Iowa weather can change very quickly from day to day especially at this time of year when one day it could be blistering hot and the next day cold and rainy. This is why you should always be prepared when it comes to storms because you never know when they could pop up. On average, Iowa sees close to 50 tornadoes and hundreds of severe thunderstorms yearly. Some simple steps you can take to protect you and your family during a storm is to watch the weather, unplug any electrical equipment, stay away from water, and stay inside for at least thirty minutes after hearing the last peal of thunder. Once it is safe to do so assess your home and property and determine if you need help. SERVPRO is here 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. We will respond quickly to get the damage restoration process started. We are only a call away and can make your storm damage "Like it never even happened."
Water Damage Restoration Process
Step 1: Emergency Contact- No matter how big your water emergency is we are available 24 hours a day. When you call we will ask several questions regarding your water damage to help us determine what equipment is needed and what resources to bring. Some of the questions are: 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?, and is there electricity available?
Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment- We will identify and stop the water source. We will then identify the type of water (there is three different categories of water and this will help us to determine what specific restoration process we use). We will survey the extent of the water damage and inspect the premises. We will move or block furniture to help prevent rust or furniture stains on wet carpet.
Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction- We have a move out service so if your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning we can move out your belongings to prevent further damage. We will begin the water removal process almost immediately. We will then inspect the carpet and carpet pad and remove either if needed. Some of our water removal equipment involve moisture detectors, infrared cameras to find "hidden" water behind walls and ceilings, submersible and gas-powered pumps, and truck-mounted and portable extraction units.
Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification- Once excess water has been removed we may find that the floors and walls are wet to the touch. If this is not taken care of it can cause the materials to break down, warp, or cause mold damage. We use dehumidifiers and air movers along with monitoring equipment to ensure your house is dry.
Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing- We will not only clean your property's structure but we can also clean your upholstery, furniture, clothing, and other restorable belongings. We have multiple ways to clean your items. We have air scrubbers and fogging equipment that goes well beyond masking odors. We may even use antimicrobial, antibacterial, or disinfectant treatments to clean your property depending on the scenario. We can also remove and dispose of damaged materials with guidance from you and your insurance adjuster.
Step 6: Restoration- We can take care of temporary protective measures to prevent additional damages, like boarding up or placing a roof tarp. Depending on the damage we may have to remove drywall and installation, repair hardwood or tile floors, paint, and carpet repair and installation.
Grease fires are the most dangerous when it comes to cooking fires and are responsible for 1 in every 5 home fire deaths. I will give you some tips on how to prevent and put out grease fires. These tips could help save your or a loved one's life.
- Before you start cooking make sure burner is cool and wipe up any spills.
- Pay attention to heat ratings for cooking oil. Some oils can be heated more than others before catching fire so if you are cooking and notice the oil start to smoke that means it is close to catching fire.
- As soon as you start to see it smoke carefully remove the pan from the heat source.
- Avoid heating grease before putting food into it because when you drop food in it can make the grease splash out which in turn can cause grease burns or it can also hit the heat source and catch fire.
- Carefully clean spills as soon as they happen by first removing food from heat source, turning off heat source, and waiting for burner to cool.
- When deep frying make sure you use a pan or cooking container big enough.
- Use a utensil that will allow you to put the food into the grease without dropping and without your hands coming close to the hot grease.
- Use a screen that covers the pan to reduce the chance of splatters outside the pan.
- If you are a new or inexperienced cook do not attempt to deep fry for the first time unless you have an experienced cook with you.
- NEVER add water to grease.
Putting out a grease fire
- Turn off source of heat
- Do NOT pour water on it. Water and oil do not mix and when you add water it will sink right to the bottom and evaporate instantly, spreading flaming oil everywhere.
- Attempt to remove all oxygen from the flame. Cover with another pot or baking pan.
- If you can't cover it, dump lots of baking soda on it.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, in 2017, 63,546 wildfires were caused by humans and burned nearly 5 million acres. Below are some tips to follow to ensure you and your family have a safe and fun camping experience.
- Most parks have campfire pits ready and waiting for you but if they don't dig a small pit away from tent walls, shrubs, trees, or other flammable objects and circle it with rocks. Also make sure you clear a five foot area around the pit down to the soil.
- Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher nearby.
- Stack extra wood upwind and away from the fire.
- Never leave a campfire unattended, not even for a minute.
- Do not build a campfire if the campground, area, or event rules prohibit them.
- Do not build a campfire in hazardous, dry conditions.
- Do not use flammable liquid to ignite your fire such as gasoline, lighter fluid, diesel fuel, and other dangerous liquids. This will help prevent serious accidents and injuries.
- When extinguishing the fire, make sure to drown the fire completely with water. Burying the coals can keep them hot so instead you should pour water and stir the ashes and embers until it is clear that they have all been cooled.
Have a safe and fun summer!
Commercial Document Restoration
Not only are we a fire and water restoration company but we can also restore any important documents that may have been damaged due to fire or water. This service is a huge benefit to medical facilities, law offices, and other businesses where documents are very important and contain sensitive information.
We use innovative vacuum freeze-drying techniques to dry your valuable documents. This process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration.
Along with paper documents we can also dry books and magazines, manuscripts and files, photographs, x-rays, blueprints and maps, and parchment. In a lot of water damage situations, these type of documents will be exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. We use a gamma irradiation process to safely and effectively sterilize your documents.
