Recent Storm Damage Posts

Roof Tarping After Wind, Hail, Storm or Fire

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Falling trees, fire, high wind and hail storms often cause roof damage. Safety should your primary concern. Initial roof assessment should be completed from the ground as damage is not always visible. If you suspect damage to your shingles or structure, contact a professional immediately.

Vacate the premises in the event of major roof damage.

Tarping the roof will prevent secondary damage while the roof is inspected and repaired. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge provides emergency roof tarp installation to prevent further damage. When disaster strikes, SERVPRO is ready to respond immediately with your roof tarping needs.

Need an Emergency Roof Tarp? Call Us Today 1-515-955-4009

Emergency Board Up Services Available

Our professional crews use approved board up techniques to minimize further damage and secure your property and protect the building from weather, animals and illegal entry.

Storm Damage Cleanup and Restoration in Webster County

11/11/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded basement caused by freezing temperatures. Due to a cold winter storm that caused multiple pipe breaks, this customer had about 2' of water in his basement.

Storm and flood damage can be devastating. Immediate action is needed, and you need the company with storm damage experience. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge has the expertise and the resources to handle any size disaster and can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 1-515-955-4009

Storms occur with little warning and can be especially devastating, so you’ll need the company that you can trust to rise to the occasion. Regardless of the type of storm, SERVPRO of Fort Dodge can handle any size disaster. During catastrophic storms and major events, our Disaster Recovery Team can respond quickly with additional resources.

  • Flooding caused by heavy rains
  • Hurricanes and tidal surges
  • Tornadoes and wind damage
  • Ice and snowstorms
  • Wild fires

When Winter Weather Strikes … We strike back

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Prepare your home

Tips for preparing your home for winter weather

  • Keep cabinet doors open during cold spells. This allows warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets, especially if the pipes for faucets run through unheated or uninsulated areas of your home.
  • Consider shutting off outdoor faucets. Find the shut-off valve in the basement or crawl space and turn it to “off”.
  • If you follow the previous step, then open the outdoor faucet to help ensure it drains completely and the inner valve is shut off.
  • Ensure gutters are clean and secure. Leaves and debris accumulate, causing a damming effect on gutters, which could lead to roof problems and water damage.
  • Proper maintenance of your furnace can help reduce the risk of puubacks.

Prepare Your Business

Tips for preparing your business for winter weather

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Ask SERVPRO of Fort Dodge about starting an Emergency Ready Profile for your business.

SERVPRO of Fort Dodge 515-955-4009

Storm Facts

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Basics

A thunderstorm is a rain shower during which you hear thunder. Since thunder comes from lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning.

A thunderstorm is classified as “severe” when it contains one or more of the following:

  • Hail(one inch or greater)
  • Winds in excess of 58 mph
  • Stuctural wind damage
  • Tornado

Tornado Facts

Tornadoes are arguably nature’s most violent storms. Generated from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes generally appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds extending from the cloud base to the ground. With winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour, tornadoes can cause massive destruction within seconds. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and fifty miles long.

  • The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction.
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 miles per hour, but may vary from stationary to 70 miles per hour.
  • Tornadoes can accompany tropical storms and hurricanes as they move onto land.
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months.
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Watch vs. Warning

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

  • Watch – A severe thunderstorm watch means that the potential exists for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds. A watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center)

  • Warning – a severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information or a reliable spotter report. A warning is issued by the local National Weather Service office.

Unexpected emergencies like severe weather call for immediate action. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge knows immediate reaction to the disaster is important to helping you get your life back to normal. SERVPRO of Fort Dodge can also perform pack-out services, which is removing salvageable personal property from the affected area for off-site cleaning and storage.

Check Your Gutters Before the Storm

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Gutter full of leaves.

Did you know that a large percentage of damage homes suffer during a rain storm is to the roof?  Keeping your gutters clear and in good condition can help reduce the amount of damage your roof receives and how much water seeps into your home.  The more prepared your are, the less damage you will have to face.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your roof gutters before a rain storm:

  1. Get out your ladder. Go around your house and make sure your gutters are free of leaves and debris. This is a top tip from every government agency and safety service.  By late fall, it’s likely more than half full of leaves that have fallen and they’ve clogged your gutters.  Add a lot of rain, and it’s a receipt for water in your basement, leaky ceilings, and more.
  2. Extend you downspouts. Keeping water away from your foundation is critical when there is a lot of rain. A downspout that only extends the length of the curve can be dangerous.  Even one that extends three feet isn’t good enough.  Downspout extenders or even length of downspout attached to the downspout elbow can keep the ground around your home from getting over saturated.  Water can seep through the walls of your foundation if the ground gets too wet.
  3. Check your window wells. Cover them if you can keep out excess water and debris.  If a gutter were to clog, it’s often a window well that fills with water first.  The seals around the windows won’t keep water from pouring into your home.  Keep a bucket handy and check your window wells often during the storm.  A little preemptive bailing can keep from a wet basement.
  4. Be courteous and don’t dump your leaves in the street. After gutter cleaning, you may want to dump all those leaves out to the street for pick up.  Do your street storm drains a big help by not dumping them out there just yet.  You’ll wind up putting a strain on local resources and services that, in a situation like this, should be going to more important issues.  Storm drains will clog if the streets are taxed with extra leaves. They also make it more difficult to get to power lines or downed trees.
  5. Protect stuff in your basement. If there are places around your home prone to flood occasionally, even if you have dealt with your gutters before the storm, make sure you get them off of the ground.

Water damage after the storm can be devastating.  Don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Fort Dodge 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 515-955-4009.

Prepping for a Winter Storm Before it Happenes

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Damage

  • Make sure you have a 3 day supply of water (3 gallons per person) and easy to prepare food.  Here is my favorite 72 hour low-prep food kit.
  • Purchase a NOAA Weather Radio so you can stay aware of the situation if your other communication sources are cut off.  Make sure it is battery operated and that you have extra batteries.
  • Make sure you have a good shovel.  You may need to dig yourself out before help gets there.  Or you simply may need to dig out your car!
  • Purchase a supply of flashlights (with batteries) and candles.
  • Clean and inspect your chimney if you have one.  Make sure you have a supply of wood.
  • Make sure you have an ample supply of blankets.  If you power goes out, you will need as many as you can get!
  • Clear rain gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Have an alternate way of cooking.  A small “camp stove” works well for short-term emergencies.  You may also consider a butane stove which is safe to use indoors (with a cracked window).  Make sure that whatever you choose that you have enough fuel.  Cook in a well-ventilated garage (like with the door open) to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in your home.  The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increasing during winter storms as people turn to alternate heat sources.
  • Learn how to care for frostbite and hypothermia.  Make sure you click on those links and print those out NOW in case your power goes out during a storm.
  • Weatherstrip any drafty doors or windows.
  • Purchase rock salt (or something similar) to help you keep walkways safe.
  • Install good winter tires on your car and make sure the wipers work well.
  • Make sure you have fire extinguishers in your home and that everyone knows how to use them.  House fires are much more common during winter storms as people turn to alternate heat sources.
  • Consider purchasing a good supply of heat packs.
  • Consider purchasing a kerosene heater.  Make sure it is legal in your area

What to Know About Black Water

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Immediately after experiencing life-altering flooding in Fort Dodge, IA the first thing you probably want to do is start dealing with the water damage from the flood. Before diving in to the problem it is important to know about the associated dangers of black water. 

What is this water and why should it be avoided? 

Black water is liquid presumed to house multiple contaminants. It could contain: 

• Fecal matter 
• Urine 
• Used toilet paper 

Sewage systems frequently become compromised and leak after water damage, they can pose health threats to those who encounter the dirty liquid. 

It’s also important to be aware of gray water. That type often comes from washing machines, dishwashers, sinks and showers and is not immediately as dangerous as the black variety, but can become more hazardous after 48 hours of contact with building surfaces. 

How can you stay safe from contaminated water? 

The best way to limit your exposure to hazardous water from flooding is to limit your exposure to it. Instead of trying to handle the cleanup process yourself depend on our SERVPRO team to assess the damage and tackle the steps necessary for a thorough restoration of your home. 

Black water is a likely contaminant after a flood, and it’s a primary reason why you should not deal with the water damage on your own. Contacting a professional team to assist with damage from flooding gives you greater protection from possible risks and increases the likelihood of positive outcomes.


Call us at 515-955-009 for more information on mitigating storm damage and how you can be prepared.

Use extra caution when navigating flooded roads during a storm

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Use extra caution when navigating flooded roads during a storm

Use extra caution when navigating flooded roads during a storm

Driving on the roads during a storm doesn't seem like that big of a deal to some.  Getting home is often the biggest concern on someone's mind and choosing an alternate route just doesn't seem efficient.

When flood waters raise it is hard to distinguish just how high the water level is.  Underestimating the power of a few inches of rain has left more than one Mid-West area driver stranded in the middle of the river flowing road.

Always pay attention to the emergency ponderer's warning signs on roads and back trails.  Using extra caution when signs aren't present reduces the risk of being stranded as well.

When water levels flood roads and buildings sustain damage, SERVPRO is your choice for repair and mitigation.

Why SERVPRO?

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Fort Dodge area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today

Top 6 Ways to Protect Your Home From Wind Damage

7/19/2018 (Permalink)

Top 6 Ways to Protect Your Home from Wind Damage in the Midwest

Wind storms can be very damaging to your home or property if you are not prepared.  Unfortunately, we rarely get much warning before a large wind storm so it is critical to prepare your home ahead of time. Routinely checking, fixing or updating areas around your home can make the difference between a hundred dollars and thousands of dollars in damages.  

Here are six ways to prepare your home before the next storm hits the Midwest:

  1. Is your roof in good shape?
    1. Your shingles should be nailed down properly and all secured together.
    2. Replace any missing shingles immediately.
  2. Make sure your garage door is secure.
    1. Sometimes this means hiring a company to inspect your garage door to ensure it is properly secured and functioning well.
  3. Secure all outdoor items.
    1. Grills, patio furniture, trampolines, etc. These items can cause a lot of damage if the wind is strong enough to pick them up.
  4. Ensure your gutters are properly secured and clean them out regularly.
    1. Clogged cutters can create water damage to your house. They are also more likely to break in a high wind storm if they are weakened by heavy debris.
  5. Are your windows storm proof?
    1. Installing storm proof windows can make a big difference in protecting your home from high winds and hail from a storm.
    2. If you don’t have storm proof windows, consider installing steel or aluminum shutters on your windows or sliding doors to protect them from flying debris.
  6. Remove or trim/maintain trees around your home.
    1. Trimming your trees of dead wood can help prevent large branches falling during a wind storm.

Be sure to routinely check and maintain your home so you are ready before the next storm hits the Midwest. However, if you do find yourself in need of help after a storm, call SERVPRO of Fort Dodge. We specialize in restoration and water damage repair.  Call us after a storm and let us take the stress off of your family! We will make sure it's like it never even happened! 

Tornado Need to Know

7/15/2018 (Permalink)

Tornadoes are known to cause widespread damage throughout the United States, especially in the Southern Plains, SouthEast, and MidWest. But how much do we truly know about these destructive entities that tear through our homes and businesses?

Here are a couple of quick facts about tornadoes:

The average tornado travels Southwest to Northeast but have been known to move in any direction.

Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3pm and 9pm but can occur at any time.

Dr. T. Theodore Fujita devised the F0-F5 Scale for tornadoes in 1971.

In 2006 the National Weather Service unveiled the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF Scale).

A tornado normally appears transparent until it picks dust and mud from the ground.

The USA averages around 1,200 tornadoes every year, more than any other country.

In the southern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a clockwise direction. In the northern hemisphere tornadoes usually rotate in a counterclockwise direction.

Signs of Danger

Dark, green tinted sky

Large hail

Low-lying rotating cloud

Loud roar similar to a freight train

We are in the peak of tornado season here in Iowa and encourage everyone to be weather aware. Have a family plan in the event of a tornado warning. Know where your safe areas are wherever you are.

For more information about tornadoes and tornado safety visit https://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/

How to Come Back After a Flood

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

How to Come Back After a Flood

As the storm settles, the battle to restore homes and businesses begins. After a flood, the damage can be extensive and beginning the cleanup can be daunting.

Where do you start? Property owners in Fort Dodge, IA struggle with this question every year, but by removing water, throwing away ruined items, and content cleaning, your business will soon be back to normal.

1. Eliminating Standing Water

Before you can determine what can be cleaned, there can’t be any water left in the building. If the standing water doesn’t flow out naturally, then it may need to be professionally removed. Given the bacteria and mold that is often found after major flooding, it’s important that you don’t come in contact with the water itself. It can make you and your employees incredibly sick. In addition, it’s easier for you do a full cleanup if there isn’t any water to contend with.

2. Removing Loose Items

Unfortunately, not all items can be saved. This is especially true for porous surfaces. Porous materials include certain types of tile, laminate and granite. These permeable materials don’t have a smooth surface and because of this, content cleaning is more difficult and complex. Certain pieces of furniture or appliances may have to be removed from the property entirely to properly disinfect the building. If you’re ever confused about what to keep or throw out, a professional can help.

3. Cleaning Content

For hard surfaces, it is recommended that you use a mixture of water and detergent. While most non-porous surfaces are safe to clean, if the mold has spread over 10 square feet, then professional help is strongly encouraged. Keep in mind that black water is the best breeding ground for dangerous molds, so if you suspect or know there was waste water involved, be sure to get expert help.

It may seem like a long road to restoration, but it’s easier to consider if you break it up into simple stages. Clearing out the water, removing the items, and proper content cleaning should have your business back on track in no time.  Visit www.SERVPROfortdodge.com for more information on flood damage.

When Storms Or Floods Hit, SERVPRO Is Ready

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage.

SERVPRO of Fort Dodge specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today: 515-955-4009