ABC Blog

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 »

Fast Growing Trees: Which Types Best Fit Your Needs?

Fast growing trees

When you moved into your home, you realized that you had a lot of room to grow—quite literally—in the tree department. You probably expected that over time, your trees would provide you with much-needed shade on a hot summer day, a reduction in your utility bills and an improvement to your curb appeal.

So, what if that wasn’t the case? What if you now want to make up lost time so that you can enjoy the benefits of having trees on your property?

Below, we will explore which fast-growing trees tend to grow the best in southern states—USDA Zones 6-10—and divide them up by type. We’ll also provide you with important information about what conditions create optimal growth so that you can add these valuable plants to your landscape.

Fast-Growing Trees For Privacy

One of the biggest reasons people graduate from apartments to houses is to get more privacy. While a fence is nice, … Read Full Post »

Planting With Compost: Expert Advice From The Pros

Planting with compost

What do cow manure, grass clippings, dead leaves, coffee grounds and dinner scraps have in common? All of the above can be used to create or feed a compost pile, which you can then use in your garden to help keep your trees, plants, vegetable crops and soil healthy and thriving. Planting with compost is easy, as long as you know what you’re doing. Ready to learn everything you need to know about how to make and use compost in your garden? You came to the right place!

First, let’s talk about what compost is and what it’s used for. At its most basic, compost is simply partially decomposed organic matter—in other words, plant and other material that is nutrient-rich because it’s in the process of breaking down. Gardeners use compost to add important nutrients and microbes to the soil, in order to build its structure and help plants thrive. If … Read Full Post »

Jumping Spider: Texas Homeowners’ Questions Answered

Jumping spider Texas

Ever seen a jumping spider? Chances are, if you live in Texas you have—and seeing it move so quickly in its trademark jerky, hopping manner probably either made you lean closer in curiosity or gave you the shock of your life, if not both. There are a few things about a jumping spider Texas homeowners need to know: For starters, these little critters are no scarier than any other eight-legged arachnid. They’re just startling because they move so far, so quickly! Their appearance may seem a bit threatening, however. When crossing paths with one of these, any reasonable person might wonder, do jumping spiders bite? Let’s find out more about the jumping spider to learn where they live, whether they bite people and what to do when you find them living in your home.

Do Jumping Spiders Bite?

Before we discuss whether jumping spiders bite, let’s first learn how to identify these … Read Full Post »