Along with the services listed above we can also convert your paper files and photos to digital formats. Doing so can save you storage space and you will have access to your records at the touch of a button. Most importantly, you'll have digital copies that can't be lost in a flood or fire.
Don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington to not only help restore your business but your important documents as well. We can make it "Like it never even happened."
According to the Insurance Information Institute lightning strikes cost $790 million in insured losses in 2015. A majority of the time lightning strikes can land on or near residences which can wreak havoc on the home's electrical system, appliances, or electronics. Listed are several ways you can protect your house from lightning damage.
- Invest in lightning protection such as a lightning protection system which creates a pathway for lightning bolts, guiding them safely into the ground.
- Make sure you install surge protection devices. Lightning strikes on or near a power line or utility service are a frequent cause of power surges. Surge protection devices such as a point of use or service entrance don't suppress or arrest a surge but instead they divert the surge to the ground.
- Make sure you hire a professional to install this kind of system. This is not a do-it-yourself task due to all the intricacies involved in completing the job accurately.
- Make sure the person who installs your system uses only products that bear proof of UL certification. This ensures the equipment complies with national industry standards.
- If you move into a home that already has this type of system in place or you want to do structural repairs that could compromise your system you should have it checked out by a third-party independent follow-up inspector to ensure it still properly stands up to strikes.
- Last but not least make sure you safeguard yourself. During the storm, inside is the safest place to be and don't touch anything that can conduct electricity such as electrical appliances, metal surfaces, anything connected to your plumbing system, or anything severed by gas lines such as your water heater or stove.
Should you find yourself in a situation where your home is damaged by lightning during a storm call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will make the damage "Like it never even happened."
Mold Removal Process
Mold can be ugly and also hazardous to your health. We here at SERVPRO of Burlington have the training and professional equipment to help remedy your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is a little different the process remains the same. Below are the "typical" mold removal steps for this process:
- Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington at 319-754-8050Since mold can spread so quickly in such a short amount of time it is important that you call us as soon as you see any signs of mold so we can respond and remedy your problem in a timely and efficient manner.
- Inspection and Mold Damage AssessmentWe will thoroughly inspect your home for any signs of mold. Some mold can be hidden from plain view so we use different technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.
- Mold ContainmentOne of our containment procedures involve using negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading.
- Air FiltrationOur professionals will use "air scrubbers" and HEPA vacuums to help prevent the spread of mold spores while they are dealing with the remediation of the mold.
- Removing Mold and Mold-Infested MaterialsWe use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new ones from forming. If there is heavy mold growth we may have to remove mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to help remedy the problem.
- Cleaning Contents and BelongingsWe can not only bring your house back to normal but we are also trained to clean furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We can also remove odors from these items as well.
- RestorationThe last and final step may entail minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet or major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.
Let us help you remedy your mold problem and make it "Like it never even happened."
With the warmer weather comes grilling season and therefore an increased chance of fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, on average 8,900 home fires are started by grills each year. These type of fires peak in July, followed by May, June, and August. The following are some tips to help keep this type of fire from happening to you.
- Propane and charcoal grills should only be used outdoors
- They should be placed away from the home or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
- Children and pets should be at least three feet away from the grill area
- Clean your grill regularly
- Never leave your grill unattended while cooking
- Check regularly for gas leaks
- Don't move the grill once it is lit
- Wait until the grill is cooled before storing or covering
Should your house catch on fire due to a grill, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We are available 24/7 to respond to your home and can help get your property back to pre-fire condition.
Water and Hardwood Floors
Damage to your hardwood floors due to water can happen in a variety of ways such as from a faulty dishwasher, a flood from a broken pipe, or kids spilling water just to name a few. Because of this hardwood floors can warp, heave or crack and it can also discolor the hardwood floors.
In order to fix your floors it may require a professional. We here at SERVPRO of Burlington have advanced drying equipment to help remove the water quickly and efficiently. We then dry the area with powerful dehumidifiers and once done our technicians will clean the area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing products to give you peace of mind. The following are some tips that you can do while you wait for us to arrive onsite.
Remove all wet items from the area and then use a wet vacuum to remove as much of the water as possible. Make sure you go over it multiple times to ensure that you get the water out of cracks and crevices also. Once done vacuuming clean the surface with a disinfectant floor cleaner that doesn't foam or suds.
According to the EPA, mold can start growing in moist areas within 48-72 hours so time is critical when drying out hardwood floors. You can start the drying process by putting either a dehumidifier or fan in the affected area and let it run for at least a full day. As long as it is not raining or humid outside you can also open windows to help with the drying process.
Call us at 319-754-8050 if you find yourself in this situation and feel that the job is in a large area or is something you don't think you can handle yourself. We will make it "Like it never even happened."
Emergency Supply Kit
With storm season coming up it's best to be prepared in case of an emergency. One way to be prepared is to put together an emergency supply kit so that you and your family can survive on your own if need be for a few days. The following are just some recommended items that should go in your kit.
Make sure you have on gallon of water per person per day for at least three days
Battery powered or hand crank radio and NOAA Weather Radio
Flashlight and extra batteries
First Aid Kit
Whistle to signal for help
Sanitation and personal hygiene itmes
Non-perishable food and a manual can opener
Cell phone with chargers
Important family documents in a waterproof container
Any other items for unique family needs such as food and water for pets, medications, and infant formula or diapers just to list a few
Make sure you maintain this kit by keeping canned food in a cool, dry place. Replace expired items as needed. You should also re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family's needs change.
Should you find any damage after the storm has cleared call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington who will respond immediately to help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.