Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

SERVPRO Insider – January 2022

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

First page of January 2022 newsletter SERVPRO Insider – January 2022

Our new quarterly newsletter is here! The SERVPRO Insider gives an inside look at what SERVPRO Team Miller has been up to!  

In this first issue, we’re reliving 2021. From our super impressive Halloween costume contest to receiving the SERVPRO Franchise of the Year Award, our team has been busy having fun and servicing our local communities with their fire and water damage needs. 

We also feature small articles with helpful tips for homeowners and business owners to take care of their properties and customers. Some of the featured articles in this issue include fireplace safety tips, preparing your business for winter weather, and tips on preventing frozen pipes. 

Each newsletter comes with a special feature on services that SERVPRO offers. The service of this quarter: Biohazard Cleanup and Restoration. The professionally trained experts at SERVPRO provide biohazard cleanup services that utilize a science based, safety centered standard. Some of the most common biohazard scenarios our team faces are sewage backups, bloodborne pathogens, and illegal drug manufacturing lab. 

If you’d like to subscribe to receive our full quarterly newsletters, send us a request at marketing@rdmhc.com. 

COVID-19 and Trick-or-Treating

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Pumpkin with face mask over it. As many of us prepare to buy candy and costumes for Trick-or-Treating, the CDC has considerations to help protect families and communities from COVID.

As many of us prepare to buy candy and costumes for Trick-or-Treating, the CDC has considerations to help protect families and communities from COVID-19. Not only do we have to worry about COVID, flu season is also upon us. Following these considerations can help limit the spread while still being able to enjoy Halloween festivities. 

Make Trick-or-Treating Safer: 

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters. 
  • Pass out candy outdoors. 
  • If possible, set up a station with individually bagged treats for children to take. 
  • Wash hands before handling candy. 
  • Wear a mask. 

Mask Up: 

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume. 
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask. 
  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult. 
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing. 

Other Considerations: 

  • Stay at least 6 ft. away from others who do not live with you. 
  • Bring hand sanitizers with you. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any candy. 

For more information on making Trick-or-Treating safer, go to the cdc.gov. Your friends at SERVPRO are wishing you a fun and safe Halloween! 

Make a Plan Today!

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Wooden blocks stacked on top of each other to spell PLAN. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area.

It is never too early to start a plan. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you will contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that is familiar and easy to find. 

Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends, or household to start your emergency plan. 

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings? 
  2. What is my shelter plan? 
  3. What is my evacuation route? 
  4. What is my family/household communication plan? 
  5. Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit? 
  6. Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update my emergency plans due to Coronavirus. 
  7. Get cloth face coverings (for everyone over 2 years old), disinfectants, and check my sheltering plan. 

Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household. 

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets, or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan: 

  • Different ages of members within your household 
  • Responsibilities for assisting others 
  • Locations frequented 
  • Dietary needs 
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment 
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment 
  • Languages spoken 
  • Cultural and religious considerations 
  • Pets or service animals 
  • Households with school-aged children 

Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan 

Download and fill out a family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own. 

Emergency Plan for Parents (PDF) 

For more information on how to make a plan for you and your family, visit ready.gov/plan. 

Learn About Duct Cleaning

9/17/2021 (Permalink)

Duct filled with dust. Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority.

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building or home. 

A routine part of SERVPRO’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may save you money. 

Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, we use a Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. 

Our Process: 

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the ducts’ shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming beings. 
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container. 
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean. 
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns. 
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt. 

We Can Help: 

  • Remediate Bacteria, Fungi, and Mold 
  • Reduce Potential for Mold Growth 
  • Restore Peak Energy Efficiency 
  • Eliminate Odors 
  • Provide Free Written Inspections and Estimates 

Preparing for Back to School

8/17/2021 (Permalink)

Back to School written on a chalkboard. Schools are a vital part of the infrastructure of communities and play a critical role in supporting the well-being of a child.

