Recent Posts

Space Heater Safety Tips

1/15/2024 (Permalink)

Space Heater SERVPRO® technicians are specially trained in both fire and water damage restoration, using specialized equipment, tools and products.

When the temperature drops, portable space heaters can be a convenient source of supplemental heat for your home. But they can also pose a safety risk, no matter where you use them. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, portable space heaters are responsible for 1,700 house fires a year. If you are relying on a portable heater for supplemental heat, it's important to make space heater safety a priority.

 Space Heater Safety Tips

  • Turn the space heater off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away from heating source.
  • Never plug a space heater into a power strip.
  • Check the heater certifications.
  • Do not allow children or pets to play close to a space heater.
  • Inspect the heater for cracked or broken plugs, and loose connections.
  • Smoke alarms should be on every level of your home and outside all sleeping areas.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher close by.
  • Place the space heater on a flat level surface.
  • Read the user’s manual and use according to manufacturer specifications.
  • Buy a unit with an automatic shutoff in case the unit tips over.
  • Space heaters should never be considered an adequate replacement for a HVAC unit.
  • Water should never be used to put out an electrical fire.
  • Purchase a heater with overheat protection. The heater will automatically shut off its internal components gets too hot.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning.
  • Don’t leave space haters in high traffic areas and doorways, where people could trip over them.
  • Buy a heater that is the correct size for the area you want to heat.
  • Keep vents clear of dust and debris.

 Staying warm through the winter is important for safety as well as comfort, and for some people space heaters may be the best way to do that. Using them properly and taking precautions can add another layer of comfort, knowing that you are being as safe as possible. Practicing good safety measures can dramatically reduce the risk of a house fire, but accidents can and do happen. If your home or business has suffered from a fire or smoke damage call the professionals at SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for 24/7 Emergency Services.

Winter Storm Safety Tips

1/11/2024 (Permalink)

Vent with ice buildup from cold temps. Vents that are buried in snow can become extremely dangerous. Without a clear path for exhaust functions, your home can back up with carbon monoxide.

Winter storms can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, sleet, heavy snowfall, ice, and high winds. While those who live in northwest Iowa are considered resilient when it comes to enduring snowfall and cold temperatures, facing the extreme conditions of a blizzard can prove dangerous to even the most seasoned dweller. Since we can never truly predict what Mother Nature has in store for us, the best defense against a blizzard is to be prepared. There are preventive measures you can take to promote safety during dangerous weather.

Safety Tips

  • Wear layers of clothing to stay warm.
  • Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
  • Check on friends, relatives, and the elderly who are more susceptible to the cold.
  • Never leave space heaters unattended, turn them off before going to bed.
  • Bring your pets indoors.
  • Make sure your furnace vent, gas fireplace vent, and water heater vent are free from any obstruction.
  • When using a space heater make sure it is on a level, hard surface, and keep it at least three feet away from anything flammable.
  • Install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Replace the batteries and inspect them regularly.
  • Replenish your emergency kit with food and water.
  • Fill your car with gas.
  • Insulate exposed pipes.
  • Limit time outdoors.
  • Have communication devices ready.
  • Turn your faucets to a slight drip to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Maintain your heating equipment. Have it serviced every year.
  • Refill medications before the storm hits.
  • Stay tuned to your local news for weather updates.
  • Avoid travel if possible.
  • Have a snow shovel and ice-melting products to keep your walkways safe.
  • Keep exterior doors closed.

SERVPRO® of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help if you experience any damage to your home or business during a storm. Our goal is to make any disaster disappear, “Like it never even happened.”  

Summer Fire Safety

7/31/2023 (Permalink)

Firefighter on a ladder with heavy smoke around him. Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for all your fire restoration needs. 712-262-4379.

Nothing says summer in Northwest Iowa like warm temps, backyard barbecues, pool parties, camping trips, and fireworks. With these fun activities we should also remain aware of the increased risk of fire during these months. According to the U.S. Fire Administration more fires are reported on July 4th than any other day of the year. Brush and outside fires increase substantially due to family outings and the misuse of fireworks. Being aware of what causes summer fires, makes us better able to prevent one from happening.

July is the peak month for grill fires, followed by June, May, and August.

Common Causes of Grill Fires

  • Failure to clean the grill, including the grease trap.
  • Having the grill too close to something that could catch fire.
  • Leaving a grill unattended.
  • Leaving the lid open while cooking
  • Using combustible liquids like gas and lighter fluid that don’t completely evaporate when lit.

