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Five Factors That Contribute to Fire Damage and Water Damage Caused by a Dishwasher

2/14/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides homeowners with the fire and water damage restoration services they need when the dishwasher causes a fire.

Locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides fire damage and water damage restoration services for Saginaw, TX, homes hit by a property damage disaster caused by fire or water damage from a dishwasher.

The dishwasher is one of the most appreciated home appliances of all time. No more sweating over a steamy sink of hot water scrubbing a mountain of dirty dishes, pots, and pans. Recent innovations in dishwasher technology have made the appliance more energy efficient, remarkably quiet, and less wasteful of water. In fact, the dishwasher uses much less water than manual dishwashing and rinsing in the sink. Standard-sized Energy Star dishwashers manufactured since 1994 use about four gallons of water per load, while sink washing uses about four gallons of water every two minutes.

However, the dishwasher is a non-cooking appliance that poses a serious fire hazard for the home. The dishwasher can cause a fire when improperly used or when the unit malfunctions. Much like ovens, dishwashers are manufactured with electrical wiring, electronic boards, and a heating coil, and the combination of water and electricity helps to explain the risk factors arising from the operation of a dishwasher in the home. Below are some top reasons why a dishwasher could cause a fire.

1. Manufacturing design and construction flaws involving wiring

Many fire incidents involving dishwashers happen due to design or manufacturing errors. The dishwasher operates in a water-intensive environment. A leak at a gasket or a crack in the bottom of the unit can short-circuit the electrical connections, resulting in a fire. Leaks in this area of the device factor prominently among the main causes of a dishwasher-related fire. A major manufacturer of dishwashers in the US recalled 2.5 million units for faulty wiring in 2007. Another issue arose when tens of thousands of units failed to shut down the heating coil, resulting in many fires.

2. A damaged or worn electrical cord

Most residential dishwashers operate on 240 volts, much the same as the stove. That amount of electricity near that much water can potentially be extremely dangerous. Over time, the electrical cord can become worn, cracked, or frayed. Also, rats and mice could chew the plastic insulation on the exterior of the cord. Once the waterproof binding is compromised, the risk of fire greatly increases. The condition of the cord can lead to electrocution. If the frayed cord generates sparks, flammable materials in the area can easily ignite.

The frayed or damaged cord requires immediate attention from a licensed electrician. Working with high voltage is not safe for the DIY novice and should be left to the professionals.

3. Lack of maintenance

Regularly scheduled maintenance is the key to safety, peak performance, and the appliance's longevity.

  • Clean the filter monthly with baking soda and vinegar or a commercial cleaner to remove grease and bits of food from inside the filter. The grease and food particles can ignite during the drying cycle.
  • Keep a vigilant eye out for leaks. Have all leaks inspected and repaired as quickly as possible. Avoid using the appliance until repairs have been completed. When water and “hot” wiring combine, the result can be an electrical fire.
  • A thorough inspection every year ensures the appliance is working safely and efficiently.

4. Improper use of the appliance

A dishwasher is a sturdy appliance that can last many years if well-maintained and properly operated. One of the chief ways a dishwasher is improperly used is by overloading the unit. An overloaded dishwasher will not adequately clean the load. The temptation is to immediately run another cycle. Back-to-back runs can damage the heating element, which needs time between cycles to rest and cool. If the element cannot be replaced, the appliance must be replaced.

Do not run the electrical cord under the carpeting. The foot traffic can damage the cord over time, exposing wiring which can arc and ignite a fire in the carpeting or rug. An extension cord should not be used except when necessary. Remember, the dishwasher runs on 240 volts, so the cord coming from the dishwasher should match the electrical load of the dishwasher.

5. Leaving a dishwasher unattended while in operation

An unattended operational dishwasher is a fire damage or water damage disaster waiting to happen. Avoid going to sleep or leaving home while the appliance is in action. If the unit springs a leak, water sensors may not be activated to shut off the flow of water. Seven or more gallons of water a minute can flow out of a burst supply line or a leaking dishwasher. Baseboards can swell beyond recognition and need replacing. Large portions of flooring substrate may warp, buckle, and collapse. The finished room in the basement under the kitchen could suffer extensive water damage, including collapsed ceiling tiles, damaged electrical devices, ruined carpeting, and a terrible mold infestation.

Keep small children away from the dishwasher. The temptation is too great to explore, research, and experiment, but an experiment with the dishwasher could burn the home to the ground.

When faced with fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage disaster, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth for cleanup and restoration services. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, the crew provides a rapid response in about an hour and a quick cleanup and restoration process to get life back to normal as soon as possible.

To learn more about Fort Worth, TX, water damage restoration, email SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at or call (817) 741-5737.

11 Signs of a Roof Leak or Other Water Intrusion Issues

2/14/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth urges homeowners to look for key indicators of a roof leak and to clean up and restore areas damaged by water intrusion quickly.

The team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides water removal, cleanup, and restoration for homes and businesses that have suffered fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage. A common cause of water damage in the house is a roof leak. Roof leaks may be hard to spot because the leak is minimal, temporary, covered up, or resolved by cleaning the gutters or replacing shingles without ever noticing the roof was leaking water into the attic. The first step in solving a roof leak is to identify the source of the leak. Knowing what to look for can help North Richland Hills, TX, homeowners or property managers spot a roof leak in its infancy while damage is minimal. Listed below are eleven signs indicating a roof may be leaking.

