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11/9/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial CONTAMINATED WATER DAMAGE An example of commercial sewage damage

EXTREME Caution Needed When Dealing With Contaminated Water Damage

Any water damage in your commercial location is bad. But this is especially true when the water contains potentially harmful organisms that can affect the health of occupants and the value of your property. Water with these characteristics is often called "black water." Black water damage like toilet overflows, sewage backups and floodwater intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; they are biohazardous in that they introduce harmful microorganisms into your building, as well as the moisture necessary to ensure their continued growth. 

Sewage damage poses serious health risks to anyone exposed to the contaminated water. The danger arises from various harmful substances including parasites that can cause intestinal disease. Some other common risks include Hepatitis A viruses and bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. Water contaminated in these ways is grossly unsanitary. Building occupants should practice precautionary safety measures at all times when dealing with the intrusion or cleanup of black water. 

Safety Tips for Building Occupants 


  1. Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.


  1. Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas and then tracking the contamination elsewhere.
  2. Turn on the HVAC system if it has been impacted by the water. The HVAC system could spread contaminated air to other parts of the building.
  3. Use household fans to dry the structure. These too could spread contaminants.
  4. Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if they have been exposed to the contaminated areas.
  5. Consume food or drink that has been exposed to the contaminated areas.

A mop and common cleaning products may not be enough to clean up black water intrusions. SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. has the procedures, experience, specialized equipment and products needed to clean and restore your building, utilizing the following procedures:

  • Survey the extent of damage and inspect the premises.
  • Perform emergency water extraction.
  • Move and block furniture and fixtures.
  • Provide floor service.
  • Inspect carpet and padding.
  • Apply necessary treatments including disinfectants and deodorizers.
  • Utilize and monitor drying equipment.
  • Dispose of refuse. 

SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. professionals understand how disruptive and dangerous contaminated water can be and offer 24-hour emergency response. Under normal circumstances, trained, uniformed restoration technicians arrive on site within four hours of loss notification to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO professionals can help you regain control quickly through proper drying, deodorizing and protection of your facility and contents. Abiding by OSHA guidelines and all applicable health regulations, SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. professionals remove moisture, sewage and contaminants, disinfecting and deodorizing as they safely clean and dry your building and restore the contents. So before you risk your health trying to clean up such damage, call on SERVPRO for help at 586-412-9595.


11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial COMMERCIAL FIRE DAMAGE An example of commercial fire damage

What You Should Know About Commercial Fire Damage

 Commercial fire damage is one of the most devastating experiences that you as a business owner can experience. In addition to the fire doing severe damage to the structure and contents of the building, a fire often leads to truly huge volumes of water being introduced to your building. That much water can do serious damage to both building and contents and also encourages mold growth. For these reasons and more, business leaders can find it difficult to recover from a fire, whether caused by a natural disaster or by man-made accidents. However, learning more about commercial fires and how fire damage remediation specialists can assist you is the first step towards limiting damage and preserving your equilibrium in the face of such a disaster. Below is some information that may help:

 Fires at commercial properties are most often caused by:

  • Short circuit in old or poorly repaired wiring
  • Fire in an adjoining building
  • Blown fuse or overloaded circuit
  • Lightning strike

In addition to purchasing business interruption insurance, there are several common-sense strategies you can use to reduce the likelihood of fire in your business and to minimize damage if there is one:

  1. Avoid storing flammable items on site.
  2. Check your smoke alarms periodically to ensure they are functioning properly.
  3. Make sure your fire extinguishers work and are in visible and easily accessible locations.
  4. Implement a fire evacuation plan.
  5. Turn off appliances and machinery when no one is in the building.
  6. Ensure all machinery is in good condition.
  7. Keep important documents in a fireproof safe.
  8. Scan important documents and back up the scans, and all your electronic files, to the cloud daily.

If you have a fire in your business in spite of your best prevention measures, call SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. for immediate professional assistance, 586-412-9595


10/26/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation MOLDS CAN BE BENEFICIAL Roquefort - inoculated with Penecillium to create intense flavor and color

Some molds (there are many thousands of species) can cause unwanted heath effects, as most of us know. However, some molds are actually beneficial, like Penicillium. The most famous Penicillium of all is Penicillium notatum, the mold that gave the world penicillin.

Penicillium camemberti is another mold species that is safe and even beneficial. It is sprayed on to camembert and brie cheeses to age them and create their white rinds, while Penicillium roqueforti gives blue cheeses such as stilton and roquefort their veins.

Another mold, Botrytis cinerea, is essential to dessert wines such as Sauternes and Trockenbeerenauslese. The grapes from which these wines are made are colonized by Botrytis cinerea, the so-called "noble rot," and the fruit becomes partially raisinized. This reduces water content, increases sweetness, and contributes to the quality of the wine made from these grapes. Many wine-makers will deliberately spray Botrytis spores over their vineyards.

