Recent Water Damage Posts

Pipes are bursting

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

pipe burst This photo shows a water pipe that frozen then burst.

When a pipe bursts and causes damage to your home it’s a pretty straight forward clean up because it’s a category 1 type water loss The main reason this type of damage is considered less severe is that it involves “clean water,” i.e. water that is sewage and toxin-free. Typically, most items damaged in category 1 incidents can be dried easily without any potential side effects for the property owner later on.   

But when the damage is caused by a sewer back up there are many serious issues to consider. Category 3 water damage, aka “black water” damage, is the most extreme kind of water damage and requires swift action to mitigate serious health risks. When category 3 water damage occurs, many items and materials will need to be removed from your property, and after drying has occurred your home will need to undergo significant disinfecting. SERVPRO of Dubuque has the right equipment, trained personnel to clean and restore your property to Make it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of Dubuque

563-584-2242

www.SERVPROdubuque.com

Water Water everywhere

1/6/2022 (Permalink)

Flir infrared camera showing water This is SERVPRO using our FLIR in the walls

You were gone over the weekend, just 48 hours and now walking into your home feels like a sauna. It seems your new tankless water heater has been spewing hot water all over your basement turning the entire house into a sauna. Now what do you do? Luckily you know where your water shut off valve thanks to the large shutoff tag you received from SERVPRO of Dubuque.

Calling SERVPRO of Dubuque to begin the process of extracting the water. As soon as the water has been extracted. SERVPRO has the right commercial grade desiccant dehumidifier for any size disaster. Using as many air movers as are needed to quickly dry your home. We will also set up air scrubbers to remove any odors.

But SERVPRO of Dubuque isn’t even close to finished. Now our highly trained staff will start the cleaning process. Wiping down the walls and surfaces to remove stains and prevent mold growth. With our additional resources we can freeze your damaged papers and documents and have them restored.  We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Faster to any size disaster

SERVPRO of Dubuque

563-584-2242

www.SERVPROdubuque.com

Apartment water loss

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

water in the basement Standing water in the basement of the building.

There are so many different potential causes for apartment water damage, and it’s essential for those in charge to know how to handle them. The burden of responsibility for managing the repairs typically falls upon you, the property manager. A forgetful tenant is a common cause of water damage in residential units. A large percentage of floods in apartments come from people simply being a little distracted. The problem with apartments is that often, the units are literally on top of each other, so what affects one can quickly spread to others – sometimes in a matter of minutes!

Bathrooms are absolutely ripe for flooding. It’s a familiar story: someone runs water in the bath or sink, only to be distracted. The next thing they know, water is overflowing, and the water quickly spreads. Water can also originate directly from the plumbing itself and affect other units. Supply lines for refrigerators, toilets, sinks, and HVACs can leak or burst if obstructions form. These pipes are positioned within walls and ceilings, and the water damage can travel quickly across support beams and conduits into other apartments.

While we can’t always prevent accidents from occurring, we can however, at SERVPRO of Dubuque help property managers and landlords to be proactive. With an Emergency Response Plan from SERVPRO showing all the shut offs and emergency contacts. Plumbing should be inspected annually for structural integrity.  Sewage pipes should always be cleaned and maintained to prevent the buildup of debris, which could lead to clogs. An annual inspection of  all appliances, especially checking the condition of washing machine, dishwasher, and refrigerator hoses, connections and potential leaks.

 As the landlord or property manager, you would likely be responsible for fixing the damage to the structure and fixtures. For example, generally speaking, if the origin of the apartment water damage is from a pipe in a neighboring unit in the ceiling, the repairs should then fall under your commercial insurance policy. The tenants will have to  file a claim with their providers to cover the damages to their personal items, the cost of repairs to the damaged ceiling to you. As always, the sooner they notify you of the damage, the better.

How can you mitigate the damage?

 Calling SERVPRO of Dubuque’s mitigation experts is the right start. You might want to cut corners to save money, but the negative repercussions of hiring an individual who is not fully qualified for the job may actually end up costing more in the long run. Unaddressed issues beneath the surface can lead to long-term structural damage, deterioration, and mold, requiring reconstruction and the potential for lost rent or worse.