1. Visible roof damage

High winds, heavy rainfall, extended periods of rain, and hail put a roof to the test. After any of these weather events, the homeowner should conduct a ground-level visual inspection of the roof. Cracked, curled, or missing shingles should raise concerns that the roof may compromise its ability to keep out water and moisture. Exposed underlayment and decking need immediate attention. Schedule a roofing contractor to assess the damage and provide an estimate of repairs. Emergency tarping must be installed until the damaged area can be repaired. Emergency tarping is usually an effective way to prevent leaks until the damage is fixed, but the homeowner still needs to keep an eye on the condition of the tarping. Strong winds can dislodge the tarping, allowing water to leak into the attic.

2. Water intrusion and excess moisture in the attic

Puddles of water on the floor decking in the attic, water stains on support timbers, and moisture on items stored in the attic are strong indicators of a roof leak. Do boxes feel moist? Is there a musty smell in the attic? Can the sound of dripping water be heard in the attic when it is not raining, and there is no dew on the roof? An affirmative answer to any of these questions may indicate a roof leak.

3. Sagging ceiling

If a sagging ceiling feels wet to the touch, the culprit may be a roof leak. If possible, inspect the attic area above the sagging ceiling for signs of a roof leak. The attic decking may be wet or moist if there is a leak.

4. Water leaks around light fixtures, ceiling fans, and vents

Water from a roof leak will exit the ceiling through holes cut for light fixtures, ceiling fans, and exhaust vents. Stains around the bathroom exhaust fan are a sure sign of a water intrusion through the roof vent for the fan.

5. Brown, green, or black stains on the ceiling and the walls

Water will leave its mark inside the home. These stains send a message that the roof may be leaking. If the stains are wet, the leak may be active and need attention. Delays in dealing with the leak affect the insurance company’s willingness to pay to have the damage repaired.

6. Warped or swollen crown molding

Crown molding and baseboards enhance the aesthetic appeal of a room. Extended exposure to moisture and water from a roof leak will cause crown molding to swell or warp.

7. Peeling paint and wallpaper

Paint will eventually bubble and peel when sheet rock and drywall become wet or moist. The wallpaper will bubble and separate from the wall to which it is glued.

8. Unexplained water or moist spots on the floor, carpeting, or area rugs

Unexplained moisture inside the home is a key indicator of a roof leak. Look for water on furniture such as tables, sofas, and chairs. Look for signs of a leak directly above the water spot. Gently touch the ceiling to check for moisture.

9. Animals in the attic

The presence of rats, mice, squirrels, chipmunks, birds, skunks, and snakes living in the attic could be due to a roof leak. A constant water source attracts occasional visitors and permanent residents, and the abundance of water makes the attic attractive to animals.

10. An insect explosion in the home

A noticeable increase in roaches, water bugs, gnats, silverfish, bees, and ants can be explained by a roof leak. The insects love moisture, especially in a hot Texas attic.

11. Damaged chimney flashing

If a visual inspection of the chimney reveals damaged or missing flashing, the roof might be leaking. A chimney is a common source of roof leaks. Damaged flashing and aging, degraded caulk can allow water to leak into the attic. A shift in the home’s foundation can cause the chimney to separate from the roof. The result can be a roof leak. Repairs may not resolve the issue. A chimney can act like a wick that deposits water into the attic. The problem can be solved by coating the exposed brick and mortar with a special waterproofing sealant.

Water damage from a single roof leak can cause extensive damage inside the home. If water damage is discovered, trust SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth for cleanup and restoration. Crews can be on the scene in about an hour, and the rapid response gets life back to normal as soon as possible.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth to learn more about Fort Worth, TX, water removal services. The team can be reached by phone at (817) 741-5737 or by email at

A Ten-Year Review: Unforgettable Weather and Storm Damage Occurrences in the Local Area

2/14/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth reviews extreme weather conditions in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area over a ten-year period from 2010 to 2020.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is available 24/7, 365 days a year, including on those days when the weather has caused a significant storm and flood damage requiring flood restoration services. North Texas experiences a wide range of weather during the year. The normally calm winds, sunny North Texas sky, moderate temperatures, and average precipitation are occasionally interrupted by roaring tornadoes, oppressive 100-degree heat, violent thunderstorms, long periods of drought, and a rare blast of frigid temperatures and snow. Neighborhoods like Scenic Bluff, Fort Worth, TX, are no strangers to periods of wild weather. Below is a survey of eight disruptive and destructive weather events between 2010 and 2020.

#1. February 11-12, 2010: A foot of snow in 24 hours

Abundant moisture from a low-pressure system over North Texas and temperatures that barely crawled above freezing resulted in over a foot of snow in less than a 24-hour period in North Dallas.

#2. February 3-4, 2011: Another major snowstorm hits North Texas

Nearly a year later to the day, another blizzard blanketed the metro area, this time with five inches of snow. School closures, flight cancellations, and a near miss of Super Bowl XLV. A sheet of sleet laid down just before the snow made for treacherous conditions, as whatever snow melted during the daytime refroze in the evening.

#3. Summer 2011: The longest heat streak

This heat streak was just 3 days shy of Ken Jennings’ 74-day winning streak on Jeopardy. North Texas did not receive any cash prizes for the streak, but the utility companies enjoyed a hefty payday. For 71 sweltering days, the temperature climbed above 100 degrees or higher, over three times higher than the usual average. During that time, fifty-five days saw nighttime temperatures stay above 80 degrees.

#4. 2015: The wettest year on record

In 2015, Dallas-Fort Worth flirted with becoming a tropical paradise with 62.61 inches of rain, nearly double the average annual rainfall. May alone recorded almost 17 inches of rain.

