Recent Posts

Ew! What's that smell?

1/19/2021 (Permalink)

A woman holding a ipad in front of air movers We are prepared to be there for you, and we can help you with any mess or smelly situation, no matter how bad.

Good news! We are able to deodorize your home whether it's a water job or fire job or it's merely animal smells. We have the equipment to get the job done. Our team of professionals will use Ozone generators to remove any odor after the source is removed. Ozone gas (O3) is very effective in eliminating odors. When the Ozone generator is on, plants, animals and the team member need to get out of the area that is being treated, because ozone can be toxic when inhaled at significant levels. It is meant to make O2 turn to O3 as it is an olfactory desensitizer. Ozone works slowly, but is very effective. Depending the disaster, the ozone generator can do the trick, or it can a necessary deodorization step.

Winter Has Arrived!

12/31/2020 (Permalink)

water on the floor With winter finally here, it is important to know that SERVPRO and our fellow team members are "Here to help."

Winter is upon us! With that comes the cold temps and the freezing pipes. Keep the faucets dripping to keep some water traveling through, making it harder to freeze, but there are other ways to prevent freezing or bursting pipes!

Keeping the pipes insulated is essential! If getting proper insulation is impossible before a storm, then wadding up newspaper and duct tape can provide temporary insulation around pipes. If the water pipes are in the garage, then keep the garage door closed whenever possible, to prevent freezing air from getting in and dropping the temps even further. Maintaining a consistent temperature in the home will also help, as well as, keeping the heat on when leaving the home for any extended period of time.

These are just a few ways to prevent freezing pipes, but if there is ever a surprise pipe burst, SERVPRO is there to help with mitigating the water and getting your home back to the way it was before, "Like it never even happened."

Homemade Cleaners Around The Home

12/3/2020 (Permalink)

A person wearing a glove with a bottle of cleaner If the mess can’t be cleaned then make sure to call the professionals. Our SERVPRO team is here to help!

Home Made Glass Cleaner

*Mix 1 part Vinegar with 2 parts water

*Add ½ teaspoon dish soap for every cup of water

*Shake to mix

ALL-Natural Homemade Floor Cleaner

*1 part water

*1 part white vinegar

*1 part 70% Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol

*A few drops of liquid dish detergent

*1/4 part lemon juice

DIY Upholstery & Carpet Cleaner   (If you have animals this can be a life saver)

*¼ cup of baking soda

*¼ cup of white vinegar

*3/4 cup of warm water

*1/2 tablespoon of dish liquid soap

Homemade Deodorizing Spray

*2 cups fabric softener

*2 cups baking soda

*4 cups of warm water

Homemade Garbage Disposal Cleaner

*3/4 cup baking soda

*1/2 cup salt

*1/2 teaspoon liquid dish soap’

*1 lemon

After first 3 ingredients are mixed, grate lemon peel into mixture. Then cut lemon the lemon in half and remove the seeds.  Squeeze both halves into the mixture until lemon is fully incorporated.  Grab a sheet pan, spoon and some parchment paper.  Cover the sheet pan with parchment paper, use the spoon to mold in half rounds, and then tap them out onto the pan.  Allow the tablets to dry overnight.  Place dried mixture into a sealable container.

This information was compiled from various on-line sources. SERVPRO is not responsible for any and all claims made by these sources. 


11/20/2020 (Permalink)

Snow Flake The colder months are quickly approaching and we are ready to help assist if you experience any damages this winter.


Winter weather can wreak havoc on your home if you are not prepared. Here is a list of tips and tricks for the winter months.


*Cover outside faucets with an insulated cover if not frost free.

*Unhook hoses and drain them before putting them away.


*Cover air conditioner with a protective cover.

*Replace air filter in furnace.

*Check duct work in attic and or basement for any leaks. 

*Inspect Chimney flue for cracks, creosote and soot buildup before starting a fire.  Also, check damper to see if it is working properly and not rusted, or warped.  This could help avoid a fire hazard.


*Check for deteriorating flashing around vent pipes, chimney and sky lights.  Seal or replace where water could seep in.

*Check for any roof damage which could create water damage from snow or ice melting on roof.

Structure Cleaning Post Fire Damage

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

A man using a rag to remove soot damage We are here to help when you need us most. If you have had a fire in your home or business give our team of professionals a call.

When fire damage affects your home or business SERVPRO of Ottumwa and Grinnell is here to help. We have IICRC trained professional technicians that specialize in structure and content cleaning. One of the first processes in structure cleaning is to remove soot residue. We use dry sponges to remove the soot from the affected materials. In order to reach the high areas in the home, we will attach the dry sponge to an extendable pole to reach all spots. Then the sponge can be used to wipe down ceilings and walls of any soot that might be on the structure.  Soot residue has to be removed in order for the structure seal coat to stick. You can depend on SERVPRO to have the right training and tools to get the job done.


