Recent Posts

Fall is a Great Time for a House Cleanup, Here are Some Tips!

11/7/2023 (Permalink)

Shower covered in fire soot Shower covered in fire soot

Fall House Cleanup

As the leaves start to change colors and the air becomes crisp, it’s time to start thinking about fall house cleaning. The end of summer is the perfect time to give your home a deep clean before the winter months of sitting inside are here. Here are some tips to help you get started:


The first step in any fall house cleaning is to declutter. Go through each room in your home and get rid of anything that you no longer need or use. This will not only make your home look neater, but it will also make it easier to clean.

Clean the Gutters

Cleaning the gutters is an important part of fall house cleaning. Leaves and debris can accumulate in your gutters over the summer months, which can cause water damage to your home. Make sure to clean your gutters thoroughly to prevent any damage.

Deep Clean the Carpets

Fall is the perfect time to deep clean your carpets. Over the summer months, dirt and dust can accumulate in your carpets. Hire a professional carpet cleaner to deep clean your carpets and remove any dirt and dust.

Clean the Windows

Cleaning the windows is another important part of fall house cleaning. Over the summer months, dirt and dust can accumulate on your windows, which can make them look dirty and dull. Use a window cleaner to clean your windows and make them look like new.

Clean the Fireplace

Fall is the perfect time to start using your fireplace again. Before you start using it, make sure to clean it thoroughly. Remove any ash and debris from the fireplace and clean the chimney to prevent any fire hazards. If something does happen, call a professional fire mitigation company.

Clean the Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home, and it’s important to keep it clean. Clean your kitchen thoroughly, including the countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Make sure to remove any food that has expired or gone bad.

Clean the Bathroom

The bathroom is another important room in your home, and it’s important to keep it clean. Clean your bathroom thoroughly, including the sink, toilet, and shower. Make sure to remove any mold or mildew that has accumulated.


Fall house cleaning is an important part of maintaining your home. By following these tips, you can ensure that your home is clean and ready for the winter months. Remember to declutter, clean the gutters, deep clean the carpets, clean the windows, clean the fireplace, clean the kitchen, and clean the bathroom. Happy cleaning!

Halloween Safety Tips for 2023

10/23/2023 (Permalink)

Pumpkin patch with hay and pumpkins Pumpkin patch with hay and pumpkins

Halloween is a fun and exciting time of the year, but it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable Halloween:

  1. Costume Safety: Choose costumes that are made of flame-resistant materials and are not too long to avoid tripping. If you’re wearing a mask, make sure it doesn’t obstruct your vision. Opt for nontoxic makeup instead of masks. Test the makeup on a small area of skin before applying it to your face to avoid any allergic reactions.

  2. Trick-or-Treating Safety: Always accompany young children while trick-or-treating. If your older children are going alone, make sure they have a mobile phone and agree on a specific time for them to return home. Teach your children to walk on sidewalks or paths and cross the street at crosswalks or intersections. Make sure they carry a flashlight or glow stick and wear reflective clothing or tape.

  3. Candy Safety: Inspect all candy before allowing your children to eat it. Discard any candy that is unwrapped, has torn packaging, or looks suspicious.

  4. Home Safety: Keep your home well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to trip. Use battery-operated candles instead of real candles in jack-o’-lanterns. We don't want to call a fire mitigation company!

  5. Driving Safety: Be extra cautious while driving on Halloween night as there will be many pedestrians on the road. Slow down and watch out for children who may dart out into the street.

These tips will help you have a safe and enjoyable Halloween with your loved ones!

What is a Deductible on an Insurance Claim?

8/22/2023 (Permalink)

Thermal camera showing moisture in the walls Lakewood house with water in walls and buckling floors from a faulty water heater

Home Insurance in Texas

In Texas, homeowners are not required to have Home Insurance but if you have a mortgage on your home, your mortgage company may require it.  Though it is not required, it is heavily recommended. 

What is a Deductible?

The most common reasons for a home insurance claim are wind and hail damage, water and freezing damage, fire damage, and theft. Home insurance is typically paid on a monthly basis and often for years before it is needed.   Deductibles can be a flat amount or a percent of the home value.  This can often range between $500-$2,000 or 1-2%.  The insured will pay the deductible amount, with the insurance company usually covering everything above and beyond that amount. For example, the average fire damage claim is around $80,000.  If the deductible was $2,000, the insured would pay that amount with the remaining $78,000 being paid by the insurance company.

When to Make an Insurance Claim

When an issue arises that may cause the need for water damage mitigation or fire damage restoration services, it is worth determining the cost to fix the issue before making an insurance claim.  Using the example mentioned above, if the cost to take care of the problem is below the deductible, a claim should not be made.  Often if the cost is slightly above the deductible, it may not be worth making a claim.  Calling insurance to make a claim and not actually following through with the claim can cause what is known as a zero-dollar claim.  Though the homeowner did not officially get any monetary benefit from the insurance company, it is now on their record and typically results in an increase in the monthly insurance rates going forward.

 Who to Call for Help?

A call to a professional mitigation/restoration company like the experts at SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas.  They can assist in surveying the damage, coming up with a plan and an estimate to help with your claim decision.

Soot & Water Account for Most Damage in a Fire

6/20/2023 (Permalink)

White couch covered in soot Soot Damage to Furniture in a Dallas apartment fire

When a fire occurs in a building or home, we naturally think of items getting burned up and the structure being charred and compromised.  Fire response times are usually very good these days for a variety of reasons namely technology.  Most fires are able to be put out in a reasonable amount of time before serious structural damage has occurred.  Most often, the fire damage is due to water and soot.  

Water can first enter the fray from sprinkler systems, drowning whole room or rooms in water.  However, the main source of water stems from Fire Fighters spraying down many rooms while punching holes in the ceiling.

Once the fire is put out, the entirety of the damage can be observed.  The heat of the fire causes soot particles to rise and float around the structure.  In most fires, you will find the most blackened areas to be at the source and on the ceiling.  The soot will eventually settle on items all around the building with the assistance of the HVAC system.  Which brings into play another issue, the HVAC system can be thoroughly covered and will need cleaned if not replaced.

Depending on the fire, soot can be greasy and hard to clean.  When it comes to fire damage restoration of contents, they can typically be divided into 2 groups, porous and non-porous.  Non-porous are more hard surface items like glass, metal and wood.  These can usually be cleaned with specific soot solutions.  Porous items like clothes and fabric on furniture is more challenging to clean.  With special chemicals and processes, there can be a pretty good success rate but there still will be some unsalvageable items.

If you need assistance getting back to normal after a fire, please give us a call, we are here to help!

Fires Often Cause Water and Fire Damage Especially In Commercial Properties

5/5/2023 (Permalink)

Water in carpet by filing cabinets in office A fire in a Grand Prairie commercial office causes water and fire damage

No one ever wants to fire damage but water damage is not often thought of in the same breath.  When a fire or even just a fire alarm occurs in a commercial building, procedures may require the fire department to be called. If an actual fire is in play, the fire team will typically spray water and punch holes in the ceiling.  

A second source of water can actually before the firefighters even arrive.  Most commercial buildings are outfitted with sprinkler systems.  Depending on age and working condition, these can keep the water distribution confined to a room or soak a whole floor or building with water.

One recent example SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas had was a small electrical fire in a commercial office space that also had an adjoining warehouse.  The sprinkler heads went off thankfully just in the affected area with the firefighters adding a second layer of water to make sure the fire was out.  

Before attacking the fire issue, the water damage must first be addressed.  Especially after a fire, electrical can be a problem so things must proceed cautiously.  As much extraction is done as possible and drying equipment place strategically in hopes of drying things quickly so the next step, fire restoration can begin.

It can be long process depending on the size of the property and amount of contents involved.  

At SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas, we are here to make it "Like it never even happened."

Best Pizza in Oak Cliff?

3/13/2023 (Permalink)

The Pizza Azteca symbol The local Oak Cliff favorite, Pizza Azteca

It doesn't have to be fancy to be great!  Pizza Azteca is a local pizza shop located off of Davis in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas.  It is the only location at this time but hopefully more are to come! 

The pepperoni pizza is one of the best around. And the Supreme Spinach is excellent and so is the Chicken Alfredo...they are all so good it's hard to choose! Thinking of getting veggies on your pie, they are some of the freshest I have seen in the area. They also offer a variety of eats aside from their tasty pizzas.  They do offer vegan options on their pizzas.  

Not only are the pizzas great, but the customer service is top notch at this family owned gem!

The Best Hamburger in Oak Cliff?

12/9/2022 (Permalink)

The front of Hunky's Old Fashioned Hamburgers in Bishop Arts Hunky's Could be the Best Hamburger in Oak Cliff

Hunky's Old Fashioned Hamburgers was founded by the Barton Brothers in 1984.  The original restaurant is located off of Cedar Springs in the Oak Lawn area. The stunning success caused them to open a second locale in the Bishop Arts area.

