Recent Posts

Sump Pump Battery Backup Is a No Brainer

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Picture of sump pump battery backup in basement with SERVPRO logo Take preventative measures to protect you and your home!

As professionals in the restoration business, we have pretty much seen it all. When looking at the jobs that our technicians are tackling lately, we have seen a good portion of water damage due to sump pump malfunctions or failures.


For homes nowadays, sump pumps are a necessary appliance, especially to make sure that you are protected. They are there to guarantee that excess water caused by heavy rain does not flood your basement if the primary pump were to fail. These pumps are often installed under your basement floor, however, if it happens to be a pedestal pump, they may sit about your pump basin.


It is recommended that you replace your sump pump every 10 years to avoid any issues. As with any other appliance, there is always a possibility of malfunctions. One of the most common times for this is during a power outage. Any sump pump that has been installed for 7 years is more likely to experience issues, however, no matter how new or old your pump is, there is always a chance that it could fail. The question is, do you want to chance it?


If this information is making you weary, we have a solution that can help put your mind at ease. A battery backup for your sump pump is a wonderful and relatively cheap way to protect yourself from a flooded basement. If a power outage occurs, the backup will kick on and provide enough energy for your sump pump to continue working. It is much less costly in the long run to have a battery backup installed; this will save you thousands of dollars in water damage if your sump pump were to malfunction!

When will you be installing yours?

Heavy Rains: Friend or Foe?

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Roof shingles with rain overlay and SERVPRO logo Protect your home, protect your wallet!

Living in Iowa, we go through periods of time where people pray for rain during dry spells. There is no doubt that rain can be our friend when we are in need of hydration. On the other hand, rain can hold the title of a foe. When heavy rains occur, our homes are vulnerable to water damage. Now, we know that rain can be a breath of fresh air and it’s not logical to think that you can control mother nature. That is why SERVPRO is here to give you some helpful ideas for preventing water damage during heavy rains.


The way that you arrange your landscaping can serve as a preventative measure when considering water damage.

  • Plant trees away from the home so branches are clear from your roof and windows.
  • Create a rain garden so that when large amounts of water drain, they are not draining in the direction of your home.
  • Consider using a higher quality mulch. Certain types of mulch can help prevent water from seeping into your home.


Sealing potential openings for water in your home could be a huge money saver! If your roof has even a tiny bit of damage, the chance of water getting in is higher than if your roof or home is completely sealed off to the elements.

  • Adding window stripping around your doors and windows is a great way to ensure that they are sealed.
  • Get your roof inspected by a professional.


It is common for people’s sump pumps to malfunction when heavy rains occur, we see this a lot as professionals in the restoration business.

  • Get a sump pump battery backup.
  • Maintain your sump pump and check it frequently to ensure everything is working properly.

These precautions are just a few options, there are so many more measures you can take against water damage that will save you a boatload of money in the future!

If water decides to break up with you as a friend and become your foe, call SERVPRO of Decorah today, we are here to help!


You're in the Dog House Now!

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Burned up stove with brisket on top! Burnt brisket was not on the menu!

You're getting ready to host a gathering at your home, time is fast approaching. The brisket that you have been carefully preparing is now resting on top of the stove and all is well. Until... the unspeakable happens. Your beloved family dog's mouth is watering for that brisket, how could it not, you've put so much effort into that delicious piece of meat! He jumps up to get a taste, hits the burner, and causes the stove top to turn on. 

Unfortunately, this is not a fictional story and it is not the first time something like this has happened. You now have a very scorched brisket, and even worse, your whole house is burning along with your belongings. 

You can never predict these things, however, you can take prevention and education seriously and always be doing things to lesson your chance of fires, water damage, and other disasters. 

If you are not following us on social media, nows the time to do so! We post many helpful educational tidbits, home improvement tips, safety measures, and more! You will find our socials at the bottom of this newsletter!

Call SERVPRO today if you are in need of cleanup  or restoration! 

Summer Maintence Checklist

5/30/2022 (Permalink)

Summer Checklist graphic with SERVPRO logo Check those boxes!

With our changing seasons, we usually all remember to change the heating and cooling furnace filter but it's the upkeep of other appliances and essential working parts of our home that we need a reminder.