Schools are a vital part of the infrastructure of communities and play a critical role in supporting the well-being of a child, not just their academic achievement. With schools preparing to reopen their doors after shutdowns, parents and staff members have concerns about the health and safety of students. 

The CDC has put together a plan for K-12 school administrators to follow as students and staff return to school in the fall. According the CDC, it is critical that all administrators for these steps: 

  • Engage and encourage everyone in the school and the community to practice preventive behaviors. These are the most important actions that will support schools’ safe reopening and will help them stay open. 
  • Implement multiple SARS-CoV-2 mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing, cloth face coverings, hand hygiene, etc.). 
  • Communicate, educate, and reinforce appropriate hygiene and social distancing practices in ways that are developmentally appropriate for students, teachers, and staff. 
  • Integrate SARS-CoV-2 mitigation strategies into co-curricular and extracurricular activities (e.g., limiting or cancelling participation in activities where social distancing is not feasible). 
  • Maintain healthy environments (e.g., cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces). 
  • Make decisions that consider the level of community transmission. 
  • Re-purpose unused or underutilized school (or community) spaces to increase classroom space and facilitate social distancing, including outside spaces, where feasible. 
  • Develop a proactive plan for when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19. 
  • Develop a plan with state and local health department to conduct case tracing in the event of a positive case. 
  • Educate parents and caregivers on the importance of monitoring for and responding to the symptoms of COVID-19 at home. 
  • Develop ongoing channels of communication with state and local health departments to stay updated on COVID-19 transmission and response in your local area. 

Schools may consider implementing strategies to encourage behaviors to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The CDC has provided strategies on how to reduce the spread: 

Staying Home when Appropriate 

  • Educate staff and families about when they/their child(ren) should stay home and when they can return to school. 
    • Actively encourage employees and students who are sick or who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 to stay home. 
    • Staff and students should stay home if they have tested positive for or are showing COVID-19 symptoms. 
    • Staff and students who have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should also stay home and monitor their health. 
  • CDC’s criteria can help inform when employees should return to work: 
    • If they have been sick with COVID-19 
    • If they have recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19 

Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette 

  • Teach and reinforce handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and increase monitoring to ensure adherence among students and staff. 
    • If soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol can be used (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer). 
  • Encourage staff and students to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. 

Cloth Face Coverings 

  • Teach and reinforce use of cloth face coverings. Face coverings may be challenging for students (especially younger students) to wear in all-day settings such as school. 
    • Note: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on: 
      • Children younger than 2 years old 
      • Anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious 
      • Anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the cloth face covering without assistance 
  • Cloth face coverings are meant to protect other people in case the wearer is unknowingly infected but does not have symptoms.  
    • Adequate Supplies 
      • Support healthy hygiene behaviors by providing adequate supplies, including soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol, paper towels, tissues, disinfectant wipes, cloth face coverings (as feasible) and no-touch/foot-pedal trash cans. 

Signs and Messages 

  • Post signs in highly visible locations (e.g., school entrances, restrooms) that promote everyday protective measures pdf icon and describe how to stop the spread pdf icon of germs (such as by properly washing hands and properly wearing a cloth face covering image icon). 
  • Broadcast regular announcements on reducing the spread of COVID-19 on PA systems. 

For more information on preparing for back to school, visit the CDC website

Learn About Desiccants

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO desiccants. At SERVPRO, we use a variety of drying equipment to restore water damaged materials your Michigan property back to preloss conditions.

At SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties we use a variety of drying equipment to restore water damaged materials your Michigan property back to preloss conditions. One piece of equipment that excels at large loss drying is the desiccant dehumidifier. 

A desiccant dehumidifier has a moisture absorbing wheel inside the unit. The wheel is made of silica gel – which is the desiccant (drying) element. Air enters the unit through an opening and travels through the silica gel impregnated wheel. When the air reaches the other side of the wheel, it is dry and pushed out of the unit by a high static blower. 

