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Before Severe Weather Strikes, Make Plans to Be Prepared | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

person on a white tablet using weather alert app If your home has been impacted by storm damage, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will respond quickly to assist in any repairs.

Severe weather can be something that we disregard with time, especially if we have been through previous storms that did not lead to any life-altering damages.

This is a dangerous outlook to take, because every single storm has the potential to cause serious damage and should be regarded as something to be wary of. You should always have a severe weather plan for preparedness in place—understand a watch and warning notification, stock your disaster supplies and find a reliable way to receive weather updates in advance so you can be prepared if severe weather does strike.

Understand a Watch and Warning Notification

If a weather watch or warning is issued, it is important to understand what that means so you can react appropriately and safely. When a severe weather watch is issued by local authorities, that means that they are anticipating a storm because conditions indicate one could occur. This is not the same as a warning, which means an active storm is in the area and you should seek safe coverage right away.

Stock Your Disaster Supplies at Home

While a storm is nearby, you want to be certain you have all the supplies you need on hand in order to hunker down and wait it out. You will want to have first-aid supplies, food and water, and a dependable light source like a battery-operated flashlight in case the electricity fails due to the storm. You should also have an area of your home that serves as a “safe zone,” such as a hallway or bathroom where your family can seek shelter.

Find a Reliable Way to Receive Weather Updates

For most of us, our cell phone is typically the best way to receive alerts about nearly anything going on in the world—but when it comes to severe weather, that is not the case. Storms can often knock out cell phone reception and power, rendering a phone useless, especially if the battery dies. It is important to seek a more reliable way to get these updates such as a NOAA Weather Radio so you can be certain you always have the information you need.

If your home has been impacted by storm damage, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to get a quick response to your home’s damages.

Personal Protective Equipment – protecting our heroes and safely killing pathogens!

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

crew members in PPE SERVPRO of Palo Alto expert technicians in PPE

At the start of the current global pandemic, lots of talk of PPE was circling around. But what is PPE? And how does SERVPRO of Palo Alto utilize PPE?

PPE stands for personal protective equipment which includes: hazmat suits, gloves, full-face or half-face respirators, and filters. Various industries (including the restoration industry) use PPE to protect their employees and clients or patients.

SERVPRO's expert technicians are accustomed to correctly using PPE on a regular basis--on jobs for mold, cat 3 or sewage, pathogens or viruses, and other dirty jobs, such as crawlspace cleanup and rat infestations.

Our team is trained on the proper donning (wearing) and doffing (removal) of PPE to prevent cross-contamination.

If your residential or commercial property requires proper cleaning and sanitation, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448. We are the trusted name in cleaning and sanitizing!

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/15/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today at  650-800-3448 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

Being Knowledgeable About How Rain Can Lead to Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

heavy rainfall on top of metal roof of yellow house Heavy rains can cause serious water damage. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the trained technicians to fully restore your home.

There are many water-related incidents that can lead to damage, as it takes a relatively small amount of moisture to lead to an issue.

While many often think of floods, even heavy rain showers over a period of time can lead to water damage, as water gradually works its way into a home’s weather defenses. Being knowledgeable about where and why this happens is the best preventive measure to take.

Where to Be Aware That Water Damage Is a Possibility

Backup of clogged gutters. Cleaning out your gutters every six months or so is a great defense against water damage. When your gutters can’t properly drain water, pooling can occur and lead to water sitting up against—and eventually seeping into—your home.

Leaks around windows and doors. Windows and doors can develop small cracks around them, which may not be visible to the naked eye but are certainly large enough for water to find. Water can soak into these small gaps and begin to eat away at the wood surrounding these openings.

Poor drainage around the foundation. Regardless of how impervious a foundation may seem, if poor drainage allows water to build up around the foundation, it can eventually begin to seep inward and lead to damages.

