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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Spring is here and the yard work begins.

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Every spring we get called out to a fire that was started due to burning leaves and in most cases, those fires could have been avoided with some careful planning and a more thought out strategy.

1. Check the conditions.DO NOT BURN WHEN IT IS WINDY.Even a small burst of wind can move a burning leaf and cause a fire. “I didn’t think it was THAT windy,” is not a valid excuse.

2.Never leave the burn pile.You must stay outside and monitor the situation at all times. Murphy’s Law would say that the two minutes you go inside to get a drink is when a small wind will transform your small leaf burning into a full fledge garage fire. Be smart!

3. Be aware of your surroundings. Do not burn near any powerlines or low hanging trees. You need to haveat least three times the height of the pile in vertical clearance.Professionally we would suggest not burning below anything that is hanging. Why risk it?

4. Have a hose and water source nearby. As an extra precaution you can spray the ground around the fire to help keep the area wet and prevent additional spreading.

5.Do not burn everything all at once. This is obviously reliant on what you have to burn and your burn area, but it is always easier to add leaves than it is to take them away. Keep your fire small and add additional leaves as the fire burn down.

6. If using a burn barrel, make sure it is made entirely of metal, properly equipped (at least three evenly-spaced, three-inch holes, screened vent and metal top screen) and in good condition.

7. When complete, drown the ashes with water and use a shovel to carefully turn over the ashes.Drown the fire again and repeat multiple times.The goal is to prevent any sort of rekindling.

If you do decide to burn your leaves this fall, please be cautious and smart. If you have any questions, call your local fire department and ask for guidance. They would be more than happy to help you.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to out of control yard fires. . Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

Warmer Weather Brings Out The Grills.

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

It happens every year. The weather gets warmer, more people use outdoor grills – and incidents of grill-caused fires go up. Each year, outdoor grilling causes an average of 8,900 home fires. Listed below are 9 safety tip when Grilling. 

1. Grill outside and away from any structures

Charcoal and gas grills are designed for outdoor use only. However, NFPA reports that more than one-quarter (27 percent) of home fires started by outdoor grills began in a courtyard, terrace or patio, and 29 percent started on an exterior balcony or open porch. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches when you set up your grill.

2. Make sure your grill is stable

Only set up your grill on a flat surface and make sure the grill can’t be tipped over. Consider using a grill pad or splatter mat underneath your grill to protect your deck or patio.

3. Keep your grill clean

Remove grease or fat buildup from both the grill and the tray below the grill. If you are using a charcoal grill, allow the coals to completely cool off before disposing of them in a metal container.

4. Check for propane leaks on your gas grill

Before the season’s first barbecue, check the gas tank hose for leaks by applying a light soap and water solution to the hose and then turning on the gas. If there is a propane leak, the solution will bubble. Other signs of a propane leak include the smell of gas near the barbecue or a flame that won’t light.

5. If the flame goes out, wait to re-light

If you are using a gas grill and the flame goes out, turn the grill and the gas off, then wait at least five minutes to re-light it.

6. Take care around the grill

Never leave a lit grill unattended. Don’t allow kids or pets to play near the grill. Never try to move a lit or hot grill, and remember the grill will stay hot for at least an hour after use.

7. Be careful with charcoal starter fluid

If you use a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. If the fire starts to go out, don’t add any starter fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire. Consider using a charcoal chimney starter, which uses newspaper to start the fire instead of starter fluid.

8. Wear the right clothing

Clothing can easily catch fire, so be sure your shirt tails, sleeves or apron strings don’t dangle over the grill.

9. Be ready to put out the fire

Have baking soda on hand to control a grease fire and a fire extinguisher nearby for other fires. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher, keep a bucket of sand next to the grill. Never use water to put out grease fire.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to a spark from your grill. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

Summer Bring Lightning-Related Fires

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

  • During 2011-2017, U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires per year that were started by lightning. These fires caused an average of nine civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries, and $451 million in direct property damage per year. Most of these fires occurred outdoors, but most associated deaths, injuries, and property damage were associated with home fires.
  • Lightning-related fires are more common in June through August and in the late afternoon and evening. Peak seasons for lightning-related fires vary by region, as do weather patterns in general.   
  • In addition to the fires reported to local fire departments, federal and state wildland firefighting agencies reported an average of 9,000 wildland fires started by lightning to the National Interagency Fire Center per year in 2011-2017. These fires tended to be larger than fires started by human causes.  The average lightning-caused fire burned 402 acres, nine times the average of 45 acres seen in human-caused wildland fires. 
  • In addition to causing fires, lightning is dangerous on its own. Data from the National Weather Service show that in 2011-2017, an average of 29 people per year died as a result of lightning strikes. The most common location for these deaths was outside or in an open area. The average number of lightning flashes per square mile varies considerably by state, as does the death rate from lightning incidents. 