SERVPRO has earned the reputation as “Faster to any size disaster” Our technicians are certified in the latest commercial water damage restoration techniques. They will identify the source and then contain the flooding, extract the excess moisture, and remediate and/or prevent any mold growth in the area. SERVPRO of Dubuque works with insurance companies, tenants, and property managers to coordinate communication to make the process as easy as possible for all of those involved. Apartment water damage from any leak is an issue best solved by professionals, so call your local SERVPRO of Dubuque office when your apartment building requires these services.

SERVPRO of Dubuque

563-584-2242

www.SERVPROdubuque.com

Water Damage

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO faster to any disaster w/ van SERVPRO faster to any disaster

Whether watching the sun set over the ocean, listening to the surf, or running white water rapids we enjoy being near or on the water, that is until it creeps into our homes. Water damage in the home is one issue that homeowners dread. If left unattended, residential water damage can impact the structure, damage personal property, cause mold that poses a health risk. While there are water detection monitors, on the market Here are several methods for detecting water damage within your house that cost you nothing

  1. Check the Floors
    No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.
  2. Look for Stains
    Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or are soft to touch also may signify trouble. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion and begin to peel.
  3. Inspect Outside
    Observe the exterior of your house. Look for pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, check for cracked, curled or missing shingles or broken flashing.
  4. Watch for Rust and Mold
    Routinely inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Watch for signs of active mold growth. This could mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.

If you're looking for water damage restoration or storm damage repair, contact the experts at SERVPRO of Dubuque today for all your property restoration needs. 

Faster to any size disaster

SERVPRO of Dubuque

563-584-2242

www.SERVPROdubuque.com

How to protect your home from water damage

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling with water staining This shows a house with water staining damage.

Here are some tips from SERVPRO of Dubuque on how to prevent water damage to your home.

  1. Clean your gutters frequently, having professional installation of leaf gutter guards also will reduce the chance of clogged gutters and downspouts
  2. Push rain runoff away from the foundation, make sure your lawn slants away from the foundation and not toward it. If driveways or sidewalks have sunk and are draining to the house have them raised or replaced so they once again move water away from the foundation
  3. Maintain your sump pump. Before the spring thaw and rains run a bucket or two into your sump to make sure it is working. Also having a battery back-up on the sump pump is a good idea. If your power goes out during a heavy rain with your pump out of power you could be looking at a significant problem.
  4. Inspect your home for water leaks. Check for cracks in the foundation. Watch for dampness on carpets and walls.
  5. Take a close look at your roof. Make sure its in good condition and there are no missing shingles from previous storms
  6. Pick up hidden water damage coverage. ...
  7. Install a smart water main shutoff valve with built-in sensors that monitor water usage and detect leaks.
  8. Install smart water sensorsto help you detect a leak before it causes damage. When water (or high humidity, or a risk for freezing pipes) occurs, sensors set off a physical alarm or trigger an alert to be sent via WiFi to your phone or computer. Some systems can even automatically shut off valves to prevent major damage.

Just Remember that if the unthinkable does happen and water invades your home

SERVPRO of Dubuque  (563-584-2242)

Has the trained technicians, air movers, dehumidifiers and water extraction equipment to

Make it "Like it never even happened."

Holiday water issues

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Happy Holidays Happy Holidays from your SERVPRO of Dubuque team!!

You’ve just returned home stuffed with turkey and pumpkin pie only to find water running down the wall from the second floor. A leak in an upstairs bathroom has been running all day. Wet walls, water saturated carpets and important papers. You’ve already shut off the water, it’s 10 PM on a holiday who are you going to call?

SERVPRO of Dubuque at 563-584-2242 that’s who.

When your home has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

What to do until help arrives

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!Water damage from upper floors can cause collapse.  Beware of wet materials above.

What To Do After Flooding

Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.

  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil, wood blocks or small plastic cups between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Call SERVPRO of Dubuque (563) 584-2242

WHEN FLOOD WATERS RISE

11/16/2021 (Permalink)

Desicannt set SERVPRO of Dubuque set our Desiccant in Preston, IA.

