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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

"Here to Help"

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

St. Joseph, help,  water Corporate statement

SERVPRO is a restoration company that cleans up and rebuilds after buildings are damaged from a wide variety of sources.  We are the largest restoration company in the United States.  Our employees are professionally trained in emergency dehumidification, fire and mold cleanup and restoration.  We work efficiently with insurance carriers.  Our job is not complete until you are satisfied..."Like it never even happened." 

SERVPRO SYSTEM SERVICES RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL

Restoration:24 hour emergency Water Removal and Dehumidification

Fire, Smoke, and Soot

Mold Remediation

Reconstruction

Catastrophic Storm Response

Document Drying

Cleaning:Bioremediation and Vandalism

Ceilings, walls, and hard floors

Air Ducts and HVAC

Deodorization

When your needs are immediate, you can count on the professionals to respond immediately.  Call on us 24/7/365 to help get your home or business operational fast.

Pandemic

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Watervliet, COVID, sanitize locker room

The COVID-19 Pandemic has altered the lives of every single person in the United States and beyond.  This highly contagious virus is transmissible from surfaces and atmosphere.  Not only do we need to keep ourselves safe, family and fellow workers are to be protected.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping residents and businesses with sanitizing services since 1995.  Our "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" program is a defensive sanitizing.  This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning.

In addition to following your own sanitizing protocols, we offer additional sanitizing to help people feel safer in their home or work environments.  We all do everything possible to stay safe and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

We are available to give sanitizing advise or preform the service any time necessary.

269-925-6841

Pandemic Protocols

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

New Buffalo, COVID, sanitize, pandemic Box of trash.

Every business has a set of COVID protocols in place to keep people safe.  Right?  They discussed what they could do to sanitize themselves, work areas, bathrooms, vehicles etc.  Everybody has been doing their part to wear a mask, socially distance and sanitize touch points.  Well, almost everybody.  

Don't let your guard down please.

On a recent commercial COVID sanitizing job we were given a number of vehicles to sanitize because the drivers tested positive and were sent home.  The employees would distance at work but ride in the same vehicle together at the lunch break.  And they left multiple items that carry the virus in the van.  That's just not thinking and lazy.

We are all tired and frustrated by the Pandemic rules and regulations.  But let's remember that we are responsible for protecting our family and co-workers.  

Storms bring wind and flooding rains.

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

New Buffalo, storm, damage, wind damage Storm clouds coming across the lake

Berrien County, MI has a beautiful coastline on Lake Michigan.  As you may imagine, living on the edge of a great lake comes with interesting weather systems.  Strong winds and driving rains damage trees and homes during spring and summer storms.

Tree damage, wind damage, ground water flooding are just a few things that can ruin your home when Mother Nature kicks up.

  SERVPRO is "Here to Help" 24/7/365. 

We have been cleaning up and rebuilding after storm damage since 1995.  Our emergency service crews can help mitigate damages when you need it most.

SERVPRO works with all insurance companies efficiently and effectively.  When disaster strikes reach out to the professionals in Berrien County.  SERVPRO of Berrien County Michigan will help.

Call us anytime.

Apartment fire

4/2/2021 (Permalink)

Buchanan, fire, smoke, damage Fire truck in front of apartments

A Southwest Michigan 3 story apartment complex with 30 units burned this winter.  The cause is under investigation as the scope of the damage is determined.  While this is happening close to 100 people are displaced to find housing with family and friends.

SERVPRO has the  capability to mitigate fire and water damage on a massive scale.  We can also manage the rebuild.  SERVPRO works closely with  large loss insurance adjusters to cleanup and rebuild in a timely manner.  

Whether it's an apartment complex, a home or a commercial property, SERVPRO is "Here to Help". We have been servicing Southwest Michigan since 1995.  

We are available 24/7/365 to respond to any damage you have from Fire, Water, Mold, Smoke, COVID-19.  Call us at 269-925-6841

Sanitizing

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Sanitizing, COVID, Niles Sanitizing touchpoints commercial site

The COVID pandemic has changed the way we operate in all commercial environments.  Healthcare, government, retail and manufacturing to name a few.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is "Here to Help" 24/7/365.  Emergency sanitizing is a service we offer our commercial customers.  

CERTIFIED SERVPRO CLEANED

Getting back to business relies on getting your customers and staff back through the doors. And that will only happen if they feel safe and secure in your space.  The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean with 40% of customers citing cleanliness as a top concern.  

Are you ready to not only help keep your customers and employees safe but to communicate that you've chosen a higher standard of clean for all Americans?

Emergency Commercial Sanitizing

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

COVID, St. Joseph, sanitizing Car in front of credit union

The COVID pandemic has changed the way we operate in all commercial environments.  Healthcare, government, retail and manufacturing to name a few.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is "Here to Help" 24/7/365.  Emergency sanitizing is a service we offer our commercial customers.  

CERTIFIED SERVPRO CLEANED

Getting back to business relies on getting your customers and staff back through the doors. And that will only happen if they feel safe and secure in your space.  The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean with 40% of customers citing cleanliness as a top concern.  

Are you ready to not only help keep your customers and employees safe but to communicate that you've chosen a higher standard of clean for all Americans?

Damaged school

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Benton Harbor, commercial damage Board up on school

SERVPRO of Berrien County is "Here to Help" any business continue operations when there is damage caused by Fire, Water, Mold or even a vehicle crashing through a classroom.

The room was unoccupied at the time.  The speeding vehicle damaged the building severely and disrupted school operations.  They called on SERVPRO to help with emergency cleanup and boardup to secure the area.  We responded immediately with all available staff and had the site secure within 2 hours.

When events affect the operation of your business, you can always count on SERVPRO to respond immediately to help you and your staff regain control.  Everybody needs to work the next day in a safe and secure environment.  We are "Here to Help" any day of the week.

269-925-6841

Building damage

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Benton Harbor, commercial damage Board up on school

SERVPRO of Berrien County is "Here to Help" any business continue operations when there is damage caused by Fire, Water, Mold or even a vehicle crashing through a classroom.

The room was unoccupied at the time.  The speeding vehicle damaged the building severely and disrupted school operations.  They called on SERVPRO to help with emergency cleanup and boardup to secure the area.  We responded immediately with all available staff and had the site secure within 2 hours.

When events affect the operation of your business, you can always count on SERVPRO to respond immediately to help you and your staff regain control.  Everybody needs to work the next day in a safe and secure environment.  We are "Here to Help" any day of the week.

269-925-6841

Smoke Damage

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Stevensville, smoke, furnace Air scrubber in basement

SERVPRO of Berrien County is always "Here to Help" when Fire, Water, Mold or even COVID affect the operations of your business.

