Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Quick Clever Cleaning

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

Sponge inserted into fan showing how to dust, SERVPRO logo This sponge makeover really does work!

SERVPRO is sharing (7) cleaning methods in honor of marketing manager, Debbie’s, seven-year anniversary in 2022. Here are some of her top picks for quick & clever cleaning:

  1. Grab Little Pockets of Time: You will NEVER have enough time to completely clean your home in one stretch. Group cleaning tasks & position organized cleaning tools to grab and knock out housework. Accomplish more with less, when you take note of open moments.
  2. Simple Shower Scrubber: thoroughly mix equal parts of dish soap and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup; pour into the handle and fill a dish wand scrubber. Leave in your shower to do a quick wipe before turning off the water. Keeps soap scum at bay! (Debbie’s favorite!)
  3. Bye-Bye Hard Water Deposits: soak a cleaning cloth in vinegar and wrap around faucets that have water deposit stains. Leave for at least one hour. Remove and wipe bye-bye! (Depending on stain, you might need to let it sit longer or use a toothbrush to scrub a bit.)
  4. RAIN X: After cleaning your glass shower door, spray RAIN X (typically used on vehicles) and watch the water bead and roll off! No more cloudy doors! (Repeat as needed)
  5. Sponge Makeover: Transform handheld all-purpose sponges with a few easy cuts, to make it fit into an area or object you need to clean. Example-laying the sponge flat, cutting slices ¼ to ½ of the way up the sponge, the width of the grates of a floor fan or small heater. Insert the sponge into an unplugged unit and wiggle & work your way around. See how much you can collect!

  1. Baking Soda, Vinegar, Salt, Lemon, Coca Cola- a recipe for clean! These household items are essential to have on hand to clean. Try looking up whatever cleaning need you have and discover how these simple ingredients-either alone or combined- can be an effective method of cleaning up!
  2. Mini Spray Bottles, Q-Tips, Coffee Filters, Old Socks= creative cleaning tools!
    Mini Spray bottles=homemade cleaning solutions (be sure to label the bottle).
    Q-Tips=cervices, slim openings, direct application of cleaner (i.e.: around sink drain opening).
    Coffee Filters=use to clean mirrors & windows streak-free!
    Old Socks=put on your hand to slide on top & bottom of the ceiling fan blade, gripping dust pieces.

With everything, remember to spot test what you’re cleaning, to be sure it won’t harm the material.

These quick clever cleaning suggestions will leave you more time to enjoy other areas of life!

Spring Cleaning Tips from Cleaning Experts!

4/11/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO cleaning supplies: bucket, rags, erasers, etc. Clean like a pro!

Iowans understand what a false start to Spring looks like, but we cannot help but let our guards down and celebrate the upcoming warmer weather and the beauty of spring. We even started doing yard work (cleaning up the dog waste from winter). Most of us look forward to spring cleaning to refresh our homes and even our mood.

As cleaning experts, SERVPRO is sharing helpful cleaning tips that we use to clean and restore homes after a fire, water, or mold disaster.

7 TIPS TO HELP CLEAN THIS SPRING

  1. Fold your cleaning rag like an expert. Do you know that we use an 8-fold technique with our microfiber cloth when removing dust or soot? Grab your cloth and fold it in half twice. After this fold, you should have 8 sides of the cloth to use for one single pass in one direction on each side. After each side is used, use a new rag. This will help avoid the spread of dust and cross-contamination.
  2. Clean from top to bottom. Wipe the dust from the fans, exhaust fans, walls, trims, and furniture, and work your way down.
  3. Use the upholstery attachment on your vacuum for window blinds, your dryer, and lampshades.
  4. Use clean coffee filters for a streak-free window.
  5. If you are a plant owner, make sure you clean and dry around the plant's space. Moisture and high humidity can promote mold.
  6. Do not use bleach when trying to clean an area that has mold. Use a microbial cleaner instead.
  7. Wash your carpets and rugs with a wet vacuum or have them professionally cleaned.

NEED EXTRA HELP?

SERVPRO can aid in areas that are a bit more challenging or questionable; call us for an expert opinion on cleanup.

Should You Use Bleach to Clean Mold?

4/7/2022 (Permalink)

"BLEACH CANNOT KILL MOLD.." with mold photo in background and breaking news headline BREAKING NEWS!

