Recent Posts

July 10th Insurance CE Classes

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Community July 10th Insurance CE Classes CE Classes at SERVPRO of Dubuque

UPDATED 07/05/2018


SERVPRO of Dubuque is hosting another round of Insurance CE classes on July 10th at our offices.

Please click on the link below for details and to sign up.

Our last class filled up in less than 2 hours from emailed invites with several no-shows.

This time, Facebook, Twitter and this website will have first dibs!

Workplace Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Workplace Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Air Quality Samples being collected.

Has the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) of your commercial building ever been tested?

According to the EPA on their website,

Indoor air quality is a major concern to businesses, building managers, tenants and employees because it can impact the health, comfort, well being and productivity of building occupants.

Most Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors and many spend most of their working hours in an office environment. Studies conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and others show that indoor environments sometimes can have levels of pollutants that are actually higher than levels found outside.

Pollutants in our indoor environment can increase the risk of illness. Several studies by EPA, states, and independent scientific panels have consistently ranked indoor air pollution as an important environmental health problem. While most buildings do not have severe indoor air quality problems, even well-run buildings can sometimes experience episodes of poor indoor air quality.

A 1989 EPA Report to Congress concluded that improved indoor air quality can result in higher productivity and fewer lost work days. EPA estimates that poor indoor air may cost the nation tens of billions of dollars each year in lost productivity and medical care.

There are three main strategies to controlling IAQ.

1. Managing pollutant sources. This is done by simply eliminating pollutants if possible, by setting physical barriers (containment), by managing air flow with pressure differentials or by timing the necessary release of pollutants to coincide with times when the building is not occupied.

2. Diluting pollutants and remove them through ventilation.

3. Using filtration to clean the air of pollutants.

SERVPRO of Dubuque uses all of these methods during the mold remediation process.  If there are other IAQ concerns in a building, we often refer to our sister company, MB Mold & Air Quality Testing.  The CIE's (Council Certified Indoor Environmentalists) at MB Mold & Indoor Air Quality Testing specialize in Mold, Methamphetamine Residue, Allergens and VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds).  They can assess IAQ issues and recommend resolutions.

Document Restoration

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Document Restoration Stationary Drying Chamber and Mobile Drying Chamber

As spring rains and potential flooding approaches, have a plan in place to restore your business records. 

SERVPRO of Dubuque is one of the industry leaders in restoring and salvaging water damaged documents, books, photos, microfilm, microfiches, X-rays, audio/video tapes and other materials by using state-of-the-art vacuum freeze drying technology.

Document Response Team - We have an experienced and trained HIPAA certified team ready to mobilize for on-site pack out, pickup and transportation of your wet or damaged documents.

Water Damaged items that can be salvaged using vacuum freeze-drying:

  • Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, text books, reference books, manuals
  • Business/Personal records and documents: legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogues, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
  • Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
  • Keepsakes: photographs, leather and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
  • Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
  • Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, water colors

Mobile Document Restoration

We have access to one of the only portable document restoration equipment in the industry.  In the event that you have a project where the documents are legally required to remain onsite, we can accommodate.

Additional Document Services Available

  • Secure Document Destruction
  • Gamma Irradiation.
  • Document Cleaning
  • Scanning/Digitizing
  • Ozone Treatment (Deodorization)

Businesses of all sizes can have a need for document restoration.  Whether it is a small file cabinet filled with financial records or a warehouse full of important documents and customer files, SERVPRO of Dubuque is the solution.

Time is of the essence in Document Restoration.  Wet documents should be stabilized with in the first 48 hours and with as little manipulation as possible.  Give SERVPRO of Dubuque a call as soon as possible so we can mobilize your Document Response Team to stabilize your documents.

Residential Desiccant

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Residential Desiccant Desiccant set on residential water job in Galena Illinois

If you are not familiar with desiccant dehumidification, please read the blog Desiccant Dehumidification.

As the season for spring rains and flooding approaches, keep in mind that SERVPRO of Dubuque has one of the most innovative drying tools available.  Our Titan 5000 Desiccant Dehumidifier is like no other piece of drying equipment in the area.  This High Efficiency Desiccant has several advantages over anything else available.

Normally a desiccant is a very large, very loud and very inefficient machine.  Normally it is delivered on a large flat bed trailer behind a semi truck accompanied by a large 240KW generator.

This may be appropriate for a large commercial water loss, but is not something you would want to have set in your residential neighborhood, library parking lot, apartment complex, nursing home or school.

The Titan 5000 is an 8'x8'x8' cube that  rests on a car sized trailer and the generator is included inside the cube, within the sound proofing.

