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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

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

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

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

Mold Remediation Suspect Mold? Call for a Mold Assessment! 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)

Water Damage Your 24 Hour Emergency Fire or Water Damage Service ?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)

Water Damage Faster to your Water Disaster 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)

Mold Remediation Conditions looking prime for high mold growth in Spring 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)

Commercial What are your ducts hiding? 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)

Commercial The Right Equipment for the Job 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)

Fire Damage Keep your Christmas Tree Watered to Avoid Fire 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)

Storm Damage Winter Weather Travel Precautions 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)

Water Damage Cold Weather is Around the Corner 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)

Fire Damage What you Need to Know About Soot Damage 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)

Why SERVPRO Continued Training Leads to Better Customer Experience 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)

Why SERVPRO SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes Community Supporters 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)

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

Why SERVPRO Save Money by Cleaning Your Carpets 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)

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

Why SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile 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)

Commercial Is Your Business Ready for the Holiday Rush? 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)

Fire Damage Common Causes of House Fires in Fall 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)

Water Damage Protect Against Water Loss 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)

Fire Damage Fall Burning 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)

Water Damage Prepping for Fall/Winter 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)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit, SERVPRO is ready! 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)

Mold Remediation Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold 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 Remediation When to Call for Mold Remediation 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)

Commercial Closing Up Your Cabin Couldn't Be Any Easier! 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)

Fire Damage Smoke & Soot Cleanup 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)

Storm Damage Understanding the Timeline of Water Damage 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)

Cleaning Does your home smell like... Dog? 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)

Water Damage Groundwater, backup, sump pump failure event announced 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)

Storm Damage Choosing a sump pump that lasts! 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)

Mold Remediation You can control mold 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)

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

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

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

The class consisted of learning specific techniques to deal with:

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

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

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

High standards to help ensure excellent service

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Time for Celebrating and Cleaning House

4/12/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Common Holes in Homeowners Insurance Coverage

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

Here's the main take-away: 

Get a Water Back Up and Sump Pump Insurance Rider

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

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

Reason #2: It’s fairly inexpensive.

Reason #3: Water backups can happen to anyone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now Accepting Credit Cards

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Death Scene Clean-Up: A Tough Subject

3/15/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Need help? (712) 262-4379

Free Continued Education Opportunity

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

About SERVPRO®

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

Green Means Clean

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

WINDOW GREEN CLEAN 

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

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

ALL SURFACE GREEN CLEAN

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

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

CARPET & UPHOLSTERY GREEN CLEAN

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

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

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

Tune up your sump pump before the spring thaw

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Check the Power Source

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

Make sure the pump is in place

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

Clean the sump pump and surrounding area

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

Test your pump regularly

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

Look for leaks

Check pipes, connections and valves for any leakages.

Have a professional service your system yearly

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

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

Moisture Management in the Ice Rink

3/5/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

Taking Control

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

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

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

Don't DIY with Water Damage

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Don't DIY with Water Damage 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)

Cleaning Eliminating Car Odors with Ozone 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)

Commercial Large Loss Electric Desiccant Dries 50,000 SQFT 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)

General Why You Shouldn't Clean with Baking Soda & Vinegar 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)

Cleaning Think Outside the Box (of Chocolates) This Year! 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.

2018 Has Come Roaring In!

1/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 2018 Has Come Roaring In! Our crew recently scoured the building to get McDonald’s of Okoboji in pristine condition before they re-opened after an extensive remodel project.

January started our new year with sub-zero temperatures which sent our crews traveling all over Northwest Iowa and Southern Minnesota. At times we received 3+ calls a day regarding pipes freezing and bursting, and just when we’d get ahead with all the water calls, fire and smoke damage calls poured in. We are so appreciative of our cleaning and carpet clients for allowing us to juggle their appointments around our hectic schedule this month. It’s not always fun to have your carpet cleaning appointment moved, but a water-loss can be detrimental to a homeowner if not taken care of right away. We hate to see someone’s home overtaken by mold and our main goal is to get them back in their space as soon as possible.