Of course, if you are currently battling with molds growing in your home or business, or you’re thinking you’re going to need to hire professionals to carry out mold remediation to remove or reduce the molds, you probably don’t want to hear about beneficial molds. We at SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. understand all that. We get it. And we’re here to help with mold remediation if you need us. Don’t hesitate to call 586-412-9595 anytime, day or night.


9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation MOLD TESTING Visible Mold Behind Wainscotting

SERVPRO franchises, such as our own SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. do not do formal mold sampling, testing or interpreting of mold testing results. SERVPRO franchises such as ours do, however, carry out mold remediation in homes and businesses when the owners or their insurance company determines it is needed. This is quite often the case when there is visible mold present, for example, in closets, basements or attics following a flood or other water loss. Such water losses tend to elevate the humidity of interior air. If that elevated humidity goes on for long enough, it is very common for visible mold to grow, since many molds are present in the air everywhere indoors or out. When visible mold is present, owners often consult with their insurance company and call in a provider that does mold remediation professionally and has two things done.

  1. The source of the elevated moisture in the air is corrected (e.g., wet building contents are dried or removed, leaks are stopped, spaces around exterior openings are caulked, etc.)
  2. Visible mold, and the staining it causes on wood or drywall surfaces, is removed using EPA-registered products.

Most of the time mold remediation is done when there is visible mold present and without formal sampling or testing being done. Sometimes, though, sampling and testing do need to be done first in spite of the costs involved (possibly several hundred dollars). Here are several scenarios in which that may be appropriate.

  1. When visible mold is not present, but the smell of mold is present. Here a mold inspection and mold test can reveal whether there is indeed elevated mold, and where it is located.
  2. When there have been plumbing leaks or other water issues and someone suspects that elevated mold may exist in the air and/or behind walls.
  3. Post Mold Removal Clearance: Testing ensures that previous mold issues have been resolved and mold counts have returned to normal levels found in similar environments.
  4. Health Concerns: In some cases a patient has a health issue of unknown origin but with symptoms common to mold exposure (coughing, sneezing, headaches, etc.). Here, a mold inspection and test may help a doctor to confirm or rule out mold exposure as a cause.
  5. Real estate transactions: Documented inspection to protect a buyer or seller.
  6. Landlord/Tenant disputes: Documented inspection to determine if a mold problem exists.
  7. Someone thinks he or she sees or smells mold but is not sure.
  8. Someone is interested in a general Indoor Air Quality test of his or her environment.

When formal sampling and testing are done by a lab, one of the things included in their report to the owners is a remediation protocol for removal of the mold. When present, such a protocol gives SERVPRO a step-by-step plan to follow for remediation. Call us at 586-412-9595 if you need us.


9/7/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation ATTIC MOLD Attic roof decking before and after treatment for mold staining

Molds are microscopic living things that are present almost everywhere, indoors or out. They are not plants, animals or bacteria. Instead they are eukaryotic fungi that grow in tiny filaments called hyphae. At a certain stage in their growth, the hyphae differentiate and produce very small particles called spores. These spores are small enough to float in the air and they act like seeds of a sort that can, under the right conditions, germinate and start new mold colonies. The presence of these spores gives many kinds of mold their characteristic dusty or grainy appearance. The spores, once floating in the air, can be inhaled by a person and can cause mild to severe irritation up to and including illness. A very small fraction of these illnesses can even result in death. Mold colonies derive energy by decomposing organic material and thus tend to cause damage wherever they grow. Like all fungi, molds need the right conditions in order for their colonies to thrive and spread. They need a significant amount of moisture and they need organic material they can break down to obtain energy. Remove/reduce the moisture or the organic material and the molds cannot survive. For this reason, one of the main ways mold colonies are kept to a manageable level is by using air conditioning or ventilation to keep humidity (moisture in the air) below what the molds need to survive.

Molds tend to grow indoors in places where it is damp such as basements or the back of closets. If attic spaces do not have sufficient ventilation, they too can play host to significant mold colonies. Building codes almost everywhere specify ventilation in attic spaces that would make it nearly impossible for molds to grow. But often the attic vents (soffit, dormer, ridge or gable vents) that provide the ventilation get blocked by blown-in insulation or other obstructions. When this happens, attic spaces become very welcoming places for molds to grow. We often see severe mold staining on the plywood decking making up the “ceilings” of residential attic spaces. When SERVPRO is called in to address these attic molds, our job is really two-fold: kill the existing mold colonies on the wood decking and provide advice to the homeowners so they can restore adequate ventilation and prevent regrowth of molds. Typically we use powerful spray-on products that kill existing mold colonies and remove the staining the colonies tend to create. The homeowners then need to clear the obstructions away from the attic vents to restore ventilation. In a few cases, the homeowners may need to actually add additional attic vents to get to the needed level of ventilation.

If you discover mold growing anywhere in your home or business, call SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. at 586-412-9595. We have the training, the equipment and the experienced personnel to solve your problem.

The image accompanying this post shows severe mold staining on the roof decking of a residence and the same decking after we have treated it.

