Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
After Flood Safety Tips
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
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.
Virtual CE Class Available in April
Join us on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 as we will host a Continuing Education Class for insurance professionals and property managers virtually. The courses will be held using Zoom. 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 Zoom account and are using a device that has a camera and a microphone.
This is a free class. Please RSVP to Meghan at email@example.com.
We will offer the following class:
Restoring Contaminated Buildings
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Course #80963 - 2 Credit Hours
This course has been specifically designed to teach and explain the special procedures used by professionals in storm, large loss, and contaminated water events. Storm events may significantly impact the local area they strike, causing not only property damage but also chaos and confusion. While the cleanup and restoration following a storm event can be a long, tedious effort, mitigation efforts must begin quickly to prevent storm-damaged properties from escalating to contaminated properties. We will discuss how the response required in a storm event or large loss must meet the challenges and complexities of those situations while focusing on safety for everyone involved – the restorer, the workers, the property owner, and the adjuster. We will also discuss the differences in responding to a contaminated water event and the special procedures required.
ONLY 20 SPOTS AVAILABLE. REGISTER NOW!
100% ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE FULL CREDIT!
The Science of Drying
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
For Immediate Service
SERVPRO of SERVPRO of New Center / Highland Park 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.
- 24-Hour Emergency Service
- Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
- Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
- A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
- Locally Owned and Operated
- Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment
Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – 989-494-5575
Whether your 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
There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your 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:
- Commercial Water Damage Restoration
- Commercial Fire Damage Restoration
Virtual CE Class Available
Join us on Wednesday, February 17, 2021 as we will host a series of two Continuing Education Classes 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 email@example.com.
We will offer the following classes:
8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Course #74256 - 2 Credit Hours
This course is designed to assist you in understanding the processes that are involved in cleaning homes and buildings that are or may be contaminated with viruses and blood borne pathogens. This course also discusses appropriate ways to communicate with customers who have recently dealt with the traumatic event that has caused this contamination.
Deodorization of Malodors
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Course #76895- 2 Credit Hours
This course has been specifically designed to explain the special procedures used by professionals when deodorizing malodors. The purpose of the course is to provide you with a better understanding of situations when odor control technicians are tasked with removing bad odor. We’ll talk about how a restorer might respond to some common odor situations. You will learn remediation processes that can help control the cost if performed in a timely manner. This course will help you better understand what your client is going through when deodorizing of malodors is necessary.
- ONLY 20 SPOTS AVAILABLE AND MUST ATTEND BOTH CLASSES. REGISTER NOW!
- 100% ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED TO RECEIVE FULL CREDIT!
- MUST USE SMART PHONE OR COMPUTER TO ACCESS WEBEX
Stachybotrys chartarum is the type of mold often called “black mold” or “toxic mold”. Sensational news reports warn about the dangers of black mold and these stories can be alarming and confusing. Any mold in your home should be treated with caution – stay out of affected areas and don’t touch or disturb the mold.
How Do I Tell If It’s Black Mold?
Since many types of mold can produce allergens and irritants, you should contact a qualified mold remediation company regardless of the color or type of mold. In many instances, multiple types of mold can exist in the same house or structure. If you suspect that you have a mold problem, contact SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties immediately.
When water intrudes into your property, mold growth can start in as little as 48 hours. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic, 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 toxins.
- 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 that odor 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 you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:
- Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
- Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
- A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.
What to Do:
- Stay out of affected areas.
- Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
- Contact SERVPRO of Saginaw / Bay City for mold remediation services.
What Not to Do:
- Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
- Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
- Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
- Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.
If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Sterling Heights has the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.
Celebrating the Holidays During a Pandemic
With COVID-19 still running rampant, this holiday season will be different from seasons prior. As the state of Michigan continues to have restrictions on going out to eat and hosting large gatherings, it makes it challenging for families and friends to participate in their holiday traditions. With that being said, the CDC has come up with ways to celebrate the holidays in a safer manner.
According to the CDC, celebrating virtually or only with the people in your home is the safest choice this season. If you do gather with people outside of your home, consider having gatherings and activities outdoors.
Here are more safer celebration tips brought to you by the CDC:
When Attending a Winter Holiday Celebration:
- Wear a mask.
- Have conversations with the host ahead of time to understand their expectations.
- Bring your own food, drinks, and utensils.
- Stay home if you feel sick or have been near someone who may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- It is okay if you decide to stay at home and social distance from others.
Hosting a Winter Holiday Celebration:
- Set expectations with guests before celebrating together.
