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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Wet After Tornado

3/4/2020 (Permalink)

wet second story sub floor Water damaged second story sub-flooring after a tornado

This second floor hall has had the carpet and pad removed after suffering water intrusion during a tornado and heavy rain event.

To the left, not shown, is the door out into the attic where the metal roof was blown off the building.

Water damage from a tornado can come in from the roof or other blown open areas and come down trough the building, as was the case in this home.

Opening the closet door to what had come to look like a patio was quite the experience.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, lined up the help needed to secure the roof.  We removed the carpet, etc., to get the home on the path to dried out and repaired.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping folks in the greater Waco area and through out Central Texas through property damage situations since 2001.

Let us help you.

SERVPRO of Waco (254) 756-4300

Re-Contamination of Soot & Dust

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with soot on fingers after being wiped across a previously cleaned desk A return of soot and dust after the room was cleaned of soot and dust.

Often after a fire it is necessary to clean nearby and/or adjoining offices or rooms to make them usable while work begins and progresses in the area where the fire occurred.

Most of the time, this works out fine with only a bit of inconvenience.

Sometimes there is a bit of a smell or something minor for a while.

And then sometimes, each day greets you with a new round of soot and dust on the flat surfaces.  While it gets less and less after each cleaning, it is a frustration.

Are the doors being opened too much while air is being disturbed in the fire damage area? 

Are doors or windows to the outside opened in the fire damage area?

Is the HVAC system somehow getting new soot in it?

It becomes a mystery to solve.

Fire Flying Objects

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Marks on the warehouse ceiling where an exploded container hit Ceiling area struck by flying air container during a fire

All sorts of hazards can occur during a fire.

One not thought of right off the bat is the danger of objects filled with compress air, gases or liquids becoming projectiles.

Many of these type items are in metal cylinders of some sort which virtually explode launching the container in almost any direction.

The picture attached is of damage left behind after an air supply cylinder hit the ceiling during a fire.  Another cylinder was launched through an office window and one hit an exit door.

Fortunately, the people who discovered the fire shut the door immediately upon discovering the fire.  Without having opened it much at all.

Opening the door could have been a disaster for several possibilities.

Our kitchens and bathrooms also contain bottles of compressed substances which could become dangerous flying objects as well.

Carpet Pad with Moisture Barrier

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

Water poured onto the back side of a carpet pad and not coming through the moisture barrier This is what happens to water/liquids which get under a carpet pad and can't be extracted or evaporate through a moisture barrier.

We sometimes encounter wet carpeting with a moisture barrier in water damaged areas. 

Guess there can be a pretty strong attraction to them as an extra charge upgrade.  If something gets spilled, by the kids, grand kids or...pets, it doesn't soak on through the carpeting down into the pad.  It is also theoretically easier to clean up since it is right on the surface until you can wipe it up.

There are two cons to these moisture barriers.  Should anything happen where some water of quantity gets on the floor or a spill is near the edge/seam, the liquid will go under the pad.  Under the pad means under the moisture barrier.  It is essentially on the wrong side of the barrier.  

Pulling the carpet back, and probably removing the padding is the only choice to get the water/liquid out.  Very disruptive.

Also, can't say I am in favor of anything that traps moisture inside a building.  It doesn't evaporate well at all and can lead to other, undesirable consequences.

Vinyl Wallpaper and Mold

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

mold behind on wall behind removed cove base trim and obviously growing up behind the vinyl on the wall Suspected mold on the wall behind removed cove based trim and obviously growing behind the wal behind the vinyl wallpaper.

Vinyl wallpaper is a favorite in commercial decorating.  It is tough wearing, thick stuff that is available in a vast array of colors, patterns and textures.

Put some up in my first house.  It was pretty easy to work wit too.

The big problem with the stuff is that it is an instant moisture barrier.  Humidity and water from leaks, etc. is just trapped there right behind it.  No evaporating or vapor transferring happening.

What can follow follow is that four letter bad word in building health conditions.  That's right, mold.

Drying wet walls, even realizing you have wet walls, is more difficult with a plastic film covering them.

It is a lot healthier for the building if the walls are breathing.

If you need any advice or moisture testing, please let us help you.

SERVPRO of Waco (254) 756-4300

Five Inches of Rain & the Light is Coming Down

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

ceiling dry wall giving way and the light fixture sinking down The ceiling just isn't drying fast enough.

While it would be great if everything attached to the ceiling was fastened into the rafters, that is not always the case.  Often it is not practical.

Try putting up a towel rack in your bathroom that hits a wall stud on each side.

This can be true of longish light fixtures as well.

After 5" of rain wet drywall appeared around this light fixture.  SERVPRO of Waco was at the company on another matter but noticed this.  We were able to locate the source, which was a roof leak which had gone undetected until the deluge.

Insulation was removed from the affected area and air movement was placed to dry the ceiling drywall.

However, it became apparent during the drying that the weight of the fixture was stretching the drywall out before it could dry.

The maintenance folks removed the fixture.

Something to keep an eye on in large quantity rain events.

Big Trouble from this Little Faucet

3/2/2020 (Permalink)

janitor closet faucet with the wall cut out around it So harmless looking.

Ever think about all the plumbing and fixtures which go into a large buildings designed for thousands of guests?