We are also beginning to offer a new service to area businesses and contractors starting this month – post construction cleaning. Our crew recently scoured the building to get McDonald’s of Okoboji in pristine condition before they re-opened after an extensive remodel project. We are also working with Pizza Hut of Spencer to get ready for their grand opening at their new location (so watch for updates on that project).

Not only has our production crew been busy, but our marketing team has been hard at it too! This month we sent our first e-newsletter to insurance agents with tips and tricks for their clients as well as sharing updates about our next continuing education seminar.  

Plus, we are working on obtaining some guest bloggers to this site, so watch for those! Should be a fun addition! If you’d like to have a featured blog on our site, please let us know. We’ve had over 800 unique visitors to our blog in the last 3 months, so it’s a great way to help get your business in front of eyes.

Sue, our Sales Manager, has been dodging snowstorms and getting around to area towns to say hello to area businesses. You can see her marketing adventures on our Instagram page. If you need any tips on the best coffee shops in each town, she’s got the inside scoop – make sure to ask her when you see her at the next Chamber Event.

Lastly, Vanessa, our Marketing Manager, has been busy slinging giveaways on our Facebook page and attending tons of community events in Spencer and the Iowa Great Lakes. Supporting our past client Patty (owner of Pair a Dice), Vanessa took part in a chili cook-off, plus handed out tons of SERVPRO koozies! She also led an Instant Pot cooking demo at 5:13 in Spencer for Dale and Kay Meyer. And we can’t forget to mention she attended HyNoon Kiwanis for the first time – that was fun!

Most importantly, as we wrap up our January blog – we thought we’d let you in on a little secret we have planned for February…. Our first ever discounted package is coming – right before Valentines Day! (hint, hint!) You’ll be able to save $$ on some great services! Make sure to keep an eye out!

As always, thank you to all our returning and new clients! You helped make another month a successful one!

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

1/15/2018 (Permalink)

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

Mold Remediation Why You Should NEVER Use Bleach to Clean Mold 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)

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

Mold Remediation Why Do-It-Yourself Mold Testing Kits are Useless 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)

Storm Damage Tips to Help Ease Threat of Frozen Pipes 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)

Community A Year of Firsts 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)

Fire Damage Dryer Vents & Fire Prevention 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)

Commercial “Resolve to be Ready” in 2018 “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)

Community Thank You Spencer! 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)

Fire Damage Are You Covered for Fire Damage? 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)

Community Successful CE Seminar at The Okoboji Commons Hotel 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)

Cleaning What Sets Us Apart From Other “Cleaners” 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)

Cleaning Setting the Stage for Your Property 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)

Water Damage Like it never even happened.® 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)

General Don't Miss Your Chance! 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)

Community What's Our Sales Manager Doing This Week? 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)

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

General For Immediate Service in Spencer, Iowa Call SERVPRO 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)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Cleanup 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)

Fire Damage Bring Your Family Heirlooms Back to Life 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)

General My Carpet Cleaning Appointment Was Rescheduled... 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)

Water Damage Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes 24-Hour Emergency Water Damage Service 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 5 Things to Do If You Find Water in Your Home. 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. 

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

10/11/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event There's never a convenient time for fire or water damage to strike your business. When an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call.

According to Iowa Environmental Mesonet, Spencer, Iowa has received 3.25 inches of rain since the first of October.

SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes has had an influx of calls regarding water damage and we wanted to take a moment to talk about our commercial property restoration and the unique challenges they present.

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 and Iowa Great Lakes

SERVPRO of Spencer and 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.

Meet Our Crew

Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our training program includes the following:

  • IICRC Training
  • Employee Certification Training
  • Initial Franchise Training
  • e-Learnings
  • Continuing Education Classes

Fire Safety Tips during Fire Prevention Week

10/9/2017 (Permalink)

Community Fire Safety Tips during Fire Prevention Week 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)

Community Refreshing Changes at SERVPRO of Spencer and Iowa Great Lakes 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)

Storm Damage Returning Home after Hurricane Harvey 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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