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Restoration Dream Team

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

A man is focused on a computer, the photographer is smiling at the camera. Our production team and office team work together to create the SERVPRO® of Greater Waco Dream Team.

One of the many reasons SERVPRO® of Greater Waco can make it “Like it never even happened." when restoring your home or business is because of our office operations. Our office is the central hub where we support sales and marketing efforts, maintain financial records, complete job files, scheduling and handle a myriad of other tasks. Together with our production crew, we strive to provide you with high quality services we are best known for.

Exceptional job file documentation: Ordinarily, restoration companies can write you a one-page estimate when called to inspect and provide a quote for restoration services. We like to provide our customers with as much information when providing estimates so that the best decision can be made for the restoration of a home or business. The same attention to detail goes into our itemized billing. Every charge is listed per room and contains a description of why it was performed.

Communication: Along with documenting our job files thoroughly, we also ensure to stay in constant communication with our customers regarding our progress and with the customer’s insurance company. This ensures that each job is completed in a timely fashion and that all work completed has been approved and will be covered.

October Fire Safety

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

A boy dressed as Mr. Incredible and a toddler aged girl dressed as snow white holding Halloween candy pails. Educating our children can ensure they have a safe and fun month of October.

The month of October is nearly upon us which cues us to bring out the spooky decor and pick out costumes for frightful parties to be held for Hallows Eve. We wanted to take a moment to provide some Halloween Fire Safety Tips, retrieved from the National Fire Protection Association website:

  • Make safe costume choices: Avoid costumes that are long with fabric that trails (some fabrics are more flammable than others), and ensure that children’s masks have eye openings that they can easily see out of. Provide children with flashlights or glow-sticks to carry with them.
  • Decorate safely: Materials such as paper products, cornstalks and dried flowers are highly flammable so it is important to be very aware that these items are not placed near flames, light bulbs and heaters. Instead of candles, opt for battery operated candles or glow-sticks for decorations such as jack-o-lanterns. If you must absolutely use real candles, use extreme caution and ensure that children are watched at all times, that the placement of candles be a good distance from areas where trick-or-treaters will be walking and from anything that could easily burn.
  • Plan for emergencies: Keep exits clear of decorations or obstructions so that escape routes may be easily accessed in case of an emergency. Test and ensure that all smoke alarms in the building are working and discuss with your children to look for ways out of the home and have a plan in place in the event of an emergency. Sit down with children and address the importance of staying away from open flames including fun decor such as jack-o-lanterns with real candles in them. Educate them on what to do if their costume catches on fire:  STOP-DROP-AND ROLL. Have them practice this by (1) Stopping immediately, (2) Dropping to the ground, (3) Covering their face with their hands, (4) Rolling over and over to put the flames out.

With these few tips we can ensure that our little monsters have a safe and fun Halloween.

Mold Spores

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

mold growing on drywall under a sink. The longer materials remain wet, the more likely mold can grow on affected areas and cause damage.

According to the Indoor Environmental Professionals (IEP) report, in a lab setting, spores begin to germinate in as little time as a few hours. Depending on the type of mold, colonies may be visible in about three days. Generally, restoration professionals will adopt the time frame of 24-48 hours based on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommendation that a water damage be cleaned during that time frame to prevent mold growth. However, variables such as temperature, humidity, and food source can affect the timeline for mold to grow. Initially, musty smells and odors may not be present but may develop after several days if materials that have been wet are not dried thoroughly. In some instances, treatment with an EPA-registered antimicrobial is necessary to counteract unwanted mold growth. Structural materials that are affected by the water loss are especially important to ensure they are thoroughly dried for they run the risk of losing their structural integrity and stability.

Take the guess work out of mold remediation, contact SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 and let us make it “Like it never even happened.” 

Document Restoration Part 3

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

Documents and paper goods on shelves that were water damaged Paper goods will not often look 'new' after being restored due to the effects of water on paper fiber at a molecular level.

We wanted to compile some common Q&A to give you some more insight into our Document Restoration services.

What kind of documents are you able to restore?

Documents we restore include, but are not limited to: photos, photo albums, yearbooks, legal documents, and books. Depending on the paper used, some documents will fuse together.

Will my book will be returned ‘good as new’ after it is dried?

Due to the effects of water on paper fibers at a molecular level, we cannot return documents to looking ‘new’ but can dry them to allow possible use or digitization afterwards. Loose leaf documents will be returned in the same order as we received them.

