Recent Posts

Meter Your Meter

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

A water meter Your water meter can help uncover hidden leaks.

Did you know that your water meter can help identify hidden leaks at home?

While some plumbing leaks are obvious, others aren't and can cause extensive damage in your home. Most pipes are behind drywall, which is pleasing to the eye but not conducive to catching leaks.

These hidden issues within our pipes can be the result of many different problems, from sediment buildup to acidic water, but are more commonly the result of wear and tear due to old age. If leaks go unnoticed for an extended period of time they can lead to an unstable structure, or worse, mold.

But you can use your meter to help find hidden leaks and avoid potential damage.

Follow These Steps

  1. Don't use any water for at least 20 minutes, and then check the leak indicator on your meter. If the indicator is moving - you possibly have a leak.
  2. Write down the numbers from the meter and then go an additional hour without using any water in your home. Check the meter again and if the numbers have changed then it is highly likely you have a leak.
  3. You can narrow down the location or your leak by shutting the water completely off and then rechecking the meter. If the indicator stopped moving once the water is off - that means the leak is happening inside your home. If it continues to move then the leak is outside.
  4. Call a plumber to help uncover the exact location and fix the leak. 
  5. Then, call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000 to help clean up any damage from the leak.

Delicious, not Dangerous

6/28/2021 (Permalink)

Chicken cooking on a grill Summer grilling should be delicious, not dangerous.

Summer is in full swing and if you’re like us – you’re grilling dinners to keep the heat outside. Well, we’ve got a few things to share to keep you safe and satisfied the next time you throw some chicken on the grill.

Keeping Safe:

  • Make sure your grill is at a safe distance from the house and anything flammable – you never want to grill underneath an overhang or in the garage. Watch the wind as well – if you are grilling in a windy area, it can blow between the grates and fuel a flare up.
  • Use tools with long handles to keep a safe distance from the flame, and avoid wearing any clothing items that may easily catch fire (i.e. long, baggy sleeves)
  • Always clean a grill after use, while its still hot, with a wire brush to avoid accumulations of fatty, greasy materials. Food residue and old grease are both great fuel for a fire, so removing debris after each use is important. Don’t forget to check and empty any trays below the grill where grease collects. 
  • If you use lighter fluid to light a charcoal grill, only use charcoal starter fluid. Never add the fluid to a flame, add it before lighting the grill. Spraying water on fire can cause grease to explode – turn the burners off and use a fire extinguisher instead.

Keeping Satisfied

  • Marinade your meat before grilling to make it tasty and can keep it from drying out. If you’re in a hurry – you can score the meat before you put it in the marinade. It’s best to leave it in the marinade for 2-6 hours depending on the type of meat. You can marinade overnight but be careful not to leave it too long as it can make the meat tougher.
  • If you love spicy – then you must try this marinade we found at https://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com/the-best-5-flavorful-chicken-marinades-for-grilling/

Add the following to a bowl and whisk until combined. Then add chicken to a large storage bag and pour marinade over chicken. Let it sit for at least an hour before grilling.

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Let us know if you liked it - or drop a comment with your favorite grilling recipe below. 

Keep Summer Safe!

Sump’in to Talk About

5/24/2021 (Permalink)

Diagram of a Sump Pump A sump pump can help keep your crawl space from flooding.

It sure has rained a lot in Park Cities lately. All this rain means the ground is saturated and water may begin to collect. Water near the foundation of your home is never good – but the type of foundation you have will determine the best way to keep it dry during spring storms.

You always want to make sure that water drains away from your home. If your home has a concreate slab for its foundation, any standing water could cause cracks which could then lead to increased moisture and eventually structural damage. There are drainage systems and even landscape modifications that can protect your slab foundation from water damage.

On the other hand, if your home has a pier and beam foundation – or even the rare basement – then you can install a sump pump to pump out any water that collects during heavy rains.

A sump pump is a device with a basin and a pump that sucks the water through a tube and away from the house. Usually located in the lowest part of your basement or crawl space, the pump eliminates water and maintains a consistent moisture level underneath your home. Regular inspection when it’s not raining is important to make sure it doesn’t get clogged and drains properly when it does rain.

