Recent Fire Damage Posts

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."

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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."

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.