Will I have to ship my documents to you? How safe will they be?

We will inventory package your documents on location, arrange shipping regardless of size and can pick up anywhere in the U.S. We will pick up and transport all documents in a secure vehicle with cold storage capability to freeze documents and stabilize them to prevent further damage. Once they arrive at SERVPRO® Corporate we can begin the restoration process immediately by vacuum freeze drying or placed in cold storage until processed.

How long will this take?

The timeframe from beginning to the return of your documents will take approximately 30-60 days. The processing time will depend on the quantity of documents or goods being restored, services being completed and the damage sustained to documents.

For more information on our document restoration services, give us a call at 254-224-5999.

Document Restoration Part 2

9/10/2019 (Permalink)

Boxes of documents that have been water damaged Documents that have been affected in a Category 3 loss can be harmful if not properly disinfected and decontaminated.

Documents and other goods that require cleaning and disinfecting cannot be treated like something that you would just add soap and water to and rinse to use safely. Category 3 losses can leave items infected with all types of bacteria and thorough decontamination is a must. Gamma irradiation is a process we use for cleaning/disinfecting and decontamination. It does not create residuals or radioactivity in processed items.

Along with cleaning and deodorization of water damaged documents, we are also able to provide certified destruction of documents. Our HIPPA compliant, safe facility is monitored 24/7 and all members handling documents are HIPPA Master certified. We uphold security and our client’s privacy by maintaining a chain of custody where we are able to track all sensitive documents through the process. We can provide our services to hospitals, schools, legal firms, architect firms, federal/state buildings, and private personal documents.

Continue for Document Restoration part 3.

Document Restoration Part 1

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Wet Bible and documents on a shelf We can dry and disinfect damaged books such as this Bible that became water damaged.

Here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco, we take pride in providing our clients with restoration services for the home and place of business. A service we provide which you may not be aware of is our document restoration services. Though many individuals are now opting for electronically stored documentation, there are instances that after water damage, there are documents, photos and other paper products that need restoration.

One of the processes used to remove moisture from documents that we utilize is vacuum freeze drying. In this process, an item that contains moisture is frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures. The purpose of this is to achieve sublimation, which is the conversion of a solid into a gas without going through the liquid stage. An example of this would be how dry ice turns into a gas without creating a puddle. Freeze drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water damaged documents, and is approved by the National Archives and Records Administration and General Services Administration. Using a process like dehumidification would alter the structure of the paper’s fiber and leave it brittle, which is not recommended at all.

We also offer digitization of documents, which is when an original document is scanned and converted into an electronic form. This allows it to be easily stored, shared and eliminates paper file storage rooms. The ability to access specific records at a click of a button increases efficiency and is becoming standard practice in most industries.

Continue reading at Document Restoration Part 2.

How We Choose A Drying Method

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Drywall and insulation had to be removed before this wall could be dried.

With advancements in drying procedures and equipment, almost any type of material can be dried after it has been affected due to water damage. Our technicians consider several factors in their decision to dry or not dry a material; contamination of the material, damage, and cost of drying compared to replacement.

Contamination: This is the first factor that our restoration technicians take into consideration. For example, if a porous object or material has been affected by Category 3 it cannot be thoroughly cleaned and must be disposed of. Safeguarding our clients and employees from health hazards is our primary concern when assessing contamination of materials.

Damage: If materials have become damaged beyond the possibility of full repair after being dried, they are removed from the structure and the remaining materials are dried thoroughly before rebuild. An example of this would be insulation and drywall damaged by a water leak. If it cannot be dried to a preloss state, demolition and disposal of the affected material would be necessary.

Cost: Finally, our technicians will always consider the cost when determining if an object should be dried or replaced. We will always communicate with our clients and interested parties regarding whether it is more cost effective to dry materials than it would be to replace them. For example, if flooring has become wet but can be salvaged by drying, it would be more cost effective to dry it than to replace the whole flooring of the house. Ultimately, it is important that it cost less to dry than it would be to replace an item.

Once these factors have been considered when deciding whether to dry or not dry an item, our technicians can begin the restoration process and make it “Like it never even happened.” ®

Categories of Water Damage

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Visible mold growth in carpet and carpet padding.