A Southwest Michigan medical clinic had some old furnaces in the basement that overheated.  The 30 year old bearings ground to a halt creating enough smoke to alert the fire department.  They showed up in great form and stopped any further damage.

Luckily, the clinic didn't have to shut down but there was enough smoke odor that all the windows and doors were open.  Fortunately it was a warm Michigan spring day.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County was called to mitigate the smoke damage/odor.  We set one large air scrubber next to the source for the weekend.  Odor was not detectable on Monday. 

The customer was grateful for our immediately response and solution for the problem.

Fire damage

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

Coloma, fire, boardup, smoke Blue house with chimney fire

SERVPRO of Berrien County is "Here to Help" when your home has any kind of fire or smoke damage.  

Chimney fires are a common source of damage when people don't operate them correctly.  Always make sure the flue is open and drafting before starting the fire.  It is also a good idea to have a chimney vendor clean any residue or creosote from the inside for safe fires.

This home's chimney got too hot and burned the wood structure around the chase.  The fire department was a mile away and was able to extinguish the flames and minimize smoke damage.

SERVPRO was called in to secure the openings with boards to keep the weather out.  Minimal smoke damage was cleaned and the exterior rebuilt.  

A very lucky and satisfied customer.

Leak calculator

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage, Berrien County, near me Chart

Water damage in Stevensville, MI can be a serious problem for home or business owners.  

The Leak Calculator chart doesn't seem real when you look at the volume of water that can flood your building in a day or over night.  This can and does happen all the time.  

When you search water damage near me click on SERVPRO of Berrien County for help and advise.

How does this happen?  Water lines are under pressure, usually 50-60 psi in homes for domestic water lines.  Pipes freeze and break, valves malfunction, supply lines separate from connections, garden hoses are left on...

SERVPRO technicians are professionally trained to extract and dry out structure.  So if this happens to you turn off the water source, call a plumber, call your insurance carrier

and call SERVPRO 269-925-6841

House Fire

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Benton Harbor total loss Burnt Rubble from fire damage

SERVPRO of Berrien County helps victims of fire in the Benton Harbor area and the rest of the county.  

Fire prevention is an important part of fire safety.  Smoke alarms are a first alert that something is wrong.  They can be the difference between life and death, small fires and total losses.  

SERVPRO has been donating smoke alarms to county fire departments since 2004.  With over 15,000 alarms donated over the years this fire safety program has helped residents of Berrien County be safer.  Residents (not landlords) can request alarms from their local fire department for installation.

Be safer by installing smoke alarms throughout your home and change the batteries 2x per year.  

If you are a victim of fire/smoke damage you can call SERVPRO of Berrien County for help with cleanup and restoration. 269-925-6841

Smoke Damage

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Smoke damage, Berrien County, Near me Smoke damage information

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI has been helping victims of fire/smoke damage since 1995.  Why do people use SERVPRO?  Because we are Here to Help in a lot of ways.

Fire damage can include broken windows, doors, holes in the roof.  SERVPRO provides emergency board up service 24 hrs/day.  Board up is important for the safety of the homes contents and to keep people out of the unsafe structure.

Smoke that lingers in the home should be vented outside.  Respirators or masks should be worn when toxic particulate in present.

Excess water should be extracted and drying equipment placed if there is electricity.

In St. Joseph, MI we recommend that the insurance carrier be contacted as soon as possible.  We can help with communication going forward.

Wet Basement

3/11/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage, Berrien County, near me Basement with water

Why SERVPRO?  Because SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping victims of water damage since 1995 in Niles and Berrien County.

When disasters strike and your home's operation is compromised, call on the professionals to help.

SERVPRO technicians are highly trained in water mitigation and restoration.  We will scope the extent of damage and recommend a plan of action to return your home to previous condition.

The science of dehumidification is very important to insurance carriers so materials are dried properly before bacteria can grow.

We extract excess water, separate structural materials like baseboard and carpet so it can dry quickly.  Then we set up dehumidifiers and air movers usually for a few days to dry everything.

Why SERVPRO?  Because we are Here to Help 

Winter storms can freeze pipes.

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen water line Drain water lines before they freeze and burst.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping residents and commercial property managers cleanup and restore buildings since 1995.  From St. Joseph to Niles, Benton Harbor to New Buffalo and townships across the county we service them all.

When mother nature dips into the single digits and the wind blows across the frozen land, water freezes.  Detach your garden hoses, insulate water lines against exterior walls, open cabinet doors so heated air can circulate, drip faucets during single digit temps.  These are all things that can prevent frozen pipes and water damage.

When your pipes freeze and burst there are three things to do immediately:

1.  Turn off your main water line which is usually in the basement.

2.  Contact your plumber.

3.  Call SERVPRO 269-925-6841

We will respond immediately to help with cleanup and restoration

The water you don't see...

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Illustration of water damage Hidden water can do the most damage.

Water losses come in all sizes.  Large and small, we clean them all.  When a pipe breaks, the bathtub overflows, a basement fills with water because the garden hose was left on or the roof leaks, SERVPRO of Berrien County is here to help.  

From Coloma to Galien, New Buffalo to St. Joseph, Niles to Bridgman, we service all these areas.  

Drywall absorbs moisture, water hides behind the baseboard and under carpeting.  Just because you can't see water doesn't mean it isn't there damaging your home.  Our professionals have moisture meters that find and measure water in your home.  Undetected and left alone it will turn to mold.  

Contact SERVPRO of Berrien County 24/7/365 to inspect and find hidden moisture in your home or business.  We will dry it out and return your building to a healthy condition.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

12/17/2020 (Permalink)

Front of building SERVPRO services Berrien County

Since 1995 SERVPRO has been helping the residents and businesses of Berrien County clean and restore homes and businesses.  When Fire, Water or Mold take control of your operation, reach out to the professionals that can respond immediately.  

2020 started out with COVID-19 which has changed out lives and our livelihoods.  Everybody is doing what they can to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic. 

Getting back to business relies on getting your customers back through your doors. And that will only happen if they feel safe and secure in your space. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean with 40% of consumers citing store cleanliness as a top concern.  Are you ready to not only help keep your customers and employees safe but to communicate that you’ve chosen a higher standard of clean for all Americans? 

Call us to discuss sanitizing your home or business.  

Flood damage under a commercial floor

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Water on cement floor It's the water you can't see that can cause the most damage.