#5. December 26, 2015: Turbulent tornadoes tear through North Texas

A tornado is no respecter of seasons and can strike any day of the year if conditions are right. Five days into winter and just one day after Christmas, a dozen twisters ripped a path of destruction through North Texas. The strongest tornado, an EF-4 with 180mph winds, mowed through Garland, Rowlett, and Sunnyvale. Thirteen people lost their lives. Two thousand homes were destroyed.

#6. Fall 2018: The wettest fall on record

Between September and November, Dallas-Fort Worth recorded 29.21 inches of rain, just 7 inches shy of the annual average rainfall. On September 21 and September 22, 8.11 inches of rain fell on the area, the third-most ever in a 24-hour period.

#7. June 9, 2019: Windstorm blows through Dallas

On June 9, a line of thunderstorms generated damaging winds in excess of 70 mph. Hundreds of large trees were toppled, leaving more than 200,000 people without power.

#8. October 20, 2019: An EF-3 tornado blasts Dallas

Eleven tornadoes cut a deadly and destructive swathe through the region that October evening. An EF-3 twister bulldozed a 15-mile path of damage from northwest Dallas to Richardson. Though hundreds of homes were damaged, no lives were lost.

Severe weather events have continued into the 2020s, with the coldest day recorded in 72 years: February 16, 2021. On this day, the thermometer dropped to -2 degrees Fahrenheit and hovered at record-cold temperatures for several days. Thousands of homes suffered water damage from frozen pipes. The power grid collapsed, leaving hundreds of thousands of Texans without electricity. Tragically, many people lost their lives in the brutal cold snap.

What to do when weather-related property damage occurs

Preparation is the key to weathering bad weather. Prepare in advance by putting together an emergency response. A disaster-ready plan ensures that when the power grid collapses, shingles fly off, a tree makes an unexpected entrance through the roof, or flood waters snake their way into the home; everyone knows what to do and who to call for help.

The plan should include the following:

  • Supplies: LED flashlights, batteries, weather radios (2), food, water, toiletries, hygiene products, first-aid kits, walkie-talkies, emergency mylar blankets, rain gear, hats, work gloves, zip ties, heavy-duty garbage bags, nitrile gloves, etc.
  • Evacuation and meet-up instructions
  • Contact information for family members, friends, and neighbors
  • Contact information for service providers (HVAC, plumbing, tree service, roofing contractor, electrician, and property damage cleanup and restoration company)

The team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth urges homeowners and businesses to pre-qualify dedicated service providers so that when disaster strikes, the response involves only one call to a vetted, trusted plumber, contractor, or restoration company.

The pre-qualification process is vitally important when needing services for storm damage, flood damage, fire damage, smoke damage, or water damage disaster. Rapid response and quick cleanup process are crucial to prevent advanced secondary damage to the disaster scene. Mold can begin in as little as twenty-four to forty-eight hours. Carpeting is typically unsalvageable after one to two days. If carpets and rugs are not immediately dried, cleaned, and disinfected, replacement may be the only option. When vetting a property damage restoration company, look for the following features:

  • Locally owned and operated with many years of experience
  • Available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays
  • Rapid response (about an hour) and quick cleanup
  • Latest equipment, cutting-edge moisture-detecting technology, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved cleaning, disinfecting, and deodorizing products
  • Competency in fire, smoke, water, mold mitigation, biohazard, crime scene, and suicide cleanup and restoration
  • IICRC-certified technicians
  • Able to scale to meet the challenges of any size of disaster
  • Handles insurance claim process from beginning to end

Being prepared cuts down on headaches, hassles, and recovery time. Life can return to normal.

For more information about storm and flood restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 741-5737 or email

Seven tips to mitigate a water damage or fire damage disaster this winter

1/18/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth offers tips on mitigating a water damage or fire damage disaster during the winter months.

The fire and water damage restoration team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth understands how a major property damage disaster in the winter months presents many challenges. Less sunlight, frigid temperatures, icy precipitation, frozen pipes, treacherous roads, school and business closures, power grid failures, and supply chain interruptions complicate cleanup, restoration, and recovery. The best course of action is to follow prevention strategies that serve to avoid a catastrophe in the first place.

Below are some practical tips to help the residents of Arlington Heights, Fort Worth, TX, tackle water and fire damage this winter.

Tip: Strive to maintain a healthy HVAC system. Consistent distribution of heat throughout the home will prevent pipes from freezing. Walls, ceilings, and floors may begin to crack and separate if rooms are not kept at a reasonable temperature.

Tip: Ensure that all windows and doors that grant access to the outdoors are shut and tightly locked when not in use. The goal is to prevent moisture from entering the home. Excessive moisture can cause sheetrock to warp and buckle, and a mold infestation can result if moisture is not kept out of the house.

Tip: Reduce the thermostat by five degrees Fahrenheit. The lower temperature will help prevent moisture buildup in the home.

Tip: Allow faucets to emit a slow trickle or fast drip to prevent pipes from freezing when frigid temperatures are in the forecast. A burst pipe can spew 7 to 10 gallons of water per minute, while a fast-dripping faucet only allows a few gallons of water per hour to escape down the drain.

Tip: Identify and seal air leaks with caulk, weatherstripping, or spray foam sealant. Gaps around doors and windows and cracks in walls are some of the main culprits that allow cold air into a home.

Tip: Make sure the HVAC ductwork is sealed. Keep ductwork clean, and the filter changed on the HVAC system.

Tip: Have professional and certified chimney sweep services inspect and clean all parts of the chimney. Make any necessary repairs.

