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Service with heart

Photo by: Bridget Broihahn

Servpro may be one of the few companies that can honestly say that their customers are happy when they are not around.

“That’s right. We don’t deal with a lot of happy customers until we leave. Think about it: when you have 5 feet of water in your basement, or a fire has destroyed your kitchen, family room or home, how happy are you going to be? As a company, we need to understand they are dealing with one of the worst events that may ever happen to them,” Butch Dalhaus of Servpro said. Dalhaus is the Sales and Marketing Manager for Servpro, and he said the work Servpro does is both rewarding and meaningful.

“One example is this past Christmas season there was a chimney fire in a home. The fire put a damper on their holiday season. Yes, the fire was put out, but now there was a big hole in their roof and water damage. Snow and subzero temperatures were heading for the twin cities. The electrical wires had melted, so there was no power to the furnace. We needed to winterize the house to avoid pipes freezing and creating a larger mess for them,” Dalhaus said.

He said they had to be a helping hand, there to answer all of their questions and to be able to take care of their concerns. They had to work fast in order to stave off more damage for this family that had their holiday season interrupted. Dalhaus shared that, yes, they get to pick out “new things,” like light fixtures or flooring, but it’s not an enjoyable event like it would be if they were remodeling their home. He said that these events are forced upon them, and every part of it is a reminder of the tragedy.

“We’re more than a 9-to-5 service company. Fire and water damage never seem to happen during daylight hours. For this reason we are a 24 / 7 company. We are also involved in all aspects of the incident: assessment of the loss, the insurance, the sub-contractors, and the list goes on and on.

What Serpro Offers

As far as residential services are concerned, they can deal with the gamut from floods and fires to cleaning carpeting, duct work and upholstery. Servpro of Champaign-Urbana has highly trained technicians for every cleaning need: water, fire and storm damage, mold remediation, and cleaning and building services.

When it comes to commercial services, the list is comprehensive as well. They can provide commercial water and fire damage restoration, complete commercial mold remediation, commercial cleaning services, and commercial storm and major event services.

The Servpro goal is to get a business back to full productivity as soon as possible because every hour spent cleaning-up is an hour of lost revenue. Sometimes their work affects more than a family. It can affect a community. And sometimes, those once in a lifetime events cannot wait, like a religious service, a wedding or even a funeral.

This was certainly true this past January 23, 2018 when the 100-year-old Emmanuel Memorial Episcopal Church in downtown Champaign experienced a fire in the attic portion of the parsonage. The church is a beloved part of the downtown Champaign landscape with its design and iconic welcoming red door. Not only were the church’s faithful congregants affected, but all those in Champaign Urbana who rely on the many services Emmanuel provides to the community. This includes many music events, the ten / 12 step groups that meet each week and the daily sack lunch ministry that the downtown homeless community depends on. 

The church rector, the reverend Beth Maynard-Mother Beth, as she is referred to by the congregants-said she is very happy with Servpro. "When fire struck our parsonage attic it was a priority for us to keep the ministry God has given us going. Servpro understood that, and we were grateful to be able to have services as usual that same week."

Luckily, the Champaign and Urbana Fire Departments put out the 2 - alarm fire, which didn’t spread to the other parts of the church. Then it was time for Servpro to come in and assess the damage. They put together a comprehensive plan that had the church ready to have a service by the week’s end. Although the repairs continue, they are on track and working diligently to get the job done.

“What we do is difficult but satisfying. We come in at a difficult time, and we do our best to put our customers’ concerns at ease. It’s really rewarding work,” Dalhaus said.

Servpro franchise owners David and Suzie McGuire have instilled in the staff from “day one” in 1990 that the customer is always the main focus. “At the end of the day, it is about people and making their lives better. We understand that. We bring our A-Team in with all of our compassion and heart, and we get the job done. We get it. We want people to be happy and get back to their lives as quickly as possible,” Dalhaus said.

Servpro can be reached at 217-355-0077, or, and are located at 3813 N. Cunningham Ave., Urbana.