COVID-19 in Western Michigan
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac is fully operational and responding to all normal work and Covid-19 emergencies. We are always here to help.
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. Obviously there are multiple levels of cleaning required depending on the level of contamination. The lowest level is proactive cleaning. This level usually requires two passes. The first cleaning removes the dirt and involves scrubbing with soap and water. Normal household cleaning should be done at least daily.
Specialized training is needed for cleaning when confirmed Covid-19 positive events are encountered.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if you encounter positive tests. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform daily.
Once the normal dirt and grime has been removed the next step is to disinfect the surface with an EPA registered cleaner. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, the EPA has hundreds of approved products listed on their web site and most commercial products will work fine. Read the product labels carefully and be sure to allow the required dwell times for the cleaning product to work.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. If disinfecting is being completed due to a positive case; cleaning of walls and floors should be included in the scope. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Locker rooms
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
If you need specialized cleaning help, don’t hesitate to call the experts at SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac.
When a storm hits, how safe is the water in your basement or crawlspace?
When a storm drops a foot of rain you quickly find out your homes weak areas. It may be the roof or gutter system, or skylights, or possibly the foundation or sump pump. Because of the laws of gravity, eventually the problem will end up in your basement or crawlspace. When this happens, you must be very careful how you deal with the water. Aside from the obvious issues with electricity and water there can be another problem; the water may be contaminated.
The IICRC and the EPA standards state that all groundwater is considered Category 3 which “is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic toxigenic or other harmful agents and can cause significant adverse reactions to humans if contacted or consumed. Examples of Category 3 water can include, but are not limited to: sewage; waste line backflows that originate from beyond any trap regardless of visible content or color; all forms of flooding from seawater; rising water from rivers and streams; and other contaminated water entering or affecting the indoor environment, such as wind-driven rain from hurricanes, tropical storms, or other weather-related events.” This water and everything it touches can make you sick.
Making matters worse is you probably have limited or no coverage help from your insurance company. The experts at SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can help you understand what steps you need to take to protect your home and family. As a general rule, hard surfaces can be cleaned and disinfected while porous surface items should be discarded. This includes carpeting and pad, wet drywall and insulation, and affected clothing and bedding. And of course, the sooner you call, the higher on the waiting list your name will be. So don’t wait. Call SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac, we are always here to help.
There in a flash!
Last week SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac was called to help a local Cadillac business when an adjacent building had a water pipe burst. SERVPRO was on site within an hour and the business was able to re-open the same day. Because of how quickly the water loss was discovered and mitigated, damage was confined to less than 25% of the showroom. SERVPRO set containment to separate the affected areas from the rest of the building, extracted the water, moved and blocked wet contents, and set drying equipment. Within 3 days the experts at SERVPRO were able to remove all the drying equipment and start the restoration process. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac always here to help our community in their time of need.
What to do when you have a loss and get placed on a waiting list.
When a storm event hits your home or community it can be devastating. To make matters worse you may not be able to get help quickly. There is nothing worse than having a loss and being put on a waiting list. This is where SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can help. While a storm event is usually local, it still may affect hundreds of homes. Most restoration companies can handle only 2-3 losses a day and put the rest on a waiting list. SERVPRO has over one hundred sister franchises in Michigan that can scramble crews to any event. Whether the problem is wind, rain, flooding, or even a polar vortex SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac can help make it "Like it never even happened."
Back to school early!
There is never a good time for a fire. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac recently was called to a local Reed City school over Christmas break. A contractor was stripping and refinishing the gym floor when the cleaning rags self-combusted causing smoke damage to the gym, locker rooms, halls, and cafeteria. While this was a very large loss SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac was able to partner with our sister franchises in Grand Rapids to get enough crews on site to work multiple shifts and complete the cleanup in 4 days. School was able to open on schedule after New Year’s Day and no time was missed. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac always here to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Is it smoke or mold?