Freida Flood here and unlike those whiney bugs Vern Virus and Bernie Bacteria I’m not here to whine about SERVPRO of Dubuque but to sing their praises. Let’s face it, unlike those microscopic bugs, I’m a Force of Nature and there is no one better to deal with my aftermath than SERVPRO of Dubuque.

SERVPRO of Dubuque will respond quickly to do an inspection of the damaged area and begin extracting the water. After the water has been extracted then SERVPRO of Dubuque will begin drying the area using state of the art Desiccant Dehumidifiers. Don't worry about the size of area affected because SERVPRO of Dubuque has everything from small Portable Dehumidifiers to large units with their own power source powerful enough to run a variety of air movers to quickly dry the area. It is important to remove the water and dry the area as quickly as possible to keep that annoying pest Mickey Mold from showing up. Once everything is dry then the clean up has to begin but don’t worry SERVPRO of Dubuque has your back. Whether you need partial demolition and rebuild or just a thorough cleaning SERVPRO of Dubuque has the trained personnel and Equipment. From commercial carpet cleaners and air scrubbers to just plain old elbow grease So whether you’re recovering from a force of nature like myself or just an annoyance like Danny Damp and his cousins the Mildew twins Molly and Milly SERVPRO of Dubuque have you covered.

What to do if you have water damage?

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Ceiling in Garage Water damage on ceiling in Dodgeville, WI.

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 it never even happened."

DRIP DRIP DRIP

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Water pictures This shows the different water categories.

Water, just when you least expect it you find it where it shouldn’t be. Whether it is from leaky pipes, overflowing toilets, an overflowing appliance, storm, or flood it needs to be dried up and or cleaned as soon as possible. Sometimes this can be done by you the homeowner and in some cases, you will need the professionals at SERVPRO of Dubuque to help. Let’s discuss the three categories of water damage as set by the Institute Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification.

Category 1 Clean Water Damage

Category 1 is the least severe on the IICRC scale and includes water damage such as broken pipes and water supply lines, sinks and bathtubs which have overflowed, and various appliance issues. The main reason this type of damage is considered less severe is that it involves “clean water,” i.e. water that is sewage and toxin-free. Typically, most items damaged in category 1 incidents can be dried easily without and potential side effects for the property owner later on.

Category 2 Grey Water Damage

Category 2 water damage involves “greywater.” This includes water from appliances like toilets, washing machines, and sump pump backups. While consuming or coming into contact with greywater may or may not be harmful to humans, it is important to remove any affected items and disinfect completely if your home has been struck by category 2 water damage, as the waste and chemicals in greywater may prove harmful down the line.

Category 3 Black Water Damage

Category 3 Blackwater damage, aka, is the most extreme kind of water damage and requires swift action to mitigate serious health risks. Blackwater includes sewage, rising floodwaters, seawater, as well as river and groundwater. When category 3 water damage occurs, many items and materials will need to be removed from your property, and after drying has occurred your home will need to undergo significant disinfecting.

You note that Category 1 Damage can become a Category 2 Damage if not addressed in a timely manner. Should you notice a bad odor or see mold it may have become a Category 2.

In the same way, a Category 2 may become a category 3. Because of the potential for hazards in these two categories, it is always wise to call in the professionals at SERVPRO of Dubuque to have them access the damage, locate the source, and properly classify the water damage category.  Then SERVPRO of Dubuque can give you an estimate to dry and clean the area, also they can help you if there is a need for environmental testing, they can help you set that up through a certified Environmental Technician.

Yearly inspection

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Check mark on clipboard This is showing that it was inspected for the year.

Water damage, regardless of its cause, is very unpredictable and often leaves us with costly repairs. Almost all homes with a basement in the US will experience water damage at some point.  The cost of water damage and removal in the US also reaches up to $13 billion per year. 

While many homes and buildings are protected against fire damage by installing fire alarms and detectors, only a few have protected their properties against water damage. What makes it worse is that water damage, oftentimes, hidden until the damage has already been caused. The best way to prevent water damage and costly repair services is important to protect yourself, your home.