10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Our Equipment next to a SERVPRO truck We have whatever equipment and vehicles are needed to get the job done. We make sure that the Green SERVPRO vehicles are ready to go.

Green is on the Scene with our many different types of vehicles. During emergency water and fire calls we respond with our trucks all ready to go! Thanks to some of our amazing staff these trucks keep stocked.

We have a water truck that we bring to the job site to extract water right on the premises. This helps to ensure that the drying process can start quickly so your water emergency can get cleaned up. We also have other vehicles that are designated for large loss jobs and removing your affected content for cleaning at our shop. When you see the green SERVPRO vehicles you know we are helping you, your neighbors, and your local businesses get back to everyday life quickly and efficiently.   

The Different Types of Smoke

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke in a kitchen Fire damage to a home or business can bring about a world of emotions but our team is HERE TO HELP.

When concerning fire damage restoration, there are several types of smoke that could be dealt with. We have the equipment and products available to help with these types of smoke:

  • Wet Smoke. (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, and smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
  • Dry Smoke. (Paper and Wood) Fast-burning, high temperatures; heat rises, therefore smoke rises.
  • Protein Fire Residue. (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
  • Fuel Oil Soot. (Furnace puff backs) While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO® franchise professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
  • Other Types. (Tear gas, fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

The Damage of the Derecho

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

Equipment set up after the storm in a commercial building The Derecho was devastating and many homes and businesses needed water cleanup along with board-ups.

On August 10th 2020, one of the biggest storms blew through central Iowa, devastating many towns in Iowa, including Grinnell, with a population of about 9,500.

They called it a Derecho.

What some are calling a “Land Hurricane” swept through and damaged hundreds of homes and businesses The damage was anywhere from missing a few shingles to full grown trees toppling over onto buildings and vehicles. Immediately after the storm had passed, with rain still coming down, the residents of Grinnell moved into action. Neighbors helped neighbors pick up items in their yard, moved small branches off of cars and out of the road, and checked in to make sure everyone was alright.

What they could not help with was the plethora of large trees blocking roads, and the power lines they took with them. It was a dangerous time to be out and about trying to scope the damage and help pick up. Grinnell College reported about $2 million in damages between trees and structures on campus, $1 million of that being the removal and recovery of trees that had fallen.

Grinnell College also offered one of their buildings for residents to get a hot meal, charge their electronics, and take a shower if needed. Over 300 people had filtered through in the first week after the storm. After about 5 days, power was returning to sections of Grinnell, as electric companies worked day and night with surrounding states sending help.

It’s been 40 days since that storm, and tree services still close off roads to clear the debris one block at a time. It could be months before the town is back to normal, or maybe even a year plus. One thing for certain, is no matter how long it takes, the residents of Iowa will be there for their neighbors.

Protect Your Midwest Home From Storm Damage

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO member and a woman in front of a house with a storm in the background It is important to make sure that you are ready for whatever disaster may hit your home or business. We are always ready to help.

Be Prepared Before the Storm

Across the Midwest, storms have been known to cause incredible amounts of damage. This natural disasters include straight-line winds, lightning, hail, flooding, snow and tornadoes. All of these can ruin your home or business in a matter of hours.

The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live. Make sure to check the weather forecast frequently and learn about wireless emergency alerts in your area.

The Difference between Watch VS. Warning     

Watch: Conditions are favorable for severe weather.  Remain alert for further warnings.

Warning: Severe weather has been spotted or indicated by radar.  Take cover immediately

                                                                        Emergency Weather Tips                                                         

Consider getting insurance for your home based on past weather in your area. Such as extra coverage for

*Hail Storms                                                    *Lightning Storms

* Tornadoes                                                       *Blizzards                                           


*Make an Emergency Kit – Include bottled water, copies of important documents, medication, non-perishable food, important phone numbers, flashlight and extra batteries.

*Maintain the roof, siding and windows of your home before a storm hits.

*Keep trees trimmed about your home and out buildings.

*Unplug electronics and major appliances before a lightning storm strikes.

Contact your local SERVPRO franchise for more readiness tips and tools.  We are just a phone call away and are available 24/7 365 days a year.

Commercial Emergency Ready Program

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

A man pointing next to a SERVPRO team member We help you create a personalized profile for your business to make sure you are prepared for whatever could happen.


Are you prepared if you have a disaster?  Let our SERVPRO team help you by doing a no-cost Emergency Ready Profile.

The Best way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to plan for it NOW.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Preparation is the key for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, large fire or a flooded area. The best time to plan for a disaster is before happens.


*No-cost assessment of your facility.

*Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation.

*A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

*A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.

*Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.

*Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

The ERP can be accessed through your computer, tablet or phone. Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster. 

Contact your local SERVPRO and schedule your complementary ERP today.