ABC Blog

How To Save A Dying Tree: A Closer Look At Tree Health

how to save a dying tree

Homeowners with mature trees typically love them for their shade, majestic beauty and the enhanced curb appeal and property value they provide. But if you have a tree that seems to be ailing, you may wonder how to save a dying tree. Many homeowners also wonder how to recognize the symptoms of a tree that is diseased or otherwise in need of help, so they can provide care before it’s too late.

There are a number of different diseases that can infect a tree’s branches, roots or foliage. So many, in fact, that you may need the help of a professional who specializes in trees to give you an accurate assessment of your tree’s health. The good news is, most tree diseases cause a range of visible symptoms that can serve as warning signs, enabling homeowners to intervene on behalf of the tree’s health. The not-so-good … Read Full Post »

Water Heater Making A Popping Noise? What You Can Do

water heater making popping noise

One of the last sounds you want to hear when you’re in the garage or laundry room is your water heater making a popping noise. While anything audible coming from your unit is a cause for concern, you should know that this sound often indicates a sediment buildup in your tank—something you’ll want to take care of sooner, rather than later. Once you troubleshoot what your issue is, you’ll be faced with a decision: whether to try to fix the problem on your own, or call in a professional.

Similar to when you take your car in for a suspicious sound and a mechanic asks you to describe it, you’ll discover as you do your homework that different noises can indicate different problems. Maybe you’ve noticed your water heater making a noise like running water, or you hear something coming from your water heater only when the hot water is turned … Read Full Post »

Does Dog Pee Kill Grass? How To Protect Your Lawn

does dog pee kill grass

A homeowner with pets and a brown, patchy-looking lawn might wonder: Does dog pee kill grass? Maybe you’re not even a dog owner, but your neighbor’s pet has a habit of using your yard to do its business. Could this be a contributing factor?

The short answer is that it’s certainly possible. Due to the high protein content of most dogs’ diets, these animals’ urine contains a high concentration of nitrogen and salts, which can have a burning effect on grass and can cause yellow or brown spots in an otherwise healthy-seeming lawn. People with female dogs may notice even more concentrated spots of discoloration in their grass, since female dogs tend to squat to urinate in a single location, rather than relieving themselves in shorter spurts onto trees, bushes and fire hydrants, as male dogs typically do. Also, larger dogs pee in larger volumes than smaller dogs, so their daily … Read Full Post »

Furnace Leaking Water In Winter: What Should You Do?

furnace leaking in winter

It’s winter, and that furnace you don’t think twice about for the rest of the year is finally getting some work.

Not that you typically gave your heater much thought, even during the colder months. When your house started to get chilly, you’d turn the temperature up on your thermostat to get things toasty, and that was that.

That is, not until last week. That day, you were in the attic and you saw something that gave you pause: the furnace was leaking water. Is it supposed to be doing that? Should you get it fixed?

This is an issue that heating professionals get asked all the time, and the short answer is pretty simple: no, your furnace should not leak, and yes, you absolutely need to have it repaired if you notice an accumulation of water around this appliance.

Before you start to panic, however, it’s important to understand two things:

  1. This is actually a pretty … Read Full Post »

Where Do Squirrels Go At Night?

Where do squirrels go at night

One of the reasons you bought your house was the fact that the property had some wonderful mature trees. Over time, you found your yard and the same beautiful trees had become a haven for squirrels.

One day, as you were about to go to sleep, a question popped into your head: Where do squirrels go at night?

Most homeowners don’t realize that there are tree squirrels and ground squirrels, and that some types nest in dens, while others sleep in drays. Some varieties prefer underground homes, while other squirrels find in-tree hideaways more comfy.

While many of us find squirrels in their natural habitat quite adorable, it’s an entirely different story if and when these animals scratch, claw and gnaw their way into houses to set up their dens or nests in the relative comfort of fireplaces or attics. To make matters worse, these invasions often happen without homeowners realizing it—at least for a … Read Full Post »

Benefits Of Pruning For Healthy Plant Growth

Benefits of pruning

Trees might be the oldest, largest living organisms on Earth, but they’re not invincible. For a tree to live a long, healthy life in an urban environment, these plants need some human assistance.