Leaks in and around the roof. A house of any age can develop a roof leak, and they can often sneak up on you. Checking for signs that your roof might be vulnerable to leaks regularly is the best defense against this.

Malfunctioning of a sump pump system. For those with basements or crawl spaces, a sump pump is a great water damage defense, as long as it is maintained. Sump pump malfunctions due to inadequate maintenance can lead to serious damages on their own.

Leaks around chimneys and skylights. Skylights and chimneys are great features, but it is important to check on the seals surrounding them regularly to ensure they have not deteriorated enough to begin letting water through when there is heavy rain around.

If you’ve experienced water damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us 247 to have our trained technicians respond quickly and begin your restoration.

For Water Restoration, We Have a 6-Step Process | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

interior wood floor partially submerged in water Call SERVPRO for expert water restoration!

There is nothing good about discovering water damage, but when you do, take action right away to get your restoration process started.

You can call us at any hour to get a quick response to your damage and set our six-step process in motion. Here’s how it works:

6 Steps to Water Damage Restoration

1. Initial Emergency Contact
There is no rhyme or reason to when water damage can occur, so you can count on us at any hour you need to call. We will answer right away and gather relevant information about your damages so we can send a crew to you quickly and address the issue as fast as possible.

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment
The first thing we do when we arrive on the scene is check for any safety issues and mitigate them. From there, we will stop the flow of water if it is an active leak. Once those are completed, we will do a full assessment of the damage and draft a plan to handle everything for you.

3. Moisture Extraction
Extracting moisture from the area speeds along the drying time and prevents any excess damage from occurring. We will begin pumping water out and vacuuming it away as quickly as we can until all the standing water has been removed.

4. Dehumidifying and Drying
After the excess water has been removed, we will bring in our dryers and dehumidifiers to tackle the surfaces and items that have been impacted. Many things can soak up moisture, and it is vital to do a thorough drying process on them to prevent further damage and potentially harmful mold growth.

5. Cleaning Belongings
The proper sanitizing and deodorizing of items that are affected is important to keep your home free of contaminants and odors in the future. We will fully treat the belongings that have been exposed to the water damage so you can be certain that they are safe to use.

6. Restoration and Repair
We make sure you receive a full and complete restoration job before we leave, so we handle repairs that are a result of the water damage, too. Replacing drywall, refinishing wood and other necessary repairs are part of our job, so you can have a restored area that feels exactly the same as it did before the damage.

If your home has been water-damaged, you can count on us to help. Call us 247 to get the process started.

The First Steps to Take to Recover From a Flood | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

flooding in residential area SERVPRO of Palo Alto can assist with flood damage

It can be extremely devastating to discover that your home has been impacted by a flood, but with flooding becoming more and more common, it is an important thing to prepare for.

In a flood’s aftermath, recovering quickly is everyone’s top priority—and acting fast can even lessen the overall damage. In this trying time, it is also important to ensure you are staying safe, which is why we have these tips to help you know exactly what to do following a flood.

Steps to Take Toward Flood Recovery

Avoid further safety hazards. Wanting to start the recovery process quickly is a common reaction for homeowners following a flood, but it is important to ensure it is safe to return to your home before you begin. Flooding can be dangerous in the moment, but its hazards can continue after the fact and should be cautioned against until local authorities deem it safe.

Air out the home. In addition to the damage from the flood specifically, impacted homeowners must also deal with the possibility of mold growth in their home. Mold is an airborne fungus, and it thrives in areas that are moist with stale air. Circulating fresh air through your house is a good preventative for this—while it will not stop the growth entirely, it can significantly reduce it and make the air healthier to breathe as you begin cleanup.

Document the damages. The emotional impact of flood damage can give homeowners a strong reaction when they first survey the damage, and many people rush to begin taking action right away. However, it is wise to make a point to document the damages before you start removing things or altering them. Make an inventory of everything that has been thrown away and take photos of the damages so you have strong records, both for yourself and insurance.

