Recent Posts

With Dry Conditions Use Extra Caution This Spring

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of burning leaves Dry conditions leave NW Iowa with heightened concerns for fire damage.

Even though we saw a few days of much needed soaking rain, much of northwest Iowa remains extremely dry.  Now add in the blustery winds and you have a good recipe for fire warnings.  

While out visiting clients and attending the couple of home/vendor fairs we have had the opportunity to attend this year, I got the opportunity to speak with a few farmers in our area.  While many remain optimistic about the spring planting season, some were still concerned with how low the water table is.  Low water table typically means less yields and a slower economy.  

How does all of this pertain to fire damage, let me tell you.  First with the dry conditions and blustery winds that means our outdoor bonfires and even something as simple as flicking a cigarette butt can cause major damage.  All it takes is a single spark and that patch of leaves in the back yard or the weeds in the dry ditch begin to burn uncontrollably.  

There are times that many of us may believe we NEED to burn, and if that is the case then do so with caution.  It isn't just you or your home that is affected, soot damage can travel extreme distances and cause damage to those around you.  If you must burn remember these few things...

  • Check to see if there is a burn ban in place, no sense in getting ticketed in the process.
  • Burn during the calmest time of day and in the calmest area of your property.  
  • Have a source of water or an extinguisher handy if conditions get out of control.
  • Keep your cell phone nearby and charged in the event of a disaster.  
  • In some cases it does not hurt to notify your local fire dept. of a controlled burn so they have proper staff on hand in the event things turn ugly.  

The last thing to remember is, if disaster the team that's Faster to Any Disaster, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 712-262-4379

Wait...Where's the Water?!

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

A NW Iowa Businessman filled with water. Water losses can happen at any time to anyone. Keep an eye on the maintenance of your home or business to help prevent some potential losses.

It seems crazy to think that we are only a year or so removed from non-stop water claims.  We received thousands of phone calls here in NW Iowa for sump pump failures, sewer backups, water coming through foundations and even windows.  Fast forward 12+ months and we are talking drought and fire warnings just after the snow melts.  

Driving around all of NW Iowa and Southern Minnesota, its pretty obvious after looking at the lakes and rivers that they are suffering to start the year.  That could make for a rough boating year if we don't get some more after back into these lakes. 

While we are quite a ways down on the water table, that doesn't mean we should completely lower our guard to water damage.  Disaster can still strike through a heavy/fast rain event, a burst water line, of even a sewer backup.  

So while we wait for mother nature to bless us with more rain, take the time to be extra cautious of those things we can control such as burst water lines, water heater issues, etc.  

When disaster strikes, call the team at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.  712-262-4379

Understanding More About Your Property Insurance During Coronavirus Scare

3/22/2021 (Permalink)

This NW IA Home Suffered Major Water Damage After a Storm Event Understanding your homeowners insurance is crucial to being able to absorb a loss after a storm. Talk to your agent today about your policy.

We are officially into Spring, a refreshing feeling though temps still aren't as high as we'd like. With wet weather in the forecast this week I thought it would be the appropriate time to discuss some things you may want to consider with your homeowners insurance coming into rain and storm season.

A couple years back I had written a blog talking about the importance of not only having Sewer & Water Backup as part of your homeowners insurance policy but also how much coverage to consider carrying. If you haven't read it, here's the link...

Much of this information still rings true when considering how much coverage to hold on your property.

  1. Location
  2. Size & Value of your property
  3. Would you like it returned to preloss state
  4. The value of your contents in your home

There is also one thing to keep in mind when discussing your home and insurance coverage...everything changes.

As we have seen with the coronavirus pandemic, we don't know what the next day will bring but we do know that everything is going to change frequently.

So how does that factor into your homeowners insurance and how much coverage to carry? While it may seem like an easy answer of market changes, there is much more thought to be put into it than that.

Throughout the pandemic manufacturing was nearly completely shut down in some business sectors for two weeks or more, those minor setbacks paired with increased import tariff's have caused some cost of building materials to raise 6x, or higher, the cost from this time last year. When looking to buy a simple sheet of plywood one could expect paying $6.00 and up depending on the size and kind, now for that same piece of $6.00 plywood you're looking at $36-$42 per sheet.

When we go into a home or business for a storm restoration job there are many times that we have to do a flood-cut in the drywall, replacing trim & doors, repainting, and replacing flooring due to the amount of damage to the property. The pandemic has caused many businesses to take extra precautions to ensure the safety of not onlytheir clients but alsotheir employees. While we ourselves try to absorb some of these costs so as to not pass them onto the consumer during an already difficult time, as many businesses are forced to do, we simply cannot absorb them all.

