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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Beyond the Standard

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO production crew in front of a company SERVPRO green production vehicle Production crew members Jared, Freddie and Ryan stand in front of a SERVPRO production vehicle.

There are the local restoration companies and then there is SERVPRO of Greater Waco tackling the competition and shattering expectations.  Each of our production technicians obtains an IICRC water mitigation certified technician, even our office professionals are certified.  This means from the moment you call SERVPRO of Greater Waco; you are always speaking with a highly trained professional.

In 2019 we received the Best Review Rating from SERVPRO Corporate after just opening in 2018 with a perfect online rating across all websites.

Our Facebook reviews are perfect and our google reviews boast a locally leading 5-star rating after 78 reviews. 

Don’t just take our word for it, see what our customers have to say:

“Selling a home that had been vacant for a while. There was a stale odor, prompt and well done, the odor is gone. Great company!”- Lori Pound

“Felt like a mom and pop business! Teddy was the best with communication and calling with updates. Five Stars for sure!”- Gina Davis

“These were the most dependable people I have done business with in a very long time. My house flooded, all the way to the street. They were at my house within the hour and started the process of drying me out. I had to leave my house for part of it but did not hesitate giving them a key. I highly recommend this fine company and will definitely be referring them in the future.”- Monty German

“Teddy is the best of the best. Extremely knowledgeable, attentive to the details, fair, and honest.
If you have water, mold, or fire issues, NOBODY is better. CALL HIM!”- Randy and Jodi Oosterheert

With Teddy as our leader bringing in 10 years of industry experience there’s no surprise why the bar is set so high. We have a saying around here that resonates throughout, “there’s the standard, then there’s the Teddy standard”.

Ice, Ice Baby

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

Snowflake graphic illustration Snowflake graphic illustration

While the sun is still shining at SERVPRO Greater Waco, the temperatures are due to drop on a dime.  Make sure you’re not caught in the cold with our winterizing tips from our national partner, Grange Insurance Group.

  • Protect against frozen pipes by insulating those that could be susceptible to freezing. With severe temperature drops, keep a stream of water running in a few faucets to guard against freezing and bursting.
  • Prevent ice dams by cleaning out your gutters, installing gutter guards (if feasible) and making sure the attic floor is properly insulated. The attic itself should be well-ventilated and about 10 degrees warmer than outside.
  • Caulk around holes and openings to help prevent cold air from seeping in. Install weather stripping and seals around openings such as windows, doors, air conditioners and mail chutes.
  • Keep driveways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow and repair any issues with steps and handrails.
  • Consider installing an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect against increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can prevent them from bursting. It’s also a good idea to learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located.
  • Set your thermostat for at least 65 degrees and make sure your house or apartment is well-insulated.
  • Furnaces, boilers and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to clear any buildup and to keep them running efficiently.
  • Residential fires are more common in winter, so it is important that all of your smoke detectors work. Check them monthly and replace batteries as needed. You should also consider installing a carbon monoxide detector to avoid inadvertently trapping this toxic gas in your home.
  • Keep the trees trimmed and remove dead branches and debris from your yard. Ice, snow and wind can weaken trees and cause branches to fall and potentially damage your home, car or even yourself and others.

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

a single lit candle A single lit candle in a cathedral.

The holidays are here but SERVPRO Greater Waco is still on alert for your mistletoe mischief, since according to the National Fire Protection Association, Christmas lights cause an estimated 40% of Christmas tree fires.   To fend off the resting Grinch face, we’ve compiled a list of holiday saving tips to keep your holiday season merry and bright.

  • Make sure to only purchase UL-listed lights with UL being the industry standard in safety certifying products
  • Be careful not to overload extension cords. Before you start plugging in, find out the wattage rating of your extension cord, as well as the power requirements of any lights or decorations you’re planning to plug into it. A wattage rating is the amount of electricity that an extension cord is built to carry, and if the combined power requirements (or “pull”) of your lights and decorations exceed that rating.
  • Always turn off all Christmas lights and decorations before going to bed or leaving the house.
  • If you’re planning to decorate outdoors, make sure that you use lights and decorations that are rated for outdoor use. Indoor products exposed to the elements can cause a shocking surprise and fire hazard.
  • If you need to replace a bulb in a string of Christmas lights, make sure that the wattage rating of the replacement bulb you’re using matches that of the light strand. Using a bulb with too high a wattage can cause the light string to overheat, creating a fire risk.
  • Make sure to not run chords or lights behind furniture
  • Make sure to throw away damaged lights or chords with wires showing
  • If using a real tree, make sure to water it daily to prevent drying out and increasing a fire hazard
  • Blow out lit candles and turn off all light strings and decorations when leaving the room or going to bed.

A Covid-Free Holiday Season

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Holiday lights and decorations illustrating the holiday season Christmas tree in Waco Texas with illuminating twinkle lights and ornaments

While this time of year everyone has done the gobble til’ they wobble, SERVPRO Greater Waco is on emergency standby for Aunt Greta’s famous, “it’s ready when the smoke alarm tells me”, pie. What people may not know is this year’s mission is even much more extensive with the spread Covid-19. We are here to make your home Covid free and clean with our biohazard professionals ready to clean and disinfect according to protocols set by the CDC. Here are some tips from www.cdc.gov to make your holiday, virus free.

  • Host outdoor activities rather than indoor activities as much as possible. If hosting an outdoor event is not possible, and you choose to host an indoor event, avoid crowded, poorly ventilated, or fully enclosed indoor spaces.
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather.
  • Provide or encourage attendees to bring supplies to help you and others stay healthy. For example, extra masks (do not share or swap with others), hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and tissues.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).
  • Host activities with only people from your local area as much as possible.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible. Use EPA approved disinfectants.
  • Avoid large group settings

From our families, to yours, have a safe and happy holiday season.

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.

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.

It's almost Memorial Day Weekend!

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

a grill is on fire on a balcony Use these helpful tips to keep your loved ones and yourself safe this Memorial day weekend.

If your plan is to grill up some good grub this Memorial Day weekend or any weekend for that matter, keep reading for some helpful tips to keep everyone safe!

  •  Maintain cleanliness! Grill fires are often caused by fat and oil buildup on the grill and the tray underneath the grill.  Use a wire brush to clean up excess fat and oil while the grill is still hot.  Try to clean your grill thoroughly at least 2 to 3 times a year.
  • Gas grills:  Be sure to check for any leaks on the propane tank.  A thorough examination does not take long and can help prevent a dangerous accident.
  • Do not leave the grill unattended.  This may seem like common sense, but it does lead to fires more often than you’d think! Also, grills stay hot up to an hour after use, so keep that in mind when you’re finished grilling for the day.
  • Wear proper clothing. If your clothing has long sleeves or hanging tassels/ strings, consider changing into a tee shirt. Clothing that has loose ends and hanging strings can catch fire easily.
  • Keep the grill outside.  It is best to keep the grill at least 10 feet from your house.  Almost one-third of grill fires happen on the porch or balcony of a residence. It is safer to be as far from the home as possible.

 Remember these simple tips to stay safe while grilling.  We want you to have the most enjoyable time with your families for the upcoming holiday weekend and the entire summer.

Water Damage and Hospitality Businesses

5/6/2020 (Permalink)

a full tub of water Maybe skip the midnight bubble bath if you're sleepy.

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco had a recent opportunity to assist a local hotel with an unexpected flood. Hotel management immediately contacted our office needing help as soon as possible to mitigate the flood and prevent major damage to the property.

Arriving as quickly as possible, our trained technicians assessed the situation and determined the best course of action. There were five rooms and a hallway that were flooded. Furniture was moved out of the wet areas to prevent damage and water was extracted from the soaking wet carpet. After extracting as much water as possible, focus shifted to drying the remaining moisture using equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco worked with the hotel management and staff to ensure the safety and comfort of hotel guests while the dry out efforts took place. Here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco we understand It is of the utmost importance to a business to continue operating after a water disaster and we are ready to accommodate in any way possible to make that happen.

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco was able to dry the flooring and walls in a timely manner.  This prevented any need for demolition or rebuilding. This falls in line with our mantra of ‘restore over replace’ whenever possible.  In the end, the hotel managers and staff were extremely thankful to have the affected rooms and hallway back to normal.

If you need assistance with water damage, please contact us at 254-224-5999. We will send out one of our professional team members to meet with you.

Roof Damage Tarping

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

a blue tarp covers a portion of a roof on a home Tarping prevents secondary damage from occurring and buys you more time for inspection and repairs.

When you think of a storm damaging your home, the first thing that may come to mind is your roof.  As the first line of defense to your home, your roof takes the brunt of the punishment from any storm that passes through your area.  If your roof becomes damaged due to a storm or any other reason, a professional should be contacted as soon as possible.  An assessment needs to be made and action needs to be taken.

One of the actions that may need to be addressed quickly is tarping your roof.  The professionals at SERVPRO of Greater Waco are able to provide you with roof tarping in the event of an emergency or as a precautionary measure.  Tarping the roof can prevent any secondary damage from occurring and can give you time to get the roof inspected and ready for repair.

In addition to roof tarping, board up services are also available.  Board ups are also helpful in securing your property and limiting any further damage.

Call your Greater Waco franchise for your roof tarping and board up needs.

FIRE FACTORS

4/18/2020 (Permalink)

It doesn’t take long for a house fire to become extremely dangerous or even life-threatening.  There are a few factors to consider when it comes to a fire as well as some preventative measures you can take to help you and others in your home if you are faced with a fire.

               There are a few important factors to consider during a house fire:

  • SPEED: A fire can turn into a major disaster in minutes or even seconds.  Never underestimate how quickly a fire can spread and become even more dangerous.
  • TEMPERATURE: A fire produces extremely hot air which can affect your breathing as well as burn your skin.
  • SMOKE: Smoke can be more dangerous than flames!  Smoke inhalation is the leading cause of fatalities in house fires.

Here are a few preventative measures we can take to be better prepared in the event of a fire at home:

  • Smoke Alarms. There are several types of smoke alarms available.   Just be sure to check the batteries regularly!
  • Plan a Fire Escape. Find the quickest and safest ways to exit your home.  Try to have more than one way to exit your home from each room if possible.
  • Fire Extinguishers.
  • Home Sprinkler Systems.
  • Sleep With Doors Closed.

Always keep in mind that a house fire is very dangerous and can be deadly.  Your first priority should always be to get you and your loved ones out of the house. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco can help you with fire cleanup and restoration.

HOW TO DEAL WITH WET CARPET

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Owning a home can be very fulfilling but often full of challenges and unpredictable scenarios.  Pipes and water heaters can leak or burst.  A bathtub or sink can overflow.  One of the most common parts of a home that is affected by one of these unfortunate incidents is your carpet.  While the situation may appear dire at first glance, it does not mean that your carpet cannot be saved or restored.  Let’s go over a general overview of what we can do to save soaked carpet.

                There are three basic processes your SERVPRO of Greater Waco professionals will use to attempt to restore your carpet to its preloss condition.

