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Protect Your Bay Area Home from Rainstorm Flooding

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Protect Your Bay Area Home from Rainstorm Flooding Heavy rain in California

The entire state of California, including Northern California and the Bay Area, is experiencing historic rainfall this winter.

As you already know, if you’re a homeowner in Palo Alto, Atherton, Stanford, Menlo Park, or Redwood City, you have the responsibility to protect your home from both natural disasters like our current rainstorms in addition to made-made water damage issues. While you can’t predict natural disasters like flooding, you can help protect your home from water damage due to severe rains and floods. According to FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, floods are the most common and most expensive natural disaster in the U.S., and no state is immune to the effects of flash flooding. Flash flooding happens everywhere, causing water damage requiring water restoration and mold mitigation services (because water leads to mold damage) including in places like Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City, California.

Heavy rains have hit Santa Clara County, California hard this winter. Here are a few tips from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, or IBHS, that you, as a Bay Area homeowner, can help use to protect your home from flooding to help minimize water damage that can cause ruined carpets, wrecked appliances, and irreversibly damaged family heirlooms and keepsakes. Just one inch of water can cause significant damage. One inch!

Before taking any of the steps below, you need to first find out your home’s flood level, which is an official measure of how high floodwaters could rise where you live. You’ll find this information by checking the online flood maps on FEMA’s website or by asking your home insurance agent.

Safeguard in-home electrical and climate systems
It’s important to safeguard your electrical and climate systems. Make sure to raise switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area. And don’t forget to modify your furnace and water heater so they sit above your property’s flood level instead of at or below it.

Anchor and raise outdoor power equipment
Again, you have to think of your property’s flood level. Fuel tanks, air-conditioning units, and power generators should be anchored and raised above your flood level. If not, unanchored fuel tanks can break free, and severed supply lines will contaminate surrounding ground, creating an even larger problem. Any electrical power units and generators should never sit on the ground. Water will render them useless.

Modify water valves
A flooded sewer system can cause sewage to back up into your home, which is both distressing and dangerous to your family’s health. Install an interior or exterior backflow valve to prevent the sewage from spreading all over your house. The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, or FLASH, recommends gate valves that you have to operate by hand. Their benefit is that they provide stronger seals than flap or check valves, which open automatically to allow water to flow out and then close when water tries to get in.Install these valves on all pipes entering the house, advises FLASH.

Figure out how water flows around your house
The angle of the ground (called slope or grading) can direct water to or away from your house. Obviously, it’s best if the home was built so that water drains away from the building, but that’s not the case for all homes, particularly older ones. Just check it out during a regular rainstorm to see how the water flows around your house.

  • Take on-the spot actions as soon as you anticipate flooding during a rainstorm
  • Clear gutters, drains and downspouts (This should be done regularly at least twice a year.) 
  • Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors, or at least raise them off a ground floor or out of a basement, if you have one. 
  • Shut off electricity at the breaker panel, and make sure everyone in the house knows how to do this!
  • Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they’re potentially in harm’s way from flooding. You don’t want to have to repair or replace expensive appliances every time there’s a major rainstorm.

What happens if you take most of these actions during heavy rains and still have water damage? Don't fret. First call a reputable damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto. SERVPRO of Palo Alto’s expertly trained restoration technicians are trained to take care of water damage and mold mitigation due to flash flooding and heavy rains. They serve the following areas of Santa Clara County: Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City, and have taken on water damage jobs both large and small. In addition, their customers give SERVPRO of Palo Alto excellent reviews for their quick, efficient, and high-quality water restoration work and mold mitigation work. Call us today for a quick, no-cost estimate at (650) 800-3448!

Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Homes & Businesses

1/3/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage  Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Homes & Businesses Devastating California wildfires

2018 was a year of major firestorms in many parts of California -- from Southern California to Northern California. Some of these fires, particularly the Paradise Fire in California, have devastated entire communities.

Damage caused by a fire is life-changing for home and business owners. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need caring fire restoration experts to guide you through this crisis, from beginning to end. The professional restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Palo Alto will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always handle your home or business with great care. We can recover many of your belongings that you may have thought lost forever. 

Home or business owners can be caught off guard with a sudden fire emergency. It’s important not to delay and discuss available coverage with your insurance company, in addition to taking the appropriate steps to limit the losses you might experience in case of an emergency situation. SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you deal with your insurance company, and assist you with the paperwork involved in your claim, making the process as stress-free as possible.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we have the specialized fire and water damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment to handle fire damage to help you through this tough time. We can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition. SERVPRO uses the latest technology, including water extractors, moisture detectors, and air moving equipment to effectively dry areas affected by firefighting efforts.