The process is as follows: 

  • Dehumidifiers absorb moisture from the air into desiccant materials. 
  • The air to be dried, or processed, is ducted through the rotor in one air stream. 
  • The rotor brings the moist desiccant to the reactivation air stream to heat it up. 
  • Moisture is expelled from the desiccant material as water vapor. 
  • Moist, warm air is ducted outdoors. 
  • The separate air streams move in different directions, blowing any debris away from the processed air. 
  • Dried processed air is circulated back into the area. 

Desiccant dehumidifiers range in size and configuration dramatically. They can be as small as a suitcase or as large as two semi tractor-trailers. Large desiccants are often self-contained dehumidification systems, utilizing onboard generators and running on propane or diesel fuel. When large catastrophic events occur, such as hurricanes or floods, large desiccants can provide a way of dehumidification when little or no power is available. 

If you experience water damage in your home or business, a desiccant dehumidifier might be used, depending on the extent of water damage. Here at SERVPRO we specialize in water damage restoration, the cornerstone of our business. We have extensive water damage restoration training, and our process emphasizes regular monitoring and documentation of the drying process from beginning to end. 

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned - A New Way of Cleaning

7/28/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned sticker on business window. Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchisees perform requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services.

Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchisees perform requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services to the properties identified below. Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned program ranges from standard to enhanced services and are intended to limit the survival and spread of emerging viral pathogens. 

 Standard services focus on cleaning and disinfectant application to frequently contacted touchpoints such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, and desks. Enhanced services build upon standard services by adding cleaning and disinfectant application to less frequently contacted touchpoints such as the front, sides, and backs of desks, counters, tables, vanities, or equipment. We will work with you to identify specific surfaces for cleaning and disinfectant application. 

The cleaning will remove dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces and applying a liquid disinfectant will aid in killing germs on surfaces. Please keep in mind that porous surfaces, such as carpets, cannot be truly disinfected; but they can be sanitized, which reduces but does not necessarily eliminate all the contaminants on a treated surface. 

Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned services exclude cleaning of ceilings or ceiling-mounted fixtures; inventory or retail merchandise; inside of cabinets, filing cabinets, desk drawers, refrigerators, ranges, microwaves, lockers or electronic items; food-related items, condiments, kitchen food boxes, kitchen food bags, kitchen food containers, beverages or anything that will be consumed by the public, unless agreement is made prior to beginning services. 

While no service can guarantee that all pathogens will be eliminated, our service is most effective on clean surfaces. CDC recognizes that cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses. We will not replace your current cleaning crew or janitorial service, but rather supplement your current cleaning efforts. 

A SERVPRO® franchise professional will work with you to determine and obtain agreement on a specific scope of work and pricing prior to the start of services. We will follow the CDC’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html. We will also follow state or local health department recommendations and protocols, if applicable. If you believe the facility and/or situation requires a more specific protocol, you are encouraged to hire an industrial hygienist to write a protocol for us to follow. 

Currently there are no disinfectants that have been tested specifically for this particular emerging viral pathogen. The CDC is recommending an EPA-registered disinfectant with claims against similar type organisms to SARS-CoV-2. The disinfectants the workers will use meet the criteria. The EPA also publishes a list of disinfectants that have been approved for emergent pathogen claims. Product information can be found in Technical Data and Safety Data Sheets, available upon request. 

While we will follow recognized industry and CDC standards to clean and disinfect, due to the nature of certain surfaces, we cannot provide assurances that all pathogens will be eliminated, including coronaviruses. Of course, any area may be infected later if exposed to someone who is contagious with any pathogen. It is important that you continue to follow CDC’s recommendations found on their website. For example, it is important that you continue to perform routine environmental cleaning, including routinely cleaning with effective and approved cleaning agents. Use all cleaning products according to the directions on the label. In addition, provide disinfectant wipes so that commonly used surfaces can be cleaned before each use. 

