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Commercial Business References: “Tooting Our Own Horn”!

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Business References: “Tooting Our Own Horn”! Water extraction taking place in a storage room after a water pipe broke and flooded a commercial department store.

‘Tooting your own horn’, bragging about what someone has accomplished, is often frowned upon. We are taught to be humble and modest when it comes sharing about ourselves. But when you need to know who to reach out to in certain circumstances, you DO want to hear of their accomplishments! It’s one of the top ways we make decisions when choosing almost anything these days. We read reviews and ask for referrals, convincing ourselves of one’s merit.

Since 2012, SERVPRO of Black Hawk County has been cleaning up commercial businesses in the Cedar Valley as well as in nearby cities as close as Janesville, north to New Hampton, and south to Grundy Center- and every town in between. We want to showcase the businesses and the wide scope of work we have had cleaning up:

  • Warehouses: ConAgra in Waterloo, Metal Fab in New Hampton, Black Hawk Engineering in Cedar Falls
  • Hotels & Event Centers: Courtyard by Marriott & Days Inn in Waterloo, the Suburban in Cedar Falls, Prairie Links in Waverly
  • Hospital, nursing homes, apartment buildings: MercyOne in Waterloo, NewAldaya in Cedar Falls, President Hotel & Pineview Apartments in Waterloo, Evansdale emergency service building
  • Offices: Braceabiltiy in Cedar Falls, TechWorks in Waterloo, Pioneer in Grundy Center, LSB in Hudson and Reinbeck
  • Stores: HyVee, Gordmans, & Slumberland in Waterloo, Tires for You in Sumner
  • Restaurants: Swan Lake in Independence, Tipzy Bar & Grill in Raymond, Tokoyo in Waterloo, Godfathers in Waverly, Los Cabos in Cedar Falls
  • Churches in New Hampton, Fredsville, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Reinbeck, Aplington
  • Elementary, middle schools & high schools in Northeast Iowa

CALL SERVPRO of Black Hawk County, 319.268.1521, for additional references.
LOOK at our website, and see the work we have completed.
READ the reviews commercial business owners have written.
TRUST that we can help your commercial business during a water or fire crisis.

Water Spigot leaks into Split Level Home

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Spigot leaks into Split Level Home Technician Work on Water Damage from Spigot Leak

The Phone Call

The last day of the week, SERVPRO of Black Hawk County got a call for a water damage job. The call was received in the office where our CEO Scott Demuth took down the name, address, and telephone number. He then called Evan, a production manager who was already out in the field, to go to the house to inspect the situation and set a plan of action on how to remove the water. Before Evan arrived at the customer’s home, Evan called the customer to introduce himself and give him an estimated time of arrival. The customer was running an errand so there was a quick coffee stop at our local cafe Sidecar.

The Arrival

After, Evan drove up to a nice neighborhood with newer homes. Evan parked his truck and brought in an iPad, a small black case that held a handheld moisture meter and a thermal hydrometer, and a moisture meter gun or a Hydrosensor. The customer just arrived and was waiting on the front porch. The customer led Evan inside the house. Gary (the customer) started entering the house as he started to talk about the situation in the lower level of his home but was interrupted by the barking of a small, cute dog. The customer warned Evan that his dog isn’t very friendly with strangers but Evan is not scared of no cute dog. He proceeded to introduce himself to Gary (the customer) and went to great details of what he will be doing there.

The Intro

“Hi Gary, I’m Evan, a production manager from SERVPRO. We just spoke a moment ago. I heard you have a water situation in the basement caused possibly by a water spigot. I’m going to go over what to expect by my visit. I will inspect the damage and then after that, I have a few documents that I will need you to sign before we can get started with our services. I have a production team on their way with the equipment so they should be here shortly. Can you show me the location of the water damage?”