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due lightning. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

Mold Remediation Company Vs. Do-it-Yourself

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

There is often a lot of confusion surrounding the question, “Should I clean the mold up myself or should I hire a mold remediation company?” Some people say that you can clean it yourself with no problem and others state that you should never try to clean it. However, even with all of the confusion, the answer is pretty simple and straightforward. Let’s talk about it!

First Thing’s First

Before addressing the cleaning process, you should first find and correct the cause. Since mold is usually caused by a moisture issue, you should first check for the following moisture intrusion types around the moldy area.

  • Plumbing Leaks
  • Ceiling Leaks
  • Floods / Puddles
  • Recent Spills
  • Humidifier

These are some common water intrusions that causes mold growth. If you find one of these issues near the affected area, then you may have your cause. The first thing to do if you encounter one of these issues, or any other moisture issue, is to stop it as quickly as possible. If you have to call a professional to come out, ask them for tips to keep the area as dry as possible until they arrive. You should take care of the moisture issue before contacting a mold remediation company because if you get a mold remediation before correcting the moisture issue, mold will likely grow back within a few days.

What if I can’t locate the moisture intrusion?

If you cannot locate the moisture yourself, you should contact a moisture management company. These companies will be able to locate the moisture issue and will likely know what needs to be done to correct them. Usually, these companies will be able to fix the problem themselves, however, if they encounter a plumbing issue that requires professional plumbers, they will likely have some great recommendations.

Mold Remediation Company Vs. Do-it-Yourself

Once you have found and corrected the issue that is causing mold growth, you can decide how to move forward with the removal process. The simple rule to follow when deciding is to measure the moldy area. If you have visible mold and it covers more than 9 sq. feet than you should strongly consider hiring professionals. If the area of visible mold is less than 9 sq. feet, DIY mold removal could possibly work. The reason that I stress “possibly” is because in some cases, there may be invisible or hidden mold. You could also have active growth in other areas of the property without realizing it. If you ever try a DIY process and the mold grows back or mold symptoms consist, consider hiring a mold company for testing and inspection to get a better idea of what’s going that you can’t see.

Mold Remediation Company

So how do you deal with hiring a mold remediation company? The first step is to discover which company best fits the needs of your family. Some remediation methods use strong chemicals that may be harmful if digested by a small child or pet. Since mold grows on just about any type of surface, everything in an affected area will need to be cleaned during a thorough remediation. This includes those small objects that small children or pets may put into their mouths. Always ask companies what type of chemicals they use and the potential dangers. 

Do-it-yourself Mold Remediation

A do-it-yourself approach to mold could be a bit more risky for the health of yourself and those around you if you don’t take proper precautions. The first step to protecting the health of everyone is to remove anyone from the property that is a toddler, pregnant, elderly or has a weakened immune system during the remediation. To protect yourself, and anyone that is helping clean the mold, be sure wear appropriate protective gear.

Conclusion

Mold can be stressful. Not only can it affect the health of you and your family, it can also affect your wallet and your home. The most important thing to remember is to always do what’s best for the health of your family no matter how you decide to clean it.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to mold issue. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

Houseplant Mold Removal Tips

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Houseplants have done a great job over the years at both decorating homes and helping to better the air of homes. Unfortunately, houseplants can also be the source of mold, which does the exact opposite for a home’s air. Since plants require a lot of moisture to survive, it makes them the perfect feeding grounds for mold growth to occur. However, that mold growth can be prevented. In this article, we will discuss some houseplant mold removal and prevention methods.

What Causes Houseplant Mold?

Mold is known to need 3 things to thrive. Those three things are food, oxygen, and moisture. Organic matter, such as the soil and leaves, are some of mold’s favorite foods. Also, plants require water in order to survive – lots of water. This combination of elements makes plants the perfect habitat for mold to grow.

Houseplant Mold Prevention

To prevent active growth in plants, treat them just like any other parts of your home. That is to control the moisture levels. Listed below are mold prevention tips that will lower the chances of houseplant mold.

