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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Fire Damage Blog Posts

Fire Restoration: Dealing with Wet Smoke in Waco Homes

4/14/2024 (Permalink)

a fire damaged room with soot covering the walls and ceiling Fire damage restoration is a multi-step process. Contact SERVPRO immediately for certified technicians and equipment to help you.

Effective Wet Smoke Damage Cleanup

Fire restoration can be complex and challenging, especially when dealing with smoke damage. Wet smoke can be complex to remove and repair. Wet smoke results from low-heat fires that burn slowly, producing thick, sticky smoke and soot particles that can cling to surfaces and furnishings.

Assessing the Damage

The first step in the process of fire restoration for Waco properties is to assess the extent of the damage. Wet smoke can create a significant challenge, leaving behind thick soot and smoke residues on surfaces. At SERVPRO®, we carefully evaluate the conditions when we arrive to ensure we use the most effective restoration and mitigation techniques to help.

Impact on Materials

While the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame & Museum in Waco knows a thing or two about firepower, fires can be a devastating situation for your residence. Wet smoke can impact various materials and systems in your household, including:

  • Drywall: Soot and smoke solids can be forced into drywall under pressure during the fire. We work to clean up surfaces with solvents to avoid demolition.
  • Flooring: Smoke damage can heavily soiled carpets and wood floors. Restoring these flooring materials requires careful lifting of loose debris and focused cleaning.
  • Contents: Soot-damaged contents often require cleanup off-site at our SERVPRO warehouse. We use ultrasonic tanks and ESPORTA Wash systems to clean your belongings.

Dealing with Strong Odors

Another concern with wet smoke is the strong malodors connected with the damage. Sensitive surfaces can absorb these odor compounds, and molecules circulate the damaged portions of your property. We use several tools and machines to remove these strong smells, though the vapor delivery of thermal fogging can often have the most widespread impact when the house is not vacated.

Call SERVPRO of Waco for Assistance

Smoke damage exists in many forms, and wet smoke is among the most challenging. When thick residues overwhelm surfaces and contents, our fire restoration professionals can help. Call SERVPRO of Waco at (254) 756-4300 to get the help you need.

Effective Mitigation of Waco Fire Damage

8/11/2023 (Permalink)

soot-filled garage after a fire SERVPRO removes soot residues along with odors during fire damage cleanup and restoration in Waco. "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO® Works Fast on Fire Cleanup

When dealing with the aftermath of a fire in your home, it's essential to act quickly. The first 48 hours are especially crucial for cleanup and restoration. That's why our team at SERVPRO is available 24/7 to provide the necessary mitigation and recovery services as soon as possible. As soon as the first responders give the all-clear, we are ready to step in and assist in any way we can.

Fast and Reliable Mitigation Solutions Protect Your Home

It is vital to comprehend the goals and priorities of Waco fire damage mitigation efforts to ensure fast recovery and cleanup. Mitigation can have multiple objectives and focuses, placing the utmost importance on taking swift action to safeguard buildings and avert disastrous harm.

Focuses of mitigation include:

  • Cleaning Up Debris and Soot

It is the first and foremost step to be taken before anything else. Neglecting to remove the remnants of debris and charred materials can generate harmful soot and foul odors, creating a toxic environment if not dealt with promptly.

  • Removing Water

Ensuring fires get appropriately extinguished is essential, but that can often leave a mess behind. Fortunately, we have multiple extraction units that can help manage these concerns and ensure your home is safe and secure.

  • Emergency Repairs and Demolition

We need to discard the damaged building materials ruined by the fire. Unfortunately, smoke, water, and soot damage can render some surfaces unsalvageable. With controlled demolition, we only eliminate what cannot be cleaned and saved.

  • Improving Air Quality

When dealing with restoration work, it's critical to consider the professionals' safety. The environment can be volatile, with airborne contaminants and debris posing a significant risk to those exposed. To mitigate these risks, we use air scrubbers with HEPA filtration to help ensure a safe and healthy workplace.