Contact your restoration and insurance companies right away. Getting in touch with your flood insurance company right away will let you know exactly what next steps to take in order to file your claim. After this, talk to your restoration company so they can assemble a response team and get to you right away. Letting flood damage sit unattended is one of the worst things you can do in the aftermath, so getting your restoration team on it is advised.

If your home has been damaged in a flood, we are here for you. You can contact us 247 to receive a quick response and set the restoration process in motion.

Evaluating the Disaster Preparedness Levels of Your Business | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

3/22/2020 (Permalink)

commercial office flooding Plan for Workplace Emergencies

Planning ahead for emergency scenarios is a smart choice for business owners, though it may not be an enjoyable task. Being prepared for disasters and other emergencies can significantly reduce the harm they cause to your operations and can drastically reduce the damages sustained in some scenarios.

Having a plan in place is the single best thing a business owner can do to prepare for a disaster.

Because thinking through every possible scenario is an overwhelming task, we suggest that business owners instead think of three main categories when evaluating their preparedness levels. Understand your insurance coverage, your evacuation plan and your restoration roadmap to determine where you could increase preparedness and where things are adequate.

Your Commercial Insurance Coverage

The time period after a disaster is not the time when you want to be figuring out your insurance coverage. In many cases, commercial policies are not designed to handle the extensive damages a disaster can cause, often fully excluding auxiliary damages such as if your business floods or if you must pause operations for repairs. It is best to find out ahead of time what your insurance covers and purchase extra policies accordingly.

Your Emergency Plan and Supply Kit

A natural disaster often only gives those in its path moments to react, which is why having a plan in place is such a vital aspect of preparedness. Consider the types of scenarios you may be likely to experience, such as fires or earthquakes, and create plans with these in mind. In addition to planning for an evacuation, it is also smart to keep an emergency kit on the premises in case you and your staff must stay and await assistance.

Your Plan for Restoration and Recovery

Taking measures to reduce the time that your business is closed in a disaster’s aftermath is the best way to limit the negative impacts that it has on your business. Choose your commercial restoration company ahead of time so you can call immediately following a disaster and begin the recovery process. You may also be eligible for disaster recovery assistance thanks to the Small Business Administration, so it is worth looking into that as well.

If your business has been impacted by a disaster, you can contact us 247 for guidance on how to begin the commercial restoration process.

A Guide to Enhancing Your Home’s Weatherproofing | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

3/11/2020 (Permalink)

prepping window for storm How to Weatherproof Your Home

There are many things that can impact how well a home can resist severe weather, such as the age of the house, overall exposure and the integrity of the construction. It is smart to consider where your home stands with this and what improvements you may need to make it more resilient—especially considering that 50% of all homeowners’ insurance claims are due to weather.

The good news is that increasing a house’s resilience to weather is inexpensive and not time-consuming, so it is generally better to be safe than sorry. That is why we have outlined some of our top weatherproofing tips so you can rest easy the next time heavy rains head your way.

Tips to Enhance Your Home’s Weatherproofing

Keep Your Shingles in Shape
A leaking roof is typically thought of as a problem for older homes, but even newer homes can develop leaks for an assortment of reasons. By checking in regularly with your roof and monitoring the appearance of your shingles, you can determine easily if you should prioritize roof repairs soon.

Beat the Weather With Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping’s benefits are twofold—first, it can stop water from working its way into tiny cracks around your doors and windows, and it can also save you tremendously on your electric bills by providing extra insulation to your home. It also has the benefit of being easy to install and cost-effective, so it makes the perfect precautious weekend project.

Gut Debris From Your Gutters
Clearing your gutters every six months is a smart habit to get in, as this can prevent the build-up of leaves and debris—but it is still important to check up on them between cleanings. Look for odd drainage patterns, standing water or visible cracks the next time it rains so you can determine if repairs should be made to your system in the near future.

