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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Summertime Fires

7/6/2021 (Permalink)

Summer is a time for fun, but it is important to make sure your family are being cautious when using fireworks, grills, and other potentially dangerous materials. Here are thing you need to know about keeping your family and home safe this summer!

July is the peak month for grill fires, including both structure, outdoor or unclassified fires, followed by May, June and August

Leaks or breaks were the factor in 11% of grill structure fires and 23% of outside and unclassified grill fires

Gas grills contribute to a higher number of home fires overall than their charcoal counterparts

A failure to clean the grill was the leading factor contributing to the fire in one –fifth of all grill structure fires. In other instances something that could catch fire was too close to the grill.

NFPA, National Fire Protection Association has great safety tips on a variety of fire and life safety topics. Check them out at www.nfpa.org.

Have fun and stay safe this summer!

Commercial Biohazard Cleanup

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

While owning or managing a commercial building you may have the occasional blood spill, urine or feces clean-up. SERVPRO of Burlington is trained in bio hazard cleanup. These scenarios can happen easily in your place of business. By understanding the reasoning behind professional clean-up or restoration you will potentially save yourself, employees, tenants or customers much unneeded stress and potential health risks.

Blood Spills:

Blood spills are typically defined as any amount of blood that has left a body. This can mean a slip and fall with skin break or possibly a crime scene. Blood spills can pose major safety hazards that can result in disease if not handled by a professional restoration company like SERVPRO. We have the knowledge to restore the area so that they are free of diseases or risks such as hepatitis, HIV and other blood borne pathogens. Our work is not complete until we have removed and properly disposed of all the contaminated materials in accordance with state and federal regulations.

Urine and Feces Clean-Up:

Human and animal excrement are considered bio hazardous materials. Our SERVPRO technicians follow all of the professional safety norms all while utilizing specialized equipment and training protocols. If left untreated or treated poorly yourself, employees, tenants or customers may be subjected to disease or viruses such as: hepatitis A, E.coli, rotavirus and norovirus. All of which can be easily avoided by calling in a bio hazard professional such as SERVPRO.

If your building has had a blood spill or other bodily fluid issue please call us today at 319-754-8050.

Basement Water Damage

5/20/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage in your basement?

Many of us have been there before – Going down to complete a load of laundry only to discover a flooded basement. This can be an extremely stressful situation for homeowners and unfortunately can disrupt your normal lifestyle. Not only is water in your home an inconvenience, excessive water and moisture in the home may cause health effects to occupants. Water also has a destructive effect on many building materials and contents. Effectively restoring a flooded basement or structure is essential for the home owner and occupants of the home. 

Priority Response 

It is important to respond to the water damage as quickly as possible. The length of time the water is in the structure before restoration begins is a very critical factor. If the water has been in the structure for an extended period of time, damage is much more severe. Even if the water was a clean source originally, bacteria, mold and other microbiological grow and may create an unsanitary condition that may cause health effects to the occupants of the home. 

Properly restoring a flooded basement or structure requires training, expertise and specialized equipment. In addition to understanding the technical aspects of water damage restoration, our team values and respects your home and belongings throughout the process. They will also keep you updated during the project on the work progression. 

Assessing the Damage

Our SERVPRO of Burlington technicians are trained to assess the damage on each loss location. We begin by detecting the moisture trapped within the walls, ceilings, floors and other locations not visible from the exterior surface. Once the damaged area is identified, we extract any standing water, and then drying techniques are used to ventilate, evaporate and dehumidify the environment. 

As severe weather and spring rains approach, we are here to help.

Why SERVPRO is your Best Choice

5/11/2021 (Permalink)

Fire leaves behind a significant amount of smoke and soot residue in your home. SERVPRO of Burlington has the right equipment and training to remove damage from many of the contents in your home, preventing loss and returning things to normal after an incident occurs.

If you live in Southeast Iowa we can help. Our technicians specialize in the restoration of your property and belongings after a fire, making it easier for you to get the help you deserve as quickly as possible. SERVPRO also works with your insurance company and assist you with filling out required paperwork for your claim, relieving stress while providing you with caring professionals who are on your side. 

With qualified professionals in the field, SERVPRO provides you with a full-service solution to fire damage on your property. We use cleaning and restoration methods created to remove smoke and soot residues before they have a chance to cause further damage to surfaces found in your home. Walls, floors, ceiling, furniture, and other contents all receive the professional attention needed to return them to a quality pre-damage condition.

SERVPRO of Burlington is ready at a moment’s notice, making our 24/7 emergency service, the one to call when you experience fire damage in your home.

Wind and/or Hail Damage

5/3/2021 (Permalink)

Two of the most common types of damage from storms are flooding and roof damage.

The two are often related, as wind damage, hail damage and other roof damage allows water to enter the home during a storm. Wind damage, hail damage and roof damage often entail expensive roof repairs and drying procedures. This is one reason why it is always best to get a professional storm restoration team such as SERVPRO of Burlington on site as soon as possible.

Quick mitigation can prevent roof leaks from turning into major flooding events and can make roof repairs and other water restoration efforts cheaper or even unnecessary. Although many people picture river flooding as being a primary cause of storm-related damage, river flooding is actually a relatively minor cause. While river flooding is prone to occurring in some areas of the country, in most cases, wind damage, hail damage and roof leaks are, by far, the more common.

Fire Damage to your Home

4/27/2021 (Permalink)

A house fire can be an upsetting event with the need to stay with friends, relatives or rent another home while the property is in under repair. If you're dealing with fire damage we are available to repair your home so that you can move back into it quickly and get your life back to normal. We specialize in cleaning and restoration of fire damage to help displaced families stop worrying and get back to living.

Our cleanup professionals have specific fire restoration training that meets or exceeds industry standards for all aspects of fire restoration. We make sure that your repair looks not only as good as it did before the fire, but also smells smoke free and is completely free of moisture or water damage. Whenever possible, our fire damage professionals will restore not only the structure of your home, but also any contents or family treasures that are salvageable. We understand that your cherished mementos are part of what made your house a home, and we'll save them whenever we can.

Afire can leave you feeling overwhelmed, but we're here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can contact us anytime you need us, day or night. Expect to hear from us within the hour and have a SERVPRO of Burlington fire damage cleanup professional on site within four hours. We will immediately examine your space and begin testing restoration treatments to give you a complete assessment of the scope of the job and the expected restorability of specific items. We may even generate a proprietary software program called the CCIS, the Contents Claim Inventory Service. This will itemize damaged articles and materials thereby helping you with the claims process.

Don't let fire keep you out of your home any longer than absolutely necessary. Instead, let our cleaning and restoration service help you get life back to normal for you and your family as quickly as possible. If you've experienced a fire, call SERVPRO of Burlington at (319) 754-8050 to get the help you need.

Basement Flooding

4/6/2021 (Permalink)

Many home owners or business owners have descended their basement steps to find a pool of murky water. Water follows the path of least resistance, finding cracks and holes through basement walls, backing up thru the sewer. Flooding can often be attributed heavy rains, a faulty sump pump, or a combination of these factors.

SERVPRO of Burlington professionals are highly trained in water damage restoration including basement and crawlspace flooding. They have the experience, expertise, and equipment to remove the water and dry your basement properly. Their water removal and drying process emphasizes monitoring and documentation to validate your property is dry.

  • 24 Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any Size Disaster
  • Highly Trained Water Damage Restoration Specialists
  • Locally Owned and Operated

24 Hour Emergency Water Removal Service

Basements can flood day or night, on weekends and even holidays, and that’s why SERVPRO of Burlington offer 24 emergency service, 365 days a year. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.

Immediate action is crucial when dealing with flooded basements. With over 1,700 U.S. and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to be faster to any size water emergency.

Roof Damage from Storms

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

How to assess and repair storm damage to your roof.

It can be a difficult time when disaster strikes. Storms can affect everything from your yard to your home. Your roof can experience some of the worst damage. Some roof storm damage is very obvious, while some other issues may not be noticeable until it’s too late. You may not immediately realize the damage, but there are major consequences if you do not have your roof repaired immediately. Moisture can cause damage and mold

SERVPRO of Burlington can help. We are a 24/7 full service emergency restoration service; which includes water damage and storm damage restoration.

COMMON TYPES OF ROOF DAMAGE

  1. Tornadoes
  2. Hailstorms
  3. Strong Winds
  4. Thunderstorms

Repairing your roof after a storm

A new roof only need minor repairs. If shingles are not that old, you may not need to replace the entire roof. Professional contractors can patch shingles, have alternative roofing material, like steel sheeting. Most roof damage requires a complete replacement of your roof. Choose a professional roof restoration company that can clear the debris effectively.

Contacting Insurance Company

If your roof was damaged from a storm, your insurance may cover the damage. It is important to contact your provider if you experienced hail, rain or wind damage.

Regardless of circumstances –damage from storms or floods. Call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our mitigation experts are standing by to provide storm damage restoration to return our property to a pre loss condition.

Mold Growth in your Business

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Suspect Mold Growth in Your Business?

Bacteria, mold, microbes, or mildew. No business or property owner wants to hear these words. However, there could be one or more areas of your building that are beginning to show signs of colonization. Whether you had a hidden leak or the inability to regulate relative humidity inside your commercial property, you need skilled technicians on the job to handle remediation. SERVPRO of Burlington wants you to know that we have all of the training, specialized equipment, and protective gear to take care of your project from start to finish.

What You Should Know About Mold?

As a business it is vital that you know some of the inside information about mold removal. When you feel as though you have a mold issue at your business, you should know the following:

  • There might be strong, musty odors telling you that mold is colonizing under carpets or behind walls.
  • The onset of mold can become much worse in as little as 48 to 72 hours.
  • When mold is present, it brings with it the potential for health effects. Some people are sensitive to molds.

Should you suspect a mold outbreak in your retail store, office, warehouse, or any other commercial location, it is crucial that you:

  • Close down affected areas if possible.
  • Make sure that any fans or your HVAC system remain off.
  • Contact SERVPRO to send out a mold remediation team as soon as possible.
  • Never attempt to clean the mold on your own.
  • Never spray anything on the mold spores or blow air over the surfaces, as this can cause spreading as the spores become airborne.

When you call SERVPRO of Burlington you can count on our crew to be your number one choice of mold removal companies in the area. Call (319) 754-8050, and we can dispatch a crew to your property with the latest tools and EPA-registered products to begin the job.

Local and National Brand

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington is a local brand, and a national one.

With more than 1,700 franchises nationwide, SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry, and its professionals are faster to any size disaster. SERVPRO has expanded throughout the United States and Canada. Since then SERVPRO has also greatly expanded the array of services we offer. Since those services range from carpet cleaning and deodorization to large scale disaster recovery and with all SERVPRO’s locations our collective knowledge and experience are one of the greatest assets SERVPRO has and we know how to use it. SERVPRO locations provide all kinds of support to each other ranging from equipment to people-power and technical advice. Sometimes we might run into an issue that we have not encountered before or possibly elements to a job that prevents our normal methods for jobs. This is when we have been able to rely on the accumulated knowledge base of all the other SERVPRO’s. It does not matter what emergency you are facing. From Water, Fire, or Mold Remediation. SERVPRO has the team and backing to handle it all. We are known for taking care of big problems and disasters, but we also are known for helping people with issues that you normally may not know the solution too. If you have an emergency which makes you think “I don’t even know who does this,” try giving SERVPRO of Burlington a call at 319-754-8050.

Fire Damage Restoration Services

3/8/2021 (Permalink)

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is different, each one requires a different solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. At SERVPRO of Burlington we care about you and your family, and want to make this situation to be as painless as possible. We will treat you and your items with respect as if they were our own. If you find yourself dealing with the aftermath of a fire, give SERVPRO a call. We’ll restore the damage and make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of Burlington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after fire damage. 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, you may rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

If you need help with cleaning up after water, fire, or mold damage, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington.

319-754-8050

Heavy Rainfall

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Heavy rainfall, snow melt and storms can lead to damage to your home or business in no time. SERVPRO of Burlington wants residents to know that when a storm damages your home or business, our highly trained professionals will respond to cleanup and restore your property to pre-damage condition. Our ability to immediately respond to a storm emergency helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Here are some of the services we provide:

  • Emergency contact 24/7
  • Inspection and damage assessment
  • Water removal and water extraction
  • Drying and dehumidification services
  • Cleaning and repair
  • Odor removal
  • Restoration

What To Do Until Help Arrives:

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

When water damage strikes, a fast response is critical. Day or night, give SERVPRO of Burlington a call at 319-754-8050.

Commercial Water Damage

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Many commercial business owners know moisture is often the enemy. Water damage can do a number to your commercial property and when you find yourself in that situation you want knowledgeable people to respond quickly so you can get back to business because we understand that every hour spent waiting is an hour of lost revenue. With an average of 50% of businesses not reopening following a major disaster. Whether your business is small or large we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration start to finish so we can get you and your business back up and running to make money. Not only can we restore your property back to normal but we can also restore all the contents that may have also been damaged. Our crews are IICRC certified so you can trust they have the proper skills to get the job done right. Let SERVPRO of Burlington make it "Like it never even happened."

The Two Step Method to Maintain a Water Heater

2/1/2021 (Permalink)

A water heater typically lasts between 8 and 12 years, but only if it is maintained properly. A simple two-step annual maintenance plan will extend the life of the water heater. If you're just going through routine servicing, there's no need to call a professional to complete the job for you. With a screwdriver and a bucket, a homeowner can usually complete servicing the water heater on their own.

Do a Partial Flush

Prevent rust and corrosion by removing sediment from the bottom of the tank. All though a complete flush of the water heater tank is best, it requires shutting down the water heater. A partial flush works well, takes a fraction of the time, and can be done while the water heater is running:

  1. Place a bucket under the drain valve found near the bottom of the water heater tank.
  2. Turn the valve counterclockwise to release 1 to 2 gallons of water into the bucket. Some drain valves have a handle, while others have a short stem with a slot for a flathead screwdriver.The water will be very hot, so take care to avoid burning yourself.
  3. Close the valve by turning it clockwise.

If the valve won't open, contact a plumber to perform maintenance.

Test the Temperature & Pressure Valve

The temperature and pressure relief valve is a critical safety feature of your water heater.  Without an operational Temperature and Pressure value a water heater is at risk of explosion. Therefore, water heater manufacturers recommend testing the Temperature and Pressure valve once per year.

The Temperature and Pressure valve might be located at the top of the heater tank or in the side wall, and it has a discharge tube that extends down toward the base of the tank. To test the valve:

  1. Place a bucket under the end of the discharge tube connected to the valve.
  2. Lift up on the lever of the valve to open the valve manually. This will release hot water through the discharge tube and into the bucket.The water is very hot, so take care.
  3. Let the water flow for a few seconds, then let go of the lever and allow it to snap back into place, shutting off the water. If the valve does not open and release water,? or if it leaks after the test, the valve must be replaced.

