Recent Posts

Silver Lining Through the Storm

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Silver Lining Through the Storm This home required flood cuts due to water backup through the floor drain.

This year has brought just as much excitement in storm damage as last year.  From the extreme cold in January and February to the quick thaw/flooding in March and April SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has had the privilege of helping many of those in need in northwest Iowa.  

This past month I had the opportunity of working with one of my insurance agents first hand.  Though I stop regularly to speak with his office, I spend a significant amount of time speaking with his associates rather than him.  Upon stopping at his house he and I had the opportunity to discuss the variety of services that we offer to help him through his recent drain backup issue.  

He was aware that we would have to pull carpet, due to having the moisture barrier on his pad we discussed what options to go with upon replacement of that.  The moisture barrier will lock the water under the pad making it impossible for us to properly extract the water and nearly every home that we encounter that has this type of pad finds it being removed during the restoration process.  

Unfortunately due to the water coming from a floor drain it is required for insurance purposes to be classified a category 3 water loss which means any drywall or wood surface the water touched must be removed and replaced, unless the homeowner assumes responsibility for the kept materials.  What this meant was we were not only doing flood cuts but also removing all doors and trim.  The homeowner/agent was unaware that we also offer reconstruction services which means he won't have to find a contractor to come in to his home and replace the drywall, trim, and doors.  

As we are still in the reconstruction process, I had an opportunity to speak with him recently and he is very pleased with the service we have provided as well as the ease of working with us.  

When disaster strikes your home or business, call the professionals that can truly help you start to finish at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.  712-262-4379

My Home Has Water Damage, Now What?!

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage My Home Has Water Damage, Now What?! Our crew is here to help!

When water finds its way into your home or business there are endless amounts of questions.  What do I do now?  How do I get it cleaned up quickly?  Should I call someone or do it myself?

The answer to all of those questions...Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.  Our team of professionals is ready, willing, and able to help ease your anxiety and turn your home back "Like it never even happened."  

From the first notice of loss to the end of the drying process, and even reconstruction if necessary.  There will be a SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes representative with you every step of the way.  If you have questions, ask one of the representatives who is working in your home.  Wondering why there is so much time between drying and reconstruction, feel free to call us.  We are here to help!  

Our goal is to not only minimize the interruption to your lives, but also minimize the stress and anxiety that goes along with experiencing water damage in your home or business.  

Remember, if disaster strikes call the team that is here every step of the way...SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 


Spring is in the air...but what else is there?

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Spring is in the air...but what else is there? In the right conditions, mold can begin to grow in as little as 48 hours. Call today to schedule your mold assessment.

Mold is quickly becoming one of the more prominent areas of our business.  With so many homes effected by the high moisture levels in the area throughout the past 18 months, many home and business owners are calling in with mold concerns in their home or business.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the right products, the right staff, and the right training to make sure your home or business is mold free.  We understand the stress that comes along with finding mold and not knowing what to do.  Our team will assess your property, and to testing if you would like.  Our assessment will include advise on fixing the underlying issue, a remediation plan, and results from the testing if you choose to go that route.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes also has a construction team on staff to ensure anything that we have to remove can and will be replaced making sure it looks "Like it never even happened." 

Call today for your mold concerns. 712-262-4379

Do you have your Disaster Prep Kit Ready?

4/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Do you have your Disaster Prep Kit Ready? Make sure your kit is prepped for this storm season.

After the recent flooding in the Midwest and the erratic weather patterns over the last couple years, more and more people are thinking of preparation.  One thing that many homes overlook is a disaster preparation kit to ensure they are able to remain safe during and after a disaster.  

According to there are some basic supplies that you should ensure are in your kit...

  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

Depending on the time of year you may also want to consider other items in your kit.  Make sure to store in a waterproof container and have easily accessible.  

Here are a few additional suggestions from for your kit that may help...

  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Glasses and contact lense solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler's checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper to disinfect water
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children

Do not forget to check your kit yearly to make sure all flashlights are working, all batteries are still good, and food has not expired.  

For more information please visit

Remember when disaster strikes, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes


Do You Have Enough Insurance Coverage?

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Do You Have Enough Insurance Coverage? This homeowner suffered multiple losses during the extremely wet fall.

