Archived Blog Posts
Ways to get your House ready for a Winter Storm Season
What a winter storm in Iowa looks like
This year in Des Moines, IA the season has changed from Fall to Winter. This means you need to get your home ready for winter and be prepared for storms that can create prolonged power outages.
Here are the top things you should do to get your home ready for winter in Iowa:
- Get your furnace or (source of heat) inspected if it is over 5 years of age. If you notice any funny smells or sounds have it looked at immediately.
- Make sure your fireplace is working properly. If you have a gas fireplace, make sure it ignites and the thermal coupler stays on for at least 15 minutes. If your gas fireplace is propane, double check your propane tank and make sure you have enough for the season. If you have a wood burning fireplace you need to check the following:
- The flue on the top is opening and closing properly
- The chimney is clean and free of any creosote deposits
- Use seasoned wood only. Seasoned wood is split and dried for about 6 months prior to use
- Unseasoned wood is more difficult to get lit and then will burn very inefficiently. Moisture that the green wood is burning is burning out with so much effort is also a problem. The moisture creates smoke, creates more creosote as it burns, and sticks to your chimney
- Best seasoned firewood types to use are oak, maple, ash, and apple
- Worse firewood types to use are pine, cedar, and poplar
- Cut down on heating costs. Make sure your home is more energy-efficient. Check windows and doors for air tight closures.
- Check that gutters and downspouts are directing water away from the house and not onto pathways or driveways. If not directed away from the home it could lead water directly into basements or ice on pathways and driveways.
What Causes a Washing Machine to Flood
This shows a supply line about to burst on the back of a washing machine
More than 50% of all washing machine water damage claims can be tracked back to a supply hose failure.
These damages are a result of pinching the hose while installing or replacing resulting in a hairline crack. The supply hoses are high pressure lines and can release a large volume of water in a small amount of time. A poor connection to either the washing machine or to the supply box on the wall and the age of the hoses are also leading factors to washing machine intake hoses failing.
Other factors that lead to water damages from a washing machine are:
- Drainage issues and flooding
- Internal Leaks
Ways to prevent water damages from your washing machine are to:
- Use flexible stainless steel hoses versus the rubber hoses
- Have your supply hoses professionally installed
- Don't overload your washing machine
- Know where the shut off valve's are located to the washing machine and the main shut off to the house is located
Tips on How to Prevent Mold
Mold Remediation Process in a Basement
Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.
Tips on How to Prevent Mold
- Identify problem areas in your home and correct them
- Dry and clean wet areas immediately
- Prevent moisture with proper ventilation
- Equip your home with mold-resistant products
- Monitor humidity indoors
- Direct water away from your home
- Clean or repair roof gutters
Homes in Iowa that have Basement mold are often the result of a source of moisture — leaky foundations or condensation from appliances are typical culprits. When water damages are ignored and not cleaned/dried properly this also can lead to mold. One of the first steps in the prevention of basement mold is to ensure that your basement is free of any moisture and is cleaned and dry.
We at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW are here to help. For all your mold remediation needs call us today at (515) 986-3711
Thanksgiving Turkey Fryer Safety Tips
This Turkey Fryer Fire Started on a Wooden Deck.
Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and be thankful. It's also a time where the entire family joins in the food preparation so it's also a time to think fire safety with so many cooks in the kitchen.
In recent years deep-frying turkeys has become a new family tradition because of the speed, the irresistible flavor, and juiciness. It also frees up space in the oven to make irresistible side dishes.
But turkey fryers have the potential to cause fire and serious injuries. If you plan to deep-fry your holiday bird, be sure you know how to safely use the fryer.
Tips for frying a turkey
- Make sure the turkey is thawed and dry before cooking. Ice or water that mixes into the hot oil can cause flare-ups or explosions.
- Keep all fryers off decks, out of garages and a safe distance away from trees and other structures.
- Place the fryer on a level surface, and avoid moving it once it's in use.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid overfilling. Oil can ignite when it makes contact with the burner.