  • Don’t over water: Most houseplants come with instructions to water. Follow these watering instructions for best practices.
  • Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a natural, harmless anti-fungal substance. You can prevent mold growth by adding cinnamon to the plant soil.
  • Gravel: Adding gravel to the bottom of the soil will help the plant drain more efficiently.
  • Ventilation: Make sure your plants are in a well ventilated area. This may be the most important prevention method. Run fans, open windows and run ventilation fans regulary. If none of these methods are available, you can try using a dehumidifier on a regular basis.

Houseplant Mold Removal

If your plants already have mold growth, you will need to get rid of it. Check out these steps to safely remove mold from your plants.

Removing Mold from Leaves
  1. Dampen a paper towel with warm water and drain.
  2. Use the paper towel to wipe the mold from the leaves. Remember to change and dispose of the paper towels frequently.
Removing Mold from the Soil
  1. Use a spoon to scoop the infected layers into a sealable bag.
  2. Once you have removed the visible mold, replace the soil with fresh soil.

Before attempting to either of these removal processes, be sure to use a face mask and rubber gloves to prevent affecting your health. Also, dispose of any items used to remove the mold immediately into a seal-able, disposable bag. Most importantly, immediately apply cinnamon to the soil and implement some of the other houseplant prevention tips to prevent future mold growth.

Basement Mold Prevention Guide

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why Basement Mold Prevention?

The basement is one of the most common rooms for mold to grow in your home. The reason is that in most basements, especially unfinished, there are mold triggers everywhere. There are usually high humidity levels, several places for condensation, congested spaces, leaks and even floods. The only way to prevent mold in your basement is to create an environment that eliminates these types of moisture-inviting scenarios. Continue reading this article for your basement mold prevention tips and tricks!

Monitor Humidity Levels

Mold has a tendency to grow where there are high levels of moisture. This is mostly because it’s spores are everywhere and those spores only need food, oxygen and moisture to grow and become a problem. Since oxygen and mold’s food is found all over your home, the last ingredient to a moldy basement is moisture. With that being said, basement mold prevention requires humidity control.

Most experts agree that humidity levels should remain between 30 – 60%. Anything above 60% is feeding grounds for mold. You can check humidity levels by purchasing a hydrometer from a local hardware store. If you test the air in your basement and the humidity level is below 60%, you are safe for the time being. However, you should run this test regularly. During summer months, basement humidity levels tend to rise and can easily creep above 60%. On the contrary, if you test the air and the humidity levels are above 60%, you will probably need to purchase a dehumidifier.

  • How to Choose a DehumidifierWhen choosing a dehumidifier, be sure that you are choosing one that is sufficiently sized for your basement. When shopping for a dehumidifier, also keep in mind how often you will be able to monitor the water levels. Some dehumidifiers use a draining feature which allows for continuous operation but requires a floor-level water drain. If you don’t have access to a floor-level drain and want to avoid regularly checking the water levels, consider a dehumidifier that pumps water vertically into a sink.

Unclutter

Another important step in basement mold prevention is to keep your basement organized. People around the world use their basement as a storage space for old clothes, shoes, papers, etc. That can turn into a moldy mess if not done correctly. Most of the items that people store into the basement contain porous materials, such as cloth, books, carpet, wooden materials, etc. These items cluttered together will block airflow, reduce ventilation and begin to dampen. When porous materials dampen, they soak and hold the moisture. This creates the perfect environment for mold growth.

The first thing that you should do if you use your basement for storage is to check the piles and clutter regularly for things that can be thrown out. Another method to uncluttering your basement would be to use plastic totes. Plastic totes are made of a non-porous material that will keep the materials inside dry.

Keep the Rain Out

As you know by now, basement mold prevention is pretty hard when you have moisture. Rain water, and other water sources from outdoors, can become a nightmare if they have access to the basement. If you want to keep the water out, you will have to direct the water away. There are two ways to do this.

  • Make sure that the ground your home sits on slopes away from the property. By making sure that the ground slopes away, you will prevent rain, snow and other water sources, such as lawn sprinklers, from creating puddles against your home. With consistency, sitting water around your home will eventually find or create an access point and begin to leak into your basement. Consider hiring an outdoor maintenance man that can develop a slope in the ground surrounding the property. If you would like to save some money on this, consider making it a do-it-yourself project.
  • Make sure that your downspouts are functioning correctly at all times. Before you worry so much about the downspouts, check your gutters frequently. Keep your gutters free from leaves and other debris so that it efficiently collects and processes the water through the downspout. If you don’t want to check your gutters on a frequent basis, you may want to consider a leaf guard. Another way to enhance your downspout is to install an extension. This is ideal for homes that do not sit on a slope. An extension will direct water even further away from your home and lower the chances of water leaking in.

