Recent Posts

Take Precaution Every Time You Light Your Grill | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

a person in grilling chicken and hot dogs on an outdoor grill SERVPRO of Palo Alto is the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online.

Cooking a homemade meal is a great way to spend time together as a family, especially if you are taking advantage of your backyard space and your grill. Grilled food is always delicious, but we do encourage people to remember their fire safety considerations every time an open flame is around.

Grill fires happen more regularly than many people realize—nearly 6,000 occur annually, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. A few fire safety tactics can go a long way to ensuring every cookout is a safe one.

Ensure Every Cookout Is a Safe One With Fire Safety Tips

Create a safe zone around your grill. While the deck right outside your back door may seem like the most logical place to put your grill, it may not be the safest. Three feet is the recommended safe zone for grilling—this is the zone where there is nothing that could catch on fire or melt, just in case.

Clean your grill grates often. Good grill habits involve regularly cleaning your grates, but this is good for more than keeping cooking temperatures consistent. As food particles and grease accumulate on the grates of the grill, they can heat up and catch fire eventually. By regularly scraping down your grates, you can significantly lessen the chance of this occurring.

Never leave the grill unattended. As with any open flame, a lit grill should never be left unattended, even with a closed lid. Fires can happen in an instant, and if you are not there with your fire extinguisher, they can get out of hand before you know it. Having someone take over so you can take a break is a wise way to prevent any accidents.

Inspect the grill regularly. It is always a good idea to do a visual inspection of your grill, even if you have been using it regularly. With use, gas connections and hoses can deteriorate and cause leaks, which can lead to a catastrophe if the grill is lit and gas vapors are in the air. Making an inspection part of your habit is one of the best things you can do to ensure you are being safe.

If you have a grill fire that does damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.

Tips for Storm Safety That You Can Use Anywhere | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

7/13/2020 (Permalink)

lighting striking hillside during storm at night Have you been affected by a storm event? SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24/7 and ready to assist you with any storm damage.

When the skies are clear and the day is warm, thunderstorms are probably the last thing on your mind—but because of how suddenly they can manifest during humid days, they are always something to keep in mind. Any thunderstorm has the potential to be dangerous, but with these safety tips, you can be sure you can protect yourself from summer storms anywhere.

Protect Yourself From Summer Storms Anywhere You Go

Know your options for shelter. When a storm catches you at home, you can follow storm safety guidelines to a T and take shelter in the most secure spot in your home. Unfortunately, if you are out and about when a storm pops up, you may have to get creative. Seeking shelter in a vehicle is actually recommended when you are not home, as the car will disperse any lightning strikes around you.

Practice electrical safety. A lightning strike can travel through a building rapidly, often using the home’s wiring system to do so. This can lead to a power surge, an event that can harm electronics and cause sparks. If you have plenty of time before the storm hits, unplugging everything is the safest thing you can do—but in case you don’t, also install surge protectors at home and at your office.

Avoid direct contact with concrete. When you hear that a thunderstorm is nearby, concrete might seem like the most reasonable place to seek shelter—but concrete can have its own dangers involved. Metal beams are often encased in poured concrete to stabilize it, meaning it can transfer the charge from lightning when it strikes. If you do seek shelter in a concrete building, avoid directly touching the floor or walls.

Stay indoors for at least 30 minutes. If you have an activity interrupted by a thunderstorm, getting back to it is likely your top priority—but do not forget about safety as well. Lightning can travel large distances even when the sky is clear, so experts recommend giving yourself at least half an hour before heading back outside.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Starting a Fire Evacuation Drill Program in the Workplace | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

6/25/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in commercial fire restoration.

When it comes to planning for commercial fires, it is important to understand that businesses in any industry carry some level of risk. Some may be more susceptible than others, but all businesses should do what they can to evaluate and reduce their risks of operation.

Whether you work in an industry with equipment that could cause a fire or you are just practicing regular office safety, it is important to do everything you can to keep your staff safe.

One of the chief things to be concerned about when boosting your fire preparedness is the overall safety of your workplace. That is why we recommend planning your fire evacuation drills and practicing them with staff as the first step of your fire safety planning.

Planning and Practicing Fire Evacuation Drills With Staff

Consult with your local fire officials. Once you begin researching fire safety, you will find lots of great tips and guidelines online for how to be as safe as possible—but do not forget to make use of local resources, too. Your local fire marshal will likely be glad to pay your business a visit and weigh in on the best ways to plan your evacuation routes and conduct drills in your space.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After determining what the best escape routes are, the next step is to mark them clearly and communicate your evacuation plans with employees. Making sure everyone is prepared in advance of a fire drill will ensure things go smoothly and everyone knows to take it seriously but to not panic.

Have fire drills frequently. You will find that your needs vary regarding how frequently to host your drills, so it is important to find what works best for you. You will want your drills to happen often enough that employees remember them, but not happen so regularly that they are disregarded as routine.

Run different fire scenarios. There are places in the office where a fire might be more likely to break out (such as a staff kitchen), but fires can come from many places. When you run your fire drills, have your fire “start” in various locations around the office so your employees will be comfortable using different routes and exits as needed.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

Our Recommendations Regarding House Fire Recovery | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

woman with hands covering face upset with burnt house in background If your home is damaged in a house fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is here to help. Contact us for any fire restoration needs.

It is important that you and everyone in your household know what to do in the event of a fire, including having an emergency plan and practicing evacuation drills. However, you should also be aware of the difficulties regarding the aftermath of a fire and have a plan for how to navigate those as well.

With our tips for navigating the aftermath of a house fire, you can make sure you are following the right steps for a simple, quick recovery for your household.

Tips for Navigating the Aftermath of a House Fire

Prepare yourself for what to expect. The damages from every house fire are unique, but understanding the common implications of house fire damage is a good way to prepare yourself. Smoke and soot can often travel throughout the home, even impacting areas that had no direct flames. Additionally, firefighters may have to cause damage in order to make the fire safe to fight, so it is wise to prepare for these things ahead of time to avoid the shock.

Wait to enter your home. It is normal to immediately want to begin handling the damage and getting the restoration process started, but first, you need to make sure it is safe for you to re-enter the home. Structural damage is quite common after a fire breaks out, so wait for officials to authorize it before you go back into the home.

Contact your insurance company. The process of filing an insurance claim will vary based on your provider, so getting in touch with them early on is highly recommended. This way you can be certain you are not taking any unauthorized actions that could undermine your claim.

Document the damages. Records of the damages in the way of inventory lists and photographs are a smart way to stay organized. Not only will this be helpful for you as you recall what items you must replace after the restoration, but you can also use this to simplify your insurance claims process as well.

Contact your restoration company. A house fire is a traumatic thing for your family to experience, so recovering quickly is a great way to emotionally heal from the process. To make it as smooth as possible, we always recommend working with a reputable, well-trusted restoration company that is based locally, so you can be certain the job will be done right.

If your home is damaged in a house fire, you can count on us to help you. Get in touch at any hour for a quick response.

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.