Mike’s Blog

Snakes in the Attic

A home out in the country in Dubuque, Iowa owned by an elderly woman ended up with snakes in her attic. How did they get there and how were they discovered? The woman’s kids were trying to get the house ready to sell and had called Spahn and Rose located in Dubuque, Iowa to get the attic insolated. When the workers from Spahn and Rose went up there they had found a snake skin about 5 feet long. They did not stay long and told the owners they needed to call an exterminator. Instead of calling an exterminator like they were supposed to they had called ServiceMaster of the Key City in Dubuque, Iowa. Michael and his team from Dubuque told the kids the same thing once they saw the snake skin. The kids then ended up calling an exterminator. The exterminator determined the snake got in the attic by following a mouse up the walls. Once the snake got the mouse it could not figure out how to get out of where it was.

Cooking Accident

One day an elderly man from Dubuque, Iowa was heating up oil to make French fries in his home. He had sat down for a few minutes and ended up falling asleep. When he had awoken his apartment located in Dubuque, Iowa was on fire and filled with black smoke. He had called 911. He got the fire out before Dubuque Fire Crew arrived on scene. He is lucky to be alive. The elderly man is now staying in a hotel until his apartment is cleaned by Michael and his crew from ServiceMaster of the Key City in Dubuque, Iowa. Michael and his crew are working hard to get this man back to living in his own apartment.

Michael’s Weird Jobs #10

Dogs not kenneled properly!

One winter day in Dubuque, Iowa kids get a snow delay and then school ends up getting canceled. With there being no school a girl wants to go to her friend’s house so she calls her mom and asks to go to friend’s house. Her mom told her she could go but had to put the dogs in their kennel; instead, she put them in the master bathroom. This master bathroom had a 1980’s marble floor with a Jacuzzi hot tub.

While the dogs were locked in the bathroom all day they were jumping in and out of the tub. The dogs had managed to close the drain and turn the water on. When the daughter came home at 3:00 she noticed it was “raining” in the basement. She then calls her mom and says it’s raining in the basement. The mom Dog story pic2 copycame home to find the dogs were locked in the bathroom, and they had managed to flood the house. Three-quarters of the basement, half the main floor, and many other parts of the house had water damage. Water had run through the ceiling and went onto the pool table, electronics, and furniture.

The mom called Michael and his team from ServiceMaster of the Key City located in Dubuque, Iowa to come help her fix the house. When Michael and team arrived they set up all their tools right away and get to work. Michael went into the bathroom and ran a digital inspection camera down the vent. While Michael had this camera down the vent he saw gold. This gold ended up being a three thousand dollar diamond earring.

What’s the moral of this story? You should lock your dogs in their kennels and not in any room in your home.

Michael’s Weird Jobs #9

A Christmas Miracle

On Christmas Eve one year, a family located in Dubuque, Iowa had started a fire in a fireplace in the upstairs living room of their split level home.  They went to bed and woke up on Christmas morning, went into the dining room and tried to turn the light on only to find out that it didn’t work.  No big deal, they thought.  We’ll just go on about our day and call someone to fix it tomorrow.  When the electrician came the next day, he found that a squirrel had made a nest in the attic next to the chimney.  The heat from the fire had gone through a crack in the mortar and started the squirrel bed on fire, which caught the rafters on fire.  The rafters burned completely and the roof was sagging.  A 3×8 foot area burned to nothing and then stopped.  There was no logical explanation that the house didn’t burn to the ground.  It truly was a Christmas miracle!

With the holiday season officially here, we would like to wish everyone the happiest and healthiest holiday season from ServiceMaster of the Key City in Dubuque, Iowa!

Christmas Tree Safety Tips!

With the holiday season here, here are a few friendly reminders/safety tips with your Christmas Tree from ServiceMaster of the Key City located in Dubuque, Iowa.

  • Use LED lights on a tree to keep down on heat on the tree and to conserve energy.
  • Turn lights off when leaving or going to bed.
  • Do not overload electrical circuits.
  • Keep tree away from all heat sources: fire places, heaters, ovens, etc.
  • Use treatments that are not flammable.

Here is a brief story about a family with their tree.
A family in Dubuque, Iowa put up their Christmas tree. Along the tree skirt, they had an electric train set up. One day when the train was turned on, and it had sparked. The spark from the train had caught the tree on fire.

Michael’s Weird Jobs #8

Waterbed Freezes in Dubuque, Iowa apartment

How do you remove a water bed in the winter time?
How much water can a water bed hold (assuming it’s a king size bed)? It holds roughly 200 gallons, which weighs about 460 pounds.

There was a fire in a restaurant below an apartment in Dubuque, Iowa that had caught on fire. The City of Dubuque fire department had to come to help. When the firemen got there they had to break a window in the apartment upstairs. With the weather being below zero and the apartment not having any heat, it had caused the water bed to freeze.

When the insurance adjuster and Michael from ServiceMaster of the Key City in Dubuque, Iowa had gotten there the next day they found the water bed completely froze. Michael knew he had to get that water bed out, but didn’t know how. He then thought of an idea. Michael from ServiceMaster of the Key City in Dubuque, Iowa had to call a lumberjack to come and cut up the water bed and mattress.

Home Heating Safety

With the arrival of the colder months it’s time to think about home heating safety.

Here are some facts about home heating fires:

-From 2008-2010, an average of 50,100 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year and resulted in an annual average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries and $326 million in property loss.

-Heating was the second leading cause of home fires following cooking.

-Home heating fires peaked in the early evening hours between 5 and 9 p.m. with the highest peak between 6 and 8 p.m. This 4-hour period accounted for 30 percent of all home heating fires.

-Home heating fires peaked in January (21 percent) and declined to the lowest point during the summer months from June to August.

-Confined fires, those fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners, accounted for 87 percent of home heating fires.

-Thirty percent of the non-confined home heating fires occurred because the heat source was too close to things that can burn.

Here are some home heating tips to help prevent winter fires and to stay safe this season:

-Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, space heaters or candles.

– Never use an oven to heat your home.

– Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.

– Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected annually by a qualified professional.

– Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.

– Test smoke alarms once a month, if they’re not working, change the batteries.

No Rest For This Team!

24x7x365Last week was an incredibly busy week for ServiceMaster of the Key City in Dubuque, IA! We finished a mold job at a school and tested completely clean. We had 2 apartment complex fire jobs that required both flood and fire restoration. At one of the fires, the sprinkler system activated and flooded the floor the fire was on and two floors below. It was quite the drying endeavor!

We also had a fire and smoke damage restoration job at Cafe Fraiche in downtown Dubuque. Amazingly, we were able to get the job done in 3 days so that the restaurant could open up to their customers! Read more about this story.

ServiceMaster of the Key City’s emergency call center is prepared to handle your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Just give us a call at 563-557-1488 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Get Ready for the Holidays

The holiday season is quickly approaching. Are your carpets and furniture presentable?

Schedule your appointment now for your holiday cleaning! Call us at 563-557-1488.

With more guests, the chance of a spill increases. If your carpet and furniture are dirty, sticky substances from spills can get stuck on the dirt and debris in their fibers and make cleaning the mess more difficult. With our Dynamite Coupon, a sofa cleaning is only $50!

And for your guests with allergies, don’t forget to get your air ducts cleaned – only $20 per vent with coupon!