Recent Posts

The Importance of Hiring Professional Carpet Cleaners

3/22/2022 (Permalink)

Professional carpet cleaners are the only people who should be trusted to do the job. Anyone with less experience or certification will likely not do the job correctly. And their carelessness could end up costing a lot more in the end. 

Carpeting is typically one of the most long-term investments in the home. Most people associate high-cost flooring with tile, marble or hardwood, but carpet can carry a high price tag as well. There are various fibers and matting to choose from, as well as the padding beneath it. When it’s all said and done, it can cost just as much if not more than some other options. Once that investment is installed, great care should be taken to keep it in the best condition possible. This will mean regular vacuuming in high-traffic areas and regular maintenance from professional carpet cleaners.

Why should someone always hire professional carpet cleaners?

Professionally trained technicians have certification in all types of fibers and construction, so they know which products and equipment to use and how to employ them properly. The technician can assess the area for any spot treatment that may be necessary and will know which tools and specialized products to use. They will also be aware of the correct methods to complete the job effectively. Technicians will also inform the customer of ways that they can prolong the life of their carpeting and how to properly treat spills and accidents should they occur.

What can happen if someone doesn't use professional carpet cleaners? 

A lot of damage can occur if a certified technician or firm is not hired to do the job. They can over-saturate the fibers and promote an environment that may foster mold and other microbial growth in time. If using improper equipment, the fibers can be damaged, which would result in replacement being required much sooner. If the wrong cleansing agents are used, or they are not properly rinsed out, they may damage the fibers or make future soil adhere quicker, which will require cleaning more often than would otherwise be necessary.  

What should a customer expect when they hire professional carpet cleaners?

Upon arrival, the technician will assess the carpeting. Once that is complete, the process can begin. First they will vacuum the floor during a process called dry soil removal. This removes any loose items in the flooring. Then soil suspension and extraction will take place. The technician uses a preconditioning agent that is mixed to separate the soil from the fibers. Various methods are employed to extract the soil from the flooring. Grooming may also be done to improve the fiber piles, matting, and to equally disperse protectors or conditioning agents. Then the drying process can begin. Carpets that have been professionally cleaned should be dry in less than 24 hours. Homeowners can assist in this process by ensuring the right temperature is maintained, and there is adequate ventilation. 

When hiring a carpet cleaning technician, make sure that they have received their certification through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC is a globally-recognized organization that is the leader in certifying technicians and firms in the restoration, cleaning and inspection industry.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Branch & South Calhoun Counties is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together. Call us today!

Cleaning Up Raw Sewage On Your Own Is Not A Good Idea, Call SERVPRO Immediately

3/19/2022 (Permalink)

If you’re like most homeowners, when faced with a task or question you probably head to the internet for answers…that’s how you found this article! And if you’re dealing with backed-up sewage, it only takes a few seconds of searching to find hundreds of articles describing how to clean-up sewage.

It goes like this:

** Put on some rubber gloves

** Scoop out the waste

** Take some water and bleach solution and apply it to the affected areas

** Let it dry

Most articles will throw out a warning saying “if you’re not sure whether you can do it, or don’t have the proper equipment, it is best to call a professional”. That’s where you would call SERVPRO.

We’d like to throw out another warning!

Cleaning up raw sewage on your own is something you should never do! 

Here’s why:

#1 – It can be hidden. – Any SERVPRO crew member can tell you stories about customers that decided to clean-up their own feces only to call in weeks or months later complaining about smells and disfigured walls, cabinets, and floors. Sewage will find its way into any and all porous surfaces. Even things like drywall and cabinetry aren’t safe. And it’s not as simple as just spotting the sewage with your eyes. It requires state of the art equipment, which SERVPRO has, to identify areas that have been damaged by sewage. So unless you have an infrared detection system handy and know how to use it, call SERVPRO.

