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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Go Green

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Is being environmentally friendly important to you? Us too! SERVPRO is a restoration company, which means that we try to salvage and restore everything we can. This creates less waste compared to companies that replace everything, and it saves you some of your own green that you can put back in your pocket. How can we tell if your things are able to be restored? We have a process called pretesting, so we don’t waste anyone’s time or money. When we are unsure if an item is salvageable we pretest it. This omits charges for cleaning salvageable items. Pretesting also helps us understand more about the damages on the object, which in turn helps us choose the best way to clean and restore it. When you choose restore over replace, you are choosing to help save the environment (and your finances.)

All About your Sump Pump

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Many people are not aware of the problems that will arise if their sump pump is not working properly. There are also many people that do not know how to test their sump pump. Here is some information regarding sump pump maintenance.

Sump pumps are more active during heavy rains or storms. Depending on where you live, your sump pump will run more or less. Sump pumps should be checked at least once a year and probably more if you live in Eastern Iowa because of the chance for many periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Here are some steps to check your sump pump:

1. Slowly fill the pit where the sump pump is with water. Watch for the float to rise, which would cause the pump to activate. Once the pump activates, make sure the water is drained from the pit.

2. If you have a backup pump, you can test it the same way. Make sure the first pump is unplugged first. 

A normal pump will cost you between $150 and $300 to replace if need be. It is better to spend this money than to deal with the mess left behind if the pump fails.  The average cost of a water damage due to sump pump failure will be between $2,500 and $15,000. 

Test your sump pump regularly. It is similar to changing the filters on your furnace or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

What makes hail?

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

When rain drops get carried high into the atmosphere where it is very cold they freeze and then come hurling down as hail. According to NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) hail causes around one billion dollars a year in damage whether it is crops, buildings, or cars. NOAA also has state by state information on damages due to hazardous weather. In Iowa in 2017 there was 14.31 million dollars’ worth of property damage and a whopping 37.20 dollars’ worth of crop damage. If you get caught in a hail storm seek shelter immediately. If you are in a car pull over to the side of the road, try to find a safe place under a bridge to protect yourself and your car. If you are inside stay away from windows.

Lightning!

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning is a very cool thing to watch. When you watch it, it should be indoors though. National Geographic says that the average American has a 1 in 5,000 chance of being hit by lightning, but 9/10 people survive a lightning strike. Cars and homes/buildings are the safest spots to be when lightning storms are in the area. They have conductors, such as tires and/or metal rods, that can safely transfer the lightning to the ground.  The most common type of lightning is cloud-to-ground lightning. This lightning  strikes the ground around 100 times a second. Each bolt contains up to one billion bolts of electricity. Remember, when lightning is in the area you need to stay inside a building or a car to stay safe.

24/7 we are here

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

If your company property has an accident and needs us, we will be there. SERVPRO has a national call center that is open 24/7 so that you can always get a hold of us. The national call center will call our local franchise so that we can take care of your property as soon as possible. We also have the Priority Response Program. This is SERVPRO local staff that is willing to come at any time to help mitigate and stabilize commercial losses. We can call on other franchises around the area to help if the commercial loss is big enough so that we can get more done in a shorter amount of time. This helps to mitigate the overall loss and you will see the real-time loss visibility.

Fireworks Fire Safty

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Your friends at SERVPRO want you and your children to be careful this Independence Day. According to the NFPA, in 2014, children ages 5-9 were 2.4 times as likely as the general population to be injured by fireworks. Youth ages 10-19 had a risk 1.8 times the overall risk. That is a scary statistic considering the hospital saw a whopping 10,500 people for firework related injuries. 54% of these injuries were burns and 31% of the injuries were from sparklers. Sparklers are actually considered about equal to a blowtorch in terms of heat and danger. Make sure you’re safe when using sparklers, and instead of using consumer firecrackers just go to the public displays that your city puts on for you to safely enjoy. Happy holiday!

 

Safety rules for summer camping

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

If you plan on going camping this summer, you should be aware of some basic campfire rules. When you find the perfect dirt spot for your campfire, clear the twigs, leaves, firewood, and grass away from around it. Then you will dig a foot deep hole and surround the hole with rocks. As you build your fire, make sure it doesn’t get too large or out of control. It is important to keep a bucket of water nearby incase the fire spreads outside of the pit. Keep your firewood, kindling, and tinder pile upwind from the fire so floating embers can’t reach it. Always keep an eye on little ones and pets around campfires; no one wants to take a trip to the ER. Try to burn all of the wood down to ashes. Once you’re finished, pour a lot of water on to the fire until there is no longer embers burning and there is no hissing noise. If you don’t have access to water, throw dirt on the fire and stir it with a shovel, continue doing this until all of the embers have cooled. As Smokey the Bear would say, “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

We are here 24/7

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

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

Specialized Training

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

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

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

Specialized Products

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

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids 319-393-8430

Crazy weather

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

We had a few nice days before the weather turned again.  With all of this rain and wind we have been busy taking care  of our customers and their storm damage. There have already been multiple claims in for wind damage to roofs.  Some of these claims are for temporary repairs such as a tarp.  Yesterday it was reported that we had a mud rain.  This is rain dust or snow dust, traditionally known as muddy rain, red rain, or coloured rain, is a variety of rain (or any other form of precipitation) which contains enough desert dust for the dust to be visible without using a microscope.  This kind of storm did not give SERVPRO any work, but our cars were really dirty when we got off work. 

Sump Pumps

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Here in Iowa the majority of the basements have sump pumps.  What are sump pumps?  A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes.  These are just like any other household appliance and they don't last forever.  

In most cases sump pumps fail during heavy rain. When that happens, the water usually seeps in through the foundation or basement walls and begins pooling in the lowest area of the basement, gradually rising as more water comes in. What do you do at that point? First thing would be to call a plumber to get the sump pump working or replaced.  The second thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids.  Once the plumber is done we will come out and mitigate the loss. When all is said and done it will be "Like it never even happened."

Dehumidifier knowledge

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Along with fans, dehumidifiers are one of the pieces of equipment that are used in your home for the dry out process after a water damage, but what is a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a bit like a vacuum cleaner: it sucks in air from your room at one end, takes the moisture out of it, and then blows it back out into the room again.

The moisture drips through into a collection tank that you have to empty.

How is the moisture removed?  A dehumidifier is more like an air conditioning unit in this case, which, itself, works a bit like a refrigerator. 

Look inside a dehumidifier and find out what all the parts do.

May homeowners like to keep a small dehumidifier running in their basement.

How to keep your friends and family safe

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Creating a safe environment for your family is everyone's top priority. Here are the top 9 things that can prevent you from doing that.

#1. Falls

How to minimize:  Install supports, keep toys picked up, secure bathroom, clear outdoor areas.

#2. Fires

How to minimize:  Install fire alarms, unplug appliances, have a fire extinguisher on hand.

#3. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

How to minimize:  Install a CO Detector, keep up with home maintenance.

#4. Choking

How to minimize:  Keep an eye on kids, inspect all toys, cut up food into small pieces.

#5. Cuts

How to minimize:  Store kitchen supplies appropriately, keep all Put Away Yard Tools

#6. Poisoning

How to minimize:  Store medication properly, keep paint out of reach, secure chemicals appropriately, lock up detergent.

#7. Strangling

How to minimize: Pull all cords away, trim window cords.

