Tips to Help Prepare Your Dallas Home for Winter
Dallas Home with Christmas Decorations
Winter is here, and it’s time to prepare your home for the cold weather. Dallas winters can be unpredictable, so it’s important to be ready for anything. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Find your water shutoff valve: In case of an emergency, it’s important to know where your water shutoff valve is and how to turn it off. According to AAA, the valve is usually located near your water heater tank if your home is built on a slab. If your home has a basement, it will likely be there, in the same places as your outdoor hose bib, just on the other side of the wall. If you have a crawl space, it will likely be there, usually along the front wall of the home. Worst case scenario, if you can’t find your shutoff, and your home is rapidly filling with water, you can turn it off from the main water line, usually located in the front of the house in a covered box 1. If you don't turn it off in time, make sure to find a professional water damage mitigation company.
Keep cold air out of the house: Repair or replace any problem spots on the exterior of your home that could allow for cold air to leak. This includes weather stripping around windows and doors, vents and fans, plumbing, air conditioners, and electrical gas lines. Also, use caulk or insulation to seal any holes, cracks, or small openings. You should also remove all hoses from exterior faucets, and clean gutters and trim any tree branches that could fall on your home 1.
Protect indoor pipes: The air inside your home’s walls, where pipes are located, can be colder than the interior rooms. AAA recommends setting the thermostat at a “reasonable temperature,” to keep the temperature regulated. Also, keep bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open to allow warmer air to circulate pipes. If you think your pipes might freeze, let cold water drip from one faucet, which should be as far away from the water source as possible to allow water to flow the entire length of the system 1.
Supplies to have on-hand: It’s always a good idea to have supplies on-hand in case of an emergency. These include flashlights, batteries, blankets, bottled water, non-perishable food, and a first-aid kit. Make sure you have enough supplies to last at least three days 1
What's the Purpose of Daylight Savings?
Sun rising over mountains
Daylight Saving Time (DST) is a practice of setting the clock forward by one hour during the summer months and back by one hour in the winter months. The idea of DST dates back to the late 19th century when George Vernon Hudson, an entomologist from New Zealand, proposed a two-hour time shift to the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1895. The idea was to give people more daylight hours to enjoy recreational activities. However, it wasn’t until 1916 that Germany and Austria implemented DST as a way to conserve electricity during World War I. The United Kingdom and several other European countries followed suit, and the United States adopted DST in 1918.
The primary reason for DST is to save energy. By moving the clock forward by one hour during the summer months, people can take advantage of the longer daylight hours and reduce their reliance on artificial light. This, in turn, reduces the amount of electricity consumed during peak hours, which can help to lower energy costs and reduce the strain on the power grid. This can lead to more serious issues like blackouts during winter months causing freezing people and bursting pipes resulting in severe damage.
Another reason for DST is to align daylight hours with the times when most people are awake. During the summer months, the sun rises earlier, and people tend to wake up earlier. By moving the clock forward by one hour, people can take advantage of the extra daylight hours in the morning and enjoy more outdoor activities. In contrast, during the winter months, the sun sets earlier, and people tend to go to bed earlier. By moving the clock back by one hour, people can enjoy more daylight hours in the evening and reduce their reliance on artificial light.
Despite the benefits of DST, it remains a controversial practice. Some people argue that DST is unnecessary and can disrupt people’s sleep patterns. Others argue that DST can be harmful to public health, particularly for people with pre-existing medical conditions. For example, studies have shown that the risk of heart attacks increases in the days following the switch to DST due to the disruption of the body’s natural circadian rhythm.
Enjoy the Texas Fall but Be Safe
House with Halloween Decorations
Fall is a beautiful season, but it can also be a dangerous one. With the leaves changing colors and the weather getting cooler, it’s important to take some precautions to keep your home safe. Here are some tips to help you stay safe this fall:
Check Your Smoke Detectors: Fall is a great time to check your smoke detectors and replace the batteries if necessary. Smoke detectors can save lives, so make sure they are working properly.
