Recent Posts

Fact or Fiction?

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

photos of library books and fire damage When help is needed, SERVPRO is there!

SERVPRO understands the craft of storytelling. Within the work that we do every day, we see a lot of beginnings, middles, and end results. The Cedar Rapids Library knows the art of this as well, as their 95,000 sq. ft. library holds thousands of novels and story books. So when fire damage became a villain in their story, SERVPRO was ready to step in and help get them to a happy ending. 

When our Franchise Owner, Scott, got the call from the Cedar Rapids SERVPRO that a fire had occurred, there was no hesitation in being there to help. After all, SERVPRO has coined the term "Here to Help" and used it consistently, and we stand by our word. 

Scott himself, along with other members of our team drove to Cedar Rapids in the past weeks to pitch in and help with the restoration process. There was a lot of care, attention to detail, and dedication that went into being a protagonist in this process.  

More Than a Busted Pipe

9/6/2022 (Permalink)

before and after of rusty shower from broken water pipe Hats off to our Cleaning Technicians on this one!

It is no secret that a busted pipe can cause a lot of damage to a home or business. Our pros worked on a job where a pipe break caused quite a bit of water and mold damage. Our team worked hard at getting this home all dried out and back to its preloss conditions.

While water damage and mold were being put at bay, there was an additional problem: our cleaning technician, Autumn, put her cleaning skills to the test to clean up.


Sometimes when pipes break, this causes discolored or smelly water due to the dirt and other contaminants that can get into the water. Over time an undiscovered water pipe break will rust, giving the water a brown/red tint. This is what happened to this homeowner, and it left a significant amount of rust on their shower. No matter the cause of this rust, it was clear that there was a big mess that needed some elbow grease.


This rusty shower was no match for SERVPRO of Black Hawk County. What was once a shower covered in rust, was now sparkling white!

When we say we clean it all, we mean it! A lot of times losses come with different circumstances. We are ready to tackle it all!

Call us today! 319.268.1521

Are you REALLY Storm Ready?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Lighting in water damaged basement with SERVPRO logo Get REALLY ready!

When thinking about what it means to be prepared for a storm, my first thought is rounding up the everyday essentials. Get new batteries in the flashlight, have water bottles and snacks on hand, and charge up your phone in case of a power outage. These are the things that typically first come to mind when preparing for a storm.

While any measure of preparation is beneficial, there are a few things that many people don’t think about. These precautions can take you the extra mile, and in turn, protect precious belongings!


  1. Do you have priceless valuables in your basement? -- You should consider moving them
  • Tubs are helpful but are not foolproof because they can flip upside down!
  • Be sure your sump pump is on its own electric circuit. Have a battery backup, it will save you a big mess and hassle.
  • Keep valuables at least 3-4ft off the floor.
  1. Where are your important documents, pictures, passwords/usernames, codes, keys?
  • Make sure you have copies of any important content kept somewhere safe.
  • Use a flash drive or keep a copy of your information in a lock box at the bank or other safe location.
  1. Do you know how many items you keep plugged into outlets in your home?
  • Leaving items plugged into your outlets during a storm can put them at risk of damage.
  • According to the Department of Homeland Security, you should unplug all of your appliances during a thunderstorm.

Now that you have asked yourself these three questions, are you storm-ready? Are you taking all the precautions to keep you and your home safe? If not, now is the perfect time to begin!

A Lesson from Smokey the Bear

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Diagram of putting out fire with SERVPRO logo Just 4 steps to ensure safety!

Campfires often bring family and friends together for music, laughter, and good conversation. There is something about bonding over the orange flickering light and roasting marshmallows that just feels so perfect in the summertime! 

When a campfire is not properly put out there is potential for forest fires, putting animals, people, and homes in danger. Nobody wants to end a wonderful night of sitting by the fire, looking out across a field that is up in flames. 

Our suggestion to put this possibility at bay is quite simple and has been one of Smokey the Bear's most significant missions for countless years! Knowing the way to properly put out a bonfire is key! 

If you can remember these steps, you'll always be prepared to keep forest fires at bay: 
Drown, mix, drown, feel!

  1. Drown: once the fire has mostly burnt out, pour lots of water on the fire Drown ALL The embers, pouring until this hissing sound stops!
  2. Mix: mix all the embers and ashes- Using soil or sand will enhance this step
  3. Drown: pour more water onto the fire and ensure it is all moist. 
  4. Feel: carefully feel the fire to make sure there is absolutely no heat coming from the remnants. 

Following these steps will help to keep you and your surroundings safe

8 Places You May Forget to Clean in Your Business

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Janitorial materials with SERVPRO logo Make your commercial business shine!

Keeping your commercial business’s image as reputable as possible is a very important task, as well as a big one! A spic and span commercial property is one way to maintain a great name! SERVPRO knows a thing or two about clean, that’s why we want to present you with a resource we think might assist you when it comes to making your workspace shine!