Commercial Services

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Burlington has the training and expertise to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Retail Facilities

Education Facilities

Property Management

Healthcare Facilities

Hospitality Facilities

Manufacturing Facilities

Food Service Facilities

Restoration

SERVPRO of Burlington is available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold remediation. Learn more about our commercial restoration services.

Cleaning Services

Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on a SERVPRO of Burlington Professional to get the job done right the first time. They’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Services.

Flood Zone Determination

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency maintains official flood zone maps, which designate areas with the greatest risk of flooding. To find the designation for your home in Iowa, go to FEMA’s Map Service Center and enter your address. FEMA’s flood maps display more than a dozen category codes, but they all fall into one of three main zones:

  1. High-Risk Zone

This is any area with a FEMA map code beginning with the letters A or V. It’s also referred to as the “100-year floodplain.” Each year, this zone has a 1% chance of experiencing a catastrophic flood. If you’re in a high-risk flood zone, flood insurance is usually required. Unfortunately, flood insurance is most costly for homes in high-risk zones.

  1. Moderate-to-Low-Risk Zone

This is an area with a FEMA map code beginning with B, C, or X. It is also referred to as the “500-year floodplain.” This zone has a 0.2% chance, each year, of a destructive flood event. Flood insurance is not mandatory in this zone, but it is still strongly encouraged. Flood insurance is considerably less expensive for this zone than for high-risk zones, especially when compared to the costs of storm damage cleanup after a devastating flood.

  1. Undetermined-Risk Zone

These areas may have a FEMA map code beginning with the letter D, or they may have no FEMA flood code. This doesn’t mean your home won’t flood. Heavy rainfall frequently causes flash flooding in all parts of the country.
There are many reasons you might want to know your property’s official flood zone designation: You may be considering selling your house, or maybe you’ve been thinking of buying flood insurance. In any case, understanding your risk level is key to protecting your home from flood damage.

SERVPRO of Burlington is here to help if you ever experience a flood!

Water Restoration

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

How Does SERVPRO of Burlington Restore Your Property?

SERVPRO technicians use pumps and extraction equipment designed to pull water from your property. Then they use professional air movers and dehumidifiers to dry your property. The team monitors the drying process with temperature and humidity readings and makes any appropriate adjustments. This process helps prevent further water damage.

Most business owners are unaware that cleaning and restoring are scientific processes that require specialized products and extensive technical training. Our technicians can chemically test soiling’s and use appropriate cleaners to restore your property. We even test the pH of cleaned items to make sure it is balanced. Professional restoration saves owners time and money when compared to replacement.

We understand that some types of water damage emergencies are more hazardous than others. Your safety is always our concern. If the water damage is dangerous to an employee’s health, we notify all parties before we proceed, and take appropriate measures to ensure everyone's safety. All damaged areas are restored and sanitized before the team calls their work complete.

Winter Weather

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

As the winter season is ramping up let us go over some tips that will help you distinguish the severity between watches, advisories, and warnings according to weather.gov

Watches-

Winter Storm Watch: Conditions are favorable for a winter storm event, which is a threat to life or property.

Blizzard Watch: Conditions are favorable for a blizzard event (low visibility <1/4 mi. with winds at least 35 mph)

Advisories-

Winter Weather Advisory: Issued for one or more of the following

-Snow of 3-5" in 12 hours

-Sleet <1/2"

-Freezing rain with sleet/snow

-Blowing snow

Freezing Rain Advisory: Ice accumulation <1/4"

Warnings-

Winter Storm Warning: Heavy snow of 6" in 12 hours or 8" in 24 hours, or sleet of 1/2" or more.

Ice Storm Warning: Ice accumulation 1/4" or more.

Blizzard Warning: Blizzard conditions for at least 3 hours.

Keep those weather radios nearby and stay safe this winter season!

Staying Safe this Holiday Season

12/23/2020 (Permalink)

Since this year has been anything but normal and we are staying home much more than normal; the following are some tips from us at SERVPRO of Burlington to help prevent a loss during the holidays.

Maintain your smoke alarms

Maintain by testing the batteries once a month. If they’re not working, replace them immediately.

Inspect your heating source

Regardless of what kind of heating you have in your home, an annual inspection will reduce your risk of fire.

Change filters on a regular basis. Dust and lint can catch fire

Keep the stove and oven clear.

Don’t leave anything flammable near the stove or oven. Never rest towels, hot pads or a cookbook on the stove.

Check the dryer.

No matter what type of dryer you have, always clean out the lint trap after a load is finished. Regularly check behind and around the dryer for pockets of lint or items of laundry that have fallen under or behind.

Maintain cords.

Regularly check the condition of cords: repair or replace cords with frayed wires immediately. Electrical cords can produce heat, so don’t trap them under a rug or between furniture and the wall.

Store flammable products properly.

Many household cleaners and cosmetic products like shaving cream and hair spray are flammable. Keep flammable products away from heat, including exposure to sunlight.

Be careful with candles.

Never leave candles unattended and always keep them away from flammable items like blankets and curtains. Place candles in secure, tip-proof holders and extinguish them before leaving or going to sleep.

Use the fireplace responsibly.

Install a durable metal fire screen in front of your fireplace. Don’t leave a fire unattended, and give ashes ample time to cool down before disposing of them. Always place fireplace ash in a dedicated metal container..

Keep fire extinguishers handy.

At the very least, keep one in the kitchen and others near high-risk areas like a fireplace. Regularly review the instructions and make sure all members of the home know how to properly use the extinguisher.

Fire damage can be devastating, but you can minimize the risk of fire in your home. Make these practices part of your fire safety plan and review them regular

According to the American Red Cross, house fires cause over $7 billion in property damage each year. Being prepared and conducting regular safety checks can help keep you from adding to that number.

Guide to Hosting Fire Drills for your Business

12/21/2020 (Permalink)

Step 1: Develop your plan

You need to create the right policies and procedures. Many businesses choose to assemble a Safety Committee to create the plan.

A required minimum, your fire and evacuation plan should include:

  • The preferred message for reporting/alerting fellow employees to fires and other emergencies
  • Evacuation policies and procedure
  • Designated safe assembly locations
  • Emergency escape procedures and route assignments, such as floor plans, maps, and safe or refuge areas
  • Clear roles and responsibilities for a fire, storm evacuation, or other emergency

Step 2: Educate your employees

  • When your policies and procedures for fires and evacuations are in place, the next step is sharing the plan with employees. Be sure every employee receives this information when they first begin working, and review it regularly with your full team.
  • The emergency plan should be documented and given to employees in written form (or another accessible form). It should be shared in person to give team members the opportunity to ask questions.
  • Also, be sure evacuation routes, fire equipment, and alarm pulls are clearly marked.

Step 3: Conduct a fire drill

  • Time to conduct a fire drill. Sound the fire alarm so it can be heard and/or seen by every employee.
  • The purpose of the fire drill is to make sure every employee understands how to get out of the building in an emergency, and what to do when they get outside. In order to run effective fire drills, track how quickly every employee is able to exit and meet at the proper location, then work to improve your time during the next drill.

Step 4: Motivate employees to improve participation

  • Even though practicing a fire evacuation plan can be life-saving, some employees simply won’t take the exercise as seriously as they should.
  • Consider motivating employees to improve their preparedness and efficiency. Following a successful fire drill (one with no “casualties” where everyone meets the target time), offer an incentive that is relevant to your team, such as extra time for lunch or leaving early on a Friday.

Step 5: Run different fire scenarios

  • Practice makes perfect! Conduct fire drills regularly; consistent training ensures that the right response is immediate and second-nature.

Protein Fires

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

With the holiday’s fast approaching be aware of what a protein fire can do.

Protein fires create an especially unique restoration challenge. Damage caused by burnt food can also create odor issues which are difficult to mitigate. Here is some important information regarding this type of fire.

  1. Protein fires generally leave little visible residue, often confusing the untrained observer.
  2. They create a significantly more repugnant smell than most other fires.
  3. The nature of the burn causes the odor to permeate structure and furniture even more completely than other fires.
  4. Requires extremely thorough cleaning to remove the odor
  5. They sometimes require a sealing agent or even repainting to completely eradicate the odor.
  6. May require multiple attempts and methods to achieve customer satisfaction.

It is also important to recognize that perception of odor is highly individual.  There are no tools available to “measure” smell, and as a result, a homeowner may perceive odors that technicians or even neighbors cannot.  The strong link between smell and memory, a homeowner may experience “phantom odors” where the memory of the event causes reproduction of the odor even after thorough cleaning. 

SERVPRO of Burlington’s technicians have the proper training and equipment to mitigate the fire damage and make it smell like new. Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Soft Contents Cleaning

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington has a great contents and laundry team who clean fire and water damages of all kinds, "Like it never even happened."  In one case, our team used our ESPORTA machine to sterilize and clean off the mold that had started growing on a customer’s leather jacket. It is also utilized to clean firefighter gear as well.

The Esporta technology allows us to be able to restore soft contents that could have been previously deemed as non-salvageable.  This means that we are able to save and return more of your items to you following a disaster.  The Esporta machine is able to restore items that have been affected by damages and contaminations such as contaminated water & sewage, heavy smoke & soot, mold, and bio waste contaminated goods, and it is gentle enough to be able to be used on leather goods of all kinds, laundry of all kinds, household goods, and even unique articles such as sports equipment.

Let us help you salvage your soft contents after an emergency!

What a Year

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

The year of 2020 will go down as anything but a normal year. If it could go wrong it has gone wrong. But we know that even in the middle of this strange year, we can always find something to be thankful for. SERVPRO of Burlington is thankful for all the people who give so much to our community.

We are thankful for our first responders and those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The spread of COVID-19 has changed how we think, how we work, and how we carry out our daily lives. One of the things that we as a company are always thankful for is your trust you place in us to help you make it “Like it never even happened.” We have been doing our part with Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. We are so grateful and thankful that we get to help lift some of the burdens of our community when disaster strikes.

Professional Commercial Restoration

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Why is Professional Commercial Restoration Cleaning so Important?

Professional commercial restoration cleaning is among the most vital services available to owners of commercial property. Most commercial properties get a lot of wear and tear over the years, especially multifamily housing units and office complexes. Why is professional commercial restoration cleaning so important? You’re about to find out!

Why You will Need a Professional Commercial Restoration Cleaning Service

There’s a lot that can go wrong with a commercial structure, especially if it’s an older one. Commercial buildings can be damaged by mold, water, fire, or a sewage backup. You hear about that kind of stuff happening all the time, but most people never think that it could actually happen to their own properties. Unfortunately, it can, and as time goes on, the chances of experiencing at least one of the preceding types of damage rises steeply.

Fire is spontaneous, you never know when one may happen, especially since it might not even start in your building at all. An example, you do everything right, you bought and installed smoke detectors, check them regularly, and replace the batteries. What happens if the owner of the building next to you didn’t do any of that stuff? Then they have an electrical fire. The building will burn and it’ll probably set your building on fire too because they’re so close together.

Now consider this, after hiring a professional plumber to inspect and maintain the pipes in your building for several years, there’s a flood. After a flood, providing that your structure is still standing, there will be a substantial amount of water damage, and that damage will have to be fixed by a professional commercial restoration service like SERVPRO of Burlington. When you have damage from mold, fire, or water, that damage has to be repaired professionally, there’s just no other substitute.

Partner with a Commercial Cleaning and Restoration Service You Can Trust: SERVPRO of Burlington

Smoke Detector Safety

10/28/2020 (Permalink)

Fall time change is a great time to change the battery in your smoke detector

When was the last time you tested your smoke alarm?

Smoke alarms can be a life saver. In a report from The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%)”. This statistic alone is startling and shows the importance of having smoke alarms in your home or business. SERVPRO of Burlington has some helpful tips for how to properly install and maintain them to ensure the safety of you and your family.

  • Alarms should be installed on the inside and outside of bedrooms.
  • Install a smoke alarm on each level of your home.
  • Use an interconnected alarm system which allows for all alarms in your home or business to sound off when one alarm is set off.
  • Do not install a smoke alarm near your kitchen as you don’t want any false alarms such as smoke from burnt toast.
  • Test all smoke alarms once a month to ensure they are running properly.
  • Replace smoke alarm batteries at least once every year.
  • Replace your smoke alarm every 10 years. Be sure to check the back of your alarm for the manufacturer’s date so you know when to replace.

Nearly 1628 deaths were reported between January 1, 2020 and October 23, 2020 from home fires in the United States. Be sure to take the proper precautions to protect you and the lives of those around you by adhering to the recommended safety tips listed above.

Attic Fires

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

Attic fires can happen at any time. The following are some tips you can follow to help prevent this kind of fire.

Some fire safety experts believe the installation of a whole house fan or attic fan may pose an increased risk for attic fires. That said, you may want to weigh the pros and cons of attic fan installation. If you cool your home with an attic fan, be sure it is constructed of quality material, such as metal. Plastic fan parts may pose a fire hazard. Inspect and clean yearly. If in doubt replace it.

Another tip for avoiding an attic fire is to simply clean up the area. This is especially true if you have a finished attic for storage use or one that is occupied for entertainment or sleeping purposes. Never leave appliances plugged in when they're not in use and don't overload your electrical outlets. Watch out for loose curtains or window furnishings that block vents. Don't store boxes or other items too close to a vent and, most importantly, do not store combustible items that may ignite in your attic.

Checking the electrical wiring  and examining your chimney lining for flaws is another step that can help prevent an attic fire. Ensuring proper ventilation for your attic is also essential.

While you cannot entirely avoid the possibility of fires in your home, you do have a direct influence on the professionals selected to restore this damage fully after the incident. One of the key factors that can aid you in this choice is the team that can arrive whenever disaster strikes, with SERVPRO of Burlington’s 24-hour response that features the full measure of skilled professionals and advanced equipment to lessen the loss in your home in this troublesome time.

Keep Water Damage Threats Outside Your Home

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Health threats are all around us. We are susceptible to catching something at work, from our church, or school. We seldom think that our own home could become a breeding ground for bacteria. Yet, when water has caused damage, and we fail to take care of it correctly, we leave ourselves open for organisms and bacteria to enter our home. Even the smallest of water incidents can leave enough of a moisture residue to put us in danger. Calling a professional team to ensure that all water residue is gone and our home is back in shape, is the first line of defense at our home.

For water removal needs SERVPRO is at its service. Water can come from many sources, including a leaking pipe, broken water heater, or malfunctioning dishwasher. Whatever the source, it takes a professional to assess the damage and draw up an action plan to restore your home. Our team are trained to identify where the water is hiding and damaging your structure, and belongings. The longer you allow the liquid to stand unattended, the more you allow it to damage your home. Call our 24/7 hotline and take immediate action before the situations worsen, and your damage grows.

