Recent Posts

Residential Buildings = Potential Sewage Blockage Nightmare

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Girl in Bathtub Having A Glass Of Wine Let us take care of the drains so you can go back to having a relaxing bath!

There are perks to owning a residential building, but some aspects aren't as appealing as others. One of those is when a backed-up sewer causes thousands of dollars in damage to the floors, electrical systems, wall, etc. As an owner of a residential building, here are some strong indicators of backed-up sewage.

Odors:

If you smell an odor around the drains and it continues once you clear a clog, you should call a plumber. We advise you to call in a plumber or an inspector because this smell could mean issues later down the road.

Clogged Drains:

A blocked sewer can cause unpleasant odors, but did you know the blocked pipe can also create frequent clogging of the drains. The blocked pipe will then cause backups into your faculty, which can sink into other apartments through the ceiling. This water would be considered "black water" as the source of the leak is unclean. 

Indentations in Landscaping:

Although you may not have a clogging issue, it doesn't mean you are in the clear. Pipes could break, which could cause indentations in your landscaping, such as a divot in the yard. If the break is severe enough, you could find yourself with a sewage leak in the property's ground. It can escalate into a sewage backup in your building if not addressed. 

Deformations in Landscaping:

There is the chance that puddling happens in certain areas you can see. There should be visible signs showing a problem underneath the ground. If you were to look at a parking lot, it could look sunken or cracked. If close enough, you could see possible cracks in the foundation, which requires an expert to come out to take a look; that's us! Sometimes it's the little things that can go a long way. Here are two things you can do to prevent damage later on: DO NOT put hot grease down the pipes, let it cool, and dispose of it in the trash. Another is paper towels, feminine hygiene products, cloth diapers, and hygienic wipes do not deteriorate quickly, which can create problems for your drains. 

We have seen it all, and we have the strategies needed to keep your business safe from a stinky situation. As always, please reach out to SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville if you ever have a problem with your sewage lines!

Let's Prevent Some Ice Dams

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

How Ice Dams are Created Know what to look for so you can prevent ice dams from forming on the roof of your home.

With the winter season here, we are preparing for frozen pipe burstings and water damage caused by ice dams on the roof. Ice dams are created when three components form the perfect conditions to ruin a homeowner's life. These components are a snow-covered roof, different temperatures at the top of the roof compared to the lower edges, and freezing temperatures. 

The Perfect Conditions Equals the Perfect Wintery Nightmares

You might be wondering how a little ice can affect the roof's structure. This happens when the snow melts from the warmer areas and pools on the roof 32F or below. The water then finds the cracks in the surfaces and openings in the exterior roof coverings, seeping into attic space. Sometimes it won't stop there. The water can flow into exterior walls or through the ceiling insulation and stain the finish. 

Nonuniform Roof Surface Temperatures

There are some crucial tips that you can implement to avoid a bigger disaster. Ice dams are created when two different surface temperatures are on the roof. This means that parts of the roof have a heating source on the interior, causing the different spots on the roof to be warmer than others. Heat travels from the home to the roof surface in these three ways: conduction, convection, and radiation.

  • Conduction is when heat energy travels through a solid. 
  • Whereas convection is when heat/energy is transferred from rising air to your hand.
  • Lastly, heat/energy can be transmitted by electromagnetic waves known as radiation.

The best way to avoid creating ice dams on your roof can be achieved in multiple ways. These are some of the steps that the homeowner could do to prevent ice dams from forming: 

Limiting the Heating Source by Adding Insulation

As mentioned before, heat can move from the ceiling and insulation by conduction through the sloped portion of the roof. You should combat this critical access point by installing more insulation, precisely one with a high R-value per inch to keep heat inside the home.

Purchase A Roof Rake

If installing insulation isn't something you feel comfortable with, you could always hire SERVPRO; you can always purchase a rood rake. A roof rake is a tool you can use once the snow has stopped falling. You can extend the rake, which helps pull down access snow, allowing the roof to cut off the source of the damage.

If you find yourself in a winter wonderland of a mess, please reach out by CALLING US at 844-965-0001 or by calling the local Iowa City number 319-338-8550.

SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville Loves You!

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Funeral Booklet With Flowers If you or anyone you know is struggling, please provide them with the love and the resources they deserve!

As we slowly get back to a new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down nearly every city in the world. This isolation has left many people fighting their struggles, especially not having that face-to-face interaction as they usually would. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administrations (SAMHSA), the suicide rate is 25 times greater than the general public for individuals with serious mental illness and mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

When people decide to end their lives sometimes, bystanders might feel their fault. It’s hard to understand what is going through someone’s mind when contemplating their life. If you notice any of the following signs in yourself or anyone close to you, we suggest seeking a wellness stay. 

Warning Signs of Suicide

  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having a lack of wanting to live.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.
  • Losing interest in things or losing the ability to experience a pleasure. 
  • They are withdrawing or feeling isolated.

If you know someone experiencing suicidal thoughts, please help them get to these resources.

