Recent Water Damage Posts

Basement water damage

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Stevensville, water, damage, cleanup Water heater, leak, basement

Water heaters have a servicable life of 10-15 years.  Some work much longer and some live shorter lives.  But they all take their turns at failure and sometimes flood your basement.  Annual service can extend the life of your water heater by any number of years.  But in the end, many just decay, rust and leak out many gallons of water into your home.  The water is usually under 60 psi which will continue to flood your home until the water is turned off.  

Basement flooding can affect your flooring, walls, insulation, contents and utilities.  When you discover a basement flood:

1. Turn off the water supply to the unit or the main water shut off.

2. Call a plumber to fix the source.

3. Call your insurance company to file a claim.

4. Call SERVPRO of Berrien County to extract water and clean up the damages.

Moldy Environment

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

St. Joseph, help,  water, mold Mold boards

Many times it's the water you don't see that causes major damage to your home.  A local home sits on a dirt floor crawl space with no ventilations to maintain a proper atmosphere.  One which has a lower relative humidity.  There was not a moisture barrier on the dirt to keep moisture in the ground.  the humid conditions allowed bacteria and mold to actively grow on the wood surfaces.  

The moisture can also come from leaking pipes and ground water intrusion.  If this should happen to your home...

1. Call your insurance company and explain the situation.

2. Call SERVPRO of Berrien County and request an inspection of the space.

SERVPRO is available 24/7/365 to help keep your home operational and safe.

"Here to Help"

Water ceiling damage

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Niles, water damage, ceiling wet ceiling tiles

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.  

Ceiling tiles and drywall absorb 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.  

Commercial ceiling tiles bow under the weight of moisture.  Remove and replace.

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.

Spring rains and ground water flooding

4/14/2021 (Permalink)

Niles, water damage, flood House in water

Our customer on the St. Joseph river built their home in 1953.  They had never experienced a flood in all the years since until 2018.  The weather conditions were a perfect storm of flooding.   A foot and 1/2 of snow pack on frozen ground.  In February mother nature brought 3 days of rain.  The combination of rain and snow melt mixing with ice jams on the river created a major flood. 

All buildings near the river experienced flood water.  It was a terrible mix of dirt, debris, toxins etc...

Once the water receded SERVPRO of Berrien County was able to help multiple residents and business owners dry out and sanitize their buildings. 

When you need help with water loss, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Berrien County.

We are "Here to Help" 

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

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.

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

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."

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.

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.

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.  

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 

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

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.

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 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.  

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.

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.

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.