Our dehumidifiers and air movers can encourage evaporation and help in the drying process. Our SERVPRO team uses state-of-the-art equipment capable of applying infrared technology to detect water within wall cavities, under baseboards, and in other hard to reach crevices. As we monitor the situation, we can apply extraction and disinfecting techniques specifically in the areas showing abnormal moisture levels. In eliminating excess humidity, we preempt future complications such as mold or the proliferation of bacteria, which directly impacts your family's health.

Do not underestimate the impact of what is seemingly a small water spill. Rely on SERVPRO of Burlington to assess the full extent of the damage and restore your home. A call to our office at (319) 754-8050 is the first step towards peace of mind. You cannot control outside threats, but in your home, you should feel, "Like it never even happened."

We Are Here to Help

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help

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, following the 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 level that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

SERVPRO recommends cleaning of high-touch and flat surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces SERVPRO and CDC recommend 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

SERVPRO and CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. We have multiple products that meet the CDC recommendations. 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

Appliances and Water Damage

8/26/2020 (Permalink)

Washing machines are one of the main sources of water damage to homes. Others that top the list include hot water heaters and dishwashers. Following are some steps you can take to help prevent these types of losses:

  • Thoroughly check for leaks around appliances every 4 months.
  • Check supply hoses regularly to ensure a tight connection, and no breaks or tears. It is recommended to replace supply hoses for washing machines and dishwashers every five years if there are no signs of wear.
  • Refer to your manufacturer’s guidelines for types of soap and load recommendations for the washing machine and dishwasher.
  • It is recommended to flush your water heater once per year to ensure you have fresh water and to remove sediment.
  • Don’t leave running appliances unattended. Try to operate washing machines and dishwashers when someone is home.
  • Replace hot water heater as needed. As the water heater ages, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases.

Should a water leak happen to you make sure you know where your water shut-off valve is located so that water can quickly be turned off to minimize damage.

Categories of Water

7/21/2020 (Permalink)

Let’s talk about water. The type of water that comes into your home be it from sewer or a dishwasher malfunction has to be categorized. The main reason we categorize is so we bring the proper equipment to dry your house out and make it clean and sanitary again. Below are the categories and what each one entails.

Category 1: This water originates from a sanitary source such as from broken clean water supply lines, clean water from a toilet tank or bowl, faucets, and bottled water. If not taken care of as soon as possible it can degrade into category 2 or 3.

Category 2: This water contains significant contamination. This kind of water can include washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine but no feces, and dishwasher overflow. If not taken care of as soon as possible it can degrade into category 3.

Category 3: This water is grossly contaminated and may include sewage, flooding from rivers or streams, wind driven rain, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, and standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

Fire Restoration

7/6/2020 (Permalink)

soot covered wooden shelf This shelf you may think is covered in dirt but was actually in a fire and got covered with soot.

Eliminate the soot damage that can occur throughout your home after a fire with the help of SERVPRO of Burlington.

We are here to help to get you back to preloss condition after fire damage.

Having a fire in your home opens up a range of feelings and fears. It is unlikely the average homeowner possesses much experience in responding to fire damage. The immediate aftermath does not afford you the time to learn all that is necessary to return a home to pre-fire condition. Our seasoned fire damage restoration crews have the training and the equipment needed for a fast and comprehensive recovery.

Restoration of your fire damaged property can be challenging. Not only does the charring, soot, and smoke damage require attention. The water and chemicals that extinguished the fire also threaten the integrity of your home’s structure. Our full spectrum of services includes industry best practices in water removal and applied drying techniques. Before we focus on the fire issues, safety concerns rooted in the slip and fall and electrical shock problems water brings need resolution.

SERVPRO crews then turn to proven measures to halt the progressive damage smoke and soot inflict on structural components and contents. Fire damage requires speedy action as well. Within hours, materials warp and discolor. Glass and metals etch. Fabrics and wood deteriorate. The soot and smoke invade every space inside a home, causing the acidic components to attack surfaces and possessions.

Deodorization is crucial in a fire damage project as the combustion of a wide range of materials causes layers of unpleasant smells. Our odor remediation specialists use SERVPRO products and methods to neutralize smells. We clean, seal and using advanced technologies to eliminate odors.

Should a fire happen to you give us a call at 319-754-8050!

Sump Pump Maintenance

6/26/2020 (Permalink)

Since we are in summer storm season it’s important to make sure your sump pump, if you have one, is working correctly by doing a little maintenance. Following are some maintenance suggestions to make sure your sump pump does its job during a storm or water event.

  • Unplug the pump and empty the basin of any standing water.
  • Remove any debris from the basin and make sure the sump pump inlet screen is clear and not obstructed.
  • Plug the pump in and pour five gallons of water into the sump to verify that the float switch turns the pump on and off properly.

If you’re not sure how to do the above things it’s advised to hire a skilled professional. Stay safe this summer and keep an eye on that pump!

Are You Ready to Reopen?

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

What a crazy past few months it has been. Trying to adjust to working from home and school being cancelled has been a huge adjustment, not to mention trying to stay healthy during these unprecedented times. Recently our governor, Kim Reynolds, announced more openings for businesses in our area, previously closed because of the pandemic. While this is a great thing to hear you as a business owner may be wondering how to proceed so you can reopen safely. Let us help you out!

Whether your business has remained opened or closed we can come clean for you to help give you a little peace of mind. We are an industry leader in cleaning and restoration. Don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can help re-open your business!

319-754-8050

Spring Rains

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Spring rains are here. Unfortunately, excessive rain can lead to flooding and water emergencies. SERVPRO of Burlington is open 24/7 because these emergencies happen anytime day or night. Cleaning and restoring your home or business is of the utmost importance. We are committed to getting your business ready to reopen or you back in your home as fast as possible.

The faster you call the faster we can lessen the damage. SERVPRO of Burlington is trained in assessing your water damage and removing the water before it is absorbed into floors, furniture, walls, etc. The extraction process takes special equipment that we are certified and trained to use. This process will begin with your call.

Let us help you prevent permanent water damage to your carpet, walls, wood floors, furniture, and other belongings such as upholstery and even photographs and books.

FREE Emergency Vehicle Cleaning

5/12/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington wants to thank those first responders, such as cops, firefighters, doctors, nurses and more who put themselves in harm’s way to protect us, especially during times like these. We want to make sure these people on the front lines remain healthy. It is important that during this pandemic that the vehicles they use day in and day out be clean and germ free. So, our way of saying thank you we are offering free emergency vehicle cleaning and sanitizing for all local police and fire departments along with hospitals as well.

Our technicians are trained in adhering to the absolute highest cleaning and sanitation standards in the industry. You can be rest assured any cleanup or bioremediation performed by SERVPRO of Burlington is in accordance with the guidelines mandated by the CDC.

Give us a call today to set up your FREE one-time cleaning/disinfecting! Thanks to those on the front lines who are helping to keep us safe and healthy!

Be Prepared

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Southeast Iowa lies in tornado alley, so I’m sure we are all too familiar with the sounds of tornado sirens. Following are some safety tips you can take when storm season hits this summer:

  • When thunder roars, go indoors!
  • Pay attention to alerts and warnings: A weather alert radio helps with this should you lose power.
  • Unplug appliances.
  • Do not use landline phones.

Once a storm has passed listen to authorities and weather forecasts for information on whether it is safe to go outside and instructions regarding potential flash flooding. Also, watch for fallen power lines and trees and report them immediately. Once it is safe to do so assess your home and property. SERVPRO of Burlington is available 24/7 if you need our help. Just give us a call at 319-754-8050.

Grass Fire Preparedness

4/27/2020 (Permalink)

Flying embers from a grass or wildfire can destroy homes. Taking the necessary measures to prepare your home can help increase its chance of survival when grass or wildfires strike. The following are some ways you can prepare or build your home and make it more fire resistant.

  • Roof- The roof is the most vulnerable part of your home. Homes with wood or shingle roofs are at high risk of being destroyed during a grass fire. Build your roof or re-roof with materials such as composition, metal, or tile. Block any spaces between roof decking and covering to prevent embers from catching.
  • Vents- Vents on homes create openings for flying embers. Cover all vent openings with 1/16-inch to 1/8-inch metal mesh. Do not use fiberglass or plastic mesh because they can melt and burn.
  • Windows- Install dual-paned windows with one pane of tempered glass to reduce the chance of breakage in a fire. Consider limiting the size and number of windows that face large areas of vegetation.
  • Walls- Wood products, such as boards, panels or shingles, are common siding materials. However, they are flammable and not good choices for fire-prone areas.
  • Decks- Surfaces within 10 feet of the building should be built with ignition- resistant, non-combustible, or other approved materials. Also, ensure that all combustible items are removed from underneath your deck.
  • Garage- Have a fire extinguisher and tools such as a shovel, rake, bucket, and hose available fore fire emergencies. Install weather stripping around and under the garage door to prevent embers from blowing in. Store all combustible and flammable liquids away from ignition sources.

These are just a few things you can do to protect your home. Stay safe and be smart when burning outside!

Water Emergencies

4/7/2020 (Permalink)

What to Do in a Water Emergency

In the event that a water emergency happens in your home, it is essential to have a plan so you minimize the time it takes to restore your home. Being prepared for a water emergency saves you time and money. Once a water emergency hits, you can do several things to mitigate your downtime, the biggest of which is hiring a professional water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Burlington.

What Is a Water Emergency?

A water emergency is any event that causes catastrophic water damage to your home. It may be a flood or the aftermath of a fire. It may cause your home to lose power, or require it to be shut off, or also exposes several large portions of your home to the outside world.

Hiring SERVPRO Helps in a Water Emergency

Your biggest concern during a water emergency is the time it takes to get your home livable again. The fastest way to achieve this is to hire a professional water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO of Burlington. Our professional service team has the access to the appropriate equipment, years of experience, and the training necessary to make short work of any water damage you have.

Consult Your Insurance Provider during a Water Emergency

In a water emergency, you should contact your insurance provider. Depending on the extent of the damage and the extent of your homeowner’s insurance policy, your insurance company may be able to cover some or all of the costs associated with restoring your home.

A water emergency is a devastating event that can take days or weeks to resolve. You may need to relocate temporarily if the damage is severe enough to turn off your electricity. Unfortunately, a water emergency is difficult to prepare for, because it can occur in so many different ways, and most resolutions are reactive instead of proactive. For more information about what to do in a water emergency, you can contact your insurance provider or you can call us at 319-754-8050.

When a Storm Hits your Home

3/30/2020 (Permalink)

Storm damage can be a devastating and life altering experience. The first days following a major storm can leave a homeowner overwhelmed and perplexed about what to do next. Some careful and calculated planning will help you and your family return to normal as soon as possible.

Regardless of if your home was hit by torrential wind, flooded, or was the casualty of an electrical storm, the end result is still dangerous. Electricity can be conducted into standing water and mold will most certainly be an issue. Until a thorough evaluation by a qualified person can be conducted, it’s best to avoid the site altogether

Be sure to document as much as possible about the storm and the damage to your home, especially if your home owners insurance policy is more specific about the type of damage it will cover. Take as many photos as possible and note any major issues such as mold, exposed power lines, and crumbling walls. This will all come in handy when filing a claim with your insurance company.

SERVPRO of Burlington are water and storm damage specialists, we have the experience and advanced training that enables us to restore your property quickly. We use scientific drying principles and provide validation and documentation that your property is dry and the job is complete.

319-754-8050

Commercial Cleaning Services

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

While you may think of us as a fire and water restoration company we also provide commercial cleaning services. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of Burlington for your deep cleaning needs. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best. Listed below is the cleaning services we provide.

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

We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment don’t hesitate to call our office at 319-754-8050.

COVID-19

3/18/2020 (Permalink)

The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus, referred to as COVID-19. It is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person or through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The professionals here at SERVPRO of Burlington can perform a proactive cleanup that involves facility or structure cleaning and disinfection where the customer states that there is no active known threat of COVID-19 contamination or exposure. The customer will be required to acknowledge that cleaning and disinfecting will only apply to the current state of the structure and contents. The structure would not be protected from future COVID-19 contamination if an infected person was to enter and occupy the building. You can be rest assured that we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. Don’t hesitate to give us a call at 319-754-8050 we are available 24/7!

Importance of Maintaining your Smoke Detectors

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

As daylight saving time approaches this weekend it is recommended you check your smoke detector batteries and change them if needed. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. The following is some information from the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) on the importance of having and maintaining your smoke detectors.

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.

According to the NFPA, in fires which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than two of every five of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. This is why it is extremely important to inspect and maintain your smoke detectors.

How Can You Mitigate Mold Growth After a Flood?

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

When home sustains any type of water damage, mold often appears soon after. Mold growth tends to spread quickly in homes, and it's often important to act quickly when it comes to mitigating the effects of mold in your home.

1. Stop the Flow of Water

Whether a major pipe burst or a flood that is causing water damage, it's often important to stop the flow of water as quickly as possible. Even small amounts of water can contribute to the spread of mold spores in your home. Since you may have to act quickly if water is pouring into your home.

2. Airflow in Your Home

After your home has flooded, you likely will want to dry out your home as quickly as possible. Though it can be useful to keep your home dry after a flood, the way you do this is often important. Turning on the heat or air conditioning increases the airflow in your home, which makes it easier for mold spores to spread. Instead, consider opening windows rather than using air conditioning to help minimize the spread of mold growth in your home. We have trained technicians that can dry down your home and reduce the opportunity for mold.

3. Contact a Mitigation and Restoration Company in a Timely Manner

Standing water in your home can act as a breeding ground for bacteria and creates the perfect environment for mold to spread. Though you may want to use DIY methods of mitigation or restoration, it's generally best to contact a mold damage mitigation and restoration company. Professionals with experience in mitigation and restoration can safely and quickly help to limit the effects of mold can help to prevent additional damage to your belongings and to the structure of your home, and can also assist in restoration efforts.

Mold growth is a major concern for homeowners and business owners. Preventing further mold damage is often important. You can help to mitigate the damage by stopping the flow of water, reducing the airflow and quickly contacting SERVPRO of Burlington.

Causes of Commercial Water Damage

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

While a massive storm can wipe out power lines, flood offices, and shut down businesses for days at a time they aren’t the only causes of flood and water damage. Below are some of the typical causes of water damage to commercial buildings.

  • Windows- Water damage can be caused by windows that aren’t properly sealed. It can cause moisture to seep in, which can lead to mold build-up and warped wood and drywall.
  • Damaged Pipes- Broken pipes can stem from many reasons, such as changes in pressure, deteriorated water supply lines and sewer drains, and cold weather (freezing temps can cause pipes to burst).
  • Malfunctioning Sprinkler Systems- Signs of sprinkler leaks include wet surfaces like drywall and carpets, presence of mold and mildew, and standing water. Sprinklers can definitely come in handy during a fire emergency but they can also cause flood damage if they are faulty.

Should your business experience commercial water damage, SERVPRO of Burlington, has the advanced equipment and training to get your business back up and running.

Protect your Pipes

2/4/2020 (Permalink)

So far, this winter, Mother Nature has been nice to us but here are some tips on how to protect your pipes from freezing burst should the weather take a turn for the bitter cold.