In some households, bleach has become a multi-cleaner agent and a disinfectant and while we can recognize that bleach does have its uses when it comes to remediating mold, SERVPRO of Decorah does not promote it as the best method.

Bleach is ok when it comes to "bleaching" things but, bleach alone is not a sufficient solution to mold issues. While bleach can kill mold on hard surfaces, it is almost impossible to use bleach to kill mold on wood, drywall, or any porous material inside your home. Not to mention the fumes can be hazardous to a person’s lungs. Mold tends to root itself deeper into the material. Bleach may kill some of the molds on the surface but what it’s mainly doing is “bleaching” or removing the color from the mold. This can be very misleading. Due to the bleaching of the mold, it might trick you into thinking the mold issue has been resolved, putting a pause to further removal actions. Even the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not recommend using bleach for mold removal.

While killing mold is important, the removal of the mold and its mold spores are too! This will require agitation of the mold, cleaning up the mold, and airing out the mold spores away from your home. Safety measures such as wearing gloves, safety goggles, and a respirator mask are highly suggested. In some mold cases, a DIY cleanup is perfectly ok but it will require a thorough cleanup job and resolving of the humid or wet environment so the mold doesn’t return.

MOLD WILL CONTINUE TO RETURN IF HUMIDITY IS HIGH

SERVPRO of Decorah uses mold removal sprays in conjunction with cleaning methods as a way to remove and prevent mold. Two mold removal sprays that we recommend are Concrobium Mold Control and Benefect. The porous material may have to be disposed of and replaced. If you have mold issues inside your home or suspect some water damage, give us a call. We’re here to help!

References: https://moldhelpforyou.com/bleach-kill-mold/

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-10/documents/moldguide12.pdf

Patience Takes Practice - Help is Coming!

4/4/2022 (Permalink)

Key that says "patience" with SERVPRO logo and website URL Patience is key!

Sometimes it seems as if we live in a world where instant gratification is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. With the way the world is operating currently, getting things at the snap of a finger is even more of a challenge than it used to be. Items are taking longer than they used to in the world of shipping and materials. Many people are short-staffed, making it harder to stay operating for their full business hours.

SERVPRO STRONG

We are so blessed that we are able to trust in our team during these trying times to get things done, and done right! That doesn’t always mean we can be out on a job site within an instant. In the restoration business, sometimes emergencies come up and we need to send our staff to help those individuals right away. We take pride in our work being done quickly, but also efficiently, and most importantly done RIGHT!

PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE - AND NOT JUST FOR THE RESTORATION BUSINESS

As quickly as we want it to be done, it is important to take each step carefully and not rush drying or demo processes. Our techs and machines are very calculated- serious math involved- to take out any guessing and possible problems down the road. SO- set your expectations longer than you think, and when it turns out shorter, it will feel better! If you are ordering materials (cabinets and such) we know there have been some delays for certain products…that’s today's reality no matter who, what, and where.

Right now, is a great time to exercise your patience. Be patient with others, but also learn to be patient with yourself!

Help is coming, whatever you are waiting on is coming…hang in there!!

563.277.1615

Elbow Grease, Heart, and Diligence

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Before and after of dirty wood table on green background with orange dotted lin A job well done by our wonderful cleaning technicians!

All cleaning and restoration companies have the ability to clean and restore, that is quite obvious. What most don’t have are individuals who go above and beyond and get the job done right, and then some!  

ELBOW GREASE 

Our cleaning technicians have what I like to call elbow grease. By definition, this means “hard physical work, especially vigorous polishing or cleaning”.  

Our technicians put in a vast amount of hard physical work to assist our customers. Cleaning and restoring is what we do best and in order to make sure that we can provide quality results, elbow grease is a big part of the process.  

HEART 

Not only is our team great at what they do in regards to their polishing and cleaning, but they have the heart for it. When contents come into our cleaning room, they know it’s not just an item that needs to be cleaned. People’s belongings have a story and our technicians take that seriously and provide extra care because of this.  

DILIGENCE 

Another big piece of the puzzle when it comes to our cleaning technicians' great work ethic, is diligence. Diligence is defined as “determination and careful effort. An example of diligence is a person who does a job efficiently and takes care of little details”. This is exactly what we see in our cleaning room every day. When it comes to putting people's homes and businesses back together, being efficient and putting care and attention into the little details is part of what makes our team so successful.