#2 – It can be costly. – Times are difficult for everyone and money is tight. It’s easy to justify doing it yourself instead of paying to have SERVPRO  clean and disinfect for you. But today’s shortcut is tomorrow’s nightmare! Again, you’re dealing with a toxic situation that if not handled properly can create very real health dangers for you and your family. Not only that, if not properly mitigated, you could be looking at a serious mold issue in the not so distant future on top of all of the other issues described above. And if you think sewage cleanup is costly, wait until you’re stuck with a bill for mold remediation services! At least your sewage clean-up is covered by insurance…that’s not typically the case if you’ve got mold and it’s the result of you not taking appropriate measures when dealing with the sewage issue that created the mold!

So, if you’ve stumbled upon this article due to a sewage back-up that’s spilled into your home or office, do yourself a favor and call us, SERVPRO. Our technicians are certified to perform raw sewage cleanup and can provide you with peace of mind knowing the area affected is professionally cleaned.

Locally Owned Company with Valuable Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties is strategically located to respond quickly to your water damage emergency and your mold cleanup. When there is mold in a home or business, we have the resources and personnel to help get your home or business back together.

When It Comes To Biohazard Remediation, You Can Count On SERVPRO (Part 1 of 2)

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Dissecting Biohazard Cleanup: Understanding the Process and Reducing Risk

When compared to a fire or water loss, property damage resulting from a suicide, murder or unattended death poses greater risk and complexity for the adjuster, the biohazard cleanup company, and of course, the policyholder. Many cleaning and restoration companies will offer bioremediation services, but only those that specialize in this area, like SERVPRO truly understand the science and intricacies of the bioremediation and decontamination process. In order to minimize risk for the insurance carrier and ensure the safety of the policy holder, it’s important to realize the inherent challenges of bioremediation and the processes and standards that every biohazard cleanup professional must adhere to.

Am I liable for an improper biohazard cleanup?

At some point in their careers, insurance professionals may have experienced sticker shock from a bioremediation claim. How could the biohazard cleanup of a single room cost more than recovering an entirely flooded home? It might be tempting to retain a trusted property damage restoration company at a lower cost, but doing so may put the insurer at risk for a lawsuit.

Consider a recent case where a general cleaning company was hired to sanitize a home after 600 pounds of deer meat rotted in a family’s garage due to a power outage. Following the cleaning, the homeowners reported that the rotting stench still remained throughout the house and that some family members became ill. Experts who were brought in to investigate the situation determined that the enduring smell and sickness resulted from inefficiencies in the cleaning process, such as the failure to seal concrete surfaces.

Why is bioremediation so complex?

Many biohazard situations pose grave health risks to policy holders and cleanup companies because of the potential exposure to bloodborne pathogens. One out of every 24 people has Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV and these pathogens can survive in a deceased person for a considerable amount of time – up to 16 days after death, depending on the temperature and surrounding environment. Exposure to bloodborne viruses can occur due to direct contact with non-intact skin, accidental injury from biological fragments, inhalation and exposure from splashes of blood or bio fluid to the eyes, nose, or mouth. Considering the health risks, bioremediation specialists must follow stringent employee safety regulations and meticulous decontamination procedures that most cleanup crews are not accustomed to.

Separately, biohazard situations can lead to hidden dangers that an average property restoration technician might not even consider. For example, in a water damage emergency, floor boards and drywall might be removed because they are visibly warped and unsalvageable. Then the rest of the structure can be dried out. In contrast, blood can seep through grout and in-between floorboards, even through subflooring. There is no other way to clean the damage but to remove all affected materials – if new wood floors are installed over the blood spill or if tiles are simply wiped down, the remaining bio matter can spread disease, release odors and further damage the property.

When It Comes To Biohazard Remediation, You Can Count On SERVPRO (Part 2 of 2)

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

How do I evaluate a bioremediation provider?

To determine whether or not a company is qualified to handle a biohazard situation, insurance professionals need a deeper understanding of proper bioremediation standards and what it takes to fully decontaminate a property. These are the key things to inquire about when choosing a vendor for a biohazard cleanup:

OSHA Compliance – These regulations are in place to protect the biohazard company employees and to prevent injury and potential liability for all involved. All supervisors and field technicians should be trained in the following OSHA programs: Bloodborne Pathogens, Personal Protective Equipment, Hazard Communication, Asbestos Awareness, Heat Illness, Fall Protection, Lift Safety, Lock Out – Tag Out, and Power Tool Safety. A common misstep among restoration companies is that they only comply with the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogens Standards, instead of all the aforementioned areas.