The Titan 5000 is 70% quieter and 70% more fuel efficient than the standard 5000 CFM desiccant.

It is a solution for severe residential water damage losses as well as specialty commercial placements where size and sound levels are a concern.

Only SERVPRO of Dubuque and our partners have access to this amazing machine.

Esporta Wash System

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Esporta Wash System Esporta Wash System

The Esporta Wash System, restores 85%-90% of the soft contents that have been traditionally non-restorable!

Soot, smoke or sewage damaged contents, especially clothing, leather goods and other high value soft fibers were either not restorable, or risked damage if cleaning was attempted.

Thanks to the Esporta Wash System, many of those concerns are a thing of the past. The Esporta cleans 85-90%% of all damaged soft contents. These soft contents include clothing, bedding, outerwear, pillows and stuffed animals. It includes leather items such as shoes, boots, belts, purses and jackets. Plus, a range of sports equipment, helmets, rollerblades & ski boots. Even ceramic collector dolls can be held stationary for cleaning.

We use the Esporta Wash System to clean protecting gear for several local Fire Departments, everything from helmets and jackets to boots.  It can hold a variety of sized items in its multi chambered sections.

In addition, The Esporta Wash System is sewage, water damage and bio-contamination.

Here's why it's important for you to know WHERE & HOW your content is being cleaned & restored.  With SERVPRO of Dubuque, the process is seamless.

  • Your content will be cleaned by the latest technology - not harsh dry-cleaning methods or out of date equipment. The computer determines what is needed based on content.
  • The Esporta will hold up to at least 6 standard loads of laundry, with room to spare.
  • Your content will be inventoried and cataloged for more expedited claim process. 
  • Your content is stored in a safe, controlled environment.
  • You will have emergency laundry cleaned and returned quickly.

SERVPRO of Dubuque utilizes the Esporta Wash System which is located at the SERVPRO of Burlington, Iowa site.

Providing more restoration resources for you so we can make it “Like it never even happened.”®

Fire: Smoke, Soot & Odor

4/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire: Smoke, Soot & Odor Kitchen fire with heavy soot and odor.

In the event of a residential or commercial fire, smoke, soot and odor, can penetrate various cavities within the building, causing hidden damage and odor. Our expertise in smoke and soot damage allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage and develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke, soot and odor:

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

Different Types of Smoke

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

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor.  Soot tends to be sticky and smears easily. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.  Soot tends to be lighter and less likely to be sticky or smear.

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

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

Smoke Odor Removal

  • In addition to the physical cleaning process to remove smoke odor, SERVPRO of Dubuque owns several machines that are used to combat odor.
  • Some examples of these machines include: Ozone machines, Hydroxyl Machines and HEPA air filtration devices.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

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

Is Mold Damage covered by insurance?

4/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Is Mold Damage covered by insurance? Mold on interior wall

Does your insurance cover mold?

Don’t wait until you have a household mold problem to ask does homeowners insurance cover mold removal. Find out in advance if your insurance will cover a problem if one arises. Mold removal can be extremely costly, so you don’t want to find out too late that you’re not covered.

Coverage varies from policy to policy and state to state, so the only way to know for sure if your policy will cover mold removal is to read your policy carefully or ask your agent. Some insurance policies contain exclusions specifically addressing mold removal. Some will cover mold removal only under certain circumstances. Some will pay for mold removal but not for mold testing, even though you may need to have your home tested for mold in order to find out if there is mold, that needs to be removed. PRV or Post Remediation Verification is also critical to confirm that the mold remediation process was successful.  The policies that do contain mold coverage, usually have a specific limit of insurance that will apply to mold.

Contact your insurance agent if you have any questions about your policy. If your policy doesn’t currently cover mold removal, find out if you can add that coverage to your policy, or if there is another insurance carrier that they can offer that covers mold.  It could save you thousands of dollars down the road.

When Mold Coverage Exists:

In cases where mold coverage exists, coverage needs to be triggered by another covered cause of loss.  Many different things can lead to the growth of mold in the home. If mold is caused from a sudden and accidental issue, like a burst pipe, which is covered, insurance is more likely to cover mold removal than if the mold is a result of an ongoing leak due to lack of maintenance

Here are some examples

Water Damage Following a Fire

Homeowners insurance usually covers fire damage. Unfortunately, sometimes the water used to put out a fire can lead to later mold problems. If mold results from a fire that is covered by your homeowners’ insurance, your insurance policy will probably cover the mold removal, as well.

Water Damage Following a Flood

Mold is a common occurrence after a home has had a water intrusion. Homeowners insurance does not cover flood, it probably will not cover mold that results from flooding. It may, however, cover mold following a covered water back up incident.