Pick the Right Paint
Paint has turned into more than just a color decision because of all the options for finishes and technology that are on the market. Investing in exterior paint with waterproofing and UV-resistant technology can help your home age gracefully and be less affected when stormy weather is heading your way.

If you have issues with storm damage to your home, we are always here to help. Contact us 24 hours a day for a rapid response.

When Destructive Storms Arrive, Give Us a Call | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

storm damage sign Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto when you need storm damage restoration!

Though storms are a regular occurrence, they can also be extremely destructive. Storm damage is one of the top reasons that homeowners must file insurance claims, and claims filed amounted to approximately $2 billion in storm-related losses in 2018.

Because any storm has the potential to cause your home to sustain damage, it is important to know exactly what to do if the event were to occur. The good news is that when you need storm restoration, we are here 247 to help you recover.

What You Receive When You Call Us for Household Storm Restoration

You Will Receive Comprehensive Restoration
It is rare that storm damage is a black and white issue, instead often including problems with structural elements, water damage and even mold. Because we are fully certified in all these issues, we are able to examine the damage with a comprehensive approach and can make sure your restoration is done completely and with efficiency.

You Will Receive Technicians With Experience
Our technicians are something we invest heavily in because we value their contributions tremendously. We train our entire workforce from day one to the standards set forth by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, which sets the industry benchmarks for restoration. We also offer seminars and online courses for our technicians, so they can always continue to learn and hone their skills.

You Will Receive Enough Resources for Restoration
We love being a member of the Palo Alto community and all the wonderful things that come with being a locally owned business—and with our backing from the national SERVPRO® brand, we also get to offer our customers national resources in the event of major disasters. Other locations can band together to offer equipment and additional resources, so everyone in the community can receive restoration in a timely manner.

You Will Receive Service From a Reputable Company
With all of our years of experience, we have unfortunately seen many customers get taken advantage of by post-storm scams by unscrupulous “restoration professionals.” Because we have a long-standing reputation as leaders in the restoration industry, you can trust that with us, you will receive quality work and will not fall victim to one of these scams.

If you have experienced storm damage or want to learn more, you can call us 247 for more details.

Top Tips to Boost Your Household Fire Safety | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

residential fireplace Protect Your Home From Fire

Because we have helped many local families restore their homes following a fire, we are aware of just how devastating a house fire can be. Not only can flames rip through property and belongings, but they can also cause traumatic and irreparable injuries.

In order to help the community be more fire-safe, we wanted to take the time to assemble the fire safety tips that we think every individual should be aware of. While some fires happen erratically, using these tips will significantly reduce your chances of experiencing one.

Tips to Up Your Fire Safety Efforts

Frequently Check Smoke Detectors. Smoke alarms should be installed throughout the house and checked every 30 days to ensure they are operational. Homeowners are also wise to consider installing an interconnected system, so they all will alert you when one picks up a hint of smoke.

Have a Fire Escape Plan. Crafting a plan for how to escape once a fire breaks out in your home and practicing it often is one of the best measures to take to ensure your family can quickly get to safety. Make sure everyone is aware of what to do and where to meet outside.

Know How to Operate a Fire Extinguisher. Selecting the right fire extinguisher, storing it safely and educating every household member on how to use it can be the difference between a scary moment and a full-scale disaster.

Never Leave Flames Unattended. Open flames are everywhere—grills, fireplaces and candles are common fire starters that many people do not consider dangerous. No matter how small the flame, it is advised to never leave the room if there is a fire lit as it could spread in a moment.

Keep a Closed-Door Policy. The most dangerous fires are the ones that occur at night, because of the reduced reaction time involved with waking up to a house fire. One of the things that can make the biggest difference is sleeping with the bedroom door closed—this will slow down the spread of flames to provide more reaction time to everyone in the home.

If you’d like to learn more about protecting yourself from a house fire and how our restoration services can help you recover, get in touch today to learn more.