EPA and State Environmental Agency Compliance – The disposal of medical waste must be in accordance with federal, state and/or local regulations. Not all biohazard remediation companies are licensed to transport or store medical waste so it’s essential to understand if/how they comply with the local and national standards. The cleaning company can incur hefty fines if medical waste is not disposed of properly. Also, employees need to be trained in the proper use of cleaning agents – this can be more complicated than it seems, as many agents will become inactive if not measured and diluted properly.

Reporting/Testing – A reputable company should be able to deliver a detailed report which catalogs every step of the cleanup process. This should include photos of the entire process as well, so the policy holder and adjuster understand why some structural materials needed to be removed, what was disposed, why the employees went through a certain amount of protective equipment, etc. They should also have equipment available to check for non-visible but active biological fluids and other contaminants so that it is certain when an area is considered disinfected.

Sensitivity Training – Dealing with a flood or fire can be extremely traumatic, but it does not compare to the loss of loved one. During these traumatic situations, the family members often stay at home so it is imperative that the workers in their home are compassionate and considerate. The biohazard cleanup specialists at SERVPRO understand the need for the family to deal with only one point person in order to avoid confusion or conflicting updates. They have been trained to eliminate alarming language from their vocabulary and speak empathetically with the policyholder.

When it comes to biohazard remediation, there is no quick solution. The fact that there are no laws protecting policy holders through a biohazard cleaning process puts the responsibility on the insurance carrier to work with bioremediation specialists who follow strict safety standards and cleanup procedures. If the insurance carrier directs the cleanup process and even one of the above points is neglected, they might be held liable for any further health and property damages resulting from the improper cleanup. It is important to remember that you can’t put a price tag on the peace of mind that a policy holder needs after a traumatic crime or death occurred in their home or place of business.

By Tim Reifsteck

Candle Safety in Your Coldwater Home

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

Candle Burning When fire damage occurs in your Coldwater home, call SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun. We’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Did you know that roughly 2% of house fires are caused by candles? Ultimately, candles exist to help make your house feel like home and to make your home smell wonderful. Here at SERVPRO, we strongly advise that you follow the basics of candle safety and practice safely burning. Follow these tips to help extend the life of your candles and help keep you, your family, and pets safe.

The three basics of candle safety:

  1. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  2. Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
  3. Keep candles out of reach of children and pets.

The Proper Way to Burn a Candle

Before Lighting

  • Trim the wick
  • Always use a candleholder
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room
  • Keep the wax pool clear

While Burning

  • Never touch or move the candle
  • Do not burn the candle all the way down
  • Extinguish candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly
  • Always keep your candle within eyesight

When Extinguishing

  • Use a candle snuffer
  • Never use water to put out a candle
  • Don’t touch or move the candle until it has completely cooled

When fire damage occurs in your Kalamazoo home, call SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties. We’ll help make it “Like it never even happened.”

if You're a Victim of Storm Damage - Do You Know What To Do Next?

2/7/2022 (Permalink)

Emergency Storm Recovery The best way to do that is to get a storm restoration and water restoration company to take care of your storm remediation.

Storm damage can occur to anyone. It can happen in any climate. Storms cause river flooding and other forms of flooding. They cause wind damage, hail damage, and hurricane damage. Winter storms bring ice dams and ice damming, which cause roof leaks, forcing you to get roof repairs done. Ice damage also comes in the form of frozen pipes. Groundwater and flood water can ruin your basement and home. You need to take steps towards home restoration. The best way to do that is to get a storm restoration and water restoration company to take care of your storm remediation.

Make sure to make an emergency call to the storm restoration and water restoration company right away. 
The first thing that the storm restoration and water restoration company will do is assess the extent of the storm damage, wind damage, roof damage, roof leaks, and any other sort of damage. They will create a plan of action for your home restoration needs.

Next, they will start fixing and removing the cause of the damage. Often, there will be hidden moisture under tiles or behind walls. They will use equipment that removes this water from your home.