#8. Drowning

How to minimize: Attend to kids when bathing, keep buckets put away.

#9. Burns

How to minimize:  Use back burners, add stove knob covers.

Cleaning Rugs

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

It is that time of year!  Everyone is calling SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids to get their rugs or carpet cleaned.  Why should you get your rugs or carpet cleaned? For the removal of dirt, stains, allergens and the overall appearance.  Having your carpet or rugs cleaned is more visually pleasing, healthier than poorly maintained rugs or carpet and they will potentially last longer. There is no need for an appointment to get rugs cleaned here at SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids just drop them off at the office between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.  We will have them back to you all refreshed in about a week's time or less.  If you are needing carpet cleaned give the office a call to get something in the schedule.  

keeping Clean Vehicles

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids takes pride in having clean good looking vehicles.  We make sure that all green vehicles out on the road are clean and in good working order.  There are other reasons to keep your vehicle clean:  The elements are hard on vehicles it is important to keep salt and sand off of the vehicle to preserve the exterior paint. Keeping a vehicle clean also means the interior.  This will remove all of the harmful bacteria that may exist.  Having a clean vehicle also helps with fuel efficiency.  This is just a small factor but over time can really add up.  A Clean vehicle is also important for safety.  You need to have a clear view out all of your windows.  The last factor is just peace of mind, it will make you feel better.   

SERVPRO

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Approximately 50% of the businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.  

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether is is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. It outlines who the proper contacts are for the specific type of loss.  Also shows photos and a detailed description as to where the different turns off are in the building. 

Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.

By working with SERVPRO to help develop your personalized Emergency Ready Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. 

SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property and business cleaned up and back in working order.  

Pipe Freeze

1/2/2020 (Permalink)

Pipes freeze when the water inside is cold enough to solidify. In extremely cold weather, pipes can freeze in a matter of minutes.  If water is flowing through the pipe it requires a lot more work to make it freeze and is not very common.  In a home a pipe is likely to freeze if it is near outer walls, low to the ground, gaps in insulation or where air flow from the outside is possible.  

Usually  only a small section of the pipe freezes.  Water expands as it freezes; the expansion starts by increasing in length along the pipe.  If the pipe has bends in it, the ice that forms is less likely to expand away from the cold.  A section of water can become trapped and the pressure in that section increases, once the pressure is too high the pipe will burst.  

A few tips to Prevent pipes from freezing:Leave tap open/dripping on pipes that freezing could occur.  Leave the space around the pipes as open as possible.  Ensure your heat is on I all areas of you home.  Insulate all areas of your home well. If the temperatures decrease a additional heater may be needed.    

Pipes May Freeze

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Pipes freeze when the water inside is cold enough to solidify. In extremely cold weather, pipes can freeze in a matter of minutes.  If water is flowing through the pipe it requires a lot more work to make it freeze and is not very common.  In a home a pipe is likely to freeze if it is near outer walls, low to the ground, gaps in insulation or where air flow from the outside is possible.  

Usually  only a small section of the pipe freezes.  Water expands as it freezes; the expansion starts by increasing in length along the pipe.  If the pipe has bends in it, the ice that forms is less likely to expand away from the cold.  A section of water can become trapped and the pressure in that section increases, once the pressure is too high the pipe will burst.  

A few tips to Prevent pipes from freezing:Leave tap open/dripping on pipes that freezing could occur.  Leave the space around the pipes as open as possible.  Ensure your heat is on I all areas of you home.  Insulate all areas of your home well. If the temperatures decrease a additional heater may be needed.    

The most Wonderful time of the year can turn bad

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

The most wonderful time of the year can also be one of the most common times for house fires.  In 12 seconds a small spark can ignite a dry Christmas tree.  Once the Christmas tree is on fire the flames can engulf a room in under 30 seconds. 

Some tips to keep your wonderful time of the year emergency free: Make sure your tree is at least three feet from any heat source. Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.  Fresh, watered trees are much less likely to catch fire.  Water your tree daily.   If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.”

Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.

Make sure that you have Fire/ smoke detectors and the have been properly installed and tested.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season from your SERVPRO Team.

Faster to all disasters

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

From a burst pipe in a office building to faulty wiring in an apartment complex, fire and water losses are never planned, but they do occur. 

SERVPRO professionals know there's no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and revenue of the property owner.  SERVPRO has a 1-4-8 Service Response guideline.  Within one hour from the notice of loss a SERVPRO professional will contact you to arrange for service.  With in four hours of loss notification SERVPRO will be on site to start mitigation and within eight business hours of an on-site arrival a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate party.   

Our team is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.  SERVPRO Professionals will work diligently to restore your property and its contents to pre loss condition helping you become the hero in an emergency situation. 

Mold Tips

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

In order for mold to grow and thrive, there must be excess moisture, food, the right temperature and lack of ventilation. 

The most important step that any property owner can take is to identify any humidity, moisture or water problems before they create bigger more costly issues. Look for any water or moisture present in your home.  Be sure to pay special attention to your plumbing in basements and crawl spaces where a water leak wouldn't be as noticeable.  Recognize musty or moldy odors, which indicate mold growth.  Your sense of smell may alert you to potential problems you cannot see.   As soon as you become aware of a different smell this is perfect time to start investigating a little bit further.  Control humidity in bathrooms and wherever water is used on a regular basis.  The use of exhaust fans, proper caulking and effective cleaning with a bleach based product will help keep problems away.  Inspect your HVAC systems and air conditioners as well as this is a common location where mold is present.  Regular inspection and maintenance can identify moisture problems or drain clogs before they get worse.  

If moisture or mold  is spotted contact a SERVPRO professional to come out and take a look. We will be able to provide you with an estimate for what it will take to clean the affected areas.

How is carpet damaged by water?

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

One goal of water damage restoration is to preserve and protect the structure.  One concern is water saturated carpet and pad.  Delamination is the most frequent type of damage to carpets when exposed to water.  Delamination is a mode of failure for composite materials and steel. In laminated materials, repeated cyclic stresses, impact, and so on can cause layers to separate, forming a mica-like structure of separate layers, with significant loss of mechanical toughness.  Delamination is caused when the latex adhesive holding the primary backing to the secondary backing is damaged.  Good carpets have higher quality of latex and may suffer less damage even after hours of exposure.  While at your home our SERVPRO service professionals will inspect the flooring to ensure proper mitigation can take place. 

Water damage to glued down carpeting often causes bubbling due to loss of adhesive.  If it is a small area that has bubbled, the carpet might be restored.  Otherwise, the carpet may need to be replaced.  Again SERVPRO service professionals will be able to determine the status of the flooring.

Mildew usually refers to molds that grow in wet buildings.  Natural fiber carpets are especially prone to mildew odor damage.  Saturated carpets should be dried properly and treated with a mildew deodorizer.

By responding quickly and drying  the carpet thoroughly, SERVPRO professionals can help mitigate these secondary damages following any water loss.

What SERVPRO can do for you

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration-    Clean both structure and contents in your home or business to the state it was in prior to the loss happening. Take and provide inventory of damaged personal items.  

Water Damage Mitigation- Identify where the water source is and where it has traveled.  Once determined a plan of action will be set up to fully mitigate the damages.  We will determine the proper amount of drying equipment to set to control the temperature and humidity in the affected areas.  Ultimately this will keep any further damage at a minimum.

Crime Scene, Bio hazard and Vandalism Cleanup- Our SERVPRO professionals are trained to safely and effectively clean bio hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

Mold Mitigation and Remediation-  Work to control and remove mold contaminates while protecting the health and safety of those living in the home or occupying the building. 

Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning-  We will use the latest IICRC training as well as state-of-the-art equipment to remove entrapped soils from deep within your carpets pile and backings.  Cleaners used are safe to be used in any home or business.

Stain Removal- Inspecting and reviewing the best option for cleaning the area that has been soiled.

Odor Identification and Deodorization-  Find the source of the odor and determine the best way to neutralize and eliminate the odor from your home.  

ERP's

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Approximately 50% of the businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.  

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether is is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. It outlines who the proper contacts are for the specific type of loss.  Also shows photos and a detailed description as to where the different turns off are in the building. 

Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.

By working with SERVPRO to help develop your personalized Emergency Ready Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. 

SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property and business cleaned up and back in working order.  

Fire Loss

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. When you have something as important as your home experience a fire loss it can be overwhelming. When you call SERVPRO we will be as helpful as we can in explaining everything to you and being patient with the process. This is something we deal with often so you can expect us to make it, "Like it never even happened."

Middle School Fire

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

This past Sunday there was a fire at Toledo Middle School.  Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire, but not before extensive damage was done to the basement and smoke damage to the above classrooms. 

SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids was called to the scene shortly after the fire to begin emergency services. SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids will be working hand in hand with SERVPRO of Black Hawk county to get the school back up and running before the new year begins in just a couple weeks. 

Even though each franchise is individually owned and operated, green is green and we are always here to help.  It is so nice to have people available and willing to lend a hand to get the job done. 

Within weeks, SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids will be able to make it "Like it never even happened."

What to do with damage from a wind storm.

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

If there is a high wind storm and a tree gets blown over on to your home, what do you do?

First, and most importantly, make sure  that you and your family are safe. Do not try and get on the roof to assess the damage, just give SERVPRO a call to come and check everything out. Leave it for the professionals. 

Next, call your insurance company. For yourself, it is important to know what kind of coverage you will receive from your insurance company. But it is also important for SERVPRO to know because otherwise we cannot give you a proper estimate and let you know how much you will have to pay. 

The most important thing about this situation is knowing this information before something like this happens to your home! 

Sump Pump Knowledge

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Many people are not aware of the problems that will arise if their sump pump is not working properly. There are also many people that do not know how to test their sump pump. Here is some information regarding sump pump maintenance.

Sump pumps are more active during heavy rains or storms. Depending on where you live, your sump pump will run more or less. Sump pumps should be checked at least once a year and probably more if you live in Eastern Iowa because of the chance for many periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Here are some steps to check your sump pump:

1. Slowly fill the pit where the sump pump is with water. Watch for the float to rise, which would cause the pump to activate. Once the pump activates, make sure the water is drained from the pit.

2. If you have a backup pump, you can test it the same way. Make sure the first pump is unplugged first. 

A normal pump will cost you between $150 and $300 to replace if need be. It is better to spend this money than to deal with the mess left behind if the pump fails.  The average cost of a water damage due to sump pump failure will be between $2,500 and $15,000. 

Test your sump pump regularly. It is similar to changing the filters on your furnace or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Problems from a Sump Pump

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

Many people are not aware of the problems that will arise if their sump pump is not working properly. There are also many people that do not know how to test their sump pump. Here is some information regarding sump pump maintenance.

Sump pumps are more active during heavy rains or storms. Depending on where you live, your sump pump will run more or less. Sump pumps should be checked at least once a year and probably more if you live in Eastern Iowa because of the chance for many periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Here are some steps to check your sump pump:

1. Slowly fill the pit where the sump pump is with water. Watch for the float to rise, which would cause the pump to activate. Once the pump activates, make sure the water is drained from the pit.

2. If you have a backup pump, you can test it the same way. Make sure the first pump is unplugged first. 

A normal pump will cost you between $150 and $300 to replace if need be. It is better to spend this money than to deal with the mess left behind if the pump fails. 

Most people do not know if they have sump pump coverage on their homeowners policy. This is another question to ask. If the pump fails and there is no coverage, you will be in a tough situation. 

The average cost of a water damage due to sump pump failure will be between $2,500 and $15,000. This usually involves removing wet carpet and pad, damaged drywall, damaged baseboard, and wet insulation. 

Test your sump pump regularly. It is similar to changing the filters on your furnace or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors

THunderStorm Danger

8/7/2019 (Permalink)

There are multiple variables that make thunderstorms dangerous. During a thunderstorm you should seek shelter indoors. Lightning, wind, and hail are things that cause damage due to thunderstorms. If you are outdoors during a storm you should avoid trees, they could fall on you and they attract lightening, so you have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning. Wind can get up to extremely fast gusts. These gusts of wind have the ability to blow telephone lines, cars, and even mobile homes over. Avoid being near trees, telephone lines, and larger trucks and semis during storms. If it is possible you should try to get to the nearest shelter, even if it is just a gas station it is preferred over a car. Cars are safer than being outdoors. If you are in a car try to park away from trees and telephone poles. For more information on thunderstorm safety 

Go Green all the way!

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Is being environmentally friendly important to you? Us too! SERVPRO is a restoration company, which means that we try to salvage and restore everything we can. This creates less waste compared to companies that replace everything, and it saves you some of your own green that you can put back in your pocket. How can we tell if your things are able to be restored? We have a process called pretesting, so we don’t waste anyone’s time or money. When we are unsure if an item is salvageable we pretest it. This omits charges for cleaning salvageable items. Pretesting also helps us understand more about the damages on the object, which in turn helps us choose the best way to clean and restore it. When you choose restore over replace, you are choosing to help save the environment (and your finances.)

All about your sump

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Many people are not aware of the problems that will arise if their sump pump is not working properly. There are also many people that do not know how to test their sump pump. Here is some information regarding sump pump maintenance.

Sump pumps are more active during heavy rains or storms. Depending on where you live, your sump pump will run more or less. Sump pumps should be checked at least once a year and probably more if you live in Eastern Iowa because of the chance for many periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Here are some steps to check your sump pump:

1. Slowly fill the pit where the sump pump is with water. Watch for the float to rise, which would cause the pump to activate. Once the pump activates, make sure the water is drained from the pit.

2. If you have a backup pump, you can test it the same way. Make sure the first pump is unplugged first. 

A normal pump will cost you between $150 and $300 to replace if need be. It is better to spend this money than to deal with the mess left behind if the pump fails.  The average cost of a water damage due to sump pump failure will be between $2,500 and $15,000. 

Test your sump pump regularly. It is similar to changing the filters on your furnace or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

What makes hail and how to stay safe

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

When rain drops get carried high into the atmosphere where it is very cold they freeze and then come hurling down as hail. According to NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) hail causes around one billion dollars a year in damage whether it is crops, buildings, or cars. NOAA also has state by state information on damages due to hazardous weather. In Iowa in 2017 there was 14.31 million dollars’ worth of property damage and a whopping 37.20 dollars’ worth of crop damage. If you get caught in a hail storm seek shelter immediately. If you are in a car pull over to the side of the road, try to find a safe place under a bridge to protect yourself and your car. If you are inside stay away from windows.

Lightning Storms

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning is a very cool thing to watch. When you watch it, it should be indoors though. National Geographic says that the average American has a 1 in 5,000 chance of being hit by lightning, but 9/10 people survive a lightning strike. Cars and homes/buildings are the safest spots to be when lightning storms are in the area. They have conductors, such as tires and/or metal rods, that can safely transfer the lightning to the ground.  The most common type of lightning is cloud-to-ground lightning. This lightning  strikes the ground around 100 times a second. Each bolt contains up to one billion bolts of electricity. Remember, when lightning is in the area you need to stay inside a building or a car to stay safe.

We are here 24/7

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

If your company property has an accident and needs us, we will be there. SERVPRO has a national call center that is open 24/7 so that you can always get a hold of us. The national call center will call our local franchise so that we can take care of your property as soon as possible. We also have the Priority Response Program. This is SERVPRO local staff that is willing to come at any time to help mitigate and stabilize commercial losses. We can call on other franchises around the area to help if the commercial loss is big enough so that we can get more done in a shorter amount of time. This helps to mitigate the overall loss and you will see the real-time loss visibility.

Fire safety with fireworks

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Your friends at SERVPRO want you and your children to be careful this Independence Day. According to the NFPA, in 2014, children ages 5-9 were 2.4 times as likely as the general population to be injured by fireworks. Youth ages 10-19 had a risk 1.8 times the overall risk. That is a scary statistic considering the hospital saw a whopping 10,500 people for firework related injuries. 54% of these injuries were burns and 31% of the injuries were from sparklers. Sparklers are actually considered about equal to a blowtorch in terms of heat and danger. Make sure you’re safe when using sparklers, and instead of using consumer firecrackers just go to the public displays that your city puts on for you to safely enjoy. Happy holiday!

Tornado Season!

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are extremely dangerous, and should not be taken lightly.  To reduce your chance of being injured, here are some helpful tips. The first thing you need to do is be alert and aware of the weather. If its thunder storming and very windy out, you should take shelter indoors and turn on the news for weather alerts. The news is a good source to find out if there is a tornado watch or warning. When there is a tornado watch, you should be looking out for tornadoes in your area. When there is a tornado warning, you should immediately go to your safe room, a basement, or room with no windows. If you are unable to take shelter, go to a low point outside like a ditch. For more information on tornadoes click here

Rug cleaning

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

It is that time of year!  Everyone is calling SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids to get their rugs or carpet cleaned.  Why should you get your rugs or carpet cleaned? For the removal of dirt, stians, allergens and the overall appearance.  Having your carpet or rugs cleaned is more visually pleasing, healthier than poorly maintained rugs or carpet and they will potentially last longer. There is no need for an appointment to get rugs cleaned here at SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids just drop them off at the office between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.  We will have them back to you all refreshed in about a weeks time or less.  If you are needing carpet cleaned give the office a call to get something in the schedule.  

Clean Vehicles

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids takes pride in having clean good looking vehicles.  We make sure that all green vehicles out on the road are clean and in good working order.  There are other reasons to keep your vehicle clean:  The elements are hard on vehicles it is important to keep salt and sand off of the vehicle to preserve the exterior paint. Keeping a vehicle clean also means the interior.  This will remove all of the harmful bacteria that may exist.  Having a clean vehicle also helps with fuel efficiency.  This is just a small factor but over time can really add up.  A Clean vehicle is also important for safety.  You need to have a clear view out all of your windows.  The last factor is just peace of mind, it will make you feel better.   

What is up with this weather?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

We had a few nice days before the weather turned again.  With all of this rain and wind we have been busy taking care  of our customers and their storm damage. There have already been multiple claims in for wind damage to roofs.  Some of these claims are for temporary repairs such as a tarp.  Yesterday it was reported that we had a mud rain.  This is rain dust or snow dust, traditionally known as muddy rain, red rain, or coloured rain, is a variety of rain (or any other form of precipitation) which contains enough desert dust for the dust to be visible without using a microscope.  This kind of storm did not give SERVPRO any work, but our cars were really dirty when we got off work. 

Sump Pump Failure

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Here in Iowa the majority of the basements have sump pumps.  What are sump pumps?  A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes.  These are just like any other household appliance and they don't last forever.  

In most cases sump pumps fail during heavy rain. When that happens, the water usually seeps in through the foundation or basement walls and begins pooling in the lowest area of the basement, gradually rising as more water comes in. What do you do at that point? First thing would be to call a plumber to get the sump pump working or replaced.  The second thing you should do is call SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids.  Once the plumber is done we will come out and mitigate the loss. When all is said and done it will be "Like it never even happened."

What is a Dehumidifier?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

The inside of a dehumidifier

Along with fans, dehumidifiers are one of the pieces of equipment that are used in your home for the dry out process after a water damage, but what is a dehumidifier?

A dehumidifier is a bit like a vacuum cleaner: it sucks in air from your room at one end, takes the moisture out of it, and then blows it back out into the room again.

The moisture drips through into a collection tank that you have to empty.

How is the moisture removed?  A dehumidifier is more like an air conditioning unit in this case, which, itself, works a bit like a refrigerator. 

Look inside a dehumidifier and find out what all the parts do.

May homeowners like to keep a small dehumidifier running in their basement.

How to keep your family safe.

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Creating a safe environment for your family is everyone's top priority. Here are the top 9 things that can prevent you from doing that.

#1. Falls

How to minimize:  Install supports, keep toys picked up, secure bathroom, clear outdoor areas.

#2. Fires

How to minimize:  Install fire alarms, unplug appliances, have a fire extinguisher on hand.

#3. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

How to minimize:  Install a CO Detector, keep up with home maintenance.

#4. Choking

How to minimize:  Keep an eye on kids, inspect all toys, cut up food into small pieces.

#5. Cuts

How to minimize:  Store kitchen supplies appropriately, keep all Put Away Yard Tools

#6. Poisoning

How to minimize:  Store medication properly, keep paint out of reach, secure chemicals appropriately, lock up detergent.

#7. Strangling

How to minimize: Pull all cords away, trim window cords.

#8. Drowning

How to minimize: Attend to kids when bathing, keep buckets put away.

#9. Burns

How to minimize:  Use back burners, add stove knob covers.


 

 

Frozen Pipes

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Pipes freeze when the water inside is cold enough to solidify. In extremely cold weather, pipes can freeze in a matter of minutes.  If water is flowing through the pipe it requires a lot more work to make it freeze and is not very common.  In a home a pipe is likely to freeze if it is near outer walls, low to the ground, gaps in insulation or where air flow from the outside is possible.  

Usually  only a small section of the pipe freezes.  Water expands as it freezes; the expansion starts by increasing in length along the pipe.  If the pipe has bends in it, the ice that forms is less likely to expand away from the cold.  A section of water can become trapped and the pressure in that section increases, once the pressure is too high the pipe will burst.  

A few tips to Prevent pipes from freezing:Leave tap open/dripping on pipes that freezing could occur.  Leave the space around the pipes as open as possible.  Ensure your heat is on I all areas of you home.  Insulate all areas of your home well. If the temperatures decrease a additional heater may be needed.    

Frozen Pipes

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Pipes freeze when the water inside is cold enough to solidify. In extremely cold weather, pipes can freeze in a matter of minutes.  If water is flowing through the pipe it requires a lot more work to make it freeze and is not very common.  In a home a pipe is likely to freeze if it is near outer walls, low to the ground, gaps in insulation or where air flow from the outside is possible.  

Usually  only a small section of the pipe freezes.  Water expands as it freezes; the expansion starts by increasing in length along the pipe.  If the pipe has bends in it, the ice that forms is less likely to expand away from the cold.  A section of water can become trapped and the pressure in that section increases, once the pressure is too high the pipe will burst.  

A few tips to Prevent pipes from freezing:Leave tap open/dripping on pipes that freezing could occur.  Leave the space around the pipes as open as possible.  Ensure your heat is on I all areas of you home.  Insulate all areas of your home well. If the temperatures decrease a additional heater may be needed.    

Christmas Tree Fires

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

The most wonderful time of the year can also be one of the most common times for house fires.  In 12 seconds a small spark can ignite a dry Christmas tree.  Once the Christmas tree is on fire the flames can engulf a room in under 30 seconds. 

Some tips to keep your wonderful time of the year emergency free: Make sure your tree is at least three feet from any heat source. Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.  Fresh, watered trees are much less likely to catch fire.  Water your tree daily.   If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.”

Bedtime means lights off! ­ Don’t forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.

Make sure that you have Fire/ smoke detectors and the have been properly installed and tested.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season from your SERVPRO Team.

Faster to any Disaster

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

From a burst pipe in a office building to faulty wiring in an apartment complex, fire and water losses are never planned, but they do occur. 

SERVPRO professionals know there's no such thing as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and revenue of the property owner.  SERVPRO has a 1-4-8 Service Response guideline.  Within one hour from the notice of loss a SERVPRO professional will contact you to arrange for service.  With in four hours of loss notification SERVPRO will be on site to start mitigation and within eight business hours of an on-site arrival a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate party.   

Our team is available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.  SERVPRO Professionals will work diligently to restore your property and its contents to pre loss condition helping you become the hero in an emergency situation. 

Mold Prevention Tips

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

In order for mold to grow and thrive, there must be excess moisture, food, the right temperature and lack of ventilation. 

The most important step that any property owner can take is to identify any humidity, moisture or water problems before they create bigger more costly issues. Look for any water or moisture present in your home.  Be sure to pay special attention to your plumbing in basements and crawl spaces where a water leak wouldn't be as noticeable.  Recognize musty or moldy odors, which indicate mold growth.  Your sense of smell may alert you to potential problems you cannot see.   As soon as you become aware of a different smell this is perfect time to start investigating a little bit further.  Control humidity in bathrooms and wherever water is used on a regular basis.  The use of exhaust fans, proper caulking and effective cleaning with a bleach based product will help keep problems away.  Inspect your HVAC systems and air conditioners as well as this is a common location where mold is present.  Regular inspection and maintenance can identify moisture problems or drain clogs before they get worse.  

If moisture or mold  is spotted contact a SERVPRO professional to come out and take a look. We will be able to provide you with an estimate for what it will take to clean the affected areas.

How does water damage carpet?

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

One goal of water damage restoration is to preserve and protect the structure.  One concern is water saturated carpet and pad.  Delamination is the most frequent type of damage to carpets when exposed to water.  Delamination is a mode of failure for composite materials and steel. In laminated materials, repeated cyclic stresses, impact, and so on can cause layers to separate, forming a mica-like structure of separate layers, with significant loss of mechanical toughness.  Delamination is caused when the latex adhesive holding the primary backing to the secondary backing is damaged.  Good carpets have higher quality of latex and may suffer less damage even after hours of exposure.  While at your home our SERVPRO service professionals will inspect the flooring to ensure proper mitigation can take place. 

Water damage to glued down carpeting often causes bubbling due to loss of adhesive.  If it is a small area that has bubbled, the carpet might be restored.  Otherwise, the carpet may need to be replaced.  Again SERVPRO service professionals will be able to determine the status of the flooring.

Mildew usually refers to molds that grow in wet buildings.  Natural fiber carpets are especially prone to mildew odor damage.  Saturated carpets should be dried properly and treated with a mildew deodorizer.

By responding quickly and drying  the carpet thoroughly, SERVPRO professionals can help mitigate these secondary damages following any water loss.

What SERVPRO Professionals can do for you

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration-    Clean both structure and contents in your home or business to the state it was in prior to the loss happening. Take and provide inventory of damaged personal items.  

Water Damage Mitigation- Identify where the water source is and where it has traveled.  Once determined a plan of action will be set up to fully mitigate the damages.  We will determine the proper amount of drying equipment to set to control the temperature and humidity in the affected areas.  Ultimately this will keep any further damage at a minimum.

Crime Scene, Bio hazard and Vandalism Cleanup- Our SERVPRO professionals are trained to safely and effectively clean bio hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

Mold Mitigation and Remediation-  Work to control and remove mold contaminates while protecting the health and safety of those living in the home or occupying the building. 

Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning-  We will use the latest IICRC training as well as state-of-the-art equipment to remove entrapped soils from deep within your carpets pile and backings.  Cleaners used are safe to be used in any home or business.

Stain Removal- Inspecting and reviewing the best option for cleaning the area that has been soiled.

Odor Identification and Deodorization-  Find the source of the odor and determine the best way to neutralize and eliminate the odor from your home.  

Emergency Ready Program

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Approximately 50% of the businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.  

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether is is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program. It outlines who the proper contacts are for the specific type of loss.  Also shows photos and a detailed description as to where the different turns off are in the building. 

Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.

By working with SERVPRO to help develop your personalized Emergency Ready Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. 

SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property and business cleaned up and back in working order.  

Post Construction Cleaning

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Helps ensure your finished projects always look amazing.  

Post construction cleaning- When the drywall has been hung and the flooring has been prepared for carpet, tile or hardwood it is time to clean up the debris so the final touches can be done.  Our SERVPRO professionals can provide debris removal services so the remaining finishes can be completed.

Dehumidification and Drying - During the construction phase, buildings can trap moisture.  Excessive moisture could result in mold growth.  If you think there is moisture in one of your projects, rely on our professionals to provide the help you need eliminating moisture and preventing the potential for mold growth.

Final Cleaning- You want the facility to look its best when the doors open again.  We can provide final cleaning services to give the building that extra shine.  

Structural integrity, materials, labor, safety, customer satisfaction and deadlines, the list goes on and on when building a commercial facility.  At the end of the day you are the one responsible for getting the work done and the doors open on time.  You can depend on your local SERVPRO professionals to help ensure your post-construction cleanup gets done as quickly as possible.  

Types of Mold in Households

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Different types of mold that you might find in your home:

1. Acremonium: toxigenic mold.

What does it look like?

Starts as moist, then turns into a powdery substance that is pink, orange, gray, or white.

Where does it commonly grow?

Window sealants, humidifiers, drain pans, and cooling coils.

2. Alternaria: allergenic mold.

What does it look like?

Dark green and/or brown hairs, soft and textured.

Where does it commonly grow?

Showers, bathtubs, below leaking sinks, anywhere with dampness

3. Aspergillus: allergenic mold.

What does it look like?

Comes in many colors, when given the chance to grow it is thick.

Where does it commonly grow?

Anywhere with dampness and something for it to feed on.

4. Aureobasidium: allergenic mold.

What does it look like?

Ranges in colors from pink, brown, and black.

Where does it commonly grow?

Typically found behind wallpaper, painted surfaces, and wooden surfaces.

Types of Mold in Households Pt. 2

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

5. Chaetomium: allergenic, pathogenic, and toxigenic.

What does it look like?

Similar texture to cotton, white, gray, brown, and black in coloring. The color changes over time.

Where is it commonly found?

Leaky roofs, pipes, and basements. 

6. Cladosporium: allergenic.

What does it look like?

Brown or olive green in color with a suede like texture.

Where is it commonly found?

Under floor boards, and on carpets, and upholstery.

7. Fusarium: allergenic and toxigenic.

What does it look like?

Red, pink, or white in color.

Where is it commonly found?

Carpet, wallpaper, and food products.

8. Mucor: allergenic.

What does it look like?

Thick and white or gray in color.

Where is it commonly found?

Air conditioning and HVAC units. Also in ducting systems. At times it can grow in old, damp carpets as well.

SERVPRO's Approach to Water Damage

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

When a business or home owner calls SERVPRO about a water damage on their property, they can expect to have someone on the other end of the line that is patient and ready to help. The office will take your information and find a time to schedule you in as soon as we possibly can. We will also give you suggestions on what to do while you are waiting for us to come whether it be setting your own house fans up or using towels to dry up what you can. We then get an estimator to your property and they will assess the damage and see what we can restore and what we will have to replace. Then we send out a crew to mitigate your loss and save everything we can. Once that is done, depending on how bad the damage is we either let the equipment sit longer to dry more or we start the repair and replace process.

When There is a Fire Damage at Home

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. When you have something as important as your home experience a fire loss it can be overwhelming. When you call SERVPRO we will be as helpful as we can in explaining everything to you and being patient with the process. This is something we deal with often so you can expect us to make it, "Like it never even happened."

When a Tree Falls on Your House

7/24/2018 (Permalink)

If there is a high wind storm and a tree gets blown over on to your home, what do you do?

First, and most importantly, make sure  that you and your family are safe. Do not try and get on the roof to assess the damage, just give SERVPRO a call to come and check everything out. Leave it for the professionals. 

Next, call your insurance company. For yourself, it is important to know what kind of coverage you will receive from your insurance company. But it is also important for SERVPRO to know because otherwise we cannot give you a proper estimate and let you know how much you will have to pay. 

The most important thing about this situation is knowing this information before something like this happens to your home! 

Emergency Ready Plan

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster! Of the businesses that do recover, the overwhelming majority of them had a disaster plan in place. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. 

If you are interested in a cost free assesment of your commercial building, contact us today. ERP's are a great way to help mitigate the damage to your business, and gives us more potential to restore things that were impacted by the loss. Help us help you!

Please call 319-393-8430 and speak to one of our office staff about how he can help your business be prepared with a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile.

When Should I Change My Sump Pump?

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

Many people are not aware of the problems that will arise if their sump pump is not working properly. There are also many people that do not know how to test their sump pump. Here is some information regarding sump pump maintenance.

Sump pumps are more active during heavy rains or storms. Depending on where you live, your sump pump will run more or less. Sump pumps should be checked at least once a year and probably more if you live in Eastern Iowa because of the chance for many periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Here are some steps to check your sump pump:

1. Slowly fill the pit where the sump pump is with water. Watch for the float to rise, which would cause the pump to activate. Once the pump activates, make sure the water is drained from the pit.

2. If you have a backup pump, you can test it the same way. Make sure the first pump is unplugged first. 

A normal pump will cost you between $150 and $300 to replace if need be. It is better to spend this money than to deal with the mess left behind if the pump fails. 

Most people do not know if they have sump pump coverage on their homeowners policy. This is another question to ask. If the pump fails and there is no coverage, you will be in a tough situation. 

The average cost of a water damage due to sump pump failure will be between $2,500 and $15,000. This usually involves removing wet carpet and pad, damaged drywall, damaged baseboard, and wet insulation. 

Test your sump pump regularly. It is similar to changing the filters on your furnace or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors

Fire Damage at Riley's of 1st Ave

7/23/2018 (Permalink)

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department was called to Riley's Restaurant on 1st Avenue in Cedar Rapids on a Tuesday afternoon. A fire, which started in the area above the kitchen, caused extensive damage to the building. Fire crews were able to extinguish the fire, but not before extensive damage was done to the roof. 

SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids was called to the scene shortly after the fire to begin emergency services. Crews were on site into the night getting a tarp on the roof and securing windows and doors. SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids was also hired to assist with cleanup of Moose McDuffy's and Citywide Cleaners. The relationship with the owners of these businesses was started long before the fire happened, and that is why SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids was the first on scene and able to respond quickly to try to get these businesses up and running very quickly.

Within weeks, SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids will be able to make it "Like it never even happened."

Tornadoes Terrorize Marshalltown, Pella, and Bondurant

7/20/2018 (Permalink)

Last night (July 19, 2018) three towns in particular had a bad run in with a few tornadoes. There have been images online of homes and commercial buildings torn apart because of them. This is such a devastating time and the pictures and videos are very saddening. A historical clock tower in Marshalltown that stood for around 100 years was torn down as well, there is a video floating around online of it being ripped off of the main structure. Although this is a terrible event, we have heard of all of the communities coming together to help rebuild their city. We send our thoughts and prayers to the people in these towns, tornadoes can truly break down a city but we know that the people of these towns will come back better than ever.

Everything you need to know about your sump pump

7/5/2018 (Permalink)

Many people are not aware of the problems that will arise if their sump pump is not working properly. There are also many people that do not know how to test their sump pump. Here is some information regarding sump pump maintenance.

Sump pumps are more active during heavy rains or storms. Depending on where you live, your sump pump will run more or less. Sump pumps should be checked at least once a year and probably more if you live in Eastern Iowa because of the chance for many periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

Here are some steps to check your sump pump:

1. Slowly fill the pit where the sump pump is with water. Watch for the float to rise, which would cause the pump to activate. Once the pump activates, make sure the water is drained from the pit.

2. If you have a backup pump, you can test it the same way. Make sure the first pump is unplugged first. 

A normal pump will cost you between $150 and $300 to replace if need be. It is better to spend this money than to deal with the mess left behind if the pump fails.  The average cost of a water damage due to sump pump failure will be between $2,500 and $15,000. 

Test your sump pump regularly. It is similar to changing the filters on your furnace or changing the batteries in your smoke detectors.

How does hail happen?

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

When rain drops get carried high into the atmosphere where it is very cold they freeze and then come hurling down as hail. According to NOAA (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) hail causes around one billion dollars a year in damage whether it is crops, buildings, or cars. NOAA also has state by state information on damages due to hazardous weather. In Iowa in 2017 there was 14.31 million dollars’ worth of property damage and a whopping 37.20 dollars’ worth of crop damage. If you get caught in a hail storm seek shelter immediately. If you are in a car pull over to the side of the road, try to find a safe place under a bridge to protect yourself and your car. If you are inside stay away from windows.

We Get it. Compassion is a Priority.