A large Benton Harbor, MI commercial facility experienced extensive ground water flooding in a large administrative area.  It was discovered when internet wire moisture alarms started alerting.  Flooring segments were removed to determine the scope of damage.  Approximately 3000 sqft of HVAC conditioned space had contaminated water from a failed lift station outside the front entry.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County was called in for emergency extraction and sanitizing of this space so the business could resume operations.  

SERVPRO is always ready to help commercial and residential properties clean up and restore properties to healthy conditions.  We are "Here to Help" 24/7/365

From Berrien Springs to Bridgman, Coloma to Union Pier, Buchanan to Benton Harbor SERVPRO will respond immediately to emergency service requests.  

Call 269-925-6841

Vandalism

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Car crashes into school room. SERVPRO provides 24 hour emergency damage services in Berrien County.

Berrien County, Michigan 24 hour emergency damage services. These events 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.

About SERVPRO of Berrien County

We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a damaging event.  Fire, Water, Mold, Vandalism...  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.

269-925-6841  24/7/365

Residential smoke alarm program

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire Untended cooking is a leading cause of fires.

Untended cooking is a leading cause of kitchen fires in the US.  Countless homes are destroyed by people walking away from the food they are cooking.  Don't let this happen to you.  Cook with a lid nearby so you can smother the flames.  Make sure you have working smoke alarms in the home.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been cleaning and restoring fire/smoke damage since 1995.  We guarantee to properly clean and deodorize all affected contents and materials that can be saved.  

If you experience any size fire that produces heat and smoke damage, please call us to discuss the loss.  We are highly trained to help you restore your home and deal with your insurance carrier.

SERVPRO of Berrien County does fire cleanup and restoration from St. Joseph to Niles, New Buffalo to Benton Harbor.  269-925-6841  24/7

SERVPRO Scope of Services

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

List of services SERVPRO scope of services for residential and commercial properties.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, Michigan has been helping business and residents clean and restore properties in Southwest Michigan since 1995.  From Niles to St. Joseph and New Buffalo to Benton Harbor we respond immediately 24/7/365.  We are always ready to help when you experience Fire, Water and Mold damage to your building.

Damage to your structure can result from fire, water, mold, storms and crimes.  Our trained, certified professionals are always prepared to respond when you call. 

Our goals are:

- assess the situation and stop further damage to the structure.

- clean and restore the damaged materials and  areas quickly and efficiently.

- return your belongings so you can return to operational status.

When you experience disasters we are here to help.  Call us at 269-925-6841

Storms bring wind and flooding rains.

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Radar map Regional storms bring severe damage.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI has been servicing Southwest Michigan since 1995. From Niles to St. Joseph and New Buffalo to Benton Harbor, we have been cleaning up and restoring properties for homeowners and businesses 24/7/365.  

Severe storms can bring damaging winds and flooding rains.  If your building isn't ready you may need help cleaning up after storm damage.

Thing you can do to lessen damages:

- Remove dead trees that could fall on your building.

- Repair or replace damaged roof shingles.

-Clean out your gutters and drain water away from your foundation at least 5 feet.

-Install a battery backup for your sump pump in case the power goes out.

If you experience storm damage you can call us anytime at 269-925-6841

Wind damage

4/24/2020 (Permalink)

Tree on house Severe winds off Lake Michigan can uproot major trees.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, Michigan has been helping homeowners cleanup after storms since 1995.  From Niles to St. Joseph and New Buffalo to Benton Harbor we are ready to help 24/7/365.

When mother nature huffs and puffs you never know where the trees will fall.  If it happens to be on your home you could experience major structural damage and water intrusion.  If this happens to you call us at 269-925-6841.  Together we will figure out how to remove the trees and tarp the room.  And if there is water damage inside we will handle that for you also.

Whether it's fire, water or storm damage, we will always be here to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Commercial HVAC maintenance

4/16/2020 (Permalink)

White duct run Maintaining commercial HVAC systems.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI has been servicing commercial businesses in southwest Michigan since 1995.  In addition to Fire, Water, Mold cleanup and restoration we clean HVAC systems commercially. 

HVAC systems should be serviced regularly and cleaned when necessary.  When there is smoke damage to a facility the HVAC system is almost always cleaned and filters changed.  Particulate from smoke can remain in runs until they are cleaned. And sometimes sealant is sprayed inside to eliminate odor from remaining particulate. 

SERVPRO is available to estimate the cleaning of commercial air handlers and ducts.  We can be reached at 269-925-6841.

A full scope and written estimate by our trained professionals allows property managers to budget for future services.  You can schedule an estimate by contacting our Berrien County, MI franchise and ask for commercial services.  We have may professional references that can be provided in manufacturing, medical, financial and retail. 

Water you don't see causes the most damage.

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

moisture barrier schematic Moisture barriers hold hidden water.

The water you don't see can cause the most damage.  , SERVPRO of Berrien County is trained to find hidden water before it causes secondary damage.  We have been doing this in Southwest MI since 1995. 

When water gets into your home or business it soaks into many different materials.  When it comes from above it can move through insulation, drywall, wood, paint, wallpaper and light fixtures.

When water comes from below it can soak your carpeting, flooring, padding, baseboards, drywall, wood floors, studs and any contents that it touches.

SERVPRO will extract the water you can see and measure the moisture content of all structural materials to find what is hiding within.  Materials that can hold water are separated or removed for drying.  If this isn't done properly and completely bacteria can start growing within 72 hours.  We then strategically place dehumidifiers and air movers to efficiently remove moisture from materials and the atmosphere.  Moisture readings are taken daily to make sure the process is successful.  We then apply sanitizer and discuss any additional work that may apply.

SERVPRO is available 24/7/365.

  Call us at 269-925-6841

Storm Water Drainage

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Debris filled gutters Clean your gutters for proper drainage.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping homeowners clean up and restore homes since 1995.  From Niles to St. Joseph, Benton Harbor to New Buffalo.  We are ready 24/7/365 to answer your call.  269-925-6841

Seasonal rains will certainly come and flood our region.  Many of the water losses we remediate are due to poor drainage around a home.  Gutters should be cleared of leaves and debris to allow proper drainage off roofs away from foundations.  It is recommended water is drained at least 5 feet away from foundation walls. 

Water not drained away from a foundation usually finds its way into the home.  This can cause basement flooding which creates an unhealthy situation.  SERVPRO is prepared to extract, dry out and sanitize your home.  We are trained to keep you in your home and operational. 

SERVPRO can make it seem "Like it never even happened."

Ground Water Flooding

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water Storm water can find it's way into your home.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI has been servicing Southwest MI since 1995.  We are part of a national franchise system that covers the nation.  Our training and certifications qualifies us to properly restore homes to dry, sanitary conditions.

