Recent Posts

Spring Flood Defense: Safeguard your Valuables

4/15/2024 (Permalink)

Collage of items needed for flood safety Saving precious items is invaluable.

In a world filled with advice and warnings, staying prepared for emergencies can seem overwhelming. But when it comes to saving valuable items or even lives, the effort is worth it. Recently, my sister faced a devastating water and sewage backup in her basement, resulting in a total loss. Despite having a local SERVPRO to assist her (GO GREEN!), some items, like precious artwork and a drawing of her and her late cousin, are irreplaceable.

Another major concern was her computer. As a professional photographer with her office in the basement, thousands of photos and memories were stored on it. Why share this? So you can prepare for a similar situation.

While you might not salvage everything, materials like drywall and carpet will likely need restoration, saving precious items is invaluable and worth the effort.

Here are some tips on how to safeguard your basement during this season where flooding is even more likely.

  • Take stock of your basement belongings, focusing on items of sentimental or monetary value such as family heirlooms, photo albums, important documents, and electronics.

  • Store valuables in elevated areas, using shelves, raised platforms, or stackable containers to keep them above potential floodwaters.

  • Invest in waterproof containers or storage bins to shield your belongings from water damage. Ensure tight-fitting lids to create a barrier against moisture.

  • Preserve memories by digitizing photos, documents, and other irreplaceable items. Store digital copies on external hard drives or cloud-based platforms for added security.

  • Take proactive measures to minimize flood risk, such as clearing gutters and downspouts, ensuring proper drainage away from the foundation, and installing a sump pump or backflow valve.

  • Monitor weather forecasts and flood warnings in your area. Stay informed about potential flooding threats and have an evacuation plan ready if needed.

Revitalize Your Carpets after the Holiday Hustle

12/27/2023 (Permalink)

A before and after of cream carpet Carpet revitalized by SERVPRO of Black Hawk County.

Merry Mess Makers

The holiday season brings family together through merry gatherings, but it can also be tough on your carpets. Increased foot traffic, accidental spills, and decorative elements can leave a lasting impact. If your gatherings include children or pets, you can expect an even merrier mess! The good news, is you don’t need stress, SERVPRO is here for when the party is over, and you need some help getting your carpets back into shape!

Revitalization by SERVPRO

SERVPRO of Black Hawk County specializes in handling the aftermath of events, big or small. Our team of trained professionals knows the ins and outs of carpet restoration. From advanced cleaning techniques to state-of-the-art equipment, SERVPRO has the tools to refresh your carpets and make them look as good as new.

Our Process

Our carpet cleaning process begins with a pre-spray, allowing ample time for it to work its magic. We employ a blend of hot water and steam for a thorough carpet cleaning, followed by a fabric rinse. What sets us apart from the majority of carpet cleaning companies is our simultaneous extraction and rinsing during the cleaning process. Additionally, we come fully equipped with our own water supply, ensuring we don't inconvenience you by tapping into yours, and we make sure to dispose of the dirty residue ourselves!

Empowering the Next Generation

9/13/2023 (Permalink)

As fall arrives and children head back to school, it's a perfect moment to empower the entire household, including the younger generation, in home maintenance. However, even if you don't have kids, these strategies can help create a cleaner and more organized living space for everyone.

Let's Get to It!

1. Shared Responsibilities: Designate cleaning tasks in a shared schedule, fostering responsibility, teamwork, and valuable life skills.

2. Make it Fun: Transform cleaning into an enjoyable group activity that encourages participation. Play lively music, and work together!

3. Learning Opportunities: emphasizing cleanliness, hygiene, and safe cleaning practices. This educational aspect empowers individuals with knowledge they can carry into their future.

4. Leading by Example: Empower others through your actions. Demonstrating your commitment to maintaining a clean and organized home sets a powerful example.

Whether you have children or not, fostering a well-maintained home empowers everyone within it. It promotes a healthier and more enjoyable living environment. By embracing the back-to-school spirit and ensuring our homes are set up for success, we empower the next generation to thrive, both in the classroom and at home.

Cotton Candy Chaos

9/1/2023 (Permalink)

Pink fluffy Insulation The images captured during the restoration process tell the tale of hard work and efficient drying techniques.