It is important to perform yearly inspections and maintenance on your home, it is during the regular inspection that you will be able to spot early signs of water damage. Inspect your building for any signs of water leaking such as damp areas or discoloration on the walls, floors, and ceilings. Molds and mildew thrive in wet areas so if you spot mold growth in your property, chances are, there is also a water source near it. Inspect the plumbing system that leads to the water heater, dishwasher, washing machines, refrigerator, and other appliances for any sign of leakage. Make it a habit to shut off the source of water supply when going away for a vacation.

Be sure to keep the exterior under good repair and maintained. Water damage can either be caused by an internal or external source. You will want to check your home where water may enter such as your windows, doors, downspouts, and others. Check your roof and the gutter. Make sure that there are no missing or damaged shingles. Remove any debris that has accumulated in the gutter to ensure that rainwater can flow freely. Caulk and reseal windows or any cracks to prevent water seepage. 

Have you heard of the saying that goes, “It’s better to be safe than to be sorry?” You will never know when a storm comes or when your pipe breaks accidentally; so the best option is to be prepared. Place your valuable items, important documents, seasonal items, and other belongings in a waterproof container. Better yet, invest in a water sensor for your home or business property so you will be notified right away in case of water leakage. 

Finally, in case of water has penetrated your home, the best option to take is to call in the professionals from SERVPRO of Dubuque to minimize the damage caused and repair the damage SERVPRO of Dubuque has the tools and water extraction systems that can quickly remove the water inside your home and prevent the damage from spreading.

Water Damage from Flooding

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

flooded basement This flooded basement could be from a storm, hurricane, excessive rain, or snow.

Think your home or business is immune to water damage? Think again. According to FEMA, water damage from floods is one of the most common and costly hazards in the U.S. How common? Recent statistics by the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) cite a 1 in 4 chance of flood in high-risk areas over the course of the average 30-year mortgage.
Thunderstorms, tropical storms, hurricanes, excessive rain, and snow; are all commonly recognized causes of floods. Flooding also occurs due to overburdened or clogged sewage and drainage systems, urbanization (such as paving), and dam failures, too, to name a few? Flooding can occur in a fast or slow fashion.

  1. What are the Health and safety risks? Water damage from flooding produces a Number of health and safety risks if water is not immediately cleaned up, including:
    • Structural damage
    • Electrical damage including loss of power for days to weeks
    • Health hazards and diseases from standing water
    • Contaminated drinking water
    • Defunct drainage and sewage systems
    • Cut off communications
    • Road and bridge destruction
    • Landslides
    • Damaged crops
    • And so much more…
  1. Loss of life.
    The most devastating affect flood damage can have on you or your business is loss of life. Flash floods are the number one weather-related killer in the U.S., claiming the lives of people, pets, livestock alike.
  2. Emotional hardship.
    Flood victims can experience difficulty coping with their situation, experiencing anxiety, depression, fear, anger, frustration, sadness, and grief. These symptoms can interfere with relationships, cause trouble sleeping, depressed appetite, and more. That’s why mental health professionals are kept on hand when FEMA and the Red Cross respond to flood-related disasters.
  3. Property damage.
    While wind and lighting can cause a lot of damage, ninety percent of damage related to all-natural disasters is caused by water damage due to flood. Homes, businesses, vehicles, belongings, equipment… Nothing is immune. Just a few inches of water could cause major damage to the contents of your home or business, not to mention buildings and land. It can take years for affected communities to be re-built and life to return to normal.
    Time is not on your side. Property damage and loss from seeping water require fast action. Don’t delay water damage cleanup. Unless your items are completely dry, you are only prolonging the inevitable.

Water Issues

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Stained ceiling This stain shows that this house has water damage on the ceiling.

Water Damage is not always the result of a flood or broken pipes but sometimes it’s the hidden damage caused by a slow leak. Slow leaks are dangerous because they are so hard to detect. Look around, can you notice signs that something isn’t quite right?

  • Is your water bill is significantly higher?
  • A patch of wet – or previously wet – drywall
  • Moldy or musty smell in a closed space
  • Darkened ceiling paint or bubbled ceiling plaster

Water issues may be caused by leaking joints, clogs in your water lines, poor workmanship, failed soldering, worn washers, or simply old age. When a leak is left unrepaired the resulting damage continues to mount.