When it comes to cleaning, we know you all probably do the vacuuming, dusting, and tidying up of those office files and paperwork, but what about the nitty-gritty details?

Here are 8 areas in your commercial business that you may be overlooking, and could use a nice scrub down!

  1. Your breakroom microwave: When lunchtime rolls around, it’s easy to quickly throw your food into the microwave without a second glance not realizing the microwave could use a good wipe down. You may walk away to make that cup of coffee, or use the restroom. PS: You should never walk away from a running microwave, but that’s a lesson for another time!
  2. Your printer surface underneath: Our office printers very often sit static for most of their lifetimes. Dusting off any extra debris will also keep your printer in tip-top shape! Go that extra step, and every so often wipe down the surface that your printer sits on to ensure everything is pristine!
  3. Ceiling fans: We all know how a fan blade can collect dust. Enough said.
  4. Vents and Air ducts: This one is very important because it will also help prevent potential fires!
  5. Plants: Office plants and foliage can be one of the biggest dust collectors. Using a damp paper towel, you can easily wipe off any leaves and plants and it will add that extra level of cleanliness to your office space!
  6. Door Handles: Everyone knows this is one of the most highly touched areas in any commercial business. Help reduce the spread of germs by taking this step!
  7. Office Phones: Same thing as door handles!
  8. Carpets: Getting your carpets cleaned every few years, or maybe even every year is a great way to keep your business as possible! If you have a very high-traffic storefront, you could consider doing it more often.

If you are reading this and you think any of these areas in your business have been needing some love, you’ve come to the right place and we’re glad to be a resource!

If you ever have a mess that you need assistance with, call SERVPRO! We are here to help!

Storm Safety Becomes Children’s Storytime

8/4/2022 (Permalink)

Little boy in glasses with thumbs up in front of stormy sky THUMBS UP for education on storm safety!

Teaching a child how to tie their shoes, use good manners, and look before crossing the road, are all no-brainers when it comes to education. Something you might not have thought of is to teach them the ins and outs of storm safety. Why is this important you ask? Storms can cause potential dangers and educating your children on emergency plans and what to look for can be crucial to their well-being in addition, can be a great science lesson!


When I was little, I was scared of big thunderstorms, but I also found them fascinating. What helped ease my mind when it came to bad weather, is that my parents talked to me about the types and signs of different categories of storms.

One of the first lessons I received from my parents on this subject, was about common signs that allude to potential tornadoes. If the sky became dark and green-tinted, this was never a good sign. If we were outside playing and we felt the temperature drop or the wind change course, we knew we should be prepared for the potential of bad weather.

We knew to help gather up flashlights, and other necessities to help our mom get us to the basement, especially when my dad was traveling for work.


Severe weather education doesn’t have to be boring. There is so much science behind the way that storms work. You could provide a whole lesson on the makeup of a funnel cloud. This will give them important information on how the earth works and keep them aware of their surroundings.

A few other ideas on fun lessons to help educate your children on storms:

-Types of storms (tornado, thunderstorm, derecho, blizzard, etc.)

-Different types of clouds

-How rain forms

-What humidity is and how it affects the weather

The list goes on!


One of the most important things you can do to keep you and your family safe is to make sure your kids know what to do if sirens go off. What should they do if they think that there is a threat due to weather? What should they grab? Where should they go for shelter? Who do they call if they are home alone?

These are all essential things to have in your emergency plan. It may just help put your mind a little more at ease. One additional step is to put your mind at ease is to put SERVPRO'S number into your phone. In the event that your home is overtaken by water or storm damage, we are HERE TO HELP!

A Perfectly Timed Disaster

7/12/2022 (Permalink)

Water shutoff tag and SERVPRO logo Contact SERVPRO today to schedule your FREE ERP!

Getting a call to re-schedule a meeting an hour before it is to occur, can leave you a little jolted. But not as much as canceling the meeting only to SCHEDULE a water cleanup instead! I can’t make this stuff up…I was literally going over to the property manager’s office to explain how their SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) would assist them at their 72-unit apartment complex in times of trouble when they called for help!

A contractor had pulled some baseboard off, ripping a nail out of a water line. Water was taking over the room quickly. The property manager remembered where the SERVPRO water shut-off tag had been placed the week before by us and ran to stop the flooding.

She was very thankful for the time and steps taken to prepare her in this means.
SERVPRO’s ERP & Education to the rescue!! Even though we would never expect it to be needed this soon. 


Preparing for a catastrophe is crucial. I’m not talking about worrying, negative thinking, or doomsday prep. But just being aware and putting into place contingencies will bring peace of mind, in case something were to happen.
Unfortunately, we know IT does happen, hence the story above. 

E.R.P.> Emergency Ready Profile app by SERVPRO is just that- gets you ready in case of an emergency. By documenting the important areas of your home or business through photos and compiling necessary phone numbers & insurance information ALL IN ONE PLACE, this free app is accessible anywhere you go!

