Recent Posts

FSRT Certification – IICRC

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage FSRT Certification – IICRC Last week Chris, Carol, Lathe and Ryan attended the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

Last week Chris, Carol, Lathe and Ryan attended the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) Fire and Smoke Restoration Technician (FSRT) certification course in Ft. Dodge. They learned how to combine technical procedures with a practical approach to managing a job site.

This two-day seminar enhances the skills of our team to be able to provide further job planning and execution, chemical and equipment requirements, structural cleaning, as well as determining the job scope and estimating after a fire. Our goal is to get our customers back into their restored home quickly.

The class consisted of learning specific techniques to deal with:

  • Insurance Coverages
  • Emergency Cleaning
  • Contents Cleaning & Manipulation
  • Structural Cleaning
  • Equipment Options
  • Deodorization
  • Proper Procedures & Chemicals
  • Jobsite Safety

Our team also learned how different types of smoke affect restoration of books, electronics and artwork.

As one of the nation's leading providers of restoration services, SERVPRO® has developed the most extensive performance guidelines in the industry. These guidelines assure you receive the best restoration service in the industry when you call 712-262-4379.

High standards to help ensure excellent service

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage High standards to help ensure excellent service Chris recently attended a three-day seminar covering Water Damage Restoration (WRT) through the IICRC.

Chris recently attended a three-day seminar covering Water Damage Restoration (WRT) through the IICRC in Ft. Dodge. He learned about the newest techniques in extraction, basic containment and basic mold procedures. He was able to bring this knowledge back to our crew at SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to give us a better concept of water damage, its effects and techniques for drying of structures. It will give us all a better understanding of the procedures necessary to deal with water losses and sewer backflows.

We dare you to ask Chris about psychrometric readings! Honestly, it’s way over my head – but he has a passion for the science behind drying. He even has a fancy little chart that you may see him carrying around to various job sites. There apparently is an entire science of psychrometry, things called wet bulb, dry bulb, relative and absolute humidity – WHO KNEW!? I just thought my hair didn’t like humid days, and my skin hates low-humidity days. But Chris can take the theory of psychrometry and apply it to any water-loss job to make sure we are being efficient in our drying processes. After he understands how the climate in your home reads, he can then use it to understand what drying strategies can be best used. And, yes there are more than one way to dry a building. He will look for the most efficient and cost-effective strategy for each job.

We can honestly say, yes, sometimes SERVPRO isn’t the cheapest option for you – but you can be sure we do a darn good job and do it the RIGHT way the first time when you experience a water-loss. Our owners expect continuing education for all our staff and allow us to use that knowledge to bring the best service to you!

As one of the nation's leading providers of restoration services, SERVPRO® has developed the most extensive performance guidelines in the industry. These guidelines assure you receive the best restoration service in the industry when you call 712-262-4379.

Time for Celebrating and Cleaning House

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Time for Celebrating and Cleaning House Our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."

??SPRING (when it gets here * hint of sarcasm*) ??
A time for celebrating and cleaning house!

Preparing your home in anticipation of the attendance of multiple guests for graduation parties moves us into a frenzy to clean anything and everything, carpets included.

Has planning a graduation party got your TO DO list out of control? Let SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes help! Call us for all your cleaning needs.

There is still time to call and schedule your carpet cleaning, tile and grout cleaning or upholstery cleaning before your graduation parties.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes proudly serves the Spencer, Okoboji, Storm Lake, Lake Park, Jackson and surrounding areas.

You know SERVPRO as a leader in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration, but our professional residential cleaning services can also make a dirty carpet "Like it never even happened."

Common Holes in Homeowners Insurance Coverage

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Common Holes in Homeowners Insurance Coverage Call your insurance agent to find out what your policy actually covers.

There are many times when our SERVPRO crew is called to a flooded basement. They begin to make the assessment of damage and then call the homeowner’s insurance provider only to find out that the homeowner did not carry the correct insurance to cover a water-loss in the basement. You can imagine what that might feel like when you have $5,000-$25,000 worth of water damage staring you in the face.