Ground water flooding does not discriminate by house or neighborhood.  Water seeks it's own level and it can fill your window wells and soak through cracks in your foundation wall flooding your home. 

Prevent basement flooding:

1. Make sure gutters are clean of debris and diverting water at lease 5-10 feet away from your home.

2.  Clean out and cover window wells to prevent rain from filling them with water.

3.  Landscape the ground to slope away from the home.

4.  Allow bedding areas against the home to drain away instead of against the foundation.  Sometimes the edging can keep water up against the house instead of draining away.

SERVPRO is available 24/7/365 to extract water, set drying equipment and sanitize areas affected by ground water.  Call us anytime to discuss your situation 269-925-6841.

Water in elevator pit.

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI has been servicing Southwest MI since 1995.  We are part of a national franchise system that covers the nation.  Our training and certifications qualifies us to properly restore homes and businesses to dry, sanitary conditions.

Ground water flooding does not discriminate by house or neighborhood.  Water seeks it's own level and it can fill your window wells, elevator shafts and soak through cracks in your foundation wall 

Prevent foundation flooding:

1. Make sure gutters are clean of debris and diverting water at lease 5-10 feet away from your building.

2.  Clean out and cover window wells to prevent rain from filling them with water.

3.  Landscape the ground to slope away from the foundation.

4.  Allow bedding areas against the foundation to drain away instead of against the foundation.  Sometimes the edging can keep water up against the house instead of draining away.

SERVPRO is available 24/7/365 to extract water, set drying equipment and sanitize areas affected by ground water.  Call us anytime to discuss your situation 269-925-6841.

Weekend Pipe Break

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Water line spraying Water lines under pressure can flood buildings.

When water lines under pressure leak they can be a major cause of water damage.  Especially when they go undetected for a length of time.  This line break happened at a local golf course clubhouse during the off season.  By the time a maintenance person discovered the problem water had flooded many areas on two levels.  Water saturated the source room, carpeting, part of a ballroom and lobby.  Then gravity pulled the water down through an old hardwood floor into a basement bar and surrounding areas.  And of course the drywall ceiling fell onto the basement bar. 

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping businesses cleanup after water losses since 1995.  We are always ready to respond to reduce secondary damage and restore structure to a dry, healthy state.  Call us at 269-925-6841 anytime.

On this loss we were able to save the carpeting, wood flooring and the basement bar area.  We extracted standing water, dried out the affected structural materials and spent a lot of time detailing the bar.  The customer was very happy with the results of our efforts.

Property managers know they can count on SERVPRO to respond when disaster strikes.  That is why we work with Whirlpool, Spectrum Health, manufacturing, financial, retail, recreation and government.  One of our mottos is, "Anywhere, any size, anytime."

Proper gutter drainage

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

Facility managers inspecting How is the water getting into the building?

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been working with property managers in all business categories since 1995.  From major manufacturers to the local convenience store, retail to restaurants and  medical to movie theaters.  Business must continue to operate and people need to work.  We are trained to keep the business operational and safe during a disaster cleanup.

Hydro-static pressure can move water through walls.  Cement is porous and has hairline fractures that water under pressure will find a way to intrude.  All buildings can experience this in basements and around foundations.  

Ground water that mixes with other materials and bacteria can be some nasty stuff requiring remediation.  SERVPRO professionals are ready 24/7/365 to respond for cleanup and restoration.  We will make it seem "Like it never even happened."

269-925-6841 for an immediate response.

Residential smoke alarm program

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

Burnt structure pile Total fire disaster

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been donating smoke alarms to all county fire departments every year since 2005.  With over 10,000 smoke alarms donated for county residents, the program has reduced the number of total-loss fire disasters.  The alarms have also given fire and smoke victims a better chance to successfully leave a burning building.  

It is so sad to see a home end up as a burnt pile of debris waiting for the dumpster.  Every home should have a smoke alarm in each bedroom and every level.  Early detection helps people to leave the home and allows for shorter response times by fire fighters.  

Any Berrien County resident in need can contact their local fire department and request smoke alarms at no cost.  From Niles to St. Joseph, Benton Harbor to New Buffalo, Watervliet to Galien smoke alarms are available. Please help save lives by using smoke alarms in your homes.

Fire damage

4/2/2020 (Permalink)

candles burning Candles are a major cause of house fires.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI has been helping fire victims cleanup and restore their homes after fire damage since 1995.  Lit candles are a major cause of house fires.  

-Never leave lit candles in rooms unattended.

-Keep lit candles at lease 2 feet away from any flammable material.

-Electronic candles are a safe alternative.

If you experience a house fire and need help with cleanup and restoration SERVPRO can help.  From Niles to St. Joseph, Benton Harbor to New Buffalo we will help with:

-Board up windows, doors and tarp a roof.

-Extract water

-Pack out claim items and inventory contents.

-Launder smoke damaged clothing and soft goods.

-Clean structure and remove smoke odor.

-Remodel damaged areas in the home.

-Pack in all cleaned contents.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is ready to help 24/7/365.  We will make it seem "Like it never even happened."

Call us anytime day or night 269-925-6841

Ground Water Flooding

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Water under floor Ground water under raised flooring.

SERVPRO of Berrien County services commercial properties in all categories.  Ground water flooding is a disaster that can affect operations for a business.  The bacteria associated with this type of water can cause a lot of health concerns among employees.  

SERVPRO trained professionals are trained to control the work atmosphere during a job.  Sometimes we can work under negative air exhausting to the exterior of the building.  If that isn't an option we use commercial air scrubbers that filter the air continuously during the job.  

This particular job - see pic - required us to extract water under a floor and sanitize. We always wear personal protective equipment such as; body suits, rubber gloves, respirators/face masks.  We arrive clean, work safely and leave clean.  All equipment is cleaned and sanitized after each use.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County is available 24/7/365 to respond to any fire, water or mold disaster your commercial building has.  We can be reached at 269-925-6841

Moldy Environment

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Attic insulation removal Removing mold impacted insulation material in attic.

TAKE PRECAUTIONS

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI professionals handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth.  If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, be alert for:

-The presence of mold.

-Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.

-Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.

-Excessive humidity-from poor ventilation in an attic.  Is the bath fan vented into the attic space instead of through the roof?

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect/test the building for mold growth and water damage problems.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI cares about proper restoration of your structure and , in most water damage situations, can safely restore your building to preloss condition. We service Southwest Michigan from Niles to St. Jospeh and Benton Harbor to New Buffalo.

269-925-6841

Sewage back up

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet off drain Sewage back up in commercial bathroom.