Even in new houses/remodels, all the new plumbing in the walls, at the fixtures, etc.

And they either work right, or they don't.  Things happen.

The water supply to this little fixture here almost brought a major high profile construction project to its knees, close to the project delivery date.  Yes, it leaked, big time.

SERVPRO of Waco was brought in for extraction and drying. 

Fortunately, the nearby stairwell and mechanicals (unfortunately) drained the bulk of the water. 

Our job got smaller and smaller as we approached the site.  Still there was work to be done.

Wonder if the custodial staff these days has any idea what happened from this little sink area?

Active Wildfire

2/27/2020 (Permalink)

Fire truck speeding along a gravel road. Fire truck, refilled, and headed back to the fire line.

Wildfires are Different.

Rarely are we called onto a fire loss while the fire department(s) are still fighting the fire.  Our last wild fire damage job put us onto country roads the fire departments fighting the fire were still using as one of the accesses to get to the backside of the traveling fire line.  The staging area and firefighter parking area were on the road leading to our job.

We certainly got over and out of the road when they approached.

And talk about dust!  Turns out firetrucks loaded with water crush small stone roads into dust roads.

The fire fighters did an excellent job.  The customer we helped had little direct fire damage.  They did have some odor and light soot.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company,  has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area get things back to normal after damages to their homes, buildings and businesses for 19 years.

There's Water In There?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Very dim light fixture globe full of water Yes, the Light Globe is Full of Water.

Yes, water from a source above the room or area affected by the water damage can accumulate in the light fixture.

This fixture involved in a Whitney, TX, area tornado and thunderstorm fill up so much with water, it became dim....and warm.  The bulb was heating the water.

Water can get into a light fixture traveling along wires in the ceiling or attic.  It can also just soak straight though the drywall, etc., right into the globe and hold the water.  Turns out light globes will hold water.

Water will also run along electric lines in the ceiling or attic and drop off at low points or obstacles.  This can produce water spots in the ceiling well away from the main affected areas.  Usually the amount of water traveling the line is small, but problematic.  

Normally, the water won't have any real affect on the electricity itself.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas areas deal with water related issues for 19 years.

If you have problems with water where water shouldn't be, give us a call at (254) 756-4300.  We'll be glad to help.

The PUMP HOUSE

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Old, weathered country pump house The PUMP HOUSE - got to love it!

We finally found it. 

While removing trim from very wet walls on a Hamilton, TX area ranch, water suddenly began to flow from the wall. 

Seems we pulled off a piece of trim which had been nailed into a water pipe when the home was built.

The house was quite a distance, and two gates from the road.  a quick look around the grass area surrounding the house didn't have a turn off.

Calling our contact, over 100 miles away, found that the two people who knew where the shut off was were unavailable and a spouse, in panic, was trying to locate someone who knew.

We went to the road and walked up and down the mowed area there by the entrance. Nothing there.

Finally, the spouse called back with news of a pump house but didn't know where it was.  Once we knew what we were looking for we were able to find the pump house and shut off the water.

As the home had a water damage already, the water that flowed onto the floor was easily removed.

Just love the name "Pump House".  So appropriate on a hunting/cattle ranch in the country.!

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, has served folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area with exceptional service since 2001!

Proprietary Cleaners and Treatment Agents

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO products on warehouse shelves Super Duper Cleaners and Agents

We make it ourselves

SERVPRO of Waco has access to cleaning agents formulated and mixed by SERVPRO Industries for its franchises use.

This is some great stuff and is not available from any other resource.

Some disinfectants requiring extensive, expensive government registration is supplied by a national third party product companies, but the vast majority of our products are produced by us.

You can rest assured the quality of the SERVPRO products is high and perfectly matched up to the type work we do here at SERVPRO of Waco.

Our products guarantees are backed up by our national franchising company.

The products shown are a small representation of the different products available.  These are the ones used most by SERVPRO of Waco.  We order the more specialty things as needed and receive them quickly.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, has been serving the greater Waco area and all of Central Texas since 2001.

Call us today at 254-756-4300.

Copper Pipe Split Open from Freezing

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

Two copper pipes with one split open from freezing A frozen copper water pipe split open.

While plastic water pipes can break and separate when frozen, copper pipes often open more as a split.  They can be relatively small sometimes.  However, the spray is strong and puts out a lot of water quickly, though slower than a complete break.

In this particular case, two pipes split open not far from each other. 

Apparently a frozen pipe bursting is not a mutually exclusive things among pipes in a structure.

In this McLennan County ranch house near Aquilla, TX a pipe burst open in a bedroom ceiling and the bathroom right beside it.

Unfortunately, it was not discovered right away and much damage was done by the water.

SERVPRO of Waco did the water extraction and water damage drying on this job.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, servicing the greater Waco and Central Texas area since 2001.

Indoor Hot Tub Pipe Freeze

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

section of wall opened an a repaired pipe extending from the wall behind a hot tub The repair behind the indoor hot tub

Here is what we all need and what we don't need!

This large enclosed porch style room had an indoor hot tub.  Who wouldn't want one of those??!

However, the pipe in the exterior wall from which the water for the hot tub came, froze and burst.  It was pretty much the same as having your outdoor spigot (or hydrant as some call it around here) pipe burst inside the wall.

