Recent Posts

Why SERVPRO? Document Restoration Leader

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Wet Documents Wet documents prior to inventory and pack out.

Why SERVPRO? We are an Industry Leader - in Document Restoration!

We use the same state of the art process that is used by the Library of Congress!

SERVPRO of Dubuque is one of the industry leaders in restoring and salvaging water damaged documents, books, photos, microfilm, microfiche, 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, catalogs, 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 vacuum freeze drying machines, 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.

Why SERVPRO? Specialty Equipment

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Desiccant Set on Job Site Desiccant set at habitational building.

Why SERVPRO? Specialty Equipment!

SERVPRO is an industry leader and the team to rely on for specialty equipment to handle even the most complicated projects.

Our use of cutting edge equipment allows SERVPRO of Dubuque to handle projects of any size and overcome any challenges.

One of our more interesting pieces of specialty equipment is our hybrid 5000 CFM Desiccant Dehumidifier.  This machine allows us to dry a large space using one quiet and very efficient trailer mounted machine.

We were recently contacted by a customer with a large residential building that was hit by lightning.  The lightning strike activated a section of the buildings sprinkler system causing water damage to several units on a total of 3 floors.

We were able to set our Desiccant, which is 70% quieter and 70% more fuel efficient than a standard desiccant.

For more info on this specific piece of equipment please see this blog entitled Desiccant Dehumidifier.

Specialty Drying Equipment, another answer to the question, Why SERVPRO!

Desiccant Dehumidifier

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Desiccant ducted to building Desiccant being ducted to a building.

Normally a Desiccant Dehumidifier is a very large, very loud and very inefficient machine, only used for large commercial and industrial projects where noise and expense are not primary concerns. Normally it is delivered by semi-truck on a large flat bed trailer accompanied by a large diesel powered 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.

Our hybrid Desiccant, 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.

The unit is parked outside the building and the very dry warm air is supplied to the building by flexible ducting.  That air is then distributed around the building through a plastic tube, which is vented into areas needing dehumidified air for drying.

The machine provides its own power, so it is perfect for locations where building power is either inadequate or otherwise compromised and not available for standard drying equipment.

Only SERVPRO of Dubuque and our partners have access to this amazing machine.  That is another answer to the question, Why SERVPRO!

Why SERVPRO? A Team Effort!

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Support Team Onsite Truck full of equipment brought by SERVPRO of Iowa City.

Why SERVPRO? A Team Effort!

When disaster strikes, whether it is a widespread natural disaster causing extensive damage in our community, or a water or fire damage to a large property, SERVPRO has the help of a Team Effort!

SERVPRO of Dubuque is a locally owned business, but we are part of a team of over 1,700 franchises throughout the US and Canada.

SERVPRO of Dubuque's team of over a dozen employees has an inventory of over 25 commercial dehumidifiers, over 300 air movers, dozens of HEPA Air Filtration Devices and 2 Desiccant dehumidifiers. Sometimes, that is simply not enough!

When our equipment and highly trained professionals are busy on projects for our residential and business customers, we might need additional staff and equipment.  Thankfully, we are able to rely on our neighboring franchises or special teams from SERVPRO Corporate.  With a phone call, we can have semi-trailers full of equipment and trained personnel on site in a day or two.

Recently, a large commercial customer called, needing our help.  We were "swamped" due to recent heavy rain events.  We reached out to our SERVPRO Large Loss Response Team in Iowa City, Iowa and they had a truck full of equipment and several of their staff onsite in a matter of a few hours.

This allowed us to get help to the customers that needed it, when they needed it.  Another answer to the question, Why SERVPRO! 

September 30, 2019 Insurance CE Classes

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Dubuque is hosting another round of our very popular Insurance CE Classes.  Todd Davis will be instructing them again.  These classes are offered to our agency partners at no cost.  Please click the link for more information or to sign up.  Please note, only online signup will be offered.

<a href="https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080C44A8AA2AABF49-SERVPRO1" target="_blank"><img src="https://www.signupgenius.com/images/sign-up-now1.gif" width="150" height="90" border="0" alt="Sign Up!"></a>

I thought I cleaned and dried all the water up!

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Mold hidden behind drywall Here is an example of a wall cavity that was not dried properly and mold growth occurred behind the drywall.

If you have had water damage and attempted to cleanup the standing water and dry out the area, you might still be at risk for mold growth colonizing and causing a much more expensive problem.

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 (FLIR) 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.

Can important water damaged documents be restored?

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of portable document vacuum freeze drying machine Here is our portable unit located at a customers property to process confidential documents.

In the event of a water damage to your home or commercial building, important documents could be damaged and potentially destroyed. 

One 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.  All documents are treated using the HIPPA confidentiality safeguards and rules.

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.  If the documents are an extreme security concern, 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, catalogs, 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 sensitive corporate documents.  SERVPRO of Dubuque Document Response Team can be a very valuable resource.

Did recent storm damage leave you with a bad odor?

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growing behind baseboard

Recent storm activity in Eastern Iowa, NW Illinois and SW Wisconsin caused a lot of water intrusion into homes and businesses.

If you had water enter your building, whether you cleaned it up yourself or had it professionally mitigated, an unpleasant odor might be an indication that unidentified bound water might have been overlooked and microbial growth is occurring.

Extraction of bulk water, air movement and dehumidification are usually adequate to remove visible water and water that has soaked into porous items such as drywall.  However, water that has soaked into hard to dry materials (bound water) may have been missed and can result in fungal growth.

SERVPRO of Dubuque has specialty equipment and engineering controls that can direct heat, concentrate air movement and utilize low grain or desiccant dehumidifiers to remove this trapped moisture.

We receive several calls each year to remediate mold that has appeared as a result of a water damage cleanup that either the homeowner or contractor failed to address the bound water.

Rest assured that if you experience a bad odor as a result of a recent water damage, SERVPRO of Dubuque’s team of highly trained technicians have the equipment and expertise to fix the problem and make your house smell like home again.

Category 1, 2 or 3... Which is your Water Damage and what does it matter?

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Toilet Leak - Fungal Growth

Category 1, 2 or 3….Which is your Water Damage and what does it matter?

There are 3 Categories of water damage, as described by the IICRC S 500 4th Edition Standards.  This book is the Approved National Standard for the water damage industry.  Everyone in the water damage restoration business, agrees to abide by these standards and the courts have, in turn, acted in the past per the standards.

The IICRC S500 categorizes water damage into 3 different categories. 

Category 1 water originates from a sanitary water source.  This water does not pose a substantial risk to health from ingestion or inhalation. Basically, the common source of this water is usually from the water supply to the home (exceptions are falling rain and melting snow if they are not otherwise contaminated).  That water might be from a broken supply line, toilet tank, tub or sink overflow (as long as there are no contaminants or additives).

Category 2 water is described as significantly contaminated and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.  Examples of Category 2 water are; discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, toilet water with urine only, ground water seepage (hydrostatic pressure) or punctured waterbeds.

Category 3 water is defined as grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.  It can cause significant adverse reaction to humans if contacted or consumed.  Category 3 water can include, sewage, waste line back-flows, flood water from seas, rivers or streams.  This surface water can contain hazardous materials including pesticides or toxic organic substances.  Think about that next time you see people playing in flood waters, YUCK!

Also, water category can change depending on what the water has flowed through and been contaminated by during its travels.  In addition, the category can worsen if the water damages a material and that material remains wet to a point that microbial growth begins.  When these things occur, the Category can change from Cat 1 to Cat 2 or Cat 2 to Cat 3.