Many Southwest Michigan commercial facilities call SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI to clean up sewage backups. They don't want the liability of re-mediating bacteria in the workplace.  We are trained professionals in water and sewage mitigation and restoration.  SERVPRO has worked with property managers in Berrien County since 1995.  

A sewage backup bring with it bacteria, contaminated water and debris.  The work place can come to a halt when this happens.  Call the plumber to fix the source and call SERVPRO to clean it up.  

Most times we can keep your business operational during the cleanup.  And we return your business to a healthy state.  We always come prepared to safely clean and restore all surfaces affected.

Call on us 24/7  269-925-6841

Structure damage

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Damaged roof Large tree fall damage to roof.

A family reunion in Berrien County, MI one mile from Lake Michigan.  Adults and children having a great weekend.  Suddenly a storm blows in off the lake and topples a giant Oak tree which falls onto the vacation home.  Thankfully, nobody was hurt.  But the roof was crushed.

What are you supposed to do now?  Call SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI for emergency repairs and tarping a roof.  The very same day a tree service removed the culprit and debris.  SERVPRO secured the roof against water.  A crew was scheduled to clean up debris inside and place drying equipment.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI helped restore this wonderful vacation home for future events.

24/7  269-925-6841  

We make it "Like it never even happened."

Measuring moisture

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

tool bag with meters Moisture meters to find the water you can't see.

It's the water you can't see that causes the most damage.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI professionals find all the water and moisture in a water loss.  Gravity pulls water into every space available and structural materials absorb moisture every chance it gets.  Wet moves to dry is another way to explain this.

Emergency Services

SERVPRO will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal belongings and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and prepare the area for drying.  They will explain the needed emergency services to you step by step.

Monitoring

To help ensure your structure and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, SERVPRO will monitor the drying process.  The updates will be consistently communicated to you and your insurance adjuster.  When drying goals are reached the equipment is removed so restoration can begin.

Ground water flooding

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Pump and vac lines in crawl space Ground water filled this crawl space with 3 feet of water when the sump pump stopped working.

Bridgman Michigan - 2 inches of rain in 24 hours during severe weather flooded a lot of water into this customer's crawlspace. The sump pump overheated and stopped working.  Luckily the home owner had a rider on his insurance covering this loss.

SERVPRO immediately responded by pumping the standing water outside, removing wet insulation, sanitizing structure and setting drying equipment for 5 days.  It was important to dry the wood studs and replace the wet insulation.  This was a second home for our out of state customer.  He really appreciated our trustworthiness and dependability during this job.  He runs a large construction business in Chicago and was impressed with our level of expertise and attention to detail.

Another job well done.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI responds to flood damage 24/7.

  Call us at 269-925-6841 for an immediate response.

Commercial water damage

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

roof leak and drain buckets Roof leaks being controlled into retaining buckets.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is ready 24/7 to immediately respond to water losses that affect the operation of commercial buildings.  We are trained to do whatever is possible to re-mediate the loss while keeping the customer operational.

No water damage is too big or too small.

When damage affects your home or business, you want it to be restored as soon as possible.  SERVPRO Professionals have restored property for over 45 years.  SERVPRO is the trusted choice for hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, because they know SERVPRO has the experience to do the job right.

The first 24 hours following a water loss are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage.  SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI immediately responds to loss notifications to help ensure a water damage is handled by completing the following steps.

Museum Water Damage

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded museum needs SERVPRO Emergency response for museum loss.

This beautiful, small town museum has a boiler heating system.  These systems are fueled by water which can cause problems when pipes under pressure freeze and then burst.  That's what happened on the upstairs level of this wonderful building.  Water then affected the  the main  level and then the basement level.  This loss attained super soaker status because so many areas of the structure were saturated.

The heating system was shut down while plumbers fixed the source.  Temporary heat was brought in and SERVPRO began extracting water and drying out structure.  Moisture barriers were opened up, drywall was removed at 2 feet  and numerous dehumidifiers and air movers were strategically placed to dry the building.

After the remodel, it was "Like it never even happened."  The customer was very happy to reopen their beautiful museum.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is ready 24/7/365 to respond to water losses.  Anytime-anywhere.

Managing mold in a classroom

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Atmosphere test Environmental Hygienist testing

Mold growth was suspected in this school room by staff.  Professional testing was necessary to identify what molds should be re-mediated.

Molds are found in every environment, and mold spores reproduce rapidly when moisture is present.  An Institute of Medicine study found excessive dampness indoors encourages the growth of molds and other organisms, potentially causing a public health problem. The EPA advised that the potential health concerns from molds are an important reason to prevent moisture problems leading to mold growth.  

Testing identified the types of molds that were to be removed from the environment.  SERVPRO of Berrien County worked with the remediation protocol provided by the testing company.  All affected structure and materials were either removed or cleaned.  

Customer was happy with results when the post test results passed and the room was put back into service.

SERVPRO of Berrien County (269)-925-6841

Residential fire

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Fire board up Fire house boarded up for security

House fires happen for many different reasons.  After the fire is out the site must be secured.  Many times this requires professional board up service to tarp the roof and secure coverings to broken windows and doors.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is available 24/7/365 to respond to fires.

Many times the fire department won't leave a site unattended because it is unsafe to do so.  People are naturally curious and want to see the damage.  A burned house is very dangerous and most times toxic to breath.

The homeowner of Fireman in charge can coordinate the board up.  Damage to the roof, windows and doors is assessed and materials are deployed to the site for installation.  

Once complete, SERVPRO coordinates with the homeowner and their insurance carrier the next steps in the restoration process.

SERVPRO covers all of Berrien County and surrounding areas for many insurance companies.

"Like it never even happened."

House fire

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Space heaters can cause a fire. Never leave space heaters running when you aren't around. Keep at least 3 feet from anything flammable.

Putting out a fire can be worse that the fire itself. 

Smoke, water, extinguisher chemical dust, broken windows and doors, holes cut into the roof.  It can be the biggest mess you have ever seen.  Let's hope you never do.

Your first line of defense is smoke alarms.  If you are in need, contact your Berrien County Fire Department for alarms and installation.

The first 48 hours after a fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings.  SERVPRO professionals can help prevent fire damage from creating long-term problems.  SERVPRO provides timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration.  These services help ensure your property, belongings and memories are restored to preloss condition when possible. 

SERVPRO also works with you and your insurance carrier during the entire process.  And finally making it seem "Like it never even happened."

Kitchen fire.

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage from stove Somebody walked away from hot oil cooking chicken on the stove. Caught the cabinets on fire first.

Devastating fire damage to this home's kitchen and surrounding rooms in Benton Harbor.  The owner's young son was cooking chicken on the stove top and left the room long enough for the cabinets to catch on fire.  These type of fires are very hot and spread rapidly.  The occupants only had time to get everybody out of the house before the fire department arrived.  It took an hour to get the fire out.  