Of, course everyone was gone at work when it happened and came home to water everywhere.  Maybe some of it went outside too, but it didn't look like it.

SERVPRO of Waco did water extraction of the whole first floor and dried out the water damage.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, serving the greater Waco and Central Texas area since 2001.

Ground Water - Ugh!

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water running down city streets and driveways The run off after an extremely quick, heavy rain,

This picture shows the ground water from extremely heavy rain running down the streets and driveways as it makes its way to lower ground and waterways in Hewitt, TX.

Unfortunately, when the ground water gets to the structure walls, the building will not be able to hold 100 % of it back.  In some instances, if one's building is the lowest point or in the direct path downhill, the building will really just slow the water down.  It will inevitably works its way through.

Sadly, unless you live in an area which is a flood plain, insurance will probably not cover the damage.  Ground water.

SERVPRO of Waco can work with you to get this water extracted and damage cleaned up.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company serving the Greater Waco and Central Texas area since 2001.

Behind the Wet Drywall

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

The site of a burst ceiling pipe after the drywall was removed Interesting wall construction behind wet drywall walls and ceiling after pipe freezes

Gravity just brings the water down several ways from frozen pipes in the ceiling.

While the water brought down part of the ceiling in this McLennan County/Aquilla area ranch. it also spread out in about every direction across the ceiling.  Then, of course, down the side walls.

After water extraction, the water damage drying process required removing some materials and letting the basic structure get dried deeper inside.

Some of the materials had to be removed immediately, i.e. the collapsed ceiling, and some was removed after preliminary drying efforts indicated drying was not progressing.

SERVPRO of Waco was able to dry this rambling home in a reasonable time period without extensive demolition.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company serving the greater Waco and Central Texas since 2001.

Texas Mold License Certificate

9/20/2019 (Permalink)

Texas mold remediation contractor license Yes, we are a licensed mold remediation contractor!

In 2001, SERVPRO of Waco was trained and became a mold remediation contractor and helped hundreds of homeowners and business owners navigate through mold issues.

Yes, we are one of the honest ones from way back.

One of the things we see most in mold situations is panic.  While the presence of mold is some cause for concern, mold also has an affect of imaginations.  Fear that there is more than one can see.

Keeping calm and seeking information is the best first step.

One thing to keep in mind, if one has mold, or thinks there is mold, the first question is where is there water where water shouldn't be.  

Mold is the result of water/moisture being where it shouldn't be.

Mold remediation in Texas does require a state issued license.  Our mold remediation contractor license is attached below.

If you are concerned about potential mold problems please give us a call.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company serving the Greater Waco area and all of Central Texas since 2001.

Wall Moisture Meter Reading

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

rectangular black plastic looking box meter testing a drywall wall which reads high for moisture content. One Wet Wall.

At SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, we use a variety of tools and instruments to locate the moisture in a building and to monitor progress when we are drying it. 

One we use heavily is the "wall meter", moisture encounter, which sends out and receives back a signal gauging moisture content in materials.  I must admit, after this point I am out of my element to tell you how it works.

The reading on the drywall wall pictured shows the gauge meter to be buried past the scale face.  This is a very damp wall which needs dried out.

The 1" hole was drilled into through the drywall into the wall cavity.  This allows air from the drying equipment to get into and up the back side of the wall cavity as well as on the front side.

This particular wall was in a water extraction water damage near Hamilton TX.

The wall was successfully dried out and the replacement trim will cover the 1" hole.  One can see the trim line just below the meter.

It will be "Like it never even happened".

SERVPRO of Waco has serviced the greater Waco area and Central Texas area for over 18 years.

The Dressing Rooms Next Door

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

darkened empty store dressing rooms where heavy water had been. Drying the walls in the old dressing rooms.

Flooded empty store

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, was called to do water extraction and drying one a retail store next to a large empty store.  A pipe had burst in the empty store in the middle of the night and was discovered in the wee morning hours by a delivery driver.

The old dressing rooms of the empty store and part of the warehouse space in the operating store next door basically became a pond with the common wall in the middle of it.  The empty store side held back more water and supplied the other side.

What a deal... water extraction as the two sides fed each other from the opposite being extracted.

It became a rather large water damage job.

The customers were quite happy with the out come and zero interruption of their business activities.

SERVPRO of Waco has been servicing the greater Waco area and all of Central Texas since 2001.

Give us a call at 254-756-4300 if we can help you.

Oh yes, the fool in the mirror is our owner Roger.

Need Your Fire Erased?

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

rectangular sponge in a clear cellophane package. When you can't clean it with liquids...

Wrapped inside this plastic is a SERVPRO Dry Clean Sponge.

At SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, we make use of these to cleaning soot off of almost anything which cannot be cleaned with liquids.

The folks at our headquarters who listed the items it can clean effectively underestimated the small item cleaning which can be done with it as well.

The dry clean sponge is also excellent to determine how far smoke has traveled through a building once it is hard to determine what does or doesn't have smoke damage as so much is damaged.

Our understanding the sponge is comprised of the same basic materials as a pencil eraser.  So we kid around about erasing the fire damage, but there is no joke in the good job they do.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping folks and businesses in the greater Waco area and Central Texas area get through fire damage clean up since 2001.

Give us a call if we can be of assistance to you.