As the Sales & Marketing Representative for SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes I have the opportunity to travel much of northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota visiting business owners, insurance agents & adjusters, and realtors.  During my travels I had one of my clients ask me an excellent question to ensure he was providing proper guidance for his insureds when offering Sump Pump/Sewer Backup coverage. How much coverage is enough coverage when dealing with a water loss?

Variables to Coverage

Through my time with SERVPRO I have had the opportunity to not only get in on the sales side but also the restoration side of the business.  During storm events I trade in my dress clothes for work clothes and get myself dirty with the rest of the team.  This has offered me the opportunity to speak knowledgeably to those that I speak with.  

When presented with the question, I gave the agent the clearest answer I could provide... depends on the area.  Clear as mud right?! 

The fact of the matter is, the average water restoration job, before reconstruction, will run the homeowner $3000 - $5000.  That number can be higher or lower depending on how much water is involved, what the scope of the job entails such as flood cuts or carpet removal, and how many contents we are working around when doing the restoration.  The more contents, the more water, the higher the cost.  

The cost can fluctuate as well depending on how long it takes to dry the structure and contents.  We work diligently to ensure we are not incurring more charges during the restoration process.  

Things to Discuss

When speaking with your insurance agent on the amount of coverage you should have for your home or business make sure you are considering the big picture.  

For starters, you have the initial $3000 - $5000 for the restoration.  Next you need to consider both the reconstruction and replacement costs.  For low cost carpet and pad installed your cost will be roughly $1500.  Factor in the additional materials and labor needed to bring your structure back to normal such as drywall, doors, paint, trim, etc.  

The market that this agent covered offered some of the highest priced homes in the region which means his average cost will be much higher than the remainder of the region.  It is important to consider the value of your home, the replacement costs for building materials and contents, and if you want it back to its previous condition.  

My advise to him was to approach the discussion from that angle with his clients and start with a minimum of $10,000 in coverage rather than $5,000.  

The SERVPRO Factor

He and I also discussed how working with SERVPRO can help save he and his clients money in the long run.  

At SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes we offer restoration and reconstruction services.  Which allows the agent and home/business owners to have the peace of mind that the job will be done right the first time and that we know the scope of the job from start to finish.  We ensure to dry your structure and contents efficiently to save on cost leaving you the opportunity to carry about your every day life "Like it never even happened."  

If disaster strikes call the team that's faster to any disaster...SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes


Spring Home Fires

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Spring Home Fires This homeowner suffered major smoke and soot damage.

Spring has finally sprung!  Temperatures are rising and slowly but surely the ground is drying up in some places.  This means that many homeowners are starting to think about getting back outside and spring cleanup.    

According to FEMA, spring also brings with it the highest daily averages of fires.  This is due to many homeowners cleaning up the remnants of fall and winter in their yard and burning them.  Spring is also the time that many families get outside and light that grill for the first time.  

Seems tough to think that with how much moisture we have had in the last 18 months that we are talking about house fires, but the reality is there are many leading causes for house fires in the spring both inside and outside the home.  

In addition to the outdoors activities, the tasks for spring cleaning inside the home increase fire risks.  If you are anything like my family used to be, we broke out the cleaning supplies and cleaned everything from top to bottom.  We washed every blanket and dusted every surface.  All of these things increased the fire hazard in our home.  From the lint collected in the dryer vent to the chemicals left out, we left some of the leading causes of house fires to chance.  

Even with the wet conditions we are experiencing, make sure to do your due diligence this spring to prevent a fire in your home or business.  Do not leave the grill or fire unattended.  Clean your dryer vents.  Keep flammable chemicals in a safe place.  

For fast and thorough fire restoration, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes


Disaster Recovery Team to the Rescue

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Disaster Recovery Team to the Rescue Disaster Recovery Team mobilizes March 2019

Spring rains and rapid thawing caused a number of regions in the midwest to suffer from extensive flood damage.  From the devastation in Nebraska to regions in South Dakota and Iowa, the pain was felt.  SERVPRO is proud employ some of the best in the restoration industry and place them on an elite team of restoration specialists in the form of our Disaster Recovery Team.  