It is disheartening to know the damage isn’t covered and a homeowner has become liable for the cost incurred to get their house back to livable conditions. It’s our goal with this post to educate homeowners. We want you to know what you need to be asking your insurance agent when you set up your home’s insurance policy.

Here's the main take-away: 

Get a Water Back Up and Sump Pump Insurance Rider

Action item: Call your insurance agent to find out what your policy actually covers and get the rider for sump pumps and water back up if you don't already have it.

Reason #1: It’s not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy.

Reason #2: It’s fairly inexpensive.

Reason #3: Water backups can happen to anyone.

Reason #4: It qualifies you for Loss of Use coverage if your home is uninhabitable.

Homeowners many times assume that if their sump pump backs up the damages will be covered under the “Sewer and Drain Back-Up” portion of their policy. But most sump pump failure is NOT covered under regular homeowners’ insurance policies UNLESS you specifically add the appropriate rider. This rider covers you if the sump pump stops working due to a power outage, and may or may not provide coverage for mechanical failures.

The cost of this rider is typically around $100 a year and is well worth the additional coverage it provides in security.

Even if you add a sump pump rider to your insurance policy, you will need to take extra precautions to ensure that you will be covered if the pump fails and results in water damage. When you make a homeowners insurance claim, the adjuster is required to do his or her due diligence, and that means that your sump pump will be inspected. If it is not found to be in good working order or if it’s clogged with debris because if improper maintenance, your claim could be denied. Not only that, but you could face an increase to your insurance premium.

Depending on your insurance company and the circumstances surrounding the flooding, the dollar amount that is covered in your situation can be low. The damage to your property and the resulting work to fix it may not be fully covered under your policy.

Every homeowner wants peace of mind when it comes to protecting their property and their family from water damage. If you aren’t sure if you are covered, please call and ask your agent today. Spring is surely on its way and we would hate to see you start your summer with bills racking up if you were to experience a sump pump failure or water back up. 

Now Accepting Credit Cards

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

General Now Accepting Credit Cards We accept most major credit cards.

We are happy to announce that we have implemented a new payment method. You can now purchase our services with your credit card over the phone or in the office.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is one of the top service providers in the national when it comes to helping home and business owners make it “Like it never even happened.” It doesn’t matter if it is in regard to carpet cleaning, restoring after water or fire damage or simply removing odors from a vehicle, it is important for a homeowner and business owner to know they are doing everything in their power to get back into their home or office quickly.

To better serve all customers SERPVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is now accepting credit cards. With the ability to accept credit cards, customers can make payments whenever necessary and with their preferred form of payment, anywhere in the world.

Moriah, our Office Manager, has been working closely behind the scenes locally with Northwest Bank to get this payment system in place. So, whether you live in Windom, MN or Orange City, IA – or anywhere in between you can pay your bill right over the phone.

Plus, for a stress-free claims process, SERPVRO works with your insurance to manage the insurance process and paperwork. Chris, our Project Manager was an insurance adjuster for over 12 years and brings loads of experience to SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

Death Scene Clean-Up: A Tough Subject

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazard Death Scene Clean-Up: A Tough Subject Families are impacted with the death of a loved one and sometimes don’t know where to turn when that death happens in a home.

I debated writing this blog for quite some time. But this week we received a call from a funeral home in another town, and it hit me that even though it’s not the easiest topic to discuss, it is worth the discussion. Families are impacted with the death of a loved one and sometimes don’t know where to turn when that death happens in a home.

The clean-up that is needed after an unattended death is not easy to write about and is definitely not something a sales or marketing person wants to talk about. I have experienced the suicide of my dear brother-in-law and I know the anguish a family goes through as they process that death is debilitating. The clean-up afterward can obviously prove too traumatic for a family to perform. The same can be said when an elderly loved one dies alone. Body decomposition, though natural, is very hazardous to anyone in and or around the area.

Cleaning up can be emotionally challenging, not to mention dangerous if blood and/or other bodily fluids are involved. Our team at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes will treat the family and their loved one’s property with the greatest empathy. Our goal after a death is to remove the burden of cleaning up by those family members left behind.

