Recent Posts

Lead Testing May Be Necessary After A Fire Damage

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Before 1978 lead was very common in construction. Lead paint is very uncommon in new construction these days but may still occur. When necessary testing may need to be done before any removal of affected materials occurs.

At SERVPRO, we invest in our technicians with the training and certifications to provide you with the safest mitigation project we can. We always work “lead-safe” and follow all laws and regulations. For more information on lead please visit

At SERVPRO of Des Moines East & SW we typically find lead based paint after a fire and/or water loss has occurred. Used in more than 38 million homes lead is something we must be very careful about to keep you and your family safe. Protecting the health and safety of our clients is very important to us. Lead dust is the most common way lead exposure occurs.  At SERVPRO we invest in our technicians with the training and certifications to provide you with the safest mitigation project we can. We always work “lead-safe” and follow all laws and regulations. For more information on lead please visit

Water Damages Are Not All Treated The Same

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Des Moines SW & East is here to help when water damage happens.  Our IICRC trained staff will take many steps in cleaning up the damage. The first step is to determine the cause of the water damage and select the Category of water. 

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

  • Category 1 Water - Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows, or appliance malfunctions that involve water supply lines. Category 1 is from a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as "clean water". 
  • Category 2 Water - Examples are toilet bowls with urine (no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure, and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines. 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. 
  •  Category 3 Water - 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. This is 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. 

Training and Technology Set SERVPRO Apart

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

Our biggest piece that sets us apart when doing mitigation and restoration work is our detailed moisture mapping, documentation, and thorough inventory processes. We have great people who make these things work behind the scenes and it makes the difference if you were to compare. See more by visiting

At SERVPRO of Des Moines SW and East we are using the latest in moisture mapping technology to give you the best options available to get you back to "Like it never even happened."  This process is done with moisture meters, carpet probes and infrared cameras.  With these tools we can even find the water that is trapped behind structural materials. 

We also do in house training on a regular basis to keep even our senior technicians fresh in the field. SERVPRO offers excellent training modules for our staff. We look also to organizations such as the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and Restoration Sciences Academy to learn proven industry standard techniques that work.

5 Tips On How To Prevent Storm Damage

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

5 quick tips from SERVPRO of Des Moines SW & East on how to prevent storm damage to your home this summer

Clean your gutters. - Clogged and damaged gutters are what often lead to roof leaks and foundation leaks. When your gutters are full of leaves and debris it prevents the water from draining down the down spout and away from your house causing water to pool on the roof and around the foundation.

Check your foundation. - If you have cracks or large gaps in your foundation water could seep into your home during a heavy rainstorm causing water damage. Water is crafty and will find any source inside it can. Its also a good note to check the drain in basement egress windows this can become clogged with debris and act like a bucket filling with water and leaking around the window.

Pack up all outdoor furniture. - Often times outdoor furniture is made from light weight materials and in a strong wind guest can rip it right off your patio and launch it into your home or vehicles causing significant damage.

Know how to shut off your utilities. If storm damage happens to your home you may need to shut off the utilities. It’s a good practice to locate all utility shut offs and know how they work before a storm hits.

Inspect your property - Look for dead or damaged trees often times in a storm the trees can get knocked down or limbs torn off that are damaged or dead. Call a licensed arborist for help with this inspection.

Kitchen Fire Cleanup - I smell smoke, dinner must be done!

5/10/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know from 2012-2016 more than $6.5 billion dollars in direct property damage was caused by fire? The leading cause of a residential structure fire is cooking[1]. Hopefully for most people they will never have to experience a house fire and the related cleanup and restoration that follows. 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 and you can even smell it while you read this maybe. 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, wash it.

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. Unfortunately many people never make a plan for unexpected disasters such as this.

At SERVPRO of Des Moines SW and East we are always Ready for Whatever Happens and will be there for you in your time of the unexpected to help make it "Like it never even happened." We do this with 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 specially formulated products by our own in house chemist and willingness to help people and make an otherwise devastating disaster better.

We have a way to help prepare before the disaster happens. Want to be Ready for Whatever Happens? You can build and manage your own Emergency Ready Profile completely free of charge. Do you own or manage commercial properties? A SERVPRO representative can build it for you today and we do that free of charge to keep you prepared. Check out  then call our office and we can schedule a quick walk through to help build your profile. On average this process takes about 30 minutes to an hour.

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What does the word “Storm” Mean to SERVPRO?

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

When most people think of the word storm, they think about thunder, lightning, high winds and heavy rain. As SERVPRO of Des Moines SW & East 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. 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.

Whoever smelt it dealt it… Or did they?

5/8/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Whoever smelt it dealt it… Or did they? This photo shows mold growth behind the dry wall. We are hear to help with inspections to find the source of the odor.

It’s a Friday night and you’ve just gotten in your comfy clothes now you’re ready to Netflix and chill right? Well before you start making the popcorn you catch a whiff of something new. Not a good new either. You blame the garbage and go on with popcorn. Saturday is here and you realize it’s even worse. So now what, Laundry, garbage, pets, kids, your significant other... These things all can create unpleasant smells. What do you do when you have checked everything off? Everything is clean and that smell is still there.

 Did you know that on average your HVAC system is built to last 10-20 years[1]!? During that time most of us will go day by day not thinking twice about the nice warm heat or the cool A/C running. 1/6 Allergy Sufferers can directly tie their symptoms to the dust and dirt inside the HVAC system[2]! Now everyone knows to replace the filter regularly according to manufacture specifications but did you know that the inside of your HVAC system still collects dirt, dust, and dander inside!?

 If you have 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. Compromised HVAC systems that are not properly addressed will create these issues down the road.

 Your local SERVPRO of Des Moines SW & East 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 all things smelly and dirty to make it “Like it Never Even Happened”!



Red Cross Sound the Alarm Campaign

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

On Friday May 3rd, SERVPRO of Des Moines SW & East hosted the American Red Cross and about 50 volunteers for the Sound the Alarm Event. The event focused on installation of smoke alarms and fire safety in the Ewing Trace, Glenwood, and Southland Mobile Homes Parks we have Installed 180 Alarms and made 82 Homes Safer!  This is an annual campaign of the Red Cross with a goal of reducing fire related death and injury by 25%. In the four short years since the campaign started volunteers have installed 1,651,273 free smoke alarm into 684,260 households nationwide. Here in Iowa, we have installed more than 13,190 free smoke alarms into 5,102 households making them safer. This campaign has helped save the lives of 15 Iowans. One family from Dubuque credits them with saving their lives just days after the smoke alarms where installed. SERVPRO of Des Moines SW & East is proud to support the American Red Cross with sound the alarms and many other events annually!

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 Des Moines SW and East 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 Des Moines SW & East is hosting the 2019 Sound the Alarm Campaign at our location in our Des Moines office at +33 SE 5th Street 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.