The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team offers emergency services to any region of the country that is hit from flooding, tornado, hurricane, or blizzard.  With 1,700 franchises around the country, SERVPRO has the ability to send teams to anywhere in the United States that needs our help, this past month has been no exception.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes received well over 100 calls with water in homes and businesses.  With the customer needs in mind, we contacted the Disaster Recovery Team for help.  Teams out of Alabama were mobilized to come help with the events in IA, NE, and SD.  

Hearing from some of the customers they had helped myself, a huge thank you goes out to the teams from SERVPRO of Birmingham and SERVPRO of Cullman/Blount counties for their help.  

With their help we were able to meet the needs of the clients here in northwest Iowa.  

When disaster strikes, call the team that is Faster to Any Disaster...SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes!  We will do what is takes to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."  


Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Things to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Things to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim Call the team that cares about your home and your family. We work directly with your agent and adjuster to make your life easier.

I had the opportunity to speak with one of our clients this past week and during our conversation we dove into the issues of when to file an insurance claim and when to consider paying out of pocket. 

There are unfortunately many communities that struggle with water issues for any number of reasons.  Poor drainage, built on former wetland, improper development, etc. Due to the frequent losses some homeowners use their insurance as they believe they should. The problem that arises due to frequent claims is the fact that many insurance companies begin to view that homeowner as a high risk client, the job of an insurance company is to manage risk for not only the homeowner but also for themselves. Insurance is an investment for not only the insurance company but also for the homeowner. 

When the insurance company starts to see the risk level rise on the part of the homeowner, their investment in carrying the homeowners policy becomes less appealing and therefore some homeowners will be dropped by their provider.  When the homeowner goes to find new insurance they will find that their claim history is unfavorable and they will end up paying higher premiums. 

As a homeowner, you have ways to manage your risk as well and that begins with the decision on what to do in the event of a water loss.  Many homeowners have heard that bringing in a restoration company can be expensive, in order to understand cost the homeowner must first see value.  The value of using a restoration company can be the difference between a total basement renovation and a matter of a few days of drying and slight reconstruction. 

The average loss will run between $3000-$5000 depending on how severe it is and what is rolled in after the drying has been done. It may seem easier to do the job yourself but the thing you need to keep in mind is that the standard dehumidifier that you purchase in store is not designed to dry behind drywall and in sill plates like more restoration companies equipment does.  What this means for you, the homeowner, is that your home is dried out and treated properly rather than increasing your risk for mold and other bacteria that may linger after a water loss. In addition to mold and bacteria issues, wet materials can lead to structural issues down the road as well, so that $3000 restoration bill now becomes a $20,000 reconstruction bill which will not be covered by insurance. 

When it comes to insurance and water loss, you determine if the loss is significant enough to call in a restoration company and put your long-term financial security at risk. 

For questions call our team at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379. 

Why are we faster to any disaster?

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial  Why are we faster to any disaster? Our large loss desiccant helps facilitate the drying process, minimizing the length of drying time.

This past weeks cold snap really tested our metal if you will.  Much like most of the summer with multiple water calls due to sewer backups, storm water, sump failures the cold weather caused multiple issues with frozen/burst pipes. 

In a matter of four days last week our team responded to twelve plus calls for burst water lines.  Of those calls, four were major commercial water losses that required many of our team members to complete.  So how do we do it?  

There are numerous reasons to call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for your water damage restoration needs...  

1) The Right Crew - Many of our crew members have extensive training in water restoration which helps make the overall process run much smoother and efficiently.  We train on water extraction, equipment placement, and the fastest drying procedures.  All of this helps to not only make our time on site shorter but also faster drying time for your home or business.  

2) The Right Equipment - Lathe & Ryan believe in investing in the right equipment to help dry any project large or small.  From our extraction equipment to our large loss desiccant, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the right equipment to extract and dry your water damaged home or business.  

3) The Right Mindset - Our team fully understands the frustration that comes along with having water damage and it is our goal to minimize the interruption to your lives.  We have an on-call team that will respond to your water loss 24 hours a day 7 days a week.  No matter what time of day or night our team will spring into action.  Of those 4 major water claims in the past week our team was on site within hours of the initial time of loss starting the restoration process and spent long hours ensuring the job was done right the first time.  

As an added benefit, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes also offers you reconstruction services and carpet cleaning options.  Our construction crew has over 75 years of combined experience and takes pride in the work they do in your home or business. 

Call the team that truly is faster to any disaster...

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes