Recent Posts

Hot Topic! Hot Pepper Eating Contest at SERVPRO!

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

Community Hot Topic!  Hot Pepper Eating Contest at SERVPRO! A variety of peppers. Some of which we are going to be eating!

Hot Topic! We are considering having a hot pepper eating contest on Facebook live in the near future. Katie Marie brought in Carolina Reapers and other hot peppers. We want to reach out to our customers and see if you would:
1 Like to come out and be part of the event
2 Like to see it in person at our shop.
3 Just like to view it online.
4 Have nothing to do with it because we are crazy!
5 Wait and make it part of our CE Class snacks for our local insurance agents....

Please comment your selection and/or suggestions!

Bob Vohl

There will be prizes given out, maybe to the person who eats them all, maybe for the person who guesses the winner, maybe for lots of other categories that I haven't thought up yet! 

If you don't respond to the Facebook Post or the Twitter Post or call us, you won't know for sure!

Come on and cheer on your favorite SERVPRO employee, customer or business partner that participates! Either online or in person!

Watch Facebook (SERVPRO of Dubuque, Dubuque SERVPRO) or Twitter (@SERVPRODubuque) for more info, participants and details.

Cell Phone Charger - Fire Hazard

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cell Phone Charger - Fire Hazard Phone Charger Shorted Causing Fire Damage in Dubuque Iowa

SERVPRO of Dubuque was recently called to clean up and rebuild a local home that sustained significant fire, soot and smoke damage due to an electrical fire.

As usual we were prevented from beginning our work until after the Cause and Origin Specialist had reviewed the scene and determined the cause of the fire.

It ended up in this case that a cell phone charger was left plugged in after the phone was removed after charging overnight.  The charger shorted out and started a fire resulting in $50,000 plus in damage.

It is commonly known that charging a phone while on top of a flammable surface such as in bed or on a sofa is a fire hazard, but what about once the phone is removed from the charger?

Most people are unaware that once the phone or even the charging cord are disconnected there is still power being drawn by the "wall plug".

As we find that we use more and more mobile electronics in our daily lives, most of us have a handful of different chargers for our cell phones, tablets and other accessories.  It is common to leave wall plugs or car chargers plugged in and simply disconnect our devices.  Unfortunately doing so is not only a fire hazard but is becoming one of the most frequent causes of electrical fires in homes.

Two possible preventative measures are either simply unplugging all chargers when not currently in use or to plug all chargers into a quality GFI power strip and turn it off when not utilizing the chargers.

I hope this information will be helpful and can prevent a dangerous and costly fire in your home or business.  Should you have a fire or water damage loss, please remember SERVPRO of Dubuque.  We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage in Eastern Iowa, SW WI or NW IL? We can HELP!

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage in Eastern Iowa, SW WI or NW IL? We can HELP! Water damage in Galena Illinois.

Water Damage? We can help!

Flooding and water damage like Eastern Iowa, NW Illinois and SW Wisconsin have experienced this Summer, is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Dubuque arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage to try and limit the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (563) 584-2242

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 Dubuque

SERVPRO of Dubuque has more than 20 years experience, specializing 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.

If you experience any type of water damage or flood loss, call SERVPRO of Dubuque.  We make it like in never even happened!

New CE Classes September 12, 2017 at SERVPRO of Dubuque

9/5/2017 (Permalink)

Community New CE Classes September 12, 2017 at SERVPRO of Dubuque Insurance CE Classes at SERVPRO of Dubuque

SERVPRO of Dubuque CE Classes: CE Class Sign Up

SERVPRO of Dubuque CE ClassesCE Class Sign Up

Below you will find 2 classes that we will be hosting on September 12th, 2017. Class times and details are also listed below. Sign up is required before the classes and seating is limited to 33 people per class.

Todd Davis of Davis Insurance Agency will be teaching these classes again.  Most of our agents and adjusters have been to one of Todd's classes and he always gets the BEST reviews.  If you have not been to one of our CE classes with Todd instructing, you are missing out.

There will be a one hour break between classes. Water and snacks will be available.

8AM-noon          4 hours - ABC's of Ethics (IA # - 86520)

1PM-5PM            4 hours - Agent's Guide to Claims, Principles, and Practices

                         ( IA # - 101353 and   IL # - 6000004202)

Date: 09/12/2017 (Tue.)

Location: SERVPRO of Dubuque, 10479 Timothy Street, Dubuque IA 52003

There is no cost to attend our CE classes this session.  Registration must be done online at the link below.

Sign Up

Power Washing with Reclamation

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Power Washing with Reclamation Examples of power washing jobs

High pressure power washing with DNR/EPA approved extraction

In this series of Blog Posts, we continue to highlight some of the really unique pieces of equipment and services we offer at SERVPRO of Dubuque. I will try and describe what makes them so special and how they are used to help our customers at their times of need.

One of our resources is a high pressure power washer/extractor that provides the following:

High pressure power washing 3500 psi

200 degree F water supplied at 6 gallons per minute (GPM)

Twin high volume water extraction systems 1400+ gallons per hour

Waste Water Reclamation (per DNR/EPA guidelines)

Debris and oil separation to recycle and reuse water

 This machine can be used to clean driveways and parking lots without allowing the waste water to run off. It is powerful enough to clean a department store parking lot of grease, gum and paint (see the video in our video gallery) but precise enough to clean a decorative brick sidewalk.

 We have also been very successful using it to clean the exterior of buildings of soot, after a fire. In our before and after photo section, there are photos of cleaning the soot off a two story building without needing scaffolding or ladders.

 In addition to its outdoor uses, due to the water extraction abilities, it has works great indoors also, cleaning up after fires or water damage.  On one occasion we cleaned up a kitchen fire at a McDonalds that resulted in grease, water and chemicals all over the walls and floor of the restaurant.  Instead of an expected clean up duration of multiple days, utilizing this machine we had the restaurant open later that day. We have also used it to extract flood water and mud from the floors of several large commercial buildings.

 The cleaning capabilities of this power washing/extraction machine make it much easier to minimize the down time caused by the need to clean up from these significant incidents. The floor scrubbers keep the water contained while cleaning, compared to conventional wand systems, with less chance of overspray.  Since it cleans and extracts simultaneously, it is much more efficient than a conventional multi-step process.   This allows us to get our customers back in business and verify our slogan “SERVPRO, Like it never even happened”.

This machine is the only one in the Mid-West with these capabilities and unique features. It can usually be mobilized with in a day.

Soda Blasting

8/10/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Soda Blasting Mold Remediation by soda blasting

Soda Blasting

In this series of Blog Posts, we continue to highlight some of the really unique pieces of equipment and services we offer at SERVPRO of Dubuque. I will try and describe what makes them so special and how they are used to help our customers at their times of need.

Baking-soda abrasive blasting effectively removes mold, soot, dirt or other contaminants while minimizing damage to the underlying surface. The baking soda used in soda-blasting is soft but angular, appearing knife-like under a microscope.  Baking soda is water-soluble and also effectively absorbs odors. When the proper equipment setup (correct nozzles, media regulators, hoses, etc.) and technique (proper air flow, pressure, angle of attack, etc.) are used, the process allows for fast and efficient removal of contaminants with a minimum of damage, waste and cleanup. 

Our Soda Blasting crew consists of a 3 man mobile team with over 20 years of experience. They are effective in elevated positions as well as limited spaces.

The results of soda blasting after a fire damage is truly amazing. The process can clean blackened, charred lumber so that it looks like new wood.  It is also extremely effective in mold remediation.  Please be sure to check the before and after photos on this website to see some examples.

Recently, our soda blasting team was dispatched to an illegal clandestine marijuana grow house. As a result of the growing operation taking place in this rental home, the attic was severely affected by mold growth.  Soda blasting not only was the primary means of mold remediation on site, but the odor absorbing baking soda medium helped reduce some of the remaining odors from the operation.

Power Generation and Distribution

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Power Generation and Distribution 35KW Generator with Distribution Boxes

Power Generation and Distribution

In this series of Blog Posts, we continue to highlight some of the really unique pieces of equipment we use here at SERVPRO of Dubuque. I will try and describe what makes them so special and how they are used to help our customers at their times of need.

Trailer mounted 35KW and 50KW diesel generators with distribution:

Commonly, after a residential or commercial building fire, onsite power is not available. Depending on the extent of damage done by the fire, electrical power may not be restored to the site for several days.

The frustration of not being able to set equipment and begin the fire and water damage remediation process after a loss due to lack on onsite power, is no longer an issue. SERVPRO of has two mobile, trailer mounted generators that are equipped with basic distribution to provide necessary, safe and grounded power to the jobsite. 

50 KW Generator

The 50 KW Generator supplies it power through a 250 amp breaker with a total of 50 feet of 220V main power cord serving 4 distribution boxes totaling 56 ground fault interrupted outlets.  This unit has the capability up running up to 100 pieces of remediation equipment for 2.5 days prior to refueling its internal 100 gallon diesel fuel cell.

35 KW Generator

The 35 KW Generator supplies its power through a 150 amp panel with plug in distribution of 18 @110V GFI and 4 @220V outlets. An internal 150 gallon diesel fuel cell can provide 4 days of run time.

Since these pieces of equipment are stored indoors at two locations in Eastern Iowa, they are kept ready to mobilize to your jobsite very quickly. Usually, they can be delivered, setup by our trained staff and providing power within a few hours.

Desiccant Drying

7/27/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Desiccant Drying Titan 5000 High Efficiency Desiccant Dehumidifier

Desiccant Drying

In this next series of Blog Posts, I will be talking about some of the really unique pieces of equipment we use here at SERVPRO of Dubuque. I will try and describe what makes them so special and how they are used to help our customers at their times of need.

Titan 5000 CFM Desiccant

Desiccant dehumidifiers are commercial dehumidifying machines that utilize a solid material to absorb large amounts of moisture from the surrounding air and then displacing this moisture with heat. They are capable of getting large areas much dryer, more quickly than more common LGR (Low Grain Refrigerant) machines   Desiccants are commonly used for large commercial and institutional buildings that have experienced a water damage loss of some type.

Desiccant dehumidifiers have been around for many years. Normally, the desiccant is a large box that is powered by a separate diesel electric generator.  Commonly the two units travel together on a large flatbed trailer similar to a semi-trailer.  These units are very large, very loud and burn a large volume of diesel fuel per day.

Our Titan Desiccant is an amazing piece of modern technology.   This high efficiency unit is smaller, more portable, whisper quiet and extremely fuel efficient compared to other 5000 CFM units .  Instead of two separate machines, the Titan has an internal 35KW diesel generator.   Because the generator is fully enclosed in the sound insulated body, it is 60% quieter than competing units.

Previously desiccants were only used on commercial and industrial properties due to their large size and excessively loud noise levels. The Titan 5000 is perfect for large residential, habitational or institutional properties because of its low noise levels, plus it is small and maneuverable enough to fit into a driveway or parking stall.

Our newest Titan 5000 unit which is in production now, will have onboard power distribution as well so the excess electricity that is generated will be capable of providing additional power to the job site to run our other mediation equipment or temporary lighting.

If you experience, a water damage or flood event to your large residence, apartment complex, school, library, nursing home, rehabilitation or medical center. Our high efficiency Titan 5000 CFM Desiccant might be exactly what is needed.

Why Water Damage Needs Repairing within 48 Hours - Is it to Prevent Mold Formation?

2/15/2017 (Permalink)

You will hear constantly that when it comes to water damage, everything will need to be dried within 48 hours. The problem is, you may not know why this is and what the health risks are if this does not happen.

The main reason why the water damage needs to be dried within 48 hours is to prevent the growth of mold. Mold is extremely damaging to the health but will start to form quickly. Once it does form, you will find that it grows quickly. However, you will hardly notice that the mold is there until it is too late.

Mold like dark and warm places, which is usually in the carpet or in the corner of a room, behind something. You could even find that the severe damage has caused the growth of black mold in the drywall.

Mold causes a number of health problems linked to the lungs. The particles can be breathed in very easily and often makes asthma and allergies worse; it can also create some of the asthma and allergies. There are also a number of problems that are physically visible when severe damage has caused mold, such as eczema or blisters on the hands.

There are many different types of mold that can occur in your home and not all of them will be from damage caused by the water. Different types of water damage will also cause the different types of mold. Black flood water damage is usually linked to the growth of black mold, which is more toxic. This can make it extremely difficult to create a form of medication to help those that are struggling with mold problems.

While mold removal is possible, it is usually best to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This is done to ensure that the water damage is dried within the first 48 hours. You can also use a dehumidifier in your home to help to keep the area cool, since mold prefers warm and moist areas to grow.

If your water damage cannot be repaired and dried within 48 hours then you should look at replacing it instead; this will save you a lot of money in the long run. With some items, the only thing that you can do when mold appears is replace it anyway. This is especially the case when it comes to carpets and drywall water damage.

Now, you may realize that mold formation is fatal to your health and you need not to worry when there are experts for black mold removal, you can avail their services early to save you and yourself from any health issues.

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Don't Let Winter Weather Take a Toll on You | Part 1

1/31/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't Let Winter Weather Take a Toll on You | Part 1 Soot damage to interior walls and carpet from Puff Back in Dubuque Iowa

The Puff Back Problem - Oil Burning Furnaces

The Problem

A puff back is a messy furnace malfunction that occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once, covering the interior in grimy soot, or a puff back can leak soot particles gradually. The soot caused by the Puff Back can do significant damage to both building structure and contents.

Cost of Damage

Minimal to significant depending on the amount of soot released.  It also depends on the amount of contents affected by the soot discharge.


Consider having your oil burner serviced before you suffer a puff back. If your home or business experiences a puff back, your SERVPRO of Dubuque has the tools, training and experience to help make it “Like it never even happened." We can handle the structural cleaning as well as the contents cleaning.  More information about contents cleaning off soot damaged contents can be found in our blog post about using ultrasonic cleaning.