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO employees are more than just technicians, we are compassionate and sympathetic. We get that it’s hard to deal with water and fire damage and that mold can be scary. Regardless of if you’re talking to the office staff on the phone or the technicians in person, we strive to make this unfortunate situation a little less unfortunate. Whether it is your home or your company, these are places that mean a lot to you and we want to help you get your home or company back, “Like it never even happened” as fast as we can while still giving you the quality finished product that you deserve. When you come in contact with us, you will know that we care. Just check out our testimonials page!

Avoid Wildfires!

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

If you plan on going camping this summer, you should be aware of some basic campfire rules. When you find the perfect dirt spot for your campfire, clear the twigs, leaves, firewood, and grass away from around it. Then you will dig a foot deep hole and surround the hole with rocks. As you build your fire, make sure it doesn’t get too large or out of control. It is important to keep a bucket of water nearby incase the fire spreads outside of the pit. Keep your firewood, kindling, and tinder pile upwind from the fire so floating embers can’t reach it. Always keep an eye on little ones and pets around campfires; no one wants to take a trip to the ER. Try to burn all of the wood down to ashes. Once you’re finished, pour a lot of water on to the fire until there is no longer embers burning and there is no hissing noise. If you don’t have access to water, throw dirt on the fire and stir it with a shovel, continue doing this until all of the embers have cooled. As Smokey the Bear would say, “Only you can prevent wildfires.”

Our Process with Mold

6/20/2018 (Permalink)

When you find mold in your home and you call SERVPRO, this is what happens. We answer the phone and figure out what the issue is and ask where the mold is located in the house. We also assure you that everything will be okay; we understand that mold can be scary. Once we have communicated with you, we come to inspect and assess the area with mold in it. Then we contain the mold and filter the air. When the air filtration and mold containment is finished we start the process of removing the mold itself and mold infested materials. After that we take care to clean your belongings and contents that were in the areas impacted by the mold. Once all of this is done, the  restoration process is begun so we can make it, “Like it never even happened.”

We're Green! And Not Just the Color.

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Is being environmentally friendly important to you? Us too! SERVPRO is a restoration company, which means that we try to salvage and restore everything we can. This creates less waste compared to companies that replace everything, and it saves you some of your own green that you can put back in your pocket. How can we tell if your things are able to be restored? We have a process called pretesting, so we don’t waste anyone’s time or money. When we are unsure if an item is salvageable we pretest it. This omits charges for cleaning salvageable items. Pretesting also helps us understand more about the damages on the object, which in turn helps us choose the best way to clean and restore it. When you choose restore over replace, you are choosing to help save the environment (and your finances.)

We Will Get to You in No Time!

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

If your company property has an accident and needs us, we will be there. SERVPRO has a national call center that is open 24/7 so that you can always get a hold of us. The national call center will call our local franchise so that we can take care of your property as soon as possible. We also have the Priority Response Program. This is SERVPRO local staff that is willing to come at any time to help mitigate and stabilize commercial losses. We can call on other franchises around the area to help if the commercial loss is big enough so that we can get more done in a shorter amount of time. This helps to mitigate the overall loss and you will see the real-time loss visibility.

Sparklers, Children, and Injuries

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Your friends at SERVPRO want you and your children to be careful this Independence Day. According to the NFPA, in 2014, children ages 5-9 were 2.4 times as likely as the general population to be injured by fireworks. Youth ages 10-19 had a risk 1.8 times the overall risk. That is a scary statistic considering the hospital saw a whopping 10,500 people for firework related injuries. 54% of these injuries were burns and 31% of the injuries were from sparklers. Sparklers are actually considered about equal to a blowtorch in terms of heat and danger. Make sure you’re safe when using sparklers, and instead of using consumer firecrackers just go to the public displays that your city puts on for you to safely enjoy. Happy holiday!

Mold Myths, Busted

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Mold is a normal thing. People seem to have a lot of misinformation about mold so we are here to set a few things straight. Mold is a natural allergen that has been around for a long time. It is everywhere. It will grow if it has moisture and a proper food source. Bleach does not kill mold and killing mold is not just enough to get rid of the allergens that affect you if you are sensitive to mold. While you may be able to remove some types of mold in small quantities yourself, you should contact a professional. Mold remediation should be done by professionals like SERVPRO to ensure that the entire mold is properly removed. If you notice any mold in your home or commercial building contact SERVPRO immediately.

Facts about lightning

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning is a very cool thing to watch. When you watch it, it should be indoors though. National Geographic says that the average American has a 1 in 5,000 chance of being hit by lightning, but 9/10 people survive a lightning strike. Cars and homes/buildings are the safest spots to be when lightning storms are in the area. They have conductors, such as tires and/or metal rods, that can safely transfer the lightning to the ground.  The most common type of lightning is cloud-to-ground lightning. This lightning  strikes the ground around 100 times a second. Each bolt contains up to one billion bolts of electricity. Remember, when lightning is in the area you need to stay inside a building or a car to stay safe.

Post Flood Safety

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

When flood waters recede, you might be anxious to see how hard your home was hit. Do not put yourself in danger just to go check on your home. Be patient. If you choose to head home and look at the damages, wait for authorities to give you the all clear. Be careful to avoid standing water, you never know what is hiding in it. Whether it is chemicals, sewage, or sharp objects, you don’t want to worry about that. If you are driving to your home, be sure to listen to the road signs and do not drive through standing water. The last thing you want is to have to deal with car issues in addition to your home.  For more information on floods click here

Tornado Awareness

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are extremely dangerous, and should not be taken lightly. In 2017, Iowa had 55 Tornadoes resulting in 6 injuries. To reduce your chance of being one of those 6 people in 2018, here are some helpful tips. The first thing you need to do is be alert and aware of the weather. If its thunder storming and very windy out, you should take shelter indoors and turn on the news for weather alerts. The news is a good source to find out if there is a tornado watch or warning. When there is a tornado watch, you should be looking out for tornadoes in your area. When there is a tornado warning, you should immediately go to your safe room, a basement, or room with no windows. If you are unable to take shelter, go to a low point outside like a ditch. For more information on tornadoes click here

Thunderstorm Knowledge

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

There are multiple variables that make thunderstorms dangerous. During a thunderstorm you should seek shelter indoors. Lightning, wind, and hail are things that cause damage due to thunderstorms. If you are outdoors during a storm you should avoid trees, they could fall on you and they attract lightening, so you have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning. Wind can get up to extremely fast gusts. These gusts of wind have the ability to blow telephone lines, cars, and even mobile homes over. Avoid being near trees, telephone lines, and larger trucks and semis during storms. If it is possible you should try to get to the nearest shelter, even if it is just a gas station it is preferred over a car. Cars are safer than being outdoors. If you are in a car try to park away from trees and telephone poles. For more information on thunderstorm safety click here.

Mold Sensitivity

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

"A furry growth of minute fungal hyphae occurring typically in moist warm conditions, especially on food or other organic matter,” is how Google’s dictionary defines mold. Some of the most common molds found indoors are cladosporium, penicillium, alternaria, and aspergillus. Mold effects people in different ways, for some people who are more sensitive to mold it gives them itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, or even a sore throat. For people that are sensitive to mold we suggest that you avoid those areas that are moist and humid, prone to mold growth. It is recommended to keep your bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms well ventilated to avoid mold growth in these damp areas. Some people don’t have any reaction to mold. For more information on mold click here.