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac often gets calls about mold staining on painted surfaces that keeps coming back even though the home does not have moisture issues. We remind the homeowners that you cannot have a mold problem without also having a moisture problem. Using moisture meters and infrared cameras to rule out moisture issues allows us to zero in on the next most likely cause: soot. Having a wood or pellet stove in the house can often result in grey or black streaks near the tops of the walls, in the corners, or on the ceiling. Pellet stoves must be cleaned regularly or they will soot up your home. Filling wood stoves or fireplaces without first opening the damper will also allow smoke to escape into the home. This smoke contains tiny liquid droplets of soot that condenses on the cold surfaces of the walls and ceiling leaving streaks called “Ghosting”. Often the nails or screws holding the drywall will also attract the soot as the particles are magnetically charged and stick to the metal. Even burning candles can leave a layer of soot on painted surfaces. If you notice black screws or streaks on the walls, give SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac a call to see if we can make it “Like it never even happened.”
Furniture store fire
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac recently helped a local Mason County furniture store after a major fire in their warehouse. When the attached warehouse caught fire, it not only damaged the building and stored contents but also filled the sales floor with smoke and odor. SERVPRO had a crew on site within an hour setting containment between the buildings and allowing cleaning to begin. Within 3 days, the main store was able to open for customers while SERVPRO worked on the warehouse. All contents were removed, the structure was cleaned by blasting with baking soda and all surfaces were HEPA vacuumed and sealed with an oil based paint. After final Ozone deodorization and replacement of the overhead doors, the structure was ready to be used. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington and Cadillac was able to help get this local small business up and running in just a few days which is critical for cash flow.
“Storm” in West Michigan
When the restoration industry thinks "Storm", it usually means tropical storms or hurricanes in the Gulf or the Southeast. When these major events happen, SERVPROs from all over the country pack up and head to the impacted area to help make it "Like it never even happened.” This is one of the advantages of being the world's largest disaster restoration company. No matter how large the event, SERVPRO can cover it.
Luckily Michigan does not usually get these life threatening and expensive storms.
In Michigan, “Storm” means tornadoes, straight line winds, and/or micro bursts of rain. Last summer Manistee and Mason counties were hit with over 12 inches of rain in one 24 hour period---a new state record. While it is nice to hold a state record, it wasn't nearly that much fun when you watched your basement or cabin fill with water. Our shop in Manistee received over 100 calls for help per day over the last weekend of July.
With 3 truck mounted extractors and multiple crews we were able to help many of the residents. However, we soon realized that we would not be able to help all the customers in a timely manner. We reached for the phone and called our sister franchises in Traverse City, Mount Pleasant/Clare, Big Rapids, Muskegon, and Grand Rapids. Most immediately sent trucks and crews and by Sunday morning there were multiple green trucks helping people in every affected city in our territory. These crews stayed throughout the week until all our customers were taken of and had their homes back.
Another storm event that recently hit our coverage area was the tornado that hit Mason and Lake Counties. This EF2 tornado and the associated straight line winds centered in Baldwin, toppled thousands of trees and destroyed countless roofs. While SERVPRO does not do roof repairs or tree removal from roofs, we do have a long list of professionals who can help. When the calls started coming in, we were able to bypass the normal waiting lists and get people in contact with crews who could quickly get the trees off the roofs and driveways opened.
Once the trees are off the roofs, SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can get the roofs tarped and windows boarded up and start the drying process. Unfortunately, lack of power is usually an issue and can delay drying. If the home sustains structural damage from the wind or trees, sometimes we will need to pack out the contents to one of our climate controlled storage units while repairs are made. These repairs and content removal and storage are almost always covered by normal homeowners insurance. While “Storm” events are never fun, SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac can help you get your home back to "Like it never even happened."
What to do if the homeowners or renters smoked and your home is on the market.
What to do if the homeowners or renters smoked tobacco or cannabis and your home is on the market.
One of the top searches for DYI odor removal comes from people looking to buy or rent a home that had long term smokers. Many Realtor web sites claim having a smoker in the home reduces the resale value by 20-30%. According to Zillow, the average resale value of a home in Michigan is $154,000. This means having a smoker reduces the resale value of the average home by $45,000. With professional cleaning running in the $8-10.00 per square foot ($15,000 on a 1,500 square foot home) range, you could easily make $30,000 on the sale by cleaning the home first. Another factor to consider is how long the home remains unoccupied or on the market due to the offensive odors.
