Recent Water Damage Posts

Things to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim

3/1/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Things to Consider When Filing an Insurance Claim Call the team that cares about your home and your family. We work directly with your agent and adjuster to make your life easier.

I had the opportunity to speak with one of our clients this past week and during our conversation we dove into the issues of when to file an insurance claim and when to consider paying out of pocket. 

There are unfortunately many communities that struggle with water issues for any number of reasons.  Poor drainage, built on former wetland, improper development, etc. Due to the frequent losses some homeowners use their insurance as they believe they should. The problem that arises due to frequent claims is the fact that many insurance companies begin to view that homeowner as a high risk client, the job of an insurance company is to manage risk for not only the homeowner but also for themselves. Insurance is an investment for not only the insurance company but also for the homeowner. 

When the insurance company starts to see the risk level rise on the part of the homeowner, their investment in carrying the homeowners policy becomes less appealing and therefore some homeowners will be dropped by their provider.  When the homeowner goes to find new insurance they will find that their claim history is unfavorable and they will end up paying higher premiums. 

As a homeowner, you have ways to manage your risk as well and that begins with the decision on what to do in the event of a water loss.  Many homeowners have heard that bringing in a restoration company can be expensive, in order to understand cost the homeowner must first see value.  The value of using a restoration company can be the difference between a total basement renovation and a matter of a few days of drying and slight reconstruction. 

The average loss will run between $3000-$5000 depending on how severe it is and what is rolled in after the drying has been done. It may seem easier to do the job yourself but the thing you need to keep in mind is that the standard dehumidifier that you purchase in store is not designed to dry behind drywall and in sill plates like more restoration companies equipment does.  What this means for you, the homeowner, is that your home is dried out and treated properly rather than increasing your risk for mold and other bacteria that may linger after a water loss. In addition to mold and bacteria issues, wet materials can lead to structural issues down the road as well, so that $3000 restoration bill now becomes a $20,000 reconstruction bill which will not be covered by insurance. 

When it comes to insurance and water loss, you determine if the loss is significant enough to call in a restoration company and put your long-term financial security at risk. 

For questions call our team at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes at 712-262-4379. 

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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!

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

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.

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 >>

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.