Pre-qualify a restoration company before disaster strikes

Pre-qualifying SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth as a dedicated property damage cleanup and restoration team will not prevent a winter water damage disaster. However, it will make dealing with a property damage disaster hassle-free, stress-free, simple, quick, and easy. Listed below are seven reasons why pre-qualifying SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is so important.

  1. When disaster strikes, one phone call gets results. A cleanup and restoration team arrives on the scene in about an hour.
  2. There is no confusion regarding basic information about the home or business when the crew arrives to begin the cleanup and restoration. Technicians have access to a basic layout of the house, entrances, the water main shutoff valve, and any electrical panels, as well as contact information for the owner or property manager. The pre-qualification process for businesses, professional office buildings, manufacturing units, retail shops, and medical and dental practices facilitates a rapid response, a quick assessment, and a quick cleanup and restoration project. This proactive strategy can determine the trajectory of a business’s future when a property damage disaster has temporarily interrupted normal business operations, the flow of goods and services, and the revenue cycle, which are the lifeblood of the business.
  3. The customer is confident that the team members are trained, experienced, and IICRC-certified.
  4. Technicians have access to industry-leading equipment, cutting-edge technologies, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved cleaning products that are safe for humans and pets.
  5. There are no surprises once the work begins. Technicians take every safety precaution for themselves and the occupants in the home. The SERVPRO team treats the belongings of their clients with great care.
  6. A detailed estimate with images and video is presented to each client. This estimate is the basis for the work to be done and for the initial contact with the insurance company. SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth can handle the insurance claims process from end to end. The project progress and payment schedule run smoothly. The SERVPRO staff provides the insurance company with the documents required at the end of the job, validating that the project has been completed as contracted.
  7. Finally, the pre-qualification process gives the customer time to vet the damage restoration company. References can be checked, and social media reviews can be considered. After the stress and turmoil of a fire and water damage disaster, the call to SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth can bring calm, comfort, and confidence to the homeowner in distress.

For more information about water damage restoration in Fort Worth, TX, call SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at (817) 741-5737. The office can also be contacted by email at

How adding a water heater expansion tank can help homeowners mitigate leaks and water damage

1/18/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth is committed to helping homeowners mitigate a water damage disaster. One way to lower the home's water damage risk is installing an expansion tank to relieve excess water in the plumbing system.

The team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides water removal, water damage cleanup, and water damage restoration services if the excessive water pressure in the home causes a catastrophic failure of the home’s plumbing system, including the water heater and other water-using appliances. To help keep the house dry and safe, the SERVPRO team explains how an expansion tank can aid in preventing water heater leaks and water damage in River Trails, Fort Worth, TX, homes.

When the water heater functions correctly, the homeowner enjoys a stream of hot water from the faucet or showerhead. When water heats up, it gets hot, undergoes thermal expansion, and increases in volume, consequently taking up more space. Hot water can cause a buildup of pressure in the hot water system, and this thermal expansion can lead to serious problems. However, water also expands when it freezes! There are ways to solve these problems and prevent pipes from leaking or bursting. A certified plumber can install an expansion tank to protect the home, plumbing, and appliances from thermal expansion.

How can a closed plumbing system lead to trouble?

Increasingly, homes have a device installed on the supply line to prevent the backflow of contaminated household water into the public water system. This backflow preventer, check valve, or pressure-reducing valve is often installed at the water meter. When correctly installed, the device preserves the purity and safety of a community’s drinking water supply.

The power of water pressure

High water pressure is common in a municipal water system. The water system must service tall buildings while providing an adequate water flow through fire hydrants. The elevated water pressure can cause leaks and sometimes a pipe burst. The solution is simple and inexpensive. A pressure-reducing valve can keep the system safe and the home or crawl space dry. The pressure-reducing valve transforms the plumbing into a closed system, and thermal expansion puts the entire system at risk of catastrophic failure. If left alone, the plumbing system becomes a vulnerability that must not be ignored.

Expansion tanks explained

Most people with a well know what an expansion tank is and does. An expansion tank for a hot water system protects not only the water heater but also the washer, dishwasher, and plumbing system. Installing a pressure regulator reduces water pressures to a safe level, but it does not resolve potential risks arising from thermal expansion. The only solution is the installation of an expansion tank.

The expansion tank takes care of the expansion in the plumbing system. The thermal expansion causes an increased volume of hot water, and the water heater can only hold so much. When the water in the heater expands, the excess water enters the expansion tank. The high pressure in the water heater is relieved, preventing a catastrophic failure and keeping the home or business safe from a water damage disaster.

How to detect a water pressure problem

The homeowner can test the water pressure in the home plumbing system by purchasing an inexpensive water pressure gauge at many hardware or big box home supply stores. The gauge screws on an outdoor faucet. The gauge will register the water pressure when the tap is turned on. A pressure reading above 80 psi may indicate a problem with the pressure-reducing valve. Contact a certified plumber to inspect the system and make recommendations to resolve any issues. If needed, the plumber can replace the pressure-reducing valve and adjust it to accommodate the homeowner's needs.

When to install a water expansion tank

A functioning pressure regulator heightens the need to install an expansion tank to protect the home’s plumbing system and water-using appliances from the damaging effects of thermal expansion. Keeping the water pressure within safe limits can extend the water heater's life. The size of the expansion tank is determined by the plumbing system's water pressure and the water heater's capacity. A plumbing professional can make recommendations and provide competent installation of the unit.

The installation of backflow preventers effectively protects public water systems from contamination. However, backflow preventers have increased the risk of damage to the home’s plumbing system and water heater. In response to this elevated risk hazard, some water heater manufacturers require that a water expansion tank be installed along with the new water heater. Failure to take this step may void the manufacturer’s water heater warranty.