While it is very difficult to remove these odors, a professional remediation company has a much better chance of success than a do it yourself attempt. The first rule of deodorization is always “remove the source”. The yellowish-brown sticky substance left behind from years of smoking must be completely removed or the odors will return when the humidity rises. Often this cleaning will require painting to cover the stains left by the residue of smoking and sometimes the carpet or pad may need replaced. If properly cleaned, most non porous surfaces will not need sealed.
The first step a professional odor remediation company will do is remove any unsaveable contents and all debris which can hold odors. An HEPA filtered air scrubber will be set to collect any disturbed particles to protect the workers and prevent particles from resettling on cleaned surfaces. This air scrubber will likely have an activated charcoal (carbon) filter as recommended by the RIA and EPA guidelines. Hot thermo-fogging may be necessary to neutralize areas that cannot be cleaned. These areas include cavities behind cabinets, inside of walls, behind trim and moulding, and behind face plates of electrical outlets. If fogging done after cleaning, care must be taken to wet clean all surfaces to reduce the PH levels or paint will not stick.
Odor removal is always a time consuming job but can save thousands of dollars in reduced or lost sales. SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac has been removing odors from local homes for nearly 20 years and are the experts that you can trust to make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at 231-723-4872 for a quote.
Ways to Prevent Garage Fires
Fire damage in garages are common and need a fast clean up. SERVPRO is always here to help.
- Avoid clutter. We will all admit that garages collect stuff- mostly stuff you don’t want in your home and don’t know where else to put it. Recycling, old boxes, unused clothing, bags of grass clippings, scraps of lumber to name a few. Add old appliances, half empty paint and solvent cans, gas and propane containers, grills, tools and you have created a recipe for disaster.
- Clean up after hobbies. Woodworking, crafting, painting, and staining all leave debris which has a potential for fire which can start long after completion of your project. Water heaters and boilers (often found in garages) can have open flames that can ignite these items. Simply dropping and breaking a light bulb can cause a spark. Halogen lights get extremely hot and bumping it with a car, tripping over it, or having a pet knock it over can easily start a fire.
- Be careful with welding, cutting, grinding; or any work that creates heat and sparks. Battery chargers can also easily cause sparks that can ignite flammable vapors such as brake fluid, lighter fluid, paint thinner, varnish, and gasoline. Obviously, not smoking around these items should top anyone don’t do list
- Don’t overload outlets and electrical circuits. Many garages only have one or two circuits and it is easy to plug in a tool and a heater and overload the breaker or fuse. While we are talking about heaters do not use them with power strips or cords without first checking the amperage that they are rated to handle. Don’t forget that you may have an old refrigerator plugged in somewhere on the circuit. If it kicks on while you are running a saw or heater, something will have to give.
- Never use your gas, propane, or charcoal grill in a closed space. This should go without saying, just don’t do it. And do not store the lighter fluid in the garage either.
- Discard all old paint and rags. If you wish to reuse the rags make sure you store them in a steel bucket with a tight fitting lid or wash them and hang to dry. Store gas and propane in metal containers or at least on shelves in approved cans.
- Never store ashes from cleaning a wood stove or fireplace in or near a flammable container. They can start a fire days after you cleaned the stove.
- Consider a smoke detector or better yet a heat detector which will not go off every time you start the wood sander. Have a working fire extinguisher mounted in a prominent area.
- If your garage is finished make sure the attic hatch cover is always closed. In the event of a fire, the open hatch will draw the fire into the attic and allow it to spread. Consider not installing a pet door if the garage is attached to your home. Having a fire rated door doesn’t do much good if you cut a hole in it and install a plastic pet door to allow the fire into your home.
- In the event of a fire, get out, and close the doors if possible. You do not want to give the fire any oxygen.
SERVPRO of Manistee, Ludington, and Cadillac hopes that you never have to experience a garage, shed, or pole building fire but if you do give us a call the help make it "Like it never even happened.”