- Choose a smaller turkey for frying. A bird that's 8 to 10 pounds is best; pass on turkeys over 12 pounds.
- Never leave fryers unattended.
- Cooking oil that begins to smoke point can catch fire. If you notice the oil is smoking, turn the fryer off.
- Turn off the burner before lowering the turkey into the oil. Once the turkey is submerged, turn the burner on.
- Use protective gear and have a grease-rated fire extinguisher close by.
- Do not to use water or a garden hose on any grease fire.
- Keep children and pets away from the fryer at all times.
The folks at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW want you to have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. We are available 24/7 no matter how small or big your fire damages are. Call us anytime at (515) 986-3711.
Residential Water Damages
Advanced Drying Equipment
SERVPRO of Des Moines NW is highly trained in water damage restoration. We have the experience, expertise, and the equipment to remove the water, clean, and bring levels of moisture back down to the dry standard. Our water removal and drying process emphasizes on monitoring and documentation for proven results.
- 24/7 On-Call
- Rapid Emergency Response
- Certified Personnel
- Advanced Drying Equipment needed for any size job
Water damages occur in the day or night, on weekends and even holidays, and that’s why we are available 24/7 for emergency services, 365 days a year.
Once we get a call, our response team will have the training, knowledge and expertise that enables us to address your water damages.
The response team uses professional advanced drying equipment that include a truck mount water extractor, pumps, axial fans, carpet fans, floor drying mats, dehumidifiers, and other tools needed to dry your residence.
When you have water damages at your residence call the experts of SERVPRO of Des Moines NW at (515) 986-3711.
Emergency Board Up in Des Moines IA
Emergency Board Up of a Des Moines home following a fire loss
SERVPRO of Des Moines NW Provides Emergency Board up Services
Boarding up your property should be the first step you take toward mitigation after a residential fire, severe storm, or accident.
If the property is left exposed, it is vulnerable to further damage by weather, vandalism and even unwanted intruders.
It is not uncommon to be overwhelmed with everything that just happened. Our emergency 24/7 staff is dedicated to boarding up your property quickly and will secure it in attempt to prevent further damages.
After the board up we will discuss an action plan on moving forward with repairs to get your property back to preloss condition. We will provide documentation, photos, and estimates. We will keep you and your insurance company informed thru out the entire process.
Please call the experts at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW at 515-986-3711 to help with an Emergency Board up and all your restoration needs.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl
The new SERVPRO First Responder Bowl recognizes our friends and neighbors across our communities who protect and serve.
SERVPRO First Responder Bowl at Cotton Bowl Stadium
Kickoff is set for December 26, 2018 at 12:30 PM. CST. ESPN will televise the game, tickets for the game are now on sale.
The game will be played between teams from the Big Ten Conference and Conference USA.
The SERVPRO First Responder Bowl is the first bowl game in the country to honor First Responders. First responders to be honored include police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents and military personnel who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency.
Last year we dedicated our game to thanking our first responders, and saw incredible support from our fans. This year we want to include you in helping say “thank you” to our community heroes by Sponsoring a Responder. For $15 you can purchase a ticket that will sponsor a first responder to attend the 2018 SERVPRO First Responder Bowl with their family free of charge.
For more information please visit www.firstresponderbowl.com
Commercial Flood Damage in your Des Moines Business
Equipment on hand to handle large water losses
Des Moines Business - Water Damage
There are several causes for flood damage. It can be caused by torrential rains, flash floods, overflowing rivers, sewer back ups, and more. Water damages to your business can lead to all sorts of problems including mold.
Our team works quickly to respond since studies show that the first 24-48 hours are critical when it comes to extracting any standing water.
After you place a call to us, our team arrives as soon as possible, with equipment needed to begin the process of extraction. We will set up an action plan that is specific to your loss. We also keep in contact with your insurance company handling the entire process so you can focus on your business.