  • Extraction: the extraction process removes the majority of the water from your carpet.  The amount of water your carpet has taken on will determine the type of equipment used to extract as much water as possible.  Some examples are an extraction wand or a weighted extraction machine.
  • Drying: The drying process will prevent excess water or moisture from penetrating further into the carpet which can help us to save the carpet from being removed.  Techniques and equipment used will depend on the type of carpet and amount of moisture remaining after extraction.
  • Cleaning: after extraction and drying are complete and the carpet is deemed to be salvageable, your carpet will be professionally cleaned.  It can also be deodorized if necessary.

There can be many other factors and processes involved when it comes to a flood in carpeted areas of your home.  Just know that SERVPRO of Greater Waco is committed to ‘restore over replace’ principles and methods.

COVID-19 and You

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

A green frog plush posed as if blowing his nose on a kleenex For more information about COVID-19 and for current updates, follow the CDC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Concerns are widespread about coronavirus disease 2019 in our community, so naturally we went directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help understand the virus, prevention and what individuals who discover they are sick can do. Here are a few things from www.cdc.gov we found especially informative:

What is the source of the virus? According to www.cdc.gov, COVID-19 is from a family of coronaviruses that cause illness in humans while others affect animals. Genetic analysis of COVID-19 says it originated in bats but they are unsure how it jumped into humans. (For more info about the source and spread of the virus go HERE.)

How can I help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases like COVID-19? Currently there is no vaccine to prevent contracting coronavirus disease 2019, but there are ways to prevent the spread of it such as:

  • Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough, sneeze and throw all tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect areas and objects that are frequently touched with household cleaning spray or wipes
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (About the length of the song “Happy Birthday”)
    • After going to the bathroom
    • Before eating
    • After blowing your nose
    • After coughing
    • After sneezing
  • If soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from COVID-19, only when a healthcare professional recommends it. Use of facemasks are crucial for people who have COVID-19 to protect others from becoming infected, for health workers and other people who come into close contact with individuals who are sick.

Though there are no disinfectants that are specific to COVID-19, the CDC recommends labeled hospital-grade disinfectants that are effective against similar viruses. 

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning/sanitation standards provided by the CDC and local authorities. SERVPROXIDE is an EPA certified, hospital-grade disinfectant that has been found to be effective against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porous surfaces.

We cannot prevent or eradicate the virus, but if asked, we will perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect and sanitize your property. 

For more information about COVID-19 and for current updates, follow the CDC on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Rebuild Team

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Studs of a home exposed and burned affected wood This home was gutted down to the studs after a fire loss.

If you take a minute to look at some of our #TransformationTuesday posts on Facebook, you will notice how affected materials are sometimes removed in order to dry the remaining structure. After mitigating the damage, the next step is for repairs and rebuild to take place in order to restore the affected areas to a preloss state. Reconstruction of a home or commercial structure could involve the installation of new flooring, it could be rebuilding a kitchen that was gutted, re-installation of drywall, texture and paint; or as extensive as a complete rebuild of a structure after a significant loss.

When you need reconstruction services for your home or business, call the local pros at SERVPRO® of GREATER Waco at 254-224-5999. We are on standby 24/7 to take your call.

Central Texas Severe Weather

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

A dark stormy sky looms over a field of grass in a rural scene Faster to any size disaster, SERVPRO® of GREATER Waco is here to serve!

According to the National Weather Service, this week’s Hazardous Weather Outlook includes scattered thunderstorms, varying from strong to marginally severe with a possibility of hail. These heavy rains can result in flooding, wind and hail damage to your home or business.

We are fully equipped to handle storm damage, no matter how large of a job. In the event your home or business suffers storm damage, these are some of the services we can provide:

  • Board up
  • Roof damage repair
  • CAT 3 flood water mitigation
  • Wind damage repair

As a precautionary measure, the Department of Homeland Security (www.ready.gov) provides a list of things you can put together an emergency kit in the event you may need to survive without certain necessities due to storm related damage.

 Stay tuned to your preferred severe weather notification service, app or website for updates on upcoming hazardous weather.

 SERVPRO® of GREATER Waco is here to respond faster to any storm related disaster and we are available 24/7 to answer your call.

Benefect Disinfectant: Botanical, Safe, Effective

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

A white jug of Benefect next to a wire haired small dog Safe, effective, Benefect.

Benefect is our favorite disinfectant and antimicrobial to use in our customer’s homes and businesses so we wanted to share a little about this amazing product we use on a daily basis.

  • Benefect is an authentic botanical disinfectant, which means it is plant derived. The active ingredient listed on the Safety Data Sheet is thyme.
  • Benefect is utilized on jobsites affected by water damage, mold and even sewage.
  • Benefect is often applied on all affected structure surfaces on a jobsite and can be used at the beginning of the job as a cleaner, or on our last day of the job as a preventative measure and let dry, since it does not require rinsing or wiping after application.
  • Benefect is also safe to use around children, pets, the elderly and chemically-sensitive individuals and it has been reviewed for its efficacy, safety and environmental impact by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

We feel good knowing what we are using one of the safest products available, and something that is also strong and effective. For more information about their products, check out their website at www.benefect.com.

Hand washing Can Be FUN!

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

a child washes their hands with soap For updates and more information, follow the CDC at www.cdc.gov

There are always public concerns regarding germs, the common cold and the safety of the very young, the very old and those with suppressed or compromised immune systems. The simplest and most effective way to help protect these individuals and the general public is ensuring that proper hand-washing procedures are being utilized.

Much of this training begins at home, so we wanted to provide some support for parents and kids to help promote proper hand-washing procedures.

Here's what the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention suggest to help:

  • Teach kids the five easy steps for hand-washing:
    • wet
    • lather
    • scrub
    • rinse
    • dry
  • The key times to wash hands:
    • after using the bathroom
    • before eating
  • You can find ways to make it fun, like making up your own hand-washing song or turning it into a game.

For more information on the importance of hand-washing, check out www.cdc.gov 

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-handwashing.html

Winter Storms and Fire Safety

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Older adult woman reading by a screened fireplace Follow these simple tips from U. S. Fire Administration to put a freeze in winter fires.

Central Texans may not be familiar with severe winter weather as much as our neighbors up North, but it is equally important to remain fire safe during the cold. According to the United States Fire Administration, home fires occur more in winter than any other season. They provide some #safetytips to help stay fire smart through this cold season:

  • Working smoke alarms are especially important during a loss of power when people may use alternate forms of heating equipment, portable generators and candles.
  • Never use candles for emergency lighting. Many things in your home can catch fire if they are too close to a candle's flame.
  • Use flashlights for emergency lighting and stock up on batteries.
  • Have a qualified repair company or licensed electrician inspect water-damaged appliances and home wiring after a flood.
  • Portable generators are useful during storms, but if not used safely, they can cause injury and death.
  • Keep portable generators outside, away from windows, and as far away as possible from your home.
  • Install and test carbon monoxide alarms at least once a month.

Click THIS LINK for more fire safety tips.

#COthesilentkiller #flashlightsnotcandles #generatorsafety #safetytip #winterfiresafety #floodfiresafety

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

In our line of work, SERVPRO® technicians come into contact with hazards that could cause injury and must use special personal protective equipment or PPE. Some examples of these hazards could be environments with dust, fumes, smoke or some that pose a biological or chemical threat if exposed. All technicians are trained in identifying when PPE is necessary on a jobsite, what and how to wear each item. It is also extremely important to understand the limitations of the personal protective equipment, useful life and proper disposal procedures.

On a CAT 3 site, you would see the following PPE on a SERVPRO® of Greater Waco technician:

  • Goggles: to protect technician’s eyes from hazardous materials
  • Respirator: to protect technician’s lungs from airborne contaminants
  • Suit/gloves: one-time use, disposable protective wear used to protect the technician’s skin from coming into contact with hazardous materials

For more info on OSHA approved PPE visit: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/personalprotectiveequipment/

Commercial Facility Types: PART I

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Just as SERVPRO® of Greater Waco provides water and fire remediation for residential structures, we also provide the same for commercial properties as well. Our industry categorizes large facilities into four types: industrial, institutional, complex residential and commercial.

General Industrial

Per the IICRC S500, an industrial building is primarily used for manufacturing or distribution. General industrial typically includes facilities that process food, in manufacturing, high tech, metal processing and pulp and paper firms. Some examples of these are breweries, food packaging, electronics, automotive, factories and refineries. Other types of buildings included are warehouse and storage facilities and agricultural facilities.

Institutional

Institutional facilities are primarily used in forms such as schools, hospitals, government buildings, sport complexes, airports and libraries. These also include structures used for public assembly such as convention centers and theaters as well as religious buildings that are used for worship, study and fellowship.

Continue reading next blog: Commercial Facility Types: PART II

Commercial Facility Types: PART II

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Complex Residential

These structures include townhouses, condos, apartment complexes, hotels, multi-family homes or large single-family mansions or estates. Also included in complex residential are duplexes and timeshares and buildings with mixed used.

Commercial

The primary use for commercial buildings is retail, office, mixed-use and warehousing. These buildings include administrative offices, medical offices, research and development, call centers and non-profit or social services. Also included in this category are grocery stores, cafeterias, salons, laundromats and shopping malls.

Historical Buildings

A special type of structure that could fall into any of the above categories are historical buildings. These are buildings that are at least 50 years old and holds a certain level of historical significance.

Rest assured that before we step foot onto a commercial property that we are already thinking about concerns you might have during the restoration process such as interruptions to business and safety concerns.

Hoarding Cleanup and Restoration

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Individuals with hoarding disorder have received more awareness through shows like Hoarders and public access to videos on YouTube that give a glimpse into their lives. According to the American Psychiatric Association, people with hoarding disorder excessively save things that others would view as trash or worthless. They struggle with getting rid of possessions which allows for clutter to develop, disrupting their ability to use their home or work space. Hoarding disorder can cause problems in other important areas of functioning such as personal relationships and work.

Because of the special circumstances involved in hoard cleanup, it is essential for us to maintain the well-being of our clients and of our technicians onsite. Communication is key in this process with the homeowner, insurance and all involved parties to ensure that cleanup is performed correctly, safely and with high regard and respect for the owner’s belongings.

If you or someone you know are seeking help with hoarding cleanup and restoration, give SERVPRO® of Greater Waco a call.

For more information about hoarding disorder see the American Psychiatric Association website.

Yearly Home Maintenance

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

A dining table standing in a puddle in the middle of a wooden floored room Invest time to perform regular maintenance on your home.

Your home is an investment so it is essential to maintain it every year by performing regular maintenance on it. Tackling so many tasks at once might feel overwhelming so scheduling them to be completed throughout the year will help ensure that your house is running in tip top shape. An article by The New York Times  gives a basic rundown of some of the things you should check on your grounds, outside and inside of the house.