Many times, our own team is impacted with strong feelings or reactions to the death, despite having no acquaintance with the victim. Our team has the training and experience to stay focused on the unique nature of their cleaning task. They are cleaning and restoring the site of the traumatic event. They are preforming an invaluable service to the customer. Our hope, is that our clean-up process will help the customer recover in a small way from the aftermath of the loss of life.

We have an insurance expert in our Spencer office who can also help family members navigate the homeowner’s policy. Many people don’t realize that insurance policies often offer coverage for crime scene and trauma cleaning, so it’s crucial to check with the insurance policy adjuster to determine if coverage is offered.

All these are reasons why I feel it’s important to write this blog. Helping a family in their time of need by responding 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help them restore their lives is of the utmost importance to us.

While we hope that you never have to experience a death that needs Biohazard Clean-up, we do want to let you know that there are experts out there who will help if ever the need arises.

Need help? (712) 262-4379

Free Continued Education Opportunity

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

Community Free Continued Education Opportunity The two-part seminar will take place at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center on Friday, April 6 from 8:00AM until 5:00PM.

SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes, a local cleanup and restoration company, announced today it will provide a free continuing education (CE) credit opportunity for Iowa insurance agents and adjusters. The two-part seminar will take place at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center on Friday, April 6 from 8:00AM until 5:00PM. A light breakfast, lunch and happy hour will also be included.  The CE courses will provide Iowa insurance professionals with information to better service their customers.

The first class will take place from 8:00AM-12:00PM and will cover Auto & Home Policy Exclusions (4-hours credit). The second class will follow from 12:00PM-4PM and covers Agent’s Guide to Claims, Principles & Practices (4-hours credit). The classes will be taught by Todd Davis an independent insurance agent with Davis Agency Insurance based in Peoria, Illinois. He has 30 years of experience as an insurance agent and is licensed to write Auto, Home, Life, and Health insurance policies in Illinois. Continuing Education credits will be awarded to licensed agents and adjusters in the State of Iowa.

Class size is limited, so SERVPRO is asking those interested to RSVP by calling their office at (712) 262-4379 or online here.

About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO® Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,600 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss situations. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO® System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.   # # #

Green Means Clean

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Green Means Clean Environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cleaning methods.

We would like to introduce our new line of Green Cleaning Products. SERVPRO® Industries, Inc. is a member of the EPA’s Design for Environment (EPA/DFE) initiative. As a member company, SERVPRO® can access the listing known formally as CleanGredients.

The EPA/DFE has established a set of criteria for formulating environmentally friendly cleaning products. With the assistance of larger chemical companies the EPA/DFE has put together a listing of safe cleaning components that can be used in Green cleaning formulations.

From the listing a formulation can be derived that incorporates “green” chemistry. The initiative is designed to allow chemical formulators a resource to formulate environmentally friendly cleaning products using environmentally friendly raw materials. We have formulated three Green Cleaning Products that will allow us to complete all your cleaning tasks. The products are as follows:

WINDOW GREEN CLEAN 

Window Green Clean is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional glass cleaners. It is formulated without the use of solvents or ammonia and contains no dyes or fragrances. It is formulated with components that meet or exceed Green Seal and the EPA Design for the Environment guidelines. All components are considered safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, zero VOC’s and rapidly bio-degradable. The product is designed to clean all types of glass surfaces leaving them shiny clean and streak-free.

SERVPRO TIPS AND TRICKS:
Can also be used as a general purpose hard surface cleaner. Use it as a pre-spotter for various types of water stable upholstered furniture. Ideal glass cleaner for tinted windows or stained glass.

ALL SURFACE GREEN CLEAN

All Surface Green Clean is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional hard surface cleaners. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances, and is formulated with components that meet or exceed Green Seal and the EPA Design for the Environment guidelines. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, VOC compliant and rapidly bio-degradable. The product is designed as a one product cleans all for hard surfaces that can be wiped or mopped. It can safely be used on walls, ceilings, countertops, floors, etc.

SERVPRO TIPS AND TRICKS:
For stubborn soot apply product, allow ~ 10 minute dwell time and then rinse clean.
Mix with hot water and apply while warm for best results.

