which means storm season is here! 

A common occurrence during Southwest Michigan storms is trees falling on and damaging your property. Don’t wait until it happens. Be prepared for this type of storm emergency. Here are 5 steps to take for emergency tree removal:

  1. Trees that are old or diseased can easily succumb to flooding and windy storms. Go ahead and remove hazardous trees before a storm approaches.
  2. In the event a tree does fall on your property, first make sure everyone is okay. Leave your home if you feel unsafe inside the property.
  3.  Look to see if there are any wires or power lines hanging and if they are call the police and the power company.
  4.  Call your insurance company and if you can safely do so take pictures.
  5. Contact your local mitigations and emergency storm cleanup provider in Berrien County. They will place a tarp on the roof if needed. They will also carry out any board up services required and cleanup any water inside the home. Boarding up parts of the home that have structural damage will help with your insurance claim and also deter any vandals while you are away from your home.

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Berrien County has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. We are faster to any disaster and will make it like it never even happened.  

Spring Storms

4/15/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Spring Storms Storm

Your home is your most valuable asset so don’t get caught in the rain.  Take steps now to secure your property before Spring showers dampen your mood.  

Storms can happen in the blink of an eye with little to no warning.  The aftermath of not being prepared can be stressful and costly.  Taking the time to address a few key areas of concern can make a huge difference between staying high and dry or up to your knees in water.  One of the best things you can do to get prepared is to pretend there is a storm coming right now and take action.  

1. Go out and purchase any supplies you may need should you lose power or water supply for a period of time; batteries, a backup generator, bottled water, canned foods and gas just to name a few.  By having these items ahead of time, you can avoid standing in line for hours and risking supplies running out.  

2. Make sure that you have the proper insurance plan in place. Check on your policy so that you are familiar with what is and what is not covered and to make sure that everything is current.

3. Do what you can to secure your property. Seal up any cracks or gaps around windows and doors and check your roof for any broken or loose shingles. Installing items such as window shutters, garage door braces, and roof clips can all help to protect your home as well. These resources can be costly but they can save you money in the long run!  

4. Take care of the trees surrounding your home.  Make sure to keep trees pruned and healthy.  Remove any dead branches and trim back any limbs that could become a danger to your house.  Overhanging limbs can scrape the roof and damage shingles or can bust through windows.  Properly maintaining your landscaping is an easy and necessary task in being proactive against storm damage.  So, keep your yard picked up and clear of debris.  

5. Also, secure patio furniture and pick up any items such as sporting equipment or lawn items and put them in an appropriate storage space.  

Storms are truly unpredictable and sometimes damage is unavoidable. Taking proactive measures can help but also be sure to have the contact information for your local service company handy should you need help with the aftermath!

Disaster Recovery Team

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Berrien County is a Large Loss Response Team. When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is poised and "Ready for Whatever Happens." With a network of nearly 1700 franchises, the SERVPRO system strives to be faster to any disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, additional manpower, equipment and other resources, The Disaster Recovery Team assists your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of disaster, there is only one objective, to help make it like it "Like it never even happened."

Be prepared for Severe Weather!

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Preparation is key is the key to making it through any size disaster and having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building faster following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes. Call us today to establish an Emergency Ready Profile for your property and be ready for whatever happens. 

Build an Emergency Kit:

  • Water (One gallon per person per day)
  • Food (Non perishable, 3-day supply)
  • Manual can opener
  • battery operated radio
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Clothing
  • Dust masks or bandanas
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities 
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents, copies of insurance policies identification cards and bank account information
  • Cash
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof container 

Eliminate Heating Hazards This Winter!

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

The winter season is in full swing! The days are shorter and temperatures are lower. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in weather. In an effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative heat sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment is responsible for an estimated $893 million in property damage annually. Heating is the second leading cause of residential fire deaths, making it important to review ways to help reduce the risk of a heating-related fire. 

-Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater. Have a three foot "Kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters. 

-Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed. 

-Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters. 

-Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home. 

-Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional. 

-Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions. 

Don't Wait Until Spring to Spring Clean!

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Did your family drag in mud on your carpets through the holidays? Fear not! Call SERVPRO today to schedule your carpet cleaning. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half. 

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be install in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detectors requirements are met. 

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or client to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance. 

-Install smoke alarms on every level of the home including the basement. 

- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance. 

-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using a test button. 

-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps" the battery is low and should be replaced right away. 

-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old. 

Pipe Break!

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage Pipe Break! Fix the pipe break and call SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Berrien County is ready to help when your pipes freeze and leak into your building.

Pipes can freeze and burst!  Or pipes can also have weak points at fittings that burst.  

Here are a few simple to prepare your home or business for winter weather!  Because water under pressure will find a way to leak.

Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. 

Inspect pipes and fittings for corrosion and leaks.

Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated areas of the home.

Consider shutting off and draining outside faucets.

When this happens, shut off the main water and call a qualified plumbing contractor.  Then call SERVPRO of Berrien County  269-926-6841 for an immediate response.  We will extract the water, dry the area and sanitize.

Winter Proofing Your Home

1/19/2016 (Permalink)

Here are some easy ways to keep out the cold out and the heat in this winter!

1. Caulk
Caulk is an excellent and inexpensive way to seal air leaks around your home. It can be used around windows and door jambs to keep the cold out!

2. Install a programmable thermostat
This is a simple way to ensure that your furnace will not be working to heat your home when you don’t need it. It also covers for you in case you leave the house or go to bed and forget to turn down the thermostat.

3. Have your furnace inspected
Keeping your furnace in top working order is important for energy saving.

4. Insulate
Insulating your attic keeps heat from escaping through the roof.

5. Install storm windows
Interior storm windows are an inexpensive way to keep heat from escaping, and they can be taken down when winter is over.

6. Insulate your pipes
One of the concerns with turning the thermostat down is freezing pipes. Pipe insulation, though, is a relatively easy way to ensure against this occurring. Pipe sleeves or tubes made of foam can be purchased at most hardware stores, and are cut so that they fit right over the pipes.

7. Apply weather stripping to doors and windows
Weather stripping is inexpensive and easy to apply – it should be put along the edges of windows and doors, including basement and attic windows and the garage.

8. Weather-proof the front door
You may want to replace your existing front door with a more energy-efficient one, or add a storm door to your current one. The most important thing is to be sure the edges of the door are tightly sealed and square, which may mean a new door and frame are necessary.

Continuing Education Classes

11/4/2015 (Permalink)

We're hosting two FREE Continuing Education Seminars on September 13th  2017. Classes will be held at the LMC Campus WMU Bronco Room, 2785 E. Napier, Benton Harbor, MI 49022. Water Damage Restoration is 4 credits and will be held from 8am -12pm followed by lunch and a class(to be announced) which is 2 credits from 12:30pm-2:30pm. Lunch will be provided. For reservations please call SERVPRO at 269-925-6841 or email us at SERVPRO8309@gmail.com Thanks and hope to see you there!!! We will be updating this info by the end of June to finalize the classes.  We may choose between Ethics, Fire cleanup, Bio-Hazard, and Mold.  These classes will be presented by our Corporate CE class presenter we had in 2016.

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