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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

First Responder Appreciation Golf Event

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of the sponsors banner for the 1st Annual First Responder Appreciation Golf Event A huge shout out to our sponsors. Without you this event would not be happening!

We are only a week away from our 1st Annual First Responder Appreciation Golf Outing, which is hard for us to believe.  Through months of closed businesses and folks not in their offices to everyone in our office stepping up, there has been many hours put into this planning process.  We could not be more honored than to create an event locally that helps show our gratitude and appreciation for first responders.  

In our inaugural year, we were blessed with 45 area individuals and business owners who helped donate prizes and take advantage of multiple sponsorship opportunities.  These folks helped us raise nearly $10,000 in donations and prizes to be given out the day of the event.  

Keep an eye on our social media pages next week to see photo's from the First Responder Appreciation Golf Event.  

A huge thank you to our sponsors for making this event possible.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

712-262-4379

Dry Conditions Raise Fall Fire Concerns

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of corn harvest in northwest Iowa. Local farmer in northwest Iowa harvesting corn.

After the last few years of unseasonably wet conditions, we slipped into a dry pattern in northwest Iowa.  Speaking with some of our business partners recently, they stated that many homes with sand-point wells in the area have dried up due to such low moisture levels.  As many homeowners feel relieved, it does raise concerns for potential issues with fall storms.  

For the next couple months we still stand a good chance of getting a few good thunderstorms.  Though it isn't common, the dry conditions can be a fire concern due to lightning strikes or strong winds knocking down power lines.  Even as crops dry out field fires are not uncommon without some moisture in the air.  

As harvest is nearing, keep an eye on those extremely dry conditions.  If you suffer damage to your farm equipment or home, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.  Our team is trained in odor removal and fire restoration. 

712-262-4379

Post Construction Cleanup Specialists

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of a SERVPRO production van in front of a commercial building. Post construction cleanup is one of the many services offered at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. Call for your custom quote. 712-262-4379

Did you know that SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offers post construction cleanup? Our team is well trained in cleaning up large commercial properties after major construction is completed.  

This past summer our production crew has been called upon to clean 3 major projects prior to the buildings being occupied.  Each offering an opportunity to learn different ways to clean certain materials.  

Two of the most in depth materials to clean are tile and windows.  With many windows having aluminum framing, they are very susceptible to scuff marks and scratches that can be difficult to come off.  With tile, the frustration in cleanup comes with excess grout that can be time consuming to clean up. 

We have trained our team to work efficiently while maintaining the high standards of cleanup that we expect.  Many times these jobs are so large that we bring in everyone on our team including our marketing and office staff to assist ensuring the project is done quickly and correctly. 

If you have a major construction project that you need cleaned up, call the experts at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

712-262-4379 

Barn Fire Leads to a Unique Restoration

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of a northwest Iowa families motorhome after a fire. No job too big or too small and no job too unique for our crew. Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379

This past summer a local family suffered a fire in one of their pole barns used for storage.  The fire itself was rather usual, but the restoration was a first for our SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes team.  

Within the pole barn was the families motorcoach and trailer, not just any trailer but a toy hauler with enough space for the family vacation cruiser, motorcycle, and golf cart.  Now our team has cleaned our fair share of campers, for example the fire at the fair grounds last year, but this camper was the largest to roll into our lot.  

Our team took the time to not only clean the outside from top to bottom, but also the inside from back to front making sure that every inch of soot and odor was removed from not only the motorcoach but also the family cruiser. 

Just goes to show, no job too big or too small and no job too unique for our crew. 

To make your campers, RVs, motorhomes, or any other of your recreational vehicles "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379 

Have you done a fire drill lately?

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Image of built-in shelf inside this northwest Iowa home after fire ripped throughout the structure. This northwest Iowa home suffered major damage after a fire in early summer.

Do you remember as kids we used to love going outside for fire drills because it meant a break from that awful book or science experiment?  I definitely do, but fire drills aren't just a beneficial tool for schools and kids, they should be practiced at home and work. 

Performing a fire drill at work and at home is crucial to the safety of everyone so they know more than one way out of the building or home.  It's also important to remember to set a designated meeting spot (located a safe distance from the structure) where a headcount can be taken to inform first responders if anyone is left in the building and what to do should they not be able to have an escape route.

We like to suggest that customers regularly perform a fire drill quarterly so everyone knows what to do and how to keep themselves and others safe.

If disaster should strikes, we are ready 24/7, 365 at (712) 262-4379 to help walk with you through the cleanup and restoration to help you make it “Like it never even happened.” 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 

Join Us for the 1st Annual SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes First Responder Golf Outing

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of community overview and our company logo. Join Us for the 1st Annual SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes First Responder Golf Outing at the Spencer Municipal Golf Course

This past year has shown us more than ever that our communities are littered with more hero's than we imagined.  From the local fire departments who are there at a moments notice when a disaster strikes at your home or business.  The local law enforcement 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 all of us.  

It is with that thought in mind that SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has planned the 1st Annual First Responder Golf Outing, I know the name needs some originality and we are certainly open to suggestions.

The golf outing is designed slightly different than your traditional golf outing in the fact that we are not asking for businesses or individuals to come play in the event, instead we are asking for businesses or individuals to donate prizes and allow the first responders themselves to golf in the event.  This is where we are asking you for help in making this event as memorable as possible for these folks.  If you are interested in donating a prize or even monetary donation to the event please contact any of our marketing department to see how.  

With this tournament we are looking for sponsors for area first responder departments, hole sponsors, both gift and monetary donations.  Everything that is donated will be given out on the day of the tournament as a donation or prize for various challenges throughout the day.  We want your gifts going back to the people who deserve them the most, the first responders.  

Any donation needs to be received by August 14th, 2020 as the event will be held on August 28th, 2020 at the Spencer Municipal Golf Course.  Hole sponsors are able to set up a tent or table at their respective hole if they choose to go that route.  If you wish to sponsor a hole but not attend we will provide signage letting folks know you were the sponsor.  

For more information contact the SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes marketing department:

Jason Lindsay - Sales & Marketing Manager 

jlindsay@SERVPROspencer.com or 712-262-4379

Kelly Brooks - Sales & Marketing Representative

kelly@SERVPROspencer.com or 712-262-4379

Summer Storm Prep

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

Image of a roadway with a caution sign stating water over the roadway. Summer storms can hit hard and fast. Be ready in the event of any disaster. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 712-262-4379

Here in nothwest Iowa summer storms can come up in a moments notice and cause damage that takes weeks, months, even years to repair.  Take a look at the summer storms from 2018, there are homes in West Bend that are still on a waiting list to be repaired from the hail that hit town.  The summer storms in 2019 hit much of our area with flooding leaving homeowners with basements to refinish or mold to battle.  

So far the summer of 2020 has not been too bad to us, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be prepared.  With the constant threat of severe thunderstorms, wind, hail, tornado's, etc. we should always have a kit available in the event of a disaster.  A storm prep kit can be used throughout the seasons here in our region keeping items such as bottled water, blankets, flashlights, and a batter operated radio (with extra batteries) all handy.  It would also be important to have some food on hand in the event you are trapped for multiple days from a severe storm.  

While these items can easily be stored in a basement or storm shelter, one thing I have learned in my time at SERVPRO is to not only ensure those items are in a water sealed tote, but to also make sure to check those contents regularly to ensure they are still good to consume and that they are staying dry and mold free.  

If disaster strikes, don't let it ruin your summer.  Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes and let them worry about the mess so you can focus on the rest.  

712-262-4379

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

"Like it never even happened." 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Delivers Groceries

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of two of the SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes marketing vehicles. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is giving back to the community of Spencer now offering grocery delivery to help high-risk people stay home.

SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has partnered with the Spencer Hy-Vee to offer grocery delivery service to the elderly and high-risk citizens in the Spencer community.  The delivery service is available Tuesday and Thursday beginning Thursday, April 30th and running through Thursday, May 14th

In order to take advantage of this service, the customer needs to contact SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to set up a delivery time that works best for them.  Once a delivery time is confirmed the customer will need to place their order using the Hy-Vee Aisles Online service and upon checkout put the delivery time and note that SERVPRO® will be delivering the order.  A SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes representative will then deliver your groceries to your doorstep.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the SERVPRO® representatives will wear gloves and masks when delivering your groceries and will only drop the groceries in the garage or on the doorstep so as not to spread germs. 

SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes owner Ryan Brooks stated “The community has done an excellent job working together to help reduce the impact of the virus and this is our way to give back to those in need.  We are one team fighting this and its amazing seeing the community come together to help those in need.”   

The May 14th cutoff date may extend, it is contingent on the orders from the governor as we progress through the month of May.  Orders are limited to the first 20 orders per day.  To establish your delivery time please call SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379.

Are Your Allergies Going Crazy?

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

A photo of mold growth hidden behind base trim in this northwest Iowa home. Some mold colonies are hidden, just like pollen and other allergy inducers. We're "Here to Help", call 712-262-4379.

This time of year is always fun for allergy sufferers.  Between the grass starting to grow again, flowers blooming, trees budding, farmers planting, you name it and those with allergies are in agony for days.  What is making matters worse for those sufferers, is the mold that is all around us due to the wet weather the past few years.  

Now some allergy sufferers will run and hide inside when things get bad and close their windows so the pollen counts stay low inside their home, but that won't always do the trick.  Here are a few things that you can do to help around your home or business:

  1. Invest in higher quality air filters: Though they run higher in cost, the payoff can be seen in cleaner air around your home or business.
  2. Spring Cleaning: Spring cleaning is something on everyone's list, but during the pandemic we can all take advantage and take our cleaning up a notch.  Use your mop and wipe your walls down, dust your trim, clean your screens.  They all contain dust particles, stuck on mold spores, etc that can aggravate your sinuses. 
  3. Have your HVAC unit cleaned: For a reasonable fee, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes can help schedule a cleaning of your HVAC unit and air ducts.  Though money is tight, the cost is marginal and can save plenty in the long run with potentially less medication charges, lower heating and cooling bills, etc.  
  4. Have your home or business checked for mold: Though mold is all around us, in some areas the conditions are ripe for colonies to start growing and causing a huge problem.  The humid nature of basements or some homes in general are ideal for those colonies to grow out of control.  As most of us become accustomed to the odor of our home or business, we need to leave it on our guests who may smell something.  If they say it smells musty, take the time to find the root cause and if you can't call us!  

Being an allergy sufferer myself, I can absolutely tell you that even the slightest issue can set my sinuses off.  Take time to do the little things so you can enjoy those nights by the fire or outside smelling the scent of spring!  

Proudly serving Clay, Dickinson, Emmet, Osceola, O'Brien, Palo Alto, Buena Vista, Sac, Lyon, and Sioux Counties.  

712-262-4379

We Do Water Restoration So You Don't Have To

4/23/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of two techs looking under kitchen sink. Water damage can happen to anyone at anytime. When disaster strikes call 712-262-4379.

If your home or business has suffered a water loss it is critical that you act fast to avoid further damage. Our team of professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here for you 24/7. We have the training and experience to restore your property quickly and properly. 

Most Common Causes Of Water Loss.

*Leaking/burst Pipes

*Plumbing Issues

*Worn or Faulty Appliances 

*HVAC Units

*Toilet Overflows 

*Sewage Backups 

*Leaky Roof 

Our Water Damage Restoration Process

Although every situation is different the restoration process remains the same. At SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes we are here to guide you through every step and make your home or business look “Like it never even happened.” 

*Emergency Contact 

*Inspection and Damage Assessment 

*Water removal/Water Extraction 

*Drying and Dehumidification 

*Cleaning and Repair 

*Restoration 

We take pride in being the cleaning and restoration brand you know and trust. With over 1,700 franchises nationwide, trust the team that is truly Faster To Any Disaster. For a stress free claims process, SERVPRO works with your insurance to help manage the insurance process and paperwork. Any job large or small we are Here to Help. Call us today at 712-262-4379. 

New Year | New Storms

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Image of the COVID - 19 cells up close with caption "Here to Help". We are all concerned with the information we continue to hear, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is HERE TO HELP. 712-262-4379

Here at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes we have seen our fair share of storm damage, every year brings something a little different.  Last year at this time we were pumping out basements and crawl spaces like it was our job (pun intended!).  Two years ago the rain was so strong we were dealing with sump pump failures and sewer backups.  This year brings a storm of a different kind...a bio-storm.  

With the influx of calls and concern surrounding COVID-19, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is ready to help your home or business bounce back.  Whether we come in and do a CAT-1 cautionary clean, which is simply wiping down of high touch/traffic areas; or a CAT-3 contaminated clean, our team is ready. We offer 3 levels of cleaning as mentioned, here is what you can expect with each:

CAT-1 This level is a matter of cautionary cleaning, there is no known contamination but the facility would like to have areas disinfected to remove any current pathogens.  During this level of clean our team will come into your facility, usually in teams of 2-4, and wipe down high touch areas including counters, doors/door handles, rails, light switches, tables/desks, restrooms, etc.  These are all done in accordance with CDC cleaning guidelines.

CAT-2 This level of clean is for businesses that have had someone come in third party contact with the virus.  During this level of clean our team will carry out all duties as laid out in level one.   Since we are looking at 3rd party contact, our team would also be in full hazmat suits and clean everything from the floor up to 8'.  Once the area has been thoroughly wiped down, we will also treat with a disinfecting fog in the areas in which that person is known to have been in the building. 

CAT-3 This level of clean is when there is direct contact with a person infected with COVID-19.  Our team will enter your facility in full hazmat suits, masks, and gloves for their protection.  We will begin with again wiping everything down from floor to 8' up.  Once finished with a room we will treat with a disinfecting fog.  The biggest difference between CAT-2 and CAT-3 cleaning is that with CAT-3 we will disinfect everything and every room to ensure we have minimized any chance of spreading the virus.  

It is important to understand that our cleaning measures are designed to minimize the spread of the virus and there is no guarantee that this will completely remove all pathogens.  

We understand the concern for both your staff and your customers and we will do everything we can to ensure everyone's safety during this time.  As cases start to roll into northwest Iowa it becomes incredibly important to have a plan in place and to know who to contact to help mitigate these pathogens. 

SERVPRO is a leader in the industry in cleaning  bio-hazard situations.  Call today to discuss how we can help during this time.  

712-262-4379

Spring Storms and Your Camper

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

An old steel sided travel trailer set up for camping for the weekend. We don't just restore homes, we restore cabins, campers, rvs, and more. Call today 712-262-4379.

Spring is finally here! I think it’s safe to say after a long winter we are all ready to spend some time outdoors enjoying our favorite activities, my personal favorite is camping.  As you all know springtime can bring some of the most unpredictable weather patterns to Iowa. We are vulnerable to thunderstorms, tornadoes, floods, high winds, and hail.

Hail can be a frequent and expensive threat to an RV or camper. It can cause dents to aluminum siding, crack laminated sidewalls, dent roof mounted HVAC, shatter windows, fracture and destroy the wood under your rubber roof liner which can cause even bigger problems down the road. Although we do not offer repairs to the exterior of your RV we can offer you our professional cleaning services to make it look “Like it never even happened.”

The inside of your RV can take a lot of abuse. Foot traffic can make those carpets look dirty and dingy. Our team of professionals can bring the life back to your carpet and have it looking its best! Lets not forget about the furniture! We also offer upholstery and drape cleaning. 

What’s a camping trip without cooking some of your favorite dishes? Cooking can get greasy and cause unpleasant odors. We have the right equipment and products to make your RV or camper shine. 

Strong wind and rain can cause water leaks to your RV or camper. Mold growth can start in only 48 hours. Fast response is important! Rapid response means less time to achieve drying goals. Quick and effective restoration is valuable to you, your property, and your insurance company. 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the right equipment and the right team to handle any project large or small. Let us help you get your RV or camper in tip top shape to enjoy all spring and summer long! 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

712-262-4379

SERVPROspencer.com

Ultrasonic Cleaning - Bringing Life Back to Your Belongings

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

A before and after image of wrenches that were damaged in a fire.  Left is damaged, Right is Cleaned in the Ultrasonic. Notice the difference in the before and after photo's of these wrenches. With the help of the ultrasonic machine our team made them look like new.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has experienced a slew of fire related calls throughout the second half of 2019 and early 2020.  Averaging nearly 2-3 fire calls per month our production team has certainly mastered the art of restoration.  

