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What’s IN a Name?

4/13/2021 (Permalink)

Aerial view of trees. Image is black and white. Orange house logo in the foreground with the words SERVPRO. Search SERVPRO in your time of need.

One of the most common asked questions is, “What’s your name?” with the next inquiry following, “Where do you work?”. Our personal names and placement of our jobs is often the first way to identify ourselves. So, what’s really in a name, and how does it affect our lives?

Names hold emotional value-nickname vs legal name; they connect us to others (origin of family) and establish the depth of our relationship- “We’re on a first-name basis”. Titles added to our names define who we are in a job position: The Smile Supplier. J And of course, the name of a business is crucial in telling its story.

It might seem picky wanting SERVPRO spelled correctly, but for 2 reasons we desire so.
One, out of respect of our founders, Ted & Doris Isaacson. They took an early painting business in 1967 in Sacramento, California and developed a premier cleaning and restoration company. Twenty years later, seeing the need to help more efficiently, they strategically moved the headquarters to Gallatin, Tenn., which is located within 600 miles of 50 percent of the US population and closer to more SERVPRO franchises. True service professionals with forward-thinking.

The second reason is so you can find us quicker! When searching on the internet, during a catastrophe, time is crucial, every letter counts.
Often asked, we don’t know the reasons for leaving off an ‘e’, in serve or why the ‘p’ isn’t capitalized in pro. What is known is, for 54 years, SERVPRO has spelled out clearly the compassion and help that is provided during a fire or water loss, with exceptional cleanup and restoration services.

When it comes right down to it, we are thankful to be connected to you, no matter how you spell SERVPRO.  Thank you for choosing SERVPRO for your cleanup and restoration work.

Need help identifying what it takes to put life back together again after a water, fire, or mold problem? Call SERVPRO of Decorah.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Decorah Home

4/10/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Decorah is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Decorah

SERVPRO of Decorah specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

CE CLASSES for Insurance Agents in Calmar, IA.

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

A person speaking to a group of people in a room. A resource to insurance professionals!

SERVPRO of Decorah is proud to host Continuing Education classes for insurance agents and adjusters in Winneshiek County. Naturally, as a clean-up and restoration company, SERVPRO works closely with personal and commercial claims. We do our best to connect, build a wonderful relationship, and be a resource to insurance professionals!


We have two classes coming up on September 21st,2021; Hosted by SERVPRO of Decorah and SERVPRO of Black Hawk County. Classes are presented by Todd Davis, an independent insurance agent with Davis Agency Insurance from Peoria, Illinois, with over 30 years of experience. Through his storytelling and interactive style, you are sure to learn something new!


We have been fortunate to continue hosting in-person continuing education classes during the COVID pandemic. We are thoughtfully and safely holding classes in large room settings to allow social distancing and following the CDC recommendations.

Visit our events page for information on how to register or email us at

Floods in Winneshiek County

4/5/2021 (Permalink)

Text that says "Flash Damage Floods" Do you have flood insurance for your home or business?

In August 2016, the Upper Iowa River overflowed after heavy rains and caused flash flooding to many communities in Winneshiek county. At that time, a SERVPRO franchise was not located locally. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Black Hawk County traveled north to help cleanup after this storm disaster. The crew called area hotels, home, for several weeks. They worked around the clock extracting water and drying out homes and businesses. According to FEMA, 1 inch of water can cause $25, 000 of damage to your home!

As we head into Spring and Summer, SERVPRO of Decorah, wants to be a resource and provide some helpful tips to prepare for a storm, and avoid extreme water damage within your control.

5 Tips Before a Flood

  1. Prepare a storm emergency kit.
  2. Get a battery backup for your sump pump.
  3. Find out about your home insurance and what it covers. Get Flood insurance.
  4. Elevate items stored in your basement.
  5. Waterproof important documents.


5 Tips after a Flood

  1. If there is sewer or black water in your home, do not make contact with it.
  2. Avoid electrical devices and sockets if the items or room is wet.
  3. If there is water damage inside your home, call your insurance agent right away.
  4. Take photos or videos to document your damage.
  5. Call a restoration company to help clean and restore your home!

If you decide to clean up on your own, please be careful. Do not use a household vacuum to remove water.

For more tips on what to do until restoration help arrives CLICK HERE.

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service in Winneshiek County

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

dark basement with 5ft of water in it and stuff floating on the water. SERVPRO of Decorah provides 24-hour fire and water damage restoration service in Winneshiek and surrounding counties.

SERVPRO of Decorah is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help. Call Today - (563) 277-1615

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Decorah has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Decorah

SERVPRO of Decorah specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew - CLICK HERE.

Ceiling Vent Leads to Fire and Water Damage

3/20/2021 (Permalink)

A wide hole in the ceiling showing some wood beams and black stains on the outside of the hole. Water damage often happens during a Fire.

