Recent Posts

Valentine's Day Date Ideas

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Hearts with Valentine's Day Date Ideas text and the SERVPRO of Greater Waco Logo Valentine's Day is right around the corner. Waco is home to unique fun places that even cupid would approve of.

Stuck trying to find something a little more fun than just dinner and super market flowers for Valentine’s Day?  Say no more, because we have you covered with some unique ideas that are sure to be a hit with your sweetie.

-Painting with a Twist- Bring your favorite beverage and sip and paint along with instructors to create a keepsake masterpiece to remember for years to come.  They offer plenty of love themed options through the month of February and couples themed painting nights.  Undecided on which one you want to sign up for? Visit during an open studio night and pick any painting!

-Wino stole your heart? Check out a wine or brewery tour with Waco Wine Tours, where you will get to enjoy tastings, a light meal and see how they are made depending on your tour selection.  Book in groups or go all out with romance and book a private tour.

-For something more traditional, The Olive Branch is hosting a valentine’s dinner on Saturday Feb. 12 from 6-9 PM that includes a 4-course meal featuring prime beef filet and Italian love cake. It’s sure to impress even the pickiest foodie in your life.

-Feeling frisky this Valentine’s Day?  Visit the Cameron Park Zoo for their Wild About You Picnic on February 12 and 13.  The package includes admission to the zoo, lunch for 2 catered by Jon Lilies Steakhouse, 4 drink tickets, a picnic basket and a scavenger hunt around the zoo that benefits the education department.

-Looking to get away without the having to spend a day traveling?  Go glamping with Brazos Bluffs Ranch.  They also offer cabins, horseback riding and wagon rides.

-Looking for a gift that keeps on giving? Take a class at Homestead Heritage through Plough Share. They offer everything from bread making and pottery classes to poultry raising and blacksmithing.

-Ever wanted to party on a bicycle?  Waco Pedal Tours has you covered with a u-shaped bar that takes you to three bars downtown.  Now that’s romantic!

Need emergency restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

It's Time to Replace Your Dishwasher

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

An image of a dishwasher with the text "It's Time to Replace Your Dishwasher" with the SERVPRO of Greater Waco logo Need emergency water restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Dishwashers have been a common appliance since the 1970s. By 2012, 75% of homes had one. So, how do you know when it’s about time to you to replace your best, time-saving, friend?

-It’s 10 years or older. Most dishwashers last anywhere from 7 to 12 years with an average lifespan of 9.5 years which means at 10 years components are worn, it’s not energy efficient and it may be costing you more money to keep it than replace it.

-It’s not ENERGY STAR certified- Energy Star didn’t go into effect until January of 2011 which means any dishwasher purchased before then is not efficient and isn’t certified to be.  Make sure to find not only one that claims to be energy star certified but also bears the label.

-It’s making weird noises- The most obvious thing is that it’s making an absurd amount of noise or it just sounds “off”.  Clicking or pinging can be easy indicators of broken components.

-It doesn’t turn on- Depending on the age of the unit, it may be more cost effect to replace it than getting it fixed.

-Rust on the inside or outside- If there is metal and water and it’s rusting then you have a leak somewhere.

-Water doesn’t drain-It’s either clocked with food debris or the mechanism that activates the drain is broken.

-Dishes come out cold- Dishes should always be warm to the touch and look and feel clean.

-Dishes aren’t clean.  This can be an indicator of something as simple as a clogged filter and get as complex as water pressure and temperature issues. Either way, more issues and more money out the door when you can just get a new unit.

- Broken Latch- A broken latch will prevent the unit from getting a proper seal leading to leaks, water not getting up to the proper temperature and dirty dishes.

-Dishwasher under or over fills- Overflowing can indicate several potential issues such as the float switch assembly has gone bad or is sticking.  It can also be a sign that an electrical switch has gone out while underfilling could be a sign that the inlet valve has gone out. Either way, combined with age, it could be a sign that it’s time to replace the whole unit.