When a home or business owner experiences a fire loss, our team of professionals will do their best to pillage through items determining what to clean and what is best to replace.  

When cleaning items for restoration our team will determine what can be placed in an ultrasonic cleaning device or must be cleaned by hand.  In the ultrasonic machine, the items covered in soot will be submerged in a mixture of cleaning agent and hot water.  During this time, ultrasonic waves will gently vibrate across the surface of the submerged item helping to release the soot particles.  After cleaning each item is carefully dried and placed into an ozone chamber for deodorization.  

By using this cleaning method items come out looking "Like it never even happened."  

If you suffer a fire loss, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes a call, the quality of their work can be not only seen but heard.  

712-262-4379

Spring Prep Before Spring Storms

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

Image of standing water in this northwest Iowa business. If you find yourself with water in your home or business during spring showers, call the experts that are faster to any disaster. 712-262-4379

Spring storms can wreak havoc and cause costly damage to your home or business if you are not property prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious property damage.

While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared, and help take the sting out of spring weather. To help prevent weather-related damages, consider taking the following precautions before storms hit:

  • Check your roof for leaks 
  • Check your outdoor faucets for signs of freezing, a burst shuttlecock can leave your basement looking like a swimming pool in no time
  • Check your gutters and downspouts for any leaks or clogs, also make sure downspouts are directed far enough away from your home or business to prevent back-flow into your property. 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire or water loss, we also specialize in mold remediation.

In addition to cleaning up after a loss, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has their own dedicated construction crew available to put your home or business back together "Like it never even happened." 

We can handle any size disaster!

Call us at (712) 262-4379

We are Cleaning Experts

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Image of the COVID - 19 cells up close with caption "Here to Help". SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes, trained in all cleanup & bioremediation in accordance with CDC guidelines. Call 712-262-4379 for more info.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

712-262-4379

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Spring Cleaning Has New Meaning at SERVPRO

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

Pictured is the new hard surface cleaner consisting of the extractor/pump machine and the adjustable pressure cleaning wand. Pictured is the new hard surface cleaner consisting of the extractor/pump machine and the adjustable pressure cleaning wand.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes' owner, Ryan Brooks, prides himself in having the most up to date equipment and the right equipment on hand to help you when disaster strikes and when it doesn't! 

Recently Brooks' crew has been dealt some abnormal circumstances for jobs.  In the past 6 months the crew has cleaned the inside of vehicles after accidents requiring black lights and cleaning chemicals to ensure we have properly cleaned and sanitized the interior prior to returning the vehicle to its owner.  The crew has also cleaned the interior of multiple 5th wheel campers, travel trailers, and motor homes due to a fire in the storage facility these units were being held in for the off season.  They required carpet cleaning, top to bottom cleaning to ensure soot was removed, and ozoning to remove any lingering odors.  There are so many other examples to be heard another time.  

In addition to those unique jobs requiring their own set of skills and equipment, Brooks has also recently invested in new equipment that will help make spring cleaning easier this year.  He has purchased 4 large air scrubbers to help remove and purify the air when doing demolition or even working in mold remediation.  He purchased many new heaters in the event a furnace goes out during a cold stretch to ensure we can work through the cold in comfort.  The other piece of equipment he purchased was a high pressure hardwood floor cleaner that is designed to clean anything from tiles and laminates to concrete floors. 

So whether you are just needing some help with simple spring cleanup or even some heavy duty equipment to get those lingering stains off your garage or shop floor.  SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has you covered.  

Call today for more information. 

712-262-4379

Little Water | Big Damage

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Standing water sits in the finished basement of this northwest Iowa home. This home suffered significant water damage after last springs flooding. Our team was able to restore their home from start to finish.

Any amount of unexpected water can cause a lot of damage...fast!  SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes receives calls from customers whom have experienced water damage in their home or business all the time.  Often times we are told the water has only affected a small area, but more often than not that is not the case.  With many homes and businesses using laminate, tile, or even vinyl flooring it is very easy for the water to spread under the surface and only when the pressure becomes too great will it come to the surface. 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is equipped to handle any size job large or small.  Our 24 hour on call team is ready and willing to help make your home or business "Like it never even happened."  With a dedicated reconstruction team and one of the fastest response times in the region, SERVPRO has you covered.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster!

24 Hours a Day | 7 Days a Week | 365 Days a Year

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 

712-262-4379

Clear or Contaminated...Do's and Don'ts for Your Water Restoration Needs

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water infiltrated this northwest Iowa business during a 2018 storm.  Water stood in hallways and offices.  After a 2018 storm, water stood in hallways and offices of this business, our team arrived that morning to take care of the mess.

As some of you may know, there are different categories of water damage.  Those range from clean water to grossly contaminated water.  The cleanup methods differ in many ways in the restoration industry and to many home or business owners they don't always understand why.  Here are a few tips in what to do and what not to do when working on cleaning after a water loss...

Damage from clean water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers from wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • If using a vacuum to clean up water, make sure your vacuum is built to handle wet extraction.  
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are drooping from retained water.

Damage from contaminated water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with the contaminated water or contents within the water.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and personal hygiene products if exposed to the contaminated areas.

No matter how dirty the job, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help.  As part of our duty to you, we will help break down the restoration process every step of the way for you to understand what we are doing and why.  

When water damages your home or business, don’t leave your property to chance...Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379.

Come See Why Commercial Cleaning is our Specialty!

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

This northwest Iowa restaurant was in desperate need of carpets cleaned, here is a before and after photo. This northwest Iowa restaurant was in desperate need of carpets cleaned, here is a before and after photo.

As a business owner, you understand the importance of maintaining a clean and odor free office space, and how the appearance of your business reflects on your reputation. As everyday wear and tear gradually soils your office space, it can often be a challenge for your regular cleaner or janitorial staff to tackle the grime. Whether you have an odor problem, soiled carpet, or simply need general cleaning services, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is the leading restoration company in northwest Iowa.  

SERVPRO offers full service capabilities that deliver a deeper clean than your average cleaning company. With 24/7 service, we will respond quickly to assess the amount of soil and determine the best cleaning options.  In 2019 alone, our team helped well over 50 area businesses in northwest Iowa with situations ranging from mold remediation, fire restoration, carpet cleaning, deodorization, and biohazard cleanup.  

Here are the various commercial cleaning services we offer:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard and Sewage
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Vandalism

If your local business is in need of cleaning services, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes today at 712-262-4379. We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial water damage in Northwest Iowa

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Drying equipment ducted to help dry this commercial ceiling. This commercial property suffered a major water loss and our team set up temporary ducts to help promote the drying process and prevent more damage.

All commercial buildings are unique in structure, design, and even materials used when constructing the building. One thing remains constant however, the potential for experiencing a water loss at some point.  Even small problems such as minor roof or pipe leaks can lead to major issues including mold growth. With prolonged damage like that the value of your commercial property can quick diminish.  Keep these things in mind when it comes to your commercial property...

  • Mold can grow quickly after water damage

After water has affected a particular area, mold can grow in as little as 24 – 48 hours. All excess water and humid conditions should be dried out right away to prevent the risk of mold growth.

  • Problems are not fixed if the water has dried out

Some property owners believe that once the water appears to have dried up that they are in the clear, that couldn't be farther from the truth.  While water evaporates in the area, moisture will accumulate in the walls, ceiling, and even the floor below, promoting mold growth. If this happens, it’s important to call in a mold prevention specialist to conduct a deep inspection to make sure that mold hasn’t already infected your property or spread to other areas.

  • Different building materials require different cleaning methods

The same restoration process cannot be used for all building materials. Hard surfaces like concrete can be salvaged but porous materials like cellulose insulation and flooring materials will need to be removed and replaced. 

  • Water extraction is the best step to restoring water damage

Excess water can lead to costly repairs in damaged material if not extracted immediately. Experienced water damage restoration professionals know exactly how to remove excess water in emergency situations like flooding or burst pipes. Hiring these specialists will also ensure that all hidden water damage and moisture from behind the walls and underneath the floors is also removed properly to prevent the risk of mold growth.

  • Time is everything

As soon as you find water damage on your property, taking the necessary steps right away can make a big difference in financial costs. Simply knowing the basic first steps during an emergency can prevent the damage from spreading further.

  • Contact your insurance company right away if you find water damage

It’s imperative to call your insurance company immediately after finding water damage. The insurance company can also guide you through the first steps to prevent the damage from spreading.

  • A separate flood insurance policy may also be necessary

Insurance companies may offer flood insurance in addition to your policy. This may be necessary especially if you live in a flood zone. In any case, contact your insurance provider to see if this is necessary for you and whether you need additional coverage.

  • Insurance policies may not cover all types of water damage

While some situations are covered by insurance policies, others are excluded for various reasons. For example, flood damage and mold growth are usually not a covered loss unless you have flood insurance on your policy, even then there may be some exclusions.  It is best to speak with your agent in advance to understand what your policy can and cannot do in the event of a loss.  

  • There are different types of water contamination

Most insurance professionals see water damage as different types of contamination: white water, grey water, and black water. The processes associated with cleaning up each type of damage will be different. Most business owners hope to see white water as the restoration process becomes much more cut and dry while black water means there will be a number of materials that must be disposed of due to contact with water that may contain contaminants such as pesticides, pathogens, and other toxigenics. 

  • Even small leaks can lead to big problems

If not checked frequently, minor plumbing leaks or appliance malfunctions can lead to big water damage problems. If the plumbing is not frequently maintained, your insurance company may not cover the cost of everyday wear and tear.

  • Roof leaks are a common source of water damage in commercial buildings

Even small leaks in a commercial roof can lead to major problems for the business. Even if it was just installed, a bad storm can still penetrate through the materials and spread damage. This is especially common with areas experiencing strong winds, freezing temperatures, and hail damage.

  • Building maintenance can prevent water damage disasters

It’s important to check or have the building checked on a frequent basis. These water damage preventative tasks should include gutter, roof, and plumbing inspections. You may also want to have a professional inspect the building once or twice each year to ensure everything is in proper condition.

Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for your Commercial Restoration Needs! 

712-262-4379

The Water Restoration Process and What to Expect

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Water stands in a hallway in a commercial building. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has a staff of trained restoration technicians ready to help you through your loss.

According to research provided by Water Damage Defense, 37% of U.S. Homeowners have suffered a water loss claim. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the expertise and equipment to quickly restore your home or business after a water loss using a scientific approach to water removal and restoration.

Water Damage? Call Today 712-262-4379

Every water damage event is different which means each loss will require different equipment, but the process remains the same.  Read below for more understanding on the overall Water Restoration Process...

Step 1 - Emergency Contact

When you call, our representative will guide you through several questions that will help our team respond to your water emergency more quickly and efficiently. These questions allow us to bring the right equipment and the right amount of equipment to being the drying process as soon as possible preventing further damage including potential mold growth. 

Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment

Upon arrival, our technicians will inspect the area of loss using equipment such as a hygrometer and a thermal camera to see how much of the area is truly affected and to see if a cause of loss can be located.  One of our technicians will also measure and map the area of loss to ensure we have adequate information for billing and to send to your insurance company if your loss is a covered claim.  

Step 3 - Water Removal / Water Extraction

Once the assessment is complete our team will extract the water using our extraction equipment.  In some cases there may be significant amounts of water removed from your flooring.  Our team will have the necessary equipment to extract from either carpet, laminate, or hardwood flooring.  

Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification

Once the extraction is complete, our technicians will begin the drying process. They use less intrusive, scientific drying methods to draw the remaining water and moisture from your home or business with air movers and dehumidifiers. In the event of larger loss jobs, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has access to a trailer mounted desiccant which is able to remove up to 400-500 gallons of water per day from a 50,000 sq ft area.  

Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing

Water damage also affects your belongings, like furniture, clothing, and personal items. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes can clean salvageable items using a number of specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers, fogging equipment, and ozone machines.

Step 6 - Restoration

The last step is restoring your home or business back to its preloss condition. The restoration process can be relatively minor such as replacing drywall, or could include major reconstruction such as rebuilding entire rooms of your home or business.  To help ease your stress, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has a construction crew on staff that will put your home or business back together "Like it never even happened."

If disaster strikes your home or business call the team that is not only Faster to any Disaster, but also will make it look "Like it never even happened."  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

712-262-4379

Commercial Water Loss: Another Step in Minimizing Your Risk of Loss

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Paint separating and running down a wall after a significant water loss. This commercial facility had a significant water loss in early 2019. Here you see paint running due to water saturating the wall so significantly.

This year commercial water losses have been a huge issue.  SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes assisted numerous businesses with a variety of water related losses summed up in the following categories...

5 Common Causes of Commercial Water Damage

  • Broken or damaged pipes.
  • Window or roof leaks.
  • Sewage backup.
  • Sprinkler malfunctions.
  • Storms and flooding.

Understanding your property layout can help reduce the potential for loss as well as minimize the loss itself when/if it occurs. Here are a few tips to help a business owner prevent water.

How to Prevent Commercial Water Damage

  • Know your property. Be aware of potential problems in your building. Has it experienced water damage before? What caused it?
  • Regularly inspect plumbing. Consider having a professional conduct regular maintenance on the plumbing system in your property.
  • Have an emergency plan. Have a plan laid out for each possibly disaster scenario that includes the location of water shut-offs.
  • Stay on top of repairs and upgrades. When things are outdated or break that could potentially cause a water problem, fix or replace them right away.
  • Keep your gutters clean. Make sure there are no blockages preventing water from properly draining away from the building.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is also here to help.  Take advantage of our free Emergency Ready Profile and we will help compile the necessary information in the event of any disaster.  

If disaster strikes, call the team that's faster to any disaster! 

712-262-4379

Why Closing Your Door Can Save You Thousands.

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

An electrical fire left a gaping hole in this homeowners drywall. A recent house fire left extensive damage to the home and contents.

The thought of a fire for a home or business owner can cause a slew of emotions. Closing doors is one small step that can help contain the extent of damage.

Closing doors prevents the fire from getting more oxygen and room to spread at a faster rate. Smoke and soot travel throughout the house and breathing in the smoke inhalation is very dangerous. Smoke contains many toxic products including carbon monoxide. It is important to close your bedroom door at night while you sleep. The alarms will go off and wake you up, giving you time to get out without the flames, toxic smoke, and high head temperatures in your room. Make sure you check the smoke detectors in your home often and have one close to where you sleep. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help make your home or business "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO provides mitigation services for fire, smoke, and soot removal to personal belongings and the home structure.  To help keep your mind at ease during this stressful time, our team of professionals will inventory your belongings for disposal or cleaning in addition to scheduling the duct cleaning and possible reconstruction if necessary.  Our goal is to help you through every step of your fire restoration.  

If disaster strikes call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379.

Winter Storm Power Outage Tips

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

A winter blizzard bearing down on northwest Iowa. Last winter northwest Iowa saw its fair share of winter weather, predictions are showing more snowfall than previous years currently.

Winter storm season is quickly approaching here in northwest Iowa.  We wanted to take a moment and give you a list of things to think about if mother nature rears her ugly side. 

Following these steps during a power outage can help you stay safe.

When an outage happens unexpectedly it can:

  • Slow down or stop communications, water, and transportation.
  • Leaves many businesses unable to operate.
  • Causes food spoilage and water contamination.
  • Prevent use of medical devices, medical facilities do have backup generators that run during these situations.

DURING A POWER OUTAGE

  • Only use flashlights for emergency lighting, candles can cause fires.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer.
  • Avoid getting carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves, or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stove-top or oven to heat your home.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if your home or business begins losing heat rapidly. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors. Never use your oven as a source of heat. If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another that has heat to keep warm.
  • Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary “surges” or “spikes” that can cause damage.
  • Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing a generator for your home. NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage or connect it to your home's electrical system.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help in the event you experience any damage to your home or business during a storm.

If disaster strikes call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379.

Fire...What Are Your Next Steps.

