Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Restoration Services

4/18/2022 (Permalink)

building Call the professionals.

For more than 50 years, SERVPRO has been a trusted leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation, biohazard, and pathogen remediation.  

SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,900 individually owned and operated franchises spans the United States and Canada, responding to property damage emergencies large and small - from million -square-foot commercial facilities to individual homes.  

When disaster strikes, homeowners, business owners, and major insurance companies alike rely on SERVPRO to make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Berrien County provides restoration services from New Buffalo to Coloma, Buchanan to St. Joseph.  We are "Here to Help" anywhere, anytime.  If you experience fire or water damage you count on us to respond to your emergency any time of day or night.

Basement Mold

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Multi colored wall Basement wall mold.

Many times Michigan basements have an aroma all their own.  When you go into your basement do the following terms come to mind...musty, mildew, dank, damp and gross?  How does this happen and what can you do about it?

Water gets in:

Cement walls are hard as rock but somewhat porous meaning that moisture can transfer through the material.  This is sometimes referred to as Hydrostatic Pressure.  Usually a result of poor drainage around the foundation.  

Proper drainage:

The source of water intrusion must be corrected.  Gutters, downspouts and drain extensions at lease 5' away from the foundation help keep excessive water away from the home.  Clean out and cover window wells so they don't leak into the basement.  

Mold Remediation:

SERVPRO of Berrien County can dry it out and clean it up.  We have been helping homeowners clean up their basements since 1995.  From Niles to St. Joseph,  Coloma to Union Pier.  A healthy basement is important to have a healthy home.

How do you get started?

Call us to inspect your mold situation and give you an estimated cost for a healthy living space.  269-925-6841

Basement Mold

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

Mold on paper roll Unhealthy basement

Many times Michigan basements have an aroma all their own.  When you go into your basement do the following terms come to mind...musty, mildew, dank, damp and gross?  How does this happen and what can you do about it?

Water gets in:

Cement walls are hard as rock but somewhat porous meaning that moisture can transfer through the material.  This is sometimes referred to as Hydrostatic Pressure.  Usually a result of poor drainage around the foundation.  

Proper drainage:

The source of water intrusion must be corrected.  Gutters, downspouts and drain extensions at lease 5' away from the foundation help keep excessive water away from the home.  Clean out and cover window wells so they don't leak into the basement.  

Mold Remediation:

SERVPRO of Berrien County can dry it out and clean it up.  We have been helping homeowners clean up their basements since 1995.  From Niles to St. Joseph,  Coloma to Union Pier.  A healthy basement is important to have a healthy home.

How do you get started?

Call us to inspect your mold situation and give you an estimated cost for a healthy living space.  269-925-6841

Who will you choose to do the work?

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Colorful review template Google review 5 star

Sometimes the main sewage lines get overwhelmed by storm runoff and debris which clogs the pipe.  When this happens sewage can back up into your basement through the floor drains and utility sinks.  And it can get deep enough to ruin contents and utilities.  

Your home operation can come to a halt quickly.  You can't flush a toilet or do laundry until it's fixed.  Your other utilities like furnace and water heater may also be affected.  What do you do?

1. Call your emergency plumber to fix the source.

2. Contact your insurance company and file a claim.

3. Call SERVPRO of Berrien County to clean it, dry it and sanitize it.

We are available 24/7/365 to help you on your worst day.  269-925-6841

Here to Help

Good reviews help you decide who to use.

3/2/2022 (Permalink)

Colorful review template Here to Help

A major Benton Harbor business was in the middle of a long awaited remodel of front office space.  They were adding on staff and greatly improving the work place.  What can go wrong? Well....

Winter-February-single digit temps for 3 days-a 1.5 inch fire suppression line freezes in the West side glass foyer-insufficient space heater to hold temp.  Under pressure this line thaws and floods 8,000 sqft of office space. 

The main water for these fire lines are turned off and drained.  An emergency plumbing vendor fixes the source.  SERVPRO of Berrien County is called to immediately extract the water, pull cove and drill holes in drywall to help drying structure.  This fast response avoided secondary damage and expense.

When a disaster affects the operation of your business SERVPRO is Here to Help.

269-926-6841  24/7

Smoke Damage

12/9/2021 (Permalink)

smoke Smoke damage cleanup

Smoke damage can make your home unlivable or business inoperable.  Take control of this situation as best you can.  Sometimes the smoke damage is worse than the fire.  Smoke, odor, particulate permeates everything.  And it can take a small army to remove all of the damage so you can live in your home or work in you business.

Smoke gets on your ceilings, walls, floors, contents, furniture, window, bedding, clothing, tools, guns, collectibles...  Maybe the stove caught on fire and you can just replace it.  But the smoke damage may take days or weeks to cleanup.  

SERVPRO has trained fire restoration technicians that can get the job done.  We clean and restore the vast majority of fires in Berrien County, MI.  

When you have fire or smoke damage contact your insurance carrier and SERVPRO of Berrien County.  "Here to Help"

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

6/18/2021 (Permalink)

Certified logos Professionally trained and certified.

When Fire, Water or Mold damage your home or business, you want it to be restrored as soon as possible.  SERVPRO professionals have restored property for over 45 years.  And we continue to train our staff.  SERVPRO is the trusted choice for hundreds of insurance companies nationwide, because they know we have the training and experience to do the job right.

Just ask our customers in St. Joseph, MI.  We are always ready to respond with trained crews.  They will help you on your worst day or night.  Help get your business or home operational fast.  Help staff return to work.  Help you understand the restoration process.  Help deal with your insurance company.

We train, we clean, we restore, we fix and we build relationships with our customers. 

Use the experts at SERVPRO of Berrien County.

Community Business With Integrity

6/17/2021 (Permalink)

window stickers Community commitment.

SERVPRO of Berrien County doesn't just work for the community, it works with the community.  Our entire staff lives where they work.  They are part of Berrien County and Southwest Michigan.  It's important for customers to know that our trained technicians are part of the fabric.  

Since 1995 we have lived and worked with businesses and residents to cleanup and restore fire and water damage to buildings.  

We have also been members of the Better Business Bureau and county Chambers of Commerce.  In good standing with Niles, Harbor Country and SWM Regional.  Which means we do our best on every single job.  The standard we instill in our staff is "underpromise and over deliver".  

SERVPRO is "Here to Help" and available all the time.  On your worst day we are on the way.

Mold remediation experts

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

New Buffalo, mold damage Moldy drywall

Berrien County sits directly across Lake Michigan from the City of Chicago.  Many Illinois residents have second homes here in Michigan.  The homes sit mostly vacant waiting for the owners to visit or vacation during the beautiful summers.  But when the owners are away the pipes sometimes burst and spray.  

This home had a third floor toilet supply line that malfunctioned at the valve.  Water under pressure ran for about 7 days saturating 80% of the structure with an estimated 6,000 gallons of water.  Bacteria  quickly affected organic materials like drywall, wood, carpet and furniture. The home was 100% affected and required professional remediation and sanitation.

SERVPRO of Berrien County was contracted to handle the remediation from start to finish.  We have crews certified in remediation and sanitizing.  All affected materials were removed, remaining structure was dried and sanitized so a healthy remodel could be completed.

The customers were thrilled with how we made their home healthy again. 

"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

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 

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.  

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

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.

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

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.  

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.