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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Catch Leaking Pipes Before They Cause Damage

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

water leaking from the elbow of a pipe Be proactive about finding leaky pipes and save yourself from possible water damage.

Ever wonder why your water bill is so high? Or have you noticed there’s dampness in the cabinet under your faucet?

We easily identify roof leaks when they splash on our heads, and it’s fairly simple to detect dripping appliances, but leaky pipes can be trickier to locate and correct. However, it’s important to find them early, as slow leaks usually are not covered by insurance.

Plumbing repair sounds like a big project. But you can often fix a leaky pipe by yourself. This video shows you the basics. There are plenty of other do-it-yourself resources out there. A quick Google search gives a list of how-to videos by most major hardware businesses.

How to Spot Leaky Pipes Early

Check for signs of a leak on a regular basis. Traces of water can cue you in to leaky pipes. Look for damaged flooring or ceiling stains. Puddles are big clues, of course. You should also look for more subtle signs. Loose caulking might indicate a leak. Rust in your sink or toilet joints can also be signs of a leak. Loose tiles? Mold? A toilet that rocks back and forth? You guessed it—all can be caused by a leak.

Locate the source. Now that you know there’s probably a leak in the area, find where it’s coming from. You might need to open an access panel behind a tub or check under a sink. Look under countertops. You can also fill a tub or sink and then drain it, checking for dampness around each joint you can reach.

Evaluate if it’s a do-it-yourself job. Can you handily see and access the leaking pipe? If so, chances are you can make a repair. But if you can’t identify the source—or if you can see it but can’t get to it—it’s time to call a plumber. A certified, bonded plumber can make repairs that will save you money down the road.

When the Damage Is Done

If your leaking pipe has already caused damage, call SERVPRO. We’ve been cleaning up water damage for more than 50 years.

We’ll answer your call any time, around the clock. We combine national expertise with local know-how, so you know we’ll serve you right.

Dealing with water damage? Contact SERVPRO of Marshalltown at any hour for the rapid response we’re known for.

Minimize the Financial Strain of Storm Damage

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

tree fallen onto the roof of a home You can take several steps to help minimize the financial impact of storm damage.

Storm damage can hit you hard in the pocket book. According to the Congressional Budget Office, American households experience about $34 billion in storm-related losses every year. You can take several steps to help reduce the financial impact  of storm damage.

Check Your Coverage. Go over your insurance policy before a storm hits. You may be covered for wind and water damage, but only from certain sources. For instance, check the wording of your policy to see whether storm water that backs up from sewers or drains is covered. Talk to your insurance agent if you need help understanding your coverage.

Perform Due Diligence. If your property has existing damage, your insurance company may deny your claim. To help prove your damage was due to a sudden event, keep “before” photos of your house in a safe and easy-to-access place.

Protect Yourself. After a storm, you should first get yourself, your family and your pets to safety. Then check your house for hazards, such as standing water. You may need to evacuate your home if you can’t quickly fix the most urgent problems.

Check Out FEMA Help. If you need help finding a place to stay, getting urgent repairs or even getting a hot meal, call your local FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assistance) office. Depending on how widespread the damage was, FEMA may have an agent deployed where you live.

Document Everything. As you prepare your claim, make detailed records. Take pictures of mold, missing shingles and everything in between.

Time to File. When you reach out to your insurance company, they’ll assign an agent to help you through the process. Be persistent and specific in your claim. Keep careful records of your conversations with your agent. With dedication, you should soon have your claim met and your property in tip-top shape again!

We have many years of experience working with insurance companies to get claims processed. If you live in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County and experience storm damage, contact us at any hour for quick assistance.

Hidden Spots for Household Water Damage

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking water on the floor of a home Check places in your home for hidden water damage on regular basis.

It’s common to associate water damage with flooding, but there are many other surprising reasons water damage can occur in a home—quite a few of which can occur in hidden locations.

Because water damage can become worse if left untreated, hidden water damage is especially insidious. Many homeowners’ policies do not provide coverage for water damage; when they do, a typical claim will be in the range of $7,000.

Knowing the surprising spots where water damage may be found and checking them regularly can go a long way in preventing complications.

Surprising Spots for Household Water Damage

  • Inside cabinets: When sink pipes are inside cabinets, it’s easy for leaks to go unnoticed. Regularly check the piping to make sure you catch leaks before they cause damage.
  • Near bathtub casings: The casing of the bathtub or shower is sealed with caulk around the edges, providing a barrier against leaks. However, if these have not been recaulked in a while, they can begin to falter.
  • On structural elements: Drywall hides the structural elements of the home, but it can also hide water damage. Though ripping out drywall can be a chore, if there has been a busted pipe or a flood recently, it is wise to check behind it.
  • Around seals in the roof: The vents of roofs are sealed to prevent water from entering, but the seals deteriorate over time. Check the roof at the start of spring and fall for signs of water.
  • Within an HVAC unit: As the HVAC unit pulls moisture from the air, it typically drains it away. However, if there is an issue with any of the drain lines, this condensation can build up within the unit instead.
  • Behind appliances: Appliances are rarely moved unless they are being replaced, but washing machines and dishwashers can also hide water leaks. Perform an inspection for any hidden damage every few months as a preventive measure.
  • Around exterior faucets: Because outside faucets are connected within the walls of the house, leaks can easily hide. If the faucet is turned off and you still hear sounds of running water, there migIht be a hidden leak.