Rely on SERVPRO of Palo Alto for fire damaging events to your property. We are available 24/7, including holidays. Call us at 650-800-3448 for fire restoration in the Bay Area today!

Commercial Rodent Droppings Cleanup

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Rodent Droppings Cleanup SERVPRO of Palo Alto cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized this property affected by rodent droppings.

Often times, SERVPRO of Palo Alto gets calls for rodent droppings cleanup after the rodents have been exterminated. Although the rodents might be gone, the bacteria, diseases and hazards from their droppings can still pose health issues if not taken care of properly. Offices, restaurant kitchens, HVAC systems, storage closets, warehouse shelving, can all be possible areas where rodents can infest with droppings. Customers, employees and visitors can pose serious health concerns if they are exposed to biological and chemical contaminants.

Failure to properly remove such substances can contribute to unhealthy and dangerous environments.SERVPRO of Palo Alto is equipped with the necessary safety apparatus and cleaning products to treat these unhealthy environments. Our specialists are trained to safely remove biohazards and dispose of them properly in accordance with OSHA and health regulations.

Proper cleaning and sanitation for businesses is necessary and SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help you clean this up. We provide cleanup and recovery services for any biohazard situation. Call us directly at 650-800-3448 to help you rid your business of droppings that can cost you money.

Holiday Fire Prevention Tips

12/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Holiday Fire Prevention Tips Holiday Fire Hazard in Palo Alto, California

Holiday Safety Tips

It's the happiest time of the year! During this time of the year, there are carolers singing, egg nog, bright lights, tasty food, chilly weather, and shopping for presents.

With all these fun and festive things going on, it is easy to forget that this time of year lends itself to some very real fire hazards. Surprisingly, statistics show that residential fires are more costly and property loss is 34% greater during the holidays rather than any other time of the year. As a gift from your local neighborhood SERVPRO, here are a few tips to make sure your holiday is the merriest and safest it can be.


  • Keep a multi-grade fire extinguisher handy for a variety of fires.
  • Check the smoke detectors for operable batteries.
  • If you are going to deep fry your turkey, make sure it is on a flat surface and at least 10 feet away outside from your home.
  • If you are multitasking while you are cooking, make sure you have a cooking utensil in hand to remind you that something is on the stove.


  • Maintain at least a foot between the candle and anything flammable in all directions.
  • Before going to bed, make sure all candles are put out and never leave a flame unattended. However, if you prefer a low light setting, rather than use candles, switch to LED powered candles.

Christmas Trees

  • Try to purchase a fresh cut tree with one that has all of its pine needles intact.
  • Purchase a tree base that has room for you to water your tree every day.
  • Watered trees will last longer and will typically dry out after 4 weeks.
  • Remember to take your tree out as soon as possible after the holidays to prevent unwanted accidents. Dry trees are the easiest to catch on fire.

Decorative Lights

  • Inspect light strings for cracks and/or fraying.
  • Inspect light sockets for broken and exposed filaments.
  • Do not run three strings from end to end, but instead, stack them because it is safer.
  • Do not use nails or staples to hang your lights. Instead, use UL-Rated clips and hangers.
  • Take lights down after the holidays to prevent squirrels from chewing on your cables and environmental damage.

The Fireplace

  • Have your chimney inspected for collected soot that hardens after every use of your fireplace. If it needs to be cleaned, do so before you use it.
  • Do not start a fire for your fireplace with wrapping paper or liquids; only use seasonal firewood.
  • Set a screen in front of your fireplace to prevent the embers from your cozy fire does not damage or spark a fire to your items such as a rug or other flammables.
  • Set extinguished embers in a metal container outside for at least 24 hours before throwing away.

If you have any questions, concerns, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448!

Most importantly, we are available for emergency services of any accidents or inconvenient mishaps 24/7.

From our family here at SERVPRO of Palo Alto to yours, we wish you a safe happy holidays!

Mold Mitigation Before and After in Palo Alto

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold Mitigation Before and After in Palo Alto Let SERVPRO of Palo Alto take care of your mold mitigation needs!

Mold is no match for SERVPRO® of Palo Alto. Our damage restoration professionals use advanced water detection equipment to locate the source of the problem and remediate any mold or water damage using advanced proprietary equipment and products. Taking care of mold quickly is especially important, since mold can affect the health of your family.

SERVPRO® of Palo Alto has been serving the Palo Alto and surrounding community day in and day out. We are dedicated to helping our customers when disaster strikes and helping to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Are you concerned that your property might mold? We can help! We are ready 24/7, 365, call us at 650-800-3448 to help you today!