Ventilation

Healthy air flow throughout the basement will help keep humidity levels down. This is vital for basement mold prevention. You can accomplish a healthy airflow system by regularly using fans and / or opening windows. This will allow humid air to escape and fresh air to come in. Some basements are known to house laundry rooms, full bathrooms and sometimes even full kitchens. If your basement has a dryer, stove, shower or bathing tub, be sure that they all are ventilating outdoors.

For clothes dryers, regularly check to make sure that it is not clogged with lint. Do this by running the dryer, going outdoors and checking to be sure that air is successfully flowing through the vent. If not, you may need to unclog the vent. 

Insulation

Insulate cold surfaces within your basement, such as water pipes and windows to prevent condensation. As warm air meets these cold surfaces, the moisture in the air begins to vaporize against the cold surface and create condensation. Eventually this water drips into your floor, window seal or other surfaces that are directly below and creates a mold-friendly situation. The moisture can also re-evaporate and promote high humidity levels. In order to prevent condensation on cold pipes, use an insulation pipe cover. For window insulation, you can use plastic, such as bubble wrap, to seal around the window and prevent the warm air from indoors from getting to the window. 

Eliminate Plants

Yes, indoor plants have many benefits. However, in a high-humidity environment such as your basement, plants can create the perfect environment for mold growth. Plants and mold share one common need that usually attracts mold. Water. Lots and lots of water. Plant soil provides a great food and water source for mold to grow. Mold growth with the plant can easily spread throughout the basement, especially when the mold spores within the soil becomes disturbed.

Conclusion

Now that you have these basement mold prevention tips to work with, put them to use. At least the ones that works for your home. As we have found that most problems are preventable with simple prevention methods. However, once it grows, there’s no going back easily.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to a mold issue. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

TURN AROUND,DON'T DROWN

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Inland Flooding

Inland flooding is the leading weather-related cause of death in the United States. Every year, almost as many people die from flooding as from hurricanes, tornadoes and lightning combined. Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water followed this simple advice:

TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.

Inland flooding usually occurs during or after a heavy, slow-moving rain storm. But it also can result from strong coastal storms. Severe inland flooding can occur in areas that are hundreds of miles from the eye of a hurricane. 

The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away a vehicle. This includes pickups and SUVs. 

If you come to an area that is covered with water, you will not know the depth of the water or the condition of the ground under the water. This is especially true during the dark, when your vision is more limited. 

Play it smart, play it safe. Whether driving or walking, any time you come to a flooded road, TURN AROUND DON'T DROWN!

Flash Floods

Inland flooding that leads to drowning usually occurs during flash-flood conditions. 

Flash floods are those that develop within six hours of a rain storm. That may sound like a lot of time, but severe flash floods can occur in a matter of minutes, depending on the intensity and duration of the rain, the topography of an area, and the condition of the soil and ground cover. 

Nearly half of all flash-flood fatalities are vehicle-related. The majority of victims are males, but flood deaths affect people of both sexes and all age groups. 

Anyone who has witnessed a flash flood can testify to the devastating power of fast-rushing water. Flash floods can roll boulders, uproot trees, destroy buildings and bridges, carry away vehicles and create deep new channels in the earth. Rapidly rising water can reach heights of 30 feet or more. Rain storms that trigger flash floods can also cause catastrophic mud slides.

PREPARE FOR A FLOOD DISASTER IN ADVANCE

We may not be able to control weather conditions, but with only a little bit of planning, we can take all possible precautions to ensure our personal safety and protect our homes from severe damage. Here are some measures you can take to safeguard your home and family: 
  • Find out how vulnerable your home is to flooding by determining the elevation of your property.
  • Evaluate your insurance coverage once a year to make sure your home is fully covered. As new construction grows in certain areas, more flood-plains are sometimes created.
  • If your home is in a flood-prone area, contact the National Flood Insurance program to learn what mitigation measures you can take in advance.
  • Contact your local emergency management agency to learn how to construct proper protective measures around your home.
  • If you live in a flood-prone area, keep these materials on hand: sandbags, plywood, lumber, plastic sheeting, trash bags, shovels, work boots and gloves.
  • Purchase a weather radio. These special, battery-operated radios cost as little as $20 and are available at many hardware and appliance stores and other retail outlets.
  • Put together a disaster survival kit. Keep the following supplies near at hand and put them in a water-tight container: flashlight with extra batteries, battery-powered radio and weather radio, first aid kit, medicines, eyeglasses, drinking water, non-perishable foods, change of clothes, cash and credit cards, and copies of all important papers.
  • Plan two evacuation routes in advance. Don’t wait until threatening weather conditions occur before trying to determine your route to safety. Be aware of streams, drainage channels and low areas in your region that are prone to flooding, so that your evacuation routes are not cut off.
  • Do not park your vehicle near streams or rivers, especially during threatening weather conditions.