Here are some of those tasks that if not maintained properly, could lead to a water event and damage in your home:

Cleaning gutters: they are usually out of sight, but they must be cleaned at least twice a year (or more, depending on trees around your house); check for damage and always, always, ALWAYS be safe while using the ladder.

HVAC systems: call an HVAC service provider to asses your system and check for damage.

Water heater: check valves, check for leaks, drain and remove buildup and turn down the temperature

Plumbing: give your pipes a visual check-up and ensure that there are no signs of leaks, and check faucet for drips. Fix what you can and call a plumber for their expertise for more serious concerns.

Water supply lines: toilets, dishwasher, washing machine and sinks have supply lines that might need replacing. These can burst causing extensive damage if they are old and damaged

Just as our bodies need regular check-ups and maintenance, houses do too. Schedule maintenance throughout the year and check each off one at a time to keep your home in tip-top shape.

Fire Safety and Kids

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

USFA logo and Grover of Sesame Street holding a fire exit plan Teach your children fire safety messages that will remain with them for years to come.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, half of fire deaths are those of children aged 4 and younger. Their joint efforts with Sesame Workshop created the Sesame Street Fire Safety Program. There are printable coloring pages for children of preschool age, and additional educational materials for parents, families and educators. You can also find songs and stories on the USFA website that can be used to help children further understand the importance of fire safety.

Some of the fire safety messages they discuss in their program are:

Having awareness of what is hot, and what is not. If children know what is hot, they know that it can burn and to stay away from them

Kitchen safety tips for adults. Children also learn by observing what we do and ensuring that we are promoting a safe kitchen environment.

A home fire escape map for ensuring your family is safe in the event of a fire emergency. Creating a plan together and practicing is a great way to help children be aware of what to do and where to go in case there is a fire.

Smoke alarm safety. This is an area that is often overlooked because they are high on a ceiling or wall but an integral part of fire safety in the home.

Exits found in the home. Being able to self-evacuate the home is crucial for children’s safety and understanding where exits are would help in the event of a fire in the home. Practicing a fire escape plan twice a year is encouraged.

Firefighters and First Responders are helpful friends in our community. Letting children know that first responders are not individuals to feel fearful about, and to follow their instructions if there is an emergency.

For more information on fire safety, check out www.usfa.fema.gov .

Fireworks Safety

12/31/2019 (Permalink)

Mother helping her toddler hold a lit sparkler Keep your loved ones safe during this joyous New Year celebration

It’s New Year’s Eve and that means fireworks galore!!! Fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires each year which include 1,300 structure fires, 300 vehicle fires and 17,000 other fires. That is why it is important for us to take a moment to look over some of the safety tips from the  National Safety Council on handling fireworks:

Never allow young children to handle fireworks

Never use fireworks while impaired by drugs or alcohol

Never hold lighted fireworks in your hands

Only use fireworks away from people, houses and flammable material

Soak both spent and unused fireworks in water for a few hours before discarding

Never use illegal fireworks

We want to thank everyone for a great 2019, and wish you all a safe and Happy New Year!

-SERVPRO® of Greater Waco

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl 2019

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

We are stoked for the upcoming SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl on Monday, December 30th at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

We will be honoring first responders: police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, and military personnel. They are always the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency and complimentary tickets are available to them and their families via signup on the event website.

Kickoff is at 11:30 a.m. CT (12:30 ET) between the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (WKH) and the Western Michigan Broncos, and will be the first time the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl will be held at the SMU Mustangs home field.

Check out the bowl's website for ticket information: 

www.firstresponderbowl.com

Mold: Continuing Education

12/27/2019 (Permalink)

A man is giving a presentation on a projector, audience is looking towards him Knowledge is power.

We hold CE courses throughout the year to help assist insurance agents and adjusters in understanding the process of what we do in the restoration industry. We held a Mold CE course this month and we were glad to have been able to educate our attendees on the history and science of mold and about parties involved in a mold related claim. Because we work side by side with insurance providers, its essential that we all are on the same page when approaching a mold claim and that safety, guidelines and precautions are considered. 

We offer other CE courses throughout the year, such as Biohazard Cleanup, and are hoping to team up with other professionals in the following year to provide further education in other aspects of the restoration industry.

Post-Holiday Clean Up

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Desktop keyboard with a Santa hat on it, ornaments and candy canes are nearby as well as a yellow beverage in a clear glass "Like it never even happened."

Holiday celebrations will be over soon and homes and businesses will be filled with reminders of good times and warm memories. We may not want to keep all of these little reminders, however. Like the time that jar of salsa spilled on the carpet or when the dog ran in and shook itself in the hallway after having a nice muddy romp outside.

We offer general cleaning services here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco that include but are not limited to:

Vacuuming (to remove pine needles, scraps from gifts, Styrofoam flakes, glitter, spray on snow, food crumbs, animal hair, tracked in soil/leaves)

Carpet cleaning (spot cleaning, accident stains, coffee, wine, food, soil and more)

Laundering (table and bed linens, dry-cleaning items)

Sanitization (food prep areas, kitchen, dining, living areas, bathrooms)

Wall wipe down (hand smudges from foot traffic, spills, dust)

Clean large appliances (fridge, oven, dishwasher, washer, dryer)

HVAC cleaning

Deodorization (by room or a whole building)

Let us help you make it #likeitneverevenhappened and get your home restored for the New Year!

Oh, Christmas Tree: Safety

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

A side by side comparison of a Christmas tree and a burnt Christmas tree in a home. Water your Christmas tree, safety first!

It’s December and many homes have their Christmas decoration decking the halls in true holiday spirit. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated annual average of 200 home fires that began with a Christmas tree. (See Fact Sheet HERE.) Dried out trees are a fire hazard and should be properly maintained during the month of December and disposed of properly after Christmas (or when it is dry). If you’ve never watched the live Christmas tree burn conducted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), follow the link HERE to watch a minute and a half video on how quickly a dried-out Christmas tree fire burns in comparison to a well-watered tree.

Here are a couple pointers from the NFPA to help you stay fire safe during this holiday season:

  1. Pick a fresh tree; less dry, less flammable
  2. Cut 2” off the base of the trunk before placing in water; water daily
  3. Keep away from heat sources such as heaters, fireplaces, candles and even lights.
  4. Use lights with a recognized testing lab label; use accordingly if meant for indoor or outdoor use
  5. Replace lights with broken cords, loose bulb connections and ensure that manufacturer’s instructions are followed when connecting several strands of Christmas lights
  6. Also, the 20th century called to remind us to PLEASE NOT use candles on Christmas trees.

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

BIG GREEN

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

Parked bright green truck with SERVPRO of Greater Waco logo and phone number decals outdoors In Japan this is called "Isuzu Erufu" or Isuzu Elf.

We are growing! Say hello to BIG GREEN, the new addition to our production vehicles. After a couple checkups and a can of elbow grease, Big Green is ready to go. Big Green is what is referred to an N series, a medium duty truck manufactured by Isuzu since 1959. After joining the ranks here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco, Big Green has proven its worth during several move-outs for our clients. We have been able to transport furniture and belongings from three homes to our storage space with the help of Big Green with less trips than before. Other perks of having a larger production vehicle is being able to haul away more demolition debris from work sites and being able to carry more equipment used for restoration purposes. As always, the team at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco and Big Green are on stand-by 24/7 for your emergency service needs.

End of Year Commercial Cleaning

11/29/2019 (Permalink)

A Christmas tree in the background, a green delivery truck ornament is hanging by a red ribbon Let us help make your place of business New Year ready

‘Tis the season for end of year celebrations and potlucks in the workplace which may leave your carpets and furniture looking less than prepared for the New Year. Whether it’s a commercial kitchen needing a heavy-duty cleaning or carpeting needing to be cleaned, here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco, we are equipped to your commercial cleaning needs. Check out some of the services we provide that you may find useful in getting your business New Year ready:

  • Carpet cleaning for stains from spills and tracked in mud
  • Furniture cleaning for office seating
  • Cleaning of walls
  • Content cleaning
  • Deodorization

We will work with you and your budget to build your personalized estimate and ensure there are no unexpected charges. Give us a call at 254-224-5999 and schedule an inspection and let us make it “Like it never even happened.”

Freezing Temperatures, Frozen Pipes

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

A view upwards towards the ceiling where a broken pipe has leaked and caused water damage Uninsulated metal can still break due to freezing water. Protect your pipes by ensuring they are well insulated.

Water expands as it freezes and for homeowners and businesses it could mean a water loss. Both plastic and metal pipes can break due to freezing water, so it is important to take preventative measures as colder months near. Pipes that are frequently affected are those exposed to severe cold, outdoor house bibs, pool lines, water sprinkler lines, and water supply pipes in unheated, uninsulated areas.

To protect your pipes:

  • Drain supply lines
  • Remove and drain hoses used outdoors
  • Keep outside valves open so any water that remains and does freeze has space to expand without breaking the pipe.
  • Add insulation to unheated areas; maintains higher temps in these areas

Prevention:

  • Keep garage doors closed if lines are present in the garage
  • Open cabinets in kitchen and bathroom to allow warm air to circulate into areas where plumbing is.
  • If weather is very cold out, let a drip from the faucet; helps prevent them from freezing
  • Leave heat on in your home, incurring a higher heating bill may prevent you from more costly repair if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If leaving home during cold weather, leave heat set to a temp no lower than 55F.

Check out more information on freezing pipes on the Red Cross website.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

A shocked woman in an apron is holding a pan on fire in a kitchen. Stay safe this Thanksgiving.

As many folks prepare their homes and recipes for Thanksgiving meets and eats, we want to take a moment to share a few cooking and fire safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Stay in the home when cooking and check on your turkey frequently.
  • Steam and splash from liquids could cause serious burns; keep children away at least 3 feet from the stove.
  • Keep floors clear so as to avoid tripping hazards.
  • Matches and lighters should be kept out of reach of children; this also includes lit candles.
  • Test smoke alarms.

[Check out more safety tips HERE.]

It is reported that Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment. We hope that you and yours have a wonderfully blessed and safe Thanksgiving holiday. 

Heart of Texas Apartment Association Trade Show

10/28/2019 (Permalink)

A man dressed as batman and a woman dressed as batgirl at a table decorated with hero items We love to be heroes to our community in any way we can.

September 19, we participated in the Heart of Texas Apartment Association Trade Show at the Lion’s Den of Waco Texas. We had the opportunity to meet many individuals from the community, from different trades. Together we were able to provide Mission Waco with over 500 canned goods and hygiene items. Mission Waco has been an important part of community outreach for 25 years in providing Christian-based, holistic, relationship-based programs that empower the poor and marginalized. Their Mission statement also focuses on mobilizing middle-class Americans to become more compassionately involved among the poor and working to week ways to overcome the systemic issues of social injustice which oppress and marginalize the poor. 

For more information on how you can help Mission Waco, visit their website at: http://missionwaco.org/

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)

Closeup of reddish tiles where floor has buckled 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.

Taking Action On A Water Leak

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Use of a bucket to catch water from a leak is a temporary fix. As seen here, mold will begin to grow due to increased humidity in the space.