If you find water damage in your Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County home, give us a call right away, and we’ll be there quickly.

What to Do If You Smell Gas In Your Home

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Most gasses are tasteless, odorless and colorless, so it can be dangerous when flammable gas goes unnoticed. However, a chemical called mercaptan is added to gas, making it smell like sulfur or rotten eggs, which may be your first indicator that you have a gas leak. Here’s what to do if you smell gas in your home:

Don’t Flip the Switch

All it takes is a spark for a gas fire to ignite. Flipping a light switch or lighting a match in a gas-filled room can cause a gas explosion that could result in serious injuries or fatalities and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.

Evacuate Immediately and Call 911

Get your family out of the house. If you can, bring your pets too, but ensure your safety first. Odorless gas is dangerous. Not only can it cause a gas explosion, but the fumes can cause serious injury to the body. Dial 911, even if you’re not sure it’s gas. Your local fire department will come and determine if there is a gas leak or not.

Get Your Lines Checked

Once it is safe to reenter your home, contact a plumber to determine what lines need to be fixed or replaced. Be aware, it may cost several thousand dollars to replace your gas line. Hire someone to do periodic inspections to maintain the lines throughout your home.

If by chance you do experience a gas fire, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown at (641) 758-9746 to help clean up and restore your Marshalltown, Reinbeck, Iowa Falls, Traer or Wellsburg home to its original state, “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Marshalltown Knows How to Handle Hoarding

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.” A person with a hoarding disorder gets distressed at the thought of getting rid of items. Many people with hoarding tendencies don’t see their habits as an issue, which requires the situation to be handled with sensitivity and patience. At SERVPRO of Marshalltown, we know how to handle this.

Our specialists often encounter hoarding when we are called to a home for water damage or a fire loss. And because we’re experienced with hoarding situations, we know how to handle each case in the most professional way possible as we work with you and/or an insurance company regarding the contents that are covered. Once the insurance company has approved what contents a policy covers, we take care of cleaning, drying, packing and storing the items so work on the fire or water loss can begin. 

We also receive calls from family members to go through items and clean up a home after the death of a loved one. In these situations, our crew is careful to make sure they understand which possessions should be retained as they work through the contents of a house. Family members are welcome to assist us as we sort through the deceased person’s belongings. 

Each case is unique and sensitive, and we treat our customers with respect and professionalism throughout the process. Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown at (641) 758-9746 right away if you experience a water or fire loss or if you need help with a hoarding property in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County.

SERVPRO of Marshalltown Takes on Any Size Commercial Disasters

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO large loss team SERVPRO's Large Loss Division can handle any commercial disaster, no matter the size.

SERVPRO of Marshalltown takes on commercial disasters, no matter how large, whether from a tornado, hurricane, fire, flood or a derecho like we recently experienced here in Iowa. We’re part of a nationwide network of more than 1,700 strategically positioned SERVPRO franchises on standby and ready to mobilize when large disaster teams are needed.

We Have the Right Team for Big Jobs

We start by assessing the damage. In the event we need more feet on the ground and extra resources, we contact the SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division, staffed by elite large-loss specialists who are prequalified to handle any size disaster. They immediately dispatch any needed personnel to the site and set up a local command center with a commercial operations manager to supervise the loss and ensure communication is seamless and remediation is completed as quickly as possible. 

For example, we recently received a call about a large commercial fire. We immediately contacted the SERVPRO Large Loss Division to help complete an assessment and put together a scope of estimated work. SERVPRO was there within hours and was the first company on the scene with a large loss project manager to work directly with the client and the insurance company and quickly present an evaluation and estimate. 

Our National Team Knows What It’s Doing

When you call SERVPRO of Marshalltown with a large loss, you’re also calling a national disaster team — one of the best you can get. We’re different than other large response teams because we quickly and efficiently dispatch professionals who have the same high-level training, and we cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. That’s why so many hotel owners, property managers, universities, municipalities and even the Pentagon have relied on SERVPRO for recovery from large disasters. 

Call us right away at (642) 758-9746 if your commercial business, school, city or township in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama county experiences a large loss. You can be sure we’ll respond immediately with all the staff, resources and experience needed to handle the recovery process smoothly and efficiently.

When You Sustain Storm Damage, Depend on SERVPRO of Marshalltown

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

damage to a roof from a fallen tree during a storm Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown if you experience property damage during a severe storm.

