The First Sign of Damage May Not be the First Problem
Water can accumulate before it leaks through something.
Just because you see a sign of water damage doesn't mean the problem just started. Often, water accumulates before it leaks through something, leaving your house at risk for mold.
Obvious signs include brown, yellow or rust colored spots on walls or ceilings. Excessive moisture can also cause paint to crack, peel or bubble.
If you see black spots, it is likely mold and you'll need a licensed specialist to take care of it. SERVPRO of Park Cities is certified to properly handle mold mediation.
Don't forget to look down either. Hardwoods that have buckled or cupped could have water trapped beneath them. Stains or discoloration on linoleum indicate prolonged water exposure.
In both cases, floors will need to be removed and sub floors dried properly before replacing the wood or linoleum.
Always check your water bill for changes as well. A sudden increase may indicate a leak somewhere inside or outside the house.
Our team of experienced professionals can help identify the source and extent of water damage in your home. We can manage remediation, restoration and reconstruction services as well. Call us for 24-hour emergency services at 214-522-3000.
Look out for Leaks
Know where to look for leaks to avoid water damage.
While we don't get super cold winters here in Dallas, we should be using less water than summer months. With this in mind - check your water bill to make sure you don't see any unusual spikes According to the EPA, a typical family of 4 doesn’t use more than 12K gallons in a winter month. If your bill shows higher use – it’s probably a good idea to look for leaks.
Another way to know if you have a water leak is to watch your water meter before and after a 2 hour time period when you know you didn’t use any water. If it indicates that you did – then something is leaking somewhere.
These are the most common causes of water leaks in a residential home:
- Washing Machines
- Hot Water Heaters
- Ice Machines
- Outdoor Faucets
- Indoor Shower Heads and Faucets
If you do find a leak, it can often be fixed by tightening a valve, cleaning a drain or replacing a washer depending on the item that is leaking. There are many tutorials that you can watch to guide you through a simple fix like one of these. If you complete the DIY leak repairs but still find water – then call SERVPRO of Park Cities to come inspect the damage. Often our technicians can diagnose where the leak originated while working on site.
If you have any concerns about potential water leaks and subsequent damage, call us at 214-522-3000. We're always here to help.
Hassle Free Holidays
Practice fire safety and keep your holidays hassle free.
As we head into holiday season, the temperature drops and we start to spend more time indoors. We decorate with lights, cook big meals, burn fall scented candles and eventually turn on the heater when it gets cold enough. These things increase our holiday spirit – but they also increase the chance of a home fire.
We’ve got some winter wisdom for you to stay safe from fire:
Heed the Heaters:
- If using portable heaters, make sure they are in good working order with no frayed cords.
- Place them at least 3 feet away from anything combustible, such as paper, clothing or blankets.
- Don’t leave them on when you leave home alone or while you sleep – heaters should always be monitored.
Contain the Candles:
- Keep candles in sturdy containers that cannot be easily knocked over and make sure the flame isn’t close to something that could ignite.
- Never leave a candle unattended and make sure to extinguish them before leaving the room.
- Consider using battery operated candles to reduce your risk even further.
Tend the Tree:
- If you put up a live Christmas tree, make sure you keep it well watered at all times.
- Always unplug lights when not in use, or have them set up on a timer to automatically turn off.
- Keep trees away from heat vents and other heat sources.
- Make sure your tree stand can hold your tree securely so that it doesn’t fall.
Preventative measures such as having your chimney inspected and making sure your smoke detectors are working are also important winter prep-steps.
If you experience a fire at your home this winter call SERVPRO of Park Cities anytime at 214-522-3000.
Avoid Turkey Troubles
Deep fryers can make things delicious, but also dangerous.
Who doesn't love a deep friend turkey? You might think this is an easy DIY - but failed fryers are one of the most common sources of fire damage throughout the fall.
Here are some tips to keep your turkey trouble-free.
- Don't Use Too Much Oil- Even a small amount of oil can catch flame if it comes into contact with a burner. If the pot is too full, oil can spill when you insert the turkey. The U.S. Fire Administration suggests that you first place the turkey in a pot with water so you will know the correct amount of oil.
- Don’t Leave a Fryer Unattended– deep fryers may not have thermostat controls and can overheat to the point of combustion. It’s crucial to stay close and to check the temperature of the oil often. Deep Fat Fryers are also easy to tip over – so make sure the area is secure and monitored.
- Never Use a Fryer Inside– these should always be used outdoors on a solid surface (not a deck or under a patio cover.)
- No Frozen Turkeys in the Fryer- Make sure you thaw your turkey completely prior to cooking. When a frozen turkey comes into contact with high temperature oil it causes lots of steam. The steam can make the oil boil over and catch fire.
- Keep a Fire Extinguisher & Pot Holders Nearby- make sure you have a fire extinguisher and well-insulated potholders nearby since the lid, sides and handles get insanely hot and you could end up with harsh burns if not careful.
- Keep Others Safe- never let children or pets near the fryer when in use or after use as the oil can remain hot for hours.
SERVPRO of Park Cities wishes you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Merry & Bright
Make sure you blow out candles and turn off lights.
Christmas items are already in stores and people are getting the decorating bug. As you start brightening up your home and yard, make sure you stay fire-safe. Here is some pre-winter wisdom to keep in mind:
Candles give a room a cozy vibe and smell delicious, but proper usage is key to keeping them safe. Be sure they are on a stable surface with plenty of ventilation and that they aren't near anything flammable such as dried flowers or paper decorations. Battery powered candles are also a great option!
