Recent Water Damage Posts

Yearly Inspection

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

Check mark on clipboard This is showing that it was inspected for the year.

Water damage is an unpredictable and costly issue that many homes and buildings face. It is estimated that almost all homes with basements in the US will experience water damage at some point, resulting in annual costs of up to $13 billion. Unlike fire damage, water damage often remains hidden until the damage has already occurred, making it even more challenging to address. To protect yourself and your home from water damage and avoid expensive repairs, prevention is key.

Performing regular inspections and maintenance is crucial in detecting early signs of water damage. Check for any indications of water leaks, such as damp areas or discoloration on walls, floors, and ceilings. The presence of mold or mildew is often an indicator of a water source nearby. Inspect the plumbing system that connects to appliances like water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators for any signs of leakage. Develop a habit of shutting off the water supply when going on vacation.

Maintaining the exterior of your property is equally important. Water damage can originate from internal or external sources, so it's essential to check areas where water may enter, including windows, doors, and downspouts. Inspect the roof for missing or damaged shingles and ensure that gutters are clear of debris to allow proper rainwater drainage. Seal any cracks or gaps to prevent water seepage.

As the saying goes, "It's better to be safe than sorry." Prepare for unforeseen events by storing valuable items, important documents, and seasonal belongings in waterproof containers. Consider investing in a water sensor for early leak detection, providing timely notifications in case of water leakage.

If water has already penetrated your home, it is advisable to seek professional assistance from SERVPRO of Dubuque. Their expertise and specialized tools, including water extraction systems, can swiftly remove water and minimize further damage. Acting promptly can prevent the spread of damage and aid in the effective restoration of your property.

By following these precautions and taking proactive measures, you can mitigate the risks of water damage and safeguard your home or business.

Water Damage from Flooding

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

flooded basement This flooded basement could be from a storm, hurricane, excessive rain, or snow.

Don't assume that your home or business is immune to water damage because it's more common than you might think. According to FEMA, water damage from floods is one of the most prevalent and costly hazards in the United States. In fact, recent statistics from the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) indicate a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing a flood in high-risk areas over the course of an average 30-year mortgage.

Floods can be caused by various factors, including thunderstorms, tropical storms, hurricanes, excessive rain, and snow. Additionally, floods can occur due to overloaded or clogged sewage and drainage systems, urbanization (such as extensive paving), and dam failures, among other reasons. They can happen rapidly or develop slowly over time.

The health and safety risks associated with water damage from floods are numerous. If water is not promptly cleaned up, the following risks can arise:

  • Structural damage to buildings
  • Electrical damage, often resulting in power loss for days or even weeks
  • Health hazards and diseases stemming from standing water
  • Contaminated drinking water
  • Inoperative drainage and sewage systems
  • Disrupted communication channels
  • Destruction of roads and bridges
  • Landslides
  • Ruined crops
  • And much more, including loss of life

The loss of life is the most devastating consequence of flood damage. Flash floods, in particular, are the leading cause of weather-related fatalities in the U.S., affecting both people and animals alike.

Flood victims also face significant emotional hardships. Dealing with the aftermath of a flood can lead to anxiety, depression, fear, anger, frustration, sadness, and grief. These emotional symptoms can strain relationships, disrupt sleep patterns, reduce appetite, and have other detrimental effects. That's why mental health professionals are often available during disaster responses by organizations like FEMA and the Red Cross.

Property damage is another significant aspect of flood-related incidents. While wind and lightning can cause considerable harm, water damage accounts for ninety percent of the damage caused by natural disasters. Homes, businesses, vehicles, belongings, and equipment are all vulnerable. Even a few inches of water can result in severe damage to the contents of a building, not to mention the structures and land. It can take years for affected communities to rebuild and return to normalcy.

When it comes to water damage, time is of the essence. Damage and losses caused by seeping water require swift action. Delaying water damage cleanup only prolongs the inevitable. Act promptly to mitigate the effects and prevent further harm to your property and belongings.

Water Issues

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

stained ceiling This stain shows that this house has water damage on the ceiling.

Water damage isn't always caused by floods or burst pipes; it can also result from hidden damage caused by slow leaks. Slow leaks are particularly dangerous because they are difficult to detect. Take a look around your surroundings—can you spot any signs that something isn't quite right?

Here are some indicators that there may be a problem:

  • A significant increase in your water bill
  • Wet patches or previously damp areas on drywall
  • A moldy or musty smell in enclosed spaces
  • Darkened ceiling paint or bubbled ceiling plaster

Water issues can be caused by leaking joints, water line clogs, poor workmanship, failed soldering, worn washers, or simply old age. When a leak goes unrepaired, the resulting damage continues to accumulate.

What are some of the problems caused by water damage? Wood deterioration, weakened framing, and damaged support beams can compromise the structural integrity of your home. Drywall can become brittle, warp, and develop mold, necessitating replacement. Slow leaks can escalate from a simple repair to an uninhabitable situation. Moisture creates a breeding ground for mold spores, which can proliferate, spread through the HVAC system, and contaminate the indoor air.

Extended exposure to water can compromise outlets, wiring, or electrical boxes, making them unsafe and posing a fire hazard due to shorted out wires. If you suspect such issues, it is advisable to have an electrician examine them.