We are proud of our cleaning team every day! 

Growth for the SERVPRO Team

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

Wall of certifications We can't wait to see this wall of certifications grow!

We have made it through almost two whole months of the new year but if you know the importance of growth, you know that the work is never done! SERVPRO of Black Hawk County and our employees at an individual level are always striving for growth. We see this in many ways, but one way, in particular, is through certifications.

CERTIFICATIONS

Since the new year, we’ve already had 5 people add to their list of certifications! This number will only continue to grow. We take pride in the fact that through these certifications we can better serve our community.  In addition to investing in our community, we are seeing our team members flourish in their careers.

GROWTH AT SERVPRO

For our employees here at SERVPRO, we know that every day is a learning opportunity. With the use of our extensive training in the restoration business, the ongoing education through certifications, and firsthand experience we are able to adapt and always be working towards advancing. We look forward to what we can accomplish if we continue to have a growth mindset.

GROWTH DOESN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT

Life can move at a speed that seems impossible to keep up with at times. Find the time to give yourself grace as you improve upon daily activities or certain areas in your life. Growth can not happen overnight, but if you are willing to put in the time and keep an open mind, it is amazing what you can accomplish!

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!

NEED CE CREDITS? CALL SERVPRO!

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!

IN-PERSON CE CLASS

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 office@SERVPROdecorah.com.

"DAYcation" Anyone?

7/27/2020 (Permalink)

Most might agree that getting outside and exploring our own backyard has never felt so freeing as it does now during this pandemic. Restrictions are loosening and paired with warmer weather, you might start thinking about venturing further than the backyard and into the scenery of Northeast Iowa. Camping, hiking, and canoeing in this part of Iowa are all activities you can fit into a weekend and not use vacation days. Now, more than ever, taking a drive is a relaxing safe way to escape our homes and enjoy our community. SERVPRO of Decorah is privileged to be located among unique towns like Cresco, Waukon, and Lansing, Iowa.

Research turned up several great websites that can fill a DAYcation for anyone. The best site gave you multiple ways to uncover these options. From a calendar of events to a ‘build a trip’ feature, with topic destination sites; this site will have you experiencing a desire to book the trip ASAP! Be sure to call ahead and ask for current details of the venue you wish to travel to. Changes seem to happen often.

For a few recommendations from SERVPRO of Decorah, located in Winneshiek County, for either an evening bike ride to venturing to all the natural springs in the area, look at Visit Decorah!

SERVPRO of Decorah encourages you to Rediscover Yourself & Surroundings during a DAYcation.

Travel Iowa-Get inspired! 
Iowa PBS-Iowa Outdoors 
Iowa DNR-things to do 

We are here to help so STAY AT HOME.

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Laptop, eyeglasses and a tin with a plant on a white table. The background is the interior of a home that is out of focus. Thank you for working from home!

Staying at Home is an act of care.

Many of us in our community are doing our part to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 spread and we are thankful for them. As a business who has been deemed essential during this time, our staff isn’t able to stay at home. Part of our usual business has been to take safety measures, protecting our staff, as they clean and disinfect residential and commercial buildings. What has changed during this time is the marketing team working remotely from home. Although this is difficult for our SERVPRO-proud representatives to be away from the team, they are using this opportunity to serve the community, use creative communication, and to focus on self-development through training and webinars. 

Here are some tips from our marketing team on how to stay focused while working at home: 

Tips for Working at Home

  • Set an alarm and get up like usual. No snoozing.  
  • Put on your work clothes & shoes. Being too comfortable can be dangerous.
  • Take a break from sitting & working and stand up, stretch, and shake like a wet dog.
  • Assign a working station around your home, preferably away from TV or temptations.
  • Have a big breakfast to avoid snacking throughout the day.
  • Develop a 90-day plan for goals (weekly, month) with details to meet each goal.
  • Connect with humans through video chat.
  • Send a letter to your coworkers, clients, or center of influence.
  • Over communicate with your superiors on your work activities.
  • Make a difference in the community by donations, availability, and sharing social media posts of local outreach.

FEEL AT PEACE WITH SERVPRO

We are so honored that our community is recognizing us as a trusted brand for cleaning and damage restoration. As we get closer to going back to our workplaces, SERVPRO is cleaning and disinfecting businesses, making them safer. We are here to be a resource for you with our services. We encourage you to call with questions on the best cleaning practices. We are available to come alongside you to help! 

For questions or to schedule a service please call 563-277-1615.

National Accounts Program with Insurance Companies

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

Empty warehouse with water on wood flooring and bold text that reads “HERE TO HELP.” Connecting the dots with insurance professionals.

We understand the importance of upholding standards and following guidelines especially for insurance companies who are receiving a claim. SERVPRO of Decorah is part of a national corporate franchise. Our team at corporate communicates and builds bridges with nationally recognized insurance firms to participate in a mutually agreed upon contract, that becomes a part of our National Account Program (NAPA).

BENEFIT of being a NAPA

NAPA is a guideline and an agreement between SERVPRO and the insurance company. This helps ensure that established standards are being met. Some of these standards can include:

  • Inventory guideline
  • Communication protocols between adjuster and customer
  • Turn around time for certain services
  • Not to exceed pricing
  • Detailed records of completed work (including images)

Large disasters such as a fire or water loss often lead to an insurance claim. Insurance companies in our NAPA program can have confidence that these standards & protocols have been established already. If you are an insurance professional and would like more information on National Accounts, visit the SERVPRO Industries, LLC’s website at SERVPRO.com/national-accounts

Saying Hi to our Insurance Agents

We often pay a visit to insurance agents in the community to introduce ourselves, share about our services and national account information, and to discover more about your work and needs. We want to align with you. We understand that some offices have made arrangements with other cleanup professionals prior to getting to know SERVPRO. We’re OK being an additional resource for you, knowing that there will be times your preferred vendor is unable to assist you. We just want you to know: We are Here to Help!

Obviously, during this unfortunate pandemic and social distancing requirement, we are not able to stop in and make a first acquaintance visit to your office. Through social media (Facebook - @SERVPROdecorah) and emails, we hope to have at least made a quick introduction to our franchise. We look forward to connecting with our local insurance agents and adjusters in the future.

Our team of employees provides essential cleanup services for the safety of others. They have been hard at work with proactive cleaning along with our typical business of fire and water cleanup.

We are open 24/7 for emergency services. Call us at (563-277-1615)

SERVPRO® in WINNESHIEK COUNTY

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Eagle flying with blurred trees in the background. The SERVPRO of Decorah opening date was April 1st, 2020.

There is a NEW, LOCAL, and independently-owned business right in Decorah, Iowa. Franchise owner, Scott and Libby Demuth, are excited for this opportunity to reach out and be of service to the city of Decorah and the surrounding counties.

SERVPRO® is a top leader in Cleanup and Restoration

We are proud to be in the business of restoring lives back together after a disaster. Some of our services include cleaning up after a …

  • Water Damage & Floods
  • Fire & Smoke Damage
  • Sewer Back-up
  • Vandalism
  • Storm damage
  • Commercial Cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning

You’ll be seeing our green trucks around town as we get to know our new community. Scott Demuth, also the owner of SERVPRO® of Black Hawk County in Waterloo, IA is eager to establish the SERVPRO® of Decorah.  Being more efficient and ‘faster to any size disaster’ in Winneshiek County and the surrounding area is important!

This SERVPRO® NEW location is a natural connection. 

Since the floods of 2016, SERVPRO OF BLACK HAWK COUNTY has continuously traveled to northeast Iowa to provide needed service and care to individuals and businesses. Opening a new location allows us to invest in the city and provide job opportunities while expanding our reach. Time is an important factor when it comes to disasters; the SERVPRO® of Decorah Team will be available.

Our network of franchises allows us to team up for large commercial losses or heavy rain and flood damage in the area. We are trained and certified in the latest restoration certifications and our experience will benefit everyone. We truly believe we are ONE TEAM.

We are looking forward to becoming a trusted business in Winneshiek, Allamakee, Fayette, and Chickasaw counties.

If you need general cleaning or clean up from a fire and water disasters, Call us at (563) 277-1615.

We are Cleaning Experts

4/8/2020 (Permalink)

Professional technician holding a commercial building and handing it to the owner. We are here to help with proactive cleaning and disinfecting.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff performs on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Decorah, 563-277-1615

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html