Every surface in all rooms was affected by fire, heat, smoke, soot and water.  There were very few items SERVPRO could remove and restore for these homeowners.  Insurance basically gave them replacement value for the home.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is ready 24/7/365 to respond to fire damage.  From board up to cleanup and restoration.  We make it "Like it never even happened."

Residential smoke alarm program

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms Smoke alarm distribution to Berrien County residents.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been providing fire cleanup and restoration to residential customers since 1995.  As a way to give back to the community, we sponsor a smoke alarm distribution program annually.  Over the past 14 years we have donated 10,000+ alarms to county fire departments for free distribution to residents in need.

SERVPRO of Berrien County partners with Home Depot and Midwest Family Broadcasting for the purchase, distribution and "getting the word out" to residents.

October is Fire Prevention Month.  Berrien County Fire Chiefs told us 14 years ago that the one thing we could help them do is provide smoke alarms to those that can't afford them.  So during October residents hear on the radio how they can call their local fire department to request smoke alarms for their homes.  The fire department will even install them properly.  The program has been a great success.

If you are ever the victim of fire damage you can call SERVPRO of Berrien County  269-925-6841 for board-up, cleanup and restoration.

Raw sewage backup

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Raw sewage The remnants of a sewage backup in a commercial kitchen.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping residential and commercial customers cleanup and sanitize after sewage backups since 1995.

During heavy rains the storm drains can fill up and cause other problems for drain lines.  In this picture of a commercial kitchen you can see some of what was left behind when the affected areas drained off.  This is raw sewage which we call category 3 contaminated water damage.  We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of this type of loss.

First, we extract all remaining material, then, sanitize with an antimicrobial agent before drying the affected structural materials.  This type of loss can greatly affect the operation of any facility.  We are trained to keep commercial facilities operational if at all possible.  

If your facility ever experiences a sewage backup, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Berrien County for emergency service 24/7/365.

Tree damage to roof.

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage Storm damage to roof. Tree fell on home-nobody hurt.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been providing emergency cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial customers since 1995.

Mother nature can wreak havoc with wind and rain storms anytime of the year.  As you can see in this attached picture, this is the result of a wind blown roof damage when a 100 year old tree fell on this home.  This is a severe puncture which is dangerous and can require cleanup, tarping, remediation and rebuild.  All of which we can do for customers.

Roof punctures allow water to get into the structure and cause water damage.  The damaging tree and branches must be removed and the roof boarded up to keep water out.  Then the structure must be cleaned and dried before repairs.

If you experience storm damage to your home, call SERVPRO of Berrien County 24/7/365 for emergency cleanup and restoration services.

Restaurant Fire Damage

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage caused by faulty electrical connection. Smoke and heat damage to the inside of a restaurant bar and it's contents.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping residential and commercial customers cleanup and restore fire damage since 1996.  Servicing Niles to St. Joseph and New Buffalo to Watervliet.

Fire damage can totally ruin a business and lots of people lose jobs.  That's why we train to respond immediately to help businesses get back to what they do best.  In this case, they have been serving food to the area since the 1950's.  An electrical connection started the fire early one morning and a passing motorist called it in.  Another 10 minutes...

SERVPRO was called in to remove damaged contents and structure, clean what remained and paint it to seal in odor.  Other contractors did the rest to get this business back in operation.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is ready to respond 24/7/365.   269-925-6841

Stinky mess and hazardous too.

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

broken toilet in stall with sewage on tile floor Sewage backup in a bathroom that leaked to the level below.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been servicing residential and commercial customers since 1996.  From St. Joseph to Niles, Buchanan to New Buffalo and Benton Harbor to Watervliet.  We are trained to respond immediately to fire and water losses.

In this case we were called to a commercial business that had sewage backup into a large bathroom and leak down to the next level.  This required immediate cleanup so staff could use the facilities and operate in a research lab.

SERVPRO extracted category 3 water and wiped everything down with an antimicrobial to sanitize all areas-floors, ceilings, walls, contents.  This is done 100% so there is no chance of cross contamination.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is available on an emergency basis 24/7/365  269-925-6841

Smoke alarm program.

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

male employee standing in front of boxes of smoke alarms Call your local fire department for free smoke alarms.

A National Fire Protection Association report shows an average of 7 people lose their lives as a result of house fires every single day.  SERVPRO of Berrien County is helping prevent future tragedies. In recognition of National Fire Prevention Month, SERVPRO is donating 1,000 new smoke detectors on a first come basis at area Fire Departments.   

Don’t add to sobering statistics.  Be sure your home has a working smoke detector courtesy of SERVPRO, and brought to you in part by Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

Smoke Detectors available- FREE for those in need- at fire stations and police agencies listed below:

Baroda
Benton Harbor
Benton Township
Berrien Springs/Oronoko Township
Bertrand Township
Bridgman
Buchanan City
Buchanan Township
Coloma
Eau Claire

Galien Township
Lake Township
New Buffalo City
New Buffalo Township
Niles City
Niles Township
North Berrien Fire
Royalton Township
St. Joseph Charter Township
St. Joseph City
Sodus Township
Sister Lakes
Three Oaks
Watervliet
Weesaw Township

For more information, call SERVPRO at 269-925-6841.

Other Fire Prevention resources:
- Fire Prevention for Kids:

http://www.sparky.org/
- Families: http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/fire-prevention-week/for-kids-and-families

 Alarms available in October 2019

Infection Control Risk Assessment ICRA

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

female in blue scrubs with green equipment on cart Infection Control Risk Assessment-ICRA Working clean.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been providing emergency cleanup and restoration services to the healthcare industry since 1996. 

The hot topics in healthcare services are HAI-Hospital Acquired Infection and IHD-In Hospital Death.  Both are a worldwide problem.  The high percentages of these issues has required outside services to arrive clean, control the work atmosphere and leave clean.  This greatly reduces the risk of infection for healthcare patients.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is now ICRA certified:  Infection Control Risk Assessment.  We have been trained and certified by Wonder Makers Environmental to comply with industry requirements regarding infection control.  Our professional staff also has the certified training to properly use atmosphere filtration equipment to industry standards.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is ready to provide emergency fire/water/mold cleanup and restoration services 24/7/365   269-207-4009

Hidden moisture.

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

Moisture meter SERVPRO uses commercial grade moisture meters to measure the moisture content in drywall and other building materials. We find the hidden moisture.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been providing water damage cleanup and restoration to Southwest MI since 1996.

With any leak it's the water you don't see that causes the most damage.