  • GARBAGE DISPOSAL - Turn off the power. To remove sludge, fill the sink with ice cubes then pour in 1/2 cup of coarse salt. Let the ice sit for about 30 minutes, then turn on the garbage disposal and the faucet and leave both on until all the ice and salt are gone. Use a scrub brush to clean the drain and baffle.
  • DISHWASHER FILTER - Wipe off with a paper towel, then rinse with hot water till the water runs quickly through the screen. Use mild soap if needed.
  • BATHROOM EXHAUST FAN - Turn the fan off. Remove the plastic exterior grille. Wipe or vacuum with a bristle brush to thoroughly remove dust. Carefully vacuum the fan housing and around the motor.
  • DRYER LINT SCREEN - Remove lint, then rinse with hot water till the screen runs clear and quickly through. Use mild soap if needed.  The flexible dryer duct should also be cleaned out to make sure the lint is not clogged. Make sure the outside vent is cleared.
  • FLOOR DRAIN - Remove debris and sand while wearing disposable gloves. Annually, have a floor cleaning expert to ‘snake’ or clear buildup from hair, laundry soap & fabric lent, and especially tree roots that block flow.
  • DEHUMIDIFIER FILTER - Wipe off with a paper towel, then rinse with hot water till water runs quickly through the screen.
  • SUMP PUMP - Test the flotation device by pouring enough water into the sump basin to trigger the pump, make sure the float moves freely and the sump pump activates when the water gets high enough. Let the pump remove most of the water and make sure it shuts off when the water is only a few inches deep. Repeat this test one more time. Make sure the intake screen or discharge pipe is not clogged. Purchase a battery-operated pump or have a generator to use if the pump were to stop due to power failure.
  • AC UNIT - Turn off. Use a leafblower to remove large debris. Spray water to clean off loose debris. Spray outside unit with coil cleaner and wait 15 minutes. Rinse the cleaner off with water.

**Every appliance model is different so make sure to research your item for the location and best maintenance practices.**

As always, SERVPRO of Decorah is here to help. 

Property Inspection After Mother Nature Strikes

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy storms graphic with SERVPRO logo and stormy photos 100% Chance of Property Inspection

Mother Nature has a mind of her own and sometimes she gets a little angry (we’ve all been there). When storms blow through your neighborhood, the wind, rain, and other elements can be damaging to your home. After a storm, it is important to look your property over to make sure that nothing is affected. It ensures that there is no water seeping into your home, or mold growth in hidden areas. Our homes are very important and usually near and dear to our hearts, so let’s get to it!


When it comes to storm damage, windows and doors are a vulnerable part of your home.

  • Examine them from both the inside and out! Look for any holes, broken panes or hinges, cracks, and frame damage.
  • If your home has aluminum cladding, which is the protective covering outside of your window frame, this is often the first place you’ll see damage.


Because your roof is very exposed to the elements, this is a typical source of damage, in turn letting water run into your home. From ground level, try these tips.

  • Look for raised, missing, or lose shingles. If the wind was severe enough, you may even find some laying on your lawn.
  • Examine your gutters and downspouts, looking for dents or any large debris that may have washed down them.
  • Bonus tip: If you look for denting at dawn or dusk, the shadows will help you see denting.


  • Brick, cement boards, siding, and shingles can all be victims of the storm. While the siding of your house is usually pretty robust, it can still happen.
  • Check for cracking, chops, dents, or other damages.


After you have closely inspected your home after a storm, if you find any signs of damage, the first step you should take is to call your insurance. Once you have done that call SERVPRO so we can assist you right away before further damages occur! We have experience in storm response, and we are here to help!

Landlords and Property Managers - Listen up!

5/19/2022 (Permalink)

"GET YOUR FREE ERP PLAN" with app icon and SERVPRO logo 100% FREE

As a property manager or landlord, no one wants to get that call in the middle of the night learning that their building has water pouring from the walls, or is combusted into flames. These are things we never think will happen to us… until they do, and when they do it can be scary!

If you are a landlord or rental owner you may be asking yourself:

  • How can I be ready in case this ever happens to me?
  • What can I do to minimize damages?
  • What is the best plan of action?

Never fear because SERVPRO of Decorah has a program for you that is 100% FREE. Absolutely no hidden fees, just preparedness, a detailed plan, and peace of mind!


SERVPRO does what we call an ERP, this stands for Emergency Ready Profile. This program helps minimize damage, and educates homes or businesses on where important utilities are, such as your water shut off, and more!

This profile allows you to get back into your space in a timelier manner if a loss were to occur at your property. It helps ease some of that uncertainty when water comes flowing through spaces it doesn’t belong, or your kitchen catches fire.

Those questions above that can seem daunting, but SERVPRO of Decorah has you covered! Contact us today for your free ERP!


It's Time to Grill!

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

National BBQ Month graphic with flames, grill with food, and SERVPRO logo Grill a safe steak!

Grilling puts your home more at risk for a fire. It’s the time of year that people start breaking those grills out, there’s no better time than National BBQ month (May). We love a freshly grilled steak but we love it more when it is grilled SAFLEY! We are bringing you some reminders on grilling safety as we head into summer!


  • Only use propane & charcoal grills outdoors
  • Place your grill away from the home, deck, or overhanging branches
  • Never leave it unattended
  • Keep a close eye on children & pets when in use
  • Open gas grill lid before lighting
  • Keep your grill cleaning by removing grease build-up & cleaning trays below

 Happy safe summer grilling!

If you experience fire damage from grilling gone wrong, don't hesitate, call SERVPRO of Decorah! 

Quick Clever Cleaning

5/9/2022 (Permalink)

Sponge inserted into fan showing how to dust, SERVPRO logo This sponge makeover really does work!