You can take time to celebrate, once your ERP is in place! I know I have offered before, but please take me up on this and call to set up a time for me to come and walk you through your very own ERP- let’s start with your work office!

Having Patience in a Stressful Situation

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

Rain cloud on green backround with SERVPRO logo Stay calm and call SERVPRO!

Heavy rains have saturated Black Hawk County as of late. While SERVPRO is the pro for being at your service when your home has undergone storm damage, we have been in high demand. We want you to know how important YOU all are to us! If we could duplicate our teams to get to everyone within an instant, we would! Since there is no equipment for those purposes, we want to leave you with some positivity and points for when we are in this stressful situation!


Never hesitate to call us. No matter the circumstances, we always want to be a resource to you! Our Job File Coordinator will ensure that we get you taken care of in one way or another. If you experience water or storm damage, the sooner you call, the sooner we will be able to assist you. Never wait to contact someone if you are in need of professional services.


In a world where instant gratification seems like the norm, you can feel thrown off when things take more time than normal. Especially when it comes to your home or business. Patience is a virtue, and it also takes practice. Something I like to do in stressful situations, is remind myself of the things that are going swimmingly in my life. Things could ALWAYS be worse, and your mindset is SO important.


We preach a lot about being prepared in the event of a catastrophe, and there is a reason for that. When damages occur, if you have never thought through what to do in that situation, it can often cause disarray and fear. If you are unsure of where to start in having a plan, call SERVPRO today and we can set up your free Emergency Ready Profile! This will help guide you after damages occur. Use us as a resource and follow our social media to get continuous tips and other prevention methods!


Back In Business!

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

photo of set equipment with water logo overtop and SERVPRO logo Water cleanup and restoration is one of our specialties!

The refrigerator… A wonderful creation, it keeps your food fresh and your beverages cold. It seems as though your fridge could do no wrong.

A commercial business that we are doing a job for begs to differ! When a fridge waterline broke in their office, water leaked for several hours. All through the office and down into the basement - there was water damage.

SERVPRO is here to help in situations like this and we will get you back in business!


Our team had to extract all the affected areas to get this commercial business out from underwater. The trim was pulled and equipment was set to get the drying process into action!


Daily readings are taken to ensure that things are beginning to dry. Not even 24 hours later and our team had made great progress on the drying process.

Later in the week, most of the rooms were reading dry. To learn more about this process, you can read our blog on wet checks! There was still one room showing moisture, so equipment was moved around to attack that area.

On the next visit, our team was able to pull all equipment, and our Construction Manager reinstalled the baseboards finishing the job off!


Our certified technicians are highly educated, and with the help of state-of-the-art equipment, they will get you back in business!

Call SERVPRO today at 319.268.1521

Looking Back- The 2020 Derecho

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

blown over metal buildings with SEVRPRO logo and words "looking back" A reminder of how important preparedness is, even when things are least expected!

It’s been just short of 2 years since the derecho came tearing through Iowa, in August of 2020. This was a tough time in more ways than one. With COVID-19 still very fresh and new, our communities now had to face one of the biggest natural disasters to date. Winds estimated at 110-120 mph caused damage resulting in a projected $11 billion dollars.

When this season of severe weather rolls around each year, this memory reminds us that we need to have a plan. Now that the dust has settled, for the most part, we’re looking back on this devastating event and reflecting on some important takeaways.


We have seen it happen once; it can happen again. Maybe not a derecho (hopefully), but tornadoes and other disasters can come knocking. It is vital to have an emergency-ready plan in place. Even more importantly, make sure you teach your children what to do when something like this occurs. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking of possible solutions or plans:

  • Where will you go to seek shelter?
  • What necessary items should you grab in the event of dangerous weather?
  • Do you have an emergency-ready kit?
  • Where is your first aid kit located?
  • What will you use as protection in the event you need to cover yourself from flying debris?
  • If you are in a vehicle and need to seek shelter, what should your plan of attack look like?

These are just a few points to get your wheels turning. Use your resources and make sure that your plan is documented somewhere! It is good to have easy access to help you in stressful situations, as well as for your kids to utilize!


Another thing we learned from this catastrophe, was there really is no mess too big for SERVPRO. We often consider ourselves SERVPRO strong, and this is because SERVPROs across the nation are non-competing. In times of distress or large losses, we band together and compile resources to get the job done and be there for our communities. SERVPRO has storm teams on standby who are at the ready for situations such as the 2020 Derecho.


For 250 miles the derecho stretched across land, leaving a lot of damage in its path. look at your homeowners, or renters’ insurance and confirm that you are protected under any future events that could lead to potential damage. When disaster strikes, it creates enough distress on its own. Not having coverage on your home can result in even more chaos, as repairing the damage will have to come out of your pocket.

While we hope and pray that nothing like this ever takes place again, we can only control how we prepare and react when the universe has a mind of its own. SERVPRO is dedicated to helping our communities and by sharing preventative and proactive measures, we get one step closer!