Water leaks are often unexpected, arising from a plumbing issue, HVAC malfunction or even storm damage to your home or business. You might stumble upon a puddle of water or a stain on the ceiling that clues you in that a problem exists. A leak may not even be visible but you realize something is amiss due to an unexpected increase in your water bill. Once you have been able to investigate and find the source of the leak, it is imperative that you take action as soon as possible to correct the issue. Ignoring a water leak or temporarily catching water in a container can still result in damage to your home.  Increased humidity in the air and direct contact with water will cause structural damage and it can spread into initially non-affected areas.

If you find that your home is experiencing a leak or you have discovered water damage but cannot locate the source, we highly advise calling a plumber to remedy the issue as soon as possible. Once a leak has been repaired, our technicians at SERVPRO of Greater Waco can begin the drying process and restore your home or place of business to its preloss condition.

Remember, don’t wait on repairing water leaks, and call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 so we can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Indoor Humidity Can Increase During Summer Months

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

Excess moisture can damage wood in your home.

As the summer temperatures begin to rise, you will notice that you may not be sweating but feeling sticky nonetheless. The reason behind this is that the hot summer air tends to hold more humidity as opposed to cold air in the winter. Humidity is the amount of moisture or water vapor present in the air. You would expect this muggy feeling while you are outdoors but not so much once you are indoors. If the humidity inside your home is too high, it increases the chances of mold and bacteria to grow and may aggravate allergies or asthma symptoms. Too much moisture in the air can also affect any wood furniture and wood structures.

If the humidity level is found to be above 60% for a prolonged period of time, it could lead to damage in your home. The recommended optimal range of humidity is from 30%-60% and can be achieved by making some simple changes such as closing exterior doors and using the A/C. Using fans and keeping interior doors open will increase ventilation and help with air circulation. Ensuring the use of the bathroom exhaust fan will also help remove moisture from the air.

If you find that your home continues to remain humid and have concerns regarding the moisture level, mold growth or water damage, give us a call at 254-224-5999.

Grilling Fire Safety

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Safe grilling is best grilling.

Summer is in full swing bringing cookouts, fireworks and hot dry weather. We want everyone to enjoy their summer to the fullest and to also best prepare you with some grilling safety tips to ensure that your barbecue goes off without a hitch.

Check out the following tips provided by fema.gov:

  • 3 Feet: Only grill outside and keep it at minimum 3 feet from any siding, deck rails and eaves.
  • Safe Zone: Keep a 3-foot safe zone around your grill to ensure that kids and pets remain safe.
  • Open your gas grill before lighting.
  • Monitor: Keep an eye on your grill, fire pit or patio torches while lit.
  • Clean your grill after each use. This will remove grease that can start a fire.
  • Place the coals from your grill in a metal can with a lid once they have cooled.

Taking a few precautions will help create a safe environment for your summer fun. If you need more information on our fire and water restoration services, please give us a call at 254-224-5999.

Did You Know We Do General Cleaning Too?

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

A view of a commercial grade grey carpet Commercial or residential carpet cleaning available.

Summer is filled with celebrations of the end of chapters, such as high school and college graduations. As many embark on a new life journey, it’s possible that with the change comes the need for relocation. Whether you were renting an apartment or a home, you want to make it look better than when you first moved in. This really works in your favor if you are trying to get some of your initial deposit back too. You can opt to do it on your own, along with the other tasks you need to undertake to make the move, or you can call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco to help. Here are a few of the services we provide to help make your transition an easy one:

  • Carpet/rug cleaning
  • Floor cleaning
  • Room deodorization (including tobacco odor and pet odors)
  • Pack-out
  • General cleaning/disinfecting
  • Upholstery cleaning/deodorization

Contact SERVPRO of Greater Waco today for more information on general cleaning or to schedule an appointment. (254)-224-5999.

Commercial Loss? We Can Handle It.

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

This indoor pool facility was dried down and ready for rebuild when we were through with it.

Central Texas has had its share of rain and we have stayed busy with many residential calls due to unexpected flooding and water damage. But did you know we are also equipped and staffed for the needs of a commercial loss as well?

We were recently called to a multi-unit commercial building that had suffered severe water damage due to recent storms. Of the 6 units that were damaged, 2 of the businesses were able to resume normal operations as we began the restoration process. We were able to remove wet and damaged material and replace insulation and ensure that the building was thoroughly dry.

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco understands that the needs of running a business remain even when faced with a water loss. Our technicians work quickly to assess the damage in your building so that restoration may begin as soon as possible. We want you to be able to resume your day to day company routine with as little interruption as possible while also working within your budget and alongside your insurance company.

Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco 24/7 for more information or to schedule an appointment: (254) 224-5999.

Fire Damage: Smoke, Soot and Smells

5/31/2019 (Permalink)

At first glance, this might look overwhelming. SERVPRO of Greater Waco can handle it.

Home is your safe place, but the destruction a house fire leaves behind can leave you feeling hopeless, stressed and wondering if you will ever be able to get back to the way it was before. In the event of a fire in your home, we are ready to respond to your needs and lend a compassionate hand as we guide you through the restoration process of your home from start to finish.

You might notice that after the fire has been safely put out that there is damage to your home in areas far from where the fire originated. As the temperature rises inside a building, air expands carrying soot into cooler areas. Smoke will migrate into upper areas of a structure, allowing it to permeate other things like your ventilation system. Smoke and soot staining not only are unsightly and difficult to remove, they also produce odors which could be harmful if inhaled.

Before we begin the restoration process on your home, we assess the damage and pre-test the affected materials to determine the appropriate cleaning procedure. We then use the results to specifically tailor the cleaning procedure we will use in your home to provide you with the best plan to appropriately address your loss. Not every fire loss is cleaned in the same manner.

Unsure if restoration is possible? Give us a call at 254-224-5999 and let SERVPRO® of Greater Waco show you how we make disasters “Like it never even happened.”

Water Damage? Let Us Handle It For You!

5/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco takes great pride in providing our clients with emergency services 24 hours a day for any water event, large or small. Timeliness in responding to your call is of the upmost importance because a delay of a few hours can greatly increase the severity of water damage in your home or place of business. We understand that this is a stressful time for you, and you may be feeling confused and vulnerable because of circumstances beyond your control. Let SERVPRO® of Greater Waco be your guide through this crisis. Water damage restoration is the cornerstone of our business so our technicians are always highly trained and experienced in water damage restoration.

What we need from you

When we receive your call, you can anticipate that our SERVPRO® representative will ask you several questions regarding the water event in your home or business. We use the information you give us to determine the amount of equipment and resources necessary, including how many SERVPRO® technicians will be needed for the job. Some of the questions we may ask you are as follows:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • How many rooms are affected?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Once we have gathered the required information, we can dispatch our crews and notify you with our expected time of arrival. Response time is critical and we understand that the sooner we arrive, the sooner we can begin the restoration process to make your loss “Like it never even happened.”

We are here, ready to help you. Call us today: 254-224-5999

Are You Working With The Best Company?

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Our current Google rating proves that we are the best in Waco.

When it comes to looking for a company that specializes in emergency water or fire damage, you do not have the luxury of time to complete your due diligence in searching for the best company to service your home or business.  While Google ratings are a quick and easy way to check previous customers’ experiences, most people often rely on those in the industry to refer out their preferred company when a need arises.  SERVPRO® of Greater Waco has over 35 5-star reviews on Google and is the only completely 5-star rated company with more than 15 reviews in Waco.  Why would you just stop at the Google ratings, why not look to the nation’s largest and most preferred restoration company by the insurance industry itself.  The SERVPRO® network is the preferred restoration company for over 88 insurance carriers, and over 267 commercial entities, with most of them having a presence in the Waco area.  How does that translate to a benefit to you as a customer?  SERVPRO®’s preferred vendor contracts with these carriers includes things like guaranteed yearly background checks on all employees, some include a 5-year warranty on any work SERVPRO® completes, and all guarantee a 4-hour maximum onsite arrival time once we are contacted.  No local restoration company can boast credentials even close to that.  As part of the SERVPRO® network, SERVPRO® of Greater Waco is the logical, and most often preferred, restoration company by the insurance industry when your home or business suffers from a water, sewage, or fire emergency.  Call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco at (254) 224-5999 to let us serve you and your family, to let us help you take back control of your home, and to experience the level of quality that has earned us the top Google Rated restoration company in and around the Waco area. 

Be Prepared!

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Storms cam happen anywhere and at any time. Every year, Americans cope with a number of different categories of intense storms. These types of severe weather range from severe thunderstorms, flash floods, tornadoes, to hurricanes. The vast majority of national emergencies declared in the U.S. are related to weather and account for billions of dollars in damage and even the loss of many lives. Understanding there is a risk whenever severe weather is about to occur and taking proper action are the first basic steps you should take in order to keep yourself and others around you safe and sound.

Understanding the Risk

Knowing that there is a potential for damage is key to preventing it from happening. Check your local weather regularly and plan accordingly depending on the forecast. Have a shelter plan for your household or business. Tie down or secure anything outside that could be moved by heavy winds.

Take Proper Action

Understanding is the first step, taking action is the next. Practice your sheltering plans. Have proper equipment to secure belongings. Buy a weather radio. Take action and be prepared for severe weather.

We Burn Test Your Carpets

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

An example of the 'burn test' we perform prior to cleaning a carpet.

When we aren’t extracting water from floors, restoring after fire damage or cleaning out mold, we are busy providing our clients with SERVPRO® of Greater Waco’s unmatched, high-quality area rug carpet cleaning. Our technicians have the experience and specialized training in carpet cleaning to ensure that your carpet is not damaged during the cleaning process. One of the many pre-cleaning tests performed on your carpet is called a ‘Burn Test’.  This involves taking a small sample of the fibers from the carpet, (these samples are always taken from an inconspicuous area) and literally burning the fibers. We do this in order to observe how the fibers burn and to note the smell coming from the burning fibers. The following gives you an idea of how we use these characteristics to better determine the fiber type:

  • If it smells like burning paper = that is an indicator the fibers are cotton based
  • If it smells like burning hair = that is an indicator the fibers are wool based
  • If it smells like celery sealing wax = that is an indicator the fibers are nylon based
  • If it smells like asphalt paraffin = that is an indicator the fibers are olefin based
  • If it smells like acrid burned meat = that is an indicator that the fibers are acrylic based
  • If it smells sweet and fruity = that is an indicator that the fibers are polyester based

The purpose of the ‘burn test’ is to identify the fiber that the carpet is made of so that we know what cleaning agents and process to use and which not to use. If an incorrect chemical is applied to carpet fibers without proper testing the carpet could have irreversible damage. Have peace of mind and call the “burn test” experts here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco

April Showers

4/3/2019 (Permalink)

Rising water levels can mean disaster after torrential rains.