There are a number of other factors that work into how much coverage youshould carry for Sewer & Water Backup coverage, now is a great time to connect with your insurance agent and have the discussion. After all, the simple increase of $20/month for an additional $5,000-$10,000 in coverage will go a long way in protecting your assets.

For those of you renting your home, make sure you have plenty of coverage for Renters Insurance. If something were to happen to the property and you don't have enough coverage, it will be you who suffers and not the property owner. I have had the unfortunate task of talking to a few renters during my time with SERVPRO that did not have any Renters Insurance and lost more than they ever should have.

Remember, if disaster strikes...time matters. Call the team that's Faster to Any Disaster...SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 712-262-4379

2021 Insurance Continuing Education Courses

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of Todd Davis instructing a cec course. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offers Continuing Education Courses to Insurance Agents & Adjustors.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes always enjoys the opportunities to work with all our area agents and adjustors.  While our team of Brand Ambassadors makes monthly rounds to try to chat with each of them and help troubleshoot any potential issues, one of our favorite ways to do this is by offering Continuing Education Courses to all insurance agents and adjustors.  

While the coronavirus has posed its challenges and deterred some of you from attending, we are again offering courses in 2021.  Our first course will be held on Friday April 30th, 2021 at The Shores at Five Island in Emmetsburg, IA.  We opted to change the location of our event this year to help do business in communities that also do business with us.  This facility is fantastic and offers a great view of Five Island Lake.  

With safety in mind, we will have sanitizer available throughout the course of the day and do our best to socially distance tables.  

In addition to the change in venue, we are also now charging a $10/course filing fee.  As cost for these events continue to rise, this is one way to help ensure we are able to continue offering these opportunities. 

We are also pleased to have Mr. Todd Davis from the Davis Insurance Agency presenting again.  He has worked with us for a number of years and we couldn't be happier to have him back for another.  He has a wealth of knowledge and keeps the day entertaining and moving quickly, many past attendees have raved about how his presentation and his ability to forget about time throughout the course of the day.  

Details are still being determined for our second course which will be on Friday October 29th, 2021.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page,, for more details. 

If you would like to attend our April event please find the registration form on Facebook or email to request a form.  

We look forward to seeing you there! 

We Got You Covered

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees getting ready to perform biohazard cleaning. When it comes to commercial and residential cleaning services SERVPRO is a leader in the industry.

First impressions are so important because they last well beyond that moment. It could mean the difference between a good and bad start. Once a first impression is made, if it’s less than great, it can take a long time to change it. As a business owner it’s essential that you know how to create a great first impression. 

We understand that you may be short on time and looking to ease your workload. A clean restaurant creates an inviting atmosphere, reduces  the risk of cross-contamination, and provides safer working conditions for your employees. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowas Great Lakes will work with your schedule and your individual cleaning needs. We have the right equipment to thoroughly sanitize and degrease high-volume kitchens, as well as keeping all areas of your restaurant looking its best! Whether it’s removing an unpleasant odor, deep cleaning flooring or carpet, degreasing surfaces, or sanitizing high traffic areas, we got you covered! 

With the rise of COVID-19 in our area tensions are high, and now more than ever it’s important to disinfect surfaces to help prevent the spread. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program that goes beyond normal janitorial or carpet cleaning. This is a proactive viral pathogen cleaning that helps ensure the cleanliness of your restaurant. Our team of professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination.We use EPA-approved products that are NFS certified for direct food contact surface use. Reassure your customers and employees that you are taking the steps needed to keep your business at the highest level of clean. When our logo is on your door, your commitment to clean is clear. 

What sets up apart from other “cleaners”? Our team of professionals use some of the best cleaning products which are exclusive to the SERVPRO brand. Our professional-grade products are formulated to be environmentally friendly, and more importantly safe and effective to use in your business. SERVPROXIDE, SERVPRO’s proprietary disinfectant, is a hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to SARS-CoV-2 on hard, non-porous surfaces. In addition, SERVPROXIDE currently has dozens of EPA-approved claims including Feline coronavirus, Canine coronavirus, Staphylococcus (MRSA), E. coli, Salmonella, Rotavirus, Swine flu (H1N1) and more. 

No job is too small or big for our team of experienced professionals. During this unprecedented time we want to remind customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. For more information call 712-262-4379

2020 Yearly Recap

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 2020 Little League team. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is proud to sponsor youth activities in the community.