Emergency mitigation means that under normal circumstances, a SERVPRO professional is on-site within four hours to begin drying your building and restorable contents.  Remember, the faster the water is removed, the less chance of serious damage to your facility.

Each SERVPRO professional is trained and understands how to manage the drying process. There is a science to dehumidification. By utilizing the proper equipment and moisture measuring devices, your building is quickly and thoroughly dried, which helps prevent secondary water damages.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is ready to provide emergency water restoration services 24/7/365.

269-925-6841

Clean your gutters!

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Clogged/clean gutters Gutters before and after

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been cleaning up wet basements for 25 years for residents of Southwest Michigan.  From St. Joseph to Niles to New Buffalo and Watervliet we extract water and dry structure. 

One of the main reasons people get water in their homes is clogged gutters.  When it rains hard the water floods over the clogged gutters and collects against the foundation.  Then it finds ways to leak into your basement due to hydrostatic pressure.  Water will gradually seep through your masonry walls and flood your space.   Hopefully your sump pump will do its job and remove the extra water.  If not, you may need to contact us at 269-925-6841.  We respond 24/7/365.

When you need emergency help removing water and drying structure call SERVPRO of Berrien County.

Proper gutter drainage

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Poor downspout example next to a proper drainage away from structure. Downspout drain before and after.

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping residential and commercial properties cleanup after ground water flooding  since 1995.  We have helped customers in Niles, Buchanan, New Buffalo, Sawyer, St. Joseph and Coloma.  Water will get in your home in many ways unless you take steps to keep it out.  

One of those ways to keep water out of your home is to keep it away from your foundation with proper drainage.  The ground should slope away from the house and the downspout should discharge water at least 5 feet away.  Some home owners will bury  the drain line and other put an extension on the downspout.

With clean gutters and proper downspout drainage many owners will reduce their risk of water damage to buildings.  

If you experience water damage or flooding in your building, call the SERVPRO professionals at 269-925-6841  24/7/365 for emergency service.

Understanding and maintaining a sump pump.

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Function of a sump pump. Sump Pump

SERVPRO of Berrien County services Niles, New Buffalo, Buchanan, Union Pier, Bridgman, Stevensville and St. Joseph, MI.

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 areas that are wet.  

Spring Flooding in Michigan

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Flood water

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 at least 5 feet away from the home. Otherwise hydrostatic pressure created from runoff 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 of Berrien County 269-925-6841

Servicing Niles, New Buffalo, St. Joseph, Benton Harbor and other areas of Berrien County.

Water damaged walls

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Demolition during remediation

SERVPRO of Berrien County is always ready to help commercial businesses in St. Joseph and surrounding communities.

A commercial facility in Stevensville recently had a pipe break which discharged hundreds of gallons of water into office space.  The water saturated floors and ran under the walls.   The metal base channels filled with water which impacted drywall and insulation 1 foot up. 

It's the water you don't see that can cause the most problems.

Within one hour of being contacted by the facility manager SERVPRO of Berrien County was on site extracting water and removing carpet and  baseboard.  Walls that had insulation were removed at 2 feet so the dehumidification process would be effective.

Once building materials were dry and sanitized the rebuild could begin.  

SERVPRO of Berrien County responds to water damages 24/7/365.  269-925-6841

Clean your gutters and drains before it rains.

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Clogged gutters

SERVPRO of Berrien County helps hundreds of home owners clean up water damage in basements every year.  Most of these basement have water find its way in because the gutters are clogged with leaves, sticks and debris.

Roof gutters are designed to carry water off the roof and drain it away from your home.  Drains should be in good condition and extend at least 5 feet away from the foundation.  Farther is the water flows back because the grade is poor.

Most insurance carriers do not cover ground water flooding.  They consider poor drainage a maintenance issue that is the responsibility of the home owner.  So cleaning your gutters and properly draining water away from your home can eliminate costly damages.

If you experience water in your basement, contact SERVPRO of Berrien County 269-925-6841 

Winter fires

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

House fire Space heater left running.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI are the experts at cleaning and restoring homes damaged by fire and smoke.

After smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need removal or a restoration cleaning.  Your SERVPRO professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, and then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different surfaces found in your home.

Seasonal heating hazards are important to consider to prevent home fires.

Space heaters should always be at least 3 feet away from combustible items.

Lighted Candles should never be left untended.

Fire places and chimneys should always be cleaned seasonaly.  Check to make sure the flue is open before lighting the fire.

If you experience a home fire of any size, call your insurance company and then call---

SERVPRO of Berrien County at 269-925-6841 to inspect damage.

October is Fire Prevention Month

9/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Alarm Program 1000 Smoke alarms distributed to Fire Departments for Berrien County residents in need.

A National Fire Protection Association report shows an average of 7 people lose their lives as a result of house fires every single day.  SERVPRO of Berrien County is helping prevent future tragedies. In recognition of National Fire Prevention Month, SERVPRO  donated 1000 new smoke detectors to 26 Berrien County Fire Departments. Intended for free distribution to residents in need.  

Don’t add to sobering statistics.  Be sure your home has a working smoke detector courtesy of SERVPRO, and brought to you in part by Mid-West Family Broadcasting.

Smoke Detectors available at fire stations and police agencies listed below:

Baroda
Benton Harbor
Benton Township
Berrien Springs/Oronoko Township
Bertrand Township
Bridgman
Buchanan City
Buchanan Township 2
Coloma
Eau Claire

Galien Township
Lake Township
New Buffalo City
New Buffalo Township
Niles City
Niles Township
North Berrien Fire
Royalton Township
St. Joseph Charter Township
St. Joseph City
Sodus Township
Sister Lakes
Three Oaks
Watervliet
Weesaw Township

For more information, call SERVPRO at 269-925-6841.

Ground Water Flooding

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

Water loss Berrien County ground water flooding.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is always ready to help homeowners dry out and sanitize their home after storms.  

February is a difficult time for South West Michigan when it rains for two days.  The ground was frozen and the snow melted into runoff which flooded many areas by the river. Niles, Berrien Springs and areas of St. Joseph were greatly affected.  Many were using boats to reach their homes. 

Flood waters contain all kinds of bacteria picked up from the ground and sewers.  When this category 3 water enters your home it is important to remove affected materials and sanitize all areas.  

When ground water flooding affects your home, call SERVPRO 269-925-6841 to dry it out and sanitize to prevent mold growth. 

"Like it never even happened."

Storm water stops business

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded Inventory

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI responds to storm related damages.  A St. Joseph, MI commercial beverage distribution business came to a halt when mother nature flooded the area with tremendous storms.  The storm sewers were full and backing up into warehouses.  This water mixed with sewer lines created a bacteria filled mess .