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Heavy smoke and soot damage covers this northwest Iowa apartment complex. A spring fire left many residents looking for temporary residence due to the extent of the damage throughout the complex.

Like anyone, after a fire you want things to go back to normal but might not know what steps to take. The U.S. Fire Administration (FEMA) offers a guide for your next steps after a fire at https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/fa_46.pdf

This is a general guide and dependent on the nature and extent of your damage, you may need to consider other steps specific to your situation and your needs. Fires can create an overwhelming to-do list, but SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help guide you through the process.

As fire and water experts, we have seen many different scenarios and can assist you in ways that go above and beyond what you might expect from a fire restoration company. When you have questions or concerns during any part of the recovery process, our team has the insight and experience to answer your questions and guide you through this stressful time.

As stated by FEMA, “Anything you want to save or reuse will need to be carefully cleaned,” and this is where SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes comes in. We are here to help restore your home or business and your cherished belongings with care. We care about the families that experience home fires and have a sincere drive towards making fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

We are proud to serve our local communities:

  • Clay County
  • Dickinson County
  • Emmet County
  • Kossuth County
  • Lyon County
  • O'Brien County
  • Osceola County
  • Palo Alto County
  • Sioux County
  • And Southwest Minnesota

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

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Takes Time For Team Building

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of owner Ryan Brooks with his nylon "hat" preparing for team building battle. During a team building event, even Ryan was prepared for his challenge.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes owners, Ryan & Kristine Brooks, believe the key to their long-term success is the strength of their team and having everyone invested in their philosophy of "Work Hard/Play Hard".  Recently the two led a team building activity to encourage the mindset that we will succeed as a team and to remind everyone that each member of our crew has a role in the success of the business.  

Ryan took his place as grill master and cooked up a meal fit for his army.  Afterwards the team broke out into smaller groups for a little friendly competition.  Teams competed in an architecture challenge with spaghetti noodles and marshmallows, a water bottle challenge with a nylon hat and tennis ball, and a friendly game of heads up.  The overall winners of the challenges were able to take an afternoon off on Ryan & Kristine.   

At the end of the day everyone had fun and was able to relax rather than focusing on the next job.  Ryan & Kristine felt that it was a great time to bring everyone together after the recent transition of ownership and ensuring that everyone remained on the same page and remained invested in the common goal.  

Mold Removal Versus Mold Remediation

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

A Mold Colony Growing Behind Trim-work This homeowner found multiple mold colonies growing behind their trim-work after multiple water damage events.

Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, due to the nature of mold growth there is simply no guarantee that the mold will be removed in its entirety.  

A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. The team at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the training and expertise to remediate the mold issue in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.

Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process remains the same.  After the levels have reached a more natural level the key is to control the moisture levels and air flow in that area to prevent more colonies from growing.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, water, or mold damage event.

If you suspect mold in your home or business call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 712-262-4379

SERVPRO Trains to be the Best Ahead of the Rest

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

CE Training Event June 2019 In addition to staff training, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes also offers CE training throughout the year.

SERVPRO stands as one of the leaders in fire and water restoration with locations to assist across the country. What makes SERVPRO continue to be a leading restoration vendor is our commitment to extensive training and certifications in regard to the services we offer northwest Iowa and southwest Minnesota.

On-going training is a vital piece of this industry where personal belongings, homes, and businesses are being dealt with. The team stays up-to-date on not only requirements but also the newest technology and software programs.

The SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes team maintains several certifications under the Institute of Inspection Cleaning Restoration Certification (IICRC). These include

  • Water Removal Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Fire and Smoke Technician
  • Carpet Cleaning Technician
  • Health and Safety Technician
  • Amongst many others

This allows the team to be fully prepared for any scenario, highlighting our ability to assess the disaster to make it “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO has been able to tailor products and cleaners for a multitude of scenarios by staying ahead of the competition with our technology and training.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is committed to a solutions-based mentality and continuing to grow our knowledge and certifications to help when the need arises.

Remember, if disaster strikes call 712-262-4379

Lyon County Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Basement due to heavy rains. This home’s basement flooded due to heavy rains.

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Lyon County basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - 712-262-4379

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help 712-262-4379

Sprinkler Systems - Common Culprit of Water Damage

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

How Sprinkler Heads Work Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes if you have issues with your sprinkler systems. 712-262-4379

Sprinkler systems are commonly installed in commercial and industrial buildings. They save employees lives and the building structure when a fire occurs. However, they do cause water damage when putting out the fire or with system malfunction. 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help.  Fire sprinklers are activated when the mercury liquid filled bulb bursts between 135 and 165 degrees. It is thought by many that they are triggered by smoke.  They are actually activated by heat. Common failures occur with sprinkler heads when the line freezes from cold or the head gets hit or pulled on. 

Our team is here to help when you need it most. Whether you take advantage of our Emergency Ready Profile program or not, take the time to locate your sprinkler system shut off valves and have the appropriate contact information for the service provider. 

If you find yourself with water damage due to a malfunctioning sprinkler head or fire cleanup call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379.

Self Clean Up Leads to Huge Problems

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Hardwood Floor Drying Equipment Drying equipment attempts to save flooring after a burst water line to an ice machine.

PROBLEM:

I ran into a friend of mine while out and about the other day and through our conversation he shared he walked into his house after a night out to find the hose to his refrigerator had burst and he had water everywhere.  

He spent nearly 3 hours cleaning up the water and after feeling he had done an adequate job, he threw some fans on it and called it good.  

Fast forward a few days and his home started to smell musty, his laminate flooring had developed a wave, and the floor joists in his basement were starting to discolor.  

SOLUTION:

The quick answer is call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. The long answer is what could have been a quick restoration process will now involve replacing the laminate flooring, potential reconstruction on drywall and trim, and mold treatment on the sub-floor & floor joists.  

Sadly, what could have started as a simple 3 day drying process now leads to a week plus of restoration and reconstruction.  

If you find yourself in a similar situation, no matter how tempting it is to save money, make the right choice and call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

712-262-4379

Fire Damage - Replace or Restore

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Before & After Soot damage on a light fixture after a home fire last year.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes strives to restore your home after a fire.

The soot penetrates all of your home’s furnishings. Our team is trained to properly assess every item to determine what is salvageable and what is not.  Those un-salvageable items will be inventoried and shared back with the home or business owner as well as the insurance adjuster.

There are many variables that are considered when determining what should go through the restoration process or be replaced. 

Determinations are made depending on the type of soot, how close the item was to the source of the fire, the material affected, and the value of the item. 

Every home is unique as well as every fire. The SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes team carefully assesses the damages and involves you and your insurance company in every step to draft a plan and timeline to restore your home.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is committed to helping make it “Like it never even happened."

For your fire and soot damage call 712-262-4379.

Save the life of your carpet, have them professionally cleaned!

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Look at the difference a good carpet cleaning can make! Call today to schedule your appointment...712-262-4379

Through my travels I get the opportunity to speak with hotel and restaurant owners on a regular basis.  The response when I bring up the potential for us coming in to clean carpets is usually the same, we have our own equipment.  

While I think it is absolutely fantastic to keep up on general carpet cleaning I have found that a majority of those that own their own equipment have something similar to what any one of us can rent from your local carpet or hardware store.  Those machines will work, however, they have their downfalls.  Most of those machines will leave chemical residue behind in addition to not removing all of the dirt and grime.  

As I speak with these business managers and owners I remind them that they should have a good professional cleaning at least once per year to prolong the life of the carpets.  As it may seem like an additional expense, it helps with customer experience and satisfaction resulting in more potential revenue in the long run. 

Call today to schedule your carpet cleaning in either your home or business.  712-262-4379

It's not really clean unless it's SERVPRO clean!  

Meet the new/old faces!

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes owners Ryan & Kristine Brooks

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has had an interesting few months here.  As many of you have heard former co-owners Lathe & Nicole Toft moved south to the Omaha area and opened their own SERVPRO franchise in that market which made way for other co-owners Ryan & Kristine Brooks to take over sole ownership of SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.  

Ryan & Kristine are both excited for the opportunity to continue the great work that has always been done out of these offices and will continue to provide all the same services and cover the same footprint as they always have.  

The two still have plans to build a new facility in southwest Spencer in addition to bringing in new equipment which will allow for better and more efficient restoration after your disaster. 

During this transition, Ryan & Kristine also took over sole ownership of Boji Builders LLC, the reconstruction branch of SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

Please take a moment to congratulate the two and remember to call the team that's Faster to any Disaster, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

712-262-4379 

Storm cleanup turned bad

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can begin growing in 48-72 hours and can be very harmful to ones health. Call today to breathe easier tomorrow. 712-262-4379

All of northwest Iowa and beyond has been hit with more water and storms than we've known what to do with.  Some homeowners have suffered multiple water losses due to the high amounts of precipitation.  After speaking with some homeowners at vendor shows and insurance agents over the last few months one thing has become obvious, their issues weren't over after the initial storm clean up. 

Many homeowners who opted to clean up their own home to save a claim against their insurance and money in the long run are now running into mold infestations in their homes and businesses.  SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes went through a period of time in which we received anywhere between 2-3 calls per day requesting mold remediation or testing.  

Our team is trained in mold remediation and we have a reconstruction team on staff to help restore your home or business "Like it never even happened."  

Don't waste time, if you believe you have mold growing in your home make sure you call today to schedule your mold assessment consultation.  There is a charge for the consultation, but we will provide you with a remediation plan to help your family breathe easier.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes, your mold remediation specialists in Northwest Iowa and Southwest Minnesota. 

712-262-4379

Content Inventory after Fire Loss

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Our team takes care and concern when packing out your belongings after a loss.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has received numerous calls over the course of the last 3 months for fire losses.  Some on the larger commercial scale and others being small kitchen or garage fires.  No matter the size of job, SERVPRO is here to make it "Like it never even happened." 

In addition to the smoke and soot cleanup, one key component to a fire loss is the inventory process.  This requires a great deal of time in most cases due to the counting and note taking involved.  As our technicians being to take inventory on both what is salvageable and what is unsalvageable, they discard the unsalvageable items and begin cleaning and boxing the salvageable items to be stored in a safe location until the restoration process has been completed.  In some cases, the restoration process in the home or business does not allow for storage of these items in which case they are brought back to the SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes office where they are stored in a climate controlled and protected area. 

Once the inventory has been completed it is submitted to the insurance company and homeowner for review and to be processed as part of the claim. 

As soon as the restoration and reconstruction process has been completed, we will bring the stored items back to the homeowner safely and securely. 

If disaster strikes your home or business, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 712-262-4379 

November Continuing Education Courses Offered

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

Presenter Todd Davis leads a course during our June 13th CEC Event.

On Thursday November 14th SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes will be offering their last continuing education event of 2019.  The event will be held at the beautiful Waterfront Grille in Arnolds Park, IA. 

We are pleased to bring back presenter Todd Davis.  Todd comes from Peoria, IL where he owns and operates his own insurance agency as well as a variety of other jobs.  He brings with him years of presenting experience with SERVPRO but also many stories of his time in the insurance industry.   

Our morning course will be a 4-hour course on Unusual Claims to Never Want to See.  The course will begin at 8:00 AM and conclude at 12:00 PM.  During this course there will be discussions on a variety of issues including biohazard, hoarding, etc.  We ask that you please participate during the discussions to help progress the content along. 

Our afternoon course will be a 3-hour course on the Basics of E&O Loss Prevention.  The course will begin at 1:00 PM and conclude at 4:00 PM. 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is pleased to offer these courses to insurance agents, adjusters, and others needing continuing education credits at no charge to you.  In addition to the free courses, we also offer a complimentary lunch and refreshments throughout the day. 

If you are interested in attending this course please email Stephanie Guthrie at sguthrie@SERVPROspencer.com.  Please RSVP by Thursday October 24th and in your email include your agency affiliation, license number, and contact information. 

We hope to see you there!    

The Reality of Fire Cleanup

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

After a fire, leave the cleanup to us. We will make it "Like it never even happened."

We have all heard that soot is bad for us.  It contains a variety of toxic chemical compounds that are harmful to respiratory systems of those coming in prolonged contact with the particles.  Soot damage from a fire can often be quite time consuming and tricky to clean up.   After having worked a few fire restoration jobs myself I understood firsthand how much work goes into the restoration process. 

After a fire, soot spreads throughout far reaches to a home or business due to the smaller particles.  While the fire may be contained to the kitchen, soot can travel to multiple floors or rooms which increases the time for cleanup. 

The first restoration job I was a part of was a small kitchen fire in a one-story home.  The fire was contained to the kitchen and truly the damage was not bad.  The soot however traveled into 3 other rooms in the home, one being on the other side of the house.  In addition to cleaning the walls and surfaces from ceiling to floor, we cleaned kitchen cabinets inside & out, cleaned all toys individually, gathers items for dry cleaning, cleaned furniture, and had the HVAC system thoroughly cleaned. 

For even a small job, our crew of 3 worked for 2 days to get the family back into their home.  Depending on the scope of the job, some can take longer and require more in-depth cleaning and/or reconstruction.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is trained in IICRC Restoration standards for fire restoration and we pride ourselves on being very thorough when completing a job to ensure you and your family forget the disaster occurred and your home or business look Like it never even happened. 

If disaster strikes, call the team that’s faster to any disaster in Northwest Iowa…SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes!  712-262-4379

The Emergency Ready Profile Advantage!

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

Call today to set up your Emergency Ready Profile. 712-262-4379

As the sales and marketing representative for SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes, one of my key targets each month is to help businesses be prepared in the event of a disaster.  One way in which we do that is through our Emergency Ready Profile program. 

The Emergency Ready Profile, or ERP, is a free service provided by SERVPRO in which we help area businesses with such things as locating their emergency shut offs for their electrical systems, water, and gas.  We also compile information on their key contacts in the event of any emergency so the business is prepared and can calmly work through the situation.  Since this is a free service, there are no contracts to sign and no obligations to purchase any products.  Our only request is, if your business does suffer from a disaster to give us an opportunity to make it Like it never even happened.

The ERP also contains tips and suggestions that the business can do before help arrives and provides somewhat of a roadmap helping them get back into their business more quickly and ultimately minimizing the interruption. 

As I continue to grow the number of businesses in our coverage area that have an ERP set up, it was a few months ago that we had the opportunity to truly see the power of the plan in action.  A local business suffered a frozen pipe on the third story of their building reaching numerous rooms within the facility.  With this plan, the building contact knew exactly who to call and within hours our team was on site helping them to restore function to nearly 50% of the rooms affected by the end of day 1.  The other rooms required more drying time, but they were able to recover a fair amount of potential lost income by simply having a plan in place and knowing what to do prior to help arriving. 

The best part of the ERP process is the amount of work the business owner or manager must do to get this set up is minimal.  A sales and marketing representative will come to your business and take the necessary photos and information, then finish putting the document together at the office.  This process usually only takes 30 minutes or less and the business owner can proof and edit the document as often as they would like.  When approved, the business will receive both a hard copy and a digital copy through our ERP app. 

For more questions or to set up an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379. You can also email our Sales & Marketing Representative, Jason Lindsay, at jlindsay@SERVPROspencer.com

Silver Lining Through the Storm

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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. 

712-262-4379

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

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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 www.ready.gov 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 www.ready.gov 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 https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

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

712-262-4379

Do You Have Enough Insurance Coverage?

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

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

712-262-4379

Spring Home Fires

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

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

712-262-4379

Disaster Recovery Team to the Rescue

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

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."  

712-262-4379

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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

712-262-4379

Mold Cleanup...What's the Right Product?

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can grow on and in many porous surfaces, just because you can't see it doesn't mean it isn't there. Call today for a mold assessment!

Mold appearing in your home or business can be very frustrating and stressful.  I have run across some who have expressed feelings of guilt thinking they've neglected their home to the point that mold starts growing. 

Fact of the matter is, mold grows nearly everywhere around us and can be very hard to detect at times.  Though mold is present it cannot always be seen, hiding in the padding under carpet or behind a layer of paint in the drywall. These will remain unseen until either carpet is replaced or the discoloration starts to push through the drywall.  