It’s always a serious and stressful situation when your home or commercial property is damaged during a storm. While some storm damage can be simple to deal with, big storms can bring water, electrical and structural damage into the mix, which is why choosing a restoration company that can handle anything is key—as well as choosing one that is a legitimate business with your best interests in mind.

Starting the recovery process following storm damage may feel like an overwhelming task, but it’s worth putting in the effort to make sure it is done right, including finding a restoration company you can count on. 

Why SERVPRO Is the Best for Storm Damage

We’ve built a strong reputation. Many times after a storm unscrupulous companies will move into an area, obtain partial payment and never be heard from again. Needless to say, these companies are normally not community members or restoration industry leaders—but we are. We have worked hard to build a reputation that showcases our trustworthiness, and when you work with us, you will see that reflected in everything we do.

The resources we have are scalable. Regardless of how large the storm is or how much of the area it impacted, you can count on us to be able to help no matter what. With our national SERVPRO® partners by our side, we can call for reinforcements when needed to make sure we can scale up and provide excellent service after storms of any caliber.

The service you will get is unparalleled, at any hour. Discovering you have damage will never be an enjoyable process, but no matter when you discover it, we will be around to help. We are available 24 hours a day, meaning whenever you discover damage, you can give us a call. We will immediately begin formulating a response to tackle your damage and return your property to its pre-storm state.

When you experience damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown right away at  (641) 758-9746.

Protect Your Basement With a Sump Pump

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

Your basement is finally nicely carpeted, stocked with food and drinks, filled with electronics, a home entertainment system and new furniture. Are you prepared if a strong summer storm threatens to flood your basement and ruin everything there? You might want to consider installing a sump pump. 

Placing a sump pump at the lowest point of your house can help with flooding prevention. While not the prettiest sight, a sump pump can save you the thousands of dollars it can cost to clean up and restore a flooded basement. And if your basement floods once, chances are it will flood again.

A sump pump has two parts: a float switch and a mechanical pump. The entire mechanism is placed in the pit of the sump pump, which is at the lowest level of a house’s basement. When moisture leaks into the basement, the water level rises, lifting the float switch high enough that it activates the pump. The water is then pumped out of the basement through a discharge pipe.

Sump pumps also have the ability to be connected to a dehumidifier, which will pull moisture out of the air and dump it directly into your sump pump. This helps prevent mold formation, which is another problem for basements. Most newer homes in the Midwest require a sump pump. If yours does not, we suggest doing your research and looking into it. They can save your home before a crisis hits. 

If you do happen to experience flooding or water in your basement, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown right away, and we’ll be there quickly to assess the damage and start restoring your basement back to its original condition, “Like it never even happened.” Call (641) 758-9746, anytime, day or night. 

Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown to Safely Remove Sewage Water

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Many Marshall, Hardin, Grundy and Tama County area homeowners have recently experienced a double whammy from both water damage and power outages after an unprecedented derecho storm ripped through the state. This problem combination makes homes susceptible to mold growth and harmful bacteria or viruses, especially when sewage water is part of the mix. Porous materials like carpet, carpet pads and insulation are perfect environments for mold and bacteria to grow, which can quickly cause foul odor and risk of severe illness from mold spores or dangerous pathogens. The sooner you can start cleaning up after water damage, the more quickly you can stop mold and bad bacteria from growing in susceptible areas of your house.

Carpets and pads damaged by sewage need to be removed and disposed of immediately since this is considered a category-3 loss. Sewage damage is the most dangerous form of water cleanup because the possibility of blood-borne pathogens and other contaminants is high.

If a company were to just clean sewage-damaged carpet, assuming it seemed fine, there is no guarantee the carpet would be clean or safe. As soon as the room became warm, you would smell the sewage that was left behind in the carpet almost immediately. This indicates bacteria or mold is still present and would leave you and your family in danger.

Sewage leaves too many unknowns for anyone to assume a cleaning is enough to take care of the problem. The possibility of remaining fecal matter and disease-causing pathogens like Salmonella and E. coli put you and your family at high risk. 

Our staff at SERVPRO of Marshalltown is trained to handle sewage damage safely and effectively. We make sure that we eliminate all the contaminants that pose health risks and never take shortcuts. We do it well and we do it right. If your home has had any amount of water damage, give us a call right away to come take care of it for you. You can reach us any time, day or night, at (641) 758-9746.

Follow These Safety Habits to Prevent A Dangerous Grill Fire

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

a hand cooking meat on an outdoor grill Whenever you use your grill, make sure you use safe habits to prevent fire.

Grill season lasts well into the fall, and most of us are likely making good use of our grills to cook our favorite warm weather foods. Grilling allows you to get outside and enjoy the extra daylight summer has to offer, but they also cause many deaths and injuries as well as millions of dollars in property damage each year. No matter how frequently you use your grill, you should always practice good safety habits to avoid a fire.

