Recent Posts

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.

Document Dying and Restoration

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

A stack of wet documents We are able to dry and restore documents to help you get back to preloss conditions.

We use state-of-the-art technology which is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration. All team members who actually do document restoration are HIPAA Master certified. We can restore many documents some of which include family portraits, photo albums, bibles, tax records, personal documents, books, historical documents and more. Freeze drying can be better than dehumidification. Dehumidification can alter the structure of the paper fibers which can cause them to become brittle. Freeze drying is efficient and effective for salvaging water-damaged documents. For documents that can be transported out-of-state, our corporate office has a fixed freeze drying unit that can be utilized. Vacuum freeze drying places items into a container which freezes documents and then dries them using a pressurized vacuum sealed system.

What is the IICRC?

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Two workers setting equipment We are trained and prepared for any situation, so we can help you no matter the incident at hand.

What is the IICRC? It is the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification and is a nonprofit organization for the cleaning and restoration industry. It is an asset for our team members to be fully trained under the IICRC. Our technicians to our office members are encouraged and supported to take classes and expand their knowledge beyond what is expected of them. Our SERVPRO team members study IICRC best practices guidelines for fire damage, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. It is a certification and standard-setting organization. IICRC standards are developed to provide the highest quality concepts, terminology and procedures recognized in the cleaning and restoration industry. There are many certifications that our team members earn and our SERVPRO team of franchise professionals make sure to keep up with the certifications as technology and material changes. Our team members take the certifications to be prepared for any situation and to properly address the problem and apply efficient and thorough mitigation.

Is it essential that our team is trained properly so that we can help your business quickly, efficiently, and professionally no matter the day.

How We Can Help With Water Damage

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

a man setting a fan We are ready 24/7 for any emergency that may occur where you would need our assistance.

Your home is a reflection of your and make an impression on all those who enter it. You invest your time, energy, and hard-earned resources to maintain, protect and increase the value of your home. When you need work done on your home, you should expect the very best service at a fair price. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are committed to providing water cleanup and restoration services, as well as top-quality professional cleaning services for your entire home. We provide water removal and dehumidification. Franchise professionals identify the source and type of water, which determines the proper course of action. Drying equipment controls temperature and humidity, minimizing secondary damage. 

We are ready 24/7 for any emergency that may occur where you would need our assistance.

Making a Memorial New Again

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

A stone memorial with grafitti We were able to completely remove the graffiti on the memorial and get it clean for the community to enjoy.

Graffiti and vandalism can happen anywhere and recently our SERVPRO team was called to remove spray paint from a local memorial. This concrete memorial is located on a portion of the city bike trail and we did not think anyone would even notice that we had been there as it is set back in the trees just off of the trail, allowing us to be discrete about the removal process. The day our team members showed up to do the job, we had two ladies meet us at the entrance to the trail and told us how glad that they were that we were there to clean it up as they had been trying it themselves for over a month. These two ladies had no connection to the college, but had been trying to clean it, so the trail system could look the best it could for the community that uses it. There is still true community pride which really means a lot in the world that we live in today.

Fire Residue Types

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

A staff member cleaning a wall in PPE No matter the size of your job, we are able to get the staff and equipment to help you get back to preloss conditions.

When cleaning up after a fire, SERVPRO of Ottumwa/Grinnell cleaning specialists have to pay close attention to what kind of residue they are cleaning. There are 3 main residue classifications and SERVPRO cleaning specialists are highly trained to handle each one. The 3 classifications are:

Protein Residue: Results from burning meat, fish or beans. This type of residue is very greasy and sticks to most surfaces. Water based solutions are used to clean this type of residue.

Natural Substance Residue: This type of residue results from burning paper or wood. These residues have a dry, powder-like texture. They are the easiest to clean and are removed with vacuums and other dry preconditioning techniques.

Synthetic Residue: This type results when the burned material is oil based. Ex: carpets, upholstery, window shades, furniture and toys. These materials produce a thick, heavy, black residue that is easily smeared. If the residue is untouched, it is easily vacuumed away. If the residue is touched, other steps have to be taken to effectively remove.

After a fire, it is best to vacate the building without touching anything and leave the clean up process to SERVPRO trained franchise professionals. We are "Here to Help" and will work to help get your property to preloss conditions.

Our ERP Application

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

Our ERP app This application can be easily accessed and helps people when a disaster arises so the correct people are contacted.

SERVPRO of Ottumwa/Grinnell is here to help you plan before a disaster occurs. SERVPRO offers a no cost Emergency Ready Profile for your business. This plan will help minimize business interruption by having a plan of action. Having a plan in place before a disaster saves time and money. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile is an easy to use application that is designed to provide quick reference of important building and contact information. The application is available on any smart device. Identifying key individuals and contractors so that work can be authorized quickly allows the mitigation process to begin helping  you to get your business operating back to normal as soon as possible. With many years of experience SERVPRO of Ottumwa/Grinnell has highly trained techs who are prepared to handle any size loss at any time of the day.

Check Your Sump Pump After A Storm

7/16/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO vehicle We are ready to assist with any amount of water damage that could be affecting your property and your belongings.

When the rain pours do you check your sump pump?

A proper working sump pump can save you considerable amounts of money after a significant rainfall event. Being a proactive owner during rain storms and checking your home or businesses sump pump will help prevent damage or reduce the damage that can occur. When damage happens SERVPRO of Ottumwa/Grinnell is here to help.

If you answered no to the first question here are some things to consider checking,

  • Is there power to the sump pump? Check that it is plugged in and the breaker is not tripped.
  • Is the float free of any debris and away from the side wall where it won’t work properly?
  • Is the inlet free of any debris that could prevent it from pumping the water out?
  • Does the pump work? An easy way to test this is by filling the pit with enough water to reach the float of the sump pump to trigger the pump.
  • Check where the sump pump drains. Ensure that it drains far enough from the foundation that the water doesn't leak right back in.