Need emergency water restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Working in the Rain Safely

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Rain with the text "working in the rain safely" and the SERVPRO of Greater Waco Logo Need emergency storm restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Unfortunately working outside doesn’t always mean a day off just because it’s raining. Check out our list of tips to keep you safe even on the muggiest of days.

-Make sure to have the right gear- Make sure to have a well-ventilated jacket, gloves, pants, boots and some kind of headgear that doesn’t reduce visibility. Waterproof boots with a good nonslip tread are always going to be the safest and most comfortable option. Make sure gloves have grip to reduce dropping tools and equipment. Pants should fit well and not pose a tripping hazard.

-Move with a purpose- Working in the rain means any movement increases slipping hazards so, if possible, reduce movement by bringing items that need to be worked on to a single place or bring multiple items to reduce back and forth hazards. Falls contribute to the highest number of casualties in the construction industry so slow down and make sure you are secure on every step and movement.

-Make sure you are seen- Make sure gear is a bright color or add a safety belt or vest to increase visibility. Avoid using reflective tape since it isn’t waterproof and make sure that reflective surfaces haven’t dulled. Also, if working at night, make sure you have adequate lighting and use lights are rated for the weather.

-Visibility- If available, use a hat over goggles or a hood.  Hoods significantly reduce peripheral visibility.  If goggles are needed, make sure they are antifog or apply antifog spray.

Whatever you do, make sure all equipment fits appropriately and doesn’t create additional safety hazards.

Need emergency storm restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Fire Safety Tips for Pets

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

An image of a pug breed dog with the text "Fire Safety Tips for Pets" over the SERVPRO of Greater Waco logo Need fire restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Everyone always has a plan of action of their family but so many forget their fur family. Here are few tips on how to integrate your pet into your evacuation plan and how to pet proof your home from fire dangers.

-Place candles or other flammable objects out of reach of pets….and their tails. Everyone always thinks about high a pet can reach but never about that swinging object behind them that tends to knock over items unintentionally. Fun fact: the tail is an extension of your pet’s spine.

-Make sure your pet is microchipped and has an identification tag. During an emergency, most pets fight or flight kicks in with most running and hiding out of fear.  Make sure your pet is identifiable in case it’s away from the home so they can be safely returned.

-Keep food and water away from electrical sources.  Splashing and innocent playing can turn into fire hazard around electrical plug and cables. 

-Speaking of electrical hazards, keep electrical cables out of reach of pets.  The lamp cable may look like a toy to the new puppy and potentially harm an inquisitive pet.

-Get signs for windows. Pet stores or online sources offer window clings or printable signs that can be placed in windows and notify emergency personnel that pets are in the home. Make sure to add how many  and what types of pets you have.

-When you practice your evacuation plan, include your pets. This will help you evaluate potential hiding spots and how quickly you can evacuate the whole home.

-Create a disaster supply kit for your pet.  Include things like food, extra medications etc.  If you would pack it for yourself, consider it for your pet.

-Keep leashes and a carrier by the door.  Depending on the pet, keep easy get away items like leashes and an extra pet carrier by the door to help evacuate and secure pets in case of an emergency.

Need fire restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Easy New Year DIY Projects

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Tools hanging on a wall Got a project outside your ability? Call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 for your remodeling needs.

New year, New you! Start out your new year with a refresh to your space with these easy DIY home projects to rejuvenate your energy. 

-Declutter- Except for seasonal items, if something hasn’t been used in 6 months, toss it. Your space will feel lighter, and you’ll have less stuff to clean-up later. 

-Add a pop of color- Add a focal point to any space by picking one thing like the door, shutters or cabinets and make them a bold color. It adds a dash of fun to any space. 

-Mix and match knobs- Wanting to add whimsy to a space? Various knobs in the same color palette or metal add a playful touch. 

-Warmth- Feeling a little cozier during the winter months? Add throw blankets, pillows and linen or wool curtains to immediately warm up a room without breaking the bank. 

-Touch of fun- A fire pit, lawn chairs, string lights and corn hole boards are perfect for s'mores and mild winter fun in a Texas background. 