How to handle a water damage disaster

If the plumbing system and water heater suffer a catastrophic failure resulting in a major water damage disaster, contact the SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth professionals to remove the water, repair any damage to the structure, and restore any salvageable contents in the home. The team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides a rapid response and quick cleanup 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays.

For more information about Fort Worth, TX, water removal, email SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at or call (817) 741-5737.

How to recognize the conditions indicating that flash flooding and flood damage are imminent

1/18/2023 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth urges homeowners and businesses to watch out for the red flags pointing to flash flooding and water damage.

With over fifteen years of experience providing fire, water, and flood restoration services, the team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth takes severe weather and flash flooding risks seriously. FEMA highlights the dangers of flash flooding: “Flash floods can sweep away cars, tear out trees, and destroy buildings and bridges. As little as six inches of moving water can knock a person down. Two feet of moving water can sweep a vehicle away. Often there’s no warning that these sudden and deadly floods are coming. Most flood fatalities in the U.S. happen in flash floods.”

Severe weather occasionally disrupts the usually calm ebb and flow of life. Thunderstorms, a common example of severe weather, include several weather-related risk hazards. Intense thunderstorm activity can cause flash flooding when rivers and creeks overflow their banks. A stalled thunderstorm overwhelms a storm drainage system causing a micro-flood in a neighborhood. High winds associated with thunderstorms topple trees, damage roofs, and cause secondary damage from airborne debris. Tornadoes damage or destroy buildings and vehicles caught in their destructive path.

Texas is the nation’s leader in hail damage events. Texas insurance companies pay hundreds of millions of dollars in claims to cover the tens of thousands of vehicles damaged yearly by hail. Lightning strikes damage homes, ignite wildfires, cause power outages, and inflict personal injury.

Of all these risk hazards — flooding, lightning and lightning-induced wildfires, high winds, tornadoes, and hail — flash floods are the deadliest storm-related weather hazard in the United States. With this fact in mind, survival depends upon knowing the following:

  • what a flash flood is
  • what are the red flags indicating imminent flash flooding and water damage
  • how to prepare for a flash flood
  • how to handle the aftermath of a flood damage disaster

What is a flash flood?

A flash flood occurs very rapidly. Minimal time is available to warn the affected areas. Flash floods have been observed to occur in less than 60 seconds. Dry river beds and small streams are the breeding ground for flash floods. A small neighborhood with a storm drainage system incapable of handling many inches of rain over a short period is at significant risk of experiencing a flash flood. Flooding under these circumstances most likely is not covered by FEMA. A typical flood may result from intense rainfall hundreds of miles or more upstream. The floodwaters may take weeks to reach the areas that actually see the worst flooding.

Remember, pedestrians can be swept off their feet by as little as six inches of flowing water. Flowing floodwaters two or more feet deep can carry away most cars. Do not be deceived by water on the move!

Red flags indicating a flood may be imminent

The accurate prediction of the time and size of a flash flood is challenging because so many variables are involved. The solution is vigilance. Learn and recognize the conditions that point to an impending flash flood.

  1. Flash floods usually occur within six hours of heavy and prolonged rainfall. When severe weather threatens, maintain a heightened awareness. Implement actions outlined in the family or business emergency readiness plan. Stay alert, but stay calm.
  2. Pay attention to news reports of flooding rivers and creeks, dam breaks, or lake flooding. Determine if the flood waters will invade the floodplain around the home.
  3. Take note of slow-moving storm cells that repeatedly drench the same area with heavy rainfall.
  4. Be aware of reports of a hurricane or tropical storm moving through the area.
  5. Standing water may indicate the ground is saturated. Farmland and forests absorb much more water than the roadways and parking lots of the cities and suburbs around northeast Fort Worth. The homeowner needs to know the lay of the land to identify any flood risks arising from terrain issues.
  6. Pay special attention to announcements of a flood watch or flood warning from the National Weather Service. A “watch” alerts the local community that conditions are favorable for a flood. A “warning” is issued when floods are imminent or are already in progress.

How flash floods are predicted

The key to accurately predicting a flash flood risk is to identify a storm’s “bullseye,” which is where the rainfall is most intense. Forecasters must know the following:

  • The amount of actual and anticipated rainfall
  • The rate of rainfall per a set period of time, e.g., inches per hour)
  • The saturation point of the soil
  • The course the water will take once it begins to flow

Through modern satellite and radar technology, forecasters can glean much of this information in real-time and make predictions about the weather that give the people in the affected areas the time they need to take the appropriate measures to save lives.

The flood damage response

When a flash flood devastates a home and its contents, the best solution is to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth. Crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. A team of IICRC-certified technicians arrives on the scene in about an hour or so with industry-leading equipment, advanced moisture-detecting technology, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved cleaning products.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth to learn more about flood restoration services in Meadowbrook, Fort Worth, TX. The office can be reached by phone at (817) 741-5737 or by email at

Helping Colleges and Universities mitigate fire damage during the winter holidays

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth highlights practical steps a college or university can follow to mitigate fire damage during the winter vacation. These simple fire safety tips can identify and mitigate fire hazards in on-campus dorm rooms.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth understands the seasonal hazards and restoration services that may be needed during the winter months. The team provides property damage cleanup and restoration to more than homes and businesses. Technicians also serve colleges and universities that have suffered fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, or storm damage. SERVPRO also provides biohazard, crime scene, and suicide cleanup and restoration.