- Limit the number of guests.
- Clean and disinfect high touched surfaces.
- Consider a small outdoor celebration.
- Have unused masks handy.
- Have a separate space for guests to wash their hands or have hand sanitizer available.
- Cancel your gathering if you or someone in your home lives with you is sick or has been exposed.
- It is okay to postpone or cancel your gather, do what is best for you.
Food and Drink Considerations:
- Bring your own food, drinks, and utensils.
- Avoid going in and out of areas that food is being prepared.
- Use single-use options such ass salad dressing and condiment packets.
- Have a touchless garbage can if possible.
Consider Other Winter Holiday Activities:
- Host a virtual celebration with friends and family.
- Schedule a time to eat together.
- Host a virtual “ugly” sweater contest.
- There are many apps that allow you to play a game virtually such as Houseparty.
- Decorating activities
- Decorate cookies or gingerbread houses with friends and family virtually.
- Make holiday cards and crafts that does not involve contact with others.
For more information on safer celebrations, visit the CDC’s Winter Holidays website.
Your friends at SERVPRO are wishing you a safe and happy holiday season!
Winter Weather Terminology
We are now entering Michigan’s longest season, winter. As we know, we have dealt with many brutal winters in the past, such as the polar vortex. With how 2020 is going, we never know what is going to be thrown at us next. With that being said, we should prepare and be ready to take on winter weather.
To start, let’s know some winter terminology brought to you by the National Weather Service. Winter Storm Products - We have all heard words like “warning”, “watch”, and “advisory”. We hear these things from our meteorologist, on the radio, and even from our peers. We all chat about the weather but what do these things actually mean? The National Weather Service has given us a list with some definitions:
Winter Storm WARNING: Snow, sleet, or ice are expected. Take Action!
Winter Storm WATCH: Snow, Sleet, or ice is possible. Be Prepared.
Winter Weather Advisory: Wintery weather is expected. Exercise Caution.
Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground; creating a coating of ice on road, walkways, trees, and powerlines.
Sleet: Rain that turns into ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on the road to freeze and become slippery.
For more information about winter storms, visit The National Weather Service.
The National Weather Service and the CDC are great resources to find how to prepare for many types of weather-related storms. When disaster does strike, please know are here to help around the clock. Cold weather, snow, and ice storms can cause severe damage to your home or business. When these types of disasters strike, you must immediate action is necessary to prevent additional damage to your property. We have the winter storm experience, expertise, and the resources to remediate damage caused by winter weather to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Consult, Clean, and Certify
The Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned program is centered around the three C's- Consult, Clean, and Certify.
We will meet with the property owner to evaluate current cleaning processes, and propose additional services that SERVPRO® of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties can offer to minimize the potential transmission of COVID-19. We will also discuss how frequently these services should occur. Higher frequency service is recommended for businesses with high traffic and an inability to implement health screening of people entering the business.
Standard services focus on cleaning and disinfectant application to limit the emergence of viral pathogens. This may include disinfectant application to frequently contacted touch points such as doorknobs, light switches, countertops, keyboards, and desks to minimize the potential transmission of COVID-19.
Enhanced services build upon standard services by adding cleaning and disinfectant application to less frequently contacted touch points. This would be implemented in the case of having a person that tests positive for COVID-19 or a person that may be exhibiting symptoms of the virus.
A Certified: SERVPRO® Cleaned window cling with the last date serviced or a table tent would be placed at the site letting the people that enter your building know that your building has been cleaned by the professionals at SERVPRO® of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties. For more information, call us at 989-494-5575.
COVID-19 and Trick-or-Treating
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.
- 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.
- 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!
Tips for Staying Healthy as COVID-19 and Flu Season Converge
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged business owners and homeowners alike to find ways to live and work without exposing themselves or others to this highly contagious virus. Now, the approaching flu season is set to complicate that challenge even further. To help control the threat that the one-two punch of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu presents, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties urges everyone to be extra vigilant about following cleaning and disinfecting protocols this year.
Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) believes both COVID-19 and the seasonal flu spread primarily by droplets made when infected people cough, sneeze, or talk. While not as frequent, it is also believed adults and children can contract COVID-19 or the flu by touching a surface or an object that has virus particles on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes. The CDC continues to recommend a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses, but experts also emphasize the importance of cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily to help mitigate the potential spread from contaminated surfaces. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
To limit exposure and control the spread of these double threats, SERVPRO recommends you wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol, keep your hands away from your face, and wear a mask to protect others. For effective daily, routine cleaning at home or at work, we recommend first removing surface grime and dirt with soap and water, then following up with a disinfectant. It is easier to feel comfortable about limiting exposure at home where you can control how clean your surroundings are. It is more difficult out in public; but this year especially, it is important to be aware of the space you are in. You need to learn to recognize spaces where cleaning is – or is not – a priority so you can adjust your behavior accordingly.