Outside of their natural growing environment in the wild, trees often require pruning for them to improve clearance, develop a durable structure and maintain their aesthetics.

Pruning helps a plant exhibit its most desirable attributes. Many plants—including spring-flowering plants like spirea, viburnums, weigela and strawberry bush, as well as summer-flowering plants like roses, hibiscus and crape myrtle—stand to benefit greatly from proper pruning.

How so?

Pruning promotes health by enabling you to get rid of sickly or diseased plant parts. Trimming also helps with insect management. Lastly, removing dead or dying branches or stems enhances the beauty of your plants.

Here’s the bad news: improper pruning could potentially cause severe damage that can, in the most severe cases, contribute to the death … Read Full Post »

What Do Grubs Eat? How To Avoid Common Lawn Problems

what do grubs eat

You used to have a great lawn. From the street, your yard was lush and green, with grass blades that swayed in the wind and glistened with dew in the morning.

Then, one day, you started noticing that patches were beginning to get thin. There were even brown patches.

What in the world was happening?

This isn’t a simple question to answer, because as any lawn expert will tell you, there are a number of possible culprits.

One of the most common lawn pests is grubs. Grub worms are common destroyers of lawns across America, and the south is no different—except that these critters tend to prefer warm-weather lawns. If you want to keep your yard healthy and looking good, you need to watch out for grubs.

What do grubs do that makes your lawn look thin and patchy? The short answer to this question is that these pesky critters eat it.

Exactly what they eat … Read Full Post »

San Antonio Christmas Events, 2018 Edition

San Antonio Christmas

Cue the bells and dancing elves because the most wonderful time of the year here in San Antonio is just around the corner! This means it is the season for all things peppermint flavored, hot chocolate, holiday playlists on repeat, tacky sweaters, delicious holiday recipes and tons and tons of twinkling lights.

San Antonio is a city rich in history and traditions, and those qualities are showcased during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a fun family night out, a way to entertain friends and relatives or seasonal date night ideas, there is something for everyone! Create unforgettable memories with your loved ones this holiday season by looking through our list of San Antonio Christmas events for 2018 and putting some of these outings on your calendar now.

San Antonio Christmas Shows: Performances To Remember

Many holiday traditions revolve around stories, so it’s not surprising that many dance troupes, theater companies and other … Read Full Post »

Electrical Safety Tips To Protect Your Family At Home

Electrical Safety Tips

You’ve dealt with electricity in your home before. We all have. Say the power goes out and you need to flip the breakers. A much more common experience is the countless times you’ve had to change a light bulb. No big deal.

So, when you decided to put ceiling fans around your house, you opted to do it yourself. After all, you’re a smart person. How hard could it be?

Most homeowners soon discover that dealing with electrical tasks around the house isn’t as straightforward as we’d imagine. Using the example of installing ceiling fans, perhaps you flipped off the breakers in the places where you were putting the fans. You got the right tools. You hung the fans up, one by one. Boom. Done. Except that when you flipped the power back on, two of them didn’t work. Sigh.

So, you went back and forth, turning off the power, working on the fans, then turning the … Read Full Post »

Does Cold Weather Kill Fleas? Your Questions Answered

Does-cold-weather-kill-fleas

You couldn’t help yourself. You saw the cutest dog and decided she needed to become part of your household.

Six months later it happened. You woke up scratching.

Oh no.

Immediately you checked out your pup. And it was just as you feared: fleas.

The next day you got flea shampoo, thinking that would be that.

But a few days later, you woke up scratching again.

The shampoo wasn’t enough. Maybe you hadn’t killed them all the first time. Or maybe your furry family member was re-infesting the house with fleas from outside.

When the weather began getting colder, you thought perhaps you’d just wait them out. After all, wasn’t the cold supposed to kill fleas?

Not exactly.

Homeowners tend to underestimate fleas because we’ve been taught that they’re no big deal. Most of us assume that we can just head to the store and buy something and it will solve our problems like snapping our fingers.

Sometimes, though, it doesn’t, … Read Full Post »