For more information on our Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, give us a call at 989-494-5575! 

Learn About Benefect® Botanical Disinfectant

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Gallon jug of Benefect Botanical Disinfectant. Benefect® is ideal for use in sites such as water damage, sewage back up, mold remediation, fire restoration and trauma scene decontamination.

What is a Botanical Active Ingredient? In nature, plants produce germ-killing “essential oils” to protect themselves from invading microbes, similar to how our bodies produce antibodies for our protection against disease. Benefect® is a revolutionary blend of these antimicrobial extracts, particularly from the herb Thyme. Using these essential oils from plants allows Benefect® to achieve an unprecedented Category IV toxicity rating with a broad-spectrum disinfectant. To put it simply, Benefect® is a “plant immune system in a bottle.” 

Uses: 

  • Water damage & mold 
  • Catastrophic events 
  • Trauma & blood-borne pathogens 
  • Hard surface disinfectant 

Advantages: 

  • Excellent safety profile 
  • Hospital level disinfection for all restoration jobs 
  • OSHA compliant for blood-borne pathogens 
  • EPA registered disinfectant 
  • Ideal for use in schools and day care centers 
  • Outstanding product for “green cleaning” programs 

Benefect® is ideal for use in restoration sites such as water damage, sewage back up, mold remediation, fire restoration and trauma scene decontamination. Effectively eliminates odors produced by odor-causing bacteria, fungi and other organisms on concrete, wood framing and studding, trim and sub-floors. 

After Flood Safety Tips

5/31/2021 (Permalink)

Still water with the SERVPRO orange house logo. Floods happen unexpectedly and can cause severe damage for your home or business.

Floods happen unexpectedly and can cause severe damage for your home or business. Storm damage through flooding can lead to property damage and ongoing mold problems, but the team at SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties has some tips to help: 

Safety first. If you have standing water where electricity may be present, make sure that ALL electricity is turned off to the area to prevent electrocution. When in doubt, contact a professional to help disconnect power. 

Do not wait. When you are dealing with water damage, it is important that you take immediate action so that you can rescue as much as you can. Water is particularly invasive, quickly spreading throughout your property and being absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, etc. SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. 

The experts at SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties offer 24-hour emergency water damage service. Call 989-494-5575 to get connected with our team. 

Fight mold. Getting your space dried out as quickly as possible is crucial to avoiding dangerous mold setting in. While things can dry out naturally, this is not guaranteed, and it may not be fast enough to prevent mold. Mold spreads quickly, so a minor mold infestation can quickly escalate into a major problem. We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost. SERVPRO has a scientific approach to drying that can help speed up the process and keep mold at bay. 

Give your valuables some love. While not everything can be saved after a flood, you may be surprised at what can be salvaged. Let us remove your wet items from the flooded area and take them to our facility for restoration. SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties specializes in restoring contents damaged by fire, water, or mold. Our expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that cannot be replaced. We pretest your contents to determine what items can be restored back to their condition before the water damage. 

Check for structural integrity. Sometimes a flood can compromise a building’s foundation. This can lead to bigger problems down the road if not addressed immediately. Contact a trusted contractor to assess your facility’s foundation after a flood to make sure it is in good condition and make the recommended improvements if necessary. 

Flood damage after a storm can be devastating and stressful, but with help from the pros at SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties, you will soon have your life back “Like it never even happened.” 

Learn About Mold Damage

3/10/2021 (Permalink)

Mold damage is a condition that a lot of homeowners deal with on a regular basis. The main problem with mold is that it doesn't need that much for it to both grow and thrive in your household. Things such as darkness, warmth, humidity and a food source for drywall or wood can all help the mold spores to both thrive and expand throughout the home. In some cases, the mold is very visible like on a bathroom ceiling just above the shower stall. In other cases, you may not even know that you have it because it is in a crawlspace or attic.