So you have found mold in your home or business, now what?  For most they will simply go to the cleaner that is supposed to clean everything...bleach!  Bleach, however, is the wrong answer.  Due to the chemical makeup of bleach, it is a rather abrasive cleaner that will clean the discoloration from the surface, but it simply will not kill the mold spores that are the root cause of the growth.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes uses quality products that not only help remove the discoloration but also eliminate the roots of the mold growth helping to reduce future growth.  Our team uses FDA approved products such as Concrobium Broad Spectrum and Sporicidin to help clean and eliminate the potential for future growth. 

If you suspect mold growth in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for your mold assessment. 

712-262-4379 

Suspect Mold? Call for a Mold Assessment!

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Not all mold can be so easily detected. If you have suspicious odors or discoloration call today for your assessment. 712-262-4379

Mold can be a scary thought for some.  For allergy and asthma sufferers mold can often associate breathing issues and other health related concerns.  

It was not long ago that I discovered first hand some of those other health related concerns.  Being an allergy sufferer myself the breathing issues are a major concern, the difference is subtle and often goes unnoticed until you are out of the effected home or business.  With the extended exposure an individual can also experience headaches, other various allergic reactions, increased blood pressure, fatigue, and many other issues.  

Do you suspect mold in your home or business? Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for your mold assessment. 

When our team of professionals arrives you can expect a thorough inspection followed by a remediation estimate.  If you would like, our team can also provide tape testing and air sampling to be sent to the lab for further assessment.  Costs associated to the assessment depend on your location and the type of testing you would like completed.  

Upon full completion of testing our team will provide the results from the lab on which strains of mold are present and provide you with an estimate on the remediation process.  

Call the team of professionals that can help you from the first signs of mold through the entire remediation process. 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

712-262-4379

Your 24 Hour Emergency Fire or Water Damage Service

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

?Call the team that can help from start to finish at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes! 712-262-4379

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 712-262-4379

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Setting us aside from other restoration companies in the region, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offers many additional services that help make them the right team for the job.  Our crew is trained to help you from start to finish and make your home or business look "Like it never even happened."

Faster to your Water Disaster

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (712) 262 - 4379

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Conditions looking prime for high mold growth in Spring

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

If you suspect you have mold in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to set up a mold consultation and test today!

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10% have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.

 Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at 712-262-4379

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for mold remediation services.

What are your ducts hiding?

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

Dirty ductwork can cause significant odor and health concerns, call SERVPRO today to schedule your duct cleaning. 712-262-4379

The ventilation system within your home or business is often one of the leading causes of poor air quality.  For most of us we appreciate the fact that our HVAC systems are working properly but give little to no thought throughout the course of the year(s) as to how our ductwork is impacting us, as long as we are comfortable we are happy.  However, dirty ductwork can have a direct impact on ones health given that it can circulate odors and contaminants such as mold and dust pollen throughout your home or business.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes team of professionals will come in to inspect your ductwork and HVAC system and make recommendations on the best course of action toward any air quality concerns.  

In some cases, cleanup of the HVAC and ductwork is necessary in the restoration process after a fire, smoke, or mold growth issue arises.  The last thing you want to do when mold is suspected is spread the spores throughout your home or business.  

There are many advantages of cleaning your HVAC and ductwork such as:

  • Restoring peak performance which will save you money over time in heating and cooling costs
  • Reduces potential for mold growth
  • Remediate bacteria, fungi, and mold growth
  • Eliminates offensive odors 

Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to have your ducts and HVAC system cleaned and running at its best, you and your health will appreciate it!  

712-262-4379

The Right Equipment for the Job

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

The Arid Dry 5000 Large Loss Electric Desiccant

Water loss can happen to anyone at any time.  From issues in your home or even your business, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has you covered.  Investing in the right equipment is key to making your water damage look "Like it never even happened" which is why we have invested in the next level of drying equipment.  

With a new way of drying and reducing humidity for the perfect climate control in water disasters, SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes offers the Arid Dry 5000 Large Loss Electric Desiccant. Meeting the demands of larger residential and commercial water restoration jobs with a large-capacity mobile dehumidifier from ARID-Dry™, SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes professionals can work more efficiently and with faster time-response. One of the only restoration companies in Northwest Iowa to offer service with this type of equipment.  


How it works: The most moisture laden air in “process“ air stream is drawn through desiccant rotor with moisture collecting on Silica gel material embedded in rotor. Dry processed air is re-leased into required area. Rotor brings soaked desiccant into “reactivation” air stream where it is heated. As desiccant dries, it releases its moisture into reactivation air stream as water vapor which is ducted into the outside atmosphere. 


Bottom line: It is perhaps the most effective method available of controlling humidity and/or removing moisture from structural materials, hardwood flooring, and providing structural preparation prior to applying coatings.

When disaster strikes call the team with the right equipment at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

712-262-4379

Keep your Christmas Tree Watered to Avoid Fire

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Make sure to water your tree regularly to prevent excess drying and avoid a potential Christmas nightmare.

Christmas is that wonderful time of year for tradition and nostalgia, one of the greatest traditions is decorating the Christmas tree.  Some homeowners have opted to transition to the artificial tree to save money year to year while others still choose to real tree.  

While there is something about that real tree look, feel, and most of all the smell, real trees also bring with them an increased potential for catching fire due to becoming too dry.  

When brought into warmer temperatures inside the home, the tree needs more water to survive the weeks that homeowners keep them in their homes.  Make sure to check the water level in your tree stand daily to make sure your Christmas tree looks its best throughout the holiday season.  

If disaster strikes call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.  

712-262-4379

"Like it never even happened."

Winter Weather Travel Precautions

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Follow these steps to ensure your home doesn't become a winter wonderland.

When you think of winter weather travel you normally think about road conditions and the extended forecast to make sure there are no disruptions in travel.  The thing that some people forget is to make sure your home is also safe during the cold snaps.  

Frozen pipes are the leading cause of water loss during the winter months and they can happen for any number of reasons such as hoses left on the outside faucet, furnace failure, or improperly insulate pipes.  Whatever the reason, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help minimize the interruption to your daily life "like it never even happened." 

Whether your winter travels take you away for an evening, a weekend, or longer you should make sure your home is ready for the elements.  The following tips will help you prepare for the midwest winter. 

  1. Check the insulation in and around your pipes.  If your home suffers frequently from frozen pipes it may be time to insulate either around the pipes themselves or within the wall cavity.  If you question the amount of insulation within a wall cavity contact your local plumber to see if they have the equipment necessary to look into the wall cavity with minimal damage to your home.  If the insulation is the issue to your frozen pipes not only will this help you from having the frozen pipes but it will also reduce your overall heating costs. 
  2. Open cabinet doors.  By opening cabinet doors you are allowing equal airflow to reach the pipes under these cabinets which will transfer warmer air to these otherwise cool areas. 
  3. Allow indoor faucets to slowly drip.  This can be tricky to do and can be a cause for concern for some thinking their bill will be higher.  The benefit to allowing your pipes to drip is allowing for constant movement within the pipes to reduce the opportunity for freezing. 
  4. Have a house sitter. Many homeowners reduce the temperature in their homes when they are away for an extended period of time.  When doing this make sure you have a friend or neighbor lined up to check on your home periodically to make sure the furnace did not stop running or the temperatures are dipping too low.

 The holidays are meant to be a happy time, reduce the chances for the holiday blues by taking these extra steps when leaving your home during the winter.  

Remember, if disaster strikes call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379.

Cold Weather is Around the Corner

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Burst pipes are the leading cause of water damage during the winter months.

Seems like Mother Nature forgot summer for the most part and went right into a cool fall.  Now that that nasty snow word is in the forecast it's time to start thinking about making sure your home is winter ready.  

Hopefully during those few nice spells you took the time to clean out your gutters to make sure the melting snow and ice has someplace to go when it starts melting, if not then the water from the melting winter season will go to the path of least resistance which typically means up and over the side of your gutter and right into your foundation.  Unless your foundation is sealed properly, that means that water will find its way into cracks in your basement walls or floors.  

Due to the extremely high water table from a wet 2018, the water will still have an opportunity to find its way in much easier than it would had it been a dry year prior.  

Another precaution that you can take it make sure your pipes are insulated to stave off frozen pipes.  If you find yourself being away from home for a while during the winter I suggest making sure one of your faucets keeps a slow drip during your time away and having someone available to check in your house. 

If disaster strikes, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to make it "Like it never even happened."

712-262-4379

What you Need to Know About Soot Damage

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Soot contains impure carbon particles that are difficult to fully remove after fire damages your home or business.

As many of us know from sitting by the bonfire or your wood-burning fireplace in your home, soot travels throughout the air leaving a thin layer of what appears to be black dust.  

That dust is made up of a number of carbon particles that contains high levels of carcinogens.  After a fire the smoke and soot damage can travel all throughout the home, regardless of where the fire originates.  SERVPRO of Spencer has a team of professionals who take the stress of cleanup off your shoulders and allow you to focus on what's important.  

Our team is trained to thoroughly clean your contents back "like it never even happened." They take the extra time to ensure the soot damage is removed prior to placing your contents back into your home or business.  

Whether cleaning up soot damage or mold damage it is our goal to reduce any health related issues that your disaster leaves in its path.  

To make sure the job is done right, call the SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes team for your Fire or Water Restoration needs.  

712-262-4379

Continued Training Leads to Better Customer Experience

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Owners Lathe Toft and Ryan Brooks host a training session focused on improving customer experience.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is a firm believer in investing in continued training for every member of our team.  Recently owners, Lathe Toft & Ryan Brooks, held a training session for the crew to touch on points to help increase the customer experience in an already tough situation.  

When dealing with any loss, we understand the stress and emotion that goes along with it.  It is our goal to make your experience much easier throughout the process, from initial loss to "like it never even happened."

The training session focused on proper mapping techniques, drying procedures, cleaning procedures, as well as taking proper notes and pictures.  These items alone help the communication between you, your insurance company, and SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes open and moving forward without delay.  Making your experience better and quicker throughout the restoration or remediation process.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Community Supporters

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes had the opportunity to sponsor the Spencer Tigers last home contest of the season.

Recently the team at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes had the opportunity to be the game sponsor for the Spencer Tigers football game.  As a proud supporter of the Spencer Tailtwister organization, each business gets the opportunity to be showcased at a game of their choosing.  We opted for this game as it was not only the last home contest for the Tigers but also their opportunity for a playoff berth.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is a firm believer in investing in the communities in which we reside and service whether that be through school sponsorship's, such as this, or recreational sponsorship's, and other organizational opportunities throughout our region.  Our team believes in giving back when and where we can.  

Look for us as we continue to sponsor great organizations such as the Shayla Bee Foundation, Spencer Tailtwisters, Northwest Iowa Soccer Club, and many others in the coming year.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Announce Plans for New Facility

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes plan new location located just north of Menards in Spencer.

Recently owners Lathe Toft & Ryan Brooks announced their plans to expand their operation and construct a new facility.  

The facility, to be located just north of Menards in Spencer, will allow SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes and Boji Builders Inc. to be under one roof.  Boji Builders Inc. is the reconstruction division of SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes, they currently are housed out of a building in north Spencer. 

The new facility, expected to break ground in spring 2019, will continue to offer climate controlled storage for clients but also plenty of office space and garage space for equipment.  Also expected to be part of the plans is a laundry facility complete with machines large enough to accommodate materials such as fire suits or shoulder pads. 

Keep an eye our for more details in the near future.   

Save Money by Cleaning Your Carpets

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Our team brought the shine back to these carpets.

Many home and business owners can go years without thinking to clean their carpets.  Some simply justify that by saying it's normal wear and tear.  By cleaning carpets at least once a year you can prolong the life of them and save money in the long run.  

In most cases, depending on the size of home or business, carpets can be cleaned for under $500-$1000 which is much cheaper than replacing them frequently.  

Our team of trained professionals specialize in carpet cleaning and make it a personal priority to deliver the best results bringing your carpets back "Like it never even happened." 

Call today to schedule your appointment for your home or business.  There is still time to book before the holiday season is here!  

712-262-4379

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Announces CE Events for 2019

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Save the Date! March 21st, June 13th, and November 14th for CE Events hosted by Todd Davis and SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is pleased to announce that we have 3 opportunities for Continuing Education Courses already booked for 2019.  We will again have presenter Todd Davis back to facilitate the events. 

We are still in the early stages of the planning process, but we can confirm we have 3 dates that we will host CE Courses.  The location has yet to be determined but save the date for March 21st, June 13th, and November 14th.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is also planning on a golf outing that will take place sometime during the third quarter of 2019.  

Once we have confirmed the details, we will send out more information on time and location.  Make sure to mark your calendar now so you can attend these courses. 

Please direct any questions to Jason Lindsay, Sales & Marketing Representative, by calling 712-262-4379 or emailing jlindsay@SERVPROspencer.com

Emergency Ready Profile

10/29/2018 (Permalink)

Call today to schedule your Emergency Ready Profile consultation today! 712-262-4379

As home and business owners we have a lot to think about as we keep the day to day operations going.  When we are first getting established many of us make sure to have our bases covered when it comes to planning for a fire or water loss in our home or business.  We make sure the fire alarms are working and that there is a fire extinguisher, that we have a sump pump and dehumidifier running downstairs.  Some, thanks due in part to local fire departments, have a plan on where to go in the event of a fire.  How many of us actually have an Emergency Ready Profile?

An Emergency Ready Profile, or ERP, is a plan developed by SERVPRO that helps get in depth information in the event of a disaster such as where the breakers are, where the water shut off is, where the gas shut off is.  In the case of a business it is also helpful to know who the phone tree is so the appropriate service providers can be contacted.  

SERVPRO believes in making sure you are as prepared and protected as possible which is why we offer the ERP as a FREE service.  Homeowners can download the SERVPRO ERP app on their devices and fill it out in a step by step format.  Business owners can work with the local SERVPRO Representative and have an ERP conducted on their business.  

Call Jason Lindsay, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Sales & Marketing Representative, today to schedule your appointment.  

712-262-4379

Is Your Business Ready for the Holiday Rush?

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Local restaurant has carpets cleaned just in time for the busy season.

The holidays are right around the corner and with that means the influx of holiday shoppers and people in town, is your business looking as good as it could be?

Our team of specialists can make sure you are looking your best during the holiday season from a deep clean to simply cleaning your carpets, every little bit makes a difference when attracting and retaining customers.  

As you can see from the photo above, our team takes pride in their work and strives to ensure your business looks its best when it counts.  The holiday season is the perfect time to make a lasting impression on your customers and to create that relationship from a one time shopper to a long term customer and brand ambassador.  

When it comes to capturing that repeat customer and attracting more shoppers through your door, leave the look of your business in the hands of the professionals.  Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to make your business shine.  

712-262-4379

Common Causes of House Fires in Fall

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

Contents left unattended ignite kitchen fire, the picture shows the aftermath of the stove-top.

Fall in Northwest Iowa tends to mean lesser fire calls.  Statistics show that fall tends to be the season with the fewest amount of fires, but there are some potential hazards within your home that you can be easily taken care of to help stave off a disaster.  

1) Unattended Candles - Leaving a burning flame unattended is not always a recipe for disaster until you have a pet or small child.  The child or pet can inadvertently knock the candle onto the floor and start a fire.  Make sure you have those in an area that is without reach or keep a constant eye on the candle.  

2) Unattended Contents on Oven/Stove - It is easy to step away from the stove or oven when cooking/baking.  A quick run to the restroom or visitor at the door can take attention away from the stove and contents can boil over and quickly start a fire.  It does not take long for the fire to spread, make sure to keep a watchful eye on what you've got cooking! 

3) Dryer Vents - The vent tube on your dryer is a constant collector of lint which when heated enough can cause fire.  When running a vent tube try to minimize the number of turns of you have in the tube to promote proper airflow and minimization of lint accumulation.  At least once a year clean your vent tube, your local hardware store should have a kit to help get the hard to reach areas.  As an added benefit, this should help your clothes dry better.  