The most apparent effects of water damage are aesthetic, including staining, discoloration, and streaks along the walls. Permanent stains on walls and floors resist paint and diminish the value of your home.

Insects are attracted to moisture and seek out damp areas to lay their eggs. The hatching and dying bugs spread bacteria and attract more pests. In high humidity, mold, fungus, and mildew can develop and spread easily.

A history of water damage reduces the value of your home. When a property inspection reveals previous damage, your bargaining position is compromised, leading to a decrease in the final selling price. Addressing water leaks promptly prevents such damage from occurring and helps maintain the value of your home.

Water Damage Cleanup

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

high water Hopefully, you will never have to deal with this much water!

After a water damage incident, there are two primary methods for removing excess water from your property: extraction and evaporation. Extraction is a more efficient and faster process, capable of removing a larger volume of water within a shorter period of time. You can conduct a simple test to observe this by pouring a few ounces of water on your countertop in two different areas. Set up a fan to blow across one area, facilitating evaporation, while using a sponge or dry cloth on the other area. The results will likely support the effectiveness of extraction.

At SERVPRO of Dubuque, we employ both extraction and evaporation methods to expedite the drying process for your property. For extraction, we utilize various equipment such as hard floor wands and carpet extraction machines, including specialized weighted models like the "ride on" equipment pictured. These tools employ strong suction and downward pressure to extract water from carpets and pads, making it particularly effective for surface water.

However, when water has permeated into materials like hardwood floors, drywall, or wood, extraction alone becomes less effective. In such cases, we focus on evaporation, which involves utilizing air movement, dehumidification, and sometimes heat to facilitate the removal of water that has been absorbed or bound within hard-to-dry materials.

It's worth mentioning that we also employ a system called the Injectidry for hardwood floors, but we can delve into that topic in a future blog post.

Whether you're dealing with excessive surface water immediately after a storm or water that has become trapped within building materials, SERVPRO of Dubuque possesses the necessary tools and expertise to restore your property to its pre-damage condition, making it "Like it never even happened."

Do you have Water or Storm damage?

5/22/2023 (Permalink)

Wet carpet in the door way This photo is from a sewage loss in Dubuque, Iowa.

Don’t hesitate Call SERVPRO of Dubuque NOW!

When you Need Emergency Service,

Call SERVPRO of Dubuque 24/7 – (563) 584-2242

The occurrence of flooding and water damage, as seen in Dubuque, Iowa in recent years, can be incredibly invasive. Acting promptly to mitigate the problem is crucial in minimizing costs. Water spreads rapidly throughout a home, seeping into floors, walls, furniture, and various materials. By contacting SERVPRO of Dubuque promptly, we can initiate the water extraction process almost immediately. This swift response helps to minimize damage and reduce the expenses associated with cleaning and restoration. It's important to note that floodwater can be highly contaminated.

Timeline of Water Damage:

Within Minutes:

  • Water swiftly permeates the property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Absorption occurs in walls, floors, upholstery, and personal belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, leading to permanent carpet stains.
  • Swelling and warping of photographs, books, and paper goods begin.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall starts to swell and deteriorate.
  • Water penetrates hard-to-reach and dry areas.
  • Metal surfaces tarnish.
  • Furniture undergoes swelling and cracking.
  • Dyes and inks from fabrics and paper items spread, causing stains.
  • A musty odor becomes noticeable.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may start growing and spreading.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and displays signs of mold.
  • Paint blisters.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination becomes a possibility.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase significantly, involving extensive replacement of contaminated materials and structural rebuilding.
  • Occupant safety is at risk due to structural integrity, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants.

SERVPRO of Dubuque has the knowledge.

With over 23 years of experience, SERVPRO of Dubuque specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties following fire, smoke, or water damage incidents. Our highly trained staff is equipped with the expertise needed for property damage restoration. Through initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's corporate training facility, as well as regular certification from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), our team is well-prepared to restore your property effectively and efficiently.

Pipes are Bursting

5/22/2023 (Permalink)

pipe burst This photo shows a water pipe that frozen then burst.

Dealing with water damage in your home can vary depending on the source of the water. When a pipe bursts and causes damage, it is typically considered a category 1 water loss. The main reason this type of damage is considered less severe is that it involves "clean water," which means the water is free from sewage and toxins. In most cases, items damaged in category 1 incidents can be easily dried without significant long-term consequences for the property owner.

However, when the damage is caused by a sewer backup, there are serious issues to consider. Category 3 water damage, also known as "black water" damage, is the most extreme type of water damage and requires immediate action to mitigate serious health risks. When category 3 water damage occurs, many items and materials will need to be removed from your property, and thorough drying and disinfecting will be necessary to restore your home to a safe and healthy condition.

SERVPRO of Dubuque is equipped with the right tools and trained personnel to handle category 3 water damage. They can efficiently clean and restore your property, ensuring that it is "Like it never even happened." Their expertise and attention to detail will help mitigate the health risks associated with black water damage, providing you with peace of mind.

SERVPRO of Dubuque


Water Water Everywhere

5/22/2023 (Permalink)

Flir infrared camera showing water This is SERVPRO using our FLIR in the walls.

After being away for just 48 hours, you walk into your home and are greeted by a sweltering heat resembling a sauna. It becomes evident that your new tankless water heater has malfunctioned, causing hot water to flood your basement and turn your entire house into a steamy mess. In this moment of crisis, you quickly remember the large shutoff tag provided by SERVPRO of Dubuque, which helps you locate and turn off the water supply.

Without delay, you contact SERVPRO of Dubuque to initiate the water extraction process. Their expert team promptly arrives and efficiently removes the water from your home. Once the water has been extracted, SERVPRO utilizes commercial-grade desiccant dehumidifiers, tailored to handle disasters of any scale. They strategically position air movers throughout your home to expedite the drying process. Additionally, air scrubbers are deployed to eliminate any lingering odors and ensure fresh air quality.

However, the services of SERVPRO of Dubuque extend beyond water extraction and drying. Their highly trained staff proceeds to initiate the comprehensive cleaning process. Every wall and surface is meticulously wiped down to eradicate stains and prevent the growth of mold. Understanding the value of your important documents and papers, SERVPRO offers additional resources to freeze and restore them, mitigating further damage.

With SERVPRO of Dubuque's comprehensive approach to restoration, you can trust that your home will be returned to its pre-disaster condition, leaving no trace of the water heater mishap. We can make it "Like it never even happened."

Faster to any size disaster

SERVPRO of Dubuque


Apartment Water Loss

5/22/2023 (Permalink)

water in the basement Standing water in the basement of the building.

Property managers bear the responsibility of managing repairs and addressing water damage issues in apartment buildings. There are various potential causes for water damage, and it is crucial for property managers to know how to handle them effectively. One common cause is forgetful tenants who may inadvertently cause floods due to distractions. In apartments, the close proximity of units means that water damage can quickly spread from one unit to others within minutes.

Bathrooms are particularly susceptible to flooding incidents. It's a familiar scenario where someone leaves water running in the bath or sink, only to become distracted and later discover an overflow. Such incidents can lead to water quickly spreading to adjacent areas. Plumbing-related issues can also contribute to water damage, affecting multiple units. Supply lines for appliances like refrigerators, toilets, sinks, and HVAC systems can develop leaks or burst, with water damage easily traveling through walls, ceilings, support beams, and conduits.

While accidents cannot always be prevented, SERVPRO of Dubuque can assist property managers and landlords in taking proactive measures. Providing an Emergency Response Plan from SERVPRO that includes shut-off locations and emergency contacts can be helpful. Annual plumbing inspections should be conducted to assess structural integrity, and regular maintenance of sewage pipes is necessary to prevent debris buildup and potential clogs. Additionally, appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and refrigerators should be inspected annually to check for hose condition, connections, and potential leaks.

As the landlord or property manager, it is typically your responsibility to repair the damage to the structure and fixtures. For instance, if the water damage originates from a neighboring unit's ceiling pipe, your commercial insurance policy should cover the repairs. Tenants may need to file claims with their insurance providers to cover damages to their personal belongings, while the cost of repairing the damaged ceiling falls under your responsibility. It is important for tenants to notify you promptly of any damage to ensure timely resolution.

To mitigate water damage, contacting SERVPRO of Dubuque's mitigation experts is the recommended course of action. While it may be tempting to cut corners and save money, hiring an unqualified individual for the job can lead to more significant long-term repercussions. Untreated underlying issues can result in structural damage, deterioration, and mold growth, necessitating extensive reconstruction and potential loss of rental income.

SERVPRO has established itself as the trusted provider known for being "Faster to any size disaster." Our certified technicians are equipped with the latest commercial water damage restoration techniques. They will identify the source of the issue, contain the flooding, extract excess moisture, and remediate/prevent any mold growth in the affected area. SERVPRO of Dubuque works collaboratively with insurance companies, tenants, and property managers to ensure smooth communication and make the process as seamless as possible for all parties involved. When facing apartment water damage, it is best to rely on professional services, so reach out to your local SERVPRO of Dubuque office for assistance.

SERVPRO of Dubuque


How to protect your home from water damage

5/22/2023 (Permalink)

Ceiling with water staining This shows a house with water staining damage.

Here are some valuable tips from SERVPRO of Dubuque on how to prevent water damage in your home:

  1. Regularly clean your gutters and consider professional installation of leaf gutter guards to prevent clogs in gutters and downspouts.
  2. Ensure that rain runoff is directed away from the foundation by grading your lawn to slope away from the house. If driveways or sidewalks are draining towards the house, consider raising or replacing them to redirect water away from the foundation.
  3. Maintain your sump pump by testing it before the spring thaw and heavy rains. Run a bucket or two of water into the sump to ensure it is working properly. Installing a battery backup for the sump pump is also recommended to ensure it functions even during power outages.
  4. Regularly inspect your home for water leaks. Check for cracks in the foundation and watch for dampness on carpets and walls.
  5. Conduct a thorough examination of your roof to ensure it is in good condition. Look for any missing shingles or signs of damage from previous storms.
  6. Consider obtaining hidden water damage coverage for your home insurance policy.
  7. Install a smart water main shutoff valve with built-in sensors that monitor water usage and detect leaks.
  8. Install smart water sensors throughout your home to detect leaks before they cause significant damage. These sensors can trigger alarms or send alerts via WiFi to your phone or computer. Some systems can even automatically shut off valves to prevent major damage.