254-756-4300

The Pump House

9/16/2019 (Permalink)

picture of an older, weathered small structure in a filed. So...this is where the water shut off is!

Sometimes we at SERVPRO of Waco restoration company need to turn off the water, or occasionally turn on the water in water damage and water extraction jobs. 

And sometimes we need to find it in a hurry, as in this case.  On this ranch in the Hamilton, TX area we couldn't find the cut off near the house.  Couldn't find it anywhere around the front gate and road frontage near the front gate, after driving down to it.  Our contact didn't know where it was and couldn't get a hold of those who knew immediately.

Turns out there was a pump house out through the thistles and we had to get out there to it...in shorts.  It was kind of cool it was in a pump house.

SERVPRO of Waco does service the greater Waco area and all of Central Texas, going the extra mile, i.e. in short through the thistles, to help our friends and customers. 

Air Conditioner Condensation Leak on Top of the Inside Unit

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Photo of the top of a furnace (air handler) with water running from the top duct, out and down into the control areas of the Water seeping out of the duct work and down into the heating/air conditioning main unit and controls

Sometimes the air conditioning condensation discharge happens in the upper part of the system.

This happens when the opening allowing the water to flow out of the condensation pan into the lines gets blocked.

It puts water meant to be exiting the building running down inside the unit instead.

Of course, gravity will take it onto the floor and on out into the rooms.

This picture shows the water on top of the main unit (furnace if you will) and has gone through the slotted openings and on down into the unit.

The problem, in a large Waco church water damage, was discovered when SERVPRO of Waco restoration company traced the cause of a wet floor in the neighboring room back to the water source. 

The problem was resolved and the rooms dried back to normal with little residual damage.

No, that is not modern art.

8/29/2019 (Permalink)

Picture shows a bath tub with a tree like pattern left after water from the drain backing up subsided Interesting Pattern - Disgusting Substance

While the pattern left in this bath tub does have a slightly artist look, it is actually left from a the drainage of a water back up.

This Central Texas home suffered a back up of water through the drain lines running out of the building.

Unfortunately, this was sewage water damage, also called black water or category 3 water.

We at SERVPRO of Waco restoration company removed affected water absorbing materials from the home, disinfected remaining solid materials and concrete floors, after removing carpeting, etc. 

We then air scrubbed the inside air via HEPA filters and got humidity levels to normal ranges.

  Also we cleaned up and disinfected the bath tubs in the home.  Yuck!

They home owners were extremely appreciative for the cleaned and disinfected bathroom fixtures.

Thermal Fogging

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

Picture is of a thermal fog machine producing fragranced white smoke into the air inside a home. Thermal fogging after a fire to change the smell and get into small cracks and crevices.

Re-Smoke It??

One way to help reduce smoke and soot odors after a fire is to re-smoke the area with a smoke which smells better.  This coats the original smoke in the tiny cracks and crevices where the original smoke may have gone.

Doing the procedure requires having everyone and pets, etc., out of the building for several hours and then filling the area up again with the chosen smoke.  Application requires the person preforming the re-smoking to wear breathing protection.

After the application and the smoke dissipates/settles, then work can begin cleaning the structure and contents affected by the fire damage.

We usually recommend, and use, a cherry fragrance product.  Cherry is one of the fragrances best for use with smoke/fire smells.

Not a fan of cherry?  Other fragances are available. 

Water Heater Burst

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

It burst at the seams.

Something sound like it popped/burst?

Sometimes we forget that since our water heater actually heats the water, it can also build up pressure...steam pressure.

All water heaters have a pressure release valve designed to open up when the pressure begins to build.

Sometimes, rarely, debris/deposits get into the vale and prevent it from opening.

It is unlikely it is going to shoot through the roof or spew steam all over everything wildly.  It is likely the water tank inside the heater will pop open.  That means a sudden release of water as happened with the one pictured.

This one was a 50 gallon capacity heater.  The person taking a shower at the other end of the house heard it, as did the young persone in the next room from the water heater.  Within moments they began to see water coming into rooms and down the hall. 

Water from the heater came out very qucikly and by the time it finished leaking and the water to the heater was shut off, about one fourth of their home was very wet.

If you hear a pop, don't for get to have a fast look at your water heater.

Clean Up in Isle 6

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

A little too much water

Did you know sprinkler systems also have pipes that aren't in the ceilings?

Just like at your place, businesses have water surprises now and then too.  Say, for example, in the middle of the night between Friday and Saturday on a holiday weekend.

It was a good clean water washing of the floors...at just the wrong time.

The pipe was fixed very quickly and the store personnel got busy getting out what they could, which was not an insignificant amount.

SERVPRO of Waco was called in to get water out of the less open areas of the store and re-extract areas which refilled from neighboring areas.

The store folks did a wonderful job of getting the store re-opened and being sure each customer was safe while work finished.

Water Meter Moving

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Typical water meter face

Water bills high?

Water where there shouldn't be and can't find out where it comes from? 

A good way to tell if you have a pipe leak in your home/building is by checking the water meter.

The water meter is usually out near the property line or street/alley.

After lifting the lid on the meter a meter face with dials/numbers should be visible.  If it is not you may need to wipe it off or gently dig a bit to find it.