Mitigation is the priority of our restoration team after first responders leave. Call SERVPRO of Waco to get these emergency services started immediately at (254) 875-4995.

Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

New drywall and windows ready for painting Out with the old and in with the new. Replaced fire damaged walls and ceiling ready for fresh paint.

New windows, drywall & electrical wiring inside this Gatesville area home bedroom after a fire blaze in the room.

SERVPRO of Waco, a fire damage restoration company, cleaned up/out the damage and debris of the room and other affected areas.

The room is ready for paint and new flooring.  The customers are very happy it looks like a room again.  A new room at that.

From burnt to new is quite a journey.  You need someone you can count on to help.

Now in our 21st year, SERVPRO of Waco has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area through hundreds of property and life/business interruptions over the years.

We'd be very happy to help you, too, should the need arise.

Call us.  We'll work for you, either directly or through your insurance company, but for you either way.

SERVPRO of Waco...there is only one!

(254) 756-4300

Fully Insured, Certified & Screened

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

No One is Better Insured or Safer!

SERVPRO of Waco is locally owned and operating right here in Waco, near 84 and Texas Central Parkway.

As a franchise of SERVPRO Industries, the national leader in the restoration business, we enjoy (i.e. required) being heavily insured, training certified and background screened.

SERVPRO has insurance coverages geared to the restoration business and customer protections, as well as ongoing training and background screenings.

It is not some one size fits all general liability insurance like most restoration companies have, if they have insurance at all.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, has been successfully helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area through property damage situations for over 20 years.

Let us put our experience and integrity to work for you.

SERVPRO of Waco...there's only one!

(254) 756-4300

Our Fire Truck is Shiny Too

11/10/2021 (Permalink)

Clean & shiny parked van Our van cleaned up and ready to roll.

Freshly waxed and ready to roll.

We like to keep our vehicles and equipment clean and well maintained.  It is ready for use on short notice to help folks with sudden, serious property damager issues.

Keeping this van this clean and shiny can be a challenge though.  Did you know some folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area live back some long gravel roads?  It rains here some too.

What we don't do is let it become an embarrassment while parked at a job site.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, has outstanding proprietary cleaning and disinfecting products which give produce results.

Since 2001, over 20 years, we have helped thousands of folks through property damage issues. 

Let us help you with our experience and integrity.

SERVPRO of Waco...there's only one!

(254) 756-4300

Water In and Water Out

10/15/2021 (Permalink)

Fire department hose and SERVPRO of Waco hose laying side by side in hallway of a fire damaged building SERVPRO of Waco began fire damage restoration service with emergency water extraction as soon as the all clear was given to enter the fire scene.

Most large fires are put out with water.

In this fire, in Waco's Parkdale Viking Hills area, firemen extinguished a fire started by a lighting strike on the fourth floor level.

The fire department grey hose was left in place afterward for a while in case of flare ups.  Seemed like a great idea to us.

SERVPRO of Waco, a fire damage restoration company, was called in while the fire was underway.  As soon as the all clear was given, SERVPRO of Waco began water extraction and debris removal of the affected areas.

The green hose pictured is our hose carrying water extracted from the scene back out of the building.

While one office in the building needed relocated, the building was quickly made ready for normal functions, with a little adapting of course.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area through fire damage restoration for over 20 years.

Let us help you.

SERVPRO Of Waco...there's only one!

(254) 756-4300

Fire Closet

8/16/2021 (Permalink)

Remaining badly damage shell of a closet Fires can get started in unusal places...the closet with the Christmas decorations here. Sometimes there are items which can be saved and restored.

No One Wants a Fire to Come Out of The Closet

Actually no one wants a fire in the closet either.

This fire got started accidentally in the storage closet.  A big loss in the closet was Chrismas decorations.

At this point, SERVPRO of Waco could only remove the rubble in the closet of this Teague TX area home.  There was nothing left to save in this closet or the family room...and in much of the house. 