IF FLOODING OCCURS

Any time there is heavy rain in your area, be sure to follow these simple safety rules:
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio for current and forecasted conditions in your area.
  • If flooding begins in your area, go to higher ground immediately.
  • When driving, always be aware that the road bed under flood waters may be severely damaged. NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Remember that it takes only two feet of water to carry away a vehicle, including pickups and SUVs.
  • When walking, do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Remember that it takes only six inches of rushing water to knock an adult off his feet.
  • If your vehicle stalls, get out immediately and go to higher ground.
  • Be extra cautious at night, when it is harder to see possible flood dangers.
  • These four words could save your life: TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN.
Hudgens said that after a flood sweeps through your community, keep yourself and your family safe:
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Floodwaters pick up sewage and chemicals from roads, farms, factories and storage buildings. Spoiled food, flooded cosmetics and medicines are health hazards. When in doubt, throw them out.
  • Soaked carpeting and padding should be pulled up and discarded.
  • Look before you step. After a flood, the ground and floors are covered with debris including broken bottles and nails. Floors and stairs that have been covered with mud can be very slippery.
  • The use of large fans can speed the drying process and curtail the development of mold.
  • Drowning is the number one cause of flood deaths. Most of these drownings occur during flash floods. Six inches of rapidly moving water can knock you off your feet. If you must go through an area where water is standing, use a pole or stick to make sure that the ground is solid under the surface.
  • Do not drive through a flooded area. More people drown in their cars than anywhere else. Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.
  • Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrocution is also a major killer in floods. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.
  • If the water level got so high that appliances were soaked, turn off your electricity until they can dry out. Some appliances, such as television sets, can shock you even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned and dried.
  • Be alert for gas leaks. Use a flashlight to inspect for damage. Don't smoke or use candles, lanterns or open flames unless you are sure that the gas has been turned off and the area has been aired out.
  • Carbon monoxide exhaust kills. Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machine outdoors. The same goes for camping stoves. Fumes from charcoal are especially deadly; if you must cook with charcoal, use it only outdoors.
  • Watch for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Use a pole or stick to poke and turn items over and scare away small animals.
  • Are you covered for flood damage? Policies for mobile or manufactured homes may include coverage for flood damage, unlike standard home policies. Owners of traditional site-built homes can purchase federal flood coverage in addition to a standard homeowners policy. However, their community must participate in the federal National Flood Insurance Program. A community cannot be covered unless it has joined the program.
  • Flood damage to automobiles is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto policy.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due flooding. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

7 Things You Should Never Forget When Tornadoes Strike

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

1. Figure out a safe place to ride out the storm

Do you live in a mobile home? Get out. Driving in a car? Get home as quickly as you can, and if that's not possible, get to a sturdy building.

2. Get away from windows and get underground

Regardless of where you're hunkering down, it should be as far away from windows as possible. Even if a tornado doesn't hit, wind or hail could shatter windows, and if you're nearby, you could get hurt.

You should make every attempt to get underground during a severe storm, either in a basement or storm shelter. If neither is possible, head to the innermost room or hallway on the lowest floor of your home. The goal is to put as many walls between yourself and the outside world. 

3. If a tornado appears while you're on the road ...

You should make every effort to find a safe building for shelter. If you can't find one, NEVER hide under an overpass. Instead, find a ditch, get down and cover your head. Get as far from your vehicle as you can to prevent it from being blown onto you.

4. Put on your shoes – and a helmet

If you're at home and severe weather is bearing down, prepare for the worst. If your house is damaged by a tornado, you could end up walking through debris that's riddled with nails, glass shards and splintered wood. The best way to ensure your shoes aren't scattered is to put on a pair before the storm comes.

If you own a bike helmet, be sure to put it on during a severe storm. It could save you from life-threatening head trauma if your home suffers a direct hit.