When we get a high amount of rain in a short amount of time, flooding can occur. Many people don't know it, but most homeowner's insurance policies cover water damage caused by an overflowed sink or bathtub, but not flood damage caused by storms. Another precaution is to understand what your policy does and doesn’t cover so you are informed in the event of a flood.

We handle all types of water damage at SERVPRO of Park Cities. Whether you home floods from rain, a leaky roof, burst pipes, or faulty appliances, we have the equipment needed to extract the water and thoroughly dry the affected areas to get your home feeling “Like it never even happened."

Here to Help

4/28/2021 (Permalink)

Black and White Photo of Neighborhood. SERVPRO of Park Cities is here to help.

Damage doesn’t discriminate and can happen at apartments, condos, homes, daycares, churches, office buildings, warehouses and even airports. Water, fire and mold have no standards when it comes to affecting a space – but we do.

When you choose SERVPRO of Park Cities to help with your disaster you can be confident that our team will make it “Like it never even happened.”

We start with a thorough assessment of damage – including testing for mold or asbestos so that we maintain a safe work environment as we begin restoration.

Billy Walker, our Production Manager is often the one who initially scopes a project. He has 20+ years’ experience in the industry and has obtained the IICRC Water Damage Restoration Certification, Applied Structural Drying Certification, Carpet Cleaning, Fire & Smoke Restoration, Carpet Repair & Re-installation, and the Commercial Drying Specialist Certification. He also holds a Mold Remediation Contractor License with the Texas Department of State Health Services. Don’t be fooled by his calm demeanor – Billy is very serious about following protocol and using the utmost care care when working on a project.

All projects will have an experienced Crew Chief managing the work and 1-4 technicians to support him or her (YES we do have a female Crew Chief!!)

Communication is extremely important and we keep customers informed through each step of a project. We’re also experienced in communicating with insurance companies and often help our customers navigate the claims process. Several large carriers have SERVPRO of Park Cities as a preferred vendor for both clean up and reconstruction. We have an entire team of people who can rebuild after damage – including flooring, drywall, paint, installation, etc.

Our attention to detail and quality assurance extends throughout an entire project. From the pack-out to the punch-list, SERVPRO of Park Cities is truly here to help.

40 and FABULOUS

3/25/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO team standing together. Our SERVPRO of Park Cities family!

SERVPRO of Park Cities has been serving the surrounding communities for 40 years. Through experience and compassion, we have helped hundreds of home and business owners here in Park Cities and throughout Dallas recover from disasters. We aim to deliver the highest possible standard of professionalism and safety and pride ourselves on honesty and hard work.

As part of the SERVPRO family – we are one of 1800 franchises that benefit from incredible experience, ongoing training and access to innovation and information. We have relationships with large and small insurance companies so that your policy claims are handled efficiently and worry free. And we were just named a Top 10 overall franchise system in the nation by Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list.

We’re family owned and operated and strive to treat our teammates and customers as though they are part of this family too. We believe that working hard and working together to serve our Park Cities neighbors has been an excellent way to spend the last 40 years and we look forward to 40 more.

Teamwork at SERVPRO of Park Cities

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

servpro vehicles in snow Working together to tackle the big stuff.

SERVPRO of Park Cities has been working around the clock to help customers dealing with water damage from the February snow and storms. One of the great things about SERVPRO as a company is the support we receive from headquarters when things are overwhelming. With thousands of customers across DFW needing help - we've activated the SERVPRO Storm Response - which is when unaffected franchises send staff and equipment to help in markets that need additional support. 

To date, we've had over 50 franchises outside of DFW join forces with the local franchises to expand our combined abilities to help people in our communities.

We are thankful to serve the Park Cities community and we are thankful that our corporate community serves us.

Hot Water Heater Leaks

1/31/2021 (Permalink)

bottom of a hot water heater with a leak Hot water heaters can leak, causing water damage to your floors.

February is a great month to check for leaks since we aren’t watering our yards as much. A typical family of 4 will not exceed 12K gallons in a winter month. If you find that you are using more – do a double check by watching your water meter before and after a 2 hour period when no water is being used. If your meter changes - it might be a good idea to look for leaks throughout the house.

The EPA reports that an average household’s leaks account for thousands of wasted water every year. 

A common source of leaks in a home is the hot water heater – which doesn’t mean you will need to replace it, but you will want to fix it as soon as possible. To confirm this is the source of your leak, place paper towels underneath it and check it in a day or two to see if they are wet. If so – you’ve found your culprit. Now you just have to determine what part of the heater is leaking.