The summer vacation begins with students removing everything from their rooms. However, during the holiday vacation, students depart for home while leaving everything in their rooms. The presence of personal belongings in thousands of dorm rooms at a college or university dramatically escalates the risk of fire. A percentage of the unoccupied rooms are a high fire hazard risk. Students are provided with a detailed list of strict instructions before closing and locking the door to the dormitory room. The fog of all-nighters for final exams, the excitement of seeing friends and family, and the rush to start the journey home for the holidays contribute to some students inevitably failing to carefully follow the proper fire safety prevention steps before leaving campus.

According to the fire inspection and safety professionals at Fire & Life Safety America, important lessons can be learned from the past. “Just look at the past. There have been too many blazes that have affected schools before. For instance, the Providence College fire of 1977 that began because of a lamp directed at a manger scene as part of Christmas decorations. Almost 20 people were either killed or injured in that fire. Or more recently, the Seton Hall University fire in January of 2000. Three students were killed, and 58 students were injured when the fire began in a lounge and quickly spread. Even today, there are approximately 4,000 fires on college campuses every year, causing roughly $26 million in property loss.”

Many positive steps can be taken to prevent fires and fire damage in college and university dormitories when classes are not in session, and students are away from campus for weeks. Include these tips when conducting fire inspections during the holiday break.

Inspect and test smoke alarms

A smoke alarm is the first line of defense in discovering, extinguishing, and surviving a fire. This early warning system alerts students and staff to fire danger. The alert gives students and personnel time to investigate the situation and possibly extinguish the fire. If the circumstance warrants, the building fire alarm is activated, and occupants in the building safely and quickly evacuate the facility according to the evacuation plan. In most cases, activation of the building’s fire alarm system also automatically notifies first responders from the fire department, who are on the scene within minutes.

Inspecting dorm room smoke alarms is simple, quick, and ultimately saves lives. Smoke alarms are essential to any fire prevention and survival strategy, and testing and maintenance of these alarms are the top priority.

While most colleges and universities are smoke-free environments, this classification does not always guarantee student compliance. Unfortunately, some students circumvent the rules and disable the room’s smoke alarm. The vacation inspection identifies disabled alarms, which can be re-activated, repaired, or replaced before students return.

Inspect the sprinkler system and individual sprinklers

Dorm life can be rowdy and rambunctious at times, and sprinklers can become damaged. Efforts to decorate a dorm room can compromise sprinkler performance if the fixtures have been tampered with. Paint, string, streamers, garland, mistletoe, and other items may inadvertently impair sprinkler function. A quick but close inspection of each head can identify damage or impairment from decorations.

Inspect holiday decorations in rooms and activity spaces

Combustibles should be located at a safe distance from heat sources, including holiday decorations. Christmas lights and other decorative lighting should be turned off and unplugged, including battery-powered lights. The heat from lights can be an ignition source for nearby combustibles.

Unplug every outlet

As a general rule, all electrical appliances or devices should be unplugged, and power strips should also be unplugged. All electrical outlets should be empty. The power may be shut off in dormitories and buildings with zero occupancies during the holidays. When the power is restored, devices or appliances, if plugged in, may overload and cause a fire.

Look for overloaded extension cords and power strips. Address the issue when students return from vacation. Some schools do not permit the use of hot plates, electric grills, toasters, air fryers, or other cooking appliances in dorm rooms. If institutional policy bans these appliances, they should be confiscated and removed from the room.

Pre-qualify SERVPRO of Carrollton as the dedicated property damage cleanup and restoration provider

With just one call, the campus staff can have SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth arrive onsite in about an hour. The team responds 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays when the campus is virtually deserted. If the disaster involves multiple rooms, several floors, or the entire building, SERVPRO can scale to tackle any size disaster. The latest equipment, cutting-edge technology, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved disinfecting, sanitizing, and deodorizing products enable technicians to quickly clean up and restore any size or type of damage disaster.

By following these simple tips and implementing these guidelines, a college or university can avoid the primary causes of fire and fire damage in dorm rooms during the holiday vacation. To learn more about seasonal fire damage restoration services in Arlington Heights, Fort Worth, TX 76107, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at (817) 741-5737 or email

How to stay safe from common causes of fire damage during the holidays season

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth wants every family to have a joyful holiday season. The damage restoration company is sharing home fire safety tips to help keep the holidays free from a fire damage disaster.

The fire and water damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth want everyone to enjoy the upcoming holidays with their family and friends safely. During the holidays, the risk of home fires increases. Below are some very important home fire safety tips to ensure safe, fire-free, happy holidays!

By following these basic fire prevention tips, homeowners can significantly reduce the risk of fire hazards during the holidays.

Tips to avoid Christmas tree fires

A live Christmas tree fills the home with a fresh, clean pine fragrance that lets everyone know the holidays have arrived. A live tree can be a safe, memorable feature of the holiday season if the homeowner carefully follows special precautions. If a live Christmas tree ignites, the flames can quickly spread, filling the home with smoke, soot, and harmful gases.

Fire prevention begins with picking a freshly cut tree

Begin by selecting a fresh tree. Look for a tree with green needles. The needles should be difficult to pull back from the branches. Needles on a fresh tree will not easily break, indicating there is still moisture in the tree. Inspect the tree trunk. Flowing sap should make it sticky to the touch. Test the freshness of the tree by bumping the trunk on the ground. If the tree drops a shower of needles, it has dried out and is a serious fire hazard. Continue to sort through the available trees until a fresh tree is identified.