CARPET & UPHOLSTERY GREEN CLEAN

Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional carpet & upholstery cleaning products. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances, and is formulated with components that meet or exceed Green Seal and the EPA Design for the Environment guidelines. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, VOC compliant and rapidly biodegradable.

The product is designed as a one product does all. It can safely be used on both carpets and upholstery. It can be used as a spotting agent, pre-spray, in-tank emulsifier and bonnet cleaner. It contains an environmentally friendly polymer that resists re-soiling and also an acid dye blocker that will assist in keeping various acid dyes such as Kool-Aid from setting into nylon carpet.

SERVPRO TIPS AND TRICKS:
Use same dilutions for cleaning upholstery. Be sure upholstery is water stable before cleaning.
Safe for wool and other natural fibers.

Tune up your sump pump before the spring thaw

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tune up your sump pump before the spring thaw Get in the habit of regularly taking on a few maintenance steps to make sure your pump is functioning properly.

Mother nature keeps teasing us that spring is on its way. As we get excited for spring flowers, sunny days and the return of cheerful chirping birds, we must remember one important word. THAW.

As the days begin to warm up and the threat of snowfall turns to spring showers our homes face a new source of stress from snowmelt, heavy precipitation, groundwater and even flooding. So, it’s a great relief to know we have a heavy hitter in our corner. That’s where your sump pump comes in.

The additional ground water flows into a shallow pit called a basin by a network of tubes and drain systems. Once that basin fills to a certain level your pump is triggered by a float. The sump pump then pushes the water out and away from your home through a discharge pipe.

All this happens IF your sump pump is functioning properly. So, how do you make sure that it remains functional? Get in the habit of regularly taking on a few maintenance steps.

Check the Power Source

Is the pump properly plugged into to the electrical system? Is there a battery back-up in case of losing power? Is the cord in good shape?

Make sure the pump is in place

Check to make sure the pump is level and the float is positioned correctly.

Clean the sump pump and surrounding area

Lots of sand and gravel can enter your basin through the flowing water. It is best to check frequently for sediment at the bottle of the basin and to run clean water through your pump to make sure none of that debris becomes lodged in the pump system.

Test your pump regularly

As recommended above, run clean water through your pump regularly to make sure it is running correctly as the basin fills.

Look for leaks

Check pipes, connections and valves for any leakages.

Have a professional service your system yearly

We recommend that you have a professional inspect your sump pump year, preferably before snowmelt, rainfall and other spring hazards. A professional should dismount your pump, flush the pump, test the electrical and backup systems and repair any leaky connections and fine tune your pump’s motor.

If you have any other questions drop us a line day or night through our Contact Us page. Our team is always ready to share our knowledge and passion with others!

Moisture Management in the Ice Rink

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Moisture Management in the Ice Rink Dehumidifiers with desiccant technology clearly win against the humidity in ice-skating rinks. No job is too big!

As the local hockey season winds down, it is time for ice skating facilities to being thinking about defrosting the rink. High temperatures and humidity during this process can wreak havoc with condensation and mildew. Condensation can drip from the ceiling. Misting can lead to mold on parts of the building as well as creating rust on pipes or metal girders. This process can be seen when the paint chips begin to fall off, then the decay and corrosion set in. The subsequent costs for the operator can quickly go sky high.

The only way to combat these issues is to provide the proper amount of dehumidification and make-up air. The trick is trying to introduce the proper quantity of outdoor air and still maintain humidity control and the rink thaws.

Taking Control

To tackle these problems, we recommend the rink operator call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. We have a large-capacity mobile dehumidifier by ARID-DRY™. This system is a way to introduce make-up air and dehumidify the arena while simultaneously reducing the facility’s energy consumption. This unit can remove up to 392 gallons of water per day as the cycle repeats on a continuous basis, providing a constant drying process. Moisture collecting on Silica gel material embeds in a rotor and releases the moisture outside to the atmosphere.

Small or large ice-skating rink? Contact us for consultation!

Dehumidifiers with desiccant technology clearly win against the humidity in ice-skating rinks. No job is too big!