What are some of the problems caused by water? Wood deterioration, weakened framing, and damaged support beams can compromise the structural integrity of the home. Drywall can become brittle, warp, and develop mold, requiring replacement. Slow leaks can escalate from simple repair to an unlivable situation. Moisture triggers growth. Mold spores can proliferate, travel through the HVAC system, and pollute the indoor air.

Prolonged contact with water can cause outlets, wiring, or electrical boxes, to become compromised and unsafe. This could pose a fire threat due to shorted out wires. If you suspect this, have an electrician examine it.

The most obvious effects of water damage are aesthetic – staining, discoloration, and streaks along the walls. Permanent stains on walls and floors resist paint and will decrease the value of your home.

Insects are attracted to moisture; they seek out wet areas to lay their eggs. The hatching and dying bugs spread bacteria and attract more bugs. In high humidity, mold, fungus, and mildew develop and spread easily.

A history of water damage drives down the value of your home. When the inspection process discloses previous damage, your compromised bargaining position will drive down the final selling price. Taking care of water leaks right away will prevent that damage from occurring and help to maintain the value of your home.

Water Damage Cleanup

11/30/2020 (Permalink)

high water Hopefully, you will never have to deal with this much water!

Many of us were forced to deal with water, more than usual, this summer and early fall.  We responded to water calls all summer and had to extract bulk water and then dry the structures.

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 simple process to test, pour a few ounces of water on the countertop 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 in 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 allow us to get water out of the 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 building materials, SERVPRO of Dubuque has the tools and knowledge to make it "Like it never even happened."  

Water Alarm

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Water pipe broken Broken water line in resulting water damage

A friend of mine recently moved into a very expensive cabin and found some very interesting things that he brought to my attention.  According to the contract, all cabin 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 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 water damage, please contact your local SERVPRO!  Our experienced technicians can take care of all of your water damage and mold remediation needs. 

Toilet running all day

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

 Water Damage Your problem OUR solution

What to do when you have a WATER issue?

The experts at SERVPRO are here to help! You can call at any time of the day or year and we have crews ready to roll! We have trailers, trucks, and equipment always ready to go. No job is too big or small for our crew at SERVPRO of Dubuque.

When our crew arrives they will get a plan on what we will need to do, we will start the drying process. Once drying equipment is in place it can take 3-5 days for it to be dry. But SERVPRO will not take any equipment from a job until the loss area is dry.

Choosing SERVPRO of Dubuque to assist your needs will make your water loss is taken care of efficiently.  

Example for calling SERVPRO of Dubuque:

You come home from work and go into your basement and you have water to your ankles, you look around and notice it is coming through the walls and ceiling you go and find where else it is leaking from, you notice it is from your top floor toilet and it will not stop running. Not sure what to do next? Call SERVPRO and have us come take a look at what we can do to help get the water out and the drying process started. Once SERVPRO has a look at what needs to be done we can get a plan on what will happen next.

SERVPRO of Dubuque – "Like it never even happened."

Help, My Photos and Documents are Wet

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Drying Chamber Vacumm Freeze Drying Chamber

The water is everywhere and everything is wet, my wedding albums, my parent’s childhood photos, even the birth certificates are wet! HURRY!

Have no Fear SERVPRO of Dubuque is Here to Help! The Faster to any size Disaster Team is on its way!

How can you help our wet photos and document, is often what we are asked? Getting items dry and restored back to the original condition is our goal when we do Document Restoration.

As the industry leader, we have access to the only HIPAA certified document response crew in the area. Response time is critical to stabilize the wet documents before they begin to degrade. All documents are treated using the HIPPA confidentiality safeguards and rules.

SERVPRO of Dubuque has a freeze-drying chamber located here in the Midwest, we also have access to one of the only mobile drying chambers in the country

Document Restoration begins with a method called vacuum freeze-drying.  The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to low temperatures and sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.

Here is a list of items that can be saved using vacuum freeze drying:

  • Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, textbooks, 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, watercolors

 #wetdocuments #SERVPROdubuque #waterdamage #freezedryingchamber #heretohelp 

Protecting your Home from Water

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Monitoring Your Foundations Cracks Cracked Foundations can cause problems

Can you prevent a Water Loss from occurring in or to your home?

The answer is YES!