By following these preventive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of water damage in your home and safeguard your property.

Just Remember that if the unthinkable does happen and water invades your home

SERVPRO of Dubuque  (563-584-2242)

Has the trained technicians, air movers, dehumidifiers and water extraction equipment to

Make it "Like it never even happened."

When Flood Waters Rise

5/22/2023 (Permalink)

Desicannt set SERVPRO of Dubuque set our Desiccant in Preston, IA.

Freida Flood here and unlike those whiney bugs Vern Virus and Bernie Bacteria I’m not here to whine about SERVPRO of Dubuque, but to sing their praises. Let’s face it, unlike those microscopic bugs, I’m a Force of Nature and there is no one better to deal with my aftermath than SERVPRO of Dubuque.

SERVPRO of Dubuque will respond quickly to do an inspection of the damaged area and begin extracting the water. After the water has been extracted then SERVPRO of Dubuque will begin drying the area using state of the art Desiccant Dehumidifiers. Don't worry about the size of area affected because SERVPRO of Dubuque has everything from small Portable Dehumidifiers to large units with their own power source powerful enough to run a variety of air movers to quickly dry the area. It is important to remove the water and dry the area as quickly as possible to keep that annoying pest Mickey Mold from showing up. Once everything is dry then the clean up has to begin but don’t worry SERVPRO of Dubuque has your back. Whether you need partial demolition and rebuild or just a thorough cleaning SERVPRO of Dubuque has the trained personnel and Equipment. From commercial carpet cleaners and air scrubbers to just plain old elbow grease So whether you’re recovering from a force of nature like myself or just an annoyance like Danny Damp and his cousins the Mildew twins Molly and Milly SERVPRO of Dubuque have you covered.

Drip Drip Drip

5/22/2023 (Permalink)

water pictures This shows the different water categories.

Water damage can occur unexpectedly, whether it's due to leaky pipes, overflowing toilets, appliance malfunctions, storms, or floods. It's crucial to address water damage promptly by drying and cleaning the affected areas. While some cases can be handled by homeowners, there are situations where it's necessary to seek the assistance of professionals like SERVPRO of Dubuque. Let's discuss the three categories of water damage defined by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC).

Category 1: Clean Water Damage

Category 1 water damage is the least severe on the IICRC scale. It involves damage caused by clean water, such as broken pipes, water supply line issues, and overflowing sinks or bathtubs. Since this type of damage involves water that is free from sewage and toxins, most items affected by category 1 incidents can be easily dried without significant long-term consequences for the property owner.

Category 2: Grey Water Damage

Category 2 water damage refers to "greywater" damage. This includes water from appliances like toilets, washing machines, and sump pump backups. While coming into contact with greywater may or may not be harmful to humans, it's important to remove any affected items and thoroughly disinfect the area if your home has experienced category 2 water damage. The waste and chemicals present in greywater can potentially pose health risks over time.

Category 3: Black Water Damage

Category 3 water damage, also known as black water damage, is the most severe and urgent type of water damage. It requires immediate action to mitigate serious health risks. Blackwater includes sewage, rising floodwaters, seawater, as well as river and groundwater. When category 3 water damage occurs, extensive removal of items and materials from your property is necessary. After the drying process, thorough disinfection of your home is essential to ensure a safe environment.

It's important to note that Category 1 damage can escalate to Category 2 if not addressed promptly. If you notice a foul odor or see mold growth, it may indicate that Category 1 damage has progressed to Category 2.

Similarly, Category 2 damage can worsen and become Category 3. Due to the potential hazards associated with these two categories, it is always advisable to contact professionals like SERVPRO of Dubuque. They can assess the damage, identify the source of the water damage, and accurately classify its category. Additionally, SERVPRO of Dubuque can provide estimates for drying and cleaning the affected area. If environmental testing is required, they can assist you in arranging it through a certified Environmental Technician.

Water Damage

5/15/2023 (Permalink)

Water Damage? We can help!

Flooding and water harm like Eastern Iowa, NW Illinois and SW Wisconsin have skilled this Summer, is very invasive. Water shortly spreads for the duration of your domestic and receives absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Dubuque arrives rapidly and begins the water extraction system nearly immediately. This instantaneous response helps to reduce the injury to strive and restrict the cleansing and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (563) 584-2242

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

Water rapidly spreads at some stage in your property, saturating the entirety in its path. • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings. • Furniture finishes may also bleed, inflicting everlasting staining on carpets. • Photographs, books, and different paper items begin to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24: • Drywall starts off evolved to swell and spoil down. • Metal surfaces commence to tarnish. • Furniture starts off evolved to swell and crack. • Dyes and inks from material and paper items unfold and stain. • A musty smell appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week: • Mold and mildew may additionally develop and spread. • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp. • Metal starts off evolved to rust and corrode. • Furniture warps and indicates signs and symptoms of mold. • Paint starts to blister. • Wood ground swells and warps. • Serious biohazard illness is possible.