Protect Your Pipes to Avoid Water Damage by Turning Off Your Water Supply

  • If you plan on being away from home for an extended amount of time it is recommended that you turn off the water supply to prevent coming home to even worse damage from pipes breaking while you are gone.
  • You can drain your pipes by opening faucets along with flushing your toilet to clear the water from the tank and bowl. You could also consider pouring antifreeze in toilet tanks and bowls to prevent any remaining water from freezing and cracking. Side note: Always use non-toxic antifreeze rated for plumbing systems.

Keep Your Home and Plumbing Warm if Your Water Supply Stays On

  • If you decide you don’t want to drain your water pipes, it is recommended that you keep the furnace running as this will help ensure your home stays warms which helps prevent the pipes from freezing.
  • Set the temperature at 55 degrees or higher to help keep the interior of the floor and wall cavities above freezing temperatures. This is where the water piping is likely located. It also helps to keep room and cabinet doors open to help heat to circulate and warm the area where pipes are located.
  • Shut off the water to washing machines and dishwashers where possible, to avoid any leaks or broken hoses while you are away.
  • Turn off the heat source and water supply to hot water heaters (if separate from your boiler).

Don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of dealing with a broken pipe!

Commercial Property Shut Offs

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

shut off tags These are the tags we can attach to your gas, water, or electricity so they are easily distinguishable on which is which.

Knowing where your shutoffs are in your commercial building could save you thousands of dollars in unnecessary damage and repairs.

Relying on the fire department to come in, know where the shut off is for the water, gas, and electricity to the buildings once a loss has occurred could add thousands more. 

Knowing where your shutoffs are and clearly marking them enables the building owner to shut off water several minutes before first responders can.

In the case of sprinklers that malfunction and turn on, just 1 minute less of water flowing could cut days off of a drying project.

If you don't already, have SERVPRO of Burlington come in and create an Emergency Response Plan of where the following shutoffs are:

  • Gas
  • Water
  • Electricity

Commercial buildings often times require advanced training and equipment to dry and repair.

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints.

We understand that every hour is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. When an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we'll be there fast with the help you need.

You May Need a Pack Out After Water Damage

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

After floodwaters enter your residence, it is easy to assume most of your possessions have been damaged. However, you can save essential belongings from your flooded home by using our pack-out service. Restoring your contents is just as crucial as repairing your home. Remember that personal items can become permanently damaged if you do not restore them in a timely manner.

When a flood damages your residence, it is vital to remove the floodwater, disinfect the areas, and dry your home. The furniture, appliances, and other personal items may inhibit restoration efforts, and your belongings may not receive the personalized care they need if they remain in your property. At SERVPRO of Burlington, we offer content cleaning and pack-out services that can help you salvage your personal items that floodwater has effected A pack-out service operation consists of three steps.

    •    Removal
    •    Storage
    •    Restoration

With our pack-out services, you can salvage precious items like prized furniture, clothing, rugs, and electronics, even important papers or pictures. Our technicians can separate your possessions to determine which ones to clean onsite and which ones to transport to our facilities for more effective restoration.

Our technicians take a detailed inventory of your items. We take every precaution to prevent breakage and maintain a proper list of the items. Since it is time-consuming and costly to move contents out of a home, we can implement some cost-saving strategies that can help you and your insurance firm save money. This often involves moving small items out of a home and cleaning and storing appliances or large furniture items at the loss site. The onsite cleaning process is usually efficient and quick.

We then take the items that are better restored off-site to a secured facility where our trained team cleans, deodorizes, and restores them to their original state. For things like electronics, we can work with professionals who repair ruined electrical equipment. After restoring the contents, we store them until you are ready to have them back in your house.

If floodwaters have affected the contents in your home SERVPRO of Burlington can help you restore them.

Commercial Carpet Clean

1/1/2020 (Permalink)

So while you may know us as a leader in the fire and water restoration industry we also perform general carpet cleans for businesses. 
Our professional cleaning can address moderate and heavy stains in your carpets. How often you’ll need professional cleaning depends on traffic, type and color of carpeting. We will work with what works with your schedule. We can even come in after hours to complete the work so as to minimize any business interruption. Our best advice is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil or a stain has time to set. Waiting until carpets look really dirty before cleaning may cause them not to be restored to their former appearance. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. More dirt is hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile, causing damage to the carpet. Call SERVPRO of Burlington today to set up your carpet cleaning appointment!

Are You Covered?

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

It is very important for homeowners to maintain an understanding of exactly what is and is not covered under their current insurance policy. Without proper knowledge, homeowners will be left with holding the bill

When disaster strikes they must pay for these damages out of pocket. Besides purchasing a flood policy for protection, you may be able to add coverage to your existing policy. These additions may cover things such as the following:

  • Mold remediation (varies on state)
  • Backup of drains or sewers
  • Plumbing water damage
  • Air conditioning damages
  • Water heater damage
  • Sump pump failure

Homeowners must be aware in recognizing water damage as early as possible. Time is critical. When a sudden storm, plumbing issue, or sewer backup occurs, knowing what will be covered will ease stress and make the entire repair process much more fluid. To find out more, contact SERVPRO of Burlington at 319-754-8050

Don't let yourself be caught unaware!

Ice Dams

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

ice dam on a home's roof This shows a depiction of an ice dam.

Ice dams occur when your attic is not isolated from the rest of the house with proper air sealing and insulation. If it is not isolated, it can become warm and moist. Warm attics can help melt the bottom layer of snow on the roof and the water then runs down to the gutter where it refreezes. This is the beginning of an ice dam. This in turn forms a ridge of ice at the edge of the roof. The problem with this is that it causes water to back up behind the dam which in turn can leak into a home. Water leaking into your home is definitely something you don’t want to happen as it can cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

In order to prevent ice dams here are some steps you can take.

  • Close up attic bypasses- these areas are unblocked walls, gaps in drywall, and cracks around light fixtures, plumbing pipes and any other ceiling penetration.
  • Measure your attic insulation level- It is required to have about 12 to 14 inches of fiberglass or cellulose according to building codes.
  • Add roof and soffit vents

Should you run into water damage due to an ice dam don’t hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington! We are available 24/7!

Sewer Backup Related to Stormy Conditions

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

After heavy spring rains and snow melt runoff caused flooding throughout Iowa in 2019, the sewage systems in many cities could not handle that amount of water which caused sewers to back up in commercial and residential basements. SERVPRO of Burlington crews are trained to handle these types of backups, with cleaning and disinfecting your home to start the rebuilding process. The water that comes in through the sewer is contaminated and will fill into porous material that could corrode. Mold begins to grow in this type of material in a very short period of time and can make your home or business environment unhealthy.  SERVPRO of Burlington has the specially formulated products and equipment to remove and stop the growth of mold. With our system of dehumidifiers, air scrubbers and other drying equipment to quickly dry down the area and begin the restoration process, SERVPRO of Burlington believes your air quality and safety is paramount for your home or business.

Snow Storms

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners can suffer much more than high heating bills and un shoveled sidewalks and streets after a blizzard. Conditions include high winds, ice and snow with plunging temperatures, you can find yourself in need of much more than a plowing contractor. Power lines and tree branches, heavy with ice and snow, can crush a home, allowing water and freezing winds inside. Count on SERVPRO of Burlington to help you.

When temperatures range above 32 degrees, rain and sleet can be the first round of what could turn into snow. Damage from all three can occur, this mixture of moisture weighs down trees and eventually freezes solid on power lines, frequently still above ground and supported by utility poles in the city. High winds increase the danger and probability of tree branches, light poles, and utility wires damaging your home severely if they fall. 

The SERVPRO of Burlington team will respond in any conditions, even in a snow storm if possible. We arrive with our crews to help contain the loss by boarding windows, tarping holes in the roof or siding, and pumping out your basement. Our experienced team assesses the damage, creating a plan to remove the snow, ice, and melted water and dry out the spaces. 

Our team of experts mitigates and remediates the water damage in the house quickly and thoroughly.

Commercial Fire Damage

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

One of the most destructive experiences to a commercial building and business is fire. Fire could result in it being closed down and unable to be used for your business. SERVPRO of Burlington understands the need to clean and restore as quickly as possible. We have trained specialists that can assist in developing a plan to get you up and running quickly and efficiently. At some sites with minimum damage we can clean and restore with the business still safely open. At other sites the business must close for safety as we remove and repair unstable structural damage that can be a real hazard to your customers or employees. Damage from glass, metal, charred wood, or unstable ceiling structures could cause personal injury. SERVPRO of Burlington takes safety seriously and will secure the damaged area to protect your business. You can count on SERVPRO of Burlington to help you return to normal.  

Esporta

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

This Esporta machine utilizes a patented restoration technology that is capable of restoring over 90% of the soft contents in a house to food grade clean. It is said to be five times more effective than traditional washing methods and can restore items that would typically need to be replaced in the past. It can restore items damaged with smoke/soot, mold, bio waste, and contaminated water. Some items that we have washed include but not limited to are leather goods, laundry, and household goods; such as, pillows, comforters, and stuffed animals. We even use this machine to clean sports equipment and firefighter gear. In order to operate this machine, you must be trained and certified. Our operators are extremely knowledgeable on how to use it and how to restore your contents to their original state. In our before and after gallery we have photos of our local (Wapello) Fire Department gear. Let us help restore your contents to preloss condition!

Cleaning Products

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

We have the product for every job.

With all the stain, spills, and weather events that happen, SERVPRO of Burlington has the products and trained technicians that can remove, cleanup and restore your property and personal belongings. We train our technicians through IICRC to follow recommended guidelines and procedures. Our products are specially formulated by SERVPRO to safely clean and restore. SERVPRO products are what makes us a leader in the cleaning and restoration business. We train our technicians to be paying attention to the     details of the job and needs of our customers. We are prepared for any emergency by keeping our equipment up to date and SERVPRO products stocked at all times. We have eco-friendly products that are safe to use and friendly to the environment. We work fast and efficiently to return you to your home or business with the least amount of time, stress and worry.

Thanksgiving Cooking Fires

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires. In 2017, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,600 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving. Following are some tips from the NFPA on how to stay safe and prevent a fire from ruining your holiday.

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Make sure children stay away from the stove.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, purses, or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. If not, your batteries may need changed.

We hope you have a safe Thanksgiving but if a fire should happen to you over the holidays don’t hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We are available 24/7 to assist you!

24 Hour Emergency Disaster Service

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

At SERVPRO of Burlington, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. You can rest assure that no matter what time you call we will be there to help you and respond in a timely manner. We specialize in the restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered from small to large losses due to water, storm, and fire disasters; just to name a few.

We have highly trained technicians and state of the art equipment that makes us the ones you want to call should you experience water damage, storm damage, fire damage or have mold.  Along with that we also come with over 10 years of experience. No job is too small or too big for our team. We have 1,700 SERVPRO franchises nationwide and can utilize each other and each other’s equipment to make sure a job is taken care of.

Should you experience any of the above mentioned emergencies remember us at SERVPRO of Burlington and give us a call. We are available to assist you 24/7!

Emergency Ready Profile

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Approximately 50% of business that experience a disaster will not recover from that event. Developing a preparedness plan can help your business to survive should you find yourself in an emergency. This is where we at SERVPRO of Burlington come in. We can come in and work with you to create an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) at no cost you and it only takes a little bit of time for you. We will do a majority of the leg work for you! So, what does an ERP entail? SERVPRO professionals will come into your business and create a brief compilation of important information such as insurance company, where your gas and water shut off is, and who your emergency contact is etc. We also take photos of the water and gas shut off valves, utility box, and heating/cooling units. This will aid the responders and show them where those are located within the facility. The information is then saved to the business digitally and a hard copy to keep on hand. Being prepared is important!

Let SERVPRO help you get a plan of action today!

Getting your Home Ready to Sell

11/1/2019 (Permalink)

Not only is SERVPRO the trusted leader in the fire and water restoration industry, we also provide professional residential cleaning services. This can be helpful to realtors and homeowners who are looking to sell their home fast and at the price they want. Our professionals here at SERVPRO of Burlington have the expertise to provide a deeper clean than your basic house cleaning service. We provide carpet and upholstery cleaning that will not only get out the dirt you see, but will also remove the unwanted dust you don’t. Air duct cleaning is another service we provide that will help increase the home’s heating and cooling efficiency along with improving the quality of air. Last but not least, we also have the expertise to remove any unwanted odors such as cigarette smoke for example. Don’t hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington to get your home ready for the market!

319-754-8050

Getting your Home Winter Ready

10/30/2019 (Permalink)

Although we are still in the fall season it’s never too early to think about getting your home winter ready. The following tips will help you prepare to ready your home for when that cold and blustery winter weather arrives.

  • Check your home’s heating and air conditioning system- It is recommended to change your filter at this time so your furnace can continue to run smoothly.
  • Caulk around windows and doors- If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Also, make sure to check the joints as well.
  • Check your drainage- Check and make sure the soil around your foundation hasn’t settled. This can cause water to pool and eventually end up in your basement causing a bigger problem.
  • Clean your gutters- Once your trees are pretty much free of leaves tend to your gutters. A clogged gutter can cause any moisture such as rain and snow to run down the side of your home, speeding up the deterioration of your exterior.
  • Clean your chimney and order firewood- Keeping your chimney and vents clean with help prevent chimney fires and also helps to prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors- Now is a good time to change those batteries to ensure they are in good working order.
  • Drain outside faucets- If there is no water in the lines than you won’t run into the issue of them breaking and causing an even bigger problem.
  • Last but certainly not least, restock winter essentials such as salt or ice melt.

Burning Leaves Safely

10/2/2019 (Permalink)

burning leaves Burning Leaves

Fall is finally upon us after a rainy and hot summer. This time of year means leaves falling from the trees and piling in your yard. The following are some tips to follow if you want to take the route of burning your leaves.

  • Contact the fire department to see if there is a good day to burn and if you need to obtain any special permits as each town is different. A good rule of advice to follow is to only burn when skies are clear and wind speed doesn’t exceed 15 miles per hour.
  • Rake the leaves into a manageable pile with 6 feet clear in every direction. Light a small branch with a match and then place it among the leaves. It is not advised to use gasoline or fire starters to ignite leaves as it can sometimes cause a large unmanageable fire.
  • Constantly supervise and keep a garden hose and/or a multipurpose fire extinguisher just in case the fire gets out of hand.
  • Hose the fire down once it burns out just to make sure you put out any embers that might still be glowing.
  • Once the fire is completely out gather up the ash safely and properly dispose of it. You can place the ashes in a metal container to reduce the risk of an out of control fire.

Have a safe and fun fall!

Cleaning your Gutters is Important

9/3/2019 (Permalink)

Fall is upon us and now is the time to start thinking about cleaning your gutters. Fall is the perfect time to think about cleaning your gutters since leaves dropping from trees are a main cause of clogging. It is recommended though to check your gutter system at least twice a year to help prevent any future water damage.