When you walk inside you are visually treated to an old fashioned white board menu. They are known for their plain burgers and cheese burgers. The burgers are made of thick, high quality meat patties that are cooked to add a subtle crust. This is complemented by crisp lettuce, succulent pickles and flavorful mustard.  The sides of tater tots, fried pickles and onion rings are fantastic.  The proportions are thankfully old fashioned too, allowing you to feel satisfied without being uncomfortably stuffed.  You would be hard pressed to find a better burger in Oak Cliff!

Mitigation vs Restoration vs Remediation - What's the Difference?

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling Drywall Patch Getting Ready to Paint Water Damage Caused a Small Area of a Ceiling to Collapse with the Need for a Drywall Patch, Texture and Paint

When there is a water damage issue at a residential or commercial property, you will often hear the terms “Mitigation, Restoration or Remediation” being used.  While they seem like they may be similar that actually mean very different things:

Mitigation – reducing the severity, seriousness or painfulness of something

Restoration – returning something to a former condition

Remediation – the act of remedying or correcting something, usually cleaning up, reversing or stopping environmental damage

What using the term “Mitigation” in a water damage situation, it is referring to extracting water and drying out the structure or contents so no further damage can occur.  Water is very invasive and can get into just about any area of a home and cause damage.  This can not only be in the form of direct water but also secondary damage from high humidity.  The sooner water can be removed and humidity brought down to normal levels, the better chance of salvaging more contents and structure.

When the term “Restoration” is used, it is referring to restoring the property or contents to it’s pre-water damage state.  This can mean new paint, new floor, replacing baseboards, etc.  Making it look like the water damage never even happened.

When the term “Remediation” is used in a water damage circumstance, it is normally referring to killing and/or removing mold that may have formed.  Mold can cause a variety of issues for a homeowner.  It is important to get it taken care of so the structure can be safely reoccupied.

It you have a water damage and need mitigation, restoration or remediation assistance, please give us a call at SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas 214-463-5880.

What is PH and the Effects on Your Contents and Cleaning?

7/10/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee Cleaning Building Ceiling After a Fire Cleaning a Building Ceiling After a Fire Using a Neutral Rinse Solution for the Second Step

pH stands for Potential of Hydrogen. Solutions are measured on a scale from 0-14 where 7 is neutral, above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acidic.  To give you an idea, blood is pretty neutral around 7.4. Milk is also fairly neutral holding a pH in the mid 6’s which is why it is something we often drink after consuming something very spicy.  Rainwater is slightly acidic at 5.6 with pure water being perfectly neutral (assuming a temperature of ~77F).  Yes, temperature can play a role in the pH of a solution.  As the temperature rises, the solution will slide further down the scale and become more acidic. 

Very low acidic solutions can corrode or even dissolve metals which is why it is important to be aware of what cleaning solutions are being used in your home or business.  Most cleaning solutions are on the alkaline side.  Another term for something that is alkaline is a base.  Knowing the pH is important for many industries including agriculture, medicine, water treatment, and of course general cleaning.

At SERVPRO of Southwest we do a lot of cleaning, whether it is keeping a jobsite clean on a daily basis or cleaning contents or structure after a fire or ducts or carpets.  It is almost always a good idea to use a neutral cleaner or bring the pH back to neutral after cleaning.  Neutral cleaners are safer for the environment, create less skin irritation, and have lower risk of toxic fumes.  In addition to being safer, they are less likely to create damage to surfaces especially when it comes to natural or untreated surfaces like stone, tile or wood. 

If you need assistance with cleaning, don’t hesitate to give us a call at SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas 214-463-5880.

Have a Happy & Safe Fourth of July

7/2/2022 (Permalink)

Lots of Fireworks in the Night Sky Fireworks are fun but are more fun when caution is taken

From our team at SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas to your friends and family, we want to wish you a happy Fourth of July…more importantly a safe Fourth.  It is a time for cookouts, drinking, fireworks and kids playing.  The combination of these things can lead to undesirable outcomes if caution is not taken.  Below are some tips to keep in mind:

-Check on local laws to see if it is legal in your area to light fireworks.

-It is summer, find an area that is not overly dry and conducive to catching fire.

-Keep a buck of water around.

-Ideally, only adults light fireworks. We know this is not always the case so if children are involved make sure they are highly supervised and understand the dangers of the fireworks.

-Designate an adult to supervise that remains sober.

-Don’t point fireworks in the direction of others.

-Don’t keep them in your pocket or try to light them while contained on your person.

-If a firework does not light, do not try to reignite it.

-After all fireworks have been set off, let duds dwell for 10 minutes before pouring water on them.

We hope nothing happens and everyone safely enjoys the holiday.  If something does happen, we are there to help in any way we can.