Recent Posts

Tropical Storm BETA

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

flood waters surround a metal park bench Governor Gregg Abbot has issued disaster declarations for 29 counties for BETA's projected landfall Monday night.

This morning’s update on the 2nd tropical system that will make landfall include warnings and watches for storm-surge flooding, heavy rainfall,  and tropical-storm force winds. This marks the third tropical system in 2 months to affect Texas. For Central Texas, this means showers with light winds but no flooding concerns. Coastal cities of Texas and Louisiana however are anticipating most of the effects which would include 40-60 mph winds, and up to 15 inches of rainfall. This means these areas are also expecting severe flooding that will remain for several days until it can subside and isolated tornadoes as winds move inland. 

Tropical Storm BETA is predicted to make landfall at Matagorda Bay, between Galveston and Corpus Christi Monday evening.

  • Local storm updates can be found HERE.

California Wildfires - What To Know

9/18/2020 (Permalink)

States affected: California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho

  • Approx. 5 million acres burned
  • Some wildfires have been contained but many still burning at this time.
  • Air quality is poor and although residents are being evacuated, the death toll continues to rise.

Deaths: 33 (updated: September 14th, 2020)

Causes: There are several, some accidental, some not so much. Due to the climate and drought, a malfunctioning gender reveal party smoke bomb ignited a fire which spread rapidly. There are also at least 2 separate reports of individuals purposely starting fires. 

How to Help

Donating to The Red Cross and the California Community Foundation’s Wildfire Relief Fund are both ways you can help those affected by California Wildfires. You can also use www.charitynavigator.org to search for other ways to donate.

https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/

https://connect.calfund.org/give/wildfirerelief

https://redrover.org/join-us/donate/

Resources

https://www.latimes.com/wildfires-map/

https://climate.gov/sites/default/files/USDrought_July2019August2020_ani_lrg.gif

https://climate.gov/news-features/event-tracker/colorado-summer-drought-wildfires-and-smoke-2020

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/09/inside-california-race-to-contain-devastating-wildfires/

https://time.com/5888449/wildfires-smoke-california-oregon-washington-satellite-space/

Waco Area -Sports Retailer

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

public bathroom with a murky puddle on the tile floor Sewage is gross, let us handle the cleanup.

After a couple of days of heavy rain, we were contacted by a local sports retailer regarding a drain backup. Upon inspection of the bathroom, we noted that sewage had come up out of the floor drains. This created unsanitary conditions (and it didn’t smell very nice) so it was necessary for the retailer to close the restrooms to their customers until the issue was remedied. We wanted to get these folks access to the bathrooms as soon as possible so we quickly donned appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and got to work extracting the pooled sewage from the tiled floor. Once extracted, our crew followed up with steam sterilization of the floor and an antimicrobial was applied. 

According to the CDC, steam sterilization is the most widely used and most dependable method of sterilization. The use of moist heat in the form of saturated steam is nontoxic, inexpensive and should be utilized on all critical and semi-critical surfaces that are heat and moisture resistant.

McGregor, Texas - Old C3 Communications Building

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

two rows of cubicles With our prompt response to this call we were able to dry out the affected materials to prevent secondary damage.

The gulf coast continues to receive copious amounts of rain as tropical storms loom in what weather experts have predicted to be an extremely active hurricane season. Locally, we have received some much needed rain, ending the burn ban placed on McLennan county. All this rainfall has also resulted in more calls from homeowners and businesses seeking water mitigation services due to a leak in the roof and flooding stemming from a drain malfunction.

We were contacted by the City of McGregor for water mitigation for the unoccupied structure where C3 communications was once housed. On arrival, crew members noted that the commercial grade carpet was soaked below the source of damage and that ceiling tiles had fallen about the cubicles and office chairs. To prevent possible injury, unsalvageable ceiling tiles were removed and bagged. Once equipment was placed on the first day, our technicians would return for equipment checks to monitor the drying process. In some cases, holes must be drilled to facilitate the drying of walls, but this was not necessary for this job as no walls had been affected.

Back to School - Pandemic Edition

9/9/2020 (Permalink)

two boys with masks posing for a picture near school We wish all students, teachers, support-staff and administrators a safe 2020-2021 school year

The year 2020 has become almost synonymous with the COVID-19 pandemic. Here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco, we continue to provide cleaning for confirmed cases of the virus for residential and commercial properties. Amidst this, we have students, teachers and support staff returning to campuses or preparing for virtual instruction with modifications to keep everyone safe. Understandably so, many individuals may be anxious about the school year moving forward and are looking for ways to show our support for all the teachers stepping back into the classroom (real or virtual). 