Crew Used Eclipse Glasses to View 8/21/17 Eclipse

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

General Crew Used Eclipse Glasses to View 8/21/17 Eclipse Crew practicing with the eclipse-viewing glasses.

Our SERVPRO crew members took some moments between tasks to view the solar eclipse on Monday, 8/21/17. Of course, they used approved eclipse-viewing protective glasses each time they looked at the sun. The photo shows the crew practicing with the safety glasses before the eclipse actually started.

Sometimes the Subfloor Gets Soaked

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Sometimes the Subfloor Gets Soaked Sometimes the sub-floor can be soaked under your flooring.

When you have a water loss in your home or business, the sub-floor under the carpet, vinyl flooring or ceramic tile sometimes gets thoroughly soaked. Under certain conditions it is almost impossible to dry it out without removing the flooring covering it. And yet it must be dried in order to prevent microbial growth or rotting of the sub-floor material or both. That's just one of the reasons you should call on SERVPRO when you have a water loss. SERVPRO has the trained people, the equipment and the experience to quickly discover what can and cannot be done to dry out your sub-floor, and they can communicate effectively with you and with your insurance adjuster, if you have one, about how to proceed.

If you have a water loss, call SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights at 586-412-9595 to get the professional help you need!

2017 National Convention is Now Complete!

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

General 2017 National Convention is Now Complete! Seattle Space Needle

SERVPRO Industries Inc., with corporate headquarters in Gallatin, TN, has just completed its 2017 National Convention in Seattle, WA. SERVPRO, a provider of residential and commercial restoration services, is a trusted leader in the restoration industry with over 1,600 franchises in the US alone.

Among SERVPRO's primary service offerings:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services

The photo shows the iconic Space Needle in downtown Seattle, site of this year's Convention.

Summer Flooding

6/13/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Summer Flooding Summer Flooding

Are you prepared for summer flooding? If it were to hit your home or business in Clinton Twp. or Sterling Heights, do you know who you would call for help?

It Could Happen

It may sound a little far-fetched but it wasn't that long ago when Macomb County was hit with the worst flooding in decades. On August 12, 2014, Macomb County got five inches of rain in just a few hours and the resulting flooding was disastrous. Hundreds of homes and businesses were damaged. The photo above shows just one of many inundated neighborhoods in the county. It would be hard to exaggerate the scale of the damage, it was so severe. By the end of calendar year 2014, residents had received more than $246 million in state and federal aid and could have used more.

Call Us If You Need Help

If summer flooding comes this year, you might consider calling SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. for help. The phone number is 586-412-9595. We have the trained personnel, the specialized equipment and the hands-on experience to help with any flooding that comes your way.


5/31/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage KEEP THINGS OFF THE FLOOR! See how the water wicks up the cardboard?

A lot of people store a lot of things in their basement. There's nothing unwise about that, it's certainly one of the main ways people use that space in their homes. However, in the event of a flood in the basement, storing a lot of things down there could turn out to be a major problem. There are two primary reasons such storage turns into a disaster. One is HOW the things are stored, and the other is the particular way the insurance coverage is written.

Don't Store On the Floor
If you can avoid storing things flat on the floor you are avoiding almost all possible trouble. Most basement flooding, from any source (failed sump pump, ruptured water pipe, toilet or refrigerator supply line, etc.), is less than four inches deep at its worst. So if you make it a policy to store everything 6" or more off the floor in the basement, you are pretty safe. One good approach to this is to purchase storage racks for your stored items and keep the bottom shelf 6" off the floor. Notice the photo that accompanies this posting. Do you see the cardboard containers on the carpeted floor near the center-right of the photo? Can you tell that the flood water has wicked up the cardboard walls of the containers? The flood in this basement was less than an inch deep but almost everything stored on the basement floor was soaked through-and-through because water has a way of soaking into and wicking up through any permeable material. Keep in mind too that flood water is NEVER clean and most of the things that get soaked are either a total loss or significantly expensive to dry out and clean. One other thing to keep in mind is to avoid storing things, on or off a rack, directly beneath overhead water pipes. Sometimes the pipes burst or develop leaks.

Call Your Insurance and Find Out What is Covered
Some homeowners' insurance does not cover damage to the contents of a basement in the event of a failed sump pump, which is the single most common cause of basement flooding. There may be other important exclusions you should know about too, like basement wall leaks, window leaks, failed water heater, frozen water pipes, or sewage backup. It is certainly worth a single phone call just to put your mind at rest. And keep in mind that, no matter what your policy covers or doesn't cover, you're safe from almost all kinds of basement flooding if you just keep stored items 6" or more off the floor. If the water gets deeper than that, all bets are off of course, but at that point you still have your insurance coverage standing between you and a serious and costly loss.

Don't Have Insurance? Call Us anyway! We Can Help!
Call SERVPRO of East Sterling Heights/West Clinton Twp. at 586-412-9595. We have the equipment, the trained personnel, and the experience to deal effectively with basement flooding and we are Faster To Any Disaster!