Create a safe zone around your grill. While setting your grill up on your deck may be convenient, it’s not a good choice for its location. Grill fires can flare up and easily spread to surrounding property, including porches, patio railings and decks. Grill fires can also melt vinyl siding. It’s recommended that  you keep at least a three-foot safe zone around your grill at all times away from your home’s structure.

Clean your grill grates often. Food particles and fat can build up on the grill over time, creating a prime opportunity for a grease fire to break out on your grates. Giving the grill a quick brush after each use helps keep down flammable buildup.

Never leave the grill unattended. Just as you would not leave your stove top unattended, you should never walk away from a lit grill, even if the lid is down. Fires can start in an instant. As a rule, you should keep your eye on the grill at all times and keep a fire extinguisher nearby so you can immediately stop a fire from spreading if one occurs.

Inspect the grill regularly. While charcoal grills pose fewer hazards, you need to be extremely vigilant about frequently checking the gas lines of a propane grill. The seals around the propane tank and the lines that transport the gas can become worn with time and allow gas leaks that can potentially lead to dangerous explosions. If you see any signs of wear on the tank or the lines, carefully and safely replace them. 

If a grill fire damages your home in Alden, Traer, Dysart, Melbourne or anywhere in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown at (641) 758-9746 any time, day or night . We’ll be there quickly to protect your property from further damage and restore it to its original state, “Like it never even happened.”

Leave Your AC On When You Go on Vacation

8/4/2020 (Permalink)

Many homeowners think they can save money on cooling costs by turning off their air conditioners when they’re not at home. However, that’s not a great idea for a number of reasons. 

Creates an Environment for Mold and Bugs

First of all, turning off your air conditioner can cause the level of humidity inside your home to quickly rise. Without cool, dry air circulating through your home, humidity levels can soar to upwards of 60 percent, which is ideal for mold growth and bug infestations.

Mold needs moisture and lack of ventilation to grow, and it grows fast once the conditions are right. Insects also thrive in high heat and humidity. Making sure you keep humidity down in your home can save you a lot of trouble and expense down the line from mold remediation or bug extermination.

Saves Energy and Makes It Easier on Your Air Conditioner

Secondly, it’s more economical and easier on your air conditioner to keep your home relatively cool with low humidity. Moisture holds heat, so a hot, humid home will cause your air conditioner to have to work extra hard to bring the temperature and humidity levels back to normal after you return.

Turn Your Thermostat Up Instead of Turning AC Off

Instead of turning the air completely off, just turn your thermostat up 7 to 10 degrees. Your AC will kick on every once in a while to control and maintain a healthy humidity level between 45%-55%. You’ll save more money in the long run and likely also extend the life of your air conditioner.

If you do notice water damage or possible mold growth that occurred while you were gone and you live in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama county, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown right away at (641) 758-9746. We are a local business and can be there quickly to help.

Watch Out for Those Summer Pop-Up Storms

7/29/2020 (Permalink)

stormy sky with lightning Summer storms, though sometimes brief, can still be very dangerous. Make sure you're ready for when they pop up.

When the days get longer and the sun gets hotter, pop-up summer storms are expected in Iowa. Storms like this may not seem too threatening, but you should  remember that any storm with thunder has the ability to develop dangerous conditions such as hail, high winds and lightning strikes.

Find out how to protect yourself no matter where you are when severe weather develops. It will keep you and your family safe all summer long.

Know your options for shelter. The best place to be in the event of severe weather is an interior room of your own home or office with no exterior windows or doors. However, if you get caught on the road in the storm, staying in your car is the second-safest thing to do. Pull the car over, turn off the engine and avoid touching anything metal inside the vehicle until the storm passes.

Practice electrical safety. If a building is struck by lightning, the electrical charge will rush to the ground—often through electrical wires in the walls of the home. When this happens, a power surge can be transferred to anything that is plugged into the wall. If you have time before a storm moves through, unplug everything in your home to prevent this from happening. As an extra measure of protection in case you forget to unplug something like a computer, use surge protector extensions in every outlet.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. Structures made of concrete may feel like a safe option when faced with severe weather, but when it comes to lightning, they can actually be quite dangerous. Concrete is often constructed with steel bars at the center for reinforcement, which can become a conductor if electricity moves through it. Avoid leaning against concrete walls or laying on a concrete floor when a storm is moving through.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. The good news about summer storms is that they don’t last long, but that can cause a false sense of security when the skies become clear. Lightning strikes can occur as far as 25 miles away from the storm clouds, so officials advise waiting at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap before heading back outside.

If your Marshalltown, Grundy Center, State Center, Reinbeck, Iowa Falls or Wellsburg home or business is damaged from a storm, SERVPRO of Marshalltown can be there quickly to help prevent more damage and begin restoring your property back to its former condition. Contact us to learn more about our storm restoration process. Call (641) 758-9746, any time night or day.

If You Think You Have Mold, Don’t Take Care Of It Yourself!

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

white mold growing on the wall of a home If you see something like this growing in your home or business, don't touch it! Give us a call to make sure it's treated safely.

We often get calls from Marshall, Hardin, Grundy and Tama county homeowners who’ve tried treating a mold problem with a store-bought spray or with bleach, only to have the mold come back. What they don’t realize is that they’ve spread potentially toxic mold spores inside their home and used the wrong kind of cleaner for the type of material where the mold is growing. The result is a situation much worse than if they had called us first. 

It’s Best Not to Mess With Mold

If you think you have mold, the best thing to do is leave it alone and call us to come take a look. We’ll be there right away. If it’s not mold, which is sometimes the case, we’ll let you know, and we won’t charge you anything for the visit. It’s a courtesy our customers really appreciate. 

If we do suspect you have mold, we’ll offer the option to pay for mold sampling and testing to determine if the mold is toxic or a low-risk type that doesn’t present a serious health risk. Depending on the results, we’ll create a mold remediation plan and cost estimate for you to consider.

We’re Certified to Safely Remediate Mold

Once a customer approves the plan and estimate, we go straight to work. We’re trained and certified to remediate mold from homes and commercial businesses in the safest way possible. If the mold is toxic, we seal off contaminated areas from the rest of your house or business so spores do not spread. Using special HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers, we clean and disinfect the entire area. We carefully remove affected materials, dispose of them properly and replace damaged areas with new materials, restoring your home or business back to its previous condition “Like it never even happened.”

Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown Before You Touch That Mold

Just one quick phone call can save you from possible health risks and spreading more mold in your home or business. We deal with mold constantly and are well-trained to handle it, so you can trust us to do the job right. Because we’re a local business, we can be there quickly to give you an evaluation and recommendations for moving forward. Call (641) 758-9746 anytime, day or night. 

Protect Property Immediately After a Disaster With Our Board-Up Services

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO truck Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown to help protect your home or business from further damage immediately after a disaster compromises its structure.

What should you do right after a fire or tornado partially damages your home or commercial business? Call SERVPRO of Marshalltown and ask for emergency board up service. 

What Is Board Up Service?

Board up service, also called “temping” service, should happen immediately after a disaster like a destructive windstorm or partial fire (once you have the “all clear” from fire officials). It secures your property against theft and protects it from more weather damage by covering vulnerable openings like broken windows, open roofs and missing parts of your property’s structure. 

Why Is Our Board Up Sevice So Good?

If you live in Reinbeck, Dysart, Alden, Melbourne or anywhere in Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama county, we guarantee we’ll have your property completely secured within 24 hours of your call, if not much sooner. Using foam core, plywood, tarps and other materials, we’ll weather-proof and theft-proof your home or business and be sure not to cause additional damage. We never hammer nails or drill into your property’s structure to attach materials, as this creates more weak spots for water or cold air to get in or for theft to occur. 

We are experienced with insurance claims and recommend asking your agent or adjuster for permission to contract with us before you call for board up service. Many insurance companies are familiar with us and our reputable services. 

How Can You Save Yourself Hassle?

Unlike some companies that only provide board up services, we are a one-stop shop for all restoration services, from initial board up all the way through to final renovation. This saves you the hassle of using multiple companies and people to complete your entire restoration. From start to finish, we’ll make it look “Like it never even happened.”

Give Us a Call!

Doesn’t matter what time of day or night you need us, we can be there. Call (641) 758-9746 anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we’ll answer. 

SERVPRO of Marshalltown Invests in the Best Equipment for Restoration

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

stacked green SERVPRO air movers SERVPRO of Marshalltown uses the best equipment and invests in plenty of it so we can be ready for any size disaster at any time.

We really enjoy what we do, and one big reason is because we like watching our equipment do what it does. It’s satisfying to see our extractors pull water up through a wood floor or carpet. And it’s pretty cool to use infrared cameras to detect water or use huge diesel-powered heaters to dry out a basement. 

SERVPRO has a reputation for investing in the very best restoration equipment available, and that’s one reason we have such confidence that we can restore your Grundy Center, Reinbeck, Iowa Falls, Wellsburg or Eldora home or business back to its original condition after a disaster. Here’s a list of some of the high-level equipment and technology we use:

Detection and Measurement 

Airborne Mold Testing:  Air sampling with 24-hour turnaround on lab results and reporting to determine whether mold is present.

Infrared Camera: Based on the temperature difference of water and moisture compared to dry areas, detects the location of water, including inside walls or other hidden areas.

Water Extraction

Submersible and Gas-Powered Pumps: Used for continuous and powerful removal of high-level water.

Wood Floor Water Extractor: Suctions water from the subfloor through the wood planks and dries the subfloor, saving the wood floor from being ruined. 

Rover Water Extractor: Using the weight of the operator who stands on and steers the rover, this extraction machine pulls water up from the pad deep beneath carpet and saves both the pad and carpet from being destroyed.

Drying 

High-Speed Air Mover: Evaporates moisture at a faster pace with powerful fans.

Desiccant Dehumidifier: Unlike refrigerant dehumidifiers that use condensation and only work between 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit, desiccant dehumidifiers use a silica gel wheel to pull moisture out of the air like a sponge and work at temps as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Indirect-Fired Portable Heater: Safe for indoor operation, these powerful diesel heaters blow hot dry air into areas such as basements to evaporate all moisture, even during the winter.

Contaminant Removal

HEPA Vacuum: Captures 99.9% of particles to .3 microns to prevent contaminants such as bacteria, mold spores or dust from disseminating into the air.

HEPA Negative Air Machine: Filters and removes contaminated air from a sealed area by exhausting it outside to create a vacuum effect that replaces contaminated air with clean air.

Knowing how much confidence we have in our equipment (and training) should also give you the confidence that we can make your home or office look “Like it never even happened.”

Give us a call at (641) 758-9746, anytime day or night. We are a local business and can be there quickly. And if you just need more information about our services, we’re available to answer your questions. You can also check out our website at SERVPROmarshalltown.com.

Tips for Developing a Fire Drill Procedure for Your Business

6/29/2020 (Permalink)

words "fire drill" next to a fire alarm on a wall Follow these tips from SERVPRO of Marshalltown to keep your employees safe in the event of a fire.

Many businesses experience devastating fires every year. If you’re a business owner in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, Grundy Center, Wellsburg, Reinbeck or any other town in our service area and you have employees on the premises, we want to help you prepare them for the possibility of a fire and keep them safe. Here’s how you can begin to create a fire evacuation drill procedure for your business:

Consult with your local fire officials. 

Getting in touch with your local fire department is often a great place to start on any aspect of fire preparedness for your business. They will typically be happy to consult with you on fire safety measures your business can take, including the best evacuation routes and fire procedures to go over with your staff.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. 

Once you have your evacuation routes set, mark them clearly with signs and communicate with staff on what this means. Involving your employees in the fire safety process will make everyone feel safer and prepare them for when you start scheduling regular drills.

Schedule fire drills frequently. 

Your staff needs to be so familiar with evacuation procedures that they have no questions about what to do should a fire break out. The best way to prepare them is to hold regular fire drills, at least once every quarter. These should be mandatory drills that require everyone to leave the premises according to the established escape route, gather at a predesignated area and be accounted for by a supervisor once everyone is evacuated. They should also be trained not to leave the designated area until given the all-clear sign to return to the building. 

Run different fire scenarios. Fires can start due to a myriad of reasons, so it is important to prepare for all possibilities when you hold your fire drills. Practice for different situations by blocking off different exits and having the fire drill originate in different parts of the building to give everyone the tools they need to escape safely regardless of what type of fire is started.

If your business has experienced fire damage, call SERVPRO of Marshalltown anytime, day or night. We are a local business that specializes in commercial fire restoration and are ready to be there quickly when you need us. Call (641) 758-9746.

Trust SERVPRO of Marshalltown to Disinfect Your Business or School for Covid-19

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

window decal of Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Don’t trust just anyone to disinfect your business, school or organization. SERVPRO of Marshalltown is highly-trained and certified to do the job.

SERVPRO of Marshalltown is answering an increasing number of calls to clean and disinfect area businesses in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

While few businesses and organizations have had an employee test positive for the virus, many companies are asking us to help them prepare for reopening and maintain a clean environment for their staff and customers.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – Our Viral Pathogen Cleaning Program

Don’t trust just anyone to disinfect your business, school or organization. SERVPRO of Marshalltown is highly-trained and certified to do the job. 

We offer Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, a proactive and Covid-19 emergency response cleaning program that goes way beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. This is tested and proven viral pathogen cleaning that meets the highest standards.

Our staff specializes in biohazard cleaning and decontamination for porous and non-porous surfaces – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC. 

We use EPA-approved products that won't harm your work environment or your employees, clients or students. These include our proprietary cleaning agent SERVPROXIDE, a hospital-grade disinfectant that is NSF certified for direct food surface use.

Let SERVPRO of Marshalltown Help You Maintain a Sanitized Environment

We can sanitize every space in your business or organization, including:

  • offices 
  • retail spaces 
  • fitness rooms 
  • playgrounds
  • food areas (break rooms, school kitchens, cafeterias)

We’re a local business serving all of Marshall, Hardin, Grundy and Tama counties, open 24 hours/7 days per week. So we’re nearby and ready to take care of you right away.

Give us a call at (641) 758-9746. 

SERVPRO of Marshalltown Is the Right Choice, Right Away

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Two SERVPRO team members standing in front of a SERVPRO van SERVPRO trains team members to meet the highest industry standards in fire restoration, water restoration and mold remediation.

When you experience a disaster such as flooding or fire, you don’t have time to research restoration companies to be sure they’re the most qualified for the job. Your choice may come down to reputation or a recommendation from a trusted source.

Our Reputation for High-Level Training and Certification

SERVPRO has a long-standing reputation for training employees to meet the highest industry standards in fire restoration, water restoration and mold remediation. In addition to training at the regional level, we developed our National Training Center to expand skill instruction to more franchise owners and insurance industry employees.

Certified by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC)

SERVPRO of Marshalltown technicians are IICRC-certified, which means they are “trained to operate at a higher standard within their designated certification.”

The IICRC describes its rigorous requirements for certification like this:

“Just as certified accountants, plumbers, and mechanics project a higher level of competency in their fields, and just as members of the American Medical Association and American Bar Association set themselves apart through training, experience and comprehensive examination — IICRC Certification helps to immediately identify the cleaning, restoration, and inspection Industry’s most skilled and dedicated technicians and businesses.”

An Insurance Industry Partner

We partner with many insurance companies to handle restoration for disaster claims, and we’ve earned their trust as a recommended company for their clients. We understand the requirements of a disaster insurance claim, so we can work closely with your insurance company to help your claim progress as smoothly as possible. 

Faster to Any Size Disaster

SERVPRO of Marshalltown is a local business. Our staff is ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to quickly respond and restore your Marshall, Hardin, Grundy or Tama County residence, school or business back to its original condition after a disaster of any size, “Like it never even happened.”

Call us right away at (641) 758-9746 if you experience any kind of water, mold or fire damage. 

You can be sure you’re making the right choice with SERVPRO of Marshalltown.

Staying Safe When Severe Storms Are in the Forecast | SERVPRO® of Marshalltown

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

severe weather sign in front of a stormy sky Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are inevitable weather events in Iowa this time of year. Are you prepared?

Severe weather events like thunderstorms and tornadoes pose danger to properties and people. Educating yourself and being prepared are the best ways to keep yourself safe in a severe weather scenario.

Know the Difference Between Watches and Warnings

When severe weather is forecasted for your area, it's important to understand the difference between a watch and a warning in order to react appropriately. A thunderstorm watch means there is potential for severe storms to develop, but one hasn't been identified by radar. Conversely, a warning means that a thunderstorm is imminent or occurring in the area, and you should immediately take shelter.

Be Ready To Take Shelter

Make sure the safest area of your home where you take shelter has an emergency kit that includes extra food and water as well as flashlights and first-aid supplies. If your home doesn't have a basement, you should know where the next safest place is to take shelter. Generally, you should choose a place on the ground floor away from exterior windows or doors, such as a bathroom or closet.

Set Up a Backup for Emergency Alerts

While most people will rely on their smartphones for weather alerts, this should only be your first line of defense. Storms can knock out cell reception, and cell phones can die during power outages. Set up a backup like a battery-powered NOAA weather radio so you never miss a pertinent alert.

SERVPRO of Marshalltown is ready to help you recover from storm damage. We are a local business and can be there quickly in an emergency. If you live in Marshalltown, Iowa Falls, Wellsburg or any of the surrounding areas, call us at (641) 758-9746.

Follow These Steps From SERVPRO of Marshalltown Before Jumping Into Flood Recovery

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

water damaged household furniture sitting outside on front lawn If you’re experiencing any water damage from flooding, SERVPRO of Marshalltown is available 24/7 to assist you with any repairs.

If your home in the Marshalltown area has been impacted by a flood, it is common to feel like you are ready to get started on recovering right away.

While getting started as quickly as possible is a smart decision, it is also vital that you make your own safety a priority and ensure you are not putting yourself in harm’s way or causing any further damage to your home. Acting quickly following a flood is possible as long as you are also taking the right steps to keep yourself and your household safe.

Returning Home in the Aftermath of a Flood

Avoid further safety hazards. The first thing to remember after a flood is to never return home until officials have deemed it safe. Many dangers such as electrical currents, contaminated water and other hidden hazards may be present. If you can do it safely, turn off the electricity main to the house, but never do this if the main is in standing water.

Air out the home. If there is no inclement weather on the horizon, opening doors and windows up will help rid the home of stale and hazardous air. Mold growth will have likely already started if surfaces are wet, but increasing air circulation can prevent it from becoming out of hand. If it has been a few days since you've been able to enter the house, it's advised to only enter long enough to open windows and doors; then, leave right away to let the toxic air escape.

Document the damages. While it can be tempting to start the cleanup process right away, it is recommended to take pictures of the damages and impacted objects before touching anything for flood insurance purposes. While many floods are not covered under general homeowner’s policies, if you do have flood coverage, documenting the damages can help you get the most out of your claim.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. It is always recommended to let your insurance company know about flood damage as soon as possible to see what coverage options are available to you. Next, you should reach out to your preferred restoration company to get the process started right away. The longer flood and water damage sits untreated, the more damage it can do to the structure of your home.

If your home has been damaged in a flood, we are here for you. Contact us anytime, day or night, to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion. We serve all of Marshall, Hardin, Grundy and Tama Counties.

Get A Free Emergency Ready Profile for Your Business From SERVPRO of Marshalltown

5/22/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile app on mobile phone SERVPRO's free Emergency Ready Profile will help your company get back on its feet faster after a disaster and is accessed through an easy-to-use app.

We’re heading into storm season here in the Midwest. Is your business ready to handle severe tornado or flood damage? What about a disaster that can happen any time of year, like a fire or a water line break?

No one can prevent every disaster from happening, but if your business is prepared with a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile (ERP), you’ll recover more quickly. You’ll also give your business the best chance of reopening. About 50 percent of companies never reopen after extended interruptions from disasters.

Insurance companies know this too, which is why most recommend that businesses make an emergency response plan part of their overall contingency plans.

Let SERVPRO of Marshalltown Help You Put Your Profile Together

We enjoy the process of putting together ERPs, and we do it for FREE. It gives us a chance to get to know you and your business so we can serve you in the best possible way should a disaster ever strike. 

Our highly certified technicians will work closely with you to develop your profile containing all the critical information you’ll need in the event of an emergency.

What’s In the ERP?

This well-organized document includes:

  • Primary staff and local emergency contacts
  • Primary contractor/vendor contacts (electrician, internet provider, HVAC, etc.)
  • Utility shut-off locations with photos for fast identification
  • All needed information for your insurance company 
  • Property overview with maps, photos, and structural descriptions
  • Building access information
  • Ability to add extra reports of your own (evacuation floor plans, lead/asbestos reports)

Access Your ERP With an Easy-to-Access Mobile App and Web Portal

Once we’ve captured all your information, SERVPRO of Marshalltown will make it all available to you through our quick and easy-to-use SERVPRO® Ready Plan mobile app and web portal. Ready Plan is password secured and allows you to manage your profile and share your information with people you choose, such as property or facility managers. 

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

The sooner you call us, the sooner we’ll create your ERP, which can make the difference between the life and death of your business. 

Call (641) 758-9746 to set up an appointment as soon as possible, before a disaster hits.

We serve businesses in Marshalltown and the surrounding areas, including Iowa FallsWellsburgReinbeckState Center and Dike.

Marshalltown Area Residents: Don’t Let Your Garden Hose Be the Culprit of Water Damage

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Marshalltown hose pointed at camera with text that says, "WAIT!" If you used your garden hose and didn't unhook it before temperatures dropped below freezing, make sure you check for a cracked water pipe.

Remember that warm week in early April? People were thronging to places like Riverview Park to enjoy the weather. 

Have You Ever Done This?

We had one client whose son took advantage of the near 80-degree temps to hook up the hose and wash his car. Lots of people probably did. 

Of course, Iowa temps in April are a crazy roller coaster, and about a week later they dropped below freezing, with a little bit of snow and ice to boot. The water left in the line from the hose still being hooked to the house expanded and cracked the copper water pipe that ran inside. And the homeowner had no idea. Guess what happened.

The Unsuspected Culprit

Once it warmed back up, they turned on the hose again without realizing water was running down into their basement. We see this a lot.

If it’s a big crack, it will cause immediately noticeable water damage. If it’s a small one, it causes a leak that can go unnoticed and result in mold formation

Either way, you can prevent it.

How To Prevent Water Damage From Your Garden Hose After a Freeze

If you used your hose during that early warm streak and haven’t turned it on again, and if the water pipe is exposed, you can simply go down to where the line comes into your basement, have someone turn the hose on full blast and monitor the pipe for any leaking. 

If you have turned on your hose again after using it during the warm weather, you should go inspect the area around the pipe in your basement for any signs of water leaking or damage. 

To prevent this in the future, make sure you winterize by unhooking all garden hoses well before temperatures drop below freezing in the fall and waiting to reattach until temperatures have stabilized in the spring. If you do use your hose in early spring, it’s always good to unhook it immediately afterward. 

See any problems or have concern? Call us right away at 515-233-4544. Water can spread and be absorbed quickly, so you don’t want to wait.

SERVPRO of Marshalltown Will Guide You to the Right Solution

SERVPRO of Marshalltown is available 24 hours/7 days per week. Our highly trained and IICRC-certified staff is ready to come out and let you know what needs to be done, whether our services are needed or not, at no charge. 

If you just need a plumber - we’ll tell you that. If you need help with water damage repair and/or mold remediation, you can trust SERVPRO as the No. 1 brand in the restoration industry.

We have superior equipment and tools to evaluate your damage and make all the repairs so it’s “Like it never even happened.”

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