Recent Posts

Check The Operation of Your Sump Pump During Storm Events

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

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 / Oskaloosa 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.

Categories of Water - When Water Damage Happens

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa is here to help when water damage happens.  The first step to make a plan to clean up affected areas after a water loss and make it  “Like it never even happened.” is to determine the cause of the water damage and select the Category type. 

There are three different categories that a water loss is classified in depending on the category of water. 

  • Category 1 Water - Is from a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "clean water". Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows, or appliance malfunctions that involve water supply lines.
  • Category 2 Water - This source is known as "grey water".Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to.  This type carries microorganisms and nutrients of micro-organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure, and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines.
  •  Category 3 Water - Known as "black water" and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affect the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water, or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water.

You can depend on our team as we have trained technicians, crew chiefs, and project managers to help determine and clean up these different types of water categories safely.  We are here to protect the health and safety of your home, business, and the people that frequent that space.

SERVPRO Commercial Resources

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

When a fire, water, or mold cleanup is needed in a commercial business, SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa's understands that getting the business back up and operational as soon as possible is the main focus. Nobody likes a disaster of any kind, and we are here to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Our resources to get your business back up and running include:

Fast response time: We will respond to any commercial event within the State of Iowa in 4 hours.

Large loss response trucks: We have two 30 foot box truck’s stocked specifically for responding to commercial losses. These trucks are stocked and ready to go so we can roll out at a moments notice.

Large labor pool – Our three offices have a combined total of over 50 employees trained and ready to help. We have access to hundreds of temp laborers that are also trained in mitigation cleaning.

Qualified list of subcontractors – When the job is finished and you are ready to rebuild your commercial business, SERVPRO has a list of trusted subcontractors that we can refer you to for all reconstruction needs.

How To Prevent Storm Damage

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

Tips from SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa on how to prevent storm damage

Clean your gutters. - An inspection of your gutter system frequently can help insure that they are not clogged or damaged. If they are clogged this can lead to roof and foundation leaks. When filled with debris it prevents the water from draining away from your house. 

Check your foundation. - Look for cracks or gaps in the foundation that could allow water to infiltrate the structure. Water follows the easiest path.  

Pack up all outdoor items. - Outdoor furniture is made from light weight materials and strong wind can turn the items into projectiles and can damage the home or vehicles causing significant damage.

Know how to shut off your utilities. It is good to locate all utility shut offs; electrical, gas, water before a storm hits.  If something happens you may have to turn these off to prevent further damage.

Check trees for dead material- Trees can get knocked down or limbs blown down that are damaged or dead. Call a licensed arborist for help with this inspection.

Close Before You Dose

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

The idea that you want to leave your door open when you sleep so you can smell the smoke is a dated and dangerous one. Studies have shown that during sleep, your senses become weak. Olfaction (sense of smell) is reduced the maximum, making it the weakest among all senses. Chances are that the smoke from a fire will reach your room long before the actual flames of the fire. Smoke contains many gasses such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide that reduce the oxygen in the air and cause disorientation. Assuming you have properly placed and working smoke detectors to alert you of the fire, closing the door to your bedroom will keep these harmful gasses at bay long enough for you to make life saving decisions. SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa has seen several occasions where the doors were shut to rooms and they have minimal fire damage while other areas not shut off have extensive.  For more information on home fire safety and smoke alarm installation, please visit

I smell smoke, dinner must be done! - Trust SERVPRO When Needing Fire Cleaning

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Hopefully for most people they will never have to experience a house fire and the related cleanup and restoration that follows but if you do SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa is ready to help.

The leading cause of a residential structure fire is cooking[1].

 I want you to think for a second to a time where you were sitting at a campfire. Now, regardless of how long you sat there you will likely have an odor on you now. Some more than others know exactly what I mean. That absolutely unmistakable smell of wood smoke, burning leaves, or a grass fire. It’s not exactly pleasant the next day if you wear the same coat, hat, and your shoes. This is a simple fix is to wash the items.

Now what do you do if you have a fire inside the house? It may not look bad or maybe half the house is gone, no matter. Your next steps may be critical in saving irreplaceable personal items and salvaging the remaining structure.  

SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa is ready to help. We do this with our trained staff who has had IICRC fire restoration training, certifications, and continuing education for our team. We use the newest technology that is exclusive to SERVPRO. We take our technical training, technology, experience, and willingness to help people and make an otherwise devastating disaster "Like it never even happened."

[1] [1]

SERVPRO Is Ready No Matter What the Storm

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa is ready for what ever the storm may be. Our staff, equipment, and trucks are loaded and ready. When most people think of the word storm, they think about thunder, lightning, high winds and heavy rain. As SERVPRO does monitor and prepare for these situations like any other, they are contained to a few months out of the year. When monitoring and preparing for a “storm” SERVPRO has to take into consideration any occurrence that is going to affect multiple homes or businesses in an area. We are always doing inventory counts and checking our resources. You never know when the next storm might come.  For example: when the temperatures drop below freezing in the winter for a period of time, homes & businesses have the risk of their water pipes freezing and busting leaving a mess. Another great example of a “storm” situation that SERVPRO prepares for is Tornado season. In any situation, SERVPRO’s goal is to be prepared and ready to respond within minutes.

Odors in Commercial Businesses - SERVPRO is here to help!

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Do you have an odor in your business? SERVPRO of Des Moines Ottumwa / Oskaloosa technicians are trained and ready to inspect and help identify the source of odor! We use state of the art technology to pinpoint moisture and compromised materials in order to eliminate the source of the odor and to make it “Like it never even happened.”!

If your building locations has ever experienced a water loss, microbial related issue, or even rodent/insect infiltration and the structural materials were not properly mitigated and restored you may have found your odor issue. 

In door air quality for your employees is very important for an effective work environment. The businesses working space is very important and we are here to help when an odor presents itself.  We do thorough inspections and will present our findings along with an estimate for services if needed.  Give our office a call today to schedule an appointment with one of our Project Management Team. 

Sprinkler Systems Are Common Causes of Water Damage

4/24/2019 (Permalink)

Sprinkler systems are commonly installed in commercial and industrial buildings. They save life and structure when a fire occurs. They do cause water damage though when putting out the fire or when the system malfunctions.  This is when SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa is here to help. We come in and dry the structure when a system malfunctions. Fire sprinklers are activated when the mercury liquid filled bulb bursts between 135 and 165 degrees. It is thought by many that they are triggered by smoke.  They are actually activated by heat. Failures occur with sprinkler heads commonly when the line freezes from cold weather or the head gets hit or pulled on by something.  We are here to help when you need it most and want to help prevent issues before they arise. It is always a good idea to know where your sprinkler line shut off valves are located in case you have a malfunctioning system and know who services these systems for your facility.

SERVPRO partners with the local Red Cross

4/22/2019 (Permalink)

We believe in prevention and preparation.  It is a natural fit for SERVPRO to work with the local Red Cross chapters.  Both SERVPRO and the Red Cross have the gift to be able to help people in their time of need so it is a natural fit for us to support each other.  SERVPRO of Ottumwa / Oskaloosa is hosting the 2019 Sound the Alarm Campaign at our location in our Des Moines office on May 3rd.  Please come out and volunteer.  You can register from our Facebook page.  The Sound the Alarm Campaign is a program to install free smoke detectors supplied by the Red Cross in peoples homes.  SERVPRO staff and others will be going out to install these detectors.  Smoke detectors save lives and we are so lucky to help with this great initiative.