An inch of rainfall on a typical 1,000 square foot roof sends over 600 gallons of water into the gutters and downspouts. Any sort of blockage that obstructs this considerable flow can potentially cause water damage indoors. Foundation damage can happen by a blockage causing water to pour over the sides of the gutter and pool around the foundation which over time can cause cracks to form. If your basement isn’t waterproofed, the water pouring down the foundation can lead to a damp basement. This can lead to a whole host of other issues. Boards that hold the gutter system are often made of wood and when the gutters clog and fill with water it can cause these boards to deteriorate and rot. During the winter ice dams can form on the gutters which will cause water to pool and will eventually seep into the home if not taken care of.

It is recommended to hire a professional if you don’t feel comfortable or experienced enough to clean them.

Taking Care of Standing Water in Your Home

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

Should you come across any stagnant/standing water in your home it is important to get it taken care of as soon as possible. This kind of water can be found in your basement, on flooring, or even under carpeting. Most of the time this water comes from clean sources such as a supply line breaking or rainwater that is seeping into your home but you could also run into contaminated water and this type of water comes from flooding and sewage backups. Water that is not taken care of in a timely manner can become a breeding ground for bacteria and can cause mold to grow and spread in as little as 48 hours. It can also be harmful to your health.

If you come across any type of standing water it is important to identify the source of the leak if possible and get it fixed. The restoration process cannot begin until that happens. Once the source has been identified and stopped call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will help to return your home back to preloss condition and give you peace of mind that you are living in a safe and healthy home.

Charger Fires

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

This is a phone charger that was plugged in and shorted out causing this to happen.

Let’s talk about phone charger safety for a minute. While I know it is convenient to leave your charger plugged into the wall at all times it is typically not recommended. Even when they are not being used they are constantly drawing power and this could lead to a small chance of a fire due to either heat buildup or short circuit. Although this tends to happen more when a charger is being used. Another way this can happen is if there is an excess amount of moisture in the air which can short circuit the transformer. Not only can this create a fire hazard it also wastes energy which in turn means you are paying for electricity you are not really using.

Should you want to leave them plugged in it is recommended to use a power strip as they work as surge protectors and you can turn them off when not in use. Another important thing to consider is when you are charging make sure you allow for adequate ventilation so they don’t overheat. It is not recommended to charge them under a pillow, on a bed, or on a couch.

Thanks to SERVPRO of Dubuque for the picture!

Sump Pump Failure

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

After all the rainy weather we had in May and June it caused some major flooding to our rivers and we got a couple hundred calls about flooded basements. Luckily, we have dried out but I thought sump pump failure and what to do when it happens would be a perfect topic. A good number of the basements that we ran into with water in the basement was sump pump failures.

Most basements sit below the water table level, and especially during a storm, as groundwater levels rise, the water is diverted to the sump pit, where a float activates a switch when it rises above a certain level. Some of the most common reasons a sump pump might fail is if it doesn’t have battery backup and you lose power during a storm, sump pump is the wrong size and can’t keep up, or maybe it was improperly installed. Another big factor is a lack of maintenance, this allows for debris to clog vents and air holes.

Should you find yourself with water in your basement and it is manageable, you can mop it up or even use a wet/dry vacuum and make sure to dump it at least 20 feet away from the house. It is important to get the water taken care of as soon as you can because the longer it stands it can lead to mold and mildew and can create a musty odor. On a side note, if flooding leaves water standing in your yard around the foundation, you will have to wait for it to recede before true cleanup can begin.

Don’t hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington if your flooded basement is something that you are unable to handle. We can return your flooded basement back to normal and make it “Like it never even happened.”

Commercial Sewer Backups

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water from sewer system backups should be considered very dangerous due to the water being grossly unsanitary and it also may contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. This is referred to as black water and any contact should be avoided. This kind of damage can definitely take a toll on your business and may even force you to close for a period of time. Should you happen to have this kind of emergency it is best to rely on the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We respond 24/7 and have the special training and equipment needed to safely clean your sewer backup and get your business back up and running in a timely manner. Let us help you make your sewer back up “Like it never even happened.”

Weather Alert Radios

5/3/2019 (Permalink)

As we start to enter the season of thunderstorms it is important to be prepared in case of an emergency. While a first-aid kit, bottled water, and non-perishable food are important to keep on hand so is a weather alert radio. A weather alert radio can be just as important as a smoke detector and when it comes to storms time is crucial so you can get your family to safety. NOAA weather alert radios range in price anywhere from $25-$100 and can be found at just about any of the major retail stores. Below are some benefits to having a weather alert radio.

  • You can program it so that it only sends alerts that are specific to your area. It will immediately sound a warning once an alert for your area is issued by the National Weather Service.
  • The alert is loud so you can even hear it when you are asleep.
  • They can operate on battery backup so you won’t have to worry about it working if you lose power. If you are someone who tends to forget to check battery life or live in an area that experiences frequent extended power outages they also have emergency crank weather alert radios.

Garage Fires

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

In our area we have seen an increase in garage fires. Every year, there are 6,600 garage fires in homes that result in an average of $457 million in property loss with the leading cause being electrical malfunction. The following are some tips to follow to help prevent a garage fire from happening to you.

  • Store oil, gasoline, paints, propane and varnishes in a shed away from your home.
  • Keep items that can burn on shelves away from appliances.
  • Plug only one charging appliance into an outlet.
  • Don’t use an extension cord when charging an appliance.
  • Keep the garage tidy and remove clutter.
  • Install a heat alarm as these will sound if the temperature rises too high.
  • Do not use or install solid-fuel burning devices such as wood, pellet, or coal in garages where gasoline and other flammable vapors may be present.

Sometimes it's the Water you Can't See that can Cause the Most Damage

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Sometimes it the water you can’t see that can cause the most damage. That is why it is important to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will use a moisture meter to determine where the moisture is so we are not doing any unnecessary demo. The following are some signs that your home may have water damage.

Water accumulation is the most obvious sign. If you have areas of standing or pooling water it can lead to a bigger problem such as mold.

If you suspect water damage in the ceiling look for water spots and stains. It can appear wet or dry and may be discolored. Walls may also have bubbling, cracking or peeling paint or wallpaper.

Flooring can also show discoloration like walls and ceilings but the main sign of water damage in floors is detected by changes in texture. Water seeping into the floor boards and areas underneath them can cause warping, buckling, sagging, and expansion to happen.

Odor is another telltale sign you may have a water problem. This is a result of mold and mildew buildup in areas where water has been accumulating for a while such as basements and walls.

319-754-8050

Preparing for a Windstorm

4/2/2019 (Permalink)

It is that time of year in the Midwest when we start worrying about storms and the possible damage they can do. Most people probably don’t think about windstorms but they can be just as dangerous as thunderstorms. Wind speeds during a windstorm typically exceed 34 miles per hour. Depending on the severity windstorms can down trees and power lines and even potentially wreck vehicles and homes. Following are some tips to help protect your property and prepare for this kind of storm.

Check for any old or loose shingles and repair if needed as these could come off during a windstorm.

Remove any dead trees or shrubs which are too close to your home and any power lines.

Make sure your garage door is reinforced and can withstand high winds. Should your garage door come flying off it can leave the contents vulnerable.

Watch the forecast and if it has the potential for high winds secure your backyard and patio furniture as it has the potential to not only damage property but can also injure people.

Should you need storm damage repair don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our professionals are available 24/7 to assist you in your time of need. Stay safe this storm season!

Preparing your Commercial Property for a Flood

3/29/2019 (Permalink)

Right now in our area we are dealing with some minor flooding. With more chances of rain and all that snow from up North eventually headed our way I want to provide you with some tips to help protect your commercial property from a flood.

Check your insurance plan- Most policies don’t cover flood damage and the loss of income that can result. So check and see if it is possible for you to add flood coverage.

Basements are vulnerable to flooding. So if you have a basement caulk any cracks on interior walls, extend downspouts, and re-grade the landscape so water runs away from the building. You can also install a sump pump to protect against seeping groundwater or minor floods. If water is a recurring problem, apply a waterproof sealant to foundation cracks, framing joints, and the floor.

Regularly clean your gutters and storm drains.

Keep backup copies of important documents. These documents can include but not limited to insurance documents and vendor contact information.

Prepare ahead of time a map showing where key equipment is and know how to shut off the mains for electrical, fuel, and water supply.

Last but not least, don’t wait to move or act. Heed official advice for evacuations or other measures and carefully consider the best evacuation routes.

Document Freeze Drying

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

I went over a little bit about our document restoration services in a previous blog. For this blog I am going to go into a little more detail about the freeze drying process and why it is effective over just letting them air dry.

To start off vacuum freeze drying is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and also the General Services Administration. This process involves freezing an item containing moisture and then it is dried using vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation. In order to prevent further damage it is important that your water damaged documents be frozen as quickly as possible.

  • We use 10x12x15 banker boxes to store your water damaged documents and label each box so in the future it can easily be found and returned to you.
  • We will then ship these items to a cold storage facility until those items are needed.

Vacuum freeze drying is just the first step in the process of restoring your water damaged documents. We will also clean, sterilize, deodorize, and if they can’t be restored we also offer certified destruction. Should you find yourself dealing with water damaged documents, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington to help restore them.

What to do Before the Professionals Arrive

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in any part of your home can be stressful and you may be thinking, "What do I do next?" First step would be to identify the source of incoming water and shutoff or stop the water source if possible. Next would be to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington but there are some things you can do before we arrive, which I will list below, but first and foremost safety should be your top priority. You need to determine if it is safe to stay in the house and only do activities that are safe for you to perform.

  • Remove excess water by mopping.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • If it's summertime turn on air conditioning for maximum drying.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

While these are some things you can do before we arrive the following is a list of what you shouldn't do.

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

The professionals here at SERVPRO of Burlington are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to respond to your emergency. We can help make it "Like it never even happened."

319-754-8050

Daylight Saving Time

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. Also, 71% of smoke alarms that failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries. A good way to remember to check them is to do it when Daylight Saving Time starts and ends since you have to change your clocks forward or backward. Also at these times it is important to check your carbon monoxide detectors, if you have them, and change batteries if needed.  So, this weekend when we Spring forward check your smoke detectors and change batteries if needed. Smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing deaths and injuries as long as you properly maintain them. Check those detectors and don’t forget to spring forward an hour this weekend!

Commercial Fire Preparedness

2/27/2019 (Permalink)

Office fires lead to millions of dollars of property damage every year. This is why it is important to make sure your business is prepared in case disaster strikes.

Maintenance- Many fires are caused by equipment and machinery that is old, poorly repaired, dirty, or otherwise unmaintained or defective. Regular maintenance checks are important so that you can catch any problems before they cause bigger issues.

Proper Safety Equipment- Install automatic sprinklers and extinguishers in your commercial building just in case a fire does happen as this will help to lessen damage. Also make sure all employees know how to use the fire extinguishers correctly. It is also important to have clearly marked exit signs so you and your employees don't struggle to find the way out during a fire.

Watch for Fire Hazards- Keep an eye out for fire hazards such as faulty wiring and replace if found. Also store flammable materials appropriately and keep escape routes clear and free of clutter.

Emergency Procedures- Make sure your business has a fire safety plan and if not develop one. It is important to review this plan with your employees on a regular basis so they are prepared in case of an emergency.

SERVPRO of Burlington can create what’s called an Emergency READY Profile for your business. When disaster strikes you don’t want to have to fumble around trying to find numbers for important contacts such as your gas or water company. The ERP is a detailed assessment of your building, inside and out. We take pictures and put all important contact information in one spot so in your time of need all that information is readily available. Contact us today to set up an ERP for your business.

Should a fire happen at your building call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will work to make it "Like it never even happened."

319-754-8050

Preventing Mold in your HVAC System

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

One of the best places to start in preventing mold in your home is your HVAC system. If it is not cared for properly mold can buildup and spread throughout your home. The following are some tips to help prevent mold in your HVAC system.

  • First and foremost, make sure your HVAC system is sized properly. If it is too small it will run constantly which in turn elevates costs. On the other hand, if it is too big, it will constantly start and stop, which also wastes energy.
  • Replace your air filters regularly- It is advised to change them at least once a month. If they become wet and dirty they become inefficient at trapping mold spores and other contaminants.
  • Apply an HVAC mold inhibitor- Important: You need to apply an EPA-approved disinfectant that is labeled for us in HVAC systems before applying the inhibitor. A mold inhibitor will help to prevent mold and mildew growth in your HVAC system.
  • Check your air intakes- Keep the areas below air intakes clean by removing standing water and anything else that can contaminate your air.
  • Eliminate clutter- Keep furniture and other items away from vents as this can block airflow. On humid, still days, run a couple fans to keep the air moving.
  • Monitor humidity- Use an indoor humidity monitor, which can be purchased at most hardware stores, and make sure your humidity level falls between 35-50%, which is an ideal level. If you reach 60% relative humidity, you should start looking for the source of the added moisture because if it continues to rise and gets above 70% certain species of mold can begin growing.

Should you want your HVAC system cleaned, SERVPRO of Burlington can help out. Give us a call to set up an appointment.

319-754-8050

Protecting your Fire Sprinkler System Pipes

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

In a previous post I wrote about the different types of fire sprinkler systems so for this one I want to dive deeper into how to protect these pipes from freezing. Typically these type of pipes get pushed to the back of your mind but these are just as important to keep protected also.

  • If you lose heating in your building and it cannot be restored immediately it is important to shut off your fire sprinkler system and completely drain it.
  • Properly insulate any of these pipes that are located in exterior walls, unheated spaces, or ones that are exposed to extreme cold weather. It is recommended you use heat tracing that is UL-listed.
  • Drain any piping that is not required during the winter months, if possible. 
  • Regularly inspect your fire sprinkler system to make sure they are in good operating condition.

Should you run into an issue where these pipes break and cause water damage don't hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We are available 24/7 and will help return your business to normal.

319-754-8050

Blizzard Safety

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

With another round of snow forecast for this coming weekend, this is the time to talk about our winter weather. Not only can several inches of snow be an inconvenience but so can the winds that come along with it. A severe snowstorm that has strong sustained winds of at least 35 mph and that last for three or more hours is considered a blizzard. Not only can this type of storm cause damage to your home but it can also bring whiteout conditions making it extremely unsafe to travel.

It is recommended to keep an emergency kit stocked for your home and your car as well. For your home kit you should include candles, flashlights, warm blankets, non-perishable food, drinking water, and a backup heat source just to name a few. In case you must travel during a blizzard, although it is not recommended, your kit should include water, jumper cables, road flares, tow rope, and non-perishable snacks. This kit comes in handy should your car break down, you get into an accident, or become stuck in the snow. It is important that you stay with your car unless you see a building nearby.

I hope everyone stays safe and keeps warm this winter!