If you love a live Christmas tree, you have to keep it well watered to avoid dry branches which can easily catch fire. It's also important to unplug the lights when not in use or have them set up on a timer to automatically shut off.
Before you get the fireplace going, have your chimney inspected and make sure your smoke detectors work. Don't let the fallen leaves pile up too much, especially if there is a dry spell.
We hope your holidays are hassle free, but should you experience any fire or smoke damage, SERVPRO of Park Cities is here to help. Call us at 214-522-3000.
SERVPRO can help when storms hit.
SERVPRO of Park Cities has handled large scale storm events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and polar vortexes in the DFW area.
One of the ways we've helped home and business owners is with our roof tarping and board up services. When a storm or other emergency leaves you open to the elements, you must act quickly to help prevent further damage and protect your home’s interior.
If you experience roof damage from a storm or other emergency, SERVPRO of Park Cities can help address the damage quickly to avoid further exposure to the elements.
Our Disaster Recovery Teams can respond quickly because we have a network of storm teams strategically positioned across the country ready to respond 24/7, 365 days a year.
Avoid Tree Damage
Tree maintenance can keep you safe.
Trees are great for shading but if not properly maintained they can become dangerous in a storm. High winds can cause branches to split or break and fall on the roof or through a window. When this happens, water comes into the house and creates havoc on your floors and furniture.
Make sure to keep your trees trimmed properly so they are less susceptible to breakage during a storm. Also, when a storm blows in, close the curtains, blinds or shutters to minimize broken glass that can get in your house if the window breaks.
SERVPRO of Park Cities offers comprehensive support for homeowners facing storm damage.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once we have your info, we deploy our teams as quickly as possible with the equipment to begin extraction and drying. We also have licensed contractors to board up windows or other compromised walls to prevent further damage. We will remove the fallen tree and anything that cannot be restored
Keep our number handy – (214) 522-3000 because the faster we receive the initial call, the faster we begin mitigation. A flooded home requires professional restoration services and SERVPRO of Park Cities is available 24 / 7 to help.
Storm Safety 101
Know what to do to avoid storm damage.
Even though we’re headed into fall – we’re not completely clear of hurricane season yet. The good news is we usually have a substantial heads up for storms of this magnitude. But not all storms give us fair warning – if elements combine in just the right way – we can get thunder, lightning and wind worthy of worry. Although storms are unpredictable, there are things we can do to keep our homes and offices safe from damage.
- Keep trees manicured and gutters clean.
- Make sure your roof is in good shape.
- Move your car into the garage to avoid hail damage.
- During a storm, stay on top of developing concerns by watching the news or consulting your weather app regularly.
- Do not go outside in a storm unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Don’t sleep near a window if there are high winds or a tornado warning.
- Make sure pets are safe inside before a storm starts.
- Keep a flashlight near and charge your phone in the event of a power outage.
At SERVPRO Park Cities, we are always watching the weather and preparing to help in the event of water or fire damage. Our professional equipment and technicians are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’ve also developed an Emergency Readiness Profile® that can be used to evaluate your home or business so that you feel confident that you'll be safe in a storm.
This is a FREE assessment – find out more here https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/readyprogram.
Be Roof Ready
Your roof is your first line of defense in a storm.
Your roof is your first line of defense when it comes to storms so it's essential to keep it in great shape. You should regularly check the roof for holes or missing shingles because even the smallest hole can cause big problems. Water leaks create structural damage, ruin rugs and furniture and lead to mold issues in your home. A thorough roof inspection by a professional once a year is also a good idea.
You should also keep trees cut back so that they can't hurt the roof if a branch falls during a storm. And keep your gutters cleaned out so they don't get clogged and overflow during severe weather.
If you experience any post-storm water damage, call SERVPRO of Park Cities right away. Our highly trained experts are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and have the experience, competence, and the proper equipment to assess damage and restore your property. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Essential items in your emergency kit.
Part of being prepared is having an Emergency Plan and part of that plan is an Emergency Kit.
Two years ago we experienced an unexpected winter storm and many people weren't prepared for the power outages and retail closures that came with "Snowmageddon." A properly packed Emergency kit could have helped make things more bearable.
The Red Cross recommends that an emergency kit have enough supplies for at least 72 hours and should include the following:
- Water (at least one gallon per person, per day,) This is especially helpful if your house sustains flood damage and you have to turn the water off.
- Non-perishable snacks such as peanut butter, beef jerky, granola bars or fruit.
- A manual can opener.
- A cell phone battery that can charge your phones.
- Matches and/or firewood if you have a wood-burning stove.
- At least 1 powerful flashlight - but ideally 1 per person in the home.
- A sleeping bag for each person in the house.
- Extra supplies such as toilet paper, baby wipes, garbage bags, and twist ties.
- Make sure you have enough medication for several days if a storm is in the forecast. It's also a good idea to have pain relievers and stomach aids in the house.
- Books and board games to help keep kids occupied if stuck at home.
- If it's a winter storm - hand warmers can be helpful if the heater goes out.
While not necessary for survival, these things could also come in handy in the aftermath of a big storm:
- A camping stove for cooking
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities and a multi-tool (such as a Leatherman)
- A list of emergency numbers, including family contacts (keep in mind your cell phone might run out of batteries or be damaged during an emergency)
- A gas powered generator.
- An emergency medical book if medical help is unavailable or delayed. One good option is “The Survival Medicine Handbook.”
Preparing for emergencies can be scary, but knowing you’ll be ready for anything is equally, if not more, empowering.
For more information about what you can do to recover from unexpected storm damage please visit our website or call us at 214-522-3000.