One small pipe break can lead to a mighty big restoration project. 

Imagine this: You walk into your business and encounter what appears to be a sweet cotton candy dream – fluffy pink insulation filling the floors as the sun shines in. But alas, this is no sugar-filled treat; it's a major water loss scenario that has caused significant damage.

This incident began with one singular pipe break, and it soon turned into a sizable restoration project. Water seeped through various parts of the building, causing extensive damage to floors, walls, and other structures on several levels. However, with the combined efforts of our trusted subcontractors and the expertise of our dedicated SERVPRO team, we are committed to turning this chaos into a sweet success story.

We deployed state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate rapid drying and ensure no moisture was left lurking behind walls or under floors, and that is just the beginning! 

The pink fluffy insulation, while a striking visual, serves as a testament to the efforts put in to restore the building to its preloss condition. 

It emphasizes the need for proactive maintenance, regular inspections, and comprehensive insurance coverage. A small pipe break may seem insignificant at first, but without proper attention, it can escalate into a costly and complex restoration project.

At SERVPRO of Black Hawk County, we understand that a prompt and comprehensive response is crucial in mitigating damages and minimizing business interruption. Our team of professionals will be here to help!

Tackling a Large Fire Loss

9/1/2023 (Permalink)

Before and after of fire damage in a basement Before and after of the basement - "Like it Never Even Happened."

When a garage fire emerged, flames and smoke overtook the home. This home underwent quite extensive damage due to a fire that occurred and spread havoc all throughout the home. The aftermath of such a traumatic event called for swift and comprehensive action to mitigate further damage and begin the restoration process. SERVPRO®, armed with a team of skilled professionals and a wealth of experience, was ready to confront the challenges presented by this fire-damaged home.


Our recent fire job involved a meticulous process to restore the affected property. To begin, we carefully inventoried the kitchen, packed up cleanable fabrics, and thoroughly cleaned the bedroom floor and walls. Moving forward, our team continued packing contents while completing the main-level inventory. We then disposed of unsalvageable items and prepared bed frames, box springs, and the dining room table for removal. Prioritizing documentation, we carefully recorded and disposed of basement contents, followed by the necessary demolition work in the basement area.

Ensuring the protection of your belongings is always a top priority for our team. In this case, we sealed doorways, covered furniture, and took precautions to safeguard kitchen cabinets and countertops. We also relocated the stove and selected kitchen items to the sunroom. Additionally, we HEPA vacuumed, thoroughly disinfected, and meticulously cleaned the exposed backside of the walls. The bedroom received attention as well, with the removal of carpets and pads from the steps.

The basement and garage underwent media blasting, comprehensive cleanup, and a fresh coat of paint to bring them back to their former state. Pressure washing was carried out to thoroughly cleanse both areas. These actions represent just a glimpse of the extensive work required to restore the home to its previous glory. Finally, as one of the last steps, our team diligently sponged and wet-washed walls, fixtures, windows, and doors, ensuring a thorough cleaning process throughout the property

Continued Growth For Our SERVPRO Employees

6/12/2023 (Permalink)

two employees on grey backround Congratulations to Brett and Devante!

We are thrilled to share some fantastic updates on our continued growth and expansion here at SERVPRO. Our commitment to providing exceptional services and meeting our customers' needs has led us to exciting developments within our team.

We are pleased to announce that Brett Armfield has recently been promoted to the position of Operations Manager. Brett's dedication, expertise, and outstanding leadership qualities have been instrumental in our company's success. As Operations Manager, Brett will oversee and optimize our day-to-day operations, ensuring smooth coordination among our teams and delivering top-notch service to our valued clients.

Additionally, we are delighted to congratulate Devante on his transition from a Technician to the role of Project Manager. As Project Manager, Devante will lead our teams to success!

These advancements within our team showcase the dedication we have here at SERVPRO. We would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Brett and Devante on their well-deserved promotions. We appreciate their hard work, commitment.

Fact or Fiction?

9/20/2022 (Permalink)

photos of library books and fire damage When help is needed, SERVPRO is there!

SERVPRO understands the craft of storytelling. Within the work that we do every day, we see a lot of beginnings, middles, and end results. The Cedar Rapids Library knows the art of this as well, as their 95,000 sq. ft. library holds thousands of novels and story books. So when fire damage became a villain in their story, SERVPRO was ready to step in and help get them to a happy ending. 