#SERVPROPaloAlto #SERVPRO #LikeItNeverEvenHappened #HereToHelp #ReBuildingStories

Your Property Suffered Fire Damages? Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Many homeowners experiencing a fire damage event don't know what to do, where to begin, or how to rebuild or recuperate from such a loss. Many will be displaced for months while their homes are being completely rebuilt, and some will be facing partial reconstruction and major cleanup.

The first thing you should do after such a loss is speak with your insurance company. Clarify your policy, and hopefully your loss will be covered. Something to think about while writing up a policy (and prior to a natural disaster) is documenting your contents before such a loss can ravage your home. Taking pictures of your furniture, electronics, major belongings and creating lists of your valuables can literally save you when you are trying to recoup your losses and make an insurance claim of what has been damaged or burnt.

If you are one of the lucky ones where the fire didn't completely consume your home, your insurance company will suggest calling a professional fire cleanup and restoration company, such as SERVPRO of Palo Alto. For homeowners in Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and North Fair Oaks, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you throughout the entire process. We will work closely with you and your insurance claims representatives to clean up your home and contents, salvage what is salvageable, and inventory what is determined to be a total loss. We will remove the heavy smoke odor from your property and belongings and coordinate dry cleaners and other relevant contractors who can help repair your home. We will treat you and your property with great care and respect throughout the process. Our fire services include:

Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)
Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
Cleaning and Repair
Fire Restoration

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire, water and mold damages.  At SERVPRO of Palo alto, we treat our customers with empathy and respect. Call us at 650-800-3448.

Smoke and Fire Damage in Your Palo Alto Home

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. You may have water damage from the firefighting efforts that may have caused mold. For all your cleaning and restoration services, we have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?

Call Us Today – (650) 800-3448

SERVPRO of Palo Alto was there to help!

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto responded to a major water main break in Menlo Park. This unfortunate event affected six homes on two adjacent streets near Downtown Menlo Park. Two homes had been severely damaged. Our team arrived within an hour and immediately started to extract the groundwater that had seeped through the homes' foundations. There was over two feet of water in the unfinished crawlspaces of two of the homes. Our crew worked efficiently to get the water out rapidly in order to prevent further damage. Water was extracted and pumped out. We made sure no other possible damage could occur from the standing water.

Our team of Palo Alto installed our equipment dehumidifiers and air movers to dry out the framing under the homes. Over the next several days, we continued to work the other homes that needed our help with their flooding, damaged contents, damaged drywall and flooring. 

Contact us at (650) 800-3448. No job is ever too big for us at SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO Is Here for You

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Experiencing the loss of a loved one can be emotionally devastating. SERVPRO of Palo Alto understands the challenges that occur during these difficult times. Some of the most traumatic situations may be of a suicide, death, or crime scene. If such incidents were to happen, a human body begins to decompose almost immediately, causing an overwhelming situation that may become a health hazard.

SERVPRO has trained professionals to address and effectively clean biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA and state and local health regulations. Not doing so, may result in an uninhabitable home with the effects of airborne bacteria, odor, and biohazard material.

We provide cleanup services to individual families, property managers, and other commercial accounts. Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto to get expert help in biohazard cleanup at 650-800-3448. 

Palo Alto Elite Realtors Love SERVPRO of Palo Alto House Cleaning Services

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Palo Alto Elite Realtors Love SERVPRO of Palo Alto House Cleaning Services Menlo Park home

In today's competitive real estate marketplace, sellers need to have all balls in their court when marketing a property. As you know, presentation is everything. Recently a homeowner in Menlo Park who was extremely concerned about the cleanliness and odor of his home because he was about to list it for sale. He hired SERVPRO of Palo Alto to help address the dust, debris, and odor from day-to-day living after 15 years, as well as the smell from four cats, birds, hamsters, and even a chinchilla!

The home definitely had a strong pet odor in it in some rooms. SERVPRO of Palo Alto cleaned the house from top to bottom, including windows, window screens, pressure washed the patio, cleaned and sanitized all the cabinets inside and out, and even completed the duct cleaning. To complete the process, we did a thermal fogging of the entire home with a neutralizing deodorizer.

The homeowner was more than ecstatic by the results of the cleaning and was happy to stage and put his home on the market. Weeks later the sale was pending. Clean homes sell faster. SERVPRO of Palo Alto cleans on the deepest level and will enhance your home's true value by making you shine and helping you sell your home at the highest price possible. If you're a homeowner or realtor in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, Atherton, or Redwood City, call us today at (650) 800-3448 to help get your home on the market faster and get top dollar!