A Decorah home received fire and water damage after a ceiling exhaust fan inside the laundry room caught on fire. Some reasons why an exhaust/bathroom fan may catch fire is faulty wiring or it may be clogged with dust or dirt, overheating it. This particular fire was fortunately contained inside the laundry room, although smoke did reach nearby rooms. The fire was put out by water which affected the ceiling and insulation.


This fire occurred on a Saturday. Although SERVPRO is available 24/7 for Emergency Services, the homeowner did decide that they would wait till Monday to call a professional to help with cleaning and smoke removal.  Monday morning, we received the call! She explained the situation and shared what areas probably needed focused cleanings. The garage, laundry room, and nearby hallway had a very strong smoke odor.

By the afternoon, our project manager, Sam Whitehead, met with the homeowner to inspect the damage and come up with a plan of action. After a visual inspection, he briefed the homeowner on a course of action to restore her home. This included:

  • Cleaning debris in the laundry room.
  • Removing affected insulation from the attic.
  • Cleaning and removing soot from the garage, laundry room, and living room.
  • Drying the wet ceiling in the laundry room and dining room.
  • Setting up an air scrubber to help with removing the smoke odor.

The homeowner approves the work!

The next day, our production technicians arrived at the home with the equipment to start cleaning, drying, and restoring. They removed wet insulation from the attic and placed air movers pointed upward at the ceiling so it would dry quicker. They dry sponged the walls and ceilings of the affected rooms to remove the soot. Electricians were scheduled to come in the next day so our team focused on removing all the debris from around the washer and dryer and swept the floor from the laundry room. An air scrubber was set up inside the laundry room to tackle the smoke odor.

The following days consisted of:

  • Washing the walls, trim, and light fixtures.
  • Putting the laundry in a bag for the homeowners.
  • Sweeping and mopping the floors.
  • Wiping soot and dust from every crevice and every item located in the affected rooms.
  • Cleaning the garage floors with power washing equipment.
  • Cleaning the tile grout in the laundry room.

We completed the work within 4 days!

We are proud to be a team of quality people who focus on excellent service, fairness, and mutual respect. If you need help with premier cleaning and restoration, trust SERVPRO! Give us a call at (563) 277-1615.

Remediating Mold inside Church

3/15/2021 (Permalink)

A green air scrubber inside a closet with cement walls. High humidity can promote mold growth.

This small-town church has been empty for a while as in person services were restricted by COVID. Still, the cleaning lady was regularly coming in to keep the place tidy. As she was cleaning, she noticed some mold growth in one of the closets. She reported it to the church leadership team. That’s when SERVPRO of Decorah received a phone call to conduct a mold inspection at the church.

Mold Inspections to determine Plan of Action.

Our project manager, Sam Whitehead, arrived at the church and met with the building manager. He took Sam around the church and showed him the closet of concern. Sam could visually determine that there was growth occurring along the south wall of the closet. Sam recommended SERVPRO services, including the use of the HEPA vacuum and deck brushing to remediate the issue. Detaching the closet panels for thorough inspection was completed.  A few days later the estimate of work was approved by the church and our team got started with Mold Remediation.

Our production technician began by using a HEPA vacuum on the walls in the closet area. This specific tool sucks in mold spores and traps them in a special filter.  Then he sprayed a microbial cleaner on the surface. The base trim and crown trim had to be removed in order to remove the panel. Upon removing one of the panels, the technician was able to determine that almost all of the other panels did have microbial growth on them as well. Some of the panels also seemed to have some wood rot due to water damage. All the paneling was removed and put to the side to dispose of later. Our tech continued with spraying microbial cleaner all over the concrete walls. Then he finished by sweeping up after himself, and setting up an air scrubber. The air scrubber will remove mold spores or pollutants from the surrounding air. It was completed in just a few days.

In order to avoid further mold issues, it is important to determine any water related issues within the environment. High humidity and water leaks can promote mold growth.


Water Leak in Laundry Room

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

Several green air movers and 1 green dehumidifier inside a large open space basement. We are serious about DRYING.

On February 9th, we received a call to help clean and restore after water damage. A washing machine on the main floor malfunctioned and leaked water, affecting two levels of a residential home. The affected areas were the master bedroom, laundry room, and basement.


Our team headed over immediately! The team began by assessing the water damage and marking areas of concern with blue tape. This helps determine where the focus should be. They used a moisture reader and thermal camera to find moisture in the walls, ceilings, floorings, and carpets. Our technicians set up a floor mat drying system on the affected hardwood floors to extract water from underneath them. They also pulled out carpet pads from underneath the bedroom carpets and disposed of them. Generally, carpet pads absorb water making the drying process take longer. We recommended removing it to avoid mold growth. In this home, due to the size of the basement and the type of carpet, the pad was not removed and a technician used a weighted water extraction tool to remove extra water. The basement required additional air movers and dehumidifiers to make sure it all dried quickly.


Now it was time to start drying. Our technicians set up 20 air movers, 1 dehumidifier, and an Injectidry in the basement. The Injectidry is a fan with hose attachments and is used for more concentrated drying. The hoses were placed in holes that were drilled in the ceiling. On the main floor, the technicians removed the affected trim and baseboard in the hallway, laundry room, and bedroom. Five fans were set up to dry the walls. During the next few days, our team did daily moisture checks to make sure everything was drying in a timely manner and removed equipment as needed.

