Recent Posts

Bats, Raccoons and other Critters!

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Bats, Raccoons and other Critters! Bat guano and its health risks

As winter approaches across the Midwest, several different types of animals will be looking for a warm place to spend the cold winter months.  SERVPRO of Dubuque works with local Animal/Pest Control companies to cleanup the mess that these Critters leave behind.

Most people are aware that bats and other animals, including raccoons and foxes are the primary sources of rabies transmission.

The droppings and urine from all of these animals usually leave a very unpleasant odor and is normally concentrated in areas where they have decided to nest.

Histoplasmosis is a disease that affects the lungs and occasionally other organs.  When this happens, it can be fatal if untreated.  Histoplasmosis is caused by a fungus that grows in material contaminated by animal droppings, especially bat droppings or guano.

SERVPRO of Dubuque's technicians are specially trained in using the proper protective gear and equipment to clean up animal nesting areas and bat guano.

If you have had a problem in your home with nesting animals or need bat guano cleaned up, give SERVPRO of Dubuque a call.  We can make it, "Like it never even happened."

Water Categories

11/6/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Water Categories Stair treads with visible mold growth caused by wet carpet.

Water damage to a building can be from Category 1,2 or 3 water.  The type of water is primarily determined by its source.

Category 1 water is water that "does not pose substantial harm to humans"

Category 2 water is water "with a significant level of contamination"

Category 3 water is "grossly contaminated" water.

As a general rule of thumb, Category 1 water that soaks into carped can usually be removed through extraction and evaporation and the carpet can be restored.

On the other had, if Category 1 water has either been contaminated further by flowing over or through debris, or if it remains for a period of time with out being removed.  Once the water has moved beyond category 1 into category 2 or 3. The carpet will need to be removed and replaced.

In this photo, Category 1 water was not addressed in a timely manner and the result was moldy carpet and pad which also contaminated the wood below.

This again reinforces the advice that in the event of a water damage, contact a professional like SERVPRO of Dubuque to make sure that all areas of water damage are identified.

Document Restoration

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Document Restoration Large Scale and Portable Document Drying Chambers

Another of the unique services that we offer at SERVPRO of Dubuque is Document Restoration.  Other restoration companies also offer this service, so what makes the service from SERVPRO of Dubuque different?

For starters, we have one of the only HIPAA certified document response crews in the area.  If an event causes documents to get wet, response time is critical to stabilize the documents before they begin to degrade.  Once the documents are frozen to stabilize them, we have plenty of time to discuss restoration options with the client.

The most effective method of restoration is vacuum freeze drying.  The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to very low temperatures and sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.

We have a large freeze drying chamber located here in the Midwest, we also have access to one of the only mobile drying chambers in the country.  The mobile unit can be delivered to a clients building and the restoration can take place there.  The process can be costly, but we have had projects where the documents are not legally allowed to leave the premises due to contractual agreement.  We are one of the only restoration companies that can accommodate this request.

Here is a list of 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

We can handle any size document job.  From a single file cabinet filled with personal financial documents to a warehouse full of documents.  SERVPRO of Dubuque Document Response Team can be a very valuable resource.

Water Extraction versus Evaporation

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Extraction versus Evaporation Weighted extraction. "Ride On"

There are two ways that excess water can be removed from your property after a water damage loss, Extraction and Evaporation.  A much larger volume of water can be removed by extraction in a much shorter period of time.  It is a pretty simply process to test, pour a few ounces of water on the counter top in two different areas.  Set up a fan blowing across one area to utilize air movement to speed up evaporation.  Use a sponge or dry cloth on the other area.  Needless to say, this will prove my point.  The same is true during a water damage loss to your home or business.

At SERVPRO of Dubuque we utilize both methods to get your property dried up as quickly as possible.

For extraction, we use several pieces of equipment including hard floor wands and carpet extraction machines, including this "ride on" weighted model pictured.  Strong suction and downward pressure allows us to get water out of carpet and pad. This process is the most effective on free or surface water.

Once the water has been soaked into other materials such as, hardwood floors, drywall or wood, extraction becomes less effective and we concentrate on evaporation.

Evaporation uses a combination of air movement, dehumidification and sometimes heat to remove water that is bound or soaked into hard to dry materials.

We also use a system called the Injectidry on hardwood floors, but I will get to that in a future blog.

Whether you have excessive surface water immediately after a storm or other water event or you have water that has become bound in bulding materials, SERVPRO of Dubuque has the tools and knowledge to make it "Like it never even happened."  

Storm Related Water Damage

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Related Water Damage Storm related water damage after 4 days.

Storm or water damage?  Don’t hesitate, Call SERVPRO of Dubuque NOW!

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

Flooding and water damage like Dubuque Iowa has experienced the last few years, is very invasive.  The faster that we can begin to mitigate the problem, the less expensive the cost. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.   If SERVPRO of Dubuque is contacted quickly, we can start the water extraction process almost immediately. This rapid response helps to minimize the damage to try and limit the cleaning and restoration costs. Also, flood water can be severely contaminated. 

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.
  • Water begins to penetrate hard to access and dry areas.
  • 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.

SERVPRO of Dubuque has the knowledge.

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.

Hidden water can result in Mold Damage

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Hidden water can result in Mold Damage Mold damage resulting from hidden water not addressed during clean up of water leak.

In the event of a water damage, the visible water is not only easy to see but usually pretty easy to get out.  A combination of extraction techniques, air movement and dehumidification will usually take care of visible water that is on the surface and free (unbound). The water that has soaked into hard to dry structures or bound water is easily overlooked and much more difficult to dry. SERVPRO of Dubuque has several tools that we utilize to find this hidden water including penetrating and non-penetrating moisture meters and thermal imaging cameras.

Once the bound water is identified, we use engineering controls, directed heat, air movement and low grain or desiccant dehumidification to remove this trapped moisture.

We often receive calls to re-mediate mold that appeared well after a water loss was cleaned up by the homeowner or another contractor because they failed to locate and remove bound water.

Rely on SERVPRO of Dubuque if you have a water damage in your home or commercial building.  We will make every effort to locate any hidden moisture during the initial drying phase to avoid costly mold work later.

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!

Thanks,
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