Resources

  • The Crisis Center of Johnson County, Iowa
  • Foundation 2 Crisis Center, Cedar Rapids
    • Crisis Line: (319) 362-2174
  • Veterans Crisis Line
    • Crisis Line: (800) 273-8255, Press #1
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 
    • 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • 911 or emergency services

Our team at SERVPRO® of Iowa City/Coralville wants to extend our hand to those struggling. We have to look out for one another as if we were our own. If you or anyone you know is struggling, please reach out to one of the resources above so you can start the healing process!

Not Today Frostbite!

1/3/2022 (Permalink)

Woman Walking On Side of Mountain The only way to protect oneself from frostbite is by monitoring the current forecast and planning accordingly.

If you haven’t been outside the past couple of days, this might be news to you: It’s FREEZING outside! With temperatures dipping down into the deep negatives, the risk of getting Frostbite is rising SIGNIFICANTLY. If you aren’t familiar, Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and underlying tissues, causing the skin to discolor to a dark blue/black color. The only solution is the removal of the body part. You might feel safe wearing warm gloves, but sometimes, they can penetrate through the material if cold enough. This blog will go over the difference between frostnip and Frostbite.

Frostnip

Frostnip is considered a mild form of Frostbite because if treated immediately, the skin can improve by reheating skin. If untreated the continued exposure to the cold can lead to numbness. When the affected area gets reheated, expect to feel this tingling pain caused by the blood flowing through the affected area. 

Frostbite

Suppose you suspect or notice a discoloring on yourself or someone around you. In that case, it is in the best interest to IMMEDIATELY seek medical assistance. If untreated, you can suspect the only solution is to remove the affected area. You should know that there are two kinds of Frostbite, superficial and deep, which both require immediate action to prevent it from getting worse.

Superficial Frostbite

When someone gets superficial Frostbite, it can change their skin color. This type of Frostbite has the chance of healing by the process of reheating the skin; note that the skin may look mottled with the opportunity of having a stinging, burning, or swelling pain. It is common for a fluid blister may appear between 12-36 hours after rewarming.

Deep Frostbite

This type progresses by affecting all layers of the skins and tissue in the affected area. This is when the skin to a shade of white, blue-gray, or black with losing all sensation of cold, pain, or discomfort in the area. Large blisters are expected to form 24 to 48 hours after rewarming. Joints and muscles can stop working, which leads to the tissue turning black and hard as it dies. 

Knowing What to Look For

You will want to seek medical attention if you start to notice any of these symptoms:

  • Increased pain, swelling, inflammation in the area that was frostbitten.
  • Fever
  • Seek attention if the skin is hard, cold, or blotchy. 
  • You are likely to develop hypothermia in severe cases, which requires IMMEDIATE action. 
    • Signs of hypothermia are intense shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness, and loss of coordination.

We at SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville want to ensure you have a safe winter season. When exposed to severe weather conditions, you have to be self-aware to know when to get to a warm area. 

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned Certified: SERVPRO Clean is a standard that we strive to achieve on a job site.

The COVID-19 pandemic, many working professionals didn't feel safe going back to the office. Here at SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville, we were busy performing disinfection jobs that ensured clients' health and the people in the environment. We decided to label our performance expectations by providing our clients with Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is our newly implemented defensive pathogenthat uses our unique 3 C'S:

Consult

    • When upholding the standard, we realize that clients are different, and we have to tailor our program to meet our customers' needs.
    • By talking with our clients, we can figure out unique information that can assist our team in providing the highest level of service for our clients.

Clean

    • After talking with our client, we will agree upon a plan of action. Our expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions. 
    • This ensures that we hold our client's job to the highest standards that the CDC recommends for cleaning and decontamination.

Certify:

    • Once we are completed, we will post the "Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned shield that will be found in the front window. 
    • This represents our drive to perform in a committed way to the comfort and security of our clients. 

If you ever want to learn more about our overall general cleaning practices, please read more at SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville.

Sewage Cleanup Expertise

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Technician wiping down a toilet to ensure it's free of any harmful pathogens. Our team will perform all the steps to ensure our client is safe in the area. We eliminate microbial growth to keep our clients healthy.

We get a lot of calls from clients when they need our assistance with whatever it may be. Sometimes the calls are general cleaning, whereas others are not desirable. 

Sewage Cleanup

When we get a class about the need to clean up a site affected by a sewage leak, we will be wearing PPE. We do this so that our employees get protection from harmful pathogens. We will place a job into one of these three categories:

  • Category 1: “Clean Water”

This is when the water has come from a clean source. If left untreated, it can progress into a category 2 or 3. Some examples of category one would be a broken water line. 

  • Category 2: “Gray Water”

This water has a significant level of contamination which can cause discomfort or illness if it gets ingested. Examples of this would be a washing machine overflow, a toilet overflow with some urine but no feces, or a dishwasher overflow. 

  • Category 3: “Black Water”

This is very much an unsanitary source that can cause severe illness or death if it gets ingested, and we suggest not to put yourself in contact with this category of water. Some examples would be flooding from a body of water, water from beyond the toilet trap, a toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has started to grow microbial growth. 

When Mother Nature Strikes this is How to Handle it

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a storm created large scale damage to town. When a storm hits a town, a significant loss can be left behind. This is a job that our crew of professionals is ready for!