Any Texan can tell you that every rainy season can vary between a misty light drizzle to full on tropical monsoon. As homeowners and business owners it’s important to ensure that we remain prepared for the possibility of flooding whether it happens in the area every year or gradually becomes a problem as the rainy days become more frequent. We researched some actions you can take to prevent or minimize flooding to your home or business.  We hope you find some of these useful as we venture further into the spring season here in Central Texas:

  • Slope or grade away soil from the foundation of the structure. Runoff can slowly begin to compromise the integrity of your foundation if not redirected.
  • Clean out all gutter down spouts and direct them away from the foundation of the building.
  • Ensure that all gutter system cracks and holes are plugged up or caulked.
  • Understand where your home or business is located relative to the sanitary sewer system and install back-flow valves in the event that the main sewer line is overloaded. Contact a licensed plumber to see if a back-flow valve is necessary in your home or business.
  • If sandbagging is needed to help redirect and divert water away from the building, fill bags with sand up to ½ to 2/3 full because they are easier to stack, stagger and manipulate this way. Tying the bags is not necessary and it is advised that you set up the sandbags before flooding occurs.
  • There are also options such as manufactured barriers that self-deploy using the water itself as a means to divert water away and they appeared to be less permeable than using sandbags.

Even if you’re in an area that has a lower risk of flooding, it is always important to have a plan of action in place.  If you property is damage by a storm or by flood waters be sure to contact your storm restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco. 

Need remediation for your business?

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

An example of air movers and dehumidifiers used in our water damage restoration jobs.

When faced with water or fire damage in your place of business, we understand that the safety of your clients and employees are a top priority. There are risks that arise from a water or fire event that if improperly cleaned or remediated could result in significant further damage.  For example, after a water event there could be the hazard potential for slips or falls and if the water remains standing for long periods it could develop smells, begin to grow mold, and can deteriorate any flooring into an unsalvageable state. 

Fire events have their own risks including ‘fire soot’ that contains chemicals like formaldehyde (used in embalming).  Fire Soot is extremely acidic and if these soot chemicals remain on your business’ walls, ceilings, air ducts, furniture, and vents of your structure they can begin to permanently affect them. Here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco we work hard for you to restore your structure to its preloss state. We are available to help you bypass any restoration project planning and reduce the overall cost that is required to restore your building back to its preloss state.  A timely response can also decrease the exposure duration to unhealthy conditions that could cause sickness to anyone who enters the premise.  Make sure to call SERVPRO® of Greater Waco at (254)-224-5999 if your business is affected by a fire or water damage.

Timing, Pretesting and Training

3/22/2019 (Permalink)

Example of infrared readings in a commercial Waco property. Dark purple alerts us of a significant difference in temperature.

Why SERVPRO® of Greater Waco?

As an agent, adjuster, or any kind of insurance professional, you have a number of responsibilities.  Of these responsibilities are recommending reputable service companies to your clients as well as keeping claims costs down for your company.  SERVPRO® of Greater Waco is a highly qualified and trustworthy company that fill many needs to your clients when they find themselves in the middle of a fire or water loss.

TIMING

Arriving at a loss in a timely manner reduces damage and therefore reduces the cost of restoring damaged property.  An immediate response is vital to limiting damage, and SERVPRO® of Greater Waco strives to arrive on the scene as quickly as possible.  This falls in line with taking care of both the home or business owner in conjunction with limiting costs for the insurance provider.

PRETESTING

Replacing property is far more costly than restoring property.  Pretesting is a necessary step in the restoration process to determine the level of damage and dictate the necessary actions to begin restoration.  A lack of pretesting could cause the quality or scope of the work to diminish which leads to unhappy clients.  Your SERVPRO® of Greater Waco professionals will always pretest the site in order to determine the extent of damage and the proper course of action to restore the property.

TRAINING

Proper training is ideal for providing your clients the best service possible.  Your SERVPRO® of Greater Waco franchise professionals are trained to industry standards in Fire and Water cleanup and restoration.  Additionally, SERVPRO® of Greater Waco hosts continuing education classes available periodically to insurance professionals as well as our franchise professionals.

Timing, pretesting, and training are just a few of the reasons that insurance professionals and companies can trust SERVPRO® of Greater Waco to take the best care of their clients while limiting costs by restoring in place of replacing property.

Family Fun Time

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Pizza greaser

When we’re not on site restoring a home or business, we are continuously working for our clients by training our technicians during any down time, by performing regular maintenance on our equipment, and by always being on stand-by to respond to your calls. But as dedicated as we are to providing the best customer service to you, we could not be where we are without family. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco is first and foremost a family-oriented business because we know that without our loved ones, we would not be where we are today. We take time outside of the office to enjoy time with our work family and our children because we understand that by building and strengthening these bonds, we are stronger as a team and we are able to be a light for our community and clients. During Spring Break, we “struck” in some fun times at AMF Bowling in Waco. The afternoon was filled with giggles, fantastic wins, and a sneaky little player who used pizza grease to up his bowl game. Remember that when it comes to taking care of your home and your family, make sure to call ours.

Mold 101

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

A closeup view of mold growing in a corner on walls. Here's an example of multiple types of growth that was found behind the cabinets in a Waco area home.

With the popularity of home improvement shows such as Fixer Upper and Property Brothers it is now commonplace to hear concerns over the horrors of ‘toxic black mold.’ Though the worry is not unfounded, they are often littered with misconceptions regarding mold. Here at SERVPRO® of Greater Waco we know that only by educating ourselves as much as possible about a problem can we better equipped in resolving it.

It’s important to understand that mold itself isn’t toxic, it is the mycotoxins released by certain molds that are harmful. Some of the culprits that release mycotoxins include: Stachybotrys or “black mold” (a.k.a. stachybotrys chartarum, stachybotrys atra) and species of aspergillus including aspergillus niger, aspergillus flavus, aspergillus fumigatus. For more information check out https://moldpedia.com which goes into some more detail about these species of mold.

Exposure to mold can go undetected but can show up as allergy symptoms such as sneezing, sore eyes, runny nose and nasal congestion that improve when you leave the building. Mold is found everywhere because it can grow on almost any surface as long as the temperature, food source and moisture meet its needs (check out our photo gallery HERE for some good examples of what mold looks like in buildings). In a recent mold inspection of a home in Waco, Tx, it was discovered that the structure contained over 20 types of molds including stachybodrys.

If you suspect that mold of any type is growing in your home or business do not hesitate to call us at (254) 224-5999 to schedule an inspection. An incomplete mold remediation could spread out the mold and lead to more mold growth so we ask that you practice caution if you decide to undertake the project yourself. Read more about what the CDC suggests regarding mold cleanup HERE.

Fire Safety Tips Part 1

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

This Fire was caused by a cigarette that did not make it into the ashtray properly. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco was called out to clean up the aftermath.

With the holidays behind us hopefully everyone has put up their Christmas decorations. As homeowners it is essential to be mindful of the presence of fire hazards and to minimize the possibility of them causing a structure fire. A good example is keeping around a severely dehydrated, and highly flammable Christmas tree too long. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco has compiled the following prevention tips for some areas in your home to help keep you and your loved ones safe from possible fire hazards throughout the new year.

In the kitchen:

• Avoid leaving cooking food unattended. If a grease fire occurs, use baking soda to extinguish it. NEVER use water on a grease fire. You can smother the fire in the pan by starving it of oxygen by placing a lid over it. Always supervise children that are cooking and educate on the dangers of fire and cooking appliances.

• Be aware of where you leave pot holders, dish towels, aprons and any cooking utensils.

• Ensure that electrical appliances are far from sinks, flames or hot plates

• Invest in carbon monoxide detector if your home does not already have one if you use natural gas for heating and cooking.

In living areas & bedrooms:

• Make your home a smoke free environment if possible, or at least ensure that cigars, cigarettes, and pipes are properly extinguished prior to disposal as they may continue to burn and may reignite.

• Recycle and replace appliances with damaged electrical cords

• Avoid running electrical wires or cords under the weight of heavy furniture and rugs

• If you feel that you often have to unplug an appliance to plug in another because your outlet is overloaded, reconsider spacing out appliances to other outlets

• Be aware that clothing or draperies do not rest atop lighting such as desk lamps.

Take a moment from your day to check the areas in your home and see if there are any possible fire hazards.

Check out our next blog for fire safety prevention tips for your bathrooms and garage from SERVPRO® of Greater Waco.

Fire Safety Tips Part 2

1/29/2019 (Permalink)

This home window was melted from the heat of a fire, it suffered no direct contact with the flames, but melted due to its proximity of the flame.

In our previous blog SERVPRO® of Greater Waco covered some fire safety tips for the kitchen, living areas, and bedrooms. Here you’ll find more suggestions on locating possible fire hazards that exist in your home and reminders of how to keep you and your loved ones safe from structure fires.

In the bathroom:

• Ensure that proper care is taken when using candles in a restroom for deodorizing and that they are snuffed out before you leave

• Use appropriate incense plates or burners; do not leave cones or sticks lying on counters, shelving or windowsills

• Turn off hairstyling irons before you walk away from it and invest in fire resistant holders

• Do not use, or charge, electronic devices near you while you are showering or bathing

• Before leaving home turn off any wax or oil potpourri pots

In the garage/storage:

• Chemicals such as fuels, solvents, cleaning agents, thinners, adhesives, and paints could ignite or explode due to improper storage. Make sure you take time to organize chemicals and to properly store them, preferably away from the house if possible. Dispose of anything that is damaged or leaking.

• Do not use stoves or barbecue grills inside the garage; you could not only start a fire, but also die from carbon monoxide inhalation

• If fire extinguishers are present in the home, ensure that everyone knows its location and how to use it. We also recommend having a fire plan in place.

Now, this is not a comprehensive list by any means, but these tips should be covered with family and/or roommates so that everyone understands where fire hazards exist for everyone’s safety and well-being. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco hopes you never have to experience the effects of a fire loss where you live, but we are here to help if you ever need our services. Call us 24 hours a day at (254) 224-5999.

Water Categorization

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

This home in Waco suffered a water loss that was classified as Category 3. This home had roughly 3 inches of sewage water flow through it.

In the event that you require SERVPRO® of Greater Waco to provide you with fire and water cleanup and restoration, you may hear the terms CAT 1-3 and water category and wonder what our franchise technicians may be referring to. During our initial phone call with a client, a question we will ask is “What is the source and condition of the water?” Understanding as much as possible about the water that is present in the water damage will make it easier for us to plan on the quickest, most cost-effective way of cleaning and restoring your home so that the end result is "Like it never even happened."

Knowing the source, the condition of the water and being aware of how long water has been allowed to remain standing in the building helps us categorize the water loss as either CAT 1, 2, or 3 based on IICRC screening requirements.

Category 1 (CAT 1): “clean water” Water from a clean source with no substantial risk of causing sickness or discomfort. Has no odor. Examples: broken water supply lines, tub/sink overflows with no contaminants and appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines.

Category 2 (CAT 2): “gray water” Water that has a significant degree of chemical, biological and/or physical contamination. Can potentially cause sickness or discomfort. Examples: aquarium leaks, waterbed leaks, toilet bowl overflows (containing urine), dishwasher or clothes washer discharges and water that enters the structure from hydrostatic pressure (from below grade).