Common Types of Mold

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

While not all mold is dangerous some can affect your health. I've gone over how to spot mold in your home and the steps we take to remedy your mold problem. Below I will list the three most common types of mold found in homes and where they are typically located.

  • Aspergillus is most commonly found indoors growing on dust and powdery building materials, such as drywall.
  • Cladosporium can grow in cool areas as well as warm ones. It is most commonly found on fabrics and wood surfaces.
  • Stachybotrys chartarum, also known as black mold, requires very high moisture content in order to grow. Due to it needing moisture it can sometimes be found in air conditioning pipes and ducts. You may also notice this kind of mold in water-damaged buildings.

Should you come across any of these types of mold in your home call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We have the advanced techniques and equipment to restore your home back to a safe environment.

319-754-8050

Commercial Weather Preparedness

1/2/2019 (Permalink)

If you own a commercial building or run a business it is important to have a plan in place in case severe weather strikes. Having a plan helps you to protect your building, your employees and any customers, and your equipment. Listed below are some helpful planning tips to keep your business up and running during any kind of severe weather.

  • Inspect your building for any kinds of weaknesses, such as cracks near doors and windows or any loose trim that has the potential to blow off and injure someone.
  • Clear snow and ice regularly from your entryways, sidewalks, and roofs. You don't want to take the chance of a customer slipping and falling outside.
  • Make sure your business's insurance coverage can cover any damages that may occur from severe weather and update if necessary.
  • Compile important numbers such as the fire department, insurance company, and electrician just to name a few. This is where an ERP can be helpful as the program contains all that information.
  • Review your equipment and systems that keep your business running, such as computers and manufacturing equipment.

Should you run into any damage after the weather has cleared don't hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington.

Storm Damage Restoration

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Along with fire and water damage restoration SERVPRO of Burlington also provides storm damage cleanup and restoration. Once the storm has passed we will respond quickly to assess your needs and get the restoration process started. A quick response helps prevent secondary damage and also helps to reduce restoration costs.

We are a trusted leader in the storm and water damage industry and our technicians have the advanced training and expertise to return your home back to pre-storm condition. Along with advanced training we also have a lot of hands-on experience and advanced equipment to help in the restoration process. Along with helping out locally we can also access the resources and personnel of 1,700 Franchises to handle major storms and disasters. Don't hesitate to call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington for all your storm damage needs. We can help make it "Like it never even happened."

Fire Sprinkler Systems

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

If you own a commercial property it is important to have a fire sprinkler system installed if there is not already one. Most sprinkler systems are designed to only release water from pipes when temperatures rise and will provide an appropriate amount of water to extinguish fires before they continue to grow and spread and cause more damage. These systems also have the ability to reduce how much smoke is produced from a fire. There are four different systems that can be installed and below I will explain the difference between each one.

  1. Pre-action sprinkler systems don't have water in the pipes until an actual emergency occurs. An electronically operated valve holds the water back and the pipes are filled with pressurized air or nitrogen. These systems are typically used in facilities with truly valuable items.
  2. Wet pipe sprinkler systems are just like they sound in that the pipes are constantly filled with water, allowing them to react quickly in the event of a fire. These are typically found in high-rise buildings.
  3. Dry-pipe sprinkler systems are filled with pressurized air and when a fire happens this pressurized air is released and the water is allowed to flow from the control valve outside the protected area.
  4. Deluge sprinkler systems sometimes use water to put down the flames but will often use dry chemicals or foam. The reason for this is because these systems tend to be used in industrial facilities since they tend to have more highly combustible materials. Due to this the sprinkler system will also have multiple sprinklers because due to the combustible materials a fire could spread a lot quicker.

Hidden Water

12/28/2018 (Permalink)

Not only can the water you see after a water emergency be an issue but so can the water that you can't see. Water can absorb into flooring, drywall, and ceilings, as well as wooden support beams and sheetrock. If these areas aren't also taken care of mold can start to grow and that can not only cause more damage but it can also affect your health. The following are signs of hidden water leaks which can lead to mold.

  • Excess water or moisture can create a musty smell when it gets absorbed into building materials.
  • If you notice mold on walls or baseboards that is a good sign there is a hidden water leak somewhere.
  • If you have visible stains on your walls and they continue to get bigger that is something that needs addressed.
  • Check for separation in the wallpaper along the seams or even flaking paint. 
  • Last but not least stained or buckled ceilings and floors are another good indicator of hidden water damage. If you see this also check the nearby walls for signs of water damage. 

Addressing these issues yourself can be pretty extensive and difficult to do. This is why it is smart to call SERVPRO of Burlington. We have the highly trained professionals who will respond to your home quickly with advanced mold remediation techniques and equipment

SERVPRO of Burlington

319-754-8050

Ice Storms

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

This time of the year is the perfect time to talk about ice storms because our area is prime for freezing rain and they most often occur during the months of December and January. Annually we have on average 12-15 hours of freezing rain. Something you may not know about ice storms is that urban areas tend to suffer more economic and physical damage than rural areas because of the concentration of utilities and transportation systems.

According to most meteorologists, just one-quarter of an inch of ice accumulation can add about 500 pounds of weight per line span. This can cause falling branches and can also tear down power and telephone lines. If more than a half-inch of ice occurs and damage is widespread, it can take a while to remove trees and repair power lines. This can result in a loss of electricity and heat for several days. This is why it is important to make sure you have an emergency kit filled with flashlights, battery-powered radios, candles, and matches just to name a few items. Stay safe this winter season!

Heating Safety Tips

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February. The following are some tips from the NFPA to help prevent these kinds of fires.

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires or space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer's instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month.

Water Heater Damage

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

While you may worry about frozen pipes this time of year don't forget to make sure your water heater is in good working order. According to an IBHS study, water heater failure is one of the top five sources of residential water damage. That damage can cost up into the thousands of dollars to repair.

  • Unnoticed leak- Most of the time if your water heater has a water leak it is usually a slow leak that can go unnoticed for days. It is advised that you regularly inspect your water heater and pipes around the unit for any signs of leakage.
  • Regular inspections- Flushing the water heater tank about twice a year can help to eliminate sediment buildup. Regular inspections can also help you to determine if you should replace your unit.

The following are some tips to help you recognize when your water heater is about to fail.

  • Water doesn't get as hot as it used to.
  • There's rust in water coming from your faucets or on your clothes.
  • Your hot water heater makes cracking and popping sounds when it's heating.
  • There's a metallic taste in your hot water.
  • Rust is forming on the outside and bottom of your water heater.
  • A puddle is forming under your water heater.
  • The burner units have become clogged or rusty.

It is important that you call a plumber or a water heater specialist if you notice any of these signs to help prevent damage.

Should the worst happen and your water heater causes damage call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Pack Out Services for your Content

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Along with providing fire and water damage restoration services we also provide content pack out services. While our team starts the mitigation process we can pack up contents at your home or business that need cleaned or would be in the way during the cleanup process. Our pack out process involves photographing what we put into each box and then we go ahead and label that box so it is easily found when it is needed. We will then take them back to our shop and either clean them if need be and/or store them until the mitigation process is complete. While SERVPRO of Burlington works to make your fire and water damage "Like it never even happened." we also understand the importance of your items and will treat them as such. Trust the professionals here at SERVPRO of Burlington and call us if you ever find yourself facing an emergency.

Space Heater Safety

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

While space heaters can help save you money on your energy bills there are a few things you need to keep in mind when deciding to go this route. 

  • Buy a space heater that is rated for your need. A heater that is too large for a certain area can lead to higher energy bills due to it consuming lots of energy. On the other hand, if you buy one that is rated too small for your space it will have to work harder to heat the space.
  • It's suggested that you place your space heater at least three feet away from furniture, window treatments, bedding, clothing, rugs, and other combustibles. There is a chance a fire can start if these items touch the heating element of the space heater. Also make sure to place the space heater on a hard level surface so there is less chance of it tipping over.
  • Make sure the heater you purchase carries a label from either UL, ETL, or CSA. These are safety consulting and certification companies.
  • It is a good idea to purchase a space heater that has tip-over and overheat protection. A heater that has tip-over protection will automatically shut off if it tips over for any reason. Overheat protection is when the space heater uses a temperature sensor and when an unsafe temperature is detected, there is a switch that automatically shuts off the unit.
  • Plug the space heater directly into an outlet instead of an extension cord. There is an increased risk of fires if plugged into an extension cord.
  • Frequently clean and maintain it to ensure it's working safely. Wiping it down is also important as this helps reduce the amount of dust and allergens that can spread.
  • Turn off and unplug the space heater if not in use to reduce the chance of a fire.
  • Last but not least keep heaters away from water such as in a bathroom or a damp basement.

Preventing Frozen Pipes

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

According to consumer reports, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during frigid weather and can cause thousands in water damage. Following are some tips to help prevent your pipes from freezing.

  • Keep garage doors closed.
  • If you open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors it will let warmer air circulate around those pipes.
  • Let cold water drip from a faucet served by exposed pipes.
  • Leave the thermostat set to the same temperature no matter the time of day.
  • Don't turn off your heat if you plan to be away during cold weather. Instead set it to a temperature that is no lower than 55 degrees.
  • Add insulation to attics, basements, and crawl spaces.

If the above prevention methods don't work and you come across a frozen pipe here's what you need to do.

  • Turn on a faucet. The water that flows through will help to melt the ice in the pipe.
  • Apply heat to the section of pipe that is frozen using an electric hair dryer, electric heating pad wrapped around the pipe, a portable space heater, or by wrapping pipes with towels soaked in hot water. It is important that you DO NOT use any device with an open flame as this could start a fire.
  • Apply heat until full water pressure is restored.
  • Call a licensed plumber if you cannot locate the frozen area, if the frozen area is not accessible, or if you have trouble thawing the pipe.

Importance of Cleaning Dryer Vents

12/11/2018 (Permalink)

Film buildup on a dryer vent

Most dryer sheets are made from a nonwoven polyester material coated with a softening agent. This softening agent can leave a film on your lint trap and can block airflow which can sometimes cause your dryer to overheat or cause your dryer to stop before your load is completely dry. Another way to tell if the screen is clogged is if lint falls off while the screen is in the dryer. This film can also make it hard to remove lint because it has blocked holes in the filter and adhered to some of the lint. It is recommended to clean your lint screen of this film every 6 months, or more frequently, if needed. Listed below are steps on how to clean your lint screen.

  1. Roll lint off screen with your fingers.
  2. Wet both sides of the lint screen with hot water.
  3. Wet a nylon brush with hot water and liquid detergent. Scrub lint screen with the brush to remove film buildup.
  4. Rinse screen with hot water. 
  5. Thoroughly dry the lint screen with a clean towel. Reinstall the screen in the dryer.
  6. Clean space where lint screen is located as needed. Using a vacuum, gently remove any lint that has accumulated outside of the lint screen.

Training is Important to Us

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington is an IICRC firm. IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification. This organization sets the standards for the restoration industry and also provides training and certification to restoration companies. Our technicians can receive certifications in specific cleaning, restoration, and inspection categories such as upholstery, wood flooring, stone and tile flooring, carpet cleaning, odor removal, mold remediation, water damage, fire damage restoration and more. 

Not only can our staff complete IICRC certifications but our staff also has access to web-based training. This is a voluntary program and can be done at our staff's own pace. Video presentations and support materials are followed by a knowledge test at the end of each module. This keeps not only our technicians but our office staff up to speed on industry standards and the professional quality you expect.

SERVPRO of Burlington specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, rest assure our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Community Involvement

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Along with working to restore your home back to normal after you experience water or fire damage we also play a vital role in our community.

We are members of the Burlington and Mt. Pleasant Chamber of Commerce's. Along with that we are also members of Kiwanis in Burlington, Southeast Iowa Property Owners Association, and the Wapello Community Club. Since we are members of these organizations; we have done golf outings where we sponsor a hole and do giveaways and hand out treats. We have also done golf outings where we grill and provide all the food for lunch during a golf tournament. We have several of these golf outings throughout the summer.  During the winter months we also have a booth at the Burlington Holiday Showcase and also at the Burlington Home Show where we hand out all sorts of goodies and provide informational material about the services we provide. We have also volunteered to cook for the boy scouts. Last but not least we drive in our local parades and throw out some yummy candy. We always look forward to meeting new people!

SERVPRO of Burlington takes great pride in being a part of the community and we want to do our part to ensure the community thrives.

Holiday Time

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

With the holidays coming up there also comes an increased risk of house fires. At this time of year people are doing more cooking for their family and friends and not only that but we are also starting to put up decorations such as lights and Christmas trees.

The following are some statistics about fires this time of year. According to the United States Fire Administration, from 2004-2008, an average of 260 home fires each year started with Christmas trees. Another 150 home fires per year were caused by decorative and holiday lights. Home fires involving cooking peak on dates that are major U.S. holidays with traditions of cooking, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Christmas Eve.

If your home or business experiences a fire, you want to call a restoration company you can trust. Our technicians are highly trained and will respond to your home as quickly as possible at any time of the day to help lessen the damage and limit secondary damage. A fast response also helps to reduce costs. SERVPRO of Burlington can help to make it "Like it never even happened."

Advanced Technology

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

There has been a rapid advancement in the technology and techniques used in our industry. These advancements allow our professionals to restore your property back to preloss condition not only quickly but more reliably and more effectively.

An infrared camera may be used to identify water location where you are unable to see such as behind walls and under flooring which in turn helps for thorough water removal. Moisture detectors such as a hygrometer measure the extent of moisture saturation.

Once our professionals have located the source of the moisture we then use powerful extraction equipment to speed the drying process. Submersible and gas-powered pumps are used for continuous pumping of high-level water. Truck-mounted and portable extraction units perform efficient water removal. 

After our professionals have extracted all the excess water that's when the drying equipment comes into play. Our professionals use industrial strength air movers which cause moisture to evaporate at a faster pace and dehumidifiers which pull the water vapor from the air.

After all this has been done our professionals use machines that remove airborne contaminants and control the air quality such as air scrubbers, thermal foggers, and deodorization agents. Our professionals may also need to use OSHA-approved cleaning agents to help remove odors and/or contaminants on your property such as deodorization products which control odors from excessive moisture and disinfection products which stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms.

If you want your property returned to preloss condition trust the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We have the right equipment and techniques to get the job done.

Tips to Prevent Water Damage

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

1. Think about where you plant- Some plants and trees have roots that can wrap around your pipes and break them so it's best to plant in a spot where your roots won't get near your water lines.

2. Clean your gutters- If your gutters are not cleaned regularly of leaves, sticks, and other debris, on a rainy day that clogged gutter can send water into your home's foundation and even go as far as going into the basement.

3. Monitor your water bill- If you notice your bill is uncommonly high, it's a pretty good sign that you have a leak somewhere that needs to be fixed. Also make sure to fix these leaks right away because if not it could lead to mold, mildew, dry rot, or even structural damage.