The meter face generally has a wheel of some sort, such as the asterisk one shown in the picture, which moves if any water is moving through the pipe.  Generally, the more water going through it the faster it spins.

Be sure anything in the house/building which uses water is off and see if the wheel is moving.  Sometimes the movement can be very, very slow.

The face of the meter usually has a line at the top or bottom behind the wheel so you can tell if the wheel is moving slowly.

If the wheel is not moving, there is no leak in the water pipes.  The meter does not measure water in drains of from devices such as air conditioning units.

If the wheel is moving with everything shut off, there is a leak on the property/in the building somewhere.  One may well need a plumber at that point

The Wet Spot

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

A wet spot in the yard most likely a water pipe leaking, though not in the building.

Wet, maybe very green, spot in the yard?

It is a pretty sure bet an unexplained wet spot out in the yard/property is a water pipe or drain problem.

There have probably been higher than normal water bills leading up to a spot/area such as this.

For some reason, these spots are good at occurring where folks don't go into the yard/property very much.

It is a pretty sure sign a plumber is needed.

Ironically, this one was found outside a home which had a small, bet very smelly fire.  The spot kept slowly getting wetter with any water being used in the home, so it was most likey a water pipe instead of a drain pipe.  A drain pipe would only leak when water water turned on.

Recipe for Gray Soot and Terrible Smell

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

The 15 hour, simmered plastic container

A recipe you don't want to try!

Take one plastic food container and place it on an electric burner to simmer for 15 hours or so.

This particular one did not cause massive flame damage but did cause a good bit of soot.

A good practice for everyone is not to set anything on the stove burners which isn't cookware and isn't being used right away.

And if you are visiting someone's home, for whatever reason, don't fool with the stove.  If you have to check it for some reason, be sure it is off when you finish!

The biggest specialty of this recipe is an incredible bad smell which is extremely hard to get eliminate.

Lots a new painting happened afterwards.

We See the Darnest Things.

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

oversized old fashioned stroller in front of brick building It is great...whatever it is.

A Baby Buggy??

One thing about working around the Baylor University arts buildings is you see some of the most interesting things.

This just appeared one afternoon near our vans, seemingly right out of the blue.

Wasn't there in the morning.  Was there in the afternoon.

It certainly is interesting.  Appears to be a real camper, be it very small, welded onto a rail yard type metal cart.

That and the opera annex were pretty classy things for for a bunch of restoration folks.  We certainly did appreciate it though.  That little corner of the Baylor University campus has art objects around in the grassy areas and numerous steeples to view.

Fortunately, the work which needed our help was on the smaller side, though the shiny surface left when we were finished was sort of "artsy".

Inside the Containment

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier inside a mold containment chamber Inside the "containment"

Ever wonder what it looks like inside a mold containment area.

As you can see, it is pretty exciting inside the containment area.

Not shown are people in full personal protection suits and gear.

And, of course, missing is the debris which can accumulate in large quantities needing bagged and removed correctly.

The ladder to the left was 10' tall which was needed to get the containment all the way up to the ceiling.  It was also needed for higher up demolition.  Consequently, it couldn't be removed without compromising the containment...so it became a cleaned and treated part of the chamber.

Oh, and it is usually very hot inside as well.

After demolition though, it is a lot like a normal room.

Negative air and air machines are always running to capture mold spores and clean the air.

Almost a surreal environment when mold spores become the "can't see 'ums".

The "Containment"

6/10/2019 (Permalink)

The outside of a tall mold containment  chamber built of pvc pipe, 6 mil plastic and lots of duct tape. The mold containment "chamber"

Containment

Oh what these conjures up in the imagination when thinking of movies and TV series shows.

Our's are for mold removal.  Keeping the bad spores trapped inside until we can tear out their habitat and catch them in HEPA filters.

By the way, HEPA stands for "High Efficiency Particulate Arrestance" or "High Efficiency Particulate Air".  Quite the mouthful and most people have forgotten the full name.

The containment shown covers a ceiling over 12 ft tall and using two machines for negative air pressure and then air scrubbing.

Negative air is used to pull air out of the room right through the HEPA filter and exhausting 99.97% particular free clean air.  Scrubbing the air is done after the demolition and keeps the air inside the containment inside the containment.  The air is repeated forced through the HEPA filter and returned to the room(s) "scrubbing" the air.

The look of this containment captures one's imagination.

It also captured the spores necessary to pass a post remediation testing.

Covering the Customer's Product during post Fire Damage Clean Up

2/15/2019 (Permalink)

Covering the products before cleaning the soot and debris above it.

Here our crew covers the customer's finished products.  The products were produced after the fire damage but before cleaning the soot and debris from the structure above the storage racks in this Waco manufacturing plant.

Varying cleaning hours to times when the skeleton crews worked kept production running with no disruption.

Passage through the facility was narrow in most places for an articulated arm lift, necessary to reach the upper structure areas.  We used small crews and carefully maneuvered our way among the assembly line areas and the storage areas.

SERVPRO of Waco cleaning products and cleaning techniques produced excellent results removing the fire smoke damage.

No product or production time were lost or damaged in the cleaning process. 

The continuing operation (or quickly resumed operation) are of paramount importance in business/commercial restoration work.

Wet Engineered Wood FLoor

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water beneath an engineered wood floor.