5. Keep your pets on a leash or in a carrier, and bring them with you

They're a part of the family, so make sure they go to a safe place with you. Make sure their collar is on for identification purposes, and keep them leashed if they're not in a crate. If your home is damaged by a tornado, it might not be familiar to them anymore, and they might get loose. Be sure to get them to a safe place or put them in a crate while performing clean-up.

6. Don't leave your home and try to drive away from a tornado

If you made it home, stay there. Tornadoes can shift their path, and even if you think you're directly in the line of the storm, being inside shelter is safer than being inside a car. Traffic jams could keep you from getting out of the storm's path, or a small wobble could send the storm in a different direction.

7. Know your severe weather terms

  • Severe thunderstorm watch: Conditions are conducive to the development of severe thunderstorms in and around the watch area. These storms produce hail of ¾ inch in diameter and/or wind gusts of at least 58 mph.
  • Severe thunderstorm warning: Issued when a severe thunderstorm has been observed by spotters or indicated on radar, and is occurring or imminent in the warning area. These warnings usually last for a period of 30 to 60 minutes.
  • Tornado watch: Conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and multiple tornadoes in and around the watch area. People in the affected areas are encouraged to be vigilant in preparation for severe weather.
  • Tornado warning: Spotters have sighted a tornado or one has been indicated on radar, and is occurring or imminent in the warning area. When a tornado warning has been issued, people in the affected area are strongly encouraged to take cover immediately.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to wind . Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

What is Hail Damage and how does it affect my home?

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

What is Hail Damage and how does it affect my home?

Roofing hail damage

When large hail and strong winds exist near residential areas, homes may sustain considerable hail damage to roofing, siding, gutters. Hail is a large frozen raindrop that is produced by intense thunderstorms where snow and rain coexist.

Hail damage can affect your property in many ways. Hail damage to asphalt shingles can cause soft spots or bruising that may or may not be visible to the naked eye. Hail impacts will also tend to loosen the hard granules that make up the top surface of the shingle. In some cases, hail will cause enough damage to break through the shingles felt matting and cause its fibbers to be exposed. Another way to tell if hail has damaged your roof is by checking the roof vents. Hail damage will often cause dents or marks on the metal roof venting systems. If we find evidence of damage to the roof vents first, it usually means you may have sustained shingle damage also.

How can hail damage my siding and guttering systems?

Hail damage to vinyl siding will normally be shown by visual breaks, cracks or holes in the siding product. Normally if these items are not present, your siding has not been damaged. Aluminum siding on the contrary shows damage in other ways. Large hail will produce dents throughout the entire elevation of aluminum siding. Even smaller hail with high velocity crosswinds will produce dents large enough to cause significant damage to the aluminum. Even small dents are considered cosmetic damage by your insurance carrier and in most cases are covered under your property insurance policy. Hail causes similar damages to your aluminum guttering system also. Dents visible from hail are normally cosmetic, but in most cases are still covered by your insurance policy.

SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help repair any damage due to Hail. Give us a call 24/7 @ 989-775-5065 where you can speak to one of our representative,

Lightning Damage Facts

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Each year lightning damage causes billions of dollars in property damage which results often times in a fire event with total devastation. The damage to buildings, equipment, buildings systems, electronics and vehicles can be extensive. Buildings struck by lightning have construction materials which can easily catch fire, smolder or explode. Residential contents such as AV equipment, appliances, electronics, home computers and stereo equipment can be compromised.

 In a business setting- all business machines and various equipment types can be electrically shorted and mechanical components become fused resulting in premature failure if not instant total loss. Water pumps blower motors, alarm systems and machinery can be compromised.  Building plumbing, HVAC air handlers, heaters and wiring can have extensive damage affecting the operation and control.

Lightning can start a direct fire because the temperature is 90,032°F which is 9 times hotter than the surface of the sun.  It is fast too, at 186,000 miles per second- the speed of light, it can reach distances of over 40 land miles in fractions of a second. Lightning strikes somewhere on earth every second translating to over 31,536,000 occurrences per year.

In the U.S. alone, lighting kills more than a hundred persons and injures many more per year.  The force of lightning occurs in the sky and is explained as a discharge of atmospheric electricity which is triggered by a buildup of differing charges within a cloud. The result is a sudden release of electricity which causes a distinctive bright flare, followed by a thunderclap and to ground lightning strikes. The theories of how the charges react and are created are numerous. Either way the light show in the sky with all the potential for death and damage is a beautiful phenomenon to watch.