-Illumination- Add solar powered lights to a walkway to avoid wiring, a higher electric bill and an abundance of maintenance while still adding ambience. 

-Accent wall- Peel and stick wallpaper, paint and shiplap are great additions to an accent wall that make a space look new with minimal effort. 

-Bathroom update- A new shower curtain adds a real wow to even the most boring of bathrooms. Finish it off with new pictures, new knobs on cabinetry and a matching bathmat and you’ve got a new bathroom without the cost of a remodel.  

-Winterize your yard- Rake the rest of the leaves, de-weed flower beds and prep perennial plants and flowers for colder weather. 

-A new shower head- Add a touch of spa luxury by upgrading your standard shower head to a rain model. You feel fancy without leaving the comfort of your home. 

-Plants- Plants are all the rage right now and they make an indoor space feel bright even on the gloomiest of days. 

Got a project outside your ability? Call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 for your remodeling needs. 

Microwave Safety

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Microwave Got fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999

We can’t all be Chef Bobby Flay in the kitchen but we can be as safe as him. Follow these safety tips when creating your own microwave gourmet treats. 

  1. Never use an extension cord. 
  2. Always keep it clean. Small particles of food and debris can ignite later creating a much bigger issue. 
  3. Never place metal or recycled paper in a microwave. Recycled paper can contain metal flakes and ignite the unit. 
  4. Check the wattage versus time instructions and compare it to your model of microwave for proper cooking. A little math goes a long way! 
  5. Always read the instruction manual. It will give you safety, instillation instructions and tips on cooking your favorite foods as accurate as possible. 
  6. Never leave a microwave unsupervised. While it’s usually a push and go method of cooking, Microwaves cook from the inside out with radios waves penetrating water and fat molecules. That also makes them highly combustible. 
  7. Make sure to use cookware made for microwaves. Metal can combust and some plastic containers can melt. 
  8. Never use a microwave to heat up water. Any slight disturbance in boiling water can cause the water to violently erupt. 
  9. Make sure to remove items with a heat safe towel or mit. An estimated 120 injuries were caused from microwave related burns between 2010 and 2014. 
  10. Make sure the door shuts tight and doesn’t operate with the door open. While microwaves are safe with the door closed, they can cause injury if left open. It’s also a sign that it’s time to dispose of your microwave. 

Got fire damage? Call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 

Winter Storm Preparation

12/16/2021 (Permalink)

Snow falling with the blog title and SERVPRO of Greater Waco logo Need emergency water restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Winter storm 2021 left 70% of Texans without electricity with nearly 4.5 million homes and businesses without power causing an estimated $295 billion in damage across the state.  If the storm taught us anything, it was to prepared for the worst.  Here are some tips to help you prepare before 2022 potentially hits.

-Consider purchasing a propane cook stove.  While you can’t cook with them indoors due to the carbon monoxide produced, they are a great alternative for when the power goes out to cook regular meals and can be used throughout the year for camping. They are also small enough store in a closet.

-Make sure to have at least one gallon of water per person, per day.

-Always have backup cash.  While credit and debit machines may be down, most places can still take cash payment for essential items.

-Cell phone chargers and back up battery packs.  Backup battery packs have become affordable and are great for an emergency to make sure you always have emergency power and outreach.

-Baby wipes.  During any sort of power outage, they are the perfect wipe down in a pinch that’s also gentle on skin

-Kitty litter, sand or rock salt.  Another multiuse item is kitty litter and sand.  Salt isn’t always readily available in the south but kitty litter is usually easily obtainable and great for creating safe, walkable pathways through ice covered sidewalks.

-A 7-day supply of medications- While pharmacies may be open, roads may be too treacherous to obtain them or mail and other delivery services may be unavailable.

-Make sure to have extra pet food and supplies. If you’re cold, so are your pets.  Make sure to keep old towels or extra blankets to keep pets warm but also stock up on food, water and medication, just like you would do for yourself along with a leash or pet carrier in case of potential relocation or evacuation.

-Extra coats, blankets, sweats or any sort of clothing that can be layered for everyone in the home. Layering helps maintain your core body temperature and adds an extra, easily removable layer from the snow and wind.

-Emergency contact information written down for each family member along with copies of health insurance information. If separated, having individual copies makes easy access for emergency personnel and you aren’t reliant on electricity for access.

- Emergency food supply. While a 3-day supply is normally recommended, winter storm 2021 taught us that a week may be necessary.  Things like instant potatoes can be made with warm water, meals ready to eat are high in calorie and keep a long shelf life with no cooking necessary or canned items may be eaten without even needing to warm them.  Things like tuna fish in a pouch are higher in protein and easy to carry in an evacuation.

-Extra batteries. Always make sure to have extra batteries for a portable radio, lights and lanterns.

-Lights and lanterns. Candles should be a last resort when the electricity goes out because of a fire hazard. Lights and lanterns are also more effective and safer to check breaker boxes in case of an electrical malfunction when electricity is restored.

-Extra hygiene and sanitation supplies. Things like no rinse body wash, dry shampoo and baby wipes are all great options to keep on hand with no electricity or water available.

-Fire pit or alternate heating method.  Fire pits aren’t just great for the summer backyard entertaining but can also multitask for outdoor eating and heating for a winter storm.  Make sure to get a model with a grill and rated for cooking to prevent damage and to only use it outdoors and at least 6 feet from anything flammable.

-Make sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected now before winter weather occurs and should be done yearly.

-Make sure to have an emergency supply kit along with emergency contact information in your vehicle. While Texans usually get a warning, winter weather can strike at an instant and Texas roads are not made for it, leaving you potentially stranded until emergency personnel can respond.

-If traveling becomes necessary during or right before a winter storm, make sure to have a full gas tank.  Traffic 48 hours before winter storm 2021 became highly congested and extended even the shortest trips, last winter.

-Check the caulking around windows and doors and keep extra towels to put at the base of doors.  It’s a simple way to make sure your home stays well insulated and should be checked once a year for basic home maintenance.

-Keep a roll of plastic for emergency insulation.  Placing it over windows can help keep cold air out without breaking the bank.

-Molasses in water for outdoor animals- A small amount in a dog’s bowl can prevent water from freezing, just make sure to avoid artificial sweeteners.  ½ a cup of molasses added to 50 gallons of water can also help prevent sheet ice from forming in water for larger animals like horses and cattle.  The key is to mix it with a few gallons of warm water. The sweetness encourages them to drink water during colder weather and makes fiber in feed more digestible while preventing colic.  As always, make sure to check with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to food or water for your animals.

Need emergency water restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Dear SERVPRO Santa

12/9/2021 (Permalink)

A letter to Santa with holiday ornaments Happy Holidays!

Dear SERVPRO Santa,

Our name is SERVPRO of Greater Waco and we are 3 years old. We’ve been an awfully good franchise this year. We’ve done so many water restoration and fire mitigation clean-ups! We even battled through Texas Winter Storm 2021 and trudged through the snow and ice to help hundreds of Texans left without power and water due to burst pipes, water heater malfunctions and homes not made for blizzard conditions. That should put us somewhere on the nice list.

By the way, check our Google ratings, 5 STAR! Not to brag or anything but 93 Reviews and still going strong.  You should see what Ms. Hull had to say about us, “My water damage occurred over the weekend and they sent someone out the very day I called. They were easy to work with and, while I hope this doesn’t happen again, if it does, I’ll be using them!!”. We get it, you see us when we’re sleeping and you know when we’re awake, so by that you should know that we are never asleep and are always available 24/7 for emergency cleaning, restoration and construction. We can even help you SERVPRO Santa!

This year for Christmas we would like some new air movers, a new carpet cleaning machine and if you can’t get to those things maybe a nice surprise. Whatever you do, not a puppy. The mess is just too much!

Love,

SERVPRO of Greater Waco

P.S. With all of the good things can you just ignore the prank Ryan did?  We would really appreciate it!