Wood floors, or anything that looks like wood floors, are wildly popular in home decorating.

Engineered wood floors are nice, higher end floors where the body of the flooring piece is a plywood or layered wood with a veneered wood layer on the top of the piece.

In a water damage, the water can go over the floor and under the floor.  The water is absorbed from beneath and through all the spaces between the individual pieces.

Often the floor will need replaced.

The floor pictured also had a vapor barrier mat beneath it.  The water in this case ran over the floor and down onto the mat. The water did not get below the mat to any large degree however.

Usually engineered floors are glued down with a honey type glue, and are difficult to remove.

Coryell County Wildfires

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Wildfire damage from in front of the customer's home. The fire damage continues off in the distance.

In July 2018, we assisted a family whose property was burned in the wildfires between Gatesville, TX and Copperas Cove, TX.

The drive out on the country lanes to get to the home was ominous.  Everything was burned and fire trucks were still returning to the area to get more water for further up the line.

This may have been the most unsettling drive to a job site we ever experienced.  Arriving at the customer's property/home and turning down the lane with everything around burned up was very different.  It made one feel very alone.

The firefighters did an incredible job saving the family's home from severe damage and saving all the contents of the home.  The fields and a couple of sheds did suffer severe damage.

SERVPRO of Waco was able to clean up the fire damage on the inside of the home pretty quickly.

Wet Paneling Over Wet Drywall

9/6/2018 (Permalink)

Drying wet paneling and the drywall behind can be challenging.

Often a water release in a building which has paneled walls will have wet drywall behind the paneling, as was the case in this Groesbeck, TX, duplex.

The problem is the water will wick up the dry wall behind the paneling very quickly, as oil wicks up the wick in a lantern.  However, the moisture is very slow to wick back out of the wall, down from whence it came or through the paneling as the paneling is drying.

Sometimes the drywall will dry behind the paneling using just the drying equipment.  Sometimes it is necessary to open drying holes in the both layers (paneling and drywall) of the wall.  Sometimes sections, or all, of the paneling has to go.

In this instance, we were able to save all the walls intact. A little trim was removed in a few places to open up the walls in those areas.  The trim was easily replaced and everything was good to go.

Texas Mold License

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

Texas mold remediation contractor license. Texas Mold Remediation Contractor License

18 Years experience in mold remediation.

Since 2001, SERVPRO of Waco restoration company has been helping folks in the greater Waco area area resolve mold issues.

Yes, are one of the honest ones.

One of the keys to a mold concerns is to not panic.  While the presence of some mold is a cause for concern, mold also has an affect on imaginations.  Fear that there may be far more than one can see.

There is rarely any need to flee your home/business, screaming down the street about mold.

Professional removal of mold does require a license from the state of Texas.  Our's is pictured above.

On the other hand, approaching the situation calmly and logically will help one to not get "hyped" by profiteers playing on people's fears.

Give us a call about your mold concerns.

There is only one SERVPRO of Waco!

254-756-4300

We've Been "Refreshed"...for Mold

6/16/2018 (Permalink)

"Big whoop" right? But required to maintain our TEXAS MOLD REMEDIATION CONTRACTOR license. That is a "big whoop"... and most don't have one.

Roger, with SERVPRO of Waco, has completed the Texas  mold "refresher" course required for renewing the Texas Mold Remediation Contractor license.

Pretty exciting, right?  HA!

Well, it is required every two years to maintain a mold remediation license.

Texas mold licenses are required for mold remediation by legislation to protect you,the customer.

In the past, many people and companies have been cheated by contractors/companies which were less than honest.

At SERVPRO of Waco we've been straight forward and completely honest about mold and remediation throughout our 17+ years serving Waco and many surrounding communities.

We are the only mold remediation contractor licensed SERVPRO office within many, many miles of Waco TX.

Call us with any questions or concerns with mold or potential mold you have.  We'll be glad to assist and guide you in dealing with mold issues.

254-756-4300

Heat Waves and AC Water Leaks

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

Strategically placed bucket catching water from an AC condensate line blockage in the China Spring area. It can happen with any AC system.

It looks like (and feels like) hot humid weather has come early to Waco and Central Texas.

It may be a long hot summer.

Our air conditioning systems are going to get quite a workout.

One problem which pops up virtually every time intense heat arrives and stays is a blockage of the water drain line from the unit inside the building to where it runs out on the ground outside the building.

They call this the condensate line as the water is formed from condensation in the cooling process.

This almost always leaks right at the air handler (furnace) inside the building and comes out into the building, such as this unit in the China Spring, TX, area

It can be especially bad if the unit is next to a closet or room which no one enters regularly and can go undetected for a while.

You might want to have a look inside the closet/room where the AC unit is located and adjacent rooms.  Just to be sure no funny business is going on there.

Things you can do to help prevent an AC leak include:

  • Pull off the top part of the pipe and pour bleach down the pipe at the unit.  Plumbers seem to swear by this.
  • Actually blow down the pipe in a big burst of air.  This will work to unclog the pipe sometimes too.  Yes it sounds gross and would probably be a younger male convinced to do it. (Or an older, gritty male)
  • Check outside where the line should be draining onto the ground and be sure water is coming out and it is not blocked...or in the ground!

Should you find water damage in your building leaking from the AC system, call SERVPRO of Waco to get it extracted and dried properly in Waco and Central Texas.

Call us anytime! 

Sometimes mold is on things as small as splatters on walls in Waco.

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Suspected Mold...on Splatter Spots...on the Wall

We like to use the example mold won't grow on your car fender, but if you spread butter all over your car fender, it will grow on the butter which is on your car fender.

Sometimes this is even true of mold which is growing on something on another material which will also grow mold.

The photo is of a wall in a commercial building, in the Central Texas Marketplace area of Waco, TX, which appeared to have mold on the wall.

  Technically, that is correct, but actually the mold was on what appeared to be splatter drops from a drop food or drink.  The mold was easily wiped off by SERVPRO of Waco with antimicrobial, though the spots from the food discolored the wall. 

The employees were relieved.

SINCE 2001 - 19 Years

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Picture of our warehouse front with our sign and three production vehicles Our Warehouse

SERVPRO of Waco...there is only one!

Serving Waco and Central Texas since 2001, SERVPRO of Waco restoration company is one of the oldest and most experienced restoration companies around.

Hundreds of folks and companies have trusted us with to help get things under control quickly and back to normal in home and building damage situations.

Fortunately, and through hard work, our customers have been very pleased with our services all along.

While the building needs work and attention, we realize most importantly, you need your life/lively back in order quickly, even ahead of finishing the building.

Restoring functionality is our first priority.

If you find yourself in a damaged building situation, please give us a call.  We have strong relationships with the insurance companies, while still working for you as our customer.

The Sprinklers

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Is there always someone present in your business/facility during working hours who knows how to turn off the sprinkler system should it suddenly open up?

Even just one sprinkler head will put out an enormous amount of water very quickly...and over a pretty good sized area.  In a fire, that is exactly what you want.

Sometimes the sprinkler system can go off for other reasons, or a very minor fire.  When they do, they need turned off quickly.  15 or 20 minutes to figure out where and how to turn them off will be a soaking disaster.

It is kind of easy to forget who knows, especially if there is some normal turn over in personnel.

Can even happen when the boss, or whoever, is out of the building briefly.

It kind of goes in there with knowing how to cut the water off to the whole place and cut the power off.  It is a fine line to be sure the facility is safe from someone using these for harmful purposes and still be sure the utilities can be stopped quickly in an emergency.

It may come down to who also knows where the keys are if locking the utilities is deemed necessary.

Knowing where and how to turn off the water can be a big deal in even small offices/facilities if things go haywire suddenly.

SERVPRO of Waco has helped folks get this type of water damage cleaned up quickly and their businesses to keep running or re-open quickly.

WHERE ARE YOUR PICTURES??

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

We put our pictures in all kinds of places and in all kinds of things.

While most new pictures seem to go into cell phones and digital cameras, rarely to be seen again, most of us have old ones which are on some form of paper.

Of course, cardboard boxes, loosely folded closed, are one of the main way pictures are stored.

Paper stored inside paper which is barely sealed.  

Water is absorbed by the paper and cardboard and smoke from even a little bitty fire can get all over the pictures.

Plastic containers which slide under beds are a great way to store...and possible save them.  In closets too.

Should you suffer a fire damage or water damage loss, pictures, and other documents, which are in plastic containers with the lid snapped shut rarely suffer damage, unless burned directly.

Next time you have them out for anything...into a plastic container and snap shut the lid!

Contact SERVPRO of Waco for all your fire damage and water damage needs in Waco and Central Texas.

We'll be glad to help.

Headed Out of Town for Vacation?

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

For heaven's sake don't turn off your water at the street while you are gone, there won't be any chance of a big water surprise when you get back home.  Everyone likes a little excitement.

And they don't sell those inexpensive, easy to use tools to shut the water off at any stores near you, so there is no since in looking.

It's just fate the water leaks when you're gone.

Of course, no one in your home or business should know how to turn the water to the building  off quickly.  Fifteen or forty five minutes to find the cut off should be OK, the water tower won't just keep sending more water.

And if the meter/valve box needs to have dirt and debris cleaned out of it before the valve can be closed...it's some more excitement.  Right?

Cleaning Up After a Death-when necessary

4/14/2018 (Permalink)

A death discovered after sometime time passage?

Sometimes a loved ones pass away while alone and folks don't know it for a while.  This is a very dangerous situation for health concerns if not handled correctly.

BEWARE

While there are, of course, things which need done in the home/building after proper agencies remove the person's remains, there are firms out there which charge outrageous amounts for this. 

Seems these firms take advantage of the emotions and confusions of the situation.

A real problem arises with insurance coverage.  There are usually limits on this type coverage in insurance policies.  When the bill exceeds the coverage it is left to the family/estate to cover the unpaid amounts.  This can be tens of thousands of dollars and may not be truly necessary work.

At SERVPRO of Waco we will help you through the clean up process, staying in touch with the insurance representatives, if they are involved, so you are well aware of coverage.

We don't do anything not covered by insurance unless requested and approved by you.

No unpleasant surprises.

Fire Clean Up Truck Ready to Roll

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Running with the fire trucks...or maybe just parked there for a small non-fire job. OK, it's the latter one.

Fire Clean Up Crew

Actually we were there for a small job - they let us pull into the bay to be near the door where we were working on a small job for the fire department.

It sure makes one feel important when they pull a fire truck out so you can park in its place!

The real fire fighting truck was positioned nearby, behind the building.

We are available to help with fire clean up after the fire fighters have the flame situation non-existent anymore.

Water damage can often be one the first damages needing addressed in a fire.

Fire trucks bring lots of water to the scene and things will get wet!

Trust SERVPRO of Waco to help you through the mess caused by a fire, from both flames and water.

Job Site Rainbow Picture

11/5/2017 (Permalink)

A cool rainbow and other colorful things.

Resisting all temptation tying our service to the appearance of a rainbow, it was a great rainbow and deserved a picture.  The cell phone camera (or the photographer) doesn't do it justice.

The customers' attractive building and the wild green vehicle made a nice setting for the picture.

This is a pretty weather picture, but obviously after a bit of rainy weather.

Our service on this job was not related to the weather. 

Sometimes you have to take a moment and enjoy the rainbow.

We do, however, roll out in all kinds of weather. Sometimes, that is delayed a bit until travel is safe, but we do come shortly after that.

As part of our service, we do strive to help folks move from the stress of the damage, recover at least some of their sense of humor or calm, and be able to move forward with a sense of confidence things are going to get back to normal...and maybe even look/work out better than before.

You can count on SERVPRO of Waco for help when you need it.

We've been lucky, but...

8/28/2017 (Permalink)

Waco has dodged a bullet from the hurricane.

Who'd have thought we'd get gentle rains and cool, easy breezes, while just South of us folks are in a real struggle with the weather?

But the storm may turn North and come towards us Thursday or so.

How are things looking for water drainage around your place(s)?

Are the storm sewer openings clear of debris?  Is the drainage ditch clear? Are drain culverts near your place open and clear of debis?

We've had customers who were near awesome storm sewer drains, but the flooding occurred was on trash pick up day and the trash cans, etc., floated down and blocked the storm sewers.

It would be a real drag to have to stand in flood water, in the rain and try to unclog things in the throws of a storm.

Just sayin'.

Texas Mold Regulations

8/20/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know Texas has regulations regarding mold covering testing and remediation?

Mold assessors, mold remediation contractors/companies or any companies removing mold are required to have a mold license from the State of Texas Department of Health which requires course work and passing exams, insurances, etc.

There are thresholds levels of mold growth where the regulations kick in.  Generally this is 25 contiguous sq ft. ( picture a 5' X 5' square).  

If the mold all put together in an area would cover that much, Texas does have regulations regarding its removal by a company.  

Sometimes it is helpful to imagine the mold growth in proportion to covering a sheet of plywood, though that is actually 32 sq ft, it is easier to envision.

SERVPRO of Waco is licensed as a mold remediation company and has a licensed as a mold remediation contractor.

We can certainly help you find a mold assessor to test and evaluate mold if necessary.  This can be a little pricey.

Texas does not allow remediation companies to test for mold or mold assessors to remediate mold.  A firm either does one or the other.

Please contact us with your concerns regarding mold.

Got Mold?

8/19/2017 (Permalink)

Have mold or think you have mold?  Then you have water/moisture where it shouldn't be.

Finding why this moisture is there should be the first priority in taking care of the mold problem.  If the moisture problem continues the mold problem will probably continue or come back.

Have a look for possible sources of the moisture. Roof leaks, pipe leaks, window leaks, water a crawl space, shower leaks, drain leaks are possible sources.

While we can't tell you if you have mold you can't see, we can help find water intrusion sources...and of course, remove mold.

Texas does have some regulations regarding mold assessment and remediation over certain contaminant levels, which we can guide you through, if applicable.

Please note the above information/advice is free and you should take it for what it is worth.  While we deal with mold problems often, we are not "mold experts" with degrees in biology or assessment licenses.

We are experts in mold remediation and moisture testing.

Content insurance coverage problems?

8/19/2017 (Permalink)

Is your insurance contents coverage from your fire damage capped at a relatively low dollar amount and/or subject to depreciation with no replacement value cost feature?

If so, you may want to take the time in the first days of the cleaning and/or pack out to sort clothing and fabric items from the closets, etc.  Folks often find, on the return of the cleaned clothes, etc. there are items which have not been used in years.  These items often get donated in the end though.

Sorting these things right during the stress of beginning fire damage clean up and repair is a pain, but if contents coverage is a problem, it will save money to use on furniture, kitchen items, bedding, or heck, even new clothes.

A/C drain line blockages

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

With the hot weather we are getting calls for water leaking from the inside air conditioning unit because of a plugged drain line.

Had a look at your unit lately?

Might want to check rooms and closets that share a common wall with the inside A/C unit, particularly if you don't go in there regularly.

The drain line is usually a white pvc pipe and is on the front(ish) area of the indoor unit. most have a small stem sticking up with a drain cap snugged onto it.  The cap can be removed with out too much trouble.

SOMETIMES blowing on the open end of the pipe will dislodge what ever is causing the problem.  Yes it sounds gross, but really it is clean water and a pipe with a little dust on it (which could be wiped off).

Most likely you will need an A/C technician.

While we aren't experts on unclogging the A/C drain line...we are experts on getting the water out of your home/building and getting things dried out.

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