4) Poorly disposed of cigars/cigarettes - With the dry leaves and grass outside it is easy for smokers to flick their cigarette butts into the yard, but a small spark alone can start a fire.  Though northwest Iowa has suffered from its fair share of wet conditions, things may change and this is something to keep in mind.  Dispose of your cigar/cigarette butts responsibly.

5) Faulty Electrical - Many homeowners have taken to doing their own projects around the house including electrical.  Some things to consider when doing electrical work is making sure everything is grounded properly and that there are no loose connections.  Make sure to have wire nuts handy as well as electrical tape.  By not having proper connections the electrical current can arc and start a fire.  Also keep in mind as you replace outlets, when putting an outlet in high moisture areas use a GFI outlet to add an extra layer of protection. 

By taking a few precautionary steps, preventing a home or business fire can be easy.  Take the extra time and make sure it is done right and keep an eye on those potential hazard points.  

Remember, if disaster strikes call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

712-262-4379

Protect Against Water Loss

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

An example of a well organized closet space to help fight off water damage.

When water finds its way into your home, which in Northwest Iowa seems to be inevitable after this past summer, you want to make sure you take extra steps to make sure your belongings are protected.  

Something to remember when putting items in your basement is to make sure they are at a minimum of 6" off the ground.  If you place your items in cardboard boxes that will protect the bottom of the box and keep the contents inside the box dry.  

Another thing you can do is use plastic totes to place your items in.  They may cost more, but in the long run they offer an added level of protection that will keep your more prized possessions or cherished memories safe.  

A few other things to consider when protecting against water damage...

1) Clean your Sump Pump filter at least twice per year to ensure no debris has found its way in and the pump is working properly. 

2) Clean your gutters and landscaping to promote proper drainage away from the house.  Too much water running directly at the foundation of the home will lead to water finding its way in through cracks in the floor or walls of your basement.  

3) If possible have a backup battery for your sump pump so if there is a power outage in a storm the pump can continue to run as necessary.

Fall Burning

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Keep your leaf burning experience a happy one that can be cherished for years ahead.

One of the best memories many have growing up revolve around playing in the leaves during fall while mom and dad rake them into a pile and either prepare to burn or take to the appropriate dumping area.  

Growing up many of us can remember the smell of leaves burning and it brings happy memories, but burning leaves in the fall can prove to be tricky from time to time due to windy and dry conditions.  Due to the heavy rains throughout the last 6 months that should not be a problem here in Northwest Iowa, but it never hurts to take extra caution to ensure those leaves don't blow into your home causing a fire.  

Take the necessary steps to ensure your experience remains a happy one.  If disaster does strike, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

712-262-4379

Prepping for Fall/Winter

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning out your gutters in the fall can prevent many issues come spring.

Fall is officially underway and that means leaves are falling and crisp weather.  

For some homeowners they luck out and their leaves blow into their neighbors property, but for many they have to deal with the fall cleanup. While working on cleaning leaves out of the yard and landscaping, don't forget to pull the ladder out and clean the gutters to help stave off drainage issues come spring.  

When gutters fill with leaves they often become impacted throughout the winter months due to snow and ice sitting on top of them.  Once the warmer weather starts to roll around the homeowner can experience drainage issues due to these full gutters.  

Rather than the water pushing away from the house, the water will flow over the edge and fall into the foundation.  All of this can be prevented by cleaning out your gutters in the fall rather than waiting until the spring.  

If you find water in your basement, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 

712-262-4379

When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready!

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage!

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit your area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today... 712-262-4379

Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 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.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 712.262.4379

When to Call for Mold Remediation

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can grow behind trim, cabinets, or wainscoting unbeknownst to the home or business owner. If not detected quickly enough, repairs can be costly.

Have you ever walked into someone's home or basement and were blown away with a musty smell, allergy and asthma sufferers are especially sensitive to this odor.  

Mold can be found nearly everywhere inside and outside of a home or business, the key to preventing any issues are knowing the signs of mold.  If you cannot physically see mold then it should be understood that the musty odor is typically a key indicator that you have water damage somewhere in your home.  If left unrepaired for a long period of time, mold can begin to grow.  

Within the home or business mold can begin to grow on organic materials such as drywall, carpet, padding, etc.  Mold also requires moisture in order to grow so prolonged exposure to leaky pipes, humid environment, poor drainage from gutters or dehumidifiers, leaks in the roof or windows, sump pump failure are the most common causes of prolonged moisture damage.  

When mold begins to grow in a home or business it won't take long for those spots to become visible and those working or living in the area to begin feeling health issues.  Those issues can range anywhere from simple headaches to potentially more severe respiratory issues.  Even if an individual is not allergic to mold, prolonged exposure can start to take a toll on an individuals health.  

Make sure if you see mold or have a musty odor in your home or business, call the experts at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.  Our team of experts can come in and assess your property and remediate any damage returning it back "Like it never even happened."

Closing Up Your Cabin Couldn't Be Any Easier!

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

No job too close to too far away for our team. Our equipment can handle any job big or small, far or near. Call us today for your cleaning needs.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has had a busy summer up at the Iowa Great Lakes.  Many homes suffered water damage due to the unseasonably high amounts of precipitation that swept the area leaving the lakes and waterways finding ways into residents homes.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes would like to remind everyone that we are here for your needs whether that be to clean up after a disaster or simply button up your home or cottage for the winter.  Our team is ready to go and will treat your home with as much care and regard as you do.  

Contact us for a quote on buttoning up your cottage, or plan ahead for cleaning prior to your arrival next spring.  Our team of highly trained professional cleaners can help clean your home or cottage from top to bottom making it feel like the messes from the summer never even happened.  

Call today...712.262.4379!

Our goal is to make you cherish the memories but forget the mess "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has had a busy summer up at the Iowa Great Lakes.  Many homes suffered water damage due to the unseasonably high amounts of precipitation that swept the area leaving the lakes and waterways finding ways into residents homes.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes would like to remind everyone that we are here for your needs whether that be to clean up after a disaster or simply button up your home or cottage for the winter.  Our team is ready to go and will treat your home with as much care and regard as you do.  

Contact us for a quote on buttoning up your cottage, or plan ahead for cleaning prior to your arrival next spring.  Our team of highly trained professional cleaners can help clean your home or cottage from top to bottom making it feel like the messes from the summer never even happened.  

Call today...712.262.4379!

Our goal is to make you cherish the memories but forget the mess "Like it never even happened."

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

Soot remains after a local university kitchen fire. Though the visible remains can be cleaned remember residual odors are tricky to remove.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –
712.262.4379

National Preparedness Month - Are You Really Prepared?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Do you have an evacuation plan? Do you have a central location in case of tornado or severe storms planned? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit? Do your children know when the time is right to go to the basement when you aren't home? 

September is National Preparedness Month, take the time and make sure your family has a plan in place for any kind of emergency.  Practice that plan, as silly as some may think it sounds it is better to run a fire drill at home making sure everyone knows what to do than to be unprepared when the emergency happens.

Don't wait until its too late to prepare for an emergency.  Make sure to sign up for alerts and warnings for your area, and download other necessary apps to stay informed, such as the FEMA app and the local weather service app offering early warning of upcoming severe weather.

Learn Life Saving Skills

Do you or someone in your family know CPR or standard first aid? Could you turn off your natural gas, water, or electricity if necessary?  Knowing these life saving skills could mean life or death in an emergency situation for you, your family or your neighbors.

Check your Insurance Coverage

Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster? Evaluate which hazards are relevant to your area and obtain the appropriate insurance for your home, business, or other property and become familiar with your coverage.

Save for an Emergency

Are you financially prepared in case of a disaster? Does your family have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses after a flood or fire? Check out FEMA’s Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for an in-depth document to help you identify and compile important documents and account information all in one spot. Just search “EFFAK” on fema.gov for the free PDF.

Whether its flood, tornado or extreme winter weather, we must work together as a team to help ensure everyone is prepared, our families, businesses, places of worship and neighborhoods. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes to find out how they can turn disaster back “Like it never even happened”.

Come See us at the Clay Co Fair

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is excited to be a vendor this year at the Worlds Greatest County Fair, the Clay County Fair!

Stop by our booth to register for daily prize giveaways including 30oz tumblers, coolers, shirts, coffee cups and so much more.  Your registration for daily prizes automatically enters you into our drawing for FREE carpet cleaning.* 

All winners to be announced on our Facebook page at the end of every day, with the Grand Prize winner being announced the Monday after the close of the fair.  Make sure to follow us on Facebook to stay up to date

*Prizes can be picked up at our booth during the week of the fair or at our office after the close of the fair.  Free carpet cleaning is limited to 350sq ft.  

Understanding the Timeline of Water Damage

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Timeline

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes  712-262-4379

Here is a Typical Timeline for Water Damage:

Within Minutes:

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.
  
Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SERVPROofspencer/

Does your home smell like... Dog?

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

How to Eliminate Dog Odor

Summer weather is here and it is finally time to let the dog outside! For many of us living in Northwest Iowa our dogs are part of the family. Whether Fido is our hunting, walking, or riding buddy there is no amount of love that can make up for their doggy scent left behind on the furniture, the carpet the back seat of your car and even your clothes! 

Now that the warm weather has finally arrived, the door is open and Fido is out of the house, the smell seems to hang around! With family coming around for the occasional get-together we are here to offer some tips on keeping your house smelling clean!

How to Eliminate Dog Odor 

  1. Start off by taking all of the furniture apart – pillows, blankets and the like – and vacuuming everything thoroughly. If the sofa and chairs have removable slipcovers or cushion covers, take those off for washing. Get into the crevices of the furniture as deep as possible to remove all the hair, and flip the bed mattress to get both sides. On the floors, make sure to get under all of the furniture and in the corners, where “hair bunnies” tend to gather.
  2. On the carpets, bed and furniture, sprinkle baking soda liberally, using a cleaning brush to spread it around and into the fabric. Let it all sit overnight so that the baking soda has a chance to absorb the odors.  Follow up by vacuuming all of the baking soda from the bed, carpet and furnishings and returning the bed linens and cushion covers or slipcovers to the furniture.

If your cleaning requires more than you can do, bring your furniture or rugs by your local SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes! We will help you get your summer started off fresh!

Groundwater, backup, sump pump failure event announced

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Insurance loopholes you need to protect yourself against.

SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes, a local cleanup and restoration company, along with Community Insurance will be providing a free lunch and learn for realtors, property managers as well as the general public. This educational program will take place at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Spencer on Thursday, June 14 from 12:00 – 1:00 PM and a light lunch will be provided.

The session will cover the different types of insurance homeowners should be adding to their homeowner’s policy in the case of ground-water, water back-up, sump pump failure and/or sewer backup entering their basement.

“There is a million ways water can get into your home, but what homeowners don’t always understand is what type of coverage they need in each case. Many times, SERVPRO professionals visit a home with water damage and the homeowner is upset when their policy does not cover the water damage,” shared Lathe Toft, owner of SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes.

Scott Simpson, President of Community Insurance continued, “We are delighted that SERVPRO called our team to help educate home and business owners understand their policies better. It’s our goal to help policyholders take a deeper look at their policies before they have a major damage occur. Not knowing what’s in your policy can have serious financial consequences.”

Class size is limited, so SERVPRO is asking those interested to RSVP by calling their office at (712) 262-4379 or email vmoore@SERVPROspencer.com.

Choosing a sump pump that lasts!

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Flooded sump pump.

Besides a great insurance policy, the next best thing that will defend your home against flooding is a sump pump. Water is collected from around the foundation of your home through a drainage system, and runs into a basin/pit, where a sump pump will pump out the water up and away from your home. 

Types of Pumps

When you head over to Bomgaars or Menards (or your favorite plumbing supply store) you will be able to choose a submersible or column (pedestal) sump pump. Submersible pumps require larger pit because they are below the water. The benefit to this type of sump pump is that the motor cools quickly under the water and the noise level is reduced when it’s in operation. Pedestal sump pumps are great for small or narrow basin/pit. They tend to last longer because the motor is mounted above water. They also consume less power. The downfall of this type of pump is that it pumps less water during a flood. 

Types of Floats

With floats, you will have three options from which to choose: a tethered, vertical and electronic float switch. The tethered option is great for deep basins/pits. The extra length extends the period of time between cycles and allows the pump to cool off more efficiently. Vertical switches are better for narrow and shallow basins and will kick off the pump more often. Electronic switches are more compact and require a small pump pit. We recommend that you don’t use an electronic switch if your pump receives water from a wash sink or clothes washer to prevent soap scum from making contact with the switch.

Horsepower

More horsepower means that water is pumped out more quickly, but it also requires more power consumption. If your pit fills quickly – choose more horse power – or consider making your pit larger.

Check Valves

A check valve prevents water from the discharge pipe to fall back into the pit. If a check valve is not installed the sump pump may re-pump discharged water and may shorten the life of the pump.

Battery-Back-Up

We recommend that you install a backup pump that uses batteries to make sure water is pumped out during a power outage or when the main pump fails.

And as always, we recommend that you ensure your sump pump is working properly throughout the year. Test and maintain it monthly.

For professional fire, water, and mold restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes today at 712-262-4379.

You can control mold

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Learn how to control mold in your home.

Here are some great tips from the CDC [https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm]

Inside your home you can control mold growth by:

  • Controlling humidity levels;
  • Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows, and pipes;
  • Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
  • Ventilating shower, laundry, and cooking areas.

If mold is growing in your home, you need to clean up the mold and fix the moisture problem.

Mold growth can be removed from hard surfaces with commercial products, soap and water, or a bleach solution of no more than 1 cup of household laundry bleach in 1 gallon of water.

Mold growth, which often looks like spots, can be many different colors, and can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold, a health risk may be present. You do not need to know the type of mold growing in your home, and CDC does not recommend or perform routine sampling for molds. No matter what type of mold is present, you should remove it. Since the effect of mold on people can vary greatly, either because of the amount or type of mold, you can not rely on sampling and culturing to know your health risk. Also, good sampling for mold can be expensive, and standards for judging what is and what is not an acceptable quantity of mold have not been set. The best practice is to remove the mold and work to prevent future growth.

If you choose to use bleach to clean up mold:

  • Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners. Mixing bleach with ammonia or other cleaning products will produce dangerous, toxic fumes.
  • Open windows and doors to provide fresh air.
  • Wear non-porous gloves and protective eye wear.
  • If the area to be cleaned is more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide titled Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial buildings, this document also applies to other building types. You can get it by going to the EPA web site at https://www.epa.gov/mold/mold-remediation-schools-and-commercial-buildings-guide.
  • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product.


MOLD PREVENTION TIPS

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
  • Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
    Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.

To learn more about preventing mold in your home, see the Environmental Protection Agency’s publication A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture, and Your Home[PDF – 1.38 MB].

In addition to causing significant property damage, mold can produce allergens and irritants that can cause health effects. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate the mold in your home or business.

Have Mold Related Questions? 
Call Us Today 712-262-4379

FSRT Certification – IICRC

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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!

Don't DIY with Water Damage

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

This mold could have been avoided had the client called SERVPRO to dry their water damage.

This commercial client had a water leak and cleaned up the water without calling us. They assumed they had everything dried and went back to business as usual until their staff noticed a smell. This time they called SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

Our professionals discovered mold had developed as a result of insufficient drying. We then had to tear out the affected materials and reconstruct part of the room.

Our team wants to save you both money and time by drying water damage correctly the first time doing minimal reconstruction. We can restore your facility quickly and get you back in business without subjecting your staff to the health hazards mold may cause.

If you ever have a doubt about water damage, call us and we’ll come out with thermal cameras and water meters to assure you that the area was properly dried.

If it's already too late, don't worry, we can take care of mold too! 

Learn more here: http://www.SERVPROspenceriowagreatlakes.com/mold-remediation

Eliminating Car Odors with Ozone

2/17/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone rids offensive odors in the environment rather than merely filtering out some of the visible particles like other “air cleaners”.

If you are having odor issues in your car you can use ozone to efficiently and effectively oxidize (breakdown) any organic matter, killing the odor at its source. This is a great option to rid your vehicle of the stench of tobacco smoke and can even take care of the famous northwest Iowa farm smell – you know the one, it smells like money, but it’s a pain when it lingers in your car!