If your home has a moisture problem or is prone to floods and leaks, you are living in an environment that is more vulnerable to mold damage problems. This is because you are attracting the mold to your home even if you are not aware of it. Moist environments with excess warmth and food sources for the mold to grow is attractive to the fungus and can help it to grow continually until it becomes out of control and needs professional remediation. In this case, only an expert mold remediation service company, like SERVPRO, will be able to assist you in getting rid of the mold problem.


Mold spores can be found in the air at times, especially in homes that have other factors such as moisture, dampness, and high humidity levels. The mold spores can thrive in this condition and continue to multiply until they become a huge problem for you.


Mold spores cannot grow unless the area in which they are present is moisture and humidity. In fact and to be precise, a humidity level of about 55 percent is needed for mold actually to develop and begin to multiply. Many homes that are in humid climates or deal with lots of rain can have more moisture problems present within their homes than others. Also, leaking plumbing pipes or floods can create humidity in the air. Taking care of plumbing leaks and roof leaks can help to prevent these problems.


Another thing to keep in mind is that mold likes humid and dark environments, which makes your basement, crawlspace and attic all primary locations for mold to grow and thrive over time. It is vital that you continually look around the home to check for mold and to contact SERVPRO at the first sign of a mold problem.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties is locally owned and operated—so we live and work here too and are proud to be part of the Saginaw community. When you have a water or mold damage issue, we’re already nearby and ready to help.

We are also part of a national network of over 1,800 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to large scale disasters.

We are proud to serve our local communities. 

The Science of Drying

2/15/2021 (Permalink)

Did you know, there is actually a science behind the process of drying? The knowledge of psychrometrics is essential to restoring a water damaged structure to its preloss condition. While your initial reaction may be to grab a few towels to mop up the mess and place a fan or two around the damaged area, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties professional team is trained in the science if drying and follow strict industry-approved standards to help lower the chances of any secondary damages. If your business suffers a water damage, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties professionals will:

  • Inspect the building to detect every component that is wet, to help prevent secondary damage from happening.
  • Measure how much moisture is in wet materials and monitor whether the materials are drying properly.
  • Speed up Mother Nature by using professional drying equipment.

What exactly does “Speed up Mother Nature” mean? A wet building can often dry naturally because the environment always seeks equilibrium. When materials are wet, moisture will naturally move to drier air is, indeed, drier. The only problem is, nature takes too long and secondary damages may occur while the building is drying out.

SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties has been trained to use top-of-the-line equipment to help Mother Nature along, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, tough-to-reach spaces inside walls, and much more. SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties also uses state-of-the-art monitoring equipment, and proven scientific process to help speed the drying of your home or business.

The bottom line? SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Virtual CE Class Available in March

2/5/2021 (Permalink)

Join us on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 as we will host a Continuing Education Class for insurance professionals and property managers virtually. The courses will be held using WebEx. Please note that even though the class is being held in a “virtual classroom,” specific state guidelines must still be met in order for you receive Continuing Education credit.  On the day of the class, we will need to confirm your identity, collect your Insurance License # / National Producer Number (NPN), and document your “time in” and “time out” of the classroom.  This REQUIRES that you have a WebEx account and are using a device that has a camera and a microphone.

This is a free class. Please RSVP to Meghan at mmiller@rdmhc.com.

We will offer the following class:

Cleaning & Restoring Smoked - Damaged Contents

8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Course #80956 - 2 Credit Hours

This course explains the different tools used by restoration professionals to clean and restore smoke-damaged contents. You will be provided with an overview of various smoke-damaged contents cleaning methods, and the products used to clean smoke damaged contents. You will learn the processes a restoration professional employs to scope, estimate, clean and restore smoke damaged contents. Key issues related to moving a customer’s smoke-damaged contents to a remote location for cleaning will also be discussed.

ONLY 20 SPOTS AVAILABLE. REGISTER NOW!

100% ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE FULL CREDIT!

MUST USE SMART PHONE OR COMPUTER TO ACCESS WEBEX