The experts of SERVPRO of Des Moines NW can handle whatever disaster comes your way. Our team is ready to provide emergency services 24 hours a day.
How a Loose Fridge flooded my house..
Enjoying my day, it was relaxing. im selling my home iin 3 weeks and everything is perfect.
I came by the house to stain and blast the stairs, contractors were undoing the kitchen floor.
When all of a sudden I noticed a stream running through my kitchen to the basement,
All my walls were ruined and had to be replaced.
Ceiling was trashed along with sub floor and most of the kitchen cabinets.
What could I of done differently?
Not much, simple and silly things.
1. Hiring the correct contractor, that was my first mistake.
Contractors will always be a Yes man, make sure they do the correct job, have a knowledged devloper advise your job.
2. My Fridge Connection
One loose hose behind my fridge caused the flooding, along with a unoticed leak.
insure your connection is secured and up to standards.
The Benefits of A Mold Remediation
As spring approaches so does the humidity and that creepy mold that shows up. Sometimes it shows up around our windows or even on our walls. Many people wipe the mold down with their average household cleaner, while others do a more thorough job and call the professionals. Which one is the better option and why?
Cleaning up mold yourself isn’t uncommon and yes, it is cheap. In my case in the past it always seemed to come back with a vengeance, and I would find myself doing it all over again. In addition, my home began to smell musty over the years. The reason: the mold spores were spreading into the air at a rate higher than normal every time I wiped them. This caused the spores to spread once they found a new surface. I wasn’t doing myself any favors, I was making the mold worse.
SERVPRO specializes in mold and the containment of spores. They have equipment that can collect those spores in the air and clean the air. Also, the anti-microbial that they use is commercial grade, it is not something you can find at your local hardware store. The techs are certified in mold remediation. Yes, it may cost a little more than the household cleaner but in the long run you are protecting your family’s health and a larger bill by not getting the mold taken care of correctly.
Going to the professionals to take care of a hazardous clean-up all in all seems like the correct decision to make especially when it comes to your family. Do your research, get estimates, and don’t wait! Taking care of that fuzzy little black stuff correctly could be the smartest thing you do for yourself and your family.
Recent Fire Frenzy? Des Moines, what does it mean?
Febuary 2, 2018
Per 3.8 Miles there has been a Commercial or house fire, in Des Moines.
Its only January, why the sudden surge?
My experience includes Commercial Framing construction and Web manmagment. In my opinion this surge is from a mix of things.
1. Most people are Ignorant on living issues and would not think twice to leave there Pot boiling on the stove while finishing Netflix in the other Room. We think were invincible... Were not!
"This was the cause of the apartment fire next to 235"
2. Some of us are informed but dont care about letting little things slide, like a cigarette on the brisk leaves outside our house of 13 years in january.
Sorry to inform you, its a hazard, and caused one local to seriously damage his condo on the eastern-Northern Side of des moines.
3. Accidents happen, but when one happens, there is usually a pattern to follow in a city where everybody loves to do the same thing.
My advice? Stay sharp and consider the worst could happen to you. Play it safe Des moines.
How Fires Start
How do Fires Start?
Fires start only in the presence of oxygen, fuel, and energy. There has to be enough energy provided, by either chemical, electrical, or physical means for the fuel to reach it's heat of combustion.
Right. What does that mean for my house and kids?
To start a house fire you first need to purchase a decent HDTV with a television stand that is barely big enough to hold it. Along with your T.V. you need at least two video game consoles, both equipped with component cables, as well as a 5.1 surround sound system.
Sounds similar to the set-up in the basement right?
Answer me this; How did you or your children leave all the cords? Well they left them in the corner of your room, inbetween your T.V. and computer, and its just a tangled mess.
Don't forget to have at least two power strips full of plugs buried beneath all of your cables. It's also a bonus if the phone line in your house is conveniently placed in your room coming out of your wall, this way you have even more cables in one coagulated spot! As well as all that, it's also fun when your telephone is added to the mess. Nothing is better than having your phone just lay on the ground because you can't put it anywhere else.