More Than 1 Week: • Restoration time and price enlarge dramatically; changing contaminated substances and structural rebuilding can also be extensive. • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious dangers to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Dubuque

SERVPRO of Dubuque has greater than 20 years’ experience, specializing in the cleanup and restoration of residential and business property after a fire, smoke or water injury event. Our team of workers is fantastically skilled in property harm restoration. From preliminary and ongoing coaching at SERVPRO’s company coaching facility to ordinary IICRC-industry certification, relaxation certain our team of workers is geared up with the expertise to fix your property.

If you journey any kind of water harm or flood loss, name SERVPRO of Dubuque. We make it like in no way even happened!

Holiday water issues

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

Happy Holidays Happy Holidays from your SERVPRO of Dubuque team!!

You’ve just returned home stuffed with turkey and pumpkin pie only to find water running down the wall from the second floor. A leak in an upstairs bathroom has been running all day. Wet walls, water saturated carpets and important papers. You’ve already shut off the water, it’s 10 PM on a holiday who are you going to call?

SERVPRO of Dubuque at 563-584-2242 that’s who.

When your home has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. The water removal and water cleanup process is completed by our highly-trained technicians who will document the drying process. This validates that your property has been dried properly and thoroughly.

What to do until help arrives

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!Water damage from upper floors can cause collapse.  Beware of wet materials above.

What To Do After Flooding

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, wood blocks or small plastic cups 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.

What NOT To Do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • 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 the ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

Call SERVPRO of Dubuque (563) 584-2242

Water Alarm

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Water pipe broken Broken water line in resulting water damage

A friend of mine recently moved into a very expensive cabin and found some very interesting things that he brought to my attention.  According to the contract, all cabin owners must install water alarms in their utility rooms, kitchens, and any other area with a water-related appliance.

I decided to do some research on water alarms.  I was previously familiar with water alarms in the past, they are kind of like smoke alarms but for moisture.  When a sensor detects a certain amount of moisture, it sets off an alarm to alert you.  Apparently due to advances in modern technology they are now capable of alerting a homeowner while away from the premises through WiFi connectivity.

Being alerted to water damage when it starts could go a long way to mitigating the amount of damage caused by a broken pipe, water supply line, or even a sump backup.  Addressing water damage quickly is also the best way to avoid a costly mold problem.

A water alarm might be a sound investment if you own a secondary, vacation home or are away from home for extended periods of time.

Of course, if you do experience water damage, please contact your local SERVPRO!  Our experienced technicians can take care of all of your water damage and mold remediation needs. 

Toilet running all day

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

 Water Damage Your problem OUR solution

What to do when you have a WATER issue?

The experts at SERVPRO are here to help! You can call at any time of the day or year and we have crews ready to roll! We have trailers, trucks, and equipment always ready to go. No job is too big or small for our crew at SERVPRO of Dubuque.

When our crew arrives they will get a plan on what we will need to do, we will start the drying process. Once drying equipment is in place it can take 3-5 days for it to be dry. But SERVPRO will not take any equipment from a job until the loss area is dry.

Choosing SERVPRO of Dubuque to assist your needs will make your water loss is taken care of efficiently.  

Example for calling SERVPRO of Dubuque:

You come home from work and go into your basement and you have water to your ankles, you look around and notice it is coming through the walls and ceiling you go and find where else it is leaking from, you notice it is from your top floor toilet and it will not stop running. Not sure what to do next? Call SERVPRO and have us come take a look at what we can do to help get the water out and the drying process started. Once SERVPRO has a look at what needs to be done we can get a plan on what will happen next.

SERVPRO of Dubuque – "Like it never even happened."

Help, My Photos and Documents are Wet

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

Drying Chamber Vacumm Freeze Drying Chamber

The water is everywhere and everything is wet, my wedding albums, my parent’s childhood photos, even the birth certificates are wet! HURRY!

Have no Fear SERVPRO of Dubuque is Here to Help! The Faster to any size Disaster Team is on its way!

How can you help our wet photos and document, is often what we are asked? Getting items dry and restored back to the original condition is our goal when we do Document Restoration.

As the industry leader, we have access to the only HIPAA certified document response crew in the area. Response time is critical to stabilize the wet documents before they begin to degrade. All documents are treated using the HIPPA confidentiality safeguards and rules.

SERVPRO of Dubuque has a freeze-drying chamber located here in the Midwest, we also have access to one of the only mobile drying chambers in the country

Document Restoration begins with a method called vacuum freeze-drying.  The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to low temperatures and sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.

Here is a list of items that can be saved using vacuum freeze drying:

  • Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, textbooks, reference books, manuals
  • Business/Personal records and documents: legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogs, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
  • Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
  • Keepsakes: photographs, leather, and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
  • Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
  • Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, watercolors

 #wetdocuments #SERVPROdubuque #waterdamage #freezedryingchamber #heretohelp 

Protecting your Home from Water

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Monitoring Your Foundations Cracks Cracked Foundations can cause problems

Can you prevent a Water Loss from occurring in or to your home?

The answer is YES!

Here a few tips to help eliminate the potential of a water loss.