SERVPRO was contacted to help remove standing water with pumps and extraction equipment.  We worked through the weekend to help this company fulfill delivery contracts during it's busiest weekend of the year.  Then SERVPRO concentrated on the office areas to remove affected materials, dry the wet structure and sanitize all areas inpacted by flood water.

This customer was thankful that SERVPRO was there to immediately begin restoring their company to it's preloss condition.  

New Construction Mold

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth on new building materials

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is expert at the remediation and restoration of mold damage.

Take Precautions: SERVPRO professionals handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth.  If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, be alert for:

- The presence of visible mold.

- Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold in present.

- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.

- Excessive humidity.

In this case the builder was unable to control the environment during construction.  It was a very wet spring and the roof took longer than expected to install.  Mold grew on these new construction materials requiring remediation to kill the mold  and remove .  SERVPRO is expert at the removal and remediation of mold.

Hidden mold

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Sometimes it's the water you don't see that caused the biggest problems.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is expert in the removal and remediation of mold inpacted facilities.  Many times there are impacted areas that aren't visible.

A Stevensville, MI business had some water in their basement storage areas.  They removed the water themselves.  Weeks later more water got in the basement and a terrible smell began seeping into the rest of the facility through the air conditioning system.  They called SERVPRO to handle the situation.  We extracted water from affected areas and set drying equipment.  Then we sanitized the entire basement.  But the telltale odor of mildew was still present.  

We found a previously mold impacted cement wall covered with drywall.  This material was removed and the wall sanitized.  The odor was eliminated.  Sometimes hidden areas cause the biggest problems.

Moldy Environment

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Mold on carpeting Uncontrolled humidity mold growth

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI is expert at the removal and remediation of mold impacted materials.  

A Benton Harbor, MI hotel has carpeted meeting rooms totaling 5,000 sqft.  They discovered mold growing on door frames, wall paper and all over  the carpeting.  SERVPRO was called to help discover the cause and re mediate the issue.  The HVAC system was not consistently controlling the environment.  Relative humidity was 77%.  Mold was actively growing on the carpeting which they would vacuum off before meetings.

SERVPRO of Berrien County applied antimicrobial prior to steam cleaning the carpet, then steamed cleaned and again applied antimicrobial.  Dehumidifiers and air movers were set for 24 hours which decreased the relative humidity to 57%.  

Customers were very happy to have SERVPRO clean up the area and advise them on the importance of regulating the atmosphere. 

Continuing Education for insurance professionals

8/27/2018 (Permalink)

Invitation

SERVPRO of Berrien County will be offering 2 free continuing education seminars on October 15, 2018. Classes will be held at the following location:

Kinexus - Anchor Room  499 West Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI  49022

(At the round about across the street from Whirlpool Headquarters)

The subjects will be:

ETHICS  3 insurance credit hours  Course #70878  Restoration Category

Registration Time: 8:00 am

Course time 8:30-11:30

Lunch will be provided from 12:00-12:30

BIOHAZARD CLEANUP  2 insurance credit hours course # 74256  Restoration Category

Registration time: 11:45 am

Course time: 12:00 - 2:00pm

100% attendance is required in order to receive credit for this course.

For reservations contact: SERVPRO of Berrien County     269-925-6841

bobrogers@SERVPRO-berriencounty.com

Warehouse Flooded

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded warehouse Flood water affects business operations.

SERVPRO of Berrien County, MI responds to all kinds of water disasters.  Many times, Mother Nature creates situations you wouldn't expect.  With water tables historically high, additional rains can quickly cause ground water flooding.  Storm drains can fill up and lift stations can fail to pump off excess water. With no where else to go flood waters can quickly enter commercial buildings through floor drains and doorways.

A St. Joseph area business experienced storm water back-up  during some heavy rain storms in June.  SERVPRO was called to extract standing water and steam clean cement affected by CAT 3 water.  

SERVPRO 269-925-6841 is ready to help any business that has a disaster affecting the operation.  Business continuity and keeping employees working is a top priority.

October is Fire Prevention Month

8/6/2018 (Permalink)

1,000 smoke alarms for Berrien County

SERVPRO of Berrien County donates 1,000 smoke alarms for fire departments to install for residents.  We have done this for 15 years and are proud to help the community.

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. 

Water damaged basement

4/18/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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

Residential fire damage.

4/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire damage caused by faulty electrical connection. SERV{PRO cleans fire damage in St. Joseph, Stevensville, Bridgman, Harbor Country, New Buffalo, Buchanan, Niles, Eau Claire, Coloma, Watervliet.

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 stove top
  • 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)

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)

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 

Winter flooding

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Berrien County flood Niles Michigan river flooding 2018.

Winter of 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 at different levels.  Businesses, trailer parks, entire river communities.  Thousands of people were affected and had to 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.  Some additional flooding occurred.

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)

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 

What floods leave behind.

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial flood loss. Flood water is considered category 3.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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?

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold on carpeting Mold growth on carpeting

SERVPRO of Berrien County has been helping customers re-mediate mold in homes and businesses since 1995.

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 Satellite shot-top left corner was penetrated by the truck's cab. Speed estimated at 65 mph. Nobody was hurt.

Berrien County MI 3:00 AM a semi truck ran off the highway and penetrated a major 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 spraying 75,000 gallons of water. This mixed with the diesel from the ruptured truck's 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 and dispose of toxic waste safely. Staff were relocated to another building. 120 cubicles, walls, carpet, files and equipment were removed or relocated by SERVPRO and the customer.

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

Crash barriers have been place between the highway and building to reduce the possibility of another major disaster.

Spring rains can bring many pains.

3/31/2017 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

Sump pump Sump Pump maintenance.

SERVPRO of Berrien County is providing maintenance tips for your sump pump.  If you experience a water loss when your sump pump stops, call us at 269-925-6841 for help.

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)

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 growth Mold and bacteria begin active growth under the right conditions.

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

SERVPRO of Berrien County is expert at mold remediation.  Call if you have any questions. 269-925-6841

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 ice maker, 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 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)

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 - 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)

St. Joseph, help,  water Storm

Your home is your most valuable asset so don’t get caught unprepared 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!

Storm Disaster Recovery Team

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Equipment on truck SERVPRO is always ready to help.

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 never even happened."

SERVPRO is ready 24/7/365 and can be reached at 269-926-6841

Be prepared for Severe Weather!

2/11/2016 (Permalink)

Severe weather Storm damage

SERVPRO of Berrien County is ready when you are to clean up after storm damage.

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 bandannas
  • 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)

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.

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