Recent Posts

Car Dealership HVAC Leak

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

A puddle of water on a dark tiled floor and yellow slip hazard signs This was as slippery as it looks.

We were called to an auto dealership here in Waco after their HVAC had leaked onto the floor and carpet in the showroom and into several offices. Upon arrival, we noted the musty smell in the air and the slip hazards as we began to scope the damage. In the HVAC closet, our technicians used extractors to suck up the water that had pooled under the unit and then began the process of removing affected drywall and insulation. Other puddles around the primary affected areas were also promptly extracted to prevent a slipping accident. Once all the water had been extracted, air movers were placed to dry the remaining studs and a dehumidifier was placed to pull the excess moisture out of the air. It did not take long to dry and we are now in the reconstruction process for this job.

County wide Burn Ban and Outdoor Burning

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

Black smoke from a wildfire rising against a blue sky Outdoor fire safety can prevent large scale fires.

McLennan county is currently under a burn ban as of July 28, 2020 which means that outdoor burning is prohibited in all unincorporated areas (Burn Ban Rules). Exceptions include fully covered and attended outdoor fires contained within a barrel or hopper. If you’re a welder, there are no exceptions, so outdoor burning is not permitted. 

 The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality provides us with general requirements for outdoor burning to help us. Here are a few:

  • notify the Texas A&M Forest Service before proceeding with a controlled burn intended for forest management
  • note which direction of the wind is blowing and be aware of weather conditions
  • do not burn items that contain natural/synthetic rubber, electrical insulation, treated lumber, plastics, non-wooden construction or demolition materials, heavy oils, asphaltic materials, (potentially) explosive materials or chemical waste.

They also provided some pretty practical alternatives to burning that we should all consider regarding the disposal of waste (pdf guide):

  1. Recycling
  2. Composting
  3. Mechanical chipping or mulching
  4. Logging
  5. Landfills (call your local landfill for information regarding recycling and brush collection)
  6. Air-curtain incineration (trench burning; requires federal operating permit.

Emergency Ready Kit

7/17/2020 (Permalink)

A window overlooking the street in front of a home. Preparing ahead will be helpful in the event of an emergency.

Emergencies are never planned and if you are lacking basic needs and supplies, survival becomes a little more complicated. This is where a disaster kit comes in handy. For example, if your home is damaged due to a fire, an emergency kit would have items to help you through at least the next 72 hours. An emergency kit can be kept in your car, at home and at work. 

We went to FEMA at  Ready.gov/kit to see what we can put in a basic disaster supplies kit and we’d like to share the list they provided to help build yours!

  • A basic emergency supplies kit could include:
  • Water (one per person, for at least three days)
  • Food (3 day supply of non-perishable items)
  • Weather radio that is battery powered or hand cranked
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Batteries
  • Whistle
  • Dust mask
  • Plastic sheets and duct tape
  • Wet wipes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation purposes)
  • Wrench or pliers
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and backup battery pack

Some additional tips they provide to help maintain your kit so it is ready in the case of an emergency are:

  • Store canned items in a cool, dry place and boxed food in tightly closed containers
  • Replace expired items and as you do, and update your kit to meet the needs of your family.

You can download their recommended supplies list HERE

Electrical Fires

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2014-2018 10% of home fires were due to electrical equipment. This would include wiring, lighting, cords, and plugs. Extension cords or plugs were involved in 7% of documented deaths. 

Electricity is used daily and it's important that we keep safety in mind when utilizing it. Here are some safety tips from the NFPA:

  • Inspect your living space for hidden electrical hazards. This could include:
    • damaged, cracked or loose wires
    • remove cords running across doorways or under carpets
    • all receptacle outlets and switches must have faceplates
    • use only one heat producing appliance into an outlet at a time
    • major appliances should be plugged directly into a wall receptacle outlet
  • Call a qualified electrician or landlord if you have any of the following issues
    • frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
    • a tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
    • discolored or warm wall outlets
    • a burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
    • flickering or dimming lights
    • sparks from an outlet

For more tips, statistics and research, go to: www.nfpa.org

https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Safety-tip-sheets/Electrical_Safety_Tips.pdf

https://www.nfpa.org//-/media/Files/Public-Education/Resources/Community-tool-kits/electric-kit/Electrical_Safety_Checklist.pdf

Water and Swimming Safety

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

It’s the summer time and many families are piling into their vehicles and heading for pools, lakes and beaches. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning with two of these being children aged 14 or under. Drowning is ranked 5th in leading cause of death of unintentional injury in the United States. Individuals who are treated in emergency departments due to drowning require hospitalization and their injuries could lead to severe brain damage and long term disabilities such as memory problems, learning disabilities and permanent loss of basic functioning. 

Prevention

The CDC provides some research based tips on how we can prevent drowning accidents:

  • Supervise children in or around water

(Preschool children should be provided with “touch supervision” which means that the adult can reach the child at all times.)

  • Use the buddy system

(Swim with a buddy and swim at sites where lifeguards are available when possible)

  • Seizure Disorder Safety

(For individuals with known seizure disorders, provide one-on-one supervision around water. Consider showers over a bathtub for bathing and always wear life jackets when boating.)

  • Learn to swim

(Swimming skills help and reduces the risk of drowning among children aged 1-4 years)

  • Learn CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation)
  • Only use life jackets as safety devices as pool noodles or tubes are not designed to keep swimmers safe
  • Avoid alcohol and other mind-altering substances.
  • Don’t let swimmers hyperventilate before swimming or try to hold their breath underwater for long periods of time.