The Situation

Gary lead Evan downstairs to a walkout basement. They walked towards a corner by sliding doors leading to the backyard. There was a wall that connected two rooms. On the other side of the room was a guest bedroom.  The water seems to have stemmed from that corner. Gary let us know that there’s a spigot outside that seems to be right in between this wall. Gary and his wife had recently started using the spigot to water their outside plants. The other day, his wife went down to the lower level to work on a craft project when she felt the squish of the water by the table near that corner. Gary let us know that there will be a plumber to check it on Monday. Evan took out his handy dandy Hydrosensor and started poking it to the carpet. It beeped loudly, letting Evan know that it was definitely wet. He then walked further from the corner until the beeping didn’t occur to determine how far the affected area was. He then went to the guest bedroom and repeated the same thing. Luckily, the affected area wasn’t too large. He then pulled up the carpet from the corner and noticed a small growth of mold spores. The carpet pad that lay underneath the carpet had a moisture barrier on the top but it did little to prevent the water that came from below.

The Plan

Evan told him that we will start by extracting any water from the carpet and carpet pad. Then, we will cut out the affected carpet pad which can later be replaced. Then, we will spray the carpet and floors with an antibacterial to prevent odor-causing bacteria. The team will also cut out about 15” of drywall which is referred to as a flood cut. This will allow easy access to the spigot for the plumbers and to avoid further growth of bacteria caused by moisture. We will then pull out the affected baseboard and tack strip that have been warped by the moisture. After, we will set up a dehumidifier and air dryers that are strategically placed to dry up the moisture.

The Documents

Evan then read through documents that needed to be signed before the plan can be started. He thoroughly read each document, clarifying any concerns or questions that Gary had. These documents include an Authorization to Perform and Direction of Payment Form, Customer Information Form, and Customer Equipment Responsibility Form. This took only about 10-12 minutes to complete. During that time, Chris our technician arrived with the truck.

Plan into Action

Our other technicians were held back at other jobs but Evan was able to help Chris get the process started. The team did everything as planned while Gary took a break upstairs with the confidence and trust that SERVPRO will make it “Like it never even happened.”

CALL US AT (319) 268-1521

If you have water damage caused by a leak, be confident that we will be there as soon as we can to prevent further damage and help restore your home. Water damage that is left ignored may cause further problems to your home. We have a hard-working team that gets the job done so you won’t have to!


The Terrifying Truth about Laundry

6/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage The Terrifying Truth about Laundry Don't let your laundry become an absent-minded activity. It needs more attention and supervision than you realize.

Most of us pride ourselves for being incredibly talented multi-taskers, going through life and getting stuff done. That’s great and all, but there comes a time where it’s actually dangerous to multi-task. For instance, laundry is not something you want to do while you’re away from home because two major disasters can happen the minute you leave your home.

Water Loss Potential

The first one being a water loss when your washing machine’s water line breaks or starts leaking. Another possibility is the hose hooked up to your washer can actually become detached due to the shaking and shifting of the machine. Wouldn’t that be a fun surprise to come home and see your entire laundry room floor is covered in water? Actually, no. It’s not fun. We would know.

Fire Loss Potential

The second major disaster that is likely to occur is a fire sparking from the clogged lint in your dryer vent. With fires being so unpredictable, we strongly advise you do not hit the start button before you run some errands in town. An extra precaution we advise is cleaning out your lint trap before and after each use, and on a yearly basis, clean out the vent pipe or have a dryer lint removal service do it for you.

Lesson Learned

We know it’s tempting to get two things done at once, but this is one task that needs more of your attention and presence.

Taking Time for Your Timeless Pieces: Removing Soot from Furniture

6/8/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Taking Time for Your Timeless Pieces: Removing Soot from Furniture Soot covered shelf RESTORED!

When we think of fire damage, we all can visualize the blaze and burned, charred items. What we don’t think of are the hidden effects that soot from the fire causes. Smoke carries the ash and particles throughout the house to places you would never think and deposits a thick layer of soot.

 It is everywhere: black lines emerging from air vents, nestled behind outlet covers, and of course, completely covering and darkening furniture.  At first glance, you might not even notice it on wooden furniture. But if you remove an item, you will see distinct outlines of it, almost looking like a painting.

Unlike a dusty room, where furniture polish will wipe it away, fire soot includes the fine particles made up from a wide variety of materials like wood, paper, plastic, and other synthetic items. It contains acids and chemicals and is actually smaller than dust or even mold, resulting in a serious cleanup problem!