One very common source of hot water heater leaks is a loose drain valve and can usually be fixed by simply replacing the washer inside. The intake and outtake connections can also loosen and leak. This is remedied by tightening with a pipe wrench. It’s always a good idea to check the temperature and pressure of your tank as well.

Hot water heaters typically last 8-12 years but there are many that fail before that 12-year mark. Knowing how old yours is – and regularly checking it for leaks will prevent possible water damage in your home. If you do encounter damage, SERVPRO of Park Cities is available 24/7 to make it "Like it never even happened."

Happy New Year Park Cities!

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

Green background with SERVPRO logo and Happy 2021 Banner. The start of the year is the perfect time to do maintenance on your home. Here are 5 must-dos for our Park Cities neighbors.

We’re nearly a month into 2021 and the start of the year is the perfect time to give your home or office an in-depth overview to assess any potential risks and prepare for the year ahead.

Accidents happen and SERVPRO of Park Cities is here to help our neighbors recover from any size disaster. But being a good neighbor also means sharing information – so here are 5 maintenance must-dos to kick of the new year.

  • Give your gutters a good onceover to make sure they are clean since clogs can trap moisture and lead to leaks.
  • Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers to make sure they are working. Now is a great time to develop a Family Escape Plan as well.
  • Prevent leaks and odors by cleaning the garbage disposal – grind several ice cubes, then flush with hot water and baking soda.
  • Inspect the roof for missing, loose, or damaged shingles and leaks.
  • Call SERVPRO of Park Cities to get a free Emergency Readiness Assessment for your home or office. Our experts will check for concerns and help build a resource plan for managing potential emergencies.

Your neighborhood restoration experts are here if you need us – call SERVPRO of Park Cities at 214-522-3000.

Common Causes of House Fires

12/8/2020 (Permalink)

A Christmas tree and fire extinguisher Holiday Decorations Can Be a Fire Risk.

Fire is extremely volatile and can spread quickly if not responded to appropriately. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), fire departments in the United States must respond to home fires every 24 seconds. Don't let your home in Park Cities become part of that statistic. Here are the most common causes of house fires.

Cooking Fires
Cooktops generate open flames that can quickly spread out of control if they aren't watched carefully. Home cooking fires account for approximately $1 billion in property damage, 550 deaths and 4,820 injuries every year. 

Electrical Fires
Malfunctioning appliances can spark, resulting in a dangerous fire. These fires account for 13% of all residential fires, including 18% of all civilian fire deaths. These fires are most likely to occur in the colder months. 

Candle Fires
Candles may generate a small flame, but that doesn't mean that they're completely harmless. Most candle fires occur when other household items, such as furniture and curtains, are kept too close to the flame. It only takes a few seconds for them to catch fire and consume the house.

Careless Children
Children playing with fire are responsible for $172 million in property damages every year. 83% of these fires are caused by young boys, half of which are under the age of six. Proper fire safety education is vital when it comes to preventing these accidents.

Smoking
Smoking is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths. These are often caused when someone carelessly smokes a cigarette, cigar or other product too close to combustible materials.

If you experience a fire in your home or office, SERVPRO of Park Cities can help.

Smoke and Soot

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

A bedroom that has been on fire. Our SERVPRO team can remove the visible signs and invisible odors from fire.

Once the flames have been extinguished, you’re left to deal with the smoke and soot that remains.  Both are very invasive and can penetrate walls, furniture, clothing and other porous surfaces causing damage and leaving an odor behind.

Smoke can actually flow around plumbing systems and compromise the infrastructure of your home or business. It tends to rise and can cause damage to ceilings, second-stories and attics that may not be very visible. Our professionals know how to find the different types of smoke and thoroughly clean to eliminate them.

There are two different types of smoke, which mean there are 2 different types of residue left behind. wet and dry. Before restoration begins, we test to determine what we are dealing with so that the best cleaning process can be used.

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber - Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, oily. 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 finishes, extreme pungent odor. 

We certainly hope you never have to deal with fire damage, but we are here to help if it happens. We have the equipment, expertise, experience and empathy to restore your property so that it looks and feels "Like it never even happened."

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 214-522-3000