Here are the steps our staff takes when we ozone a vehicle:

  1. First, all rubber components on your console will be rubbed down with an Armor Guard product. If you have leather seats, we will apply a leather conditioner.
  2. Then we roll up the windows with the ozone machine placed and sealed through one of the windows. We then turn on the ozone machine and let it run for 15 minutes with your air conditioner running so that it cycles through your entire air system.
  3. We then turn off the vehicle and allow the ozone machine to run for an additional 30 minutes.
  4. After we run through that complete cycle, we turn off the machine and open all windows to ventilate the car for about 20 minutes.

After we complete the ozone your car is ready for pick-up – or we can detail the vehicle. We can also treat the upholstery and deodorize with lemon fresh mister on the floor of the vehicle.

To Schedule an ozone please contact us at (712) 262-4379 or email office@SERVPROspencer.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Ozone Handle Tobacco Smoke?

It eliminates the irritation caused by phenol gasses, by oxidizing them. Phenol gasses are the invisible part of tobacco smoke that cause such offensive odors, and discomfort to one’s eyes and nasal passages.

Ozone rids offensive odors in the environment rather than merely filtering out some of the visible particles like other “air cleaners”.

Is Ozone Safe?

Yes! Ozone is safe when used properly. There is no reason to fear ozone. Yes, breathing in overly high levels of ozone is not good for you. But low levels of ozone are all around us, and are safe to breathe.

What is Ozone?

When the oxygen (O2) that is all around us rises to the upper atmosphere, and is exposed to the sun's ultraviolet rays, that oxygen is naturally turned into ozone (O3). That is the "ozone layer" that protects us from the sun's harmful UV rays. Since ozone is heavier than air, it falls back to earth. This is the ozone that naturally purifies our air and water. Because it is made up entirely of oxygen, ozone is sometimes called "activated oxygen". Ozone occurs commonly in nature as a result of lightning strikes during thunderstorms. Ozone is also created by waterfalls. The “fresh, clean, spring rain” smell you notice after a storm results from natures creation of ozone.

Ozone is O3, three atoms of oxygen linked together, rather than the two atoms of oxygen, O2, we normally breathe. O3 Ozone is not smog

While some people mistakenly refer to ozone as smog, smog is actually a combination of hydrocarbons, the being CO2 CO, and SO2 that react with UV rays from the sun to form nitric oxides (NOX). These hydrocarbons are most commonly created by the exhaust that comes from automobiles.

The three atom form of oxygen is a naturally occurring compound in the earth’s atmosphere. The life cycle of ozone is: generation, oxidation, return to oxygen.

Ozone cannot be stored or transported because of its unstable tendency to break down quickly, so ozone must be generated on site. Because gaseous ozone is highly reactive, it readily oxidizes (breaks down) organic matter. When the ozone encounters another compound, one oxygen atom will break away, attach itself to the compound, and oxidize it. Ozone actually breaks down odor-causing compounds, thereby eliminating the odor and changing the ozone back to oxygen (O2).

One of the best features of ozone is its ability to control odors by attacking the offending organisms.

We have commercial grade ozone machines that we can use to eliminate odors.

Large Loss Electric Desiccant Dries 50,000 SQFT

2/10/2018 (Permalink)

Our large-loss desiccant can remove up to 392 gallons of water per day.

Now meeting the demands of larger residential and commercial water restoration jobs with a large-capacity mobile dehumidifier from ARID-Dry™5000 Large Loss Electric Desiccant, SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes professionals can work more efficiently and with faster time-response.

No Job is too big! Dries up to 50,000 square feet!

How it works:

  • Moisture collecting on Silica gel material embedded in rotor.
  • Dry processed air is released into required area.
  • Rotor brings soaked desiccant into “reactivation” air stream where it is heated.
  • As desiccant dries, it releases its moisture into reactivation air stream as water vapor which is ducted outside to atmosphere.
  • Cycle repeats on a continuous basis, providing a constant drying process.
  • It can remove up to 392 gallons of water per day.

The Advantages
The advantages of using large capacity mobile dehumidifiers with your projects are many. You can get more consistent drying cycles, faster and more consistent drying times. It’s also the most effective system on the market, outperforming refrigeration and convection-style heat-drying methods.

ARID-Dry skid and trailer mounted units are the leading solutions available for quickly and efficiently removing ambient water vapor from air. Useful in surface preparation, painting and coating and industrial condensation prevention, ARID-Dry is the best-in-class dryer available.

Water Damage and Restoration

When building materials come in contact with water due to piping failures, flooding or storms, losses can be contained by quickly drying out the structure. Desiccant dehumidifiers are used to quickly provide a low-dewpoint air stream to facilitate restoration of the structure. The low dew point acts as a sponge to pull moisture from building materials.

Mold and Fungus Prevention

Mold and fungus are normally dormant. When a building or structure is exposed to high humidity levels or liquid water due to flooding or leaks, the mold will proliferate rapidly. Drying out a structure completely and quickly is important to reduce the possibility of mold contamination. Desiccant dehumidifiers are the most cost- effective way to provide the deep drying needed to extract water from the building and interior components.

New Construction Dehumidification

Many materials used in new construction contain large quantities of water. Concrete and other construction materials evaporate water as they cure. If the material is covered before all the water has evaporated, hidden mold can form, causing odors and potential mold contamination. Modern construction technicians are now using desiccant dehumidification to reduce the possibility of mold contamination, and, in many cases, speed the drying process. This can result in faster construction schedules.

Why You Shouldn't Clean with Baking Soda & Vinegar

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

Vinegar + Baking Soda = The Ultimate Cleanser?

If you are like me, I tend to look at product labels, and look for the safest product for my family. Sometimes that means that I use natural cleaning methods in my home. One I never doubted from the ever-popular Pinterest post, was using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda. I assumed the bubbly mixture was doing the hard work and cleaning the tough stuff. Then I started doing some more digging and learned about this not-so-dynamic duo.

I’ll condense what I learned to save you some time and money. Baking soda is a weak base and vinegar is acidic and when you put them together you end up with mostly water and sodium acetate (salt). Really, it’s mostly just water. Plus, vinegar and baking soda are not surfactants, so they do not help carry oil and grease away. It is probably one of the most ineffective cleaning solutions you could use.

Hot water would be a better cleaning method, especially for oil and grease. Add a touch of a mild detergent and that hot water will get enough of a kick to power through the hard stuff.

So, save the baking soda for cookies (or to put out your next fire if you don’t have a proper fire extinguisher) and save the vinegar for your next salad.

Think Outside the Box (of Chocolates) This Year!

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Who wouldn’t want a cleaning service Gift Certificate for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is more than simply a day for romance. It is a day to tell those you love how much you care. By finding unique ways to express your feelings, you tell the special people in your life that they are worth thinking about and finding a unique and thoughtful gift that is designed just for them. Professional cleaning can be just that kind of gift and for a limited time SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes is offering discount gift certificates!

Say I love you with the gift of freedom from those pesky chores and order your loved one a professional cleaning from SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. You’ll be sending them a message that he/she deserves a rest.

Call us at (712) 262-4379

Just Because Package - Save $20

Who wouldn’t want a cleaning service Gift Certificate for Valentine’s Day?

Give that special someone the help he/she needs.

3 hours pro cleaning with 2 technicians.*

$250 + tax

The Ahhh! Package - Save $50

Nice gift for your sweetheart!

3 hours pro cleaning with 2 technicians.*
+ Carpet Cleaning Up to 350 SQFT
+ Upholstery Cleaning - Couch & Love Seat

$450 + tax


The WOW! Package - Save $100

Wow your sweetheart with this dynamic package that keeps on giving.

12 hours pro cleaning with 2 technicians.*
+ Wine Gift Basket
+ Assorted Candies

$999 + tax

The Sweetheart Package - Save $200

What’s better than a clean house year-round?!

24 hours pro cleaning with 2 technicians.*
+ Bottle of wine/champagne
+ 2 wine/champagne glasses
+ Assorted chocolates

$1999 + tax

* Terms and Conditions for All Packages. Must be scheduled in at least 3 hour increments with 2 technicians. Service can be performed on date requested by recipient. Booking will be based on availability. Additional mileage fees apply outside of service area. To schedule a cleaning using gift certificates from these packages you must purchase package first and then call (712) 262-4379 to schedule. All gift certificates are non-refundable and must be used in its entirety within 14 months of purchase.

It's the Moisture You Can't See That Matters Most.

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

Notice the high number, along with the red swish lit up around the display,verifying that this trim is completely saturated.

Before we begin any water damage restoration job whether ins Storm Lake, Spencer Algona or Southern Minnesota, Chris our Project Manager assesses and documents where the water damage has occurred. 

He relies on a Surveymaster Protimeter moisture meter during his inspection. This important piece of equipment allows Chris to assess the moisture levels and diagnose moisture-related problems.

Excessive moisture in buildings can lead
to decay and deterioration of components and
decorative finishes.

The Surveymaster using two operational modes:

Search and measure. These
functions help Chris to distinguish
sub-surface from surface moisture, essential
information when trying to establish the
extent and cause of a dampness problem.

Chris then works with our team of SERVPRO technicians to:

  • Identify the extent of the moisture penetration
  • Diagnose the cause of the problem
  • Monitor change in the moisture level

Have Water or Flood Damage?
Call Us Today – (712) 262-4379

We’re Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

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.

Learn More

Why You Should NEVER Use Bleach to Clean Mold

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

The surface mold looks gone (it's bleached white) but the internal mold always remains to grow back.

Chlorine bleach is generally seen as your “go-to” cleaner for tough jobs. Mold removal requires a heavy duty cleaner, but recently, many of the hazards of bleach are gaining more media attention causing people to take a closer look at the way they clean in Spencer, Storm Lake and Milford, Iowa.

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) was one of the first federal agencies to STOP recommending the use of liquid bleach for mold remediation. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has since edited their “A brief guide to mold and moisture and your home” to exclude their once suggested use of bleach as a means to kill mold.

Big bleach labels have promised you that nothing else will do the job like bleach. Chlorine bleach is most well-known for its disinfecting properties but that doesn't mean it's the best choice for mold. Its main function is to disinfect and to, well, bleach or change the color. But after use, what usually happens? The moldy color looks like it’s gone but within a week or two the mold usually comes back and sometimes worse! Most homeowners don’t put together that it’s the bleach causing this reaction and not a really bad case of mold. The fact remains that if the mold is not removed from the material, it will most likely always return.

Does Bleach kill mold?

Yes, but it comes with a catch. Bleach labels will warn you that chlorine bleach will only be effective on a “hard, non-porous surface.’’ This basically means that chlorine bleach is not made to “soak in.” Therefore, its disinfecting properties are limited to a hard surface like tile or glass. So here’s the problem: To ensure survival, mold spores spread its roots (Mycelia) deep into a porous surface. Mold remediation requires a cleaner to reach deep down into wood and other porous building materials to remove or "pull out" the roots. The properties of bleach prevent it from soaking into these materials. The surface mold looks gone (it's bleached white) but the internal mold always remains to grow back.

Another issue: Bleach contains 90% water and mold LOVES water. When bleach is applied, the chlorine quickly evaporates after use leaving behind A LOT of water. This water often soaks into the porous surface allowing the mold to flourish and re-grow in this moist environment. So in effect, using bleach actually feeds the internal mold spores! Although the surface may look bleached and clean, the remaining spores will root deeper, stronger and will often return worse than before.

Bleach and mold. A few facts to remember:

  • In some cases, bleach will encourage toxic mold to grow where it was not present before.
  • Bleach will only remove the green stain from mold. The surface will appear clean but internal roots will continue to grow.
  • OSHA and the EPA have specifically advised against the use of bleach for mold remediation.
  • Chlorine bleach is caustic and extremely harmful to wood and many other surfaces. If bleach is used on wood, it will weaken the wood by breaking down its fibers. This can create further problems with the structural integrity of the home.
  • When bleach is mixed with ammonia it creates a deadly gas!
  • Bleach itself is considered a toxic chemical and is classified the same as gasoline.
  • In its gaseous form (room temperature) chlorine releases Dioxins, a known cancer causing compound.
  • Bleach is highly corrosive to skin. Exposure to bare skin creates a hydrolysis reaction. This means the “oily” feeling is actually the top layer of your skin beginning to dissolve!
  • Bleach is not only hazardous to your health, it will make your mold problem worse in the long run.

A safer and more effective alternative to Chlorine Bleach:

Dead or alive, mold spores can still remain allergenic. In some severe cases, depending on the material, it may need to be replaced. Hard surfaces that aren't ruined by moisture damage can be salvaged and cleaned.

In this scenario, we recommend Concrobium Mold Control® is an EPA-registered solution that remediates and prevents mold without any harmful chemicals. Concrobium® Mold Control dries to form an invisible antimicrobial shield that encapsulates and physically crushes mold spores. The antimicrobial barrier remains on surfaces to provide continuous protection against mold growth.

We also use Sporicidin®, an EPA registered disinfectant for hard surfaces, and a cleaner and deodorizer for porous surfaces. The active ingredients phenol and sodium phenate, are also FDA approved for use in over-the-counter medicines such as throat sprays. Effective against a wide range of pathogens, Sporicidin Disinfectant Solution can be used for mold remediation work, bloodborne pathogen work (Tuberculocidal), and sewage jobs. Sporicidin®  provides residual bacteriostatic activity for up to six months. In addition to its biocidal activity, Sporicidin®  is also an effective deodorizer, and is less hazardous than other biocide type products.

Our team finishes with a mold resistant coating that adheres to porous and non-porous surfaces and leaves a durable, long-lasting barrier.

If mold has occurred once, it can always occur again. SERVPRO woprks hard to help keep this from happening and will provide your home with a protective barrier to prevent future mold growth.

To learn more about our mold remediation services visit our Mold Remediation and Restoration webpage.

It's not a fan, it's an air mover!

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

No fancy fan here, but an essential tool that can save you thousands.

If water has made its way into your home, whether in Spencer, Storm Lake, or southern Minnesota, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help.

Our team of Restoration Technicians are trained using IICRC standards to make it “Like it never even happened.” using specialized techniques and industrial equipment designed to mitigate damage and prepare the property for reconstruction. Our warehouses and trucks are stocked with equipment that will extract standing water and then, based on environmental conditions, dry the property to prepare it for reconstruction. The most common equipment you’ll see installed are industrial dehumidifiers, air scrubbers, and air movers.

Air movers? When I told my husband about the equipment we use at my new job, he said, "isn't that just a fancy fan?" Funny guy.

An air mover is much more than a fan, it’s an essential tool for mitigating water damage. This devise creates high-velocity airflow, allowing an environment to dry as quickly and efficiently as possible. Combined with dehumidifiers, it’s a powerful combination that restores the environment to original conditions and is a necessary tool for water restoration.

Advantages of air movers include:

  • Energy Efficient: Air movers use minimal power for maximum air flow.
  • High velocity: Air movers work great for ventilation and cooling.
  • Speeds drying time: Air movers help floors, carpets and wall cavities dry faster.

When the drying process time is reduced so are the chances of a second loss or additional damage, which can include microbial growth.

No fancy fan here, but an essential tool that can save you thousands.

Why Do-It-Yourself Mold Testing Kits are Useless

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for all of your mold concerns. We can refer you to a certified environmental hygienist.

If you look on the internet, there are scores of DIY mold test kits. Before you invest in one of these kits, here are things you ought to know about mold:

  • Mold is everywhere and every single house has some form of “mold.”
  • Most self-test mold kits only tell you if your home has mold, but often provides false negatives and positives. It also does not tell you what kind of mold or how to kill it.

A true mold test can only be conducted by a Professional Environmental testing company; they determine the type of mold, the source of the moisture, and how to kill the mold at the core. They create a protocol, which can be read by an IICRC professional (like us!).  It’s best to use a testing company that does not do cleaning themselves because their assessment will be unbiased.

  • Mold is more often hidden, sometimes under the floor or in the walls, or in your air ducts

Where the mold is located, often dictates where the moisture is affecting the building

  • Untreated water damage may result in mold growth within 24-48 hours of the event

Wood, insulation, fiberglass, carpet and other organic substances become a thriving environment for mold once there is moisture present for more than 24 hours. After a week, it is almost guaranteed.