Need Help with Water Damage?

SERVPRO of Decorah is equipped and trained to help after a water-related disaster, big or small. Give us a call at (563) 277-1615.

We can be a resource to Realtors, Landlords & Property Managers.

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

A close up of the front of the house with a really bright green front door and a large window with green trims. There’s also We restore properties after a disaster.

As a realtor, landlord, or property manager, we understand that you have many responsibilities. One of them includes coordinating maintenance and repairs with contractors for the property(s) you are responsible for. SERVPRO of Decorah would love to come alongside you as a resource. We believe our restoration and cleaning services can benefit you.

Our brand has received national recognition and our team is equipped with the latest knowledge and technology to handle any type of property damage, big or small.

Here are a few of the services that may benefit you…

Mold Remediation – There is a $150 Inspection fee. Our project manager will assess the damage and send you an estimate within a few days. If you decide to use our services, the inspection fee is waived.

Vandalism/Graffiti CleanupCrime and vandalism occur. We can provide board ups for broken windows and doors, clean after any structural damage, and pressure wash or sand blast graffiti off walls, buildings, pavement and fences.

Water Restoration & Cleanup - Properties can suffer water damage for several reasons (floods, water pipe break, sump pump failure, backup sewer, refrigerator line leak, etc.) When concerning water, it is super important to address the issue right away. No matter the size of the property, we are confident that we have the sufficient amount of equipment to extract, dry, and remediate the issue. The longer you wait to completely dry a property, the greater the risk of mold growth becomes.

Fire Restoration & Cleanup – A fire in your home and business might not seem like a reality but it happens. Just last year, we’ve completed about 20+ fire losses from people who never expected it. We will pack out content, take inventory of all items, clean and restore salvageable items, remove all debris and trash, remove smoke odor, and more.

Construction Services – We are a one-stop shop! We do not have to hire a third-party to do any structural repair because our services even include Building Services and Reconstruction. This allows us to follow one of our taglines, “Like it never even happened.”


Nicotine/Odor Removal – Did the previous owners or tenants have pets? Were they smokers? We clean that too! We’ve cleaned plenty of cigarette tar and nicotine from older homes and apartments. Animal smells can be hard to get rid of but we have been successful in getting rid of pet stains and odors with the help of our experienced technicians and our specialized cleaner solution.

Carpet/Upholstery Cleanings – Schedule a carpet cleaning weekly, monthly or yearly! After being stepped on so much, your carpets deserve a SPA day.


We have built many healthy relationships with insurance agents and adjusters due to our line of work. We understand the process of an insurance claim and we work closely with your provider to ensure they have all the necessary information they need to process it, such as inventory of content and daily activity notes. We can help a stressful situation seem just a little less stressful.

Let’s get to know each other before a disaster strikes!

We invite you to give us a call and schedule a complimentary Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your property(s). An ERP is a tool that will help you set out a preparedness plan for any type of disaster. This includes an assessment of your property, a report of critical information you would need in the event of an emergency, and provides property details such as the water shut-off valve location. To learn more, give us a call at (563) 277-1615.

If a disaster happens, count on us to help!

Trauma Cleanup Services in Decorah, IA.

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

Text that say "Sensitive Content." in front of a dark solid background. There is strength in asking for help.

*Warning: This is sensitive content.

This blog is not meant to sell you a product and service. This blog is to let you know that there are businesses out there that can help you in the aftermath of something really painful and traumatic. We are a cleaning and restoration business for disasters and unfortunately, a disaster we have cleaned up too often is suicide. One is far too many. Our condolences are for those who had to live through this traumatic experience. We can’t begin to imagine what this feels like but we are willing to listen and help in the ways that we can.

Trauma Cleanup is not something that we advertise. It has come to our attention that we need to inform our first responders and our community about this service. SERVPRO can be a resource for cleaning to those who may need it. Biohazard contaminants are left behind from an accident scene. Sometimes, the necessary cleaning isn't dealt with because people are unsure how to proceed. It is not a simple task, physically or psychologically for anyone. Still, some people have had to eventually push through and clean it up themselves. There is no doubt that these individuals are beyond strong but there is also strength in asking for help.

As we mentioned, this educational piece isn’t meant to sell you a service… it’s meant to give you an option when you need help. SERVPRO of Decorah is certain we can help in trauma cleanup. Whoever you choose, we recommend looking for a local cleaning business to avoid a heavy travel fee.

In closing, know that your home insurance may cover the cost of this type of cleaning. Give your insurance provider a call and find out. You can expect our team to have specialized training for biohazard cleanup, wear proper protective equipment, clean affected area, and content, dispose of any unsalvageable material, and even finish with construction if needed. Our team will continue to be empathetic and professional throughout the whole process. Again, we are sorry for your loss.

Here to help.

*Blog altered and reposted with the permission of SERVPRO of Black Hawk County.