On average, 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the month around the 4th of July. We encourage anyone celebrating with fireworks practice the “Four BE’S”

  • Be Prepared

Store fireworks out of children’s reach. Always read and follow label directions. Place pets indoors. Always have water handy (garden hose or bucket of water).

  • Be Responsible

Soak used fireworks thoroughly in a bucket of water. Dispose of used fireworks and debris properly. Never re-light “dud” fireworks. Wait 15-20 minutes then soak it in a bucket of water.

  • Be Safe

An adult should always light fireworks. Keep matches and lighters away from children. Use fireworks outdoors only. Light only one firework at a time and move away quickly. Keep children and pets away from fireworks. Always remember, do not throw fireworks, or hold them in your hand.

  • Be Aware

Use only legal fireworks and only in legal places. Fireworks are prohibited on all state parks, and state or federal forest lands.

Restoring your home after fire damage is our main goal. As a leading fire damage restoration company, we specialize in removing the water after firefighting efforts. Our team of professionals will assess the damage and handle the fire cleanup and fire damage restoration.

Campfire Safety

7/31/2023 (Permalink)

Picture of a fire burning in a firepit. Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes for all your fire restoration needs. 712-262-4379

Unintentional actions are the leading cause of outside fires. Keep fire safety in mind when enjoying summer activities. Enjoying the pop and hiss of a glowing campfire is one of the most enjoyable parts of camping. Building fires comes with responsibility. A fire that is not properly built, maintained, and extinguished can quickly become a hazard. In the U.S., people start nearly 9 out of 10 wildfires. Campfires are an essential part of the camping experience. The best way to keep those memories from becoming a nightmare is to follow some simple yet important campfire safety tips.

Campfire Safety

Create a Safety Zone – Clear a 3-foot area starting at the base of the fire pit and going out in all directions. Point this safety zone out to children by marking it with sticks, bricks, or glow-in-the-dark spray paint tape. Young children should stay out of this area.

Conduct a Pre-fire Safety Briefing – Point out the safety zone as a reminder to young children. Remind children to not touch anything that has been in or near the fire. Show everyone where the water bucket is in case you need to put out the fire quickly. Practice stop, drop, and roll technique.

Fire Building is for Adults – Set the expectation that building the fire is a job for adults only. Let children help by gathering sticks. Only use natural materials and matches to start a fire. Accelerants like gas, lighter fluid, kerosene, or alcohol can lead to serious injury.

Keep Your Fire Small – Everyone loves the allure of a roaring fire, but it’s not necessary. Small fires still produce an enjoyable amount of heat and light.

Clear Away Dead/Dry Debris – Do a quick sweep around the perimeter of your firepit to clear dead leaves, twigs, and other natural fuel sources.

Never Leave a Fire Unattended – Although it may be tempting to leave a fire smoldering while you step away, you should never leave your fire unattended.

Extinguish Fires Completely – Make sure to completely extinguish a fire before going to sleep or leaving your site. To put out a campfire, use the “drown, stir, and feel” method. Drown the fire with water. Stir the ashes and coals with a shovel to smother the fire. Feel the area to make sure it’s cool to the touch. You may need to repeat this process several times before your campfire is completely out. Keep extra water close by in case of an emergency.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offers residential and commercial property damage restoration and general contracting services. Our team is reliable, easy to work with, and will provide proactive communication with our customers.

Biohazard Services

6/7/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians wearing tyvek suits wiping down a table. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 712-262-4379

Biohazard cleanup involves cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing areas where a traumatic event such as an accident, injury or death has occurred. Biohazard cleanup can be challenging work that requires technicians to handle potentially hazardous materials such as blood, human or animal remains, chemical spills and more. How extensive a biohazard cleaning needs to be depends on the underlying hazardous material and the harm it poses. Unattended death and the aftermath of hoarding are the most common biohazard situations where it’s best to call in an expert. Handling and disposing of hazardous materials go further than just cleaning visible evidence of blood, bodily fluids, or a crime scene.

Federal and state rules regulate the handling and disposal of hazardous waste to ensure the safety of all persons. Trained professionals will properly establish the contaminated area, prevent cross-contamination, remove existing bio matter, decontaminate, and deodorize if necessary. Our trained professionals will use OSHA and EPA-approved products and protective equipment to detect, sanitize, and eliminate all blood borne pathogens and bio-hazardous waste.

We care for the people in our community and take pride in our work. You can count on our team to be discrete, maintain confidentiality, and treat each situation with care and compassion. A quick response can make all the difference when it comes to biohazards. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here for you when you need us 24/7.

Commercial Storm Damage

5/17/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green Disaster Recovery Team trailer in parking lot.  SERVPRO professionals can handle anything from minor commercial storm damage to large-loss events.

Natural disasters are becoming more common across the country, and they can cause serious damage to commercial properties. Storms come in all shapes and sizes and it’s not uncommon for tornadoes to sweep through the Midwest during the summer months. Rain entering your business can have long-lasting effects. Mold can begin growing in as fast as 24 hours if the area isn’t dried properly.

You will want to hire a professional who can work fast and efficiently to fix any damage to your property. Professional restoration companies will assess the damage quickly allowing you to make informed decisions for repairs. From fires to floods to storm damage, the different types of damage that could strike your business require their own unique set of repairs. The process towards restoration is tedious, tiring, and can be overwhelming for business owners.

Restoration professionals have state-of-the-art equipment for handling storm damage. We will work with your insurance for a stress-free claims process. Our team of employees are certified by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) and have the required licensing for this area of work, including special licensing for mold remediation.

Benefits of Hiring a Professional Restoration Company

  • Get back to normal business faster
  • Experienced help with your insurance claim
  • Peace of mind with expert advice
  • Save money on repairs
  • Highly trained
  • Minimize replacements
  • Specialized equipment
  • Safeguards health

Property restoration doesn’t have to be an overwhelming event. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the experience, knowledge, training, and resources to exceed your expectations and restore your commercial property back to a safe and healthy condition. We offer fire and water cleanup and restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation, biohazard cleanup and removal, post construction and general cleaning services in Northwest Iowa.

Flash Flooding

5/15/2023 (Permalink)

Heavy rain over the weekend have extended the Flood Warning for the Little Sioux River at Spencer, Iowa affecting Clay County Here in your community. Here to help. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 712-262-4379

When there is more rain than the soil can absorb, the excess water can overwhelm storm drains and ditches causing a flash flood. Flash floods can cause water to rise significantly within a short period of time. These events may result in evacuations, loss of human life, power outages, traffic obstructions and road closures, damage to buildings and infrastructure, and loss of crops and livestock. You may not be able to stop every water issue, but there are a few things that you can do to safeguard your home from being exposed to excessive water.

  •  Rearrange Downspouts

Downspouts should carry water several feet away from your property to a well-drained area.

  • Check Your Sump Pump

Perform a checkup on your sump pump if you have one. Pour water into your pit to make sure the discharge hose carries it away from your property to a well-drained area.

  • Clean Out Gutters & Downspouts

Installing gutters and downspouts outside your home is one of the most important measures for waterproofing your basement. They will carry water away from your home to ensure no pooling occurs. Make sure to remove debris and blockages that have built up inside. Make sure to check them at least twice a year to make sure they are flowing properly.

  • Install a Blackwater Valve

Heavy rains can cause problems out at the main sewer line, and in turn, can cause you issues. When water rises too quickly, it can cause overflow sending sewage back up the line into your home. Make sure to hire a professional to install the valve.

  • Re-seal Your Windows & Doors

Your windows and doors act as defense mechanisms for your home. If they are poorly or improperly sealed, they could allow water to enter the home.

  • Prepare Your Basement

Move electrical cords up off the floor, elevate anything that is delicate or will damage easily. Move any boxes, furniture, or valuable items to higher ground.

  • Keep Trees Trimmed

Keeping your trees trimmed is another fairly easy way to protect your home against heavy rain. Tree branches and leaves can be a real problem when combined with heavy rain and wind. In addition to regular shedding and clogging of gutters, heavy rain and wind can allow branches and even entire trees to cause damage to your roof.

  • Flood Insurance

Flood damage is not covered by standard home insurance policies. You may need to purchase a separate policy. Make sure to contact your agent to review your coverage.

 Floods can happen anywhere in the U.S. at any time of year. From bad weather to clogged storm drains, water can destroy your home or foundation in a matter of hours. The best way to minimize the damage from flooding is to promptly have the damage assessed and treated by a professional restoration company. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offer 24/7 Emergency Service and will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Are Online Reviews Important?

3/1/2023 (Permalink)

Reviews Image with stars We are proud to be an active member of the Spencer community and want to do our part to make our community the best that it can be.

How many times have you looked up a local business on Google or Facebook and went straight to their customer reviews? To say that customer reviews and testimonials are powerful is an understatement. That’s because individuals find customer reviews are more trustworthy than what a local business might say about themselves.

Customer reviews enable us to continue providing the best experience possible for you, and helps others understand how we can make their home or business, “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes takes pride in making sure each customer has a pleasant experience that addresses their restoration and cleaning needs. Your feedback helps us improve our ability to provide customers with the best service possible. Your insights are incredibly valuable and will help us make sure we serve you and other amazing customers well in the future.

We encourage potential customers to check out our reviews to see what our customers have to say about us. We appreciate our customers taking the time to share their experience so we can better serve the community. Thank you for choosing SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes.

Mold Removal: Why Hire a Professional

2/3/2023 (Permalink)

Mold on wall If you suspect you have mold in your home or business, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes to set up a mold inspection 712-262-4379

When a home or business suffers from water damage, a mold infestation can begin as quickly as 48-72 hours. Mold can result in negative health effects to your family (asthma, respiratory problems, skin irritation, and even neurological issues) as well as damage to your property. Mold spores are everywhere and they only need the right conditions to grow into colonies. When these colonies start growing, you will notice black or green patches of mold on walls, ceilings, and floors.

Microscopic mold spores exist naturally almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, so removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the spores become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

Our technicians are trained mold damage specialists who get started quickly to get your home or business back to normal, with specific training and certifications to handle your restoration needs. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries.

  • Applied Microbial Remediation Specialist
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • Applied Structural Drying Technician

Every mold scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.

Mold Remediation Process

  1. Emergency Contact – (712) 262-4379
  2. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  3. Mold Containment
  4. Air Filtration
  5. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  6. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  7. Restoration

You're Ready for Vacation, but Is Your House?

2/2/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vans SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is "Ready for whatever happens." 712-262-4379

Having someone check on your home while you are away can save you money if a disaster would strike. Left unchecked, a small repair can turn into a big nightmare. While you are gone ask someone who is reliable to monitor your home. Living in Northwest Iowa we are known to have some pretty severe cold snaps which in turn causes pipes to burst. With water everywhere, damage is inevitable. If there is no one coming in to check on your home the damage significantly worsens each day that you are away. What may have been a few hundred dollars in repair costs now is into the thousands of dollars as far as full-on repair and restoration project. Odds are you will end up being responsible for the majority of the cost if you did not have someone checking on your property in your absence and thus you invalidated your homeowner’s coverage.

Don’t let getting away from it all get you down this season. Whether you are planning a cross-country trip, or s small jaunt to a family cabin, be sure to check these pre-vacation to-dos off your list.

  • Arrange for someone to walk through and inspect your home every few days. Have them go through each room on every floor, including the garage. Your insurance carrier may have guidelines that needs to be followed for how often someone needs to come in and check on your home. Call your insurance company if you have questions about these requirements.
  • Shut off your home’s main water supply. If you are going to be gone for an extended period of time drain your pipes. If you decide against draining your pipes, keep the furnace running to help make sure your home stays warm. Make sure the temperature is set to 55 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Take care of your mail. Nothing screams, “We’re not home!” more than a bunch of mail stuffed in your mailbox and a pile of newspapers on the stoop. You can have put your mail delivery on hold while you are away or have the person who is checking on your home bring your mail inside. Arrange for someone to remove snow after any storms.
  • Take home security measures while your gone. Leaving a light on for a while in the evening can be a good deterrent to would-be burglars. Use a timer to turn on a living room lamp for a few hours, you can also set outside lights to those timers. Confirm that your alarm or camera systems are in working order and have been activated. Ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your property. They can watch for unexpected visitors and support any suspicious behavior to the authorities. Don’t forget to lock all points of entry. This one might be harder than it sounds but try to avoid posting your travel plans on social media. At the very least, make your accounts private so potential thieves can’t see them.
  • Take precautions for fire. Before you leave, make sure to unplug electronics around the house that don’t need power while you are gone. This will save you money and lower the risk of an electrical fire.

Even when you’ve taken all the right precautions, accidents and break-ins happen. This is why it’s so important to make sure your home insurance policy is up to date. If you haven’t reviewed your policy in a while, get in touch with your insurance provider to ensure your home and belongings are protected while you are away. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is close by and ready to respond if water or fire damage strikes.