When our Franchise Owner, Scott, got the call from the Cedar Rapids SERVPRO that a fire had occurred, there was no hesitation in being there to help. After all, SERVPRO has coined the term "Here to Help" and used it consistently, and we stand by our word. 

Scott himself, along with other members of our team drove to Cedar Rapids in the past weeks to pitch in and help with the restoration process. There was a lot of care, attention to detail, and dedication that went into being a protagonist in this process.  

More Than a Busted Pipe

9/6/2022 (Permalink)

before and after of rusty shower from broken water pipe Hats off to our Cleaning Technicians on this one!

It is no secret that a busted pipe can cause a lot of damage to a home or business. Our pros worked on a job where a pipe break caused quite a bit of water and mold damage. Our team worked hard at getting this home all dried out and back to its preloss conditions.

While water damage and mold were being put at bay, there was an additional problem: our cleaning technician, Autumn, put her cleaning skills to the test to clean up.


Sometimes when pipes break, this causes discolored or smelly water due to the dirt and other contaminants that can get into the water. Over time an undiscovered water pipe break will rust, giving the water a brown/red tint. This is what happened to this homeowner, and it left a significant amount of rust on their shower. No matter the cause of this rust, it was clear that there was a big mess that needed some elbow grease.


This rusty shower was no match for SERVPRO of Black Hawk County. What was once a shower covered in rust, was now sparkling white!

When we say we clean it all, we mean it! A lot of times losses come with different circumstances. We are ready to tackle it all!

Call us today! 319.268.1521

Are you REALLY Storm Ready?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

Lighting in water damaged basement with SERVPRO logo Get REALLY ready!

When thinking about what it means to be prepared for a storm, my first thought is rounding up the everyday essentials. Get new batteries in the flashlight, have water bottles and snacks on hand, and charge up your phone in case of a power outage. These are the things that typically first come to mind when preparing for a storm.

While any measure of preparation is beneficial, there are a few things that many people don’t think about. These precautions can take you the extra mile, and in turn, protect precious belongings!


  1. Do you have priceless valuables in your basement? -- You should consider moving them
  • Tubs are helpful but are not foolproof because they can flip upside down!
  • Be sure your sump pump is on its own electric circuit. Have a battery backup, it will save you a big mess and hassle.
  • Keep valuables at least 3-4ft off the floor.
  1. Where are your important documents, pictures, passwords/usernames, codes, keys?
  • Make sure you have copies of any important content kept somewhere safe.
  • Use a flash drive or keep a copy of your information in a lock box at the bank or other safe location.
  1. Do you know how many items you keep plugged into outlets in your home?
  • Leaving items plugged into your outlets during a storm can put them at risk of damage.
  • According to the Department of Homeland Security, you should unplug all of your appliances during a thunderstorm.

Now that you have asked yourself these three questions, are you storm-ready? Are you taking all the precautions to keep you and your home safe? If not, now is the perfect time to begin!

A Lesson from Smokey the Bear

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Diagram of putting out fire with SERVPRO logo Just 4 steps to ensure safety!

Campfires often bring family and friends together for music, laughter, and good conversation. There is something about bonding over the orange flickering light and roasting marshmallows that just feels so perfect in the summertime! 

When a campfire is not properly put out there is potential for forest fires, putting animals, people, and homes in danger. Nobody wants to end a wonderful night of sitting by the fire, looking out across a field that is up in flames. 

Our suggestion to put this possibility at bay is quite simple and has been one of Smokey the Bear's most significant missions for countless years! Knowing the way to properly put out a bonfire is key! 

If you can remember these steps, you'll always be prepared to keep forest fires at bay: 
Drown, mix, drown, feel!

  1. Drown: once the fire has mostly burnt out, pour lots of water on the fire Drown ALL The embers, pouring until this hissing sound stops!
  2. Mix: mix all the embers and ashes- Using soil or sand will enhance this step
  3. Drown: pour more water onto the fire and ensure it is all moist. 
  4. Feel: carefully feel the fire to make sure there is absolutely no heat coming from the remnants. 

Following these steps will help to keep you and your surroundings safe