(This can cause them to blackout and drown)

  • Understand how to prevent recreational water illnesses
  • Check local weather conditions and forecast prior to swimming or boating

It’s important to follow current guidelines for social distancing and mask use as required by local and state government at this time in addition to increasing awareness and vigilance around swimming pools and water. Keep yourselves safe this summer and check out www.cdc.gov for more information.

https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/water-safety/waterinjuries-factsheet.html

Central Texas Hail Damage

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

A hand holding several quarter sized hailstones Did you know the largest hailstone recorded in the United States was found in Aurora, Nebraska, on June 22, 2004? It was the size of a soccer ball!!

We recently had several storms come through central Texas and with them came hail of all shapes and sizes. We received calls for board ups from windows being broken and tarping for roof damage as well. Some parts of the world receive more hail than others such as India, China and the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada. Hail can cause severe damage to vehicles, homes, buildings and to individuals unfortunate enough to be standing outside when hail begins to come down. 

But what is hail exactly? A common misconception is that hail is frozen rain, instead it is a solid that falls from a cloud directly. It begins as a frozen droplet that begins to fall and is pushed back up from the updraft of wind. As it rises back up, it comes into contact with liquid water droplets which freeze onto it adding more layers as it continues to be pushed back up into a cloud during a storm. Once it is too heavy, it falls onto Earth or when the wind updraft slows or stops. 

The best way to prepare for hailstorms is to keep an eye on local weather reports so that you can plan accordingly by covering up vehicles, windows and protecting plants and animals outdoors. Remember if damage does happen, we are here to help, 24/7 for storm damage that may occur to your home or place of business. 

In Search of a Leak in Hewitt, TX

6/18/2020 (Permalink)

A man standing on a roof of a metal building spraying water from a hose onto the side of the building Sometimes we have to create the environment for leaks to appear in order to make repairs.

Sometimes our clients contact us because there is evidence of a water loss but they are unable to find the source of the damage. This is where our creative problem solving comes into play. For this Hewitt area business, it was necessary for us to access the roof and spray water onto the area the leak appeared to be coming from while another person was inside of the building looking for the opening. We discovered a tear in the TPO (or thermoplastic polyolefin), a roofing membrane which water would seep through every time it rained. Once we identified the source we were able to begin repairs and ensure that the structure was dried.

With an open line of communication between the client and ourselves, we were able to have the repairs completed in a timely fashion so that it was business as usual in no time at all. 

Burn Injuries and First Aid Tips

6/8/2020 (Permalink)

three women hold lit sparklers in their hand away from their bodies Summer celebrations and fire may go hand in hand but it is important to be aware of the risks and know what to do in the event of a burn injury.

Did you know that you can get a burn more than just from fire? Overexposure to the sun, chemicals, electricity or even smoke inhalation can damage and scald tissue. You should always call 911 or see a doctor if it is a major burn. A major burn will often appear as deep, the skin is dry, charring is present and is larger than 3 inches and has affected the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or major joint of an individual. 

If someone has received a major burn injury, call 911. While you wait for help to arrive you can make sure that the person is safe from further harm, cover the area of the burn using a cool moist bandage or clean cloth (do NOT immerse in water). Also make certain that they are breathing and remove articles of clothing and accessories that might restrict their ability to breathe. Be on the lookout for signs that the individual may be in shock which include fainting, paleness and shallow breathing.

For more information, follow the link to the Mayo Clinic here.

Proactive Cleaning for Home and Work

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro certified clean Call your trusted professionals, we are available 24/7

During this unprecedented time, SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help with your cleaning and disinfecting needs.  The coronavirus pandemic has affected the ways we operate and conduct our businesses.  Having professionally trained specialists adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards should put SERVPRO of Greater Waco at the top of you list if you are in need of cleaning and sanitizing services.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set protocols for cleaning and disinfecting your home or business that SERVPRO will follow.  We will go beyond the scope of regular janitorial staff, and we have years of experience dealing with bioremediation. 

The CDC recommends cleaning of surfaces that are touched often such as door knobs, tabletops, light switches, counters, bathroom fixtures, handrails, toilets, tablets, phones, and keyboards. Other areas discussed in the CDC’s commercial spaces guide include:  bathrooms, kitchens, offices, schools, retail spaces, shelving, fitness equipment, carpets and rugs, and playground equipment.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco also has the recommended EPA approved cleaning products with claims against similar pathogens to Covid-19.  We will follow all guidelines provided by local authorities and the CDC.

For questions for proactive cleaning, or any other type of cleaning or sanitizing call your trusted professionals at SERVPRO of Greater Waco any time at (254) 224-5999

Central Texas Storm Damage

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

We are well into springtime and although that may bring about warmer temperatures and more outdoor activities, it also signals the beginning of storm season here in Central Texas.  Just know that SERVPRO® of Greater Waco is here to help you should your home or business suffer from storm damage.

Storm damage to your home or business can leave you frightened and frustrated.  Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Greater Waco and our highly trained staff are here for you 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to respond as quickly as possible to begin the process of restoring your storm damaged property.  Here are a few tips of what to do and what not to do if your property may incur damage from a storm:

DO

  • Remove any excess water using a mop or by blotting
  • Clear items off of tables and wipe away moisture
  • Remove wet upholstery and cushions
  • Use wood blocks between wet carpet and furniture legs
  • Remove loose items from the floor
  • Move any artwork or valuable to a safe, dry place
  • Turn A/C on in the summertime

DON’T

  • Use a vacuum cleaner to remove water
  • Leave wet fabrics in place
  • Leave magazines and books on wet carpet or floors
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if your ceiling is wet or damaged
  • Turn on or use household appliances

Take care of a few small things in the event of storm damage.  Leave the rest to the professionals at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco.