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Storm Activities for Kids

7/19/2022 (Permalink)

Blue background with Storm Activities for Kids text Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Nothing is worse than being stuck inside all day during stormy weather for both the kids and parents. Here are some activities to keep kids entertained and prevent the onset of cabin fever.

-Do weather-based experiments- offers a ton of weather experiments using common household items to teach kids about the weather and how different occurrences are formed.  Educational and fun!

-Do a scavenger hunt- Hide small prizes or common items in uncommon places.  Create riddles for each item and have them find them.

-Build a pillow fort- Use dining room chairs, couch cushions and bedsheets to make the most epic pillow fort.  Throw in flash lights, books and board games for a classic night of fun.

-Bake and decorate- Stormy weather is the perfect time to bake cupcakes or cookies.  Use icing, sprinkles and gummies to decorate.

-Snuggle up for a movie- Put numbers in a hat and let kids draw to see who gets to pick a movie to watch. 

-Have a dance party- Have children all pick their favorite music and create a play list to jam out to.  For more added fun, look up easy to do dances online and learn a few new moves.

-Get theatrical- Have kids create their own play or make a video to send to grandparents.  They can use clothing form their closet or mom and dad’s, write a script and even integrate the pets into their own Oscar worthy production.

-Create mocktails- Use different juices, fruits, sodas and dollar story “fancy” glasses to create fun mixes while kids learn about different flavor profiles and how colors mix.

-Kids create the menu- Let children help prepare the dinner menu by going through the pantry and designing a menu based upon items currently in the home.  For multiple kids, break it down into appetizer, main course and dessert.

-Family game night- You can’t go wrong with board games and cards to keep the family entertained for hours.

-Cookie cutter sandwiches- Let kids build sandwiches with deli meats, cheeses or traditional peanut butter and jelly.  Finish off by cutting them into fun shapes with cookie cutters.  Use small cookie cutters and cut fruit into shapes for a fun and healthy side dish.

Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

How to Pick New Appliances

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

A white and gray kitchen with a stove and microwave Wanting a complete kitchen remodel? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Purchasing new appliances is an instant refresh to any space that can save you money on utilities and add convenience and styling with new updated features.  Here are some tips to help you, when picking new appliances.

Take measurements and select a layout

Make sure to measure appliance openings, current appliance sizes and depths as well as the pathway and doorways to get into the kitchen.  While the appliance may fit in appliance opening, you have to get it into the home and room first. Also, appliances have gotten larger over the years so you may need consider a contractor to adapt to new standards.

You’ll also want to select a layout at this time. Going from a range to a drop in with stacking oven? You’ll want to make sure it all fits and the space is adjusted before dropping new items in. You may also need to make sure current electrical and gas systems are up to code and can handle the demand of new items.

Select a finish

All colors and textures are not created equal and can vary in shade and surface, brand to brand and product line to product line.  Make sure to compare before just ordering.  Also, keep in mind that ordering online images have been adjusted to look as best as possible with showroom lighting and may not be a realistic look or finish depending on editing and your screen settings and resolution.  This is one time that you’ll want to look in person before making a final decision.

Select features

Go online and research current features available.  New features come out every year and most appliances last 10-12 years, which means you have a world of new features to choose from.  It can also add new complications to consider.  Wanting a smart refrigerator?  Make you have the connections and wi-fi capabilities to handle the system.  Wanting a French door oven over a traditional range?  You’ll need to consider vertical versus horizontal space in your current configuration.

Decide on a budget

Compare design aesthetic, features and brands to decide what fits within your price point.  If necessary, make a list ranking what is most to least important into each item to help you decide what fits within the numbers.

Look at reviews and warranties

While a certain brand may have lasted you for 15 years before, it may now be by a different company and manufacturer and now be a completely different standard of quality.  It’s important to see what real people are saying about the good, bad and ugly before dropping money on a potential lemon with no recourse for return or repair.

Check delivery times

Manufacturing has taken a massive hit with recent supply shortages.  Make sure that your dream kitchen isn’t backordered for a year before committing your bank account.  Can you really live without a range or dishwasher for the potential wait time?

Wanting a complete kitchen remodel? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Easy Storage Solutions

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

shelves with storage containers on them with white tags Got a home renovation project? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Spring cleaning is here! We’re flipping from fleece to tank tops and flip flops.  Now is a great time to clean out the closets and up our storage solution game.  Here are a few ideas to integrate into your seasonal cleaning.

-Glitter gets on everything you don’t want it but has become an on-trend beauty staple.  Keep it contained in salt shakers. These handy containers make it usable but not spreadable.

-Use bean bag chair covers to store stuffed animals.  They add a touch of colorful décor and keep everything organized.

-Put laundry supplies in cute storage containers.  Put them on open shelving and you’ve saved yourself vital cabinet space and made your laundry room look like it was created by an interior designer.

-Texas is all about barn yard chic.  Repurpose a thin ladder rack by leaning it against a wall to hang extra towels or throw blankets.

-Speaking of barn yard chic, repurpose old cans into cute herb planters, silverware holders or to add an antique touch to a desk.

-For pantry organizing, use an over the door shoe holder to hold snacks, seasoning packs or daily lunch prep.  You can also use magazine or file holders to organize plastic bags, cling wrap, or tin foil boxes.

-For mountains of scarves use shower curtain rings on a decorate wooden hanger.  It can be hung on a hook to add a splash of color or put in the closet for space saving.

-Put decorative perfume jars on displace on a wall mounted spice rack.  It adds a touch of sparkle and keeps everything organized.

-To keep a plethora of spray cleaning supplies organized and within easy access, add a small tension rod in your cleaning cabinet.  It adds an extra level of space and bottles can easily hang.  Best of all, no need to pull out the drill and install extra shelving!

-Save cabinet space by using a wall mounted coat rack to hang pots and pans.  For a more modern approach, install hooks.

-Prevent spills in your refrigerator by adding rotating food trays.  They reduce the need to reach to the back of the refrigerator.

-Fill a vase with coffee beans or rice to display makeup brushes or colorful tubes of lipstick.

-Put shelving above doors and add baskets or cubbies to hold seasonal items like candles, hats and gloves or scarves.

We hope you enjoyed some of our favorite easy storage solutions!

Got a home renovation project?  We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Pets and Fireworks

7/2/2022 (Permalink)

A dog in front of a fire place with red, white and blue decorations Got a fire damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

According to the American Psychological Association, dogs and cats have the intelligence equivalent of a 2-2.5-year-old child.  If your toddler gets startled from fireworks, then you understand why your pet may not handle them so well.  Here are a few tips to make your fourth of July a little easier to manage with your pets.

  1. Make sure your pet has a collar and ID- You can go an extra step and get them microchipped in case they get startled and run off or get lost.
  2. Keep your pets indoors- Make sure they have a safe space like a closet or kennel with the door left open with a comfy bed to relax and plenty of toys to distract them.
  3. Take pets for a walk or bathroom breaks before starting fireworks to prevent in house accidents.
  4. Turn on the TV, music and close curtains to distract them.
  5. Try a calming vest or wrap. It fits like a weighted vest and feels like a hug to a pet in distress.
  6. Have an energetic play session before fireworks to help a pet relax.
  7. Make sure to clean up any firework supplies before exposing your pets to outside to prevent illness.
  8. Consider behavioral therapy before fireworks to get them acclimated to the loud sounds. Your veterinarian can recommend sound therapy techniques or products to use to get them adjusted to the noises.
  9. If your pet seems anxious, isn’t sleeping, eating or is having trouble going to the bathroom following fireworks, consult with your veterinarian.
  10. Finally, ignore the fireworks sound yourself. Pets will feed off of your reaction and energy.  Instead, play with their favorite toy or watch a movie together.  Whatever you do, don’t try and force them out of a hiding spot if they are in a safe location.

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

Must Have Tools for Home

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Hand tools spread out on a wood background Got water damage? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Congratulations on the new home! Now it’s time to start making personal touches to your new space.  Here’s a list of tools so you can accomplish any home maintenance or DIY project.

-An old school curved claw hammer- Go for solid steel so it will last forever.

-Multibit screwdriver- Save space and still accomplish basic task with a screwdriver that keeps all of the bits in the handle.

-A cordless drill/driver- Whether it’s hanging a photo or installing new cabinets, a cordless drill/driver is a timesaver.

-An assortment of nails and screws- A smell set can run as low as $5 and really help out in a pinch.

-An Allen wrench or hex key set- A new home typically means new furniture and lots of assembly.  A hex key set is exactly what you need to put it all together.

-A stud finder- No, I’m not talking about your husband, an actual stud finder.  Hanging a new TV or shelf?  You’ll definitely need one.  Go for the nice one that can even detect live wiring. SHOCKING!

-A drain snake- The first time you get a really bad clog and you’ll be thanking me for saving you a couple hundred dollars on having a plumber come out. This thing gets what a plunger just can push out.

-A pipe wrench- Plumbing issues are inevitable over time and you’ll want to be prepared with one of the most basic tools needed.  Go for an adaptable model for more versatility.

-Hand-held sander- Wanting to country chic the dresser you found at a local flea market? You’ll need a hand-held sander.

-An adjustable wrench- Don’t always use wrenches but need one in a pinch?  A good adjustable will hold you over.

-A level- Everything from hanging a photo, replacing flooring or hanging a new TV, will all need a level.  A good one will last a lifetime.

-Plunger- Just like a drain snake, you can save yourself a lot of plumbing headaches and money with a plunger.

-A socket set- Not only can a socket set be used on home appliances, it’s great for automotive repairs.

-Locking tape measure- No need for an extra hand when a good tape measure locks in place.

-A caulk gun- Leaky window or shower seal? Caulk it!

-Putty Knife- Need to patch up small holes? Do it yourself with putty and good putty knife.

-Flashlight- You’ll need a quality flashlight when you have your first power outage or checking a breaker box late at night.

-A portable shop vac- A 4 gallon is perfect for keeping in the closet but a lifesaver when you have a larger mess or any flooding.

Got water damage? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

How to Select a Back-Up Power Source

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

A power outlet on a blue wall Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

A backup generator or inverter is a great investment for rolling blackouts during the summer or random winter storm loss of power.  The hardest part is figuring which one to get. 

Figure Out What Type Will Fit Your Needs

 A recreational (up to 2000 watts) or midsize inverter (up to 3500 watts) can range anywhere from $400-$2000 and is great for keeping your refrigerator running, a light or two, a TV and a laptop but wouldn’t sustain a full household for a longer period of time.  

A large invertor or portable generator can run up to 7500 watts and cost anywhere from $700-$4000. They’re great for a short term hold over and can run an estimate 5-10 lights, refrigerator, electric range and dishwasher as well as a window unit air conditioner. 

A standby generator can handle up to 20,000 watts but can run anywhere from $2000-$5000 plus the cost of instillation and they can’t be moved once installed. They do however automatically power on in the event of a power outage

Calculate Your Needed Wattage

Check your owner’s manual for each appliance you plan to run.  You’ll need the running wattage and highest starting wattage.  In general: Running Wattage + Starting Wattage= Wattage Needed

Next, you’ll want to make sure you have a circuit breaker set up for a power back-up system, otherwise it can overload and overheat.

Additional Needs to Consider

Keep in mind that most of these systems run on gas, so they can’t be run inside a home due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and it’s recommended that they are kept 10 feet away from a home. You’ll also need to prepare beforehand to refill and have fuel on hand.

For storage, it’s recommended on most models, to store without fuel.  If your system allows it to be stored with fuel, you’ll most likely need to add fuel stabilizer.  With any piece of machinery, make sure to check your owner’s manual for the best ways to store your system and any maintenance that may need to be done before storing it.  You’ll also need to consider a generator cover or horizontal resin storage shed for a budget friendly option or a mini shed, to store your generator.

Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Home Office Upgrades

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

A home office set up Want to completely remodel your office? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Due to Covid-19, working from home has become the new normal. Since home offices are becoming a staple in homes, now’s a good time to upgrade from a temporary set up to something more permanent and comfortable, to make you the best working version of yourself.  Here’s a few ways to upgrade your office space to something of design envy.

  1. An ergonomic office chair. If you’re going to be spending 8 plus hours at a desk, make it comfortable. For high end models, look for refurbished to save a few dollars.  You an also find brick and mortar offices having close-out sales.
  2. Organize your cables. You aren’t plugging and unplugging for a potential move back to the office so now is the time to get the spiderweb in check. Upgrade your keyboard and mouse to wireless to eliminate cables and clip and label others to keep the back of your system neat and tidy.
  3. Upgrade your desk. Everyone purchased an inexpensive minimalist desk that was meant to be temporary but now that you’re in a permanent state go for something more long term functional and comfortable.  Look into a standing desk so you don’t have to sit all day or something bigger that you can spread everything you need, out on.
  4. Repaint and upgrade your lighting- Set the perfect productive mood with a new coat of paint and clear lighting with immediately put you in a great mood. For a more calming effect, go for something with a light blue or violet undertone. For brightening, go for yellow or green. For lighting, go for LED with at least 600 lumens.
  5. Set-up a coffee cart. Create your own office mini bar by adding a single serve coffee machine with upgraded teas and coffees as well as a few of your favorite snacks. Tiny refrigerators are also budget friendly and reduce the need for kitchen runs.
  6. Upgrade your speakers. Since you don’t have cubicle mates or HR staring over your shoulder, go for a higher end Bluetooth speaker. When you aren’t on calls or meetings, you can jam out to your favorite tunes while being productive. Who said work has to be lame?
  7. Go personal. No need to limit yourself to a single-family photo.  Create a vision board or a whole collage of your loved ones. Your space should inspire you to greatness!
  8. Add a relaxation corner. Got a stressful job?  Create a corner with a bean bag chair, hanging seat or anything comfortable. Accent it all with pillows and throw blankets then mist with lavender for an extra dose of relaxation.  It’s perfect for a lunch time siesta, a post meeting cool down or just a lounge and veg out on paperwork while not at your desk.
  9. Add plants. They immediately bring a little bit of outside in while improving your mood and reducing fatigue.

Want to completely remodel your office? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

6/2/2022 (Permalink)

A wall of ties with the blog title Need remodeling services? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

He played catch, put a worm on our hook while fishing and fixed our computer when it got a virus. Now it’s our turn to show dad how much we care on Father’s Day. Here’s a list of gifts sure to impress.

-A smart watch- He can see incoming calls and texts, control music and check his heart rate when we aggravate him all from his wrist.

-A DIY kit- They have everything out now that dad can learn to make at home. Go for whiskey, gin or rum for the dad with a bar. For the at home chef, go for the sushi, hot sauce or donut making kit.

-A beard care kit- Beards are back and a kit to keep dad’s looking majestic is just the thing he needs.

-A Bluetooth speaker or ear buds- These are perfect for fishing, working out or just working in the garage.

-Upgrade his golf balls- Dad is always budgeting to keep us in the best gear so show you care by giving him a set of the best flying golf balls.

-Soaps or candles in masculine scents- He may not admit to using them but he will and you’ll know it when he visits and smells like 100% dad.

-A multitool- For the dad that fixes everything on the fly, a good multitool is perfect. He’s the MacGyver of the little league team.

-A record player- Retro is in and now he can listen to the records of his favorite artist from way back when.

-A gift card- For that dad who has or buys himself everything, save him a few bucks and go for a gift card that he can use at any time.

-A custom mini whiskey barrel- They come in several table top sizes but are perfect for storing his favorite bourbon or whiskey.

-Tickets to his favorite event- Make sure to get yourself one and spend some quality time cheering on his favorite team.

-Spices for grilling- For the dad who spends his weekend grilling up goodies, up his spice game with a new set of spices.

-T-shirt, framed print or mug- For the resident cat dad in your life, get him a custom item with his best friend on it.

Need remodeling services? We can help! CallSERVPRO®of Greater Waco254-224-5999

How to Calm Your Dog During a Storm

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

A white puppy on a white background Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Thunderstorms are scary for a dog.  They don’t understand the science behind lightening and why all of these flashes and booms are happening. It’s up to us, as fur parents, to create a safe environment and help them understand that it’s just noise and everything will be ok.

Here are some tips to help calm your dog during a storm.

  1. Create a safe haven. Add a pet bed, their favorite blanket or toys to a closet or kennel.  Make sure to keep the door open so that they can pace and don’t feel trapped.
  2. Stay calm during the storm and don’t snuggle or reinforce the “scary” aspect of the storm. Pets feed off of owner’s behavior and energy. Keeping things as normal as possible reinforces just how normal the situation is and that it is “just noise”. Try playing fetch or watching a movie together.
  3. Play a white noise machine or music. Classical music has a calming effect on pets and a white noise machine is made for relaxation.
  4. Practice desensitization with your dog. Play thunderstorm videos or stream thunderstorm sounds to get them ready for storm season.  Slowly increase the volume over time.  They’ll be a thunderstorm pro in no time!
  5. Try a thundervest. It’s a weighted pet vest that swaddles your pet or feels like a hug.  For pets that don’t react to distractions, it has an immediate soothing effect.
  6. Visit your vet. If none of the ideas above help and your pet is showing anxious signs harming themselves or being destructive, it’s time to seek professional advice.

Got storm damage? Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

SERVPRO of Greater Waco: Your One Stop Shop for Emergency Restoration

5/14/2022 (Permalink)

Blog title on a green back ground Need emergency restoration services? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999

Tired of jumping from contractor to contractor to find someone reputable to do your post storm damage restoration? Look no further than SERVPRO of Greater Waco (Google 5-star rating).  We’ve assembled both a mitigation and reconstruction division to get you from start to finish on your damaged home.

First, our mitigation team comes in and does any potential drying, clean-out and demolition services to get your home stabilized and to prevent any secondary damage. Our technicians are certified in everything from Water Damage Restoration, Smoke Damage Restoration and Odor Control technician. Best of all, we work with your insurance company to create a custom plan to fit your home’s needs.

Our reconstruction team then comes in and begins getting you back to normal.  Our reconstruction manager will guide you from start to finish on selecting new finishings, project budget management and project oversight. Wanting to make some upgrades or remodel?  We can do that too!  Build back is a great time to finally do those things that you’ve always wanted to do but keep putting off. Why spend your time searching through several stores, vendors and swatches, when we can compile everything for you and narrow it down to what fits your project. Just like the mitigation team, we continue to work with your insurance company to customize a plan of action.

Our teams work hand-in-hand to make sure you get the best product from start to finish.

Need emergency restoration services? We can help! Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 254-224-5999