There are some things that teachers just need in general, so I compiled a list of items that you could put together to create a care package to show your support and help these unsung heroes during this crazy unpredictable school year.

  • Gift cards to fast food joints, grocery stores. Though they may not get enough time to eat, teachers get hungry. Feed them whenever possible.
  • Hand sanitizer/hand soap. Kids always seem like they’re sticky even though there is nothing sticky in sight. Help teachers fight sticky hands, get them some soap.
  • Aspirin.
  • Disinfecting wipes/spray are in high demand. Grab a couple for your teachers if you see any. 
  • Treats. Teachers get very busy that they do not have time to have an actual meal. Help fuel these unsung heroes with healthy snacks like fruit, dark chocolate, protein bars and protein shakes.
  • Energy drinks/coffee. Late nights grading and lesson planning require caffeine. Get that teacher some go-juice for those groggy mornings.

No matter what you send in your care package, your teachers will be grateful.

Electrical Fires: Outdoor Safety

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

A man in a work helmet working with wires Know when you can DIY and when you need to call a professional. Safety first!

Are you a homeowner taking advantage of the extra time at home making some needed repairs? Some of these projects might require the outdoor use of electrical equipment which need to be handled with care. 

The National Fire Protection Association (www.nfpa.org) reported that in 2014-2018, 10% of home fires were caused by electrical equipment, which included outdoor lighting, wiring and power cords. 

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

  • Cords and Lighting:
    • check for damage before using and dispose and replaced damaged cords
    • use cords that are marked for outdoor use for only short-term use & ensure that they are listed by a qualified test laboratory
  • Electrical Tools
    • make sure they are made for outdoor use and listed by a qualified test laboratory
    • store electrical tools indoors and away from children
  • Outside Electrical Work
    • use a qualified electrician to do all electrical work
    • ensure that all outside electrical receptacles are grounded (GFCI= ground-fault circuit interrupter).
    • use a professional tree removal service to trim branches near power lines
    • utilize a wooden or fiberglass ladder at least 10 feet away from power lines

Call 8-1-1 before digging on your property to locate and 

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

Lightning Storm Safety

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

satellite view of gulf coast and hurricane Satellite image of hurricane Laura with visible lightning storms

Forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted that 2020 would be an active hurricane season for the Atlantic. As these storms begin to develop, the men and women of NOAA collect data to help them make accurate and timely forecasts to keep the public safe.

As hurricane Laura neared the gulf coast during the last several days, NOAA captured live satellite images of lightning storms that appeared to sparkle as it moved along with the hurricane. Lightning can strike anywhere, at any time so we thought it would be important to explore ways that we can also keep ourselves safe from lightning strikes. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) gives us some safety tips for lightning safety:

  1. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance of lightning. Seek shelter inside a structure or a hard-topped vehicle as soon as possible.
  2. It is not safe to hide under trees or sit on a porch during a storm.
  3. Once inside, keep your distance from windows and doors. 

We want to emphasize that there is no safe place outside during a lightning storm so seeking shelter indoors quickly is a priority. In the event that a person is struck by lightning, call 9-1-1 immediately to get them medical help right away.

Tips on Conserving Water

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

Closeup view of clean standing water If we all do our part, together we can make a difference.

As you probably already know, water conservation has been a trending topic for the past 50 years. With the amount of drought the United States has experienced during that time period and the recent spike in drinking water purchases due to the pandemic, it’s pretty safe to say that water conservation is needed now more than ever. 

Here are some tips that www.greensourcedfw.org suggests for residential water conservation:

  • Reuse water whenever possible (example: pour old drinking water into your house plants)
  • Repair leaky faucets
  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn off the water while shaving, washing hands or brushing your teeth
  • Use cold water when possible
  • Mulch all planted areas
  • Water the lawn with one inch of water per week
  • Water between 10:00p.m. and 6:00a.m.
  • Cover pools and spas
  • Plant trees

Using these helpful tips I believe we can all make positive strides towards relieving this ongoing concern and pave a way for efficient water conservation methods and a prosperous future for us as a whole.

On Call 24/7 to Help You

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

A green box truck parked in front of a hotel at night Night or day, rain or shine. We are here to help.

If you follow us on social media, you may notice that we always make it known that we are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How is this possible?

Here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco, we know that disasters rarely give notice that they’re about to happen. If you and your family have been gone on vacation and you return to a swimming pool instead of a home, we are there for you. Or say someone drives into the side of your house and you need a board up until repairs can be made...we’ve got your back. Even as a small, family owned business, we arrive faster to any size disaster and will coordinate with you and your insurance to meet your needs. 

We are always available to take your call because we like to make it “Like it never even happened,” so that you can focus on what really matters. 

Call us anytime, 24/7. We are here to help!

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.