4. Check your appliances regularly- Checking them regularly can help you catch a leak before it causes any damage. For example, old and brittle washing machine hoses are among the most frequent causes of water loss for homeowners.

5. Install water detection devices- It is a small electronic device that sounds an alarm when its sensor comes in contact with moisture. It is recommended to install it near water heaters, sump pumps, washing machines, dishwashers, and toilets to prevent extensive damage and mold growth.

In the even of a water damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Burlington. Our technicians can make it "Like it never even happened."

Myths vs Facts about Mold

7/29/2018 (Permalink)

This is what we found in the duct system/vents in the IT room of a business who complained of a "moldy" odor.

1. Myth: ALL mold is bad.

    Fact: While some mold is bad not all is. Mold        is used in the making of blue cheese and              penicillin.

2. Myth: ALL mold causes health problems.

    Fact: While mold can certainly cause health          problems it is not true that all molds cause          health problems in people. Molds produce            allergens and not everyone is allergic to these.

3. Myth: There should be no mold inside. 

   Fact: In reality mold is all around us and is very natural. The problem comes when the concentration of mold indoors is high.

4. Myth: Bleach kills mold.

Fact: Bleach may kill certain kinds on non-porous surfaces, however, it is not clear that bleach can kill all kinds of mold nor kill mold on porous surfaces such as wood.

5. Myth: Killing mold is enough. There is no need to remove it

Fact: Killing mold is NOT enough. Killing mold does not remove the health effects as the allergens are still present even in dead mold.

6. Myth: Mold is natural. There is no need to worry about it. 

Fact: While mold may be natural, consistent exposure to mold can have negative effects on one's health.

7. Myth: If you only see a little mold it's probably nothing to worry about.

Fact: If you see a little bit of mold you most likely have more growing under the surface out of site.

8. Myth: Cleaning up mold isn't hard. You should do it yourself.

Fact: While you may be able to clean up certain kinds of mold in small quantities most people are not equipped to do proper mold remediation. Simply wiping it down is not good enough. This is why you should call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington if you have a mold problem so we can properly clean it and keep it from spreading.

319-754-8050

Smoke and Soot Damage

7/28/2018 (Permalink)

Not only can a fire cause damage to your home but smoke and soot can as well. During a fire and minutes after it has been extinguished, soot and smoke can spread quickly throughout your home and settle. If not responded to immediately it can discolor certain items and stain. Wood may need refinishing. Walls will begin to yellow and not only that but your clothes might be permanently stained. The restoration process becomes more difficult if your house/items are left untreated for weeks. Another important thing to consider is that the chemicals from whatever went up in flames can be detrimental to your health.

While a fire can be devastating let us here at SERVPRO of Burlington help make it "Like it never even happened." Our IICRC technicians are certified in fire restoration and will handle your home with professionalism and care. 

SERVPRO of Burlington

319-754-8050

Summer Storms

6/29/2018 (Permalink)

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

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

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

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Prevention

  • 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.

Campfire Safety

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

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

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

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."

319-754-8050

Lightning Damage

5/11/2018 (Permalink)

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."
319-754-8050

Mold Removal Process

4/27/2018 (Permalink)

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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."

Grilling Season

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

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.

319-754-8050

Water and Hardwood Floors

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

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

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

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

Multipurpose tool

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.

319-754-8050

Vandalism to a Commercial Property

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Vandalism is an action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property without the owner's permission. According to the Urban Institute, vandals typically strike during the late evening hours when business property is unattended. A majority of acts of vandalism are crimes of opportunity and buildings are usually hit because they are unprotected and easily accessible.

Vandalism can affect your property in many ways. It can damage your property which in turn requires time, effort, and money to repair. It can also cause your business to lose income if what was vandalized is essential to your operations and cannot be used. Graffiti and other types of defacement can have a negative effect on your company's image. Damaged property may be unattractive to potential buyers or tenants which can lower the value of your property.

The following are some ways you can help prevent vandalism happening to your property.

  • Make sure you fix the problem as soon as possible. Doing this sends a message that you care about your property and won't tolerate the vandalism.
  • Your police department can't respond to crimes if they don't know about them so make sure you contact them as soon as you discover an act of vandalism.
  • By sharing information with other business owners that have been vandalized you can find out if there are patterns like whether they are striking at a certain time of day or certain days of the week.
  • You could start a business watch group which is about the same thing as a neighborhood watch group. Members can help reduce crime by keeping an eye on each other's property.
  • Properties that are kept clean and free of trash may not be as appealing to vandals as properties that aren't well maintained.
  • Making sure your property is well-lit at night can help prevent vandals from defacing your property.
  • Installing cameras can help police should a vandalism happen to you. Police can use the recorded video to help catch the perpetrators.
  • Installing break-resistant glass can make it difficult for vandals to penetrate.
  • Consider installing fencing or planting shrubbery to deter individuals from striking your property.
  • Should a vandalism happen to you call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our trained professionals will respond quickly and along with removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls we can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

319-754-8050

Mold in your Bathroom

3/22/2018 (Permalink)

Due to the amount of moisture that comes from showering, taking a bath, using the sink, etc. your bathroom can become a breeding ground for mold. Not only does mold not look good on your walls, tub, and shower it can also be a hazard to you and your family's health. Even though there is constant moisture in a bathroom there are a few things you can do to help prevent mold from appearing on your bathroom surfaces.

  • You should wipe down your shower walls and sinks after each use. Using a dry towel to wipe down wet surfaces can minimize the moisture left on those surfaces.
  • Make sure to fix leaks if there are any. Don't forget to check under your sink and around bathroom windows. Fixing these leaks can help keep the moisture level at a minimum.
  • Good circulation is also key. One of the biggest reasons moisture stays trapped in bathrooms is due to poor air circulation. Using an exhaust fan or even opening a window can help to circulate the air. Dehumidifiers and portable air conditioners are also other great options to help with air circulation.

If your mold has gotten out of hand or is something you think would be better left to the professionals, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington. Our trained professionals will respond quickly to your place of residence and will remediate your mold problem in a timely and efficient manner.

319-754-8050

Spring Has Arrived

3/21/2018 (Permalink)

Spring is finally here!

Now that Spring has arrived it's time to do some maintenance on your home. Following is a list of things you should check out and fix/repair if needed.

Gutters and Downspouts- Remove leaves and debris and also make sure to check for leaks

Siding- Clean siding with a pressure washer and check wood surfaces for weathering and paint failure

Window Sills, Door Sills, and Thresholds- Fill cracks, caulk edges, and repaint or replace if necessary

Foundation- Check foundation walls, floors, concrete, and masonry for cracking, heaving, or deterioration

Roof- Inspect roof surface flashing, eaves, and soffits

Decks and Porches- Check all decks, patios, porches, stairs, and railings for loose pieces and deterioration

Landscape- Cut back and trim all vegetation and overgrown bushes from structures

Sprinklers- Check lawn sprinkler system for leaky valves, exposed lines, and improperly working sprinkler heads

Heat/Air Unit- Change filters and clean the air purifier as needed. Have your ducts professionally cleaned. It'll make your indoor air quality healthier and your furnace more efficient

Importance of Sump Pumps

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

A sump pump is a pump used to remove water that has accumulated in a water-collecting sump basin, commonly found in the basements of homes. They are typically used in homes where flooding in the basement happens regularly. Sump pumps send water away from a house to any place where it is no longer problematic.

Along with helping with flooding in your basement sump pumps can also help to prevent rust and corrosion of metal appliances, prevent wall coverings and paint from peeling, and prevent termite and insect infestation. Sump pumps also helps to remove moisture, which can be a breeding ground for fungus, molds, and mildew.

In order to keep your sump pump working properly for years to come make sure you check it regularly to ensure that it is ready for flood conditions. 

Smoke Detectors Can Save Lives

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Research on fires has demonstrated that fires can spread much more quickly today due to modern furnishings than in the past when more natural materials were used. Due to this it is important to have the right number of smoke alarms that are placed properly throughout your home so you have ample time to escape should a fire happen to you. 

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. More than one-third of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present. The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

Here is some useful information when it comes to installing smoke alarms in your home:

  • Ideally you should install smoke alarms inside each bedroom and on every level of the home, even the basement
  • Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet away from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms
  • Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings
  • Installing smoke alarms near windows, door, or ducts may cause drafts to interfere with their operation
  • Never paint smoke alarms
  • Keep manufacturer's instructions for reference
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. If the alarm chirps on a smoke detector with a non-replaceable 10 year battery you need to replace the entire smoke alarm right away. Other smoke detectors need a new battery at least once a year and if they start chirping replace the battery right away.
  • Last but not least make sure everyone in your home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows what to do in case it sounds

Commercial Duct Cleaning

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

While you do general maintenance on your building you want to make sure you check your HVAC system to see if it needs a cleaning. Regular HVAC cleanings are important for several reasons.

Cleaning your system can improve the quality of indoor air. While filters may catch a lot of stuff there is still a considerable amount of dust that can settle in the ducts and when this happens that dust then gets pushed out into the air for us to ingest. This type of cleaning also conserves energy. Due to unwanted dust and debris it makes it harder for your HVAC system to properly perform and therefore requires the use of a lot more energy. Cleaning your ducts can also save you money. When they become filled with dust and debris that can stand in the way of the HVAC system's performance which will require it to use double the amount of energy it normally would. What you may not know is that dirty air ducts can sometimes be the cause of foul odors and you don't want clients or employees coming in and smelling an offensive odor. These odors occur when a variety of smells and impurities accumulate in the ducts and circulate those odors throughout the office. Another way cleaning your ducts is beneficial is that it can reduce the growth of mold and mildew. This condensation occurs when you change between hot and cold. Another thing that you may not think would be in your ducts is bugs and rodents. This more so true during the winter months when they will go anywhere to get some warmth. Gross? I know. That's why cleaning your ducts is so important. The professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington can help.

We will come and inspect your business and can show you how much dirt is in your HVAC system. We will then do an evaluation and an inspection so we can come up with a plan for remediation which lets you as the business owner know what we are doing and a timeframe for completion. 

Our certified technicians will then use professional equipment to get rid of pollutants. We will then clean all components of your HVAC system. We know that by doing this type of cleaning it can affect the operation of your business so we make sure there is the least amount of disruption possible. After we are done we will give you pictures so you can see the before and after work. Let us help you keep your HVAC system in top shape by providing regular cleanings!

319-754-8050

Tips to Follow During a Winter Storm

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

I went over how to prepare for a winter storm and what to do afterwards. Now I am going to list some tips for when you are in the middle of a winter storm that can help keep you and your family safe.

1. Stay indoors and only drive if it is absolutely necessary. If you must go out make sure you stick to the main roads and let others know where you are headed. Should you get stuck, stay with your vehicle and wait for help.

2. If you must go outside, walk carefully on snowy and icy walkways, wear mittens and a hat, and watch for signs of hypothermia and frostbite. When shoveling snow avoid overexertion by taking breaks and pushing the snow instead of lifting it.

3. Listen to the radio or television for updates on the weather conditions.

4. You can also conserve heat by closing off some rooms and keep family close for sleeping.

Commercial Mold Prevention

2/16/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can be found almost anywhere. It can grow on practically any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. Mold growth occurs when excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials. Not only can mold affect your property but it also has the potential to cause health effects. In order to prevent mold it is important to prevent moisture as that is what mold needs to grow. Below is some tips to help prevent mold at your commercial property.

1. Fix leaky plumbing and leaks in the building as soon as possible

2. Watch for condensation and wet spots and fix those problems as soon as possible

3. You can prevent moisture due to condensation by reducing the humidity in the air. It should be maintained below 60%. You can accomplish this by using air conditioners and de-humidifiers

4. Make sure your HVAC system is flowing properly and unobstructed. Also perform regular building inspections and do maintenance as scheduled

5. Vent moisture-generating appliances to the outside where possible

6. Clean and dry wet or damp spots as soon as possible

7. In areas where you have a constant moisture problem such as by drinking fountains, classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks don't install carpeting

Following these tips can help prevent mold from causing a major business interruption and prevent people from getting sick. We know that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue so if you find yourself in a situation where you have a mold problem call the professionals at SERVPRO of Burlington. We will respond quickly to remedy the problem and get your business back up and running.

After a Winter Storm

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Winter storms can cause a lot of damage. Once it is safe to do so you should check your property to see if anything needs repaired before it becomes a bigger problem. Following is a list of what you should check for possible damage.

1. The Roof- Winter storms can do a lot of damage to your roof. Repair any leaks found to prevent a complete roof replacement. Also make sure that your roof has no loose or missing shingles.

2. Attic- After checking the roof you should check to attic to make sure you didn't miss any openings in the roof.

3. Gutters- Ice dams can pull gutters away from the roofline.

4. House Exterior- Cold and snow can do a number on the outside of your house and can result in peeling paint if left long enough. If paint has peeled enough it can cause moisture to begin to infiltrate which can then cause the wood to begin rotting. It's recommended to repaint your exterior in the spring to help prevent these problems.

5. Foundation- Water can collect in cracks and then when the temperature goes below freezing that water will freeze and cause the cracks to widen. Repairing this in the spring can help prevent more problems from developing.

6. Trees- Storms can knock down tree limbs which has the potential to take out power lines and damage siding.

The Steps We Take To Remedy Your Mold Problem

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

The following is the steps our professionals will take to remedy your mold problem and restore your home back to normal.

Once you contact us one of our professionals will come and do an inspection and mold damage assessment to determine what plan of action to take to remedy your mold problem. Once that is done they will then contain the mold by using different containment procedures such as negative air chambers which isolate the area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep mold spores from spreading. Once the mold is contained we use specialized filtration equipment to capture the mold spores out of the air. We will then remove mold and mold-infested materials. We use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new ones from forming. Not only can we remedy your mold problem but we can also clean your furniture, decorative items, clothing, and other restorable items affected by the mold. Depending on the level of damage restoration may entail minor repairs such as replacing carpet to major repairs such as reconstruction of various areas.

319-754-8050

Why Fires Start in Commercial Buildings

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2015 there were 113,500 fires with property damages at $3.1 billion. Here are some common reasons why these fires start.

1. Arson- This is the number one cause of fires in commercial buildings. These types fires can not only result in harming innocent victims but also the dedicated firefighters who respond. These fires may be started by the owner for insurance purposes, unhappy workers, or mischievous youth.

2. Electrical and Heating Malfunctions- Frayed power cords, misused extension cords and overloaded surge protectors are the biggest issues when it comes to electrical fires. Also be sure to have your heating system checked regularly as fires can occur if they are not maintained regularly.

3. Cooking- One in four office building fires were related to cooking equipment. Cooking equipment can be to blame due to grease traps, exhaust vents, stoves, broilers, and deep fat fryers are not properly cleaned and maintained.

4. Smoking- Although you may have a smoke-free building you're not able to watch what your employees do all the time and it only takes one cigarette to start a fire.