When a storm causes damage to your property, it might feel like a daunting task to complete. Let us help you walk through the steps you should take to ensure your needs are met.

  1. Contact your Insurance Provider
    • When dealing with storm damage, you might consider how many other properties were damaged.
      1.  If it was an isolated event with the only property in the path being yours, it might be easier to fulfill your claim.
      2.  It might be harder to get your claim pushed through for approval if you were dealing with a storm like a derecho that can affect many properties. 
    • When having conversations with your agent/provider, you will want to write down the names of the people you speak to, their contact information, and any names given to you through previous conversations. 
      1. Additional documentation that you should keep track of is topics discussed, projected timelines are given, and the previously discussed documentation list. 
    • By keeping an accurate track of this documentation, you can ensure you can reference critical information when speaking with new representatives. 
  1. Contact your Local SERVPRO
    • Our team of professionals will compile documentation, communication logs, and other important information that will benefit the insurance adjuster. 
    • Our Project Manager will create a course of action using our proprietary data software to create the scope of work that our technicians will follow.
      1. Our services also include reconstruction to be the one-stop-shop for our clients. Meaning we can help our clients from start to finish which alleviates the stress off of you, the client. 
  1. Provide the Complete File for Adjuster
    • We pride ourselves on being a replicable source of information, which means that our documentation is done so that the adjuster can understand what happened, how we fixed it, and the steps we took to complete the job. 

Let us take the stress out of can be a very stressful time. We will provide such professionalism in handling your emergency to ensure you can free peace of mind during this difficult time. 

Holiday Baskets

11/21/2021 (Permalink)

Marketing Team Our Marketing team came together to create holiday buckets!

Holiday Bucket

Once a year, we have all our Sales and Marketing Representatives come together to create holiday bucks. This is an excellent way for our marketing staff to get to know one another as we don’t meet besides our Monday Zoom meetings. Some tunes were played, and some even danced as we each worked to complete the baskets. We had ourselves a blast as we made these baskets that we plan on handing out to the people who’ve kept us in mind when recommending clients our way. We want to show our appreciation by handing out a basket of products from local companies within the franchise region. 

The basket consisted of:

What I love about SERVPRO is how we want our clients to feel like friends. Not just a problem solver but a helpful resource to anyone that needs it. Whether that be any useful tricks in our blogs, the hard work we do on the job site, or the information we hand out at community events. Welcome to our SERVPRO family! 

How to ensure that frying a turkey doesn’t ruin your turkey day

10/28/2021 (Permalink)

Different bowls of food and a cooked turkey At SERVPRO we prioritize safety and we want you to do the same for this Thanksgiving. Make sure to enjoy the holiday season!

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville wants to help ensure that your turkey day doesn’t get ruined by an accidental fire. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, on average, frying turkeys have been the main cause of about 900 homes in the United States every year.

Preparations for the turkey before you start frying

It is critical that when you are cooking a turkey that you should NEVER fry a frozen turkey. In fact, you should start thawing it in the refrigerator a few days before the big day and make sure it is dry beforehand. You will want to set up the unit on a flat surface, preferably, on a cement driveway far from the home with nothing overhead. One of the most important aspects to keep in mind is to not overfill the turkey fryer with oil. Overfilling the unit can run the risk of having the oil spill out and which could cause the whole unit to engulf in flames.

READY…SET…FRY!

It is time to get that turkey cooking, when placing the turkey into the frying unit, you will want to SLOWLY drop it into the fryer. After the turkey is in the fryer, you shouldn’t leave it unattended because the oil will continue to rise in temperature until it reaches 450? which is the temperature that oil will start to smoke. At any time during the frying process, you see any smoke coming from the unit you then immediately TURN OFF THE GAS. The turkey is cooked all the way through when the dark meat is at an internal temperature of 175-180? and all the white meat is at an internal temperature of 165-170?. Finally, one should never try to touch the unit without any form of oven mitts due to the extreme temperature that the fryer can reach.

GOBBLE GOBBLE Time

From our family here at SERVPRO of Iowa City/Coralville to yours we hope that you have a fun and safe Thanksgiving.

Floating (Magic?) Carpet

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Two air movers with a carpet clipped underneath Air movers can be placed and clipped underneath the carpet to promote drying of the back part of the carpet. This is part of the drying process.

When water damage takes over, our team is ready to take your home back. If you have carpeting in your home, then it would be safe to say that one of your worst nightmares would be flooding or a leak that would soak and stain all your carpet. In this case, after water is properly extracted, the rest of the drying process can be continued. Whether we are placing air movers or you are renting your own, carpet can be “floated” where air movers are placed to blow air under the carpet. The air mover can be clipped to a section of the lifted carpet and the air creates this effect that is similar to the magic carpet in “Aladdin,” creating this flowing movement. If you are doing this on your own, make sure that you don’t have too many air movers putting air under the carpet at the same time. If there are too many air movers, the “floating” movement can become too aggressive and the carpet hitting the ground repeatedly can result in the tac strip separating from the backing. To ensure that your carpeting is maintained, please call on professionals to help. We have the equipment to make sure the job is done right and that we can get your home back to preloss conditions.