There’s no doubt that 2020 brought a year of challenges and change, trials and tribulations. And for far too many a time of grief and sorrow. A year that has taught us that the only thing you can really plan for is the unexpected and the need for agility and resilience. In March there were ripples that turned into a tsunami of change. Watching the community come together to ensure that we have done our best to keep citizens safe, connected, and well has been humbling. The tragic reality of the pandemic will eventually end, and we will get through it. We must endure. With that said, we would like to take a moment to reflect on the opportunities that we were still able to help with in the community during these difficult times.

It’s become clear that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t going away any time soon. We are thankful that local youth were still given the chance to participate in several sporting activities. Changing some rules and guidelines allowed them to be active and play together. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is a proud supporter of youth baseball and soccer. In July of this year our Little League team won the season championship! Way to go boys! While they were unable to play, we also sponsored an Okoboji little league team. We hope to see you this spring. I was personally able to watch the U10 SERVPRO soccer team each Saturday morning play their hearts out. Your hard work and determination did not go unnoticed!

As a sponsor of the Spencer Tailtwisters and the Spencer Tigers each fall we take off the green and orange to throw on our purple and gold and cheer on the football team! This fall make sure you stop by our table at halftime to pick up some SERVPRO gear! 

While our marketing staff was working from the office most of the spring and summer they brainstormed ways to give back to the men and women who keep our communities safe. We had the opportunity of cleaning and sanitizing vehicles for the Iowa State Patrol District 6 team, Arnolds Park Police Department, Okoboji Police Department, Spencer Police Department, and the Clay County Sheriff Department. Thank you for all you do! 

In late August and early September we are able to “drag” the boss and our marketing team away from their desks for a Friday of fun in the sun while participating in the 2020 Great Okoboji Lakes Finale Golf Tournament held at Okoboji View Golf Course, and the 39th Annual Spencer Chamber Golf Fundraiser held at the Spencer Golf & Country Club. We are already counting down the days till next year’s events. 

This past year has shown us more than ever that our communities are littered with more heroes than we imagined. From local departments who respond at a moments notice when a disaster strikes at your home or business. The local law enforcement agencies keeping our communities safe from harm. The local EMS crews who work countless hours saving those in need. We owe these men and women a debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. What better way to pay that debt than to offer them a day of fun on us. With that in mind SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes created a First Responder Golf Outing. With the help of our sponsors we were able to invite 17 teams from the area and provide them with a fun filled day of golf, food, and fun! Each team that participated was awarded with cash and gift prizes going back to their departments. We are looking forward to hosting this event for years to come and we can’t thank you enough for all your support! 

With October being Fire Prevention Month, we put together a gift pack that consisted of a dual sensor smoke alarm and a fire extinguisher. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. Each year we are happy to help out a family in need. If you haven’t already, make sure to find us on Facebook to participate in future drawings. 

As 2020 was coming to an end we wanted to do our part in making sure that every child is able to have a happy birthday and a present to make them smile on their special day. We were honored to donate to the Upper Des Moines Opportunity Kids Birthday Room. Thank you to the staff that helped us make this happen! 

As we head into 2021 we want to thank all of our customers for letting us help you with all of your fire, water, mold, sewer backup, COVID sanitation, and commercial needs. We hope to provide you with the best experience possible. Cheers to health, happiness, and prosperity in 2021 from all of your friends at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

Importance of Smoke Detectors in Your Home

1/13/2021 (Permalink)

Dual sensor alarm and fire extinguisher. October is Fire Prevention Month, each year SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes gives away a fire prevention gift pack to a family in need.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 50% of all fatal home fires occur while people are sleeping. Firefighters in the US respond to a fire every 24 seconds. That is why smoke detectors are so essential. For many families smoke alarms are all that stand between their home and escaping a fire. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries

Having smoke detectors placed in various locations around your home allows for fast and effective detection. The siren will warn you day or night, that there is a potential fire, allowing you to quickly check the nature of the problem and hopefully prevent any damage. When placed in the right location, the smoke alarm can also help firefighters quickly locate the fire in the home.

Since smoke rises, smoke detectors are always placed on the ceiling for ideal detection. The most common types of smoke detectors to choose from are photoelectric and ionization. It’s recommended that there are smoke detectors on each floor of your home, including the attic and basement. If doors to rooms are closed often, it is best to have one installed in those rooms.