Free estimates or removing mold yourself cost homeowners more in the long run

Be wary of companies who advertise free mold testing. Free mold tests are often offered by people who are uncertified or inexperienced and if they do the mold testing themselves, they are using these kits mentioned above. Unless they are a certified Environmental Hygienist and have a PhD in microbiology, they do not have the knowledge or resources to truly diagnose the mold condition in your home.

  • The source of the mold is never addressed, so the problem is reoccurring.
  • They use the “self-test” kits mentioned above instead of environmental testing with diagnostics
  • Remove only topical mold instead of killing it at the source
  • They often remove more walls and floors than needed which increases the price to rebuild.
  • They do not remove enough, or don’t use the right materials which brings the mold back.

This means you have to pay to have it removed again, and have more sanitation and demolition performed, which increases the price to rebuild and replace tremendously.

What you should do instead

Having mold can be scary, especially if anyone in your home is prone to getting sick (people with asthma, low immune systems, allergies, babies and the elderly). We recommend the following course of action if you need to have mold removed from your home.

  1. Measure the area affected and check for moisture.
  2. Call your insurance company, ask:
  • If you are covered for mold
  • What is your deductible
  • What is your coverage
  • Ask for a company that they approve of for mold mitigation (Chances are, it’s us.)

If your insurance company says you can use anyone – or if you are not going through insurance then look for someone who is certified in

  • IICRC, Water Restoration Technician
  • IICRC, Mold restoration
  • IICRC, Applied Structural Drying
  • Now that you’re armed with knowledge, it’s time to start making some calls.

Now that you know your coverage, how much visible mold there is in your home, and whom your insurance company approves as mold remediation specialists. It’s time to start making some calls.

Tips to Help Ease Threat of Frozen Pipes

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 65° F.

Thanks to the Spencer Daily Reporter for including us in their latest article about protecting your home during the winter months. 

Here are some additional tips from SERVPRO:

  • Insulate all the exposed pipes in your home. Especially where they may be unheated, such as the basement, attic, garage, crawl space, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
  • Keep the temperature the same during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower temperatures in the evening, you can prevent a costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • Close any inside values that supply water outdoors and open the outside value to properly drain excess water that may be in the pipes.
  • In drastically cold temperatures, let your faucet trickle. While you may be concerned about wasting water, running water is less likely to freeze.
  • Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Keep outside valves open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing it to break.
  • If you plan to be away from home for an extended period of time, leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 65° F.

 Found a Frozen Pipe? Thaw It Out:

  • If you turn on a faucet and only a few drips come out, suspect a frozen pipe. Typically, frozen pipes are found along exterior walls or where your water service enters your home through the foundation.
  • Make sure the faucet remains on while treating the pipes, as the flowing water will help to melt the ice within the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe using an electric heating pad, an electric hair dryer, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. Do not use a blowtorch, kerosene or propane heater, or other open flame device.
  • Check all other faucets in your home to find out if you have additional frozen pipes. If one pipe freezes, others may freeze too. 

Should you experience a loss resulting from water damage, turn off the water supply as soon as possible, and call SERVPRO or another water damage/restoration company. The longer you wait to call, the greater the chance of mold growth and unrecoverable property. SERVPRO professionals have the expertise to prevent or mitigate the devastating effects that water damage can have.

A Year of Firsts

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year for your friends at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

This year has flown by for all of us at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes. It has been quite a learning process, but also a time to celebrate a lot of firsts!

Lathe and Ryan took ownership of the Spencer and Estherville franchises in November of 2016 and since then it’s been a whirlwind. They attended new franchise trainings, franchise management courses, and the SERVPRO Industries annual convention. Most importantly, they became certified through The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) providing a higher level of competency in our field of business.  

Previous owner Doug Corcoran stayed with Lathe and Ryan for a full year after they purchased the business to help as they got their feet wet (pun intended) in new franchise ownership. Our staff was proud to celebrate with Doug as he retired this year and thanked him for the 40+ years he served Spencer and NW Iowa while building a highly successful business to invest in. Doug was able to celebrate a first as well, his first Thanksgiving not spent on-call!

Not long after we got through the “frozen pipe season,” a hurricane named Harvey made it’s way over Houston, Texas and left a wave of destruction in it’s path. Thanks to the foresight of Lathe and Ryan, they had purchased a commercial desiccant dehumidifier – one of the firsts in Iowa and we were able to take a crew and the new equipment to Houston to help in the clean-up.

In the meantime, they began to actively search for additional employees to help manage fire and water-loss projects and marketing of the additional services they were now able to provide. In August, they hired our first Sales Manager, Sue Loring. Shortly following, they hired our first Project Manager Chris Abram and lastly Marketing Manager Vanessa Moore. As business continued to increase, they began hiring more production crew members and we currently boast a payroll staff of over 15 full-time employees.

With the increase in business Lathe and Ryan found themselves able to provide full health, vision, dental benefits and retirement matching for their staff – a first for the local franchise.

But that wasn’t it for a year of firsts! Our crew was able to provide the Spencer Fire Department with a slew of Dalmatians to comfort children in auto and fire incidents. We were also able to provide a family in need with a smoke detector and fire extinguisher. (We hope to continue and expand these traditions in the upcoming years.)

And, earlier this month, we hosted our first continuing education event for area insurance professionals – with over 65 participants in attendance in December. And finally, we hosted our first After Hours event boasting 50+ in attendance.

As our year of firsts comes to an end, we wanted to write another first. A year of accomplishments, hard-work, tears and sweat, but also a perfect time to say thank you to all our new and returning customers, without you none of these firsts could have happened.

But most importantly, as our busy season is soon upon us, please consider donating locally to the Red Cross, or through another organization who helps families who have been made vulnerable by fire, water or storm damage.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dryer Vents & Fire Prevention

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Dryer vent warning signs.

According to FEMA, failure to clean home dryers causes 34% of home dryer fires. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss and can cause injury or death. To reduce the risk of these fires happening in your own home or business, SERVPRO can help clean dryer vents and ducts that may have lint buildup.

Other tips for keeping your dryer vents clean from the National Fire Protection Agency include cleaning the lint filter before and after each each load, and making sure the outdoor vent flap will open and is not restricted by snow, a birds nest or other potential obstacles.

If your home or business is ever affected by fire or smoke damage due to a dryer fire, call us in for a free estimate. Our trained professionals will work with you and your insurance to assess the damage and develop a plan to get you back up and running as soon as possible.

 *Featured Article from the April SERVPRO Restoration Newsline

“Resolve to be Ready” in 2018

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

“Resolve to be Ready” in 2018

Local cleanup and restoration specialist shares no-cost emergency planning tools that enable fast and effective disaster response and recovery

With the New Year upon us, now is the perfect time to think about making some resolutions, according to Vanessa Moore, Marketing Manager of SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. While resolutions typically involve committing to personal changes and reaching goals, Moore says the single most important resolution both business and homeowners can make for 2018 is to “Resolve to be Ready.”

“Preparing in advance to deal with the unexpected can make a world of difference in how quickly and completely property owners can put the pieces of their lives back together,” says Moore. “Emergency readiness plans are the foundation for effective and timely emergency response.”

Moore encourages all property owners to take advantage of the no-cost emergency planning tools available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) (www.ready.gov/publications), as well as SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile and READY Plan Mobile App (http://ready.SERVPRO.com).

For homeowners:

FEMA resources include guidelines for a creating a Family Emergency Plan and Emergency Supply List, with additional tips for pet owners, seniors, people with disabilities, and even commuters.

SERVPRO offers their free SERVPRO READY Plan app, which stores critical contact and property information electronically in advance, where it can be accessed with a mobile device in seconds if disaster strikes.

For business owners:

FEMA offers materials on topics ranging from creating a Business Continuity Plan to an Insurance Discussion Coverage Form in addition to guidelines for creating an Emergency Response Plan.

For businesses, SERVPRO offers a no-cost facility assessment and assistance in creating a comprehensive Emergency READY Profile® (ERP). The ERP includes information about emergency contact numbers, priority and high/risk areas, shut-off valve locations and more that can then be stored in the READY app.

“The time to gather and store information like emergency contact numbers; insurance contacts; and the location of fuse boxes, fire suppression system controls, and such is before an emergency strikes, not during an emergency,” says Moore. “Having this information at your fingertips can help emergency responders react as quickly and effectively as possible, helping to limit loss of property and even lives.”

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 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 Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes, please contact Vanessa Moore at (712) 262-4379 or vmoore@SERVPROspencer.com. For more information on the SERVPRO mobile app and the SERVPRO Emergency READY Program, please visit www.ready.SERVPRO.com.

Thank You Spencer!

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Thanks to all who attended for making the evening a successful one!

Our crew would like to extend a warm thank you to all those who attended our Business After Hours on Tuesday evening.

It was great to meet each of you and it warmed our hearts that so many of our past water and fire clients made it a point to swing by on such a cold evening! We understand there were a lot of Christmas activities the evening of our event, so it was extra special that over 50 folks walked through our doors!

We hope that you enjoyed the delicious food prepared by our friend, and past water damage client, Eve Freeman as well as the desserts made by our own crew member, Carol Bernardy. We can’t forget to mention that our Sales Manager Sue Loring spiced up the evening with her SERVPRO green spiked punch!

We all know that food and beverages are always the heart of a great event and these awesome ladies knocked this one out of the park!

We also wanted to take the time to thank Bill Campbell, Becky Fear-Hatting and Mari Lu Larson of the Spencer Chamber of Commerce for always serving as the central nucleus to employers in the city of Spencer and working with us to put this event together!

Again, thank you everyone for making the evening a successful one for our business. We appreciate the support that Spencer and the surrounding communities have shown us!

Are You Covered for Fire Damage?

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

If you currently rent a house or apartment and you do not have renter’s insurance, please take the time to get a quote for this coverage.

Do you rent a house or apartment? Do you have renter’s insurance? Unfortunately, our franchise is frequently called to the scene of fires where tenants do not have coverage for their contents. No coverage means they risk losing everything they value in the event of a fire or other catastrophe. Fires are always terrible, but fires without proper insurance are heartbreaking.

Earlier this year, a fellow SERVPRO franchise was called to clean after a fire in a house. A short circuit caused an oven range fire that affected the whole house, especially the kitchen. Heavy soot covered all surfaces and contents, including cabinet and closet interiors.

Owner’s Insurance
The property owner had insurance to cover the building. Their certified fire technicians were able to clean the soot off the ceiling, walls, and floors. However, they could only clean the exterior of the cabinets and closets, because the insurance company and property owner would only agree to pay for their areas of responsibility.

No Tenant’s Insurance
The tenant was on the hook for any contents cleaning, but the tenant did not have renter’s insurance to cover the contents. Without renter’s insurance, any destroyed items were a total loss for the tenant. Even worse, if the tenant did not have the right training and materials for soot removal, there is a good chance the tenant damaged items that could have been restored by an experienced fire restoration cleaner.

Talk to Your Insurance Agent/Carrier
If you currently rent a house or apartment and you do not have renter’s insurance, please take the time to get a quote for this coverage. You will likely find the coverage is less expensive than you expected and well worth protecting everything you keep in your home.

Here at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes, we are committed to restoring property following a fire or flood. Please consider carrying the right insurance coverage to ensure we are able to make your disaster "Like it never even happened."

Successful CE Seminar at The Okoboji Commons Hotel

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes hosted a CE seminar at The Okoboji Commons Hotel at the Iowa Great Lakes.

On Friday, December 1, 2017, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes hosted a CE seminar at The Okoboji Commons Hotel at the Iowa Great Lakes.

The seminar was led by Todd Davis. Todd is the owner and operator of the Davis Agency Insurance in Peoria, Ill. Todd was licensed and started his insurance career at age 15 by working for the family agency in the office. After attending Bradley University, with a major in Mechanical Engineering (later returning for a degree in Marketing and Public Relations), Todd re-entered the family agency with his father. In 1985, Todd became a partner and then purchased the agency in 1992.

Todd teaches classes in Illinois, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Minnesota for organizations including the Independent Insurance Agents of Illinois (IIA of Illinois) and the Independent Insurance agents of Wisconsin (IIAW).

Over 65 area insurance professionals attended the free seminar where they learned about ethics and various types of insurance claims relating to mitigation. 

About Our CE Courses

SERVPRO offers both credit and non-credit courses for insurance agents, insurance adjusters and Real Estate professionals. The CE courses provide you with information to better service your customers.

These programs are designed to improve the knowledge of your staff regarding emergency mitigation. 

Here are some of the CE courses that are offered by SERVPRO

  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry
  • Restorative Drying for Water Damage
  • Mitigation Awareness Response Seminar
  • Biohazard Cleanup
  • Ethics

Continuing Education Courses (CE) are available twice a year through SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. To be informed about upcoming course offerings, please email vmoore@SERVPROspencer.com.

What Sets Us Apart From Other “Cleaners”

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Industries, Inc. is a member of the EPA’s Design for Environment (DFE) program.

We are proud to be able to work with some of the best cleaning products which are exclusive to the SERVPRO brand. These professional-grade cleaning products are formulated to be environmentally friendly, and more importantly safe and effective to use in your home or business.

Here are just a few of the common products we may use at a jobsite:

  • Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean is a product designed for cleaning both carpet and upholstery. It is truly a “one product does all” in that it can be used as a spotter, pre-spray, in-line cleaner for both truck mount and portable equipment, and in low-moisture bonnet cleaning. The product is pH neutral, biodegradable, contains no phosphates, solvents, dyes or fragrances.
  • All Surface Green Clean is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional surface cleaners. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) compliant and rapidly bio-degradable. The product is designed as a one product cleans all for surfaces that can be wiped or mopped. It can safely be used on walls, ceilings, countertops, floors, etc. The exclusive formulation contains both ionic and non-ionic surfactants that are naturally derived and provide excellent multi-functional cleaning.
  • Window Green Clean is an environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional glass cleaners. It is pH neutral, contains no dyes or fragrances. All components are safe, non-toxic, phosphate free, VOC-compliant and rapidly biodegradable. The product comes ready to use and is formulated with soft water to eliminate spotting and streaking.

Setting the Stage for Your Property

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Let us give your house a special edge to make it show at its very best!

Do you have a home on the market to sell or are you thinking of selling your home? Let us give your house a special edge to make it show at its very best!

Cleanliness is the first thing buyers notice about a property, and a clean home instantly communicates value. So whether you are showing a fix-it-up foreclosure, a newly updated property, or a brand new dream, cleaning services are your secret to success.

Market Ready

A home must be clean BEFORE it goes on the market. Sometimes it becomes the realtor's job to get that home spic and span before taking pictures for a listing or inviting prospective buyers to view the property. Using a professional cleaning service can help speed up that process.

A Clean Move-in

A clean home is the least your client deserves for their exciting move-in. It’s a great idea for realtors to make it their policy to schedule move-in cleanings for all their properties. Clients won’t forget the gesture and you will build a reputation of excellence and generosity among your peers.

Post-Construction Cleaning

A brand new property sounds like it would be clean, right? Wrong. Even new homes gather debris, while contractors strive to leave their projects clean and complete, a bit of construction dust is inevitable. A cleaning service can be ideal to tidy up the dust of construction

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offers deep cleaning, regular visits, and move-in cleaning specifically for your clients. Our services can be the perfect gift, and your client will remember your personal touch when recommending realtors to their friends.

When to use SERVPRO Real Estate

  • open houses
  • showings and closing day
  • new homes – post construction clean up
  • vacation rental properties (seasonal cleaning)
  • gift for your clients

Types of cleaning offered by SERVPRO

  • Window cleaning
  • Multi-unit properties
  • Concrete cleaning
  • Cobweb removal
  • Professional carpet cleaning
  • Nicotine cleaning
  • Garage cleaning
  • Upholstery cleaning
  • Deodorization - including dog and cat smells

Like it never even happened.®

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

Quick to respond, SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes was able to save The Okoboji Commons Hotel.

