Recent Fire Damage Posts

The Art of Deodorization

11/2/2020 (Permalink)

A soot covered stove waiting to be restored after a kitchen fire. Fires can happen anytime and anywhere, when disaster strikes call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 712-262-4379

I don't know how many times my daughter has burned a bag of popcorn, but let me tell you that smell lingers for hours!  While it eventually goes away, after a major fire those odors linger significantly longer.  That is why the team at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in deodorization.  There are four principles of deodorization that we follow after a fire:

1. Remove the source. The charred material all needs to be removed first to start the process. 

2. Remove soot residue. This needs to happen as soon as we are able to get to it. This will help minimize damage.

3. After removing the residue, our franchise professionals use different methods to remove odor. This principle is called "recreate the conditions of penetration."  We use many different methods to remove odor form objects such as ozone machines, hydroxyl fans , and thermal foggers to remove odor. 

4. When necessary, our team members seal and encapsulate the odor using special sealing materials, so the odor does not penetrate the sealer and continue to produce an odor.

When disaster strikes, the SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes team is able to assist with any fire, smoke, and soot damage to help make it "Like it never even happened." 

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes

712-262-4379

Fire Safety Advice from Fire Restoration Professionals

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Photo of a space heater engulfed in flames. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes, an industry leader in fire restoration. When disaster strikes, call us...712-262-4379.

How many times have you heard of a forgotten a pizza in the oven or turned a burner on with a plastic bowl or Tupperware sitting on the stove.  Or, my personal favorite, a former employee who made ramen for lunch and forgot to add water.  Fire, smoke, and water damage can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone.  

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is an industry leader in fire and water restoration.  The past 18 months our office have helped 38 homes and businesses in northwest Iowa after a fire loss.  Here are some of the most common causes of fire, smoke, and soot damage to homes and businesses...

  1. Cooking equipment – Cooking is one of the leading causes of fire. When cooking with oil or grease, the extreme temperatures can easily spark a flame as they spill onto the cooktop. Holiday cooking are reported to be the highest call volume days for our local fire departments. From juggling the cooking and entertaining duties, our concentration levels aren't always where they should be.  With family get togethers also means the likelihood of requiring additional roasters and other cooking appliances.  Oftentimes too many kitchen appliances lead to overloaded circuits and increased fire risk.  
  2. Candles – We all want our home or business smelling nice, and what better way than burning a candle.  Candles, when placed too close to a wall, can start fires due to prolonged exposure to heat in addition to soot damage on walls.  They also become problematic when left unattended and pets are in the home.  They can unintentionally knock the candle over leading to much larger fire damage concerns.  
  3. Smoking – If a cigarette or cigar is not completely put out, the embers could still be a risk to ignite a fire.  Just last year our crew helped restore an apartment complex after a fire caused by a cigarette poorly disposed of outside of the building.  That put every tenant looking for a new or temporary place to live until the property could be properly repaired.  
  4. Barbeque – During the summer months we all enjoy some outdoor cooking. Things to remember when cooking outdoors are to have your grill, smoker, etc. far enough away from your home or garage so if a fire sparks due to grease falling into the flames.  Keeping those away from structures also prevents melting of vinyl siding and potential soot damage.  
  5. Wiring – When it comes to the wiring in your home, you don’t want to take any short cuts. It should be up to date, and installed by a professional. Overheating or faulty wiring can quickly spark a fire inside your home or business.
  6. Christmas tree – The Christmas tree is everyone’s favorite, whether it’s a real tree or artificial. If it’s a real tree, you want to make sure that the stand is full of water so the tree doesn’t dry out. With both artificial and natural trees, placing them too close to a heat source (such as a fireplace or baseboard heater) can be a fire hazard.
  7. Heating Equipment – During cooler months, it is common practice to use a space heater. It is critical that all heating elements are kept a safe distance from any combustible materials. A minimum of 6" should be kept between a heat source and any other materials. 

While fires may be accidental, take some extra steps to help prevent any major damage to your home or business.  

Remember when disaster strikes, call the team that's Faster to Any Disaster...SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. With the help of our dedicated reconstruction team, we can truly make it "Like it never even happened." 

712-262-4379

You Got Fire - We Got You

10/2/2020 (Permalink)

Soot damage on walls in a basement. If you suffer from soot or smoke damage in your house or business call us at (712) 262-4379.

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. Let our team of highly trained professionals ease some of the burden on you. The first 24 hours after a fire can make the difference between restoring or replacing your belongings. With our 24/7 emergency service we are faster to any size disaster. We use our specialized equipment and cleaning techniques to get your belongings back to preloss condition. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes will work with your insurance company for a stress-free claims process. Our fire restoration services don’t just stop at cleaning, we have our very own in house reconstruction crew with years of experience that will make your home look “Like it never even happened.” If you have any questions about fire, soot, or smoke damage call our office today at (712) 262-4379. 

Barn Fire Leads to a Unique Restoration

8/20/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you done a fire drill lately?

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ultrasonic Cleaning - Bringing Life Back to Your Belongings

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

712-262-4379

Why Closing Your Door Can Save You Thousands.

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

Fire...What Are Your Next Steps.

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

We are proud to serve our local communities:

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

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

Fire Damage - Replace or Restore

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Content Inventory after Fire Loss

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Reality of Fire Cleanup

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spring Home Fires

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

This homeowner suffered major smoke and soot damage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

712-262-4379

Keep your Christmas Tree Watered to Avoid Fire

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

712-262-4379

"Like it never even happened."

What you Need to Know About Soot Damage

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

712-262-4379

Common Causes of House Fires in Fall

10/5/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

712-262-4379

Fall Burning

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

712-262-4379

Smoke & Soot Cleanup

9/12/2018 (Permalink)

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

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

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

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

FSRT Certification – IICRC

4/19/2018 (Permalink)

Last week Chris, Carol, Lathe and Ryan attended the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification

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

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

The class consisted of learning specific techniques to deal with:

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

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

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

Dryer Vents & Fire Prevention

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Dryer vent warning signs.

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

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

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

 *Featured Article from the April SERVPRO Restoration Newsline

Are You Covered for Fire Damage?

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

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

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

Smoke and soot facts:

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

Different Types of Smoke

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

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

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

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

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

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

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

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

Bring Your Family Heirlooms Back to Life

10/18/2017 (Permalink)

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

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


The benefits of Ultrasonic cleaning are:

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

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

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

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