Water Damage from a Leaky Roof

Homeowners insurance usually won’t pay for water damage that results from a leaky roof, and most policies won’t cover mold damage that results from a leaky roof, either. However, if damage to the roof is caused by a fallen tree or limb, that damage usually will be covered by homeowners’ insurance. In that case, your insurance policy might also cover any resulting mold damage.

Also, most policies have a requirement that you take reasonable steps to mitigate damage.  Once you are aware of a water loss you have a duty to address the condition to protect from further damage.  If you are aware of otherwise covered water damage and fail to take any action, there could be coverage issue for the water damage as well as any resulting mold damage.

Mold Remediation

If you’ve got a mold problem the first step is finding out how bad the problem is and how much the source has contaminated the other areas in the building.  Be sure to have this inspection and testing done by a certified professional such as an ACAC Certified Indoor Environmentalist.  The initial testing results that the CIE produces will include a scope of remediation.  SERVPRO of Dubuque can take that Scope of Remediation and use it to give you a mold remediation estimate.

If you have trouble finding a certified mold inspector, we can provide a referral.  If a mold issue is identified and a remediation plan is in place, we recommend that you make sure the remediation contractor is properly trained, certified and has the proper environmental liability insurance in place to do this specialized work.  SERVPRO of Dubuque has all of these qualifications!

Tank-less Water Heaters

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tank-less Water Heaters Broken fitting on tank-less water heater

Tank-less water heaters have become more popular every year.  Tankless water heaters are compact in size, taking up less space than conventional tank type water heaters. They can virtually eliminate standby losses - energy wasted when hot water cools down in long pipe runs or while it's sitting in the storage tank.  Here is the disadvantage.... When a hot water line leaving the water heater bursts, it continues to produce hot water, ALOT of hot water.  Since there is no tank to run dry, it will continue to spray hot water until the water is shut off.  When this happens in an unoccupied, secondary home, it can result in a significant amount of damage.  Several thousand gallons of 120-degree water, does an amazing amount of damage to a home.

We recently responded to a water damage in a beautiful, historic secondary home in Illinois.  A water line leaving the tankless water heater burst and hot water escaped the system for several days.

This resulted in extensive water damage to the basement from the water discharged from the system as well as significant damage to the main level and the second floor from secondary humidity.

If you have a secondary home or are prone to basement water intrusion, you may want to consider a water alarm.  Newer models are available that can connect to Wi-Fi and notify you of a water intrusion while you are away.

Water Alarms

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Alarms Broken water line resulting in water damage.

A friend of mine recently moved into a very expensive condo complex and found some very interesting things in the covenants that he brought to my attention.  According to the contract, all condo owners must install water alarms in their utility rooms, kitchens and any other area with a water related appliance.

I decided to do some research on water alarms.  I was previously familiar with water alarms in the past, they are kind of like smoke alarms but for moisture.  When a sensor detects a certain amount of moisture, it sets off an alarm to alert you.  Apparently due to advances in modern technology they are now capable of alerting a homeowner while away from the premises through WiFi connectivity.

Being alerted to a water damage when it starts could go a long way to mitigating the amount of damage caused by a broken pipe, water supply line or even a sump backup.  Addressing water damage quickly is also the best way to avoid a costly mold problem.

A water alarm might be a sound investment if you own a secondary, vacation home or are away from home for extended periods of time.

Of course, if you do experience a water damage, please contact your local SERVPRO!  Our experienced technicians can take care of all of your water damage and mold remediation needs. 

Have a Fire Escape Plan

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Have a Fire Escape Plan Home fire in Dubuque Iowa

Family Fire Escape Plan

Every Second Counts! During a residential fire, every second counts. Experts agree that people has as little as 2 minutes to escape a burning building before it is too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.

In a survey conducted by the American Red Cross, only 26% of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.  Once a plan is developed, it is critical the everyone in the home understands the plan.  The best way to familiarize the family members with the plan is to practice it at least twice per year.

The following steps can assist in developing and implementing a plan:

  • Ensure that all smoke detectors work and have fresh batteries.
  • Draw a map of each level of the home, showing all doors and windows
  • Consider escape ladders for second floor bedrooms
  • Choose an outside meeting place for after you have all escaped
  • Teach children how to escape on their own
  • Practice the escape plan during both day and nighttime.

SERVPRO of Dubuque hopes that you and your family never have to experience the tragedy of a fire in your home.  In the event that it happens, we hope that an escape plan will help to keep your family safe.  If you do experience a fire please call on the highly trained fire and water damage specialists at SERVPRO of Dubuque to help make it “Like it never even happened.”