The next step, after your home is completely dry, is to repair things that are broken. This starts with roof repair. If there are roof leaks and roof damage, they will do a roof repair job to repair those leaks. If wind damage caused your walls or ceiling to cave in, they will repair that as well. They may need to replace certain items. For example, they may need to use new boards or tiles for your ceiling, floor, and walls. If there is ice damage, such as a frozen pipe, they will repair that as well. Home restoration, or bringing your home back to livable conditions again, is a vital part of storm remediation. 

SERVPRO Is Here To Help When Fire Damages Your Home or Business

1/30/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo with water and flames in the background SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties has what it takes to restore your home back to pre loss condition.

A fire can be devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO has specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet.

Board-ups - In some cases firefighters may break windows and cut holes in the roof in order to vent the fire. It is extremely important to secure openings to your home or structure using sturdy, durable materials designed to protect it from both weather intrusion and intrusion by outsiders.

Types of Fire/Smoke/Soot

Wet Smoke – Plastics and Synthetics; Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood; Fast burning, high temperatures, dry, powdery, non-smeary residues.

Protein – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot – Furnace Puff Backs. Other Types – Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue.

What to do after a fire:

  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.

What NOT to do after a fire:

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting SERVPRO 
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may damage garment further.

SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun Counties has what it takes to restore your home back to pre loss condition.

When You Need SERVPRO The Most - We Are Here 24/7/365

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

We are here when our customers need us the most Give us a call and we'll help you in any way that we can, whether that be by offering our carpet cleaning services or just answering any questions!
 

Carpet cleaning is important to maintaining the overall comfort and monetary value of a property. Any type of flooring is an investment for the property owner. Keeping the investment in the best shape takes a professional, but without proper certification, the consumer cannot be guaranteed of proper education and training on updated techniques used in maintaining the value of the flooring. There are health concerns that can arise from any unsanitary environment, and it can be surprising to learn what survives in and under the flooring. Allergens that are left behind can lead to serious health problems for family members and even household pets. Proper techniques can reduce or eliminate allergens in the environment, improving the health of the occupants. Great strides have been made in technologies used in carpet-care. Today there are only a few basic wet and dry methodologies accepted by the industry leaders. Ensuring consistently high standards means understanding how the certifying body works to guarantee better results at lower costs. Proper maintenance begins with regular vacuuming using a high-powered machine.

Over time normal wear and tear leads to a dull, soiled appearance. Proper maintenance by the occupants can help keep the flooring looking good, but there comes a time when a certified technician has to be called to get to the really deep grime a normal household vacuum can miss.

While regular maintenance is beneficial to the healthfulness and attractiveness of a home or office, a certified technician is necessary to take care of the really deep jobs regular vacuuming misses. Consumers often find it difficult to choose a professional company for those important household chores. The benefits of carpet cleaning are numerous, but knowing who can be trusted is not always easy.

That's where we come in....Just give us a call @ (517) 278-5261 and we'll help you in any way that we can, whether that be by offering our carpet cleaning services or just answering any questions you may have.

First Step: Fireproof Safety Box

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

Fire Safe Safety box Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced.

We know how important it is to keep your belongings safe. The first step to take in keeping your valuables and important documents safe is purchasing a fireproof safety box. This box will make sure your items stay secure in case of a fire.

Items you might store in your safety box include: 

  • Birth certificate
  • Social Security cards
  • Property titles
  • Spare keys
  • Digital hard drives containing family photos
  • Jewelry  

What SERVPRO Can Do

If your home does suffer from a fire, SERVPRO can help make it “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO of Branch and South Calhoun specializes in restoring contents that have been damaged by fire. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. 

You Can Count ON SERVPRO - No Matter The Size Of The Disaster!

1/10/2022 (Permalink)

We are Open You can depend on us to get the job done right and get it done quickly!

Residential Services

Whether your Branch & South Calhoun County home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Branch & South Calhoun County commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: http://www.SERVPRObranchandsouthcalhouncounties.com/commercial-restoration-cleaning

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration