Recent Posts

Preventing Ice Dams

11/23/2022 (Permalink)

Ice dams SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes can make your water damage emergency "Like it never even happened." 712-262-4379

When the first few blustery days creeped into northwest Iowa, you may have been thinking about buying a new winter coat, winterizing your car, or planning your next tropical vacation. If you are like most, you probably weren’t thinking about how the coming snow could potentially cause major damage to your home. Icicles hanging along the eaves of your house may look beautiful, but they spell trouble. Snow covered roofs and freezing weather allow icicles to form and can lead to ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off your roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into your home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas. There are several signs that may indicate the presence of an ice dam. Be on the lookout for warning signs and always be sure to have excess snow cleared off your roof as soon as possible following a winter storm. Learning how to prevent ice dams on the roof is easier on you and your home than having to learn how to remove them.

What Causes Ice Dams

  • Poor attic insulation
  • Clogged gutters
  • Lack of snow removal

Ice Dam Warning Signs

  • Interior water damage
  • Ice on exterior walls
  • Drainage problems
  • Ice forming at roof/gutter edges
  • Moisture in the attic

How to Prevent Ice Dams

  • Properly insulate and ventilate your attic
  • Stay on top of snow removal. With no snow on your roof to melt, you eliminate a key factor of ice dams
  • Metal roofing. Metal roofs boast a reputation for shedding snow exceptionally well compared to shingles
  • Keep drains, scuppers, gutters, and downspouts clear of debris.
  • Use a snow rake to carefully clear snow off your roof or hire a professional to do so.
  • Insulate light fixtures, fans, and vents in and under attics to block heat from reaching the roof.
  • Seal vents and fans between the attic and living areas to restrict warm airflow.

If neglected, ice dams can result in significant damage to your home. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is here to help. Our highly trained staff of water loss professionals are able to help you with any damage that stems from an ice dam. We will respond quickly to help cleanup, dry, and build back your structure “Like it never even happened.”

Be Prepared - Winter Car Emergency Kit

11/23/2022 (Permalink)

Winter car emergency kit list Don't get stranded out in the cold!

Slippery or snow-covered roads, reduced visibility and bitter cold can make driving difficult and even dangerous during cold winter months. Winter also brings an increased risk of getting stuck in your car, so dress warm before you head out and prepare an emergency kit for your car. Experiencing a breakdown in cold weather can become a life-threatening situation quickly. Having the right supplies in your vehicle will give you peace of mind, save time, and may even save a life. If you already have a winter car emergency kit in your vehicle, make sure to do an annual check of items to ensure they are in good condition and working order.

Winter Car Emergency Kit

  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Jumper cables
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Cat litter to use as traction on slick surfaces
  • Small shovel
  • LED flares
  • First aid kit
  • High protein food and bottled water (can opener and utensils if necessary)
  • Winter coat, gloves, hat, and boots
  • Blanket or sleeping bag
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Make sure to keep your gas tank filled
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio (extra batteries)
  • Ice scraper
  • Tow straps
  • Tool kit
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Windshield washer fluid (antifreeze-enriched to perform down to 40 degrees Celsius)
  • Hand warmers
  • Medications
  • Lighter or box of matches

No matter the destination, drivers need to be prepared if something goes wrong. Every vehicle should be equipped with a set of emergency supplies containing all the items needed to deal with an unforeseen situation. And given the unpredictable weather conditions typical of our Iowa winters, some specific items should be an absolute must. Every state has a Department of Transportation which gives helpful road and travel advice. You can also sign up for 511 Notify by going to their website and signing up! The app will notify you of travel conditions. When the weatherman starts predicting blizzard conditions stay home if at all possible.

Avoid Frozen Pipes

11/22/2022 (Permalink)

Basement with frozen pipes When water invades your property, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. 712-262-4379

As winter weather enters northwest Iowa, it’s important that homeowners take steps to prevent expensive plumbing problems and water damage. Sub-zero temperatures that extend days or weeks at a time can wreak havoc on the pipes leading to and from your home or business. Even a tiny crack in a pipe can spew hundreds of gallons of water causing flooding, damage to your furnace, and serious structural damage. It also presents an immediate potential for mold. As the thermostat plunges further towards zero, the following tips will help you avoid unpleasant surprises that may come from broken water pipes.

Tips to help prevent pipes from freezing

  • Insulate pipes located in the attic and crawl spaces using pipe insulation, even if the climate where you live is unlikely to have hard freeze conditions. You can also wrap pipes in heat tape or heat cables with a thermostat control. The best pipe insulation for your situation will depend on your home. Always install according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Disconnect, drain, and store your hoses. Close any shut-off valves that supply outdoor hose bibs and open the faucet outside to drain the line. Keep it open throughout the winter to allow space for any water that remains in the pipe to expand. Consider using faucet covers throughout the colder months for extra protection against frozen pipes. Drain water from any sprinkler supply lines following the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Turn up the heat. Set home thermostats above 55 degrees during cold weather.
  • Open vanity and cabinet doors so warm air can reach the pipes under sinks.
  • Keep the garage door closed.
  • Drip cold water in the farthest faucet from your main valve. Moving water keeps pipes from freezing.
  • Prevent drafts. Maintain a consistent temperature indoors by preventing drafts. Seal cracks and openings around windows and doors by using sealants or caulk.

The first step you should take if you suspect you have frozen pipes is turn off the water supply to that section of plumbing. That will relieve water pressure from your water supply lines. Call a professional plumber. Plumbers are trained, have the experience, and proper equipment to solve a frozen pipe issue. Once your plumbing issue is resolved you will need to clean up any standing water. Since a fast response to a water call lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces cost, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. Our team of professionals are here for you 24/7. We have the training and experience to restore your property quickly and properly.

Is Your Business Holiday Ready?

11/22/2022 (Permalink)

Technician wiping down furniture. Need professional cleaning services? Call us today 712-262-4379.

Having a clean business is important no matter what time of year, but the holidays can add an extra level of cleaning to your normal routine. Finding the chance to clean can be a real challenge during this incredibly busy time of year. Hiring a professional cleaning company for a thorough cleaning can take some stress away from preparing your business for the holidays. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offers one-time cleaning in time for the holidays or you can schedule regular visits to keep your business looking its best!

Should You Hire Professional Cleaning Services this Holiday Season?

Save Time. The holidays are often a busy season with so many factors to consider. Hiring a professional cleaning service takes one responsibility off your shoulders, giving you more time to spend with your customers and loved ones.

Professional Touch. Professional cleaning companies clean for a living, they have mastered this job through training, experience, state-of-the-art equipment, and the right products to make your business shine.

Customization. Professionals realize not all clients have the same preferences, and they are flexible enough to adjust their services to your tastes.

Health Benefits. People with existing infections won’t want to miss out on the holiday fun. Although their physician may have advised them to stay home, they will bring their runny noses and coughs to parties and gatherings, spreading germs to other healthy people. Touching surfaces like door handles and elevator buttons. Without regular cleaning germs and bacteria will quickly find places to thrive in your building.

Cleaner Air. Dirty workspaces breed air pollutants. When left unclean, your buildings HVAC system will start to circulate dust, bacteria, and mold through the air. This can lead to uncomfortable respiratory issues.

Specialty Cleaning Services

  • Air Ducts & HVAC
  • Biohazard & Sewage
  • Trauma & Crime Scene
  • Carpet & Upholstery
  • Drapes & Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, & Hard Floors
  • Odor Removal & Deodorization
  • Vandalism

You only get one chance at first impression. The overall appearance of your building says a lot about your company. Hiring a cleaning service during the holidays will not only be a gift to your customers but a gift to yourself. Have a stress-free and relaxing holiday, tis the season! Why wait any longer? Call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes!

Commercial Water Damage

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinkler When your business has a water damage situation, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 712-262-4379.

Sprinkler systems save lives in the event of a fire. A well-maintained fire sprinkler system can help suppress smoke and flames, and lessen the spread of the fire, reducing the amount of damage and giving more time to exit the structure safely while waiting for emergency services arrive. Despite the benefits of fire sprinklers, a fire sprinkler leak due to damaged or malfunctioning sprinkler system can cause extensive damage.

Fire sprinkler systems are found in almost all commercial buildings to protect employees and customers in a fire emergency. Water discharge from a sprinkler can quickly put out a fire, but after the sprinklers turn on, they won’t go off until someone, usually a fire department professional, shuts off the valves. A standard commercial-grade sprinkler head can discharge between 20-40 gallons of water each minute that you wait for emergency responders.

At the first sign of water damage caused by fire sprinklers, it’s important to call a professional water damage restoration company. Water damage can interrupt business operations and cost thousands of dollars in downtime. SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes has the training, experience, and equipment to handle large commercial flooding or water damage emergencies. As the #1 choice in the cleanup and restoration industry, we can help you every step of the way. From immediately after the disaster to returning your commercial property to its preloss condition, we want to make the process as smooth as possible.

Home Fire Drill

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

Image of a fire alarm. If fire or water damage strikes your home or business, give SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes a call. We are on call 24/7.

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you and your family as little as one or two minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarms sound. House fires can be highly dangerous and even deadly, so it’s important for everyone in your family to be aware of proper fire prevention and safety. Fire drills help prepare family members to respond quickly, calmly, and safely. Whether your home has one floor or three, it’s essential that you and your family are prepared to respond to a fire alarm.

Make an Escape Plan

  • Learn two ways out of every room in your home, in case one exit is blocked or dangerous to use. A second way out can include an escape ladder for rooms on an upper level.
  • Practice getting low and moving to your exits in case there is smoke.
  • Choose a safe meeting place a safe distance from your home.
  • Practice a home fire drill at least twice a year.

Children and Fire Safety

  • Have a plan in place for young children who cannot get outside by themselves.
  • Children should know what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and there is no adult around to help. Practice going to the outside meeting place.
  • Make sure your children know to NEVER go back inside a burning building. Once they are out, STAY OUT!
  • Teach them to stay low and crawl on the ground, where the air is less smoky.
  • Teach your child to use the back of their hand to check doors for heat before opening and to use a different way out if the door is hot.
  • If your child needs to use an escape ladder, show them where it is located and how to use it.
  • Teach everyone in your home how and when to use 911.

Practice Home Fire Drill

  • Know where to go. Go over your safe meeting place. Explain to children that when the smoke alarm beeps, they need to get out quickly and meet at the safety spot.
  • Test your smoke alarms. Check your smoke alarms to ensure they are working properly. Make sure to change the batteries at least twice a year.
  • Practice the drill. Practicing your home fire evacuation plan can help your family feel more confident if a house fire occurs.

House fire safety comes down to preventing, planning, and practicing. Even if you follow the best home fire prevention strategies, accidents happen….so be prepared! If a fire breaks out in your home, you and your family may only have seconds to escape. Plan and practice your escape drill to ensure you and your family have the best chance to evacuate safely in the event of a fire. If disaster strikes, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes. We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. We can handle any size disaster!

October Continuing Education Courses

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

October CE held at Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji Iowa. October Continuing Education Class at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center.

On Wednesday October 26th SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes hosted our last continuing education event of 2022 at Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center in Okoboji. We were pleased to bring back presenter Todd Davis. Mr. Davis travels form Peoria, IL where he owns and operates his own insurance agency and has years of presenting experience with SERVPRO as well as a wealth of knowledge from his experience in the insurance industry.

Each year SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes offers two classes in the spring and fall to Iowa insurance agents and adjusters who are needing continuing education credits. Continuing education, also known as CE, are state-required courses taken by an insurance agent to ensure a satisfactory level of knowledge about important topics in the insurance field. When attending these classes, you will receive a complimentary lunch and refreshments throughout the day.

If you are interested in attending any classes in the future, please email kelly@SERVPROspencer.com with any questions or for more information.

Helping Build a Strong Community

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

U12 Soccer Team SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes is a proud sponsor of youth athletics.

From football to basketball, tennis to competitive swim, the sports available in your community may differ based on your specific location, climate, and other factors. When it comes to youth sports, even though the offerings may differ, children participating is of the utmost importance. Youth sports teaches invaluable traits and skills needed throughout life such as teamwork, patience, cooperation, dedication, and team spirit.

The real meaning in life never comes from what you get, it comes from what you give. Giving back may be one of the most important principles in life. A strong community with a high quality of life means safer, healthier lives for you and those around you. Participation in sports gives kids an identity and purpose outside of school or family. Being part of a team offers a place to belong and something to look forward to. The importance of teamwork cannot be overstated.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes believes that it is our responsibility to give back to the communities that we operate in. Positively affecting kids’ lives is more than just teaching them the ins and outs of the sport, it means providing them with the opportunity to connect and engage. Successful youth sports organizations are focused on developing the complete athlete, on and off the field, ensuring that all kids in the community have access to the benefits of sports.

Look for us as we continue to sponsor great organizations such as Spencer Youth Baseball & Softball Association, Okoboji Youth Baseball & Softball, Northwest Iowa Soccer Club, Spencer Tailtwisters, and Spencer Family YMCA. We look forward to giving back to the future leaders of our community and are excited to see you next year!

3rd Annual First Responder Appreciation Golf Outing

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

Photo of Clay County Sheriff Team Thank you for your service and sacrifice!

First responders make an extraordinary commitment and risk their lives every day. SERVPRO is honored to support them as the first line of help for people in crisis, and to celebrate them for the difficult and stressful work they do each day. The First Responder Bowl is just one way we honor these brave men and women who are always here to help. The First Responder Bowl is an NCAA post-season college football bowl game played annually in the Dallas, Texas, area. First responders to be honored include police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency.

First responders’ duties bring them into harm’s way each and every day. We owe these men and women a debt of gratitude fir their service and sacrifice. It is with that thought in mind that SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes developed the First Responder Appreciation Golf Outing to show our appreciation for our local heroes. In partnership with the Spencer Municipal Golf Course, and several local businesses, 88 local first responders in Northwest Iowa were able to play and enjoy a day honoring them and their sacrifices, while winning prizes and donations back to their departments. We can’t thank our supporting businesses enough and look forward to putting together another amazing event for this incredible group of people in 2023. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor feel free to call the office at 712-262-4379 and ask for our marketing representative, or email kelly@SERVPROspencer.com with any

Close Before You Doze

11/3/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technicians cleaning soot off of ceilings. If your home or business is in need of fire damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes 712-262-4379.

Just a few decades ago the average time it took to escape a home fire was about 17 minutes. Now it’s 3 minutes or less. This is because of synthetic furniture, more open floor plans in homes, and other flammable materials. Simply closing your bedroom door at night can give you more time to get out safely and call the fire department. A closed bedroom door can slow the spread of flames, decrease temperatures, reduce smoke inhalation, and improve oxygen levels in the room.

Closing a bedroom door can mean a difference of 1,000 degrees in a room with an open door and 100 degrees in a room with a closed door. It can also significantly keep down carbon monoxide levels. By limiting a fires ability to spread, closing your bedroom door at night also gives you more time to react when the smoke alarms go off.

Remember, prevent home fires by making sure to blow out candles, never leave food cooking unattended, turn off and unplug hot electronics and hair tools, remove dryer lint after each use, and make sure you have working smoke alarms and fire extinguishers.

SERVPRO of Spencer & Iowa Great Lakes specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home or business to pre-fire condition. We will work with your insurance company for a stress-free claims process.