SERVPRO has spent extensive time researching and formulating cleaning solutions that we use to remove soot particles. Trained technicians use the cleaners, taking great measures to remove all the soot from every crevice. Patience and good ole q-tips help in this effort.

SERVPRO of Black Hawk County stands proud over the items successfully rescued and restored for you!

Borrowing Equipment from other SERVPROs

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Borrowing Equipment from other SERVPROs We're only as good as the equipment we have on hand. That's why it's essential we have a backup plan when all of our equipment is in use.

Picture This:

You’re in the middle of making cookies when you realize you’re short a cup of sugar. Without thinking twice, you call up your neighbor and ask if they can spot you the cup of sugar. Of course, they say, “Absolutely! Come on over.”

How does this translate to SERVPRO?

This is similar to what happens when we are preparing to help a homeowner or business. We take inventory of what equipment we have, and if we happen to be a few air movers short, we call up our SERVPRO neighbors in the surrounding area and do a switch-a-roo! SERVPRO is actually the only restoration franchise that teams up to help each other out in times of need. All other franchises are owned and operated independently without association with one another.

So what?

This buddy system we have in place allows us to help YOU faster, and we know from experience that response time is critical in emergencies. If we can get to you even a day sooner, you’ll be much better off, and the damage will be significantly less because of the response time.

In addition, with this buddy system, we’re able to take on bigger jobs because we know our SERVPRO neighbors are waiting at the sidelines to step in at a moment notice to lend a helping hand.

What can we say? We’re here to help.

SERVPRO Professional Cleaning Products Division

5/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial SERVPRO Professional Cleaning Products Division Our cleaners are not something you can buy off the shelf. They are exclusive to SERVPRO franchises.

The SERVPRO Professional Cleaning Products, LLC (SPCP) team works diligently to help SERVPROs across the nation succeed with top-notch cleaning products. Our SERVPRO Corporate Headquarters offers an extensive cleaning product and agent line to the local SERVPROs in your community.

They produce 89 cleaning products on site throughout the year. They also have 61 cleaning products from outside vendors (which are a lot of aerosols since we don’t have the capability of making those on campus.) Combined, the SPCP team offers a total of 150 cleaning products to assist your local SERVPRO.

Why is this important?

When SERVPRO production crews are out on a job, they are likely using SERVPRO’s proprietary products. This allows us to own the cleaning and restoring products by offering an exclusive line available only to SERVPRO customers. The SPCP team motto is, “Supporting Franchises through research, development, testing, and production of high-quality cleaning products."

SPCP has 6 Team Members:

  • Gary Slagle
    • SERVPRO Professional Cleaning Products Manager
  • Hugh Lloyd
    • Chemist
  • Tom Jennings Jr
    • Lead Blender
  • Brian Adams
    • Blender
  • Michael Houghton
    • Blender
  • Jennifer Berry
    • Tech Support

A Win for us is a Win for You:

Having these valuable individuals on our team is what makes us different from other restoration companies. We’ve put in the time and dedication to develop our own cleaning products and find the best methods and practices to meet your cleanup needs. This reduces the time it takes to fully restore your home or business and put your life back together.

We are extremely thankful to these bright team members for keeping us SERVPRO Strong.

Phone a Friend When You Leave for Vacation

5/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Phone a Friend When You Leave for Vacation Vacation should remain worry-free when you have a responsible neighbor watching over your home.

As summer approaches, we want to encourage you to recruit a friendly neighbor to check more than mail while you’re away on vacation. We’ve seen it all too many times where people will leave for a short week, for the vacation of a lifetime, only to find a disaster waiting in their basement as they return.

But it doesn’t have to be like that…

Many times, when people “check-in” to see if a vacant home is okay, they’ll peak around the main level and assume everything is okay. We encourage the friendly neighbor to walk down into the basement to check for any water that may have leaked in overnight. After you confirm the basement is dry, we suggest checking the furnace room as well to ensure the heating and cooling systems are “A-Okay” as well.

Be Proactive

With so many things that can go wrong in life, we want to encourage you to be proactive. Call SERVPRO of Black Hawk County, immediately, if you do find water in your basement. As always, we’ll be here to help.