The Importance of Office Cleaning

12/2/2021 (Permalink)

A spray bottle with the title text and SERVPRO of Greater Waco logo Need post construction or commercial cleaning? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

A quarter or more of our weekly time is spent in our work space which means it’s also one of the most likely places we may spread germs.  Make sure these spaces get cleaned and doesn’t contribute to the office germ pot luck. 

-Door handles: Everyone has to touch them and they are a community center of germ infestation.

-Keyboards and mice: Weather it’s clocking in or out or updating office data, the small crevices and frequently touched buttons are an easy way to spread the common cold throughout the work place.

-File cabinets and racks: If it collects dust, it will collect germs.  Make sure to wipe them down as part of your weekly office cleaning.

-Water cooler: The water cooler is one of the most over looked places to clean because it’s not always in frequently cleaned areas but is used by almost everyone.

-Printer, copier and phones: So many buttons and so many germs! Disinfecting wipes are an easy way to clean in small spaces while not damaging critical components.

-Time clock: If it’s got buttons then it’s probably a germ factory. It’s another item that takes just a few seconds to wipe down with a disinfecting cloth.

-Computers: The front of computers is the perfect home for a family of dust bunnies and allergens. Use compressed air or a soft cloth to clean.

-Appliances- Things like the coffee pot, refrigerator, tea kettle and toaster are all things that collect germs but may not get cleaned unless used by the person doing the cleaning.  Make sure they get cleaned at least once a week or after every use.

-Window units heating and air conditioning- While most offices have central heat and air conditioning, that may not be the case in offices that are primarily warehouse space.  The top of the units, vents and mesh filter may need cleaning at least once a month while the coils should be cleaned at least once a year.

For high traffic areas, consider daily cleaning.  Also, don’t overlook places like trim, baseboards or window sills when deep cleaning.

Need post construction or commercial cleaning? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Deep Fried Turkey Tips

11/22/2021 (Permalink)

A photo of a turkey with the SERVPRO of Greater Waco logo and Deep Fried Turkey Tips text Need fire restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

The south is all about making everything better with deep frying and Thanksgiving is no exception with deep fried turkey becoming a holiday staple.  Here’s a few tips to make sure your turkey is tasty and doesn’t end up in flames.

- Make sure to completely thaw your turkey and pat dry.  Even small amounts of ice or water can cause flare ups and boiling over,

- Make sure to set your turkey fryer on an even and open surface.  We recommend at least 10 feet away from homes or anything flammable.

-The smaller the bird the better.  Anything over 10-12 pounds may not fit most manufactured turkey fryers and may increase your chances of an accident.

- For even cooking and more controlled heat, consider using an electric fryer.

- Always use heat protective gloves or mitts as well as goggles.  Turkey fryer handles and lids become extremely hot while frying and any small temperature change can cause oil splatter.

-Test the amount of oil needed by using water and making sure that it covers the turkey by at least half an inch.

- Let your turkey rest for at least 20 minutes after it comes out of the air fryer.  This keeps the turkey from drying out.

- Cook your turkey 3-4 minutes per pound with most turkeys being done in less than an hour.

- Never put a turkey in oil while the burner is on.  Save yourself some burns by lowering the turkey into the fryer then turning it on.

- Get a good cooking thermometer or consider upgrading your fryer to one with temperature controls.

- Never fry a turkey a turkey in inclement weather. 

- Get the most taste out of your turkey by using an injectable marinade as well as a dry rub and letting it marinate over night in the refrigerator. For a last-minute seasoning, use a dry rub and make sure to get under the skin and let it sit for an hour before frying.

- Never leave fryers unattended or around children and pets.

- Read your manufactures manual for model specific handling, filling and cleaning.

- Make sure to keep a grease rated fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.

- Never move a turkey fryer that’s in use.

- Use a meat thermometer to check your turkey for doneness. The turkey should be at least 165 degrees F for the white meat and 175 degrees F for dark meat.

- If you notice the oil is smoking, turn off the fryer. The oil should never get over 400 degrees F.

-Placing the turkey in the fryer before it reaches cooking temperature helps prevent the skin from burning as well as any oil splatter.  Safer and tastier!

Need fire restoration services? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999