OUTSIDE DRAINAGE PROPERLY SET UP - Most people never think to check the status of their home’s drainage setup. This is because you assume that it’s already been done right. But this is not always the case. Your outside drainage setup is your home’s first line of protection. It’s vital that it’s constructed properly and fully functional. If it’s not, your foundation is at risk of weakening. This happens when pools of water cause the foundation to crack and settle unevenly. Over time, water finds or creates more pathways to get into the home.

CHECK YOUR DOWNSPOUTS AND GUTTERS REGULARLY - Gutters can get clogged easily, especially if you have trees that hang near or over your home. Heavy rain and wind cause the debris, seeds, and leaves to fall and plug up your drainage gutters. Making a habit of checking your Gutters regularly can save you tons of money in the long run. Don’t forget the downspouts. They are designed to direct the water away from the foundation. Clogged downspouts that are not addressed can create problems.

INSPECT YOUR ROOF - Your roof is one of the most important, maybe the most important part of your home. Protecting your home from water damage begins with your roof.

KNOW WHERE YOUR WATER MAIN IS LOCATED - You need to know this. Many people who own homes don’t know where the water main is. It’s so important to know where it is. The longer it takes for you to shut the water off, the more damage you’ll have.

CHECK YOUR SINKS, FAUCETS, AND HOSES - You need to regularly check all the sinks, faucets, and hoses in your house for leaks. Don’t forget to get on your knees and check underneath and inside cabinets close to the floor.

CHECK YOUR TOILETS, TUBS, AND SHOWERS - The grout and caulking in your bathroom can become damaged and break over time. If caught in their early stages, this is an easy fix. What you don’t want is for water to damage the drywall underneath and permeate the tile.

CHECK YOUR SUMP PUMP - Twice a year and test. The last thing you want is for a rainstorm to cause your sump pump to fail.

SINKS ARE NOT FOR GREASE - Do not pour grease down the sink! And please don’t flush it down the toilet. Throw it away in the trash or dispose of it in another way. Just don’t let it travel through the pipes in your home

CHECK THE SEAL ON DOORS AND WINDOWS - This tends to be a bigger issue in older homes. But even if your home is new, you should still be aware of this potential problem. If doors and windows aren’t fitted properly, snow and rain can get in. Heavy winds can increase the chances of this happening.

CHECK FOR CRACKS IN YOUR CONCRETE - Cracks in your concretewill happen no matter what. But make sure you address them. If ignored they can grow and create a bigger problem. Especially if the area where you live reaches freezing temperatures. You’ll also want to see if the crack is caused by a foundation problem.

PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR WATER BILL - Monitor your water bill each month and look for irregularities in usage and price. This is a really good way to spot a leak. If You Go On Vacation, Turn The Water Off.

For more information visit our website:


Going on Vacation, how well do you know your Insurance Policy?

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen Pipe that has Broke Frozen Pipe that has Broke

At SERVPRO of Dubuque, we occasionally have customers that run into coverage issues when it comes to damage caused by broken water pipes from freezing.  We asked one of our local agency partners to provide our customers with more information on this common issue.

Shirley Snow an Account Executive at Denlinger-Herrig Insurance was kind enough to provide the following information.

It’s that time of year when freezing pipes can wreak havoc on your home!!

Living in the Midwest a lot of people will take extended vacations to warmer climates. It’s important to understand what your insurance may or may not cover if you are gone, and your pipes freeze and cause a leak. Your insurance company may not cover losses related to freezing of pipes if your home is unoccupied or vacant.

Most companies consider a property unoccupied if you are gone for 60 consecutive days prior to the loss (30 days in some cases). This means that if you winter in another state your property may be considered unoccupied and there may not be coverage for freezing pipes. Some companies will allow coverage with an endorsement that states you will maintain heat in the home while you are away; or in the event that you want to have the utilities shut off and you drain all water lines.

Vacant properties are typically properties without any furniture, utilities, or appliances; essentially properties that are empty. These are typically properties that are on the market for sale or dwellings for rent. You should notify your insurance agent, if your property is vacant as there are coverages such as pipe breakage that may not apply once it has been vacant for 30 days.

Each insurance company defines vacant and unoccupied differently. It is best to contact your agent to see how long you can be gone from your home before pipe breakage is no longer covered and if there is an endorsement you can purchase to buy this coverage back while you are gone.

It is imperative that you call your agent to report a claim as soon as you suspect a pipe has broken and caused damage, no matter how minor you think it to be. If water damage is left unattended and not properly mitigated, mold could grow and potentially spread to other parts of your home. Most policies include wording that requires you to submit a claim as soon as you know it has happened. If you do not the company may deny coverage if you delay reporting the damage; which would result in more money out of pocket for you.

If you have additional question about coverage issues, or would like a second opinion on the policies you have currently, please feel free to contact us:

Denlinger-Herrig Insurance

3686 Crescent Ridge

Dubuque, IA 52003


Randi Taylor

Agency Principal

Shirley Snow

Account Executive


The 3 Different Categories of a Water Damage

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

Wet Ceiling Wet Ceiling - Category 2

Most of us are not aware that there are 3 Categories of water damage, Category 1, Category 2,     Category 3.  There will be a series of blog posts to follow discussing how different materials in your home are affected by water and how that determines how SERVPRO of Dubuque and your insurance company will deal with the resulting damage.