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, rescued a large number of collectibles which were saved, cleaned, inventoried and boxed, to be saved for the new home.

Even in a larger fire, items of sentimental or high value can sometimes be saved and restored.  It is always worth a look through the mess.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area with fire damage situations for over 20 years.

Let us help you should you need it.

SERVPRO of Waco...there's only one!

(254) 756-4300


8/16/2021 (Permalink)

fan looking machine with blue "bug zapper" looking bulbs inside Hydroxyl generator in use, effectively and safely removing odors from the air.

Odors Zapped Here!

Getting rid of the smoke smell in a fire damage, while working in the area and/or before working in the area and/or after working in the area can be a real challenge.

There are different ways to reduce or eliminate the odors.  Some do require people and pets to be out for periods of time.

One highly effective method SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, uses is hydroxyl generation or, more simply put hydroxyl generator.

Sometimes called the "detergent of the atmosphere" hydroxyl radicals are among the most effective odor removers in existance.

The machine pulls air across the "bug zapper" looking lights and the hydroxyls clean the air.  Hydroxyls are very short lived, hence drawing the air to them.

This allows deodorization to work around the clock, or selected time periods, and be safe for people and pets in the area.

We do find some dead bugs in the bottom of the machine too, but not too many.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area with deodorization and fire damage situations for over 20 years.

We'd be happy to help you too.

SERVPRO of Waco...there's only one!

(254) 756-4300


1/19/2021 (Permalink)

We're definitely local!


So local, you know it's a (254) area code right off the bat.

And for much of the greater Waco and Central Texas area one doesn't even have to dial the area code to call us.

BEWARE of (800) numbers and/or (254) numbers with prefixes you have never heard of if you need restoration services.

Companies operating from other markets, long distances away, are trying to make themselves seem like they are local and close by, when in fact they are not from around here at all.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, has been helping folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area for over 20 years with property damage restoration.  Our facilities have been close by you the whole time.

If you need help, call us at (254) 756-4300.

SERVPRO of Waco...there's only one!

Industry Standard Pricing

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Across the country, insurance companies use a standard pricing software, adjusted for regions/cities.  SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, uses this standardized pricing for smooth clean up and restoration claims processing.  We keep up to date with the pricing monthly.

Hopefully, you don't know too much about what restoration services should cost.  That would mean you've been through a significant damage before.  We work with your insurance company on what is being charged and what they will pay.  You can be confident things are being done and priced correctly. 

It may be hard to believe, but there are pirates in this business.

With SERVPRO of Waco, you can rest assured you are getting fair pricing and more than one oversight that a fair, quality job is being done.

We offer this pricing, also, if you have no coverage for the situation or don't know the status of insurance coverage yet.

SERVPRO of Waco has been fairly and honestly assisting folks with home/building damage restoration in the greater Waco and Central Texas area for 20 years.  Let us help you!

Call us at (254) 756-4300

SERVPRO of Waco...there's only one!

Heavily Insured!

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

A big concern when having workers come to your home or business, especially on an emergency basis,  is how well the company is insured for any thing that might go wrong.

What if something valuable gets broken...what if they really mess something up.  Will I be left holding the bag and responsible for it...just have to pay it myself??

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, is actually a franchise owned by local folks right here in Central Texas (if you consider China Spring to be in Central Texas. 

Through the franchise connection, insurances specialized to our work and industry are available to us that not just any old company can get.  We are actually required to carry all of it!  And they keep track it's up to date.

We have what is called pollution insurance...in case we make things worse (never happened with us)...cyber insurance protection for all your data and information among many specialized coverages. 

We also carry workers compensation insurance, of course.  Nobody is coming to your place not covered.

SERVPRO of Waco has served thousands of folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area for nearly 20 years.  We have never had a claim or major breakage in that time.

If you need help with a property damage situation, you can be sure we stand behind our work and your safety.

Call us at (254) 756-4300

Non-Fire Extinguished

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen table and chair covered in white powder except where items were covering areas of the table Kitchen table, chair and floor covered with fire extinguisher powder

That's right.  This is probably better described as a fire extinguisher emptied in a Crawford, TX, area resort apartment building, not related to an actual fire.