When Spring Storms Keep You Indoors - Spring Cleaning Tips

4/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Spring Storms Keep You Indoors - Spring Cleaning Tips Sponges ready. It's spring cleaning time.

Here’s a checklist to reference as you tackle the fun task of spring cleaning:

Whole Home

  • Change smoke alarm batteries
  • Clean/polish fixtures
  • Clean mirrors and glass
  • Clean rugs, floors & baseboards
  • Dust/polish furniture
  • Dust bookshelves; donate books
  • Dust light fixtures & bulbs
  • Replace old light bulbs
  • Wipe walls & ceilings
  • Wash curtains
  • Wash light fixtures/ceiling fans
  • Wash windows

Living Room

  • Organize room clutter
  • Shampoo sofa cushions


  • Clean & sanitize sink
  • Clean & sanitize tubs, shower & toilet
  • Clean out the medicine cabinet
  • Clean under the bathroom sink
  • Dispose of expired medicine


  • Clean & sanitize sink
  • Clean appliances (inside and out)
  • Clean oven
  • Clean pantry; toss old food
  • Clean refrigerator/freezer
  • Polish stainless-steel appliances
  • Wash cabinet (inside and out)


  • Clean garage
  • Clean gutters
  • Clean house siding
  • Clean patio furniture
  • Clean porch/deck/patio
  • Landscaping
  • Seal driveway
  • Wash/inspect light fixtures


  • Clean out closets & donate
  • Put away winter bedding
  • Rotate mattress
  • Wash bedding

If you need any help with deep cleaning in your carpets, we'd be happy to help. Please call (319) 268-1521.

Spontaneous Combustion of Rags

4/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Spontaneous Combustion of Rags Spontaneous Combustion can cause serious fires if not attended to.

Have you ever heard of something catching fire out of the blue without being exposed to an open flame? Believe it or not, this can actually happen. It’s called a spontaneous combustion fire.

Tell Me More

In these cases, oil-soaked rags can slowly heat to their ignition point through a process called oxidation. The products that are at risk include oil-based paints and stains, teak oils, varnishes, paint thinners, etc. Heat will begin to release from the rags; however, if the heat cannot escape, the temperature will increase to a level high enough to ignite.

It can Happen to Anyone

SERVPRO of Black Hawk County has responded to several calls where the fire was caused by spontaneous combustion. The true danger is if the fire starts while you are away from your home. Damage can happen all too quickly when time is on a fire’s side.


We encourage you to properly dispose of your rags after exposed to oily substances. The best method is to place the rags in a metal trashcan with a tightly fitted lid on top. You can then fill the remaining space in the trashcan with water to prevent the rags from heating up. However, this is a temporary solution. The long-term answer is to wash the rags in a hot cycle as soon as possible.

Hopefully, you will never experience such an occurrence, but if there is a necessity for clean up after a fire, know that SERVPRO of Black Hawk County can assist you!

Additional Source:

We Care About More Than Your Home or Business

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial We Care About More Than Your Home or Business Our "Be Ready" kits are the perfect fix for seasonal colds and allergies.

SERVPRO of Black Hawk County cares about more than just your home or business. We also care about YOU as a person.

Although we all try to be superheroes on a daily basis, we sometimes fall short because we’re human. Our strong, but vulnerable, bodies cannot always fight off illness when we are thriving 110% of the time.

Going the Extra Mile for You

Since we formulate Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP’s) for businesses and homes regularly, we decided to do something similar for the business and homeowners. This led to our “Be Ready” packages.

We included the following items:

  • Sprite: settles an upset stomach
  • Chicken Ramen Noodles: clear broth soup and noodles are hydrating because they contain water and salt, and those two together are good properties for hydration especially after the stomach flu
  • Applesauce: a bland food is easy to digest, ensuring your stomach stays settled
  • Jell-O: easy to swallow on a sore throat
  • Chamomile Tea: lowers stress levels & helps with sleep
  • Cough Drops: temporarily relieves cough
  • Chapstick: moisturizes dehydrated lips

Self-Care is the Best Care

These are the items that are typically needed when people are feeling under the weather but are not always on hand. The last thing anyone wants to do when they’re sick is run to the store to pick up a “few” items.

As always, we do it because we “CURE” about you!