The IICRC S 500 4th Edition Standards book is the Approved National Standard for the water damage industry.  Everyone in the water damage restoration business, agrees to abide by these standards and the courts have, in turn, acted in the past per the standards.

The S500 categorizes water damage into 3 different categories. Here is a breakdown of the 3 different Categories.

Category 1 - water originates from a sanitary water source.  This water does not pose a substantial risk to health from ingestion or inhalation. Basically, other than falling rain water and melting ice, the source of this water is usually from the water supply to the home.  That water might be from a broken supply line, toilet tank, and tub or sink overflow (as long as there are no contaminants or additives).

Category 2 - water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.  Examples of Cat 2 water are; discharge from dishwashers, washing machines, toilet water with urine only, ground water seepage (hydrostatic pressure) or punctured waterbeds.

Category 3 - water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.  It can cause significant adverse reaction to humans if contacted or consumed.  Cat 3 water can include, sewage, waste line backflows, flood water from seas, rivers or streams.  Surface water can contain hazardous materials including pesticides or toxic organic substances.

Depending on category of water that causes the event as well as the fact that that water became contaminated by either flowing through a contaminant or from it remaining wet for a duration of time, the Category can change from Cat 1 to Cat 2 or Cat 2 to Cat 3.

No matter the Category 1, 2 or 3 SERVPRO of Dubuque has a crew that is ready to make it       “Like it never even happened.”

Be proactive

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen Water Spigot Frozen Pipes

Being proactive about our property during the cold weather in the Midwest can drastically cut down your chances of a loss. We never know what Mother Nature is going throw at us heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

      Check out these preventive tips to help reduce damage done by the colder weather.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper working order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazer potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask your SERVPRO of Dubuque Professionals about completing an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Dubuque to strike back.  We can provide anything from temporary heat, desiccant dehumidification to water damage cleanup and repair.

Is my damage covered by my homeowners insurance?

11/14/2019 (Permalink)

Damage to framing Damage to framing caused by a unnoticed leak.

You just found out that you just experienced a disaster!  There is a significant amount of damage to what is probably your largest investment in your life.  Will your insurance company help you with cleanup?  What about repairs?  What if you are forced to relocate for a time while the home is being repaired?  If the damage to the home is covered, what about your contents especially those expensive collectibles or fine arts?  What if you didn't realize that you had water damage and now there is mold growth?

One of the issues that SERVPRO of Dubuque deals with on nearly service call is the question of "Is there coverage for my damage?"

The question of coverage is always answered by your insurance company's adjuster that is assigned to your claim.  However, the selection of coverage that is the most appropriate should be done with your agent, prior to having a claim.

Here is a link to a very interesting article from House Logic, that was shared to us with our partners from Sherrill Mutual Fire Insurance Association.

The article discusses the standard coverages provided in a basic policy as well as broader coverages that are available either through endorsement or by simply selecting a broader policy form.

I believe that one point in the article needs clarification.  The article states that:

"No matter which basic policy you get, it’s not going to cover everything than can damage or destroy your home. Typical homeowners policies don’t cover:

  • Bad things that happen because you failed to maintain your home (like mold)"

Although it is true that damage caused by poor maintenance of the home is normally not covered, mold could be covered by some policies if it is a result of a covered water damage loss and the insured did not fail to address the water damage when it was discovered.

Having a better understanding of what your policy covers at the time of a loss can allow you to respond more quickly to damage.

The faster you respond, the faster we can be to any sized disaster!

Call the fire, water and mold damage professionals at SERVPRO of Dubuque.

Can important water damaged documents be restored?

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of portable document vacuum freeze drying machine Here is our portable unit located at a customers property to process confidential documents.

In the event of a water damage to your home or commercial building, important documents could be damaged and potentially destroyed. 

One of the unique services that we offer at SERVPRO of Dubuque is Document Restoration. 

Other restoration companies also offer this service, so what makes the service from SERVPRO of Dubuque different?

For starters, we have one of the only HIPAA certified document response crews in the area.  If an event causes documents to get wet, response time is critical to stabilize the documents before they begin to degrade.  Once the documents are frozen to stabilize them, we have plenty of time to discuss restoration options with the client.  All documents are treated using the HIPPA confidentiality safeguards and rules.

The most effective method of restoration is vacuum freeze drying.  The documents are brought under extreme vacuum to very low temperatures and sublimation will remove the moisture directly into a gas form.

We have a large freeze drying chamber located here in the Midwest, we also have access to one of the only mobile drying chambers in the country.  If the documents are an extreme security concern, the mobile unit can be delivered to a clients building and the restoration can take place there.  The process can be costly, but we have had projects where the documents are not legally allowed to leave the premises due to contractual agreement.  We are one of the only restoration companies that can accommodate this request.