Earlier this year The Okoboji Commons Hotel suffered a devastating water-loss when a main water break occurred. 

The hotel was getting ready to close for the season when water infiltrated their lower laundry area and their executive suite. Okoboji Commons Hotel Co-Owner Kristi Leigh acted quickly and called SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes. 

The crew at SERVPRO worked quickly to assess the damage and quickly dry the area. It was determined at that time that some portions of the ceiling and much of the drywall near the floor was affected by the water and would need to be removed and replaced. 

To quickly dry the area, the team used a multi-disciplined approach. For the hard surface and carpeted flooring the crew used professional-grade dehumidifiers and water extraction units. They also placed air movers to help dry the area and move the humidity outdoors. Also important to the drying process was applying SERVPRO's exclusive plant-based anti-microbial agent.

By working quickly to extract and move the water the crew was able to avoid mold growth and further damage to the over 14,000 square feet of the hotel which was affected. Reconstruction happened quickly and the crew was able to stay on time to meet the hotel's deadlines to make sure that they were ready for business prior to their opening season. 

View Before and After Photos >>

Don't Miss Your Chance!

10/27/2017 (Permalink)

Be a Hero!

Do you love helping people through difficult situations?

Then, don’t miss your chance to join our Franchise as a new Production Technician. In this position, you will be making a difference each and every day. We have a sincere drive toward the goal of helping make fire and water damage “Like it never even happened.”

Our Franchise is seeking someone who is comfortable working hard in challenging situations, enjoys meeting new people, has excellent communication skills, and is a serious multi-tasker. If you are self-motivated and have superb interpersonal skills, then you’ll thrive in this work environment. Are you highly dependable and super-excited about routinely exceeding expectations? Then you may be our perfect hero!

As a valued SERVPRO® Franchise employee, you will receive a competitive pay rate, with opportunity to learn and grow.

Primary Responsibilities
• Inventory and load the work vehicle with equipment, products, and supplies needed for each project.
• Maintain a clean and organized vehicle and clean equipment appearance.
• Prepare rooms/areas for work activities. Set up staging area and equipment for each project.
• Leave jobsite with a clean and orderly appearance.
• Perform production processes following SERVPRO® production guidelines per work order per crew chief directions.
• Ensure clear two-way communication with crew chief and other technicians (especially regarding customer needs and concerns).
• Perform end-of-day/end-of-job cleanup and breakdown. Leave jobsite with a clean and orderly appearance.

Position Requirements
• Effective oral communication
• Basic math skills
• Experience in cleaning/restoration preferred
• High school diploma/GED
• IICRC certifications preferred
• Ability to lift a minimum of 50 pounds regularly, occasionally up to 100 pounds with assistance
• Ability to climb ladders, work at ceiling heights, work in tight spaces (e.g., crawls spaces, attics)
• Ability to sit/stand/walk for prolonged periods of time
• Ability to repetitively push/pull/lift/carry objects
• Ability to work with/around cleaning products/chemicals
• Ability to travel locally and out of state when necessary
• Ability to successfully complete a background check subject to applicable law


Pay Rate
Starts at $12-15 hour based on experience, with possibility of overtime pay and increases based on merit.

TO APPLY: E-mail your resume and/or a brief description of work history to office@SERVPROspencer.com or call us at (712) 262-4379. 

What's Our Sales Manager Doing This Week?

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

The Okoboji Commons Hotel features 77 guest rooms, a restaurant, meeting room, courtyard, retail area and beach front on East Lake Okoboji.

Sue, our Sales Manager, has been on the road for the past week delivering invites for our December Continuing Education seminar to area insurance professionals. The two-part seminar will take place at The Okoboji Commons Hotel on Friday, Dec. 1 from 8:30AM to 4:00PM. Insurance agents and adjusters will receive up to seven continuing education credits.

We are especially excited to hold our classes at the beautiful Okoboji Commons Hotel, which is coincidentally a past commercial water-loss client. The Parliament Room, in which the seminar will be held, is a gorgeous room with unique lighting and a bar that will be the backdrop for our light breakfast on the morning of the seminar.

Our team has also been working with culinary-trained Chef Jeremy Nepple and Okoboji Commons Hotel owner Kristi Leigh to put together a delicious lunch that will be included during the day’s activities.

Our team is excited to end the day of classes at The Commons Tasting Room, which is anything but common! The beautifully decorated cottage features thoughtful crafted cocktails and small bites – an uncommon tasting experience. We will have their mixologists creatively craft and design each cocktail for our guests!

It is no wonder that insurance professionals in northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota are eagerly reserving their seats much more quickly than we had anticipated! Our seminar is already half-full, and we couldn’t be any more grateful for the response we’ve had, and interest shown in this event.

If you would like to reserve a seat for yourself or your team of insurance professionals, there is still a little time left! SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes will be taking registrations until Friday, Nov. 17.

We will plan a Continuing Education event twice a year so if you would like to be included on upcoming class notification please email vmoore@SERVPROspencer.com.  

Holiday Cleaning Can Be Pain, Don't Stress Let Us Help

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

House cleaning for the holidays offered by SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

The time for family and friend gatherings are just around the corner. You may be planning for frenzied football fun, for tempting Thanksgiving feasts, or just quiet times of solitude. Part of the preparation for the fall season is a clean home. 

Let SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes ease some of that burden with our excellent carpet cleaning service. Whether you need some annual cleaning, spot treatment, or want to get that pet odor out of the rug just before your in-laws come in, we are here to help. If you would prefer to wait until after your nieces and nephews track in mud and dirt after playing all day in the yard, we can help with that as well.

Our crew can also help with general cleanings such as bathrooms, kitchens - all to get your home in tip-top shape before company arrives.

But don’t wait until the last minute, remember that the quality carpet cleaning companies like ours book up quickly around the holidays, and just after, so make sure you call and book in advance.

Call and schedule your appointment today! (712) 262-4379

For Immediate Service in Spencer, Iowa Call SERVPRO

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes provides immediate service day or night!

SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in northwest Iowa. 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
712-262-4379

Residential Services

Whether your northwest Iowa 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

Commercial 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

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Northwest Iowa Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 712-262-4379

Bring Your Family Heirlooms Back to Life

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

Carol worked with one of our ultrasonic cleaning tanks to remove extreme smoke damage from these family heirlooms.

Our Ultrasonic Machine is located in our Spencer office. This machine is used to clean many different items including items damaged by mold or soot. We can clean some electronics, jewelry, guns, family heirlooms, light fixtures, porcelain dolls, etc.


The benefits of Ultrasonic cleaning are:

  • Offers a deep and even clean
  • Very delicate cleaning for those delicate items
  • High speed and energy efficient cleaning
  • Minimal chemicals

Ultrasonic works with high-frequency ultrasonic vibrations, along with the special cleaning solutions, to create the effect of millions of tiny bubbles which breakdown contaminants off the target surface without the need for scrubbing.

If you have an item that you would like to have deep cleaned with our ultrasonic machine just let us know.

Even if you don't have fire and water damage at your home and you just need an item deep cleaned, feel free to bring it in and we will be happy to clean the item quickly and thoroughly for you.

My Carpet Cleaning Appointment Was Rescheduled...

10/17/2017 (Permalink)

Drying and Dehumidification

You would be surprised how many times people in northwest Iowa categorize us as “the carpet cleaners.”  While we pride ourselves on the hard work our crews put into cleaning carpets daily in the Iowa Great Lakes area, the cornerstone of our business is fire and water restoration.

At our headquarters in Spencer we receive calls 24-hours a day from homeowners and property managers with water-loss and fire damage. This week alone, we had over 4 water damage calls, everything from a burst water heater to a sump pump failure.

Our highly-skilled professionals receive these calls and are sent out immediately to access the damage and begin the recovery process. Sometimes that means a carpet-cleaning appointment may get moved so that we can try to save a home from extensive water loss. Our water damage restoration and applied structural drying technicians use advanced equipment to help detect hidden moisture, extract standing water quickly, and thoroughly clean and dry the home and belongings. Some homes require that our reconstruction team replace drywall, install new carpet or complete major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

Our goal at SERVPRO of Spencer and the Iowa Great Lakes is to make it “Like it never even happened.” We pride ourselves by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keep costs low.

When you next think of SERVPRO, remember, no disaster is too big, no cleaning job too small. We are here for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes 24-Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in northwest Iowa.

SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 712-262-4379

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes

SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

5 Things to Do If You Find Water in Your Home.

10/12/2017 (Permalink)

Water damage can happen at anytime.

This week we have been inundated with calls from desperate homeowners with water losses.

With the amount of rain we received recently in northwest Iowa, we thought it was a good time to go over what you should do if water enters your home.

Water damage can cause all sorts of a headache for homeowners, both immediately after the damage occurs and in the long run. From floods to leaky faucets, water damage is a serious pain and can cause significant health and safety issues.

Follow these 5 steps to keep water damage from getting worse.  

  • Take Pictures. Before you remove any water or make any repairs, fully document the damage for your insurer by taking photos or video.
  • Protect Your Health. Even if the water in your home is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Even chemicals on walls or in insulation can contaminate water. Make sure to wear wader ad rubber gloves if you opt to remove any water-damaged possessions to avoid contaminants.
  • Call Your Insurance Company. You should notify your insurer soon as possible after water enters your home. Advise your insurance representative of the state of your home and any repairs you intend to do immediately. Be sure to follow the insurance company’s direction about whether or not to wait for an adjuster to inspect the property before making repairs.
  • Remove the Water. Once your insurer approved, remove the water, use a sump pump or wet vac, open doors and windows to allow fresh air to circulate.
  • Mitigate Mold Damage. We recommend you call our experts at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes. Mold can develop in as little as 24 hours. Our crews will remove carpeting, padding, bedding and help you determine what is salvageable and what is not. Our team will also control mold growth by cleaning with special mildewcides. 

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (712) 262-4379

Learn more about our Water Damage Repair and Restoration services. 

Fire Safety Tips during Fire Prevention Week

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

It is important to test your smoke alarms monthly.

We have compiled a list of fire safety tips to keep you and you family members from becoming one of these deadly statistics. 

  1. EVERY HOME SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE WORKING SMOKE DETECTOR ON EACH LEVEL Smoke detectors are available for purchase at any hardware store and most retail stores. A smoke alarm is inexpensive protection for you and your family. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. A working smoke alarm can double your chances of survival in a fire Test it monthly, keep it free of dust and replace the battery at least once a year. Never remove the battery or disable the smoke detector. Smoke detector themselves should be replaced after ten years of service, or as recommended by the manufacturer.

  2. PREVENT ELECTRICAL FIRES Never overload circuits or extension cords. Do not place cords and wires under rugs, over nails or in high traffic areas. Immediately shut off and unplug appliances that sputter, spark or emit an unusual smell. Have them professionally repaired or replaced.

  3. USE APPLIANCES WISELY When using appliances follow the manufacturer's safety precautions. Overheating, unusual smells, shorts and sparks are all warning signs that appliances need to be shut off, then replaced or repaired. Unplug appliances when not in use. Use safety caps to cover all unused outlets, especially if there are small children in the home.

  4. PORTABLE HEATERS Portable heaters need their space. Keep anything combustible at least three feet away. Keep fire in the fireplace. Use fire screens and have your chimney cleaned annually. The creosote buildup can ignite a chimney fire that could easily spread. Never cleanout wood stoves or fireplaces unless you are absolutely certain the ashes are cool. Kerosene heaters should be used only where approved by authorities. Never use gasoline or camp-stove fuel. Refuel outside and only after the heater has cooled.

  5. PLAN YOUR ESCAPE In the event of a fire, remember - time is the biggest enemy and every second counts! Escape plans help you get out of your home quickly. In less than 30 seconds a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It only takes minutes for a house to fill with thick black smoke and become engulfed in flames. Practice an escape plan from every room in the house and know two ways out. Designate a meeting location away from the home, but not necessarily across the street. For example, meet under a specific tree or at the end of the driveway or a front sidewalk to make sure everyone has gotten out safely and no one will be hurt looking for someone who is already safe. Designate one person to go to a neighbor's home to phone the fire department. Caution everyone to stay low to the floor when escaping from fire and never to open doors that are hot. Never go back into a burning building for any reason. Teach children not to hide from firefighters. If someone is missing, tell the firefighters. They are equipped to perform rescues safely.

  6. NEVER LEAVE MATCHES OR LIGHTERS IN REACH OF CHILDREN Children under five are naturally curious about fire. Many play with matches and lighters. Tragically, children set over 18,900 house fires every year. Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching your children that fire is a tool, not a toy. 

  7. NEVER LEAVE CANDLES BURNING UNATTENDED Candles should be used under the supervision of an adult. A candle is an open flame, objects in close proximity could become involved in fire should the candle fall over. Although candles may give off a pleasant aroma, they are dangerous and should only be used while someone is occupying the room.

  8. SMOKING Smoking is not only hazardous to your health, it can have deadly results in the form of fire. Never lie down or smoke in bed. Always dispose of ashes in a safe manner, by waiting a day to dispose of them or by making certain that they are cool.

  9. FIRE EXTINGUISHERS A fire extinguisher when used properly can adequately extinguish small amounts of fire, keeping a small fire from becoming a large one.


Information obtained from U.S. Fire Administration and New Jersey Association of Realtors.

Refreshing Changes at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

The team from Boji Builders painted our official SERVPRO colors onto the walls.

The next time you stop in at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes, you may notice some changes in the office. This week we spent some time deep-cleaning, organizing and putting up a fresh coat of paint. With all hands on deck, we kept the phone lines open, completed off-site jobs, and got the office in order.

Before the team from Boji Builders began painting our new official SERVPRO colors onto the walls, Kevin, our Production Manager, made sure they were wiped down and prepped using our SERVPRO All Surface Green Clean. 

Then, former SERVPRO of Spencer owner, Doug Corcoran, helped get our carpets looking like new with one of our truck-mounted hot water extraction equipment machines. The extraction unit is designed to apply cleaning agents to attack soils and then the residues are flushed away using a hot water rinse that is removed with a “wet” vacuum machine (an extractor) all powered by our truck’s powerful engine. For those tough spots, Mike, our production technician spot-treated them with our specially formulated Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean. It’s PH neutral, biodegradable, contains no phosphates, solvents, dyes or fragrances and is truly a “one product does all.” The carpets were then left to dry overnight and were ready for our new office furniture the next day. 

Thanks to Tracy Small and Ryan Pratt at Spencer Office Supplies, new modular desks were moved in – complete with electronic lifts for standing/sitting options for our staff, plus office chairs that allow for personalized adjustments.

We hope that you make a detour sometime to come say hello and see the exciting changes our new owners Lathe Toft and Ryan Brooks are making.

Returning Home after Hurricane Harvey

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Our 5000 CFM Desiccant dehumidifier from Spencer, Iowa absorbs large amounts of moisture from this Houston office building.

While residents and business owners are busy trying to recover from the damage left by Hurricane Harvey SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals are also busy, helping to cleanup and restore properties across the Houston area.

Even before landfall, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Teams were in position, ready to respond. The Disaster Recovery Team mobilizes crews from SERVPRO Franchises across the country, as needed, to support large storm events. These teams are equipped and “Ready for whatever happens.”

Activation of the SERVPRO® Disaster Recovery Team, combined with the local SERVPRO® resources, placed approximately 500 additional crews in the affected areas to help residents and business owners recover.

Locally, SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes spent three weeks in Houston, helping with the cleanup and recently returned home. The Spencer-based business owns a desiccant humidifier, currently the only SERVPRO owned in the state of Iowa, that they transported to Texas.

“The 5000 CFM Desiccant dehumidifier is our commercial dehumidifying machine that utilizes a solid material to absorb large amounts of moisture from the surrounding air and then displacing this moisture with heat,” shared co-owner Lathe Toft. “With that unit, plus our arsenal of commercial-grade dehumidifiers, we dried several residential homes, multiple banks, an office space and a strip mall with nine retail stores, plus an assisted living home during our time in Houston.”

SERVPRO® of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes is one of the more than 240 franchises that deployed crews to assist in the cleanup efforts. The Spencer business took a team of 16 mitigation technicians.

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