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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.

Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Homes & Businesses

1/19/2020 (Permalink)

wildfire damage Devastating Fire Damage from Firestorms in Californa

Last year was a major year of firestorms in many parts of California -- from Southern California to Northern California.

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!

Appliances That Cause Water Damage | SERVPRO®? of Palo Alto

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

woman looking at appliance Appliances Can Cause Water Damage

When you think of water damage, you may first think of flooding caused by a natural disaster or other weather situation. But did you know that many cases of water damage are related to the appliances in our homes?

Appliances to Check for Leaks

Many of the appliances in our homes cycle through a good bit of water, making water damage a possibility. Here’s what to look at:

Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters can last for more than a decade and a half, but leaks can start much sooner than this. When parts break down over time, it can let water escape, which can lead to a serious issue over time.

Refrigerator
Most modern refrigerators contain ice dispensers or water filters that are connected to the house’s main water line. This introduces the potential for leaks. Refrigerators are also very infrequently moved, making it possible for leaks to linger for a long time before water damage is spotted.

Dishwasher
Dishwashers are another appliance that often sits back in a cubby without being moved. To compound matters, insurance policies may not cover damage from leaking dishwashers if they’re past a certain lifespan. This makes regularly checking your dishwasher for leaks even more important.

Washing Machine
It’s not the washing machine itself that could be the issue—the hoses used with the machine machine can deteriorate over time. You should inspect the hoses every 30 days and replace them every five years even if they have not caused any issues.

Air Conditioner
All air conditioning units create moisture as they run, and mechanisms within the AC unit typically drain that moisture away. Sometimes, however, these mechanisms can fail—leading to leaks that may not be discovered immediately depending on the location of your unit. Schedule regular HVAC maintenance checks to look for leaks and other damage, and also check the unit yourself periodically.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

Creating a Natural Disaster Action Plan for Your Business

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

emergency signs Prep for Commercial Disasters with SERVPRO of Palo Alto

When it comes to your business, disaster planning is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But as natural disasters become increasingly common, it is an important to-do for any small business owner.

Business owners need to plan ahead effectively in case of natural disasters—a process that includes evaluating insurance coverage, making an action plan for yourself and your employees and building a strategy for how your business will recover after the fact.

How to Prepare Ahead of Time

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
Whether for business or personal needs, it’s always important to have a thorough understanding of what your insurance policies cover. In many cases, basic coverage will not pay for things such as flooding, so supplemental coverage options on the market may be needed. Evaluate your needs before an emergency occurs.

2. Create Your Action Plan
Every business needs to have a documented plan for how to react when an emergency occurs. This should include resources related to evacuation, as well as where local shelters and medical facilities are located. You will also need clear instructions on shutting down machinery and electronics on the way out the door.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
Once you’ve created the plan outlined above, you need to share it with your employees. It’s important to practice how your team will react to various disaster situations. This will make employees feel much safer, and reduce your liability as a business owner as well.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
Because your livelihood—and that of your employees—is at stake, reopening quickly will be your priority after a disaster. Vetting and choosing a restoration company ahead of time will allow you to quickly reach out to the company after a disaster.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Maintaining and Protecting Your Business: SERVPRO of PALO ALTO can help!

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

business security camera SERVPRO of Palo Alto Helps Protect Your Business

Owning a business comes with many responsibilities. From dealing with state regulations to hiring the right people to do the job of maintaining correct bookkeeping, owning a business isn't for the faint of heart. It is important for business owners to maintain a safe and healthy environment for their personnel. Disasters are unpredictable, but there are ways to prepare and keep your commercial property safe.

Fire Alarms & Drills

Fires can spread very quickly in commercial buildings. It is critical to install fire alarms correctly and most importantly to test them regularly. When an alarm is set off, everyone in the building is aware of possible danger and that they must evacuate. As a business owner, you should ensure that your employees have an emergency plan of evacuation.

Alarm Systems & Security Cameras

One of the many services provided at SERVPRO of Palo Alto includes the restoration of vandalized property. It is important to protect your property while you are inside or away from the premises. Security system networks now offer a variety of surveillance equipment and technology to monitor the property in case of intruders and to alert authorities.

Appearance Counts

The appearance of your commercial property plays a significant role in a successful business. Any damage to the property should be properly taken care of right away. Leaving the issue unattended, may lead to greater damage and can impact you financially.

For any cleaning and emergency restorations in your home, business or commercial property, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will be there to get the job done. Call us at 650-800-3448 and we'll make it "Like it never even happened."

Top 5 Fire Prevention Tips for the Bay Area

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Emergency Ready Profile Contact SERVPRO for Information about Creating Your ERP

Having an emergency response plan (ERP) in case of a fire is important in order to protect your residence or business in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, Atherton, and Redwood City. The first 48 hours after a fire can make a difference in determining whether to restore, rather than to replace your property and personal processions. SERVPRO of Palo Alto believes in educating our customers on the importance of fire prevention with the top five tips from the National Fire Protection Association.

  • Do not leave your cooking unattended, especially when frying, grilling, or broiling food. The stove should be turn off if you must leave, even for a short period of time
  • Portable heaters should be kept at least three feet away from anything that can burn.
  • Inspect electrical cord and replace any that are cracked, damage or broken.
  • Keep candles at least one foot from anything that can burn.
  • Have an escape plan.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we believe in the importance of being prepared, which is why we provide our customers with an Emergency Ready Profile. Our SERVPRO professionals can assist you in developing an ERP plan which contains crucial information needed in the event of an emergency occurring.

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto for more information on fire prevention and for any fire restoration needs at 650-800-3448 today!

Commercial Water Damage Restoration in Palo Alto

12/15/2019 (Permalink)

water damage in a boardroom Commercial Water Damage in Palo Alto

Complexity of Commercial Water Damage

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response from a reliable water restoration company. These water damage events are oftentimes more complex than residential ones, which is why you need experts trained in commercial water loss to quickly and effectively deal with the damage.

Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, SERVPRO of Palo Alto works quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

SERVPRO of Palo Alto professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need

About SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after water damage, fire damage, and smoke & soot damage. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and advanced equipment to restore your property. SERVPRO of Palo Alto serves the following Bay Area locations: Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and Stanford.

If you have experienced a water damage on your property, call us now at 650-800-3448!