Category 3 (CAT 3): “black water” Water intrusion resulting from a grossly unsanitary source or carries pathogenic (disease causing) agents. Examples: discharge from toilets that originate from beyond the toilet trap (from the sewer or septic system) and intrusions from the surface of ground water into the structure (flood waters).

At SERVPRO® of Greater Waco we prioritize the health and safety of our workers and occupants regardless of the level of contamination. Call us 24/7 at 254-224-5999 and let us help you get your home or business restored "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco is Your Mold Specialist

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water intrusion can happen at anytime in an office building or home. Whether it be from a roof leak or a leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem. Mold has many risks to human health and can cause potential damage to structure of your home or business. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco has the understanding and training of how mold works, the protective gear, and the specialized equipment for your mold job. When you call our franchise, a trained representative will ask a series of questions designed to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed for the job.Your property will then be inspected for mold using our specialized equipment. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. A variety of containment procedures can take place if mold is identified, to prevent the spread of the mold and to isolate the contaminated area SERVPRO® of Greater Waco will place physical containment barriers and negative air pressure. Powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums will be used to prevent the spread of mold spores during the mold remediation process. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new ones from forming. Removing dry-wall and flooring may be necessary if infested in severe cases. Our team of professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home. Give SERVPRO® of Greater Waco a call at 254-224-5999.

Waiting Until You Experience a Loss From a Storm is Too Late!

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Waco is always Here to Help. Here is a small fleet of SERVPRO trucks working in the Marble Falls area the Llano river flood.

Although storms are an occurrence in almost every part of the world, being prepared for storms isn’t necessarily common. While one storm may not cause any damage to your home, the next one may not be so kind. Monitoring the weather and having a plan in place can save you in both time and money in the long run.Among the many things you can control to be better prepared for a storm is having a plan in place if a storm becomes dangerous. Have evacuation and shelter plans for your household, and practice them with every member if your family. Know how to shut off water, gas, or power to your home quickly if needed. Contact your insurance agent to check your insurance coverage and know what is and is not covered as far as storms are concerned. This is also a great time to review your coverages and adjust if necessary. You can literally start a ‘rainy day’ fund to be prepared financially for unexpected expenses due to storm damage. For some great advice on how to plan for an emergency look into Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover.SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help if a storm causes major or minor damage to your home. A few small steps to ensure you and your home are prepared ahead of time can help to keep any damage to a minimum and help the restoration process in both time and expense. If you have any questions regarding preparedness, or if you suffer from storm damage, give SERVPRO of Greater Waco a call 254-224-5999.

Why would you choose SERVPRO of Greater Waco

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Our owner, Teddy, at a Waco Commercial Water loss, pondering Why SERVPRO of Greater Waco one morning before the sunrise.

Sometimes stuff happens to your home or business and you are left with deciding who to call to help with getting it restored to a pre-damaged state. Should you ask someone who MIGHT have some restoration experience OR call a professional who knows how restore it "Like it never even happened." AND will provide an exceptional level of personalized customer service? SERVPRO of Greater Waco boasts 9 years of industry experience and is independently owned and operated. Every staff member is trained and knowledgeable in property damage restoration and the science and technology required to provide unmatched individualized service for each client. We are experts in the use of psychometry for the purpose of providing the best cleanup and restoration process possible while also being mindful of the properties of textiles, upholstery and surfaces to avoid any further damage to wet/soiled materials.Not sure if we can help?

These are some of the areas and services of cleaning we are equipped with here at SERVPRO of Greater Waco:

  • Air ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard
  • Carpet and upholstery
  • Ceilings, floors and walls
  • Drapes and blinds
  • Odor removal
  • Sewage
  • Trauma and crime scene
  • Vandalism and graffiti
  • Commercial cleaning

If you’re interested in learning even more about us, the services we provide, community involvement or certifications you can follow us on our website here at www.SERVPROGreaterWaco.com or on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/SERVPROGreaterWaco/ . Skip the search and call us at (254)-224-5999 for 24 hour emergency service for your mold, fire, or water damage events

What can I do to stay safe after storm damage to my home or place of business?

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

This home was affected by severe flooding from a river. If the Bosque river hits this historic flooding level SERVPRO of Greater Waco will be ready.

Often, we are unprepared for the aftermath caused by storms such as structural damage, flooding, even fire damage due to lightning strikes. Water becomes absorbed into the walls, floors, upholstery and belongings and within 48 hours, mold will begin to grow and spread if materials are not dried quickly and thoroughly. We at SERVPRO of Greater Waco are on call to provide you with emergency services 24/7, including holidays to ensure that the cleaning, drying and restoration process begins as soon as possible and avoid further damage to residence or commercial building. After you’ve made the call to us, its important that you keep yourself and others safe by following these tips regarding electricity.

  1. Never attempt to reach your breaker if you must stand in water to do it. Call the electric company to shut it off at the meter.
  2. Never step into a flooded basement or room if water as come into contact with electrical outlets, appliances or cords.
  3. Do not use/touch any electrical appliances when you are wet or standing in water.
  4. Do not use electric tools if the ground is wet or raining.
  5. If an appliance has become wet or come in contact with water, have a professional check it out before it is used.

Remember, safety is of the upmost importance, especially when dealing with electricity and storm damage. For more information on avoiding electric hazards, check out the following website: https://safeelectricity.org/flooding-provides-set-electrical-hazards/Feel free to call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 for any of your storm damage needs.

Do you ever think of the plumbing in your business?

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

This commercial building water heater corroded inside until the tank began to leak. The Waco area business called SERVPRO of Greater Waco to help.

Cracked water mains or broken pipes can be a major plumbing issue for a business owner. Plumbing problems can add a great deal of stress and anxiety to an owner. Proper and effective management can aid in lowering the chance of a plumbing disaster.

  • Preventative maintenance: Preventative maintenance is essential to protecting your property, employees and customers. Have a routine in place to inspect your plumbing on a fairly regular basis. At the very least, do a yearly full inspection of all of your plumbing.
  • Fix small problems to prevent large ones: The reason preventative maintenance is important is addressing minor issues as you find them after inspection. A plumbing issue can possibly lead to lost business, so fixing problems when they are found is essential.
  • Have a reliable vendor: Find a trusted and reliable plumbing company in your area. There are many avenues you can take in order to find a reliable plumbing specialist. Find one that you are comfortable with and see yourself doing business with for years to come.

Plumbing problems can be a major headache so taking the time to detect and fix problems is very important to keep your business up and running. SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help if a plumbing catastrophe does affect your business, but we also want businesses in our community to be safe and free of issues that can be prevented. If SERVPRO of Greater Waco can be of any service to your business, give us a call at 254-224-5999, we will be glad to help.

Mold in your Restaurant Kitchen?

12/21/2018 (Permalink)

Here is an example of mold found behind a vinyl wall coating in a commercial kitchen. SERVPRO of Greater was able to asses and remediate this issue.

Running a successful restaurant in Waco, Texas can be a source of great pride for a restaurateur. Hard work and dedication can lead to a rewarding and fulfilling career. However, discovering mold growth in your commercial kitchen can cause that happiness to come to an abrupt stop. But worry not, there are things you can do to avoid mold problems and keeping your restaurant clean.There are various ways mold growth can occur. In a commercial kitchen, the most common cause of mold is through the food you bring into your kitchen. Mold can grow quite easily on fruits, vegetables, breads and cheeses.Proper inspection of produce deliveries is essential before use in your kitchen. Look for abrasions, bruises, or already visible growth on your produce. Be mindful of expiration dates on food items and keep containers covered or sealed to prevent mold growth.Mold growth tends to occur in areas that are dark and damp and in a generally unused area. This may cause mold to go unnoticed until it has already grown significantly. A ventilation system that reduces the humidity in the kitchen can help prevent mold growth. Water is always present in a commercial kitchen, so be mindful of these damp areas that can be a breeding ground for mold.Keep your restaurant clean and mold free, so that you may enjoy the fruits of your labor. But if a mold problem does pop up, know that SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help in any way we can.If you suspect you might have a mold problem, call SERVPRO of Greater Waco at 254-224-5999 for a free commercial mold inspection.

Restoring Your Waco Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

The attic of a Waco commercial property which suffered a water loss. SERVPRO of Greater Waco responded and was able to get the business back open.

Flooding and water damage events in Waco commercial properties are often challenging with countless issues that require a knowledgeable trained expertise and a timely response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup or a large-scale event, we work as fast as possible to deal with the situation and make it like never even happened. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility. Restoring commercial properties offer many challenges so as trained professionals, we understand the legal and environmental concerns you may have and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budget. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. We are trained to arrive with all the necessary equipment needed for the job and at a fast pace. Give us a call when your next emergency arises! About SERVPRO of Greater Waco: SERVPRO of Greater Waco specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to multiple IICRC-industry certifications, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property like it never even happened!

Mold Basics

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

The end of the year is upon us and it is a good time to reacquaint ourselves with some basic tips on mold prevention and removal. Molds are found everywhere and will especially thrive in damp, warm environments. Where mold is present there is a potential risk that someone could become ill from its exposure. As a homeowner, renter or business owner; it is important to take some necessary steps in ensuring the safety of loved ones, coworkers and clients.

The CDC provides some basic mold prevention tips to help:

  • Maintain humidity levels lower than 50% with the aid of an air conditioner or dehumidifier
  • Ensure proper ventilation of areas such as the kitchen and bathroom with the use of exhaust fans
  • Repair damage in roofing material, walls and plumbing to decrease the chances that mold begin growing due to moisture
  • Use paint with mold inhibitors
  • Clean with mold killing products in areas of high moisture such as bathrooms
  • Discard or replace mats, carpets or upholstery that has become water damaged and cannot dry thoroughly. (Anti slip/mold water resistant mats are also an alternative to not using carpets or mats in rooms with a lot of moisture)

If you become aware of extensive flooding in your home that cannot be dried and restored within 24-48 hours to avoid mold growth, we at SERVPRO of Greater Waco are professionally equipped and specially trained to handle water damage in your home and/or business. We are on call to serve you 24 hours a day and help you through the process of cleaning and restoring your home or business to avoid further damage. Because all mold has the potential to cause health effects, do not delay in letting us help you restore your home or business "Like it never even happened." give SERVPRO of Greater Waco a call at 254-224-5999 for your mold related issues.

If Storms or Floods hit the Heart of Texas, SERVPRO of Greater Waco is ready!