Cooking Fires

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

According to the NFPA there was, on average, 166,100 home fires that involved cooking equipment in 2010-2014 per year. You can prevent this in your home by following a few simple rules. If you are using your oven or stove, do not leave them unattended. This might seem obvious but if you leave a hot stove or oven on without paying attention to it, you never know what could happen. When you are cooking, be sure to wear clothes that won’t catch on fire. Try to wear short sleeves or tight long sleeves. For outdoor cooking, keep your grill far away from the side of your home or deck. Look above where your grill is. Are there tree branches? If so, you should probably move your grill to a spot where it is clear above and around.

Emergency Ready Program

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Is is estimated that up to 50% of the businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen!  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether is is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile serves as a quick reference of important building and contact information or can be an ideal supplement to any well-designed emergency preparedness or existing contingency program.  Rather than simply reacting to disaster situations, most prefer proactive measures to establish a relationship with a restoration services company.

By working with SERVPRO to help develop your personalized Emergency Ready Profile your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.  

Post Construction Cleaning

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Helps ensure your finished projects always look their best.  

Post construction cleaning- Once the floors are down and the drywall is up, it's time to remove the debris and dirt in order to lay carpet, paint and decorate.  We can provide the debris removal service to prepare the building for interior design.  

Dehumidification and Drying - During the construction phase, a building can trap moisture.  Excessive moisture could result in mold growth.  If you think one of your projects may have moisture, rely on our professionals to provide the help you need eliminating moisture and preventing the potential for mold growth.

Final Cleaning- You want the facility to look its best when the doors open.  We can provide cleaning services to give the building that extra shine.  

Structural integrity, materials, labor, safety, customer satisfaction and deadlines- the list goes on and on when building a commercial facility.  The bottom line, however, is you are responsible for getting the doors open on time.  You can rely on your local SERVPRO professionals to help ensure your post-construction cleanup gets done as quickly as possible.  

Faster to any Disaster

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

From a burst pipe in a office building to faulty wiring in an apartment complex, fire and water losses are never planned, but they do occur.  SERVPRO professionals know there's no such think as a small emergency when it threatens the welfare of the tenants and revenue of the property owner.  SERVPRO has a 1-4-8 Service Response guideline.  Within one hour from the notice of loss a SERVPRO professional will contact you to arrange for service.  With in four hours of loss notification SERVPRO will be on site to start mitigation and within eight business hours of on site arrival a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.   

Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO Professionals will work hard to restore the property and its contents to pre loss condition helping you become the hero in a disaster situation. 

Mold Prevention Tips

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

In order for mold to grow and thrive, there must be excess moisture, food, the right temperature and lack of ventilation.  The most important step that any property owner can take is to identify any humidity, moisture or water problems before they create bigger more costly issues. Look for any water or moisture.  Pay special attention around pipes, in basements and crawl spaces.  Recognize musty or moldy odors, which indicate mold growth.  Your sense of smell may alert you to potential problems you cannot see.   Control humidity in bathrooms and wherever water is repeatedly used.  Exhaust fans, proper caulking and effective cleaning with a bleach based product will help keep problems away.  Inspect your HVAC systems and air conditioners.  Regular inspection and maintenance can identify moisture problems or drain clogs before they get worse.  

If moisture or mold  is spotted contact a SERVPRO professional to come out and take a look. 

How does water damage carpet?

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

A goal of water damage restoration is to preserve and protect the structure, and one concern is water saturated carpets.  Delamination is the most frequent type of damage to carpets when exposed to water.  Delamination is caused when the latex adhesive holding the primary backing to the secondary backing is damaged.  Good carpets have higher quality of latex and may suffer little damage even after hours of exposure.  Cheaper carpets may suffer delamination after only a few hours.  

Water damage glue down carpeting often causes bubbling due to loss of adhesive.  If just a small area is bubbles, the carpet might be restored.  Otherwise, the carpet may need to be replaced.  

Mildew usually refers to molds that grow in wet buildings.  Natural fiber carpets are especially prone to mildew odor damage.  Saturated carpets should be dried properly and treated with a mildew deodorizer.

By responding quickly and drying  the carpet thoroughly, SERVPRO professionals can help mitigate these secondary damages following a water loss.

What SERVPRO Professionals can do for you

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Fire, Smoke and Soot Cleanup and Restoration-  Take inventory of damaged contents.  Clean and restore to original state. 

Water Damage Mitigation- Identify the source and type of water, which determines the proper course of action.  Drying equipment controls temperature and humidity, minimizing secondary damage.  

Crime Scene, Bio hazard and Vandalism Cleanup- Trained to safely and effectively clean bio hazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. 

Mold Mitigation and Remediation-  work to control and remove mold contaminates while protecting the health and safety of building occupants. 

Carpet and Hard Floor Cleaning-  Use the latest IICRC training as well as state-of-the-art equipment to remove entrapped soils from deep within your carpets pile and backings.

Stain Removal- Show you what cleaning option would be best for your carpets level of soiling.

Odor Identification and Deodorization-  Find the source of the odor and determine the best methods to neutralize and eliminate the odor from your home.  

Frozen pipes

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

Pipes freeze when the water inside is cold enough to solidify. In extremely cold weather, pipes can freeze in a matter of minutes.  If water is flowing through the pipe it requires a lot more work to make it freeze and is not very common.  In a home a pipe is likely to freeze if it is near outer walls, low to the ground, gaps in insulation or where air flow from the outside is possible.  

Usually  only a small section of the pipe freezes.  Water expands as it freezes; the expansion starts by increasing in length along the pipe.  If the pipe has bends in it, the ice that forms is less likely to expand away from the cold.  A section of water can become trapped and the pressure in that section increases, once the pressure is too high the pipe will burst.  

A few tips to Prevent pipes from freezing:Leave tap open/dripping on pipes that freezing could occur.  Leave the space around the pipes as open as possible.  Ensure your heat is on I all areas of you home.  Insulate all areas of your home well. If the temperatures decrease a additional heater may be needed.    

Christmas Tree Fires

12/27/2017 (Permalink)

The most wonderful time of the year can also be the most common time for house fires.  A simple spark can turn a dry Christmas tree into flames in 12 seconds.  A Christmas tree fire can also engulf an entire room in flames in less than 30 seconds.  

Some tips to keep your wonderful time of the year emergency free: Make sure your tree is at least three feet from any heat source.  Fresh, watered trees are much less likely to catch fire.  Water your tree daily.   If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it’s labeled “fire resistant.”

Make sure that you have Fire/ smoke detectors and the have been properly installed and tested.

Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season from your SERVPRO Team.

Golf for a Cure a Huge Success!

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

On Friday June 23rd, two hundred and twenty five community leaders and business owners joined SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids for the 3rd Annual Golf for a Cure Golf Tournament to benefit JDRF. It was a beautiful day on the course and everyone had a great time while raising a lot of money for Type 1 Diabetes Research! 

SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids is lucky to be a part of a great community that get's behind each other for great causes like JDRF. SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids is excited for what the future holds with this event. It will be bigger and better again next year!

Thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers for their generosity and time. SERVPRO of Cedar Rapids cannot say thank you enough for making this event a huge success.

Angie's List

6/18/2013 (Permalink)

We are now associated with Angie's List. Please take time to review us or write a review for work we have completed at your home or business. We have been incredibly busy this spring and early summer because of the amount of rain we have had. We have had the opportunity to serve many people in the Cedar Rapids Area over the last few months.

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