When we receive a call for water damage, we ensure to document damage that is in the home. We categorize the damage in three different ways; pre-existing damage, primary damage or secondary damage. This is an important part of the restoration process and we must assess this before our technicians can begin to work. On the affected structure. We will then provide this information to you and your insurance company (and any other interested parties).

The first type of damage we look for is called pre-existing damage. This is damage that existed before the water event that we were dispatched to assess. This is often mildew or mold from a previous water event.  This could also be shown as carpet delamination (separation of the carpet fibers and their backing membrane) or water stains on materials in the home that are not currently wet.

The second type of damage is primary damage. This is damage that is direct result of the fire or water event. It occurs immediately when materials are affected by the cause of the loss.  It could mean damage to the structure itself and to its contents, such as furniture.

The third type of damage we encounter is secondary damage. In the case of a water event, this could occur when materials are left wet for an extended period of time and/or high levels of humidity remaining within the structure. This encourages the chance of mold and mildew growth and changes in the materials of the structure as well which could compromise its integrity. When there is fire damage, secondary damage can result from particulates and ash being carried throughout a structure from the movement of people in the home into areas that were not initially affected.

When dealing with the resulting damage of a water event, know that the experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco will work quickly to avoid any further damage and get your home or place of business to a pre-water event state. Avoid secondary damage and call us without delay: 254-224-5999.

The Three Categories of Water

8/12/2019 (Permalink)

This would be a Category 3 loss. You would expect to see our technicians in full personal protective equipment.

When we receive a dispatch for a home or business that has suffered water damage, one of the first things we identify in our initial inspection is the Water Category. It is important to assess what type of water caused the damage in order to proceed with the appropriate procedure for restoration.

Category 1: Is clean water from a clean source that cannot cause sickness if someone comes into contact with it. This could be water from a broken supply line, or sink overflow containing no detergents. Falling rainwater also falls into this category. It is water that does not contain any additives or contaminants. Cat 1 water cannot be standing for a long time and the materials that have come in contact with the water are clean and well maintained. Once we have identified that the water is Cat 1, we can begin the drying process and it is possible to restore the structure by rapid drying in place and replacing any permanently damaged materials. If there is odor present, it is indicative that the water is no longer Category 1.

Category 2: Cat 2 water is best described as water that has chemicals, biological or physical contamination that if consumed or contacted by humans would cause sickness. This includes discharge water from dishwashers, washing machines, a toilet bowl overflow containing urine, and aquarium leaks. If a water loss is found to be a Cat 2, there are procedures that technicians must proceed with before drying. Affected carpet padding, and insulation will be removed, and materials will be cleaned. An application of anti-microbial agents on affected areas can prevent growth of mold and mildew.

Category 3: The most contaminated level of water is Cat 3 water. This is water that contains pathogens that could severely affect humans that come into contact with it. Examples of Cat 3 water sources are sewer water, flood water, and toilet overflow containing fecal matter. The procedures in handling a Cat 3 water loss are numerous due to the importance of maintaining the health and safety of the workers. It is necessary for technicians to be equipped with personal protective equipment.  All highly porous materials that have come into contact with contaminated water would be removed and disposed of including carpet, carpet padding, wood, drywall and insulation.

By ensuring that the water category is appropriately identified, technicians can ensure that the best procedures are utilized while also keeping everyone in the home and on the jobsite safe. Call the experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 to help you restore your home or business, regardless of the water category.

To File or Not To File A Claim

8/2/2019 (Permalink)

Are you able to make the repairs or does it require a claim?

As a homeowner, renter or business owner it is important to understand the ins and outs of your insurance policy. Every policy is different, with exclusions and named perils. Being knowledgeable about your insurance as much as possible will help you in deciding if it is necessary for you to file a claim in the event your home or place or business suffers water damage. We wanted to share a couple of things to consider before filing an insurance claim:

If the total amount of repairs is less than your deductible, avoid filing, especially if other claims have been filled in the last ten years

If it is an uncovered loss, you are responsible for the mitigation and repairs, be aware of what is covered under your insurance.

Claim frequency could affect you in the form of non-renewal for being a high-risk.

If damage occurs due to lack of maintenance that is your own responsibility, do not submit a claim. But remember, maintaining your home or business well can get you better premiums.

Ultimately, being aware of all exclusions and coverage limits is important by knowing your options in which direction you need to go to mitigate and repair damage that occurs on your home or business.