Hopefully, you've never needed to experience a situation where the fire extinguisher needed to be used.

One thing for sure, the white powder shoots out of it in a real hurry.  And it makes a real mess.  Used for its fire extinguishing purpose, it shoots a mess onto a mess already in progress.  Set off for any other reason, it makes quite the mess on its own.

This use of a fire extinguisher put white powder into two apartments, a stairwell and a long downstairs hall.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, was able to successfully clean up the damage and have the building ready for rental by the next bookings.

We have helped thousands of folks through property damages in the greater Waco and Central Texas area during our nearly 20 years in business.

SERVPRO of Waco...there is only one!

(254) 756-4300

Smoldering Litter Fire

6/14/2020 (Permalink)

A singed light fixture over a bed of pet litter A hot lamp, in pet litter, equals smoke...lots of it.

The heat lamp drops into the litter at the bottom of the glass cage...and VOILA!...smoke through the whole place.

Fortunately, the pet had been taken out for a trip a little earlier, probably when the lamp was bumped and fell into the litter in this Hewitt, TX fire damage.

While only a little of the litter actually burned, the slow smoldering fire produced a lot of smoke...and smell.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, was called in to clean and deodorize the residence.  The folks had some health issues which were worked through in the process.

SERVPRO of Waco.

There is only one! 

Serving the greater Waco and Central Texas area since 2001.

(254) 756-4300

Let us help you through damages to your place, too.

Sometimes they just have to cut it open

6/14/2020 (Permalink)

Drywall patch in ceiling of soot dinged drywall In a fire, sometimes they have to cut open the ceiling.

Fire in the attic!

Sometimes a fire gets started in the attic and the access to the attic is far from the fire site.

The only thing the fire department can do is for this is usually to cut a hole through the ceiling near the fire from the room(s) below.

This will give access to treat the fire or to test that it is out.

Good thing to do.

Bad thing for the unaffected building area below the ceiling.  Smoke, ash and debris can and will come out into the area below.

On this Hamilton, TX fire, an opening was cut just above the fireplace to the right side.  It is patched closed in the picture.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, was called in to clean the living areas of the home.

All in all, very lucky homeowners on this one.

SERVPRO of Waco has been helping hundreds of folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area through property damage clean up & restoration for over 19 years.

There is only one SERVPRO of Waco!

Let us help you.  (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, as in this Fairfield TX, fire, 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.

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, in the Gatesville, TX area, 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.

Soot Wiped Away!

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

rectangular sponge in a clear cellophane package. Cleans without liquids. A cleaning sponge which works dry!

One of the most useful, versatile tools SERVPRO of Waco uses in fire damage clean up is the dry cleaning sponge.

This dry "sponge" excellently wipes soot away from materials and items which can not be cleaned with a liquid. There is an amazing amount of things which fall into this category amongst things we have and use in our homes, businesses and institutional buildings.

Our understanding is the sponge is made of the same basic material as a pencil eraser.

One might say it erases the soot.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, has helped hundreds of homeowners and businesses through fire damage problems in the greater Waco area and Central Texas since 2001.

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


Or find us on the internet!

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.

How to deodorize where smoke has gotten into all the little crooks and crevices in the area?

Re-Smoke it!

A Thermal Fogger produces smoke from a scented liquid base. The scented smoke travels into the crooks and crevices where the original smoke went and covers with the scented version.

The thermal fogging is done before the main cleaning is done to the rest of the affected areas.

Eventually the smell from both layers dissipate with no trace smell from either.

SERVPRO of Waco, a restoration company, employs many cleaning techniques in restoring a home or building to normal after a fire damage loss.

We have helped hundreds of folks in the greater Waco and Central Texas area since 2001.

We'd be glad to help you too.

Call us if find yourself dealing with a fire loss situation.

(254) 756-4300

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.

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.

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.

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.