Ladies and Gentlemen if this scenario describes the living situation of you or a loved one, a House fire is inevitable.
Take the right steps to avoid this. Give your children chores again, untangle the mess and organize the cords. No Fuss
It might just save you a visit from us.
Why Hurricane Floods are so Devastating
The current date is 9/11/2017. Hurricane Irma is annihilating Florida residents homes one week after hurricane Harvey in Houston.
Most people had no idea their first floor was going to be underwater. Such a disaster.
Why is it so devastating? Well to start the carpet is destroyed and all walls have to be replaced completely.
Mold could be creeping in the insulation within the walls. Has to be replaced.
Well if I replace the first floor completely its probably fine right? No its not.
Foundation is damaged and the house has become a safety hazard.
Ultimately in most situations, the House owner has to demolish and rebuild. Most Banks will provide the loan out of empathy, unless, its a flood zone which could be the ultimatum of a lifetime.
3 Homeowner Tips for the upcoming Winter Season
Are you a New Homeowner about to experience your first winter? There are some things you should watch out for to avoid Calling the SERVPRO Team to Water Restorate your Home.
Here's a few tips
Step 1: Unplug the Garden hose, and shut off the water spigot.
This is the number one cause of Homeowner devastation, if you fail to do so in the Midwest; the valve could rupture and cause leaks. Results could be Mold and drywall damage. If this does happen make sure to call SERVPRO
This is a disaster, no one wants a flooded basement. If it does happen, SERVPRO has your back.
Step 2: Christmas Tree Fire's!!
Some of us celebrate the holidays with a Christmas Tree and wonderful lights! Be careful; using too many plugins for one outlet could result in a house fire!
As well as having a live Christmas Tree, watering it will keep the needles from becoming fuel for a possible House fire. It may be common knowledge but it is surprising how many people could of avoided this by knowing common occurrences.
Step 3: Insulate your water pipes!
Insulating household water pipes could stop a potential rupture and is easy to do. Most likely the only pipes you'll need to check are underneath the sink, and basement ceilings.
Doing so is easy! Simply go to your local Home Supply shop and get the appropriate sizes to accommodate your needs!
We hope you found all the tips helpful!
If you ever have a Household disaster make sure to call your local SERVPRO for a estimate!
Effective Use of Hydroxyl Radicals for Fire Damage Restoration
According to the National Fire Protection Association, it is estimated that some 370,000 home fires occur each year, costing close to $7 billion in total property damage. Many of these fires, however, start and are contained in a certain area of a home or business. Even though containment eliminates the necessity for complete demolition and reconstruction, it is still necessary for proper cleaning of soot and smoke in order to restore the property to a pre-loss condition.
Why is Des Moines the Place to be?
Why is Des Moines the Place to be? I lived in the metro a few years ago before moving to Madison, Wisconsin. I took a job with a SERVPRO up there and SERVPRO led me back to Des Moines.
For me I was very excited being 25 and moving back to a vibrant community that would be very simaler to Madison but would end up 20 time better. Why is Des Moines so great, is the continual question.
I believe it is the clash of culture, art, music, politics and most important the food. Des Moines is a plce where you can feal like a big city cat with a small town mentality. Where people are still the bees knees and a man still stand by his word. So here is some great resons why Des Moines is Great!!
I love just about anything that’s free or almost free. The metro is full of fun things to do that don’t cost a dime – the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, Jazz in July concerts andoutdoor movies to name a few. Plus, there arerandom festivals on summer weekends.
When I first moved to Des Moines, I was blown away by how active everyone was. It seemed like each person I met was a marathoner or avid cyclist. It’s easy to see why though – there are so many rides, runs and races to participate in. Whether just for fun – like the Tour de Cluck or for serious – like the Iowa Games sprint triathlon, if someone isn’t active, it’s for lack of interest not lack of options.
The awesome thing about the trail system in Des Moines is that it winds through the city before hitting the open fields. You can hop on and off at spots all around town. There are still trails I haven’t explored – and that’s OK. It’s proof there are endless opportunities to take the path less travelled.
As we all know, craft breweries are the new thing. So it’s a good thing Des Moines has several to quench the thirst of natives, newcomers and visitors. Exile’s Hannah is on the top of my list while my husband can’t get enough of Confluence – and loves that Hy-Vee sells growlers of it.
From semi-pro games to rec leagues, there is some great athletic action going on in the metro. You doesn’tlove an Iowa Cubs game or taking on a beer-buzzed volleyball team at The Sands?
You hear it a lot – and it’s true – the Midwest has the nicest people. Des Moines is the example, not the exception, to this saying. Haven’t you seen the Iowa Nice video?
Out of towners may not believe it – but we really do have some amazing sushi restaurants in the metro. Some of my faves are Wasabi Chi, Cool Basil and Sakura.
content via desmoinesisnotboring.com
How to Perfectly Eliminate Mildew Odors from Your Home
Mold - Covering the Bases
If your home has been damaged by water, whether it was a busted pipe, a frozen pipe in winter or an act of God, you know how difficult water removal can be. However, once you’re done with the water removal process you may notice mildew odors that really aren’t very pleasant.
While these odors are a natural part of water damage, you obviously want to get rid of them as soon as possible.
Use this guide to help you get rid of mildew odors in your home after water damage has occurred.
- Hire a Professional
Sometimes water damage can’t be remedied by a homeowner, especially in terms of mold and mildew smells. In some cases, these smells can indicate the presence of hidden molds in the walls and that you could have some serious health problems if you let it fester.
That’s why you should hire a professional to help with the mildew smell removal process. You can do a lot on your own, but when it comes to your health and the health of your family, a professional is essential.
Hiring a professional can also help your home retain its value.
Prepare for Spring Weather
Spring weather can be unpredictable. Reduce injury risk and plan ahead.
Spring is the time of year when many things change—including the weather. Temperatures can swing back and forth between balmy and frigid. Sunny days may be followed by a week of stormy weather. Sometimes extreme weather changes can occur even within the same day. Mark Twain once said, "In the spring I have counted one hundred and thirty-six kinds of weather inside of four and twenty hours."
Thunderstorms cause most of the severe spring weather. They can bring lightning, tornadoes, and flooding. Whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, thunderstorms can occur. For much of the world, this happens in spring and summer.
Because spring weather is so unpredictable, you may be unprepared when severe weather hits—particularly if you live in a region that does not often experience thunderstorms, tornadoes, or flooding. And when severe weather hits unexpectedly, the risk of injury and death increases. So planning ahead makes sense; prepare for storms, floods, and tornadoes as if you know in advance they are coming, because in the spring, they very likely will.
Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions.
Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it.
Advance planning for thunderstorms, lightning, tornadoes, and floods requires specific safety precautions. You can follow many of the smae steps that you would for all extreme weather events. Keep an emergency kit on hand. Some items to include are:
- A battery-operated flashlight, a battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio, and extra batteries for both
- An anemergency action plan, including a map of your home and, for every type of severe weather emergency, routes to safety from each room
- A list of important personal information, including:
- telephone numbers of neighbors, family, and friends
- insurance and property information
- telephone numbers of utility companies
- medical information
- According to the American Red Cross a first aid kit may include:
- non-latex gloves
- assortment of adhesive bandages
- antibiotic ointment
- sterile gauze pads in assorted sizes
- absorbent compress dressings
- adhesive cloth tape
- aspirin packets (81 mg each)
- first aid instruction booklet
(NOTE: Customise your first aid kit to meet your individual and family needs.)
- A 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
- Personal hygiene items
- Blankets or sleeping bags
- An emergency first aid kit in your car
Prepare your family members for the possibility of severe weather. Tell them where to seek apropriate shelter as soon as they are aware of an approaching storm. Practice your emergency plan for every type of severe weather. Show family members where the emergency supplies are stored, and make sure they know how to turn off the water, gas, and electricity in your home.