Clean Your Gutters: Falling leaves can clog your gutters and cause water damage to your home. Make sure to clean your gutters regularly to prevent this from happening.
Inspect Your Roof: Check your roof for any damage or leaks before the winter months arrive. Repairing any damage now can save you from costly repairs later.
Seal Windows and Doors: Seal any gaps around windows and doors to prevent cold air from entering your home. This will help keep your home warm and save you money on heating bills.
Check Your Heating System: Have your heating system inspected by a professional before the cold weather arrives. This will ensure that it is working properly and efficiently.
Prepare for Power Outages: Fall storms can cause power outages, so it’s important to be prepared. Have a backup generator or alternative heat source ready in case of an emergency.
Be Careful with Fireplaces: If you have a fireplace, make sure it is clean and free of debris before using it. Always use a screen to prevent sparks from flying out of the fireplace.
Be Prepared for Emergencies: Make sure you have an emergency kit ready in case of an emergency. This should include items such as flashlights, batteries, blankets, and non-perishable food.
Be Careful with Candles: Candles are a popular fall decoration, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Always keep candles away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended.
Be Careful with Space Heaters: Space heaters are a great way to stay warm during the fall months, but they can also be dangerous if not used properly. Keep them away from flammable materials and never leave them unattended, it is never fun to have to call a fire damage restoration company.
By following these tips, you can help keep your home safe this fall season!
Water Damage Mitigation vs Restoration
Room with floor and some drywall removed with drying equipment
Water Damage Mitigation vs Restoration
When an event occurs that causes the need for water damage services, you will hear a variety of terms being used. Two of the most common terms that are often incorrectly used interchangeably are water damage mitigation and water damage restoration. These are actually 2 separate parts of the process.
Water Damage Mitigation
Water damage mitigation occurs soon after the initial water event. It prevents additional harm from water and protects the residential or commercial property structure along with the contents. It involves extracting water, drying, cleaning and disinfecting the affected areas.
Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration typically takes place after the mitigation has been completed. This step repairs and restores the water damage to the property and belongings. It concerns replacing damaged materials, eliminating mold, repairing roof damage. The goal here to get the property and contents back to preloss condition.
Need Water Damage Assistance?
Professional water damage mitigation and restoration companies are your best bet to have a successful completion of the process. Call the experts at SERVPRO of Dallas Central should you need help!
How Much Vinyl Plank Flooring to Remove Due to Water Damage
Vinyl plank flooring with visual water damage
A home in the Five Mile Creek area of South Dallas had a sink leak that caused the need for water damage mitigation services. Water seeped into the vinyl plank floor in the kitchen, dining room and living room. This can cause visual damage through bubbling at the seams or down the plank. The visually damaged area of course needs to be removed but anything more than that?
Once a piece is pulled up, the underside can be reviewed to determine if water is still existent, and the neighboring piece needs to be removed as well. Planks should be continue to be removed until no more water is identified on the underside of the plank.
Often, flooring in the entire room or possibly the entire continuous flooring area will need to be removed. Flooring is constantly evolving and a style or color that is available today may not be available in a year. Replacing a portion of the floor means matching needs to occur and that is typically an issue.
In addition, the interlocking nature of vinyl plank flooring can make it challenging to just replace a portion.
Let us know if you need help removing a water damaged floor, call the experts at SERVPRO of Dallas Central!
To Kill A Mockingbird at Fair Park's Music Hall
Music Hall at Fair Park
Come see the classic play To Kill A Mockingbird being shown at one of the best venues in the DFW area, the Music Hall at Fair Park. The play takes place in Alabama in the 1930s touching on very important issues during that time and now.
Music Hall was born as Fair Park Auditorium in 1925. It has had many remodels & expansions over it's almost 100 year history. Previously, it was the home of the Dallas Opera. It now plays host to the annual Dallas Summer Musicals series. Located at 909 1rst Avenue, it is very centrally located.
Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird is playing all month long with mostly evening 7:30pm start times with a handful of afternoon matinee times on the weekends at 1:30pm. Prices currently start at $79 but are going fast!
Hotel Mattress Cleaning - Uncommon but Needed
Hot water cleaning of hotel mattresses
We received a special request from one of our hotel customers in the Arlington area. They had a number of mattresses they needed cleaned. These were not 10+ year old filthy mattresses that they were trying to get more usage out of. These are 1-2 year old mattresses that had a stain or two with some having stains not discerning to the naked eye. The city had done some inspections with a black light and determined that either they needed to be professionally cleaned or replaced.
Time was of the essence as the inspector was going to be back in 2 days to make sure the hotel had adhered to their directive. We were there the next morning with our hot water extraction cleaning machine and wand. Also in tow were our array of specialty cleaning solutions to attack the variety of unknown stains we may encounter.
After a thorough cleaning and a pre-check by a hotel manager and the owner, they were ready for the inspector. The next day we received great news, the mattresses passed with flying colors.
We have a very happy customer that is scheduling the next batch of mattresses for us to clean. Another successful job by SERVPRO of Dallas Central!
Best Pizza in South Dallas?
Blackjack Pizza Front Counter
March Madness is about to begin which means it's time to sit on the couch with friends and family to watch some basketball!
In South Dallas, one of the best around is Blackjack Pizza. It is located off of MLK, south of 30 and just east of 45. It is one of the old school institutions that only takes cash. The customer service is wonderful as can be expected from a tenured local restaurant that has lots of consistent, regular customers.
It is a rarity to have an establishment that can do more than 1 thing great, but these folks haven't just perfected pizza but burgers and tea too. You will also want to try the onion rings as well! Not to mention their lemon cake....mmm.
The Best Hamburger in Cedar Crest?
Wingfield’s Could be the Best Hamburger in Cedar Crest
Wingfield’s Breakfast & Burger has been a staple in the Dallas area since the 1986 founding by Richard Wingfield. It is located just off of I-35 S and Illinois.
You are underwhelmed when you pull into the small parking lot and walk into a small, pre-fabricated shack known as a Valentine Diner but when you look around during the lunch time you will see a madhouse with cars overflowing into the street trying to find anywhere to park and wait. Not only are the burgers seasoned to perfection with juices overflowing but the portion sizes are humungous. The burgers may seem a little pricey but the massive size is well worth it. They have a triple patty burger, I doubt you can finish it! With over 1700 reviews, you can’t go wrong.
A Brief Overview of The Cedars - Dallas Texas
The Cedars in Dallas is a fun up and coming area in Dallas.
The Cedars is around a 3 square mile area just south of Downtown Dallas, across interstate 30. It’s close to downtown and major thoroughfares and adds a uniquely different hip, vibe that make it one of the best up and coming areas around. With the population in Dallas exploding, and the suburbs becoming further and further away, the Cedars is on the verge of a breakout. It is probably most known for the great concerts at places like Southside Ballroom and quirky bars like Lee Harvey’s and as well as some great barbeque from Off the Bone. It is also home to the Dallas Police Headquarters. The Cedars is one of the oldest areas of Dallas, tracing it’s roots back to the 1870’s. In fact, the history of Dallas and North Texas can be explored at the 20-acre Dallas Heritage Village in the Cedars.
Today, you will find revitalization underway. Numerous townhouse complexes and cool lofts have been built. Four Corners Brewing has been a big addition bringing a craft brewery with a fun large open air patio. One of the biggest and some might say the best projects was taking the old Sears Roebuck & Co building and transforming it into the Southside on Lamar residential lofts, retail shops and office spaces.
What lies ahead? The Cedars will be the site of the Texas Bullet Train Terminal. This massive project will take Texas back and forth from DFW to Houston leaving every 30 minutes. A one-way trip will take around 90 minutes with 1 stop about halfway. Additionally, the revamping of the area continues as buildings off of Ervay & Akard are underway maintaining the historic feel but adding a cool, fresh twist.
Come visit the Cedars today!