SERVPRO is sharing (7) cleaning methods in honor of marketing manager, Debbie’s, seven-year anniversary in 2022. Here are some of her top picks for quick & clever cleaning:

  1. Grab Little Pockets of Time: You will NEVER have enough time to completely clean your home in one stretch. Group cleaning tasks & position organized cleaning tools to grab and knock out housework. Accomplish more with less, when you take note of open moments.
  2. Simple Shower Scrubber: thoroughly mix equal parts of dish soap and vinegar in a liquid measuring cup; pour into the handle and fill a dish wand scrubber. Leave in your shower to do a quick wipe before turning off the water. Keeps soap scum at bay! (Debbie’s favorite!)
  3. Bye-Bye Hard Water Deposits: soak a cleaning cloth in vinegar and wrap around faucets that have water deposit stains. Leave for at least one hour. Remove and wipe bye-bye! (Depending on stain, you might need to let it sit longer or use a toothbrush to scrub a bit.)
  4. RAIN X: After cleaning your glass shower door, spray RAIN X (typically used on vehicles) and watch the water bead and roll off! No more cloudy doors! (Repeat as needed)
  5. Sponge Makeover: Transform handheld all-purpose sponges with a few easy cuts, to make it fit into an area or object you need to clean. Example-laying the sponge flat, cutting slices ¼ to ½ of the way up the sponge, the width of the grates of a floor fan or small heater. Insert the sponge into an unplugged unit and wiggle & work your way around. See how much you can collect!

  1. Baking Soda, Vinegar, Salt, Lemon, Coca Cola- a recipe for clean! These household items are essential to have on hand to clean. Try looking up whatever cleaning need you have and discover how these simple ingredients-either alone or combined- can be an effective method of cleaning up!
  2. Mini Spray Bottles, Q-Tips, Coffee Filters, Old Socks= creative cleaning tools!
    Mini Spray bottles=homemade cleaning solutions (be sure to label the bottle).
    Q-Tips=cervices, slim openings, direct application of cleaner (i.e.: around sink drain opening).
    Coffee Filters=use to clean mirrors & windows streak-free!
    Old Socks=put on your hand to slide on top & bottom of the ceiling fan blade, gripping dust pieces.

With everything, remember to spot test what you’re cleaning, to be sure it won’t harm the material.

These quick clever cleaning suggestions will leave you more time to enjoy other areas of life!

Restoring a Brick Building to It's Former Glory

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

Before and after of graffiti on brick building While we can't share the full explicate nature of this vandalism we wanted to showcase the hard work of our Technicians Kelly and Talor for restoring!

Vandalism and graffiti can often cause a lot of stress and of course, you guessed it…mess. SERVPRO of Decorah is equipped with the right tools and cleaners to help ease the stress of the mess.

Recently our team was called in to clean some graffiti that was painted across a beautiful commercial brick building. Project Manager, Brett, arrived at the job and the first step was testing the product to see if it would be sufficient in removing the spray paint. This was no small feat, as the porous material of the concrete brick really wanted to hang onto the paint. After some different testing, he knew this was going to be a tough one.


Due to the aggressive nature of the cleaning, it was important to explain to the client that there was a possibility of taking off some of the color of the brick. Once our Project Manager explained this, it was time to get this beautiful brick back to its former glory.

MAKING IT “Like it never even happened.”

Technicians, Kelly and Talor sprayed graffiti removed and let this dwell for about an hour before they got to scrubbing. Once they completed this process, they repeated it one more time. After the hard work was put in by our team, the building truly looked “Like it never even happened.”

If your home or business has been a target of vandalism, call SERVPRO of Decorah. We truly are here to help and want to help take the stress out of the mess! 

The Ingredients of a Storm

4/27/2022 (Permalink)

lighting, stormy sky, the words MOISTURE, AIR, and LIFT with a SERVPRO logo The 3 ingredients to a storm!

Storms can bring lightning, tornadoes, flooding, and in turn, can cause structural damage to your home or business. Even more importantly there is the risk for your own safety in some circumstances. In an article written by Jason Clayworth just this month, his data reports that between March and May, the predicted amount of tornadoes is between 1,350 and 1,475. This number is 18% above the average for the U.S. They say that April is predicted to be the most active time for severe weather and tornadoes.


When the warm, moist air meets the dry cool air, a thunderstorm can occur.

For a storm to present itself, there are three things that need to be present: 

  1. Moisture
  2. Unstable air
  3. Lift


Moisture primarily comes from the evaporation of water from the Earth’s surface, on land, but primarily comes from the oceans. 


This is created when cold dry air sits about warm moist air that is near the ground.


This usually occurs due to different air densities. Warmer, less dense air rises up, creating the lift. As the air lifts higher, the storm clouds grow taller, they can sometimes even reach up to 10 miles into the air.

Where it starts to get crazy, is when you have the upward drafts happening at the same time as what they call downdrafts, this is when those dangerous storms can lead to hail, tornadoes, wind, and flooding.

Once the storm begins to run out of warm, moist updrafts, the storm will begin to die off


Despite the ingredients that make up a storm, they always come with the potential for injury or property damage, and that is where SERVPRO of Decorah steps in. If you have storm damage to your home or business, call today, and we will get it back in tip-top shape!