Here a few tips to help eliminate the potential of a water loss.

OUTSIDE DRAINAGE PROPERLY SET UP - Most people never think to check the status of their home’s drainage setup. This is because you assume that it’s already been done right. But this is not always the case. Your outside drainage setup is your home’s first line of protection. It’s vital that it’s constructed properly and fully functional. If it’s not, your foundation is at risk of weakening. This happens when pools of water cause the foundation to crack and settle unevenly. Over time, water finds or creates more pathways to get into the home.

CHECK YOUR DOWNSPOUTS AND GUTTERS REGULARLY - Gutters can get clogged easily, especially if you have trees that hang near or over your home. Heavy rain and wind cause the debris, seeds, and leaves to fall and plug up your drainage gutters. Making a habit of checking your Gutters regularly can save you tons of money in the long run. Don’t forget the downspouts. They are designed to direct the water away from the foundation. Clogged downspouts that are not addressed can create problems.

INSPECT YOUR ROOF - Your roof is one of the most important, maybe the most important part of your home. Protecting your home from water damage begins with your roof.

KNOW WHERE YOUR WATER MAIN IS LOCATED - You need to know this. Many people who own homes don’t know where the water main is. It’s so important to know where it is. The longer it takes for you to shut the water off, the more damage you’ll have.

CHECK YOUR SINKS, FAUCETS, AND HOSES - You need to regularly check all the sinks, faucets, and hoses in your house for leaks. Don’t forget to get on your knees and check underneath and inside cabinets close to the floor.

CHECK YOUR TOILETS, TUBS, AND SHOWERS - The grout and caulking in your bathroom can become damaged and break over time. If caught in their early stages, this is an easy fix. What you don’t want is for water to damage the drywall underneath and permeate the tile.

CHECK YOUR SUMP PUMP - Twice a year and test. The last thing you want is for a rainstorm to cause your sump pump to fail.

SINKS ARE NOT FOR GREASE - Do not pour grease down the sink! And please don’t flush it down the toilet. Throw it away in the trash or dispose of it in another way. Just don’t let it travel through the pipes in your home

CHECK THE SEAL ON DOORS AND WINDOWS - This tends to be a bigger issue in older homes. But even if your home is new, you should still be aware of this potential problem. If doors and windows aren’t fitted properly, snow and rain can get in. Heavy winds can increase the chances of this happening.

CHECK FOR CRACKS IN YOUR CONCRETE - Cracks in your concretewill happen no matter what. But make sure you address them. If ignored they can grow and create a bigger problem. Especially if the area where you live reaches freezing temperatures. You’ll also want to see if the crack is caused by a foundation problem.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR WATER BILL - Monitor your water bill each month and look for irregularities in usage and price. This is a really good way to spot a leak. If You Go On Vacation, Turn The Water Off.

For more information visit our website: https://www.SERVPROdubuque.com/water-damage-restoration

#waterdamagetips

Going on Vacation, how well do you know your Insurance Policy?

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe that has Broke Frozen Pipe that has Broke

At SERVPRO of Dubuque, we occasionally have customers that run into coverage issues when it comes to damage caused by broken water pipes from freezing.  We asked one of our local agency partners to provide our customers with more information on this common issue.

Shirley Snow an Account Executive at Denlinger-Herrig Insurance was kind enough to provide the following information.

It’s that time of year when freezing pipes can wreak havoc on your home!!

Living in the Midwest a lot of people will take extended vacations to warmer climates. It’s important to understand what your insurance may or may not cover if you are gone, and your pipes freeze and cause a leak. Your insurance company may not cover losses related to freezing of pipes if your home is unoccupied or vacant.

Most companies consider a property unoccupied if you are gone for 60 consecutive days prior to the loss (30 days in some cases). This means that if you winter in another state your property may be considered unoccupied and there may not be coverage for freezing pipes. Some companies will allow coverage with an endorsement that states you will maintain heat in the home while you are away; or in the event that you want to have the utilities shut off and you drain all water lines.

Vacant properties are typically properties without any furniture, utilities, or appliances; essentially properties that are empty. These are typically properties that are on the market for sale or dwellings for rent. You should notify your insurance agent, if your property is vacant as there are coverages such as pipe breakage that may not apply once it has been vacant for 30 days.

Each insurance company defines vacant and unoccupied differently. It is best to contact your agent to see how long you can be gone from your home before pipe breakage is no longer covered and if there is an endorsement you can purchase to buy this coverage back while you are gone.

It is imperative that you call your agent to report a claim as soon as you suspect a pipe has broken and caused damage, no matter how minor you think it to be. If water damage is left unattended and not properly mitigated, mold could grow and potentially spread to other parts of your home. Most policies include wording that requires you to submit a claim as soon as you know it has happened. If you do not the company may deny coverage if you delay reporting the damage; which would result in more money out of pocket for you.

If you have additional question about coverage issues, or would like a second opinion on the policies you have currently, please feel free to contact us:

Denlinger-Herrig Insurance

3686 Crescent Ridge

Dubuque, IA 52003

563-556-1499

Randi Taylor

Agency Principal

Shirley Snow

Account Executive

https://denlingerinsurance.com/

#SERVPROstrong

The 3 Different Categories of a Water Damage

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Wet Ceiling Wet Ceiling - Category 2

Most of us are not aware that there are 3 Categories of water damage, Category 1, Category 2,     Category 3.  There will be a series of blog posts to follow discussing how different materials in your home are affected by water and how that determines how SERVPRO of Dubuque and your insurance company will deal with the resulting damage.

The IICRC S 500 4th Edition Standards 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 S500 categorizes water damage into 3 different categories. Here is a breakdown of the 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, other than falling rain water and melting ice, the source of this water is usually from the water supply to the home.  That water might be from a broken supply line, toilet tank, and tub or sink overflow (as long as there are no contaminants or additives).

Category 2 - water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.  Examples of Cat 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 grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.  It can cause significant adverse reaction to humans if contacted or consumed.  Cat 3 water can include, sewage, waste line backflows, flood water from seas, rivers or streams.  Surface water can contain hazardous materials including pesticides or toxic organic substances.

Depending on category of water that causes the event as well as the fact that that water became contaminated by either flowing through a contaminant or from it remaining wet for a duration of time, the Category can change from Cat 1 to Cat 2 or Cat 2 to Cat 3.

No matter the Category 1, 2 or 3 SERVPRO of Dubuque has a crew that is ready to make it       “Like it never even happened.”

When you need us we are there

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Extracting Water

Do you have Water or Storm damage? 

Don’t hesitate Call SERVPRO of Dubuque NOW!

When you Need Emergency Service,

Call SERVPRO of Dubuque 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 22 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.

Be proactive

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Water Spigot Frozen Pipes

Being proactive about our property during the cold weather in the Midwest can drastically cut down your chances of a loss. We never know what Mother Nature is going throw at us heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

      Check out these preventive tips to help reduce damage done by the colder weather.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazer potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask your SERVPRO of Dubuque Professionals about completing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Dubuque to strike back.  We can provide anything from temporary heat, desiccant dehumidification to water damage cleanup and repair.

Is my damage covered by my homeowners insurance?

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Damage to framing Damage to framing caused by a unnoticed leak.

You just found out that you just experienced a disaster!  There is a significant amount of damage to what is probably your largest investment in your life.  Will your insurance company help you with cleanup?  What about repairs?  What if you are forced to relocate for a time while the home is being repaired?  If the damage to the home is covered, what about your contents especially those expensive collectibles or fine arts?  What if you didn't realize that you had water damage and now there is mold growth?

One of the issues that SERVPRO of Dubuque deals with on nearly service call is the question of "Is there coverage for my damage?"

The question of coverage is always answered by your insurance company's adjuster that is assigned to your claim.  However, the selection of coverage that is the most appropriate should be done with your agent, prior to having a claim.

Here is a link to a very interesting article from House Logic, that was shared to us with our partners from Sherrill Mutual Fire Insurance Association.

https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/what-does-homeowners-insurance-cover/

The article discusses the standard coverages provided in a basic policy as well as broader coverages that are available either through endorsement or by simply selecting a broader policy form.

I believe that one point in the article needs clarification.  The article states that:

"No matter which basic policy you get, it’s not going to cover everything than can damage or destroy your home. Typical homeowners policies don’t cover:

  • Bad things that happen because you failed to maintain your home (like mold)"

Although it is true that damage caused by poor maintenance of the home is normally not covered, mold could be covered by some policies if it is a result of a covered water damage loss and the insured did not fail to address the water damage when it was discovered.

Having a better understanding of what your policy covers at the time of a loss can allow you to respond more quickly to damage.

The faster you respond, the faster we can be to any sized disaster!

Call the fire, water and mold damage professionals at SERVPRO of Dubuque.

https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/what-does-homeowners-insurance-cover/

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.

Tank-less Water Heaters

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

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.

How Water Categories Affect Carpet and Pad

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

CAT 1 water on carpet

How Water Categories affect your Carpet and Pad.

In this Blog I will be referring to Water Categories 1, 2 &3.  Please read the Blog Post about Water Damage Categories first.

We often run into questions at water damaged homes regarding the wet carpet and pad.  Although every situation can be different, there are some general rules of thumb that usually apply.

If the water incident is a true Cat 1 water damage, the carpet and sometimes the pad can be saved.  If enough water can be extracted using the proper weighted extraction tools and the carpet can be dried in place.  Keep in mind that Cat 1 water can become Cat 2 if it flows through contaminants or is not extracted in a timely manner.

In a Category 2 water event, the carpet and pad should be extracted, but the pad will need to be removed and disposed of.  The carpet can normally be restored as long as it is not worn out or has started to delaminate.  The carpet should be professionally cleaned after the remediation is complete.  Again, keep in mind that the water Category can degrade to a Cat 3 if the water becomes contaminated or if mold an bacterial begin go grow if the issue is not addressed promptly.

In a Category 3 water event, as part of the decontamination effort, the carpet and pad will need to be removed and disposed of.  Normally the contaminated water is extracted first to not only make the carpet and pad more manageable but also to keep from contaminating other areas of the property as it is removed.

How Water Classes Affect Drywall

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Flood cut after water back up from sump pump

How Water Damage Categories Affect Drywall

I previously explained the definition of Cat 1, 2 & 3.  Please read the Blog titled Water Damage Categories first.

Specific building materials are affected differently by Category 1, 2 or 3 water.  The category of water can make the difference between drying and restoring carpet and pad or having to dispose of it as I discussed in the Blog: How Water Categories Affect Carpet and Pad.

What about the walls?  Depending on wall material, the method of water damage remediation will also vary on the Category of Water.

Drywall – Gypsum Board, commonly referred to a drywall has a tendency to soak up water like a sponge, especially from its cut ends.  Water that is sprayed on the wall surface is often repelled by a painted surface or simply runs off before it can be absorbed.  On the other hand, horizontal water that raises to a level above the bottom edge of the drywall will be absorbed, as much as several inches, up the wall board, depending on how long the water remains at that level.

If the water that rose to a level above the base of the wall board was Category 1 water, an attempt can be made to dry the wall.  Air movement is the key to accomplishing this.  First any floor trim or base, will need to be removed.  Standard procedure dictates punching or drilling holes around 2 inches above the floor.  This will be above the sill plate (the framing board that rests on the floor) but still below the upper level of where the base covered.  Air movers are then directed at the holes to provide air movement in the wall cavity to facilitate drying.  This method is usually effective as long as there is no insulation in the wall cavity and the water has not had time to soak up into the wall board a significant distance. 

If the water is Category 2 or 3 water or if the above method is ineffective, the affected drywall will need to be removed and disposed of, a process commonly referred to as Flood Cutting.

Flood cutting, is measuring a line 2’ ½” above the floor and cutting and removing the drywall below that line.  This will open up the wall cavity, allowing wet insulation to be removed and the wall chamber to be decontaminated if Cat 2 or 3 water is to blame.  It will also allow a much larger volume of air to flow into the cavity to facilitate drying.  If the water was very deep or sat for a long time, the flood cut might have to be made at 4’ ½”.

The height of the flood cuts, are intended to make the re-installation of drywall much easier.  In the event of a serious flood where the water was very deep or it sat for an extended duration while wet, the walls may need to be removed completely.