SERVPRO Of Mt.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake are here to help repair any damage due to a lightning strike. Call us @ 989-802-9126 one of our representatives is available 24/7. 

FEMA and Mitigation

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Here is what FEMA says about mitigation (The following was portion copied directly from: https://www.fema.gov/what-mitigation )

“Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks, address the hard choices, and invest in long-term community well-being. Without mitigation actions, we jeopardize our safety, financial security and self-reliance.

·         Disasters can happen at anytime and anyplace; their human and financial consequences are hard to predict.

·         The number of disasters each year is increasing but only 50% of events trigger Federal assistance.

·         FEMA's mitigation programs help reduce the impact of events—and our dependence on taxpayers and the Treasury for disaster relief.

FEMA's Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA) manages the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and implements a variety of programs authorized by Congress to reduce losses that may result from natural disasters. Effective mitigation efforts can break the cycle of disaster damage, reconstruction, and repeated damage. FEMA's mitigation and insurance efforts are organized into three primary activities that help states, tribes, territories and localities achieve the highest level of mitigation: Risk Analysis, Risk Reduction, and Risk Insurance. Through these activities and FEMA's day-to-day work across the country, communities are able to make better mitigation decisions before, during, and after disasters.”

Read more by clicking the link provided above.

Some Home Improvements Can See You Behind Bars.

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that some DIY projects could put you behind bars? “Just because you can do it yourself doesn’t mean you should. Some jobs call for a licensed professional, especially jobs that involve plumbing, electric, and HVAC installations and repairs. Improperly performed home improvements may cause injury, void warranties, compromise insurance claims, and complicate resales”  

Click on the source link below to continue reading and to view the slideshow.

Source: https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/13-home-improvements-that-are-illegal-to-diy-49321

Check with your local city and county to make sure you are also following proper protocol for them as well.  Educate yourself before you begin.Or if you'd like you can call SERVPRO @ 989-775-55065 and we can help you out.

Remolding Old Buildings? You Might Find Mold.

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Finding mold in your home or commercial property is a precarious situation. Sometimes it may be a localized outbreak that can be easily cleaned away, other times what appears to be a small patch of mold is an indication of a much bigger issue that could be hazardous to the health of those living in the home.  SERVPRO of Mt.Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake mold remediation is second to none and will evaluate and remediate mold outbreaks. 

As many areas in the US see continued growth many old, unoccupied commercial buildings are now opening their doors again. If you encounter mold in your new commercial property SERVPRO of Mt. Pleasant,Clare and Houghton Lake can help. Call our office today and we can send an experienced technician to review your mold issue

Fire Tips to Keep You Safe.

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

No one can predict when an emergency will arise. More than one third of fire home deaths occur as a result of fires where no alarms are present. Most of these smoke alarm failure are usually the result of missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.

Here are some tips to keep in mind that could prevent a fire disaster from occurring in your home:

-National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house
-Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button
-Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year
-Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Emergencies can happen 24/7/365. Keep you and your loved ones safe all year round. 

Steps to take if your basement floods.

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

When a basement floods it is a stressful, confusing event which can take a lot of time, money and effort to bring your home back to where it was before the water damage. Whether the damage is caused by a broken water pipe, heavy rains, a failed sump pump or swelling of ground water complicate things further as they all require different approaches to make it "Like it never even happened."

Fortunately here at SERVPRO of Mt.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake we have been able to help families with flooded basements all around Roscommon,Clare,and Mt.Pleasant and are ready to help you. In this blog we will seek to give you general advice for handling flooded basements but do remember our emergency line is open 24/7 and we are here to help you with specific advice for your flooded basement.

 Safety for you and your family should be your first concern when you find out your basement has flooded. There are two main safety concerns in every water intrusion situation Electrical and Tripping hazards are the most prevalent source of injury in our industry.

  • Never go into a flood damaged basement with standing water which has submerged outlets or other active sources of electricity. Wait for the water to be pumped out by a professional, such as SERVPRO, if you can’t safety do that yourself.
  • Most home electronic systems and devices can be damaged from being submerged or exposed to water. Don’t us devices or outlets that have been exposed to water even after the water has been pumped out.
  • It is not just the water but also the particulates in the water which will stay behind even after the water has been removed that can damage electrical systems and equipment.
  • Not everything breaks immediately it can take time after electrical system is exposed to water before it breaks or becomes unsafe.
  • Pay attention to where you are walking, many restoration professionals have hurt themselves walking across different materials (such as carpet to tile) because they didn’t expect the different in friction when these materials are wet.
  • If you are removing any materials from your basement remember that wet materials can be VERY heavy.
  • Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging

When you have accounted for safety you can move on to being proactive about your home and belongings before our restoration technicians get there. Every minute counts which is why we respond 24/7 to emergencies and why anything you do until we get there can help protect your home.