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Here is a photo of the Llano River flooding resulting from the October rains in the Marble Falls, TX area. SERVPRO of Greater Waco traveled to help.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. A storm can come in many forms such as wind, freezing temperatures, hail, tornadoes, severe rain, or even lightening strikes. No matter the cause SERVPRO of Greater Waco crews are ready to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. When storms recently hit the Marble Falls, Texas area, our crews traveled to help the people affected by the flooding. There is no job that is too severe or too small for SERVPRO of Greater Waco.Being locally owned has its benefits, and since we are local, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response can lessen the initial damage, limit further secondary damage, and reduces the overall restoration cost. We understand that in catastrophic times, people have lost a good majority of their valuables. We do our best to treat only the affected area, which reduces the repair costs, reduces rebuild time, and reduces the total money spent on the damaged area.If storms hit the Waco area, we can scale our SERVPRO resources to handle any large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,750 Franchises across the country and even our elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States. Essentially there is not a storm that cannot be properly handled by SERVPRO Greater Waco and the SERVPRO network. If you are affected by a storm or suffer from flood damage? Call SERVPRO of Greater Waco today at (254)244-5999.

Does Your Home Have A Mold Problem?

12/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Growth on a China Spring Stud, that was discovered after the wall had been opened by the homeowner due to a musty smell.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors, the weather man often reports the local mold count in the air.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or your favorite pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, there’s a good chance the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and often the smell can lead you to the possible mold problem area.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45% percent. This is generally accomplished with the normal use of a well-maintained HVAC system.

If your home or business has a mold problem, or just has a musty smell, we can inspect and assess your property for any mild related issues. We can even use our industry experience, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation if one is found. If You See or Smell Signs of Mold, Call SERVPRO of Greater Waco Today at (254)244-5999.

How is SERVPRO of Greater Waco different?

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Waco is the best of the best for your restoration needs in the Waco area. Our staff is extremely meticulous and we complete every task using proprietary tried and true SERVPRO cleaning methods. We utilize only the best equipment for your water or fire damage. One small example is all of our equipment has an internal Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) to add an additional layer of protection in your home. All of our work is electronically documented and then backed up by photographs, we do this to ensure our billings is accurate and easily justified. Our team consists of trained professionals who always go the extra mile to help with any of your specific needs. If you suffer a water or fire loss at your home, it can be stressful and emotionally draining. SERVPRO of Greater Waco understands and is here to help, that is why our employees are often called ‘heroes” by our clients. SERVPRO of Greater Waco will do our best to make it "Like it never even happened." We offer services to help people who are affected by catastrophes such as major floods, fires, and storms that cause major damage. We are not here to just do the work and move on, we build relationships with our customers and ensure that if there is anything extra a customer needs, we are willing and available. We do honest work that matters to our customers; caring for people while dealing with their loss is what we do on daily basis! We are the professionals! Give us a call and let us show you how we can serve you and your family.

Does your business need SERVPRO of Greater Waco?

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

air movers in a commercial building This commercial loss in a Waco building was more complex than it seemed. Several floors, along with the attic were affected from this pipe break.

Have you mentioned to your neighbor how unpredictable Texas weather is these days? It’s hot then cold, there’s a drought or it floods. No matter, you check the weather, adjust your wardrobe accordingly and continue about your day. But the weather brings about changes in the world around you, some that cannot be easily detected. Small, insignificant damage can be occurring in the materials surrounding you in your business and can become a much larger issue to your office when coupled with a water or fire loss. That’s why you call SERVPRO of Greater Waco. As stressful as these situations are, you can rest assured that SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to assist you through it. Our technicians are specially trained and certified in water damage restoration of structure, flooring and upholstery. We are equipped to clean and dry your place of business as quickly as possible so that you may continue on "Like it never even happened." We strive in keeping our clients updated through the entire restoration process while ensuring we use every means necessary to salvaging all items that may have become wet. SERVPRO of Greater Waco technicians are on call 24 hours to respond to your emergency and provide you the with specialized water cleanup and restoration services to get your business up and running as soon as possible. Give SERVPRO of Greater Waco a call today at 254-224-5999.

Winter is Coming! According to the Farmer's Almanac 2019 winter outlook

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Winter is coming! And according to the Farmers’ Almanac’s famous long-range weather outlook, it’s going to be a “teeth-chattering cold one, with plenty of snow!” Well that won’t hit Texas you think, but the Almanac goes one step further saying that the South will get “stinging cold with average precipitation.” So now the big question, are you and your home properly prepared to deal with a severe cold snap? Here are just a few basic tips to get you and your home ready for the winter cold:

Winter Home Preparation Tips:

  • Clean you gutters and down spouts prior to cold weather arriving to prevent ice buildup in them.
  • Inspect fire places and chimneys before using, get them cleaned if they are excessively dirty
  • Install plastic sheet window insulation kits to cut down on drafts and to add an extra layer of insulation around your windows
  • Caulk any cracks or holes on the outside of your home
  • Check and replace, if necessary, any deteriorated weather stripping around doors and windows
  • Run your ceiling fans on low and in reverse (clockwise when looking up) to help circulate warm air
  • Make sure to disconnect and drain any garden hoses attached to your home
  • Cover outside spigots with foam insulation covers
  • Turn off your sprinkler system and blow compressed air through the lines to drain them
  • If you have a faucet that is on an outside wall, open the lower cabinet doors to allow warm air flow, and open the faucet to a slow drip to help ensure those pipes don’t easily freeze.

Winter Weather Tips:

  • Make sure you have an adequate supply of nonperishable food and water
  • Refill all essential prescription medications in advance• Fill your car with gas
  • Check antifreeze levels in your car, and check the tire air pressure as cold weather can cause the pressure inside your tires to lower
  • Charge your cell phone
  • Make sure flashlights and weather radio have fresh batteries. Also make sure you have an adequate supply of batteries on hand
  • Make sure you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home, with fresh batteries
  • Have a working fire extinguisher in your home

Following most of these winter preparedness steps will ensure that you are ahead of the curve when dealing with a severe winter storm if we get one. SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help you recover in the event that your home is affected by freezing pipes or loss of power during the upcoming winter months.

Winter Weather Can Lead to Frozen Pipes

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

This water supply line in a China Spring, TX crawlspace froze during the recent cold snap. Make sure all exposed pipes are wrapped at a minimum.

As winter closes in, your thoughts are probably on football, the upcoming holiday season, or spending time with family. Although these are great things to think about, winter can also bring about freezing temperatures that can cause dangerous roadways or frozen pipes at your home. Frozen pipes can cause a major disaster at your home or property, but with a little thought you can help prevent a major incident.

Exposed pipes are the generally the most susceptible to freezing. These pipes are typically found outside your home, or in colder areas like attics, garages, basements, or kitchen cabinets. A burst pipe can cause substantial damage to your home if not addressed in a timely manner. The American Red Cross has outlined a few steps you can take to help prevent pipes from freezing.

  • Completely drain water from sprinkler and swimming pool lines and outside hoses.
  • Keep kitchen cabinets open so warm air can be near any plumbing
  • Let water drip from faucets when it is extremely cold outside
  • Keep your thermostat set to the same temperature all hours of the day

A water damage is not uncommon due to winter weather. Spend some of your thoughts this winter on your home and preventing a water loss. But do know that SERVPRO of Greater Waco is ready to help if necessary 24/7 & 365. Give us a call 254-224-5999

After the Fire...

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

This was a complex Waco fire that SERVPRO of Greater Waco was able to restore all the clients personal contents back to a preloss condition.

There are a number of problems that a fire in your home or business leaves behind even after the immediate danger has passed. It is often the case that a thorough cleaning of walls, ceilings, carpeting, woodwork, and flooring will need to be professionally done. There are also a number of appropriate steps that can be taken in order to prevent further damage until SERVPRO of Greater Waco arrives on the scene. The chances of an effective restoration will be boosted by reducing damage by following a few tips:

  • Try to keep movement in the home to a minimum. Soot can become ingrained in the upholstery or carpeting from repeated movement in the home.
  • Use old towels or linens to cover up high traffic carpeted areas and upholstery.
  • If the power is off, empty the refrigerator and freezer of all contents and prop open the door to help prevent unpleasant smells.
  • Be mindful of what you are touching. Your hands can become soiled with soot and that can be transferred to other items in the home.
  • If you can immediately wipe all the soot off sink faucets and metal window molding, then coat with petroleum jelly to prevent the soot from pitting the metal surfaces.

Following just a few of these steps can be a game changer in the restorability of your home and personal items. SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help you through a catastrophe that is a fire loss. If you suffer a fire or smoke damage remember SERVPRO of Greater Waco are your fire restoration experts backed by years of experience and a team of knowledgeable individuals.

The Holidays are coming up

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

It’s November which means it’s the beginning of the holiday season. It is the time of year that families get together for a Thanksgiving or Christmas feast. It is also the time to practice safe cooking habits so that your happy holiday does not become a holiday disaster.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking is the number one cause for fires in homes with Thanksgiving day being the day of the year with most fires reported. Let’s try to be safe this holiday season by following some guidelines:

  • If you are cooking food in the kitchen, stay in the kitchen. If you must leave the kitchen, you should turn off the stove
  • Keep children away from the cooking area. As much as some children like to help it is best to keep them at least 3 feet away from the cooking area, especially during a family get together when kitchen traffic may be high.
  • Flammable items such as paper goods, towels, food packaging, and oven mitts need to be kept away from the oven and stovetop.
  • Regularly clean the cooking area
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher for your home if you don’t have one already
  • Have smoke alarms installed if you don’t have them
  • Always check all equipment used for cooking after you are finished and are ready for bed or leaving the house. This includes all appliances that were used as well as the stove and oven.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco wants everybody to have a safe holiday season, but in the event that the need arises we are available 24/7 and 365.

What's The Deal with MOLD?!?!

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

This is a beam from an attic in Waco where the recent heavy rains and lack of proper ventilation created a perfect environment for growth.

In recent years, it seems that the mention of mold has become a buzzword causing tension and anxiety among homeowners. You may have seen it mentioned often on some of your favorite HGTV or DIY type television shows. At this point, you may feel as if you are constantly surrounded by mold. How about instead of stressing out about mold, you let SERVPRO of Greater Waco provide you with the proper information and service to take care of your mold concerns.

Mold is a naturally occurring organism that, given the right conditions, can grow inside your home. The amount of moisture in the air combined with certain temperature ranges are necessary for mold to cultivate. Some rooms are more prone to moisture, such as bathrooms, and therefore more susceptible to mold.

The key to containing mold growth is to contact your mold specialists at SERVPRO of Greater Waco to come inspect your home and determine the proper course of action. If you think you may have a mold problem, pick up the phone and let SERVPRO of Greater Waco help take care of that problem as soon as possible. Mold, like many other issues, can be taken care of if the problem is addressed quickly and with expertise. To schedule a mold inspection call us at 254-224-5999.

Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Preparation is vital for your business to survive any type of disaster. The disaster may be a large fire, a seemingly harmless water leak, or a flood due to a hurricane. The ideal time to prepare for such a traumatic event is long before the event occurs.

According to the latest research, as many as 50% of businesses may never recover after suffering a disaster. Of those that do survive, the vast majority of them have a plan in place in order to react to a disaster with timeliness and effectiveness.