If your business has been damaged by a fire don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Burlington. No matter the size of your building we have the expertise to restore your building back to normal.

319-754-8050

Signs of Mold in Your Home

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

1. Strange Odor: Due to the possibility of the mold being hidden sometimes the only way you can tell it is there is by a moldy smell. Don't ignore these odors even if you can't see any mold.

2. Appearance of Mold: Many people may not notice small amounts of mold growth or may think it's just soot or dirt. No matter how big it is you should take action immediately as a small problem can turn into a much bigger problem if not taken care of right away.

3. Moisture Problems: Signs of a moisture problem include water stains or discoloration on walls, floors or ceilings, in your house. These problems are usually created by leaks and if you already knew that you have had a water leak in the past then there is a good chance that you might have mold growing where the leak was.

4. Health Symptoms: Common allergic reactions to mold include sneezing, sore eyes and a runny nose or nasal congestion.

When you have a mold issue in your home call SERVPRO of Burlington and we will respond quickly so the problem doesn't continue to get worse. Our technicians have the experience and specialized equipment to quickly restore your property. Let SERVPRO make your mold problem "Like it never even happened."

319-754-8050

Sewage Backups

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

Should your sewer system back up it should be considered very dangerous and dealt with by the professionals. Depending on the category of water it could possibly contain bacteria and viruses that could cause serious illness. SERVPRO of Burlington has the special training and equipment to safely clean this type of contamination. We will inspect the contaminated water to determine what category it falls under and then plan the appropriate response to safely restore your home or business.

Category 1: This water originates from a sanitary source such as from broken clean water supply lines, clean water from a toilet tank or bowl, faucets, and bottled water. If not taken care of as soon as possible it can degrade into category 2 or 3.

Category 2: This water contains significant contamination. This kind of water can include washing machine overflow, toilet overflow with some urine but no feces, and dishwasher overflow. If not taken care of as soon as possible it can degrade into category 3.

Category 3: This water is grossly contaminated and may include sewage, flooding from rivers or streams, wind driven rain, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, and standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

How to Prepare for a Winter Storm

2/7/2018 (Permalink)

1. Protect pipes from freezing

2. Make sure your heating sources are clean and in working order

3. Make sure your home is properly insulated

4. Consider buying emergency heating equipment

5. Listen to local area radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates

6. Be prepared to evacuate if you lose power or heat

7. Check emergency kit to make sure nothing is missing or in short supply

8. Bring your animals inside and make sure livestock has access to shelter, food, and non-frozen water

9. Have a three day supply of water

10. Purchase a supply of flashlights

11. Make sure you have plenty of blankets

Follow these tips and you can ensure that you and your family will remain safe if a winter storm were to hit your area.

Commercial Water Damage

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can do a number to your commercial property and when you find yourself in that situation you want knowledgeable people to respond quickly so you can get back to business because we understand that every hour spent waiting is an hour of lost revenue. Whether your business is small or large we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration start to finish so we can get you and your business back up and running to make money. Not only can we restore your property back to normal but we can also restore all the contents that may have also been damaged. Our crews are IICRC certified so you can trust that they have the proper skills to get the job done right.  Let SERVPRO of Burlington make it "Like it never even happened."

Fire Preparedness

2/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be devastating when they happen to you or a loved one. In a matter of mere minutes a residence can be engulfed in flames. Here are some tips to help you prepare ahead of time so you know what to do just in case a fire happens to you.

1. Make sure you install smoke alarms on every level of your home and check them monthly to make sure they work properly

2. Have a working fire extinguisher

3. Keep matches and lighters up high away from children and make sure they know what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when it goes off

4. Plan two escape routes and a meeting spot outside the home and make sure all household members know this information. Practice escaping twice a year.

5. Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1

6. Take pictures to document what you own so you can show the insurance company in case a fire happens to you

7. Sleep with your door closed

8. Teach household members to stop, drop, and roll if their clothes should catch on fire

What You Can Do to Prevent Mold In Your Home

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

1. Check your home for problem areas

- Find out where your problem areas are such as; does your basement flood? Do you notice frequent condensation on windows? Etc. Fixing these problems may cost some money upfront but can help in preventing future mold problems.

2. Prevent Moisture with Proper Ventilation

-Vent appliances such as your clothes dryer and stove to the outside instead of the attic or crawl space. Also use AC units and dehumidifiers but make sure that you clean and inspect them regularly

3. Monitor Humidity Indoors

-The EPA recommends keeping indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent. You can use a moisture meter to check the humidity. Also pay attention to condensation on windows, pipes, and walls.

4. Direct Water Away From Your Home

-Water can collect at your foundation and seep into your basement if it isn't properly sloped away from the house

5. Keep Mold Off Household Plants

-Adding Taheebo tea to the water you give your houseplants can help hinder mold growth. This can be found at natural food stores.

6. Check Your Crawl Space

-Wall to wall vapor barriers should be installed over the ground and up sidewalls to 6 inches below floor joists. By doing this you can trap the moisture in the ground.

7. Call a Professional

If you suspect you have a mold issue and the job is too big for you to handle call SERVPRO. They can remediate the problem and give you peace of mind that your family's health won't be affected by allergens and irritants.

Winter House Fires

2/5/2018 (Permalink)

December, January, and February are the peak months for heating fires. There are things that you can do to prevent these fires from happening to you. Make sure you blow out candles when you leave a room and keep them out of reach of children and pets. If you use a space heater make sure you plug it directly into an outlet and not an extension cord. Also make sure to keep them away from curtains, bedding, and furniture. Don't leave your oven unattended when cooking or use it to heat your house. Last but not least don't forget about items in your garage and if you're able to; store flammable items in a shed away from the home. If unable to do that you can install a heat alarm that will sound if the temperature raises too high. Stay safe this winter!

How to Handle Frozen and Broken Pipes

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes can be a common occurrence this time of year but what should you do when those frozen pipes then break? First, you should shut off your water and, if necessary, electricity so as not to make the problem worse. Second, call a plumber so they can come repair the broken pipe/pipes. Last but not least call the professionals as soon as you can so the damage doesn't continue to get worse. SERVPRO has the proper equipment to extract water quickly and efficiently. Once dry our technicians will clean the affected area with professional grade cleaning and sanitizing agents but not only that we will also clean your furniture, upholstery, clothing, and other restorable belongings that were damaged by the water. SERVPRO can make this "Like it never even happened."

Space Heater Safety

2/2/2018 (Permalink)

According to USA Today space heaters cause about one-third of all winter house fires and 80 percent of all winter heating fire deaths. They also account for more than 70 percent of all winter fire injuries and half of all property damage caused in heating fires. What can you do to prevent this from happening to you?

Look for space heaters with tip-over and overheat protection

Place your heaters at least 3 feet away from furniture, curtains, bedding, clothing, rugs, and other combustibles

DO NOT plug into an extension cord instead plug directly into an outlet

On a regular basis inspect and maintain your heater

Unplug when not in use

Keep away from water

If you follow these tips you can help prevent a tragic fire from happening to you.

Make Selling your Home Easier!

7/28/2017 (Permalink)

Preparing to put your home on the market? Make sure to follow some of these steps to get your house listed and sold quickly.

CARPET!

Getting your house properly cleaned and ready for showings can help speed your selling process along. Clean floors and carpets will make the presentation of your house stronger and more appealing to potential buyers. 

AIR DUCTS!

Clean air ducts can eliminate possible odors and allergens, as well as improve operating efficiencies. Clean ducts = Clean air!

MOLD!

Make sure to repair any water leaks or past water loss damages. If you have had water damage in the past, be sure to have a professional check for any mold growth or lingering damages. 

SOLD!

There is proof that a clean and fresh smelling home sells faster. A home in its top condition often has an increased market value and faster sale rate. Selling a home can be an exciting venture, don't let it stress you out. Call the experts to help you get your home in ready-to-sell condition today! 

SERVPRO of Burlington 319-754-8050

Mold: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

This is an air vent that was attached to a faulty HVAC system. This photo shows the mold growth result.

The Good:

Mold is a natural occurrence in our world, however not all types of mold are dangerous. Most of us have probably seen mold presence on bread or cheese in our home. In fact, penicillin is present in most antibiotics, which are aimed help us.

The Bad: 

Mold growth is typically a result of a water presence in the home. Even a leak or high humidity creates an environment likely to create growth. It is important to be alert for visible mold or musty odors, especially if your home has experienced moisture problems in the past. 

The Ugly: 

Some types of mold can be hazardous to our health. Infants, children, elderly, pregnant, and people with respiratory concerns are more likely to experience health effects of mold, and it should not be ignored.

Call the professionals to properly asses your home and discuss a mold remediation plan. Mold is a scary word, but let the SERVPRO of Burlington specialists take care of it for you! 

319-754-8050

What Does Soot and Smoke do?

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

This is a heavily soot saturated bathroom

Smoke and soot is inevitable when there is a fire and it often causes just as much damage. Soot begins to settle into the structure and its contents nearly immediately. It can discolor certain items and stain if action is not taken quickly. Within hours of a fire, the damages become more difficult to restore. Wood may need refinishing, walls begin to yellow, and clothing might be permanently stained. If the house/items are left untreated for weeks, they become more permanently damaged and restoration the process becomes increasingly difficult. 

Fires can be devastating and life changing. Let the SERVPRO professionals make it "Like it never even happened." Our IICRC technicians are certified in fire restoration and will handle your home with professionalism and care.

SERVPRO of Burlington 319-754-8050

What is an Emergency Ready Profile? (ERP)

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

This photo is a gas shut off located outside a business. We did an ERP for this business and filed vital information needed to respond to a disaster.

Did you know that approximately 50% of businesses that experience a disaster will not recover from that event? An Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) is a no cost assessment that SERVPRO offers to businesses in our area to prevent and minimize business interruption. Being prepared for a disaster event can make the difference of keeping your business in operation! So what exactly do we do? SERVPRO professionals will come into your business and create a brief compilation of important information that would be needed in the event of an emergency. That would include photos of the water and gas shut off valves, utility box, and heating/cooling units. This aids in having a structured guide and reference of where those are located within the facility and instructions of what to do. The ERP also organizes vital contact information if ever needed. The information is then saved to the business digitally and a hard copy to keep on hand. Being prepared for a disaster is essential for recovering from a disaster.

Let SERVPRO help you get a plan of action today!

319-754-8050

Not Just a Disaster Company

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

This photo was a carpet cleaning for a residential customer. Our equipment extracts soils deep within the carpet to make carpet new again!

Although we are available 24/7 for any emergency that might arise, we also specialize in residential services. We have SERVPRO professionals with our franchise that are IICRC certified to clean carpet with the latest technology. We utilize equipment to clean deep within your carpet. We can even do stain removal! If you experience a stain such as spillled wine/beverage, pet stains, biohazard, or even a mystery stain, our technicians can help you out. Some of our other services include:

  • Odor identification
  • Deodorization
  • Upholstery/drapes
  • Hard floor cleaning
  • HVAC cleaning
  • Vandalism cleanup
  • Electronics
  • Document drying

From Carpets to Catastrophes

Whether you need emergency services or routine cleaning, we are here for you! Give SERVPRO of Burlington a call for your residential needs.

319-754-8050   

Flooded Basement? Call the Professionals!

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Burlington is available 24/7 to serve Burlington, Mt. Pleasant, Keokuk, Fort Madison, and Muscatine.

A flooded basement or water damage to your home is never convenient, especially when it disrupts your living quarters or business. Flood waters in your basement can contain harmful bacteria and cause damage not visible to the eye. It is important to call the professionals to examine your property. SERVPRO will use their knowledge and experience, as well as technical equipment to analyze the moisture and damage to your home. Our trained technicians will:

  • Identify the source/type of water
  • Measure temperature and humidity for drying analysis
  • Survey the extent of damage
  • Perform emergency water extraction
  • Apply necessary treatments (Disinfectants/Deodorization)
  • Utilize drying equipment

SERVPRO of Burlington will help you restore your home back to normal and give you peace of mind, call the professionals!

319-754-8050

What to do in a severe storm/tornado?

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Let us help you when you are impacted by a storm!

Southeast Iowa lies in tornado alley, so I'm sure  we are all too familiar with the sounds of tornado sirens. Tornadoes are caused when hot and cold temperatures meet, and Iowa's hot/humid climate is the perfect recipe for a strong storm or tornado.  Like any typical Midwest summer, we have recently had several severe storms come through our area, inevitably causing some damage in its path. Heavy storms can bring dangerous winds, flash flooding, and downed power lines or trees. SERVPRO is equipped with trained technicians and proper equipment to handle these situations. If you find yourself in the midst of a storm, take the appropriate actions to ensure you and your family are safe. After the storm has passed, assess your home and property. Storm damage can be devastating, but SERVPRO is here 24 hours a day if you need help.

How to Handle a Sewer Backup

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

Sewer backups can be caused by a variety of things, and knowing what to do when you find your basement flooded with sewer water can help protect you and your family. First, do not step into the water as there could be electric current flowing within the water (which is not visible). Second, there is a great deal of potential health hazards as the water usually contains bacteria - some that can be harmful to your health. It is wise to not pick up any floating objects that are sitting in the water. It is also important to call professionals as soon as you can, timely action can help minimize the damage. SERVPRO has the proper equipment to extract the water, remove any odors, repair damages, and disinfect your basement and contents. Adequately trained technicians will give you peace of mind and help you get your home back to normal again.

Kitchen Fire Facts

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

This photo shows a kitchen fire loss that caused extensive damage.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2010-2014 firefighters responded to an estimated 166,100 home fires caused by cooking or involving cooking equipment. The leading cause of these fires included unattended cooking. As a result there were 480 civilian deaths and 5,540 injuries. NFPA also reports that cooking fires accounted for 1.1 billion dollars of direct property damage. It is alarming how fast a kitchen fire can start and then spread throughout your home. The damages usually extend to the entire house even when the source is isolated to one part of the house. Smoke and soot will travel to all areas of the structure. When a fire starts, it is crucial to protect yourself and call 911 or your local fire department. Injuries are likely to occur when you try to fight the fire on your own. Always be careful when cooking to be watchful of burners. Don't leave cooking food unattended and stay safe.

Cleaning with an Esporta

7/19/2017 (Permalink)

This is our Esporta machine located in one of our cleaning/restoration shops.

This is our Esporta machine that we use to clean many items. It is said to be five times more effective than traditional washing methods and can restore items that would typically need to be replaced in the past. It can restore items damaged with smoke/soot, mold, bio waste, and contaminated water. We have washed items including leather goods, laundry, household items, soft goods such as stuffed animals, pillows, and comforters. To operate the machine, you must be trained and certified, and our certified operators are extremely knowledgeable on using the Esporta to restore contents to their original state. It is especially satisfying when we are able to restore an item of sentimental value for a customer. In our before and after gallery you can find photos of our local (Wapello) Fire Department gear. We have washed turnout gear, boots, and helmets for our local department. It is time to check out the new generation of washing!

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