Practice proper tree care

Position the tree at a safe distance from heat sources such as the fireplace, heat vent, gas, or electric heater. The heat and low humidity can quickly dry out the moisture in the tree, and dry trees can ignite very quickly when exposed to sparks, heat, or flames. Keep smokers and ashtrays away from the Christmas tree.

There are two extremes to avoid when displaying a live tree. Avoid putting the tree up too early. Two weeks is a safe window in which to enjoy a live tree. Faithfully fill the water reservoir on the tree stand. Live trees, even though they have been cut, will still uptake water through the trunk as long as the reservoir is filled.

Exercise proper care when disposing of the Christmas tree

Disposing of the tree by burning the needles and branches in the fireplace or wood-burning stove is not advised. When the tree displays signs that it has dried out, immediately discard it by taking it to a recycling center. Some communities will remove trees placed by the curbside. Know what the regulations are for the municipality to avoid a fine for littering.

Bonus tip: If this year’s tree selection is an artificial tree, make sure the item is non-flammable or, at the very least, flame retardant.

Tips to prevent a fire from holiday lights

Proper maintenance can keep holiday lights bright and fire-safe. Begin each holiday season by closely inspecting each string of lights. Look for the following issues:

  • brittle, cracking, or unpliable plastic insulation
  • frayed wiring
  • cracked, crushed, or otherwise damaged male or female plugs
  • exposed or bare spots on the cords
  • cracked or broken light sockets
  • excessive kinking or severe crimps that might signal damaged wiring or a possible short

If the lights are not UL-approved, do not use them.

Avoid overloading electrical outlets or power strips

Three is the maximum number of light strings that should be linked together unless otherwise stated in the product specifications. When stringing lights, the last step is to connect the lights either directly or by an extension cord to the outlet. Working with live lights increases the risk of shock, especially if precipitation is falling or the ground is wet. Every few days, give the lights a visual inspection and touch test. The outlet, plug, and wiring should not be warm to the touch; warmth may indicate a circuit overload or damaged wiring.

Practice extreme caution when displaying seasonal decorations

Non-Flammable or flame-retardant decorations are far safer than combustible decorations. Position the decorations at least three to six feet (or more) away from heat sources. Never leave decorations unattended if they are anywhere close to a heat source.

Bonus tip: Avoid burning wrapping paper in the fireplace or wood stove. The large flames, high heat, and excessive ember and spark production can cause a chimney fire.

Be careful with candles

Avoid the use of lighted candles. Place candles in a safe, stable location, away from combustible materials, especially Christmas trees. Extinguish all lit candles when leaving home.

Fire detection and suppression

Install smoke alarms with fresh batteries on all levels of the home. Test existing devices every month and change the batteries every July 4th to ensure batteries are fresh at Christmas when the fire risk is elevated. Review and practice the fire escape plan. Place a fully charged fire extinguisher in the kitchen, by the fireplace or wood stove, and strategically on every level of the home. Accessibility is the key to survival.

Pre-qualify with SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth before the holiday season arrives. If a fire damage disaster strikes, one call has a crew on the scene in about an hour, 24/7, 365 days a year, including on holidays and Christmas.

For more information about residential fire and water damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at (817) 741-5737 or email

How a municipal sewage backup and overflow can impact residents in a community

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth examines local sewage backup and overflow issues and how they can cause sewage backups in the home.

At SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, the team of IICRC-certified water damage restoration technicians is trained and experienced in cleaning up property damage disasters, including a sewage backup. The homeowner need not stress over the disruption in the home or the danger of contamination and disease from the spillage. The SERVPRO professionals have the equipment, cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved disinfecting, sanitizing, and deodorizing products to make the disaster area clean and safe.

Local sewage overflow issues: In the streets, in the waterways, and the home

Municipal sewage overflows present a serious challenge to residents in the metro Dallas/Fort Worth region of North Texas. According to a local news outlet, “In 2018, more than 119 million gallons of sewage overflowed onto the streets and lakes of Dallas-Fort Worth. That’s 119,090,756 gallons, to be exact, over more than 1,700 overflow incidents. Let’s break down those numbers a little bit further: 14 million. That’s the number of gallons of sewage that overflowed in the largest single incident last year (2018), which happened in Garland on Oct. 16 and flowed into Lake Ray Hubbard. It was also the single largest sewage overflow in the state last year. 112.8 million: Roughly the difference between the amount of overflow sewage in North Texas last year and the amount of overflow sewage in the Houston area. In fact, North Texas had five times the amount of sewage overflow than all other 15 regions in the state, combined.”

The following lakes and waterways in DFW experienced the most sewage overflow:

  • Lake Ray Hubbard (14,002,405 gallons)
  • Trinity River (10,217,500 gallons)
  • Red Oak Creek (7,677,000 gallons)
  • Sycamore Creek (7,237,800)
  • Mauk Branch Creek (7,119,765 gallons)

The following North Texas locations experienced the most gallons of sewage overflow:

  • Trinity River Authority Central Region Wastewater System (25,008,050)
  • Fort Worth’s Village Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (19,685,106)
  • Garland’s Rowlett Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (14,012,115)
  • Duncanville (13,559,310)
  • Red Oak Creek (8,629,743)
  • Plano (5,031,041)

The top five places on the above list were also the top five places with the most overflow in the entire state. Sewage overflow is a pressing issue with the aging and overtaxed wastewater treatment systems.

How a sewage overflow occurs

Below is an outline of how a sewage overflow happens.

#1: A toilet is flushed. The water and waste flow through underground sewer lines to a wastewater treatment plant.

#2: Waste, pathogens, and toxins are removed from the water at the waste treatment plant.

#3: The clean water is pumped into the public water system to be used for drinking water, bathing, washing dishes and clothes, and cooking.