At SERVPRO of Greater Waco, we can develop an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) for your business. Knowing what to do and what to expect before an unforeseen disaster hits is essential to help minimize damage to your property and allow you to continue doing business with as little interruption as possible. The ERP is a tool that provides critical information to you or your key employees to begin mitigation and recovery for your business. Ask SERVPRO of Greater Waco how you can take advantage of this service at no cost so that you will be able to have a plan prepared to quickly get your business back on track.

Feel Free to give us a call at (254)-224-5999 to schedule your free ERP consultation.

The Categories of Water Part 1

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

Not every water damage is the same. There are many different ways that water can damage not only your home, but anything you have in your home. When restoring a water loss, not only is the source and extent of the damage a factor, so is the type of water that caused the damage. There are 3 categories of water to consider when dealing with a water damage. Here are some details for each category:

Category 1 water is clean water. It is drinkable water. Water that comes out of a faucet is an example of Category 1 water. Category 1 water can change into Category 2 water quite quickly. Water that leaks onto a dirty floor, or that drains through insulation can easily change the water category from clean to dirty. SERVPRO of Greater Waco is your water damage specialist and we have a highly trained staff that is educated on the appropriate steps to asses and correctly determine the water class for your Waco area water loss.

The Categories of Water Part 2

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

This is an example of a category 3 water loss in the Waco area. The vapor barrier did its job and trapped all the moisture under it.

Category 2 water is also known as gray water, and has a significant amount of contamination in it. This water should not be consumed. An example of category 2 water is soapy water that may leak out of a dishwasher or washing machine and get on the floor or carpet. Another example could be a toilet that is flushed but then overflows with water containing urine. If the water contains feces, it would then move into category 3 and be considered grossly contaminated. Generally speaking, if category 2 water has affected your home, the steps necessary to sanitize and dry your home are more extensive than those from a category 1 loss.

The final category of water is category 3 water which is also called black water. Storm water, overflowing toilet water containing feces, moldy water, flood water, and backed up sewers are all examples of category 3 water. All porous materials affected by category 3 water must be removed, or encapsulated as we cannot guarantee the sanitization of any porous materials affected by category 3 water. Remember to let the experts at SERVPRO of Greater Waco asses the category of your water damage as quickly as possible.

1 – 4 – 8 Water Damage Policy

8/31/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Greater Waco responded to a Waco area crawlspace water loss at 1AM. As soon as the plumber fixed the pipe we began extraction.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco understands that time is of the essence when a water loss takes place. In this stressful situation you can be sure that your SERVPRO franchise will be ready to help in a timely manner by adhering to our 1 – 4 – 8 policy.

1 = One Hour

Our promise to you is that contact will be made within one hour from our first notice of a loss. This is the first step to getting the best service possible for your home or business. We often contact most of our customers within 15 minutes of receiving notification.

4 = Four Hours

SERVPRO of Greater Waco guarantees a SERVPRO professional will be on site within four hours of loss notification. Time is critical to minimize damage and lower the cost of your loss, so our motto is to be onsite as quickly as possible no matter when your loss occurs. SERVPRO will then inform you of the processes and equipment necessary to begin mitigation. We will work from the source of the water damage out to all affected areas.

8 = Eight Hours

Within 8 hours, a briefing of the project will be communicated to the appropriate party or parties. Whether that briefing is to an adjuster, your insurance carrier, or the homeowner SERVPRO of Greater Waco knows good communication is the key to a successful relationship. The better informed all parties are, the better understanding we all have about the project. Be sure to call SERVPRO of Greater Waco for all your Waco area water loss needs.

WHEN A WATER DAMAGE OCCURS

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

When a pipe bursts in your Waco home, focus on safety first. You want to make sure the affected area is as safe as possible, prior to addressing it

When dealing with a water loss, time is NOT on your side. The first 24 hours are crucial in order to prevent further damage to your property. SERVPRO professionals will be on-site within four hours to handle your water damage situation. But…. there are some things you can do as a home or business owner to help prevent further damage or complications. Here are some tips you can use to guide you through a water loss:

  • If possible, shut off the source of the water or contact a qualified individual to do so
  • If there are no dangers of electric shock, turn off the circuit breakers for areas affected by water
  • Mop or blot as much excess moisture as you can
  • Aluminum foil or wood blocks can be placed between wet carpeting and furniture legs
  • Identify any sensitive valuables such as electronics, computers, paintings, document, or other art objects that can be safely moved
  • Be mindful of any electrical shock dangers such as breakers, outlets, or switches
  • DO NOT use a household vacuum cleaner to extract water. This may damage the vacuum or possibly cause electric shock
  • Be mindful of any wet ceilings and the potential falling dangers they pose.

Remember that responding to a water loss in as little time as possible is key to preventing further damage to your property, but safety should always be a primary concern. Call SERVPRO of Greater Waco to ensure a safe and timely service for water damage to your property.

The Power of a Little Water

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Using a Thermal Imaging Camera on a Waco area washing machine leak. SERVPRO of Greater Waco has the tools needed to address your loss efficiently.

Big or small, water damage to your home or business is nothing to be taken lightly. What may seem to be a small problem could cause large structural or air quality issues over a period of time.

How a water problem is handled is of the utmost importance. The last thing a property owner wants is for a seemingly small problem end up being a long-term threat to a home or business. That is where SERVPRO of Greater Waco comes in the picture. Using the proper tools and expertise to identify and dry unseen water will prevent further damage to your property. Technology and equipment combined with the knowledge and training of SERVPRO professionals will ensure that you and your property are getting the best treatment possible.

Moisture sensors, moisture meters, thermo-hygrometers, and thermal imaging cameras are some of the tools your SERVPRO professionals will use to properly test and inspect your water damage. Put your trust in SERVPRO and their equipment and training to take care of your water damage and make it "Like it never even happened."

According to The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a Home structure fire is reported every 90 seconds.

6/27/2018 (Permalink)

A dryer that a homeowner returned home to find just in time to remove before it caused significant damage to his home.

With our lives becoming more and more reliant on electronics are we more at risk for a fire? Think about the number of items in your home that have electronic circuitry, each one has the potential to malfunction and could be the cause of a fire in your home. While we keep adding devices in our homes, we also keep increasing the demand on our home’s electrical system. Are we creating a higher risk with each and every device we bring home and plug in?

Are you the type that leaves home with one or more of your appliances running in your absence? A recent homeowner took to Facebook to share his near miss with a malfunctioning dryer. Luckily the owner returned home in time to pull the dryer out of the house before it caused significant damage. While SERVPRO of Greater Waco is here to help you if your home suffers are fire or smoke loss, we are also here to help provide tips that could possibly prevent a fire from ever starting in your home.

Here are SERVPRO of Greater Waco’s Top 10 things you can do to help prevent a fire in your home:

  • Test your smoke detectors regularly, we recommend replacing the batteries every six months for peace of mind to know that they will operate properly when you most need them to.
  • Consider replacing old appliances before it is too late. As appliances age they become more likely to malfunction which could result in an ignition spark.
  • Avoid overloading electrical circuits, most in home circuits are rated for 15amps. A general rule of thumb is not to put more than 80% load (12amps) on any 15-amp breaker, or risk overloading the circuit.
  • Clean your dryer lint trap after each cycle and manually inspect your dryer vent at least once a year.
  • Unplug toasters after each use and do no not store them on countertops where pets may knock them off.
  • Do not run appliances when you are not home, especially your dishwasher, dryer, or washing machine.
  • Do not use water, or flour, to put out a grease fire. Smothering or Baking Soda are the preferred methods.
  • Select the proper gauge extension cord for the job, be careful not to overload them which causes them to overheat.
  • Create and practice a home evacuation plan with all members of your family.
  • Purchase and install fire extinguishers, they are handy when you need them.

Doing these simple things could help reduce your chances of experiencing a fire loss in your home. SERVPRO of Greater Waco is committed to helping reduce home fires to create a safer environment for your family.

We are always here to help, feel free to contact us at 254-224-5999 for all your Waco area Fire and Smoke needs.

Are Your Ductwork Systems Clean Enough?

6/22/2018 (Permalink)

An improperly maintained dryer lint trap found in a home in the Waco area.

According to FEMA up to 34% of home fires are caused by a failure to properly clean and maintain dryer systems. Home dryer fires cause $35 million in property loss each year. Are you doing your part to ensure that your home will not be part of this statistic? To reduce the risk of a fire happening in your home SERVPRO of Greater Waco can help assess and clean dryer vents/ductwork to ensure your system is operating properly. The National Fire agency recommends at a minimum that you clean your lint filter in your dryer before each and every load you dry. You also need to not forget to check the vent’s outside exit to ensure that it has not been clogged by debris such as a bird nest or other obstruction. Maintaining a clean system can extend the life of your equipment and allow your system to operate at its peak efficiency all year. An inspection from SERVPRO of Greater Waco could help save you money and provide you with peace of mind. We also are equipped to provide complete HVAC ductwork cleaning as well. Here’s how we proceed when cleaning any home’s ductwork. SERVPRO of Greater Waco uses our portable ventilation & air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust, grime, and lint:

  • The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional procedure, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove any odor and dirt.

Contact SERVPRO of Greater Waco today for more information on ductwork cleaning or to schedule an appointment. (254)-224-5999.

SERVPRO of Greater Waco Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor beyond the Obvious damage in your Waco home or business.

Smoke and soot are very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allow us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and Soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Greater Waco will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – 254-224-5999

Restoring Your Woodway Property After a Commercial Water Damage Event

6/15/2018 (Permalink)

We have access to the right amount of equipment for your loss, no matter its size. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco is your Woodway commercial loss partner.

Flooding and water damage events can occur anywhere in Woodway. Commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO® of Greater Waco

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO®’s corporate training facility to obtaining several regular IICRC-industry certifications.  Our staff holds the Commercial Drying Specialist designation through the IICRC, which lets you rest assured our staff is equipped with the proper knowledge to restore your property fast and efficient.

See all of our IICRC certifications held by our franchise Here.

Water Damage, What Now?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

This living room carpet is flooded with an inch of water. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco was able to help this Waco home get back to preloss condition.

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today – (254)-224-5999 We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO® of Greater Waco has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine the equipment and the resources necessary for your job, including how many trained SERVPRO® Professionals may be needed. Our SERVPRO® Representative will ask several questions:

• Your name and contact information

• Your insurance information (if applicable)

• The street address of the water-damaged home or business

• When did the flooding or water damage occur?

• What caused the water damage (if known)?

• How many rooms are affected?

• Is there electricity available (on-site)?

Once we have acquired the necessary information, we will then dispatch our crews and let you know what time to expect our team. We understand that response time is paramount and will arrive onsite as quickly as possible to begin to start the restoration process and make your loss "Like it never even happened."

About SERVPRO® of Greater Waco

SERVPRO® of Greater Waco specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO®’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property. Our team maintains the following industry certifications:

• WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician

• ASD – Applied Structural Drying Technician

• FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician

• CDS – Commercial Drying Specialist

• OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program

• ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program

• RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation

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