For those home and business owners who have specialized cleaning requirements or who simply want the peace of mind that a professional cleaning service can offer in this stressful time, SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties can help. While we remain a leader in disaster cleanup and remediation situations, we also provide that same ‘deeper level of clean’ for everyday residential and commercial cleaning. In addition, SERVPRO offers their "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" program, developed for businesses in response to the pandemic. The high level of confidence that a professionally cleaned space provides offers welcome reassurance to patrons as the flu season intersects with COVID-19.
SERVPRO specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup, and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it "Like it never even happened," for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO of Shiawassee / West Saginaw Counties please call 989-494-5575. For more information on the "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned" program, please click here.
Mold in Your Commercial Building?
Mold just needs two things to grow: water and humidity. It can infest your business in as little as 48 hours and even the tiniest of unchecked leaks can produce an infestation.
If you think you have mold in your building, you may consider the usual suspects. Mold often shows up in damp, humid places such as basements, attics, and bathrooms. You may discover it under sinks and behind appliances. You also cannot forget to check in air ducts. HVAC cleaning is essential to keeping fungal growth at bay. If you neglect this duty, you could soon discover a mold infestation.
What Causes Mold Growth
Mold spores travel in through the air but can make their way into office building through doors and windows as well as on people who come inside. Mold becomes visible and spreads when the following conditions are present:
- There is standing water
- There are damp areas in the building
- There is poor airflow
Mold and Your HVAC System
If you smell a foul odor in the air ducts of your office, mold could be the culprit. Not only can this fungus develop where there is water, but it can also collect on dust. It is common for dust to gather in the HVAC ducts. The challenge is, you will not be able to see the mold inside the duct work, so you will have to pay attention to smells and whether the system is not working efficiently.
Here to Help
HVAC cleaning is the most effective way to eliminate mold from your heating and cooling system. Your best move is to hire an experienced mold remediation company to tackle this job. The professionals have the knowledge, training, and tools to remove dust from the ducts and thus get rid of accompanying mold. You should focus on cleaning vents in your building at least once a year, especially if you have had mold in the past.
We are always “here to help," and have the training, equipment, and expertise to take care of your mold problem. Our goal is to get you back to a clean, healthy home and make it "Like it never even happened.”
Learn About Duct Cleaning
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.
- 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
Make a Plan Today!
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.
- How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is my family/household communication plan?
- Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
- Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update my emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
- 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!
Preparing for Back to School
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, and use of cohorting).
- 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 hand-washing 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.
Document Drying & Restoration
As a leader in the restoration industry, we know timely mitigation is the key to reducing severity and recovering damaged items. Water-damaged paper can rapidly deteriorate. Without proper handling, valuable files and irreplaceable documents could be lost forever. Let our team help you recover your damaged paper goods before it is too late.
Learn About Our Services:
Vacuum Freeze Drying:
Process in which an item containing moisture is frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation.
- Sublimation is the direct conversion of a solid (ice) into gas (water vapor), without passage through a liquid stage.
- An example of sublimation is dry ice; dry ice is made of carbon dioxide, not water. When dry ice is exposed to normal atmospheric conditions, it begins to sublimate; it turns directly from its solid stage into its gaseous stage, bypassing the liquid stage.
With the new age of technology, digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water or smoke and needs to be cleaned, dried, or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need to have hundreds or even thousands of documents and records in storage.
Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (cobalt 60) producing ionization (electron disruptions) throughout a product. In a CAT 3 situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only deteriorating but are also infected with all types of bacteria. In most storm situations, you are dealing with CAT 3 water; therefore, most of the affected documents that you will encounter will be contaminated. If this is the case, then decontamination is always a must. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.
Unfortunately, many businesses and governments agencies must dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired, or contaminated materials. All entities need to be certified that their products and materials are destroyed. The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image, or proprietary information. We guarantee certified destruction to give you peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly.
Learn About Desiccants
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
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
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.”
- Water damage & mold
- Catastrophic events
- Trauma & blood-borne pathogens
- Hard surface disinfectant
- 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.