#4: With age and usage, underground sewage lines develop cracks.

#5: Frequent and heavy downpours saturate the ground. The water seeps into the sewer lines through the cracks, filling the sewer lines to capacity.

#6: The rainwater and raw sewage in the sewer lines back up until they spew out of manholes.

The stress and anxiety of a sewage backup in the home

When the primary sewage system is filled to capacity due to excessive rainwater seeping through cracks in the sewer lines, homeowners should anticipate sewage backups and overflows in the home if the residence is connected to the public sewer system. The system simply cannot receive any more sewage, but the sewage must go somewhere. Look for sewage backups in tubs, showers, and floor drains in the laundry room and bathroom.

Avoid flushing any toilets. If the main sewer system is filled and spewing raw sewage into the streets, a flushed toilet can overflow, spilling raw sewage onto the bathroom floor. If the toilet is on the upper story of a home, the spillage can damage walls, ceilings, and any light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The upstairs bathroom and the downstairs dining room can become a sewage backup and overflow disaster scene. The issue is not resolved by mopping up the liquid and any solids associated with the spill. Raw sewage is now hidden behind walls, trapped in the ceiling, dripping from light fixtures, puddling on the dining room table under the fixture, and soiling the carpet, rug, or flooring in the dining room.

The dynamics and dangers of a sewage backup in the home

A sewage backup is seldom anticipated and is often an unexpected messy surprise that disrupts the entire house. The stress of having the mess cleaned up and the home restored can be overwhelming. Before a sewage backup occurs, prequalify with SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, one phone call will have a team of property damage cleanup and restoration specialists arriving at the client’s home in about an hour. The rapid response and quick cleanup process are especially important in the event of a sewage backup and overflow and water damage.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth to learn more about the company’s water damage restoration services. The office can be reached by calling (817) 741-5737 or emailing

Can Pruning Trees Prevent Storm Damage from Fallen Trees?

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth lists tips for pruning trees to prevent damage to the home when severe weather hits.

SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth is sharing five tips for pruning a tree to promote strong branches and reduce the potential for storm damage from broken limbs. Trees add real value to a home. A well-planned and well-pruned treescape creates a beautiful setting for the home, and the trees produce shade from the hot summer sun. According to HGTV, “Several recent nationwide surveys show that mature trees in a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a house by 7 percent to 19 percent.”

Unfortunately, trees can also create serious risk hazards for the homeowner and for neighbors if the trees are not well managed. Occasionally, severe weather in the form of thunderstorms, hail, heavy rain, floods, and high winds roll through an area. Some trees survive the intense weather with negligible damage. A few small limbs fall on the roof and the ground, causing no damage to the home. Other trees suffer serious damage, including the loss of large limbs or significant sections of their branching structure. Damage may be catastrophic, with trees splitting in two or shearing off at the trunk. The services of qualified tree professionals are required to reshape the tree or remove it.

A tree weakened by disease is a risk to the property owner and to neighbors. An unpredictable limb shed makes the tree dangerous. The best and safest solution may be to remove the tree before the dynamics of severe weather cause the tree to drop large limbs or topple over. Preventive measures are available to homeowners to help trees withstand the forces of extreme weather and avoid storm damage.

Tip #1. Prune limbs to create strong branch angles.

Deciduous trees such as oaks and maples may have branches that are too close together. The narrow angles between these limbs and branches create a weak point in the limb structure of the tree. Both the trunk and the crown can exhibit this situation. When two branches grow this close to each other, neither branch can add enough wood to make the limbs strong and resilient to storm damage. The limbs create a weak joint that can easily succumb to the stress of high winds. The solution is simple. If the branches are accessible and the tree is young, the homeowner can remove one of the two branches. The best branch strength is achieved when branch angles are at 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock.

Tip #2. Prune to promote strong branch and trunk strength.

A tree needs balance. When balance and weight distribution are at odds, a tree can suffer limb and trunk damage. Moderate aggravation from storm conditions is all that is needed to send a tree crashing into a home. Branches on the side of the tree should be no more than 1/2 to 3/4 of the trunk width. Larger branches cannot be supported by the trunk and become a serious risk hazard when exposed to strong winds, ice, or snow.

Tip #3. Prune for stability.

Wind, ice, snow, sleet, or previous loss of a prominent limb can cause a situation where the center of gravity is not directly over the trunk. The tree responds under the slightest amount of wind pressure or extra weight with limb breaks, a broken trunk, or a toppled tree, including the roots. The selective removal of branches on the leaning side of the tree can realign the center of gravity and stabilize the tree. The tree is beautiful and safe for years to come.

Tip #4. Remove problem branches, suckers, water sprouts, and temporary branches.

When branches rub together, the friction causes wounds and decay that can lead to disease. The solution is to remove one of the branches. Water sprouts and suckers grow at the base of the trunk or inside the crown, and these branches do not add to the beauty of the tree but only serve to drain resources. For best results, remove these useless branches as soon as possible.

Temporary branches do not grow very high on a tree, and they serve to protect the tree from the sun. After year three or four, remove the temporary branches. Leaves are vital for survival, so when pruning, do not prune more than one-third of the leafy crown of the tree.

Tip #5. Do not prune branches to stubs.

New branches will emerge from the edges of the stub, and because these branches cannot unite firmly with the stubbed branch, the new branches will likely sustain damage in the future. Remove a branch where it connects to the main branch or to the trunk. Never leave a stub.

For more information about storm damage restoration and flood restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth by phone at (817) 741-5737. The damage restoration company can be reached by email at