Recent Posts

Is water trapped in your walls?

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Is water trapped in your walls? Checking for moisture in walls.

Eastern Iowa, Southwest Wisconsin and Northwest Illinois has experienced several storms this late summer and early fall.

Many homeowners attempt to extract the water using shop vacs and setting fans.  The water may appear to be gone and dried up.  What about the walls?

If water gets deep enough, it will wick up drywall or can be forced in around windows and doors as wind driven rain.

This trapped water is very difficult to dry using conventional fans.  A professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Dubuque has special equipment and the knowledge check for moisture in the walls and to dry it.

If walls remain wet for more than 48 hours, the opportunity for mold growth increases.  Once mold has begun growing in wall cavities, it is difficult to identify and normally requires significant demolition to properly remove.

If you have a significant amount of water, don't try and dry it yourself.  Give SERVPRO of Dubuque a call.  If you had water damage this season and dried it yourself and now find that there is a musty odor that remains, let us know.

Our sister company MB Mold & Air Quality Testing can test for the presence of elevated levels of mold spores and help determine if there is a problem.

The technicians at SERVPRO of Dubuque are not only certified for water damage restoration but also for mold remediation.  We can make your home Like it never even happened! 

Mold Alert!

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Alert! Mold on furniture leg in area away from primary water damage.

Due to the recent heavy storm activity in Eastern Iowa, SW Wisconsin and NW Illinois, SERVPRO of Dubuque and our mold testing partner, MB Mold & Air Quality Testing have been inundated with calls about mold.

Mold can begin to grow on building materials after 48 hours of moisture.  So, the most important rule is to dry up water damage promptly.  

The problem this season has been that the water is recurring and the areas in question have not had chance to dry out before becoming saturated again.

We have also seen an unusually high number of issues related to secondary humidity.  When water damage is not dried properly using a combination of air movement and dehumidification, there can be side effects.  Normally a homeowner has access to more fans than the do dehumidification equipment.  The fans will encourage the wet materials to release their moisture to the air (evaporation).  With out the proper dehumidification to remove that moisture from the air, it can build up and cause moisture to affect areas that were not originally affected by the water damage.

We have seen several microbial growth on other unaffected areas such as carpet in another area of the building or walls, doors and trim on levels of the building above the level that was water damaged.  All of these mold issues can be blamed on secondary humidity.

If you have water damage, we recommend having it professionally dried prior to turning into a Mold Alert!  The water damage professionals at SERVPRO of Dubuque are here to help.

How many chargers do you have?

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How many chargers do you have? Cell phone charger - fire hazard!

How many chargers do you have plugged in at your home or office?  Between phone, tablet, gaming console accessories it could be several.

Did you know that the wall plugs for these chargers have power running through them even when the devices are not attached and charging?

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, Better Call SERVPRO!

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Water Damage, Better Call SERVPRO! Our office inundated with storm water.

Water Damage, Better Call SERVPRO!

In the recent heavy rain storms, everyone can be affected.  As a mater of fact, this is our office on Monday.  Needless to say, we know someone in the business and the water was quickly extracted and drying equipment set.

We are responding as quickly to the water damage calls in Eastern Iowa, SW Wisconsin and NW Illinois, as we can.  If you have spoken with someone at our office and have been told that you are on our list, we will get to you as soon as possible.

New Insurance CE Classes - Sept 11, 2018

8/29/2018 (Permalink)

Community New Insurance CE Classes - Sept 11, 2018 Sign up now!

SERVPRO of Dubuque Insurance CE Classes

SERVPRO of Dubuque is hosting another round of CE classes at our office on September 11, 2018.

The morning class 21st Century Ethics will begin promptly at 9:00 AM and run until Lunch

3 Ethics CE credits, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois 

The afternoon class Essentials of Legal Liability and Insured Status will begin after lunch at 1:00 PM and finish at 5:00 PM

4 CE credits, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois 

Date: 09/11/2018 (Tue.)

Location: 10479 Timothy St Dubuque, IA 52003

Click on the link to signup:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080c44a8aa2aabf49-SERVPRO

Mold Exposure and it's effects: CIRS

8/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Exposure and it's effects: CIRS Example of Significant Mold related to water damage

SERVPRO of Dubuque recently received a call from a customer whose daughter was diagnosed with CIRS and was concerned about the air quality in her home and how it might affect her daughter.  She was interested in our knowledge of “Small Particle Cleaning, a new paradigm in cleaning.

As always, neither SERVPRO of Dubuque nor our mold consultant MB Mold & Air Quality Testing, cannot and will not offer any health related advice.  We encourage all of our clients to contact their health care professional for any and all questions about their individual health and wellness.

The level of detail that this customer’s questions contained, it was obvious that she had spent a lot of her time researching this topic that we knew very little about.  After extensive research as well as contacting the expert that handles most of our training needs, Ian Cull, PE, CIH of Indoor Sciences. We found out that a very small percentage of IEPs and remediators even know about CIRS and “Small particle cleaning”.

Although this process is relatively unknown at the current time, it appears that this new cleaning process is gaining traction and attention amongst the health care professionals in this specific field.  We just wanted to share some of the information we have found and expose our customer base to this information.

SERVPRO of Dubuque and MB Mold & Air Quality Testing will continue to expand our knowledge in this emerging field as well an any other new techniques that might help us better service our customers.

The following information was found on www.mold-advisor.com, a resource that we use and recommend to our clients.

Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome

Chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS) is a serious, multi-symptom illness that negatively impacts more than one system in the body. Most often is it caused by exposure to harmful biotoxins or neurotoxins in our environment. These toxins may be caused by:

  • Mold in the home.
  • Pfiesteria – Microscopic organism that produces toxins known to cause large fish kills.
  • Cyanobacteria – Commonly found in lakes and rivers.
  • Lyme disease – Transmitted by tick bites.
  • Poisonous spider bites.
  • Ciguatera – A toxin affecting reef fish that are often consumed by humans.

The effects of this inflammatory syndrome vary depending on the person and their experience. However, the respiratory, neurological, psychological, and gastrointestinal symptoms can be life-changing, no matter the source, which is why it is essential to know the signs and see your doctor if you think you have it. Remember, mold allergies are not the same as mold illness, so it is critical to determine the reason for your symptoms. If you recently had flooding in your home or the interior of your household has been humid, you will also want to determine if your symptoms of CIRS are being caused by exposure to mold in your home.

What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (CIRS)?

Since this syndrome can develop in our bodies from multiple biological sources, different acute indicators may arise in different people. Whether it results from eating contaminated food, breathing in mold or something else, there are a few general and more common symptoms to watch out for. 

The general symptoms of CIRS may include:

  • Fatigue and/or general malaise 
  • Chills
  • Headache 
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Joint and/or muscle pain
  • Fever 
  • Stomach pain 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Nasal and/or sinus problems 
  • Eye irritation
  • Sensitive skin

Characteristics of CIRS From Mold Exposure

It is important to know that the effects of chronic inflammatory response syndrome from mold exposure will present itself differently than if it was caused by something else, such as a spider bite, a burn or lyme disease. In fact, when a person develops this syndrome due to mold exposure specifically, they will usually experience some of these symptoms, in addition to those mentioned above: 

These symptoms are also typical signs of illnesses like influenza, indoor and outdoor allergies, and the common cold, so it is important to see your physician if you have them.

Seeing a Doctor for CIRS 

If you have any of the above symptoms of CIRS, see a doctor right away. It is critical to seek medical advice as soon as possible, because unlike dealing with the flu or a cold, the effects of chronic inflammatory response syndrome may not go away. In fact, ignoring the acute effects of the disease can lead to the development of chronic illness, which can significantly affect your quality of life.

Over time, the chronic effects of CIRS can lead to:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Memory problems 
  • Disorientation and/or confusion
  • Mood dysregulation 
  • Body temperature dysregulation 
  • Night sweating  
  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression
  • Frequent urination
  • Static shocks 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Tremor 
  • Hair loss
  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes 
  • Metallic taste 

The chronic symptoms of CIRS are alarming and could have a significant impact on your health. Therefore, it is not only important to treat your symptoms, but to also determine their cause as soon as possible. Make an appointment with your doctor to review how you are feeling. At your visit, your doctor will perform a medical exam, as well as discuss your health history for illnesses that cause CIRS and other forms of inflammation. They may also ask you if your immediate family members currently have or have ever had a condition like Lyme disease or cancer. In most cases, they will want a blood test to see if your body is reacting to inflammation. They will look for other reasons for your symptoms, including diabetes mellitus, liver disease, renal disease, and several autoimmune illnesses. They will also talk to you about your diet and home environment to determine if the cause is external. 

Talk to your doctor about the chances that the toxicity is coming from your home or what you eat. Whether you need to eliminate recluse spiders from your attic, treat your lyme disease, or remove mold from your bathroom ceiling, stopping the reason for your CIRS at the source can improve your medical prognosis and ensure no one else in your family develops the illness. It can also help rule out other types of disease.

Checking Your Home for Signs of Mold

No matter the cause, chronic inflammatory response syndrome is a severe illness with lasting consequences. In many cases, it does develop as a result of toxic mold exposure, which is why it is important to have your home checked if you or your doctor think mold may be causing your symptoms. A professional mold inspection completed by an experienced technician will determine if mold is present, and they will let you know what needs to be done to safely remove it. 

Contact SERVPRO of Dubuque and/or our mold consultant MB Mold & Air Quality Testing if you have further questions or would like testing done in your home.

Great things come in small packages! Desiccant

8/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Great things come in small packages! Desiccant Our new toy! Phoenix D385 portable desiccant dehumidifier.

If you have not followed them, I have posted a few blogs here on SERVPRO of Dubuque’s website about our amazing Titan 5000 Hybrid Desiccant dehumidifier, there is a recap further below.

But first I wanted to talk about a new addition to our stable of equipment that we utilize to help our customers with their water damage issues. The Phoenix D385 Portable Desiccant Dehumidifier!  This machine which is about the size of our LGR (low grain refrigerant) dehumidifiers that we use every day, runs off the building power.  It is a specialized piece of drying equipment that produces extremely dry air and can do so in a much larger range of temperature conditions than a standard LGR.  This machine can be very effective for drying stubborn, low evaporation materials such as ceramic tile & hardwood floors, plaster, brick and concrete.

As powerful as the 5000 CFM Titan is, the new D385 allows for a much more focused drying effort.  We are excited about this new addition and how it will allow SERVPRO of Dubuque to even better service our customers!

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.

Does Your Business Have an Emergency Plan?

8/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Does Your Business Have an Emergency Plan? Call us for a no cost ERP

Did you know that almost 70% of businesses that don’t have an emergency plan in place, when are shut down due to a “significant disaster” never reopen?

Most of the numbers identifying the effects of storm damage from 2017 have not been released yet, but they are expected coincide with that data as well.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are prepared for a disaster.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.  The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve location and priority areas.  The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Dubuque as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years of Experience and a System more than 1,700 locations strong.  The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time investment, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future.  By utilizing the free SERVPRO READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device, putting help at your fingertips.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood.  Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time that your business is inactive and helps get you back into your building more quickly following a disaster.  Don’t wait until disaster strikes, resolve to be READY.  Contact our SERVPRO of Dubuque Marketing Representative, Ken Shannon, and make an appointment to establish your Emergency READY Profile.

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, EPA.gov:

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.