Here is a list of items that can be salvaged using vacuum freeze drying:

  • Books and manuscripts: coated papers, maps, parchment, pulp paper, drafting linens, text books, reference books, manuals
  • Business/Personal records and documents: legal/bank/company files, patient and medical records, x-rays, engineering and architectural plans and drawings, catalogs, reference materials, certificates, contracts, passports, transcripts, tax records
  • Historical and collectible items: archival documents, rare documents, maps, stamp collections, money collections
  • Keepsakes: photographs, leather and hide items, newspaper articles, recipe books, cards, scrapbooks, baby books, wedding albums, yearbooks, baskets, awards & achievements
  • Textiles: embroidery and needlework, silks, tapestries, flags
  • Artwork: acrylic paintings, linen drawings, water colors

We can handle any size document job.  From a single file cabinet filled with personal financial documents to a warehouse full of sensitive corporate documents.  SERVPRO of Dubuque Document Response Team can be a very valuable resource.

Tank-less Water Heaters

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Broken fitting on tank-less water heater

Tank-less water heaters have become more popular every year.  Tankless water heaters are compact in size, taking up less space than conventional tank type water heaters. They can virtually eliminate standby losses - energy wasted when hot water cools down in long pipe runs or while it's sitting in the storage tank.  Here is the disadvantage.... When a hot water line leaving the water heater bursts, it continues to produce hot water, ALOT of hot water.  Since there is no tank to run dry, it will continue to spray hot water until the water is shut off.  When this happens in an unoccupied, secondary home, it can result in a significant amount of damage.  Several thousand gallons of 120-degree water, does an amazing amount of damage to a home.

We recently responded to a water damage in a beautiful, historic secondary home in Illinois.  A water line leaving the tankless water heater burst and hot water escaped the system for several days.

This resulted in extensive water damage to the basement from the water discharged from the system as well as significant damage to the main level and the second floor from secondary humidity.

If you have a secondary home or are prone to basement water intrusion, you may want to consider a water alarm.  Newer models are available that can connect to Wi-Fi and notify you of a water intrusion while you are away.

How Water Categories Affect Carpet and Pad

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

CAT 1 water on carpet

How Water Categories affect your Carpet and Pad.

In this Blog I will be referring to Water Categories 1, 2 &3.  Please read the Blog Post about Water Damage Categories first.

We often run into questions at water damaged homes regarding the wet carpet and pad.  Although every situation can be different, there are some general rules of thumb that usually apply.

If the water incident is a true Cat 1 water damage, the carpet and sometimes the pad can be saved.  If enough water can be extracted using the proper weighted extraction tools and the carpet can be dried in place.  Keep in mind that Cat 1 water can become Cat 2 if it flows through contaminants or is not extracted in a timely manner.

In a Category 2 water event, the carpet and pad should be extracted, but the pad will need to be removed and disposed of.  The carpet can normally be restored as long as it is not worn out or has started to delaminate.  The carpet should be professionally cleaned after the remediation is complete.  Again, keep in mind that the water Category can degrade to a Cat 3 if the water becomes contaminated or if mold an bacterial begin go grow if the issue is not addressed promptly.

In a Category 3 water event, as part of the decontamination effort, the carpet and pad will need to be removed and disposed of.  Normally the contaminated water is extracted first to not only make the carpet and pad more manageable but also to keep from contaminating other areas of the property as it is removed.

How Water Classes Affect Drywall

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Flood cut after water back up from sump pump

How Water Damage Categories Affect Drywall

I previously explained the definition of Cat 1, 2 & 3.  Please read the Blog titled Water Damage Categories first.

Specific building materials are affected differently by Category 1, 2 or 3 water.  The category of water can make the difference between drying and restoring carpet and pad or having to dispose of it as I discussed in the Blog: How Water Categories Affect Carpet and Pad.

What about the walls?  Depending on wall material, the method of water damage remediation will also vary on the Category of Water.

Drywall – Gypsum Board, commonly referred to a drywall has a tendency to soak up water like a sponge, especially from its cut ends.  Water that is sprayed on the wall surface is often repelled by a painted surface or simply runs off before it can be absorbed.  On the other hand, horizontal water that raises to a level above the bottom edge of the drywall will be absorbed, as much as several inches, up the wall board, depending on how long the water remains at that level.

If the water that rose to a level above the base of the wall board was Category 1 water, an attempt can be made to dry the wall.  Air movement is the key to accomplishing this.  First any floor trim or base, will need to be removed.  Standard procedure dictates punching or drilling holes around 2 inches above the floor.  This will be above the sill plate (the framing board that rests on the floor) but still below the upper level of where the base covered.  Air movers are then directed at the holes to provide air movement in the wall cavity to facilitate drying.  This method is usually effective as long as there is no insulation in the wall cavity and the water has not had time to soak up into the wall board a significant distance. 

If the water is Category 2 or 3 water or if the above method is ineffective, the affected drywall will need to be removed and disposed of, a process commonly referred to as Flood Cutting.

Flood cutting, is measuring a line 2’ ½” above the floor and cutting and removing the drywall below that line.  This will open up the wall cavity, allowing wet insulation to be removed and the wall chamber to be decontaminated if Cat 2 or 3 water is to blame.  It will also allow a much larger volume of air to flow into the cavity to facilitate drying.  If the water was very deep or sat for a long time, the flood cut might have to be made at 4’ ½”.

The height of the flood cuts, are intended to make the re-installation of drywall much easier.  In the event of a serious flood where the water was very deep or it sat for an extended duration while wet, the walls may need to be removed completely.