  •  If possible find the source of water intrusion and stop the flow of water into your property. Check your sump pump to make sure it is working. They sometimes get unplugged or the arm gets stuck. If a pipe is broken shut off your water valve to your home.
  • Remove as much water as you can. Using a shop vac, mopping or blotting possible. The less water which is allowed to soak into your furniture, walls and carpet the better off you will be.
  • Move furniture off of wet carpet and wipe the legs or bottoms before placing in an unaffected area. Wet furniture, especially wood and metal, can stain carpet very quickly.
  • If you cannot remove furniture from an affected area you can place foil or woodblocks between furniture legs and the carpet to prevent staining.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting so their coloring doesn’t bleed onto the carpet.
  • Turn on air conditioning for maximum drying in the summer.

Remember that our emergency line 989-775-5065 is always answered by one of the restoration professionals here at SERVPRO so we can give you advice specific to your situation. We are always Here to Help.

Trauma Clean Up.

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Trauma scene clean up requires handling biohazardous material in a safe and responsible manner. This can include a variety or scenarios that are often emotional and extremely sensitive.

These types of calls require a level of expertise that not all restoration companies are able to provide. Due to federal and state regulations, there is a specific process to follow when damage such as this occurs. Governing bodies such as OSHA, the EPA and CDC have declared their own guidelines and rules for appropriate methods of clean-up.

Bottom line- you need to choose an experienced company who can assist you every step of the way. From understanding the sensitivity of the situation to proper cleanup according regulations, SERVPRO of Mt.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake  can assist you in navigating such a stressful situation.

Quality of Your Indoor Air.

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Over time, harmful contaminants such as dust, dirt, pet dander and bacteria become trapped in your home’s air duct system. Without regular air duct cleaning, your air ducts can become hazardous to your health, diminishing the quality of the air in your home and contributing to illness and allergies. No matter how hard you try to give your home a fresh and clean atmosphere, it requires a professional team with powerful equipment to properly clean your air duct system.

 What if You Didn’t Have to Worry About the Quality of Your Indoor Air?

Imagine being absolutely certain that you were providing yourself, your family and the guests in your home with clean and high-quality indoor air each and every day. Using innovative techniques and state-of-the-art technologies, including brushing, air compression and vacuuming, the skilled technicians at SERVPRO of Mt.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake guarantee to leave you with a clean and better functioning air duct system.

SERVPRO's Emergency Ready Profile.

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are "Ready for whatever happens" speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.

By developing aSERVPRO EmergencyREADYProfilefor your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Contact our office at 989-775-5065 and ask to speak with our ERP Professional

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

 SERVPRO of MT.Pleasant, Clare and Houghton Lake are proud supporters of the Northern Michigan Children’s Assessment Center.The Northern Michigan Children's Assessment Center assists children that are victims of abuse across four counties in northern Michigan – Crawford, Roscommon, Oscoda and Ogemaw.      What is a Children's Assessment Center? Originally, children had to wait in the chaotic environment of a police department to be interviewed when their were concerns of abuse. Now, at the Children's Assessment Center, children wait in a child friendly room surrounded by toys and children's games. This environment allows them to relax and become more open to telling their story. The Children's Assessment Center was created so that children don't have to repeat their story multiple times. Children are interviewed by a specially trained forensic interviewer, in a room designed for them and are no longer interviewed by an officer in uniform. When interviewed at the assessment center, children are more likely to disclose their abuse allowing us to hold offenders accountable and get children the help they need. Inside of the observation room, Law Enforcement and Children's Protective Service workers are able to observe the interview live and participate in the process by directing questions to the interviewer through a headset and an ear-piece. All Interviews are recorded, limiting the number of times children need to tell their story. Children no longer have to  go to the chaotic environment of an emergency room for a medical exam. All medicals are performed by a specially trained pediatrician and are scheduled for two hours allowing both the child and the non-offending caregiver adequate time to discuss their concerns. At the Children's Assessment Center, all services are provided under one roof, allowing children to receive all the necessary services to heal from their abuse.  

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

8/25/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem? In [[City or County Name]], mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

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 – 989-775-5065