To ensure that your smoke alarms are working properly it’s important to perform regular testing and cleaning. Test each alarm once every month. Alarms should be vacuumed at least once every six months to remove any dust and or cobweb buildup. If your alarm requires a battery be sure to replace it once a year. Most detectors will have a replace-by date. If it does not, it’s important to replace it once every ten years.

If your home has suffered damage after a fire contact SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. We are dedicated to responding as quickly as possible when you need help. A fast response helps lessen the damage, limits the secondary damage, and reduces cost. We have advanced training in restoration techniques, and the experience and specialized equipment to quickly restore your property.

How to Prevent Your Pipes From Freezing

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Water that is starting to freeze after a water pipe burst in a condo. Freezing water on the side of a condo after a water pipe burst. Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for help with any water emergency.

Winter temperatures are here, along with the risk of frozen pipes. Northwest Iowa winters can be harsh on your household plumbing. As soon as the leaves begin to fall you should start protecting your home from the cold temperatures. Follow these important steps to help prevent expensive problems later on. 

*Disconnect your garden hose. This will help outside faucets and pipes from freezing, leaking or breaking. 

*Close outside crawl spaces and doors to prevent cold air from seeping inside.

*Repair any broken windows, and seal all cracks in the walls.

*Wrap all water lines and meters in commercial insulation. 

*Locate your shut-off valves and make sure that they are working properly. 

*If you are going away, keep your thermostat at a minimum of 55 degrees fahrenheit.  Have someone periodically checking on your home to ensure damage doesn’t go un-noticed.

*If you are planning on turning off your heat make sure to drain all the water from your pipes, toilets, and water heater. It may be beneficial to use antifreeze in your drains as well. Turn off the power source to the water heater. If your heater operates off of gas, turn the heater on “pilot.”

*Keep garage doors closed. A door accidentally left open leaves any water supply lines vulnerable to freezing temperatures.

*Open cabinets to keep warm air circulating around the plumbing. 

*Let faucets drip, especially during bitter weather. 

*Open interior doors to keep your home at a consistent temperature. 

If a pipe does break make sure to turn off the main water. Open your faucets to release some of the pressure. Clean up any standing water, and call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to prevent further damage to your home. Our team of professionals are available for 24-hour emergency service. 

Law Enforcement Appreciation

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

A pair of law enforcement officers standing in the road during a fire. To our local law enforcement officers, THANK YOU!

As marketing reps for SERVPRO we get the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life from home owners to business owners, hospitals to auto shops, and even our first responders.  

This past year has given us the opportunity to really get to know some of our local first responders especially our local law enforcement officers, thankfully not because we were being pulled over!  Once coronavirus caused the shutdown of businesses and put everyone on edge, SERVPRO responded by helping our local law enforcement sanitize their vehicles to help ensure their safety while they work to protect us.  

Later in the year we hosted the first of hopefully many First Responder Appreciation Golf Events.  SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes marketing reps helped raise funds and find prizes to give back to their local departments.  

With National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day right around the corner we want to extend another Thank You!  We appreciate everything you do to keep our communities safe and putting your lives on the line each and every day.  

You Got Water - We Got You

1/3/2021 (Permalink)

Refrigerator in a newly remodeled kitchen. A water line leak can cause major damage to your home. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for all your water emergencies.

Most refrigerators are equipped with ice makers, and as homeowners, we have become accustomed to the convenience of ice available all the time. Ice makers can develop leaks that may cause damage to your home. Inspect your refrigerator for signs of leaking water under or around the base. The longer the leak has been dripping, the larger the accumulation of water will be. In cases where a drip has continued for long periods of time, you may notice damage to your baseboard. This could  result in water line stains, chipped paint, mold or mildew, and swelling of the baseboards. Be sure to check the wall space behind your refrigerator for signs of water damage. 

If you ever notice suddenly smaller ice cubes or ice spilling out of a full bin check your refrigerator for a malfunctioning water valve. The valve has a screen that will filter out minerals and sediments from the water supply to the ice maker. With time these screens can become blocked and prevent water from traveling freely through the line. This can result in a slow leak. Other causes for leaking ice makers include fittings for the water line, compression couplings or solenoid coil windings. Be sure to inspect your basement ceiling for any water damage that may have occurred from a slow leak in your water line. 

If you notice any signs of a leaking ice maker be sure to contact a plumber asap before the problem causes extensive damage to your home. When it comes to a water emergency, you need us fast! SERVPRO offers 24-hour emergency service. We will work with your insurance company to provide a stress free claims process, and get your home back to preloss condition in no time!