Often by the time we are aware of an approaching storm, we have little if any time to prepare for it. But we do know that when spring arrives, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods are real possibilities. So why not take the surprise factor out of severe weather and prepare yourself, your family, and your home? If thunderstorms, tornadoes, and floods do occur, you'll be ready for them.
Content Credit CDC 2016.
Covering the Bases of Fire Damage
If a house sustains fire damage, proper cleanup is crucial as the ash, soot and water will wreak havoc on what remains. It’s bad enough there was a fire, but the water and chemicals used to extinguish it can cause secondary damage. The remnants will continue to do damage long after the flames are extinguished.
The average person will attempt conventional cleaning methods like renting a steam cleaner and using common cleaning agents available at the store. Unfortunately, this will barely make an impact on the problem and could cause bigger issues. Chemical agents could react with the residue and cause permanent damage, and in some cases, they may cause toxic fumes. Fire damage cleanup is one of the most difficult jobs out there, and it should be left to a professional for the best results.
When selecting a firm that does the restoration, consider what type of training they have. Do they have health and safety certifications? Are they experienced in a wide range of repair? Do they have proof of proper insurance and licenses? The company that has the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) fire and smoke restoration Certified Firm meets all of these expectations and conditions. An IICRC-certified firm understands the need for a quick response. Immediate action is necessary because the longer the delay, the harder and more costly the job will be as reactions within the damaged material can continue to occur. The fire may be gone, but the ash, soot and smoke odors that remain can continue to do harm. Certified firms will use their knowledge of fire restoration to accurately test the damage and apply the proper repair techniques to bring the items back to preloss condition when possible!
Covering the Bases of Water Damage
The amount of damage water can cause is amazing, and often underestimated by homeowners. Excess moisture is bad enough, but when a home is flooded or hit with a plumbing disaster (like a burst pipe), the situation can quickly get out of hand. There’s a reason why these incidents are among the most expensive problems a homeowner can face. Contaminated water not only creates immediate structural problems, it can leave serious biological threats behind after it has been removed.
Floods, sewage backflows, and other sources of contaminated fluid usually cause the worst damage. Dirty water is filled with all kinds of deadly substances, ranging from chemical residues to animal feces to parasites. Bacteria, viruses and fungi grow explosively in contaminated fluid, and severe health risks, like salmonella and hepatitis, are common in flood waters.
This problem is compounded by the composition of most homes, which are filled with organic materials. Drywall, wood and the matter that is trapped in carpet fibers are just a few examples, and they can give pathogens room to grow. Within 48 hours, mold may begin creeping behind the walls and releasing spores, and any organic materials that have been soaked through by contaminated fluid will usually have to be destroyed.
That’s why restoration firms, in addition to surveying the home for structural problems, will dry the home quickly and apply antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agents to all surfaces that had contact with the water. This ensures the family can return to a safe home, and not one harboring a collection of deadly pathogen!
If you are here you most likely have had some form of property damage. While we hope no one ever has to go through a disaster or property loss, you are in good hands. SERVPRO Des Moines NW & Ames understands the unique challenges of property damage. When we say we will make it "like it never even happened." We truly mean it handling your loss and property and possessions with honor integrity and compassion. We know that this is not an ideal way to spend days and sometimes months getting you home and life back to normal. We here at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW strive to become the light in bad situation.
The reality is that things happen and you can’t plan them and they happen at the worst possible time, at Christmas, during a Birthday Party or when you cant take much more. We here at SERVPRO understand that you need a reliable Contractor that is local but yet International as well.
When I say we understand this is what I mean. We will respect you, your property. We show up in a clean professional manner and will help you pick up the pieces in your time of need. So when Life and Property Damage happen call us at SERVPRO of Des Moines NW & Ames.
SERVPRO Des Moines NW & Ames.